A special day

It seems every birthday many of us take a retrospective look at our lives. That was the case for my wife and I who celebrated our birthdays this past Memorial Day weekend. Today is also time to take a retrospective look at all of the Daily Prompts as this is the final day.

I for one have really enjoyed the Daily prompts seeing how others put their spin on the word of the day. It was also a motivation for me to write a new blog entry. I’m not sure where I will look now for inspiration. At least they are keeping an archive of the past entries online.

If you saw the picture above of birthday balloons in our front room; my wife’s associates were going to fill her office with balloons but fortunately they went this direction instead. Seeing the big cat balloons I commented that I haven’t seen balloons that large since the Macy’s parade.

Wherever she’s worked her staff has always shown that kind of appreciation for her on special occasions. She’ also stayed in touch with many of these people years later. Some of these people are now spread across the country.

As a kid, I thought it was really neat that my birthday was often so close or even on a national holiday. In fact, we were in Williams, Arizona on my birthday about ten years ago having lunch at a Route 66 restaurant watching the Memorial Day parade go by when it started snowing! Now that was a day to forever remember.

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Here assay there assay

You may not realize that you assay things all around you every day. We all examine, analyze and try to attempt to do things every day. The reason we’re not familiar with the term is that the use of the word typically is confined to those working in labs with chemicals or metals. The closest we come to everyday life is when we take something apart to fix it like an engine.

Most of us try to write, some even daily. We all examine and analyze things before we make decisions. As you can see in the photo there aren’t many states that mine for precious and semi-precious metals. Most of this type of mining is out west whereas back east coal is king. Nonetheless, I’m confident that nobody viewing this will be adding the term to their vocabulary.

Now, if you change the vowels and come up with essey, you have a term that’s very European. It refers to furniture design and even a company by that name. Sounds like a lot of Ikea to me.

Life, legacy and every day living

As a child time moves so slowly that boredom is an everyday affair. Most of us got into mischief because we had nothing else to do. Most of our parents began to find ways to channel our pent-up energy by not only finding things to do but also a list of chores. And it begins.

After our teens and we transform into adults. Not only has boredom vanished but we cannot seem to find enough time in a day to do what needs to be done. Between the interests, we carved out of our time we suddenly have jobs that take up more than a third of our entire day.

Those of us that took to blogging begin to find it difficult to carve out the time to devote to our craft. Not to be mistaken for witchcraft although sometimes that blank screen seems to cast a spell on you. Blogging and writing in general typically require you to carve out your own niche to establish your legacy.

Remember your parents telling you way back when that time speeds up? Now you wish they were wrong as years go by like months. Pink Floyd caught it with the song Time. How are you utilizing your time?

Are you in touch with your inner compass?

You may ask yourself what or which inner compass? That’s a good question. When you think about it there are different compasses or direction meters that aid you in your decisionmaking. Perhaps the most important compass that perchance would be better termed an alarm is your moral compass.

These are the moral values that have been instilled in you, or possibly have not in some cases, by your parents and was cultivated by teachers and society in years gone by. These mores, customs, laws, and taboos are the subculture that dictates behaviors. These were very strong in America only forty years ago and were based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, on which this country is based, like treat others as you would have them treat you. “To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”  President Teddy Roosevelt.

Have these principles been compromised or eroded over the past several decades? Not only compromised they have been attacked by other worldviews, some of which place no value on human life, and less value on women.

You have many other compasses that direct your decisions. For example, what influences you in the direction you choose for your vocation? That subject is addressed in my forthcoming book on careers.

Going forward into a new year remember that inner compass that sets your course.  Remember the quote from Thomas A. Edison, “What you are will show in what you do.”

Lopsided news from networks

Growing up everybody, for the most part, trusted and believed what you read, heard or saw in the news. Then there was a trust and respect that was earned by journalists and reporters for most of us it was the only source and contact with the outside world. Then things evolved as TV brought us live video from the Vietnam War and from there we’ve been on the technology express.

Now we get breaking news breaks online, we hear about a lot of major events only moments after it happens. As a result for the past ten years or more public trust in the traditional news sources has dwindled. “Public trust in traditional media has fallen to an all-time low as people increasingly favor their friends and contacts on the internet as sources of news and truth”, according to Financial Times earlier this year.

Case in point goes back to the 2016 Presidential election where the media’s reports were the other candidate won the election. The media along with the other party blamed the loss on Russian interference. Mainstream media and celebrities spent a shocking 75 percent of their time since then discussing Russian/Trump collusion theory.

It has now been proven to not only be false but the FBI has revealed that President Obama and Hillary are guilty of Russian collusion. Surprisingly the media hasn’t mentioned this news except for a minute of time and print. Trust is a difficult thing. The saying “fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me” is evident. What does the future hold for the networks?

