Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Secret Santa Spin

Tis' the season for Secret Santa's. It's not everyday that you can send someone the Christmas spirit just in time for the holidays. Here in the blogging world one way to send the Christmas spirit is to send readers your way.

I participated in the this week's Spin Cycle to which we were told to send a list five of our favorite bloggers, then one was picked from the list for us to write a post about. One of those blogs is from Camille @ Archives of our Lives

I like the name that Camille uses for her blog, it reminds me of my days as an Archivist. She may be Canadian, but she also has roots here in the states. Perhaps it is the combination of the two that makes her so interesting. Camille is one of those bloggers that has been around a long time. I do not remember how I discovered her blog, but I have been a loyal fan ever since. Even though I probably don't comment very often, I still try and read all of her posts. She has a meme called Saturday Steals that if you like great finds (aka: steals) you can participate in.

I think I gave enough of a smattering of what her blog is about to not give too much away, yet at the same time make you interested enough to go check her blog out for yourself.

Have a merry Christmas Camille (they do celebrate Christmas in Canada correct…) Just kidding— enjoy your holidays and looking forward to many more posts to come.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Working Relationship

This is a follow-up to the post Relationships Relate:

It has been said that that generation Y workers tend to value socializing more in the work place than other generations do. This makes me question what makes a relationship at work (pardon the pun) work.

I know from experience that there have been different relationships based upon my role with others. There also are examples of situations where the relationship did or did not work:

Author's note: Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.

I knew a girl at work who at first seemed to be quite relaxed and laid back. I found out off hand that she attended the same college as I did. I later found out that there was a preseason basketball game sponsored by the alumni association. I invited her because I felt that she would have fun going to see a game. I don't remember the words that she said, but it gave me the impression that my offer was more than just a friendly get together which deeply offended me. We went to the game, but went separate ways after the game was over. I went to the reception after the game and reconnected with several former roommates and had a lot more fun with them than I did with her.

Just blame it on my Libra tendencies, but I feel that having a balance between being personal and professional makes getting along with others in the workplace more effective. Those people that do not always act professional are typically more approachable because they are not overly serious. They are the kind of people who are professional and get respect for the work they do because they do their work so well.

Jump forward eighteen years. I worked with a girl who was just the same age as the other person. The only difference was that she was more than willing to go out to lunch with any of her co-workers. I think the difference was that she knew the importance of socializing and was able to balance the work that she did with the social aspect of work. There was an unwritten limit that we all knew and we were well aware of where the line was and never crossed it.

I'll leave you with a few pondering thoughts… What makes a relationship "work"? Is there some magic formula that makes having a relationship easier or more difficult?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Acting Relationship

This is a follow-up to the post Relationships Relate:

I don't know how many times I have seen actors getting married after they are in a movie together. One would think that the actors would know that they are playing a part and not get romantically involved, but they do. I think that this assumption is why many people think that when you are in a romantic role, that you must "really" be romantic. Having played romantic leads myself I have encountered both good and bad acting relationships.

Author's note: Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.

In high school I played opposite the same girl two years in a row. The first year there seemed to have been a rumor that I was planning on french kissing her during the kissing scene. This prompted her to change the kiss to be more of a cheek brush by the end of the show. Unfortunately I was cast to play opposite her in a lead role the following year. By this time the rift was so great that she was being rude and extremely snobbish towards me backstage. My only defense was to ignore her. By the end of the show I knew that there had to be a better way of getting along with someone that you are playing a romantic lead with.

Jump forward two years… I was in a summer youth theater production and got the lead role opposite a girl who was just as old as the first girl when I had a lead with her. However, this person was much more mature both on and off the stage, which made the romantic scenes a lot easier to do (even being on stage in my underwear). It made me realize that you don't have to be romantically involved with someone when playing a romantic role. If you can play the part correctly, you can make the role work without looking awkward to the audience, or pissing off the person you are opposite of.

According to the post Be true to yourself as your own self true, I talk about behaving differently when in different social groups. If you think about it, we "act" the part much like an actor does when on the stage. The stage in this sense is the group that you are in and the audience is the group's members. You may think that this group stage does not have a true off stage, but we are the actors and we thus turn off our persona when we are not around the group (just like actors do when they cross from on stage to off stage).

One final thought that I will make you ponder rather than point out. We tend to act a part when in groups, but what about actual romantic relationships— do we play a part there as well?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Relationships Relate

From early on I realized that I valued relationships very highly. What I also found is that I tended to view relationships more seriously, and gave them a far greater importance overall. I think that this artificial elevation of the importance of relationships is something that others view as well. This is what typically got me into trouble when wanting a relationship. I tended to value the relationship in such a way that would make me appear either desperate or overly serious. What I have learned as of late, is that relationships do not have to be held in such high esteem.

I tend to look at things and try and figure out how they work. Much of my Personal Philosophy posts revolve around how I perceive the inner workings of relationships. One conclusion that I came to is that relationships relate.

We all interact with other people in one way or another. Unless you are trapped on a deserted island, you will always encounter other people. How you choose to interact with those people is basically how you relate to them. The fact that you are relating to the person means that you are in a relationship with them.

Rather than giving examples in this post, I decided to break it up into separate posts to allow those posts to stand on their own, as well as relate back to this post (no pun intended):

For now I will only list the examples to give you a chance to chime in and give me your opinion about them (or even offer other examples to use as well). Then when they have been posted, the bullet points will be changed to be links (to better relate them to this post).

What do you think… do relationships relate? Do we give the word Relationship too much importance?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pie Cubed

Three little kittens, they lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear
That we have lost our mittens.

What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have no pie.

The three little kittens, they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear, see here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.

Put on your mittens, you silly kittens,
And you shall have some pie.
Pie, Pie, Pie[1],
Oh, let us have some pie.

The three little kittens, put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie;

Oh, mother dear, we greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens

What! Soiled your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then they began to sigh,
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
They began to sigh.

The three little kittens, they washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry;

Oh! mother dear, do you not hear
That we have washed our mittens?

What! Washed your mittens, then you’re such good kittens.
But I smell a rat close by
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
We smell a rat close by.[2]

With inspirations from m2I

They say: "The secret is in the crust". So, rather than talk about how to make this pie or that pie, I decided that I would give you my secret to perfect pie crust. Makes two 9 inch crusts.

