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#atozchallenge Reflections…

#atozchallenge Reflections…

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The nice people who organised April’s A-Z challenge have asked that anyone who participated in the month long blogging marathon publish a feedback post, giving their reactions and opinions on the whole experience.

Today is the deadline for the posts, so I thought I’d do a quick summing up.

The task of posting every day for a month is something I had already done once this year, for Just Jot It January, so I wasn’t overly worried about the schedule.
It was only the format that I thought might be a problem; I mean, coming up with a blog post themed around each letter of the alphabet sounds easy enough to begin with, until you realise how few subjects begin with “U”, “Q”, “X” and “Z”, to name just four.

So I had to cheat occasionally; finding that photography was a good fallback option, when I was short of time or inspiration, but I think I managed to acquit myself fairly honourably overall.

The one thing I found more problematic though, was the part of the challenge which required everyone who took part to visit other blogs and comment on them.
Not that I object to reading other bloggers’ work, you understand, (I spend a lot of time following, reading and commenting on a increasingly large number of blogs and enjoy the whole interactive element of the blogosphere) but the list of blogs who were supposedly taking part in the challenge was somewhat hit and miss.

For a start, the number of Blogger powered blogs made it impossible for me to comment on any of them, due to some sort of incompatibility between their platform and WordPress, which was frustrating.
But the thing that annoyed me the most was the fact that many of the blogs on the list clearly had no intention of taking part in the first place (a few of the links took me to blogs that hadn’t had a post published for several months) and featured no #atozchallenge posts whatsoever.
I can only assume that they either changed their minds after registering, or had signed up purely as a way to attract traffic. The fact that some of these blogs were on Blogger made them a moot point, and I did find one or two interesting posts on the non-participating blogs, on which I commented anyway, since I was there.

I also ignored the suggestion that I stuck to visiting the five blogs either side of me on the list (I think it was something like that, I’m not big on reading instructions) and simply browsed the list each day and stuck an electronic pin in it to pick my daily selection of articles, which led to some very interesting juxtapositions of style and content.
So if you were a regular visitor to Diary of an Internet Nobody for the month and I only popped by to see you once or twice, it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy your posts, I just wanted to take in as many new blogs as I could.

As to whether I’ll do it all again next year; well, I think you probably know by now, I’m a sucker for challenges and collaborations, so it seems very likely.

All in all a very rewarding experience and one for which I’d like to express my gratitude to the organisers, who did a fabulous job of curating such a massive project.

Thanks for reading, see you next April for more alphabetized abstractions and blatant cheating.

#atozchallenge

 

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#atozchallenge: Z is for Zebra…

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So here we are at the end of my first ever A-Z challenge and I must say, I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

Not only have I been able to indulge my tendency to talk rubbish, every day for a month, I’ve also had a chance to meet some great new bloggers, promote the skills of a talented local face painter and inflict some of my new sonic experiments on you.

Well today, I’m featuring artwork from two of my occasional contributors; Audrey and Ho.

Audrey suggested that I picked “Zebra” for my final post, but I don’t have a lot to say about those, so I asked her to draw me a picture instead;

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Meanwhile, resident blogtoonist, Ho was commissioned to create an illustration for a little puzzle to finish this alphabetical odyssey.

Having tested this pictorial conundrum on Rhonda and elicited only a blank look, I’m not convinced the Americans among my readership will get it (maybe it’s not a thing over there) but I’m sure someone out there will feel a metaphorical lightbulb pop into existence above their head when they see it.

There is no prize, other than knowing you have similar random thought processes to myself, but that’s an achievement in itself, so;

What is the relevance of this fabulous toon to the A-Z challenge?

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Answers in the comments please.

Thank you for sticking with me for this month of nonsense and blathering, I’ve just got one more thing for you before normal(ish) service resumes next week; another new tune, and this one is a corker, even if I do say so myself.

OSCIL8 – LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD FOR FREE HERE.

#atozchallenge

 
30 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Blogging, Ho.

 

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#atozchallenge: Y is for Yello…

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I’ve spent today off work with my revolting cold, so the penultimate A-Z post is a bit of a cop out, I’m afraid.

Having reached the catarrh stage of my illness, the colour yellow has featured quite heavily in my day, so (tenuous link ahoy) I thought I’d post some tracks by one of my favourite bands, the uniquely odd and willfully retro Swiss electro wizards, Yello

I already have a post planned for tomorrow, so I’ll see you then for the final leg of the challenge.

AHHHTCHHHHOOOOO!

#atozchallenge

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Music, Video

 

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#atozchallenge: X is for Xylophone…

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For today’s A-Z challenge I could have gone with all sorts of fancy words, like Xenophobia or Xenomorph, but I thought I’d go for the only X word that ever appeared on an A-Z list when I was at school;
Xylophone.

The way I am choosing to fulfill this obligation is to turn back to my Oscilab app and compose a little ditty using, you guessed it, Xylophones…

{An hour and a half later}

And here it is; the world premier of Zxylo which, I admit, doesn’t even start with an X, but I prefer it this way.

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CLICK THIS LINK TO PLAY AND/OR DOWNLOAD FOR FREE!

#atozchallenge

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Arts, Music

 

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#atozchallenge: W is for Wildlife…

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Ok, I’ve been beaten again.
I’ve just this second sat down after being on the go since I got up, 13 hours ago, I’ve got a horrible bloody cold, (again) probably courtesy of Audrey and my head feels like it’s full of glue.

So I’m going to cheat again and put together a quick compilation of photos, based (very loosely) on the theme of “wildlife”, although “animals” would be more accurate, to be honest.

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#atozchallenge

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Photography

 

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#atozchallenge: V is for Very excited…

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So, we’re down to the final five days of the A-Z challenge and although it’s been an interesting month of randomly unplanned posts, there is one thing I haven’t manage to squeeze in and today I have an excuse.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on about it, I’ve already done that at some length in the past, but I can’t not mention the impending return of Twin Peaks, the greatest tv show of all time, bar none.

And yesterday we got further details of David Lynch‘s rebooted soap noir;
– Filming has been completed.
– Probable release date is very early 2017.
– UK release will be on Sky Atlantic, as they have exclusive rights to all original Showtime output (bad news for those of us without satellite tv)
– The cast list has been released, confirming a large number of original members are going to be back amongst the pines.
So, for those of you who are interested, here are those returning heroes in full:

Richard Beymer – Ben Horne
Catherine E Coulson – The Log Lady (scenes filmed before she sadly passed away last year)
Julee Cruise – Roadhouse Singer​
Jan D’Arcy – Sylvia Horne​
David Duchovny – Denise/Dennis Bryson​
Sherilyn Fenn – Audrey Horne
Miguel Ferrer – Albert Rosenfield
Warren Frost – Doctor William Hayward​
Harry Goaz – Deputy Andy Brennan​
Andrea Hays – Heidi​
Gary Hershberger –  Mike Nelson​
Michael Horse – Deputy Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill​
David Patrick Kelly – Jerry Horne​
Sheryl Lee – Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson
Peggy Lipton – Norma Jennings
Bellina Martin Logan – Louie ‘Birdsong’ Budway
David Lynch – GORDON COLE
Kyle MacLachlan – Special Agent Dale Cooper
James Marshall – James Hurley
Everett McGill – ‘Big’ Ed Hurley
Walter Olkewicz – Jacques Renault​
Kimmy Robertson – Lucy Moran
Wendy Robie – Nadine Hurley​
Marv Rosand – Cook at the Double R Diner
Carlton Lee Russell – Jumping Man
Harry Dean Stanton – Carl Rodd
Charlotte Stewart – Betty Briggs​
Al Strobel – Philip Gerard/ ‘Mike’ The One-Armed Man​
Carel Struycken – The Giant​
Russ Tamblyn – Dr Lawrence Jacoby​
Ray Wise – Leland Palmer
Alicia Witt – Gersten Hayward
Grace Zabriskie – Sarah Palmer​

You’ll have to make your own minds up as to how some of these characters are being resurrected included in the plot, but it’s a good sign that the main body of the cast is still involved.

– More casting details have also been released, featuring a good many high profile surprises.
What do you reckon Lynch is going to do with the likes of;

Monica Bellucci
Michael Cera
Laura Dern
Sky Ferreira
Ernie Hudson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Ashley Judd
Trent Reznor
Tim Roth
Amanda Seyfried
Jessica Szhor
Eddie Vedder
Naomi Watts

Ok, Laura Dern is a Lynch veteran, but Eddie Vedder and Trent Reznor? Really?

And then there’s this; Emre Unayli‘s amazing new artwork.

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So yes, I think it’s safe to say that I’m VERY excited at the prospect of going back into the woods with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and friends.

Here’s the trailer…

…which, of course, tells you nothing whatsoever.

But then, I’d expect nothing less.
Roll on 2017.

If your thirst for Peakiness is piqued and you want even more details, GO HERE.

And if that hasn’t put you in the mood, here’s a Road House favourite from Julee Cruise, the lovely Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart.
Enjoy.

