What I’d Like to be Remembered For

It’s a good question, what would I want to be remembered for after I’m gone. As I sat with a yellow pad, a lot of the same old values came out. I listed them. After that, I decided to eliminate the ideals that I liked doing in favor of those that I truly wanted people to remember me by. I came up with 5.

  • Loving Dad: I really want to leave memories with my kids and an impression to the world that I was a loving dad. This is sometimes easier than others but it can be challenging.
  • Effective teacher: A daily/weekly/yearly process and pursuit.
  • Dedicated Blogger.
  • Reader: I need tons of work here. Instead of putting out so much I need a daily practice of taking in what others have written.
  • Loving husband: This is a fun challenge and I hope people remember how much I love my wife.

Welcome to the November 2015 NaBloPoMo writing prompts! As with all NaBlo prompts, Saturday and Sunday are for free writing.

Source: NaBloPoMo November 2015 Prompts | BlogHer

A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow


This post is in response to a writing prompt:

Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Who are you? You can choose to be anyone alive today, or someone gone long ago. If you decide to stay “you” share your rationale.

Source: A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow | The Daily Post

Attention ladies and gentlemen, the new improved Damien. He one was a putz, now a king among kings. I would change myself to my daughter’s 5th grade teacher. He’s tall and retired, two things I roam about the earth wishing I was. What’s that? What’s that you say? You say I can’t trade places with anyone? Hmmm okay. Well, they say self-love and acceptance is everything.

I’ll be retired one day if I live that long. How long past 46 will it take? Not totally sure but I’d like to before age 60 (14 years or less) and I guess I’ll be 5’8″ always then. Some goals are futile, others not. There’s always somebody taller or shorter right? If I’m still blogging in 14 years, I’ll tell you how short dude retirement is.


Peace is the Word

graffiti amsterdam

I think the biggest mistake one makes with resolutions is making too many and making un-achievable goals. So, keeping it simple is a must for me. There are some tools to use as well. I actually have used my blog as a tool to successfully keep my new year’s resolutions. First, before I post them, I have to think them through quite a bit. That makes them achievable and measurable. It also helps that I share them publicly. A handwritten journal is also a great help in keeping resolutions.

This year, I only made one resolution. I got the idea to do so from Corinne Rodrigues‘ blog. She suggested in a post on resolutions a “one word” or “short phrase.” I took her advice and my word ended up being “peace.” I used a worksheet to come up with it. You can read more about the process and get the link to try it yourself here.

Now I’ve already had some people take me to task for this. They claim, correctly, that most my blogs and social media posts are about going to restaurants, on vacation, enjoying life. They claim I have peace down pat. But it’s not pleasure I’m talking about. I want to find peace in the ups and down and not let the downs affect me so hard. I believe this requires the awareness of the goal: the word peace in my life.

Ebb and Flow


Our blogs morph over time, as interests shift and life happens. Write a post for your blog — but three years in the future.

Source: Ebb and Flow | The Daily Post

As I sit here with my new laptop at Starbucks, I realize it’s just three and a half more years until I get my 20 year pin from work. Where does the time go? My son is a junior in college and my daughters are in 6th and 9th (high school). Kind of neat how I have kids in the elementary, high school, and college age groups. Again, that time question. My wife is 41, I will be 49 in about 6 months. I bring up this photo from 3 years back and revel in how much they’ve grown.


This is so weird because I recall 3 years ago writing a post about three years into the future. I’m glad I stayed true to my passions of blogging and photography. Too bad my guitar times have lessened and lessened. They started diminishing in about 2008. The dust is telling about the future. I appreciate my good friends both online and off. It’s still great interacting with people. I can actually start looking at retirement these days. Pretty damn exciting.


Tennessee (75)

Time passes quickly, enjoy it while it’s here.

Because the Night

Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?

Source: Because the Night | The Daily Post

Something happens to me at night, I get energized. Whether I’m out in the lights of the city or at home in front of my fireplace. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I would always watch Johnny Carson or David Letterman. Of course, they’re both off the air now. I don’t stay up that late anymore.

I’ll never forget in my late teens going down to Balboa Island at night. It was abuzz with activity. The Rocky Horror Picture show used to play down there. More recently down on Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee I got a similar vibe. I blog just fine at all times of the day and night but I wanted to say a few words of sincere respect for the night.

Hate to Love


Tell us about a guilty pleasure that you hate to love. Thanks for the great idea, Ana Santos!

Source: Hate to Love | The Daily Post

As a kid I loved these things. In fact, I couldn’t get enough of them. It sucked because sometimes parents would say they are “fancy donut prices.” In those cases, when things were tight, we had to pick “regular donuts.” I usually picked glazed old fashioned in that case. Both of them reside pretty much on the same level of hell. I learned what “bavarian filled” meant early on in my childhood. Now, when I take my kids to get donuts, they seem addicted as well, already at 8,10, and 17.

I’m not sure why anyone eats the jelly donuts. To me the pudding ones are filled with the creative energy monster posts are made of. I teach better after one as well. I’ve noticed all the donut places around me are starting to stock a whole section with these bavarian filled donuts. They must be getting the memo I won’t be a stranger. One time the clerk, shall I call them donut baristas, laughed when my 8 year old ordered a large, creme filled donut. It was about half her size. They say addiction is hereditary. Sorry future adult kids, I couldn’t help myself.

Hobbies Feed Innovation

What if your hobby turned out to be your main income? That happens more often than not. That’s why I try to be a master at my job while keeping alive other hobbies I am truly passionate about. Hobbies keep your mind supple, creative, and innovative to accomplish challenges, including your primary job.

Do you think it’s better to be a recognized expert for one thing, or known to be really good at lots of things?

Source: NaBloPoMo November 2015 Prompts | BlogHer

I’m known at my work as the tech teach guy. I’m known by my students’ parents as the teacher guy. I’m known at home as dad and husband guy. I was once known in high school as being the guitar guy. Around these blogging parts, I am blog guy. So, as you can see, I wear many hats. Everything I do, I must do well. After all, it is my name at stake. On the other hand, when you’re talking about your greatest passion, you should recognize that will have the greatest influence and nurture it. Remember Wrigley the famous gum maker actually started out making soap with his father, not gum. His passion however was making gum in his room and his father started putting a free pack on every box of soap. Well, you know the rest right?Have you ever heard of Wrigley soap? Keep all your passions alive, not just the one that pays you the most.

Obviously I recognize, in that case, teaching is my “Master Trade.” I have the opportunity to impact 28 kids every day and that influence echoes out through their lifetimes. It is also my main source of income which is important to consider. In fact, most my time is spent in the classroom so that’s probably what I’ll be remembered for. This is true even though blogging, reviewing movies, and making fires in my fireplace are my #1 passions currently. I have to keep them all alive, because I love doing them. Teaching kids the three R’s is crucial but if they can get a zest for things in life through my example, even better.


As a musician and a teacher, I am always seeking to be original in what I do. Some people borrow and steal. Maybe we all do a little. So what makes a pretender?

Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.

Prompt: The Great Pretender | The Daily Post

Growing up there was a word for people who tried to look the part. We called them “posers.” Growing up in a tough, surer rich OC environment, I tried avoiding that label. I didn’t play an air guitar, I studied and jammed on a real one. I wasn’t good at surfing ut I took my board out instead of a boogie board. All these things were stupid but I did them so I’d never think of myself as a “poser.” People still teased me anyway for stuff. There was no avoiding it at my high school or with the coastal friends I ran with. I guess that carried over into adulthood.

I am all about function over form. The tools for my life that I purchase now are not flash but substance. I am drawn to rustic beauty like that found in nature. In short, I try to “keep it real.” When I am awarded something at work or in my online life, I usually think I deserve it. There is no sense that I imitated someone. I’m humble and realize there really is nothing new under the sun. At the same time, I forge my own path and am quite accustomed to the grooves of doing so. “The Road Not Taken” has made all the difference for me.

Rainy Afternoons are Back

Feeling landlocked due to rain isn’t so bad when you’ve got warmth, some food, and a list of happy pastimes to do. We have all those here in the Riley house.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singin’ in the Rain.” Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

Usually my wife and I get about a cord of wood every Winter. It hasn’t happened yet but that’s just because the cold weather only started a few days ago. I’m a Winter creature. By that I mean, coffee, a fireplace, some big fluffy blankets, and tv or laptop suit me. Right now as I type this morning I have a slightly heated raspberry danish with melted butter next to me. I’m typing with my feet up in front of my fireplace. It was blazing last night, we used one of those bundles from the grocery store.

We have a Netflix home. On rare occasions we’ll watch the satellite but we’ve been talking lately about dumping it. There is a whole world of stuff to explore on Netflix. If I know I’m going to be home for a few days or more, I’ll take the time to search on Rotten Tomatoes for the most highly rated shows. I’ll admit, Netflix also has a lot of low rated junk. The gems are there though if you do a little searching. We love watching movies and then having family conversations about the plot and characters. We’re all watching our diet but we’re very into snacking on healthy stuff, with the occasional junk food ;) Living in dry California, we welcome the rain about to come. Summer is truly my favorite time of the year but as you can see, I have plenty of hobbies and habits that Winter is just right for. Oh, I almost forgot, I’ll be reading other people’s blogs and composing in my own. Winter is a great time for reinventing your blog.
NaBloPoMo November 2015


Ever since I discovered Geocities back in the 90’s I’ve been a blogger through and through. I’ve learned a balance that works for me and it’s still tons of fun. I say if you can do that with a hobby, you should keep it going as long as you can. Life is interesting to me, that’s why I blog.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.” Why do you blog?

My what a fun question. My reasons for blogging have changed through the years. I’ve tried many different platforms and approaches. There was a time when I wrote periodic updates to family and another when I actively mentored new bloggers into well known names in the business. I went through a dry spell where I didn’t blog much when I lacked the internal purpose I needed to be motivated every day. In all truth, I really lost my reason for doing it. After that, I decided I’d never quit again and that was about 5 years ago. It is a sustainable hobby for me. I can say this since I seem to be maintaining a life apart from it.

As for today? I blog to express myself. As I do so through editorial type posts, movie reviews, and daily blog challenges, I am forced to grapple with saying something others can read and enjoy. I think this makes me a better thinker. So, in the final analysis, I would indeed say that I blog to become a better, more well-reasoned thinker.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Come Out Sweaters and Jackets

In the past year I’ve discovered Bullet Journaling and I’ve been a fan of Tumblr for over a decade. It makes sense one of my favorites is a journal blog on Tumblr.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.” Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

One of my favorite blogs is Journaling Junkie. The blogger there has managed to attract a sort of journal empire. People submit their journals and pages in photo form written by hand and participate in her monthly challenges. I’m not a disciplined at this as I should be but I try to participate by writing a journal entry by hand and submitting a photo every day.

Her penultimate post is a photo she has reblogged of sweaters in storage boxes. It reminds me so much of this time every year when we take out sweaters and jackets that have stayed folded all year. The rustle of leaves on the ground signal it’s too late in the year for sandals and flip flops. They now give way to boots and solid shoes. It’s a reminder that my fireplace yearns for wood. I plan to buy soe very soon, a cord I hope. There are supposed to be record rain storms this year in our part of California. I love the imagery of her photo and the memories it brings forth.
NaBloPoMo November 2015

You have to be F****ing Kidding Me

I’ve written about what scares me more this month than I remember ever doing so. The Daily Post wants me naked I guess. Still, why not start my first day of #NaBloPoMo with yet another October scare challenge. This is my first time trying it out so here goes nothing!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “1984.” You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

Panic Alarm

Ok, so I wake up in a bed in a strange place to an alarm. It’s going off loudly at 11am. I figure out how to turn it off in a sleepy stupor when I turn and see a Freud-like character in a chair lighting his pipe.

“Do you know why the clock was set for 11 young man?” He says, sounding just like Freud would.

“No, but do tell.” I retort.

“Well, you see you are trapped in this room on a WORKDAY and you are a NO SHOW. You’ve called in NO SUB and your boss and co-teachers have had no call warning them you’d be absent.”

“What? You have to be fu****ing kidding me.” I would feel chills like I’ve never felt. This is no doubt one of my worst fears. My hands are sweating as I type this.
NaBloPoMo November 2015