Friday, September 30, 2011

Tons of Effing Risotto

This post was snatched (with the utmost respect) from the blog Kale and Contingency. The recipe was featured on an episode of the amazing podcast TBTL. So, read, then go subscribe to TBTL and make some effing risotto!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Welcome, Tens! As requested, here is the recipe for Tons of Effing Risotto, as featured on Cooking with Sean and adapted from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.

Ingredients

3 TBSP butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio (or similar) rice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup Chateau Ste Michelle Gewurztraminer
1 bunch asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Rice should start to become translucent, but do not allow it to brown. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth in a separate pot until boiling, then turn off the heat.
  3. Add the lemon zest and wine to the rice. Cook until the wine is absorbed.
  4. Add 1 cup of the warm vegetable broth and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring occasionally. When the rice starts to get thick, add another 1/2 cup of broth. Continue adding 1/2 cup at a time, every time the rice thickens.
  5. After about 12 minutes simmering in the broth, stir in the cut asparagus. Cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes in all.
  6. When the rice is just about done, stir in the Parmesan cheese, half the lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  7. Taste for salt and lemon juice, adding more as needed. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's Happening in Your Neck of the Woods?

Much to the surprise of me and my town neighbors whom also considered our humble home as a relatively quiet and easy going place, this was headline National news this morning:

Next to his 2003 Ashland High School yearbook photo, Rezwan Ferdaus quoted Mahatma Gandhi: "I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need."

That message was nowhere to be found in the documents the FBI released yesterday, in which federal authorities accuse the 26-year-old Ashland resident of plotting attacks on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building to kill and "terrorize the enemies of Allah," including women and children.

Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen, is being held in federal custody on several terrorism-related charges after an undercover investigation discovered Ferdaus wanted to fly large, remote-controlled planes filled with plastic explosives into the two federal buildings.

"The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus has long planned to commit violent acts against our country," said Carmen M. Ortiz, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.

Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate with a physics degree, was arrested yesterday at 9:30 a.m. at a storage facility on Waverly Place in Framingham after he accepted what he thought were plastic explosives, as well as machine guns and grenades to be used in his planned attack. The items were provided by undercover FBI agents, according to the FBI.

The FBI also raided Ferdaus' home at 22 Coburn Drive in Ashland. Authorities would not say what evidence, if any, was collected.

The Department of Justice began working with a "cooperating witness" in January, according to a federal affidavit. Ferdaus had contacted the man last December with the goal of "decapitating its (the United States) 'military center.' "

In one conversation, Ferdaus asked the witness if he could get enough explosives to "take out a target that's like three football fields, say a radius of one to two blocks."

Asked why he wanted to attack the Pentagon, Ferdaus said, "because that's the target to eliminate and terrify all enemies of Allah. We have this project started. ... This is, this is what we have to do. This is the righteous way ... (to) terrorize the enemies of Allah," the affidavit said.

Over time, Ferdaus changed the plan to instead use the remote-controlled airplanes, filling them with grenades to attack both the Pentagon and the Capitol.

In March, the witness introduced Ferdaus to two "brothers" who were "down with the cause." Those men were actually undercover agents, the affidavit said. Ferdaus described his plan to the two agents.

Ferdaus went to an Internet cafe in New York City in March to research remote-controlled planes that could fly 100 mph and carry as much as 50 pounds. He told the agents that each plane could be filled with 10 grenades and fly using a built-in GPS system.

On March 29, the agents questioned Ferdaus about his willingness to actually follow through on the plan. He said he was ready.

"What I envision is that it's going to ... essentially decapitate the entire empire," the affidavit said, quoting Ferdaus. "(It will be the) final nail in the coffin ... because it's going to severely disrupt the head and heart of the snake."

During the undercover investigation, Ferdaus created cellphones that could be used as detonators to blow up IEDs, or roadside bombs. He gave them to the agents, the FBI said.

The agents told Ferdaus at a meeting in June that one of his phone detonation devices killed three U.S. soldiers and injured several others in Iraq. According to the FBI's affidavit, he said, "This is exactly what I wanted, and I feel so blessed. ... I feel that I'm seeing the fruits of my labor."

As part of his plan, Ferdaus ordered the planes from a company in Florida, using the alias Dave Winfield.

