Friday, July 10, 2020

Love Them or H8 Them!


Mathematics has been the bane of my existence.
I was great at arithmetic, and then one day I hit algebra.
I slammed into a barrier I couldn't work past for years:
How can you do math with letters?  Letters are for reading and writing.

You'd think that I would have given up on math at this point in my life.
I did once decades ago when I eked out a B in calculus,
tied my calculus text up with a ribbon, and tossed it in the trash.

But I am drawn to math's stark beauty and economy;
and if I can live long enough, I'll go back and relearn
how to solve the quadratic equation and other mathematical mysteries.  





Meanwhile when I need a laugh I sometimes treat myself to math jokes.
I don't always get the joke, but I will hunt down
what I don't understand until I get it or sort of get it.

And let me tell you, when I taught math to my second and third graders,
I made sure they grasped the math concepts I was teaching,
and we came at them from every possible direction I could think of
and with every hands-on, concrete manipulative I could find.

Here are some of the best jokes and math funnies I came across today. 
You'll either love them or H8 them!
I hope they give you a chuckle or a laugh!


Albert Einstein







A Sine from God





































For my brother Roy:  
Some people say the glass is half full. 
Some people say the glass is half empty.
Engineers say the glass is twice as big as necessary.













Don't tell my kiddos, but I had to double check factorials when I saw this joke,
just to make sure I was remembering correctly.

Factorials on the Loose

The factorial function (symbol: !)
says to multiply all whole numbers from our chosen number down to 1.
Examples:
5! = 5 x 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 120
8! = 8 x 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 40320
1! = 1





























A talking sheepdog gets all the sheep into the pen for his farmer.
He comes back and says “Okay, chief – all 40 sheep accounted for.”
The farmer says, “But I’ve counted them and I’ve only got 36!”
The sheepdog replies, “I know, but I rounded them up.” 












I have more, but I'll save them for another day.






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    





Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy July 4th!


Happy July 4th to all my American family and friends
who are celebrating today, tomorrow, or all weekend.
I hope you have a safe and fun time.

Terry and I will be home enjoying the holiday on our deck.
With any luck we'll see some fireworks in the evening.

This is my third post for the week,
so I'm sharing a little 4th of July lightness and humor.
We all need lots of both right now.






















































































































































Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    






Wednesday, July 1, 2020

IWSG: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 ~ I don't want to do all the other crap!






It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex Cavanaugh are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp,
Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox.

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy July, Everyone!  
Wherever you are, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy.  

I would just like the industry to become easier to function in.  

When I was teaching I would sometimes exclaim, 
"I just want to teach!  I don't want to do all the other crap!"  

When it comes to the publishing industry I want to exclaim, 
"I just want to write!  I don't want to do all the other crap!"  

Okay, I'll admit it.  Not all of the other crap is crap.
I actually had fun signing my first books a week ago.




 


 Thanks to my friend Susan Fiscus for the photos
June 23, 2020, Denver, Colorado, USA




And I know the other things, biggies like book promotion and marking, are not crap.
They just are demanding and take time away from something I'd rather do:  Write. 

Fortunately I've got the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
I really appreciate all the help, support, and encouragement of my fellow members.

If it weren't for the IWSG, I wouldn't be published in the United States,
and if it weren't for the help and guidance of people like
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and Spunk on a Stick L. Diane Wolfe,
I would have had a much harder time navigating the currents of the publishing industry.
Through them and my fellow Voyager authors, I have learned and experienced so much.

How could the industry make it easier for me?
I want it to invent a machine that I could strap on my head like headphones,
a machine that would download the perfect book in my brain
as beautifully polished real books
strategically placed in all the bookstores in the country
and advertised in online publications and off
while scheduling me for appearances at conferences and industry events.
And I'd prefer not to wait a whole decade, thank you!

Since this doesn't seem likely, I'll just keep moving along,
dealing with all the crap and hanging in there with my writing.

Happy writing in July!  

