Friday, April 27, 2007

Two Wise Sayings

The first, from a rival track coach, who also coaches basketball: "I hate track. There's no way to play defense." Today I got a copy of the heat sheets for tomorrow's state championship meet. Lanes are assigned based on the seeding times sent in for each athlete based on their prior performances. Doing the math based on everybody running their best (or at least all deviations being roughly equal), my boys look like 3rd. I've got great kids, but just not enough of them. And man, I hate third. Third is the first place with no trophy... and we've taken a bunch of thirds lately. If only we could play a little defense! Who knows, maybe we'll have some things break our way.

The second, a happier thought from Bubba, my barber: "You know the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut? Two weeks." It's actually been a month since my q-tip-head cut from Roger. Today I saw Bubba again--high, tight, flat, and sharp. All is right with the world

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dumbest Statement Ever

I'll take people who should shut up and sing, for 800, Alex! Today's finalist: singer/global warming activist Sheryl Crow. Hey, don't get me wrong--I recycle, even care a little about the overall health of the planet. I mean, yeah, I think Al Gore's a little overwrought, and I'm amused every time an anti-global-warming event gets snowed out, but I wouldn't count myself as hostile to environmentalism. But Sheryl Crow's latest suggestion... not. On a recent blog post, covered in this BBC story, she says that we should all do our part by imposing a strict limit of a single square of TP per sitting. Maybe in extreme cases, 2 or 3. (Remember that Seinfeld episode: "I do not have a square to spare?") She doesn't suggest how the limit would be enforced... potty police, anyone? Oh, and while we're at it, paper napkins are out, too. Her new line of clothing features a detachable "dining sleeve" that you can wipe your mouth on, and then remove and wash. I don't know how she feels about kleenex, but if she's going to patent a "snot sleeve," my 10-year-old son should get a royalty; he's been using one for years. Seriously, you can't make up stuff this funny.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This is Too Easy!

I have alluded before to my distaste for John Edwards, and my feeling that he is a hypocrite in his professed concern for the poor and downtrodden of the "other America" of his speeches. Here's people's exhibit #364--a NY Times article detailing how he paid $400 for a haircut, and then "mistakenly" charged it to his campign funds. Even more fun--some bloggers are pointing out that he also had an expensive "do" recently at the "Pink Sapphire Salon." Yep, there are two Americas alright--mine, where a guy named Roger can't quite pull off an $11 flattop with the same flair as Bubba, and John Edwards' America, where the stylists at the Pink Sapphire charge over a tithe of the income of an average American family for a haircut. Although, in his defense, I'll bet for that kind of moola, he got a blow-dry and maybe a warm towel treatment, too. I wonder if he got a hot-lather neck shave with a straight razor? I do for my $11.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Goodbye, Imus!

It just dawned on me--I'm a blogger! So I can pontificate on the deeper meaning of the firing of Don Imus like every other goof with a keyboard today. What a great world! Seriously, I used to listen to Imus in the car on the way to work, something like 7 years ago or more. It was before there was Mike & Mike doing sports on ESPN radio, and also before I drove my kids to school. I hate the morning drive shows and kinda like talk radio (less now than I did then, since now I can listen to sports and Dave Ramsey). I quit because he was (1) not the sort of guy I wanted to listen to in front of my kids, (2) on further thought, not the sort of guy I wanted to listen to as an adult, (3) not clever, and (4) not funny. So, to put it mildly, I won't be coming to the defense Imus. Not only were his remarks racist and sexist on their face, I happen to think (based on the time I was a listener) that they were very much in step with what he actually thinks. The guy was just MEAN.

I like what Hugh Hewitt said in his townhall column today (sorry, too lazy to link)--Imus wasn't "brought down" by anybody; his fall was suicide, and the feeding frenzy which followed was just the vultures flying around the corpse. He wasn't fired because Al Sharpton demanded it, he was fired because his sponsors pulled out, and broadcast companies are in business to make money. Of course, he'll likely re-surface on satellite radio, as Howard Stern did (another guy I don't listen to). But, in this case, the free market works like it's supposed to. Nobody needs to pull strings politically to get some idiot out of the market, the market will take care of that.

