Pin Fun

About this assignment

This assignment was designed to help in getting a feel for writing non-fiction children’s articles. I struggled a bit at the start of this when I tried to bring POGS to light but after trying to write it, realized I couldn’t make it work like I wanted it to.

So, the next logical step was to write something that was more close to me so I chose bowling. I’m going to be making some changes to this eventually as I was encouraged to do so to attempt to try and get it published.

Pin Fun
 

 

Suddenly, a low rumble creeps up. A few moments later, a loud crash follows it. Applause and cheers can be heard over the rumble and crashing going on around you. Where are you exactly? A bowling alley!

For those that are unfamiliar with bowling, it is a game in which players score points by rolling a ball down a flat surface (called a lane) to knock down objects known as pins. The player who knocks down the most pins at the end of the game is the winner.

 Bowling has many different variations including the type of pins used; to the place in which it is played. Some forms of bowling have existed since 300 A.D. Two of the most common types of bowling played are Tenpin Bowling and Five-Pin Bowling. 

Tenpin Bowling is played using ten tenpins and is played on a lane that is sixty-two feet in length. If you knock down all ten pins on the first try, it is a strike. If you knock down all ten pins in two attempts, it is a spare. The lane also has a gutter on each side of it. If your ball goes into the gutter, it is a zero. It requires a bowling ball weighing anywhere from six to sixteen pounds with finger holes drilled into the ball. Official rules for this type of bowling were established on September 9, 1895 in New York City. A perfect game is worth 300 points.

Five-pin bowling is enjoyed in Canada. Five-Pin is played on the same type of lane that Tenpin bowling is played on but, is played differently. The pins are arranged in a V Shape. The pins that are used are smaller than the pins used for Tenpin bowling. In each frame, a player gets three attempts to knock down all of the pins. The center pin is worth five points if knocked down. The pins closest to the center are worth three each and the pins on the outside are worth two. A player can score up to fifteen points in each frame. The type of ball used is small enough to fit into your hand without needing finger holes. The original version of Five-pin bowling was created in 1908. A perfect game is worth 450 points.

Would you believe that bowling is currently played by 95 million people in over ninety countries worldwide?  Bowling is even available through video games on cell phones and video game consoles (in case you’d like to practice before going!)

Bowling is enjoyed as a game for fun but, it is also played on a professional level as well. There are leagues and tournaments that are available for kids of all ages as well as adults. The Pro Bowlers Association holds weekly televised events where pro bowlers compete against each other.

If you have ever bowled before, could you imagine objects like chairs or towels being used? How about a ramp? Another exciting type of bowling is Trick Bowling. A few of the players on the pro tour have competed in events like this. They are required to throw their bowling ball under a chair without hitting it to see who can knock down the most pins, using a bowling towel to throw the ball, or even by putting a ramp on the lane and having the ball fly off the ramp into the pins!

All you need to enjoy a game of bowling is shoes and a bowling ball. Both of these items are provided by the bowling alley that you would go to. If you find that you really enjoy bowling, you can always get your own equipment. Maybe Mom and Dad need a birthday gift idea for you?

Here is a secret to bowling. The best thing that goes with it is friends and food! A bowling birthday party can be a lot of fun for both you and your friends! Don’t worry about getting gutters. Bumpers can be put in the gutters so that everyone will be able to knock the pins down! The most important thing is to have fun!

World’s Fattest Mom looking to get bigger?

Before you read this blog, I would suggest reading this article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1257850/Super-sized-mother-determined-worlds-fattest-woman-years.html

I have a feeling this is going to be a rant more than anything so please, bear with me on this.

To summarize, Donna Simpson of New Jersey is attempting to become the world’s fattest woman…wow…what a great goal to set for yourself. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? COME ON!

She currently weighs 43 stone according to the article published. That currently (if my conversion is correct) is 602 lbs. But, apparently, this isn’t good enough! She wants to weigh a total of 1,000 lbs. How does she plan on meeting this? According to the article, she is consuming 12,000 calories a day (that’s roughly 10,000 above the average which is 2,000)…again, are you kidding me? Here is one of the best quotes from the article that I feel sums up this…specimen (I’m trying to be nice here) quite nicely:

“Donna, who wears XXXXXXXL dresses, eats mounds of junk food and tries to move as little as possible.”

Add onto it that this woman already holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Fattest Mother when she gave birth to her daughter weighing 532 lbs. Apparently, this honor isn’t enough of a crowning achievement. (end sarcasm here) But, I guess that moving 20 feet before having to sit down is a good feeling.

I guess one of the most appalling thigs I read was the fact that in order to fund her $750 weekly…WEEKLY food bill she runs a website that men pay to watch her eat fast food. Hey uh…if you have the kind of money to spend and if you have the kind of time to waste sitting in front of your computer watching crap like this, I think you need to see a Psychiatrist….NOW! Let me get this straight…the economy sucks, people are out of work and can’t find jobs, but these morons have the money to watch a woman slowly kill herself? This kind of activity not only from Ms. Simpson but the idiots who help her fund this atrocity really speaks volumes about how far we’ve sunk as human beings. Quite frankly, it’s people like Ms. Simpson that make me ashamed to call myself an American. It’s no wonder other countries laugh at us. We deserve it. Especially when we have people like her and morons who support her by FUNDING IT running around.

But, I’ve saved the best for last…here is the absolute best (and when I say this I really mean, idiotic) quote directly from her:‘I love eating and people love watching me eat,’ she said. ‘It makes people happy, and I’m not harming anyone.’

I want to concentrate on mainly one little part in that quote. Which is ‘I’m not harming anyone’
So, let me get this straight, you aren’t harming your daughter? What kind of example do you really think that this sets for her? I thought that parents were supposed to set GOOD examples for their kids. All you’re doing is showing your kid how to be lazy, irresponsible, and wreckless. Yet, you aren’t hurting anyone? What is going to happen to her if you make yourself sick and can no longer care for her or, even die for that matter?

Again, I’m ashamed that this woman resides in the United States. We deserve every single bit of criticism we get for this. Kind of funny though isn’t it…here we are trying to reform our healthcare system…companies are encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles…then, we have this.

I want to state that I, in no way, have a problem with people who are overweight. I know that people have weight issues that are just beyond their control. I just have a problem with people like this who are creating their own problem and what’s worse is they are proud of it

Ok…I’m done…rant over….

Food Inc.-Review & Thoughts

A few years ago, I watched a documentary called Syoer Size Me by filmaker Morgan Spurlock. I have to say that, personally, I was very intrigued by the general idea behind the film. To this day, I still go back and watch it from time to time. However, on the DVD, there is an extra feature where Morgan interviews the author of Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser.

In that interview, Schlosser talks about how the food industry as a whole, is treating cattle and poultry amongst other issues. More recently, I stumbled upon a documentary that he helped produce called Food Inc.

The documentary does have a tendancy to be very biased but the premise behind it is a reality that a lot of us know exists. The documentary goes into detail to show what exactly a killing floor looks like for pigs. It also goes into detail showing how poultry is treated…even in one scene showing how the chickens never get any exposure to natural sunlight, they’re basically enclosed in these dark chicken houses all crammed together in one tiny space (as opposed to free range).

I suppose if I was a filmaker, I would want my documentaries or films to have an impact…isn’t that really the goal after all? But, some of the things in it were hard to watch. To watch a cow get corn inserted into its stomach because they would typically not eat it so they grow faster (which in turn causes disease/bacterial issues) was appalling. I know it’s all about mass production but, how much slower would it really be for the cattle to actually grow naturally and eat what their bodies are able to support?

Super Size Me and Food Inc. have made quite an impact on me personally. For one, since seeing Super Size Me, I have barely eaten at a fast food restaurant (only if it was really necessary) since watching the film. With Food Inc., I’m going to go through great lengths now to start buying my poultry/meat from local areas as well as Farmers Markets for vegetables and fruits.

When you think about it, supermarkets are a matter of convenience but really, it’s no wonder there are so many people who are sick and unhealthy. I’m tired of it being about convenience…I want to feel safe and more importantly, want to know how the animals are treated and where the vegetable and fruits are being grown and coming from. If I can do whatever I can to keep my money from going to the big companies who don’t care about their workers or the animals/products they’re supplying (whether they be genetically altered or not) then that’s fine with me.

The official site for the movie can be found here

The site also features blogs as well as a petition to sign to include healthier menus in schools and also some helpful tips on how to get more involved in helping the way food is produced. One of them being to go to local farmers markets.

This blog was not intended for me to come across as some kind of animal rights extremist. I just found something that really intrigued me and I just can’t turn a blind eye to it anymore.

If anything else, please think about supporting the local farmers/growers in your area. They could sure use the help.

