For Paula’s second to last day of her challenge February Love Me, I am getting low on topics (lol!), but I now turn to media…specifically TV.
I wanted to say movies – who doesn’t love movies?? But I realized that there is something on TV that I love more than movies.
Feb. 27: I love…TV miniseries! Most of them are on PBS but not all – we no longer get HBO or Starz or Showtime, but we do have Netflix, which has many of its own original miniseries. Some miniseries last only a few weeks, while others run for several seasons. The most famous of these is probably Downton Abbey, which I followed diligently, and couldn’t wait for the next season to start! PBS has a lot of really good miniseries, most of them British. But Netflix has Unorthodox, Anne With an E (based on Anne of Green Gables), Ratchett, and more. Some of them are “feel good,” some are funny, some are profound, and others are historical or maybe mysterious. I like being able to follow the same characters every week in my living room. Below are a few of the miniseries I have enjoyed regularly.
For several daily word prompts, I present a window into one of our oldest family traditions: playing board games.
Every New Year’s Eve, it’s a tradition for my sister and brother-in-law and the two of us to dust off the Scrabble game. Accompanied by wine, you would think everyone would have fun!
I’m sorry to say, however, that my brother-in-law is a sore loser! I was surprised to discover this trait in him, because he is usually laid back and accepts whatever comes with a chuckle. But coming in last in Scrabble – he just can’t take it!
Here’s the scenario:
I’m looking over the board, trying to find a place to place at least one of my difficult-to-play letters. There are few openings. I’m in third place with few options at this point in the game.
Aha! I spot an “I” with spaces around it! And one of them is a double letter square – usually not great, but by placing my “Q” in that spot, it boosts my score by 21 points, and I move into second place!
“QI?? What the hell is that?” says E–. (I am not disclosing his full name, in case he or anyone who knows him happens to read this!)
“Qi – you know, it’s a Chinese word,” I try to explain. “It means ‘energy’.”
“Well, whatever it means, it’s not English!” he retorts.
“But everyone – (ahem) – lots of people know about it,” I reply. “And it is frequently used in my Words With Friends game which is based on Scrabble.”
“Words With Friends?? I don’t know what that is. We are playing Scrabble here.”
With a sigh, I try to explain that it has come into general usage in English. “I know at least one blogger who uses it a lot.”
“Well, one blogger isn’t general usage,” he insists stubbornly. “Katy, you’re being really ostentatious.”
“Oh, come on!” I protest, getting flustered and trying to think of another example of a foreign word that is used in English.
“Qi is an acceptable word,” my sister puts in. “It’s in the Scrabble dictionary.”
“And also the English dictionary, which we have right here!” I say exuberantly, and jump up to look it up in our Webster’s 20th Century Unabridged Dictionary, which lies open on the chest next to the dining room table.
“Wait, wait,” E– says. He turns to his wife. “Why do you say it’s acceptable?” He still clings to the slim hope that he can prove us wrong.
“I just told you – it’s in the Scrabble dictionary,” my sister says.
“And here it is in this dictionary, too,” I reiterate as I put a finger on the word in the massive dictionary.
“But we don’t use dictionaries when we play Scrabble,” E– insists.
“Huh?” both my sister and I exclaim. “Yes, we do,” she continues.
“We only use a dictionary when a word is contested,” says E–.
“Yeah, and you are contesting my word,” I put in.
“Which means you lose your turn,” my sister says smugly.
Now my sister’s husband is really mad. He begins to sulk.
I try to smooth things over by being reasonable. “You know, we use a lot of foreign words in English. What about taco?”
“Everyone knows what a taco is,” he replies resentfully. “Qi – what’s qi?? – It’s not in general usage.”
Because it is three against one (my husband, who has kept out of this conversation, votes with us women), E– has to accept it. It’s supposed to be his turn next and he slams the letters he was going to play on the table. He really does have crappy letters, I notice with chagrin.
When the game is over, I’ve won and E– is in last place.
We have had this argument at least three times. Now when someone plays “qi,” he just shakes his head and grumbles to himself.
I don’t ordinarily participate in this challenge, hosted by Paula Light, but today I have a big peeve with WordPress, as other participants and the host do!!
This morning, I chose about 20 photos to include in a gallery for a “special edition” of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The theme this week was orange and green. I had already posted several photos for this challenge last week, but over the weekend, I was looking at my photos of Bryce Canyon National Park and I started thinking, these photos would be the perfect gallery for a photo challenge about orange and green!
I selected the photos I wanted to use and then started a gallery block on the “block editor.” They were taking quite a bit of time to download into the gallery, but I didn’t worry about that, because I’ve had that happen hundreds of times in the past (pre-Block Editor!) and the photos always downloaded eventually and appeared in my Media Library, and from there I put them into the post.
I guess the idea was to bypass the Media Library when WP designed the Block Editor, because you just select the block “gallery” or “collage” or “tiled gallery” and then download the photos directly. They do appear in Media Library, but you don’t have to go through the step of selecting them from there anymore, unless you want to use them again.
Well, apparently in this new system, you have to wait for one or two photos to download completely into the gallery before you can add others, because otherwise the others will not appear. Once I realized this, I painstakingly downloaded one or two at a time and waited until they appeared fully before adding more. I then discovered that if I tried to add a caption to the ones that already were fully downloaded into the gallery while at the same time others were downloading, once the download was complete, those captions disappear or revert back to whatever original caption was assigned to them.
