Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stuffing And Stuff...

First off, Happy T-Day!

I have sub'd three classes now. I am starting to feel a little less lost in the strange environment that is a class full of yahoo's. While I am taking steps to finalize the career change from pool guy to teacher, other things are moving along that make it hard to write about it.

My dad has been battling emphysema for many years now, and the disease is starting to progress faster than it has in the past. Dad smoked heavily until about 1992, when the Docs told him he had emphysema and wouldn't last another year if he didn't stop smoking. Emphysema, usually caused by smoking, is a degenerative condition caused by damage to the lung tissue that allows both absorption of oxygen and release of CO2 into and out of the blood stream. As of this morning, he is in the hospital in Seattle. I don't want to say he is battling for his life, but he is having a hard time breathing, even with the oxygen mask. He may have had a heart attack but they just can't tell yet exactly what is going on. Mom said he has a 50 / 50 chance of making it, but since the docs are not sure exactly what is going on, that prediction of odds on survival seem premature. But I may be flying up to Seattle on very short notice. So if you don't see any blog posts for a while, you'll know why.

Did I mention he also has diabetes?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dogs and Cats...

It's not just about living together anymore. At the gym, I overheard a couple of Republicans talking about this latest development in the erosion of social norms:

"We warned everyone this would happen if we didn't pass the FMA!"

Just kidding. That never happened. But still, thank God the Republicans are no longer in power. They certainly would have tried to amend the Constitution to prevent this sort of thing.

Hat Tip: Drudge

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Best Political Comment Of The Day... that I know of.

Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewitt, commenting on the "wisdom" of selecting former Republican senate majority leader Trent Lott as minority whip:

"Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly apparent that the Republicans and Democrats are determined to engage in a two year dumb-off? If it weren’t for the fact that there are some very determined lunatics out there trying to kill us, this would be funny."

Hat Tip: Insta-P

I Am A Norwegian No Longer.... err, I mean virgin...

Well, today I taught my first class as a substitute. Subbing is harder than you would think. It was an 8th grade computer science class. The day went well enough - no one died or got sent to the office, and I didn't get flustered or freak when things didn't go smoothly, like when I lost the definitions web page I was using during the vocabulary exercise. The students didn't throw spit balls at me or anything. But, more than once, I felt very much out of my element. I definitely felt the pressure and uncertainty one feels when trying something really important for the first time, hoping they didn't screw anything up. I'm not ready to write about it yet as I'm still analyzing the experience, trying to figure out what I did right and what I need to improve on. I'm not freaked out over the experience too much, but I know I was very, very green. When I'm done absorbing the experience, I'll tell you all about the experience of the first time subbing job. But right now, I'd rather go have a beer, watch some tube, and relax for a spell. I must say, it was quite an experience.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Best Political Jabs... EVER!!!!

From an informal Christopher Hitchens interview on election night. On the prospect of George Allen losing his race in Virginia:

"I... think it would be very nice for Mr. Allen in Virginia to lose. He needs to relax and find something else to do in his life."

But the best line about the electorate, said without cracking a hint of smile, in the classic dry, droll, English, self evident manner:

"By all means, stupid people should be represented, but not by stupid people."

Hat Tip: Insta-P
WE WON!!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Observation Of The Day!

Pigeons are smart enough to play in the street without getting hit by cars. Can't say that of a human.

A comment by Adam Fastman (Somerville, Massachusetts) from This Article about the long term memory capabilities of birds.

Now I wonder if pigions would fair better than humans when designing electronic voting machines.

PS. What, did you really think I couldn't tie a story about bird brains to todays elections?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pandora's Box...

... blasted opened with nuclear ambitions. It probably, no, certainly would have happened sooner or later. I've been arguing this inevitability for quite some time, the last two years at least, with the specter of N. Korea or Iran developing the capabilities. There is no way to stop it (and no Mr. Hewitt, nuking either country won't stop it, that would just make other countries feel more compelled to acquire it). But it would be very hard to argue our involvement in Iraq did not accelerate the process. Thank you very little, theocons.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fill In The Blank

I was thinking about Kerry's statement and wondered where it could be more appropriate.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck _____________________."

The response jumped out at me like a cornered mouse; judging from the amount of drop-outs that work in the industry --- " Hollywood".

"...doing govenrment work".

"...being a Senator".

"...being the President".

"...working as a pool guy". (Ha Ha)

Any one else want to play?

Kerry On.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq."

Go ahead. Just keep chewing on that elitist foot. Must be tasty. It's in his mouth so often. How can a politician be so tone deaf? Isn't this the same guy who showed up for a enviro-rally bashing SUV / gas guzzler owners, but during the same campaign shows up in Detroit to campaign and says he owns and drives a Dodge 600 and recently bought a Chrysler 300M and a Chevrolet SUV. Oh, but he doesn't own the SUV, his wife does. "The family has it. I don't have it". So I guess that makes that little bit of hypocrisy OK? Then there was the U.S. soldiers were in Iraq "terrorizing kids and children" comment he made earlier this year. Kerry is no smooth operator.

So maybe Kerry did mangle a joke. I've certainly butchered pretty much every joke I"ve ever tried to tell, so I'll take Kerry at his word. None the less, did he not hear how that sentence came out? It would have been very easy to recover by adding "Mr. Bush did not do his homework!". The right wing spin machine would still have had a field day, as they would have chopped up the audio to exclude the Bush reference, just as they chopped the audio on the Michael J Fox commercial to make it sound like Fox was saying Jim Talent is against all stem cell research (Hannity's lie). But these type of media manipulations are easy to refute. But Kerry now has his own verbal equivalent of a hanging chad. His intent simply was not clear or concise. Like it or not, regardless of what he intended, it sounded like he was talking about the troops.

As sad as Kerry's remarks were, I'm just as troubled by the response from the audience. They cheered. It appears many Democrat supporters still cling to the stereotype that the men and women who enlist in the military do so because, well, they're not smart enough to do anything else.

PS. I forgot that Kerry is one of those who got us "stuck" in Iraq since he voted for the war. I guess he didn't do his homework either.