FOWC with Fandango — Paltry

FOWCWelcome to March 24, 2019 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “paltry.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.

Let the Sun Shine In

1AC158E3-59D9-4007-865B-AA88E3E59889My blogging buddy, Rory, aka A Guy Calked Bloke, gifted me with the Sunshine Blogger Award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring – people who spread “sunshine” to the blogging world! Oh yeah, that’s me all right. Mister Sunshine!

So what am I supposed to do with this gift?

  • Thank whoever gifted you and include a link to their blog. Thank you, Rory. The link is above.
  • Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post and display the Guidance. Done and done.
  • Answer the questions from the person who gifted you the Award. See below.
  • Choose 3 bloggers that you wish to gift the Award to. No, I’m not big on regifting, so instead I’ll do what’s next (see below) and open it up to anyone who wants to answer them.
  • Ask 5 questions of your choice. See above…and below.
  • Notify those you gift the Award to. Everyone, you’re on notice. 

Now to the five questions Rory posed:

If you could do something a bit naughty every day and not get caught, what would you do?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

What are the unwritten rules to blogging?

There’s just one. Your blog must have written words. Or visible images. Or both.

What kind of cult would you like to start?

The Fandango Fan Cult. Wanna join?

Is a hot dog a sandwich, a roll, or an overheated K9?

Of a hot dog is a sandwich. It’s meat inside of and surrounded by bread with condiments of your choice. Sandwich.

What is the most creative, inventive and imaginative insult you can come up with?

I don’t know how creative, inventive, or imaginative it is, but my favorite is a simple “Bite me!”

Okay, here are my five questions for you all.

If you could start your blog all over again, how would it be different, if at all, from your current blog?

What quote or saying do people spout but which is complete BS?

What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

What was the last picture you took with your smartphone (if you have one, or with your camera if you don’t).

Okay, as I said, everyone is invited to gift themselves with the Sunshine Blogger Award and to answer these five questions. Or not. It’s up to you.

2019 is 1984

3864C99C-26BB-4EC5-A9D0-2EEF7B540A9AThe assemblage of Trump lemmings down in Mar-a-Lago are fist-bumping and high-fiving this weekend. The talking heads at Fox News are delirious in their joy today. That’s because the long-awaited and much-anticipated Mueller Report has been delivered, and even though few people know what’s actually in it, the Trump faithful are pounding their chests and claiming vindication. “No collusion, no obstruction,” they are gleefully yelling.

Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner have all escaped indictments (so far). As has Donald Trump himself. The Mueller probe is over, and from all outward appearances, it looks like Donald Trump and his kin will get off scot-free.

I don’t know what’s in the Mueller report, but it’s hard for me to imagine, given what we have all seen with our own eyes and heard with our own ears, that there is no hard evidence of collusion and obstruction on the part of Donald Trump. But then again, Trump did tell his supporters, “Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening. Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news.”

I wonder if all of America, including Robert Mueller, has been somehow brainwashed to the point of denying what we all know to be true. Donald Trump and his see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil Republican sycophants in Congress have redefined the American identity, and it’s not for the better.

War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, lies are truth, and 2019 is 1984.


Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (assemblage), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (delirious), and Word of the Day Challenge (identity).

Beyond the Pale

71DD18D9-DB9A-4C9F-956C-AD2BC0CF8CAAThe author of the above letter to the editor, which appeared in my local newspaper yesterday, was expressing his dismay at Donald Trump’s unconscionable attack on the late U.S. Senator John McCain. I don’t know if it was the letter writer or the editorial staff of the paper who chose to use the headline “Beyond the Pale” for the letter, but it got me wondering where that expression originated.

I’ve heard the expression “beyond the pale” used before. Multiple times, in fact. It’s used as an expression of outrage, or as a way of saying that something is unthinkable, as in, “What he did was beyond the pale.” And I’ve also heard that phrase used by many pundits over the past two years to describe the words and actions of Donald Trump.

I did a Google search to see what I could learn about the phrase’s origin. According to one site that specializes in the meanings and origins of phrases, “beyond the pale” means “unacceptable; outside agreed standards of decency.” Yup, that’s Donald Trump all right.
A3FD787B-7F1E-4A64-845A-2BC9211EF016But I digress. The word “pale” in the phrase is an old name for a pointed piece of wood driven into the ground, which, when strung together, forms a barrier made of such stakes. Its original use was as a defense, a safeguard, an enclosure, or a limit beyond which it was not permissible to go.

The phrase “beyond the pale” dates back to the 14th century, when the part of Ireland that was under English rule was delineated by a boundary made of such stakes or fences. It was known as the English Pale. To travel outside of that boundary, beyond the pale, was to leave behind all the rules and institutions of English society, which the English modestly considered synonymous with civilization itself.

The phrase took on a negative connotation in 18th century Russia. Catherine the Great created the Pale of Settlement in Russia in 1791. This was the name given to the western border region of the country, in which Jews were allowed to live. The motivation behind this was to restrict trade between Jews and native Russians. Some Jews were allowed to live, as a concession, “beyond the pale.”

Russia enacted May Laws of 1882, after widespread anti-Jewish riots, or pogroms, had broken out in the Russian Pale the previous year. The May Laws stripped Jews of their rural landholdings and restricted them from travel outside of the pale.

My post on Beyond the Pale wouldn’t be complete, however, if I didn’t mention the Ottawa based brewery, Beyond the Pale.3CAA75BE-3E91-4A70-8B11-5C1F99765A83And there’s also Beyond the Pale, a Toronto-based Canadian world/roots fusion band.D1E69710-3EFF-46EC-80F7-F473A6BE80B7Who knew?

SoCS — Going Postal

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to write about “the last piece of mail you received.” She goes further by instructing us to “talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received.” In other words, if it’s a gas bill, for example, she wants us to write about gas, not about the bill.

My daily snail-mail delivery consists mostly of bills, catalogs, and promotions or solicitations. When I checked my mail late yesterday afternoon, one of the pieces of mail I received was a job solicitation from the U.S. Postal Service.904290FA-B733-4D8C-8215-EED2CE232866It asked whether I might be “looking for a fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding job with career advancement opportunities.” Woo hoo!

How exciting. I could be a mail carrier, a mail handler assistant, an auto mechanic, a tractor-trailer operator, a motor vehicle operator, a clerk, and, best of all, “more!”

Now I have nothing against the U.S. Postal Service. I don’t know my mailman (or mailwoman), but I appreciate what they and their fellow postal workers do. That “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” motto is really inspiring.

The thing is, I’m retired. And I kind of like being retired. And I was able to put enough away during my working years that, unless I live as long as Methuselah, I should have enough money to survive on so that I won’t ever have to work again.

So I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on this kind invitation to join the ranks of the U.S. Postal Service. But if any of you out there are interested in going postal, I’m sure your local postmaster would be happy to chat with you.