Friday 30 March 2012

Leap Into Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012.

Gosh, not sure I can control my excitement.  Yes indeedy do, it's almost that time of the year when a bunch of bloggers bring further awareness of the alphabet.  Just think, you can look through your list of favourite blogs and see several of them doing 'A is for Apple'.  Wow and good golly!
"The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at , Tossing It Out ,  the A to Z Challenges to post the letter of the alphabet every day during the month of April, with Sundays off for good 'behavior' (or 'behaviour' if you know how to spell in correct English).  Since April 1 falls on a Sunday, that will be the day we start with A."   Aha, so you don't get the first Sunday off for good 'behavior'...oops, behaviour.  Remember that, all of you who are involved.   Otherwise, the penalty may well be that you are thrown into 'blogger jail' and forced to read blogs that tell you about what a great day out they had at the fast-food restaurant with their adorable kids and how, when they went home, naughty little kitty cat had missed pooping in the kitty litter tray.  *Giggle, giggle....*
All the info you need to know about this um 'challenge' can be discovered to your ultimate thrill, right here,  Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2012 .   So, if you have not signed up and are perhaps interested,  you'd better hurry up because the sign-up list will close on Monday night, April 2.  I assume that Monday night relates to some time zone in North America.

Of course, if you are really stuck for alphabetical inspiration, I suggest you get a copy of the above British road atlas and see if you can find a place with the letter 'X'.

Living in Leek, Staffordshire, England, I have an advantage if I had the inclination to actually get involved with the challenge.  I could go visit this shop in down-town Leek.  Ah yes, I can see it now, hundreds, if not, thousands of frantic bloggers in the challenge, shopping for last minute ideas for their themes, by using the facilities at "The Alphabet Store".
What the organisers of this challenge have forgot to mention is this.  This being a leap year means that we also have a 'leap alphabet'.  In other words, or letters, you must on the first day of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge, April 2012", Sunday, April 1, or fittingly, "April Fool's Day", duplicate the letter 'a' in every sentence you write to balance out the leap alphabet.  Here is an example of what should be done, 'How exciting, the 'Blogging From Aa To Z Chaallenge, Aapril 2012' haas begun!   Aand thus, aa is for aagain!  Aas in, oh no, here we go aagain with the aalphaabet chaallenge!'  
If you are the adventurous type, start on Sunday with this, 'Aa is for Aaardvark!'   Or if you are very adventurous, 'Aa is for Aaaron's rod!'    Just hope 'Aaaron' doesn't take it personally.  

Tuesday 27 March 2012

'Princess Penny' Ponders Pluto.

Greetings, tis I, 'Princess Penny' the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.  And speaking of 'star', my human is always looking into outer space.   My human, yes Gary, who I so kindly allow to live with me, has a passion for astronomy and excelled in science class when it came to outer space and the planets in particular.
Gary told me about the time in Vancouver when he was a ten year old in grade five.  In the science class, each child was assigned a planet to do a story on.   Gary, being so knowledgeable about the planets, stood up in front of the class and gave each person, according to the planet's orbit around the sun, a planet to write about.  And so he started with the first person and worked his way down each row of students. "Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Urrr......*Giggle* .... Uranus, Neptune, Pluto."  Three times he repeated and three predictable giggles later, he was finished.
Gary has told me that those know-it-all astronomers have demoted poor Pluto from a planet to an icy rock floating forlornly around the sun.  They actually classified Pluto as a "Dwarf planet".   Of course, the good creatures of Pluto can look out into the night sky, which I assume, is all the time and look past Neptune to have a good laugh at Uranus.  Gary has never been the same since those know-it-all astronomers discovered rings around Uranus.....

Gary has told me about a movie called "Star Wars".  One of the main characters was named, "Princess Leia". He showed me this picture and I immediately noted her hairstyle.

My ears can fold back by themselves.  I can even run around and they can stay that way.  A bit of a mystery, along with human's wondering why their laces untie themselves, why one sock goes missing and what happens to those twenty pens that suddenly vanish when you need to jot down something really important during that phone call.  
Yes I, 'Princess Penny', have come to the conclusion of my eagerly anticipated 'pawsting'.  May the 'Paws' be with you.......

Saturday 24 March 2012

Navy Blue Skies.

