Thursday, October 24, 2013

Of home,writers and other fun stuff!

Its 3:31 pm

    Its a cold grey day here in Michigan. Yesterday we got our first snowflakes of the season. The snow season is going to be a heavy one I believe if we are getting it this early. No,we are not getting any real snow as of yet (pipe down there O mighty Queen of Snow) but its coming.
  Which is why I am happy to see that my house is finally getting fixed...Howard and his new worker came over today and worked very hard at getting the roof fixed and starting to fix the crack in the kitchen. It would have been a real disaster if it had gone unrepaired through the winter.
  Because they were coming and going,Paladin had to stay upstairs and out of the way. He was pretty miffed based on the scratching and meowing that went on. But I moved him upstairs and he was happy I opened his window.

  Well he was until he felt how cold it was,then it was all about getting on the bed with Derek's old polar fleece blanket. That is where I left him as I went back downstairs.
Howard works pretty quick and they fixed the roof and sealed the crack and put a first layer of dry wall mud down. Howard will come back out and hit it with a 2nd coat come Saturday. I will post a couple of pictures after its said and done.
   Going to be featuring two guest bloggers in the very near future,writer Rebecca Scarberry and the returning Susan Smiley who wrote a beautiful eulogy to her dog Hercules. Of course I am lagging well behind my interviews which I need to step up. Time to get to get going!
 So I am quite hooked on British writer Sarah Pinborough. She is one of the sharpest writers I have read to date and that is just her blog. I met her while surfing Twitter and had very lightly talked with her until last week when I started reading her blog and watching her win several writing awards in the United Kingdom.
She writes horror,Young Adult and hard hitting short stories. I have put her on my "Must Read" list and am keeping a sharp eye out for her books. You can discover her blog and her writing by clicking here.

 In keeping with my writer theme,local writer Mike White,who exposed Liane Spiderbaby (QT's main squeeze's plagiarism) and writes  Cashiers du Cinemart and hosts the podcast "The Projection Booth" has just launched a app for the podcast for the iPad. The app is free to download and is very highly recommended. A long time ago,Mike gifted me with a copy of his excellent zine and this is my way of saying "thank you".
The Projection Booth

To find out more about Mike White and his excellent podcast,click here.

Got some news this week from back home in San Jose. Seems like the building where the live music venue I helped booked,the EDGE,was torn down this week in downtown Palo Alto.

Man, they work fast!

This was where some of the best bands played,booked by Jacek Rosicki and later on by Jimmy Arceneaux  and myself. Jacek did so much for the San Jose music scene,having the EDGE,attempting to rescue the Club Oasis and the Ajax Lounge. Buying the old Marsugi's building and converting it to a excellent restaurant named Agenda,trusting Jimmy and me with his venues. Meeting and working with the best staff ever in Monte,Geoff,Coach,Bonz,Jimbo,Pat Bagg,Melvin,the mighty Jimi Dave and sound guru Rees. Many others also helped make the EDGE the place for the best live shows plus the dance nights were pretty popular as well.
  Its sad to see such a historical building being razed for most likely condos or maybe a expanded parking structure..but I hold on to my memories in my heart and the friendships that I still have today. One thing that I still have from the EDGE? The Jimmy Cup....that is what Lori called the huge mug I used to drink my iced coffee from in the office. I used to drink 2 of those a day during shows and was always had lots of energy. I still drink my coffee from a huge drinking cup. Just one of those things. As always,I am so grateful for Jacek and Jimmy for throwing down with me for such a great ride.
  Happy to discover that I have a chance to do another volunteer project for the Home Depot after I missed the one last week. We are going back into Detroit to work at the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial. It most likely will be doing the same thing as we did for the VFW Hall a couple of weeks ago,landscaping,painting,deep cleaning and light replacement. My two partners in crime have also volunteered so we three are going down there together again,this hopefully in the right direction!
 But speaking of volunteers,my friend Kerri and her husband Andrew took part in the AidsWalk in Los Angeles this past weekend. They walked with a team the entire 6 mile route bringing attention that AIDS is still a deadly threat and that research must go on to find a cure. Her team raised an amazing 20,000 dollars!! That is so Wicked and so very kind that they were able to do this! This is very inspiring to say the least.
  I love hearing stories like's what makes going forward is all about.We have a local pizza place called Vizzy's here in Westland who has been into recognizing local folks making a difference. They put the person on their Facebook page with a background story of what they did and thank them by buying them dinner.
  The latest story was about a 8 year old boy named Buster who one day decided to sweep and clean his street up. He called his effort "Clean Your Street,One Bag a Week" because he got tired of seeing the trash on his street. Vizzy's heard about this and honored him for his volunteerism. And I am thanking Paul V. and his Vizzy's Pizza for making a difference by honoring people like Buster.
  I started a new FB group page to promote only good news,I am sick and tired of the negative energy around me. I have had more then my share and so have many of my good friends. I want some light in my life and I really am going to work hard at getting there. I know I will have my bad days and nights but I don't want them to dominate my every waking moment. I will hold on to my Lori but that is all I want to handle right now...and I have a feeling many people reading this will agree. That is why I walked away from several toxic people as of late and embraced those who really are trying to make that difference.
  Pretty amped up for this Saturday as my San Jose Spartans (2-1,3-3) are celebrating Homecoming by hosting the University of Wyoming.I admit, three weeks ago,this game had me worried at Wyoming's offense was putting up huge numbers in getting a 4-2 record,including a very close game against 25th ranked Nebraska. So when Colorado State,the same Rams squad that SJS had beaten two weeks ago,played Wyoming,I thought the Cowboys had their 5th win in the bag. Boy,can a week of hard practice make a difference (I know,a recurring theme). Not only did Colorado State win,they destroyed Wyoming,52-22. Now Wyoming is 4-3 and fighting for a potential bowl spot.

   This Spartans have a six game season...I think they need to go 5-1 to get a decent bowl bid. I don't know if they can beat Fresno State but every other team on the schedule can be had,including a suddenly subpar Navy team.  The Spartans can finish 8-4 and get a nice bowl against a BCS team this year instead of a MAC team. Bowl projections have the Spartans facing the USC Trojans in the New Mexico to play SC but not in the first bowl game of the season and the lowest paying one to boot. Like to see a bowl slightly closer to home against SC so that both school fans can travel to the game. Somehow I just don't see a ton of USC fans going to the Land of Enchantment.

Okay then....time to wrap this up. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share/sign up/drop a comment

If you have Twitter,add me @Jinzo_2400

Shout Outs

Barb - Thank you for the dinners
Cheryl - Thank you for the Arizona Tea
Scorpion - Thanks for reaching out to Gunny. You are a true gentleman
Gunny - Hope that leg heals ultra fast and cleanly
Ann- My thoughts and prayers are with your mother..I know she won't go easy and without a fight!
The EDGE - Thanks for letting book some awesome talent on your stage
Howard Burkeen- For your hard work and Christian soul
Daryl and Justin - Time to saddle up again!
Bene and Noel - Own the Cowboys!
Kerri,Andy and jessica - Well done!
Paladin - Thanks for a great week
Lacye- For the hug
Brad - For the Five Good Things list you post every day. One day I hope I can do that.
Frank Bella - Sorry about your father.
Robin - All hail the Queen of Snow! (Go Cuse!)
Tiffany and Aaron - Good luck in the Big D!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My 200th post

Its 9:19 pm

    Its a cold wet rainy night in SE Michigan. The temps are sliding down into the 40s as Paladin and I are getting ready for a major house repair project next week.
 I have a leak in my kitchen that is coming from outside and is causing a split in a seam on my left side of the kitchen. I had to reach out again to Howard Burkeen for his expert help and he and his crew will be here come next week to repair this. Howard is also going to help out with a couple of other issues as well to make this house tighter and better prepared for winter. This will help once the really cold winter weather gets here!
   Yesterday was my first day back with the emergency food giveaway program my city hosts the third Wednesday of every month. Lori and I volunteered the first year together,then after her job made it impossible for her to attend,I continued for another year after that,even after Lori got her cancer. I then only made one appearance in the past two years. It felt good knowing I was going to be back and I went to bed early after watching some TV on Tuesday night.
  I set my alarm for 6:30 am and then promptly had another night of insomnia...tossing and turning,turning and tossing. And that was with my CPAP machine on. I finally fell asleep around 3:45 am-ish and ended up sleeping through my alarm. So you are thinking "poor bastard,he missed his project"...uh,nope....because at 7:20 am I was awakened by a 11 pound buzzsaw of a cat curling up on my chest and purring loud enough to wake me. I got up,got dressed,gave Paladin a cat treat,brushed my teeth and bolted. I got there at 7:55 am and I was the FIRST one there!

   Another volunteer drove up and I helped her unloaded toiletries that her church has been donating. Then we set up the tables and prepped the bags. The same crew was still there except for one gentleman who had jury duty. Jessica,the city employee who runs the program walked in and brought a small box of donut holes to share. We then prepped the toiletries,each guest would receive a 4 pack of toilet paper,a roll of paper towels and a 2-3 pack of bar soap. Doesn't sound like much but as I blogged before about this program,the people here for most part are very grateful for even the smallest gesture.
  Next we waited for the food...and I noticed two things,the amount of food was very small and that instead of the usual 65-70 people we get,we are now at 101 families and rising. I helped do the intake and was surprised when a group of about 10 people plus handlers came in for food. They were pretty young and looked healthy enough. They each gave Jessica a slip of paper and got a bag of food. When they left,I asked about it.
  Turns out they are rehab patients who are transitioning back into society from the rehab center. They go from the center into an apartment where they can work on their sober living skills in a controlled living condition. We only see the patients once and they never come back...but it is newish and adds a bit of a burden to Jessica when she goes and orders the food.
  Other then that,it was a nice quiet shift,one new person started crying when she signed up,she was a grandmother who just had been awarded custody of her three grandkids,I don't and didn't pry into her story but we assured her it was going to be okay. We handed her the calender for the last two dates of 2013 and all of 2014.She was very grateful for the help and thanked all of us.
  I left at noon and filled up my car with gas before heading home.

Christmas is hitting our store now as we are switching over to the holidays. Our Halloween was extremely limited compared to last year as in what we had to sell...we cut back on decorations and not selling any Halloween candy this year. Makes it easier to switch over when the time comes...I am glad I am working Halloween night as I had no intentions of doing candy this year...but maybe next year. This was Lori's favorite time of year...(summer as well) and we always tried to do candy. We made up 3 bags for the neighbor's kids and then passed out candy for about 90 minutes or til the supplies ran out.
  The houses in our neighborhood have some decorations up but not as many as the past couple of years. Marlene (Crash's mom) has a very cute display and I will post a picture of it in my next entry.
  Its Friday and its 3:44 pm

Its cool and overcast outside. I was supposed to be writing about my volunteer project in Inkster but I had a severe case of insomnia last night and didn't fall asleep til 4:30 am...and I was supposed to be at the project at 7 am!! I know I having some serious stress issues as of late...but this is starting to get to me. I feel very disappointed with myself but I did go to bed early yesterday. I was going to do a edition of Dollar Tree Theater before going to bed but I didn't even do that,I just went and laid down. Of course this starts a terrible cycle of going back into the past three years and you just can't turn it off. I have tried watching TV or reading but that doesn't help very much.
  Sometimes I will turn the iPad on a long YouTube video and let the noise try and lull me to sleep but more often then not,it fails as well. Today I am trying the walking idea,heading down to the park and walking a trail. Of course its just now getting cold so getting insomnia heading to winter is just bad luck as well. I am sure I will figure it out...I don't want to let yet even more people down...

  On Tuesday,I ran some errands,I got new wiper blades for my car and headed over to PetCo. to get Paladin his Science Diet plus I had a coupon for a buy 2 cans,get 1 free for PurinaPro for cats. I headed for PetCo first and walked in. As always,I headed over and checked out the cats. As the case in October,there were a lot of black cats to be adopted. I stayed and said "hello" to everyone before walking to the cat food section. As I rechecked my coupon,I had to shake my head,the coupon was for PetSmart..I got my items and headed up to check out. I made small talk with the cashier and I asked her if they accepted coupons from another pet store. She said "It depends" so I showed her my coupon and she said they would honor it. So I was able to get Paladin three cans of good canned cat food. I was very thankful for such a nice gesture.
  After I went to AutoZone and got my wipers,I went to Target...Pacific Rim was released on DVD and I wanted to get my copy. I went in,got the film and walked the food area looking for sales. I had stumbled across a great microwave popcorn deal the last time I walked through so I hoped I was going to be as lucky.
I did find a dinner for under 3 bucks and also found cat food (notice a theme here?) on clearance so I picked up 3 more cans.

  Now I use a Target Red Card when I shop here. It saves me 5% on my purchases and I pay it off right there. And I did the same thing as I always do...but somewhere between buying my stuff and getting home,the movie got lost...I think it fell outta the bag when the cashier handed it to me but because my bag was a bit heavy,I didn't notice it until I got home. I wasn't planning on watching it Tuesday night but Wednesday would have been nice. I called Target and explained the situation,they were gracious and said I could come get another copy. But when I went there last night (I ended up working late on Wednesday) to get the movie,the manager on duty was rather nasty about it. She seemed to suspect some funny business which I picked up on right away. She wanted to see my receipt and I showed her my payment receipt and she said the original one. I said I had not gotten that back (which was my fault,I should have noticed that) and she said I would have to sign the book which showed this happen. But since I got the vibe that she thought I was scamming her,I got a little edgy and asked to bubble this up to the manager,she said that was her and I said then your manager then. She calmed down then and I explained what happened which she never had really given me time to do. It wasn't the most pleasant experience I have had there to say the least which usually isn't the case.

  I found a unopened EP that I got from the Dollar Tree that I am listening to as Paladin is looking outside his window. He was a little testy but after I closed the window for 5 minutes,he meowed and I put him back on it....he settled right down and he is bird watching.

  The EP is from a singer named Serena Ryder,a Canadian singer-songwriter who is doing quite well for herself. My EP,"Sweep the Ashes" is from 2008 (typical for a dollar store) and was pleasantly surprised to really like what I heard. She was a nice husky voice that recalls a young Melissa Etheridge but just a tad lighter which I think helps Serena. Too bad my habit of not always opening my new music happened on this little EP because Serena just was in Ann Arbor playing a small show at the Ark. I will definitely keep my ears and eyes open for her other releases. I love finding new voices...even if its a 5 year old EP!

Learn more about Serena by going here

Thinking about about 17 Oct 89,the big earthquake that struck San Jose/Santa Cruz/San Francisco killing 63 people and injuring 3,700. Its another thing that I don't miss about about California! I saw my friends post their memories of that day...I still recall my day as well...I was on my way to watch the baseball game when the quake hit.
   I went into a crouch and scanned above for falling power lines. The ground rolled and buckled and people either were frozen or screaming because you couldn't walk. I was crouched by a car when I heard a couple of loud bangs,I turned towards the sound and watched a chimney being literally shook apart. The bricks were like missiles and they were hitting the car I was behind.
  I moved to the drivers side and resumed scanning the power lines....and then it was done,except for the screaming of course.
 San Jose was extremely lucky,despite being only about 35 miles from the epicenter,the main destructive thrust went up north to Frisco. The power was out but it was restored in San Jose pretty quickly.

Well,that is about it for now...I know some of you don't get see to see Paladin so I will leave you with this shot.

Shout Outs

Go Tigers!
Melanie V. - It was so cool to run across you again!
Chris Alexander - I thought you handled your business like a boss!
Bill Bean,wrestler.....has a weird ring to it.
Tiffany Hendra- Just because
Eric Stuart - Happy birthday and I hope you raise enough cash for the video shoot
Sarah P- You are extremely charming and so very English. Thanks for the kind words.
Theresa- Happy birthday!
Michael and Amy- What other couple could celebrate a birthday,anniversary and then jet to Haiti for a week of volunteering at a orphan's mission?
Serena Ryder- great voice!

everyone else,thank you so much for hanging with me....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Adventures in Volunteering (and other stuff)

Its 8:28 pm

Its dark outside,the house is quiet...Paladin is downstairs catching his breath from chasing his new laser pointer all over the house. He seems pretty happy the past two days after a rough night involving the window.  This morning was pretty cool as he hung out with me for over an hour curled up under a blanket purring away and making biscuits.
   Been a good week so far...I completed the first of 3 volunteer projects yesterday at my job.
What was originally was a team of six employees ended only being three and almost not even that as our store manager had to stay while 2 others simply never showed up. But it left us three heads and soon we were driving into Detroit. The ride was pretty quick as we chatted about business and various other items. When we left Canton,the sky was perfectly blue with a little chill to it but as we got closer to Detroit,we hit a fog bank that popped suddenly popped up...which led our driver to make a left turn on a one way street!

Lucky we had enough time to veer clear of becoming a headline new story and got safely back on the road.
10 minutes later we saw the project site,it was VFW Post 2233 and the crews from various stores were already working or just like us,just getting there and ready to work.

   We checked in,got a badge that showed we had worked on the project and headed for the landscape crew...well,almost for me. I got pulled aside and was asked to paint inside. Not a problem and I went inside to find a crew of 20 hard working fellow employees painting,scraping,cleaning,gathering fresh supplies and picking up trash.
  I got a roller and a wall and started painting. The mood was light,slightly chaotic but determined. The commanding staff of the Hall walked around smiling and thanking folks. The VFW,which means,Veterans of Foreign Wars,supports the men and women who served out of country during their service. Not everyone has fought an hostile action but many have stood post during the Cold War days with the Warsaw Pact,or in Japan and South Korea. They have served our country proudly and it was a honor to be able to give back in a small way.
  I spent a hour with the paint crew and painted a wall and a half with two other folks. It was pretty much like the Wayne project,paint what we can with the rollers and then have another person paint the hard to reach areas. It worked out great that way.
   Next,I helped clean up the coat room as it was being stripped and new wall base was being put in. The old was just beyond filthy with age and was had dead bugs all behind it. I stripped and trashed the old pieces while another man worked on removing the old baseboard. The room was small and we made quick work of it and then a paint crew started prepping it while I want back and painted a small hallway near an emergency exit door.
   My two co-workers came and got me so we could say hello to our district manager who was working on a landscape team. They were working to remove trees that were so old that they had grown into the chain link fence. They had removed two and were working on a third with the fourth one still one deck.
  We think we were the only crew from our district to show up and our DM thanked us for supporting the effort.
   Soon enough lunch came up and while we were being fed,the host store introduced us to the Post Commander who in turn introduced his staff and other leaders who had shown up to watch how the project would turn out. They thanked us and said how much our veterans hold our company up with respect because the service we do for them.
  Lunch was over and back at we went. My small team laid out a new Allure floor for women's bathroom,despite the fact we never had done one before!

We were making good progress when once again,the paint leader approached me for some support is laying new wall base down. Naturally I said yes and went with her...only to find that no one wanted to do such a tedious job and that entire activity room along with 3 other rooms needed it done. I had never laid wall base down myself but with the help of two other guys,we attacked it with gusto.
  40 minutes later and 20% percent done,one of my guys said we had to leave because he had to work a overnight at our home store. I said goodbye to my wall crew and grabbed my sweater and we left..the buzz was still strong and I saw some fresh people start showing up.
   The ride home went quickly and soon we were back at our store where I picked up the Rodger Young and headed to Target to get some cat treats and a couple of cans of catfood.
  As I was slowly walking around Target,I thought of the countless times Lori and I went to there together. We both loved the store and it was a trip always worth going on. Just walking around brings back those fond memories and how I wish she was here with me. Its so jarring to go inside alone. Most times when a person shops alone,you never really think about it,you just do it. But for me,its a source of pain and a reminder of the loss. But you have to push through it because Paladin needs to eat and so do you.
   After I made a lap around the pet section,I walked over to the DVD section where I saw a movie that I heard great things about from my fellow Jet Jaguar/Jaeger co-pilot,Chris Alexander,who also edits the only horror magazine worth talking about,Fangoria. (how is that for name dropping??)
  The movie is called "Frankenstein's Army" and its set in World War 2 when a lost Russian patrol stumbles across things almost as bad as the Nazis they are fighting. Fangoria said the movie was one of the best horror movies of the year and it was on sale,so I said "what the hell,splurge a little bit" and picked it up.

  I know,they do sort of look like the Koch Brothers,don't they? So that will join my small pile of DVDs that I have gathered to watch. I am now waiting for "Pacific Rim" to come out on BluRay next week.

