Friday, January 22, 2016

Lost to Addicted To Pranking 
What addiction has made one person lost 
Another person is lost in his addiction to pranking 


Lost (sonnet) 

Lost in a dream which was made just for me
One scented flower captivates my heart
Veiled only in the softest melody
Each ember waits for destiny to start
-
Lost in a wish an angel left behind
Outside the need of what they say is real
Vast as the heavens which the stars designed
Enduring kiss must venture what I feel
-
Lost in a whirl and lost for evermore
On this one wish my flowered dream to hold
Visions set into moonbeams then will sore
Eternally our love will be retold
-
Lost in a single minded point of view
Lost in this thought this feeling over you


Why didn't I label this a Shakespearean sonnet? I didn't feel the iambic rhythm was strong enough. Why didn't I make the rhythm stronger? It has to do with something unmentioned, yet strongly mentioned. The speaker is obviously lost. That is why every stanza starts with the word "lost" and twice in the rhyming couplet. Lost in what? The sonnet doesn't say. Or does it? (Check out the first letters of the quatrains.) 

Love is a wonderful, a beautiful, a fulfilling, a strange thing. (At least for me.) It has many forms. There is the love we feel for our surrounds. The love we bear for our fellow man. The love that binds us to our family. That "thing" that overwhelms us for that someone special. I'm pretty sure I may have glossed over many other expressions of love. This poem plays with that hard to explain something which poets have built stairways to the stars and back. I am one of those believe in and  has danced through the fantasy of love. I believe love is proof  there is more to existence than science can explain. Is there magic? Are there miracles? Explain to me young lovers. Young lovers? Explain to me how a 56 year old man became ageless when he met Amor; my wife and the person I'm lost in. 


We probably saw this coming: Air Supply "Lost in Love" 

It's been a while since we had a prank video, so 


According to The Electrical World (the Feb. 2, 1884 edition), the first prank pone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell. Anyone who follows YouTube (like me) knows how popular pranks can be. Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla, of Smosh. believe that some people are addicted to pranking. They have put together this video to help us recognize such a person and to possibly help them recover. 
Then again, if the prankster is making money from YouTube... "ADDICTED TO PRANKING (GONE SEXUAL)" 


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Love planted a rose, 
and the world turned sweet.
Katharine Lee Bates

Dreams He Had to Copy Machine Disaster 
One man reflects on his life amazing 
One man reflects as wonders copy themselves before his eyes amazing 


Dreams He Had (Shakespearean sonnet) 

The dreams he had were setting one by one
And all he did now seems so far away
For him another morning had begun
So far away from things of yesterday
-
Gone were the people that he used to know
Gone were the needs which counted on his light
Gone were the reasons for that one more show
Gone were those lonely voices in the night
-
And yet the sun is still warming the sky
While flowers give breezes their gentle scent
There cups full of hope will never run dry
With nothing to doubt no need to repent
-
He goes to mirror refreshing the air
Surprising to see that he is not there


A Shakespearean sonnet of another type. Rather than love, we have a person reflecting on life. We begin with an introduction into his thoughts. Then follows an ostinato (repetition) of things challenging his serenity. Then appears a sense of reassurance. Lastly, comes the rhyming couplet, and what happened? 

For some of us, life goes pretty much as it was planned. For others, like me, life seems to go through many changes. I went to college to be a music teacher. I wound up at Chevron as a creative artist. I was never better than average at sports. Yet I found myself as a youth soccer coach. When I tried to make sense to my ancestry, Freemasonry stretched out its hand to me. Tell that 20 year old he would be as active in charity as I was and he would ask if we were on drugs, as soon he himself would be. Our lives were not like this, but I'm certain some can relate. We listen to the news and stars, we are familiar with are dying. Perhaps people close to us are no longer there. Places that held a special meaning to us are gone or have changed. And we are growing older. What are we to do? There once was a person who reflected on a "mirror" to find they were no longer there. 


A touch of inspiration: Frank Sinatra "My Way" 
(It's not over) 


Let the magic begin 


Polygraphs, mechanical devices that move a second pen parallel to one held by a writer, are thought to be the earliest copy devices (next to the pen itself). It is now the 21st century and a young man walks into a copy shop. He needs a few copies made. He bumps into Michael Carbonaro (famed magician) and is about to get much more. 
Ironic isn't it: the polygraph operator would find the modern copier as magical as a young man would find Michael Carbonaro. "The Carbonaro Effect - Copy Machine Disaster" 


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You don't stop laughing when you grow old, 
you grow old when you stop laughing
 George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Lonely Man’s Rose to Elder Wars 
A fantasy of a man as he grew old 
A fantasy shared by two men who were already old 


The Lonely Man’s Rose (poem) 

A lonely man once stumbled on a rose
The most attractive beauty to his eyes
For her a sense of purpose would repose
For him this life could hold no greater prize
-
He welcomed treasure into life and home
And promised he would have no love but her
A promise from which they would never roam
And for her gift such care would he confer
-
A light aglow would bless the place they live
For them there was no want nor a dismay
A passing storm their magic would forgive
And so a love would pass to yesterday
-
She stayed forever young as he grew old
Since day he found her she stayed his ideal
One sadness struck the night his death bell told
The rose was never real


Isn't this an Italian sonnet, we may be asking, It might have been, had it not been for the last line. It is not iambic pentameter. I tried to set up a comfortable mood and pull two surprises at the very end. If we back up to the third quatrain, we will notice that the conflicts (lines two and three) were covered up with pleasantries. The final question is our's - good thing or bad thing? 

There are a number of ways to look at "the rose". Is "the rose" a flower, a person or a thing or a faith? Let's take my wife, Amor. When I met her, she was a flower with many challenges. I took her into my home and heart. We had three unbelievable years, before I became ill. Now Amor surrounds me with memories of those wonderful times. Even though she is aware of the bleakness of my tomorrow, she presses me on with possibilities. I have said many times how Amor counteracts my would-be depression. Even more magical, Amor is no "spring chicken", yet somehow she manages to look better each day. (This is not just me complementing my wife. The people at her work want to know her secret.) When I die, will all this vanish? One more thought. The second to last line says, "One sadness..." Could this single sadness be a death? Now that our minds are open to more, "A lonely man once stumbled on a rose". 


Can any song be more fitting: John Andrew Stevenson "The Last Rose of Summer" 


From one old man's fantasy to two old men's fantasy - but wilder 


The history of chess spans over 1500 years. The earliest predecessor of the game probably originated in northern India. Or was it China? The scholars are still duking it out. If I don't have the facts (useless or not) why am I bringing this up? It seems a "friendly" game of chess was the beginning of much more. Woe is all I can say (or type). Who would have imagined two old codgers could be the source of so much destruction?  
AndrewM Films, that's who. "Elder Wars" 


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If you would create something,
you must be something.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sleeping Stranger to Bedtime: Fantasy vs Reality 
A lover must deal with the reality of her bed 
A mom must deal with the reality of bedtime 




Sleeping Stranger (Shakespearean sonnet) 

Who is this stranger sleeping in her heart
Where was the sun which swept her off her feet
That gallant dream which made each breath so sweet
So sad when things are left to fall apart
-
She searches through her mirror for a cause
But tears of brighter years forsake her view
Behold fair flower bore the winter’s dew
So sad when souls let go of all once was
-
Yet somewhere memories still dance and play
And arms unseen still come to hold her tight
She hears the songs which filled her with delight
She feels the warmth of that once brighter day
-
So sad what’s meant to last can’t carry on
The stranger woke to find that she had gone


More than a depressing sonnet. A bit of a turn in this one. We deal with a sad narrative in the first two quatrains. The "conflict stanza" brings us a shadow of hope. In the resolution couplet, we are dealt a mystery. What exactly happened? 

This was a tale of one of Arlene's high school friends. She fell in love with this marvelous guy, who would do anything for her. They got married. I don't know exactly what happened, but shortly after they were married the guy began to change. One night, there was a knock at the door. It was Arlene's friend. She had left her husband. She stayed with us a few days, before returning home to her parents. 
As I was putting this tale together, I reflected on others. We are all familiar with lovers who become strangers. Most happen in a longer period of time than this couple. Not all couples split up. but stay together. In some cases one or both partners cannot deal with leaving times behind. The stranger is a dream. As the word implies a "stranger" is a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar. In many ways this describes me and that wild guy I was in high school. Who was this stranger? Now that we have gone through this commentary, this was more than a depressing sonnet. 


