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, December 31, 2021

We Interrupt our Allen Levi Concert in Revese ...

For this New Years Evw Message from Allen Levi.

Nolan Ryan vs. The White Sox You win some and you lose some

If you mention Nolan Ryan and the Chicago White Sox many people conjure  an image of  Arlington  Texas August 4 , 1993. As depicted in the video below White Sox 3rd baseman
 and future manager Robin Ventura took exception to  being beaned by Ryan to start the inning rushed the mound and preceded to get pounded by Ryan.

I originally started this post a few months ago. Until that day, I never saw footage  of this incident.  I lived in Russian from December 1992 to November 1994 and even though I heard about the altercation had not seen the footage until now.  The melee was near the end of a storied career by Nolan Ryan. 

The Hall of Famer threw a record 7 no hitters from May 15, 1973 to May 1, 1991.  He also took 5 other  potential no hitters into the 9th inning.  The first of these disappointments came against the White Sox on 8/7/1974 when Ryan was with the Angels.

Watching the last inning of tthat game was very nostalgic for me.  The 1972-1974 Dick Allen era White Sox represent the beginning of my almost 50 year obsession with the White Sox.  Listening to Harry Caray call the action years before he headed over to the north side and  watching the likes of Allen, Jorge Orta, Ken Henderson and Bill Melton harkened me back to those early days. v

This game  features  3 future hall of famers in prominent roles.  Frank Robinson homered in the 2nd to give the Angels a 1 run lead.  Jim Kaat pitched a 9 inning gem scattering 6 hits and only allowing 1 run on the Robinson smash. Through 8 innings Ryan was the star of the show until the 9th inning when should be hall of famer Dick Allen broke the no hitter by running flat out on a check swing.  Click here to read a great account of the game along with a historical perspective of the time in which it was played.  Perhaps 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Comic Strips from the last week of 2021

 When  I was high school I started clipping comic strips from the newspapers and giving them to frieds or putting them up in my room.  As Newspapers are no longer anywhere near a quarter this would be a rather pricy activity these days.  Thanks to website like Go Comics and Comics Kingdom I can still peruse the funny pages and share them here.  These 6  strips are from 12/25/2021 to present.  

Also as you are directed to the strips I chose for you, you can page back and forth to other strips you might enjoy as well.  

Animal Crackers 12/28/2021

Rubes  12/27/2021

Dilbert 12/29/2021

In The Bleachers 12/25/2001

Bizarro 12/27/2001

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas 2021 (Random Acts)

Christmas 2021 

Happy Holidays!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_12921.jpg
A Sample of our 4th grade 5th grade warm cool color Christmas tree project
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aemma22-snow.gif
My Kids are much older these days but this picture evokes memories of Christmas Day.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fugitive.jpeg
Oddly enough, watching this movie has become a Christmas Day tradition.

Monday, December 20, 2021

12 new to me movies for 2022

 This post has been adaoted from a January 2015 post.

At the end of each year I like to reflect on the year past and prepare for the coming year. I have been thinking quite a bit  about some of my goals and whether I have achieved them this year. One goal I  set each year and have so far failed to achieve is to watch 12 movies I have not seen before.  

I like movies and have worked at a movie theatre since 2019. Besides watching new movies at the theatre, I tend to watch my favorites over and over.   I also like  to watch movies that are new to me and discover new favorites.    On many occasions I have attempted  to watch 12 new to me movies in the course of the year.  I may have accomplished this goal in the past, but I have always failed to chronicle it.  Next year,I will try again to  write a post each month about the "new" movie I have seen.

Let me explain the parameters I have placed upon myself.  When I say new movies, I do not mean 12 2022 movies at the theater.  I mean 12 movies released prior to 2022. Also, I don't only want to              watch movies made in my lifetime, I want to explore through all the eras of cinema.  

Here is how I am doing it:  I was born in 1964 and have divided that time in 4 periods and then divided the time prior to my birth into 2 periods.  These periods are: 

2007 through 2021
1993 through 2006
1979 through 1993
1964 through 1978
1949 through 1963
Pre 1934 through 1948

I will attempt to watch 2 movies from each era, and report back here each month with a review.  I was recently subbing for some  high school English  classes saw an assignment for a movie review.  I am going to use that assignment as the template for my monthly reviews.

  • I will rate each movie on a 1 (worst movie ever) to 5 (best movie I have seen) scale.
  • I will provide a 2-3 sentence summary of the movie.
  • I will share 1 theme from the movie.
  • I will write one thing I liked about the movie and 1 thing I disliked about the movie.
  • I will say who I think would make the best audience for this movie.  
The thing I like most about this type of review is that it is only supposed to be 1 paragraph.  I have failed many times in the past not to watch the movies but to chronicle them as I have had unrealistic expectations of the quality of such a review and the time it takes me to make a longer review. \

Last Thursday I finally watched The Matrix (1999) for the first time.  It was playing at my theatre in anticipation of Matrix Resurrection which opens soon.  When I told my wife that it was showing she noticed it was also on a streaming service we subscribe to so we watched it together after work.

Here is a  review of The Matrix following the template and giving me some practice for the task at hand next year.

In my opinion The Matrix deserves 4 of 5 stars for being a thrilling innovative and entertaining film that kept me on the edge of my seat. The Matrix appears to take place at the turn of the 20th century but the main character Neo discovers that all is not what it seems. His discovery leads him to another reality and to a choice of which reality he should follow.  Once Neo makes his choices he uses his new powers for the good of humanity.  One important theme of the movie is the concept of fate.  One thing I really liked about the movie was the fast paced frenetic action.  I disliked the intense violence of the movie, I was not aware that this series of movies are all R rated, I think the violence could be ratchetted  down a little for a PG13 rating instead.  This movie is best suited for sci-fi  fans who like post apocalyptic action films that are both dark and hopeful at the same time.  

A Flair for Melodrama

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Allen Levi, Concert in Reverse: Song # 13 Made to Fly

Allen Levi performed in a concert earlier this year and the venue that hosted the concert, SIlvan Guitars  posted the concert on their you tube channel.  In trying to trim the songs to share here, I discovered that I could start the videos anytime during the concert but it would end up playing the rest of the concert after playing  the selected song.  

This gave me an idea to post these songs in reverse performance order. Today I start with the encore, Made to Fly.  When I return soon with song # 12 you will have the option of watching song 2 and then the end of the concert.  In a few weeks time you will be able to watch the entire concert in a backwards progression.  I hope you enjot this concert in reverse.  

Monday, December 13, 2021

Minoso, Kaat, Hodges and Oliva make Hall. Dick Allen snubbed again.

 On Sunday, December 5th of this year.  The Golden Days Era Committee voted on the 10 candidates up for the Hall of Fame.  Before they met I wrote my analysis here.  We had a busy day on Sunday celebrating my Daughter's 16th birthday a day early and picking out and decorating our Christmas Trees.  It wasn't until my daughter's actual birthday the next day, that I saw the results of the voting.  The Committee voted to put Minnie Minoso, Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges and Tony Oliva in the Hall.  In my opinion they are all worthy of induction.  I am especially happy about Minoso and Kaat's election. also the look on my Dad's face when he heard that Gil Hodges, who hit a home run at the first MLB game he ever attended was one of the biggest thrills of my life.  

However as much joy as I feel about who the committee did include pales in comparison to the misery I feel about the exclusion of Dick Allen who for the 2nd time missed the HOF by 1 vote,   Allen was my first White Sox hero and in my opinion more deserving than any of the aforementioned 4 of enshrinement.  

Some might say that I'm not objective, as I've already declared that He was my hero. The truth is he was my hero over 50 years ago and for years I accepted the story that he had not played long enough and was not a high character guy as legitimate reasons for him not being in Cooperstown.

Over the past 10 years as I have  learned more about the racism he encountered in Philadelphia from the fans and the Press and as the advanced stats that were not available until a few decades ago that have validated his career as one of the best players of his generation have made me realize that my first White Sox hero is probably the best baseball player not in the Hall of Fame. (

is one of many fine articles that articulate why he should be in the Hall.)

I guess it is possible to be  deeply disappointed and delighted at the same time.  I am delighted that Minnie Minoso long career has finally been validated, and at the same time,  I am deeply disappointed that Dick Allen's family could not celebrate along with Minoso's.  I am also hopeful that in 5 years time when the committee meets again that Dick Allen's HOF caliber career will finally be recognized. 

Jim Kaat HOF class of 2022

Minnie Minoso HOF class of 2022

Gil Hodges HOF class of 2022

Tony Oliva HOF Class of 2022

Dick Allen
Still Waiting???!!!???!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

My Golden Blogging Birthday

12 years ago today.  on 12/12/09 I premiered this blog with the following post ...

Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog: Hello Sports Fans: There's a new blog in town! I have been blogging for almost a year at my main blog: Home School Dad. Like me, my blog is eclectic. I ...

12 years later this blog is still kicking.  Which is pretty surprising as blogging is certainly not what it was in 2009.  But as long as I keep enjoying putting these semi whenever sports rants I will continue to do so!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Feline Friday: You can lead your human to your food dish but you can't make them feed you.

Our family has 2 cats, let's call them cat 1 and cat 2.  Two weeks ago I participated   in my first Feline Friday at Comedy Plus by telling a story of how they are nowhere to be seen when company comes a calling.  This week I caught some footage of their normal behavior when they encounter me.  They do act differently for other family members, but  this is their catus operandi for their interactions with me.

Cat 1

 As you can see, Cat 1 uses me for 1 thing and 1 thing only, to have his food refilled.  He will meow and walk over to his cat dish when he sure I will follow.   could not capture his signature move, continue to meow for food while I am in the process of pouring it, because due to the hiring crisis, I have had to film my own cats recently.

Cat 2

At first Cat 2 seems like one chill cat.  However, as I get anywhere near him he just runs away.  He'd be a perfect Covid cat as he is excellent at maintaining a six foot distance.

For more Feline Friday click here. If you care visiting from Feline Friday be sure to catch some of my signature moves by checking out some of my more recent posts. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The difference: A Six Sentence Story

I have not participated in Six Sentence Stories at Girlie on the Edge's blog for some time now.  Each Sunday she gives a  prompt word and then later in the week posts a link to share the stories. This week's prompt word was guide.

The Difference

The sun was setting on the life of Edison Solomon, who had never really achieved the wisdom or ingenuity of either of his namesakes.   Solomon, a trust fund baby born in 1941, the same year Walt Disney released Pinocchio, who  had never learned to let his conscience be his guide or learn from his mistakes laid in his hospital bed wondering if he had many any difference in his life.  The wondering wasn't real, only something to pass his fleeting time away; he knew he had made no difference at all during the first and now final 80 years of his life.  Edison knew that the 8 weeks, give or take, he had left on this mortal coil was not nearly enough time to make up for his  misspent youth, middle age, and old age.   3 failed marriages had produced no offspring, which was good as 3 failed businesses  had produced no sizeable inheritance.  He had no time for religion in his life before this point. but when the doctor had asked him if he had wanted to see the chaplain he listened to his inner Jiminy Cricket for the first time in forever and said "sure, why not?". 

To see more 6 word sentences or perhaps to submit your own click here to view this week's edition


I am preparing the concert in reverse that I talked about in my 100th post. It will feature an Allen Levi concert from earlier this year. This morning I recieved a message from You Tube that Allen had a new video. I Hope that you all are as moved by it as I was.

Friday, December 3, 2021

A Parking Lot Filled with Clown Cars

 Adventures in Substitute Teaching

I recently listed my work as a substitute teacher among things I'd like to post more about here. There is certainly no dearth of  topics in that regard so let's start with one of the things that has surprised me about my job as a sub, all the running.  

I primarily teach in elementary schools.  It seems like all  of the elementary schools in my district   could be called Forrest Gump Elementary because wherever most students are going they are runn-ning. 

Most of the running takes place when individual or small groups of students are walking (and I use that term loosely) in the halls during or between classes, for example on their way back from their locker or the bathroom.  This also happens before or after  school  on the way to or from lunch or recess,  or on  their way to or from specials (STEM, P.E, and Music to name a few).  If it seems like it happens all the time it's because it happens all the time.  I stop students from running at least 30 times a day.

Before you get the impression that the running is all done in the hallways there is plenty of running in the classroom itself.  I have students who are just going 10 feet to the pencil sharpener but as soon as they get up, they are sprinting. 

 This is where I get most conflicted with my job as an educator/traffic cop.  I have been the long term art sub at my school since the beginning of the school year.  I have 4 rules I tell my kids.  The 3rd is be safe, and running in the halls, classrooms, and stairs is,  in the words of Ralph Nader, unsafe at any speed.  My conflict stems from the fact that the first and last of my rules are have fun.  As a teacher, I never want to crush the childlike spirit in my students.  There is a natural exuberance that comes with being a kid.  My oldest daughter never walked anywhere until she was about 7.  Until then she skipped everywhere she went.  She was homeschooled back then but regardless  I would have not have wanted to be the teacher who had to tell her to stop skipping everywhere. 

