Friday, December 29, 2006

Year End Grab Bag

A little bit of this... :-)

Maris College conducted a survey on new years resolutions. They found the top three resolutions were: 1) lose weight, 2) be a better person, and 3) quit smoking.

I want to know why no one wants to be a better smoker, or quit losing weight.

And a little bit of that... :-(

Were you ever enticed to enter a blog discussion, and ended up thinking you were baited into it? That happened to me this week. Someone used my name in their post, based on a comment I made elsewhere. I was led, er, felt, um, decided to (sheesh, do I have to use all those terms?)...I was compelled to comply. I didn't frame one of my points very well. Regardless, I was on the wrong side of the discussion overall. Subsequent posts turned into everyone else congratulating themselves on how right and good they were. No, literally, as in:

Person #1: "You are such a good writer; you can take over my blog whenever you like."
Person #2: "Oh, thanks, but really, you're the best."
Person #3: "Actually, I think you're both great. I am so happy to know both of you."
Person #1: "But, #3, you're not so bad yourself."

The love fest was sick.

Am I the only one who's been there?

And a little more of this... :-)

We had a great time with my brother (Paul) and his girlfriend (Brittany), who traveled from L.A. to celebrate Christmas with the family. They joined us at our Running in Circles gig on Dec. 23. Paul played drums on Hot Child in the City, and Brittany sang Just Like Heaven. They did a great job. We enjoyed their company at our house on Christmas Day, too.

Paul and Brit, thanks for coming.

And a little more of that... >:-(

Being loved does not guarantee you happiness; neither does being loving. So, stop chasing love in an effort to create your own happy place.

If you know someone is doing something wrong, and you refuse to do anything about it because they might not like/love/respect you any more, then you are being selfish.

Grow up. Stop making "love" about you. If you want to be truly loving, you will end up ticking off a person or two (or nine, or a hundred) in your lifetime. And they will despise you for least...maybe. Just ask your kids. Or your spouse. Or your employees.

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest, or I was going to explode. It relates to my aforementioned blog fiasco.

And some more of this... ;-)

Dear Santa, could you puh-leeeze send Cleveland one major league sports championship before I die? Would that really be too much to ask? I've been really...somewhat...okay, occasionally good for my life on this earth thus far.

And, no, claiming The Ohio State Buckeyes 2002 BCS win as a surrogate Cleveland championship doesn't cut it. Neither does indoor soccer.

Confounded in Cleveland

And, finally, a little more of that...

E A R !

Making Change, part 4

I know, I know, I promised to accelerate the pace of this series. So much for that, with the holidays, er, Christmas and all. Anway, here we go.

Homeschooling is not a go-it-alone venture. While the misconception of the isolated, eight-child family on the farm still resonates with some people, it is not true.

Somehow, somewhere, everyone who homeschools had to start somewhere. Where was it? You probably heard a few things about homeschooling, and decided you wanted to learn more. Why? Because you had a vested interest in making a change. Many of you indicated this in your comments to earlier posts.

What comes next? Validation! Getting enough solid info from enough solid sources to decide if homeschooling was for you and your children. (And, yes, it is as much about the parents as it is about the children.)

So, you went from being in a vacuum - no information at all - to having more info than you knew how to use. But you did it. You worked through it, because you had a vested interest in doing so. You developed your master plan for dominating the homeschool universe. You picked the schooling method, you picked the curriculum, you dreamed of being the perfect parent, balancing it all and still having time left over for your spouse, vacations to Disneyworld, and bowling on weekends.

But what happens if you should happen to stumble, or your child doesn't catch on?

After (or during) your quest for homeschooling methods and curriculum, you stumbled upon dozens and dozens of local homeschooling groups. What? Groups of people that thought like you did? And other groups full of people who thought nothing like you did? GET OUT OF HERE!!! You probably came to the conclusion that you could maintain your homeschooling independence, but still have the support of a like-minded group during the tough times.

How many groups did you or your friends learn about? How many did you/they evaluate? And, finally, how did you select a group, or two or three, with which to associate? Were they based on the same principles as your reasons for homeschooling, were they "fun", or for some other reason? Or, did you have to create a new group because there were none to fill the void?

Please post your comments for the fun & enjoyment of all.

Food for thought: how did you select the people you voted for in the last elections? Was it based on winnability, on finding like-minded people, on "fun", or on other reasons?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14 (NIV)

Christ the Savior is born.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christophobia Reported

In a shocking display factual reporting, a major media outlet has decided to publish a series of stories about the bashing of Christians.

