A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

Search Me!

Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

2024 A to Z Challenge

#AtoZChallenge 2024 badge

Friday, June 21, 2024

The Last Haircut of My 50's?

 Yesterday I got my hair cut.  It's been very hot in Illinois and my hair has seen better days. So I got my hair cut.

                                                                        Before Haircut

                                                                          After Haircut

                                                      Day After Haircut / After Shaving

I got a two all over which is perfect for the hot weather and swimming.  When I get my hair this short it literally dries while I'm waiting in line for the diving board. My hair grows back rather quickly, but I hope that as short as I got it cut that I won't need another hair cut until late September making this my last haircut of my fifties.  I will probably need one more when school starts but just in case I made this post for posterity.  

Sunday, May 26, 2024

100 Days of Summer Reading 2024

Summer is right around the corner and it is time for me to endeavor once again to get into one of my favorite past times: Summer Reading.  My Summer reading season generally goes from Memorial Day (tomorrow) to Labor Day (which is September 2nd this year).  By starting today and ending Labor Day, the season is 100 days long.  

I want to read at least 10 books during this period.  That is an absolute minimum goal.  I think I would actually be disappointed if I only read 10 books this Summer.  That is basically only one  book every week and a half.  I really have my eyes set on twenty, Which is 1 book every five days for a fortnight of weeks.  

Now when I say read, I really mean consume.  I may listen to some, and read some on a device, but the majority will be physical books which I will read from the printed page.  There are some books that I am in the middle of reading, if and when I finish them this Summer I will count them.  There are some reading programs that do not allow this,  but mine is not one of them.  To keep myself honest each year, I don't start reading any books the week prior to Memorial Day.  I've been so busy lately, that I don't think I've read any books for the last two weeks,  

My lack of recent reading could become problematic as I am out of habit.  Over the next few days I hope to remedy that by jumping back into the waters of reading.

Here is a list of 10 books that may be some of the first I finish this Summer.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

This is probably a good time to stipulate that some of the books I plan  to read this Summer, I actually will be re-reading.  Earlier this month, in my A to Z Reflection, I wrote about my plan of reading all the Narnia books again this year, and then doing the 2025 A to Z challenge on the series.  I wouldn't be at all surprised, If I finished all 7 prior to Labor Day

Walking With Sam by Andrew McCarthy

Many of the books I read during this program are books that I own.  I picked this one up last year at a meet the author event.  My wife has already read this story of McCarthy's walking trip with his son on the Camino de Santiago.  I read some of it last year but will be starting anew as I'm not sure where I left off.

Luke: The Gospel of Amazement - Michael Card

Michael Card is one of my favorite singers, but I also enjoy his writings.  This was going to another one that I started over from the beginning. I just page through it and I remember most of the introductory material from reading it earlier this Spring.  I'm going to start again on page 32 which is a chapter about Luke chapter 1.

Eugene Onegin byAlexander Pushkin

Years ago I lived on Pushkin Street in Khabarovsk, Russia,  This Summer I will again be attempting to read Pushkin's verse novel, Eugene Onegin,  I have been very off again Onegin (pun very much intended) with this one.  For the past few months I have been  consistently practicing Russian for the first time in decades.  If I can wade through the English translation, maybe next year I'll attempt it in Russian.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post about my plan to read FOTR (I have never finished it) by September 2nd, which is the 53rd anniversary of his death.  I am about 1/2 way finished and if I only read 1 book this Summer it needs to be this one.  If I'm not done by 4th of July I will start listening to it as well as reading it.

1984 by George Orwell

Speaking of books that I've  never finished.  2024 should be the year I finally finish 1984.  I've had to return a copy to the library twice this year, but I'll order one today from them and should be finishing it very soon.

Concise Theology by J.I. Packer

The 3rd book so far with initialized authors.  I have read this book multiple times over the years.  This year has been a little different as I've been reading one chapter at a time and highlighting that chapter as I read. There are 94 chapters and I have completed 24.  It is very possible I will not get through all 94 by Labor Day.

The Cooperstown Casebook by Jay Jaffe

  In my sports blog, Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog, (which has now been incorporated into this blog), I write a lot about Baseball's Hall of Fame.  Jaffe writes in this book about who he thinks are Hall of Fame worth candidates.  I am looking forward to finishing it soon.  

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

As of yesterday, all my children are officially finished with their secondary education.  Which of course means they are all finished with their primary or elementary education as well.  I, on the other hand, will probably never be finished with  children's literature.  To that end, I'm dusting off a favorite tome from our home school days and planning to enjoy it anew this Summer.  

 Theo of Golden by Allen Levi

Now that school is over, I am looking forward to re-reading Allen Levi's fiction debut.  I believe I gave my copy away.  So, I may need to wait until I get a summer job and a summer paycheck before I get to this one.  

Don't be  too surprised if I finish other books before or instead of some of these  these 10.   I will try to post a review of each book as I finish them.  I'm not always successful when it comes to that part of the program, but we shall see.  3 short weeks after Labor Day I will turn 60, so this is my last Summer Reading Challenge of my 50's.  I think that will make it that much more enjoyable.  

Friday, May 24, 2024

Light Bulb Poem

Today was the last day of school and the only thing sadder than saying goodbye to my students for the Summer is saying the same thing to my computer.  Substitute teachers in my district need to borrow a computer each time they teach and return it at the end of the day,  Classroom teachers are able to keep their computers year round as long as they are employed by the district.  As a building sub, I am able to borrow a computer at the beginning of the year and not return it until the last day of the year. So today I had to say goodbye to my dear friend and I am back to borrowing computers from friends and libraries until the 24/25 school year gets under way. 

Before I returned the computer to the media center, I cleaned out any files I may have had put on there during the course of the year.  I came across a poem, I had written but forgotten all about.  I don't remember what my inspiration was. I think it may have stemmed (no pun intended) from one of the science classes I was subbing in.  Or it may have been am ELA assignment or maybe just a prompt form my poetry group.  In any case it was in a Microsoft document in a borrowed computer and is now a submission to Poetry Friday which is being hosted this week by Michelle Kogan.

 Growth Mindset


Standing on Our Failures

In cartoons,  when an unsolvable problem is about to need a new adjective, a light bulb goes on over the thinker’s head.   
When Thomas Alva Edison 
Or T. Alva Ed 
Was inventing the light bulb 
What went on over his head?

Idea after idea after idea 
More than 10,00 all told 
Which he did not view as failures 
But as steps to the goal. 

With each setback I think 
I would have felt like a jerk 
But Tom discovered 
ways that his bulb wouldn’t work 

Inspiration is a light 
Perspiration is when we fight 
To perfect our ideas 

Now when I have a bright idea. 
And the light bulb shines 
I stand on other's failures 
And a whole lot of mine.

To get back to Poetry Friday click here.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip