Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yeah, it's the taxman...

With Roberts' SCOTUS vote declaring mandatory Medicaid illegal by the dubious virtue of really being a tax rather than a "mandate that everyone must buy broccoli," we are, as Ezra Dulis has pointed out in this article, being taxed for breathing.

Yes, ladies and gents, the government has managed to tax air. 

I leave you with a musical comment on where this will end up:

Hate this dangerously hot weather.

I really wish I could have had the imp and pixie outside all day.  They're both running around and screaming like crazy things.  Inside.  If I could have them doing that outside, it wouldn't be trapped by walls and echoing in my skull.  And they'd have worn themselves out, and be settling down, by now.  I'm more than ready for them to settle the hell down. 

I think I'm going to have a nice little drink, after the little twerps go to bed.  Much as I love them, sometimes, when they're cooped up by the weather, they kind of drive me around the bend. 

Random ramblings

The imp broke a 10-day streak of dry underwear, last night, while he was watching Top Gear with Odysseus.  Yep, Dad noticed when his leg started feeling damp. 

Imp is not wearing Thomas underwear, today.  Peeing on Thomas makes him sad.

The imp has lost all of his blocks for an as-yet-undetermined length of time.  Tuesday night, he was playing with the pixie in his room, running up and hitting his closet doors with one of his cylindrical wooden blocks to make the pixie giggle.  It was pretty random, not really constant drumming, but every time I checked on him, that's what was going on.  So, finally, I quit checking on him when there was a bang on the closet door.

Big mistake.  Sometime after I quit checking on him, he quit running up and banging on the closet, and started throwing blocks at the closet.  And sometime after that, the pixie wandered between him and the closet door, and got nailed with the corner of one of those wooden alphabet blocks

She screamed, and I went running in to see what was going on, and found her sitting on the edge of the bed, bleeding like a stuck pig from where the corner of the block gouged her forehead, just about halfway between the inner corner of her left eyebrow and her hairline. 

She's fine, didn't need stitches or anything, but that scared the absolute piss out of me. 

So, yeah--no more blocks for a very long time. 

This morning, the pixie got a little bit of revenge for that.  We got them a six-pack of foam balls--something that doesn't hurt even if it gets thrown as hard as an adult can throw into the face.  And he really winged one right into her this morning.  So, she grabbed one in each hand, raised both little hands over her head, ran right up to him, and threw both of them as hard as she could throw, right into his face. 

Odysseus nearly fell off the couch laughing.  Imp just said "ow," and started giggling.  No harm done.

Right now, the two of them are playing with Hiro, Gordon, and Percy on the imp's wooden rail set.  The imp will periodically knock all the engines and cars over on their sides, and say, "All engines have big crash."  

I have been avoiding the news like the plague for the last few days.  It's either been gloating (on the part of the lamebrain media) or whistling in the dark (everyone else) about the whole mandatory Medicaid mess.  I'm still so angry that I can't see straight, and sincerely hope the American people are able to make their displeasure sufficiently apparent in November. 

I've been having issues with internet connectivity for the past two days.  My wireless card in my netbook is starting to give out.  I'm kind of white-knuckling it to August and the back-to-school sales tax holiday.  It still works fine for writing, and for reading, but I often have to run software troubleshooting to remind the thing that it actually does have a wireless card, and access to the internet. 

This is not going to work for teaching.  Every time it resets, it kicks me out of the grade book.

I've got something like nine stories in the pipe for the current anthology I'm working on--basically finishing the "plot" and the resolution.  I've got two stories I'm currently writing/revising.  And the total word count is something like 72,000 words (about 150 pgs, single spaced).  So, everything is going fast enough to make my forearms and hands cramp. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

FFOT: Chief Justice John Roberts

Dear sir,

Sir, your spiritual halitosis stinks of queef.  You obviously never had friends in elementary school, not without your parents having to pay for them. 

I'd say you are a fucking retard, but that fucking insults retards.  They, unlike you, are (if they are capable of holding a job at all) competent enough to know what their fucking job fucking expects of them.  You are a stupid fucking arrogant cock-snorking lawyer who apparently can't fucking read.  If you were fucking competent enough to fucking READ the FUCKING CONSTITUTION, you'd FUCKING KNOW your FUCKING JOB is to FUCKING UNDO FUCKING ILLEGAL AND FUCKING UNCONSTITUTIONAL FUCKING LEGISLATION, no matter how hard the ass-breathed fucksticks who drafted them fucking worked on them, nor how fucking long it fucking took.  If you could fucking READ your FUCKING JOB DESCRIPTION (not to MENTION the FUCKING FOUNDATION DOCUMENT FOR OUR FUCKING LAWS) you would have fucking voted AGAINST the fucking ASS-RAPE of a law that YOUR FUCKING VOTE FUCKING VIOLATED US WITH. 

May the fleas of a million camels infest your genetalia.  May your wife choose to kick you out of bed for the rest of your marriage.  May you fuck off with a extra-large cricket bat coated in superglue, glass shards, rusty barbed wire, and broken razor blades, so that you may know exactly the pain that you have inflicted upon the nation you are sworn to serve. 

Why don't you attempt to print off that law, roll it up, and shove it up your ass?


75% of The American People who Didn't Want Mandatory Medicaid

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reading legalese

I found a picture on a public domain site that I like fairly well for my anthology of short stories.  I'm going to call my friend tonight and ask her how her idea is coming, first (hopefully, she's got it done, and we can run it to Kinko's or something, and get it scanned and saved as a JPG).  If she's not done anything, I'll use my second choice--the photo I found.

Tonight, though, I'm reading the terms and conditions, info about royalties, and that kind of stuff.  And working on my other set of short stories (bumping into 70,000 words, now).


And not just because of the extremely hot weather. 

I cannot believe that the SCOTUS upheld mandatory Medicaid.  Two things suggest themselves to me:

1.  It takes a lawyer to be able to misinterpret the Constitution--a remarkably clear and concise document which is supposed to limit what our government is legally allowed to do to us--badly enough to mistake that abortion of a law for anything close to "constitutional."

2.  John Roberts is not a constitutionally conservative justice.  He was the deciding vote on mandatory Medicaid.  A few days ago, he voted against Arizona, and for the administration's permissive policies toward illegal immigration.

Where Roberts is concerned, either the Left has something on him, or he is simply a traitor to his office. 

I am actually incandescently angry.  I am so angry about this that I can't actually express it.  I am going to have to bury myself in reading as far away from the news as I can get to calm down enough to write a FFOT post on this that's even close to coherent. 

Right now, I'm going to go tickle my daughter.  Baby giggles always help.

Where did they find the necromancer/voodoo priest to raise their victims as zombies?

