Everything Talking to Everything

I have a smart TV and a smart phone, but I have not made any progress moving toward a smart home yet.  The only thing that I use my smart TV for is watching Netflix and I hardly ever turn on my smart phone.  I have been thinking about getting the second-generation Echo Show which looks divinely delicious, as it basically gives you Alexa with a smart display, but it is pricy, selling for $169.99 at the moment.  I like the clock feature, but I could get that with the much cheaper Echo Show 5 at $49, or even the Echo Dot for $22.  I am in no hurry, so I can take my time to decide being the fastidious person that I am.  I don’t want to live inside a shell like a snail for the rest of my life, so I will try to decipher which device bests suits me, although the further behind I get, the bigger this task becomes.

Can Alexa do anything uplifting for me?  The new Amazon Show has an integrated smart home hub, which would allow me to connect smart bulbs, switches and other devices that use the ZigBee wireless protocol straight to this device without the need for another hub and this would allow me to join in on the smart home revolution.  I don’t have any smart cameras or doorbell and driveway sensors, but once I get used to the new device, maybe I can hook some things up to give me added security.  If I go out at night, I can have Alexa leave the lights on for me till I return.  I don’t plan on using the front-facing camera for video chats like Skype, but it is a nice feature.

It would be nice to have something that will let me see weather forecasts, create a shopping list, look at upcoming appointments in my calendar, browse a to-do list, or allow me to listen to my favorite music.  I probably will not take advantage of the Echo Show’s onboard Wi-Fi adapter to connect to my home network which would facilitate communication among devices like my desktop computer or my printer, but since my home has wired ethernet, I can plug a USB-to-ethernet adapter into its rear Micro-USB port and benefit from the reliability of that connection and its fast response.  Having a ZigBee smart home hub will allow me to say, “Alexa, discover my devices”, and the Echo Show will discover and set up all compatible devices so I can control them with my voice or manage them on-screen and then I could take pride in how smart I am.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Decipher, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Snail, for the Daily Spur prompt – Pride, for FOWC with Fandango – Task, for December Writing Prompts – Divinely delicious, for Ragtag Community – Fastidious, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Leave Response Join and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Uplifting.

The World is Round

After an apple landed on his head, Isaac Newton came up with a theory about gravity, stating that it is a force which affects and changes the motion of something else.  Actually Sir Isaac Newton had his “eureka” moment concerning gravity, after he spent a lot of his time trying to figure out the slope of a curve that was constantly varying, however when he was formulating his Laws of Motion, there was no method available that would give him the exact slope at any one individual point on the curve and this is why he invented calculus.  Newton knew how to take an average, but he was not happy with finding the average speed of an apple falling from a tree, he wanted to know what the speed of an apple would be as it was constantly accelerating, at every point along the way and what would the apple’s velocity be when it was halfway to the ground.

When Newton wasn’t dodging falling apples, he thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from Earth, but that this power must extend much further than was usually thought.  Why not as high as the Moon he thought and if so, that must influence her motion and perhaps retain her in her orbit, whereupon he began calculating what would be the effect of that superposition.  Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren collaborated their experiments to explain planetary motion, because they disagreed with the inverse-square relation between gravitational force and distance which Newton proposed.  Since we live in a three-dimensional world, the Earth is not round, unless it is viewed from space.

Pythagoras was the first to propose that the Earth was round, because he believed the sphere was the most perfect shape, but he didn’t have any evidence to back up his radical claim.  Pythagoras made a contribution to music, concluding that small whole number ratios were the foundation for consonant sounds in strings as well as in volumes of air in pipes and water in vases.  Aristotle listed several arguments for a spherical Earth, those being that ships disappear hull first when they sail over the horizon, the Earth casts a round shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse, and different constellations are visible at different latitudes and he also said that the Earth was the center of the universe.  Aristotle got some things wrong, as the Earth is not the center of the universe and planets don’t revolve around the Earth in circular patterns and heavier objects don’t fall faster than lighter objects, but Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo came around to correct him.

The size of Earth was determined by Eratosthenes of Cyrene which was based on the length of shadows at noon on the summer solstice and although this method was not the optimum way of measuring the circumference of the Earth, as the Sun was a lot closer than Eratosthenes thought it was, it was good enough for a ballpark answer.  The Earth’s tilt is perfectly positioned to give us different seasons which are pretty well balanced.  As Earth moves around the Sun, we get different seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter).

Aryabhata the elder a Hindu mathematician introduced the concept of sine in trigonometry using the word “jya” or “jiva” for a half-chord, which later became the term “jiva”.  Early Latin translations of Arabic mathematical treatises mistook this to be the Arabic word jaib, which meant bosom, fold or bay or it could be the opening of a woman’s garment at the neck.  Thus, jaib was translated into the Latin word sinus, which can mean “fold” draping of a loose, full garment or piece of cloth, “bosom” a woman’s chest, “bay” a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline where the land curves inward, or even “curve”.

Einstein came along with his tenacious general theory of relativity and gravity suddenly became more complicated, because he made gravity a property of the universe, rather than being associated with individual bodies.  Mathematics is all about truth and beauty and building scientific and human connections and the Norwegian mathematician and researcher Marius Sophus Lie initiated lines of study involving integration of differential equations, transformation groups, and contact of spheres that have come to be called Lie theory, all of which has nothing to do with lying.

My conjecture is deep and profound, I speculated that the circumference of a circle is round.  My hypothesis seemed sound, the evidence was lost and never found, so the results of my efforts will never astound.  There is a dichotomy between yours and mine, but what belongs to you is yours and anything that belongs to me is mine.  Sometimes I wonder why I continue to do these multiple prompt posts, but then I remember that it could be just because the world is round and also that I am good at this.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Optimum, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Wren, for the Daily Spur prompt – Tenacious, for FOWC with Fandango – Because, for November Writing Prompts – Yours and mine, for Ragtag Community – Winter, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Lying Well Chest and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Radical.

American Folk Song

I learned the ribald song ‘Bang, Bang Lulu’ when I was in grade school.  I guess I was the right age for thinking that profanity was cool, but in this song all the curse words are inferred and the song sort of jumps over them, thus the bad words are only implied.  It is a rhyming song and the part that I remember went, “Bang, bang Lulu bang, bang Lulu, lulu is going to die.  Lulu had a boyfriend, who worked as a trucker.  She took him back to her house to let him…  Lulu had a brother his name was Tiny Tim, she put him in the toilet bowl to teach him how to swim.  He swam to the bottom, he swam to the top, Lulu got excited and she grabbed him by the…  Cocktail, ginger ale five cents a glass, if you don’t like it, you can shove it up your…  Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies.  The boys are in the girl’s bathroom, zipping down their…  Flies are in the city.  Bees are in the park.  Tommy and his girlfriend, are kissing in the…”  Well you get the idea; this peculiar song can basically go on forever, or at least till you become fried from singing it.

I was always taught that swearing was wrong and one time my dad actually punished me by washing my mouth out with soap for saying words that I should not have been saying.  A parent can’t continuously threaten to do something and not act on it, as if they never make good on their threat, it will be taken as a joke.  This punishment sunk into my reptilian brain and I never cursed in front of my dad again.  A good friend of mine always felt that it was cute when his little sister used curse words and this four-year-old girl swore like a sailor.  I did admire her passion and the zeal that she put into this, and at times I found this to be hilarious and entertaining, but I always thought that this girl should be making sand castle creations instead of cursing.  This potty mouth girl let her older brother plant words in her mouth, and from my perspective, that seemed a shade unfair to her.

Sticks and stones can hurt you, but swearing is only words.  Since it is not possible to offend technology, many people enjoy swearing at their mobile phone digital assistants, instead of giving thanks for the help they are providing.  People like to swear at Siri, insult Alexa and curse at Cortana, because it is fun to see how these bots will respond.  These bots are adaptive and they will learn inappropriate responses if they are exposed to enough crude, and vulgar behavior, they may go off the rails.  If you tell Siri that she is useless, she will probably respond with, “You have a right to feel that way.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Peculiar, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Fried, for the Daily Spur prompt – Zeal, for FOWC with Fandango – Plant, for November Writing Prompts – Sand castle creations, for Ragtag Community – Reptilian, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Shade Brother Mobile, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts – Giving thanks and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Ribald.

Day Off

Jerry and Chad both got the day off because a sinkhole caused a cave in at the caisson where they were working.  Jerry said to Chad, “Hey buddy we should ameliorate this situation and go play a round of golf, as it looks like a nice day today.”  Chad pulled out a number and lit it up and said, “I just got a new water pipe that I want to try out and I thought that maybe we could just relax today, lay around and get a tan, as my withered arm is acting up again.”  Jerry said, “I am down with that, as long as you don’t cook any more of those fiery frankfurter fiascos.”

Chad said, “I am feeling a bit impish today, how about we go to that new club where the French girls dance with fire, as that should be a real kick and just the thing that we need to rouse us to enjoy ourselves.”  Jerry replied, “You are a 40-year-old man and you should start acting your age, especially with your wife about to go into labor any day now.”  Chad said, “I can’t help it that I have a flair for the mysterious things in life and you should be more elastic like I am.”  Jerry agreed with Chad and said, “I have that root canal operation scheduled for next week and it makes me scream every time that I have to bite on any food with that side of my mouth.  I have been on a juice, jello, applesauce and biscuit diet for two weeks now and I guess that has made me a bit cranky.”  Chad said, “Dude I am so jealous of you going to the dentist and getting to suck on that nitrous oxide vapor, I wish my dentist did that.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ameliorate, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Number, for the Daily Spur prompt – Pipe, for FOWC with Fandango – Root, for November Writing Prompts – Fiery frankfurter fiascos, for Ragtag Community – Rouse, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Biscuit Tan Age, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Labor and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #159 – Fire Cave In Flair Scream Impish Mysterious Withered Arm Elastic French Vapor Kick Caisson.

The Dreaded Sleep Study

20 years ago, my wife woke me up and told me that I was snoring as loud as a jet airplane and I laughed and told her that I did not snore.  The next night when she could not sleep, she turned on a tape recorder and the following morning she was ecstatic when told me that she had the evidence.  I heard these un-Godly noises that sounded like a sperm whale making love, and that was when I realized that I was a chronic snorer.  My wife strongly urged me to go for a sleep study and they diagnosed me with having symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night.  A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor you while you sleep to see what’s happening in your brain and body.  A technologist placed sensors, or electrodes, on my head and body and directed me to sleep on my back, so I didn’t get all the wires crossed.

After a night of torture, I was doomed to wearing a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask attached to my face for the rest of my life.  The doctor said that my heart kept stopping and I could get a stroke, because my airways were collapsing.  I got used to wearing my CPAP mask and I can’t get to sleep without wearing it.  It is not a real sexy look wearing that face mask, with the long tubing that is attached to the whirring motor that runs all night, as a woman might feel like they are sleeping with Darth Vader, but it is comforting for me.  When I turn my machine on at night, the sound reminds me of the flights that I took on a passenger planes, but since I know that I am in my bed, it makes me feel like I am floating in the air, which helps me to slip into dreamland.  Now most CPAP machines are rated at about 30dB, which is equivalent to the sound of raindrops, but I am sure that mine is louder, as it is really old.

It is about time that I get to the point of this post, however I do feel that all of the background information that I added was relevant.  My CPAP machine acts up every now and then, as sometimes when I turn it on the motor is very loud and then I have to shut it off and try again.  The average life expectancy of a CPAP machine is approximately 20,000 hours, or about seven to eight years of full-time use.  It is time for me to get a new one and Medicare said that I am responsible for 20% of the cost and that it must be purchased from an in network medical equipment provider.  They gave me a list of the providers that they work with and I called one up to get things started.  They told me that Medicare would not pay anything if I didn’t go for a new sleep study.

I cringe at the thought of being tortured for a whole night, being filmed and having all those wired connected to me again. Who likes to be watched while you are sleeping?  I want the new machine, so I scheduled an appointment to meet with the doctor.  All the newer CPAP machines provide these moisturizing benefits derived from a built-in heated humidifier that will keep my nasal passages from drying out overnight.  My current machine just blows air and it is not heated.  If I get the new machine then I will need to invest in a cleaner for it.  Right now, I use nasal spray when my nose dries out.

I will bring my favorite blanket with me for the sleep study and make sure that I am wearing fresh underwear, as I don’t want to be embarrassed having someone seeing soiled spoiled spots on underwear that I should have thrown into the trash.  I am not a pajama guy, so I will wear my shorts over my underwear and sleep without a top on.  I am sanguine about getting a new machine, but not so much about the sleep study, being stuck in there for a whole evening is not my idea of a fun evening.  If sleep apnea is not treated you will feel tired all the time and it can attack your health, wellness, and longevity from your head to your toe.  Maybe someday I will get the pillar procedure, which is minor surgery intended to relieve habitual snoring and treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ecstatic, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Flights, for the Daily Spur prompt – Love, for FOWC with Fandango – Trash, for November Writing Prompts – Soiled spoiled spots, for Ragtag Community – Evidence, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Pillar Stuck Toe and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Sanguine.

All Work and no Play

Ever since Jack was a child, he did his devoir, but his parents always demanded more and they never coddled him.  When school ended, he walked home from the bus stop and went directly to his room to study, it was a special place devoid of distractions where he could concentrate on his homework.  He was working on his composition about Olbers’ paradox, an argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe.  He was almost done explaining this, but there was a lacuna preventing him from getting the ending that he desired.  He was scared that he would not get his usual A on this Physics project, that is until he read the Edgar Allan Poe essay Eureka.  He knew that Poe came up with the perfect reason for why the sky was dark, so he tousled his hair and finished his writing.

Next, he opened up his Advanced Placement Calculus book where he was studying the Cantor set, because these strange and interesting mathematical spaces began to stir his imagination.  He was dizzy just thinking how the Cantor set is created by taking away the middle portion of a line segment and repeating that process forever.  He got up in a huff from his plush chair, which made a tiny squeak, as he needed to stretch his legs a bit before diving into Chemistry.  He was getting positive results in his efforts to effectively mix solids and liquids to create the optimal slurry for his homemade peanut brittle.  He was able to earn a lot of money from his candy, once he learned not to ventilate it by forced air and allow it to cool naturally.

Jack saved his favorite subject for last, AP United States History, which covers American history from about the time Native Americans first encountered Europeans to the present day.  He found it interesting that during World War II, pressed soy beans and cardboard were used to manufacture license plates, because they wanted to save all the metal for military needs.  His parents were picking up Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner and as he devoured his meal, he would try not to think about their Zoroastrianism symbolism, where they were seen as a benign spirit that would cluck to herald a turning point in the cosmic struggle between darkness and light.  After dinner he would go down to the jetty to see his girl, but all this studding was making him grey before his time.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ventilate, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Scared, for the Daily Spur prompt – Positive, for FOWC with Fandango – Licence, for November Writing Prompts – The perfect reason, for Ragtag Community – Stir, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Child Composition Jetty, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Earn and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #158 – Grey Huff Squeak Bus Stop Brittle Devoir Slurry Lacuna Tousled Plush Dizzy Cluck.

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.