Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Poetry as a platform

If you've been following along at Out of My Hat, you know that I've been posting a haiku each day in February as a part of the National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) challenge. Most have been pretty simple, but meaningless poems.

I've decided that maybe I've been wasting my time.
Not because the haiku is a waste of time, but because I could have been using these simple poems to express an important point of view or simple message. It may be a bit more of a challenge to do that for the remaining seven days of February, but I'm going to go for it.

Here is a bonus haiku for today:

Schools are for learning.
One dead, two dead, three dead, more...
It is time to talk.

John <><

Haiku 21-2018

This daily posting
Is not what I like to do
Is it over yet?

John <><

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I have no tattoos, nor do I really have a desire for any. However, I really do like seeing good ink work on others. I think the skill and creativity to create full sleeves or complete back or chest tattoos is to be admired.

Often, tattoos tell a story or hold some significance for the wearer. I sometimes wonder if it is rude to ask a complete stranger about their ink or if it might make them feel awkward to share a personal story with a complete stranger. I suppose it could be that they wear their art with the thought that they will have opportunities to share the story behind the art.

Tattoos certainly say something about the wearer. Some indicate that the people are family people with pictures of their loved ones. Others are pet lovers, motorcycle riders, musicians, religious, patriotic, gang members or any other type of passionate person.
They appear on arms and shoulders, hips and legs, hands and feet, backs, chests, breasts, butts, and even faces, necks, and skulls. Some tattoos look like they must have been extremely painful to endure and some must have taken hours or even days to complete. Some are colorful and some appear to be 3D.

How do you feel about tattoos?
Do stereotypes come to mind when you see tats?
What ink do you have and where?
How do you feel about strangers commenting on or asking about your ink?
Asking for a friend...

John <><

Haiku 20-2018

Eight more days in Haiku month.
Can't wait for the end!

John <><

Monday, February 19, 2018

Haiku 19-2018

Ten days until March
I am so ready for spring
and baseball season!

John <><

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Haiku 18-2018

Winter, spring, winter
Freezing, seventies, freezing
Life in the Ozarks

John <><

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Haiku 17-2018

February's long
Or at least it seems to be
Haiku month is dumb

John <><

Coffee Conversations and Getting Organized

It's Saturday morning and I've been up for a couple of hours. I woke up around 4:30 and was still awake 30 minutes later so I decided to get up and get the day started. I've read a couple of blogs I follow, had a light breakfast, finished a game of Scrabble on a phone app (I won), and am indulging in my morning coffee.

I decided to go with one of the recipes in my Christmas Coffee Concoctions notebook -- Thai Coffee. As I read through the simple ingredients I thought that I'd have to substitute heavy cream and stevia for the sweetened condensed milk, but Hannah (and Daniel) were all over that and included a can in the gift bag of spices!
It's simple and tasty--coffee with a little cardamom and a little sweetened condensed milk. It has a flavor like a chai tea latte. And since I'm using the Christmas mug from Jenny (and Aaron) it's kind of like having Christmas in February!

--While relaxing on the beach last week, I was reading a book about Louis L'Amour and his daily writing habits.

--One of the guys in our small group is a writer/musician. Over coffee one morning, I asked about his daily routine.

--I was also asked to do some magic, but really wasn't prepared for that. Two things play into that -- I don't normally perform close-up magic and so I rarely practice it, and close-up magic takes a lot of practice.

The result of these things is that I've decided that perhaps I need a little structure in my routine.
Although I have been more intent on writing this year, I haven't set a time or daily writing goal. I need to do that. I'm going to have to evaluate just what I want to accomplish in writing so that it can have some purpose or goal. I also need to set aside a time to read. I've been doing a little more reading and am enjoying it. I need to be more purposeful about setting aside time to read and to write.

I also want to work on some close-up magic regularly. I felt bad about not being prepared to perform a few effects for friends, but hate to perform badly worse than I hate to let people down. I tend to think of myself as a stand-up magician -- meaning small stage performance with no large props. However, when people hear "magician" -- they just want to see a trick. If I'm going to be around people, I need to be prepared for that. (Or I could avoid being around people.)

I also want to work on my Spanish. I have a "listen and learn" course on my phone and have transferred it to my Google drive so that it is also available on my laptop. I want to spent a little time listening (and learning) on a regular basis as well as using some flash cards to increase my vocabulary.

When you throw in exercising, motorcycle riding, and household chores it sounds like an awful lot of stuff -- too much to do without being organized. I think I'll work on a weekly schedule with some things done on a daily basis and others done less frequently.

Since I'm not a very organized guy, I'm asking for your help.
How do you get things done?
How structured is your routine? Daily? Weekly?
Do you use lists?
What inspires you to do what you do?

Help a brother out, would you?

John <><

Friday, February 16, 2018

Haiku 16-2018

Damp and dreary day,
But baseball is on its way!
I'm ready for spring!

John <><

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Haiku 15-2018

Seventies today
Snow forecast Saturday night
Life in the Ozarks

John <><