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October 2010

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Who Are You on Halloween

October 31, 2010

Tom in costumeHalloween is a holiday that is mainly for the kids. Dressing up in costume and getting lots of candy, however, is something we "big kids" still like, too. 

I have fond memories of trick or treating and wearing costumes, but as an adult my joy comes more from seeing my kids (or now, grandchild) in costume.

Kristen as dinosaur for HalloweenMy daughter was pretty cute in her first few costumes, like the one of her pictured as a little dinosaur. And now my grandson, Jacob, has his first outfit. What a grand little pumpkin!

Be safe and enjoy your Halloween.

Jacob Halloween Pumpkin

First World Series Appearance 50 Years A-Coming for Texas Rangers

October 26, 2010

Texas Rangers baseball teamIt's already been a Texas-sized celebration for fans of this year's American League Championship team, the Texas Rangers. They are headed to their first World Series appearance in the major league baseball franchise's history. The team was voted into existence as the expansion Washington Senators on this day in 1960. The original Senators had packed up and moved to Minneapolis to become the Minnesota Twins. The "new" Senators had an up and (mostly) down existence before relocating to Arlington, Texas and becoming the Rangers. They continued their sometimes winning, mostly losing record for a number of years. But this year they beat the storied New York Yankees to win their birth in the Fall Classic against the San Francisco Giants.

Over the years the team has had some famous managers, including Ted Williams, Whitey Herzog, Billy Martin and Bobby Valentime. Current Ranger manager Ron Washington is an unassuming kind of guy, a man like most of us, clay feet and faults, but the ability to bounce back and keep a level head to lead his team this year. Picking up pitcher Cliff Lee in a midseason trade has proved invaluable. Lee is an incredible post-season performer. Josh Hamilton batted .359 this year for the team (a record) and was voted the MVP of the championship series against the Yankees. Speaking of overcoming personal challenges, his story is also a great one of perseverance. Drug addiction nearly wrecked his career before recovery a few years back.

The story of this baseball team is like the story of many families. Challenges, troubles, high profiles (Nolan Ryan is now the team president. This Hall of Famer is a class act and also the holder of a record 7 no hitters, 2 of which he threw as a member of the Texas Rangers!). It should be a great series against another "underdog" team, the Giants. The series gets underway tomorrow night (October 27). Happy Golden Anniversary to the Texas Rangers.

A Reunion Worth Waiting For

October 23, 2010

"Stop children, what's that sound?" - could it be an incredible rock n' roll reunion? Indeed! Neil Young hosts annual fundraiser benefit concerts for the Bridge School where children with severe speech and physical impairments receive innovative approaches to education and communication. They also involve families and communities. The school is located in the Bay Area of Northern California and it's something near and dear to the hearts of Neil and  his wife, Pegi.

This year's headliners for the concerts (October 23-24) is the Buffalo Springfield. They haven't played publicly in forty-something years and the group best known for their hit "For What It's Worth" is well worth seeing. The impact of surviving members Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay alone is quite significant. The country/cowboy/folkrock/sixties-freedom-celebration genre owes much of its origination to these guys. Furay (best known for his days with Poco) has had an impact well beyond his name recognition or the higher level public awareness of his bandmates, Stills and Young. One time member Jim Messina is not scheduled to appear, but fans are hoping for a surprise appearance. Original members Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer are deceased.

A great cause and an historic reunion worth waiting for - I wish I was there but I'll be checking on Facebook updates from "friend" Richie Furay.

Changing Your Point of View

October 20, 2010

We've all heard that there are different sides to every story. Mostly people will say there are two sides to every story, but there are really more. There's your side, the other person's side, and the reality. And maybe there are more than three sides. Invite another person's comment and what do you get? Maybe agreement, maybe not.

The point is there are multiple points of view. Everyone's perception is their reality. When you write about your life you are offering your point of view. But a good writer considers multiple perspectives because you are writing both for yourself and for an audience.

I think you can overanalyze this. So don't. But also be willing to change your point of view. At least walk around your life story and consider it from different angles. You might get some valuable insight. And you can gain some more perspective by reading a post from The Heart and Craft of Life Writing blog by Sharon Lippincott (It's All in How You Look at Things) which inspired me to write about this.

