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Showing posts from February, 2010

Still Climbing

Haven't reached the top yet but I am getting closer every day.

Timing

(For Fragments of Fiction) "Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend I want to guard your dreams and visions Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims And strap your hands across my engines Together we could break this trap Well run till we drop, baby well never go back Will you walk with me out on the wire `cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider But I gotta find out how it feels I want to know if love is wild, girl I want to know if love is real" Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen "Show me how you do that trick The one that makes me scream" she said "The one that makes me laugh" she said And threw her arms around my neck "Show me how you do it And I promise you I promise that I'll run away with you I'll run away with you" Just Like Heaven - The Cure If you close your eyes and listen carefully you can hear the soft clink-clank of metal against metal. You're so focused upon your task it is hard to

A Curious Collection

I have a bunch of ideas for posts but am short on time tonight. So I spent a little time digging through the archives and came up with some posts that are worth checking out again, more or less. My Son Made Me A Whoopie Cushion How Do You Make a Baby? The Son Asks & The Father Answers Dreams Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Comic Books Find Religion Children

It Gets Worse

Fragments of Fiction insert #21987 In my dreams a battle rages. I am floating above a battlefield in which men are fighting with clubs, axes, swords and crossbows. There are no guns or bombs because this is a fight based upon brutality. This is a fight in which the combatants come face to face, where the victor’s prize is watching the loser die a horrific death. I don’t want to watch, but I cannot help it. I have had this dream too many times to count and every time I have it I am forced to watch as limbs are hewn from bodies, heads are caved in and blood runs like a river. There is so much blood I imagine that if the ancient Hebrews are to believed the Nile must once have looked like this. Each time I wake up I am breathless and covered in sweat. I lie in bed shaking and sore. I feel like someone has beaten me up. I get out of bed and cannot help but check for bruises. I know that they are there, but they are located in a place that I cannot see. I am broken. I am damaged and I

Some Things I'll Teach My Children (Updated)

I have a long list of items to teach my children but here is an incomplete list of things that I want to teach them. Laugh, love and learn always and forever. Never forget to hold your friends and family close to you. A good hug can change your day. Everyone needs a hug. We all need to touch and be held. My thoughts on being shomer negiah later. The majority opinion is not always right nor the most moral/ethical. Some things are worth fighting for and some are not. The hard part is discerning which is which. You can never read too many books but you must always supplement your reading/education by doing. Travel and interact with the world around you. Learn to speak more than one language. Play a team sport and learn how to be a team player. Understand that life is a journey and that half the fun is indeed getting there. Life is filled with moments, some good and some bad. Just remember this too shall pass. If saying goodbye doesn't hurt than whatever it was pro

How Far Can You Push Dad

"Last night I dreamed I died and stood outside those pearly gates. When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake. If they know half the things I've done, they'll never let me in. And then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again. And They said, "Let me tell you a secret about a father's love, A secret that my daddy said was just between us. You see Daddies don't just love their children every now and then. It's a love without end, amen, it's a love without end, amen." Love Without End, Amen - George Strait Confession time. Those two paragraphs make me choke up, almost every time. I suppose that you can attribute to a mix of being a father and a son. I understand both sides intimately, something that my children don't quite understand. They are young enough that it still throws them when I catch them doing things that they shouldn't. It is kind of funny to see the looks on incredulity on their faces. It is

One Day The Battles Will End

For Fragments of Fiction tied into the story I started here . "I never will forget those nights i wonder if it was a dream remember how you drove me crazy? remember how i made you scream? now i don't understand what happened to our love now baby gonna get you back gonna show you what I'm made of..." Boys of Summer - Don Henley I have been thinking about timing and second chances. I have been thinking about places I have been and moments that have been burned into my memory. Some of them are among the happiest I have and others, well, they aren't so happy. I remember it all, the good and the bad. I remember the feelings of sheer bliss and the knowledge that two people were never more perfectly suited for each other than we were. It was inexplicable and indescribable, this feeling of joy that we brought to each other. You called me your air and I called you my heart. You took my breath away with your grace and style. I was always conscious of your pr

Musical Morning

Well kids here is a list of some of the tunes that helped me get through this day. The River - Bruce Springsteen No Surrender - Bruce Springsteen Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen The Rising - Bruce Springsteen City of Blinding Lights - U2 Until The End of The World - U2 Walk On - U2 Woke Up This Morning - A3 White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane Te Amare - Miguel Bose Remember When - Alan Jackson Love Without End - George Strait

Fathers Planning for The Future

"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time." ~ Winston Churchill  I like the headline Fathers Planning for The Future for many of the same reasons that I like A Play In Three Acts . Mostly I appreciate the open ended aspect. Is it one father planning for the future or is it many. Could even be the title of an upcoming seminar I am going to provide on how to be a great father. You know the kind of seminar I am talking about. I am going to charge you the very low and reasonable price of $19.99 to buy a tape/CD/MP3 excerpt of my talk. You'll be so enthralled by this you'll readily agree to spend $150.00 to come hear me give the full talk at a later date. During that session you'll fall completely under my spell and agree to fork over a substantially larger sum so that you can participate in a full weekend of workshops, most of which won't be led by me. However as they will have TheJackB's pict

America's Most Miserable Cities

I wasn't going to do this. Really, I wasn't going to share the list. Didn't want to incite a riot among the readers. Too tired to be chased by Angry Texans and the assorted wing nuts that come out of the woodwork when I post these things. But, we'll go ahead and do it and see if the list changes from year to year. America's Most Miserable Cities Cleveland, Ohio Stockton, CA Memphis, TN Detroit, MI Flint, MI Miami, FL St. Louis, MO Buffalo, NY Canton, OH Chicago, IL New York, Akron, Philadelphia and Toledo are a few of the other cities that made the list. Truthfully, I thought that they'd include L.A. but the City of Angels was spared. General theme here- jobs, or should I say no jobs. Unemployment wreaks havoc on a city.

Late Thursday Night/Friday Morning

"I know some things that you don’t I’ve done things that you won’t There’s nothing like a trail of blood to find your way back home" Life is Beautiful - SIXX:A.M. Eighteen months ago I went to Circuit City and bought a new computer. It was an unusual purchase for me. Unusual because I purchased a floor model. I never buy floor models, at least not when it comes to electronics. Floor models tend to be higher end items that are heavily discounted because as a floor model they have been used extensively. I tend to view floor models as being very similar to rental cars. People don't take good care of them. Since it is not theirs, they have a tendency to beat the crap out of them. A good salesman convinced me that this model had been thoroughly checked out. He swore that it had been taken care of and that I was getting a good deal. He did a good job of convincing me and sealed the deal by providing a serious break on an extended warranty. If you haven't figure

Unnaturally Disarming

Last night I stumbled back home around 10 PM or so. I wasn't inebriated, just exhausted. Played a few hours of basketball and drove myself to go all out all night. I didn't stumble on the court, just onto the porch of my house. As I walked up the steps one of my legs decided to mutiny and so I sort of fell into the door. Suppose I should be happy that no one videotaped my inadvertent headbutt into the door. I learned two things from the experience. 1) I have a hard head. No bruise from the encounter and thankfully no headache. 2) The door isn't fragile. Intellectually I knew this, but I am a child trapped in a man's body so I like to test things to see if they really do work. Once inside the mutinous leg decided that I am not Captain Queeg and rejoined the team. This was good as it made the shower that followed far more pleasurable. A short time later I wandered over to check on the children and marveled again at how peaceful they are when they sleep. Simply am

General Housekeeping Notes

It is pushing 1 A.M. and I should really be asleep. Instead I have been spending time taking care of some odds and ends around this joint. I finally got around to setting up a Facebook fan page for this joint. You can find a link to it on the right hand side of the page. It is a bit rough now but eventually it should turn into something nicer. The goal of the page is very simple, to help market this joint. I am curious to see what sort of impact it has upon readership and traffic, if any. I am still mulling over whether to move this over to a self hosted Wordpress blog. I probably should do it, but I am slow to make those kinds of changes. Blogger gave me my start and I feel a bit of attachment and allegiance to it. Still, a Wordpress blog offers numerous advantages that are well worth pursuing. One of the things that I want to do is clean up the clutter and make this a bit snazzier. The content won't change. You'll still come here and find posts about life, parenting, sc

The Ghosts of Our Past

The ghosts of our past haunt us to our dying days. It is a common misconception among people to assume that this is a negative thing, that this is a something that hurt us. It can be, but only if you let it. We have the power to control our destiny. That is what I had told her, a promise of our future. We were so very much in love. She was intoxicating, addictive, my favorite drug. I couldn’t get enough of her. Even now I can still smell her, the scent that never leaves me. Ok, it is not completely true, now it is more of a memory, but in my dreams she still visits me. In the dark of night she comes to stay with me and in the morning I wake up to the bittersweet realization that she has left me again. Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and try to fall back asleep, hoping, praying that I can reconnect with the dream. In my mind there is no pain, no sorrow, no loss and no heartbreak. We’re still driving a convertible, her hair blowing in the wind, body pressed close to mine.

When your Favorite Blog Suddenly Goes Bad

( originally posted here ) If you blog for any length of time you witness the rise and fall of many blogs. Some of them are good, some are fair, some are horrible and some are just amazing. Many bloggers have written about blog crushes. They have spent time elucidating and illustrating what it is that makes them smile. They may have even gone into intricate detail about the blogs they love, it is part of a blog crush. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on why you enjoy it, you just know that you do. Here is what you don't see much of, the discussion of what happens when your blog crush fades into the twilight. There are a number of reasons why this could happen. Sometimes it is just because they stop blogging. It doesn't matter why they stopped, the writing just ends and there you go. Sometimes your blog crush fades because you come to grow tired of the gimmick and or style of their writing. But in my book the saddest end of the blog crush is when the

A Quick Summary

If you haven't been here in a while here is what has been playing: How Do You Steal A 9.5 Foot Python Transitions The Summer Camp Dilemma Some Music The First Gray Hair Building a Community on Your Blog The Lost Soul Mate Making the Most of Time Was It Good Sex or Love We Are The World- Now And Then Insolent Innocence

How Do You Steal A 9.5 Foot Python

Color me confused about this : "Authorities are looking for a python that was reported stolen from a petting zoo in Fort Myers. The snake's owner told Lee County deputies that the 9-and-a-half-foot female was locked in its cage Saturday night, but was gone the next morning. The snake was part of a petting zoo set up in a tent in a shopping center parking lot. The lock on the snake's cage was cut, and a blanket covering the cage had been lifted."

Transitions

"Some need gold and some need diamond rings Or a drug to take away the pain that living brings A promise of a better world to come When whatever here is done" Happy - Bruce Springsteen A dear friend and I had a long talk last night about life and how it doesn't always work out the way you think that it will. Thoughts about our conversation carried over into this morning and I found myself thinking about some of the things that I thought would happen that didn't. The tweet below is a good example: I remember thinking that I was going to fly home and pack up my stuff. Israel was where I wanted to be. I love L.A. I always have and I always will but there was something about Jerusalem that captured my heart. I fell in love with it and I couldn't imagine not following up on that love. I wanted to have more than a month at a time to learn about it and to see if it was a summer romance or a life long relationship. The flight home was long. I wasn't coming

The Summer Camp Dilemma

My FWOCs (friends without children) think that I am crazy, but I am really concerned about where my kids are going to go to camp this summer. We haven't signed these guys up for anything yet. And while you may think that there is plenty of time to do so, the truth is that we are already well behind. Camps started accepting reservations (deposits) in December. Some of them are already booked and waiting lists have been formed. This is no surprise to me as I have been a part of this aspect of the childrens' rat race for about seven years now. I have grudgingly dragged my heels for one simple reason. Cash. Yep, the cash flow here at The Shack hasn't been what I would like it to be. That bad economy we keep reading and or speaking about has wreaked havoc on many. Some clients have been very slow to pay and others have held off scheduling new projects. Consequently we have scaled back and been hesitant to put out cash for things that aren't necessity. Fiscal responsibi

Some Music

Here is what I listened to this evening: Mercy, Mercy Me - Marvin Gaye Night Shift - The Commodores September - Earth, Wind & Fire The Hustle - Van McCoy Who Wants to Live Forever - Queen Love of My Life - Queen Boee -Idan Raichel

The First Gray Hair

My daughter discovered a gray hair on my head. To the best of my knowledge it is my first. I rather imagine that this poor fellow is a scout that has been sent out by the other hairs with a mission to gather intelligence. His goal is to check out the land and determine if it is safe for the rest of the hair community. Can they come colonize the land or must they search for a more hospitable environment. Her brother disputes her account of the color of said hair. He thinks that it is kind of blond. It could be, I have some reddish-blond highlights in my beard. His assertion doesn't go over well with the dark haired beauty. She tells him that he is wrong and suggests that he get a flashlight to double check. Moments later two children are shining a light on the side of my head and comparing notes. "Dad, you have a lot of hair everywhere but in the front of your head," he says. His sister concurs, but has some questions. "Abba, why do you have some space by your f

Building a Community on Your Blog

Ten minutes ago I received an email notification that Chris Brogan had responded to a comment I made on his blog. Chris is one of the rock stars of social media and the blogosphere. If you look at my Feedburner chicklet you'll see that I am averaging around 650 or so readers a day, Chris has more than 45,000. My posts probably average about 7 or 8 comments. I am guessing that Chris averages about 15 times that amount. The point of all this is not a shameless attempt to get Chris' attention and hope that he mentions me so that I can share in his traffic. Rather it is to touch upon the feeling that I got when I received that noticed that he had replied to my comment. I was very pleased. It made me happy. He acknowledged me. It helps that I appreciate his work and that I think that he is a leader in the field. I am especially appreciative because I recognize how much time it must take to respond to comments. The point here is that if you want to build a community on your b

