Friday, May 31, 2013

Two Quotes

I tried, or rather consumed, a bottle of this Ginger Lemonade flavored Polar seltzer; it's yummy.

There were two good quotes I heard today:

(1)"Don't let academia fool you into believing there might be an expected level of intelligence among people who are required to make pretty important decisions. Every time I wonder if I should consider a doctorate I have an encounter with someone who has one that totally shatters what it should represent."

I wrote this one, posted it to FB after reflecting on (yet another) ridiculous conversation at work today. I think it's pretty good but only because it is unfortunately true.

A way better quote, one that I think is significant enough to positively affect young people's lives, was one by the teenage daughter of someone who I consider to be one of the best parents I've ever known (I believe her child saying this is part proof):

(2) "In teenager, $100 seems like infinity money but then you buy a couple things and realize how expensive things are."

Isn't that genius?
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I cracked down and turned on the A/C in the house today - two straight 90+ degree somewhat oppressive days with lots of pollen floating about, it's time!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kitchen Nightmares

Strange coincidence or divine intervention?

I think I mentioned here that I am in the preliminary stages of a kitchen remodel, not as much my choice as by necessity since the idiots who built the house did so with a budget that clearly ran out half way through.

The whole process for me is so stressful, I need to make decisions on things that cost a lot of money and you really only get one chance to get it right.

The worst part is that the configuration of the space is really poor and while I would love to make it right, I simply can't; it would be way (way) too expensive and I would never recover that cost (and I don't know how long I will continue to live in this house).

The best I could do is to replace the cabinets and counters (and reluctantly, the appliances) and make the best of it. One of the things I really want is to move the trash receptacle into the cabinet space (very common now) and not have a trash can lingering. I had what I thought was a perfect spot for it, willing to surrender one of the 12" cabinets, the one that sits to the right of the range. Problem, the built-in trash receptacles are 15" - it's freaking me out! I know, I am being a bit dramatic, but I've had to stash money away for a few years to be able to pay for this and doing so will clear a good chuck of my savings. The thing is, aside from enjoying it for however long I decide to keep the house, it will be essential to have the work done to be able to sell the house.

I bugged out when I went down to the mail room to seek if there was anything for me and there was this new issue of Consumer Reports - which I've been trolling online for days. I guess I'll get through it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crazy Weather Anomaly

The rains were falling fast and furious. I was getting along just fine grading student work when a crack of thunder struck with such vigor that my entire house shook; it felt as if it had lifted off its foundation then landed back.

After the holy crap moment, something really odd happened - there was a moment where I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. There was no sound, it had all turned off. Time stood still for a moment and I felt a chill, and the only thing I was aware of in that moment was the fact that there was nobody to share it with.

And then, as quick as that strike of thunder hit, it was gone and everything was back to where it was.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A No Spoiler Commentary on Tonight's Voice Eliminations

This sort of holds true for these sorts of audience vote competition shows but this is based specifically on this season (and tonight's episode of) The Voice.

Sometimes, the contestant you want to win gets voted off. That doesn't mean in the moment, you may not react to it and maybe even be irrationally upset (happens to me).

Turns out, the voting audience does not always agree with you and may not even vote exclusively on talent.

Please note, anywhere here that I refer to "you", I also mean "me".

I think the truly talented performers can take advantage of what exposure they've been afforded and hopefully run with it. Everything else is all up in the air - everything changes on a dime. The fact is, if you look at The Voice in particular, they've had many talented performers, none have become famous.

It's all just the way it works (or doesn't work) depending on how you view it.

COMING SOON! - Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking

Author Erin Dionne's latest book is being released on July 11th. Pre-order now using the link here in this post.


I am offering the following to those who purchase this book from this link:
  1. At least 4% of your purchase price will be donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief (that money will come out of my pocket, not affect your cost or Erin's profits in any way).
  2. An autograph from the author (provided you get the book to me and provide return shipping if you are not local).
 
Check out Erin's other books, all are terrific (same deal on the donation and the autograph):


Pictures from Yesterday

Because you asked, here are the few pictures I have from yesterday (they all appeared on FB, but some of you don't do FB):
 
 
1. The legendary swan boats at the Boston Public Garden
 
 
2. Just outside the water, actual swans, nesting


3. A duck family (baby duck was so freaking cute)


4. Thirsty squirrel


5. One man band


Monday, May 27, 2013

Boston Strong

I spent some time today in Boston with my daughter. I should have know it would be a great day by the amazing luck we had parking the car! This won't mean much to those of you unfamiliar with the city of Boston but my plan was to drive down Boylston (from Mass. Ave.) hoping to find a spot on the street and if not, work my way left and into Beacon Hill then back again.

So I am at a red light on Boylston readying to make a left turn onto Dartmouth. Boylston was totally mobbed, especially near this intersection, the Boston Marathon Memorial is just across the street and that was a priority stop for us. While waiting at the red, I see the a couple returning to their car right on the next corner on Boylston, just across the red light and all I can hope is that the lights and mostly the pedestrian traffic somehow all time themselves so that those people pull out just as I can make it across Dartmouth and pull right in behind them. I actually felt a real rush of adrenalin coursing through me, the odds of this all coming together in this city are so astronomical, but I was hopeful!

The light turned green and I almost felt the world go into slow motion. I looked very carefully at the pedestrian traffic, which is manic at best on that street and saw that I was clear and sure enough, the car was just backing up to clear for pulling out and there I went, in right behind and our parking spot for the day was secured. I was so happy and I almost considered buying a lottery ticket but chose not to tempt fate and be grateful.

Being right across the street, we made the memorial our first stop. I must say, it is so very powerful and moving and just a few short moments walking around the perimeter, I began to tear up. I planned to take a few pictures but couldn't for some reason (I didn't bother to concern myself with why). There was a point where we spotted a little pug puppy and it was perfectly timed. the cuteness of the dog helped to offset the emotion and grief invoked by the memorial and made the rest of the viewing easier.

After the visit to the memorial, we took a stroll back up Boylston toward Mass. Ave. (with a brief stop at the Prudential Center). We turned right onto Mass. Ave, then had to make our way down one of my favorite streets I've ever walked on, Newbury street.

Newbury street is such a great people watching street and is filled with all sorts of people, culture, music, art and food. We stopped in a few shops along the way and had long at a Japanese noodle place - I think it was on Hereford (could have been Gloucester) just off Newbury.

We continued down Newbury all the way to Arlington then crossed over into the Boston Public garden and walked along the paths, watched the swan boats, saw real swans and the other wild life, and lots and lots of people enjoying the beautiful day in the park and just before we left, there was a one man band dude that really seemed to be enjoying himself. In fact, my daughter had a brilliant quote, and I hope I do it justice because I am not sure if I recall it verbatim, it was, "It's nice to see someone enjoying themself so much while doing something so odd."

We exited the park onto Boylston then walked back to the car and contemplated whether or not someone else would see us pulling out of the parking spot and have a similar experience (or possibly the heartbreak of missing the chance while someone else snatches the spot from them).

What a wonderful day we had!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Did You Make the Punch?

Holiday weekends such as this one often find the church pews emptier than usual and often, things get overlooked. After service every week we have fellowship, everyone just hangs out and socializes and there is coffee, juice and treats. Of course,MIT happens every so often that the person who volunteered to get fellowship ready forgets, doesn't show up and there is nothing to drink or much on. In the grand scheme, it's not all that it of a deal, I think the kids are more disappointed than the adults because they don't have cookies, donuts or whatever treat might be there that day.

Today, there was clearly nobody there to get it together and while I am on a self imposed retirement from such duties, seeing all the kids (and adults) that did show up this morning, at some point late in the service I just felt called to try to get something together. 

During one strategic point in the service, the offertory, I made my way to the kitchen to assess what was possible. Turned out there were a number of brownies and mini muffins that had appeared (yes, treats sometimes appear in church) but I realized there was no way to brew coffee in the 20 minutes or so that was left in the service. I went back into church with a plan to leave right after the Eucharist, which buys me about 10 minutes to improvise.