It was just before the rising of the sun on that early spring morn.  The beginning of a new day, a new hope.
I sensed that Wednesday, the 21st of March, was going to be a significant day.  I saw that look of nerves on my son's face.  Similar to that look he had when he started in a new high school and met new friends.  That morning, my little twelve year old, dressed smartly in his brand new high school uniform, turned to me and said, "Dad, I'm really nervous."   
And now, eleven years later, my twenty three year old son, prepared himself , despite the nerves, to venture out the door and go to one of the most important meetings of his tender young life.  We drove to Stoke on Trent, destination, the recruitment office of the British Navy.  
For him to do this is true testimony to a remarkable resilience that has risen from the depths of despair.  Setback after setback had taken its toll on his fragile well being.  False hopes of jobs and the indifference of job agencies, had thrown him into a state of deep depression.  He hardly left his room.  Many a day I've been sick with worry, as I've seen those who thrive in this brutal world and those who think nothing of being corrupt, impacting the once happy world of my dear and precious son.  
And my young man has had his first meeting with the British Navy.  He seems hopeful that maybe soon his life will turn around and his dream of his independence, to live his own life, may finally come to fruition.  Now he waits and I wait, for the next part of the recruitment process.  Much has to be checked and verified.
And me?  Yes, I have mixed emotions about such an endeavour.  I'm scared, so very scared.  I'm hopeful, so very hopeful.  I'm proud, so very proud.  But I know, no matter what, I will support and encourage him in all he wants to do.  I look at the possibility of joining the British Navy as a way to utilise and enhance his skills.  I look at this as a chance to make his mark in the world, rise above all that has caused him pain and learn to smile again.
On Thursday morning, I gazed out the front door and reflected back on the day before.  Maybe it was the start of a new dream that set sail upon the seas of contentment.  As the sun began to rise in the Navy blue skies, I smiled and I cried.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

'Hot Blog, Jumping Blog, Albuquerque.....'

So there I was, sitting in my blog cabin and keeping warm by the blog fire.
I've not been blogging much lately.   However, I'm not one of those who will apologise for not blogging.  Like my blog is that important to your life.  Okay, instead I'm now going to apologise for blogging.
Now then, much to your surprise, I have received yet another blogging award.  The award would seem to take note of someone who has a blog that is a very active and perhaps even a prolific site.   I would state that my blog is not exactly on fire with articles that are so frequent that you're not sure if you're reading a blog or a twitter update.

The wonderfully articulate Jai over at this site,  Jai Joshi's Tulsi Tree has very kindly bestowed the, "Blog on Fire Award", to me.  Jai, I'm very grateful that you would consider me for this flaming award.   Of course, me being a, "a hunk, a hunk of burning love...", sort of realises that this award relates to the fires of writing passion that burns in my heart.  Then again, maybe it's more like, "ring of fire", something I've experienced after an extremely hot curry.   Moving swiftly on.....I noticed that Jai has bestowed this award to a total of three bloggers.
So, being lazy and unoriginal, I shall do the same.   Here are the three lucky writers who set the blogging world on fire and are most worthy of the "Blog on Fire Award".

1:  thefeatherednest : Delores, over at this very clever variety blog, will keep you busy with all her numerous blogs.  Delores was the cordial host of the virtual blog party that celebrated my fifth year anniversary of blogging.  If you have never been to her site, I highly recommend you do so.

2:  Austanspace :  Laura is another highly prolific blogger who submits a wide variety of articles on her thoughtful site.  If you've never been to Laura's site, how about going over and saying, 'hi'.   

3:   Life is Good :   And now for one of the latest, most pleasant surprise, blog sites.  Tina is one of the co-hosts of that um 'challenge' that's the talk of the blogging world.  Yes, she's a part of the "Blogging From A to Z Challenge, April 2012."  Although there is no way I would be involved in the challenge, we have had some good natured banter about it all.  So, despite my satirical take on it, why not go to Tina's site if you are contemplating signing up to the alphabet challenge.  And of course, while you are there, you can see what a great blog she writes.

Thanks again, Jai.  And now I look around my blog cabin and feel the warm, reassuring glow of the blog fire. 

Thursday 15 March 2012

A Question Of Space.

I have noticed that there is a theme of outer space travelling amidst the ether of the blogging world.  And thus, it inspired the thought of republishing the following post.  If you have read this before, I hope you don't mind I share it with you, once again.  

And man reached out to the heavens.  Outer space, a wondrous place of countless stars, countless galaxies and countless questions.
And man, gazed deeply into outer space and forgot about his inner space.  For man's heart beat with a brutal savagery.   He shed the blood of his brother's and sister's in the name of greed, of hatred, of betrayal, of deception. He invaded the space, the personal space of the scared, the innocent, the vulnerable.  Yes, in his pursuit to progress, to advance, mankind lost touch with that precious gift.  The gift of the inner child.
And man's lust to conquer, to destroy, to steal from his fellow man, lived on.   Then one day, one momentous day, it happened.  One man looked around, saw the rivers of blood and heard a gentle whisper.  The whisper was the voice of his inner child and it said, 'This has to stop.  I want to play, to sing, to dance, to smile, to laugh and love.  Please, we must make this stop.'  The man looked over at his blood-soaked enemy and asked, 'Can you hear it?  Listen carefully, for your inner child has a message for you, for all of us.'  And his blood-soaked enemy listened and he smiled.  The word spread.  The voice of the inner child, the inner space, spread far and wide.  The bells rang out with the chimes of peace.  Enemies embraced and enemies became friends.
That was a long, long time ago, on that blue and fragile planet.  Mankind reached out and explored the beauty of outer space.  And the message he brought was of acceptance, understanding, hope and peace.  And it all began that day when that one man realised that inner space was the final frontier.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Blogger's Got Talent. The Not So Final Result.

Greetings.  Yes, tis I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.  You may be aware of my human's previous posting.  Yeah, the one about the five finalists in the "Blogger's Got Talent" contest.   It went to the public vote to decide the winner.  Yet, there was a serious discrepancy in the phone voting.  The blogger in the "Self-Obsessed, Self-Promoting Blogger" category, appeared to have received 100% of the phone vote.
Due to this, the producers and the sponsors of the show, checked with the phone companies and discovered that the lines had been rigged by a 'mystery' person who ensured that the contestant in the category, "Self-Obsessed, Self-Promoting Blogger", would win.   This alarming situation has caused the producers and sponsors to have a serious rethink.
Sadly, due to the upcoming season of "Blogger Idle", I mean "Blogger Idol", the brains behind, Blogger's Got Talent, have decided to have an all day voting 'Blogathon', sometime within the next six months, to determine fairly and squarely, the true winner of Blogger's Got Talent.  The phone companies have insured their full cooperation in this matter.
And what of the Self-Obsessed, Self Promoting bloggers?   My human Gary has had a few emails from some of them.  The emails have been quite touching and very transparent.  They have told him of their insecurities, their need to feel wanted.  They are scared and hide behind the genre.   They have told Gary that they are stuck in the genre and are terrified of taking off the mask and revealing the truth.  Gary told them to be brave, to be open, to be honest.  They might find that their 'followers' will not feel let down.  Instead, their followers would most likely applaud them for their courage to reveal who they really are.
I recall Gary showing me one email in particular from an alleged 'Self-Obsessed, Self-Promoting', blogger.  That blogger told Gary that they were going to tell their followers just who they really were.  They said how frightened the were to take off the mask.   To that blogger's immense credit, they submitted one of the most open and heartfelt postings we have ever read.  And that blogger's followers, instead of being disappointed, rejoiced in their bravery.
I mean, isn't that what it's all about?   Are we not a part of a sharing, caring blogging community?   All different, all equal?

Thursday 8 March 2012

Blogger's Got Talent.

The excitement, the expectation, is building up to a crescendo of hysterical frenzy, as the finalists in Blogger's Got Talent are being flown in from secret locations all over the world.  Naturally, the finalists are being flown in on the Blogger's favourite airline, 'Blog Air' and will be picked up at Blog Hope airport.   
The studio audience at the finals are settling into their seats at the Blodeon Theatre in beautiful downtown Blogbank, just a  few miles northeast of Bloggywood.   A hush falls all around the audience as the curtain raises and the lights come up.  

The crowd they cheer.  Oh how they cheer.  The music starts and the three judges are introduced.  Judge number one, Bloggo Baggins, a major star who became famous in the Bloggit and Lord of the Blings.  Judge number two, Joe Bloggs, who does a blog using his first name, Joe.  And judge number three, Sharon Blogbourne, famous for being the wife of the dude who's the lead singer of Blog Sabbath.  
Being the final show, the judges have had their say and now it's time for the five finalists to give one last performance before the public gets to vote for the winner.  

Blogger number one, in the category, Sarcastic Blogger,  "Hi, my blog is called, much to your surprise, "The Sarcastic Blog".  "I cannot even begin to describe how thrilled I am to see all you wonderful, sincere people out there in the audience.  There are no suitable words to explain my joy at knowing how much you like me!"

Blogger number two, in the category, Satirical Blogger, "I keep hearing about the 'big bank theory'.  The theory goes something like this.  First of all, become the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a big bank and get rewarded for incompetence, whilst your millions of loyal customers are thinking about such trivial things like, will they have a roof over their heads, a job tomorrow, or food on the table.  And to top it off, as a CEO, you will get a nice hefty bonus at the end of the year, for a job not well done.  Wow, what a great job!  A bonus for buffoonery.  An incentive for idiocy.  And when you become the epitome of incompetence, it gets even better.  Apparently you morph into a 'Fat Cat'.  And who wouldn't like the idea of becoming a 'Fat Cat'?  Oh,  I almost forget the name of my blog.  Too busy contemplating 'civil war' and 'military intelligence'."   The name of my blog is, "Cat on a Hot Tin Spoof".

Blogger number three, in the category, Comedy Blogger, Hi, my blog is called, "I'm Incredibly Funny and You're Not!"  "Maybe you can relate to this.  You get on the bus.  That would be the second bus after the first bus driver looked at you and continued on.  You stood there, as the first bus drove by you, with your arms waving frantically, praying for a miracle and hoping that the driver will have a change of heart and stop.  But alas no, instead you get drenched by the worst downpour known in twenty years.
When you get on the bus that kindly stopped for you, the driver decides it would be hilarious to accelerate and brake really quickly.  That way, you  lose your balance, you wipe out, fall into the lap of an old lady and proceed to dump two bags of groceries, which were full of eggs, a variety of sticky syrups and fresh sardines, all over her fake fox fur coat."

Blogger number four, in the category, Poetry Blogger, "Greetings wonderful people.  My blog is called, "Edgar Allan Poem".   "Here is an old example of one of my finest poetic works, There was a young fella' named Skinner, who took a young lady to dinner.  At quarter to nine, they began to dine, at quarter to ten it was in her.  Not Skinner, the dinner.  Skinner was in her before the dinner!"   "I thank you from the very depths of my radiantly glowing soul."

The next category was a combined category.  For the two categories are rather similar.

Blogger number five, in the combined category, Self-Obsessed, Self-Promoting Blogger,  "Hello people.  The name of my blog is titled, "The Only Blog you Need To Read!"   "Now then, here's how it is.  You will read my blog and you will realise just how wonderful I am.  You, the Blogger Sheep aka Bleeps, will heap praise and adulation on me.  I will ignore you and not acknowledge your comments.  I will never grace you with commenting on your site.  I would not lower myself to do such a thing.  When you visit my must read site, you will note the links in my postings that link back to other postings that I have written which also have more links to postings that I have written.  Soon, very soon, I may hold a contest on my site that gives you the opportunity to adore me even more.  If that's possible.  The one with the most complimentary response to my contest will be allowed to purchase my book titled, "The Only Blog you Need To Read!", at a slightly reduced cost.   Anyway, time for you people to do the right thing and vote for me!"

There you have it, the five finalists in Blogger's Got Talent.  I realise that there are other categories.  However, the television production company needed to get it down to just five contenders.  Here's a quick refresher and then you, the public, can vote to decide the winner.  

Blogger number one is in the category, Sarcastic Blogger is, "The Sarcastic Blog"
Blogger number two is in the category,  Satirical Blogger is, "Cat on a Hot Tin Spoof"
Blogger number three is in the category, Comedy Blogger is, "I'm Incredibly Funny and You're Not!"
Blogger number four is in the category, Poetry Blogger is, "Edgar Allan Poem"
Blogger number five is in the combined category, Self Obsessed, Self-Promoting Blogger is, "The Only Blog you Need To Read!"

I wonder who you would vote for?  Or maybe, you would like to mention some other categories that didn't make the final of, Blogger's Got Talent.  I can think of a few more.  

Saturday 3 March 2012

Meander In This Market Town.

There are days I wake up and still find it hard to believe that I actually live in England.  Then I stare at the sign, see the cars on the opposite side of the road and listen to the accents.  I'm in England and there are times I get real scared.  
I can wander along, wander aimlessly and wonder aimlessly.  I can walk the streets as the invisible man.  A man who knows that even amongst the crowd, I am a lone and solitary figure.  And even so, there are those magical fleeting moments where the people who see me laugh and smile at my contrary, zany disposition. Yet, despite these times of lacking direction, of fears of an uncertain future, these moments I meander in this market town, make me realise how much I have and how far I've come along.  

And I reflect upon the reflection, on the window and in my mind.  I think back to that day when I took that chance, uprooted my life and moved to this market town.

I gaze at the virtually deserted street and feel a sense of calmness amongst my confusion.  This market town, a poignant reminder of some of the worst and some of the best times of my life.

One final look westwards down Derby Street in Leek.  One final moment to savour the spire of Trinity Church, as it points towards the evening glow.  
Now it was time to go home.   Home and back through my front door.  A life of a virtual recluse who for those few magical fleeting moments, went up into this market town, made them laugh, made them smile.