My Reply to the Bell Customer Satisfaction Survey

The service rep was very nice, spoke well and so. However, an appointment was made to install the TV service for this morning. I waited home until noon when I phoned to see if the tech was running late. No one phoned me to let me know. I was told I had no appointment for the install. Yet I do have a confirmation # which the rep looked up and apologized for the problem. I was not especially surprised as this is at least the THIRD time Bell has done this to me. I was left on hold to be transferred to someone who would help me today. However, I waited on hold about 10 – 15 minutes and then the call was disconnected. Not by me. At this point I was feeling pretty angry but when I phoned back I did my best to be polite. On this second call I was told I would be phoned by someone TODAY to confirm the order they were supposed to actually be here to install TODAY. I do not have a cell phone so I have waited here all day now for NOTHING!!! Bell has not phoned me about anything, certainly not about confirming the order or apologizing for screwing up. Yes, the Bell reps speak well and are polite. But, I am so extremely tired of the screw ups and so really fed up with platitudes which mean nothing to me. Actions speak louder than words. Bell charges me $2.00 each month just to get a bill from them. This aggravates me, especially when there are ads included. So I am actually paying to get spam from Bell. I doubt an actual human being is reading this. Likely it is just a computer scanning words. Bell does not care about customers obviously. I don’t know why I’m giving Bell more of my time. I will be cancelling the TV order tomorrow when I am less upset and angry. I may cancel everything – it would save me a LOT of stress. No other company I deal with has been this difficult with misleading me, lying to me and all the rest. I like Bell’s actual service. But, having the service is far too much stress and has caused me to lose time at work which puts my job at risk each time Bell makes these non-existent appointments and then expects me to just take another day off for another appointment after they screw up. If an actual human being is reading this would you want to be a Bell customer if this was the day you had today? Not me.

Sorry for the block of text. I could have fixed it when I decided to post it. But, it kind of suits the block format. Like a blockhead in a trap.

It’s almost 4:30 now. Too late to expect a call from Bell. So, just more misinformation or can we just call it a lie because it feels that way to me.

Visual Poetry: Concrete Poetry and Calligrams

concrete poetryVisual art made with words.

Concrete poetry is a form of text art, like ASCII art and typewriter art. It’s also poetry, the genre known as visual poetry. Concrete poetry uses words and drawings to illustrate a poem. The words are in the image. The text itself forms a visible picture on the page, like a silhouette.

Calligram seems to be another word for concrete poetry. If there is a distinction between them I’m not sure what it is. Maybe calligrams are more about graphic art based visual poetry and concrete poetry is more text based. However they began the line between the two has become blurred.

You know concrete poetry when you see it because the word has become the art, the illustration and the picture holds the words inside it.

Sometimes the poem is written in a shape which can be read in different ways but still make sense. For example, a circle which can be read in any direction.

Concrete poets use use typography: fonts, shape, texture, colour, and sometimes animation to form text art into prose.

Concrete Poetry/ Calligram History

Simmias of Rhodes, a 4th century scholar and poet, created poems written in shapes relevant to the subject.

In the Middle Ages when Monks used concrete poetry to illuminate their written text.

Guillaume Apollinaire (Picasso’s friend) composed several calligrams.

Dolphin's Way

How to Critique of Calligrams/ Concrete Poetry

Is it easy to identify the picture with the text?

Is the image relevant to the poem?

Does the image add something (humour, deeper meaning, comprehension) to the poem?

Can the poem stand on it’s own as just a poem?

Does the text help form the image, does the text actually add something to the image?

Are there alternative ways of reading the poem?

Try Creating your own Concrete Poem

Get a general idea of something you could write about. Pick a topic or idea which creates images and thoughts in your mind right away.

Draw a sketch (like an outline) of the idea. Even if you want to work with ASCII art or typewriter art you sitll need a basic sketch to start with). Imagine yourself as a cartoonist who just has one panel, one image, to tell the story or explain the idea.

Write your poem, get the words at the end of each line to rhyme. Keep it short and keep it simple for your first try visual poetry work. Aim for a total of four rhyming lines.

Take your poem and fit it into your sketch. How do the words add to the sketch? Once you get this far you might change your mind about the sketch and draw it differently or start all over fresh, with a different vision for the image you use with your words.

