What I'm Reading 4.27; small horses, oil in the gulf, dead wallabies and redirected flights

Today I felt like I was pumping out stories like the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Okay, that's in poor taste, at least to the Gulf sea-life, but also to those people who really are pumping out stories like nobodies business.

We've got snow in New England, Oil in the Gulf, a plane re-routed on its way from Paris to Atlanta to Bangor, Maine and dogs killing wallabies. I can't imagine the summer will be any more exciting.

The drilling to offset and redirect the oil being spilled into the Gulf, will take months to complete.

The plane I mentioned, was redirected to a Maine airport after an passenger said he had a fake passport and explosives in his luggage.

In Gaston, Ind. a woman is nursing a baby wallaby, after dogs apparently killed her four wallabies. The baby was in the mother's pouch. Weird.

If you're familiar with baseballreference.com, check out the many teams and jerseys of Matt Stairs.

The NY Giants have invited 33-year-old, former-Marine and Ball State Cardinal, Brandon Crawford to training camp.

An interesting interview with Jorge Posada.

A 6-pound horse may set a world record.

A man in Montana was fined for scaring 7-year old.

The saga goes on in the iPhone 4 saga.


What I'm Reading 4.22; Farewell to Fr. John, Earth Day, Wal-Mart, Beer and Potato Chips

Earth day is upon us and ironically enough, we are on the earth...on this day.

Anyway, I've done my part, in not adding to the green house gas emissions by walking everywhere today. I walk places everyday but I still have not been driving a car consistently since January when my car broke down.

Today I awoke and went to mass in the library; a farewell of sorts for Fr. John who will be leaving St. Francis and Muncie tomorrow at 6 a.m. So, bittersweet as I've come to really admire the man who has inspired me further to be a vegetarian.

I'm covering an event this afternoon in New Castle, so this will be a short and probably less-entertaining post.

In honor of Earth Day and the disposal of household hazardous waste and other items here is a project from my days at Ball State I was a part of. And, here is a list for the surrounding counties of Delaware, of where to get rid of your waste.

A day in Wal-Mart in 2 minutes. This is a time lapse video of a Wal-Mart store in New Brunswick, N.J. Thanks to Mr. Roysdon for this one.

Revolutionizing American Beer from the WSJ; a great story and another peak into the growing nature of craft beers and their appreciators. Like me.

While on the subject of beer, and a great beer at that; from what I hear. Dark Lord Day 2010 is this Saturday at 3 Floyds Brewery in Munster, Ind. It's the only day of the year you can get the famous Russian Imperial Stout.

The Stealers are hinting at the possibility of trading Worth-lis-berger. (fingers crossed)

Lay's is changing the shape of the salt crystals on their potato chips to make them healthier.

What I'm Reading 4.21; Bear Affair, iPhone 4, Franny Boyle and Lady Gaga, $100s, Alf

Never before have I thought about the thought of wondering how and where carnivals come from.

Today, as I made my daily trek to the stop to catch the MITS bus, a system that has been running as consistently as well, I have, trailers carrying 'Bear Affair' and part of a Ferris wheel passed me by. It was as if the 10' tall bears were waving at me as they passed by in their blue cover-alls and red caps.

I then thought the occurrence and why it occurred and where carnivals come from. It's not that I doubt the existence of carnival-equipment-storage facilities but I surely had never thought about it. The bears passed and with them, my angst for riding the bears that were built to spin, and spin they will - without me inside of them, of course.

I like to keep my greasy-sugared pastry and lemon shake-up inside my stomach.

And that's the thing I hate about carnivals anyway. Most of the rides go round-and-round, rather than up and down, which now sounds like a sexual inuendo or that stupid song by Dead or Alive. I am also terrified of carnies; circus/carnival folk. Like modern-day gypsy's they load up rides, get drunk, put together rides, and travel city-to-city - not necessarily in that order, but come on really, ever met a carnie you weren't a little frightened of?

And back to bear affair, now pictured above, I'm scared to death of any animal that is supposed to be fierce and wild but doesn't look to be fierce and wild. Where does that wildness go, as I load into 'bear affair' for the, now defined, last time, full-bellied and ready for fun.

No fun, however; just remnants of carnie-made-deep-fried-overpriced and heart attack-causing food - now on my chucks.

Go away carnivals, hide in the abyss of wonderment I'll now dive into, on a regular basis.

