Friday, June 26, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons...........................

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade..................
What happens if you can't afford the glass?

That thought popped into my head this afternoon. That made me think about other proverbs. A lot of proverbs don't make sense to me. I'm just too literal. I hope my observations make you laugh! Just like the one above, the proverb is the top line and my observations are on the bottom. Just some food for thought. But remember, I don't cook with salt.

A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.........
Isn't that called two smaller chains?

Actions speak louder then words...................
How do you yell actions?

Better late then never...............
that depends on who or what is late

Curiosity killed the cat...............
Dude! What'd he SEE?!?!?!

Do as I say, not as I do................
The best teachers practice what they preach.

Do not look a gift horse in the mouth................
But that's what's at my eye level!

Give a man rope enough and he will hang himself...............
OR climb a tree.

Good things come to those who wait..............
Why does this make me feel like I'm in time out right now?

One man's meat is another man's poison.............
Shout out to the Vegetarian and Vegan readers

Out of sight, out of mind....................
not in MY head!

Practice makes perfect................
PERFECT practice makes perfect! You won't get right what you practice wrong!

Put your money where your mouth is.............
Does it taste like Chicken?

The customer is always right....................
Unless they read the sign wrong :)!

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence........................
Only if your neighbor takes better care of their lawn.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_proverbial_phrases

I probably make a great drinking game.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day Delivers

Father's Day Delivers

Pizza........

and other Italian food!

Josh has been trying hard to find something stable since he got laid off at the end of September. He spent six weeks in a commission only job. Too many hours and too little money meant it wasn't a good fit. He was working seven days a week. That ended in early December.

Last week he started delivering pizzas for some income. Unemployment had run out and there isn't an Unemployment extension anymore. So at the start of last week he went to our regular pizza place and got hired. The owner knows us well and knows that he's still job searching. It might not seem like an impressive job, but it provides something big:

Current Employment!!!

A lot of places won't even look at your resume if you are unemployed for more then three months, more then six months, or at all. That means he's applied to a lot of jobs where he would be a good fit, but they weren't looking at his resume. Because he wasn't currently employed. Now that he IS currently employed, his resume will be seen by more people. This might improve his chances of getting a good job.

The hours means he's available to job search and go to interviews. That makes a big difference. It also helps that he has signed up with two recruiters. He's working hard to find a good job. But some of this is out of his control. That's the part that is scary for everyone that in unemployed or underemployed. At least he's working over 30 hours a week with a base pay and tips. It would be nicer if tips weren't $2 or $3 on average, but it's better then nothing.

He did have to work on Father's Day. But they let him out early. They also gave him a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. The owner knows and likes Zach. He's an awesome guy! Josh did get to spend some time with Zach on Father's Day. This year, Father's Day for us was the Saturday before.

He was very lucky to have this option. He has known the owner for years and the owner was hiring anyway. It bothers me when people don't like that some people need government assistance. Some people will read this and think:

"Good, I'm glad that there isn't an unemployment extension. Just get a job!"

This is my response to them:

"It's not easy to get a job. This truly is one friend helping out another friend. But this isn't as common a situation as most people think. Don't blame the unemployed for needing help, blame the people who aren't creating jobs or don't pay their employees enough. Blame the people not looking at the resumes of the unemployed!"

Josh has been working hard but it's been good for him to have co-workers again. He feels good providing for us again, at least partially. It's been good for him to feel capable. Remember, he broke his hip in January. Because of that, he has two limitations:

1. The job has to be able to do from home in dangerous weather

2. He can handle being on his feet 60% of the work week. He can handle more in a rare week but too much extra can be very bad!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Grade, New Language

Tomorrow is Zach's last day of Kindergarten. Regular readers might remember my obsession with a song called "Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C. At the time, I thought that obsession was about his Preschool graduation and the start of Kindergarten. Yeeeeah........................I was wrong. I mentioned before that I have seasonal CDs for my car. The summer CD starts with that song. I STILL can't get through it without crying.

We joined the town pool this year. In the past, I would look around for people I knew in High School. Now, we look for Zach's friends. He loves to swim like I always have. I can still make it pretty far underwater. The secret is to stay as close to the bottom as possible. Once  you are in the middle of the water, you'll be out from underneath it soon. The longer you can stay on the bottom, the farther you'll go!

I talk a lot about how this town is my life and in a lot of ways my sanity. Your life easily gets wrapped in this town. There is so much to do. There are so many nice people to know. Once you start in the public school, your life evolves around this town. That happened for Zach this year.

You are very likely to have a happy childhood here. That's why so many return when they have families. They want to give their kids the happy childhood they had. Last Saturday, at the pool, I was sitting at the table we always took as a kid and was crocheting like my babysitter used to. Like many elementary kids before him, Zach was playing shuffleboard. The pieces look old. They could have been the same ones Josh and I used when we were dating. Literally.

Even my maid of honor is hooked on this town! She hung out here a lot when we were in high school. She grew up in another town. Ironically, the same town my babysitter lived in. We graduated at the same time. Since then, she has taught Spanish in two of the four elementary schools. Unfortunately, not Zach's. He'll be learning Mandarin starting in September. I have met the teacher. She is a very nice woman!

I learned Spanish in middle school, high school and college. I'm not that good at it, but I can sometimes hold a conversation. When I started taking Spanish in school, my parents got me a computer program called "EZ Language". It had Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Russian. Each language had a test section so sometimes I went strait to the test section to see how well I did. I liked doing that for all six languages.

What I had:

http://www.amazon.com/IMSI-EZ-Language/dp/B00SQEST78/ref=sr_1_2?s=software&ie=UTF8&qid=1434674789&sr=1-2&keywords=ez+language

Before Zach was born, I saw one with a huge amount of languages on it. That was the updated EZ language CD. The link is below. But it was too expensive. At the time, I saw it in Staples. Staples doesn't have it anymore.

http://www.amazon.com/IMSI-730526354089-Easy-Language-61/dp/B00007LVF8

Every now and then I search for free software to learn various languages. I'm most interested in:

Spanish
French
Irish
German
Italian
Mandarin
Japanese
Russian
Sudanese
Hebrew
Indian
Sign Language
Morse Code

I don't know why. These are just the languages that draw me to learn. I think Spanish should be required for all 1st - 12th students. However, I think Mandarin should be required for all business and Engineering majors.

I wonder how Zach will do with Mandarin. I hope he likes it! I'll be curious if it makes him want to learn any other language too. I'll continue to search for that free software! I really liked the layout of the EZ language program though.

In the meantime, Zach will enjoy his first summer as a town kid. So far, it looks like it's going to be almost identical to MY town kid summers! GOOD!!! Because I had WONDERFUL summers as a kid!!! If you knew me in high school or are a parent friend, come say "hi" if you see us!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Millennial Math

 Lately, I have noticed there are a lot of articles about Millennials. We seem to be a thoroughly studied group. Here's the definition for those who are unfamiliar with the term:

2millennial

noun

Definition of MILLENNIAL

:  a person born in the 1980s or 1990s —usually plural

First Known Use of MILLENNIAL

1991
 
 
Earlier this week my Mom and I were explaining what a Millennial is to my Dad. They are both Baby Boomers and she explained it like this "we call them the 'Baby Boomlet' but now they are called 'Millennials'". Either way there is a reason we are so closely studied.
 
It's in the Math!
 
And, the economy. You can't research the Great Recession and the slow recovery without noticing that we were effected most by the Great Recession. We are the first generation with large numbers attending college. That also means we have a large amount of student debt. Meanwhile, it's hard to find a job that makes enough to cover the cost of living.
 
As a result, it's taking longer to pay down those debts. Meaning, we aren't buying houses at the same rate our parents were. This is where we get our third nickname, "Generation Rent". That mentality is dragging down the housing market.
 
I've said this before but it is big enough to bare repeating:
 
The cost of living is rising while income remains stagnant. There can't be true economic recovery until income rises to match the cost of living.
 
That can be seen clearly in all of these Millennial studies. We spent so much on college expecting a decent paying job as a result of the college education. But, those jobs aren't there upon graduation. We were promised a better life for that high cost. Instead, we struggle. We are the generation questioning if college is worth the cost.  
 
We are expected to carry the economy. 50 year olds have houses. We are expected to be the ones buying houses. The National Debt can only get paid once taxpayers pay their taxes. Taxes are based on income. How can they expect to pay down the National Debt when there isn't enough income from taxes to cover the necessities?
 
The country won't recover until income matches the cost of living. But part of that cost of living is college debt. Millennials delay a lot of future expenses because of the burden of that college debt. By delaying these expenses, it sets the economy back.
 
What's the solution? Part one, capping what colleges can charge in the first place. Lower college costs means lower debt. Lower debt means paid off sooner. Debt paid off sooner means resources available for other expenses. But colleges aren't going to voluntarily lower costs. They'll only do it if legally obligated to.
 
Part two, find a new way to create decent paying jobs. The current plan is "keep taxes on the rich low and pray they create jobs". So, Politicians gave rich people the power to control the economy of the entire nation. It's like giving Lex Luthor all of the Kryptonite in existence then trusting him when he says he'll never use any.  
 
Politicians don't seem to like the idea of "raise taxes on the rich to cover our expenses". It seems they would much prefer to take almost every penny Millennials make. Then, like Chris Christie, deny that it's making things worse.
 
Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a back-up plan for the failed "let the rich create jobs" experiment. Clearly, they aren't doing the math. They haven't calculated how much better off the economy will be once Millennials make enough to pay off their college debt.
 
Millennial Math:
 
We are having kids later
We are having fewer kids
We are getting married later
We are buying a house later
We are more likely to lease a car then buy it
We are more likely to decide NOT to have kids
We are more likely to NEVER buy a house
We are more likely to NEVER marry
 
These are all decisions that effect the economy. Most of us are making these decisions based on our income. We are having fewer kids because we can't afford more. Less kids means less income from income taxes. Less income means less things can get paid for. There is a lot of subtraction there and not enough addition.
 
There are 11 Millennials in the House of Representatives. There are no Millennials in the Senate. Our Lawmakers are mostly from a generation that doesn't understand us, the Baby Boomers. The generation commissioning all of these studies on Millennials.
 
 There can't be functional economic policies until our leaders understand us and our needs. Without functional economic policies, we can't have a functional economy. Instead of mocking the "Occupy" movement, they should have listened to it, learned from it, and fixed the problem.
 
It's basic math, Millennial math.
 
 

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Military Recruiter

I was once recruited by someone in the military. During senior year of high school, someone told a military recruiter I was interested and gave him my number. When he called, I explained that I was not interested. But, he kept calling. My Mom said he called for a long time after I left for college. He wasn't taking "no" for an answer.

That was even after both me and my mom explained to him that I was a 5' 2" 95 lb. dance major. Neither of us could understand what I could offer the military. It started in the spring of 1999. Before 9/11. We weren't at war at the time. There wasn't the same level of need for volunteers back then. Yet he persisted.

Someone claiming to be a friend said I'd be interested. Why didn't he let it go once I cleared things up? I can understand the persistence for someone who said they were interested in learning more. But, why was he so persistent over a "friend" recommendation? Why in 1999?

Two of my classmates did enter the Military when we graduated. I used to think it was a bully who called him as a prank. But now I wonder if it was one of them. I wasn't close with either. But it's possible they were asked to provide a list of other possible recruits. Perhaps, they got something in return for each person they recommended that signed up. My number was in the phone book. They could have looked it up. But the persistence doesn't match that casual approach to recruiting. What exactly did they tell him? And why would they recommend me? I still think it was a prank from a bully. Why didn't the recruiter believe me when I told him that was probably what happened?

What was he told? For at least a year after suggesting it was a prank his calls continued. The truth never changed. I probably wouldn't have passed the physical. Even after we explained my size, he persisted. What did he think I could contribute? I am good with computers but am certainly not skilled enough to make a cyber difference. I doubt me holding a gun skillfully will ever look right. Picture that my "guns are great" friends. I bet you're laughing right now at the image. I certainly am!

I don't think the Military has a dance division. Why would they recruit someone who can only offer cooking? Any way you word it, the persistence doesn't match. I have never been athletic. If I had been a talented athlete on a school team, I could understand the persistence. The only thing funnier then an image of me with a gun is watching me run. I am slow. I was always picked last or almost last in gym class. That seemed like a smart choice to me back then. I still feel that way.

For those who knew me back then, can you picture me in an Army uniform? For those who know me now, can you imagine if I had joined? I had great grades in High School. Perhaps he felt I was worth it because of my grades.

I'm named after my Mom's father. He was in the Air Force. For WWII you had to take a placement test. He scored very high so that meant Air Force. I'm scared of heights. Can you imagine me flying airplanes? I'm also scared of ships. But sometimes I wonder about if I took the test, what I would have qualified for. I may not have been able to actually do it, but it may have been fun knowing the answer.

