Giant Killer

Several of you asked if I ever found the albino tadpole mentioned in "Burgie the Carpet King." As Paul Harvey would have said,"Here's the rest of the story." In the early 60s, I whiled away summer days under the sycamore tree in the front yard of our modest Kilarney Park home. Never far away was my best friend Ricky Delgado. One morning Ricky said, “Let’s go check out Cabrillo Creek.” “Naw.” I was enjoying a library book about a pet turtle that ...

Inspiration: Seeking A Better Life…

“No matter where you go, there you are.” Confucius Inspiration: Seeking A Better Life... Where would you go? Are you happy where you are? Where would you go to find a better life? When I read this question on Soul Pancake, it got me thinking about my journey, across continents, both spiritual and mundane, over the years… As a child, we moved for a variety of reasons; work promotions, war, family expansions, and shifting needs. As an adult, I moved for school, ...

Haiku: Stillness…

“It is the stillness that will save and transform the world.” Eckhart Tolle Haiku: Stillness… “Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.” Amy Carmichael Stillness calls my name… As NaNoWriMo beckons Write on other days… “Through return to simple living Comes control of desires. ...

Inspiration: On Desire…

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus Inspiration: On Desire… The Frogs Who Desired a King – Aesop’s Fables The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody troubling them. But some of them thought this was not right; they felt that they should have a king and a proper ...

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Inimitable Chinua Achebe…

“It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.” Chinua Achebe Weekly Writing Challenge: The Inimitable Chinua Achebe… Things Fall Apart “Then listen to me,’ he said and cleared his throat. ‘It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland ...

Fun Flower Facts: Scilla (Squill)

Scilla or squill is a genus of flowering bulbs native to the woodlands, meadows and seashores throughout Europe and Africa. It can be identified by its bright green leaves and produces clusters of bluebell or star-shaped blooms. They look a lot like snowdrops, but slightly larger and blue in colour. Flowers are typically bright blue, but white, pink and purple varieties are available. Some species are fragrant. Most flower in the early spring, while a few bloom in the fall. Plants ...

Reflections: In A Perfect World…

“In a perfect world, one we’ve never known, we would never need to face the world alone.” Kovu & Kiara (Lion King 2) Reflections: In A Perfect World... there would be no need for perfection... In a perfect world, one we’ve never known, we would never need to face the world alone, They can have the world, we’ll create our own, I may not be brave or strong or smart, But somewhere in my secret heart… “The essence of being human is that one does not seek ...

Pure Love

In the United States September 9th was Grandparents Day. The event passed without fanfare; I wasn’t aware of it until today. Mrs. Chatterbox and I aren’t grandparents yet but we haven’t given up hope. In the meantime, I’d like to share an interesting painting with you. A few years ago Mrs. C. and I were in Paris.While walking through the endless galleries of the Louvre, Mrs. C. felt the call of nature and headed off to find the ladies’ room. I waited ...

Celebrating Labor Day With Cleverbot...

A few months ago I discovered Cleverbot, which is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that learns to speak by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While it's a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular learning software can be mildly entertaining. Here's the most recent interview I had with Cleverbot last month: Interview with Cleverbot Since today was Labor Day, I thought it would be interesting to get Cleverbot's take on this holiday.  Here's the unedited ...

Kudos to My Wife….(She's Gonna Kill Me for this)

Dr. Seuss-themed Read-A-Thon my wife organized Next month my wife and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage.  During that time, she has been a faithful and loving confidant, companion and soul mate.  Specifically, she has been a constant support through a wide-ranging array of professional ventures, activities and job changes for me – some have been failures, while others have been very successful for our family. Regardless, she has been a resolute constant through it all.  When I started this blog nearly a ...

Top-10 Phrases From My Mom

My mom in her 20s Last night I saw that one of my sisters had a collection of our mother's photos posted up on a Facebook page. The photo insert to the left, was always one of my favorites of my mom when I was growing up. Our parents raised five children and would have celebrated their 45th anniversary last month had they both been alive. My father died of a heart attack in August 2006 and my mother died in a ...

Summer Fun. NOT!

