Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

Accidental Intelligence

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It was an artificial deadline set arbitrarily by his own initiative. Who else would care? As time flittered away, reality began to press upon the drowsy writer that nothing was going to simply drop out of the sky onto the page. Someone was going to need to pull a worthy tale out of their proverbial top hat (or some other oft-referenced lower anatomical location).

Meanwhile, sleep was making a valiant run for the pole position.

Why did any of this matter? Frontline was on later and it was going to be all about the 2018 Camp Fire in California. That kind of real-life drama beats made-up stuff hands down. If he was going to immerse himself in the experience without distraction, his plan was going to need to kick into action ahead of time.

There was nothing noteworthy to report about the animals, the weather, the landscape, the trees, the shrinking hours of daylight, the amount of sugar in dinner, the spinning gears of the day-job, the greatness of family and friends, or the stature of the recently refurbished deck, so something would need to be invented.

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maybe a poem
rich with deep thoughtful meaning
evoking sky blues

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It could be short, like three lines of haiku. Words could be tossed out in a free-form flow of curious reasoning that defies logic but reaches souls. Why not? It’s worked in the past when down to his last gasp for a grasp.

How many times before has he written random nonsense that struggled to hint at coherence and later learned of recipients who thrilled over the poignancy to their very lives? You can’t make this stuff up if it already happened.

The thing is, such a denouement happens in absentia. Often times he never knows, just wings it and relies on grace for an outcome that holds a possibility of reward.

Occasionally, it works.

Such end results get labeled “accidental intelligence” but that doesn’t prevent him from occasionally pretending to believe the results were exactly as intended. <cough, cough>

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Written by johnwhays

October 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

Beyond Mowing

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The time of mowing is upon us in multiple ways. Beyond the usual routine of cutting our lawn grass, the big tractors are finally hitting the local fields to cut hay. The neighbors who are renting our fields knocked down the tall grass in opposite corners of our property recently, leaving a very noticeable line of uncut growth along the fenceline that Cyndie tackled with our power trimmer.

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Despite all the mowing going on, Cyndie continues to pull off a heroic amount of raspberry picking which naturally led to canning jam. Since she was going to be in that canning mode, she also made a trip to a local strawberry grower to pick a bulk of that jam favorite, as well as a stop at the grocery store for a couple of bags of cherries.

Even though canning jam deserves to be a single focus task, Cyndie chose to merge it with preparations to drive to Northfield, MN, for a mini-reunion with visiting Hays relatives. There, we uncovered a treasure trove in my sister Mary’s files of family newsletters from the days before the internet took over communication.

I don’t remember writing all those annual reports detailing our children’s school years, but reading back over those missives now gives me the impression I have been writing the equivalent of this daily blog for longer than just the ten years I’ve been posting here on Relative Something. In fact, the old family newsletter was called, “Relatively Speakin’.”

Seems to be a certain congruency there, no?

Who knows what lies ahead for this relative crew? It won’t surprise me if it ends up involving less mowing, but I doubt I will ever stop writing about whatever is happening in all of our lives.

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Written by johnwhays

July 14, 2019 at 9:55 am

Another Test

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My previous test to learn if I can create posts on my phone to achieve my desired result taught me a few things. Yes, it is possible, but it doesn’t match posts I create on my laptop. No, I haven’t found out if I can format the text as “justified.” My images appeared, but not as a clickable link to the full size, like I want.

So, I am trying again. I am importing a full-sized image that I successfully transferred from my camera to my phone over WiFi.

The app didn’t ask the size I want the image to appear, so I need to hunt for that setting somewhere.

I chose this image of my lock in case someone can offer advice in dealing with a forgotten combination.

(Oh, I also learned how to add text to my images.)

My idea with the lock was to start at 0-0-0 and spin in a sequence that counted up to 9-9-9.

That would hit every possible number combination.

It didn’t work.

Thinking it was possible that I goofed somewhere along the sequence, I tried a second time. I started at 999 and worked my way down.

