April showers bring May…snow

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(Apr 26 12:18 p.m.)

Aww… the grass was just beginning to rise…

The skies were mostly blue Monday.  Tuesdays, temperatures dipped low enough that the in-coming precipitation turned into a blend of rain and snow.  The gutters were still dripping (water) during my walk.  I got snow on the sides of my hair despite wearing a cap.

The weather’s returned to spring today. Three sunny days in a row, according to the Accuweather forecast. …But there is still snow on the ground around the house… So… how about some new photos to remind us of what spring is supposed to look like, alright? All right.

The birds were out…

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Two geese joined in with the seagulls and ducks.  (Deering Oaks park.) (Apr 23 4:33 p.m.)
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These ducks were on the walkway.  Nevertheless, I scared them off. (Apr 23 4:31 p.m.)

Flowers on… trees?

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USM Portland parking lot. (Apr 23 2:08 p.m.)

Continue reading April showers bring May…snow

The insects called it… too early

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Wishcamper Center building, USM. (Mar 17 5:00 p.m.)

Just three days before spring officially kicked off in the U.S., the flies were out.  On day two of spring…

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(Mar 21 10:09 a.m.)

It snowed.  And again, on Thursday.

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(Mar 22 6:23 p.m.)

Only so much snow can melt in one day.  In fact, some white was still on the pines Friday after a ‘dusting,’ with varying precipitation thereafter.

Now, instead of boring you, dear reader, with more pictures of snow, I’ll go back to that day where the flies were out too early.  (Who knows how many died.)  …I may have sprained my right foot skipping to/fro the car…

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USM Portland garage and parking lot. (Mar 17 5:02 p.m.)

This scene, of course, was brighter than what the photos may imply… but I can only adjust the gamma so much without revealing just how washed-out the colors can be (gray pine needles) due to the smartphone camera.

A quarter-hour after leaving USM Portland, my mother and I went to Deering Oaks park, where you could say it looked like spring already— no ice on the pond, the squirrels and ducks out in somewhat larger numbers…

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Ducks Swimmin’ Away from me(!) (Mar 17 5:26 p.m.)

Compare that to March 3rd; the very same pond was partially frozen…

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Another two ducks swimming away… (Click on an image to see the full resolution.) (Mar 3 5:11 p.m.)

Continue reading The insects called it… too early

#GraySkyMonday

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(4:52 p.m.)

Today was… dull.  Like a generalized mixture, a convergence of color on a macro scale; it revealed a sort of… lack of focus, or blind inclusion, to the point of no clear point.  But I stretched my brain, stretching time into the morning.  I exercised my fingers on the keyboard, and fell into catching up on a few things; without an effort searching, I found some good reading.  But otherwise, there was lots and lots of silence, further marking my days as a involuntary loner.

It took a short while to get a good shot for the image above— back and forth; the camera and its software desaturates the darker areas, rendering pine trees gray. …Desaturating the day further, it began to snow.

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(6:13 p.m.)

Big puffy clusters of flash-frozen H20 fell from above, partially covering the immediate landscape.  I held out my left hand to be sure it was the kind of precipitation I thought it was; one, two puffs of snow melted on my somewhat calloused left palm— hardened from resting my weight on my hands over the course of years of sorting files and reading.

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(6:57 p.m.)

The ground whitened in an hour.  Somehow the leafless path was mostly bare when I returned outside after eight at night.  Outside, the precipitation became rain, considering it hit the ground audibly.  The temperature was above freezing (37°F at 10:52 p.m.), the gutters actively passing runoff.

Despite the pain of a medical condition, I managed to complete my walk time for the day.  But the dullness remains.  I find myself again responding to the uneventful hours by staying up well into the morning, expending energy without gain.  I have every reason to be tired, and I am.  But I push on, present when no one else is… The curse of a longing and insecure free will.

Tea for One

It’s been a while since I did one of these…successfully; two drafts, didn’t meet quality standards, and… didn’t quite have the internet access to put the second up anyway.  But I’m back to try again!  Hopefully this entry isn’t too bad.  Enjoy.

100 words


[emmylgant.jpg]
Photo Copyright © Emmy L. Gant

“Glad you came,” Jason said, with a hug.  “It’s been a while since we last talked.”

“Too long,” responded B.B.  “So… you’re out.”

He evaded her comment.  “What’s going on in your world?”

“Still seeing it; two continents left.”

Jason’s smile faded.  He’d much forgotten the world she sees.  He put a tea bag in his glass… just a frame, she noticed— neither glass nor water.

An alarm rang.  He turned, revealing blood on his shirt.  “Let’s go.”

“Is that— ?”

“I had to take care of a few… things.”

B.B. soon realized what he meant by “invading aliens.”


For context, I saw the buildings in the background, plus the odd object in the foreground, and thought: asylum… escapee… (I get it, the object in the foreground is actually a trash can, no table.  But… use your imagination😉 )

Every week, Rochelle hosts a group called Friday Fictioneers; the goal: write, for an image, a three-part short story at no more than one hundred words.  Click here to see what others have written for this week’s prompt or add your own.

Be sure to check out Rochelle’s televised interview!:)

…Yup, still winter

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(Mar 7 4:05 p.m.)

The temperature may have gotten into the 60s Wednesday—60s into the night (walked outside without a jacket well after sunset), but it snowed again twice prior.  The latest dusting took a few days to clear up.  (To see the most recent photo, click here.)  But the big picture of winter, 2015-16, wouldn’t be complete without the effects of the rain, the melting snow, and the dirt…

Mud.
(Feb 22 5:41 p.m.)

Mud season.  Toward the end of February was a whole day of rain, some Wednesday snow, and then some more blanking rain into Thursday morning… with lightning.  (Yay, a thunderstorm!:) )  Even lost power for a moment.

It was worse in other areas on the East coast, with tornadoes and blizzard conditions. …While India had a full-blown water shortage… which isn’t new for the country.  Sometimes it can appear as if we’re getting water that California and India need…

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(Feb 25 2:00 p.m.)

The water in the above image in no way compares to the driveway lakes we sometimes get.  The rain may have cleared the snow, but… mud.  (Squish, squish.)
Continue reading …Yup, still winter

Closing In

Friday, I had a somewhat frightening dream.

I was in a fictional building, amongst, I don’t know, soldiers. Maybe the setting was affected by the latest wrestling-themed episode of Supernatural.

Anyway, there was this boundary moving in, consuming everything in its path— like a wall closing in, but not a physical wall.  We could get out of its way, but we had to move fast, and climb (I grabbed on to someone’s legs; the chains attached to the ceiling were out of reach). A leader of some sort opened a passageway by hand. And then I woke up.

There was more leading up, but the memory of what happened before that interactive scene is too vague to recall… lost in its seemingly mechanical routine. But the latter part sort of reflects the feeling that my world is closing in on me, consuming me, silently.

There are so many ways at which my world is going dark, and it is kind of scary if you think about it. In spite of my actions, the lights go out around me. And literally— the two light fixtures in the kitchen no longer work; both of them. We’re using a plug-in lamp, currently burning an LED 60w replacement bulb because the halogen bulbs don’t last very long.

Some of what I get in life could go to the whole argument of expectations versus integrity as Togetherness the TV series conveys, that if you’re not all there and ready, you shouldn’t expect much. But this darkness I face is just absurd.

Nevertheless, I have to work on my health, mental and physical.
Continue reading Closing In

Tuesday Lunacy

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Last Tuesday began with a dream that blended The Walking Dead with Spongebob.  That kind of dream is not unusual for me; a first for the Walking Dead Spongebob, but sometimes I have strange dreams like that. …The TMJ pain on the left side of my face wasn’t unusual either.  What marked the day, weather-wise, was the WIND, in capital letters— loud indoors.  And then came the rain, which formed new lakes outside.  I got my not-bare feet wet attempting a walk… What a day.

So Tuesday would be the beginning of a new love affair. …With music, that is.  To be precise, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.  I don’t remember ever hearing one its tracks in whole, let alone the whole album. …I confess, I’ve listened to a cover of the album…

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Chances are, you’re not familiar with Moon-8, an NSF cover by Brad Smith… something made for the Nintendo. …Yeah, it’s an unusual piece of music, rendering the songs with simple waveforms and low-quality sound effects.  The musical notes are clear enough to be memorized, but the sound is nothing compared to the real thing.

It was Tuesday that I got to hear the actual Money in all of its six-and-a-half-minute glory… so-so lyrics, but awesome tune.  Problem is, I don’t have the album, so I had to listen to it via YouTube.  Fortunately, Money was uploaded in “HD” quality… compared to the traditional, crappy YouTube quality…  Something characteristic of low bit-rates is that the upper frequencies are sacrificed entirely.  I’ve analyzed two recordings, and found the spectra above 16.4KHz to be entirely missing except for a few spots.

Buying the CD is always better than streaming.  But, you can hear for yourself, the guitar work, the use of reverb, Clare Torry’s voice, how radical The Dark Side of the Moon was for 1973.

Last year, legendary Floyd guitarist David Gilmour said “I’m done with it,” emphasizing the very low chance the band will never reunite after breaking up in 1994. …In recent news, presidential candidate John Kasich (R-OH) made a campaign promise to reunite Pink Floyd if elected… Is he still running?

In the mean time, there’s the ever-growing library for The Beatles… in the kitchen, because the house is so cluttered… Got the 2015 #1 hits release— 27 tracks.  At 79 minutes, it comes just under the maximum capacity for a CD (80 min.).  I could tell that they reduced the silence on the track edges to fit it all.

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CD/DVD release (photo added here Feb 28)

The DVD features promotional videos (which serve as modern-day music videos), live performances, some commentary by Paul, and Ringo introducing a few of the songs in person.  “That’s enough of that,” Ringo says, sitting in front of an iMac, clicking the mouse.  I’m not kidding; he’s still active, at age 75.

Well, I’ll wrap this up by mentioning that the mini-lakes evaporated, and I was able to walk Wednesday.  Not so much Saturday; more rain came Friday.  Mud.

Okay, so it IS worse than I thought…

After taking a break from the often-lifesuck that is twitter, I thought I could spend the rest of the week getting back into the creative flow— back into writing, fiction, therapy, whatever.  But no, recent news had to suck the life out of the room.

Now, what am I talking about?  Censorship.  It’s getting worse in social media.  It’s gotten to the point that police in Western countries are arresting people for comments on Facebook.  Yes, in so-called First World countries.

In the United Kingdom, you can and will be arrested for speech out of step with the Communications Act.  Today, it may be over ugly speech, in regards to Syria and the migrant crisis, tomorrow, who knows.  That’s the disorder of censorship: it’s evil, and people who believe in free speech must not tolerate it.

I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Evelyn Beatrice HallThe Friends of Voltaire

Twitter, however, is willing to find ways to censor anyway.  It is, in fact, blacklisting accounts, with political bias, and at the same time apparently ‘whitelisting’ accounts it approves of.  It’s done in the form of “shadow-banning”: silent, that people don’t even know that their tweets are not showing up in others’ feeds.
Continue reading Okay, so it IS worse than I thought…

Twitter For Nonvultures

Here’s some good, easy-to-read advice and tips for writers about connecting with twitter…

(Comments closed here; please visit Nat’s post on A Writer’s Path.)

A Writer's Path

Bluebird

by efrussel

I took a Twitter break recently, and it’s gotten me thinking about Twitter. So, a Twitter post.

I’m not one of those people who thinks Twitter is absolutely integral to your success as an indie writer. I think there are loads of ways to be successful as an indie writer, and I can see how Twitter might be one of them, but, well…

View original post 1,070 more words