Perfect Pie Crust:
1 Stick of butter
6 T Vegetable shortening
2 ½ C Flower
3-6 T Cold water
  1. Place the butter and shortening in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flower.
  3. Cut in the flower with the butter and shortening until well mixed.
    If you do not have a pastry cutter, use two butter knives cutting like you do when cutting up lettuce in a bowl.
  4. With one hand, add the water about a tablespoon at a time.
  5. With the other hand mix using a gentle squeezing motion.
    The secret here (shh… don't tell anybody) is to continue adding the water and mix until the dough feels like Play-dough.
  6. Ball up the dough in the bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refridgerator.
  7. Cut in half and roll both halves for your favorite pie.

1 Originally is "Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r"— but I changed it to be "Pie, Pie, Pie" because that is how I remembered hearing it.

2 "Three Little Kittens" — first published in Eliza Follen's book:
New Nursery Songs for All Good Children in 1853.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spooky Cycle: Tails and Tales

This week's Spin Cycle's theme is Halloween show and tell…

Last Saturday, my wife and I went to our church's Halloween party. Whenever we go, we tend to dress up. All week we were trying to figure out what we would wear because we typically throw something together at the last minute and we didn't want that to happen again. I was considering making a dog mask out of a headband and gluing a pair of ears on the sides, but on Saturday while shopping, I saw a pre-made dog mask and bought it to wear:

My wife dressed up as Mary Poppins:

Monday was Halloween and we went over to my step-son's to go trick-or-treating in his neighborhood, then afterwords have scary foods to eat. One of the more requested dishes was the Octopus Hot Dogs:

My wife bought a Frankenstein cake from work:

This past week I was checking my blog statistics (because I wonder who all is reading) and I discovered that my post on Finger Bread sticks got a lot of hits. I checked my page to see if it actually had a picture, and it did not. Here's what they wind up looking like:

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Tale of the Griddle

When I first helped out at our church's pancake breakfast I got lucky and was able to get in on the ground floor. I was placed next to Jack who was the person who actually built the griddle I was cooking on.

As I flipped pancakes, Jack relayed the story of how he made the griddle. How he took a half inch piece of solid steel for the griddle surface. How, that steel was way too heavy and he had to grind down an eighth of an inch off of the top so that it could be picked up easier.

If you like pancakes, or if you want to see the griddle that Jack built, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast. I will be flipping pancakes on our custom made griddle. I am including the information on how to get there so you can see the griddle, or see me flip pancakes:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

9:00 am - 2:00 pm

All you can eat.

Adults $7.00

Children $3.00

Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church

I look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spin Cycle: Spooky Stories

This week's Spin Cycle Assignment: Ghost Stories. Rather than spinning a yarn (or web) of my own, I thought I would review a few movies instead.

My wife usually likes to pick out movies that embody the season. When fall rolls around she picks some really great classics. Here are the two she loves to watch and why:

Meet Me in St. Louis
Even thought this movie goes through the entire year, the scenes during Halloween make it worth watching. The Victorian house in the opening shot truly sets the scene with the shadows and eery lights. It's an honest look at how a child experiences Halloween. The dialog that the children use is very typical. Phrases like "Tootie killed the Braukoffs single-handed. She's the bravest of them all!" seem to show the sophisticated play that the children have. Traditions such as burning trash in the middle of the street, going up to the spooky house and throwing flower in people's faces to kill them make the scene worth watching.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A great transitional movie that gets you ready for Christmas. The characters in Halloween land stumble upon Christmas land and the main character Jack the Pumpkin King decides to give "Sandy Claus" a break and do Christmas himself. The dedication that Jack has towards wanting to do it right is very touching. Unfortunately, he does not get it entirely right and things go terribly wrong. Will Christmas be spoiled? You'll have to watch the rest of the movie to find out.
So, put that DVD in the player and give it a spin and enjoy the season.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spin Cycle: Firsts

This week's Spin Cycle is on Firsts. Rather than telling the story of my first kiss or my first date (I suspect that everyone may do that as well)— I thought I would write about first impressions. But then I realized that I haven't pondered that concept very much and would only struggle and feel rushed trying to get a post out. This post may not actually be of my first time in an airplane… nor would it be the first time I posted this story, but it is probably one of my first attempts at story telling.

Author's Note: Please bear in mind that this was written when I was about 14 years old and my not be constructed very well. All the same— enjoy…

Here I'm sitting on a might be couch (actually) a couple of foam polyurethane with nylon covers sitting on bricks (it looks good though) waiting for a plane to come in about 4:40.

I might as well start from the beginning.

It all started when I stayed up and read The Stand. So far it was a good book even though I only read about "80" pages. Then we all went to the airport. "Wait" go back just a little. Before we started off my dad wouldn't find the checkbook. He looked everywhere, sure he looked right where he found it. He blamed it on the dental things or insurance papers which they were under. When we got there mom and dad were worried about getting to the right place or elevator to the right terminal.

Then we were inside carrying my back-pack got to be tiresome my dad said to carry it on both arms, I refused. Then he told me that it would put more pressure on one strap and it might break, it didn't. At the ticket booth or terminal well my way to the place— I got it the ticket check in. That's it. When we were there my dad was supposed to get a stand-by basis ticket— that is you would get on only if they had the room. Well stand-by tickets weren't working or doing it for five years. My dad had to pay full fare instead of half. He blamed it on one of his bridge partners who so I hear has a problem with her husband or something like that. Well anyway he always has to pass the buck to somebody anyway.

When we got to the terminal gate which was as so written on the ticket holder H-7 his handwriting was fast but we could figure it out well anyway I could because I had the ticket in my hot little hands. On the way to the terminal mom was talking about something it's on the tip of my tongue but I forgot it actually it's about a price slash on round trips dad said only on round trips but mom said he checked it first. Actually the slash is made from a reserved ticketed rather than being it at the luggage check in area.

Well when we were at the terminal gate and we waited for the plane and learned that it was delayed by the rain and thorms in the area from 11:30-11:50. We also had to check in at gate 9 instead of 7 because that's where the plane came in. When I finally got on the plane and we were ready to take off. But the plane was delayed by the thunder storm and we didn't take off until about 12:10. The people in back of me were very rude as you might say in fact they didn't know they talked a lot.

I was alone in the two seats and so was the person in front of me. Well things got worse. I wanted to get some air on me and I saw a button to pull so I pulled it and the waitress came and asked if I needed anything. I said no I don't think so and was very startled until she told me that I pulled the call button. I felt stupid. She left then I wondered when they were going to serve lunch they did in a few moments. They had turkey sandwiches and potato salad with mustard salt and pepper and a tomato. I ate it all. "The potato salad was good" I said to myself even though I hated potato salad. When the stewardess served the drink I had a Sprite she spilled it on my pants and had to go all the way to the front to get an extra napkin. I tried to read the book The Black Marble but it was too distract-full on the plane. I saw what I think was Cairo ILL and the Mississippi river and I knew we were getting close to our destination. When we landed I got up and looked in back of me to see that lady she might be good looking she wasn't at all!

Then I got off the plane and out into the lobby and out of the gate at Memphis airport was pretty good looking I could say and it was small too so I got around it pretty easily but it had it's problems too. I had to find the place where my next flight was to take off at. It was pretty hard. First I saw where the small planes took off and it said restricted do not enter. So I was baffled so I sat down and waited for 4:40 to roll around and I didn't understand anything. So I asked one of the ground crew where the small planes took off and while explaining the situation at the same time. He told me to go to the luggage check in under United Airlines the one the ticket was under and ask about it. So I did and they told me to go downstairs.

Oh yes I almost forgot to tell you about my luggage pickup. I did and from that the fishing pole case was broken in one spot nothing much but the chain.

Well going down there he said to get someone and call this one place, well nobody there I was confused. Disgusted I went back up and asked again. He said to call Memphis Aero and I did, well I tried. I put a dime in the phone and it said that the number was not in service. OK I tried again same response. Then I found out what I was doing wrong. I then dialed the right number and it finally rang about 12 times then a lady answered the phone and I explained and she said they'd send transportation over.

Excellent. So I waited for about 10 minutes and was thinking of calling back but it came and I got in and we went over there and when we did the driver asked some questions about going over there to Mountain Home. I thought he was talking to me but he wasn't he was talking to someone else.

When I finally got inside and I tried to get my ticket checked.

Fortunately/unfortunately that is where it ends. I thought I had more on how I flew in a small plane, but I didn't. I think that getting to where you started is good enough.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Many happy returns of the day

I rather like the British phrase Many happy returns of the day. For those who are unfamiliar with the phrase and what it means, I'll give you a clue— Today is the return of the day. If you still don't get it, you can see what happened today on this date….

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spin Cycle: My Ultimate Date

This week's spin cycle topic is fantasy dates, so I'll put my hat in the ring, put my head in that, and do my best hip-hop head spin for you.

When I was young and was first dating, I came up with what I considered the ultimate date:

  1. First I would go out to eat at a fancy restaurant.
  2. Then I would go to see an opera, or professional theater performance
  3. After that, I would go out for a nightcap.

If you look at it, it doesn't seem all that ultimate. What made it ultimate for me is that it is supposed to be what I considered to be high class dating. These are the kinds of things that people you see in classic movies doing. Perhaps I'm a person who likes the 1930's and 40's and the kinds of things that people did in that era seemed high class to me.

Nowadays I wonder if what I considered the ultimate date is more of a fantasy. Let's not get into what constitutes a date, but rather consider the fact that all of these activities are quite expensive individually and even more so combined. Not only that, but considering how much time and energy goes into planning and executing them makes me tired just thinking about it (I guess my age is showing more every day).

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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Taken Factor

It is understandable for people not to flirt when they are in a relationship. This is because it may feel like you are cheating on your partner by doing so. It is also understandable that many people who are not in a relationship will flirt. Perhaps this is because they are trying to impress the other person and make them interested in them, or want to show that they themselves are interested. Of course, these are not hard and fast rules.

What I have found is that the same person will act noticably different and will flirt with you one time, then be defensive and not participate the next. I have witnessed this myself and after some observation, came up with the concept I call The Taken Factor. With it those who are, or are not taken act differently with those who are or are not taken themselves.

One who is in a relationship is flirted with:
With flirting, many women will flirt with married men because they know they are "taken". They know that the man thinks of them as forbidden fruit and will not cheat on their spouse, so they can get away with it.
One who is not in a relationship is avoided:
Women will not flirt with men who are not married because they don't want the men to reciprocate and make them feel uncomfortable.
One who is in a relationship will flirt:
Likewise, many who are not in a relationship and do not flirt may flirt when they are in a relationship. This is because they know they are "taken" and are comfortable in knowing that they can go to their partner if the flirting does not produce. This is not to say that all flirting is trying to take advantage of someone, but normally this is why people tend to back away.
One who is no longer in a relationship will not flirt:
Many times if you were known to be in a relationship you want to put up your guard so that single people will not hit on you. Perhaps they think that everybody knows that they have broken up and are afraid that people will flirt with them because they just broke up.

I have found that some of my observations do not have proof— you don't actually ask people if they are or are not in a relationship, so I'll ask you… have you yourself experienced these situations, or even adhered to them yourself? Do tell.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spin Cycle: Standards and Morals

Throughout the time when I was single I kept hearing phrases such as: "You can't go out with her, she's got too high of standards", or "They must have pretty low morals to go out with them" All of these phrases created a way of categorizing and labeling people. Even though I never liked labeling, I can see how they were used.

Standards are how we set the bar as to who we will know and/or go out with. Depending upon who you want to know will determine what your standards are. Morals are how willing we are to do something. The lower the morals, the more likely you will do it.

These phrases were then grouped together as a way of justifying stereotypes:

High Morals & High Standards
This is the kind of person who are saving themselves for Cinderella or Prince Charming.
High Morals & Low Standards
This is the kind of person who is willing to know anybody, but is also straight laced.
Low Morals & High Standards
This is the kind of person who could do anything, but only with someone special.
Low Morals & Low Standards
This is the kind of person who would do anything with anybody.

As I have grown older, I have realized that things are not as cut and dry, or as black and white as that and that people have different morals and standards based upon the situation that they are in. You may be willing to hug everybody, but does that make you someone with Low Morals & Low Standards.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011


If you thought that this was a post about the Versus Channel, then you are mistaken…

Lately I have found that I have written a lot of comparison posts. What I have decided to do is to group them together in this post so you can look at them yourself:

Inspiration and Motivation
This is my explanation of the difference between inspiration and motivation written at the time of President Obama's inauguration.
Smart vs. Intelligent
I seem to get a lot of hits on this one. This is how I define the difference between being smart and being intelligent.
Pretty vs. Beautiful
This is how I define the difference between being pretty and being beautiful.
Compassionate Comforting vs. Arm-chair Advice
In this post I talk about the frustrations of being a comforter on line.
Movers and Shakers
This is my definition of what it means to be a Mover as well as a Shaker.
Leaders vs. Followers
Followers tend to get a bad rap. I highlight what my interpretations of being a good follower are.
Trailblazer vs. Bridge Builder
This is my interpretation of what it means to be a Trailblazer and/or a Bridge Builder.

Also… if any of these posts inspire you to come up with a comparison you want me to cover— please let me know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spin Cycle: Rules and Rulers

Whenever I play a game with a child, I find that sometime during the game, the rules somehow change. And not only that… but they seem to change in favor of the person who changed the rule. Then, when you call them out on the rule they changed before, it somehow changes again.

Rulers are typically used to measure things. We like to see how big or small something is. We like to know how large the field we are playing on is. I am reminded of the scene in the movie Hoosiers where the basket ball coach asks the boys to measure the height of the baskets and the size of the court to prove a point.

I wrote a poem in college that I'll use to illustrate changing the rules:

If you change your boundaries
you must also change the rules to the game


When someone is a Ruler they are considered someone who rules over others. They are the ones who watch over us and make sure that we do not step out of bounds. We ourselves are our own rulers because we set limits on what we can and cannot do. As I have gotten older I have come to realize that many of the things I used to be able to do I no longer can do (or if I did, I would regret it later). Because my boundaries have changed, I need to change the rules so I can continue to play the game.

How do you "measure up" to the rules that you restrict yourself with?

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Trailblazer vs. Bridge Builder

When I was part of the search committee at my church we were given the opportunity to ask questions to the incoming minister. I asked the question: "Do you consider yourself a Trailblazer or a Bridge Builder?" At the time I needed to clarify in the context of being a leader— but I realized that there is a broader meaning to each of these terms:

I think of a Trailblazer as one who forges their own future. They are usually the first to do anything. Some may get the impression that they are the kind of person who does things without thinking, but I tend to differ. I think that they have a quality that makes them more independent because they are willing to do it on their own without any help from others.
Bridge Builder
So often there are gaps in communication, or even bridges to cross. Bridge Builders are the ones who fill in those gaps by putting everybody "on the same page". They are the ones who help others achieve their goals. This is the kind of person who believes in relationships and is able to get along with others and help others get along with everybody else in the group.

That is what I feel these terms mean to me. Feel free to give me your own impressions of their meanings— or even let me know… are you a trailblazer or a bridge builder?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spin Cycle: The next day of my summer vacation

When I heard that this week's Spin Cycle is on "What I did on my summer vacation." all I could think about was the Cheech and Chong Sister Mary Elephant sketch and the following lines:

What I did on my summer vacation.
The first on my vacation I woke up
I went downtown to look for a job
I hung around the drugstore.
The second day on my vacation I woke up
I went downtown to look for a job
I hung around the drugstore.
The third day…

(Get the picture)

Isn't it funny how we tend to go through our summers as a child and never remember a thing. It is only when we are asked to tell everyone about it that we tend to recite the day in day out routines that makes up our summer.

I could tell you about all the amazing places we went to, but alas I just recently started a new job and can't afford taking a week off without pay. We did go camping, but we always go camping— besides I already have two posts about camping here and here that you might enjoy.

For more exciting summer vacation stories, see Sprite's Keeper's Spin Cycle.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am the Pupster Dog

In honor of our beloved Spike (01/??/2002 - 08/22/2011)

As many of you may know I am a Radio-head— and being such I tend to make up my own lyrics to popular songs.

I must admit that our Dog inspired many songs— one of which I will attempt to convey to you so you have a better understanding of how special he was.

If you are familiar with the Smurf's Theme Song, then you can sing along with the lyrics to one of Spike's Theme Song:

I am the Pupster Dog
the Pupster Diddle Dog

I am the Pupster Dog
the Pupster Diddle Dog

My wife took this song one step further by singing it in the style of Doris Day— which gave it a sultry yet funny quality.

We both will miss our companion. I do not know of any other pet who has inspired so many different songs and nicknames. Our pack feels a bit emptier now and we'll just have to remember all the things that he did to inspire us to keep us going.

I have collected some pictures of Spike so that you can look at them and perhaps see how great a dog he is to us:

Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, no words can express our grief.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Take Me Back

Take me back to my thoughts of old
to the days of good times devoid of pain and cold

Where smiles flourish and love grows
where all are happy… and it shows

So show me those loving smiles
and we all can walk for miles through that story that is told


Monday, August 15, 2011

Spin Cycle: Multiple Personality Traits

This Week's Spin Assignment is Nature versus Nurture. Rather than go all out and give an entire Theseus on the subject, I thought I would give you a personal example of it:

No, I'm not Sybil…

I must admit that I am my parent's child. Looking at some of my physical traits you can tell that I am genetically related to them— my flattened nose from my Dad, my crooked bottom teeth from my Mom, etc., etc. But I also know that I have inherited other things as well.

Besides the fact that Mom likes cream in her coffee— Dad likes sugar… and I like both cream and sugar, I know that I have inherited some distinct personality traits. The interesting thing is that these inherited traits seem to be opposite of one another:

Sophisticated — Sarcastic
I get my sophistication from my Dad. He's the one who taught me how to order in a restaurant, how to tie a tie, and how to think logically. I think that he also influenced my "old fashioned" nature and my desire to wear hats, shave with a straight razor, etc. Not to say that he's a stuffed-shirt— he can also be quite funny— but this is what I notice to have gleaned from him.
I get my sarcasm from my Mom. We were always trying to top one another and usually wind up saying… "you won the smart alack of the year award". Not to say that she's always goofy, but she does have an interesting wit that I also have in abundance.
Personal — Professional
My mother is very personable. She's the one I always had those heart to heart talks with when in my formative years and I always appreciate her care and concern. I believe I got most of my parenting skills from her and know that I am thoughtful and loving towards others because of it.
My father— though retired now— has a lot of professionalism that I greatly respect. It's his work ethic that I admire and I try to emulate his dedication to the task at hand in the work that I do.

