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Ramblings Of A Madman



Certifiable Ponderings About Life In General



Updated: 2018-03-07T16:10:43.643+01:00

 



I'm OK!

2008-05-15T21:04:12.327+02:00

(image) Hey there!

Just thought I'd check in with you all and let you know that I'm still around. I just read up on all y'all's comments on here, and I'm touched y'all was getting worried. Thank you.

Now, I'm ok. I wasn't murdered in an alley, run over by the city bus or slain by a vindictive ex-lover. I have not been imprisoned after burning down the UO or locked in a padded cell in the psychiatric ward for losing my marbles.

Nor is my absence on account of the good things in life. I have not taken a demanding job that has left me unable to find the time to blog, nor did I meet Kate Hudson at the local bar and refuse to leave her alone - I didn't even meet an average chick who won't let me alone.

But I am OK, and I miss you all. I miss blogging, and I just thought it would be fair to step in and let you know that I'm still alive and kickin'...

...and that I will return.

It may be a week - two weeks - or worst case scenario a month... but I will return!

BTW... If you all wanna go ahead and post the PFC's... leave a comment here letting me know where to find it (link would be a good idea), so that I can read when I return.

Sincerely,
R.E.H. (aka Ramblin' Madman)



Getting To Know Me

2008-05-09T21:20:52.396+02:00

It seems the trend in blogging again has come around to meme's. I've been tagged a total of three times in less than two weeks, and being the nice guy that I am, I like to be a good sport and do the meme's I've been tagged to do.However, please - no more meme's for a while... ok? ;)This one comes to me courtesy of Richard over at Mister Richard's Bloggerhood. He wants to get to know me better, and that's a reasonable request, don't you think?Ok. Let's get down to it - this is pretty similar to the "Four Things Meme" I did a few days ago, so I'll try to come up with new interesting tidbits that I didn't write about in that other one.The Rules:1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 or more people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.4. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answers.1) What was I doing 10 years ago?Wow. 10 years ago... I'm one of those people who hear that, and think "that must've been a long time ago". Then I think... "10 Years... minus 2008 is 1998... what??? 1998 wasn't long ago. That was yesterday!" I swear. The whole concept of time scares the crap out of me sometimes.Anyway. 10 Years ago I was working on a documentary which I shot for the local welfare institute. Apart from handing out food coupons to the poor, these guys are responsible for helping the less fortunate in our society - the homeless, the drug-addicts, alcoholics - you name it. One man in the town I live in has had more "business" with these guys than anyone else. His name is John (I will exclude his last name - but John is his actual first name). He started drinking when he was eight years old... according to himself. He has been homeless and an alcoholic his whole life. After interviewing some doctors he's been treated by, they all state that it is medically impossible for this man to still be alive at 65 the way he has abused his body. I found the whole project very interesting, and it is definitely the most inspiring job I have ever had. One of the highlights included re-uniting him with his long lost daughter... it was a little sad though, as his drinking over the years have done a number on his brain. The second time we went over there with his daughter, he wanted us to leave... because he was expecting an important visit from his daughter and some guys that were going to film him.I remember sitting there, cautiously trying to tell him we were those guys... I mean, we had seen eachother every day for over a month by this time. Scary stuff.2) 5 things on my to-do list for today?The day is nearing an end - so my to-do list is pretty much taken care of.Laundry - check.Make Gulasch (and eat it) - check.Check with my car dealer to see if the antenna I ordered has arrived - check (and not in yet - if I'm lucky it'll be there tomorrow)Work out at the gym - check (shoulders and abs today) Write Richard's meme - in progress.3) Snacks I enjoy?Snacks... I enjoy a lot of different kinds of snacks. Currently have an obsession with Geisha. Apart from that - I have a weakness for potato chips and cheeze balls. I also love me some fruit for snacks - mainly bananas, apples and pears.4) Things I would do if I was a BillionairePlease, Lord, let this some day become true! (As if everyone doesn't secretly wish for this kind of money).First off - I would travel all over the world. I would get a car, and just go. Sleeping in hotels and camping sites or wherever... driving the car until it would go no further, by which time I would purchase a new one and continue my travels. This would probably last for a few years, until I have been to every corner of our planet - or until I got tired of it all, and no longer had a desire to see everything.I would blog about my travels every day - almost like a diary. Including lots of fun vlogs and stuff too. It would be the bomb!After that, I would[...]



Bird Poop x2

2008-05-07T22:54:45.272+02:00

Today was a gorgeous day. By far the most beautiful day of the year, so far. I think we pretty much skipped spring all together, and headed straight for summer.So, I headed out - putting a short-sleeved shirt on for the first time this year. I wasn't out for long before I started regretting wearing my jeans, wishing I'd went with the shorts instead.Anyway - I decided on another "first" of the year. A nice refreshing ice cream, outdoors, enjoying the warm weather. So, there I am - sitting outside at a local McDonald's enjoying an ice cold McFlurry. There is a family seated behind me... a bunch of kids running around playing and they too are enjoying the wonderful weather."Boo!"I continue to enjoy my ice cream."Booooo! Whaaaa!"I turn around to see what is going on. There is this kid chasing some birds (isn't it funny how many birds gather around in places like these? Hoping to capitalize on some spilled food.). I figure - let the kid chase the birds... what do I care? I'm enjoying my first ice cream, and the weather is perfect!"Stop it!", the mother suddenly hisses at the kid. "Don't chase the birds!""I don't like birds. Birds poop everywhere! Booooo!""The birds aren't going to poop here", the mom says. The kid is chasing after a bird which whizzes by a little too close to me for comfort. He continues and stops right at my side... and speaks to me sincerely."Do you want a bird to poop you on the head?""No, I sure don't", I tell the kid."Yeah... MOM! See? I hafta chase the birds away!". The kid continues to run after the poor birds, hollering and screaming at them. I'm just thinking - Yeah, keep that up kid and one of those birds WILL poop me on the head!............Speaking of bird poop. I'm keeping this short. But the son of a bitching UO over here have indeed completely lost their mind - as I was told by others once they learned I was headed for the dreaded world of unemployment.So, I had been in there - listing my qualifications, and what kind of jobs I was looking to get. Of course, I put media related jobs at the top of my priority list. This is where I want to be, this is what I once got a degree in. I have been on the wrong track working retail for far too long - I find it reasonable trying to get my job-life back on the right track. I would take retail temporarily, but I really need to get a job in film, television or any other form of production company.Today, I had a personal meeting at the UO with a schmuck who decided it would be in their best interest that I not be listed for those jobs. Yes, their interest - they don't care about what I want... So I tell the guy:"How am I supposed to get the job I want if I'm not listed in the database as a candidate for these jobs?""Well, you can look for these jobs on your own, if you want. But retail is where we will try to fit you in.""I don't really want to do retail again. I am hoping that my education will land me a job where I want to be.""But, you don't have enough experience. To be qualified to apply for these jobs, you need more experience.""Alright, never mind. List me in that database however you so please. I don't care.""We need to find you a job as quickly as possible", the guy pauses... "Here is one!". He shows me the computer screen.Some company who are looking for carpenters and painters - they go to different places all over the country and do contract jobs - apparently."Uh... I have no experience in carpentry or painting.""You listed that you assembled furniture at your last job."I was dumbfounded... flabbergasted."Assembling furniture has got nothing to do with carpentry, and certainly not painting.""Ok... I'll let you off the hook on that job then."Yup... this is a normal day at the UO around these parts. I'm obviously experienced enough to apply for a job I would not be capable of doing, because I did something vaguely similar at a recent job - yet I am not qualified to apply for jobs in the field in which I got my education......Y'all know where I can get one of those nifty little bombs? The kind t[...]



