Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wiki Map



Here is an interesting map that breaks down which nations have the most wikipedia entries or are tagged the most. I find it fascinating that Burkina Faso leads Africa...more than Egypt or South Africa. That can't be right can it?


Here is the full article on the story...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/07/map-of-wikipedia-articles_n_382404.html

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

God Bless...


God bless you Grandpa. You are one of my heroes. I will miss you...but we will meet again...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tebow Fatigue


Tim Tebow does not walk on water.


He might be a great guy and all...but the beatification of Tebow went way to far. Here's a couple of things to keep in mind the next time you hear the FOX or CBS reporters chanting his name in a sutra.

When Sam Bradford won the 2008 Heisman, Tebow could not hide his digust and anger. After the ceremony he even said he would use the slight as motivation against the Sooners in their soon to be played national title tilt. This anger comes despite the fact that Bradford's numbers were much more impressive in every way than Tebow's. Plus, Tebow had already won the award the year before. Revenge? Bitterness? Sense of entitlement? Are these the attributes of a saint?

I know I might cause this blog to come crashing down by saying this but I would rather have Colt McCoy of texas win the Heisman than that poser from Florida.

Then last Saturday night...I caught the last few minutes of Alabama's dismantling of Florida. The cameras caught Tebow crying on the sidelines. Then during his interview he could barely talk because he was crying so much. All this while sporting a Bible verse on his face paint. What a fantastic witness. Way to have your priorities in order Tebow.

This is a guy who has won a Heisman, conference championships and a National Championship. And he's crying because he lost? A bit of perspective please. You've achieved more than the vast majority of college athletes. And you're crying? Can't say I feel sorry for you in the least. Sorry Tebow...your myth has spiraled out of control. Some of it may not be your fault. You're probably not a bad kid. But don't act like you're some sort of saint.

Wonder if someone collected those tears in a vial. Doctors in Gaineville might do tests to see if they have healing properties.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanks Sprint...


Last week I excoriated Samsung for their crappy phone and their fraudulent warranty.


So to even the ying yang scales of negative energy I should laud Sprint for trying to rectify the situation.

When Samsung failed to help me I called my provider Sprint to see if they could help me. I knew that if I purchased a new phone I would have to pay the full cost rather than the reduced price one receives for extending a contract or establishing service. I didn't really think that was fair...especially since I have been a loyal Sprint customer for seven years.

Sprint Account Services (not Customer Care Services who couldn't help in the least) said their system would not allow them to simply give me a rebate. But they said I would be eligible for that rebate if I added a third line for $9.99 a month on a two-year contract. Then they would give me a credit of $20 a month for the next two years to cover the cost of that third line and more for the inconvenience I experienced.

The new phone would be programmed with my same number. The old phone will simply go unused since we don't need a third line.

I went to Best Buy since they do not use mail-in rebates on their phones...you get the rebate immediately. I walked out with a free LG Rumor 2. Didn't pay a dime...and when all is said and done I actually got $10 off a month for two years from my what I was originally paying!

So I'm giving Sprint props on this one for helping me out. Still: stay away from Samsung!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

No Duh? or Free Shoes U?


Rarely do football jobs as big as Notre Dame and Florida State come open at the same time. An interesting question would be if you were a hotshot coach being courted by both and offered the same terms of employment...which job would you take?

Notre Dame used to be the slam dunk answer. But now I'm not so sure. It's cold up in South Bend. Indiana doesn't have as much talent as Florida and you have to compete with Ohio State, Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten for recruits in the upper midwest. Of course Notre Dame can recruit nationally but their academic standards (which I applaud) makes it impossible for some of the best athletes to go there. The NBC contract doesn't mean as much with the spread of satellite and cable outlets. Plus, there's no conference championship to fall back on for a coach. It's BCS or National Title or nothing. That's a lot of pressure.

Florida State does have a lot of recruiting competition with the Gators, Miami and others (UCF, USF, etc...) in Florida. But there are plenty of in-state recruits to go around. Like Notre Dame you do have the chance to restore a program to former glory. Academic standards are less strenuous. The easily dominated ACC is not near the conference the SEC or Big 12 is.

But you know...there's something about Notre Dame. As much as I hate the Fighting Irish...they are something special for whatever reason. If you win big there you would be linked to some of the biggest names in football history. But man, the weather is so much nicer in Tallahassee.

Dunno.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cup Fever!


I was fortunate that the 2010 World Cup draw was held during my lunch time. I was able to watch the proceedings via the internet. The United States drew their most favorable group in recent memory. The Yanks drew England, Slovenia and Algeria.

England will be tough. Maybe we will pull off another 1950 Cup shocker and beat the Limeys. Slovenia and Algeria barely squeaked into the World Cup. We couldn't ask for a better draw. We avoided a "group of death" and will have little excuse to make it to the second round.

For the uninitiated, there are 32 teams in the World Cup which will be played this summer in South Africa. The 32 teams earned their spots in a rigorous qualifying process in each of the regional federations. The 32 teams were then placed into pots that were determined by FIFA rankings and geography. Then those teams were randomly drawn via lottery balls and placed into eight four team brackets.

The four teams then play each other one time in their respective bracket. If you win you get three points. If you draw you get one point. If you lose you receive zero points. The two teams with the most points after all have played each other then advance to the round of sixteen. Goal differential breaks ties.

From that point on the sixteen teams play in knock out stages similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The field narrows to the quarterfinals (final eight), then the semifinals (final four) then into the championship match.

The farthest the United States has ever advanced is into the quarterfinals in 2002. We shocked Luis Figo (which he deserved for ditching FC Barcelona for Real Madrid) and Portugal in the group stage. We also humiliated our arch-rival Mexico in the Round of Sixteen. We lost to the eventual runner-up in the quarterfinals, Germany, 0-1. We played an amazing match...but German keeper Oliver Kahn (the man with dinner plates for hands) kept our best shots out of the net. Germany would end up losing to a reborn Ronaldo (who sported an awful mohawk while breaking the all-time World Cup Tournament goal record) and Brazil who were trying to make amends for a disastrous 1998 Final loss to France.

In '06 we got shafted by a faux penalty call on Claudio Reyna against Ghana. We didn't make it out of the group stage.

We got a great shot this year. We won last year's World Cup tune up tourney, The Confederation's Cup played in South Africa. We came in second in the Gold Cup a month later losing to Brazil in the final despite leading the entire game until a second half surge by the Brazilians.

People in the U.S. are beginning to take notice. America leads the world in purchasing tickets for the World Cup. Over 70,000 tickets have already been purchased by the Yanks...compared to 25,000 in soccer mad England.

I didn't catch the '06 final live. I had taped it while we were up in Indiana visiting family. I avoided the internet and most news sources. Still...I accidently caught a glimpse of a newspaper headline on the road in Sikeston, Missouri that gave away Italy's shocking victory over the French. I was surprised that the story was on the front page of a local paper and didn't expect to see the ending given away. I watched the game once I got home and still can't believe Zidane headbutted that guy. Of course the French got lucky this year only getting into the World Cup with a blatant hand-ball against Ireland.

It's only December...but things are already gearing up for a great soccer summer!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Boink


Worst Christmas song of all time...

That stupid "boink boink" song by Sir Paul McCartney...I think it's actually called "Wonderful Christmastime." I hate it hate it hate it.

I love the Beatles but their Christmas songs are terrible...

Can't stand "So this is Christmas" by John Lennon. Do the radio stations even listen to the lyrics of this tripe?

Oh and Andy Williams...going down the chimney down is redundant.

I'm not really a Grinch. Just got a stupid cold.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Singing Dynasties


Here's an easy way for my students to learn the basic order of the Chinese ruling dynasties. I have them sing the dynasties to frere jacque. The only danger is during A.P. exam day hearing students softly humming the tune while they take the test.

Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin (repeat)
Han, Sui, Tang (repeat)
Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic (repeat)
Communist (repeat).

Yes, I know I leave out the Period of Warring States, Wang Mang's brief rule between the early Han and the later Han and the era of the Three Kingdoms but the basic dynastic structure is there.

Picture: Qin Shihuangdi...The first and only emperor of the Qin Dynasty. China gets its name from this family. He's the guy with all the terra cotta soldiers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Go Stoops!


C'mon Stoops. The weather in South Bend is awful. Notre Dame is so 1940's. NBC doesn't mean much in the age of satellite t.v. and internet exposure. Plus, half your OU lineup couldn't pass the stringent academic requirements of ND. You'd have to recruit against the Buckeyes and Michigan.

Stay where you're appreciated. Don't listen to a few haters...they're just aggies in disguise trying to sabotage the Sooners.

Don't go Stoops! Don't go!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The truth is....




Oklahoma State will always be just Oklahoma State.

I guess maybe they could change their name to Boone T. Picken's University. Maybe their fortune would change then.

Friday, November 27, 2009

DO NOT BUY A SAMSUNG CELL PHONE!


Do not buy a Samsung cell phone. In fact, I'm going to say that again...

DO NOT BUY A SAMSUNG CELL PHONE!

Just got a new Samsung Rant cell phone six months ago through Sprint via Walmart. Then after only six months...the LCD screen whites out. Can't see anything on the screen. This phone had never been dropped or damaged in anyway...I can honestly say that. Then one day the screen is useless.

Samsung tells me to return it. Then contacts me to say that a new LCD screen is NOT covered in the year warranty and that the charge will be $85.00...for a $29.00 phone. Asinine. So I went up the chain of command to the supervisor who said just the same thing.

I said send the thing back. Don't bother. What a fraudulent warranty. Turns out the screen is what needs to be replaced the most...so they conveniently leave that out of the warranty. First time I've EVER had a problem with a cell phone before the service agreement was up. This phone didn't even last six months. So I'll say it again...

DO NOT BUY A SAMSUNG PHONE!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ALL CAPS IS BEAUTIFUL


So I was bored one fine morning when I decided for my own amusement to make a simple demand of my students. I instructed them that their assignments for that day had to be written in cursive.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. Some had no idea how to proceed. A real apoplectic frenzy of anuerysms and emo song ideas.

Now I know they learn this skill (cursive writing...not whining) in the third grade. But many related that they had not used cursive writing since that long ago innocent time in their lives. I can relate. I actually hate cursive script. I hate writing it and I loathe reading it. I also abhor writing in lower case. Yep...that's right...I write in all-caps...in print. Although all-caps is not appropriate for email and cyberspace because IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE YELLING it looks fine and non-threatening on paper or the chalk/white board.

I'm not sure of the origins of my all-caps fixation. I think it started in college with the rapid note-taking of the university lecture. But I was also greatly inspired by that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Professor Indiana Jones writes the word NEOLITHIC on the chalkboard in all-caps. Every year, in the first week of my World History course, when I write NEOLITHIC on the board I think back to Raiders. Could also be genetic since my Dad writes in all-caps.

Anyway, I digress. I told my students that doing things that are difficult for your brain is an excellent exercise habit to develop. Write in cursive if it's difficult for you. Work logic problems. Write with your opposite hand. Better yet...write in cursive with your opposite hand. Read hard books. Memorize things. It's good for your brain.

Studies show that such exercise may actually improve your intelligence quotient. Some think your "intelligence" is a set thing. Yes, you can increase your knowledge...but not your base intelligence. Some disagree saying that by working your brain you create new synaptic pathways that allow for better understanding and the ability to enjoy Demitri Martin jokes.

I dunno. I just like making my students intellectually sweat.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NOT the Hits!



I am very happy with the newest radio station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area...91.7 KXT. KXT is owned and operated by the local PBS affiliate KERA and is a sister station to our DFW NPR station. This station focuses on eclectic music. They play everything from world music to alt country to acoustic folk to jazz to alternative to indie rock and everything in between.

I began listening the day they went on air (last Monday) when I read about the station in the Sunday paper. Here's a list of songs or groups I actually heard in one hour of listening yesterday...

A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
Do You Realize? by The Flaming Lips
Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings
Bottle of Blues by Beck
Ain't Nobody's Business...a duet by Willie Nelson AND Wynton Marsalis
No Surprises by Radiohead
a song (I didn't catch the title) by Leonard Cohen
a song by Regina Specktor
a song by the Polyphonic Spree
and...Pretty Girls Don't Cry by Chris Isaak.

Now that was just in one hour of listening. That's the kind of lineup you won't find on some crappy corporate owned pop station. I now stream the station all day on my work computer. Check it out online HERE.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Raditude Review


Yeah, I know this review comes a bit late since Raditude came out November 3rd. But I'm an historian by trade and I like things to settle a bit before I throw my analysis in the mix. I need the critical distance and I've now listened to Raditude about 10 times all the way through. I'll keep my thoughts brief.

If you're longing for the emo days of Blue and Pinkerton then Raditude is not for you. Raditude fits more with Green. It's lighthearted (and at times satirical) faire. Weez should have released this album in the summer. It brings to mind rolling to the cineplex after a stop by Sonic listening to Q104 (R.I.P....Kansas City's "the number one hit music station!") at full volume in a beat-up pontiac with the windows down.

You'll find Beach Boy hooks and Slayer powerchords on this disc. There's no serious meditation here...just catchy songs that you won't easily eject from your brain. I'm not a big fan of "Can't Stop Partying" even though I catch the fact that it's a joke and slam on the britney/paris/simpson set. I actually like the Hindu Slumdog Millionaire vibe of "Love is the Answer" although I'm sure it's pageantry made some hardcore maladroit fans wretch in the backalley of some CBGB wannabe hangout in Deep Ellum.

Not sure what my favorite track is although I like the Brian Wilsonesque closer "I don't Want to Let You Go" which comes via River's solo album Alone II. On Alone II the demo version of this song actually follows River's cover of "Don't Worry Baby" so I think the Beach Boy's comparison is intentional. I know it's a juvenile Phil Spector rip-off but the wall of sound in "Trippin' Down the Freeway" is very appealing and I still can't get "I'm Your Daddy" out of my head.

The only disappointing thing about this album are the four bonus tracks that come with the iTunes pass. The bonus tracks on the Red Album were all good...better than many of the tracks on the actual album. These are typical mediocre bonus tracks and aren't worth the extra cash. Stick with the original album content.

So get over your urbanpoet hipster emo pose, let your guard down and enjoy some real power nerdrock.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Praxis



So I'm really diggin' my small group's new book, "The Kingdom Experiment" from The House Studio. This book examines the beatitudes and suggests eight experiments for each beatitude to carry out to help us live out the particular beatitude in real life. No more talk, no more discussion...actions. Talk is important. But it can also be cheap. To paraphrase one of my favorite movies "He's all action with no theory and we're all theory with no action."

There's got to be a balance. But I think the scales should probably weigh more heavily toward the action side of the equation. I get tired of conversating and discussing things to death. I want to live my life more intentionally for the Kingdom...to achieve praxis. "Faith without works is dead" right? I think as Protestants we got so paranoid about people thinking they could achieve salvation through deeds that many threw service out the window. I admire those Prots who emulate Christ by doing while realizing that salvation comes soley through faith.

James Sire says that you don't truly believe something unless you put into practice. My SNU mentor prof Dr. Bob Lively used to say there's a lot of professors of philosophy out there but not too many true philosophers because true philosophers live out their beliefs...not just talk about them.

The clip above is from the movie Waking Life. Sorry, I seem to be on a Waking Life kick lately.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Journey Never Ends


To quote Magnum P.I., I know what you're thinking...

After you read this you will think I've recently become obsessed with the debate over destiny or coincidence (see my post on my random Cobain references earlier this week.). But maybe I'm just paying better attention to the swirling mists of life. These things happened and I did not seek them out...

I hate Journey...the band fronted by that mulleted mo Steve Perry. But I have a student this year named Jerry who is obsessed with Journey. Not the current incarnation with that fillipino imposter as a frontman...but classic Journey with Perry et al. Never in ten years of teaching have I met a student obsessed with Journey. In fact I don't know if I've ever met a true Journey fan. Most sane people wouldn't admit to liking Journey in the first place.

So I'm driving to school listening to my new Raditude CD and I pull into my usual parking space. I put the car in park, eject the Weezer CD and lo and behold, Journey is playing on the radio. Jack FM i s playing that stupid ballad 'when the lights go out in the city.' Here's where it gets all Ingmar Bergman...at that EXACT moment...the moment I eject the CD and hear Journey on the radio...Jerry, my Journey obsessed student, is walking on the sidewalk RIGHT in front of my Mini Cooper. He's two feet in front of the car when all this happens. And I never see Jerry before school in the parking lot. Coincidence that the ONLY Journey fan I know happened to be walking in front of my car at the exact moment Jack FM plays their stupid song? Wouldn't have happened had I left five minutes earlier or five minutes later or had the radio tuned to a different station.

And if this weird confluence of events is not mere coincidence...what does it all mean? Am I supposed to start appreciating Journey more? Contrary to my student's beliefs...I don't have all the answers.

I'm just asking...

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's in my bag...


What's in my messenger bag right now...nothing worth stealing I'll tell you that much...

The contents as of right now (subject to change hourly) are...

A moleskine journal (pocket sketchbook edition)
A Collins Gem Diccionario Ingles (Spanish/English dictionary) bought while in Spain
Pocket sized New King James New Testament
wax for my braces
Three uni-ball deluxe micro pens
Three Bic round stic medium pens
One papermate clickster grip 0.5 mm mechanical pencil
Greatland Multi-tool
Mini tube of Colgate Total toothpaste
rubberbands for my braces
One old Advil allergy sinus tablet
carmex
2 gig Kaufman ISD flashdrive
Keystone Resort matchbox
One bandaid
One pad of post-it notes (three inch)
three school business cards
three Lion and Lamb Fellowship business cards
three Center for Human Rights Policy business cards
Raditude by Weezer CD
School Parking pass
six hanging files to take home
vinyl portfolio with legal pad
September and October 2009 Backpacker Magazines
October 2009 National Geographic Adventure Magazine
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Kingdom Experiment from The House Studio
pair of fake Elvis Costello/Rivers Cuomo black rimmed glasses

That's way too much garbage to be carrying around.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Riddance!


I was very glad to hear that the Kansas City Chiefs have finally cut Larry Johnson. I know that some will question the cutting of the Chief's most talented player. But he was over the hill anyway and hadn't done much the last several years. Besides, was he really all that great? A 7th Grade tailback could run through the holes that amazing Chiefs O-Line of the mid 2000's made. Three of those future hall of famers retire and Johnson becomes a mediocre back.