The Waterfalls

About this Assignment

This assignment was designed around descriptive writing. My only instructions from my instructor was that she wanted to be able to read this piece and feel like she was there. One thing I did to help develop this story was I took the basic senses of touch, smell, and sight and wrote the story around it. This is based off an area near me that I’ve gone to quite a lot over the years.

The Story

The Waterfalls

 

As I ducked my way through the mouth of the drooping pine trees, I could hear the faint rush of water in the distance. As I entered, I was greeted by the smell of pine, bark, and moss. Rocks riddled with moss stick up through the ground and cover the pathway. As I walk, the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet mesh with the chirping birds and faint rush of the wind through the trees.

The leafy path transformed from flat to a sharp decline, making the walk a bit treacherous. After some careful scaling, the path levels out once again. The rush of the water is now louder but not yet in sight. Brown squirrel darts across the pathway and scurries up a nearby pine tree.

A boulder aged with the trials of nature and time appear as the water’s bellows increase in volume. The rock is cut into the side of the steep hill that now looks down on you from the path; creating a ledge for someone to sit on and admire the scenery. Off to the right, water can now be seen. There is a small opening where huge boulders can be stood on. The source of what was once a faint whisper can now be heard quite clearly. The sound of the chirping birds and wind are now drowned out.

Off in the distance, two children are excitedly walking with their parents as they look at the waterfalls before them. I make my way down the slippery boulders to the cliff. The boulder-cliff creates a spectacular view as a waterfall comes into view and the source of the rushing water is now seen. The water falls over the rocks and crashes to the bottom creating white foam below. Sunlight filters through the canopy of pines creating beautiful, divided rays of light that glimmer off the water below.

The water navigates through a small, winding, path of boulders and fallen tree limbs. I glance off to my left still atop the boulders to see the children and their parents on a smaller rock. I turn and carefully make my way up the slippery rocks away from the waterfall and begin to make my way across the dirt path.

Moving onward a few oak trees are encountered as the sloping hill becomes littered with a mix of rounded and sharp rocks. Once down that side of the hill, the ground flattens out. Off to the right, a smaller waterfall is flowing softly. The path now winds and a wooden bridge comes into view. Scaling the small incline, I make my way up to the bridge. Standing on the bridge gives the ability to view the biggest waterfall to the smallest. I pick up a leaf that is lying next to my foot. I drop it over the bridge and watch it float softly into the water and be carried downstream.

The rail of the bridge is filled with carvings from people who have hiked here over the years. A heart is carved with the names of two people under my hands. The wood has a gritty feel to as I rest my hands on it. A gust of wind provides more ambience as it rushes through the trees.  The sweet scent of lumber and pine wrap around me as I remain on the bridge. A slight breeze makes its way through the trees; rustling the branches and causing pine needles to rain down around me.
Making my way back towards the entrance, I pass the quiet babble of the smaller waterfall. The larger waterfall beckons in the distance as I make my way over the sloped and slippery crest. The deafening roar is all I hear as the rush of water is now off to my left. As I make my way up the slippery hill, I can once again, only hear the faint whisper of the water. As I approach the mouth of the drooping pine trees, I take a deep breath and get one last smell of pine and moss. I duck through the pine branches and leave the tranquility behind me.

Baking Disaster

About This Assignment

This assignment was given to me by providing a list of words. None of them had anything in common to each other and did not relate in any way. The requirement was you had to take at least one word from the list and figure out how to write a fictional story with it. I used a method of ‘clustering’ where I took a word which in this case was ‘cup.

I was able to branch off of it using several words. After branching off using several words, I added the word ‘cake’ to my cluster. With that, I decided to write about a character who was going to participate in a baking contest. What was supposed to be a fun project for the main character, Suzie, turns out to be a test of her character and to see if she has the determination to finish her baking to enter the contest.

I had originally taken the word ‘patch’ and since I was writing it around Halloween, I wrote a themed story as it could be fantasy also, of talking pumpkins. After working out a rough draft, I couldn’t attach myself to the story and wasn’t happy with it so I scrapped it after working on it for 2 weeks. As a result, I came up with this. I hope you enjoy it.

The Story

Baking Disaster (Working Title)

Suzie and Marcy walked along on the sidewalk as their feet crunched over the leaves that were falling from the trees. With their backpacks draped over their shoulders, they were making their way to Suzie’s house after a long day of school.

While on their way, they passed Flancer Field where the annual County Fair was held. They saw a sign that announced a baking contest that was going to be done this year. Marcy, knowing Suzie’s love for baking, immediately began reacting to the sign.

