The early morning arrives…

The sun rises later and the sound of the AM crickets are no longer heard like they were in the recent months. Instead what’s alive and kicking against my window is the whistling of the wind and the cry of a passing train, which peacefully fades.

From that alone, I can already tell the temperature outside is getting colder here on the East Coast. I’m also reminded of the changing weather outside by slowly being awoken by the heat cranking up in the house. That feeling of, “I don’t want to get up or can’t move,” kicks in.

Yes it’s November, but Fall’s prime has passed.

Now, it’s mid-November.

A beautiful and unique time of the year that may get overlooked by some. The Northeast’s colorful leaves are in full force, yet the trees become barer by the second. The naked arms of the different shaped trees reach out towards the sky; and usually around 3:00pm they’re pointing up towards a visible Moon, even though the sky is still lit up in baby blue.

Then, two hours later it’s already pitch black outside. And, sometimes that Moon appears to be closer to Earth than ever before, plus its full shape is a bright gold color that could have it be mistaken for another planet. Having the bare trees with the fully lit Moon in the background is a sight that should be made available to us every night.

orane moon_tlt5

Sure, the days get colder, but it’s not quite December weather yet, and I personally embrace the change in temperature. It’s enjoyable to not only smell that lit fireplace or pit, but to actually see the smoke rise above and dissipate into the clouds or stars.

If you’re a sports fan, the NFL is in the full swing of things, and there’s usually classic college football rivalry matchup to be played — like the Big 10’s Ohio State Buckeyes versus Michigan Wolverines.

We can’t forget the best holiday of the year and my personal favorite, Thanksgiving. Yes, myself and I’m sure others, enjoy Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Waking up and walking downstairs to the smell of all the delicious food, specifically the turkey and stuffing, lit candles and pre-game show for the Detroit Lions game makes the best day of the year that much better.

Catching up with friends, old college or high school buddies and family over drinks and high spirits is an awesome feeling that I’ll always appreciate, which will never get old either.

Before you know it, the roads are busier with cars and people looking to get their holiday shopping in; the lines at Starbucks for the red cups are out the door; the sound of the trains in the mornings and night remain the same, but they’re busier and filled; as New York City becomes the main focus of attention.

Winter is right around the corner, and so is that first snow fall.

So long November…


Also See:


Student Of The Game


tLT5 Promo Post

A special thanks to Caitlyn Bahrenburg for her recent social media post appreciating the little things, which also supports my writing and brand.

Caitlyn and is a fantastic writer and is a journalist for the Northern Valley Suburbanite.

More posts to follow, and you can also check out more of my creative writing on Instagram — @theLittle_Thing5Β Β 

See other #tLT5 promotional posts from all over the world.


October 31, Halloween.

Originally a holiday honoring the dead, which gets celebrated differently across the globe. Here, in the United States, the holiday is celebrated with costume wearing, kids trick-or-treating for candy, costume parties and watching spooky movies etc.

Yet, it seems that Halloween in the U.S. has become more hollow, and could be re-titled “Hollow-ween.”


As a youngster I can recall typically dressing up as a Power Ranger numerous times (although I was always very disappointed — I don’t think I ever got the chance to be the Green Ranger), Batman or a Star Wars character. Either attending a Halloween parade to watch, in my early years, or taking part in one was a norm and seemed quite popular, especially in the 1990’s.Β Trick-or-treating with family and friends was a “must” growing up, and basically was until those early High School years…

Houses and properties were always fully decorated with jack o’lanterns, “R.I.P.” tombstones, cobwebs and ghosts swayed from trees. As I look around today — that’s no longer the case. Front lawns are now bare compared to past October’s, and the Halloween “spirit” and festivities seem to decrease as time goes on.

Sure there are still pumpkins next to front doors and porches, but nothing more than that typically. And while there are still some haunted hay rides and houses you can explore; there certainly are not as many present, plus I don’t think they’re not advertised as much anymore either.

Trick or treaters have almost been declared extinct. We used to run out of candy to give out by the time the town’s curfew approached. Now, we’ll hand out 12 pieces of candy at most. I can remember going through entire neighborhoods with friends, and seeing floods of people walking along doing the same — no longer the case.

The traditions that have continued, or have gotten more popular, from the once “spooky” holiday are the costume parties and pumpkin picking. While both are cool, fun and can be creative — I feel like half the time people take part in the fall festivities is because of the potential Instagram or Facebook post they’ll get to flaunt…

I’m not much of a TV-watcher, but it seems like there may be less scary or spooky movies on channels, and perhaps they’re only played on the day of or night before. Am I wrong?

Then of course how could we forget , Mischief Night. There were always sights of trees completely “decorated” in toilet paper and silly string on Hallow’s Eve. In fact, usually a week leading up to the night kids were out participating in mischief activities. Presently, it’s a rare sight to wake up on Halloween to see my property or neighbor’s places covered in toilet paper or having shaving cream sprayed out somewhere.

I almost have the urge to offer teenagers on Mischeif Night to chuck some toilet paper in the trees on my front lawn, and to go out and do the same to other houses, go explore and embrace the night — but Β to do so in moderation obviously, and no vandalism.

Halloween will never entirely disappear, but I do have to wonder if some of its’ traditions like trick-or-treating or decorating homes will be relevant in years to come…

October 31, Hollow-ween.


Also See:

Fall Is Home

Priorities, There’s More To Life Than Playing SportsΒ 


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My Favorite Time Of ‘The Day’

If you were to approach me while walking outside on a bright and sunny summer day and say, “Wow, what a beautiful day out today! Isn’t it?”

I may in fact smile, nod my head and agree with you. But, truth be told is I would lying to you.

It’s about 90’s degrees outside and the sun is shining too bright to the point where my eyes are still squinting underneath my polarized sun glasses. I can still manage to see you and act like everything is OK, but it’s a struggle, and my eyes are now clouded by natural tears. Plus, I can feel the heat bouncing off of the concrete sidewalk — making matters that much worse.

Also, keep in mind the humid air is as flat as the liter of soda which has been sitting in my closet-pantry for about a year now.

The next time I should just be honest, shrug my shoulders and tell you how I don’t care for a bright and hot summer day, at all. Or, at least in New Jersey.

I live for the night — it’s my favorite time “of the day.”

I guess you could call me a “night crawler” or “night owl.” That’s how it’s always been and always will be.

There’s something about when the sun starts to set that provides both an excitement and sense of relief inside of me, which suddenly becomes “game on.” For whatever reason, there’s just an aspect about watching the sunset that makes me happier than seeing the sun rise.

What can I say? I guess I like staring up at a bright silver moon that’s surrounded by millions of decorative visible lights, and galaxies where we can still play “connect the dots” even from down here on Earth.

As a kid, I would have preferred to run around with neighborhood friends while playing manhunt in the evening. There was always something sneaky, spooky and mysterious about running around with your buddies during the twilight. It typically brought an adrenaline rush to me, like I was Tom Cruise starring in an action/mystery film — trying to save the world of course.

During the week days, I’ve always had this perception that the sun shines down directly on us from weird and annoying angles, especially when I’m driving. It’s like the sun decided to make it, “National lets shine into Kyle’s car in the most obnoxious way possible so he can’t see the road;” compared to a Friday or Saturday when the daylight just seems more inviting and less irritating.

Ha, or maybe it’s just me…

Family parties or social gatherings? Yup, I prefer it to be during the night. I’d rather be at a restaurant with family and friends that’s on the water, or at the beach, staring at the reflection of the moon ripple across the glossy river. Or, hearing the waves crash against the shore in utter silence when the Shore crowd has cleared out.

And, as we all know — fall is my favorite season. At night, it’s perfection. Smelling or even seeing the crisp fire burn under a dark sky; with noises of the fallen leaves crunching in the background from either “unknown” animals roaming or people walking and hearing an owl consistently “hoot” is quite the thrill to me.

I wish I could draw or paint…I would sketch out the sight of the bare trees reaching out to the moon with the lit up night sky in the background; making the “dead” trees look that much more alive.

Click here for more

Now, since I love to relate perspective to sports, there’s nothing better than attending a sporting event at night.

A Prime example — the atmosphere is ten times better at a baseball game during the evening than it is at a matinee. During a day game, once again, it’s too hot to actually be comfortable and enjoy what you just paid to watch. The sun blinds you from seeing that home run sail over the fence, or even being able to catch that foul ball by your favorite player.

Even growing up playing either baseball or hockey — there was just more of an adrenaline rush “playing under the lights” than during the day.

As time has passed by — I’ve embraced the peacefulness the nighttime has to offer…

The night, is my favorite time of ‘the day.’

Jakub Voracek Donating Towards Multiple Sclerosis: Fundraising Proposal

Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Jakub Voracek is coming off an outstanding “breakout” season for the city of “Brotherly Love.” He’ll more than likely have another great year for the Flyers, and will have fans from all over the NHL and professional sports cheering him on, not just Philly.

Voracek’s sister has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. So, out of ‘Brotherly love’ the Czech Republic native announced he will be donating $1,000 towards multiple sclerosis for every point he records in 2015-2016.

on April 5, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.
Proicehockey.about.com (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Wow, an amazing class act and a great way to fundraise, plus raise awareness for this cause. It had me thinking though…

Perhaps a way to effectively fundraise money and bring about more awareness for Voracek’s cause would be to start a social media campaign — similar to the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Idea:Β #BrotherlyLove

NHL players could have videos recorded (before or after a team’s practice) of them (one-vs-one) shooting on or going down the ice on a break away against their goaltender. If the player scores he would then have to donate $1,000 towards the cause. Then, the goal scorer could “challenge” or “pass” over the motion by selecting another NHL player to do the same — which would then become a domino effect throughout the league.

After the video is recorded it could then be promoted over all social media outlets by the player’s account and the team’s as well. And, a hashtag #BrotherlyLove could be used to help brand the purpose and spread the awareness “factor.” I believe “Brotherly Love” is fitting, no?

Imagine players such as Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Alexander Ovechekin, Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos all taking part in this amazing cause. It would be awesome exposure to benefit multiple sclerosis and Voracek’s mission, #BrotherlyLove.

Plus, hockey players from all over the world, in any rink, could participate as well — not just the NHL.

Youth, junior level, collegiate and semi-pro could all join in and help fight MS. It would be a tremendous way for the the cause, teamed up with the NHL, to really interact with it’s fans and even potential stars of the game.

And, if a team’s respective goalie stops the puck — well then perhaps he can donate towards the cause instead of the shooter; then challenge another NHL goalie to stop one of hockey’s best stars…

Another idea could be NHL team’s hosting an “MS Night.” Respectively, it could start with the Philadelphia Flyers organization. For every goal scored in the game on that night — $1,000 could be donated towards the cause, and having that fact made aware as it would be announced over the PA after each goal was scored.

Either way, I solute you Mr. Voracek for your admirable and inspirational act. I hope you can consider this proposal and continue to appreciate ‘the little things.’

-Kyle McKenna


Farewell August

“Pink sky at night sailor’s delight; pink sky in morning sailor’s warning.”

I look to the mixed-pink summer sky watching the sun set to the west here on the East Coast. As the soothing sky blushes for its admirers — immediately I can only think of the sailor’s rhyme my father used to enthusiastically tell my sister and I as young kids.

New Jersey (Photo by The Little Thing5)

The sun continues to slowly fade and the atmosphere outside is still and calm as can be. All that is heard are the crickets chirping making their presence known, and listening to the cicadas communicating to one another. For they too are waiting for the stars to come out on this gorgeous and clear night…

It’s August.

I love this month and what it has to offer. Primarily because I look at August as “a tease of fall,” which is my favorite season.

Sure, August has its moments when it’s “too hot outside,” but nothing like what June or July illustrate. The final month of summer expresses itself much different than those months, and for the better.

It slowly invites and lures us into autumn, at a perfect flow. I personally always thought August had cooler days, and those nights I described above — seem to be every night, unless it rains of course. Plus, those nights only get better as we near September, and seem to end at the perfect time; so they’re not overdone and we’re ready to accept the crispness of fall.

The nights we experience listening the cicadas sound like an orchestra and appreciate a big bright moon lighting up the night sky on the back porch, while a preseason football game is playing in the background; going for walk; at the beach or on the boat can make us recollect. For some of us, “It’s almost time for school to start.” Or, simply the start of any new beginnings for others.

The end of August…

Baseball season is winding down and hopefully our teams are making that playoff push, or in an exciting pennant race that’s heating up.Β We’re sitting around groups of friends, sipping on a beer, doing last minute research before our fantasy football drafts begins.

You could be leaving a soccer practice, or even better hockey practice, in preparation for a new year of hard work and laughs; and really appreciating the cool and refreshing night air August provides your tired self with.

In the final weekend of the month we find ourselves seeing old friends visiting, or people we’ve missed over the past few months. We’re at a BBQ full of spirits and a plethora of food, or at the tiki bar enjoying live music. College football kicks off, and we’re hoping “it’s the year” for our favorite “big named schools” or alma mater.

Perhaps some weak fireworks are still going off in the neighborhood obnoxiously or down by the river, because there are “those people” who continue to do that post Fourth of July.

The sun sets in the west behind that picture-perfect sky, as if it were a water colored painting by a professional artist.

Thanks for the tease.

Farewell August. Until we meet again.

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San Jose Sharks Sign Fan For A Day

Back in March of 2014, the San Jose Sharks really set themselves and the NHL apart from other professional leagues and teams in North America.

Sam Tageson/San Jose Sharks

The Sharks signed 17-year old (then) Sam Tageson to an official NHL contract with the organization for one day. Tageson had been diagnosed withΒ hypoplastic left heart syndrome and was told by doctors to stay away from activities such as hockey. His condition requires a heart transplant at some point and is sadly life threatening.

Yet, that didn’t stop the teenager from picking up the stick and lacing up the skates, nor did it stop San Jose from making a young fan’s dream come true. The two teamed up for an extraordinary sight.

After Tageson signed his contract, the die-hard fan was able to skate and practice with the club the morning of their night game against the Florida Panthers, and became the first “non-player” to ever skate through the enormous smoking Shark head onto the ice for pregame warmups at SAP Center, a.k.a “The Shark Tank.”

Tageson was then able to stand next to his fellow Sharks on the team’s blue line for the National Anthem and was recognized afterwards on the bench by the entire arena…

An awesome and emotional moment for not only this youngster, but for the entire hockey community as well. It’s every players dream who throws on a pair of skates to one day get this amazing and memorable opportunity, but it’s even sweeter to see someone such as Sam have this dream become a reality.

After the Sharks displayed this class act — I believe a couple of teams in other professional leagues did the same for others, which is great.Β I’d like to see more gestures like this done for young fans, perhaps in need, especially in the NHL; a sport with such a strong and passionate camaraderie.

I tip my hat, or “bucket,” to the San Jose Sharks for their amazing gesture and appreciating the little things.

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NHL Lead For About.com

I am happy to announce I’ve been given the opportunity to take over as the new NHL Lead Writer/Expert for About.com’s Sports section.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my work and supported me over the last couple of years. If you’re a hockey fan, or know of anyone who is I’d love for you to check out and share the page, and continue to follow my coverage of the NHL throughout the year.

NHL Page About.com

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