What I'm reading!:

An Apple employee - Gray Powell - apparently had a few too many and left the next-generation iPhone (4g) at a bar only to have a 'random drunk guy' pick it up, eventually figure out it wasn't a regular iPhone and Gizmodo got ahold of it. So here is a page dedicated to the next iPhone and the continuing saga, as Apple has formally asked for it back. And now, more accusations.

The NFL schedules are out and Worth-lis-berger is out 6 games. WOO HOO!

One young lady I had the chance to meet on a recent mission trip I attended made CNN for her choice to choose chastity in college. Excellent story. Check out the headline of the huffington post's blog: Lady Gaga, Franny Boyle (my friend) Choose Chastity! Awesome.

A new $100 bill. Who cares; it's not like I ever see one of those.

Quadruplets from New York have chosen to go to the same college.

ALF outtakes.


From The Star Press: Improvization has paid off for local jazz band

Check out this article from a great local writer on a great local band!:

Upright double bass notes elevate a cool hum filling Muncie's White River Landing, with a foundation of near-melancholy clarity. Beget of light conversation, an emanating vibraphone, feather-like brushes on a snare and a firm tempo, the setting is serenely at ease.

"It's a feeling," said Charlie Owens, drummer for Muncie's classical jazz group, Live Jazz Tonight. "Jazz gets in your blood."

For the members of Live Jazz Tonight, the eloquence created for casual listeners and loyal followers is the byproduct of practice and spirited improvisation.

"Jazz is an art," said Paul Rhine, double-bassist and flutist.

"It's an art form created as you're watching it, hearing it. And it's the only art form that I know of that is live and being created on display."

Live Jazz Tonight, formed with diverse characters from varying backgrounds, join together twice a week, not to display their differences, but their commonality; playing music they see as consummate communiqué.

"The self expression in terms of music is empowering; it's very empowering," said Owens. "They say painting is music that you can see and music is painting you can hear."

To continue reading click here


What I'm Reading, Where I'm working and What I'm Thinking 4.15

First, am I the only person who has to constantly fumble for their phone, widget screen or wall calendar, more than once per day but, and remember the date even if i've looked at it 7.5 seconds earlier?

Today my work day started with an e-mail from an unhappy source about an innacuracy in a story entitled to me. Sorry.

But here's the thing, I pride myself on accuracy and will check once, twice, thrice - just to make sure I'm not offending someone - or more importantly, so I don't look dumb.

Just as I was about to drop into the abyss that is sometimes my self-loathing, I got a tap on the shoulder and it was my friend in the next cubicle. A veteran of the newspaper in Muncie for more than 30 years, this phenomenal guy and writer told me he could not believe my story, set to run this coming Sunday.

I thought, oh great.

But, just as my day was about to leap off the hypothetical Thursday-cliff like an over-medicated lemming - he told me: "I didn't know you could write like that." He told me, people throughout the newsroom were impressed and most importantly the editors loved it.

So, although I'm awful at the sometimes-necessary prideful side of life, I was very happy and I thought I'd pass it along. Look on here Sunday for my story: 'All that Jazz'.

The rest of my day was dominated with talks of Springfest at the Waterbowl, local priests (good talk) and the delicacy of celery.

Is telecommuting the future of several jobs, including journalism? Some people are moving further and further from their job's home-base.

Thousands of flights are either going to be canceled or delayed because of a volcano eruption in Iceland. Check out the name of the glacier in the first image. Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Excuse me, what?

All players and managers in MLB are wearing no. 42 today/tonight in honor of Jackie Robinson.

How about this picture? I thought it would be a nice print to have in any home. The NY Times store is offering it in an 11 by 14, printed on fiber-based archival paper with the finest ink for only $299 or $495 framed.

Fake AP Stylebook twitter-guys story. Funny stuff.

Pearl Jam and more importantly Band Of Horses are coming to Deer Creek. I know, I know it's not called that anymore but i wasn't going to write Verizon Wireless Music Center. Either way, I'll be there.

A couple of 'dump' workers couldn't let some expired brew go to waste.

Apparently the Donner Party didn't end up eating each other. Dang, there is nothing intersting in U.S. history.

I posted this last night but apparently two people got into a fight in S.C. and one person hit another with the head of a pet python.

And, a barking man is an internet sensation.


What I'm Reading 4.14; Stealers, Rec Services, Bishop Blogs, Hot Dogs and Speeding Tickets

I'm looking into training more consistently. And now that I'm in Muncie more, I thought, why not just use the facilities offered by the university, of which I should be granted access considering my completion of degree and several-thousand dollar debt to the school I pay, on time.


For the second time in as many days my Ball State ID was denied as I swam at Lewellen. The lifeguard pulled me aside and I did what I always do in intense pressure situations; improvise.

