Author Archives: Gr8BigFun

2312 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

Note: Sunday DIgest is a bit late this week. I had set it to publish last night but not being able to read the WordPress calendar or just having zero concept of the days of the week accidentally scheduled it for Monday at 9:00pm. My standards have been slipping lately but I say, better late than never…

2312 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

Trump in ’24. It seems highly unlikely and at odds with every fibre of my being that Trump would be anything other than in jail by 2024 however how can I even think of supporting Joe Biden after his visit to Canada this week. I’ve said it before, being Canadian I have no horses in the next race for the White House. That said the incumbent President felt the need to tell our pretty boy Prime Minister and his merry band if cohorts in Ottawa that he liked our sports teams, but then added except the Toronto Maple Leafs. His reasoning was even more bizarre than fiction itself.

Unknown

The quote below taken from his speech to the House of Commons:

“Our labour unions cross borders. So do our sports leagues — baseball, basketball, and hockey. Listen to this, hockey. I have to say, I like your teams, except the Leafs.

I’ll tell you why. They beat the [Philadelphia] Flyers back in January, that’s why. If I didn’t say that, I married a Philly girl; if I didn’t say that, I’d be sleeping alone, fellas. I like you. I don’t like you that much.”

Joe Biden to Canadian Parliament
@GMGCreative

Sure Trump may ruin the United States. He is a bigot, a buffoon, and a creepy orange-coloured sexual predator who admires the likes of Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and any other autocratic despot he can latch onto. It is clear by the company he keeps and by his actions that he would dismantle democracy and crown himself the supreme ruler of Panem, errr… America. Seems like a fair trade-off against a senile old man who chooses his marital bed over the Toronto MAGA Leafs. I mean I think all the Canadian teams have beaten the hapless Flyers this year. Biden, you’re FIRED!

Sure the two politicians got some other work done on Biden’s northern jaunt. They agreed to strengthen the safe third country agreement regarding asylum seekers (I guess ‘refugee’ is no longer considered politically correct) that says refugees must make a claim in the first safe country they arrive in and can be returned to that country if they didn’t. Perhaps this will put an end to New York State’s free public transit route for asylum seekers that busses claimants to a point just across from an illegal border crossing and points them northward as they disembark, a clear violation of international law. They also talked about China/Asian Pacific policy and strengthening Arctic defence, the Russkies and coming you know, but does any of that really matter after Biden’s jab at the Leafs?

With my tongue firmly planted in cheek I’ll stick with the hockey theme. Here’s a little of the late Stompin’ Tom Connors performing The Hockey Song at the closing of the old Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999.

And now for the weekly summary…

Five Word Weekly Challenge

The Noisy Spindle is an AI-generated tale where Fandango at This, That and the Other set the parameters as poetry using the five challenge words. As one commenter said it had a Poe feel to it and I found it entertaining right up until the bot used the word clobber. By strict definition, it fits but didn’t really work. Click the link and see the future at work.

Weaving Life’s Tapestry is a poem about our intricately woven life journey by Pankaj Kumar at The Inkwell.

Untitled by The Bag Lady is a poem that for me sums up those who control our fate, the rich, the powerful and our political leaders.

Diorama of an Internal Battle by Piper at Piper’s Adventures.

The First Salvo, a shot fired across the bow of those who think they know what’s best for us by Sadje at Keep It Alive.

Four Line Fiction Challenge

I’m guessing this week’s bug porn grossed everyone out! The image was outstanding macro work though, and I couldn’t pass it up.

Your responses…
💤ip,
💤ilch,
💤ero!
Nothing 2️⃣ 👀 here.

More highlights from Greg’s Blog…

Love Assassin | A tale about shots fired written for Carrot Ranch’s #99WordStories (that I then forget to submit through the Carrot Ranch form) that also incorporated several of Fandango’s #fowc word prompts.

Beck and Call | A courier-slanted rant written for Paula’s Monday Peeve.

Around the Blogosphere…

Still trying to catch up from last week!

Next week…

Another Five Word Weekly, Four Line Fiction and some baseball for T-Shirt Wisdom Wednesday.

Have a great week,


Credits and Additional Information

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2313)

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, I will post five random words to Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

Here are your prompt words for the week of March 27th, 2023:

chroma | behemoth | loft | vague | sentiment

Be creative and have fun. I look forward to reading what each of you conjures up. Don’t forget to show your fellow bloggers some love -❤️- take some time to read, like, and comment on their responses.

Click here for full rules and guidelines

Love Assassin

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Love Assassin

He peeked around the door frame, “Have a great day, my stud!”

I urgently pleaded, “Screw it all Evan and come back to bed.”

“I can’t, you know the re-election plan…” And with that, he locked me into his ‘closet.’

I pulled the sheets to my face and inhaled deeply, trying to salvage any remnants of last night.

Ka-chick! Ka-chick! Ka-chick! The silence was shattered by a thousand cameras popping like machine gun fire along the frontlines.

