Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rag

I am still trying to figure out why I even bother looking at it anymore. I feel the same about the Neal Boortz site, but I'm still compelled to at least check it out. Perhaps it's the rare gem among the piles of garbage that keeps me coming back. But to today...


Today's biggest news? A lady that can help you frame up a cheesy proposal at a totally unexciting and un-memorable winery that sits directly on the interstate highway.

No. The elections in Iraq. I'm sorry, but this is probably the most momentous news story today. This is the first real election (does the temporary government election count?) in a country that has lived under dictatorial rule for decades. That is important world news of significance to everyone, especially those that live in an already "free" democratic republic. A whole nation is shifting to one of the most successful government styles to date and this is not worthy of the largest headlines? It gets buried under "pixelated pet pictures", Michael Vick's injury status, Arthur Blank's prospect of buying the Braves, and "pesticide-free Christmas trees"? At least the Christian conservatives are happy that they're not calling it a 'holiday' tree. And then it's not a headline like, "First official elections in Iraq", or anything even remotely positive. It's "Iraq voters brave bombers." I guess there's supposed to be one posted out at every corner just waiting for someone with a purple finger to walk by to pull the cord. And they have the audacity to ponder why subscriptions have been tanking?

I wouldn't even lay this paper out for a puppy to be housebroken.

Monday, December 12, 2005

*shrug*

Okay, how long has it been now? Three, four months since Katrina? And there are still people living in temporary housing?!? Why? My guess is that "temporary" is either no longer a vocabulary word they teach (because you teach those now instead of learning them from written context) or the definitions of words in the English language have become totally elastic. (think use = purpose, a la Kelo) Now we have temporary = permanent?

My favorite line from the article has to be this one:
"It is unimaginable what anxiety and misery these erratic and bizarre vacillations by FEMA have caused these victims, all of whom, for at least one point in time, had the very real fear of being without shelter for Christmas," Duval said in his 27-page ruling.
Boo. Fucking. Hoo!

That hadn't been a thought before then? Of no concern before you knew the deadline? Oh, you haven't received your housing subsidy check yet? What the fuck were you doing before the hurricane? How did you pay for shit then? Oh, you had a job? You actually traded goods and or services for money that you then exchanged for other goods and or services? But now, here you go, sitting right in that luxury suite totally skipping the first part where you actually contribute to society. (don't think it's a luxury suite? just ask the homeless dudes downtown how it compares to their accomodations)

Why do we continue to let these leeches bleed us to death? More importantly, who is letting them do it? $350 million? That's quite a chunk of change. How can you take it? Oh, it's so noble us giving more charity than we can afford. They had a name for this type of wealth redistribution. They called it communism. How can those of us that actually produce and generate for the nation's economy fight back? Who's going to court for us? How do the tax payers get a class action lawyer on our side?

I'm completely, one hundred percent serious. Who do I talk to?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Now I Remember

If these are the Seven Wonders of Gwinnett County, it's really easy to remember why I don't live there.

It's probably only one reason if you think about it, but the two main reasons are that the Bass Pro Shops is considered a wonder and the ratio of UGA:Tech fans approaches a limit of infinity minus one to one.

Friday, November 18, 2005

When You Look At It That Way...

It really isn't that bad here. At least we only get in trouble for teaching theories. Well, theories that aren't based on faith. Those are perfectly fine to teach.

Now read this.

I'm looking ahead and thinking that if we allow Intelligent Design in to the science classroom, we might eventually get our own lashings.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Omnipresence of It

I have to admit that I'm a little bit of two things. First, I'm a little bit of a coffee junkie. But not just any coffee, I likes it real strong. Strong enough to bend spoons. Secondly, I'm also a little bit of a coffee snob. Folger's just doesn't cut it for me. I like my beans way over-roasted. I'm talking beans so dark that even Jesse Jackson himself is scared to see them walking behind him late at night. That's why I hit the local Starbucks. But I'm no dummy. I sure don't want to be no full-time caffiene junkie so I only go on Fridays. I also don't want to be broke. Don't let them fool you. As much as they try to pretend to be leftist propagandists they sure do know a little bit about profit motive, supply and demand, and equilibrium price.

But their newest trend in political correctness is just a bit too much for me. Want to know what I'm talking about? Lookie here. Did you catch it? There at the bottom right of the graphic? Probably not because I think it's intended to be subliminal. What is it? Yes. What? It. No seriously, what is it? Exactly.

"It only happens once a year"

What? Christmas, duhr! Are you a buffoon? Look at the other graphics. Last I checked, not a lot of religions other than Judaism have big holidays around the same time. How many times have you seen Muslims out putting up Eid al-Fitr lights? How about lights for the death of Zoroastrian prophet Zarathustra? That's right, none.

A big fart in your faces to the execs at Starbucks. Stop pretending you aren't pushing your $5 gingerbread lattes to your clientele that consists primarily of white, suburban, upper-middle class, Christian teenagers and Gen-Xers with nothing better to spend their money on than your concotions and a few tabs of X.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Whew!

Scary. We were this close to fascism.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Want Some New Shoes!

To the guy whose yard I walked through and got dog poo on my shoe, your ass is toast! I was humiliated to have to scuff my shoes across the grass trying to remove the amazingly sticky butt goo from my traction-optimized soles of my water-resistant Columbia brand hybrid hiking/walking shoes. And there is still a little bit left in the hard to reach places. I'm so embarrassed to be the guy who makes everyone check their shoes in the grocery store check-out lane. So, in addition to the new shoes, you owe me $3 million dollars for mental trauma and lost wages. I can't go to work because I can't put on shoes for fear that I might touch dog poo.

A ridiculous scenario? Not if crap like this (no pun intended) is allowed to go through.

At what point is it a private company's responsibility to make sure your posterior does not become the butt of someone's practical joke? Besides, I could always glue my own ass to a terlit seat and probably would for $3 million dollars. Hell, I'd do it for $20 and a bottle of acetone.

What I'm really asking is do you really want to have to go home to use the crapper? I'm just saying that if I were the business owner and frivolous lawsuits like this one cost me a couple million bucks, I might reconsider even providing the facilities in the first place. "Oh, but they were out of seat covers!" Do you use them at home? Ever thought of making one out of toilet paper? How is The Home Depot responsible for some teenager punk putting a little adhesive on a seat as a pretty darned good practical joke? And if you think I would have taken your perma-seat situation seriously when I entered the restroom, you're probably only kidding yourself. Even if that was the problem, shouldn't you be suing that guy, not the store? I don't remember receiving job training that included what to do when a customer's ass gets glued to the toilet lid. Oh, so you were inconvenienced and em-bare-assed? Suck it up and chalk it up as the one interesting thing that happened to you in your entire life. Do you know how entertaining your story would make even the boringest of parties? Hell, you could turn bingo night into a fun evening.

Monday, November 07, 2005

We Have a New Leader!!

A new leader for what? A new leader for the list of the stupidest people I've ever met.

Late in the summer I received a summons for jury duty. Awesome! Problem was that it happened to be the same week I had already committed to attend a wedding. I wrote a letter asking for a postponement and it was granted. Well, it started today.

After arriving and checking-in, I was herded into a small room about 20'x20' with about 100 other potential jurors. The coffee was stale and the whole room reeked of assorted perfumes and colognes. Finally, we were addressed and we watched an exciting video about the judicial process. I can't believe people don't already know these things. I mean, have you never watched Law and Order? But it did introduce the entire court staff and judges so that was neat (snore).

So then we're instructed to wait around indefinitely. I wish I had been prepared for this part. Don't worry, I learn quickly. Apparently, everyone else got some secret directions to bring books, computers, etc. I didn't get that memo. Thanks a lot! But there was some free reading available if I wanted to choose between Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, newspaper from last Thursday or free government agency brochures. I chose the latter. But hey, now I know that our fire, police, and water departments are the recipients of various unmemorable awards I had never heard of! And I also found out that old people smell weird! And never under any circumstances should you put seafood into a microwave in a small room with limited ventilation!

After about an hour of that excitement, they pulled us together. They read the names of about 15 people to head off into a courtroom. I wasn't one of them. Boo!! So we dispersed again. This time I went to sit in the hallway. No sooner did I sit down before we were herded once again for another call. This time, they did call my name! It was about the only one they didn't mutilate when pronouncing it.

After being lined up and being told to get rid of chewing gum, we were paraded in. I got the cool end seat on the front row. And boy was the chair comfy after sitting in the stiff, why-do-they-pretend-they-padded-these seats in the first room?!

Then the judge started explaining the process to us again. No biggy! Take an oath, answer some questions. Selection would take place after the series of questioning.

But first... they had heard that some witnesses were in the lobby area of the courtroom discussing the case. Asked us if we had seen or heard them. Only one person had seen the guy she was talking about but hadn't heard anything. Judge decides to move on, but defendant interjects that he doesn't believe us. Judge says we took an oath, we have no incentive to tell an untruth, moving on. He mutters something about the jury didn't look to be his peers...something something. All I could figure by this was that we weren't black and we had teeth.

So questioning starts. The prosecutor does her job. She's nice and polite and she asks us those hard questions in a way that makes it seem like she doesn't want to ask them, but must. You could tell this was a DUI case by the line of questioning. Anybody abstain from drinking? Well, the minister does. The other 14 of us know how to party! Ever convicted of DUI? Family members? etc, etc, etc. Then it's time for the defense to question. Well, forgot one important point...

First indicator of stupid: representing self. In retrospect, I find it likely that the gentleman has experience in law (perhaps 'with the law' would be a better term) but I seriously doubt an ounce of training in the area. Perhaps the courtroom decorum was the dead giveaway. Perhaps it was the fact the he didn't look like he knew what was supposed to happen next or what his role was. Who knows, but the judge had counsel on standby for some time but he was dismissed once jury questioning began. But that is no indicator of guilt, so let's proceed.

Now it's his turn to question. Okay, ready. First you have to ask a question. That's sort of the definition of questioning. Once started, his questions were of the variety that one might expect if you were questioning a witness, not a potential juror. But he has the right to know details of events that had been disclosed during the prosecutor's questioning. So let's proceed. But now you're just beginning a lecture. That's called an opening statement. Judge stops him, tells him as much, and we find that he never had any real questions to begin with. All that's left is for each of us to state name, occupation, spouse's occupation, number of children, what area of the county we live in, and how long we've been living in the county. We're dismissed for a few minutes with the instruction of not talking about the case with anyone, even other jurors. And due to the allegation that witnesses were located in the outside area, were instructed to move further away if necessary.

Well, it was necessary. You could pick out who they were speakign of by the fact that they had on the same weird "badges" as the defendant. Some placard on a lanyard with the scales of justice and some print too small to read from a distance. I sit and the guy takes a call on his cell phone. He starts talking loudly about how jury selection has started and something about 'not his peers' before I'm far away enough to not be able to comprehend what he's saying. I look back and the bailiff is esorting him and the defendant into a conference room off to the side. It appears that jury tampering was the motive, but it seems to be unsuccessful. We're called back in, so let's proceed.

Now it's time for striking jurors. Defense goes first. I vaguely remember learning that at some point. Okay, who do you want to strike? (crickets chirping) Judge tells him he has the right to participate in the process, asks if he wants to. Nothing. Not a yes, no, nothing. Dummy indicator #12 by this point (I forgot other details like the fact that he didn't want a record/transcript, then he did, and other small details). He refuses to say anything. Judge calls him and prosecutor to the bench. Asks him what's going on. Let's him know that refusing to participate will result in a contempt of court charge. He says okay. Then the judge adresses the jury.

Basically, we're dismissed from this case. Explains the judicial process to us in front of the guy. Explains that he was found competent, he just doesn't think that the laws apply to him. Explains that this is not the first time the case has tried to go to court. (the charges were from March) And basically that he was willingly refusing to participate (which was obvious). He keeps trying to interrupt but she keeps him quiet. Then she tells him that she knows that he was just trying to get another continuance so he could go free while delaying the inevitable again. Then she has him carted off in cuffs for contempt to be held until he was willing to let the trial proceed according to the Constitution. Because we're not on the case, she explains to us that she usually doesn't talk to the jury that way, it was just a strange situation and she didn't want us to be too confused about the process.

You dumb bastard. So now, a new leader on the stupidest people I've ever met list. He's lucky I haven't met Ted Kennedy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I'm Confused

The media and many politicians have been telling me that the economy in the US is bad. Yet, for the 12th consecutive quarter, the Fed has raised the interest rate. Hmmm... so who's lying to me, them or "Big" Willie B., my econ prof from college?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sometimes You Need A Good Laugh

This one gave it to me today. I needed it after my entire AP Chem class indirectly admitted their inability to interpret graphs by making up really dumb answers to a really easy question. Fucking retards.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Badasssssss!!

How can I ever stay in a hotel room and not look behind every wall decoration after seeing this?

The scuttlebutt is that Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age is a contributing artist. Too bad I'm missing their show this weekend because of that god-damned George W. Bush and his evil hurricane spawn. If he'd only have signed the Kyoto treaty I could be rocking my fuckin' arse off this weekend! Dumb bastard!

Yay for the Internet!

Another pointless quiz! Oh, the wonders of technology!

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(90% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

He really is Superman!

And here's the picture to prove it!

Call me Mr. Insensitive

I like to think that I'm pretty respectful of people and their religion(s). From previous experience and conversations with friends of religious backgrounds I feel like I know a decent amount about some of them, especially with respect to religious holidays. But the note from the principal recently is a little over the edge.
If a student is absent on Oct. 13th and brings in a note for the absence to be excused for this religious reason, please meet with the student on Monday and mutually agree on a makeup time without making the student feel "guilty" or that the makeup test is "a pain for you to schedule" (this should not happen for any excused absence). Follow excused makeup guidelines that are published in the student handbook; one day for each day absent plus one. If Oct. 13 is the only day absent, the work should be madeup by the end of the day Tuesday. As the teacher, I allow you the flexibility to extend the time if you wish.

WTF? I'm not allowed to be inconvenienced? Not that I was, but it's allowable to issue a mandate stating that I must not be annoyed by the inconvenience of rescheduling a previously scheduled event?

I was preemptive and I made a note to not test on Thursday, but that made a Monday test (which I hate) and everyone had known about it for seven days!

Tell me not to be inconvenienced. Pshah!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sh!t Fu(k

To you, sir. Go back to the Dallas Cowboys. We don't need your micro-management play calling from the sidelines anymore. We certainly don't need your uncreative plays. And we most definitely don't need your absolutely God-awful clock management skills. Who the hell gives the other team's defense a chance to regroup on the 2 yard line with 28 seconds remaining by calling a timeout on 1st down when you've got momentum on your side? Teach your quarterback some discipline and teach him how to make a few play calls on his own in short time situations. Who's the team leader? I don't see you in a uniform.

And to you, mister. I don't know what you need to snap out of this dry spell, but holy crap man! 0 for 5 in your last 5 attempts?! Missing two 20-yard chip shots? I'm not saying I could do it but I also don't get a scholarship to do it! Last night, I wanted to cut your leg off and give it to NC State as a trophy. Pull it together, man. And God have mercy on you if you're shaving points.

In the meantime, I put a jihad on both of you.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Is it a kilohit?

Thank you Web Surfer routed through Vienna, Virginia on cox.net at 1:08 PM today.

I've surpassed 1,000 hits! That's almost like two hits a day! That'd be a great life if I were a heroin addict!

Damned If You Do

The scuttlebutt this week has focused on the fact that our state's Governor decided to cancel school on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

So far, all of the outcries have only been from parents. The students didn't seem to mind at all. Neither did the rest of the faculty. And to be quite honest, I would have missed anyhow thanks to hitting the apex of a bad head cold that I think I picked up in the filthy airport in Memphis. I don't know if that's really where I got it, but it was the filthiest place I was all last week. Keep in mind that we were in some real dive bars in Tucson, AZ as well. And yes, they were way cleaner than that crummy excuse for an airport. As in I'd have rather eaten from the urinal at a bar called The Surly Wench than in Memphis.

Anyhow, back to the school issue. Our state's overall school system is in the gutter. It didn't get that way by missing two extra days of school in an attempt to preempt a possible fuel shortage. What's funniest is that I was in Tucson when it was announced and there didn't seem to be one iota of concern among the citizens there. Why is everyone so stupid in Atlanta? The governor tries to do a good deed and ends up causing another run on the pumps? How can people be so freakin' stupid? It must be those two days of school they missed.

So the latest hurricane ended up being a yawner. (it helps when you're above sea level) Sure, some people on the coast had damage and loss, but it's not like they didn't know that hurricanes were a possibility. (unless of course they only taught that in school on those two days, darn!) But the truth still remains that few (if any) school systems in the state have budgeted for $3/gal gas in their transportation estimates. It may only be delaying the inevitable that they'll go over budget, but it helps a little. Hell, I saved a lot myself. Well, about half a gallon for two days and the fact that I was stranded at home because of a dead car battery. Actually, I lost money buying a battery, but I had the time to get it fixed!

About the whiners? Seems like the strongest argument in their favor is what to do with the kids if they aren't in school? It goes back to the mentality (and sad truth) that public school is primarily a day care. Somewhere down the list below social assimilation, menial task job training and sports we eventually get to the school's purpose with respect to academics. So quit yer bitchin' about lost instructional time and get to the real fact that you were inconvenienced.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Taco Smell

I made the mistake of eating at Taco Bell for lunch today. I soon remembered that I'd have had a better meal if I had eaten a can of Alpo in a dirty sock. But USDA Grade D beef jokes aside, there was something else about my experience that gave me that sick-to-your-stomach feeling more than the food (or the smell in the restaurant for that matter).

The shitwipes had the audacity to charge me 75 cents to use my frickin' debit card.

If I hadn't already been pushing it on time to get back to work, I'd have told the manager to take three quarters instead and have them relocated to a very unpleasant region of his body. My $3.50 for ground cow asshole and week old produce from the grocery store dumpster jumped to more than $4. That's about a 22% increase. And for what? So the fucker serving me this pile of steaming dog excrement can get paid a little extra to give me a good case of the butt mud? Wha'? And forget the "convenience charge" bullshit. Sure it's convenient to line your pockets with other people's money, that's a given. I know using those machines ain't free for them, but I thought the point was that the benefit to the store was a guaranteed payment for a fraction of a cent per dollar. Sure, cash more than achieves that, I know. But can you really expect to be competitive in today's economy without taking payment with plastic sans surcharge? The Wendy's, Arby's, Chick-fil-A, KFC, Panera Bread, Atlanta Bread Company, etc. that are within projectile vomit range just became a bit more attractive there Mr. General Manager. And it's not just because their products actually resemble food.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Today's Obscure Trivia

Want to know what was #1 on the charts when you were born?

Supposedly your life's theme song is the #1 song on your 18th birthday. If so...
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan (US)
Back for Good - Take That (UK)

I don't know the latter, but that Montell has got himself one kickin' tune there, buddy.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Smooth Move, Ex-Lax

I had written a pretty scathing post about the ineffective bureaucratic bullshit going on down in New Orleans. In retrospect, it was likely fate keeping me from being so hot-headed and hasty that I appeared crazy like that lady in Texas. And the only good to come of Hurricane Katrina is the fact that everyone seems to have forgotten about her stupid ass.

What a fucking crisis. I'd say it couldn't be worse, but just imagine if it had been a god-damned, certifiable, maniacal terrorist attack instead? At least this only incites stupidity at the gas pumps in other cities. What if everyone was fearing for their own life instead because of a disastrous death toll in a large city due to a BFB (Big Fucking Bomb)? It takes four days to get supplies (food and water for survivors I'm talking here) to a disaster area that we knew was going to be ugly several days in advance. Hurricanes don't just show up without warning like a Jihad. How hard would it have been to have supply trucks ready to go only several hours outside of the city when the hurricane made landfall? Only an idiot would have had it already there, sure. You don't want the stuff destroyed as well. But Jesus-titty-fucking-Christ! Four days to get food and water in? People dying in hospitals without running water or electricity several days after the storm? People still trapped on "islands" in the middle of the city? They do have amphibious vehicles and cargo planes designed to drop supplies from the sky don't they?

I'm sorry. I just thought they had a plan after what happened in New York a few years ago. It's good to know we've funded a bureaucracy that stumbles all over itself in the event of an emergency. I just think that you should be ashamed when the Salvation Army can respond faster than our real Army. And screw that lame excuse that they're all in Iraq. I know that isn't true. We've just got some real evidence about how fucking pathetic leadership is across the board when it comes to our government agencies.

Jeez Louise

I hate articles like this one. This is the brigade my cousin is in. I don't think it's him because my aunt would have let us know by now. She the treasurer for the unit's family relief group so she'll probably know who it was soon. I know their families are already affected, I just hope they don't already have families of their own.

My cousin has already been in a Hummer when it hit a roadside bomb. Fortunately all he lost was his daypack. He lied about it for a while then he finally admitted it. He knows how worried his wife and parents would be. But now he's sending us a picture of his blown up Hummer. I'll probably post a copy if I can get a digital version.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Nature Blows

Today it blew several trees down. One on an aquaintance's house. Mostly thanks to the activity I'm sure you already know about down in the Gulf of Mexico.

Leave it to CNN to find a way to spin a hurricane story with a liberal bias. All they could talk about was how evil "price gougers" are. In their defense, they probably only had that one Econ class senior year of Government School. They were probably too busy learning about how to balance a checkbook to delve much into supply and demand and their effects on equilibrium price. Sure, you might think these guys who jack the price of plywood up during storms are assholes, but they still have what you and every other dumbass stupid enough to live on the coastline wants in limited supplies. Don't like the prices? The Home Depot has a strict policy on not raising their prices during these events. But good luck finding anything in stock thanks to this policy. Not to mention that they take a huge financial blow by restocking large quantities in a very short time and selling at the same pre-disaster prices. But all corporations are evil, right?

Why is it that every huge storm that comes in is going to be the biggest storm ever until it actually hits? Historically, most category 5's weaken significantly just before landfall. But they never say. "well, it was supposed to be worse so at least there's that." And those reporter guys that hang out so we can see what's going on are absolute idiots. I'd drop them in a heartbeat if I were their insurer.

200+ years of trying to control the direction of the Mississippi River will eventually fail and New Orleans will be the new Atlantis. How nice would it be to own real estate in the Gulf of Mexico? To be honest, I thought it'd be kind of cool if it got wiped out this time.

If I were homeless in New Orleans this past weekend, forget trolling the Superdome for shelter. I'd have been on the Interstate begging anybody with a pick-up truck for a ride in the back. Don't care where you're going as long as it's away from the coast and preferably at a higher altitude. You can even drop me off in a safer place. It's not like homeless in New Orleans is that different from homeless in Baton Rouge or Montgomery, AL.

They've been having tornado warnings for Peachtree City all night. I forget, is it a watch or a warning that means there actually is a tornado. I think they should use way easier names for that shit. Like, tornado likely and tornado get-the-fuck-out!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Somewhere for all of that money you don't get panhandled out of in Atlanta anymore

Screw those homeless dudes. What have they done for me lately? (besides give head for crack?)

But these dudes help me out everyday. And they're having a pledge drive. It's like NPR with useful information. And they're not nagging you instead of giving you what you want from them (you know how NPR stops regular programming [what you want] in order to exchange crappy merchandise [what you don't need] for your $100 pledge)

Besides, where else would you learn useful facts about Cosimo Boscaglia, The Hong Kong Football Association, the chemical structure for Splenda, or that there was a Nintendo game based on Che Guevara?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Intelligent Falling

The Onion has put up one of the cleverest parodies of Intelligent Design I've seen yet.

Iraq Mommies

I'm really talking about American mothers of soldiers serving in Iraq.

I'm just about fed up with the nightly news coverage of the war in Iraq. It's been worse here since 16 members of the National Guard's 48th from Georgia have died. These are particularly troubling to me when I hear of a new one because my first cousin is in this group.

But that's not really it, either. It's the delivery. For example...

Last night they were still talking about the crazy lady that hung out at Bush's ranch. She's got a whole horde of mommies with her now. Cool, freedom of speech, that's what it's for, even if I don't agree with her tactics. But the news dude says she's now got a following of the "thousands of mothers who have lost their children in the Iraqi war."

Wait, how many casualties have we had? Thousands? Really? Last I heard we haven't even broken 2k. Not that that's necessarily better, but where do these "thousands " of mothers come from who lost their soldier in Iraq?

Back to my cousin, I'm particularly troubled by my aunt's reaction to all of this. She keeps talking about him as if he isn't ever coming back. I seriously hope that's not true. But I blame the news outlets for their pessimistic view of every single aspect of this war. Obviously, from watching them, absolutely nothing good has happened as a result of our involvement in this war.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Kids Are So Stupid (and other pointless observations)

A student today was wearing a Che shirt. I wonder if I can wear this one to work? Friday is "casual day."

It's really hard to break people from their calculator dependence. Evolutionary pressures will likely favor a race that has calculators substituted for left hands. That only leaves one hand for "recreation." Hope you're a righty!

Do they save Econ and Government classes for senior year to leave a stronger impression or to hide the fact that the school system is more socialist than our government. Not much, but it is. Ha ha, too late for you to complain. Here's a piece of paper with your name on it that we just picked up from Kinko's.

That George W. must be one fine kisser for her to go out and stand outside his ranch for weeks demanding to see him again. Did you promise her you'd call, you rascal? (by the way, that's cached from her website, not that you'd find those pictures there now)

Gas prices are high, yes. It's simple supply and demand (see also: De Beers Group). But you have a fat ass and a bike. Take advantage of thermodynamics. Lose weight and save on gas money you pathetic tub of lard.

Why does the band INXS need Dave Navarro on their TV show to find a new lead singer? Oh, yeah. Who the fuck is Gary Beers/Andrew Farriss/Jon Farriss/Tim Farriss? Thank god those other dudes changed their name to Velvet Revolver. And I could name at least one other dude from Guns 'n' Roses.

Why do people assume someone's having a birthday when gifts are being given at a restaurant? It was clearly obvious that we were celebrating a gay wedding. Fortunately, we were in Midtown and didn't have to suppress that fact. My wife and I were the only straight people in the joint.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hot for Teacher

Where the hell was she when I was 13?

Oh, yeah. She was 13, too.

It's not like you're particularly unattractive, lady. It seems like none of these cases that have hit the news in the recent past have involved unattractive female teachers. What's the deal? That hard up for a date? I know plenty of dudes my age that act like 13-year-olds that are hard up for a little lovin'. They probably even have small penises, too.

I'm probably showing my age/maturity/boringness here, but I don't ever find myself looking at teenaged girls with any hint of lust. I think it occurred to me one day when the TV was on one Saturday morning and no one was paying particular attention to it. They were showing Lizzie McGuire and I found myself saying, "Man, the mom on this show is hot! MILF!" My wife still makes fun of me for that one. Ha ha, I'm an old geezer. :-(

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Where's PETA?

The NCAA has gone stupid again. First, it was forcing the state of Georgia to change it's state flag before they could have the Final Four here. The end result? A flag that more closely resembles the actual flag of the confederacy than the previous one. But it's okay because apparently that year of 8th grade Georgia history left absolutely no impression of what the US Civil War was actually about. The Ol' Stars and Bars meant slavery, the Flag of the Confederacy apparently didn't.

But back to my original point. Why is it just Native American tribes? How about Notre Dame? I'm of Irish descent and I happen to find it rather offensive that I am expected to be violent as a result of my heritage. Sure, I've kicked an ass or two in my time, and there was that spell where I beat up the entire membership of the Justice League including the Hall of Justice staff and the pizza delivery guy. Sorry, bad timing pizza dude. The Irish are lovers, not fighters. It just happens that our primary love is alcohol and that bitch sometimes makes me want to throw other dudes through plate glass windows or into vats of hot, molten iron.

But what about the poor, defenseless animals. What kind of image are you sending when you call your team something like the Wildcats and then proceed to get your asses whupped up and down the field/court/badminton arena? Aren't you in fact supporting animal abuse? How should I interpret it when the announcer says, "Wow, those Cocks are really sticking it to those Pussies...er, I mean Cougars." Isn't that exactly like supporting cock-fighting, or dog fights. Next, there'll be underground circuits for insect fights. "Five hundred on the Yellow Jackets over the Hornets. And twenty on the dung beetles in the next match." Stop the violence, man. The NCAA's lack of respect for animal life is fo'shizzilin all over my mah'nizzilin.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Potty Mouth

I have a huge potty mouth. It will end up getting me in trouble some day, specifically at work. There was that one time I played it off.

Me: "What I said was 'That looks like an F with a big gas plus' Timmy."

His name was really Timmy, it was before South Park so I couldn't make that joke, yet. And yeah, pretty benign.

Then there was the time I busted my knee up on the desk real good last year.

Me: "Ow, shit! Er... I mean, Ow Poop!"

Somehow, "poop" doesn't describe exactly how I felt. It was really more of a "shit, god damn, motherfucker" kind of hurt.

And now there's this. I'm brave enough to post it from work. I'm testing that whole freedom of speech thing. Of course, I'm sure the Supreme Court say something like, "Well, technically it was written, not spoken, so therefore cannot be classified as speech. And since you're not a member of the press... and since it doesn't serve a public purpose..." And then I'm all like "Screw you guys, I'm moving to Canada. I shoulda left when Clinton II took office." And then they're all like "Fine, and take Jason Priestly back with you. We're tired of him screwing all of our wives. That show was so over 10 years ago." And then I'm all like, "As long as I get to take Linda Evangelista, too." And they're all "okay" and I go "fine."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

First Day Fun

First day for teachers. Kids show next Wednesday.

I like my high school. It's not as white as my last one, four years ago. Jesus, four years ago?

We got to hear the canned speech from our myrmidon board chairman (chairwoman?). Bitch, bitch, bitch about the plan to equip all middle and high school kids with personal laptop computers. Judge put the smack down on that bait and switch. They'll probably waste more money that could be used to hire a teacher or two, fix dilapidated buildings, or other generally good investments to appeal the decision. They haven't said yet, but they probably will. Stubborn bunch this school board. Followed up with the standard routine (about the 3rd time I've heard the same schtick from her) about her cancer survival and inspirational. Last time she gave us some red sneakers for "running with the big dogs," or something equally corny. This time she gave us her star underwear. I was too busy swallowing the little bit of vomit that worked it's way up to hear her rationale.

More pointless meetings. More stuff I pretended to listen to while I mentally categorized my CD collection. Even more stuff while I was thinking about how much more fun I would be having if I were nailing my hand to a concrete wall. And even more pretending to listen as I analyzed the sounds created while I was chewing my lunch, so I guess I was listening, just not to what was being said. Most importantly, I missed nothing. It was all in the memo I got by e-mail this morning.

But one thing I did learn today. When you buy new tires and they ask if you want road hazard coverage, the answer is yes. The $5 I spent for the coverage was more than paid for between the 3 visits to have holes plugged for "free" and the $87 I saved today on a pro-rated new tire when I got a nail in the sidewall yesterday. And the guys at NTB are great. I can't recall one single bad experience in the 9 years I've done business with them and I've used about 4 of their Atlanta locations during that time.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Thanks for the Leftovers

Mmmmm, tasty. That is just disgusting. A quick way to get scrotum punched if you ask me. How does one vomit on command anyhow?

On a similar note, I got to clean up puke on a bus last year. But I already wrote about that.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pointless Feud #11742

Why do I have so much fun being a jerk for no particular reason whatsoever?

Because I can.

A Hypothesis on Evolution

My friend posed an interesting question last evening. Why does lighting a match after one has "dropped a few friends off at the pool" mask the odor that is typically generated during such activities so well?

His question was more of a chemical one, one that I really don't have the answer to but it may or may not have to do with the ignition of the sulfur/phosphorous tip or something to do with the combustion process. I'm not really sure and I have no chemical experiments to suggest nor any other references as human poo odor does not seem to be the subject of too many published studies. It's probably an issue for Lysol or Glade, but as they are private companies and thus do not regularly publish the results of their studies they are of no significant or recognizable help.

But my conclusion last night was based more in a foundation of evolutionary pressures. Say you're walking through the woods one afternoon and you happen to come across a scat or two. Sure, the odor may be noticeable and even unpleasant. Now put a raging wildfire in the same scenario. Which is more important for the individual's survival? Avoiding stepping in poo or getting the hell out of Dodge?

I don't know about you, but I have difficulty in identifying smells when more than about 3 or 4 are present. But I think that there exist some smells that may be "more important" than others, especially when it comes to survival. So my answer to his question is that it is more important to be able to recognize the smell of fire than it is to smell a big pile of hot, steamy butt mud.

but what if it's a flaming poo?

Monday, July 25, 2005

If You Can't Beat the Heat, Join It!

Tomorrow morning I'm headed down to Borelando! Oh, it's not too terribly boring, it's just more fun to call it that. See, I had this ticket to Minneapolis in May but I ended up driving so I had to change my already purchased ticket. As it is quite difficult to plan trips during the school year, I had to use it for this week. I've got quite a few friends that ended up down that way so snap judgement chose the destination in May.

How fortunate is it that I land around 8 AM and there's something interesting happening nearby at around 10:30? That's been on my to-do list since I was about 5 years old. It only took 23 to get it done, if it happens.

Be back on Sunday. I may have access, so you might see a post or two. Perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on my job. Who the hell else gets this kind of vacation?

State of the Union

I'm very pleased that I live in a state where government employees are not allowed to unionize. Otherwise, I'd probably be required to join the ranks of the mentally retarded NEA and have their views expressed as my own using my own extorted money cleverly disguised as member dues.

Boortz put out a link today (God only knows why I still read his page, probably more habit than actual interest) to an article that attempts to negate the perceived benefits of home-schooling.

I do question the efficacy of some home-school models, and I have seen the results of several attempts that could best be described as failures. But on the other hand, I've also seen some students come out of home-school environments where they seem to have done quite well for their children. These models tend to involve tutors, some group classes with other home-schoolers and other methods. It's probably expensive, just think of property taxes and what the government spends on the average public school student... blah blah...one-on-one vs. mass production...blah... home-schooling can be successful.

Back to the article, what absolutely floors me is the idea that somehow public school teachers are somehow inherently more qualified than parents to educate their children.
So, why would some parents assume they know enough about every academic subject to home-school their children? You would think that they might leave this -- the shaping of their children’s minds, careers, and futures -- to trained professionals. That is, to those who have worked steadily at their profession for 10, 20, 30 years! Teachers!
First, I absolutely loath being called a professional. I'm sure it was a well intended euphemism, most of them are. But that type of designation lumps teachers in with lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers and others that require intense and extensive training. If I am to judge by my graduate school courses in education and the ability of my average colleague, this designation is absolutely an insult to those people in an actual professional career. I went from doing 40+ hours of "homework" per week in a non-education undergraduate program to being lucky if I had 40 hours of out-of-class work per semester in an education graduate program. That's their idea of extensive training? The most beneficial component of my teaching experience has been just that, experience. Try something, screw it up, fix it next time. Try that as a doctor. Try it as an architect. I'm sure that's how you'd want your lawyer to be certified as a professional.
Don’t most parents have a tough enough job teaching their children social, disciplinary and behavioral skills? They would be wise to help their children and themselves by leaving the responsibility of teaching math, science, art, writing, history, geography and other subjects to those who are knowledgeable, trained and motivated to do the best job possible.
I appreciate the empathy here. Teaching is a tough job. But here he goes again with the assertion that parents are not "knowledgeable, trained and motivated" to do the best job possible. I agree that some people take their kids out for home-schooling for wacky reasons without thinking through all of the factors that they will have to consider, but I do think that those people constitute a minority of the home-school population. How can you chastize parents for wanting to do the best for their children?

I'm sorry, but this article seems to be just a bit too offensive giving it the overall image of being too defensive. I imagine part of the rationale behind this stance is the reports of late that home-schooled kids are outperforming public school kids on standardized tests.

And the tag about the author at the end? He's a janitor. Sorry, I'm not being politically correct. He's not just any janitor, he's head custodian. While we're at euphemisms, let's go all out and call him a sanitation engineer. And as for the NEA's blurb that the author's view may not be theirs, then why on earth would you let it exist on your web site?

Woohoo!!

Imagine my surprise the other day when I opened my mailbox to find a very startling treat. No, it wasn't the latest issue of Maxim or a flaming bag of dog poo. It was a jury summons. Yay!

I look forward to participating in our nation's great justice system. I've been awaiting my selection ever since we took a field trip to the courthouse at some point during high school. We only saw a short segment of the jury selection process, but I always wanted to know what else they did, like what questions do they ask and do they give the defendants our addresses and work locations?

Of course, if I want to get picked, I'd probably have to lie my ass off. I don't imagine that being a teacher with mostly Libertarian-leanings and an average-sized cock provides much of an advantage. It may just end up being more of a learning experience than a participatory one but I still cherish the opportunity to find out more about our judicial system "from the inside."

The one problem I have is that they have summoned me during the week that I have to depart on a Thursday for a wedding in Tucson. I'll have to postpone my report date. Well, darn.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Fun With the Internet

The Internet: A mechanism created to assist procrastinators in the early to mid-90's rumored to have surpassed the procrastination-inducing ability of both whittling and masturbation.

Recommended reading for today.

1. Don't get it wet. Or feed it after midnight.

2. If she were a dude, she'd be so fired.

3. Ahh, creationists. Now they have to deal with that pesky Physics thing.

4. And finally, the inspiration for a new class I want to teach.

(links via Boortz, Brian, & Google)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Get Yo' Learn On!

The problem with pseudo-intellectualism has less to do with froo-froo PhD programs and more to do with the effect of doing more harm than good. Thanks to Mary Texiara, we now have (since 1996) yet another language to deal with in our country. If you don't know her, she's the one who proposed Ebonics as a valid foreign language. Yeah, I see the idea that if it's treated as a foreign language then maybe the ultimate effect may be that it will eventually be viewed as "not english," but is this really the best way?

In all of my "classes" for education where they addressed the cultural needs of minority students, the problem was not lack of empathy, lack of concern for student success, etc. The problem is that it all ends in excuses. The real problems are never addressed and the end result is that it seems that the whole world wants teachers to undo these things that are so deeply embedded in these youth that we'd have better luck picking the next winning lottery numbers. Yeah yeah, every youth is an open receptacle for knowledge, blah blah blah. Shut up and sit down, Peter Pan. I have difficulty accepting that anything that is done in public schools will change the increasingly dominating perception that intellectualism is a negative trait. It makes you an assimilationist, sellout, whitey, pussy, or whatever other Ebonics term appropriate.

What is our objective? How many countries are we? What society are we preparing students for? I know it's a weird situation with the Hispanic groups in the US. They seem to survive pretty effectively as a separate society within a society. Is that what it's like with our Black population as well. Is a similar situation desired? Should there be some type of separation of services? Isn't this what everyone was fighting against in the 50's and 60's? I am really perplexed on this one.

Mostly, I have difficulty understanding how one shows mastery of a language based in wrongness to begin with. Is the textbook like Spanish texts where instructions and translations are in English?

Johnny: Whitey, I'm ax'in you a quexshun.
Teacher: Sorry, Johnny. The correct answer is "Yo honky, I be's ax'in you a quexshun, yo!" You need to work on your usage of the word "yo."

Well, to be fair and balanced, this site is now available in Ebonics.
Update: It seems like Thomas Sowell reads my crappy posts and then makes them about eleventy-billion times better the very next day.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

One Last One For Today

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

(via Brian)

Fun With Search Engines

Man, I must be really bored today. Three posts in one day! I'm like Matt on a work day!

It's interesting to see the search queries I get first place honors for lately.

Illiteracy stats

illiteracy + 2005

georgia's smoking ban

georgia's 2005 smoking ban

statewide smoking ban rules in georgia

"mechanical Joe Frazier"

And #2 for:
"don't have kids"

types of hug

I am so not what these people were looking for.

Effectively polluting the Information Superhighway since 2003.

Finally

The only part of Live 8 that I gave a crap about. And for totally selfish reasons.

Nuts to more monetary aid for Africa. You never see these self-important rockers asking us to go in there and bust some sorry dictator ass. But even that reminds me of those dumb broads who stay in relationships with bonafide assholes because they're going to change him. We'll never change the African culture. Hell, we can't even fix our own.

I am so smrt.

I got a 110/110 on the Mythbusters Independence Day quiz.

Yes, on the first try.

Bust your own myths.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Missed It

But here's a picture.

Waiting patiently for streaming video where you don't have to watch the whole concert.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What Do You Call It?

What are you if you start reading Supreme Court opinions? And the Constitution? And you have an opinion on who the next Chief Justice should be? And you enjoy it? And you're not a law student?

I'm beginning to think that this separation of powers idea set forth in the Constitution no longer exists. I was saying that yesterday to my father-in-law and now Thomas Sowell writes the same thing, albeit more eloquently.

Some phrase regarding Biblical geography and handbaskets comes to mind.

I'm Starting to Wake Up

The Matrix presents an interesting view on the monotony of modern urban society.

Fight Club questions the role of the male figure in the modern urban society.

And these are only two movies in a list that could continue on for ages.

Maybe it's all of the science fiction I've been reading lately. Maybe it's the clean air I've been breathing. But, I've been thinking.

I've been thinking. I'm not really passionate about my job. I'm passionate about the content and I'm passionate about a handful of the kids and I'm passionate about the clubs I sponsor. But the job, not really that into it. Every day, I wake up and go to work. I hate that part. It's not too bad when I get there, I just don't want to get there to begin with. Perhaps it's the fact that I have to be there at a very specific time, every single day, monotony monotony monotony. I don't interpret it positively when you fantasize about not going to work when you are driving to work. Driving straight instead of making that left turn and then not correcting the mistake in navigation at the next intersection. I'm too cynical and I'm too much invested into the belief that it's not my job to motivate young adults to do their homework and study. There's too strong of a belief in intrinsic motivation but all most of them worry about is the extrinsic motivator called "grades." I feel that I lack the communication skills to connect with a lot of the kids, likely too stoic from all of the afternoons spent alone as a latchkey kid or maybe because I don't have kids of my own. Or maybe I'm just oblivious and I'm all wrong. Besides, I'd probably feel like this no matter what I was doing.

And I'm not too excited about Atlanta. It's a neat town and all, and it's all big and metropolitan. I'm just not too crazy about it. I feel an urge to move every time I go out of town. I catch myself looking for real estate guides subconciously.

Brain: Oh, look! A real estate guide.

Thumb and finger:turn page...turn page...turn page...

Brain: reading...reading...

Me: Dammit! Why am I looking at a real estate guide?

But, I find myself thinking. And I think that's something I don't usually do.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

So Wrong!

This is just so wrong.

So, the guys (and girl) are hard up for a little lovin'. That doesn't mean you have to post their mugs on the internet. As if they didn't already feel pathetic enough getting arrested. And from the disclaimer, this gang might not have even been convicted yet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Damn Scientologists!

Tom Cruise has really gone off the deep end. First, it's pedophilia, now killing Oprah??

He really is a flaming promosexual, you know?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Oh, By The Way

I'm currently in the witness relocation program in Montana. Part of that's true, hence the relative lack of posts lately. Dial-up through my provider is working now so things should return to semi-normal. That means a post every two weeks or so, I grok.

I'd write about my travels, it just seems so boring. Like reading a diary without the exciting sex-capades and bitching about my menstruation.

I'm Bringing A Jacket

An overtly religious acquaintance once told me I was going to hell. For what? Who knows? I was probably being lewd, lascivious, intentionally rude, crude, or otherwise socially unacceptable. I inquired as to the commenters plans to travel to such a place hisself. Quite abruptly and certainly, he replied with a resounding "no." My only reply was that at least he wouldn't be there to make it miserable.

I discovered some exciting news this afternoon. It seems that the powers that be decided that it would be a good idea to have a series of benefit concerts for those poor, poor African nations with all of those natural resources and no pieces of paper with dead American presidents on them, the powers that be being Bob Geldof. You may remember him from such groups as the Boomtown Rats, Band Aid, and Live Aid. Quite a production with tons of headline bands playing in various cosmopolitan cities across the globe, intentionally taking place on the eve of the upcoming G8 summit in Scotland.

Enough background, let me get to my point. One of the shows is in London, at Hyde Park. And while there are some notable groups playing there, I find it most intriguing and interesting that the line-up includes the one and only, Pink Floyd. Including Roger Waters. Apparently they let him out of the mental ward. And in case you don't know, the Pink Floyd post-Roger Waters albums were only slightly better than Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. Man that fucker can rock the hell out of a pan flute. As a matter of fact, these post-Waters albums were the inspiration for Queensryche to record an entire album in the style of Pink Floyd doing a cover of Queensryche doing a cover of Pink Floyd.

The concert is free. Apparently awareness is much more important than cold hard cash. As such, I imagine that Hyde Park will be quite overwhelmed. I would say that it would be packed with the rowdy Floyd fans of the past, but it'll be surprising if they can get their walkers and wheelchairs through the gates and can manage to last the show without having to rely on their Depends undergarments. Depends on whether they're wearing them or not. Ha! Extremely bad joke intentional. But I'd have to say that it will likely be dominated by those "cool kids" these days that know their Pink Floyd music, as long as it came from Dark Side or The Wall.

So, indeed. Hell has frozen over. I know they already said that for the Eagles. But who thinks the Devil actually rocks to those shitty ass pussies? Relegate them to the farthest reaches of B98.5 where they belong, right between James Taylor and Kenny G.

And David Gilmour had this to say:
"It's crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations."
You know? He's right. Let's give them what they deserve. Zero. Why not the Brits? It's not like we went over and took over most of Africa's shit years ago. Except for all of those slaves. And that was mostly the Brits, too. All I'm saying is it's not like you hear native Africans speaking English like an American. Hell, they'd have kicked some serious despotic dictator ass by now if they were.

Tell you what Dave, love you and all, and not in a gay way, but stick to what you know and wail on that git-fiddle. I'm pretty sure our "percentage" is more than other nations' totals.

And to those(2) of you reading this, when you join me and the big guy downstairs don't forget to bring your jacket.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In My Inbox

From the American Red Cross
Dear Chris,

Save three lives, and celebrate the summer in style! Donate blood or platelets with the American Red Cross this Memorial Day weekend and you could be the person to win a luxury weekend for two in Atlanta. All donor participants can enter a raffle for this fantastic getaway, which includes two tickets to a Broadway In Atlanta 2005-2006 Season Show, two nights at the Four Seasons Atlanta, two half-day packages at Spa Sydell, a $200 gift certificate to any Fifth Group Restaurant, and a three course dinner at Veni Vidi Vici (part of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group). The promotion will run at donor centers and participating drives May 27th through June 3rd. Make an appointment today!
Wow, they've got me pegged. I've always wanted to go to Atlanta but I hear the place is a real shit hole.

Monday, May 23, 2005

WTF?

I can't find any links, but damn it, I'm pissed!

Some nice lady was beaten and raped in her house in Marietta this evening. The dude even took off in her car. Police are still looking for the waste of cellular respiration.

But at least they busted those scalpers this afternoon. Fucking scalpers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

It's All My Fault

I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.
-The Dude from The Big Lebowski
Oh, yes. This puppy will not die.

Students are allowed to take liberty when interpreting explicit verbal instruction. However, I am not allowed to interpret literally the definition of what it means to plagiarize.

Apparently, there is no black and white. Only grey. Problem is, I only speak binary. 1's and 0's. Is and ain't. Same and, well... not same.

I alluded to this incident in a previous post. I am a victim of my own device. What I mean is that surely because robot projects are group projects, everything else is, too. Including those things that I explicitly state are individual assignments. My problem is that "it wasn't in writing." Okay, it will be in the future. Ruling still stands.

Students take liberty with permission to get assistance from peers. That obviously means that they can work together and turn in identical products. I helped people with programming assignments in my computer science class in college. I did not do their work for them, nor did I allow them to do or see mine. As a matter of fact, I probably learned it better trying to help people than doing my own assignments. Hence my permission clause. But that did not mean you could turn in photo-identical copies of an assignment printed at exactly the same time in my class. No way, sweetheart.

But four groups of two or three figured they could. The evidence this morning was that they had done it on an earlier project, complete with copies. So I must have created a classroom atmosphere of "cheating is okay." My oversight while grading a previous assignment sets "a precedent" and apparently cheating is a-okay. Unless I get caught and you certainly can't enforce it now because you didn't before.

My academic integrity statement is in black and white (see that coming up again, shame on me) on my policies and procedures that students and parents sign at the beginning of each semester. It is not something I just decided to do. Nor was this a "hey let's target a handful of students because I'm spiteful" type of occurrence. No, some of these were kids that I actually enjoy having in class, go figure. But rules is rules and word is bond.

Now it has to go to a meeting with an administrator. And if they want to change it, they can. They have the access privileges. I will not.

Can you call it cheating if you get away with it? Absolutely. Double positively. Am I going to change the previous grade that you fess up to trying to defend this one? No. Am I going to follow the school policy and write the students up for an administrative referral that goes in your permanent file (oooh) like the handbook tells me to? No, I prefer to handle small issues like this "in house." Small issue? Yes, it was a 10 point daily assignment grade that probably changes the average numerical grade by a tenth or two.

But apparently the comment in my personal gradebook is the problem. It's okay to give the zero, we just don't want the label. Especially for you to think so-snd-so is a cheater. I ask:
Me: "Have I treated you differently as a result of this incident?"
Reply: "No."
Me: "I rest my case."

Look, it may have been an honest mistake. It may not have been. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I do know my policies.

And that's all I have.

Not Guilty My Ass!

If Brian Nichols ain't guilty, then I'm the gosh darned Pope, I am.

Hey, where did this funny hat come from?

Monday, May 16, 2005

PDA

We're not talking Palm Pilots here.

We're talking about "Public Display of Affection."

To some degree, I'm okay with it. There are certainly boundaries. How do you quantify them, though?

Is hugging okay? Oregon says no. I say yes, but...

But there exist different types of hugs.

There's the hey buddy hug, most common among females. Guys tend to think hugging of this type means they're gay and they're right. Sometimes this types of hug can occur between members of the opposite sex as well.

There's the see ya' later hug. Similar to the hey buddy hug except used at the end of a meeting rather than at the beginning. Otherwise, completely the same. Guy-guy hugs of this type are also rare.

Then there's the I'm sorry hug, also known as the I know how it feels hug. Often used in situations such as displaying sympathy for that bad test grade, or maybe not making the cut for the swim team. This type of hug is most commonly initiated by one person and consists of one arm around the shoulder approached from the hug receiver's side. Sometimes, the huggers hand doesn't so much grasp the receivers shoulder as it does pat the shoulder, especially among males. It can have more meanings such as "hang in there", "it'll be okay", etc.

Then there's the I'm so in love with you hug. It's probably misnamed because it should probably be called the my hormones are raging and I really need some sexual attention from a member of my preferred sex because I'm so damned horny hug because most teenagers only think that it's love that's making them want to do really nasty (and fun) things to one another, but that name is just too long. These hugs are generally the type that I think that these PDA policies are aimed at. These hugs are generally full front-front hugs and tend to last for a longer duration than any of the previous types. For the really unabashed, it can also be accompanied by kisses of variable duration. Some keep it to reasonable (and sometimes cute) pecks while others tend to prefer the long, extended, probably tongue involved versions. At least the former tends not to make me lose my breakfast. There are other variations. There can also exist the front-back style, especially when seated together. Generally this type seats the male behind the female where she pretty much treats him like a barcalounger. These also exist while standing and are typically amusing when in motion as the guy looks really awkward trying to walk in such a non-standard posture as to avoid tripping over the companion's feet. I think that the hug policies for this type of affection is generally enforced to help the huggers better determine the appropriate time and place for their displays. Of course, if it's two hot chicks involved, I'm probably just going to sit back and watch instead because it's always the right time and place for that.

I am probably neglecting other types of hugs as well, but they are not as common among middle and high school students so I have omitted them purposely. But as you can see, it is difficult to draw the lines to distingush between the types. The lesser types are probably just "gateway hugs" that will simply lead to the harder stuff later down the road. So, obviously we need to institute the zero tolerance hug policy. "Just say no to hugs."

Unless of course you're two (or more, thank you Jesus!) really hot chicks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's Official

Our principal is going to the new school. We're getting the guy from the alternative school. Yay.

The new school name sound like it's straight out of an Archie comic. Hillgrove High School. Named after the farm that used to occupy the same space. It may just be me, but it sounds spectacularly American.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Square Peg Dilemma

I expect everyone to agree with me. All of the time. If you don't, you're wrong.

Yeah, right.

Diversity is a big issue in the schools and in the business world these days. Let's celebrate diversity. And by that, we only mean diversity of skin color/ethnicity/sexual orientation and a few choice others that I can't currently recall. We most definitely, however, will not tolerate diversity of philosophy.

And the principal probably has good reason to fire this guy. He was stupid enough to put his disdain for his employer in writing. Several times apparently. But it's hard to tell with only partial evidence.

So we're working on scheduling for next year. Looks like I'll be teaching some extra physics classes. It happens to most of the qualified chemistry teachers. They get assimilated into areas of need (aka physics and most definitely never biology thanks to the astounding number of biology related careers that aren't teaching: number of biology major graduate ratio) because any doofus can teach chemistry, right?

My suggestion? I'll keep teaching chemistry. Let's hire this guy for physics. I already wrote about him.

But surprisingly we're actually short on biology teachers next year. Why? Because they have done away with the "Physical Science" class that a good number of 9th graders were taking coming in and are starting everyone in biology. Plus the ones that were coming in to it from last year's physical science. Don't worry, it'll only last one year during the transition before things get back to normal.

And in a similar vein to current events, I've got all of these over-anxious parents that I keep having to have conferences with because of a comment that shows up in my gradebook and consequently in the page for online access that parents have to view grades. It shows individual assignment grades and associated comments that don't appear on anything else, especially transcripts. But the comment is "plagiarism." A reminder for myself as to why the grade is a zero.

Directly copied and pasted from my policies and procedures signed by all of my students and at least one of their parents at the beginning of the semester:
Academic Integrity
Any assignment containing any plagiarized work will receive a grade of zero. This includes any work copied from another student or any other source. Regardless of the type of assignment (e.g.; test, lab report, quiz, etc.), you will receive a zero!

Can I be any more black and white? I mean "diverse".

Monday, May 09, 2005

Why Do They Let Them Out Of Their Cages?

Sadly, we still have a lot of these people around.

Even more sadly, they have to be from the Southeast.

Thanks for perpetuating the stereotype. It's becoming clearer everyday that I need to move my ass to somewhere else. Of course, it looks like they're willing to travel.

Friday, May 06, 2005

How Long Can I Last?

It's probably national news by now. I know it's a big deal in Atlanta. Front page material. A teacher fired for reducing a student's grade as a penalty for sleeping in class. It'd take me 40 minutes to drive to his former school. This decision has probably taken less to affect me.

I'll put money on the fact that our faculty will be addressed about this issue at least by post-planning in two weeks. If our county admin do their jobs on thier usual timescale, it'll more likely be during pre-planning next year. Why do I say that? They'd much rather tell us what we can't put into our policies and procedures for the new year than try to "patch" things from this year. To give an example of their timelines, all teachers were supposed to get a laptop at the beginning of this year. Then it was the beginning of second semester. Then they finally voted on it last week.

Everyday, there is less and less we can do as teachers to ensure that learning has taken place. We are supposed to be held accountable, but apparently we can't hold the students accountable. WTF? Me, I just take digital pictures when kids sleep in my class. That way, when mommy and daddy ask why Jr. failed the last test, I just pull out my portfolio. But then it's my fault for not telling them that a 17 year old kid sleeps in class because he can't be responsible for such things on his own apparently. And copied assignments, both/all people get zeros. Big fatty goose eggs.

Example: Students turn in photo-identical lab reports.
Them: "But we were lab partners."
Me: "Communism failed. The wall came down. You are an individual."

How long until I don't get to bust kids for plagiarism? How long until the admin would be happier if I just gave everyone a 90? (sad that we lower our cutoffs for grades, it was 92 when I was in high school 10 years ago) How long until my lesson plans get handed to me at the beginning of each week? How long until the admin interview students to make sure I followed them? Conspiracy theory? I used to think so, too. But now The X-Files is looking more realistic than reality.

Consider...
Two candidates for science department head next year. Really three, but I thought the third was a joke. Seriosuly.

Candidate one has worked at the school for 18 years teaching primarily chemistry. Was here when the math/science magnet program started 5 years ago and was assimilated into it to teach 9th graders chemistry due to her amazing ability to connect with younger students. Develops Chemistry II course for advanced topics in Chemistry. Has been selected for Teacher of the Year and has been STAR Teacher for the last two years running. Has knowledge and experience working in the "main building" for 12+ years, the magnet for 5. Candidate's main objective is unifying a fractionated department and has the leadership skills and respect of the science faculty to actually pull it off.

Candidate two has been here for around 7 years. "Teaches" physics and astronomy, the latter apparently well despite at least one major misconception. Has no discrenable leadership skills, barely speaks English. Leaves student teachers alone with kids for hours during their first week (despite state's policy that an employee must be present at all times). Not only teaches physics poorly, but wrong. (distance and displacement are not the same thing, an electromagnet coil is not the same thing as a Tesla coil, no all of the lights do not go out because they are in parallel, etc.) Makes me think it's an April Fool's joke when announced as Teacher of the Year last year. (when I realized I'd never even want to bear that title)

Okay, I'll stop. Obviously I'm biased. But I think you probably know where I'm going with this and you already know who was announced as the new department chair this afternoon. I'll stay mostly out of spite, but I'll be damned before I let myself and my peers be micromanaged by a tunnel-visioned, ego-deficient, control freak.

The worst part? The scuttlebutt is that the pricipal is probably being sent to the new school because he's tight with money. Seems they had a little trouble at the most recent school. (see #6) You'll preach to me at the beginning of every school year that you admire loyalty and then you make a bone-headed decision for leadership positions AND leave?

It probably took more common sense than research to answer the question in this title bar.

Fuck it, I'm going home to have a beer.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005

Words of Wisdom

Truer words were never spoken.

I think my mascara is running.

I don't think I won the lottery, at least not last I checked... but thanks for the nice words bro.

And remember...

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Wonders of Spell Check

It misses typos when your typo is a real word.

Prime example here.

I'm sure her mother would be very proud of her volunteer experience.

update: just so you know, her experience included a stint as a "candy stripper." the page is since defunct.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

My Living Will

This probably isn't legally binding, but I just want it out there.

From this day forward, if I am in a unrecoverable catatonic state from some catastrophic health problem, it is time for you to move on. Pull the plug. I will be tired of wasting resources that would be better utilized running a lamp for some 10 year old to keep reading his Harry Potter book or feeding the body of the leukemia patient down the hall.

And super shame on you if you allow people to take pictures or video of me for propaganda or political purposes. If you want them for your personal memories, fine, but those old ones where I was actually "alive" would probably be better. If you decide to break this policy, I wish upon you a vengeance greater than or equal to being ass-raped by 15 elephants and 2 camels.

And that's how I feel about that.

Sadness for Armchair Engineers

A duct tape plant experienced an explosion.

Fortunately, plenty of supplies for repairs were located in the shipping area.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm Number One!

Search hits for Yahoo! lists me at number one baby!

What was the search?

Extreme Flatulation

Hopefully, I won't step on Number Two!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Down Here At the Bottom

Us here down in the South don't want yore movies comin' down here and makin' us all forgit about the Lord.

The movie apparently only references the theory of evolution but the target audience is obviously only those with enough sense to understand that you can separate your religion from the theory. Majority rules, we lose.

The idea that a model for describing observed changes in organisms over time can threaten the core of a religion so strongly leads me to believe that the religion is based on a flimsy foundation to begin with.

It's not hard to understand why someone would get so upset about challenging their religious beliefs. Not even challenging them, because I think that the theory of evolution could fit very well into the creationist theory. Hence the intelligent design theory. But the problem still lies in the fact that one theory is based on science and intelligent design is based on faith.

But I guess that's why it's easier to accept the creationist viewpoint. One theory requires a willingness to believe, the other requires rational thought and analysis. Which is easier?

Monday, March 21, 2005

So You Want To Go To A Concert...

Well, don't be any of these guys/gals.

1. The jackass that moves to the seated section of the general admission event and then proceeds to stand for the entire concert in front of people who were seated before the opening act.

2. The jackoff that spills shitty beer on everyone as he crawls over everyone to get back to his seat.

3. The guy who falls down the stairs. 'Nuff said.

4. The guy who falls while crowd-surfing prompting the band to stop playing in the middle of a fucking badass song to make sure you aren't dead.

5. The girl who takes off her shirt to reveal really nasty-looking saggy tits.

6. The guy in the opening band that drops his pants to show his fat, sweaty, hairy ass.

7. The opening band that sucks so much ass that they have to keep the volume at 150+ decibels so people can't hear enough to tell that their drummer only knows one rythym and that their music sucks the sweat off of a day-laboring Mexican's balls. I do give them credit for likely having the only washboard player in death metal.

8. The chick that wears politically motivated clothing and can't answer a simple question about the claims that it makes.

9. The 40+ grandma dressed like a skanky teenager.

10. The wannabe drummer teenager that sits behind you and pretends the back of your chair is a fucking kick drum.

Granted, 1 and 10 are much easier to control when you are accompanied by a bulging 250 pound, 6'6" giant.

The concert was insanely awesome. Clinically insane. You must see Queens of the Stone Age live if they're ever in or near your town and you worship at the altar of real fucking rock and roll. But please, have some fucking decency.

Propagating Bad Science

Microwave radiation from cell phones causes tumors.

The more energetic visible region of the EM spectrum still considered "safe."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Hell Yes!

Scowling wilfully towards Autobot City, you're Megatron!

Look in a mirror and feel the evil. Then eat the mirror. You eat mirrors for breakfast. You are a badass death robot. You busted on Optimus Prime. You. Are. Megatron. Go outside and burn some animals, because you're worth it.

Declare your pre-Galvatron-ness with the following non-heat-sensitive emblem:
Megatron!
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Fueling Petty Feuds Since 1977

This could be the most one-sided fight since 1973 when Ali faced an eighty-foot tall mechanical Joe Frazier. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I think the entire Earth was destroyed.
    - George Foreman a la "Futurama" (1999)

It's all summed up in the e-mail I sent yesterday. Just read it.
First, I'd like to say that my interest in this issue is purely academic and had nothing to do with anything personal nor did I intend for my acts to be perceived as unprofessional. I am truly sorry that that is how I made you feel last Friday.

As any educator and life-student should, I faithfully encourage academic debate. I feel that it is an essential component in creating an environment that necessitates finding a means to an end, or an answer if you will. It is with this passion that I engaged in the debate regarding the ultimate death of our sun.

During our department discussion, I challenged your statement that our sun would eventually explode. I haven't studied astronomy for several years, but I was fairly certain that I remembered that our sun would expand into a red giant then collapse into a white dwarf where it would ultimately die its heat death. You rebutted with information about the temperature/pressure equilibrium and the Chandrasekhar limit and I conceded the debate at this point due to the fact that I admit that I haven't studied the matter in quite some time.

Later, I did some preliminary research and most of my findings agreed with what I had thought. At this point, I printed up the most concise article I could find regarding the issue, mostly because I didn't want to waste too much paper. I gave it to you at the end of the meeting, not to "prove a point" as you may have perceived but rather in hopes that perhaps you would provide information supporting your argument.

I read the material in the textbook that you then brought to me, the two entire chapters, and I still have found no evidence that the sun will explode. As a matter of fact, a blurb in the "brown box" titled Review: Critical Inquiry seems to suggest that my original hypothesis, that the sun would not explode, was correct. I have also located several supporting resources on the Internet. The source that most directly answers the question is offered by astronomers at Cornell University and can be found at the following URL.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=232

I would gladly accept any alternative suggestions from reputable sources. And if you are not fully convinced, I am willing to agree to disagree.

Sincerely,
Me

Now fully prepared for honest academic discourse, here was the response I received in its unedited entirety.
Thank you for pointing it out and we will keep on agreeing to disagree becasue discussion are good for the academic soul.
Him (not The Him)

Just to let you in on the real reason it's an issue... he's our astronomy teacher.

In the meantime, I'll chalk that one up as a victory.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Out In a Blaze of Boring

Friday was a really interesting day in Atlanta. I'm sure if you found this blog you already know what happened, at least the rough details.

I won't ask the obvious questions, like "How did he make it out of the courthouse?," or "If I can imagine that he might use MARTA why can't someone that has been through police training?" Sadly, I already know the answers to those questions.

What really bugs me is what went on after they caught the guy who had been called "a monster" for pretty much 24 or so hours until he was caught. All of the local channels pretty much cancelled all of their programming and resorted to covering every detail they had available after the guy was busted. If you rely on the bunny ears like me, that leaves 6 channels of Baptist church service programming and TBS. And the coverage might not have bothered me so much if the content had been different.

What followed was a series of reports on Brian Nichols. After hours of being an alleged suspect (is it still alleged when it's on tape and there are lots of witnesses?) the rest of the broadcast time was spent humanizing a man that had just cold-bloodedly murdered four completely innocent people. There were stories about the local semi-pro basketball team he tried out for complete with interviews with people saying they never suspected the type of behavior he exhibited the day prior. There were stories about where he had lived. There were probably other stories, too, but disgusted, I decided it was time to go to the driving range.

Why, after exhibiting such "bravery" and calling himself a "warrior" (apparently warriors go out of their way to slay unarmed judiciary employees) did he decide to go silently? Apparently because the woman he held hostage talked him down.

I'm glad he didn't hurt anyone else after the federal agent he happened upon in Buckhead, but I think most of us were hoping he'd not go out like such a pussy. I'd rather have paid for a few bullets than the inevitable drawn-out trial, the subsequent series of appeals to keep him off of death row, not to mention the expense of keeping him up in jail. I think we're definitely about to witness some of the shortcomings of our judicial system.

Perhaps if the media hadn't been swarming around like the most obnoxious busy-body on the block, the police might not have noticed the white flag of surrender.