few things satisfy that need for a manly testosterone-fueled adrenaline rush like firing up the old chainsaw and hacking away at poor defenseless trees.
dolby had a rough day today. up early with an appointment at the vet for x-rays on his hips, sedation, grogginess, and general poking and prodding made for a dog of a day.
tonight we thought we’d take him for some fun on the beach.
black skimmers are out and tonight was no exception.
you can see that dolby thought it’d be fun to try and catch this big boy.
sadly, his reflexes were still a bit stunted and the skimmer got away. the look on his face in this picture: shame? guilt? disappointment?
guess we’ll have to try again tomorrow. better luck then, dolbs!
thunderstorms. playing cards. reading. nature. driving.
these are only a few of the things my dad loves that i also love. these are things that he introduced to me when i was a little kid, and i am a much better man because of them. some of Â my earliest memories include:
- watching thunderstorms roll in while sitting on the back porch together and jumping at the lightning and thunder.
- being read to at night (by mom, too!) – this was a nightly occurrance – at least one story before bedtime in my room or in jason’s.
- being read to, having a thunderstorm roll in, STOP reading, turn out the lights, and watch the storm together.
- learning how to play gin rummy & chess and spending time playing both (or should i say losing both – i doubt that i’ve beat him at either).
- camping trips to Heuston Woods & Miami Whitewater, building fires, hiking, swimming.
- drives, sometimes just to drive. other times, 3 weeks worth of driving (remember the RV trip from cincy to wisconsin to california to mexico to tennessee to ohio?).
- raiding his bookshelves for good reading material. dad loves to read – being read to every night as a youngster was pivotal. being grounded from TV for five years in my later years didn’t hurt, either. i was introduced to Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, JRR Tolkien, and John Steinbeck, among others, in those junior high years.
now, to be sure, we have our differences. we have very different personalities. we have different likes and dislikes. we disagree about things.
but dad is level-headed. intelligent. loving. kind. analytical.
he is still the first person i call when i’m trying to make a decision about this or that and need someone to see more sides of the situation than i can figure.
he still loves me and lets me know it frequently.
he still lets me raid his bookshelves and “forget” to return the books to him.
he’s the first person i think of when lise and i are sitting on the beach or on the front porch watching a big thunderstorm move through.
i’m a better man because of my dad.
thanks, dad! happy fathers day! i love you!
one of my YG guys from years past (dusty) is to blame for the following variation on the ABC game:
take a well-known topic / book / movie and, in round-robin fashion, start with one person who has to think of a character or main feature starting with A, then go to the next person who has to do the same for B, then the next person for C, etc. – keep this going until someone gets stuck, is eliminated, and play goes to the next person. the winner is obvioiusly the last person left standing.
the first time i remember him initiating this game, we tackled Harry Potter. A was Albus, B was Beasley, C was… well, you get the picture.
this could be done with that ghastly “Twilight” series and/or the movie, or a TV show, etc.
just another great time-killer for long drives.
so the long drive from cincy back to pensacola drove us to playing the ABC game, much as we used to do with youth groups on the way to camps, retreats, concerts, etc.
“yes, yes, but how does one play?” you may be wondering.
each individual starts with the letter A and,Â using anything OUTSIDE of the car, van, or bus you’re riding in, finds a word that begins with that letter before moving on to the next letter in the alphabet. each word can only be used once, so the trick is to be the first to say the word and the letter. the person that gets through the entire alphabet first wins!
so, for example: lise and i are driving down the road and she sees a car with an Alabama license plate. she says, “Alabama, A.” and then moves on to B. because i didn’t say it first, she gets the A. i might see a street name “Anandale St.” and a Buick with California plates and if i can say them all fast enough, “Anandale, A; Buick, B; California, C” then i get the three of them. but if lise needs the C and she calls california first, she gets it and i’m still stuck on C.
- INFERRED words don’t count. if i see an Audi and know it’s an Audi but don’t see the word “Audi” on the car? can’t use it.
- Initials don’t count (unless you agree to it at the beginning – CDL Trucking can’t be used for C).
- Distracting an opponent in the hopes that they won’t see a letter / word they are looking for is perfectly acceptable.
- X is a somewhat difficult word – in the past we have allowed that as long as the letter X is IN the word somewhere, it counts. Z can also be included in this rule.
- Petty bickering over who said it first is counterproductive, as the point of the game is to a) have fun and b) kill time. the bigger the group, the more difficult it is to avoid petty bickering, but appoint a referree just in case.
- Restroom breaks generally bring a time-out in the game.
- Writing a word on a piece of paper and sticking the paper out the window probably warrants a penalty of some sort. it’s not acceptable, at any rate.
because we didn’t make the X or Z exception, our game went on for hours, with my winning at approximately 11:30pm in Century, FL as we drove through a School Zone. lise was napping.
i was so proud of myself! the dog and i were up @ 3am and out the door by 3:30am for our drive to cincinnati.
we were bookin’ on through and i started making a mental list of all the things i had needed to get together and put in the car before we left. things were going along just fine until i thought to myself, “hey, something doesn’t feel right here…” i looked down and said,
“hey! where the hell are my shoes??”
the trouble with living by the beach? being too comfortable with being barefoot all the time.
besides this minor snafu, the trip to cincy has been a good one.
it’s @bhalpin‘s fault.
about a month ago, he wrote about his top 100 novels, a response to someone’s response to NPR’s list. i’ve looked over others’ lists (including the Modern Library’s and the BBC’s from several years ago) and thought, “well, if they’re doing it, and Halpin’s doing it, i ought to do it, too.”
my list, in no particular order, includes books (not just novels) that have had an impact on me over the last 25+ years, whether because of subject matter, writing style, the time at which i read it, or the chemical that is released by the brain associating pleasure with certain things.
- Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
- Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
- Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
- Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
- An American Tragedy by Ted Dreiser
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- The Inferno by Dante (Ciardi)
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
- The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
- The Talisman by Peter Straub & Stephen King
- His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
- Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- The Handmaidâ€™s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
- Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
- Maus by Art Spiegelman
- John Adams by David McCullough
- Truman by David McCullough
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
- angela’s ashes by Frank McCourt
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
- A Series of Unfortunate Events by lemony snicket
- Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
- Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- The Traveler by john twelve hawks
- The Bible
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gunderson
- Contact by Carl Sagan
- What is the What byDave Eggars
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- Calvin and Hobbes – Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat by Bill Watterson
- A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian Mclaren
- Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
- night by Elie Wiesel
- extremely loud and incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Candide by Voltaire
- The Unabridged Edgar Allen Poe
- The Stories of Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury
- A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong
- The Search to Belong by Joseph Meyers
- The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll
- The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
- Timeline by Michael Crichton
- The Big Book of Hell by Matt Groening
fifty-six. it was the best i could do. i wanted to BS a few more classics just to look more cultured and civilized, but then i realized, “hey! this is MY LIST! if someone thinks i’m not all that intelligent because i like dr. seuss, well pbbbbthhhh!”
do you have a list? how about a top three?
i should clarify what i meant in the last post concerning twitter and excessive self-aggrandizing and the like:
- i realize that twitter is, for the most part, a social networking tool / micro-blogging site – as such, personal posts will be the norm
- HOWEVER: when i’m following 80 people and ONE person posts 25+ posts a day, most of which seem like text messages to only a few people who will “get it” (or give a damn), this is a waste of my time.
- and the same goes for folks who ONLY use Twitter to toot their own horn (such as: “hey, i just blogged about blah blah blah and you know you need to read it!” or “hey, why aren’t you reading my blog?” or (insert tinyurl misleading me to something i don’t care about HERE).
- there are no “rules” for twitter, despite what some of these so-called “social-media experts” and others would have you believe. and “Netiquette” as we used to know it is out the window.
i love reading the personal posts! seriously! but i hate excessive monopolization by a few people. i’ve even ditched a couple professional groups because of this same thing. if you’ve got that much time on your hands as to be a “professional twitterer” (thanks, @duebber), more power to ya. there’s obviously an audience out there for you, it’s simply not me.
and again: i’m not bitching here about Twitter or specific Twitterers – but the nature of Twitter grates on me as it is (sometimes) and this type of behavior only serves to make it worse.
the solutions are obvious:
- un-follow folks who tweet mindlessly
- block those who shamelessly self-aggrandize
- get the hell out of twitter all together
i love technology. i love that we’re struggling to figure out how to continue to integrate technology into our personal and professional lives even as the pace of technological growth far outpaces our ability to keep up with it.Â i’ve even set up a second twitter account and am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my classes next year.
fear not, friends! i’m not weeding my twitter following list because you mention the fact that your dog likes to eat its own poop, or that you love The Bachelor.
just don’t mention it 25+ times a day, eh? :-)
lots going on, lots coming up – time for another stream of consciousness, eh?
- finished reading two good books in a row -Â The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon;Â Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. the first is a story told from the viewpoint of a fifteen year old with autism – fascinating to me after working with profoundly autistic students for many years in DC and Maryland. the second won the Pulitzer for fiction back in 2000 – it’s a series of short stories and very enjoyable.
- i’m currently readingÂ Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. both are good so far.
- my contract was renewed at PFHS for next year – this was FANTASTIC news, both because having a job = good, and because i have come to love working at this school! very excited for what next year will bring.
- as school finished up last week, i’ve been searching for things to keep me busy this summer. too much time off is dreadfully boring. have a meeting with a department at my district tomorrow to discuss my developing Moodle pages for this dept’s training sessions, and helping with other technology related things. couple days a week, couple hours a day, maybe.
- our beloved Canon S2 IS bit the dust a couple months ago. a stunning blow, as we rarely leave the house without a camera in tow. we knew we wanted to move up in the digital camera arena, but didn’t have the money to do so. after some scraping and a lot of research, we ended up getting a killer deal on a Canon SX10 IS and we’re having a blast with it. the pictures are crisp, the response time on the camera is quick, the 20x optical zoom is over the top, and the flexibility is great. we’re still learning the nuances of this camera, and i have difficulty in a couple areas that are probably lack of photography knowledge, but we’re working on that!
- i’m enjoying Twitter more as i’m finding professional uses for it (mostly networking and idea-sharing), but i have to admit: i’m getting very annoyed at folks who use twitter like text messaging and/or simply to show off. now, the beauty of twitter is: even though everyone and their mothers have a “how to use twitter” tutorial, the truth is, there are no rules. and my bitching about folks who use twitter one way or another – it comes down to this – i stop following them so i don’t have to partake in their pointless and excessive self-aggrandizing or all the silly personal chatter they produce. it’s been bothering me a bit – thanks for letting me blow off some steam about it (and no offense meant to anyone who has been un-followed or recognizes themselves in this description – i still love you, just not that much).
- and in the interest of full-disclosure: i don’t frequently have a lot of intelligent things to say on twitter – but i do keep the meaningless posts to a minimum.
- the juan sebastian elcano is docked at pensacola pier – we went down and took a stroll around – pretty impressive ship!
- the sunsets continue to blow our minds here in pensacola. the temperatures have been very pleasant (mid-80′s the last couple weeks). tonight we saw a black skimmer fly by just as we were about to leave – very pretty and graceful – this was the best i could get of this one as it flew by:
- recent new music discoveries include: Rosie Thomas; Booker T; and Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse’s Dark Night of the Soul.
be well and take me to task on some of this stuff, ya hear?