Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Evidence: Real Estate Brokers = Morons

Read this - from a sob story on tony Rumson, NY - and tell me where the *analysis* falls flat:

"People don't have the money they used to have," says Richard "Ric" Martel Jr., a broker in the Rumson office of Prudential Zack Shore Properties. "The scenario could be a banker who was making $1.5 million, and now their company went under -- like Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns -- or they have seen their comp cut to $750,000, and the house they bought in 2005 for $1.6 million is now worth $1.1 million, and . . . the mortgage is $1.280 million."

Residents are "still owning nice cars and belonging to beach clubs and country clubs, and they're asking themselves, 'Where can I cut my monthly nut?' The answer is to put their home up for sale."
First correct answer scores a n@ked C-Nut bobblehead doll...

The Ambisexual Romance Turn-Off

Here's the chorus from the extra-inverted singer's latest song:

But if I had you, that would be the only thing I'd ever need
Yeah if I had you, then money fame and fortune never could compete
If I had you, life would be a party it'd be ecstasy
Yeah, if I had you
If I had you

I don't about y'all....but I can't listen to that song when it comes on the AM/FM radio. And I definitely don't want my kids humming along to it either.

It's bad enough that popular music has glorified *unrealistic romance* to the point where young Morons are so deluded as to what their future spouse will be....that they all but squander their lives in search thereof.

But now we have to bear that crap sung by an unapologetic Tinkerbell in Adam Lambert?  Is this really *marketable imagery?

I'll pass, thank you.  And I sincerely doubt I'm the only one whose stomach turns, and then radio dial turns upon hearing his voice.

Suing For Cause?

DOVER, N.H.—A New Hampshire high school student shocked so severely in shop class that his heart stopped beating is suing his teacher, the school district and the city of Dover.

Kyle Dubois and his parents claim teacher Thomas Kelley did not warn Dubois and other students of the dangers of the electrical demonstration cords in their electrical trades class.

On March 11, Dubois attached an electrical clamp to one nipple while another student attached another clamp to the other. A third student plugged in the cord.

Dubois was critically injured.

The New Hampshire Union Leader says Dubois' suit contends he suffered permanent brain damage.

Brain damage?

It'll be for a jury to decide, of course, but I don't know how they are going to discern *pre-existing* brain damage from whatever additional might have resulted from the auto-electro-nipplification!

Plus I'm right sure our own West Coast Tom has indulged in this activity, many times over the years, with ZERO noticeable effects...

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Tough...

To muster an appropriate or a value-added comment here:

Guess What Happens Next - Stripping for Kids
Tosh.0 VideosDaniel ToshWeb Redemption

Girls, Are They Better At Math?

It's too early to tell in my family, BUT my 4.19 year old daughter, the Princess, is still ahead of her older brother's *math* pace. She finished Kumon's Simple Subtraction book today - a book earmarked for children ages *6,7, or 8*!

Though, let the record show that she is, we think, a bit behind her brother in the reading department.

By no means is this a race or anything.

But if it were, few among those who know my girl would bet against her closing the gap!

She's got an out-of-this-world work ethic and, in many respects an insanely strong personality. The Princess is not afraid of anything on this little planet one bit and, don't you dare cross her. Like her father she comes back over-the-top and can definitely hold grudges for decades(!) with ease, also a la moi.

I pity the landlord who one day tries to evict her! Or the school district that challenges her right to homeschool her brood!

She's the type everyone just would rather *on their side*. I admit that sometimes even I walk on eggshells around all 30 lbs of her.

Schools - The Illegal Immigration Culprit?

The illegal immigration debate has fallen off the front pages of Jurassic Big Media publications. So-called *amnesty* was never popular among the lumpen masses; it was nothing more than a tug-o-war between the entrenched political parties; and a sour economy has, as I predicted here, swallowed up whatever public sympathy there may have been for *temporary-guest workers*.

But back when those *farsighted* scumbag pols were trying to ram down citizenship for border-jumpers and identity thieves...

