Milestones and Mom – Happy Birthday 2016, Mater

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My mother, the Mater, celebrates her birthday today. It’s a milestone birthday for her which commensurately means it’s a milestone for me, my sisters, our spouses and our kids. We are blessed and we are lucky to have such a mother and grandmother – one who cares about us, prays for us, loves us and accepts us always for who we are.

This is a milestone birthday for Mom and it occurs to me that, for me and for my sisters, Mom has been a part of each and every milestone of our lives. Obviously, she was there in all the benchmarks of our childhoods and adolescences – our school days, our graduations, our marriages, our children’s births. But Mom continues to be central to our lives. She remains one of the first people I will consult when I am at a crossroads. She is someone with whom I still share the events that serve as signposts through this life. She is a confidant. She is a trusted adviser.

Mom raised my sisters and I and, late in that process, went back to work and to school. She worked hard – a characteristic we all emulate. She studied hard – a characteristic I wish I had emulated more. She became expert in her field, a leading voice. She became a writer. She became a leader. She’s touched so many lives.

Reflective and smart. Witty. Loving and graceful. Compassionate and caring. Mom is an example I can point my daughter Sous Chef to and say “if you’re like this, you’re doing something right.” I can point my sons HJ jr and Stretch to and say “look for women in your life who are like this.” She is strong. She is centered. She is wonderful.

She is my mom. How lucky am I?

Her birthday is a milestone. That’s appropriate as she is a milestone in so many people’s lives.

Happy birthday, Mom. As much as you love us, we love you.

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Link’n’Blogs – 10.21.16 – American Schools Preparing Students for a World That Doesn’t Exist

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

This article from is very scary. In educational circles, one hears this theory – that our system is woefully behind the times when it comes to preparing students. Unfortunately, WIRED agrees.

Preparing Students for a World That Doesn’t Exist


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The 2016 Denver Broncos – Week Seven: Houston @ Denver

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Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos

Monday, October 24, 2016



kubiakHow much difference does a head coach make? Turns out, Bronco fans hope it makes a big difference. Out of sync and out of answers (until it was too late) against the Chargers last Thursday night, the Broncos come of their second “mini bye week” of the season facing a little adversity. Two loses in a row is the kind of streak the Broncos haven’t faced very frequently in recent years. Will Gary Kubiak’s return to the sidelines this week make the difference? The team certainly hopes so. A quicker start on both sides of the ball would help. After struggling to move the football and likewise struggling to keep the Chargers from moving it last week, the team has to be sharper out of the gate if they want to beat the Texans Monday night.



cj-anderson-week-oneThe key match up this week is CJ Anderson vs. Devontae Booker. Though Anderson has shown some flashes (especially on the TD run that was called back on a hold in the fourth quarter Thursday night), Booker’s flashes have been impressive as well. The running game must get going to support Trevor Siemian.

Certainly, the offense line has not helped the run game in recent weeks.Perhaps that is the problem. Perhaps not.What Bronco fans know is that Gary Kubiak will not hesitate to go to another player if things aren’t working.

Is this the week he goes to Booker?

The best match up may be Booker vs. Anderson. It may be the most interesting match up of the week.


ostexThings haven’t gone great for Brock Osweiler since he left Denver for Houston. Sure, he scored a BIG payday and, yes, he led his team back against the Colts last week in somewhat improbable fashion. However, lost in the comeback are the calls for his potential benching and the speculation after 3 quarters of that game that Osweiler had started his last game for the Texans for the foreseeable future.

I think the Broncos remember that Osweiler suggested, when he signed with the Texans, that the Texans gave him a better chance to win than did the Broncos. I know Bronco fans remember that comment. I suspect, despite the recent loses by the Broncos, the environment will be hostile, the defense will be ready to roll and Osweiler will turn the ball over. Twice.


BroncosChargers_ADO3767Two loses and it feels like the sky is falling for the Broncos. That’s good. Perhaps a little mid-season adversity is what the team needs. This is not the 2015 version of the Broncos. That team seemed to be able to overcome all manner of issues created by a lackluster offense. This year’s version needs the offense to perform better.

Don’t kid yourself, after a rocky first phase of the game, the defense settled in and gave the offense chance after chance to win in San Diego. A couple fourth quarter turnovers cost them the chance, but the offense must pull its weight. It must move the ball and score.

It must do better.

Monday night, it will. It will do marginally better. It will do enough to win.

 TEXANS  13          BRONCOS   26   

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: October 11 – 18, 2016

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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 7 comics last week: Wonder Woman #8, Detective Comics #942, Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy #1, All Star Batman #3, Darth Vader 25, Han Solo #4 and Action Comics #965.

The best comic I read last week was All Star Batman #3.



I believe that’s 3-in-a-row for All Star Batman. All three issues of this title have been the best read I’ve had in any week they’ve been published.

That’s not too surprising as my affection for the work of writer Scott Snyder has been chronicled many times in “Best Sequential Art…” blog. I am certainly not alone in my admiration for his work with the character of Batman. He’s been writing him for over four years now and his stories remain both fresh and daring. This arc he’s put together in All Star Batman is a great example of this. The story is shocking and that is not a word I chose lightly. The story here does shock. It shocks in the best way.

Snyder knows the character, has defined the current status of him and continues too play with it in exciting ways.

This story is no different, well, it might be because it is so much better than the last arc he wrote on Batman – the Mr. Bloom arc that just never… bloomed for me.

What he’s doing here is writing the character with confidence.

