Friday, May 29, 2009

F2: Should I retire Friday's Feast

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Given that Mr. Linky is having issues (probably due to the popularity of the application) I will not be posting a Mr. Linky link— but instead will be inquiring of my readers what I should do with Friday's Feast moving forward. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If in spite of the circumstances you still want to participate, be sure to include a link to your post in the comments so that I and others can join in the feast.

Even before Mr. Linky decided to have difficulties, I have been pondering if the whole concept of Friday's Feast is still a good idea. What I have decided is to leave it up to my readers so that they can let me know which direction to take. If you are visiting this post through the Web you will notice a survey at the top of the page. I have included this so that you can take the survey and let me know what you think of Friday's Feast. This post should better explain what your choices are so that you can choose accordingly.

Should I retire Friday's Feast?

Yes— Cease and desist
This means that you no longer want to have any more postings related to Friday's Feast. I will stop posting on this topic and only the archives will remain.
Yes— But keep it around just in case
This means that I will no longer post, but reserve the right to bring it up again if demand for it returns.
No— Let it age like a good wine
This means that you want things as they are. You like the concept and figure that it just needs to mature. Hopefully word will spread like a good jam and more people can participate and share their posts like many of the other participation posts I have encountered.
No— But no Mr. Linky
I originally thought that encouraging people to participate was a good idea, but perhaps people are intimidated by having to come up with something. Also… now that Mr. Linky is having technical difficulties, I may opt to use a different method to have people share in the feast.

I am considering leaving the survey up for two weeks— but may leave it up longer to allow others to voice their opinions. I noticed that many people seem to not be as active in blogging activities due to warmer weather and are probably participating in outdoor activities instead. Please spread the word around so that others can take the survey even if they are not active subscribers. Once I get my results I will post again and let you know the future of Friday's Feast.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spin Cycle: Double Date

In honor of Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper… I have decided to place my spin on this weeks assignment— Dating:

When I was in college I attended a Single Adults dance with a friend during winter break. During this dance I met a girl to whom I discovered had the same birthday as me— only one year older. We thought that it would be fun to get together before we went back to school. In order to be safe, my friend and I proposed a double date— and to have it in Rockford so we could meet up with her where she lived.

My friend and I both lived in Crystal Lake which is half way between Rockford and Chicago. His date lived in Chicago— so we had to drive the 45 minutes into the city to pick her up… then proceeded to drive the hour and a half from Chicago to Rockford for the date.

The details of the date escape me (must be those aliens at work again taking my memory for their entertainment)— but I do know we had a great time together and ended the date sometime around Ten O'clock that evening. We proceeded to take our dates home in reverse order: mine first, then my friend's date after that. We drove all the way back to Chicago during which my friend and his date proceeded to fall asleep. In order to stay awake, I had to roll down the window so that the cold air would keep me alert. Luckily my friend stayed awake during the ride back to Crystal Lake and we all made it home safely.

I for the life of me cannot remember this girl's name— not that I wanted to forget her, but mostly that this happened more than 20 years ago and we just lost touch with one another. So my friend… if you remember her name, please let me know so that I can at least be assured of the fact that this happened and that I am not losing my mind (aliens or none).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Top of the world

You're on top of the world
You're on top of the world
And you can't get any higher
You're on top of the world
You're on top of the world tonight

Top of the World— from Yosemite

That is me on top of Glacier Point in Yosemite. I have a lot of stories to tell— but have not had the time to assemble them. Looking forward to telling all.

1 Excerpt from the Cheap Trick song: "On Top of The World" from the album Heaven Tonight.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I cannot believe that I have been posting to this blog for a whole year. If any of you have read my previous posts about the birth of my blog you can see how this all came about.

Many choose to highlight their greatest posts from the past year to show what you may have missed if you started reading as of late. Since I am not sure what constitutes a great post, I thought I would list those that I am proud of (but did not get many comments) as well as those that got a lot of comments on.