To go with this edition, here's: Alicia Keys "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" 

From lovers to parent, we all deal with bedtime issues 


There is an urban legend going around that children laugh an average of 300 times a day and adults laugh 17 times a day. The facts seem to show adults laugh 17.5 times a day and it is unknown how many times a day children laugh. How does this misinformation get out there? Deva Dalporto may have stumbled on a clue. Story books tell us our children's bedtime should be "this way". But, as Deva points out, there is a vast difference between storybooks and reality. 
Maddening. Shear maddening. Is it any wonder how urban legends get started? "Bedtime: Fantasy vs Reality" 
(Well... there might be more to it than this) 

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Change is the law of life. 
And those who look only 
to the past or present 
are certain to miss the future.
John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

All That I Am to Sales Girl Drifts Customers 
A person tries to escape his limitations 
A girl helps men escape their limitations 


All That I Am (free form poem?) 

Let me loosen on you a thought I made
A thought I made
A thought I made
-
It came upon me while watching something outside
Outside the window of things I’m normally used to
Normally used to
Normally used to
-
I stepped beyond this person which I was
Was this the call of moments now beginning
Beginning conclusion of purpose undone
Purpose undone
Purpose undone
-
Almost forgotten were the tears warming my eyes
Eyes which followed the seasons to shadows
Shadows of streets I once walked to this
This youthful delusion of all that I am
All that I am
All that I am
-
Almost forgotten was the hope and the trust
Trust of people who believed there was so much more
More than this endlessly brief ticking of time
Time painted in glories by tomorrow’s hands
Hands whose faith and caring has all come to this
Has all come to this
Has all come to this
-
Dreamer forgotten waking to face winter’s winds
Winds from my memories loosed from their walls
Walls which were woven by things now unknown
Unknown perhaps because I cannot hear the truth
Truth calling from harsh mirrors of illusion
Illusion which will guide me to this end 


It looks like a free form poem, but let's take a closer look.  We have a speaker expounding a tale which grows with each stanza.  Each stanza (except the final one) is capped by a repetition. The speaker is free from the repetition as the poem concludes. Did we notice, starting with the second stanza, the new line starts with the last word of the previous line? A little more subtle. This word thing does not end. So much for free form poem. 

Can a rock float on water? We live in extraordinary times. Soon cars will be driving themselves. ( They are already better at parking without our help.) There is a rumor that the cure for cancer is at hand. It is no rumor we are living longer. All around us are examples of what but a few years ago would have been thought undoable. Undoable except for those who did them. Let me share a story with you. Circumstances put me in a highly creative job at Chevron. My specialty was "thinking outside the box". Chevron was engaged with closing a deal with Japan. I don't know why, but Chevron wanted me to float the American flag, the Japanese flag and the Chevron flag in mid air. Those who say, "money can't buy everything", have not had Chevron's money behind them. This was, in my opinion, one of my greatest tricks. (Well, not really mine, I just knew where to go to get this stunt done.) When the guests came to 575 Market for lunch, they saw 3 flags float in mind air (without strings). How was this accomplished? Clue - science. Science and opening up one's mind. Like the poem, there are still "somethings", "limitations","forces", the opposite of perfect freedom. Or do the rules no longer apply? Can a rock float on water? 


Are we ready: Gary B "Step into the Sunshine" 


Hold on to our seats as we return to the earth 

The name Danica Patrick ring a bell? Danica Patrick holds the record of being the worst NASCAR driver ever. Now take Leona Chin (Leona Chin Lyweoi).  Leona is a championship Malaysia/Chinese race car driver. She is so good, not to mention gorgeous, she is the ambassador for British Racing Motors. She is also a world class drifter. Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. Leona, Maxman TV and Mitsubishi Motors wanted to give a few men an experience. 
So much for the stereotypes of "women drivers" and "Chinese drivers". "Sales Girl Drifts Customers in Pickup Truck - Maxmantv" 



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The difference between stupidity and genius 
is that genius has its limits.
Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tale of Truth to 3 Things Toddler Took From Me 
Aging brings on some strange changes 
3 of which where changes brought on by a toddler 


Tale of Truth (English sonnet) 

So strange to walk the fields where I once played
They’ve changed somehow yet oddly still the same
It still has power to awake a flame
And though I left a part of me here stayed
-
Twas here the riches that was spring I’d claim
Twas here through streams of kisses I would wade
Such dreams enchanted memories were made
Such dreams were how a song of love became
-
So strange to walk this shadow of a youth
And see the flowers now no longer there
-
Tomorrow holds a diff’rent tale of truth
My fading sight protects me from its glare
-
And when I feel the bite of age’s tooth
The special scent from you rethrills the air


Just to go over some points of this sonnet. This sonnet contains two moods. First, there is someone who has grown old. We can feel his frustration as the second quatrain has repeating words. The sonnet begins with the words "So strange". As the sonnet switches to couplets those same words introduce the conflict and the change in mood. What began as regret turns to hope, that casts its light on the entire sonnet.  

As we grow older, we leave so much behind. Or do we? Even when we again grasp the things, the places, the feelings we have left behind, it sometimes hits us, strange how the "changeless" could have changed so much. For me, and hopefully for all of us as we reach my stage in life, life has granted wonderful an precious memories. As we grow to meet our sunsets we may find the rainbow of hope in a loved one. For me. and hopefully not for others, life has dealt a strange hand. I find myself far removed from a world I use to know. Facing a bleak uncertainty. My doctors want to prescribe antidepressants. Life has blessed me with Amor, my new wife. The flowers from my past may have changed or may no longer be there, My memories are still with me. And even if they should fail, Amor has the power to make me again dwell in delight. I pray we all have an Amor in our life so that we may face tomorrow's tale of truth. 


How about this to bring a tear or two: Julio Iglesias "Yesterday When J Was Young" 


If we didn't know, parents have to go through changes 


About 90% of kids are right handed and, it is believed that, there are more lefties in America than in other cultures. Back again is La Guardia Cross and his daughter Amalah to share with us the joys and the sacrifices of parenthood. In particular, La Guardia shares with us 3 things, he insists, Amalah took from him.  
When we see how cute Amalah is, it's hard to feel sorry for La Gurdia. "3 Things My Toddler Took From Me" 


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Memories of our lives, of our works 
and our deeds will continue in others.
Rosa Parks

Let’s Soar Once More to Keep Off The Grass 
What a difference Two lover soar 
Two enemies soar What a difference 


Let’s Soar Once More (Italian sonnet variation) 

Let’s soar once more midst all once meant to be
When kisses were the meaning of the day
Sweet whispers were the gates to fantasy
And memories were just heartbeats away
-
The palisades of flowers where we dreamed
Are sending scented winds upon our shore
A yearning burning waits to be redeemed
On paths now calling wonders to explore
-
The shadows of time can’t spoil this refrain
Which waters of spring sent Joy to maintain
And music of love sent sighs to explain
Till thoughts of you are all that remain
-
Let’s soar once more into eternity
Reliving again when souls learned to sing
Silent surrender our whims to set free
To promise of this once more let us cling


This starts out as a normal Italian love sonnet. An interesting thing happens on the conflict (third) stanza. First notice the traditional sonnet rhyme scheme is broken. A little more subtle is the rhythm change. The sonnet begins in iambic pentameter. This beat disappears with the "conflict" stanza. We think it returns in the fourth stanza, but it doesn't. 

Let's look at this song of love. I often talk about Arlene's and my first apartment. It had a remarkable and romantic rooftop view of beautiful San Francisco (the eastern side). A young coupe, in love, could be happy in this setting. And we were. Many of our friends were settling down. What I mean by this is: some were losing (or so it appeared) their excitement. Arlene and I were not about to let this happen to our dream. We set ourselves ahead of the latest trends, in an effort "for something". Our friends, who were trying to make it in show business and our imaginations would make wonders possible. Arlene and I wound up in a big apartment, were we threw big parties, some of which would last for days. Then came the days of parenthood. Arlene and I slowed down a lot, yet we were quite exceptional. We showed our love in every aspect of our children's lives, the PTA, coaching, education, weekends, vacations and much, much more. When our children went out on their own, Arlene and Martin were back. We were blessed to relive those marvelous times of our 20s. We would not be like those who let their romance seem to dwindle. We were exciting. Everyone wanted to be like us. Then we began to notice "them". Lovers whose love was ageless. One could look at them and see a love that hadn't changed since the moment they met. So the poem. 


How about a love classic with a Brazilian flare: Astrud Gilberto "Fly Me To The Moon" 

From doves to hawks - From love to laughs 

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is trying to convince us that a single grass plant can have more than 300 miles of roots. That may or may not be true. But many of us know or have seen lawn fanatics. People obsessed with their lawns. RocketJump studio has captured one of these fanatics on video. Watch what heights he reaches as he comes head to head with Mr. "I Don't Care About Your ?#@% Lawn" 
Watch as a man who loves grass confronts a man who doesn't. "Keep off the Grass" 



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Love knows no reason, no boundaries, 
no distance. It has a sole intention 
of bringing people together to 
a time called forever.
unknown