Eye Spy


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A dragon in the sky
An eagle on the fly
And a man on a unicorn
Wailing a battle cry.

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Remembering Dad


On the eve of Fathers Day….a few words about my Dad from almost a year ago.

Good2begone

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Twelve years ago my father passed away. I held his hand as his last breath left his body. His body was devastated by the Cancer which shortened his life. Although the disease diminished his muscular features and left him with nearly skin and bones, it never once chipped away at his love for his wife and 5 children.

He allowed us all to make mistakes. He let us fall. But was there to pick us up. He taught us manners, respect for all people regardless of race or gender. He wanted us to love our families and fight to stay in touch no matter how many miles were left in between.

12 years have gone by. Not 1 single day during that timespan has passed that I have not thought about him and the things I learned from him.

There were things I should have said before he passed on…

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The Amish Rocker


This weeks photo challenge calls for curves.

Curves are everywhere. While I sat in my favorite rocking chair and thought about what item would exemplify the word….I came up blank.

I felt like an Amish person in a smartphone store.

I laughed at that to myself….

Then it hit me…I am sitting in a rocking chair that was handmade and is from Amish country.

It’s got curves.

It rocks.

It’s- “The Amish Rocking Chair”

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For mor entries to the challenge press here.

The Essence Of The Shine


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a fictional story called “The Shine“.

It is the story of a reporter who is looking for a human interest story to save his job.

He stumbles upon a “homeless man” who has immaculately shined shoes.

In the story, he meets the kid who shines his shoes. This kid learns from the homeless man how to be a better person.

Today I came across a story on ABC news while surfing the web.

I couldn’t have planned this if I tried….

Shoeshiner Donates $200,000 in Tips

A lot of us talk” about what we’d like to do to help others, if we only had the time or the money. How much we could do to make the world a better world, “if we only had … ”

You should meet Albert Lexie. I did. He is one of the most impressive human beings I’ve ever met and I’ve met a few folk over the years.

Albert Lexie is 71. He is a shoeshine man. It is the only job he has ever had. He started when he was 15. Albert is the kind of man you might see at the mall and walk past. Or get a glimpse of him on the street and avoid making eye contact.

Albert has been described to me as “developmentally disabled.” He is painfully shy. There is a childlike innocence to this kind man.

But Albert Lexie has donated more than $200,000 to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. It’s his tip money. For the past 36 years, Albert has taken every dime of his tip money from shining shoes and donated the cash to the charity of his choice. He got the idea watching telethons.

We interviewed several people at Children’s Hospital about Albert. Most had tears in their eyes and a smile on their faces. As one person described it, “Albert has only one skill: shining shoes. And he gives it everything he has.”

Albert considers that “one skill” a gift from God. Albert is a man of faith and says it demands that whatever gift or gifts God gives him, he is obligated and rejoicing for the opportunity to share it.

Albert’s only regret: He is not able to open a large chain of shoeshine shops across the country, which would enable him to give more. He has one shoeshine cart a friend (customer) built for him. It was an upgrade from the shoeshine box he carried on his shoulder for years.

So, 1 skill PLUS 1 shoeshine box PLUS 1 shoeshine man EQUALS $200,659 and counting.

Albert shines shoes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh every Tuesday and Thursday. He leaves his home before the sun comes up, usually about 4:30 a.m.

He doesn’t own a car so he takes the bus. Ninety minutes and two bus rides later, Albert arrives at the hospital to use his one skill to make a living and make life better for people (children mostly) he will never meet.

So what’s that about you don’t have the time or the money to help someone else? Two words and one thought. Albert Lexie. Serve where you stand.

Coincidence?

Luck?

Doesn’t matter.

Keep blogging.

Never know what might happen.

It’s goood2begone.

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It’s better to be like Albert Lexie.

The Truth About Shrivel


Raisins are shriveled up grapes. I know that’s not earth shattering news to anyone, but I have a point I will (eventually) get to.

I like raisins.

Specifically, in my cereal. You know the one called Raisin Bran.

Their claim to fame is 2 scoops of raisins in each box.

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Ahhhh…the sun looks so happy sharing those 2 obviously HUGE scoops with the breakfast cereal eating world…

But how much scoop of raisin is in 2?

Rather than buy a box and separate the bran from the shrivel….

Which I seriously considered.

Until I remembered that my wife and kids already believe that I am whack job….no need to add fact to their assumption.

I used the wonders of Google to seek my answer.

It led me to the Q and the A I was looking for by way of a website named

CHOW. com

I have already stated the question…no need to beat a shriveled grape. Here is the answer-

Contrary to what the packaging and years of television conditioning would have us believe, the raisins in Kellogg’s Raisin Bran are not added by a happy sun wielding two little scoops. The Two Scoops!™ promise that appears on Raisin Bran boxes is a marketing phrase “intended to differentiate Kellogg’s Raisin Bran from other types of raisin bran,” says Susanne Norwitz, Kellogg Company spokesperson. The raisins are added to the cereal by weight.
“Because we make Kellogg’s Raisin Bran in several package sizes, the amount of raisins in each package may vary and increases proportionately with the size of the package,” says Norwitz. “Each box contains approximately the same percentage by weight of raisins and flakes.”
In our unscientific analysis, we found that a 20-ounce box of Raisin Bran contained a scant cup of raisins, so for that size package, a “scoop” equals a stingy half cup.

Fascinating isn’t it?….OR MAYBE CONSUMER RIP OFF IS MORE LIKE IT!

(All caps used to exemplify raisin lovers distaste of marketing ploys that have fooled me for years)

I heard through the grapevine that companies lie to consumers….

I’m shocked.

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Stuff it singing shrivel with arms and legs…you look like a roach. Which I don’t like singing or in my cereal.

Great…now I lost my appetite.

And I had no point to get to…..

The Focus


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The Sunflower

Ah, Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller’s journal done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

William Blake

Photo taken with my iPhone. Editing done with the app-Aviary

Tool Time


Buying scratch off lottery tickets is a lot like giving money to the homeless.

Stay with me here….

Giving money hoping that something will be gotten in return.

In the end it is usually a donation either way.

I give to homeless people….or whom I believe to be homeless, with the hopes that the money will go for food, clothing or just plain help with their situation.

It gives me a good feeling.

Until I see them heading into the liquor store with my donation.

The result is my feeling like a tool.

I buy scratch offs with the hope for a winning ticket, even a break even is a win.

Until I scratch.

The typical result is me….feeling like a tool.

BUT NOT TODAY!!

4 scratch off buys at separate stores at different times of the day.

(It’s part of my elaborate lottery scratch off system)

Here is the list of the price of the ticket and the corresponding scratch off win cash amount and my mumbo jumbo math after.

1-$5=$5 even Steven baby.

2-$3= $20 minus price of ticket, minus even result from last ticket up $12

3- $2=$4 minus price of ticket, plus win amount, up $14

4- $5=$25 minus ticket price, plus win amount, up $34

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I could feed a homeless family in a third world country for like 7 1/2 years on that…

Or I could buy a new tool….

Get me Sally Strothers on the phone!

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The Family Tree Assignment


Click….click…BOOM. I don’t know how search engines work but this story comes up in my stats almost daily…So…I raided the archive vault and am sharing it again.

Good2begone

“Ok class. We are beginning a new semester and much to y’all’s amazement…I came up with a great idea for a fun and new project.” The creative writing teacher announced.

A collective discouraging moan was heard in unison from the throats of the students.

“Wow….hold all your excitement to yourselves please.” She replied as a single hand went up.

“Yes, Jimmy…”

“We just got back from Christmas break. Can’t we just ease into the new semester by writing about our holiday?” He asked.

“Ummm….no. You all have been doing that particular writing assignment every year in since you were able to go school. For lack of a better term…it’s boring. Nice try, though. Here is the assignment….”

She opened up her laptop, which is connected to the video monitor on the wall, and started it up. While awaiting for the startup to finish she explained her project to them.

“We…

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Prism Break


“The Symbol of all Art is the Prism. The goal is destructive. To break up the white light of objective realism into the secret glories it contains.”
E.E. Cummings

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In between the brightest white
And the darkest black
Lie the shades of the prism
Bending the light
Shaping the dark
Coloring our world
Between the sun of day
And the moons of night.

-Me