Monday, March 29, 2010

Chopper notes

Having undergone a few different medical procerues, I'd have to say getting a tooth capped isn't the worst, but it's fairly brutal. Mostly because you have to stay invloved with it, biting this, letting go of that. No chance to pass out or go to your happy place. (You know, where the lesbian trucker is a sky nymph who's hopelessly in love with you.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

More than most Friday Random Tens will tell you

Namely, that I just put the header up on Friday night so that it would have Friday's date on it. I was too burnt on the actual Friday to fill it in. Good news is the cold medicine (which I didn't need during Winter proper) did its job and I feel much readier today.

1. D'Oyly Carte Opera Company--Now Give Three Cheers
2. The Beatles--Ticket to Ride
3. David Bowie--Always Crashing In the Same Car
4. Little Richard--Rip It Up
5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?
6. Radiohead--2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)
7. Bob Dylan--Temporary Like Achilles
8. Beck--Dark Star
9. Pink Martini--Ohayoo Ohio
10. The Squirrel Nut Zippers--Put a Lid On It

Thursday, March 25, 2010

World-beating joke

1st person: Knock-knock.
2nd person: Who's there?
1st person: Someone.
2nd person: Someone who?
1st person: Someone who's telling a knock-knock joke.

It's so true, it's trippy!


Health care reform that anywhere else in the developed world would be deemed eighty years past due? Apparently it's sufficient cause for murder attempts. This is too depressing for words.

While we refer to our form of government as a democracy, the truth is that motivation and intensity are more important than numbers.* Ergo, I really hope these people aren't the only ones who are energized.

*And money, which is all over the healthcare debate but is another subject.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy St. Joseph's Day Friday Random Ten

How Christ's stepfather came to be associated with canoli is an abiding mystery, at least to me. But I'm willing to roll with it.

1. Stan Kenton & His Orchestra--Peg o' My Heart
2. Les Baxter--Whatever Lola Wants
3. Yo La Tengo--By Two's
4. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--Chemistry Class
5. Radiohead--There There (The Boney King of Nowhere)
6. Isobel Campbell--Thursday's Child + bonus track
7. Grizzly Bear--Southern Point
8. Sly & the Family Stone--Dog
9. The Go-Go's--I'm the Only One
10. XTC--The Somnambulist

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Personal training disasters

This is an old bit from Beyond the Fringe with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook that definitely brought a smile to my face. Gotta say I've never seen anyone dressed like that at the gym.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Glengarry Glen Ross theory of education

This column by Diane Ravitch has been around for a couple of weeks. I'm a little embarassed to have only gotten around to it now, because Central Falls is right in my neck of the woods. It represents a kind of one size fits all approach that needs to stop, but probably won't. I can't see any presidential or gubernatorial candidate announcing "I'm going to let standards slide" even if that's what needs to happen.

Recently, the school committee of Central Falls, Rhode Island, voted to fire all 93 members of the staff in their low-performing high school. Central Falls is the smallest and poorest city in the state, and it has only one high school. Those fired included 74 classroom teachers, plus the school psychologist, guidance counselors, reading specialists, and administrators.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan thought this was wonderful; he said the members of the school committee were "showing courage and doing the right thing for kids." The kids apparently didn't agree because many of them came to the committee meeting to defend their teachers.

Yes, and I'm sure they'll be given the attention always afforded the dumb kids produced by worthless teachers.

In my social life, I know many teachers. I know hardly any who like No Child Left Behind and other reforms from the same era. One thing that gets overlooked in most of the press is that teachers are often--not always, but often--creative and innovative people. School boards almost never are. Committee-fying classroom standards results in a uniformity of approach that serves a projected average group of students. One that doesn't really exist.

So I repeat, standards need to slip. The teachers on the front lines need to have autonomy. A blank check and minimal testing for urban schools might result in chaos, but that's better than the order we're getting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back into the swing of Friday Random Ten

I could have used the header "Spring ahead into the Friday Random Ten" but I'm a little ashamed just thinking about it. And as always, peeved about losing that hour of sleep. Anyway, tuneage.

1. Brian Eno--Energy Fools the Magician
2. Gnarls Barkley--A Little Better
3. Sly & the Family Stone--Bad Risk
4. Taj Mahal--Chevrolet
5. Isobel Campbell--Yearning
6. Pink Martini--Sunday Table
7. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--Big Boys
8. The Rolling Stones--High and Dry
9. Roxy Music--Virginia Plain
10. Todd Rundgren--The Night the Carousel Burnt Down

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Doing my part

I for one am only too happy to help spread awareness of Superhero Tragedy Porn. From what I've heard about Blackest Night I have no doubt this phenomenon exists, and is a menace. A menace to the idea of actually reading comics for any reason but habit, at least. So if putting a name to it helps combat it, so be it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Panic! America!

From a leader at Liz Cheney's prom committee comes some alarming news.

Cheney declined to speak with POLITICO, but Keep America Safe Executive Director Aaron Harison said, “The American people have a right to know who in the Department of Justice is setting policy regarding detention of terrorists and related national security issues.”

“Did officials now appointed to make key decisions of national security previously take legal or policy positions at odds with their current responsibilities? Lawyers in private practice have the right to volunteer ‘pro bono’ to defend terrorists,” he added. “However, membership in the legal profession does not immunize a person from questions or criticism of their prior actions. The American people have the right to know if the same lawyers who have previously taken public positions at odds with U.S. policy are now in charge of that policy.”

So, if I'm following along correctly, there are people in government who used to say and do different stuff back when they had different jobs. Yes, I had to lie down as well

Friday, March 5, 2010

False-ish alarm

Huh. Staples must be more efficient than they thought. They had said the replacement part would get here within ten business days, so I assumed the wait would go into a second week. I actually got it yesterday, delivered to work. Yay for that, I guess.

Still no Friday Random Ten this week. Next week I'll have had a little more time to switch around the playlist. In compensation, here's a Nightmare Fuel-fueled video. I hadn't known what the lead singer looked like. Um, I hope she's not a smoker, because that hair is ready to go off.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where am I?

If posts are few and far between/nom-existent, the reason is not too sinister. The charger on my laptop died, after what I should have taken as a warning. This is both a minor problem and a major pain in the ass. Minor because I have an extended warranty (been burned before) so I should be getting a replacement sometime next week. Major because there's only about a half hour left on the battery. So comp use outside of work or a library (where I currently am) is pretty much out.

On the bright side it's a little easier getting decent sleep hours. And this book on vervet monkeys I'm reading is kind of esoteric, but I'm making progress in it.