Tag Archives: #GMGGraphic

Where the Sidewalk Begins

Where the Sidewalk Begins

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s question follows on the heels of his unfortunate fall from a ladder. I think the accident probably had a huge influence on this week’s question…

Have you ever fractured a bone (or bones) that was serious enough to require inpatient hospitalization and a post-operative stay in a rehab facility? What bone(s) did you break? How long did it take in rehab (inpatient or at home) before you were back to “normal”? And did you actually achieve the same level of functionality you had prior to the fracture(s)?

While I cannot claim to have required hospitalization or a stay in a rehab facility I wanted to participate so this is as close as I’ve come.

The worst bone break I ever suffered was a fracture of the scaphoid bone. Certainly nothing like Fandango’s ladder/hip mishap. There was no hospital stay outside of the lost hours spent waiting in Emergency but there was lots of physiotherapy after to get back to a full range of motion.

It all started on the first day of school. No, I wasn’t going to school. Those days were long behind on this fateful September 3rd. I was out for my morning ride. I’d just purchased a new road/gravel bike a couple of weeks earlier. Before this bike, I’d been a mountain bike guy. I’d taken many a spill on rocky tree-lined trails with nothing more than bruises and scratches to show. These bones were tough as nails!

But as a guy in my early 50’s it was time for something less dangerous…

Now, back to the first day of school. It was 7:30am and I was out for my 15km morning ride along my usual route. On this morning I was cruising along at about 25km/h, and gaining fast on a group of 15 to 20 high school students walking in the dedicated bike path like a herd of cattle who’ve broken through a barbed wire barrier to obliviously congregate on the road.

As I approached the group they remained oblivious and did not move out of the way. Instead of slowing or stopping, I veered to my right across the grass boulevard towards the empty sideWALK that was ten feet to the right. Notice how I highlighted WALK because that is where they should have been! Anyway, my front wheel caught a rut along the edge of the cement and dug in sending me and the bike ass over tea kettle. My head (thank God for helmets) hit first with my 6’1″ frame crashing down close behind.

The kids, no longer oblivious, looked over as I skidded across the concrete and popped up seeming unscathed. Yeah, I was bleeding from various scraps and scratches but when some of them asked me if I was okay, I insisted I was alright. After all, my head and frame were still attached to each other! In fairness, the adrenaline of the moment had me believing I was none the worse for wear. Although, I am certain my bruised ego would have told them I was fine even if there had been a bone sticking out somewhere.

An inspection of the bike revealed some damage to the handlebar tape and a couple of superficial scratches elsewhere but no major damage. Hell, that was a minimum right of passage for the mountain bike. If it wasn’t banged up you weren’t doing it right.

Inspection complete, I jumped back on the bike with every intention of finishing the nine or so klicks remaining on my ride but the moment I tried to grab the handlebar with my left hand that notion quickly dissipated, replaced with searing pain shooting up my arm. I couldn’t have gripped the bar if my life had depended on it. Instead, it was a slow shameful ride home with my left arm tucked against my midsection while my weakened legs powered a bike that was being guided by a lone and shaky right arm.

I don’t know if any bones were broken. The ER doctor showed me the x-rays but they did not show a break. Apparently, fractures to the scaphoid bone don’t reveal themselves on x-rays until 48 hours after injury. Based on his experience the doc believed the bone was broken and because the small bones of the carpals, and in particular the scaphoid, don’t receive a lot of blood flow should be treated as such. A lack of blood flow restricts healing and if not immobilized and allowed to heal the bone could die. That was enough for me to accept my fate and follow his instructions.

For six weeks I wore a removable cast without knowing if it was broken. X-rays were never taken again later, I just ran with the emergency room diagnosis. When the cast came off I began three months of physiotherapy to get close to a full range of motion. It would be another nine months before I can say the hand and wrist were back to normal.

Even now if the moon and stars and sun align just right, hidden behind a bank of dark grey clouds that are dumping a cold damp rain down on Mother Earth I can still feel it click and groan. Sometimes, I think that if I’d just plowed through them they’d have moved or at the very least it would have been a softer landing!

Oh, and did I mention all the years of reckless mountain biking where I never once broke a bone?


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2304 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

2304 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, or months where you just didn’t feel like doing anything? Crawling out of bed seemed like an insurmountable task. It’s like there is a weight on your shoulders pinning you in place. That is the only way I can describe this week. It’s not stress or anxiety or anything like that, just the winter blahs!

It certainly doesn’t help when the first thing you have to do each morning is dig out from under another eight to ten centimetres (three to four inches) of snow. The snowbanks on the driveway are almost too high to throw snow over. Keep in mind that there was no snow on the ground at the beginning of the week. Just the dreary brown, grey and beige of mid-winter. I am so over this winter thing and ready for spring to SPRING!

