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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Greetings from Texas

  • Daughter is now officially a high school graduate. When we get home I'll post about the differences between big town/big school graduation and little town/little school graduations.
  • Had Mom's 75th birthday celebration. A few people came by and it was nice.
  • Auntie Pesty's graduation party -- only one person showed up. She was just a little disappointed.
  • Wife, mother and daughter have gone into town to do some shopping leaving me here with Dad for a few minutes I have time to catch up on blogging and e-mails.
  • More to come later.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Final

Students are currently taking their final and this is the last one for the year. If you hear a strange noise resembling someone sticking an ice pick in a cat's ear, that's me singing the Hallelujah chorus.
Tomorrow night is Auntiepestie's graduation and we have a long drive ahead of us to be there on time. I'll catch everyone up on it when we get back.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Queen

The Queen deals with the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. Can it be that this August will be ten years since that traumatic day?
I had seen the previews while it was in the theaters which focused on Hellen Mirren's portrayal. I wasn't expecting how prominent Tony Blair was in the story. Coming as it does with his departure from office I found that rather interesting.
The focus of the movie was to me the royal families lack of response to Diana's passing kind of summed up in a comment by the Queen's sister that "Diana was proving just as irritating in death as she was in life."
Curiously absent from the movie was any mention of Andrew (randy Andie) and Sarah Fergusson (Fergie). There was just the one scene where Elizabeth watches Charles telling the two boys about their mother's death, other than that the boys aren't in the movie, except than Prince Phillip taking them out hunting so they can get fresh air.
There is the one scene where Blair is recommending Elizabeth return to Buckingham Palace and make a statement. She vehemently informs him that their grief will be private and not for public consumption. Another powerful scene was when Blair's staff is mocking the royal family and Blair explodes defending the Queen taking everyone by surprise. At the end while Elizabeth and Blair are analyzing what happened she mentions that the "people" will turn on him one day just as they had on her.
This was one of those movies where Grinnygranny and I stop it and talk about it. Here's the points we discussed and concluded.
  • It was mentioned at the beginning that there were two Diana's the one the Royal family knew and the one the public created.
  • They knew the real Diana -- the person and she refused to fit into the mold they made for her. After all she was supposed to be a brood mare -- infusing new blood into a hopeless incestuously polluted bloodline. She was to stay barefoot and pregnant. To her credit Diana revolted at this finding causes to support lending her fame and popularity to others.
  • To the public she was the most intensely scrutinized woman since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Every movement scrutinized, analyzed and photographed. She was what women dreamed of -- meeting and marrying a Prince who was supposed to live happily ever after. To a certain extend a bridge between the common people from all over the world, not just Britain. The grief was so personal to the public because with her death the bridge disappeared. That more than anything is what they mourned.
  • So much of the royal family's concern was about protocol. The film did show how that their obsession with history and protocol has them so out of touch with reality and this event was a bit of a crash landing. Most poignant was the scene where they walked and looked at the flowers. I remember watching on T.V. when this happened, but was unaware of what she saw. The messages written on them must have cut Her Majesty to the quick. She talked with Blair about the damage done to the Monarchy and how her speech saved it. To a certain extent you do see how institutionalized their lives have been since birth. Truly a golden cage. It was this cage Diana revolted against and I can see her two sons facing the same problem as their father in trying to find a woman willing to enter such a huge public zoo with their lives open for public consumption. No wonder Elizabeth fought so hard to grieve in private.
  • Whoever they chose as Charles was horribly miscast. The Queen Mum to a certain extent steals the show, and James Cromwell was excellent as Prince Phillip.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Long Day

Started with our church's annual golf tournament. Grinnygranny scheduled getting her hair permed for yesterday so she could play in it too. It was fun and we didn't do too bad. There were lots of door prizes. I wona a gift certificate to Applebees and she won certificate to another restraurant.
We came home and watched a couple of movies -- Code Name: The Cleaner and The Pursuit of Happyness (sic). The first one was cute. Pursuit with Will Smith was rather difficult to watch at times, but an excellent movie. We watched The Queen Friday night and I'm planning on discussing it tomorrow.
Three fellow history teachers are retiring and there was a retirment party for them. We went and stayed for about an hour. It was crazy.
Came home to relax and get caught up on e-mails and blogging.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Coming Memorial Day

Words of wisdom from John Edwards.

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. My wife Elizabeth grew up on military bases around the world, as the daughter of an Navy pilot, and this holiday has always had special meaning for our family. This year, I am calling on all Americans to use their Memorial Day Weekend not only for celebration and time with family and friends, but also for a deeper purpose: to honor the memory of the fallen by acting, as patriots, to honor troops today -- to end the war and bring them home.
This is a serious holiday and a serious time. The American people voted last fall to stand by our troops, end the war, and bring our soldiers home. The Congress has sent the president a bill that would fund the troops and bring them home. But President Bush has embarked on a stubborn path -- rejecting the will of the people and of Congress. He is not only continuing the disastrous war in Iraq, but is escalating our presence there and vetoing Congress's bill that would support the troops. It has become clear that the only way to support our troops and end the war is by direct action -- by democracy.
Some will say that this weekend is not the right time to ask Americans to stand together and tell the president and the Congress to end this war. They may say it is not patriotic, or that it does not honor the fallen.
I strongly disagree. I believe that Memorial Day Weekend is exactly the right time to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and to honor the troops serving us today.
It has been said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Mark Twain once wrote that the government must not "decide who is a patriot and who isn't." President Theodore Roosevelt went even farther. He said that to say there should be no criticism of a president is not only "unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
As these wise words make so clear, democracy is a wonderful gift. But it is not free. On the contrary, democracy is also a responsibility. Brave Americans have fought for it again and again, and this holiday honors their sacrifice. There comes a time when citizens, acting together in a democracy, can truly force change. That time is today. And I do not want Americans to stand up and be heard because of any political campaign or ideology, or because they were told to. You should instead reclaim your patriotism for one important reason: it was yours to begin with.
This Memorial Day weekend, this means more than just getting in your car, driving to the beach, a parade, or a picnic and saying the words, "We support our troops." This weekend should honor the memory of the fallen through democracy itself. That's why I am asking the American people this weekend to give something in return for the sacrifice of the fallen -- to honor and remember all those who have gone before in service to our country, and to let our government know we want to honor our troops by ending the war and bringing them home.
I have offered Americans 10 suggested actions that will support our troops and end the war. These actions include sending our troops a care package, gathering in public to make your voice heard (taking a moment of silence beforehand to honor the fallen), organizing a prayer vigil, sending a letter to President Bush, and sending a thank-you note to our troops. In the days leading up to Memorial Day, we should take action to support our troops, end the war, and bring them home to the heroes' welcome they deserve. And on Memorial Day, we should honor and remember all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
It was only four decades ago that we found ourselves in a similar place to today. We were embroiled in an unpopular war, plagued by disparities and inequalities here at home, and looking for leadership in Washington, D.C. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called us to action with three simple worlds. As he put it then, there comes a time when "silence is a betrayal" -- not only a betrayal of one's personal convictions, or even of one's country alone, but also a betrayal of our deeper obligations to one another and to the brotherhood of man.
Martin Luther King's demands were not to the government of the United States. He issued a direct appeal to the people of the United States, calling on us to break our own silence and to not sit idly by and wait for others to right the wrongs of the world. Today, I'm again calling on our nation to break its silence -- speak out to end this war and bring our troops home.
At Riverside Church in Harlem in 1967, Dr. King made another attempt to reclaim patriotism. He told his audience they had to move beyond "the prophesying of smooth patriotism" toward "a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history."
This Memorial Day Weekend, we should all take up Dr. King's call to action. It is time to take back patriotism from a president who has misused it to justify policies that have exacted such terrible costs -- from Guantanamo Bay to domestic spying to the War in Iraq itself. Let us reclaim patriotism for all of us who love our country, support our troops, and are ready to end the war -- and to bring these brave servicemen and women home to the heroes' welcome they deserve.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Day

Received a phone call in class today, hard to fuss at the kids when my cell phone interupts my teaching. It was Toshiba calling saying that my laptop was on its way back, and they had replaced the screen. When I got home there was a big box in the door, guess what -- it was my laptop. That was fast. Nice to have it back.

Graduation was at 3:30, but had to be at the Pit at 2:00. When it was over (what a traffic jam as AHS was coming in as we were going out) went to have dinner with Grinnygranny at Japanese Kitchen for Tepanyaki. It was closed for renovations, so we had a nice dinner at Steak N Ale instead. Had to rush home for Dancing with the Stars.
Len Goodman was Mr. Nasty last week as a judge, he's Mr. Nice Guy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day

Took Grinnygranny shopping yesterday. She found a top and matching cover that she wore to Church this morning. Went and had lunch at Christy Mae's. They have the most divine Orange Cinnamon Tea. It is to die for. Brought home a gallon of the stuff. It's really strong which is all the better as you can dilute it into two gallons. We've been drinking on it and enjoying every sip.
After church we went golfing. First time we used our new three wheel push carts. They cost a bit, but are so much easier on the back than carrying or the pull carts, and in just a few trips to the golf course will save a bunch on paying for the driving carts. Renewed my yearly pass which lets me golf after 12pm for only $5.00. Grinnygranny isn't certain if she should get one. With her new clubs and push cart she should start playing enough to make it worth our while. Ten bucks everytime is sure alot better than fifty or sixty.
Grinnygranny called her mother and talked for awhile. I talked to Mom for a while too.
Here's hoping all Mother's out there had a good day too.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Just read a Yahoo news story where they've put a price tag on all the ideas John Edwards is floating while on the Presidentail campaign. If he gets what he's asking for it will cost $125 Billion a year. Wow that's a pretty big number so what is it he's going to be spending this money on?
  • Universal health care
  • Lowering engery costs
  • College scholarship program
  • reducing poverty levels

Now how is he going to pay for all this:

He would get rid of the tax cuts Bushco has given to all those making 200 grand or more a year. He would save money for medicair by negotiating lower drug prices. Stop paying the kickbacks to the banks financing student loans, who are quadrupling or more the interest rates on those who miss a single payment.

The Republican response is to label this TAX AND SPEND. And if elected to two terms it would come to a TRILLION DOLLARS.

Well we've had seven years going on eight years of TAX CUT AND SPEND LIKE CRAZY from the Republicans, and what has it got us?

  • Nearly four thousand American soldiers dead and counting
  • 25,000 wounded and counting
  • Hundreds of thousands with mental and pychological disorders that will last for decades.
  • Two countries in ruins with no resolution is sight.
  • The destruction and failure to rebuild a major American City, but Florida is in fine shape.
  • Runaway fuel prices with no end in sight.
  • A medical care crisis killing children whose parents can't afford to pay for a dentist, but a brain dead woman merits an emergency session of Congress and legal bills mounting into the millions.
  • College students becoming indentured servants to their student loan banks who are gouging the governemnt at the same time.

The total cost when all is said and done for Dubbya's eight years of mismanagement. WELL OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS. POSSIBLY TWO TRILLION DOLLARS.

Here's the kicker -- He's not paying for it. The tax cuts are too important for sound fiscal responsibility, or pay as you go. These two wars are being added to the National debt, to be paid for by the next three or four generations of taxpayers.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Late Night

  • Finally got E's truck fixed and out of the shop. It only took two and a half weeks to get a part in.
  • It was E's day off. He was outside when he saw his cat Mistress carrying a rabbit. He made her drop it and brought her inside. She fussed at him for some time, A very unhappy kitty.
  • Where Grinnygranny works they had another retirement dinner. Just got in. They are really pretty fun, but it does make for a late night when you have to go to work in the morning.
  • Going to an Isotopes game tomorrow with a group from the Convention. E's going with us. Auntie Pesty's going to a Ranger's game in Arlington tomorrow with her senior class. She's lording it over us that she gets to see a Major league game while we're stuck in the minors. Then she wanted money to pay for it.
  • Two weeks from today is finals, and then we head out for Texas to see daughter graduate. Can't wait. It'll be nice to have her home for the summer. Still not sure about what she'll do in the fall, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A little excitement

Got my bridge put in. I now have nice front teeth.
At home Lucy was parked in front of the washer and dryer. Put her outside then Pippen came running down the hall after something. Grinnygranny went to investigate and found a baby sqirrel cornered by the cat. It was quite a battle to try and herd the stupid thing out the door. It would not go out the open door. E finally caught it with gloves on and took it outside. All four of the animals are now sniffing every inch of the house trying to find it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Senior Finals

Whew, glad they're over. This year our administration actually came up with a novel idea. Seniors who have less than 12 absences and end with an average in the 50%'s can still get their diploma if they finish out the school year and raise their grade to passing. They don't get to walk the line at graduation, but they can get their diploma without having to go to summer school. I had a student today with a 40's average that after the final was in the 50's and qualified. He was jumpin' up and down and more excited than those that pulled up to a passing grade and will get to walk the line.

Found this at Bruce's blog. Hebrew University has discoverd Herod the Great's tomb. The man who Augustus joked about saying, "It would be better to be his swine than his son, because the swine have a chance of living." This may prove to be as big a find as King Tut's.

Political Rant
One historian said of Oliver Cromwell the "He was the most average Englishman who ever lived." When he came to power he ruled Britain with an Iron Calvinist Fist.
Napoleon was an average artillery commander placed in extraordinary circumstances. As Emperor of France he wasted armies as if they were petty cash until the troop account went bankrupt.
Hitler was an average Austrian WWI corporal. I'm sure he sat around drinking beer with all the other guys discussing how if they had been in charge they would have won the war. He became so puffed up with himself that he wrote a book on that premise, naturally blaming everyone else for the war's failure.
Now we have a President who in 2000 was described as the one candidate you could sit down and have a drink with just like any other guy in bar.
Here's to the Common Man -- look what happens when they get into power. It kind of reminds me of good old Archie Bunker. If you ever wondered what would have happened if Archie was President you no longer have to wonder. Bush could be an Archie Bunker Clone.
Maybe it's time to elect an uncommon man or woman to the job to clean up this mess.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday potpourri

  • Went to SWWW Saturday morning. There was a ad for a rally about Gay rights. It started off "My God is Your God, and God does not discriminate." I agree that God does not discriminate, but it's like fingernails on a chalkboard when people say "My God" this or "Your God" that. My God denotes ownership, like my car or my house, which is backwards. God created everything and created the process by which we all came into this world. It's people who want to cram God down everyone elses throat that start with the word "My God..."
  • E's truck needs a computer. It's been in the shop for over a week and the part hasn't come in yet. We went back to the guy we bought if from. He wanted us to bring it to him and have his mechanic fix it. I decided to cut my losses and just pay for it. His mechanic would really muck it up, if they could even get the part.
  • Got up this morning and went out to golf. Grinnygranny got to use her new clubs for the first time. She really likes them.
  • Had to send my new Toshiba laptop back to the manufacturer. The screen developed yellow lines and there are no repair shops in New Mexico. It'll be gone for two or more weeks. Really put out about that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Plus Delta

I've just been asked to sell my prep period again next year.

I won't have a 20% drop in pay next year and it will help pad my retirement.
I told Grinnygranny if I was ever that stupid again to shoot me and put me out of my misery. She just might do it and claim it was justifiable homicide.
They've given me my Law class back.
I'll have three preps intead of the one this year.
They've given me my Law class back.
The other two classes will be U.S, and New Mexico history
They've given me my Law class back.
I won't be teaching World History -- which is what I really love teaching.
I won't be in their silly lets give all the kids a pacifier and blankie to help them stay in school Sophomore Academy.

Of the Delta's Grinnygranny is the only one I'm worried about, I'll have to convince her that the extra money could pay the Mustang off quicker then duck.
All in all I think the pluses have it.