Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Breast of Intentions

"I'm going to Australia for 5 months" read the status update of my friend Christa. "Sounds like it could be awesome" I commented, with hesitance in my voice and then DM'ed one of my oldest friends, Mike - her husband to ask if he too was going to Australia,

Other comments:
"What?! That is a long time ! Def going to be amazing have fun, miss you xo"
"Stop in SF on your way."
"Wow that's fantastic !! Enjoy !"

Shortly after Christa's post, her sister-in-law posted this to her FB page:
"I am going to California for 31 days."

That's when I figure out this is some kind of ruse. I commented, "Okay, now I know you and you sister in law are messing around with some meme or"

A simple Google search revealed this to be yet another bizarre meme to create awareness for breast cancer. It baffles me, because in the end, it does no such thing. I say breast cancer is pretty important and the best way to create awareness is to just talk about it directly - the memes just confuse people and really make no sense.

Just my opinion. That said, I can see getting into the spirit and others playing along.

Monday, July 29, 2013

1D Seem to Get It

Having a teenager, and being in tune to pop-culture, I try to pay attention to things in the mainstream. It seems that Miley Cyrus is on the brink of being out of control, Amanda Bynes and lost herself, and Justin Bieber is in a potentially dangerous place. Of these three particular young artists, the fame that they've achieved at such a young age seems to have affected them negatively; perhaps it was the fame alone or the fame along with other factors. Regardless, they are all in place where they seem to have lost touch with who they are.

I'm happy to say that it seems there are some who seem to have a decent head on their shoulder and are getting by okay. Of the ones that come to mind: Miranda Cosgrove, Selena Gomez and One Direction.

I came across this One Direction (1D) video the other day and found it not only entertaining, but it seems to indicate that they get it and don't take themselves all too seriously. It seems to me they know they are very fortunate, are grateful to the fan base that get them to where they are and are just being themselves and enjoying the ride. I hope that these kids, all of them, not just 1D can stay on the right track and set a good example for other young artist and their fan base.

As the parent of a teen and friends of other parents with teens, it's encouraging to know that some of these kids can still send a positive message.

Here's the 1D video I was referring to, give it a watch - you'll laugh!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Parental Pride and Dim Sum

The Dim Sum


The Gateway to China town in Boston

The Old State House - Boston
My daughter and I had a great day today. After church, we drove into Boston en route to China town for dim sum. Took 40 minutes of driving around (and a lot of patience) to get a parking spot then another 25 minutes to get into to restaurant - but it was worth it. As you can see from the food pictures above, we had a nice array (including my personal dim sum fave, chicken feet in black bean sauce).
Raising my child has been such an intense source of so many things; it's the most important job I've ever had and easily the hardest but the rewards sometimes just are hard to put into words.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cat Nap(s)

Sometime after I got home from the funeral today, after changing, I sat in my office at the computer for a bit, listening to some podcasts, trolling FB for a bit. I was pretty out of it and ended up dozing off in my chair. At some point, my cat jumped on the desk then gently began to step onto my lap. I was aware of what was happening, as I was sleeping lightly, but I just ignored it knowing he'd settle in in a few seconds. Of course, the speakers on the computer were up and I had left Facebook on the screen and when someone posts a comment, it makes a loud tone. The tone sounded just as Oliver was in mid step onto me and it startled him, he then stomped on my belly and used it to spring off and jump away from the evil sound that startled him - waking me (that little brat!).

Not too long after, I was downstairs on the couch and decided to nap because I was bored out of my skull. I don't know exactly how long I was out for but it wasn't too long. I know that I would probably had slept way longer had the cat not randomly jumped from the top of the couch, where he was looking out the window, this time landing on my nether regions at which point I yelled very loud, cursing him to run upstairs and me to laugh even though I was hurting.

Pet ownership is sometimes less than it's cracked up to be :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Out of Focus

This week has been a blur, there was only a short period of clarity when my daughter and I celebrated her 15th birthday. This blog has been aroud for more than half of her life, she turned 7 about a month after I first started From a Whisper to A Scream.

Who decided what #1 and #2 would be regarding bathroom output?

Back to school season is in full effect, I can almost already see the halloween displays ready to take over soon after and then thanksgiving and Christmas - and we're less than a week away from August. Alright, take a step back, breath deep, and find some way to live every moment and be thankful.

I am looking forward to the Springsteen & I film, need to figure out when to see it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's Almost Tomorrow

Minutes before midnight, I was about to shut down the computer having realized I was very tired and really should have been in bed and hour (or more before), I picked up a pen and the following short poem spilled out:

It's almost tomorrow
Did I matter today?
Did I use my time wisely,
or did I let it slip away?

If I'm graced with another day
 in this world we are all a part of
I'll do my best
to Live, Laugh and Love

I won't go on about it, I hope that it can mean something to you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Funny Thing About Grief

I did have a bit of a distraction from the grief and shock of my friend Wayne's passing in that today is my daughter's birthday and this morning, before leaving for work, I was able to celebrate briefly with her and watch her react to the gifts I got for her.

The two pairs of Converse All-Stars are custom. You can go to their web site and design your own and I was able to trick my kid into designing these without her having any clue that I planned all along to order them for her; they came out rad! In front of the converse, the little blue plastic odd shaped thing is an ocarina. The package of Twix is pretty obvious, they are her favorite candy bar. Of course there is a card and the backpack in the background was one she saw online a month or two ago while I was showing her a messenger bag I liked and got for myself; she fell in love with this one and I immediately did two things: planned to order it, then I completely distracted her from that possibility by expressing how I thought it seemed a bit odd and looked like it had an ass crack (it did look that way in the picture we saw). She loved everything and it was nice to see her smile and have a joyous time.
I am still in a bit of shock over the passing of my friend. So many have posted photos and every time I see one, I think the same thing - I just can't believe he is dead. It's freaky! There is still quite a bit of talk onm campus as well and the funeral services aren't until teh weekend so it will linger for a few more days.
Thanks to everyone who reached out with offerings of sympathy and condolences - I will be sure his wife knows of them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rest in Peace Wayne

It's been a crazy 24 hours. As I type this, it's almost exactly 24 hours since I learned that my friend Wayne Barrow had passed away. I spoke to Wayne the week before I left for Vegas, he and I have attended a few of these conferences and have had some fun times. I had planned to call him sometime this week to catch him up on what he missed.

The picture here, was from the 2008 Blackboard World conference and that is of course Wayne, behind the big W. When he said he wanted to take a picture of him in the big W (for obvious reasons), I started laughing so hard because all I could think of is the opening scene from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" where Jimmy Durante yelps, "It's under the Big W".

When Wayne was first hired at MassBay, he and I did not get along at all. He was my boss, he was younger than I was and I made more money that he did at first - I don't know if that's where the tension came from or what, but it wasn't fun or pretty early on. I don't even recall when or how things changed but when they did, we became good friends. When he left MassBay a couple of years ago, we remained in touch and even got to be at a Blackboard World together in 2011, again back in Vegas.

Wayne was recently working very hard on his Master's degree. From what I hear, he had been experiencing shortness of breath in recent days but he chose to attribute it to the excessive heat and oppressive humidity.

I am still in shock and very sad over his death but I know that the best way to honor those who pass before us is to forge ahead. What was a bit spooky - this morning in my work email, there's a message from LinkedIn about how my contact Wayne Barrow had endorsed my skills in Instructional Technology; either an erie backlog in LinkedIn's email system or my buddy Wayne has Internet access from the great beyond.

Rest in Peace my friend, you will be missed!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reply All...Not! (Does Anybody Know How to Use eMail?)

I wish the "Reply All" function from email didn't exist. While this can be a very useful tool if used properly, it's clear the (not so) civil world has decided to ignore it's actual purpose and simply click reply all 100% of the time without any thought as the context or context of the message.

Today, I realize that there may even be a chance that all hope is lost on this. Please know that what follows is not meant to be an insult to anyone but it is a real event and one that I find extremely frustrating.

I emailed all of my colleagues in the I.T. department today except for one indicating that it was the birthday of the one I left off the email. With the exception of two of us (me included), everyone works on the main campus with him and all but two of them are close enough that they can make visual contact without ever leaving their chair. My hope was that most, if not all, would stick their heads in the birthday dude's office and send good wishes.

Here's what happened: Half of the people I emailed hit the "Reply All" button and wished the birthday dude well not even realizing he wasn't on the distribution list of the original email. Now this, in my opinion, is pretty bad but worse, I replied back some of those who did the reply all to explain the error they made and one of those folks write back saying that he went to birthday dude's office to say happy birthday and "birthday dude said he never got the emails." WHAT?

How are we, the I.T. professionals supposed to teach proper use of email if we as a group clearly disregard the proper use protocols?

Car Wash

Working at the car wash
Working at the car wash, yeah
Come on and sing it with me, car wash
Sing it with the feeling now, car wash yeah

Yesterday we had a car wash after church to help raise funds so that we can send our acolytes to Washington, D.C. in October. This was not as well planned or advertised as it should have been so to my surprise, we were able to raise $400 despite all of that.

I wanted to set a good example for the kids, so I got my hands dirty and worked as hard as anyone - thing is, after the first couple of hours, the three adults were working harder than the kids (I guess they outsmarted us).

A number of additional fundraisers will happen and hopefully we can raise the required funds in time.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Education Bug and Other Miscellaney

Every now and again, I get the feeling like I should get some more education. This past May marked 20 years since I earned my Master's degree and every couple of years I think about wither going for a second Master's or a Doctorate degree.

I accomplished a goal of completing one of my pay-it-forward gifts, this was a project that took some time to complete but it's ready to go to the post office for mailing.

Started listening to this CD today:
My friend Steve gave it high praise and I recently borrowed a copy from the library; it's quite good!

Today was one of those days that really seemed to have zipped by. I got up late, much later than usual - a very rare thing but I deserve it. I dallied about with some TV for the first hour or so before finally getting downstairs to get a workout in. I did get to BJs for some food shopping and as I mentioned here earlier, I did get a project done...I still feel that this day flew by.

My theory tweet from earlier today:
Theory:Ask 100 people over 40 to do a Bill Cosby impression, at least 96 mention Jello pudding during the impression.

Good Night!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Twinkie Dance

This evening, my friends the Road Dawgs are playing a gig and for fun, will be giving away Twinkies to folks who get up and dance. I think this will be rather humorous and I look forward to witnessing the event.

My daughter gets back from her vacation today, I am looking forward to seeing her tomorrow sometime; I haven't seen her in two weeks because I was away last week.

I may have mentioned a major professional accomplishment at the conference I attended last week, today I got one step closer to etching it in stone - there are a few meetings to iron things out early next week but I am feeling confident this is going to happen. Once it is written in stone, I will share more.

I might be having way too much fun with Vine.

Bon Jovi must be going through a tough reality check! Not that I feel bad for him in any way considering his net worth but for someone who could sell out any stadium or arena anywhere at one time, his show tomorrow here at Gillette Stadium has been struggling to sell seats, I've received numerous offers from Groupon and other similar discount outlets for tix as cheap as $12. Pretty embarrassing for a band that can't sell a seat for more money than if cost to park!

According to my calculations, my kids should be landing at JFK about now, I'm gonna try to get a few moments of phone time - se y'all!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tail Ends

In reflection and summary of the conference I attended last week, I prepared a report of all that I saw, absorbed, and accomplished - the paper ended up being 16 pages but I think it does a good job of summarizing the important stuff and highlight some great references. I share it with my colleagues at work who were not able to go to the conference but I also shared it with some colleagues from other colleges; people that I've built a professional relationship with - it was nice to see how appreciative they were to receive it.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I'm on the tail end of a project for one of my "pay it forward" gifts. I haven't yet decided, but the work that went into it may seed a series of podcasts as well - who knows! Regardless, I think it turned out pretty cool - can't say much more, don't want to give it all away.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hard to believe that back-to-school stuff has begun to surface in retail already; Walgreen's had started their display. I shouldn't be so surprised and in fact, it really isn't all that hard to believe because it seems to get earlier each year. However, it's only like 5 or 6 weeks until my daughter goes back and about 6-7 weeks before the fall semester begins at my school.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I'm all caught up on the TV I missed while I was in Vegas last week. I am not thrilled with the final results of The American Baking Competition but I enjoyed the show. I still haven't finished the latest season of Arrested Development, I have about 4 episodes left. Finally, it's just under a month (I think) from the Breaking Bad final season premiere. OH, I almost forgot the current, and final, season of Dexter is underway (and awesome!).

That's about it for this time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On the Cover of The Rolling Stone

There's a major backlash at Rolling Stone magazine because they've decided to put a young man responsible for a heinous act of terror against out country on the cover. For the record, I'm not thrilled with the choice either but I do question the anger and rage of those who are so offended. Why? Well, for weeks, the same person donned the cover of every newspaper, nobody got upset at that, nobody protested or stopped buying the paper. In fact, it's arguable that it sold more newspapers because people wanted to read the story and stay in touch with the news. Rolling Stone is the same as a newspaper, a for profit media journal, so why should they be held to a different standard that the daily papers?

I think all the rage is nonsense. If we are to live in this so-called free society and we really are celebrating freedom of the press than any rage against such a cover is, whether you choose to believe to admit it a contradiction of our first amendment rights. There are valid things to be upset about but I just can't wrap my own head around being so upset about this.

I know that some of you will disagree with my thoughts, that's okay - and I am willing to hear out your side and your rationale. I welcome all to post comments here and offer respectful discussion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Moxy, Roxy and a Sandwich

Tonight was the release party for my friend, author Erin Dionne's fourth book, "Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking". One of the cool things I was asked to help out with is taking pictures; this however was no ordinary photography assignment, this was a rather interesting one.

Turns out, there is a new version of the Polaroid instant camera on the market now and Erin bought one so that tonight's guests could stand behind an empty picture frame and pose as art ; then, take the picture and they have a fun keepsake.

It was a fun couple of hours!

Roxy, my cousin's dog, is a real trip. here's the video for her trick dog title. I don't really know what that means, but the video does show off this dog's uncanny abilities (and my cousin's abilities as a trainer).

Finally, here is my most recent Vine; the sandwich I ate for lunch, being eaten:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Funny Faces (My Best Vine Yet)

I was with the O'Connor's having dinner at a Las Vegas buffet and the idea for a Vine hit me, getting random people to make funny faces and film them.

Several moments later, I reached for my phone, excused myself from the table and said, "I'm going to get some footage." I had two people refuse, one of which seemed afraid but everyone else I asked, and I stopped and just a few, complied.

You'll see an older gentleman, who made a great funny face; his wife insisted he made good ones and she was right. Another lovely lady asked me who I was and I told her who I was, what I did for a living and explained that I was doing this for two reasons: one, that I thought it was a funny idea and two, that I was sure the friends I was with didn't thing I had the moxie. She then said, "What's my price? I've spent my whole life trying to look beautiful." I replied, "You've clearly succeeded." That got me the funny face!


Update already - I forgot to mention that I had to be in it as well, that was a condition of that old guy...LOVE this video :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Oh Rio, Rio....

No, not the Duran Duran song, though now I've planted the ear worm in some of you I suppose (I think I got it as well); not the city in Brazil either but rather, the hotel in Las Vegas. The Rio Carnival World Buffet to be precise was the destination where I joined the O'Connor family for a terrific meal and some great laughs and hang time.

The rest of my day yesterday involved a lot of chill time. I took a walk outside in the morning - ended up stopping at Harrah's and had a rare moment where to maximize (hopefully) some climate control, I slipped two one dollar bills into a Joker Poker machine. If you know me, I don't gamble, I've been to Las Vegas half a dozen times and to Reno, Tahoe and even Mohegan Sun in Ct. and combined have gambled somewhere between $30 and $50 and for the record, I am still way ahead having won over $500 on a $5 initial play in on a poker machine. The fact is, I am small potatoes, I work too hard to gamble my money away! However, on this morning, I thought $2 was worth risking for an extended stay in the cool with some great people watching and even a free beverage (mine was diet ginger ale).

there came a point on the poker machine where I had actually grown the $2 initial play into $3, at which point I cashed out, pocketed my initial $2 and threw the $1 I won in the machine. A few wins, some losses, eventually, there was two cents left, instead of letting it ride, I cashed out and kept the certificate. I figured at some point, someone will ask me to put my two cents in at which point I will reach into my wallet and pull out my two cent voucher and hope for a laugh other than by me.

Las Vegas is an interesting place, there are so many facets - I've said this many times but it really is the grand illusion. Nothing here is exactly what is seems to be, things appear far closer than they are, people make choices they know they shouldn't make, and worse, they don't realize they shouldn't make, then, there are genuine wholesome family moments. There are a ton of great places to eat, shopping for the very wealthy, lots of lights and colors and sounds...psychologists and sociologists can have a field day here.

As I write this on Saturday, at about 9:20 west coast time, I'll be checking out of my room in a few hours when my pal Dan O'Connor will pick me up and I will spend the day with them before heading to the airport for a red eye back home.

While it's entirely possible that I'll be back for another update later, it is more likely that I won't be back in this space until I am in my house in MA - safe travels for me and much thanks to all of you, my readers.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Loneliness in a Crowd

Thousands of people around you from all around the world in a city that never sleeps, yet it is still possible to feel so alone that everything inside of you wants to scream.

Loneliness isn't just being in solitude, it's about not being with the one person that makes the world matter most to you. It's about not being with the people that make you feel like your existence has purpose.

Have you ever walked through crowds of people, so thick that there's body contact, yet you feel nothing, just emptiness, as if you are in an alternate world.

In the center of nowhere, surrounded by no one and everyone, numb to the world - only escape is to look inside my heart and in my soul, the spaces that are reserved for you. In that moment, there is a peace....until I open my eyes...

Vines from Vegas: Client Appreciation Party Edition

The Spasmatics (I think), playing 80's cover tunes:

Playing with animation style effects:

This one could be much better but isn't bad considering I was one-handed and it was three hours into the Client Appreciation party:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Records and Tapes - Show Some Love

My long time friend Jenn Oberle just released a song called "Best Type of Regret" from her new project Records and Tapes. I do not yet know if she's the record or the tape but I do know she's awesome, means a lot to me and is very talented. I hope you will take a listen, share the link and if you can, perhaps kick in a buck or more to buy the tune in support of her and indie music in general.


Dora+Porn Snap Cards = Creepy!

Don't jump to conclusions - I'm going to tell the story.

Walking along the Las Vegas strip (or on Fremont Street), occasionally you see people dressed up as characters hoping that you'll stop and take a picture with them in exchange for a gratuity. In the time I've been here this week, I've seen Gene Simmons, Johnny Depp, Wolverine, many different Transformers, Elvis (of course),  and Dora the Explorer. The thing with Dora was that literally right next to her was one of the lowlifes who snap the little cards (I'm told they do that because they aren't allowed to verbally communicate with the public) that have ads for porno stuff, strip clubs and hookers; the whole vibe was super creepy.

Here are some pics from today:

Remember the cool artist, David Garibaldi, from America's Got Talent? He opened the Bb Corporate keynote performing - his picture is is of Albert Einstein holding up an iPad mini with the Bb logo on was cool to see up close.

The theme at the Venetian/Palazzo suites is Carnevale, so there've been a number of festivities in the various common areas this week. Here are some pics of some of it:

I got two new T-shirts from the conference today, one I earned by sitting though as 12-15 minute interview regarding a product. Funny thing is, all I wanted to do was sit a few minutes and it paid off.

Saddest part of this post is I didn't think to snap a photo of the Dora thing. I think I was so taken aback that the oddity of it all just won over. In the long run, I'm not sure a picture was necessary but I suspect that after you reading this post to this point and seeing that there are pictures of stuff that you might at least question where the Dora is?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conferencey Stuff and Hidden Pizza

Sleeping was a challenge as my body was rejecting time zones. I ended up at the gym when they opened at 6, even though today was the one late start day for conference stuff. When I got back, I wanted breakfast but had a hard time finding a simple breakfast - I just wasn't in the mood to spend $15-$20 on breakfast for just me. I ended up at the Starbucks in the Fashion Show mall (a nice walk, it was a cool 90 degrees out at 8:30 am). I asked for a cup of decaf and the Barista asked if I minded a "pour over". I said, "yes, I mind very much and am offended at whomever made the decision not to brew decaf". I can't even begin to describe how repulsed that many Starbuck's will no longer brew decaf.

I posted this to FB today:
I'm pretty sure a slot machine just moaned at me, and I didn't even push any of her buttons. Perhaps she thought I had great ass(ets) and wanted a piece of the action. ‪#‎VegasHumor‬ ‪#‎ilaughed

I thought was very funny, but no comments at all, I guess I should be happy with the 6 likes - go figure!

Conference shenanigans started around 12:30 or so and then went on after the keynote with a welcome reception. I ran into a number of MA colleagues, four of us went for a walk on the strip; I told them about the hidden pizza place and they were intrigued and wanted to see it. We had a fun adventure waking there (and back) in the 104 degree breeze; I'm pretty certain I have an idea what it feels like inside a convection oven.

These guys were hanging around before and into the Welcome reception:

I have another funny picture of them, but for some reason, the computer keeps crashing every time I try to load it into here and I am exhausted, so maybe I will post it tomorrow - Good Night!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Night on Freemont Street

Here's a brief taste of some of the more interesting characters on Fremont Street, along with the stage where "Nevermind", a 90's cover band was playing (sorry about the poor sound quality, I always forget to adjust the volume on my phone before shooting video).

Here's a photo of my old friends Dan O'Connor (author of Sons of the Pope) to my left and Tom Pirics, to my right. I just realized I was going for a cool look, and failed miserably (LOL).
Finally, here's a cool picture (IMHO) I took at the pizza place where we ate. I noticed the "Pizza" sign reflecting in the chair back and thought it would make a neat photo (I think I was right on this one):

Monday, July 08, 2013

Hello From Las Vegas

My internal clock is all f'ed up already as I woke up at 4:25 east coast time, got my ass right on the treadmill for a quick 20 minute incline workout and then getting the last minute stuff out of the way before heading to the airport before rush hour traffic on the Masspike.

My flight out of Logan was delayed a little over an hour but made it here to Vegas by Noonish, west coast time. I did run into three colleagues from Framingham State at Logan and got to hang with them for a while, super cool people and it helped to pass the time. I was telling them the story I posted yesterday about the little girl who I taught how to balance the spoon on her nose and one of them had such a brilliant thought, a silent movie of the events as I described them; I know, genius, right? I almost want to stage such a thing.

Anyway, after the plane landed, I met up with the Framingham state folks again at the luggage carousel but we parted as they took a cab and I had my heart set on taking a shuttle bus, they are often entertaining and this particular ride was no exception. There were like 5 people on the bus that were on the wrong bus (they had a ticket for a different shuttle company), so they had to get off and the driver had to pull out a bunch of luggage to get to theirs (I wonder if he'll thing twice about not checking tix before packing luggage now). We all laughed about it. then, as we were ready to pull out of the airport, another driver from his company was trying to back into a spot in front of us and apparently had forgotten one of the major requirements for being a driver, knowing how to drive! After four failed attempts, our driver got out and assisted and again, we all just laughed it off. when we finally got on our way, the driver did not disappoint by cracking jokes and telling silly stories (along with offering tips) along the way (I guess earning his tips).

After checking in and unpacking, I headed down to the conference center to get the registration packet and badge/lanyard and all that jazz while it was quiet. I then stopped at a favorite gelato place for a scoop and even though they had raised the already expensive price to a whopping $6.74 for a single scoop, it still tasted oh, so good!

I'm just chilling out right now - my friends Dan, Joanne and Tommy are picking me up around 6 and we are going to see some live music and eat at Fremont Street; I may even do the zip line.

That's it for now...later!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Spoon on Nose

My daughter and I were having breakfast at iHop and in the both across from us, there was a very young girl playing with a spoon, trying to balance it on her nose with no luck. So I caught her attention and through non-verbal communication, was able to demonstrate to her how it is done.

Once I did it, she started cracking up and pointing to me asking her sister, and her parents to see - all were laughing. Then, she mimicked the technique I had demonstrated and sure enough, she got it. she was so thrilled with herself! She was so happy and got her parents attention, who both took pictures.

When they left, her parents asked her to thank me, which was cute and hysterical. So from teacher, I had to go to responsible parent as well and said to the little girl, "now that you know how to do it, you need to make sure to ask mommy and daddy if it's okay to do it." they all smiled and we wished each other a good rest of day.

A nice moment.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

State of Sports and A Ray of Hope

I've spoken here a number of times about how disgusted I've become with professional sports. I was pretty much down to baseball and football and have had some issues with both of those. In fact, we're about halfway into the current Major League Baseball season and I've yet to watch a single inning and I haven't really missed it. I do occasionally look at the scores and the standings but less about caring so much than just kind of clinging on. I'm not ready to say I've completely given up on baseball; I know I am close, but I'll leave it be for the moment.

This past week, while flipping through channels, I happened upon tennis, it was a Wimbledon match featuring Serena Williams in which she absolutely crushed some competitor, but it was magical. The following day, the almost unbeatable #1 seed Serena Williams was bested by #23 seed Sabine Lisicki. I found myself captivated  and watched some highlights, then today, the women's finals featuring Lisicki and #15 seed, Marion Bartoli. The match was a wave of emotions and saw Lisicki bested by Bartoli.

What I've seen in Tennis is what I've been missing from other pro sports. For me, there are two very necessary requirements in pro sports, athleticism and sportsmanship. Tennis is really the only one I've seen both in, consistently, in many years.

A Celebration of Independence

I wrote this on July 4th, while hanging around waiting until I could pick up my kid and go to see fireworks.

A celebration of independence
The red, the white, the blue
A celebration of the freedom
Thanks to those who fought for you

There are no party lines to draw
Today we all are one - in America, and Free
Today we stand for family and friends
For Life and Liberty

Tomorrow, let’s remember today


Thursday, July 04, 2013

You and Me and the rest of Us

This poem just kind of came out of me today:

You and Me and the rest of Us

If I close my eyes and dream, I can feel you close to me
I can be with you, and the world would be right
But in this cruel world, we’re miles apart
And I’m alone again tonight

I can’t find comfort in this town
Knowing you are not around
When will we find our way, if not today
Is there a common ground?

Life just goes on but I can’t live
I know something’s gotta give
How much more time must pass us by
We’ll never get it back while we’re living this lie
Let’s take this chance and trust our Love
Believe our Love will be enough
You and me and the rest of us


© 2013 Christopher Daniele

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Left work today knowing I won't be back there until the 15th. Not that I won't be working next week, I'll just be doing do from Las Vegas.

High School
I graduated high school in 1982, but am still in touch with a number of folks from those years. Yesterday, a friend from back then posted that she was going to see 1D with her daughter, I asked if she would send some pictures and maybe a review for someone special to me who would appreciate them - sure enough, a batch of photos come through.

Sadly, my cousin Julian (who I also went to high school with), lost his wife a few months ago and the overwhelming grief has been so difficult for him; he has been so lost. Another of our high school friends, Annmarie, lost her husband a couple of years ago and I knew she went through a tough time for a while, found her way out and recently, even found love again. I feel like her input would help so I reached out and she touched base with Julian - I hope it helps him but regardless, nice to know these friendships have stuck for so many years.

I haven't watched any baseball this season and am a little sad that I haven't missed it; only confirms my feelings about the sport.

Crows are demonic, who's with me on that?

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I Don't Like Guns

I don't know that I've ever chimed in on the gun issue. My side is pretty simple, guns have only one purpose, violence and for that reason, I want no part of them. I think it's way too easy to get guns on the street, in the stores, etc. I think that it needs to be way hard to get a gun, and once you own one, you should have to regularly prove they you should still be allowed to have one.

I got back from lunch today to learn of a shooting in the neighborhood where I live. The crime rate in my town is pretty low, so it was especially hard to hear about. Guns were involved, they shouldn't have  been.

Guns are stupid.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Half Way 2013

Here we are on the first day of the 7th month of 2013. On this date last year, I posted my photos from my trip to Chicago, which was "epic" (as my daughter would say).

Two years ago this month, the Blackboard World conference I have attended regularly was in Las Vegas and I got to visit with my old friends Dan & JoAnn (and their kids). I'm happy to say that while it looked like this year's attendance at Blackboard World was not happening, my persistence awarded me the trip and it happens to be in Vegas again, and again, I look forward to time with the O'Connors.

Noting in stone yet, but I hope to get back to the Chicago-ish area before summer ends, perhaps do a few day trips with my kid, I am tentatively planning an Arizona trip for February.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have 10, that I can count off the top of my head, email accounts. That is just too many!!! I need to streamline down to 3 or 4 or so.

I thought I might bring back a few fun pics I took from a Vegas trip back in 2008:

This one is me, Cuzzup and CuzzHuzz doing our famous rendition of hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil in front of the Beatles Love theater at the Mirage hotel.
I took quite a few pictures in the tank to get this one, which is awesome. I can't recall which hotel this was in.

This is me hamming it up at the Beatles Love theater.

And here is me being silly inside the B - at the Venetian/Palazzo conference center.