It hasn’t all been bad. Despite the winter blahs I have been able to keep up with my exercise routine and although the scale looks the same I do feel and see some effects of the effort taking effect. That has to be a good thing, right?

Of course, my sloth has meant a certain neglect for my blog as well. Reading and writing have taken a back seat to vegetating on the couch and binging TV that I probably wouldn’t watch otherwise. A problem compounded by the fact that I end up staying up until one, two, and three in the morning and then waking up at seven again to get the rugrat ready for school. Certainly a subtle form of self-destructive behaviour.

It may not be the most exciting week in review but here goes…

Five Word Weekly Challenge

This week’s Five Word Weekly challenge response:

The Dream, a work of speculative fiction written by Paula at Light Motifs II that would make a great starting point for a longer story. I would like to see where the story takes Odwin.

More from Greg’s Blog…

Paper Free Blogging | Written for Blogging Insights prompt at Salted Caramel

9. Revenge: The Shadow Woman 2 | Part nine of the Revenge Series written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt.

Around the Blogosphere…

Here are some other great blog posts I beamed to this week…

Terrible Poetry Contest – January Winner/Wrapup | Chel Owens | Poetry so terrible it’s good, like an Ed Wood film!

The Funny Farm | Bitchin’ Chickens | I’ve been wanting my own chicken coop for some time but space and my wife have put a damper on any such ventures so I’ve come to follow this blog to get my chicken fix. If only it came with fresh eggs each morning!

Prudential Tower – City Cliff | Vova Zinger’s Photoblog | Love the perspective in this photo.

At Last, The Destination | Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys at Madd Fictional | One of my favourite blogs. Rhyan writes some great fiction.

Next week…

Out of January and into the bleak mid-winter, let’s see if the groundhog brings us a February present. Here’s what to look at Greg’s Blog this coming week…

Look for another Five Word Weekly on Monday and the launch of Four Line Fiction on Thursday. #GB4LF is a weekly photo prompt challenge and I hope everyone finds time to participate. In addition look for T-Shirt Wisdom (now moved to Wednesday) and Part 11 of the Revenge Series.

Have a great week,


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Paper Free Blogging

Do you write directly on a device? Are you old school, do you write on paper first?

While the process is the same I don’t always use the same input method. That said, pen, paper and any notion of old-school writing being romantic is long a thing of the past. The only thing writing on paper ensures is dead trees. I know they were dead before I started but I tend to edit and re-edit while still writing and that means a lot of crumple, toss, re-write, rinse and repeat.

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Writing electronically is much more forgiving. For example, this thought sounds better in sentence six – go back and edit sentence two immediately before I forget. It is so much easier to edit electronically and paper is so much more majestic and relaxing in its natural state.

I still prefer the computer over my phone but have become more cognizant of the fact most readers are using their mobile devices so I find I’m checking formatting, image placement and aesthetics all the time.

I use several applications for writing drafts including Word, OneNote, Google Keep (especially for jotting down ideas), and the native WordPress editor. They all have advantages and disadvantages. For example, Word is excellent for writing challenges that have word counts attached. The count is always visible in the bottom right of the screen.

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More and more I find myself using Google’s voice capture technology to write first drafts. It is quicker and easier to get initial thoughts down on electronic paper than typing but does bring back some of the pitfalls of pen and paper if you want to edit. Plus I find myself sounding like Victor Borge’s phonetic punctuation skit.

Do you re-draft? If so, how many times?

It depends but I do tend to get into the weeds when I re-draft, agonizing over the small stuff and rewriting over and over. Thank God for the undo and/or redo buttons on most editors. Editing ends up eating up a lot of time and effort.

The one thing I do have to watch for is my habit of dropping the d and s from words that should be past tense or plural. I read and re-read to make sure I have them right. It used to be I’d have to wait until the next day to re-read the piece and catch them but I have gotten better over time. Plus MS Word and Grammarly are very good at catching those types of spelling and grammar problems.

What is your method? I would love to know.

From above it seems my method is all over the map. It’s not really though. The process generally follows the same patterns – inspiration, write, revise and re-write as necessary + a few more times for good measure, and finally publish – regardless of the methods used to record it.


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2303 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

2303 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

Mother Earth’s processes ebb and flow over long periods of time – centuries, millennia, eons. Man on the other hand does not have that kind of time or patience. We are nothing more than a cosmic blip. As such we have developed ways to speed up those natural processes for our own exploitive gain. It represents many of the problems we have created when it comes to pollution, plundering the planetès resources, and global warming.