Back then one heard incessantly that undocumented workers were doing jobs that *Americans wouldn't do*.

Now there were more than a few appropriate responses to that nothing-statement - illegals drive down the wages to where no one wants to clean toilets for $7 an hour, those jobs (e.g.) landscaping on country clubs are hardly integral to the country, etc. - but there was one response that I don't recall seeing.

Consider how many shiftless teenagers our nation has, wasting away in factory school prisons and learn-nothing, exorbitantly-priced colleges. We have 10 million college students, give or take, and probably at least as many flicking boogers and snoozing in high schools.

For the sake of argument, put the total number at 20 million slackers.

If everyone in that demographic were to, say, cut back their school by one day a week - go from 5 days to 4 days....that'd would effectively free up, roughly, one-fifth of 20 million more low-wage workers for the economy.

What I'm saying is, if in fact it was true that we need Latin Americans to sneak in here and pick lettuce because there aren't sufficient Americans willing to work at the market-bearing wage...

Then that might only be because student loans, the wealth cycle, Big Education and a Big Government in need of mind slaves, and Morons have all conspired to unnaturally disqualify able-bodied individuals from working in the real world!

While we're at it, let's throw in the 2.5 million muy atlético soldiers (active and reserves) who could conceivably be relieved of some *make-work* and added to the potential pool of skilled labor.

The Pink (?) Returns!

If you haven't already, read my hilarious, surreal prior post - Great Neck's Pink Pants!

So who's the new pink-o-phile?

Well, I espied Sven in downtown Southampton, NY this weekend.

The freakin' guy had (to go with his vertebrae-displacing side-part) the words "Hello Kitty" painted on the pink bike!

And don't think for a second he just borrowed his sister's bike to ride into town to grab a mineral water or a vegan smoothie.

NO. He was with one of his buddies - a guy who also was riding a very similar *pretty* bike. By that and the manner of their sidewalk flouncing, it was clear that these HJs were riding their very own, beautified vehicles!

So the guy(?) goes past me for the first time and right past my wife up the street. Mrs. C-Nut comes running back, "Did you see that @sshole?...Get your camera out!"

If you recall from that prior post, she wasn't exactly on my side when I was snapping pics of that deranged goofball wearing pink pants.

You see, when she's sober, it's clear how RIGHT I am!

The camera was already out...

And, as I photo stalked him up the sidewalk, we both enjoyed a big deja vu laugh.

My bad, I really should have *engaged* the dude. I'm actually a very good on-the-spot interviewer.  It's just that, I guess, I was still shell-shocked from that cop harassing me last time.

Ferriss....Still On A Roll!

The Four RAP Workweek?

I've mentioned Tim Ferriss a few times recently on this blog. He's definitely someone worth heeding.

Tim wrote a post the other day that was, much like his book, positively drenched with good, useful information (for aspiring authors or bibliophiles anyway).

Check it out - How Authors Really Make Money.

While I was reading it I couldn't help but think how profoundly informative his post was - answering questions that no doubt tons of people were ecstatic to see answered.  And I noted the stark difference between it and the snarky/sophomoric content that I generally churn out.  As someone who's keenly interested in amping up their blog readership....these days I'm paying special attention to the style and content selection of Ferriss and other standard-setters.

See also:

Book Review - The 4-Hour Workweek

Ebook Goldrush

Better Blogging Chronicles 7 - PageRank

Can't Blame The Guy On The Beach

Why is there a kid in this store?

How horrible is that - that he *beat* his wife?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homeschool Nazis!

I came home from the Hamptons tonight to find a letter from the Manhasset School District...

They REJECTED my IHIP - that's essentially the homeschooling plan I submitted for Prince C-Nut.

They say they want more detail from specific text books that I am going to employ.

I believe the law is that I have to provide a list of texts OR a generic *plan of instruction*.

They might be breaking my balls; or they just might not be acquainted with the laws. (Or, I might be mistaken as well.)

Paul Mitchell gets his wish!

See the comments of - Homeschooling - Required Paperwork.

Now, after a few deep breaths, I have to figure out the tone of my response.

I could surely list a couple of textbooks for them....but I don't want to set any precedent for the future. I want to do the minimum.

And if they insist on breaking my stones....I'm going to retaliate in my customary fashion - *over the top*.

You know, one of the nicest compliments I ever received came years ago from my obese cousin.

He said, "If you shoot a BB at (C-Nut)....he returns fire with a nuke!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who's A Rat?

There's a great government watchdog website for the town of Hingham, Massachusetts.

The other day it aired the greivances of a Teamster sewer guy against his superiors:

Things came to a head in late 2006 when Commissioner Brandt discovered that a pair of new pumps had been placed at Walton Cove Station for installation and hadn't been installed for over a year. This caused Brandt to start investigating and he discovered that Rosano-Davis had been getting the bulk of the contracting, yet there was very little visible sign of any work being performed.
After a short time I began to notice some peculiarities in the Department. Supervisor Dow was rarely at work. He would however come in at night with various companies such as Rosano-Davis to perform inspections and cleanings of various stations and lines. When I asked if he needed help, the answer was always "no". He would also come in and take OT calls for what we call "nuisance" alarms. These alarms were usually resolved with a flick of a switch. This practice enabled Jim to accrue an immense amount of comp time every year. I believe more than the State Law allows. This practice continues to this day.

Once a week or so, he would have breakfast or lunch with Paul Davis (of Rosano-Davis!) or sometimes other contractors that the Town is supposed to have impartial business with.
I had several meetings with the Commission while I was Supervisor. At that time, Commissioner Salerno and I were on the same page. Our goal was to get the department running efficiently again.

While I was catching up on the work in the office, I received calls from various companies asking me to order various items, such as ice melt for instance. We had enough ice melt stored at the New Building behind the Fire Museum to melt the North Pole. In fact, the amount of ice melt that kept arriving previous to this particular phone call became a joke amongst the crew.

When I told the salesman; "No thanks" he said; "Why don't I sweeten the deal by giving you a free gift out of the Cabella's Catalog? You're still fishing, aren't you Jim?" I said; "This is Steve, and again, no thanks."

Hah! Rule 1 in the Handbook of Public Official Bribery....make sure you are paying off the right guy!

Every town in America ought to have a website like that - where people can drop a dime and shed some sunlight on otherwise unchecked public malfeasance.

Granted, at this point, with every level of government in the nation bankrupt three times over, they may not be able to make a difference. But hey, it's still good clean fun to trap exterminate weasels, rats, and other vermin who were bred, fattened, and abetted by Big Media's abject negligence.

Marginalizing The Open Kitchen

The benefits of the now widely popular *open kitchen* are well-known.

It makes for better entertaining. It takes the edge off the tedium of everyday food prep. Etc.

But there's one thing wrong with it that I just discovered.

If your kitchen is a central part of the house....it makes it harder to *not snack*.

People who are or should be dialing back their gluttony don't need to be walking by the fridge or a countertop box of cookies every time they move about their home. It's borderline cruel!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Homeschooling - Required Paperwork

I believe in many states (all?) kindergarten is NOT MANDATORY.

Therefore, homeschoolers don't have to *register* with the authorities until a kid is legally eligible for 1st grade.

That year finally arrived for my son, the 5.77 year old Prince.

As far as I can tell, the following constitutes all the paperwork I am legally obligated to file:

  1. Register my child with the school district (though still not sure if technically I HAD to).
  2. File a 2-sentence letter of *intent to homeschool* with the Superintendent and the local elementary school by July 1st.
  3. File an IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Program) with the schools by August 14th.  This is supposed to describe the course of study my wife and I will be implementing for our son.
  4. File 4 reports (inaccurately called *quarterly reports*) with the school which, I think, list how many hours have been spent on each of the subjects spelled out in the IHIP.  There may also be *attendance* records or some other nonsense that I have record.
Okay.  (1) only has to be done for the first year.  (2) is nothing.

(3) and (4) may seem like a bit of work, all that planning and whatnot, but they really aren't.  Homeschoolers are not really required to get too specific.  And it seems that most of them simply rip a list or *typical 1st grade curriculum* from World Book Encyclopedia or something.  That's what I did. Remember, for those of us who have accepted the responsibility of educating our own kids....we mostly have well-thought out and well-developed plans for the upcoming year(s) anyway. So it'd be nothing at all to whip up a meticulous outline. I refrain from doing so purely on principle.

Also, from what I read, the quarterly reports are complete BS as well.  Just make up some numbers.  One homeschooler I read actually just copies and pastes her IHIPs and reports from prior years without any problems at all.  Click here to see the sample IHIP I worked from.

Again, this is my first time around so the above may not be accurate or complete.  As I learn, I'll update this post.

In fact, I've yet to hear from the town on my IHIP - i.e. they haven't approved it yet!

In a way I am itching for a little fight with them as it would make for some good blog material/publicity.

Heck, I could just have my *undereducated* son rip the school district on his own blog!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Couldn't I Have Learned This Stuff 20 Years Ago?!

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea. There’s only one problem with it. It’s stupid! It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income! This is truly income for dummies.

Why is getting a job so dumb? Because you only get paid when you’re working. Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working? Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working? Who taught you that you could only earn income while working? Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?

Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too? Why not get paid 24/7? Get paid whether you work or not. Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them? Why not your bank account?

Who cares how many hours you work? Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office. Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60. But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it. We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive. Do you really care how long it took me to write this article? Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?

Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path. So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered. Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way. And of course there is a better way. The key is to de-couple your value from your time.

That is from a most worthwhile blog post - 10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job. Be sure to read the rest of it.

See also - Book Review - The 4 Hour Workweek.

Taylor Lacks The Stones...

80s Tool Shed

Dating Montage

This probably explains however big the 50 year old *old maid* population is!

Monday, August 23, 2010

More Funnies For You Simpletons

As always, click on the images to enlarge if necessary.

The Inmates Suffer A Wet Furlough

While it was a bit hot this past July, altogether it has been a fabulous summer. The sun has been out for the past 2.5 months - almost every single day.  (My nipples are beautifully bronzed at the moment!)

Unfortunately, this is the week that most *wage slaves* and *school slaves* go on vacation. Everyone, EVERYONE in these parts is vacationing somewhere this week with camping and beach-going being the most popular activities.  July was booked with summer camp and school starts next week for many.

But this week the weather is looking to be horrible - colder and rainy - and that really sucks for those who only enjoy limited *lifestyle freedom*.

Homeschool and self-employ!

While my wife is still a wage slave in the Wall Street skim biz racket....she's always enjoyed considerable flexibility to work when she wants.  Except that since a vast majority of her co-workers and higher-ups do in fact take the last two weeks of August off....it's a complete waste of time for her to go to work because almost everything has been put on hold.

So she (and I) are essentially forced into a family-vacation type of trip at the same time as the slave population.

We spent, collectively, a few hours trying to figure out which of the two weeks to take off AND what to do with it.  Guess what, there's nothing at all either of us want to do!

With all the warm weather, we've already been to the beach and swam in the pool a bazillion times this summer.  Camping this year has no appeal as it would require too much effort - plus Mrs. C-Nut is a real tenderfoot!  We've been out to the Hamptons a bunch of times so far; and we've been on the road, not only with our complicated, staggered move 3 months ago and my two trips south (Philly and Wildwood, NJ), but also just last week with the 4 hour drive up to and down from my parents' house.

One idea my wife had was to drive out to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and then hit some attractions in Lancaster and Philly on the way back.  But my kids are too short to ride most of the crap, I don't feel like getting in the car again, and some of the stuff, like Dutch Wonderland and the Sight & Sound Theatre are priced like rip-offs. We'd also have to pay for hotels, eating out, etc.

This is where one has to be careful. We could very easily end up spending $1,000 on a vacation that we don't want or need at all.

It's precisely like buying an overpriced house, a car, religiously dumping money in mutual funds, or liquidating your life savings/home equity to send your ill-bred kids to a worthless college.

You should be constantly wary of doing something or going into hock for something just because everyone else does - most especially those big ticket items!

Marginalizing Ice Cream Truck Drivers

Fast forward to the 2:00 mark and see witness two ice cream truckers come to blows over a *regional marketing* dispute:

Not for nothin' but...

These ice cream guys are SOBs.

I had one such guy in Hingham, MA last year, an Arab, actually ASK me for a tip. He held out a tip jar and literally said, "Hey buddy, how about a tip?"

But my disdain for them was born years ago, before I was even married. In Brooklyn, we used to hear the ice cream truck music ALL THE TIME. These greedy capitalists would blast their trademark tunes all day long, everywhere they went. They certainly didn't care one iota about their incessant noise pollution.

My (future first) wife and I heard on the news years ago about an ice cream truck guy who was murdered with a hatchet in Queens. We both waxed sympathetic - FOR THE ASSAILANT!

And then you have the story of some crazy Albanian ice cream truck drivin' family in Nevada:

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Testimony resumed Friday before a Clark County
coroner's jury considering whether Henderson police were justified
killing a mother of three in a chaotic scene after her husband was
stopped for traffic violations in an ice cream truck.

Witnesses differed Thursday in descriptions of whether 42-year-old Deshira Selimaj had a knife and threatened two of her children and police before she was killed Feb. 12 near Coronado High School.

One woman who passed the scene said Selimaj "unequivocally had
a knife," and said she had had no idea there would be a dispute about that.

Selimaj's husband, Zyber Selimaj, 65, testifying with an Albanian language translator, insisted his wife had no knife.

He later bowed his head as he and the 10-person jury listened to
recordings of police interviews with his 12-year-old and 5-year-old

The boys arrived with their mother in her ice cream truck after she talked by telephone with a distraught Zyber Selimaj. He had been stopped by Henderson Police Officer Patrick Gilmore, but refused to sign a ticket Gilmore was trying to give him for speeding and running a stop sign in his ice cream truck. Selimaj said it was the second ticket he received that day.

Now check out this additional piece of evidence supporting my contention that ice cream dudes are lunatics:

Hey, at least the guy beeped, right?

Melodious Cacophony

Click here.

Moronic Hydrophobia

A Couple of Brainiacs Afraid of Swine Flu

H2O: Dangerous Chemical!

A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."
And for plenty of good reasons, since:

  • it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
  • it is a major component in acid rain
  • it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
  • accidental inhalation can kill you
  • it contributes to erosion
  • it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
  • it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

    He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical.

    Forty-three (43) said yes, six (6) were undecided, and only one (1) knew that the chemical was water.

    The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?"
    He feels the conclusion is obvious.

    Olympian Bed Hog!

    Every third night or so my 4.18 year old Princess treks down the stairs and crawls into bed with us. She's got the night terrors or something.

    Anyways, it's bad enough that she wakes us up. BUT on top of that she's a formidable bed hog belying her 30 lb stature.

    She won't allow any covers. Try to pull a blanket, or even a sheet(!), over you and she'll rudely kick it away.

    And she's completely all over the bed - squirming, adjusting, kicking, grabbing, etc. all night long.

    Sometimes she'll latch her whole body onto my poor wife's face!

    Now Mrs. C-Nut is not exactly an egalitarian when it comes to bed space and covers either.

    But in the Princess she's clearly met her nemesis.

    Last night my wife pushed the little illegal immigrant onto the side and in a most Hitler-esque fashion tried to annex the 25% of the bed that I normally am entitled to.

    But the jostling between her and my daughter, and the collateral damage on my side was simply too much last night.

