Thursday, January 31, 2013

Panties-wetting liberal pussies

They just do not belong anywhere near an elementary school.  For one thing, they don't seem to have a firm sense of right and wrong--everything, including disruptive behavior, is acceptable. 

Oh.  Right.  Except for normal boys' toys.  Like guns.  Those are unacceptable.  Even when they're made of clear plastic, and can in no way be mistaken for the real thing.

The school board in this case is so gutless that they'll expel a six-year-old girl without recourse, and without explaining what's going on to her, or why they're kicking her out. 

I am so angry for this child--a child who has been banned from interacting with her friends on school grounds, going on much-anticipated school trips, and even being in the car when her parents go pick her siblings up--that I could quite easily go on a rampage with a frozen trout. 

And I would be willing to bet that not one of those school administrators or teachers would have a clue what to do, or be willing or able to stop me from beating them over the head with it. 

"Give 'em what they want, and they won't hurt you." Right...

I'm sure we've all heard that one, mostly in arguments about why we shouldn't carry any form of self-protection.  "If you resist, you'll be killed."

Yeah, and if you hand over your stuff in a mugging, they might shoot you anyway.  I think I'll carry a gun, stay alert, and be ready to shoot someone offering me violence.

This isn't an excuse...well, maybe it is.

Married guys, are you not getting laid as much as you want to be?   Well, have you been doing housework?  Things usually defined by traditional gender roles as women's work?  According to the results of a recent study...that could be why. 

That doesn't mean, necessarily, that you should stop doing those chores--especially not if your spouse also works outside the home.  A similar study indicated that women's marital satisfaction was higher when her husband helped her more.  And you know what they say...happy wife, happy life.

Hmm...well, shit.  Do housework and don't get laid, or don't do housework and watch your wife turn into a shrew.  What an awful choice. 

Personally, I'd stop doing housework and invest in a pair of earplugs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Needs and wants...

I want more room in my house.  I would love to have a family room, a dining room, and an extra bedroom.

I have a house that's already paid for.  It's weather tight, in good repair, and has three bedrooms, no family room, and no dining room.  It's all we really need, and I'm thankful to have it.

There's nothing saying I can't make it more livable--for instance, the back room is really unusable as it is: clogged with clutter; a wide, short shelving unit that won't be useful back there for anything I want to do with the back room; and an indoor/outdoor carpet with a lot of nasty water stains.  With a bit of elbow grease, we can sort all of the clutter and store it somewhere out of the way, move the 9'x3' shelving unit out, rip the carpet, and move in some more useful shelves.  Voila, we have a pantry on one end of the room (the other end is the laundry room).

With a bit of rearranging, I can fit two or three big bookcases in our bedroom for our books, which would make the use I had in mind for the family room...not redundant, but less of an issue.

As for the dining room...well, I have a kitchen that's not small.  It's actually supposed to be an eat-in kitchen...I think.  Unfortunately, we have a wonderful table that really needs its own room.  It's about six or seven feet long by five feet wide with both leaves up (yep--the leaves run the long way).  With the leaves down, it's about two feet wide.

I think a better use of the space in the kitchen would be to carefully wrap the table (it was Odysseus's grandmother's), store it just as carefully, and replace it with one of these and maybe a few more three-foot three-shelf bookcases for usable kitchen storage (you can never have too much, in my opinion.

We'll still need to rearrange the cabinets next to the sink to plumb in the dishwasher, and maybe replace the counter-top, but just that much would be so much help.

And, on second thought...a fourth bedroom is not currently needed.  Nor is it desired.  A wise man once said "Fish and visitors smell after three days."  Lacking a guest room means we also don't have to deal with small children and overnight guests...though it might be helpful, sometimes, to have my sister willing to come spend a night here and there.

So, no.  We have what we need.  With a little time, effort, creative thinking, and far less money than buying a new home, I can have what I want.

More on the printer...

It's interesting watching this thing print double-sided.  It spits the page out, printed on the bottom side of the paper, then sucks it back, and spits it back out with the other side printed. 

The cats are freaked right the fuck out.  The pixie thinks it's neat, but  it's noisy, and not letting her hear her DVD.

Another excellent function is the toner saver setting.  With the inkjet printer we had that had a draft setting that printed light to save ink, it printed so light that you almost couldn't read the document.  The laser printer's setting is much better--the printed lines in the letters are narrower, but just as dark, and just as easy to read. 

I think I love this printer.  Especially since it's no longer dependent on the desktop being on, or dependent on a "shared printer" setting that doesn't work anymore. 

If you need a new printer, and you are considering a laser printer, I strongly recommend a Brother printer.  If you have more than one computer, and are planning on sharing the printer, I strongly recommend one of the models with the wireless capabilities. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it normal...

...for a two year old little girl, who has never had issues before, to suddenly develop a screaming terror of the dark, despite having a nightlight?


I rode the bus in elementary/middle/early high school with one of my students this semester.  They were one year behind me in school.

You know...

Whiskey is a wonderful de-stresser while grading easy busywork that the students can't seem to read the instructions to and get right.


I've been working on grading last weeks' busy work from my students, and found...that about a third of them are unable to read instructions before completing an assignment. 

One of the busy work assignments that I mind less than others calls for the students to read, summarize, then respond to something.  They're supposed to write the title as if it were a bibliographic entry. 

About a third of the twenty I've graded...haven't.  About two thirds of the rest have done it incorrectly, despite me telling them upfront to use or for stuff like this. 

Can we just start telling freshmen that can't follow simple instructions to drop the fuck out of college because they're mouth-breathing speshul snowflake retards that need to spend some time in the real world?

I've still got about a quarter of my grading left to go--basically a few on this assignment from this class, and all of this assignment from the other class.  And the other worse.


I understand that the department secretary is a busy, busy person, between the beginning of a new semester, and babysitting the department faculty (you'd not believe how many lights/coffeepots/computers I had to turn off after faculty left for the day, much less how many didn't lock their office doors after themselves, when I was secretary help).  I get that. 


My class lacking the ADA statement was a liability for the university.  And if one of my students had kicked up a fuss, it would have been my fault despite the fact that I did not design any of the class, or write the syllabus. 

I called Disability Services this morning--well, the "Student Success Center," whose secretary transferred me to the person in charge of Disability Services.  She emailed me the statement, as well as where to find it on the university's website.

That should make things much easier, in the future.  Because I looked for that wording for three weeks on the university's website, and wasn't able to find it. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Better late than never...

I figured I'd tell a bit more about the little Colt 1903 that we found not too long ago, since we found out a little more about it.

Turns out, it's worth a bit more than we paid for it.  We're not sure how much more--we can't find a way to find that out--but here's the story.

Odysseus visited the gun shop where we bought it to buy the ammo for us to try it out.  He asked the proprietor if he had any more information about it, and he told the story of how he'd come by it.  Apparently, one of his customers brought it in to trade straight across for a new deer rifle.  He'd paid sixty dollars for it from a friend of his, who'd inherited it from his late uncle.  Who'd been the original owner.  And who'd kept it sitting in a nightstand drawer, seldom fired, for as long as anyone could remember.

There's wear on the slide, where the bluing has been rubbed off a bit.  The letters and numbers engraved in the slide and receiver are still sharp and easily readable.  The barrel is beautifully shiny, and the gun itself is in excellent shape. 

It shoots like a wet dream.  I was grouping shots in about three inch groups of three from twenty-five yards away.  And I can't hit the target from twenty-five yards away with any other handgun. 

The sights are tiny, and take a lot of focus and time to pick up; however, the gun was pin-point accurate, probably because of how difficult they are to see.

It's a beautiful gun, shoots beautifully, and has a neat history.  Yes, I will be shooting it once in a while.  Yes, it will reside, loaded, on my nightstand. 

No, I won't carry it.  I suspect that it's a hair more valuable than my Spartan (which, as it turns out, I can't shoot worth a damn).

Whiny, clingy little pixie

She doesn't feel good.  Her head hurts.  She's been in my lap for most of the day, except when she was napping, or trying to play with her brother--who's decided that, since she's felt bad all day, it's the perfect day to be a complete and total ass to her. 

She's no angel, either.  She's been swatting and screaming at him for no apparent reason when he's not been harassing her.

Laser printer received.

Odysseus is going to work on installing it tonight after he gets home from work.  I'll give some of the features a test-run (like the wireless sharing; the automatic, two-sided printing; and the toner-save mode), and give a base review tomorrow, sometime. 

About the only downside we're seeing currently is a much smaller toner cartridge/printing capacity.  Our current printer will do 6,000 pages before running out.  This one?  2,600 pages.  On the upside of that...the cartridge is cheaper.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"I go home, now!"

We went to my mother's for a visit, today.  The kids were delighted to see Granny and Auntie and Great Auntie. 

Too excited to be willing to nap.  Both of them. 

However, about three this afternoon, the pixie started getting falling-down tired, and both kids were so cranky that they were impossible to tolerate.  So, Odysseus and I mentioned going home.

Pixie starts chanting, "I go home, now!  Bye bye, Granny!  Bye bye, e'body!  I go home, now."

Imp immediately scrambled for his jacket and shoes, screeching.  "I go home, too!"

Apparently, it was the right idea at the exact right time. 

The pixie slept most of the way.  The imp dozed a bit, but it's hard for a little boy to go to sleep in a booster seat. 

Goals for the week

I'm not going to set many.  I've not had much luck, lately, for reasons beyond my control, in achieving them.  It's getting depressing. 

I'd like to keep up with my grading.  That's been harder than most other things, because the pixie has been whiny and clingy.  I think she's working on cutting those molars again, and she's not having an easy time of it at all. 

I want to get the ADA statement posted.  I'll do that as soon as I get it.  Believe it or not, I've searched in the university website, and I have not been able to find it.  If I don't hear back from my department head by Wednesday, I'll call the disability office, and ask them to send it to me.

I also want to get the couch pulled out from the wall, and get all of the toys, clothes, and books out from behind it--and hopefully, find the other handset to the phone.  I've got other things I want to get done in the living room, but that's the big one. 

I'd like to get some writing done, but it's kind of at the bottom of my list.  I've got some ideas, but I've got the base ideas scribbled down, and it's enough for now.

I really wish I could get the writing off the ground, and be able to not worry about my teaching.  All I know how to do is write, though--I've got no clue how to even start the rest. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Don't feed the animals.

They get aggressive when that happens.  Maybe signs like the one below need to be posted in places other than zoos...

Random ramblings

It's a quarter after eight, as I start writing this.  The pixie is still asleep.  The imp has been up since a bit before seven thirty, which means that I have been up since a bit before seven thirty.  The imp is currently watching Animal Planet's Cats 101.  His choice--there doesn't seem to be cartoons on early anymore. 

The imp is shooting up out of his size 4T jeans.  The Faded Glory brand jeans are about a quarter of an inch too short for him, now.  His Levi's are still just about right, and his bright orange, lined, Gymboree cargo pants are still just a touch long.  I've also had to let the adjustable elastic waist band out on his Levi's and Faded Glorys about twice.  His speech is coming clearer every day--which means that he's getting frustrated that Mom and Dad understand what he wants, and the answer is still "no." 

He'll learn. 

He has stopped saying "I need that" about toys or books.  It's reserved for food and drink.  Now I just have to break him of "I need fruit candy.*" 

The other night, he told me "I need to eat pizza rolls.  I want eight."  He ate every single one, in half the time he usually takes, and with nearly no harassment of the pixie in her high chair.

First of all, I was pleased that he'd wanted pizza rolls in the first place.  When he got sick, that was the first thing he'd thrown up, and Odysseus and I were afraid that that would put him off his favorite food altogether.  Second...he can count.  Do you know how rare it is for him to show off a skill he hasn't mastered his full satisfaction?  He actually stood at my shoulder as I was pulling them out of the bag in the freezer (bottom of the fridge), and counted them as I put them on his plate.  He knew how many he wanted, and watched to make sure I got them for him.

My son is amazing.

The pixie is shooting up, too.  She's been eating a lot more than usual, and sleeping better and longer for naps and overnight.  Her size 2T jammies are getting too small in the footies, on some of the brands.  Her jeans are getting to be too short, and some of her favorite dresses are a couple inches above her knees (they were a couple inches below her knees, four months ago).  She's picking up new words, using short sentences, and getting to be understandable to strangers who aren't used to deciphering her speech.  She acts between six months and a year older than she is, depending on her mood and the activity she's involved in. 

She's learning so fast.  It's almost time to start teaching her letters methodically, rather than letting her pick it up from PBS programming.  She's also trying to learn to count.  She recites up to about eight before she gets it wrong, but doesn't really connect it to real numbers. 

I've gotten caught up on my classes.  I've got to spend today grading my colleague's stuff, and then my class's stuff from last week--other than that, I'm just waiting on things outside my control.  I don't have a copy of the ADA statement that the university wants posted (they change the stupid things every year or two), and I haven't gotten it from higher up, yet. 

The other thing I'm waiting on is the delivery of the new printer.  We missed the first delivery attempt yesterday, when we made our Sam's Club supply run.  They'll make a second attempt sometime Monday between ten and two.  After that, I'm going to be printing all of the documents in the class, and correcting the errors. 

I've kind of decided against sending a packet to a traditional publisher, for now.  I'm going to print that book I'd finished recently, and re-read and revise it again.  I'm thinking I'll put it through the CreateSpace/Kindle publishing process sometime in June.  Hopefully, I'll be able to finish the next Modern Gods book over the summer, and publish that sometime in November or December. 

I think that's pretty much it, for now. 

*Starburst candy is his bribe for going to the bathroom to go pee, instead of refusing to stop playing and peeing his pants.  He only gets it when he chooses to go.  When we prompt him, he doesn't get any.


I didn't manage to get many of my goals achieved.  I got my grading done, but that's about it.  I'm about ready to quit setting goals--I never manage to achieve them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh, please do...

A pro-abortion activist came out and said that of course abortion snuffs out a human life, but some lives are more valuable than others. 

She also says that " advocates should not cower when the word 'life' is brought into the discussion. Instead, she believes that pro-choicers should double down and explain why women should have more rights than fetuses."

Oh, excellent idea, Ms. Williams!  Nothing will polarize the American public against abortion faster than admitting that it is murder!

 Brilliantly played, Ms. Williams!  Pro-infanticide activists will never consider that this is actually a pro-life argument.  Brilliant.  I suspect that not even the pro-life activists will understand how well you're playing for our team.

No, I don't think abortion should be illegal for doctors to perform.  There are horrible cases in which the pregnancy itself is going to be painfully fatal to the baby--in those rare cases, it should be permissible for the doctor to end the pain of the child involved, with the consent of its mother.

However.  It should be illegal for women to choose.  There are too many inexpensive options out there for contraception--preventing the joining of sperm and ovum at best, or preventing the implantation, at worst--for murdering an otherwise-viable baby just because she's inconvenient. 

And there are far too many couples out there who desperately want a child to love and raise, who are unable to conceive one, and most of them don't luck out like Daddy Hawk did.

Wanna read a story with a happy ending?

Yes, the state is involved, but it was for the absolute best, in this case.  Daddy Hawk (formerly Shepherd K) of Preachers and Horse Thieves posted his little daughter's story.  She is now, officially, his and The Queen's.

Grab a box of tissues.  You'll cry happy tears.


...and ONLY if, a school district does this, might I consider sending my children to public school. 

Of course, the school also has to have other things in place to ensure my children are also held to a high enough academic standard; to be willing to work with me, rather than against me, in ensuring their safety and education; and to not enforce silly zero-tolerance bullshit where plastic cutlery in lunches, and/or fighting to defend themselves from bullies is concerned.

However, since none of that is likely, my children are definitely going to be home schooled. 

How do they figure?

I read this story on The Blaze a few minutes ago.  I'll quote most of it here, because I have a bit of commentary.
Jennifer Bingham drowned her 3-year-old baby girl in 2010, and just three years later she is walking free.

Initially deemed insane, a Stanislaus County judge now says she has regained her sanity, thus securing her freedom. Bingham admitted to killing her little girl three years ago in court and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Bingham faced the easier fate with the verdict of insanity. And when the time came, instead of sending her to a mental hospital, a pair of doctors said she had regained her sanity. She was released on Tuesday.

“It may seem anomalous to people that a person who murders a child could go quote ‘free’ after three years, but what people need to remember is that if it’s a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, don’t forget the not guilty part,” Meyers explained, adding that the doctors’ report likely played a big role in the judge’s decision.

He went on: “Since we found you not guilty, we can only keep you in the hospital as long as you’re a danger to yourself or others; and once a person is no longer dangerous, they have an absolute right to be released.”
 So she's no longer "a danger to [her]self or others"--does that mean she's been spayed?  Because if that fat fuck got pregnant once, there's nothing saying she can't again.  And if she's killed one child, she's a danger to all children.  

She shouldn't have been released.  I do not care what the so-called judge or so-called "mental health experts" decided.  She bought herself one hell of an excellent lawyer to get that "not responsible for your own actions" verdict, especially since it was exceedingly clear that she isn't crazy as fuck.  

Everyone involved in that cunt's release has her child's blood on their soul.  That doesn't wash off.

Guns must be removed from the hands of citizens!

They make job safety impossible for some professions

Not one of the Bill of Rights is expendable.

The first enables us to spread news about what the government is trying to do to us.

The second protects the first.

The third prevents the government from planting its enforcers inside our households.

The fourth ensures that the government can't come looking for a reason to prosecute without already having a reasonable hunch of what they can prosecute.  (And the answer to a police officer asking "Can I come in and look around?" is always "Not without a warrant.")

The fifth ensures that we are safe in our person, possessions, documents, and property from a tyrannical government that would otherwise beat confessions out of us all, whether there's anything there to confess or not.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth protect us from a hostile legal system.

The ninth and tenth specifically state that anything not in the Constitution or amendments is forbidden to the federal government, and reserved to the individuals or states.

Each and every one protects us.  Not the government.  Not any given organization.  Each and every individual.

Or, at least, it's supposed to. 

FFOT: lack of reading comprehension

Okay, this is going to get a bit foul again, so I will put a good bit under the break. 

Politicians.  Politicians who obviously cannot read, or else are incapable of comprehending what they read.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."  Simple.  Clean.  Clear.  Easy to understand...unless you're a politician, a judge, or a lawyer. 

Arguments have been made that since we now have a standing army, we don't need militias.  Or the words "well regulated," which mean nothing more than that the person behind the gun can hit what they're aiming at, have been misunderstood.  Or the stupid argument that the Founding Fathers did not foresee the advent of automatic weapons.  Or that nothing more than a single-shot bolt-action is necessary for hunting. 

"...shall not be infringed."  Simple.  Clean.  Clear.  Easy to understand...however, judging by every gun control law ever passed, no politician since those who wrote the amendment has understood that that was the part of the amendment that carried the meaning.  Every other clause  before "right" was supportive.  Not definitive.  Not independent.  They aren't what carry the meaning.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I just had a student email me, complaining about getting 25/50 on an assignment that they brushed off and half-assed: the diagnostic essay.  Said they thought that was there to give them an idea of how I graded, rather than there to give me an idea of where their strengths and weaknesses were.  Whining about how they didn't want to start the semester with a 67%.

Well, kiddo, let this be a lesson to you: don't half-ass assignments.  Any assignments.  And definitely don't complain to the teacher that they called you on it, lest you tempt someone to drop your grade by ten points, or so.

Because I'm tempted.  They're so lucky I'm a better, fairer, less vindictive teacher than that.


I'm caught up with my grading.  I have an American Literature class to grade for a colleague tomorrow, then more of my own on Saturday.  Then, I'll have the week off. 

If it saves the life of a single child...

Guns must be banned.

I could be bounded in a nutshell...

I slept long enough, last night.  Technically.  I kept waking up with nightmare after bad dream after restless dream. 

And the neighbors woke the imp up again.  It wasn't quite seven this morning when he wandered out of his room.  "Mama...I want sausage.  I need go pee-pee.  Noise woke me up."

*If you don't recognize the quote...shame on you.  Look it up for your own edification.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh, Jesus.

I've been reading those diagnostic essays for about two hours, now.  I just finished with one class's set.  The last student...bothered me. 

That student wasn't the first one who didn't know the difference between a democracy and a republic, instead conflating the terms with Democrat and Republican.  This student was, however, the first one who was proud of themselves to be so ignorant.  "I don't vote because I don't understand the difference, or the issues, and I have better things to do than pay attention."

Oh, God help us.  And God help me, having to deal with attitudes like that.

Slow but steady...

The kids have a GRADED diagnostic essay.  I've been giving them full credit if they give it a good try (and no, a single, rambling, disjointed paragraph that was pretty obviously written in about three minutes is not a good try). 

I'm about a quarter of the way through my backed-up grading.  Pray for my sanity. 


Sometimes, I wish I hadn't suggested we get two kittens when we adopted those two fuzzy idiots.  Because Cricket?  Yeah...she's not small.  She's about eight months old, now, and about twelve pounds.  She's now taller at the shoulder than our much-missed, sane fuzzball Binx was.  And she's so clumsy you'd swear she wasn't a cat.

On top of that, she's a wimp.  She routinely gets the crap beat out of her by her smaller milk-sister, Shadow.  Shadow's about a pound lighter, a half inch shorter at the shoulders (and two inches shorter in the tail), and ten times meaner. 

A few minutes ago, Cricket came tearing out of the back room, followed closely by Shadow.  She tore through the living room, ran up over the box blocking the kids away from the stuff beside my chair, over the end table beside my chair, across the table the TV is setting on (ran behind the small, flat-screen television, nearly upsetting the TV), and skidded to a stop on the bookcase we keep our movies in. 

And, in the process, she upended my coffee cup on the floor.  I'm glad it's a travel mug, or it would have spilled the whole cup, rather than just a few, good swallows. 

And Shadow?  Shadow stayed on the box behind my chair, watching Cricket try to do what she's too big and clumsy to successfully do anymore. 

Ah...mystery solved.

The imp has been getting up very, very early, lately.  As in, not long after six in the morning. 

I woke up from a bad dream, this morning, and just went ahead and got up.  The mp was already up, and looking very sleepy.  I asked him why he was up: did he just wake up, or did something wake him up?  He said something woke him, and it was outside.

His bedroom is on the northeast corner of the house.  We have a neighbor with teenage daughters--loud, screechy ones--on the north side. 

Those girls have been waking the imp, and the imp has been waking the pixie for company. 

I think I may need to talk to the neighbors.  And I need to see if I can find what the kids did with the white-noise machine, so I can try setting that up for the poor little guy. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This week, I've managed to get a lot done.  I got that abortion of an online course realigned to as close to good as it can possibly get--which took the entire weekend, and all day yesterday, working as fast as I could around taking care of the kids.

I still have a lot to do--busywork grading for my class, and getting into grading one  of my colleague's two classes. 

I want to get that done before the end of tomorrow, so that I'm caught up.

Other than that...I want to get the unused end of the hall bathroom (which will be converted into a walk-in closet for the master bedroom...eventually) cleared out, and a closet rod (or two) put in for our clothes, since our closet is unusable because of a water heater living in it. 

I also want to get the master bedroom decluttered as much as we can.  I need my books back.  We had three five-shelf bookcases, one six-shelf, one four-shelf one three-shelf, and two three foot wide two-shelf bookcases, all stacked two layers deep of books.  When the kids came, we had no room for the books, and they had to go into storage.  I miss my books.  And I won't mind sleeping in a library.


I'm almost done adjusting the course site for my students.  I've got a couple of things to do--some of which I need to hear back from my department head about--and then, the course can run itself while I become a question/answer/grading monkey. 

One week down, fourteen to go (not counting Spring Break), before I'm done with this travesty of a class.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Well put.

This morning, I opened my email to find one from a woman who'd found this blog through searching for sites that mentioned college instructors' opinions about new students' levels of preparedness for college (as in: they're really not prepared academically).  She sent me a link to the work she'd been involved in.

I followed the link, and read the article, then looked through the graphic representation of current college students.  I'd sort of known all of the information that the article put together, but I hadn't quite put it all together. 

It's an ugly picture, folks.  And it's actually worse than the graphics and article indicate.  Why do I say that?

Reading comprehension and information retention levels are dropping.  It doesn't show in the test scores, thanks to all of the class time spent on test-taking strategies, and thanks to the fact that there aren't really essay portions to the standardized tests.  But anyone who teaches can see it happening.

If I were conspiracy-theory prone, I'd swear it was deliberate on the part of the political elite--after all, their kids go to private schools, not public schools.  Their kids aren't being damaged by the latest edu-babble theories, lack of classroom discipline, and inferior curricula.

Yeah, definitely home-schooling my kids.

Definite requests.

They're wonderful things.  I asked the pixie what she wanted for supper, a bit ago.  Usually, I just get a blank stare, until I start suggesting things.  Not so, tonight.  The answer was immediate: "Want pizza!"

The oven is preheating.  It's better than trying to figure out what to feed her.

Heh. I love it.

My department head has requested me to print off all the documents in the course template, and go over them with a pen in teacher/editor mode. 

All I can promise is that I won't use a red pen.  Not because I don't want to hurt the little speshul snowflake "master teacher's" feewings, but because I don't want her confused.  She did, after all, use red fonts in her documents, even though my laser printer can only print black and white. 

Neat work-around

So, federal law is requiring universities to post educational objectives throughout the course.  As in: for each week, there is a button on the side of the course site containing all of the stuff for that week--objectives written in the proper education department jargon, readings, and writings. 

The Course Overview contains all of the same stuff.  Eight pages of educational objectives, reading assignments, and writing assignments--all with no due dates. 

I emailed my department head and asked if, for the sake of my students, I could post the objectives (federally required for online courses, now*) and the actual course schedule in separate documents.  He said I can, so that's what I'm doing.  I'm also correcting a dozen typos per page, and adding in due dates. 

I'm also trying to find the university's ADA statement to add to the course.  Because, currently, it's not there.  It's nowhere on the site, and it's not in the syllabus.  Potential lawsuit, there, and I'd be the one blamed, despite not having designed the course.

Yeah, I'm done teaching online.  This is going to be my last semester.

*I suppose this is to ensure that for-profit online universities can't comply (they assume), so that traditional universities don't have to compete, thereby protecting their privilege. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

For those who have a Nook...

If you wanted to read one or both of my books, but have a Nook instead of a Kindle (and don't want to buy the paperback), here's how to adapt the Kindle file to the EPUB format. 

I'll be posting the link below my Amazon linked books. 


The pixie is watching Cinderella for the first time.  She has been entranced by the "Princess movie." We're to the scene at the ball, and the pixie is waltzing with one of her dollies. 

No .22 to be had in Mudville...

We dropped the kids with my mother, then had lunch out and went shooting on Friday.  We actually went to several different places, looking for .22.  There is almost none to be had. 

Judging by the state of the documents I'm having to correct for their designer...I'm going to need to do a lot of lead-based therapy, this semester.  However, I guess I'll have to do without.

I think I'll be looking into a good airsoft pistol and/or rifle, and a BB trap. 

Ordered yesterday...

We have been using a laser printer for more than ten years, now--my first one was one Odysseus found in the back of the computer shop he bought and ran while I was finishing my Bachelor's degree.  It was huge, heavy, and the toner had been spilled inside of it, streaking the edges of all printouts.

