Sunday, December 30, 2007
Grinnygranny talks about this night 28 years ago on her blog.
Bruce used to tease E when he was growing up that E stole his birthday.
Been watching lots of football today. Cowboys didn't play well, but then nobody expected them to. Chicago played a good game to keep New Orleans out of the playoffs. Hard to imagine that those two teams played in the NFC championship game last season. Colts aren't doing much better than the 'boys.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Our poor kitty is sneezing his head off. He's still eating so it's most likely allergies instead of a cold.
Grinnygranny and I went to do some after Christmas shopping. We got E his birthday present and decided to get new sheets. We went to Macy's because I had a coupon good for 15 dollars off. We got two sheet sets that at regular price would have been $120 and our jaws dropped when it rang up for only $22. Eating in the food court cost more than that!
We got a new board game for Christmas called Dread Pirate. We've played it once and it was fun (at least for me -- I won), but so far haven't had a chance to play it again. Now that our house guests are gone we might play it more.
Right now we're watching Octopussy on our marathon of James Bond. My how much technology has changed in the last forty years!
Grinnygranny and I agree that Roger Moore was the best Bond, even though two of the worst Bond movies were his. (Moonraker and View To A Kill)
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
So now I'm just sitting here listening to Jim Brickman's Christmas CD and thinking about how different this Christmas is compared to others.
- First Christmas without Dad, this is going to be tough. He really loved dressing up in his Santa suit, passing out presents to the grandkids.
- First Christmas where we are all alone in Albuquerque. After Penni and her family moved, and then Mom and Dad, we still had Grinnygranny's Mom. Now she's in Nebraska and there's no other family here. For so many years we always had to figure out and take turns at whose house we'd have Christmas, then we'd all get together sometimes twelve or more for that special meal, drinking punch, egg nogg, hot Dr, Pepper, watching all the kids play with their new toys, listening to music, the men talking politics trying to solve all the problems of the world, the women talking women stuff, taking pictures. Then going to Walgreens on the way home (the only store open on Christmas) so the kids could spend some of the money their grandparents had given them. As much as it's nice not to be traveling it seems rather lonely with just the four of us.
- First Christmas without seeing our grandchild. We'll have him for the summer, and E is going down to spend time with him between Christmas and New Years, but we will miss his infectious, mischevious smile.
Wouldn't you know, a student just showed up to take a final. Guess it's a good thing for the student the skies clouded up and it's too cold and windy to golf.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tomorrow is make-up day for those who have a valid reason for missing their final (this is the only school I've ever worked at that does this, and it lets the kids play the system too much)
It does give us (teachers) a whole day to grade papers, average grades and close down the room. It drives me crazy because I stay on top of my grades and I can do all of the aforementioned in an hour -- which makes me sit here and twiddle my thumbs all day just in case a student that missed the last two days deigns to show up and take a final.
I thought about using one of my many sick days -- which is what most of the teachers do, you just have to leave copies of your finals so someone else can watch the students take the test and they'll be waiting for you to grade in Jan., but it looks like we're getting a storm tomorrow and Sat. with rain and snow in higher elevations. If it's not a good day to go out and golf I might as well come to class. I guess I'll play it by ear in the morning.
Grinnygranny and I thought back over the year a few days ago and it dawned on us that every holliday of three days or longer in this last year we were on the road to either Texas or Nebraska. No wonder we're pooped and in need of a rest.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thanks to Yikes for the cartoon.
With Mike Huckabee's continuing surge, the Republican Party now has an Iowa front-runner who, like George Bush, is anti-choice, born-again, against gay-marriage, and gets political advice directly from God. So why is the Republican establishment suddenly in a state of near-apoplexy? They've been cultivating evangelicals and fundamentalists for 30 years. Now they finally have a candidate who's truly part of the movement. Which, it turns out, is precisely the problem. The evangelical crowd was fine when it was just a resource to be cynically exploited every few years in demagogic anti-gay get-out-the-vote campaigns. But now the holy-rolling monster the GOP's Dr. Frankensteins have created has thrown off the shackles, fled the lab, and is currently leading in Iowa. And the party doesn't know what to do.
Monday, December 17, 2007
- We now have our Family Christmas pictures in. We'll be mailing a bunch out in the next couple of days to all our scattered family.
- Grinnygranny and I did nine holes yesterday, we were just a little tired the rest of the day. Really out of shape, but the weather was nice if just a little nippy.
- Just talked to Mom. Penni's hoping to go home Thursday, but the blood clot they've been giving her blood thinners for isn't going away. Mom's sore from the rehab, but it's not as painful as before the surgery. She's going to start working on getting up and down stairs tomorrow and the doctors will discuss when she can go home on Thursday.
- Last couple of nights we've been playing Scipbo and Uno. E joined us Saturday night. It was nice having all of us together.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Penni is still in the hospital with another bowel blockage. She's scheduled for more chemo next week.
Melissa begins working at Wendy's tomorrow. She's excited right now, we'll see how much enthusiasm she still has after six months.
Last week of the semester. Finals on Wed & Thurs. Don't have to go back until Jan 8. Hope the weather holds and I can get some quality time on the golf course. This time of year I tend to put on weight and it doesn't come off.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
She called E yesterday and wanted him to come and get Ritchie (this is her Christmas with him) as she and her husband (I think they're married, that's why she divorced E?) were having problems and she didn't want Ritchie caught in the middle. E looked into taking the weekend off so he could go, but this time of year that is a near impossibility at the last moment. Yesterday and today are his regular days off, and as it was too late to drive out last night that would mean a 14 to 16 hour drive today. Auntypesty doesn't have orientation for her job until Friday, so she volunteered to drive down with E to share the driving. They were set to leave and 0500 for the all day trip. Grinnygranny and I were looking into someone to watch our Grandson until Christmas break. Then at midnight ex-DIL calls and said that things have been worked out and E doesn't have to come get him. A bit of a relief, a bit of a let down (it would be nice to spend more time with him at this age), and more running around at the last minute for absolutely nothing.
Called and talked to Mom. Needed to let her know that the on-again/off-again trip with the three guys is off-again. She's in rehab with a crumbling vertibra, and can't get the doctor to come in and talk about surgery. She has to have rehab three hours a day in order to stay in the facility, but it is extremely painful. There's also concern that her heart wouldn't be strong enough for the surgery. What a wonderful medical system we have, Medicare will pay for your care financially, but you'll have to endure three hours of torture every day.
ps. Mom called today and she is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Bruce is down there, which means he got through all the ice in Oklahoma. Penni is back in the hospital with an infection.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Penni is home and having good days and bad days.
The trip with E, S & M is off as S couldn't get off work.
They're working on trying to get out there, but I'm not sure if it's in the cards.
One regular week and then finals. This semester is finally going to be over, it's already felt like an entire year. I'm needing some rest.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.
You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.
Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname "Frisco" for your home city.
Your days consisted of parading around your domain - the San Francisco streets - in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord's Prayer quietly, head bowed.
Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as "Emperor".
The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline "Le Roi est Mort". Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.
The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.
Auntypesty put in job applications yesterday, and then we went golfing before picking Grinnygranny up from work. It was overcast and cool. The news said it was going to be sunshiny and warm and that the storm wasn't supposed to come in till the weekend. Wish they would get it right!
E is planning on taking a trip out to Canton week after next with S and BIL's brother M. They couldn't go with us at Thanksgiving and all want to spend time with Mom and Penni.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
We bought the latest DVD package of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Yesterday in the afternoon we watched the movie for the millionth time and auntypesty played some of the games in special features. The rest of the evening we listened to Christmas music on Satelite and I started reading the book that came with the DVD. It starts off with a lengthy set of introductions by Goldman explaining how he spent a long time recovering from Pneumonia as a child and his father reading the story to him and it had changed his life. How when his own son turned ten he wanted to get a copy of the book as his birthday present and there is an intersting story in tracking down a copy and how his son hadn't liked it so he read it himself and decided it needed to be abridged from the original by S. Mortgenstern. He gives a detailed account of all the problems in getting a studio to make the movie, his failed marriage and then taking his ten year old grandson to Florin City for a visit. They walk through the Mortgenstern Museum looking at the sword made for a six fingered man, a mold of Fezzik's hand twice the size of Andre the Giant's, going into the study and looking through Mortgenstern's diaries and going on and on about how these people actually lived and that the story was true. He even places Florin and Guilder as two small countries between Sweeden and Germany. I read the first hundred and fifty pages of the story, where he talks about deleting an entire chapter because it was just about the argument of Humperdink and his cabinet about marrying a commoner and him making her the Princess of a small area of the Kingdom, what it took to teach her court etiquette. There are chapters on Inigo Montoya and his father, the life of Fezzik and so on and so forth.
Now I knew a Florin was the money of Florence durring the Renaissance, and a Guilder was the Dutch currency which created Capitalism during the Reformation. But the way Goldman intersperced such personal detail in his introduction he had me believing that there actually were countries called Florin and Guilder, that there actually was a S. Mortgenstern and that Goldman had only abridged the original story.
So having pricked my curiosity I Googled Florin. No surprise most of the entries were about the currency, and a number of cities in the United States with this name, but I did come across a link to Florin City. I followed that link anc came across some critiques of the novel. LOW AND BEHOLD the introduction and abridgement were all make up! I think Goldman must be getting a perverse pleasure as people for the last thirty-five years have fallen for his hoax and he laughs his head off at the gullibility of the reading public.
The critique then went on to explain the allegory hidden in the story (It's about economics). I found it fascinating and read it to Grinnygranny.
She was not impressed. "It's just a story, don't try to make so much out of it."
I argued back, "You could say the same thing about Jonah. It's a story most children can relate to and understand, but at that level it's little more than a just a story, but when you look at it as allegory with Jonah representing the Hebrew nation, Nineveh the Gentiles and how Jonah refused to deliver God's message to the Gentiles he flees and is swallowd by a big fish, with the big fish being the Babylonian Captivity. That Nineveh repenting representing Christianity and salvation being open to Gentiles. The story makes much more sense. There's no need to try and find a fish big enough to swallow a man -- that wasn't the point of the story!
Grinnygranny just moaned and said,(referring to Princess Bride) "It's just a story, don't make so much out of it."
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Took auntypesty to Southwest writers today. She seemed impressed with the meeting and the speaker today talked about journal writing. I bought the speaker's book entitled Journal Writing for Women. Maybe she'll start doing some writing now she's home.
Grinnygranny has finally blogged again and has an interesting letter that eveyone should read.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Actually had nice weather for the drive out to Canton. Our usual route was clogged because of a fire in the Manzano mountains and the town we pass through was the staging area for fighting it. We avoid I-40 at all costs. So we went further south on I-25 and drove throught Carizozo and Capitan, past the turn off to Trinity site (where they dropped the first atomic bomb), through Roswell and into Texas. It is a nice drive especially from Carizoz, Capitan and Lincoln; really pretty country.
