Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

xmas yellow The best time to look
for the light within
is when the world shines
with the bright colour
of the holidays

Illuminate yourself in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lunch – Week 2

carrot soup

half way there

There is a huge snowbank in our front yard telling us that it is soup season again. Miss Z has gone to all the trouble of googling a healthy recipe for the 5 pounds of carrots in our fridge and so we set to work this afternoon. We are not really a fan of sweet soups but a large amount of ginger, garlic and onions seemed just the ticket to take the edge off what could otherwise be cloying and unpalatable. Some simple chopping, a little simmering in the dutch oven, a whir in the blender, a toasty baguette on the side and voila… tomorrow’s midday meal.

We much prefer when someone else does the cooking. No matter how tasty the creation we have concocted, it just doesn’t seem as appetizing to us as it does to everyone else. Perhaps because we have lingered too long over it, inhaled the aromas until we no longer have the need to actually eat it. No matter, there are plenty of hungry monsters in the house to devour the potful.

“What do you do for lunch?” – brownbag or five-star, sandwich or soup, miss it completely, go with a group, left-overs or made from scratch – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

twinkle

Merry Christmas, Captain Kirk:
Apparently this word has no counterpart in klingon.
perhaps, in their eyes, it is just an annoying absence of darkness…

Catch some light in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle
and just because we’re not the only dot in the universe celebrating this holiday season, have a look at Set Phasers to Twinkle.

The Big 5 – “When” do you get annoyed? – Week 2

download

I swear it wasn’t there 2 days ago

It seems to take a lot of fancy dancing on our part just to keep up with all the innovations that Apple and the 400 or so app providers we use keep churning out, so we’re not always completely pleased when notified that it’s time to upgrade to the “latest version”. Half the time something really nifty and easy to use is gone, disappeared with no explanation, leaving us to Google and in worst case scenarios, search support (which more often than not doesn’t provide an answer).

We upgraded to Yosemite and had to spend way more time reconfiguring things we really don’t know much about than should be necessary. We’re more of the “turn it on, it works, let’s go” type of user, accustomed to having things where they are supposed to be and in working order.  Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the download icon was gone. Not there. It used to have it’s own pride of place with a lovely dropdown menu that you could track all that stuff you just had to have in one place. Endless navigation and clicking ensued to find out just what were we supposed to do now. And as much as we searched, all we could find was that it was no longer a familiar part of our browser window. No explanation, no logic for its removal. We finally figured out to set our preferences to desktop rather than a downloads folder just to make sure we were actually getting what we wanted.

This morning we noticed that our happy little icon is back. Let’s see whether it has the full functionality of its parent. We do love change, of sorts, but the Big 5 Challenge is not a fan when things that are supposed to streamline our workflow and make our lives easier are just dumbed-down. Don’t assume we don’t need those features that worked beautifully and were a part of what drew us to you in the first place – hello Apple… is there anybody actually out there that is not trying to justify their salary by fixing stuff that isn’t broken?

When do you get annoyed?” – on the bus or in the car, up close and personal, way too far, by too much noise or too much talk, by things that stick on shoes when out for a walk… We would love to know when you get your knickers in a twist.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lunch

coffee

the latte that wasn’t

Our metropolis has one of the largest underground cities on the continent and is filled with, among other things, innumerable tiny restaurants from sushi joints and burger heavens to artisanal bread bars and vegan fast food. We had forgotten just how many people keep this industry alive and well until we got caught in the swell of office workers pouring out of their hives at full noon. The thought of standing too long in line for sub-par snacks didn’t appeal to Miss Z so we came up for air and headed towards a little hipster café. Situated on the main floor of a building in the old fur district on a side street blocked by construction vehicles, we walked right by it. No sign on the window, just a couple of numbers because we were supposed to know where it was.

Sitting in the back at a communal table seemed a better alternative than at a windy table for two awfully close to the front door, or so we thought. Relatively decent prices and a interesting enough menu were over-complicated by a server who, after asking us if we were familiar with the café, just had to explain what the sizes of the portions were on the “pizza” and “salad”. Uh oh. Sounds of a jack hammer started to vibrate through the wall – weren’t they unionized? 15 minutes. Full on rush hour of lunchtime. The hardhats doing the renovations next door had thankfully stopped for their mandatory break. We wondered what they had in their thermoses…  20 minutes. Good thing we didn’t have to get back to a real job where someone was actually counting the minutes we were away from our desks. 22 minutes. The girls jammed in to the right who had arrived ten minutes after us were served. Their complete meal. No sign of anyone at the open kitchen prepping our food. 25 minutes. Waiting is not our forte and we started to twitch. Just as the urge to walk out kicked in, our two lunches arrived on a single wooden cutting board with one duck and feta slice cozied up close enough to kiss Miss Z’s all-veg order. Nice. Definitely not politically correct.

