Friday, December 28, 2007

"Ear ye Ear ye..."

My oldest son just had another surgery on his ear. This time it was supposed to be a simple prosthesis surgery, lasting about 30-45 minutes. Two and a half hours later, the Dr. comes out to tell us he had a regrowth of his Cholestiatoma (SP?), and he had to remove it along with the accompanying infection. But the surgery went well, he had his stitches removed today, and everything is going according to plan. He still has some gel packing around the ear drum and prosthesis, but he can already hear out of that ear. We thank all who gave support for him during this surgery.

Take care. Stick.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lost and Found?

I was sitting at my desk this afternoon, when I suddenly realized that my PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) was not in its accustomed place on my desk. Horrors! I have lost my PDA! It has so much on it that I need— important dates, phone numbers, etc., not to mention all of the games and books. I thought of where I may have lost it. I retraced my steps, only to have no luck. Could someone have stolen it? Great, now I’ll never see it. I went to the main office in my building to see if it had been turned in. Again no luck. I posted an all call e-mail letting everyone in the building know that it was lost, what it looked like, and how to know if it was mine. After almost an hour of agony, I began to once again go through my day trying to think of where it could have been misplaced.

On the way to work, I had run into a traffic jam caused by bad weather, poor road conditions, and a minor accident in the tunnel on the freeway I use to get to work each day. I was delayed for almost an hour. Like normal, if I have time to kill, I took out my PDA to while away the time. In my truck, on the seat, (belted in for safety I’m sure) was my PDA. Maybe it was early Alzheimer’s, or just senility setting in early, but I was glad to find it, glad that someone had not been so low as to steal it, and only slightly embarrassed to again e-mail my associates to tell them the story.

Keep your head on straight. Have a Great day. Stick

“The blind shall see, and the deaf shall hear…”

Many of my family know that my oldest son suffered an infection in his ear that resulted in him spending 6 weeks in critical care. As a result of that, he had damage to the bones in his left ear, one of which had to be removed, and his hearing suffered. Recently, we had his hearing tested to determine what course of action would be best to help. When he first came out of the hospital, the Dr’s told us that they could replace the bone with a plastic prosthesis, but that the surgery would not necessarily make his hearing any better than it was already. Now however, they have a new titanium prosthesis which our Dr. tells us should return his hearing to almost normal. He will go in Dec. 21st for an out patient surgery. They will go through the ear canal for the entire procedure, and he will be able to go home with us that afternoon. It is amazing to me the things that science has brought to our society. Two years ago, this wasn’t possible, and now –here we are. It really makes me thankful for being alive in this day and age. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Take care. Stick.

My cup is full—don’t spill it!

Thanksgiving day we had a table full of 16 for dinner. Actually our table overflowed onto a table set up in the living room for the kids. No, not a card table, but the same idea :o). I was very grateful for the family and friends who joined us, especially when I heard about the 31 that Inside Stories had at her house. My wife just recently made contact with a cousin of hers that lives in our area, and she and her husband also joined us. With her addition, we evidently added that touch of after-dinner entertainment that most family get together’s need. She would make a comment, and everyone would break up laughing. She compares favorably with Yogi Berra for abusing and misusing the English language by either mixing up the word, or using the wrong word in her conversation. I think by far the favorite was when she was discussing the “Hy-anal” hernia that an acquaintance had suffered with. All in all though, it was a great time.

Don’t eat too many leftovers—just enough. Take care. Stick

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Delirious and others have been making confessions on their Blogs of late. I just want you all to know......I ADMIT TO NOTHING! :o) Even though I can't stand the cartoon, to quote Bart Simpson, "Nobody saw a thing, you can't prove anything, I'm innocent." I'm sure that Delirious' youthful memory is warped by her sensitive nature, and vivid imagination. After all she didn't even get the details right. It was her big Teddy bear that was hanging outside her window....or at least so I heard.

Nene has also been reminiscing, particularly about food from our childhood. I remember
Mom's potato soup as being good too, but I think that my least favorite dish was the turkey enchilada that mom makes. Not because it tasted bad, but because she always made it from leftover turkey, and I always got bones in my serving. I don't know why this bothered me so much, but it is the same reason that I don't like trout.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Ever Seeking Poet

More of my efforts. One for fun,

Tricked Off
By Stick

The full moon is shining, clouds skimming ‘cross its face,
Werewolves are howling, seeking access to this place.
With wolves’ bane and garlic, we bar against the night,
For those creatures that are creeping, to give us all a fright.

The Doctor is in, Ms. Shelley would approve,
Igor says the monster is beginning now to move.
The villagers are prowling, torches burning bright,
They’re striving through the gloom, to see the horrid sight.

While out in the fog, the Count begins to seek,
Looking for a donor who is docile and meek.
Van Helsing is also looking through the dreadful gloom,
He’s cooked up a stake, which will bring Vlad to his doom.

Far off in the sands, although running low on purse,
Carter and his friends, unleash the boy King’s curse.
Now that he is roused, the Mummy stalks them all,
Stopping only once, winning at the costume ball.

Yes, everyone’s excited on this All Hallow’s Eve
Jack’s face is lit with joy, as the ghosts begin to leave.
We turn of the TV, those old movies can’t be beat,
While out in the night the kid’s scream "Trick or Treat!"
And one a little more serious
By Stick

We live our lives in Circles, we all run around
And try to complete them, while seldom is found
The answer we’re seeking, lost in the crowd,
So we just go on looking, if we’re not too proud.

One circle we find contains all of our friends.
We patch and we work to keep and to mend.
All those around us, we trust to support,
With them we are free to laugh and cavort.

Another circle that we all do obtain,
Is the circle of work by which we sustain
The life we have chosen, our day by day,
It brings us things from our earnings and pay.

Some circles are small, not amounting to much,
While some grow so large, we get out of touch
With those we include to help us along,
Who love us, or hates us, or just play along.

The smallest circle there is, is just one man alone
Who keeps to himself, which is hard to condone.
The largest circle by far is the one we’re all in,
The circle of man on this earth, with all of its din.

We draw all these circles, the large and the small,
Each perfect and round, no difference at all,
Except in the things that we keep inside,
The things we let out, and the things that we hide.

We turn and we turn in the circles we make,
And we will never our circles forsake.
We live life in Circles, and in them we find,
Truth and Love, and all of mankind.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dumb Animals--I Don't Think SO!

Saturday, my wife and I drove down through an area that was full of hunters looking for that elusive deer. It seemed like every little side road had a truck sitting on it, and the specks of orange out on the hillside came from more than the leaves turning with the fall weather. In the area we were driving there is also a mining operation which has posted areas where you cannot hunt. As we approached the top of this area, we noticed vehicles on the road ahead of us quickly slowing down, and then pulling away again. When we got there we saw why. Lying, standing, feeding and walking around were about 20 deer, including 4 rather large bucks. Now these deer were right out in the open--no trees or brush hiding them. They knew they were safe where they were at. It was almost as if they were laughing and making fun of the hunters, and the frustration they were feeling at having these animals so close, but beyond their reach.

Take Care. Good Hunting. Stick.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top Tips to know if you should fire your Realtor

5. Your house has been on the market at $60,000 under its suggested price, and still
hasn’t sold.

4. You call your realtor, and can never get hold of them.

3. You call to ask your realtor to turn the furnace on in the house, and the sprinklers off in the yard, since winter is coming on, and they do neither.

2. Your Realtor’s boss calls you to tell you a room of your house has flooded from your sprinklers, and your realtor didn’t know because it has been so long since they were in the house.

And the #1 tip:

1. The realtor moves, and doesn’t bother to tell you.

Take them. Use them. They all happened to us. Take care. Stick

The Hunter or the Hunted?

I wanted to share an incident that happened to an associate recently. He is an avid hunter, and prefers to even the playing field for the animal by hunting with a bow. Over the last weekend, he and his son and a third friend were out on an Elk hunt. The three of them were quite spread out, and he had set himself up at the top of a draw. He could hear some elk moving towards him, so prepared to make a shot. Soon, two bulls and several cows came into view. It seemed like something had spooked them a little bit, so he thought that one of the other hunters must be coming up behind them. His best shot was at the smaller of the two bulls, so that is the one he shot at. No sooner had he hit it, and it dropped to the ground, than a large Mountain Lion ran up to his just downed Elk! The elk and the lion were only 30-40 yards away. He said the lion walked up to the elk and licked its face, then kind of walked around it surveying the scene. The third hunter of the three was a Game Warden friend, and they were in radio contact. This associate of mine called on the radio to ask what he should do. Could he legally shoot the lion too, or would he have to give up the elk. The Game warden said, just try to scare it away—throw things at it, or try shooting into a tree nearby, you can’t shoot it unless it charges you. He had a gun which most hunters carry for protection, and fired into the tree near the lion—nothing, not even a flinch. So picking up branches and rocks from the ground around him, he began to throw things at the lion, and finally it began to slowly walk away. He said the most frustrating part of the entire incident, was that his camera would not work. The cold temperatures had drained the charge from the batteries, and even though he tried warming them in his hands, he could not get a picture before the lion left. He said it is an experience that he will never forget. His son is an art teacher, and paints and sketches from real life, so with his son’s camera, they took a picture of the elk and the surrounding area before they moved anything, and he has asked his son to paint the picture as it was—with the lion near the head of the elk.

My only comment was, who was hunting who?

Take care. Stick.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Radon Test (And we didn't even study)

We are going through the steps to purchase a home here. We have done the pre-qualify thing. We’ve got a realtor. We have a contract. The bank is going to do an appraisal. However, we also needed to have the home checked for Radon gas.

I have been surprised to discover how many people have never even heard of this. It is a gas which can seep into the basement of your home, which if breathed over time can cause lung cancer. Now this gas is present in many basements, but does not always build up to toxic levels, and in fact is harmless at lower levels of concentration. It cost $100 to have the gentleman come in to do the test, and it takes 48 hours to complete it.

So, what do you get for your money? The guy comes in with a little metal box with what looks like a microphone on the side. It is battery operated. He sits it down, turns it on, and leaves for two days, after which he comes back, looks at the meter on the side, and tells you how much Radon concentration you have in your home. Ours was very good, so we don’t need to worry about it, and we do get a written report telling us the same thing for our records. All for $100 and two minutes work plus the initial cost of the meter. I think I’m in the wrong business. I guess the peace of mind that we now have knowing we aren’t going to get lung cancer (at least not from Radon) should be worth the cost, but somehow I want more. Maybe they could give you a sticker that says, “RADON FREE HOME”, or even a nice T-shirt saying, “NO LUNG CANCER FOR ME—WE’RE RADON FREE!” That might even be worth an extra $10, but at the going rate for the rest of the test, it would probably be more like $50.

Take care, breathe free, and have a great day. Stick.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Concessions aren't Just in the Ballpark

I finally have to concede that I am getting older. I know that some of you are shaking your heads and saying, “No! Say it isn’t so!” Unfortunately it is. I have now entered the ranks of the bi-focal wearing generation. My hair seems to gray before my feeble eyes, and my body does not want to do the things it so willingly did twenty years ago. I can no longer run up a mountainside with my eighty pound backpack. I can’t work all day carting loads that would balk a mule, and then go out that evening and dance the night away. My only hope is that nature has somehow compensated me for the loss of these hitherto accepted attributes. I like to think that I am wiser than I was then, so I choose to carry more efficient gear, that weighs less, and that is why my pack is not as heavy. Now I take my time as I climb those mountains, the better to enjoy nature and breathe the fresh air. My years have brought to me more responsibility, so that I don’t have the leisure to waste away my evening with frolicking around after a hard days work. As for the bifocals and gray hair, these are just reminders of the hours spent in study and contemplation spent in gaining the wisdom which I have now acquired.

At least that is what I tell myself.

I wish I was twenty again. Take care. Stick

Friday, September 28, 2007

At Long Last

When you least expected it, here I am again. We were without Internet for over a month, but we have finally rejoined the 21st century. Not only that, but I have a new job, for which we are very greatful. I am now the adviser over the Academic Learning Center at Green River High School. I will be working with the "At Risk" students. These are the students who are struggling, but do not qualify for Special Education. We are still working to get this all set up, but I am looking forward to all of it.

Watch for more posts to follow. Take care. Stick.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Not Dead, Just Disheveled

I have been without a computer connection for almost a month now, and in fact I am posting from a library computer. I really hate this. I feel so cut off from the World. What does this say about our lifestyle, and the way it is leaning. I also don't have cable, or a home phone right now--only cell phones, and to top it all off, I am looking for a job without much success. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not getting discouraged. I'm sure this situation will change soon, but things do seem to pile on when you have time to think about them. Like a house that hasn't sold, and a second house whose rent is coming due--maybe if we just close our eyes it will all disappear and get better--maybe not. Until something happens, I guess we'll just keep plugging along, there's nothing else to do. There's no TV.

Keep Smilin'. Take care. Stick.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Getting lost with Delirious

My sister, who posts as Delirious, just commented on an article in National Geographic about why smart people sometimes don't survive when lost in the wilds. She mentioned several points brought up by the author, all of which were valid and interesting. I felt the need to add a few of my own--some serious, some not.

As opposed to Delirious, the authors I read tend to be a little less intellectual in their approach to survival. One of my favorites is Pat McManus, author of They Shoot Canoes Don't They, and The Grasshopper Trap, just to name a couple of his efforts. In one of his books, he discusses the idea of getting lost, claiming that he can do it faster, and in more situations than anyone alive. He also talks about what to do when you discover you are lost, and the different way people react to that discovery. My favorite--though I can't remember his name for it--is something like the full bore, linear panic. In this method, the person, on discovering he is lost, takes off running in as much as possible a straight line in the direction they are facing, running for all they are worth, and only changing directions when they hit the odd tree, bear, rock, etc. He says the problem with this form of response, is that often when they wind down, they are not only more lost than they originally were, but they are also considerably more beat up. To counteract this form of response, he says he has perfected the Stationary Panic. In this case, upon finding himself lost, he just sort of runs in place until he calms down enough to think clearly, then he sits down to await his rescuers. Now he does comment on several ways to make the rescue more interesting, but this is the basics.

Now to get a little more serious. I wrote a paper on surviving, and why some people don't. One of the things that was included in this paper was that we don't survive these situations because of our prejudices. We are often raised with certain ideas of what is edible, or potable, and therefore fit for human consumption. There have been people found dead in the mountains--dead from dehydration and thirst--who were walking alongside a river. Those found with them said they would not drink that "filthy water". We often limit our ability to survive in this way. People say, "I would never eat a bug-grubs-earthworms-grasshoppers-raw fish-you name it, I'd rather die", and they do. You need to prepare yourself mentally in order to survive by thinking, "I will do whatever it takes to survive." Now I have to admit, that there are lines here that I would not cross, things I would not eat or do. **Cannibalism.** Other than that though, I would, and have, eat just about anything to avoid going hungry. Another author of survival books mentions that almost every part of every animal in North America is edible. The only exception being the fur, feathers, and certain livers--like the Polar bear's--which are so high in vitamin A that they are poisonous to humans.
Now I hope we never need to do any of this, but it is interesting to learn about.
Keep your chin up. Eat your worms before they get cold. Take care. Stick.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

You're not qualified to do what!?

We took our kids downtown on the 4th of July to watch the parade. There were a lot of people watching, for the shortest parade we've seen up here. Now don't get me wrong--it was still a good parade, but shorter than normal. Usually all the car guys up here trot out their tuned up, tweeked out, polished up old cars and drive them in the parade. This year, there just weren't as many as before.

So we come to the point of this little episode. Rolling by our observation area came a beautifully restored '41 Ford Coupe. The proud owner driving, waving, and--most importantly to our kids-- throwing candy out the window. He was being followed by a huge Pea Soup Green BLM fire truck. Twenty feet past us, the '41 bursts into flames, with burning oil or gas dripping onto the pavement underneath the chassis. One of the bystanders runs to the BLM truck, "Quick! That car's on fire! Go help put it out!" Their response, "We're not certified for car fires." Luckily, a fast acting policeman, grabbed an extinguisher, and doused the car, then they pushed it off the burning spot on the road, and doused it too.

Now, I really feel sorry for the owner, but I've got to just scratch my head when it comes to the BLM guys. They had extinguishers on their truck too, and in fact someone saw that and grabbed it off anyway, but they acted like they didn't even want to get involved. Maybe it is too much red tape and paperwork if you put out a fire on someone elses turf.
It just makes you think. Take care. Stick

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Masked Marauder Strikes again!

My wife and I got up very early yesterday to make a long drive and back to Wyoming. After 14 1/2 hours, we got home and were ready to sleep the sleep of the just. It wasn't to be. At 12:30 am., our three girls came pounding up the stairs from their rooms in the basement, screeching all the way--a sound sure to bring even the dead surging from their beds. They came bursting into our room to the accompaniment of our hurried questions of what was wrong.
"There's a skunk in the window well outside our window!"

Sure enough. On inspection (carefully through the curtains from inside the house), we found one grade A, bonified, live skunk desperately looking for a way out of our 4 1/2 foot deep window well. Needless to say, as a mountain man of some years and experience, and a man of calm and chiseled visage, I did exactly the right thing.
"Go back to bed. We'll deal with it in the morning."
Of course, none of the girls would sleep downstairs after this, and every door between the window well and upstairs was closed, but come morning, our midnight visitor had escaped. He took along with him pieces of the screen from the window, or maybe he just destroyed it beyond recognition out of spite. It looked like he had dug enough dirt against one side of the well to climb to a point where he could jump out. Luckily he did not feel compelled to also leave a lasting reminder of his visit, so we feel blessed all the way around--we'll deal with the screen.
Take care. Get a good nights sleep, and most of your problems will take care of themselves. :o)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another First

In trying to relieve my pinched nerve, I have now had another first in my life. I went to a Chiropractor.

After taking my life history (boring--I've heard it before), and asking what I wanted to achieve through the visit (my back and leg to stop hurting), he led me to the most wonderful invention I've seen. He put me on a motorized, heated, massage table that kneeded my back from top to bottom for 15 minutes. He told me on the way in not to snore, but when he came back I told him it wasn't snoring, it was purring!
Once I was fully worked over, he took me to another table, where he began to kneed me all over again, with an occasional thump and bump--lining up my vertabrae to something resembling straight.
Over all, my opionion was--not too bad, however, I don't know if I will go again. Now I might consider making an offer on the massage table...
Take care, sit up straight. Stick.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And the curses continue...

I woke up at 2:30 am. with my leg hurting and cramping so bad I broke into a cold sweat. I was finally able to limp into the other room, where I sat in a chair untill 6 before I finally slept for a couple of hours. It seems that I have a pinched nerve in my back (Sciatic) and it feels like my left leg is cramping all the time--just on the verge of a charlie horse. I'm treating it, but this is nothing like I've ever felt before. Now I'm really looking for those frogs. I think I'd rather have them than this.
Take Care. Stick.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I just hope to avoid the plague of Flies...

I was looking at my arm the other day, and I had a big sore spot . I kept wondering what I had done to myself. At first thought that I had picked up a sliver in my arm from the construction we have been doing. Then I thought it might be a bug bite. As it turns out I have a boil. I'm not even sure I know what that is, or how you get one, but I guess it can spread. Now I wonder if there is something I need to repent of to avoid the frogs and flies.

Be good. Take care. Stick

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Now I know how they boil a live Frog

Some friends of ours live about an hour away near a little town called Downey. I say they live near there, because they actually live in an even smaller town called Swan Lake, but Downey is the subject of this blog.

Just outside of the town of Downey is a hot spring resort called Downata. (That's Down at a Hot Spring). This is one of our favorite places to go as a family. There are pools, slides, hot tubs, and play areas with water heated naturally by the springs. Unlike many hot springs I have been to, there is no unpleasant sulphur odor associated with this one. The water is very warm, in fact in the tubes for the slides, it is so steamy it is hard to breathe.

By the end of the day, all of us were tired and happy--and unfortunately, even with sunblock, burned to a crisp. Thanks to aloevera gel, we have gotten through most of the sunburn process- pain, blister, peeling, etc., but we still looked like boiled lobsters for the next week, and lepers for a few days after that. I'd still go back again tomorrow (and we might). I just need to find a more waterproof sunblock, or recoat more often :o).

