Baseball in Chicago

…on this date, I got to attend a long awaited game at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

I had arranged a trip that would take me through Chicago for this ballgame, just prior to a necessary visit to the Windy City for a weekend seminar.

The trip began with a visit to Washington DC (well, really to Alexandria, just across the river) during which I got to see my buddy Jen and meet her daughter Kaitlyn. I believe I still have some great pictures from that trip. In addition to getting to have dinner with Jen and catch up on her family news, we planned a camping trip with my friend Mark Denisar. We drove out to see Mark and he took us out on his boat a couple of times that weekend. (We never did fish though.)

The trip ended and I hopped on a plane to Chicago where I stayed in a cheap hotel for a night prior to linking up with some of my friends to go to the ballgame. On this night, I had my friend Kathy fly in from the end of a trip she was working for United. (We’d met on a flight some time earlier and had stayed in touch — a rare occurrence for me even with all the travel I’ve done.) So Kathy and my friend from the Bay Area went to the game together and although it was a chilly night, we really enjoyed the game. (I believe the Cubs clobbered the Brewers on this night.)

I’m looking at the ticket and it says that I paid about $60 a seat for the spot we had — my memory of it is that we were just behind 3rd base and had an excellent view.

Judging the debates

…here’s a little bit more about the debates. I’m going to post some photos here in this entry so that you can see the crazy notes I take when I’m the judge. (Also, if you turn out to be one of the students who appeared in a debate I judged, you can see why you won — or lost…)

I am now saying that I got to choose the California State High School Debate champions this year! (Now the truth is that I was one of a panel of 5 judges, and we were at the finals for one of four different styles of debate…so it isn’t quite as monumental as I initially make it sound, but how about that?) I got to choose the California State High School Debate champions. The truth is that I judged in a split-decision round, and I have it that my ballot was the tie-breaker.

I was so moved by these young people. Their commitment, willingness to indulge in hard work, and their passion were all visible in the events. Being at the debate finals had me forget that I also got to help choose the State Champions in the Dramatic Interpretation event. I didn’t take any pictures of that, so I almost forgot, but that was pretty thrilling too. These were the 8 finest performers in this event from the entirety of a very big state. They had chosen work that spoke to bullying of the developmentally disabled, Naziism and homosexuality, spousal abuse, loss of a family member to war, and other issues of substance. It was thrilling.

What else is there to say about this Vinny?

What a weekend!

…I don’t get here as often as I would like, because there are dozens of things I think of to put here in between visits and postings.  When I do get here, I seldom remember all of the inspirations that come to me.  For this session, I have about 10 minutes and I’m going to try to get in as much as I can.

So right now, I’m sitting in the Judges’ Green Room waiting for the next round of debate in the California State High School Speech and Debate championships.  I’ve judged a few rounds already, and it looks like I’ll be on track to pick up another 3 or 4 rounds before the day ends.  (That’s why I have about 10 minutes.

What is there to say.  First of all, I had my trip to church today make a big difference for me.  The message could be summed up like this.  If you want abundance, stop focusing on what you want to get, and move your attention to what you will provide.  (I find that this is sound advice both in career and in love.  If you want the perfect job and the “pay you deserve” then the place to look is at what value you provide.  And if you want the relationship of your dreams filled with love, partnership, and joy — then focus on who you are going to be in that relationship instead of who the other person would have to be.)  And if you think you have insufficient, the place to search is in the area of what you’ve overlooked.

When we think we lack sufficient resources, it’s usually true that we’ve overlooked something right at our fingertips.

That’s what we talked about in church.  Great church, eh?


I spent the week studying technology at the direction of a colleague of mine.  This was a wonderful course, and I was reminded how masterful my colleague is.  Watching her lecture was both instructive and delightful.  I won’t gush too much because it would embarrass her, but I will say this.  If I had students I cared about who were in a class and I had to have someone take it over from me — this person is the one I’d want to have teach them from there on…

Battery is almost out, so I’ll post and provide more update a little later.


I’m not boycottin’ it…

…it’s sick, tho’ I can’t help but notice.

A vote for Ralph Nader is something like voting for “None of the Above.”

On the other hand, we also thought that maybe Abraham Lincoln was a little like the Ralph Nader of his time.  (More like the Dennis Kucinich of his time — or maybe something in between.)

Sorry Greenies.  You’re gonna have to come up with something better.  How about Al Gore with Madeline Albright?


I’m not sure

…I’m not sure if it’s okay for me to post.  Are we supposed to be boycotting?  I don’t know.

I like LJ because I can retro-document my life in a useful way.  I like it because it has well-developed support for this sort of content.  And I like it because I’m used to it.

I don’t actually care if the owner is a clueless boob who still embraces bankrupt Soviet management attitudes.  I don’t actually care as long as he doesn’t screw up the site by doing something obnoxious to us (as the content providers) or to the readers.

On the other hand, I think I’ll be archiving my contributions here so that I can post them up elsewhere just in case things turn ugly here.

I’m trusting the community at this point.


From Outside the Window

Here’s what it looked like just outside my window at this time in 2008. Just above the white van, you see a square window (the lower one, not the upper one), and that’s where my bedroom was. ┬áJust past the telephone pole, there is a fake balcony (or lanai) with a little door that would barely open, and just to the right of that was the window that looked out from my living room.

Screenshot 2016-06-16 20.59.07

This is where I lived when I first established my Livejournal account, and wrote much of what you find in this record. I have very fond memories of this neighborhood, and of my time with Apollo while I lived here.

Yeah, this was not the richest, or most successful time in the course of my life, but I have amazing rich memories of living here.

I owe a debt of thanks to Jimmy, who managed the place when I moved in, and Sylvia, who used her influence with Jimmy to make the thing happen quickly and just when I needed it to happen.

Yeah, this was a good time!