Finding balance in a chaotic world

Archive for August, 2008

I like Rachel Ray

One channel we often have on the TV is the Food Network. There are a couple of reasons for this. One Amy and I enjoy cooking and learning, and B, we know if the kids watch it, they won’t see something we do not want them to. The shows and ads on Food Network are safe and generally educational. I’ve already mentioned my love for Good Eats and Alton Brown, but there is another show I like: 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray. She’s cute and spunky but what fascinates me the most about the show is that it is done in real time. She essentially starts with pulling the ingredients out of the fridge and 26 minutes later she has two to four dishes ready to go. Read more »

Reviewing Games

One of my writing gigs is to review board games. I’ve written for many magazines and also online at places like It is a lot of fun to get a new game and give it a critical look. You see how easy it is to play, what the pieces are like, how fun the game is, and ultimately, if it is something worth purchasing. Over the past five to ten years, there has been a huge transformation in the board game industry. The new modern board game is worlds different from the likes of Monopoly or Risk. These games, often coming from Europe, have amazing features like little down time when it is not your turn, cooperative play, wacky themes, and sometimes they don’t even include any dice. Read more »

More Motivation

Whenever I’m interested in learning something new, I fire up the internet and head over to my local library’s webs site. I then start searching for books on the topic and anything that looks remotely interesting, I click the Request button. Typically in a few days, a slew of books are waiting for me. I then go through the books looking for information. Some I’ll just glance at and return. Others I’ll actually read in depth. In the span of two weeks, I’ll digest a large amount of information on the topic and have a pretty good feel for whatever the subject is. Occasionally, something I’ll read will really strike a chord with me and I’ll make that important switch from passive reader to active participant. The interesting thing is; what is it exactly that flips that motivation switch? Read more »

Clutter Buster

The other night I wanted to do some work on the computer, but the kids wanted to watch Scooby Doo on NetFlix. On occasion, I’d stream a movie from NetFlix on the PC and the kids would lie on our bed and watch it. Something about watching a movie on the PC in Mom and Dad’s bed is exciting to them. So I fired it up and soon the Scooby gang was dealing with vampires in Australia. But now what was I going to do? There sure are a lot of papers on the desk. Read more »

Family History is Important

I typically talk to my grandmother every Sunday. She’s 89 years old and still going strong so I enjoy catching up with her week and telling her about the latest antics of the kids. Yesterday we were talking and she was telling me the different things she did as a child that were so dangerous.  Apparently she and her brother would take a wagon (as in horse and…), remove the section that the horses connected to, move it up to the top of a hill, and then ride down the road at full speed, hoping no cars came by. Later she told me about the time her house and four others burned to the ground. It reminded me of when I talked to my grandfather about his service during World War II. He had all these interesting stories that I had no idea about. Read more »