The Lost Soul Mate

This is the next insert in Fragments of Fiction. It is part of a collection of short stories that I am thinking about turning into something larger. I don't know what it is about you that closes and opens, only something in me understands the voice in your eyes is deeper than all roses- E.E. Cummings. “For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be” Alfred Tennyson "There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect." ~ G.K. Chesterton Some nights I find myself wandering beneath a moonlit sky watching and waiting for a sign that I don't really expect to come but wish for with the greatest of desires. I often stop and stare into the night sky and remember what it was like to stare into your eyes. I didn't tell you what I saw in them, about how they twinkled and glowed. I didn't say the things that I thought because I could see you already knew them. Y

Making the Most of Time

"I want to go home, I want to go home, Oh Lord, I want to go home, Last night I went to sleep in Detroit city, And I dreamed about those cotton fields and home, I dreamed about my mother, dear old papa, sister and brother, And I dreamed about that girl, whose been waitin' for so long," Detroit City - Bobby Bare It is late afternoon and my eyes are closed and I am taking a moment to collect myself. I am standing inside my garage staring at a gray suitcase. It is an American Tourister that has been around the world. It is probably 20 years older than I am and is the first suitcase I remember seeing. As a young boy I found it fascinating to open and close it. For years that bag went with us on family vacations, but before that it belonged to my father. It was one of the bags that he took with him when he left for the Peace Corps. I am standing inside the garage because I have fifteen minutes to engage in pumping iron. Fifteen minutes to get the blood pumping a

Was It Good Sex or Love

This is actually an interesting story about a WWII POW who claimed to have broken out of and back into his German P.O.W. camp more than 200 times. The reason for the frequency with which Greasley put his life in danger, he admitted with engaging good humour and frankness, was simple: he had embarked on a romance with a local German girl. Rosa Rauchbach was, if anything, running even greater risks than Greasley. A translator at the camp where he was imprisoned, she had concealed her Jewish roots from the Nazis. Discovery of their affair would almost certainly have meant doom for them both. Greasley recounted the almost incredible details of his wartime romance in the book Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? (2008), which he had been "thinking about and threatening to write" for almost 70 years. But while the book is described as an "autobiographical novel", the story was largely confirmed at his debriefing by MI9 intelligence off

Insolent Innocence

Saludos my friends and you know who you are. It is a bit after two in Los Angeles. I haven't shaved in two days so I have a healthy shadow running across my face. Dark circles beneath my eyes and a serious expression make me look a bit weathered and worn. You wouldn't say that I am dressed to impress. I am barefoot and sporting a worn pair of denim shorts accompanied by a fine white T-shirt from the classic designers at Tar-jay. Might I add that the t-shirt sports a very fine photo of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man . It is far more comfortable than the suit, tie and wingtips I once wore and far more my style. And today of all days it is not just well deserved but needed, this comfort line of clothing that is. 2010 may be the Year of Jack but this past week was not. I woke up today and felt like I was the star of a Neil Diamond song. Don't ask me what that means because I haven't a clue. Went to bed late and woke up early and that my friends is a recipe for a half

100 Greatest Movie Quotes

Not safe for work. Some of them are pretty good and others are gratuitous. The Other All Time Best 100 Movie Quotes sound bite   Movies sound bites

A Quick Review

If you haven't been able to visit recently here is a short list of what you missed: Puppies, Puppies, Puppies A Valentine's Day Fable The Challenger- Astronauts May have Lived Longer Than We Thought The Presentation Is My Children's Happinesss More Important Than My Own How Sister's Helped to Train A Father of "Daddy's Girl" Instant Gratification Is Making Me Instantly Impatient I Still Hate Valentine's Day Monday Morning Music More to come- stay tuned.

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

And now courtesy of the Octo-dog: 8 puppies. Great Googly Moogly. We went from two dogs to ten in no time at all. Posted via email from thejackb's posterous

A Valentine's Day Fable

I decided to put together a Valentine's Day segment for Fragments of Fiction. "If I traveled all my life And I never get to stop and settle down Long as I have you by my side There's a roof above and good walls all around You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome I need you in my house 'cause you're my home" You're My Home- Billy Joel "I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there Ooh, then I suddenly see you, Ooh, did I tell you I need you Every single day of my life" Got To Get You Into My Life- The Beatles "Who knows how long I've loved you, You know I love you still. Will I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to I will." I Will- The Beatles I am tired of beginning sentences with "if." It frustrates me to hear the word pass through my lips and begin some sentence in which I exp

The Challenger- Astronauts May have Lived Longer Than We Thought

I was a junior in high school when the Challenger exploded. I was sitting my A.P. History class when we got the news. I remember it well. I remember President Reagan's address : The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God. I remember being told that the astronauts probably died immediately. Tonight I read an article that suggests otherwise. "But they were wrong. NASA’s intensive, meticulous studies of every facet of that explosion, comparing what happened to other blowups of aircraft and spacecraft, and the knowledge of the forces of the blast and the excellent shape and construction of the crew cabin, finally led some investigators to a mind-numbing conclusion. They were alive all the way down. The explos