I'm off tomorrow and I will be working in the backyard weeding and pruning. This is so far overdue and I am saying that despite the fact I was out there a month ago and completely weeded my yard. I am throwing away our old BBQ grill which is starting to rust out now. The weather has been  beyond nice and very unusually warm this year. But I have no real desire to grill at this point in life,maybe next year but for now...its now going into the trash. I know my neighbors are still grilling because I can smell it when I get home. It feel so much more like summer then Fall.

That is all I have for now....not very exciting I know but I am very happy you are still coming by and supporting my efforts here. I am glad I am back writing more now. It does a lot to release the stress.

And lastly....a quick note that the amazing Jane Monheit has a NEW album out now called "the heart of the matter". Jane is the best jazz vocalist in the world today in my opinion and you have if know if I am saying this,it has to be true,right? *LOL*

To find out more about Jane and where she is playing,please visit for more info.

"Love and only love,will endure" - Neil Young

Shout outs

Amy and Michael,what a week! A birthday,anniversary and a trip to Haiti! Be safe and God bless you both!
Kerri and Andrew- Congrats on your award for the film that you worked so hard on.
Scorpion - You look ghastly in that Choke Sox cap! Here is hoping the new man cave becomes a real life bat cave!
Sydney in Ohio - Sending you warm thoughts and yes,I have noticed you have been here often and I thank you!
Jimmy- After thinking about it,my Black Crowes comment was too flip and I apologize.
Jane - Why no Michigan dates?
Darryl and Justin- Had a blast,lets do it again soon
Kayla and Jeni- Miracles DO happen!
Craig - you know I just now figured Boo was a girl!
Shea- Thanks for the band tip....see above for mine!
Kwame Kilpatrick - 28 years and I hope you do every single day! You let so many down here in Detroit.

If you are Twitter,add me @Jinzo_2400

Monday, October 7, 2013

Have Cat,Will Love 2 (and other stuff)

Its 12: 20 pm

   Its a cool chilly day here in SE Michigan. I have the windows open for Paladin as he loves to sit and look outside at the world. I have my front door open as well as he bounces from spot to spot. Our first week has been a pretty good one for the most part,he showed a little frustration about wanting outside by growling at me once. I had to take away his window and door for 15 minutes and went upstairs as well. Pretty soon I heard a tiny meow behind me and when I turned around Paladin meowed again...he headed butt my leg and I picked him up and his purr was full on.
   I went downstairs and let him have his window and door back...he has been the perfect gentleman since. But I have to admit,I was more upset at the shelter then Paladin. See,he was at the shelter for six months and because he was hostile to other cats,he had his own enclosure. Every time a staff member or a volunteer went inside,he was allowed to escape and go down the hallway. Now if had happened once or twice,I would consider it a accident and think nothing of it but the fact they didn't work with him to prevent this behaviour bothers me. They had me fill out a questionaire on how I would handle certain situations if they came up and I posted on their FB page,maybe it should be me asking them those questions. Paladin is used to being outside,this is what landed him at the shelter in the first place and not addressing this might not have ended with a happy ending for him if I had not adopted him. See,they had his ideal home being in a active house with kids...which his outside habits would have allowed and he might have ended up lost or even killed.
   But that aside,he is a very nice cat...he loves to run and play. He is pretty nimble around the turns in the kitchen and living room...he has normal sized paws so he tends to skid where as Derek Jeter and his huge paws always made the turn. The mornings are the best...he hears me wake up and he will meow,I tell him to come up and he races up the stairs and lays on my chest and purrs. He loves going under the blanket and will stay there for 10 minutes or so. Then its to the window and then back to the chest.
  I think the most puzzling thing about Paladin is the fact his first choice for a sleeping spot was a dining room chair,he has moved on to sleeping on the table (which never gets used). He likes to be held and I do the same thing as I did with Derek...I hold him until he wants down or even before so that he continues to enjoy that. He likes attacking me feet but since he is a little too mouthy,I don't really encourage that and will distract him from doing that.
 I do feel he would benefit from a friend but he doesn't play nice with others,it just can't happen.

I like to thank everyone who read my "Acts of Kindness" blog entry. I have mentioned this before but we bloggers love the comments you leave on our entries. It gives us meaning and purpose in continuing to write. And adding your name to the "Follow this Blog" also is very cool. And of course sharing it with your friends is also very kind. Which is why I would like to thank regular reader and guest blogger,Jessica Clackum,who graciously reposted two of my blog entries (about Derek and getting Paladin) on her own blog page. I didn't know she had done that until I went over to catch up on her blog. I was (and am) very touched by what she wrote and her friends did as well. Such a kind gesture and I am grateful!
  Speaking of acts of kindness....pretty pumped as I am getting ready for my 3rd and 4th volunteer projects at my job. We are heading deep into the heart of Hell (aka Detroit) to help repair a building that supports our military veterans. I don't know what I will be asked to do only that I will do my utmost to do whatever they want. This will happen on Thursday and next week will see us working on a community center in Wayne painting and repairing some school classrooms.
  And next Wednesday will see me working my first emergency food bank giveaway for the city of Canton in over a year. Lori and I both volunteered here for the first year it went live and I continued the second year after Lori started working at Lane Bryant. Of course once she got sick,I couldn't do this as much and last year,not at all. I know her spirit will be with me when I head back there...I called Paula,our city's volunteer project leader to let her know I would be there and after I hung up,the phone rang 5 minutes later and she asked me to volunteer for the Goodfellow's food drive in November which I gladly said "yes" too,I will be collecting food and then helping sort it out and making sure it gets to needy families for the holidays.

 Happy birthday to my friend Amy Lange!

Been reading a lot more as of late as the days grow short and the weather gets a little chilly. I finished "Chicken Soup For a Woman's Soul" last was a good read and this is a series I enjoy a lot.

I know many think its a mushy collection but it isn't always so,good life lessons are in every volume about how ordinary people deal with extraordinary problems and issues. While yes,they sell the book with short stories about well known people,its the stories written by folks like you and I that are at the heart of each book.

Look over at the huge stack of books at my disposal,I am going to start Larry J. Sabato's "A More Perfect Constitution" tonight when I get home. It looks very interesting and now that I have picked it out,can't wait to dive into it. Just the fact the Founding Fathers felt the Constitution should never be static already has me hooked. This is another of my Dollar Tree finds. What a great place to get quality books if you keep your eyes out for them.

Glad to see San Jose State back in the win column! The Spartans,despite having key injuries to Bene Benwikere and Noel Grigsby,managed to overcome the University of Hawaii,37-27,last weekend. This was a key win as the schedule is a bit softer for the next two games and a chance for the Spartans to get into bowl consideration despite only being 2-3 on the year.

The big news is Head Coach Ron Caragher played six freshman,including two tailbacks,which infused much needed energy and possibly a running game for SJSU. This bodes well for the future...but I still have issues with the players Caragher is recruiting,they seem more suited for Div.II then a Div I school in terms of size at key positions. Small doesn't begin to describe how these players are,I think Smurfs would be the word I would use. But its still early and we'll see how it plays out.

Hope both Bene and Noel will be back in time for Colorado State which has shown marked improvement over last year's team...even playing Alabama very tough before losing in the second half. This will be a good test for SJSU as they go from Paradise to the Rockies in just one week!

Well,I am going to wrap this you can see,I had a decent week...not a "good" week but not doom and gloom either. I am sure that is a welcome change for my regular readers.

Shout outs

Scorpion - The garage is almost finished! What a great journey and you did it the right way. You are a inspiration.
Bene- Get well #21,we need you back playing!
Jessica- Thank you so much for sharing my blog with your readers. I think I should start a page like yours.
Lindsay- John Keynes,where should I start reading first?
Terrie - Hope you are back to work tomorrow,you are so important to so many people.
Brad - 8 Questions this week...
Sinatra- Will call Saturday
Don - Our thoughts are with you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Acts of Kindness

Its 10:20 am

   Been a restful evening was a chilly and overcast day here in SE Michigan. I was woke up by a 12 pound ball of purring cat in my ear again. Paladin is enjoying sleeping on a dining room chair at night but dashing up and cuddling up in the morning. He is a very loving cat and I can't help but think of his old owners,their carelessness in letting such a great cat go outside to be lost is tragic. He still runs at the sound of a door opening but I pick him and talk sugar to him while leading him away from the door.

 As you may know,I am all about paying it forward. I think that random acts of kindness are one of the things that is sorely lacking in this world. Right now at work,I am being subjected to ACTS of kindness by a gracious lady named Barb. What started out as "pick up me a Dr. Pepper and I'll pay you back" which was declined,has grown into getting a bowl of homemade chicken soup a week and a sandwich a couple of times a week. I have offered to pay but the Manning Rule (thanks again,Todd!) has been invoked. I have tried paying her back many times,including asking someone else to slip the cash into her apron. Of course it was top secret and when Barb found the money,she asked the person who gave her this...which in turn,my asset,burned me and sold me out. Barb walked over and said "No,this is yours".
  Being that I am living on the edge as so many of us are doing,I am very grateful for the meals. Its very touching to know that someone is doing such a unselfish act for me. And in this day,when it all it seems that people just want to "take",its truly is awesome to give.
  Which brings me to this,yesterday saw me heading to Target for some cat supplies. I needed a new pooper scooper,a scratch pad,some catnip and whatever else I might have seen.
  While I am standing there in the cat food section,a man is on the phone asking what kind of cat food to get. I wait til he finishes his call and asked him if he needed help. He said "yes" so I spent 10 minutes explaining the differences between cat food. He asked several questions and I was pretty much able to answer them all and gave a couple of suggestions I picked up from Cat Fancy Magazine.

  I finished getting my items and headed up to check out. Again,here is where Barb came into play. She had generously gifted me a 15.00 gift card for Target before Derek Jeter passed away,I had planned on using that for cat litter but instead,I used it for Paladin's new items.
  The cashier was new and when she bagged my items,she made top heavy...and one bag spilled on the floor. As I bent over to pick it up a young woman's voice  asked "Do you need help,sir?" I picked up the bag and turned to look at a young couple with their daughter. They were in line waiting to buy some kids clothes and a couple of toys. I smiled and said "No,but thank you so much for asking". Its sad that this stands out because 99.9% of people would have said nothing to me or anyone else for that matter.
 As I was now paying for my items,I saw the toys and clothes. I looked at the parents again,they seemed a like a nice couple and the father was doting on his daughter.
  I reached over and selected a clothes item and a toy and said I like to repay your kindness. The young mom said "You don't have to do that" but I said "I know,which is why I want to". She then introduced herself and her husband,Starr and Tom, and said "Thank you!".
The amount that was rung up? 15.00......the same amount on the gift card. I said good-bye and headed home.
  Paladin was waiting for me at the window...I called his name and he started meowing and purring. I can't get over such a huge purr in a small cat!

   Kudos to Michelle Wolford Ball whose 5th Annual Bras for a Cause was another major success. The event,which raises awareness for breast cancer,is a labor of love for her both for the loss of a beloved friend but also a celebration of life as well. Michelle herself is a breast cancer survivor (as is Lori's best friend,Deb...the lady who went with me to the Memorial service which I blogged about) and works tirelessly to support others with breast cancer or in our case,uterine cancer.
  You'll note that the show was hosted by our own Amy Lange (seriously,when do Michael and Amy ever rest?) who gives back so much to our community. While I had originally planned to attend this event,the UM Memorial came a week before this and I don't think I would handled two events back to back. Besides,I think there larger forces at work,if I had gone to the show,I would have missed out on meeting and adopting Paladin. But next year,count me in 100%,Michelle!.

That is it....I know,two entries in a week! Feels great to get back in the saddle...


Huron Valley Humane Shelter - Thank you very much for helping me find Paladin. He is a wonderful cat!
Barb- I can't thank you enough,I am very grateful.
Rob W - Thanks for the late night chat,you will always be a Hall of Famer in my book
Kim and Angie - you rock
Melanie and Terrie - Angels!!
Kerri - I can't wait to squeak!
Brad - How about those Pirates and Roberto is one of my heroes as well.
Bene - How about beating the Warriors this week! Can't do it without you!
Wendy- So nice to reconnect again on Twitter,you are doing wonderful things!

Thank you all so much for reading my blog,please feel free to hit the "Follow this Blog" on the upper right side.

If you have Twitter,add me @Jinzo_2400