There are so Many Beautiful Reasons to be Happy


More quotes and gifs here!


5 stars

Humor has been lacking in Marvel films lately. Ant-Man remedies that quite nicely. It’s a different perspective for sure. One of the best things about this film is it keeps us wondering what the world looks like from another point of view. In this case, it’s quite the small one, smaller in fact than an ant. There’s a love interest and a villain, a few other token aspects of a superhero film. But all that is pale in comparison to this, well, small feature of the film.

There’s a lot being said here about how big we think we are. Maybe we  take ourselves as so big, we can be foiled by an ant sized creature. It gets you thinking about the power of small things. For a lot of fun, big and small, check this one out. I was so pleased with it, I gave it 5/5 stars! It’s a last minute best of the Summer 2015.

What I Did This Summer

 Museum of Tolerance I wrote this post because when people ask me every year in August what I did for the Summer, I usually forget. My Summer started with an enlightening trip to the Museum of Tolerance with some of my colleagues. It really broadened my awareness of how humans have tried to exterminate entire races. If we aren’t aware it could happen again.

Working on the Backyard
 Next, we did a lot of work in the backyard on a retaining wall, a fire pit, and a pergola. This was led by my inlaws and I must confess they did the bulk of the work. My wife and son also did a lot. I watched and did a small amount. Just wanted to clarify that in case Sarah has any issues with me using the word “we.” She keeps me honest on this thing.

OC Vacation  After that we took a 5 day trip to the OC, specifically for beach days. While there we went to the OC Swap Meet, bowled at the main place mall, and dined teppan style at Benihana. We stayed at the Fairmont hotel in Newport and really enjoyed our accommodations and treatment. The pool there was awesome. Finally, we took the kids to Universal Studios. 

Since then we have hung around the house. I swim every day with my kids. Julie loves it the most and never wants to get out. It’s such a great time to “check in” with my kids and see how they’re doing. Sarah had to go back to work. I’ve been really digging into Netflix and watching a lot of great movies. For me this year, restful time at home has been the most valuable. I have one more week off and I know I’ll be ready to take on new challenges that await in my classroom 2015-2016.

All our Summer photos are in my Flickr Album.

It’s been a long week (Reblog)

Damien Riley:

Zombie Flamingoes posted just signs she found on a walk. I call this a treasure walk. This is my kind of “nothing” post that I truly love. I hope she doesn’t mind me reblogging this post of hers.

Originally posted on Zombie Flamingos:

A response in avoidance of the Daily Post’s Writing Prompt

I’ve taken a couple of walks in the past few days, needing to get out of the house due to sadness and just needing to get away from all the work going on.  For some reason, on one of these walks, I thought it might be fun to take pictures of signs. Have you ever noticed how many signs there are out there?  Well, I have.  And there are a lot of them.

So here are some signs – literal signs – from my walk.






















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Netflix Search – a Game of Groans

maxresdefaultToday’s blog prompt was: “Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.”

Samsung’s Smart TV Netflix app is awesome! I love it. All you need to have is the exact title for a movie and it will search for it. Why didn’t IMDB think of this ingenious system? On there you can limit searches by genre, year, release date, and any number of popular tags. That’s all so unnecessary. With Netflix, it’s actually not even possible to search for anything other than a movie’s name. And then there’s the browse function. The best part of this is they pre-plan how the browsing will go.

They place the lowest ranking movies in the browse so you are sure to get some “diamond in the rough” films like “Mimic 3.” and B movie relics from the 60’s. These are great when you run across them simply searching for one movie you want. You usually get worn out looking and settle on a one star for the evening. I’ve heard the iPhone app is needlessly “helpful” in that it lists movie by genre as the PC app does. Going sheerly by the tv app, you are assured to not find what your looking for unless you are prepared with a title, which for true Netflix experts, is never a problem.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Game of Groans.”

Darn Right I’m Thankful for Women and my Wife in Particular

Sarah_RileyThis is an entry I wrote in Dec 2012. I’m reposting it as a response to #ThrowBackThursday.

My wife deserves to always be ahead of me. Ironically though, is behind me in the kitchen right now making my favorite food: enchiladas. My wife rocks. It should be noted to further show reason for thankfulness that she herself is not a big fan of these. This is just another day in the life of my awesome awesome wife. Now I am not the traditional Christian thinker when it comes to the role of women. I do not believe they exist to serve me or any of that complete garbage you hear in church (I heard it all my life). I think women are probably the best thing on Earth and therefore I am writing this post explaining why.

I am thankful for my wife for so many reasons, her making me enchiladas is merely one. Women are attentive to the needs of those around them and they possess a sort of constant sadness that comes from knowing the pain of those in their community. Women can be patient or impatient but all care, it seems, more than men about most domestic issues (ie; the home). At the same time, they excel in neatness and often are better than men in the workplace.

I won’t even get into the beauty of their physical appearance because anyone with eyes can see that. If there were no women in the world, we men would be suffering let me tell you. I can’t help but think of what a gay man might say to this article. He might say exactly what I am saying. You don’t have to be sexually attracted to women to note their “way” and what it means to the world. Last, women birth the children of this world. Not only do I believe in equal rights, some days when I mess up and a woman saves me, I almost think men should be inferior for a while, we are bumbling fools sometimes. Yes indeed, I am indeed thankful for women. Of course the best women are the ones who really need and respect us as men too.

Source: Darn Right I’m Thankful for Women and my Wife in Particular | Damien at the Speed of Life

This Dad Business

I’ve had such a rough time raising my son through his teen years but there have been lights here and there at the end of the tunnel that have kept me going. Of course, it hasn’t healped that I’m really not good at this stuff. Well, I take that back, it doesn’t come natural to me. The funny thing is I’m always thinking about he’s screwing up or I am anyway. I rarely stope to see the good that is unfolding in his actions right before my eyes. I need to start doing that. After his first big breakup on his 17th birthday and a year of a first job going into his senior year, We’re going to need to be focused on the positives.

As a teacher I look at everything in school year terms: the one to come is 2015-2016. I’m going to have to be a lot more positive next year as I guide my sonn and as he guies himself through graduation, community college, and beyond. I signed on for this when I married his mom in 2002 and now is the time to step up, I’m not gonna back down. I love them both and I’m in this for the long haul.

Paper Time Capsule

If NASA were to send a spacecraft out into the universe with only the best of human culture, it would need to contain things that both represented us and withstood decay the longest. Digital media should be put in last if at all, here are some more of my thoughts on that.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”

As far as withstanding decay the longest, I think the best material we have for that even now is paper. This also applies to photo paper. I think Life Magazine and National Geographic have a photos of the year edition. That should definitely be on board. Of course, a state of the art computer should be on there but the trouble you face with anything digital is the possible absence of a power source. Put one in for good measure but understand that most of our digital media will be undecipherable by another intergalactic life form.

All the Dr. Suess books should be placed in the capsule along with Huckleberry Finn and a few other well agreed upon classics. The idea being they could learn t read before starting to decipher these. Schematic drawings of out most famous vehicles would be helpful. Vinyl LP records and a turntable would be helpful as well. I don’t know how we could share movies. Like I said, digital media will likely not transfer this way. Isn’t it funny that the most advanced and telling parts of our culture like the internet and movies will never be seen by other intelligent life out there?