Information obtained by QNA (Quipper News Alliance) indicates that this is neither a ruse, nor an attempt to garner readership from the extreme right. Matter of factly, our confidential contact indicated that the organization fretted over whether to release the stories, right before the secular holiday called Christmas:

"We know that, if we release these news events now, we may offend secular humanists who celebrate the secular holiday. We also fear that Christians will again try to wrestle away control of the holiday. This would not be a good sign for big business, or for those who are offended by Christianity.

However, in the light of the season, we feel it is appropriate to present a balanced reporting effort. After all, we present Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Kwaanza in a good light, it is only appropriate we do the same for those few Christians that still celebrate the original intent behind the Christmas event."

QNA has obtained reports that the following news stories will be highlighted in upcoming newspaper and radio spots:

- Man points out that Kings David and Solomon had more than one wife

- Muslim man points out that Patriarch Jacob had twelve sons from two wives and two concubines

- Patriarch Abraham ran his concubine and love child out of his house

- CAIR showed pictures of Jesus Christ on their website

- Liberals are upset that Jesus says he, and not Kofi Annon, will overcome the world.

These are just a few of the stories that are being followed. Updates will be posted when they occur....

You didn't

really think that

cases of Christophobia

(whether really Christophobia or not)

would be reported, did you?


Sunday, December 17, 2006

...and those who love them

Yes, it is time again to dole out the awards I lovingly call the Idiot of the Week Awards. And, well, after watching the Browns/Ravens game, this was an easy one again.

Let's start with a recap of the game. Even though it was close at halftime, the Browns...


We interrupt this week's Idiot of the Week Awards to give you breaking news. Out in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, it has just been reported that blog celebrity Mrs. Quipper is about to celebrate another anniversary of her birth. Authorities have gone on record saying that it couldn't happen to a nicer woman, and that her husband is thrilled again to be married to someone his own age. Records show that this phenomenon happens only two and a half months every year.

Family and friends can't say enough about Mrs. Quipper. The compliments are coming in from the local community and from around the world. From her extraordinary knitting talents, to her homeschool teaching prowess, and her ability to make elegant and the mundane meals taste like a million bucks, the Quipper family cannot get enough of her.

Mr. Quipper, in a not-so-rare interview, said, "All the money in the world could not compensate for everything that my lovely wife does for our family. She is beautiful, faithful, and a wonderful conversationalist. There is nothing more that I could ask for. I love you, hon. Happy Birthday."

This concludes our breaking news. Now, back to your regularly scheduled Idiot of the Week Awards.

...when the draft is over. Ugh!

Advent 2 & 3

Due to some technical difficulties, the podcasts were not available last week. Here are two weeks worth, waiting for your listening ears.

Bible study, Rev. 7

Advent 2

Advent 3

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Making Change, part 3

Thanks to everyone who posted their comments in response to the second article of this series. The answers varied more than I thought, so they definitely did not fit into a box (i.e. into one set of pre-defined rationale). we categorize our political beliefs???

Remember, though, the intent here is not to sell homeschooling. I am not an expert, and do not play one on TV. I am using a movement I am familiar with, which I believe is similar to the movement that needs to occur to change the political landscape.

So, how many methods are there for homeschooling? One? Two? There are plenty. For the sake of the topic, let me describe a few of them (the terms and definitions are mine, and I'm sure Mrs. Quipper and others can correct my comments if necessary).

Classroom style:

  • Formal schooling - this is school at home. Classroom setting. Fixed schedule times. Blackboard/whiteboard style. Like the old, small country school brought home.
  • Unschooling - no classes at all. All topics are taught out of the classroom setting.
  • Something in between - in homeschooling, everything you do becomes an opportunity to educate.
Curriculum selection:
  • Full formal curriculum - parents exclusively use pre-developed curriculum by companies that excel in creating them. The parents follow all the recommended schedules meticulously, and don't stray from the books.
  • Home grown curriculum - parents do not use any pre-developed curricula, but shop and choose subject material based on the parents teaching strengths and the student's learning styles.
  • Something in between. Parents may choose pre-developed curricula for some subjects, and other curricula for other subjects.
What classroom style do you use, and why? And how do you select curricula - do you use a full formal curriculum, pick and choose everything, or use a combination fo both?

How do you decide your vote? Full formal (i.e. within party lines), pick and choose (no pattern, always look at all candidates), or something in between?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dennis the Menace

Fear this man.

Who is he? Dennis Kucinich, Congressman, D-OH! (Wow, that says "DOH!" What a subtle revelation.)

What does he do? Takes his constituents' contributions to run for President, while doing nothing but blowing hot air as a Congressman.

So, he's running for President? Yes.

What's his platform? Anti-war, ultra-lib. Loves having the state do everything for everyone. Gave up on his pro-life, and other somewhat conservative views when he learned the Dems would give him better support and a better base.

Does he have a chance to win? No. Last go-round, he could scarcely garner 1% of votes in the Democratic primaries. So, if his flock increases tenfold, he still isn't anywhere close to gaining a majority.

Then, why should we fear him? Remember, I said he's an ultra-lib. Whacko. Space cadet. Living outside of reality. Hollywood libs LOVE him. And...

he makes every other Democratic candidate look moderate in comparison. He skews the political continuum, just because the Dems give him a voice and allow him to waste their money for 4-6 months during the primaries.

So, you can have other liberal candidates that are to the right of Kucinich, and most are. If you offer up 3-4 liberal candidates that are right of Kucinich, you still have choices of 3-4 liberal candidates, and no Democratic choices for socially or fiscally conservative candidates. It's a win for Dems.

It also makes practically all conservative positions look extreme, even when they are not. Remember, you measure the middle by the extremes. He moves the middle away from moderate positions and into liberalism.

As I said, fear this man. Even though he has no chance of winning anything, his inclusion in the Presidential race automatically tilts all debate in favor of left-leaning liberalism, and away from moderate to conservative positions.

Monday, December 11, 2006

How old am I?

This site says I am 34.5 years old. It's a neat health test that tells you, based on habits, environment, and family history, how old your body is relative to your chronological age. The survey takes twenty minutes to fill out, if you filter past the marketing questions. :-) Every other page or so is another plea to accept subscriptions from them. You can successfully not answer them, and still complete the survey. (Hint: the first page that says "what subjects is your family interested in" is a marketing page, not a survey page.)

BTW, if you are wondering...I am 38 3/4 years old. So, I'm doing a little better than my age. Woo hoo! Now, if I'd only eat more veggies and fruit....

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seriousness and Frivolity

If you're not reading the Infidel Bloggers Alliance, you're not seeing the the MSM is ignoring about the Muslim geopolitical jaggernaut. Here are some recent posts:

On trouble in France

On Islamic Jihad's thoughts of the Iraq Report

And on Civil War - Fatah and Hamas?

Please take the time to understand what is going on outside our own little world, and how it affects us. The general link to the IBA site is in my list o'links.

And...for a little levity:

One day, Jay Dini came home and was greeted by his wife dressed in a very sexy nightie. "Tie me up," she purred, "and you can do anything you want."

So he tied her up and went fishing.

Making Change, part 2

Thanks to all of you for the responses you posted to the first article of this series. My posting has not been as frequent as I'd like it; I hope to accelerate the series a bit over the next two weeks, so pay attention! :-)

You indicated that the decision for or against homeschooling is a family decision. It was not made in a vacuum, but considered factors that were internal and external to the family. You made the decision irrespective of the prevailing thoughts around you. Humorously, several mentioned that your families don't like any of your decisions. You rebels, you.

So, we know why you didn't succumb to public or private school peer pressure. Now, what educational reasons did you have for homeschooling?

The answer to that question is as varied as the parents who do it. My guess is that most answers will fall into the following, not-all-inclusive categories:

  • Learning deficiencies and/or advances - sometimes, a child is too far ahead or behind relative to other children their age, and the formal classroom cannot keep pace with them.
  • Behavioral difficulties with the student (or with other students) in the classroom.
  • Religious reasons - parents want to teach their children their religious beliefs, and how those beliefs integrate throughout all that a child learns.
  • Dissatisfaction and cost - it's too expensive to send a child to private school in lieu of having the child attend a public school, which the parents don't want to do.
  • Politics - some parents don't like the left-leanings or right-leanings of the subject matter or, recently, of the teachers.
  • Safety - who likes the thoughts of their children having to pass through metal detectors to go to school?
  • Reducing the influence of peer pressure on their children's ability to learn.
I'm sure you could think of many more.

Again, what are your educational reasons for homeschooling? Yes, some of this overlaps the responses you gave to the first article, but I'd like to know more. I believe that no one does it because "everyone else is doing it". I believe that everyone who does it has strong, foundational reasons for doing so. Just like, I hope, they have strong, foundational reasons for electing the officials that they do, and don't do it because "everyone else is doing it".

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Add It Up

Words to memorize
Words hypnotize
Words make my mouth exercise

- Add It Up, Violent Femmes

Words mean things:

  • Rivalry - a competitive or antagonistic state or condition (from Mirriam-Webster)
  • Game - a competitive activity or sport in which players contend with each other according to a set of rules (from American Heritage)
  • Rivalry Game - a game which has heightened tension, usually due to geography, tradition, or competitive history (from Quipper)
No duh, Quipper. What's the point?

I'm getting to that. Chill, okay?

The Cleveland Browns attended a rivalry game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night. I would prefer to say that they participated in the game, but that would only be true from the fact that they were on the field during the entire game. The effort wasn't there; the emotion, gone. The Steelers are the most hated football team in Browns Backers circles. Yes, even more hated than the Ravens. One problem: they forgot to show up again. That's a cardinal sin in the world of sports: you ALWAYS play your best against your rivals, no matter how bad of a team you are.

It also makes the fans decide to stop paying beau coup dollars to see their sports teams play.

Add it up:
  • The Browns were one Braylon Edwards touchdown away from being shut out in their second consecutive rivalry game.
  • Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have lost all but one game against the Steelers.
  • The overall series between the Browns and Steelers is now tied at 55-55.
  • Six of every season's sixteen games are rivalry games for the Browns, played against the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and the Iron City team.
  • The Browns are 0-5 this year in rivalry games, and have one game left against Baltimore. It's lookin' pretty ugly.
In press conferences on Friday, the team's head coach, Romeo Crennel, said he couldn't put his finger on what was wrong, and did not know how to correct it. The team's general manager, Phil Savage, publicly gave his coach the dreaded "vote of confidence" the previous week, then reiterated his support after the Steelers game. The lone bright spots were the play of backup quarterback Derrick Anderson and of wide receiver Joe Jurevicius. Otherwise, the Browns receivers dropped 6-8 passes, didn't make an attempt on another 4-6 close passes, and generally stunk up the joint.

So, why wait until Sunday to deliver the Idiot of the Week awards, when you already know who the winners are? Results were officially tabulated by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheetum, and Howe.

Win - Phil Savage. It's time to blow up the ship.

Place - Romeo Crennel, for not having a clue.

Show - The Cleveland Browns receivers, for doing what they do best - dropping the ball.

Honorable Mention - Me. Who thought I'd be dumb enough to watch this ineptitude for this long?

Here's wishing Troy Smith, QB for The Ohio State Buckeyes, luck as he attends the Heisman Trophy award presentation tonight. Hopefully, he will be taking the award home.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Egg On My Face

Silly me. To think, I told Scottius Maximus that I didn't believe the Browns would win another game this season. Not with the way they played last week, anyway. They not only won, but looked like a real team, to boot. Before Charlie Frye, our QB, got knocked out of the game with what may be a broken wrist, he was doing everything right. His backup, rookie Derrick Anderson, picked up where Frye left off. Great job by the rookie playing in his first NFL game. The defense didn't do all that well, but picked up their effort when they needed to.

But I must digress, and make this week's top Idiot of the Week awards about college football, where The Ohio State Buckeyes will play the Florida Gators in the BCS championship. (Sorry, Meee-chi-gan, you didn't even win your conference; you didn't deserve to play in the championship game.)

Win - The USC Trojans. They controlled their own destiny, but couldn't beat their in-town rivals, UCLA. It proves just about anything can happen in a rivalry game.

Place - The Florida Gators, who tried their best during the third quarter of their game yesterday to blow the lead, and force the BCS committee to schedule a rematch between OSU and Meeeeeeeeee-chi-gan.

Show - Rex Grossman, Chicago Bears QB. Yes, I'm back to the NFL. After the first half, the guy was something like 3-for-10, for thirty total yards passing and three interceptions. How the Bears continue to win with this guy at QB is a mystery. Scottius, help me understand these things!

Honorable Mention - The BCS formula. For no reason other than debate about an OSU-Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee-chi-gan rematch should not have been necessary.

What will Thursday night hold, when the bad Browns play the ever-so-slightly-better Steelers? Only nobody knows. :-)