#ROW80 Late Goals Post With Much Ambition

Hi #ROW80 folks. I’m checking in over a month late this round … I really hope to keep it up to the end though. Here are my goals for this round. The first hashtag represents the corresponding category on my blog. It may seem like a lot of stuff but I am actually in the habit of doing it already.

    1. #postaday A Daily Post or #NaBloPoMo writing prompt daily.
    2. #Journal tumblr paper & pen journal prompt daily.
    3. #Diary daily #Blog entry.
    4. #ROW80 Checkins Wed and Sun
    5. #Blog Mama Kat’s Weekly writing prompt.
    6. #SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.
    7. #PhotoBlog #MySundayPhoto challenge.
    8. #PhotoBlog The Daily Post Weekly Photo challenge.

As you can see, I have my blogging laid out for me. I hope to visit a lot of your blogs and see how your doing. You support as well is much appreciated.

Green Eyed Mind

 Is Jealousy mind over matter? If it’s not in mind, it doesn’t have to matter so just keep your mind free of it? Is it that simple? A guy I knew was jealous of his wife’s female coworker once. This odd person became highly interesting to his wife. She shared daily about their talk of anal sex, marital lies, her affairs  and the like. My poor friend could only take it for so long. He believed in his wife until one day. On an innocent lark, his wife shared that she had been invited by a male coworker to do a threesome with the idiot friend. That was his breaking point. I don’t think he’s proud of it though.

His jealousy went rampant but as he shared with me, it was more anger at these people than his wife. They knew him. He felt highly invisible and disrespected. He confronted both of them which he now regrets. He and his wife got some counseling and now the green eyed monster rarely comes out. I wish them the best and hope I’m never in his position. He may have had a good reason but he really put his wife through a lot of needless crap. As far as jealousy goes, keep it out of your mind I say! His marriage survived but it went through a rough couple of years, out of mind. Yours might not survive if you let the green eyed mind go crazy.

In response to Stream of Consciousness Saturday Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mind.” Use it any way you think to. Have fun!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Monster.” Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?

The Briar Patch and Flight Simulator Analogy for Kids' Test Prep

This post was first published at my teaching blog. I feel it’s a topic parents and ​some of those not reading over there might be interested in.

The fear and reverence of Common Core is all around. It permeates education. Kids who are gifted and self-starters will likely welcome the opportunity to answer high level thinking questions on a computer screen. They also will not mind the copying, pasting, bulleting, and other technical aspects of the tests. But for the rest, it’s going to come as a shock. Some kids will just give up and type nonsense into the answer boxes. Others will flutter the screens as they learn to select text and not much more. What can we do for these students? I have a suggestion.<!–more–>

Just like flight students work in a simulator to decrease the affect of flying, so we should put kids in a simulated session of the Common Core test. For us here in California it is called the “Smarter Balanced” or SBAC practice test. It’s totally free and akin to the released questions the cde used to offer on their site. Continue reading “The Briar Patch and Flight Simulator Analogy for Kids' Test Prep”

Those are “the Snarkies Nominees” and the Winner is …

I have no hope for modern music, I have hope for modern music.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snark Bombs, Away!.” Try your hand at parody or satire — take an article, film, blog post, or song you find misguided, and use humor to show us how.

“Stitches” by Shawn Mendes. Holy smokes in my life I’e never heard such atrocious and shallow lyrics. It’s as if his teacher assiged him the job of writing what it’s like to fall and slice yourself up in front of a car. I suppose I am getting older now at 46 and I should give some grace to the acts out there making tunes these days. I get it that love can mess you up. I also get it that it can be painful. How old is our Shawn though? I’d gamble 15 or less. Can he know the good parts of suffering and learning through love at his age? I know I didn’t at that point.

There are many more examples of stupid lyrics out there. For the record, I love the melody to “Stitches.” It’s just the lyrics that have me pressing “FWD” on Spotify. Meagan Trainor is another gross offender with lines like “Momma told me men want a big booty to hold at night.” I won’t disagree but dear me, such a crass approach to songwriting. The other day I heard children singing, “Sex you like Marvin Gaye.” Oh my goodness, I’m about ready to punch my ticket when I hear spoiled brats getting paid to put this stuff out. I keep hope open for new stuff. One band that I actually really like is “Lonely the Brave” from Scotland. Check this guitar and vocal driven song out.

You Can’t Go Home Again

slides (49)Once grown up, and having ventured out into the real world, “home” can never be the same again. The old place will never be “home” to you any more than any other place you live. Thomas Wolfe wrote about that in 1930 and it applies here in 2015, even to my blog. This domain has been my property since December of 2005, though I moved after a few years to DamienRiley.com and that has been where I have rolled in the mud with WordPress and online diary visions up to now. Riley Central has been a composite of feeds showcasing all my online projects from flickr to Tumblr.

After some issues with sites like WordPress.com not receiving my pingbacks, I decided the best way to fix it was to advance to the past, the domain that has been gathering dust for years. I tested pingbacks and they work without fail. I thought over switching my blog exploits here and immediately began to see all sorts of pre-existing benefits. The clearest benefit that you would understand is that all my online projects are already living here. I certainly will miss Damien at the Speed of Life but I always felt like the name was a little silly and self-aggrandizing. Riley Central sounds like a project page and also a blog. It’s a better banner to improve my writing under. To close this christening: I am Damien Riley and as always, thank you for being my reader. Below are some relevant links. You’ll get all new material here only. I don’t plan to migrate the old stuff to this blog. It will stay there for at least a year, maybe indefinitely.

Riley Central – blog and project site of Damien Riley – formerly “Damien at the Speed of Life”
Dear fans of Damien at the Speed of Life, please adjust your bookmarks. The new RSS feed is http://www.rileycentral.net/feed/

Plan to Do What You Can, and No More

As a blogger I have made many many “plans” and agendas to get through my work. I have found success in doing so at times as well as frustration and despair at other times when I have not lived up to my goals for myself. When you get around to wanting success with your blogging, I think the best thing you can do is create a “doable” daily grind list. Make sure it is “doable.” Currently I have been utilizing the Firefox toolbar feature to make shortcuts to the online work I hope to do. I give each planned daily task a time estimate and I force myself to do each item. I say “force myself” only because I know my tasks are worth something if done each day and I know they are well within my ability to perform. If you can’t meet your goals, don’t beat yourself up either. I once told someone n that sort of situation: “If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.”

Podcast: ‘The Truth About Blog Prompts’

I filmed this podcast at about 6:30am Friday morning in my car parked in front of an abandoned, closed, boarded up bar called “The Jet Room” that’s where I got my idea for Season 2’s podcast name: “Chats from the Jet Room.” I hope to do several at this haunting and electrifying location.

Season 2 Episode 1


I cross-post my video blogs on YouTube.

I drive by this place on my way to work. It’s has such a cool sign but it almost seems haunted. Both are the reasons I chose it as a theme for my Season 2 of my podcast.

They say the best movies and tv shows are filmed early in the morning. I chose to talk about “Blog Posts.” I didn’t pick this topic, it picked me, out of years of bittersweet frustration an tiny rewards through the years doing them. I wanted to vent and rant and maybe inform but will anyone care to watch and listen? Time will tell. I’ve been writing blog prompts and memes for so many years sometimes I just have to vent about their uselessness to me.

Bloggers: do you ever wonder if that is all there is that we are doing here? Well I do. This is just a rant and maybe an encouragement to other bloggers out there who feel this with me. Climb aboard, we can continue bitching together ;) I’ve tried a few new effects on this episode to keep it short, sweet (hopefully), and interesting (again I hope). It’s here as well as Youtube so if you dig it, please to give it love props in both places. I’m looking forward to this season, I have a lot of ideas to share and I have added to my skill set for making podcasts. It’s a little shaky, I’ll work on that for next time. Thanks!!!

Show info:

The Truth About Blog Prompts
The Jet Room Chats
The Damien Riley Podcast
Season 2 Episode 1

Background song “Thunder and the Rain (instrumental)” written and performed by “me” Damien Riley and is licensed under a Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Intro, excerpt, and Outro voice overs by Charlie Ray Pat. He offers amazing services, please inquire if you are interested in them and I will connect you.

