Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post with a Missing Title

I'm watching last night's Letterman and Alec Baldwin just referred to Sarah Palin as "Bible Spice" - that's hysterical!
I had a student email me today and it turns out that he just now realized, more than 8 weeks into the semester, that he has the wrong textbooks for the course.
Did you read my last post? I wrote it while actually driving on the country road describes in the post. Of course, I took some poetic license to romanticize it somewhat.
While I am glad that gas prices are down in the $2.50 range from over $4, I still think it should be below $2.
Oh, this afternoon I started singing a random song to myself, "Take the Long Way Home" by Supertramp (it hit the charts in 1979). I get into my car, flip on the satellite radio and press one of the preset buttons and guess what song came on...Holy Freaknuts! It was "Take the Long Way Home" by Supertramp.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Driving to Work on a Long Country Road on a Fall Morning

My travels had me driving on a long, narrow country road. This time of year, the darkness lingers into morning and as a result, my focus was on the modest boundaries of my driving lane.
Somewhere along the road, I began to see evidence of the breaking dawn. The deep dark sky had slowly begin to lighten and the road seemed to widen beyond the tunnel like effect of the darkness beneath the canopy of the foliage.
As the sun, seemingly struggling to force its way through the thickly clouded sky, broke through, the glow began to accent the stunning colors of fall - the deep crimsons, the reds and oranges, the browns and yellows, it was like watching a perfect photograph develop before my eyes.
My driving had been so distracted that I chose to pull over for just a brief moment to watch as nature once again left me breathless in its beauty.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Somewhere in the Middle of Things

I've spent a good amount of time since Friday grading exams (or as the exquisite Essentially Me would say, marking tests - I need to transition to that, marking sounds so much better than grading) and computing the ever annoying midterm grades (midterm marks - I love the alliteration!).

It's interesting to compare the variance of the grade spread between my two sections. One section, I teach during the day to the "typical" community college student, between 17 and 22 on average and for the most part, they still have this high school mentality. The other class is taught completely online; I never see the students. Once the initial weeding out process which I got out of the way mostly before the start of class) was through, what remained, for the most part, are people who have discipline and are determined to do what it takes to get a good grade.

Here are the stats between the two classes:

There are 17 in the online class and 25 in the "Misfits" section.

I'm not a big fan of the midterm grade in general, I'm on the fence about them philosphically. However, we do what we must do.

All my grades are in and now, I take a deep breath.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hijinx at the Expense of Politics

Dancing With the Stars

This is some mighty fine photoshopping and I haven't stopped laughing sice I've seen this - I just had to share it with you all.

And if this isn't the shiz, click here then start clicking away as each click will bring you a new laugh.

There are about a million versions of this picture but this one just cracked me up -->

Laugh, laugh a litle more, and remember to vote - but only if you vote for Obama/Biden.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Under Examination

I gave my students an exam in Microsoft Word 2007 today and have thus far graded about half of them - boy are the results awful! The misfits blabber about during class and don't pay attention and during the exam, there they are asking questions - quite silly if you ask me. Oh well!

It's gonna be cold tomorrow.

Who am I kidding, I've got nuttin' more to say right now cause I needs me some sleep.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

One More Batch of Photos, this Time from Apple Picking/Pumpkin Patching

These photos where taken at Shelburne Farms in Stow, MA. I went there after Walden Pond to do some Apple Picking (believe it or not for the first time ever). Apple picking never appealed to me because there's always far more apples at then end that you will ever need. However, it was a delightful fall day and as you saw from the Walden Pond pics in the previous three pics, I was working my way out of a funk and this seemed like a good follow up to Walden.

I love the whole one missing pumpkin thing going on here. Not only does it make for a cool photograph but it conjures up thoughts about the pumpkin's new home and whether or not he'll be missed by these guys and whether or not these guys will miss it. I know, silly - that's fine - it's what I was thinking though.

The whole pumpkin patch thing made me smile, which was completely unexpected for me.
I wasn't too sure about these bails of hay and still wonder. I did take the photo though so what the hay...
Many of the apple trees near the front were pretty bare except for a few here and there at the tops of the trees which were unreachable.
Can you guess the variety of apple from the photo? I think this is a great photograph.
At this very moment, is the very first apple pie I ever baked in the oven; it will be ready in about 15 more minutes. I did cheat in that I bought the Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts to save time. I'll keep you posted on how it turned out though I did forget to get a slab of cheddar cheese which I only learned in the last year or two was a wonderful accompaniment to apple pie.

A Fall Day at Walden Pond - Part 3

I've been in a funk for a while but there is no time or place for a funk when at Walden Pond. There is something, for me, that is magical about this place - a peaceful oasis that tranquilizes me.

A Fall Day at Walden Pond - Part 2

For me, the leaves are the canvas for which the fall season paints itself into our little world. While my absolute favorites are the deep reds, I love when all of the shades blend into each other and look as if the heavens pulled out a paint sprayer for the amusement of the human inhabitants of the earth. Here are some leafy expressions left to us in Walden Pond.

The last photo here is one of a leaf from a cluster of leaves that just caught my attention. I stopped to just stare at them for a few minutes when my focuse led my eyes to this particular leaf - so I photographed it.

A Fall Day at Walden Pond - Part 1

Here's the first of three posts, to be released in two hour intervals starting with this one at 9:00 am on Sunday, 10/19, that will include pictures taken on Saturday, 10/18 at Walden Pond. Not every photo will receive a caption - quite frankly, the place is so darn beautiful that very few, if any need captions.

This is me in my lumberjack outfit :)

This guy was having some fun. You should know that when this photo was taken, the temperature was at best in the low 50's. A resilient old chap who claims to do this pretty much every day.

Loving the colors of fall.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why McCain Shouldn't be Allowed to Run for President

The average life expectancy of a male in the United States is 75.6 years. The loser McCain was born on August 29th of 1936 and will strike the life expectancy (if he survives that long) in early to mid April of 2012. Again, if Americans do prove they are dumber than dumb McCain is elected president, his first term would not be scheduled to end until January 19th of 2013.

Therefore, the last 8 1/2 months of his first term would be on "borrowed time". Considering he's already had cancer twice and is a complete idiot, there is fair reason to assume he won't live through to the life expectancy and that means that the utterly insane and equally stupid Sarah Palin would be the president of the United States for some period of time.

All of this leads me to a larger thought that perhaps there should be age limits at both ends of a president's term. The Constitution declares that one must be at least 35 years old to become president, perhaps we need an amendment that would also require their age to be at least 4 years younger that the average life expectancy.

Not As Geeky as I Thought....

...but Geeky (ish) just the same:

My computer geek score is greater than 60% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!
Overall, you scored as follows:
39% scored higher (more computer geeky)
1% scored the same and
60% scored lower (less geeky)
Compared to those in the same age group as you:
47% scored higher (more computer geeky)
1% scored the same and
52% scored lower (less geeky)
What does this mean?
Your computer geekiness is:Low Ranking Computer Geek. Definitely a Computer Geek, but low in the computer geek social structure.
Thanks to Joy for the link.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cat Got My Tongue?

Even I feel like I haven't said (or written) much of late. It's isn't necessarily that I haven't got anything to say but I seem to have fallen into this funk that I ain't likin'. It not any one thing, it's a bunch of things.

In the meantime, the world goes on in all its unstable, uncertain, ways. I spend an unhealthy amount of time wondering what goes through the mind of a McCain/Palin supporter. How can a human being with a brain even consider this ticket? I know that this is a time when we should all be encouraging people to exercise their right and civic duty) to vote, but I can't help but wish that only people smart enough to vote for Obama should exercise that right.

I know, in a way it's pompous to think that because I feel Obama is the right choice that everyone else should think that way and if that makes me an ass, then fine, I am an ass. I genuinely am not certain I can remain in the US if Obama does not win, it's going to require some serious evaluation.

Oh, I was catching up on listening to some NPR stuff and there was this guy Kurt Wagner from a band called Lambchop doing a few songs and wow, was he great!

I'm gonna go for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

I went over to the giant window in the library today and took a peek out to be startled temporarily at what seems like some old dude rubbing one out behind our school. What made this even more startling than usual is that it wouldn't be the first time I caught someone wanking it back there;I know, right?

I don't recall if I've told the story here but I will soon. In the meantime, back to today. I called over my colleague who was there for the first incident and she to agreed that it looked like this dude was going for broke so I suggested she call campus police.

Of course, campus police is never reachable when you need them and in the time that she was attempting to make the call, the "guy' began a series of stretches and then broke into tai chi poses. Oh, and it wasn't a dude, it was an old lady.

Very odd experience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Haunted Happenings

Words escape me for now so I'll offer up some photos from Haunted Happenings in Salem this past weekend. Haunted Happenings is a traditional event in Salem as they offer endless portrayals of the Salem Witch Trials, an array of ghoulishly haunted mansions, an array of idiots palm/card readers & fortune tellers and even more idiots people who actually believe in what they do. And then, there's the delightful street food such as fried dough, sausages, and various roasted nuts whose joyous aroma still lingers in my mind.

Here is a picture of me with a likeness of me upon the daily ringing of the alarm clock:

There's a photo of me an my buddy Rob that I have been searching for to post here. My old company used to have an annual customer appreciation cruise, a total blow out party - lot of fun. I thought it would be fun to bring a buddy so Rob came a along and then when we got there, they were doing that cruise thing where they take a photo of you getting on, so we posed together and boy does it look gay. Elton John saw the photo and called us queens - this for me, just makes it even funnier. Anyway, here we are years later in Salem, we hopped up on the railing there convinced we'd fall into the drink and I was joking about how we get all gay and stuff when we are near the water - so he planted a smooch on my cheek and we've got it on film for your enjoyment.

Of all things to call a liquor store, the proprietor of this establishment chose to call this one "The Bunghole"; clearly a fan of Beavis & Butthead.

Allrighty then, that's all for now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pictures of Things in Boston

The Leonard P. Zakim Bridge That Friggin' Building Whose Name Escapes Me but Whose Look Bedazzles Me

Call me childish, I just think The Jewish Advocate and Radio Shack so together is whimsical.
The grave of Sam Adams (for whom the great beer is named :)
The grave of John Hancock (you should see the building named after him).

Friday, October 10, 2008


The name of this post was derived by randomly smashing down on the keyboard with both hands and making a twisting motion.

More Importantly, I have the day off today, which is nice. Also, my friend Rob is traveling up from NY for the weekend. Rob and I worked together at Computer Software Plus and used to hang out and get into trouble have a blast so it'll be fun to hang out again.

Here's a brief dictionary of mish mosh that only has marginal relevance and only to Rob and I:

  • Ick - "Ike", our former boss at Computer Software Plus.
  • No tax for me - The official closing line of any Russian about to make a purchase at Computer Software Plus.
  • HeeeeeeeeeeeeeY - The first word uttered by Joe Willie upon his entrance to the store with contraband.
  • Hee Dee Dee - Russian for "Hard Disk Drive"
  • Meah - An emphatic punctuation adding humor to otherwise bad jokes when yelped with reasonable sustain at jokes end.
  • Moreoff - the opposite of Moron, or people who play ridiculous computer games when there are so much better ones to choose from.
  • Dagesh (also Dagesh lite) - Hebraic Word Processing software that not only is a practical tool for those who need Jewish Word Processing abilities, but also for those looking for an entertaining word to say.
Realizing now that this is only going to be funny to Rob and I and maybe one or two other humans who'll likely never see it. I intentionally mention humans because there is one simian that may also enjoy it but nobody know his current whereabouts.
For those of you who labored through this post perplexed, I apologize, simply ignore it.

Wait! Here's something funny that will appeal to a broader audience:

LolTV - Funny Compilation #15 - video powered by Metacafe

Right? Funny, eh?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

And Then There Were 3

a.k.a. "The Gayest Post I've Ever Written"
Jerell was eliminated in the final challenge to determine who gets to show at fashion week. While I agree that his wedding/bridesmaid dresses were weak, I really thought Kenley's were amongst the ugliest dresses I had ever seen.

Also, Kenley has been disrespectful to Tim Gunn and the judges as well as the other designers. However, what's done is done and for me, Leann is the one to beat. I think Leann has a good attitude, a unique and interesting design aesthetic, and she's cute in an odd way.

Now, I need to go check if I still have an outsie.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hey Asshole (McCain), Do You Have any Clue How Much a Health Plan Costs?

This dick face keeps talking about a $5,000 refundable tax credit to purchase "the health plan of your choice." Clearly he has no idea that the average health plan for a family starts, I said starts, at about $12,000.

Thank God I have this blog so I don't need to bottle this anger.

Hey Washington, Hey America, Remember ERA?

Perhaps I can cool off a bit by taking the focus away from the economy, the issue that physically hurts me the most. I think the modern political era is ready for a re-write of what was previously known as the equal rights amendment.

The equal rights amendment was originally conceived to ensure gender equality, clearly an essential and important issues that still must be addressed. However, it is time to include that we need to consider equality amongst all human kind,not just based on gender, but also sexual preference.

Why is it okay to discriminate people based on their sexual preference? Why is is even an issues as to whether or not two consenting adults should be allowed to marry if they are the same gender and why should it be called and/or treated any differently than a marriage between a woman and a man?

Don't even begin to bring the bible into this conversation - there is no place for it and even if there was, if you interpret that God thinks any less of a same sex couple then you are clueless.

Let's be a real democracy, let's demonstrate true civility, let's make these fundamental human rights a reality.

Vote Obama or Don't Vote

That's right, I just said that. I am sitting here watching the debate and just 19 minutes in, it remains obvious that McCain is oblivious. I hate to be so blunt and make this statement but if you are even considering a vote for McCain, you can't possibly have a functioning brain in your skull, either that or you are wealthy enough to not give a shit.

Listen, every, and I mean every single problem in this country today that matters is directly the fault of George W. Bush and his Republican cronies - if you can't see that, you are either blind, clueless, or naive.

Some stupid Republican party ideals that make no sense:
Trickle Down Economics - easily on of the most illogical theories in the history of theories. If you don't know what it is, click the link...DUMB!!!

Deregulate until it hurts - this is the most blatant attempt to exploit the poor and middle class, by the (dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking) rich by trying to get us to believe that there is no room for "regulation" in a true democracy. Bullshit! You take the rules away from the rich, they get richer by luring the poor into a sense of false security (i.e. subprime lending).

Oh, and when the fuck did the Republican party become the religious right? It's one thing to have a different perspective but there is this thing called separation of church and state.

I happen to have religious beliefs, I go to church every Sunday and consider myself a good Christian. However, God has NO place in the WHITE HOUSE. Government MUST remain secular or democracy CAN'T exist!

That all the ranting for now. BTW, comments are open so have a field day - I may or may not respond because as far as I am concerned, of the choice we have, only Obama has the the chance to make a positive difference on my life and the rest of the people in this country who aren't gazillionaires.

Don't even get me started on the super insanity that is Sara Palin, who is so fucking dumb that Bush looks like a scholar next to her.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chicken and Orzo Frittata

I saw my beloved Giada make this on the Food Network and it looked so good, I had to try it myself. I made it last night and loved it so much that I had to share it with all of you. ENJOY!

Serves: 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup orzo pasta
6 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup crème fraiche (you can substitute with sour cream if necessary)
2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (about 2 cups)
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, and crème fraiche and stir until the eggs are beaten and the ingredients are combined. Add the cooked orzo, chicken, scallions, parsley, red bell peppers, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Place the pan under the broiler until golden on top, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with a side salad.

Printed from on 09/25/2008

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Meet My Friend Jerry

The first line of this email indicates to me that posting this to my blog would be a welcome thing. My friend Jerry is an, interesting, guy. Jerry is a retired NYC fireman having suffered injuries, and in my opinion, serving as a hero in, the 9/11 tragedy. Since retirement, Jerry has spent a lot of time getting into Yoga and nutrition and traveling – spending a great deal of time in India. It is not uncommon for a group email to go out during one of his pilgrimages and what follows is the latest of those group emails. My dear readers, meet my friend Jerry:

Apologies for the group thing and please share with other family members. Hotmail only lets me mail so many at a time, etc... so please pass to husbands, parents, sons etc you know I know.

Really not much to write. Got into Delhi without any real hitches. Only spent about 24 hours there and was on a night train up the the foot hills of the Himalayas around Nainital. The trains are really cool. Theres a main hallway you go through which has beds to one side of it. These have only curtains (I'm describeing whats known as 2nd class AC (air cond)) in front of them, so it can get a bit noisy.... On the opposite side of this main hall is another curtain which has rooms behind them. HEre, especially if you can get a top bunk, you can get what winds up being your best nights sleep in INdia! Mostly joking. 1st class AC has rooms behind glass doors private for a couple.... but theres something to be said for going at things a little closer to how Indians live.... to a certain degree. I dont really want to ride with a bunch of chickens etc, but I also dont want tto go from 5 star hotels to 5 star hotels either. Middle way...
     Anyway, I had a cab prearranged for me to get me to where the train goes to (the end of the line, a town called Katgodam) and from there we went another hour or so north. The all night train ride was 525 rupees.... $12! The cab ride? 1000 rups. Even here ... gas prices! ANyway, the car got me close enough for me to make it to the ashram I'm affiliated with and I've been there (untils todays trek to put out an email) since. There's a puja going on celebrating the Goddess Durga and it feels very ancient. I feel pretty lucky to be a part of it. No pics unfortunately (maybe fortuantely, really) but its just a nice feeling being created. The locals are showing up in droves. They still get a kick out of the "Westerners" sitting in front of a murti (statue) of one of their Gods and singing a prayer in their own language. The kids especially look as if their eye brows might furrow right off their heads. Its only a small part of it though. Mostly I'm just an observer and get most of a kick out of just helping out around the place, cleaning this or that, just meditating on th enature etc... A tree is a tree a bird is a bird and thats where I connect to the spirit. It IS all the same. Th eviobe here just makes it easier to see.
     I'm staying in a room just across the street. No hot water, so I either have to drop a heating coil into a cold bucket in the AM, or wait until its hot in the afternoon. And its a bucket bath. In th emorning it is quite cold. I'll have on a short and long sleve shirt, a jacket, scarf and hat. During the day, its hot even in a short sleve shirt. It must change more than 30 degrees.... Mountains! ANyway, I'm up obsenely early here... in the 3 or 4's. I know. I dont know who this is. At home I was gettinmg to bed mostly past midnight! SO go figure? And its very simple. Lots of quiet time to meditate, then there are formal prayers which, being rather extensive, they only sort of suggest we "only" do the last half hour or so. A small breakfast, then some down time. The the puja to the Goddess begins. Like I said, you feel like you just went back 5000 years. Its neat. I'm not a Hindu, so I'm sure these people relate to it on levels I can only imagine, but for me it brings peace, and how can that be a bad thing? Who am I to judge? And th erest of the day unfolds in this simple way... there are times where nothing is going on and others when the ashram is doing something specific. With waking so early, NAP TIME has become my salvation(!) if I can get it. Its very necessary.
      Sounds a bit boring, but its really not. COming from the ammount of info we take on in America, its an unwinding process for me and its been very good.
       What comes next we'll see. Badrinath, a town IN the Himalayas is calling, but I havent gotten any clear news yet on whether roads I'd be taking are STILL THERE! Again, only half kidding. Besides the monsoon, the Indians said there was a very unusual ammount of rain this year, and at one stretch rioght before we came, it rained HEAVY for 3 STRAIGHT DAYS! So well see. If its meant to be etc...
         Otherwise all else is well. Monkeys are starting to show up looking for scraps. Cows come down th esteps and across the bridge to the ashram (havent seen them inside yet, I think they use the path behing the ashram to go up to the woods there to feed.
          Heard about the Mets (Anton, pls send this to Jeff?) So sad to end Shea on such a down note. MAybe I'll ask a few Sadhus to come back with me so we could put them in the bull pen! Cant be any worse!.... ANd on that note.... Again, apologies for the group email thing. Be back in a little less than a month. Time flying, and not...
          In Peace, Jerry 

Friday, October 03, 2008

(Not much of an) Epiphany

I was listening to the 70's station on Sirius Satellite earlier and getting into the music. There was a moment where I actually referred out loud to myself in the joy of song how I loved listening to this music partly because it was a simpler and better time.

Almost immediately I realized two things:
  1. In the 1970's, I was ages 5 (at the very start), through 15 (at the very end). While I remember them very well, of course it was a simpler time, duh, I was a friggin' kid.
  2. It wasn't all that better a time in the world, inflation sucked back then, the economy had hit a rough patch, interest rates were at record highs, and we were ending a major war (Vietnam) as well as about to get into another situation with Iran (remember the hostage crisis?)
Clearly, as fucked up as things were, I was a kid, and it didn't affect me enough to the point where I understood (or cared) how. Things are totally wacky now because I have responsibilities and a fucking mortgage while the politicians are stealing my retirement from under me and making paying said mortgage more challenging that a racquetball game.
And with that, I am going to bed, goodnight Gracie!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More Cake

I couldn't let this rest, it's too much fun so here are a few more to make you laugh:

"They'll come to Iowa for cake they can't even fathom." from Field of Dreams

"Did he cry for cake when you tortured him?" from The Ten Commandments

"Go ahead, make my cake." from Sudden Impact

"Of all the cake joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." from Casablanca