Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not happening.

Couple of creepy guys just showed up and knocked on the door.  The one that initially made contact was wearing nice clothes and a tie, but acted high.  His partner was an older guy.  They said they were with "new development," which, in this area could either be a new church, or a new kind of meth. 

Yes, Odysseus was home.  Yes, he was armed.  Yes, he opened the door, just long enough to tell creepy guy to go away. 

Less than five minutes later, we hear someone come up on the porch and start messing with the door.  Same creepy guy, with the older guy standing out next to our steps, back to the house, looking up and down the street. 

Uh-huh.  The door didn't come open, that time.  Odysseus yelled through the door for them to leave.  And once they did, the police were called.

They asked us to open the door and hear them out, that second time.  Yeah, no.  Not happening. 

Best case I can see is that we got rid of some irritatingly persistent proselytizing evangelicals.  It's more likely that they were either trying to case the place, or trying for a home-invasion robbery. 

Yes, I'm wearing my gun, too.  Now. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I was talking to my mother, a couple of months ago, right after I published The Godshead.  I asked if she wanted me to send her the URL so that she could see it on Amazon (because I still think that's the coolest thing in the world: I am a published author). 

"Why?  It's not like I'm going to read it." 

Um...okay.  Because her daughter wrote that book, and is proud of it, maybe?  And maybe a parent might want to brag about their kids' kid's* accomplishments? 

Turns out, she's not proud of me for having written and published that book.  Isn't going to be proud of me for the next several, either.  Wanna know why?

Because I write fantasy.  I write about magic, and gods with little gs.  It's what I read, it's what's in my imagination, and it's what I write (because I write what I like to read). 

I have been informed that neither she nor any of her sisters want to hear about any more of my books until and unless I write something explicitly Christian, something wholesome.  Something that appeals to their naval-gazing fundamentalism. 

Something that won't entertain them or make them think about the world that they're willfully turning their backs on. 

Heh.  Guess I shouldn't point out that Christ has several cameos, starting in the first story, in The Godshead, or that the bartender is His brother, Lucifer.

Yes, this conversation, and revelation, happened a couple of months ago...but it hurt.  A lot.  And I've only just assimilated and gotten over that enough to be able to discuss it now.

What kind of parent actually says this to their child?

*I initially used the plural possessive because I have a younger sister.  But she hasn't accomplished anything beyond dressing, bathing, and feeding herself in more than fifteen years.  And she's only thirty-one in April.

I got a solution.

The Congresscritters with D after their name and district don't like the debt clock in D.C.?  I got a solution for them:

Stop running it up, you stupid fuckers!!!  Maybe do a little budget cutting to start reducing the amount of debt you're putting on my children, and grandchildren (if the country lasts that long). 

Or, y'all can quit your jobs and go home.  That way, the rest of the critters can slow down how fast it's being run up, and you don't have to see it anymore.

Really, really tired of snow.

It was supposed to have been done snowing sometime before midnight last night.  It's still snowing. 

I want it to stop.  I want it to warm up.  I want to be able to take the kids outside to wear them out and get them hungry enough to eat without protesting or playing with the food much. 

I am bloody sick of winter. 

Fucking HATE busy work.

I've been slogging through grading a metric fuck-ton of the shit all fucking day.  It's now 12:12 a.m. CST, and I finally finished it. 

I have a colleague's grading to help with tomorrow, then I need to do the revisions of the "micro essay." 

And this week's busy work is going to take longer, and end up more useless than last week's. 

I hope the stupid bint that designed the class comes down with explosive, watery shits while she's in front of her classroom.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's play "What's different?"

My student from the DTFO post yesterday emailed again, asking what they were supposed to be doing, how many sources they were supposed to use, and what kind, and how and where to find them.  Then, when I pointed out that they've been finding the sources for the past three weeks, and that they need to be doing the work on their own (putting all of their gathered information together into a coherent essay), they got in a snit and informed me that they were so sorry for bothering me, and that they wouldn't ever email me with questions again, no matter how much trouble they were having.

I will admit, my first reaction was, "Oh, thank God!  Would you just hurry up and either fail or drop the class so that I don't have to deal with you, already!"  My second was to send the whole email back and forth to my department head, with the message that I'd been having issues with that particular student since they'd plagiarized and failed the course last semester.

Honestly, I don't understand why this future welfare recipient is even in college.  

Contrast that teenager with this one:

Restaurant owner spots a late teenage kid walking in the snow.  Kid asks him how much farther it is to a specific destination, gets the answer of six or seven more miles, thanks him, and keeps going.  The destination?  A job interview.

Yep.  A teenager with a GED has a work ethic that drives him to walk ten miles through the snow for a potential job.  One that'd already been filled.

Yes, he now has a pretty good job--the restaurant owner pretty much hired him on the spot, and he's got a year's worth of free bus rides with the city transit authorities.

He deserves it.  I think he'll make a success of his life, either in spite of or because of his rough start.

I want that kid in my class.  Not the uneducated, uneducatable pain in the ass that I have whining at me that they can't do the work, and want me to do it for them.

Goals for the week...

Today is Tuesday--I'm a couple days late posting this.  Last week got partly derailed by the snow and ice, so we rescheduled the meeting at Lowe's for this week, same day and time. 

Without further ado...

1. Living room.  The living room desperately needs some attention.  I need to pull the couch out a bit and fish out the toys and clothes and trash that the kids have been dropping back there.  I also need to rearrange a few things that we put behind a fence around the TV and DVDs to keep the kids from messing with them as much. 

2. Keep up with grading.

3. Keep appointment to get the kitchen redone. 

4. Rewrite The Last Pendragon, and write on the other stories I've got going. 

5. Rewrite the Comp I textbook for classroom use. 

I doubt that I'll manage it all, but I can at least try.


...we has it.  Looks to be around two inches, and it's all snow, not ice.  It's still coming down, and we could get a couple more before it stops. 

After what we got last Wednesday (mostly ice, that time, though), I'm a little tired of it.  Especially since it's hitting toward the end of winter, instead of when it should have hit us. 

Monday, February 25, 2013


I blinked and lost two hours.  And this with the kids screeching and playing. 


Seriously.  Is this dumb son of a bitch serious?  Instituting a church sponsored toy gun buyback program?  How the fuck is a fucking toy gun a threat to children's morality?  Institute something that will make a difference--a Bratz dolls or slut clothes buyback program.  Guns aren't the problem.  Ball-less fuckers who don't understand that little boys use violent toys to pretend to protect.  My four year old son does that. 

And boys that grow up seeing guns as protective tools grow up into young men that use guns to protect their parents, or men that are willing to use the force necessary to protect themselves against the thugs that the culture of moral relativism has created. 


I got an email from a student pretty early this morning.  I just finished deciphering it, since it's written in almost unintelligibly thick AAVE*.   I finally figured out that the student wanted to know how long their essay (due week 10) needs to be, and whether they need to have a works cited page for an assignment that calls for research.

The assignment sheet clearly states, within the first third of the first page, that the paper needs to be 3-5 pages with at least three correctly cited sources. In bold.  Before the detailed instructions. 

READ the FUCKING ASSIGNMENT SHEET before you ask your fucking lazy-ass, stupid, I-can't-be-held-responsible-for-my-own-learning, do-it-for-me, speshul snowflake princess questions. 

Oh, and drop the fuck out, and go suck-start an illegal Glock, since you're apparently too fucking stupid to figure out how to use an idiot stick.**

(By the way--this is the third post inspired by this student.)

