books & writing

Lisa reads World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

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I am becoming a Dennis Lehane groupie – that’s all I can say. I loved The Drop. I loved Live By Night. And I loved the final book in the Joe Coughlin trilogy, World Gone By. This was a story that really drew me in, the kind of book where you keep re-reading pages, going back to an earlier section because you want to hear those words one more time. You can’t wait to see where the story is going, but you don’t really want it to end. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: ESPN’s Britt McHenry is a bully

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Bullying is everywhere. We mostly think of kids when we picture bullies, as we can all remember a few of those “tough” guys or girls from when we were young. Bullies comes in many shapes, sizes, and ages, though, and sometimes the offenders aren’t whom we expect. This week, a video surfaced of Britt McHenry, a reporter for ESPN, verbally abusing and belittling a woman who works for a towing company in Virginia. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingsports

Top ten rejected names for baseball teams

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10. The Orlando Blooms

9. The Indianapolis Religious Freedom Fighters

8. The Philadelphia Cheesesteaks

7. The Fightin’ Amish

6. The Austin Pendletons

5. The Major League Assholes

4. The Albuquerque Herky-Jerkies

3. The San Francisco Smoothboys

2. The New York Dolls

1. The San Jose Felicianos

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

musicreligion & philosophy

A precious moment at 1st Prez

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A big day at 1st Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas a couple weeks back … THE day, really … not just for Christians, but for all people … Easter Day, Resurrection Sunday, Empty Tomb Day, whatever.

It was also a day of added significance for me, in a small personal way … it’s the one time I have the courage to go up front and sing in public. As I have noted before, little remains of the fine tenor voice I carried into high school. If maturity had replaced it with an equally fine baritone, I wouldn’t have minded so much … but, alas, such was not the case. I still sing in public, but only that one time each year, and in the particular circumstances we have at 1st Prez that day … when I am surrounded by a large choir, accompanied by chamber orchestra and organ, and singing for a packed house of people feeling more than the usual level of Christian charity and forgiveness.
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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods light up the Masters

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This past weekend was one of the few times out of the year that I actually put golf on the television. There were a number of reasons for this. First, it was the Masters, which is always a fascinating event. Second, Tiger Woods was returning from a break of a couple of months during which he tried to piece his suffering game back together. Finally, young Jordan Spieth taught everyone else how it should be done. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmoney

Top ten signs you’ve hired a bad tax accountant

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10. He does his math calculations in the nude, so he can count to 21

9. It takes him half an hour to figure out his tip at the Hair Cuttery

8. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says, “Audit, Schmaudit!

7. He tells all his clients from Colorado that they can deduct weed as an entertainment expense

6. Every time you question his methods, he grabs himself and says, “Hey, why don’t you deduct this?!

5. He asks you to name him as a dependent

4. Before every number on your tax form, he puts one of those ‘more or less’ squiggly lines

3. When you point out a math error, he says, “Ahhh, five of one, half a dozen of the other.”

2. He claims he spends a lot of time consulting with his own tax advisers: Martini and Rossi

1. He tells you that, because you’re filing a 1040, your tax liability is only 10 dollars and 40 cents

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

C’mon, Sports Illustrated

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Look, man, I’m no prude (I can hear, from those privy to my debauched past, the knowing snickers rising). I don’t have a Grandpa Simpsonesque view of smut on TV (particularly in episode 7G05). I enjoy the sight of a pretty woman and don’t feel bad about saying that. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Baseball is here!

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It snowed a couple of weeks ago. The day that this column will post will have a high temperature that is about thirty degrees colder than the day before here in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Yes, it’s spring! With spring comes one of my favorite things. Rain. Wait, no, not rain. The woodpeckers waking me up in the morning don’t top the list either. Wait, I remember…baseball! [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten signs your home is due for a spring cleaning

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10. You have more burger wrappers than McDonald’s

9. When you move your Christmas tree, you find that missing Halloween pumpkin

8. You wipe your feet on the mat before stepping outside

7. When somebody asks, “What died in here?” you give them a list

6. The Health Department has declared your living room eligible for FEMA funds

5. The odor has that certain ‘flatulent-skunk-in-an-outhouse-getting-a-perm’ mystique

4. Your bathroom has hot and cold running goo

3. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t come inside

2. One of the dust bunnies under your bed just bit you on the ankle

1. Something keeps closing your refrigerator door from the inside

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophy

the day before The Day

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Big day, tomorrow … and not just for all Christians, but for all peoples … that’s what I believe.

“We are the Easter people,” Pastor Jim Miles of First Prez-Fort Stockton would remind us, and not just in the days leading up to Easter, but throughout the year. And that is what we affirm tomorrow, the day for which we have been preparing over the past six weeks, the day for which we live – or at least try to live – at all times.

A promise was made on a joyful, star-lit night, in a stable in Bethlehem … but that promise was kept on a bloody, storm-darkened day, on a hill outside of Jerusalem … and later in a place of tombs in the early morning.
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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The sports world speaks out against Indiana’s bigotry

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In news that went well beyond the world of sports this week, the state of Indiana passed a new law that purports to protect religious freedom while really opening the door for sanctioned discrimination. The law was created in response to the legalization of marriage equality in Indiana and around the nation. As currently constructed, the legislation will allow business owners to refuse service to customers if their religious beliefs direct them that way. The government will not be able to tell a bakery owner, for example, that he or she has to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding if that person’s “closely-held religious belief” prevents him from doing so. What a bunch of garbage. So Indiana has basically legalized discrimination. Since the new law was passed, numerous people and organizations from the sports world have denounced it, speaking in often-strong language about the immediate need to change or repeal this disgrace.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtrusted media & news

Bill O’Reilly’s top ten excuses for his embellishments over the years

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10. “I did nothing wrong, just ask my good friend, Brian Williams.”

9. “I co-wrote Killing Jesus, so I’m sure any sins I may have committed are now forgiven.”

8. “I may have repeatedly claimed I was a war correspondent during the Falklands War, even though the closest I got to the Falkland Islands was Buenos Aires, which is 1,200 miles away, but I did witness some student protests there, and that’s kind of a conflict.”

7. “You know what they say: ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool the American people, make $16 million a year’.”

6. “In my book Killing Kennedy, I claimed to be in Florida, just outside the door of Russian George de Mohrenschildt, a CIA asset who played some role in the JFK assassination, at the exact moment he was committing suicide by shotgun, when in fact at the time I was in Texas, some 1,300 miles away – but that’s about the same as the distance between Buenos Aires and the Falklands.”

5. “When I said, ‘I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head,’ maybe I should have said, ‘I saw pictures of nuns getting shot in the back of the head,’ but where’s the drama in that?”

4. “You spend years listening to conservative pundits, and then tell me you know the difference between truth and fiction.”

3. “When I said, ‘I’ve seen Irish terrorists kill and maim their fellow citizens in Belfast with bombs,’ again it was only pictures, but they were in full color.”

2. “I did nothing wrong, just ask my good friend, George Washington.”

1. “Fox News is such a blizzard of lies, I just figured a few dandruff flakes of exaggeration would get lost in the storm.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Mr. Sanders, meet Facebook

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In a favorite early article of mine about digital culture, John Perry Barlow asked “Is There a There in Cyberspace?” He wondered, back in ’95, if we could find community in those bits in the ether. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Mo’Ne Davis is the Twitter target of idiot Bloomsburg baseball player

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Mo’ne Davis, a baseball player from Philadelphia, became a national sensation last year when she led her team to the Little League World Series and nearly won it all. As the only girl on her team, and as the team’s primary pitcher, she became a role model for girls everywhere. Naturally, some ignorant guy has now had to try to knock her down a few pegs. He is paying for his mistake. [Read more →]

language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that all official documents will be printed in Comic Sans