Almost as much confidence as the legendary John Romita, jr is using the illustrate the book. I am hot-and-cold on Romita. He’s clearly one of the most storied and best illustrators in the business, but I don’t always love his work. I love it here. It may have to do with the solid inks of Danny Miki. These two seem perfectly suited to one another and the character.

All Star Batman is supposed to feature Snyder working with the best-of-the-best and, so far, it has been.

And I didn’t even mention the terrific back up story with art by Declan Shalvey. Shalvey would be great on the main book as well.

What a terrific comic this is. Truly one of the best.


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Filed under Action Comics, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Detective Comics, Han Solo, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, Weekly Comic Book Review, Wonder Woman

Link’n’Blogs – 10.14.16 – Does Your Trump Vote Mean This?

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

This Link’n’Blog is an oversimplification. I get it. I really do. And Forward Progressive does not pretend to be objective. I just think this list is ASTOUNDING. I truly do.

At This Point, If You’re Still Supporting Trump…

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in San Jose

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The 2016 Denver Broncos – Week Six: Denver @ San Diego

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Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

Thursday, October 13, 2016



siemian-shoulderSunday, Paxton Lynch started for the Broncos. Things did not go well. Thursday, Trevor Siemian, sore shoulder and all, will be back in the line up for the team and all anticipate smoother sailing for the offensive against the Chargers.

It is hard to find positives when the team loses, but lost in the story of the game Sunday was the fact that the defense, though gashed by talented running backs and clever schemes by the Falcons, gave up only 23 points to a team that was averaging 38. Good sign.

Also a good sign is that the team didn’t quit, coming within a touchdown in a game that looked as though it could get away from them.

The Broncos will be without Gary Kubiak this week. Their coach is recuperating for a complex migraine. The team is dedicating this game to him. That could and likely will cause a headache for the Chargers.





It is hard to understand how the Chargers have been in any game this year, much less all of their games, with the injuries they’ve sustained. The reason they have been competitive? Phillip Rivers, the old Broncos’ nemesis.

Rivers is the QB that Broncos fans most love to hate and they will get their opportunity this month as the team plays the Chargers 2 out of the next 3 weeks.

Contain Rivers and the Chargers have little chance of winning. Give him time, scores and confidence, and the Chargers can make a game out of this one. The Broncos have owned the Chargers in recent years. They have gotten in Rivers’ head. If the defensive line can get a push up the middle, they should win this game, perhaps even handily.


greenVirgil Green may not be what the rest of the league considers an elite tight end, but the Broncos’ offensive has sure looked different and less effective without him in the line up the last few weeks. Green returns (as does Donald Stephanson) and that bodes well in three ways: pass protecting, the short pass game and the run game. If two of those three areas are better for the Broncos Thursday night, they should win the game.

It would be great to see Green get into the end zone as well.


color-rush-helmetI didn’t see the loss coming last Sunday. The Falcons looked very good. The Broncos not so much. Can the boys in all orange (I am kind of looking forward to the Color Rush thing – especially the helmets!) rebound against the Chargers? There are a couple ways to view this. The Broncos have won 9 of the last 10 against the Chargers. The Chargers have found new and creative ways to lose this year. Is it time for these trends to reverse themselves and for the Chargers to get a win against the Broncos?

Possibly, but not likely.

I like the Broncos in the short week coming off their first loss in their last 9 games. I like them in San Diego which typically feels like a home game for the Broncos there are so many Denver fans in the area.

Frankly, I think the Chargers are too beaten up to overcome the Broncos.

But there are good enough to keep it close…


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Snowden – A Movie Review

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snowdenOliver Stone is the quintessential angry American director. He has causes. He is unapologetic in their pursuit. He makes movies as vehicles for a point of view – his. In his best films, he is passionate and creative. He inspires grand performances (Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, Charlie Sheen in Platoon, Kevin Costner in JFK). He inspires controversy. He stirs the s#$t storm and his movies tend to open loudly and cause trouble.

Snowden does not feel like an Oliver Stone movie. It lacks passion. It lacks vitriol. It doesn’t play like a tense thriller.

Joseph Gordon Levitt is solid as the title character and does a very nice job in the role. His Snowden is a brilliant man, accomplished and posed of a bright future if he wants it. As it turns out, he would rather trade that future for what he considers to be his patriotic mission: exposure of bad practices by American intelligence services.


What Stone’s approach here misses is any sort of struggle the character might feel in doing so. This movie is so straightforward in its hero worship of Snowden that any tension the audience might feel is drained. Because there is little question as to whether or not Snowden should be perceived as a hero, because there is little question that what he is doing is RIGHT, the movie, which I thought would be very interesting, isn’t particularly engaging.

It’s well made. It’s well acted (though the Nicholas Cage extended cameo pulled me out of the narrative – significantly). It tells a story that Americans ought to know.

But it strikes me as a story that should be told in a complex way. Snowden is not complex. It doesn’t take advantage of either its potential thriller roots or its potential journalistic caper roots. It doesn’t take advantage of its strong cast. It’s competent. It’s middle-of-the-road fare.

And, perhaps, therein lies the largest disappointment. What the real Snowden did should be discussed and debated. What the securities agencies did should, likewise, be analyzed. In an election year (yes, I know this election year defies expectation), a movie like this and the subject it features, its release timed as it was, should have some impact on the national conversation.

Did you see Snowden? Are you planning to?

The answers to those questions illustrate much about the movie. They may illustrate much about a filmmaker whose work I enjoy whose time may have passed.

SNOWDEN receives TWO RUBIK’S CUBES out of a possible FIVE.

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