A Piece of Thinking

I love the “scholarship” involved in this Daily Create:

Further instructions when you get to there is to just write the first paragraph. So now I will begin, but not complete, a thinkpiece about something I am not expert in. Ds106 is all about the moxy.

In Defence of Professional Scrabble

Scrabble needs its professionals. Not to work for it in spreading the popularity of the game or anything. We need them to stand vigil in defence of the rest of us against the evil forces that the game itself exerts on our language. You see, Scrabble has created a false economy that underscores the alphabet. There are subconscious waves at play in one of your cortexes that gives you a smug feeling when you use words in conversation that include the letters J, Z, Q. even F. We subconsciously think that we ‘scored points’ in our discussion because those letters were included. It doesn’t matter that we steered the conversation about weather patterns to include jazz. This is also the reason why quizzing is so rampant in education when there are far better forms of authentic assessment. The following is my five point plan for taking the letters back from Scrabble.

featured image: “scrabble” flickr photo by sammydavisdog https://flickr.com/photos/25559122@N06/8054926394 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

A Band Without

Daily Create #1990 Inspired by Men Without Hats. What else could be without and still be a band?

I guess I didn’t quite do it right. Instead of what something is without, this band isn’t even. This band is not the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not even at all. This band is just regular red peppers. Chili peppers are too spicy for them. If they are feeling crazy, they will maybe pick up some medium salsa on the way home.

Also, RNCP has 100% less funk than RHCP. Just listen to their late 90s return to form album North Dakotication.


Tweeter & Melancholy Man

Daily Create 1964 #MakeASongBoring

**Sing in your brain to the tune of The Traveling Wilburys “Tweeter And The Monkey Man”**

Tweeter and  Melancholy Man were okay for cash

They slept through the night after watching some M*A*S*H*
His underwriter boss had a brother named Dan
For reasons quite explained he loved his brother Dan

Tweeter was an undergrad and once went to Vietnam
And found out the easy way how to order Banh
Yesterday bought tickets to see the Jersey Boys
So they hopped onto a local bus called the number 9

And the drapes came down, all the way to here
Never saw them when they were open
But now I see them them when they’re closed

The underwriter boss kind of liked Melancholy Man
Even back in childhood didn’t mind seeing him now and then
Dan got married at forty to racket salesman Bill
He made business calls to Melancholy Man from an office down the hall.

It was out on Daisy road – Tweeter at the wheel
They pulled into Denny’s – they could hear them tummies growl
The underwriter boss pulled up and said “Breakfast’s on me
If you don’t order extra sausage now you’ll pay for it yourself.”

And the drapes came down, all the way to here
Never saw them when they were open
But now I see them them when they’re closed

A Dodge Caravan rolled up, station wagon close behind
Tweeter took his kleenex out and wiped off his hands
The underwriter boss was left to get in his sedan
Near the empty lot by that other piece of land

Next day the underwriter boss he had a belly ache
tummy taking the whole thing personal, didn’t care about the toots
Dan had told him many times it was you to me who said
In Denny’s everything’s lethal man even their salad

And the drapes came down, all the way to here
Never saw them when they were open
But now I see them them when they’re closed.

“Boring.” flickr photo by chrismurf https://flickr.com/photos/chrismurf/192377530 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license


The Worst

Daily Create 1940: The Worst Decision.

Without a doubt the worst move I’ve ever made was getting involved in this online cesspool known as ds106. It’s really quite disgusting. Here are some of the drawbacks I have endured:

  • Got to know strange Internet characters and interacted with them and have maybe even been able to call them friends. Weirdos with strange names like cogdog and Talky Tina and Jim Groom.
  • Got help from and learned new skills from these same Internet characters.
  • Practiced with and got much better at many uselesss tools like Photoshop, WordPress and general Internetting and other useless skills like writing and sharing. (is sharing a skill? I think so.)
  • Found new favorite writers to follow like Hack Education, Gardner Campbell and the aforementioned Internet weirdos.
  • Found other weird communities to get stuff from and give stuff to like Creative Commons and Virtually Connecting.
  • Generally fallen for sharing things through the Internet thing, probably annoying everyone who comes into contact with this stuff.
  • Probably a bunch of other things that I’m too emotional to remember right now.

Thanks a lot ds106.

Faetured image: “Bad” flickr photo by nathanmac87 https://flickr.com/photos/nathanmac87/7571070554 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Magic Realism Bot

Daily Create # 1882 Spawn a story that the Magic Realism Bot started. Okay! This should be pretty normal.

What? Well I have some advice for the Irish Shopkeeper.







Agent Sneeky

Daily Create #1845

The Secret Agent name generator has dubbed me ‘Agent Sneeky'(sic). Is this because I told my kids that the ice cream truck only plays music when it’s out of ice cream?

Nonetheless, I will join the 2017 leaders in sneakiness from the National Park Service in being sneeky sneekersons.




The Daily Create for today is to Reverse a Movie title and then kind of make the movie poster for it. Did you know Trainspotting 2 is coming out?

Just in time for this sequel, here comes a companion piece about a man and his dog.

Spottraining: Choose sit. Choose stay. Choose down. Choose leave it.

Sorry, but I think I just keep getting real plots

Daily Create 1735. Illustrate a Story Spark

A greedy armorer avenges a straightforward toxicologist in a plastic university

That’s the plot for Notting Hill

An evil physiologist eats breakfast with an amicable microbiologist in a jangling record store

That’s the plot for High Fidelity

An irresponsible queen goes on a quest with a sensible bacteriologist in a mortifying boutique

That’s the plot for My Two Dads

A prejudiced pursemaker loves an emotional agronomist in a pronged blacksmith’s shop

I think this is Downton Abbey

Write a spy story about an irreverent steelworker who develops a relationship with a tricky highwayman in a bitter clinic

Pretty sure this is The Full Monty

An alarming tax collector goes on a quest with a frank criminologist in a chaotic prison planet

I think this is from the 6th season of Dexter.

A filthy computer hacker has an one-night stand with a diplomatic hydrologist in a gangrenous salesman’s motel room

Probably Lost.

Am I doing something wrong? Can’t seem to get a new one. Let’s try one more:

A touchy galley slave hates a quiet zoologist in a tubular dwarf fortress

See? Slumdog Millionaire. They’ve all been done before!

A Dream Team, or Maybe A Perfect Storm

Daily Create #1748  Who is your dream team? This dream team is real and is taking Canadians to task for their historic treatment of indigenous people through the residential school programs that worked to remove a culture.

Maybe it’s more of a perfect storm than a dream team, but it certainly is something to make you sit up, take notice and think about what it all means to us as a nation.

Here are the team members:

Chanie Wenjack: The subject of a story that we need to hear. A 12 year old Ojibwe boy who ran away from his residential school in 1966 and tried to walk home… 600 kms away.

Gord Downie: Gord is in a perfect position to give us whatever shit he feels like right now. He is a rock star. He is the Canadian rock star who also happens to be a wonderful poet. He also happens to be dying of brain cancer. Canadians all realize we are soon going to lose one of our greatest treasures so our eyes are on him. He’s releasing The Secret Path, which is likely the last new music we will hear from him and it tells Chanie Wenjack’s story. Gord also used The Tragically Hip’s final show to put the Prime Minister on notice that we need to make things right.

Peter Lemire: Graphic Novelist. The sombre mood of his previous works seem to fit just right to this project. See Essex County for an example. Peter has created a graphic novel and film about Chanie Wenjack to go with Gord Downie’s album. The music and the imagery together draw you in immediately.

Joseph Boyden: A writer who has written his books extensively in indigenous settings, is also releasing a novella, Wenjack, about Chanie, which will bring us deeper into the story.

Canadians: It’s up to us to join the team, bring this story into our collective understanding of who we were, who we are and who we want to be as a nation.


Write? But Why?

whyDaily Create #1747 is to answer the question, why do I write? The Daily Create website claims that today is the National Day of Writing, however does not identify which nation, so I’ll assume that it is Honduras. So, to celebrate Honduras’ National Day of Writing, I will try to describe why I write.

Here are some things that I write:

  • emails
  • text messages
  • notes to self
  • blog posts for work and for myself here in this space
  • oh, there’s another email to write
  • you have to write something in the box when you Google stuff
  • grocery lists. (just kidding, I just wing it and that is why we have 17 bags of spaghetti)
  • emails
  • Tweets. And sometimes the tweets will be written about other writings I’ve done so we’ve gone meta
  • Just let me finish this one email
  • That might be about all the things I regularly write other than did I mention email?

But why? Oh yeah, that’s the real question. Well, for me in this space, it’s to practice, try ideas out, reflect on the process and to share the ideas for anyone to borrow from if they want because I am going to borrow from you, too! I think it is fun to frame your thoughts with a sprinkle of humour if you can think of a funny way to present things. Might as well get a giggle out of it while you let people know that you are thinking and the ideas that are important to you. Seriously, why not?