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Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

27
Aug

“off with his (cracked) head?”

Update:  August 27th, 2013. A great deal has happened in my part of the world since the terribly sad outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. Read more »

17
Jun

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

This week the photo challenge word is close.  I’ve chosen to use “close” as in close-up, or macro photography.  I shot this last week:

This is my cat, Beau.  I love his eyes!  He’s jet-black with white whiskers!  When I can get him to sit still or wake up, he’s a good subject:

Photo by Andrea O’Connell, 2012

4
Jun

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

The weekly photo challenge word is was “today.”

Lately my “today’s” have been sans camera in favor of the computer and work-projects.

I shot these photos on a today that happened last month!

There’s a “today” certainty and strength in nature, especially in the sea…. it flows through every today …. the waves, so much like music…

Anyway, I love a today with ocean in it.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

4
May

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

The word for this week’s Photo Challenge is “unfocused.”  Certainly an easy one for me as I have many photos that fall into that unsightly category. 🙂

I’m like a photography hoarder, I keep the even the blurry and goofy pictures!

This pretty fella, the bright Peacock, moved just as I clicked.

 

The second photo is the effect of theatrical lighting on aluminum scaffolding.  Not only is it blurry, it’s also distorted! Two features for the price of one with that photo!

30
Apr

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

Last week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was to post something that says “together.”

Well, I’m a bit late with this – haven’t had my act together!

Here are two colorful Macaws who are having such fun together.  These kids are hilarious when they’re together!  They seem to love each other, but they fight like cats and dogs, too!

Here are two lovely butterflies doing what butterflies do when they’re together.

20
Apr

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

The challenge this week is to capture the sun!  I usually battle with the sun when developing images…. When there’s too much sun-glare it can wreak havoc on an image.   So, it’s nice, for a change, to have an occasion to relish the sun!

A Roseate Spoonbill sun dance:

Sun Dancing. Photo by Andrea O’Connell

Clouds chasing the sun:

Clouds Chasing the Sun. Photo by Andrea O’Connell


An orange flower drinks in the sun:

Drinking in the Sun. Photo by Andrea O’Connell

25
Mar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through …… Odysseo

 

Yesterday I had the great fortune of seeing the dreamy, magical and brilliant show, Odysseo, playing in Miami.  It was an amazing experience.  We were front and center – close enough to smell the horses and see the sweat glistening from their beatifically coiffed coats.

I didn’t have time before the show to focus on this weeks’ photo challenge, which asks us to capture an image that says”through,” but I think the glow of the lights and the complicated structure beneath the bleacher seats works pretty well for my interpretation of “through.”

I had my camera with me and as we entered the Odysseo big top to see the show, it was impossible not to notice the massive scaffold-like structures underneath the enormous bleacher seats.  The purple glow that washed through the bleacher support beams, came from the stage lighting.  I love the wild effect the purple lighting made through the bleachers.

Below are a few of photos of the underside of the bleachers.  The photos with a TV screen, were hanging on the outside frame of the bleachers and showed some of the dramatic moments from the show.

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Below is a you tube video that I think you’ll enjoy.  There are a lot of YouTube videos of this remarkable show.  Follow this video to more YouTube links about the show.

Screen-shot image of Odysseo web page. Click photo to access Odysseo website

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

The weekly photo challenge this week is a tough one.  The word is “regret.”  I looked through all my photo archives and I found a few photos that would maybe resemble the emotion “regret.” But, not really.  Regret is a complex emotion, not easily recognizable in a photo because it could look like so many other emotions.  Regret is pensive, but pensive is not “regret.”  Regret can be sad, but sad is not “regret.”

You see what I mean?

Regret is a multifaceted emotion – layered with either a tinge or a great deal of sadness, or anger, or longing, or remorse.

Regret may consist of angst, too.  Regret rears its elusive head over things we did, or didn’t do; things left unsaid; things left undone after it’s too late to change the things we did.  Generally. saying “I’m sorry,” cures the regret.  Well, in fiction and other fairy tales that’s true.

Regret also takes the form of wishing we could turn the clock back to redo or undo things.  (If only life had the same “undo” or “redo” button that Microsoft Office and other software has.)   Wouldn’t it be nice if that”Easy” button in the Staples televisions commercials really worked?

So, I found a couple of photos that captured an element of regret.  I have a photo of a butterfly whose wings are badly damaged and who is clearly close to death.  But, when I saw that photo tonight what I felt was sadness and then I realized I regretted taking the photo.

Another photo I looked was of my niece with a sad and pensive look with tears forming in her eyes.  She wasn’t feeling regret, she was having one of those meltdowns that all kids have when they don’t get to do what they want to do.  It wasn’t regret.  Does a 6-year-old feel regret?

