Reading With Colors

I was cruising around on Google the other day and I found a relic from my past that I had been looking for for a long time.
Words in Color was a reading program that our school district in Moffat County, Colorado used for a years and years to teach reading to the elementary school children. A few months or so ago, I was talking to my sister and another childhood friend about this wacky program of posters and phonics and colorized letters and how we all felt it gave us good reading and comprehension skills.
And apparently it does. There are case studies of the program and it is stil quite popular in England, France and Japan as part of an early reading education program.
And for just $55.00 I can get a set of the posters, so perhaps a purchase and some wall decorating is in my future.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never have?
Travel much, much more and especially in Asia and East. Never been there and would love to go. I have a hankering for a vacation in Vietnam or something like that. I see the whole thing as a cross between Anthony Bordain and Calvin Trillin.
2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
I guess it depends on who is asking. But with fashion I am fairly forgiving. With guys it is usually the truth and with women I play to the niceties. That’s right, I am always looking out for the ladies.
3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn’t? What happened?
She was a good friend and a roommate and parts of a relationship she was secretly encouraging became known. The friendship dissolved and I haven’t even heard from her in several years.
4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
Gatsby’s West Egg. Not the star, just one of the rich jet setters at the beach house for a weekend party.
5. What’s one talent/skill you don’t have but always wanted?
ESP. I want ESP. I think I would dig knowing what is going to happen before it happens. And I promise, I would NOT use the skill for good.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. How many times have you truly been in love?
Twice, if we are playing for realsies. And it hurts. All those stupid love songs on the radio are real and it is the reason why they have country music available for the masses.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most?
Sense of humor, hot kissing, great eyes and absolute honesty. Hold on, I need to turn on some George Jones.

3. What qualities should a significant other have?
See above. No but seriously, the ability to honestly communicate, not just with your partner but also with yourself are the qualities that make a relationship work.

4. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I think so. I think so. > Insert more George Jones here.5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be?
Wow, what a 60s hippie question. It was Tom Robbins I think (Maybe in Still Life, with Woodpecker, but it could be Jitterbug Perfume) anyway, he writes about love being like cigarettes, beats, vaginas and imortality a lot, but he once said “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love. ” That about sums it up.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?
Being a good, reliable guy who can always make you laugh.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?
“There are many little details to life, and most them can be stored in a little drawer in the kitchen and forgotten. But don’t forget where you put them. You may want them later.”

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
It sounds so unprecise, but honestly, just getting through these last couple of years (deaths in the family, lay offs and significant family changes) without major therapy is a major acccomplishment.

4. What about the past ten years?
Graduating college. I was the first one on either of my parents’ sides to earn a bachelor’s degree and I am pretty proud of that.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?
Learn the value of money early on and learn the skills to managed it and invest it without being stingy and cheap.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?
Crest. I’m a Crest kid, baby!

2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?
Quilted Northern – the softest you can buy.

3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?
Bass, usually, or what ever is on the discount rack and DSW.

4. What brand of soda do you drink?
Usually a Coke, but have been drinking less and less soda everyday. More of an ice tea person.

5. What brand of gum do you chew?
Wrigley Spearmint Ice – Wow, there is a lot going on there.

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. What drinking water do you prefer — tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
Generally filtered through the tap. I have used a Brita and a Pur water filter in the kitchen for a few years and they work and taste great. I don’t understand the concept of buying bottled water – especially out of the vending machine. It is a concept that confuses me.

2. What are your favourite flavor of chips?
Salt and vinegar and kettle fried so they are extra crispy. And as a splurge, Pringles. Not really chips but yummy.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
I am a pretty damn good cook. My three favorites, since this is number three on the list – my homemade French bread kicks ass. I make a damn fine Green Chili for a gringo and a decadent Lasagne.

4. How do you have your eggs?
Basted, sunny side up.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
My sister. She grilled some chicken and made some homemade mac and cheese and green beans. A good ol’ fashioned home cooked meal. It was awesome.

Now, I am hungry.


Friday Fives

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?
Not at all. I seem to have inherited my father’s clutter gene. He had a garage filled to the very top with useless gizmos. parts, tools and exotica all his life and it was scattered in a slapshod manner so that only he knew where anything was. And he could retrieve anything from the ominous pile in a matter of seconds. My life is much like that. Laundry doesn’t get folded, newspapers everywhere. CD’s aren’t stored in any real sense of order.
It works for me.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?
I used to religiously carry around a Day Timer. I love those little books. Two pages a day set a side to write, scribble and remind. I dumped it recently for a PDA – a Handspring Visor with a collapsable keyboard. I find I am better organized with phone numbers, birthdays and appointments but I still miss the scribbling pad.

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?
At work, yes. A clean tidy monument. At home, no. My desk is in my bedroom which looks like a teenagers room.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?
I have my own method. I tend to sort more by artist/genre/mood then by some dictated alphabetical system. And the reason, I found, is that when stored alphabetically, you miss some CDs that never get listened to, that you seem to forget. So I tend to place those CDs with a similar genre (blues, jazz) together, or those of a particular mood (rocking out, car tunes or what have you) in the same area.

5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to organize?
When I was 14 our Boy Scout troop nearly fell apart. And I really wanted to be an Eagle Scout. And if the troop folded, I would have to join another troop hosted by the Mormon’s across town. I took up the reins, got some parents to all donate some time to keep the troop going and ran the meetings myself, organizing camping trips and summer camps and outings and insisting that my dad and his adhoc committee get folks together to support the endeavor. It turned out, but it was a lot of work.

Friday Fives

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.
8 Mile by Enimem. White boy rap isn’t really my thing but this guy has a voice that rings true. Grace Slick says he is the Dylan of her daughter’s generation. I can’t go that far but I still turn that song up when I hear it.

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain by Willie Nelson
Amazing Grace by any choir at a funeral
If these two songs don’t pull at your emotions, you are a vulcan.

3. Name three songs that turn you on.
Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Al Green
Jungle Love by The Steve Miller Band (the first date song at a seventh grade dance)

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.
Time Bomb by Old 97s
Rosalita by Springsteen
Welcome To The Jungle by Guns and Roses
Closer To Free by The BoDeans
This is the “driving-down-I-70-
from-Eisenhower-tunnel-cranked-up-loud mix.
It helps ease the traffic woes.

5. Name five songs you couldn’t ever do without.
This is hard. I am more of an album or artist guy and don’t think usually in terms of songs.
Lethal Injection by Slim Cessna
Born To Run by the Boss
Peace Love and Understanding by Elvis Costello
Big Brown Eyes by Old 97s
Take Five by Dave Brubeck

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?
Two different dorm rooms, one barracks room, ten (that is right, ten) apartments.

2. Which was your favorite and why?
When I lived in the housing at Lowry Air Force base, after the base closed and they opened it up for public rentals, I rented a funky townhouse with wall to wall linoleum. It was a corner unit with lots of light and a good deal of space. I had great neighbors whom years later I am still friends with. A friend told me once it really fit my shabby chic lifestyle. That does about say it all.

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?
I hate moving, but then again, nearly everyone does. Working at Ryder trucks customer service I have learned a few things. Move early, move in the middle of the month, move in the middle of the week, rent a truck and get a bigger one than you think you will need. Get a storage shed to shuttle stuff so you can start moving early and a keg to feed your friends with.

4. What’s more important, location or price?
Location. I am not a massive mansion on the hill sort of guy. I want a funky place that is close enough to make the commute tolerable but also equidistant from friends and the city.

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?
A huge porch that wraps around the house. A third floor or attic study to put in the computer and geeky hobby stuff. And friends who know me know I need a huge kitchen for all my stuff. I want an open floor plan for entertaining and secret passages. After playing Clue as a kid I have determined that the coolest houses have secret passages. After housesitting for a family this winter I have added a steam room to the wish list. Hard to live without that!

Friday Fives

1. What was the first band you saw in concert?
In 1983, Folsum Field in Boulder, The Who, with Jethro Tull and a newcomer no one heard of , John Cougar, singing “a little ditty ’bout . . . ” He was booed off the stage, leaving an extra long set of Tull that was nearly intolerable. (A hippy standing on one leg playing a flute in 12 minute jam solos is a bit much to take.) We want the Who! I mostly remember it as loud. Very loud. The Who’s amplifiers probably go all the way up to “11” (Thank you, Christopher Guest.)

2. Who is your favorite artist/band now?
Been listening to a lot of Wilco and Old 97s with a dash of Willie Nelson, but I always come back to Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band.

3. What’s your favorite song? Badlands, by Springsteen.
Lights out tonight,
Trouble in the heartland,
Got a head on collision,
Smashin'in my guts, man,
I'm caught in a cross fire,
That I don't understand,
I don't give a damn,
for the same old played out scenes,
I don't give a damn,
for just the in betweens,
Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul,
I want control right now
Talk about a dream,
try to make it real
You wake up in the night,
with a fear so real,
Spend your life waiting,
for a moment that just don't come,
Well, don't waste your time waiting,


Badlands, you gotta live it everyday,
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay,
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood,
and these badlands start treating us good.

Workin'in the fields
till you get your back burned,
Workin' 'neath the wheel
till you get your facts learned,
Baby, I got my facts
learned real good right now,

Poor man wanna be rich,
rich man wanna be king,
And a king ain't satisfied,
till he rules everything,
I wanna go out tonight,
I wanna find out what I got

I believe in the love that you gave me,
I believe in the hope that can save me,
I believe in the faith
and I pray, that someday it may raise me,
Above these badlands


For the ones who had a notion,
A notion deep inside,
That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place.
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands


4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?I have decided, this year to learn the guitar. I bought a CD Rom software package to teach me the basics. It is kind of fun, although my sister has reignited her guitar passion as well, so the guitar is getting quite a workout.

5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?
Miles Davis. Listening to his music you just know that his mind is running in thousands of directions at once. And although he spent most of his life as a heroin addled jazz star, babbling incoherently much like the Anthony Michael Hall character in Sixteen Candles, I still would love to hear his stories of the Bop Age.