Monday, May 28, 2007

All The Guests Of Mr Hackel Are Looking Great And Feel Spectacular

Am I not alone in thinking you make Gandhi look like a child pornographer?

up on the hilltop where the vultures perch that's where i'm gonna build my church ain't gonna be no priest ain't gonna be no boss just charles nelson riley nailed to a cross i don't piss i don't shit i'm gettin' no relief people shake there heads in disbelief go! just me on a hilltop with 15 girls and a nelson-reilly orgy that'll make your hair curl i don't piss i don't shit i'm gettin' no relief people shake there heads in disbelief yeah charles nelson riley he's our man he can't heal the sick with the touch of his hand he can't walk on water can't make wine flow just another b actor on the late late show i don't piss i don't shit i'm gettin' no relief people shake there heads in disbelief go! just me on a hilltop with 15 girls and a nelson-reilly orgy that'll make your hair curl i don't piss i don't shit i'm gettin' no relief people shake there heads in disbelief

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Hardest Decision I'll Ever Have To Make

It's looking like it may be time for me to say goodbye to my truck. She's been my girl for 5 years now. She was a graduation present from my mom. She was already 6 when I bought her. Now at 11, she's at the point where there's still a fair trade in value but things are breaking with frequency.

There's a foot of rot in the frame. The leaf springs are both cracked. The rear drums freeze in position a lot. The AC needs a new condensor. It leaks oil from somewhere. It's about to throw a rod (I think in cylinder 4.) There's a hole in the exhaust but it's after the muffler.

Kurczy, wanna buy a truck?

On the other hand, I just replaced the battery, clutch, U-joint and had some body work done. Brakes and tires are still pretty new and it runs great. I've been deeply religious about changing oil and fixing the little problems before they become big problems.

Do I trade it in on a new car or do I stick by my girl and make the commitment to drop a couple grand a year into keeping it going? I love the 4x4. I love sitting up on a lifted suspension. I love my truck but I don't need the pickup bed anymore. I wear a tie to work now and really need the air conditioner working again.

My mechanic is telling me now is the time to let her go. My wallet is telling me I'm screwed no matter what I do. My heart is telling me that I should go home with the girl who brought me to the dance.

It would be an easy decision if this wasn't in production.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Famous For 15 Minutes

Last night Saturday Night Live showed a cartoon making fun of ALL the presidential candidates. Except for two. Ron Paul and Mike Gravel both are men that look their adversary in the eye and demand that the debate be honest and meaningful.

The news media, pwned by 7 white men who want to rule the world is really showing contempt for America. If they can't control what these men say in real life they won't even give them mention in a satyrical cartoon. It seems that General Electric has decided that Ron & Mike are not going to be candidates in the next election cycle. Afterall, teasing them about their candidacy legitimizes that person as a candidate.

Suddenly John Cusack's outburst in the movie Bob Roberts makes total sense. Afterall, SNL was the show that gave us this once and then pulled it from reruns. Some say it's because it's not funny. Others see more conspiracy. It's possible it's both.

Or maybe it's conspiracy. It's sad when a valid candidate for public office is ignored because they're viewed as a threat to the media. Remember it's that media who feel it's their divine right to hand pick who the voters will believe the vote machines choose to govern us. If it weren't for the internet you and I wouldn't be discussing Ron Paul right now. Not because this is a web log but because last night all the TV news was about Farrah Faucett having cancer and Anna Nicole Smith is still dead.

Lisa's grandfather loves to watch TV news so it's on in our house every day. There is not one god damned bit of useful information on that box. Tom asked me why I can't stand to watch TV news. I told him that every minute we listen to crap about dead sluts is a minute we're not learning anything useful. It made him cry. I hope it's because he sees the damage Entertainment Tonight does to America's collective psyche. Lisa thinks it's because I insulted his favorite TV show.

In any event, for 2 hours last night I watched the news and can't tell you a damn thing that I saw that was useful in any way. What I did notice was an absence of real important issues. I get my news online. Nuno gets his from TV. Everything he knows and believes is filtered by men who want to take everything away from him. Starting with his money and ending with his choice of who will govern my future.

I may not be any smarter but I know when I'm being disrespected through the lie of omission. If SNL is going to make fun of the presidential candidates make fun of them all. Ron Paul isn't the invisible man the TV wishes he was. And now we know he scares you.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Maybe Bribes And Kickbacks And Mafia Payoffs Are How You Do Business

It's an America's Cup year. I am glued to the BIG screen. America vs Italy and Spain vs New Zealand are my Cubs, Yankees, BoSox and whatever they call the team that plays in the pointy ball park in Montreal or Toronto... some Canadian city that has a ball team.

I love watching sailboat racing. I really love coming home from work and there's a pair of 3 foot tall sailboats dueling for position in my living room. Since one of the boats is Italian Lisa's grandfather has been watching with me. I've been trying to explain it to him. It's not the gentlemenly past time it once was. Gone are boats featuring grand pianos or bars with trained monkey bartenders. These boats cost 35-40 million dollars. The teams have hundreds of support personel back in the boat yard. They are the height of nautical sporting technology. For a geek like me they're not technology they're ballet. I don't see a boat. I see graphite epoxy rocket ships. I see geometry in action.

Harry Allcock.

It's not a made up porn name. Harry Allcock is the worlds authority on polyphosphazenes. I took a materials science class with him at Penn State. Harry is very English. Port snifting kind of English. "A Woman Hasn't Set Foot In The Club Sitting Room Since 1763" kind of English. He gave a friend of mine an F because he had a beard. He didn't put 2&2 together when that friend shaved the beard and retook the class. Or maybe the good doctor forgave him for the self expression.

I was at PSU alone. Lisa hadn't come out to join me yet. The campus cable service sucked ass and carried crap stations in languages not even the weird grad students spoke. The cable channel that was showing The America's Cup Race wasn't offered so Lisa was bootlegging videotapes of the races to me. I would watch the races over and over until Lisa would bring me a new tape.

One morning Dr. Allcock decides to employ Socratic Method to deliver his lecture point. He describes in very general terms a sailboat and tells us there is this big race called America' Cup that have fancy boats. He asks us to think-pair-share and consider the materials that go into sailboats.

I pick up the ball and run with:

The hull are epoxy resin over fiberglass or carbon fiber with balsa wood decking or ferrocement. The standing rigging is steel or carbon fiber unless it's a rigless mast. The mast is aluminum or carbon fiber. It's definately carbon fiber if it's a rigless mast. The sails are dacron, nylon or mylar laminated in sheets over x-ply weaves of carbon fiber. The running rigging are

And that's where he stopped me because half the students in the class were furiously jotting down notes about what I was saying and the other half felt tremendously stupid. Like they showed up 20 minutes late for the first day of kindergarten and would never catch up.

Leaky asked me if I raced sailboats for a living.

Dr Allcock then debated that mylar and graphite were not used together in sails.

I know how to make coffee.

I know how to sail.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

If My Great Grandfather Wasn't An Honest Man I'd Be Rich Right Now

My great grandfather made good money during the Yukon Gold Rush. Then there was a run on the banks when the stock market crashed and fractional reserves turned out to be a bad idea for the banks. The United States Federal Government outlawed private ownership of gold and forced anyone holding it to sell it for chump change to the Royal Crown... er I mean the Federal Reserve. My foolishly law abiding ancestor let go of the family fortune and we've been part of the 5 generations to lose money ever since.

I joke around about investing my money in canned goods and shotguns but then I read shit like this and think maybe it's not a bad idea. At least there's no index fund for 12 gauge deer shot. You buy it and hold it in your hand when you walk out of the store. Kind of like gold if you're not fooled into thinking you need split second liquidity and purchase useless certificates of gold deposit. Trust me. If gold is what you need to survive you can afford a couple points on the commodities market to hold 79 protons, 79 electrons and 118 neutrons in your hand. It looks like money well spent.

I spent this weekend with both sides of my family. My dads side of which I am of a small handfull of college educated men and my mothers side which doesn't make a living swinging hammers but no longer banks on pedigree when it comes to affluence. On my mothers side I am riding the families Mayflower passaged nobless oblige straight into the gutter. On my fathers side I'm 3rd generation immigrant peasant with a ticket to middle class called a state school degree and a civil servants job. Teaching is a big step up for the family and one that we seem to be excelling in. Joanne, Helen, Cynthia, myself, Nikky and Marilyn all have faced a classroom full of children and conqured. Teaching is one of the jobs that signifies the children and grandchildren of immigrants are entering the mainstream. In my Dads family, my generation is living the American Dream.

That great grandfather who lost his gold? Moms side. And while he was losing his share of the American Dream my great grandfather on my Dads side was running to Ellis Island desperate to hide from the Turks who shot him through the hand and told him to get off his land. He came here with nothing.

So if it takes 5 generations to build great wealth and 5 generations to lose the family fortune my children will be at the epicenter of a family that should be living in squalor and another family that should be astonishingly neuveau riche.

I wonder which side will win?

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pattern Recognition

What's with the Pink Floyd in every episode of the Soprano's this season?


Saturday, May 12, 2007

What's This All Got To Do With Freezing Point?

I may never see the letters Ph.D. behind my name but for the next month I am 16° Prince of Jerusalem. I skipped ahead in Masonic ritual on my way to becoming 32°. Which is too bad because I missed being 4° Secret Master for a month. Next month I skip everything in between and become Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. It sounds so much cooler then it is. I guess the guys that know the royal secret can't wait 32 years to impart the secret. Most of those guys are in their 80's. If they didn't start skipping ahead in the ritual I would never find out what's going on.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You See That Sign That Says Rib Tips?

"I wonder if these guys know the Commodores?"

I'm watching Nat'l Lampoons Vacation and all of a sudden I'm overwhelmed with a sudden feeling of loss. For some undefinable reason I feel suddenly ashamed that I haven't seen The Kurz since December. I haven't seen Tommy Okktane since November.

I'm a terrible friend. I need to fix that!

Totally off topic: SADD staged their annual fake drunk driving accident yesterday. They call it the "mock crash." We took the juniors and seniors out to the street in front of the school to watch the show. It totally fell flat.

Not since I went to high school with a broken leg and a song in my heart have I seen a lesson so totally wasted on an unreceptive audience. I don't know how much it cost us but I know donations average $2,500. Those donations are to cover the costs that aren't absorbed by the police and fire departments who "volunteer" their time on the clock. They aslo volunteer the towns trucks and squad cars. The result is one hell of a dissapointing show.

The problem is that thanks to CGI editing with realistic shading on CGI models, a phoney car crash with real cars looks glaringly phoney. Maybe this kind of thing had an impact in 1989 but too little, too late. Tokyo Drift and Grand Theft Auto have taught my kids a physics lesson in ways I never could. They see clean through the hokey staging of a couple junkyard wrecks set dressed for maximum effect. It's too bad. The kids who found it funny are the kids who need to learn the lesson the most. Perhaps it should be manditory for parents to attend. They're the ones who have a chance of actually changing their kids behavior. And they're not so jaded that the lesson doesn't sink in.

By the way Kurczy, it appears that my psyche thinks you're a fucking drunk. Pot, meet Kettle... Kettle thinks I'm black too.

The highlight is that there was enough time at the end of the period that I got to see the tow truck flip the upside down car back over. They pulled it up to stand on one side and then a bunch of fire men pushed it over to the wheels. It was a Mitsubishi Eclipse convertable. The A-pillar kept it from crushing the roof to the doors. I'd buy one.

If I were in charge of this show, I wouldn't be stirring up a witch hunt for teens driving drunk. Teens got the message years ago. They really aren't driving drunk the way we did. The sensational stories are the statistical outliers. The new thing is trunking. The law of unintended consequences has trumped the junior operator laws. Kids don't need to be told not to drive drunk. They need to be told not to drive like assholes in general. Drunk driving is so 20 years ago. Hiding that extra kid who really wants to see the movie too is the current witch needing to be hunted.

Maybe SADD needs to make adjustments to their script.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bone Weary

OK, raise your hands. Who here remembers when I broke my leg in high school? It was the night that we saw “Fright Night” at the Warwick and then went to Old Burial Hill to look for zombies. Remember that? I fell off a 3 foot stone wall and broke my leg. Marty, you were there and for some reason I remember Panda being there which is odd since we went to a “horror” movie and Panda usually avoided such things.

Remember the weeks of my hobbling around on crutches? Remember the fiberglass cast that you couldn’t sign because it was rougher then sharkskin. Fucking thing was like Velcro.

I remember the fun nights with my new girlfriend, Kristen. I remember trying to make out with her at the lighthouse and she’d run just out of reach and make me chase her on my crutches. She had a sadistic streak but it was so gratifying to catch her. Then we’d go to my house and watch Miami Vice then listen to Echo and the Bunnymen. I remember Marty driving me home all the time in the Stanza. I remember the smell when the cast finally came off.

Now 22 years later, the same injury is haunting me like SciFi Network reruns of “Fright Night.” Terrible, horrible reruns cut with commercials every 12 minutes.

I’m in an air cast. I got X-rays this afternoon. I’m seeing an orthopedic surgeon. I’m getting old.


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Friday, May 04, 2007


George Bush is so desperate to distract America with some shiny thing that he's willing to tell us how his daddy killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy just to distract us from his own bullshit.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Who Fucking Cares? What Fucking Difference Does It Make?

Call me a cynic or even a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. As a GenX'r, Kent State always seemed to be one of those "so what" moments in history that people get disproportionately bent out of shape over. Yeah 4 people got killed by the government. People who look for trouble find trouble. Hippies looking for trouble found it and luckily the bloodshed was limited to a handful. Those same hippies who think that America and her innocence died that day then went on to vote for the Brady Bill. In a staggering show of both historical and constitutional ignorance the Boomers traded safety from government for the Bush administration. Sure not over night, it took a house in the suburbs, a Subaru and the fear of losing the security of being the favored lapdog of power but my parents generation has done a fine job of burying their head up their asses. Now instead of getting bent out of shape for the fuckup they've inflicted on the world by selling out they're lining up to protest what's safe to protest against. I never doubted that the National Gaurd was ordered to shoot Americans. Anyone who thinks that the National Gaurd isn't willing to turn their guns against their friends and family again doesn't deserve the Second Ammendment. I'm not the least bit afraid of getting gunned down by some nigger crackhead. Frankly I don't believe nigger crackheads really exist. Cracker tweakers maybe but I'm not bothered by the thought that someone not as white as me might own a gun. I'm worried about the under educated hillbilly willing to shoot in whatever direction they're told to. Or maybe I should worry about the smart ones.

The Boomers are getting bent out of shape that they've been lied to about events that happened when they were pot smoking kids. Now that they're adults they need to be pissed off about the lies heading their way today.

The real irony is that a bunch of Nigga's With Attitude livin' the hip hop dream are going to be the only ones who could stage a modern day Warsaw Ghetto Uprising when the National Guard is next ordered to fire upon me and you.

All the same assholes that are getting bent out of shape about the government shooting civilians are also bent out of shape that some chinamen shot some college students in a gun free zone. It's OK for the government to bring guns into a gun free zone. It's not OK for you and I to defend ourselves. Don't worry, when the next Kent State occurs the government will own up to the truth... in 40 years... when they need another limited hangout to distract America from what's really going wrong. The honored dead can rest peacefully knowing that they served their master well.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I spent about 20 minutes of the job interview for my present employ discussing my strategies for controlling a classroom full of young teenagers not fully in control of their hormones. At the time I wondered if the whole "hormones thing" was really as bad as the vice principle so seemed concerned.

Now we're winding down the last term and I've had to rewrite my syllabus to include in the classroom rules the phrase "No lapdances!" I have had countless numbers of young girls fall madly in love with me one day and then refuse to speak to me the next.

I had 3 different sets of girls who were BFF one day turn so venemous against each other that they had to seperate them by switching all their classes.

I have a student who spent a month talking online to her best friend (a boy) pretending to be a girl from Atlanta looking for a boyfriend when she moved to her dads house. She was going to end it by making him think she died of a heart condition. He found out what she was doing and now refuses to sit anywhere he can see her (it's too late to switch classes.)

Then there's the hormones that don't lead to sex. There are the let's do dumbass things because we're bored and stupid hormones.

I thank my lucky stars that I'm not the teacher who had the kid who blew his eyes off. It's everything I can do to keep my kids from turning every moment of their life into a "Jackass" live performance act.

I have a new respect for the force of nature that today's teenager is. I just wish their parents knew how to teach them self control.

Still, it beats working.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Don't Stand So, Don't Stand So Close To Me

I have this student. A 14 year old girl. She failed every class but mine. That's pretty common for my class. Either my standards are too low or I'm the only teacher who gets any work out of some of these kids.

Anyway, she's sitting in my class, smiling at me. She's just beaming in my direction. She's like a renaissance painting. Everywhere I stand in the room, she's staring at me. This goes on for 20 minutes. Then I figure out what's going on. She has new glasses.

I stop the lesson and say "I see you there, smiling at me all period. I see your new glasses." She turns beet red. She's both embarassed and all proud of herself. I tell her they make her look "wicked smaaaaht."

We finished the lesson a few minutes early and I was talking with students at the door waiting for the bell. She comes up to the group of students I'm talking with. "Mr Seeeeeeee!" she calls me. Still smiling at me. She puts her elbow on my sholder like she's leaning on me.*

Then it dawns on me. It's not about the new glasses. She's seeing the world clearly for the first time.

And she's got a crush on me.

*For the record, I don't let students touch me. She knew she crossed a line right away. It was over before I could tell her to stop. It was harmless. My ESP was even teasing me about it afterward, if it was anything but innocent we would all have gone straight to the office. That's one of the good things about working with the at risk kids after NCLB, there's a second set of adult eyes in the classroom. Because after all this crap, I'm hyper aware of how my actions can be percieved.


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