My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 08 Oct 2012

(Image Source: Microsoft Clip art)

This weeks bit of news to begin with:

Umm, projects moving very slowly right now, i.e. not at all. Blogging time, getting some in. Methinks I really need Scrivener to appear on the iPad.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:
  • Gas Prices (Haiku)– Gas prices shot up in Southern California, nearly 50 cents a gallon overnight in some places on thursday. Cue scenes of long lines at the gas pumps, chaos, how will people live their lives. Well it still isn’t anywhere close to what it costs in the UK where there is a lot more tax on it, so relatively speaking, what is the big deal. Anyone would think people’s children were being stolen.
  • Crayon eating (Haiku) – I’m sure this happens to every parent, but whilst my boy was using his crayons, and my wife was in the next room (but still keeping an eye), he chose this as the moment to try eating some. He’s getting sneaky now, and chooses his moments well. For my wife it took 25 minutes to get all the pieces from his mouth..
  • Boundaries (Tanka) – I wrote a post about this last week. I suppose I am not finished yet.

So here we go:

Stop! Put up your hands

give me all of your money

I am gas prices

Hmm, don’t like this one. I could have done with more verses.

Red. Licky bite, bite

got to try these wax crayons

ease my back teeth through

Hmm again I feel I could have done with more. Maybe this should have been a Tanka, rather than Haiku

Where are boundaries?

yet you see or not do see

think that you are free

to write unbound, open mind

but it’s all a state of mind

For my view on this, you should really read the prior post.

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something, or maybe an amusing video.

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A short rant for this week on Carmageddon II:

The local LA news stations discussed this like it was a major world event. It was headline news. The lead story. It was on the Huffington Post. This really affected people. So here is what you need to know. Last weekend a 10 mile section of the 405 freeway near Los Angeles was closed down for the weekend, because of some maintenance issue, or construction issue, or to retrieve numerous abandoned car tyres and car bumpers. I forget which. But anyway, it was closed last weekend, a whole 10 miles of it. Yup, that’s right. Just 10 miles. Anyone new to the area would think the world was ending. Websites published handy (by which I mean obvious and pointless, or useful for morons) hints such as these five here. People were warned to stay away from the area, which I presume to mean if you cannot read signs. Was it all necessary? No. Warnings yes, good information for people. Lead News story? No, who cares? It was closed on a weekend. Choose a different route if you need to go that way. It is not that big a deal. Carmageddon II? Er… a big fat no. People stayed away. Nothing was busy. It didn’t merit the news coverage, even on an otherwise slow weekend.

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What I learned this weekend

  • People are very precious about gas prices, and less so about the harmful effects it has on the planet you live on, and the future it gives your children. The car burning gas I mean, not the price of it.
  • The boy cannot use crayons unsupervised!
  • The difference between Medicare and Medicaid (best not to ask).

The next post will likely be friday. Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: autarky.

My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 01 Oct 2012

(click to view on Amazon)

This weeks bit of news to begin with:

I got some blogging time in last week. Maybe not masses of reading time with it, and not much project time either, but it is a start. Also the boy recovered well last week and is back to normal now. That is one fun thing at the moment, the time we spend together when I get home from work (and of course with my wife after that).

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • Little blue Truck– At my boys bed time we usually read him some books. Toddler books are not the longest, so four a night in 10 minutes plus, is an easy target to hit. one of my favorites is “The little blue truck”.We bought our boy the follow up this weekend, (Little blue truck visits the city) along with a bunch of other books.
  • Fifa 13 (Haiku) – I’m not someone who plays a lot of console games, but I do like Fifa when I do. This week I got the new Fifa 13 (which was out on tuesday here in the US, and on friday in the UK). I think it added over 40% to its opening days sales in the US. Anyway, from what I have played so far, and it isn’t a lot, a lot more of the subtleties have been worked on and improved. It is more fluid, players make more mistakes with control, but not to the level where it is annoying, it actually adds to it. The more skilful players can get more of those moments over a second or two where they can do something a little extra to open a game up, but again not to the extent where it is too unrealistic and detracts. The physical system is improved and affects goalkeepers too. Player movements (the runs they make) are more intelligent. So far it seems a very good game.
  • Photo Stream (Tanka) – For those with an IOS device, iPhone, iPad, Mac, photostream is the cloud saving device to share photos over your ios devices. the new update brought sharing so you can easily share streams with family or friends. It is great, I can take a few pictures of my son, share the photostream with my mum, and when she wants, she can take the pictures. No hassles with file sizes such as when emailing of texting. A good service.

So here we go:

Daddy likes it best

but does the boy, not enjoy

the little blue truck?

For me I like the little rhymes and I love the style of the imagery.

Goal, Fifa 13

Not on my watch, or is it

fun and frustration

Seriously, or not? I do like playing this game, perhaps because I only sporadically get to do it.

How is it that we

see the world and that in it?

With what do you share

all the things that you can see?

made easy with photo stream

ok, that one sounds like an Apple commercial or sorts. Photo Stream is good, and references my post a week ago, where I mentioned using tech in lots of useful ways.

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something, or maybe an amusing video.

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A short video for this week. In the spirit of the Wheel of Fortune one from last week, this one not as funny, but still good. If you do like to laugh at someone placing their foot in mouth, feel free to watch:

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What I learned this weekend

  • I was right about the LFC play coming together. They won midweek in the cup, and got their first league win of the season in a comfortable and not even flattering 5 – 2 win.
  • Thoughts are turning to replacing the car I use to get to work in, now I’m in it a lot more, and even though I likely won’t change it until the end of the year, or early next.
  • I feel like I’m in a non creative phase at the moment.
  • My son likes the show “In the night garden“, but it sure is annoying to listen to as an adult.

The next post will likely be friday. Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: subterranean.

My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 24 Sep 2012

(Image Source: Microsoft Clip art)

This weeks bit of news to begin with:

So I am back. Back to the blog, in some capacity at least. In what capacity, only time (and experience, so er, two things then) will tell. I’m now with shiny new iPad, which is useful now I am not at home as much. It is a fine thing.

 At the time of writing (Sunday) I am debating whether to start back up posting again or leave it another week. If you are reading this then I guess I went for the post. The real debate is not to continue blogging, as I enjoy the blog, but how much. At the moment despite the new tech, I still have less time, and some of it needs to go on project work. For the moment that needs to be priority over the blog. So I think I shall aim for two posts a week, with maybe more depending on time and what I have in the “library”.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • The Virus (Haiku)– also returning (for my son anyway). Little guy seems to have susceptibility to colds / coughs settling on his chest. Potential asthma problem? Don’t know yet, but hopefully not.
  • Hot, hot heat (Haiku) – Not the band but the ongoing summer. Nearly the end of September and still it is hot in these parts.
  •  iPad and iPhone 5 (Tanka)– ok from time to time I am a tech geek. Not only a new iPad but the “blisteringly fast” 4g/lte on the iphone5. Where I live, the lte coverage is good, so the thing is pretty fast. On pre-order day for the latter, my son usefully woke me up early that morning, so with free time…

So here we go:

Cough, wheezy virus

making a home in his chest

better move out soon

He is in good spirits though and his loss of appetite was only a day or two.

Oh for rain showers

Let garden grow, cool us down

just small bit cooler

Seriously, a bit cooler will still be warm, and shorts weather, it doesn’t need to be this hot. On the other hand, check out that smog. Hmm…

Technology man

do you need all those gadgets?

do they rule your life?

they make you the man you are?

these days the answer is … yes

they are certainly an integral way to the way I run my life right now, and truth be told, to the job I do, to some extent anyway.

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something, or maybe an amusing video.

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A short video for this week. Not a new one, but don’t worry, it is a short one (18 seconds), and a funny, but toe cringing one, from the “Wheel of Fortune” in the US:

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What I learned this weekend

  • LFC still haven’t won in the league having their worst start in “oh a long, long, time”. But they are playing some good stuff, and the results will only be a matter of time. The effort against Man Utd on sunday was immense.
  • I use technology a lot, and in many ways I would not have thought of even five years ago.

The next post may be wednesday, or maybe friday, check back and see. Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Loquacious.

