Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Classic Reads

Updating a theme from this post, I thought I would update anyone who cares on what I have been reading. I have been reading a lot lately 9 books this month, 18 for the year. They range from self-help, to some Buddhist reflections, to stories of the seas, business and fiction. The linked post was more about classics and I would like to keep on that subject.

First up is "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. The short book written in 1886 is definitely a classic. I enjoyed the read but it was a little slow for me to get into since it was written in 1886, not the authors fault..just a time fault. I did enjoy how the book took a look at the dual nature of man(probably true for woman as well). This book is supposedly a darker side of the author as well from his other books. I am sure I will check out some of his other books in the future.

The second classic is Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five." This book is a bit more modern having been published in 1969. Again I was slow to get into this book, but once in I was definitely locked in. The book is mainly about war, but there is time traveling sci-fi theme too. The book takes on flaws in humans. Considering when the book was written America was in Vietnam, the book shows the dark side of war and how unfortunately war will continue.

Again both of these books and authors were new to me, so it was like discovering something new.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caps Win Good For Hockey

Hats off to the New York Rangers for making the series 7 games, however they blew the series after being up on the Capitals. Hats off to the Caps for battling back, but they have to be disappointed that it took seven games to finish out a first round series.

Yes, New York is a bigger market. The Rangers have more of a following then the Capitals will ever have. However, Washington's match up in the next round with the Pittsburgh Penguins is great for the NHL.

The series will pit to of the leagues major stars against each other. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, the 21 year old center who had 103 points in 77 games for the Pens. Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, the 23 year old left wing who had a 110 points in 79 games for the Caps. Both teams have more talent as well. The teams also have playoff history to add to the playoff excitement. Hopefully, the series will be a great one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tony Gonzalez Trade

Fox Sports reports Tony Gonzalez was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Atlanta Falcons for a second round pick in 2010. Kansas City may make another deal packaging the pick or they may hold on to it to use next year. The deal appears to be the winner for the Atlanta Falcons.

The past two seasons Tony has gained more than a 1000 receiving yards. He definitely becomes another target for Matt Ryan. In my opinion, if Ryan and Gonzalez stay healthy the trade makes Matt Ryan a better quarterback. The Falcons offense should improve. The Falcons don't loose anything this year and still have draft picks to improve the team as well.

The Falcons were 11-5 and should contend for the playoffs again this year. The Chiefs were 2-14 last year and are rebuilding their team. Sometimes in order to rebuild you need to let talent go. However, looking at this trade the Falcons got the best deal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reflections on Earth Day

Earth Day is a day of awareness, to be really effective everyday needs to be Earth Day. I was greener, more active for the environment in my youth. What happens? Where does it go? I think the answer is we get busy in life, the everyday, other concerns become a priority.

I try to stay green. My blog in January pointed out some of the Green things I did in 2008. Some of the Green things I did in January as well. Some of those things are on hold right now. I do fish and I have blogged about it a few times. In West Virginia, when you buy a fishing liscense(or hunting liscence) you have to buy a conservation stamp, which is like $5, which goes to support conservation efforts throughout the state. So, yearly by enjoying the outdoors, I help make my state a little greener. It is a small effort, but combined with the other hunters and fisherman throughout the state it makes a different. I also support a local outdoor festival which helps efforts to clean the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, which ultimately helps clean the Chesapeake Bay. I recycle when I can. (Sometimes, I slip).

I am fortunate my employer has made green initiatives. I enjoy National Parks, State Parks, and Wildlife Management areas. I like to see wildlife(most of the time, sometimes they can be kind of scary) and I like to share those moments with my family. I hope wilderness areas around the world are preserved so my family and other families are able to enjoy them. I hope the environment is preserved so I can live, my family and generations to come will be able to live. Also I would like it preserved so I can continue to fish, and so can future generations or hunt if they prefer. I hope we are able to preserve the world for all to enjoy for generations to come. However, it takes more than one day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Laptop on the way!

Yesterday morning I made a spur of the moment order of laptop. It is refurbished, but with a Pentium 4 processor. It doesn't have my familiar MS office applications but it supposedly has some sort of spread sheet program and word processor application.

The great thing about the laptop is it means I will be able to write more. Sure, I will be writing out in the "field." Kind of like those romantic places you would picture a writer writing out in the past, which in reality will be whole in the wall coffee shops, libraries and anywhere else I can find free Wi-FI hot spots.

Besides my writing I also plan to use the laptop for my volunteer commitments. Plus a portable PC will make sense down the road as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Day at the Circus

Over the weekend I took my two year old daughter to the circus. I had planned to take her to a smaller circus a couple of weeks ago but some how those plans did not work out. Saturday, we decided to have a family day and I was able to get tickets to Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth circus.

The circus had two acts, an intermission, and last about 2 and a half hours. I was impressed the circus was able to keep my daughter's attention for the most part. She just turned 2 this month so it was a bit long for her. However, she was really into the first half. It was a joy to be able to watch the circus with her and from her point of view. She is an awesome daughter, it was so nice of her to share the experience with me "look daddy, look."

The clowns were entertaining. It was her first chance to see real live tigers and elephants. They also had puppies and horses which are two of my daughters favorite animals all that was missing for her was cows. All and all it was a pleasant evening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beau Torbert A Canary Again

MLN Sports "The Raw Feed" report Beau Torbert has signed with the Sioux Falls Canaries for 2009. Also pitcher Kris Regas, was signed by the Canaries. Both Regas and Torbert were signed by the Detroit Tigers organization but were cut at the end of Spring Training.

The Canaries should be a lot better with the return of one of their top pitchers and the return of the leagues MVP. Hopefully, Beau will have another great season and have an other opportunity to join a MLB organization's system.

I will follow Beau like I did last year and provide occasional updates on how he and his team are doing. Stay tuned for more on Beau...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Weekend

Saturday my daughter turned two. She is still adorable. I ended up getting her a toy tea set, with cups, plates, silver ware, pots and also a toy microwave set. She almost got a guitar, but the wife talked me out of it. (It's not like I don't have one set aside for her when she is older, or that I wont get her one later.). She went to another birthday party in the mid afternoon and it rained all morning. We did finish the evening off with a German chocolate cake.

Easter, we went to church as a family. Evelyn-my daughter was able to participate in an Easter Egg hunt. Then I gave her, her own Easter Egg hunt.(It was a lot of fun to load them up for her.) Then we had lunch at Applebee's. After lunch I gave her two more Easter Baskets. ( Again a blast to load up, with Candy and Stuffed critters.) We took a long nap and had snuggle time. Then we played outside, first in the yard and then at a park. She was able to do a swing by herself for the first time and she sat on my lap in another. It was great to here her going wee as we swung. She was so happy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Good Samaritan

I have been fortunate in my life to run into my share of good Samaritans when I have needed one. Not always, but more than my fair share. Late last night on a multi lane highway, we saw a car in front of us loose control and smash int a jersey wall.

How the driver did this I don't know. The pavement was dry. Maybe she was distracted, maybe she was tired, maybe she was on drugs, medication or was drunk. Maybe it was just bad luck. Anyway the how didn't really matter. Was the driver OK? Were there other passengers? I instructed my wife who was driving to pull over.

I dialed 911 on my cell phone. The dispatcher transferred me to the state police..while this was taking place I had started walking toward the vehicle. I saw the vehicle start to move a little bit and the driver got out. She was a young lady probably in her 20s. She said she was OK and was going to drive away..

So she was gone before I could give all the details to the police. However, the important thing is I decided to stop and see if I could help. I was amazed she was not injured and was able to drive away. A tribute to safety features in newer vehicles.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Fever Put on Ice(Snow)

Yesterday there were snow showers. Here the ground has already warmed up so the snow did not stick. In the mountains I heard they had some accumulating snow. It sames like every year we get flurries in April. Mother Nature has her mood swings where the temps are all over the place. I new Monday when the cold wind was blowing the weather would be changing...

The flurries were big at times looking like white flakes of pollen which will be falling soon. One could confuse the two except pollen doesn't melt on your windshield. However, the weather will warm up again. Even for you readers in the colder areas..where you may still be scraping ice and shoveling snow..the seasons are changing.

I like snow flurries myself..especially when they are harmless and you know they won't coat the roads. I find them calming. Especially when it is warm enough where you are not freezing. The flakes falling down from the sky..

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

North Carolina Tar Heels 2009 NCAA Hoop Champs

Congratulations to the North Carolina Tar Heels the 2009 NCAA Men's National Champions. The game was not close. The Tar Heels pulled out to an early lead. At the half the Tar Heels held a 55-34 lead over the Michigan State Spartans. The Tar Heels won 89-72.

Michigan State can hold there head up high for getting to the Championship game. In the first round the Tar Heels destroyed Radford 101-58, beat LSU by 14, 84-70, whipped Gonzaga 98-77, Oklahoma fell 82-70, and Villonova lost 83-69 in the Final Four. The Tar Heels were on a mission this year in the tournament and they were successful.

It is amazing to think almost 73,000 were able to watch the game live at Ford Field in Detroit, a massive crowd compared to most basketball arenas. I wonder how the view was from the nosebleeds?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beau Torbert Cut

Disappointing news for Beau Torbert, he was cut but the Tigers organization on April 1st. When Beau was signed last fall there was hope he would land a job in AA or AAA for Tigers.

There wasn't much news on Beau's cut. I did confirm at TigsTown on and Take 75 North (another Tiger Blog).

The questions remain will Beau still play ball? Will another organization sign him? Will Beau play Independent ball? The answers I don't know, however I will continue to look for updates and share whatever I find. Personally, I wish Beau the best on whatever he decides.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cutler to the Bears

The Chicago Bears got a starting quarterback. The Denver Broncos rid themselve of Jay Cutler. The Broncos did pick up Orton in the deal, however to me it appears the Broncos do not have a quarterback on their roster as talented as Jay Cutler.

However, I think the Broncos will come out better in the trade long term. Two number one picks, a third round pick, and a quarterback who can challenge for the Broncos starting job this season. The Chicago Bears paid a steep price, but did land a quarterback better than anyone on their roster. Orton was made available by Cutler's arrival. Giving up the 2 first round picks, is going to hurt and a third round pick. However, there are always future trades and free agency to pick up the missing pieces as well.

I think wih the trade the Chicago Bears are better now. I think the Denver Broncos took a step back maybe for this fall. However, I think they felt Cutler had to go and they have the picks to improve the team down the road.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Day! April Fool's Day

As Aaron Neville sings "everybody plays the fool" some of us like me play the role quite often and well. Rejoice people like me for today is our day!

Am I planning to pull any April Fool's jokes today? No. Do I want any pulled on me? No. Sorry some parts of my life resemble an April Fool's joke gone to far.

Even though it's raining the lyrics to Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain" don't quite fit. The lyrics to Robert Plant's solo song from 1988's Now and Zen album called "Ship of Fools" is more fitting.

"Turn this boat a round back to my loving ground"

Oh well fun with lyrics, hope everyone enjoys their April Fools Day