25 Years of Seinfeld

seinfeldApparently today is the 25th anniversary of the first time that Seinfeld appeared on TV. I’m a big fan of Seinfeld and have all nine seasons on DVD. Ironically I never started watching it until we moved to Saskatchewan in July 1998, which was almost two months after the final show aired. We only had two channels and it aired every night at 10pm on one of these channels. I started watching it out of curiosity and it wasn’t long before I was hooked!

Lots of catchphrases from the show have crept into everyday use and I’m sometimes surprised by how many of them I hear on a fairly regular basis. “No soup for you!” is probably the one that is heard most often. One that I tend to use a lot is “It’s a Festivus miracle!”

It would be difficult for me to name a favourite episode as there are too many good ones to choose from. Apart from the four main characters, my favourite character would have to be Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller). I love his eccentricity and the fact that he invented Festivus.

I won’t try and choose a favourite episode, but instead here are five of my favourite moments. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Late Starters Orchestra (July 4)

This week for my Friday meme combo I have chosen The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. Goldman. I just received this book in the mail today from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and it looks like one I’ll enjoy. GoodReads has the following description:

late starters orchestraIf you thought a fiddler on a roof was in a precarious position, imagine what happens when a middle-aged professor with a bad back takes up the cello. Ari Goldman hasn’t played in twenty-five years, but he’s decided to give the cello one last chance. He s not that good. But never mind. First he secures a seat in his eleven-year-old son’s youth orchestra, and then he s ready for the big time: the Late Starters Orchestra of New York City a bona fide amateur chamber orchestra for beginning or recently returning adult players.We accompany Goldman to LSO rehearsals (their motto is If you think you can play, you can ) and sit in on his son’s Suzuki lessons (where we find out that children do indeed learn differently from adults). As Goldman meditates on the mysteries of the cello itself, we wonder with him if he’ll be good enough to perform at his next birthday party. Coming to the rescue is the ghost of Goldman’s very first cello teacher, Mr. J, who continues to inspire and guide him about music and more through this enchanting midlife journey.The Late Starters Orchestra reminds us that with a band of friends behind us, anything is possible.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Late Starters Orchestra:

Standing in a crowded elevator in midtown Manhattan with a cello strapped to your back is no way to win a popularity contest.

It’s not something I’ve ever tried, although I have been in possession of a tuba in some unusual places, which has not always been fun! This is an interesting beginning and I’m intrigued enough to go on.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Late Starters Orchestra:

The one bright spot in my young life was music. I sang. I sang on the streets and I sang in school and I sang on the subway and I sang in bed and I sang in the synagogue.

I can really identify with this in that I’ve always been around music. At the age of 7 a brass instrument was placed in my hands and I was told to learn it. For most of the time ever since, I’ve been playing some kind of brass instrument in various different bands. I still enjoy it and currently play tuba in a local concert band called Toot Suite. Anyway, I think I’ll take this book on holiday with me and write a review when I get back. I think it’ll be a good read.

Thursday Quotables – Soccer in Sun and Shadow (July 3)

quotation-marks4Thursday quotables is hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. To take part Lisa shares the following:

If you’d like to participate, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Comment on this post with the link to your own Thursday Quotables post. Or… have a quote to share but not a blog post? Leave your quote in the comments!
  • Have fun!

Today was another day without World Cup action, although I caught the end of the Buckie Thistle vs Rangers game. I also got back to reading Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow, which I started earlier in the year. It’s a great read and if I don’t get it finished now I’ll probably take it away on holiday with me. Here are a few of my favourite quotes so far:

soccer in sun and shadowSometimes the idol does not fall all at once. And sometimes when he breaks, people devour the pieces. (p.6)

The linesmen, who assist but do not rule, look on from the side. Only the referee steps onto the playing field, and he is certainly right to cross himself when he first appears before the roaring crowd. His job is to make himself hated. The only universal sentiment in soccer: everybody hates him. He gets only catcalls, never applause. (p.10)

How is soccer like God? Each inspires devotion among believers and distrust among intellectuals. (p.36)

In 1930 Albert Camus was Saint Peter guarding the gate for the University of Algiers soccer team. He had been playing goalkeeper since childhood, because in that position your shoes don’t wear out as fast. Son of a poor home, Camus could not afford the luxury of running the fields; every night, his grandmother examined the soles of his shoes and gave him a beating if she found them worn. (p.66)

I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of this book so far and am looking forward to getting the rest of it read soon.

