My parents have been married for 60 years today and all I got them was this lousy blog entry!

60 years and counting!

60 years and counting!

The parental units have been married 60 years today!  They met in high school.  Dad was the quintessential bad boy, and Mom was the beautiful farmer’s daughter… Well, not exactly a farm.  They had a few animals you could count as livestock.  Dad won Mom’s heart by constantly visiting the ice cream parlor where she worked in an attempt to impress her with his tolerance of lactose.  He’s always been very understanding of the lactose culture.  Anyway, I took the liberty to examine the world then and now to see how much has changed!

US Population:

Sept. 30, 1949 – 151,684,000

Sept. 30, 2009 – 305,000,000

Average Cost of New House:

Sept. 30, 1949 – $7,450.00

Sept. 30, 2009 – $238,880.00

Average Wages Per Year:

Sept. 30, 1949 – $2,950.00

Sept. 30, 2009 – $40,523.00

Average Cost of a New Car:

Sept. 30, 1949 – $1,420.00

Sept. 30, 2009 – $27,958.00

Cost of a Gallon of Gasoline:

Sept. 30, 1949 – $.17

Sept. 30, 2009 – $2.05

Cost of a Loaf of Bread:

Sept. 30, 1949 – $.14

Sept. 30, 2009 – $1.77

Keep in mind; my parents aren’t really to blame for any of the price increases.  However, they have contributed to the increase in the population.

Happy Anniversary, Bob & V.J.!   The Charleston branch of the Ridley family loves and misses you!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Football So Far

Could the Super Bowl be a family affair this year?

Could the Super Bowl be a family affair this year?

I’ve been watching football attentively for almost 30 years now.  You would think I would have learned a thing or two along the way, but apparently, I’m as clueless now as I was the first game I actually sat down and paid attention to.  Nevertheless, that has never stopped me from sharing my opinions on all things pigskin.  Here’s what I’ve observed so far this season:

College: The Florida Gators are a great football team, but they are not the number one team in the country.  I know it’s theirs to lose, but they’ve yet to play a top 25 opponent, and their vaunted defense has looked inconsistent at times.  I think Alabama is the number one team in the country, and oh by the way, Boise State could end the season at number two.  They dismantled an Oregon team the first game of the year so badly that we all thought Oregon was a really bad team.  Turns out, Oregon is pretty darn good.  Oregon may very well win the PAC 10.  If Oregon wins out and Boise State wins out, it’s going to be tough to keep Boise State out of the National Championship game (mythical as it may be).   I’m picking LSU to lose this week, and Alabama will eliminate Florida or if I’m wrong about Florida, they will eliminate Alabama.  Texas has a gauntlet of games left that include Oklahoma and a conference championship if they make it that far.  There are a lot of chances for Boise State to take that number two spot.

NFL: I’ve watched two Colts’ games this year, and I have to tell you, I’ve never seen Peyton Manning this relaxed.  He’s always been able to manage a game better than anybody, but this year he’s managing games better than even Peyton Manning.  When Bob Sanders comes back, the defense will up its game, and the Colts will be hard to keep out of the Super Bowl.  The scary thing is the Giants are looking good, too.  Their running game is awesome, and their defense can dominate a game.  We could have a Manning brothers’ Super Bowl this year.  BTW – My Panthers suck!  Tim Tebow could be a Carolina Panther next year… if we didn’t give away our first round pick.

Fantasy: Proof positive I have no idea what I’m talking about.  The team I complained about earlier this year is 3-0.  I tweaked the roster a little, but not enough to make the claim that I’m a fantasy football genius.  The other team where I spent time lining up the picks for the draft is 1-2.  And that one win was by the skin of my fantasy teeth.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Word Count Meter for Book Four of The Oz Chronicles: The Land of the Dead

Okay, to keep me honest, I’m going to post a word count every Monday for Book 4 of the Oz Chronicles, Land of the Dead. If you think I’m slacking, let me know in the comments. I can take it.


BTW – If you’ve got a project you want to monitor with this nifty cartoon, click here: Writertopia

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Lost Days – Post 31 (Get a free book)

This is the 31st installment of the book I am currently writing. It is Sci-Fi/Adventure for young adult. It is not part of the Oz Chronicle series. Click on the “Lost Days Book” category on the right to read from the beginning. Or you can click here

**Special Announcement: Due to the unexpected response to last week’s announcement about the free ARC give away for “Lost Days” I’ve decided to double the offer.  I’m giving away 10 more.  Contact me via email with the subject line “Send me a free ARC.”  Remember I can’t send it to you without your mailing address.  You can click here if you want more information. 

