Tag Archives: Success

Outside Of A Dog

by Richard

There are very few things on this planet I love to do more than sit down, crack open a new book (pixel or paper) and then lose myself deep inside the world of the author’s imagination that has been chained to the page to set me free through words. *sigh* It even causes me to get all poetic, like.

Reason I’m getting into all that with you dudes, is to let you know about a new event we’re going to be having here in the United States that’s trying to make sure more people read for pleasure.

A little background: study after study has shown that people who read for pleasure have a better vocabulary and a better vocabulary is associated with increased success at work, higher salary and a person being better thought of. In addition, younger people who read for fun are more likely to succeed in school and more likely to develop the attitude that reading to learn is a good thing and not something to be avoided.

And, like I said, reading can be a heck of a lot of fun.

One of those things I mentioned that I like better than reading a book? It’s the look on someone’s face when I find just the right book for them and they suddenly realize that reading doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be something you look forward to doing.

I’m not alone in that enjoyment. In fact, a lot of people seem to like that feeling. Which sort of goes a long way toward explaining World Book Night, set for April 23, 2012 (fittingly, just the day before Sarcasmo’s birthday. Sarcasmo who’s more than a voracious reader). This is a fantastic event.

World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks.

World Book Night, through social media and traditional publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books, and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round. Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will also be celebrated in the U.S. in 2012, with news of more countries to come in future years. 

Note up there it says that people will be giving away World Book Night paperbacks? Yeah, well I don’t think that’s enough. Especially considering that I was too late in signing up to get any of the books.

I’m going to launch a guerrilla action, giving away paperback books to random people in the street. You heard me, I’m going to play Word Santa, giving the joy of reading to whoever I see on April 23. That’s not a lot of time to get ready, so I’d better start searching through the voluminous Jones archives for something everyone will love. Gotta get crackin’.

Oh, yeah. The headline. That’s the start to a great joke about reading by Groucho Marx: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

Lotta truth there. No question about it.

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Football, baby!

by Richard

Today is another one of those great days that comes along to remind me that the universe really is a great place.

It’s the first game for spring flag football. Which means I’m going to be out there in my coach’s t-shirt, my hastily scribbled, badly-drawn-up three-ring binder full of plays clutched in my sweaty hands, yelling very, very, very loudly to encourage a bunch of 11-year-old dudes as they try to remember which way the reverse is supposed to go.

Screaming. Football. Sweating. Screaming. Cheering. Laughing.

Man, I love coaching this stuff.

I much prefer coaching football to coaching soccer. I mean, in soccer, my coaching strategy basically consists of telling the young dudes and dudettes to stop clustering around the ball like iron filings to a magnet. That’s about the extent of my knowledge of that sport. Well, that and don’t use your hands unless you’re playing goalie.

Football, though, that is a sport I know. Not well enough to actually draw up plays appropriately designed to be successfully implemented by a bunch of pre-pubescent boys, but enough to at least look like I know what I’m doing. And that’s good enough to get me on the field where I can have an even better time.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just had a great idea for a double reverse, pass-option throwback play I need to put into the three-ring binder.

It’s time for some football.

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Cleaning Up To Get Down

by Richard

Today’s a big day around here. Well, not exactly around here, but in general. See, Sarcasmo and I are away in Salem, Virginia, on the campus of Roanoke College.

Roanoke is one of the institutes of higher education to which Sarcasmo was accepted earlier this year. The deal is that Roanoke is a great school, but it is expensive. So, when we learned that Sarcasmo could get a pretty good scholarship there, well, we were quite interested.

The only drawback is that Sarcasmo has to actually go to the school and participate in a competition with other incoming freshmen to see who gets the scholarships. The parents were thrilled. The competitor, well, not so much.

Sarcasmo is a young dude who believes social interaction is best achieved when there’s little to no actual social in it. That is, he’s not real big on the whole making a good first impression thing. Social graces to him consist mainly of not actually cramming food into his mouth at the dinner table. Dressing up? Talking politely and coherently to adults? Actually putting on an appearance of being interested in what the other person has to say? All these things might as well be in a foreign language that’s been dead for the past two thousand years to Sarcasmo.

Not a people person, is what I’m saying. Which is odd, really. Sarcasmo is bright, friendly, warm and a real charmer. When he’s with people he knows. When he’s around folks he doesn’t know as well? That’s when he starts avoiding eye contact, mumbling incoherently and fidgeting.

The competition in which he’ll be, um, competing today is two parts. The first part is a one-on-one interview with a faculty member, which is why we had to go out and buy the young dude a jacket, nice shirt, and nice pants. He’s too big to fit into my stuff now. The second part is a timed essay contest. He’s looking forward to the essay. Not so much the interview.

Which is why he’s been hating on me more than usual this past week. We’ve been doing practice interviews most every night. It’s hard to simulate an imposing faculty person when all he sees is his dad, but we’ve been working on it.

The strange thing is I don’t really remember ever having to be taught the whole, firm handshake, look him in the eye, focus on what he says thing. And those are the things we have had to work on first and the most.

It should make for an interesting day, to say the least. I’m looking forward to seeing Sarcasmo start taking those first couple of steps out on his own. I’m also really hoping for success for him. I don’t even care if he wins the scholarship (although it would be very, very, very nice to have that money available to send him to this school, don’t get me wrong). I just want to see him step outside his comfort zone and find out that he can do it when he wants to. I want him to feel good about what he did, what he accomplished, especially if he actually did do good and accomplish something.

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