Animal Clouds

“That one looks like a giant dragon,” Peter said, pointing to the cloud almost directly overhead. He then passed the joint to Rachel, who was lying next to him on the blanket.

Rachel took a deep hit and sighed. “Life is so random,” she said. “I abhor life’s randomness.”

“Sheesh, Rachel,” Peter said, “you always become ascetic when you’re stoned out of your gourd.”

“I most certainly am not ascetic,” Rachel objected. “Contemplative, maybe. Pensive perhaps. But I certainly don’t practice self-denial.” She smiled and took another hit off the joint and handed it back to Peter.

“You say you abhor randomness, but when we met at that Kamala Harris campaign rally last year, don’t you think that was rather random?” Peter asked.

Rachel laughed. “That wasn’t random,” she said. “It was serendipitous.”

“They’re the same thing,” Peter said.

“Well, that depends on your definitions,” Rachel said. “I define serendipitous as an unsought, unintended, or unexpected occurrence, but one with a fortunate, or happy outcome. Random is just arbitrary.”

“So you consider our meeting to be a fortunate occurrence with a happy outcome?” Peter said with a broad smile on his face.

Rachel blushed and pointed to a cloud in the sky. “Look, Peter, that one looks like a lion.”

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (random), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (abhor), Your Daily Word Prompt (ascetic), The Daily Spur (campaign), and MMA Storytime (depend).

Rory’s Questions About Blogging

Rory, A Guy Called Bloke, is back at it again with more of his questions about blogging.

How many social networking platforms are you committed to for ‘social coverage’ for your written and published blog content?

None. I’m not active on any of the social media platforms. WordPress is it.

How far ahead do you have planned or scheduled content to be published on your blog or are you more of a ‘in the moment’ type of writer?

My FOWC with Fandango daily word prompts are typically scheduled up to two weeks in advance. Almost all of my other posts are “in the moment.”

How long are you ‘in/on’ your blog for daily?

That depends upon what else is going on in my life, but between composing my posts, proof reading them, making any necessary edits to them, and reading and commenting on other bloggers’ posts, I’d guess anywhere from three to seven hours a day.

Are the social niceties of being LIKED important to you?

“Social niceties”? I’m not sure I understand what this question is getting at. I’m happy when people read my posts, happier when people like them, and even more happy when people comment on them. But likes can be like pennies, not worth very much when people like a bunch of your posts in rapid fire succession, meaning that they probably clicked like without actually having read the posts. So I’ll echo what Rory said: Please Don’t Just Like For The Sake Of LIKING, But Only LIKE If You Really Do LIKE It!

W is for “Welcome Back, Kotter”

“Welcome Back, Kotter” was an American sitcom starring Gabe Kaplan as a sardonic high school teacher Gabe Kotter. He was in charge of a racially and ethnically diverse remedial class called the “Sweathogs.” Recorded in front of a live studio audience, it originally aired on ABC from September 9, 1975, to May 17, 1979.Mr. Kotter, a wisecracking teacher returned to his alma mater, James Buchanan High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, to teach a remedial class. The rigid vice principal, Michael Woodman (John Sylvester White), dismissed the Sweathogs as witless hoodlums and only expected Kotter to contain them until they dropped out or were otherwise banished.

As a former remedial student and a founding member of the original class of Sweathogs, Kotter befriended the current Sweathogs and stimulated their potential. A pupil-teacher rapport was formed, and the students often visited Kotter’s Bensonhurst apartment, sometimes via the fire-escape window, much to the chagrin of his wife, Julie (Marcia Strassman).

The talented ensemble cast of Sweathogs included Vinnie Barbarino (John Travalta) as a cocky Italian-American who was the unofficial leader of the Sweathogs and the group’s hearthrob. Travalta’s role as Barbarino was his breakout to movie stardom. Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) was the hip black student known as the athletic Sweathog for his skills on the basketball court. Juan Epstein (Robert Hegyes) was a fiercely proud Puerto Rican Jew. He was one of the toughest students at the school, despite his short stature. On the few occasions when Kotter did his Groucho Marx impersonation, Epstein would jump in and impersonate Chico Marx or Harpo Marx. Arnold Horshack (Ron Palillo) was the class clown of the Sweathogs. He was completely comfortable with his oddball, if naïve, personality, and was known for his unique observations and his wheezing laugh, similar to that of a hyena.

Kaplan said that when he and Alan Sacks created the program, the fictional James Buchanan High in the show was based on the Brooklyn high school that Kaplan attended in real life, which appeared in the show’s opening credits. Many of the show’s characters were based on people Kaplan knew during his teen years as a remedial student.

Previous BATZAP 2021 posts: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V

Thank You Fellow Bloggers

On Sunday, in this post, I asked a question to the WordPress blogging community about how to create single-spaced text within the paragraph block in the block editor instead of having to use the verse block. A number of you offered suggestions.

Some suggestions could work on a Windows computer with a full-sized, physical keyboard, but not on the virtual keypad of an iPhone. Others suggested going into the HTML and making changes using the <br> tag, which inserts a single line break. And still others suggested using an external text editor to draft the text that I wanted to single space and then cut and paste it into the paragraph block.

Well, I ended up going with the external text editor, writing my seven-line “poem,” and copying the text into the paragraph block. And here’s what I got:

This is a test
Of some HTML code
Within the paragraph block
To see if it permits
Me to single space
Without using the
Verse block

Woo hoo! That is exactly what I wanted to do. Yay!

So I want to offer a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to respond to my post and to offer help. I am now more determined than ever to master this block editor because I can’t imagine blogging anywhere other than on WordPress because of all of you. You are the most generous, supportive, encouraging, helpful, and most sincere community of bloggers there is. Thank you for being who you are.

And for those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here is what the HTML view looks like for the six lines of single-spaced, center-justified text.

FOWC with Fandango — Abhor

FOWCWelcome to April 27, 2021 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 “abhor.”

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. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

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