 


Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Waiting for the Ferry to Tiverton
Grand Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Check out the IWSG Anthologies blog site at https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/
The post today is Favorite Online Writing Resources (Not the IWSG) ~ Part 2.

Also check out a new review of Voyagers:  The Third Ghost by fellow IWSG member
Toi Thomas on BookBub at  https://www.bookbub.com/reviews/3580548828.







You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic

Friday, June 26, 2020

One Small Rodent with a Huge Impact




I've been stepping out farther
this week into neighboring
Red-tailed Hawk Park.

Many people enjoy
its picnic area, playgrounds,
and sports facilities,
but I go for its boardwalk,
cottonwood stands,
and prairie dog colony.
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA  June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Since I don't come from a Colorado ranching family, I love prairie dogs!
Red-tailed Hawk Park's noisy, energetic little critters are​​​​​​​ black-tailed prairie dogs
(Cynomys ludovicianus), and they have lived along the Front Range
for thousands and thousand of years.  At one time their "towns" or colonies
covered as much as seven million acres in the eastern third of Colorado.
They typically live east of the foothills at elevations below 6000 feet (1828 meters).

Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





The black-tailed prairie dog is one of three species in Colorado,
and it can be identified by the black tip on its tail and where it lives in the state.
It's not very big, weighing one to three pounds (about a kilogram)
and reaching 14 to 17 inches (36 to 43 centimeters) in length.
The prairie dogs have tan fur tinged with reddish-brown,
short ears, large eyes, and a long, round head.  These animals are rodents,
burrowing ground squirrels with sharp claws perfect for digging. 


Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Black-tailed prairie dogs are highly social animals,
and they live in large colonies of close knit family groups or coteries
consisting of a male, two or three females, and their pups.
They are active during the day and do not hibernate in the winter.
They dig extensive burrows underground
and mound the excavated dirt around the entrances to their burrows.

These mounds help to protect the burrows from flooding
and allow the prairie dogs to see approaching predators.
Typically the prairie dogs clip the plants around these mounds
to spot predators more easily.
Lots of predators hunt black-tailed prairie dogs:
coyotes, hawks, eagles, badgers, rattlesnakes, owls, bobcats, foxes, and ferrets.


Prairie Dog Town
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Entrance to a Prairie Dog Burrow
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Prairie dogs are very vocal.  They have a complex system of communication
of yips, chirps, whistles, growls, and barks
that rivals the languages of chimps, dolphins, and orcas (Scientific American).
It's almost impossible to sneak up on a prairie dog.
They are constantly on the alert, and the moment one spots you,
its short, shrill barks ring out repeatedly.
Step a little closer, and the prairie dog dives into its burrow
and others farther away take up the alarm cry.
Their calls identify the type of predator and describe what it looks like.


Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Prairie dogs eat grasses, leaves, stems, sedges, roots, forbs, and seeds.
They obtain water from plants such as the prickly pear cactus.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Black-tailed prairie dogs are a keystone species in the short grass prairie.  
They provide food for many predators, and their foraging and burrowing activities
increase the diversity of plants and animals in their area.
They overturn, aerate, and enrich the soil,
help to move rainwater down to the water table,
and encourage the growth of native grasses by clipping vegetation.
Over 150 species of birds and animals depend on
the food and shelter provided by prairie dog ecosystems.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Black-tailed prairie dogs have decreased drastically in number
because of habitat destruction, poisoning and shooting, and the sylvatic plague.
It's unfortunate that many people don't appreciate the importance
of this animal to the health of the short grass prairie ecosystem.


Black-tailed Prairie Dogs
Red-tailed Hawk Park 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
June 20, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

 








Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    








For Map Lovers Like Me:


Location of Aurora, Colorado, USA




Area Where I Took the Photographs
(by the asterisk in the lower middle)
Map Data © 2018 Google United States


Southern Aurora and Northern Parker
Map Data © 2019 Google United States





Adapted from a Sign in the Park
Red-Tailed Hawk Park
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved