Category Archives: Quickwrite

Ice Cream and Grandpa

Paramedics grant dying man’s final wish for caramel sundae

This news story made me think of the whimsical ways my late grandfather used to have.  My grandfather, Orlando Bartel was a great man in humble ways.  I could definitely see him becoming a quiet hero in such a way as this gentleman.

Grandpa also really like his ice cream.  I have many memories of him insisting on buying all his grandchildren ice cream at the lake saying, “it’s part of growing up to have your grandpa buy you ice cream at the lake”.  He would insist on paying for it despite the protests of my parents.  My grandmother would sit quietly but, enjoying watching her grandchildren sit beside their grandfather with big smiles on their faces as they looked out over the lake towards the setting sun with rays of twilights reflecting off of their ice-cream soaked faces.

My father now says the same thing when he is with his grandchildren at the lake (my two boys).  He insists on buying them ice cream even after my kids have already had too many sweets throughout their summer day.  He also insists it is their right as grandchildren and smiles as they decadently engorge themselves face-first into their icy treats.

My mother has a picture of our extended families silhouette, watching the sunset at Waskesui Lake.  I always imagine that we are holding ice cream in that picture and think of Grandpa Bartel.

Bristol Piano Man in Love

There is currently a man in Bristol, England that is playing his piano in public in order to declare his love for a woman and implore her to take him back. He was in 4 month relationship and says that “life got in the way” but that he is willing to show how much he loves her and express his deep affection by playing piano non-stop until he either collapses, is arrested, or is united with his lady love.

There are many ways one could look at this event: romantic, creepy, intriguing. At first I felt it was a bit creepy in that he just could/would not accept his lot and was ignoring the obvious wishes of his ex-girlfriend by staging such a display. “Get on with it” seems to reverberate in my mind at the beginning of the article.

After thinking about this for awhile I also tend to focus on the romantic side of the story which is that the power of love is such that a man would be willing to go beyond exhaustion to publicly declare his love and achieve the ‘ends of the earth’ in order to gain that which he desires more than anything on this earthly plain.

I definitely find it all very intriguing in that there are so many sides to consider, information that is missing, and a sense of wonder to attach to this entire display. This man has great tenacity to engage in such an act and I must respect the fact that he is willing to persevere to such an extent. In that sense, my hat goes off to this Englishman.

Quickwrite – April 3

 This picture reminds me of ziplining in the jungle in Laos.  Cheryl and I were on our honeymoon and decided to do a zipline tour through the treetops of this jungle along the Kwai River.  At the end of a long day of trekking and zipping through the trees we were approaching this massive 75 metre tall treehouse that we were going to stay in for the night.  Except, the line we were zipping on was so long that you couldn’t see the end of it from our starting point.  So as I was zipping across the valley above the trees and the massive treehouse starting growing in my vision it was only during the last part of my zip that I was able to see the tiny platform upon which I was to land.  It was roughly a 3X3 foot platform just under the treehouse.  My heart jumped into my throat, I held my breath, and I landed the sucker with an exhale and a sigh of relief.

I immediately thought about how Cheryl would handle the landing and struggled to get out my camera so as to capture the soon-to-be hallmark moment.  Sure enough, as she emerged from the far side of the valley I could see the moment that she was able to piece together the precarious nature of the landing spot.  I zoomed in at the moment her face contorted into a “what the heck” face that clearly illustrated her trepidation at what she was about to do.  She landed with a shudder likely similar to my own and we shakily ascended into the treehouse to recuperate and relax from the ordeal.  Good times in the tree tops!

Man Stands for Two Days Under a “P” at a Walmart Hoping to Sue

This is a shining example of what is insane and ridiculous in western civilization.  It brings to mind the infamous case of the woman that sued McDonald’s for serving hot coffee and not adequately warning her.

The sense of self-entitlement in this area of the world never fails to astound me.  The ridiculous thing about it is that he posted himself online with a direct claim as to what his intention were so he wouldn’t have won the case anyhow.  I almost wish it had all panned out so that his case could have become a precedent for how stupidity should not be awarded.  Although…what if he had won?

