WDP — Balancing Act

Daily writing prompt
How do you balance work and home life?

Easy peasy. I’m retired, so there is no work life. There’s only home life.

For me, a more realistic question is how do I balance my online life (i.e., blogging on WordPress) and my offline life (i.e., real life).

I’m still trying to figure that out.

Sunday Poser — Old Ways or New?

For this week’s Sunday Poser, Sadje has asked…

Do you prefer old ways or new technology in your day to day life?

At first I was going to say that I generally prefer new technology, but there are bad actors who put these new technologies to negative purposes. But then I saw that she got more specific:

By old ways I mean using a wristwatch, using a diary to keep appointments, or a calendar hanging on the wall to note events that you’d like to remember. What do you prefer in your daily life? High tech gadgets keeping a record of your routine or you like to do it manually?

With that elaboration, I have to say that I’m all about new technology. I do have a wristwatch, but it’s an Apple Watch that is paired with my iPhone. It can do a lot more than just tell me what time it is.

As to a calendar for noting events, including birthdays and anniversaries, appointments, an other items, I use Google Calendar on my iPhone. And I use my iPhone’s Reminders app for recurring reminders, like cleaning my coffee maker every two weeks. We do not have a single paper calendar anywhere in our home.

So my answer to this week’s Sunday Poser is definitely high-tech gadgets, assuming that an iPhone is considered to be a high-tech gadget.

Cellpic Sunday — 05/21/23

John Steiner, the blogger behind Journeys With Johnbo, has this prompt he calls Cellpic Sunday in which he asks us to post a photo that was taken with a cellphone, tablet, or another mobile device. I thought this might be fun so I decided to join in.

My wife took this photo early one evening last week. She noticed this large, hairy spider clinging to the outside of the glass slider that leads from the master bedroom to our deck in the back of our house. We confirmed that this is a tarantula spider, and this is the first one we’ve seen this year.

It’s actually kind of unusual to see a tarantula climbing up a glass slider, and even more unusual to see one before sunset, and yet even more unusual to see one at this time of year.

Why? Because these creatures are nocturnal and they live in underground burrows and rarely come out much before sunset. About the only time you see tarantulas above ground is during mating season, which is typically in September and October where we live. That’s when the mature male tarantulas are on the prowl for females and will leave their burrows to find female tarantulas to mate. Female tarantulas stay in their burrows most of their lives.

So was this tarantula in the photo an outlier? It wasn’t underground, it wasn’t dark, and it’s still at least four months before the tarantula mating season actually starts. Personally, I blame it on climate change.

If you wish to participate in this fun cellphone photo prompt, please click on the link to John’s post at the top of my post to see his photo and to read his instructions.

Spam Comment of the Week — Week 20 2023

I get some interesting spam comments on my blog, most of which are captured by Akismet, WordPress’ spam blocker. I generally do a mass delete of all of my spam comments after checking to see if any legitimate comments got caught up in Akismet’s spam-catching net.

I thought it might be fun to select a particularly interesting or unique or outrageous spam comment and highlight it each week.

This week I received relatively few spam comments. Maybe they are becoming wary about, or weary from, being exposed by my weekly spam highlights post. Anyway, this week’s featured spam comment is rather innocuous. It was written by Fay Rush in response to my “Who Am I?” page. Fay wrote…

Discover exactly how very easy it can be to handle your time, find even more tranquility as well as still have a life.

Well, Fay I suppose I should link to your website to find out just how easy it can be to handle my time and to find even more tranquility. But I’m already a pretty chill guy, so thanks but no thanks. Uh

What about you? Have you read some catchy spam comments that you’d like to share with us? If so, put them in the comments or create your own post and tag it #FSCW.

Song Lyric Sunday — Disco

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “disco” music. According to Wikipedia, disco is a genre of dance music and a subculture that emerged in the 1970s from the United States’ urban nightlife scene. Its sound is typified by four-on-the-floor beats, syncopated basslines, string sections, brass and horns, electric piano, synthesizers, and electric rhythm guitars.

Sure, I thought of picking almost any song from the movie “Saturday Night Fever,” or focusing on well known disco artists like The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and the Gang, and a whole host of others.

Instead I’m going with a group that was my favorite back in the early sixties. A group not known for its disco music. Except for this one song in particular: “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

“December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” was recorded by the Four Seasons. It was written by original Four Seasons keyboard player Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker, produced by Gaudio, and included on the group’s 1975 album, Who Loves You.

The song features drummer Gerry Polci on lead vocals, with Frankie Valli, the group’s usual lead vocalist, singing the bridge sections and backing vocals, and bass player Don Ciccone singing the falsetto part. It was a huge worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries.

Co-writer Bob Gaudio said that the song was originally set in 1933 with the title “December 5th, 1933,” and it celebrated the repeal of Prohibition. Neither lead singer Frankie Valli nor co-writer (and later, Gaudio’s wife) Judy Parker were thrilled about the lyrics (and Valli objected to parts of the melody) so Gaudio redid the words and Parker redid the melody until all were content with the finished product.

The group had to play down the sexual overtones in this song to appease conservative radio stations, and kept referring to it as a nostalgic love song. But Frankie Valli admitted that, “it was a song about losin’ your cherry” — about a guy having sex for the first time.

As I said earlier, The Four Seasons were not considered a disco group, but this song definitely fit into the disco genre, which is why I chose it. Billboard magazine said that it had “the flavor and fun of ’60s rock with a disco feel.” Record World called it a “disco flavored item in [the Four Seasons’] timeless harmony mold.”

Here are the lyrics to “December 1963 (Oh What a Night).”

Oh, what a night
Late December back in sixty-three
What a very special time for me
As I remember what a night.

Oh, what a night
You know I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night.

Oh I, I got a funny feelin' when she walked in the room
Yeah my, as I recall it ended much too soon.

Oh, what a night
Hypnotizin', mesmerizing me
She was ev'rything I dreamed she'd be
Sweet surrender, what a night.

I felt a rush like a rollin' ball of thunder
Spinnin' my head around 'n' takin' my body under
Oh what a night.

Oh I, I got a funny feelin' when she walked in the room
Yeah my, as I recall it ended much too soon.

Oh what a night, why'd it take so long to see the light
Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right
What a lady, what a night.

Oh, I felt a rush like a rollin' ball of thunder
Spinnin' my head around 'n' takin' my body under
Oh what a night (do do do do do, do do do do do)

Oh what a night (do do do do do, do do do do do)
Oh what a night (do do do do do, do do do do do)
Oh what a night (do do do do do, do do do do do).