Journal Entries

Two-sentence horror stories

My goal of writing horror stories was always thwarted by the lack of material to work with in my drab, safe life. Today, though, I hear piercing sounds as if from the grave, while blood seeps from the nail holes in my walls, and something big is trying to get into my house.

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Latest reply: 5 Weeks Ago

I'm a bit nerdy

I took this online test:

It was recommended by The Post, and I thank them for that.

People who self-identify themselves as nerds have some common traits, which the people who designed the test organized, and developed into a test. It was a little scary to see some questions that were almost exactly the way I thought (I would rather read than talk, and one of the questions came close to expressing this thought smiley - yikes).

I 50 is an average score, and 70 is the highest possible degree of nerdiness (sp?), then my score (61) is somewhat nerdy though not extreme.

Therev was a list of words, and quiz-takers were asked to indicate the ones that they were sure they could define. I remember that there were only three words I wasn't sure of. Wouldn't you know I wish I had thought to jot them down and then look them up and elarn them smiley - erm.

My only concern had to do with the fact that when I was in high school, According to Wikipedia, the term "nerd" was "Originally derogatory..., but as with other pejoratives, it has been reclaimed and redefined by some as a term of pride and group identity."

Maybe that's all right, then. What would have been a downer of a term in the 1960s might have positive connotations now. smiley - smiley In any event, I still don't want to be put into too narrow a category, just in case. In school, you were either a nerd or a jock. I have cultivated enough athletic pursuits to pose as a jock, as long as I'm not compared to someone who is very athletic. smiley - laugh.

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Latest reply: 6 Weeks Ago

Trying to get the mix of music right is trickier than I expected

In years past, I've tried to heed advice from LanzaBaby, Pierce the Pirate, and others. Lanzababy recommended listening to music from pretty much all the rest of the world. This would have included a lot of contemporary music, I imagined. As far as World Music is concerned, I have representative CDs from about 50 other countries, spread over every hemisphere and continent. I also, for a while, listened regularly to streaming music from radio stations in Argentina, Africa, and Asia. (Then I realized that some of them were just playing American or English top-40 hits that I had elsewhere, so I discontinued the stations.)

I created a collection of Pop CDs, nearly 300 of them, and put them in rotation with my other collections so I would hear them regularly. Being fair to every artist/band in the collection meant focusing on greatest hits or best efforts, with an occasional album that had outsold every other album on the planet. Sales figures were factored into my efforts. Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson had sold the most albums historically, so I made sure that these titans were well represented, though not so as to eclipse less successful but still wildly popular groups.

It worked for about three years. Now the ground under my feet is moving again, and I may need to reconsider. On a personal level, I find that most pop music can't be listened to while I'm reading, as there are lyrics that I'm apt to be paying attention to, slowing down the reading. For the last month, I've gone to the default mode of a classical music station that rarely plays vocal music. I get weary of some of the music, but least I can read while I'm listening.

Then, recently, I read that worldwide streaming and other innovations are changing the sales figures as well. I will have to get a different take on what is most popular. Given that there is so much going on, I won't be able to listen very much to any one song or performer, but at least I will have some inkling about what is happening.

I'm happy with most of the results of my effort. I enjoy singers or groups that I hadn't even ehard of before. Some of them are very much current, such as Lady Gaga, Adele, Taylor Swift, and Usher. I wanted to include something by Rihanna, and still might do so. In the meantime, I keep hearing her songs during some of the movies I watch.

So, I'm not hunkered in some cave or monastery far from the world. I see new sides even of groups that I thought I already knew -- ABBA, the Beach Boys, the Eagles, etc.

What I cannot do is recognize every great song that the Beatles recorded. Likewise the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen Latifa, Pink Floyd, etc.

I'm not going to do very well if I get enticed into taking a quiz about any one group.

I'd like to have a general idea of what's going on. It just won't be very specific.

Movies help. I enjoyed "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Rocketman," and "A Star is born." Every Spring I learn new :old" songs in my choral outreach group.

I'm trying. I'm not going away. If new genres become popular, I'll try to listen to the best that they can reocmmend.

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Latest reply: Aug 9, 2019

Cornucopia from my first harvest of beans

Two or three days ago I picked about a pound of green beans from my bean patch. Today I picked even more. There aren't many new blossoms right now, so whatever new beans are still growing are the ones that have bloomed too recently to be big enough to pick so far.

The beets are getting very large leaves now. The first planting was spotty, so I went back with another pack of seeds and filled in the holes. Now the second planting is getting big enough to pick leaves from.

The squashes have plenty of leaves, and several female blossoms, but once they blossom there's no follow through. They don't grow.

Discuss this Journal entry [31]

Latest reply: Jul 23, 2019

Butterflies and rabid woodchucks

First the good news: An actual butterfly visited my yard today smiley - wow. As is true of almost all butterflies, this one moved pretty fast, so I couldn't get close enough to figure out what kind it was. Maybe it was scoping out the premises. If it's a Monarch, it probably smelled the 12 milkweed plants in my yard. All of my milkweed is in its first or second year, which makes it too small to be of any use to a nectar-hungry butterfly. A mother butterfly with lots of eggs to lay might figure that the leaves wouldn't be enough to feed her young. Ah, well. Tomorrow's another day.

You can tell, form the subject line, that there is also some very bad news, though it could have been much worse. There's a mother woodchuck in the Park. She has six babies. She also has (or had, as she has been euthanized, along with three of her babies). The remaining three little woodchucks are being sought by means of traps.

As far as I know, no humans were bitten by these animals. I asked the Animal Control people if the woodchucks might have bitten any of the local rabbits. She doubted it very much. Rabbits are much faster than woodchucks, and they are skittish about being approached by non-rabbits.

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Latest reply: Jun 28, 2019

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paulh. Bunnies are cute (There, I've said it)

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