I think the fact that an instance such as this exists is a testament to the mentality of self-serving “me” culture that is present in our society today.  I could even see that if this had all panned out then likely there would be some type of movement supporting him as some insane folk hero fighting for the rights of the people in the face of the corporate giants.  Thus is the way of the world at times.


I used to think that emoticons were silly. People who would send them were often using them to be annoying, all the whilst thinking they are funny.  But, I was generally annoyed and considered that people sending them were insincere and childish.  I also noticed that it was increasingly millennials that were using them in silly ways and they started to become a logo for laziness and lack of communication.

Smart phones have changed the way that people communicate. I used to think it was a bad thing.  People were conversing less when face to face, even to the point of sitting in front of each other and texting all the while.  And, texting is far less because there is no facial expression, body language, or vocal tone.  But now I see that there are more ways of communicating within text.  Emoticons gives us a new avenue to spread ideas.

Emoticons give expression and tone where there is none. They allow the texter to communicate their thinking and tone where there was none before.  Of course, it will never replace personal vocal communication but maybe texting with emoticons has it’s place in human communication.

I think more people should use emoticons when texting as it allows them to take a lifeless form of communication and give it substance.

Quickwrite – Unlimited Money

moneyI would buy all the stock in Apple knowing that it would all be up for grabs in the morning. That way it would completely upend their business and likely bankrupt them, somehow magically, at midnight.  Then their rein of tyranny would end once and for all.

Of course then there would be all the Apple lovers (aka: “to lazy to learn how to use real technology” people) who would be seriously upset.  I suppose I would have to feel bad about them.  But then again…maybe not.

Would be really tempted to donate mass amounts to charity in hopes that the fates that are in control of this magical money would have mercy and then allow them to retain the money.  Perhaps because I technically wouldn’t ‘retain anything’ of the money personally the charities would be allowed to keep the money.  Of course, if it didn’t work then there would likely be a massive ‘hate on’ on me.  I wouldn’t like that very much.

I would be tempted to offer up the money in some crazy contest just to see what I could get people to do.  IT would be a massive prank to have it all go through and then the money just go up in smoke at midnight.  Of course, now we are just back to the “massive hate on” thing again.

It seems like no matter how you cut it I would get in a lot of trouble if this ever happened.  I think I’ll just stick to earning moderate amounts of money and spending it somewhat wisely.

Elephant Island – Quickwrite

Elephant Island

I think the most important part of this picture is the people in the boat. Who are they and what are they thinking about right now?

                Jonathan and his wife Ellen had set off sailing off the coast of Australia on a sunny afternoon.  Their destination was the Great Barrier Reef, but soon they would have a change of plans.  Although the day had begun quietly enough they soon noticed clouds forming all around them.  A slow turning swirl emerged in the sky reminding Jonathan of the slow motions of soft ice cream as it exits the soft-serve machines.  But, today was going to be anything but a treat on a summer’s day.

                Jonathan and Ellen were by no means expert sailors.  Having only just taken an introductory course last week they felt somewhat capable but only for short excursions.  The darkening swirls in the sky did not give them confidence.  They quickly turned about toward the shore in hopes of sparing their vessel from the soon-to-be churning tide.

                The sky continued to turn with wind driving as a force against them.  They felt the first pangs of panic set upon them as the rocking of the boat began to turn and toss with the water.  Ellen tried to maintain a strong demeanor knowing that her and Jonathan would only survive if they kept calm and worked together.

                Soon the sky and sea seemed to be one as they ripped asunder and bore on the pair in the tiny boat.  It was not long until they had capsized.  Jonathan’s head struck the side of the boat as he was tossed from the deck causing him to pass out. The last memory Ellen had of the storm was that of her mouth and lungs filling with water and thinking in terror that she would never see Jonathan again.

                They awoke on a gently lapping sea under a mostly full moon reflecting upon the water.  The boat was dry, they seemed intact and the stars were magnificent under a vast sky.  Their world seemed so large around them as the vast sea seemed to swallow them whole. 

                There was no land in sight except for on small jagged island which they were swiftly approaching.  Nothing could have prepared them…


elephant island