We made it into Canton on Thursday, and relaxed the rest of the day. We took Auntypesty to the Seiko outlet for her belated birthday present Friday morning and did a little more shopping. The Factory outlet stores at Tangers (Terrell, TX) were not very busy for Black Friday, guess everyone was in Tyler or Dallas at the Malls. Had a nice dinner in the afternoon with Penni, her husband and MIL, Bruce came down from Oklahoma, Mom and us. There wasn't much Turkey left over. Took lots of pictures.
Penni seemed to be in good spirits, but Mom's having a lot of trouble moving around. She has a number of doctor's appointments next week to figure out the problem. Neither Mom or Penni are happy with Auntypesty's attitude the last couple of months so all were kind of at the parting of the ways stage.
We were worried about the weather on the way home, but only ran into a light rain for most of the way. We could see the snow on the ground by the side of the road and on rooftops, but the roads were in good condition.
It's nice to be home, and I've been catching up on all my e-mails and blogging for the last five days. Nice to see a good number of my fellow bloggers also dormant for the holiday, and I'm not alone in taking time off.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Talked to Mom again, Penni will be home, but with the feeding tube. She'll have chemo again next week, its the radiation that she no longer needs. She said Penni has through this whole ordeal has maintained an upbeat and positive attitude, which is essential in fighting the disease; but it's starting to sink in that her time is short and she's having bouts of depression.
It will be good to spend time with her before bringing auntypest home.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Mistress was our little predator. She loved bringing in birds, squirrels, mice, rabbits, lizards as little presents. And it was nearly impossible to pen her up in the house. In the twelve years we've lived here numerous cats have disappeared in the mesa behind our house. Mistress went out yesterday and didn't come back this morning. When our son got home (she's actually his cat and brought her here from Oklahoma) we told him that she still wasn't back. I'd just posted the pictures of all our pets. He went out looking and found her on the mesa then had to take a shovel an bury her. A coyote wouldn't have left anything behind so our best guess is either a prairie owl or this time of year falcons and hawks are migrating. We're sitting around remembering her. Of all the cats we've had she was the one we felt would be safest out there, and for over two years that's been the case. She'll be missed.
Anne sent me a picture of her latest painting, sold while still on the easel. I really like it.
I've been under the weather the last two days and didn't feel like getting out of bed much less looking at the computer. Got im himmel do the e-mails pile up if you lay off for a couple of days. I don't even want to think about the tests that need to be graded that my subs gave.
Next week a flying trip to Texas. Looks like we'll be bringing aunty pesty home possibly Mom too. Penni is in the hospital with pnuemonia, but they are both physically and emotionally so drained from the last twelve weeks they can't make the drive to Dallas and back anymore. They need to come here for some rest.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I've also created a new blog optimuspg.blogspot.com -- even though the other blog was devoted to Optimus it started out as my Captain's Log blog and had that URL address which made it confusing. I'm shutting down the other blog site and letting this one take over the novel. It will be much easier to put on business cards and fliers for advertizing.
Monday, November 05, 2007
To sum up this day, it commemorates the foiling of a plot to blow up King James I and Parliament. England then used this day to burn the Pope in effigy and persecute all Catholics who were blamed for this attempt at destroying the government.
Horton then gives this quote to explain why the U.S. has never observed this celebration:
Order in Quarters issued by General George Washington, November 5, 1775:
As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Anniversay time again. Twenty nine years ago Grinnygranny made me the happiest man on Earth. The road has had its bumps and dips and hills and valleys. She married a divorced defrocked preacher working as a security guard and wound up with a teacher and writer. Time sure does fly when you're trying to make ends meet and rasie a family.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
There is no rule that keeps a student from offering a personal prayer. Every year there is a "Meet at the Pole" event countrywide where students meet and VOLUNTARILY pray. English departments offer a course on the Bible as literature. Numerous poems with religious themes are analyzed and discussed. In World History class Ancient Judah, and life of Jesus are taught as well as the rise of early Christianity. During the Renaissance and Reformation Christianity is mentioned in great detail. It is against the establishment clause of the first ammendment for a government, school, or teacher to tell a student they must pray, or tell them to say an officially sanctioned prayer. If a student wants to express their religious beliefs and it pertains to the discussion at hand they are perfectly free to speak up. If they want to preach when I haven't called on them or it has nothing to do with the subject being taught, or if they want to pass judgement on my faith or teaching style they're out of line, and actually in violation of the commandment to honor thy Father and Mother: teachers legally act in loco parentis to their students. Faith in school is the same as it is everywhere subject to Timing, Approach and Appropriateness.
In grading this paper as a teacher I would tell the student to check their facts and get them right.
If students want to use colored hairspray or pierce themselves what does that have to do with prayer or God. It does show the author as someone who has a problem with non-conformists and expect the schools and teachers to enforce their own personal ideas of conformity. As a teacher I would grade this part down as being off topic.
I'm pretty sure that all schools, public or private, secuar or religious, outlaw students from bringing guns to school, especially after Columbine. All School libraries have copies of the Bible usually both Protestant and Catholic. Not all have Q'urans (I do hope that the accepted spelling at this time) Vedas, Talmuds or other religious writings. As a teacher I'd say this is an extreme exaggeration devoid of any truth. I'm not sure, but isn't telling the truth a Christian virtue? "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
I'm curious about the objection to a pregnant Senior Queen and unwed Daddy, would the writer rather she got an abortion? And then it's wrong to pass out contraception. Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too.