It wasn’t famous as far as meals go and we said as much to the server when she asked if everything was great. No, it wasn’t. The portions of duck were microscopic and looked as though they had been stripped of the carcass of someone’s dinner from the night before. The crust literally had to be sawn through which is probably why it was served with a steak knife on the side. The salad which had definitely been batch made quite a few hours, say 24 or more, previously was predominantly beets with all of 2 walnuts, no pears, one green that looked like lawn clippings and a blob of goat cheese that had the texture of sour cream. Good thing the kombucha was bottled because the barista didn’t seem to know the difference between a bowl of latte and the double-strength cappuccino that arrived at our table.

Did we want something else? Nope. Perhaps a slice with a different meat on it? Definitely not. In the end, being ravenous and afraid to be struck by lightning for wasting food, we did eat the whole thing. The salad just sat there until we could doggie bag it. Not in any rush to get us our bill, they comped us the $5 for the duck “pizza” – wow – and hoped we would come back again for breakfast or supper when the crust was thinner. Mmmm, no, we don’t think so….

“What do you do for lunch?” – brownbag or five-star, sandwich or soup, miss it completely, go with a group, left-overs or made from scratch – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, but not Forgotten

gonesome say
that all of life
vibrates in each object
how can we part
when all of history
surges into tired fingertips

Remember where it went in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone, but not Forgotten.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Abandoned Buildings or Barns

abandoned buildings

it broke my heart
when you tore down the past
choosing instead to fence me in
stonewall the truth
shut out the sun
with rusty corrugation
and you wonder why
i shake the bars
and scream
when you ask me to sing
to blue skies

Dare to explore the entries in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Abandoned Buildings or Barns

The Big 5 – When do you get annoyed?


i’ll be waiting

Our aging neighbour finally bit the bullet, sold her house for what is was actually worth and snuck off early on a Sunday morning for points West without really saying goodbye to any of us on the street that she had gossiped with for so many years. So it goes: people are funny that way. We get used to their little idiosyncrasies, make small talk, put up with their barking dogs and annoying gardeners and for the most part, just live and let live as long as they don’t get too intrusive.

The couple that took over the bungalow look much like any other twenty-something, newly married couple just starting out. On their first day of possession, all the lights were on for what must have been a closer inspection of the premises: the previous owner favoured a more ecologically conscious (or just plain cheap) habit of only illuminating the room she was in so it was odd to see the little house lit up and taking on a new life. Day 2 the contents of what had been left behind spilled out into the yard – couches, chairs, an old tv and stand, a perfectly good desk and almost new filing cabinets, a mattress, box spring, carpet and garbage bags filled with who knows what.  For some reason we expected the van that pulled up to take it all away, perhaps to charity, a resource centre, the Sally Ann, church, anywhere that it might do some good and make life a little easier at this particularly stressful holiday time of year. But the two healthy, fit young men milling around the trailer didn’t dispose of it in a civically responsible manner. They did go to a lot of effort to pile it in the driveways of other neighbours so that they could park their own two cars without any obstruction. They didn’t even ask. Not a great way to make friends and influence people.

Big fat snowflakes started to fall around 10 pm onto the sad pile of furniture left in the street. We had hoped the roving pickers would make it to our neighbourhood to collect their free booty but they must all have been tucked in their own houses avoiding the cold snap because this morning the piles were still there. Until the garbage trucks arrived and ate everything.

That is when the Big 5 Challenge lost it. Completely disgusted and peeved beyond belief that in this day and age when everyone blathers on about doing the right thing, being ecologically friendly, passing it forward and helping out the less fortunate, the new residents actions were proving that some people still didn’t get it. We don’t feel “right neighbourly”  today, rather we can empathize more with the Clampetts  and would love to greet them at the door with a shotgun filled with salt and pepper and a baying bloodhound….

When do you get annoyed?” – on the bus or in the car, up close and personal, way too far, by too much noise or too much talk, by things that stick on shoes when out for a walk… We would love to know when you get your knickers in a twist.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Chores – Week 2

dog choreslooks like he’s found a project

Nature has been playing fast and loose with the thermostat recently. We’ve had bouts of intolerable cold book-ended by mini heatwaves, festive flakes followed by dreary drizzle and it all adds up to muck. The kind of gooey, clinging black gold that our dog seems to take great joy in getting up close and personal with.

Most days it’s in and out at least fifteen times for little nature jaunts that last around 5 – 10 minutes with the requisite call and return of barking to the neighbourhood pooches. Whether sitting on the deck sending esp messages to his friend to come out and play or sniffing around the bushes to check whether the children next door have lobbed another ball over the fence, there is always some indication that he is on patrol. This particular day we were otherwise occupied – so much so that we forgot where he was because it was too quiet.

Not a digger by nature, the wild variations in temperature must have brought an incredibly tantalizing smell to his attention: there he was belly to the ground in the flower bed, face buried up to the eyebrows under the stone wall. Varmint! We could hear him thinking. Critters!  We now have a small trench beside the rhododendrons, one that gets progressively deeper every time the sun comes out and things warm up enough for excavation.