In the street, a fundamental conservative persona lay bleeding and battered. Did he really think I was going to keep him secret?


Credits and Additional Information

Beck and Call

Blair Gable/Reuters

Beck and Call

Ever waste a day waiting for a delivery that never comes?

Every Monday Paula gives us an opportunity to vent and this week marks a milestone. The 100th Monday Peeve of the refreshed era! My peeve fits in quite nicely with the one she published herself although the TARGET is different!

I purchased a new electric snow thrower online. It could have been a useful tool over the winter considering how much snow fell but the price was crazy. Of course, now that it seems spring is in the air and the majority of the snow is in the rearview the unit is on sale for half price. I probably could have bought a gas-powered unit or another electric brand for cheaper but this one works on the same battery packs as my mower, blower and weed wacker making it the logical and environmentally friendly choice.

Clearance bonanza pricing is not my peeve although it is annoying enough in itself. You could make the argument that if you can sell at half price now that is all it was ever worth. I know, as a business major I understand it is not that simple. I remember learning a lesson from my marketing professor about inventory costs. Before taking the teaching job he had worked as a marketing consultant for a firm hired by Sears Canada to build a new warehouse facility. They found items that had been sitting in warehouse inventory for years. Their recommendation to Sears was to burn all the excess inventory and use that space for inventory that was turning over more quickly. Sears ultimately didn’t need to build a new warehouse with all the money and space they were saving. The cost of storage per square foot meant that they had already sunk something in the range of 40 to 50 times the retail price for many of the products sitting in the warehouse. So I understand the reasons for getting rid of inventory. Ultimately getting anything is better than warehousing it until next year. Especially in today’s world where a newer, better, shinier model is scheduled to come off some Chinese production line next year.

No, my beef lies solely with the courier company. The tracking number I’d been given showed the goods were to be delivered today, and even the shipment history showed the goods were “out for delivery”. That seemed pretty clear to me. I’d been told the driver would call to confirm we were home because a signature was required so I called my office to let them know I’d be late.

When the courier company called I answered and said, “We are waiting, how long until you get here?”

The woman on the other end said, “No delivery scheduled for today, I am calling to set up an appointment for tomorrow. Will you be available between 9am and 3pm?”

At first, I said, “Tomorrow, your tracking information says it is to be delivered today?”

She insisted their system didn’t say that even as I was reading it off my phone screen to her. “No Sir, we would never have delivered without an appointment first. The supplier insists that we set appointments up.”

“Ok but your system says…” I wasn’t going to win so I shifted my attention to the delivery window, another losing battle. The courier companies just can’t seem to get it right ever. What is worse, they can only provide me with a six hours delivery window. They call me to set up an appointment and the best they can do is provide a six-hour window? That doesn’t really even approximate the definition of an appointment, it’s more like, we will show up whenever the <bleep> we bloody well feel like it and if you don’t like it or aren’t there well too <bleepin’> bad!

Look, I get it for my relatively low-value Amazon shipments. If I am not there and some porch pirate nabs it, annoying but oh well. This is an $1800 piece of machinery that I have to be present to receive. Some organization on your tracking website and tighter delivery windows should be the norm! Mister Courier, you should be at my beck and call not the other way around.


Credits and Additional Information

Four Line Fiction (2312)

Welcome to Four Line Fiction, a pix-to-prose challenge. Each Tuesday, at 9:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States) I will post an image I have captured myself, featured from another blog or plucked from one of the Interweb’s many royalty-free image sites. You as the writer are to use that image as a point of inspiration to craft a masterpiece of fiction in four lines.

The image for this week is a macro shot of an insect sitting on top of another insect of the same species, the pair is most likely mating.

Be creative and have fun. I look forward to reading the tales you spin. Don’t forget to show your fellow bloggers some love -❤️- take some time to read, like, and comment on their masterpieces.

Click here for full rules and guidelines

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2312)

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, I will post five random words to Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

Here are your prompt words for the week of March 20th, 2023:

indeed | spindle | whine | salvo | clobber

Be creative and have fun. I look forward to reading what each of you conjures up. Don’t forget to show your fellow bloggers some love -❤️- take some time to read, like, and comment on their responses.

Click here for full rules and guidelines

2311 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

2311 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

This is the first time I have put pen to paper on Greg’s Blog this week. This was not the plan. It was going to be an active week while I was compiling last week’s Sunday Digest. It was March Break here and my son was already with his Nonna, Nonno and Zia. Freedom I thought, he wanted to see his grandparents and we’d get a short break from a wonderful but very active seven-year-old. Even better I was only scheduled at work a couple of days during the week.

It seems nature had other plans…

Monday, I woke up with a sore throat, low-grade fever and a pounding headache. Even the sensation of my heart beating like a hammer felt like it was driving a stake through my temples, the light from my device screens like daggers through my eyes. Lots of fluids and a few trips to the loo were all this broken body could muster for the next four days. The good news is it does not appear to have been COVID-19.