When I got them all in the “gallery” (which is what I selected for the block), I added/deleted captions, and decided they would look better in a collage or tiled format, because some were vertical and some were horizontal and in the gallery they all appeared as squares. I thought, no problem – the photos are in the Media Library, so I can just delete this gallery and select the entire collection to put into a tiled gallery. So I deleted the gallery blocks and selected the “tiled block”, then clicked on “select images” and “Media Library.” What to my surprise and frustration, I found that only seven of the images were still in the Media Library even thought I had originally downloaded all 20!
By this time, I had worked on this one post for nearly an hour and I wasn’t going to go through the lengthy process of redownloading all the remaining images, since that had taken so long. So I simply posted the seven that were in the Media Library but was peeved that after all that work, my other photos would not appear in the post.
I just heard about this challenge from Melanie B. Cee, who hosts Share Your World. I don’t get into Halloween anymore, so perhaps this challenge will inspire me.
This Halloween Challenge comes from Tourmaline and it’s in the form of a calendar, with a word prompt for each day in October.
Each day in October there will be a new prompt. Share a picture, write a poem, write a blog about your day, anything along the lines of the theme will do!
Post as often or as little as you’d like. Share your links with me on my daily post and I’ll keep a running list of all participants both here and on the daily posts, whether by blog, social media, however you contribute.
I’ll do as many as I can, but first I have to catch up!
Oct. 1: Fog – nothing spooky, just taken outside my former workplace on a foggy day.
Oct. 2: Blood – I really don’t have photos of blood – I try to avoid it if I can. I also don’t write about it usually! Here’s a photo I took after I fell flat on my face on the sidewalk one day when I was taking a walk. I’m only showing the nose because the picture is awful and pathetic.
Oct. 3: Owl – not just one, but two! Taken in Tanzania, it was the only time we ever saw an owl there.
I don’t generally search out quotes, but today Fandango’s Dog Days of August is asking to share our favorite quote. So I looked in my old Pinterest account (which still exists, although I never add to it anymore) and found these gems. These are all meaningful to me and precepts I try to live by.
I have trouble photographing birds – they just don’t stay still for me to take good pictures of them! However, on safari in Tanzania, I had many opportunities to take photos of all kinds of birds. For Lisa Coleman’s Bird Weekly photo challenge, the theme this week is birds of prey.
Fandango’s Provocative Question this week is about our system of justice: Do you believe, with respect to the judicial system (or systems) in place where you live, that justice is, indeed, blind? Why do you feel that way?
Very relevant question for today, I would say! I think that, unfortunately, the system of justice in the U.S.A. is not blind. It’s corrupt, it favors the rich, and is now being bent to the whims of a corrupt, inept president. Two of the justices on the Supreme Court, in my opinion, are not qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. (If you’re wondering, here’s a hint: neither of them is Gorsuch, in spite of the unethical way in which he got confirmed.) One of them is a sleazebag and the other has conflict of interest issues and doesn’t seem to do much on SCOTUS. Both of them have possibly criminal or at least sexual harassment charges in their backgrounds. And although in both cases, some of the the victims testified, they were not believed. At least not enough for the Republican Senate, in both cases, to hesitate in confirming the nominee.
So I don’t have the highest respect for the Supreme Court as I should have, and have had in the past.
Referring to the justice system where I live, Illinois (or at least Chicago) has long had the reputation of being corrupt. However, one really excellent thing happened here about a decade ago, and it was during the administration of a Republican governor (who later went to jail for other charges). Law students at Northwestern University examined the cases of several men on death row, cases in which the evidence of their guilt was shaky. All of these condemned men, I believe, were black, (but if not all, a majority of them were).
The law students researched the cases and looked for additional evidence or looked at evidence that had not been examined at the time, and determined that these men were, in fact, not guilty. These men were on DEATH ROW, to be executed for crimes they didn’t commit! The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and should not exist in a society with an imperfect justice system.
Having proved their innocence, these men were released from prison. Great thing, but they had all spent many years in jail and they were no longer young. What kind of future awaited them on the outside? But at least justice was served in the end.
However, the best thing to come out of this is that the death penalty was suspended in the state of Illinois and this “suspension” is still on the books. I actually remember Gov. George Ryan with respect for having done that, in spite of his other, less respectable, deeds.
I do not think justice can be “blind” as long as a disproportionate number of people in prison are black, some convicted on crimes as mild as possession of marijuana (when it was still illegal). When young men – including teenagers – are put in jail for petty crimes, they “learn” from other prisoners and from the situation they are in. Is it any surprise that many commit crimes again when they are released? Nearly every job application asks the question, “Have you ever been imprisoned?” or some version of this, and since most applications are done online these days, you cannot leave the answer blank. So either you lie or don’t get hired, never having a chance to explain your circumstances to the employer.
Justice is not blind when too many people are sent to prison where they become bitter and angry. Justice is not blind when crimes white suburban kids can get away with with a warning for the same petty offense that gives inner city people of color prison sentences. Justice is not blind when courts favor the rich over the poor. Justice is not blind as long as the United States of America has the archaic, barbaric, and unnecessary practice of the death penalty.
However, what we are seeing today is “justice blinded” – justice corrupted and manipulated by people with power to benefit themselves and their friends. There is a new book coming out written by Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, that details many of his and his family’s shady and illegal dealings for decades. If he loses the election in November, will he ever be prosecuted and put in jail for the crimes he committed as president or before? Who knows, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.