My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 10 Sep 2012

(Source: Microsoft Clip art)

This weeks bit of news to begin with:

  1. I’m struggling for time at the moment whilst the new routine kicks in. This might mean restricted posts over the next couple of weeks. Or it might not. We shall see later this week.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • Drive to work (Haiku) – The legendary Orange County freeways during rush hours. Not pleasant, but I’m going to have to get used to it for a while. Double the journey time or more. Great.
  • LFC Manager (Haiku) – Got to fit LFC in there somewhere right? New manager took time to sit with some writers from fan groups, fan sites and similar for some talk on him running LFC. It turned out to be a detailed interview where he explained many ideas. The recording is online to listen to (about 45 mins).
  • Inspiration (Tanka) – I seemed short of inspiration for a third prompt this week. Then I thought about the poem I did in 15 minutes which I posted on saturday. Then I realised that I have been gathering good ideas for a short story collection. Inspiration is always there, sometimes I just need to look under something to find it. So naturally this third prompt…

So here we go:

To know irony

travel the OC freeways

ask what is freeway?

Enough said there.

Ask Brendan Rogers

The man in whom we do trust

explain point of view

Here is hoping he gets the time, and it works.

It does not exist

yet it exists everywhere

take a look around

think about that which you see

there for you to create with

and it usually is. Pick up something near you and borrow some words….

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something. This week it is a mini rant:

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This week I l want to know why there are not enough hours in the day? Why do I have to work, spend too long in a car, then have little time to read, write, spend time with my wife and son? – Because that’s how life is, thats why. I need to manage my time better. Switch and make use of a technologies. Work out a better routine. So erm, why are there not more hours in the day? Oh…

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What I learned this weekend

  • This week I listened to one interesting interview with LFC manager Brendan Rogers and watched perhaps even a better one with former Liverpool player Craig Johnstone on LFC tv. The latter deserving of a post of its own on the subject of passion.
  • Certain Orange County freeways prove the irony of the “free” part and cannot be trusted.
  • I need to get up in the morning “that bit earlier”.

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: finial.

My week in haiku and other assorted nonsense – 03 Sep 2012

“Erm…. have you seen the tree….”

Two bits of news to begin with:

  1. Contrary to what I said last week, I have updated the Monday post a little. Now instead of focusing on the weekend I shall use the prior week as a focus. It allows me more time to write these ahead of monday, but also a chance to better extend my prompts. “Bonus Haiku” (see below) will be a regular feature but not every week, sometimes being replaced by a rant, or mini review. Although I call the post Haiku, it may be a mix of Haiku (5/7/5 syllable lines) and Tanka (5/7/5/7/7 syllable lines).
  2. I have a new paying gig, starting tuesday mostly for standard day hours. I’m not sure yet if it will affect the blog, it might not, but it will impact the times I respond to comments, or read / comment on other blogs. We shall see how it goes.

So, this Mondays “review of the week” prompts are:

  • Tree fall (Haiku) – Thursday morning we looked out of our kitchen window to find a large tree branch had come down blocking in our older car. Thankfully it didn’t cause it any damage other than a minor dent you can barely see. Luckily no-one was walking under it when it happened (it is near a public path). As it was a city owned tree, they had to sort it out, and sort it out quickly they did. By 9.30 am, you would never have known anything had happened. The best bit was when the police CSI turned up to take pictures incase we wanted to make a claim for damage from the city.
  • LFC transfers (Haiku) – What is happening with Liverpool transfer club. Good new manager. Positive and entertaining style of play. Many senior players from the squad trimmed. Some good signings. More players around the squad trimmed, no real replacements = A decent core of the squad, but a little thin, and not enough cover up front. The result of last summer’s wasteful spending? A good chance for some of our youth to break in?
  • Mitt Romney (Tanka) – Crikey this guy seems an utter twonk. There is something about him that doesn’t ring true. A fair part of his campaign seems to be lying about the facts over the last four years, yet somehow people seem to be trusting the guy. I just don’t get it. Obama hasn’t been brilliant, but a fair amount of that is out of his control, and many of his policies are working including job creation. They are just working slowly. Many people do not seem to realise that the American economy is now somewhat tied to the rest of the world, which isn’t doing too great either in a lot of places. Surely more people with healthcare in the “caring American society” is a good thing right? Also I hope this story that “Mitt’s family baptised his wife’s atheist father after his death” isn’t true. When they cannot even respect the wishes of a close family member. What chance do the rest of us have if he gets in?

So here we go:

Oh branch looking low

Oh do show us how you grow

Crash down next to car

Unexpected, but thankfully I didn’t need it (the car) that morning.

LFC transfers

Fail to give ideal cover

Too big risks for team?

Something doesn’t seem entirely right there, although. there are many positives.

