Red Tape

Country music legend Charlie Daniels once said, “We can get rid of red tape.”  He was talking about excessive bureaucracy, rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic, because it hinders or prevents action or decision-making and this is mostly seen in big business or government.  Red tape was used to bind official government documents and it resulted in making things more complex and time consuming thus causing delays or inaction.  Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, in the early 16th century used red tape to bind his most important administrative dossiers.  Red tape acquired its modern meaning after the American Civil War.

Recruits were induced to sign up for the Civil war with assurances that they would earn bonuses and pensions and eventually more than two million veterans received a pension.  By the 1890s (when the Civil War commemoration movement was at its height) most veterans were in their 50s and 60s, feeling the effects of both their physical war wounds and the nation’s economic collapse, and desperate for some kind of help from anyone who could supply it.  By the end of the Civil War 186,017 black men had served in the Union Army, roughly three-quarters of whom were former slaves.  Black soldiers encountered difficulty trying to receive their benefits and they were often required to jump through a lot of hoops to get anything.  They were repeatedly asked to come back on another day and wait in line again, a seemingly endless and totally unnecessary process to review their paperwork until the documents that were bound in red tape which held the key to their benefits were finally opened.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday.

WordPress Is Awesome

Every day WordPress has an utterly vast selection of prompts that readers who are also writers can choose from.  A writing prompt becomes an idea which readers can focus on as they write and this helps them from starting out with a blank page and prevents them from wandering off the topic.  The readers are supposed to come up with some worthwhile material as a response.  I rely on the prompts for inspiration, as most days, I have no idea what I am going to write about, the only thing that is certain, is that I am going to write something.

I am pretty predictable and I have my go-to sites where I get writing prompts from.  I usually make a reference to all the prompts, before I decide to write anything and hopefully that way, I can make them all fit together.  Some days it feels like my cup is running over with prompts, but I am always glad to have them, as the more the merrier, so there can never be too many writing prompts.  I figure that if I try hard enough, there are always ways to deal with them.  When I near the end of my post, as it comes down to the wire, sometimes I need to cram some of these prompts in that did not seem to fit just right.

When I first started my blog back on April 23 of 2017, I had no clue what it was going to be about, but since then I have published 1,842 posts and they ended up being about everything.  I found this site called the Daily Post which featured prompts and I wrote 268 times for that.  This allowed me to connect with many other bloggers by reading their posts.  The Daily Post on WordPress stopped publishing prompts in the end of May 2018 and a bunch of dedicated bloggers jumped in to pick up the slack.  Sheryl was one of the first to step in with her Daily Word Prompt and Roger Shipp came along with his Daily Addictions.  I don’t know much about the Daily Spur, but it has a word prompt and a picture prompt every day.  Fandango at This, That, and The Other is a very versatile fellow and he hosts four different challenges every week, a daily word prompt, a weekly flash fiction challenge, a weekly provocative question and a weekly flashback of his previous posts.  Michelle has monthly writing prompts on her puttingmyfeetinthedirt site which are always interesting.

The Ragtag community is a combination of seven individuals and they host a daily prompt with the poet Sgeoil going on Mondays.  This is followed by drkottoway, KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog a doctor mom having a crack at this on Tuesday. On Wednesday the nutritionist, dancer. runner, bibliophile and polyglot Curious Cat has her turn.  Thursday is split between two Australians, Tracy from the Reflections of an Untidy Mind site and Brian who writes on Bushboys World. Friday is reserved for Emily a cat person from Victoria, Canada on Zombie Flamingoes.  Punam who lives in India I think writes beautiful poetry has a site titled paeansunpluggedblog and she is the host on Saturday.  Gizzylaw of Talkin’ to Myself wraps things up on Sunday for the Ragtag group.

Di on pensitivity101 is the current host of the Three Things Challenge and she is also the co-host of Fibbing Friday.  The Word of the Day Challenge is a group of four bloggers Dee Kelly a single mom that is Thriving Not Surviving, Kristian from Tales from the mind of Kristian, Cyranny an award-winning writer with Cyranny’s Cove and Kira a guest artist who does Sunday Scribbles.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie is the name of the group of writers, but there is also a blogger Candice named mindlovemisery aka Yves who hosts the Sunday Writing Prompt and the Monday Wordle.  NEKNEERAJ hosts Photo Challenge that is featured on Tuesdays.  Blogger Chèvrefeuille hosts Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille aka Kristjaan every Wednesday.  Michael of Morpethroad is the host of Tale Weaver for Thursday.  Another blogger named weejars aka Sarah hosts the Saturday Mix.  I have the honor of splitting every other Friday with Dylan Hughes who hosts First Line Friday and then I have the MM Music Challenge.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie describes itself as a dose of fetish, good friends, an incomparable muse, so it is a curio of sorts. I also host Song Lyric Sunday, so make sure to check your calendar, so you don’t miss that.  There are many other challenges that I write in, so please don’t feel excluded if yours was not mentioned, as I only wrote about the ones that ones that are here everyday.

I have one prompt remaining and I want to talk about pumpkins, because this is the season for them and everyone is using them in recipes.  Pumpkins are usually ready to harvest but they must be collected before the first frost or when night temperatures are expected to drop down into the 40s for an extended period of time.  The cold weather is heading to Clermont, FL where I live, as the highs are expected to drop down by 15 degrees by tomorrow.  I bought some pumpkin cake and it is yummy.  I heard that there is a pumpkin cider, although I have never tried it, but that is not because I am worried about getting a hard cider hangover.  Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins wrote the song ‘Thirty Three’ in 1994 when he was 27 just after he got married, and moved into a new house.  A friend of his who read Tarot cards said that when he became 33, his life was going to change completely and he felt that he was ready for that now.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Reference, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Wire, for the Daily Spur prompt – Selection, for FOWC with Fandango – Rely, for November Writing Prompts – Hard cider hangover, for Ragtag Community – Vast, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Cup Calendar Curio and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Utterly.

You Are What You Do

Carl Jung said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do”, and The Fixx sang “Do what they say, say what you mean”, actually these things have nothing to do with the other, but since your job is what you do, not who you are as a person, you should not let it define you.  I have had many jobs in my lifetime and I read that the average person changes jobs about 12 times during their career.  Job-hopping is defined as spending less than two years in a position and this can be beneficial and healthy leading to diverse experience, an ability to pick things up quickly and it may be the quickest way to get a raise.  Experts say that too much can be really bad for you, as this will raise a red flag with prospective employers who think that you lack loyalty.

I shattered the curve, as I had 12 jobs before I ended High School.  My first job was working as a solicitor, I walked around the neighborhood selling seeds (vegetables and flowers) door to door that would be delivered through the mail.  The company gave me some sample packets of seeds and a catalog that the potential customers could browse through and then order.  It wasn’t a bad job, but eventually you exhaust the supply of relatives and neighbors and then the job ends.

I lived in Milwaukee when I was young and I made money shoveling driveways, which was not steady work, but Milwaukee does get a lot of snow.  I had a lemonade stand and I raked leaves for money in the autumn.  I also made money cutting lawns and when I got older, I had a paper route.  I worked as a pet sitter and a dog walker.  In High School, I got a job working as a busboy in a restaurant and then I worked as a bagger for a grocery store.  I worked at the country club as a golf caddy and also as a valet parking attendant.

After High School, I got a job as a mover working for a moving company.  I worked as a janitor cleaning office buildings.  I worked at the car wash and I had a job as a vacuum cleaner salesperson.  I worked in a carpentry shop and I made rollers for the newspaper printing industry.  My older sister paid me to watch her boys, but I was like the worst babysitter ever. My dad paid me to be his helper when he got side jobs installing antennas.  I had a job that required me to assemble a crew of boys and canvas different neighborhoods for newspaper sales.  I worked as a swimming pool installer and I also worked as a landscaper.  I worked as an order filling clerk in a company that sold legal supplies.

I worked in a plumbing warehouse and in a steel mill.  I worked as a mixer in a place that made frozen cheesecakes.  I worked in a factory making roof trusses.  I worked in a cosmetics warehouse and I worked on the receiving dock at a shipping company.  I worked as a stacker in a factory that made targets that people would shoot at.  I worked as a helper in a panel shop that required me to do many different things.  Thus, I had 12 different jobs before graduating High School and another 21 after High School, bringing my total to 33 different jobs and I may have even missed one or two.  After graduating college, I had a lot of jobs which is for another post, but most of my time I worked as a consultant, so I often had 3 to 4 different jobs in a year.  I have never held a job for more than three years.

Killer Legs

She was to die for and in fact her silicone curves came with a warning about sex addiction, because she was designed to be the perfect companion.  Her legs went all the way down to the floor, they seemed to go on forever, and all men thought that was her best feature, especially when she was wrapping them around their backs.  The men were all familiar with Mathew’s saying, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”, but they still devoted most of their time to gazing at her alluring legs and found themselves spellbound in visual foreplay to the point where they had to have her.  The company that designed her Robotic Rhapsody named her Sadie the sex kitten.

They claimed that a half hour in bed with her was equal to the cardio workout of running a marathon and other than the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, it would always be safe sex.  Sadie came with a companion for those who liked to tape their sexcapades and Max as he was called, came with antennas for webcasting the show.  Sadie could do things with her tail that drove men absolutely out of their minds, but it was those tongues that stick out of her knees were her secret weapons.

Written for Kira’s Sunday Scribbles weekly inspirational art piece.

You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen

Telly Savalas played a New York detective in the TV show Kojak which aired from 1975 to 1978 and he was known for saying, “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, but way before that back in 1956, Bo Diddley wrote and recorded a song that is credited to his birth name Ellas McDaniel called ‘Who Do You Love’.  This song did not chart and Bo Diddley only had one Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 ( a song titled ‘Bo Diddley’ that was backed with ‘I’m a Man’) and only one album of his charted on the Billboard 200, but Bo achieved worldwide fame and respect as a member of the founding of rock and roll and his songs were covered by many diverse artists.  In 2017, Diddley was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.

This song is an upbeat rocker, using a combination of hoodoo-type imagery and boasting, but the original did not use the signature Bo Diddley beat rhythm.  Bo said that the idea for this song came to him while he was in Kansas City, when he heard a group of children trying to out-brag one another in an African like chant, and he wanted to develop words that would suit it.  Bo Diddley recalled that he was inspired by the Muddy Waters 1954 hit ‘I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man’, and he wanted to outdo songwriter Willie Dixon’s lyrical swagger, by telling this chick how much of a badass he was, so she can go tell the cat she’s hanging with that this dude is way beyond cool.  This guy walks 47 miles of barbed wire, uses a cobra-snake for a necktie and lives in a house made out of rattlesnake hide.  He sings about a skull, a tombstone, a graveyard, and a scream in the night, which all convey a sense of foreboding.

The use of the homonym “who do” is an allusion to “hoodoo”, a traditional African American spirituality popular in Louisiana and Mississippi.  It is a witchcraft practice, a folk magic belief that events can be influenced by its use and it often makes use of natural and supernatural elements in order to create and effect change in the human experience.  Bo Diddley was born on December 30, 1928 and he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 20, 1955, about a year before Elvis Presley did.  He died of congestive heart failure on June 2, 2008 at the age of 79.

I walk 47 miles of barbed wire
I use a cobra-snake for a necktie
I got a brand new house on the roadside
Made from rattlesnake hide
I got a brand new chimney made on top
Made out of a human skull
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene
And tell me, who do you love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Tombstone hand and a graveyard mine
Just 22 and I don’t mind dying

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

I rode around the town, use a rattlesnake whip
Take it easy Arlene, don’t give me no lip

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Night was dark, but the sky was blue
Down the alley, the ice-wagon flew
Heard a bump, and somebody screamed
You should have heard just what I seen

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Arlene took me by my hand
And she said oh bo, you know I understand

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is “Could/Might/Should/Would”.

Modal Verbs

English grammar can be complex and modal verbs are unlike other verbs.  They include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on.  Our prompt for this week is Could/Might/Should/Would.  I believe that it is possible for everyone who wants to play along this week in Song Lyric Sunday to find a song that fits this prompt.

This challenge is always a lot of fun for me, because I enjoy seeing all the different songs that everyone contributes.  Song Lyric Sunday is mostly about having fun and sharing your music with others and being able to listen to the music that others come up with.  Not everyone on WordPress is a writer, but I feel that SLS should be more than just posting a video, so do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  This could be something as simple as what year the song was written, who wrote it, or did it make the charts?  Post a video, show the lyrics, but most important, make sure that you have fun.  Try to find a song that fits the prompt, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.  If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the Bo Diddley song ‘Who Do You Love’ this week.  Next week I will be writing about the song ‘Don’t You Want Me’ by Human League.  The upcoming prompts will be:
November 17, 2019 – Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t
November 24, 2019 – Bounty/Desert/Eat/Feast/Food/Hungry/Turkey
December 1, 2019 – Chin/Ears/Eyes/Face/Mouth/Nose
December 8, 2019 – Arms/Elbows/Knees/Legs

Reena’s Phrases Part Two

Yesterday I made a post covering the first four phrases in Reena’s Exploration Challenge and now I will write about the remaining phrases.
1. pockets of stillness
2. question your maps
3. cynical assertions
4. lost alphabet
5. was that really me?
6. crumbling thoughts
7. undulating patterns
8. free-flowing bonds
9. pregnant pause
10. potential of emptiness
I went to a party at my best friend’s house that was an outdoor barbecue.  Billy and I played bocce ball in his back yard which we both enjoyed and then we sat on his back porch to enjoy some beers.  My wife always got along really well with his wife, which made things nice.  The folding chair that I was sitting in collapsed and I fell over, but I didn’t get hurt.  I was embarrassed and I spilled my beer.  Billy got me another chair and another beer, but that chair also broke under my weight.  I’m a big guy, I wear triple extra-large shirts and I need a sturdy chair to sit in.  The gravity of the Earth makes up a person’s static weight and there is also the force used in sitting down that needs to be considered when determining how much of a load a chair can take and this is the dynamic weight.  All folding chairs have a maximum weight capacity which should equate to the amount of pressure that can be put on that chair before it collapses, but this only refers to the static weight.  The dynamic weight comes into consideration when someone plops their butt down into the chair, re-adjusts in it to feel more comfortable, or leans back on the chair.  Billy got me a third chair and I felt bad when I broke that one also.  I had to sit on his steps for the rest of the party, because I did not want to break any more of his cheap chairs.  I did not think it was my fault, but I did wonder was that really me?

Chairs can collapse and cookies can crumble, as sometimes things just don’t work out.  The world has a way of throwing many things at us, and often it can feel like everything is crumbling around you.  When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.  I am usually in the mood to write and I try not to tie myself down into any specific structure, but every now and then I have crumbling thoughts.

Our solar system isn’t fixed in one position, it travels through space and our Sun eventually aligns with the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  All the stars in our galaxy rotate around a galactic center, but this happens at varying time periods because they are at different distances from the center and they are moving at different speeds.  It takes our solar system which is moving at a speed of about 155 miles per second or 486,000 miles per hour approximately 226 million years to orbit the Milky Way galaxy.  The Galactic Center of the Milky Way is it’s rotational center, this is the place where the super massive black hole is located which is estimated to be 2.6 to 3 million times more massive than the size of our Sun.  Earth appears to be located about 25,000 to 28,000 light years away from the from the Galactic Center.  This orbit of the Galactic Center has no negative effects on the Earth.  Our galaxy consists of undulating groupings of mass and intricate gravitational fields, so our orbit through the Milky Way is not a perfect circle or an ellipse.  The Milky Way galaxy is like a milkshake undulating up and down, and nobody knows why.  It is thought that the undulating patterns may be a lingering effect from a galaxy that smashed into ours in the past.

The way that atoms bond together affects the electrical properties of the materials they form.  Copper has the highest conductivity of any non-precious metal, it is highly ductal, it resists corrosion, and this makes copper the first choice as a conductor for electrical applications.  Current flow is the movement of electric charges along a conductor.  Copper has an atomic number of 29, meaning that the copper atom has 29 protons and 29 electrons.  The protons are concentrated in the nucleus while the electrons are distributed in the K, L, M, and N shells as 2 in K, 8 in L, 18 in M, leaving 1 electron in the outermost shell N of a copper atom, but this shell has room for 8 electrons.  The outermost electrons of atoms in the copper wire are not sure which atom they belong to.  They can move easily from one atom to the other in a random fashion.  Such electrons which can move easily from one atom to the other in a random fashion are called free electrons.  It is the movement of free electrons in a material like copper that constitutes flow of current.  As more free-flowing bonds develop between other atoms, more electrons will move along a conductor.

Setting the stage is a phrase used to mean that conditions have been made right for something to happen, or that something is likely to happen.  I never saw the play Hamilton, but it contains a song ‘Wait For It’ which is about the rivalry between Burr and Alexander Hamilton, and Theodosia choses Burr, but he doesn’t believe that he has won, so he has a pregnant pause wondering why she chose him.  Aaron Burr married Theodosia and they had a daughter who they named Theodosia.  A pregnant pause occurs when something that requires a sarcastic response happens, but no one quite knows what to say or do and an awkward silence follows.  On July 10, 1804, Aaron sat down at his desk and wrote his daughter Theodosia a goodbye letter saying “I am indebted to you, my dearest Theodosia, for a very great portion of the happiness which I have enjoyed in this life.  You have completely satisfied all that my heart and affections had hoped for or even wished.”  The next day, Aaron who was the Vice President of the United States killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.

The universe is a pretty empty place, as all of the matter contained in the it would fit into about 1 billion cubic light years, meaning that only about 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains any matter.  All the stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen today make up just 4 percent of the universe.  The other 96 percent is made of stuff astronomers can’t see, detect or even comprehend.  These mysterious substances are called dark energy and dark matter. Vera Rubin an American astronomer pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates uncovered a discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.  Rubin’s observations differed from what Newtonian physics predicted, that stars on the outskirts of a galaxy would orbit more slowly than stars at the center and this led scientists to conclude that there must be much more matter in galaxies than what we can see.  We know that dark matter doesn’t interact with regular matter, or even light, and so it is invisible.  Yet it has mass that exerts a gravitational pull, just like normal matter, which is why the velocities of stars and other phenomena in the universe are affected.  It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy.  Dark matter makes up about 27%.  The rest of everything is referred to as normal matter, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, and this adds up to less than 5% of the universe.  Albert Einstein was the first person to realize that empty space is not nothing.  We see gravity every day, but we still don’t really understand this force, as it has a potential of emptiness to it.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #112 where the prompt is a list of phrases.