It still didn’t open.

Am I missing something?

Too bad I can’t just click a link for a forgotten combination which would then allow me to reset it to a number I might remember.

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Written by johnwhays

June 11, 2019 at 6:00 am

Testing Mobile

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I’m thinking about taking another crack at posting from my phone next week while on the bike trip.

So, today I am typing with one finger, adding photos, and fumbling with formatting to achieve my desired look using icons I don’t understand.

Things may look different than usual on your screen.

Yesterday, I got out for my longest training ride so far this year. Topped out at a whopping two-hour jaunt.

The scenery may not be as beautiful as riding up at the lake, but it gets close once I get beyond the farmland.

I rode down into the river valley where the trout fishermen play. Hit 40 mph on the way down and 3 mph crawling back up.

The kids came over yesterday and provided gift labor in honor of Cyndie’s birthday. We chose moving the gazebo from the round pen over to the labyrinth.

It was a grand success of design collaboration and task cooperation.

Since I don’t know how to tweak images to my liking on this tiny mobile device, I will point out that Julian provided the gazebo images.

Thank you to our wonderful children for a really meaningful gift of time and energy!

Here ends today’s test of the alternative posting system.

I still don’t know how to customize image frames like I usually do, nor justify text, but I’m ready to look at this on my computer to see how it compares.

Thank you for reading!

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Written by johnwhays

June 9, 2019 at 7:48 am

Words

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they are just words
but you can’t write them fast enough
because they flow
like lyrics in a song
that everybody already knows
even though they only remember
two lines of the chorus
because the verses wander
all over the map
about kittens and deforestation
cloth diapers, crime, and comedy
lightning, goal celebrations
vegan recipes and political tragedy
ghosts, authors, fancy makeup
chainsaws and Ultimate Frisbee
cyber insecurity, false witness
lost love and fortunes found
like a blog roll of unending topics
scrolling down a glowing screen
ideas on how to make millions with ease
or at least to transform
this world
into a better place
than it could ever possibly be
through song
sing along
with incandescent harmony

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Written by johnwhays

May 7, 2019 at 6:00 am

Minutes Revisited

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From March 27, 2012:

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Words on Images

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I’ve really been enjoying my little forays into the archives of this blog lately. Picking a single day of the month, and then jumping through each of the ten years of posts on that day has been very revealing.

In 2013 on March 27th, I was writing about getting fence posts up to define the border of the paddock, excited about how things would change when we got horses.

It was later that year, September, when the herd arrived. Here is a picture of the moment the four horses had just walked out of the trailer:

Tomorrow, the process is reversed.

Our time together was too short, but we had a lot of great adventures over the years and they touched a lot of people’s lives here.

I’m not sure what’s in store for us next, but whatever it is, we hope to do those horses proud. They’ve taught us a lot during the time we’ve been together.

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Still Flying

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Before I start with today’s post, I want to give a shout out of thanks to Jennifer Alexander for sharing her wonderful collection of student responses to my “Guess What” post from last week. Fearing most readers might not notice a new comment added to a previous post, I am specifically highlighting a fresh link to it here:

Another Guess – March 19, 2019

Check out the comment Jennifer added. I think she and her students have enhanced my photo-guessing game immensely!

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Ten years ago today I posted “Time Flies,” which is an impression that continues to feel valid to this day. In fact, I get the sense it is flying faster all the time.

Words on Images

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But, let’s not stop there. In my research of March 26 in the archives of “Previous Somethings,” I found the following post from 2017 too irresistible to exclude from today’s review:

Empowering Love

Editorial cartoon by James T. Pendergrast for Rolling Stone, June 2002

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Imagine replacing the negative with the opposite:

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Let fearlessness enhance enlightenment to fill our crucibles with love!

 

Let’s carefully teach everyone, before it’s too late, to love all the people, “all our relations” on this planet, fearlessly.

Happy March 26th, 2019. Send love. The world deserves more love.

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