It has also allowed us to unlock the beauty of the planet, often hidden in plain sight. This week my son and I began a passive science project. For Christmas, he received a STEM certified National Geographic mini rock tumbler. The kit included several different types of very plain (I wish I’d have taken a photo) looking rocks. My son put the rocks into the tumbler along with one of the grit packets provided and water into the tumbler drum. We then placed the drumontop the tumbler base and let the spinning begin. The first step would take five days of spinning with us stopping taking a look after day one and again after day three. He was so excited to see the changes along the way.

At the end of the fifth day the rock edges had been smoothed considerably and the stones were beginning to show their colours. After he played with them for a while the stones along with the second packet of grit and clean water all went back into the drum for a six to eight day tumble. Each phase, four in all will continue to smooth and polish the stones. I am amazed at how it has held his interest as he asks about his tumbling stones every day.

As for the blog itself, I’ve introduced a new header image but I think it needs tweaking. Not sure it’s effective on mobile. If anyone could let me know what they think or how it looks on the mobile experience it would be greatly appreciated.

Let’s take a look at the week in review…

Five Word Weekly Challenge

There were three responses to this week’s Five Word Weekly challenge:

Bramble in Six, Paula at Light Motifs II blogging lament that incorporated the word justice.

As the morning arrives penned by Sadje at Keep It Alive. A tale of computer woes that could derail a detectives efforts to apprehend a cyber criminal.

In the Dark – Ending? a tension filled piece from Writer Ravenclaw.

All are excellent reads and I highly recommend you take a look.

Escape Plan | Written for Chel Owen’s Terrible Poetry Contest.

Wouldn’t You Say? A WTF Reply. | Written in response to Cyranny’s Cove WTF? eyelash vending machine post.

9. Revenge: The Shadow Woman 1 | Part nine of the Revenge Series written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt.

KABOOM! | Sorry just wish Putin would find folly from a 10 story building!

Around the Blogosphere

Here are some other great blog posts I click on this week…

The Waterfall | Joanne the Geek

What’s It All About? | ladysighs

No Energy | Fandango at This, That and the Other
Fandango found himself in the hospital this week. Hhere’s hoping the hip responds and it gets easier as the days pass

Next week…

We shall see, I am trying to update my WordPress theme but I am so damned concerned it will eff everything up. Some of the new themes look like they have advantages that make blogging quicker and simpler and less labour intensive but only once I’ve figured out how they work. We shall see.

Look for this week’s Five Word Weekly on Monday and hopefully Part 10 of the Revenge Series. Beyond that its a crap shoot at best!

Have a great week.
Greg


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2302 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

2302 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

Welcome to the inaugural Greg’s Blog Sunday Digest. Think of it as a wrap-up post for the week that was. I hope to make it a weekly feature that will include the week as I saw it play out. I hope to include some of my blogging highlights, any featured posts from Greg’s Blog challenges (currently Five Word Weekly but there will be more challenges to come), and some links to interesting posts I have found as I’ve clicked my way around the blogosphere.

It’s hard to believe but we are already through the second week of 2023. It has been a quiet week on the blog front. Work and home life have taken precedence over my creative pursuits. It happens that way sometimes. Along with a minimum of published content this week, I must admit I haven’t done much viewing or reading of my favourite blogs either.

I must admit I hate when that happens because there is so much great content out there. I will try to do my best and catch up but with all the great content out there it is hard.

Earlier in the week I published a post about becoming more healthy. I promised to not turn this into a health-nut blog but I will provide brief updates here. I hope the small updates will help keep me on track. I have started a new light workout routine that I am happy to report I did manage to complete all week. No results yet of course, I’ve actually gained a couple of pounds, discouraging but it is early days in this process.

Let’s take a look at the week in review…

Five Word Weekly Challenge

There were two excellent responses to this week’s Five Word Weekly challenge:

In My Solitude was written by Sadje at Keep It Alive. It is a beautiful poem of reflection incorporating all five of this week’s prompt words.

Exhuming Amy is a chilling vampire tinged tale of grief penned by Joanne the Geek inspired by the prompt word exhume.

Both are excellent reads and I highly recommend you take a look.

More from this week…

Quantum Hearts | Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #80 (#fss)

I’m a Fat Guy

Around the Blogosphere

Here are some other great blog posts I click on this week…

Silhouette of trees without leaves | Vova Zinger’s Photoblog

Doughnut Versus Donut | Fandango at This, That, and the Other
I must admit I began to wade in on doughnuts myself but ran out of time and never finished the post. I will say this, if you from Canada, Tim Horton’s is the place. I mean they drove Dunkin’ out of business and only one Krispy Crème location has survived up here.  