I've already warned them once--I'm not going to repeat myself.  I'm just going to make sure to have something in easy reach to deal with the problem at all times.

What I want to know is how they think they can kill "pink asses" more than once: they said they plan to "dig ‘em up, and kill ‘em again, bury ‘em, dig ‘em up, and kill ‘em again, and again, and again!"  And I want to know...what happens if their zombies get away from them?  What load do you keep on hand for that?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Can I get a big HELL YEAH for this lady?  She refused to take the cash EBT card to pay for cigarettes!  Told the mid-20's man still in foster care that she wouldn't sell him his cigs on the taxpayers' dime. 

Ms. Jackie R. Whiton, you totally rock!


The imp woke up at about 7:40 this morning, excited because I told him last night that he was going to get to go spend two night with Grandma and Grandpa.  He pretty immediately asked "Go pee-pee?" and did.  A lot.  Then insisted he wanted to get dressed, packed, and leave right then

We took advantage of having only one to keep track of, and did the big shopping trip we needed to do right after an early lunch, then brought the pixie home for her nap.  Then we went back out--in the hot part of the day, mind you--to get the imp his reward for going a whole week without wetting his big-boy underwear.  And the pixie starts chirping "Hot!  Hot!" between the house and the car, then between the car and the store.  We went to put her back in the car seat after the purchase, and she spits out her first full sentence: "I don't want to!!!"

Kids are so adorable, sometimes. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hauntingly familiar.

I'm going to go get something to drink in the hopes of staving off nightmares.  This story is hauntingly familiar in the defense of the dirtbag baby-raper--I heard a lot of this when I was younger: “It’s almost incredulous, there’s no way I could believe such a thing… I support [him] 100 percent; hopefully it will all come out in the investigation.”

Only, it wasn't porn but the acts that was being remarked upon.  And a minister is far more a hero of a small community like I grew up in than a gay rights activist is to the far left.

There was no investigation of my case.  No prosecution.  It doesn't look like this evil son of a bitch is going to get the same treatment, thank God.

More SNAP fraud...

It's interesting...I just learned that states have been instructed to refuse requests to release data on where SNAP dollars are going.  $80 billion of taxpayer money every year, and nobody knows precisely where it goes.

I'd place all the blame on the creeps abusing it through using their SNAP card to get $20 as "change" for a five cent pack of gum, but apparently, that's only the smallest part of the problem.  First, it's been labeled a federal crime with jail time awaiting anyone who actually releases any information about what stores are getting the money: "Legislation seemingly designed to protect the industry goes so far as to say that anyone who releases the amount of food stamp dollars paid to a store can be jailed." 

But that's only the start of it--why would there be such legislation, if not for the major lobbying firms? "Profiting from the poor’s taxpayer-funded purchases has become big business for a mix of major companies and corner bodegas, which have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the USDA to keep the money flowing freely."

Money makes the world go 'round.  The love of money is the root of all evil.  Giant pots of money being thrown around by the federal government in welfare bills like the farm bill currently in front of congress always pulls in people looking to get their slice of the pie, either through fair means or fraud.

Again, SNAP needs to be returned to what it used to be: brightly colored monopoly money that only buys staples, not "goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants."

A true "affordable care act."

PJ Media's Dr. Peter Weiss has it nailed, except for, perhaps, the last provision.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Best $20 we've ever spent

Not too long ago, Odysseus and I spent $20 on a 18" x1000' roll of butcher paper.  I found the roll of painters' tape I thought we had (after looking for it for several weeks), and have taped butcher paper to the coffee table top.  Then I turned them loose with the crayons.

It's brightly colored, now, and the kids are having an absolute blast, with very little fighting, though I have had to limit them to one crayon each. 

I wish I'd found the tape sooner. 

Wait, what?

They've just published a study that getting Facebook posts viewed and liked brings as much pleasure as sex. 

Huh?  What kind of lousy sex are people having out there?  I can't even fathom how anyone could equate having their innermost thoughts "liked" by strangers with even a mild orgasm. 

Although, I wonder if that odd finding is caused by the rise in meaningless encounters with strangers in the bedroom. 

Restless, uncomfortable night...

I wrote two stories yesterday, one centering from the point of view of a wife that had been isolated and abused by her husband for at least three or four hundred years.  The other was from the point of view of a therapist she can contact only by phone, and only because she's the goddess of all marriage (including unhappy), centered, again, on the abused character. 

It messed with my sleep something awful. As bad as it was all night, it was at its worst between about 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.  I couldn't get back to sleep well enough to not start awake every few minutes.  I finally gave up and got up, and found myself wide awake.

In any case, at least I'm not begrudging the kids having woke me up this morning. 

So now, the book's sitting at a bit over 62,000 words, and I've got another ten or so individual stories to go.  Most of them are going to be fun to write, but some of them are going to be emotionally difficult in another way. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It didn't work well for Stalin...

Peter Sutherland, the UN's special representative for migration, said that the EU needs to do anything and everything it can to break up homogenous cultures. 

It didn't save Communist Russia, in the end, and it won't save the EU, either. 

Save the taxpayers' money...

Take Sandusky off suicide watch.  If he kills himself, we don't have to deal with paying for appeals, medical care, or three hots and a cot.  We don't have to pay to prosecute someone in jail who deserves a public service award instead of an extended sentence for murdering a pervert.  And most of all, we don't have to worry about whether he'll ever be released to rape any more little boys.

If all you have is a hammer...

It's no surprise so many researchers in the humanities have a screw loose.  They start with an assumption, not a question, shape their study to prove their assumption, and disregard any evidence that doesn't prop their ideas up.  They flatter themselves that they're conducting real research, according to the scientific method, when all they're really doing is participating in a left-leaning progressivist circle-jerk.

This most recent study I'm talking about--the one that suggests that Christians are more likely to be criminals--kind of put the last stroke of paint on the sign that not all is not right in the humanities' research methods. 

There's a problem with their hypothesis assumption, though: they start from the assumption that the majority of crime is committed by people who think they'll go to heaven--mostly Christians that believe in a loving and merciful God.

God is loving, but He is not merciful.  That falls to His Son.  And His Son disavows so-called Christians who talk the talk, but don't try to walk the walk. 

Anyone who reads the Bible knows that

I am not a good person.  I try to be a little better than what I know I am--and yes, that means I do avoid criminal behavior--and ask for help and forgiveness for the rest.  I don't do what I want, when I want, and decide that God will forgive me in the end just because I believe in His Son.

I suppose that's one of the reasons I can't quite find a good fit in church homes.  They're either too "everyone is going to hell if they don't go to our church" hypocritical, or too "God loves you, so do what you want and it doesn't matter because you're perfect" mushy permissive.  Neither is right. 