It was the time in my life where the future was ahead of me. I had a lot of options. There are a lot people about the graduate in that place now. Enjoy it. Write down every thought you have in that "what should I do with my future?" battle. Because at my age, it will answer a different question "how did I end up here?" Those notes can guide you when you least expect it. It's also a great way to remind yourself of how your mind worked at 18.

 It's all about decisions. You have to learn from the past, analyze the present, and anticipate the future outcomes to make good decisions. But good decisions then, means a better life 16 years later. There are a lot of people who find careers after serving in the Military. These days, it might be a better choice then an overly expensive college education. At least they pay you while you learn skills! But college has a lot of benefits too. One of them being you're more likely to make it out alive and with all of your limbs. Perhaps that option decreases if you join a fraternity.

I once did a post where I said you are a hero simply for volunteering. It's a big decision to make, joining the military. You make it knowing you could actually die for your country. THAT'S a hero. I have always respected those who serve or served. This is one of many reasons why.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Free Range Helicopter

This post is about two very different parenting styles. Both have been in the news. Having a parenting style in the first place is new from my generation. Personally, I have no idea what our style would be defined as. Probably somewhere in the middle of Free Range and Helicopter.

Free Range parenting is giving your kids a lot of freedom. One couple has been in the news recently for letting their 10 and 6 year old walk alone to a park about a mile away. They were arrested. The concept is simple. With freedom, your kids learn to be independent.

I agree with that concept in general. But the amount of freedom needs to be age appropriate. I don't know what I would have done in this situation because I don't know the area. Would there be a way to contact them? Was there a set time for them to be home by? I think this level of freedom should be reserved for older kids. I would need more information before forming an opinion on if the parents should have been arrested.

Helicopter parenting is extremely involved parenting. Some moms of multiple kids probably refer to this as the "first baby" method. Babies and small kids need to be watched. A first time mom will watch everything their baby or toddler does. With additional kids, that's not possible. They are watched, but they aren't always being monitored.

Personally, I have always been a mix. I watch Zach but have always given him freedom at appropriate times. That freedom grows slightly as he gets older. There needs to be a balance between too much freedom and too little. But what balance will work depends on the kid, their age, the circumstances, and the parents. It's important to know what's going on in your child's life while teaching them to be independent.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Memorial Day Story

He's standing quietly. He looks down and sees grass that is well cared for, and his brother's grave. A blood brother. They don't share genes. But they share blood. Blood flowing from both on a battlefield. The sounds of gun shots and explosions surrounding them.

He was supposed to be listening for the enemy quietly. But his focus was on the blood brothers around him. He spots a safe place to hide. So he picks up this particular brother and carries him to safety. See this particular brother has lost both of his legs in an explosion. Next, he goes back for his three other blood brothers. They have all been shot and need help moving to safety. He's injured himself, but he fights back his pain and exhaustion. His brothers are the priority. He's their leader. He needs to make sure all of his brothers make it home.

All five remain safe until morning. His brother lost too much blood and dies is his arms during the night. Soon, they are found by others in their Unit and are brought to base to receive medical attention. The memory fades.

He looks down at the Purple Heart in his hands. He was awarded it for that brave night. Somehow, it doesn't feel like the honor it's supposed to be. He feels like the man below him should have it instead. So he doesn't talk about his Purple Heart.

The three remaining blood brothers come towards him. They have agreed to meet here every year on the Anniversary of their brother's death. Because for them, THAT is the real Memorial Day. They talk about their time together. They talk about the brother that has only joined them in spirit. They talk about their lives now. Then they all kiss their hands and touch his grave at the same time. It's a bond that can't be broken nor explained.

What they have experienced is something that can't be explained. They are thanked for their service. They get discounts in some places. But no one will be able to fully understand what they experienced. Unless they too have fought together in battle.

For my Military readers I ask this, did I get it right? I know the details of the battle will vary. I know Purple Hearts are rare. But, I hope I captured the experience well. I know many lives are lost in battle. Most of those deaths are witnessed by blood brothers and sisters. Is this how you feel as you remember those lost?

I say it all of the time. Serving in the Military makes you a real life Superhero. Some protect us from a computer. Others, on the battlefield. I appreciate the sacrifices all of you and your families make and made for your country.

Memorial Day isn't about the people walking in the parade in a uniform. It's about the people who lost their lives for their country. I would imagine for Veterans and those serving there isn't a holiday for when they remember their lost blood brothers. For them, Memorial Day is any day they remember those that lost their lives.