Ferdaus later rented a storage facility on Framingham's Waverly Place, a short side street near the intersection of Waverly and Winthrop streets, under another fake name. There, he developed his plans and kept supplies.

In May, Ferdaus went to Washington to conduct surveillance and take photographs of his targets. He returned and told the agents that he had to expand his plan to include a ground attack, according to the FBI.

He provided them with detailed plans, including photos, with how he wanted the attack to happen.

The affidavit said Ferdaus wanted to have a team of six carry out the attacks, with himself as the leader. He said he and the other team members would remain outside of the Pentagon and Capitol building, and when people evacuated, they would "open up on them," with the machine guns, killing as many people as possible.

On Aug. 2, the agents met with Ferdaus. They gave him $3,500 to finish paying for the remote-controlled plane. During that meeting, he told them he needed 25 pounds of plastic explosives.

Later that month, Ferdaus gave the agents two more detonation devices.

Last Tuesday, Ferdaus made a training video showing people how to make the cellphone detonators. He gave the video to the agents, thinking it was going to be sent to al Qaeda operatives overseas.

The agents met with Ferdaus yesterday at the storage facility with the 25 pounds of fake plastic explosives, three grenades and six fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles. Once Ferdaus took possession of them, the agents arrested him.

Ferdaus is charged with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, attempting to destroy national defense premises and attempting to damage and destroy buildings that are owned by the United States by using an explosive.

If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison for the providing material support charge, and up to 20 years each on the other two charges. He also faces a $250,000 fine for each charge.

Ferdaus has been in trouble with the law before, although on a much different scale.

In 2003, as a senior at Ashland High School, he was one of three students who admitted vandalizing school property with cement. They denied they were the ones who burned an American flag found damaged at the school.

Ferdaus appeared in U.S. District Court in Worcester yesterday. He was ordered held in federal custody until a detention hearing Monday.

Ferdaus' lawyer, Cathy Byrne, did not return a call seeking comment.

(Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or nmiller@wickedlocal.com.)

Copyright 2011 The MetroWest Daily News. Some rights reserved

Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/archive/x1499150541/FBI-Ashland-man-plotted-attack-on-Pentagon-U-S-Capitol#ixzz1ZO5ZgC9z

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Podcast: Tenth Anniversary of Friends Reunion Disc - Part 2

NOTE: I did have the podcast ready to go yesterday but there were some issues with my host site that prevented me from uploading it until this morning...so, here is part 2 for your enjoyment:

Back in January of 2001 I created a CD of mixed music for John and Jane who were hosting one of our (approximately) biannual friends reunions. I recently came upon the CD, noted that it was ten years old and decided to put together a three part music podcast and bring the music to all of you. Please support these artists if you enjoy the songs and don't already own them, consider making a purchase.

You can download the podcast or subscribe via iTunes by going directly to the podcast site by clicking here.

Or, listen right here:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Post if You Will (or Even if You Won't)

Today was a very difficult day for us. Patriots fans. With the exception of the first 12 minutes of the game, the Patriots completely fell apart. It was even tougher to watch the best quarterback in the NFL and perhaps one of the top five quarterbacks of all-time have one of the worst games of his career.

I am happy that the New York Yankees beat up the Boston Red Sox in game one of the doubleheader, that made me feel good.

I know that some of you were expecting part two of my music podcast today, it is not likely to happen, but I'm pretty sure I can get it up there tomorrow.

I feel like I was very busy this weekend, I don't really like that. I like the idea of having a restful weekend - I don't mind getting things accomplished but on the weekend, I prefer to happen organically and not feel like it worked so hard for it.

I Guess that's it for now, see you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Have Your Cake and Listen Too

As I type this post, I am listening to the current album by the band Cake called "Showroom of Compassion". Once again, I must say these fellas put together a nice collection of music - what a consistent group of musical dudes - you gotta love them.

Been struggling a bit lately - still keeping with the program of exercising every day (today is the 350th consecutive day) and trying hard to eat right (35 pounds lighter than I was 350 days ago) but it seems to have gotten to a point where it's hard again. I went through a really hard time at the start because I also gave up processed sugar - the withdrawal symptoms were super rough at first but as time went on, slowly but surely, it became much easier. It really then became about choosing good foods, nutrient dense calories and portion control. For a long time it had leveled off and was pretty smooth sailing but geeze, the last few weeks for some reason have been hard, perhaps the added stress of the start of a new semester, I don't know - it's just freaking hard - but, I know now as I did from the beginning that this journey to health would be one day at a time. Hopefully, my next sugar test will be better than the last two.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Unversal Design/Assistive Technologies

Did the title blow your mind? I know, tight? I attended a one-day conference today in Boston covering the topics mentions in the title and it was impressive. the idea behind Universal Design is to facilitate accessibility to all people - an extension of the idea of specific modifications for specific needs; Assistive technologies are exactly as the name implies.

The first session I attended focused on universal design in education. One of the things that really excites me about universal design principles in education is that you end up not only addressing issues where the student may have a physical challenge but almost always, these design principles address multiple learning styles and make the material you are presenting more accessible literally to everyone it is presented to.

The second session featured a number of leaders of in Education and politics in our state including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. We heard about initiatives at the state level that have been implemented and that are in progress and were charged by the Governor with taking what we learn and discuss at the conference as a call to action and not just idle chatter.

I spent some time in the exposition hall looking at some of the technological innovations on the market being used to facilitate universal design - there were unusual marvels that would be so easy to love over but seeing them demonstrated with the target demographic in mind really was eye opening.

It was a nice way to spend the day away from the usual grind on campus plus I got to hang out with some colleagues and have a nice lunch in the atrium of the Boston Public Library (more glamorous than it sounds to those who don't know).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blivet Smokescreens and Other Hogwash

In my continuing series (that can end at any time) of nonsensical, yet whimsical titles for blog posts that have nothing to do with said title, here are a few new nuggets to chomp on:
  • Happy the Yankees clinched the division though I am not confident there pitching can survive the post season.
  • I watched a good chink of The X-Factor - nothing special, it's really just Idol with a few minor changes.
  • I went ahead and watched the Two and a Half men season premiere with Ashton Kutcher - it was funny though I'm not sure I'll continue watching.
  • I used to have a mad crush on Jenna Elfman but then I found out she's a Scientologist.
  • While I love R.E.M. and their music, I applaud their decision to break up for the reasons they chose. I just hope it's not only for the purpose of reviving interest later in a reunion setting.
  • Nice to have TBTL back with new episodes this week.
  • I am shedding my Kindle. I never really used it or thought of a good use for it - my sister in law wants one, it's her birthday, she's pretty great - I'm shipping it to her.
  • Heading into Boston for a conference on Assistive Technologies tomorrow - should be a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poached Biscuits in Congealed Egg Sauce

Yes, the title of this post is peculiar but haven't you come to expect such peculiarities from me on occasion?

Stupid Facebook went and changed things up again. Lots of complaints and buzz mixed with a lot of people who don't want to hear the complaining because:

We bitched last time they changed things and eventually got used to it - that will happen this time as well. This is not a valid reason not to complain if you are unsatisfied with the services (or lack) being provided and/or how they are being provided.

Get over it, it's free - nothing to complain, just leave if you are so unhappy. True, it's free but customer satisfaction should be important because if indeed everyone that was unhappy did leave, it would hurt Facebook significantly because there entire business model depends upon the size and diversity of it's user base - we the users should matter more.

Which brings me to those asshats at Netflix - what kind of dickface is this guy? CEO sends an email apologizing but then describes in detail how what he ultimately did was fuck us over incorrectly and explain how he has made changes so he can fuck us properly - what an asshole - see ya Netflix.

Done for now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Miss Slaney

  • I watched "My Sister's Keeper" with my daughter on Sunday and man did I cry.
  • DWTS debuted tonight and as promised, I voted for Chaz and will continue to do so.
  • Never ceases to amaze me how many times I get questions that I've answered in the materials that the students didn't read before asking.
  • For some reason regret that I didn't see the Ashton Kutcher debut in Two and a Half Men despite never seeing a second of the show previously - there's always on demand!
  • Thinks Netflix should go fuck themselves twice as hard as they fucked all of us over - I quit you.
  • I'm not all that bothered that Jeff Conaway was overlooked during the Emmy necrology.
  • Gained even more respect for my dentist this morning - he's a good and truly caring dude.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Podcast: Tenth Anniversary of Friends Reunion Disc - Part 1

Back in January of 2001 I created a CD of mixed music for John and Jane who were hosting one of our (approximately) biannual friends reunions. I recently came upon the CD, noted that it was ten years old and decided to put together a three part music podcast and bring the music to all of you. Please support these artists if you enjoy the songs and don't already own them, consider making a purchase.


You can download the podcast or subscribe via iTunes by going directly to the podcast site by clicking here.


Or, listen right here:


Saturday, September 17, 2011

There's a Trip in the Near Future

Last week I received an invitation to an old friend's wedding. In general, I am not a fan of going to weddings but as time moves on and I get older, they are definitely better than funerals (which tend to increase in number as times goes on). Besides, I've known Michelle since she moved across the alley way from me somewhere around three decades ago and she is good people. Plus, she lives in New Orleans, where the wedding will be and I've never been there and always wanted to go...

So I get the envelope and once I see who it's from, it's obvious what it is and all I could hope for is that it is a really early invitation for a mid-July wedding because I have a conference in New Orleans next July so I'll be traveling there on the "company dine" - which is a good thing because coming up with travel expenses will be a bit of a challenge. Turns out, the wedding is in early November and my first reaction is uncertainty, then I did some initial research on air fares and hotels and then became sad because I was sure there was no way I could swing it.

I began making some inquiries and contacting some folks I thought can be helpful and after a few days of scrambling, I am so happy that I will indeed be attending the wedding and spending three nights in New Orleans come early November.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Is She Talking To?

There's a student buzzing around campus this semester who is constantly talking to any invisible presence. Now I have been known to talk to myself in short spurts, many people I know have, bit in a normal kind of way, not a clinically diagnosable kind of way such as this person.

Today, I heard loud talking in the own lab, but only one side of a conversation. My initial thought was someone talking on a cell phone, which is prohibited so I went over to politely ask this person to either take the call outside or end the call. However, when I came around my desk into the open area, there was the student, facing nobody yet engaged in a heated conversation while being very animated...and yes, I did check for a Bluetooth device - it wasn't there.

Here's the real kicker, I went over to her and asked, "can you please keep the conversation down, there are other students trying to work here?" She smiled, said, "okay" and did just that-she lowered her voice and proceeded with her conversation with the invisible person.

That was my Friday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Interaction With a Student in Three Parts

I like the way the title sounds like a (bad) play. Anyway, I don't believe I am the perfect teacher and I of course have made some flubs along the way - but this interaction with a student for me really cracks me up in a way - what a pair a cajones this one has:


Exchange #1 - Him to Me:

Hi Chris,
I just signed up for your online CS100 #2566 section 701 class and I cannot seem to be able to view any of the material on blackboard. According to enrollment I am still currently registered for this class. Aslo, I have never taken any online classes through massbay, so I may need assistance in the beggining until I figure out how the system works. Is there any material I have missed?

Kindest regards,
Your Student

Exchange #1 - Me to Him:

From: Me
Sent:  09/12/2011 8:41:54 PM

Subject:  RE: Missing course on blackboard
Student,
Your access to a course after enrolling will depend on the time of day as the process runs about 4 times per day. I just checked at 8:35pm and it looks like you are listed on the roster in Blackboard.

Today is the last day of week 1 and there are assignments due by the end of today - and if you read the syllabus, late enrollment does not excuse you from due dates nor get you extra time - not in my class.
Please read the syllabus, get the texts and get up to speed immediately - the only assistance I can offer is what I've posted in the Course Information section and the syllabus (which is substantial) and the help system built into Blackboard.

Also, I must say, that while I generally don't mind being referred to by my first name, it's quite disrespectful to refer to your teacher by their first name on the first contact. Finally, please refer to the required format for email in the syllabus.
Me

Exchange #2

Since this one is longish,I replied to his email at points within the note and that’s what I present here. The black text is his, the red is my response to that portion of the email.


I'll reply to your email using red within your email to be sure to cover all points:

-----Original Message-----
From: Your Student
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:05 PM
To: Me
Subject: CS100 700 Re: Blackboard


Prof. Me,

Firstly, I want to meantion that I did not intend on offending you in any way. Please understand that I come from a background where it is acceptable to be on more friendly terms, even without a formal introductory.

I wasn’t offended in particular and while it may be acceptable to refer to someone by their first name in a casual setting, in a teacher-student relationship the custom is otherwise unless specified by the instructor. For the record, I don’t mind being referred to by my first name.

Regarding the Blackboard system, I was finally able to login and see that all my classes displayed perfectly fine. As for that assignment, I would like to know why you believe it was going to be possible for me to complete such assignments in 15 minutes time. This is a 100 level class, not a 400 level class. I happen to work very hard for each individual grade, and keeping them as perfect as possible.

“Working hard for your grade” is a good thing and I am glad to hear it.

I cannot suggest to you how you should be considering your job, and I mean this out of no disrespect, but surely because I am paying thousands of dollars into your salary that you can be a little more flexible with your time, this only indicates to me that you don't care as much for your students' well being as you should do. Don't be offended by this criticism, I am within my rights to give it because no one is perfect, not even a professor! But rather, you should take it to heart and understand the points I am trying to make.

Please don’t ever use the line “paying into my salary” in any way, ever again in my class and if you want a tip, never say that to a police officer as well. This attitude is self-righteous and insulting and I am going to let it go this time.

As far as flexible with my time – not sure what you mean specifically but I build my course and deadlines based on a course schedule. Class starts on the first day of class on the last day of add/drop. It was your choice to enroll in a class on the last day of the first week that does not give you special privileges, I begin teaching on day one and everybody enrolled in the course is responsible for the material and assignments as they are assigned. As far as caring for my students, I care very much for them, my job is to prepare them for future education or a career in the professional world, a place I’ve spent many years working in and understand. My methods are rigid and strict in some areas but only because I believe this is the best preparation for adults, which as you say in your next paragraph you are – as are all students at this level, to really learn from.

That said, I think as a human being you might want to appreciate your students a little more than what I have perceived from just a single email. This is not high school, and I am not a child. So, as much as you might be fuming at my response, just don't take any of it negatively, I'm merely just reminding you of the reality of the situation.

I’m, not offended by anything you said here, all is within your right as long as you say it respectfully – which I feel you have for the most part. I have also not made any judgments about you based on this email – and it seems if anyone is making judgments, it you assuming that I am fuming.

What you don't realize though, regarding myself, is that I have just come out of two 6-week Anatomy & Physiology classes and have had zero summer to spend for myself, and I achieved perfect grades doing so.

What you did over the summer is of no concern to me and will have no bearing on what I expect of you, which is the same as I will expect of each of my students.

I do not think that having an assignment due on the last day of add/drop, given your policy, was very well planned out. You should consider at least offering just 1 additional day for that assignment after add/drop for those who are only able to log into Blackboard at 11:45pm only to realize that an assignment is due in 15 minutes.

I think I covered this but again, it was your choice to enroll in the class when you did. If you were to pay to see a movie and didn’t walk in until after it started, would you expect the theater to start the movie from the beginning? What you are asking is quite similar.

I welcome you into this class but the syllabus, and the rules and way this class is run is my call. I understand if you don’t agree with how I teach but there are many sections of many courses with many teachers all with their own styles. I do wish you the best of luck.

Kindest regards,

Your Student

Exchange #3: Him to Me
Prof. Me,

I just want to elaborate a little further by stating that I do not see many problems with your system of teaching. I can understand why most of your rules apply because I can only imagine how so many student procrastinate, which affects your precious time. My previous concerns only applied to the first week of classes for add/drop period; where, after jumping into a class, I was only able to read the syllabus literally minutes before I had to complete an assignment I never even knew existed.
Please don't let my previous email spoil your day. The only reason I even bothered to inform you is because I have respect for you. I'm sure you are not a bad person, so I trust you will not take me offensively.

Have a nice day sir!
Kindest regards,
Your Student

 Exchange #3: Me to Him
Student,

Let's put our money where our mouths are. In the grand scheme of things, the one assignment you missed will have very little to no effect on your overall grade if you do work hard and achieve the success you strive for.

You didn't spoil my day and I appreciate the respect.

Let's move forward.

Me

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Placeholder Post?

I had an interesting interaction with one of my students that I plan to share here but I simply am too exhausted to type in large(r) quantity. I promise to get it up before week's end (intentional Jimmy Kimmel style Unintentional Joke of the Week).

The last few days have been a bit of a struggle - I'll fight my way through though - I am planning to be in bed by 10 tonight - that 5 am wake up call does take it's toll over time.

I don't recall if I ever posted this picture but I don't believe I have. I happened to be in San Francisco when Jerry Garcia died and hours later, this wax figure was in a store on Fisherman's Wharf.

As Fred Sanford used to say, bones and noches.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Battle Fatigue

Today was the official end of the first week of the semester and while it usually remains crazyish for another week, it does begin to fade out somewhat until finally leveling off before the next round of crazy. We are short staffed so it's been quite a challenge but I think we are doing fine - it does have me a bit scrambled at the brains though.

There was a 9/11 remembrance at school today but I had to skip it. I just couldn't bring myself to endure more of it after a full day of it yesterday - it weighs too heavy.

I just received an invitation to a wedding in New Orleans in November. I wish it wasn't until next July, when I am scheduled to be there on someone else's dime - I want to go but have to figure out how I can pay for it - finances are tight these days.

I had a weird momentary breakdown at dinner time so I decided to balance things out by doing another hour on the treadmill and I feel better for it. A few more weeks will mark a full year of daily excercise without missing a day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Running Into Nightmares

Pretty hard to do anything today and not bump into a reminder of that fateful day in 2001. I know it's important to memorialize and remember this day in history, to pay respects to those who lost their lives so tragically and remember the heroes of that event as well.

The thing is, wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to? It' still stings - I turned off my TV within 5 minutes this morning because I just couldn't watch those towers fall again. It hurts too much, the would seems like it will always be fresh, yet I know, we must move forward.

I only hope that someday we, as a nation, can be great again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reminder

"I Was Born, But Not Yesterday"

I stole this quote from the delightful Kristen Chenowith, such an interesting sentiment.

I wanted to take advantage of the good weather this morning so I took my exercise outdoors with a 5+ mile walk - very nice!

I took a stroll through the mall today because apparently I needed a brief reminder as to why I hate malls.

Started reading Keith Richards autobiography - what an interesting dude.

Later for now...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Very Brief Mention of Politics

"Hate to say it, but the American public lacks the intelligence to self govern, we've proved it time and again. Just my two cents."

"I am a Christian and am even an officer at my church. However, if the only criteria I had to choose a president was their religion, I would choose an Atheist over any other religion any day of the year. Also, I think clergy and churches should be taxed."

What are your thoughts on the two quotes above? I have very strong thoughts about them, since they are my quotes and sentiments. I am so sick of the ridiculous political banter in this country. I am not going to say that Obama has been brilliant and perfect - not by any means whatsoever. However, to say that his time to make a difference has passed is a bit silly since more than 80% of the national debt was accumulated in the eight horrible years of the worst president in history, George W. Bush.

And I am so fucking sick of hearing these bible-toting republican candidates and their skewed vision of how the world is supposed to work.

If you are a political conservative based on traditional fiscal conservative views, I say go for it - even though I disagree with almost every modern viewpoint on fiscal conservative policy because it only favors the wealthiest people on the planet and offers a giant go fuck yourself to everyone else but at least your basing your beliefs on political ideology. However, if you are a social conservative - pro-life, bible-belt, bible-toting, bible-bearing, bible-as-a-rulebook Republican/conservative I truly wish you and all those like you would find a new country to destroy, get the fuck off of my television and leave me the fuck alone with your stupid views.

I'm just sayin.

Stand Up with Anthony Jeselnik

I saw this guy on the Donald Trump roast and then on an earlier performance on an HBO special. He's not gonna be for everyone but he's got an dark edge about him that I love. Here are both of the performances that captured my attention:

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Almost Nothing

Today was the first day of classes for the fall semester and predictably at this point, it was a madhouse (as will the rest of the week). It never ceases to amaze me how people consistently prove one thing as a group, their lack of intellect.

I know, this seems harsh but should it really be unusual for the simple expectation of an incoming college student is the ability to read - even at a 4th grade level?

At 7:00 am there were over 50 help desk tickets specifically related to on of two possible "problems'. Both are addressed on the screen where those potential problems can present themselves, literally right on top of where they might present themselves - it's almost impossible to miss but sure enough - they did.

Another new thing we've implemented is this neat self-service password reset tool. The tool does require a one time simple registration so to promote it, we made it so the first time a student logs in, the enrollment screen appears smack dab in the center of the screen and it occupies a good percentage of it. I watched student after student completely ignore it, close it by clicking the tiny X in the upper right and then - wait for it - a portion of those braniacs ask how to change their password immediately after.

On the positive side, there's people in the hallways and there's so much positive energy and hope abound with our new president. Here's to the new school year!

Monday, September 05, 2011

How Well Does Google Know Me (Now)

I first did this meme on February 2nd, of 2009 - so let's see if Google knows me any better two and a half or so years later.

The object of the game is to ask Google specific questions using my name (and in your case, your name). The results can be side-splittingly (a word on this her blog) funny -- but, mostly if you've liqueured yourself up real good (or not).

Q1: Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search.
Chris needs a wee wee. (The scary thing about this, it's a link to a YouTube video - now that I think of it though, I do need to wee wee...BRB)

Q2: Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search.
Chris looks like a creep - pictures from the winter Olympics. (Not so sure revisiting this meme was a good idea.

Q3: Type in "[your name] says" in Google search.
Chris says Kanye & Jay-Z are "Cheating". I hate Kanye and could give a flying fuck about Jay-Z.

Q4: Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search.
Chris wants a cool bachelor pad in the heart of Washington D.C. (Hmmmm)

Q5: Type in "[your name] does" in Google search.
Chris does a load of... (They allude to doing a load of something but what, I don't know - I've recently done loads of laundry, napping, TV watching, exercise and even passing gas).

Q6: Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search.
The overwhelming and disturbingly most common search result is everybody hates Chris. I hope this isn't true but to all who do, fuck you, I hate you too - otherwise, I love you.

Q7: Type in "[your name] asks" in Google search.
Chris asks for an allowance. (Whaddya say? A few buck ain't gonna hurt ya.)

Q8: Type in "[your name] likes " in Google search.
Chris likes to nap when he doesn't feel well. (Now we are getting somewhere)

Q9: Type in "[your name] eats " in Google search.
Chris eats a MASSIVE spider - IMPROVED. (Back in Feb. 2009 It was just "Chris eats a spider" - again, it had to be in my sleep)

Q10: Type in "[your name] wears " in Google search.
Chris wears skirt to school to protest uniform rule. (What a rebel I am)

Q11: Type in "[your name] was arrested for" in Google Search.
Chris was arrested by Homeland Security For Standing On His 4th Amendment Right (I better brush up on the bill of rights)

Q12: Type in "[your name] loves" in Google Search.
Chris love Shakira. (She is super hot and her hips don't lie).

In hindsight, I'm not so happy about re-memeing this but hey...you take the good you take the bad...it's the facts of life.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Am I Missing Something?

I must be missing something because I only recall hearing good things about this film, I recall it being nominated for multiple Oscars and after watching it this afternoon, I can't help but wonder why?

In my opinion, this film was average to mediocre and oftentimes boring. Nothing stood out at all - there were some okay moments but I had to on at least a few occasions rewind a bit because I had dozed off and then pause a few times because I couldn't sit straight through, it just didn't hold my interest that way.

Oh well!

In other news, I've gotten some positive feedback on my podcast from yesterday - heck, it makes me laugh :)

Not sure what I'll end up doing tomorrow other than try to relax a bit as Tuesday, all hell will break loose as the students return full-time at work and it gets real crazy for the next couple of weeks.

Doing some pre-production work on a three part music podcast series celebrating the 10th anniversary of a compilation I assembled for a friends reunion. Hey, keeps me busy :)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Podcast: Of Labor Day Weekend and Something from the Behind

This is a little rant on the unpleasantries of Labor Day weekend and a story about a cringe worthy moment where I got a little TMI from a colleague.

You can listen right here:


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Thursday, September 01, 2011

This One Time, At Band Camp...and other Notes

Welcome to September! Today is the official release date of the book you see pictured to the left, authored by my friend Erin Dionne (author of the terrific books "Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies" and "The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet"); click the photo to order your copy.

Today was professional day at work and the first time that our new President  spoke to the college as a whole...and it was totally amazing! I am so hopeful for the future of our college under his leadership and thoroughly impressed with him.

This is the first time on more than 40 years that Jerry Lewis will not be involved with the MDA telethon but I think it's important that all who find reasons to support the MDA and the work they do should not base their donations on the fact that Jerry Lewis isn't there - think about the cause.

We're officially on the last trimester of the year - while we often let it pass us by while we are frantic preparing for things like holidays and school etc. Let me remind you all to take a deep breath and stop to embrace the moment you are in because it's going to pass you by whether or not you acknowledge it.