Monday, August 22, 2016

New 5K PR

I have been trying to run just about every day this summer. One of my goals was to lower my 5K PR. It has been standing at 24:00 for about three years. Well, I've had success this summer with slowly lowering my time through June, July, and August. Yesterday, I posted my best 5K PR yet. I ended up finishing it in 23:17.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Shattered 10K PR

It was a perfect morning for running. Clouds in the sky, gentle breeze, and 60-ish degrees. My previous 10K PR was set 11 days ago. It was 51:17. Today, I ran hard and was determined to get close to 50:00.

I ended up finishing with 49:04. It completely shattered my old PR. It felt so good when I was done. I was surprised to see that time on my watch. I knew I was running well and going to get a new PR, but I didn't think it would be that dramatic.

My son rode his bike with me. I wore my Batman pajama pants, Superman t-shirt, and Brooks Ghost 9 shoes.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Batman 1966 - Enough Said

We've been watching random episodes of Batman 1966 (TV series) for the last year. I can't remember which episode we watched first, but I remember my initial reaction going something like this:

"What the...? Batman would never say that. Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous. This is so stupid. That's the villain? Oh my gosh...this can't get any worse. Oh, I guess it can. Wow. I'm speechless. Just get him. He's right there. Quit talking to the bad guy. Just punch him. What do the police even do in this show? They call Batman for everything!"

But we hung in there and watched a few more episodes. And then something amazing happened. The magic of the show - the crazy plots, ridiculous villains, and zany dialogue - it suddenly made sense in some strange way. Each episode made us laugh. Instead of laughing at the show. We were laughing with the show.

Now, we thoroughly enjoy watching each episode. We haven't finished the series yet, so the magic is still out there.

If you haven't discovered this show yet, give it a chance and let it grow on you.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fun Halloween Books for Kids and Adults

Here are some fun Halloween-themed books for kids and scary-themed books for adults available on Amazon Kindle:

Young Children:
  • Simple Monsters is a colorful children's picture book for ages 0 to 5. It has twelve original illustrations of silly monsters and each is accompanied by a funny verse similar to the literary nonsense of Lewis Carroll. Simple Monsters is available on Kindle.
  • Beware the Blue Hubbard is a children's horror short story similar to the Goosebumps book series. Will the crazy old lady's warning about the mysterious Blue Hubbard squash come true? Beware the Blue Hubbard is available on Kindle.
  • Camp Chin-up is a children's horror short story similar to the Goosebumps book series. Eddie isn't looking forward to the last day of summer camp. Will he be able to do enough chin-ups to satisfy Mr. Payne, the unbearable Camp Director? Camp Chin-up is available on Kindle.
  • Granny Gruesome: Nursery Rhymes to Terrify Children is a parody of Mother Goose nursery rhymes and features thirty original illustrations. Recommended for teens and older. Granny Gruesome is available on Kindle.
  • Midnight Jack is a fun retelling of the tale of "Jack of the Lantern," better known as Jack O'Lantern, and how he became cursed to walk the land with a pumpkin in his hand. The rhyming verses are accompanied by eight illustrations. Midnight Jack is available on Kindle.
  • Night at the Nursing Home is a children's horror short story similar to the Goosebumps book series. Ann and Jason are going trick-or-treating at a nursing home on Halloween. Will they get all the candy they want, or will they bite off more than they can chew? Night at the Nursing Home is available on Kindle.
  • Granny Gruesome 2: Thoughts and Observations to Terrify Adults is another humorous collection of twisted thoughts and observations about life, careers, and barn yard animals. This time, with only adults in the room, she won’t pull her punches. Be prepared to laugh, cringe, and scream out in horror. Recommended for older teens and adults. Granny Gruesome 2 is available on Kindle.
  • Henry Sloan is a short story of 4,300 words written for adults. Driven by past memories, Henry returns to his old church to make things right. Henry Sloan is available on Kindle.
  • Incubators is a horror short story of 3,200 words. Stranded in space, three astronauts struggle to accept their fate aboard a crippled ship. Could a last-minute rescue be all they hoped for? Incubators is available on Kindle.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

150 Story Ideas For Kids Who Love to Write

Every story starts with a single idea, a spark that sets a writer’s imagination on fire. Sometimes a writer yearns to tell a story but doesn’t have that initial spark. Maybe this writer just needs one fresh idea to coax that wimpy flicker into a roaring, magical blaze?

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of silly, funny, interesting, and crazy prompts that you can use to get your imagination burning. All you need to do is take one idea (or build a dozen together) and ignite your writing fire. We hope you have a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to read your stories!

Check out 150 Story Ideas For Kids Who Love to Write on!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lloyd Alexander - Some Great Books for Everyone

I can still remember visiting my local small town library as a kid and looking for a book. Any book to read over the summer and keep my attention for more than a few minutes. That day, some 20-odd years ago, in the kids section in the basement, I happened across The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The cover art - a menacing villain with a skull mask on horseback - drew me in, and the exciting adventure story kept me enthralled until the end. And what luck - it wasn't a one-and-done. It was a series. Five full books called The Chronicles of Prydain. I was in heaven. Each one was a masterpiece. That was a great summer.

If you are looking for other wonderful stories - that ooze with adventure and creativity and interesting characters - look no further than Lloyd Alexander's books.

Here are some of my recent favorites:

The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha

The Arkadians

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

Why don't you curl up with a good book and get lost in another world for a few hours?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Alfred Bester - Excellent Author, Excellent Stories

With my limited free time, I usually play it safe and pick authors I've read before when choosing my next book. However, after reading some positive things about Alfred Bester's works in an internet article, I decided to take a chance on his book, "The Stars My Destination."

Long story short - I loved it. Interesting characters, exciting plots, and Bester's command of language and story-telling ability really shines. If you want to see risks taken in the way stories are presented to you or unique attempts at making the words jump off the page, you should try Alfred Bester's science fiction stories.

I'm also currently reading The Demolished Man and his short stories collection Virtual Unrealities. Both are good so far with his short story collection having some excellent little treasures. I haven't really read anything else quite like these. I think you'll be surprised if you give them a chance. Definitely recommended.