Thursday, November 30, 2017

Done, Done And Done


Welp ... here we are.

The final day of National Blog Posting Month, the 2017 edition.

In truth, it seems like it went by in a rush. All of a sudden, the final day of November is here, Thanksgiving is a distant memory and the last month of the year - with all its pageantry, decorations, lights and music - looms large.

Does that mean the curtain is coming down on blogging, sharing stuff and doling out vital information that needs be doled out for your personal edification? 



Of course not. 

It's just an end to NaBloPoMo, that's all. 

I can satisfactorily state, with emphatic aplomb, the commitment of this little exercise wasn't as difficult as it initially appeared. Blathering each and every day, 30 individual times without a break and without preparing posts in advance ... couldn't that lead to some possible anxiety-inducing disquietude?

Nah. All it took was a little extra thinking, a bit of delving into the past, a few first-hand situations and some imagination. (And, yeah ... I've got imagination to spare, as evidenced by some of the topics I've provided over the course of the month. Possible Nutcracker Of Death, anyone?)

I still have yet to seriously delve all the other participants' blog postings. But I love reading, so that won't be a problem. While I might have set a goal for this week, it's taken a different path and shoved my whims and desires by the wayside.

So ... it's been fun. And inspiring. And enlightening, too. I hope those who have partaken of my assorted brands of monkey business have either been entertained or learned sumpin' useful. Or not. 

Hey, who knows? Maybe I've even won you over on something ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP with the NaBloPoMo posts already, for Pete's sake ... )




Of course, at the very end of it all,
the damned logo has finally gone and righted itself ...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile



I'm no comedian.

But I can dole out the comedy every now and again.

And let me tell you: It can be tough

Along with making people laugh, you run the risk of offending folks/friends/everyone. Or saying something you think is funny but turns out to be the most inappropriate time to lob a verbal barb.

That's the chance you take.

Additionally - depending on the type of chuckle you're shooting for - you run the risk of looking like an insensitive jerkwad. Throw out the occasional sarcastic or dry shot and it can be interpretted in an entirely different manner than projected. And not in a good way.

And, right there, that's the rub. 

But you don't stop. You don't go cold turkey just because something doesn't work. Where it doesn't come off in one particular situation, the exact same comment might work dreamily in another. They can't all be gems, you know.

That being said, here are a few examples I committed over the last few days. Please enjoy:


A friend posted the following: "Confession: I have a slight online shopping habit." My response was not so subtle: "'Slight' ... I doubled over laughing on the floor when I read that word." (She wasn't exactly amused.)




Of the above image, I commented:  "I WANT TO GO TO THAT POND AND CATCH HOTDOGS, TOO ... !!!"


With regard to a photo I posted a buddy's comment about me being "a wise old man" spurred him to into noting:  "Wise sort of old duffus?" to which I replied "(I'm) wise enough to know how to spell 'doofus'" (Which could understandably be construed as me being an all out asshat.)


Again, that's the chance you take.

Oh, sure ... being confidently quick-witted and spewing barbs left and right has gotten me in hot water time and again. But it doesn't stop me. It's a character trait. If you know me, you know I'm prone to do so. If you don't, you'll learn soon enough.

That is, if you're not too offended and hang around to see what sort of (sometimes) caustic wit I actually am....

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




More than a list to the side, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

I Have A Problem ...



I have a problem.

(Admittedly, I have many problems. Some are of my own making.)

But let's stay on point here, hokay?

I have a problem. A leaf problem. A debris problem. Specifically, I have a problem with leaves and twigs and other debris littering my driveway. 

Nothing makes me happier than gazing down the length of that asphalt with the hum of the blower winding down, seeing the drive completely unencumbered of the chaff and remains of the trees on either side of it. Pristine, clean and ready to commute upon with nary a snap or crunch of anything underfoot. 



Clear, silent rubber on the road. Soft footsteps keeping rhythm with some unknown tune in my head as I walk its length on the way to the mailbox.

But ... that hasn't happened in days.

Other duties called. Work. The cleaning of the house in anticipation of Thanksgiving guests. Other things that selfishly took my mind elsewhere, somewhere other than the worry of the littered driveway.

It's been over a week now since last I hauled out my electric blower and blew. And yesterday, when I finally had time to do so, the rain came and stayed from the morning right on into the night, mocking my want of leafy riddance.

*sigh*




And still wet from rain, the leaves will remain until they can easily be erased from their temporary blacktop resting place.

Yes, I have a problem ... a persistent, pestering leafy problem ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




Oh sure ... the leaves on that tree can stay stuck to the tree ...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Over And Done



It's Sunday night.

One set of kids left early this morning. They were out the door at 5:00 a.m. in order to beat the traffic. 

Another set was a bit surprised the former took off so early. (There was banter and wagering who would leave first and if there would be driveway congestion with both trying to take off simultaneously.)

The dishes have all finally been cleaned and put away. There were moments when they threatened to overrun the place, showing up in unexpected places. Lingering on counter tops. Forgotten on a side table, discovered some place unexpected. 

Miniature candy wrappers are still being found between couch cushions and underneath the random chair.

There's a lot of laundry to be mastered - towels, linens, placemats, more. 

The games have been retired to their proper places. They all seem to be intact, all their pieces and parts none the worse for wear.

When the refrigerator is opened, there's an almost audible sigh from the many contents still within, courtesy of Thanksgiving. Not all of them will be used. 

The dog is exhausted. He's been sleeping most of the day, realizing the lack of activity buzzing about the house is a nice change of pace.

The house is still standing.

And it's almost disturbingly quiet in its solitude. 

I have to admit: It's kind of nice everyone took off a day earlier than expected in order get to their respective homes and refreshed themselves before the week starts anew. But at the same time, there's an air of loneliness hovering in the air.

It was a lazy day once everyone left. It began to rain as morning ticked closer to noon and hasn't stopped since. A good day for recuperation and reflection. And, uncharacteristically, for a long nap to counter the effects of long nights of competition and revelry and impossibly early mornings which should have been spent in bed until a more reasonable hour. For example: When the sun was above the horizon.

But it was all worth it. Laughter and memories and clogged toilets and picture sharing and lots and lots of learning were committed during the last five days. 

And that's a good thing ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




What? You should be used to this by now.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

An Orbit Is Not A Place




Game night. Scattergories. Category? A place. Sub category? "Not On The Planet Earth." The letter "M" is what must be used.

One of the answers? "Mars Rover Orbit."

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooo. I don't think so.

The debate went far and wide. The person using "Mars Rover Orbit" as an answer was working the best argument possible for his case. But no one else was on board his train, including a designated judge whose decision was final. Still, he argued.

And what it came down to was the fact that an orbit isn't a place. It's a course, a path, a route.

Still, the player protested. 

The (eventual) final reasoning for it not being a place was this: An orbit can be a place. But that place is in space. And "space" doesn't start with an "M."

"Mars Rover Orbit" disqualified.



.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




In space, this could be right side up ...

Friday, November 24, 2017

Dogs



Remember yesterday's post "Drive By" post?

There's more to the story from that morning. After being "accosted" by the little old Chinese woman, Bear and I came to "The Rottweiler House" where two fearsome beasts live. Every time we walk by, the dogs are either fenced within their yard or strapped to leashes outside the house, barking like there's no tomorrow. 

Now, I don't fear dogs in the least. I've been around them my entire life. That doesn't mean I'm not careful and wary around them, however.

They could hear the tinkling of Bear's dog tags as we walked and they know his sound. From a couple doors down they usually begin to "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" with enthusiasm, running the length of the fenced yard or straining against their leads in an attempt to get at us when they know we're around.

This time, though, I heard nothing as we approached their house. In an interesting twist, one of the dogs came into view all of a sudden from up the driveway. It walked directly toward us, calmly. 

Bear made a beeline for it. He loves meeting "new friends" ... no matter who they are. I yanked on his lead, forcing him back and away from the Rottweiler. But it continued to approach, uncharacteristically calm and controlled. 

Then it looked at me. The dog's eyes pierced mine with a strange, metallic stare. And that's when I noticed it.

It's laser stare was lifeless and unmoving. The dog was blind. It didn't look at me but in my direction, from the sounds Bear and I were making. That's why it was approaching slowly.

I let Bear gently inch closer. In a few moments his nose nudge the dog in greeting.

That's when the Rottweiler snapped in surprise. I yanked Bear back before it could get a junk of my dog and I put my hand out and on the beast's shoulders. He was startled by Bear's contact, that was all. I had to control Bear's enthusiasm while watching the Rottweiler to make certain the 100 pound plus monster wasn't alarmed further. 

Then, just like that, it turned tail and walked off with a strange, uneven gait. It was partially crippled, I noticed, possibly because of arthritis or some other ailment. I watched as it hobbled back up the driveway, at ease with the smells and familiarity of its surroundings. 

Those big, ferocious Rottweilers who continually barked at us in their yard weren't so daunting after all.

At least the blind one wasn't.



.......... Ruprecht ( STOP. )




"Dive! Dive! Dive!"

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Drive By

I was out walking my dog Bear early Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving.

I heard a car behind me. An ugly powder blue Toyota Prius approached and I saw the driver's side window come down. An old Chinese woman pulled up to me and stopped. 

She practically yelled at me.

"You looking for PAPER ... ??!?" she shout/asked.

"Nooooooo ..." I said more quizically than in response.

She began driving away. But she stopped again a few seconds later and poked her head out the window, looking back at me. 

"Nice DOG!" she yelled and drove off once more. 

She pulled into a large driveway not far from where I was headed, made a turn into the driveway, performed a rather exaggerated clockwise turn and headed out again back toward me. I didn't make eye contact as she passed me that second time. 


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP. )




"Upside down ... girl you turn me ..."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Make An Argument (Peeves, Part 3)




Speaking of peeves, there's a word out there which, depending on its usage, I'm not too fond of.

That word?

Whatever.

Used as a pronoun or adjective it's fine, not a problem. It's when someone tosses it into conversation as an interjection, as a conversation ender, it irks me. Example:

"It's didn't happen the way you're saying it. There are several different facts you're leaving out ..."
"Whatever."

That's when I dislike it. 

Because the person saying it in this manner usually falls into one of a few catagories:


    1) They're not willing to make an argument to bolster their claim, belief or to take a stand. It's a throwaway response indicating they're done with the subject or the conversation.
    2) They're not willing to admit any faulty data or missing information and, again, it's used interjected dismissively.
    3) They don't know what they're talking about in the first place. They depend on "whatever" to pooh-pooh the matter at hand with no further comment. Using the word like this, it often takes on a condescending tone.


I maintain if you're not willing to make an argument for what you believe in even in the most mundane of conversations, I don't give any respect to you're resigned use of "whatever." You're figuratively cutting yourself off at the knees and dismissing any accountability to bolster your belief.

It's better you don't say anything at all. At least then you might appear as if you're thinking about it, mulling it over. 

And that I can appreciate.


.......... Ruprecht ( Just STOP using "whatever" already ... )




You'd think the leaves would at least fall off ... right?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

(Possibly) Insane Commitment



When I decided to commit to this Napalm Blow-up & Potential Motivator event (better known as NaBloPoMo) it was with two specific plans of action:


  • Run the course of the event - 30 consecutive blog posts throughout the month of November. To date (and with today's posting) I'm 70% of the way there. So far, so good.

  • Visit and read each and every other bloggers posts committed to same. Rather the daunting task when you realize there are 42 (Forty! Two!) other contributors out there plunking away day in and day out.


And those plans still stand. I have ventured into about a quarter of the other sites thus far. Yes, I have a long way to go but my goal is to visit and read (or at least get the gist of) each posting out there. As of today, November 21st? That's 882 entries on the books if everyone is on track. 

Next week is I'm further committed to tear into and get the vast majority of those posts read. And here's the main reason why:

I decided to delve into NaBloPoMo because I love to see and read and experience new things. And I don't mind doing so even if it's out of my element. And believe you me many of your blogs are just that - completely foreign subjects of which I have exactly zero point of reference. 

But I've never been afraid to learn. And that's what diving into your stuff will do. Force me to learn. 

I've already enjoyed quite a few posts. And I'll be completely honest here: There are a few that either don't trip my trigger or that I even understand. (Example: Knitting and the like.) But there's nothing wrong with that. No one can be everything to everyone.

So ... here's to it. I'll even put in a progress report at the end of it all, for me and for you.


.......... Ruprecht ( won't STOP until every one has been read )




The way I see it, if you're standing on the South Pole
this thing is right side up ...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Moo



Today holds a different sort of anniversary. 

It's the day my mother (I fondly called her "Moo") passed away in 1991, 26 years ago.

I was at work. I was a printing salesman. I got the phone call late that morning. I remember hanging up the phone, standing up, hands balled in fists resting on my desktop. I was hunched over. I remember slamming one of my fists onto the desk with a loud, ringing thud. It hurt ... but it grounded me.

And then I grabbed my suit jacket, went over to my boss' office, told him the news and took off for Wrightwood where she lived nestled in the mountains. 

It was a blur of a day. But I remember certain details, not only about the day itself but the days and weeks following. I remember vividly seeing my mother for one of the last times where she expired in her bed. The coroner removing her. Sitting alone in her house. Contacting relatives. Dealing with all the legal mumbo jumbo. The Mardi Gras party we threw for her funeral. So much more ...

I was still in my 20s. She had just turned 51 years old which seemed too young at the time. (And it was.)

And, somehow, 26 years have wedged themselves in between then and now ... 


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




Sunday, November 19, 2017

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead



Remember that annoying habit I wrote about a few weeks back? (Of course you do, being the responsible party you are who frequents my blathers with fevered interest.)

I have another. But this one doesn't bother anyone but me. And it doesn't really even bother me, if I'm being honest. 

It's insomnia. I know, not a habit per se but it happens so frequently it might as well be. I'm used to it. It happens, it's going to continue to happen and I'm living with it. Contentedly, I might add.

Truth be told, it's been more a help than a hindrance. I get a lot of reading in ... and that's always a good thing. (Because fact: There's a lot out there to read.) I have continual writing duties which need my attention. Might as well get to'em and get'em out of the way as they crop up. I'm up and awake anyway. That way I'm ahead of the game, right? Win win. 

The thing is I've often functioned on little sleep. I guess it's going on 20 years, probably more. It isn't an odd I'm up and running with a scant 5 hours beneath my belt. I work until midnight, I'm usually somewhat wired when I get home and it's rare I can immediately turn in after walking through the door. A couple hours of "wind down" time is not unusual. And, yes ... it catches up with me after a month or so. I'll crash for a good 10 hours or more when my body internally screams at me to "Stop it! Stop it! You're killing me!" 

It's not that I don't like sleep. Sleep's a good thing. But it isn't the be all, end all for me like it is for other people. I'll often take productivity in some way, shape or form over slumber at those times. No sense lying there trying to get back to sleep and failing miserably. After all, you can usually sleep; you can't always get done what needs to get done in a timely manner. 

I remember the days when weekends were looked forward to so I could sleep in. It wasn't uncommon on a leisurely Sunday to drag myself out of bed at 11:00 in the morning when I was younger. Those were the days when there was less to do (*snort*), when I was more carefree and, important to me at the time, when I simply didn't care. 

Maybe that's why I can't sleep like the dead any longer.

I might just care too much ....


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )



You'd think that thing would, you know, get tired of listing to one side ...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's Got Nothing To Do With Walla Walla, Washington


Not long ago this was a conversation starter: 


"When people write walla when they mean Voila, it makes me stabby."

I admitted I'd never seen anyone write "walla" for the word "voilà" previously. I hadn't a clue that was "a thing." Naturally, when stuff like this crops up it's time for me to do some digging.

I see the word "walla" and I tag on an extra because "Walla Walla, Washington" - the city and county seat of Walla Walla County in Washington - immediately comes to mind. What else?

Still, off to the dictionary I went. 

Turns out "walla" is an actual word, a form of "wallah," of Indian derivation for a person in charge of, employed at or concerned with a particular thing. Huh. You learn something new everyday. (One of my personal credos.)

But ... "walla" for voilà? This was new to me. I dug further ... and still couldn't come up with any reference. 

And then, slightly frustrated, I said the word out loud to myself. A bell went off. I said it again, this time a bit faster and louder. And that's when I made the connection.

It wasn't the "walla" I was familiar with, the Washington reference, pronounced "wah-lah." It was more a bastardized version of the pronunciation of of "voilà" and, << Voilà! >> ... finally I understood how someone could write voilà as "walla." It took me talking to myself to figure it out.

The thing is: I talk to myself enough ... out loud. Usually alone but sometimes in the presence of others. (That's when I get the interesting looks shot my way.)

But, in this case, it was a good thing.

Because ... revelation.


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )



It's just going to sit there and continue to be sideways ... isn't it?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bonus!



Working until late at night, I'll get up in the morning (without the benefit of much sleep) and head out to whatever project I have without stopping to grab breakfast. Usually this isn't much of a problem. Vut there are days I'm famished and need something to power me through to my next decent meal.

Those times call for a big old Monster Bisquit from Carl's Jr. With its bacon, sausage, egg and cheese all on a bisquit, it often does the trick.

This particular morning, however, I wasn't anywhere near a Carl's. McCrappage was all that was en route. I decided I could live with an Egg McMuffin, sadly lacking though they may be. But ... put a little mayo and mustard one one and it's actually edible.

I pulled into the drive thru (I was the only one frequenting the place at that time) and, to my surprise, I discovered a couple sausage with egg sandwiches were only $3.00. I ordered two. 

"Anything else with that, sir?" I was asked.

"No, thank you. That'll do" I replied.

I paid at one window and drove up to the next to retrieve my order.

A girl handed me a bag. She looked to be about 14 years old if she was a day. 

"Excuse me ... I forgot to ask: Could I get some mayonnaise and mustard too, please?"

"For your order?" she asked me.

Now, sarcastic old me had a couple zippy barbs at the ready, the first of which was "No ... I like to simply open the packets and down them individually, mayo first." But, by the look of this girl, it appeared if I hit her up with something unexpected like that she might break into tears. 

I mean ... what else would the condiments be for? I hadn't ordered anything else. But I decided to be nice and stay on the level. "Yes, they're for my sandwiches, thank you," I confessed.

She disappeared and reappeared just as quickly with my requests. Immediately following, she handed me a large drink and straw.

"Don't forget your Dr. Pepper!" she told me.

This time I couldn't resist. 

"Thank you! Is there a promotion going on I don't know about?"

She looked at me quizically. "Excuse me, sir?"

"Well, you know ... order two Sausage McMuffins, get a free large Dr. Pepper. Is that the deal?"

"Uhm ... no. You didn't order a Dr. Pepper?"

"Nope" I responded. "Maybe the guy behind me ..." I looked in my rear view mirror. "Oh ... look at that. I'm the only one in line here." I handed the drink back to her.

She looked confused. 

"Thank you for my order! Have a good day!" I said as I pulled away.

Where do they get these youngsters?



.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )




It's! Still! Sideways!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Genetic Failure





I tried.

I really did.

But I failed. Miserably.

Not that it was any big deal.

But I learned a valuable lesson: I can't multi-task. Not insofar as having the television on in the background while attempting a physical task.

Still, now that I really think about it, that's not completely true. I can have a baseball game on while doing something, listen and comprehend what's going on without any problem at all. Is it because I've been attuned to such a big part of my life, because I've grown up with it? Since I was a kid I've had Dodger games blaring on the radio while I was outside doing chores or putting a model together or what have you. No problem. Multi-tasking in that particular manner wasn't an issue in the least.

But this morning? A complete and total failure.

I had pulled out several boxed Christmas trees, time for them to make their annual appearance. (Hey! Don't judge! There are as many trees as rooms in this household and every one of them gets one. With that many you have to start somewhere and if that means assembling them before Thanksgiving has arrived? So be it.) I was in the middle of the living room and a little background noise seemed appropriate. I flicked on the television. Already on some random movie channel, Scent Of A Woman was playing ... good enough. I've seen it a few times so good distraction fodder.

Little did I know.

I kept finding myself gravitating from fluffing tree branches to watching the television screen and back again. Over and over and over. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't do both simultaneously. I tried willing myself to do so with superhuman concentration. Nope. Unable.

So ... how do women do so well at multi-tasking? Understand, I'm not trying to pigeonhole the fairer sex with the ability. It's just a well known fact they're more proficient than men at it. And I'm not pulling this stuff out my ass; there are plenty of sources out there. (Here. Are. Three.)

Look: I can walk and chew gum at the same time. But when it comes to television (ballgames excepted) and doing something else? I can't. Much as I'd like to. 

And I don't see that as a failure per se. I see it as devotion to a singular task at hand without compromising or negating the importance of one or the other.

Yeah ... that's the answer I'm going with. 


.......... Ruprecht ( I STOPped trying to multi-task almost the moment I started ... )




Hey ... why is this sideways ... !???