Much of the east coast is experiencing temperatures upwards of a hundred degrees this week…except Florida, which bottomed out at a nippy ninety three degrees this afternoon. It’s hot, but Florida hot and Northern hot are two different hots. In Florida we’re used to the heat and humidity. We time everything just right in order to avoid getting sweaty. We go from our air conditioned houses to our air conditioned cars and then drive said cars to our air conditioned ...

Share Your Favorite Vacation Memory

This week we're vacationing with some dear friends whom we've known for more than 20 years. We've rented a lake house and have had a great time boating, tubing, swimming, hiking and all the other water-related activities associated with lake life. While this is the first time we've ever vacationed with another family, our kids play well together and there's an aura of ease that surrounds the other parents, which makes everything very relaxing - this certainly won't be our last ...

My Guest Post on ProBlogger Today…

I’ve got a guest post today on one of the most popular blogging sites on the web – ProBlogger.  My piece addresses the topic of writing to deadlines. This guest post is by Tor Constantino of Thedailyretort.com. The old cliché, “time is money” is particularly true for any professional writer—especially when you’re on deadline. The consequences of missing deadlines are lost money, work, and credibility. As a former journalist (a.k.a hourly deadline writer) for more than a decade, I know that deadline writing is ...

Lean Into The Blade

Lean Into The Blade How is it that the most powerful moments—the life-shifting events of epic significance—seem to offer the bloodiest, most repulsive, run like hell away if you can, lessons? Yet one can rarely run from the big-screen reality being played front center, where you are cast as both the adored leading lady and the despised villain. So is the way of the well-intentioned life…day after day, sunrise-to-sunrise—messy, in your face, LIFE. Do you suppose that maybe God sets up our ...

Guest Post Invitation – Calling All Bloggers

For the past two years or so, I’ve been writing five days a week for my blog, The Daily ReTORt. During that time I’ve had the privilege of guest posting on dozens of great blog sites including heavy hitters such as: Michael Hyatt, Jon Acuff, Jeff Goins, ProBlogger, Ron Edmondson and Bryan Allain – to namedrop a few. The writing benefits I’ve gleaned from guest posting have prodded me to open up my blog to weekly guest post submissions from writers, other bloggers ...

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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I can’t help it, but summer puts me in the mood for … a vacation. When I think of summer, I dream of languid days spent at a beautiful tropical beach, with clear blue water, palm trees tossing their fronds in the wind, and freshly squeezed lemonade served in a tall glass filled with ice. Sounds simple enough eh? But that’s not my reality at this moment, so I’ve chosen to inhale some summer loving …

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The Blog Farm | Check out our new ‘Post Image Wall’

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Just a taste… “Keep scrolling down to reveal every picture on The Blog Farm. If one strikes your fancy clicking on it will take you to the post. Trust me… it is impossible to scroll through the images below without clicking on one, I have tried many times. That is why images will open on a new page… …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Work Of Art ~ Joy of collages.. I love creating collages as they help me pull together things that catch my attention and remind me to pause and inhale the beauty in my surroundings. If art is in the eyes of the beholder, then we come to it with our own perspective and vision of the surrounding world. Van Gogh’s quote made me stop and think… Why do we always allow others to …

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside In confined spaces, everything becomes pronounced, re-framed in a constrained, yet focused way. For this photo project, I decided to let the photos speak to you before I add my interpretations of what they represent. What do you see inside each shot? Where are they located? What do these shots tell you? …

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Visions from Vail

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Sometimes it’s impossible to leave work behind. And honestly, who wants to when work involves inspiring design?! Julie, our Project Manager at BGI, recently vacationed in Vail, Colorado with her family and couldn’t resist taking pictures of the town’s picturesque architecture and design. It was her first time skiing in almost 20 years and she said …

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

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After spending the month of February contemplating the word – Perspective – for NaBloPoMo, I was nicely surprised to see it as the chosen word for this week’s photo challenge. One thing I know for sure is that 10 people can look at a painting or photograph and come away with different opinions about what they saw. I’ve always found this important point fascinating …

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

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Even though, I take pictures of all sorts of things, I often don’t take pictures of abandoned buildings because there is usually a sadness about them. But the truth is that at different points in our lives, we move on, abandoning what no longer serves our lives … It is part of our growth process. We must learn to embrace the change. …

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