I'm sorry for your losses. Those of us that didn't serve only see names. We don't know anything about those we remember today. You see faces. You have memories of conversations. We see the name, you see the person that name belonged to. THANK YOU isn't strong enough.

Monday, May 18, 2015

No Salt Added Coupon Exchange

Lately, I have had two things I have been considering doing. The first is to put my recipes together to make a book called "No Salt Added". The second is to create a coupon exchange. I don't fully know yet how I would do these things. I'll let you know if I do.

I love to cook. My family loves it when I cook. I might not be professionally trained, but I'm still good at it. With my diet and blood pressure issues I have fine tuned a bunch of recipes that are still good, but don't include adding salt and pepper to them. Why not pepper? Because with my OCD I associate that the two MUST go together. When I look for recipes, almost all of them include salt and pepper.

My friend, Anie, wrote a book. I mentioned it in a previous blog post from about two years ago. She self published and gave me the website. Now, I struggle with the question.........."would I sell enough copies to make writing it worth it?" It's one of those questions I can't know until I take the chance to do it.

With high blood pressure being more common, I would imagine there would be some people that looked through it. A big seller might be that it was written by a Mom, not a chef. It's recipes designed to be quick and easy for busy families. Even if you don't cook much yourself, you should be able to make some of my recipes. I have seen a lot of recipes claiming to be some form of "weeknight easy". I find that isn't true. My recipes actually ARE weeknight easy. It's too good an idea to fully ignore.

Another idea is for a coupon exchange. I'm not talking about "Groupons". You know how when you have a store card sometimes you get coupons at the register? You might notice that most of them are for things you never or rarely use. In some cases, you use the item but not the quantity the coupon is for. It's time to exchange them.

You'd sign up for it, but it's free. All you would do is turn in coupons you won't use. You can choose  coupons turned in by other people for things you actually would use. Here's an example, I get a diaper coupon. I most certainly don't need that! So I turn it in. But, someone else has turned in a coupon for something I buy all of the time. So I can take that coupon because I have turned in my diapers coupon. There will most certainly be someone in need of that diaper coupon!

I would still need to work out the details. But, it sounds like something that would be nice to have! It's free to have a blog here on BlogSpot. I can set up a page through here. I just don't know how the actual exchanging would work! If I figure that out, I'll let you all know!

I don't know if they are good ideas or not. But they have been on my mind for a while. After six months of thinking about it, I thought it was time to share these ideas.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

From "Mommy" To "Mom"

After three miscarriages and two years of trying I made a decision when I got pregnant with Zach:

I'm "Mommy" until he turns six then I'm "Mom"

His sixth birthday is June 5th.

It might sound odd but I did feel a transition. He's a big kid. When he walks home with his friend, he looks like I did when I was nine! He has homework. And I have the SCA. The SCA is this town's version of the PTA.

Basically, I became "Mom" when he started Kindergarten. I didn't notice until December for the school's Holiday Shop. A year ago at this time I knew I wanted to help with Picture Day in September and the Holiday Shop. On Picture Day I only stayed for an hour and met a couple of other parents.

But there were a lot of parents helping out at the Holiday Shop. I also helped from the start of the day until Kindergarten got out at 12:30. I realized how many parents I knew and not all of them were from Kindergarten pick up or High School. I fit in with the other "Mom's". As in, the Mom's with older kids. The Mom's with older kids even recognize me!

Since then I started volunteering at the Library every week and the Book Fair. I had planned to stay at the Book Fair for an hour but rescheduled an Orthopedist appointment to finish off the morning for them. They were low on Volunteers. Just today I signed up to help with Field Day and the Pizza Lunch after.

The funny thing is that this is LITERALLY what I dreamed about. It's LITERALLY everything I wanted. I was looking forward to Zach being in Elementary school since we got married! I started off being scared to volunteer for much but I'm enjoying being the Mom I always wanted to be.

I was the Mommy I always wanted to be. Zach is thriving today in large part because I was a good Mommy. Now I'm an even better Mom. I'm becoming the Mom that volunteers for a lot. In the next couple of years I might be asked to volunteer if the chair for an event is low on volunteers. Because they are starting to know me, know I have one kid, and know I'm a Stay-At-Home-Mom. They also know I am willing to volunteer for a lot and will put in extra time if it's needed. Next year I added helping with the Thursday SCA lunches about once a month and selling School Spirit wear.

