In my mind, there are 100 days this summer. A lot of people consider Summer the time between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. I lean that way myself. I also am a numbers guy and in some ways a round numbers guy. And you have to admit one hundred is a pretty round number. So Each year around this time I pronounce a 100 day period near the Memorial Day Weekend and the Labor Day Weekend as my Summer Reading time.
This year it began on Sunday May 25th and will end on September 2nd. During that time I like to spend quite a bit of time reading. My goal is to finish 20 books in 100 days. I also hope to post small reviews of each book that I finish. At the end of the Summer Reading Season, I will add a page to the top pf this blog with all the books I read.
I tend to read multiple books at a time and when May 25th rolled around I was in the process of reading 3 books.. SInce then I have started 2 others. These are in no particular order
The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis, which is a book I own
My Final Word, by Charles Colson, which is a book I just purchased.
Rejoice, Karen Kingsbury,, which I borrowed from the library and reading on my IPAD both courtesy of the Hoopla App.
Abortion by R.C. Sproul, I borrowed this book through inter library loan and will be returning before I can get it finished so I will probably borrow it again later this summer
Restoring All Things, Warren Cole Smith & John Stonestreet,I just purchased this book yesterday and plan to read it to my wife this summer.
I generally don’t purchase a lot of books. I own many books that I have not read yet and several more that I like to reread. I borrow lots of books from libraries.
After 7 days with zero books completed I am not on target to finish any books this summer, let alone 20. However, I just need to finish 2 of the books above in the next 3 days and 3 in the next 8 days to be on track for the Summer. That is definitely a perk of having so many books in progress a t one time.
Do you read a lot during the summer? Do you read more than one book at a time? What are you reading now?
I am participating in the A to Z Road Trip. This means that I am visiting select blogs between now and March 2020 and commenting on their A to Z posts. At the beginning of each month, I will post links to the blogs I visited the previous month along with the comments I wrote.
My comment: I think that trusting your intuition is generally a good thing and you certainly make an excellent case for it. My wife is a cancer survivor so I will be checking out your 2nd blog as well.
I am participating in the A to Z Road Trip. I think respite care is great. When my wife had cancer we didn’t need much respite as she only had radiation and not chemo. Our family has provided respite services for families with kids for special needs. This has never really felt like service as we got to spend time with super kids while other family members got much needed break. I’m sorry for your loss. Thanks you for writing so candidly about it.
Those were all the A to Z Road Trip blogs I visited in the month of May. I will visit some more this month and post those here come July 1st.
Bill Buckner, one of my childhood heroes, passed away on Monday. There are multiple news stories like this one from ESPN that will give you a biographical sketch of the former first baseman and outfielder. I want to focus here on his time with the Cubs.
Bill Buckner was traded from the LA Dodgers to the Cubs in January of 1977 along with Ivan Dejesus and a minor leaguer. The Cubs gave up Rick Monday and Mike Garman to acquire them.
Buckner played 7 full seasons for the Cubs and was traded to the Boston Red Sox in May of 1984 for Mike Brumley and Dennis Eckersly in 1984. Buckner had lost the starting first base position to Leon Durham in the off season and appeared in his last game as A cub on May 24th asa pinch hitter in the first game of a double header against the Atlanta Braves. He batted only .240 in limited action in 1984 but still hit .300 in his time for the Cubs.
Buckner played 974 games for the Cubs more than any of the other 4 teams he played for. His .300 batting average for the Cubs was 11 points better than he had hit hit with his first team the Dodgers (The .289 he hit with L.A. was equal to his lifetime average. In his 7+ years with the Cubs Buckner had hit 235 doubles 35 triples hit 85 homers and had over 500 runs batted in all the most he achieved on any of the teams he played for. The only thing that diminished with Buckner from his time on the Dodgers was a little of his speed. He had stolen 93 bases for the Dodges about 15 a year. That went down to about 7 a year on his time with the Cubs.
In 1977 when Buckner came to the Cubs, I had officially made the leap from the Cubs to the White Sox as my favorite team. But i still liked the Cubs and Bill Buckner became one of my favorite players on either side of town. Both teams were in contention in 1977 as well a great year to be a 12 year old baseball fan in Chicago. , The Southside Hitmen easily come to mind but don’t forget the Cubs who were in 1st place from May 28th to August 6th. before finishing 4th. .This was very disappointing for the Cubs and their fans as they had led at one point by 8 1/2 games near the end of June. Equally disappointing for Buckner was that the Cubs made it to the playoffs in 1984 but by then he had already been traded to the Red Sox.
You may have noticed no reference in this column to Buckner’s time after the Cubs. That is because I choose to remember him for his multiple plays for the Cubs and not for one play for the Sox team I don’t follow. It was great to think of him again and how much I enjoyed watching him play. I wish the best to his family. I’m sure multiple baseball fans over the country wish the same.
In 1982 I began attending Des Plaines Evenagelical Free Church. Sometime in the next year Lindy Scott became the Pastor of that church. In the 35 years that have followed Lindy has been many things, A Pastor, A Missuonary to Mexico, A College Prfoesor and a Democratic Congressional Candidate (He ran against Tammy Duckworth in a 2006 Democratic Primary).
I really appreciate Lindy’s blog. He makes difficult issues understandable. I don’t always agree with Him but his thoughts and feelings are so much better than the rhetoric that passes for commentary on both sides these days.
I believe that we are in a battle for the soul of our nation. It is a battle for our hearts and minds. It is a battle for the truth.
President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Mueller Report gave him a threefold clean bill of political health.
NO OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE!
Claims like these need to be examined under the light of the truth. The first claim is mostly accurate. The Mueller Report did find that the Russian government wanted to help Trump win, but there was not sufficient cooperation by the Trump campaign to bring a charge of complicity.
The second and third claims are deliberate distortions of the Mueller Report findings. The Report is quite clear when it states, “IF WE HAD CONFIDENCE AFTER A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTS THAT THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY DID NOT COMMIT OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, WE WOULD…
I’ve just recently come back from a blogging hiatus. After more than 26 posts in April, I decided I needed a bit of a break. Click here to see an index of my A to Z posts from 2019. The index didn’t write itself, So I was doing a little blog related work in my hiatus,
Thing 1: The A to Z challenge helped me remember things I love about blogging. My first foray into blogging was reading a blog called Outwalking by Steve West. When I first read it , I didn’t know what a blog was and it wasn’t until later when I started blogging in 2009 that I realized Out Walking was a blog. What I like most about blogging is discovery. The first post I remember reading on Steve’s blog was a review of the movie Once. That post helped me discover a movie , musicians, later a musical and even an island. (The Island existed, I just didn’t know about it until I went to see the musical).
Participating in the A to Z challenge this year did help me discover many new people, places and things. This was a little nostalgic for me, as one of my themes in a previous a to z challenge had been nouns. I think this year I really did enjoy reading other peoples blogs as much as if not more than I did preparing my own. And I loved preparing my own.
Thing 2: Posting about the Sherman Brothers non stop in the month of April helped me remember things I loved about growing up. good thing I
To say that life is much different now than it was in the 1970’s goes without saying. It’s a good thing I’m typing it. Many of the Sherman compositions were songs Idiscoverd and or adored growing up. Winnie The Pooh, Charlie Brown, Charlottes Web, these were common place for me. Remembering listening to theses songs on 8 track long before I knew who the Sherman Brothers were brought piles of memories back into the forefront of my mind. I’m not sure If I didn’t stumble upon Snoopy Come Home on Hulu in March, If I ever would have remembered singing The Best of Buddies as a bath time ritual and I certainly would have not known it’s actual title or the authors/composers of the piece.
Thing 3: Posting about The Sherman Brothers made me astoundingly aware of this legendary songwriting team.
I knew of the Sherman’s work prior to this year. I knew of their work on Mary Poppins and Winnie The Pooh. I had no idea of really how prolific they were. As previously mentioned, I didn’t know about their non Diseny work on Charlotte’s Web or Snoopy Come Home. There is so much of their work I was unfamiliar with.
I am interrupting this paragraph to say that in the last 15 minutes I have discovered that the Sherman Brother’s wrote You’re 16 (You’re beautiful and your mine) in 1960. When I googled the Sherman Brothers and hit what songs did the Sherman Brothers write sure enough they were credited with writing the song that would eventually become a number one hit for Ringo Starr in 1973. That means that the duo wrote music performed not only by the Beach Boys (The Monkey’s Uncle) but also by the Drummer of the Beatles. Pretty Amazing! There are propably still songs that I know of out there that I didn’t know the Sherman Brother’s association with.
Thing 4: I showed remarkable restraint on a common mistake.
All A to Z challenge announcements this year centered on this being the 10th anniversary of the Challenge. IT WAS NOT!
Consider this excerpt from teh A to Z website:
It all began with my post from Saturday March 27, 2010 when I set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. Can you post every day except Sundays during this month? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?
If the first A to Z challene began in 2010 this was it’s 9th anniversary. What it accuaratley was was the 10th annual a to z challenge, March 27 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of the challenge and April ist will commence the 11th annual challenge.
For 26 entries I held my tongue, as I did not think that was the time to point it out. That being said, If the 11th anniversary is announced a year early next year I probably will mention it sooner than I did this year.
Thing 5: Less is always not easier.
My A yo Z challenge entries stuck pretty much to a basic format, which I tweaked a little from week to week. My posts would always include the name of the song, the movie or television program the song appeared in, the year it was made, a video of the song and the ltrics from the song. There was not a lot more content than that.
This did not necessarily mean it was less time consuming than writing a regular blog post that contained more copy. Linking videos and other materials to my posts is not my strong suit and actually more time consuming than just producing words. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was worth the extra work but doing this times 26 in a monthly period could be fatiguing sometimes.
This leads to Thing 6: Did I cheat?
I had a conversation with a school principal on a substitute teaching assignment today and she commented that I am a very proactive person. I had just said goodbye to her for the Summer even though I’m scheduled to be back at her school later this week. I told her I was saying goodbye just in case we missed each other that day. Thus, the comment on proactivity.
I tended to be very proactive with the A to Z challenge and wrote many of my posts a week in advance and then scheduled them to post at about 5:30 am the day they were due. This is where I began to wonder if I was cheating. If the purpose of the A to Z challenge is to actually write a blog post every day (except most Sundays) than I didn’t really do that. I produced a post for each letter of the alphabet, to be sure. However, writing 3 to 4 posts at a time when I had time was really the secret to my success.
Thing 7: Best comments came from a non A to Z Post
10 years ago on April 7, 2019. My youngest brother Keoth passed away. This was on a Sunday, so no A to Z post was needed. I wrote a brief post commemorating his passing, 2 participants from the A to Z challenge John Holton and J-Dubs both wrote encouraging comments that I really appreciated.”
Thing 8: A theme park within a theme. Park I
I did quite a bit of research on the Sherman Brothers for last month’s spectacular. Much of what I found blew me away. The Sherman’s wrote many songs for attractions at Disney World and Disney Land. They also wrote a song for the New York Worlds Fair in 1964 that has since become the most performed song in the world. It’s a small world, but that still is quite a distinction.
Thing 9: A Theme Park within a theme. Park II
One place I never expected to see the Sherman Brothers was in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Univierse). Yet Robert Sherman did write a song that to date has appeared 2 MCU films (Iron Man2 andCaptain America: First Avenger). The song is called Make Way for Tomorrow Today and sounds like it could also have been in the 1964 World’s Fair. I think this is on purpose as the Howard Stark character is in many ways like Walt Disney himself. The Shermans also wrote a similar tune for the World’s fair called There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.
Sherman on my mind.
Most every morning during the A to Z fun fest, I woke up singing a Sherman song. Not always the song I was posting that day. Just a random Sherman, some of them ones I hadn’t even been posting about. I guess this was one of the many wasy that April A to Z permeated through by being during the merry month of April.