Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Morning Musings, 02-10-13

As usual, everyone else in the house is asleep except for me and a couple of the cats. In their defense they worked late last night (one of them until the 5 AM hour) so I can understand why they're all nocturnal these days (both the people family members as well as the kitties). I'm working on some book reviews that I should have finished days or even weeks ago, while also taking breaks to scan the news in the world of politics and sports. I won't comment much on the news today, except to say that I'm looking forward to our newly re-elected President's (how I truly enjoy writing those words :) State of the Union Speech set for this Tuesday. I hope and pray he continues to fight off right wing attempts to slash social programs, but we'll see. I know too much history to ever be sanguine that the conservatives in congress won't continue to try to return us to the 1920's or the 1870's or even the 1850's in terms of slashing individual rights and government protections. Still, "hope springs eternal in the human breast" as our old friend Alexander Pope wrote.
On the sports side, I'm doing what I usually do this year when football season is over and track and field hasn't really started in earnest, and I'm trying to catch up on the basketball scene. I assume that the NBA is going as usual with the Lakers dominating and the Clippers in the cellar. Wait...say what? You say the Clippers are currently 35-17 while the Lakers are under .500 with a 24-27 record? Has Jack Nicholson had a nervous breakdown?  Unbelievable.  Well, that's ok, I'm sure in the college ranks that Kentucky is still near the top of the rankings.  Hmm...? They're not ranked in the top 25??? Still, they are 17-6, good for anyone else, an off year for them or Duke.  Guess I'll have to start actually watching some games and paying attention to the news, as March Madness looms. On the high school level I'll try to sneak in a wrestling match maybe, as hopefully the Ga Public Broadcast system will televise the state championships here soon.
For a list of what I'm currently reading please go check out my literary / book blog Coach's Reviews   . Current TV shows that I'm obsessed with include Parks and Recreation, The Middle, Modern Family, The Neighbors and Suburgatory. I was afraid the later might have jumped the shark with the"Black Thai" episode, wherein I just couldn't get into the hip hop dance off between the characters, but I though the series came back on solid ground with "Body Talk." On a sadder note, I was disappointed to see Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 cancelled. I was really wanting to see what might happen between June (Dreama Walker) and Mark (Eric Andre)'s characters. Bummer.
On a more highbrow note, my inner Anglophile wants to watch Downton Abbey, if only to see Hogfather's Michelle Dockery again, but I'm just not in the mood for drama these days.  Too much of it in the news in real life and in my history books, so I guess I'll just have to watch some DVD's of Jeeves and Wooster and perhaps the BBC adaptation of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. Perhaps my inner Anglophile will be satisfied with that for the time being...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Ramblings 07-29-12

Not a bad first few days of work, though there's a lot to do (as usual) before teachers and students arrive in the next few days.  I fully expect to be bombarded with parent requests for assistance and information starting this upcoming week, so I'm mentally trying to approach things in such a way as to be able to do that efficiently while still getting the prep work done for two school programs (I had a full time job with one school last year, now I've been given a second school to take care of, oh, well - life is always interesting for those of us in education).

Finished Lynne Olson's "Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England" yesterday.  The review is up at Goodreads, and of course over at my book review blog "Coach's Reviews" as well.  Presently reading "The Shoppe of Spells", a paranormal fiction fantasy romance by local (Coweta county, Ga.) author and friend Shanon Grey.  I'm enjoying quite a bit.  Shanon is pretty good at turning a deft phrase for a debut novelist.  I'll pen a brief review hopefully by the end of the week, depending on how much time I can devote to my reading when I'm home in the evenings this upcoming week.  As I say, I expect my school work dance card to be full, so I may have some days I get in pretty late.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I usually have at least one fiction and one non-fiction book going at a time (and usually way more than one of each) but I'm trying to stay focused on only one of each for the time being.  Since I've finished "Troublesome Young Men" as noted above, I'm staying with my English history/Churchill kick I'm on and am also re-reading (for the 3rd time if memory serves" William Manchester's "The Last Lion: Visions of Glory 1874-1932" which is the first volume of his life of Winston Churchill.  The 2nd volume "The Last Lion, Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone 1932-1940" came out in 1988.  Manchester died before he could complete the 3rd volume of the biography, but it has recently been completed by Paul Reid and should come out in November, 2012.  It will definitely be on my Christmas wish list.

Took the youngest (the animal whisperer) to her job at the local Waffle House eatery this morning.  The sainted spouse has a much deserved day off, and the vegetarian moralist has promised to help out around the house today, if he can tear himself away from writing his dystopian nihilistic fiction and from playing Skyrim.  We'll see...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to School Again

Well, I officially went back to work today.  We had a meeting of all the school counselors to go over changes in registration, curriculum and other school related matters today.  I started the morning kind of "bummed out" because budget cuts caused us to lose one of our counselors at my school, but I cheered up fairly quickly once I began to see my colleagues coming in to the meeting.  I really like and respect most of the folks I work with both at my own building and county wide, so it was uplifting to see a lot of them for the first time since the end of last school year (only a few weeks back I know, but it still seems like it's been a while when we return from summer break, even as short as it is.)  I couldn't get this song out of my head much of the day    "Back to School Again"

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this upcoming year, even though it seems that as usual, there are a great number of changes, most of which will require major work on mine and my colleagues parts to be implemented before the students return on August 13, but more on that later.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sunday Visions, July 1, 2012

Interesting week, to say the least. The Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the Health Care law and the resultant whining of just about everybody on the right (all of whom had been sanctimoniously telling everybody how they just "knew" it was unconstitutional) lead to one of my happiest joyful days in a long long time. Seriously, my sense of "schadenfreude" (which I admit is one of my major sins) had me going around the house singing both "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" and also the "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" song of the cartoon characters Ren and Stimpy.  As I admit, much of the joy was totally in seeing such insufferable  know-it-alls go through major episodes of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.  My joy is tempered of course, because I know from a lifetime of observation and reading of history that the fight between those who view healthcare as a right (persons like myself) and those who view it as being only deserved by those who are wealthy enough to purchase it will go on.  I firmly predict that the fight will indeed, go on long after I'm gone, but it still was nice to savor a brief victory this week.

Speaking of savoring victory, many young athletes were doing just that this week in Eugene, Oregon at the US Olympic Trials for the Track and Field events.  All those who competed at the OT are deserving of praise in my eyes, but I though a few deserved a definite mention on my part.  Galen Rupp placed first in both the 10,000 meters and the 5,000 meters races, and in the latter race he actually broke the longstanding (since 1972) Olympic Trials Record of my hero, the late Steve Prefontaine.  Congratulations Galen!  Do us proud in London in a few weeks!
 Decathlete Ashton Eaton set a World Record in his event.  Go Ashton!
 Hyleas Fountain won the women's Heptathlon after having failed to finish in last years World Championships.  Best of luck to her as well!  One of the things I love about the sport of Track and Field is that there are always stories of new athletes to cheer for and older ones giving it their best in one more shot.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Musings: April 15, 2012

Took the youngest to her job this morning.  Since then I've been playing around surfing "that their interweb" looking at random news items.  Some items of note, Alex Karras ("Mongo" to Blazing Saddles fans) former all time great Detroit Lions player has joined a lawsuit being brought by a group of former NFL players agains the league, claiming that the league didn't do enough to protect them against head injuries. Good for him, and good luck with the retired players in their suit.  Here's a link:;_ylt=A2KJ3CSN7YpPemgA2ABNbK5_;_ylu=X3oDMTBmMHFub2M1BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2FjNA--
Also listening to some Sunday morning music, among those I've sent to my Facebook page this morning, this old favorite "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum, seemed to strike a chord:

Hope everyone has a good week.  Good luck to all the children in Georgia taking the CRCT test this week.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)

What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012): pOver the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.” Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false [...]/p

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Will He or Won't He? And other questions of note...

Herman Cain makes his big announcement today, regarding whether or not he plans to stay in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.  My guess is that he'll stay in.  Both he and most of his followers tend to ignore reality as much as possible.  It's almost a badge of honor for them to ignore any facts they don't care for. guess is that the stays in for now.  I'm further guessing that Cain's campaign is still basically toast...but that he'll string this out for as long as possible.  Always remember T. S. Eliot's comment on endings:
Not with a bang, but a whimper.

In a much more important question, of the day.  LSU or the University of Georgia?   I'm picking LSU, though I think the Georgia boys will at least make things respectable for about 3 quarters.  If there's going to be an upset today, I think it will be Oklahoma over Oklahoma State.   Which will of course make all the SEC die-hard fans who want to see a LSU vs. Alabama re-match happy. 
Check back in a few hours...

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I was going to address my philosophy regarding leadership and education on the blog and my thoughts on education and heroism on the Coach's Reviews blog, but for now I'm simply putting up the great Nina Simone on both...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summertime Blues 07-11-2011

Summertime Blues 07-11-2011

Summer vacation update: Monday, July 11, 2011. After waking up at 4:30 am and not being able to go back to sleep, I went to the dentist this morning for an 8:00 am appointment to have two teeth pulled. On the way home I turn on the radio to a local news channel and hear that hot weather will continue, with predictions of close to 100 degrees, switching to a sports talk station, one of the topics being discussed is the torture that Jaycee Dugard went through during her kidnapping ordeal. When I get home I read on the net stories about the Atlanta Public School test cheating scandal, the continuing glut of folks losing their homes to foreclosures, the stalemated negotiations between the two political parties over the raising of the debt limit, and updates on the NFL and NBA lock outs. If anyone wonders why I sometimes go off and read fantasy and pulp era science fiction, the preceding should give a big clue.

In a word, escapism. At least in the Pulps, the good guys Sometimes win. I mean, after all Robert E. Howard’s “Conan” sometimes wins out and once or twice gets the girl, ditto with Dashiell Hammett’s “Continental Op” and Edgar Rice Burrough’s “John Carter.” We’ll kind of forget those stories where H. P. Lovecraft’s monsters stalk human kind or Clark Ashton Smith’s tales of a dying world where necromancers keep even the deceased from getting to take a fifteen minute break or an afternoon nap. Or maybe I can read those as well. It still won’t be depressing like the daily news.

Yep, I think I’ll go read some of that “good old stuff” as John D. MacDonald called it and wait for my pain medicine to kick in….

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ok, time to change the background.Or The Eyes no longer have it...

I guess the eyes are starting to go.  I used to think the really dark background was cool and gothic looking.  Now all I know is that I have a hard time reading it on other folk's blogs and mine as well.  What's next? Large print books (I've already checked a few out from the library when that was all that was available, will I soon be able to only check those out??!!?? Are there any large print H. P. Lovecraft books out there????
And we won't even start to talk about toothaches and knees and shoulder joints here lately.
My daddy warned me this would happen...