weekend update

August 12, 2008

Wow. What a busy weekend. We had an extended family crabfeast here on Saturday. Then we had our local fire department’s carnival to go to that evening. We went to the Orioles game on Sunday in Baltimore and that was a pretty good time. The birds didn’t win (lost 15-7 to the Rangers), but there was a lot of offense. The pitchers got hit around pretty badly. The coolest thing was when my son and his friend moved down to lower seats near the end of the game. Our original seats were pretty good (about 12 rows from the field) but the two kids went all the way down to the Rangers’ dugout. After the game, Michael Young (the Rangers’ All-Star shortstop) gave the boys his batting gloves! Talk about two excited kids! He actually gave the gloves to my son’s friend Jack, who then gave JP one of the gloves. Great kid. And thanks, Michael Young for making those kids the happiest kids leaving the ballpark that day.

Today, it’s back to the grind with cheerleading and football practice.

Music: I’m not a huge country music fan, but I have been listening to Lady Antebellum lately. Enjoying it a lot.

Oh, one more thing about the baseball game. There is a group of people who are, apparently, big fans of Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora. They call themselves Melvin’s Amigos. That a nice name, but I was hoping to see a group calling themselves Melvin’s Morans, which I think would be really funny. It reminds me of this, which may be the greatest picture ever taken.

:0)

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wake up

July 1, 2008

Wake up, John. It’s July.

What? July already? Can’t be. I’m going back to sleep.

It’s July, John. You need to get up and write a blog.

Well, I’m looking at the calendar right now and it says, “July 1”, so that means I have 30 OTHER days to write blogs and it doesn’t have to be done right now. Thank you, by the way, for waking me up so early in July. You know I hibernate in the summer. Now, leave me alone.

Now, what kind of guilt-inducing blog conscience would I be if I just left you alone to procrasticate? You have to write. People want to know what you’ve been doing.

No they don’t.

They do. WRITE.

Fine.

Hey everybody! How y’all are? Things here are actually going pretty well, considering the kids don’t have any school or sports keeping them busy right now. This is our down time. July. July goes fast only in retrospect. When you’re in the middle of it, July seems like a month with 74 days.

    You should go ahead and read Suite Scarlett, ‘k?

I’ve finished reading Suite Scarlett, finally – I know, and I’d say it was pretty good. Maureen was definitely on her game when she wrote this one, and it’s cool to see so much of her own personality in her writing. Really enjoyable read. I don’t know what I’m going to read next, but it will probably be yet another book about marketing, advertising and copywriting, which is a potential new career path for me. More on that if it actually develops.

    Check out Lewis Taylor, too.

I don’t know why I’m so late to the party, since Lewis Taylor has already quit the music business, but I recently heard a live version of his song, “Stoned Pt. 1” and it’s so good. Wow. I could only find the studio version on YouTube, so I’ve stuck that in here. The live version I heard is on Volume 22 of the Live From the World Cafe series and it is better than the studio version, if you ask me – or even if you don’t.

    Out and about

Daughter 2 and I spent some time at Canal Day in Chesapeake City last weekend and had a really good time. The crowds were not as bad as they have been in the past and there were lots of things to see and do. We had a great little father/daughter time. I like when I can have some one on one time with the kids individually. I think that’s important, but it can be hard to accomplish.

    Could this be their year?

Our own Philadelphia Soul have finished the season with the best record in the league (13-3) and are all ready for the playoffs, which for them begin this Saturday. I took Daughter 1 and Son 1 up to the team headquarters this past Sunday for a little meet and greet with the players and coaches and a tour of the facility. It was great of the Soul to arrange that for some of their season ticket holders. The catered dinner was pretty good too.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. I still have to go back and edit this to work properly on all of my various blogging outlets.

Soul vs Dallas

April 28, 2008


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I really do need to get back to blogging, don’t I? It’s been almost a MONTH since I told you about the Greenpeace activists’ little stunt! So, what’s been up?

Well, both boys have started baseball practice, both younger girls are still doing the cheerleading/gymnastics thing and the oldest girl is playing high school Lacrosse. That keeps our afternoons and evenings pretty well booked, that’s for sure.

We’ve joined some friends of ours to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life this year, so the fundraising efforts have begun and will continue for the next two months or so. There’s a link to my Relay page around here somewhere … hold on … oh, HERE it is.

My local supermarket has had my current favorite coffee on sale for a few weeks, so I’ve been stocking up. We have about 18 bags now (I say “about” even though I know the exact number) and I’ll continue to stock up for as long as it’s on sale. Keep ’em comin’, Acme!

My blog friend Stephanie says that blogs are more fun and easier to read if they contain pictures. Hmmm … all right then.

dressed up!

Rats! See, even my pictures have words. I’ll have to work on that.

One more thing: The new Jack Johnson record is so good! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read reviews that he had “gone electric”, but let me tell you, Sleep Through the Static is on heavy rotation in my car and on my computer and on my iPod and anywhere else I listen to music. Great stuff.

Activists on a plane

February 25, 2008

Here’s the link, in case you think I’m making all this up.

greenpeace.jpg

Apparently, four activists associated with Greenpeace have climbed onto the top of a Boeing 777 at London’s Heathrow airport to protest the planned construction of a third runway. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Greenpeace? Isn’t that the well-known environmental group famous for promoting logical, responsible and calm discussion about environmental issues by pulling stunts like piloting their ship, named the Rainbow Warrior, dangerously close to huge Japanese whaling vessels?” Yes. That’s them. France bombed and sunk the original Rainbow Warrior just to keep Greenpeace from driving their ship around the ocean like a drunken grandma on I95, which they have continued to do in the New Rainbow Warrior. Oh, and let’s not forget that Greenpeace also spent a lot of time and money to officially name one humpback whale “Mister Splashy Pants”. Yes, I expect you’ll be needing a link for that one too. Here it is.

So it only makes sense that four people from Greenpeace would climb up to the top of a 777 to criticize the British air travel industry. Let’s quote now from CNN.com, “We may have exposed a hole in security at Heathrow, but it’s not as big as the hole in (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown’s climate change policy,” said Sarah Shoraka, 30, another of the protesters, who questioned why flights between Manchester and London are necessary when the train is a viable alternative. She went on to say, “The push for a third runway is being fueled by totally unnecessary flights like this one.”

OK, so where do we start? Climbing on top of an airplane? A BIG one? No. Protesting a THIRD runway at one of the busiest airports in the world, which you would think should already have about 63 runways so airplanes didn’t have to circle around endlessly waiting to land? No, too easy. Hmmm … I’ve got it.

Aren’t airplanes kind of like public transportation? I mean, the activists want everyone to ride the train instead of flying, but what about the other alternative? That 777 probably holds 300 to 400 passengers, depending on how the interior is configured. What if all of those people decided that, instead of flying from London to Manchester, they would all drive their own cars? How would the M1 (the main road north from London) look with an extra three or four hundred cars for every cancelled flight? There are multiple flights from LHR to MAN daily. That’s a lot of congestion and a lot of vehicle exhaust pollution. In fact, I think it would make more sense for Greenpeace activists to take their protest to the highways and try to convince people to fly INSTEAD of drive. Their signs should say something like, “Why are you driving when there is a perfectly good airplane waiting for you at Heathrow?” and “Boeing 777, great public transportation!”

But I guess it’s not about making sense now, is it Mister Splashy Pants?

quick update

January 21, 2008

jpchambers.com has been kind of wacky lately. I’m having trouble publishing updates to it. Anyway, my “people” are working on the problem and hopefully things are back to normal soon. I’ve been holding off on the blog entries because my site also hosts a blog and I can’t update that one! So as you can see, I’ve decided that things will just have to go on without the main site blog for the time being.

Things are going along pretty well lately. I’m doing a bit of freelance writing work that a good friend was so gracious as to send my way. It’s nothing any of you would be interested to read. It’s technical/business type stuff.

Those of you who are familiar with me know that I’m no big New England Patriots fan, so seeing them play in the SuperBowl is no big deal for me. However, in my basement I did find a relic from my days as a salesman . It’s a full case of plastic Patriots cups. They’re not the disposable kind, either, they’re nice! I’m going to try to get them listed on Ebay as soon as possible and try to sell them off in the next week or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

reading: the Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

ok. now back to work.

almost forgot

October 3, 2007

Thanks to John Green for turning me on to the greatest cover song ever. I do LOVE unusual cover songs. If you know of any, tell me about them. They’d have to be pretty great to beat this one:

new discoveries abound

August 6, 2007

Curse you, Cecil Castellucci! How dare you directly affect my writing life. AGAIN! Kidding, of course. Through Miss Cecil, I’ve discovered writers such as John Green, Maureen Johnson, Markus Zusak, Jo Knowles, etc. The list goes on and on. I’ve read a lot and I’ve learned a lot. Now, Cecil has a link in her blog to a program called Scrivener, which may be exactly what I’ve been looking for. It is like a workbench for book building. It looks completely cool. Later today, I’ll be diving in for a trial run. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

The Beach Torture Event went well enough. The family had a mostly good time and it wasn’t too bad for me. I didn’t have to spend much time on the beach, although I know that the eleven other people I was there with were getting a bit aggravated with me because I had no interest in what everyone else was doing (sitting on the beach for hours). I guess they just couldn’t understand how someone could dislike doing that. I can’t figure out how doing that doesn’t drive them crazy with boredom. Despite the fact that I didn’t spend much time at the beach, I still felt pretty busy all week. I did visit a very cool children’s book shop called the Children’s Book Garden, where I picked up a copy of When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt, which I’m not finished reading yet. I also paid a visit to my favorite Ocean City, MD attraction, the Wheels of Yesterday museum and giftshop. I just love that place.

So, all in all it was a decent vacation, but I’m glad to be home. School starts in three weeks and the kids’ sports practices start this afternoon, so the busy time is upon us.

good stuff

July 24, 2007

All right. We survived the Potter party. Got home at 3 a.m. Number 1 son slept on the floor of Borders right next to the greeting card rack. I was drinking a large sized caramel latte at 1:30 in the morning and H.P.-obsessed-14-year-old was happy and excited.

So there.

Hey, look what I got in the mail today.
272.jpg

Isn’t it great? Just the right size for … my wife, who confiscated it immediately.

Music: Why, oh why has it taken me so long to discover Amos Lee?