Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2009

I know this post is a day early, but I just saw something I want to share with everyone.  I’m thankful for a lot of things.  I’m thankful for all of God’s blessings that he has given, even though I don’t deserve them.  I’m thankful for the big blessings, like my wife, my health and my family.  I’m also thankful for the little things in life that make me smile.  The following video is one of those small things that gave me a really BIG smile.


Death of a Legend

October 14, 2009

captain lou albano

It is with great sadness that I bring you the news of the death of Captain Lou Albano. You can read the cnn.com story about his death here.

Known to many as the famous and perhaps infamous wrestler of what used to be known as the WWF, he holds a special place in my heart for his portrayal of the beloved Nintendo icon Mario.  Albano was the one of the first, if not the very first, to portray Mario in both live action segments and as a voice actor.  I have fond memories of getting off the school bus and running up the driveway in order to make it to the television in time to be greeted by the opening notes of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show theme.  I’ll watch an episode on dvd in your honor, Lou.  Keep on doin’ the Mario!

"Swing your arms from side to side!  Come on it's time to go!  Do the MARIO!"

"Swing your arms from side to side! Come on it's time to go! Do the MARIO!"


June 12, 2009

I found this comic strip on Cracked.com.  Enjoy!


He is Risen!

April 12, 2009

I tried to find some clip art that I liked for this Easter post, but everything looked so cheesy.  I think Luke 24 paints a much better picture of why we celebrate this day!  Enjoy!

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Lost Theory, Revisited

April 5, 2009

Well, based on last week’s episode, it seems like my theory (spoilers start here in white) . . .

has been proven wrong.  It looks like Ben will live, and “Whatever Happened, Happened.”

On a related note, this Wednesday’s episode looks like it may be the best one so far!  I can’t wait!

Lost Theory

March 28, 2009

Ok, I’m going to write the following text in white in order to avoid giving away any spoilers for those who haven’t seen last weeks episode of Lost.  Just highlight the text to see what’s there.

I’ve really been thinking since last week’s episode, and here is my theory as to what is going on.  If you remember the scene when Young Ben gave a book to Sayid, did you notice the title of the book?  A Separate Reality.  Now the producers either put that there as a red herring, or they really want us to start thinking about the possibility of an alternate reality having been created in some way.

I believe that a new reality was created when Sayid killed Young Ben.  We now have the reality that we have already seen throughout seasons 1-4 in which Ben is the leader of the Others.  The alternate reality that was created is one in which Ben is dead and Widmore is the leader.  I think we have seen a glimpse of this alternate reality in the scenes showing the aftermath of the Ajira 316 crash.  Sun’s experience in the Dharma processing house with Christian is an example of this. It may even be that the time period of the Ajira crash can be considered as a convergence of the two realities.

If this is the case, then I think the war that is coming up will be a war between Widmore and Ben, and it will determine which reality will become the “real” reality.

Just a theory.  It may or may not happen, but I think it is a good one!

What do you think?

Who gets your vote for leader of the Others?

Who gets your vote for leader of the Others?


Onion Article About Lost

March 21, 2009

The Onion continually provides me with chuckles.  Read this article entitled Area Man Likes To Compare Circle Of Friends To Cast Of Lost.

I know, it’s pathetic, but now I’m trying to figure out which cast members my friends are most like. Hmm.

I think I'm Hurley.  Except that I'm not Latino.  And I'm not fat.  And I'm not rich.  But, hey, I'm jolly, right?

I think I'm Hurley. Except that I'm not latino. And I'm not fat. And I'm not rich. But, hey, I'm jolly, right?

Having a Baby

March 14, 2009

Don’t get excited by the title of this post.  Britney is not pregnant.  Neither am I.  The purpose of this post is just to express my observations and experiences as someone in his late twenties and without child.

One of the first questions I receive from someone that I have not seen in a while is inevitably in regard to our plans to have children.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Friend/Relative: So, any children coming soon?

Britney/Brad: Oh, one day.  Not in the near future.

Friend/Relative:  (shocked) What?!?!

Britney/Brad:  Oh, you know, maybe in about four years.

Friend/Relative:  FOUR YEARS!!!!  You can’t wait THAT long!  You’ll be too old!

Britney/Brad: Oh, well, we will go ahead and have one now and send him/her to you to take care of.

We don’t really say that last line.  We don’t really know what to say.

My question is, who decides when a couple should have a baby?  There is a lot of pressure from family and society in general to have them sooner rather than later.  I believe you’ve got to do what is right for you, not what other people think you should do.  If you want a baby right now and feel you are ready, go ahead, have one.  If you aren’t ready, why is there this social stigma that is placed on you?

We are at a point in our lives in which we just want to enjoy each other.  We want to do the things that we may not be able to do once we have children.  Some people see that as selfish.  I don’t see it that way.  When we have children, I want to be ready.  That means different things for different couples.  For us it means our thirties.  Or at least we think it does. It seems that in the eyes of society this makes us strange, weird, stuck-up, immature, etc.  Why is this?

