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Musings and Meanderings

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New FlickR photos Up

Please click on the FlickR link at the top of the Menu, I have put about 30 more pics up, didn't realize I was so far beind, last pics were in mid Feb.
posted by Mike 4:48 PM

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Read your Bible
this is going around the net, though it may be apocryphal its very funny

Laura Schlesinger, the radio sage, recently she told her audience that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she had noted that, according to Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is an abomination, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

It turned out, however, that some of her audience also read the Bible. One of Dr. LauraÂ?s listeners e-mailed her as follows, and posted his rejoinder on the internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual un-cleanliness - Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9.) The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10,) it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. Since turning 40, IÂ?ve worn reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev. 24:10-16.) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy Considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

Homer Simpson-Caldwell
posted by Mike 7:22 PM

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sometimes I just wake up mad

This would come as no surprise to my mom who used to call me the bear, or my wife for that matter.

But I don't wake up angry at anyone in particular, just the stupidity of the world in general.

Here are a few:

For 30 years, Scientists (those are those men and women who actually study and learn about their field) have been decrying the CO2 problems in the atmosphere. Instead of listening to these learned people we elect Politicians and their junk science who say: no these learned people are wrong. Pachyderm loving SUV driving Americans. Who needs them.

All down through history there has always been a category of people who Think-They-Know-Better-Than-You-On-How-To-Live-Your-Life. This debate fueled the Federalist Papers in fact. Now a days it seems that all the telling how to run my life comes from the Right. And they are in power. And it makes me angry. I live in America, land of the FREE. I don't need some pasty paunchy late middle aged politician legislating whether gays can get married, what a man and a woman (or any combination of those two therein) can do behind closed doors, or if my wife or daughter can terminate her pregnancy, or a host of other things that the Pachyderm Brigade’s Moral Superiority makes them think they can legislate.

And their Alleged Moral Superiority gets my goat. How come the so called Red states have the highest divorce rates, Domestic violence rates, abortion rates, and unmarried mother rates? Sheer hypocrisy.

Don't think I'm on a Right bashing campaign. The left has me very upset as well. Do they think America is going to elect Hillary? How stupid is that? When the Left was in disarray at the midterm elections for Bill's first term, Newt and his Contract on America people swept into office on the coattails of public dissatisfaction with something we call an "agenda". The Dems could take some notes, as they sure as hell don't have an agenda. They don't even have a plan. Pathetic.

Know what else gets me pissed. Somehow the American public has given the keys to the proverbial Hen house to the wolves. Have you checked the résumé’s of the cabinet members of this Administration? It reads like a CEO's "Who's Who". And we are surprised that Corporate Profits are way up while the economy is still sluggish? We are surprised that with the highest prices for fuel today, Oil Companies are posting their largest profits ever? I'm very sick of watching these rich laissez faire technocrats turning back the clock on every front that improved the lot of Joe Lunchbucket. And I'm really mad at Joe Lunchbucket for re-electing them.

There are so many more, but I've just run out of time....
posted by Mike 11:07 PM

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Friday Five!

1) Of the various cultures, ethnicities or nationalities you belong to, which most strongly do you consider yourself?

I really want to indentify with my Arab background. I really do. But the way the world is today, it's frankly difficult with all the stupid violent things done in the name of "Arabs". I am very much a Anglophile, I love British culture (mostly) and British humor. Hawkwind. Dr Who. Monty Python. etc.

2) Is there a culture you cannot claim heritage from but which you feel quite close to?

Some of the Eastern cultures. The Tao and some Buddist thinking is more attuned to how I (want to) live my life than other cultures.

3) What's one language you wish you knew fluently?

French, then Arabic.

4) If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc., where would you go?

Either London or Paris.

5) If you had a time machine, and could witness any one event without altering or disturbing it, what would you want to see?

The full clonization of Mars. (Time machines go forward too.)
I'd love to see the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
posted by Mike 7:15 PM

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about
My most important or memorable concerts.

1. 25+ Grateful Dead shows. 14 in the 20th Anniversary tour alone. Wonderful memories of shows with my brother, wife, and friends.

2. 4 NEARfest, going on 5. Best collection of Progressive music of any concert "festival" series going on now or in the past.

