Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Swimming Through Life

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Black Friday Thief

The Rogue Speaks:

I awoke this morning to news of all the badness Black Friday brought to many people. A woman pepper sprayed shoppers who were waiting for the table of goods she was guarding to be uncovered. In other stories, people were trampled, and some were robbed of their purchases. A grandfather in Phoenix was beaten by police because they thought he was trying to steal a video game when he tucked it into his waistband to free his hands to help his grandson. Other shoppers were horrified and jumped to his defense. The Christmas season?? Come on, people! Is all this "stuff" that important?? Is THIS the spirit of Christmas you want your children to learn?

Many employees were angered upon learning that they were expected to be at work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Many of them missed Thanksgiving dinner with their families because they needed to catch some sleep before going to work at night.

Other workers, like little Michelle, ended their day so totally exhausted, that their brains were completely numb. The following is Michelle's story. Remember that we have a limit of 100 words and the prompt is in bold type.


The Black Friday Thief

Black Friday was winding down. The Burger Barn had been crammed with customers and Michelle’s feet were screaming. So many orders! Her fingers were sore from working the register, and her head was swimming.

“Hey! Wake up!” a voice whispered loudly, and Michelle saw a scruffy man in a wool cap standing there. He had a gun, and was pointing it at her. “Empty the register!” he demanded.

Michelle, her brain foggy from the long day, did as he said, and stuffed the day’s receipts into a burger bag.

“Would you like fries with that?” she asked, in a stupor.


Now head over to Jenny's Saturday Centus to read more offerings. You may even write one of your own! I'll be waiting to see it!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brain Damage in the Electronic Age- A Thanksgiving Post


The Rogue Speaks:

So many things are obsolete these days--records, and record players have all but disappeared, having gone the way of tape players, VCR's, 8 Tracks, etc. One can now open and close blinds or drapes with a remote control, turn on lights, and unlock doors, and start one's car from inside the house. We have become slaves to the electronic age. These things are supposed to make our lives easier. Convenience has come with a price, however. It has destroyed a portion of one's brain, and has stripped it of the knowledge of simple everyday things that served us well for hundreds of years.

I had an appointment at 11:45 today to get my hair cut. At 11:22, I went into the garage to get into my car. The door would not open. It was locked, and because I always leave my car windows open when I park in the garage, I reached inside to unlock the door. Nada! Nothing! I am still locked out! Then I reached in and put the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. Nada! Nothing!

I raced into the house and called to change my appointment, and then called AAA. They were out within 30 minutes. They had replaced my battery only a month ago, so they knew right where I lived. He asked for the keys to my car. I handed them over. He then TOOK THE KEY AND UNLOCKED THE DOOR. I felt like a blithering idiot! Not once did it ever occur to me to USE THE KEY! My brain has been damaged by the electronic age!!




He checked everything out and the car was fine. He surmised that the proximity warning device had been accidentally activated by a PACK RAT. Funny, because while driving to Target a few days ago, I heard a strange noise in the back, where I am always hauling around paintings, and art supplies. My heart stopped! I was terrified that at any moment a pack rat was going to jump on my head from the back seat, and begin gnawing on my face, causing me to wet myself and wreck my car. I quickly parked and gingerly starting rearranging things in the back. I found nothing there, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one hiding somewhere.

So this is my thought for Thanksgiving: I am thankful that even in this electronic age, there are still the simple things in our lives that will work for us when electronics fail us. If only we can remember to USE THEM!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blessings? Blessings!!


The Rogue Speaks:

I had to really mull over this one. Today, I have a pretty bad attitude! I have certain rules by which I run my life, and when someone scoffs at those rules, it makes me more than pissy. That was the case today. I will not go into details, but when I got home from my meetings this morning, I was not a happy camper. So I sent my pissy self into a fugue state and tried to gain control of the situation. That took some time, but eventually it kinda sorta worked. I am calmer, but not completely satisfied.

Yes, I broke the rules. I have too many words! But, so what? I NEED to get my point across, and I don't think Jenny will flog me for this. So here is my offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus. Please be kind!

'WE GATHER TOGETHER TO ASK THE LORD'S BLESSING'…

The words of the hymn came drifting out of the door of the Gospel Rescue Mission. Alexis, with her three children in tow, paused briefly to hear the last refrain, and then continued on toward the spot that she had “reserved” underneath the overpass near “the five,” the name given by the natives for interstate 5 in Los Angeles.

“Outsourced” had been the buzz-word when Alexis was told that her job had ended. The Gospel Rescue Mission was full—no more beds available tonight, so her little family had been relegated to sleeping amidst the fumes from the trucks passing through the city.




“I’m not alone,” she reasoned. “There are probably more than a handful of those 99% who are struggling tonight. At least my children know how much I love them! How many of the one per-centers can say that? There ARE things to be thankful for!”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

COLLECTING - PUT THAT BACK!!

The Rogue Speaks:

This has been one wild week so far, and I have barely had time to turn around. Consequently, I realized that I had not prepared my Alphabe-Thursday post for Jenny's blog. I was so exhausted last night, that I slept hard and didn't get up until about a hour ago. I have a couple of meetings today, and so I decided that I would reprint one of my posts from 2010 as my offering this week. If you remember, Ames brought me a couple of packages of cocktail napkins when she came for a visit, and I added them to my obscenely vast collection. So, without further commentary, here is my offering:


I am embarrassed to admit that one of my weaknesses is cocktail napkins. But they can't be just any cocktail napkins--they have to have some silly (or sage) phrase, and/or picture on them. Whenever I go shopping at a certain store in town, I head straight for the napkins. I was in that store today, and found some I thought I could not live without.

That voice! I HATE that voice! It spoils all my fun! You know the one I mean--the one in your head that reminds you that you already have a whole shelf in the kitchen just stacked with an item that you crave, so PUT THAT BACK!

Before I discovered cocktail napkins, my passion was poultry. For a while, everyone was giving me chickens, chicks, roosters, etc., to put in my niche above the cabinets. Then one day I discovered that eventually you have to get the ladder, climb to the top rung, and dust every one of those non-essential items or they begin to look grungy. Dusting high places has never appealed to me, and especially dusting things that are non-essential. Bye-bye, chickens!

Cocktail napkins don't get dusty, because they are wrapped in cellophane, and tucked away on a cabinet shelf. Even after you open them, you can put what you don't use in a zip-lock bag, all ready for the next time. That "next" time has become a problem, because I don't entertain nearly as much as I used to, and I have a cabinet shelf filled with cocktail napkins that will probably not be used in my lifetime.

I thought everyone would just love those cute napkins at parties. But you know what happens? They grab a napkin to put their drinks on, and the cuteness goes unnoticed. I could put out squares of toilet paper instead, and that would work just as well.

The only person who seems to appreciate my napkins is my Best Friend Artist. She always laughs and tells me how cute they are. So, to get around the fact that the last thing I needed to buy today were more cocktail napkins, I bought her a couple of packages for her birthday. Of course, it isn't until May, but I just told that voice to shut up because this was different--it wasn't for me. Don't you think that makes it all right?

Shhhh! Don't tell her what she's getting! I want it to be a surprise!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Changing What's Real ( in a clumsy kind of way)

The Rogue Speaks:

My fabulous photographer friend, Mari Sterling Wilbur, turned me on to the blog "The Other Side Of Anna." Anna sponsors a monthly post about altering photographs using all those great digital programs that are available now. I am not good at following all the complicated directions, and so I end up doing the most simple things possible to alter my photos. I use these altered images to create some of my paintings. I haven't painted the image below as of yet, but I plan to in the future. Meanwhile, it is stored away in my clip file.

The image is of my son Jeff's chicken coop.

I must have cropped this photo for some reason unknown to me now, but below is the altered version of the ORIGINAL original in the style one might see in a pastel. This version brings out values that are important to me in painting. It also brings out certain colors that are not evident in the original piece.




This manipulation was not at all as complex as the more experienced photographers' work, so I decided to add another example that I did several years ago, when I was not so consumed with "old-timers" issues, and could occasionally remember how to work some of the gizmos on the programs. The photo below is of two of my children. As you can tell, it is VERY old! I combined it with the next photo, taken in Sedona about 10 years ago. After placing my two children in the photo, I did some painting on them and their surroundings to produce what I call "Wonderland."







I am really quite a simpleton when it comes to digital manipulation. You can tell that fact is blatantly true! But it is fun to play around with. I basically use programs to take the wrinkles out of photos of all us old people. Perhaps if I had learned all about the programs the way my son Joey did, back when he was in high school and college, I would be better at it! Oh, well! Now you can go to Anna's blog and see the work of some EXPERTS! Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

IN DEFENSE OF CHILDREN

The Rogue Speaks:

When I woke up this morning, I actually couldn't remember what day it was. It has been that kind of week. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! So I sat down at the computer and saw Jenny's Saturday Centus challenge. Thank God I didn't see "Sundays with Steve," or I would have gone back to bed crying!! There has been a lot of pollen in the air and I have had a headache for four days now. After a couple of aspirin and some black coffee, I whipped out my answer to Jenny's challenge:


THIS CHILD'S COACH HAS A SECRET



IN DEFENSE OF CHILDREN

“Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease! Please make my mom show up so coach doesn’t make me ride home with him!” Lissa’s inner voice was screaming in her head as her eyes scanned the parking lot for her mother’s car.

The soccer coach lived two doors down from Lissa and her family. He and Lissa’s father played poker once a week, and before his wife divorced him and disappeared with their two daughters, she and Lissa’s mother had been sort of friends.

After every play, Lissa crained her neck, looking for her mother’s car. Then she saw it. “Thank you, God,“ she said quietly.


With all the news coming out of Penn State lately, I felt compelled to write about this issue. People who sexually abuse children are the scum of the earth, and they all should be made to pay dearly for their disgusting behavior. Life in prison is way too good for them.

There is another issue, however, that in my opinion is also disgusting, and that is the issue of the people who KNOW what is going on and fail to act appropriately. These people who, for whatever reason, choose to place their standing above that of a child, are selfish cowards. Every adult has a responsibility to expose child sexual abuse (or any other form of abuse), no matter the cost. Our children are our future, and they should always be kept safe, so they can grow up healthy and happy, and live loving and productive lives.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

B is for Being Yourself


The Rogue Speaks:

I have a friend who publishes a wonderful blog. Her name is Joann Mannix. Her blog is called Laundry Hurts My Feelings, and when you have a chance, please go check it out. I am stealing some stuff from her today for my lesson for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. I'm reading along about her trip to Sonoma and Napa today, occasionally shooting coffee out my nose at her funny self, and then I come across the perfect idea for my "B" post:

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life...Don't let the noises of other people's opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Steve Jobs


When you have children and a spouse, and the responsibilities that come with family life, sometimes you find that you have put your own life on the back burner to accomodate other people. Don't forget, though, that you also have a responsibility to yourself. If there are things that you have always wanted to do, activities you have always wanted to participate in, don't wait too long. The older we get, the faster the days get away from us, and eventually the things that we wanted to accomplish seem like only distant and unfulfilled memories.

I always like to have some music to go along with my posts, and while I was trying to come up with something for this one, I realized that I already had it. So I am leaving the selection from my last post up for you to listen to and enjoy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

His Window

The Rogue Speaks:

I am so far behind this week! I was late posting my "A" word, and could not in all good conscience start writing my Centus until I had read all the other "A.s." Whew! That was a monumental task! There were a lot of great ones, however, and well worth the effort!

Now, on to my offering for this week's Saturday Centus:

Jeremy sat in his chair by the window, looking out on the soccer field below. Despite the bright warmth of the early autumn day, he was wrapped snuggly in a soft, cozy blanket.

The young players were running, calling to each other, kicking, and cheering. It looked like so much fun. Jeremy's mind began to wander, and he saw himself on that field, kicking the ball into the net. If only that could happen!

“Sweetie, are you o.k.? Do you need anything?” Jeremy’s mom called out from the doorway.

Jeremy turned, and said in a small voice, “New legs.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Aedes Aegypti


"Breast Cancer Know No Boundaries" Judie McEwen


The Rogue Speaks:

First, let me give you the information for the "Breasts for Life," the on-line auction being held at Toscana Gallery. The Auction runs till Nov. 29. Click on the link and just see the creativity of the artists participating in this important fundraiser for breast cancer research. If you have any questions about the auction, please ask me!! If you would like to make a bid on one of the pieces, I will be happy to help you with that as well.

Now, on to my Alphabe-Thursday offering--aedis aegypti!




She certainly is fashionable in her black and white checked outfit! But she can be quite deadly if she happens to suck your blood while carrying West Nile virus. Yes, I know that it is no longer summer, and mosquitos have gone into hiding for a few months, but this happens to be a pretty interesting "A" word, so I thought I would use it. She also carries yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, encephyllitis, and a few other terrible illnesses. Her husband, however, doesn't carry anything but sperm to make more mosquitoes. He only drinks nectar, while she is the blood sucker!!

There are thousands of species of mosquitoes, but only 43 of them are the vector for West Nile virus. Here is a photo of Aedes Albopictus, another carrier:



She appears to be dressed in red with a checkered shawl, with black and white leggings, but I suspect that red is someone's blood!

The culex pipiens can also carry West Nile.



I did not take this photo, even though the leg that is being bitten looks suspiciously like mine after a week of not shaving. This girl looks a little drab, compared to the others, doesn't she?

Even though mosquito season is over for most of us on the North American continent, it is summer in some parts of the world, and mosquitoes can be a serious problem.

In an all-out effort to prevent malaria from mosquitoes here in Tucson, I make a concerted effort to always take quinine in the form of vodka tonics. I don't know if it works for West Nile, but I'm hopin'!!