Midweek Memes: Administrative Professionals Day 2017!

There is a New Moon today, coinciding with the Cassini spacecraft making the final moves in its nearly 20-year space exploration mission by diving between the planet Saturn and its innermost rings. These aerial gymnastics will ultimately doom the spacecraft, as it will burn up in the tumultuous atmosphere of the gas giant, or be pulverized by the crushing gravity as it gets closer to the core. I look forward to the final pictures that Cassini will beam back! Astronomy and space exploration have fascinated me from an early age. I would gaze at the night skies for hours on clear, warm nights when I lived in places away from the light-pollution of cities…I still do, sometimes!

Now, on to the subject of this post: Administrative Professionals Day! When I was still a slave to the 40-hour week, I mainly worked as an Administrative Assistant. That all-purpose title covers multiple duties! Receptionist: answering phones, greeting people, and setting up weekly business meetings and conference calls, and daily kitchen / cafeteria stocking and cleanup. Office Manager: making travel reservations, including car rentals and reservations for hotels, airlines or trains; ordering and stocking office supplies, doing minor tech support for office equipment, telephones and computers, and contacting building management for issues related to elevators, plumbing, and AC issues. I would even fill in as an HR assistant at some places: filing resumes, setting up cubicles or offices for new employees, updating employee information, ordering business cards, and dealing with OSHA paperwork when working for subcontractors.

Being an Administrative Professional, no matter your title, is quite an involved line of work. There is much you must know, and quite a bit of demands are made of you on any given day – some more demanding and ridiculous than others! Still, it was an enjoyable line of work because of the challenges it provided. I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, and knowing that it took at least three people to do the work that I did is something that I’m incredibly proud of. I always worked hard; if it was unappreciated, then that’s their loss – not mine. My health and outlook on life improved dramatically once I left the last place I worked at, and now I’m able to keep my own schedule with a small, part-time job which allows me to work from home. I might not make as much as I used to, but the non-monetary benefits are worth their weight in gold.

With that, enjoy these funny memes about Administrative Professionals Day – I hope that those who are enduring it are doing so with a smile, and these should help those smiles be genuine and HUGE!

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Scenic Sunday Screen-Shots…

I’m having a nice, relaxing weekend and decided to post some recent screen-shots taken in-game. My next excerpt has to be broken up into two parts, and the screen-shots help illustrate the “lay of the land,” so to speak – so, I was sorting through a batch and decided to post them.

The screen-shots are the way that I keep the locations fresh in my mind as my characters travel about during their adventures. It’s not a cardboard cut-out or other tangible, physical rendition of a locale as other authors create, but it works for me!

I think that I’ll do a bit of live-broadcasting today, as well – most likely after noon PDT. It’s been a while, and I need to do a bit of ye olde AvA now that the campaigns have restarted. Gotta stay sharp against the no-sleeping, diaper-wearing, basement-dwelling “no-lifers!” Other genuine gamers know what I’m talking about, ROFLMAO!

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Gifts from the Speaker after a dark assignment

Who’s this bloke, then?

Hmmm…an interesting bit of information!

Standing at a transitus shrine

Relaxing in the courtyard

A bit of primping and preening

Should I wear this? It looks nice…

…the robe is more appropriate, though – it might rain!

A tender moment…

…followed by a soft serenade.

A toast by the well – cheers!

Happy Earth Day…2017!!!

Today marks Earth Day, the one day per year in which many people pretend to care about the home that we all share: our beautiful planet Earth. There is apparently a “March for Science” going on in Washington, D. C. – throngs of people littering the streets with themselves and their Unicorn Frappuccinos as they make certain to take endless selfies to show everyone how “aware” they are.

If you treat every day as if it were Earth Day, then you would be moved to action, even if only in the smallest means, and that action doesn’t include posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Doing something for our planet doesn’t involve self-absorbed narcissism!

I always maintain that being part of the solution is much better than being part of the problem. Little things like “reduce, reuse, recycle” are important to incorporate in daily life. Instead of always deciding between “paper or plastic” at the grocery store, why not bring your own, reusable shopping bags?

Bees are rapidly becoming endangered, and that means our food supply is threatened. Why not plant bee-friendly herbs, shrubs, and trees wherever possible? Spend a day at an apiary, if possible – learn what you can about those marvelous little critters upon whom so much depends.

When’s the last time you volunteered at a local outdoor cleanup activity which wasn’t driven by politics or making yourself look good amongst your office or personal circle? When did you do something good for our planet, simply because it needs to be done?

This planet is our home. It’s the only one we have, for the far foreseeable future, so we are responsible for its health and well-being as surely as we are our own. We cannot be parasites – we need symbiosis!

That’s my small, soapbox oration for today. I did a little bit of beach cleanup yesterday, since the weather was perfect for it! It always feels good to DO good. My “deer” friend, Spot, just hopped over the fence and headed to the backyard, so Mother Nature is already paying me a visit and saying “thank you!” With that, please enjoy the five songs which, to me, always symbolize Earth Day.

Random Thursday Ramblings: 20 April 2017

Well, the post I was writing yesterday will have to wait! The unexpected interruption of a power outage yesterday made it impossible to finish my editing and revising. That post will have to wait until tomorrow, which is good; I’ll have more than one post to publish, this way! I can tell that people are unenthused with my own posts, but that’s fine – my blog isn’t just a hub for spitting out other people’s blogs, especially when they’re disinclined to return the favour. Funny how there’s so much talk about driving traffic to blogs, but one can easily use all of the tricks in the book and still not attain the massive levels that others accumulate. I guess I just don’t have the collector / hoarder mentality, which isn’t a bad thing!

Anyway: back to yesterday’s power outage. It happened at around 1152, according to the time / date stamp on the document I was working on. No warning, just *FOOMP* out go the lights and everything else! I went around the house and unplugged some of the surge-protectors (force of habit), turned off any lights that were on, then opened the sliding-glass door to the front deck and stepped outside to listen.

A few minutes later, the sound of emergency-vehicle sirens were rising, seemingly from all directions. It was as if every one of them on the peninsula had been activated and mobilized, and were all converging in one location. After 20 minutes passed, the beating noise of a helicopter could be heard at a great distance. It slowly got closer, and finally the machine itself hove into view. It moved over the treetops, descending at a low rate of speed, and finally dropped out of sight. About 15 minutes later, the helicopter took to the air again and sped off. Conclusion? An accident of horrific proportions had taken place, resulting in a power pole being taken out. Nothing for me to do but make a quick brunch out of my leftover breakfast and finish my coffee before it got cold.

After eating, I got dressed and walked outside to take a stroll around the property. The hubster has branches stacked by the fire-pit to burn later in the week, and I made note of the shrubs near the house and garage that need to be cut back and cleared. The lawn needs to be tilled; I’m hoping that one of the neighbours will lend us their roto-tiller so we can shred some soil – it’s overdue for some earth-turning!
The sun even came out for a while, just as it’s doing right now. It was nice to walk around and enjoy the silence; the only noise was from a few cars passing on a side-street, but other than that, birds and squirrels were my companions.

After about an hour, I went back inside and checked my phone. At least there was a cellular signal, so I was able to send a few texts and keep updated on the Seattle Mariners game. They beat the Miami Marlins 10 – 5 and won that series after being trounced on Tuesday. Almost a dreaded “no-no” game, there! Since there was nothing else that could really be done, I popped open a bottle of ale, sat down in my rocking-chair, and picked up a Stephen King book which I hadn’t finished: a collection of short stories titled The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. I haven’t quite finished it; I marked some of the stories to save for later so that I have some reading to look forward to, and having a nice stack of crossword puzzles helped me not totally devour the book. My mother-in-law sends me some from time to time, and they’re always a nice form of relaxing brain exercise. Still, I need to order some more books soon! See if Kellerman, Coben, King and Koontz have any new offerings out.

The power finally came back on at 2030, but the cable and internet didn’t return until after 2200 or so. It came on fairly late, as the Conan show was on my DVR this morning, recorded as scheduled – I was in bed by then, since I’d woken up early when the hubster headed out for his own truck-hauling adventure. So, that’s what my Wednesday was: a day without power, but it was perfectly enjoyable!

Midweek Musings…20 April 2016 * Re-Posted *

This was deserving of a re-post; multiple factors contributed to the decision! I also put the links of a couple of my past posts here, since re-blogging is only allowed once. I think that bloggers should be able to reblog our own posts as many times as we want, but that would probably contribute to laziness – and there are plenty of people who use that excuse far too often, LOL!

BOOP!!!

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

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Last Week Tonight: 16 April 2017 Episode

I pay attention to the politics and elections of other countries, too. In this edition, John Oliver talks about the upcoming elections in France. Germany’s happen a few months hence; it will be interesting to see what transpires between now and then.

Tuesday Tuneage: Happy Dance Time!

Ah, life is sweet! My Seattle Mariners have been playing better and pulled themselves out of last place in the AL West. Their sweep against the Texas Rangers was delightful to watch, and seeing Ichiro Suzuki back at Safeco Field, even wearing a Miami Marlins uniform, was awesome. That’s true loyalty right there: when a player has been long gone from a team, yet are still given the red-carpet treatment when they return to a baseball or football field, even as an opponent. Ichiro was a monumental part of the Mariners team for quite a while, and his outstanding performance is still being honoured and celebrated – and that kicks ass, in my opinion!

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I also received a fantastic bit of news yesterday, which was added to earlier this morning – so, I’m in a celebrating sort of mood! Things like this should be savoured…much like a perfectly ripe peach, a fine wine, a good book, or a nice piece of chocolate. Sit in the moment and just enjoy it – I know that I am! Here are five celebratory songs to get the party started. It’s dancing time!

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Thoughts for Thursday: 13 April 2017

In this post, I let John Oliver explain one of the many issues in the USA when it comes to voting: the reality of gerrymandering.

Monday Musings: Seattle Mariners Home Opener!

It’s pouring down rain right now, with bursts of hail here and there. The weather perfectly matches my feelings over the dismal start that my Seattle Mariners have had so far this season! They trail the American League West with a 1 – 6 record, a .143 percentage rating, and four games out of first place.

I’m certain that the roof at Safeco Field will be firmly shut for the first home game, where the Mariners will face the Houston Astros for the second time in a week. The home-field advantage will be nice, but the bats definitely need to continue the momentum that exploded for a brief, shining moment in yesterday’s exciting, but depressing game against the LA Angels. Pitching went into the dirt after Hisashi Iwakuma left the game after seven innings, and the solid 9 – 3 lead vanished in puff of smoke in the ninth inning.

The promise shown during Spring Training has gone back into hibernation, at least for the time being. Hopefully the guys shake off last week’s losses and start turning things around – starting today!

The weather has me thinking about my favourite rain-related songs, so here are three to set Monday’s mood…enjoy!

Friday Fun Facts: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Edition!

Well, here it is – the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place tonight! It will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for the third time. Presented by Klipsch Audio, the ceremony will be broadcast on cable channel HBO, and will also be aired on SiriusXM. From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website:

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists from the fan vote comprised the Fans’ Ballot that was tallied alongside the other ballots to determine the 2017 Inductees. Four of the winners of the Fans’ Ballot (ELO, Journey, Pearl Jam, and Yes) will be inducted as performers in 2017…Klipsch Audio, a leading global speaker and headphone manufacturer, is a strategic partner and presenting sponsor of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, its Induction Ceremony events and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Main Stage. Klipsch’s renowned products deliver the power, detail and emotion of the live music experience throughout the iconic museum.”

Six bands / artists are in the Performer Category, and one musician / producer won the Award for Musical Excellence. For this “Five on Friday” post, I will list the ones who have made the biggest impression on me in my life with their music. I’ll do it “Top 40” style, listing them from fifth to first – so, here we go!

The band Journey is at number five for me. They were big in the 80s, with many great hits such as “Lights,” “Send Her My Love,” “Oh Sherrie,” and, of course, the well-known smash “Don’t Stop Believin’.” From Wikipedia:

Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between 1978 and 1987. During that period, the band released a series of hit songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1981), which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century.[2][3] Its parent studio album, Escape, the band’s eighth and most successful, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms”. Its 1983 follow-up album, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching No. 2 and spawning several successful singles; it broadened the band’s appeal in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. Journey enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid-1990s and later regrouped with a series of lead singers.”

The Journey song that I selected for today is “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” – I love the guitar work in it!

Nile Rodgers, fourth on my list, is the genius behind the band Chic, described as a “sonic innovator” on his official website. Rock, funk, disco, and EDM – his notable riffs have been fundamental in all of those musical genres. I think that nearly everyone is familiar with the Chic smash hit “Freak Out / Le Freak,” but the song that I selected by them features Carly Simon on lead vocals. The song, called “Why,” had an instrumental-only version on the B-side of the single. I always enjoyed listening to the song and singing along, then flipping the record over and singing with the B-side – it was excellent practice for choir!