"First impressions are everything" they seem to say… but it may be that if I lean towards one of my traits, I do not get the acclamation or respect that I think I deserve. I may be quite sarcastic at times which seems to effect my being personal because people don't take me seriously. Or, I may be acting quite professional and later tell a very subtle joke that nobody gets. If you understand that I am a combination of these traits, you should be able to understand me better in the long run.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spin Cycle: Summer Senses

This week's spin is an open spin and all I could think of is the open air of summer.

And all the world is biscuit-shaped
It's just for me to feed my face.
And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste
And I've got one, two, three, four, five
Senses working overtime1

The other day my wife started listing all of the sights and sounds that remind her of summer. We then went the extra mile and decided to try and relate summer to all of the senses.

Rather than list all the ones we came up with, I would spin it up a bit and ask you what you come up with. Here are the categories:

What are the…
…of summer to you?

1 Excerpt from the XTC song: "Senses Working Overtime" from the album English Settlement.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


… blame it on the school for having lunch periods that were as long as the other periods throughout the day.

In high school our band director kept the band room open so that we could "practice" during our lunch periods after we ate (right, like we were actually going to practice). What wound up happening is that two of us made up a game we called Nay-Gun-ye.

If any of you are familiar with horned instruments such as a trumpet, you might know that you can change the sound by covering the end of the horn. This is called Muting— and there are several different kinds of mutes. One mute in particular is simply the rubber part of a plunger… but we didn't use the plunger head to mute our instruments, but something else entirely.

What we used to do was line up at the two ends of the instrument storage room and throw the plunger head and try and make the plunger head stick to the floor. At the time, there was a lot of political turmoil in such places as Lebanon and Libya, so we made the game more interesting by pretending the plunger was a bomb and we were indicating what was being targeted. Just before we threw the plunger, the thrower would make an announcement like "Lebanon", then throw the plunger. Depending on what the plunger did would determine what the person at the other end of the room would say. If the plunger landed on the floor and stuck, you would say "Gone"— and if it didn't you would say "Not Gone Yet".

Perhaps it was laziness, or because we were mentioning foreign countries and foreign leaders that "Not Gone Yet" got blurred into "Nah-Gun-ye" with a heavy foreign accent. Even gone got accented into "Gan".

Many times, my friend and I would talk about a foreign leader with the phrases used from the game. For example, at the time Mummar Gaddafi had several assassination attempts that were in the news. We would say to each other "Gadafi…Na-Gun-ye" to indicate that he wasn't successfully assassinated. What I find interesting is the fact that this statement that we were saying to each other over 25 years ago, still holds true today.

With events like 9-11 and all of the shows about terrorism that followed, I was watching one of the shows and thought to myself "Bin Ladin…Na-Gun-ye". I immediately thought of my high school friend, but never bothered to let him know this. After the Bin Ladin was killed I couldn't help myself by saying "Bin Ladin…Gan".

Friday, July 29, 2011

Can I borrow a dollar for lunch

When I was in high school I used to ask my dad for a dollar to buy something for lunch. Unlike a lot of schools today, we didn't have lunch periods that were shorter than the other school periods. This meant that we had a lot of extra time on our hands for lunch. They say that you are not supposed to play with your food— but we were kids and needed something to occupy all that extra time on our hands. Since I only had a dollar, I normally didn't get all of the items at once. These were items that we purchased at the snack bar which were not always available, but were there enough for us to come up with some interesting ways of playing with our food.

String Cheese (Mouse Tails)
If you take a smaller piece off of the string cheese, it seems to resemble a small tail. You then put the tail in the side of your mouth and tug at it. While you tug, you poke your cheek with your tongue giving the illusion that there is a mouse in your mouth.
Ho Ho's (Mice)
Since we had the tails, we needed the actual bodies. We also tended to unroll these and lick the icing then eat the cake.
Ess-KO-mo pies
These were actually chocolate covered ice-cream bars, but we called them Eskimo (pronounced Ess-KO-mo) pies. The trick was to be able to pull all of the chocolate off without breaking it… eat the chocolate coating, then eat the ice cream.
Chocolate Milk
I don't think that the pint sized container had the phrase "shake well before opening", but if it did, we took the phrase to new heights. You place the unopened milk carton on the edge of the table so that the flat seal of the carton was perpendicular to the edge. You grip the flat part and flip it off the edge. The trick was to see how many times in a row you could land the carton seal side up.
Frozen Chocolate Malt
If we weren't flipping our Chocolate Milk, we would pour a thin layer of it on top of the Chocolate Malt cup and wait for it to freeze. Then we would scrape off the frozen layer and repeat the process.

I know that nobody else was allowed to play with your food, but confess… I know you did. What did you do when you played with your food?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leaders vs. Followers

I am neither a leader nor a follower
but a gatherer


You tend to hear people refer to someone as a leader: "She's a great leader…", "It's always nice to know we have a leader like him…", etc.… One thing we do not hear is people referring to someone as a follower. Could this be that we are afraid to follow, or do we put too much emphasis on being a leader?

Perhaps we think of leaders more highly because they tend to be the ones in the spotlight. Also, we may look to leaders more admiringly and wish that we had the same qualities as they do. I think that being a leader or a follower is not a full time commitment. Sometimes we are a leader and sometimes we are a follower.

Being a follower shouldn't be considered a bad thing. Many times we tend to follow someone's example— or even follow along with a group. We are not following blindly, but rather make the choice to follow.

I believe that we should recognize Leaders and Followers not as personality traits— but rather as roles that each of us play. We take on the roll of leader or follower when the situation calls for it— not because it is ingrained in our personality. How often do we find ourselves following someone's advice, or taking charge of the situation. We may not be recognized as a leader or a follower at those moments, but we are being a leader or a follower at the time.

Rather than asking what makes a good leader, I will ask what you think makes a good follower. What to you makes a good follower… discuss…

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movers and Shakers

You may have heard the phrase "The Movers and the Shakers", but do you have any idea what that means? I have a tendency to make up my own meanings to words which tend to be quite close to the actual meaning,or even give new insight into the current definition.

As found in Dictionary.com the definition of Movers and Shakers is:

A person who wields power and influence in a particular activity or field.1

So it appears that nobody has taken the time to define what each part of the phrase means. So I guess I can't be wrong in offering my definition of each:

This is not the person who moves your furniture, but rather the people who keep things moving. They are the ones who "Get things done". You look to movers because you know that they are typically successful when it comes to executing a given task.
No… we're not talking about the people who make baskets and chairs, but rather those people who shake things up. These are the ones who question things and will stand up for what they think is right. You look to these people to change the status quo, or even offer a new perspective.

Looking at my definition, I realize that I do not tend to fit either one of these fully. There may be times when I take on the "role" of Mover, but am never looked upon as a "Mover". True… sometimes I may say something that causes you to see things differently— but I do not consider myself someone who challenges and changes the status quo. What about you… are you a Mover or a Shaker?

1 Taken from The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997.
Published by Houghton Mifflin.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spin Cycle: Giving and Forgiving

This week's Spin Cycle is on Forgiving, so I thought I would give my spin on it…

Once I signed up for a personal ad and in it I indicated that I was "both giving as well as forgiving". At the time I thought it just sounded good, but I later found that I was actually pretty profound. Just what does it mean to be giving as well as forgiving?

To be "giving" to me means that you are willing to give of yourself. It is a way of being selfless and sharing with others. So often we find ourselves taking: taking advantage of someone, taking charge, or even taking that last slice… that we forget how to give.
I believe that to be "forgiving" is not just accepting someones' apology, but to be able to let go of any anger and resentment you have towards that person in spite of what they may have done. It is also being able to ask for forgiveness as well. So often we think we can do no wrong, that we forget that we make mistakes too. And not only ask for forgiveness, but be sincere when doing so.

Interestingly, it is the combination of both of them that makes it really profound. If we can be selfless and ask for forgiveness when we find ourselves taking– or, even be able to forgive someone by giving of yourself to that person, when before you were only angry and impersonal towards them— then you have truly been "giving as well as forgiving".

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I originally had an idea to do a spotlight on my followers because of a Meme called Tuesday's Tribute. I thought… "what a great way of promoting their blogs and give them credit for bearing with my narrative/technical-writer style of writing". I decided to write to those followers that I could and ask two questions so that their words could be a part of the post:

  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

I realized that posting on all of my followers would be a very long post— so I broke it up into smaller manageable pieces.

Since it has been a very long time since I last highlighted my followers— I realized that many who are on these lists no longer blog, or are unreachable. This is my attempt at doing some house cleaning so that those who are represented in the lists are listed appropriately and those who visit my pages will not get frustrated because someone took down their blog or made it private. If you are reading this post, I ask that you go through the lists and if you know of someone who no longer blogs to let me know so I can make a note in the posts.

I also know that I have many more followers that I cannot contact to ask the questions to. So… if you are following me and want to be on a future list, let me know the following:
  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spin Cycle: Wishing on a Car

I guess we all have out strange rituals when it comes to wishing and wishes. For me it's wishing on a Car:

When I was in High School I was riding with my sister who upon seeing a car with one headlight turned to me and said: "pick a day of the week"— to which I replied: "Tuesday", then she said: "then Tuesday will be your lucky day". It seems strange to wish upon a Car… but every time after that I've always picked Tuesday as my lucky day.

Sometimes I ponder the weight of the wish… Is it one for myself, a few people, or even a large group of people? Other times I realize that my wishes may be extremely vague on purpose… I wish I had clarity in thought to make sure I make up a good wish for the Spin Cycle. (huh???)

What about you— do you have any strange wishing rituals? Do you find yourself struggling to come up with a unique wish— or do you always wish for world peace?

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Warring Madness

With all of the political turmoil in the Middle East it is usually very difficult to try and figure out why these groups have been against each other for so long. Many blame it on differences in religion where people justify their actions based upon their beliefs.

If religion can be considered a way in which groups of people cope with the challenges of living through an organized set of principles, then all religions are the same. I think if you look at the major religions of the world, their overarching principles are basically the same. The "spirit" of the religion, much like the "spirit of the law" is the same. The only difference is the words used to describe the principles. How we choose to obey or not obey these principles is up to us. This is the concept of free will. Even those who choose not to follow a particular religion are still following a principle of some sort (we would be mindless reactionary beings if we did not follow some principle).

I think that one of the challenges of today is the ever increasing population and how to deal with the seemingly increasing acts of senseless violence. Religious backing or not, Mob Rules seem to be taking over. I am reminded of a scene of Japanese snow monkeys where one monkey is beaten to death by a group of other monkeys. I believe that the reason why this behavior is this way is due to the fact that there are so many of them in one place. If we are creatures with similar social behaviors as these monkeys, then having more and more people on this planet will eventually lead to more and more of this type of behavior.

So, rather than blame it on religion, perhaps we should be blaming it on overcrowding…

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spin Cycle: Watch Your Step at the Wishing Well

Since this weeks spin is about books, I figured I would re-post a review I did about a great summer-time book. Not only that, but it is written by a high-school classmate of mine. From what I hear she has finished the sequel, so you better start reading so you can be ready for when the sequel is published.

I just recently finished the book Watch Your Step at the Wishing Well by Lisa Hudon. This is one of those easy reads that you can easily go through while on the beach or poolside. I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list.

The story is almost like a fairytale in how an average everyday girl from the Midwest named Nicolle Bocelli falls in love with a rock star named Gary LaForge. And much like Cinderella, just when you think our heroine is living the life of bliss— true reality sets in like the clock striking midnight as this fairytale life of hers becomes complicated with drama and intrigue. And just when you think you have everything figured out, an additional twist is added which keeps you in the story and keeps you reading further. Not only does the story line keep you interested, the scenery the author uses keeps you interested as well.

I must admit that growing up in the same home town as the author there is a lot of imagery about the heroine's home town that I can identify with— but I also believe that the settings are quite believable and paint an interesting picture that assists in the character development. The contrast between the home towns of both Nicolle and Gary complement each ones character and assist in showing where they both come from as well as showing why their personalities are the way they are.

I rather like the way in which Gary interjects from time to time with his own telling of the story. It is almost as if Nicolle sat down after the fact and was writing her adventure when Gary decides he needs to give "his" side of things.

And just as everything in the story seemed to come together and reach a dramatic climax, it quickly ended. Everything was neatly put in its place and a calm sense of normalcy returned. But this sense of a heroic and dramatic ending leaves the reader wanting more. There are a lot of unanswered questions… but I'll leave that to the author to answer when the sequel is released.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scar Tissue Tales

When I was in High School, our church choir was on tour in St. Louis. During the time we visited the riverfront, a downpour occurred and forced us to wait it out in the back of an RV in our shorts and T-shirts. To pass the time we wound up pointing out all of our scars and telling everyone how we got them. I don't know what it is about scars, but they seem to be something that most people enjoy sharing. One would think that this is a particular "Boy" thing, but the girls were equally pointing out their scars and telling everybody how they got them, no matter how gruesome the story.

There seems to be a leveling quality to scars in that if you know that someone else has a scar– this makes them more human. The willingness of pointing out ones imperfections shows a humbleness and proves that we are all fallible.

There are several scars that I have found that I have to ask myself "now, how did I get that one…" then rack my brain and try and figure out how I got injured. Others I know I got, but have a tough time trying to find: such as the laceration on my left forearm– the only place I ever got stitches.

I was working at Knaack Manufacturing helping form job boxes. I was assisting the break-press operator with lifting the box top while it was being bent. I must have dropped my arms at some point, because I did not notice that I was cut until I started to lift the next piece, and saw the blood dripping down my arm. I am sure that if this were any other cut, I would not have to have stitches. But, since I was working with metal, it was required. For the longest time, I kept thinking that it was my right arm that was injured, since that was the arm closest to the piece. Interestingly, it was not the arm closest to the piece, but the other one– which probably explains why I could not find it on my right arm.

Much like the tree in the forest; if a scar cannot be seen– did the injury ever occur? I sure hope not because there are some injuries that I felt a scar should be visible, but went away. But, even though there is not visible scar, the story still remains. Like the time that I was playing baseball in a neighbors back yard in my bare feet and overran first base only to slip on a plastic drain pipe and cut my foot from the base of the big toe up through the heel. A great looking cut, but it actually went away in about 3 weeks (probably because most of the cut was through the callous skin).

The best scars are those that when you look at, you either guess wrong, or can't figure out how such a scar was formed. The next time I'm in sandals, I'll show you the one on my right ankle and ask you how you think I got it.

It is our scars– as well as our experiences that cause them that define our being. Having a scar allows us to reflect on our experiences and know that we are able to recover from our injuries and tell the tale.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spin Cycle: Office Decor

The other day I was talking with my co-workers about different offices they had and how they liked or disliked the way their desk was set up— and it reminded me of one desk set up that was the worst for me. Since this week's spin cycle is on decorating, I felt that our attempt to make the space more tolerable makes a good spin.

I had a job where my desk was directly below the skylight. When I first moved in during the winter it was nice to have the light, but by the time summer rolled around it became unbearable…

Here is what the sky-light looked like in the afternoon.

In order to be able to work in such conditions, I bought a golf umbrella and some PVC piping to rig up a shade for myself…

Here is the umbrella shoved up into the skylight.

Our department got new cubicles to replace our desks. During the time that the old section of the room was unoccupied, we decided to take advantage of the skylight…

Here is an example of how much sun came in through the skylight
(Enough to get a tan, eh…)

So with a little ingenuity and some office plants, we made a great tropical paradise…

This is our Tropical Paradise

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writer's Workshop: It's all in the genes

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle prompt #3:
Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes.

Author's Note: This is a re-posting of an earlier post I made in 2008. I realized that it fit quite well with the writing prompt, so I re-posted it. Enjoy…

No, I'm not Sybil…

I must admit that I am my parent's child. Looking at some of my physical traits you can tell that I am genetically related to them— my flattened nose from my Dad, my crooked bottom teeth from my Mom, etc., etc. But I also know that I have inherited other things as well.

Besides the fact that Mom likes cream in her coffee— Dad likes sugar… and I like both cream and sugar, I know that I have inherited some distinct personality traits.

Sophisticated — Sarcastic
I get my sophistication from my Dad. He's the one who taught me how to order in a restaurant, how to tie a tie, and how to think logically. I think that he also influenced my "old fashioned" nature and my desire to wear hats, shave with a straight razor, etc. Not to say that he's a stuffed-shirt— he can also be quite funny— but this is what I notice to have gleaned from him.
I get my sarcasm from my Mom. We were always trying to top one another and usually wind up saying… "you won the smart alack of the year award". Not to say that she's always goofy, but she does have an interesting wit that I also have in abundance.
Personal — Professional
My mother is very personable. She's the one I always had those heart to heart talks with when in my formative years and I always appreciate her care and concern. I believe I got most of my parenting skills from her and know that I am thoughtful and loving towards others because of it.
My father— though retired now— has a lot of professionalism that I greatly respect. It's his work ethic that I admire and I try to emulate his dedication to the task at hand in the work that I do.

"First impressions are everything" they seem to say… but it may be that if I lean towards one of my traits, I do not get the acclamation or respect that I think I deserve. I may be quite sarcastic at times which seems to effect my being personal because people don't take me seriously. Or, I may be acting quite professional and later tell a very subtle joke that nobody gets. If you understand that I am a combination of these traits, you should be able to understand me better in the long run.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Understanding the weight of the situation

This week's Spin Cycle topic is "Wait". I could have done something about the radio show Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!— but once I read the line about weighting, I realized I already had this one "waiting" in the queue.

Author's Note: This is a pretty "heavy" subject, so if you feel a bit lost don't hesitate to ask me in the comments. I'm always willing to clarify.

We've all heard about the so called "End of the World" in 2012.

Since the Maya Long Count Calendar is based upon astronomical observations it is quite amazing how they have predicted a unique phenomenon that will occur on December 12, 2012.

The earth when it rotates is not perpendicular to the orbit around the sun. This is why we have seasons because the sun does not hit the same spot on the earth as it rotates and orbits. The times in which the sun is furthest away from the equator is during the summer and winter solstice.

The orbital plane of the solar system is also not perpendicular to the orbit of the solar system around the galaxy. This is why we seem to see different zodiac constellations in the sky throughout the year.

Every year, on the winter solstice, the Sun and the Milky Way, from the surface of the Earth, appear to come into alignment. This alignment never points at the same place each time (it changes by one degree every 72 years), but it has been calculated that the orbital plane of the solar system will align with the orbital plane of the galaxy on Dec 21, 2012.

Whenever there is a full moon people are said to be loony. This is based upon the lunar phase and is contributed to the moon's gravitational pull and it's effect upon our brains.

Let's take this logic a bit further. Imagine if you will that any gravitational force can influence the brain (even so much as to effect the decisions that we make). Since on December 21, 2012 the earth's orbital plain will be aligned with the orbital plain of the galaxy, we can expect there to be a lot more gravitational pull— especially if we believe a massive black hole is at the center of our galaxy. Since this alignment has been happening very slowly over many years, the influence has been increasing very gradually (probably to the point of being imperceptible). I have noticed that Alzheimer's disease has been on the rise— how do we know that it is not due to the effects of the black hole?

For more information, please see 2012 phenomenon on Wikipedia.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spin Cycle: I didn't know you had kids in high school

I thought I would participate in the reunion of the spin cycle and talk about something that happened at my high school reunion.

When I signed up to participate in my 20th high school reunion, a questionnaire was sent to me to fill out. Many of the questions were pretty strait forward and did not give you the feeling that you were taking a final exam. One of them was: "Tell something that people would be surprised to know about you".

You have to realize that when I met my wife, she already had two teenagers (talk about being an instant parent). By the time I had my reunion, one of them already had a child of their own. Because of this, I put "I'm a grandparent" as my answer. After that I put it out of my mind.

At the reunion, someone I was having a conversation with chimed in: "I didn't know you had kids in high school". If you do the math, either I or my offspring would have to be pretty young in order for me to be a grandparent. All the same, it did make for interesting conversation.

What about you… do you have something that people would be surprised to know about you? Did you have an interesting conversation at your reunion? Perhaps you can go check out the Spin Cycle by clicking on the picture below and see what others have to say.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My sabbatical is hopefully over

Sometimes I wonder if anybody really noticed…

There are moments when you wonder if you want to continue. I wonder if starting up again is going to be successful, or will it still be a struggle like it was before. When I looked back at the number of posts I made before I stopped, I realized that the numbers were slowly declining.

Of course, I have a great excuse for stopping— but I don't want to just give excuses. I would much rather know that those people who like to read my posts are glad that I have returned.

I know that I have outlined my recommended posts before— but I have had a lot of time elapse and have a fresh perspective on these posts. This will also allow you the opportunity to "refresh" your memory of my writing style— or even get a taste of my writing style if you are new here.

Posts that I am proud of writing:

Name, Occupation, Health, Feelings
This is probably my oldest personal philosophy concept as I remember writing about this when I was a freshman in high school. I am considering re-posting it and making it into a multiple post where I outline my thoughts in the first post, then get into greater detail in separate posts.
Attraction Factors
This is one of my personal philosophy posts which talk about those things which attract us to others.
Traditional Letter Writing
I talk about how I have many traditions when it comes to letter writing some of which I still follow to this day.
The Tangibles
This is part one of a two part post which deals with the concept of tangibility. I suggest reading both this one and the following one to be able to compare the two properly.
The Intangibles
This is part two of a two part post which deals with the concept of tangibility. I originally wanted to just talk about this— but realized that I was doing a lot of comparing so I had to break it up into two separate parts.
Three Legged Stool
This post uses the analogy of a stool when it comes to relationships.
From the mind, heart, and soul
Here I try to clarify some of the terms I tend to use when it comes to my opinions on things.
Sphere of Influence
This post can stand on its own— but is also related to the next two listings below. It is an interesting concept which is referenced a lot in other posts.
Tyranny of Numbers
This post is related to the Sphere of Influence post but expands upon the concept to include the Internet and being able to find what you are looking for through searching.
Anonymity through Commonality
This post takes the post on Sphere of Influence and the post on Tyranny of Numbers and expands upon it to show how difficult it is to find "Me".
Inspiration and Motivation
This is my explanation of the difference between inspiration and motivation written at the time of the President's inauguration.
Coping Mechanism
This post helps to explain how we cope with stress in life.
Smart vs. Intelligent
I seem to get a lot of hits on this one. This is how I define the difference between being smart and being intelligent.
Pretty vs. Beautiful
This is how I define the difference between being pretty and being beautiful.
Do you have that new myPhone yet…
A tongue and cheek look at how our reliance on phone features could go too far.
The Long Rain
A review I wrote in high school about a science fiction short story.
Trolling for South Pole Traffic
My look at Web statistics services and how they leave out an entire continent.
Couples and Train Couplings
An analogy between people who are couples and train couplings.
Trapped in Time: Act 1
This is part one of a two part story that I originally wrote in high school. It is a cliff-hanger in that you need to read the next post to get the end.
Friendship Types
This is the first part of a four part series on different types of friends that a person can have. I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the series as it took me almost a year to complete.

Posts that currently have 20 or more comments:

Warm Milk
This was my first post that reached 20 comments. It is also one of my first participatory posts where I am participating in Tuesday's Tribute.
Wordful Wednesday - Spikester Diddly Dog
This one got a lot of comments because… who doesn't like dogs.
Communication Styles
This is an introduction to a series post that I have about communication styles. I encourage you to read the next four posts as well since they cover each in more detail.
Writer's Workshop: C is for Cookie
This is a good story about how my sister taught me a lesson for demanding a cookie. Be sure to read the comments, she tells the real story and not the one a 4 year old remembers.
100th Post
Most people like to wish you well on your 100th post. Hopefully it will give you some topics to ask me to write about.
TT: Spin on the Bed
This is currently the record holder with the number of comments made. I probably tribute it to being both a Tuesday's Tribute and a Spin Cycle participatory post.
What's in a nickname: Naming conventions
I think a lot of people have nicknames and like to share theirs.

Please feel free to visit these pages if you have not done so already to give you a smattering of my writing style.

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