Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coming Home?

Well it sort of feels that way.

Tomorrow we're waking the kids and hitting the road at 6am, bound for our *old home* on Boston's South Shore. Got to beat the 4th of July traffic on I-95, as best as we can anyway.

While we only lived there for about 3 years, my wife and I agree that it was the happiest 3 years of our lives. We're looking forward to seeing our friends, getting out on the water, on the golf course, and relaxing a bit.

Y'all have a good holiday yourselves.

And be sure to avoid *free events* like fireworks and places prone to socially networked flash mobs.

Care to place any bets on how many scary *teen mob* reports fill up Drudge over the weekend?


Now that I think of it, the South Shore's Nantasket beach (pictured above and 1.5 miles from where we lived) might be a borderline place to avoid this weekend - although it's kind of cutoff from hood (e.g Dorchester) a bit.

NY Homeschool Paperwork

Today I filed my 4th quarterly report, my *annual assessment*, and my *notice of intent* to homeschool my son for 2011-12.

My first year of dealing with local school bureaucrats was a little bumpy and it took a little more effort that subsequent years will. Whatever, it's over and next year I may make my son do the whole thing!

My loyal readers are already acquainted with much of the work my homeschooled brood does.

So today I want to direct your attention to another homeschool family here in NY.

This particular *mom* puts me to shame when it comes to providing her son with a wide variety of experiences and learning opportunities.

While I file minimalist paperwork with the town, she goes into a lot more detail.

Check out her post on end-of-the-year paperwork.

For the *bumpy-ness*, see my post from last September - An Educrat's Intro To Homeschooling.

A Surreal THEN and NOW

But we'll do them in reverse order - see the NOW above.

Except here was Obama from back in 2006 while serving in Congress:

Five years ago, then-Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) voted against raising the debt ceiling and even spoke about it on the Senate floor before the Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to increase it.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure," Obama said on March 16, 2006. "Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."


You know at least Barney Frank dissembles his rank hypocrisy...

Lest any of y'all forget - raising the debt ceiling is nothing more than a euphemism for *printing more money*.

And it should be noted that many of the (majority) Republicans who voted to raise it back then, if they've also changed their tune principles....they too would fall into the self-serving hypocrite category.

Of course these politicians are, across-the-board, economically illiterate.

But they all seemingly agree that *printing money* is good for nearsighted incumbents.

Now I don't necessarily agree with that hypothesis.

Make no mistake, both parties are trying to figure out how to manipulate the stock, bond, and commodity markets (dumping from the Strategic Preserve this month?) in furtherance of their interests in next November's election.

I personally think that it would be a tactical mistake to try to prop up everything for the next 1.5 years. If I were Obama I'd want a crash now or early this fall so that the money pump would have time to generate a faux recovery leading into the election.

Thank Goodness For $20+ Billion In Losses?

This week Bank of America - make that *Ken Lewis' Bank of America* - announced some $20 billion in losses due to its savvy investment in Countrywide Financial.


Is this the same Countrywide that Ken Lewis' bank was raving about merely 2 years ago?

I'll enlarge the last line:

"THANK GOODNESS WE HAVE IT", i.e. Countywide!!!

And they said that, not only after OVER-PAYING for the subprime lender, but AFTER having many months to scrutinize the books.

Here's what I wrote/predicted 3.5 years earlier, in January 2008:

Ken is not simply paying $4 billion (on top of the $2 billion that already vanished); he is assuming the debt of a company whose liabilities exceed $120 billion. Even with a light recession and slightly higher Treasury rates, his gamble could easily cost BoA $20 billion!

How prescient am I!

And guess what....I'll predict ANOTHER $20 billion in Countywide Losses from here. Look, they lost all that money already and interest rates actually WENT DOWN. What's going to happen to these toxic loans when borrowing rates inevitably uptick???

Revisit my on-target prediction and enjoy one of my all-time most popular posts here:

Bank of America's Ken Lewis - Socialist Hero, Shareholder Villian

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tim Ferriss' Offspring

Read the book - The 4-Hour Workweek. And if you've read it, re-read and re-apply!

"Effin' Honkey!"

The best was when skinny said, "I'D RATHER WALK."

You just gotta love cordless cellphone cameras...

Life Is Brief(s)

The other day I bought briefs (bikini!) at TJ Max.

Now I haven't worn them in over 20 years - having switched to boxers when I was 16 or so.

Why the switch? Why not, I guess?

I'm deliberately trying to mix things up with every aspect of my life. Just to give another example every time I go to the supermarket I try to buy something, anything, that I've never tried before. Plus the boxers were starting to feel like a cumbersome diaper or something.

It's all part of the age-fighting process. Without conscious effort one can easily devolve/ossify into a monstrous creature of habit - what I euphemistically refer to as an 'old coot'. These fossils, with their 5 meal rotation, ritualistic newspaper habits, hourly naps, perennial vacation schedules, and conversation-less spousal dinner dates are really just half-dead in my mind. They are merely sleepwalking nap-walking through their golden years.

So far I like the way they hug my rump....but of course the boys up front are suffocating having been *free range* for so long. And it's nice to no longer have to experience residual drops running down my leg.

And whatever did happen to that stud Lorenzo Lamas???

Oh boy! From Wikipedia:

Lamas began appearing in the Zaxby's restaurant chain television advertisements in May 2008.

In 2008, Lamas appeared in season 2 of CMT's Gone Country.

In 2009, he starred in the Asylum's Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus as Alan Baxter, a government agent who wants to destroy both the Mega Shark and the Giant Octopus to protect the world from their destructive fights.

Lamas now stars as himself in Leave it to Lamas, a reality show that focused on his own real-life family on E!

Personal Life

When Lamas moved to New York at 13 years old, he suffered from weight problems. In 1979, he took up taekwondo and karate and started to exercise. He has won countless black belts and showed his skills in the series Renegade.

Lamas has been married five times and is the father of six children by three different women.
His first marriage was to Victoria Hilbert from 1981 to 1982. His second marriage was to Michele Smith in 1983, which produced two children: son "A.J." Alvaro Joshua Lamas (born December 19, 1983) and daughter Shayne Lamas (born November 9, 1985). He and Smith split in 1985.

His third marriage was to Kathleen Kinmont (daughter of his Falcon Crest co-star Abby Dalton) in 1989; they divorced in 1993.

Lamas married his fourth wife, Playmate of the Month Shauna Sand, in 1996. Lamas and Sand have three daughters: Alexandra Lynne Lamas (born November 22, 1997), Victoria Lamas (born April 24, 1999), and Isabella Lorenza Lamas (born February 2, 2001). Lamas and Sand divorced in 2002.
Lamas fathered daughter Paton Lee (born 1988) with actress Daphne Ashbrook. He was engaged to Playmate of the Month Barbara Moore, but the marriage was called off.

Lamas got married for the fifth time with his fiancee of more than a year Shawna Craig, 24, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on April 30, 2011. His daughter Shayne Lamas, 25, attended her father's wedding.[2][3] He has told reporters that he will go publicly as Lorenzo Lamas-Craig, his manager, Don Gibble tells E! News, "He's always thinking outside the box so he decided to become the first celebrity to take his wife's last name." The other reason was cause his last wife, former Playboy Playmate Shauna Sands, kept the Lamas name and is legally Shauna Lamas. "His new wife didn't want to be called Shawna Lamas for obvious reasons," explains Gibble.
He took his (5th!) wife's last name???

For the 'old coots' in my readership:

Monday, June 27, 2011

God Bless America, Please

My Crazy Parents - 6 - More Trash Mismanagement

Behold my parents' fireplace:

That's great that they burn their lottery ticket stubs and junk mail - and it's oh so *green*. What terrific stewards of Father Earth they are!

Except that it's mid-June and living in Massachusetts they won't use the fireplace (for fire!) for another six months.

Ain't nothing like you and your guests staring at RUBBISH in the hearth all day long, every day...for six months!

My crazy parents, they're always thinking...

See also:

My Crazy Parents - 5 - Our Lady Of Blessed Vindictiveness

My Crazy Parents - 4 - The Cluttered Fridge

My Crazy Parents - 3 - Russian Gangsters

My Crazy Parents - 2 - Bend Over

My Crazy Parents - 1 - Tiny Pics

Alternative Vacation Idea

Apparently now you can *vacation* on a farm. See -

My first wife always complains about my alternative vacation ideas: camping (trailer!) in Maine, homeschool convention in Ohio, canoe trip/camping on Delaware River, etc.

Though crashing at a farm sounds like fun to me - and the kids would surely love it - I have a feeling that if my wife wakes up to the smell of steamy manure and sunrise roosters she might stop bluffing and finally divorce me!

BTW, I don't think it's necessarily cheap. The couple I looked at are far from youth hostel rates at $100+ per night.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chess iPad App

This iPad *app* - Solitaire Chess - is terrific. There's a free-trial version and then a $3(?) upgrade for more puzzles.

Technically you don't have to know the full rules of chess in order to play - and they say it might even serve as a good introduction to the game. I am not convinced about the latter but some newbie should test the assertion.

The idea is to clear the board of all but one piece with the only stipulation that you must take a piece off with each move.

You watch, this thing is going to take off. And it reminds me of how Bananagrams ingeniously improved upon Scrabble.

I'd been trying to buy acquire this game for my Droid phone but was disappointed and frustrated to learn it is only available for iMorons (i.e iPhone and iPad) even still, 6-7 months after launch.

You can buy the game the non-PC version too - Solitaire Chess.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Amazon - A New Policy Of UNDERDELIVERING?

I ordered that stuff from Amazon on June 14th and chose *Free Super Saver Shipping* which promised arrival within *5-8 business days*.

Well yesterday was the 8th (or arguably the 9th) business day since they took my money and as you can see they haven't even shipped the items yet.

If they arrive on Monday Amazon can say, "They were only a day or two late....circumstances beyond our control."

But I've been ordering from them for years and it used to be that Free Super Saver Shipping would still deliver very, very fast - within 3-5 NON-BUSINESS days at worst.

And the last several times I've ordered I noticed that delivery times were getting longer and longer.

Call me a cynic but I bet Amazon is intentionally holding orders longer so that people will pay up for expedited shipping.

It'd be like if you went into a restaurant and were the only ones there and the staff decides to make you wait for service so you aren't conditioned to think this normally busy restaurant isn't so fast. Or something like that...

Meanwhile, I only went to eat there because it was empty in the first place.

These Kumon books are the exact same price at Barnes & Noble. Now I might not order them from Amazon the next time around - not if I'm going to lose 2 weeks waiting!

Too Bad Not To Share!

Drunk? Stupid?


To me it looked like they thought someone else was going to pull into their spot so they gunned it, incompetently.

Nice *walkaway* too!

Too Good Not To Share

Friday, June 24, 2011

It Just Makes The Rest Of Us Men - LOOK BAD

This video is blowing up on YouTube over the past month. Read the description first:

My girlfriend Ginny gets taken to the movie theater to see "Fast Five". After a preview for the Hangover 2, a trailer for a movie comes on. A trailer I made of her father and I where I ask her father for her hand in marriage. After he gives me permission, I race off to the theater she is at to ask her to marry me.

What she doesn't know is our familiy and friends are in the theater with her watching the whole thing, along with about 100 strangers ;-)

My wife watched that last night on her iPad (Facebook link from commiserating broads, of course) and not long after complained to me that she hadn't been bought flowers in a while and was due!

WTBleep....her birthday is 4 weeks away.

It's not *the movies* this clip is making jealous...

Book Rec - A Whole New Mind

I don't know exactly why I reserved this book - A Whole New Mind - at my library and read the whole thing. Perhaps the 4.5 stars on Amazon lead me astray.

The one is very, very weak. Really it's just *creative people* propaganda. The author asserts that artists and designers are the smartest, most important people on the planet. So a bunch of starving artists and iMoron types ran out, bought the book, swallowed the self-aggrandizing pabulum, and rated it highly on Amazon.

Don't get me wrong, the guy's thesis isn't rubbish. It's just that his argumentation is lacking; and there are just so many better self-help, self-redefinition books out there.

Note it is very rare for me to end up reading garbage. My vetting process and my discerning eye generally serve me well.

Morons Screaming For Sterilization?

The first 40 seconds....well you just listen for yourselves:

This hairless mandrill has the most watched video on YouTube in Baby with an astounding 571 MILLION VIEWS.

Though it looks like he has more *haters* than swooners!

"...The areas around the genitals and the anus are multi-colored, being colored red, pink, blue, scarlet, and purple."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Self-Naming Morons

Consider the irony of the guy who started the biggest brawl in NBA history promoting *world peace*! (Looks like the NBA has had YouTube pull all of the clips of it. David Stern = FASCIST!)

Changing one's name is always an interesting development. I mean think about it - you can change your body, your friends, your underwear, your husband (Heather!)but for the most part you are stuck with your inlaws, your crazy parents, and your given name.

My sister legally changed her name to a nickname of her baptized one.

And I knew a kid from high school, an Asian kid, who curiously renamed himself *Eric* (like the clown!) before starting his college years at Harvard.

WhyTF Eric???

While we're on the subject....I chose CaptiousNut in about 10 minutes some six years ago when I first started this blog. I always considered myself *captious* - or at least I did after I first happened upon that obscure word when studying for the SAT. And Nut is certainly self-explanatory.

I haven't decided what to call myself on my new website yet. My real name?  And pass up such a great opportunity?  Don't be ridiculous.

BUT I have decided to go with my affectionate South Philly jabroni nickname - which needn't be revealed in this space - for my stand-up comedy aspirations.  That name has stuck so well that most of the 'old coots' down there haven't a clue what my real name is!

Behold, Eric The Clown:

Food P*rn For The Ladies

I can't believe I'm posting this but it's too funny and surprisingly enlightening. It a VHS series from the 80s called *cooking with beefcake* or something:

Though I am unsettled and deeply offended by this rank objectification of men!

Think about it - in the alternate reality of a matriarchal society....young males might be starving themselves, making themselves up, getting surgically enhanced buttocks, and acting frivolously on account of mass media images like this.

In all seriousness, the rarity of messages like this can actually communicate to men the pressures concerned mothers and their immature, impressionable daughters are up against.

Warning - I have spyware in my blog that will notify me as to how many times individual readers watch this clip!

A Little Bit Funny

Since I was talking about the infinitely mock-able organic crowd earlier today:

Pay my 80 bucks for 6 things and get the heck out...


Childish Organic Propaganda

Though I have to admit this $hit is scary - just as bad as watching how the *sausage is made*...

They say that *farmers won't eat their own potatoes* on account of that one chemical the little girl talks about.

I Googled for that just now and found this, along the same lines:

I'm sure these crunchy food wackos are right. I did read that book after all.

But still I can't turn the corner and bring myself to start worrying about everything I eat AND start anteing up for more expensive food.

Instead I eat the processed crap and just focus on mental health, personal fitness, and efficient defecation.

The Prince Fails An Important Test

So I'm, most reluctantly, at the doctor's office the other day. The kids NEED physicals in order to go to camp.

But I was disheartened to learn that my son is blind as a bat.

He failed the eye chart from 20 feet miserably. I mean he got stuck on the second or third row for crying out loud. I know that I can't see worth crap and even I could clearly make out most of the chart without my glasses (which I stubbornly only wear when driving). So the poor kid must be really blind.

The doctor asked if he was having trouble in school. Haha, he most certainly is not! He doesn't go to *school*. What do you mean?

"He might have(!) been having problems seeing the blackboard," she said.

Oh, I guess that makes sense as a normal indicator anyway.  I myself can't read the menus at fast food restaurants until I'm right up at the front of the counter.

Now I think I have to take him to an eye doctor to *rule out astigmatism* or something.