“Suzie! We could enter this!” she exclaimed.

“Let’s do it!” Suzie replied.

There were flyers next to the sign. Suzie picked the orange-colored paper up and studied it.

“It says we can enter this as a team,” Suzie reported.

“I’m up for it,” Marcy replied.

“It also says that we can choose any type of entry we want. The only rule is that it has to be decorative,” Suzie said.

They continued walking back to Suzie’s house. As they walked, they talked about ideas they had to use as an entry into the contest. By the time they got to Suzie’s they had decided on what they would make. It would be a Halloween-themed layer cake. They excitedly ran into Suzie’s kitchen and got a paper and pen and began making a list of ingredients they were going to need. They decided they would go to the store the next day to get the materials they needed.

The next morning, Suzie called Marcy to see when she wanted to go to the store. Marcy answered the phone on the second ring.

“Hello,” Marcy said. Suzie thought that Marcy sounded stuffy on the other end.

“Hi Marcy. What time did you want to go?”

With a sniffle, Marcy said, “I’m really sorry Suzie. I’m really sick today. I won’t be able to help you with the baking.”

Suzie’s heart skipped a beat. The contest was tomorrow. She needed Marcy to help her complete the cake. Since it was a layer cake, it was going to require more than one person to construct it. Suzie could tell Marcy was upset so, without being able to say much else, she told Marcy if she felt better to give her a call and to feel better soon. She hung up the phone.

Suzie took a deep breath. She really wanted to enter the contest. She really liked the idea her and Marcy had come up with. She now had a mission. She was going to complete this herself, not just for her but for Marcy also. She got ready and went to the store.

When Suzie got to the store, it was unusually busy. She didn’t have a lot of time so she rushed into the store and pulled her list from her pocket. She ran to the dairy section and grabbed a pack of butter and a carton of eggs. She then went to the baking section to get the rest of her items. It seemed as if everyone in town was in the baking section. Suzie wondered how many people were entering the contest. She hurriedly went down her list as she grabbed the flour, vanilla, and sugar. She then scanned the shelves for baking powder. She then found a yellow box indicating the ingredient she needed and pulled it from the shelf. On her way out of the aisle, she grabbed two containers of frosting and sprinkles. She paid for the items and rushed home.

Suzie emptied the contents of her shopping bag onto the countertop and got to work. She beat the eggs and added the remaining ingredients to a bowl and mixed them together. From the cabinet, she got a baking pan. She added the mixed batter to the pan and set it in the oven. She set the time for thirty minutes.

Once the timer went off, Suzie ran to the oven and pulled the cake out. When she looked at it, it hadn’t risen. Suzie looked over and saw the culprit. It was the yellow box she grabbed hurriedly from the shelf at the store. It read baking soda. The recipe was to add baking powder. Suzie let out a loud moan as she rushed out her front door to go back to the store to get the correct ingredient.

She arrived at the store once again and rushed to the baking aisle. This time she studied the boxes carefully and pulled a box of baking powder from the shelf. She paid for it and rushed home once again. She then mixed another batch of batter, this time using the baking powder, and put it into the baking pan. After thirty minutes in the oven, the cake had risen and looked tasty.

Suzie got to work. She layered the cake with orange icing around the outside with black sprinkles. She then made a picture of a ghost using the rest of the sprinkles and icing. She put that in the middle of the cake. It wasn’t exactly what she and Marcy had planned but since it was just her working on it now, and after everything she had gone through, Suzie felt happy with what she had created.

The next day, Suzie entered her cake into the contest. Her entry placed third and won in the Most Creative category. For her, winning wasn’t the most important thing. She had overcome to big setbacks but was still able to accomplish her goal. To her, that was the best prize of all.

Introduction

Hi Everyone,

First off, welcome to my little space on the net…this tiny blog. For now, a majority of this blog will be used to post my writings that I’ve done. Although, if something else comes up that I feel I need to address (which will more than likely happen a lot lol) then, I’ll post it.

A little background

I’m currently taking a writing course and wanted to get my work out for anyone who would be interested in reading. The course i’m currently enrolled in is geared towards writing for young children through young teens. My favorite type of writing to do, however, is articles and stories geared towards an older audience. Any and all comments are welcome and much apprecciated…regardless of what they may be.

In closing

I hope that you will be inclined to leave your feedback. I’ve been writing as a hobby for a long time now but this is the first time I’ve taken any sort of courses/workshops and I’m always looking for suggestions/comments.