Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween, 2012!

October 31, 2012

Regardless of the label/accolade,

  • “The Edward Scissorhands of Pumpkins Carving” (Steve Hartman, CBS Correspondent)
  • “The Aristocracy of Pumpkin Carving”  (Kristen Russell, President of Metal Flowers Media)
  • “The Michelangelo of Pumpkin Carving” (Martha Stewart)
  • “The Picasso of Pumpkin Carving” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • “This Man should be given a MacArthur Genius Grant”  (John Metcalfe, ABC Correspondent)

Ray Villafane and his team at Villafane Studies (Andy Bergholtz, Trevor Grove, Chris Vierra, Patrick Burke and  Alfred Paredes) are carving some phenomenally creative and ghoulish pumpkins.  Check them out, these are amazing!

The Road Not Taken!

October 30, 2012

As October draws to a close and the fall colors begin to fade, here is an apropos demotivator (well, perhaps the picture anyway) courtesy of editorializing Robert Frost‘s behavior through his poem The Road Not Taken. A side to Robert Frost I never knew: an embellisher extraordinaire.

“It is not that Frost was cold, that he was a tyrant as well as a coward, that he could no more forgive a generous than a selfish act . . . , that he treated his friends as if they were enemies and his enemies as if they were himself. No. The shock is that he was from start to finish, and in nearly every aspect of his life, a successful liar.”      (From a New York Times book review by David Bromwich entitled The Bleakest of Lords re: ROBERT FROST, The Later Years, 1938-1963, by Lawrance Thompson.)

College Football 2012, Week Nine!

October 29, 2012

The Michigan State Spartans traveled to the Madison this weekend to face the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin and finally found a way to win (it took overtime, but they won)!   The good news, their defense is playing exceptionally well . . . the bad news, the Spartans continue to search for more than a bit of offense.  Three of their four losses have been by a total of six points.  One field goal or touchdown in any of these three games and the Spartans would be 8-1 instead of 5-4.  Ah, the joys of college football.  Next up for the Spartans: at home against  the Cornhuskers of Nebraska.  Go Green!  And, true to form, there were a several upsets in the top-25 recorded this week, and quite a few close calls as well.

The upsets this week included:
Florida (#2) losing to Georgia (#10).
Oregon State (#7) losing to unranked Washington.
USC (#9) losing to unranked Arizona by three points.
Rutgers (#15) losing to unranked Kent State.
Michigan (#22) losing to unranked Nebraska.
Ohio (#24) losing to unranked Miami of Ohio by three points.
Wisconsin (#25) losing to unranked Michigan State by three points in overtime.

Some of the close calls this week included (won by a touchdown or less):
South Carolina (#13) defeating unranked Tennessee by only three points.
Louisville (#16) defeating unranked Cincinnati in overtime by only three points.
Standford (#17) defeating unranked Washington State by only seven points.
Texas (#23) defeating unranked Kansas by only four points.

Other ranked teams that were defeated this week (by a higher ranked team) included:
Oklahoma (#8) lost to Notre Dame (#5).
Mississippi State (#11) lost to Alabama (#1)
Texas Tech (#14) lost to Kansas State (#3).

Little Rascal!

October 28, 2012

We’ve all known those children who, when growing up, always seem to be in trouble with their parents over one thing or another.  Does this make them bad children?  Not in the least.  Not that I have experienced this firsthand mind you, but I would hazard to guess that most boys in a certain age group, tend to gravitate to a bit of mischief now and then.  I think it is merely a characteristic of being a boy.  So, regardless of the label you use to describe them: rascal, imp, rapscallion, scalawag, scallywag, spalpeen . . . let’s not forget they are just being a boy, and let’s not expect them to “grow up” too soon.  But then again, at what point does mischievousness become delinquency?  Hmm, a fine line perhaps.  Or the crossing of a certain age threshold, when one should know that their mischief has crossed the line into criminal behavior.


\spal-peen, spal-peen\, noun (Irish English);

1. a lad or boy.
2. a rascal; scamp.
3. an itinerant seasonal laborer.
4. one who is playfully mischievous.

What Have You Dreamt Lately?

October 27, 2012
According to my father, “dreams beget reality” (or so he told us on numerous occasions).  And even though I’ve posted on the topic of dreams before, I’m always able to find additional quotations that truly inspire.  Here are several more.  Perhaps I should take the time to ponder the future and daydream a bit more than I do . . . perhaps I should also start acting on these dreams a bit more . . . perhaps I should start believing that they are achievable . . . perhaps . . .
  • “To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.”  — Anatole France
  • “Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.”  — Debby Boone
  • “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
  • “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.”  — Henry David Thoreau
  • “Dreams are necessary to life.”  — Anais Nin
  • “Dream and give yourself permission to be the you that you choose to be.”  — Joy Page
  • “Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”  — Edgar Cayce
  • “Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.”  — James Dean
  • “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”  — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”  — Denis Waitley
  • “All human beings are also dream beings.  Dreaming ties all mankind together.”  — Jack Kerouac

All Hallow’s Read!

October 26, 2012

Halloween is just around the corner . . . are you tired of just handing out candy and other unhealthy treats?  Why not try something new and innovative this Halloween?    Why not give a scary book and encourage reading?  (You may still want to give out a sweet treat as well.)  If you have access to a used bookstore and can purchase books in bulk (and inexpensively), why not participate in the “All Hallow’s Read?”   What a great concept!  If you are having trouble coming up with some ideas on what kinds of books, here is a list of some recommended titles.

Happy Birthday Pablo!

October 25, 2012

Even though he has one of the longest names I’ve ever seen (Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso), using just his first and last name is certainly easier to remember (Pablo Picasso).  Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubism movement.  Happy Birthday Pablo!

Celebrate Pablo’s birthday . . . visit a museum, enjoy his art!

Remote Area Number Six!

October 24, 2012

This week we travel to Greenland (the world’s largest island) to the remote town of Ittoqqortoormiit (the Danish name for the town is Scoresbysund) on the island’s north shore (north of Iceland).  This town, one of the northernmost settlements in the world, is part of a municipal district that is roughly the size of England . . . and all for less than 500 people.  This community makes its living off of hunting and fishing.  The predominant wildlife includes polar bears, muskoxen, and seals.  Much of the year finds this community frozen in and isolated by the vastness of the tundra and is only accessible by boat during a three-month period. Ittoqqortoormiit (it-doc-cut-door-meat) means “the place with the big houses.”  The winters look brutal indeed!

Become More Resilient!

October 23, 2012

I ran across this great article in the October issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.  In this article the author outlines 10 steps for becoming more resilient.  Resilience has a couple of definitions (courtesy of the  “1. capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture, and, 2. tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”  According to the author, Jean G. Larned,  “your emotional resilience can improve and strengthen through understanding yourself better and improving your emotional intelligence.”

The ten steps to becoming more resilient: (source: American Psychological Association, “10 Tips for Building Resilience in Children and Teens,”
1. Make connections.
2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems.
3. Accept that change is a part of living.
4. Move toward your goals.
5. Take decisive action.
6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery.
7. Nurture a positive view of yourself.
8. Keep things in perspective.
9. Maintain a hopeful outlook.
10. Take care of yourself.

Things you can do to live an enriched and fulfilled life: (source: S. Lyubomirsky, “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want” (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2008).

  • Count your blessings.
  • Practice acts of kindness.
  • Savor life’s joys.
  • Thank a mentor.
  • Learn to forgive.
  • Invest time and energy in friends and family.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Develop strategies for coping with stress and hardships.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”  — Robert Frost

College Football 2012, Week Eight!

October 22, 2012

Heartbreak for the Spartans!  The Michigan State Spartans traveled to the Big House this weekend to face the Wolverines of the University of Michigan and came up just a couple of points short as Michigan rallied from behind to kick a field goal with just 5 seconds remaining.  Next up for the Spartans: on the road to the Madison to face the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin.  Go Green! 

The upsets this week included:
Cincinnati (#21) losing to unranked Toledo by six points.
Iowa State University (#22) losing to unranked Oklahoma State.

Some of the close calls this week included (won by a touchdown or less):
Notre Dame (#5) defeating unranked BYU by only three ponts.
LSU (#6) defeating Texas A&M (#18) by only five points.
Louisville (#16) defeating South Florida by only two points.
Texas Tech (#17) defeating TCU (#23) by only three points in triple overtime.
Texas (#25) defeating Baylor by only six points.

Other ranked teams that were defeated this week (by a higher ranked team) included:
South Carolina (#7) losing to Florida (#2).
West Virginia (#13) losing to Kansas State (#4).
Louisiana Tech (#23) losing to Texas A&M (#22) by only two points.