And my wife and I can't help but think all his reading, often in poor light, might be responsible for this development - even if it isn't. The lighting in our house, no matter how many lamps we add, just isn't that good. Really those tall halogen lights are the only ones that really work but I'm too afraid to put them in the kids rooms - given how big of a fire hazard they are.

Of course in the larger scheme of things *glasses* hardly constitute a health disaster but still...

See also - The Prince Can't.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Comedic Genius Too?

Prince - Dad, what's 40 feet long and smells like pee?

CaptiousDad - I don't know.

Prince - The line dance at the old folks home!

Not bad, eh?

Now I don't allow him to read my blog due to adult content, adult situations, adult language, and occasional SSC.

But one day he will learn the term 'old coot' and start using it in proper context. When that happens I'll probably get into real trouble with the humorless set in my extended family.

Funny 'Old Coot' Malaproprism

So I overhear this 'old coot' at the driving range yesterday talking about 22 year old US Open champion Rory McIlroy:

OldCoot - Tiger who???

Cracking himself up...

OldCoot - He never should have got married!


OldCoot - He had all these wild oats he needed to ho(e)?

I think, had he known the correct idiom, he meant to say *oats he needed to SOW*!

Not so much why oats, as why wild oats. The saying is referring to a European grass species with the formal name Avena fatua, which has for centuries in English been called wild oats. Some botanists think it’s the wild original of cultivated oats. Farmers have since ancient times hated it because it’s a weed that’s useless as a cereal crop, but its seeds have always been difficult to separate from those of useful cereals and so tended to survive and multiply from year to year. The only way to remove it was to tramp the fields and hand-weed it. Even today it’s still a problem, despite modern seed cleaning and selective weedkillers.

So sowing wild oats was the archetypal useless occupation, indeed worse than useless. It’s not surprising that the phrase sowing wild oats was applied figuratively to young men who frittered away their time in stupid or idle pastimes. But there’s a strong sexual association here, too, because the phrase was often applied, in a more or less indulgent way, and always to young men, to what was politely referred to as youthful dissipation. The associations between male sexual activity and sowing seed are obvious enough.

The saying is first recorded in English in 1542, in a tract by the Norfolk Protestant clergyman Thomas Becon, though I’m told that a related phrase appears in the works of the Roman author Plautus. It’s common in older English literature, no doubt because the image struck a chord in a society that was still mainly agrarian. Here’s a typical example, from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, of 1869: "Boys will be boys, young men must sow their wild oats, and women must not expect miracles".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knocking Untried Stuff

I can't tell y'all how many times I've criticized Sergio Garcia's pronounced knee bend. You can't see it that well in this pic but it's the best I could find. The frustrated (most top-5s without a major?) Spaniard really bends his knees at address - probably more than any pro that I can think of off the top of my head.

But guess what - today I tried hitting balls with a severe, Sergio-like knee bend and I enjoyed fantastic results. And now I feel like a total Moron for deprecating Garcia's idiosyncrasy without trying it first!

As I get older, wiser, and a tad better at golf I'm realizing that the key to improvement in golf is probably more prolific *experimentation* than it is prolific *ball beating*.

Note I'm going to continue my *golf* posts in this space from now on. That other blog has been put out to pasture for the meantime.

Feeding A Book Monster

Today flew by and I didn't really *assign* my son much to do other than a half page of Kumon's Grade 6 Word Problems that we had to redo from yesterday.

The 6.58 year old Prince got up this morning and spent 1.5 hours on; we played a game of chess; and the next thing you know, after a Cub Scout party from 4pm-7pm, the day was over.

I guess I was ignoring him while I went about my boring daily business: managing the trash, making beds, serving meals, doing dishes, sifting through piles of email, etc. Anyways he read that book today - 39 Clues, Book 10: Into the Gauntlet.

Big deal, right?

Well it has 327 pages!

Furthermore, he had to finish up Book 9 first - which had 30-40 pages remaining early this morning.

The reading has gotten a little out of control lately. I walk through the house tripping over library books all day long. I pick them up and ask him if he's read them....invariably it's "Yes". Then I take them downstairs and set them next to his computer so he can add them to his *Books Read* Google Doc which I copy-and-paste into the paperwork I submit to the school district.

I just hope I can get him to graduate from prolific reader to prolific writer...

See also:

Homeschooling - Enabling Concentrated Study

Prince C-Nut - Book Devourer

Living In New York - One Year Review

This is the private neighborhood beach which is only a reachable par-5 away from our house:

Recall last May we were essentially evicted by our deadbeat, scumbag landlord from the house we were renting on Boston's beautiful South Shore.

And we, for a variety of reasons, decided to move to Long Island - into the house my wife grew up in AND co-habitate with her mother, my MIL.

Well the house is big (3,000 sq ft?) with a finished basement and a huge yard - BUT it's not that big!

My MIL moved out in January (while we were in Florida) to a retirement community. She needed her own space - and I'll leave it at that.

The reasons we moved here were mostly financial, i.e. the house. But also my wife got a raise to be transferred into this high rent district. On top of that I can potentially work (in the conventional sense) in NY whereas the economic opportunities were relatively very slim in Boston.

The other main reason for moving, one that I would never have seen coming a few years ago, is that New York is a much better place to homeschool. There's simply so much more going on; more people; more museums; and more opportunity to NOT STAND OUT. New Yorkers are busy as heck, moving in a million directions at once and don't give a hoot about this highly offensive thing we do in educating our own.

Lesser, but not to be minimized, reasons for moving include food and the NYC 4am *last call*!

So far, overall, everything has worked out great and almost just as I had imagined. We're a little busier than I prefer but otherwise at least three-quarters of the family are very happy here. My wife? Well her commute (all the way downtown, next to WTC) sucks and she also walked into a thoroughly incompetent department at work. Things are looking better though. She might start working out of mid-town; she cleaned out her staff - hiring her own people; and I'm on her to figure out, in 4-Hour Workweek fashion, how to squeeze more *working from home* days in.

If you had told me, not even 2 years ago, that I would move to Long Island and love it....I would have thought you were nuts. I hated this place: too much traffic; too many go-go minivan moms; horrible golfing options; etc.

But once you take the harried school grind out of the equation....the opportunities and sheer beauty of New York come to fore.

Shaking It Up

Tim Ferriss got me on that early morning, high protein diet. Mostly I've been doing 3 eggs and a pile of refried beans. Recall he asserts that you need 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking to jump-start your metabolic processes - that is if you want to shed fat and build muscle.

But after 6 months of this diet I'm really SICK OF EGGS.

For now I'm going with the protein shakes for a little while.

I need figure out if it's more efficient (time & money!) to buy the pre-mixed liquid ones or the powder and make my own...

The pre-mixed liquid shakes are close to $2 each and they advertise *25 grams* of protein. So I'll be supplementing with a small bowl of beans.

I've been told by many people that the protein shakes will make me *fart my brains out*. But so far my firepower hasn't changed a bit...

See also - 4-Hour Body Chronicles - Shrinkage?.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'd Pardon This Guy

If you read the article you'll learn that even *minus 2 mutts*....that this person has another 4 dogs!

Ain't nothing like living next to SIX BLEEPIN' BARKING DOGS!

Sounds like an animal collector that probably had 10 cats too...

Google is helpful in these matters:

Though I'm thinking it's probably better to make the animals/evidence *disappear* than to leave a trail of meatball clues.

You know in the old days you never had to pay lawyers and endure 12 months of court to kick out a delinquent tenant. You used to just pay a couple of large Italian guys $500 to go over and throw the bums out.

I'm thinking that this meatball murderer might have been better off hiring some Chinese guy to take care of his problem...

A Lesson For Moronic School Voucher Advocates

I happened to glance at my parents' local rag - The Worcester Telegram (owned by NYT!) - last weekend.

Apparently some new *charter school* in town had a disastrous start. In fact after much infighting and a good number of serious complaints they ended up voting out the school's founder after just the first year!

This all makes good copy PLUS it's fodder for the cadre of *institutional* charter school critics.

I mean not only are charter schools anti-union....they are also NEW. Novel ideas (a new Fenway Park?) don't stand a chance in ultra-conservative, illiberal Massachusetts.

