Monday, 27 June 2016

Entertainment Monday: Superhero Songs (Monday, June 27, 2016)

Entertainment Monday: Superhero Songs (Monday, June 27, 2016)

There are several great songs that mention Superheroes and Super Man is likely the most common subject of songs over the years.  There have been songs that mention other heroes as well though and as a fan of comic books and Superhero movies I wanted to share some songs that feature Superheroes.

The death of Superman was a comic book that came out in 1992.  Five years later in 1997 Our Lady Peace came out with a song called Superman's Dead.  I don't know if it was inspired by the comic book or not, but I always thought it was a great tune to rock out to.

Superman's Dead by Our Lady Peace

As a Little Kid My oldest brother Robert had an Album about the Justice League of America.  One of the most memorable songs from the album was about Plastic Man.  To this day I can remember the opening and the first verse!

Plastic Man off the Justic League Record

Superhero's are not only the subject of songs by male artists.  Taylor Swift sang her own popular tune about the Man of Steel.

Superman by Taylor Swift

One of my favorite Superhero Songs of all time and favorite Superman Songs is It's Not Easy by Five for Fighting.  The song was eventually used during the Smallville television series after repeated calls from fans to include it during the series.

Superman (It's not Easy) by Five For Fighting

The Cure took on another Superhero with their epic song Lullaby, a dark tune that mentions Spider Man.

Lullaby by The Cure

Back to the Superman theme, 3 Doors Down also sang their ode to one of the original Caped Crusaders with their hit Kryptonite.

Hopefully you enjoyed our Superhero themed Entertainment Monday and if you are wish to share some of your favorite Super Hero songs that I may have left out in our comments section, please do so.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Jon Bear's Financial Focus For June: How I Plan To Manage My Credit

In last month's Financial Focus I went rather in depth about my past with credit and discussed my efforts to get a credit card for the first time in years.  Thanks to using the resources at I was able to secure a new Discover card, which I plan to use to help my build my credit rating.

Now that I have a new credit card my main focus is to figure out a workable plan to help manage my credit.  One of the best ways to manage your credit card is to understand the terminology in your statement.  At the How Paying a Credit Card Works page on's website they define terms such as credit limit,  available credit, current balance and statement balance, providing a handy reference for understanding the best ways to build good credit and make your payments on time while minimizing interest fees.

Another way I chose to help manage my credit is by making sure that I went to the discover card website and created an account whereby I can monitor the spending on my credit card much like you might monitor your bank account statements on line.  I wanted something I could access at any time and not have to wait for a monthly statement and by checking my online statement almost daily I do not have to keep a paper trail of my own, which I risk misplacing or forgetting.

While it sounds easy to stay on top of things, life often times gets in the way and pushes the financial concerns we might have to the back of our minds.   What I am trying to do is to prioritize the time I give to my finances by setting aside an hour each week where I review a checklist of my financial responsibilities.  My checklist includes checking my credit card balance due, going over my monthly bills which include my rent payment, my gas and electric bill, my student loans for both undergraduate school and graduate school, my phone bill, and my television and internet bill.  Those are a bit easier to keep track of because they have specific due dates and are generally a fixed amount each month.  I also take the time to review my bank statement online to get a better hold on my grocery and fuel expenditures, as well as how much I am spending on entertainment or luxury items.

It is important to know the balances on your accounts so that you can plan accordingly for holidays and have an emergency budget for unexpected costs like a broken down vehicle or if you own a home, a maintenance repair to an appliance.

If any of our readers have any helpful tips or suggestions on how you manage your credit please feel free to share them in our comments section, so that it is something that I or our other readers might employ.  Different mechanisms work for different people, so even if there is a suggestion that may not work for me, if it works for someone else who reads our blog, well, then that's the whole point of the Financial Focus posts.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Entertainment Monday: Work Hard - Wiz Khalifa (Monday 20 June 2016)

Work Hard by Wiz Khalifa is my go to song when I'm working hard on the computer. I don't really know many of his other songs but I like this song because it's all about working hard. 

(this song contains coarse language)

I got a new job in April as a teacher in the Outback, Australia. I haven't had much time to do much except work. I'm a new teacher and at first I was just working so hard to make it day by day. Now, I'm more experience so planning is not as hard though I still work long hours. Most of my time is spent preparing lessons, teaching, marking work, meetings and doing school events. 

Fortunately, I'm a week away from the school holidays! It's a two week school break. My brother is coming to see me and we're going to explore more of my new home. I still have to work during this time though, I just won't be teaching. I have to prepare for the next term as well as prepare report cards. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Entertainment Monday: Prayer of the Children (Monday June 13, 2016) Reflections on Pulse LGBT Club Massacre

Prayer of the Children

by Kurt Bestor

Can you hear the prayer of the children?
On bended knee in the shadow of an unknown room.
Empty eyes with no more tears to cry,
turning heav'nward toward the light.
Crying Jesus help me to see the morning light one more day,
but if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.

Can you feel the hearts of the children,
aching for home for something of their very own.
Reaching hands with nothing to hold on to,
but hope for a better day, a better day.
Crying Jesus help me to feel the love again in my own land,
but if unknown roads lead away from home,
give me loving arms, away from harm.

Can you hear the voice of the children?
Softly pleading for the silence of the shattered world.
Angry guns preach the gospel full of hate,
blood of the innocent on their hands.
Crying Jesus help me to feel the sun again on my face,
for when darkness clears I know your near, bringing peace again.
Can you hear the prayer of the children.

The terror and the hatred need to stop.  We are killing each other.  Our brothers and our sisters.  And why?  Because they have a differing opinion or lifestyle from our own.  It seems ridiculous because it is ridiculous.  Hatred is engrained in some societies because of years of persecution, whether that be over differences in our religious beliefs, the way we look or whom we love. 

 The tragedy at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida where 50 people were murdered and 50 plus more injured is endemic of America.  America has to ask itself if it wants to be known for it's ideals of Freedom and Liberty or known for it's Violence and Hatred. Even two weeks ago I spoke glowingly of the Pride I feel in my Nation for it's history and for it's ideals. This Month is Pride Month in the LGBT community.  A gay or transgender person should be able to hold their head high and live proudly and openly in today's world... in today's America.  No ifs... no buts... that IS how it should be. 

It is ironic perhaps that terrorists would choose to set their agenda or make their mark over instilling fear in others.  To me, it's obvious who is afraid when these acts of violence occur, and especially so in the terror attack at the Pulse night club where a specific group of LGBT party-goers were targeted.  The terror perpetrator is afraid.  He or She is so afraid of their world changing or not having control, not having life the way they want it, that they feel this compelling need to unleash their fears into the community at large. A person who is afraid both takes and gives up life easily and willingly because they see little or no value in their own life. They try and make every one else as afraid as they are.  What the "terrorists" don't realize though is that we are not afraid.  

A life of hate is a life of fear. They are one and the same.  For those of us who choose a life of Love, there is nothing that can be done to make us afraid, because even in death we will have lived our lives the way we wanted to live our lives.  The terrorist, the killer, is a man or woman who has fear in their heart.  People who live a life of Reaction and not a life of Action.  They react to the fear.  So we who love must act out of love.  

For those of us who choose that life of Action it is time... even past time to Act.  It is time to take the guns off our streets.  Time to take the sickness of prejudice out of our laws.  Time to be proud of those who choose to live in Love and not in Fear.  Proud of ourselves and our families. Proud of our neighbors and our friends.  Proud of our country and our World.  Proud of humanity. 

We need to change hearts full of fear into hearts full of love.  How do we do that?  Well for starters we can accept someone as a friend, whatever their religion, whatever they look like, whatever their sexual orientation.  Accepting someone else is not a prerequisite to not being yourself and losing your individuality.  We can be ourselves and still love someone who is different from us. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Entertainment Mondays: Franz Schubert (6 May 2016)

Marche Militaire composed by Franz Schubert has been in my mind for the last week. I've recently started to listen to classical music while I do my work on the computer. I love to listen to music while I work and find classical music to be relaxing and less distracting than contemporary music with singing.
I don't know much about classical music, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Beethoven or Mozart but I know what I like. What I like about the march is it's sprightly, I've been humming the tune all day long.

I first heard Marche Militaire from Youtube by a group called Heart Strings Cello

I later learnt that Marche Militaire was written as a piano duet also called four hands piano. I think it would be fun to play the piano with another person. I'll have to add it to my bucket list.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Entertainment Monday: Monday May 30th 2016 (Memorial Day)

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States.  For many of us it is a day to kind of kick off the beginning of Summer, a day of celebration, a day to spend with family and friends, and a day to enjoy a burger, a hot dog and a beer.  While Memorial Day is all that, it is that because of what is at the heart of Memorial Day.  The remembrance and honoring of those American's who have made what is truly the ultimate sacrifice, in giving their lives in service and protection of the United States of America, so that we might enjoy those simple freedoms that are so often too easily taken for granted.

Our country is not perfect and we have our faults as all people and all countries do.  But I recognize that as an American I have enjoyed opportunities here that would not have been possible for me had I been born else where.  The fabric of America and the ideals that we have tried to stand for and aspire to is made from that sacrifice.  It's difficult for me to put into words the gratitude I have for the people who choose to defend the ideal of life and liberty for all, at the personal risk of losing their life and losing their freedoms.  These men and women who have lost their lives have not gone into battle because they chose to die.  They have gone into battle having made the choice to fight for my right to live.  My right to celebrate the beginning of Summer time with my family.  My right to have a voice, even if it differs from their voice.  My beliefs even if they differ from their beliefs.  Even (and some might even rightly say especially) our country does not always get involved in conflicts because of the "ideals" that America stands for as outlined in our Constitution. But most often, the people of America do.  And it's not out of naiveté but most often out of a sense of duty.  A duty to do honor to the American's before them who stood for the ideal America, however unattainable or unrealistic that ideal may be.

American Flag Picture Link

There are times when American pride might come off as arrogance or a sense of superiority.  While I cannot speak to sentiments that run through everyone's veins, I think that the vast majority of Americans who express their pride openly and with a flair or exuberance do so not because one life is worth more than another, whether that life be born and raised here or born and raised half way across the globe from here. We express ourselves that way because we know that the things that we love and the opportunity we have to make a good, humble and honest life for ourselves and our families was/is born of the risk and the sacrifice that so many of our parents or siblings or friends and even complete strangers make.  So beating our chests, shooting off our fireworks and singing our songs is the absolute LEAST we can do... it's the least we can do to say thank you.  Thank you so very much to the men and women who fight for us.  Thank you to the men and women who live and die for us.  To the families of those men and women who suffer so other families won't have to.

Memorial Day was not originally called Memorial Day in the United States.   But our day of remembrance honoring our military was born out of the Civil War that nearly tore our country apart.  As such I wanted to share a choral performance by The Concordia Choir, Morehead, where they sing Three American Civil War Folk Tunes.  I also hope that today, each and every American will take a personal moment of silence and consider and reflect upon the lives lost and be grateful and appreciative of those who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for us.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Entertainment Monday: Dawin featuring Silento ( May 23 2016)

Dawin is a Youtube star whose debut song Dessert reached over a hundred million views. He has since signed with GMA network. Silento is a singer famous for his song Watch Me (Whip/ Nae Nae) which features a dance that has become viral.

The love interest in the song is Rosanna Pansino, a fellow Youtuber with a popular baking channel. 

I’m a teacher and I dedicate this next song to my grade 4/5/6 class.  (I teach in Outback, Australia in a small class which  I have a multi-level class. )My little girls love the song Dessert by Dawin featuring Silento.  I’ve only heard snippets of this song until one of the girls won a class reward which was to play music in class. They have been singing this song all the time. After viewing the song I can see why they like it. It has a cute video clip and it’s easy to sing. It would be just the kind of song I would have liked at their age. 

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