Whoa.. dude.

Life’s been hectic, and blogging is going to get really, really light. I might have to hire a guest blogger, that’s how light it’s probably going to get.

Just to keep you occupied until things get rolling again, here’s what’s been going on:

1. Had the roof repaired and sprayed with weird chemical that stops it from catching fire because someone had the bright idea that roofs should be made out of wood in our neighborhood…

2. Had the deck supports re-done because the previous homeowner decided that the ones that were put up on the deck originally weren’t good enough. So he decided to put three sets in in the 8 years that he owned the house.  When the deck contractor walked out and looked at the supports from the underside, he shook his head and said “Oh boy.”  That’s never a good sign.  The good news is, now that he’s fixed the deck, it’s never going to shift again.… [Read More]

Crocodile Hunter Killed by Stingray

I can’t believe it. You always see guys like Steve Irwin on TV handling these dangerous animals and nothing ever happens to them. I’ve always chalked it up to years of experience working with wildlife, but who knew that one of them would go out like this?

A stingray punctured Irwin’s heart with its barbed tail, their tail spines are loaded with venom. His death was instantaneous. I suppose it just goes to show that we really do not know enough about sea life to muck about with it carelessly.

I do have to say one thing that I find to be very sad. This article about a great zoologist’s passing has misused the word “poison”. A note to everyone: poison is ingested, venom is injected. Irwin would have likely corrected the author himself if he were able.

Rest in peace Crocodile Hunter. My children and I spent many wonderful evenings in front of animal planet learning about animals with you.… [Read More]

Antique Technology Still the Norm in Public Schools?

At the end of the school year last year, my son’s history teacher handed him his floppy disk from school and told him that his paper, that he had to have finished two days later, was on it and should be taken home so that he could finish it.

My son came home and handed me the floppy disk and I looked at it, then handed it back. He said, “No, mom my homework’s on there.” I looked at the floppy and looked at my 3 year old laptop, the oldest windows machine in the house, and pointed out to my son that it does not have a floppy drive. In fact, we do not have a single windows machine in the house that has a floppy drive because computers simply do not ship with them anymore. I handed him my thumb drive and told him to ask his teacher to put the file on there for him, and to work on what he could remember while he was at home that night.… [Read More]

Hikikomori

While perusing wikipedia and waiting for some paint to dry, I found this interesting article about a phenomenon in Japan that both fascinated me and scared me. This phenomenon is called “hikikomori” which basically means “acute social withdrawal” and is phenomenon (note that I am not using the words ‘mental disorder’ here) that is gaining some noteriety in Japan after a string of murders by school aged children (the oldest that I found was 17) that were committed in serial killer style.

What fascinated me about this, was how this disorder seemed to go hand in hand with the onset of the information age and the emphasis that the Japanese place on success in life, school and family. My research on this social issue revealed a connection between these two things that made perfect sense.

The children who are suffering from this disorder are often victims of extreme forms of bullying in schools and can’t cope with it or have failed to succeed in school in one form or another.… [Read More]

Low Test Scores + 5,000$ Higher Than Average Salary = Strike?

This is why I am not thrilled with teacher’s unions.

I understand that their health insurance rates have gone up, and they have not been offered a salary increase to cover the difference. That’s a raw deal, it happens every day in corporate America and maybe it’s a little unfair, but only a little. The thing is, these teachers already make higher salaries than average for the state of Indiana and they have some of the worst test scores in the state in their district.

If it were up to me, and there weren’t a union involved, I’d fire every teacher whose students have consistently low test scores in their subject area and offer salary increases to those teachers who have higher test scores and offer bonuses to those who choose to stay extra hours to do tutoring sessions with low scoring students after school. Everyone else, obviously needs to find a new career path.… [Read More]