The Continuing Saga In The Life And Times Of Miss. Rose

Iris #120D

July 12, 2014

Earlier this summer, I did some yard work for Miss. Rose (for those interested in a little background story relating to her, see my earlier post entitled A Red Rose For Miss. Rose). I came home with a rather large cache of flowers, including two large clumps of irises. Because my garden space is quite limited and the gardens are already quite full, I knew before leaving her house that I was going to give these clumps of irises to two neighbors, both of whom I helped get started with their own gardens this spring. And after all, these were most likely just your typical irises, the basic light blue/dark blue (I’m colorblind, so the typical iris might be light purple/dark purple).

A couple of weeks later, I was walking by one of the neighbor’s yard when I saw that his iris had a single bloom. And when I saw his bloom up close, I realized that I had made a huge mistake in giving him this flower, as it was the most beautiful iris I have ever seen, a gorgeous yellow bloom that seemed more eloquent than the typical iris. When talking to Miss. Rose a few days later, I happened to tell her this story. As soon as I mentioned a yellow iris, she knew immediately what I was talking about, as she told me that she had wondered what had happened to her yellow iris.

I was telling this tale to the other neighbor, and he ask if Rose wanted the iris back. I told him, f*ck Rose, I wanted it back. My neighbor has offered to give back his iris to Rose, but a gift is a gift. Besides, he lives right next door, so it’s not as if I cannot photograph it next year when it blooms again. And, as I told him, if he ever moves, that iris will be mine, once again.

This iris was planted about two feet away from the front wall of my apartment building, underneath the overhanging roof, which hangs over the wall by a couple of feet. Because of the design of the building and the angle in which it sits, at that time of the year (this photo was shot on May 25th), the garden area did not receive any sun until later in the day, which made photographing the flower somewhat difficult. Making it even more complicated was the fact that the bloom was only about one foot off the ground, which resulted in the photographs being somewhat dark. However, thanks to modern technology, and with a little tweaking of the color and brightness levels, I think this photo turned out pretty good.

I did learn a very valuable lesson, that being never give away any flower unless I know exactly what it is!

Steven H. Spring

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Those Poor Little Rich Folk

February 3, 2014

Sitting down tonight to read the op-ed pages while eating supper, two headlines in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch caught my eye; “Feds shouldn’t ding companies for making a profit” by Linda Chavez and “Punishing the rich does nothing to help the poor” by Robert J. Samuelson.

Living lavishly on my $721 a month in SSI disability benefits, I often forget just how bad off the uber rich and Big Business have it.  With individual income tax rates hovering around fifty to seventy-five year lows and corporations relocating to off shore PO boxes to avoid paying any, let alone their fair share of taxes, I feel so bad for America’s ruling elite.

Maybe we could get a few rock, rap and pop stars together, many of whom know first hand the true horrors of being wealthy, to put together some sort of charity benefit concert, something along the line of The Concert For Bangladesh, to raise money for America’s truly destitute.

It must be pure Hell when the electric bill comes due for one’s mansion!

Steven H. Spring

Half Breeds

December 18, 2013

No, this isn’t a racist rant against human beings of different races propagating, but about tropical fish doing so.  I decided to use this particular title just to catch reader’s attention, purely for shock value.  In nature, I know very well that a male dog will attempt to breed with any female.  A miniature male Chihuahua would try to breed with a Great Dane bitch, even if he needed a stepladder to do so, however, it seems that for the most part, the animal kingdom usually stick with their own kind, much to my amazement.  How, for instance, do birds recognize their own?  How do they know what they themselves look like, in order to breed with a similar looking mate?

Earlier this summer, I restocked one of my fifty-five gallon fish tanks with several different varieties of American Cichlids, such as Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Black Convicts, Jack Dempseys and Green Severums.  About a month ago, maybe two, I noticed that a pair of Cichlids had bred, as there were maybe 30-40 very small fry swimming madly among the rocks at the bottom of the tank.  However, much to my amazement, the two Cichlids that had produced the fry were a Texas Cichlid (probably the male, as it is the larger of the two) and a Black Convict.

As a serious tropical fish hobbyist, I bought my first fifty-five gallon tank in 1982, after first buying a ten-gallon tank maybe a year earlier.  I know people think I’m nuts when I tell them I communicate with my fish, especially the Red Devils, however I am serious about doing so.  Red Devils have such a personality!  I had one who lived to be almost fifteen years old.  They are such a large, aggressive fish, that once they get so big, I end up keeping just one by itself in a fifty-five gallon tank.  I tell people who get up close to the tank that he isn’t mad at them for looking at him, he is mad at me for letting them do so.

Over the years, I have had several breeding pairs of fish, although only once did the fry survive long enough to grow large enough to avoid becoming dinner to the other fish in the tanks.  I currently have two fifty-five gallon tanks and a one hundred and twenty-five gallon tank.  Living in a very small apartment, my neighbors and friends were always amazed that at one time I had another fifty-five gallon tank and a thirty-gallon tank, three of which were given to me over the years.

As the fish in my largest tank are getting somewhat old, hopefully all of the young fry survive, as they would save me a lot of money when the time comes to restock that tank.  With a little bit of luck, the breeding pair of Cichlids will do their thing several more times in the coming years.

Steven H. Spring

Rapidly Entering The 21st Century

September 10, 2013

It all started innocently enough two years ago when my nearly twenty-year-old television set finally kicked the bucket.  I replaced that TV with a modest thirty-inch high-definition flat screen.  That was it for my big move into the twenty-first century, that is until about three months ago, when all hell began to break loose.  Regular readers and viewers of my blog will know that I purchased my first new camera in thirty-three years this past June, finally going digital.  I took full advantage of my new toy and shot more than twelve thousand photographs, nearly every single one of a flower, in just three months.

After seeing what my photographs looked like in HD on the small LCD monitor on the back of the camera, compared to what they looked like on my ten-year old computer’s CRT monitor, it did not take long for me to decide that I must get a new HD monitor as well.  My real concern was what my photographs looked like online to other people compared to what they looked like on my old monitor, after I had made some adjustments such as to color, tone and brightness and then matting and framing them.  This past Saturday, just before halftime of the Ohio State-San Diego State football game, the FedEx man delivered my new twenty-three inch HD monitor.  After setting it up at halftime, my first thought was why I ever waited so long to update my computer.

It’s not as if I am anti-technology.  The reason why I waited as long as I did to buy a digital camera, replacing my Canon A-1 that I bought in 1980, was I did not want to, nor could I afford to replace all my lens.  Earlier this year, I found out there was an adapter that would enable me to use all the old lens on a new camera.  The main reason for not updating both camera and computer monitor over the years was lack of money.  I have too many hobbies and passions and every one is expensive.  Barely surviving on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability income, I consider both of these recent purchases to be “major.”  I am very grateful for this government assistance, however, living on what I receive; I consider the current poverty level of $11,500 for a single American to be living high on the hog.

Now, all I need is a cell phone to complete my trifecta.  Nah, that ain’t gonna happen!  Besides, what I really need is a brand new Fender Stratocaster.

Steven H. Spring

The Twelve Days Of A Capitalist’s Christmas

The following song was posted last Christmas.  However, there has been quite a few views of the post the past several days, and since I now have several more friends on Facebook, I thought I would re-post the soon to be Christmas classic again this year.  The great thing about these lyrics is that every year they can be updated and modified utilizing that year’s hottest toys and biggest deals.  Since Christmas is nearly here, and I wanted to post it tonight, I did not have time for any updates.  I’ll save that for next year!  Besides, I have no idea what are this year’s hottest toys.

Is there a war on Christmas?  Yes!  However it’s not being waged by atheists, agnostics or democrats.  Our all-consuming capitalistic form of government, led by their never-ending stream of nearly non-stop commercials everywhere one look, holidays or not, has turned what was once a purely religious holiday, as Christians celebrated the birth of God’s son, Jesus Christ into an orgy of mass consumerism all the while forcing everyone evermore deeper into debt as they finance this two-month-long gluttonous shopping addiction with monthly payments, thus actually spreading holiday cheer  throughout the year.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!

Steven H. Spring

 

On the twelfth day before Christmas,
Waiting all night just to shop before the break of dawn.
Lord there must be a better way,
Thank goodness, Black Friday doesn’t come every day.

On the eleventh day before Christmas,
There is no time to stop, its shop, shop, shop all day.
Look out, I think that woman over there,
Is about to attack us with her deadly pepper spray.

On the tenth day before Christmas,
The malls are all packed, but there is no time to moan or groan.
Fortunately for me, money no longer is a problem,
Thank goodness for all those four hundred percent interest charging payday loans.

On the ninth day before Christmas,
I really do love that 80-inch HD flat screen TV.
I just hope and pray to God,
That Best Buy will finance it for me.

On the eighth day before Christmas,
They’re all gonna be sold out I fear.
But Junior really does needs,
A new Xbox 360 this year.

On the seventh day before Christmas,
Lights are all hung and ornaments are scattered about the yard.
The credit cards are all at their max,
Oh my Lord, did I forget to mail the Christmas cards?

On the sixth day before Christmas,
Was it an iPhone, iMac, iPod or an iPad?
If I get it wrong, I pray that my precious little Mary,
Won’t be too, too mad.

On the fifth day before Christmas,
There is one toy that I have yet to find.
It’s a cute little blonde haired Barbie doll baby,
I think I just might have enough cash to pay, maybe.

On the fourth day before Christmas,
Thank God the shopping is almost done I shout out with glee.
I no longer can eat or sleep because,
I am stressed out far more than any human being should be.

On the third day before Christmas,
I really would like a brand new washer and dryer from Home Depot.
I just hope and pray that the family car,
Doesn’t get repo’d.

On the second day before Christmas,
All the shopping is finally done.
I am as broke as anyone can or should be,
But why isn’t there a government bailout for working class people like me?

On the day before Christmas,
I am all out of cash.
We were supposed to go to Grandma’s for dinner,
However, we couldn’t afford the gas!

Copyright 2011 SHSmusicGroup

 

 

Is This The End Of The World As We Know It?

This, most likely will be my last posting on WordPress.com.  With the re-election of President Barack Obama last night, civilization as we know it will surely come to an immediate end.   The first thing to go most likely will be our electrical grid, which will lead to the rapid decent into Armageddon as governments crumble and citizens will be force to fend for themselves.  The Mayans were right; we have only a little more than one month until our world as we know it comes to a merciful end on December 21, 2012.

Why, one might ask why the apocalyptic forecast?  It seems that many hardcore Republican supporters seriously believe that life will come to an abrupt end with President Obama’s re-election and implementation of his draconian policies, such as his Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare).  Is it really such a terrible thing for all Americans to have some sort of health insurance?  No, it is disgraceful for a prosperous nation such as the United States to have nearly fifty million citizens without adequate health care coverage.  President Obama entered office four years ago facing an economic crisis many economists were predicting to be as severe as that of the Great Depression.  He inherited two unfunded and unnecessary wars, two unfunded massive tax cuts mainly benefiting the wealthy elite, a collapsing auto industry and a housing market whose bubble had just burst.  Dire consequences individually on their own, however, when combined created a perfect storm of economic catastrophe.  When you integrate these economic disasters together with the fact that Republican members of Congress did absolutely nothing to help the president implement sound policies to turn the economy around during the past four years, it there really any wonder why the economy is still in critical condition?  The true underlying problem with the American economy is that the manufacturing industry, which was the backbone of the middle class, began its exodus nearly forty years ago when steel plants moved overseas in search of extremely low wages.

In my nearly fifty years of following politics, I do not believe there has been a more hated and feared president than Mr. Obama.  Why is it that so many Republicans actually believe the president to be both a Muslim and Kenyan, despite all evidence to the contrary?  I find it rather ironic that many Republicans believe Obama to be a member of the Islamic faith, yet they can immediately name the Christian pastor whose church the president attended for twenty years, who baptized him, married him and baptized his two daughters.

On the very night that President and Mrs. Obama were celebrating his inauguration four years ago, more than fifteen top Republican congressional leaders and strategists met during a private dinner in Washington, D.C. to plot ways to defeat both the newly elected president’s policies and his re-election bid.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky opined three years ago that his number one priority was to see that President Obama does not get re-elected.  These Republican leaders should be ashamed and embarrassed by this manner of thinking.  Their constituents should be disgusted by this disgraceful ideological indifference by their Congressional representatives who put themselves and their party before their country.

As for me, I do not have time to dwell on such nonsense.  I have thousands of empty gallon milk jugs to fill with water before the apocalypse rears its ugly head.

Steven H. Spring

 

 

 

 

Breaking News

While watching both The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report this past Thursday night poke fun at Fox News and CNN for their erroneous reporting of the Supreme Court ruling regarding President Obama’s Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare), I was reminded of a letter I wrote to the general manager of WBNS-TV (Columbus, Ohio, USA) in July of 1998 in which I wrote a parody of their newscast, ridiculing their misuse and overuse of “breaking news.”

In their attempt to be the first television network to report on the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday morning, both Fox News and CNN had their facts grossly wrong, both reporting that the plan’s individual mandate was deemed unconstitutional when in fact the court ruled just the opposite.  I find it preposterous how often every television station abuses the “breaking news” headline.  Local networks very often start their newscasts with “breaking news.”  Isn’t this an oxymoron?  MSNBC will continue reporting something as “breaking news” four or five hours after it was first reported.  When exactly does a news event no longer constitute “breaking news?”  I’m no newsman, but I would guess within an hour, maybe less.

I am a news and political junkie; however, I stopped watching local news many years ago because of their “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality.  The following is my mocking not only of WBNS-TV but also that of every other television station, as they are all guilty of over-hyping any and all things in their lust to attract and kept their viewers glued to the screen:

With Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” blaring in the background, Dave Kaylor opens the evening newscast:

Dave Kaylor:  This is WBNS 10TV’s 6:00 Eyewitness News. Hi! I’m Dave Kaylor  in the 10TV Studio.  The 10TV News starts now (loud music again blares)….

Angela Pace:  But first Dave, our top story (loud music again)….

Andrea Cambern:  Angela, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….

Dave Kaylor:  Andrea, but first, tracking the storm is Channel 10TV Meteorologist Mike Davis, Mike.

Mike Davis:  This is Mike Davis, Live Dual Doppler 10 Chief Meteorologist, in the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Center, Channel 10TV’s exclusive Live Dual Doppler 10 Radar has just….

Dave Kaylor:  Mike, Channel 10TV Eyewitness News has this 10TV exclusive….

Angela Pace:  Dave, only on 10TV, we have new information on our lead story….

Andrea Cambern:  This is Andrea Cambern with Health News (loud music again)….

Kim Adams:  Andrea, this is Kim Adams with the Dual Doppler 10 Weather Team, Channel 10TV’s Live Dual Doppler 10 Travel Cast has just….

Angela Pace:  But first Kim, we have this breaking news, Channel 10TV has just learned….

Dave Kaylor:  Angela, new At 6 (incredibly, loud music once more)….

Andrea Cambern:  Dave, as we first told you at noon, 5, and 5:30….

Chris Shumway:  Andrea, the 10TV Live Dual Doppler Future Track has just….

Dave Kaylor:  Chris, this just in….

Mike Davis:  Dave, this is Mike Davis, here in Channel 10TV’s Weather Center, using exclusive Live Dual Doppler Radar, we have a Dual Doppler Forecast….

Angela Pace:  Mike, breaking news at this hour….

Dave Kaylor:  With a look at our Wakeup Forecast, here’s Channel 10TV’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Davis….

Angela Pace:  Dave, WBNS Channel 10TV’s I Team….

Andrea Cambern:  Angela, making headlines tonight, only on 10TV….

Kim Adams:  Andrea, Storm Tracker 10….

Dave Kaylor:  Kim, with a look at what’s coming up at 11….

Angela Pace:  Dave, that’s all the time we have.  Goodnight from all of us here at WBNS Channel 10TV (loud music one last time).

 

Steven H. Spring