Posts I'm proud of:

Name, Occupation, Health, Feelings
This is probably my oldest personal philosophy concept as I remember writing about this when I was a freshman in high school. I am considering re-posting it and making it into a multiple post where I outline my thoughts in the first post, then get into greater detail in separate posts.
Attraction Factors
This is one of my personal philosophy posts which talk about those things which attract us to others.
Traditional Letter Writing
I talk about how I have many traditions when it comes to letter writing some of which I still follow to this day.
The Tangibles
This is part one of a two part post which deals with the concept of tangibility. I suggest reading both this one and the following one to be able to compare the two properly.
The Intangibles
This is part two of a two part post which deals with the concept of tangibility. I originally wanted to just talk about this— but realized that I was doing a lot of comparing so I had to break it up into two separate parts.
Three Legged Stool
This post uses the analogy of a stool when it comes to relationships.
From the mind, heart, and soul
Here I try to clarify some of the terms I tend to use when it comes to my opinions on things.
Sphere of Influence
This post can stand on its own— but is also related to the next two listings below. It is an interesting concept which is referenced a lot in other posts.
Tyranny of Numbers
This post is related to the Sphere of Influence post but expands upon the concept to include the Internet and being able to find what you are looking for through searching.
Anonymity through Commonality
This post takes the post on Sphere of Influence and the post on Tyranny of Numbers and expands upon it to show how difficult it is to find "Me".

Posts that currently have 20 or more comments:

Warm Milk
This was my first post that reached 20 comments. It is also one of my first participatory posts where I am participating in Tuesday's Tribute.
Wordful Wednesday - Spikester Diddly Dog
This one got a lot of comments because… who doesn't like dogs.
Writer's Workshop: C is for Cookie
This is a good story about how my sister taught me a lesson for demanding a cookie. Be sure to read the comments, she tells the real story and not the one a 4 year old remembers.
100th Post
Most people like to wish you well on your 100th post. Hopefully it will give you some topics to ask me to write about.
TT: Spin on the Bed
This is currently the record holder with the number of comments made. I probably tribute it to being both a Tuesday's Tribute and a Spin Cycle participatory post.
What's in a nickname: Naming conventions
I think a lot of people have nicknames and like to share theirs.

And the one that I get the most search hits on…

I don't know why… but I seem to get hits from all over the globe for this one. So much so that I wrote a special post about it: Looking for Love in all the wrong places.

Please feel free to visit these pages if you have not done so already to give you a smattering of what I've been writing about this past year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

F2: Ordering in a Restaurant

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be sharing on how to order at a restaurant. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

Since I am on vacation this week, I thought I would talk about how to order at a restaurant. My father taught me a lot of these tips and I find them quite helpful when dining out.

Author's Note: I realize that when I learned these techniques that they were geared towards impressing a woman on a date. The person you could be dining with could be your spouse, your girlfriend/boyfriend, or even your partner— so I will try and use the term "date" to refer to the person across the table from you (unless you're dating yourself— then you're on your own). Ladies, you can either try and convince your boyfriend/husband to adopt these techniques— or even use them yourself to throw him off guard. Here we go:

Be sure to seat your date first.
This is crucial so that you can be in position to get at the wait staff first. If the table is by a wall, be sure that you are facing towards the middle of the room. It is difficult to see the wait staff if you are facing the wall, so be sure to seat your date accordingly.
When you first sit down— start discussing what's on the menu.
You do not want to fall into the trap of talking about other things and having to turn the wait staff away because you don't know what you want. Be sure to get right down to business and start discussing what looks good. During this time you can pretty much figure out what they will be having.
Figure out all the details to their order.
You need to figure out all the details that the wait staff will be asking when you order— so be sure to include in the conversation things like how they like their steak done, what kind of potato they would like, etc.
Be sure to order for your date.
Once the wait staff arrives, be sure to announce "allow me" and proceed with the ordering. Start with your date first "They will have…", then go to your own order. Be sure to remember all the details so that the wait staff does not have to ask.
Be sure to flag the waiter/waitress appropriately.
You don't want to flail your arms when trying to get the wait staff's attention. Be subtle and make eye contact with the staff so that they know you need them. This is why it is important to seat yourself facing into the room so that you can see the staff and flag them when needed.
Find out if your date is finished with their meal
You certainly do not want the wait staff to clear your date's place when they are not finished. You may want to announce to your date that you are finished and ask if they are too. If they need to have a doggy bag, be sure to find out and flag the wait staff.
Be sure to not let your date see the check.
When the wait staff arrives with the check make sure that you see it first. Even if you are going dutch, you should give the impression that you will be handling the check. Sometimes you may even suggest how much they can pay, or even suggest that they only cover the tip.