    Eventually, sometime around 4:30am, I just dropped a pillow off the bed and decided it would be more comfortable to sleep on the floor, alone - with no blankets or anything else!

    As you can see by the picture I took this morning, my daughter literally slept PERPENDICULAR. And you can see the damage she wrought on the linens.

    See also:

    Midnight Warfare

    To Jail Or Not To Jail?

    On Child Incarceration

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Property Tax Death Spiral - Rotation Has Begun!

    That was an article in today's Boston Globe.

    Of course, nowhere in it do the authors mention *pensions* - the elephant in the over-mortgaged room. I emailed one of them about that oversight and he just said that it *was a separate issue for the future*.

    Color me shocked!

    The story says increasing property taxes are to *pay for new buildings* and *services*.


    Here's pretty much all one needs to glean from this poor excuse for journalism:

    Since 2000, average property taxes on single-family homes in Massachusetts have increased about 64 percent.

    People my age haven't felt that squeeze as we're relatively young and still in the ascendant part of our careers.

    But for those who rely on a fixed income, the done-nothing stock market, or interest income....these rising property tax bills are killers AND, often, one-way tickets to cinder block homes in lower cost states.

    For Would-Be Etymologists

    Dictionary.com has started blogging.

    See the Hot Word Blog if you find the origin of words interesting as its lessons are somewhat spunkier than reading straight through a etymological dictionary.

    Even though I do in fact joyously indulge in the latter....I've personally found the Hot Word Blog a decent read.

    I'm going to rerun one of my favorite Will Durant quotes.  From the Age of Faith:

    By adding French and Latin to its German base, English could triply express any one of a thousand ideas (kingly, royal, regal; twofold, double, duplex; daily, journal, diurnal,...); to this it owes its wealth of discriminating synonyms and verbal nuances. He who should know the history of words would know all history.

    A Cheapskate Versus Off-Rippers

    Recall from Evil Fridge and Nasty Fridge Dissection that I've been having some to-be-expected problems with my MIL's old refrigerator.

    It's not cold enough and food is going bad in about 4-5 days. So I've been at the supermarket every two days or so!

    My MIL called General Electric who, via a sight-unseen phone diagnosis said it was the *compressor* and that they might not make that part anymore. They essentially said to *buy a new fridge*....*can we mail you a catalog?*

    I know, shocking, right? An appliance company telling you not to milk an old product when you could go out, even if there is only a 25% chance you buy one of their products, and drop a $1,000-$4,000 on a completely new one.

    Yesterday I called a serviceman to take a look at it. After showing up 3 hours late from the appointed time, his assessment was that it most certainly was not the compressor. He called BS on GE!

    He said my *auto-defroster* might need to be changed.  So even if I successfully defrosted the fridge and dislodged whatever it was that might be blocking the flow of cold air from the freezer down to the refrigerator....that the problem would just recur shortly thereafter.

    How much is that?

    "Two and a quarter."

    Is it definitely the problem?


    So I go from GE trying to rip me off, to a technician (WHO MADE ME WAIT AT HOME ALL DAY ON A SATURDAY!) trying to rip me off.

    Of course, both GE and the fridge guy are exclaiming, "Look at this cheap a$$ mother-bleeper....trying to band-aid a Jurassic appliance!"

    I gave the guy $60 for his 10 minute total visit (he didn't even use a tool!) and said thank you.

    Before he left he laughed because he read our minds aloud, "You want a new fridge, but your space is just a little too small to get one of the nice newer models. And you don't want to buy a new fridge for a tight space if there's a chance you are going to completely redo the kitchen soon, right?"


    He said he saw the same narrative in every other house he went to. Though he didn't actually use the word *narrative*...

    One thing he did warn me about was the longevity brevity of whatever I might buy from GE, Samsung, or LG.

    He said the new expensive fridges only last 7-10 years as opposed to the 20-30 years the old ones survived.

    Hmmmm....I wonder why GE et al would want to make me buy two or three fridges from them instead of one over the next few decades???

    I would not be at all surprised if they did in fact have warehouses full of replacement compressors and whatnot for their older models that they decided to strategically scrap or lie about!

    BTW, I'm still short GE from way back.

    As a kid, I had a wicked awesome red pair of Converse Weapons.

    Supposedly, from what I heard, the shoes were so well built that they lasted 14 months instead of the customary 10 months for youth sneakers.

    Guess what, Converse took a beating on the extended product cycle and stopped making the shoe altogether!

    Bible Study Update

    I did just finally see this movie:

    It was interesting to see the film in the sense that I now have some palpable visual images to go with the umpteen times I've heard and read about the *Passion*.

    And, as part of my ongoing, self-directed Bible study program, I just finished typing out the Book of Psalms - before that I had transcribed into a Google Doc the entire book of Proverbs. So after all this Old Testament work I feel like a have a much better handle on it than on the New Testament.

    Without much of a plan, for starters I think I'm just going to re-read and re-study the Gospel of John.

    Oh, and guess what, my local parish is trying to get me to teach CCD to 14 1st-graders.  I have to talk to the religious education woman next week about what kind of commitment it requires.  Remember, I hope to be snowbirding in Miami for January AND February this coming year.

    See also - Modified Bible Study.

    Technology - A Homeschooling Parent's Ally

    How amazing is it that I can now simply email the 5.75 year old Prince his assignments!!!???

    This is what I sent him earlier tonight. Click to enlarge if necessary.

    Click here to see his work.

    The overriding goal all along has been to accelerate his path to adulthood. These days I am routinely emailing him interesting articles and websites that I come across. Often times I tell him to check out a link I sent him and then *forward* it to his uncle or his grandfather. Before you know it he'll be doing that AND initiating email conversations all on his own.

    Last Friday night was surreal. While riding the train into NYC for 10 hours of boozing and gluttony....my phone kept buzzing. The Prince was sending me smart-a$$ emails with sad-face emoticons and whatnot. The little bugger was cracking himself up!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Inception - A Snoozer!

    Three weeks ago, I mentioned in - A Rare Good Flick? - that all the hype surrounding Inception may actually get me out to the theater, something I do only about once every two years or so.

    So on a semi-vacation up in Massachusetts this week, with my kids completely outsourced to their grandparents, I did in fact go to see it.

    But I fell asleep in the beginning!

    Either it was too slow, or I'm just too much of a Napper now. It was so painful fighting to stay awake that I strongly contemplated walking out right off the bat.

    I estimate that I missed 15 minutes before mustering up enough consciousness to see if the motion picture lived up to the hype.

    I would say that - IT DID NOT.

    It wasn't bad by any stretch, but it's clearly overrated - in the category of Gladiator, Old School, and tons of others that have dashed my hopes over the past 1.5 decades.

    You see, I loved the movies as a kids.  Nothing was more magical than seeing E.T., Top Gun, Star Wars, Red Dawn, Beaches, and sundry other 80s flicks.  I continually yearn for that same feeling as a movie-going adult but it remains extremely elusive.

    Bloated Schools Need Pencils!

    My MIL received this solicitation from one of her local representatives today. Click to enlarge:

    She wrote back, indignantly:

    Senator Johnson,

    Even during the Depression, the poorest schools supplied the items you mention in your appeal. Today, with school tax portion of property taxes at astronomical levels, why is there no budget room for a few pencils, paper, etc.????

    Your solution >>>Another Bailout/Welfare proposal.....

    No thanks...

    Let them sell their text messaging/cell phone/cd/electronic game players and buy a few pencils themselves.

    Why don't you think of a program that empowers the young by teaching self-reliance?
    Note that property taxes on her 2,500 square foot home are now $14,000 annually.

    And $9,000 of that is explicitly delineated as a *school tax*.

    I believe this town spends a whopping $24,000 annually on each student!