It's not the church that matters.  What matters is the individual's relationship with God, and their attempts to do Him proud.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I am reminded of something...

Obama needs to stop with the obvious Disney villain parallels.  First, it was Scar from The Lion King.  Now, it's the Sheriff of Nottingham from the 1973 animated version of Robin Hood, when he steals the little rabbit's birthday farthing. 

Maybe he needs to watch the Disney movies again for a list of what not to do, and what to expect in the attitudes toward him.  Anyone remember "The Phony King of England?"

I can only imagine...

A man in Phoenix got shot by the kid whose door he kicked in.  A fourteen year old boy who was home with three younger siblings grabbed his dad's gun while hustling the younger kids up the stairs, and shot the man as he kicked in the front door and aimed a gun at him.

The home invasion robber went to the hospital in extremely critical condition, but is expected to survive.

Now, think about this: in jail, when everyone asks what he's in for, how is he supposed to admit he got shot by his intended fourteen year old victim?  That's going to be embarrassing. 

Random ramblings

The imp has gone two full days (today will make day 3, if he makes it) without having any accidents in his big-boy underwear.  I think we've finally turned a corner.  I never realized, on a gut level, how exciting it is when a little one gets mostly toilet trained.  Nor did I realize what a relief it would be. 

It's already cut our diaper budget in half, since he only wears them at night, now.  Instead of being $70/month for the two of them (thank God they're in the same size for logistics purposes), we're spending $35 on diapers, and about $28 every two months on Pull-Ups (that aren't needed any longer, except for nap time or long car trips).

The pixie is demonstrating a lot of signs of being ready to potty train, but...I've had her sitting on the potty chair, and she'll get up and squat to piddle on the floor.  I don't think she's quite got it, yet. 

She is really picking up in the speech department--she uses a lot of two word phrases, ones that she puts the words together, not rote-learned ones.  She makes definite requests for what she wants to eat, and eats really well.  She's starting to try to narrate her actions, or her brother's actions. 

I got both my textbooks revised (this makes the third "edition").  If anyone wants to see what my students are doing, shoot me an email, and I can send you a copy. 

I really hate the platform we use for our distance learning classes.  Blackboard sucks, and sucks in a bad way.  The version we have isn't compatible with the most recent internet browsers, doesn't support Chrome at all, and regularly FUBARs when we try to change our classes around to better serve our students.  Better yet, the university has to pay through the nose to upgrade to fix the issues. 

Writing is going pretty well--I've been playing with different ideas for ordering the stories in my gods anthology.  I think I may have a good idea: part one will be sort of interconnected short stories, part two will be a novella dealing with a bit of overarching plot, and part three will be interconnected short stories dealing with the aftermath of the main plot. 

The verdict in the Sandusky case is particularly satisfying for me.  I really feel a lot of sympathy for, and empathy with, his son: my male genetic donor did exactly the same thing that Sandusky did.  While he wasn't a big, division I university assistant coach, my male genetic donor was a good ol' boy pastor in a small town, was friends with half the cops and most of the judges, was on the bowling league, and volunteer coached little league, and sixth grade girls' basketball.  He didn't give a damn about the sex of the child.

He was never prosecuted, despite my sister and me (as well as a lot of other kids) telling what he was doing.  He was never investigated.  Most of us were never believed.  A good chunk of my family still doesn't believe my sister and me.

So yeah, Sandusky going to the pokey (may he have a cell-mate twice his size, twice his strength, and who thinks he's pretty) is particularly satisfying.  At least some pedo creeps get some of what they deserve.

To tell you the truth, he deserves to be buggered with a red-hot iron rod twice the size of his arsehole.  It was good enough for Edward II of England, after all...

Friday, June 22, 2012


Scenes from the war that we should have won, were it not for the bastards in congress, the snot-nosed college kids, and traitorous bimbos. 

To each and every veteran who served the country in times of conflict...thank you.  To all that served in Vietnam in particular...thank you.  Have a drink on me.

Well, duh.

If Sandusky is willing to rape any child, there's no guarantee he won't rape his own.

He doesn't need a prison sentence.  He need to be put down for the mental and emotional well-being of his past victims, and to prevent him from victimizing any other children in the future.

FFOT: #@$%*^&!!!!

I read a story linked from TinCan Assassin's blog on Monday.  It's taken me this long for the shock to wear off, and to get past the incoherent, gibbering rage it caused. 

Seems a WWII hero recently lost his wife to cancer.  They fought it, but ultimately lost.  She's buried next to their home, and he was planning to join her when he passed, but something happened.  The medical bills had spiraled so high that he wasn't able to pay them, and declared bankruptcy. 

They want to take his house, because he didn't list his retirement fund (a collection of gold and silver coins) in his assets.  He didn't understand the explanations of what he was supposed to do, and now they want to force him to exhume his wife and go die in a ditch.

To heap more trouble on this poor old man's head, he's got prostate cancer, and likely won't live much longer, anyway.

To the lawyers trying to take this old man's home and life: You fucking slimy fucking extrusions from a fucking politician's soiled and diseased nether regions.  How fucking dare you fucking destroy what's left of this man's life.  How fucking dare you fucking try to fucking force this hero from the home he fucking fought for?  Every lawyer in this case--including the veteran's lawyers who fell down on their job protecting him and his rights--can fuck off so hard that eighteen generations in both directions feel violated.  They can all fuck off with a cricket bat coated in broken glass and rusty barbed wire, then soaked in hydrochloric acid. 

May every acquaintance in your life find out about your spiritual halitosis and abandon you right when you need them most.  May you lose your job, your home, and your family over this despicable fucking attempt.  May you contract brain rot, crotch rot, and die a slow, painful death. 

And may you all be deported to communist China to learn exactly why you should be kissing that man's feet instead of trying to exhume his wife and steal his home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Racism has really switched around--it's not the blacks suffering for it anymore, not primarily. 

It's whites. 

You see so much black-on-white violence...oh, wait.  I forgot.  That's not typically reported on, or at least not in such a way that it's obvious that the victim is white, like on the bus in Philadelphia

Universities have been in on it for a good while, now.  Through propaganda and diversity training, they're trying to make students ashamed of themselves for nothing more than being the wrong color--in this case, white. 

It's a grand thing that people tend not to look at the color of someone's skin before making a judgement.  I have never paid attention--unless it's a particularly aesthetically pleasing shade--to skin tone.  What I do pay attention to is the way any individual acts and reacts toward those around them.  You know, "the content of their character," to quote a minister famous for fighting racism.

The current trends are nothing but aiming the prejudice the opposite direction.  It has nothing to do with justice.

Yet again, HOAs define themselves as joyless fascists

This time, it's in Denver: a neighborhood has passed a "temporary" ban on toddlers drawing on the sidewalks with sidewalk chalk.  Something about hearts and flowers in soft pastels offends the individuals on the HOA board.  I don't know, maybe the geniuses involved in passing the "temporary" ban thinks that drawing ponies on the sidewalk in chalk that will vanish the next time somebody's sprinkler timer decides to water their grass will lead directly to gang-style tagging vandalism in their cookie-cutter neighborhood.

Somebody needs to explain the difference between sidewalk chalk and spray paint.  Hopefully by introducing samples of both into their sinus cavities.

If we needed any illustration of anti-intellectual bias...

...this does it all.  Obviously, this student is fully aware that school isn't preparing him for university, and wanted to try to compensate for that.  Great idea, huh?

Unfortunately, his school administration didn't agree--to the point of calling the police to have him removed from the library, refusing to let him study.  Called him "obsessed" with studying.

Maybe if they just, I don't know, did their freakin' jobs, this kid wouldn't have been feeling so horribly underprepared that he made a noisy nuisance of himself.  And maybe if they had the right attitude, they'd have been more supportive of his drive to learn.

Administrators like that crush the curiosity that make kids want to learn, and perpetuate the attitude that there's something wrong with you if you like to study and learn.  Administrators like that make my job as a college teacher more difficult.

Nota bene: in Brit-speak, "revise" simply means to study something.  It doesn't mean to re-do an assignment for a better grade like it does in the U.S.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yet another good idea whose time has come.

Republicans want to cut the $80 billion food stamps cost productive citizens by cracking down on abuses.  They rightly want to spend more on maintaining infrastructure than supporting leeches.

Of course, Democrats are terrified it'll reduce their voter base harm those who need it:
"Democrats led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are resisting a proposal by Agriculture Committee leaders in both parties to trim a modest $250 million from the program each year by cracking down on abuses.

They say that would deprive about half a million households losing an average $90 a month in food aid."
When college students go on food stamps so that they can afford their alcohol habit and their gourmet, organic rabbit food, that is an abuse of the system.  When single moms refuse to feed their kids so that they can afford fake nails, weaves, and designer clothes, that is an abuse of the system.  When individuals buy a pack of gum with their SNAP debit cards so that they can get cash back, that is an abuse of the system.

Interestingly enough, most of the groups named above tend to vote Democrat to keep their paycheck for breathing.  Without Democrat support, they'd have to get jobs.  Without Democrat support, they'd learn just how much the rest of us hate supporting their nasty, worthless asses. 

And without the Democrats supporting their choice to keep being worthless wastes of resources, they'd have to become productive members of society, or starve. 

Personally, I'd love to see more people actually facing the consequences of their choices.  Maybe then, stupidity would be a bit less endemic. 

What is with those people?

Who the hell is against an organization that fights child sex slavery?!  Occupidiots must be of perverts as the party they typically vote for.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Of all the stupid...

I've got three stupid bans for you:

  • Pennsylvania is banning "secret" compartments in vehicles, defined by something added after-market for whatever reason--but they're only illegal if they're added for illegal reasons.  In other words, you could add a small safe for money and valuables because you travel a lot, get pulled over in PA, and they could confiscate everything in your safe because you can't prove you didn't have it added to smuggle drugs.
  • Cambridge, MA, is trying to prove that they're bigger nannies (and believe that their people are dumber and more totally lacking in will-power) than NYC--they're trying to pass a ban on any sugar sweetened drinks at any restaurant.
  • You know how if you cut an apple a certain way, the seeds look like a five pointed star?  Well, apparently, if you cut a tomato in the same way, the flesh of the fruit and surrounding seeds form a cross.  Which, according to some idiot RIFs, means it's a Christian food, and Muslims will go to hell for eating it. 

'Bout the only dumber ban I can think of right off the top of my head is the one banning drop rail cribs.  You can't even legally sell one at a yard sale.  Sorry, but I'm short--under 5' tall--and the fixed rail cribs are either too high for me to put a sleeping baby down on the mattress without waking it, or too low for the baby to be safe from falling out once they start being able to stand up.  So, because some parents were so fucking stupid they couldn't follow instructions (installing the drop rail hardware upside down, which let the rail fall out, and let the baby squeeze out and smother between mattress and rail), they assume all of us are that dumb, and forbid us from using a product that is perfectly safe if assembled correctly. 

Actually, now that I think of it, I think I can sort of understand that ban.  I mean, I just revised my text books to add pictures because my students can't follow written instructions.

God help this country.

Another butt-crack of dawn day...

The pixie awakened me at 3:30 a.m. this morning for a nurse.  Then woke me again at 4:30.  That time, she was scared and needed rocked back to sleep.  After that, I went back to sleep, only for the imp to wake me at a quarter 'til seven with this stupid freakin' noisy, battery-operated V-tech top.

He's been forbidden to speak until Sesame Street comes on at 9:00 a.m. for getting a noisy toy turned on and yanking Mommy out of a sound sleep fifteen minutes before he's allowed to get up and come out of his room. 

Right now, he's pitching a fit in his room for not listening when I repeatedly warned him to be quiet or go sit on his bed. 


At least we only had one pair of badly wet in underwear and shorts (and socks), yesterday.  He caught himself the second time and made it to the bathroom before it ran all the way down and soaked his socks.  I guess a Pull-Up is nothing but a diaper, in his opinion.  I'm really proud of him for that. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

I really need to find the ear plugs.

We brought the imp back home from Grandma and Grandpa's house yesterday.  And the kids have been fighting all day today.  I get it--the imp hates sharing toys, and the pixie is teething and cranky as hell. 

I've got another two hours before the pixie goes to bed, and two and a half or so before the imp does.  To make things even more fun, the imp has to be reminded to put a bite of his supper in his mouth, then chew it up and swallow it (otherwise, he either ignores his food, or sits there holding the bite in his mouth).  At least the pixie doesn't have to be reminded to eat, or how to eat. 

As soon as they're done eating, I'll give the pixie her acid blocker and her ibuprofen, then plonk both of 'em in the tub.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thoughts on Father's Day

My father wasn't a good father or a good man.  Not by any stretch of the imagination. 

The first real father figure I accepted, honestly, was the third husband of one of my aunts, and his presence in my life was fleeting.  I'm still not sure he was a very positive influence--one doesn't typically split a large bottle of tequila at eighteen with their parents, after all.  But he did teach me that a good marriage needs to have two equal partners, and one adult.  It's why he and my aunt are no longer married.

The next father figure I had was the head of the English department I started my undergraduate work with.  He's no longer the department head, much to his joy--he hated the admin work, and missed teaching a full load.  I'd say he taught me my joy in learning, but I already had that.  He certainly reinforced that joy in learning, though.  I still visit with him as often as I can make it to campus.

My father-in-law is kind of my go-to father figure, now.  He's probably the best role model of being a good dad I've ever met in my life.  He taught Odysseus a lot, but the most important thing I'd say Odysseus learned was how to be a spectacularly good dad to his own children.

Dads are important.  Without a good dad, a daughter will find herself either terrified of men, or looking for the kind of male guidance and approval she needs from any guy that comes along--not a good thing.  Without a good dad, a boy will have a hard time growing into a good man.  Most of the time, in such a case, a boy simply won't grow past the whole "it's all about me and what I want" that every child exists in.  It's up to dads to model for their sons how to grow past that into a responsible, caring person that can, in turn, become a good dad to their children.  It's up to dads to raise their daughters into strong, confident women who know what to look for in a spouse and parent for their future children.

Society acknowledges how important moms are to children's development, but still doesn't recognize exactly how critical dads are.  It's something that needs to change.

The problem with racism

It's not Matt Drudge.  It's not even Gwenneth Paltrow, who used the same word in a public forum that the rap culture glorifies by their own use (but damn the rest of us as racists for using).

No.  It's not conservatives.  It's not the guy that said on the news that when blacks move into a neighborhood, the neighborhood goes ghetto (that was the simple truth).  It's not heroes like Bill Cosby, who are brave enough to articulate that the majority of the problems now faced by blacks are created by blacks.

It's niggers.  Not black people in general--the majority of the ones I've met might give lip service to pop culture, but don't have a whole lot in common with the culture itself--niggers in specific.

Being a nigger isn't limited to black people.  The bastard that lost his life last week when the father of the little girl he was about to rape caught him was a Mexican nigger by choice.  Flash mobs like the ones beating people up in Oregon, and stealing iPhones on Chicago subways are composed of niggers by choice.  The Occupy movement is mostly made up of white, middle class, spoiled children who are niggers by choice.

The other problem with racism is that the rest of us are told to shut up when we have the testicular fortitude to articulate the problem.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yet another reason I'm homeschooling my kids

Listen.  I understand that the vast majority of parents are falling down on the job where "the talk" is concerned.  I get that.  I understand that it's better for teenagers to get factual information than to listen to their friends' odd ideas about what does and doesn't get someone pregnant.

I do not think a discussion of how oral and/or anal sex works is appropriate for eleven year old children.  I don't think eleven year old children need any discussion of how sex works at all, other than information to help them avoid being victimized by child predators. 

I absolutely think that a public school has no place having that discussion with a fifth grade assembly.  I will not permit my children to be subjected to treatment like that. 

Almost everyone missed the point.

I read about the teacher that gave the "You're not special" commencement address.  Talk about hyperventilation!  Both sides--the side that's disgusted by the special snowflakes, and the parents of special snowflakes--went into heaving spasms about this part:
"You are not special.  You are not exceptional.

            Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special. 
            Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped.  Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again.  You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored.  You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie.  Yes, you have.  And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs.  Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet.  Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman!  [Editor’s upgrade: Or The Swellesley Report!] And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…
            But do not get the idea you’re anything special.  Because you’re not."
Those of us who despise the special snowflake mentality love that part, and go into panting hysterics that finally, finally, someone gets it, and has the testicular fortitude to stand up and say it.

Parents of special snowflakes are screaming that that teacher just doesn't understand the delicate genius of their spectacularly wonderful little darling.

Both sets are so busy focusing on the message of " the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it" that they completely miss the real message.  The real message of "so go out and change that.  Make something of yourselves, besides just another statistic or special interest group."

Both parents and spectators missed the whole "Do what you love because you love it," missed that this teacher sees the students for who and what they are, and believes in them anyway.  

I would be willing to bet that a lot of the students got that.  They may not be able to follow written directions worth a damn, but they're excellent at detecting the BS that flies around them 24/7 in the name of protecting their delicate self-esteem. 

I wonder, sometimes, if (like the rape victim who's told that it's not his/her fault often enough that they start to wonder if maybe it is) our students begin to wonder if they're truly capable of actually being successful, wonderful adults, and have no idea how to begin to try, much less handle the inevitable failures before they find the success.  I wonder if the herculean efforts to protect their not-so-fragile egos from even the hint of failure leads them to believe that the reason they're told they're perfect the way they are is because they can't improve.

 And I wonder how many of them give up because of that belief.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thanks, and Welcome

Thanks to Mohave Rat for poking that nice, blue follower button.  You're welcome to speak your mind on my blog--you've more than earned it.  Thank you for serving. 

Now...tell me what I can get you to drink: coffee, tea (hot or iced), lemonade, bourbon, scotch, or Irish whiskey?  There's home made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen, too.

FFOT: parents of entitled children

I've been griping for a long time about the way my students feel entitled to excellent grades without putting in the work.  It gets on my nerves something awful, and I know I'm not the only one.  Most real teachers--the ones that care about imparting knowledge, rather than just the paycheck, benefits, and the summer vacation--hate that attitude, too.  Why else would one have given a commencement address telling students that they're not that special, after all? 

Whose fault is it?  It's not the teachers' fault: the kids arrive in our class with the entitlement mentality already in place.  It's not the child-rearing experts' fault: they don't raise the kids, they just try to justify their own jobs by coming up with new theories.

It's the parents.  Parents are the ones who are so blinded by love for their little sprogs that they buy into the self-esteem boosting BS the "experts" shovel.  Parents are the ones who seem to feel that their child's "special snowflake" perfection illustrates just what wonderful parents they are.  And when all that is pushed aside, parents are the ones that just don't want to deal with the meltdowns when their kid loses a game, doesn't earn a good grade after being told how smart and perfect they are, or doesn't get that toy they wanted.

I love my kids dearly.  I love them too much to let them turn into selfish, self-centered, irritating little entitled monsters.  That means I have to be the bad guy, sometimes.  No, I don't like it, but that is what being a parent--an adult--is about.

It's why I don't like most kids I see/meet out in public: most of the parents either are afraid of harming their delicate little children's delicate little egos, or they don't want to be bothered with doing the hard work, and dealing with the fallout of "no."  Or both.

Well-intentioned, selfish, lazy parents.  They can fuck off. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I have an idea.

Let the busybodies in NYC ban what they want--drinks, popcorn, or things like milkshakes and lattes--but make sure the bans apply to them, as well, and don't ever let them off Manhattan Island!  Turn it into the nanny-state paradise they seem to want it to be, then lock them in to the lifestyle they created for themselves.

I doubt they'd be able to either hire or breed anything like Kurt Russel's character, so we'd never have to worry about that set, at least, ever again.

Lots to do

Did you know students aren't able to follow numbered step-by-step instructions without pictures?  Because of that little disability, I need to revise my textbooks.  I'd be tempted to ignore the problem, but I keep running up against it and having to give the same instructions, over and over and over again.

I've been helping a colleague update his classes for fall, and the stupid distance learning platform keeps freezing up.  I got about two thirds of the way done, and now it won't let me scroll through the grade book and fix the display the way my colleague wants it.  I hate that platform, but it's the best one out there to work with.  Much like the form of government the Founders set up for us.

I'm also working on housework I'd let slip again, first while I was sick, then the kids, then the loss of the cat.  I still miss her terribly, especially in the evenings after the kids are in bed, when she'd creep out of hiding and come curl around my hip while I wrote or did work for class.  "Laundry" is the word of the week for me.

Last, but not least, I still have two stories on the burner for this week.  After that's done, I'm just going to go down my list of stories I have basic plots for, and get that second anthology/novel/thing (I don't know what to call it, since it's a combination of the two) done.  I really want it done before classes start up again in August. 

As for the finished's still pending.  I'd've gotten my finished work set up on Kindle and Create Space, but I don't have the file for the cover art, yet.  My friend has a good idea of what to do for me, now, but she's got a real job, and a sort-of fiance that is kind of a second full-time job.  

My in-laws called, this morning.  Their oldest granddaughter and second great-grandson just left for home, and they want a visit from their grand-imp.  Since Odysseus is working tomorrow and Saturday, it'll lessen my workload a bit, and give me earlier evenings, since the pixie goes down for the night around seven or seven-thirty. 

Gotta go put the load in the washer into the dryer, and start another one.  I'll see what I can find in the news to snark about later.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who's projecting?

If I were projecting my sex life on my views of other people, everyone would be having fantastic sex.  No, I'm not socially conservative, for the most part, but I am politically and fiscally conservative.  (I guess that makes me more libertarian.)

Then again, I don't think most NAMBLA members are social, political, or fiscal conservatives.  Makes me wonder exactly who this person knows that has "crappy sex lives, or they have really forced, coerced, nasty, you know, children, animals, what-have-you, people that they won’t recognize legitimate citizen status for."


I forgot to give the pixie her meds last night--she takes an acid blocker and a dose of ibuprofen before bed--and she woke up at 11:30, nursed, went back down, and woke back up bawling because one of the kids turned on the alarm on the clock radio in her room (and we've had enough power outages that the alarm is set to its default of midnight).  Then she pointed at her mouth and said "hurt," which reminded me that she hadn't had her meds.  I gave her those, then she wanted her hair brushed, then nursed again.  And then was up.  Again.  "Eat?"  A cracker and a half later, it was twenty 'til two.  She woke up about two hours later, because the kids had moved the thing I had in front of her nightlight to shade it. 

Odysseus let me sleep in while he took care of the kids when they woke up.  He's a lifesaver. 

I just wish my own work ethic had let me sleep a little later--I promised my colleague I'd help him with his grading this morning, and I got up before I was really ready to. 

Thank God for coffee.  I'm on my second 16 oz cup of the wonderful stuff.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nice to see that some get it.

“I’m also being chastised because I work 18 hours a day and make a living. I feel that I’m part of the 2 percent and I’m really not interested in a woman who has 95 children and has 95 husbands.


I think if I work very hard, I should be able to gather the fruits of my labor. And I think if you’re not about to work, you should get minimal and leave me alone. I think if you don’t wear a helmet and you fall off your bike, you pay for the doctor.”--Joan Rivers

Wow--this is a step forward.

Indiana has passed a law stating that people whose homes are invaded by public employees--like police with a no-knock warrant kicking in the wrong door--can shoot the jackbooted thugs kicking in their doors.

Of course, the police are concerned, now, that they're going to get shot.

Here's a hint, guys: stop with the unconstitutional no-knock warrants.  Indiana is only the first state that's permitting people to defend themselves against uniformed thugs.  I'm certain that many more will follow.  The element of surprise isn't going to get cops anything but dead.

Monday, June 11, 2012

One less pedophile in the world tonight

A dad in Texas beat his daughter's would-be rapist to death.

Oh, yeah, like this is a surprise.

A recent study has found that, while children raised in a home with same-sex parents are better off than with single or abusive parents, nothing beats the time-tested formula of a mama and a daddy who are married to each other--a man and a woman, not two men or two women.

That said, the study also showed that children raised in any two-parent home were better off than children raised in a single-parent home, or a series of foster homes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

So not feeling it, right now.

I've got a couple stories up that are worthy of commentary--Pelosi going off the rails again, insisting Obamacare is a right like Social Security and Medicare; and Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. insisting on causing more inflation and more destruction of entry level jobs by increasing minimum wage to $10/hour--but I just can't concentrate on what needs to be said, tonight.  Sorry.

Update on cat

Our beloved kitty had to be put down this morning.  The vet told us that she wasn't responding to aggressive treatment, and that she likely had a tumor on her pancreas, or something like that causing her to be unable to regulate her blood sugar or body temperature. 

We moved to northern Kansas in 2003.  In August, we moved into an apartment that let us pay a deposit and get a cat.  So, we went to the Humane Society, and visited with three kitties.  The first one hid her face in the corner and wouldn't look at us.  The second backed into the corner and growled at us.  The third explored the visiting room a bit, played with the toys a bit, then climbed in my lap and started to purr. 

She came home with us.  And she moved from northeastern Kansas to southwestern Missouri with us.  And moved from a rental house to our house less than a year later.  She complained with each and every trip, but never lost control of her bowels or stomach. 

A couple of years after that, we brought the imp home.  We set his carrier down on the floor so that she could meet her new housemate.  She crept up real close, just as he was waking up in need of his acid blocker.  Just as she leaned in to get a good sniff, he opened his eyes and screamed in her face.  She scooted backwards so fast that she left a whisker in his lap. 

It took her two weeks to even be willing to peek into his room.  Another month after that, she started creeping in to explore the edges of his room.  It took until he was six months old for her to even sort of accept him, and then he started to crawl.  Then pull up.

She taught him to be very gentle with animals.  He had to be if he wanted to be allowed to pet her at all.  She taught the pixie the same lesson. 

I'm going to miss her so much.  She's not the first cat I've ever had, but she was the first cat I've ever had in the house. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sick cat

She scared the crap out of me, earlier today.  She got up and moseyed into the back room, like she tends to do when she retreats from the kids (she is starting to tolerate them.  A little.  Grudgingly.).  I didn't think anything of it. 

A couple of hours later, I went back to grab a DVD for a friend, and she kind of "mew"s weakly from her pet taxi.  I went over and looked in at her, and she's just laying there, limp.  She didn't really even lift her head, kind of shifted around to look at me.

Yeah, she's at the emergency vet's right now.  They said she was very cold (she was laying in a puddle of some kind of bodily fluid in her pet taxi), blood sugar was very low, and her white cell count was high.   They've got her on a heat pad under a heat lamp , and are pushing glucose and antibiotics. I just checked on her, and the vet's assistant said she lifted her head to look up. 

Here's hoping she's going to be okay.

What do I care if you're dropping stitches?  I'm sleeping on your project.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's just turn this one around, shall we?

Let's see what the real agenda is.  According to an article by Dr. Helen Smith, she was sent a link to a study that presented a hypotheses, then structured a questionnaire that biased results to support the hypotheses without regarding true scientific method (and that's judging by the abstract to the study I read--not sure if the study is a free download, and won't pay for it if it isn't).  The study suggests that married men with stay-at-home wives somehow harm women who work outside the home.  Like the good doctor, I'm much more prone to mocking the stupidity inherent in the system.  It sure doesn't merit anything more.

Okay...let's just think about that for a moment.  How do men with stay-at-home wives harm women in the workplace, either through harming them personally, or through harming their chances of getting a promotion?  Could it be that breadwinner husbands harm the women they work with by giving them unrealistic expectations of the metrosexual weenies that they probably date?  Could they be harming their chances for promotion by being willing to work harder, longer hours, do more for better pay to support their families?  Could these breadwinner husbands be, I don't know, more ambitious because they have more than just themselves to provide for?

Could they be right that an organization made up of mostly females doesn't run smoothly? That's certainly been my experience, and I am a woman.  Women tend to have a really strict social pecking order, and are vicious in both establishing their place in it, and in defending their place.  Women hold grudges instead of punching each other in the nose, then going out for a beer.  Women are sneaky.  It's why I prefer working from home.

Could they be right that women bosses are (pardon the pun) a bitch to work for?  A lot of women who get into those positions are either sneakier and more vicious than their male counterparts, or got there on affirmative action promotions and shouldn't manage more than a phone and a desk.  A very, very few are actually good at running an organization.  Women are spectacular at multitasking, and at detail work.  Not so great at focusing in on the big picture.

And if I were the target of unwarranted sexual harassment disciplinary actions because someone overheard a joke between me and a buddy that had nothing to do with the woman who overheard and got her panties in a bunch or sex, I'd view women in the workplace negatively, too. 

Actually, that happened to a female friend of mine, and guess what?  She doesn't really like working with other women anymore, either.

The study suggested that a good solution would be to not hire married men whose wives are stay-at-home wives.

Wow...did they suggest that an entire segment of the female population deserves to suffer because of a choice they made to stay home and care for their home and family? That's really showing that whole dedication to validating the choices of all women, isn't it?

Maybe business ought to consider hiring only men with stay-at-home wives.  After all, by refusing to do so, they're harming more than just the selfish bitch that whines that she didn't get a promotion she wasn't willing to spend the time and effort to earn.

FFOT: Is it Friday again?

Bozos who let their over-excited 11 year old son wave what sounded like a 9mm around can FTFO.  That kind of "teaching" is going to get somebody hurt, and make gun-owners look bad as parents.

The media can FTFO.  For the same reasons as always.

Google can FTFO for celebrating the anniversary of the first drive-in movie theater instead of the more important anniversary: D-Day.

Nursemaid's elbow can definitely FTFO.  Again.  It's hard when you've accidentally harmed your little one in the course of keeping her from harming herself worse.  It's even harder when you have to hurt your little one trying to put the dislocation back in place, and can't.  (It took the doctor three tries to get it.)  So yeah, nursemaid's elbow can FTFO.  With knobs.  And cheez.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Worried about drug-resistant STDs?

Apparently, we're all supposed to be terrified of them--I mean, who wouldn't be scared of a strain of gonorrhea that seems to be immune to all families of antibiotics ever used to treat it, and makes itself more difficult to catch by being less painful?

So...we're supposed to be scared we're all going to catch a virus/infection that's so difficult to contract that you can only get it through a certain, specific type of social contact.  Well.  That's just special.

Here's an idea: don't sleep around with random strangers.  Don't sleep around with people you know well.  Don't.  Sleep.  Around. 

And for those who aren't interested in being a responsible adult and keeping it in their pants...there's also a nifty invention called condoms.  About the only thing that doesn't prevent is HPV, which you get from skin contact.

But, of course, that first option (keep it in your pants) isn't mentioned in the article, and the second (condom use) isn't mentioned until the very end.  The whole point was that we are all supposed to be terrified that we're going to catch some nasty, drug resistant sexual disease.

Except...I'm not.  I don't subscribe to the whole casual sex culture.  I'm married to my best friend, and to the only man I'm attracted to.  Yeah, there's eye candy out there, but so much of it is dumb, or has spiritual halitosis so bad that it kills even the eye candy factor.

Teach your children well...

If that had been my kid, today at the range, muzzle-sweeping the shooting shelter after emptying a magazine, he'd have had the gun taken, everything packed back up, and be buckled in and on his way back home before he could say "But, Daaaad, whyyyyy?"

Instead of having Dad pop the magazine and reload it for him. 

There are definitely downsides to free, public ranges--no rangemasters means nobody making sure Cletus is teaching Junior how to obey the Four Rules.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I get to pick my own cover art!!  That is absolutely awesome.

However, the downside is...I haven't a bloody clue what to put on the cover of the anthology I wanted to publish this month.  I've asked a friend who's an artist to read it and design a cover for it.

I do know what I want for my other anthology--and my friend loved my idea, and is willing to design it for me.

Now, all I have to do is write it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Quantitative easing is part of the cause of our problems!  Someone needs to make that clear to the stupid, arrogant, self-absorbed, Keynesian-fellating, top-down model worshipping socialist douchenozzles in Washington, DC.  Preferably with a heavy, steel clue-bat, sometime before they spit-roast us with it again.

Want to fix those "slow" numbers?  Convince the twatwaffles in Congress to...

...cut corporate tax rates to 0%.

...cut capital gains tax rates to 0%.

...lower the top bracket on income tax at least, or better, set up a flat rate 15% with the first $40,000 per household exempt from taxation.

...repeal Obamacare.

...reduce regulations on creating new businesses.

If the first item on my list was done, they'd be shocked at how quickly new large businesses moved back into the US, creating an explosion of new jobs.  The second and third would encourage a lot more spending on a household level.  The last two would encourage people to become their own bosses.