As the art teacher,  I travel every day into the student's classrooms pushing a cart with supplies for our activities.  As I mentioned, I stop at least 30 kids a day from running while rolling from class to class.  These are often the same students over and over again.  I'll stop a  kid they will walk a few steps and then just start running again unaware or not caring that I still have eyes on them.  

The biggest bang for your buck, running wise , at our school is at 2:10 when students begin to get dismissed for the day.  I teach a class downstairs until 2:05 and as I walk my cart to the elevator, the hallway is like a parking lot filled with clown cars. Children pour out of every classroom to go wait for their parents cars to pick them up, followed by a second burst of kids through every door to get in line for the busses.  While many kids are walking a good sized and speedy minority is off to the races.  The process repeats itself when I get off the elevator on the second floor.  
I have run in 3 5k's this semester and I have to admit that somedays I just want to run down the hall with them and I can't deny that some of them show some really good form.  Perhaps I should get off my safety kick, get a stop watch in  hand and start recruiting these kids to colleges on a track scholarship.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Randy Stonehill - Live at Creation Fesitval (1984)

Cosmetic Fixation from Equator

Keep Me Running from Welcome to Paradise

Stop The World from Celebrate This Heartbeat

Shut De Door from Equator

Big Ideas (In The Shrinking World) from Equator

I'll Remember You from Celebratew This Heartbeat

Good News from Welcome To Paradise

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Friday, November 26, 2021

Feline Friday: When the House is Full, Our Cats are MIA.

  I am sort of participating in Feline Friday at Comedy Plus today,  I say sort of participating because I am not following their prescribed rules of posting a picture, cartoon or video of a cat.  What I offer instead is a cow eating grass style anecdote of why our scaredy cats hide when ever people and especially dogs visit our abode as they did yesterday for Thanksgiving.  6 relatives and a dog-in-law partook in turkey, ham, cranberries and yams yesterday and our cats blipped off the radar into the basement as they are wont to do.  I could take a picture of them now as they are in full post holiday hover mode in the next room but in this case no picture is the best picture of what happens when visitors come to call.  

For some legitimate Feline Friday entries click here.

Golden Days Era Ballot

 On January 25, 2022 the attention of the baseball loving public turns once again  to Cooperstown, New York for the announcement of  those who will be inducted into the  2022 class of Baseball's Hall of Fame   

Each year the BBWAA (Base Ball Writer's Association of America) is tasked to pick among the most elite of the previous generation of ballplayers who will be placed with the rest of the legends of the sport.  

This process now can take approximately 15 years as players are placed on the writer's ballot 5 years after retiring from the game and players are allowed to be on the ballot up to 10 years while trying to receive the 75% of the sportswriters votes  needed to be elected to the hall. 

This is not the only avenue available for players to be enshrined into Cooperstown.  There is a path for players not elected by the BBWAA as well as managers, umpires and executives to be included into the HOF.  This path formerly called the veteran's committee now has 4  individual committees  based on the era that the individuals were involved in the sport: The Today's Game Committee (1988 to Present) , Modern Baseball Committee (1970-1987), The Golden Days Era Committee (1950 to 1969) and the Early Baseball Era Committee (1871-1949).

At least one of the committees meets each year at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings . The Today's Game and Modern Baseball Committees meet twice every 5 years.  The Golden Days Era meets once every 5 years while the Early Baseball group meets once every 10 years.  On December  5th of this year the Golden Day's Era Committee and the Early Baseball era  Committee (each comprised of 16 members)will both vote on 10 people to be considered for Cooperstown.  Any one receiving 75% of the vote or more will be among those announced in the Hall of Fame on 1/25/2020 and inducted on Sunday, July 24th 2022. 

The remainder of this article is about the Golden Era Ballot.  

These are the  9 former players and 1 former manager who are under consideration on the Golden Era Ballot

Dick Allen  Years Played:  1963-1977 Teams: Philadelphia Phillies , Chicago White Sox , LA Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals,   and Oakland Athletics 

Allen was the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year when playing for the Phillies and the 1972 AL MVP for the  White Sox as well as a 7 time all star.  Allen has been considered by the committee on 3 past occasions missing enshrinement by 1 vote in 2015. Dick Allen passed away on December 7, 2020 at the age of 78.

Ken Boyer Years Played: 1955-1969 Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers, NY Mets, and Chicago White Sox.

While Dick Allen was earing his NL Rookie of the Year award in Philly, Boyer was the  NL MVP  for the 1964 World Champion Cardinals. He was also  an 11 time all star with 5 gold gloves at third base.  Boyer has also been considered by the committee on 3 past occasions.  Ken Boyer died on September 7. 1982 at the age of 51.

Gil Hodges Years Played:1943 - 1963 Teams: Brooklyn & LA Dodgers and New York Mets.

Hodges was an 8 time all star with 3 gold gloves,  He played for the World Series Champion 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1959 WS Champ LA Dodgers.  He managed the 1969 Mets so he has caused a little misery to both Chicago teams over the years.  Hodges has been considered by 4 previous veteran's committees, the most recent being in 2015. Gil Hodges only  lived to the age of 47 dying on April 2, 1972. 

Fun Fact: Gil Hodges homered in the first baseball game my Dad ever saw on 6/28/1953 in County Stadium in Milwaukee.  Fellow Golden Era nominee Dick Allen homered in the first White Sox game I ever went to but I think I had been to a few Cubs games before that.

Jim Kaat Years Played 1959-1983 Teams Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins (same franchise), Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. 

Kaat is a 3 time 20 game winner (twice in a row with my beloved White Sox), a 3 time all star and owner of a whopping 16 consecutive gold glove awards. Kaat pitched in the 1965 World Series for the Twins as they lost to the Dodgers and in 1982 pitched in the World Series as his Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers. Kaat has been considered on 3 previous occasions missing enshrinement by only 2 votes in 2015. Jim Kaat is one of 3 living former players on the ballot and turned 83 earlier this month.

Roger Maris Years Played 1957-1968 Teams New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians. St. Louis Cardinals,  and Kansas City Athletics.  

Maris won back to back AL MVP awards in 1960 and 1961  for the Yankees  In 1961 Maris broke Babe Ruth's home run record with 61. Maris was in 7 all star games , 7 World Series (winning with the Yankees in '61 and in '62 and with the Cardinals in '67. Maris has been on the veteran's ballot 1 previous time in 2007. Roger Maris lived until 1985 dying at the age of 51.

Minnie Minoso Years Played: (1946-1980) *includes his time in the negro leagues and his return to baseball in 1976 and 1980* Teams: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Cubans, Washington Senators, St. Louis Cardinals.

Minoso had a life time batting average of .298 and was 37 hits shy of 2000.  A 9 time American League All Star (4 time all star with the negro leagues). Minnie had 4 gold gloves and his only post season play was when the New York Cubans won the Negro League World Series in 1947. Minoso was the first black player to play for the White Sox.  Minoso has been on 4 previous Veterans committee ballots, in 2015 he received 8 of 16 possible votes.  Minnie Minoso died in 2015 less than 9 months before he would have turned 90.  

Danny Murtaugh Years Managed (1957-1976) Team Pittsburgh Pirates

Murtaugh is the only person on this years Golden Days Era Ballot that I had not previously heard of. Murtaugh played  second base for the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Braves, and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1941 to 1951 in between serving in WW II.  As a manager, Murtaugh led the Pirates to two World Series championships in 1960 and 1971 and managed 3 all star games..  Murtaugh has been twice considered by veterans committees previously in 2008 & 2010. Danny Murtaugh died at the age of 59 on December 2, 1976 just 2 months after retiring as the Bucs manager.  

Tony Oliva Years Played (1962-1976) Team Minnesota Twins

Oliva like Murtaugh did as a manager, retired from playing baseball after the 1976 season.  In the American League( like Dick Allen in the NL)  was  the 1964 Rookie of the Year. Oliva won back to back AL batting crowns in 64&65 and a third in 1971 and was an all star for 8 consecutive years beginning in his sensational '64 campaign. Olivia received as much as 47.3% of the BBWAA votes in his 15 years on their ballot.  This is his 5th time being considered by committees and like Allen he missed enshrinement by only 1 vote  in 2015.  Unlike Allen, Tony Oliva who turned 83 earlier this year may still be alive if Cooperstown does finally come calling.  

Billy Pierce Years Played 1945-1964) Teams Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, 

Pierce is among  5 former White Sox players being considered for the HOF by the committee this year.  While he neither began or finished his illustrious career with the Sox, he hurled 13 seasons for the pale hose and had his # 19  was retired by the club back in 1987. Pierce was a 7 time all star and was the AL pitcher of the Year in 1955 with an  era of 1.97.  Pierce was on the veterans ballot for the first time in 2015.  Billy Pierce died in 2015 at the age of 88.  

Maury Wills Years Played:1959:1972 Teams Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos.

Wills was a 7 time all star with back to back gold gloves at shortstop in 1961 and 1962. In 1962 Wills was the NL MVP as well as the All Star MVP.  He played in 4 World Series for the Dodgers winning the championship 3 times. This is Wills 4th time being considered by the veterans committee  receiving 9 of the minimum 12 votes needed for enshrinement back in 2015.  Maury Wills turned 89 this past October.  

Fun Fact: Wills, Pierce and Hodges all played in the 1959,  World Series.  This does not include Minnie Minoso  who  played for the White Sox   in all but 2 seasons between 1950 and 1961.  Alas, one of those season was 1959, otherwise 4 of the 10 players on this years ballot would have been in that  series.  


This is a very deserving class and itis more than a little mind numbing that some of these players were not enshrined long ago.  I have a well earned reputation as a Sox homer so it should not be surprising that I think I can make a good argument for inclusion into the HOF for 4 of these former southsiders. That being said, I think the two most logical candidates for enshrinement this time out are the two players (Dick Allen and Tony Oliva) who missed it by one vote in 2015.  This would allow for my first  White Sox hero to achieve in death what I think he most certainly earned in life and to have Oliva avoid the same speedbump on his eventual road to Cooperstown. 

If there are more than these 2 enshrined look to Kaat, Wills and Minoso as the logical candidates. The rest of the field are also quite deserving and have 1 two time MVP in Maris and 1 MVP in Boyer not to take anything away from Pierce, Hodges or Murtaugh.  I guess we will have to wait until December 5th to find out if any of these fine baseballers are Cooperstown bound.  We've been waiting  so long for some of them, what's another 10 days?

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

JJ Heller - God Is Still Here (Live)

Haven't shared for a while. I have been greatly encouraged by  this song. You can listen to the official version of the song on Spotify by clicking here.

Sunset on Pumpkins


 I am participating in Wordless Wednesday at Comedy Plus. Click here to see more submissions.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Things I'd like to post more about.

 Blog Insider: A look behind the curtain at HSD

Tonight's Episode: Some things I'd like to post more about.

When I first started blogging I kept a notebook with all the blogging ideas I had and would cross them out when I wrote about them and add more as the ideas come to me.  This got to be a bit of a problem as I would often not have my notebook when I got an idea and often could not find my notebook when I was working on my blog.  Also, not all of my ideas were blog worthy.  Some were time sensitive and by the time I got to writing them down they were no longer relevant.  Some just worked better as an idea but did not make sense when they saw the light of screen.  

I have decided to make one of those lists as a blog post to give me a reference point I can't leave in my other coat and also to give the readers (if there are still any out there) an idea of what sort of things are interesting me these days.

  • I would like to write more about my work as a substitute teacher.
  • I would like to write more about my ADHD.
  • I would like to write a little about the combination of my ADHD and my work as a substitute teacher,  
  • I have began recompiling my list of my 100 favorite movies.  I would like to write more about the particular movies and my process in compiling the list.
  • My wife and I have have lost over 100 pounds this year.  I'd like to write about my weight and my goal to stop yoyoing and get down to my weight in high school.
  • I would like to share more poetry here.  Which means I'd like to write more poetry.  
  • I would like to take more pictures and post more pictures.
  • I would like to write more about my faith.
There are certainly other things I'd like to blog more about, but at this present moment these are the forms of content I'd like to delve into more in the future.  

I am also thinking of making some wholesale changes in my my blogging presence  at the beginning of the year.  I currently have 4 blogs active and am finding keeping those active more and more challenging.  I once commented to someone that as long as I am posting at least once a quarter on each blog I would be satisfied.  I have certainly been doing that but I'm noticing some redundancies and have spending a lot of thoughtspace on how to more efficiently scratch my blogging itch in the months and years to come.  

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Reflections on Keith's birthday.

Today is Veteran's day. It happens each year on the 11th of November. November 11th has had special significance to me since 1970. I was in first grade at Queen of the Rosary school in Elk Grove village and Mrs. Newman was my teacher. Some of my classmates were Dennis Morrison, Bob Gore and Dick Lynch. The special significance of 11/11 has nothing to do with Veteran's day but with the birth of my brother Keith. 

 Keith was the 4th child in our family and was born when I was 6, my older sister was 7 and my brother Chris was 4. In 1970 Keith was the 38th most popular boys name. That statistic would have been meaningless to me except that my brother Keith died in April of 2009 at the age of 38. Today he would have turned 51, but to me he will perpetually be 38 until we are reunited in Heaven. 

 My parents are still living and as of this writing live in the same house as they did when Keith was born. I was visiting them yesterday and I forgot all about it being Keith's birthday today. It wasn't until this morning at announcements at school that I realized it was Veteran's day. My first 3 classes today were teaching 2nd grade, kindergarten and 1st grade art classes. It was strange to remember that I was in first grade when Keith was born and unsettling to realize Keith's children were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade respectively when he passed away. 

 I used to think of Keith all the time after he passed away. Over the years I haven't forgotten him or anything like that, but 12 1/2 years of life has moved on while Keith remains more or less at a fixed point in time. I'm feeling a bit of survivor's guilt today. My children have grown up or are in the process of growing up with both their parents. My niece and nephew lost their Dad before they were even tweens. I remember what a loving father Keith was to his kids but it makes me sad that they don't have many memories of him at all. 

 Over the years I have endeavored to stand in as much for Keith as I could for his children. I will continue to do my best in that regard, but today I'm just a guy who misses his brother.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Captain Kirk actor "Shatners" oldest person in space record


For Captain James Tiberius Kirk space was the final frontier.

For William Shatner, the actor who portrayed him on network television, Saturday Morning cartoons and multiple motion pictures space was just another step in a long and illustrious career.  The 90 year became the oldest person in space on October 13th ,making the trek from science fiction to science fact.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Colors of the Rainbow | Color Song for Kids | Learning the Colors | Jack...

I work as a substitute teacher in a local school district.  I have been doing this for the last 4 school years and have found that I really enjoy it and seem to be good at it.  Since January of this year, I have been doing mostly long term subbing which usually means filling in for a teacher or paraeducator on maternity leave.
A few days before the beginning of this school year I was contacted by my wife/s principal  (My wife is a school pyschologist) who wanted to know if I would teach her schools art classes while they searched for a permanent art teacher.  I had  previously done  two shorter stints subbing for the art teacher at that school and found that while it was a little out of my comfort zone it also landed firm in my sweet spot.  Buoyed my my previous experience I quickly agreed.  

 My students range from kindergartners to 5th graders.   II like tend to teach between 2 or 3different lessons to encompass all the age groups.  The activities, and types of content will vary.  With the younger students I like to supplement the activities with stories and songs. Jack Hartmann. a forever young 71 year old children's singer with unbridled makes some of my favorite videos for the pre-school to 2nd grade set.  I'm currently starting my k-2 classes on warm and cool colors with this great Jack Hartmann video.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

I'm trying an experiment.

 It's been quite a while since I've posted here.  So I have set my timer for 15 minutes have put on Larry Norman radio from pandora on Alexa which is playing Rich Mullin's oddly enough.  I am going to just type for 15 minutes and see if I can produce a short message.

As the school. year started this year, for about 3 weeks I was working 3 jobs.  I have had a long term sub assignment as an art teacher at my favorite elementary school.  I also had been working along with my wife and daughter at a minor league baseball park selling concessions.  There was a section in the employee handbook that said I had to disclose to my supervisor if I wrote in a blog, but I think that was written 20 years ago when blogging was more common place.  The problem was  that my supervisors would change with almost every shift and the supervisors I did tell didn't know what a blog was.  I also continue to work 2 nights a week at the movie theatre.  I was very glad when the baseball season ended in early September and I could get back to the relative ease of working only 2 jobs.

The problem with getting back into blogging was 2 fold.  The first our family has 3 birthdays in a 3 week period in September which kept us all on our toes.  The 2nd is that once you get too busy to do something like blogging or reading which both came to an abrubt halt it's hard to get them back going again.  

I lost 30 pounds this Summer.  The trick will be not to find it again this winter.  I am counting calories consistently for the first time in my life and it seems to be working okay for me.  My wife and I are doing it together which is better than going it alone.

My timer just went off so I will continue this again hopefully soon with the opening sentence.  I always told myself that when I got under 250 pounds I would start running again.  

Music listened to during past 15 minutes: 

Larry Norman - UFO

Rich Mullins - If I Stand

Randy Stonehill - King of Hearts

Rescue Story - Zach Williams

Why Don't you look into Jesus - Larry Norman


Batting .500 on first round of very biased MLB playoff predictions

Right before the MLB playoffs began I wrote down my predictions for the playoffs and posted them here.

I picked the White Sox to win it all, which might seem the ultimate heart instead of head choice, but I 80% believed that the Sox could be the 2021 World Series Champs.

Of course, this was not meant to be.  The Astros beat the White Sox in 4.  It was a series of blowouts with Houston winning 3 of the blowouts and the Sox winning only game 3.  The White Sox had their chances leading 3 0f the 4 games but the Astros led all 4 games and their hitting was relentless.

In my other ALDS prediction I correctly picked the Red Sox to beat the  Tampa Bay Rays in their AL East rivalry. I also correctly picked the NL Wild Card (and 2020 reigning World Series champ) LA Dodgers over their NL west rival over the San Francisco Giants. 

In the pick I felt less certain about I did pick the Brewers to beat the Braves in the other NLDS and I was quite wrong about that.  (Fun fact: Both the Brewers and the Braves once called Milwaukee County Stadium their home. ) It's just as well as the Dodgers Braves NLCS match-up is a rematch of my the first baseball my game my Dad ever attended.  This was back when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and Jackie Robinson played for them and the Braves were playing in Milwaukee.

The Red Sox lost game 1 in the ALCS and the Dodgers Braves NLCS gets underway today,  Now that the White Sox are out of the mix, I am not as invested in the results but I would not be surprised if any of these teams were to win the World Series this year.


Monday, October 11, 2021

Album Spotlight: Peter Paul & Mommy


Peter Paul and Mommy 1969 Warner Brothers

I used to love to make mix tapes from my album c.d. and cassette collections. Often I would record an album spotlight where I would feature 4 or 5 songs from the same album and mix it in with other songs on a 45 minute cassette. I found I can basically do the same thing in a much shorter time on Spotify. I am also less limited by space so instead of choosing 45 minutes of songs I chose 20 songs.

The first album I decided to do this with is Peter Paul and Mary's award winning Children's album Peter Paul and Mommy. Unfortunately, I didn't discover this gem of an album in 1969 when it first came out. This is too bad, as I was 5 in 1969 and at the perfect age for many of the wonderful songs on this album I did eventually discover it when my own children were at the perfect age to listen to it.

Click here to listen to the entire playlist.

My favorite 5 songs on the album (in alphabetical order) are ...

Boa Constrictor

Christmas Dinner

Going to the Zoo

It's Raining

The Marvelous Toy

An additional 5 songs featured on the playlist are ...

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - Bob Dylan

Grandma's Feather Bed - John Denver

The entire album has a singing around the campfire feeling. I guess it's not surprising that many of the songs I chose to accompany songs from the album were songs that I sang around the campfire over the years. Grandma's Feather Bed is a song that I learned over the campfire years before I ever heard Denver's rendition

Wedding Song (There is Love) - Noel Paul Stookey

On my album spotlight playlists, I like to feature songs by the artist or solo songs from the group that are not on the album. Noel Paul Stookey is the Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary and The Wedding Song was performed by my sisters at my and my wife's wedding, so it was a slam-dunk choice for the playlist.

Snuggle Puppy - Eric Stoltz

I also like to include songs from the album's same genre on my playlist. Snuggle Puppy is a song from the book c.d. combo Philadelphia Chickens featuring the lyrics and artwork of Children's author Sandra Boynton. Like Peter Paul and Mommy this song (and the entire album) was a favorite of my kid's growing up. I could totally see doing an album spotlight in the future on this amazing project.

Carolina in My Mind - James Taylor

I think groups like Peter, Paul and Mary paved the way for the folk-pop music of the 70's. This is why I added a little JT to the mix.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at one of my favorite albums. I hope to do another one here real soon.                                                                  

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip