About Damien S Riley

I was born in 1969 and I write about all I have seen. Not quite a hippie but I share some of their cultural sensitivities, like peace. I'm a married teacher with 3 kids. This blog is a free flow sharing of blog posts, hand-picked statuses, and photos. I also post to Twitter as Cre8nNov8. Thanks for reading.

The Universe Said No

I bought a keychain laser pointer at the 99 cents store planning to use it in my teaching. It worked great and I put it right on my keys. The set looked so bulky at that point. I had 4 rings from separate keys and a car alarm interlocked and all that was hanging from a lanierd from 2007. I decided it was time to lighten the thing up. I got rid of all the rings (except a cool hiking carabiner that is useful for belt loops) and put the remaining few keys on my car alarm ring. I stopped using the lanierd, after all these years it has shown no real purpose and I think it looks obtrusive. Did I mention I like to travel light through this world?

At any rate, once I got the keys set up minimal like I wanted, I attached the metallic laser pointer. It looked awesome, just the way I wanted. It was set up except for one thing. I had removed an ugly blue plastic whistle that I have used at work for years. It was marred and dirty. It looked too cheap. Of course the laser pointer looks cheap but at least it’s metallic and new. That’s when I got the idea to get a silver metal ref whistle at Dick’s Sporting goods. I share my mission with my son and then sped down there to get the mystic whistle. I got into the store, found the perfect one, got rang up by the employee and received my total. That was when I realized I had left my wallet at home. “Not now,” I heard the universe whistle as the wind blew.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will Says What?

article-2699905-1FD809D800000578-581_634x505Recently, trending and somewhat scandalous stories report that the late Philip Seymour Hoffman refused to create a trust fund for his three children who are all very young. What did he do with his reported 36 million dollar fortune and estate? Get ready for this folks: He gave it to their mother to raise them with! He also included a firm request that his son be raised in Manhattan. Oh, the inhumanity.

While that sounds a bit odd as a wish for a child, it must be noted there is nothing strange or selfish about not leaving his money to his kids in a trust fund. This is just another case of a hack reporter grasping at a headline, a name that will push her/his story to a trending status and assure them a pat on the head by her/his editor. Carry on! What do you make of this trending story? Should it be trending? Do you find it interesting?

Great Relationship Movies Aren’t Always Romantic

CyrusCyrus is a lot like the film Step Brothers except that it’s serious and the protagonist and antagonist are not family. It’s a simple little story about power and step-parenting. As I say that, please know that the character played by Jonah Hill is no child, he’s 22 years old. John C. Reilly’s character is the interloper. He begins dating a woman almost instantly after meeting her and he finds out he got more than he bargained for with Cyrus. There are indications that he and his mother, played by the beautiful and wondrous Marissa Tomei, are close in an almost unhealthy way. There is no incest but you can tell Cyrus controls his mom. Like many children in single parent situations, he doesn’t want to let her date. The intensity of Reilly and Hill is incredible. It’s not a family movie and when the issues of power are performed on screen, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or shake your head in ridicule. You can see Cyrus is frightened of losing his mom but the fear is just as evident in his mom and the new suitor. Cyrus is not a typical Hollywood comedy, it’s a look at people we know, or people like them anyway. At the parties and weddings, we are participants among the dialog. There is some romance here and it is a good film for date night but I romance is not the backbone. It is simply part of the backdrop. And there is the question of whether the romance is healthy.

Cyrus is entertaining because it starts with a simple premise and develops an amazing script through brilliant, talented actors. It’s not a “la la la” blockbuster film because it is different and simpler than those. I liked it though and I give it a perfect 5/5 because of the raw simple reasons I have stated. It delivers and fulfills what it aims to be: a people study. It’s one of the best movies I’ve watched this Summer. There are no expensive props or CGI. If you’re in the mood for some incredible acting that holds your interest to the credits, watch Cyrus.

Hidden Treasures All Around Us

7f0ff37aecabc29a8fb5de4be5e459b8I tried preparing hand-kneaded hamburgers today for dinner and they came out great. At first, however, I struggled to get them the nice round shape you see hamburgers at say “In n Out” have. I imagined I might used a cookie cutter when lo and behold a box of cookie cutters that I had been ignoring since Christmas came in real handy! I found a perfectly round one about the size of a hamburger bun and knew these would be the real McCoy.

Junk_Fest_Teasers_052After I made the first one I  realized I could use some parchment paper (wax). Every morning when I make the kids their lunches I looked at this paper in a drawer of our kitchen but never had any use for it. I cut 6 slices out of is and used them to put under the patties. At this point I got the idea I wanted to share on the blog: You never notice some things until you need them. This can be said of people around us, landscapes, sunsets, and the like.

hamburgerBy a very simple twist of fate, I got a knock on my door from a man who was seeking discarded junk that might be worth something. He gathered some junk from my sideyard, including an old metal futon frame, and went away happy. This site right in with my topic! My hamburger experience today reminded me to accept that everything around me is there for a reason, even though I haven’t needed it yet.

Edge of Tomorrow

eot1I have to tell you about this movie, it’s a breath of fresh air in a 2014 Summer of mostly dull movies. This one flies above the rest. It’s concept is not unique but if you see this movie, you’ll be talking about it for days. It’s a bit like Groundhog day in concept. By that I mean, the same way Bill Murray’s character has to keep reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right. In this case, the conflict is fighting aliens, and scary ones at that.

We see a funny Tom Cruise for a change. I recently saw “Oblivion” and absolutely loved it. ALL YOU NEED IS KILLHe was the rough and tough sci-fi action hero. In “Edge of Tomorrow” it’s a lot of that but with laugh-a-minute deadpan humor thrown into the mix. Much of this humor consists of Emily Blunt beating him to a pulp to train him day after repeated day: hence the title “Edge of Tomorrow.” I liked this movie for many reasons and therefore highly recommend it. I am going to try and avoid spoilers on this blog because I know a lot of people like to leave the movie a mystery as they watch it unfold. Suffice it to say, the critics of all the major movie sites are saying the same thing I am.

One final note: This is not playing at the Cinemarks in the High Desert where I live. This is a crime! If you want to see it, I recommend heading to an AMC or Regal down the hill. I saw it with my wife at Ontario Mills Mall. Below you’ll see those high scores I was telling you about. Have you seen this film yet? What are your thoughts?

eot3

Cross-posting Formula

cross-postingI’m a big fan of cross-posting. If you haven’t heard that term, it’s the process of sharing one post on one social media site with several other audiences at other social media sites. Usually this can be done with a few clicks. Each social media service has hooks built in to get your posts “cross-posted.” Unfortunately, some don’t render correctly. For example: Flickr for the iphone offers the ability to cross-post to Facebook but when you check the Facebook post, you find there is no title or associated description that you intended. For this reason, I dug in my heels, hunkered down and discovered what works for me. I share that below.

1. ALL SHARE TYPES: *Tumblr is fed via RSS to blog as private (Through the “Feedwordpress” plugin) – if wanted on blog must input feed, edit post and make public, (OPTIONAL) clear title, and adjust to desired format (only modifies on Home page).

2. STATUSES: status EMAIL to ifttt makes clean status on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. IFTTT is really cool. You can make if then recipes for many services.
*Tumblr

3. PHOTOS: Instagram posts & renders correctly to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.
*Tumblr
(Flickr posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr but renders without text.
SO use Instagram for PHOTOS instead.)

4. BLOG POSTS on WordPress: Manual share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+.

5. TUMBLR REBLOGS: Reblog and manual send during process to Facebook and Twitter.
*Tumblr

To close, Tumblr is a wonderful backbone for crossposting. Not only does it render a feed, it also has buttons hooked into reblogs and posts to send them to Facebook and Twitter. Tumblr renders correctly in these two sites. Make sure you have a good description that shows up in Twitter as images don’t always show in a feed. Do you have a great way to share content via cross-posting?

Hardest Job First, The Rest is Downhill

A few days ago I started the arduous task of getting algae from my pool. It is a common and difficult thing as any pool cleaner and/or owner will tell you. It sounds like an innocuous task but I have learned year after year that it takes hard work, time, and patience to do it. The filter is the biggest weapon. You can put all the chemicals you can buy into your pool and the algae may wane. Eventually however it will come back and usually when you are away on vacation or otherwise unable to offer a retaliatory strike. When you have algae, the filter needs to be cleaned or backwashed. This is the “fish gill” through which the water must pass. It can take 48-72 hours for all the water in a pool to pass through a filter but when it’s clean, boy howdy it really cleans the water. There are other tips I may get into at another time but the universal takeaway is this: Do the big jobs first when they pay the biggest dividend. You can see the top of my filter tank behind me in the photo. That is my biggest wrestling job when getting algae out of my pool.