I always talk about how God has a plan. Everything actually does happen for a reason. My retail background came in handy when I was the only one who knew how to change the receipt paper for the Book Sale. It also helped when helping kids shop at the Holiday Shop. I use my Tutoring background in helping Zach with his homework. He's thriving in school. But that isn't the most important part of my background.

In 2005 I got fingerprinted. It was professionally done on a computer for when I was a Substitute. Required by the state. When you volunteer at the school for more then three days you need to have that fingerprinting done. They don't usually make a big deal over if a parent doesn't have it done. But I just had to archive those prints for a criminal background check now I can be in the school as much as I'm needed. Obviously, I passed the background check. If they ever need to show them, they can. All because I did that in 2005.

Parenting evolves over time. Every once in a while you realize you used to do things differently and can't remember how, when, or why things changed. The rules need to change as the child changes. I have always said "reward responsibility with freedom". Zach is very helpful and responsible. So we give him an age appropriate amount of freedom.

"Safe, legal, and age appropriate" still works. His tastes have changed in some cases. But all of his interests are safe legal, and age appropriate. Maybe the reason he is so responsible is because he has enough room to be himself. He can explore who he is now. He doesn't have to wait until Middle School when there aren't so many parent rules to follow.

Zach loves that I volunteer at his school so much. It's a treat for both of us. One classmate even drew me a picture because she thinks it's so great I help with the library class. Library can be fun when you have OCD. I don't even need a "Visitor's" name tag anymore. They all know why I'm there and who I'm attached to. It feels good to be Mom. I'm LITERALLY living my dream!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fixing MLB's Problems (edit: Found The Article 4/30/15)

It's officially that time in baseball season where sports writers write articles with a bunch of ideas on how to fix Major League Baseball's two biggest issues. None of those ideas will be taken seriously by the MLB but some of them should. So Josh and I started talking about what they can try to solve their two big problems:

1. Make the games faster
2. Keeps fans interest

The best way to keep fans interested is to improve scoring. I have noticed that the games that go faster have more scoring. Partially because there aren't extra innings. Focusing on batters stepping out of the box and pitchers taking a while to actually throw the ball help. But that only gives you 5 - 10 minutes back. That doesn't help in a game lasting over three hours and fifteen minutes. Rules to encourage higher scorings make a big difference in fan interest for the NHL, the NFL, and the NBA. It's become a pitcher's game but that gets frustrating for fans.

1. Add a 10th batter.

It's the best of both worlds. The pitcher bats in both leagues and both leagues have Designated Hitters. It reduces injuries in AL pitchers if they are trained for being batters as well. It also evens up the chances for the World Series.

2. Hit by pitch is 2nd base not first.

That runner in scoring position threat might make pitchers aim better. It also leads to more RBI opportunities.

3. Extra run point Home Runs.

If a batter hits a home run, their team gets credit for each player scored run plus a bonus run. 2 runs for 1 player, 3 for 2 players, ect....... and 5 for grand slams.

4. No second baseman

The short stop usually get the on base outs anyway. The first baseman can get more balls. This leads to more players on second base. Scoring position. There are still opportunities to get them out. But it increases RBI opportunities.

5. Extra Inning Home Run Derby

I got this idea from the below article. After the 10th inning go to HR derby mode until you get a winner. The pitcher can still be from the opposing team but he has to be fresh from the bullpen. As in, brand new to the game!

6. Non-adjustable strike zone

Different umpires have different strike zones. I say the strike zone should be defined as in front of the catchers chest pads. At least it would be the same size for all players!

I think most of these ideas would be easy to implement! It's important to limit stall time for pitchers and batters alike. However, these are ideas that would make a difference in speeding up the game. At minimum it makes it more interesting to watch and the time goes faster!

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/04/24/2-point-lead-five-ways-to-radically-change-baseball/21176314/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl14%7Csec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D272219900

That's the article I read that got us talking. A couple of my base ideas come from this article. But my ideas expand on the author's ideas. For example, he doesn't specify pitcher rules for a home run derby. I have read a lot of "fixing baseball" articles and like most of his ideas. The only one I don't like is the three pitcher maximum rule. What if the third pitcher gets injured? Mixing and matching pitchers with batters doesn't happen that much. It's most likely to happen in September with a playoff push.