The Space Shuttle Challenger – Poem

Recently while I was visiting my mother she mentioned she had found something I had written quite a long time ago and wondered if I wanted to take a look at it. Of course I said yes and what she brought out was a poem I had written about the tragic event that befell the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28th, 1986. I was a 15-year-old junior in high school at Benson Polytechnic School at the time.

 

Tragedy - January 28th, 1986.

Tragedy – January 28th, 1986.

My love of poetry was an escape, a coping mechanism for things that seemed so far removed from our own everyday lives. I watched on live television with classmates as the space shuttle launched and met its terrible fate. I don’t write to bring up painful memories for those that hold this event close to their hearts, rather, I mention I mention it to show that for me I didn’t have a coping mechanism and turned to poetry to get out some of my thoughts. Or at least allow me to process them in some way more constructive than some other ways I may have done so.

At 16 I was uncertain of what I would do after high school, where I would go or what anything meant for that matter. I felt so uncertain about a great many things that I turned to writing and drawing and various other activities that kept me less focused on what I should really be focusing on, the future and planning for it.

Not that I regret my life or the choices I have made to get to where I am now. I think I have perspective and life experience and look at life a little differently. I still write to express myself sometimes and appreciate others who do the same.

The long and short of this post was not to bring up sad memories although that may not be a bad thing necessarily in the proper context, but rather I am writing so that I can embrace the person I have become through my experiences as a young man and how they have shaped me as an adult. I am not saddened in the way I was so many years ago when I wrote this poem when the world seemed to be spinning out of control. I have perspective and understanding and think back at that time as maybe a turning point in my life where I started to write to embrace my thoughts as opposed to running from them.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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NBA Basketball Fan in the House

Yesterday Sunday was an excellent day; first off it was Easter and although it doesn’t really hold much in the way of enlightenment or religious benefit for me, I do have nieces and nephews who are at an age that are really into some of the more egg prep, seek and candy eat stages of their young lives. Additionally it was my sister-in-laws birthday and her and her family were visiting so we were able to see them (the first time since Christmas) and enjoy the limited time we had with them.

It was also a really nice day because it was my sister-in-laws birthday so we were able to celebrate that occasion with her (her family). It was really cute because her cake was actually a rice crispy treat molded into the shape of a lamb (courtesy of a cast iron lamb mold) with 4 candles on top of it.

Finally it culminated in a doozy of a basketball game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the hosting Houston Rockets. Both ended the season with the same record 53-29 with Houston getting the better of Portland during the season so have (had) home court advantage.

Portland did go on to win it 122-120 in overtime. Some people will argue that and the NBA league did acknowledge it did mess up on a foul late in the game that went against Dwight Howard instead of Joel Freeland, which had it been made the other way could have altered the ending of the game in favor for Houston. I would argue the calls the refs did not catch like the no-call on Dwight Howard where he slammed his balled fist into Portland Center R0-Lo’s (Robin Lopez) stomach. Or the call that went against LaMarcus Aldridge where there was no contact whatsoever and who would later foul out.

My point is, that refs are human and make mistakes, some for and some against your favorite team. All the refs can do is try to make the right call each and every time. Which I am sure they try to do. What I am not a fan of is make-up calls which are made on the flimsiest of evidence (often incidental contact) to make up for a call that should have not been made going the other way. Furthermore I will say that I do not envy the job of the refs and appreciate the work that they do even if sometimes upon replay a call turns out not to be correct. It is a tough and often a thankless job.

Finally I am looking for the next game in this series more than just about any other as these teams are matching up well and I am excited to see who steps up in the next game to be played in Portland this Wednesday. I think it may be Harden (The Beard) as he had a sub-par game Sunday night. I also look forward to Batum to breakout a little more and spread the points around.

Good luck to both teams! (and the refs)

Peace be with you!

More to come…

 

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SWEEPS!!! Independent Merchants Fall 2013 Season Over

Hello everybody. Last night we bowled our final game for the Fall 2013-2014 Independent Merchants league. It is with mixed emotions that I write this entry; on the one-hand, when the bowling season ends that signifies the start of spring and spring like activities like fishing and disc gold. On the other hand it signifies saying goodbye to all of our fellow bowlers, the people we have  been bowling with for more than a dozen years.

This coming year, my team will be finding a new house to bowl at. You see, there were some rather serious mistakes made by various bodies charged with maintaining our lanes etc…and they stumbled a bit on the job. Without getting into finger-pointing and hard feeling I will say that because of that the only way we can let the league know we are unsatisfied with them is to take our bowling dollars elsewhere. So starting next month we will be looking at some other establishments for Monday night bowling.

Enough about that stuff and onto the scores for the night. Or rather let me explain what last night entailed on a larger scope. The teams that took first in any of the four quarters squared off against one another to determine the winner on the entire league. This pretty much is just bragging rights, but what bragging rights! In addition to that everyone in the league, including the four top-place teams are bowling sweeps. Sweeps is a mini tournament for money.

Each week a certain amount of the money we pay in our dues is allocated to a prize fund for payouts at the end of the league. In addition some amount of money is allocated to individual awards for high handicap series. In addition to this each person in the league can then sign up with as many people as they want to enter into the doubles category. It costs you a dollar plus a dollar from the person you are signing up with to enter. I signed up with about 30-35 people plus a $5 pot.

The ceiling for determining handicap is 220, so a person with a 201 average (me in this case) would get 220-201=19 pins per game or 3×19=57 pins added to their total scratch series score for a final total. You then add that score to each person you signed up with for your doubles score. Scores of 1500+ are not unheard of and this year will be no exception.