Go from there and turn your sketch into text art and then type in your words. This adds another challenge as you will have limits imposed by the typewriter or word processing text itself. A hand drawn concrete poem can be moved in any way your hand chooses to draw it. If you create ASCII art, you will (hopefully) enjoy the challenge of concrete poetry and ASCII art.

text based art

Guillaume Apollinaire

Concrete Poetry: Artists and Links

Descriptive ASCII Art – Word Play in Text

somewhererainbowRebus Puzzles, Wordies, Visual Puns, Pictogram Puzzles and Descriptive ASCII

I’ve seen this kind of insight puzzle several times over the years but if I knew the correct name for it I had forgotten. They are called Rebus Puzzles, also known as Wordies. In searching for more of these online I have found them called a variety of names: visual puns, pictogram puzzles and Descriptive ASCII. When people don’t know the name, they come up with something themselves. I like ‘visual pun’ it makes sense.

Some puzzles are straight forward text (like those I’ve added below). Others include pictures and symbols too. There’s probably confusion about describing these styles and labeling them all with the same name.

If you get brain strained and want a different kind of word game, try BookWorm.

roundaboutAdding a New Element to ASCII Art

I like the idea of taking this a step farther as an ASCII art element. I’ve been working on ideas to create wordie puzzles (without pictures, just in text). They are a new element to add to text art. Kind of puzzling…

So far I find I am only thinking along the lines of puzzles which include directional words like “above, over, under, beside”. I think I can take the text puzzles farther once I wrap my mind around the idea of keeping them typed out rather than using graphic software which would let me move the words around the final image.

Maybe no one will understand what I’m talking about there. But, I do and it’s kind of a cool project for “someday”.

descriptiveASCII

Where the Wild Things Are: Choosing your Words

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, June, 10, 2003.

“The bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.”

This was on a button, a collection of buttons, on a website. I think it’s an interesting point.

How much trust do you put into someone’s words. If they make it into black and white are they gold? Or do you think about what they say, compare it to your own ideas, values and common sense?

Then, do you go a step further and consider who the writer is. What influence do their own values have on their writing. After that, do you think they are a good source to base your opinions or actions on? Never stop using your common sense as a guide, no matter how grand the authors seem.

Just as you should never copy someone’s Book of Shadows and claim it as your own. It will never be yours, why would you even want it to? Your opinions should be your opinions, not a copy of someone else’s life and thoughts. Stretch your mind, take a chance and have opinions and experiences of your own.

In the end, people who believe everything they read and copy it as their own, never are anything but a clone – a copy. Be unique, be an individual, take a deep breath and step out into mid-air, invent something new – yourself!

How Can You Help But Love Elizabeth?

Story behind this photo:

H.M. The Queen, accompanied by H.R.H. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, paid a Jubilee visit to Nottingham and, during the three hours in the East Midlands city, attended a children’s event in which the 5-to-10 year olds were asked to present something to celebrate the Jubilee. Out of the more than 1,000 children attending, six were chosen to give their own speech to the Queen, of 50 words or less, that expressed their devotion and admiration for Her Majesty’s long reign.

The last child to say his piece was 8-year-old Devon Parker who stood at the microphone 25 feet in front of the Queen and, as a result, the royal photographer caught Her Majesty’s reaction and response.

Devon Parker: “Your Majesty, I think you are the nicest old lady in all of England , but I wish you weren’t so old because, if you were younger, you would live a lot longer.

Thank you very much.”

The Queen’s reaction and reportedly her response: “Now, what can I say to that!?”

PRICELESS.

Where the Wild Things Are: Writing for a Wiccan Topic

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, April, 19, 2004.

I have this twisted compulsion to take on more stuff than I can actually do. It’s a form of madness.

Anyway, now I am starting a new Wicca/ Witch site for a network called AIA (All Info About). Why? Because it’s there. Also, because I thought of an idea and then I had to put life into it. In other words, do it.

So, this is going to be a Witchy site for people who are Witches. Not looking for converts, going out of my way to explain or defend Witches or Wiccans. I wanted to call it “The Living Witch” but that didn’t work out with the format they use. So, I will use that somewhere else. I plan to set up a blog as part of the site. Something I can add bits of stuff to as I go along. My idea of a Book of Shadows.

The rest of the site is going to include sections like: a regional directory of Witch groups, traditions, art, career, romance and relationships, home and garden, environment, health and beauty, spiritual, holidays, and hobbies. I’m sure this will change as I actually get started and change my mind about what will work. But you get the idea, I hope.

So many sites about Wicca leave out the reality, the living of it all. How many times do you really need or want to see the same information about sabbats and rituals? Let’s see how it works together in real life.

If anyone has ideas or articles to contribute let me know. It would be nice to hear from you anyway. Later, when the site is up I will send the URL out with this newsletter. Likely this will integrate into the site too.

Take care,

Laura