Breakfast with Oz

 – Journey to Excellence

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Blinking means pause…

We had the great pleasure of our son Troy’s visit during Christmas. He spent 8 hours driving up to see us, arriving late Christmas eve, and of course had to start home before dinner on Christmas day. I’m fairly certain he had to spend more time driving than visiting, especially considering we had to let him get some sleep while he was here.

One of the great gifts I appreciated was getting to listen to him and our youngest son, Dillon, play some music for us. It is always one of my favorite things. I went and fetched my cool Zoom recorder and we sat back and listened to them play for a couple hours. It was awesome and a treasured memory. It will have to remain as just a memory though, relived with only the power of recollection, since the little red light on the Zoom patiently flashed the entire time, in pause mode, waiting for me to give it the go ahead.

By the time I had discovered this heart crushing fact, Dillon had left, it was late night (early morning type late night), and everyone was exhausted. This was I suppose especially true for Troy, but never the less, I prevailed upon him to spend another couple hours, albeit alone now. His voice betrayed how tired he was, but I didn’t care. This time I caught it all, and in the background, if all is as planned, you can hear a very small piece of it. The rest of it I may edit for future posts, but more likely, I’ll keep for myself.

If I discover it doesn’t play here as it should, I’ll post it elsewhere.

 

Too much to do is never enough

I seem to have a terribly hard time on just staying focused on one specific task and bringing it to its conclusion. You know why? Because I invariably want to follow every branch that comes along. Everything seems of interest. Imagine a huge tree with hundreds of branches and your goal is to climb it. If it were me, instead of simply climbing to the top and enjoying the reward of the magnificent view I was originally after, I would instead be distracted by every damn branch along the way. So of course I would have to follow every branch and before long I forget my original goal is up, not sideways.

This website is no different. I had a simple idea really. I just wanted to make a site for my extended family to share. Birthdays, events, things going on in their lives. A central place to organize all our etherialized stuff. Did I just make up a word? For example,  I have sons that play music and make videos. The stuff is out there on youtube and facebook and bandcamp and a dozen other places. I wanted to organize it all in one place. That’s just one example of course, but you get the idea.

A family site where any of us could go anytime and feel like home.

Anyway, if it seems like this site is out of focus, that’s just because it is. As I learn about how to build it and play with the limitless number of tools and toys and ideas out there, I’m on the tree again, crawling down every darn branch I find. Some of them prove very useful, like making it so that a user can use their facebook or other social media account to log in instead of having to remember yet another site username and password. That’s cool use of technology, but guess what? It’s not as easy to implement as it is to use. First off you have to make your entire site SSL secure. That’s a big branch that carries you sideways for a while. Then, each of the social media sites has a lengthy process to gain approval, such as meeting technical requirements and passing through myriad hoops. A simple thing that just caught my eye has suddenly consumed me for 2 days.

And so it goes. I love it all. The exploration, the frustrations, the challenges. I throw away more than I keep and that’s ok. But it does sometimes make the original goal obscure, and the truth is I’m not even sure anyone in my family gives a rats butt or will bother ever visiting.

People have their own lives and their own things to do. Which brings me full circle. Trying to stay aware of one another was the whole point.

I’m trying to keep focused as best I can. I have a dozen plugins waiting on me to review, so I better get back to that. I did find three kinda cool things in today’s efforts.

The first is this little diddy that lets you build ‘find the words’ type applications. Below is an example I made to test out editing skills.

[h5p id="3"]

The second one I found was a cool application that allows you to make those funky find the word crosswords. Easy to make and you can even let users make them and publish them. I made my first one simple. Just find a few fruits.

Loading the crossword has yet to start.

{{crosswordData.name}}

{{loadError.error}}

{{msg}}

Find these words in the riddle: {{crosswordData.description}}

Difficulty level {{crosswordData.level+1|localeNumber}}
Word directions: only to the right and down any, including diagonal and backwards
List of words that should be found: visible before found hidden before found

Mark the words:

You have found {{count.solution|localeNumber}} of {{count.words|localeNumber}} words You have found all {{count.words|localeNumber}} words!

  • {{word.fields | joinWord}}

The marked word {{message.word | joinWord}} is not part of the solution.

Congratulation, you have solved the riddle!Congratulation, you have solved the riddle in {{message.time | duration}}!

You have found {{message.solution|localeNumber}} of {{message.words|localeNumber}} hidden words during the alloted time.

Please be patient for the crossword being loaded.

Last, but certainly not least, I found the old classic space invaders, which you can use to simply blow up everything on the damn page that you don’t like! Don’t believe me? Well go ahead punk, and make my day.

 

You can expect to find messes around here for a while yet I’m sure. But I will eventually reach the top of the tree and when I do, I hope it’s a place worth visiting.

The Bake before Christmas

Twas a week (more or less) before Christmas and panic set in

Momma knew that the baking prep had to begin

There was butter to buy, nuts and chocolate in bulk

and to bring it inside she would need that great hulk


So Pops would play chauffeur, cart pusher and bank

and Momma would lead him, sometimes with a yank

The aisles would be crowded with people in need

and yet most were friendly, like brothers indeed


When supplies are unloaded but not put away

Momma takes just a moment, to breathe or to pray

and then with her measuring cups and her spoons

she’s off like a whirlwind, a flour storm looms


Bowls and pans cover countertops littered with crumbs

and hands mix the cookie dough until they are numb

The dog patrols restlessly his circular path

ensuring the floors clean and stoking moms wrath


The heat from the oven and the cold wind that blows

make the windows look icy, like old Frostie’s nose

and Pops in pajamas, hot cocoa in hand

Just watching and smiling, like he has a plan


And time somehow stops while rushing ahead

and it’s the wee hours, well past time for bed

but Mommas still cooling and packing in tins

loving treats for her family, neighbors and friends


Poppas plan is completed, every batch tested well

his milk glass is empty and Momma can tell

She told him to stop, but he does what he can

and he tasted a cookie from every hot pan


The children all grown up with lives of their own

But this time of the year they may all visit home

So they rest on the sofa, mom tired, dad stuffed

and they gaze at the tree, both of them feeling chuffed.


It soon will be Christmas and our savior above

fills the hearts of all those who believe in His love

Though our faith must be tested and trials overcome

If our love is unbroken, we’ve already won

Morning mail surprise

Like most people, I have a morning routine. It varies somewhat dependent on if I am going to work of course. A non work day might find me in pajamas at 2 in the afternoon when visitors show up. Not the point. This morning as I fired up the monitor and first clicked to check my mail, I found a Facebook update notice for Troy. Always happy to see what he is up to, I clicked. I really wasn’t quite prepared to meet George Washingtits.


My guess is that snowfall down in Asheville is something of a rarity. In fact, it looks like most of this snow was dedicated to George’s ample bosom. Quite the morning surprise. Come to think of it, George looks a bit surprised himself… er, herself?

The caption on the FB post read simply
The world was not ready… for George Washingtits

That may be right.

Cathouse

Now I know how crazy cat ladies are made

I don’t even hardly like cats, but I felt constrained to do something for satan. Satan is this black cat that followed my son Troy home one day and decided he liked our place. So he stayed.

Troy and the cat moved.

The cat came back. Troy didn’t.

We all moved, twice, and the cat came along.

But then, he (the cat) made the mistake of puking on top of my son Dillon’s piano. Being chased from the house in a rage, he remained close by, but from that point on he was banished to the outside. Sure, he sometimes gained access to the garage during that cold winter, but he had lost all rights and privileges in the house proper.

Then Dillon bought his first house, up in the forested hills of West Virginia. Nice place, and even nicer, he invited his mother and I to come live in it. The cat followed, but still without hope of ever getting inside.

Anyway, insufferably long story shortened to simply maddening, Alice, shall we say, encouraged me to do something for the ‘poor cat’. So, having collected a number of pallets to do other projects, I determined to build a humble cat house on top of the hastily slapped together pallet wood holder. Now, this short time later, I am feeding 3 cats and counting, but they do like the multi level house.

Welcome to Breakfast with Oz

The return of BWO – Reworked

Breakfast with Oz is a reincarnation of a blog I used to do for a WOW guild named Myth Guard. It is a long standing guild still active on the Farstriders server. BWO, as it was affectionately known, was so named because I wrote it at breakfast time every morning.

 

Ok, I’m calling bullshit on that last statement. That’s NOT why it was called BWO. First of all, who the hell tries to write and eat at the same time? Hmmm. I actually have been guilty of that, but certainly not on a daily basis. The real reason for the name was simply because the blog talked about whatever happened to be on my mind at the time I sat down to write it. Makes sense, right? Because when I have breakfast I just eat whatever happens to be in my way. Look, it’s just a damn name. Who really cares.

So, today I’m 65. It’s not my birthday so don’t bother sending me well wishes or presents (unless you insist. I do love presents). I mean, I was 65 yesterday, and I’ll be 65 tomorrow, but today is what we’re talking about and I’m 65. Now that’s not particularly old anymore. There was a time when I was far less than 65 and 65 was really freaking old, but now that I’m 65 it really isn’t like that anymore. I collect social security, which I never expected would happen. I always thought I would never get to this age, and further assumed that even if I somehow did make it, the program would be broke. Well, I was wrong on both scores. There, I said it. I was wrong. Don’t be saying I can’t admit my mistakes just because I don’t make any now.

I have other things to talk about, but I don’t want to spend all my time on this singular post. I just wanted to introduce the purpose and topic of Breakfast with Oz,which is none and none, or more accurately, everything and anything. Oh! Hey, reading BWO might go well with your breakfast! Maybe that was it…