Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Yes, we're talking back-to-school time.

Please, please, hold your applause and cheers, you know that you will be missing them in a few days, weeks, months.

Anyway, with this being such a special day, I thought I would share a few pictures, if that's okay with you.

First up we have Maggie, who is going to school for the first time - she has been home-schooled for the past two years...

Jessie is next and looking more and more grown up as she is entering that fun year, seventh grade.

Katie is looking forward to hanging out with her friends, oh and going to class of course. She really enjoys going to school.

Andy is actually getting ready for his last day of summer work - he leaves for his sophomore year at Loras College tomorrow.

Benjy always knows where the camera is, so he doesn't have to show his face. Notice how dark it is outside? That's because it is 5:30am. He was waiting for his grandfather (the Deacon) to take him to morning mass.

We have been blessed with seven wonderful children and now have five of them in schools ranging from second grade to college sophomore. I think Danny is even getting excited about going to school next year. Maybe. He wants to go to Disney World first, then we'll talk.

He is so ours.

How did your first days go? Were the kids excited about getting back into the school game? Or did they fuss and fight waking up?

Have a great school year kids, we love you!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The One Where I talk about Eat, Pray, Love. Kind of.

Most of you have heard of the book Eat, Pray, Love, or maybe you have seen the movie by the same title starring Julia Roberts. Personally, I have not read, nor do I think that I will read the book, and the same goes for the movie. They just aren't my cup of tea.

So, Roger, why are you writing about this book and movie that you won't even check out because they might offend your masculine-ness? Well, because... let me tell you about myself a little bit here, I am a curious sort and every now and again I get a jolt to the brain and start looking things up. I should write down that process sometime so that people might start understanding me better, nah, what fun would that be. Maybe.

Anyway, in the process of one of my little 'mind jolts' I came across the story about Eat, Pray, Love and its author Elizabeth Gilbert. Probably started from a blog I was reading, yeah it was here at Chocolate for your Brain that got the whole thing started, because I was curious about this book, actually the story about the book - because I had no idea that it was an actual memoir.

That in turn led me to Swagbucks, which in turn led me to a whole gaggle of information about one Elizabeth Gilbert and her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across, Italy, India, and Indonesia. Which, in turn, led me to her website, which then led me to the whole inspiration behind this little blurb today, the video below. The reason I am sharing this video with you, should be obvious, is because I thought it to be very entertaining and a bit educational, or maybe it was the other way around and was very educational and a bit entertaining. I'll leave that for you to decide. Fair warning, it's something like nineteen minutes long. But it's a fast nineteen minutes.

So with that, I say enjoy...

No, I still don't think I will read the memoir, her other stuff maybe but only if I am feeling contemplative, I guess. Oh, and just because I won't, doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Seriously.

Okay, I'm really leaving now... Bye-bye!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Got Beef?

Wanna Feel Old?

Beloit College has released it's Mindset List for those young minds that are entering college this year with plans on graduating in 2014. The results are below, you might want to sit down for this... 

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.

3. "Go West, Young College Grad" has always implied "and don't stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way."

4. Al Gore has always been animated.

5. Los Angelenos have always been trying to get along.

6. Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.

7. "Caramel macchiato" and "venti half-caf vanilla latte" have always been street corner lingo.

8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

9. Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better chance of running into Miley Cyrus's folks on Parents' Weekend.

10. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves "real" aliens from another planet.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

12. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

13. Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.

14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

15. Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.

16. Korean cars have always been a staple on American highways.

17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection.

18. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

21. Woody Allen, whose heart has wanted what it wanted, has always been with Soon-Yi Previn.

22. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.

23. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.

24. "Cop Killer" by rapper Ice-T has never been available on a recording.

25. Leno and Letterman have always been trading insults on opposing networks.

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents' closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They've never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

29. Reggie Jackson has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.

30. "Viewer Discretion" has always been an available warning on TV shows.

31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

33. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.

34. "Assisted Living" has always been replacing nursing homes, while Hospice has always been an alternative to hospitals.

35. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.

36. Adhesive strips have always been available in varying skin tones.

37. Whatever their parents may have thought about the year they were born, Queen Elizabeth declared it an "Annus Horribilis."

38. Bud Selig has always been the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

39. Pizza jockeys from Domino's have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.

40. There have always been HIV positive athletes in the Olympics.

41. American companies have always done business in Vietnam.

42. Potato has always ended in an "e" in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.

43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

44. The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

45. They have always had a chance to do community service with local and federal programs to earn money for college.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

47. Children have always been trying to divorce their parents.

48. Someone has always gotten married in space.

49. While they were babbling in strollers, there was already a female Poet Laureate of the United States.

50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

51.  Food has always been irradiated.

52. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.

53. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn't he? 

54. The historic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia has always been a copy.

55. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.

56. They may have assumed that parents' complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.

57. A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife. 

58. Beethoven has always been a dog.

59. By the time their folks might have noticed Coca Cola's new Tab Clear, it was gone.

60. Walmart has never sold handguns over the counter in the lower 48.

61. Presidential appointees have always been required to be more precise about paying their nannies' withholding tax, or else.

62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine. 

63. Their parents' favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

67. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

70. The artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg has always been rapping.

71. The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.

72. One way or another, "It's the economy, stupid" and always has been.

73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.

74. They've always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi Channel.

75. Honda has always been a major competitor on Memorial Day at Indianapolis. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Morality - A Review

If you take a look below you will see my review for the book, short story, Blockade Billy by Stephen King. Little did I know that the library copy I read did not have the additional short story called Morality

Guess what I read today?

Morality is a short story, approximately 50 pages long - at least in this copy of the book. The story deals with a married couple Chad and Nora, who like many people are fighting to make ends meet. Chad is a substitute teacher, working on a book Living with the Animals: The Life of a Substitute Teacher in Four City Schools, of which he has about eighty pages written. Nora is a nurse that is working for the Reverend George Winston (Winnie) of the Second Presbyterian Church of Park Slope, retired, who had a stroke and needed to be cared after.

One day Winnie, gives Nora a proposal to earn some money to do something for Winnie because he wants to have one last thrill, so to speak, before he dies. Chad and Nora need the money. You can put two and two together and probably surmise correctly where this will lead our happy couple.

Stephen King does a great job of breaking down the "morality" of these three characters in a manner that he has become famous for. Basically, he throws it in your face and tries to make you squirm a little. Oh, he succeeds at that and also tries to get you the reader to look into your own soul and try to make you choose what to do as well. If I were to have one complaint, it would be the Catholic bashing that I read, sure it might not be intentional and I may be a little bit sensitive, but I have also read a lot of Stephen King's books. 

Take that as you will.

I still enjoyed the read - even a faster read than the last one, which it should be I guess considering the shorter length. Four out of Five stars for the short story Morality by Stephen King.

Amazon has it belonging to Esquire magazine, but if you buy Blockade Billy it is included with some of the versions that are out there.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blockade Billy - A Review

Is a novella by the master of suspense, and a pretty good storyteller, Stephen King.

Let me tell you, it is a great read, and also one that will take you no more than a few hours, heck some of you it might not even take an hour, to read. Very entertaining and it just sucks you right in, like most of Mr. King's books do.

Blockade Billy is the story about how William "Blockade Billy" Blakely, made a name for himself as the catcher for the 1957 New jersey Titans. The Titans were having a tough time in the spring of that year with keeping catchers healthy, and had to resort to calling up anybody, not caring if they were from double or triple A, to play catcher for Titans until they could find someone with a little more experience.

Enter William Blakely, from the Davenport Cornhuskers, complete with his rundown truck with the chicken wire holding the license plate on, to the old baseball gear that looked a little worse for wear. Blakely comes in with a wide-eyed look about himself, which makes sense coming from the farm towns of Iowa to the big city and all.The narrator "Granny" worries that the kid might not be made of major league material and doesn't really give the kid a chance.

The rest is history, or lack of history, as the saying goes and Blakely starts off the season on a tear and he earning the nickname "Blockade Billy" by his play behind the plate. He is having a season for the storybooks, and you just know that Mr. King has something special planned.

I highly recommend that you read Blockade Billy if you get a chance, as the story is rich and the characters come to life in a manner that only Stephen King has. An enjoyable and quick read.

Four out of Five stars for this wonderful novella.

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451608217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451608212
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Shots from the Weekend

He thought the underwear on his head was funny, little did he know that his sister had my phone. Jessie also likes playing 'pack mule' on the weekends apparently.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fog and the National Pastime

A couple more shots from my phone, the fog is from Stuebenville and the stadium is for our single A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Good times were had at both.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Date Night with Maggie, part three

Daddy got into some trouble with the girls, but there was ice cream.

Date Night with Maggie, part two

The girls were having a really terrible time, can't you tell?

Date Night With Maggie

Herr are some pictures from my "date night" with Maggie and her friend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creative Writing 101?!

Saw this over at SubVet's Blowing San #1 - and I liked it. So now I share...

Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus". It is offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado as an actual class assignment:


A Creative Writing professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students: Rebecca & Bill

THE STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Bill )

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

( Bill )

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam , felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized even poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

( Bill )

Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. " Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo. I guess I've read too many Danielle Steele novels!"



( Bill )




( Bill )

In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


A+ - I really liked this one.


Danny and his buddy, blue cotton candy. Yum!

Ha ha ha ha! That is awesome! Okay so it will haber to be limited to 140, lest I confuse you, and me.
. I will try to push the limits though I'm sure. Cheers!
d in the knowledge that my mobile posts will not be any longer than 560 characters, no long-windedness here, well at least when here is here (cell phone)
e you go over that fourth message it kicks into MMS and a whole news thing happens... Do i sound as old as I think I'm sounding here? Anyway, be comforte
I have learned a valuable lesson just now. Using my cell to send blog posts through will haber to be limited to the equivalent of four text messages. Onc

Fwd: Random phone pics

This is my first mobile blog post, you know, because I was bored.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Flash Opera!!

I saw this over at The Deacon's Bench and thought I would share it here as well... Enjoy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome to August

Where the heck did the year go? I mean it's not going to be long before we start seeing Christmas decorations and toys on sale - yeah, I went there.

Anyway, these past seven months have just flown by and I don't really have much to show for it. I might be down a couple of pounds, and I have finished reading a lot more books than I had planned to by this point in the year. I also have a new four-year old and a new one-year old, and by the end of the year - Christmas in fact, we will be the proud parents of a twenty-year old son.


That looks weird. I mean how can I be the parent of a twenty-year old? Oh, and to just ratchet it up a notch, I will also have a new driver in the household. How can this be happening, next thing you'll be telling me is that I will be fifty soon.


Here, let me distract myself with a picture...

Yep, I went there!