A to Z Challenge at HSD

In 2019 and 2020 I returned to blogging at about the same time as the April A to Z Challenge commenced. As opposed to 2019, I did not leave again in 2020 and have been blogging fairly regularly at all 4 of my sites. I am participating in the challenge again this year bit not here at Random Acts. You can see my challenge entries. at HSD where I am writing about people who lived in 1921 Thanks to what I am calling A to Z Easter Eggs I am providing both old and new content from this blog for the challenge. This means you probably won’t see anything not A to Z related here until May. Link here to go directly to the April A to Z website.

Happy Birthday to Chris and Al.

My younger brother turns 55 today. Happy Birthday Christopper John!

This is not a picture of my brother,

That is a picture of former White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle who shares a birthday with my brother. When Chris was turning 13 Buehrle was born.

My brother is not a White Sox Fan. (He does have many fine qualities, that is just not among them.) So focussing on the former Burlington Bee would not really mean anything to my brother.

This is also not a picture of my brother.

That is a picture of former Mad Magazine artist and writer Al Jaffee. He also shares a birthday with Chris . When Chris was born, It was Mr. Jaffee’s 45th birthday. Today may be a milestone for Chris at 55 , but it is quite the acheivement for Jaffee as he hits 100.


Like most boys growing up in the 70’s we were big fans of Mad Magazine. Jaffee, who retired from Mad in 2020 was most known for the Mad Fold-in. Which originated in 1964. (I also originated in 1964, but I digress)

A fold in was Jaffee’s homage to the fold out posters that are in some magazines. In true Mad fashion, he inverted the idea made one drawing that when folded in would reveal a gag,.that somehow responded to the original drawing.

This was Jaffee’s final fold in from last year when he retired from Mad.

In my blog HSD , I am participating in the A to Z challenge again this year. My theme is people who were alive in 1921. Al Jaffee is one of those people and may get an honorable mention when it comes to the letter J. To find out more about the A to Z challenge click here.

Because of Covid, I have not seen my brother since 2019 even though we live relatively close to each other. we are planning on getting our families together again soon.

Until then Chris, I hope you enjoy your birthday. I have many fond memories of our childhood and I like the man you have become. Now become a White Sox fan, and you may have something.

Born on March 2nd

Dr. Seuss – Children’s author

Born: 1904 Died 9/24/91 Age 87

My wife an I actually put this book on our wedding registry.

Leo XIII Pope Roman Catholic Church

Born 1810 Died 7/20 1903 at age 93

1st Pope of 20th Century

Notes: Pius XII who was Pope 178from 1939 to 1958 was also born on March 2nd.

Sam Houston Texas Revolutionary

Born 1793 Died 7/26 1863 Age 70

Removed as Governor of Texas for not aligning with Confederacy

Mikhail Gorbachev Russian Politician former leader of Soviet Union

Born : 1931 Age 90

Helped end the Cold War

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers Quaerterback

Born 1982 Age 39

Played in 3 Super Bowls won in 2005 and 2008

Others born on March 2nd

Desi Arnaz Actor and 1917-1986

Karen Carpernter Pop Singer 1950- 1983

Jon Bon Jovi Rock Singer 1962

Daniel Craig James Bond Actor 1968

Bryce Dallas Howard – Actress and daughter of Ron Howard 1981

AV has come a long way

I don’t spend a lot of time on any of my blogs posting about my jobs. It’s not that I don’t find them interesting. Most of my life my jobs haven’t really said a lot about who I am. Working as a stocker in a grocery department doesn’t really define me. Sustitute teaching does and I just haven’t found a way to work it in to the blogs very much.

First of all I can’t really get into specifics like I did when I was blogging about my own home education experiences. I can’t take pictures of my students let alone post them nor would I ever think of doing so. In my 3rd year of subbing I am no where near an expert with advice to dole out. What I can do occasionally is make some observations and comparisons which is what I’ll attempt to this evening.

Even before Covid hit the scene I have been very impressed with the types of media that are available to the teacher. Back when I was college and doing my pre student teaching we were still using filmstrips in high school classes and computers were pretty much for word processing only and typing classes were still taught on typewriters.

In current times even in the live classroom the smartboard has replaced most if not all chalkboards and dry erase board. A smartboard plugs into the teachers laptop and a teacher could run videos, slide presentation, even quizzes disguised as games. In the school I’m in now a pretaped video of annoincements has replaced the traditional over the intercom announcements.

The teacher can also share their screen with students at home om platforms like zoom or provide the students with links to the material through the teachers home page. Homework is generally sent in electronically whether the student is live or at home.

Today some of my students went to a music class where the teacher was explaining the concept of theme and variation. After explaining it very well, he then showed this neat video which you can find on you tube simply by typing in theme and variation.

Later my students went to gym where much of their class activities were shown on the smart board. While traditional teaching still does take place this kind of vee-jay approach does enhance the learning experience and because of Co-vid the technology has become less a nicety and much more a necessity.

This technology is not just in the public schools. My daughters last year of being home schooled was 60% done through computer technology until covid increased that number to nearly 100%.

Technology in schools may be a million miles away from wheeling in the A-V cart but education does continue to roll along nicely.

5 things I like about Donald Trump and or his Presidency

It is not difficult to know how I feel about former President Donald Trump. Since he announced his candidacy in 1995, I have not been shy in voicing my opinion about him and very little if any of what I said or wrote could be construed as positive.

Now that Trump is out of office, I wanted to see if I could say some positive things about him. Sincere things. Not setups for jokes or anti Trump rhetoric. My reason for this is 3 fold : 1) Like all of us, Trump is part of Gods creation. When God looked at his creation. He saw that it was good (Genesis 1:31 ) Even though that was prior to mans fall I believe Gods residual goodness is still present in creation and finding it is a way of praising God. 2) further I am called to such behavior in the Book of Philippians, Paul makes a list of things to dwell on and think on one of these is whatever is good. 3) (and I don’t mean this as a joke or set up for anti Trump rhetoric) but considering what I have said or written about him in the past this will prove to be something of a challenge for me and I do enjoy a good writing challenge.

5 things I liked about Donald Trump and his Presidency.

Although I disagreed a little with the timing of some of them I did appreciate the choices he made for Supreme Court justices during his time as President. These choices may be key restricting and eliminating the horrendous practice of abortion in this country.

I liked Trump’s choice as Mike Pence as his running mate and eventual Vice President. While I know these are by and large political moves to unify a party. I really admire Pence and how he comported himself as vice president, Some of this credit must go to President Trump for choosing him.

Speaking of Pence, another thing I like that Trump made him in charge of the Corona virus task force. I do not want to u7kuse this point as a starting point of a critique on Trump, so I will end this point here.

Although I was not happy that Trump broke a more than century old tradition of attending the next President’s innauguration. I did like that he continued the tradition started by Ronald Reagan of leaving a letter to his successor,

Finally, I like how Donald Trump transformed me and specifically my thinking and writing since his original candidacy in 2015. I have always been somewhat political but Trump made me aware of the need for voicing my concerns especially when your views don’t seem to be as common as you think they should be. A friend commented on Facebook the other day that he can count on me for thoughtful commentary. Over the past 4 years I have labored long and hard on some Trump pieces to make sure my thoughts as articulated reflected not only what I felt but were conciliatory, to those who might feel differently. I’m not sure if I would have such an evolution in my writing if my subject had been a figure other than President Trump.

So those are my 5. A few years ago I was reading Lindy Scott’s blog and he made a point to list favorable qualities of Trump. As with much of Lindy’s writings this helped shape some of my own philosophy and was yet another impetus for writing this post.