"Yeah, I thought it might," I told her. "But it's okay I'll just talk to them about it."

Who is them? I guess I was talking about the imaginary people who will wave a magic wand over my now-1.5-year-past-worthy ID.

But anyway, I called recreation services and asked how much it would cost for an alumni to use the 'facilities'. She said for alumni with alumni ID's (issued at the alumni center; last time I'm going to use the word alumni for a while) for $155 per year. Not bad I thought and what a great break for all those people, who spent years of their life studying and passing on the good word of Ball State.

Then I asked, after assessing how great of a deal alumni got, how much do people who aren't alumni have to pay?

"One-hundred-fifty-five dollars," she said.

So much for appreciation.

After all's said and done, as my Econ247 teacher always said right before I passed out unconscious from talks about the stock market and liquidity, I'm thinking about getting that alumni card and pass, if for nothing else, the satisfaction that they university still cares about me and wants me to be fit.

Well, maybe.

Anyway; what I'm reading:

Big Ben isn't so big anymore. I don't want to say I-told-you so, but I believe it's in order.

Pittsburgh is rooted in class; DUI's, marijuana and two sexual assault charges. Not bad for the team the league likes to root for and who, on numerous occasions added to their 'winning' tradition through the misfortune of others.

REDS WIN! 5-3 and it looks like they're just getting started!

Another 'terrible' earthquake. This time in China. As of this hour, 400 are dead.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan's blog. Good stuff.

(Sorry this post is so sporadic; it's reflective of my mind, today)

Driving cars all the time it's easy to see that American-made cars are junk compared to anything, any other country makes. Perhaps the market does figure out what is best; American made cars top list of worst-built.

A beautifully-written story on a terrible, terrible occurrence these days. I mean, I can't understand how people forget their kids in their cars but, I just keep in mind that caring for your children is your first priority - always. Sad.

Speeding tickets are up. My experiences are evidence of that.

So, Conan is going to TBS. Good news for them.

Record Store Day is this saturday. I'm sure a store deserves my patronage after years of piracy. Here's one great record store, I've been to.

Hot dogs at all the stadiums.

And, lastly I went to Dallas last weekend but missed this.

24th annual A Taste of Muncie is here! Read the preview and profile of one of the participating restaurants!


What I'm Reading 4.6

If I were to sum up my life post-college it would bear, perhaps the same moniker of the most recent presidential campaign: Change is here!

This week I began my first week at The Star Press, as a temporary features and freelance writer; fulfilling, hopefully, my ability to write and develop stories which, up to this point, has yielded me all of about $37.

The hardest thing about transitioning back to actually ‘doing something’ is a challenge, but I must remember it hasn’t been two days. Patience is tough in the vocation of newspaper writing but patience is necessary when working with people and attempting to get ahold of them at their most inconvenient times, it seems.

I enjoy the aura of the newsroom; writers and editors with their heads down typing feverishly, antidotes of stories writers are working on floating just at a listenable volume, random laughs to said antidotes, the scanner belching the police blotter and discussions of donuts and previous night’s ball games.

And when it’s busy and there are seemingly hundreds of assignments on my desk, I love it. I can’t wait to see what comes of this adventure (here’s to hoping it becomes more permanent) but, I’m sure whatever the next day brings will be an important part of my adventure going forward.

It’s morel season once again and if you don’t know what a morel is, or why anyone would walk in dimly-lit forests for wild fungus; this is not a call to you. I’m looking for anyone and everyone interested in morel-mushroom hunting. Tips, secrets, any and all insight into the world and season of morel hunting are wanted and/or needed.

Check out this site called Caring Bridge, an online support system for family and friends going through a serious health problem with another friend or relative. I landed upon the site of one Muncie couple – the husband is currently undergoing cancer treatment – and became instantly interested into the support of family, friends and complete strangers through an online social-network

Having wifi problems with your brand-spankin’-new iPad? Check out this for some quick easy tips for connection problems. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362319,00.asp Don’t have one? Do you need it? http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1976932,00.html

The president had a 17-minute, 2500 word response to a lady asking about being overtaxed. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/04/obamas-17-minute-2500-word-res.html


Reflections on St. Augustine's Confessions

We all yearn for God but continually fail to recognize it.

For, if God is love and love is light, as light is truth and happiness; we are all seeking God. The medium of search is different for us all but as this world has taught us to find happiness in the norms we recognize, we are blinded to the true reality that everything is aberrant to Truth.

Saint Augustine said: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

St. Augustine found, as he thrust himself into situational norm for many in today's world during his conversion and blessed receiving of the gift of faith, that what he was encountering 'in the world', - albeit, more than 1600 years ago - did not give him ultimate fulfillment. And therefore, in blind opposition to relativism he noted it was not making those around him joyous either.

Early in Confessions Saint Augustine writes, in clear observation at the travesty of the human clasp to worldly value and the difficulties to overcome it:

"But how one must condemn the river of human custom! Who can stand firm against it? When will it ever dry up? How long will it continue to sweep the sons of Eve into the huge and fearful ocean which can scarcely be passed even by those who have the mark of the Cross upon their sails?"

So what step must we take to go against the grain and become 'not of this world' and yet, 'in this world'? Must we alienate those we know and the values they hold dear, the customs we hold and/or the way we allocate our time? Is it important to continually recognize fault in ourselves? In others?

And once we buy into the idea of ultimate and utter fulfillment in the Lord, what of the struggle to change our lives that have grown accustomed to the ways of this world?

In clear response, struggle will be ever-apparent living for God and while allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you. Yet, the importance is not in our comfort but in our opportunity and grace-filled attempt to bring others to what we have found; a disregard for the disgusting acquisition of injustice toward our Lord, which places importance on the pleasures of this world and rather, a genuine embrace of opposition to the institution and destination for the world to come.

Furthermore, the way to God is not easy. The way of God is not easy. And the discovery of God is not easy. For, as we come into a relationship, through prayer and genuine unassigned penance, we find that changing the person we grew into as a 'heathen' of society is painful beyond belief. Often you will ask: why is the life in the image of Christ so pain-filled and wretched? And yet, do not look to a life through God as a comfort to the 'evils' of this world. Embrace the cross that Christ took up and embrace your own cross, created not by God by what you have come to know and created by your own self.


What I'm Reading 4.1; April Fools Day, Escaping to prison and ramming vehicles in frustration

What makes April Fools Day so great is how it forces you to be a non-passive holiday observer; you have to jump full-in to celebrate it.

In the spirit of 'All Fools Day' I figured, either go big or go home. And I'm not going home, at least not right now. A top-10 from around the world.

My initial facebook status today should attest to my attempt to 'fool' the gullible and/or fun-loving friends who may forget to use a bit of extra logic on this day of days for ridiculousness.

Apparently British media take April Fools to an extreme and attempt to pull of shenanigans all day long. One attempt from the AP this morning:

This year, The Sun reported it has developed the world's first flavored newspaper page and invited readers to lick a square of newsprint "to reveal a hidden taste." Just below the spot to be licked was the fine-print warning: "May contain nuts."

At 'Weird Muncie' to your Twitter feed. I have to be honest I've kind of given up some on Twitter.

The Pinot Noir is tasting a bit smokey this year because of the fires in California. Excellent story, by the way.

A man fleeing police near Cleveland, Ohio left his car and hopped a fence - into a prison yard.

This is no joke and I know it is quite unbelieveable but they are re-routing traffic on Chester Blvd., again. (Definitely a world changing event)

The JFK library is displaying a letter from JD Salinger to Ernest Hemingway which leads with; "You'll never guess the line I used on this chick last night..." Thanks to David Hale for that.

I'd heard a lot of biblical reference in regard to the show 'Lost' but here is a story about tying it all together.

The partisan scuffle is intense but a 70-year-old man took matters into his own hands against an Obama-Biden sticker-yielding SUV. And in apparently ramming of vehicles is popular lately; a man in Nigeria 'sent by Jesus to punish sinners' ran his car into a parked airplane.

And, a rebirth of Calvinism?


Video of Pat Venditte; the switch-pitching baseball player in the Yankees farm system.

Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span invited his mother to a spring training game and concurrently hit her with a foul ball.

I love preseason predictions of teams because they are always wrong. Over at ESPN the 'experts' are picking the Reds to finish between 1st and 6th in the NL Central. Thanks for doing your homework Buck Showalter; I doubt he knew there were 6 teams in the Central. And, one more thing, it kills me that 'the worldwide leader in sports' doesn't take the time to do enough research on small market teams, like the Reds; Jay Bruce doesn't play 1B ESPN. Thanks.

And here are some official odds for the Reds, this year.

Joe Posnaski's take on the West Va. Mountaineers and their coach, our favorite: Bob Huggins.

If you still haven't read this you need to: Butler is everyone's sentimental favorite going into this weekend's Final Four. This is the best time of the year; Final Four and then opening day...

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