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Haiku - February 2014

I am still reading the Haiku book by Patt, Warkentyne and Till. (ISBN 978-0-7649-5610-2.) The authors have chosen haiku composed by renowned Japenese haiku masters and divided them up by the seasons. I thought it was fitting since we are still in winter to quote another haiku about winter, from this book.


Plains and mountains

all enveloped in snow-

there is nothing else.


Joso, (1661 - 1704)

Haiku are composed of 17 syllables, hence haiku = 17th day of each month.

Why Poetry?

The other day I was having lunch with some colleagues who I usually see infrequently, and I was asked what Challenge I had undertaken last year, and this year. Apparently for this particular person the fact that a couple of years ago I had shared one of my challenges with her, had stood out in her mind. I have had a photo a day challenge; Eat less, move more challenge, the 10,000 step a day challenge, the Every Friday is Poetry day (last year) and finally this year, Every 17th of the month is Haiku Day. Perhaps this challenge stuff is a little unusual. I guess it's not really usual for people to take photos of their food?

I got to explaining to my colleague why poetry? I explained that I had always loved poetry at school and later at college. I loved reading it, analysing it, and talking about what it could mean. I loved hearing the words. There is nothing accidental about the choice of word, line or syllable in poems. I think that reading and thinking about poetry engages all parts of the brain that help with analyzing, that help with the creative and that help with our thought processes. I believe that poetry is important in helping us exercise that muscle, the brain.

I still have quite a few of my old poetry books from school and college. Some books have mysteriously vanished in the move (probably I gave them away.) I have scribbled in places all over certain poems (in pencil of course.) And now so many decades later, I can read those poems, and almost remember what I was thinking, and feeling back in those days. It's like a photograph, a snap shot, a moment frozen in time.

I remember in college sitting with my dear friend (who I still keep in contact with through text, email and the very occastional, and infrequent visit) in the 'Varsity canteen, over a plate of very greasy french fries composing what we later dubbed "Canteen Poetry." We thought that this was hilarious. I think my friend submitted the poem to one of the college newspapers, and it was published. She still has that poem.

So, I guess I have so many positive associations with poetry, that for me, the question is not "why poetry?" It is simply, why not?

Superbowl XLVIII Ad Round Up

One week later, I surface from a week of flu, aka the crud, and I can't quite believe it. Did the Bronco's really lose in such a spectacular fashion? Did I really sit through that, or was this a result of a fever induced hallucination? Alas, not. The Broncos were out played, and out matched completely. (I still have my orange and blue wreaths up on the front of the house. The Broncos had a great season. I don't quite understand the fixation with winning.)

We had my mom and dad over for the weekend, and gave them each a task: armed with paper and pen they were to write down the superbowl ads and decide which one's they liked best. (Please understand that my mom and dad do not understand American Football; rugby or cricket, yes, but football; no.) In fact the night before sitting around our dinning table, Kevin armed with small bright red tomatoes (linesman), and assorted cough drops, and pennies (for the rest,) and a quarter for the quarterback, painstakenly tried to explain the rules to my mom and dad.

My excuse during the game is that I was running a fever and felt like complete S#@!.

So I finally, one week later, dug out my piece of paper, and tried to remember the Superbowl, and the ads. So what stood out for me?

This year I thought some of the auto ads actually were quite good. I specially liked the Chev pick up ad (the one with the "bachelor" and the "ladies".) Chev also did a really nice follow up ad on World Cancer Day. I also liked the Volkswagen engineers get their "wings." Audi's "Compromise - weird dogs,", The Matrix and Kia - Challenge the luxury and I've got to mention the Maserati ad. Bruce Willis and Hyundai "Hugfest" was also cute. I really didn't like Bob Dylan and Chrysler. I thought it was a little lame. The Jaguar ad, Good to be bad was also enjoyable.

So kudo's to the auto industry, for finally waking up and creating some good (memorable) and creative ads. There were others, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were about. (Jeep, BMW to name a few.)

My first prize - I think has to go to Volkswagen, Engineer gets his "wings". I loved this one. Honorable mention to Chevrolet pickup ad (Bull - bachelor, cows - girls.) I thought that was really good, and it stuck with me.

Next category is the beer category. There is only one that has stuck with me one week later and that was the Budweiser and the puppy adoption. Super cute, and really Budweiser has done a fabulous job with tying their brand to the clysdale horses. Very subtle, but very good. I am not really going to give a prize, but just going to give Budweiser an Honorable Mention.

Coke vs Pepsi.

Is Mountain Dew a coke or pepsi product? See I don't even know. Much has been made of the multi lingual "America the Beautiful" Coke ad. I thought it was ok. I don't quite get the controversy. But the Coke ad that I did like (and oddly I remember one week later) is the Kid scoring the touch down. I wish Pepsi would field ads during the superbowl. It would make this Coke vs Pepsi more fun.

Others that particularly stood out, and I can remember one week later are:

The T-Mobile, Tim Tebow, "no contract" ad,

Go Pro

Heinz Ketchup

But my all time favorite has to go to the Chobani and the Grizzly Bear. That was very clever, and memorable.