Take care, put on some more sunblock. Stick

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Remote Control?

A while back, my wife was dropping my daughters off at our church. The lot was fairly empty as they walked from the van. The son of a friend of ours had just pulled in in his little truck. He jumped out and started walking towards the building. What he didn't see was that his truck was following him towards the building! Evidently he had accidentally bumped it into neutral, and it was rolling along slowly behind him. My wife and daughter both yelled at him, waving and pointing at his truck. Not being able to hear exactly what they were saying, he turned, smiled, and waved right back! He finally did notice the truck, but not before giving an opportunity for my wife and daughter to later laugh at his expense.

Check your brake and have a great day. Stick.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

After nine months in school, our principal has decided to enforce the dress code that has been ignored for the entire year. Up untill this year, the dress code has said that girls cannot wear shirts with straps less than two finger width, and no spaghetti straps are allowed. This year, apparently without any discussion with the school board, teachers, parents, or students, the principal decided to change the dress code. It now says no tanktop type shirts are allowed at all. No one knew about this change, and it has not been enforced. With rising temperatures, many of the girls are beginning to wear these types of shirts, and they have been making them either go home and change, put on a school provided t-shirt, or be suspended for the day. Needless to say, this has been met with some resistance. In one of my classes, the girls asked what they could do about it. I told them that they could start a petition, getting enough signatures-including signatures of parents- and they could possibly change the rule back to what it was before. They took it a step further, and organized a protest where as many girls as were willing, came to school today wearing tank tops. I told them this makes there cause look rebelious, not sincere. I guess we will have to see how this turns out. I agree with their right to try to change this rule, even though I don't necesarily agree with what they want. If nothing else it will be interesting to see the results.

Take care. Stick.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tiger Pride

Today was Tiger Pride day. On this day, once each year, our students go out into the community and give a little back by cleaning up the area. Of course, some give back more than others, but over all a good effort. I am always impressed by these kids. You can tell they have grown up with parents who taught them how to work--many of them have parents who farm (When we talk about a farm around here, we're not talking about your basic little 500 acre hobby farm like back east, or somewhere. We're talking about 35-40,000 acre farms). My group was scheduled to pick up in two of the local parks, cleaning up litter and branches. Just before we left, the school secretary came to us and told us that the city was bringing in some sod for one area of the park we were going to--6000 sq. feet of it! We bent to it, and with these kids, we laid that all in under an hour! I just wish I could get them to work that hard on school work :o).

Ther are some great youth out there coming up. They have drive, ambition, and they aren't afraid of work. It gives me hope for my future, and the future of this country.

Take care, and have a great day! Stick.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Springtime in Idaho...NOT

Except we rarely saw sun :o)

Which way should I go?

My wife and I drove to North-Central Wyoming on Thursday. We decided that we would go by way of Yellowstone Park since it is a much shorter route, and traffic would be light this time of year. We left at 4:30 pm., and expected a drive of about 7 hours. When we reached West Yellowstone, it was snowing (Yes, this is in MAY!), so we stopped to ask if the roads were open through the park. The store worker we talked to said it was probably snowing, but the roads were open, so we proceeded into the park.

Our first hint that something was wrong should have been the main entrance to the park. There was no one there to take our fee for entrance, but there were also no signs, or anything else to warn us of what we would discover once in the park. We drove between 60 or 70 miles towards the east entrance of the park before we came upon a sign that said, “Road Closed ahead”. Due to this closure, we had to back track 120 miles, and circle around the park through Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We finally arrived at our destination at 6:45 am. after driving all night. Nowhere did we see any signs, and noone said we might not be able to drive through the park, so we endured 14 hours driving in rain and snow, doubling what we should have had to do. We found out that the road was to open at 8:00 am. the next morning. I’ve never been so tempted to ignore a road sign in my life. I desperately wanted to drive right over the sign and continue on our way.

Take care, and check your maps. Stick.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

At Long last

I have not blogged in some time, not because I had nothing to say, but because I have been so busy. I would have something happen, and think, I need to blog that. Next thing I know, I've forgotten what I wanted to blog, or it has become irrelevant.
Just to let everyone know, if you want to see what Idaho looks like in the spring, I'll try to post a picture of our recent spring weather. If the picture doesn't work, just imagine the worst winter storm you've been in, and you'll be close. :o)
I'll try to post again later today to tell you about our recent trip, for now, take care, and have a great day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

But better never late...

I recently had my students turn in an assignment that I gave them. They were supposed to present a paper proving something about a person, group of people, or event. I gave them 3 months to write this paper, and even allowed them to turn in a rough draft at 2 months which I would read and grade, so that they could fix whatever was wrong and get a 100% on this assignment.

I received in total 81 of approxiamtely 125 papers, many of which were written the day they were due. I had students come to me that morning asking what the paper was supposed to be about. I had students have their parents check them out of school so that they would have an extra day to write their paper.

Better late than never.

Take care. Stick.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

To be, or not to be...

My wife asked my third daughter what she wants to do when she graduates from High School. She said, "I want to be a professional athlete." My first question was, "In what--Football?" My wife had a better question. She said, "What is your backup plan for when you get hurt, don't make it, or retire." My daughter said, "I think I want to be a Dentist."

So now I feel a little better about my retirement. I'll have at least one child either bringing in big bucks fixing teeth, or bringing in big bucks busting them. :o)

Take care. Stick.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Now You See What I'm up Against :o)

In my United States History classes, we have been discussing the second World War. As part of our unit, we spent almost an entire day talking about nuclear proliferation, its impact, and what the students thought should be done about it.

We also have several of my female students (juniors), who are involved in the Junior Miss program. This is similar to the Miss USA pagaent, where the girls can earn scholarships for college in different categories. One of the competitions that is included is the solo interview. Each girl is brought before a panel and asked questions about different topics, and they are graded on their poise, clarity, answers, etc. One of these girls mentioned that in her interview, she was asked, "What do you think about the possibility that North Korea and others might have the capability to make a nuclear bomb, and the proliferation of these weapons in the World?" After an entire day spent on this very topic, her answer for the panel, "It's bad."

Shake your head, and walk away.

Take care. Stick.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Yet Again...

Some people might think that I just sit around and write poems, but I really don't. I just decided to post several that I have written over the years. So here's another one. :o)

A Gift Given

A gift has been given
A debt is now owed.
None who are living,
Can lighten the load.

The debtor unshriven,
Seeks to repay,
That which was given,
Before end of day.

But what price to restore,
Who owes such a debt?
Who should we implore,
So none will forget?

And so comes to mind,
A pattern--a way.
To give back in kind,
Or so the songs say.

Give a part of yourself,
For a gift made with skill,
Pay not with pelf,
For no coin fills the bill.

