SoCS: Bingo Bash

One computer game that I like to play is Bingo Bash. I often play it on the weekends while watching TV.

Weekends are good because the game often has special features on weekends that give you extra chips. I am one of those players that only plays free games, so I save up the chips I get for logging in every day to use when there is a good weekend promotion.

Before I got my touchscreen computer and before our cable company finally fixed our connection, I sometimes wanted to bash my head against the wall when the game wouldn’t load or would lose contact halfway through. Now things run much more smoothly.

What mindless games do you play?
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “bash/a bash/abash”. Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-9-19/

SoCS: Oscars

Because the Oscars, the film Academy awards, are this weekend, yesterday on the radio I heard two film critics discussing the nominees. It was also a call-in show, so there was a host and callers offering opinions, too.

I usually do watch the Oscars, but this year I have seen very few movies, so I don’t have any basis to have an opinion about who should win.

Some years, I have seen more of the films, although some films are never shown in my area. We aren’t a big metropolitan area and our only arthouse movie theater closed, so we don’t get the opportunity to see some of the more limited release movies.

One thing that was interesting was that there was very little that both critics and callers agreed on. I remember especially the discussion of Roma. Two callers and one of the critics found it very moving and meaningful and the other critic thought it was boring. Being a critic, he had watched it three times, trying to see if there was something he was missing, but he never found it.

If even critics, who watch movies for a living, can’t agree on a film, there is no way I can predict anything about the Oscars. I will likely still watch. If nothing else, I will get to hear performances of the nominated songs and see lots of spiffy clothes.

Do you watch the Oscars or have any predictions to give?
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “critic(al).” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-23-19/

SoCS: the reason for yawns this week

I have been yawning more than usual this past week.

Last Saturday night, daughter E was lying beside granddaughter ABC, reading her a bedtime story. ABC was having a drink of water from her covered tumbler and, in her excitement, hit her mom in the eye with the bottom of the tumbler.

E called for me and I rang into the room. Her eye was already swelling, so I got her an ice pack and calmed ABC down and got her to sleep.

E had been hit hard enough to see stars and lose her vision in that eye for a moment, so we weren’t surprised when she had a headache the next day. And the next. But then, she started to feel dizzy a lot and get nauseous. I was afraid she had a concussion, so we went into the doctors’ office. It turns out that the symptoms of concussion are very similar to the symptoms of bleeding in the orbital socket, which has a lot of nerves that are very sensitive.

The treatment is also similar to concussion: rest, quiet, avoiding activity and eye strain and loud noises, taking pain relievers, not lifting heavy things.

None of which is inherently easy with a toddler in the house.

It turned into everyone else in the house taking over as much of ABC’s care as possible.

Which brings us to yawning. I have been taking over the nighttime care, sleeping on the couch on the first floor rather than in my room on the second floor. ABC is a pretty restless sleeper, so I would go into her several times a night to cover her or sing her a song or read her a book to get her back to sleep. When my husband B would come down between 5:00 and 6:00, I would sneak back upstairs for another couple hours of sleep, but I admit that I have been tired and, thus, yawning a fair amount during the day.

Last night, ABC didn’t wake up at all, so I got to sleep for a long stretch myself, which was nice and resulted in much less yawning today.

Let’s hope it is the beginning of a trend.

(By the way, E is improving, so there is some hope that she will be able to be more active soon.)
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week was to write about the first thing we thought of after reading the word “yawn.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-16-19/

SoCS: the current state of affairs

Seriously, watching the news in the US these days is like watching a soap opera!

The richest man in the world reveals a plot from a tabloid to get him to stop an investigation into them by threatening that they will release compromising photos of him and more text messages about his affair that is what landed him in a divorce from his wife of twenty-five years, who is now likely to be a very, very, very rich woman, but then will he not still be the richest man in the world – or maybe it’s the country. It’s hard to keep track…

But wait, there is more! The owner of the tabloid is an old friend of the president and they – they meaning the owner and the business – are currently in a cooperation agreement with the federal judiciary because they acknowledged that they paid hush money to two women during the presidential campaign so that news of his (the president’s) affairs with them would not hit the papers right before the vote. As part of this, they are not supposed to commit any new crimes or they will be prosecuted for what they already confessed to. So, does their behavior regarding the richest man rise to the level of a crime?

Meanwhile, the brother of the woman with whom the rich guy had the affair that broke up his marriage is in a friend and business relationship with several people who are being investigated or who have been indicted by the Mueller probe. So, was he the one who leaked the private messages to the tabloid? Or was it – insert serious music here – someone at a federal agency who was trying to discredit or harm the rich guy because he himself owns a newspaper, the Washington Post, which has done a lot of investigation and reporting on the current administration and Russian oligarchs and other shenanigans?

Stay tuned because no one knows what shoe will drop next!

If this were fiction, people would say it is too far-fetched. But here we are, listening to these reports on the news or reading it in the papers or online.

It’s no wonder my head is spinning. Metaphorically.
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week was to begin the post with an adverb that ends in -ly. Bonus points for ending with one, too. Not that anyone is keeping score. Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

SoCS: affirm

When I first saw the word affirm, I admit I drew a blank.

Then, the phrase “attest and affirm” popped into my head. I think it is used when people make an oath rather than the word “swear” which some people do not use.

I tend to think of affirm with a suffix, like Affirmed, which besides being a perfectly good word on its own, was also the name of a famous thoroughbred horse, who I think has ties to the area where I live.

I also think of affirmative, which reminds me, oddly of Doctor Who. Decades ago, before there was BBC America, Doctor Who was on public television, which showed older seasons. B and I saw lots of the Tom Baker episodes. His iteration of the Doctor built K-9, a very intelligent and helpful robot-dog, who could process information and, of course, speak. Instead of saying “yes”, K-9 would say “affirmative”.

We still watch Doctor Who, but the new episodes which are broadcast here in the US by the aforementioned BBC America. The latest iteration of the Doctor is played, for the first time, by a woman. I really like her portrayal, which is full of wonder, as well as intelligence and friendliness.

No K-9, though…
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Join us for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays! Today’s prompt is “affirm.” More details can be found here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2-19/

SoCS: avoiding ads

I try to avoid as many ads as possible – and to ignore the ones I can’t avoid.

Most of the television I watch is through DVR, so we can skip by the commercials. I use ad-blockers on my computer, although I do still wind up dealing with some. (I’m looking at you, Words with Friends.) I nearly always listen to public radio, which only has brief sponsorship messages and the occasional ad for local concerts, which I like hearing about anyways.

Ironically, the ads I see and hear the most are those that stir controversy, such as the recent Gillette ads highlighting toxic masculinity. I’m sure I will see some of the Super Bowl ads in the coming week. The most inventive ones tend to make the news programs. I’m not sure if or how much watching I will do of the game. Football is not really my thing. I prefer baseball. Even though it does have ads every time a half inning ends or there is a pitching change…
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Join us for Just Jot It January and/or Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Today’s prompt is “ad/add/AD”. The pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/25/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-26th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/


SoCS: Sesame Street

Thirty years ago, our television was often tuned to Sesame Street on our local public broadcasting channel. It was an hour long and we followed the story lines of the human and Muppet characters. We had Sesame Street songs on cassette and some Sesame Street toys. We even had a Sesame Street songbook that served us well for many years and often sat on the music rack of our piano.

Now, our television is sometimes tuned to Sesame Street on our television, which is much thinner but with a bigger screen than it was thirty years ago. We still have it on our local public broadcasting station, but the episodes, which are only a half hour, are delayed by months, as the series is now on HBO. I admit that it bothers me, although I know that they needed to make the change to keep the series going.

Our granddaughter ABC, like many other young children, is more likely to watch Sesame Street segments on a tablet or smartphone. And, unlike our old cassettes, there are no tangles of tape as they got used often.

I hope that Sesame Street will continue to be produced around the world for many more years to come. I want it to be there for ABC’s children, too.
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Join us for Just Jot It January and/or Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Today’s prompt was “television.” Today’s pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/18/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-19th/ 
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/  

SoCS: art from friends

SoCS: sap

I have lived in the Northeast United States for my whole life and soon my thoughts will turn to sap.

Maple trees are plentiful here and are often used for maple syrup production. The sap flows in the spring and is tapped, usually now with lines rather than with spigots and covered buckets as it was done traditionally.

At least, it used to be done in spring when I was a child. What you need for a good flow of sap is days above freezing and nights below freezing. This used to be early spring weather, but now, with climate change and increased volatility of weather, those conditions sometimes happen as early as February.

February is not spring.

Some years, the sap starts to flow in February, but then it gets colder again and stops. If we are lucky, it stops before the trees actually start to bud as the cold weather can then damage the buds and affect the tree for the year.

When I was a child, we used to go to a local sugarhouse during sugaring off and watch as they evaporated the water out of the sap to leave maple syrup. I always liked the lighter, more delicate syrup. The sugarhouse had an attached dining room where you could order great pancakes and waffles, which were served with fresh syrup. Then, my sisters and I would order sugar-on-snow for dessert. They would bring us cake tins full of snow and a pitcher of warm maple syrup. We would drizzle it over the snow and it would instantly congeal into a candy which you could pick up with a fork. You could sometimes even twirl it around the fork like spaghetti. It was delicious, but super sweet, so they would serve it with homemade dill pickles, which were also really good.

It has been many years since I had sugar on snow, but I always keep a supply of real maple syrup at home. I refuse to eat “pancake syrup” which is usually just corn syrup with some maple flavoring thrown in.

In my area now, I usually buy maple syrup from a farmers’ market rather than directly from a sugar house. When I go back to Massachusetts or Vermont, I will sometimes buy syrup there to bring home. Right now, I have a gallon that was made in B’s hometown and about twelve miles from my hometown.

It’s all good.

I do worry, though, about the future of our sugar maples. They are stressed by climate change and the range of the trees is moving north. In the coming decades, we may need to import our maple syrup from Canada. I’m sure it would be as delicious, but probably in short supply, which would be very sad.

I’ll savor my maple syrup all the more now.
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Join us for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and/or Just Jot It January! This week’s prompt was sap/sep/sip/sop/sup. Today’s pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/04/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-5th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

SoCS: waterfalls

I don’t live near a waterfall, but I like to visit them.

One that is not too far from home is Taughannock Falls in Ithaca. I especially like to walk on the trail to its base. There are a lot of waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region, due to, well, geology…

Of course, these are small falls compared to Niagara Falls, which I saw first as a child and have visited several times as an adult. I love to look at the power of the water and see the mist and occasional rainbows. I also wonder how loud it must have been when it was having its natural flow. For decades now, some of the water has been diverted to harness the hydropower. I admit to having a particular interest in hydropower because I grew up around it. My father worked for many years for New England Power, including lots of years as superintendent of the Upper Deerfield. We often visited the network of dams and hydro stations, including Bear Swamp, a pump storage project that was constructed when I was a child. Some of the dams were designed to spill when the water was too high, looking somewhat like waterfalls. Usually, though, you tried not to spill excess water, as you wanted to store it for generation later.

Some of the most beautiful waterfalls I have seen were in Hawai’i. Because all the islands are volcanoes, the sides are quite steep, giving lots of opportunities for waterfalls to develop. Often, the peaks have hundreds of inches of rain a year, which flows down to meet the surrounding ocean. Often, too, it isn’t raining where the waterfalls are, so there are often rainbows as the sun shines through the mist caused by the falling water. Of course, the beauty of the Hawaiian waterfalls is enhanced by the lush vegetation nearby, watered by the rain falling on the heights of the volcano. Now that E no longer lives in Hawai’i, we haven’t visited recently, but I hope to get back there someday.

Do you have a favorite waterfall?
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This week, Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to ask someone for a prompt! I asked my daughter T who gave me the prompt “waterfalls.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-29-18/

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