The Riley Coyote Tattoo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.” Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?

This is my right shoulder tattoo, my only tat for that matter. I got it when I was 30 in 2000. I was not in a relationship and got it to impress a girl who was in my teaching certificate classes. She had a few and was always talking about them before class. Did I get a date? Nope. 

The tat has remained for 16 years. It used to have colors that have faded. I chose Wile E Coyote because he’s always making schemes and plans that don’t work out. I admire his diligence though in that he always gets up and keeps trying. I’m now married to a much hotter woman. Lucky for me, she likes my tattoo. I feel bad for these people who tattoo ex lovers names on their bodies.

Blog Safari 7-13-2015

safariIt rained! | Zombie Flamingos |


div>“Born to Be With You” | An Aspiring Writer |

lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown | Reflections on Life through poetry, essays and photos |

Dave’s Movie Reviews: The Gallows |

F is for Fanboys | A-Z Movie Challenge |

This Express Train Makes No Stops | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

The Fewcher | The Gad About Town

Is Predicting Behaviour Bad? #MondayMusings – Everyday Gyaan

What the Flop? John Carter | Carly Hearts Movies

Stay Curious My Friends

imageI’ve always wanted to see Ireland. One day, I hope to. Other friends in my vicinity have more exotic wanderlusts, like China or Borneo for example. For me, those places are a little scary, not to mention quite costly. Still, I want to go “farther out” with my curiosity. Everything seems odd when it hasn’t been experienced. Conversely, when you are familiar wit the “other,” it can become a favorite of yours, a close companion, even a place where you belong. With all the hue and cry over illegal immigration lately, I find myself encountering more and more xenophobia all around me. Facebook messages show poor people being shipped back on trucks to Central America and the caption reads “Go Home!” I find this sickening. I don’t think you should be allowed to voice an opinion until you have seen the conditions in the country they are fleeing. To them it isn’t a preference or a wanderlust, they are fleeing for their very lives. It’s really a spoiled attitude some Americans have and I wish it would stop. But back to topic.

I remember tasting sushi for the first time, I loved it! Most people I know who haven’t tried the “raw fish” say it’s disgusting. I remember trying Kun Pao Chicken in the early 90’s and loving the flavor. Back then, a lot of people told me I was odd for liking Chinese food. Little by little, customs and food come into our country from “afar” and it is a wonderful thing. I think we are at a point in American culture where it is time to embrace as much of the world’s ideas as possible. Some of ours are fading and actually failing in many ways. The more we replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity, the better chance we have as a country to survive. Xenophobia is alive and well and ain’t that a shame. I’ll open the comments to you with this question but feel free to “wander:” What favorite foods or customs have you admired from other countries? What do you think of the quote? Did it have an entirely different meaning to you than what I wrote about? If you’re a blogger, You might write about it and pingback here so others can read it.

Get Away Spend Big and Splurge

Chicago Style pizza night w Tatonka brews.

One day before Christmas I went out shopping with the intention of buying my wife UGG boots. Considering it was snowing that day, I went with a more practical option women’s rain boots. There is a time when practicality is good. More often than not it seems that sentimental=romantic. This is also true about taking your wife or date out to eat: spare no expense and watch magic happen.

This one goes out to the couples that are feeling somewhat “well done” with regards to the heat of life and it’s demands. Of course, the title has told you

I am recommending a small scale vacation as an antidote to the stress of life.

My wife and I went down to Irvine in one of those ruts to see an independent film. We had an awesome time and caught ourselves doing silly romantic things such as: holding hands, kissing too long, cuddling in our seats (with that arm rest thingie “up,” )  and other stuff you might see only people half our age doing. So, you might ask, what made it so much fun? Simple:

We went AWAY! We spent BIG! We SPLURGED!

I purposefully picked a theater 50 miles away. This opened our hearts and minds to a new place and therefore new experiences. We got lunch while down there, had some frozen yogurt, and generally enjoyed ourselves as we normally do close to home. There was one big difference:

The backgrounds were different!

My wife and I found that traveling outside our normal “stomping grounds” was very healthy for our relationship. That’s why I am recommending it to you. If you think the drive might be too much of a hassle, think again. Why not make a music mix of all your favorite songs, or better yet HER favorite ones. I think the magic of getting away is less of a cliche and more of a time tested reality in my life. I need to make the effort to get away with my wife as much as possible. I know it can be done on the cheap as well so don’t let financial constraints stop you.

This weekend or sometime soon, why not venture out of your town with your wife, husband, or significant other, wherever it may be and just get away. It could be to Disneyland or just a movie 50 miles away! I recommend you do it and watch what happens in your relationship. Food tastes better when you drive a while to get it! To answer the question below, I would drive as far as it takes to get the best food and have a great time on a date!

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

Source: Live to Eat | The Daily Post

Papa Loves Mambo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.” What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

1 (5)Music was flowing through the house more fluidly than water. The way my mom remembers it, my brother and I used to ride my dad’s Gibson guitar like a horse. I learned to play on that thing, carefully plucking the high 3 strings with a G note on the high E. It really was a G chord but before I took a lesson from my dad, it was just some ethereal staccato sound made into an open chord. When I teach younger kids guitar now, I always share that pattern of picking I discovered/invented on my own by simply “playing around” on my dad’s guitar.

Early on my parents exposed me to Kenny Rogers. He was my first real influence on playing and singing. I learned and performed “The Coward of the County” or my 4th grade talent show. For decades after that, people would tell me they remembered that. My parents were also big into John Denver, Jim Croce, James Taylor, and Neil Diamond. The poets/songwriter types were in heavy rotation but of course they played other music. Bluegrass came later and I learned the classic “Under the Double Eagle” that would be forever etched into my style. I owe a lot of my musical prowess and understanding to my parents but at about age 13 I began to explore my own favorite artists.

Bloggers from Whom I Learn the Most

Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?

Below is a post I wrote mid 2007.  It’s funny how I still agree with some of this and other stuff I once swore off I now tend to do.  This is a cool by-product of blogging, you get to go back and read your own hopes, dreams, and goals to see if they’ve changed or not.

A while back I blogged about the people from whom I learn the most. Tonight I want to talk a little bit about the bloggers from whom I learn the most. Blogging as a genre, hobby, art form, or medium, whatever you wish to call it, is an umbrella over a wide wide array of writing “types.” Which ones do you learn the most from?  I have my favorite “types” on my Google Reader.  I spend a lot of time (my wife often tells me too much and she’s probably right) trying play my part in the game. I think of it as my “contribution” and whatever I do in my life I always aim to do right by my contribution. Anyway, as I peruse blogs and read posts out there in the vast nothingness, I learn what I like and what I don’t. I thought I’d list 5 and 5: 5 blogger “types” (no need to name names, though names exist!) that I glean things from and then 5 types that teach me what NOT to do.

First, Bloggers from whom I learn the most:

  1. Writers of short posts. Long posts, unless they are very well constructed . . . bore the hell out of me and I rarely finish them. If the title isn’t “amazing” then I will prboably move on before I even reach the end, ergot the point, of the post.
  2. Writers with a “#### you” attitude. The rugged individualist has always been my arch-typical hero in modern culture. The day I lose my attitude, is the day they’ll be lowering my casket into the ground. I identify with other bloggers who share that perspective.
  3. Bloggers with original layouts.
  4. Bloggers who post often.
  5. Bloggers who comment on my site and re-comment when I visit their blogs. Also those who respond in the form of a comment to comments on their posts.

TIP: Usually you can go back to check replies to your comments on other blogs by checking their “subscribe to comments” box. Sometimes they don’t have that feature. In that case, I have a dedicated folder on my bookmarks list where I save links to posts I comment on. This makes going back much easier and much more probable.

Second, Bloggers from Whom I learn what generally NOT to Do:

  1. Any blog on monetization, seo, or “how to grow your traffic.”
  2. Angry bloggers that never come up for air.
  3. Pity party posters.
  4. Careful bloggers who explain too much.
  5. AND . . . (of course you had to know this was coming) OVER-THE-TOP AD WIDGET FOLKS. (sorry, just callin’ it like it is!!!)

*If anyone feels personally attacked by this post, please don’t. I write posts of all these types. None of us will ever be perfect at this but I’m aiming at perfection anyway!

AtoZ: Daddy Dear Song

The is referred to as the “Daddy D Song” on Sesame Street. It’s also called in the comments of youtube: “Sesame Street Acid Trip to the Letter D.” I know I remember it fondly from my childhood, playing on TV in heavy rotation. It’s a minute long and I know you’d enjoy watching it. Happy Blog ABC’s.

BB King – The Life of Riley (2012) I’m watching this on Netflix and I have to share this: It’s excellent. Now streaming on Netflix.

Blog Stats 4-13-16 to 5-14-16


Damien: If we were having coffee, I’d show you my blog stats and explain what the different numbers mean. You might compare yours there at the table and you’d likely kick my butt because I’m never very good at these. Archived posts are here if you’d like to read what I posted last week.

Here are the stats from Google Analytics:

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Here are the stats from and Jetpack:

[embeddoc url=”‹-Riley-Central-—-WordPress.pdf”]

Damien: It was another awesome week edging toward June 2nd, my last workday. This Summer we are going to Hawaii so my anticipation is growing by leaps and bounds. I started report cards and hope to have those done this week.

You: Insert comment below.

Damien: This time of year teachers are overwhelmed. Not only do we have a ton of little things to do, we deal with the bond break from the kids we’ve taught all year. Sometimes even the behavior problems are missed. I’m sure my #weekendcoffeeshare will be much more eventful from Hawaii so visit me later too!

My Five Most Recent Favorite Things (Cinco in Spanish)

It’s that time again for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop!

List your five most recent favorite things.

Source: Blog « Mama’s Losin’ It!

Here goes!

  1. My French press travel mug
  2. “Smoke and Mirrors” Album by Imagine Dragons
  3. Apple Music
  4. My school just bought all the teachers (incl. me) each another case of paper.
  5. My BOSE Color bluetooth speaker for my iPhone 6 Plus. Works great on my desk at lunch!

Mama's Losin' It