As a parent I taught my children right and wrong. How good a job I did is between God, me and them. I expected their schools to instruct the subjects they are required by law to teach, proper respect and manners that are required to function in a society. I did not want anyone else intruding into my parental responsibilties. Nor as a teacher should I pass judgement on the personal lives of my students. Jesus after all said "Judge not, lest ye be judged likewise." Notice how judgemental the writer regarding the electoral process at the school, but holding elections is a proper function of our schools in teaching them the democratic process, as well as living with the outcome of an election even if your candidate loses.
I'm not aware of any witchcraft classes in high schools, but they might be mentioned in literature or history the same as vampires and totempoles, or maybe the students dress this way on Halloween, but schools do not force or "establish" this belief on the students.
The only passage I can agree with is the statement that when chaos reign school's a mess. 80% of teaching is discipline, but I prefer to use behavior modification techniques and the school's discipline policy over preaching and trying to "save their souls."
For the last remark, didn't the writer fuss about gun control?
To quote Jesus once again, "Oh ye scribes and Pharasees, hypocrites..."
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The class was more about the different stages of a story and how the same stages of a story apply to the process of writing one. I really did learn a bunch of material and feel like I got my $75 worth.
Santa Fe Screenwriters is also having a screenwriting conference May 27 - June 1. There will be top agents and producers to pitch stories and try to sell scripts. All for the low low price of $695 for the conference, $200 to gain access to agents and producers, or $795 for both. If you sign up before Nov. 30 they knock off $150, and because I attended this seminar they'll reduce it another $100. Well golly gee I'd get all that for just $545 plus the cost of motel room and meals, gas and other incidental expenses. Kind of glad I write novels instead of movie scripts. Think of all the money I'm saving by not goint to this event.
Let's see I skipped Glorieta's Christian Writer's Conference earlier this month that's another $400 to $500 dollars I saved. Grinnygranny shouldn't fuss too much because I bought another 20 books since the Publisher had a 50% off special. Somehow she doesn't see things the way I do. For some strange reason she thinks I should be making money off these books and somehow all the expenses compared to what I've collected doesn't compute. When I go the the Southwest Writer's Workshop almost all the other authors are in the same boat I'm in. I keep telling her that not every person who picks up a basketball makes the amount of money they pay Shaquille O'Neal.
Anyway I have a fresh new supply of books to sell -- going cheap for a collector's item (book signed by the author)only 20 bucks. Just e-mail me and I'll get you a copy.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Paul Krugman in today's Opinon page of the New York Times gives both barrels to the Great Sound Machine sliming a 12 year old boy suffering from head trauma for daring to speak truth to power.
All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. If service members oppose a Republican war, they’re “phony soldiers”; if Michael J. Fox opposes Bush policy on stem cells, he’s faking his Parkinson’s symptoms; if an injured 12-year-old child makes the case for a government health insurance program, he’s a fraud.
Meanwhile, leading conservative politicians, far from trying to distance themselves from these smears, rush to embrace them. And some people in the news media are still willing to be used as patsies.
Politics aside, the Graeme Frost case demonstrates the true depth of the health care crisis: every other advanced country has universal health insurance, but in America, insurance is now out of reach for many hard-working families, even if they have incomes some might call middle-class.
And there’s one more point that should not be forgotten: ultimately, this isn’t about the Frost parents. It’s about Graeme Frost and his sister.
I don’t know about you, but I think American children who need medical care should get it, period. Even if you think adults have made bad choices — a baseless smear in the case of the Frosts, but put that on one side — only a truly vicious political movement would respond by punishing their injured children.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Sometimes a political cartoon says it all!
At the Huffington post John Cusack has two interviews with Naomi Klein, author of Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism who has figured out the method to the madness of Bushco. Click here for part 1, and here for part 2.
Here's a quote:
Klein: You hear people complain about how Hezbollah is a "state-within-a-state" in Lebanon -- what about Blackwater in the USA? And that's just one company of hundreds, and a relatively small player compared to Lockheed and GE and Booz Allen. But once again, we can't keep being surprised by this shadow world -- it is an inevitable consequence of Rumsfeld's vision of an outsourced and contracted-out state. A right-wing journal in the U.S. called Blackwater "al Qaeda for the good guys" and it's a striking analogy. Wherever the disaster capitalism complex has landed, it has produced a proliferation of armed groupings outside the state. No surprise, really -- when countries are rebuilt by people who don't believe in government, the states they build are invariably weak, creating a market for alternative security forces, whether Hezbollah, Blackwater, the Mahdi Army or the gang down the street in New Orleans.
Now that is scary!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
- "Twin" sister came to town over the weekend. I know it's confusing because my real sister is so much in my thoughts and prayers and mentioned here, but "friend" just doesn't suit when speaking of Anne. She made some wonderful contacts for her children's book and a number of writers are wanting her to illustrate their books.
- Replaced the garage door that died last Thursday. Nice to have it actually open and close without assistance.
- Had a fun round of golf with some balloon pilots from Arizona on Monday at UNM South, in for the balloon fiesta. Unfortunatley there was an accident and a woman fell and died that day. The first fatality at the fiesta since 1994. With over 700 balloons taking off every day for 9 days every year this is a rare occurance.
- After the round of golf I had a writer's workshop and fortunately got home in time for the last half of the Dallas game against Buffalo. WAS THAT A GAME OR WHAT?
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
This abomination of false advertizing has to do with the S-Chip vote that was recently cast. She is proclaiming to all that this vote will help insure millions of needy children and it's all her doing it even asks the viewers to call in and thank her. (Ulp, gasp, gag, urp)
Well pin a medal on her! (heavy of the sarcasm).
She fails to mention that the northern Democratic representative also voted for the bill, and that the southern Republican representative voted against it. Also absent is the almost certain VETO by Der Decider leaving the children of this country with less health care not more!
Oops, excuse me I just had to retch.
So what is making me so sick? The dawning realization that the morons in this city will swallow the putrid garbage she's dishing out and probably re-elect her.
It's enough to induce permanent bulimia.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
- I'm still thinking about the journey that this summer began, but right now it's still to raw to write about.
- I wasn't too sure about trying to teach this year, and I did look into retiring, but the normal routine has been cathartic which is right now what I need. As much as it galls me to say anything positive about the school's administration, they have been exceptionally supportive an understanding before the year started and since I came back. I only wish they had been this human last year when Robin was dying of cancer and they went out of their way to make her last few months miserable.
- Scott Horton is so articulate today about how George W. Bush meets all the requirements for the term TYRANT. If anyone is reading this check it out.
- I've been watching the "talking heads" heads on the idiot box analyzing suicide bombers again. Whether its New York Times, Washington Post or even the Huffington Post they can't reconcile reality to their theory. They always say that poverty is what causes people to become desperate enough to blow up those around them. But Osama is OIL RICH! The bombers at the World Trade Center were MIDDLE CLASS and well educated. It's understandable that those with nothing to lose would opt out for the "Take as many with me as I can take" attittude, what motivates those who have education, wealth or both to become fundamentalist be it Christian or Muslim? They are the ones wanting to blow up the world just to see a spectacular sight. Anwer: they find their education and wealth doesn't give them meaning or purpose.
- Here's my take: Religion is about MEANING and PURPOSE. Fundamentalism's meaning and purpose is to keep morals of the religion pure. All other aspects of the religion take a back seat. The be-all and end-all is morals, and the morals focus almost exclusively on sex. Lying, cheating, stealing, false witness, murder are all rationalized away in order to keep the marriage bed sacred -- just as long as MEN control the marriage bed. Men can stray from the marriage bed with mistresses if they can afford them -- plural marriages stops this practice, or with prostitutes -- just so long as the practice is illegal and prostitutes are the criminals. Let a woman stray and watch out -- civilization will crumble!
- Am I wrong? I cite stong examples Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Compare their Presidencies. The one charge the fundies could level at Bill was that he was a womanizer. George has been as far as we know quite faithful to Laura, but every other commandment in the entire Ten Commandments have been consistently broken and overlooked by the Blind Faith fundamentalists.
- Christian and Muslims are at war with the modern world because of its focus on sex. Hey SEX sells. Ever since the "It Girl" advertisers have sold toothpaste, soap, cars, air travel, and even hemoroid creams by using a pretty face or large bosom. Movies and television shows have to display bare breasts of women and bare bottoms of men. Now I ask you does the whole world have to go up in flames and all life on this planet die just because Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione and Larry Flint have made fortunes selling sex to the masses?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
10 Ways Public Schools Fail Students
10. They fail to exclude students with physical or mental disabilities that make learning difficult.
9. They fail to exclude students who don't live in the right neighborhoods. Public schools are everywhere, not just in the backyards of suburban churches.
8. They fail to exclude students who cannot afford tuition, books or supplies.
7. They fail to let children go hungry who cannot afford to pay for lunch or breakfast.
6. They fail to exclude students because of race, ethnicity or religious creed.
5. They fail to teach from a narrow, outdated worldview that does not recognize advances made in all academic fields of study.
4. They fail to advocate the beliefs of one particular religion.
3. They fail to recognize that some children just cannot be taught.
2. They fail to quit teaching children when confronted with a barrage of criticism from political and religious leaders.
1. They fail to refuse any student the education needed to live life, embrace liberty and pursue happiness.
Indeed, our public schools are failing in these and many other ways. And I am glad that they are doing so.
However, one thing that all of our schools need--be they public, private or home schools--is our prayers. Please remember to pray for our students and those that teach them this week.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The worst part of being a history teacher is that you can see things coming and you feel like Casandra -- No matter how much you try to warn people what is going to happen, they won't listen!
Within a week of the attack on the World Trade Center, when Bush finally came out from the rock he was hiding under, I could tell he was going to use this disaster the same way Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag to disband the German Parliament and take over total power.
Six months later the American Patriot Act started the burning of the Constitution. No more need for Warrants, assassinate people you don't like -- that's called a Bill of Attainder -- expressly forbidden in the Constitution -- Forget Habeus Corpus -- call a press conference, announce you've captured a terrorist and lock him away for three years without charge, subject him to mental and physical abuse then convict him for leaving fingerprints on a piece of paper. Stalin at least made the innocent sign blank sheets of paper which would later hold their confessions before sending them to the Gulag. Arrest all your political opponents on trumped up charges so you never have to fear the outcome of an election. The polls are showing the American Public is fed up with the dog and pony show. Now if we can just get some backbone into the Democrats before more damage is done.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Penni had a colonectomy today, and they are inserting a feeding and hydration tube in her stomach to try and clear the bowel blockage. They will start chemo therapy in a few days. The doctor is telling her not to give up hope, but she has gone down so fast it's hard not to think the worst. Bruce has been with her for the last few days and will be there this weekend as well.