And then I had a picture of a Florida Panther that was really cute.  He has his forehead between his paws, down on the grass as if he’s trying to scratch the top of his head on the ground.  And I almost chose that photo because it was as close as I thought I would get to embodying regret. Of course, I know the panther was just giving his head a good scratch in the grass so it really didn’t look regretful.  And after all, the more anthropomorphically realistic our animal photos are, the more we love them – the funnier they are.  And funny is fun but it doesn’t say “regret” plus the photo is a bit blurry – horrors!

So, I kept looking for photos and nothing said “regret” to me.  I looked up the dictionary meaning, too:

Regret:

1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.

2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
(verb)

To feel regret.

(noun)

1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.
2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.
3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.

I was about ready to skip this photo challenge when I remembered what I’d bought tonight at the grocery store!!!!!   And I said, out loud, BINGO!  Talk about regret…. There’s guilt there, too….. Double whammy.

Mind you, I bought this in the grocery store tonight after I’d had a HUGE steak dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

After all, they say, it’s best NOT to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, right?  Well I went to Publix grocery store, still full as a whale, and look what I bought and what I immediately began to eat?!!!!!

So, here’s my chocolate chip-yummy-frosting-early-valentine-to-myself-definition of regret…. 🙂

7
Feb

good stuff to put in the “that’s life” file….

Darn!  I’ve been under the weather these past couple of days with something that feels like the flu but it’s not as bad as the flu but it’s wiped me out.

It started Saturday night after I came home from seeing an old Neil Simon play called, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”   It was a good production – very funny.  But, for about ten minutes before curtain and during intermission, I was craning and straining my neck to chat with people sitting behind me, like this:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

I knew I was straining my neck, but never realized I’d disable it completely.

Only today has the pain subsided.  But what it left in its wake is a horrible clogged throat and head and nose blah.   It can’t decide if it wants to be a reasonably common cold, or a hateful and feverish flu.

So, I’ve laid on the couch and in the bed waiting for it to decide how mean and nasty it wants to treat me.

I think I’m getting better though.  I finally got out of my PJ’s and into real clothes.

Now, for the good news…..

I got a job!  I don’t have the written offer yet….so it’s not a completely done deal, but I have a start date!  It’s February 20th.

And it’s a good one, too!  I’m not going to jinx it by talking too much about it.  I can tell you that it’s a good company, with super nice people!

Here’s the bad news though…. I had to tell Microsoft that I have another job.  I emailed the recruiter today.

I was still in the interview process with Microsoft.  I’d had 3 interviews and the 4th one was not scheduled until next week. This meant I’d have to stall on the job I’d just accepted to wait for Microsoft. I didn’t want to do that.  Plus, if I had gotten denied by Microsoft and I’d put off the other job, I’d be the real loser.

I didn’t want to play games or gamble.  I sent my Microsoft recruiter an email and said thank you for considering me and….. I hated to send that email.

So….I didn’t get this:

It’s okay.  But I really really really really REALLY hate leaving that great opportunity on the table….

Then again, I love the job that I got – I am very excited about it – it’s a perfect fit in so many ways and I am very happy.

So, my “that’s life” file is looking pretty good.

(I still heart Microsoft.)

 

3
Feb

it rains and pours good things

Although this little fellow looks somewhat miffed at being in the rain, I am happily enjoying the fact that it’s raining (opportunities) for me…

There’s one really good opportunity, with a company and people I really like, there’s still Microsoft, too…..  I’ll have an update soon.

In the meantime, Happy Friday everyone…. I’ll be back with a story soon!

photo by Andrea O'Connell

20
Jan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

This week’s photo challenge is to find a photo that says “simple.”

I know some kid, not too tall though, put this on the tree in his front yard one Halloween and there it stayed for a very long time.  Simple. Unadorned.  Sweet but kind of spooky in a weird Halloween kind of way.

I took this picture in late December, 2011, in Winterpark, Florida.

 

9
Jan

uh, iPhone jailbreaking? for real?

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

There are things in this world, especially when it comes to technology, that wow me.  One of those things is something called “Jailbreaking.”  It’s something you do to an iPhone that removes the restrictions that Apple adds to the phone and allows you to download a bunch of Apps (applications) for free.  It even allows you to download Apps that were created for the Android market.

When you jaibreak your iPhone you can do so many things that you couldn’t do with the Apple version.  You can change wallpaper and the icons on your phone; you can video chat, watch live TV, play games that require Flash – like the Facebook games, and so much more.

And, when you jailbreak your iPhone, you also “unlock” it.  Unlocking the iPhone means to remove restrictions that keep you with the original AT&T or Verizon carrier.  You can take your phone to T-Mobile, or just about any carrier of your choice. That’s a huge benefit because AT&T is so expensive.  I can attest to that.

It’s going to cost you about thirty bucks to jailbreak your iPhone, but it will pay off in the long run.

I found out about all this unlocking and jailbreaking is due to signing up as a Consultant with a global outsourcing company called oDesk.  I applied through oDesk for a job as a writer for a company that writes about this technology.

Let me tell you a little bit how oDesk works.

The oDesk folks provide the website and a listing of jobs that come from employers all over the world.  The employer posts jobs and identify the skills required to do the job(s) they want filled, usually on a temporary basis, though some are long-term.  The oDesk system matches the potential employees skill-sets with the skills the employer indicates he or she needs.  If a job looks like a fit, the employee can apply to the job, and then wait to see if the employer wants to interview the prospective employee.

So, I applied yesterday to an employer who needs a writer.  To my surprise, I got contacted by the employer who asked me to submit work specific writing samples.  I had to write two articles about jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone.

He sent me the keywords and I had to strategically place the keywords in the content.  The better the keywords, the better Google recognizes what the article is about and the higher they rank the article, thus driving business.

But, I thought, huh?  What kind of scam is this?!  Jail breaking???

But, I said okay, I’m open to anything.

So, I did some research, and wrote the articles today.  But, I haven’t heard anything.  I don’t know if my articles were good, really.  I enjoy technical stuff, but it’s pretty boring to write about.  So, I wrote one of my articles in a kind of a “dude-ish” slang, and the other article I wrote with lines borrowed from Shakespeare! In hindsight, I they may have been too creative.  Oh well.

Well, I had no idea what the employer really wanted other than to use the words “jailbreak” and ‘unlock” in my articles.

So, I made them interesting!

I’m working really hard at finding a job.  The thing about not working but looking for work, it’s a lot of very hard work!  I’ve been working since the wee hours this morning and I’m still at it!

Well, I’m getting calls and responses.  And I do have real irons on the fire.  It’s all about patience.  Finding and securing a new job is a long process and a juggling act, too.  You have to keep a lot of balls up in the air hoping the best one will drop first.  Nothing worse than saying yes to Acme Computer Company and then have Microsoft call!  (I did apply to Microsoft, by the way….I can only hope to be considered….!)

So, it’s a busy time for me. But a good time, too. I’m in a good place with a lot of opportunities… the only thing I need now is patience. Not always my virtue.

I want to do the Post-A-Day Challenge for 2012, like I did in 2011, but I have decided it’s too much.  Although blogging everyday has become a habit, it will be nice to take a night off now and then.  So, that’s the plan! No pressure this year.

On a totally different note, here’s a present for your eyes!  I took this yesterday while I was walking my dog.  It was a beautiful day – birds, bees and butterflies were everywhere!

4
Jan

an interview with the Honorable Stan Strickland

Read more »

31
Dec

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

25
Dec

and so this is christmas ….. and so this is chanukah….

And this day, like so many other December 25’s in Florida, is HOT!

Merry Christmas to those who observe it, and best wishes for a happy 6th (I think) day of Chanukah, too.

It’s a very quiet morning.  Relaxing.  Nice.

Well, Jazz is having a bad morning.  My brother’s dog, the gigantic puppy, Buster, as usual, relentlessly pursues Jazz, egging him on with a push of his paw and a little nip on the rear end.  When that doesn’t move Jazz, Buster jumps in the air in a “U” shape – his four legs straight up from the ground – go up and over Jazz, only to land and have his legs nipped at by Jazz’s jaws…. snapping, snapping, snapping…  Buster is too fast and Jazz’s snapping isn’t precisely aimed but sometimes he manages to get a hold of some part of Buster’s skin.  Jazz’s snapping jaws, though they aim at Buster in rapid-fire snaps like a machine gun gone ballistic, don’t do any harm to him though.

It’s hilarious to see them.  I can’t decide if Jazz is playing or if he’s petrified because his tail wags but his eyes roll back in his head and his lips stay permanently in place, over his gums.  Buster is absolutely playing, that’s clear…. The verdict is still out on Jazz’s level of enjoyment.

This morning the grass was dewy and Jazz refused to step out on the big-grass-john in the backyard. So I picked him up and walked him out further in the grass, getting my fuzzy slippers nice and wet – I put him down on the grass, but he immediately tip-toed away, gingerly in the grass like a ballet dancer with a broken toe, back to the patio and dry ground.  He tiptoed, broken-toed style, through the screen door and to the pool area where he proceeded to do you know what right by the pool.

The morning is quiet. Mom and my brother are reading the paper – the New York Times.  And a John Wayne movie is on the TV, in the background.

Last night we watched the Oldie Goldie movie “Margie.”  It was shot in 1946, and shows a grown-up Margie reminiscing about her high school years in the 1920’s, to her teen-aged daughter.

