Teaser Tuesday: Atonement

Where has the week gone? I spent most of the week since last Tuesday binge watching House of Cards, Parks and Recreation, and Supernatural on Netflix doing profitable things like housework and talking to my parents and cleaning up my home computer.

I also spent some time reading, so once again the wheel of time has landed on:

Teaser TuesdayJust in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week I’m reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. Although I’ve had this book for over a year, this is my first attempt at reading it. One motivator to finish my current at-home TBR is my personal vow to avoid the library until I’ve finished the books already taking up space.

I use the Truly Random Number Generator to pick the page number for my Teaser Tuesday post; today we go to page 186.

The men came a couple of steps closer and raised 
what was in their hands. Shotguns, surely. 

Turner released his safety catch. 
He heard Mace and Nettle do the same. 

"Easy," he murmured. 

Atonement Cover

In Retrospect

I finished reading 1916: The Easter Rising by Tim Pat Coogan and gave it four stars. It would have been five, but the first 25 pages or so were so uncompelling that I almost gave it up. Once I made it to page 30 or so, things picked up and I finished it easily, especially the last fifty pages or so.

What have you been reading?


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

I’d Like to Use a Lifeline

It should come as no surprise: I enjoy trivia shows.

As Calvin once said,

I have a command of thoroughly useless information.

Calvin and Hobbes Bill Waterson Useless Information

As of today – June 15, 2015 – my favorite trivia shows include

Jeopardy!

Every year I take the online test.

Every year I’m disappointed.

They always ask about pop culture and sports.

Two categories I care/know little to nothing about.

clue
Who is Jay of Running In My Head?

500 Questions

Like Jeopardy!, I do really well on this at home.

However, I believe I’m smarter than most of their contestants.

Then again, that’s what most people probably think.

It’s always different when you play for real.

500 Questions Banner


Celebrity Name Game

Craig Ferguson is hilarious.

K watches it without getting mad at me.

It helps me with those pesky pop culture Jeopardy! questions.


 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

When Regis Philbin hosted, Millionaire challenged Jeopardy! for my top spot.

Namely, I liked the idea of being tested on my own knowledge.

Those Jeopardy! buzzers can be brutal.

Well, they were in Scholastic Bowl.

I assume it’s the same on national TV.

One hallmark of the original Millionaire was the lifeline.

Contestants were given three:

Millionaire Lifeline PiecesPhone a Friend – call someone who may or may not know the answer.

Ask the Audience – ask the audience what they think (so long as you don’t live in Russia).

50/50 – remove two incorrect answers.

I always hated when contestants used a lifeline. I viewed it as weakness. However, they were actually on the show. I haven’t. Maybe they know something I don’t. Since we’re talking about trivia shows, it obvious they do.

Now, I’d like to use a lifeline of my own.

Actually, two of them:

Phone a Friend & Ask the Audience.

Phone a Friend

I’m calling you, my readers, because the blog is struggling. At least, I think it’s struggling.

Don’t let the total number of followers fool you. I was cursed with being Freshly Pressed two months after my first blog post. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I lost followers.

I also received an extraordinarily large numbers of spam followers. I’ve spent the last year and a half trying to build it back up by taking the Blogging U courses, and I’ve gained a few regular readers.

Stopped at Train TracksSunday Snaphots is my most-viewed weekly feature.

If I’m interpreting my statistics correctly, each new blog post gets around 50 views in its first month. That’s not too bad. What worries me is that Running In My Head isn’t growing.

I might get one new follower a month.

Likes, shares, and comments are way, way down.

Sometimes they border on nonexistent.

I want to turn that around.

I want to engage my audience.

How do I engage with no comments?

I want to promote other blogs.

What if I have no new followers to promote?

I want to converse.

My conversation starters (apparently) fall flat.

What do you do to drive your blog?

Please let me know in the comments!

Ask the Audience

Like actors on the stage, sometimes I need a bit of prompting.

Feed me your favorite word, a vivid scene, an unlikely pairing. A piece of dialog, an object, a potent verb. I’ll write them on slips of paper and put them in my tea tin of ideas.*
Red Ty phoo Tea Tin

[*Thanks to Andrea of Butterfly Mind for her idea and words.]

Then, I’ll turn your ideas into something solid:

A Photograph

A Poem

A Piece of Flash Fiction

A Passionate Post

You can let me know in the comments,
or use this handy dandy form!

I’ve also linked this form to the home screen menus.

Feel free to drop in any thing at any time!


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Sunday Snapshots

 

I spent quite a bit of time waiting this week:

 

Concrete Drawbridge

 

 

 

I waited at this bridge four times in one day – four times!

Stopped at Train Tracks

 

 

 

 

Stopped at the railroad tracks with the only alternate route blocked.

At least I got a good view!

Crow at Lunchtime

 

 

This crow waited for me to drop some of my lunch.

I didn’t.

Neither did K.

 

Turtle 2

 

 

This turtle waited to cross the road.

I helped him out a few days later in an extreme downpour.

Smokey Waiting

 

 

 

 

 

Smokey waited for K to come home after an 11-hour shift.

Yard Trimmings 2

 

 

 

 

I did some yard work; now I’m waiting for the city to remove this pile of yard trimmings.

Yes, I checked to make sure they would pick it up.

They’ll get to it . . . eventually.

There’s less now; this visitor beat them to it.
Nothing like a free buffet!

 

On the other hand, there are two things I no longer have to wait for:

 

Internet Install

 

 

This cable brings me high-speed internet
in my own home.

Now I can stream Netflix and Pandora without using my cell phone data.

I can also stream podcasts without using cell phone data or taking up space on my cell phone.

Space I need for photos.

 

 

Clogged Sink

 
 

After pulling all this gunk out of my sink, I can measure the drain time with a stopwatch instead of a sundial or hourglass.

 
 
 
 

I even took a video:


What did you do this week?


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Choose Your Own [Instagram] Adventure!

I delight in finding quotes and sharing them with others.

You already know this if you follow me on Instagram, where I routinely use the hashtags

Terry Pratchett Tuesday

and

Philosophy Friday

click to embiggen

However, that’s not enough.

There are five other days of the week.

I dabbled with Theology Thursday and Philosophy Thursday;

rolled them both into Philosophy Friday.

Here’s where you come in:

I need help filling up the week.

Give me your suggestions in the comments!

 

Emerson Book Quotation Quote


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

Seriously, Siri ?

The features on K’s car surpass those my own car possesses.

Specifically, the built-in USB port allows my phone to synch with the car radio.

When driving alone, I play my music and podcasts through the stereo system.

It’s the only time I can choose the soundtrack.

Supernatural Impala Music QuoteK is a Supernatural fan, but this did not go over well when I tried it.

I think it’s one of those things that only works in television or movies, not real life.


 

Anyway, back to my story.

 

You see, things don’t always work like they’re supposed to.

Or rather, they work exactly like they’re supposed to.

Either way, interesting things happen.

Case in point: the Wednesday night pizza run.

 

I ordered the usual.

For K: bacon and pineapple, creamy garlic Parmesan sauce, pretzel crust, barbecue drizzle.

For me: pepperoni and mushroom, premium crushed tomato sauce, hut favorite crust.

Yes, we ordered Pizza Hut.

This is both supper tonight and lunch the next day.

IMG_3249

 

But my story has nothing to do with pizza, my story involves the sound system.

There I was, happily listening to The Christian Humanist Podcast – “Exploring literature, philosophy, theology, and other things that human beings do well; taking the question at hand seriously and ourselves not at all.” – when the volume lowered and my phone kicked in.

I expected a call; instead, Siri delivered this:

Bad SiriSiri, what on earth!?

What demons have possessed you thus?

And then the answer came: it wasn’t a fluke.

Everything worked exactly as it should – except Siri looking for strip clubs.

Earlier that day, while I updated my iPhone, I turned on the “Hey Siri” function.

IMG_3246As Nathan, David, and Michial discussed the merits of Literary Theory, Great Books Theory, and Literary Criticism, Michial uttered something like this:

I don’t think I’ve done any serious work for seminar papers or anything like that – presentations – on a work that I did not actively love and for which my argument could not be boiled down to “Here, Audience, is why you should love this.”

Michial Farmer,  The Christian Humanist Podcast,  E. 21: Literary Criticism

Siri, muffled by a sweater and two pizza boxes, recognized “Siri” in “seriously” and turned on; the next few words would have been garbled, so it made a good logical haphazard guess.

Bad Siri

Needless to say, I turned off “Hey Siri” as soon as I could.


 

Have any Siri hilarity to share? Do so in the comments!

 


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

I Saw the Sign

I noticed this illuminated glass sign while out practicing my night photography:

 

Omarks at Night

 

Now, I know I see color differently than everyone else, but nothing else I saw this week was more vivid than this sign and the bright lights against the black city streets.

 

With all this talk of signs, how can you not think of this:

 

 


 

Don’t forget to follow me on:

 

Facebook – where I share news stories, articles from other blogs, and various and sundry miscellany that happens to catch my eye. It’s stuff you won’t see here! Well, mostly.

 

Instagram – where I show you my Life in Motion and share quotes and such. The widget only shows my last three photographs – don’t you want to see them all?

 

Twitter – where you can see my thoughts in 140 characters or less. Also, funny retweets.

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