Category Archives: April A-Z Blog Challenge

A blogging challenge from the Tossing It Out site. Blog from A-Z, everyday but Sunday. I’m number 1023 to sign up for this.

http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/p/sign-up-for-to-z-challenge.html

Z is for Zero

Finally, I’m at Z (better late than never, considering it is May and this blog is part of the A-Z Blog Challenge)!  Since I don’t know about any interesting people (okay, I do, but they might not appreciate appearing in my blog), places or things that begin with the letter Z, I thought I’d finish finish the alphabet with some randomness about zero.

Zero is a number = 0.  It precedes the number 1.  It is neither positive nor negative.  It can be used as a place holder in other numbers and weights.  Without zero, 101, would 11.

The Zero was a plane used by the Japanese in World War II.

The word zero is  in several song titles:

  • Saved by Zero, The Fixx
  • Less Than Zero, Elvis Costello
  • Zero, Smashing Pumpkins
  • Love Minus Zero /No Limit,  Bob Dylan

Zero hour refers to midnight (00:00)

Coke Zero is a new low-calorie soda put out by Coca~Cola.  The target audience for the drink is men.  Men apparently associate diet drinks with women, so this new campaign doesn’t use the word diet.  I personally think Coke Zero is better tasting than Diet Coke.

Z~end 🙂

Y is for Yellowstone National Park

I’ve only been to Yellowstone National Park once, but I loved it.  I didn’t get to see the entire park, so I really want to go back.

Yellowstone sits is the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  Located on a caldera, the park is full of beautiful hot springs and geysers, with Old Faithful being the most famous of the geysers.

Castle Geyser

I don’t think I had ever seen a hot spring before this trip and I know I had never seen a geyser,  so to see so many in one location, and how vastly different they look, was amazing.

Some of the hot spring were so blue and clear and very inviting, while other features, like Bacteria Mat were not so pretty.  It was really something special to see how active the earth is and how potentially dangerous, too.

One of the many clear blue hot spings in the geyser basins

I know there is a lot more of Yellowstone that I didn’t have time to see during my first trip.  I hope sometime soon to get back there and see it all. I’ve been dropping hints that it would make a great graduation gift!

Bacteria Mat

Old Faithful

X is for the unknown

I’ve been pondering again.  What word could the letter “X” stand for that I can blog about?  I live near Xenia and a blog about the big tornado there in the 1970s would be timely, but I have no firsthand knowledge of it.   Then it dawned on me that “X” is a symbol of the unknown.  Being  a sci-fi geek, I know X gets used a lot in books, movies and crypto-zoology.

Hammer Studios put out several sci-fi movies using the letter X to indicate something unknown.  In fact, one of the movies is titles, X the Unknown.  The movie begins with soldiers investigating a mysterious source of radioactivity.  Naturally, they are exposed to it and eventually die without revealing much.  An unknown, radioactive entity comes out of of the ground where the soldiers had been and through most of the movie you never see what it is, just the characters’ horrified reaction to it.  And once the creature is shown, it is just an indescribable blob.  Hammer also used X in their first Quatermass movie, The Quatermass Xperiment.  In this movie, an astronaut returns from space infected by something than mutates him into an alien bent on human destruction.

There are people who think that there is a 10th planet (well, 10th if you still consider Pluto a planet) in our solar system.   This planet that it supposed to be beyond Pluto is often referred to as Planet X.

And how would the Power Puff Girls have been born if Professor Untonium hadn’t accidentally spilled Chemical X into the concoction the girls emerged from?

W is for Wyoming

Wyoming… What can I say about Wyoming?  Some might consider it the middle

Me at a Wyoming rest area on I-80

of nowhere, and I can see why, but my drives through this state have been interesting.

I drove through the state on I-80 quite a bit when I was driving truck.  It was in Wyoming that I saw antelope and prairie dogs for the first time, which I thought was pretty cool.    There is also an interesting rest area on I-80 in Wyoming.  What makes it unique is a large bust of Abraham Lincoln.  The first time I saw this bust was on a foggy morning as I was driving truck.  Visability was very poor, but high up in the distance was Abe Lincoln’s head!  I was puzzled as to why a sculpture of our 16th president would be in the middle of Wyoming.  I found out that this section of I-80 is part of the Lincoln Highway, which stretches from New York to California.

Bust of Abe Lincoln at Wyoming rest area on I-80

And more recently I received a speed warning ticket from the Wyoming State Patrol as I was driving home from a trip to Yellowstone.  I was doing six miles over the posted speed limit, which I will admit I do regularly when I drive on the highways at home.  So I was surprised by it, because it was only 6 miles over and people were passing me.  Maybe it was the red rental I was driving that caught the po-po’s eye!

V is for Vacations

With summer approaching, many people are probably thinking about vacation.  I’m no different, though with limited funds and other plans this summer (namely my internship), any vacation I take this summer will be short and nearby.

I often wish that I were independently wealthy,  so that I could just take off to a number of vacation destinations.  Here are a few stops on my vacation bucket list…

Great Britain:  For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go to England.  When I was younger and discovered “BritComs” on PBS, I wanted to go just to watch TV (weird, I know!).  But now that I am older I want to go for so many more reasons.  This is a country rich with history and beautiful sites to see.  I’m just not sure how I would do driving on the wrong side of the road…

Germany:  This is where my dad’s side of the family comes from.  And I’m fascinated with German history, especially during the world wars.  I don’t speak German though,  so I’d probably want to do this as a guided group tour.

Yellowstone National Park:  I have been there once, but only for a couple days, so I didn’t get to see everything.  I did see the geysers and Old Faithful, but I know there is much more to see.  I really want to go back and maybe stay for a week to take in all the sites in and around the park.

New York  City on New Year’s Eve:  So I’ve seen it on TV every year and it just looks like great fun to me.  I’d love to visit NYC anytime, but there is something about it in winter and New Years that seems magical (but maybe I just watch too many holiday movies set in the Big Apple).

There are plenty of other places I’d like to take a vacation, but there are places that stick with me and I dream about visiting someday, hopefully sooner than later.

U is for Umbrella

I thought umbrella a fitting word for the letter U, given all of the rain we have been getting this month.  If April showers really do bring May flowers, then even the worst gardeners among us should have flowerbeds overflowing next month!

As we slosh onward to a record April rainfall in Dayton, my umbrella has been a constant companion.  I used to favor a smaller umbrella.  It fit easily into my bag.  But high winds that tended to turn my umbrella inside out forced me to reconsider my wet weather needs.  So now I carry a larger umbrella, sometimes referred to as a stadium umbrella (though I know I’d never want to be sitting behind somebody at a ballgame who had one of these things open.  How would you see anything?)

Sometimes this umbrella is awkward to carry around and store, especially during a class, but I love it when it is raining.  It is very sturdy, so no more problems with the wind turning it inside out (though a big gust of wind almost took it out of my hands a few days ago).  It is nice and wide so it covers me, my book bag and probably half a dozen people if they wanted to get under it with me.  Okay that last bit may be a stretch, but there really is a lot of room under this umbrella!

As cool as I apparently think my big umbrella is, I will be happy to put it away and enjoy some warm, sunny, DRY days.

T is for Tabitha

Tabitha

Tabitha, wondering when I'm going to clean up my room

Tabitha is my middle cat, and the alpha female among my 3 cats.  She is the only cat I’ve ever purchased from a pet store.  I wanted a cat and fell in love with her when we stopped in a mall pet store to look at the animals.

She’s a bossy cat.  She comes up and sticks her face in my face in the middle of the night if she wants something, be it food or to get under the covers with me.  Those long whiskers of hers do the trick of waking me up!  And when I do get up to feed her, she meows a lot.  I’m not sure what she’s trying to tell me, but the tone definitely sounds bossy to my ears.

I’m not sure how or why, but Tabitha is the only cat I’ve had that didn’t get fat after she was fixed.  She is in good health and I’m sure she gets more than her fair share of food, being the top cat in the house.  I suppose, like people, cat metabolisms can vary due to genetics.  Because of this, I’ve nicknamed her Slim.

Tabitha sort of does her own thing.  She likes to sit in my lap if it isn’t already occupied by Azrael.  Sometimes, she randomly starts fights with Azrael.  I’m not sure why.  They are usually best buddies.  In fact, Tabitha was very motherly to Azrael when I brought her home as a kitten.  I suppose it is just a way of asserting her dominance, though I don’t notice her doing it to Chloe.  Or maybe she gets jealous.  Who knows????  Despite her demanding nature, Tabitha is a sweetie and I’m glad I have her.