Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Errors in looking ahead.

I love to look ahead and plan for the future. It helps me set goals for where I think I'll be and what I want to be doing in the future. I also like to make predictions about sports. I dabble in predicting the outcomes of baseball and football games and seasons.

This year in baseball I had made some major mistakes when predicting the season. Here are some of the big ones.
  • The Yankees will come back and win the division.
  • The Rays will fall apart, they can't keep this pace up.
  • The Blue Jays will regret getting rid of Frank Thomas
  • Ken Griffey Junior will help the White Sox, he hits better with runners in scoring position.
  • The Cubs will win the division with the Cardinals in 2nd.
  • The White Sox will be lucky if they finish 3rd this year.
When I was thinking about this I realized that it's the reflection and study of the failures that we have when we set our goals that help us to set better goals and realize where we went wrong. Reflecting and learning from our mistakes is as important as having and trying to reach goals in the first place.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Open house and Book Fair

Last week was Ady's first open house, and her first book fair.

There was one hour to talk to her teachers, see her class rooms, and decide if we wanted any books. This was probably the most nerve-racking thing I have done in a while. I was not sure if an hour would be enough time to get Erin through the book fair, much less include the open house activities.

We started with open house and went to her room. Despite the lack of conversation about what she's been doing, there was plenty of evidence around the school of different art activities she had done, and those were not art class projects. Ady was very excited showing us around and pointing out everything she had done and where other people sit.

By the time we made it to the book fair I was even more nervous. We only had 20 minutes left, and the line for buying things was waiting to get into the book fair at all. I was a bit thankful that we were a little group. Erin stood in line and I looked at some books with the kids, then we caught up with Erin in line with some books in hand and continued to peruse the rest of the books that were there. Jaden picked out "Firebears: The Rescue Team".

Ady picked out a Hannah Montana Activity book. I myself, could not pass up the chance to buy my very first Calvin and Hobbes book. With a lifetime of loving Calvin and Hobbes, I have finally joined the masses of people who now own the books and can have the entertainment whenever it is desired. I picked out "Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons". The title made it impossible to pass up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Take Responsibility for yourself.

Watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" there was another instance of Robert that frustrated me.

Robert: "C'mon, are you going to tell me luck hasn't played a part in your life?"
Ray: Why do you think I'm more lucky than you?
Robert: Look at me. I'm eating Balogna and Orange Juice.

But the situation is that Ray just gave Robert a thousand dollars and with it Robert planned to go to Vegas and blow it all.

Luck plays a part in all of our lives, and we all have good and bad luck, however, it's what we do with the chances that we are given that makes the difference. Ray was giving Robert a chance to help himself with a thousand dollars. Robert does not take the responsibility, he's squandering another chance that's thrown at him.

Pay attention to the things that happen to you, be aware of the chances that you have, and take advantage of them. Don't splurge until your finances are in order, otherwise, you're just digging yourself into a hole.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Review: Lou Gehrig A Quiet Hero

Lou Gehrig: A Quiet Hero by Frank Graham, is an old book. I got it free when a library didn't want it any more. I've wanted to know more about Lou Gehrig for a long time. I was excited to read more and find out about his life outside of baseball. This is not the book for that.

In fact, this is not the book for anything. The information in this book can all be gotten from the movie "Pride of the Yankees". It will take less time and be more informative. At least you can enjoy the movie.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Twitter suggestion

When I am searching for people who are listed as covering a topic, I am looking for active users. Please change the sort to make the search results appear in order of frequency of posts and recent posts. When the first item returned last updated 1 year ago, I'm not really interested in paging through looking for someone that's actually using the system.

Friday, September 19, 2008

How to handle a bomb threat.

If you answer the phone and it's a bomb threat.

Step 1. Ask the following questions.
1. Where is the bomb located?
2. Why did you plant the bomb?
3. When is the bomb set to go off?
4. What type of bomb is it?

Step 2.

Step 3.
Call 911.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Halfway is no way.

Greg posted on the dying work ethic in the US, but it also touches on where that problem starts. The work ethic is dying in the US because kids aren't being held to a higher standard at a younger age. It's not just about making them feel good. It's about holding them accountable to do things right and try hard all the time.

A random thought

Given the chance to tuck tail and run, he chose to stand his ground.
And though he had to pick himself up...
The pride he felt was far greater than if he had retreated.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Stop adding Gate to the end of every possible investigation.

This all started with Watergate. However, Watergate is the name of the hotel. Troopergate? C'mon. Did this trooper have a problem with a gate? Did he run into a gate? No.

This should be called the Palin-trooper incident or something else. I'm sick of the gates being used time and again.

The gates drive me crazy. Here's a list of other incorrectly named gates-scandals.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The problem with NCLB

The problem with the No Child Left Behind program, is that it leaves children behind. The program is designed to help all students meet an arbitrary minimum standard. However, if a school has some kids that for whatever reason are not meeting that standard, then the school is placed on a kind of probation, then it's taken over.

During the probation phase a school has 2 years itself. What happens in those 2 years, the only focus of the teachers is getting all of the kids to the minimum level to pass. The grades given to a school are based solely on the minimum level of passing. The kids that are already at minimum level become ignored and are left behind. The testing doesn't show it, but the way that NCLB is set up it prevents gifted children from reaching their potential. If a 1st grader can read at a 3rd grade level, there is no need for the teacher to push him to read at a 5th grade level, instead he will be ignored and bored.

The start of this year seems to have done this to Jonas. The teacher is clearly spending much more time with the children that are behind where they need to be. Jonas doesn't need constant supervision to be pushed, but expecting only beginning 1st grade work from him without explaining to him that he has higher standards that he needs to reach, only leaves him to be bored and aim no higher than the expectations being set.

If you have a child in this situation yourself, make sure you take the time at home to clearly set higher expectations, reward them for meeting your expectations that are above the schools, and be disappointed when they are not met. Gifted children need to be challenged or they will stop growing.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Failed McCain slogans

Before choosing "some candidates use their career for Change" The McCain campaign had several failed slogans that they tried.

  • He's the only candidate that's been in Washington for 26 years and hasn't been able to prevent us from becoming more and more dependent on foreign oil
  • He was in a war
  • The choice is between someone who hasn't done anything and is just starting out, and someone who's had nearly 30 years of chances to do something and hasn't
  • he is a war hero
  • he got his ass kicked every day
  • nothing like getting your ass kicked to make you ready to lead a country that's been getting it's ass kicked in the world
  • getting my ass kicked everyday prepared me for taking care of the ass kicking America has been gettin'
  • I've spent this long in Washington, I may as well die there
  • I'd rather lose an election than lose a war, of course if I lose the election the war is out of my hands, Guess it's a lose-lose situation.
  • I like to pick out hot women. Have you seen my wife, and now my running mate?
  • Older than both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
  • Old enough to be Sarah Palin's father

Please take this completely tongue in cheek.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Windows Media Player

I wish that Windows Media Player would minimize to an icon in the icon tray that I could right click on and select next, back, pause, stop and eject, or restore. I could then double click the icon to bring the player itself up.

Oh wait, that's what iTunes does. Then why is it that Microsoft still can't keep the darn media player out of my way. I don't want it in my taskbar, not as a window icon or a mini player. The mini player is bigger than the window icon. My life is not the windows media player, it's something that I use for background music while I'm doing something else, I want it as far out of my way as possible.