QE III is going to make each dollar worth less and make everything cost more, which will lead to... drum roll, please... even worse numbers within six months.

Oh, wait... the next election is in about four months. 

It's like 1935, all over again.

When a man gets a beat-down by partisan thugs for removing signs for a politician he disagrees with from his own property, we're not too far off from young men in brown shirts beating people for not wearing the right flag on their sleeves.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mental mumblings...

The imp had a fever, yesterday.  He hadn't wanted to eat for the past two days, just wanting a lot (and I mean a lot--like, 4-5 ten ounce cups per day) of chocolate milk.  Today, his sinuses clogged up, but he got his appetite back. 

Oh, boy.  I can hear the imp talking in his sleep.  Poor kid--he only does that when he's stuffed up and on Benedryl Elixer.  I don't even want to think about the crazy dreams he's having.

The pixie is trying to transition from two naps a day to one.  Poor thing--it seems like two is too much, but one isn't quite enough, yet.  Not easy on her, her brother, or her mommy. 

I'm finding the plot part of the Greek and Norse gods story anthology--that which might tie it into a novel, of sorts, is coming clearer and easier. If it edges out some of the other stories, I may publish them separately.  It's also coming faster.  But that may also be because I don't have the pressure of dealing with my classes right now.

My other anthology, the one with my older work, is pretty much ready.  I've been debating adding to some of the stories, but I can't tell if that's because they need it, or because I'm procrastinating.  I've got about five discrete thought tracks running at once at any given time--and that's just my conscious mind.  Sometimes things get tangled, and I can't see my own motivations too clearly. 

I know I've been procrastinating revising/updating my textbook.  Part of it is that I can't update the whole thing right now--I'm locked out of my own class site due to bureaucratic stupidity.  Part of it is that I just don't want to even think about teaching another composition class, yet.  I've been teaching without a break for three years, and it takes more mental energy than anything else.  Why do you think so many really good teachers crave the breaks as much as the crappy teachers?  Our brains get fried, good teachers and crappy teachers alike.

It took me an hour to get my kitchen back into shape, after a week incapacitated by a mild infection that made me feel like shit while it was getting cleared up.  My living room took half an hour, and the kids' rooms took half an hour between them (would have been quicker, but they insisted that they would "help mama"). 

I have never spent that little time getting my house cleaned up after a week of feeling to awful to do anything to an acceptable level of messy.  Thanks again, Bill, for suggesting the FlyLady site. 

Our brand new Smartcar is several thousand percent faster than a Model T Ford!!!

I signed out of my email a few minutes ago, and this message pops up. 

Okay, I get that Microsoft Explorer is an integrated part of any Windows system, but it doesn't mean that the web browser doesn't suck.  And bragging that your new browser is 25X better at blocking malware than your leading competitor's browser is to be expected.

However, I haven't run Firefox 7 for years.  In fact, what I'm actually running is Firefox 12.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gratuitous cuteness

Who, me?
Gimme back that ball, and I'll hit you again!
I'll just be cute and charming until you don't expect anything, then...
Get that pretty, sparkly blue teddy bear in my reach and you'll lose it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I got nothing

I have been trying to come up with something all day, and I just can't.  I'm feeling crappy enough that nothing is catching my interest. 

I should be much better in a day or two.

Friday, June 1, 2012

There's more to life than black and white.

I recently read a couple articles on grade inflation.  It's something I've seen a lot of, and something that I fight against in my own classes.  A lot of it is prompted by professors who frankly don't give half a shit about their students actually learning something, but just as much is prompted by the students who believe that sitting in the classroom is enough to get an A for the class.

You get students come in (like those detailed in this article) who don't know anything, but have been patted on the head and told that they're brilliant, and fart rainbows for so long that when a college professor gives them an F on a paper because it was an unfocused, disorganized, undeveloped rambling piece of crap that didn't follow the assignment guidelines.  I had one this semester--the paper was a causal argument, but the student turned in a freakin' biography of their niece, all to show her what an amazing person she was.  Touching, but...I don't teach anything that paper would fit the guidelines for.  The third paper was no better.

One of my colleagues told me of a student who, when he was handed back a failed paper with remarks on how to do better on the next one, the student (male) actually started crying, in class.  During my colleague's office hours, the student told him "I don't understand what happened...I've never had problems with writing, before." 

My colleague replied, "Shit, boy, you've always had problems.  Nobody ever told you you did."

Then they take it to your department head.  If they don't get the satisfaction they want there, they take it to the dean.  And then higher.  Until you've got a university administrator breathing down your neck.

If you've got tenure, you've got some security in situations like that.  However, a surprising number of us teaching lower level courses not only don't have tenure, but are at-will employees on semester contracts.  My most recent contract included a new clause saying that my job could be terminated at any time without notice--something that my old contracts written within my department never had. 

So, you get the bright ones that think your class is too easy, and not worth their time or money (about four or so, per 20 students per semester); the ones who are bright, find your class easy, but have never had someone explain how to structure a paragraph or a paper, and are glad they took your class (about 10 out of 20 per semester); and the rest think you should give them an A for turning in unedited vomit that's half the required length, because they're just that fucking brilliant.  And if you don't, God help you.

Almost half my class points (320) come from the blogs.  About a quarter of the rest come from the class forum threads on the class website.  The rest comes from the papers (400-450).  It is not hard to pass my class.  Since I permit one revision on each paper that overrides the first draft's grade, it's not hard to pass my class with a good long as they keep up with the "piddling little point assignments" (and that's a quote from my RateMyProfessor rating).

All these piddling little point assignments are clearly marked in the grade book.  Each student can clearly see how they're doing, and what they have and haven't done.  This is for my protection.  Complaints about busy work aside, nothing beats being able to pull up your grade book, demonstrate why the whiny little bitch of a student has the crap grade, and give the person they went whining to a copy of their paper, and the sample A work I include in the textbook. 

So, yeah: there's grade inflation happening.  Yeah, some of it is done by professors who just want to inflate their own pass rate/average grade to make them look like they're better teachers than they are.  Some of it is done by those who don't want to be bothered by the "but why?" whiners. 

I would be willing to bet that much is done by those like me who like their jobs, and would like to keep their jobs.

FFOT: urgh...

Got a list, today.
  • Forgetting what day it is...
  • Feeling like someone ran over me with a Caterpillar, and having an ant invasion that requires every crumb to be wiped/swept up before the hoard already in my house go get all of their friends...
  • Having to leave everything undone because I promised to take the kids up to visit their granny (though, I did get homemade chicken & dumplings out of the deal)...

All of that, can FTFO.  With cheese.