WWC / Keeping It Short

2008-05-06T23:18:31.605+02:00

(image) Oh, boy! I can hardly believe how fast the weeks are rushing by these days. It is Tuesday already, and time for the Weekly Words Challenge once again. This fun little game is presented to you by our own daydreaming procrastinator Tink of Pickled Beef - and this week we shall play with the words THREE and FIRE.

Now, I went out this morning, and I had a couple of interesting photos I wanted to take. It turns out... (now get this - in case you weren't aware) ...it turns out, it's not easy to take pictures minus a camera. I had put my camera out - clearly visible, so I wouldn't forget it when I left the apartment. Guess what - it was still sitting there, next to my shoes when I came home tonight. So, I don't have as many pictures as I'd like - but enjoy the ones I DO have for you!

Keeping it short today, because I'm all out of time it seems. I'll get around to checking out all y'all's blogs by tomorrow (I hope). Right now, things have been busy with the job hunt, the stupid UO, working out, and fixing up a bit of a computer crash I had, which cleared out my wonderfully catalogued system of all my CD's, Vinyls and MP3s... and I have a lot of them! As if that's not enough... I have a bit of an obsession about keeping my stuff "organized" and especially catalogued.

Pics for you this week:


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Don't forget to return next week to check out another WWC. We'll be playing with the words SEVEN and EARTH next time around. That too is sure to be a lot of fun!



Funday Sunday: "Twin Peaks"

2008-05-04T23:44:53.755+02:00

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Stepping in real quick today to squeeze in a Funday Sunday post.

Since I posted that meme a couple of days ago, I've not been able to get the magnificent TV series called Twin Peaks out of my head. And, while it isn't a comedy series - it does provide a wicked sense of humor. Not the laugh out loud kind - but the kind that keeps your smile attached to your lips from start to finish.

Besides - Emmeline told me she hadn't seen the series, and I must do what I can to allow her the pleasure of watching such a wonderful show.

Don't forget to check out the "3rd" monthly commenter story if you missed it yesterday! (Scroll on down)




"3rd" - April 2008

2008-05-03T16:49:01.972+02:00

We have reached the 3rd of May, and that means that it is time for me to present my monthly feature “3rd”. Since my monthly feature overrides any other features I usually do, this means that I won’t be taking part in the Wordzzle challenge this Saturday. I will return to the action on that one next Saturday… in the meantime – you can find those entertaining little stories by going over to Views from Raven’s Nest and following the links there.Another story can of course be found right here, as well – and that would be the Monthly Commenter Story. I am sure Knight of Knight’s Knacht-Up Ramblings is particularly interested in reading up on this one, as she remembered the rules and decided to mess with me a little. She carefully chose a sentence for me to use in the story. And, actually, I thank her for that, because that inspired the outcome of this story which has now reached the third and final installment.That means, that next month I’ll be able to come up with an entirely new storyline. I was really determined to finish off The Mystery Man Murder story – and I’m actually a bit surprised that I was able to bring it to a close.I gotta say, though. This was the strangest collection of sentences I’ve had to work with so far. I sat for over an hour just reading them over and over again, trying to piece even two of them together in any way…No need to try Knight’s stunt for next month though… I will change the rules of which sentence to use in the story by then – so you’ll not really know where I’ll be taking it from.ONE: COMMENTER OF THE MONTHNow, I said last month that I was going to opt for quality instead of quantity for this award. Not gonna happen – not this month. I messed up, and didn’t keep track of the quality comments, so I’m keeping everything just as it has been. That makes Farmer*s Wife the winner for the second straight month with a good 42 comments (which is less than HALF of what she produced last month). Runner up is Cinder-Single (aka Single In The City) with 37 comments. That is a repeat of the top two, but there’s a new (returning) 3rd place finisher in Jill, who commented 31 times.Next month, however – I will be determining the top three commenters by use of quality, rather than quantity.Below, is a list of ALL commenters during the month of April 2008.WINNER: Farmer*s Wife (42)2nd Place: Cinder-Single (37)3rd Place: Jill (31)4th Place: Knight (26)5th Place: Dianne (23)6th Place: Lakota (22)7th Place: Jay, Jo (20)8th Place: Dana, Leighann, Sparkling Red (19)9th Place: Tequila Mockingbird (18)10th Place: Emmeline (17)11th Place: Karen (16)12th Place: Aunt Jackie (14)13th Place: TT, Unsigned (13)14th Place: Jeff B (12)15th Place: ~Angela~ , Fiwa, Raven, Tink (11)16th Place: Jen, Kcinnova (9)17th Place: Fortune Cookies, Mike, Newt (8)18th Place: Anndi (7)19th Place: Butterfly Girl, Guilty Secret (6)Not involved in the story’s resolution:20th Place: Akelamalu, Casdok, Ginormous Boobs, Richard, Spiky Zora Jones (5)21st Place: Reb (4)22nd Place: Doc, Freakazojd, G-Man, Jahooni, Melissa, Pookie Sixx, Real Live Lesbian (3)23rd Place: Cardiogirl, Chatty, HoosierGirl5, Kristen Bjorg, Lightning Bug's Butt, Liv, Odd Facts, The Teach, Tookie Tail (2)24th Place: Alice, Betty, Claire, Gene Bach, Joel, Krishna, Loving Annie, Mary P. Jones, Maryt, The OE (1)TWO: KEYWORDS OF THE MONTHTime to take a look at the search terms that were used on Google and other search engines that brought people to my blog.Top Searches: "not so hot without makeup” – A lot of people seems to want confirmation that the hot ones really aren’t as hot as they appear on the pictures. Is April low self-esteem month?Funny Searches:“"7 deadly sins" party” – Sounds like a lot of fun… especially the Lust part!“"horse condom"” – Yeah, dude – keep on dreaming. It’s not THAT big!"swedish curse" "skitstövel"” – Farmer*s Wife? Are you behind this on[...]