Thank you for partaking in this weeks feast. Please stop by on Sunday as that it my blogiversary and I wouldn't want you to miss the celebration.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birth of a Blog 04: What's to come

You may ask… what else is there to do? I know that I have always wanted to start up a professional blog so that I can document those things that I find people should know. I already have a Wordpress account and an About page— but nothing else. If you are curious, you can visit my welcome page at I have not made any posts because I am waiting to have the tools I need in order to create the screen shots for my posts. I first need to get a new computer since my current home computer is almost 10 years old. Then I need to install Photoshop so that I can manage my screen shots accordingly. However… I also need ideas. I know enough about computers to be dangerous— so if there are any topics you want me to post on that you feel will make your computing experience easier, feel free to e-mail me and let me know. Once I get enough posts under my belt I will promote my other blog in a post and have a special "What my alter-ego is saying" blogroll on the side.

There is a feature post called "He Blogs, She Blogs" where people submit questions and both Heinous @ Irregularly Periodic Ruminations and Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy @ The Wise (*Young*) Mommy give their take on the questions. Unfortunately Heinous went on sabbatical and the torch needed to be passed on to someone else to be the "He" portion. Petra decided to take out a personal ad type post and have a contest to see who could fill in while Heinous was away. I put my hat in the ring and answered the questions given to me so that they could be posted in the contest. Interestingly enough, I got second place— but lost out to Captain Dumbass @ Us and Them who won by a landslide. As a consolation prize I was asked to guest post and may even guest post again if the need arises. Now they have their own dedicated site for He Blogs, She Blogs, which deals with one question at a time in more detail. So, go visit the new He Blogs, She Blogs site and enjoy.

I have also signed up to be a contributor over at In The Real World Venus vs. Mars. This site has guest contributors who post about relationships. Since much of my personal philosophy posts revolve around relationships— this allows me the opportunity to talk specifically about relationships and give real world examples rather than talk abstractly as I sometimes do. So if you are interested in my perspective on relationships— feel free to sign up and read not only what I have to say, but what others have to say as well.

This coming Sunday will be my blogiversary. So much has happened within the past year. I believe that my writing has become easier to come by and the ideas keep coming in. If you don't tune in for tomorrow's Friday's Feast— be sure to stop by on Sunday for the celebration.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Birth of a Blog 03: Growing Pains

Wanting to write means that you also want an audience. I installed feedburner before it was incorporated into blogger so that I could encourage my friends to at least sign up to have my posts e-mailed to them. Interestingly enough I also got my first subscriber that I didn't know— which was very flattering. So often when visiting other blogs I see that there are a lot of followers listed. When following was first introduced I was curious if I had any followers. I kept installing the widget that showed the number of followers and was disappointed in that nobody was following. It wasn't until that faithful day when I looked at my dashboard and saw I had one follower that I realized there were people who actually read my posts without me having to twist their arms to do so.

I also got a Clicky account so that I could track who visits my site. I found it to be very useful in figuring out where in the world people were visiting from as well as seeing how many visitors I have per day. I must admit that I have had at least one visit per day since November and the most number of visitors in one day is 43 back on February 10th.

I think that one of the things that helped me expand my audience is to participate in various themes. The first one that I remember was a theme called "Mission: Monday" hosted by Deb @ Dirty Socks & Pizza and Jay @ Halftime Lessons. The concept of Mission: Monday was a great way that I could find out about other people's blogs. Three featured bloggers each ask a question about one of their posts. You leave a comment (but not the answer). Then Deb and Jay pull a name out of a hat (or something like that) and post a winner. Not that I was much into giveaways, but it did give me an opportunity to read other people's blogs that I would not know of otherwise.

There are some posts which ask the user to write a post and link your story back to their post through Mr. Linky. These "participatory posts" as I call them, allow me to write off-the-cuff and put together a post that would otherwise take a very long time to write. Three that I regularly participate in are Tuesday's Tribute, Writer's Workshop, and The Spin Cycle.

Tuesday's Tribute was originally created by Deb and Jay after the Mission: Monday theme was difficult to manage. The idea is pretty simple: if there is something that you want to pay tribute to (other than yourself)… then this is the place to do it. Jay has gone on hiatus and Deb is currently in meme therapy trying to get over her addiction to memes— so the torch was passed over to Angie @ SevEn cLoWn CirCuS who also hosts Wordless Wednesday.

Writer's Workshop is the brainchild of Mama Kat @ Mama's Losin' It. In it she has a writing assignment post which lists several prompts to write on and the next day a new post is added so that you can link up to share your contributions.

Spin Cycle is hosted by Sprite's Keeper @ Sprite's Keeper. Every Friday a new topic is given which typically is one word. You are then asked to take your "spin" on the topic and let her know that you did. Throughout the week she lets her readers know that new spins have been added so that by the end of the week you can check out other participant's spins.

I even started up my own participatory post a few months back called Friday's Feast. I think of it more like a recipe swap, but you are not limited to recipes. If there is any food related post that you have, I encourage you to post it and link up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birth of a Blog 02: Starting Out

If you read my previous post you realize that this blog was supposed to be a temporary placeholder for content in order to populate a Web site I wanted to start. I must admit that my first post was pretty lame. I have since edited my first post to be more of a "Welcome to this Blog" page— but here is what it said:

I am trying to refine my blogging style. Rather than wait for my Website to be completed, I will start blogging here. I may switch blogs later on, but may keep this around to give my audience a chance to switch.

I have always found that I have way too much information in my head and need a way of sharing it. Some things I know are quite long and would take to long to explain in a normal conversation. Other things are not the kind of thing that you can fit into a letter easily. This therefore becomes the place where I can just write.

At first I searched around to try and find out what others were writing about. I tend to revolve around relationships and philosophy so I figured I would search on that. I did find some philosophy blogs— but found that they were quite academic and difficult to read. It wasn't until I found a post by Whitney @ Mr and Mrs. Potato-head titled Personal Philosophy that I found a blog that was easy to read and opened the door to other people's blogs as well. It was nice to see other blogs that they read and I was able to go to them and check them out.

When visiting other blogs I was inspired to write posts of my own. It reminds me of grade-school when we used to tell jokes while waiting to go in after recess. So often someone told a joke and that triggered several other jokes that you knew that were related to the first joke. So often I read a post and it inspires me to write about something similar.

One of the things that helped me gain confidence in my writing was being able to comment on other people's posts. I try to be objective in my comments or offer words of support. This also allowed other authors the opportunity to know who I am and know how I write. It is unclear as to how many visited me based upon my comments, but I will reserve that discussion for tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Birth of a Blog 01: Seeds of Change

I have always had some sort of personal philosophy. I found it to be rather unique and quite profound and felt that I should write a book. However, my writing is typically short and never of any great length. I felt that I should at least write everything down so that when the time came I can sit down with an editor and flesh out my book. I find that I have so many ideas and never have the writing skills necessary to put it in writing.

Since I was already a letter writer— I tried my hand at writing people and thinking that those letters would be the way that I could get these ideas put on paper. The problem with this method is that letters typically use some sort of correspondence and you tend to write a lot of little things and never focus on any one topic. I longed for those types of correspondences you hear about where two people write to each other for years— however I never knew anybody who was a letter writer even when I used e-mail and they didn't have to worry about finding a stamp.

I learned about blogs at an informal demonstration at work several years back. At the time I felt that it was a good educational tool that enables participants to engage in discussions about a given topic— but never thought that I would be using it myself.

Sometime last year I was pondering getting my own Web site so that I could demonstrate some of my Web development skills and be able to reference it in a resume. After viewing some co-worker's sites to see how they set up a Web site, I noticed that some of them had a blog associated with them. If anything I wanted to have some content to my Web site— so I figured I would start out by blogging a few things then later transfer those pages over to my site when I finally bought a domain.

I found it difficult to find a domain using my name without being excessively long and difficult to remember because "chrisjohnson" as well as "christopherjohnson" were already taken. I figured I would try shortening it to be easier to remember and chose my first two initials and the first three letters of my last name— thus Ca-Joh was born.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I continue my Birth of a Blog series with how I started out. Also, be sure to tune in on Sunday when I celebrate my blogiversary.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BOOB: 05-17 through 05-25

I like the abbreviation OOTO— or "Out Of The Office" (prounoucned Ooo-Toe) used to indicate that you will be out of the office. Since that abbreviation doesn't fit for blogging, I tried to come up with a different one. At first I thought I'd use POOP (Presently Out Of Pocket)— but that seems to indicate that I will be posting crap this comming week. Not to challenge my PG13 rating… but BOOB seems to be more fitting (Being Out Of Blogging)— so I'll use that for today's post title (perhaps it will also bring in more traffic).

As I just eluded to… I will be away this next week on vacation. I am going to go to Yosemite with my Sister and Brother In-Law who gave us round trip Air fare and Accommodations as a 10 year Anniversary gift. My wife and I will be flying out to LA to meet up with them, then we will be driving to Yosemite, spending a few days there, drive back to LA then fly back home.

I hate to leave you hanging, so I have scheduled a few posts to keep you happy… in fact this next Sunday (May 24) is my bogiversary— so stay tuned. Next week I will be talking about the birth of this blog and how it came about. I will still have my Friday's Feast— so you Feasters be sure to link up so I can enjoy in the feast when I return.

Speaking of when I return— I plan on NOT reading all the posts in my reader when I return. I will be hitting the "mark all as read" button and moving on. The only exception to this is if you say something about me in your blog and you want me to either defend myself or know about it. If that is the case— be sure to e-mail me and send me a link to your post so I can read it and not offend you without knowing.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Friday, May 15, 2009

F2: Friday's Feast Banner Request

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about having a banner and asking for some suggestions. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

Many of you are familiar with my badge on the right of my page. When I originally came up with the badge design, I was hoping to have something that really looked like food. I also pondered with the idea of having a frying pan with food shaped like F2. Unfortunately I have the skillZ, but do not have the toolZ to create the one I wanted. Because of this, I wound up creating the badge in Power Point (Not really a graphic design program) so that I could have something.

What I am thinking of is having a banner that is placed after each post. So… I am calling on anybody who wants to help me out to let me know. I have some ideas, but would be willing to give you full creative rights to the banner. I would then give you credit in a separate post and allow people to use the banner if they choose. So, if you or anybody you know is willing to help create a banner which will be shown at the bottom of Friday's Feast posts— be sure to email me at cca dot johnson at gmail dot com and let me know. I am going to be on vacation next week, so if you do not hear back from me right away— that is most likely the reason. Also, if you are like me and have ideas but lack either the skillZ or toolZ, just leave a comment so I can try and incorporate your ideas in the banner design.

Finally… no need to worry about next weeks Friday's Feast— I already have one lined up so that you won't miss a thing and go hungry.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Remembering

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I am going to be taking on Prompt #4: I remember when….

I remember when…
… I finally gave up my binky.
… I broke the two gallon glass bottle of rootbeer.
… days seemed endless.
… I hit a home run in little league, but still lost the game.
… we used to walk across the lake in winter.
… our class won tug of war against all the other classes at the homecoming bonfire— four years straight.
… I wore a tie to school everyday to try and get the "best-dressed" award at the senior dinner.
… I felt that I would never meet a woman and be married.
… I decided to tackle this post.
… I forgot the rest of what I was going to say…

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm a Writer-Dad

I got an E-mail from Zook Book Nook indicating that they will be mentioning my blog on a Tuesday Tribute. It is always an honor to be mentioned— and even more humbling to be mentioned by someone you did not know you had an impact on. Be sure to check out what they have to say And be sure to go to SevEn cLoWn CirCuS for more tributes as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll see you on the Radio

When my wife and I got cable we got hooked on many of the new channels out there. I am not sure at what point we realized that the one of the CAN (Cable Access Network) channels also played the public radio station.

The way this channel works is that there is a program which shows a listing of options that you can call a local number and enter that number you see on the screen to find out more information. Pretty slick— but since there is no sound associated with the listing, the station chooses to broadcast one of the local radio stations as background noise. What is great is that we can just turn on the TV and turn on the CAN station and listen to the public radio station.

You can find us turning on the TV on a Saturday Morning and listening to Car Talk, then Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!— then in the evening, we'll watch/listen to Prairie Home Companion. In fact there were some times when we knew we would miss one of our favorite radio shows, so we queued up the VCR and taped the show.

Does anybody else have something like this with their TV.

Friday, May 8, 2009

F2: Corn Chowder

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be sharing one of my recipes. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

With inspirations from Mrs. Mackinac…

My wife tends to correct me on this one because I tend to get it confused with Kat's Clam Chowder. I decided to write it down so that I wouldn't forget. Serves 4-6.

Corn Chowder:
3-4 Slices of Salt Pork
1-2 Medium Yellow Onions
3-4 Medium Idaho Potatoes
1 14oz can of Creamed Corn
1½C Milk
  1. Cut Salt Pork into ⅛" (1cm) cubes.
    When cutting the Salt Pork, be sure to remove the rind.
  2. Add the salt pork to a small frying pan over medium heat.
  3. While the salt pork is cooking… peel and chop the onions into similar sized pieces as the salt pork.
  4. Once the salt pork is brown, remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towl.
    Do not drain or turn off heat.
  5. Add the onions to the frying pan and continue to cook until transparent.
    Remove from heat when finished.
  6. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  7. Add potatoes to a soup pot.
  8. Add enough water to cover potatoes.
  9. Cover and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low.
  10. When potatoes are tender, add the salt pork, onions, and creamed corn.
  11. Using the creamed corn can, add a can's worth of milk to the pot and continue to simmer on low.
    be sure to stir to avoid a skin

    There is no need to add salt because there is enough salt in the salt pork.

  12. Enjoy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

There's a new blog in Town

My apologies for putting the song New Kid in Town by the Eagles in your head…

If any of you are not aware, there is a blog feature called "He Blogs, She Blogs" currently being run by Petra @ The Wise (*Young*) Mommy, and Captain Dumbass @ Us and Them where people submit questions and they both give their unique take on the questions independently. Well, they have put their collective talents together and have combined forces to take that feature to the next level.

He Blogs, She Blogs Graphic

Both Petra and the Captain are talented writers who write with wit and humor. If you ever want to know how the other half thinks… this is a good blog to follow. Since they are just starting out, they need material to post with. Be sure to visit He Blogs, She Blogs and send them your questions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Older Woman

It's just a jump to the left… and then a step to the right.

As some of you already know, I am a contributor over at In The Real World Venus vs. Mars. Today I will be talking about the differences in age between my wife and I. Please stop by and read my post called Generation Gap— and while you're at it, continue to read as there are several others who contribute with great articles as well.

P.S.— I noticed that comments are not e-mailed to me from that site. So after jumping over there, be sure to leave a comment there and step back here and let me know as well.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Long Rain

In college English class I was given an assignment to write a review. I wrote the following:

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like if you suddenly lost all control over your environment? So much so that you wonder if there will ever be relief?

This is what Ray Bradbury accomplishes in his short story entitled "The Long Rain". The story is about a party of men who crash land on Venus and must endure both the continuous rain on the planet, and the continuous frustration involved in finding their way to the only shelter in the 'Sun-dome'. Bradbury uses these two elements of rain and frustration simultaneously to show how the lack of control affects the characters of the story. But Bradbury also gives the reader this same feeling through his style of writing. This feeling makes the reader a victim of the same fate as the characters and adds a unique twist to the way the story is read.

Bradbury first victimizes us (the reader and the characters) with continuous rain. This is set in the first scene, abruptly and without any development like a dam breaking. After the abrupt beginning, he continues to constantly drown us in his "wet-world" throughout the story. There is always some form of reference to rain or water in every paragraph to which he never lets up to give the reader a break.

The second way Bradbury victimizes us is through the demoralizing conflicts that build up pressure throughout the story. At first the conflicts are simple fatigue and frustration from being in the rain too long; but eventually these conflicts escalate into more complex and demoralizing problems such as mutiny, insanity and even euthanasia. Once these climactic problems are reached, the reader, as well as the characters has no where else to go. And ending of relief is inevitable… or is it?

The dream-like ending Bradbury gives leaves the reader up in the air because one never knows if the party actually reached their goal, or if it is just another mirage. In my opinion, this unrealistic sense of relief further drains the reader from any remaining hope of control and leaves the reader with a need for a more solid, if not a more realistic ending.

In effect, this ending accomplishes Bradbury's initial attempt at creating a no-way-out situation, which makes this short story more of an experience in the form of literary escapism. For instead of trying to escape into the story— the reader is now trying to escape from the story. A unique twist to a unique story.

I indicated on my paper that I wasn't quite sure if I got the assignment right since it didn't seem like a review to me. When the professor sat down with me, they indicated that they were considering giving me an A, but decided to give me a C because they did not think that I wrote it. Pretty sad that when you think you got the assignment wrong you get it totally right— but wind up getting it wrong anyway because the teacher did not think you had it in you to write something well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

F2: Bulk Limits

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be telling a story about my experience with a shopping cart. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

When I was a bachelor I did not have a car. Because of this I carried all of my groceries from the store to my apartment. Whenever I went shopping in the grocery store I used to have what I called my "bulk limit"— which was the point where carrying the groceries would be too much to handle if I exceeded it. Typically I would say to myself: "oh… reached my bulk limit"— then stopped shopping and proceeded to the checkout counter.

I bought a shopping cart so that I wouldn't be so tired carrying the groceries home. The first time I had my cart I hung the shopping cart on the front of the grocery cart and proceeded to do my grocery shopping. When I started reaching my usual bulk limit, I kept telling myself "I have enough room…" and continued shopping.

By the time I decided to go to the checkout counter I realized that I may have picked out too many groceries. Fortunately, one of the managers assisted in packing the groceries into my shopping cart and did an excellent job. They packed the shopping cart in layers using paper bags as a wall and built it up inside the cart. Once it was finished I had a neatly packed cart which filled the cart to the top with groceries.

When I carried my groceries I used to give a gauge such as a dollar a pound to justify the heaviness of the groceries. I'm sure I needed a new gauge for when I carted this load home. Maneuvering the cart was pretty easy overall. Most of the sidewalks did not have curbs at the end of them— but rather had a handicap slope which allowed me to roll the card onto the street. But there were some curbs which did not have those handicap slopes and I found out just how heavy the cart really was.

By the time I got to my apartment I was pretty tired— but not as tired as I would be when I finally got my groceries home. At the time I lived on the third floor of a three story walk-up. WALK-UP… do you know what that means? That means that there is NOT an elevator. That means that you have to walk up four flights of stairs to get to the top. It really meant that it took me longer to get the cart up the stairs than it did to walk the cart home from the store. I really meant that I had to lift the cart up every single stair and worried about pulling my back out after each flight. It really meant that I was never going to be ignoring my bulk limit again.

Web Analytics