Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Wednesday One Day Late

I'm trying to do this quickly, before Kanye West arrives...

I love my life. My classes are great, my wife is amazing, my kids are stupendous.

Having said that, my ankle and shoulder hurt.

I miss Mary Travers and Patrick Swayze and Larry Gelbart.

Tony Kornheiser has the best radio show in the country. If you are in DC, it's ESPN 980. Everywhere else, it's podcasted. Listen, laugh, and enjoy. (It's on ESPN for some reason, but it's mostly not sports, so don't let that scare you off.)

It switched over to autumn a couple of days ago here in the mountains. It's a nice change, but sorta strange.

If anyone has good ideas for what kind of superhero I should be for a pep assembly next week, I am all ears.

The D-backs just stink. And I'm sad about it.

Kettle corn is the best food on earth. It makes me sad that the county fair is over. The idea of chocolate covered bacon, doesn't.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An oldie and a goodie

I've been gone for awhile, but I wanted to jump back into the fray. I'll be trying to do more frequent updates, but I looked back over my writing and found the best political thing I've written. It still counts as my mission statement of sorts. I don't want to be offensive to anyone, but I truly believe all of this and I can't understand the point of view that opposes this. Anyway, enjoy, I hope...

I have stayed out of the political debate for too long. As I looked at American culture and the political landscape, I saw bad things, but I largely held my tongue. I supported candidates I believed in, but I left it at that. Now that we are coming to the critical point in the election cycle, I see how close we are to getting the bad people (conservatives) out of office. I can’t stand on the sidelines anymore.

Let me be clear. The conservative movement has been bad, and only bad, for the United States going back decades. The conservatives brought us religious intolerance, states’ rights, and slavery in the 1800’s. They initiated a civil war in the 1860’s which threatened to destroy the country. Conservatives gave the country a morally bankrupt Jim Crow social structure starting in the 1870’s and lasting until the 1960’s in much of the country.

Conservatives consistently give unwarranted power to big businesses, the other great evil in our country. From the corruption of the 1920’s, which led to the Great Depression to the financially and militarily immoral Reagan administration, which gave rise to the “me-first-and-screw-everyone-else” policies of the 1980’s, conservatives have torn at the basic goodness of the American people. And this is to say nothing of the current administration. It is the ultimate irony that the bad people of American politics (conservatives) want to be known as the champions of personal freedom, yet they want to control the most intimate details of our personal lives. The “freedom” they tout is the freedom to give more money to big corporations at the expense of regular Americans.

In that same time frame, I can point to no large-scale benefit brought to the country by conservatives. Of course the Standard Oil Trusts and Enrons loved them, but regular people got nothing. The overwhelming majority of Americans suffer at the hands of politically evil conservatives. While I hold a single viewpoint claimed by the conservatives (I am pro-life), I could no sooner support a conservative and the rest of their corrupt ideas than I could support a child molester who had once given a few dollars to charity. Taken as a whole, the conservative movement has damaged my workplace, my church, my planet, and my country, all of which I find unforgivable.

The conservatives have only managed to maintain control by demonizing those who oppose them. Well-meaning Americans who didn’t know better supported conservatives as an alternative to what they had been told were “evil liberals.” Now, however, there can be no doubt as to the true evil in American politics: conservatives. The left has recently shunned the term “liberal” because those on the right have made it into a pejorative. “Liberal” should no longer be a bad word. All the good that has ever been done in this country has been done by liberals. No thinking person with an ounce of decency or concern for humanity could vote for a conservative. It is time to call a spade a spade and clearly label the conservative movement as bad for America.

A person who identifies himself or herself as a conservative is allied with all the evil our country can produce. I can respect a Republican, and I do; Republicans are not the problem. I cannot respect a person who calls himself or herself a conservative with a full understanding of all that the word implies. “Conservative” is a title of disgrace and we need to treat it as such. We need to treat those who claim the title of “conservative” as we would those who claim the related titles of “thief,” “robber,” and “criminal.” “Conservative” is a bad word.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sometimes I'm just wrong

A while back I ranted about how Arizona was going to heck in a handbasket because the new Governor was going to rubber stamp everything the nutjob legislature threw at her. She is still way too conservative for me. (Keep in mind, conservative politics is ALWAYS wrong.) However, she has drawn a line in the sand and has followed through by vetoing the budget which crushed education in AZ. I don't know how much better it will get, but she stood up to the neo-fascists and we at least have a chance to get this right.

When I'm wrong, I admit it. I was wrong about Governor Brewer. I'm not a huge fan yet, but I could be persuaded. Now, if we can just get her to veto unlimited guns in bars...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lovely, random Wednesday

Could the D-backs be turning the corner? I'm not holding my breath...

I watched the Idol finale last night. Adam should win. If the things I'm hearing this morning are accurate and people really voted against him because he's gay (probably), then maybe our country hasn't made as much progress as I thought we have. Kris did fine, but he lost last night outright. It's the easiest call on the show since Fantasia destroyed poor Diana DeGarmo a few years ago. The DialIdol people have it as the closest since they started doing this. That really worries me.

I have senioritis and I have been out off high school for nearly 20 years. It's crazy. Maybe I am still not a grown-up.

I'm teaching Watergate today. Nixon was a dope. He was so arrogant and paranoid and he didn't need to do any of it.

Wouldn't it have been nice if the Suns had gotten the top lottery pick?

We just got Adirondack chairs for our new deck. They are so comfortable. They make me happy.

Good Will Hunting is still a great movie after 12 years. Robin Williams deserved his Oscar.

Rachel Maddow gets too goofy for my tastes sometimes, but her investigative stuff is amazing. She brings many complicated threads together to show the political and legal ramifications of various situations.

Things are looking up for my school next year. Maybe we won't be firing everyone after all.

Our state legislature in Arizona is, at best, shortsighted and mean-spirited, or, at worst, racist and stupid. Today we hear that they are passing a bill that will ban people standing on the sidewalk looking for work. This comes on top of stealing money from cities and schools, cutting education funding, encouraging guns in bars, and trying to cut taxes when we can't afford to do so. They are unbelievable.

President Obama's commencement addresses have been amazing. It makes me even more glad that he's our president.

Now that Tony Kornheiser is off the MNF broadcasts, I can't wait for him to be back on the radio.

We have the best pastor I can imagine here in Flagstaff. Fr. Pat is a great man and I'm proud to call him my friend.

Thanks for reading. I'l try to do better next time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just thinking...

I love teaching the 1960's.  In fact, I love teaching.  I have the best job in the world.  And I really love my 4th period.  They are a lot of fun to be around.

The Red Wings got ROBBED last night.

Brett Favre is sick.  He definitely needs an intervention.  Brett: Let it go.

I am having so much fun playing baseball with my son.

Grading stinks. (But see the first item above...)

Adam Lambert HAS to win on Idol. He is the best singer they have EVER had on that show.  And I'm still pulling for Danny, even though he absolutely destroyed "Dream On" last night.

Deadliest Catch is a great show.  I like Clean House too, but don't tell my wife.

I spent the last two nights praying for a couple of gentlemen with whom I have only had the slightest contact: a guy I met in the parking lot of Target and the coach of a Little League team Dermot played recently.  Yes, there are stories; no, I'm not putting them here.

I have an afternoon with nothing to do for the first time in weeks.  And it's beautiful outside! (76 degrees, slight breeze, sun and nothing else.)  I'm feeling a BBQ coming on.

If I ever hear the phrase "he went to Jared" again, it will be too soon.

You should listen to the Gabe Dixon Band and Gomez.  Really.  Listen on or or wherever you listen to music.

I only watch a few shows regularly, but PTI is must see TV.  And on that note:

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Never too late for random

Don't get me wrong: I don't want the swine flu, but how many people have died of other stuff since we first heard about this last week? I think we have a media pandemic.

How did the Devils lose a playoff series in a minute and a half?!?

Dwight Howard accidentally fractured his own teammate's SINUS last night!

OCD freaks me out. I hope I don't develop that.

I admire Arlen Specter for what he did, but I don't expect he'll vote much differently. Filibuster-proof in name only.

Dan Haren is having an amazing season. You should go watch him.

I really like the movie Thirteen Days, even with Costner's horrible Boston accent.

I love being a teacher. Sometimes the kids come through so well. And sometimes you get clobbered by them, but it's worth it either way.

Danny Gokey was amazing on Idol last night. He has been overshadowed by Adam for awhile, but he was the class of the field last night. And the whole group was quite good, I must say. Probably Matt going home tonight.

The dumb-!@#es at Fox should get whooped for not showing the President's speech tonight. We are hanging by a thread as a country, and they want to show another CSI/The Closer/Law and Order/House/Monk rehash. Stupid.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Tuesday

My sister is out of control with this New Kids On The Block thing. We may need to do an intervention.

Flagstaff has finally moved on to spring and I'm glad.

I really like the series of classes I'm doing for professional development. Fun and useful.

Diamondbacks have shown signs of life. It's about time.

To quote a favorite writer of mine, The Washington Capitals are "choking dogs."

Facebook has helped to get me in touch with a few people who mean a lot to me, even though I haven't seen them in years. I am happy to know that they are alive and well.

I really love my job, even when it's stressful. When I look at my classes, particularly my psychology classes, I know the world is going to be in good hands. The students I work with are intelligent, good, and caring people. They have a sense of humor and an optimism I envy. They are looking forward into the possibilities of the future, not backward to a sheltered past that was not as good as some would like to believe. They have told me that they know the world is a risky place, but they want to do all the good they can in all the ways they can for as long as they can, regardless of the challenges. I admire this more than my words can convey.

I like old music. Even cheesy '70's and '80' s stuff. Maybe especially cheesy '70's and '80' s stuff.

I'm really going to miss my friend Liz, who has been a part of the Newman Center music group since I got there. Now the economy is tanking at graduation and she will probably have to move. I'll miss her singing, but I'll miss her smile and happiness more.

I can't wait for American Idol and Deadliest Catch tonight. (Yes, I'm a dork.)

I don't understand why taxes are bad. I'm not rich and I don't mind paying my fair share. Those less well-off should get a break and those who are wealthier don't need any breaks. They can easily pay more and not even notice. Why is that a problem?

I support the blood:water mission. (

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday afternoon thoughts

I'm glad our Easter sunrise service got moved inside.  It was 30 degrees Sunday morning.

Adam Lambert is the most talented singer American Idol has ever had.  And I still don't really like him.

The Diamondbacks can't hit their way out of a paper bag.  If Webb doesn't come back healthy, it's going to be a long summer.  And it might be anyway.

I wish the weather in Flagstaff would make up its mind.  It was 67 degrees yesterday and it's supposed to be 37 tomorrow.

The old Dick Van Dyke Show was really, really funny.

I'm glad my friend Kathy found me on Facebook.

I like the new Indigo Girls album, but Poseidon and the Bitter Bug is a silly name for a CD.

I like Hulu.

I'm behind on grading.

The allure of Twitter evades me.

Steve Martin can really, actually play banjo.  And very, very well too!

My shoulder is feeling better.

It's ridiculous that the Suns have won 45 games and aren't going to the playoffs and the Pistons are under .500 and are in.

I wish Kyle Petty was still racing in NASCAR.  It's weird without him.

I am glad I can drink coffee again. (Gave it up for Lent.)

I like going to Dermot's Little League games, but it's hard not to coach from the bleachers.  I keep my mouth full of sunflower seeds as much as possible.

If you are in PHX anytime soon, go see the Dale Chihuly installation at the Botanical Gardens.  It's great, but it's only there through May.

I miss Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.  He is a large part of why I am such a huge baseball fan.  I remember the summer of 1976 a little (I was only 4) and he was everywhere in Michigan that year. "Go Bird Go!"

I need to finish The Wisdom of Tenderness by Brennan Manning.  He is a great spiritual writer.

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Keeps getting worse

And I'm not talking about American Idol. I understand budget cuts. I expected a pay cut. I even expected to have more kids in my classes. I did not expect to have to teach without time to prepare. I did not expect to have nearly 1/4 of my colleagues taken away. I did not expect the administrators I trusted to do the right thing to, instead, sell us down the river. I did not expect to be asked to choose between my family and my professional integrity.

I am very frustrated. I know that times are bad. I know sacrifices have to be made. I also know what it takes to do my job. They have already taken away the stuff that made it easier. Now they are taking away the stuff that makes it possible. I wouldn't ask my friend the contractor to do pour concrete while it was snowing and have the building framed the next day. I wouldn't ask my friend the architect to draw plans freehand. I wouldn't ask my brother-in-law in the military to do his job without computers or communication technology. Unfortunately, we are being asked to do things that way as teachers. We cannot do our jobs well or even adequately without time to prepare. As it stands now, I won't even have time to Xerox busy work for the students , let alone teach a good lesson.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Bowl Hangover (sort of...)

Not a hangover hangover. Just disappointed with the outcome. I was enjoying the game, win or lose, but for the winning catch to be by Santonio Holmes... It's too much. Certainly, he has a lot going for him: 1) He's a bozo; 2) He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for his routine after the catch; 3) He's a drug dealer (not making this up); 4) He went to Ohio State; 5) He's a bozo; 6) He stunk all year (ask my sister who had Holmes on her fantasy team); 7) He absolutely did not deserve the MVP- should have been Ben (Should have been Warner or Fitzgerald, but that's another issue.); and 8) He's a bozo.

I've always liked the Steelers. My 2 favorite players as a kid were Franco Harris and Lynn Swann. (And Jack Ham, for some reason. No idea...) But Santonio !@#%^!&%?! Holmes? Grrr.....

Anyway, thanks to the Cardinals for an amazing run. I hope they sign Berry and Warner and some of those other guys. I'd love to get another shot.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm not usually this angry

I want to apologize at the outset for the tone of this post (and future posts in all likelihood). I am so outraged by the actions of Arizona politicians that I wanted to rail against them for a few minutes. I hope it will be cathartic.

The worst people I am currently aware of are Russell Pearce, John Kavanagh, and Bob Burns. All of these GOP hacks have swallowed the Grover Norquist "Taxes are evil no matter what" poison pill. (Grover Norquist is also a horrible person.) Let us be clear. TAXES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!!! In fact, taxes are not a problem at all. Cutting education is a problem. We are intentionally destroying the future of our state for no obvious reason. We are in an economic downturn and all analysts say college enrollment will go up because of the lack of jobs. At the same time, these idiots are cutting education. (BTW, those students are borrowing against future earnings to go to college. Why is it good for them to do it and bad for the state? Oh right, IT ISN'T BAD FOR THE STATE TO DO IT EITHER!) All of this will be rubber stamped by another horrible person, our new governor, "Bobblehead" Jan Brewer. (You can find her online. Her avatar is a giant rubber stamp.)

The horrible Republicans have actually INCREASED funding for the virulently racist Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Apparently the Republican Party platform looks like this: education is bad, people who aren't white are bad, children are bad, college students are bad, poor people are bad, people without jobs are bad, people without health care are bad, and only cutting taxes is good. As it turns out, they are wrong in all of those beliefs.

Republicans are bad. They don't have to be, but they choose to be. I've known a lot of Republicans who seemed to be ok, but then they support this kind of insanity. It leads me to believe that they are either stupid or horrible. I've read the conservative reporters and bloggers; they aren't stupid. Therefore, they are intentionally mean.

If you are a Republican, please stop this ridiculous behavior. If you know Republicans, call them out on their destructive, morally bankrupt stands.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just a few weeks until baseball!

I miss the Diamondbacks. I just love baseball and I can't wait for it to start. I hope they pick up some starting pitching. I hope they sign Brandon Webb to an extension. I hope they play like 2007, not 2008. I'm going to some regular season games and some spring training games this year again. I'm really super excited.

Nothing else for now. Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A truly inspiring day, but not for Arizona

I was fortunate to be able to watch our new president's inaugural address. It was neither the greatest speech ever nor was it a let down. It was a reminder of the action we must take and the sacrifices we must make. And it was a message to the world that our country is not an easy target because a new man is in the White House. He reminded us of our common vision of the nation and gave us a way to get there: working together to find a solution. I want to do my part.

Unfortunately, Arizona will not be taking part in the new hope. Janet Napolitano's untimely departure has insured that we will be punished by the mean-spirited, angry Republican legislature and their new rubber-stamp governor, Jan Brewer. Maybe they will punish us because we failed to elect a Republican. Maybe they will punish us because we didn't elect our native son, Senator McCain. Maybe they will punish us because they couldn't do so while Gov. Napolitano protected us. In any case, we will be punished. Those less well-off will be knocked down, while the corporations who caused our current economic plunge will be lured with sweetheart deals, which, as always, will benefit no one else. Those seeking an education will be prevented from getting it, especially in the public schools and university the Arizona GOP seeks to ruin. This is not scare mongering. You can read the Republican budget plan for yourself. It's all in there in black and white. The Arizona Senate president, Bob Burns, "rejected the idea that Arizona's education funding is lacking and should be preserved from cuts."

"Other options under consideration are cutting funding to the board of regents and eliminating KidsCare programs. "

It IS that bad. Don't come to Arizona. Pray for us.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time. (Unless the Arizona GOP have me arrested for being a teacher...)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hey, legislature, leave them kids alone! (Or "Republicans are mean...")

I'm pretty angry at the Arizona legislature right now. Let me say at the beginning that my job is safe and Katie's might be too, but the cuts they are calling for would make it dicey for her. This is personal, but the big problem is that we will lose funding for the things that help us teach the kids. The proposal for cuts that the GOP is proposing would gut education and social services. Everyone takes a hit, as they will be telling us over the next few weeks, but they are crushing those two areas to make up nearly 40% of the shortfall. Unfortunately, we no longer have a sane (Democratic) governor, so we will have this garbage plan rubber-stamped and the kids will suffer.

That actually reminds me that I'm angry with Janet too. The lunatics are running the asylum now and she knew that's what would happen. And she left us to the wolves anyway. I'm depressed. Republicans are just plain mean.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Everybody hurts sometimes

I'm feeling old today.  When I was a younger person I could do pretty much anything to myself and not need to worry about the consequences.  That seems to have changed.

Yesterday I fell on the ice outside of school.  It was no big deal.  I got a little scuffed up.  Unfortunately, my body thinks it's a VERY BIG DEAL.  I ache everywhere today.  Wha' Happened?  I used to jump off the roof on a semi-regular basis with no ill effects.  Now I can't fall from a distance of me without being listed as damaged goods.  To all my younger friends, don't get old.  To all my old friends, anyone got a good home remedy?

Thanks for reading.  I'll do better next time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Very tired...

Anyone know how to keep a 20 month-old asleep?  I can't keep functioning if Kieran won't sleep more.  There's no rhyme or reason to it.  Last night I was up 7 times with him.  No good.

Help me!

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.