The Streets Were Deserted | Sunra Rainz

Hullo, Rabbit! | Chel Owens
The rabbit apocalypse is upon us!

Provocative | Paula at Light Motifs II
The start of a HARElequin romance novel.

Next week…

This week might be sparse again. It is my Monday to Friday week at the office which will make finding time for blogging difficult. I do hope to get back into a normal rhythm again soon.

Look for this week’s Five Word Weekly on Monday and T-Shirt Wisdom Tuesday, on well, in case you missed it TUESDAY!

Have a great week.
Greg


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Unarmed

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s is a doozy…
In your interpersonal relationships with acquaintances, friends, and family, are you able to separate political ideologies from the people who hold them? Why or why not?
Cue my rambling answer below…

I’ve always been able to separate issues from those on the other side. That is probably why I am so good when it comes to disciplinary matters at work. None of it is ever personal. Just deal with the facts and move on. If the other party has hard feelings, there is nothing I can do about that. I just go about my business and do my best to treat them the same afterwards regardless of what may have transpired. There are plenty of people who get themselves emotionally invested and it eats them up inside. They generally burn themselves out or get run out of town at the end of a pitchfork. Either way, they do not fare well long term.

I admit I approach debating, political or otherwise, through a similar lens. Everyone has an opinion and I encourage them to bring it to the table. The best policy is to treat people with respect even when their ideological compass is pointing in a different direction than our own. Sometimes those views, extreme or absurd as they may seem, can shift perspective for everyone involved and lead others to think outside the box and find common ground leading to more moderate solutions. Even if it amounts to nothing at least I know who the imbeciles are.

There is one group that I do tend to distance myself from and they rarely make it to my inner circle. The exception is family – unfortunately, you are stuck with ’em! If they start I normally throw a couple of jabs in and walk away. So back to that group, I’m referring to those who refused to acknowledge facts when forming opinions. The brazen efforts they will go to refute proven science or obscure the facts to mould opinions that support their ideological fantasies suggest they aren’t likely to see reason. At some point, it doesn’t make sense to continue banging your head against the wall. I was saving the following graphic for a future T-Shirt Wisdom Tuesday but it seems appropriate right here and now.

Greg Glazebrook @ GMGCreative


For example, rabid anti-vaxxers and political anarchists who insist on comparing democratically elected political leaders to Hitler or Stalin. I’m the first to admit that I am not a fan of the current prime minister here in Canada but not every decision of his government has some hidden agenda or has been bad for the country. The government is not trying to overthrow democracy and appoint him the Supreme Ruler of the Northern Realms. Truly, I can only think of one instance where that may have been the case on this continent. Does January 6th ring a bell? The funny thing is the idiots who believe the previous scenario are the same clowns driving around with Trump stickers pasted on their back windows and bumpers.

Okay, so maybe I’m less tolerant of idiocy than I thought. lol


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Blogging Intuition

“Here’s the only blogging tip you really need: always follow your intuition.”

– Kelly Thoreson

I suspect almost everyone’s blogs have drifted from or morphed into something different than that original concept. I know my plan in 2012 was to build a social commentary blog. I’d navigate the issues of the day and other relevant topics as I saw fit. It went 12 posts in 8 years well.

Now I’m writing mostly fiction with a side of poetry/photography and very occasionally a social commentary piece reminiscent of those early days. I do find the current iteration of the blog so much more fulfilling than the original concept. Whether I’m good and/or getting better at it I don’t know but I do try and follow the trends I see from my readers.

Intuition plays a role and being able to tap into the collective consciousness at the right time is important. How many bands were ahead of their time or missed the boat. Are the Beatles, U2, or Nirvana relevant if they don’t strike a cord at the right moment in history?

Those who find that lightning in a bottle unlock something special. We all have to tap into our intuition but that alone is not enough. We have to grow and nurture it. Put in the work to get the results. I find myself sifting, okay sifting may be a strong word, let’s go with looking through the data my posts generate. On which posts are my audience clicking like. Who is commenting and what are they saying when they do? What sites am I visiting or actively participating in that expose my blog to new viewers? Are they the type of viewers that I want to be associated with the brand I’m building?

I certainly don’t have thousands of followers but it doesn’t matter, maybe it would be different with a more consistent presence but with work and kids and life, it’s hard. Still, the main purpose of my blog was to provide a chance to be creative. Although the content has changed the blog fulfils a piece of the work-life balance that was missing and has proved to be exactly what I needed. For those who have come along for all or parts of the ride. Thank you.

And finally, one more pro tip…

Image: Adél Grőber via Unsplash.
Graphic Design: Greg Glazebrook @ GMG Creative

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