I was elated to see the band known as Yes finally get inducted! Their induction was long-overdue, and I know that I’m not the only one who thinks so. The progressive-rock band from London was originally formed in 1968 by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, and has undergone many formations over the years. Chris passed away on 28 June 2015 – you can find my tribute post to him here. I have enjoyed their music for as long as I can remember, and some of their music videos aired on MTV were ones that I looked forward to! “Owner of a Lonely Heart” was their biggest hit of the 80s, but I’d have to say that a good majority of their musical offerings are well-worth listening to. Transcendental, multi-layered, and semi-operatic are words that I would use to describe this fantastic band. The song that I selected is one of my personal favourites: “Love Will Find a Way.”

Number two on my top five list is the Seattle grunge-rock super-group, Pearl Jam. I first saw them at a downtown Seattle club called The Vogue, and was instantly hooked on their style of music! They, along with groups such as Nirvana and Soundgarden, placed Seattle back on the musical map. The city is now known for more than rain and the Pike Place Market, I’d say! The song that I selected is “Even Flow” – I love the lyrics and the musical arrangement, and Eddie Vedder’s voice is sublime.

Finally – number one on my list of the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees! That honour goes to the supergroup known as the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). This band formed in Birmingham in 1970. I think that I’ve heard more songs by ELO than almost any other artist or band, and that’s saying a lot! I’ve listened to hours of The Moody Blues, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac, to name just of few of the many artist that I enjoy. I think that the first song of theirs that I heard was down at a little, local burger joint called The Snack Shack. I was walking past on a fairly nice summer day and heard an awesome beat and crazy sounds drifting out of the open door. I wandered in and looked at the jukebox to see what song was playing; it was “Don’t Bring Me Down.” I had a couple of quarters on me, so I played the other two ELO selections offered on the machine: “Telephone Line” and “Twilight,” respectively, and I was hooked on them from then on. My dad had started working at the local radio station at that time, and he liked playing “Rockaria” and their rendition of “Roll Over Beethoven” quite often! I never saw the movie “Xanadu,” but absolutely loved the ELO-backed soundtrack. The ELO song that I chose is “Evil Woman,” of course – it’s one that I always crank up and rip the knob off when I hear that familiar opening of the stringed orchestra. Such a versatile band, more than deserving of their induction!

Last, but certainly not least, I’m very happy that Tupac Shakur was also finally inducted. Many will disagree with him being honoured in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I think that he deserves it as much as Joan Baez – if not more so! From Rolling Stone:

Two decades after his death on September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur endures as one of hip-hop’s most iconic figures and its most powerful enigma. His life was a tapestry of often contradictory images: the concerned young father cradling his son in the video for “Keep Ya Head Up”; the angry rapper spitting at cameras as they swirled around his 1994 trial for sexual assault; the artist who animatedly, yet eloquently, pushed back at Ed Gordon’s questions during a memorable BET interview; and the man who seemed to predict his own demise when the “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” video, released weeks after his death, depicted him as an angel in heaven. Although he is no longer with us, the myth of 2Pac the thug angel remains. No other artist better illuminates hip-hop’s fault lines between regional pride and mainstream success, and the struggle to transcend and elevate beyond humble origins while honoring the streets that raised you. His wayward, conflicting expressions of pride, militancy and gangster-ism resonates in a world when black men and women celebrate their heritage and collectively organize against a racist America, yet are also cautious to protect themselves from each other.

Fans – particularly East Coast rap listeners who, after all these years, still harbor a grudge against him – will continue to debate whether 2Pac’s albums can measure up to Nas’ Illmatic, the Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, or Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. But no one can deny the way he transformed hip-hop into his singularly muscular, tattooed, bald-headed, bandana-clad image.”

Love him, hate him, or even if you’re completely indifferent – there is no denying Tupac’s influence and sheer genius. I wonder what music he would be putting out if he had lived to see the current social and political quagmire here in the USA? I’m betting that it would pull no punches, and would make more than a few people uncomfortable and angry. That is how it should be, in my not-so-humble opinion!

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