Four Things Meme

2008-05-03T16:54:05.565+02:00

Well, it's been a while since I had the [dis]pleasure of being tagged to do any meme's. Now, all of a sudden it happened twice in one week.Being the nice guy that I am, I will do it - only because I like the people who tagged me so much. Spiky Zora Jones got her book meme taken care of on Tuesday, and today I will oblige to the request from Sparkling Red.The "Four Things" meme (which is one that I haven't actually seen around until now) is what the lovely Sparkling Red over at No More Casual Nonchalance wanted me to do... and it will make for a decent post for today.I didn't see too many rules written out at her blog (maybe I could backtrack the meme to find them), but who cares about rules, huh? So we'll just get down to it.Four jobs I've had:1.) McDonald's.Yup, I've been flipping burgers like a pro for almost four years back in the days when I was young(er). I actually look back on those days favorably. The pro's of working at such a place are that there are always a lot of hot young girls working with you... those were the days!2.) NCC (National Chemical Company).This was/is a company which sells industrial strenght cleaning products. By far the worst job I ever had in my entire life. All based on commission, and every morning we would be betting big money on todays sales. After just over a month, I had managed to lose about $1.000 dollars, rather than make any money. If you are going to sell a product to a business, I don't think the door-to-door sales are going to work out very well. You need to book an appointment, not just come a-knockin'. The only good things about the short stint I had at this job was that I got to stay at a hotel for free, and then there was this cute Danish chick... (I wonder what she's up to these days)3.) Documentary Filmmaker.By far the most pleasing job opportunity I've had. Was hired by the city's welfare institute to make a documentary about a man who's been an alcoholic since he was 10 years old, and lived for many, many years on the streets. The documentary turned out decent enough, and the welfare guys sent it to ONE television station who turned it down. After that the damn thing was shelved, and since it was a contract job - I don't own the rights to the thing. It is still available to schools around here as an educational video... from what I understand it isn't being used too much.4.) Furniture Salesman.Leaving the company name out, because it's the place I just recently left. The longest time I've ever worked at one place. Spent four years there, and the only thing that I will look back on with positive thoughts are the majority of co-workers I had. I still hope to remain friends with a bunch of them.Four places I've lived:1.) Connecticut.I'm not listing the cities because of my attempt to stay [somewhat] anonymous. This is where I grew up, until I was 6 years old.2.) Sweden.Where my mother and I moved when I was six. She has stayed in the same town since we came here in ´76. I have moved around a few times, but I am now back where we first moved.3.) Florida.Where I returned to the States to be re-united with my Father. I will return there some day - Florida is by far the most wonderful place I've ever set foot in. I just love it in the Sunshine State.4.) Well - that would really cover it, since I won't list the different cities. Lived in a couple of places in Connecticut, about 5 different cities in Sweden - and just the one place on the central Florida east coast.Four people I want to bitch-slap right into the middle of next week:1.) Josef Fritzl - See yesterday's post.2.) Usama Bin Laden - Doesn't require any explanation.3.) The bitch I spoke to over at the UO a couple of days ago.4.) The schmuck who cut in front of me when I was out driving yesterday.Four people who e-mail me regularly:1.) ...2.) ...3.) ...4.) ... Well, I just don't use e-mail very much. It's just SO yesterday! ;) I keep in touch with friends and [...]



Truly Disturbing News

2008-04-30T20:34:50.547+02:00

(image) All the talk lately have been about this crazy ass son of a bitch I show you on that picture there. His name is Josef Fritzl, and he's a 73 year old Austrian [insert numerous bad words here].

I don't know how big of a news item this man is over in the States, but that ugly face sure is appearing everywhere all over Europe at this time. While I don't usually post about news items or anything like that, I can't help but want to get some of this out of my system today.

Before you read on - whether or not you've heard the story - I suggest you read the following news article.

Pictured: Inside the cellar where father locked daughter for 24 years and repeatedly raped her

*Taking a breather to collect myself*

*Not really helping*

I don't know what disturbs me the most in this story. Is it the fact that this man held his daughter captive for 24 years in the basement? Is it the fact that he raped her over and over again down there? Is it possibly the fact that she gave birth to 7 children down in that basement?

Maybe, it's the fact that one of those children died because of neglect, and he burned the dead infants remains inside the house. It could also be the fact that he was able to bring three of those kids out of the basement and have them live with him and his wife in a twisted version of freedom. Or, it could be the simple fact that his wife (supposedly) didn't know what was going on in their house for the past 24 years.

Either way - put all of that shit together in one lump, and you probably have the most disturbing set of news that I have ever encountered in my life.

Three kids - 19, 18 and 5 years old - who have never, since the day they were born, seen the light of day... never ever been outside of that cramped living compartment this man had built under his house to keep his family imprisoned.

I would usually go about analyzing a thing like this - but this all goes beyond my ability to comprehend.

I find this more disturbing, even, than the likes of Andrei Chikatilo, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy or any other serial killer who's spread their terror upon us. At least the victims of these people didn't live to experience the horror every day for years and years.

Can either one of those victims - the mother, or the 6 children - ever go on to live a productive and happy life?

Sadly... I don't think so.

Since I am rather speachless on the subject - feel free to discuss this in the comments, where I'll join in to the best of my ability.



WWC / Page 123 Meme

2008-04-29T20:30:11.429+02:00

As the week hits Tuesday we all know what's going down by now... that's right - it is all about the Weekly Words Challenge! Hosted by the lovely no-day pretender Tink of Pickled Beef, this week we bring you the words ONE and WATER to play with.Now, I meant to catch up a bit with all y'all's blogs today, but let me just tell you I've had a horror day of the first degree! Starting off with talking to some imbecile over at the UO (of which details I will not go into, because we're all getting sick of the UO talk), after which I go to the car wash to get my car all nice and shiny. Yup - it got nice and shiny, and will cost me a pretty penny. Fucking numbnuts R.E.H. left the damn antenna up, and will have to replace it. See, I don't usually go to the auto car-wash. I do it manually... so I just didn't think about what the consequences of listening to music in the car would be...After that, I quickly (is how I thought it would happen) decided to get my summer tires on the car. I had them at this place for storage over the winter (by law in Sweden you have to change tires each summer and winter, and after May 1st you are not allowed to have winter tires on). I sat and waited at the place for over two hours to get the job done... after which it was too late to get to the shop and fix the antenna.They were nice enough though, and even bought me some ice-cream. Spring has sprung (HA!) upon us in a hurry - almost to the point of skipping it all together, bring on summer straight away. Nice and warm out today.Ooooh... I started rambling. Let's move on!I've been tagged with a couple of meme's and decided to get one of them out of the way today on WWC day.The HOT and SEXY Spiky Zora Jones over at Bit Player Reflects wants to know what book I'm currently reading, and tagged me to do the 123rd page meme that I've seen going around for a while. In case you haven't caught up on her blog, it is about time you do so - her blog is as HOT and SEXY as she is (somebody fan me!).Let's get down to it - there are rules (but I will not tag anyone else... feel free to do it if you feel so inclined) .The rules:1. Pick up the nearest book = Currently picking up on some of the books I missed reading back in the 80's when they were new ;) This one was left behind in the States, and I got it back last year. Only now have I gotten the chance to read it... The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub.2. Open to page 123 = Oki doki.3. Find the fifth sentence = "If it happened to me, I suppose I would," the man said.4. Post the next three sentences = "Well, I hope your mother gets better in a hurry.""You and me both," Jack said with perfect honesty. And that held them until the signs for the Oatley exit began to appear.5. Tag five people = Nope!With that taken care of... let's have a look at this weeks WWC pictures:Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I was running out of WATER pictures, because I've used so many shots of the river and the lakes in my surroundings for other WWC words - but I was able to find a few new locations.Next week we'll be playing with the words THREE and FIRE.[...]



