Archive for August 2008

Gustav Already Bringing Out The Crazies

August 31, 2008

The stupidest quotes I’ve seen so far.

Karl Rove on Gustav interfering with the Republican convention:

The Republicans can’t seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather.

A conservative Louisiana blogger:

Part of me wants Gustav to come right up the Mississippi River and into Baton Rouge. As I said a couple of minutes ago, you have to be from Louisiana to understand this, but I want to know. Can Bobby Jindal handle a hurricane?

And finally, Michael Moore:

Michael Moore on with Keith Olbermann said on Friday night that if Hurricane Gustav hits New Orleans during the RNC, that would prove there is a god.

I’m sure there will be plenty more.


The Greatest Sport In The World Returns

August 31, 2008

A few thoughts on the first weekend.

Game I enjoyed most? Tech beating Mississippi State. Good game. Tech has great uniforms.

I still hate instant replay. During one of the games (Florida-Hawaii?) the announcers said only a quarter of challenged calls are reversed. Why? There’s no disincentive to stop the game. Coaches should only be allowed to challenge a call if that call resulted in a change of possession or points. And if they lose the challenge, they ought to lose a possession, not just a timeout.

As a Nebraska fan watching Michigan lose to Utah, I kept thinking “Rich Rodriquez is going to be to Michigan as Bill Callahan was to Nebraska.”

When will the ACC lose its BCS status? As USC – both of them – Alabama and East Friggin’ Carolina demonstrated over the last few days, that is one sorry excuse for a football conference.

Other than the one for the SEC and national championships, the race I’m most interested in watching is Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden for most career wins. Ten years ago it looked like Bowden was going to leave Paterno in the dust. Now they’re tied. Given that Joe Pa is the essence of all that is good about college football, while Bobby Bowden is as sleazy faux-good ‘ol boy who runs a corrupt program, I’m sure everyone not named Bowden is with me rooting for Joe Pa to win.

Was any upset more predictable than Bowling Green over Pitt? How does Dave Wannstadt still have a job? He’s been a loser at every head coaching job he’s had. He’s spent the last decade and a half living off his time as an assistant in Dallas.

A four point win over Western Illinois? It’s going to a long season for Hogs fans.

This was my first college football weekend with the DVR. It.Was.Awesome. Miss a key play that the network doesn’t show again? Rewind it yourself. Feel like taking a nap during Va Tech and East Carolina? Just pause the game. Wife says we have to go to the store, but Michigan and Utah are still playing? Recordify it. Time to eat, but not in front of the tv? Pause it. The best part is that when you go back to the game, you can fast forward through all the commercials and instant replays.

All in all, a great day.

My New Tires

August 29, 2008

The Continental Grand Prix 4000s:

These are supposed to be great tires; grippy, smooth, light, and durable. Bicycling gave them a great review last month, calling them one of the three best high dollar tires. I usually go cheap on tires, and even getting a great deal on these, I spent more than I usually do. So even if they’re not as good as they’re supposed to be, they’ll be better than what I normally ride. I’m really looking forward to trying them tomorrow.

They look sweet on my bike, too.

So Wrong, But So Funny

August 29, 2008

BTW, after Obama’s Joe Biden pick, I was once again about ready to vote McCain. But it’s like McCain took it as a challenge to find an even worse Veep.

When Will Dr. Fleming Urge Us To Oppose McCain?

August 29, 2008

The congressional candidate writes a letter to the Times, telling all of us to oppose Obama. Most of the reasons he cites apply with equal force to McCain. One in particular makes McCain more distasteful to conservatives than Obama. Like the Doc writes, Obama waffled on abortion. McCain, though, is a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade:

“I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary,” McCain told the Chronicle in 1999. “But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”

Sure, that was back in 1999. But this is Mr. Straight Talk. Surely he would not flip flop now, just because he needs to appease social conservatives.

But Making A Political Buck Off A Natural Disaster Is O.K.

August 28, 2008

Louisiana AG says laws of economics don’t apply when the weather gets bad.

I’m Not A Whiney Teacher

August 28, 2008

The last post might have made me sound like one, but in my defense I offer the following.

First, last year, about one third of our teachers left our school.

Second, so far this year – less than three weeks into the term – two teachers have already quit, one is leaving tomorrow, and another is quitting at the end of next month. We’re a small school. That amount of attrition means we’ve already lost almost a quarter of our faculty.

Third, from what I hear from other educators, this is fairly typical of my area.

So, given all that, I think I am a loyal employee.

Leave Me Alone And Let Me Do My Job

August 27, 2008

Most teachers, if asked what the administration could do to help them, would probably say something like “support.” I don’t even want that. I don’t care if I have to handle all discipline problems on my own, supply all my own paper and pens and other office stuff, and generally work as an independent contractor. In fact, I would like that if I also got the benefits of being an independent contractor: The freedom to use my intelligence and skills to evaluate the job and do it in the best way possible. What I get, though, is paperworked, micromanaged, and meetinged to death.

It’s not like I’m a sorry teacher in need of special attention. I always score highly on my observations, my iLeap scores were the best in the school and a big improvement over the year before I arrived, and the kids seem to like me. Nope. There are just too many non-teaching education professionals who need to justify their existence. So what they do is make mine miserable.

Tonight was the first meeting of what will be the last class of my alternative certification program at LSUS. Typically of first class meetings, we all had to introduce ourselves. In additon, we had to explain why we decided to become teachers. Everybody gave idealistic, save-the-children type rationals. When it was my turn, I said: “It must be because I enjoy stupid meetings and useless paperwork, because that’s about all I’ve done since school started.” Everyone laughed. Loudly.

Seriously, if any principal really wants happy and productive teachers, the secret isn’t money, it’s letting us do our jobs.

But How Much Does He Hate The Gays?

August 27, 2008

The Bossier Press Tribune omits that always popular question in an interview with congressional candidate Paul Carmouche. Sure, the country is in the crapper right now, but a pleasant side effect of real problems has been a campaign season free from gay bashing contests.

Raises For The SPD?

August 26, 2008

When I started reading this article about Mayor Glover voting against a pay raise for the local police, I was ready to agree with him, as the only thing that annoys me more than teachers whining about their salary is cops whining about their salary. Then I saw what the starting pay is at SPD: $33,000 – $35,000 a year.

That’s even less than what teachers make, and cops have a full time job. No one can support a family on that. Also, if money isn’t going to attract people to the job, that means other things will. For a small portion, the incentive will probably be a desire to be a do-gooder. For most, it will be carrying a badge, having a gun, and getting to drive as fast as they want. It could also be access to the evidence locker. None of those are good things. So for the sake of a professional police force, maybe we ought to find some more money.