Tag: Blooming Ideas

I’d Rather Get Better Than Be Good


I’m a technical writer by profession. It’s something I’ve been doing for more than a quarter of a century, and I’m good at it. Give me some complex technical information, and time to understand it, and I can explain it clearly. I’m lucky enough to have a good job, one that allows me to use the skills that I’m best at.

But just doing things you’re good at can get boring.

Blooming Idiots or Bureaucratic Blight?


There is nothing inevitable about the trajectory of a nation or a business enterprise. While we may perceive patterns, these arise from human nature at the mean. Yet, we see moments when individuals and relatively small groups make a real difference for some time. Consider two instances of business enterprises seeming to go badly wrong, and ask if blooming idiots or bureaucratic blight are to blame.

Cadillac: an instance of automotive industry decline?

Always a Beginner in the Garden


Image result for bristlecone pine methuselah Bristlecone pines, the world’s oldest trees

As someone who has spent thousands of hours growing, observing, and researching plants, I feel entitled to say a few words about them.

Other than G-d, nothing is as ever-present as plants. Wherever you go, you see them. Even swimming in the ocean, seaweed is there. What most people don’t know is that the vast majority of the atmosphere’s oxygen comes from ocean phytoplankton, not terrestrial plants or rain forests.

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A woman’s beauty – what is beauty, what makes a woman beautiful, who is the most beautiful, etc. – has been the subject of much discourse and debate (and women’s magazine articles) through the ages. Vibrantly beautiful women are sometimes described as “blooming like a rose”. Pregnant women in particular are sometimes referred to as […]

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Pretty Blossoms, but the Weed of Crime Bears Bitter Fruit


An American citizen, a single mother, worked her way through undergraduate and professional schools. She did all the right things. She networked successfully. At long last, she got a job with a six figure salary at a highly secured facility, in an industry under intense federal regulation.

Employment at such facilities is subject to constant federal scrutiny. The FBI takes the security clearances very seriously, and apparently routinely monitors indicators of risk, of possible compromise. We should all want this, because very bad things could happen if an employee in the right position was corrupted or coerced, perhaps by blackmail.

Now, Jeb!, the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party, and the red-green alliance all assure us that illegal aliensmigrants” come here as an “act of love.” We are hectored about some duty to be grateful and welcoming to all. We are incessantly told that these are really good people, not criminals.

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Don’t let the month go to seed! Quick, click through to the May 2019 Group Writing Theme: Blooming Ideas! We have five plots left for you to plant an idea and let us all watch it bloom. If you do not have an idea yet, browse through the other posts like a seed library.   […]

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Johns Hopkins’s Blooming Ideas


http://welcometobaltimorehon.com/images/johnshopkins.jpgJohns Hopkins was born on this day, May 19, 1795. A Marylander, his Quaker parents lived out their religious beliefs by freeing their slaves. This cost them greatly and led them to put their son into their tobacco fields at age 12, ending his formal education. Yet, Johns Hopkins not only overcame the economic disadvantages imposed on him by his parents, but also overcame the natural human impulse to hate the “other,” the people with darker skin who society and his personal experience would tell him to blame. From a poor start in his parents’ tobacco fields, after transplantation to the merchantile field, Johns Hopkins blossomed into a business leader, then grew other businesses through investment, finally creating seedbeds from which amazing new ideas bloomed.

Johns Hopkins started life with a very unusual first name. As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains:

Johns Hopkins’ peculiar first name was simply a family affair; it had been his great-grandmother’s maiden name.

Ever-Blooming Garden Ideas


My maternal grandfather started his garden every year in the basement with grow lamps. When the Farmers Almanac said the time was right, the plants went into well-prepared soil. Weeds dared not grow there.

My mother inherited the green thumb. My father, who grew up in the country, before it was swallowed by suburbs, is not so much of a gardener but very handy with the tools needed to garden. So, between them, their home has always been alive with all manner of plants.

Every year there are catalog orders and visits to plant nurseries. For some years, they even made an annual road trip to visit the family boy, me, and a series of their favorite gardens along the way. The homeward leg always included a stop at a particularly good nursery in northern California.

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We have plenty of days left this month for you to join in the blooming fun. For May, our theme is “Blooming Ideas,” after all, April showers bring May flowers. All you need do is write a short essay to start the conversation. Perhaps you could ask a question or two to get the conversation […]

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Beauty Blooming All Over


The monthly theme of “Blooming Ideas” made me immediately think of my mother and her flowers. It is an appropriate topic for the spring season and Mother’s Day.

As if she didn’t have enough to do, what with the eight kids, cow milking, baling hay, laundry, cooking three meals a day, she maintained a very gorgeous flowery yard. She wasn’t unique in this endeavor. All of her friends and peers had carefully tended flower beds, too. She learned it from her parents. I loved visiting my grandparents in the summer for many reasons, but one, in particular, was that Grandpa had planted a section of flowers by his house that was specifically for grandchildren to enjoy. It was a big bed of pansies, and he showed us how pansies had a little face. And we could pick some of them! We totally loved that we could hold them in our hands and play with them. Also, did you know that snapdragon blossoms can be manipulated to look like they are talking to you? And they’ll sing you a little song, or just say hi? My grandpa…

M-3: Calm Before The Storm


Today was a day for introductions & preparation. Tomorrow and Saturday will be incredibly busy.

Introductions are in order, but not all the faces are new. Overall command and expertise lies with the Steel Rose, our fearless leader and lead florist. She has decades of experience to draw on. The number one rule around here is do what she says. Silence handles IT and communications with the various wire services like 1-800-FLOWERS, BloomNet, and FTD. Each uses a separate system and has random eccentricities, like repeatedly sending orders we cannot complete, sending orders with obscenely low prices where we can’t make a profit, and general errors / omissions. It requires an expert geek, and Silence is certainly qualified, having delivered flowers and managed the wire services for decades. Besides, it is appropriate that a military history major manages our logistics. Honeybee is our dedicated assistant florist; she has several years of experience and is very helpful.

M-1: Until The Last Bloom


Previous Entries in Operation Bloom:  M-4 M-3 M-2

Something not widely known is that most florists do not deliver on Mother’s Day itself.  This includes the shop I am working at — even the Steel Rose needs a day of rest.  This means today is the big day.

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Previous Entries in Operation Bloom: M-4 M-3 M-2 M-1 M-0 Mother’s Day is actually celebrated on a wide variety of days worldwide. Interestingly, it is associated with the Virgin Mary in many countries, which I imagine makes sense. Former communist bloc countries celebrate it on International Women’s Day. Preview Open

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Group Writing: M-4


The subject of this series of posts is going to be a bit different from normal. It’s a different experience for me, certainly. For today is M-4.

I sit at a borrowed computer in an apartment over a flower shop in a historic building, somewhere in small town Illinois. A small TV shows Fox News continuously on mute. I’m here on vacation to work during the busiest time of the year for florists: Mother’s Day. And I will transcribe the highlights here, as part of our Group Writing series on Bloomin’ Ideas.

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We are all familiar with the story arc of faded music stars, who end up touring much smaller venues for much smaller takes. They do so if they and the promoters have not made the dreadful mistake of miscalculating their present-day appeal based on their past glory days. If such a mistake is made, then […]

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Desert Blooms


The Desert Southwest is not colorless. Nor are the colors in the landscape just from different hues of sand and stone. There is a great deal of life, a fascinating variety of plants.

When I moved to Arizona, I carried a bit of the family tradition with me, trying to grow the sorts of flowers, herbs, and vegetables I had grown up around. I acclimatized and discovered that even short absences resulted in returning home to find sun-blasted plants. So, I switched to regional plants in my large container garden.

The Search for a Bloomin’ Idea


I’m a day late. I was supposed to publish something for group writing on May 1, and I had what I thought was a great idea for it, too. You see, my branch of Christianity has this one fairly unique concept. One of our founders came up with it. It is exciting stuff and works well within the theme. I thought I would use the title, “Let the Flowers of Spirit Bloom.” So, I started writing. And I continued writing.And I realized why I have six books on the subject. It pretty much needs a book-length treatment. But I didn’t think y’all would be wanting to read that much. So, I summarized. And then I summarized the summary. But, it was still too long. So, I decided to approach it through a story. Well, that was not working out either, so I went back to the drawing board of ideas.

My other initial thought had been to write on the creative process, how to make ideas bloom, as such. But I think I have written about that before on Ricochet. I have changed computers recently and don’t have all of my old content easily available. (In other words, I’m too lazy to fire up the old computer.) I could search Ricochet, but I’m not sure what I would search on. Or I could look back through my archive. Except that there’s a problem with that since we converted to Ricochet 4.0, and Max is working on the problem, but he had a death in the family and will be gone for four days.

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There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, managed by @vectorman. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with […]

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