I am fully aware that things don’t often go as planned.  As Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”  If our plans gang a-gley, we are ready to welcome the unexpected blessing.  But just because plans don’t always work out, that is not a reason to abandon one’s plan.

Don’t worry, Mom.  We will provide a grandchild for you soon enough.  And when we do, we know who to call to babysit!

According to the merging of our faces, our little girl will look like this.  Cute, huh?

According to the merging of our faces, our little girl will look like this. Cute, huh?

This will be Bradley Reid Freeny II.  After seeing this, do you really want us to reproduce?

This will be Bradley Reid Freeny III. I don't know about you, but to me it looks like he is staring into my soul. I'm scared.

O Bold Captain Freeny

March 4, 2009

A little known fact about my family is that one of my ancestors who lived in the 1700s achieved quite a bit of fame and infamy in his life.  Of course, I’m talking of none other than the bold Captain James Freeny.  Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about him:

James Freney was a native of Kilkenny City, and from a respectable family who had been wealthy and powerful in the region since the 13th century, having their seat at Ballyreddy Castle. But during the 1650s they lost their lands and were reduced in status. His father, John Freney, was a servant working at the home of one Joseph Robbins at Ballyduff, Thomastown. In 1718 he married Robbins’s housemaid, Alice Phelan, and their son James was born the following year at Alice’s father’s home at Inistioge.

He received a good education locally—including tuition in the Robbins household—and in 1742 moved to Waterford where he opened a pub with his wife Anne. But unable to pay the exorbitant fees charged by the town corporation, the couple closed up and moved back to Thomastown. Here, Freney fell in with the Kellymount highway gang, led by fellow Thomastown man John Reddy. Their colleagues would in time number Richard Dooling, John Anderson, Felix Donnelly, James Bolger, Michael Millea, John Reddy, George Roberts, Edmond Kenny, James Larrassy and a man called Hackett.

Proclaimed an outlaw in January 1748 (old calendar), Freney surrendered in April 1749. Joseph Robbins’s brother, a lawyer, and Lord Carrick helped Freney work out a deal with the chief justices in which Freney would be allowed to emigrate. It is believed this deal was procured because the authorities feared executing him would make him a folk hero and lead to further disturbances.

The rest of the Kellymount were not so lucky. Bolger, Hackett, Kenny, Larrassy, Millea, Reddy, Hackett, Dooling and Roberts all went to the gallows. Reddy was imprisoned while Donnelly escaped to England but was eventually hanged in Kilkenny.

His autobiography, The Life and Adventures of Mr James Freney, was a huge success upon its publication in 1754. Thackeray, in reading the book, delighted in Freney’s “noble naïveté and simplicity of the hero as he recounts his own adventures”. Local landmarks named after him include Freney’s Rock and Freney’s Well, and he was the hero of The Ballad of the Bold Captain.

It is not know where or how long he was abroad—if at all—but by 1776 he had settled at the port of New Ross where he was worked as a customs official, a post he held till his death in on 20 December, 1788. He was buried in Inistioge graveyard.

Interesting, huh?  What I would give for a copy of that autobiography!  I have found a copy on Amazon.com, but it goes for over $90!

Stanley Kubrick made a movie called Barry Lyndon that was based on a book by the name of The Luck of Barry Lyndon.  I do believe that old Barry has a run-in with Bold Captain Freeny in both the film and the book.

Finally, a catchy Irish folk tune was written about him.  I have a copy of the song that you can listen to below.

Oh, what lovable rouges we Freenys are!

He's so bold!

He's so bold!

Stick This In Your Pipe and Smoke It

February 28, 2009

Check out this article from CNN.  It can be read in it’s entirety here.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Those lazy days of summer may become a thing of the past if the new secretary of education has his way.

Arne Duncan, the Cabinet secretary charged with overhauling America’s educational system, is studying programs that keep kids in school longer to boost their academic achievements.

“When I go out and talk about that, that doesn’t always make me popular with students. They like the long summers,” Duncan said in an interview Wednesday with CNN conducted in the Education Department’s library.

But Duncan said American students are “at a competitive disadvantage” because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China.

I don’t think that longer days and longer years are the answer to America’s education problem.  What Mr. Duncan needs to address is not how long we are in school.  Instead of a matter of time, we have a matter of culture on our hands.  In order to overhaul our education system, a major cultural shift is going to need to take place how our students and especially parents view education.  As a teacher I see the lack of support from parents regarding their children.  Without this support, the mindset of our students will continue to be one that holds education in the lowest regard.  Yes, let’s take a look a countries such as India and China, but rather than focus on how long they go to school, let’s focus on how important education is in their homes.

I have students of Indian decent in my classes.  Clinton High School is actually home to many cultures, especially Indian and Chinese.  I see these students consistently outscoring their peers in all academic areas.  Our public school system is not failing them.  They come from families that appreciate and support the education system.  Their families demand excellence from the school system while demanding that same excellence from their children.  A demand for excellence on the part of the parents is reflected in the student’s behavior, level of respect for teachers and peers, and of course in their grades.

Something to think about, Mr. Duncan.

Just look how sad this sun is without a summer!

Just look how sad the sun would be without a summer!