Humor, Lifestyle, quarantine, Writer

Jokes in Chalk

At intervals along the sidewalk in my neighborhood, a kid had written jokes in chalk.

At first I didn’t pay any attention.

But then I started to read them, and they were funny.

What is orange and sounds like a parrot?

A carrot.

I had to take a second lap around the block to read the ones I had missed.

Great job, Kid!

We’ve got a budding comedian in the neighborhood.

Now I expect to be entertained for the rest of the quarantine.
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Humor, Lifestyle, quarantine

I Took A Long Walk

I took a long walk by the creek behind our house.

It’s been raining, so there was a lot of water.

And a lot of frogs.

Or maybe toads.

Who knows?

I couldn’t see them.

But I could hear them.

They were loud.

It kind of freaked me out.

They sound a lot like the Geiger counters in Chernobyl.

I knew I shouldn’t have watched that disaster show in the middle of our own disaster.
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Family, Home, Humor, Lifestyle

Tiger King


Everyone is talking about Tiger King.

So I started to watch it.

I immediately determined that I lack the proper level of Quarantine Desperation necessary for this show.


I have started a concurrent binge of Prodigal Son and True Detective.


These are both really good stories.


I’ll keep Tiger King on the back burner.


If The Husband and I can ever be bothered to have a Quarantine Fight, I’ll watch Tiger King with the volume way up high.


Just to annoy him.
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Family, Home, Humor, Lifestyle

But We’re on Quarantine…


What else will make you crazy during social isolation?

The Grown Son has been staying with us.

He is working from home.

My home.

He huffed in objection when I asked him to pick up his mountain of crap so I could sweep the floor.

“But we’re on quarantine,” he objected.

“My standards are not on quarantine,” I informed him.

He moved his stuff.

I swept.

He was annoyed.

Whatever.
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ESL Teacher, Lifestyle, Toastmasters, Video Conference

Six Tips to Improve Your Video Conference

I work online, and I do video conferencing every day. Now that we are well into our quarantine, and we are all communicating online, I want to give six tips to improve your video conference.

  1. CAMERA POSITION

Make sure your camera is at eye level. If it is anywhere else, it is going to give an odd perspective. If your laptop is set up on a low coffee table, it is looking up at you, and your audience sees you distorted. They see huge knees. They see up your nose. They see the underside of your chin. Perhaps they are even getting a crotch shot. A downward view is equally distorting. Raise or lower your camera so your image is at eye level.

  1. IMAGE POSITION

Position the top of your head to the top and center of the screen and make sure your image covers more than 50% of the screen. Stay there for the entire conference. To keep yourself from skooching down, sit in a secretary chair or a wooden dining room chair. Chairs with arms and upholstered furniture lend themselves to slouching on camera. Check yourself often so that you continue to sit up straight and occupy more than 50% of the screen.

  1. LIGHTING

Do not put your back to a window. You will be seen in silhouette.

  1. BACKGROUND

Keep your background clean and clear. A blank wall is best. If you don’t have a blank wall, then position your camera for a close up shot so that your face takes up most of the screen. This will lessen the distraction of the background.

  1. MOVEMENT

Sit still. If you use a standing desk, stand still. The camera doesn’t know what to focus on when you are moving about. I have seen many people on video calls this week with their bookcase in focus rather than their face because they are moving around, and the camera doesn’t know where to focus.

  1. SOUND

Mute yourself when you are not speaking. Small sounds that you don’t notice in person can be heard by everyone else. Keyboarding, finger tapping and dogs yapping are all very loud on the mic, even if they are not loud in person.


Let me know if these six tips to improve your video conference have been helpful.

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