One buffoon from the Telegram waxed curious about this particular failure:

On paper, the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School, whose mission is to "create value in the lives of students and others through high-standards academic learning," seems to represent great promise for the present and future of public education.

The school’s board of trustees is ethnically diverse, with white, black, Latino and Asian members.
Okay. Someone tell me WTBleep an *ethnically diverse* board has to do with optimal academic education?

So you see, these edu-innovations are still hamstrung by old, failed thinking.

There was a great moment in the Mass 3-way gubernatorial debate a couple of years ago when complete Moron Christy Mihos started trashing the $hit out of *charter schools* and extolling public schools. Opponent Kerry Healey delivered a staggering retort when she interrupted him, "Christy, CHRISTY....CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!". The audience erupted in applause.

Of course they will both be right eventually. Charter schools will fail just like forced busing, *magnet schools*, and every other government edu-innovation (oxymoron!).

Quite frankly, the *libertarian* and Republican voucher crowd drive me NUTS. There's absolutely no way you can tinker with the system and de-politicize it. They'll make laws that vouchers can only be spent at schools that are unionized; that have *diverse* staffs; that offer grotesquely expensive *special ed*; etc. I don't know. But whatever they do they'll most certainly screw it up royally as they are with some charter schools these days. We already, for all intents and purposes, have a voucher system for colleges and that has done nothing to eliminate poor schools/majors, rein in costs, or de-politicize admission.

Vouchers are what I'd call a typical Republican/conservative issue. It would never work in practice but that's not the point. The point is for it to serve as an issue that will contrast constituents from their only other political opponent. A pro-kids and anti-union marketing package - what could be better!

Our educational problems run deep and are structural. Simply smacking down unions a bit won't do anything other than, perhaps, defund the Republicans' opposition a bit.

Scumbag Duffers


This reminded me of an excerpt from that great book on the first Depression I read 1.5 years ago:

At the end of November, Jackson accompanied the president on a fishing trip. Hopkins and Ickes - who at times had feuded bitterly - were also aboard the Potomac, sharing a cabin. The four prepared political strategy: specifically, an assault on the wealthy. Roosevelt caught a large mackerel early on, but it was Jackson who had the biggest catch of the trip, a barracuda of more than twenty-five pounds. If any of them considered the incongruity of planning a class war on a yacht, they did not mention it. (p345)

Are these guys public servants?

Or royalty?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From Hero To 'Old Coot'

I just saw that magazine cover on my parents' *mountain* of mail.

How old are we getting? I mean it wasn't that long ago, seemingly, that Harrison Ford was a studly hero.

I just read his Wiki and learned that he landed the Han Solo role by virtue of being George Lucas's carpenter.

And that he never would have been Indiana Jones had not Tom Selleck Moronically declined the role.

See also - You Know You're Old When...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Void Filled

I just snagged a 60 lb kettlebell. At $50 and a bit of an antique it wasn't as good of a deal as that last one...

But still it plugged the gap.

Now altogether I have 30, 45, 60, and 88 pound kettlebells.

Surprisingly, when I first picked this up from the dude's garage it felt light. But it's definitely 60 pounds because I threw it on his scale. I've gotten a whole lot stronger since starting with these weights in late December - and all with very little time and effort invested. So again I'd encourage anyone who has never messed with weights to at least give it a shot.

Currently I'm on the Craigslist prowl for a weight bench and some weights. I've never bench pressed in my life and am looking forward to giving it a shot.

Individual results may vary...

Other kettlebell posts:

Book Summary - The 4-Hour Body

Kettlebell Chronicles - Pavel

Kettlebell Score

Avuncular Impropriety

Are you a baby butt-pincher?

I never was.

But my inlaw BILs are - all three of them.

My daughter's 5 now and I think it's wholly inappropriate for them to be grabbing the Princess' little bum. In fact my blood boils at the mere thought of this - and I might be prone to some f-bombs and threats should I witness it again.

