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

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Pictures of Memories I

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

2024 A to Z Challenge

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Sunday, November 29, 2020

OPV: What's In The Bible: Judges

I have shared this video here before. It was back in April 2016 when I was doing Y is for You Tube as my theme for the A to Z Challenge.

Instead of rehashing my intro from then here, I will just add this.  

My older daughter hates this song.  Because a) many family members use to sing the song excessively and b) many of the same family members sang it even more regularly upon receiving that information.  My part in that fiasco can not be elaborated on any greater than that due to a plea-bargaining agreement.  However, I am not breaking my parole, by sharing it here.  

I just realized that that particular clip cuts the song off after one chorus and leaves out many of my favorite parts.  Since I believe this song is best when listened to multiple times.  I am including the full video here.  But be careful, multiple listening is part of what led to my legal problems.  Can you and your family handle it? You be the judge!

Friday, November 27, 2020

10 Things I'd Like to See the Republican Party Do Now That The Election is Over.

 Dear Ms. Milano,

I am writing to you and to an extent all the signatories of your recent open Letter regarding HB 481 to Georgia Governor Kemp and Speaker Ralston and to anyone else who reads it, but ostensibly, I am writing to you.

First of all. let me begin by saying by saying how I appreciate how passionate and articulate you are. I really do commend you that you took a stand on an issue that you are passionate about and related it to your current work situation. I appreciate how you gathered like minded people in the same situation to express your opinions. Expressing social and political concern is everyone's responsibility and I for one am glad to see you doing it, regardless of whether I share your concerns or not.

In this world we live in our opinions can often be expressed in hashtags. #HBIsBadforBusiness seems to express yours. I take a differing view. If I had to express myself hashtagedly, I might say #HBisGood4Babies. The bill ,which I hope Governor Kemp signs into law, protects unborn babies at the point that their heartbeat can be recognized. In my mind this shows them to be something different than a part of the mother, to be disposed anyway she sees fit. We may well fundamentally disagree on this point, However a distinct heartbeat is more than adequate medical evidence to make me think that my view is the correct one.

My Dad used to say to me my right to wave my fists in the air ended squarely at his nose. This is how I feel about abortion and reproductive rights. A woman's reproductive right ends squarely at that cute little babies nose. A fetus with a heartbeat is a far cry from a mass of cells invading a woman's body. 2 years ago my wife had a mass of cells invading her body. Since it was my wife, my opinion was get those nasty cells out of her body anyway you can. Now, my wife wasn't pregnant, she had breast cancer and her cancerous cells certainly did not have any chance of ever becoming viable on their own or having their own functioning beating heart.

Ms. Milano, I would not be surprised at all if some of those disagreeing with your and your fellow signatories opinion might propose boycotting your artistic endeavors. I think that's a bad idea. As strongly as I feel about these issues this does not mean that anyone who disagrees with me needs to be punished economically. I certainly wish you the best in all your endeavors. I hope you in time can come along to my way of thinking that it is babies that need your protection and eloquent defense much more than reproductive freedom ever did,

Dave Roller

Saturday, November 21, 2020

I Am Depressed | Dianna Paige | TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool

This Fall my daughter Lucy joined the speech club at school. This surprised no-one as she is a natural performer and attends a  performance arts academy at her High School. At the speech club each student chooses one or more events to perform at weekly meets. Lucy is doing Humorous Interpretation. Because of Co-vid all the performances are virtual. 

 Amy and I both volunteered to help judge the events. We had done similar volunteering when Lucy was in speech tournaments in grade school. Again, the judging is virtual. I am extremely impressed with the talent these kids have. One event that I judged at the last tournament was where students perform other peoples speeches. The 6 I judged were all Ted Talks. While I am certain that I could not share these performances on my blog and would not even think to do so, the source material of theses speeches were so compelling that I plan on sharing some of them here.

 I have to say, that with all the other videos, I have shared here over the years I am surprised I never thought to share a Ted Talk before. 

 I am starting with I am Depressed by Diana Page as Mental Illness is a pretty big part of our family and I think this speaker (and the student who performed it in the tournament) both do a great job of bringing a topic many people still feel uncomfortable discussing and making it a safe topic. 

 As Fred Rogers so elegantly put it ... 

“Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” 

I Am Depressed 

By Dianna Page

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2021 Official Hall of Fame Ballot.

 On Monday November 16, 2020 The Baseball Hall of fame announced the 2021 BBWAA (Base Ball Writer;s Association of America) ballot.

There are 14 players returning to the ballot and 11 players on the ballot for the first time.  Mark Buehrle who pitched most of his career for the White Sox is among the 11.

There are no players on the ballot for their 10th year.  I have all the other players listed alphabetically under what appearance on the ballot this is for them.

9th appearance            8th appearance             7th appearance   

Barry Bonds                   Jeff Kent                        Gary Sheffield

Roger Clemens

Curt Schilling

Sammy Sosa.

6th appearance            5th appearance            4th appearance

Billy Wagner                 Manny Ramirez             Andruw Jones

                                                                             Scott Rolen

                                                                             Omar Vizquel

3rd appearance            2nd appearance            1st appearance

Todd Helton                   Bobby Abreu                  Mark Buehrle 

AndyPettitte                                                           A.J. Burnett

                                                                               Michael Cuddyer

                                                                                Dan Heren

                                                                                LaTroy Hawkins

                                                                                Tim Hudson

                                                                                Torii Hunter

                                                                                 Aramis Ramirez

                                                                                 Nick Swisher

                                                                                 Shane Victorino

                                                                                 Barry Zito

The results of the voting will be announces January 26, 2021.  This  year I did not get around to the analysis for the HOF that I have been providing for over 10 years.  I hope this post shows I plan to remedy my absence for the 2021 ballot.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Muzak Lessons: Sometimes You're The Windshield

Muzak Lessons; Sometimes You're the Windshield

The premise of this feature is to take music I overhear on the PA system at my grocery store and  try to dispense some wisdom from it.   At my grocery store they tend to play the same songs over and over on a regular basis.  Some songs are on a heavier rotation than other songs.  There are 2 songs that get played twice seemingly every 8 hours shift.  There are other songs like this one that has a lighter rotation.  I hear it about once every week.  

The Bug - Mary Chapin Carpenter 1992

Now before I try to teach some life lessons from this song, I need to set a couple facts straight.

 1) I am not the first blogger to mention this song and wax poetic about it. Patricia J Finley had this to say about the song back in 2015.

2) While the Mary Chapin Carpenter version is the version they play at my grocery store , and the only version I had heard before starting to work on this article (in fact I didn't hear this song at all until I started working at the grocery store this Spring), her version is just a cover.  The song was written by Mark Knopfler and was originally released by Dire Straits.  You can find the lyric in their entirety here.

The Bug - Dire Straits 1991

I like both versions of the song.  The lyrics are a little easier to understand in the Chapin version. Although I think I do prefer the Dire Straits version a little better. 

The key lyrics to either version are found in the chorus ...

Sometimes you're the windshield
Sometimes you're the bug
Sometimes it all comes together baby
Sometimes you're a fool in love
Sometimes you're the louisville slugger
Sometimes you're the ball
Sometimes it all comes together baby
Sometimes you're going to lose it all

2020 has seemed more like a bug and ball year than a windshield or Louisville Slugger year .  But the truth as usual  is a little more simple and a little more complex than the lyrics of a song. It's true, life has it's mountains and it's valleys.  It's victories and it's defeats.  

Life sometimes seem like a flip of a coin determines the outcome.  I believe that God is in control of this universe.  God brings us out of difficulties that were beyond our  control and also delivers us from the folly that we authored ourselves.  

In Psalm 40 David  wrote a song of deliverance.  He did not know what a windshield or a Louisville Slugger but he certainly had his troubles (like ours many were self inflicted).  To end this post I am sharing Psalm 40 and put highlighted some of the verses that spoke to me.  

40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.[a]
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance[b]
    in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain
    your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
    ever preserve me!

12 For evils have encompassed me
    beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
    and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
    my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me!
    Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
    who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Ben Cross & Jackson Scholz 1984 American Express commercial

There were no olympic games this year. I missed them this summer and became nostalgic about all things olympics. This was compounded when I heard that actor Ben Cross passed away on August 18th of this year.  He was best known for portraying Olympic runner Harold Abrahams in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.  

I came upon this commercial for American Express that ran during the 1984 Olympic games. It featured Cross and Jackson Scholz. Scholz like Abrahams ran in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, France. 

Keith for 50

Today is my brother Keith's birthday.  He would have turned 50 today. He died in April of 2009 at the age of 38.  Over the years I have written a lot about his life  and death many of those posts can be found by clicking here.

Over the years I have also written about a musician friend of mine Allen Levi.  He also lost a brother and chronicled their story in an excellent memoir called The Last Sweet Mile. I mislaid my copy a few years ago when we moved into our current house.  It is probably in a box in the basement some where.

I found 2 posts I wrote about Keith that I wanted to share.  One was written on 11/11/11 which was a birthday he has been looking forward to as it resonated firmly in his mathematical mind. The other was written a year earlier than that when he would have turned 40.  I will reprint it here as it is also features the aforementioned Allen Levi.

Big 40 minus the birthday boy

My brother Keith would have turned 40 today. He died 18 months ago so he never quite made the milestone. When My Mom turned 40, my Dad put a banner across our garage that read "Jeanne's 40 today. But don't tell anyone!". We lived across from the local library at the time and man people people became aware of the event. When I turned 40, Amy had a surprise party for me and had one of my favorite musicians, Allen Levi, fly in from Alabama and sing at my party. He performed the following song among others...

 When Amy turned 40, relatives teamed with me so I could give her 40 rolls of quarters. (Amy loves quarters) Keith died 18 months ago, so he never quite made the milestone. Keith was born on Veteran's day and loved that his birthday was celebrated by many people even though they might not be aware they were doing so. Today as you reflect on the men and women who served our country in the military. Reflect also on the men and women boys and girls who left the party before we had a chance to throw them one.

Meanwhile back in 2020

On occasions like this I really want to say something profound about Keith.  Instead I'll just say this...

There really has never been anyone exactly like him.  .  I find it fitting that Keith's 50th birthday falls on the heels of the death of Alex Trebek.  He loved Jeopardy and even auditioned for the show, easily making it to the 2nd part of the process.   Keith excelled in trivia but there wasn't anything trivial about him. Keith was Bi-polar but his mental illness did not define him.  What defined Keith was a world class mind, a kind and gentle spirit, a quirky and quick sense of humor, a simple but abundant faith, and a love for his family and friends.  

Keith visited me when I was living in Russia, teaching English as a Second Language and working as a Baptist Missionary.  One day Keith and I were on a bus on the way to visit a family I knew.  Keith heard someone speaking Spanish and started talking to them in Spanish.  I didn't realize how much Spanish Keith knew.  He studied it  a little in High School but picked it up mostly working at McDonalds.  The Person Keith was speaking to was a  Brazilian missionary who had only been in the Russia  for about 2 weeks.  He spoke very little Russian no English,  ,some Spanish but mostly Portuguese.   Keith invites him to visit this family with us. We get to the families house they have never met Keith or this guy before. The family consisted of a high school girl that I was tutoring in English, her college aged sister and their mother. Their English ranged between somewhat fluent and none at all. This family loved foreigners and were really interested in getting to know Keith and this Brazilian betters.   The guy from Brazil  would speak in Spanish, Keith would translate it into English and I would try to  translate it into Russian.  Then we would reverse the process.  Keith would get off on these crazy tangents and try to explain an idiom or a pun  and I would have no way to translate it with my limited Russian.  

Everybody had a wonderful time.  When I would see that family or that missionary after that they always commented on how much they enjoyed that evening. This is not surprising.  Keith made life an adventure. When I hear Spanish, I sometimes remember the day Keith turned a bus ride into a party.  He may have left the party early but he certainly made a lasting impression. 

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

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