Unemployed Ramblings

2008-04-28T20:06:19.397+02:00

After a bit of rowdy shenanigans over the weekend, it is time for me to do one of those "ramblings" posts again. You know, where I talk a little about this and then a bit about that - stuff that is currently on my mind in one way or another.And, more so than anything - the fact that I am now officially unemployed (as of today) is one thing that is on my mind. The workings of being unemployed in this country is absolutely crazy, and from what I hear, it is a lot worse now than it was when I last experienced this state of being about 4+ years ago. Hence, the title of todays ramblings are "Unemployed Ramblings".The Unemployement Office: The place to go when out of a job is the Unemployement Office. This is required for you to recieve payment from the Union (we pay monthly as we work - or not - to a pool of money from which we can collect unemployment benefits for up to six months... after that, we become the product of the welfare system). Unless you are registered with the unemployment office, you can not collect the money.This all sounds reasonable to me. But, it is how things at the UO (Unemployment Office) are handled that pisses me off. Not only do they treat you like dirt - they refuse to help you, and as you walk in with a million questions (as you don't have a clue how things work around here) they point you to a computer. I don't want a computer, I can log onto that site at home... I came all the way down here because I felt the need to speak to a human being and have my questions answered. You then have to book a meeting, and hope you get to talk with someone who knows a thing or two. From my last experience of this place - very few of the people working here can tell you a damn thing worth knowing.Top this off with the fact that they force people to take jobs - any jobs they think are suitable for you. That means, that because I have experience in retail - every single retail job available is going to be forced upon me. They don't give a damn that I don't want to work in that line of work any more... and if I refuse - there goes my benefits, and welfare isn't going to give me any money either... so I would stand without any form of income (save from robbing a few convenience stores and the occasional boondocks bank). Lately, I hear from others, they have also taken it upon themselves to force people to move to another city if they can find you a job there... listen - I'm not moving to another city in Sweden - if I'm moving, it'll be a hell of a lot longer than that. I've even heard of some people being forced to take a job in our neighboring country of Norway (see, them Norwegians actually have jobs)... how in the hell is that going to help the unemployment crisis is Sweden?Beware, as this goes on, that I may have some very angry rants on this blog - it's all coming back to me now. What it is like to be unemployed in this country. I swear to you, I would rather be locked up in jail... hell, they even have their own Union Reps in jails over here - not long ago (and, no I'm not kidding) they were fighting for their rights to have televisions in their cells, and for their rights to have access to PORN!Guys... these are criminals? Many of them sexual predators... they have NO right for porn. You know, as long as TV and porn is readily available - I'll go to jail and actually enjoy it too.See how that happens? You talk about the UO, and you finish up in jail. It is all too much of a possibility that this happens too... I might end up hurting someone in one of my visits there."HOUSE DOCTORS": A number of years ago, things changed in the local medical centers. We no longer belonged to a certain health facility, but rather to a specific doctor. As these changes took place, I know I filled out the papers so that I could see the same doctor I had been going to since I was a kid. I [...]



7 Deadly Sins: Sloth

2008-04-24T21:13:31.861+02:00

After yesterday's post it is only fitting enough that we continue the 7 Deadly Sins series and have a close look at the sin of Sloth.When I started this series, and did that little test/quiz it showed me that my most prominent sin was that of Lust. I guess, if we're going to be totally honest, that Lust is what is on my mind more than anything - and let's face it: The questiones asked on that quiz wanted to know what is on my mind. Which is probably why I don't score high on Sloth.I mean... who's going to choose the option "lie around doing nothing on a couch" over "have kinky sex with a beautiful woman". It is quite easy to direct people in a certain direction...Sloth, however, may actually be the sin that I indulge the most in. Especially of late, as you learned from yesterday's little post.Anyway. Before we get too deep into the thoughts on Sloth, lets grab that quote from wikipedia as has become customary in this little series... it gives me a good reference to look at while I write.More than other sins, the definition of sloth has changed considerably since its original inclusion among the seven deadly sins. In fact it was first called the sin of sadness. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness — the last being viewed as being a refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world He created. Originally, its place was fulfilled by two other aspects, Acedia and Sadness. The former described a spiritual apathy that affected the faithful by discouraging them from their religious work. Sadness (tristitia in Latin) described a feeling of dissatisfaction or discontent, which caused unhappiness with one's current situation. When St. Thomas Aquinas selected Acedia for his list, he described it as an "uneasiness of the mind," being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing Sloth as being the "failure to love God with all one's heart, all one's mind and all one's soul." He also described it as the middle sin, and as such was the only sin characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love. In his Purgatorio, the slothful penitents were made to run continuously at top speed.The modern view of the vice, as highlighted by its contrary virtue zeal/diligence, is that it represents the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. For example, a student who does not work beyond what is required (and thus fails to achieve his or her full potential) could be labeled 'slothful'.Current interpretations are therefore much less stringent and comprehensive than they were in medieval times, and portray Sloth as being more simply a sin of laziness or indifference, of an unwillingness to act, an unwillingness to care (rather than a failure to love God and His works). For this reason Sloth is now often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission. The South American animal was named after this sin by Roman Catholic explorers.Oooh... that's a bit of a longer paragraph than the others got. So, lets get right to it!It was first called the sin of sadness: You know. I think the vast majority of us when we hear about Sloth, we think of laziness... of not doing anything and basically just wasting time. We picture a dude with an enormous beer belly, sporting a torn and dirty old white t-shirt, and a can of beer in one hand. His other hand reaching under his equally dirty boxers scratching his balls while watching some uninspiring talk show host interviewing sex-crazed teens. I had never even heard of Sloth as Sadness before... but reading it makes perfect sense to me. I don't think anyone can reach the stage I just described without experie[...]



Inside Looking Out

2008-04-23T21:46:09.307+02:00

I said that I was going to go a little "old-style" on you people this week, and blog a little bit about the current situation that I find myself in. As you regular readers have probably noticed, there has been a lack of posts that speak of what is going on in my life of late... well, let's have a peak, shall we - and I'm sorry I don't have too many good news to share.Apart from the party happening this weekend, there really isn't anything fun to report.I mean, as I lost my job, I thought of it as a good opportunity. I hated the place, and under no circumstances would I want to return to work there - I am still very pleased to be out of that hell hole.But, what I have found out since I didn't have a place to go every day for work is this.A) I have a tendency to fall into apathy. I am nowhere near as productive now that I should have all the time in the world to be that. I am not utilizing all this freedom to my advantage, and time flies.B) When looking for a new job, I have only come to the conclusion that there isn't a single job out there that I would enjoy working at. At least not jobs that are available or jobs that I am qualified to do.Now, I thought about packing up and leaving the country. Fucking brilliant idea (excuse the french, but I get emotional sometimes)! This is in fact the one thing that I really feel would be right for me at the moment. It is right for me if I am being 100% selfish, that is.I'm still planning to go - but it won't be likely to happen until earliest at the end of the year - probably even next year sometime. In the meantime I need to save up a few dollars to get me started when I get over to the States. I mean, I'm gonna need some rent money, a car, and enough cash left over to feed me for two-three moths until I am sure I have a steady income... or, I could try to get a job from here and have that ready for me when I land. I wonder how that would work?Either way... I could use some more savings before moving. I am not going to completely drain my current life savings for the move, because who knows the repurcussions I would suffer then! And, saving up money means I need a job, because what I get from the state is barely going to cover my bills. And, I'll probably be living off pasta and... well pasta and ketchup. Water on the side ;) Nah, it's not gonna be that bad... I'll probably be able to afford a bowl of freshly boiled rice every once in a while.This job that I should get could be anything that pays a decent salary. I can't be too picky, but still I am faced with a few retail jobs as the only choice, and Lord knows I don't want to do retail again. I did see a sales job that would require a lot of travelling, and that I could do - I like to travel. Problem was, salary was only based on sales, no basic payment at all, and I've tried that before. That was the only job I ever had in which I actually lost money instead of made any. At least I got to stay at hotels for free for a month. In total, though, I'd lost about 2.000 dollars on that job in one month... so you can see my aversion towards these types of businesses.Writing... journalism. This I could do, and I do believe I could do it well. A few years ago I even wrote a few pieces for the local newspaper, and I did a couple of movie reviews. But, try to get hired at a newspaper without a degree in journalism to show... not gonna happen.So... should I go back to school? I guess - if I want to get a better job than your average junk piece of work. But, going to school right now is a waste of time and money. If indeed I am going to move, that is simply out of the question.End result of all that I just wrote is - I really don't know what I want or what to do to get it. Not right now.So, at the moment, I try to spend some time at the gym workin[...]



WWC / Party Time

2008-04-22T20:01:44.043+02:00

(image) At the blink of an eye, another week has passed us by and it has become Tuesday again. And, as always Tuesday's are when we play a little game called the WWC (aka Weekly Words Challenge).

The fun and games is, as you darn well should know, brought to you by Blogville's very own gorgeous Prom Queen, Tink of Pickled Beef, and the words she has chosen for us to play with this week are FIVE and WIND.

For a second there I thought I wasn't going to get any pictures this week, because there has not been a hint of a breeze in the air all week... but, I started to think outside the box a little and came up with quite a few pictures for you this week.

Another little note. I got a call from a (former) co-worker the other day, and now they've finally decided to throw me a going away party this weekend. It has been something we always do when someone leaves the job - throw them a party in their honor. I was beginning to worry that I wasn't "popular" enough for them to want to party with me... hehe. And, some of these people I still consider my friends. So, it's going to be fun - and I'm going to get wasted.

Yes, I really don't have a choice. This one girl, who made the call, is probably as good at drinking as my favorite party gal Tequila Mockingbird. There is just no way anyone can escape the liqour assault when she's around... and, she's always a lot of fun.

Well, Friday is my last official day of employment at the place - so I guess now is the time to actually go crazy.

Ok - with that said... let's look at this weeks WWC pictures:

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Those are my pictures for this week!

Tink hasn't posted her WWC yet, so I'll get back here to update this post with the words for next week once she does.

Tink has now posted her WWC, and announced that the words for next week are ONE and WATER. That should be reasonably easy and fun (last time I said a WWC was going to be easy I struggled like hell).

Don't forget to check out the pictures for the next PFC in case you missed the post yesterday!



PFC #4

2008-04-21T13:47:11.042+02:00

As we move on the the fourth edition of the Picture Fiction Challenge I can tell you that this thing has become a much bigger success than I could have ever imagined. And, there have been some excellent stories written, so it has been a whole lot of fun blog-hoppin' and reading up on your stories. I would like to take this opportunity give my thanks for participating to those who do, and also a big Thank You to those who do not participate, but still show up to read and comment on the stories.Any newcomers who would like to try their hand at this writing exercise are of course welcome - last month saw yet another couple of newbies who offered some really good stories. You will be able to access last months stories from the sidebar links all month.And, don't forget to check out the ARCHIVES for previous PFC entries!The deadline for PFC#4 will be set at May 14th - May 16th, which should give you ample time to write a story.If you're new to the game, you might want to read through the rules below. If not - scroll on down and get a peek at the pictures for next months story!THE PICTURES:Each picture below represents a certain aspect of the story. Analyze each picture and try to interpret what you see into the specific category the picture represents.Character(s): The main character(s) of your story. This is the person(s) whose perspective the story is told through. You can have any number of additional characters, but the one(s) on this picture are who we will relate to.Objective: This is the overall objective of the story. That which our main character is trying to achieve - what the MC is trying to reach. This is the objective of the story.Setting: The place where the story unfolds.Item: An item of significant* importance to the story.Random: This could be a picture of anything at all, and what you see on that picture must have a significant* importance in the story you write.*significant. That means that these things do not simply appear in a fleeting moment in the story. They hold an importance to the events that unfold, and are as such necessary to the outcome and progression of the story.THE STORY:All of the picture representations must be present in the final story.The story you write can be as long or short as you wish.You can write the story in either first or third person perspective.The story must be a fictional story.DEADLINE & POSTING:The deadline to post the story on your blog will be between 14th - 16th of May. Not sooner - not later! (Ideally, everyone posts on the 14th, but I'm giving you a couple extra days because there are many reasons one may not be able to post on a specific day)Let me know in a comment when you have posted your contribution, so I can add a link to your blog (and story) in a list of all participants on my sidebar.Read the other people's stories (only after you've posted your own) and comment on their writing.Those are the rules and here are the pictures that we get to work with for Picture Fiction Challenge #4:********************Remember! You can click the pictures here and go to the Flickr page they came from, so you can see higher resolution versions of them.Lots of colorful pictures this time around, and I'm hoping to see lots of colorful stories to go with it in mid May.Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the WWC![...]



Funday Sunday: "Crazy Taxi"

2008-04-20T12:47:21.933+02:00

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You gotta love those Japanese television shows!

Today I chose a Funday Sunday post which makes you think twice about riding a taxi ever again. I just wish I could understand what they are saying in this clip, but words aren't really necessary to get the feel here.

Anywhere else in the world - the TV-station would have their asses sued if they pulled a stunt like this! This would surely be the ride of your life.

Unless... if you're from New York City, this is pretty much just your average ride. Last time I took a cab in NYC (a couple of years ago) I actually hit my head on the ceiling.

Enjoy!




Wordzzle / Next Week Preview

2008-04-19T15:25:37.157+02:00

After missing out last week, I am back to play the Wordzzle challenge again. This is a fun little word-game that is hosted by the very talented Raven over at Views from Raven's Nest. Head on over to her place to check out the rules of this little game, and find out who else played!A lot of fun and interesting little stories usually come up during the Wordzzle play, so I recommend going around reading those (they are usually much shorter than the PFC stories).Lets take a look at the normal 10-word challenge: cocker spaniel, penultimate, fetters, warranty, tarmac, quartz, paparazzi, apple sauce, earsplitting, lackadaisicalAnd this is the story I came up with:The paparazzi was there to capture the moment of Adam Sanderman's mental breakdown. His lackadaisical approach during the punultimate race to win this years edition of American Idol was front page news on virtually all of the entertainment magazines."You're putting fetters on your own chances to win this thing", was one famous line from one of the judges. Up until the final stages of the show, everyone thought Adam Sanderman would win with ease.His Quartz watch had stopped working. Not that big of a deal. Get your warranty out and go get it fixed. It became much more of a deal than Sanderman would have ever expected. It's one thing to not focus one hundred percent on winning a competition - a whole other thing not to focus while you're driving a car.Before he knew what had happened, he had flattened an old lady's cocker spaniel to the tarmac of the road. In shock, he quickly exited the vehicle to the earsplitting screams of the old lady, and saw a mass that reminded him of apple sauce under the wheels. He snapped. A blubbering mass of incoherent mumblings, he fell to his knees and started to cry.The paparazzi was there to capture that moment, and the front page of Celebrity Report sported a graphic picture of Adam on his knees crying, behind him an old lady screaming with her hands held out. A close-up picture of the dead dog was inserted, and the caption read:AMERICAN IDOL'S ADAM SANDERMAN CRUSHEDWhat is the world coming to?Ok... I know. I broke one of the golden rules of writing with this one - and I'm sorry about that. I read in a book on writing once that you should never kill a dog if you want to get the sympathy of a reader. Dogs are man's best friend and all - but I have to go with whatever story line pops up in my head from these words. I hope I didn't offend anyone ;)Then, there is the mini 5-word challenge: spinach, interwoven, compromise, tennis, intangibleAgain... I went for the single sentence approach with this one:There is no compromise to the intangible rule that success as a tennis player is interwoven with eating spinach.There you have it. My Wordzzle contribution of the week!Tomorrow is Funday Sunday, and we'll see what I'll have in store for you then. On Mondays of late I have been running my new 7 Deadly Sins series, but will bump the next sin up until Wednesday or Thursday, as I will give you the pictures for next months Picture Fiction Challenge on Monday, and Tuesday's as you all know is reserved for the Weekly Words Challenge. One of those days next week, I am going to go old-style R.E.H. and tell you a little bit about my current situation.Looks like it will be a busy blogging week ahead!Don't forget to read up on my PFC story, in case you missed it![...]



PFC #3: "The Spirit Of Loa"

2008-04-17T23:19:01.128+02:00

After a bit of a garbage delay and some serious writer's block, I am finally able to present a story for this months Picture Fiction Challenge. I had to bang my head several times against the surface of my desk to shake out a few words today, hehe.Anyway - as you probably have noticed, I've been keeping the links up to date on the sidebar here, as well as in the archives - so I hope you all got around to read some good stories. I've been longing to do the same myself, but as it is nearing midnight here, I might have to save a couple of them for tomorrow.I might just as well tell you this before I present my story. The next PFC challenge will be announced on Monday. I've decided to present the next challenge quickly after the last one - that way we get a little more time to write. And - if you're anything like me - the inspiration level is higher right after you have posted and read these things, so maybe that'll help us all get a good jump.Well, enough of the chit chat - you have plenty of reading ahead of you as it is!Here is my story:********** THE SPIRIT OF LOA **********She weaseled her way down the streets in the Harbor District area, head down and a firm grip on her guitar case. She hurried as fast as she could walk, without running. She avoided making eye contact with anyone on the street. Dressed in a green mini-skirt and a red sleeveless top, her masculine features made her look like some crazed cross-dresser. Anywhere else in town she would draw attention simply by the way she looked. Not down here in the Harbor District. Down here is where all the low lives roamed the streets - the hookers, the tricks, the homeless, the druggies and their dealers. Every now and then she would lift her gaze to check out the surroundings and try to localize where she was, and where she needed to go.She had to be close now.An hour earlier she had left the hotel behind. The other girls were asleep, and she had gone up, grabbed her guitar and then she ran down the hall, down the stairs – too nervous to wait for the elevator – and through the lobby and out onto the streets. She was leaving her old life behind. She was leaving the band, the girls and the life she sold her soul to get.Growing up had been tough. She fought, she drank, fucked around and did drugs and alcohol. Her life was destined to be a short one, likely raped, murdered and left dying in the gutter of some deserted alleyway. She contemplated suicide often, but she loved her guitar. Playing her music made her feel good – playing her music is what would keep her sane and even alive. Her music was angry. She let everything out of her when she plugged the electric guitar into the amplifier.She wanted stardom. She wanted the world at her feet as she played them her music.That’s what Anabel had promised her. That’s what Anabel gave to her. And, now she was running away from it all, fearing for her life.Maxime Steel stopped for a second to catch her breath. She felt her heart pounding in her chest – even in her ears as she leaned against a wall. She looked up, trying to figure out where she was. She didn’t know this city at all – this was the first time she’d ever been here, but this place could provide her salvation. If the stories she heard were true, there was a small voodoo shop in one of the back alleys down here. The magician who ran the place was well known among practitioners of Voodoo. Pierre-Jean Brassard was a master magician, and only he would have the powers to save her from her fate.Her head snapped to her side as she heard a chirping sound. Her eyes fell on a yellow-rumped warbler as it landed in a small planted t[...]



PFC Garbage Delay

2008-04-16T13:03:23.642+02:00

(image) As I said yesterday, I won't be making the deadline on the Picture Fiction Challenge this month. Well, the deadline doesn't end until Friday, so I'll be on time really.

I'm just quickly stepping in here to give you guys a post where you can announce your own stories, so I can add them up as links to the sidebar here later tonight when I get back home. Also a good place if you're looking to read the contributions.

So, until I get my own story posted, I will not be reading or commenting on your stories (I don't want to be influenced in any way).

Good luck!

And, in the meantime - check out my WWC yesterday, in case you missed it!



WWC / Garbage Day

2008-04-15T23:48:06.092+02:00

After taking a week off from (just about everything) the WWC I am back to present some pictures for you. As you all should know by know - the WWC is brought to you by all our favorite walking plant with arms, Tink of Pickled Beef. The words for this week are CLOSE-UP and BACKGROUND.I offer quite a few pics this week, to make up for my no-show last week.But, before we go on. Let me just quickly tell you that I will probably be late with my own story for the PFC this month. I meant to start writing today, and finish it up tomorrow. Well, I didn't find the time today - and tomorrow there is this huge project I have to take care of. They're setting up a temporary junk yard around where I live tomorrow, and my mother has tons of junk she's been dying to get rid of. You know, bigger stuff. Like old furniture, mattresses or other things you can't fit in a regular trash-bin.So, of course, I have offered to go over there and clean out her storage rooms and all that stuff... I got plenty of junk myself to rid myself of so it should prove quite an interesting day. Call it garbage day! After that - I am headed to the gym. So, I'm not likely to return home until after 9PM - and you can understand that leaves little time for writing a story.When I get home though, I'll quickly gather all the links and set them up on the sidebar here to those who have posted on time. I will not be reading or commenting on your stories though, until I have my own up on Thursday.Enough of the PFC - lets have a look at this edition of the WWC.In honor of the word BACKGROUND I have stored each of these images in 1024x768 resolution, so they can all be saved onto your computers for use as your desktop BACKGROUND... just click my name on the slideshow, and it'll take you to the Picasa web album where you can download the pictures in all their glory (how'z that for original?)Here they are:And that does it for this edition of the Weekly Words Challenge. I took a quick peek over at Tink's place to find out the words for next week, and they are FIVE and WIND. Great! Thanks... it is always windy around here... except for the last three or four days - what Weather God shall I pray to for some wind?In addition to my lateness of the PFC - I'll put up a post first thing in the morning where you will be able to announce your stories, so people can start checking it out before I get back home to update the links.[...]



