Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bad week in the PR Department.

As in “Peer Relations.”

Had a student transfer from another teacher’s Algebra class to my PreAlgebra class on Monday.  Tuesday I got an I/M from the previous teacher asking me to send him over with his Algebra book because she needs it back.  It was an B day so I didn’t see him, so of course I didn’t send him.  This morning (Wed) there is a note in my box reminding to send him over as soon as I see him.  Then 2nd period, the class I have him, I get an I/M saying;

“Could you send [him] over, I NEED that Algebra book.”

To which I replied “He’s on his way right now. chill.”

I got back “Seriously, you did not actually say that. }=”

That little extra at the end is a scowl.  I got scowled at by a coworker over the I/M.  Banner week.

Now, maybe I’m a little defensive after those notes from the custodian.  Maybe it’s just been a bad week because the kids were uber-hyper because of the impending 5 day weekend (for the students).  Maybe it’s just because I ran out of Diet Coke halfway through the day.  I dunno.

I just know that I’m really happy that it’s a long weekend……


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

…. I haven’t heard so many people refer to the principal as “this principal” (in a negative tone) in a long time.  Oh there were those that didn’t like her, some that had their ups and downs with her, but none had the smug “I’ve outlasted bad principals before, I’ll outlast this one too” attitude. 

…. It also shocked me when the vice-principal had to send out an apology email for the checklists he sent out, primarily for the new teachers, because some teachers automatically assumed he thought they didn’t know how to do their jobs.

…. Add to that all the negative comments and attitudes, directed towards the principal again, for every new idea she asks us to try – and every new procedure that was mandated by the district that she passes along.

…. But the first feelings of regret at being where I am were in these series of notes from the custodian responsible for my classroom:


…. This one didn’t bother me at all, it’s kind of bossy, but at least it isn’t condescending or talking to me like I was a 9th grader.







…. This one was a little less nice.  It was good that he brought to my attention that the kids were writing on the accordion wall, but the note is more than a little condescending. 








092909fixed…. This one I couldn’t just shrug off.  I wrote him a little note:

replyfixed…. I took all the notes to the principal to get a feel for how this would be reacted to.  One of the things I’ve learned is that in a school there are two people you really do not want to piss off – the main secretary and the custodian.  They can make your life a hell of a lot more miserable than even the principal.  So I wanted her input.  Got more than I wanted, she found the notes even more insulting than I did and insisted on talking to the custodian herself. 

…. If I don’t answer the phone in the next week, you may want to have someone check out those new bushes planted at the back of the soccer field.


“Donner, party of 1.”

…. I’m standing at the outside door by my classroom before school this morning.  I’m holding the door open, enjoying the breeze and smell of breakfast in the air.  One of my coworkers walks up from the parking lot and I say to her as I sniff the air:

Kinda smells like toast out here.”

Yeah, that’s the crematorium next door, they must be burning bodies today.”

…. Lost my appetite after that.  May not ever be able to enjoy toast again.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good night at the Chevron.

fiversmall …..Got a $5 tip from a guy buying a case of Corona. 

…..He just left it there on the counter and when I called after him “Sir, you left your change.” he says “No, that’s your tip.”

…..Could use more days like that.


Healthy laugh, maybe too healthy.


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Old picture of the week?, month?, quarter?, whatever.

…. In 1998 I went to Denver with 4 other teachers from my school for a Mid-Level Conference.  The other math teacher on the jaunt was Ms. T, an older, naive, somewhat conservative lady that for some reason still loved my off-the-wall humor.  (One day at school I rolled her through the halls on her chair, between classes when the halls were full). 

…. We were driving through Denver in our rental car, she had us stopping here and there looking for a Symphony chocolate bar she was craving.  When I saw this adult bookstore I pulled into the parking lot and told her that I was pretty sure that they had some in there.  I don’t remember how I convinced her that it was a convenience store or how I knew they had her candy in there, but she was all ready to head in there asking for a Symphony Bar.  I also have no idea what she would have ended up bringing out, but I just couldn’t let her go in.  We all got a good laugh, and then decided to pose for this picture to give to our principal (who just happens to be my principal again now). 


So, here are 5 teachers standing under the sign for a triple-x book store.  On the left is the Social Studies teacher, then the science teacher, two math teachers and an english teacher. Yup, this principal hired me back despite this picture.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Just a suggestion.

…. I know I rant and rave about panhandlers at the Chevron a lot, but I’m not completely immune to the plight of my fellow man.  Which is why when earlier this week some guy at a Sinclair I stopped at asked me for money for gas I didn’t say no, completely.  I didn’t give him any cash but I did ask him which pump he was on, went inside and used my debit card to put $5 on it for him.  I bring this up not because I want a few verbal pats on the back, but because of what happened at the Chevron tonight. 
…. Some guy came in and prepaid for his gas.  When he came back to get his change he asked if “that lady came in and got 20 bucks in gas.”  She was a perfectly respectable looking woman in a minivan with some story about running out of gas and needing to get home, but she never came in to get the gas, she just bought a pack of smokes and took off with the change.  He wasn’t happy, with himself – not us, he felt like he got ripped off.  Scammed is what he got.
…. So, here is my suggestion:  If it ever happens to you that you feel someone really is in need and you want to help out, but you don’t want to get scammed, there is a couple things you can do to curb that fear;
  1. Don’t give them cash, be sure to prepay for their gas.  It may take a couple of minutes out of your day, but that way you are sure they are using it for gas.
  2. Prepay with a credit or debit card.  If you prepay with cash, they could pump 37 cents and then come in and get the change.  With a credit card if they only pump 37 cents that’s all you get charged and when they go in for the change they’ll be told there isn’t any.  If you are afraid that they will get a receipt with your credit card number on it, look at yours next time you use a card.  It only prints the last 4 digits for a reason – they would have to figure out the other 12 digits from 1,000,000,000,000* different possibilities.

*I come up with that number thusly: There are 10 possibilities for each of the 12 digits (0 through 9, repeatable), so the number of possibilities is 10 to the 12th power, or a 1 with 12 zeros after it.  Voila, you just got a mini-course on permutations.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

American Ingenuity at it’s best.

No fake wood paneling for this Blazer.
At least the hose almost matches the wall.
Uh, do you take that with you when you visit the in-laws?
Effective, but at a party?
That’s someone who go way over his head in car payments.
I’m still trying to figure out what’s wrong with this one.
I had a Ford Pinto that could have used a pair of those.
At least it’s not on the Mercedes.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

WAL-MARTIANS! Run for your life….

PeopleofWalmart_logo There seems to be a new past time in town – taking pictures of the weird people in your local Wal-Mart.  There is also a website dedicated to these pictures.  I’m posting a few of the funnier samples I found, but I did only get through 3 of the 30-something pages they have.  The captions come straight from the website, I didn’t make them up.  Click on the logo to the left to go to the site.  Be warned, there are some with vulgar words (on t-shirts and car bumper stickers) and adult themes.  Be prepared.
Waldo is so much easier to find when he’s out of the closet.
Somebody come here and pick up my jaw, I can’t seem to find it now that my eyes popped out of my head.
There should be an application process in order to procreate.
If a cheetah and a leopard decided to mate, this would be the result.
How could you ever, ever, ever ever ever, E…V…E…R. think this is appropriate to wear in public? WOW!
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Things that make you wonder “Who left the door to the loony bin open?”

.... While cleaning up the counters I found this written in one of our nacdemonho plates:
At first I took it all very personally. I was halfway to dialing up Homeland Security, then I started to wonder.  Was it meant for a specific Chevron employee?  No, everything’s plural.  Maybe all Chevron employees? 
Then why in a nacho plate?  There must be a better place to insult employees.  Maybe it is in reference to nacho eaters, could it be the work of some secret anti-nacho organization?  Or maybe they’re protesting the killing of trees to make plates for non-nutritious junk food?  Maybe they just hate cheese.  Maybe it’s the tortilla chips?
.... I spent the rest of the evening coming up with scenario after scenario, one conspiracy evolving into the next until it finally occurred to me to ask “Because what?”  They defaced a nacho plate all because the elusive “you” are immature, demonic, outcast devil maggots?  Or is there more to come? 
.... Maybe I should call Homeland Security.  Or just give Dubya a buzz to let him know he was right.
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Lisa & Jim

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mmmmmm, Klondike.


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New neighbors rock!

…. I can’t remember whether or not I mentioned it before, but I have new neighbors.  They bought the house next door, moved in about a week ago and have been renovating ever since.  I haven’t met her, but I’ve talked to him a few times now.  They are in their mid-20’s and seem like a really nice couple.  He and I have talked about the things he is doing and plans to do to the house, and it sounds like some great improvements.  Inside won’t matter to me much, but he wants to get rid of the rustic-house-500white vinyl siding (he thinks it’s too boring) and change it to a rust colored siding with wood trim, a rustic style. The picture he showed me looks kind of like in this one, but without the green and the rock.  It should be a lot nicer to look at out my window than the blinding white, not so well fitting, vinyl.

 …. Anyhoo, he’s storing a truck for his sister and asked me if I owned the property behind my garage.  When I told him that I did, he wanted to know if it was ok to park the truck back there for a while.  …. I told him that since I won’t be starting any projecfuzets back there until at least next summer, that it wouldn’t be  a problem until then.  He said thanks and then asked me if I liked Fuze, since he is the regional distributor for them in this area.  I really like the sugar-free flavors, I buy tons of them whenever they are on sale, so he goes “Well, there are 5 flavors of the sugar free, I could give you a case of each - - - every month.”  So today he looks over the fence, just like Wilson on Home Improvement, and says he’s got some Fuze for me, and just starts piling cases on the fence ledge for me.  You can see it all in the picture there, including a case of NOS and NOS shots (their energy drink).  When I told my friend Adele about this she said “You could fall in a pile of horse shit and come out holding 2 dozen roses.”  I don’t think I’m that lucky, but every time I get a little down I remind myself I really do not have anything to bitch about.

…. Even without the freebies, I think the new neighbors are going to work out well.  (Sorry Writer, I know misery loves company, but I’m still glad I didn’t get my own “The Blob” next door.)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

I’m baaaaaak….

…. I committed my first act of mayhem at the new school today, and it felt good.
…. Last week I was talking with the 1st year science teacher and we were goofing around pretty good.  She’s one of the teachers there that I get along with really well.  At one point she pretended to sneeze into her hands and wipe it on my shirt, so we got into this little back and forth thing.  At one point I threatened to put sticky notes all over her car, and she didn’t believe me.  She jokingly said to just make sure I take pictures of it (duh, like I wouldn’t).  So today I gave a stack of sticky notes to each of my students in my advisory class, we went out and plastered them all over her car, I took pictures and emailed them to her.  Yeah it was fun.
…. The really funny part was that another teacher saw it happening and next thing you know, right after school let out, a bunch of them were out there checking it out like they’d never seen anything like it before.  You’da thought Martians had landed a big green spaceship right there in the parking lot.
…. Which just goes to show that this faculty needs a little craziness added to their days. 
…. Ms. Science Teacher (Ms. W) didn’t get the email until after school, so she’s in the hall offering students candy to help her pick all of them off her car.  I ran into one of the students later and she had a bag full of sticky notes.  I’m a little worried as to why she saved them, but whatever.  Sticky notes aren’t damaging.
…. When I walked out to the parking lot to see if Ms. W had left yet, I caught her red handed placing sticky notes on my car.  Not a lot, but they did have something written on them.
…. We had a nice chat out there at my car.  She made it clear that this wasn’t over.  I made it clear that any retaliation would be met with more retaliation.  We both agreed that no damage would be done. 
…. Yeah, things are looking up.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What a drag it is getting old…

---- The summer before last we went back to Boston to the annual family picnic.  It was a big occasion since my Great-Aunt Grace had just turned 100, and I hadn’t been back in quite a while. I took this picture at the dinner, it’s of the 3 remaining siblings of the 12 that included my grandmother.  On the left is Grace, in the middle is Uncle Dickie and on the right is Alba. 
---- Dickie passed away last year. I got an email last week informing me that Alba had just passed away, and today I found out Grace is gone too.  It saddens my heart that this dynamic, funny and loving group of siblings is gone.  I have people tell me all the time that I’m a funny guy and I’ve often heard “where do you come up with this stuff?”  I don’t know, it just pops into my head, but I have no doubt that these people influenced my sense of humor. 
---- My grandmother, the oldest of the siblings, passed away sometime in the 90’s, and her funeral is a perfect example of how these siblings lived.  We were at a funeral home that had a second service going on in a room next to my grandmother’s.  I’m standing out in the lobby, the other room is silent, nothing other than soft music emanating from the room.  On the other side, where her sisters were, laughter is coming out.  I walk in, listen for a little and realize what is going on.  Her sisters are telling “Nonni’s favorite dirty jokes” to each other.   I can’t remember any of them, but that scene made me proud to be a part of this family.
---- I’ll be honest with ya, I’m feeling a little old right now.  I’m creeping up on the age my mother was when she passed away and I’ve just lost a whole level of my ancestors.  On the other hand, I’m feeling way too young to be this close to being the oldest generation in my family.  I know it’s a few years away, my dad is in great health and has the genes to last another 25 years.
---- Well, that was headed in a really depressing direction, it’s probably time to cut it off.  And I’ll get up at 6 tomorrow morning to head off and face classrooms full of 13 to 15 year olds and realize I can’t be too old, after all, I can still relate to them.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Enough blame to go around.


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Friday, September 11, 2009

In honor of those who died on 9/11

I got an email about a trucker that painted his truck with all the names of the people who died on 9/11. Usually I don’t pass on these ultra-patriotic propaganda emails, but if this is really true, it’s kind of a cool tribute. So, here’s the pictures.
image005 image006

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