A day with no World Cup!

There were no games at the FIFA World Cup today, but at least I got to see most of the TFC game tonight, which turned out to be a hard fought draw following a very questionable first-half sending off. Because there were no games in Brazil today, I thought I’d share one of my favourite football quotes with you, from the late great Bill Shankly:

bill shankly

New Month, New Design, New Outlook

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been posting much here over the past few weeks. I was also a bit tired of the way it looked, so I’ve uploaded a different theme to give things a fresher look and to hopefully give me some inspiration to start posting again.

The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. We were away at a Salvation Army Congress last month, which turned out to be much better than I thought it would be. We met a lot of friends we hadn’t seen for a while, the meetings were pretty good overall, and the speakers were all great, giving us plenty to think about as we returned to our regular lives and routines. Following this, however, we had a very challenging week where we had to make a few tough decisions. There were also some negative things going on that we really had no control over. Fortunately we are going on vacation soon, with a family wedding to look forward to, and this will give us a chance to recharge our batteries and be ready to get on with things again in the fall.

We are already halfway through the year. So far 2014 has been a fairly decent year. There are always challenges that come your way, especially in our line of work, but nothing has been insurmountable so far. I’ve made a number of positive lifestyle changes and have tried to approach things with a new outlook to life. One of the most positive things that is part of this is that I have lost almost 30 pounds so far this year and am feeling really good for this. I’d like to lose about another 20 before the end of the year, which will bring me close to what is my ideal weight. I’ve also tried to change some of my habits, especially endeavouring to have a more optimistic outlook on life than I had previously had. This has helped in my approach to some of the previously mentioned challenges we have had to face.

As we enter our fourteenth year of being in Elliot Lake there are a number of things we have to consider. There are still a number of things we have to work on at Hope. There will always be fresh challenges to face there. We also have to think about our family, especially now that we have two teenagers living in our household. This place has been good for us over the past thirteen years. Ultimately the length of time we have here is not up to us and we remain open to whatever comes our way as far as appointments go. Until we are told otherwise, we remain committed to being here and that is fine with us. We knew what to expect when we signed up for this.

Hopefully the new design, along with my new outlook on life, will inspire me to get back to posting here more frequently again. I have number of book reviews and photo assignments to catch up on, so that should get me going again. If you are inclined to pray, then think of us in your prayers as we try to sort through a few issues here. Also a few prayers for us to have a restful and enjoyable vacation would be pretty welcome. If you are not the praying kind, then a few thoughts or words of encouragement would be equally welcome.

Top Ten Tuesday – Summer TBR List (June 17)

TTT3WTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list’. These are some of the books I’d like to read this summer. Most of them are new to me, but there are a couple of rereads. I’d love to get through them all, but hopefully I’ll get at least half of them read!


  1.  The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman
  3. Mudhouse Sabbath - Lauren F. Winner
  4. The Island of the Women - George Mackay Brown
  5. Creative Ministry – Henri J.M. Nouwen
  6. Tales from Moominvalley - Tove Jansson
  7. William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back – Ian Doescher
  8. Hollow City - Ransom Riggs
  9. Life With God – Richard J. Foster
  10. Tell It Slant - Eugene H. Peterson

Bookmark Monday – Suspended (June 16)

bookmark-mondayBookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a link to your post.

I usually have too many books on the go at any one time and sometimes they get lost in the pile of stuff at the side of my desk. A few of the following bookmarks on my wall might help me to keep focused on what I’m reading, or maybe not :) These are pretty interesting and different, so I may have to invest in a few anyway: