Surrealistic Pillow

1970 was the summer of discovery for me, the Sun shined through my window and my friends would come around.  Yes I had missed the summer of love, which occurred in 1967 with the flower children, but people were still protesting the Vietnam war and still burning the flag.  This was an enigmatic time for me, because I just got my driver’s license and next year I would have to register for the draft.  I would have went if I was selected because my father served, and I would never dishonor him, but this war was very unpopular.  My grandmother, my dad’s mom had just died and she left me $1,000 in her will which I used to buy a stereo, speakers, amplifier and turntable.  I missed out on Woodstock, but music became my life in the summer before I would become a High School senior.

I discovered music before I discovered drugs, but that followed closely behind.  At this age, music and my friends meant everything to me and what my friends did, I wanted to do.  Most of my friends had Corvettes and Camaros, but I was not able to afford that.  I had a nicer stereo system than most of them, so that was my way of keeping up with the Joneses.  Once I tried pot, there was no exit, as I wanted to get high all the time.  Eventually I would resort to doing coke and taking pills, which always made the music sound more surreal.  I am not here to sanctify the use of drugs, but they never caused any problems for me, other than getting arrested.

I had a close relationship with my brother at this time as he was just a year younger than I was and we had a lot of the same friends.  I guess I could call him my confidant, as we shared things and we trusted each other.  I never had any fear that he would rat me out for anything that I did which was wrong and I was always treading lightly on the things that he did.  I wore bell bottom pants and love beads, but I was not a subversive member of the counterculture and I would certainly not counter the burn your bra movement, which has sadly faded into a remnant of the past, as it was exciting for me to see women not wearing bras.

I remember one day when my parents were at work and my friends were over listening to my albums and we smoked at lot of weed, the doorbell rang.  I walked downstairs and there were two cops there and they told me that I was under arrest for an unpaid parking ticket.  I told them that I had friends upstairs that I had to let out and I needed to turn my music off and they allowed me to do that.  I told my friends that I had to leave, which made them sad, but they did get with the program.  The police handcuffed me and made me ride in the back seat of the police car to the headquarters.  I had just cashed my paycheck from the job I had as a bagger at the supermarket, so I had enough money to pay the parking ticket and the late fee fines and then they let me go.  I asked them if they were going to give me a ride back home and they laughed and said that I could walk or take the bus.  In review, I guess I was lucky that they did not smell the weed we were smoking.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Enigmatic, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Program, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – No exit, for the Daily Spur prompt – Resort, for FOWC with Fandango – Surreal, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Treading lightly, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Remnant, for Ragtag Community – Fear, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Counter Flag Review, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts – Confidant and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Sanctify.

The Evanescent Moment

When did it begin to vanish, I can’t even recall, as I don’t have a memory like an elephant, but over time the lines washed away and it became history.  It was splendid while it lasted, as it was the first of its kind, but then the curtain was pulled back and I realized that the Wizard of Oz was just being acquisitive and that he nothing more than a fraud.  He made me a promise that he would take me back to Kansas, but he had no intent on keeping that.  Now I would be an orphan and I might enjoy being able to taunt a Munchkin or two about their height, but in the long run, there was no payoff in that.  Perhaps the Good Witch of the North would be able to help me.  At least I still have Toto.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Acquisitive, Splendid and Evanescent, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Curtain, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Lines washed away, for the Daily Spur prompt – History, for FOWC with Fandango – Orphan, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – The first of its kind, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Taunt, for Ragtag Community – Intent, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – North Payoff Promise and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Elephant.

Road To Hell

We are not in Kansas anymore and we won’t be going to Disneyland.  This bewitching road is taking us straight to hell.  I have been to the mountain and I have crossed a lot of lines in the sand, but Dante gave me an ultimatum and there is zero wiggle room on this.  Sure it will be fusty and when we get back, we will both need to shower or at least wash up, because we will certainly be smelling like a fireplace.  Dante is holding a grudge against Beelzebub for only showing him the nine circles of hell and not all ten of them and although some people believe that this is cynicism at its finest, others say it is pure hogwash.

In the tenth circle we are likely to find burning souls, immersed in human excrement, trapped in icy waters and gurgling to catch their breath.  We may also encounter nomadic people with their heads fully absorbed in the derrières of others.  Those individuals will have swollen bottoms due to the immense size of the heads that were immersed in them and there is no hope for separation.  Surveillance is always diligent, as sinners must suffer eternally for the wrong that they committed in life.  It gives me chills to think how anyone could endure this kind of punishment.  In school, I received a butt wedge many times, but this is unthinkable and we may even see someone contorted in such an unfeasible way as to have their own head inserted into their very own posterior.

That Beelzebub is a chip off the old block and he loves to enforce punishment.  He has no heart and he does not care about anyone, much less a feral creature needing help.  We can’t trust him as he is a real snake and after he shows us the horrific spectacles of the tenth circle, we should hightail it out of there, before he makes an upcoming plan for us.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Mountain, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Lines in the sand, for the Daily Spur prompt – Shower, for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #25, for FOWC with Fandango – Bewitching, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Cynicism at its finest, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Nomadic, for Ragtag Community – Fusty, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Disneyland Fireplace Zero, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Chip and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #145, hosted by Yves where the prompts are Separation Wiggle Wash Surveillance Grudge Feral Chills Wedge Gurgling Upcoming Hogwash Enforce.

I Don’t Need No Stinking Blog Scrapers

Ever since Fandango alerted the WordPress community to this, I have seen several other posts on it.  Blog scraping is the process of scanning through a large number of blogs, usually through the use of automated software, searching for and copying content and when this is done without your permission that makes these people or companies scumbags.  Blog scraping is when some other site copies a blog, or the blog content, that is not owned by the individual initiating the scraping process.  My original thought on this was just to ignore this Tygpress website, like an embargo just not going to visit them, as I feel my words are not all that valuable, but now I have changed my mind and I decided to make a rant and hit some of today’s prompts along the way.

I changed Fandango’s badge slightly to make it look more ominous and anyone can feel free to use it if they desire.  I still want to blog on WordPress, unlike the one blogger who left because she thinks it is broken.  Along parallel lines, I wonder if WordPress could be more diligent in the future and not get caught with their pants down again showing off their underwear.  Actually I have complained to the Happiness Engineers several times about some issues, which they never fixed for me and they just continue to go on their merry way.  Whereas I think that they could have fixed my problems, but I guess they are only interested in picking up their paychecks.  Fandango made a good point today saying that the blog scraping is insignificant in comparison to the mass shootings that have plagued the US this weekend.  Blog scraping amounts to nothing more than a broken vase or some other trinket that is nice to have, but some slime ball has decided to steal from you.  I am not going to try unraveling steel threads till the bridge collapses, but this crap is wrong.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Wonder, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Parallel Lines, for the Daily Spur prompt – Whereas, for FOWC with Fandango – Previous, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Unraveling steel threads, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Embargo, for Ragtag Community – Continue, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Trinket Underwear Vase and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Broken.

Fog On The Lake

Everyone takes a different path in life and even though random shit may happen, everyone has their own place in the universe.  Here in the Milky Way, planets and stars are born and they die just like people come and go, you are here today and you will be gone tomorrow.  It is what it is and life is meant for us to enjoy, not to brood over.  You must accept that bad things will happen to anyone who lives long enough and realize that pain cannot be cut away with a little snip.  Life is what you make out of it and there is no such thing as an inherently difficult life transition.  There are no guarantees, it is a crap shoot, you can’t just sit idly by, you must get involved and take a chance.  As a sapient being, you need to be aware and use your insight to make judgments.  Get an education, learn as much as you can and if it feels good, then do it.

Wake up and smell the coffee, get out and do things and make some friends.  You don’t have to remain always in a crowd, but you shouldn’t miss out on what is really happening because you are too busy being alone with yourself.  Stop chasing after that elusive white whale, go after a herring instead, as you may find that to be more satisfying.  Move your feet, do a crazy dance like the Freak, the Boogie-Woogie or the Bop, while you drink from your pop top can.  If the lid don’t come off, you can always use a pliers.  Take a walk down to the lake, or go to see the wizard in Emerald City, but stick to the path and always try to make the most out of your life.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Snip, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Chance, for Mathew’s Daily Inkling prompt – Pop Top, for the Daily Spur prompt – Education, for FOWC with Fandango – Random, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – Always in a crowd, for Nova’s Daily Random Word prompt – Sapient, for Ragtag Community – Transition, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Emerald Herring Pliers, for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt – Path and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Brood.

Ends Of The Earth

Sailors noticed that the curvature of the earth was round as they observed that elevated lights or areas of land were visible at greater distances than those less elevated.  Roald Amundsen a Norwegian explorer nicknamed “The Last of the Vikings” was the first person to visit both the North and South Pole.  In 1906, Roald Amundsen became the first to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage.  Amundsen traveled from Baffin Bay and Lancaster Sound through the maze of islands and straits of the Canadian Arctic aboard the ship Gjöa.  This passage had been searched for over many centuries.  His ability to navigate and survive this trip was a great accomplishment.  Experts at this time were debating whether the North Pole was surrounded by an inland sea that could be sailed; a thick, smooth ice sheet that could be easily traversed by a sleigh; or as proved to be the case, to the dismay of explorers and the fascination of scientists, it contained devastatingly unstable stretches of open water within fields of shifting sea ice.  No country owns the North Pole, as it sits in international waters.

If you combine his discovery of the Northwest Passage and him being the first person to make it to the South Pole and possibly the first one to fly over the North Pole, he made a lot of significant accomplishments in his life.  Amundsen interacted with the Eskimos and fervently studied their methods of survival.  He ate their diet and wore the same clothing made by reindeer.  He learned to use animal skins rather than wool coats to keep warm.  Amundsen discovered that eating walrus blubber was adequate to prevent scurvy on long sledging journeys in the arctic, since he could not get any tangerine zing.  Hunting animals and eating fresh meat probably saved him and his crew from getting scurvy.

The first two decades of the 20th century, are commonly called the “heroic era” of Antarctic exploration, and during this period great advances were made in not only geographic, but also scientific knowledge of the continent.  An era of breathless anticipation came to an end on March 7, 1912, when Roald Amundsen landed in Tasmania and sent telegrams announcing that he and his team of Antarctic explorers had reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.  You have to admire a man who set out to explore these desolate, frigid and forbidding lands where no human being in their right mind wanted to set foot on.

On September 7, 1909, a New York Times front-page headline stated, “Peary Discovers the North Pole After Eight Trials in 23 Years.”  The North Pole was one of the last remaining laurels of earthly exploration, a prize for which countless explorers from many nations had suffered and died for 300 years.  A week earlier, the New York Herald printed its own front-page headline, “The North Pole is Discovered by Dr. Frederick A. Cook.”  This article claimed that Cook, an American explorer reached the pole in April 1908, a full year before Peary.  Roald Amundsen was planning a trip to the North Pole, when he heard that Cook and Peary claimed to have already reached the North Pole, so he decided to switch his plans and pursue the South Pole instead.  The South Pole lies on a continental land mass and Amundsen set out with his crew of five men, 52 dogs, and four sleds to reach the South Pole and he planted the Norwegian Flag at the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

He determined the location of the South Pole by using a device called a sextant, which is basically a protractor that measures the angle between two objects.  By measuring the angle between the lines, one can triangulate the position on the Earth the same way as the GPS does today.  Roald Amundsen used the position of stars on the horizon from the South pole, but due to lack of equipment that we posses today, Roald Amundsen was off by 250 meters of the actual South Pole location.  All five of Amundsen’s crew returned safely to base camp, but only 11 dogs made it back alive.  The expedition took 99 days and they traveled over 1,800 miles.

There was some doubt over the claim that anyone actually ever reached the North Pole, so Roald Amundsen joined with Lincoln Ellsworth and Umberto Nobile aboard the airship Norge on an expedition north in 1926.  The explorers flew to the northernmost latitude ever reached by aircraft, making Amundsen and Ellsworth the first men to get that far as well.  On May 9, 1926, polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd announced that he had been the first to fly over the North Pole, but skeptics doubted his claim because they felt that his airplane did not have enough speed to accomplish that flight.

Amundsen’s aerial expedition reached the North Pole on May 11, 1926, two days after Byrd’s and this was the fourth one that claimed success in reaching the North Pole.  The other three were made by Frederick Cook in 1908, Robert Peary in 1909, and Richard Evelyn Byrd in 1926, but this expedition was the only one that contained verified proof of their exact route.  Amundsen with his explorer crew of 15 men and the Italian aircrew led by aeronautical engineer Umberto Nobile, made the first crossing of the Arctic with the airship Norge.

Just a few years later the explorer’s life would be cut tragically short before he could break any more exploratory records. Amundsen jumped at a chance for one last polar adventure joining a rescue mission to scout for his fellow explorer Umberto Nobile, who had disappeared.  He was aboard a plane that was attempting to locate Nobile’s dirigible, which likely became disoriented by fog and found itself lost at sea.  Amundsen’s plane flew into a dense fog, and radio contact went silent moments after.  To this day, despite several Naval searches, no wreckage from the fateful Amundsen flight has ever been found and this continues to mystify some.  Amundsen was never seen or heard from again.  Though tragic, a mysterious disappearance while on a rescue exploration seemed like a fitting way for Roald Amundsen to go.  Amundsen disappeared with five crewmembers on 18th June 1928, and it is believed, that the plane crashed in fog in the Barents Sea, and that everyone died in the crash.  This rescue operation was Amundsen’s last expedition which he made at the age of 56.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Mystify, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Round, for the Daily Spur prompt – Combine, for FOWC with Fandango – Switch, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Tangerine zing, for Ragtag Community – Passage and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Scout.

Tuesday Afternoon

It was a Tuesday afternoon and I just smoked a funny cigarette.  I laid my head down to rest and all of a sudden the gentle swaying of the trees started calling to me, however this may have just been the reflections in my mind.  I entered the fairyland of love, as I cranked up the music and lit up another.  I am on my way chasing those elusive clouds, but I don’t know why and perhaps I should find out what is causing these gentle voices to call out to me.  There is nothing better than getting wasted on a Tuesday afternoon as the love of music just becomes stories in the end.

Written for Mathew’s Daily Inkling where the prompt is “Stories in the End”.