He is thrilled. Us less so as it means a doggie hose-down a few times a day. This must be one of the few times we can actually say that we will be pleased when things freeze over…. “What do you think is a chore?” – milking cows or shucking corn, stuck in traffic tooting your horn, laundry, yard work, going to school, sorting, saving, lists of rules – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

converge

imagine
the instant
where cat
water
weather
and time
converge

Make it all come together in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge.
With thanks to DeWets Wild for changing our mind about this entry…

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Chores

rosie the robotStill waiting

A recent conversation with some ladies in one of our FB groups suggested that we may very well be one of the last people on the planet that actually irons. The topic, like most, came about quite haphazardly, rising out of a pleading request from the notoriously last-minute Miss Z to press a shirt as she was running late. Now if you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that we went on strike in the domestic duties department some months ago in an attempt to create awareness about basic life skills. Not to say that we have tossed the washer out with the rinse water so to speak but we have not felt the obligation to iron jammies and t-shirts that don’t belong to us quite like we used to.

We still take great pains with our own laundry because there’s not much point of putting it back in the cupboard if it looks like it has been twisted beyond recognition in the spin cycle. Hence a few episodes of Donut Wars and some ironing board aerobics. We want to be able to just reach in the drawer, pop on (insert clothing item here) and go without having any wrinkles or unseemly creases cast aspersions on our character. Other people don’t seem to have this problem. They have magic dryers that make their linens things of beauty. Or they are just too busy with other things to care whether the seams are flat or collars are rolling just so.

A few too many years in the garment industry still haunt us when we see a puckered hem or bunched lapel. We blame Rosie the Robot and a whole host of generational influences for creating unrealistic expectations and no small amount of anxiety when we don’t measure up. Our mother and grandmothers before us were quite persnickety about their domestic duties and were quite explicit in their instructions on how to press a shirt “properly” or fold a sheet so it didn’t look like you’d pulled it out of someone’s throat before smoothing it over the mattress. Apparently, it does not matter anymore but we suspect it is indicative of a larger issue where skill, pride and attention to detail are falling by the wayside in favour of quick results. And all that other stuff.

“What do you think is a chore?” – milking cows or shucking corn, stuck in traffic tooting your horn, laundry, yard work, going to school, sorting, saving, lists of rules – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

doors

Thank you for using the artist’s entrance on the right
…’cuz your not allowed in the front door….

⎡⎤

Get a grip on the entries in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

The Big 5 – “Where” do you eat? – Week 2

green apples

an apple a day

It’s been years since we had to pack a lunch for ourselves or, for that matter, walk further than a hundred feet to find something to snack on midday seeing we are “lucky” enough to live and work out of the same premises. We do, however, keep an eye on what the Ghost and Miss Z throw in their backpacks to sustain themselves through their busy schedules. Their food of choice these days tends towards the portable, bite-sized, not too smelly and unobtrusive.

The rigours of back-to-back seminars means that some days our monsters have to actually eat in their classrooms. Just as walking down the street with a coffee or bottle of water in hand wasn’t a common occurrence thirty years ago, neither was noshing down on a fragrant smoked-meat in a “State of the Media” symposium. Times change. Many of the unwritten rules of public comportment that we took for granted are long gone and we either go with the flow or run the risk of becoming stale-dated like that mystery meat sandwich from the vending machine.

Meal-time, under the best of circumstances, is no small effort and the Big 5 Challenge is curious about “Where do you eat?” – in bed or on the sofa, in front of the tv or in a cafeteria, on the road or in the air, alone or in a crowd, way too fast or without a care …

We would love to know where you chow down.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Rant – Week 2

punk rock is a joke
it’s really just baroque

We just don’t have it in us today to go into any long tirades about this or that. The winter winds have whipped their way into our neighbourhood to let us know that it won’t be long before the ground is completely covered in the great white stuff, so we are taking today to do a little catch-up before getting the shovel out.

A little bit of creative surfing brought us to the video above and, being both a music lover and always up for a good yuk, it was deemed a perfect fit for today’s challenge.  Looks like we’ll be spending some of the upcoming duller winter days snorting and guffawing over RobPRocks Youtube playlist…

This fortnight’s topic has its silly side and like any good declaration gets its message across in a way that can’t be ignored.  “How does a rant make itself felt for you?” – loud and proud, scrawled or bawled, snide or snotty, on the wall, in the post or in the news, blogged or flogged – We would love to see your vision…

Enjoy.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Travel Theme: Belonging

belonging

 If I were five
I would wonder why
someone would give up
something loved
so long
so easily
but the years
are exponential multiplied
and the answer
to questions of possession
still manages
to break my heart

Find a sense of place in the entries in Where’s my backpack?’s challenge
Travel Theme: Belonging.