I loved it.

Eventually, it died.  Not because the mechanics malfunctioned, but because the software quit being updated for compatibility with newer computers.  By this time, I was in grad school, and we were using a box of ten reams of printer paper every semester with my papers and research.  Honestly, despite the printer costing three times as much as the least expensive ink jet printer, we more than made the cost back in printing costs within a month.

Our printer, though, is having issues.  Not mechanical--it still hums along without jamming often, or complaining.  No, the software isn't keeping up with the newer computers.  Currently, it's not permitting itself to be shared across the network.

And we found one that has wireless capability, and prints on both sides of the paper.  Much better for all of us.  Amazon carries it for fifty dollars cheaper than the local office store, and no sales tax or shipping.

If you're looking for a new printer, and color isn't a consideration, I cannot recommend a laser printer enough.  Yes, initial cost outlay is higher, and toner is more expensive than ink; however, a toner cartridge will keep printing ten times longer than an inkjet cartridge--at minimum.  And, after a while, you'll be able to find generic versions of the toner cartridge that doesn't cost much more than a name brand ink cartridge.

(Since the link didn't work, I linked the one we ordered below.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I think...

...I think I'm not getting through tonight's irritations before bedtime without a stiff drink after both kids are in bed.  I'm about halfway through the syllabus--I had to go back to the beginning and go through a lot more carefully, line by line.  I found that the stupid twat who put the course together isn't careful in proofreading the shit she foisted off on everyone who is going to teach this crap course after this.  No, there aren't any blatant misspellings, but there are incomplete and/or grammatically incorrect sentences, and there are wrong words--correctly spelled, but wrong. 

I'm sure the eight page course outline isn't going to be any better.

Oh...what have I got myself ito?

I'm supposed to modify the syllabus and other documents for the class (as well as compress week sixteen into week 15, because there aren't sixteen weeks this semester). 

The syllabus?  The stupid thing is eight pages long.  And it does not include a schedule of assignments.  The closest thing to a schedule  of assignment due dates is also eight pages long, does not include due days, much less dates, but does include week-by-week educrat theory: "educational objectives."

And, apparently, this conforms to new federal guidelines designed to provide jobs to educational experts that are otherwise unemployable, and makes it impossible for actual teachers to design their own courses. 

Yeah, I can't wait to get back to campus.


It's ten after seven.  I've been fighting with the kids since twenty after six, trying to get them back to bed.

I give up.  The little shits are up for the day.

Damn it.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I can fix things on Blackboard!!

The admin twits had been gabbling that I'd had that ability all along...but I didn't.  I would be willing to bet that they'd just thought they'd put me in as a teacher, and had locked me out by putting me in as an observer, until their attention was drawn to it.  I'd be willing to bet this "You MUST fire her NOW!!!" was because they were angry and embarrassed that this whole kerfluffle was their fault, and didn't want to admit it. 

Now, I just have to do an entire break's worth of tweaking to do...hopefully within the next two days.

Yeah...unless Odysseus finds a job that replaces my income, or else my writing begins to come near replacing my income, I'm going back to campus this fall.  Fuck Blackboard.

FFOT: stress-inducing job related

First off, since this is likely to be a pretty bad one, I'd like to make an announcement.

There will be shouting.  You have been warned.

Feel free to join in with telling whatever's made your week worse to FTFO in the comments.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Way to completely ignore the proper steps.

So, I just spoke to my department head...

Simply put, I don't want to do this anymore.  I do not want to teach someone else's class, especially not one that seems designed to fuck over students who work full-time while they try to get a degree.  I don't want to deal with the blackboard pukes.  I just... don't want to do it.

I'll stick out the semester with the classes I've been assigned, because that's just the right thing to do. 

But I called my department head and told him that I want to come back on campus this coming fall, assuming Odysseus doesn't find a job that replaces my income.  He told me that it was probably best--he just got off the phone discussing my attitude. 

Apparently, Distance Learning got insulted that I didn't think the sun rose out of their rectum, and ran to one of the many vice presidents.  Not to my department head, nor yet to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  They whined about how I was making them look bad to the students (news flash, dumbasses: I didn't do anything.  You guys look bad to the students because you fucking suck).  And the VP of Something or Other agreed, and tried to have me fired before Monday.

My department head, when this edict came down from On High, went to his boss, and the Dean of A&S agreed with him.  Apparently, the Dean's daughter took my class several years ago, and used the papers to help her through one of the absolute roughest times I've ever seen.  She got away from an abusive relationship, and went into rehab.  Both of them credit my class with saving her life.

So, my job is safe, as long as I lie through my teeth about how well the class is designed, and keep my head down until I can get back to on-campus teaching. 

Which, honestly, I prefer to do in the first place.

New story

There's one posted over at The Godshead Tavern blog, if you're interested.

Alternate Universes...great when done right.

I'm a little ambivalent on Eric Flint's world.  First of all, his setup powerfully strained my suspension of disbelief.  I mean, really: a race of techologically powerful aliens whose works of art were dangerous to the worlds around them because of the way they flung the waste around managing to hit a small, coal mining town in West Virginia carved out a six mile wide sphere of land and air above it picking it up and dropping it in Germany in the middle of the Thirty Year War.  It's really hard to close my eyes and believe that. 

I'm not a big fan of that particular time period, either.  Protestantism is still fairly new, and the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics is particularly bloody.  Feudalism is starting to collapse in a rather bloody fashion, and literacy is patchy--unlike (surprisingly) the early Medieval period in Britain. 

Third, I am not now, and likely never will be a fan of modern unions.  You have to have a situation as unlikely and extreme as the book's to make a modern union anything other than the next best thing to a Medieval guild in the level of uselessness and oppressiveness.

Those aside, the Ring of Fire series (starting with 1632) is well-written, with truly unique characters discovering that the veneer of civilization that covers those in small towns is truly thin--and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Like any small, Appalachian (or Midwestern) town, the number of small arms outnumbers the people: not a bad thing when that town is suddenly and inexplicably dropped into the middle of a war zone where the Geneva convention hasn't even happened yet. 

And the town, Grantsville, refuses to blend into Germany of the time, choosing instead to begin the American experiment nearly two hundred years early, and on the wrong continent.  1632 is the story of the emergency and response, the setup of a new republic, and the small amount of breathing space they won. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good analysis.

DaddyBear's Den has one.  I don't have the heart to deal with it right now, not with everything else.

I mean, it's not like most of us are actually going to pay attention to King Putt's illegal edicts.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.--Amendment II, US Constitution

I've had ESL students with a stronger comprehension of the language.

I've been explaining, in various terms and levels of frustration, two things to the admin pukes that are fucking my students over:

1.  The class is not well-designed for an online course for working students who are also taking other classes.

2. The course site is not permitting me to make corrections, or make items available to students--after I hit "submit," it reverts to how it was before I tried to make things work.

I get back "Well, maybe you just don't know how to work the platform controls.  Why don't you come in, and we'll teach you how to use the features?"

I swear, these people shouldn't even be permitted to sweep floors.  They're so fucking stupid that they'd be a danger to themselves and others with even a whisk broom.

Standing by...

We've been alerted that there will be a series of executive orders released today, in an attempt to make an end-run around congress.

I'll keep my eyes open for that, and will read and summarize the flood of bullshit issuing from the IIC.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Apparently, I'll either have to take a pay cut by going back to work on campus (a serious one--$400/semester), or deal with more badly designed courses by hacks that can't make it in the real world, or who love theory but hate real teaching. 

The local universities aren't looking to hire adjuncts.  I haven't seen many ads for universities that are looking for part-time English teachers. 

I think I'm going to see how hard it is to become a freelance copy editor.  Because writing sure as hell isn't going to be replacing my income anytime soon. 

Sure. Edit the item.

So, a bunch of my students have complained that they can't see the quiz for the week 1 work in Blackboard.  It's marked "unavailable."  I'd already tried to make it available.  It didn't let me.  They're really serious about making me a grader.

I got an email a bit ago from one of the shitheads individuals in charge of Distance Learning, a bit ago, informing me that several students had complained to them that they couldn't find the quiz.  It told me that the quiz was unavailable to students, and I needed to edit it to make it available. 

Sure, bitch.  As soon as I'm a teacher again, I'll be willing to be a teacher.  Right now, with the piece of shit sandwich you've handed me, I am not a teacher.  The only thing I can change is posting announcements, and changing scores in the grade book. 

In the mean time, do it your own fucking self.

Early morning.

I woke up just before seven.  And I was so very wide awake, I knew I wasn't going to get back to sleep.  Wouldn't have mattered--the imp got up five minutes after I did.  And the pixie got up twenty minutes later. 

I've gotten their breakfast fixed and fed to them, my coffee warmed up, and the dishwasher hauled out and started.  I've got my classes checked on, and students are still having issues with the class, but fewer.  I don't know if they're getting used to it, or if it's starting to work better.

Either way, there's so much busy work involved--which is bad enough in a class room, but is unconscionable in an online class where most of the students are taking it because they're working, or staying home with small children, not because they didn't get seats in a traditional class.  If a student starts falling behind, there is no way they can catch up and get a decent grade in the class.

And that leaves out the whole consideration of the group presentation project with a power point presentation instead of a paper.

I'm going to finish my coffee, and see if I can get some writing done.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The dog...

...she's cute, but destructive, and the pixie is still scared of her when she's rambunctious.

You can see, in the picture, that while she's been eating, she's also been tearing up newspaper.

Our new pretty...

I am going to have to take this to a friend of ours who has a lot more experience and expertise than Odysseus and I could ever dream of having, before I decide if it will be a carry piece for me, because I fell in love with it the instant I held it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I think I need to save my pennies for a while...

...and do some research on local manufacturers.  Because if this isn't an excellent idea, I don't know what is. 

Semester officially starts tomorrow...

...and I'm already getting questions and complaints about the stupid class site.  Like the way the idiot who designed the class posted everything as a PDF document.  Including things the students are supposed to download, modify, then turn in.  A locked PDF document. 

Or another student who's going to be taking the finals from last semester during the first week of this semester, and is going to start class out behind because of all of the metric-shit-ton of busy work that is due before she's going to be able to work on it, and there's not a single fucking thing I can do about it.

I really hope that most of the students drop the class, for their sakes.  Because I have never had a single student who kept up perfectly all semester, and didn't need an extension, which I can't seem to grant any longer.  With very good students, that doesn't harm their grades much.  With mediocre students, or poor students, or students who suddenly have life take a huge, steaming, runny shit on them...well, that's a different story.

random ramblings

Spent Friday night taking care of the imp while he slept for twenty minutes, then woke up to throw up, get cleaned up, and laid back down on the couch, then repeat.  He didn't go to sleep at all until nearly eleven, because he was feeling too bad, and throwing up too often.  He finally threw up one last time at about two, then fell asleep for about three hours.  I was starting to feel really bad again at this point, so I went and woke Odysseus and had him sit with the imp at two a.m., so I could throw up again.  And again at three.  And again at four. 

The pixie slept through the night, no problem.  Seems hers all went down, instead of going all up (like the imp's), or going both ways like it did for Odysseus and me.

Yesterday morning, the pixie was the only one that felt good, so we called her grandparents to come get her and keep her overnight.  Her first overnight visit with grandma and grandpa!  She was so excited...and the imp just cried.  He didn't want sissy to go, he wanted to go, he wanted grandma and grandpa to come in and see him. 

Poor kid. 

None of us ate much yesterday.  I think I might have eaten a half a sleeve of saltines, over the course of the day.  Odysseus managed a ham and cheese sandwich.  The imp ate a quarter of a bowl of Cream o' Wheat, a tub of apple sauce (started a second tub, but threw it back up), and that was about it for him.

No risk of dehydration, though--he drank a lot of water, and a little cup of juice.

We're feeling a lot better, this morning.  Imp asked for three sausage links, and ate them all.  I'm not feeling more than strained and bruised in the muscles from my ribs to my hips.  Odysseus hasn't made his appearance, yet, so I can't vouch for him.

Getting sick like this, and all of us at once, has played merry hell with my writing schedule, and with getting prepared for class starting on Monday.  Tomorrow. 

Hopefully, I'll be back on my feet soon.

Got an email...and an early drop.

I had an email from a former student waiting in my university email this morning:
I liked your class in Eng 101 and thought this would be like your other class but it's not so I'm dropping this one. It's too complicated for me. I'll look at another college. Do you teach somewhere else?
I had suspected I'd see this from a few who I'd taught.  There are half a dozen assignments the first week, including forcing them to figure out and set up personalization in the course website--which doesn't work, and is a lot more complicated and useless to a writing class.

I'm tempted to forward this to the idiot in charge of distance learning, but they didn't listen when it was faculty complaining.

I'm strongly considering forwarding all questions sent to me regarding class material to the idiot that designed the course, and all questions about how to do Blackboard stuff to the help desk.  I will also be strongly suggesting to students that they drop the course if they at all can.

They're not going to listen unless they're hit in the pocketbook: lost tuition from students dropping the class and getting the refund because they fucked the class over and the students don't want to take the reaming.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

FFOT: illness

My day started out awful, and went downhill from there.  I woke up a little queasy.  Then had to spank the imp for getting into stuff he wasn't supposed to be into.  I figured that being short on sleep plus being stressed was why I was feeling sick (it's a normal thing for me, in those circumstances).

I was wrong.  We took the kids to my mom's, and I started feeling worse.  It got worse when we left the kids there and headed to a nearby town where Odysseus had seen something we'd been lusting over for a reasonable price (pictures will follow--just not until we've recovered). 

When we got home after picking the kids back up, I had to run for the bathroom.  Sick doesn't even start to describe it.  Then, Odysseus got into the act.  He still watched the kids in their bath, but wasn't feeling good at all (though, not as bad at that stage as I felt). 

Then the pixie pooped in the tub, which triggered the imp's beginning to projectile vomit about once every thirty minutes. 

I'm only just now feeling better after about four or so hours of purging.  Odysseus is a couple hours behind me, and the imp is about a half an hour behind him. 

It's now ten p.m., and the imp can't go to sleep despite being exhausted, because he's still regularly throwing up. 

It's now ten p.m., and I can only just now sit up to write the FFOT. 

Stomach viruses can fuck off.  Especially when they pound the whole family at once.

An illegal executive order won't change reality...

...but then again, radicals on both the Right and the Left don't seem to have a real strong connection to reality.

I hate disciplining my children.

I woke up this morning to find that the imp or the pixie had pulled down the white noise machine.  I caught the imp with it last night, and he got punished.  He knows he's not supposed to mess with it.  I know that he understands that, because this morning when I came out of the bedroom, he glanced up from where he was playing with it, then jumped up and ran for the living room as hard as he could.

I don't like having to discipline the kids.  So my morning has started off on a worse footing than usual. 

I love them far too much to let that stop me, though. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Caffeinated kids...

...I had two, earlier.

I dislike instant coffee.  I dislike cappuccino.  One of my aunts gave me a bunch single-serve packets of instant flavored cappuccino for Christmas.  I had it bagged up and sitting somewhere I thought was out of the reach of small, clever fingers.

I was wrong.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Next thing I know, the imp and pixie are playing.  Loudly.  But happily.  Shrieking giggles and their silly little version of Marco Polo ("Diadur...where are you?"  "Diadur...I here!"). 

Then, it got louder.  And the imp came running out of his sister's room.  He stood at my elbow, bouncing (practically vibrating), and told me "We made mess in Pixie's room!" 

I thought it was toys scattered.  I was wrong.

'Bout that time, it was getting on toward bath time, and the  pixie comes running screeching out, and climbs up in my lap, and then gets down.  Stands next to me, then collapses giggling on the floor.  "I fall down!" 

Then, I smelled something.  I asked if she was stinky, or if she just farted, and she replied "I part." 

No...she hadn't.  I got her to go into her room, and found the boxes of instant cappuccino scattered all over her floor.  Several were shredded.  A light tan powder lightly coated her rocker-recliner.

And then I realized.  The mess?  Not toys.  They'd apparently eaten at least one packet of the instant cappuccino.  Maybe two.  Because there were nine, I drank one (desperation, and optimism), and I could only find six. 

The kids were doing their pinball impression because they'd eaten quite a bit of coffee powder and sugar. 

I got the pixie cleaned up, and both of them bathed (and by this point, they'd been bouncing around for a bit more than an hour), then got them out and tried to get them started settling.  No joy.

Although, the pixie did crash pretty much at her normal bedtime (after filling another diaper...did you know that instant cappuccino powder did that to a toddler?), with a little bit of a belly ache.  The imp took a bit longer. 

By the time he went down, there was no way I was starting a nearly-two-hour movie. 

I think I'm going to go to bed, now that the gibbering exhaustion from trying to get two hyper small children bathed, into pajamas, and settled toward bedtime has faded into a less painful fugue state.

Although, I will admit...the kids were quite funny all hyped up like that.  They got along better than they usually do.

Lost & found...

Odysseus got me a film adaptation of one of my favorite novels on DVD shortly before Christmas.  I put it away because it was supposed to be a stocking stuffer--he showed it to me because he knows how picky I am about film adaptations of novels I like less than I do Jane Eyre

And then, in all of the mess and fuss around Christmas, I lost the DVD.

I found it this morning, when I was looking for the television remote.

Guess what I'm planning to do after I get the kids put to bed?

Does anyone have any other ideas?

I've created flyers, and I've dropped hard copy books at local bookstores.  Does anyone else have any ideas on how I can publicize my work without feeling like a spammer?  Because I freakin' hate spammers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My patience for this class is waning.

I feel so sorry for the students.  The individual who designed the course forced on everyone who teaches Comp II online is a fucking idiot.  I mean, really.  This is an online course.  Most of the students are a long ways away

If they have internet problems, more likely than not they will not be able to access the computers on campus.  At all. 

And how the fuck are distance learning students supposed to do a group presentation?  And explain to me how the fuck creating a Power Point presentation is at all an appropriate assignment for a fucking basic composition class?  A professional writing class, or an Oral Communication class, sure, but a fucking basic composition class????


You know, I thought I was being a bitch when I looked up that individual's RateMyProfessor rating, and then compared it to mine.  Hers is 2.9.  Mine is 4.3. 

I begin to see why.  The fucking twatwaffle is so incompetent she should be in teacher ed, not actually teaching students. 

Monday, January 7, 2013 freakin' tired...

I'm tempted to get up when Odysseus walks the pup at five, and dosing the pixie with Benedryl so that she can sleep through her big brother's early morning misbehaviors.  I'd dose the imp, too, but he takes Zyrtec. 

I guess I need to go to bed pretty much as soon as Odysseus gets home.  Which sucks. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Brady bunch are at it again, trying to spout that a victim is morally superior to a survivor.

Uh-huh.  Right.  Tell that to the rape victim that will suffer from flashbacks for the rest of her life, like I still do.  Tell that to the rape victim strangled with her own panties.

Tell that to the almost-rape-victim that was carrying a handgun, and prevented her attack entirely. 

Via Wirecutter's blog

Well, there goes my nice, easy to use class site.

I have been "promoted" from instructor to grader in my own courses.  The new site has buttons down the left side, one for each week, numbered one through 16, and filled with busy work.  They're assigned to use the site for social networking, for God's sake.  And it's for points

And I'm going to have to assign the points.  I think everyone's going to get full credit for that one, whether they've been "participating" or not.  Because I don't want to go through and check to see if they've been doing the minimum.

I'm going to be going over this thing with a fine toothed comb over the week before the students have access, and writing up a critique for my department head.

This reads as much as a justification for the costs of the wonder that is Blackboard more than an actual, valuable class like my students told me mine was. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Random ramblings

Did you know that I've been awakened by screams every morning this week?  If they haven't gotten carried away playing, the imp has been tormenting the pixie.  I can't seem to impress on the two of them that doing that is completely unacceptable. 

Last night, I decided I wanted spaghetti.  Real sauce, not the stuff stores sell in jars.  So I went in a while before the kids usually get hungry, and started it.  Olive oil in the bottom of the pan heated to saute onions; add garlic, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, olives; chop up a green bell pepper and add; sprinkle cumin, basil, thyme, and marjoram (oregano if you like it--which I do) to taste; simmer while you cook the pasta.  You can add about a pound of hamburger meat, if you want meat sauce. 

And the pixie comes running into the kitchen, and says "I hungy.  Want eat?"

I turned around...and found a chocolate covered pixie.  She'd found her daddy's dark chocolate stash, and was chocolate from the eyeballs to the neck, and both hands were coated.  She was still chewing it out of the foil. 

And yes, it was on her shirt, and the shirt was white.

The imp was a real pain, yesterday.  He was mean to the pixie and to the kittens all day.  Today isn't looking better.  He says it was because I'd been yelling at him all day...because he woke me up making the pixie scream, and did not behave at all well all day.  How the hell do you explain that you're yelling at a kid because of the behavior they say they're indulging in because you're yelling at them?  And how do you get them to stop so that you can stop yelling?

Anyway.  I managed to half forget the dog last night.  It was when I got the pixie put down to sleep for the night that I remembered that the pup was still out in her pen.  I got her walked, then fed, then walked again in the half hour or so between when I got away from the pixie and the imp's bedtime.  Then, I got her put in her kennel for the night.  And I was starting to tell the imp to head for the bathroom, and he looks up with his big blue eyes, and goes "Mama, I need somefing eat, please."  So he had a snack, and was ten minutes late getting to bed.

Why oh why doesn't going to bed later translate to sleeping a little longer in the morning?

I would get to bed earlier in the evening, but it really doesn't work.  Especially not when Odysseus is working.

I've been working on writing, but it's really been a long, slow slog.  I'm too exhausted, mentally and physically, for it to be anything else.  I have some finished stories that I could post to my other blog, especially as I don't know if it's something I can or should try to publish commercially.  The main character is fourteen, gets into a sexual relationship with someone much older, and resists being written older, herself.  It's set in a different time, with different expectations.  Let me know what you think.

I've also been worried about my classes--I'm really unhappy about not knowing what the material I'm supposed to be teaching, or the assignments I'm supposed to be grading. 

On the upside, they haven't fucked my class site over yet.  I'm not sure when or if they're going to fuck my class, and if they've forgotten, I'm damn sure not going to remind them.  Never point out to the enemy that they're making a mistake.

Friday, January 4, 2013


I decided, on a whim, that I wanted spaghetti for supper--well, macaroni with spaghetti sauce.  I made the sauce I grew up on, and to save time later, decided to put most of the sauce away before I ate.  I rinsed a glass jar out with hot water (to prevent cold jar from breaking when hot sauce was ladled in), and rinsed the lid with the same, since it'd been sitting in its box since I got it and hadn't used it.  I put the sauce in the jar, wiped down the rim, and put the lid on.  Then, I set it on the counter to cool, so that it wouldn't make a mess in my fridge.

I went to go check to see if it was cool enough to put in the fridge a few minutes ago, and found, to my surprise, that the damn thing sealed itself. 

I have accidentally canned* spaghetti sauce.

*Since the jar and lid have not been sterilized, I'll be putting it in the fridge anyway, and using it pretty quickly.

Badly thought out, there, guys.

I just stepped out the door and grabbed the mail.  We got a gas bill (lower than last December, by a little bit), and a piece of junk mail that triggered a bit of stunned snickering.  A badly thought out advertising postcard spammed by one of the local churches.  It reads, on the front,

Do you have a PLAN B for 2013?

Should a church be promoting themselves as a "Plan B"?  Because the first "plan B" that comes to mind for me is the morning after pill...and it's way too late for even a late-term abortion to avoid the shit the government is throwing at us.

Second, "plan B" to me is my GoTH plan: kill it before it fucks you over. 

Last...shouldn't God be plan A?

The reason churches are failing so badly is because of attitudes like the one that one displays in the ad.

FFOT: I am NOT rich.

The great zero hiding behind the teleprompter in his own personal Oz stated when he first ran for president and took office that he would not raise taxes on anyone who made under $250,000 per year.

The first thing he did was raise taxes on cigarettes, something disproportionately used by those who make less than $50,000 per year per household. 

Now, he's done worse (as if that's a surprise).  He's raised both taxes on everyone in the country (through cutting a 2% payroll Social Security tax cut) and spending with this "We have to avoid going over the fiscal cliff!!!!" bill.

Say what now? 

Look at this.  The budget before the new law was passed was $3301.91 billion, or a bit over $3 trillion dollars.  The gap between income (from taxes taken from us) and spending was $832 billion dollars.  Now? 

The new budget is $3681.56 billion.  That's about $379.6 billion MORE than what it was.  The gap is larger, too: $1212 billion. 

So, instead of doing something to fix the problem, the idiots in charge have made it worse.  No wonder they don't work in the private sector--they'd have been fired for massive incompetence decades ago.

I am honestly so angry I can't put together a proper rant for this. 

I hope some of you can.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Defending Byzantium

I finished re-reading the Belisarius Saga last night (couldn't fall asleep when I laid down, so why not?). 

These books, if you have not read them, are awesome

First, you start with the assumption that humanity has survived wars, and created weapons terrible enough that the race has had to completely change itself to survive (the example cited was a bioweapon that attacked--and destroyed--DNA).    Then you move to the assumption that the race has also flung itself into the stars, and has adapted itself to whatever environment they found themselves in, and that one faction sees all of this as polluted monstrosity.  Then imagine what would happen if this faction worked to send a computer back through time to the seventh century to possess autistic little girls in a monarchy in a small kingdom in India, to prevent the pollution from happening by destroying any ideas of progress based in merit rather than racial purity. 

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Not. 

Another segment of humanity has given much to send back one member of post-DNA humanity: a small crystal that has the entirety of the future, both pre- and post-meddling.  And that crystal has orders to find a specific person, but has no idea how to begin. 

It manages anyway.  And then the fun starts. 

Now, imagine a general with knowledge of tactics from future wars, and given knowledge of how to create one of the simplest of future weapons: gunpowder. 

In the first book, An Oblique Approach (no longer on the free side of Baen's website, but the second book in the series is), we follow the hero, Roman general Belisarius, as he sets plans and plots in motion to ensure humanity's freedom to develop in whatever direction it wants and needs to.  The full scope of his plans set into motion in this first book isn't fully seen until the fifth and sixth books of the series. 

The plot of the entire series is magnificent, and the development of both character and setting are wonderfully thorough.  I highly recommend the books. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Needs vs. wants

"Mama, I need dat!"

I hear that from my imp all the time.  Thing is, it's rarely something he needs that he's talking about.  Usually, he's talking about one of his toys that I've confiscated for bad behavior, or an outdoor hat that he wants to wear inside, or his gloves (that he also wants to wear inside).  Sometimes, he'll tell me "I need somfing eat," or "I need chocolate milk," both of which are legitimate needs, but often it's more a want than a need

I'm trying to explain the difference, but he's only four, right now.  Anything he wants is something he's convinced he needs

Sadly, it seems that most young adults haven't grown out of that mindset. 

I'm considering writing a book: something that delineates the differences between needs and wants, how to tell the difference, and how to learn to prioritize.  What do y'all think?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I wonder if that's habitual...

There were a lot of premature detonations, tonight.  Started hearing fireworks (little ones, not the city display) about five minutes before midnight.

Judging by how many there were, I'd be willing to be there are a lot of unhappy wives within about a four block radius.