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

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.