*AAVE--African-American Vernacular English, also known as Ebonics.

**A stick with a shovel, broom, or mop head on one end, and an idiot on the other.

"Making, making, making..."

My pixie has been taking a bucket and a spoon, and stirring the spoon in the bucket, chanting, "Making, making, making!"  If you ask her what she's making, she answers with either "I making cookies!" or "I making cake!"

So cute. 

So, Odysseus and I took the kids to Wal-Mart (and if we needed any proof that our kids were incredibly well behaved, all we had to do was look at the other kids in the store).  I had kind of a vague idea of what I wanted to get for the pixie (and no clue for the imp)--a cooking set.  I had one when I was about six or so--aluminum, with a copper colored bottom--and thought she'd like one. 

I was right.  Hers are a heavier, better quality than the set I had, and came with a few cooking utensils.  So far, she's made a few more cakes--and some chili, in the stock pot.

The imp got a fire/rescue set of Hummer and helicopter, and a rubber snake.  The helicopter, which has a button that sets off a siren, is confined to either his room or the bathroom (with the door shut).  The snake has made appearances in several places. 

My mother is going to hate the snake, and blame me for instigating things, if he insists on taking it there.  Since it's his current favorite color (orange), it's entirely likely. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yay for Roe v. Wade!!

Because legal, on-demand abortion performed by a professional is so much better and safer than a back alley procedure with a rusty hanger. 

I hope Ms. Byer wins her case...and is unable to conceive any more children.  Ever. 

Oh, you poor thing...

I go to PostSecret every Sunday.  Sometimes, the secrets are inspiring, other times horrifying. 

Sometimes, though, I either laugh at or pity some of the people who send in some of the secrets.  Like this one:

Oh, honey.  Married men don't pay you for sex.  Married men pay you to go away when they're done.  Married men can get sex at home, but not without a ton of bitching and nagging before and afterwards. 


Did you know that sufficiently thickened stew makes pretty good gravy for biscuits?   We used leftover stew because I made a huge pot of the stuff the other day, but it still turned out pretty darn good. 

My stew recipe is pretty simple:

1 lb hamburger meat
~1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
3 good sized potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
16 oz pkg of frozen, mixed veggies (I used corn, peas, carrots, and green beans)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 tsp (about 2 cloves) minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp corn starch

1. Take your raw hamburger and drop it in a good sized pot (2 qt is barely big enough for this--3 would be better).  Sprinkle the dry onion soup & W. sauce onto the top of the burger.  2. Cook the burger meat until done, breaking it up as you go.  (I'd suggest peeling and dicing the potato while your meat is cooking.)  3. Add potatoes, garlic, and veggies to browned meat, cover with water.  Stir it up good to make sure your meat isn't still stuck in the bottom of the pot.  4. Bring to a boil, cook over medium heat until potatoes are done. Salt and pepper to taste at this point.

Here's the tricky part: the thickening.  Take about three or four tablespoons of corn starch and mix into about a quarter of a cup of cold water.  Pour slowly into stew, stirring as you go, and cook for another couple of minutes.  It'll get gloopy.  Then remove from heat. 

This makes some pretty thick stew--great to ladle over fresh, hot biscuits, or fresh, hot cornbread. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I fucking hate busy work.

I never assign busy work in my own classes.  I cannot think of the two classes I have grading "privileges" for as my classes, partially because of how shitty they are in their design for an online class, and partially because of all the fucking busy work. 

Whoever came up with that idea (busy work) was either a sadist or a masochist, depending on whether they were an administrator or a teacher. 

random ramblings

I'm only just now starting my coffee, so I might seem more disjointed than usual.  Fair warning.

I discovered something about the kids, last week.  I, at my absolute wits' end, was racking my brain for a new song to sing, at the pixie's request, so I started in on "Little Bunny Foo-Foo."  And, every time the bunny would bop the field mice, she'd cloud up.  When the good faerie threatened the bunny, her eyes would go wide, and she'd shake her head (not good, as she was nursing at the time).  When the faerie carried out her threat...the pixie started to cry.  I had to sing a half a dozen of her usual song before she'd calm down.

The imp, on the other hand, laughed his fool head off with every smack, and every threat, and approved of the faerie turning Foo-Foo into a goon.  He didn't get the awful pun, but I wasn't really expecting him to, yet. 

The washer is working again.  Odysseus and I got the backlog of laundry, piled up for almost two weeks, done.  Now, we just have to put it away.    I didn't get anything done yesterday, beyond getting the dishwasher loaded.  And got the imp's overnight bag packed for his night at Grandma's and Grandpa's last night. 

Speaking of yesterday, Odysseus had a birthday.  We spent a lot of it at his parents' house, and ate lasagna, garlic bread, and chocolate cake with whip cream type frosting with cherry pie filling on top of the cake.  The imp said "This is much better than the other not-cake." 

The not-cake?  That was a pineapple upside-down cake.  Apparently, the only cake that is cake is chocolate, according to the kids.  Kind of funny, huh?

The puppy was a very good girl, yesterday.  She refused to go poop on the walks before we left, and spent the day between 9:30 and 3:30 in her crate.  And she didn't go poop in her crate, despite refusing before we left. 

She did go immediately upon being walked.  And she ate a big ol' bowl of puppy food immediately afterward. 

The cats were...cats.  They didn't destroy anything, and probably spent the day either sleeping or hunting mousies.  Both of them are incredible mousers--Shadow for snacks, and Cricket for independently-mobile toys. 

Today's chores include grading busy work for my students.  It's hard to explain to them that an assignment isn't busy work when you, as the teacher, consider it busy work, and don't see the point behind it.  I cannot wait until I'm done with this crap, the first week of May.

On the bright side, my first paycheck comes through next week.  I start working in January, in the Spring semester, and first paycheck comes on the last working days of February, March, April, and May.  I'm not working the Summer semester, and will pick up the second or third week of August.  Then, I'll get paid the last working days of September, October, November, and December.

I'm about a third of the way through with revising Pendragon again.  I'm hoping to be done in time for a mid-April publication date.  I'm working on writing a sort of cliched plot novel, right now--a twenty-year-old vampire hires a human to help her with home maintenance, and they realize that the vampire that turned her (unintentionally--he'd meant to just rape and murder her) was doing the same thing in her town.  And decide to try to track him down.  I think this might be a two or three book series.  I should be finished writing the first one sometime during early midsummer.  Anyone interested in being a beta reader? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Important distinction

So, my students have another crap-ton of busy work due midnight, tonight.  I just had a student email and ask if she could have an extension until Sunday, because her teenage son managed to get her laptop infected with a virus, and she was having to reformat everything. 

See, that's the kind of requests I grant: asking for an extension ahead of the deadline is asking for an extension.

If she had, for example, sent me the same email tomorrow morning, the answer would have been entirely different.  That's not asking for an extension, that's saying "I didn't get it done, and will turn it in late.  Will you grade it?" 

Requests for extensions I grant.  Requests to grade late work?  Not so much.

FFOT: late nights

Late nights, always followed by very early mornings, can FTFO.  I cannot seem to be able to settle down for sleep before one in the fucking morning.  I cannot shut my stupid fucking brain off.  And the kids just do not sleep later than about seven in the fucking morning. 

Have at it.  Get whatever's annoying you off your chest before you head into the weekend. 

Stupid should hurt.

If a choice you make directly harms your employer, isn't it just common sense that you get fired for it? 

