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?

Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (are made of this): If it doesn’t work, kill it.

What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.

2015-07-21 21.00.28-5I am now 68, going on 69 and I am supposed to tell everyone the best dream I ever had. First of all I do not even remember my dreams when I wake in the morning or at the beginning of the afternoon. I now have the privilege of have two sessions of awaking, one of the advantages of becoming a golden oldie. The alp horn was not a dream, but my son’s colleague from Switzerland decided to give a serenade with a suitable song at his wedding celebration. The whole wedding was a dream for me.

I still reflect on my five days in Germany amongst the vineyards in the Mosel area at my son’s wedding of a lifetime for me. Of course playing an alp horn is not an easy task. I remember an occasion on an excursion from my husband’s company many years ago. We spent some days in the Bernese Overland, in Gstaad to be exact. One of our visits was to an alphorn manufacturer and we had a section of amusements one of which being to play the alp horn. I remember it well, and there was only one person that actually managed to produced a tone from this instrument. Yes, you have guessed it, Mr. Swiss. We were all surprised, especially me. He just took the instrument and blew a few notes. He told me afterwards that he knew how basically, as he himself was always around jazz musicians and their instruments and so he applied the tactics of a trumpet player. He is actually a jazz drummer, but after playing in a group for so many years, you tend to realise how the other instruments work.

As far as the nightmares are concerned, I have one that occurs daily called the Daily Prompt. My ideas are becoming sparse, simply because I have done them all before. I might dream of strangling the daily prompt inventor, but that is not a nightmare, more the realisation of my best dream. I imagine a room filled with about 10 people paid to find a daily prompt. It is silent, they all support their head in their hands trying to find something new. Suddenly one of the men is surrounded by an aura of light and you her a choir singing. “Eureka” he shouts, or something like that and a light bulb ignites above his head.

“I have it.”

Everyone turns their heads and await his discovery.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss will tell us all how good she is with her blog. She will get a Pulitzer prize for her eternal attempts at writing our daily prompt. She will become famous in the land of WordPress and will become freshly pressed.”

“But Fred” (says a colleague, who was no longer blinded by the singing and the bright lights) “we freshly pressed her a few years ago. She is still recovering from the effect of having a flat body. No-one is freshly pressed more than once in their blogging life, they would not survive, and daily prompts were never freshly pressed. She got it for a weekly writing challenge.”

“Ok Joe, then we will give it to her for her last weekly writing challenge.”

“Won’t work Fred, we don’t do weekly writing challenges any more.”

“We stopped doing them?”

“Yes, saving money and expenses and it was draining our resources for the daily prompt.”

The choir stopped singing, Fred’s aura shrivelled to a grey blob on his computer screen and the lights went out. It was not a nightmare, but reality, although I did say at the beginning it was all a figment of my imagination, or was it?

Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (are made of this): If it doesn’t work, kill it

Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner – what again?

You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in the local lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. How will you spend the money?

No, please not again. I am always winning on these daily prompts, but never get anything out of it. Where are my billion dollars, where is the tax free winnings and I have everything I need, almost anyhow. In Switzerland we have Swiss Francs, which are quite strong at the moment, meaning that the dollar is weak, so I am cheated from the beginning and do not get enough out of my billion dollars. On top of this, tax free is not really a phrase used very often in Switzerland. Our country seems to thrive and live from tax and you do not get anything free. If I die and my family inherit my vast wealth, they will have to pay tax on it. For this reason I avoid being wealthy and spend my money as it arrives. I cannot take it with me, and so I use it. I am sure my family will be forever grateful.

How would I spend the money? Funny question. I just asked Mr. Swiss and he found he would probably buy a house in the mountains, perhaps a house in London and then move around – to avoid the tax people finding us – I already said tax free does not exist in my country.

Me? No idea, although I might buy a new body that works, does not creak and moves without pains. As this has not yet been put on the market, I would probably look how I could pay the repair costs on the body I now have. On the other hand, my body is now beyond repair. Sometimes I feel that these daily prompts are not only stupid, but brain dead.

Hibiscus

To change the subject, which I often do, my hibiscus are now flowering in my garden. They are one of the last to flower. Funny thing is that when I bought the original bush it had blue flowers. After a couple of years it was bearing blue and pink flowers and now it only has pink flowers. Actually it is no longer the original bush, but a descendent from a dropped seed. I have five altogether. Three I planted myself in my back garden, another one is growing beneath my apple tree, and last year I noticed a flower in the middle of my hedge in the front garden. I think everyone in the village has a hibiscus somewhere in their garden, it seems to be a local flower. When Autumn arrives I leave the empty flower capsules on the plant and the birds eat the seeds left. Otherwise I spend many happy hours pulling up new hibiscus plants that seem to root everywhere in the garden. I wonder if my hibiscus of many colours is a rare development. I have now put some black ink in the watering can, hoping to be one of the first with a black hibiscus.

Mr. Swiss mentioned this morning that today it will not be so hot and humid as usual and we could take a walk in the countryside this afternoon. He is now relaxing with his iPad on a chair but when I have finished writing this masterpiece of money grabbing literature, I will remind him of his promise for a romantic walk in the country. Correction: Mr. Swiss just said he cannot be bothered, he is comfortable in his chair, but if I want to go he will come with me. Yes golden oldies have to think twice before they make a decision, especially when it is in connection with physical movements. I might take a walk later if I do not fall asleep reading a book.

Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner -what again?

Daily Prompt: Shoulda, woulda, coulda – huh?

Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.

I should stop writing these daily prompts, but I don’t.

s'Mami vor der grossen Reisé

Any bids? Just 3.50 Swiss francs for the pair of us. No problem. We are quite easy to look after, just three regular meals a day, but perhaps not a MacDonalds hamburger which was the actual advertisement behind us. Yes, golden oldie Mr. Swiss did a selfie at the local railway station before I departed for my 5 day trip to Germany, making sure he had a photo to remind him of me in case I decided not to return and he forgot what I looked like.

Otherwise forget the shoulda thing. I mean it is not even english, and there is nothing I should do, but don’t. I now have time to do what I want to and if I do not want to do it, I don’t do it, quite easy, although I do have a bill to pay for my newest Kindle that I bought online from Amazon. Just a flick on the keyboard on my finance paying computer and it will be settled. I am quite happy with my new Kindle voyage. It has an illuminated screen so that I can read it when resting in my coffin during the day: vampire night flights can be quite exhausting sometimes. It also has something called 3g which means I can upload books when I am travelling in far away places. There was a small problem on my trip to Germany. I now have a portable charger and took it with me to Germany. Unfortunately I forgot it in Germany, but No. 2 son arrived this week and brought it with him, so I had to make do with uploading on the computer in the meanwhile. Today I even received a mail from Amazon asking me how pleased I was with my exclusive origami cover and charger. Of course I told them, in Anglo Swiss style, that the origami leather cover was ideal to show off with, after all it was a limited edition. Yes, only the best for Mrs. Angloswiss.

Yesterday evening it rained, not just a short shower, but the real thing soaking the garden at last and saving me a trip with the hose. Today we have normal temperatures, where you do not feel like you are a cat on a hot tin roof. We can breathe again and there is a fresh wind blowing. Even the flies have withdrawn. I had a record hit list of about 6 dead flies yesterday, each one personally killed by my own fly swatter. I cannot bear to see them squirm so I make an effort to kill them with the first swat. Yesterday I was quite annoyed. I settled down to my after lunch golden oldie sleep and there was a fly winging its way over the bed. This fly definitely had a death wish as it was zooming past my ear, settling on my arm and generally being an annoyance. I had to rise to fetch the fly swatter from the living room and waited until this fly settled on the bed. I then pounced. It took two swats, but I had him. Unfortunately his 100 brothers and sisters were waiting to take over, but none ventured into the bedroom, they remained outside on the porch.

Angloswiss Ltd. together with partner, might even be going on walking trips again, although there are a few stormy clouds in the sky. However it will be difficult to encourage Mr. Swiss as he is busy watching the daily stage of the French bicycle race known as tour de France. The riders have overcome the pyrenees and are now approaching Paris where they will partake in the last stages around the town. I am not a bike racing enthusiast myself, but I like to see the scenery as they cycle past various towns.

I so wish we had something more original for our daily prompts, and not things written in a foreign language.

Daily Prompt: Shoulda, woulda, coulda – huh?