Saturday, May 31, 2008

Almost ready for the roof

Understanding Engineers, the saga, part one.

  • To the optimist, the glass is half full.
  • To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
  • To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Negativity + Centered Tendencies = A fun year.

We had the final Instructional Technology meeting of the year today. The day started with the usual long meeting where we find out all the new fun changes that have been invented for the new year. Some of them make perfect sense to me, some I cannot see the reason for. But I still am amazed at how much time we can waste arguing over that which we have no control. The changes will happen, and no matter how many STSs hold their breaths, it's still going to happen. Jim, the head dude of Instructional Technology, and Dale, the head dude of Information Systems, figured we ought to know about the changes coming down the road, and we (the support team) wasted an hour and a half arguing about why it was going to happen and why we were left out of the loop. I can't answer the first one, but the second one is easy. Do teachers ask all their students for their input on lesson plans for the next week? Uh, no. We may plan according to what they need, but not by what they want. (Well, the last week of school is not the right time to make that statement, planning revolves around what it will take to keep the kids busy while we close down for the year). Now, the title comes from what happens next. We break into our teams, which have been changed once again. Celia, our team leader, starts to go over some new procedures that we are going to implement next year. Yeah, a lot of changes. One thing I've come to realize over my 15 years teaching is that the one thing that stays constant in this profession is that something is going to change every year. Nature of the occupation. Anyhoo, one of the media specialists on my new team decided that she doesn't like the new changes, and starts to complain through questioning. Celia tries to justify the extra paperwork by explaining that the district is taking moves that could eliminate Junior High Media Specialists*, and the paperwork is to justify the work these people do and thereby justifying continued funding for their positions. This is when I hear Ms. Negativity say, and I paraphrase, "I don't care, they have to find a job for me, and it's not like they can send me back to the classroom." Man, I love an educator who really cares about what is good for the students, and not just themselves. Too bad this woman isn't one of them. Well, it took all my self control to keep from saying something like "what a wonderful attitude" or "With educators like you it's no wonder the legislature hates us." I glanced over at Dave, my school's Media Specialist, he looked at me and rolled his eyes, so I know it wasn't just me misinterpreting what was said. That's the kind of attitude that makes me refuse to belong to our union which protects it.

The good part is that after the meeting we headed up to Washington Park, had a digital photo contest, ate a bunch of good BBQ and gave away a bunch of prizes. I kept vying for the inflatable kayak (How do you clear out a Starbucks? Walk in and announce that there is someone out in the parking lot stealing the kayak off a Subaru). Somebody else chose the kayak, and I didn't win anything anyways, but one of the head IT guys, (that I'm good friends with, or was) made a comment (to just me) about my affinity for inflatables. Those of you who get what he is implying, are right. Those of you who don't - ask me some time in person, I'll explain. My first thought was "man, techno-geek and dirty humor are not mutually exclusive. Cool". Anyway, it was a lot of fun, I got a techno-geek shirt and they still want me around next year. Not a bad day at all.

* There is a move towards the Middle School philosophy, which would move the 9th graders to the High Schools. Since 9th grade counts towards High School Graduation, Junior High Schools must have a Media Specialist or they will lose their Accreditation and then 9th grade credits will not be valid anymore. Move the 9th graders to the High School, and the Middle School, formerly the Junior High, no longer needs to be accredited because none of their credits count towards graduation. Colleges and Universities do not count High School diplomas that include unaccredited credits on them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finished the front.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coolest thing since the invention of duct tape.

Working on the garage has really messed up my hands. Scratches, blood blisters and a few good splinters. So, I went to Shopko yesterday to get some bandages, alcohol and antibiotic cream for my fingers. I don't know who thought of it, but it was a stroke of genius. Duct tape bandages. As it says on the package "Medical performance in a real Duct Tape construction". And they're even extra long to fit around big fingers. After having used them for a couple days, they really did stay on my fingers better than regular bandages. Duct Tape bandages. Like "The Force" they have a light side, a dark side and they hold the universe together, except with a little gauze to keep from ripping scabs off healing wounds.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Finishing it this weekend ain't gonna happen,

Especially since I think they would really appreciate it at school if I maybe did some laundry this weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's "Let's Finish the Garage" weekend,

if anyone wants to come over and help, you are more than welcome,

and, yes, I know it really isn't Landon's 4th birthday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Landon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Coinkydink deluxembourg.