The gift that was given,
The debt that was owed,
Is paid by the living,
A gift not bought with gold.

And so comes the answer,
To give in return,
A gift that will stir,
And make the heart yearn.

A gift made with your hands,
To give part of your soul,
Will meet the demands,
And make patterns whole.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Another ...

I told My sister I was going to post this.


People sometimes ask me why I sing
My answer is not simply just one thing.
My voice is raised in song time and again,
For the listening of common man and Thane.

Some people sing a song to show they're brave.
Some will sing when those are in their grave.
Others sing whenever they're in love,
Or to thank God who blesses from above.

If you can sing a song with strength and power.
You can bring happiness to all by the hour.
To sing a song with emotion in your voice,
Can help others because of that wise choice.

And so I sing out loud when I am glad.
I sing songs soft and low when I am sad.
I sing to raise the hopes of those that hear.
I sing to celebrate all I hold dear.

Oh, sing a song for joy,
Sing it now for sorrow.
Sing your song for each girl and boy,
For you may not be around to sing tomorrow.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"I Remember When..."

I am old enough that I remember some of the early TV shows and movies. My father and mother were especially fond of old movies, so I grew up watching right along with them. There was one old movie in particular called "Thirteen Ghosts". It was in black and white, and I could never watch it all the way through, because it was too "scary". I have seen that movie now as an adult (and it has been remade into a modern horror flick), and the original seems so corny to me now as to be laughable. I wonder how I could have ever been frightened by this film.

I think this is a commentary on our society. We seem to have a need for more reality, more blood, more horror, and more violence. Maybe if we could get back to the times when the corny black and white movies were scary again, we could get away from some of the actual violence taking place on our streets.

Something to think about. Take care. Stick

Monday, March 26, 2007

Scratch one more Profession from the list

I now know that I would never want to be a convict breaking rock for gravel. We decided to add two windows into our basement to make two rooms officially bedrooms. My father-in-law and I dug two 5’ deep window wells, cut the concrete with a saw, and broke out the concrete with a sledge hammer to get those windows in place, all in about 5 days. I know I couldn’t have done it without my father-in-law, but I was left to do most of the grunt work by myself, because he was hurt coming in. By Saturday, my hands were so sore that I couldn’t shake hands, or clap, without pain. I can’t imagine doing this job day in, and day out. It really gives me an appreciation for those that do. For those who read this blog regularly—no, we still do not have the other remodel projects done yet. We delayed them to do this job first while we had the help of someone who knew what they were doing.

Take care. Stick

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Throw out the rule Book

The rule in the student handbook for our school says, "No cell phones are allowed in class, and no other electronics are to be brought to school, ie. MP3 players, CD and DVD players , cameras, etc." This is supposed to be the rule. The problem is some parents feel like the rules don't apply to them. They give their little darlings cell phones so, "they can reach them in the case of an emergency". To these parents, it seems an emergency is wanting to know what they want for lunch or dinner. They call their son' and daughters during classes to ask them simple questions, confirm lunch dates, you name it.

Then you have the other teachers in the building. Many of them see nothing wrong with allowing students to use their phones in class, or use the electronics that are not even supposed to be in school. This is totally frustrating! We have rules for a reason, and even if you don't agree with them, we have to live by them to maintain order and discipline--neither of which are present in my school.

So much for my vent. I don't think things will change, but I can always hope.

Take care. Stick.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dumb and Dumber

I just gave a test to all of my classes today. In preparation for this test, each student was given a study guide containing all of the possible questions that I might ask on the test. This study guide was also to be turned in for a grade, and could be used during the test. All the students needed to do was fill in the study guide during the two weeks we were discussing this section, and they could then copy that answer directly onto their test. I couldn't believe how many chose not only to not do the study guide, but did not even attempt the test. The only way I could have made it any easier would have been to just give them a passing grade without any work.

Hang in there. Stick

Monday, March 5, 2007

For what it'sWorth...

I decided to post another poem/song.


The new moon rises over the distant ridge,
The clouds run a race across its white face,
Lightning dances on the nearby peaks,
While all around life picks up the beat.

What wonder is reflected upon her face,
An image that is hidden from those around.
What joy comes unbidden to those gathered there,
Though none can tell just what they’ve seen.

A misty scene appears before the seeking gaze,
Visions that none have sought show clear.
Truth, or lies, none who see can say,
While others question everything around.

Their thoughts flow round like water,
Looking for a means for their escape.
They trickle through the cracks in their mind,
Running away as quickly as they came.

The visions fade like the setting sun,
The moon has spent its time aloft.
She sinks into the cold horizon,
While the people seek understanding.

The storm has spent its force and fury,
The lightning rests ‘til the next song plays.
The darkness bleeds into the new day,
Only a few grasp the riddle they’ve been shown.

Friday, March 2, 2007

They come in three's...Watch out!

My sister just wrote in her blog yesterday that she had to change a flat tire for the first time. She Jinxed me! I have not had to change a flat for a while, but yesterday I did. I had cleaned out the bed of my truck to make room for a bunch of garbage from our remodel, then took the load to the dump. When I got there, one of the guys there said that my front tire was going down. I looked at it, then went around to dump my stuff. By the time I went to get back in the truck, my tire was almost completely flat. I limped it on up to the pavement by the dump office to change the tire. I started getting out the jack, when I suddenly realized that one of the things that got taken out of my truck before loading it with garbage, was my lug wrench! I went up to the office, and borrowed their phone to call my daughter who was at home. I asked her to get the lug wrench, and my floor jack and bring them to me. She walked out to the garage while talking to me, found the lug wrench, but said, "The floor jack is covered with spider webs, I'm not touching it!" I told her to bring the lug wrench, and I would make do with the jack I had. She arrived a little while later, gave me the wrench , and then left quickly--Too quickly! I went to get my spare down, and found that it too was flat! By this time it was almost closing time for the dump. I called her to come back down to get me and the flat tire so we could go get a new tire. After I hung up, I went back out, put my flat tire back on the truck, moved the truck carefully to just outside the gate for the dump, jacked the truck back up, and took the tire off again just as she pulled up. After a quick trip to the tire place, and back, I finally got the new tire on, and drove home. My quick trip to the dump cost me $67 and an hour and a half.

The motto--Be prepared! Take care. Stick

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Absent without Leave

My oldest daughter has had several absences from school lately due to illness. She is now having to petition the school to keep her credits and be able to graduate, and make up all the work she missed. I can't help but look at the different attitudes of the teachers, and their willingness, or not, to work with her in making up the work. Some have said that she was an "A" student before she left, and has been getting "A's" since her return, so no problem, but others don't even want to give her the school alotted time to make up the work she missed. All you can do is stand by, encourage her to keep going, and shake your head at some of the attitudes.

Hang in there. Stick

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beam me up Scotty

One of the teachers I work with has a habit of recording incidents of bad behavior on the part of students, especially foul language. She writes down the language used, date it occurred, and time. Somehow, one of the students found out about this journal while in her class. He blurted out, "You're sh***ing me, you write this down?" Of course she immediately took out her book and began writing in it. One of the other students then said, "Captain's log, stardate 2007 point 2....." Needless to say, she was not amused at the time, and kicked him out of class. As for me, I thought it was hilarious. Guess you had to be there to not.

Have a great day. Stick

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Keep the Faith

As a High School history teacher, I discuss many different religions, and the impact they had on the people of that particular time period of history. To me, this is one of the hardest things I do. I have strong religious convictions of my own, and it's so difficult to be teaching these ideas without voicing a real opinion about them. Even with that, the thing that surprises me most as I teach many of these kids, is the lack of ANY religious ideals among them. Now, there are some that are good kids with a solid religious background, and they come from a variety of faiths, but there are just as many who have no beliefs, or who profess one belief, but don't live that way. Maybe it's just a show for their friends, but when a kid tells you his goal in life is to sell drugs like his uncle, and to join his gang, it can really be discouraging.

All I can do is keep going, set the example I can, and hope for the future.

Take care. Stick.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Don't grow a moustache!

My two boys have been playing basketball, with their season finishing last week. The oldest boy went to the last practice, and came home with a fat lip from an elbow to the mouth. That has now turned into a bruise that covers the right side of his upper lip. From a distance it looks like he had half of his moustache shaved off. The girl's tell him, "Don't ever grow a moustache! It doesn't look good on you."

Poor kid can't even shave yet, and he's already getting criticism.

Take care. Stick.

More Wanton Destruction

It wasn't enough for our master bedroom to be torn apart. We needed more. I think we are gluttons for punishment, with maybe a streak of masochism. Saturday we tore out the tub surround in our master bathroom in preparation for putting tile around it to match the tile on the floor and counters. This means untill we can put it back together, we don't have a shower or tub in our bathroom. The tile is all up, with the exception of one trim piece that we forgot to have cut, and it is ready to grout. It really finishes this bathroom. The only thing we wish is that we had the money to put in a jacuzzi tub. Now we can focus on the rest of the bedroom, with the bathroom door a high priority :o). There is a light at the end of this tunnel, we just hope it isn't a train.

Take care, and have a great day. Stick

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sick like Me

I mentioned that my oldest daughter just had her wisdom teeth out. Unfortunately for her, she also now has the flu, and so do I. This has really hit her harder than me, because she was already more susceptable due to her condition. I can only hope that the rest of the clan can avoid this pleasure, and stay healthy. Just one more log on the pile :o).

Take care, and stay healthy. Stick

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Karma or Dharma?

In my history classes I am having the students work together in teams to teach a section of our current chapter. It has been interesting to see some of the ideas they have come up with for how to present their material, especially those who generally do not do anything in class--no notes, no homework, etc. These are the ones who get the most upset when the other students don't pay attention, and talk while they are trying to teach. Maybe it's Karma, or maybe it's justice, but it feels GOOD. :o)

Take care, Stick.

The Agony of De-teeth

Our oldest daughter just had two of her wisdom teeth, and two other teeth extracted yesterday. She does not handle pain well to begins with, and she is just miserable. She had originally planned to go to school today--not happening. We bought her protein shakes, pudding, yogurt, and ice cream to prepare for the time while she can't chew, or eat normally. She had a few mashed potatoes last night.

I can't help but remember my own experience with this painful episode. I must have been very loopy coming out of the anasthesia, because my mother says she had to hold my arm to keep me from falling over. In my own mind, I felt wonderful. I think this was the drugs talking, because I remember being miserable later. We went on a trip just a few days after my surgery, and I had a Big Mac for lunch. I had to take it apart, and eat a layer at a time, beacuse I couldn't open my mouth far enough to eat it normally. I hope my daughter recovers quickly.

Take care, Stick

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Weapons of Mass Destruction

It's horrible! The destruction never seems to end! There are pieces of debris everwhere!
Yes, we are remodeling again. We just tore down two walls yesterday in the hopes of creating a new and improved master bedroom suite. We now would like to meet the guy who wired our house, and ask him, "What were you thinking?" They ran power through the floor to one of the walls near our old bathroom door to power an outlet. Then it went under the floor for another 10' to come up into the wall further into the bedroom and power an outlet. From there the power went through the wall to power a light switch, and then up into the attic and back another 10' to power a switch that was 2' above the first outlet! When I told my father-in-law all of this (he's a contractor), he wasn't even surprised, he just laughed.
Sometime soon, we hope we'll have our room finished, our privacy back, and get out of the war zone. Currently we don't have a bedroom or bathroom door. I've hung a blanket where our new bedroom door will be. Come to think of it, the blanket might slow the kids down more than the door did, since they never knocked on the door . Maybe I'll install a self-locking door with a keypad, and then a doorbell (and then not connect it to anything).
Take care, Stick.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Funny! NOT!

I know that as a child, I was hilariously funny. My jokes were witty and cutting. My sense of comic timing was perfect. I'm sure that is true--or at least in my mind. The reason I know this is that my boys have this same attitude. They make up knock-knock jokes, they tell jokes, they make witty comments, and none of them are funny to anyone but them. Maybe someday they will finally understand what it really means to have a sense of humor, and know what is funny. Or maybe the problem is with me, and I still don't know what is funny and what is not.

Probably not. Take care. Stick

Thursday, February 1, 2007

"Too Hot to be Cold"

Having lived in southern Utah, where temperatures can reach 115 degrees and more in the summer, it has been a little difficult for my children to adapt to living in Idaho. I think they have finally made it. The other day, our temperatures rose to just above freezing. My two boys, who involved in youth basketball right now, had to walk to their team practice. When my wife and I went to pick them up, they were dressed in their tee-shirts, shorts and basketball shoes. No coats. No sweats. We asked them what they were thinking. Their answer, "It's hot outside!" Current outside temeperature at that time, 17 degrees.

Take care, and stay warm. Stick

Friday, January 26, 2007

"You're in the Army Now"

Recently, we have been studying World War I in the History class I teach. It always amazes me to read of the number of deaths resulting from these wars, and the number of ways man can come up with to kill other men.

When I was young, one of our favorite pastimes was to play Army. We would divide into two forces, and plan great strategies for attack and defense, each group doing its best to "kill" , or capture, the enemy. No one ever really got hurt. Even the dead were miraculously restored as each campaign ended. One of our neighbors had the ultimate fort for these battles. It was basically a Forest Ranger lookout tower, set on top of four telephone poles. The only access was through a trapdoor by way of a rope ladder. Everyone wanted to be on that side of the war, even if they were the "bad guys", just so you could go into this tower. We didn't have any allegiances, no agendas, except for that specific game. The next game you might be on the other side, "fighting" against your former teammates.

How simple things were. It was just a game. We didn't worry about the political correctness of what we did, we just played. Today I'm a good guy, tomorrow I might be one of the bad guys, but at the end of the day, we all went in for a popsicle, or a drink together. Too bad things aren't that simple in real war. Maybe if we could get everyone together at the end of each day, splitting a cherry popsicle, we wouldn't have the problems we have today. I think I would chip in a little for the cooler to get them there. Take care. Stick

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"30 Days has September"

Question to the Senior students:
"What is the date when all federal taxes are due?"

Answer from a graduate candidate:
"February 31st."

Shake your head and walk away.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"The Eyes have It"

When you meet someone for the first time, you have a tendency to look at certain features first. Some people (very shallow ones) will base their entire interpretation of what a person is going to be like based on this first impression. I know for myself, I have a tendency to look at the eyes first. I remember an advertisement from many years ago where the spokeswoman had amazing grey eyes. I was almost willing to use the product for that reason alone. It has been said that, "The eyes are the window to the soul." Whether that is true or not, I believe that eyes do tell us a great deal about the person they belong to. I have a little kids program on my PDA that allows them to draw faces. It gives them different choices of facial features to choose from, and they can create many different combinations. I have noticed that among the eye choices their is one set that I call the "evil eyes". No matter what goofy mouth, hair, ears, or nose you put on the face, as soon as you add the "Evil Eyes", that face is evil.

People you meet on the street are like this too. They may not be a bad person, and you certainly shouldn't judge them from a passing glance, but often you can see the "Evil" in them, at least at that moment. Maybe they have had a bad day. Maybe they are upset. Maybe they really are a bad person, but for that moment you can see exactly what they are. Some people have written about studies of psychopathic people, and one thing that they note is the lack of feeling and expression in these individuals, and this is why they are so successful at the things they do, no one suspects them, because they can't see the evil in them.

As a teacher, I can often see the guilt, or whatever, in my students long before I can prove anything. I try not to judge them, but they usually prove themselves out through their actions.

Keep your eyes open. I 've got mine on you. Take care.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Writer's Block"

I find it difficult to write a blog entry about why I haven't written any blog entries. If you have writer's block, and can't think of anything to say, how can you write to tell someone you can't seem to think of anything to write? I actually had an idea for something to write about as I was driving to work the other day. By the time I got there, I couldn't remember what it was. I'm sure it must be some form of brain damage, early alzheimer's, or some other aberration of nature out to ruin my life, or kill me off. You can't do anything anymore that is good for you. Every new study tells you some new thing that is hazardous to your health. This study says don't eat eggs, they are high in cholesterol, and can cause heart disease. The next study says, eat eggs because the proteins in them are good for you, as long as you eat them in moderation.

I'm not sure what I should do. If you stop eating everything, that will kill you too. I'll think this over as I eat my twinkie, drink full fat chocolate milk, and watch 10 hours of TV. Take care.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"The New Math"

My boy's share a math teacher in the 4th grade here. He has a problem of the day that he sends home to challenge his students, and this counts as part of their grade. These are his way of getting the parents invovled in their kids education, because the problems are difficult, even above grade level. The main dificulty with these challenge problems--sometimes even my wife and I cannot solve them. I haven't decided if it is bad wording on his part, or stupidity on our part. Maybe a little of each. We have tried some of these problems two or more times without getting them right. One frustrated me so much, that I took it to the honors Math teacher at our High School, and he and his students spent 30 minutes before coming up with an answer. I really think that 4th graders, who are still doing simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division should be given a break on this, along with their parents. At the very least, let it be extra credit if they get it right, and don't have it be such a big deal if they don't. Instead he sends them home day after day with "REDO" written across the top, untill we finally stumble on the right answer.
I hope I don't have any homework tonight. Take care.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Have you ever noticed how quickly we acquire things? Sometimes we don't even know where they came from, or what they are for, but we must need them for something, or we wouldn't have them. Right?
We have moved four times in the last four years, and each time we have moved we have gotten rid of some of our "things". When we reach the new place, we acquire new things to take the place of our old things. I heard Jerry Seinfeld do a comedy routine similar to this. He called it our "stuff", and he talked about going on trips, and taking selected pieces of our stuff with us. Then if you went on a side trip you had to make an even smaller selection of stuff to take.
I'm not sure if this is the same, but I know our grandmother was the "Queen of things" saved and acquired, and she knew where each thing was stored. I don't know what her inventory control program was, as it was all inside her head, but it was almost as efficient as any computerized version I have ever seen, if not always as fast. If you needed a left-handed, fine threaded thing-a-ma-bob, ask grandma. She would invariably reply, "I think I have one of those, I believe I saw it just the other day." Sure enough, soon she would appear with the sought after item. In the fantasy realm they have characters with suitcases that can contain anything you want to put into it, and can retrieve it simply by opening the bag and requesting the item. This was grandma. Our mother takes after her, although she doesn't quite have the same massive collection of things that grandma did. I think our grandmother must have been a bit of a magician herself. She certainly kept us entertained.
Here's hoping you have your own bit of magic. Take care.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

God's Hand

I would like to think that people view me as being a religious person, and I feel that I am. I have had too many experiences showing me the existence of a loving God to ever doubt his existence. There are those who are doubters, and as much as I would like to shake them, and show them some of the things I have seen and felt, it just doesn't work that way. Each person must decide, and have their own proofs. You cannot borrow that kind of experience.

In the hopes of sharing some of my proofs, to give hope to those who doubt, I would like to relate one of mine.

I worked for several summers for a church youth program, a week long camp where they were instructed and given many other experiences. In this program we had the need to have a huge support vehicle for carrying extra gear. Ours took the form of a 3 ton, red, flatbed truck with a four foot railing around the bed. This truck had plenty of power to climb the hills, as long as it could get traction. One of the trails we used (yes, the kids had to hike on this program) had a section we as counsellors liked to call "Killer Hill". The kids would hit this hill about five miles into their hike, and it was four miles long. The first five miles were fairly flat with a river running alongside most of the way, and since our program was in the summer, it was usually quite hot. Time and time again, the kids would want to pray when we stopped, and ask for rain to cool them down. Now this isn't the part of the story to show my proof, but serves its own proof quite well. As counsellors, we would always tell them, "You really don't want it to rain." Invariably, they would argue that they did, and so, more often than not, God would answer their prayers and give them rain. I don't know how many have been in a rainstorm in the high mountains, but it can cool temperatures dramatically. It also makes mud. So, shortly after it started raining, we would hit killer hill in the rain, cold, and mud. Every step you took forward would result in a half step slide back. This section of road was cut from a grey clay bank in the hillside that just became slick in the rain. So now back to our support vehicle. The staff member driving came over a little rise in the road, and headed down into a swell on the other side. With the slick conditions, the truck took its own route, rather than following the driver's wishes, and slid to within inches of toppling off the road before coming to a stop with one tire hanging out over mid air. We were able to get the truck back onto the center of the road, but it did not have the traction to climb the hill. We tried everything we could think of to help. We shoveled sand under the wheels. We cut brush and deadfalls to put under the wheels for traction. We got the entire staff together to help push, but nothing we did could get the truck moving. Finally we stopped to take a breath, and decided as a group that we needed to pray, for clearly we could not move this truck on our own. So we knelt there in the mud, all of us gathered together, and asked God to help us to do what we could not do alone. Rising, we went back to what we knew we could do. We cut some more brush,we shoveled a little more sand, and then we all got together to help push. The driver put the truck in gear, and then our miracle happened. It felt to those of us there, like a huge hand lifted the back end of the truck, and pushed . All of the things we had done had not helped untill we prayed. Now we could not even keep up with the truck as it went up the hill. Upon reaching the top, we stopped the truck, and when all of the staff caught up, we again knelt, and thanked God for what we knew was his help. We knew it! We had tried, and we could not move the truck, but God did.
God lives and loves us. He wants to be a part of our lives, we simply need to invite him in. Take hope and take care.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

