Paginations

One of the most powerful speeches I’ve ever listened to. Coach Kelsey on the CT tragedy

Here’s a guy, speaking his heart, and using the rare opportunity of playing a highly ranked team and being in the national spotlight to voice a strong, powerful, and stirring speech. I saw an interview with Pat Kelsey today; his remarks were completely unrehearsed, off the cuff, and unplanned. When the reporters said, “Anything else?”, he had something else.

Take a listen, and give your kids a big hug.

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My son and the Philly Boys Choir will be singing live on Good Morning America Friday 7-9AM ET

What? Another gushing-about-my-kids post? Stop, you say. But nay, I will not stop!

In any case, I’ll be rising at 3AM Friday morning to take my son to the drop-off point, where he will join the rest of the Philadelphia Boys Choir for their annual trip to Times Square to sing LIVE on Good Morning America. This is his first year in the full choir, so this has been a whirlwind of activity for him (21 performances in December alone). But I couldn’t be more proud. And I’d love it if my friends out there got a chance to see them (these kids are simply amazing…angels indeed).

If you are able to watch ABC from around 7AM to 9AM ET tomorrow, they’ll be singing various songs as they go to commercial break, some featured Christmas songs, and so on. My son will be easy to pick out: he’s the only one who will be wearing reindeer ears instead of a Santa hat (unique…wonder where he gets that from…). Look for the cute blond on the right side.

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CBS taping – this is how they line up. Evan’s on the right with reindeer ears.

Hope you get a chance to catch them – would love to hear from you if you do!

steve

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Gotta love NASA…already have a “See? Told you!” video prepared for the day after the apocalypse.

At least someone has their heads on straight. No, folks, the world won’t end. And no, the Mayan calendar doesn’t end. Just like your calendar doesn’t end on December 31st. You’ll just get a new one. But in case you’re worried, here’s a video all set to go out on the 22nd. If we’re still here…

However, one thing NASA didn’t address in their point-by-point debunkment: If Kim Kardashian actually traveled throughout the Middle East and met with dignitaries and ambassadors, isn’t that a sign of the impending apocalypse itself?

steve

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A quick rant on why 12/12/12 only happening once is NOT special, why bad things DON’T happen in threes, and so on

It’s the morning of December 12th, 2012, and already I’m seeing the tweets flying about “12/12/12 only happens once in a lifetime!” And while that’s true, I’m asking you peeps to slow your roll. You know what other date only happens once in a lifetime? You guessed it – tomorrow, 12/13/12. And the next day, and the next day. And while it’s cute to say all the numbers are the same, it’s no different from 12:12PM with 12 seconds happening once a day, or any other “wow, can you believe it?” proclamations. (Even Papa Johns just sent me an email to “celebrate 12/12/12″ by buying one pizza at $12, getting a second for $.12 – c’mon, does anyone ‘celebrate’ this?)

I think people are overly fascinated with numbers and TRY to make them fit some cosmic pattern, but I’ll have to be the wet blanket to tell y’all that it simply ain’t true. So here I go busting a whole bunch of other numerical myths that drive me batty:

• Wow, did you see last night’s Pick Three? Cosmic, man! What are the odds of 333 coming out in the lottery? Uh, the same as 478, or 139, or 982. Every number has the same chance to come out (exception being the big hopper of ping pong balls, where a number can only come out once). So while it looks cute, odds are the same (hence the same payout).

two_roulette_displays• The roulette wheel just came up black seventeen times in a row! It’s gotta be red next time, put everything on red! It’s DUE! What are the odds it’s black again? Uh, same as the odds it will be red, just under 50/50. The roulette wheel has no memory; it’s completely random every time , which is WHY the casinos put up that big board showing the past few spins. They want suckers, er, customers to think they see a pattern and bet big. Same for the “hot hand” in craps – dice have no memory.

• My personal favorite: bad things (usually celebrity deaths) happen in threes. Yes, three celebrities can (and will) die, and sometimes within a short time frame. Does that mean they die in threes? No. What it means is that YOU STOPPED COUNTING. That fourth celebrity that died a few days later? No one factors him/her into the equation because it’s not as whoa/spooky. Two celebs croak, everyone holds their breath for the third, and when he turns up in the back of a Bentley, face covered in white powder, everyone says “See? Threes man!” Then the next day Abe Vigoda* kicks the bucket and people say “watch out, there will be a second and a third soon!” Stop it. You’re actually starting over when that fourth one goes.

*Believe it or not, Abe Vigoda is actually alive…how I have no idea, but here’s an awesome Abe Vigoda Status page so you can track him.

I’m in the travel biz, and last year we had a lot of brides-to-be requesting 11/11/11 for their destination wedding date. A LOT. One of them was a friend and she was insisting, regardless of cost, to be married on that day. She said “11/11/11 will be something we remember every year.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her next year 11/11/12 wouldn’t sound nearly as cool.

Any similar ‘urban myths’ you guys have? Make this your online therapy couch…

steve

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My name is Steve, and I’m addicted to technology. [Hi Steve!]

There, I said it. I knew it deep down, down in the crevasses of my gadget-loving heart, but it wasn’t until I tried to plug one of my numerous devices into an outlet that was already full of devices that it hit me. I’ve got a problem. And the problem within a problem is that I, one of the big proponents of “convergence” in technology, the guy who used to read books on his iPhone of all things, now seem to be duplicating tasks just so I can play with a new toy.

My next phone purchase

My next phone purchase

I sat down last night and counted my crap:

  • MacBook Pro
  • Samsung Chromebook
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Nook Color running Android
  • Kobo e-reader

Doesn’t sound like a lot just yet, does it? But then I realized how much I seem to be specializing.

I use the MacBook Pro primarily for business, and I found that my writing suffered while using it because I couldn’t just get away from “work” and into that writing mode, if that makes any sense. So I bought a Samsung Chromebook for writing only, and it’s great. Super light weight, long battery life, yes it works offline, and I can open just one tab for Google Docs and sit down and write.

I’ve had an iPhone since the original version, never thought to get an iPad because to me it was a ‘tweener, something in between my iPhone and Mac, and unnecessary. So I bought a Nook Color for reading, but that didn’t last long until I rooted it to Android and it became a small tablet. That led into the iPad of course, and then I decided to appropriate my son’s unused Kobo e-ink reader for when I was away and reading outside. On my last trip I actually packed three different devices solely that I could read a book wherever, whenever. Seriously. Three. And it’s not four because I was bringing my phone anyway.

Goodness gracious. It hit me that I now had FOUR devices I could read books on, and I spent an entire day trying to figure out how best to sync* among them so I wasn’t losing my page. Do I now need four different reading devices? Two different laptops? Two tablets?

* My most recent solution for syncing sideloaded content, outside of my iDevice-only post, is this: emailing a .mobi file (after converting it from ePub using Calibre) to my Kindle address. By sending the file into Amazon’s cloud, it will now sync across all Kindle devices and apps, so my iPad/iPhone/Nook Color Android all can use that app and sync furthest part. The Kobo is left out…

The final straw was when I ordered a Nook Simple Touch Glow, ostensibly to give to my wife for Christmas because she reads at night, but then realized I only did it so I could have her old Nook because the ancient Kobo was too slow and wouldn’t sync with anything else. Ho. Lee. Crap. My inner goddess chewed her lip and started screaming “SLOW YOUR ROLL.” And this was after debating whether or not to pick up a Chromebook with 3G when they get released so I can be online anywhere. Whoa.

Am I spoiled? Yeah, maybe a little, but I don’t drive fancy cars (yes, I’m rocking a 13 year old SUV) or live in a huge mansion, and have no other vices (gambling, drugs, etc.) to spend my cash on. So I find myself addicted to the next big gadget.

So… am I alone? Anyone more overloaded than me? If so, let me know – I just got paid last week and it’s burning a hole in my pocket…itchin’ for a new device…

steve

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Totally self-aggrandizing, blatantly nepotistic post – my son and the Philly Boys Choir warming up for CBS taping

Another in a long line of buff-my-knuckles, pat-myself-on-the-back, self-congratulatory posts. A photo of the Philadelphia Boys Choir (and my son Evan) getting ready to tape some Christmas Day television spots for CBS Philly:

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CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

Now, a little challenge. As I posted on my Google + page (YES PEOPLE STILL USE GOOGLE +, STOP IT), try to pick out my son. First comment below that nails it gets an e-copy of any one of my books. I’ll give just the slightest of hints: if you know me at all, you may describe me using a lot of terms (most of which I can’t post here for fear of moderation issues with WordPress), but I’ll stick with “unique.” And so goes the family bloodline.

So…which one is Evan?

steve

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Wrinkled Shorts – releasing a collection of my short stories in one volume

Huge exciting news! Okay, honestly – not so huge, not that exciting, but news nonetheless. I’ve put together all of my short stories into one collection, with a bonus story added. It’s like getting 20% additional for free! [Insert infomercial voice here.] The new volume, called WRINKLED SHORTS, is now available for Kindle and Nook, and should be out on Kobo and the iBookstore very shortly. It’s also available via Smashwords for online reading or other devices. [Update: Kobo and iBooks versions now available.]

What is Wrinkled Shorts? It consists of my four current short stories – Incursion, Special Delivery, Opt-Out, and The Awakening – plus a new, never-before-released short called Dreamshift. Below are the blurbs. If you felt like spreading the word via social media, bullhorn, or carrier pigeon, whatever, I’d surely appreciate it.

wrinkledshorts600x900Incursion (science fiction): A young boy working on his village’s plantation watches as alien craft scream overhead. His first emotion is excitement… until the technologically superior aliens start shooting. He has no choice but to grow up quickly, becoming one of his village’s most trusted defenders. What does human nature mean?

The Awakening (science fiction): Robert has been running the Monhegan Island-to-mainland Maine ferry for years. This morning, however, he and his boat are greeted by mysterious lights emanating from the small rocky island. No one greets him when he ties up to the dock, and not a structure is in sight – all the houses and buildings have disappeared. All he sees is a curtain of light. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he steps through the curtain…

Special Delivery (horror): Kerry Jensen is nervous about her upcoming blind date, and one glass of wine isn’t doing the trick. Before she has an opportunity to pour a second, there’s a knock at her door. Her blind date is early, but it’s an unexpected package that will change the rest of her night — and possibly her life.

Opt-Out (suspense): A massive global social network announces an initiative to encourage its nearly one billion users to donate organs and body parts with just the click of a mouse. Millions of potential transplant recipients rejoice, but there is a dark side. For a young, newly engaged professional in Portland Oregon, that dark side arrives wearing a smile and designer suit during a chance encounter at a train station.

NEW: Dreamshift (scifi/suspense): Jeremy is a college student, struggling to make ends meet. After hearing of a sleep experiment than pays handsomely he eagerly signs up. The tests seem innocent enough, the reasoning behind them intriguing, but the end result may cost Jeremy more than he’ll ever earn. Can dreams tell the future, or are they in fact the future itself?

And here are some completely made up Frequently Asked Questions of Wrinkled Shorts:

  • Q: Why is it called Wrinkled Shorts?
  • A: Steve has never been very good at ironing. His Author Page/Twitter profile image was taken overlooking a vineyard in St. Tropez, France during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but all anyone ever talks about are the wrinkled shorts he wore. Oh, and the bird poo on the light post, but “Bird Poo” was rejected as a title early on in the process.
  • Q: Why is buying a collection of short stories better than buying them individually?
  • A: You save money. Jeez.
  • Q: Speaking of money, why does this collection, which combined isn’t even half the length of a novel, cost three bucks?
  • A: Steve needs a better iron. Plus, each story provides a solid 15-30 minutes of enjoyment, adding up to several hours of intense reading pleasure. How long did the intense pleasure last from your last Starbucks triple-half-caff-skinny-vanilla? And don’t count the burned tongue or acid reflux.
  • Q: Is there anywhere we can donate to buy Steve new shorts? I mean actual shorts, not short stories.
  • A: No, but we’re sure he’d appreciate a download or two… perhaps even a review. And he won’t tell anyone his waist size anyway.
  • Q: Can I return one of the stories if I don’t like it and get 20% of my purchase price back?
  • A: Seriously?
  • Q: I love these stories so much, Steve is so talented, I hope he writes some more!
  • A: Mom, I told you never to post here…
  • Q: Will Steve be writing any erotic shorts soon?
  • A: MOM!

UPDATE: This sucker got a review already, might be a record in terms of quickness…

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