Saturday was a beautiful day. Weather was nice. By seven in the evening it wasn't too hot. I got a call from my friend Adele, also known as "The lady on the hood of my convertible up at Solitude in the middle of winter." Her '73 MGB hasn't been out since last summer and is hankering for a cruise in the nice weather. So I head over there, she's already removed all the cat hair that's coming off, we take it to the Chevron and put air in the tires and a little bit of gas ($672.35) and hit the road. Well, it's got a little bit of an exhaust leak and even with the top down and moving, after a half hour or so we're craving the nice clean air one gets through a filtered cigarette, and decide to switch into my convertible. We're at the light at 2700 East and 3900 South waiting for traffic to clear so we can turn right when I see a semi loaded with cars coming down 39th South from the direction of the freeway. Like Pavlov's dogs and the ringing of the bell, I start salivating at the sight of a semi full of cars. So, we're sitting there at the light and I'm scoping out the cars and among the Cadillac Escalades and Lexuses (Lexi?) and other non-descript used cars my eye is caught by a classic red convertible Cougar. "Nice Cougar", and Adele looks up at the car and agrees. Now the brain cells start working. I know that Dan & Rae have been looking for a convertible Cougar online for a while. It's on a car carrier, headed from the freeway down 39th South, in the direction of their house. I say "I'll bet that's Dan & Rae's car, they've been looking for one." So Adele says "follow that car!", even though she's the one driving, and darts (safely) into traffic. We followed it through the 2300 E intersection and down the road a little bit, where it turned into a parking lot. Yup, this has to be theirs. Lo & behold, as we're pulling into the parking lot, Dan, Rae and the kids pull up to the truck. Not like they were excited or anything, when Rae saw us walking towards she came running up and gave me a running leap hug. So we got to see them get their classic convertible off the truck. It reminded me of when I got mine almost 10 years ago. The anticipation, the trepidation about whether or not the car was going to be worth what I paid for it, the exhilaration the moment you first hear the car start up and the sense of joy and relief when you get to check it out and realize you got the car you wanted. Anyway, I'm glad it all worked out for them, it was pretty much exactly what they expected. And it's a beautiful car. Adele and I went to bring back her car and came back with my '70 LTD convertible (by the way, their Cougar is a '69, hidden headlights and all). Mine is a 390 CID, theirs I think is a 351 CID. Mine is about a foot wider and 2 feet longer, but the Cougar is definitely a muscle car, it literally growls when you hit the gas and Danny spun the tires in the parking lot. The LTD, on the other hand, is a boat. It rumbles instead of growling, and instead of spinning tires, when you hit the gas in the LTD the front end lifts up and the car starts to move in a manner that says "I'm gonna get that perp." Either way, there's nothing like a late 60's-early 70's Ford. Congrats Dan & Rae, you can now join me at the Henry Ford Clinic.......

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ok, their Monday is more a Monday than my Monday.

I took this photo on the way to work this morning, I was just driving down 7th East and there it was, a dangling power pole top. I sent it out to the faculty this morning, just to make everyone feel better about their Monday, and a couple of people said something about thinking it was doctored. Which is an issue in this day and age. But, as I told them, I did in fact take the picture myself and promise it's not a Photoshop mirage. Of course, those of you out there that don't know me, have no reason to believe me, and alas, I have no way to prove my assertion. You'll just have to trust me. Or not. Anyway, if you think your Monday morning was bad, just think about the old couple I saw standing in their doorway staring at this right in front of their house. "Quick honey, pop a couple Eggos in the toaster, them power lines could snap and any time..."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Now you get an idea of the overall plan.

The plan is to carry the wood across the front of the original garage and then even put a matching gate on the left hand side to hide the trash cans. That way the carport blends in with the garage and doesn't stick out like a sore add on, and I'm going to stain the wood to match the porch I added onto the back of the house.

Pictures from Marijke's graduation

Yeah, I forgot to put a link on for them, they are HERE. I sized them down to put on the internet, so if there is any that you want to get a nice print of, just email me which one you want and I'll send it to you full sized....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations Marijke!

Went to a graduation today. Marijke received her
"Certificate in Christian Studies" today. I have to admit I was a little surprised. Despite being involved at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for the last 6 months or so, I still expected a Seminary graduation to be a little bit dry. Not so much. I laughed a lot. In fact, I heard one of the funniest stories ever at the graduation dinner last night, told by one of the ladies that works at the seminary. Well, congratulations Marijke, we're all proud of your accomplishment and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing you perform the wedding ceremony of one of my old students (he's marrying the daughter of one of the original owners of Free Wheeler - small world!). So now I have a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law in the ministry profession. Never thought I feel this way, but - pretty cool.

God looks out for idiots and drunks.
Well, I wasn't drunk, so I must be an idiot, 'cause God was looking out for me. The other day on my way to class I backed my car into the parking spot at Trax. When we got back from class and I was putting my backpack in the trunk of the car, I noticed I got a little close to the light post when I parked. Amazingly, and completely oblivious to it, I parked that close and didn't even scratch the car. Whew!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Marijke!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Propa ganda atta dese grades....

You've gotta love good propaganda. Even more so, you have to love it when it comes in an email that shows just how little the sender knows about you. Click HERE and you'll see an email I received the other day. It starts out with "I don’t want to start a controversy so I am only forwarding this to those whom I think will agree…or not but not be offended" and then proceeds to state a bunch of facts* that show Evil, Bad Democrats as compared to Good, Wholesome Dubya. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I hate George W. Bush, I hate what he's done to this country domestically and internationally, I hate what he's done to the economy, I hate what he's done with the national debt, and you know that I think of him as the worst president we have ever seen. Ever. Even worse than Richard Milhous Nixon. So, I don't agree, but I'm not offended that some people feel that he is a good president. Amazed, but not offended. I am slightly offended, though, at the thought that I'd even be the slightest interested in the propaganda, and even worse, that I might be swayed by it.

And now onto something lighter. I got my grades back from the last semester. I got an A in Research Analysis and an A- in Instructional Technology. I probably would have an A in Technology if I had ever involved myself in the online discussions. Yeah, go figure. I've been blogging since before 2002, but I can't get myself to delve into online discussions. Eh, c'est la vie. Gotta go now, going to dinner at La Caille and my ride's going to be here soon. (No, I don't have that kind of money, it's a school etiquette thing and it's only costing me $28. Tip included.)

*Facts have yet to be confirmed, and I'm not even going to bother. I don't need to argue the truthfulness of the statements, propaganda need not be lies. It just needs to be worded and compared with other facts in a manner that puts forth a specific agenda. For all I know, it's all true. It's what's left out that makes the comparisons invalid.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Why, Why, Why......

I got this from the Seminary teacher. He sent me the questions and said that one of our students said I'd be able to answer them all. My answers are in red.....(I showed them!)

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead? Because electricity is moving electrons, if you push the button hard enough, you just might get a couple extra electrons moving.

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money? So they can put you further into debt, tack it onto your credit card bill and charge you 21%

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet? You can reach the wet paint, not the stars

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle? It sticks to the bottle, just not to itself

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection? We don’t want to kill innocent bacteria by accident

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard? You’ve seen him stick his face in a lions mouth – that’s what he’s doing, getting a shave

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him? He doesn’t want to dent the revolver

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets? So they hurt more when they land on top of their enemies

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'? English was invented by a sadist, that’s why there are 3 ways to spell “to”.

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Some apes were too smart to evolve

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white? The water sucks the color out of the bubbles

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale? October 17th, 1356, but it only lasted between 1:25 and 2:06 pm.

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized? The average memory span of an American is about 3.2 miliseconds. We just simply forget that there’s nothing we like in there.

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance? We don’t want to hurt the self-esteem of the vacuum cleaner by doing it’s work for it.

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try? The same guys that came up with the English language invented plastic bags.

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures? They get in as babies and then can’t get out when they’re full grown.

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'It's all right?' Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, 'That hurt, you idiot?' Punching the idiot in the face will just land us in jail

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over? Murphy’s Law.

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat? No kidding. That’s why I run the furnace at 68 in the summer and the air conditioner at 72 in the winter.

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes? Mother-in-laws wouldn’t stand for it.

And my FAVORITE......The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you. I've done my job and sent this email to you , now it's up to you to send it on. After reading my responses, you should now know who the crazy one is…..

Lucked out again.....

Ever been sitting in Chipolte's eating your free burrito for Teacher Appreciation Day when an old friend walks in and you know that you know her but can't remember her name? Reminds me of another story that didn't turn out so well, but let's finish this one first. Well, I'm sitting there, thinking about how it will be awkward if she recognizes me, when the people right next to me call out "Deb". Bingo, her last name snaps into my mind and I say hi, we hug and catch up on things for the 5 minutes she's in line for her free burrito.

On the other hand, there are times when the people around you make things even harder for you. This time it was at the Pie by the U, I'm with my little brother Danny when a lady calls out my name. Now, working with customers for so long, I'd become pretty good at carrying on a conversation with someone to which I have no clue who they are. We'd been talking for a couple minutes, the whole time I'm fishing for clues to who she is, when Danny looks at me and asks "Well, aren't you going to introduce us?" **CHOKE** Fortunately she put out her hand and introduced herself. Just as my blood pressure is getting back down towards normal, he looks at me again and asks "So, where do you know her from?". This time I wanted to choke him. He could have asked HER where SHE knew ME from, it should have been pretty obvious I was clueless by then (don't say it), but noooooooo. I think he did it on purpose.

And finally.....

As I was headed to Home Depot today I saw a woman on the side of the road with a sign that said "Single Mother Having Hard Time, Please Help". I don't know if she had any kids or if it was all BS, because there weren't any kids with her. Which, giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she's not a total con artist, brings to mind the question "Where are the kids?" If you can find, and afford, someone to babysit your kids, couldn't you find someone to watch them while you, oh, say, got a real job?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Garage Remodel - Stage One

Click on either picture for the full sized ones.
'Hello, is this the Sheriff's Office?'

'Yes. What can I do for you?'

'I'm calling to report 'bout my neighbor Virgil Smith....He's hidin' marijuana inside his firewood! Don't quite know how he gets it inside them logs, but he's hidin' it there.'

'Thank you very much for the call, sir.'

The next day, the Sheriff's Deputies descend on Virgil's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They sneer at Virgil and leave.

Shortly, the phone rings at Virgil's house.

'Hey, Virgil! This here's Floyd.... Did the Sheriff come?'


'Did they chop your firewood?'


'Happy Birthday, buddy!'

(Rednecks know how to git-R-dun).

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Must be something in the water.

It's gotta be. There's no other explanation. People can't be that stupid or naive, can they? Even Republicans.

Chris Buttars just got voted in as the Republican candidate for Utah Senate District 10 [South Jordan, West Jordan and Herriman]. 112 delegates voted for him, that's 60%. I think that even is enough to bypass a republican primary, but I could be wrong. This is a man who not only opposes any kind of equal rights for anyone different from himself, but also has initiated legislation that directly helps his developer friend, has sent a letter to a judge that was overseeing a case involving this same friend, insinuating the way he thought the case ought to be overseen, accept countless gifts from lobbyists and opposed any kind of ethics legislation, on the grounds that it is unnecessary. Oh, did I mention that he is in the back pocket of Gayle (shiver down my spine) Ruzicka and her Eagle Forum (formerly known as the "Citizens for True Freedom"). In my opinion, he is one of the most corrupt politicians in a group of incredibly corrupt politicians. And I mean corrupt even for politicians (let's face it, they all are, somewhat).

Ok, enough ranting, let the blood pressure drop again. I'm fine, gone to my happy place. I've got to work on that, I've been a little bit stressed lately. High School is wrapping up and I am again on the graduation committee; I've got to organize the printing of the programs and the renting of the stage (we have it outside on the football field, weather permitting.) CRT testing, online, has been going incredibly smoothly, but there is always the worry about the #&^$ hitting the fan. College starts up again in a week, and I don't know if my scholarship covers summer semester, so I've been hoarding money in case I have to cough up the $1,500 (plus books). I do have it, but money is a little tight right now. I lost it in Algebra class the other day, not too bad but afterwards the principal simply said "it's just not like you". Which is good to know that people don't see me as someone who generally overreacts. But the same thing happened when a certain appliance didn't want to work properly. No, I'm not going to have a nervous breakdown, so don't worry. You won't be visiting me on 5 West at the U of U Medical Center; in a week the tuition question will be answered one way or another, either way knowing will relieve some stress (I get more stressed when I have money I can't spend than if the money isn't even there). Doris, the English teacher next door, is helping me keep the classroom stress down - just being there to listen to me vent helps a lot, plus the break from the stressors venting gives me. Anyhoo, it's 6:20 and I have to go do something else that relieves stress - hang out with Adele, my friend from the Churchill Jr. days....

Friday, May 02, 2008

One down, 3 to go....

The first week of CRT testing went without a hitch. Smooth as the home made tequila in Nuevo Vallarta. Part of it is because the principal hired an excellent Testing Coordinator. She set up the entire schedule, kept track of the ESL & SpEd accommodations and has dealt with the majority of the issues that have risen this week - not that there were many. Anyway, she's made it possible for me to have a little extra time to take care of other computer issues that have arisen - I warned the faculty that they would have to wait for anything until testing was over, but they haven't. Ok, enough on the testing, one last thing though - I was expecting it to be and incredible headache, I'm just so relieved it isn't.
23 more days of school left. Not that I'm counting or anything. And summer semester at the U starts back up in just over a week. Too much happening too fast. If I spontaneously combust, you'll know why.....

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words....

And you know what I'm going to say anyway....
This morning.... This afternoon......