It's hard being 800 miles away, but there's nothing I can really do either here or there except pray.
Bruce has posted a picture of Penni with her daughter. Penni wrote one of the chapters in this book that deals with Ovarian Cancer. TORCH: Tales of Remarkble Courage and Hope.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Brontë on Convention and Morality
Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is — I repeat it — a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.
–Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, preface to the second edition (1847)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Spookyrach picked me while I was away to answer some questions. So here goes.
1. What is the most embarrassing CD or Ablum you own?
I've always had a thing for Iron Butterfly's Innagoddadavida. I played it over and over again when I was a senior in high school and drove Mom crazy. I studied to it in college at an institution 40 miles from the nearest known sin. My room mates weren't pleased. I had a tape player that I listened to on the bus when we traveled for Track and Cross-country meets. I was playing it once when the coach was filling up with gas. He got on and started up the bus just as the music hit the rift where they are scraping the guitars shifting from the drum solo back to the melody. Coach turned off the engine and started it back up thinking the bus was throwing a rod. When he figured out it was the music and not the bus he gave me one of "Those" looks. Whenever I listen to it at home wife and kids either leave or close their doors. But I still love the song and groove on the drum solo.
2. Which could you better tolerate - leaving the country permanently or never leaving your current state?
I seem to be traveling all over the place outside my state and have lived elsewhere. If I had to I could live in another state, but I don't think I would want to live outside of the good-ol-US of A.
3. Who would play you in a movie of your life, and why?
It would have to be someone not too tall, a little overweight, but not bald with a good sense of humor. Tom Arnold comes to mind.
4. What is your greatest fear and how do you conquer it?
I was a summer missionary in Grant's NM the summer after my sophomore year in college. I spent two weeks in a small house by myself. It was fine for the first week, but the second week the walls started caving in on me. The lady who owned the house was visiting her daugher for those two weeks and when she came back I was very grateful. After my ex-wife left Ft. Worth when I was at Seminary I spent the rest of that semester and the next alone in student housing. Even though Bruce was not far away I hated the feeling that if something happened to me no one would know about it for weeks or months and I've never regretted leaving seminary to come home. I guess my biggest fear is being alone. God has been gracious to me all my life that I've have been surrounded by those I love and the times of solitude have been of short duration.
5. What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was hired at a job once. When my supervisor took me around to meet my co-workers he introduced me to a guy I had never met before, but when he told him my name he said he knew my ex-wife, who my brother married, knew I was married to grinnygranny, and my first roommate in college. When I learned his name it made sense because his son was my age and was in the church youth group I attended in high school. He was also a fellow deacon with my Father-in-law at their church. I really did learn just how small the Baptist circle was in Albquerque that day.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
We had planned on taking Auntipesty up to see her after graduation, but time ran out on that trip. We were going to try and make it up there this July, but the situation with Dad didn't make that possible. We were planning on going to visit either at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but now it's too late.
This is getting tough.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday sister was to find out from her doctor what kind of treatment he wanted to do. The choices are not very good. Have surgery to remove the colon, which would only make the other tumors more aggresive, or daily chemotherapy. When I talked to Mom last night she said the doctor still hasn't made up his mind about the treatment, but they are wanting to send her home.
It was actually good to get back into the classroom and start teaching once again. It's like riding a bicycle -- you never forget. I've got a ton of papers and attendance to catch up on, gradebook to setup and that kind of stuff to keep my mind off the other problems for a few minutes at a time.
Mom is wanting to drive home in the next few days and daughter will be going with her. Daughter is both a blessing and a curse at times. I've told Mom is she becomes more curse than blessing to fly her back.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I thought things would get somewhat back to normal after Dad's funeral. So much for thinking.
Sister was admitted to the hospital on Saturday before the funeral with a bowel blockage. She was flown home Wednesday. They did a CT scan yesterday, but so far I haven't heard what they're going to do. Bruce has been there and we talked this morning he thinks they'll do surgery, but since then no word. Mom is afraid that her cancer is moving from stage three to stage four.
Mom started having back pains on the drive out. She went to urgent care yesterday morning, they gave her some antibiotics saying she had a lung infection. She kept telling them that her kidneys were hurting, but they wouldn't listen. She called me later (she was staying at a friend's house) unable to get any liquid down or medicine in extreme pain. I called 911 and had her taken to a hospital. Spent most of last night with them doing nothing, they did give her a pain killer that helped a little.. The finally got her to a CT scan around 2am. They said they would admit her at 6am, but didn't get her up to the room until 9:30. They finally gave her some acetomenaphin at 10:30 the first pain medication in ten hours. The doctor finally deigned to see her at noon told her what the treatment would be. Mom told me to go home and get some rest. When Grinnygranny got home we went to dinner and then visited Mom. They had done nothing. The doctor made the mistake of trying to get on the elevator to leave as I was getting off. I backed him up and enlightened him that his orders were not being done. He said he'd talk to the nurse. I told him if he didn't want to treat Mom I'd take her home as they weren't doing anything. Mom decided to stay the night, but I'm bringing her home tomorrow because I don't think they'll be doing anything tonight either.
Monday will my first day in the classroom. I'm not mentally ready for this.
I had planned on writing more about Dad and doing a chronology of the summer, but it's not over yet.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Mom has posted some thoughts as well.
For me it's still too soon to start on the chronology as it's not over yet. The funeral is Monday then I'll start posting.
Got out on the golf course today, trying to recover now, this heat and humidity is a killer.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
I am set for the next two weeks with a substitute and regular sick leave, the paper work I took with me for extended leave they won't need until this two weeks is over. My sub was there so I showed him the room and went over lessons, he'll be there Monday for the in-service to get ready. I got my room set up, but didn't have time to get my computers out of storage and set up. I went to the first in-service day on Wednesday. Maybe the stress of this summer is getting to me, but all the changes they are setting up for this year has me thinking about retiring. With a financial meltdown going on and my retirement dependent on the stock market that may not be the best financial decision to make right now.
It doesn't look like Dad will survive the weekend, after talking to Mom Tuesday night and her telling me how much his condition worsened after I left I was afraid he wouldn't be here when I got back. Her account of these days is on her blog. Penni was here to help Wednesday and after I got in yesterday Bruce came in, though he may not be able to stay too long.
Mom and Bruce have been digging up Prescott genealogy and seem to have made the big break past 1910 that has stymied Mom for years.
I'll post a chronology of the time here after it's all over instead of dwelling on it now.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Had a nice book signing. Sold three books, one to a former student well past his ten year class reunion. It was nice to spend more time with grandson, the kids and Grinnygranny. I did have to clean out the fish bowl as none of them seem to be able to do any more than just feed the poor thing. Dogs and cats were happy to see me. Sometimes you need to get away from what you have to really appreciate it.
Our van's ABS light keeps coming on, and I had them take it in to get checked out. $90 later they couldn't find the problem. It comes on then when you turn off the car and it stays off for awhile till it comes back on again. Sure enough on the way to drop me off it came back on again. I told Grinnygranny to take it back to the service repair shop so they can see we are not hallucinating. She got there at 7:00am and they don't open to 8:00am on weekends. She decided not to sit and run it for an hour and went home.
Guess I have the time to catch up on all the other bloggers before it's time to board the plane.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Went to school and picked up textbooks to take back with me and start working on lesson plans -- just in case I don't make it back for the first days of school.
I'm going to write a journal about this experience. Mom encouraged me yesterday as we were driving to Tyler to get her new glasses that had come in. Penni's MIL was watching Dad for us. I told her I had thought about doing that with this blog, but thought it would be way too morbid for non-family readers, and upsetting to family members not here. I may post portions of the journal later -- perhaps much later when the perspective of time can soften the words.
Looks like I'll have to put a new air conditioner on the house. It was making a lot of noise before I left, but is really making a racket now. I'm putting the roof on hold until later, just not much later.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday E was scheduled to work a couple of hours later than usual. They told him he'd answer the phones instead of being on the floor. We went to have lunch with Grinnygranny and took him to work, he can't drive his truck which is standard and he can't use the clutch with his hurt left foot. Antiepesty left to spend time with her boyfriend, taking R with her and I then went to my book signing. When it came time to put a table, chair, poster and bag with books in E's truck we had a downpour. Got drenched. When I got to the Hastings they had a table set up with ten books. I sold two, but one person told me that my book was mentioned at a home school convention, so maybe I'm starting to get a buzz on the book. Then picked E up from work.
They were planning on leaving to drive down here Saturday morning so E and autiepesty could spend time with Dad before he gets to the point where the pain medication makes him sleep all the time. My flight back was for Sunday and I decided to fly back a day early and changed flights. Got back just a little after Bruce left, so Mom wasn't left here alone with Dad for very long.
I'm hoping that Grinnygranny, auntiypesty, E and R have a safe trip. They should be here tomorrow morning.
Mom had to put a third pain patch on Dad today and a number of pills before he settled down. He got up and ate supper then sat for about two hours in the recliner dozing off and on before heading back to bed. I'm hoping he'll be more alert when the family gets here.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Then I think back four years to when my Father-in-law was spending his final days. He died of bladder cancer in Albuquerque. A veteran of World War II, long time parts manager of a car dealership that passed hands to multiple owners, and a wonderful man. When he decided not to endure any more radiation treatments and Hospice was brought in they quickly assessed the situation and insisted he be placed in a nursing home. There was no offer of pain management, in-house care, special bed or anything. I remember him sitting in the living room whimpering in pain. For the last month in the nursing home he was neglected for hours at a time without any relief. I spent most of my time shuttling my Mother-in-law and wife back and forth, but no one could spend nights with him, and we would get calls from the nursing home in the middle of the night telling us he had gotten up from the wheel chair and fell. We tried to get them to stop wheeling him to the dining room and feed him in bed, in fact just keep him in bed, but they would wheel him to the dining room and then wheel him back to his room, then not put him in bed for hours. He would finally try to get in bed on his own and naturally fall. Blessedly he breathed his last, but when I compare the way my father is being treated by Hospice to my FIL it just makes me angry that such a wonderful man died in so much pain and discomfort and neglect and knowing what I do now that it didn't have to be that way.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Bruce and family came in. Dad was up for a little while and I was able to get video of everyone.
He was up and had a good breakfast this morning, They got to spend more time with him and say goodbye before having to leave, Bruce was a little worried about trying to get over the Red River to get home. Bruce is going to try and come out to help Mom when I go back for the book signing. Hope I sell a good number of books for all the cost involved in being there.
The satelite here has been down almost all day as there was a stationary line of thunderstorms south of us blocking the internet until around 7pm. Dad just had a good supper, and is now back in bed. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to rearrange the living room to try to make it easier for him to spend time out here.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Growing up every preacher that covered the Ten Commandments explained this commandment as you should not take God lightly or use his name profanely. But a curious thing happened as I was traveling through Texas, where every little town you drive through, and there are a lot of little towns in Texas, has posted a picture, billboard or monument of the Ten Commandments. Something that didn't exist thirty years ago when I lived in Texas.
I started going over the the ten forbiddens and started thinking about the word vain. You discribe a person who is vain as self-centered. Thinking only of themselves. Doing something something to exalt yourself is called vanity. So is not this commandment an admonition to not claim God or use God's name to exalt yourself? Could it not be said more plainly in today's language as THOU SHALT NOT CLAIM TO BE GOD, or DON'T CLAIM WHAT YOU THINK AND DO AS GOD'S THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS.
It seems to be a big movement with the moral mafia to substitute symbols for reality. Our governmental leadersip at all levels is the most corrupt, amoral, and nonresponsive to the needs of their constituents I've ever known so they proclaim days of celebrations for the Bill of Rights, and have a day where all teachers teach about the Bill of Righs and post them all over the schools, meanwhile back at the ranch the American Patriot Act has repealed Habeus Corpus effectively nullifying the Bill of Rights and rendering it meanlingless. HOW GOOD ARE THEY IF THEY CAN THROW YOU IN JAIL AND KEEP YOU THERE INDEFINITLY WITHOUT CHARGE OR ATTORNEY!
In essence with this President and Vice Regent we've gone back to the Divine Right of Kings where our government leader claim they are answerable only to God, or history or posterity -- Just trust us. In reality they become God. There is little practical difference between Divine Right and the Egyptian Pharaohs or Roman Emperors who claimed to be God. Is this not taking "The Lord's name in vain?"
In analogy religious leaders are substituting the symbol of law and morality by displaying the Ten Commandments while in reality they are violating just about every one of them. The very display violates the admonition to not make a graven image and worship idols.
I'm not Catholic and don't wish to denegrate their beliefs, but as a Baptist that has been one of our major divisions with Catholicism -- their belief that the Pope as Vicar of Christ speaks for God. To Catholicisms credit they limit this power to only one person or council. I the last thirty years the moral mafia has distorted the Protestant "Priesthood of the Believer" into making every loudmouth, opinonated, local Preacher into a self-appointed Pope. As examples: The Rev. Donald Wildmon is a self-appointed censor for the national airwaves throwing tempertantrums if a western mini-series uses the word poke as a euphemism of sexual intercourse, and horrors of horrors Janet Jackson displayed a pasty for a hundreth of a second at the Super Bowl half time show. Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and the numerous other mega-church, televangelist leaders of the moral mafia think that whatever their interpretation of scripture is, has to be the only way to interpret that scripture and everyone else has to believe exactly the way they do. Is that not taking God's name in vain? Is that not in effect and reality claiming not just to speak for God but that you ARE GOD!
This is the four days of Blog Against Theocracy. Why am I against an established church in this country, because my faith is personal not collective or national or uniform. My interpretations of scripture are mine and if you disagree that is perfectly fine by me you have the right to be wrong. But I will never coerce or force anyone to believe as I do and those corrupt, bloated, thugs of the moral mafia who want to force me into their literal interpretive theological and poliical compartments can follow the words of the Apostle Peter as he spoke them to Simon the Magician in the book of Acts, "May thy money perish with thee."
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I'll post on the Debate over Theocracy tomorrow and give updates in the days ahead as well.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It's a great course. They keep it pristine for such a dry desert setting. When you're on the cart path there's grass on one side and dirt, rocks, pinons trees, shrubs, rattle snakes and scorpions on the other. The grass side is about 20 degrees cooler. It's amazing how far the ball travels at 7000 feet elevation. It's the last course I'd want to walk. Talk about steep hills! Being the middle of the week it wasn't too busy. It's most likely crawling during the weekend.
For my non-New Mexican readers Cochiti Pueblo is twenty miles south of Santa Fe. The Pueblo is below the Dam that was built in the 70's and they control the lake. There is a small non-Native American community around the lake that has a 99 year lease, which will be up in the 2060's. The golf course is just past the community, but is run by the Pueblo -- no gambling at this Pueblo, but you pass three casinos on the way up. Never say never, but I have so far avoided playing any of the courses run by casinos, for one they are way too expensive for a teacher's salary, and two why should I help outside businesses that are draining money out of the state's economy?
We took some pictures of the lake which I'll post on another day, but by the time we got to the golf course the memory on the camera was full. We'll have to go back up for pictures again.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Then one day in desperation as she passed a pond she came across a frog. She reached down and thought to herself, "Why not?"
As she picked up the rather unhappy frog, who wanted nothing more than to eat more flies, she asked, "If I kiss you will you turn into a handsome Prince?"
The frog croaked out, "No."
To the young girls suprise she felt her chest start to grow. Thinking it must be a sign she asked the frog if she could kiss him and again he said, "No!" This time rather indignantly.
Lo and behold she could feel her chest expand even further. Being rather pleased with her new found bosom she thought that if she asked one more time her figure would be perfect. So she asked again.
This time the frog was really angry and yelled, "NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO!"
If you think this is just a joke or fairy tale scroll down a little further.
Now close your mouth.