Plus, he was a criminal. The guy was cited three times for hitting, spitting or abusing women in some way or another. He was homophobic and disrespectful to every NFL coach he played for. He disrespected the fans. He had been a cancer for years in the locker room. He was more interested in being a rapper than a football player.

The best thing of all is he will never get the honor of breaking the Chiefs all-time rushing record. He was only about 75 yards shy of Priest Holmes's record. Chiefs fans deserved better than Johnson being the record holder. Many might be surprised that I would rather have a Longhorn hold the Chiefs record...but Priest was a stand up guy who respected the fans. The Chiefs aren't going to win much this year and maybe the next...Johnson will not be missed. L.J....don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Giving Blood


So I gave blood Monday. The mobile blood center made their stop at the high school. I try to give blood whenever I can because I'm O negative...which is the universal donor blood. Unfortunately its also a very rare blood type. Only seven percent of Americans have O- blood. To complicate things...O - types can only receive O -. Nothing else works. So I've entered the numbers of several friends of mine who have O - in my cell phone...just in case I need an emergency donation.

Give blood if you can. My wife lost six (out of a possible nine) units of blood in an ectopic pregnancy about five years ago. Donated blood saved her life. Thirty more minutes and it would have been too late. Because of that incident and the fact that my blood is rare...I try to give whenever I can. Doesn't hurt and I've never felt sick or close to passing out. They're not exaggerating when they say you're saving a life. Plus you get a cool t-shirt.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bring back Oklahoma - Nebraska!


Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman makes a case for OKLAHOMA and Nebraska to meet every year. Currently because of the balanced Big 12 schedule they are two years on then two years off. I've always hated that because this rivarly deserves to be played every year. Tramel points out that the SEC adopted an annual cross-divisional game for each member school in part to protect the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. The Big 12 could easily adopt the same system.

As an OU fan growing up in Kansas City during the 1980's the OU-Nebraska game was the biggest of the year. Most years, in the 1980's, it was even bigger than OU-texas. It was the last game of the season and often determined the Big 8 championship which frequently gave the conference champion the chance to play for the national championship.

The game was always played the day after Thanksgiving so the game was often played in cold and rainy conditions. Living in Kansas City there were lots of Nebraska alums and fans around. But the pre-game trash talking actually didn't possess much trash. Cornhusker fans are among the nicest and respectful you'll ever find. The ribbing was always good natured and after the game there was rarely any lingering bitterness or acrimony.

I also miss the fact that the Big 12 is not associated with the Orange Bowl. The Big 12 champion if not playing in the BCS title game plays in the Fiesta Bowl...which is still a minor bowl in my eyes compared to the Orange, Sugar, and Rose. Heck I'd rather have the Cotton Bowl in the BCS rotation than the Fiesta. I miss the conference champ playing their game at night in balmy Miami.

I've got a lot of great memories of the OU-Nebraska series. I agree with Tramel...its time to make it an annual affair once again.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nirvana or Coincidence?


So I'm walking down the vaunted hallways of learning at KHS when I can't help but to overhear a student say to another..."he's our generation's Kurt Cobain."

That's all I heard so I missed the context and who they were referring to. But it reminded me of the strange and random way references to Kurt Cobain have been popping up in my life in the past week. A week ago I was invited to take part in a pep rally skit that honors the birth year of this year's senior class by lip-syncing songs from 1991-1992. I was asked to play Kurt Cobain singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (which ironically the video for the song takes place during a high school pep rally). The cheerleader sponsor figured I must have been a Nirvana type back in the nineties. I politely declined...I hate pep rallys. At least they figured me for Nirvana and not Right Said Fred or Fine Young Cannibals.

Three days ago Kimberly and I watched one of her Netflix picks..."Management"... Some obscure comedy starring Jennifer Aniston (who I think must star in one movie a week.) and Steve Zahn. Unbeknownst to us beforehand, much of the movie takes place in Aberdeen, Washington (Kurt Cobain's birthplace) with many a reference to the late singer songwriter.

Then I hear that reference to Cobain today...shocked that the MySpace generation has even heard of that name. And on this very day my class lecture was focused on Hinduism and.... nirvana. Spooky eh?

I wasn't even a big Cobain fan back in the day. I liked Nirvana's stuff okay but I never bought an album. I really liked "Scentless Apprentice" and "Tourettes" as songs. But his suicide didn't really mean all that much to me. I was a bigger fan of Stone Temple Pilots. I actually really like the band Nirvana's drummer Dave Grohl put together after Cobain died...Foo Fighters. Got a lot of their discs and even saw them in concert when they toured with Weezer.

Speaking of Weezer...they say their biggest influence was Nirvana...even having a song about Nirvana's album "Nevermind" on the Red Album. At Weezer's Troublemaker Tour in 2008 they sang a cover of Nirvana's "Sliver." And here's where the connection gets even more obtuse. TODAY...the new Weezer album "Raditude" drops. (written 11/3)

Confluence of weird events? Dunno. I did catch that student in the hallway later in the day and asked her who she was referring to. She said she was talking about some random KHS student and said she really didn't even know who Kurt Cobain is...she was just namedropping.

Figures.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Raditude Day.



Raditude by Weezer dropped today. Just picked up my copy. Rocks.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Are You A Dreamer?



The following dialogue comes from one of my favorite movies "Waking Life."

Man on Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?

Wiley: Yeah.

Man on Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest problems it's ever faced, ever. So whatever you do, don't be bored, this is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.

Great scene from a great movie. I used to dream a lot...both awake and sleeping. Still dream a lot when I'm asleep...hard to control that. But I noticed that I was dreaming less while awake...and that's a shame. I knew things were going the wrong direction when a college student friend of mine asked me a few years ago..."what are your dreams?" I kind of laughed to myself and thought "what a tool."
But the reality is that I was the tool. I had become cynical and sceptical about dreaming. I had become a tool of the industrial complexities of the modern economy. What had happened to the metaphysicality of my world view? I decided right then to rage against the mind-numbing machinery of modern existence. To quote another exchange from Waking Life...

Two characters bump into each other while traversing the stairs to a subway...

Soap Opera Woman: Excuse me.

Wiley: Excuse me.

Soap Opera Woman: Hey. Could we do that again? I know we haven't met, but I don't want to be an ant. You know? I mean, it's like we go through life with our antennas bouncing off one another, continously on ant autopilot, with nothing really human required of us. Stop. Go. Walk here. Drive there. All action basically for survival. All communication simply to keep this ant colony buzzing along in an efficient, polite manner. "Here's your change." "Paper or plastic?' "Credit or debit?" "You want ketchup with that?" I don't want a straw. I want real human moments. I want to see you. I want you to see me. I don't want to give that up. I don't want to be ant, you know?

Naw...I'm not going to be an ant. I even preached along those lines last week at church. God invented dreams. He dreamed up all of existence. Ever notice how much of the Biblical narrative is driven by dreams and visions? If we stop dreaming then we lose an essential part of our humanity. A society that mocks dreams mocks God.

So last week my two-year old son gave me this elastic Lance Armstong style bracelet...except it's not yellow and it doesn't say "livestrong." It's blue and has one word on it...dream. That's it...one word...dream. So I've been wearing that lately to remind me to dream both while asleep and awake.

The whole "dreamer" scene from the movie Waking Life (1:18 in length) can be seen here...





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weezer on Letterman

Here is Weezer performing two of the new songs on Letterman. They were on the Late Show both Thursday and Friday night which demonstrates their greatness. Only U2 and the "hippest" bands get to perform multiple shows on Letterman in the same week. The second song features the band (Including the CBS Orchestra) in the custom made Weezer Snuggies.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Despair or Graditude?

Robert C. Solomon, a well-known professor of philosophy at the University of Texas who died in 2007 of heart failure at the age of 64, used to tell the following story from his own personal experience...

He was a medical student at the University of Michigan when by chance he walked into the wrong crowded lecture hall. He had been unhappy with his medical studies when something the lecturer said caught his attention. The professor was lecturing about Nietzsche's idea of the eternal return and the the fundamental question:

"If given the opportunity to live your life over and over again ad infinitum, forced to go through all of the pain and the grief of existence, would you be overcome with despair? Or would you fall to your knees in gratitude?"

That very day Solomon went and changed his major to philosophy and would eventually become one of America's foremost experts on 20th Century Continental Philosophy and phenomenology.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goodbye Geocities....


I am not alone in my fond nostalgia for the now dead Geocities webhosting platform. I have good memories of Geocities which Yahoo pulled the plug on this week. Geocities was the host of my first real presence on the web. My first platform, truepath, died a fairly quick and obscure death. Geocities was The Internet Lounge's first home. As blogs and social networks replaced homepages I relunctantly followed the masses by moving to blogger. The blog medium was much more intuitive and efficient than the old homepage format at Geocities. But it was at Geocities where I first learned how to construct a webpage no matter how primitive. R.I.P. Geocities...you helped invent the modern internet.


HERE is a very good article on the demise of Geocities.

Monday, October 26, 2009

See 'ya Slingin' Sam...


I was disappointed to hear the news that Sam Bradford will have season ending surgery on his shoulder. He has almost certainly played his last game as a Sooner. He had a short, yet spectacular career. It is tragic that it ends this way. Had the Sooners played a cupcake schedule the first weeks of this season like most of the other NCAA powerhouses out there (see Texas and Florida) Bradford's story probably would have ended differently.

I was fortunate to be invited by my uncle to go see Bradford play against Baylor a few weeks back. It was the only time I saw Bradford play in person. Little did I know that the Baylor game would be the only game this season Bradford would play the entire time (save for the last series when Landry "The Mustache" Jones came in for mop up duty).

Photo: Photo taken by me at the Baylor game...Bradford's last full game as a Sooner.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Candy Madness!

Last Saturday Jackson and the fam watched the annual Kaufman Scarecrow Festival Parade. There were lots of firetrucks, police cars, tractors, horses, two marching bands, floats, ATV's and more. The parade went on for more than an hour. Best part...candy! Jackson and I ran out into the street time and time again to grab candy being thrown by the paraders. JDW would yell "Candy Candy!" and we'd make a mad dash of it. He filled a whole bag. Pics are HERE.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

U2 in Dallas

The U2 Concert at the New Dallas Cowboys Stadium last Monday night was spectacular. Everything worked out very nicely. We got parked quickly and easy. On the way out we only had to wait in parking lot traffic for 20 minutes...not bad when there's 80,000 other fans trying to get out. I'm thinking they have the kinks just about worked out on the parking front at JerryWorld.

The stadium itself is truly a wonder. When we walked through the glass doors on the north party plaza entrance I expected to see the usual concourses that have entrances to your seat. But instead you immediately are in the arena itself overlooking the playing field. It's only once you move to the left or right that you find the usual concourses. It's quite a jolt to find yourself overlooking the field so quickly. The bathrooms are spotless. The walls glisten. The concourses are wide and spacious. The seats are comfortable and well spaced. Jerry spent his 1.5 Billion well.

U2's stage was covered by a spaceship looking canoply with four massive exo-skeleton like legs descending to the ground. It was bordered by a round catwalk and moving bridges that allowed the band to play to the crowd in all directions (hence the "360 Tour"). Even the drum platform rotated. The giant videoscreen was round as well and lowered to right above the band and back up to the top of the stage. It could also break up in fragments and spread over the whole stage exploding with light and color.

The music itself was great. U2 is even better live than on disc. They played a great mix of old and new. During the song "Walk On" and "One" they had crowd members walk around the circular catwalk holding up masks of Ang San Suu Kyi...the Nobel Prize winning president of Burma who has been under house arrest by the repressive military junta since her election in 1990. Bono also thanked George W. Bush for his work with Africa and played an impassionate speech by Nobel Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu.

A once in a lifetime show. Our seats were great. The experience utterly fantastic. Here's the setlist. HERE you can find some pictures from the concert.


Breathe
Get on Your Boots
Magnificent
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Stuck In A Moment
No Line on the Horizon
Elevation
Until The End of the World
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy - Remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday
MLK
Walk On
One
Where The Streets Have No Name

Ultraviolet
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Thursday, October 01, 2009

We Are All Neda




Neda died with open eyes. Shame on us who lived with closed eyes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Moleskine Hacks


Moleskine Hacks can be found all over the web. Many of these hacks follow or personalize David Allen's GTD paradigm. I've been using a Moleskine for eight years. It's taken me several years to develop a systemic framework that I find useful. I'm always tinkering but here are the basics of my personal Moleskine system.

The first ten pages or so are dedicated to the following topics (in no particular order)...

Long-Term Projects
Books/Authors to consider
CD's/Songs to purchase or download
Movies to put in my Netflix Queue
Gift List
Blog Ideas
Vids to download from YouTube to my iPod
New Restaurants I frequented during the calendar year
Movies I saw at the theater in the calendar year (including a 5-Star rating system)
New Year's Resolutions
Books I read during the calendar year.

The rest of my Moleskine is journal form. I write just about everyday even if it's just a line or two. Interspersed are poems, haikus, short stories, sermon ideas, sketches, mind-maps, interesting quotes, etc...

On Sundays I write a weekly to-do/goal/action list on the top half of a page. I draw a horizontal line that bifurcates the page midway down. I label the bottom half ideas or miscellaneous. I don't make use of the GTD sticky tab methodology because these action lists are easily referenced since my Moleskine entries are in chronological order. The action list page is always near the end of the written pages.

I couldn't go hardcore GTD. It's just too regimented for my free-form tastes. However, I much prefer the Moleskine to the Hipster PDA which is just too chaotic for me. Any of these paper-based systems are much more preferable to an electronic PDA which I used for several years. I do use my cellphone for my scheduling and calendar since I finally have a phone with a qwerty keyboard.

BTW: I favor the Plain Pocket Moleskine notebook.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Golden Arches Loom


If you live in the continental United States you are never more than 107 miles from a McDonalds. I thought about this as I ate McD's for the third time this week. Here's the article that tells how they discovered the fascinating fact.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Mother of All Speeches

For all the wingnut teabaggers out there who think the President will be brainwashing our students tomorrow with Maoist propaganda you can find the text of the released speech HERE. You'll find some scary thoughts like "stay in school" and "respect your teachers."

My thoughts on this absurd and surreal controversy can be found HERE at my school blog.

And since it is Labor Day I am wearing my red Weezer shirt to show my support for the working class. Yes, there is much corruption in some labor unions. But without them we'd be back in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Personally I like 40 hour work weeks and no forced child labor. But then again, I'm a radical. I got Raditude.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

(If you're wondering if I want you to) I want you to.

So it's always newsworthy (at least on this blog) when Weezer has announced a new album. This week the official announcement came. "Raditude" will be out October 27th. The first single was released this week. You can stream "(If you're wondering if I want you to) I want you to" HERE.
Great title for a song and even though I long ago drank the Weezer kool-aid full on, I dig it...empirically of course and emotionally as well.

By the way, for those not familiar with the term "raditude" here's the definition from the Urban Dictionary...

raditude - 1 definition - Having the right state of mind to be able to efficiently use the word "radical".

I usually hear this word from my skateboarding and snowboarding students. You have to have a sufficient amount of "radicalness" to be described as possessing raditude.

Here's a more philosophical description that was deleted from Wikipedia under their patent nonsense policy. But it gives you the right idea.

Deleted From Wikipedia... Raditude functions around a bi-tiered system in which followers, travel through two stages in the first stage they learn Raditude. In learning Raditude followers learn to direct body and mind toward winning. In the 2nd and final Pinnacle stage of Raditude followers actually become Raditude, In becoming Raditude the creation or manifestation of Raditude is no longer controlled by the conscious. Raditude creates within the being, a new found ability to focus which consequently spills over into the followers scholarly work and even personal relationships. At the pinnacle of the final stage, the subconscious manifestation of Raditude causes the follower to lead with Raditude, and in doing so they find that they have reached an enlightened state or state of "Rad".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sandy Lake Amusement Park

It's nearing the end of our last week of summer. So Kimberly, Jackson and I went to his first amusement park for one more summer blast. We eschewed the big corporate Six Flags for something very family friendly and a whole lot cheaper. Sandy Lake Amusement Park has been open for forty years in Carrollton (in the north Dallas area) and is one of those charming retro parks. Lots of picnic tables, clean restrooms and cool little rides that kids love. There's also a massive swimming pool we'll check out next year.

We had a lot of fun...having an H.O.V. lane all the way from Mesquite to Carrollton got us there in thirty minutes...like having a highway lane to yourself now that they've extended an HOV all the way to our neck of the woods.

Jackson rode the train three times. He also rode his very first roller coaster...the Magic Dragon. We had a great time. Pictures are available on my flickr site HERE. Here are some videos of our day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chris Isaak at the House of Blues

I know I know. Quite a gap between posts. It's been a busy summer. A very good summer. Don't get on the computer much at home.

Sunday night Kimberly and I went the House of Blues here in Dallas to catch Chris Isaak. I've been a big fan of Isaak since high school and Wicked Game stormed the country. I've got all 10 of his CD's (including his XMAS album). But I've never seen him live. He came to Big D a couple of years ago. But he was playing a double bill with Stevie Nicks and I thought the Starplex wasn't the right venue for his act.

So I waited and it was worth it. The House of Blues is the perfect venue. Small little place with great sound. Easy access, good parking, clean bathrooms and good sightlines. We were among the first to arrive...we had standing room tix...but I picked a pillar to lean against...we were about 20 feet from the mike.

Isaak and Silvertone (his band for the past 20 years) rocked the house. Great entertainers and amazing vibe in the room. Everybody was having a great time. I've been fortunate to catch a lot of great concerts (Willie Nelson, Weezer, Lyle Lovett, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Los Lonely Boys, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck just to name a few) but Isaak's show was among the tops. And the House of Blues is one of the best venues in Dallas. Will have to check out the restaurant another time.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weird Mountain Weather

Tommorow is our last day reading essays. Word 'round the campfire is that we'll be done soon after lunch. I've now graded 650 essays. The grading went much slower this year on question three because so many more students seemed to have a grasp of it and actually attempted to answer it. Last year I had a ton of students not even try to write anything.

I've had fun again this year. The week started out a bit rocky. The weather was colder and rainier than last year. It took me a little longer to warm up to the grading rubric. Most of us feel that the rubric was too generous to the students this year. It took me an adjustment to hand out points for things I would never accept in class. But the motto here is to "drink the Kool-Aid." Just go along and no one gets sent home.

Once I acclimated things started to hum along. My table leader was cool. Good group of fellow readers both at my table and in my yurt (the ballroom is divided by curtains...two tables to a section...nicknamed yurts.). No annoying loudmouths as I've heard about at other tables.

The weather was weird today. It was nice and warm. Then around noon a front moved in. Lightning (mountain lightning is a whole lot scarier than flatland lightning) and hail. Me and a buddy had to run to our dorm for cover instead of the farther off cafeteria. Felt like we were getting hit by bb's. Pictures are on the flickr account HERE.

But yesterday was nice. (photo above is me enjoying the sun and mountains during lunch break.) We've had a couple of nice days. I got to walkabout last night for about an hour. Two days ago went to a movie with some of the crew. Good group of guys here. Have not been bored...except when reading cruddy essays. That can wear you down fast. I start to twitch everytime I hear the words "racial ideology."

Good trip but looking forward to getting these essays out of the way.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Flickr Update


I don't update my Flickr page as much as I should. Get too busy. Summer hours will help. I have added a bunch in the past few days including some pics of my stay at Colorado State University as a I grade AP exams. The photo to the left is of last night's misty evening walk from the cafeteria back to the dorm. You can find the rest of the pics here...


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Blogging in the Mountains





Just to let you know...I'm keeping my students up to date on my AP grading activities at my school blog here...in case you're interested. I know the minutae of essay grading is exciting stuff...here's the link...





http://thejedimaster.edublogs.org/

Monday, June 01, 2009

Back in Colo

Back in the high altitude. Rocky Mountain country. Temps are great. Tomorrow the high will be 53 degrees. Have already run into a lot of familiar faces from last year. Even ran into one on the plane. I took off from Love Field in Dallas. Landed in OKC. Dr. Williams...my mentor from SNU Days boarded...then we took off to Denver.

I have been assigned the third essay question of the A.P. World History Exam. The question deals with comparisons and contrasts between racial ideologies in Latin and North America from 1500-1800. I was hoping for the Silk Road question but oh well. At least I didn't get the DBQ (Document Based Question) which takes forever to grade.

Party tonight at 8:00 pm. Looking forward to seeing more pals from last year.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Renaissance Man


Sorry to hear about the passing of Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was the greatest basketball player to ever play for the University of Oklahoma. He played 12 solid years in the NBA...unfortunately for cruddy teams where he was the lone star. But he never complained and never whined. He just played hard and wonderfully. Won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. When he retired from basketball he focused on his jazz music career which had been a sideline project while he played in the NBA. At first many thought this was another vanity project by a retired athlete. But he proved people wrong by his amazing musical talent. I had the opportunity to hear him open up for Dave Brubeck at the Tusla Jazz Festival in the mid-nineties. What a tragic loss due to cancer...at age 44. Rest in peace Wayman. You'll be missed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The End of Brazzaville

I was saddened to hear this week's announcement regarding the dissolution of the band Brazzaville. Brazzaville has been my favorite band the past eight years. Weezer and Radiohead come in a close second and third.

I discovered Brazzaville by accident. I watching a Ford Thunderbird commercial back in 2000 and really dug the music for the spot. The commercial was part of a high concept marketing campaign which was ironic since Brazzaville is anything but commercial. Tropicalia alt-rock doesn't sell a whole lot of albums in a vapid Kelly Clarkson world. But Brazzaville allowed their music to be used as a way to spread their music to the "demi-monde."

Brazzaville was founded by Beck saxophonist David Arthur Brown. It featured a rotating cast of international musicians all committed to world-weary traveling music. Brazzaville made the kind of music you would hear in a third-world airport in southeast Asia on your way to find englightenment at Ankor Wat.

Brazzaville eventually moved their operations from L.A. to Barcelona. They became very popular in two unlikely places...Turkey and Russia of all places. They also had made it their goal to tour the world in a converted ocean freighter staging concerts at different ports of call throughout the world. They bought the boat but never set sail.

I actually was a bit depressed by the news of their disbandment. But the center of the band...David Arthur Brown...has stated he simply moving a different direction and will continue to write and perform. I also find it sad I never saw them live. The closest they ever got to Texas was Chicago. Early on Dave Brown actually responded to an email of mine and said someday they'd come to Texas. Hopefully he'll still make it by sometime.
I previously blogged about Brazzaville here and here

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day.

The Mini Cooper S (pictured left) was paid off today. Title is in hand. No car payments.

Got last statement from Sallie Mae. Student Loans are done. Not sad to break up with Sallie Mae. Glad she's out of my life.

Got word today that my Uncle Richard got the last elusive Sam Bradford signature on the football he got me as a gift this past Christmas. The ball now has the autographs of all four living Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winners...Steve Owens, Billy Sims, Jason White and Sam Bradford. That is an awesome Christmas gift!

Also, one more day and no swine flu reported at the school.

Yep, a good day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Silk Road


Had fun at yesterday's history seminar/conference about Buddhism's migration along the Silk Roads. SMU did a good job hosting. UNT did a good job organizing. The conference was free and we came away with $90 worth of Silk Road materials from Stanford University's Silk Road Project. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Royals!


Royals Update



The Kansas City Royals end the month of April alone in first place in the AL Central. They are featured on the cover of this week's SI (hope there's no jinx). They have the best pitcher in baseball. The Royals are back baby!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oxiana is Okay


I just finished "The Road to Oxiana" by Robert Byron. Bryon's book traces his travels through Persia and Afghanistan in the early 1930's. It's considered a "sacred text" in the travel writing genre venerated by famed sojourners like Bruce Chatwin and Rory Stewart. I'll use the vague "okay" adjective to describe my feelings about it. Not quite as enjoyable as I hoped. Fine read...just not spectacular. Didn't live up to the hype.

I found Byron pretentious. His technical criticism of architecture was tediously long and over indulged in minutae. I guess if you care about the number of squinches surrounding the support frames of a dome you might find it engrossing. I found such ruminations boring and self-indulgent. When Byron's descriptions of architecture remained artistic and aesthetic...I enjoyed it. When scientific and engineering-centric...I nodded off.

Byron favored architectural importance over historical importance. As a historian I prefer the history. He was very dismissive of the Bamiyan Buddhas, (above left) those ancient and massive monoliths so callously destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. He rejected any notion of their artistic value. The Taliban could have used Byron as a reference to further legitimize their barbaric destruction of these treasures.

He slights the giant Buddhas but raves about the tower of Kabus (above right). The tower has an interesting history...once containing a glass coffin suspended from the ceiling holding the remains of a revered leader. Architecturally I may be fairly ignorant...but this tower that Byron posits as one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of building...is rather plain and simple. Elegant in its simplity, yes...but nothing to get worked up about.

Good book. Interesting read but only of iconic status due to the fact it was the first of its kind in the travel genre. Witty, sarcastic, caustic and funny but I'll take Chatwin and Stewart any day.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Amping Up

Getting amped up for the AP grading in Fort Collins in six weeks. I'm poring over bike trails, paths and routes. Got my maps printed out. Got my bike reserved from a bike shop. Got some music and community events noted. Working out to get my lungs ready for the higher altitude. Biking Forney to get ready for riding in wild traffic. Making runs on the trails at the new Forney Community Park to get my quads in shape. Jumping curbs and tackling hillocks to get ready for mountain obstacles.

Oh yeah, there will be actual essay grading during the day. Got word that iPods and music devices are not allowed any more during grading. Doesn't bum me out too much. I only listened to music during the "hitting the wall" periods (twenty minutes before the morning break, twenty minutes before lunch, twenty minutes before the afternoon break and twenty minutes before the end of the day). That's when your brain was fried from reading too many lousy essays by students who had no clue what to write. It was okay to listen to tunes if your neighbors couldn't hear it. So I kept the volume down real low. But in the more crowded rooms I guess graders were squeezed in closer to one another and the iPods were disturbing the luddites.

My room was big and spacious last year and I could indulge in a little Arcade Fire to keep my mind from going totally numb. Guess I'll have to do without this year. I actually didn't have the buds in most of the time. Did better reading in silence.

Most of my crew from last year is coming back. "Fury" from Keller, "KC" from Stillwater, "Chaz" from Saipan, "Mr. 1400" from Bethany, "Freakin' Redwings" from somewhere in Michigan, and more all making a return visit to Colorado State. Some are also renting bikes. Getting the laptop all fired up to send reports via the Internet Lounge and Flickr.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Say it ain't so Joe!

U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus says he has a secret list of 17 socialists in the House but so far can only name one. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has called on the media to investigate her Congressional colleagues to "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America." Anyone who refuses to fall in line with right wing dogma is called a "lib."
Hmmmm. Secret lists. Calls to examine people's patriotism. Name calling of dissenters. There is a name for this. It's called McCarthyism. You remember old Joe McCarthy don't you? And how about the old HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee)? Let's bring back that lovely institution why we're at it. The teabaggers would party like it's 1999.

Reminds me of an old quote...

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Hélder Câmara

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You kiddin' me?

As a proud American I am shocked and appalled that my governor would ever make the treasonous suggestion that my state secede from the United States of America.

Two possibilities here...


1.) Rick Perry is an idiotic loon who truly does not understand that the American Civil War closed Texas's loophole in having the option to bail out of the Union. That he doesn't understand the catastrophic effect that secession would have on the Texas economy.

2.) Rick Perry is a lying demogogue, doesn't really believe in secession and is cynically pandering to the extreme right wing in Texas before he faces off against Kay Bailey Hutchinson in a nasty gubenatorial Rebublican Primary coming this November. Perry is trying to paint Hutchinson as a Washington insider and hopes to gain traction with the militia-gun show crowd.

He's smelling desperate. He knows he won the last election with only 32% of the vote. Most registered Republicans actually voted for independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn. If Kinky hadn't have run and Chris Bell not gained some Obama tailwind...Perry would have lost...and lost badly. Who wins an election with only 32% of the vote? Only in such a divided field could a moron like Perry win office. He gives Aggies a bad name.

Even most Republicans can't stand the guy. Every teacher in Texas (conservative or liberal) want him run out of the state on a rail.

With these recent statements I think he should brought up for impeachment for treason against the United States. Please believe me fellow Americans...not all of us living in Texas hate the U.S.A.. Please ignore the crazed ramblings of our deranged fool of a governor! At this rate I'd bring Duyba back as guv in a heartbeat.


I think the Gettysburg Address pretty much covered the idea of secession...so did Dwight Eisenhower when he sent the Guard into Little Rock. And Perry didn't complain when the feds gave him $65 Million in hurricane assistance. Hmmmm....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Change your Name!

Well, Kaufman (where I reside) and Henderson Counties should be very proud of our Representative to the Texas House of Representatives Betty Brown.

Betty Brown has made national headlines for stating in the Texas Legislature that Asian-Americans should adopt names that are easier for Americans to understand for voter identification purposes. Here are some of the exact quotes...


“Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

AND

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?”

The full story in the Houston Chronicle can be found HERE.

Wow. Time for a disclaimer. Betty Brown has long been an enemy of educators in our state. Even Republican teachers came out in droves to try to vote her out of office the past two elections...unsuccessfully...unfortunately.

The past two election cycles I placed the sign of her Republican primary challenger (A Kaufman High School Grad) in my yard. When he lost both times I put the Democratic challenger's sign (and a fellow Kaufman ISD teacher) in my yard during the general election.

Please believe me...not all of us living in Kaufman County are as ignorant and backwards as our Representative to the Texas state house.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Nazarene Historians

Glad to see a sister school of my alma mater, Southern Nazarene University, make mention on an academic blog the other day. The Professor, a history/academic blog managed by my friend Eddie Carson, featured a post about Dr. Randell Stephens, a historian at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass.

Stephens graduated from Mid-America Nazarene University, got a Masters from Nazarene Theological Seminary, a Masters from Emporia State University (where I studied trumpet in high school) and his Doctorate from the University of Florida.

You can read Eddie's post HERE and access Stephens' blog HERE.