#atozchallenge

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Arts, Internet, TV, Twin Peaks, Video

 

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#atozchallenge: T is for Trans and TED…

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Today’s A-Z post could just as easily be T for Topical, due to the amount of media coverage the Transgender community has had recently; notably for stories about Caitlyn Jenner, who controversially (and temporarily) won Glamour magazine’s “Woman of the Year” award and for the equally contentious Bathroom Bill, which seeks to ban transgender people from bathrooms that do not correspond to the gender specified on their birth certificates.

But that isn’t the reason for me choosing to use this as the topic for today’s post, I have a far more personal reason; I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine.

Facebook has always been a fascinating way to make new friends; you can get to know people from all over the world, from all walks of life and from many different cultures (the ones that don’t think the internet is the work of the devil, anyway) and it’s almost inevitable that you will connect with people you never would have met, if you’d had to depend on bumping into them purely by coincidence.

Which is how I met Kelly.

I was introduced by a mutual friend, (one of the many Americans I got to know when I first joined Facebook, five years ago) who had been at school with Kelly and thought that she and I would get on. All my friend told me was that Kelly had recently transitioned from male to female and that she was an airline pilot.
Now, given my earlier statement about making interesting new friends, I could hardly pass up the chance to meet a transgender airline pilot, especially as those are two things I have all but the most infinitesimal chances of experiencing myself, so I got in touch with her and we have been friends ever since.

It wasn’t until I’d known her for a while, however, that I realised what a truly extraordinary woman Kelly is; that is really the only word I can think of that sums her up, there is nothing “ordinary” about her at all, every time I learn something new about her, it just confirms what an incredibly driven, compassionate and caring person she is.

Kelly’s story is one of faith, overcoming prejudice, personal loss and sacrifice and a strength of character and self-belief that most people can only wish for.
She works for an international courier and logistics company, which has allowed her to work with some amazing people, including her colleagues, both at home in Alaska and with children’s charities around the world.

Here are some of the photos that Kelly (on the right in the first picture) has taken on her travels, described in her own words;

“The greatest joy in my life is spending time with orphans. The blessings I receive from these children are immeasurable. It gives me a purpose and a chance to leave a legacy on the lives of children around the world. Thank you Dr. Joseph, for being my host and allowing me to learn more about this incredible place!

For those of you who have a passion for orphans as well, Harmony House could really use your support. Asia has an escalating HIV rate due to many factors and is now affecting young children. I’m including this link, written by my good friend Dr. Joseph. If you get a chance, please take a moment to read.

Kelly”

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“This is my very dear friend Nicole, the Director of Harmony Home. We met for lunch yesterday to discuss ways to increase financial support for her nineteen shelters in Taiwan and China.

Her story is inspiring and started with her heart; to care for a college student who was dying of AIDS. His family had rejected him and the college expelled him. She took it upon herself to love him when nobody else would.

Combined with her passion, and her determination, she has touched hundreds and thousands of lives of those inflicted with this horrible disease. Today, Harmony Home cares for 102 adults, and over 1000 children. Her love for her children (adults included) is truly a reflection of what James writes, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” 

She has touched so many lives with such a limited budget. It is with great honor, to call her my friend.”

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“Dr Joseph, is like a brother to me, and was there from the beginning standing by me through my transition. He has a heart and a passion for orphans worldwide and was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Megan, is a very dear friend, who has a heart for orphans and recently developed a program to fund 30 orphans in Cambodia.

It’s people like them with such huge hearts that inspire me.”

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“This evening we hosted over 300 children from the the Head Start Program. To many, this was their only Christmas and to see their faces lit up, brought more joy than one could imagine. To my fellow pilots who sacrifice a portion of their earnings to make these programs possible, you have my deepest gratitude.”

All of which is pretty amazing, I think you’ll agree; Kelly and her fellow pilots do fantastic work with these kids and really do light up their lives with their dedication and generosity.

But it’s when you hear Kelly tell her story in person, that’s when you truly understand what she has fought through to become the woman she is today. And last year she got the opportunity to do just that, when her logistics company teamed up with TED, the ideas sharing platform, to stage a series of talks on diversity and overcoming obstacles.

I don’t often ask much of you, my lovely readers, but I’d like you to do me a small favour, just this once.
I know you all  have busy lives and may not have time right now, but you’re bound to have a spare ten minutes tomorrow (it is Sunday, after all) so please watch Kelly’s talk in the video below, I don’t think anyone can fail to be moved by the courage and dignity with which she tackles an emotive and deeply personal subject.

You can learn more about Kelly and the TED/UPS talks at this link.

#atozchallenge

Update: Kelly has asked me to make it clear that she is part of a team and, as such, only a small part of the good work they all do.

“On my time off I volunteer as a charity coordinator for my pilot union in Anchorage.”

Like I said; modest to a fault.

 

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