Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Program
Summer Reading Program: May 29th Through September 5th

A QUOTE TO START THINGS OFF WITH

I see a young boy Saying He's going to run away. Deep inside, It's already happened. Ronny Dibbern (Grade 8) From Ten-Second Rainshowers: Poems by young people. Compiled by Sanford Lynne

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Poetry Friday: Hosting Next Week ,Way Back Machine This Week


Greetings Friday Poetry People.  I just came back from a month volunteering at a camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my family.  It was an amazing time.   One minor drawback was there was very little access to Wi-Fi and such things and I did not get to read many blogposts let alone participate on any Friday Poetry events.

I did get to perform some of my poetry at a crew talent show so that was good. I didn't write any poetry while I was there and am saving the one I was working on before I left for next week so today I am going back to the archives.  

Here is one from 3-11-1993  


Untitled

John Doe rests uneasily

Albeit eternally in the county morgue

Found outside a supermarket

Slumped against the cart return rack

On a different cart now

The contents as generic


Doe, John

Motionless on the table

A poem prepared for publication

The venomous white space atop the page

Leaves the editor no choice

But to mark the work: Untitled


An unnamed man

Alone in a dimly lit parking lot

Breathes his last amid

Unread circulars and candy  wrappers

Leaving behind no glimpse of history

No hint of next of kin to alert


Height and weight can be measured

Eye and hair color observed

Blood type determined

Age only guessed at


The death certificate

Marks the cause:

Natural


Margaret  is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday event at Reflections on the Teche. You can check it out by clicking here.  Today is Margaret's Birthday so you may want to congratulate her on that as well.



Thursday, July 7, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #10: The Stranger in the Woods



Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #10: The Stranger in the Woods:   

Poetry Friday: The Problem of Good.




 It's Thursday night so we all know that mean's it's time for Poetry Friday.  This week's festival of free verse, carnival of couplets, and symposium of sonnets is being held at Bookseed Studio.


I went through about 1.3 million drafts or so of this poem before I got this far. I was driving my family crazy with all the revisions.  Here is what I came up with ...

The Problem of Good.

I tried feeling good

       But ...

Feeling good fades.


I tried being good

       But ...

Being good is impossible


I tried doing good

Doing good is filling a leaky bucket

One exhausting drop at a time


Then I remembered

God is good.

I can ...

Feel His Goodness

Be His Goodness

Do His Goodness

And...

That's not bad. 


For more Poetry Friday click here.






Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book # 9: Between Heaven & Hell (Plus Next Ten)




Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book # 9: Between Heaven & Hell:   

This was not only my 9th book of my Summer Reading Program but the 35th book I read this year.  This puts me on pace to read 69.39 books by years end.

Next Ten

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
Knowing God - J.I. Packer
Immanuel: Reflections on the life of Christ- Michael Card
Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Devin Brown
Writing Poetry from tje Inside Out - Sanford Lynne
What to Do on Thursday - Jay Adams
Dorothy L Sayers - A Biography: Death, Dante, and Lord Peter - Colin Duriez
Dreyer's English - Benjamin Dreyer
Great Short Poems - Paul Negri - Editor
The Light of His Presence - Anne Graham Lotz

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Poetry of Music: How Can They Live Without Jesus

 I have really enjoyed my short time as part of the Poetry Friday community.  Up until a month ago or so, I would just occasionally see links to it on some of the blogs I follow.  It wasn't until 4 weeks ago that I started posting there.

I love music, and I have a very eclectic taste in music.  There are many things I enjoy about music, but I think overall I am drawn to the lyrics.  Today's "Poem" is actually lyrics from a song that I think would make excellent poetry.  I think once a month or so, I will share some of these songs here and post them as well to Poetry Friday, which by the way is being hosted this week by Janice at Salt City Verse.

Today's Poem/Song is How Can They Live Without Jesus by the late Keith  Green. 

Before I reveal the lyrics, a few quick comments about them and the writer.  Keith Green was a contemporary Christian musician (CCM)  from the mid-'70s to the late '80s who died in a plane crash in 1982. He was a gifted pianist, singer, and songwriter. 

This song has a very strong and clear Christian message. It is a message that many may take umbrage with.  I don't share it here to be divisive or evangelical.  While I agree with the tone and the message of the song, I share it here because I think it's great poetry. I find it thought-provoking, and at the same time, it is enjoyable.  

How Can They Live Without Jesus 

How can they live without Jesus? 

How can they live without Gods love?

How can they feel so at home down here,

When there's so much more up above?


Throwing away the things that matter,

They hold on to things that don't.

The world has gone crazy, 

But soon maybe,

A lot more are gonna know.


For maybe they don't understand it

Or maybe they just haven't heard

Or maybe we're not doing all we can

Living up to His Holy Word.


'Cause phonies have come 

And wrongs been done

Even killing in Jesus' name

And if you've been burned,

Here's what I've learned:

The Lord's not the one to blame.


For He's just not religion

With steeples and bells 

Or a salesman who will sell you

The things you just want to hear


For His love was such

That he suffered so much

To cause some of us

Just to follow, follow


So many laughing at Jesus

While the funnies thing That He's done

Is love this old stubborn rebellious world

While their hate for him just goes on


And love just like that

Will bring Him back

for the few, He can call his friends

The ones He's found true

Who've made it through

Enduring until the end

The ones He's found true

Who've made it through

Enduring until the end


If you are interested in hearing the song, here is a rendition by the CCM vocal group, Glad.






How can they live without Jesus appears on the Kieth Green album, No Compromise.  


I wrote a poem this week which will have to keep until next Poetry Friday.  For more of this week's, festivities click here.


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Down to the Last Strike: A Six Sentence Story

 I am participating today in the Six Sentence Story Thursday Link Up at Girlie on the Edge's blog. 

The basic idea is to write a story consisting of six sentences only.  Each week a word prompt is given to base the story on. This week's prompt was: strike. 

Down to the Last Strike. 

Frank only understood one thing in his life, baseball; everything else was like watching a movie in one unintelligible language with subtitles in another unintelligble language.

Baseball had absorbed his life for too long now: obsessed with it as a kid, endowed with an incredible gift to play his favorite game on a high level, and then lucky enough to get drafted by his favorite team.

His luck and his signing bonus-grubbing wife ran out nearly simultaneously after a career-ending injury before his professional career really even started. 

He stumbled at first but soon, Frank was making the transition from player to scout; until he got the news about his Dad's cancer.

Frank only understood one thing in his life, and that was baseball - everything he knew, his Dad had taught him; the greatest of those lessons was you play the game down to your last strike. 

Frank knew that life wasn't all peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and was now absorbed with something more than baseball: rooting for the home team.  



For more six-sentence stories, click here.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #7: Little House on the Prairie




Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #7: Little House on the Prairie:   

What Jim Edmonds Greatest Career Catches has to do with my ADD

My ADD gets in the way of my everyday life but it often leaves a pleasant wake in it's path.  Today, right now in fact,I was getting ready to leave the house on what will be a very busy day. I couldn't find my phone and when I found it it was totally uncharged so I needed to charge it.  I noticed it had earbuds in it that were not working on my phone last night when I was trying to listen to Moby Dick before I went to bed.  So, instead of plugging in the phone and continuing to get ready to leave.  I took the earbuds plus the phone to the computer to check if the earbuds worked on the computer, which they did.

I thought the best way to check it, would be to go to YouTube .  Instead of going to the video I was going to look up, I got distracted by a Jim Edmonds video and began watching the video of his 8 amazing catches.  I liked it so much, I decided to post it here. I also googled Jim Edmonds HOF and found this good article about his qualifications to be voted in by the veteran's committee.  I was right about to go back in my archives and see  if I voted for him on my mock ballot when he was eligible, when my wife walked by and asked if I found my phone and then reminded me it still needed to be charged.  I'm going to go back now to my busy day, which I just made a little busier for myself. Thanks ADD!.

When I post this in a few days, the today referenced at the top of this (6/24/2022) will actually be in the past.  How long in the past? Only my ADD can say for sure.  For now: enjoy this video of great Edmonds catches that my ADD left in it's wake. 



Thursday, June 23, 2022

Poetry Friday: For The First Time



I hope you are not confused by the title of this post.  It is simply the name of the weekly blogging event  I am participating in, and the title of my poem which will appear therein. 

I did not mean to imply that I was participating in Poetry Friday for the first time.  This, in fact, is my 4th appearance in as many weeks.  Prior to that, I was an irregular reader of some of the entries through links to some of the other poetry blogs I follow.  My blog is not a poetry blog as such, it is more a mixed bag of miscellany in the shape of a blog. It is true that I am certainly on a poetry kick these days. While this is not the first time I have posted on Poetry Friday, this is the first poem I have written specifically with this blogging event in mind. 

I really enjoy these blogging events.  Back when I was homeschooling my kids, and this blog was called Home School Dad, I participated in weekly blogging events called Three Things Thursday, Works for me Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, and my favorite the Carnival of Homeschooling.  Some of my favorite posts in my 13 + years of blogging were when I hosted the aforementioned carnival.

In a few months, I will be hosting one of the Poetry Friday's which I am very excited about and have already begun drafting.  One thing I will put an end to, at least for the week I host it, is this whole Poetry Friday on a Thursday thing.  This is very typical of all the blogging events I've ever participated in.  If you want to be one of the first posts on the Linky list, and who doesn't?, you need to post the day before.  Now I must ask you my fellow existentialists, is it really Poetry Friday when you post it on Pre-Poetry Thursday? 

