Hot

HOT

Wow, is it hot

chillin I’m not.

How can I make up the time that I’ve lost?

What was wrought

with this furnace you brought?

Did you think about what this would cost?

You think it’s okay

to burn up this way.

I tell you you’re out of your mind.

We’re humans I say.

We can’t live this way.

Now you’ve got us in a bind.

Turn off the heat

these temps we can’t beat

My flowers are going up in flames

I’ve used all our sheets

I’ve stomped with my feet

Still I can’t douse or contain;

This insane conflagration,

Stirs a terrible sensation,

That makes an end to refrains.

Stop for chrissakes, it’s hot!

 

First Week, first impressions

I am bad!  Ha!  Were you expecting that? I wasn’t.  I fully expected to be frazzled and at the end of my rope.  I’m not.  Not even close.  So far I am scoring well in the one class that has grades scored.  That’s Mass Comm 31 and I’m running at a 108%.  It would be 110% but for semantics.  Trick questions should be banned. ;~(

The first full week of school is behind me (coupled with my already in-progress online Mass Comm class) and it was a breeze.  I expect things will get a little more complex now, but not too much so.  I have to take and develop good pictures is all.  The morning class is about the basics (of taking a good picture) and we’ll probably shoot and develop at least ten rolls of B&W film.  The evening class is about individual projects, I have to turn in ten quality shots for the term in any discipline I choose…I’ll do five portraits and five landscape or animal shots.  The grading for the Individual Projects Class is based on improvement over the course of the term.  This should be relatively easy for me; since I’m a rank amateur, I will improve just showing up.

I am using the school’s film camera for this stage of my education.  The morning class is about film photography after all and I’ve always wanted to learn how to develop and make that particular kind of magic happen.  I’m easily fascinated with tech stuff, so this will capture my imagination and hold it for some time.  I decided to keep to the film process for the individual projects class too.  I’ll start using my Nikon DSLR next semester when I start Digital Photography classes.  I really want to learn this process from the ground up.  Photoshop can do some wondrous things, but imagine doing them without digital tech, eh.  Yeah, that’s why I’m doing it this way and you can do some amazing things in the darkroom.

The one thing that is standing out for me now is how unsteady my hands are.  Without the VR option (Vibration Reduction) of my DSLR, every shake is going to show.  I’ve fired off two rolls so far and I only notice the camera moved after I release the shutter, which is of course too late.  Unfortunately, there’s no “view” option on this thing.  I have to wait for it to be developed to see if anything came out at all.  :-O  Man, have we ever been spoiled!

As much as I thought I might be overextending myself, time wise, taking on a day class, a night class, and an online class; it hasn’t been near as bad as all that.  My one issue hasn’t been time, I have plenty of that.  It’s been that I’m not sitting in front of an instructor for the online course, so all the input comes from me and what I’m reading.  This is not optimal for me.  I get a lot from being in class it seems, and having to make up for that with my own reading is burdensome.  You all have read text books.  YECH!  Right?  Anyway, I don’t see them any differently.  For every module that called for reading from the text, I had to read it at least twice to capture the content, and still had to use the book to answer at least some of the quiz questions.  In my day,  that was unheard of…cheating.

In contrast, the photo classes are perfect.  well paced and I’m picking it up as I normally do, just from listening.  My Photo homework consists of rehashing my notes from the morning before, and I’m done.  Whereas, homework for Mass Comm takes hours, spent over days until I’m done.  Part of the issue Is that I’m so anal, the moment the instructor posts the lessons I’m on them and hammering away.  This is collaborative class so every chapter calls for some form of collaborative exercise.  The normal routine goes like this.  I slam through the reading and individual homework assignments/quizzes, then wait for the rest of the class to catch up so I can conclude that module.  These are mostly your typical teenage students who wait until ten minutes before the assignment is due to get it done.  This is great for them, but drives me bat-shit-crazy.  For instance, I would be done with this weeks assignments by now except that I have three collaborative exercises I need others to get on board for before I can continue.  UGH!  It’ll be Tuesday, end of day before they little bastiges get caught up.  ;~)  Anyway, unless I have no other way to fit a particular class into my schedule, I’ll be skipping the online option from now on.

I will say I am anxious about these two first rolls of film.  I’ve taken pics with a film camera before.  It was years ago though and I haven’t had to be concerned about shaky hands etc., since then…and I haven’t had to wait to see the results in years either.  I’ll develop these rolls this coming week and we’ll see.  I’ll post some here If I am able.  Black and White pictures are great to learn on.  With color, contrast is not as readily apparent.  We’ll see every nuance in a B&W pic, and every mistake too.  WHOOP!

I’ll post back here when the results are in.  Hopefully, we will like it!

It begins

I’ve been threatening this for almost a year now.  I think the time has come.  This is the perfect place and time to kick start the “Engage Me” project.  I have access to all kinds of artistic talent and facilities here at Las Positas College and I intend to take advantage.

Since starting this Mass Communications class, I’ve seen some of the more extreme examples of social media’s effect on lives, companies, regimes et al.  It is both frightening and inviting at the same time.  My little world of beating up liberals on Facebook isn’t even a zit on the butt end of worldwide interconnectivity via this new media.

In class, we are learning to use some of the tools associated with the new media phenomenon.  The following is a presentation I created using  Prezi.com, a simple but truly amazing tool.  I’ve only incorporated the very basic components available in the interest of getting all my assignments done on time.  Still, this is a great starting point for my project and I can certainly build on this as I go.  It’s important to note that had I tried doing this several years ago, I’d have taken days to do so.  I finished this admittedly simple presentation in two hours.

Engage Me

God save me, but I can’t do this fast enough…

OUCH!

Elderly Vets under fire?

Nearly nothing had been nudging my nebulous noodle for nigh on a never-ending story.  Then this popped up.

Christ, please give me a break.  Believe it or not, this is the very benefit I was just awarded.  We are just now getting all our “new” benefits sorted out.  Health care for spouse, dental and vision for me, commissary cards, tax benefits for home, etc., let alone an income we can afford to live here on…and now it’s maybe all going away.  OOF!

I have no words.  Thanks God I’m busy doing homework…FRACK! (Yes, I had to edit that last word five or so many times).  I’m trying.  Actual students may read this stuff now.  YIKES!

I still have no inspiration…none…hoping school reopens the channels.  Not writing sucks and now I’m afraid it will all be black, black, black anyway.

Twitter is fun actually, but micro-blogging just doesn’t suffice.  I can’t properly fricassee a politician in 140 characters.

Damn!  You pissed me off, Donald Trump! #sayitaintso

Twitter me this!

Attention friends and family!

As you may know, I am in school.  A requirement for one of my courses (Mass-Comm 31: Issues in Media) is a Twitter account.  You may also know, I don’t tweet.  Well, now I do; but, and you knew that was coming, this is for school only, please.  If you see me out there in the Twitter-verse; please, please, please don’t follow me or invite me, or whatever is appropriate there.  I spend too much time on FB, already.  (Who me?) Perhaps, when this is over, I’ll do as the instructor suggests and ‘remain connected’; then I’ll hunt you down and bombard you with 140 character artistic masterpieces. ;~)  BTW, how the heck does ANYONE express themselves in 140 characters?  This will have consequences!

I am quite excited about all this education stuff.  I was thinking (for a nonce, :-0) that it would wear off after my first assignments were due.  Ha, not even close!  This is great.  I have something to fill the gaps.  Unfortunately, though it isn’t Facebook, I still spend as much time on my butt, reading and keyboarding course related material.  This I think will wear off as I get used to the routine.  One thing I found quite amusing, yesterday as I was reading the text, my phone kept dancing across the table next to me as one after another notification from Facebook came rolling in, all about the most inane things one could imagine.  None of it was meaningful, really, and there I was reading about how social media had completely enveloped our lifestyles.  I had to put the book down and inform the Facebook world of my revelation before it sunk in that I had just demonstrated the point exactly.

It’s not all fun and games.  I find that reading text is just as tedious as it was in the 70s.  Back then, if I ran into a course that required lots of non-technical reading, I would have given up after a few paragraphs and winged it until I was failing the course, then stop going.  The difference this time, I guess, is that I’m really interested in the subject matter. Not only that, I’ve lived through most of its history, from “Do-Wop” radio to this near “tricorder” universe we live in now, so I’ve “seen it all”.  This is a perspective I think a lot of my classmates will not have, and as such, I’ll present a very different viewpoint for social dialog in the class…probably.  In the interest of learning and experiencing the discourse, I slog through.  Besides, class ensues in my lounge chair whenever I feel like it.

