A Quote to Start Things Off

"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

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

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Going to my First Indy 500

When I think Indy, I have to admit that I am much more prone to think of Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. or a movie or music project without the backing of a studio or a record label long before I think of the State capital of Indiana (which is less than 4 hours drive from me) or the motor sport or the 500 mile race that happens most every Memorial Day.

That may be about to change as I am going to attend my first Indiapolis (Indy) 500 this weekend.  I used to know quite a bit about Indy Car driving when I was in middle school and AJ Foyt won his 4th Indy 500 (The first of only 3 drivers to complete that feat).  That was pushing 45 years ago, and for all intents and purposes I am a newbie notbe when it comes to motor sports these days. That being said, here's a few drivers I will have my eyes on as they blur past me on Sunday.

Simona De Silvestro of Paretta Autosport

The Paretta car was the last to qualify this past Saturday in the 33 car field.  

Last Years Winner: Takuma Sato

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 17, 2021

White Sox Leading Major Leagues

The White Sox have been playing pretty good of late.  But I did not realize until this morning that they were as of games ending 5/16/2021, the best team in baseball.  The Sox started the season started the season 1-3 but finished April with a respectful 14-11. So far in May the Whiite Sox have gone 10-4 including winning 8 of their last 10 games. This chart of the Top 16 teams in the major leagues shows which teams along with the White Sox are playing .500 ball or better almost 2 months into the season.  

RankTeamWinning Pct. MLB Power RankingLW PowerDivision RankingWild CardLast 10Streak
1Chicago White Sox.61513ALC 1------------8-2W1
2San Francisco Giants.60062NLW 1 ------------6-4W1
3Boston Red Sox.59521ALE 1 ------------6-4L1
3Oakland A's.59595ALW 1 ------------6-4W1
5Houston Astros.585410ALW 2ALWC 18-2W6
5San Diego Padres,58554NLW 2NLWC 17-3W3
7Toronto Blue Jays.564109ALE 2ALWC 27-3W2
8St. Louis Cardinals.56186NLC 1 ------------5-5L3
9Cleveland Indians.5531215ALC 21/2 GB ALWC6-4L3
10L.A. Dodgers.55037NLW 3NLWC 25-5L1
10New York Yankees.55078ALE 3 1/2 GB ALWC 6-4L1
12Tampa Bay Rays.5481312ALE 4 1/2 GB ALWC 6-4W4
13New York Mets.5291111NLE 1 ------------7-3L3
14Milwaukee Brewers.5121414NLC 21.5 GB NLWC4-6W1
14Philadelphia Phillies.5121613NLE 2 1.5 GB NLWC 5-5L2
14Seattle Mariners.5122119ALW 32 GB ALWC4-6W2

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.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Avengers: Endgame Cast Sings "We Didn't Start the Fire"

The A to Z challenge is finally over and back at HSD I am finished blogging every day for the month of April.  Yesterday in my  A to Z reflections post, I quoted from We Didn't Start The Fire to show how many people mentioned in the song were alive in 1921.  Today I am sharing this parody of WDSTF about Avenger's Endgame.  Excelsior!

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.  

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip