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

Friday, January 28, 2022

Allen Levi Concert in reverse song # 6 Anywhere close to you

Today is January 28th and there are 5 more songs left in the Allen Levi Concert in reverse. Let me see if we can get them out here and begin the concert by February. first. His introduction islonger than the song itself but what an introduction it is! The song is ggreat too and I dedicate it to my wife and I certainly echoe the sentiment.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Last 5 Next 10 first 5 0f 2022 edition

Last year I tried to chronicle all the books I read in 2021 and failed miserably again but did not fail as miserably as I had failed in previous years.  This year I will attempt the same format I endeavored last year with one notable exception. When I finish 5 books I will write what they were and how I read them but will make no attempt at reviewing them in any way shape or form.  If I feel like reviewing one of these books I will do so in a separate post. Here is what I have finished from the beginning of the year until January 22nd ...

 A Fragile Stone by Michael Card
Listened to via Hoopla

Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo by Betty White
Acquired interlibrary loan (read to self)

Peanuts A Tribute to Charles M Schulz
borrowed from local library
read to self

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
read to self


Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
listened to parts at school 
read entire book on phone via Hoopla


I finished 5 books in 22 days a rate of 1 book every 4.4 days.  At that rate I will have finished 82.95 books by the end of the year.

Ten books I am currently reading or planning to read soon are .

Fodor's Essential Greek Islands

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Collected Short Stories of Louis La'mour Vol I\

God's Forgetful Pilgrims - Michael Griffiths

Fish in A tree - Linda Mulally Hunt

Blue Like Jazz

Renegades, Born in the USA - Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen

The Return Home - Elliott J. Anderson

Little House on The Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

 Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life as a Weapon

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Hall of Fame Part III: Who I Would Vote For

 Each year members of the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) are given a hall of fame ballot with the names of the players eligible for consideration of enshrinement in Cooperstown. They are instructed to vote for as many as 10 of the players on the ballot.  This years ballot contains 30 players so the writers can vote for up to 1/3 of players on the ballot.  If a player receives 75% of the writers votes they are admitted into the Hall of Fame.  If they receive under  75% but more than 5% they are retained on the ballot for the next year.  The players have up to 10 years on the ballot to earn the 75% needed for enshrinement.

I am not a member of the BBWAA and I do not have a vote but to again  paraphrase Rob Lowe as the Grinder "What if I were? and What if I did?"

I ask myself that question about this time each year. Here is what I've come up with for 2022.

First of all a little about my process.  Each year I imagine what would happen if I was a member of the BBWAA and was asked to vote for a certain number of players  and only that number, no more, no less.  Than I imagine that I was asked to vote for one less than that original number, than one less than one less, until I was asked to just vote for one player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  By imagining a world like this I add a ranking component that the BBWAA lacks and I am able to shed a little light onto what players achievements I value more than others.  

I also imagine a world where I am able to vote for as many players as I feel worthy of enshrinement. When I hit that number, which is 6 this year, I call that my Official Unofficial Ballot or OUB for short.  

If I had 12 votes ...

Yes, I know that I just said that each BBWAA voter gets as many as 10 votes.  But I also said, I am not a member.  As a non member in good standing, I reserve the right to modify their rules whenever I please.  

My 12th vote would go to Barry Bonds .

My yearly prognostication into all things Cooperstown started a few years before Bonds was on the ballot.  In the nine previous years he has been on the ballot, the all time leader in home runs  has never made my list before.  The reason is very simple, I would never vote for him if I was given a real ballot.  I have also never talked about why I would not vote for him. I just made my list and went on with my life.

So, why am I adding him this year?  Well first of all, I am not adding him to mu OUB, I am not even adding him to the list of 10 players (the maximum BBWAA voters can choose),  But that doesn't really answer the question as to why after 9 years of ignoring him am I putting him on my list this year? The answer is quite simple, even with all the reasons I would never vote for him the truth is had he not participated in that chapter of his life, he would have been a certain Hall of Famer. He may not have bypassed Aaron for the home Run record or even Broke McGwire's single season record, but he would have certainly been in the Hall of Fame by now and  possibly on the first ballot.  So in honor of his contributions to baseball that are not in question and because this is his last year on the ballot, one way or the other, I choose him 12th.

If I had only 11 votes, my 11th vote would go to Roger Clemens.

The 2 paragraphs I just wrote about Bonds could as easily have been written about the Rocket.  I think the only difference is Roger Clemens would have been a certain first ballot Hall of Famer if his name wasn't so linked to the scandal that I endeavor so hard not to mention by name

If I had only 10 votes, my 10th vote would go to Jeff Kent. 

I voted for Jeff Kent 6th last year here is what I said then:

He's like my poster child for outside looking in.  Even thinking about it here, I'm tempted to have Jones and Rolen leap frog him.

Last year, I did not yield to my temptation of voting for Jones and Rolen before Kent.  This year, I did (more on those players a little later).  As Kent is listed as what certainly seems to be his penultimate appearance on the BBWAA ballot, I have decided that in my mind and in my vote Kent is just not Hall of Fame material.

If I had to vote for exactly 9 players this year my 9th vote would go to Scott Rolen.

I voted for Rolen 7th last year and here is what I said then:

Not only would I pick Rolen 7th, 7 is also the number of his gold gloves and all star appearances for this former Rookie of the Year.  I have not picked him in the past but a closer look this year shows me he's right on the cusp of making my OUB.

This year, I am still pondering whether Rolen  will ever make my OUB.  It will have to be in the future as I'm still not  100% convinced he belongs there.  

If I had to vote for exactly 8 player this year my 8th vote would go to Andruw Jones.  

I voted for Jones 8th last year and here is what I said then:

If Jones retired in 2007 when he left Atlanta or if He had Atlantaesque numbers in his final 5 seasons of baseball He'd have a better chance of making Cooperstown than he does now.

The truth is that I'm not sure that Andruw Jones taking a giant step down in his performance in his final 5 years is as much of a detriment to voting for him as I've made it me.  His star is definitely on the rise and I can imagine a time when my evaluation of him would increase to the point where I'd vote for his place in the hall.

If I was told that I had to vote for exactly 7 players on the 2022 BBWAA ballot the 7th vote would go to Omar Vizquel.

I voted for Omar Vizquel 2nd among 4 players on my OUB last year, and hers is what I said then:\

Vizquel is one of those players for whom advanced metrics can't tell the full story of.  He played the game at an extremely  high level for many years. Some say his defense is over rated, I disagree.  He is a Hall of Fame caliber defender and worthy of Cooperstown.

I have not stepped away from any of those opinions in the year since I last voted.  I still think he's a hall of fame type player.  However, some of the controversy that has swirled around his nomination has made me decide to put a pause on voting for him this year and look at him with new eyes next year.

If I was told that I could vote for a many players as I wanted to this year for the Hall of Fame but they all had to be candidates that I was 100% certain I wanted in the Hall the number of players would be 6.

These 6 players would be the ones who adorned my official unofficial ballot for 2022.

The 6th of these players would be A.J. Pierzynski.

I know, it seems like I'm making a joke.  Let me assure you that I am not.  I take my role as an imaginary arbiter of Hall of Fame worthiness very seriously. As such, I think one of my responsibilites as a fictitious voter is to champion local players and keep the discussion going so their exploits can be celebrated (and debated) for more than one single season.  At first sight Pierzynski, does not scream out Cooperstown.  But I will say I have hated A.J. Pierzynski (during his 6 years with the Twins) and loved A.J. Pierzyski (starting with his 8 years for the White Sox and enduring throughout his playing career until now) for basically the same reasons,  He plays to win and does his very best night in and night out to give his team the edge.  Yes he is a ferocious competitor but he is also a beloved teammate.  I think his playing days being the embodiment of those qualities make him very worth of continued Hall of Fame conversation.

If I was told that I could vote for only 5 players on my 2022 ballot my 5th vote would be for Curt Schilling.

Last year Schilling broke onto my OUB and was ranked in 4th place. Here is what I said about him then:

I have not been advocating Schilling as a candidate for Cooperstown until very recently.  In 2020 I would have put Schilling 8th on my list and not in my OUB. He never got a mention from me in his first 7 years on the ballot.  This year as I did my research many of my earlier qualms about his candidacy seemed to disappear into the vapor.  He definitely has the resume for it ...

Last year Schilling received more votes than any other player and only missed enshrinement by 3.9 % of the vote.  He then in the Curt Schilling caricature that he has portrayed himself over the course of his candidacy he asked for his name to  be removed form consideration during his final year on the ballot.  The Hall of Fame did not remove his name but I am certain that kind of request will bring down his percentage and eliminate any chance of him getting to Cooperstown via the writer's ballot.  That doesn't change the way he played the game which is the only reason he has my vote this year.

If I was told I could vote for only 4players on my 2022 ballot my 4th vote would be for Todd Helton

Last year I voted for Todd Helton on my OUB and he was ranked third.  Here is what I said about him last year: 

...  I eventually didn't hold it against Edgar Martinez that he played most of his career as a designated hitter, I don't begrudge Helton for playing his entire career for the Rockies.  

The more I think about it the more I see Helton in the Hall. I hope that his numbers trend up this year and that a few years from now we can be celebrating his getting in.

If I was told I could only vote for 3 players this year my 3rd vote would be for David Ortiz.

I have a hard time voting for players for the Hall of Fame based on a certain issue.  This year I am putting that aside and voting for Big Papi on my OUB.  Years ago his name was leaked for failing a ped test that was supposed to be voluntary and confidential.  The players who volunteered for this test proved to be the catalyst for the mandated testing that came in it's aftermath.  The test resutls were never published so it's still unknown what he tetsted positive for.  The facts remain that he never failed a mandated test and that he's always maintained his innocence.  In this one case I let his numbers which are prodigious speak for themselves and gladly vote for his induction.

If I was told  could only vote for 2 players this year my 2nd vote would be  for Mark Buehrle.

Last year I voted for Mark Buerhle on mY OUB and I ranked him first above all other players.  Here is what I said about him then: 

He is a pitcher from another era, that's for sure, but those players of his caliber from that era are already in the hall of fame.

Last year 11% of the voters agreed with me and he's up for consideration on his 2nd year on the ballot. Smart money would say his 2nd and final year on the ballot as it doesn't look like hill get the 5% of the vote needed in this years proceedings,  I would certainly vote for him only time will tell at this point.

If I could vote for only 1 player on my Official Unofficial 2022 Hall of Fame ballot that player would be a write-in candidate.  I would write in the name of the player not in the hall of fame who most deserves to be there and that player is Dick Allen.

Last year I wrote Dick Allen's name on my ballot and ranked him 5th just shy of my OUB.  Here is what I said about him then: 

Allen who passed away late last year should already be a hall of famer. I think he will probably make it to  the next time the veterans committee of his era re-convene.  If not then he may be revisiting this list in the years to come.  

Allen came up one vote shy on the veteran's committee for the 2nd time in a row.  The battle against performance enhancing drugs was an important battle for MLB to engage in. It is not more important than the battle against racism and it's racism pure and simple that kept Allen out of the Hall of Fame.  His numbers are there.  I have written much about this in the past and I will continue to do so.  Allen will be up for reexamination bty the Golden Era committee in 5 years until then expect to see Allen's name at the top of my subsequent OUB's.

Now a quick prediction.

I think that only one player's name will be announced later today and that player will be David Ortiz.  Of the remaing players on my OUB I believe Pierzynski will get no where near the 5% needed to be on the 2023 ballot.  Schilling will have his lowest voting percentage in the last 3 elections and will have no one to blame but himself. Todd Helton will probably climb 10 percentage points this year poised to make a run for enshrinement in the next couple of years. Buehrle will not get near the 11 percent form last year and miss or make the 5% cutoff by 3 votes or less.  Dick Allen is not on the ballot, so he probably won't make it this year.  

This was fun.  It is every year.  I'll be back in a few days with a follow up piece.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Hall of Fame Ballot 2022: Part II Returning Players

 Earlier today I finished a preview of the 13 players appearing ont the HOF ballot for the first time in 2022

There are 17 players returning to the ballot this year.

I have them listed by percentage of votes received in 2021 from most to leasr I have also included the percentage received in 2020

Player                    YOB     2021%  2020 %

Curt Schilling        10th        71.1     70

Barry Bonds           10th       61.8     60.7

Roger Clemens       10th       61.6     61% 

Scott Rolen             5th         52.9    35.3.

Omar Vizquel         5th          49.1   52.6

Billy Wagner          7th          46.4   31.7

Todd Helton           4th          44.9    29.2 

Gary Sheffield       8th          40.6   30.5

Andruw Jones         5th         33.9  19.4

Jeff Kent                 9th         32.4   27.5

Manny Ramirez      6th         28.2   2 8.2

Sammy Sosa          10th .      17      13.9

Andy Pettitte          4th          13.7   11.3.

Mark Buehrle         2nd         11

Torii Hunter           2nd           9.5

Bobby Abreu         3rd            8.7      5.5%

Tim Hudson           2nd           5.2

I will be back tomorrow to reveal what my 2022 ballot would look like if I had been given one   

Hall of Fame Ballot 2022 : Part I First Year on the Ballot

The Baseball Writer's Association of America (BBWAA) are given a ballot each year and asked to select as many as 10 players for induction to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  This year, there are 30 players on the ballot.  Seventeen are returning from last years ballot which means these players are in their 2nd to 10th time on the ballot and have received between 5% and 74.9% of the vote each year of eligibility.  Less than 5% and they are removed from consideration, 75% of more and they are enshrined into Cooperstown.  Tomorrow I will review these 17 players, today we will focus on the "lucky" 13 who are receiving consideration for the first (and for many the last) time.

These players are:

Carl Crawford - Outfield                  Years Played: 2002 - 2016

Teams Tampa Bay 2002 - 2010, Boston 2011-2012 LA (Dodgers) 2013-2016

Crawford hit .290 during his playing career which ties him for 7th place with all players on the ballot and is second to Alex Rodriguez for players on the ballot for the first time in 2022.  His 480 stolen bases is 2nd to Barry Bonds for all players on the ballot and of course is the most for any players new to the ballot this year.  Crawford played in 4 all star games, was the All star MVP in 2009 and won both  a silver slugger and Gold Glove award in 2010.

Prince Fielder - First Base                 Years Played 2005-2016

Teams: Milwaukee 2005-2011, Detroit 2012-2013, Texas 2014-2016

Prince Fielder hit .283 and had a slugging percentage of .506 duriing his eleven seasons in the big leagues which puts him in 10th place of all players on the ballot for both categories.  Fielder a 6 time all star won the Home Run derby on 2 occasions during the all star festivities.  The First baseman currently know as Prince was the 2011 All Star MVP, won the NL Hank Aaron award in 2007  the comeback player award in 2015 and three silver slugger awards.

Ryan Howard - First Base                 Years Played 2004-2016

Team: Philadelphia

Ryan Howard of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies hit 382 homers in his 13 year career which ranks 9th for all players on the 2022 ballot.  He  also has a life time slugging percentage of .515 which is 3rd of all players new on  the ballot  for the first time this year and 7th when all players are included. Howard was the 2005 NL     Rookie of the year and followed that up with the 2006 NL MVP (He also received a TSN MLPOY and Hank Aaron award that year).  The 3 time all star also was a home run derby champ, won a silver slugger award, and was the 2009 NLCS MVP.

Tim Lincecum - Pitcher                 Years Played 2007-2016

Teams San Francisco 2007-2015 LA (Dodgers) 2016

Of the 10 pitchers on this years Hall of Fame ballot Lincecum, of the 2010, 2012 & 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants ranks 3rd with his 222 career victories.  This is the most of any players who are first time on the ballot.  The 4 time all star won back to back Cy Young awards in 2008 & 2009..  

Justin Morneau - First Base                 Years Played 2003-2016

Teams: Minnesota 2003-2013 Pittsburgh 2013 Colorado 2014,2015 Chicago (White Sox) 2016

In 2006 Morneau was the AL MVP while fellow first time ballot mate Ryan Howard was the NL recipient of the same award.  In 2014 while with the Rockies Morneau won the NL Batting Title hitting .319 that season (interestingly enough he hit for a higher percentage for the Twins in 2006 and 2010 and was not the AL  batting title winner either year).  The 4 time all star was all a Home Run derby champ as well as a two time winner of the silver slugger award.

Joe Nathan -Pitcher                Years Played 1997-2016

Teams: San Francisco 1999-2003&2016 Minnesota 2004-2011 Texas 2012,2013 Detroit 2014,2015 Chicago (Cubs)2016

Joe Nathan's 2.87 lifetime  ERA is 3rd best among all pitchers on the ballot and 2nd of all players on the ballot for the first time in 2022.Nathan pitched in 787 games and recorded 377 saves  the most of any player on the ballot  the first time and 2nd behind Billy Wagner in each category. The 2009 Rolaids Relief pitcher was also a 6 time all star.

David Ortiz - DH First Base               Years Played 1997-2016

Teams: Minnesota 1997-2002 Boston 2003-2016

Ortiz  of the 2004, 2007 and 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox    played in 2408 games which is 6th of players on the ballot and 2nd behind A-Rod  of first year ballot players.  His 8,640 AB 1,419 runs, 2,472 hits , 541 homers, 1,768 Runs Batted in,  and 1,319 walks. ranked among all on the ballot 8th, 9th  7th 5th 4th and 7th respectfully, and 2nd in each category behind Alex Rodriguez for first timers on the ballot.  Orizs lifetime batting average of .286 ranks 9th on the ballot (3rd for newcomers) and his slugging percentage of .552 is the best of all newcomers and 3rd best overall.  Ortiz was the ALCS MVP in 2004 and the 2013 WS MVP as well as a 10 time all star for the BoSox,  David won 7 silver slugger awards and multiple other awards too numerous to mention here.  

Joanathan Papelbon - Pitcher             Years Played 2005-2016

Teams: Boston 2005-2011 Philadelphia 2012-2015 Washington 2015,2016

Papelbon a member of the 2007 World Champion Red Sox has a lifetime 2.31 ERA best among all new pitchers on the ballot this year and 2nd among all pitchers.  His 689 appearance are 4th among all pitchers on the ballot and 2nd behind Nathan among first timers on the ballot.       Papelbon's 368 saves ranks 3rd just 9 behind Joe Nathan,  Jonathan Papelbon received the 2007 delivery man of the year which was awarded to the best closer of that year.  Papelbon finished 2nd in 2006 AL Rookie of the year voting and was a 6 time all star.    

Jake Peavy - Pitcher             Years Played 2002-2016

Teams: San Diego  2002-2009 Chicago (White Sox) 2009-2013 Boston 2013,2014 San Francisco 2014-2016

Peavy a member of the 2013 World Champion Red Sox and 2014 Giants won 152 games in his career more than any other first year player on the ballot.  Peavy's 436 starts and 2,377 innings pitch   both are tops for new players on this years ballot.  Peavy ranks 4th in strikeouts among all on the ballot and again tops that list for first timers.  Peavy a 3 time all star (twice with the Padres once with the White Sox) was had the lowest ERA  in the National League in 2004 and 2007.  2007 was his best season as he was also an all star, The NL Cy Young Winner and winned of the NL triple crown for pitchers given when a player has the highest winning percentage, lowest ERA and most strike outs.  Peavy won his only Gold Glove award as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

A.J. Pierzynski - Catcher             Years Played 1998-2016

Teams: Minnesota  1998-2003 San Francisco 2004 Chicago (White Sox) 2005-2012 Texas 2013 Boston 2014 Saint Louis 2014  Atlanta 2015,2016

A.J. a member\of the 2005 World Champion Red Sox is a 2 time all star (one with Twins, one with White Sox)  and won his onlt silvEr slugger award as a member of the White Sox.  

Alex Rodriguez  - Shortstop and Third Baseman             Years Played 1998-2016

Teams: Seattle  1994-2000 Texas    2001-2003     New York (Yankees) 2004-2013 2015,2016

A-Rod a member of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees as mentioned previously leads all 1st time players on the ballot in most offensive categories.  These are games (2,784 - third overall)on the ballot, , At Bats (10,566, 2nd behind Omar Vizquel overall), Runs (2021, 2nd behind Barry Bonds), Hits (3.115, 1st overall)  Home Runs (696, 2nd behind Barry Bonds) Runs Batted In (2,086, 1st overall) Walks 1,338, 4th overall)  and Batting Average (.295 4th overall) Rodrigues is also in the overall top 10 for Stolen Bases (329 for 6th overall and 3rd among first timers on the ballot and Slugging Percentage (.550 4th overall and behind only David Ortiz for first timers.  Rodriguez won 3 AL MVP awards (1 with Rangers, 2 with Yankees) a 2 time sporting News Major League Player of the Years, a 14 time All Star, a ten tme silver slugger award winner with 2 gold gloves as well.  A-Rod was the 1996 batting champion while with the Mariners.

Jimmy Rollins  - Shortstop               Years Played 2003-2016

Teams: Philadelphia  2000-2014  L.A. (Dodgers)    2015   Chicago (White Sox) 2016

Jimmy Rollins a member of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies played in 2,275 games 3rd most for first timers on the ballot.  His 9,294 at bats are 4th among all players ont his years ballot and just behind A-Rod for first timers,  Rollins is also in the top 10 in Runs (1,421, 8th overall, 2nd behind A-Rod first timers) , Hits (2,435 10th overall , 3rd 1st time ballot &  Stolen Bases (470, 3rd overall 2nd behind Carl Crawford first time on ballot).  Rollins was a 3 time All Star, the 2007 NL MVP winner. He also picked up his first of 4 gold gloves that season as well as his only silver slugger.  He won the coveted Roberto Clemente award in 2014, his final season with the Phillies.

Mark Teixeira   First Baseman             Years Played 19984-2016

Teams: Texas    2003-2007 Atlanta  2007,2008  L.A. (Angels)   2008    New York (Yankees) 2009-2016

Mark Teixeira was a member of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees. Teixeira's 434 homers ranks 3rd overall of players on this years ballot and 3rd among those in their first year on the ballot. His 1,298 runs batted in is also 3rd among first timers as are his 998 walks which are good for 10th overall.  Mark's lifetime mark of a .509 slugging percentage is 9th best on this years ballot.  Teixeira played in 3 all star games, won 5 gold gloves and 3 silver slugger awards.

The 13 players listed above played on 20 of the 30 teams in the MLB.  The teams with the most first timers are the Red Sox, Rangers and Giants with 5 players each and the Twins and White Sox with 4 apiece.  The 10 teams without any representation of first timers on the ballot are the team formerly known as the Cleveland Indians, the Kansas City Royals, the Cincinnati Reds, the Arizona Diamond Backs, the Oakland A's , the Houston Astros, the New York Mets, The Miami Marlins, The Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. 

I will be back soon with a quick story on the 17 returning players and then again tomorrow for who I would vote for if given a ballot.  

Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday, January 10, 2022

Bob Saget sings the National Anthem before a White Sox game.

Bob Saget died yesterday at the age of 65. Today I saw a video on You Tube of him singing the National Anthem at a Wgite Sox game almost 10 years ago, He did an admirable job and I thoought I'd play it hers since I am all things White Sox.  

 My sympathy to his family, friends and fans.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

A Third Grade Perspective on the New Year

I have been a long term sub for art since the beginning of the school year. I teach one thing to the kindergarten through 2nd graders and something different for the3rd through 5th graders; Sometimes I will even break it into 3 levels. I have wanted to do the same project for some time now and with the 2nd semester starting at the new year I found my perfect opportunity. I had all my students make posters for the new year. For the kindergartners, I kept it simple :we folded a paper in quarters  and wrote 2022 with 1 number in each quadrant.  I then instructed them to draw and color circles in one quadrant, squares in another, triangles in the third and hearts in the 4th.  

With the 1st and 2nd graders I had them write 2022 on their paper and then color it in, When that was completed, I  taught them a little about collage.  Instead  of  using pictures, we cut out shapes and then glued them around the 2022.  
With the 3rd through 5th graders I taught about the 7 elements of art, (to read an excellent piece on why the elements are important click here) which are:


I then ask them to make a poster about 2022 and incorporate at least 3 of the 7 elements of art.  
The students have produced some excellent work.  This third grader's response shows how many of our kids are eager to get out from under the cloud of Co-vid.

While they are working or when they show me their finished product, I point out the elements that I see they incorporated.  This one has at least one example of  color (the co-vid molecules), value (the cloud and the rain), shape (the mask), space (spacing is used very effectively in all of the panels) , line (the rain) and texture (The mask).  When I point out these elements I ask if they planned them.  Many say they have and many have not.  At the end of class, I advise how most art work has at least 3 if not more of those elements.   Finally, I  encourage in them to look for these elements not only in their work but in all manners of art.  

I found out this week that the school has hired a new art teacher.  I am very glad for the opportunity I have had to teach these students for so long. I have not only seen the growth of the students but my growth as an educator..  I share the hopefulness of this artist for the coming year.  I wrote several pieces last year about surviving 2021.  My recent successes among other things have inspired me that 2022 could indeed be the best year ever and it is possible to thrive in difficult times.  

Thursday, January 6, 2022

My blog is a teenager and going through some changes.

 13 years ago today at the beginning of my 2nd semester of being a stay at home Dad for the purpose of continuing the home education of my 3 children aged 22-13, 20-13 and 16-13 at the time (I take it you can do subtraction). I began this blog.  Here is a link to my first post. 

This never was a home education only blog. We finished homeschooling proper when our youngest daughter  graduated Middle School in 2020.  I haven't been the full time stay at home dad/home educator since 2013.     Yet I continued to call this blog Home School Dad, shortening it to HSD a few years back.  

HSD is just one of 4 blogs I have been producing over the past several years.  On Dec 12, 2009 just 11 months after starting my first blog, I started a 2nd called Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog.  Here is the first post..  

Sometime in 2011 I started a vlog at Word Press called Dave Out Loud.  I abandodned the word press site and brogh Dave Out Loud to Blogger.  Here is the first post. 

In Janaury 2019 I decided to consolidate all my blogs and bring them to Word Press in a blog called Random Acts of Roller.  Here is my first post.

In 2020 during the corona virus pandemic I decided to go back to HSD as my flagship blog and have had basically 2 flagship blogs ever since.  

Over the past few weeks, I have been making some wholesale changes to HSD.  First of all you can probably see it is no longer called HSD.  I have changed the name to Leap of Dave.

I have also transferred all my Dave Out Loud And Crazy Uncle Dave posts here.  I am still in the process of transferring all my Random Acts posts here as well.  I will still be continuing posting sports content and videos and they will be labeled Crazy Uncle Dave or Dave Out Loud but they will appear in this blog.  I am exploring leaving blogger altogether but could never really get the hang of Word Press.  Until that day happens Leap of Dave becomes theone stop shop for all my blogging hijinks.  With 13 years in the books I am hoping for smooth sailing and many more fine years in my blogging future.

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Mountain Dew Code Red of Trailers

I work at a local movie theater. Generally I sell tickets and concessions. From time to time, I do a job called patrol. Patrolling the theater is exactly what it sounds like. On New Year's Day I got about 16,000 steps just at the theater from noon till five,walking in and out of every screen making sure the film and the filmgoers were behaving properly.

As you can well imagine, by the end of my shift I had seen a lot of each movie and my fair share of the commercials and the trailers that play before the films. The nature of my task precludes me from watching any more than bits and pieces of these. On Saturday I heard multiple snippets from a trailer where a kid said "the Code Red Mountain Dew of hats".  This got my attention since Code Red Mountain Dew if not my all time favorite soda is certainly in the team photo.

It especially perked my ears as for the past few years I have only been drinking pop on special occasions. To be fair up intil 6 months ago special occasions meant anytime I was thirsty. By the new  definition Mountain Dew code red references in trailers are the only way I am digesting said drink these days. 

The best perk of job at the theatre is it allows me and my family members to attend movies for free. On January 2nd I availed my self of said perk and my wife and I saw a movie in the theatre for the first time of the  year. The trailer With the code red reference was the last one shown before the feature. The name of the film is the unbreakable boy. It looks like it will be part Wonder and part I Can only Imagine and I would probably think that even if the trailer didn't mention both those titles by name.

It is one of those trailers that seem to show the entire story of the film in the trailer. These of course can be problematic once you get to watch it in it's  entirety. However, if it is showing the entire story, it is a story I look forward to watching. It comes out in March and more than likely it will be something I will watch for free in a few months. It actually looks like something worth paying for.

Oldest Living Baseball Players Cup of Coffee Edition


George Elder the oldest living baseball player

Elder played 41 games for the St. Louis Browns in 1949

Though meager this greatly surpasses the 16 living players with 10 or less games 

Yesterday I saw the Kurt Warner biopic, American Underdog.  At the beginning of the film Warner (portrayed by Chuck star Zachary Levi) voices over how common the dream to play in the NFL is and how staggeringly difficult it is to achieve.  He also mentions that the majority of players who do make it only last a season or two.  The same of course could be said about any professional sport.  For me it was baseball and I knew by little league that I would never played for my beloved Cubbies or White Sox. 

This dream became a reality for every major league baseball player even if it was for just a handful of games.  Of the current list of the oldest living players , 16 of them only played for the proverbial cup of coffee (10 or less appearances).  

Saturday, January 1, 2022

This Year - JJ Heller cover - Noel Dumont

I know I just shared this song less than a week ago but I adore this cover version by Noel Dumont.  

Happy New Year!

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip