Month: October 2015

No Help Here #OctPoWriMo #Shadorma 

What’s the one thing or place everyone hates dealing with the most? Going out on a limb here: perhaps the DMV? It’s certainly got to be in your top-fine anyway. Well, my miserable week has been made extra-miserable by them; I reckon that means they have accomplished their job – or purpose in life?

Nonetheless, today’s prompt for OctPoWriMo gives me a chance to vent – creatively even!

Frustrated
World is against me
Help not found
When needed
Bureaucracy strangles me
For the people – Ha!

Trick or Treat: Shadorma #OctPoWriMo

boys and ghouls
trick or treat costumes
some heroes
some villains
most sweet cute and well behaved
others lack manners

Tonight was trick or treat night in out area. I was both delighted and disappointed with what I saw: a mixture of sweet, polite children and mannerless little brats, more of the latter than the former unfortunately. A microcosm of society? I think so …

A late addition to my less than stellar OctPoWriMo

Why You Need to Disassemble a Pipe – Tobacco University 

I thought I’d share on of my other passions (and blogs I write for) with you all. 

Smoking Jacket Magazine

I know some folks aren’t big on regular, routine maintenance/cleaning of their pipes; I get a little lax at times, too. But for the best performance, enjoyment, and taste from you pipe it is very necessary to have a routine and actually do it.

Being one who enjoys and has restored many old estate pipes I can tell you stories that could make you cringe – no kidding – about the nastiness I’ve seen and cleaned. But one thing most pipe smokers have to deal with at some point, even if you’re not restoring old pipes, is a stuck stem. While unfreezing the stem can be as simple as putting the pipe in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, let’s look at why this happens and what we can do to prevent problems before they occur. You know the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of…

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Worry Warts #BeWoW #WritersQuoteWednesday

There are many things I can confidently say I am or am not. There are also many things I can say I’m progressing toward being much better at or less prone to. Then there are things I really wish I could say the above about but can’t – yet at least. I imagine that each of you who reads this will agree with those statements. 

Since this is intended to be a positive post, I’ll not dwell on the latter “things”. Rather, I’d like to share something that falls in the middle, and at times leans toward the former: worrying. 

I’ve come a very long way in this department as I’ve matured both naturally and spiritually. I have never been one to externalize my worries so much, but tended – and still do – to keep them inside, where they have less effect on those around me; you know, the put on a happy face type of guy. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, and hopefully there’s more than one, it’s how true many of the sayings and quotes about worry and anxiety are. One of my favorite passages of Scripture deals with anxiety or worry (the wording varies with the translation):

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And of course the very well known passage from The Gospel of Luke where Christ Jesus teaches on worry, explaining how futile it is. (That passage can be found HERE if you want to read it.) I know that I, personally, have gained much from studying these verses and they have helped me tremendously in becoming less and less of a “worry wart”. (HERE is an article on the terms meaning and origin if you’re interested.)

Another old quote I’ve learned contains so much truth is from a gentleman I’ve not found much information on, but I have found many wise sayings attributed to him. 

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of hard work.”
R. Whitson Seaman

  
As I eluded to above, I can attest to the truth in this one, too!

I’m going to go out in a limb here and say if you’re honest with yourself, you have also come to the revelation that worry gets you no place, makes no difference in the situation, and does drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And while it’s much easier said than done, I encourage you to abandon anxiety. As of today, become a reformed-worry wart: it’s one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do for yourself and those you love. 

This post is linked linked to both the BeWoW and Writers Quote Wednesday communities. If you’re not already a part of or familiar with them I highly recommend checking out both!

Feeling Melancholy: a trimeric poem #OctPoWriMo

air gripped by a crisp dampness
the autumn raindrops fall melodically
perfect night for a lunt with the old hound
when I wore a younger man’s clothes

the autumn raindrops fall melodically
playing a song of sweet reminisce
images flicker of days now long gone

perfect night for a lunt with the old hound
a windcap on my pipe, army field jacket on my back
the pair keeping tobacco and pipeman dry

when I wore a younger man’s clothes
that’s what I would be doing this hour
now an old man who only dreams of what might’ve been

Though I’ve bot looked, I doubt this goes with the prompt for today at OctPoWriMo. But I’m linking it anyway ;0)

Under: a haiku 

I should be well into dreamland by now; I’m exhausted. But I have these nasty things I not-so-affectionately call the night terrors: neuropathic pains left over as a result of the nerve damage I suffered years ago from CES. (If you look at my Maybe I Should’ve Started Here page you can learn more about all that.) As my nickname for them implies, they almost always strike at night, and come at completely random times. Often when they come I’m in such misery I can do nothing but writhe in pain. Occasionally they are mild enough to prevent me from sleeping but allow me to concentrate enough to read or, less often, write; usually what I can write while they torture me isn’t worth reading. But every now again I compose a piece that’s pretty good; this is one of those nights. 

Inspired by the prompt from Haiku Horizons this week, I thought about the not-so-subtle changing of the seasons this year which painted my mind with these images and then my screen in the words.  

blanket of leaves 

under blanket of
yellow orange and red leaves
lies end of summer 

Pen and Muse: a pair of #haiku 

I’m enjoying a little quiet time at the moment, in between errands and junk essential tasks, and thought it would be a fine time to check out Ronovan’s weekly haiku challenge prompt words. This week he gives us pen and muse to work with, both excellent words for writers, right? Maybe, but they weren’t as easy to make work as I initially thought they would be. 

As I toyed with using them in different orders, stanzas, and ways in general I came up with this one that I actually rather liked.

pen swirls as I muse
how these words work together
is a big puzzle

I know: it’s not real accurate in that I’m typing on a tablet, not “swirling” out words with a pen. Still, it felt good to me and it opened my thoughts up, too. 

Later this evening, as I was finalizing this post, my ideas began to drift in a completely different direction. I quickly tapped out this bonus haiku, which is more “me” anyway.

with pen and paper
I muse the deeper meanings
in God’s holy Word

So this week you get a two-for-one post. And there should be something for everyone between the two entirely different haiku. I think it illustrates just how much fun, creativity, and of ourselves can come from/through these challenges: same prompt words, same poetry form, completely different outcomes.  

Sometimes I Hate Technology 

Despite getting my flu shot early this year I seem to have contracted it. Oh well, maybe it’ll be shorter and milder than it otherwise would’ve been: think positive, Greg! Being sick I’ve little inspiration to write so OctPoWriMo may be over for me. But, when my head isn’t pounding, I can try to catch up on some of my favorite blogs, maybe even discover some new ones (still trying to be in a glass-half-full mindset).

{As a side note, the positive thinking must’ve helped; my fever broke late this evening. As you might’ve guessed, I worked off and on on this ramble – I don’t rant – all day today.}

I started to read through some of the posts from OctPoWriMo that I’d missed yesterday and found some lovely ones. I also found one from Bastet that made me shake my head in technology-induced frustration: a lovely trimeric. I emphasized the form’s name because it’s one I have recently learned, have written several poems using it, and really like. It is also one that autocorrect “fixed” for me a dozen or so times to “trimetric”! I’ve spent – off and on – a couple of hours finding and fixing autocorrect’s help on that one word between yesterday and today; I think I found and fixed them all, though I’m not positive of that. Why did it take so long, you ask? Well, that’s including the the umpteen times I typed and overrode autocorrect on the word trimeric, hoping to teach my iOS device that I want to spell it that way! It is still fighting me, if you happen to be interested …

I then began to think of all the times my iOS devices have “helped” me that I know of: they love to switch up certain words and I often don’t catch it because when I proof (I know, it doesn’t look like it but I do proof read – usually) I read what I think should be there, not what is there wrongly. I wonder how many times it’s “helped” that I’m oblivious to? (In case you’re wondering, I do the majority of my writing, for various reasons, on my mobile devices.) I have thought that one of these days I might like to change my laptop, down the road a few more years, to an Apple and abandon the Windows/Microsoft platform altogether. Since it’s a long way away from happening, I suppose the point is, well, pointless, but these incidents do make me ponder upon if that’s really a good idea. 

Yesterday, despite not feeling at all like it, I had other things that had to be done, all PC/tablet related stuff. And I had dozens of pages that needed to be printed. Last Black Friday I finally scored a deal on a printer that is air print-compatible and prints wirelessly from the laptop; I have to tell you, I was stoked to finally have this ability! The first thing out of the gate the laptop needed to update and reboot – a mere 29 critical updates. I think Microsoft somehow “watches” me and they know when this is going to be the absolute most inconvenient time to automatically do it; usually it’s Sunday morning when I need to load or print a lesson/outline. I almost teared up as I realized what was happening, the computer counting fiendishly down with no way for me to stop the update. 

When I finally finished all the update/restart cycles, I just wanted to get on with what needed done. The wireless card then decided to take a nap: “No internet connection for you!” a very soup-nazi sounding voice said. No, really; I heard it. A few troubleshooting-checks later and finally – connection! Then the printer decided to play along, “I’m off line and you can’t do anything about it! Nah, nah, nah!”, it taunted me. The printer and laptop conspire this way a lot. 

I devised a rather devilish scheme to trick the printer: I’ll save my work to the cloud and then print it from the iPad; the iOS always fools the printer into working! I felt like a genius because it actually worked. Of course that feeling was short lived when I realized I’d been helped by the spellchecker on the laptop, too, and needed to edit the documents on it, up load them – again – and switch back to the iPad to finally print them. Talk about a real, honest-to-goodness headache, I had one! But, after way too long, I pevailed; I outsmarted the “machines” and got the work done.

As I began to power down the laptop I heard a familiar clunking-whir sound; the printer began spitting out documents – in duplicate – of what I’d asked of it hours ago. 

Sometimes I truly do hate technology.

Love #OctPoWriMo Sept #Poem

The prompt for yesterday’s OctPoWriMo was love. I blew my streak but made myself write a Sept for it today. (I didn’t feel great yesterday and today have a full-blown cold {pun intended}.)

Love
Can be
Sweet, gentle
Wonderful bliss
As well as
Bitter
Harsh

If I have the inspiration (and loose the headache) I hope to write something for today, too. (If you read my blog you know I published a BeWoW/Writers Quote Wednesday post earlier today but that was pre-written: all I had to do was insert the links.)

For more information about the the Sept from please take a look-see HERE

Random Acts of Kindness #BeWoW #WritersQuoteWesnesday

I’m sure we have all read or heard the stories of anonymous folks paying for other people’s lunches, paying off their layaway sat Christmas, leaving gifts/food on doorsteps, etcetera. I have to admit I’ve not actually had one of these things happen to me. Nor have I been able to do any large random acts of kindness (RAK) but I have had and taken the chance to do smaller ones – and it feels as good to do as it does to receive a RAK. I don’t think the RAK has to be a huge thing, time wise or monetarily to impact someone’s day, maybe even their life.  

This Saturday, 10/24/15, is Random Acts of Kindness Day I saw recently; a Facebook invite to the event brought this to me attention. A little research turned up a website I didn’t know existed dedicated to RAKs, listing resources, links, more dates, and other information for anyone interested in becoming part of RAK, either for a day or daily. 

Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want in life.” I believe he’s 100% right, too. And as I said earlier, it’s not the biggest things that make the biggest differences in a person’s life or day; often a warm smile and kind word will brighten a day that was otherwise glum or dull. And that “brightness” is then easily spread.  

 I used to have a small photo hanging in my office of an open matchbook with the first match on fire, the fire spreading across each match with the quote “Attitudes are contagious; is your’s worth catching?”  A good question to ask ourselves every day I think. 

Start small, start huge, but start

This post is linked to both the BeWoW and Writers Quote Wednesday communities. Make sure to visit both sites for more great quotes, positive inspiration, and talented writer’s work.