My younger brother turns 55 today. Happy Birthday Christopper John!
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been thinking of doing a podcast for some time now. You could say I’ve been building up to it for years. When I was in junior high my friend Roger Johnson and I used to make 8 track tapes (google it) like we were on a radio show. I moved from 8tracks to cassettes in high school (but always said I could quit at anytime) and send them to friends. In college I actually volunteered at a campus radio station as a disc jockey, I had to provide my own music so I was frequently carrying 200 records and 100 cassettes across campus after my shift ended at 1am. When I lived in Russia , I would record letters to my friends and send them home. Over the past 30 years I have hosted a “radio” show that emanates from my head and broadcasts in my car when I am driving by myself. I also have have a vlog, Dave Out Loud, that as has almost as many viewers as my radio program has listeners.
Over the past few weeks, as I have been more seriously considering a podcast, I have been thinking about the components of such things. I started to think about who I might want to interview in a podcast. I started writing down a list of people whom I’d love to interview. The list quickly evolved to well over 10 people, so I had to do a bit of whittling to get to the list below. If I ever do host a podcast I do want to make a quick disclaimer on this list. It is not necessarily the top 10 people I’d like to interview for a podcast. It is just a list of 10 of the many people I’d like to interview. The 10 I ended up choosing I share some type of commonality with, that I’d love to explore in an interview. Some of these people you have heard of others are people I’ve met along the road on the journey that is my life. In no particular order here they are …
10 people I’d love to interview for a podcast
Just to clarify when I say Vladimir Lebedev. I do not mean the illustrator or the skier I mean the pastor, musician, translator, student, driver, interpreter, missionary friend of mine from Russia. Vladimir was one of the first people I met when I went to Russia in 1992 and is the person who coined the phrase ministry of bad ideas for me. He is a dear friend who has a wonderful love for and understanding of God’s word.
I met Allen Levi in 1995 in Irmo, South Carolina where he was doing a concert at the church I was attending. I connect to Allen on many levels, we both write songs, blog, have a passion for missions and youth ministry. We both have lost brothers to illness. Allen stopped practicing law to go into full time music ministry. A few years ago he left music ministry for a while and served one term as a judge in family court. In 2004 my wife booked him to play a concert for my 40th birthday. It was the last time I saw him in person and I would love to catch up with him and talk about his eclectic yet Christ centered life.
1/2 my list is composed of people I’ve never met. Steve West is probably the least well known person on that side of the list. I must be drawn to the blogger lawyer type as Steve West is both those things. When I first started reading his blog, out walking, I didn’t even know what a blog was, let alone that I was reading one. Reading his blog over the last 12 years I have discovered movies like Once, Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, and house concerts. The thing I like most about Steve is that although he blogs infrequently that his posts are always thoughtful, insightful, challenging and worth waiting for.
Weird Al Yankovic
The commonality I share with Weird Al, is strangely not the weirdness. Although I am extremely weird. I consider myself a bit of a parodist myself. My parodies are on a much smaller scale then Mr. Y, I once wrote a variation of Hakuna Matata cal led Hakuna Renatta for a girl from our college and career group who was moving from Illinois to Florida. I believe her name was Renatta. I also wrote this one for my my 500th post at a differnet blog.
One of the nice things about being married to your best friend is being able to book her as a guest on your podcast. I mean I love our conversations why not share them with an audience?
Sheryl is an OT from California, a breast cancer survivor (like my wife), a facebook friend who is both insightful, funny and compassionate. I’ve known Sheryl since we were teenagers and even though I haven’t seen her since 1990 she is still one of my favorite people.
Gordy is one of 2 friends who has an imdb page. Gordy is another friend I have not seen for decades but spending time with Gordy is always time at the fun table.
Steve and Gordy have both worked with Kermit the Frog (who would definitely be on this list if it wasn’t limited to people). Steve Martin has been my favorite comedian since I was in middle school. If it wasn’t for Steve Martin, I’d be my favorite comedian ( I wouldn’t be as funny as I am now, as I have learned so much about comedy from him even without the benefit of his Masterclass).
Some of you may be surprised that I went 8 people without mentioning a White Sox player. If I made this list 6 months ago prior to his death, I may have included Ed Farmer on this list. Carlton Fisk is also deserving of a spot here, as he was my favorite non white-sox player in 1980 when he signed as a free agent for my team. He continued and concluded his HOF career on the south side.
Michael Card is one of my favorite singer songwriters. He also an excellent author and makes a mean bowl of chili. Actually I don’t know about the chili part but he does make a mean bowl of podcast.
Well those are 10 people I’d love to interview for a podcast. I guess the next step would be figuring out how to go about making a podcast.
I hadn’t originally planned on participating in the A to Z challenge this year. I hadn’t really been blogging at all since midsummer and when the school years started I was working 60 to 70 hours a week at a movie theater and as a substitute teacher. And even though I had a week off school for Spring break our family had a number of activities planned for that week. Planning 26 entries for mu blog was probably the furthest thing from my mind.
Then in quick succession my spring break was lengthened to two weeks, the movie theater temporarily closed , and all the spring break activities we had planned were postponed or cancelled all due to pandemic concerns. Sometimes during those 2 weeks came a stay at home order and all of a sudden I had time on my hands.
During those weeks I did a lot of relaxing and even amid all the anxiety really enjoyed my family and my new found free time. I rediscovered reading blogs for pleasure and while I pondered whether I might be able to find work to replace my “nonessential” jobs, I decided not to look until March 30th, which would have been the Monday I was supposed to come back from Spring Break. It was at that point I decided to sign up for the A to Z challenge.
My theme for last years challenge was the movie music of the Sherman Brothers. It was a bit of a complex process as I would have a video of the song, the lyrics from the song and my reflections or remembrance from the movie. It was complex but each post had a very predictable pattern. I also had prepared many of the submissions in advance of April 1st. By choice or necessity that was all different this year.
I chose a topic Capitals and put my own Random twist on it. I chose New York’s capital Albany as my A entry and wrote about a visit to Baseball’s Hall of fame a few years back. The Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, not Albany. While my son and I did stay in Albany for a few days on the trip the articles main focus was not Albany.
Most every entry was like that. Quito is the capital of Ecuador. The missionaries Jim and Elisabeth Elliot were married in Quito, I’ll write about them. It was much less about capitals and more about free association derived from Capitals. I tried as much as I could to tell about myself and so you might not know anymore about Pierre, South Dakota than you did before, but hopefully you know a little more about me.
Going back to my sudden inclusion into the ranks of the unemployed for a moment, I actually viewed it as a bit of a sabbatical. I had set a date of March 30th to start looking for work, I expected that this could take quite a bit of time. The truth now was that on the 30th, I heard about a job, applied for that job, was interviewed and hired for that job in about a 6 hour period.
I thought the job would be restocking a grocery store on the over night shift 2 or 3 times a week. Which would give me plenty of time for my family, volunteer activities and the challenge. It turned out the job was 5 to 6 times a week giving me less time than I thought I would have had. Also changing my sleep patterns really did a bit of a number on my whole creative process and also got in the way of deadlines. On three different times I had to catch up on my posts after missing the natural deadline of the calendar.
Generally one of my favorite parts of the a to z challenge is how it involves me in the blog-o-sphere. I love reading and interacting with other peoples blogs. This year I did far less of that than I hoped to. Now that I am no longer obligated to post every day, I hope to catch up on some of that reading and commenting.
I will start by spending some time to look at some reflection posts. If you are interested in checking these out, click here. I am already looking forward to next years challenge. I have an idea that will be very time intensive and will take months of preparation. I thought of it last year, but by December , I knew there would be no way to implement it this year. This is what is known in the entermation (a synonym I just created for infotainment) field as a tease.
I’ll end this piece with a bit of an announcement. 11 years ago I began my blogging journey with a blog called Home School Dad. I did over 700 posts there from 2009 to 2012 another 100 from 2013 to 2016 and its essentially laid dormant for the last 3+ years. I recently decided to bring this blog out of mothballs. I will still be posting here as well, but I imagine that HSD will again become my flagship. I spent a few hours this evening adjusting the format. If you check it out by clicking here, you will always see a link to my most recent Random Acts of Roller entry, which of course will be this entry. Thanks for everyone stopping by from the challenge. I hope achieving a new normal after the challenge and in this crazy covid situation is fun and fulfilling.
Juan Pierre – Former Chicago Cub and White Sox player.
One of my “jobs” for our families home school was to participate in our home school co-op. I did this by teaching and or assisting the teacher in 3 classesa week. One class I taught was about the 50 U.S. states. One of the things we focussed on was memorizing all the capitals.
On the first or second week of class I told my students that there were some state capitals that I still struggled with. For example, I said, I got always got the North Dakotan and South Dakotan capitals mixed up. I knew they were Bismarck and Pierre but had a hard time remembering which was which.
Either after that weeks class or before the next weeks one of my students, a huge White Sox fan, said Mr. Roller, I have a good way for you to remember the Dakotan capitals. He said you could remember that Pierre was the capital of South Dakota because Juan Pierre played for the White Sox in 20109& 2011 and the White Sox play on the south side of Chicago. I said that was good, but it wouldn’t necessarily help me remember because Pierre had also played on the north side for the Cubs in 2006.
Either he didn’t know that Pierre was a former Cub or more likely he didn’t care. This is very typical of a certain portion of the population of Cubs and Sox fans. An almost forced lack of knowledge or desire to know anything about the other team.
My mother is a devout Cubs fan. She knows very little about the White Sox except that she hates them The only sports team she loves more than the Cubs is any team that plays for Notre Dame. So a few years ago after the mass shooting at Northern Illinois University. A NIU Notre Dame baseball was scheduled at the White Sox ball park withtthe proceed going to charities supporting NIU. I invited my Mom to go to the game as she had a daughter who graduated form ND and 2 children who graduated from NIU.
Her response was “I will never set foot in that Stadium. David.” The Sox really had nothing to do with the event besides providing the venue.
I love baseball. I understand the crosstown rivalry as a concept. The White Sox are definitely my favorite team. I can hold an informed conversation about either team especially when a player has played for both squads. One of my most valuable items I own is my 2005 White Sox World Series dvd set, but right next to it I have the 2016 Cubs set.
So when I think of Pierre, South Dakota, I think of the divide between South and North baseball in Chicago.
Also, the best way to correctly place both Dakotan capitals is alphabetically. Bismarck comes before Pierre as North comes before south.
3 states have capital cities that begin with L. Arkansas has Little Rock, Nebraska has Lincoln. These did not make the cut, as I went with Lansing Michigan. Lansing is the nearest state capital to where I live of a state that does not border my own. There are parts of Michigan, I can get to in about 2 hours. Lansing takes a little longer.
Yesterdays fact filled trip to Kaskaskia was unusual for me. Because it was actually about Kaskaskia. You may have noticed that mostly I use these state capitals as a starting off point for a topic that is often near and dear to my heart. Today’s subject is minor league baseball.
Lansing is the home of the Lansing Lugnuts which plays in the Midwest League. They are a Single A affiliate of the Toronto Bluejays. Previous to that they were aligned with the Chicago Cubs and previous to that they were with the Kansas City Royals organization when the team began in 1996.
The Lugnuts have a mascot and they even have a fight song. The lyrics are available here. Listen by clicking here. To see more a to z challenge click here. To see my 2014 a to z entry click on Late Late Show.