The setting was 1928 and a young Margie, a senior in high school, keeps losing her “bloomers” to great dramatic effect.  Seriously, the elastic in her bloomers broke three times in the movie!  It wasn’t really a theme – ha! Or any sub-plot, per se, but each loss of one of her errant bloomers did push the plot ahead.  One especially “dramatic” bloomer loosening happened on the ice-skating rink.  To cover the embarrassment of losing her bloomers, Margie feigns fainting.

Oh Fiddlesticks! was Margie’s refrain when things were confusing or got out of hand –  or when one’s bloomers were unruly.

Of course today it would be, “Oh, isn’t this a farting-fuck!  Shit, I lost my thong,” purposely  getting as many swear words into the sentence as possible then publicly pronouncing and publishing the event all over Facebook.  Whereas Margie, humiliated, horrified, is overcome with tears at her bloomer bust.

Anyway, the movie was very sweet.  Haddie McDaniel played the housekeeper.  Jeanne Crain, was Margie. Haddie McDaniel, you may remember, won the Academy Award for her performance as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind.

I’m not sure what is in store for the rest of the day.  I know the dog-park is on our agenda and my brother is cooking us a nice lunch….kind of scary, to be honest.  He’ll probably need an editor.  Well mom is here – thankfully, I’m hardly a cook and proud of it!

Anyway, that’s a piece of my 2011 Christmas.  I’d like to share the funniest story, written by my niece, about her plane trip from New York to Tallahassee.  It’s so damn funny – brilliant humor, and I am not being prejudiced, you’ll see:

Meaghan O’Connell:

So I’m on this flight from NYC to Charlotte today, it’s super-delayed on the tarmac and I’m sitting next to two people about my age who did not know each other but talked so loud that I shared that ugh i know ARE THEY EVEN HUMAN? look about them with two separate people. I would give some examples of their conversation but it would be too painful for me to revisit. Okay wait I can’t help but remember: the girl kept joking about us being in the exit row and DYING and when there was turbulence she was like, “Am I going to have to pull this lever?” (to open the door!) and I had just read that fucking, fucking article about the french guys crashing the plane in the Atlantic and it was all I could think about (this plane crashing) meanwhile this unstable woman with a extra large coolatta was making jokes about pulling open the goddamn emergency exit.

Anyway so halfway through I really have to pee and I’m telling myself stuff like, “Okay, as soon as you finish this chapter, you can pee.” (along with musing about how I’d react if I found out the plane was going down) Then I realized I could pee when I wanted because I am an adult human so I put my book away and started sheepishly assessing the situation. See, the seatbelt light was on but I always forget if that means Don’t move around or, Fine move around but if you’re sitting down, put on your seatbelt. I figured it was the latter because that’s what I wanted so I found a way to justify it. Then I looked right and left. No one was up and about to reassure me I wouldn’t get “in trouble.” I craned my neck to see what the fight attendi were doing. They buckled in in the back, but I decided to LIVE ON THE EDGE and then to go to the bathroom in the front since it was closer and there was some turbulence but fuck it right? I’m an adult.

So I got up half-expecting to get yelled at (as always) but creeped on forward in my newish boots and then stopped and stood frozen under the glowing green bathroom sign when I couldn’t find the fucking door to push in and crawl inside. Ahhh. I felt the eyes of every human on the plane on me while I squinted into dark corners and wondered if I was about to walk into the cockpit . but was like whatever guys, I can do this. Then a flight attendant from the back GRABS THE MIC and says in a fluster, JUST A REMINDER THAT THE FIRST CLASS LAVATORIES ARE RESERVED FOR FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS ONLY.

Cut to me wandering around first class like a lost puppy. This lady is basically telling me, from the back of the plane, over the loudspeaker to get the fuck out of the first class section. WHAT? So I SPIN around on my heels (rather amazingly I might add) to face THE ENTIRE PLANE, shrug dramatically and say SORRY EVERYONE! in the most teenage, sarcastic tone of voice. I don’t even know where this audacity came from. But I saw this sea of faces staring at me and rolling their eyes at the situation and laughing with me and literally like, making little comments of solidarity as I walked past. Like I just committed this brave act, crossing enemy lines to pee into a little toilet vacuum. I mean people were truly making eye contact and saying like, “Come ON!” and, “Oh like they are all just LINED UP up there waiting to get into the bathroom!” And I just nodded and shrugged and wanted to like, high five everyone as I cruised by, but instead made some kind of bad kid in the back of the class type of dramatic exhalations then sauntered, victoriously, all the way to the back of the godforsaken plane, where the flight attendants would not look at me, and peed in my proletariat toilet (proletoilet).

Anyway there was total class warfare going on in the sky somewhere over, I dunno, Virginia, today and it was amazing.

Link to above:  http://meaghano.com/post/14595368874/impt

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