Off Topic: You might be missing out…

At Frank’s Place we’re all about smarts, you know – brains, gray matter, people who use their squash for more than a hat rack or a fashion statement.  In the pursuit of knowledge and the people who dispense it, we travel the internet in the wee hours of the morning looking for the smarts.  It’s a little disturbing what you find in the dark of night on Al Gore’s interwebs, but in the midst of the drunken debauchery we found a few diamonds in the rough.  Blogs, boy, I’m talking about blogs.

The blogosphere is a sub-culture all its own, with its own lingo, unspoken rules and awards.  Yeah, awards.  If someone likes your blog they might nominate you for a sunshine award, versatile blogger award, cutest blog on the block, etc.. You get the idea.  I actually scored a sunshine blogger award myself.  See trophy case at the right.  Not really sure how that happened, but hey I’ll take it.  Well we have stumbled into some great blogs written by what must be some great people.  So instead of waiting for someone to nominate them or nominating all of them myself, I am going to highlight them here.   Call them awards, call them The Frankies, whatever floats your boat.  I call them good reads for a variety of different reasons.

Here now the first semi-bi-annual Frankies.

New Kids on the Block

These two blogs are done by friends of mine.  Both personal journeys, both completely different from each other.

A Moment in Time  http://debra-amomentintime.blogspot.com/

This is actually not new.  My friend Debra has been blogging since 2008, but she took a three-year break and is now back at it.  The difference between 2008 and 2012 – 2 more adopted kids.  A Moment in Time is her family’s journey through the adoption of three of the cutest kids you’ll meet.  Their daughter, Mandy, is the latest addition to the family and from China.  Debra weaves some riveting stuff about the entire process including a big trip to China.  Debra probably doesn’t know it but she has an immense skill at painting word pictures.  Since I know her I can literally hear her voice while I’m reading her stories.  They’re good.  Go read them.

Tackled and Sifted  http://tackledandsifted.com/

My friend Mike has been on quite a journey as of late.  He started a blog to talk about it. It’s very good.

Not a year ago he was the athletic director of the University of Tennessee.  Now, he’s head of the US Operation for Blood: Water Mission.  Their goal?  Bringing clean water by planting wells in countries, towns, and communities on the African continent. He writes about his trips to Africa as well as his time at the helm of the UT Athletic Department. Oh yeah he writes about his five adopted kids too.

I personally had no idea who he was when I met him; no idea the importance of Athletic Directors and college sports.  I grew up in Jersey, college sports is not too big there.  I now live in Knoxville Tennessee which is, of course, in the South East Conference, a conference that has won the last 480 BCS football championships and current holder of the Final Four Championship (basketball people).  College sports is life here.  Football is the heartbeat of that life, basketball is just a large blood vessel, maybe an aorta of that life.  The irony here is he’s gone from a place where sports is life to a place or places where water is life and it’s probably a 10 mile walk in one direction to get it.

The contrast of that makes for good reading.

Firm grasp on the world

Kate’s Scrapbook   http://katesplace7.blogspot.com/

Kate has an interesting view of the world and thankfully for us she has decided to share it in her blog.  Full disclosure here, Kate is my cousin, but from the Irish side not the dago side.  Kate is a writer and she loves to write about the mechanics and instruments of writing.  I can’t explain it but her knowledge of good writing pens is just fascinating.  Go for the pens, stay for her description of Philly commuters.  Kate may not ever be famous but she writes and will write some good sh#$%.  Oh yeah, she cusses a little, prudes beware.

Amusing Amusements    http://amusingamusements.blogspot.com/

Ashley has become a good friend and my go to on all matters relating to Frank going to pre-school at the ripe age of 2.  Ashley has a child in the same school and she gave me the veteran to rookie pep talk and unspoken rule info.  Her blog is the go to for just about everything from baking scones, to making your own soap to quality book reviews.  I never understood the phrase “they have their feet planted firmly on the ground”  until I met Ashley and her husband Jeff.  She made a sandbox out of a storage tote right before my eyes.  I could not have felt dumber for not thinking of that myself.

Go read, you won’t be disappointed.

Blogs of Awesome

Emerald Pie – A slice of life from the west of Ireland  http://emeraldpie.wordpress.com/

Not even sure how I found Ellie’s blog.  She may have found mine first.  But that’s the beauty and point of this post, you all don’t have to stumble around in the dark looking for awesome sites like Emerald Pie.  I just did it for you.  You’re welcome.

Ellie lives in the west of Ireland and her blog is about her family’s life there.  If you don’t think you’ll ever get to Europe in your life time, go to her blog.  It is pure Irish awesome. As a history major and enthusiast I love the stories she writes about trips to different castles or other landmarks.  The accompanying pictures are amazing.  From her writing you will quickly notice that Ellie loves her country.  She also loves describing it to us. Follow her blog, after a while you’ll love her country too.

 clotildajamcracker: the wacky stories of a crazy lady      http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

It’s pronounced Clotilda Jamcracker.  I think.  Just brace yourself.  If you like smart, if you like funny, if you like funny-smart this site is for you.  The sub title is apt.  She is crazy but she is funny.  Sometimes the stories are funny but I’m not sure they were meant to be.  Her sense of humor hits on all levels.  By that I mean she puts some shallow stuff in there that dopes like me can get right away, but then there’s subtlety that requires some serious thought. That’s the hook really, she just makes you think. Sometimes it’s about absolutely nothing, but you will think.  To me that is always good.

Not a big fan of christian advice, so don’t try to save her in the comment section.  I’ve seen several poor sob’s on the short end of that exchange.  I am a christian and as such my faith is stronger than a little ridicule, so I just enjoy her site.  But this site is not bashful so if a little cussin makes your pants wad up, don’t bother.  If you’re a little overly sensitive about your faith, don’t bother.

If you like to read smart people who not only write what they think, but do it in a way that is interesting and makes you want to read more then go forth and enjoy.

Thus ends the first semi-bi-annual Frankies.  Enjoy.

The gift shop is open in the lobby, cab rides home available on request.

Frank’s Place bears no responsibility for any injuries, physical, mental or otherwise in relation to these sites.  Clicking on the links implies agreement with the terms of agreement, as soon as we’re done writing the terms of agreement.  No animals were injured in the linking of these posts, well not severely anyway.

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12 comments on “Off Topic: You might be missing out…

  1. SEL-5 says:

    I believe your Irish cousin Kate is in fact like 1/4 Italian. And she kisses her mother with that mouth.

  2. These are great sites! My favourite is Clotilda Jamcracker! Thanks.

  3. Hey! Greetings from Ireland.
    Thank you so much for that “Frankie” Award and your kind words.
    I can’t remember either how I found your blog or if you found mine first…. must be old age catching up. Looking forward to lots more reading on your blog too.

    • fmlinardo says:

      You’re welcome Ellie.

      Yeah old age is for sure catching me. I think I found yours first, but I can’t remember the month of June so no way I’ll remember that.

  4. Oh my God, I got a Frankie! Yay!!
    Yes, Frank (and Susan), I am Italian (and Polish and Lithuanian) on my dad’s side, and Irish and English on Mom’s side. Daddy’s surname was full-on Polish until he Americanized it back in the ’70s.
    And I only swear because I work in Philly. You live or work in Philly and try to not swear every other day, especially when SEPTA is involved.

  5. Ashley says:

    I’d like to thank the members of the Academy, the makers of washable markers, Phyllis Diller, my girls who leave me weeping as I reflect on the trauma awaiting me in 10 years, and the three of you for reading my blog so faithfully. And; of course, to my dear husband Jeff, who despite my 95% failure rate of all new recipes, still found a way to add on a few pounds to fool the neighbors. You like me, you really like me!!!

    • fmlinardo says:

      Good acceptance speech. Short, to the point, and even worked the hubby in there. Take note hollywood – y’all could cut 2.5 hours from award shows using this template.

  6. Debra says:

    We made it, we made it! The 3 years sabbatical was actually to fill out adoption paperwork. It took almost that long. Since we are done, done, done adopting (love you kiddos, but I know my limits, and on some days, we’ve exceeded them), I have ALL KINDS of time to blog. And I would like to thank you, Fran, for reminding me that NOT breastfeeding has all kinds of perks, and Ashley, for weeding through all those recipes so I wouldn’t have to. And of course, to my mother, who told me one day when I was home from college that is located in a more ‘remote’ town of East Tennessee (and where ‘ain’t’ and you’ns is common vocab), that I was butchering the king’s language. Since then I have been paranoid about misspelling words and using bad grammar. So if you see any in my blog posts, feel free to retract the Frankie. I simply couldn’t accept it in good faith.

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