Therefore, When I host in August, my post will drop at 11 p.m central time on Thursday Night.  That's because it will be Friday in New York City and if that's good enough for New Year's Rocking Eve it's good enough for me.  

I believe that's more than enough pre-amble/rant.  Here is my poem for the week ...

 For The First Time

Meeting someone

Is like

Walking

Into the middle

Of two movies


They walk into yours

You walk into theirs


You both walk into

What could be

The pivotal scene

Of your lives

Poetry Friday is being hosted this week at Reading to the Core


 


Monday, June 20, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #5: The Great Gatsby



Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #5: The Great Gatsby:

"A Song About Baseball"



I saw this on Bob Bennet's website just about 30 minutes too late for Father's day.  I worked Father's Day at a K.C. COugars game selling concessions.  Kids were playing catch with their Dads.  I watched them do it and remembered playing catch on that field with my son just a few years ago.  

I really enjoyed this new look at one of my favorite songs.



Thursday, June 16, 2022

I Can't Skip

 It's Poetry Friday again and this is my 3rd straight week participating.  Before I share today's poem I'd like to thank everyone for their kind words about The time we're given experiment.  I just thought it would be interesting to start 2 poems with the same line, I had no idea what would come from it.

We've been doing some Spring cleaning around these parts and a few weeks ago my wife and daughter found one of my old college writing assignments. It was for a non-fiction creative writing class which I may put on the blog later.  On the back of one of the pages, I scribbled a poem.


I Can't Skip.

I can't skip.
Don't ask me to
I can't,
I won't.
I don't
Skip ...

I'd like to skip
It's fun,
It's free.
It's me,
It's who I want to be.

But I can't.
So, I won't,
And I don't.
Skip  ...

"Can't you skip?"
"No."
"Everybody can skip."
I can't.


This week's Poetry Friday is being hosted by Michelle Kogan.



Wednesday, June 15, 2022

I have 100 posts in draft status.

 Blog Insider: An unsolicited and superfluous look beyond the minutiae 

Today's Episode: Draft Status 

Back when I started blogging getting to your hundredth post was kind of a big deal.  People would celebrate the accomplishment in different ways.  When I got there I made a list of 100 people I knew who who influenced me.   At 500 I wrote a parody to I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles). Since I consolidated all my blogs here I have been in the process of consolidating all posts from all those blogs here as well.  Because of that I'm not quite sure what number post I'm at exactly but I am nearing 1,300 for the ones that have been written or transferred here.  

Earlier this week, I discovered a different century mark.  I noticed that I have 100 posts here in this blog that are in draft status.  That means they are not currently accessible to you. the reader. I was astounded that it was that many.  

When I consolidated the 2 other blogger blogs here it also brought over anything in draft status from those blogs.


The most recent of my posts in draft status was from May 26th.  Over the past 3 years I have had  35 more identical posts/  They have no title and no content whatsoever.  I don't think I was aware that i was leaving phantom drafts 

The oldest of my drafts is originally from my sports blog.   It is from January 10, 2012 (more than 10 years ago!) and entitled A thought on Harold Baines and the HOF.  It was written right after Baines was removed from the HOF ballot by failing to received more than 5% of the writer's vote.  Written is too strong of a word as the only thing written was the title of the post.  Baines was eventually voted into the HOF on the veteran's ballot in 2019.  So since the motivation for my post (expressing my opinion that Baines is HOF material) has been for all intents and purposes been achieved there is really no reason to keep it in draft status.  

The most recent of my posts in draft status was from May 26th.  Over the past 3 years I have had  35 more identical posts/  They have no title and no content whatsoever.  I don't think I was aware that i was leaving phantom drafts.  That's more than 1/3 of the 100 drafts and those will be easy to delete. There are other posts like the Harold Baines post that are title only with no content. 

The remaining posts  are basically in the following categories. 

* You Tube videos.  

I post quite a few you tube vidoes straight to my blog.  Since I have had in the past more than one blogger blog at a time, when I put those videos onto my blog I get a screen shot like the one below.  


If I accidentally put the video in the wrong blog it usually gets trapped in draft staus in that blog without being immediately aware about it.

* Consolidation

When I moved my sports blog and vlog to this one, I also brought whatever blogs I had in draft status with me, like the aforementioned Harold Baines post.

* No longer relevant, No longer interested, could not do it justice

These are actually 3 very similar situations.  In each case I start a post and put it aside to finish.  By the time I get back to them they are not worth finishing for one (or more) of the above reasons.

* Work in progress

After I have finished this post, this should be the only category of posts in draft status that remain.  These are posts that I am either still working on or do not want to give up completely on.

* Ready to publish/overlooked.  

There are a few posts that are in draft status by mistake.  When I find those I go ahead and put them into the blog as was originally intended.

100 posts in draft status is not an achievement I ever anticipated achieving.  Now that I'm finished achieving it, I'm going to spend a few minutes behind the scenes and unachieve it.  

 



Tuesday, June 14, 2022

More Than a Song: Bob Bennett

Yesterday, I was cleaning out some junk from my room and decided to put on some music while doing so. I chose a Randy Stonehill You tube video, that I had previously shared here.


The video is from a series called More than a Song which is part concert and part interview.  After the Stonehill segment had ended I found there was another artist form my big 5. Bob Bennet, who was also in an episode.  I liked it and thought I'd share it here as well
 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #4: Whose Body? (Plus Next 10)




Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book #4: Whose Body?:   

This was not only my 4th book of Summer Reading but my 30th book of the year. This puts me on pace to read 67.17 by year's end.  My last 5 books read were Bury The Lead by David Rosenfelt and the first 4 books of my summer reading lists including this one.

Next Ten

Moby Dick - Herman Melville

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

Knowing God - J.I. Packer

Between Heaven & Hell - Peter Kreeft

Little House on The Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ - Michael Card
 
Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Devin Brown

Writing Poetry from the Inside Out - Sanford Lynne

What to do on Thursday - Jay Adams

The Collected Short Stories of Louis Lamour - Vol I


 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Death of a Brother: 14 lines after 13 years

 I am participating in Poetry Friday for the 2nd week in a row.  Last week I contributed this sonnet  and mentioned I had written a 2nd sonnet with the exact same first line

One of the many differences between this sonnet and last week's is that today's is an Italian sonnet and the first one was an Elizabethan sonnet.  Each one has 14 lines but the rhyme scheme varies.  Today's sonnet has the rhyme scheme ABBA ABBA CDE CDE.

Death of a Brother

14 lines after 13 years


The time we're given  is quite brief
For some, it's much too short
One April morn I got the report
I'd lost my brother Keith

Such news was so beyond belief
That I had no retort
Of snappy comebacks, I'd fallen short
So anguished by my grief

My brother died in a nursing home
At the age of thirty-eight
While he was watching M*A*S*H

13 years later as I write this poem
Though my grief is not as great
My heart still bears the gash

As I mentioned last week, in my opinion, this is the lesser of the two sonnets.  Maybe I feel that way because it's so personal.  

Buffy Silverman is hosting Poetry week, click here to see more.  

Made To Fly (Original Song)

I just sent a letter to Allen Levi. If you read this blog you know he is a singer-songwriter who lives near the Alabama Georgia border.  In the letter, I told him that my favorite song of  his is House of Mercy from his album Rivertown.  (You can check it out at Bandcamp by clicking here.  Or listen to it on Spotify by clicking here.)

After I sent out that letter I realized that I had set up this song to play today.  It reminded me that almost every song of Allen's is among my favorites.  


Friday, June 3, 2022

To Live Each Day

As part of my summer reading I've been reading a book about writing poetry.  I enjoy writing poetry and learning about different poetry forms.  This week I decided to write a an Elizabethan sonnet and a Petrarchan sonnet that both started with the same line.  

I am sharing the Elizabethan today as I think it is the better of two and will share the Petrarchan next week.

Both types of sonnets have 14 lines.  The rhyme scheme for the Elizabethan is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.  Karen is hosting Poetry Friday this week.  So I am linking it there as well.

To Live Each Day

                                                                      The time we're given is quite brief
                                                                      Our days are of finite amount
                                                                      Our object than should be in chief
                                                                      To live each day and make it count,

                                                                       Each person is a thing of beauty
                                                                       The Psalmist says wonderfully made
                                                                       I think it then should be our duty
                                                                       To live each day that work displayed

                                                                        Each day we contend with the urgent
                                                                        The important may be left behind
                                                                        We need to stay still and observant
                                                                        To live each day with peace of mind

                                                                        To live each day as we are able
                                                                        To live our lives - strong, good and stable. 

For more Poetry Friday click here.


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book # 1: God's Forgetful Pilgrims

I started a new blog today.  I promised myself I was done starting blogs.  However, like any good addict I've become an expert at explaining my actions.  The Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog is actually an extension of this blog. This past Sunday I started my 100 days of Summer Reading Program.  Yesterday I finished my first book during the program.  My plan is to write a post at the Summer Reading Blog after each book I finish and then publish a link to that post here.  

Leap of Dave Summer Reading Blog: Book # 1: God's Forgetful Pilgrims:  


 At the end of the Summer I will add a page to this blog with a link to all the books I finished this Summer.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Family Camp: These "guys" should have stuck to skits.

Even though you can't tell by the weather yet, I am on my Summer break from substitute teaching.  Monday was my last day until August.  This summer besides working  a local movie theatre  and the Kane Cougars baseball team as a concessionist I will also be volunteering for a month with my family at a camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  

One of the perks of working at a movie theatre is free movies for me and my family.  Last weekend I noticed a new movies coming in called Family Camp and I recognized the people on the poster.  At the bottom of the poster it said it was a Skit Guys production.



I have seen many skit guys skits first as a volunteer at my church youth group and some of them in Sunday morning services.  Here is a good example of their work.


With the prospect of spending a month volunteering at a camp which hosts family camps and because of my familiarity with the Skit Guys and because of my ability to watch free movies at my theatre I took my daughter to watch Family Camp.
As you can tell by the title of this post, I was not a fan of the movie.  I may have walked into the film for free, but I walked out feeling like I had spent too much.

As my daughter pointed out there wasn't much of a Christian message to this film.  Yes we laughed at times but  there wasn't much to the plot and what there was to the plot was recycled from so many movies before. This was especially disappointing as the Skit Guys skits are original, humorous and imbued with a Christian message.  


 In 1979 , the summer before I started high school,  Bill Murray's first movie Meatballs came out. This was the story of a Summer camp and Murray played the head counselor.  In my opinion, it is a very funny movie but a little raunchy.  In the Summer of 1986 I worked as a counselor at a Christian Camp.  When I applied for the position I wrote about how the movie Meatballs was an inspiration to work at the camp.  I referenced the relationship between Murray and Chris Makepeace who played a camper and how Murrays character  invested time with Makepeace's character to bring out the best in him.  

The fact that there  was more of a  believable transformative narrative in Meatballs which is basically a PG Animal House in a camp rather than college setting than in a Christian film is deeply disappointing.  I think the probability of people like me enjoying Family Camp  is cloudy with no chance of Meatballs,

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Let's see how you feel in 30 years.

30 years ago today Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.


  
 

After an applause laden reaction to his first monologue he quipped Let's see how you feel in 30 years. 

Today I'm going to take him up on that offer.   

Recently Jay  started hosting a remake of You Bet Your Life, the classic 1950's game show hosted by Groucho Marx.  I have not watched the show but if the  majority of the first page of reviews at it's imdb page are to be believed it is not his finest work.

Leno was the 4th and 6th host of the tonight show replacing Johnny Carson in 1992.  Carson took over the show from Jack Paar in 1962.  The 30 year remark was an homage to Carson's longevity.  Leno was not Carson's pick to replace him.  He wanted fellow Midwesterner David Letterman who had the time slot after him to have that honor.  Leno had been a substitute host for Carson on Tonight for over 5 years before replacing him.  

Recently Jay  started hosting a remake of You Bet Your Life, the classic 1950's game show hosted by Groucho Marx.  I have not watched the show but if the  majority of the first page of reviews at it's imdb page are to be believed it is not his finest work.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Last 5 Next 10: Summer Reading Preview Edition

 

I like to apportion 100 days of each year for summer reading.  These 100 days generally fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.  This year the 100 days start on Sunday May 29th, the day before Memorial Day and end on Labor Day on September 5, 2022. As I mentioned in Moby Dick: My White Whale my only real goal for these 100 days is to finish listening to Moby Dick.  I always read at least 10 books during the Summer and expect I'll get at least that many again.


LAST FIVE



First Degree - David Rosenfelt
Listened to on Hoopla

4/28/2022


Until Tuesday - Luis Carlos Montalvan
Borrowed from Library - Read


5/1/2022


The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis
Listened to Via Hoopla

5/1/22


An American Marriage - Tayari Jones
Borrowed from library. Read

5/5/22


Neal Cotts: The Lefty Who Would Not Quit - Jim Pransky
Own - Gift from boss - Read
5/20/22

NEXT TEN
 










Moby Dick - Herman Melville

God's Forgetful Pilgrims - Michael Griffiths

The Case For Easter - Lee Strobel

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ- Michael Card

Between Heaven & Hell - Peter Kreeft

Bury The Lead - David Rosenfelt 

Little House on the Prairie  - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Inside The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Devin Brown

The Collected Short Stories of Louis Lamour - Vol I

I finished book #20 on 4/18 and finished book #25 on May 20th.  5 books in 32 days is not great but it is a pace to finish 57 books in a year.  Based on my rate since January 1st I am on pace to read 65 books this year.  I imagine with a strong effort this summer those projections will increase.  


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Moby Dick: My White Whale

 White Whale - Something that someone pursues obsessively with little chance of success.

In 1993, when I was teaching English Literature while living in Russia I taught the first chapter of Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  I had never read Moby Dick before and was only provided multiple copies of the first chapter.  The chapter contains probably the best first paragraph of a novel I have ever read.  The first sentence, Call me Ishamael is highly regarded as one of the best opening sentences ever written.  It is not, however, my favorite opening sentence.  That distinction belongs to the first sentence of C.S. Lewis's voyage of the Dawn Treader, "There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.".

I have asked Dave from Dave out Loud to come in from out of  the loud and read the first paragraph for us.




I hope you can see how amazing of a first paragraph this really is.  The entire first chapter made me want to read the entire book.  This is when the troubles began.

What I mean by troubles is that I was in Russia almost 30 years ago and I still haven't finished the book. 

I read quite a lot while I was in Russia, but I never got the opportunity to read Moby Dick in it's entirety while there.  A few years after I returned from Russia I picked up a paperback copy of Moby Dick at this relatively new bookstore called Barnes & Noble.  I think it sat on a shelf for a few more years before I actually began to attempt to read it. 

 Moby Dick is a brilliantly written book but it seems to be a very difficult book to read.  Moby Dick is approximately 209,000 words not the worlds largest novel by any means but it won't ever be confused with short.  The Great Gatsby by comparison is approximately 47,000 words long , To Kill A Mockingbird is just in excess of 100,000,  and the aforementioned Dawn Treader is just shy of 53,000 words.  Add those 3 together and Moby Dick is almost 10,000 words longer.  

Also after the first paragraph the book became much more cumbersome for me to read.

Here is a list I pulled from Quora of 10 reasons why this is a difficult book to read:

  1. The book is a long read at 822 pages. This does not make it the longest novel ever written but it's certainly a long swim.
  2. The format of the novel is odd. It ranges from traditional story telling to essays on the different species of whales to philosophy.
  3. Herman Melville has a big vocabularly. If your preparing for the GRE Moby Dick is good preperation for the vocabularly section of the test.
  4. Melville draws from many classics of western civilization. If you have not read the Bible, Shakespeare, or Plato his ideas will go right over your head.
  5. Moby Dick was written a couple hundred years ago. The reader may need to do historical research to better understand the lives of sailors in that time period.
  6. Moby Dick is not only a story about whale hunting. The whole back drop of the story is whale hunting. Why did they hunt whales? They needed whale oil for their lamps and cooking. This is a story about energy and what lengths we will go to provide society with it. I think this goes over many readers heads.
  7. Moby Dick is a dense book. It must be chewed on and thought about. It's meaning and themes don't explain themselves.
  8. Moby Dick is about life experiences that many of us can't relate to. Most readers don't understand the terror of the ocean, the hard work of harvesting energy, and the bitter loneliness of being away from friends and family for a long time. Rest assured Moby Dick captures real human experiences.
  9. The book contains lots of symbols and metaphors and they don't easily explain themselves.
  10. The whole. Once you add all nine of these things together into one book many people may decide Moby Dick is not a voyage worth taking. Rest assured it is. It will grow you as a person and give a perspective on life that is hard to find anywhere else. You will be glad when you finish this whale sized book.
Just a quick note about reason 5.  Moby Dick is not a couple hundred years old.  It is 161 years old and will not be a couple hundred years old until I am 96 years old.  But I concede the point, it is an old book.  

Over the years I have made several attempts to read Moby Dick and have never gotten very far in my attempts.  A couple years ago, I changed my strategy about reading Moby Dick and borrowed an audiocopy of the book on Hoopla from my library and have been listening to it on and off since then.  I did this mostly between April 2020 and April 2021 when I was working overnights at a local grocery store and would listen to the book for 1/2 hour or so before going to bed after my shift.  

Through this method I have gotten farther through it than I ever did reading it.  I got about 40 % through it this way. At some point I stopped reading it thinking I would get back to it eventually and didn't really until this Spring.  

Every year during the summer months, specifically the100 or so day period between Memorial Day and Labor Day I embark on a personal Summer reading program.  I tend to spend more time reading during that time  and try to read at least 10 books during that period secretly hoping to read more like 20 to 25.

This year my only goal is to finish one book and that book of course is Moby Dick.  I have finished 42 chapters and am about 1/3 trough the book.  I  am sure I will read more books than just Moby Dick this summer but I'll be much more satisfied to finish this white whale than if I read 25 other ones and this one still tasked me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The end of vlogging. Part I the experiement.

Since consolidating my blogs at the end of this past year, I have not made many (if any) original videos from Dave Out Loud.  I have posted many other people's videos (Aptly abbreviated OPV) but very few of my own.  This is mostly due to being busier than a one armed paper hanging beaver. But there are other reasons as well. I'm just not sure if vlogging is as fun as it was for me as when I started Dave out Loud all those many years 

I have decided to try an experiment. 6 months from today is 11/11/22.  It will be what would have been by brother's 52nd birthday.  I will pay him a video tribute on that day.  Soon after that I will see how many original videos I have done since then.  If the answer is 3 or less including the tribute.  I will evaluate putting an end to my vlogging days.


I still have many ideas for vlogging so I'll try to put them in practice for the next 6 months and see how I do.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Streaks are over! White Sox Lose to Guardians in 11, Cubs beat Padres .

 I've been waiting for the last few hours for the White Sox to win their 7th game in a row.  It did not happen after having a comfortable 4 run lead the Sox allowed 11 of the 12 Cleveland Guardian Runs after the 9th inning and failed to score winning runs in the 9th and the 10th.    Losses like this at home are always hard to take, but when ever you are on a plus 5 game winning streak you know it has to end at sometime.  It is frustrating that this is the 4th loss in a row to the Cleveland Guardians.  They have not beat Cleveland since they changed team names.  The best thing to do in this situation is shake it off and come back the next game and start a new winning streak.

While the Sox were losing in extra's the Cubs stopped a 5 game losing streak by shutting out the Padres 6-0.  Jason Heyward put 20 points on his batting average by going 2 for 4 tonight bringing it to .232.  Even so, his average at the end of April was .270 and previous to tonight's performance, he had only 1 hit in 17 at bats in the month of May.  Hopefully the Cubs and Heyward will enjoy tonight's success and build on itf 

At the beginning of the Cubs Sox series last week they both owned a record 9 wins and 13 losses.  The Sox went 5-1 since then and are now 14-14.  The Cubs went the other way with 1 win and 5 losses putting them at 10-18.  The Cubs next 5 games are on the road with the Padres and Diamondbacks.  The White Sox play 6 more games on their current homestand, 2 more with the Guardians and 4 against the Yankees.  







Saturday, May 7, 2022

2022 A to Z Challenge Reflection

Reflections 2022 #atozchallenge 
 In 2012 I completed my first A to Z Challenge. In 2019 I had gotten away from blogging for about an 18 month period. I got back in to it shortly before the 2019 challenge my theme that year was the Songs of the Sherman Brothers.  In 2020 My theme was Capital Cities and In 2021 My theme was people who were alive 100 years before in 1921

My plan as the 2021 challenge drew to an end was to participate in the challenge from all 4 of my tive blogs at the time.  Random Acts of Roller, HSD (Previously known as Home School Dad), Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Page and Dave Out Loud.

The past 12 months has been some of the happiest and trying months of my life.  I at times worked 3 different jobs concurrently, I have spent large percentages of my time helping care for my aging parents and my disabled daughter just among many moving parts in my life.  Creating content while still a passion and a priority needed to diminish in some ways.  

At the beginning of this year I began consolidating the 4 remaining blogs into HSD but changing the name to Leap of Dave.  The previously mentioned things have kept me from fully completing that task but having just one blog to maintain has alleviated a world of pressure.

This year instead of having 4 different entries to the challenge, I just had 3 different themes for the challlenge.  The first was A to Z limericks.  I seem to be a limerick whisperer able to turn anything into a 5 lined AABBA poem.  Here's one off the top of my head

There once was a blogger  named Dave
whom during the challenge neglected to shave
And just as we feared
He grew out his beard
and looked like he crawled out of a cave

The above limericks not true
It's just a show of what I can do
If you give me  time
I'll come up with a rhyme
But now let us talk Rod Carew

Wow, was that a non sequitir or what?
Actually that's an ideal segue to my 2nd theme.

My 2nd theme was home run hitters in my life time.  I was born in 1964 but late in the baseball season, so for ease of use I counted the entire 1964 season as part of my life time.  Besides dividing the players alphabetically, I also divided my life time into 5 segments: 1964-1975, 1976-1987, 1988-1999, 2000-2010, 2011-2022.

The first thing I did was made a list of the top home run hitters in each of those periods.  I used a tool called the day by day data base from the blog Baseball Musings to make these lists.  

You can pick a range of dates and a range of stats to look at,


When I seleected 1964 to 1975 for batting average (for players with a minimum of 1000)  plate appearances, it gave me this list ...





The aforementioned Rod Carew is listed 3rd with a batting average of .328.  I wont put in the screen shot but from 1976 to 1987 he also batted .328 and was 4th place on the list.  He was a consistent hit machine but not a power hitter only hitting 92 homeruns out of 9315 career at bats.  I will be making an index of the homerun hitters I did include this year and will be making some lists of who I left out.

To start that off I will turn to the Cubs from 1964 to 1975.  They had 3 players who hit more than 100 homers for them during that period.  All 3 of them Hall of Famers and when preparing for this list I felt certain that at least some of them would have been included.  Not one of them was.  They  are in  order of home runs :
 
Billy Williams 381
Ron Santo 263

and 

Ernie Banks.  159

That is 740 homers between them by far the most of any 3 teammates between 1963 and 1974.

My 3rd a -z challenge theme was wordle starting words.  This took actually the most preparation.  On March 1st I started beginning my wordles with a different letter for the first 26 days of the month and then recording all my guesses guess in a notebook.  Starting on April 1st I took out the notebook and recounted my wordle guessess for the previous month.  For continuity's sake I started my wordles in April with the same starting word as the previous month's guess.  

Personally April 2022 has been an extremely busy  month for me.  This at times really got in my way of enjoying the a to z challenge as much as I have in years past.  Unfortunately May has not gotten any less busy, which may explain why I am writing my a-z reflection an hour before it is due.  I have a few ideas for themes for next year, but I think I'll limit myself to just 1 next year.  



Saturday, April 30, 2022

Z is for Zoo, Zisk and Zones

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

The day is here the final day of the A to Z challenge ! This year I chose 3 themes for the challenge: Limericks, MLB sluggers in my lifetime, and A to Z wordles. For more information about these themes click here


Part I: A to Z Limericks



On 3 continents I've been to the zoo

Europe and Asia are two

It's more than I can bare (ika) 

Not been to South America

Maybe soon I will go to Peru. 



Part II: A to Z Homerun hitters of my lifetime





They say good things come in 3's.  In the year 1977 that was certainly true for me, the White Sox and Richie Zisk.  In 1976 the White Sox finished last in the A.L. West and were in need of  a major shake up.  Iconic owner Bill Veeck (as in Wreck) was up for the task.  He traded Hall of Fame Reliever Rich Gossage and starting pitcher Terry Forster to the Pirates for Zisk. In 1977 Zisk had his best season having his best career years in RBI and Home Runs.  In 1977 8 White Sox players had  10 or more homers, (Oscar Gamble had 31, Zisk had 30).  
more than 50 RBI (Zisk led the team with 102), and batting .247 or higher (Richie hit .290) earning the moniker of the Southside Hitmen.  Old Comiskey was a magic place that year and I (turning 13 at the end of the season) was at a perfect age to enjoy it.  

Richie Zisk only played 1 year for the White Sox but he made an indelible impression on the fans.  From 1976 to 1987 Zisk hit 159 of his 207career home runs.  Besides the 30 for the Sox, he hit 59 for the Texas Rangers,  49 fir the Seattle Mariners and 21 in his final season for the Pirates.  










Part III: Wordle Starting Words from A to Z



Note: Correct letters in the correct places will be shown in bold. Correct letters in incorrect places will be shown in italics.



My March 26th starting word was zones. 

Z O N E S Two letters in solutuion but not in right pace
W R O T E - Got O in right place.
E M O J I-  Added E in right place
P L A C E - I usually dont make guesses like 4 and 5 
D O U G H - but my notebook says I did
E P O X Y - Epoxy in 5 

Thanks for joining me for the  A to Z challenge.  For more click here.  

Friday, April 29, 2022

Y is for Yin, Yang, Yaz and Young

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

 Good morning and welcome to day 24, the penultimate of the A to Z challenge. This year I chose 3 themes for the challenge: Limericks, MLB sluggers in my lifetime, and A to Z wordles. For more information about these themes click here


Part I: A to Z Limericks



I don't give a darn or a dang

for the yin or even the yang

Don't meant to alarm ya

I'm just not into karma.

I think God controls whole shebang.











Part II: A to Z Homerun hitters of my lifetime



 



Carl Yastrzemski played his entire career  (1961-1983) with the Boston Red Sox. Yaz is 39th overall in homeruns over his career with 452.  (Nelson Cruz will tie him with his next homer and surpass him with the one after that.) From 1961 to 1963 Yastrzemski pummeled 44 homers for the BoSox in his first 3 years in the Bigs.  From 1964 to 1975 he established himself as a hall of fame caliber outfielder hitting 273 homers with a .290 batting average and a slugging percentage of .480.  In that Era he was 1 of only 4 players to be in the top 40 of homers, doubles and stolen bases along with Dick Allen, Hank Aaron, and Jimmy Wynn.  Yaz hit 135 more dingers for Boston in his final 8 years with the team.

  













Part III: Wordle Starting Words from A to Z



Note: Correct letters in the correct places will be shown in bold. Correct letters in incorrect places will be shown in italics.



My March 25tg starting word was young. 

Y O U N G- I guessed one letter (o) correctly but not in the reight place...
S T O R E - Added 2 more letters (T and  E) still nonr in their correct positions.
O C T E T-  It took 8 people to get the t in the right place.
D E P O T - Depot in 4.

For more A to Z challenge click here.  

Labels before 2022