On to the scores. I will also be adding in handicap so the scores will be higher than normal.

  • (155) Mr. Pink 172-163-158=493+195 (220-155=65×3)=688
  • (144) Lenny 154-129-159=442+228 (220-144=76×3)=670
  • (161) ‘Zilla 157-191-160=508+177 (220-157=59×3)=685
  • (172) Toad 191-208-170=569+144 (220-172=48×3)=713
  • (201) Awe 206-247-245=698+ (220-201=19×3)=755

I am not sure how many places will be paid out. But based on that, how many entries there were plus how many people did well will determine where the floor is for making money. I figure around the 700 mark is a fair line for that but that is only a guess. Often it is one of the guys you don’t think about winning because they aren’t the 200+ bowlers which is a big mistake. Something about Uma Thurman.

I might make a follow-up post on this to say how many times I placed in the money, not how much money I won but how many spots I placed with. As I mentioned earlier I signed up with about 30-35 and I know about 5 people who all shot over 700. I might just forget about it if I think it is in bad taste. Must think on this.

Peace to you all!

More to come…

 

 

 

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Independent Merchants – 2013-2014 – Wk. 28

  • (156) Mr. Pink-155-160-145=460 (153) -3
  • (144) Lenny-160-123+203=486 (162)+18
  • (161) Ruben-161-172-168=501 (167) +6
  • (172) Tod-123-165-162=450 (150) -22
  • (200) James-235-177-263=675 (225) +25

As a team we took 10 out 35 points and as a team we were +24 for the night.

Unfortunately for us the other team bowled much better than we did and it looks like they will take over first place for the quarter. With any luck we will hold onto second place but I think we will end up in third place.

Some good news; my brother (Lenny) wound up taking most individual points won and most improved average. In our league you can only take the honors for one award but they both pay the same and he does have bragging rights for the next year. This was really quite an achievement. Fantastic job Lenny!

It also appears that (for me anyway) the lanes have got back to some semblance of normalcy and I have been able to find a shot the last several weeks. Just one more week to go.

Sweeps night is next week and except for the teams that took 1st in any one  (or more) quarter, we get to bowl for ourselves. It is the one night you are really on your own. I guess technically you still want everyone else to do well but you have doubles partners instead of a team to concern yourself with so you want everyone to do well. This is kind of an odd time for me because as of late I have been bowling well but for the three months previous I had averaged 177, which is 23 pins below where I am now and a total of 40 pins below from the height of my average on week 12. How the mighty hath fallen. So, on one hand, I don’t need to worry about holding the team back with my terrible bowling and on the other hand I feel a little guilty about now starting to come out of my slump just in time to largely only benefit myself.

I will keep you posted on how we did next week and then we are done with bowling for the season until next fall.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Welcome Greenleaf Enterprises LLC!

Late last week my business website went live! I couldn’t be more excited, proud, nervous and excited. See what I did there? I am that excited.

The business is a blending of two elements; web media (the stuff I have been doing for many years), and voice talent (the stuff I am interesting in learning and growing in for years to come).

For the last 3+ months I have been researching and implementing all the services, utilities, hardware, software, costs and time investments it took to get this off the ground. Let me just say, starting a business takes a lot of work and patience (something that I don’t have a ton of). With the assistance of a former colleague (and friend) who did virtually all the HTML for the website plus various other researching projects and the constant support of my awesome (and infinitely patient) wife, I am now proud to introduce you to my new website and business.

You can get to it here: Greenleaf Enterprises LLC

There are still a few elements I am working on to get rid of the last few bugs but for the very large part, the site is finished and I can start working again.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Independent Merchants – 2013-2014 – Wk. 27

  • (155) Mr. Pink-168-172-158=498 (166) +11
  • (143) Lenny-135-178-156=469 (156) +13
  • (160) Ruben-142-185-179=506 (168) +8
  • (172) Toad-193-191-150=534 (178) +6
  • (199) Awe-198-187-279=664 (221) +22

As a team we took either 31 or 31 out of 35. The difference in total points is in question because I was bowling a vacant bowler and I am a little unclear on who takes the points if I don’t make average but our team wins the game. So…we either take 31 or 32. Yeah!

We were +60 as a team and everyone made their average. This was a pretty major night as it is the night before position round and we wanted as many points as possible so we set ourselves up as well as possible for next week.

Special notes; Mr. Pink made average every game, the only person to do so on our whole team. The other note is that I was able to figure the lanes out for 1 game and rolled a 279 my last game. The 7th frame (the 9/spare) was a pocket-shot but was flat coming in. I had dropped my shoulder ever so slightly and crossed my body and didn’t get the ball out like I needed to. Solid 10-pin. In any case this was a good night.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Independent Merchants – 2013-2014 – Wk. 26

  • (156) Mr. Pink-149-127-159=435 (145) -11
  • (142) Lenny-170-177-129=476 (158) +16
  • (160) Ruben-154-196-161=511 (170) +10
  • (172) Toad-174-182-175=531 (177) +5
  • (199) Awe-160-245-212=617 (205) +6

We spit with the other team tonight 17 (us), 18 (them). No to bad. We missed the overall total pin count by 13 pins. A little frustrating to get so close to the overall pin count but not a bad night at all.

As a team we were +26 over average with 4 of 5 of us making average. Mr. Pink struggled a little more than the rest of us. I have a feeling he will be back on top of his game next week.

Lenny and ‘Zilla were +16 and +10 pins over average respectively and were the boss leaders for the night.

Toad and I were +5 and +6 respectively.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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