Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yoshimi in New York

Word is out that the Flaming Lips album 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' is being adapted as a Broadway musical. Aaron Sorkin, the creator of Sportsnight and The West Wing, will be the primary scriptwriter with several Tony winning producers crafting the musical adaptation.

Now that will be a show worth going to New York to see. Yoshimi has been one of my favorite albums since it came out. And props to the Oklahoma City based band for making the Great White Way.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

One of the most dangerous jobs American soldiers face in Iraq is going house to house in search of weapons. The weapons are confiscated and often destroyed. This begs the question...what about the Iraqi's freedom to bear arms?

One of our sacred rights as American citizens guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is the right of the citizenry to arm themselves against potential tyranny. Isn't it hypocritical not to allow one of the bedrock rights of our consititution to the Iraqis? After all I thought guns don't kill people...people kill people...right? That's what the NRA says. So why are we taking guns away from the Sunnis and Shias? It's the people pulling the triggers not the guns themselves.

Dick Cheney (quite an expert marksman himself) said before the war that Iraq was made up of a large, stable, educated and "talented" middle class. Shrub said democracy in Iraq would provide stability for the entire region. Yet we don't allow them a major component of our American democratic framework. Do we not trust the "talented" people of Iraq?

Or is possible that guns actually do kill people? The U.S. military understands this better than anyone. Stopping the dangerous proliferation of guns has become a key priority for the Army in Iraq. Shouldn't the NRA take note? Maybe gun violence actually has a correlation to gun availability. The United States experiences more gun violence than any other first world nation on the planet. The U.S. also has the greatest amount of firearms circulated among the population than any other first world nation on the planet. Coincidence?

There will be 54 gun shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex this year. That's more than one gun show a weekend. You want to grow a church in a "Gun Show Here" billboard pointing to your church and you can't keep the people out. Guns at Wal*Mart? Are you kidding me? Let's learn what the Army has learned and think about all these guns floating around our nation.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Routine Jackson

As you can tell, I haven't had a lot of time to post blogs lately. My schedule has solidified into the following routine...

6:00 am - get up and get ready

7:10 am - report to work and read the news on the internet until 7:30

7:30 am - 3:45 pm - Stomping out ignorance with a bunch of knucklehead high schoolers.

4:15 pm - Arrive at the brickhouse and tiptoe as not to wake Jackson from nap. Take out the trash, recycle, read mail, kill stupid texas fire ants, and vegg for about 10 minutes.

5:00 pm - eat dinner and entertain Jackson

5:30-6:30 pm - hurredly do some chores around the house sometimes with Jackson strapped to chest.

6:30 pm - Jackson bathtime and wind down for his bedtime

7:00 pm - Attempt to put Jackson down to bed...sometimes successful sometimes...not so much.

7:30 pm-9:00 pm - get stuff ready for work the next day...ironing, making lunch that sorta thing. Maybe catch a show I videotaped since I rarely get to see shows as they air.

9:00 pm (yes 9 o'clock if lucky and Jackson cooperates) - crash on my bed utterly exhausted

Midnight - Jackson wants to eat and be changed

4:00 am - Jackson wants to eat and be changed.

6:00 am - it all starts again.

But oh the greatness of being a teacher. This next week is Spring Break. I am not going to the beach and I am not going to the slopes. I am going to sleep.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chalk it up!

One of the important debates of our time revolves around an issue of singular importance...Chalk or Dry Erase Marker?

I have to admit...I'm a chalk guy. Despite my proclivity for technological innovation I prefer the old stick of chalk to the dry erase marker. Yes, the dry erase marker allows you to write in different colors (although you can get different colors of chalk). However, you always have to worry about popping the cap on and off. They also have to be replaced often. Plus my handwriting suffers with the dry erase marker because of the lack of traction on the board. Also, your hands become marked up in red, blue, green and all the colors of the dry erase rainbow by the end of the day.

The greatest gripe against chalk used to be the chalk dust. But the new dustless chalk is quite good at keeping things dust free. I rarely have to worry about the chalk getting on my clothes and never have to worry about it marking my hands. I can just pick it up and start writing without having to think about where to put the cap and making sure to put the cap back on when finished. Plus chalk gives me a traction on the board that makes using it much easier...much less slippage.

So I have resisted the urge to replace my chalkboards with white dry-erase boards. I used dry-erase markers for a whole year at Highland Park so I think I gave them a fair shot. In one of the great intellectual discourses of our time I think I have to kick it old school and side with the long as its dustless of course.

I also may be unduly swayed by that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Professor Jones is in the classroom writing the word "neolithic" in chalk...not dry erase marker (didn't exist in 1933). He wrote the word in chalk and in all caps and I think of that scene everytime I write neolithic on the board at the beginning of the school year.