The stress points that registered on my Garmin watch were crazy. I don’t know how accurate these devices are at determining heart rate, sleep, stress, etc… but I know that some universities have used the results from these devices in long and short-term studies. I actually participated in a sleep study run by Harvard in conjunction with sleep (CPAP) specialists in the field. Either way, once the watch has established your baselines it is a great comparative health tool. For example, my resting heart rate jumped from an average of 50 to 52 bpm before the illness to 60 to 62 bpm starting late in the day Sunday, the evening before the symptoms appeared. That is eight to ten beats more per minute. The other interesting measurement is the one looking at stress levels. It uses heart rate variability and other factors to determine physical stress levels in the body.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 | Five days before health event.

The image above shows a timeline for March 8th, a sample of my normal stress response over a typical 24-hour period. Although the graph does vary from day to day this is a reasonably accurate depiction of a normal day for me going back through at least three months of data.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 | Day three of health event.

As you can see stress levels were through the roof during the illness. Monday to Thursday looks almost identical to March 15th shown above and Friday through Sunday start moving towards normal although even today is still elevated compared to the March 8th graphic.

This week’s song link is a Metric classic that fits right in with my heart beating like a hammer…

All of this spells disaster on the blog front. Ignored, neglected and forgotten are the best descriptions. Not much to highlight that is for sure.

Five Word Weekly Challenge

Sorry to everyone. Due to my illness, I have not had a chance to read anyone’s Five Word Weekly entries for this week as such there will be no links to this week’s entries on Sunday Digest. Thanks to everyone who participated, it is my goal to read everyone’s entry this coming week.

Four Line Fiction Challenge

Sorry, Four Line Fiction will suffer the same fate as Five Words and will not have links here this week. On a good note, it looks like there are several entries this week and I will endeavour to get to all of them. I just hope my absence hasn’t killed the momentum that has started to pick up. Thanks to everyone who participated!

More highlights from Greg’s Blog…

💤ip,
💤ilch,
💤ero!

Around the Blogosphere…

Lots of great stuff I’m sure but I’ve read none of it! playing catch-up this week for sure!

Next week…

Another Five Word Weekly and Four Line Fiction challenges are on the way and I hope to get some writing and reading done before next Sunday’s wrap-up.

Have a great week,


Credits and Additional Information

T-Shirt Wisdom Wednesday (2311)

Welcome to another edition of T-Shirt Wisdom Wednesday for March 15th, 2023. This hump day feature is exactly what it sounds like. Every other Wednesday (bi-weekly) I will post a graphic that is funny, poignant, witty, honest, crude, toothsome, with bite, or just plain old ridiculous. Some I’ll have plagiarized directly from a chest near you. Others may not have been spotted in the wild but they probably should be out there.

Why is it the weekend always seem so short?

Suggestions are always welcome. If you come across something you think is worthy of being pasted across someone’s chest and paraded around publicly jot it down and send me a message. If it makes the cut I will whip up a graphic design template and use it in a future post. Any suggestions used will include a shout-out and link to your blog on the week it posts.


Credits and Additional Information

Four Line Fiction (2311)

Note: Four Line Fiction has moved. It will now post on Tuesdays at 9:00am. This move is being made for a couple of reasons.
First, I started Four Line Fiction because my first foray into fiction “Forgotten” was written for Three Line Tales hosted by Sonya at Only 100 Words. Sonya’s challenge disappeared at the end of 2021 and I thought I’d do something similar with #GB4LF. I am happy to say TLT has returned to Thursdays.
Second, I produce a Sunday Digest post that highlights the past week on Greg’s Blog including links to (currently all but if the challenges continue to grow) some of your submissions. The move will provide a longer window of opportunity for submissions to be included in the Sunday evening post.

Welcome to Four Line Fiction, a pix-to-prose challenge. Each Tuesday, at 9:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States) I will post an image I have captured myself, featured from another blog or plucked from one of the Interweb’s many royalty-free image sites. You as the writer are to use that image as a point of inspiration to craft a masterpiece of fiction in four lines.

The image for this week is a mixture of colours, possibly paint with shades of yellow, green, blue, grey and white on a black background. The image is cropped so that the drop appears as a semi-circle on the right of the image.

Be creative and have fun. I look forward to reading the tales you spin. Don’t forget to show your fellow bloggers some love -❤️- take some time to read, like, and comment on their masterpieces.

Click here for full rules and guidelines

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2311)

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, I will post five random words to Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

Spring is in the air. This week, the word selections are inspired by the arrival of spring a week from now. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.

Here are your prompt words for the week of March 13th, 2023:

introspection | reflection | equinox | awakening | renewal

Be creative and have fun. I look forward to reading what each of you conjures up. Don’t forget to show your fellow bloggers some love -❤️- take some time to read, like, and comment on their responses.

Click here for full rules and guidelines