Tag: Group Writing

Make Your Case For Home (Group Writing: Hot)

 

If you’ve ever flown into Alaska, the first thing you notice as you peer out the airplane windows are the mountains, row upon endless row of snow-peaked ruggedness. The best word to describe them is a word often overused to describe lesser things: majestic.

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Group Writing: Summer in the City

 

The New York City of my youth was a fading star. We grew up on my parents’ stories of New York in the ’40s and ’50s; its heyday many would say. The glamour of Manhattan, the Waldorf and the Plaza, the bustling of its industries, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Yankees, Broadway hits coming one after the other. But all that started to unravel in the ’60s and by the time I was fully conscious in the early ’70s, NYC was on the brink of bankruptcy, the Dodgers long gone, and my parents pretty much abandoned going into the City, as we called it on Long Island, for anything but the Christmas Show at Radio City. But the City was still a major destination for school field trips and the sight of the NY skyline still reminded us that NY was the center of the world. From far away, you couldn’t see the City fraying at the edges.

My best friend in high school loved the theater, and starting around 1975, we would regularly take the train to Manhattan and walk up from Penn Station to Times Square to buy half price tickets for Broadway shows. Sometimes we’d even buy tickets for the Saturday matinee and then an evening show. Twenty dollars went far in those days. I was under strict orders not to wander far from Midtown, even though Midtown by that point was peep shows and massage parlors, interspersed with restaurants, camera discount stores, and theaters. Once I told my mother I had walked through Central Park and remarked how pretty it was. She told me not to ever set foot in Central Park again. I never told her that sometimes we took the subway.

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Hot Tunes?

 

Y’all went and made me do it. You knew I would go to Charmin and outhouses if pressed. So, here we are: disco.

The Rolling Stones went disco with “Hot Stuff” from their 1976 Black and Blue album. The lyrics are simple to trite, and the music a repetitive dance track. It did not make the Top 40, unlike the ballad “Fool to Cry.”

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Hot Stuff!: Serving Temperature

 

ThermometerHow hot is too hot? How does “too hot” compare to “too cold?” We all have our own preferences and our own experiences, coloring the debate. Yet, it is worth noting that people, given their druthers in a modern society, with cost-efficient building and vehicle climate controls, choose warmer over colder climates. So “too hot” has meaning within the context of our ability to modify our experience of the local environment.

Back in the day, before the invention and wide availability of home and commercial property cooling systems, people who could escape the Desert Southwest heat did so by decamping for the summer to higher altitudes. Indeed, the wealthy citizens of Tucson, Arizona would trek up the nearest mountain to a seasonal community they named “Summerhaven.” They essentially closed up their primary residences, leaving a caretaker servant presence in the frying pan of the desert valley floor.

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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.

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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.

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Member Post

 

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.

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Member Post

 

There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly theme cues. Maybe you missed some, or joined more recently. Instead of searching on tags, just bookmark this post. This index will capture all of them in one post, updated monthly. A big thank-you to past keepers of the themes; […]

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Member Post

 

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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Quote of the Day: Mummy’s the Word

 

Grauballe ManThe Grauballe Man

As if he had been poured
in tar, he lies
on a pillow of turf
and seems to weep

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Member Post

 

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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Member Post

 

Animals are infuriating photography subjects. They dart away at the slightest noise or movement. They move constantly or at the very moment you take the picture. Even familiar animals in the wild look at you as if all your previous encounters were just patient preparation for finally eating them. (Which farm animal ratted me out?) […]

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Member Post

 

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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Member Post

 

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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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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Member Post

 

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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This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Quote of the Day: From a Devil

 

Screwtape: Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking “Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?” they will neglect the relevant questions. And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make.

Screwtape (a fictional character from C.S. Lewis) is a devil, a demon, a minion of Satan, a deceiver and tempter of men. Here he’s giving some advice to a younger devil on how to deceive. The devils want us to ignore genuine reason and commit fallacies. Like ad populum fallacies–appealing to the preference of a majority when the majority lacks knowledge.

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Men and Women and “Real Combat Arms”

 

In 2017, the United States Army rolled out a new objective physical standard test to determine eligibility for different job classifications, what the Army calls “military occupational specialties (MOS).” The four-event Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) applies to recruits and to soldiers seeking to change MOS. The test standards are not scaled for age or sex—the raw performance metric determines your physical suitability for groups of specialties. Another six-event test is being rolled out as a periodic test of physical readiness for deployment, also neutral on scoring and possibly with minimum scores per specialty. All of this intersects with the policy disputes over male-only specialties and men and women working together.

This is in compliance with the 1994 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). No, that is not a typo. Back in the early 1990s, there was great contention over the presence of women in traditionally male military specialties. Young officers, commissioned into Air Defense Artillery (ADA) in 1986, and trained as Patriot officers, had fired some of the first shots in anger in the first Gulf War, answering Saddam’s Scud missiles with Patriot missiles, cued by software hastily modified to detect and respond to this threat inside a limited engagement envelope.

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