Wife tell them I’m good

Parents, show what I have learned

I be President?

Listen! Me best at business

Mom give me sick note if fail

Look at Mitt, and imagine him with his finger on the button. Yes that button….

This section is going to sometimes be “Bonus Haiku” (see last mondays post) i.e. A bit ruder or more adult haiku, OR a rant about something. This week it is a rant:

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This week I was unfortunate enough (again) to see some of the TLC show “Four Weddings”. The brief is four annoying (by being a part of the show), women who are getting married, invite the other three to their wedding, to give marks on various aspects of it. At the end the scores are totted up and the winning couple win a big honeymoon trip. This show bothers me for the following reasons:

  • That people would stoop that low to get some extra cash for the wedding.
  • That they would be comfortable having tv cameras there.
  • That you would want three bints blabbing on about various aspects of your wedding.
  • That the most expensive weddings tend to do better where as the lower cost weddings tend to “look cheap” in places. So there is accounting for taste huh?
  • That allowing someone to grade your wedding is surely pointless anyway. Weddings are supposed to be an individual thing based on the bride and grooms taste, and how much money they are willing to spend on it. To put it a different way, some people might prefer a better honeymoon.
  • That someone thought that this wasa good idea for a show.
  • That someone watches it (regularly – neat caveat huh?).

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What I learned this weekend

  • LFC got into the Europa League proper, lost against Arsenal after playing fairly well, and made a hash of the transfer window. They are down to a good but pretty thin squad and are really short on strikers.
  • If a tree looks to be hanging a bit low, it might not be because it has grown a lot, and might be because it is making other moves.
  • CSI turn up for a tree down, ha, ha.
  • Disney’s California land or whatever it is called (the other side of Disney land), isn’t the best for tots, although my son sure did love running around in the water, in the “Bugs life” section.
  • The new “Cars” ride also looks cool from the scaletrix style track to the Grand Canyon lookalike style peaks with subtle but clever perspective effects.
  • I have a potentially good short story project with some really good short story ideas in it.

Have a nice “Labor day” (if in the US), and a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Quatrain.

Monday Haiku (Tanka) and what I learned this weekend – 27 Aug 2012

Example Scrivener, fiction format starting page, on that there Mac (PC version is available – just not in my house).

Welcome, this week I will start with a small note for regular readers. I think the slightly more adult, “Bonus Haiku” might be a fortnightly affair from now on (as it has been recently), or I may change my mind again next week, we shall see. This week it is replaced by a short video link (more on that in a moment). This week “regular” Haiku is also taking a break to be replaced by the longer Tanka, the japanese poetic form. As this is my first attempt, you will be no doubt pleased to read that it is not much longer following a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable to line progression. Tanka is less about nature like traditional Haiku, something I flout with regular Haiku anyway, and allows for simile, and metaphor should you wish to incorporate them,

So, this weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku Tanka are:

  • Scrivener – I love the writing software Scrivener. Seriously, if you enjoy writing, this is the best thing there is. You will never want to use Word again. It has a generous trial period so you can try it out and see. I’ve used it since version 2 appeared on the Mac (at the time a serious upgrade to version 1). Every now and then it is nice to read some tutorials, or features on how other writers use it. There are plenty of web pages, or youtube videos, free to browse or watch. A good example is below, where bonus Haiku normally resides. Or alternatively there is a useful ebook by the author David Hewson.
  • The Slide – My young son was not the fastest to get walking unaided (a trend on his mothers side of the family). For the last couple of months we’ve been taking him to “Gymboree” (the play school, not the store) which includes a weekly class where tots do little learning games together, mixed with playing on the various arrangements of padded climbing “things” and slides. Naturally with a bit of encouragement, his confidence and ability to climb, slide, and generally get stuck on things, has improved. When I took him to our local park this weekend, he made a beeline for the steps, and had a lot of fun climbing and sliding. Not a new thing for tots I know, but a new thing for him and me.
  • Disappointment– I won’t go into details here but something I had been waiting for got put back a little while this weekend. I don’t get annoyed very often, but this did annoy me.

So here we go:

How do I tell Word

that I love words but not you

that I love a new

master, writing studio

Scrivener, I do compose

Ok, that one is a bit retrospective as I have been using it for a while, but you take my point (hopefully).

Grey, August morning

Standing, wistful, yearning for

the boy who would play

learn to climb, to use my slide

Happiness, that one moment

The slide was alone, and waiting for us, this past saturday morning.

I missed the phone call

but I got all the details

what could I question?

when all I could ask was why

and feel like sinking below

So maybe it wasn’t that bad, and no big deal, but anyway….

No bonus Haiku this week, enjoy this short Scrivener lesson instead:

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What I learned this weekend

  • LFC managed a draw against Premier League champions Man City. It was a shame really as LFC played well, and scored two decent goals. Unfortunately they made two silly mistakes which cost goals on a game they should have won. The overall play was a good sign for things to come.
  • In August, in Southern California, the clouded over mornings are the ones to take the boy to the park.
  • M83’s “Midnight City, seemed to be stuck in my head.
  • My wife and I life playing Lego Batman 2 on the PS3.

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: Woebegone.

Monday Haiku and what I learned this weekend – 20 Aug 2012

You Louis, will appear in Monday Haiku….

Thank you to those who responded / commented on the weekend post, “The blog post trail aka the other map of blog” thus far. I will get back to that one as I think it is worth doing. In the meantime, this weeks weekend relevant prompts for Monday Haiku are:

  1. Louis CK – If you have never seen the FX show Louie, then you ought to. It is odd, often vulgar, often brilliant, always entertaining. It is one of the best and most inventive comedies on tv. Louie CK writes it all, his character is a version of himself, full of self loathing. Sometimes the guest stars play themselves, sometimes not. He even found something good for Robin Williams (who I am not a big fan of in comedy). The first two seasons are on Netflix streaming. What does it have to do with the weekend? Well I watched last thursdays episode then.
  2. Twitter – Great for little posts and links, if you follow the right people. One thing I like is I can watch LFC, and get the line-up just prior to kick-off, plus other “thoughts and opinions” as the games are going on. Which I did this weekend.
  3. Breaking Bad– AMC’s top “tension” drama. Still good, and racing towards the end (the rest of this season and eight episodes to end it next year). All previous seasons are on netflix streaming. New episodes currently on sunday evenings.

So here we go:

Full of self loathing

scrape humour down to the bone

Louis CK wins

Seriously, I don’t know where he gets his ideas from, or even gets aways with them but…

The word is somewhere

somewhere in the twitter nest

some delight does lurk

Got to love (and tut tut at) Twitter.

Walter White, teacher

to controlless meth dealer

meet a grisly end?

Breaking Bad might be the best drama show on TV right now.

Bounce! Bonus Haiku returns with a hop, skip, and a tale about… Well you will see. I’m pretty sure this is about as far away from the olympics as you can get, hence why I didn’t post it last week. Usual blurb follows in the next sentence. Jump between the lines for bonus fun, or over to give it a miss:

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What defines a man?

How to demonstrate his strength?

It between his legs?

part 2:

Yes between his legs

for man with hundred pound balls

lots of bulk to scratch

And here he is:

Yes that is an upside down tracksuit top he is wearing. Shouldn’t laugh…

So I apologize for this shameful joke:

Yo, check that guy out

wears a tracksuit upside down

he’s got some balls man

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When I saw the above guy on TV there was a mix of feeling bad and laughter. Sorry but balls of this size is amusing and I’m not entirely sure how he let it get that bad. If mine started to incvrease in size, I would have got them “examined” pretty sharp-ish:

What I learned this weekend

  • LFC chose to open the season with “One of those days”. After dominating most of the first half, they went in a goal down, to a fine goal. So far no complaints. Then they conceded a weak penalty which the opposition missed, but did result in our defender getting a straight red card. Then a few minutes later conceded another penalty by a fluke accident, which the opposition did score. Then a player we brought on, left the game 10 minutes later with an injury. Then chasing the game with 10 Vs 11, they conceded a third goal. Game over. Not the best way to start, but early days on a slightly different playing philosophy and a long way to go. Up next, last seasons Premier league champions, Manchester City.
  • I wish Scrivener was on ipad
  • I wish I had an iPad. Perhaps soon eh?
  • An animated series (I won’t mention which one), which I used to watch as a child, is as old as my wife. She kindly pointed out I was older.
  • The most odd search term that got to my blog in the last week was “Firestar’s vagina”. Interesting…

Have a nice week.

Lexicon word of the day: ideogram.