All that said, I have a few intemperate thoughts. Not pro-Imus thoughts, nor pro-bad taste. But intemperate, nonetheless. First off, why does Al Sharpton get away with being the voice of reason here? I can't be the only one old enough to remember Freddie's Fashion Mart or Tawana Brawley. I know that even a stopped watch is right twice a day, but I just don't understand why the press has legitimized this guy. Secondly, can we use just a little of this outrage to have market forces react to rap lyrics? I think one of the grammys this year went for a song about how hard it is to be a "pimp" which makes frequent use of the phrase "ho." I'm not saying Chris Rock can't do racially-tinged humor; it's funny, and it's satire. We laugh because we know it's supposed to make us uncomfortable. But some of the rap out there, like Imus, is just plain nasty. And finally, does EVERYTHING have to be political? Obama has come out in favor of the firing. He got beat to it by Hillary, who was the first to be offended. I think every politican, up to and including George Bush, has had to say something about this "story." One of the first things I read about Imus after this happened was, "look--he's a liberal! He backed Kerry!" Then came, "no, he's not, he wears a cowboy hat and hates Hillary Clinton!" News flash, everybody--mean is mean, rude is rude, racist is racist. I think left and right should agree that this guy is a moron and be happy he's gone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Resolution Update

3 days so far, 2 runs. The first one was a cold morning at 6 AM, but I did it. A "mini-marathon" of 2.6 miles. Ugh. I hate running in the cold. The next day, I awoke before the alarm... to the sound of rain. I've not yet gotten the habit back to that point yet, so I punted. But that afternoon (yesterday) I suited up and joined the distance team on their "easy" recovery run. 3.5 miles, but I got dropped by the front pack halfway through. Not bad overall, though. Last night I was up till midnight, so I bagged the AM run plan. I brought the clothes for a PM run to make-up, but I'm still tired and sluggish from the previous day, so I think I'll bag today and focus on getting another 2.5 or so tomorrow AM. If I can do that, it will have been an OK week.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Apologies, back to work, and almost a resolution

If you are one of the people who regularly read this alleged blog, sorry I have been a pitiful poster. I'm going to try to write more. This past week our family has been on spring break (it is GREAT to be a pair of teachers), so I have no excuse.

Of course, since this PAST week was spring break, that means this new week is a work week. I know it's hard to get much sympathy when you've been off a whole week and most of your friends haven't. But I almost dread the return to work. I love my job, but the period between spring break and summer each year is the worst of it. I keep a countdown of WUMs (Wake-Up Mornings) on my chalkboard (actually, it's a dry-erase board... I haven't had an actual chalkboard since cell phones were attached to rich guys' cars). I haven't done the math for this year yet, but it's usually a little less than 40 days. During that time, if previous experience is any guide, spring fever will run rampant among 7th graders and I will become a manager of barely-contained chaos masquerading as a history teacher. Could be worse, though--at least I'm in a private school, so I won't be doing completely worthless standardized testing for a third of that time.

As we go back to the routine, I am prepared to step out and try to add a little discipline to my life. I used to be a runner. Some people think I'm still a runner. I've got the shoes, the coolmax clothes, and a 100-lap memory on my watch. I have ten years of training logs on the shelf within sight of this computer. But if you only ran 3 times in the last calendar month, you're not a runner--you're a guy who used to run. That's me. When I have done my best at running (which correlates pretty well to how the rest of my world is going), I have gotten up early and run before work. Unfortunately, I have become an absolute slave to sleep--I just hate to roll out of bed anymore. So, for the next little bit (however many WUMs there are left in the school year), I'm going to try to make myself do the AM jog thing. If I do it right, I should have a solid base from which to do some "real" running this summer and maybe even get back into racing again in the fall. But for now, the main thing is to win the battle of "mind over mattress" and have the feeling of satisfaction that comes from living a disciplined life. Wish me luck!

PS-The reason I called this "almost" a resolution is this nutty weather. You'd think with as much power as Al Gore and John Edwards use on their estates, this global warming stuff would work better. But I reserve the right to trade an afternoon run for the 6 AM special on any day in which it's winter-cold in the middle of spring. I'll let my loyal readers know how it's going--hopefully you'll encourage me to stick with it!