I get back to the kitchen fresh off the communion rail and open every pantry door and the refrigerator. I decide to grab the punch bowl and with very little thought, bring it to the table in the church hall. I then get some ice and place it in the bowl and found a jug of Hawaiian Punch that had a few remaining inches, so I lured that into the bowl and grabbed a 3 liter bottle of ginger ale from the pantry and poured that in as well. Initially, that was going to be it. When I returned to the kitchen to close the pantry doors, I found a bottle of sparkling peach something or other and thought, this is the secret ingredient, and I opened the bottle and poured it in the punch bowl, gave a little stir, then pre-poured a dozen or so cups to go with the brownies and mini muffins I laid out. I felt good about what I had done.

Once the crowds came, the kids made their traditional race to the table, soon after followed but the adults. Over the course of the time we were there, at least a dozen folks came to me inquiring about the punch, telling me how delicious it was and demanding the recipe. I literally said, "about 3-4 inches of Hawaiian Punch from a jug like that (pointing to the empty jug in the distance), a 3 liter little of ginger ale and a bottle of mystery sparkling peach beverage". Most of the time I got odd looks at the last ingredient and then heard, "it's delicious, thanks!"

I find this all very funny.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday, In The Park...

...okay, not in the park, in the rain though.

Been planning a kitchen remodel, out of necessity - damn crappy cabinets are falling apart. It's so stressful!

Had a killer roast beef sandwich from:
Glad I don't live near this or I'd be far less healthy!

My daughter spent the day, and will tomorrow, at "Anime Boston" - when did my daughter get old enough to do that stuff?

I hate being hungry at night.

Everything boils down to Pizza!

Good night!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Dunce(s), Happened So Fast

I should probably get in the habit of talking about my good students every so often but the boneheads are more interesting. here's an email I received tonight:

Hello,
My name is **clearly uncommitted** and I am in your CIS summer 1 class. I just got back from vacation unfortunately and just ordered my text book.

Is there a deadline for the concept quizes? I ordered my textbook express mail so I should be receiving it at the latest on next Wednesday.
 
I apologize and know it I should have had the textbook by Monday and will complete the first week assignments as soon as I get the textbook. I would just like to know the deadline for the assignments in your course.
 
Thank you for your help and I am looking forward to taking this course!
**clearly uncommitted**
 
Let me put this into perspective, this is a 6-week accelerated course that began this past Monday. Why the heck would you sign up for a summer course that begins on the 20th and plan a vacation in which you don't get back until the 24th, missing almost 5 days. Then, to not have a text, not even order it until you get back and not expect the book until next Wednesday. Were this a full 15 week course, this would be the equivalent of not showing up until early in week 3 but not having the text book until the middle or so of week 5. I can't think of any adjective to adequately describe this other than stupid.
 
Here's another gem:
 
Hi Professor Daniele,
Are the quizzes due by the end of the week (May 26 for week 1)? I will not have access to a computer to complete "Office Primer" quiz until 9am Tuesday.
Thank you
**Also Uncommitted**
 
Signs up for an online course (which requires a computer), the course happens to be a computer course (requires a computer), on the 5th day of the accelerated class decides to have the balls to ask when the assignments are due (despite the due date being on the syllabus) and even worse, not having access to a computer until the middle of week 2 (out of 6); again, stupid.
 
To help balance this, I do have one whippersnapper whose completed a third of the assignments already!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Podcast: Shits and Giggles

  • Thank you Vertical Horizon
  • Bieber/Bon Jovi
  • American Idol judging/Go Away
  • and of course, Shits and Giggles (plus a bitchin' hair metal tune from the day).

You can CLICK HERE to go to the podcast site where you can download the episode and/or subscribe.

Or, listen right here:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Phone Post

I planned a very different post for this evening, then the evening got away from me and all of a sudden its 11:30 at night. As a reminder, and a teaser, I will tell you now that tomorrow you can expect a post that refers to the expression "shits and giggles".

For now, perhaps you might find it interesting that this entire post was composed on the Android blogger app,  much of it using voice recognition technology.

It has been quite some time since I talked about baseball. For some reason, I can't seem to get into baseball at all this season. I came into the season with the clear expectations that New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox would spend it vying for last place- somehow, the Yankees are managing to win ball games and I really have no idea how. I still feel that by the end of the very long baseball season, my original expectation will come true. I hope I'm wrong, about the Yankees that is, but it would be some miracle if they end up winning consistently throughout the full season.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Updates

I believe I mentioned here a few weeks ago that I had been nominated for an Employee Recognition award. I did not win this time. I did receive and stupid crystal vase in recognition of 15 years of service though.

Big shout out and congratulations to my friend Mark Larson who was elected to School Committee in our town.

I was able to fully close the books on my spring courses and Monday, opened the books on the summer one. This is a 6 week accelerated course; lots of work over a short time period but then I take a teaching holiday until September.

Got shot down for this year's Blackboard World conference. I've been trying to find alternate funding but it's not looking good; Budget shmudget!

There's a weird issue with my new treadmill when using programmed workouts or the one-touch incline/decline buttons - let's say you are at a 6% incline and the program brings you down to 3%, the treadmill goes up instead of down - OOPS! I spoke with them today and they are sending two parts to replace. Hmmmm!

Mad Men this season has taken a step backward (in my opinion). There have been some good moments but overall, the story lines are dragging, weakish and not all that interesting. I want to believe its all a glorious buildup but I'm not thrilled with how it's being executed thus far. Also, I hate that they bypassed 1967!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Gabriel's Message

Every once in a while, there's a magic moment that puts you in your place; makes you stop and think a little about purpose, about people and about civilization in general. There's a teenage boy at church, he lives his life on what is commonly referred to these days as "the spectrum".

Somewhere along the way, he made a decision that it was time to be confirmed and this past year, like the other confirmands at church, he spent a couple of hours every other week being mentored and preparing for what it mans to be "confirmed".

While the official confirmation ceremony took place yesterday, among a larger sub-diocesan group, today at our church, we celebrated our confirmands, including Gabriel.

Each of them had to come up, read a piece of scripture that moved them and tell why they chose it; this was their chance to serve as "teachers". When it was Gabriel's turn, that's when the magic happened.

The thing is, there is no way words can describe that moment. It was clearly not a simple task for Gabriel but there was a determination in his spirit and support from those around him and he just found a way not only to make it happen, but to create a moment of human interaction that not only taught all of us something, it downright brought us all to tears - it was just that powerful.

As I wiped the tears from my face, as so many of us in church that witnessed this moment did, we all knew that we were witness to something magical.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On the Horizon

It's just after 8:30am as I start typing this and I've got the workout taken care of. I've been deep to Cat Stevens the last week or so, Tea for the Tillerman in in the CD player and later this afternoon, I will be seeing the great band Vertical Horizon in Boston.

My friends Jenn and Steve will be playing bass and guitar respectively for Vertical and it's a homecoming for band leader Matt Scannel. I had the honor of seeing this band (and hanging out with them) last summer and am looking forward to seeing them again and spending time later with Jenn and Steve (and I'm betting quite a few of their old Beantown friends).

I don't want to spoil this day or this post harking on what's been bugging me lately so I will put that off for just a little more. Today is about good times and good people.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ignoring What's Really Bothering Me (For Now)

I need to process through the crap that is really irritating me so for now, a little more meaningless news from the entertainment world. It seems that while Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera will indeed return to replace their replacements for season 5, Shakira and Usher, who I felt did the job way better and really improved the show immeasurably, will bot return for season 6.
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"Surgeons are seeing a 31-percent increase in plastic surgery requests as a result of how people want to present themselves on social media accounts." This is just as alarming as it is a sign of just how ridiculous human kind can be. This almost makes me sad.
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If you're into music, try catching "Live from Daryl's House" on Palladia.
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Neon Trees are badass, great band!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More Meaningless Stuff but Ain't That Often the Fun Stuff Too?

It seems as if the producers and bigwigs at ABC have finally gotten wind of the fact that DWTS needs help. The show is getting old and more than that, the time commitment of a 2 hour competition on Monday and a 1 hour results show on Tuesday is just too much, especially for us TV junkies who have other things to watch. Here's a snippet from a media article:

The network announced on Tuesday that it will no longer air the reality series on two nights per week.  Instead, it is folding the Dancing with the Stars results show into the competition's performance show as part of a two-hour block on Monday nights.

ABC has traditionally aired a one-hour Dancing with the Stars results show on Tuesdays, one day after the performance show.

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee explained the decision to reporters: "We think that by taking the results show and building it in to the two-hour block, from 8 to 10 on Monday night, we can really build a sense of occasion to that and drive viewership to Monday night."

Source: http://www.wtma.com/common/more.php?m=58&ts=1368617704&article=88885F6BBD3E11E286DEFEFDADE6840A&mode=2
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How about a full workout in 7 minutes?

This is from Gretchen Reynolds originally published in the NY Times magazine on 5/12/2013 and it caught my attention and thought I would pass it on:

(Click on image to see full size)


Exercise science is a fine and intellectually fascinating thing. But sometimes you just want someone to lay out guidelines for how to put the newest fitness research into practice.
An article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal does just that. In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.
“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.
Work by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions shows, for instance, that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
Interval training, though, requires intervals; the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery. In the program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. But even more, he says, it’s accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. During the intermezzo, the unexercised muscles have a moment to, metaphorically, catch their breath, which makes the order of the exercises important.
The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Items in Entertainment News

This biggest news item today is about Angelina Jolie and her elective double mastectomy. This one has been very hard for me to understand. I mean, I get why she made the choice to do so but I can't figure how that decision gets made, the amount of inner strength, fearlessness and self confidence that it must take. I've never been much of an Angelina Jolie fan but I admire her courage and her willingness to share her story.

Seems that Christina Aguilera is returning to The Voice next season and Cee-Lo may not be far behind. I have to say, I thought Usher and Shakira have been awesome this season and I'd rather have them than Christina and Cee-Lo.

Bill Hader exits from SNL. that's a huge loss but they've endured many huge losses; I wish him well.

Seth Meyers, also leaving SNL to take over for Fallon's show when Fallon takes over the Tonight Show. I don't know if I could belive Seth Meyers could pull it off but it wasn't clear fallon would be able to and he's adapted well.

I've officially given up on DWTS, though Survivor was extra awesome this season (though they really need to rethink the reunion show), next season of Top Chef will hail from NOLA, and that's about it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bits and Pieces

I'm very please with how Survivor turned out and thought it was a great season to watch.

I'm trying to get together my next pay it forward gift to go out. It's definitely time to get one out there, I've only sent one out of five.

I recently learned that something as simple as a hand written thank you note means something special to some people.

I heard today of the passing of "Dr. Joyce Brothers". Unless you are old enough, the name means nothing to you but she was pretty cutting edge. Dr. Brothers was a TV personality who was a psychologist and she appeared ion many different forums. She paved the way for so many that followed but she was more about the science than the stardom.

I'm looking forward to watching all of the episodes of the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix, after which I will tell Netflix to go eff themselves again - what dump of a company.

UPS refers to themselves as "Brown" - perhaps they know they are shit!

Okay, enough with the negatives - here's to some good things:

I'm once again nominated for an employee recognition award. I've been nominated quite a few times and even won twice; I am hoping for a third award.

Here's something for you - I'm sure you all know about what happened during the Boston Marathon just about a month ago. One of the people who died was a young woman named Krystle Campbell. Krystle is a graduate of the school I work for and the college has set up a scholarship fund in her name. If this is the type of thing you like to donate to, click here and go for it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Laverne and Shirley

I'm sitting here at my desk trying to think of what to type here in this space today. For so much of today, Mother's Day, I've been seeing dozens and dozens of tributes on Facebook and thinking a lot about my mom and all the mom's I've known over the years.

I really wasn't certain what to say in this space and as I ran my hand through my hair hoping to stir up some thoughts, my brain, followed by my voice began singing the Laverne and Shirley theme song.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
We're gonna do it!
 
Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.
 
Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.
 
There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.
 
On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

I really love the sentiment of this song, the idea that nothing is impossible and that if you have your heart set on something, just go for it - no matter what.

To all the mothers in the world who take that role seriously, who selflessly give all of themselves to their children, who love without condition...Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday 9: Mama Told Me (Not to Come)

1) This song is about a lad who didn't take his mother's advice and attended the wild party anyway (hear it here). When you were young, did your parents approve of your friends? If you're a parent yourself, how have you handled it when your kids start hanging around with friends you're not crazy about?
My parents were okay with most, if not all of my friends. There came a period where I just did a lot of rebellious shit so she "hated" me and everyone I hung out with for the period she was pissed at me. For the most part though, it was all good.

2) A 2010 poll named Marge Simpson of The Simpsons the most popular TV mom of all time. Who is your favorite TV (or movie) mother?

When I was a kid, the females on TV really only had one main purpose for me, crushes or not. LOL. I mean, I know I had a number of crushes on girl TV stars that were somewhere close to my age but I can't recall giving much a darn about a mom. I guess because I watched her so much, Carol Brady - she was pretty attractive looking back but she seemed like a cool mom and I watched the Brady Bunch a lot as a kid.

3) Crazy Sam's mother is a big fan of The National Enquirer. As she likes to say, "They were right about John Edwards!" Do you read the tabloids? Cast a guilty glance at them when you're in line at the store? Or ignore them altogether?
Back in college I would occasionally read them but now, I do catch the headlines while on line at the store but haven't physically opened one for a deeper look in years.


4) Mother Winters always gave Sam peppermint tea to calm her stomach. Do you have any tried-and-true home remedies to share?


My mother was big on the chamomile tea, and not the fancy tea bags either, the type of chamomile flowers from the drug store - made me wanna eat my own vomit rather than drink that warm pee water to settle my gut.

5) Thinking of guts ... When making decisions, do you tend to consider all the options carefully or do you "go with your gut"?

I tend to over think most things, I try to trust my gut but I do look at all of the options-at least, all the options I can think of, even ones that sometimes make no sense at all.

6) Spring is here! Do you have a green thumb?
Not at all, in fact, I have whatever the direct opposite of a green thumb is. I can grow the fuck out of weeds though, with no effort whatsoever!

7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?

Why would I do that?

8) After you lather and rinse, do you repeat?
Not with the same product. There are some days that instead of using a 2-in-1 I go with separate shampoo and conditioner then I lather and rince one, then the other (but not before singing, often out loud, the song "Her Majesty" three times - not in an OCD way though).


9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away Hershey bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?

Dark Chocolate - by a mile!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sox Tix/Police

Yesterday was a strange day, there was so much going on with meetings and other stuff. Early in the day, I got to do one of my favorite things I do at work. Once per semester for the past few years, volunteers from faculty and staff don and apron (and the brave such as I, a chef's hat), and serve breakfast to the students. The event is referred to as "Good Luck on Finals Breakfast" and I love to play it up, work the crowd a little and have fun. This year, there was a point where I had the president of the college serving on my left and the CFO to my right and I'm between them in my chef's hat and apron riling up the crowd with chants and dancing to the music (there is a DJ) - it's really fun!

I'm going to leave out the part of the day that wasn't so fun - you don't need to hear it and I've kind of left it behind so no sense in documenting it, it wouldn't serve any purpose.

Later in the day, someone gave me a pair of tickets to the Boston Red Sox game. I am not a Sox fan at all but I like baseball enough that I would normally catch a game every now and again if the opportunity strikes. Turns out though, I was unable to go to the game so I called a few friends who I thought might like having them - all had other plans as well. Then, I got this neat idea to treat a first responder from my town to the tix. I first stopped at the fire house and while they were appreciative, everyone in the house was on active duty until 8 am the following morning. The police station is right next door so in I went and sure enough, they took the tix and seemd very happy and I felt pretty good about getting those tix into their hands.

The Inner Depths

I had at least 2 if not 3 things I wanted to talk about and was prepared to post something yesterday, the cosmos had other plans. I was pretty much tuned out to all social media yesterday and was quite tied up with work stuff for most of the day.

When I got home from work, I had to pick up my daughter and I basically faded fast - in bed around 9:30. I'm trying to recover the data in the brain cells that seemed to have gone on holiday and should be back later tonight with a topical post instead of mish-mash.

OH, a reminder to myself - Sox Tix/Police.

Later!

***** Obligatory webcam shot *****


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

While at the Doctor's Office

I went to the doctor for a routine physical yesterday and because I obsess about doctor appointments, I thought I would be very thorough about the part of the process where the form they make you bring asks to list all medications and on prescription so and so you currently take.

I made a list of the supplements I take, then photocopied the back of the package for the protein powder I use in my morning smoothies and provided the ingredient list of both my morning smoothie and the green smoothies I drink. My doctor was amazed that I brought all of this and was impressed at the smoothies; he asked if I wanted the papers him back. I told him no, that I brought them just so he knows about them - he actually excused himself before returning and finishing the examination.

When I was done, as I passed the nurse's station to leave the office suite, they all thanked me for the smoothie recipes. Dr. Chau had shared the recipes and they all photocopied them.

That just makes me smile!!!

My blood pressure was a fantastic110/74, my weight was up a little but overall, everything looked good. I got my blood work back today - lipid panel is fantastic and all but glucose was great. Sadly, the glucose was 105 - this really bothered me all day! I did have that one last reading finally under 100 and here I am with a 105. POO!!!

In the grand scheme though, I am in overall good health, I just need to keep fighting the good fight one day at a time.

BTW, my left shoulder is still feeling a little after effect from the tetanus shot!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

(More) Teacher Ventilation

In the years I've been a teacher, I've learned a lot about myself, students, adapting certain types of materials, when to make exceptions and compromise and when to stand firm. I've learned that every student is is an individual with a learning style that suits them and that there are some students that will work hard and some that despite embarking on a journey of higher education, refuse to put in the effort and worse, those of that group who don't take responsibility for their lack of effort and pass the blame to the teacher.

I also recognize that there bad teachers, and while I accept that I maybe not every student will like my teaching sale, based on performance reviews from students and deans and colleagues, I am confident that I am a good teacher and I know that I am passionate about it. I also accept that I make mistakes but when I do, I own up to them, work through them, and learn from them. I try hard to use these times to set a good example to my students so they too can understand that it is important to accept and own their mistakes and to learn from them.

Back to what I said earlier, I can't respect those students who don't do the work, don't put in the effort and instead of asking for help or advice, begin to attack the instructor and blame them and everything else around them. Instead of asking for help or advice, they make demands or accusations; in some cases don't say a word to the teacher and go the school administrators. What's crazy, is they go to these administrators knowing they haven't done the work yet they expect some kind of mercy.

I have to believe that part of the problem stems from the archaic education practices used in many or our countries K-12 system. I think we are so behind the rest of the world in hour we educate our young and it's quite tragic. Yes, there are some schools and districts trying hard to break the mold and catch up, but we really need more. I would put any K-12 student from any European country against any one of ours and I guarantee that the the European educated kid will blow away the American educated kid 100% of the time and by an incredibly wide margin.

We also need to not be afraid to tell those who are not read to make the full commitment to higher education that its okay to put it off until they are ready. I've seen some parents get so going ho on the college search and application process that they never really take the time to actually ask their kid if this is what they really want or if they are ready for this. The kid goes along for the ride and soon findthem self  halfway into a $20,000 or more semester and in danger of pissing it all away.

I work with the community college population, of which a percentage is there knowing they are to ready academically; another great challenge - meeting the developmental needs of these students and also helping them to truly understand where they are on their journey, make them feel good about it and offer them the support they need while holding them accountable and preparing them for what awaits at the next stage.

I think I need to stop here.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Pizza, from a Vending Machine!

Just because I am silly, this afternoon I googled "Pizza Vending Machine". I expected to be shut down but to my amazement, I found this:
 
 
There are so many things about this video that I can comment on:
 
First (and foremost), are you freaking kidding me? Pizza, from a vending machine! I almost want to lease one and get it into a great location. You know even if the pizza sucks, everyone is going to want to try this machine at least one time.
 
How about the bad overdub on the audio? Fun, right?
 
Here's a tip from one of the comments, turn on the captions - LOL! So funny!
 
Where did they get the woman in this video? What is she really trying to sell?

What the hell was that pronunciation of Oregano? Funny!
 
Pizza folks, from a vending machine.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Can't Figure It Out

As a teacher, you see lots of things. One that I will never understand is why someone embarks on the journey of higher education, pays good money for tuition, fees and books and then outs absolutely zero effort into it. Why bother?

If you are not ready to be in school, this is the one time you get to make a choice. Through high school, there isn't much of a choice, for most of that time, you have to be there but college is different. If you are not ready to make a serious commitment to college and I mean classes, not partying, then go work at Starbuck's or wherever the fuck and leave the seats in the classes for people who want to be there.

There is nothing wrong with putting off college, in fact, if you know you are not ready and make the choice to put it off yourself, that is way more responsible than deciding to go and then dicking around.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Shredder

I know that I mentioned I would be writing more anout the photo of the dude I posted the other day but I haven;t ahd the opportuity to do so and while I may still do so, right now I won't be going out of my way to do so since only a very few of you have given any feedback at all. If you are interested in expanding that topic, say so, and I will.

What I will offer you today is a video clip of my friend John Paolillo performing with "The Road Dawgs" a solo from the song Comfortably Numb; enjoy:

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Quick Update

I wanted to write at length about a conversation I had that was stirred up by yesterday's post. I don't have it in me right now as I received a very long and difficult call (not able to share here). One thing I did, is modify the photo that topped yesterday's post; I will discuss why I made the modification when I write the longer post but in the mean time, if you recall the first picture and you notice the difference, please think about how the change impacts (if it does) anything about how that the post from yesterday got you thinking (if it did).

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Belly Shirt

Modified 5/2
 
I've blurred the face on purpose. I've cropped the picture on purpose. I don't know this person and the purpose of this is not to poke fun in any way. I was taking my walk at lunch time and waiting to cross the street when I noticed him waiting on the other side. My immediate reaction, the very first thing that came to my mind when I saw him was to tell him as we were crossing the street that he should consider a few sizes larger the next time he picks a shirt to wear. I immediately realized that this could be mistaken for a commentary on his weight and it wasn't.

I did not not pass any judgement, I saw him dressed that way and was baffled. I wondered if it was possible he had any idea what that outfit looked like. I didn't want to make any assumptions and certainly, his outfit really has no impact on the lives of those around him, but it does impact others perception of him; we all know this because we all put thought into what we wear before we leave our houses. It begs the questions, did he dress like that intentionally? does he know what he looks like in that outfit and thought it was fine?

If someone you didn't know had a giant booger sticking out of their nose, would you tell them them?
If they had a piece of food or something on their cheek, would you say something?
If a woman's dress was kind of trapped in a way that it was revealing way more than it should and it appeared she had no clue, would you say something?
If any of those were a yes, I can only assume that for the same reasons, it might be the right thing to say something to this guy about the way he is dressed?

This one had me baffled. My gut at first told me to say something but I didn't know what to say, and I didn't - so for all I know, he's still dressed that way and none the wiser. Does it even matter?

Is there a right or wrong here?