Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nielsen's Frozen Yogurt...Nectar, Pure Nectar That's Undeniably Delicious!




I have to think that Nielsen's Frozen Yogurt will be found in Heaven.

It just HAS to be.

Last night my wife delivered to me a tasty treat. If you live where I live, you are privileged to be near a Nielsen's Frozen Yogurt location. If you've experienced the utter joy the product delivers, you understand what I'm talking about when I say it's "heavenly." If haven't tried any frozen yogurt and you live by me, then shame on you! You're denying yourself one of life's most delicious treasures.

I first learned of Nielsen's back in the 1980's when my friend Bob Aamodt worked there as an after school and weekend job. I couldn't believe how good it was. Over the years I've frequented the different franchises in the area and it still tastes as good as it did decades earlier.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it...), I don't partake of its goodness as much as I would like. Personal budgets and the desire to live beyond my 50s require that I do not eat this everyday.

So, I have to conclude that there's a Nielsen's Frozen Yogurt in Heaven. Because if there isn't, I might have to re-thing the whole "Heaven" thing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So, I Read "A Game Of Thrones"

13496*

I've attended a couple of Comic Cons and other conventions and there's one franchise everyone seems to know, George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. I don't know how many have read the books, but everyone seems to have seen the series.

Everyone, that is, but me.

Until today I had not finished one Martin book. I can no longer say that. I can say that I've never watched an episode of the series. After reading the book, I'm not sure I want to.

I can understand the draw, however. The book is not just a fantasy novel, but it's like a soap opera with magic and killings with swords and other unpleasantries. No wonder the series is successful. And since I listened to the audiobook version and since it's a massive book and since it's fantasy, I naturally got lost several times while listening to the whole thing (I tend to do that every time I read/listen to a large fantasy audiobook--I think the names confuse me...). Thank goodness for Wikipedia to keep me up to speed on what happened.

Will I read any add'l George R.R. Martin books? Right now, I can't say. There are so many other great books out there. I might not have the time...

* Photo used without permission from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13496.A_Game_of_Thrones?ac=1

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Angel Tree Reality Gut Check...


It makes sense that what should be the happiest time of the year is also the time when some of the most unhappy thoughts can swim your brain. There’s opposition in all things, after all. In our family, this week begins the official holiday season with Thanksgiving coming up, then Christmas in a few weeks and New Years Day the week after that.


Everywhere we turn there’s ads showing us all the things to buy that will bring us happiness. We’re bombarded by songs telling us, among other things, that it’s the most wonderful time of the year.


I’ve often wondered why we suddenly feel the need to be nicer to others, give gifts and show our appreciation during the holidays. If doing all that brings us so much happiness, why don’t we do that everyday—not just during this time of the year?

But that’s a different topic for another day.

I’d like to say at this point that I’m not depressed, nor do I like to dwell on the negative, but as I think of the holidays coming up, I’d like to be able to get things for family and friends—things they want. Heck, I’d love to get things I’d like to get. But as with everything, we usually get the things we need and that should be enough.


I took a walk in the afternoon with a co-worker. He had to withdraw some money at his credit union. In the lobby there was an Angel Tree and I thought it might be an interesting picture to post.


It was then I began taking pictures of the non-traditional ornaments. After reading a few of the messages attached to the tree, it made me realize just how blessed my family and I really are. Imagine wanting socks, a coat or slippers for Christmas not because they’re “wanted,” but because they are sorely needed. It’s sobering and eye-opening and it’s something I needed to see today.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Son!


Yesterday we had a party to celebrate an event that occurred sixteen years ago. We welcomed our second child into our family and, as it was with the first, our lives have never been the same since. 

In our family, we have big birthdays. We do this because with four kids, we really can't afford to throw big parties for each birthday every year. The big birthdays come when the kids turn eight, twelve, and sixteen. Since it was my son's sixteenth birthday we had a party and he invited many many friends.

My son loves games, all types of games. Like most teenage boys, if he could, he'd play video games pretty much all day. So when he can't play electronic games, he turns to board and card games. Yesterday the living/dining room area in our house because Game Central.


We had snacks and drinks (well, water...), and lots of lively conversation. My son and his friends are amazing. We had kids ranging from eighteen to ten, all having a good time. I don't know if I would have allowed my ten-year old little brother crashing my sweet sixteen birthday party. But that's how my son is.

Today we went to church, relaxed a bit in the afternoon, then went to my cousins house for an extended family pie night. We each brought a pie and just enjoyed each other's company. And we even sang "Happy Birthday" so him before everyone left their separate ways.

Happy birthday, son. You are a great kid and we love you!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Platte F. Clarke's "Bad Unicorn"...An Introduction


Last September I bought a book from a local author. The book, Bad Unicorn. The Author, Platte F. Clarke. Last week I began reading said book. I have yet to finish it.

But so far, it rocks!

The book came recommended by a member of Platte's writing group. "It's a different kind of book," my friend Dave said.

"How so?" I asked.

"You have to read it to find out."

When you pick up a book called Bad Unicorn, and on the cover is a picture of a unicorn chewing the bones of some creature and another poor unfortunate animal impaled on on its horn, you know the book is not your average middle grade fare. Princess, the unicorn, is anything but. She's not a nice animal, nor is she a nice person when in human form (which I think is a brilliant way to expand the character's abilities...). 

I usually wait until I've finished a book before I write about it, but this time I thought I'd introduce the book and write a review later.

If you've got a middle grade reader who feel like they've "read it all," take a look at Bad Unicorn. Most likely, your reader hasn't read anything like this.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Utah State Aggies...Go Big Blue!


Many years ago I attended college at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Back then their football program kind of sucked.

I'm sorry to put it that way, but that's the way it was.

Sure, they'd beat their in-state rivals once in a while, but they usually got their tails beat both in conference games and non-conference games. It was sad, but I think even during those tough years, they played hard. They just didn't have the talent to compete much of the time.

I'm happy to say, I think those days appear to be over! After tonight's show many of us in the cast went out to eat and on one of the TV screens at the restaurant was the latest Utah State romp. I saw a stat roll across the ticker that said this year's Aggie senior class has won 35 games.

Incredible!

I'm so happy to be excited about the USU Aggies at the beginning of each football season. They are no longer a guaranteed in-state win--just as the Cougars and Utes.

I only stayed at USU for one quarter, but it's the school where my father went, my brother, sister, uncle and many many friends, and I feel no shame in rooting for Big Blue.

Oh, and since they won again tonight, the senior class is now at 36 wins with hopefully more to come. Go Aggies!
  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Break Many Legs, My Friends...

 

When you're in a production and it's double cast, there comes a point where you'll say "goodbye," not once, but twice. We gather, as strangers, as acquaintances and as fast friends every weeknight and Saturday mornings for two months.


I find it fascinating that I can develop a deeper friendship with someone in a couple of months than I can working side-by-side with a co-worker in a couple of years. I think it's because when you do a show, you're vulnerable, you're exposed, you erase your comfort zone and you put complete trust in each other. I think that's one reason why so many who feel out-of-place in the "normal" world find refuge on the stage where they're accepted, welcomed, and loved.


And so, as each show starts, we sit and watch our counterparts say their lines, sing their parts, follow their blocking and our hearts cheer for their success and pray they don't screw up.

And then...it's over.

We're left to ourselves, half a family to finish the show's run. Don't get me wrong--I love my cast, but I'm going to miss my friends. Tonight's their opening night and right about now, the Ghost of Christmas Future is making his haunting entrance, hopefully filling the audience with the impending dread that visits us all at one time or another.

Break many legs, my other family! I know you'll do us proud!