A QUOTE TO START THINGS OFF WITH

A QUOTE TO START THINGS OFF




They were my kinfolk, my people - many of whom I'm still friends with today, though we've scattered across the country, spilling out in different directions as fast as we could once we'd tossed our graduation caps in the air.

Aimee Nezhukumatathail - World of Wonders


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It's In the Past

Three Dave's No Waiting

Saturday, June 5, 2021

A Lifelong Dream


 Ever since I was a boy, I have had a dream.  It is a typical boyhood dream, but nevertheless, it was my dream .  I wanted to work for a baseball team, specifically  for the Chicago White Sox as their starting third baseman.  It turns out I was not much of a ball player.  I wasn't even a starter on my little league teams. Over the years I modified that dream somewhat.  I dreamed of perhaps being a broadcaster, that way if a job at 3rd base ever opened up I'd be ready to take over.  

A few years ago my brother had a Confirmation party for his daughter at the party suites of a local minor league team.  He shared the suite with a neighbor whose daughter had also been confirmed that day and is the operations manager at the ball park.  My brother introduced me as a guy who is passionate about baseball and whose dream job would be to work at a ball park.  He didn't mention the part about 3rd base probably because there's not a lot of rookies in their 50's.   His friend mentioned the possibility of a job  an usher.  I thought that might be a good job to consider for the next summer.  The next summer was 2020 and there was this little thing called Covid, maybe you heard of it, and since there was no season there was no where to ush.  

Eventually things got a little bit back to normal ,and by April of this year, I was back to working my pre covid jobs as a substitute teacher and  cashier/usher at a local movie theatre.  Last week the school year ended and on one of my last days at school my wife called me and said she had a crazy idea.  I love crazy ideas, so I was all ears.

"The Kane County Cougars need concessions worker this summer, you and I should get jobs there." she told me.  I told her that was not a crazy idea at all and we both  applied that day. When I was applying, I saw they were also hiring 15 year old's with a work permit.  My 15 year old daughter was also looking for work. so she applied as well.  In short order, we all received emails from the Cougars and  were scheduled for interviews.  Lucy's school year ends a week later than the district Amy and I work at so we scheduled the interview for the day after her (Lucy's) school ended.  When the interviewer saw that we were all in the same family he took us all in together.

Lucy, had never been interviewed for a job before but it became obvious to Amy and I pretty early in the process that we were all going to be hired.  It wasn't until we were leaving and the interviewer said very clearly that we'd all been hired that Lucy realized it.  She was ecstatic and couldn't believe it was that easy to get a job.  Amy and I will be working as cashiers and Lucy will be working in the picnic area.  As we will only be working home games, it still gives Amy and Lucy quite a bit of vacation time this Summer and I will be able to work out my schedule at the theatre so I can work both jobs.  

I have always kind of felt bad for people who work concessions at the ball park as they can't enjoy the game as they are helping others to do the same thing.  As I prepare for this job, I look forward to going to the ball park every day and being part of the festivities.  Even if a third base position doesn't open up sharing this job experience with my wife and daughter make it a dream job.  


The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Last 5 Next 10 Schools Out Edition

 Today is the last day of my school year.  This means no more substitute teaching until August and time to start thinking about Summer.  Specifically summer vacations. summer jobs and summer reading.  Before I get too far involved in that it's probably a good time to recount the last 5 books I read.  


Last 5 Books


Hondo by Louis L'Amour

Why I chose this book: Having gone 56  years without reading a single  Louis L'Amour book, Hondo is the 4th I've read this year. I had recently watched the filn version of this book and wanted to see how it stacked up

Type: Book (read myself)

How Obtained: Borrowed from local library

Rating: Loved


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Children's Classics


Why I chose this book: I chose this book because I like to read at least one Jane Austen book a year.  It turns out I accidentally chose the children's version and did not realize it until I was halfway through it.

Type: Audio Book through my phone

How Obtained: I borrowed this book  from my library using the Hoopla app.  This is how it took me awhile to figure out I was "reading" an abridged children's version.

Rating:Liked only becuase it was a shortened version of this amazing book.


Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen


Why I chose this book: After mistakenly listening to the children's version.  I wanted to listen to the unabridged version

Type: Audio Book though my phone

How Obtained: I borrowed this book from my library using the Hoopla App

Rating: Loved


For The Love of Mike - Mike Royko


Why I chose this book: I saw this book on the shelves at my local library and remembered with fondness all the newspaper columns I had read of Royko's.  So I decided to read this second anthology of his best columns that were published after his death in 1997

Type: Book (read myself) 

How Obtained: Borrowed from local library

Rating: Between liked and loved. 

Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson


Why I chose this book: One of the blogs on my blogroll, Andy Unedited had a post called The Fruit-Tree Structure  that used the book Just Mercy as an example of that way of organizing a non-fiction book.  As I read that post I remembered that I gave that book to my wife for Christmas in 2019 shortly after we had seen the film adaptation of it.

 

Type: Book (read myself) 

How Obtained: Previously purchased for wife as a Christmas present.

Rating: Loved.

2021 Book Stats as of 5/25/21

When I read 5 books in 72 days I tried to put it off as a little deceptive.  Unfortunately I followed that with 5 books read in 73 days which is almost exactly the same.  If this keep us I will only complete 25.43 books by the end of the year.  Summer is when my reading usually picks up in the summer so  when I finish 5 more books I will hopefully have a more optimistic report.  

10 Books I'm  Reading or Planning to Read Soon


In my inaugural next 10 list I mentioned that the list would fluctuate beyond just crossing out the books I had read previously.  It turns out I was right. I finished 3 books from the list although I did "read" one twice. Looking at those that remain only a few will be on my current list.

Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Unaborted Socrates - Peter Kreeft

41 A Portait of My Father - George W. Bush

News of The World - Paulette Jiles

The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman

World of Wonders- Aimee Nezhukumatathil

In The Year of The Boar and Jackie Robinson - Bette Bao Lord

The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis

Schulz and Peanuts - David Michaelis

Concise Theology - JI Packer




Monday, May 10, 2021

The Best 82 I ever bowled



In April my blogging efforts are almost entirely spent on the A to Z challenge. This doesn't mean I don't have other content that I am pursuing.  I just don't usually have the time, inclination or energy to get into it.      On one of the last Friday's in March  Amy, myself  and the girls went bowling.  I wrote a draft of this the next day but all thing A to Z kept me from completing it until now.  

About 25 to 30 years ago I decided I would try to bowl in every state. When Amy and I got married, she embraced that and quite often when we were in a new state for the first time we  woud bowl  I'm not an especially good bowler, even though it used to be one of my favorite things to do . I used to bowl somewhere between 80 and 120 a game.  If I broke 100 I'd consider it a good game.  Over the last 10 years, 100 has become more of a rarity.  I have my own ball, but lately when we have bowled it's been at the spur of the moment, and I have not brought my ball.  My ball is probably a little too heavy for me now, but when I found out we were going bowling I decided to bring it.  

I did not start well.  I ended getting1 pin down in the first frame. two more in the second frame and then 2 straight gutter balls in the third frame.

At this same point all of my family members were bowling better than me, and my wife was suggesting that I switch to a lighter ball.  I decided that better or worse I would stick with my ball.  I knew though, that something needed to be done and on the next frame I decided to go with the Fred Flintstone approach.


  

  I generally do this novelty move once each time I bowl and always have fun with it and also a bit of success.  I have bowled many a strike with the "twinkletoes" approach. However, this was not the case on this occasion.  I guttered to the left, mustered what was left of my pride and attempted the maneuver again only to gutter to the right. 

3 pins in 4 frames, quite the auspicious start,  So, when in the 5th frame when I got 7 pins down on the first roll it more than doubled my previous score even though I guttered the 2nd ball.

. In the 6th frame, faced with the prospect of my lowest score ever, things began to get a little better.  I changed my approach and instead of bowling in stride I stopped at the line and then sent the ball down the lane.   I got a strike and followed that up with a spare in the 7th or 8th.  I knocked down pins in all of my first rolls during the 2nd half of the game.  As I started the 10th frame.  I had gained 59 points since the Flintstone debacle in the 4th frame,  I was the last to bowl in our party and I had already caught up with my daughters and was just a few pins behind Amy.  (Nobody was especially bowling well, but we were all enjoying our selves)

I was able to get a spare in the 10th frame and followed it up with a strike to end the game.  It was a definite tale of two halves. I had a score of 10 entering the 6th frame and bowled 72  (88% of my  total score)  in the latter half to finish with a normally measly 82.  But as I said in the title it was the best 82 I ever bowled.  


I'm glad I got  the ball rolling on post A to Z blogging.  I may still have a little more A to Z aftermath in the near future, but it's good to be back to abnormal.  

Monday, May 3, 2021

1921 A Musical Review: A to Z Reflection Post

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

1921 seems like a long time ago.  And in a way, it was.  Spending the month looking back at it through the lens of people who were alive then has given me the perspective that 1921 is still visible in our rear view mirror.  

Every morning on my way to work I listen to music from one or two artists and every few weeks I change up those artists.  Consequently, I have heard Billy Joel's. We Didn't Start the Fire many times in the past few weeks.  This was at the same time I was participating in the A to Z challenge and I was surprised as to how many people mentioned in the song, I had featured in my 1921 theme.  I have included the lyrics below wit links to all the people mentioned by both Joel and myself.  I have also placed in bold anyone in the song who was alive in 1921 but not mentioned in my posts.
Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, "The King and I", and "The Catcher in the Rye"
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana, goodbye
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock"
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather homicide, children of thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK – blown away, what else do I have to say?
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No, we didn't light it, but we tried to fight it
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shore, China's under martial law
Rock and roller, cola wars, I can't take it anymore
We didn't start the fire
It was always burning, since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on

 I knew I was going to mention more than 26 people alive in 1921. That being said, I was very surprised when I tabulated that I had mentioned 69 people and 1 stuffed bear that were around  in 1921.  

At the first mention of each these people, I always included how many years they had lived before 1921 and after 1921.  On average these people lived 30 years before 1921 and 48 years after.  This means my average subject was born in 1891 and died in1969. In 1891 there were 44 states in the U.S. 

During the challenge I tried to include material from my other blogs, both new material and previously published material on the people I was profiling.  I also tried when possible to include people living in 1921 who were still alive in 2021.  I started with Al Jaffee on my first post, Prince Phillip passed away during the challenge before I got to Q for Queen's Consort.  I discovered today that I had already included someone years ago in the A to Z challenge who is currently living.  In 2015 I participated in the A to Z challenge from, Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog and my theme was White Sox Home Run Hitters.  For E I wrote about Eddie Robinson. At the time Eddie was 94 years old and the 21st oldest living major leaguer.  Since then, Eddie has become the oldest living major leaguer.  He was born December 15, 1920.  That means I began the A to Z challenge with someone from 1921 who is still alive and I get to end the challenge the same way.  

I really enjoyed participating in the challenge again this year.  I have my theme all set for next year but first I'm going back to the simpler non a to z blogging lifestyle.  I am looking forward to the a to z road trip after a little rest.  Working for a century can do that to you.  

Friday, April 30, 2021

Z is for Zero,

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Z


                                                                                
                                                                                Zero Mostel
 
                                                                                Years lived before 1921: Six
                                                                                Years lived after 1921: Fifty Six

When I think of Zero Mostel, I think of Tevye from Fiddler On The Roof. I never saw him on Broadway and he was not in the motion picture version.  However I listened to the Broadway album many times as a kid and now own it on c.d.  He put his stamp on that role more than any other actor ever had.  

 Born Samuel Joel Mostel, he received the moniker Zero when performing  in the New York night club, cafe society because "he was a guy starting with nothing.  

Besides being a night club comic, he worked on the stage, in movies, and on television.  This career was derailed somewhat in the 40's and 50's as he was blacklisted in Hollywood before there even was a blacklist.  In 1952 he was officially blacklisted by the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and called to testify in front of HUAC in 1955.  His testimony is very reminiscent of Jim Carey's character's testimony in The Majestic.  One highlight is when he refers to his former employer 20th Century Fox as 19th Century Fox because of (in his opinion) their antiquated views.

By reading this it is pretty easy to infer that Zero Mostel was a little odd.  So it didn't surprise me that his 3 Tony awards were in odd years.  In 1961 He won best actor in a play for Rhinoceros.  In 1963 he won his first Best Actor in a Musical Tony for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum, and In 1965 he won his secon Best Actor in a Musical Tony for his career defining role in Fiddle on the Roof.  

Speaking of Broadway, Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder starred together in Mel Brook's movie The Producers which years later became a Broadway smash.  Mostel and Wilder reunited in the famous Electric Company segment Letter Man with Wilder voicing the title hero and Mostel in the role of the evil Spellbinder.  

Mostel also appeared on Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.  He is the only guest star on The Muppet Show who passed away before their episode could be aired.  Mostel is one of at least 3 of my a to z profiles who hosted The Muppet Show, the other two are Peter Ustinov and Ethel Merman.  Now that the A to Z challenge is over, I may watch all 3 of those episodes on the Disney Plus App with the extra time coming my way. 

So that's it 1921 A to Z has come to an end.  I wonder what anybody might say about it 100 years from now.

A To  Z Extra

Some of my Faavorite Electric Company Segments  at Dave Out Loud. This of course includes Mostel as the Spellbinder. 



   After you've looked at the additional content on my other blogs head back to The A to Z challenge and  continue exploring.