If I owned a business, was losing business because of the economy, was taking financial hits because of mandatory Medicaid, and I had employees that I knew had voted for King Putt, their asses would be the first ones out the door, with the door kicked so that it hit them on the way out. And I would hope that the judge laughs the dumb bitch out of court.

To vote for him once was racist.  To vote for him a second time is unforgivably stupid.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Before you start bitching about medical billing...

...consider this: how much is any given hospital losing by having to treat medicare/medicaid patients whose government supplied insurance is paying about 30-40% of the hospital's costs

Costs.  Not profits.  They cut those completely out. 

So hospitals have to overcharge those who pay for themselves, either through cash or through private insurance, so that they can cover their costs and remain open to serve those who need it.  

I don't readily sympathize with pathos-based arguments.  They usually have little to no logos. As for this particular case, well, the couple chose to use a private hospital.  One that does not do charity work--which is what they were able to afford.  The article started with a plea to our emotions, our sympathy, before skimming over that choice, and moving into what the "evil" hospital was doing in its billing. 

More power to them.  I have no problem with people charging what the market will bear.  No one has an unalienable right to force others to provide them with services for less than what that service is worth.  That's indentured servitude at best, and slavery at worst.

And we, all of us, are FUBARed, because Obamacare is going to prevent this, and begin forcing private hospitals out of business.  Not long after that, medical personnel are going to wind up in indentured servitude to the State, which is going to prompt those who would actually be good at it to find something else to do with their lives. 


There's about an inch of frozen rain, sleet, and snow on the ground, and rain and sleet are still falling.  Oh, and there's thunder involved.  I've been up since a bit after six, because the thunder woke the pixie, and nearly scared the diaper off of her.

I do believe I'm probably going to have to make another pot of coffee to get through the day. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Stab in and thrust up. 

Seriously, though, I am about to come across as a complete anti-feminist (and I'm in good company, there): girls, if you want to land a man, cook for him.  Do not bring him fast food, invite him over for pork chops and boiled and buttered potatoes, green bean casserole, and homemade biscuits.  If you can't cook, go to the Wal-Mart Deli and pick up a homestyle meal.  They'll love it, and love you for it.

Case in point: my neighbors across the street are college boys.  They're in their early twenties, one has completed his degree (and owns the house, thanks to his family).  They don't really cook for themselves, much.  And what they do cook is guy food: simple stuff. 

Monday night, after I'd made cookies at the pixie's behest, I took the three or four guys that live over there almost half the batch--about a dozen and a half fresh, homemade, chocolate peanut butter chip cookies. 

The guy that owns the house thanked me profusely, then told me that if he weren't half naked, he'd give me a big hug for that. 

Ladies: if you have a boyfriend that you see as marriage material, cook for him.  Guys: if you want to piss off a radical feminist, show her this post, and perhaps the JudgyBitch blog. 


We're in for some winter storms.  Our area is forecasted to be pasted with snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain--charmingly called wintery mix.

We've got plenty of food, much of which doesn't even need to be cooked (and much of which is canned in cans with pull-tab tops).  Odysseus went out and got a kerosene heater (and grabbed our small, efficient, safe propane heater from storage), propane, and kerosene. 

We're set.  But I'm not looking forward to this.  I hate ice when it's not in something I'm drinking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


If a student is incapable of understanding simple, written, "Do this, then this, and this" instructions on an informal assignment, they should:

A) Take classes in a traditional classroom where they'll face minimal written instructions, and all backed up by spoken instructions.

B) Whine at the instructor that they don't understaaaaannndddd!!!  Not any of it!  Do it for me!

C) DTFO, as they're obviously unsuitable for anything other than mopping floors with no human interaction.

How is this a problem, again?

My department head sent a link to a NY Times story, today, discussing a study that found that individuals who aren't prepared for college don't do well in online classes. 

First of all, I fail to see how this is a problem.  Actually, that's not quite right.  I have a problem with the fact that we, as a nation, are so invested in this "college for all" schtick that people have a problem with ninety percent attrition of those who are unprepared--either for the level of work expected, or for the self-direction required--failing out.  I have a problem with the idea that instructors in traditional classroom settings are expected to hold hands, wipe noses and asses, and generally baby the students who shouldn't be in college in the first place. 

I have a problem with traditional universities getting their panties in a bunch because some professionals who are capable of completing advanced degrees with more self-direction than many professors are capable of, but don't have the time or inclination to sit through bullshit classes.  I have problem with the new legal requirements of online courses (at least in MO, but the indication is it's likely nationwide) calling for eduspeak that most for-profit online colleges can't hire someone to produce for each one of their classes, without raising their prices and cutting into their profit margin.  I have a problem that only the otherwise unemployable are being accommodated with this legislation. 

I have a problem with nobody else having a problem with the fact that those of us in the classroom are expected to deal with students who shouldn't be there, and are expected to simultaneously retain our rigorous grading standards and make sure every idiot that steps foot in our classes, online or traditional, passes with a good grade. 

The system is broken.  I don't think it can be fixed.  All I'm doing now is killing time, taking home a paycheck, and trying to ignore the creeping feeling of futility.

Stupid online class platform...

Yesterday, I logged into the online class platform to get some grading done for a friend of mine who's overloaded with their online classes plus a bad set of eyes that looking at a computer screen for too long actively hurts. 

And the stupid fucking platform started giving me error messages.  Then wouldn't let me into the grade book. 

No biggie--I uninstalled and reinstalled Java.  Then got back into the platform.  It still wouldn't work, and a couple of messages popped up that the version I'd gotten wasn't the most recent, so I did it again.  And again, when the platform still didn't work, even when everything else did. 

By the time the platform started working again, it was 11:00 p.m., and I was too worked up to be able to go to sleep. 

This morning, the thing was working perfectly...after everything had gotten done, and after I'd gotten to sleep at 1:00 a.m. and was awakened at ten till seven by the kids getting up and playing. 

Needless to say, I've gotten jack and shit done today, other than a big pot of comfort food (hamburger stew with lots of potatoes, and biscuits) made, and a couple of repairs supervised (new outdoor faucet put in, and belt put back on the washing machine's pump) and paid for. 

Hopefully, it can be an early night tonight.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Well, there are my marching orders...

The pixie just requested a cookie.  I told her there was only one left, and she squeals "Oh, no!  One cookie left!  What we gonna do?  Oh, no!  I wanna cookie!  Mama, go make cookies!"

The oven is preheated, and the mixer is currently mixing the dough.  All that's left is to add the peanut butter chips to the chocolate cookie dough, portion it out onto the cookie sheets, and stick 'em in the oven. 

Goals for the week...

I'm going to try to keep up with my grading with all of the excitement that will be going on this week.

1. This morning, sometime within the next hour or so, we will be having our kitchen measured for new cabinets.  At the very least, we badly need to replace our lower cabinets, and will be plumbing in a dishwasher right next to the sink. 

2. Sometime after that, we'll be going in to Lowes to choose our cabinets and counter tops.  And schedule the work.

3. Tomorrow, sometime, our appliance repair guy (who is currently somewhere on the road between here and Mississippi) will come and look at our washer--and will probably fish a toddler sock out of the pump intake again.

4.  Hopefully, we'll get the replacement hose for the vacuum that I'd ordered from Amazon.  I'm trying to think of how to temporarily fix it enough to get the living room and hall bath swept.

5.  Friday is Washington's real birthday--and Odysseus's.  We'll be going to my in-laws' for that.  I'm sure the imp will help Daddy blow out his birthday candles. 

So far, I think that's it.  I may be wrong. 

Other than that, I've started working on another book that I'd kind of been stuck on.  I had, yet again, tried to force a story in a direction it didn't want to go.  I was trying to prevent a character that I liked from being hurt in the process of dealing with a bad guy.  I'd like to see how much of that I can get written this week--I got about a thousand words written last night, on top of the outlining.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I am...speechless.

What the fuck gives anybody the idea that it's okay to hit someone else's child?  Especially a toddler who's having trouble with pressure changes on a landing aircraft? 

I hope that Jessica Bennet sues Joe Rickey Hundley, of Hayden, Idaho, and completely breaks him for that. 

Me?  I'd have put a pencil or pen through his carotid.  Then pulled it back out.  Nobody should get away with that intact.

I haven't seen these stories on the national news.

Several gun makers are refusing to sell guns to cops in states that ban civilian ownership of the same types of guns. 

And a security guard at a tax prep business used an EVIL BLACK RIFLE!!! to face down armed robbers, and save the lives of the customers and workers in the business. 

Neither of these stories fit the narrative that the lame-brain main-stream media is trying to force down our throats.  Neither of these stories have had a whole lot of press. 

Guess it's up to the self-proclaimed rodeo clown of talk radio, and us bloggers to spread the word. 

Yet another DTFO.

I had another student email me yesterday, frantic because they couldn't find where to turn in the assignments that had been due the night before. 

I do not take late assignments.  If someone can't get them to me on time, and won't bother to check to see what the due date actually is, they can DTFO. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

These definitely apply to me.

If you're less worried about flashing bra or panties than you are your gun, you might be a gun nut.

If you've spent more on one gun than you have all of your shoes for the past ten years, you might be a gun nut. 

If your favorite accessory has a caliber, you might be a gun nut.

If your child's diaper bag has a concealed carry pocket, you might be a gun nut (or else, are simply a responsible parent).

random ramblings

I had to get up at twenty 'til seven this morning.  The imp woke up cold, got up, and came and knocked on our bedroom door.  I got him back to bed, got in with him by his request, and got him back to sleep, but I didn't get much more.  The child doesn't stop moving even in his sleep. 

The pixie has gotten a lot more interested in books, lately.  She's not careful enough to be permitted to look at picture books with paper pages, and has torn several of the imp's half-worn-out board books in half along the spine. 

I can't sit between them and read to them--they fight over me, and fight over the books. 

At least I already know both kids are going to be book addicts like their parents.

I had it reinforced last night that one of my cats might well turn wino if she has a chance.  I spent yesterday feeling like my throat was coated with a thick layer of phlegm, and fixed myself a hot toddy last night.  I had to chase the cat out of it three times before I gave up and lured her and her sister back to the pantry with food. 

I got papers graded last week--did you know that I actually had one student write a fifteen page micro essay?  Yeah...I wrote shorter papers (presentation length) in grad school.  This weekend, all I've got to grade is the standard busy work.  Which I need to get on, so I'll see if I can figure out anything to write about later.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ladies and's been a hell of a week.

It's not over yet, either. 

On the good side, I have a functional, non-broken bathtub.  The one torn out had cracks in the bottom, and a slow leak that had rotted the floor out directly beneath it (as in: the plumber put his hand down on it, and nearly went through without having put much weight on that hand).  The faucet was split down the bottom of it, and I had visions of the pixie poking it one time too many, and it shooting the length of the bathtub (hitting the imp on the way). 

No more.  We have a very nice Aquaglass tub and Delta faucet.  I'm happy, the kids are happy, and Odysseus is happy. It's no longer a detractor from resale value. 

We still need to put down some trim--there's about three quarters of an inch between the edge of the linoleum and the bottom edge of the bathtub, where the two-by-four frame is exposed (and with small children splashing in their bath, that's a recipe for wet boards and rot)--and caulk the seams of the shower surround, but that's that on the bathroom, for now.

However.  I can't clean up the dust because we're waiting on a new hose for the vacuum.  I can't do the laundry (and the kids are running out of clean clothes) because the washer's pump is clogged--and I'm waiting on a call-back about that from the appliance repair guy.  Sometime Monday, I'm expecting a call from an independent contractor with Lowes to come out and measure my kitchen for new cabinets and counter tops.  I have no idea how much that will or won't disrupt life...or when.  Or if I'll have my vacuum up and running by then.   

I think the worst thing about all of this is the routine disruption for the kids.  They're insecure, whiny, clingy, not sleeping well, and kind of acting out a little.  I don't blame them, but I just wish they'd stop. 

I guess all of this is to explain why the posting's been a bit on the thin side this week.  I've been too busy, too frazzled, and too tired.

FFOT: Run, honey, run.

I am...appalled.  I get that this teenage girl has ruined her life, and likely the life of the child she carries.

However.  I do not think her parents have her best interests in mind.  Any parent who remarks that they should just slip their daughter the abortion pill, or who says that they ought to just drag her to the abortion clinic and force her to have an abortion, are nothing short of callous, selfish, self-centered, and evil.  The only thing they're likely worried about is how young they are to be grandparents, rather than focusing on their daughter, who wants to do the right thing and carry the baby to term.

Her parents should be encouraging her to look into adoption, an open adoption where she can be a beloved auntie and favorite babysitter, rather than pushing the poor child to have an abortion with such vigor that she's served them with a restraining order.

It also speaks poorly of their character that they've been harassing the baby's biological father, and threatening his parents.

I am honestly so slack-jawed shocked and horrified by this that I can't muster a proper rant.  All I have to say to these people is either come to your senses and do what's best for your daughter (and no, an abortion is not that, not in this case, not in the long run), or get the fucking hell away from her before you do a spiritual and psychological damage to her that will never heal.

And yes, a parent--someone who is supposed to be worthy of a child's implicit trust will never harm them--forcing a child who doesn't want one to have an abortion will do irreparable damage to this girl. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

No late papers! DTFO!

I've had two different students email me today, asking if they can turn in the draft they didn't turn in last week when I accept revisions from those who did turn them in, and need to revise, sometime next week.  No.  I do not take late papers.  Period. 

A revision takes maybe two minutes to grade.  A first draft takes five, if it's nearly perfect; ten, if it's an A but the student's got a few issues to watch for for the next paper; fifteen if it's a B (with more feedback); and twenty or more for lower grades, depending on how bad they are. 

To those two students: if you can't turn in work on time, don't ask a teacher whose stated policy is that they don't accept late papers to make an exception for you when they're grading revisions.  A revision is different from a draft.  I have no interest in bailing your stupid, lazy ass out.

And you will either learn quickly, or get a shit grade.  I'd rather you either learned quickly--otherwise, DTFO.


I can understand where this gal was coming from, how she missed being pregnant.  She was told, explicitly, that she would never be able to have children because of a nasty case of necrotizing fasciitis that necessitated abdominal surgery.  Then, along with that, she had irregular cycles, and somehow managed not to really have a weight change. 

I can only imagine going to the hospital for a hernia, and finding out I was carrying a full-term ten-pound baby, and needed to have a C-section immediately.

I can only imagine her joy to find out that the doctors were wrong.  At least, the joy she's going to feel once the shock wears off.  If thirty-six weeks (my longest pregnancy) isn't long enough for it to feel real at first, fifteen hours definitely isn't.

Blatant pandering...

There is absolutely no fucking chance of this bill even making it out for a vote.  Missouri has a veto-proof pro-gun majority.  The only reason this bill was introduced, much less reported on, was because the anti-gunners are playing to their rich, big-city-suburb leftist voters. 

You know, the ones who can't even keep the illegal guns out of their districts because they're so fucking ineffectual.

How rude!

Got an email from an online textbook vendor.  They really need to think about how their subject lines are going to look if they get cut short by the email viewer window.  Because "best prices for unwanted faculty..." isn't going to get me to even look at their offer before I delete it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Awesome cover.

I've always liked Simon and Garfunkle's version of "Sound of Silence."  I love the vocal harmonies.  I didn't think it was possible to keep the same general feel of the vocal harmonies, but change the feel of the rest of the song, and be successful with it. 

I was wrong.

Now, this is something I've seen coming for a while.

Some twit's suing her university for a C+ grade that she earned, because her instructors cheated her out of her chosen career--or, at least, that's the way she sees it. 

The instructors say that she was given a zero, with an opportunity to make up the assignment that she didn't take. 

God, I hope the judge laughs her out of court.  If he doesn't...higher education as a whole is fucked.


If you're going to break a law, don't tell anybody.  Especially if you're breaking that law to try to be a defensive bulwark for the helpless

Stupid fucker told his students he was carrying.  Yes, it made them feel safer.  However, word does, and did, get out.  Even worse, he did it in the People's Democratic Republic of California, where private property isn't private property if it's your car in a school parking lot with a gun locked inside it. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Better things to do...

I have many, many things on my list of "Better Things to Do than Watch the State of the Union Address."  Amongst them are cutting my cats' toenails while they actively fight it (which I won't be doing, thank you very much). 

What I'll actually be doing will be grading papers.

Heh. Don't blame 'em.

People out in LA are taking a sharpie to tee shirts and poster boards to hang on trucks: "Not Dorner.  Don't shoot."

Considering how panicked the police out there are, I don't blame them.  I wouldn't want to get shot, either.  However...I'm also not sure the twits in the LAPD can actually freakin' read, considering that the media broadly reported that Dorner's truck had been found, burned out up in the mountains, several days before they started randomly shooting up pickups, because, you know, pickupHas to be Dorner, despite it being a different make, model, and color

Every private citizen affected by the massive panic attack should get together to sue the city for damages.  And sue the city's mayor and police chief, privately, on top of that. 

Not even going to visit.

I used to wish I could visit some of our famous cities--Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C.--but I no longer have such a desire.  I have children, and I cannot see the sense in risking my safety or theirs, and none of those cities are reasonable where it comes to my right to defend myself.

And now, Chicago's Police Superintendent is claiming that they don't have strict gun control laws, despite not recognizing anyone's concealed carry permit, not permitting people to buy any kind of guns without a permit that the police can deny for any reason, and only recently being slapped down in their banning of handguns altogether. 

Yeah...until Chicago is forced to permit those of us qualified by our home states to carry, I don't think I'll ever visit.  And I'll probably never visit anyway, because I don't care for their attitude or their politicians.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I'm not sure if I'm suffering from allergies (a possibility) or coming down with a cold, so I decided on pre-emption, and had a hot toddy about an hour ago.  Throat feels better, head feels better, so either way, it helped. I'm sitting here, writing this, the empty cup is sitting on the coffee table about three feet from my knees.  Our black cat is sitting next to the cup, with her head shoved as far into the mug as she can get it, licking the residue off the inside of the cup.  I can hear her tongue scratching on the ceramic. 

Apparently, Shadow likes Even Williams Honey.  And lemon. 

Oh, good Lord...

I had a student email, asking me why they'd been docked five points one week for a mistake, then ten points the next week for the same mistake.

Those of you who are gainfully employed in the private sector (no government or education jobs), please tell me: are people permitted to make the same mistake over and over again without consequences?  Don't those consequences usually end up with said loser out of a job?

DTFO, asshole.  I don't want you in my class--not when I clearly explained that in the assignment feedback.

I wonder what's going to break next?

The washer is acting up again.  Kind of like the time it got a sock stuck in its pump.

The vacuum had no suction earlier when I tried to use it.  Turns out the quarter of the hose that attaches to the vacuum canister has...developed holes.  Multiple holes.  Between the ridges that spiral around and support it. 

Is it going to be the dishwasher breaking next, or does the need to replace the tub count?

They should have posted signs.

Because everybody knows that gun-free zones work

Coming up for the week...

We're scheduled to have that bathtub in the kids' bathroom replaced.  The middle of the tub is bowed up on one side, and cracking on the other.  The faucet is broken nearly beyond use (the knob is a shard of plastic attached by a rusty nut and bolt to the lever, and the spigot is cracked and flaps when water pours through).  It's yellow. 

And it's going to be a complete bitch to get out.  It and the shower walls are all one piece.  He says he's going to have to pull the toilet, too (which he'd better put back--it's not a low-flow toilet). 

The imp uses that bathroom.  His toilet seat is in there. 

Before any of you start laughing, that seat is special.  It's got a two-piece, hinged lid that works as a toddler-sized seat.  He doesn't have to hang on and balance.  Our toilet in our master bathroom not only doesn't have that, but has an enlongated bowl--the imp has refused to use it before, from the fear he's going to fall in. 

So, the imp is going to go to Grandma and Grandpa's on Tuesday, and come home on Wednesday.  Hopefully, the work will be done by then. 

How about the pixie?  She's going to spend that day in her brother's room with Mommy to keep her out from under the plumber's feet. 

So, my goal for the week is...survive the week, and see if I can manage to finish my grading.    Because I sure as hell don't think that I can manage anything else this week. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Holy crap!!!

I sold two paperback copies of The Godshead!!  I wasn't expecting those to really sell--they just don't cost me anything to produce. 

I wish to God that several of my students would DTFO.

Nothing has harmed the students and higher education worse than the idea that everybody is suited to college education.

They're not. 

I have had about four students follow the instructions on the "micro essay."  The rest?  I don't know if they missed out on reading the instructions (possible--if they didn't fucking bother to read the announcements), didn't budget enough time to actually complete the assignment, or what, but...well.  The best of those has been an 80/100, and I've been generous.  For now. 

M'kay...those students who can't be arsed to read instructions?  Yeah.  Drop the fuck out. 

Those students who don't even begin the assignment until twelve hours before it's due?  DTFO.

Those students who can't write a fucking complete sentence in standard English?  DTFO, until you get some serious remediation that takes you all the way back to Big Chief tablet time in learning how to write.

And those who email me asking "Why did I score so low on the quiz?"  First of all...DTFO.  It was a fucking paper, not a quiz.  And second?  I posted your paper in your gradebook.  Open the file.  Read the feedback.  The reasons you scored so low are clearly enumerated, and a lot more kindly worded than I felt inclined before I started drinking.

And those students who don't turn anything in, then ask why the link to turn it in disappeared the morning after the due date ("But I thought it was due Sunday night!"--not Friday, like the Schedule of Due Dates clearly states)?  Yeah.  You, too.  No, I won't accept it now, either.  DTFO.  Now.  Before your F shows up on your transcript.  Because I've explained the very same shit to you before. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

...shoot me now...

I have essays to grade.  They're not major essays--what the course designer refers to as micro essays.  It's basically my analyzing an argument assignment, but with half a dozen movie clips instead of a coherent, written argument. 

So, I go and grab the first essay to grade.  It's written in heavy enough ebonics that I can hardly read it.  The student's focus and organization are good enough for about a B, but their development and tone & style are...lacking.

Yeah...I'm not up to grading that without being needlessly cruel to someone who's been horribly disserved by their school system.

So I grab the second essay.  No intro paragraph, no mention of what movie clips they're talking about in the topic sentence of any of their way am I grading that one without a serious application of alcohol. 

I guess I'll be doing my grading this evening after the kids go to bed, at the earliest.  The assignment itself sucks.  The first two students' attempts...suck worse. 

And this is the first paper of the semester. 


I read a headline about Chicago police wanting a 12% pay raise

My first reaction was "Wait...what?  With their city's violent crime and murder rate?  How the fuck do they think they're worth it?"

On second thought, maybe I shouldn't say anything.  My pay raise next fall will be a bit higher than 12% over my current pay rate, as opposed to the $800/year pay cut I thought I was facing.

Then again...I guess I was right the first time.  I actually do the job I was hired to do.  I've had colleagues teaching literature classes stop me and tell me that my students write better than most of the other students they have in their classes.

So...Chicago cops?  Earn that pay raise before you demand it. 

I have.

random ramblings

I caught my imp trying to sound out a word, last week.  When he noticed I was there, he quit trying, gave me a sly little sideways smile, put the book down, and went running down the hall to bounce off the master bedroom door.  No, I haven't taught him that. 

I need to start actively teaching both of them.  I was planning on starting formal home-schooling within the next two years, when the imp would be starting Kindergarten anyway (though, we'd be skipping that, since he already knows the material). 

I don't know exactly what we're going to be doing with the kids this coming Wednesday when we need to be ripping the last of the carpet out of that back room.  The pixie doesn't like being left at Granny's, and the imp hasn't seemed to like being left places lately, either.  I'm trying to get my family to come here instead, but I'm not sure if that's going to work.  They're kind of almost professional victims, and don't like doing things that are even slightly inconvenient to them (despite our being willing to actually go get them).   "Oh, I'm not know how hard it is for me to watch them here, and you just have so much dust, and you know my breathing problems.  Oh, no, don't ask your sister--you know she has problems, too."

I love my family.  I really do.  I just can't stand the excuses and whining and complaining.  They're worse than my kids.

We've got set up with a plumber to replace our bathtub in the hall bathroom.  The one that's there is a builder's tub--the tub and shower walls are all one piece, and is going to have to be cut in half before it can be removed.  No, it can't be repaired.  We asked.  We thought that would be less trouble than complete replacement.  That work is supposed to start Monday, and will probably take two or three days.  Fun, fun!

Sometime this spring, I hope to get the kitchen remodeled, too.  I hate having to drag the dishwasher out of its cubby and hook it up to do dishes.  Makes me less likely to actually do them. 

Writing is...progressing.  Slowly.  The carpet tear-out this past week played absolute hell with my allergies, and I'm only just now getting over the worst of the effects.  I'm sure next week won't be any better, but that ought to be the last of it.

I'm facing a metric shit-ton of grading this weekend.  No, my students don't have a major essay due--they've got what the course creator terms a "micro essay"--which I would call an essay, especially since I'm supposed to give it the same attention as a major essay.  I swear, the bint they hired to design the course doesn't have much more than half-melted cotton candy between her ears. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Aw, shit.

Can somebody please tell King Putt to start focusing on, I don't know, going golfing?  Just something besides the economy and job creation.  Because every time he focuses on job creation, jobs disappear.

That's awesome.

A man in Utah re-learned the old lesson--don't bring a knife to a gun fight

You know, I'm really starting to get the feeling that people don't trust their government agencies (which includes the police) to protect them.

All I can say to that is...good.

FFOT: Not feelin' it, this morning

Mold.  Mold and allergies.  Both can FTFO.  I hate mold.  It's one of the only allergies I have.

At least we're almost done getting that moldy carpet out. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


...tomorrow is going to be (you guessed it) busy. 

I have my pantry mostly set up.  Now, I have to work on getting all of the bulk canned food out of the kitchen (and into the pantry), and get the cabinets rearranged to work better for the family.  Including using one of the bookcases that I was using for a pantry to hold things like chips and crackers.  It's going to be the bookcase at the far end of the kitchen, though--the pixie is sneaky, especially where it comes to quietly going and getting herself a handful of Goldfish crackers, immediately before a meal.

After I get my grading done.  And while the kids are both around (and likely underfoot). 

It's interesting...I think that, after years of having no problems, the imp is having separation issues.  He wants to be around me and his sister pretty much constantly, and wants my attention all to himself.  Two years ago, he was pretty consistently playing quietly by himself in his room.  Didn't want to be hanging around (or on) me--though he did want to be hovering over the pixie (then again, two years ago, she wasn't mobile and trying to play with his toys).  Even a year ago, he didn't really want to play with me, or have me or Odysseus watching him play.  Now, he can't seem to get enough of it.  It's caught me kind of flat-footed. 

And I have come to the realization...that I don't really know how to play with him.  Nor do I really know how to play with the pixie. 

I look forward to better weather when I can take them outside, and just help them play on the swing set and slide. 

It's about bloody time!!!

My university has not raised adjunct pay since 1997.  That, however, is about to change.  My department head emailed all of us (adjuncts) to let us know that those of us who've been teaching for the university for longer than five years are going to be getting a significant raise.

It's still going to be less than most part-time professions get, but most of my colleagues don't spend as much time on their classes--prep, grading, spending time anticipating and researching likely student questions, and spending time answering questions we get (not to mention just hanging out with my students, like I tend to do)--as I do, so I guess that's fair. 

And even a small raise helps. 

Equal in chances...not results

In this case, the assailant survived and was (moderately) successful...and was a woman armed with a wrench.

In this case, the assailants, plural, were all men, and the one armed with a gun was shot dead by the homeowner.  They were not even moderately successful.

In both cases, the would-be victims were elderly. 

What was the difference?  The female assailant was smart enough to run up close and wrestle the homeowner to try to survive.  I'd bet the guys just...ran.  After the shock that their gunman was killed first thing. 

In either case, I think criminals are incredibly stupid.  They seem to just not even consider the danger that their chosen profession puts them in.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Big mess.

There's a cement floor in the back room.  Several, actually--almost a patchwork of porches, porches extended, and porches built into rooms. 

The people who had the house before us put down carpet padding.  Thick carpet padding.  Didn't bother to glue it down (thank God).  And didn't make sure the back door was actually weather tight (it isn't--there's about a two inch gap at both top and bottom, which means when we get rain with hard wind, we get wet floors inside the door).  Which, in turn, meant that the carpet and carpet pad wicked the moisture the length of the room, as well as about a third of the width.

And then it molded. 

That was the worst part of today: ripping up that damp, greenish-brown stained carpet, and wet carpet padding.  With a dull utility knife.  We need to get new blades before we finish the rest. 

At least there didn't seem to be any rot anywhere.  I suppose there's a major upside to concrete floors.


There's still a lot of stuff out of place, and a lot of stuff that needs to find a new home, but we got everything I wanted to do today done. 

Next?  Do the same to the laundry area.

After that?  Who knows.  If I try to plan that far ahead, everything falls apart.

Gonna be a busy day.

We've got a lot to do, today--too much to worry about having a pixie underfoot, so she's going to go stay with my mom for the day. 

So, what's going to have us so busy today?

  • moving boxes from the back room to the storage building
  • throwing some more stuff away
  • moving the kennel onto the back porch and the litter box into the kitchen temporarily
  • moving an old chair, table, and ottoman out of the space they're in, and bringing a 7.5' x 3' high x 2' deep solid wood shelving unit up to the living room (and possibly whacking a chunk off of it if it doesn't fit where we want it)
  • ripping an old carpet halfway out
  • moving a small chest freezer down to the concrete floor
  • moving in two units of plastic shelving to test a concept
  • moving the pet stuff back to where it belongs
That back room is about 9' x 17'.  Part of it contains the washer and dryer.  What we'll be doing today is turning the other half into a pantry, instead of miscellaneous junk storage, like it had been.

I've got a good bit of the preliminary work done--the table leaf is dropped to clear the path for the shelving, and stuff I have no place for that I'd been storing under the table has been kicked out of the way.  

Right now, Odysseus is on the road with the pixie.  Right now, I'm sitting here drinking coffee, and about to dive into my day's grading.   Right now, I'm taking a deep breath before diving into a long day of hard work.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oh, waaaah!

If retail outlets that like to band together in malls really want to protect their profits from online competition, they need to do two or three things:

1. Do something about the mall rat problem.  No adult (i.e., customer with money to spend) wants to spend time in an area packed with uncivilized barbarians that care nothing for anything beyond their own entertainment.

2. Campaign to remove sales tax, rather than add it to online purchases (which are often plagued with shipping and handling costs).

3. Refuse to tolerate high rents without actual security offered by the "security officers" at the mall--if they have to pay the shakedown fees, the various mall security needs to, I don't know, actually chase down and detain shoplifters, and prevent known shoplifters from entering the malls.

Beyond that, they need to do something about all of the malls that post that they're safe workplaces for violent criminals by posting anti-gun signs.

Unless the various stores don't mind going out of business, that is.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.--Amendment V, U.S. Constitution
Simple.  Clear.  Concise.  You don't kill U.S. citizens without the due process of law, including a trial in front of a grand jury. 
In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses  “an imminent threat of violent attack.”--EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

Something seems to be...wrong, here.  And, yet again, King Putt's administration proves that it cannot comprehend the written English language. 

Or, maybe, Mr. Holder just subscribes to Orwell's doublethink and Derrida's ideas that words mean the opposite of what they say.

And they wonder why we don't trust them.

Here's an easy solution.

Apparently, tourists in Acapulco are being tied up in their own bikinis, robbed, and gang raped. 

So.  What to do.  Hmm...that's a tough one.  How about this?

Stop.  Stop going.  Stop going to third-world shit-holes for vacation.  And that is what Mexico is.  The only money that town has coming in is drug money and tourist money. 

Stop giving them tourist money until they solve their problems.  The town will either stop shit like this, or it will dry back up into a fishing village. 

Either way--problem solved.  Fuck 'em.

Happy imp.

In another hour or so, I'll be packing a backpack for him, and then he'll be going with Daddy to the halfway point between our house and Grandma & Grandpa's house to meet Grandma and Grandpa.  He gets to spend tonight and tomorrow night there, and then we'll go get him on Thursday. 

Happy HH--we're going to have someone coming today to give an estimate on how much it'll cost to replace the tub and faucet in our hall bathroom (the one the kids use).  I'm pretty sure it's beyond repair.  When the tax refund comes in, that's the top of the priority list. 

Unhappy pixie.  She's not going with the imp, and she's been testing her boundaries which brings the wrath of Mama down on her head with every tantrum.  She threw a jumping, stomping, screaming tantrum yesterday, right next to me, over the fact that I was answering student questions and wouldn't let her up in my lap.  The imp went "Uh-oh," and put both hands over his mouth.

Do you know just how hard it is not to start laughing when one child does something that the other child knows is going to bring a butt-spanking, and the other child reacts like that?  I thought my ribs were going to break, trying to suppress it.  Because that really would have sent a mixed message--laughing while spanking the pixie. 

Odysseus is going to be working tonight.  He'll be off on Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday for the next two weeks.  We're looking forward to him having two days in a row off.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pooh Bear...

Pooh: What is a paragraph?

Narrator: It's a group of sentences that express a complete thought.

Hmm...maybe I need to assign my students to watch a clip of Winnie the Pooh.  And maybe a few bits of School House Rock

It certainly can't hurt.

Nice, or suicidal?

I can't quite decide.  I mean, if you know someone's stalking you, and you don't take any and all action to keep them the fuck away from you, isn't that the same as actively killing yourself when they stab you to death?

Somehow, I don't feel any sorrow for the victim of this particular murder.  Nor for the woman who raised her to be this way.

Let's play who's the abuser.

Provided that the little girl's father doesn't beat, berate, or molest her, it's mom who's abusive.  I cannot imagine any other reason why Mom and Dad live across town from each other, and the kid steals Mom's car to go see Dad

A woman who decides "I'm just not happy," and divorces her husband, despite her child's best interests calling for a two-parent home is an abusive parent.

Even blind squirrel find nut sometimes.

Farrakhan is correct, in essence: there is a plot against African-Americans involving Planned Parenthood.  He is completely wrong in the particulars that it was an American plot against the third world countries, and minorities in the U.S. 

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was racist.  She was also a staunch eugenicist--she actually worked with the Nazi party in creating their eugenics programs.  She wanted Planned Parenthood offices placed in primarily black/minority/poor neighborhoods to try to prevent "undesirables" from breeding.

She's seen as a major hero by the socialist Left. 

Well...I guess that, since the Left has basically taken over our nation's government, Farrakhan is correct that it kind of is an American plot. 

But AIDS has nothing to do with it.  That was created by the monkey-fuckers in Africa.

Explain this to me...

My class is learning about persuasive writing.  My Comp II classes always focus on persuasive writing, but my classes always focused on the practical.  I didn't bother trying to teach the theory, because there's enough theory on how persuasive writing works, and why it works, to fill an entire semester, and the students I teach aren't going to find the theory useful, or interesting. 

So, what's this class focusing on right now?  Enthememes and warrants.  Those are fancy terms for thesis statements comprised of claims and reasons, and for the unspoken assumptions that shape those reasons. 

This is something that most people understand on a gut level: some things are going to be more persuasive to some audiences than others.  However, it's a little tricky to grasp, especially for current traditional freshmen.  They're just not prepared for this. 

Okay, so, warrants/unspoken assumptions.  That works like this:

Mitt Romney needs to just go away, because he lost the Presidential election.

The claim is Mitt Romney needs to just go away.  The reason is because he lost the Presidential election.  The unspoken assumption is that Romney is a sore loser, and nobody likes him. 

My students would have said the unspoken assumption is that Romney lost the election and needs to retire.

I'm not surprised.  The concept of not blurting any and every thought out for the world to hear, no matter how inappropriate or obvious, seems to be a completely foreign to most under about forty.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Just...go away...

Mr. Romney, you lost.  Deal with it.  Disappear.  We don't like you.  We only voted for you because we liked King Putt less.  You only lost because you didn't take the election seriously, and neglected to run like you should have.

I only speak for myself, but I don't want to see your face again, and definitely not as a part of the government.


I can't think of another word for a people who are so lacking in self control that they'll fuck anything female, no matter species or age, and only hiding the female form will stop it

I mean, it's not so hard to learn self-control.  All there needs to be is clear consequences to unwanted behavior--consequences bad enough that no one wants to face them, and consequences that are uniformly enforced, no matter the station. 

I can think of one that might work.  After all, the Muslim world cuts off the fingers and/or hands of thieves...


I think my two year old doesn't take me seriously.  I've spent the last hour trying to get her to sleep.  Nothing worked to keep her in bed until I threatened to put her in the crib.  Even then, she wouldn't shut up and go to sleep until I went in and smacked her bottom outside of her diaper and pants, and told her that one more sound would get a bare-butt spank. 