Scares Outside Your Front Door

I’m easily scared by horror. Still, I’ve seen just about every one ever made. There are some parts of that horror that scare me the most. Usually, it’s killing and violent acts portrayed with good effects. Those two things would probably freak me out more than any “tricks” kids might do outside my door.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trick or Trick.” Let’s imagine it’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

I think seeing kids kill animals would freak me out more than anything. I get squeamish watching shows like “The Walking Dead” where people kill with reckless abandon. Have you seen that episode in season 5 where they line Rick and his cohorts up bent over a metal sink and slit their throats? That’s probably one of the scariest pieces of television I’ve seen. Mind you, I am still a fan of the show.

I don’t know, a prank involving dog fur and fake blood would scare me as I opened the door. Seeing kids with guns would surely do the trick. No child with a gun pointed at me would not be funny or cute in any way. Besides that, there are certain masks that freak me out. Last year there was an evil clown who really scared my daughter. I could see why, his mask was heinous. He was nice though and took his mask off to show Julie he was just a regular 16 year old. It didn’t matter though, she was still scared. I wonder what kind of freaky stuff we’ll see this year.

Amazing MacEnroe and his Temper

This was written by me in 2008. I’m reposting for #ThrowbackThursday

One of my favorite nutbars of the 70’s is John MacEnroe.  Anger favors no class.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “West End Girls.”

I remember my parents saying he was such a gifted player but he had terrible bouts of temper that sometimes cost him the game and match.  I remember seeing him shouting at umpires and the veins in his forehead sticking out.  I mean, he was powerful to behold when I was a young kid like 9 or 10.  I felt like that when I missed a shot.  But what about sportsmanship?  I got an earful from my parents about it when John came on TV.  I am sure he’s heard lectures and judgement all his life.

It makes me wonder about anger and the brain.  Could it be that chemicals are at fault or was it the way he was raised that made him think it was okay to challenge line referees with profanity on global television?  Something to think about as we are raising kids and doing our part in the world.

When I see him on TV nowadays, he’s smiling which is neat to see.  Anyway, remember to keep your temper in check.  Most of us don’t have the luxury of a fan club that will be cheering us on in the aftermath.  Enjoy this YouTube video that captures some classic MacEnroe tantrums:

The Library – Browsing Humanity

libraryI went to the library yesterday. There is a book there called “The Writer’s Market” that I needed some info from. I wasn’t sure if it would be there since I live in a 1/2 rural area of California (compared to Orange County where I grew up). As I asked the librarian for help, I was struck by her eagerness to offer it. Not only did she find me the book I needed, but she recommended a book to me as well that I read while there and it was VERY helpful.

I’m working on a book. It’s non-fiction and I really think it has some potential. Unfortunately, the process of writing it is inevitably taking my perfect idea and ripping it to shreds. My goal is to hold some semblage of the idea together to the end of the journey!

While in the library I saw a heavy kid in a T-Shirt reading “The Big Money” and I was blown away. Here was a kid reading a book I read (and loved) in college. And in Hesperia of all places!!! It reminded me that the library is a place where we can tap into history and humanity. In the library we are all equals. My wife and kids were with me. there was a kids section where the two went and played/read. My wife looked at books she was interested in. I photocopied the pages of agents I needed for my ongoing project and marveled at the number of people around me seeking out knowledge, entertainment, inspiration. I thought about life as a very temporary thing, sometimes filled with pain, other times pleasure. The library gives us the tools to make it through both. Someone said no one should write their autobiography until she/he is dead . . . there may be some wisdom in that. Nonetheless, thank writers on every subject for sharing how they made it through to now so we can get our help along the way. This is whether it be for bucks at Barnes and Noble, or for free . . . browsing through this place

The Letter J Sesame Street Video

At the lake, I saw the family working all around me and recalled this old Sesame Street cartoon. It’s probably from around 1976 or so. It was really great finding it online. I typed this is Google: “stay outta their way” tv

Lo and behold, there it was from my childhood! I come from a long line of Arkansas farmers and before that Irish farmers. I am sure the scene of this video would be a mirror image to many scenes on past “Riley Farms.” It went from a time like the one in the video to farms I know of where they have Rimadyl for the old dogs with arthritis. Times change, times stay the same.

Another fave is the Daddy D Song!