Canton, Ohio U.S.A.

My Reading List: January, February, March 2012
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Business

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My Reading List: October, November, December 2011
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Business

  • Winning, Jack Welch
  • Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Mark Murphy
  • Anointed for Business: How to Use Your Influence in the Marketplace to Change the World, Ed Silvoso
  • The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know, James Kouzes & Barry Posner
  • Accelerate!: Move Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing, Arnie Kuenn
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My Reading List: Jul, Aug, Sep 2011
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Business

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My Reading List: Apr, May, Jun 2011
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Business

Entertainment

Personal

Real Life

Currently Reading and Tweeting

Books on deck

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My Reading List: Jan, Feb, Mar 2011
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Business

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My Reading List: October, November, December 2010
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Business

Entertainment

Personal

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My Reading List: July, August, September 2010
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Business

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My Reading List: April 2010-June 2010
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Business

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My Reading List: December 2009 – March 2010
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Business

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99 Bottles of Beer and a Whole Lotta Food
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Jimmy’s Restaurant and Lounge is a nice little bar with a lot of food flavor that’s worth checking out.

This Ain't Your domino's Philly Cheesesteak Pizza!

This Ain't Your domino's Philly Cheesesteak Pizza!

A few weeks back Jen and I attempted to eat lunch at Jimmy’s Restaurant and Lounge in North Canton, but instead ended up in Akron at Lindsay’s Amber Restaurant. It’s a somewhat comical story that I already told in my Amber’s review so I won’t get into it here. This Sunday we gave Jimmy’s another shot and I have to admit to being very surprised. I’m happy to say that my first impressions of Jimmy’s was way off-base.

From the outside Jimmy’s Restaurant and Lounge doesn’t look like much. It almost gives the impression of a biker bar or perhaps some country bar out on Podunk Highway in the middle of nowhere.

Jimmy’s Restaurant and Lounge isn’t in the middle of nowhere, it’s right off portage a couple of blocks from the strip. Nor is Jimmy’s a biker or country bar that serves up sub-par food to a bunch of hicks. If that’s your impression as it was mine, just get that out of your head right now.

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Wine Me, Refine Me, Basement Dine Me
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Main Street Grille is a surprising little restaurant that offers more than meets the eye.

Somewhere under all those mushrooms a pasta awaits to be eaten.

Somewhere under all those mushrooms a pasta awaits to be eaten.

I normally do all my eating out with Jen but on a few occasions I find other/new friends to eat with. I got to know @martijen on Twitter. She’s a freelance copywriter and I’m frequently in the need of copywriting services for my clients. I invited Jen out to lunch as a get-to-know-each-other session and see if we wanted to work together.

We set a lunch date which got bumped a couple of times due to my own illness, then finally were able to meet a few weeks later.

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My Reading List: July-November 2009
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Between being sick and my travel schedule I haven’t had an opportunity to get out lately. I still have some back posts to write but business comes first. In the mean time I thought I’d publish this list that I’ve been compiling over the past few months.

I’m an avid reader and maybe something in here will strike your fancy too.

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Looking Out Into a Sea of Gray
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Take your family to Lindsay’s Amber Restaurant for a nice meal in a friendly environment.

Warm, tasty and melts in your mouth.

Warm, tasty and melts in your mouth.

This may come as a surprise to you but I really don’t get to eat out that often. Many people I know eat out several times each week. Usually a quick lunch at a sandwich shop or maybe something more extravagant. Between breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, I’m lucky if I get to eat out two or three times.

Now that I’m writing about all my experiences I’m trying to go out more frequently and to make it something worth writing about. When on a budget, eating out has to be strategic. I frequently use coupons from Restaurant.com. I’ve got a stack of them sitting next to my computer.

Sunday morning Jen and I decided we’d go out for lunch. We grabbed a stack of coupons, put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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My Big Fat Greek Gyro
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Papa Gyros’ Gyros are fresh, juicy and big enough for two… If you’re willing to share.

The Gyro. The tasty sauce and tomatoes are hidden under all that meat.

The Gyro. The tasty sauce and tomatoes are hidden under all that meat.

It was a dark and rainy evening, I was fighting off the last remaining bits of being sick and food was on my mind as it definitely wasn’t in my belly. Not looking to spend a great deal of money, Jen pulled out some coupons for Papa Gyros, we put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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With So Many TVs I Don’t Know What To Eat
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As advertised, Roosters is a fun, casual joint where you don’t need to think about what you eat.

A sandwich just ain't a sandwich unless it's got a slab of cow in it.

A sandwich just ain't a sandwich unless it's got a slab of cow in it.

I wanted to title this post “Just Another Cock-a-Doody Sports Bar” but I was afraid that too many readers wouldn’t get the reference to Misery. I wasn’t being disgusting, I promise.

Sigh.

I don’t go to chain restaurants too often anymore. It’s not that I have anything against them–there are plenty of chains that I enjoy quite a bit–it’s just that over the past several years I hadn’t really had an opportunity to explore. You don’t find those hidden gems or experience the local flavor when all you do is chain restaurants.

But every now and then I make an exception. Especially if it’s one I’ve never been to before, and someone else is paying.

Monday was one of those days. Jen was looking for a place to take the kids before we headed off to Nickajack Farms. She dug up some coupons from my entertainment book, put the bark collar on the dog and we headed out.

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My Life in Memes: iTunes Edition
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How many total songs?

4,636 songs, 12.7 days, 17.75 GB. I have 90% of these songs on CD.

How many total artists?

139 artists of which I have full-length albums. Artists of which I have one or two songs as part of a compilation are not included.

How many total albums?

353 full albums.

How many total movies?

224 movies, 17.2 days, 147.96 GB. All legally purchased. Almost all of them ripped from my DVD collection.

How many total TV shows?

13 series, 64 seasons, 1,227 episodes, 29.6 days, 261.90 GB. The only show not represented here that I have on DVD is Battlestar Galactica and three seasons of LOST (I can’t rip blu-rays yet.)

Sort by song title – first and last

First: “A.D. – B.C.” – Ken Tamplin/Shout. This is a rarely listened to tune from an artist that I enjoyed a great deal in the 90′s.

Last: “99 Luftballons” – Nena (Greatest Hits of the 80′s vol. 4.) Now I can’t get this out of my head.

Sort by time – shortest and longest

Shortest: 0.20, “Pad Tai” – One Bad Pig (I Scream Sunday.) There were several shorter “songs” that were really more like musical interludes. This was the first that could classify as a true song.

Longest: 14.23, “Free Bird (Live)” – Lynyrd Skynyrd (All-Time Greatest Hits.) I had a Staind song that was 21 minutes long but it’s almost all dead air so I recalibrate it to end at 4 minutes, therefore I didn’t count it here.

Sort by Album – first and last

First: Audios – The Greatest Hits, Audio Adrenaline. I have all the albums except maybe one greatest hits from Audio A. This one had an unreleased song so I felt compelled to buy it.

Last: 7even Year Itch: Collective Soul Greatest Hits 1994-2001. I have all the Collective Soul albums too, again this one had an unreleased song. This was before the days of iTunes where you could purchase only one song from an album.

Sort by Artist – first and last

First: A-Ha, “The Living Daylights” from the James Bond Theme Song Soundtrack.

Last: The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In”, from the Forest Gump Soundtrack. Odd how the previous question both were greatest hits, and this one both are soundtracks.

Top five played songs

109 – “Get Me Bodied”, Beyonce. I only have two Beyonce songs. I love this one the most.

103 – “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”, Dropkick Murphys. The only song by this band, again, a really awesome song.

95 – “Just Like Paradise”, David Lee Roth. And again, the only song I own from DLR. This was popular my Junior year in high school. Always brings back memories.

95 – “Follow You Home”, Nickelback. I love Nickelback.

91 – “Animals”, Nickelback. No really, they rock.

Find the following words. How many songs show up?

Sex: 1 song. I found this comforting.

Death: 13 songs. I found this disturbing until I realized that all but two of them come from a P.O.D. (Payable On Death) album.

Love: 340 songs. I found this enlightening.

You: 654 songs. Who me? Or you?

Home: 68 song. This includes 22 songs from Collective Soul’s “Home” album and 14 from Michael W. Smith’s “I’ll Lead You Home” album.

Boy: 229 songs. This includes 55 Beach Boys songs, 126 Newsboys songs, 18 Pet Shop Boys songs. Take those away and I got 30 songs about boys.

Girl: 41 songs. That’s better.

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle

What’s this party you speak of?

5 Artists with the most songs

247 songs, 22 albums – Petra. Another band I have all their studio and live albums including most of their greatest hits albums. They last studio album rocked.

181 songs, 13 albums – Bon Jovi. I have all their stuff, including their 4-disc, 50-song B-sides release.

134 songs, 11 albums – Collective Soul. Got them all and they still keep cranking them out. Good band.

130 songs, 11 albums – Third Day. Got all the albums except a live one which is on my Christmas list.

126 songs, 13 albums – Newsboys. Got all their albums. Consistently good through the years after their first three attempts.

110 songs, 11 albums – Audio Adrenaline. OK, so this makes six, not five, but I just wanted to round out the bands that broke the 100 song mark.

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When In Doubt… Eat Out
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Bill and Mary’s Diner has the best potato cakes ever… and some other food too.

Smothered in cheese, this philly cheese steak omelet left something to be desired.

Smothered in cheese, this philly cheese steak omelet left something to be desired.

Ever have one of those mornings when you planned everythign just right only to find out you had your timing off? Sunday was one of those days.

Jen and I were going to try out the adult Sunday School class before church service so we had to make sure each of us was up earlier than normal for a Sunday morning. I knew we had to leave before 8:45 to make sure we could get to class by 9am. I was ready to go on time but found Jen to be running a bit late. curling her hair and, you know… women stuff. She finished up about 8:50, we put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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Eventually You’re Bound to Run Into a Few Quacks
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Price Park is a beautiful place for a picnic, fun on the playground or hanging out with friends.

"Come out to the park, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

'Come out to the park, we'll get together, have a few laughs...'

We’re down to the last few nice days of the year before winter sets in. There won’t be too many afternoons left to go outdoors without having to bundled up under a thick coat, scarf and gloves. Since I work at home, there are many days that I don’t go outside at all except maybe to take the garbage out. But this was a day too beautiful to let pass without getting outside to enjoy it a bit.

Jen and I decided to take advantage of a still-warm fall evening to take her kids to Price Park over on W. Maple Street in North Canton. So we put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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Halloween Meme
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I get most all of my memes from my friend John. Nobody sends me this stuff and he does them all the time so I just copy him. :)

1. What is your favorite written work of horror fiction?

I read The Shining recently and wasn’t impressed. A few years back I read a Dean Koonts and moderately enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of horror fiction, but I think Ted Dekker’s recent novels might be classified as such.

2. What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?

I named my daughter “Gillian,” does that give you a clue?

3. Who is your favorite monster?

T-Rex from Jurassic Park.

4. What is your favorite Horror movie?

Does Pitch Black qualify? If not, I love Nightmare on Elm Street, the original Halloween movies, and all the Final Destination flicks.

5. What horror movie gives you the most chills?

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Avoid an Afternoon of Whine-ery at the Winery
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Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery is the perfect place to enjoy the fall harvest with your family.

(What happens when the Hero of Canton leaves town to visit his kids on at the same time Jennifer’s kids are spending the weekend with her in Canton? He begs and pleads with her to do something fun, take lots of pictures and write an incredibly witty and informative post for his blog. Then he crosses his fingers, does the dishes and hopes she’s as brilliant as he knows she is so his readers are left entertained and educated.)

I wanted to caption this "You won't get bored with these gourds" but Stoney said no.

I wanted to caption this "You won't get bored with these gourds" but Stoney said no.

If you’re anything like me, fall is your favorite season. There’s something about walking around outside when the air is crisp, the leaves are changing and crops are harvested. Give me a glass of apple cider, a pumpkin to carve and a bonfire to cozy up to and I’m a happy girl. Thankfully my kids have inherited this love of all things fall, so October generally finds me hunting the nearest pumpkin patch. A few weeks back we carted them off to Nickajack Farms for a pretty fun filled evening. Our primary regret? Not having enough time to really enjoy everything the farm had to offer.

So when my parents decided to come visit on a weekend when my kids were in town, we went hunting for another farm with a harvest event so we could enjoy an afternoon of fun. I went online, did some research and found out the Maize Valley Farm Market & Winery has boatloads of family fun. It was only about a 30 minute drive from Canton, so on Sunday after church we put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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When a Buffet’s this Good Gluttony Can’t Be a Sin
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Ichiban Japanese Buffet indulges your taste buds with a flavorful buffet and hibachi grilled meals.

My mouth waters just looking at it!

My mouth waters just looking at it!

After about an hour navigating our way through a hall of haunted mirrors, sneaking around an industrial strength slaughter house, surviving the flames of hell (in 3D!) and fighting our way through zombies intent on making us their last meal at the Factory of Terror, Craig and I figured we were ready to get some post-living flesh between our own teeth. Not quite hungry enough to eat a member of the living dead, we figured some Chinese cooked chicken and cow would do us nicely.

As we bantered about places to go, I shared my two requirements. 1) the food needed to be good and 2) the restaurant should have some “atmosphere”. Craig knew of a place that would do the trick so we hopped in our vehicles and headed out.

As I pulled into the parking lot Craig made a shocking discovery. The restaurant had been made to disappear. I knew of another place so Craig followed me down the street only to find my choice had closed for the night. It was getting late, but wasn’t quite 10pm. Surely we could find something open?

Strike two.

It was Craig’s turn to choose again and he lead us not to a Chinese restaurant but to a Japanese restaurant instead. We landed at Ichiban Japanese Buffet on Fulton Avenue. I had been wanting to try Ichiban for some time so I was delighted that this is where we ended up.

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You wanna see something REALLY Scary?
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Factory of Terror walks you through four ghoulishly delightful warehouse haunts.

Everybody has to have a last meal... just make sure it's not you.

Everybody has to have a last meal... it's just not supposed to be you.

After writing my review of Fear Forest Haunted Hay Ride I realized how big of a difference pictures can make. Not being able to take pictures on the hay ride or in the insanetarium, I could only tell my readers about the awesomeness that it was, but not show it.

To remedy this, I called around a few places to see if they would allow me to get in early to take a few pictures. Factory of Terror took the bait and did me one better. Instead of letting me in early to get a few shots of the sets, they comped me a couple of tickets and let me take the live tour snapping shots as I went.

I was given a tee time of Friday at 8pm. Jen was planning on being out of town so I went to work finding new haunted house buddy. Posting the opportunity on Twitter to join me at Factory of Terror, I had a few followers retweet my message, thereby throwing their hat into the ring. Craig (@CraigGeis,) was the lucky winner.

I’ve never met Craig though we have common acquaintances. I didn’t believe a single thing I’ve heard about him! We emailed, making arrangements to meet up at Factory of Terror. Come Friday, I put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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The Only Rat Your Kids’ll Ever Love
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Chuck E. Cheese’s on The Strip is clean, safe and a rare place that both kids and parents can enjoy.

Lose your kids in the Skytubes, just don't leave them behind.

Lose your kids in the Skytubes, just don't leave them behind.

As if an hour at Pump It Up wasn’t enough of a birthday treat for Emmitt, Jen rallied the troops for another couple of hours at Chuck E. Cheese’s for dinner and games. Yes, Chuck E. Cheese’s is a kids joint, but Rachel’s just like a kid so we let her come too.

We put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.

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I’ll Have “The Usual,” Please
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Samantha’s Sunny Corner Restaurant is the diner where “everyone knows your name.”

The mushroom swiss, loaded with cheese!

The mushroom swiss, loaded with cheese!

On Friday I was invited out to lunch with Jen, her mother and her two kids. Never one to turn down a free meal (yes, you can have lunch with The Hero of Canton, too. Just offer!) I readily agreed. Jen had Samantha’s in mind and asked me to check online for coupons. I looked at the usual spots but came up short. So much for the sign at Samantha’s front entrance telling patrons to check online for coupons. I had, dang it!

So with no coupons in hand, Jen and her mother swung by my apartment. I put the bark collar on the dog and we headed out.

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My Life In Memes #002
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1. Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet?

That’s a tough one, because scientifically it’s impossible to “fall off” the planet earth. Unless you subscribe to the flat-earth scientific theory, which, if I’m not mistaken, has actually been proven false. But this brings up and interesting question about whether one could literally….

2. How do you flush the toilet in public?

My foot. Always my foot. And I teach my boys the same. They’re such good boys.

3. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?

I do. I feel naked without it.

4. Do you have a crush on someone?

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