Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Monday 140 :: The Roma Poet

Music Monday 140 :: The Roma Poet

Saw this video and enjoyed it. It's one of many from The Tiziano Project and produced solely using the iPad.

Oh, and the music component is the music and isn't poetry artistic and musical? It can be.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Group Fitness Flow Chart

Group Fitness Flow Chart

Just a little something to get you started ... thinking. But eventually, you gotta do something!

And remember w/group fitness, you make new friends. Yay for new friends.

image borrowed from

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The 7-Step Write a Book Fast Program

The 7-Step Write a Book Fast Program

If you're not writing a book, then what are doing with your life? Oh, you're thinking about writing a book ... then, yes, you're right on task.

Speaking of tasks, that's what you'll find here; some simple tips for helping you complete your writing tasks.

The 7-Step Write a Book Fast Program
Post written by Leo Babauta. I’m often asked about writing (something I’ve done professionally for 22 years) ...

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chicago :: Friday, August 10, 2012

A view of the downtown Chicago skyline from the Gold Coast.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

TRAVEL :: Driving in Jordan

TRAVEL :: Driving in Jordan

Before I traveled to Jordan in May, I'd done very little research on the country. However, some of my students are Jordanian and like most people, they're proud of their country and their heritage and they encouraged me to visit.

So with my ounce of research, and some ambitious colleagues, we ventured to Jordan for six days. We'd all done about the same amount of research, some in slightly different areas. And though it all came together in the end, we were constantly on the Internet (when we could get access) trying to retrieve invaluable tourist tips and we didn't dare leave our trusty "Lonely Planet Jordan" too far behind.

Some of the road signs in Jordan. Taken May, 2012.

Although we rented a nice car to drive around Jordan, I must say that our deficit in research was most noticeable when it came to actually driving in Jordan. Though, at least, the driver's side is on the left, which is the same as in the U.S. (that's unlike some country's, like Cyprus, where the driver's side is on the right AND you drive on the right side of the road).

We didn't really get lost, but there were numerous times when we were uncertain about the direction that we were traveling. Seems finding a detailed map in Jordan's hard to come by. The Lonely Planet book had some maps, however, they just didn't provide us with a sense of clarity about navigating around the holy land. We didn't have a GPS, but I don't think it would have been much more useful.

The best map of Jordan (via Pat, the bike guy) that we found while searching online.

The biggest oversight was the signage. To our relief, there were signs in both Arabic and English, however, in many instances there were just images or symbols. We'd probably driven about 3 hours before we discovered the speed bump sign. We'd been hitting countless speed bumps, but we'd ignored the signs warning motorists about upcoming speed bumps; the signs were there. Needless to say, figuring that out made the rest of the road trip much 'smoother.'

The infamous 'speed bump' sign. Taken May 2012.

The roads were paved and we found the King's Highway to be exceptionally picturesque; greenery and valleys and lots of olive trees.

My advice for you if you're planning a trip to Jordan, get the rental car and hit the road. It's so much  more fun to piddle around and discover things on your own and at your own pace.

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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Total Recall: Foods That Enhance Your Memory

This is a nice short list. A good reminder to eat well.

Total Recall: Foods That Enhance Your Memory

The power of positive thinking.

Friday, August 03, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama Comes to Akron - Again

U.S. President Barack Obama Comes to Akron - Again

On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Akron, Ohio as a part of his 2012 campaign for re-election. Obama was just in Akron less than a month ago and some suspect that he may return to the area again in the near future as the campaign trail heats up.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. (Aug., 2012)

I was able to attend the speech at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron after I'd obtained a ticket earlier in the week.

Ticket to see President Obama speak in Akron on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

The crowd had been waiting for several hours when Obama arrived just before 4 p.m. Although he looked and sounded a bit tired, he quickly got the crowd hyped by speaking about taxes, healthcare, education and the struggles of the middle class.

Various images from President Obama's speech in Akron at the John S. Knight Center. (Aug., 2012)

He didn't speak long; maybe 20 minutes, but his supporters were excited and they consistently chanted, "Four more years. Four more years." Let's see if those chanting will go to the polls.

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Thursday, August 02, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "Imperfect Bliss" by Susan Fales-Hill

BOOK REVIEW: "Imperfect Bliss" by Susan Fales-Hill

To say that this is the worst book that I've read this year doesn't say much b/c I haven't read many books this year. However, this is indeed the worst book that I've read in recent memory. I don't know why I'm giving it two stars; it's that bad.

I was disgusted with the book early on. The premise is ridiculous. Unfortunately, that's all I'll say in the event that you choose to torture yourself by reading this garbage.

I did read the entire book though my inclination was to dump it and return it to the book store and get my full $25 refund. If I didn't have any personal ethics, I'd still return it; but I know better. It was the summer selection for my book club (and yes, there was a lot of finger pointing about who selected this book to read).

The only saving grace for this book was the extensive use of words that were unfamiliar to me; I used the dictionary on several occasions. But it's also my belief that the author was showing off in this regard. Whatever - at least I learned something. And one more tidbit was the inclusion of some African American history that was more than a bit intriguing.

Here's the reading group guide for "Imperfect Bliss" from the publisher. That could at least assist with a fruitful discussion if you decided to ignore my advice to avoid reading this book.

If you need a solid reason on why this book was called 'horrid drivel' at the book club meeting - I'll give you two:
  • it has a silly plot 
  • it lacks character development for most of the characters
It could be said that the silly plot is a poke at modern day television, but it goes on too long and it gets uninteresting - and it gets uninteresting fast.

And finally, speaking of television, it's my belief that the book is getting traction in the media mostly b/c of Fales-Hill's previous credentials as a TV scriptwriter. Don't be fooled by all of the hype.

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