Bands are in reverse order of appearance.

NEARfest 2002
Day One
Nektar Echolyn Isildurs Bane Miriodor La Torre dell'Alchimista
Day Two
Steve Hackett Caravan Enchant Gerard Spaced Out

NEARfest 2003
Day One
Magma The Flower Kings Tunnels Alamaailman Vasarat High Wheel
Day Two
Camel Änglagård Kraan Glass Hammer Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

NEARfest 2004
The Musical Box
Day One
Univers Zero Mike Keneally Band Richard Pinhas Pallas Yezda Urfa
Day Two
Strawbs Planet X Sean Malone Metamorfosi Hidria Spacefolk

NEARfest 2005

PFM Proto-Kaw
Day One
IQ Present Steve Roach Frogg Café Wobbler
Day Two
Le Orme Kenso Matthew Parmenter The Muffins Knight Area

Wow thats a lot of bands! To be fair I missed Le Orme completely and left early for The Stawbs and Steve Hackett.

3. US festival in the 82.
Gang of Four, The Ramones, The English Beat, Oingo Boingo, The B-52's,
Talking Heads, The Police [Rankin' Roger from the English Beat joined the
Police at the end of their set].Dave Edmunds, Eddie Money, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

I left the second night and missed the third day completely: Grateful Dead, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffet, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac.

4 Bruce Springsteen at the Madison Square Garden. Saw with my wife, three hours of show, quite amazing.

5. Nancy Griffith. Seen her twice with my wife. My wife loves her and so going with my wife to see her is very imporant to me, and I love her music live too.

6. Camel. I know its twice, but one of my first concerts was the SJCPA in 1978, a popular bootleg by the way as it was broadcast on FM. Amazing show, and very moving for me.

7. Yes at the Pepsi in Albany. Long convoluted story but the bottom line is I saw the original members of Yes from the second row center. A near religious experience.

8. Moody Blues at Spac. Memorable for two reasons, though I've now seen them two more times. One was it was my first MB show, second because I met John Lodge backstage to sign his vinyl re release of a solo album he had done.

9. Netherworld. Micro prog band from San Jose who has gotten some attention long after their disbandment. One of my very first concerts, one not to be forgotten.

10. Angel. Ok a guilty pleasure from when I was much younger. Stage show designed by a major magician at the time.

11. Devo live in LA. Really FUN show, with the video synched to the drum kit for the first 5 songs.

12. Rush Moving Pictures. Not the most amazing tour, but again early in my concert going experience and I went with my brothers. Still have a picture somewhere of us on the BART platform looking very young and long haired

And last but maybe should be first

13. The Wall Live at the LA Sports Arena. Bought the ticket outside the area for face value, sat with a two ex Marines back from the far east, one of whose girlfriends had gotten sick. We smoked some.... and it was a very cosmic experience.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Diary of a Music Whore

Daddy's Roses

Alone on a Limb

(leave your link in the menu comments section, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ?s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Mike 11:43 PM

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The week that was and is.

Sunday - Really slow day at the shack. However the day was saved by D&K coming out from NH and taking us to Outback. We had a wonderful time as we usually do with them and ate quite well. I had the Jackaroo Chops which I am embarrassed to say I get EVERY TIME! Got my teaching call on Monday for my fave 5th grade class so with that I was requested and booked all the way through the week.

Monday - Ended up very pleasant, as the "seatwork" the teacher had left was challenging for them, especially the maths so I worked one on one going around the room teaching improper, mixed and adding fractions. Very nice day and the BSA meeting was pleasant too.

Tuesday - Pre-K. Cake. Especially since BOTH women were out and they subbed a certified teacher for the TA. I provided the structure as I been in that room a lot before, and she dived right in and did most of the actually work, like circle time etc. I've asked for her again if the Teacher and TA know they are both going to be out.

Wednesday and Tomorrow.- Not Cake. The most difficult 4th grade class in the school. The last time the perm sub took two days off they had to get two different subs, the first would not go back. They fight, lie, cheat and they steal. At least most of them did today. HOWEVER, I read them the riot act at the beginning of the day, and then set up a "carrot", lunch club back at the room. Being bad got you knocked out, being good back in. They all ended up qualifying for lunch club. As usual I took it one step too far and took them out for 15 min to play as it was not too cold. Two of them got into a fight and then when I sat the one down who had started every time I turned my back some threw rocks at him. Very uncivilized children.

