Cha Cha, for now

Anyone heard of chacha.com?

It's a neat site, check it out if you ever have a trivial question about anything.

More later. . .


What I'm Reading 4.23: Nature and Police Sketches

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen." - Henry David Thoreau

Despite the feelings of those around me, and society in general, this quote, from my favorite of all essayists/writers, describes my feeling on how to spend days - and how I spent much of yesterday.

I haven't been blessed, or cursed, to have a regular job yet, but I've 'seized' the opportunity to venture in my sabbatical, of sorts. Yesterday, was the capstone to what I've tried to do all semester, in my venture of unwinding prior to the life-long of winding, which i estimate will begin soon.

I had a busy day of picking up trash for Earth day, and walking in the woods, and isn't it funny as I found it to be a busy day, everyone else said I was being 'loafing'.

But, despite their lack of understanding to the world around them, I had a very 'constructive' day, as I picked up not one but 2 heaping garbage bags of trash along Waterfall Rd., walked with the dog - capturing images of spring's splendor along the way, and walked through the woods to see 'things unseen, which are eternal' (Keller).

And now for my thought of the day, which you can love or leave, depending on your outlook on all things regarded and unregarded.

Think, please, that a man's vices may be his virtue, prior dismissing the way he spends his days as fault. Remember that what's important to you, in most cases is not important to him, and even life, that which we all share, takes on a different meaning for him, than you.


The news takes on a terrifying turn everyday because we can never predict what's next. (a bit rhetorical but it's the truth)

Like take this: South Carolina wildfires, near Myrtle Beach have destroyed several homes and made many people evacuate. No injuries have been attributed to the fires, as of yet.

It seems as common as nightfall, but two suicide bombers in Iraq this morning have killed at least 45.

NPR has a song of the day, every weekday and they're all usually pretty good. Check it out.

Apparently a pregnant women in Fayetteville, N.C., about to rob a bank, was stopped not by cops, but by answering her cell phone. And, another robbery, this time at a dry cleaner, was foiled. The culprit this time: a ninja.

More evidence has been discovered in the Craigslist murder. Apparently Phillips Markoff, kept panties of the victim(s).

Officials in Webster, Mass. have agreed to a common spelling of a lake with a 45-letter name. Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, more commnly called Lake Webster, by locals, has had several variations in spelling. One amusing paragraph from the story from MSNBC:

But after researching historical spelling combinations, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester said local Chamber of Commerce officials agreed that some signs were wrong. There was an "o" at letter 20 where a "u" should have been, and an "h" at letter 38 where an "n" should go.

And lastly in 'weird news' a Hamilton, Ohio teacher has resigned after she accompanied female students to a male strip club.

More importantly my Strat-O-Matic team has moved over .500!

Some deals:
- Sears has some Dearfoam slippers for $3.50 per pair.
-The Nike Store has a 20 percent off coupon code: TRAINHARD, for clearance items and NIKESNEAKER, for orders more than $100.
- Amazon has some Birki's and Birkenstock sandals starting at $20.

And last but not least, looking into story ideas for all you potential journalists out there (we all are). Look into the effectiveness of police sketches in your local area. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans looked into it; you should too!


Morning Stroll 4.22

More Morel Mischief

Upon waking I began thinking about what 'we' could do with the mushrooms.

One idea is selling them on ebay, where auctions are set for 24 hours with overnight shipping. Here are some completed sales.

Another option is French cuisine. Anyone up for thyme-roasted chicken-breast with morel-madeira or forest fettucine with morels and a breast of pheasent?

Here is a discussion board about morels being found in Indiana. The Web site, Morels.com has some interesting insight into finding the little things. Everyone on the site seems to be set on looking in orchards; just an idea. . .

What I'm Reading: Morel Mushroom Madness edition

When I think back about Versailles, I think more of Kings of France than Mid-western fungus.

But, despite what I associate with Versailles, Versailles State Park yielded some beautiful spongy miracles for friends and family, today.

Awaking at 5:30 a.m., the thought of getting up was overshadowed by the potential trophies that beckoned from a mere 2 hours away. Jim and Marthalea Hill, my parents and I made their annual trip to southern Indiana to find the Morels that are a staple of early springtime, for us.

Versailles has been a destination for the Hill's for years and with my parents, the group has made the trip annually. I have gone a few times, but usually had school or work.

The day was lousy, for all climatic reasons, and the rain turned to sleet part of the time and finished in a downpour. But, that didn't stop us from having one of the best yields in recent memory.

We began the day deep in the state park. I soon found the first one a black sponge, resembling the one here. And I was off.

The rest of the day I found mushroom after mushroom. With only a few intermissions of no suceess, We all consistently were finding them.

Prior to lunch, I was about to give in for a lack of success (my actions can be described by anyone who has ever fished with me). But, my dad began finding small snake-heads, pepper-tops, or whatever you call them. I soon began finding them lining a log and as two became five, five became 10 and 10 grew to more than 50 in one patch. My white Save-A-Lot bag was more full than I'd ever seen it. And after we finally gave in, in 'the patch' I totalled 106 between my dad and I, in about 20 minutes.

After lunch we didn't have quite the success, but capped off the afternoon with a few black sponges and some sleet.

After leaving a banana peel on the trail, in comic hilarity (to myself), we ran for the car, dodging the flying ice, and made our way to the Osgood Grub Co. prior to heading home to showcase our little wonders.


Mom's 50th Slideshow

What I'm Reading: 420 edition (ridiculous)

(Before reading I have to state I don't condone the use or distribution of material involving or showing marijuana, I am merely finding humour in the day)

April 20, or 4-20 has come to fame or rather, infamy in the past few years as the day that pot-smokers celebrate their avocation. The true story about the day can be read here.

Method Man said he forgot to pay taxes because he was busy smoking.

No legal ganja anytime soon though.

Some famous friends of Mary-Jane:


What I'm Reading 4.19

It seems that eventually spring has to, well, spring. And yet, in light of yesterday's beautiful weather, we end up with what we have today. And it's going to like 'this', until wednesday, at least.

Other than 'what' people talk about when there is nothing else to talk about, there is a lot going on.

Pictures of the new O'maley addition can be seen here at my photostream on flickr. And for future reference, any choice photos i take will be posted at http://flickr.com/photos/nathansheets.

The Onion has a 'first 100 days' post that updates everyday with happenings in the Obama administration. Today's post:

DAY 88: White House senior adviser David Axelrod has to rush home to Chicago when he suddenly realizes he left his car in a two-hour parking zone in January.

And for you other onion readers; the link to our dumb world news.

If you didn't know newsvine and msnbc have teamed up to produce 'The Elkhart Project' focusing on the declinging economy through the eyes of Elkhart, Ind. Elkhart was once a community with large RV production, which has gone by the wayside since the downturn.

An interesting look at America's most endangered rivers.

And more downer news, as malls are reporting a 10-year high in store vacancy.

Did you see, and if you saw, like what you saw, in regards to the iconic Obama painting? You know this one:

Well you can now make a print of yourself just like it, here.

And if you haven't, you know you want to join Twitter. Come on, everybody is doin' it.

A sweet deal on a sweet deal site.

Looking for something good to make tonight? How about Pad Thai. MMMmmm.

Some really choice photos through the MSNBC photoblog.


What I'm Reading; New Baby Edition

I don't have access to upload the photo's I've taken yet, but by the time I get home, or, if I find a USB cord, I'll have them up.

Getting back to the lead; we spent more than 18 hours at St. Vincent's women's hospital. However, the good news is both Amiee and the new baby; Cameryn Paige are fine and doing well.

Throughout the day we spent most of the time sitting, reading, talking and getting updates via text by Chris O. At 10:45 Susie O'maley, Chris's mother got a picture-message with a short message: 'we have a baby!'

And, nearly 45 minutes later a glowing Chris came out of the labor-triage area to dispel rumors of a baby boy; confirming of my intelligence that the baby was indeed, a girl.

Today we are heading back to the hospital to check out the baby and see how things are progressing. I will send more updates when they come to me.

And in other baby news; this guy didn't know his wife was pregnant, but now he has a new baby!

In other news has anyone seen Susan Boyle? Or how about song that has made her a sensation on Britain's Got Talent?

Or how about this?:

In other weird news: this driving instructor was drunk during an instruction. In Peorian, Ill. a 13-year-old boy is the key suspect in a bank robbery. And, last but not least, a women in L.A. staged fake funerals for money.


What I'm Reading 4.16

Did you tuck someone in, telling them to 'not let the bedbugs bite?" This guy does.

The Obama's made $2.7 million last year, most from Mr. Obama's book sales.

And by the way, here is the Springfield Journal-Register, the newspaper I may be working for come Jan. (fingers crossed. . .)

Tens of thousands turned out for tea party's across the country to oppose taxation. If people only thought about what they are doing, now and then, ridiculous events like this wouldn't take place. I'm sure they all took the day off.

Speaking of dummy's, a man in Gilliam, La. was stabbed by his brother. Doesn't sound interesting? How about I add this twist: it was over a can of pork 'n beans! As I was writing this I had to refer to this online U.S. state abbreviation guide.

And here, smugglers are targeting the world's rarest tortoise. WOW!

This year the Reds have three or four bobblehead nights, i can't remember, but for the final one the fans get to vote for who they want. Send your vote here for David Weathers, just cause.

The Washington Post came to Cincinnati to check out its most famous staple.

The Cleveland Indias are giving away a special bobblehead this year. I guess none of their 'real' players were interesting enough. I guess you can only do Grady Sizemore once-a-year.

And if you are interested here is a list of the best and worst stadium give-a-ways this summer.

And lastly, for now, as I will have plenty of time for more today (Andi's sister is in the hospital to have her first child, fingers crossed), here is a way to save as a frequent flyer, or 10-ways to.



I haven't said much about the Reds lately but they are playing the much-hated Brew-crew tonight.

I think they might be OK this year. If the pitching holds up they could have one of the best rotations in baseball. 

And you know what the cut-man says about pitching. . .



I draw my inspiration from many mediums; music, books, religion(s), etc. But i have a hard time where others get the will to try and/or to be. I find that too often those of my generation are apathetic to most everything. I don't think I was born under a special sign, or have anymore knowledge than those that wish to gain information, the same way I do. I merely feel that people, and more specifically those of my generation, don't care about what is around them.

I see examples of apathy all the time, and despite my reservations, I feel it must be said that our society has evolved into a populous that is materialistic, as well as apathetic. We have been brought up through capitalist ideals to have anything we desire, or need. There is not an inkling of conscience in the minds of some and for that, I say shame on society.

We go about with what is in front of us; under our noses, while not paying attention to our peripherals which are slowly, but surely, sneaking up on us.

All of a sudden we were in a financial downturn. All at once a middle-eastern predator was attacking us from within. Within a blink, innocents are shot and killed, again and again and again.

The need to have everything now and have it without the thought of consequence is what has brought us down. In one way or another we can look at how our society is calibrated to find the answers to all the questions we now ask.

You want less violence; less gun-related crime - better regulate the production of guns. You want a world void of American distrust - go into the world and show how we can be leaders not through brute force but by educated and responsible example. Responsibility and well-educated decision making could have saved billions of dollars and millions of lives.

So, whether I have been clear or not, take the time to evaluate how you do things. Think about how each decision in your day, affects all other decisions in your day and the decisions and lives of others. Think, think, think. It could be as small as choosing to use 2 bags instead of 3, at the grocery - decreasing the use of toxic plastics that are filling up our landfills and will someday contribute to our steady declining standard of living.

Reach out a helping hand - make someone's day. Drive less, listen more and observe better.


What I'm Doing

Sometimes I write. And more than that, I don't. But oftentimes, I start writing with no intention of what I'm going to say.

Right now, as I sit on the couch with the TV entertaining itself, Bella snoozing at my feet and the rain attempting to stop; I have nothing to say, but that gives me perfect reason to say something.

So, I'm among the finalists for the internship/M.A. program I want to get into through the Univ. of Illinois at Springfield. I have an interview April 25 with the director of the program in Springfield. So be thinking of me on that day because I really want to get in.

I'm ready for the sun to shine consistently and for warm weather to be the norm rather than the exception. Speaking of norm, did you know 'Norm' is my nickname from my internship at the Star Press?

Did you also know that my first generation Ipod nano has been recalled?

Lately I've been spending a lot of time thinking and not doing much on what I've been thinking about, which come to think of it, I don't know what I've thought.

Bella is quite possessive over her food and rawhides. Anyone have any tips?

Easter was nice but, lately I haven't been into the holidays; and it's not because I'm a grinch or whatever the negative characterization of someone disliking the current holiday, is. I've just been kind of well, blaaa, and I can't wait to do something. How people do nothing everyday, draw medicaid and welfare, when they are perfectly able, and are OK with it, astounds me.

I can't imagine living another week without working, let alone my whole bloody life! I'm ready to break free, that's it on the Queen references.

Has anyone been watching anyhing good lately on TV? I haven't.

I'm working at Isanogel Camp this summer again: did you know that? I can't imagine something more enlightening, grounding and 'real' than working at that camp. I don't think everyone would be perfect for it, but I think that if everyone had to take part in the lives of the handicapped more, the world would be a much better place.

After working there I looked at everything in a different light. I urge you all to take time out of your 'busy' lives and visit someone you don't know. Go to a nursing home or a hospital; it does something for you. I can't tell you what that will be, but I know that the feeling of being appreciated is something to behold.

And even better, is the feeling of knowing you have touched someone's life.


What I'm Reading 4.10

As greener pastures await and the grass outside follows suit, the news seems to come more plentiful.

The pirate saga continues and the Reds finally won just as the 'other' pirates head down the Ohio to Cincinnati.

First for the ridiculous news of the day: a man and his nephew got into a sword fight in Indianapolis and in the middle of the scuffle the grandma of the boy was fatally wounded. Both 'boys' were sent to the hospital with wounds. I didn't know the Indianapolis Renaissance Festival was this week.

A Navy SEAL helped police nab the suspects who shot and killed the war hero's dog.

Apple sized hail and a tornado were too much for this house and for parts of Arkansas.

A man was stabbed in a hotel room by a friend for flatulence while eating.

Here is an incredible slideshow of pictures of the funerals and remembrances of the Italian earthquake victims.

LA Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart died in a hit-and-run wreck, hours after pitching. It is a very sad story about an up-and-coming star for the Angels.

Why NOT to convert to Judaism.

The U.S. and the pirates are sending more ships to the standoff.

And, Not Tiger but Chad Campbell? The leader of the Master's is Mr. Campbell.


What I'm Reading 4.9

The baseball season is off and running and what's nearly too predictable is the placement of the Reds in the standings; last. But, it's early and they have been playing perhaps the best team in the NL.

In other news a girl gets grounded for more than 10,000 texts in ONE month, athletes are being facebook stalked - not by fans but by NFL scouts. And much, much more.

Filipino fisherman caught one of the most rare fish in the ocean - and then they ate it.
A high school girl from Wyoming cost her parents close to $5,000 on a cell phone bill for sending more than 10,000 texts in one month.

Pro scouts in preparation for the NFL draft are using 'ghost' profiles, posing as attractive women, to search for inequities in personalities of NFL scouts.

The pirates are back and after capturing one of our own, it seems they (the pirates) have run out of water, pardon the pun.

Here are some highlights from the NY auto show.

Two-hundred-seventy-five are dead as of today from the Italy earthquakes.

The Master's starts today and this is an interesting post in regards to Tiger and, well, it's worth it for the pictures at least.

Brown fat? What's that? Well it might be important in the difference between obese and non-obese bodies.

How much does that ostrich eat a day?

It's funny you should ask because the topic was brought up at the breakfast table this morning.

I began searching for how much animals eat of their respective food(s) EACH DAY. And here is the list of the estimated amounts:

= 720 lbs

= 300 to 600 lbs.

= 8 lbs. per day

= 1 to 1.5 lbs food per day (have to have 6,600 calories per day)

And here's an excellent column about the recent gun violence.


Fantasy Relapse

Sacha Z. Scoblic, writer for the NY Times - a more modern take on a journalist - writes on alcohol and American life. In his most recent post he talks about 'relapse' and more specifically, the only noteworthy celebrity worthy of relapsing with.

Hunter S. Thompson, the journalist who cultivated drug use within his articles for Rolling Stone and other short stories, is still the envy of all drug users, wishing to explicate their experience on LSD, PCP, Ether or whatever. And yet, for many journalist he is the envy, drugs or no drugs.

Some may be familiar with 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', the psychadelic-acid trip of a movie with Johnny Depp, based on some of the writings of Hunter S. Thompson. But the movie doesn't speak to the writings of Mr. Thompson.

Scoblic's column is very good in capturing the essence of Thompson's writings while remaining different. It's worth a read!


Opening Day

Lineups for today's game: NY Mets v. Cincinnati Reds, April 6, 2009

Jose Reyes ss
Daniel Murphy lf
David Wright 3b
Carlos Delgado 1b
Carlos Beltran cf
Ryan Church rf
Brian Schneider c
Luis Castillo 2b
Johan Santana p

Jerry Hairston Jr. cf
Darnell McDonald lf
Joey Votto 1b
Brandon Phillips 2b
Jay Bruce rf
Edwin Encarnacion 3b
Ramon Hernandez c
Alex Gonzalez ss
Aaron Harang p

Well despite everything, the fact I've not been around for a while, and the most coveted day of the year, I'm back.

Today is opening day and I'm going to devote this post to mostly baseball.

Did you hear Carlos Zambrano thinks the Cubs should build a new stadium? Another reason for me to hate Zambrano. And today he is recanting what he said. (sigh) Take away Wrigley and that would leave nothing desirable about the Cubs, and I'd root for everyone against them, including the North Korean Baseball team. . . if they had one.

The Findlay Market Opening Day parade in Cincinnati is about to commense and it is strange, I've still never been. And here is a Mets blog fantansized by the event and covering it live.

On Redleg Nation, the comment section on Opening Day.

The Reds have a new 139 by 38 LCD HD scoreboard. Price tag: $10 million. How's that for stimulating the local economy.

Here is a nice story by Jerry Krasnick at ESPN.com about the Reds' young nucleus. It is a very good read.


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