MUNDANE MONDAY CHALLENGE ON TUESDAY

Mundane Monday Challenge #73


Blame it on the servers. I never get this notice until Tuesday, or so late on Monday evening, it might as well be Tuesday.

As luck would have it, I’ve taken new pictures this week. All of our travel plans fell through and we wound up not going anywhere. Mundane is a perfect subject.

Late afternoon light in August along the Blackstone Canal.

Late afternoon light in August along the Blackstone Canal.

I have been accused of using the same pictures repeatedly. Actually mostly they are not the same picture and frequently, not the same camera or lens. They are, however, the same places. The same river. The same bridge. The same canal. And, of course, the same house.

Not quite enough to make the world go around ...

Not quite enough to make the world go around …

My challenge is not only to make the best pictures of these familiar subjects, but to find a slightly different approach to them. A difference in the light, perhaps, or a new angle. This gets increasingly difficult. I’ve got a great many pictures of the Blackstone Canal and river. But not nearly so many pictures of money🙂

LATE AUGUST – CEE’S ODDBALL PHOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 33


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It’s been a strange summer spent, for one reason or another, largely inside. Either the world was full of hairy caterpillars … or the air was so hot and thick with humidity, it was a challenge to take a breath.

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During the past couple of days, as is often the case late in August, the temperature dropped to normal summertime. Hot, but not super-heated.

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Regular humidity, not the steaming rain forest dampness. Suddenly, too, Labor Day and the end of the season is closer than the 4th of July. How fast it goes by.

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DATELINE UXBRIDGE – SHARING MY WORLD

Share Your World – 2016 Week 34


What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Ginger. Crystallized ginger. No matter how many time you ask this question, you will get the same answer. Boring, perhaps, but no less true.

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

This is a very funny question. It’s been years since I carried more than a couple of ten-dollar bills in the pouch I use as a wallet. The world has spun a few times on its axis. Cash? What’s cash? The only time I need cash is for machines in decrepit parking garages in Boston which (fortunately) have machines that give cash. Then, you can put the cash into the machine which opens the garage gate.

Except … it isn’t that simple. Uh uh.

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Cash machines give you horribly crumpled money clearly ready for the great money-burning furnace in which they destroy paper money too tired for further use. When you then try to put those bills into a machine, it gets rejected. Too crumpled, with bent corners. You try again. And again.

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This process will reduce any normal person to incoherent sputtering.  At which point a sleepy, stoned, slow-moving attendant strolls over.

“You need help?”

“This #$%^@$ machine won’t take my money.”

“Calm down.” No one should even tell an irate citizen to calm down. It merely makes them angrier. Just saying.

I snarl. He looks bored. Eventually, it gets sorted out and we drive away. I ponder how little plastic cards have made life easier — most of the time.

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Remember when you had to figure out in advance how much you were going to spend when you went shopping? Getting to the checkout at the grocery store, seeing the numbers roll up and realizing you are short? You know the people in line behind you are going to riot if you hold up the line, but what can you do? There’s a bank at the other end of the mini-mall, but that would take you … how long?

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The natives behind you are beginning to grumble. In your mind, you see the angry crowd, the torches. Is there a full moon? How many of your neighbors are about to change into fanged were-animals?

You shake yourself out of this nightmare and realize — it’s okay. It’s 2016 and you have — a debit card! As long as you can remember which way that strip goes into the machine …

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

Firstly, if you are a mouse, I would appreciate your taking up residence elsewhere. We have more than enough vermin issues here in the country and I have absolutely no patience with mice. I know you guys just want a warm place to set up house, but you eat everything and make an awful mess. Then, I have to trap and dispose of you. None of those gentle trap. I used to be nice about this, but you abused my generosity and came right back. Now, if I catch you, death will follow. Live … but not here.

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If you actually did hang around and neither of the terriers thought you looked like a snack, you’d see us watching television. You’d see me writing posts for Serendipity, maybe processing pictures. You’d hear snippets of conversation and the occasional ring of the phone. Not very exciting, but I suspect that’s more or less the scene in homes around the world.

Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak?

I stand on my Fifth Amendment rights. I will not incriminate myself. Or discriminate against myself. Or whatever applies.

FIFTY? HUH?

What’s with 50?

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WordPress, you got me. Fifty means nothing to me. It’s not a year I remember (in 1950, I was three) and 2050 is probably not a year I’ll live to see. It’s not an address at which I’ve resided, nor an age during which anything special occurred.

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Most numbers don’t have any particular significance to me unless they are part of someone’s birthday, anniversary, phone number, or address.

Robbie is about 50, or at least his character is ... Okay, actually, he's 60 and a bit ...

Robbie is about 50, or at least his character is … Okay, actually, he’s 60 and a bit …

Fifty ways to leave your lover? I never needed more than one.

FIFTY | THE DAILY POST

THE CHANGING SEASONS: AUGUST 2016 – DOG DAYS

The Changing Seasons: August 2016


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The dog days of August are here. Strange weather has persisted, though the last few days have been more like a “normal” summer than any of the preceding months.

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The Gypsy Moth caterpillars stripped the trees in early July. Now, in the second half of August, the leaves look full and the deep green that is normal for this time of year.

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It also finally began to rain. It is not as much as we need to make up for the exceptionally dry May, June, and July, but we had a few good rains in the past few weeks.

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When I last looked, the river was no longer dry mud. Not full, not exactly flowing, but at least it was wet and some water was coming over the dam.

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By next month, the leaves will be changing. Summer arrives slowly, but ends quickly.


What’s this «Changing Seasons» blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

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KITCHEN OLYMPICS by ELLIN CURLEY

The 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro ended yesterday. I’ve watched a lot of events over the past couple of weeks. I’ve learned the meaning of athletic maneuvers I didn’t know existed. Or maybe I knew but forgot four years ago. And, now I understand how important 1/100th  of a second can be.

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Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if everyday activities were scrutinized and graded the way dives and gymnastics are. There would be names for the different techniques for folding sheets – and folding the fitted sheet would rate a higher level of difficulty.

Dish-washing would be my favorite event. There is so much technique involved and so many options for equipment and strategy. You can use a dishrag or a sponge (don’t get me started on the varieties in sponge technology). You can use one of those things on a stick, but some of those have a built-in soap dispenser, which I think should be banned as cheating. The choice of dish soap is a whole other category. Maybe if you use the Consumer Reports favorites, your difficulty level should be reduced.

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Now for the actual washing of the dishes. Do you pre-rinse? Do you use hot water or just warm? The different wrist movements should have fancy names as well as the circular arm movements (clockwise or counter-clockwise?) How do you try to scrub or scrape off baked on or age hardened food? That is the test of a real champion. Do you resort to additional equipment or rely solely on elbow grease? And then there’s the decision as to whether you rinse with the spray setting, which is faster but which causes splashing – a serious deduction.

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Sticking the landing would be quickly and accurately securing the dish in one of those annoying plastic dish drying racks. This would be my personal Waterloo.

I think that putting dishes in the dishwasher is more of an art form than a sporting event. You have to be creative and have a really good sense of spatial relations as well as patience and perseverance. But you could make this a timed event; the most plates, bowls and cups you can fit in the dishwasher in the least amount of time wins. You can challenge your spouse or roommate and make it a family affair.

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And then there’s parking a car. This is another fun event in the Olympics of life. Maybe if I give myself running commentary the next time I’m parking in a parking lot or trying to back my car into the garage, it’ll make it a less frustrating and more enjoyable experience. One can always hope.

WHEN THE MAGIC WORKED: BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY – COMPOSITION

Black & White Sunday: Composition


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These two pictures, neither of which is new, are my favorites. The composition on both was intentional. I was trying for exactly what I got — a rarity for me. It’s common for pictures to come out better than I expected. Even more often, they come out different than what I intended — for better or worse.

In both of these shots, I wanted what I got and got what I wanted. The magic worked.

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