I am at my wit's end with that child.  And about ready to stop giving the warnings before the spank.

The four year old usually stops when I tell him to, now.  The spanks didn't work on him--I had to start taking toys out of his hands and tossing them where he knew they were off limits for the rest of a day. 

Unfortunately, that doesn't work for the pixie. 

I'm really tired, and tired of the tantrums and bad behavior.  This has got to end, and end before long, or I'm going to run screaming down the road.

Goals for the week...

This is going to be pretty short and simple. 

1. Get the other half of my grading done by the end of tomorrow. 

2. Get the end of the room I want to use as a pantry cleared out, get the carpet out, and get shelves in.

3. Decide what goes into the pantry, and what stays in the kitchen.

See?  A lot of work involved, maybe, but well worth it, since it will more than halve what I have to do to keep up with the kitchen.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

So...last week's goals?

I've kept up with grading, for the most part.  I've kept up with my colleague's work, and didn't overshoot too far on my own grading for last week.  I think I was done by Tuesday.

I wound up calling the Disability Services people on Wednesday, and now, both of my classes have the ADA statement posted in two places, one of which automatically gets emailed to everyone enrolled in the class. 

I have not gotten the couch pulled out from the wall, yet--the pixie's earache got me distracted from that.  I'll see if I can do that after supper.

As for my writing--I've got the block gone.  Now, it's just a matter of finishing the initial story planning, and finding the time to write.


Violence never solves anything, and guns are never the answer, my ass. 

More Orwell

If a President defines job creation by the effects of his favorite law, then I can now understand why he named his law the Affordable Care Act. 

To quote Charlie Brown...



I put the pixie down for her nap, and walked out of her room only to run into the imp on the way to his.  Nearly ran over the poor little guy.  I got him put down, too, and went into the living room to pick up and grade my classes' busy work.

And then...I heard something.  Something rattling in the pixie's room.  I got up to investigate, thinking there may have been a kitten in there.  Nope.  Pixie was out of her bed, up on her toes, pulling the tiny, battery-run, emergency LED camping lantern I've been using as a nightlight for the other end of her room down off of her dresser. 

I took it, got her back to bed, and put it up higher, further out of her reach. 

Then, I went and made myself a fresh cup of coffee.  Sat down.  Picked my grading back up.  Got one piece of busy work graded.

And then...I heard something.  Something squeaking in the pixie's room.  I got up to investigate, and found that she'd found a rubber duckie, and was laying in her bed chewing on it. 

So, I took it and the other rubber duckie I saw, and tucked her back in.  Took the duckies out into the living room with me.

Then, I sat down, picked up my laptop, and took a drink of my coffee.  Got one more piece of busy work graded. 

Now?  I'm hearing her out of bed, playing.  I'm about ready to put the little shit in the crib that's still set up in her room. 

And every time I get up to go deal with her, I'm having to get out of, then back into the grade book in the distance learning platform, because the fucking thing is timing out on me. 

Random ramblings

Odysseus got up with the kids this morning, and let me sleep in.  I feel a lot better, even if I actually have come down with a cold.  

The imp is wearing, right now, a pair of 5T jeans.  He's not quite four and a half.  They fit perfectly, lengthwise, even if they're about an inch or so too big around. 

The pixie is growing out of a lot of her size 2T stuff, and recently grew out of her size 7 shoes. 

These kids are going to be expensive to clothe. 

I've got a bit to do today--some boxes to sort stuff out of, and move out of the living room.  Coats to hang up.  A dishwasher to haul out, hook up, and run.  A living room to vacuum, and a kitchen to sweep and mop.

Two classes worth of busy work to grade.  Seriously, my classes last semester would be workshopping their first paper next week, and preparing to turn it in.  Not doing busy work.  This class?  The first paper is due after midterms.  Everything up to then is busy work--worksheets, summary/response journal entries (what my Comp I students were doing for the blogging assignment), and weekly discussion board questions that claim to fulfill the "critical thinking course objective."

I've been working on ideas for the next Gods book.  I've also printed The Last Pendragon to re-read, and revise.  I just haven't had time to do much, what with dealing with the piece of crap I've been handed to teach.  We've just finished the third week of classes, and I'm already looking forward to summer break. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Since when is a private business a public accomodation?

Seriously--some people need to understand that the world does not revolve around them.  If, for instance, I owned a place of business, there would be people I would refuse service to, mostly because they're irritating shits.  Militant evangelicals of all stripes are among those to whom I would refuse service, whether they're evangelically political, evangelically gay (and yes, they do exist), evangelically Christian (Jehova's Witnesses, Mormons, and Southern Baptists are particularly annoying), or evangelically athiest.  I do not care, these people annoy the shit out of me, and I would refuse service because of that. 

I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Recently in Rhode Island, a teenage twit got her panties in a bunch because several of her fellow high school students created a prayer banner in their school, and the school permitted it.  She managed to fuck over her classmates and get it removed, but she pissed a lot of people off.  The local chapter of rabidly militant evangelical athiests visited several local florists (mostly small businesses, and most of them Christian), and were refused service. 

Instead of doing like any normal, sane person would do and shrugging it off, they're now trying to sue under the Civil Rights Act.  For being refused public accommodations because of their beliefs.

No, dipshits, you are not being refused public accommodations because of your beliefs.  You're being refused service by private citizens because you pissed all over their kids and their beliefs. 

A public accommodation is a motel room.  A public restroom.  A drinking fountain.  Tables and counters at restaurants.  University enrollment--hell, high school enrollments. 

A small business like a florist's shop is not a public accommodation. 


Apparently, San Francisco newspapers are in enough decline that they can no longer fulfill their best use: puppy cage liners at their local humane society locations. 

Homeschooling. Definitely.

There's been another school shooting.  It probably won't break huge on the news, because it was, apparently, a dispute between the shooter and the victim.

That, and there was only one victim.  The shooter was stopped by an armed guardNot the school's metal detectors.  Not by a lock down.  By someone else with a gun. 

There's no way the media will make that a big deal, not like they did with Columbine; Aurora, Colorado; or Sandy Hook Elementary School.

FFOT: earaches

Earaches--especially in children too young to use my favorite remedies (heat pad, hot tea or hot cocoa, super-spicy food)--can FTFO. 

Tuesday, the pixie started getting really whiny, and clingy.  She was worse, Wednesday, crying at the drop of a hat as well (and the imp wasn't being helpful--with how touchy she was, he was having a ball harassing her and getting reactions).  I checked her temperature between doses of painkiller (still teething...and I'm starting to get a little worried about that, too), and it was elevated.  Then, she told me her ear hurt.

I've been keeping up in the professional literature (not the parenting forums, but medical journals), and it's becoming more and more common for a doctor to do nothing for a child with a mild to moderate ear infection--they tell parents to give the kid anti-inflamitory, and a decongestant for a couple of days, to see if it goes away on its own.  I can see the point: they've realized that a good majority of these are caused more by viruses swelling tissue and preventing normal drainage, and they don't want to create more antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. 

That doesn't make a parent feel better when a child is hurting. 

I gave the pixie Benedryl last night (she flat refused to take it Wednesday), and I'm going to be watching her over the weekend.  Johnson's Soothing Vapors bubble bath seemed to help for a while.  If anyone has any other ideas that might help, please drop me a comment or shoot me an email at

But seriously.  Earaches with fever can really FTFO.