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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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.  

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip