Forced To Choose

I am being a good sport and playing along with this impossible decision of whether I would rather live without the internet, or live without air conditioning and heating.  My choice is that would rather live without the internet, because I know that I could live without the internet because I have done that most of my life.  I have never lived without air conditioning and heating and I wouldn’t want to start doing that now or any time in the future, but people have survived that also.  If I have to live without either one, that would be a bitter pill to swallow and I would rather have both in my life, because I consider them all to be necessities, and they all provide comfort to me.  I have been in a lot of cars that never had air conditioning, but every house that I lived in had both air conditioning and heating.  When a person is forced to make a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives, that becomes a dilemma, which can only be solved by reasoning.

I didn’t get my first home computer till 1990 and it had Windows which was around for a few years by then, but there wasn’t all that much you could do with it yet, as most of my early applications ran on MS-DOS.  I had a dial up modem that could be used to connect with the outside world and the internet had been around a few years longer than Windows.  The only time I used my modem was to check my email as there wasn’t that much information on the internet back then.  There were some early search engines around, but Google didn’t kick in till 1998 and that is when the internet started to move into high gear.  Thus, the first 45 years of my life were spent without the internet, but today it is an integral part of me and I would hate to have to live without it.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #136 which asks, “If you were forced to choose, would you rather live without the internet, or without air conditioning and heating.  Why?”

Blitzen Interview

If you want to know what is the real Santa is like, we got it straight from the reindeer’s mouth and this little cutie is not holding back any punches, giving us the dope on the guy in the red suit, how his wife doesn’t really bake any cookies and how Rudolph got his nose to be so bright.  Blitzen is here with us today on Channel 3 as we take a trip up to the North Pole and everything is melting because of global warming.  It appears that Santa is down in Bermuda today on a well-deserved vacation, but he is keeping to his schedule, by having his sleigh in for repairs and a tune up.  He is also having a hole repaired in his magical toy sack, but Blitzen isn’t letting us know how that thing actually works.  Mrs. Claus is busy purchasing sugarplum cookies that are actually made by Donkin Donuts, but don’t let anyone know who let the cat out of the bag on that one.  Blitzen revealed that Rudolph has a high density of mucous glands in his nasal passages and that when his nose isn’t shining brightly, it is dripping snot all over the place.  Thanks for ruining my lunch today, Blitzen.

Written for Stine Writing – Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!, Simply 6 Minutes hosted by Christine Bialczak.

The Oldest Question

The chicken crossed the road to lay an egg, because it was a free-range chicken, and it figured that the other side of the road would be as good a place as anywhere else.  If you give a free-range chicken a nice cozy little nesting box for their convenience, they won’t use it because they like to lay them in some random place that you won’t find for months.  The thing about chickens is that most of them don’t seem to remember where their eggs are, and once they lay them, they never go back looking for them.  Some chickens appear to be uncomfortable when they are laying their eggs, but once the egg is pushed through the hen’s vent by muscular contractions, they don’t seem to care if you take them, as their job is complete.  Actually, if you keep taking the eggs away from the hens, they will keep laying more, because humans have changed the way their bodies work over the years, with chickens being bred for egg laying making them produce egg after egg.  Birds lay eggs for the purpose of making more birds, not to feed us, but chickens are different from many other birds, because people have genetically altered them to serve our needs.

Laying eggs is an instinctive need for hens as they need to do this, and they are not doing it to hatch chicks, as they will leave their egg as soon as they have been laid.  You can take away all of their eggs without having to worry about hurting the hen’s feelings.  Chickens will lay one or sometimes more unfertilized or fertilized eggs a day until they have collected a clutch, which is usually is about a dozen eggs.  The hen will sit on them just as other birds do whether they are fertilized or not.  Most of the time hens will lay eggs right next to another egg, or they might move one egg out of the way so they can sit on the egg of their choice.  Some chickens will make a cackling noise going “buck-buck-buck-badaaack” to announce that they have just laid an egg.

If these eggs have been fertilized, then the hen will nest at various times and roll the eggs.  As time gets closer for her to start her set, she will spend more time on the nest controlling the growth rate of the embryos.  She does this by moving the eggs closer to her belly or farther away.  Realize that she has laid her clutch of eggs over a number of days, but her goal is to have all the chicks hatch within a twenty-four-hour period.  The first egg she laid may be twelve days older than the last egg she laid, but through careful manipulation of the eggs, she can speed up or slow down the rate of growth of the chick.  Most chickens that come across an egg with have a tendency to roll it this way and that way to keep the poultry in motion.  Like any good mother, the hen will constantly talk to her growing embryos and she may roll the eggs up to fifty times per day to exercise the embryo and prevent it from sticking in the shell.  When the hen sits on the eggs, she heats them to 100° F to 101° F.  She turns the eggs on a regular basis by using her beak to scoop under the egg and then rolls it toward her.  A hen might kick an egg out of the nest if they think it is bad, infertile, or it has a cracked shell, or she is uncomfortable sitting on it.  Some hens have been known to sit on unfertilized eggs for up to 7 weeks, before they give up on them not turning into chicks.  Embryos need considerable moisture to hatch properly and easily, so the hen will keep her eggs at the correct humidity by splashing water on them from her beak, and any moisture she transfers back to the nest on her feathers.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #383 hosted by weejars aka Sarah that uses a photo by Angela Kelly.

A Heartless Scumbag

At a time when most people were struggling…, he was sucking the life out of everything.  This toxic person thought he was better than anyone else and he tried to make everyone else feel like shit, because he was the emblem of the successful tycoon.  His opinion was the only thing that mattered and he never considered anyone else’s point of view.  He took advantage of everyone and everything, because he felt like he was entitled to.  His mission was to make everyone feel small or inadequate just so he could feel better about himself.  His ideas were the only things that were ever urgent and important because he deemed himself to be more respectable than anyone else and he enjoyed raining on your parade and shitting all over your dreams.  His double standards were accepted by many and this manipulative bastard was even elected to be president.  He perfected the art of making you feel guilty for things you didn’t do by twisting your words and your actions to make you look like the bad guy.  This delusional cretin would accuse you of something you didn’t do, knowing how to make it sound like you were behind the problem, when all the time he was the one.

Once he made up his mind about something, no one could convince him otherwise.  He never walked a mile in someone else’s shoes or tried to understand where anyone was coming from because he lacked empathy and basically, he didn’t care about what anyone thinks as it was always about his satisfaction.  He was very selfish and self-absorbed since the day he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He wanted all of the attention and he was able to suck the air out of any room, by making a scene or causing a commotion just to revert the attention back to him.  He never drained the swamp like he promised, he only made it wider and deeper.  He had a memory like an elephant when it came to his opponent’s failures or losses, but the crowds that came to see him were always the biggest ever in his opinionWhen he lost the last election, he played the victim saying it was stolen from him and he started blaming others for making mistakes counting the ballots.  He lost his temper because he felt that he could never be wrong and he blamed Pence, saying it was his fault for not stopping the steal.  He knew how to rile up a crowd and he kept repeating the Big Lie to provoke the January 6th insurrectionists.  Every Republican had to be very careful supporting his lie, or he would take them down and end their career.  If they spoke out against him or didn’t stay quiet his retaliation would be ruthless.  All this cry baby loser ever did was to bring pain and cause drama.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #12.

A Walk in the Woods

Alicia went for a walk with her daughter Morgan to go visit her mom who lived just off the path in the woods.  They were holding hands and singing songs together like ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’ and Morgan hoped that they would run into the Three Little Piggies, Fifer, Fiddler, and Practical Pig and maybe get to see them building their houses.  Morgan asked her mom why grandma always smelled so bad and her mom said that the woods are musty because of the moisture-rich environment and the extended amount of time that they are exposed to the elements could be the reason.  Alicia told her little girl that when things get damp that they start to decay and mold sets in and since your grandma doesn’t sweep, mop and vacuum as much as she should be doing, maybe we could help her with those things.  Morgan said that it is not grandma’s house that she smells, that it is grandma who has this medicinal old person smell that is always around her.

Alicia knew that her daughter was right and that kids tend to say the darndest things and she told Morgan that her grandmother was taking a lot of medicine, because that is what happens to people when they get old.  Alicia said it is normal for old people to smell because they don’t wash themselves as often as young people, and that as our skin matures, its natural antioxidant protection begins to decline.  This decline results in greater oxidation of lipid acid and that accounts for most of the old people smell that grandma has.  This unique scent that elderly people have, lingers wherever they live and it gets absorbed into any confined spaces they occupy, but most people don’t mind this smell that much, however some do find it unpleasant.  Experts still don’t fully understand how body odor changes with age, but they think that it could be the result of interactions between skin gland secretions and bacteria living on your skin.  Morgan said, “I love grandma, but the bacteria living on my skin is really creepy.”

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #100.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Fido heard something so he wagged his tail and went to the window to see what was going on and Timmy followed.  Fido knew it was his job to make everyone aware anytime somebody was at the door.  The boy and his dog looked out of the window, expecting to see something.  Timmy told Fido that it wasn’t the postman because he would always ring twice in case there was something that needed to be signed for or otherwise, he would just place the mail in the box.  Fido was hoping that they word get a visitor, because he enjoyed jumping up on people to great them, as that was his thing when anybody arrived.  Fido had no clue why they were waiting there, but he wondered if it might be another delivery from BarkBox the monthly surprise of dog toys, treats, and goodies, that he was often rewarded with for being the best dog in the house.

Timmy was hoping the Amazon truck would show up because he asked his mom to get him some more Suction Construction Squigz toys, because he planned on being a Structural Engineer when he grew up.  Timmy could play with these toys while he was in the bathtub, or he could make them stick on walls, windows, or even the kitchen table.  Timmy’s mom felt that by playing with these toys, it would encourage her son’s creativity, build his fine motor skills, his interaction, and playful experimentation, so she was happy that he enjoyed them, especially since they wouldn’t leave any residue or marks on surfaces.  She could relax while his mind was engaged and since the pieces connect together easily and pop apart, she was wondering what her genius son would create with them.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #136.

With a Voice So Sweet

Before the Grateful Dead were formed, they were known as The Warlocks a group from Palo Alto which existed in the end of 1964 when Jerry Garcia, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Bob Weir, who were all members of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, decided that they wanted to play “electric” music.  They added a rhythm section, Dana Morgan Jr. on bass and local drummer Bill Kreutzmann.  The first Warlock performance was in Magoo’s pizza parlor in Menlo Park in May 1965.  After a handful of performances Phil Lesh replaced Dana Morgan on bass.  The Warlocks recorded a six-song demo on their November 3, 1965 session for Autumn Records at Golden Gate Recorders in San Francisco using the name The Emergency Crew since they discovered that there was at least one other group in the country using the Warlocks name.  Four of these were original songs, ‘Mindbender (Confusion’s Prince)’, ‘The Only Time Is Now’, ‘Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)’ and ‘Can’t Come Down’ and one was a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Early Morning Rain’, and they did the traditional song ‘I Know You Rider’.

Anyone of these four original songs could be called the first Grateful Dead song, although others say it is ‘The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)’, which was written when they became known as the Grateful Dead.  The lyrics for ‘Can’t Come Down’ were credited to Jerry Garcia and the rest of the group contributed to composing the music.  It was played in 1965-1966, then dropped from the repertoire.  I have heard people compare this song to Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and I might be able to compare some of Robert Hunter’s lyrics with Dylan’s, this was written before hunter became their lyrists.  It is a different sounding Grateful Dead song with very catchy lyrics and everything rhymes, so it more of a pop song and you have to love Pigpen playing the harmonica.

The Warlocks played at several Acid Tests and I guess that Garcia encountered a lot of extremely people at these events and some of them may have had trouble coming down off of the hallucinogens that they took at these parties.  This is a happy song and I don’t think that Garcia who was called Captain Trips at this time, had any problem dealing with being high and he may have even helped some people deal with a bad trip.  The chorus states, “I can’t come down, I’ve been set free.  Who you are and what you do?  Don’t make no difference to me.”  This fits into the hippie culture of accepting people, by promoting openness and tolerance as alternatives to the restrictions and regimentation that they saw in middle-class society.  By not conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals, hippies were outcasts that decided that they would rather make love, and not war.  If this song came out after Viagra was released, “can’t come down” may have had a completely different meaning.

I’m flying down deserted streets
Wrapped in mother’s winding sheets
Asbestos boots on flaming feet
Dreaming of forbidden treats
When uniforms on nighttime beats
Ask me where I’m going and what I eat
I answer them with a voice so sweet

I can’t come down
It’s plain to see
I can’t come down
I’ve been set free
Who you are and what you do
Don’t make no difference to me

Well someone’s trying to tell me where it’s at
How I do this and why I do that
With secret smiles, like a Cheshire Cat
And leather wings like a vampire bat
I fly away to my cold water flat
And eat my way to a bone of fat
And I say to the man with the funny hat

I can’t come down
It’s plain to see
I can’t come down
I’ve been set free
Who you are and what you do
Don’t make no difference to me

They say I’ve begun to lose my grip
My hold on reality is starting to slip
Tell me to get off this trip
They say that it’s like a sinking ship
Life’s sweet wine’s too warm to sip
And if I drink I’ll surely flip
I just say as I take a nip

I can’t come down
It’s plain to see
I can’t come down
I’ve been set free
Who you are and what you do
Don’t make no difference to me

So, as I dream of cotton seas
And granite halls and redwood trees
An ugly eye that only sees
Endless mirrors and infinite me’s
About the winter’s coming freeze
This afterthought I say with ease
To all of you who made your pleas

I can’t come down
It’s plain to see
I can’t come down
I’ve been set free
Who you are and what you do
Don’t make no difference to me

Written for Song lyric Sunday where the theme is Delightful, Pleasant, Sweet suggested by Paula.

Heavenly Satisfying

Why would she call me a doorbell, what does that even mean?  I thought she was trying to press my buttons by saying that I was some type of a ding-dong, which is probably close to being a ding bat and I got mad over this, so I confronted her.  She said that she didn’t call me a doorbell and that she thought that I was adorable.  I thought that was delightful, pleasant, and sweet and then I kissed her in a way that I’d never kissed a girl before.  I told her that she would be mine from now on and she took me home to meet her parents, but they hated my long hair and the fact that I didn’t have a job.

Last week we had Resolute, Staunch, and Steadfast, with the theme of Devoted, Faithful, Honorable, Loyal, True suggested by Lady A.  Our theme this week is Delightful, Pleasant, Sweet suggested by Paula Light of Light Motifs II.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you are able to as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:
• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• 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 song ‘Can’t Come Down’ by Grateful Dead today.  Next week, I will be writing about the BJ Thomas song ‘Hooked On A Feeling’.  The upcoming prompts will be:
September 26, 2021 – Other, That, This – Fandango Sunday
October 3, 2021 – Songs where somebody is having sex or talking about it
October 10, 2021 – Heavenly Bodies, Planets, Moon, Sun, Stars suggested by King Ben’s Grandma
October 17, 2021 – Communication, Information, News, Telephone suggested by Di of pensitivity101

Numbered Dots

My mom always valued math and she helped me with my homework when I was young.  She was a bookkeeper and she worked as a comptometrist before calculators and computers became popular.  She understood how to work this special machine that performed mathematical operations for accounting and I guess since not everyone knew how to use this, she got paid pretty well at the time for a woman.  She helped me with all of my subjects, but she thought that math was the most important subject for me to learn, so when I was little, she got me all of these connect the dot puzzles.  I enjoyed finding the numbers and when I joined them together with a pencil, they turned into pictures that I would show to my mom and she would give me a treat for solving them.

It wasn’t very difficult but it helped me to see patterns and that is why I was able to do calculus later on in college.  I had to take several courses in calculus in order to get my Electrical Engineering degree and I absolutely hated this subject, because I didn’t understand it.  All the other math courses that I took before calculus made sense to me.  Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry all had rules that I understood and even though Calculus had rules, I never saw the purpose in any of these problems, but I was able to solve them because I saw the patterns.  I would look at the problem and see if there was something similar to it and then I would notice how they differed.  I made a puzzle out of every problem, adjusting this problem to fit and even though I fumbled my way through this subject, I did pass.

Working on the connect the dot puzzles enabled me to visualize the outcome of the pictures that I was drawing.  I feel that it went beyond that, by helping me to develop a spatial relationship between the dots that I was connecting and the objects that the pictures turned into.  If I were to draw a line from number 3 to number 5 instead of number 4, the picture would not be correct and the hidden shape would never be revealed to me.  I had to take responsibility for connecting the dots in the right order and this taught me that there were consequences for doing things the right way and for doing them the wrong way.  These puzzles became a stepping stone for me to learn how life works.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is to use the word puzzle anyway you like.