“Nice,” was the first thing Joyner said to me.  He met me at the front entrance to the school and walked me to my first class.  He was wearing a suit.  I was a little surprised, because I wasn’t sure if someone of his stature would actually be going to the funeral, but by the looks of everyone in school, they were all planning on going mainly to get out of afternoon classes.  It was almost like the school was buying mourners for Elizabeth Starling.  I hoped it would make Ginger feel loved.  I had a feeling she was smart enough to see it for what it really was.  “You feeling better?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.  “Nothing serious.”

“Can I give you a ride to the funeral?”

I nodded.

“Got any crazy uncle stories for me today?” he asked.

I chuckled.  “No.  He might not be as crazy as I thought he was.”

“Really?  That’s kind of disappointing,” he said jokingly.  “What changed your mind?”

I looked at him.  Should I tell him about Uncle Crew and Ginger’s mom?  I cleared my throat and only told him half of the story.  “He’s not into Bigfoot.  He’s into owls.”

“Owls?”

“Short-eared… something.”

“He hunts them?” Joyner asked.

“No,” I said.  “He takes pictures of them. Studies them.  He says they’re endangered.  He’s trying to preserve their territory.”

“Cool,” he said. 

“I guess,” I responded.

“He takes pictures of them… where?”

I shrugged.  “Shawnee National Forest.  Little Grand Canyon.  Just around.”

“And he’s got pictures?”

I thought about it.  “I saw some owls, but I’m not sure if they’re the endangered ones.”

“Can I see them?” he asked with unexpected enthusiasm.

“You want to see pictures of the owls?”

“Why not?” he asked.  “Is that so weird?”

I smiled playfully.  “Kind of.”

He smiled back and squeezed the back of my neck.  Shivers went down my spine and I could feel goose bumps pop up all over my body.  As corny as it sounds, it felt like I had never been touched by a boy before, and honestly at that moment, I couldn’t remember if I had been.  “I’ve just never seen an endangered animal before… I mean close up.  I think I’d like to get involved with the cause.”

I looked at him cockeyed.  “Okay, but Uncle Crew isn’t really the type who works well with others.  You might have to help the owls without helping Uncle Crew.”

“I was hoping I could meet him.  Pick his brain, you know.”

“Not a good idea.”

We stopped in front of my class.  “Okay, I’ll settle for the pictures for now,” he said. 

The bell rang, and I turned to go into the classroom when he grabbed my arm.  “When?”

“When what?” I asked.

“When can I see them?” he asked pulling me closer.

I resisted, but he kept pulling.  “Wow, you really want to see those pictures.”

“So, shoot me for caring about one of God’s creatures.”  His tone was hard to read.  I think he was trying to be funny, but he sounded a little frustrated.

I was a little unnerved by his sudden keen interest in owls.  “I have them on my laptop.”

“Cool, I can swing by your house after the funeral and look at them.”

I shook my head.  “I don’t think that would be such a good idea.”

“Why?” This time I knew he was frustrated.

“It’s just that it’s my grandparent’s house, and I really shouldn’t have any uninvited guests over.”  I was pretty sure that Nana Taffy and granddaddy wouldn’t mind if he came over, but I was really unsettled by his need to see the pictures. 

He shrugged.  I think he sensed my tenseness.  “Cool, Friday then.  I’ll pick you up a little early for pizza.”

I nodded.  “Friday.  That’ll work.”

Danny Perry ran by and yelled out, “T, we’ll be late for Mr. Hammond’s class.  He’ll have coach all over us.”

“Coming,” Joyner yelled back.  He smiled and said, “You look really good today.”

I blushed and walked into my class when a bell went off in my head.  ‘T.’

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

ESPN College Football Rankings

Look out for Boise State! Two teams ranked ahead of them will end the season with at least one loss because they are part of the trio from the SEC and all of them have to go through one another to get to the BCS. If Oregon can win out, Boise has a shot at the NC game!

[clearspring_widget title=”ESPN College Football Rankings” wid=”471f9898f9ab1c99″ pid=”4abf9f204e29ff67″ width=”300″ height=”387″ domain=”widgets.espn.go.com”]

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

“Paranormal Activity” Official Movie Trailer – I Smell Hype!

They are calling this movie the next Blair Witch Project, which scares me… because that movie sucked. In fact, that movie is the 2nd biggest reason I no longer take Rolling Stone magazine seriously. They called Blair Witch “scary as hell!” It was silly as hell. BTW – The biggest reason I no longer take Rolling Stone magazine seriously is because they think Yoko Ono is a musical genius, but I digress. I give you the official trailer for Paranormal Activity.

Color me skeptical.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine