Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement


Word:Word Word Association Game Facebook Blitz: September 29, Noon (CST)

Word:Word is hosting a blitz. Same game, but everyone plays at the same time. 12:00 pm (noon) Central Standard Time.

The rules are the same. When ready to post, refresh your screen (that's the F5 button for those of you with Windows). Why? Just in case someone else snuck in with a word before you.

Take a lunch or dinner break, and get in on the speedy action. Our Californian and European friends can play virtually side-by-side. Open your chat, and say hi to one another. (You must be Facebook friends in order to connect via chat.)

Be sure to look at the other games under the discussion tab.

See you online tomorrow. Play here. Or, RSVP (no need to, but it might help you remember).

See the article about the game in the Chicogo Tribune's TribLocal:
Play With Your Words, Please: Facebook Group "Word:Word" Draws Word Game Fans From Across the Globe


Expunging Religion: A Nontheist Proposal

No God, No God Worshipers Allowed
I have been reading about the recent sex scandals involving a pastor of a large church in Atlanta. As everyone knows, he is not the first religious man to be accused of such abuses. Scandal, too, beyond that which is sexual, is rampant, and disgusts this reader of such news. Worse than sex and money (which we the People have every right to condemn the desire, ownership or misappropriation thereof), is ideological scandal. The members of this, and of all churches, mosques, and synagogues are led by men and women of all races and flavors, who believe and teach "god." God, being the very source of what is contrary to public life, is declared non-existent. He is not dead as he simply "isn't."

As we know:
  • Only religious leaders commit sex crimes against young men.
  • Only religious leaders are hypocrites.
  • Only religious leaders scam.
  • All those who believe in any religion are fools.
In fact, all do, there is no good in any religious person or organization.

The People have responded.

As a result, we, in America, not believing that people should gather as a unit to either worship or ostensibly serve a deity, will outlaw and cancel such activities.

We will start with President Obama, who has made it clear he is a Christian, and, as such, is part of this scam of money and sexuality. Impeachment will soon be underway.

Next, we will shut down the Salvation Army, World Vision, World Relief, and the YMCA. Make no delay. Trucks loaded with large axe-carrying men are on their way. Leave their premises immediately, or succumb to the People's Will.

Following this, we will oust every religiously motivated soup kitchen. Remaining soup will be poured down sewers, assisted by the great grandson of Eliot Ness.

All hospitals owned by the Catholic Church and other religious denominations will see their doors shut. Their patients will be absorbed by the much better county hospitals in their communities. Since religious people have morals, this impedes true science and true health. These facilities will become Planned Parenthood population control branch offices, or movie theaters, as space permits. In either case, popcorn will be served.

City names, like San Francisco, California; St. Louis, Missouri; and Santa Claus, Indiana, must be changed immediately to secular names.

People named Chris (male and female), will now be called Bob and Sue, respectively.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson will now be referred to as "The Father of Jesse Jackson Jr."

All people owning St. Christopher's medals or plastic Jesus' on their car dashboards must recycle them. If it rains and/or freezes, you must now care. Drive carefully because you now have no protection.

Citizens will work all holidays, since no day can be considered holy. This includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day because he was named after a historically significant theologian and himself made not-so-veiled references to Jesus Christ as the reason for fighting for equality.

Valentine's Day, naturally, now just celebrates the late Jimmy Hoffa's birthday.

You will remain sober on St. Patrick's Day, since celebrating any day remembering this British evangelist will not be tolerated. Offenders will be excommunicated to Canada. The Chicago River will still be green, but this will be because of murky pollution only.

Further, all days named after after a deity will be referred by the number it falls in the week, which now starts not on Sunday or Monday, but on the day formally known as Tuesday (now called '1W'). Months will reflect the change as well. The first month of the year is to be named '1M.' Since 3M is already a trademarked company named, and the People respect corporate rights, the former 'March' will be called 'Step.'

No more Jewish food. Since observing a kosher diet as defined by the Old Testament, it must be presumed that all food referring to this religious group must have been considered religious. Discussions are already occurring in New York City to convert delicatessens to hot dog joints. Special consideration is being made for matzo ball soup because it is so dog gone good. The People are not insensitive.

Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel Mizpah Medal, 20" and 24"Mizpahs, those medallions with two halves indicating a shared, but separated love, will be melted and turned into lockets. Feel free to miss your love, but present no pretense of Genesis 31:49, please.

No one will be allowed to swear. No "J. H. C," or "G-D." To be clear, "dammit" itself is not allowed, as is, "Go to Hell," since Hell cannot exist. No ecstatic eruptions of the phrase, "Oh God!" will be permitted, no matter what. The movie by the same name with George Burns and John Denver will be burned, as will Bruce Almighty. The F-bomb is still allowed.

All movies, books and music with religious references of any kind will be expunged or refitted. This includes the Yellow Brick Road scenes in The Wizard of Oz, as it alludes to the streets of gold of Heaven, as described in Revelation 21:21.

The Beatles' album, "Abbey Road," will be referred to simply as "Road." Similarly, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin will be called, "Stairway to Nowhere."

The Vatican, and all it includes, will be either destroyed or converted into a more suitable use. The Sistine Chapel will become a shop selling the new and right calendars, and its illegal ceiling will be painted over to display a pleasant gray tone in accordance with the Dour-Bland Act of 2010 (popularly referred in the press to as the "Dawkins Maneuver").

National Geographic may no longer be permitted to show cultural religious celebrations, as they do not exist. Dentists are hereby instructed to dispose of all copies.

The man who wanted to burn the Koran will be forgotten because both his theology that rejects Islam, and Islam itself, are no longer legal, and will be washed from the corporate, public memory. The State of Florida will burn any remaining Korans in a public closing of the mind ceremony.

Praying mantis insects will be stepped on when ever seen genuflecting, or otherwise appearing supplicatory. So as to not destroy the eco-system which has so far been supported, in part, by this vile rubbish of a creature, the legs which appear to be praying may be broken off and the mantis may live.

If you see a shamrock, note that the three leaves do not explain a Trinitarian god, and four leaves cannot represent good luck, a subtle form of religious hope. They are just weeds to you now.

Finally, atheists themselves are outlawed, and may expect to be immediately jailed, since what they do not believe in has no place in society, per the People, they, in defiance to what is no longer, are, by default, defying the Law. Anyone claiming to be atheists after the first 1W of 1M will be shot.


National Punctuation Day: A Punctuated Essay Overusing ,;--'...[()]"!¶?؟-

A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation
A Dash of Style:
The Art and Mastery of Punctuation
I, that is, all of us, know punctuation's our friend (albeit not real, but as that famous punctuator E.E. Cummings said, "The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful." which doesn't exclude words); punctuation blesses our writing -- perfects/lifts it -- so that words (Dare I include paragraphs, w/ or w/o the pilcrow [¶]? Nay!) come alive: far from being anti-intellectual, ideas mean more... mean everything they can.؟


Facebook Down? What to Do: Ten Tips

1940's Retro Candy Gift Box
1940's Retro Candy Gift Box
Facebook is down. You cannot play Farmville, Bejeweled or Mob Wars. What can you do? Sure, you can work, but, come on, you were avoiding that already. Don't change now.
  1. Twiddle your thumbs.
    This art lost favor as Blackberry and X-box become popular, but you can work on technique. Think about the 2012 Olympics in London. Be ready.
  2. Go for a run.
    You promised you would lose weight January 1. Hop to it. See you in an hour.
  3. Look in your desk for candy.
    A few gems might have been lost. Don't despair. Go get 'em.
  4. Adjust your socks.
    That discomfort you felt all morning? Good chance to get that good footsie feeling.
  5. Update your cell phone directory.
    You broke up with your girlfriend three years ago. Go ahead. Delete her. She's not going to call. Sorry, but move on.
  6. Repeat #3.
    You never know. Maybe a stick of gum hid in the last few minutes. It could happen.
  7. Check Twitter.
    Well, like, duh. Send out a few replies to celebrity posts. Maybe their assistant will reply. Try me.
  8. Suck your teeth.
    Work out that corn on the cob piece from last night. Still bugs you, huh? Suck away, my friend, you've got time.
  9. Call your mama.
    She loves you, bud. She tolerated your antics and shenanigans throughout your youth. You know the number.
  10. Write useless posts on your blog.
    Or, read mine. Thanks for reading. Click here to see if Facebook is back up.

Altec Lansing MZX206 MUZX Headphones reviewed: Nice, But Not For Running

Altec Lansing MZX206 MUZX Headphones with Mic and call functionWearing now the Altec Lansing MZX206 MUZX Headphones, I am listening to Bjork singing Headphones from her 1995 album, Post. It seemed apropos.

The short of it: Much better sound than the headphones which came with my iPod. However, they keep falling out of my ears. Despite the three different sizes Altec provided, not one will stay easily. If I move, and the cord tugs even the smallest amount, the pull out. This is tolerable at my desk, but only then.

Since the major attraction of headphones for me is to use them as I run, I am disappointed. I will use them at home, but not likely elsewhere.

Anthony Trendl


Leonard Skinner, Lynyrd Skynyrd inspiration, dies at 77

Free BirdI remember first hearing this story from my brother when I was little. There was every reason to think he was full of it, but it was too bizarre to not be true.

Won sixth row tickets to see Lynard Skynyrd in the mid-1990s while in grad school. Sold them in order to make rent to my roommate (who wound up leaving in the middle of the night, footing myself and our landlord with unpaid bills).

Rock on, Leonard!

Leonard Skinner, Lynyrd Skynyrd inspiration, dies at 77By Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Leonard Skinner, the no-nonsense, flattopped basketball coach and gym teacher whose name is forever linked with Jacksonville’s legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in his sleep early Monday morning. He was 77.


It's a Jungle Out There: Before the Thunder

My neighbor's deck was overgrown with weeds. The wood was rotting, revealing nails from ancient Icelandic ships. Wasps rated it in Mud House Beautiful as one of the top places in the United States to raise larvae and bother BBQs.

It needed to go. The condo association encouraged this, even.

So he tore it down. And removed the weeds (most of them).

In its stead, he planted grass. It grew. It is still growing. New weeds, too.

The wasps have moved, and chipmunks have moved in. One remarked to me just the other day that he just can't find a good place to live in the western suburbs at his price point. Now, though, he is as pleased as pink, and relocated his entire family. Presently, though, they are vacationing underneath my porch, taking excursions to dine at Hotel Trendlini, choosing always the freshest tomatoes grown in my backyard garden.

The thunder has yet to sound, yet the chipmunks are nowhere to be seen. They know. Like in many a-jungle, they are rain forests, such as you see here. By just a few slabs of wood, I am protected from fierce,  unseen beasts and evil fauna known only to those who never leave this jungle.


9-11 and Walking in Washington DC National Mall

Washington Monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial.
I have a new article posted in the Chicago Tribune's TribLocal. I looked at the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

The Red Bandana: Walking By An Egyptian Obelisk


Afghan Protests Against Koran Burning Turn Violent

However insensitive Terry Jones' initial intention (apparently canceled) to burn copies of the Koran, what he abhors is, in fact, the de facto reality. Jones may have fed the fire, but he didn't light it.

In short, no matter how foolish we think Terry Jones is, or the members of his church, America and the world is afraid of Islamic terrorists and we are willing to cower.

We are not Americans, not the Americans who stood against English oppression in the late 1700s. We are new Americans, ones who let fear be our bedfellow, nursemother and sensei. It is real. The solution is not known.

The New York Times reports that, as expected, violence has broken out in Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Numerous protests broke out in Afghanistan on Friday and two of them turned violent in response to plans by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Koran, even after the pastor announced he had suspended those plans.
In western Afghanistan, one civilian was killed and three were wounded by gunshots at a protest outside a NATO base in Bala Buluk, according to a hospital official there.
In northern Afghanistan, five Afghan protesters were wounded by gunshots, three of them critically, when hundreds of men tried to force their way onto a NATO reconstruction base in Faizabad, the capital of Badakshan Province, Afghan officials said.

Afghan Protests Against Koran Burning Turn Violent

related posts
Terry Jones Cancels Koran Burning
Mosques, Korans, Bibles, Hitler, Flags, Bush and Iraq (Burning All at Once?)


Terry Jones Cancels Koran Burning

Planned Koran Burning Drew International Scorn (NYT)
Before a Florida pastor canceled his plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, the international outcry intensified Thursday, drawing vocal condemnations from world leaders and touching off angry protests in corners of the Muslim world.
For all of you following my blog post Mosques, Korans, Bibles, Hitler, Flags, Bush and Iraq (Burning All at Once?), note that Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, canceled his plan to burn 200 Korans in protest of intimidation by Al Qaeda.

Clearly, this event became far bigger than Jones expected, with outcry from everyone from Sarah Palin to Pope Benedict XVI to President Barack Obama.

Islam Is of the DevilBuying books on Islam? See Amazon.

Looking for Jones' book, Islam Is of the Devil? Note: I have not read this, and cannot claim either support nor decry it.


On Stephen Hawking's Shark Jump

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing." -Stephen Hawking

Since science is the source of all truth based on evidence, then, if Mr. Hawking can repeat the process, I will believe. First, he can show me nothing. Any amount of nothing will do. Next, he can convert nothing into something. That will convert me.

I doubt I am the first to realize that Mr. Hawking has jumped the shark.

Also see The Seeker: Stephen Hawking's answer to God question tiresome

Search Amazon.com for Stephen Hawking

Bake Banana Bars - Recipe for Banana Bread-like Dessert

Banana Bars -- a recipe my mother used when I was a child, and among my fondest memories include her sharing them with me. Essentially, they are a sort of banana bread with chocolate chips. Unlike a bread, though, they are softer, with a chocolate chip cookie color. They have a texture something like pound bread, and look like blonde brownies.

Who do I credit with this recipe? Not my mom. I think she swiped it from a woman down the street who made them for her family. (Update: from Mrs. Hinz.) When I was in kindergarten at Chippewa Elementary, we had a cookbook made of all the favorite family recipes of the kids in my class. A few recipes stood out as new Trendl family favorites. This remains the best of the best, as far as I'm concerned.

If you have everything you need, you can be eating these within an hour of reading this guide. While you are munching on these (best with a glass of milk), imagine you are sitting on the letter Q in Miss V.'s kindergarten class in Palos Heights, Ill. in 1971.

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup lt. brown sugar
2/3 cup regular sugar

Beat in:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Blend in:
1 cup mashed ripe banana

Then sift together and add:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Mix in:
1/2 package chocolate chips (you use around 6 oz.)
Grease and lightly flour a jelly roll pan (10 x 15 approximately).
Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes until it becomes golden and begins to shrink.
Cool 15 minutes, then cut and enjoy.
Keep covered after cutting.

General baking products to keep you cookin'
If everything works right, some of what is below will be a link directly to Amazon.com. Otherwise, just copy/paste into the search box on the left.

republished post from Jan 17, 2008