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 332211: Henceforth, all official documents of all governments (that the Emperor, in His infinite magnanimity, allows to continue operating) will be printed and posted using the Comic Sans font. This should, according to the Imperial Psychologist, put an end to bad feelings associated with official communications of every kind, from things as serious as international letters to jury summonses to traffic tickets. This could prevent all kinds of mishaps, ranging protracted wars to police brutality. Likewise, road signs will be re-hung, all emblazoned with Comic Sans. The Imperial Psychologist also assures your Emperor that this will cut down on road-rage incidents by as much as 75%; for, who could ramain unhappy surrounded by that jolly little font of cute little hand-written-looking letters? What monster would protest such cuddly, happy denotations of sound? Those who “hate Comic Sans” will be rounded up and summarily executed – it is a good way to expose and to eliminate the snooty folk in society; and, since graphic designers typically hate Comic Sans, it will eliminate some of the creative minds among us, which is always good for a Dictatorship like Ours. Now, we’re off to have a discussion with the editor of this two-bit piece of electronic rag…

The Punishment: All of those who do not convert to Comic Sans by July 1 will be forced to read a Dan Brown novel — which is bad enough, but this edition will be printed entirely in Copperplate Gothic Bold. This is, surely, one of Our more gruesome punishments, but We have to do what We have to do to make this world a better place.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten worst things to hear on a blind date

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10. “Ignore my mom, she comes everywhere with me.”

9. “Would you mind if I put my cellphone on the table? I’m expecting a call from my parole officer.”

8. “Listen, at least you know a stalker is always there for ya.”

7. “You looked so much prettier in your profile pic.”

6. (leaning forward and taking your hand) “Marry me! Please! I’m desperate!”

5. “But, why can’t I use this dollar-off-dinner coupon in combination with my two-for-one coupon?”

4. “Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?”

3. “Yes, I’m that Bill Cosby and, no, there’s nothing in your drink.”

2. “Pardon my cough; I think it’s just something I picked up hiking through Liberia.”

1. “Quit looking at the bottoms of your shoes. That’s just how I smell.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Early retirements shock the NFL

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While it is the goal of many children to grow up to be professional athletes, few will make it there. The ones who do are considered to be incredibly lucky to get to make their living playing games. There is some risk involved too, though, especially in contact sports. In football, it is generally accepted that injuries are just a part of the game. With research into head injuries showing dramatic negative effects, we are starting to see players leave the game rather than expose themselves to debilitating injury. The big stories this week involved Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker and San Francisco 49ers linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, who all retired unexpectedly.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrace & culture

Top ten St. Patrick’s Day blessings

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10. May the road rise up to meet you.

9. May the wind be at your back.

8. May your Facebook friends delete you
                         If they refer to you as a ‘Mick’.

7. May the rain fall soft upon your fields.

6. May you feel like they’re nirvana.

5. May all your fields have massive yields
    If you’re growing marijuana.

4. May you find a place for your willy.

3. May you see the Emerald Land.

2. May your green beer stay quite chilly.

1. And may God hold you in His hand.

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Added to My Bookshelf: Learning to Float: Memoir of a Caregiver-Husband

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There is so much that so many of us could gain from reading Allan Ament’s book, “Learning to Float,” taking his words to heart, and putting them to work in our lives, our relationships and our community.

The book is sub-titled “Memoir of a Caregiver Husband,” and documents the days, then the months, then the years that followed his wife’s stroke … a time that brought dramatic changes to their lives and their relationship with one another. It is also a time that challenged Ament personally in so many ways. His book – which emerged from his regular emails to family and friends, updating them on Deloris’ condition – is a frank look at those challenges and how he dealt with them … sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.
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virtual children by Scott Warnock

And what of a snow day

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The reality is that I did not walk seven miles uphill both ways to school in three feet of snow, even in June. Neither did you. But things were different when we were little, weren’t they, you 30- and 40- and 50-somethings? Things were certainly different when it snowed. [Read more →]