My504 Jun 2015 03:36 pm

The headline read something like, “CONTROVERSY: New show helps those in need – but only after an unbelievable decision.” And I know they are trying to bait me into clicking, but the accompanying picture was of a couple fighting and my imagination got the best of me.briefcase

I immediately thought they had to break up their family to keep the money. I know, crazy, but that’s the kind of “controversy” I expect from a headline like that. (I suppose I’m more naive than I’d like to admit). So I clicked. What I got was the trailer for a new reality show called, The Briefcase.

My 12-year old son was nearby and, as he is so often prone to do, he eaves-watched as the trailer played. After the brief video, I came across endless scathing reviews of the show, which had premiered a week earlier than I knew about it. I’ve seen it shunned for exploiting poverty. I’ve seen it called a real life Hunger Games. It “reaches a new low of immorality,” “manipulates the impoverished,” “pits struggling families against each other,” and so on, and so on.
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My504 Jun 2015 01:16 pm

I blew it yesterday!

My five minutes of writing managed to elude me and I don’t know that I really have any good excuse except that I didn’t chase it hard enough. This will be a struggle, but if I believe I’m a writer, I need to write.

distractionI’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to double up today (like my kids do when they skip a swim practice).

The point is, though: I’m here now.

And my next five minutes will begin soon and, as a tease, I’ll be talking about a very controversial television show. Spoiler alert, I don’t think like everyone else talking about this show…

Curiosity piqued? Cool. Does this count as my five minutes?

peace… love… bdg…

My502 Jun 2015 11:51 pm

Well, I made it one day without running out of time. Two, technically, if you count today.

It is pretty late in the day to count towards my five minutes a day of writing – and I’m not sure I have five minutes worth of content, but I feel like if I just type this out and stick with it then it will inspire me to write again tomorrow. And then tomorrow again. That’s how momentum works.

Since it is/was Tuesday, I was going to write about new music that came out today, but nothing came out that interested me. That’s becoming more and more common. Am I getting over music? Is exciting music just a thing of the past? Do you get excited about music?

I did listen to some Gill Gatsby today and that was well worth a listen. I didn’t see a full album available, but he’s done some freestyle spots on the NYC radio shows that are impressive and he’s got a couple videos on YouTube. Looks like he’s an indie right now and his album came out in March.

There, now I’m excited. And that’s what five minutes looks like after a long day of work and swim practices.

peace… love… bdg…

My501 Jun 2015 04:18 pm

I’m writing again. I’ve decided to give myself 5 minutes to dedicate to writing each day. tig-poohHopefully, I can gain some momentum and get to where I can at least occasionally writing something that takes longer than 5 minutes. I’m sure some themes will emerge as I do this – like, what I write about on each day – because that’s the nature of things. I actually hope they do, because that means it’s becoming a habit again. A habit that’s better than, say, my habit of eating chocolate at 3:30 every day.

Anyway, I had something else in mind to write about today, but this topic seemed like a better place to start. How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life, which also allows me to enter a contest hosted by Positive Writer at the last possible moment of eligibility. That’s another habit of mine… The clock starts now.

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business&web08 May 2015 06:25 pm

I got an email yesterday from some movie theater chain that I must have signed up to receive rewards from at some point. The funny thing was, it was in Spanish and I know I didn’t sign up for the Spanish version. I chuckled at their mishap and figured that would be the silliest email I received, but I was wrong.

Shortly after that, I checked my inbox and found a Mother’s Day offer from a restaurant that I like a lot, but my wife isn’t the biggest fan. Naturally, I opened it – not for the offer per se, but to make myself have pleasant day dreams of smoked meats and spicy sides. What I found was a very confused offer.

famousflop-email

Reading from top to bottom (as most of us do), I immediately assumed this was an offer for Mother’s Day, which is this Sunday, May 10th, by the way. A little further down, I see that it’s for “this weekend only” – which still includes Sunday, but makes it a Mother’s Day weekend thing. Okay, I’m following it so far, but then at the very bottom, we get actual dates: May 11 – June 14, which not only extends well beyond this weekend, it also excludes this weekend and Mother’s Day.

Double check your work people. Put as much care into your marketing as you do into those wondrous ribs. Now, onto day dreaming…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf19 Mar 2015 04:05 pm

Hey… have you missed me? Well, here’s a couple book write-ups…

How to Make Friends and Monsters and How to Survive Middle School and Monster Bots – Ron Bates

howardbowardMiddle school is a pivotal time for most people, but it can be especially difficult if you don’t quite fit in. Unless of course, you are such a nerd you can create your own friends – even if they turn out to be monsters who try to take over you school and town. This series is an enjoyable look at the ups and downs of such a life.

In book one, Howard Boward is a nerd who, through no real fault of his own, creates a monster life-force to be his friend. Naturally, this doesn’t work out exactly as expected, although, it does make him popular… for a little while. When things start going awry, Howard learns a lot about life and identity and friendship and a little bit about having a moral compass. It’s a fulfilling and fun read, with plenty of illustrations to keep the pages turning.

Book two continues the saga and finds Howard struggling to remember some of the life lessons he gained previously. Also, he dabbles with robots and they try to take over the city. Again, we have a clever tale, written from a pertinent point of view and there are plenty of laughs, lessons, and mistakes from Howard’s experiments and experiences. This time, the undertone dives a little deeper into the realm of true friendship, loyalty, and teamwork. There’s also a bit of a redemptive call to action, but it’s not exactly heavy-handed. It’s another fine read and one that leaves you wondering what could possibly happen next.

These books are written in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (visually, at least – I’ve never read those), Timmy Failure, and other half-graph novels. (I may have just coined that term… hope it sticks). They should appeal to middle schoolers, obviously, most likely boys, and the kid in all of us.

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&business&leadership31 Dec 2014 12:25 pm

Game Changer – Kirk Cousins

So the season is over for the Washington Redskins and for Kirk Cousins, it was over a month or so early as he was pulled from action in lieu of Robert Griffin III and Colt McCoy. Oddly enough, I’ve read books about each of them in the past year or two also. But in reading GAME CHANGER, it is clear that Cousins is going to be okay, whether he’s benched or starting. He obviously strives to start and succeed in the NFL, but he lives with a purpose and vision beyond the gridiron lines, Gatorade showers, and screaming fans.

For such a young guy, he’s already experienced a lifetime of challenges, failures, and successes, as well as plenty of twists and turns along the way. However, through it all, Cousins keeps his focus on the bigger game plan. In GAME CHANGER, Cousins shares his journey, offers inspiration through his story, and passes along helpful advice for others, regardless of their current situation. This is a helpful book for younger readers – maybe 10-18 years old – looking for identity, success, and help along the way.

And hey, today is New Years Eve (as I write this), so what better time than the beginning of a new year to read through an inspiring tale to get you ready to tackle (pun intended) those resolutions in the coming months.

peace… love… bdg….

Movies&television&videos04 Dec 2014 11:14 am

I’ve mentioned at least once or twice that I like VeggieTales. And while the jury is still out on the new Veggies in the House Netflix series, one thing I can count on is the quality of products put out by the creator of Bob and Larry – and the voice of many vegetables among other characters. Case in point: What’s in the Bible, Phil Vischer’s latest project.

Imagine if you will, a variety show of sorts that strives to discuss the Bible – book-by-book – in a way that engages and entertains children. This series is even better than that. (You need a better imagination – just kidding, calm down). Puppets, animation, songs, speaking, and more characters than you can shake a stick at make this a show that’s quite fun to watch. Beyond that, it’s chock full of informative and interesting content that will actually enrich the lives of the viewer, be it a child or adult (for example, me).
Volume ten kicks off the New Testament and I simply love the general thought presented here that the Old Testament is a story without an ending and the New Testament is a story without a beginning, but when they’re taken together, it’s a wonderful and amazingly complete picture. Such a nice thought.

Now, my kids still show interest in this series even though they are probably out of the target audience, so I’d say it’s most appropriate for 10 and under, will hold the attention of maybe 14 and under, but will benefit all – even the barely paying attention overhearers. So, if you haven’t checked this series out and you have anyone near the target audience, do check it out. It looks like a lot of them are on sale right now, too.

peace… love… bdg…

general&Movies07 Oct 2014 02:40 pm

In case you were worrying… you can stop. Christmas is in good hands…

Saving Christmas

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf03 Oct 2014 04:04 pm

Smart Money, Smart Kids – Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey

Money. No one likes to talk about it or think about it, but, inevitably, it is one that we are confronted with many times a day. Unfortunately, by not talking about money, we aren’t thinking through the implications or consequences of our spending habits. This often leaves us without financial plans, savings strategies, or appropriate goals – much less the means to attain them. And, for those of us who are parents, these deficiencies are passed on to our children, placing them in a difficult position as they face their future.

Enter the Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze. The Ramsey name is somewhat synonymous with giant scissors cutting up credit cards and phrases like, “cash is king,” “normal is broke,” and “debt is dumb.” His Financial Peace University program just crossed the twenty year mark and has been making a significant impact across the country. Having participated in the program a few times, I’ve learned one of the most common questions from attendees is, “how can I teach this to my kids?” Well, here you go. Rachel Cruze co-authors this book from the unique perspective of a “Ramsey kid” and explains the basic principles and practices she’s learned growing up with the FPU program.

Covered topics include the importance of giving, saving, and spending – in the right order – avoiding debt altogether, and paying for college, cars, and more. However, and most importantly, Cruze and Ramsey tackle the underlying issues of the growing problem: discontentment. SMART is a thorough guide to teaching kids common sense and practical money management. Absolutely recommend this to parents and kids.

peace… love… bdg…

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