Setting a scene

Television and movies directors spend a great deal of time in the setting of a scene.  Of course, scenes vary from the tame and docile to the exciting and frantic spectrums. It’s not uncommon for the opening scene in a television show or a movie to start out peaceful and quiet. But particularly today’s action movies start out with fast-paced conflict and struggles. Box office numbers revealed that high-speed action captures the audience early on and holds their attention.

The same principles apply to posting on the internet. Sure most everybody likes the classic piano playing cat video but thrilling action catches the viewers attention. Does your story need fast-action appeal for a kickstart? That is up to you and whether the action fits in with your storyline.

As the writer only you know how and where the scenes play out in your production. Is a rock-n-roll beginning the best way to begin your story? Then again perhaps your storyline is more of a waltz or something that builds a crescendo into a fever pitch. Whatever your theme is, be sure to use the appropriate direction as the director.

Very interesting

When you find something is of great interest you continue to observe or read on. If it catches your eye, peaks your interest you are compelled to forge on. As a writer, it’s your key to hold the reader’s interest or you inevitably will lose them as they move on to something else.

Depending on your subject say perhaps current events an insiders perspective could turn some heads. Celebrity interviews are always a hit. For most of us, celebrity interviews are unattainable. Something that most reporters have shied away from in recent years is human interest stories.

I know growing up TV and newspapers did a lot of special interest stories especially the smaller local ones. The interest is the human, personal factor it’s something we can all relate to. If it interests you chances are it will be of interest to someone else but of course, you can never please all of the people all of the time.

What happened to journalism?

This past weekend I opened my local newspaper and on the front page, I saw not one but two glaring typos in the sub-headings. These were words that were irrelevant to the heading and were not caught by spell check. It sent out different messages to me. First I had to guess at what the correct word was they were looking for in order for it to make sense. Don’t reporters review their work anymore? How could an editor allow these kinds of mistakes?

I worked for a newspaper twenty years ago. My editor had words with me on a regular basis about how I didn’t adhere to Associated Press standards. When I wrote for magazines the editors said they didn’t have to change a word. Regardless, it’s obvious that this kind of standards has been thrown out the window in favor of anything to sell a paper. How can you have any respect for those that just do what they want?

AP says transparency is critical to their credibility. Today sources quotes are taken out of context and used to fit their agenda. How many times are anonymous sources used when AP is adamant that those sources only be used if:

  •  The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report. That would hinder sales.
  • The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source. lol
  • The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information. LOL again.

Millions of Americans now find other sources for information because the Mainstream Media cannot be trusted. The great Walter Cronkite would be appalled by the media today. Wake up media and report the news, the facts and not just those that fit your monologue.

Quill to parchment

The quill to parchment method of writing was used for centuries, no for two millennia with paper finally replacing parchment as the writing surface. Although it is reported that paper was invented in China about 105 AD made of bark, fibers of rags, and hemp. Before the quill, the writing instrument was the reed pen who’s origin was about 400 BC. Both were dipped into ink to write with, although the quill was much more durable made of a feather that could be cut down to sharpen it for extended use much like a pencil.

The pen and paper obviously are still used but is slowly being phased out with tablets and computers as the writer’s choice. It should be mentioned that the quill and reed pen utilized capillary action where ink was drawn up into the instrument and slowly released as you wrote on the surface. You think there’s a problem with modern fountain pens there was no comparison for an entire document could be destroyed by a pause with ink flowing and/or dripping across your work.

Progress has yielded convenience and efficiency to our fingertips. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors and still, some of us balk at sending a relative so much as an email.  Imagine how hard that letter would have been with a quill and parchment. The mind can only imagine what the future has in store for later generations as a means to communicate. Telepathy?

How much can a blanket cover?

I love how the daily posts select words that have more than one meaning in fact blanket covers even more than the mind can comprehend. In the new TV series Genius” Einstein in referencing the cosmos made a blanket inference in relation to time, relativity, and space. But bringing it back down to earth a salesman loves to hear his customer issue a “blanket purchase order” that covers all their needs in relation to his product.

Salesmen, lawyers, and other professionals use the blanket term sometimes daily so it is a hardworking expression that covers more territory than Texas. Typically most of us do have finite limits for blankets in size. There are specific sizes for a king, queen, and full-size beds and of course, there are the ever popular smaller “throw” blankets for snuggling under while sitting in your easy chair or even keeping warm outside around a campfire.

My featured picture is one of a handmade unique size woven version made for me by my Mother. It boggles my mind on how much time and how tedious it must be to create something like this. That’s my take for I’ve never woven anything then again I’ve built hundreds or thousands of cabinets which also takes time and like the blanket, you have a finished product made with your own hands to show for it.

In almost every sector of most of the products we use every day, the handmade versions are being replaced by machines mass production in factories. Still, many of us can appreciate the quality of something that’s handmade, just thinking of the quality and care that went into making the end result. Salute to the craftsmen and craftswomen out there.

Blanket The Daily Post