October Family History Month Free Genealogy Webinar

October 14, 2010

October is considered Family History Month by many genealogists and personal historians. It's also Autumn and the harvest season - so maybe it's time to fall in line and harvest some family history memories (sorry!). If you are curious about your family tree and would like to learn more about getting started in genealogy they take advantage of free webinar this Saturday (October 16, 2010). I got the information from Genealogy Insider.  This is an ideal opportunity for beginners to get some solid knowledge with 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots: How to Get Started in Genealogy, presented by Family Tree University (here)

Reflecting on the Significance (or lack thereof) 10/10/10

October 11, 2010

Yesterday the date was October 10, 2010, which made for the fun 10/10/10 on the calendar. Some people on Twitter were even commenting about taking a picture of your digital clock at 10:10:10. I didn't do that, but we do seem to have a fascination with certain numbers. Seven is considered lucky. Some people think six is the opposite of good (for example, "666", the number of the Beast in Revelations).

The number ten is considered by some to mean wholeness. Much of our mathematics is grounded in the metric system and measuring by tens. Those who are into the binary code system considered 101010 a number representing the meaning of life, as the binary translation equals 42 and that number is divisible by both 7 and 6 (Ying and Yang, anyone?). And if you love Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then you know 42 was considered the ultimate answer to everything by a supercomputer (here). Anyway, it all seems to be a bit of fun with numbers. I found this page on the Internet yesterday while searching for significance.

What I did like about yesterday's date was that it was adopted by to capture a day in the life of Earth. Video footage from around the world was shot and is being gathered, submitted, shared and ultimately a documentary will be released. I see it as a positive for sharing our lives and purpose.

10/10/10 - One Day on Earth is Almost Here

October 7, 2010

One Day on Earth - 10/10/10On October 10 of this year everyone has a chance to tell the rest of the world about a life. Not everyone will do it, of course, but the premise and promise behind One Day on Earth is grand. People from around the world will contribute to documenting the world’s story. They will do this by creating videos around people, projects, educational lessons, causes and numerous collaborative efforts. The idea was birthed in 2008 and this year the memorable date of October 10 – 10/10/10 – has been chosen as the focal point for thousands of participants to simultaneously film over a 24 hour period.

When you visit the website,, you can learn about the event, educators can create classroom projects for students, people can join various groups who are planning their focus around themes as diverse as cultural events, art, yoga lovers, spirituality, time lapses around the world and people born on October 10. It’s really incredible. There is also a plan to create a documentary about this event.

Watch the final One Day on Earth Webcast leading up to the big day - here.

Pentagon Buys Thousands of Copies of a Memoir and Destroys Them

October 4, 2010

An Army Reserve officer wrote a memoir that he thought was cleared for publishing, but the Pentagon had other ideas. When they read it they claimed it contained state secrets and purchased thousands of copies of the first printing and then destroyed them. Wow. Shows there is more to the final editing process than spelling and punctuation!

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer was notified that about 9,500 copies of his new memoir "Operation Dark Heart" were bought by the DofD. He thinks it is retaliation for the content. Sounds like a suspense novel in development.

Story here from CNN.

One Journal, Two Journals, Three Journals...or More?

October 3, 2010

I've kept a personal journal for many years. And about ten years I started keeping them on a computer. About four years ago I decided to use journaling software. Keeping a journal, whether handwritten or computerize, has lots of benefits (see journal writing ideas).

Most of my journaling would go under the category of reflective journaling. I'm writing about what is going on in my life, what it means to me, and how I feel about it. But this is just one kind of journaling. Eventually I've come to realize that there is a benefit to keeping journals for a variety of reasons. For instance, if you are writing a memoir you may want to have a journal dedicated to this. Or perhaps you want a journal specifically about your career or education. You could keep a journal about spirituality or one dedicated to family. Pick a hobby or a passion and keep a journal. The possibilities are endless. I read a blog post today from another writer who shares her insightful tips about various types of journaling and defining your purpose for journaling. You can read Amber Lea Starfire's post here.

If you decide to pursue this method of journaling it is helpful to have a way to manage these journals. This is one of the many benefits of The Journal Software. With this extremely versatile and powerful software you can create multiple journals all categorized, organized and with amazing attributes. You can easily store images, web content and multimedia. I've become a huge fan - and yes, I'm going to point you to more information so you can find out yourself if 
The Journal Software is right for you. | more here |

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