7 Deadly Sins: Greed

2008-04-14T21:59:46.466+02:00

To begin with...Short, sweet and to the point. I took a couple of days off... I needed it. I'll get around to reading your blogs again, probably tomorrow as it is getting late, and I wanted to continue my series on the 7 Deadly Sins.Ah! Today we shall talk about Greed. Now, personally, I would say that Greed is the one Deadly Sin which I do not (really) indulge in. I do not consider myself a greedy person.Well, lets face it. If someone walks up to me and asks if I want $10.000.000, and I don't have to do anything for it... I'm not going to say no. I'm not, by stating the above, trying to tell you that I don't want money or material things. Because I do. However... I am totally content with life as long as I got a roof over my head, and a daily meal on the table... with a few bucks to spare to enjoy myself every now and then.If being traditional was a Deadly Sin - that one I would be guilty of... we will continue the tradition of quoting wikipedia for the definition of Greed as a Deadly Sin:Greed (or avarice, covetousness) is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the Church) is applied to the acquisition of wealth in particular. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts. "Avarice" is more of a blanket term that can describe many other examples of greedy behavior. These include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain, for example through bribery. Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include Simony, where one profits from soliciting goods within the actual confines of a church. How do you like that? Lets start at the beginning of this quote...Greed is applied to the acquisition of wealth in particular: Ok... as I said. I do want money - so in that respect I am guilty. However, I am quite certain that the very vast majority of humankind shares this desire with me... to some extent. Do I need or covet an excess of money? No - not really. I wouldn't say no (we've covered that), but I will easily settle for enough money to be able to live a relaxing and enjoyable life. In order to do this, money is required - this is so payment of bills, shopping of groceries and (buying drinks for the ladies?) having some fun whenever I feel like it...Whenever I feel like it... ! A-HA!Yes, in that respect I am guilty. But, it isn't the money or the things that I can buy... my sin is that I want to have fun - maybe we'll have a closer look at that when we discuss Sloth...Man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things: Ooops... well, my "temporal" fun is important - but it's still got nothing to do with material possession or a bank vault full of un-spent cash...I found this sentence quite interesting though. I am not a religious man... nor am I an atheist. Lets just say that I am a man of belief who chooses not to go to church (except for - you know - funerals, weddings, christenings... the like). I have always been of the belief that if you are a good man on this earth, and treat your fellow humans (and non-humans) with respect and love... you will have your just rewards when you move on to whatever the afterlife has in store for us. I have never[...]



Nothingness Ramblings

2008-04-10T22:02:22.360+02:00

Now... I didn't have anything to say today, really. So I wasn't going to post anything... really.Then, I thought to myself, when you have nothing to say - what do you do?You ramble!Ramble on about nothing and anything, and find out what comes out of your fingertips and onto the keyboard. It is interesting, in it's own way, to see some text devolop on screen while you are barely aware of what you are writing, and where this is headed... so bare with me - this might be a strange and uninteresting read.KEYS: I'm gonna have to go back to my old/sorta current job tomorrow and hand in the keys that I still carry. They called me the other day and wanted me to bring them in, after which I told them I do not give my keys away until I sign the papers that say I've done so... if some other moron loses the keys, I'm not going to be held responsible. So, that'll be done tomorrow - then there is only two more weeks that the place will pay me, so I better get my ass out of this chair and start looking seriously for some jobs.THE GYM: Still going there as much as I can - just got home after a third straight day. Did some work on my back and the triceps today... my legs are still hurting from Tuesday's session. I had been neglecting the legs for a while, and sort of decided to work them extra hard - to get back on track with them... boy did I suffer yesterday for that one! Love it!RANDOMNESS: Did you all know that I have a thing for randomness? Well, I may have created a little something that most people are going to think is outrageously nuts - but I enjoy it immensely. See... I dabble a little in computer programming... well - that's pretty much a lie. I have a piece of software which makes a little computer programming so easy a five year old could almost make their own games. A lot of drag and drop functions, but you can use code to make more complex stuff - and this is what I dabble in.Ok, ok, already! What is this crazy thing you have done?I have made a little program which randomizes a weekly menu for me. Yes, a weekly menu of what I shall serve myself for dinner each day. I can easily add all my leftovers stashed in the freezer (and I have a lot of food in there - I always make 3-4 servings, eat one and freeze the rest). I can also add into the mix some new recipes that I want to try out, a bunch of dinners that I often make... then - at the click of a button, a menu pops up, and I go with it for the entire week. Not only does it save me from thinking about what I should eat each day, it also makes sure that I eat those leftovers in the freezer.I started this little project this week.I am pretty sure this makes me the only person on the planet who has a randomized weekly menu...And you guys thought I had an ounce of sanity? No, sir. I'm as looney as they come!And... at risk of sounding conceited or pompous - well, I've been given yet another award. My favorite little Single Girl in the City bestowed me with the "Gratitude with an Attitude" Award... how sweet is that?Now, I'm going to pass this baby along - but I'll get back to you on that one, because today I'm not really functioning as well as I like to when deciding who gets an award and who doesn't (this time). So keep your eyes peeled for when I announce the "winners" of this particular one.In the meantime - if you haven't checked her out (I sure have!). Go visit Single In The City and marvel in her fun posts, and her wonderful persona. She's well worth a visit... or even a little bit of a stalking - just don't scare her... because then I'[...]



Better Than Butter

2008-04-09T18:09:22.193+02:00

(image) To begin with... I'll offer my sincere apologies to Tink of Pickled Beef, and everyone else who expected a little WWC play from me yesterday.

I was going to take my camera out yesterday morning and get some pics, but my head was blank. Couldn't come up with a damn thing that was either Rough or Smooth - one of those days when the brain cells have obviously decided that "today is a good day for closing down shop". On top of that, I wasn't home last night to even put up an apologetic post. I will hopefully make up for this terrible behavior next week - and I'll even try to come up with some shots for ROUGH and SMOOTH. Next week, I promise to be back in the action, when we play with the words CLOSE-UP and BACKGROUND.

I am such a pathetic loser!

Yet, I've been handed a couple more awards, and I thought I'd announce them today (how do you like that combo for today's post?).

First up, Jo of Whatever... spent some 8 hours or so in the kitchen, carefully sculpting a chunk of butter into the shape of a heart, and set up some beautiful lighting to take a picture of it. Then she ran it through some photoshopping to add the words "BETTER THAN BUTTER", and handed out this beautiful award to some people. She also explained why she thought we deserved this awesome award:

"REH is a bundle of complex goodies--romanticism, grit, domesticity, creativity that often leans towards the dark, a personality that inspires laughter, loyalty, empathy. It's very special the way these contrasts come together in him & make sense. He shares his life courageously, and isn't afraid to dig deeper."

I loved those words... I think I may have choked up a little there, reading that! Thanks Jo! I am honored!

(image) Then, Freakazojd over at Freakazojd's Palace also decided to bestow me with the coveted E! for Excellent award. That makes it a total of three times I've been awarded this one - and you all should know, by now, that my lucky number is 3! That's just fantastic!

Take a look over at the sidebar to see my Trophy Case, where these awards are now proudly presented for the world to see.



7 Deadly Sins: Gluttony

2008-04-08T00:21:02.949+02:00

As I continue my "series" of posts about the 7 Deadly Sins, we are about to take a look at Gluttony. As this series is also about me, we will refer to the definition with me as reference... how interesting is that going to be?Now I'm a guy who likes to eat. I've always enjoyed my food, my desserts and my candies. Not to mention potato chips and a mouth watering bar of chocolate.Apart from fulfilling the desire of Lust which we talked about last time, the desire to eat is one we need to fulfill or we will die. Lust is only important, really, when taking survival of the human race into account... that's not so important, now is it? Yeah, I'm joking... in case you are one of those people who have a hard time picking up sarcasm and irony.Let us also continue the tradition of referencing Gluttony from the ever popular web encyclopedia "wikipedia". This is how it describes the Deadly Sin of Gluttony:Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulpdown or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption ofanything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it isconsidered a sin because of the excessive desire for food, or its withholdingfrom the needy.[2]Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign ofstatus. Where food is relatively scarce, being able to eat well might besomething to take pride in (although this can also result in a moral backlashwhen confronted with the reality of those less fortunate). Where food isroutinely plentiful, it may be considered a sign of self control to resist thetemptation to over-indulge.Medieval Church leaders (e.g., ThomasAquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony (Okholm 2000), arguing thatit could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constanteating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.[3] He went sofar as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including:Praepropere - eating too soonLaute - eating too expensivelyNimis - eating too muchArdenter - eating too eagerlyStudiose - eating too daintilyForente - eating too ferventlyThis was a bit of a funny read, as I learned a couple more things about what Gluttony really mean... I always thought it was all about over-eating - excessive eating of generally unhealthy foods, while this shows that there are really other forms of Gluttony. Lets not get ahead of ourselves... we'll do the highlighting thing again.Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste: Yup - this is what I figured Gluttony was all about. Am I guilty? Hell yeah! At times, anyway. I come from a long line of family members who are natural born eaters... I have been to other family dinners and actually been worried that there isn't enough food. My eyes scouring the tables, while my brain wondering can I really fill my plate with the goods and still leave something for the others? See... our family always makes enough to have left-overs for weeks after a get-together. We are the kind of family who says "Come on. Have some more. There is plenty left."Stilll - I am the only one who [was] over-weight.Add to this a love of pizza, hamburgers and other kinds of junk food. Kentucky Fried, Taco Bells... man, I miss those two! Can't have'em around here.So, I eat a lot. I don't go hungry, that's for sure. But, let me ask one question? How important is it to eat moderately and healthy? Really?I lost weight. I've mentioned that before here. I went from 260 pounds down to 186 pounds in a[...]



Funday Sunday: "Fawlty Towers"

2008-04-06T13:21:17.192+02:00

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This week I bring you a clip from one of the funniest ever shows on television. The Brittish comedy series Fawlty Towers, where John Cleese plays the role of a hotel owner. This series had me laughing to the point of falling out of my couch at times. The clip is one in which he serves some German guests in the restaurant... he's obsessing a little about the war (The War, of course, being WWII).

I thought I'd offer you a little recipe today as well. Everybody seems to be doing it lately, and I don't want to be left out... so here is something that's really quick and easy to make, and yet mighty tasty - give it a try.

Pasta with Tuna:

1/2 onion
1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons honey
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1 can of tuna (6-7 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1/3 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Serve with
Pasta
Salad
Parmesan cheese


Here's how to do it:

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Chop onions... how hard is that? Breathe through your mouth to prevent your eyes from tearing up. I'm a regular Martha Stewart, am I not?

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Brown the onions in bottom of pot. Use olive oil for best results.

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Add rest of ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for about two-three minutes.

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Serve it up with pasta, some tomatoes and a salad. Garnish with some more fresh parsley.

Eat and enjoy!




Wordzzle Saturday

2008-04-05T11:24:46.806+02:00

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge time!This fun little challenge is hosted by Raven over at Views from Raven's Nest. She gives us 10 words from which we are to base a story, including all those words. There is also a mini-challenge, consisting of 5 words. Head on over there and check out her blog, and see who else is participating in the Wordzzle!The words this week were really tough, so it'll be interesting to see what people have come up with for this challenge. Let's have a look at what I've come up with:The words for the "normal" challenge were: fruitcake, necromancer, gibberish, marshland, Lone Ranger, hog-wild, effluvia, plaintiff, phonograph, fernAnd my story turned out like this:The plaintiff sat in disbelief in the courtroom, watching on as the trial went from strange to utterly ridiculous. The case against Humberto Valdez, aka the Lone Ranger, was getting out of control. According to his neighbors he was a total fruitcake, and people were sick of the effluvia originating from the marshland behind his property."It is a smell of death!", Prunella Simmons exclaims. "It is making the whole neighborhood unbearable to live in!"Humberto's face is red with anger."Of course it is the smell of death! It is the remnants of those who have passed on to the other side which reside out there.""Murderer!", she screams at him. "I swear the marsh is full of dead bodies. The smell! The smell!""I have never murdered anyone. I respect the living and the dead equally!"."Order in the court! Order in the court!", Judge Lithgow hollers, wanting to get on with the hearings. "Now, tell us again what it is that you do.""I am a necromancer. I speak to the deceased. The dead come to me through the marshland, which is causing the lingering smells. It is normal for this to happen, and I can't do anything about it. It is important work that I do - many people want to get in touch with their loved ones, and I can help them with that. We should be here talking about that fern on Prunella's property instead. That thing is un-natural, and evil. Many of the dead are afraid to come to me because of that un-godly fern."Prunella Simmons went hog-wild, listening to his gibberish, and suddenly flies out of her chair lunging at him in the witness booth. It took five strong men to pull her away from him, and pin her down on the floor. The court went into recess for the fifth time that day, to calm things down. There was no progress what so ever, and the plaintiff still sat there in disbelief - thinking the whole thing was like a broken phonograph recording... playing the same thing over and over again.Would this trial ever be over?And then there is the mini-challenge words: frozen, history, myrmidon, Shylock, incapacitatedAnd a teeny-weeny little "story":The Shylock stared him down. Why was he not following his orders? His myrmidon hitman stood frozen, incapacitated after hearing the history of the man he was sent to murder."Why do you refuse!", the Shylock says angrily."The man you speak of... he is my long lost brother."Come back tomorrow for a little Funday Sunday entertainment![...]