I mean, what would they think if I was grabbing their 8, 12, 17, and 20 year old daughters' rumps? I myself don't think it's EVER appropriate for a man to revel in the butt of another man's child. At the very least, there's definitely a cut-off point, an age when this activity must cease. But as a male WITH A CLUE I myself have never and would never even touch ANY other child in almost any fashion.

Men are simply not to be trusted in these matters. It's an all-risk, zero-reward situation. They can admire....without touching..

In fact, every once in a while parents, *moms*, will leave their daughter at my house for playdates with my daughter. But honestly, I would never leave my young kids at a house, alone, with a male. I wouldn't leave my kids with me! So I try to arrange this stuff only on days when my wife is home - AND I'm sure to advertise her presence.

What kills me is the sheer stupidity of these men. Only a complete Moron would open themselves up to *accusation*.

I don't really know what my plan should be. I could be pre-emptive and tell them all to stop. But then when they inevitably do it again due to a pronounced lack of self-control, I might go even more ape-$hit at the defiance.

Running Insanity?

I just read - Ultramarathon Man: Confessions Of An All-Night Runner - and did so in marathon-like fashion. It only took me two sittings to dash through all 279 pages.

The book is about some Californian whack-job who runs marathons on a daily basis. In fact he's actually run over 200 miles straight without stopping!

Do check out this one even if you, like me, don't even like DRIVING 26.2 miles; your library should have it.

I found it not only eye-opening, but very inspirational as well. It reminded me of that suicidal mountain climber I read about not long ago.

Obviously this guy is no 125 featherweight either. He's a chiseled gladiator and bears a definite resemblance to...

The guy's freakin' resting heart rate is in the 30s!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Fastest Ben Crane Has Ever Moved

With the US Open starting today, pro-golfers are on the frontpage:

I, myself, CANNOT believe they actually did that!

Phil Mickelson might very well win this year because I can't watch the event. I'll be driving to and from Massachusetts with my kids to see my sister and her brood.

Mickelson has won three majors in his career - probably the only three in the past 15 years that I did not watch. Although a huge fan....I'm definitely not his good luck charm.

That video above has been live for only 3 days and has 500k hits.

Buying An eReader

Last week I updated my family's coefficient of technology by buying my first wife an iPad 2.

And just the other day I finally ordered a Kindle for us. Well that's mostly for me and the kids since my wife has the iPad and I won't let my clumsy kids near it.

It just hit my price point - $114 to buy the ad-riddled Wi-Fi model.

Essentially they give you $25 off the price if you agree to suffer ads ("promotions"!) on the screensaver.

I have no intention of *buying* any ebooks; I hope to take advantage of the old no-longer-copyrighted ones that can be accessed for free. See - Project Gutenberg. Here on Long Island we enjoy, and capitalize on, an enormous well-funded library network. Any book I need I simply order online and the deliver it promptly to my local branch.

Few humans collectively read more books than my son and I. So if anyone can use a *reader* it's the homeschooling Nut family.

The device should be here any day - I'll let y'all know how it goes.

And if any of y'all are going to buy one....please use my links to do so. The Prince jumps very high whenever he gets Amazon commissions. Thanks again to those of you who've been doing so.

I'd Rather They Were Stiffing Lawyers...

So I randomly played golf with a Long Island accountant a couple of weeks ago...

He bemoaned that 47% of his customers' bills this year were unpaid.

CaptiousNut - So who's not paying you? Small businesses or individuals?

Accountant - It's small businesses, individuals, celebrities, AND local governments.

Local governments? He said that he had a few *school districts* who were problematic.

As I already told y'all - the New York economy is about to fall off a cliff.

It could actualize fast too, say in a 1,500 point stock market drubbing.

When Japanese Tourists Blog...

You know some of you clowns have complained that I was posting too many pics and too many videos making my pages load too slowly...


I'll tell you what, the popular Pioneer Woman's homeschool blog is far worse. I can't even scroll through the posts with the Page Down key they are so riddled with pictures, many of which are redundant. Check out this recent post from there...

I counted 40 freakin' images!

How about considering a *slideshow* instead???

Wednesday, June 15, 2011