One drawback to having all this available time right now is that I am way ahead of the curve, as far as getting the work done is concerned.  I have nothing better to do with my time right now, so I spend a lot of it reading the text book and doing as much of the assignments as I can, then I go back and read the book some more, while I wait for the class to catch up…lol.  I imagine a bunch of kids who just finished Spring Semester and who are not quite ready to rock.  They aren’t as speedily zipping through the assignments.  This class is about Social Media, so we all must be connected.  I’m ready.  They aren’t.  None of them!

BTW: I don’t fear calling them kids because they are going to call me Mr. at least once…every stinking one of them. 🙂

Now, you know me!  Two hours after no one else had registered their Twitter names on the class discussion board so I can search for and follow them (this is an assignment), I’m sure I’ve done something wrong.  Not only will it be wrong, it will be ridiculously wrong.  Wrong enough that I will need to hang my head in abject humiliation (cybernetically, of course, since this is an online course).  Everyone will know who the Twitter rube is.

Searching frenetically through my new Twitter profile for the inevitable stupid mistake that has thwarted my most earnest efforts to “get connected”, I finally find and feverishly fix it.  I used a ‘#’ instead of an ‘@’.  “Fool!  FOOL”, says I.  But, no matter, I found it and I fixed it.

That was yesterday!  Still no one has posted their Twitter call-sign.  Nothing!  No catchy twists of their real names, no basic newbie-don’t-take-any-chances-on-being-too-cute names like mine, no Nom de guerre.  Sigh!

So, I wait!

Of course, I should mention that I am 80% through the week’s assignments already and they aren’t due until 11:59pm Tuesday next, but that would completely denude the anxiety, and I’ve already queried the instructor twice as to why this was going so slow. Do you think that was a bit aboveboard?  Harrumph!

To be sure, I start real school next week where I’ll be attending class at the College.  I’ll be far more taxed, time-wise.  I’m trying to get as much of this Mass Comm online course under my belt as possible before then.  This summer will be a good warm up for fall when I have a bit more of a commitment to make.  If I find the Summer schedule is too demanding physically, I still have time to draw back on the Fall schedule a bit.  Am I worried?  A bit, yes, but aside from family, I still have little better to do with my time; so, there is no excuse.  My back should be fine.  I am getting shots soon and the classes are mostly held in a lab environment so I can stand up as much as I need to for a break.

I know I can do this.  Every course I will take is one I selected and want to take.  The subject matter is what I’ve dreamt about doing for a lifetime.  When I finish here, what I create will be net/magazine-worthy and I will publish my work…unless it sucks, of course.  Still, I know this won’t be easy.  It is just what I want.  That’s usually enough.

When I’m inspired to write, I often have seen something that triggered the thought.  It has frustrated me in the past that I have no avenue to express the entire inspiration to you.  Frankly, other than some musical talent, I suck at what I call the “physical arts”, dancing and drawing, for instance.  Professional level camera skills and refined writing skills will fulfill that expressive desire for me.  This newer genre of written art, Haiku, seems to be tailor made for the Twitterverse.  I have experimented a little already.  Now I want to learn enough about Photoshop to make the edits I want and then add the thoughts that come to mind when I’m finished repainting my pictures…

You might ask, “You’ve waited all this time, why are you in such a hurry now?”

“Aha” I say, “I have until Nov 2018 to use the Voc Rehab money the Workers Comp Insurance provided after my injury”.

It’s a fair amount and coupled with what the state has pitched in, it could cover the entire path to the degree I aspire to, if I could squeeze all that course load into a year and a half that is.  I probably won’t, but I’ll get close and that’s good enough for us to finish on our own dime.  I’ll have all (well, most of) the Photo/Video gear I need by then, thanks to the Insurance Company’s Voc Rehab grant and the State’s grant.  We’ll find a way to finish the few credits I might have left, if any.  Aside from online studies, another way to crunch a little is to take night courses as well as having a daytime schedule.  I’m trying this out this summer and fall.  We’ll see!

So, zoom, zoom…  There is one issue I do have to address about being in a  rush, at least in the online studies world.  Back in the day, I found that the longer I dwelled on a question, the more likely I was to think of several different answers to it and then the doubt would creep in.  So, I got in the habit of blazing through tests as fast as I could go.  When I was done, I’d go back and review, but most times I found my first answer was the one.  I can’t go back now, at least I don’t think we can, so I must do it right first time.  No matter!  It’s just a different way to do the same thing.  It did cost me a point though on my second quiz.  I bet this will be another short learning curve issue.  GRRRRRRR!  Live and learn.

Thanks in advance for letting me be, Twitter-wise…just for now.

CaliHurd.

PS: One of the remaining assignments for this week is to write an essay on our experience with Twitter.  I see that I can simply cut and paste from here and I’ll have most of that finished. ;~) Let’s call it 85% done then. 😉

ENGAGE ME. I AM ONE OF YOU.

I’d meant to publish this in it’s musical format in memory of my Brothers, but I’m just not there yet.  My voice is still shot, my guitar work is shaky, so, I decided to let it go as is for today and I’ll get back to the musical version as I can.  They wont mind as long as I didn’t forget.

RIP Santi.  I know you’re watching.  I miss you Brother.  Hi to Prince and Rex.

Engage Me

What was the price I was supposed to pay?

What quest did I fail, to whom should I pray?

Did I come back too whole to warrant your greetings?

Was my soul not enough, or were your graces too fleeting?

Best friends dying, some gone in the head

Others are drowning in poisons instead

No one back home cares a damn for this mess

They wish it was over they do confess

 

Engage me

I’m not a name on a wall

Engage me

Just one little call

Engage me

Why do you stall

Engage me

This will end in a fall

 

If you live through the chaos and make it back home

They’ll think you’ve been brainwashed, a killer drone

If you don’t conform and act just like them

You’ll be banished for life, scorned and condemned

People will leave you without recourse

No one will show one bit of remorse

They’re done with you now, you’ve outlived your need

Move along soldier, we’ve got a new breed

 

Engage me

There’s a price on my head

Engage me

I’ve made mistakes that I dread

Engage me

I’ve been so scared that I fled

Engage me

Give me some purpose instead

 

Once you were golden, the cream of the crop

The best of the best that no one could stop

Your buds had your six, they kept you alive

Twenty-four seven, three sixty-five

Now you’re a nothing, you’re on your own

Left for dead in the VA zone.

Nothing can be done, there’s nothing we can do

Just roll over there, boy, join the twenty-two.

 

Engage me

I cannot live in this place

Engage me

So, I don’t fall on my face

Engage me

My choices end in disgrace

Engage me

Give me a chance in this race

 

Nobody warned us how you would turn

That in a moment you could burn

All that we gave, and all that we saved

You’d be happy to lend us an early grave.

What if we didn’t answer the call

What if we turned away from the brawl

How would your towers still stand tall

What good would be done if we all fall

 

Engage me

I don’t want to be through

Engage me

I am one of you

Engage me

Can’t you see that it’s true

Engage me

I bleed red, white, and blue

 

I am just like you

end

Signs of America healing:

GOP in a TKO

Republican Greg Gianforte wins Montana’s U.S. House special election after being charged with assaulting reporter.

TKO-GregG

Today, its possible to punch a jerk-off reporter in the face and still be elected to the House.  At least you can when the media owned purveyor of bovine fecal matter falls out of his safe-space tree into your hood.

This is good.  My face is hurting from the smile.  Now we just need a few ANTIFA girlie-men to show up in Montana.  BOOM!  Thousands of wannabe gangstahs will suddenly unmask and reveal themselves to be Google, Amazon and Facebook software engineers on paid vacation, yelling “no mas, no mas”.

There are two problems I see with this development in Montana, though.  First, Gianforte is going to face some legal penalty, possibly jail time.  That sucks because he was provoked, repeatedly, by these media thugs.  (Does anyone know a good lawyer…hey, OJ?)  The second (probably because of # 1) is that Gianforte found it necessary to apologize to the offensive reporter.  At least he waited until after the election results were in.

The heck with that, Greg.  You were right.  Apologizing will yield nothing.  This kind of “in-your-face-abusive-reporting” is all the lefty media do.  In fact, they will not report unless it feeds their agenda and, since reality doesn’t, they regularly create one that does fit, then blitz it down our throats.  Anything that doesn’t fit that narrow view is labeled “alt-truth” and as such, may be ignored and/or mocked.  Millions of previously self-thinking Americans have been swallowing this crap for decades now.  Goebbels is dancing in the flames of hell.

Well, if it takes them getting their butts kicked, let’s do that.  Let’s kick butt until this bullcrap stops, once and for all.  If that’s what it takes, then let’s keep kicking butt until we reach the offices of the a-holes-in-chief of these media outlets, and kick their butts too…figuratively speaking, of course.

The real plus to this development is that Montana’s “we the people” spoke their minds, despite the piled-on last-minute media blitz to destroy Gianforte’s chances at the polls.  The voters didn’t care one whit for that reporter, and, God bless them, they told the lefty media to piss off and elected Greg Gianforte to the US Congress.  This is so heartening.  This is GRAND!  Real people, in real, unadulterated, heartland America, ignored the bullcrap vomitus of the left and voted for Liberty.

Excuse my repeated vulgarity, but this is one event that just calls for it:

HELL YEAH!

Ahem!

So, you ask, ‘how do we “kick butt” without getting ourselves thrown in jail’?  Certainly, we wont get away with physically popping reporters in the chops.  As much as we might want to…need to…pray for the opportunity to, we really shouldn’t go postal.  We everyday Joes do not have the kind of pull needed to avoid/survive the ramifications (and I’m only assuming that Gianforte will survive himself).

What we can do is refuse to participate in this farce.  We can refuse to use outlets that refuse to report the truth.  There are alternatives.  There are even brand-new News Media outlets on-line that report real news, minus the obligatory drivel the left calls news and the myriad sales pitches you get with the main-screamers.  There are TV show streaming services too.  Yes, these new players have sponsors but there’s not a 50/50 split of news/shows and ads, and like I said, it’s real news.  FOX News is not the answer, though many of their local affiliates are parsecs better than the other alphabet media outlets.  Beware when you’re searching for relief online, though.  Outlets like Brietbart and The Daily Caller only show their side and mock the other, though I will say that Brietbart only reports truth.  the Daily Caller is one step up from the Enquirer and in some circles, that would be an insult to the Enquirer folks.

This poisonous atmosphere has permeated all levels of the media.  I don’t listen to the radio at all except for music and I switch channels the second the drones start talking (except Brian Thomas of KAT Country 103).  I stopped my daily print delivery.  As much as I want to support a dying industry, I wont support a bullcrap machine that is also 50% or more advertisement.  I get my news from local FOX affiliates, online, my dogs…and Fakebook!!!  When FOX goes to commercial, I switch channels for 3 minutes.  I get a feed from Brietbart and some few others for fact checking purposes.  I get The Caller on my fakebook feed for laughs.

BTW:  Isn’t it funny how the biggies (Mega News Outlets) are so full of themselves? They preach to us about how “for the people” they are, yet 50% of their output is profit earning commercials.  Are “you the people” getting anything from those profits?  How many of you spend hours every day glued to the tube?  Do you think this has NO EFFECT on what they feed you?  Do you think the biggies don’t know you’re sitting there and purposely feed you as much crap as they think they can get away with?  Of course, they do.  I’m not referring to any conspiracy theories about them spying on us through our connections to them.  No, they can physically monitor the load on the live feed and then do the math that gives them an accurate estimate of viewership at any given time.  Now, think about this.  What if they knew you weren’t sitting there?

“How can I not watch TV?, you ask.”  Well, that’s easy.  Even for you diehard series addicts, series you can only get from the biggies, I have three letters for you: DVR.  Record your shows, then watch them later…zooming right through their ads and propaganda regurgitations.  Get your news, as much as possible, rom reliable sources NOT coming over your TV feed.  They WILL see the drop in load during the news hours and since you are also no longer spending hours on end watching live TV shows, they will have to assume you are probably recording your favorite shows too.

Three things to keep in mind when your doing this: One, they understand that if you recorded your shows, you are definitely fast-forwarding through the ads; two, they certainly know how many are watching “live”; and three, this “live audience” is what pays their bills.  Without live viewership, that is, a majority of viewers who DEFINITELY stay with the network through the ads; they change or they fail.  You really don’t need to do the math.  The very same method works with politicians.  Don’t vote for them.  Watch them change.

Of course, we are a weak species.  We will need to be weaned, but, thanks to Montana, we have a start.   This is still a great day in an ever more Great America.

Shout out to the WH too…Thank you Mr. President!