Daily Prompt: The Supermarket Quest

When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment? 

Ask a silly question get a silly answer. Embarrassment no longer exists in my vocabulary. I am too old and prefer to watch how the others embarrass themselves by their remarks and actions.

view over Bernese middle land

Some time last week, on a day when the temperatures were normal and not burning a path in the garden, I took a walk all on my own. I returned unharmed much to the relief of most of my fans, as I had a daily prompt to write afterwards. Up on the hill at the local castle I had this view of the so-called Bernese middle land – sounds like something from Lord of the Rings, but we only have Swiss Gnomes and they do not live in the middle land but in Zürich on a large road known as Station Road translated. On a clear day the alps would be visible , but it was cloudy and the alps never make good photo in any case. They have a sort of bluish tone and I never did get the hang of how to do it properly with my camera. The White bits in the middle at the front of the photo would be the estate where I live.

This morning we went on a safari trip to the local supermarket. We packed our iPhones to ensure we could be found if we got lost and had containers for the spoils of the chase. Those supermarkets can develop into treacherous places, especially if you are looking for something in particular. Actually I was. Our local chain of supermarkets, known as Migros, had one of those special actions meaning that each time you paid at the cash desk you were given an hand/armful of folded cards, closed with a perforated edge. Now the surprise is that when you tear off the perforated edge the card opens and you find what you might be given free. Unfortunately the majority of these special cards have only “sorry, next time lucky” printed in the middle with a special hieroglyphical code which could lead to winning a holiday or some other great prize.

Mrs. Angloswiss is a fool for such things and the first time she received about 10 of these cards (given according to how much you spend) she found a prize printed on one of them, she could collect a special container filled with organic herb salt. Now I always wanted a pot of organic herb salt, it was my supermarket dream. Today I searched for my organic herb salt and found none. Foiled again you might think, but to avoid embarrassment (in keeping with the prompt) I searched and found a male assistant doing something to the shelves in the supermarket and asked for help. Yes, I was a damsel in distress, near to tears. This is one of the reasons why I always search for a male assistant, they are young and sympathetic to the problems of golden oldies. He took me to the shelf containing the organic herb salt and found where it should be. Unfortunately the shelf had an empty compartment where the organic herb salt usually is, but undaunted he searched further and with a glint of satisfaction reflecting in his eyes he found my prize of the week. I don’t know who was happier, the assistant in finding he was successful, or me getting something for nothing.

Needless to say our lunch was spiced with so much organic herb salt, it had even adopted a green aura when being served. The fried potatoes/hashed browns were green and the steamed fennel also had a coating of green sprinkles. I decided not to overdo it so the chicken filets were left with a yellow coating of spice, which I afterwards drenched in a special Andalusian sauce mixture which is my favourite also available at the local Migros supermarket.

Yes it was a successful day and we returned home tired but happy. Only the potatoes were somewhat tiresome, as they were quite small and I needed ten minutes to peel them, but even that was conquered. I know this is a boring blog, but so is my life, only spiced now and again from a pot of organic herb salt.

Daily Prompt: The Supermarket Quest

Daily Prompt: Windows 10 amongst other things.

Today is your lucky day. You get three wishes, granted to you by The Daily Post. What are your three wishes and why?

Echinacea - purple coneflowers

At the moment I feel a bit like his flower in my garden. I think it is called Echinacea.but not sure. I am certain someone will correct me if I am wrong. Anyhow it is a bit rough at the edges like me. Otherwise life at the villa Angloswiss is not very inspiring at the moment.

Windows 10 or not, that is the question? Actually not an urgent question for me, because I am an Apple person. Of course, it is always nice to be able to upgrade a Windows computer when it costs nothing, but my Windows computer is suffering from the dreaded Acer problem. I think a gremlin or bad karma has infected its inside. On the other hand, when you have a problem you go for a wander in Internet and discover that many others have the same problem, and you do not feel so alone and abandoned.

It all began about a year ago when I noticed that certain letters on the keyboard refused to work: generally in the morning when I switched it on. I consulted with Mr. Swiss, who bought his Acer about week before I did, and he said his computer was suffering from the same symptoms. In the meanwhile he has replaced it. However, I continued ignoring the missing “i’s” and “o’s” and a few others and discovered that with patience, five minutes later they again appeared. Consulting in Internet I discovered that my problem was a minor one, as other users of the Acer computers were suffering with lost alphabets and number keys that were printing letters. I continued regardless and really the symptom disappeared after I had issued a few curses over the computer and cleaned the keys, which were somewhat stained from breakfast cereal. Perhaps my Acer computer had an allergy to milk and cornflakes? Who knows? Eventually my Acer was again healthy and I forgot the problem.

It was then that Mr. Swiss brought a smaller Apple macbook home at a special offer (for me to use as well he said). The result was I got infected, and the Apple was the answer to my fruity dreams. How could I have manage without an Apple computer? This was so much the fact that I treated myself to the best Macbook available and have been using it since, although not in the morning. I did not want my new Macbook to be covered with memories of breakfast. I got used to “pages” instead of Word, although I have not yet got so much acquainted with “numbers” instead of “Excel”. but I rarely use the programme. Up to when I retired I was doing the complete accounts for our local first aid group in Excel, but I decided when retired I no longer needed more work than I already have. Retirement is not such an easy job sometimes, and a certain logistic plan has to be made. The day revolved on getting enough sleep.

If ever life gets boring I will try to get to grips with numbers. My only problem, which is not a problem, are photographs. Windows have such a nice little programme for doing basics to uploaded photos. My general size from the camera is 4000×3000 (I think in pixels, but again am not sure – am certain someone will correct me if this is not the case). Anyhow I generally chop my photos to 2000×1500 before saving, as such a large photo is not necessary on my computer and half the size saves space. I am still saving my photos on my Acer and am searching for a free, simple resizing programme on my Apple, which I have not yet found.

In the meanwhile I was away from my Acer computer for five days in Germany and when I returned I realised the dreaded missing letters syndrome had returned and it takes at least 30 minutes daily until they appear. Today it only took 10 minutes, so things are getting better. I am convinced that my Acer felt neglected and forgotten and has now realised I am back to stay (for a while) and will improve its behaviour.

In the meanwhile I am still thinking about converting my Acer to Windows 10, although it is really not necessary at the moment. I have now been spoilt by having an Apple and a Windows machine. I love my Apple and would never part with it. On the other hand it is always useful to have a Windows as a side line. Perhaps I will wait until the new computers arrive with integrated Windows 10 and think it over.

Appreciate any constructive ideas about my dilemma. Not bad or someone who did not know what to write.

Daily Prompt: “Windows 10 amongst other things

Daily Prompt: 1st August, National Swiss Day

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

See may last prompt on this subject – I have nothing more to add Dictionary-Schmictionary

Kanton Solothurn, Switzerland, Feldbrunnen flags

The following might be the truth, but as no-one was really there to see it all happen and it was 700 years ago, who knows. It might just be a figment of my imagination. It remains to be proven, by the amount of empty schnapps bottles found on a field surrounding the burnt out remains of a fire, there was a meeting. In the meanwhile it is not even today sure that there was a battle in Morgarten. Read on if you want to know the horrific truth.

Today is 1st August. Now what is so special about the 1st of August. As the story goes three guys/blokes met in a field somewhere in the middle of Switzerland. It was a cold evening so they warmed themselves in front of a roaring fire and shared a bottle of schnaps, probably brewed from the local juniper bushes, known to us in the english speaking world as Gin. These three men also decided to sniff some snuff which intensified the effect of the gin to an extent that they got big ideas.

“Let’s rid ourselves of the Hapsburgers (occupation force), they are of no use.” said Fritz.

“I agree said Fridoline”

“I have the solution” said Melchior after taking a large pinch of snuff and opened the second bottle of schnapps. “We will start our own country.”

“Do you think that is good idea” said the other two “our wives might not agree”.

“Men” continued Melchior “I am talking of our future. What we now decide will be remembered by every person in our country.”

“But Melchior, what country?”

“We will call it Helvetia.”

“Huh” said Fritz.

“What” said Fridoline.”

“Helvetia, I said. It’s just as good as a name as any other. I read it on a Roman coin they used in our land.”

“Yes but Helvetia is not so easy to remember Melchior. I have an idea” said Fritz. “You know my wife’s Swiss rolls are famous through the village, so lets call this country Swiss Roll.”

“Forget it Fritz, you cannot name a country after food. We could call it Switzerland.”

“I will have to ask Helga. She is very particular about how her Swiss rolls are named.”

“Just a minute guys. It was my idea so I have something to say. It will be called Helvetia, but after we have killed the Hapsburgers at our next battle, we will call it Switzerland.”

“We are having a battle with the Hapsburgers?” Said Fritz.

“Why not. There is a little mountain pass near bye called Morgarten and it will be easy to ambush the Hapsburgers. We could throw some Swiss rolls and chunks of Emmental cheese at them, and we might even find a few crossbows. Yes, we will go down in history. Switzerland will become independent and to commemorate the day we will establish some Swiss banks in Zürich, to keep the loot safe.” Melchior was proud of his ideas which were becoming more spectacular with each fresh bottle of schnapps he opened.

“Why Zürich” asked the other two men.

“Why not” answered Melchior.

And so the country of Switzerland came into existence on 1st August 1291, although when the men arrived home early in the morning singing “Vo Luzern gage Weggis zue” they were greeted with Helga’s rolling pin.

After a while the idea became reality and Switzerland was born.

That is why today we are celebrating our national day. I took the photo of the flags in our main road. The one in the middle is the Swiss National Flag. On the left you can see the flag belonging to the Kanton/State of Solothurn, the area where I live. On the right you can see the flag of my local village “Feldbrunnen”, showing our local castle, and a fountain, Brunnen being the German word for a fountain. So there we have it. Why we are exploding fireworks this evening, if it does not rain, and the children are marching through the local town holding lanterns containing a candle with Swiss subjects depicted on the lantern covers. There will also be a political speech by someone political in the town and Mrs. Angloswiss? She will be at home watching the fireworks from her garden and wondering why people spend so much money on it all.

Daily Prompt: 1st August, National Swiss Day

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans – no, do not complain, they are only machines

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

At last I can groan about the Daily Prompt and the permanent repetitions without having a guilty complex that others might suffer. This prompt is an invitation to groan about what I want to groan about.. On the other hand I am permanently groaning about the daily prompt. It it boring, lifeless and it seems that the ideas have gone to the daily prompt happy hunting grounds. I was thinking about this yesterday and realised that the daily prompt is probably now running on a machine where actual humans are no longer involved.

We all have computers and if we want to used them we apply a switch somewhere, lights begin to flash, internal noises may occur (I have an Apple so no internal noises) and a fan might be involved somewhere to keep it cool. That is our part of the work. We choose a web site, which probably is already fitted into our tab system and we are ready to go. What are the people on the other side of this wonder work of cybernetic mystery doing? Nothing really, because we have pulled all the right stops. Daily Prompt probably has some sort of random choice programmed integrated in their masterful site. I don’t even think a human is involved. Same time, same place the grid appears showing todays choice of prompt. I am strongly of the opinion that not even the humans (if there are any in the WordPress organisation) know what today’s prompt will be.

This is very clever. It means that wage bills are reduced to a non existing fact. You do not pay machines to choose the daily prompt as no humans are involved that have to pay taxes, use their brain to decided what to do next or even visit the canteen for the daily hamburger. It all runs on its own.

Somewhere in Silicon valley there is a building where machines are whirring, cogs are turning and various lights are flashing to show that the prompt is arriving. The Daily prompt is no longer a living thing, it is dead. The only living things dealing with the daily prompt are us, the writers. We, who are sweating blood to produce something of interest to show that we are still interested. Some of us even pay for this dead prompt strategy for the privilege of having a .com addition at the end of our website address. I am one of those humans that do this. Even this is automatically added to my credit card once a year. I receive a message that the cost of my .com will be charged to my account. If I no longer wish this to happen I put a cross in a box or something like that. This would mean that my web site would still exist, but without the .com bit at the end. Naturally when you have a .com, it would be a disappointment to lose this, and so like all other computer vegetables I allow this to happen. I am paying a machine to grant me a .com address. Even my felines meowed for a .com and so they have one as well on their own site.

But I am still here, writing my daily blog. Actually today I have a purpose in my daily prompted life. I must come to a close as I will visit the local garden centre. It is the end of July and my garden needs two rudbeckia plants. I actually bought three this year. One is flowering nicely, the second is thinking about it and the third decided not to appear. I have an appointment with Mr. Swiss in half an hour to visit the neighbouring village of Zuchwill where the garden centre is. How exciting and romantic: holding hands and taking a walk through the garden centre. In the meanwhile to keep everyone happy and to prevent more groans, here is a photo of the rudbeckia plant, taken in the neighbouring bed in the grounds of our apartment.

Rudbeckia

Daily Prompt: Game of Groans – no, do not complain, they are only machines

Daily Prompt: Photography is the real reason for my external hard disks.

Click over to your favourite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:
“_____ is the new _____.”

I remember the first time we had this blog in the dark ages of 2013. I told the daily prompt people then that I definitely not have a favourite blog and the second time round I still do not have one. I think these prompts are going from bad to worse. Why do I do them? Because they are there and because I daily meet others writing their prompts. Most of us have been writing these prompts for some time, we have got to know each other, if only by name, but together we are strong or something like that.

Anyhow, not wanting to disappoint, I still have something write about. Photography is the new reason for my external Hard disks. Let us begin with a photo.

external HD

Not exactly Pulitzer prize suspicious, but it was not easy for me to post this picture. First of all it did not exist, it was still a figment of my imagination. What you can see are three external hard drives. The one at the bottom I have had for many years with not a great capacity, but the top two are the super models. The one on the right has a capacty to hold 1 Terabyte and the one on the left 2 Terabyte. The 2 Terabyte is even labelled with 2 Terabyte to ensure I know which one it is, although it is somewhat thicker than the 1 Terabyte model. I had to take this photo especially for the prompt. This was not easy. First of all I had to organise the lighting effects, persuade my Nikon DSLR to do what I wanted and then upload it onto the computer. I then uploaded it into my photo hosted Flickr and then to be sure that nothing could happen, I inserted the photo into each one of my hard drives. This took me about half an hour because I had to re-organise the file named “Photography”as I had combined it with “Food” which was not a good idea.

Most of us take photos with a camera or our mobile phone and as we no longer go to the drug store to have the film developed we do it all ourself. Where do you put the photos? This could be a problem, especially if you have collected over 11,000 photos over the years like me.

First of all I have them on my computer. At the moment my windows Acer computer still has room, although I am not sure how much. Of course there are external platforms in the computer world to store your photos as a backup. I have mine in a place called Flickr. They all have names, Google, Instagram, Photobucket, SmugMug to name a few. Flickr allows me to post my photos, using their html codes, or perhaps just copy paste, to my blogging site. I prefer html as I know what I am doing. Unfortunately these hosting sites tend to “improve” their offers from time to time, but luckily I still have things under control, unimproving their new looks to how it used to be. This is not so important.

So we have photos on the computer and on a photo hosting site, what could possibly go wrong. A lot actually. Your computer breaks down and the photos are gone. Flickr is still there of course. To ensure that you have further backups you organise an external HD. However, many years ago my external HD decided to strike. I lost all the photos on it and unfortunately not all were on my computer. I returned to Flickr to upload the lost photos onto my computer. I discovered something. The hosting sites are there to host, but not to return the photos they host. This meant I had to reload each photo from Flickr separately back to my computer hard drive. There are programmes that organise this with bulk reloads, but only in the mini version of your photo. The things we learn on the way.

Where do I stand today? Yes, I have all my photos on my computer, plus on three hard drives. Now I can really say what could possibly happen. If my Windows computer breaks down, I still have my photos in Flickr and on the hard drives. The only place I do not have them is on my Apple computer. Oh, I almost forgot, Mr. Swiss has a drop box for his jazz music, No. 2 son also has a drop box, but I am not sure what he drops into it and now Mrs. Angloswiss also has a drop box for her photos. I could send my photos to hover in a cloud somewhere, but would probably have to pay, and I do try to keep expenses at a minimum.

Am I being extra fussy? I was wondering, fellow prompters and photographers, how do you solve the problem of storing your photos? Am I being over cautious with my more than 3 Terabyte space. I think the room for my photos is larger than my apartment.

Daily Prompt: Photography is the real reason for my external hard disks

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best – NASA go home

NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

Spires of Castle WaldeggNASA never really invented anything worth trusting now did it and for what reason is it building a spacecraft with the best of human culture? To show the other worlds how good we are, that we can do it, and let them clap their hands. Imagine Groggle, the extraterrestrial taking a walk on his planet Junkle and discovering a NASA spacecraft. As it crashed when landing, as most NASA spacecraft do, the door was hanging on its hinges and some crates were spilling out of the entrance.

“Glongkle woog” said Groggle and immediately his brother Tschambi came hopping along on his three legs. I will now continue in our language, as not everyone is fluent in Junkle.

“Yes, definitely, blaze it with your synchron gun and see what it contains.” said Tschambi in answer.

There was a swoosh and the crate had disintegrated showing a computer.

“Look Tschambi a computer.”

“Looks a bit primitive Groggle and has a fruit on the cover. Do you think it is safe, we usually feed things like that to the Quoogs.”

“OK, Tschambi give it to your pet Quoog.”

“Come Quoog, nice little monster, something to digest. Quoog marked it with his Quoog digestive system and gave it a kick with his floggles. (Floggles are Quoog feet, all five of them)”

“Obvious Tschambi, Quogs are allergic to computers with fruit on them. They killed all the fruit some years ago. Must be a strange civilisation that makes computers out of fruit: resembles an apple.”

“Look Groggle, there is a painting. Do you think it shows a human.”

“Could well be Tschambi, the people on the picture look just like us. There is a signature on it, must look in my extraterrestrial sign book. Yes, it is quite clear, it is earth signs and says “Pablo Picaso.”. Definitely, just like us especially the position of their eyes and nose. Do you think Pablo Picasso was one of us.”

“It could be. Just a minute there is something else in this primitive transport system, a bag full of bottles containing something called Coca Cola. Do you think we can drink it Groggle?”

“Give it to your Quoog, if it survives we can try it.”

“Come Quoog, look nicey nicey drinkies.”

“I think he liked it Tschambie, he swallowed four of them and loved crunching the bottle with his teeth.”

“OK, let’s take them home to keep the Quoogs happy. What about the rest, there is something here called a washing machine.”

“Throw it away, washing is old fashioned, we just kill the germs with our cleansing gun. Remember to disintegrate the planet where it all came from. Such primitive places should have be destroyed years ago. They bring our solar system into disrepute. Things with the word NASA on them were always doubtful. No, just a minute, look a photo of Dr. Who.”

“Who?”

“Yes, Dr. Who. He was our hero, the man who rid planet Junkel of Daleks.”

“Oh yes, I remember. Why did he go to planet earth?”

“We paid him to go. He took the remaining Daleks with him. Yes he was our hero. No more Daleks on planet Junkel. So press the button and disintegrate Earth, they might want to send another Nasa rocket to Junkel and we don’t want the Daleks returning.”

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best – NASA go home

Daily Prompt: Fourth Wall – asking where are the other three

You get to spend a day inside your favourite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there. How can you spend a day inside a movie? Silly expression “fourth wall”. Were did the other three walls go and why do you have a wall in a movie.

I don’t think so, this is not a prompt that is a good idea to repeat, now is it? Of course for the newbies an interesting theme, but for someone who likes to write daily a disappointment.

The Wedding

I am afraid that taking photos of walls is not very interesting, but here is the photo of the ceiling of the Kloster church of Springiersbach in the Mosel area of Germany where my son was married a couple of weeks ago. I was seated in the church waiting for the action to begin and passed the time with taking photos. I found the ceiling to be a nice piece of work, something completely different, so here it is.

As far as favourite movies are concerned, I no longer really do movies. The last one I requested Mr. Swiss to upload was Noah with Russell Crowe and this proved that I should not bother. I thought it would be one of those fantasy films with strange animals and lots of action. The animals had as much fantasy as the snail population in my garden and action was boring, so I decided yes, no more films. Read the books, at least you have an original in your hand. I read the Noah story in the bible many years ago and am always on the lookout for an elderly gentleman with a long beard accompanied by his family on a large wooden boat marked with the name “Ark” if we have heavy rain storms. You never know. My felines have already signed up for the maiden journey having visions of being the first on land when the waters recede.

I am afraid I have no idea today what to write. Telling everyone about how I cleaned the bathroom this morning would be boring, we all have our bathrooms to clean. I could tell you all about cooking lunch, but unless you get an invitation to eat with me, it would also be uninteresting. By the way it was chopped chicken with curry rice accompanied with mixed fruit and garnished with some whipped cream. Oh, a pause in the exciting life of Mrs. Angloswiss. Mr. Swiss has just joined me outside on the patio.

“Writing a blog?” he asked.

“Yes”, I answered and continued “but the shit blogs are becoming boring and I no longer know what to write.”

He ignored the word “shit” (crap in American for those that might not understand) and continued “they are bringing repeats every day like the television programmes.”

You see even Mr. Swiss, who never blogs, knows the problems of a blogger when confronted with the same thing every day. I think I will come to a close, see if my felines have a good idea about a fourth wall on their blog and afterwards take a walk to clear the blockage in my head. Perhaps the fourth wall is a secret code. Our blogging world is being infiltrated by creatures from a fourth dimension, slipping out of the cracks in the walls and into our brains. I can see one now appearing out of the tiles on the floor and stretching its slimy feelers towards the keyboard of my computer.

Return tomorrow for a further episode in the serial of “Mrs. Angloswiss kills the invaders from the fourth dimension of the daily prompt.” On the other hand forget it, it will be the same old prompt from two years ago probably.

Daily Prompt: Fourth Wall – asking where are the other three?