Published on April 14 2007

Krikorian on National Review Online
I got a tsunami of funny place names, some of which I should have thought of myself, like Sheboyan, Walla Walla, and Azusa. Of course, Mona beat me to Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., which always strikes me as a joke when I see it on a board at Penn Station, along with other New Jersey suburbs, like Mahwah or Perth Amboy. Then there's names that follow the rule that the "K" sound is inherently funny: Kalamazoo, Albuquerque (especially as pronounced by Bugs Bunny), Kokomo, Rancho Cucamonga, Lompoc, Kankakee, Poughkeepsie, Passaic, Tuscaloosa, Yakima, Nyack, Muskogee, Schwenksville (Pa.), and Apalachicola. As Yakov Smirnoff (who now lives and works at his own theater in Branson, Mo., of all places) said, "Every country has that one city that everyone makes fun of, even Russia. In Russia, we make fun of Cleveland." And just to round it out, how about Wausau, Puyallup, Yazoo City, and Chattanooga.
Hey! So what exactly is funny about WAUSAU????

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Published on April 13 2007

...before I finished writing out this paper. It was sorta the point I tried to make, but I wound up babbling for two and a half pages where Krauthammer gets the point across in two sentences. Sigh. Charles Krauthammer - Britains Humiliation -- and Europes - washingtonpost.com
Why was nothing done? The reason is simple. Europe functions quite well as a free-trade zone, but as a political entity it is a farce. It remains a collection of sovereign countries with divergent interests. A freeze of economic relations with Europe would have shaken the Iranian economy to the core. "The Dutch," reported the Times of London, "said it was important not to risk a breakdown in dialogue." So much for European solidarity. Like other vaunted transnational institutions, the European Union is useless as a player in the international arena. Not because its members are venal but because they are sovereign. Their interests are simply not identical.

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Published on April 12 2007

Influential author Vonnegut dies at 84 - Yahoo! News
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

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Published on April 11 2007

Eject Eject Eject: SEEING THE UNSEEN, Part 2
Now most normal people do not look at life from within a pit of failure and despair. Our lives are measured by small successes -- like raising children, serving in the military, doing volunteer work at your church – or just doing the right thing in a thousand small but important ways, like returning money if someone makes you too much change. These are simply the small, ordinary milestones of a life of value. They give you a sense of identity. But if I didn’t have that sense of identity rooted in my own small achievements, I wonder how likely it would have been for me to grab onto that sense of sudden empowerment, of being an initiate in some arcane club of hidden wisdom. I wonder what might have happened to me if being the Holder of Secret Knowledge had been my only source of self-esteem…the one redeeming landmark in a life of isolation and failure. Indeed, I wonder what power such a worldview would have over me if I could believe that behind the scenes lurked vast and unknowable dark forces – forces that could topple a president and perhaps even explain why a person of my deep, vast and bountiful talents was not doing a whole lot better in life? I wonder what might have happened to me then.
All this...and chemtrails, too!! :-D

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Published on April 10 2007

No, I haven't died. I haven't vanished off the face of the earth. papering-it.jpg I have been simply buried in a paper on sovereignty (or coming lack thereof) in the European Union and the rationale for both the Czech Republic and Slovakia joining a supranational organization while agreeing to a secession. Yeah. That's exactly what *I* said, too. Talk about drawing a complete blank. Not to mention, this is the very first paper I have turned in late since my triumphant return to school a year and a half ago. This ain't no way to keep up the GPA. Life goes on, and I'll do my Gen. McArthur "return" speech soon. I hope.

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Published on April 7 2007

Maybe this is what happened to my flight?

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Published on April 6 2007

Continuing on the education schtick, a teacher friend, knowing the name of the University (APU/AMU) where I'm chasing the degree and thinking that somehow my association with a "military college" means I want to join up, emailed me this story. Even though I doubt the military is desperate enough for a 46 year old bag who never *could* do a decent push-up, it's good to see there are teachers who can instill a lesson that might really last.
In September of 2005, a social studies schoolteacher from Arkansas did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom. The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, "Where's our desks?" The teacher said, "You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn them." They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades." "No," she said. "Maybe it's our behavior." And she told them, "No, it's not even your behavior." And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in the class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom. The last period of the day, the instructor gathered her class. They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. She said, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily. Now I'm going to tell you." She went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished placing the desks, those kids for the first time I think perhaps in their lives understood how they earned those desks. Their teacher said, "You don't have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you. They put them out there for you, but it's up to you to sit here responsibly, to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."
Now that you've read the story, and are sitting there, as I did, in disbelief that such a thing could happen, go here to get "the rest of the story". Just don't call me Paul Harvey while you're doing it.

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Published on April 5 2007

As an update to this post, one of my myriad readers sent me this little story:
Fifty Years of Math 1957 - 2007 Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s: 1. Teaching Math In 1950s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit? 2. Teaching Math In 1960s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100 His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit? 3. Teaching Math In 1970s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? 4. Teaching Math In 1980s A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20. 5. Teaching Math In 1990s A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. ) 6. Teaching Math In 2007 Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
I can 'fess up. I learned math in the 1960's and 1970's. And if you ever got a good look at my checkbook, you would be able to tell.

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Published on April 3 2007

Yuck. The prediction is still for white stuff up to 8". Double yuck. I already put my shovel away--knew I shouldn't have done that. And continuing in my "paring down" life mode, I am now officially a complete wireless warrior. Yep, the monopolistic local phone company who shall remain nameless (begins with a "V" and ends with an "n", lol) ticked me off more than their usual ticking. So I dropped them. Lol. When the service is lousy, and the *customer* service is even worse.... and I have other options..... well, not much more to say, is there? Now I just have to notify the 85,000 people who have the landline number that I now am a full-time cellgal. Or wait. Maybe I just won't bother, lol. I feel like I'm clipping the umbilical cord!!

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Published on April 2 2007

Isn't there some old saying about "April showers"? Or is this just a really belated April Fool's Day joke? I would NOT put it past the National Weather Service to be having one on us, but I will definitely have the trusty camera out to record the lovely weather.
Winter Storm Warning
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREEN BAY WI 354 PM CDT MON APR 2 2007 ...WINTER WILL RETURN TO NORTHERN AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN... AFTER SEVERAL WEEKS OF MILD WEATHER...WINTER WILL RETURN TO NORTHERN AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN AND REMAIN THROUGH THE END OF THE WEEK. HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY IN NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN WITH LESSER AMOUNTS TO THE SOUTH. STRONG NORTH WINDS WILL CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREEN BAY HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM TUESDAY TO 7 AM CDT WEDNESDAY. SNOW WILL ARRIVE TUESDAY AND BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND TUESDAY NIGHT. 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE LIKELY BY WEDNESDAY MORNING. STRONG NORTH WINDS WILL ALSO CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

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