Friday - Kindergarten.

Monday next - My fave 4th grade class.

Tuesday next - My fave Kindergarten.

Nice to be asked for, especially after missing two days of work two weeks ago due to having more subs than openings.

posted by Mike 8:20 PM
You scored as Freyr.





























Which Norse God or Goddess are you most like?
created with
posted by Mike 7:13 PM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What You Need To Believe To Be A Republican:

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Support hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.
posted by Mike 11:17 PM

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dems not faring much better

I don't know how much plainer life can make the opportunity facing the Democrats in order for them to recognize it - and act upon it.

With the majority of people recently polled by Time Magazine describing Bu$hCo as "incompetent", one has to ask (in a most exasperated tone) Why Doesn't the Democratic Leadership in Congress Start Holding Bush Accountable, Instead of Getting Upset with Feingold for Being Outraged? When asked, U.S. voters want Democrats in power!

What is it going to take? Only a few of the Democrats seem to understand the nature of the crisis. Senator Durbin backs up Feingold's motives on censure on television Sunday, and Senator Harkin supports Bush censure.

But that seems to be it. For all the talk about Hillary (ACK!) seeking the 2008 nomination, this would be a perfect time to step forward and make a stand, much as Bobby Kennedy did in 1968. But the heat in the kitchen must be too much for her, as she isn't willing to take a step in that direction.

Some leader! I hope this ends the wishful thinking on the part of our wrong-wing friends that she runs!
posted by Mike 11:11 PM

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tell us again about red-state self-reliance
great piece from Salon

We would never do anything to inflame the passions of the red-state/blue-state divide. It would be wrong. And besides, it's isn't really a fair fight anymore. According to a SurveyUSA poll out this week, George W. Bush now has majority support in just three states: Utah, Wyoming and Alabama.

But if you just can't help picking a fight with your red-state friends and neighbors, here's some ammunition you might use the next time one of them starts talking about the virtues of personal responsibility and self-reliance. In a study released today, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation reveals that -- to a much greater degree than their azure kin -- red states continue to rely on the largess of the federal government.

The top seven charity cases -- and 13 of the top 15 -- are states that cast their votes for Bush in 2004. First in line for handouts is New Mexico, which scores $2 for every buck it sends to Washington, The rest of the top 15: Alaska -- thanks for the bridge, guys! -- West Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Alabama, Virginia, Hawaii, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Maryland.

And which states are the real bastions of up-by-your-bootstraps self-reliance and compassion for the least among us? Well, the top five giving states are ones that John Kerry carried in 2004: New Jersey -- which got 55 cents for every dollar it gave to Washington -- followed by Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Illinois.

What about Californians and New Yorkers, those coastal snobs who are so self-absorbed that their skin has turned blue? It turns out that they can take care of themselves and a whole lot of other Americans, too. They're eighth and ninth on the most-charitable list, getting back just 79 cents of each dollar they send to Washington.

-- Tim Grieve
posted by Mike 11:07 PM

Saturday, March 18, 2006

3 bloody years later, what do we have?

A military operation called operation swarm, which is just a huge photo op to make us feel better about the Iraqi "military".

A Presidential address where we are urged to have patience and "feel good" becuase Iraqi politicians "dont like" the violence.

A country where there are more dead civilians from three years of fighting than the previous five.

A Democratic party which has no solutions to even offer for this quagmire.

The constant eroding of American Civil Liberties in the name of "anti-terrorism".

The beginnings of a true Civil War in Iraq.

Extreemist anti-American groups "democratically" elected in Palestine and Iran.

Still no WMD's and documents showing there never were any.

Nice Job Mr. President. Whats the encore??

posted by Mike 11:13 AM

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Friday Five!

"Lights Camera Action!"

1) If you were to star in a movie, who would you want to be cast as your love interest?

Oh thats easy! Sandra Bullock.

2) What genre of movie would you most like to star in?

Sci Fi action flick.

3) What song would you insist be on the soundtrack?

Something by Hawkind, maybe Motorway City.

4) What would you wear to the premiere of your movie?

A Pierre Cardin Tux with stand up collar, black tie.

5) Who would you thank in your Oscar acceptance speech?

The Friday Five people, my agent, my cat Nutsky as well as my wife.
posted by Mike 6:31 PM
Oh my GOD I won something!

Carmina the lovely and talented Sprint Rep came in the store this evening and told me that I had won the district wide "lottery" (one entry per phone sold) for a 30 gig i-Pod!


It should arrive in the store in a month or less, perhaps as quick as a week.

posted by Mike 6:28 PM

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about
My Favorite or Most Memorable Books or Author/series.

1. Lord of the Rings. Have read or listened to unabridged once a year since I was eleven years old.

2. Andromeda Strain. Ok I haven't read it in 30 yrs, but when I did I read it in a day of being sick from school. First book I couldn't put down.

3. Jack Chalker, may he rest in peace. Specially favorite are the Well World Series, Four Lords of the Diamond and the Five Rings.

4. The Past through Tomorrow. Heinlein's great future history using short stories.

5. Atlas Shrugged. Ann Rand Bloody Brilliant. After reading you just say, was that really 1000+ pages?

6. The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi). Herman Hesse This might be one of the first fantasy(esk) novels ever written. Absolutely stunning book.

7. Mike Moorcocks Tales of the Eternal Champion Series, the Omnibus Hardback series in particular.

8. Carlos Castaneda's "Don Juan" series. Very thought provoking.

9. The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy Quadrilogy. Douglas Adams (MHRIP) Nuff said there.

10. Illuminatus! (the trilogy) I guarentee if you read the first chapter you will have to read it over because at the end you will just say.. HUH??

11. Jonathan Livingston Seagull and One - Richard Bach. Just go read them.

12. Guns Germs and Steel. Just recently finished but it was so thought provoking on the origins of the family of man across the globe.

13. Exactly everything ever written by Neal Stephenson.

14. I have to add one more. The entire BBC/Virgin Dr. Who series. This series started by Virgin took "TV novelizations" to a new level. Sure some of the books are quite amaturish, but a vast majority are just quite excellent.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Diary of a Music Whore

Daddy's Roses

Alone on a Limb

(leave your link in the menu comments section, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ?s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Mike 11:56 PM

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The letters not yet sent

I have carefully scrubbed the letters clean of any referrences to names or places, but you can glean the gist of the two.

I have been counseled caution in sending the Superintendent letter as apparently the man has "good and bad" days. However I think it is extreemly professional and I just can't see how anyone could react to it badly.


Dear ______ Family

Please accept my deepest apologies for the incident that happened on Monday March 13, 2006 with your daughter during my substitute teaching of Mrs. _____'s class.

While explaining a problem to the math class, your daughter began wandering around the room causing a disruption. It was after three attempts to have her sit down that I called her a "smartass" for walking as slowly as possible back to her seat during this math period. This was of course completely unprofessional and I do apologize profusely.

I am quite happy to write this letter of apology, as this is language that we strictly avoid in school. Obviously I should have called upon the disciplinary procedures that are in force at the School to solve the disruption your daughter was causing in the classroom. That I lost my composure after the third attempt to have your daughter sit down was inexcusable. That I used the term "Smartass" to describe her behavior during that time was deplorable.

I hope you and your family accept my heartfelt apology for this incident and let it in no way reflect upon the fine teachers and administration of the School.


Mr H.

Dear Superintendent.

Please find my typed notes(transcribed from my handwritten notes written immediately after)on the incident, and the letter of apology I have written as per your request regarding the incident at _______ on March 13, 2006. I am very sorry I have created this incident. I come to you "hat in hand."

The facts speak for themselves. I made a huge mistake by calling a student a smartass for her actions. I do not deny this, I brought it to the Principal's attention less than 15 min after I did it, and have apologized for it in writing. That this is my first year of substituting after spending 25 years in Corporate Sales and Marketing I hope can be taken into account at some level. A rookie error if I may.

The purpose of this letter is to very respectfully ask you reconsider banning me completely from the School. I understand that you, the Principal nor I would be interested in me doing anything with Grade 6 in that school. As the school is in cluster classes, in no way would I interact with Grade 6 due to the layout of the school unless assigned to that pod.

However I have had great experiences with grades 2,4 and 5 covering Ms K, Ms W and Ms J. The former two have asked for me by name for return substituting visits to the School, and the latter has told me she would ask for me again. I love their classes and would hate to not be able to be there again. This is not hubris on my part, but simply stating that the incident with the 6th grade class was an anomaly in a year of very positive substituting experiences.

If I may do some boostering for myself: I'm sure Mr. E at _______ would be happy to give you his opinion of the work I have done at his school. J_______ from the sub service can attest to my willingness to take any assignment, and the number of times teachers specifically ask for me during the year.

I feel I can continue to be an asset to the entire district if you would please allow me to continue to substitute at grades K - 5 at the School.

This is important to me because once I get my credentials I really want to teach in the School District at the Primary level, and would not want this incident to be the last thing people remember from my experiences at the School.

Thank you for your consideration of this.


Mr H
posted by Mike 8:47 PM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wow 500 Blog Posts!

Not shaping up to be a good week.

Woke up this am at 3am with cramps going BOTH legs, I guess what you would call my groin muscles. Excruciating pain. Took 5 min to walk and stretch it off in the middle of the night.

Spoke to the Principal this am, and yes she wants me to write the family a letter of apology. However the Superintendent was very quick to tell her that I wasn't to sub in that School at all. She was not too pleased to tell me. Felt like a punch in the tummy, though I have only subbed in that school maybe 7 times. Once I draft the apology note, I'm going to type up my handwritten incident notes and write a letter to the Superintendent appealing to just not being able to do 6th grade in that school. Which I would never want to do anyway. I'll be using the word Draconian in my letter.

L's mom won't be going under the knife till at least Friday and is in a lot of pain. I don't have the whole story so I don't know why it will take till then to remove the gall bladder. L & A went up there this evening and then L brought A back home as it was pretty grim apparently. Seeing his Nanna in pain after loosing his great grandmother. Not that this is a cake walk for L either.

ONE thing did happen today good. I was in my usual school today and my Principal called me in when I was signing in to tell me that there was an Administrative Assistant job opening up as his Assistant "in case I was interested". Now he wouldn't have said that to me if he had not at least briefly visualized me doing the job. So I got my resume updated with RS and subbing and faxed it in to the District. Today was the last day it was "open". It pays 32 to 40 and starts "now". He really needs an assistant. YES it would mean I'd stop subbing, but it would also mean a steadier job with better pay and I could really think about going back to school.
posted by Mike 8:13 PM

Monday, March 13, 2006

What is it about weekends recently?

I just don't seem to get on the blog and write.

It was an uneventful weekend mostly. Sunday I utilized the laptop at the store and a very slow day to burn 22 shows I had received in lossless compressed form on 3 data DVD's. Took most of the day so it's good I was able to do it during the down times at the store. Can't think how long it might have taken if I had tried to do it during my home down time.

Monday was unfortunately not uneventful. I got my substitute call this am to go to another Primary School which is not my usual place to substitute for a 6th grade class. The 3 teachers there are doing a great idea in that they have the classes move from classroom to classroom as they do Math, Science and Social Studies. The teacher I was subbing for teaches Math so I had three Math classes in succession today. The problem arose during the middle period which was full of possibly the rudest students I have ever had so far. The short fact is that after asking one of the girls to sit down three times I told her to stop being a smart ass and sit down.

Sure enough one of the parents called the Principal for that school so I have to call the Principal tomorrow and probably write an apology letter to the class. I have no problem with that because what I said was wrong, and I lost my cool. Hopefully this will close the problem and (barring 6th grade) I will be welcome to sub there again. My handler has gone to bat for me and that Principal, though she knows me less well than the one at my usual school, agrees I am a good sub.

I guess this is the part of life where I am tested as to whether I really want to teach in these inner city schools. The older kids are so disrespectful sometimes. sigh.

Tomorrow I am doing Kindergarten again, back at my usual school so that will be a welcome relief.

Also today L's mom was admitted to the hospital and will have to have her Gall Bladder removed. We don't know all the particulars, like what caused her to go to the hospital, although we are quite worried we are confident she will do fine and come out as healthy as possible.

So today has not been a red letter day in any respect. Well we all have those days don't we.
posted by Mike 9:42 PM

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Friday Five!

"Time in a Bottle"

1) 10 years ago what did you think you would be doing now?

Let's see 1996, I had just started at CableShoppe, and I assumed I would be still working there. I had promised the owner a minumum of 5 years, but figured I could grow with the company, perhaps end up in a General Manager's position.

2) Where do you think you will be in 5 years from now?

Teaching Primary, preferrably 4, 5, or 6th grade. Finished with my Masters and considering further education.

3) Do you live life one day at a time or look to the future.

I have lived my life one day at a time for too many years, now I'm taking stock and looking to what's left of a future for a 44 yr old Man. Thats a min of 30 more years teaching and working, especially if I go onto a College level educational track.

4) Do you wish you could go back in time and undo something in your life?

Very much so. I would have listened to my family and gone into higher education by getting my Masters or PhD.

5) If you could send a message back in time and give a younger version of yourself some advice, what would it be?

posted by Mike 6:12 PM

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Mikey's home that we want to improve.

1. Put in thermopane windows.

2. Raise the floor of the Sunroom and put radiant hot water heater pipes under.

3. Cut the wall between the Sunroom and the Kitchen just below where the cabinets are now and open that up so we can serve light meals in the Sunroom.

4. Fix the plumbing in the laundry area so the water flows decently.

5. Push out the window wall of the Kitchen in order to make a breakfast nook.

6. Do some finishing of the basement. This may be dreaming though, as it is a dirt floor and stone slabs instead of a poured foundation.

7. Repaint the house completely, including the front porch.

8. Put in a back porch, I'd like to put it over the sunroom, not sure what L has in mind.

9. Completely rip apart the "attic", pull the lanoleum, the wainscoating, then insulate, clean and make into a real room preferrabley for "A".

10. Put a bow or bay window in the "home office" make it into a small guest room.

11. Take "A's" room and make it into a "home office" and the entrance to the back porch.

12. Purchase the "lot" next door and make our land into a double lot, thus leaving room for pushing the kitchen out that way.

13. Buy a chateau outside of Paris. Ok not strictly home improvment, just general "digs" improvement. :-)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Diary of a Music Whore

Daddy's Roses

Alone on a Limb

(leave your link in the menu comments section, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ?s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Mike 11:36 PM

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hump Day already

Of course that whole concept for me is a bit foreign because I work seven days a week. It's been a weird week too, what with the normal RS night off Monday, then not teaching Tuesday. Today I was an art teacher and had a ton of fun, but I have not gotten a call yet for tomorrow and fear the worst.

The lesson plan for today for the K - 3rd grade was to read a poem "The North Wind Doth Blow" (all three verses) and have them draw a picture of the Imagery. First we had to understand the concept of an image, then a mental image. I had them tell me what they thought of when I said "a hot summer day" and then "a cool crisp fall day." This seemed to work. Then I read them the poem with their eyes closed, and then with them open, and let the rip. Needless to say it was fun as heck.

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow
what will the robin do, poor thing
he will sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow
and what will the dormouse do, poor thing
Roled up like a ball, In his nest snug and small,
He'll sleep till
warm weather comes in. Poor thing!

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow
and what will the children do, poor things
They'll finish their lessons, and run slide and play
Untill they are warm, poor things!

('The North Wind doth blow' or 'The Robin'?This nursery rhyme is referred to as either the North Wind doth blow or The Robin. It is British in its origins - believed to have originated as far back as 16th century history and using the olde English word 'doth'. The purpose of the rhyme is to ensure that a child associates security and warmth to home whilst empathising with the plight of the robin.)

T, W, and Th of this week are the National Math aptitutude tests for 4 - 6 grades. This over half the teachers at the Primary level, and remarkably the ones who seem to go out often. So I may get a day off tomorrow as well, which would be a whole day, with no RS.

It sounds like a sad life, all I talk about is my possible days off, but ye of the Mon to Fri get your Sat and Sun off lifestyle don't know what it means to not get 24 hrs without some sort of work.

On a lighter note. I got the entire Digitally Remastered Beatles via MP3 (yea I know I know) and they fit on one MP3 CDR. I just finished listening to it, most of which I caught at work on Sunday. What a great career they had, though I must admit the end was not pretty as Let it Be is not my fave Fab Four release. Still it was fun to listen to them all the way through again.

RS is dead again tonight. Makes me wonder if this keeps up due to the Mall expansion if WE will be one of the 700 stores to be closed??? Nah. They won't give up on their mall presence.
posted by Mike 8:27 PM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A rare day off

Well I never got that call, so officially had a school day off on Tuesday.

I did get a bunch of stuff done, like getting all my trading hobby responsibilities finally burned and in envelopes, including some surprise gifts for some non trading friends. I also played "Battle for Middle Earth", which I just got recently as it finally dropped to $19.99 (the most I'll pay for a PC Game).

I was not completely off, as I had RS as well. But instead of having to go to the store, I attended a required meeting at the Rotterdam store regarding the new Americans with Disablilties Act. I learned such revelationary things as not to call an Autistic a "mongoloid idiot" (yes that was in the manual) and that we have to spend millions of dollars (as a nation not RS) to change the signs from "Disabled Parking" to "Accessible Parking". Ah America. Where any idiot with a lawyer can wreak havoc in Corporate Daily life.

posted by Mike 11:04 PM

Monday, March 06, 2006

The weekend and more.

Not much going on this weekend, and I was just gassed by Friday night, so somehow I didn't hit the blog Saturday or Sunday.

Work was a total bust, very quiet on Saturday and Sunday, only sold two cell phones all weekend. I did get alot of reading done however. Finished the Narnia books and caught up on some of my Economist's.

I was able to avoid going to a meeting on Satuday from 10am to 1pm and THEN going into work till 930 thank god. They made one more meeting time on Tuesday evening so I can go during what would be my normal work hours. I told my boss that I just couldn't add any more hours, especially on a Saturday. This way I do the meeting on Tuesday instead of sitting around at the store, as the weeknights are VERY quiet.

Had a 1st, 2nd, 3rd Special Education assignment today, one which I chose over two other possible assignments. I like a good challenge. We had some fun, and they even told me the way I was teaching them the short and long vowels was "fun". Their words not mine. That is satisfaction.

But as I write this, tomorrow is the first night I don't know where I am going since the Winter Break. The Math National Tests for 4,5 6 are the next three days so I'm guessing that unless someone is sick, those classes will have their teachers in them.

One political commentary

Here is a radical viewpoint from the middle left. As you must be aware, the new anti-abortion law signed into law today in SD is fully crafted to fly straight to the Supreme Court so the Right wing weenies can finally over turn Roe vs Wade.

How bout this idea? Instead of the Radical Left weenies challenging it, just let it stand. Wouldn't that just leave the Right swinging in the wind?

A fantasy I realize....

Here is how I see things. First of all, even if it does go "badly" for pro-choice adovacates at the Supreme Court, the worst case scenario would be that States would have the right to limit abortions in their states. It would not create a Federal Mandate to outlaw Abortion.

Now I ask the hard questions here, is it really that bad if some states limit this procedure? Especially if the people in that state feel that it is not something they want? It is a Democracy still, well mostly.

Furthermore, as the Democrats are finally figuring out, the Abortion debate is thier Albatross and they need to stop letting it hang around their neck. My personal views on this are stated in the Thursday Thirteen from this week, but the fact of the matter is that America is rather conservative, and flailing away at issues that a majority of Americans do not agree with does nothing for taking back the country from the Religeous Reich.

BUT and this is a big but, I think the Right wing weenies are in for a surprise at the Supreme Court. I think Precident will take weight over Judicial Activisim.

At least I hope so.

posted by Mike 9:32 PM

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Friday Five!

"I'm Hot For Teacher"

1. Who was your favorite all time teacher(s)?

Tough one as I was lucky to have so many great teachers. Of course I
barely remember some of the names, but for my High School: My Psych
teacher, the TV/AV teacher who ran the Radio/TV station at school, Mr
Peasley my History and Anthroplogy teacher. College: Rudi Volti who
taught me Sociology and the Zen of Motorcycles; Bob Albert who taught
me about Gifted Child Psych and why Health Care should be a right not
a luxury; Al Whachtel who taught me Sociology and opened my mind up to
Epic and Scripture; Harry Senn my French Teacher who also wrote a
monograph on Werewolf legends of Romainia. Pitzer really had an
amazing staff back then.

But the teacher I think of most when I teach is Mrs. Ustruck. She
treated us like adults though were are 8 and 9 yr olds. Called us
"people!" when we misbehaved, and taught us with love, respect and

2. What did they teach?

Well see above.

3. What is your best memory from class?

Which class? One of my favorite memories from College Classes was a
once a week class class my friend George and I had on Wednesday Nights
- it was a Psychiatrist's view of Psycology. Anyway George and I
would go and then head out to the Wed Night Frat party on Pomona
Campus. One night he decided he wanted to "acutally learn something"
so instead of sitting in the back of the class with me cracking jokes,
he sat in the front. (I got an A in this class so we did learn

So the Prof asks the class "what is Lycanthropy". Now I know this
question, but I'm thinking I can get George. Wait for it, Wait for
it... NO ONE in the class knows the answer. So the Professor says:
Werewolves. I look at the floor so no one can see my face and simply
say: "there wolf, there Castle."

George cracks up in the front of the class. He could run but he couldn't hide.

PS that is a joke from Young Frankenstien

4. Did you ever have a crush on a teacher and if so who?

I think I had a crush on one of the student teachers in Primary
school. Otherwise my schools were very popular with teachers so we
tended to have only older more experienced teachers on campus.
Nothing like the young hotties I teach with in the Inner City schools.

5. What is the craziest/wildest/weirdest thing you (or someone you
know) ever did at school?

Since my family reads this I cannot tell you.
posted by Mike 7:23 PM

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things Mikey believes you may not have known.

1. Health care is a right not a luxury.

2. A woman has the right to decide in the first trimester if she wants to carry to term.

3. Fundamentalism, be it Christian, Judiaism, or Muslim is the greatest threat to Democracy today.

4. Its the moral responsibility of Government to take from the haves and give to the have nots. It is the moral responsibility of the wealthy to care for the indigent. If they cannot or will not the Government must step in.

5. Left to their own devices, Corporations will, take advantage of their workers, to the workers detriment and the Corporation's profit. This is the Walmart Scenario.

6. Left to their own devices, especially in a monopsonistic situation, Corporations will price gouge and generally overcharge as much as they can. This is the Exxon Scenario.

7. Every person has the right to privacy from his or her Government, and that Government does not have the right to abrogate this basic human right in any circumstance. The so called "Patriot Act" is simply a modern version of the Alien and Seditions Act.

8. Minority hiring practices do NOT hold back minorities, they advance them. Any argument to the contrary is specious thinking by majorities. Affirmative Action works.

9. We cannot expect the working poor to raise their children in a morally uplifting and non violent atmosphere when the role models from their community espouse violence in their music and video games in order to make a quick buck.

10. Fetal Stem Cell research is one of the most promising forefront of scientific research today. Present American policy on this serves only to put American researchers in the backwaters. It does not stop the research, nor slow it down, it just moves it to other countries where someone else will reap the benefits.

11. Global warming is a fact. Any argument to the contrary is simple wishful thinking or head in the sand reactions.

12. You cannot cut taxes, spend more, and expect the economy to do well. The stock market will do well, as will corporations, but sooner than later the average worker will stop spending as his income remains stagnant and his cost of living goes up. Any fourth year economist can tell you this.

13. Allowing homosexual men and women to marry does not cause moral decay, nor does it make the value of my marriage less.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Diary of a Music Whore

Daddy's Roses

Alone on a Limb

(leave your link in the menu comments section, IÂ?ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ?s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Closed on my loan.

In our ongoing debt reduction process, I just closed on a loan to retire a revolving credit card that was gouging me hugely on interest rates.

I thought I was saving 10% over the revolving with the consolidation. However when I was signing the paperwork, the interest rate was an additional 2 points lower. This made my day big time. So in five years my biggest credit balance will be gone.

Combine that with reading the "addendum" entry below and you will see I had a great day.
posted by Mike 6:03 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind