Thursday Thoughts: Internet Gratification

[Beep. Hiss. Bleep. Shhht. Bloing]

Remember that?

No? Well, you are lucky because that meant you had to wait. For everything. For information, pictures, email, and videos (Hamster Dance took forever). Maybe not forever, but you had time to go make a sandwich.

We take not waiting for granted. Entertainment is on-demand, we can get in touch with each other whenever we want, and find out who that girl was who acted in that show. No matter where you are, there is a pretty good chance that you have access to all this.

When things take too long, it’s easy to get frustrated. But wait. Yes, wait. Relax there, buckaroo. Sip that coffee. Sit back. Make a sandwich.

I’m currently experiencing slow connection. Not 5G, or 4G. More like…it’s… kinda nice. It’s quiet out there, there are no neighbours for miles, the sun is rising over the lake, and I have nowhere to go.

Another coffee? Don’t mind if I do.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday: Blast from the (not so distant) Past – Part 2

Six months ago, it was the beginning of spring. The sun was tracing the same route across the sky, yet now, the temperature and wind feels like an ending, rather than a rebirth. The 19 degrees (Celsius), which felt absolutely balmy now, has a chill to it. The wind seems to be a harbinger of the coming cold rather than a welcoming of summer warmth.

I suppose it’s the same as being able to shovel the snow in shorts and a T-shirt when it hits 0 degrees in the middle of winter, while the same temperature in the fall forces the long sleeves to come out.

Weird.

Since I am taking a break from my cartoons, here is my “The Day Before” series:

That’s all the weirdness for today.

-Leon

Oh yeah, tune in on Friday for my next conversation with another author. Who is it? Well, I’ll tell you on Friday.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Tuesday Tirade: Fruit Flies (and bonus mini-rant)

First there’s one, then another, then you lift a banana out of the fruit bowl and “POOF!” a cloud of them emerges.

No sir, I don’t like ‘em.

I don’t have any table scraps lying around or in the garbage for that matter. I don’t have the means to compost outside, so I take all my vegetable scraps and put them into the freezer until I can bring them to a friend’s place.

Problem solved? You would think, but Nooooo.

The solution given to me was to put cider vinegar into a container, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke small holes in it with a toothpick.

Problem solved? You would think, but Nooooo.

Oh, I got a few. I saw the pickled flies floating around in the brine (I know it’s not brine), but I believe that the others saw them too, and being smart as crows, never ventured near the jar o’ death.

I’ve been able to clap a few into oblivion.

At least it’s not cockroaches…

-Leon

Bonus Mini-rant

Election News: Canada’s parliament looks…well, pretty much the same as it did a month ago before the Prime Minister called an early election in a bid to win majority control of the government.

Thank you Justin Trudeau for spending 600 million dollars of taxpayers money when you still had two years left in your term.

[Slow clap]


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday: Blast from the (not so distant) Past

I heard yesterday that Canadian comedian Norm MacDonald had passed away. I remember him on Saturday Night Live as host of Weekend Update and as Burt Reynolds on Celebrity Jeopardy. He had a weirdness to his talent and his delivery was like he didn’t care if anyone shared his sense of humor. Probably was what got him fired.

There’s always a sadness when a celebrity passes, but their body of work keeps their talent alive.

Since I am taking a break from my cartoons, here is my “Hide-and-Seek” series:

That’s all the weirdness for today.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Tuesday Tirade: Trash Talk

Garbage, we have to talk. It’s not you; it’s…them.

Them? The people who are incapable of carrying you home or for those few extra blocks to find a trash can. The people who carelessly release you into a world you don’t belong. The people who just open their car window and toss you into the ditch.

You? You’re not at fault. You were once important to someone. You held their drink. You kept the germs out of their lungs. You wiped the mustard from hungry lips. Then they callously let you go, and your identity changed.

You are now garbage, and I don’t say that in a malicious way because it wasn’t your choice.

I’m sorry that you have been abandoned on the ground. I’m glad you don’t know that you are missing the party going on in the can over there. Sometimes, I’ve picked you up, but I can’t do it all the time; there’s just too much. I’m sorry.

Maybe the hand that let you go needs a swift kick in the…well, the hand.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Thursday Thoughts: Animal Thoughts

Ever wonder what animals are thinking?

Reasoning?

  • Some animals can figure out puzzles or get themselves out of a jam.

Cause and effect?

  • Most animal learn to recognize words or signals and the actions or results of those. They know went they have to go to the bathroom or when they are hungry.

What about the passage of time? If you leave pet, do they know if you have been gone for a short or long time?

  • I know that most cats don’t care regardless, but dogs are pretty happy when you return and there is not much difference in excitement level between five minutes and five hours.

What causes a pet to get up and play with one of its toys?

  • I’ve seen a dog root through a pile of toys, obviously searching for a specific one.

No answers here. Just more questions.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday: Hiatus

Sometimes I plan my blog posts in advance, but more often it is a night before/morning of kinda thing. The same goes for my cartoons, The Miniscules and The Untitled. Usually the ideas come from a current event (like the Olympics) or a thought that I have had that sparks an interesting idea.

Lately is seems that the weird cartoon ideas have been…well, not so weird, so that part of the blog will be taking a bit of a break. I’ll probably try to build up a bank of them so I have something to post when I need it.

Next week I’ll post a few of my favorites. This week, I’ll grab a cup of coffee and relax.

Psst. You still have to write something for tomorrow.

Oh, yeah…

That’s all the weirdness for today.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Tuesday Tirade: Kinda…

I hadn’t had anything planned to post in the morning until the fire alarm went off in the building. I grabbed my wallet, keys, laptop, and hard drive—essentially my bug out kit.

Now, it’s nine thirty and the apartment below me is billowing smoke. Some guy ran out with a fire extinguisher and yelled “I got it out! It was on the stove.”

So, a grease fire you say…

It happens. That’s what fire alarms are for, right?

The fire department arrived, did their checks and set up fans to clear the smoke. At least it’s not cold outside. I have insurance and everyone is safe. I bet my place smells like smoke—and I just finished a big load of laundry.

There’s no reason to rant, I just hope that the people below me have learned a cooking lesson.

Hey! My wi-fi works all the way out here across the parking lot. Good thing I have a 40 character encryption key…

They let us back in and I walked up the 3 flights of stairs, smelling the acrid remnants of the night’s events. The firefighters turned on my oven vent—that’s not going to help, and my bathroom vent. Since the fire was below me, if I open the windows, I can still smell it. If I close the windows…

So, the windows are open and the fans are on. Now I have a post for the morning.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Thursday Thoughts: Drawing a Blank

If you are a witer (of anything) do you ever just have a complete loss for words or ideas? Ever sit with pen in hand stating at that blank piece of paper (Pen? Paper? What are these items you speak of?) wondering what to write about?

I’m doing it right now…well, I was. Now I’m writing about not writing.

I try to write things down when ideas come to me. Usually it’s a line that eventually becomes a poem. Sometimes I forget and that greatly clever poem/story is denied the gift of creation. I’m sure I have been on the cusp of a best seller.

I was walking in the rain one time and the water on my glasses prompted me to write this poem:

Freeze Frame

I snapped my fingers
And stopped the rain in mid-plummet
A million tiny lenses
Magnified the world
I saw
Suffering, perseverance
Kindness, sorrow
Misery, compassion
Tolerance, agony
Pain, sympathy
Unity, divisions
Grief, generosity
Peace, war
Purpose, despair
I blinked, and the rain continued to fall
I continued to walk
And let the world cry
And cry it did

I have to make an effort to remember to remember to write things down because sometimes the best ideas are fleeting and if we don’t grab hold of then right away we risk losing something of worth.

—Leon

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: A Conversation With Author/Poet Nicole Pierman. And for all you non-poetry/non-sci-fi readers, I break out of my comfort zone to showcase a fiction author.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Weird Wednesday: Elections

Two things you are not supposed to talk about at a dinner party: Religion and Politics. This is not a dinner party, so let’s discuss…elections.

There are many types of political systems around the world. Here is a brief synopsis:

Poly-Sci 101

  • Some work (sorta)
  • Some don’t
  • Some are corrupt

Now that we all understand global politics, let’s talk about elections—more specifically, the Canadian election. Let’s preface this by saying that I’m not an expert, but you figured that out by now.

The Canadian Prime Minister, once they and their party is elected—

Quirk #1: The leader of the party is the one to become Prime Minister, but if they don’t win their seat in government, it makes for an awkward situation. (I don’t think this has happened)

—have four years before they have to call a new election.

Quirk #2: They can call an election at anytime, even a few weeks or months after. There is no set date.

Usually, it is near the end of the term, but if the party in power is a minority—

Quirk #3: With 5-plus political parties all vying to be elected, the party with the most seats wins, but may have less than all the other parties combined. Ex.  Elected party has 38% of the seats, Party 2 has 25%, Party 3 has 20%, Party 4 has 10%, and Party 5 has 7% of the seats. In this case, if Party 2 and 3 gang up on Party 1, Party 1 can’t pass any bills because 2 and 3 will just vote them down.

—they have to get one of the other parties to agree with their platforms to be able to implement any programs.

Quirk #4: If the other parties don’t like what the party in power is doing—usually when they try to pass the yearly budget—they can call a vote of non-confidence, which means an election has to be called. This can happen at any time.

So, you want a majority government which is not handcuffed by the other parties.

Which brings me to the fact that after only 2 years in power (with a minority government), the Prime Minister has called a new election in hopes of winning that majority.

This can and has worked in the past, but you need to to convince voters that having a minority government is not ideal and that a majority is stronger, stable, and more efficient.

It can backfire, and it has, if voters are pissed off that they have to do this again so soon and flip their vote to other parties.

Quirk #5: We could wind up with the exact same minority or a completely different minority, which means we could have another election at any time.

Early elections often have lower turnout, but with mail-in ballots (due to Covid) could increase the votes or increase the amount of paper to be recycled.

So, here we are, half-way through the 5 week campaign—

Quirk #6: Election campaigns are short. Not like the US where is seems to go on forever.

—and at the end of September, Canada will have either the same leader or a new one.

Last Quirk: The province of Quebec is French speaking region with a very unique culture of its own. In the past, it has come close to leaving Canada to become independent (51% to 49% referendum vote). It has a regional party that is able to run its candidates federally. This party is focused on what is good for Quebec, not the national picture. With a large population, Quebec can (and has) won enough seats in parliament to form the official opposition in government but not enough to form a majority or a minority government.

Confused? I’m still more baffled by the US system.   

-Leon

The Untitled

The Miniscules

That’s all the weirdness for today.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!