To Write or not to Write, that is the Question.

I am an amateur poet/songwriter. No, most have never seen or heard anything I've written. I'm not sure if it is vanity or fear that keeps me from showing my work around. Maybe a combination of both. I have decided that maybe I will post one or two here, giving those who have found this blog a chance to see some of these. I can take the criticism, let me know what you think. Iv'e never named it. Perhaps "Harvest Moon".

As night rests upon the earth,
And the darkness takes it’s toll,
The peace you bring to me,
Has worked to make me whole.

The Harvest Moon shines in the sky,
A guide to this lost soul,
Emptiness is just a word,
Whose meaning has gone cold.

The daylight does not dim the fire,
It’s glow reveals no sin,
It simply serves to show all men,
What smolders deep within.

I have been a wanderer,
No place to call my own,
But since you have entered in,
The world’s become my home.

Your name becomes my byword,
Your face becomes my view,
Your smile brings light to darkest night,
Each thing becomes as new.

The day brings no deep regrets,
The darkness brings no fear,
Love has shown it’s shy face,
The one that I wish near.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Grade 'A' Beef

We are coming up to the end of our semester, and it is always amazing how many students who so far have not cared what grade they get in the class, are now concerned with what grade they will recieve. "Is there anything I can do to pass your class? How Can I bring my grade up?" These phrases and more are heard daily throughout our hallowed halls. My standard answer to most of these students has been, "You should have thought of this when you were choosing to talk in my clas instead of listening, or turn in the work I assigned when it was due. I don't accept late work."

Perhaps the ones I don't understand, even more than these students, are the students who have an 88% , whose parents come in to complain in order to raise their little Johnnies' grade another 2% so that he can maintain his straight "A" average. "It's not fair for you to bring his GPA down like this. What can we do?" My answer, or at least the one I would like to give, "Get a life outside your child's. This is the grade he earned. Let him have a little disappointement in his life, it will prepare him for the real world--you know, the one where his Mommy and Daddy can't solve every problem he will ever have." The shame of it is, many of them will continue to do this for the rest of these kids life. I've had my rant. Have a great day.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

It's a Guy Thing

It must have been a nightmare for my parents to have me around. Maybe I was not as accident prone as I think I was, but looking back on my life when I was a child, my mother must have worried about me every time I got out of bed. I got stuck in a tree, fell off a stairwell storage area, crushing my teeth, jumped onto a bed, cracking my skull against the wall, fell off a stage, breaking my foot in four places, got hit in the head with a claw hammer, and fell over a barbed wire fence, cutting a 5 inch gash in my leg, just to mention a few. Now I know there were many other near catastrophe's that my parents never knew about, like climbing down the drainpipe from our second story bedroom, or free climbing a mountain face. As I think back on these things, I start to worry myself. I have twin, 10 year old boys, and one one cannot think of to get into trouble, the other one will. Even at the tender age of 18 months old, having just learned to walk not long before, they were holding the chair for each other in the kitchen so that they could reach the cookies in the cupboard. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks, or worries about this kind of thing--I'm sure I'm not--I also hope they survive it. I'm sure it's a guy thing. Take care.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Deep in the Heart of Texas

After living for several years in Nebraska, my family moved to Texas. My father had been transferred by his company. The house we moved into seemed huge to us as kids, and compared to where we had lived before, this new area was as flat as a table top. The schools where we had been going, were a little behind Texas schools, which left many of us scrambling to catch up, especially me. My new school classes were already doing multiplication and division, whereas my old school had not even started these. I had to memorize all of my times tables in one weekend in order to catch up to my class.
I remember that as we left Nebraska, my parents told us that they didn't get snow in Texas, so we sold, or gave away all of our sleds. Our first winter in the new home brought 6" of snow--more than they had had in a while. Needless to say, mom and dad had a lot of explaining to do to the now sledless children.
Talking to people in Texas was also a learning experience for us. The famous Texas Twang, or southern drawl, left us wondering what our new friends were talking about. It didn't take us long to catch on though, and even now, after 20 odd years away from Texas, I still revert to my own version when I am very "tarred" (tired). There are times that I miss Texas, and the people there, but I there are other places and people that mean as much or more to me now. Home really is where you hang your hat.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Sick Room

I have six children, and like Bill Cosby said, the reason I have six is that I don't want seven. I was ready to stop with four, but my wife convinced me that we "needed" one more. One more was twins, so we have six. Now don't get me wrong. I love all of my children, and wouldn't give them up for anything, but there are days when I would definitely loan them out to someone else.

I believe my boys are trying to test the philosophy that if they can survive each other, they can survive anything. They can play together for hours without any problems, but sometimes can't sit next to each other for a minute without doing something to annoy or hurt the other one. A friend of ours told us they remind him of two characters from the recent animated movie, "Ice Age, The meltdown". They remind him of "Crash and Eddy" the two possums from that movie. I can't help but agree.
My kids have also gotten into a habit similar to that of "Delirious'" kids. When my kids get sick, they think that the place to recuperate is in mom and dad's bed. It's bigger, it's warm, and there is a TV coveniently placed for their enjoyment. Of course this means that every bug they bring home, they cough and sneeze into my bed, sharing their illness with my wife and I. My oldest is the latest candidate for this. She has had the flu for a couple of days. This means from the time she gets up, untill she goes to her own bed for the night, she is in my bed. She eats there, sleeps there (during the day), watches TV, and orders her medications, food, and snacks by way of the intercom. When she finally decides it's time to go to her room for the night, then I can have my side of the bed back, and can go to bed myself. Last night this didn't happen untill almost eleven. Now my wife has the flu too. I fear I won't be far behind, but so far so good. Maybe I just need to make my room less comfortable, or make their rooms more so.
Have a Happy New Year!