Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another crunch time

Tomorrow is another observation day for me. My resource teacher is coming in the morning to observe and grade my teaching. It is the least stressful of the nine required observations. My resource teacher has to observe me three times. My principal has to observe me three times. A college professor in education has to observe me three times.

The first three are already past. They were all stressful, as I had no clue what to expect. The Principal observations are always a little stressful. She is my immediate boss. She will still be here after my resource teacher and the college professor are gone. The college professor observations are tough because he has such high expectations.

The final three observations will be tough because they will be the tale. They will tell if I am learning this craft or not. So, this one is the lowest of the stressful deeds. That doesn't mean it is without stress. TJ tells me I am a perfectionist. I was here last night working on my portfolio until after 5. I hated that. I have my little flash memory, so I can take stuff home to work on.

That is only slightly better.

It is still work, but TJ can slide a hug and kiss in from time to time.

The day has been an okay day. I have been preparing the students for the observation. You know, the no sleeping, no cussing, speech.

This afternoon I was a sub for the Health Sciences class. I worked with the carpentry and welding students at the same time with SkillsUSA memberships and competitions. So, it has been a full day. There is still much to do.

The work day is growing and trying to consume my whole day. I have the whip and chair, trying to push it back. I believe I have stopped it's forward progress, but it is gnawing on the leg of the chair and, if I am not mistaken, it seems to like the whip.

It looks like no slowing in sight.

I was outside for a bit today when the photographer from the newspaper came to take our pics. It was snowing. Milkmaid (blogger from Texas) was commenting on the weather. It seems that winter has retreated in Texas. I commented that I loved winter and was looking forward to more snow. Well, while outside looking for suitable shot locations, it was snowing. Ain't that great? It can come a foot and I will still love it.

I hope to be back later.

Maybe, we will catch you up on the growth of the python ... Or the cat ... Or the other dog (a shitting little mini-dachshund that is annoying ... But loved by TJ) ... Or the kids ...

Until then, y'all have fun.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Malcolm Posted by Picasa

Malcolm Posted by Picasa

Malcolm and Tammy (sexy redhead) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Push day

This is one of those push days. It is a day when you push past how you really feel and do your job anyway. I feel like crap (yeah yeah, I know honey ... I feel all brown and lumpy?). I didn't sleep well last night.

My acid reflux was in a bad mood. Around 1 am, I woke up to my nostrils being flooded with stomach acid. Now, that was a pleasant way to wake up ... NOT !

I took Rantadine, which is the 'over the counter' equivalent of Zantac. It helps, but takes about 30 minutes to begin it's work. So, I was sitting up in the bed, afraid to lay back down, and trying not to puke while breathing that acid through my nose. My eyes were watering. My chest was hurting (from earlier sneezing). Sleep was a distant reality.

I vaguely recall, once I did lie back down, fighting Tammy for controlling interest of the covers. There was a hostile take over attempt, which (to the best of my recollection) I won.

I remember being up several times later. I remember that alarm going off and somewhere in the back of my brain a voice screaming, "NOOOOOOOOO !"

In spite of all that, here I am at work, teaching classes all about anchors and fasteners, and the exciting world of electrical grounding.

WeeeeeeHawwwwwww !!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The week begins

The alarm clock ought to have a screeching tires sound just for Monday mornings, as the weekend comes to a screeching halt with that waking alert.

The weekend was kinda full for part of it and slow for part of it.

Friday, I left the school at lunch and went to a SkillsUSA event in Lexington. There were classes and competitions. I met other Skills Advisors and many students involved in the program. It was a great event, with didn't end until late Friday evening, with a little karaoke and a dance. (Little karaoke and very little dance.) We were back there Saturday morning for the competitions, and awards ceremonies. Tammy went with me, in spite of her day. Her day can be read about at
www.troubleshandful.blogspot.com .

Her son was arrested for a violation of his bond issue. We worked all weekend to find out what the violation was. No one was able to tell us. Pre-trial had no idea. The judge that issued the warrant wasn't available.

I went to visit him in jail on Sunday. A person can visit for approximately 20 minutes twice a week. Tammy, Sierra, and Becca went with me. (I actually went with them, but since I was driving ... You know?)

Today, Tammy found out what the violation was. Chris was seen at a certain address. That address was ours. The bond states that he is allowed to be at work or at home. They revoked his bond and arrested him for being where he was supposed to be. Chris got in trouble for doing exactly what he was supposed to do. Tammy (madder than a wet hen) is on a mission today to right this wrong. God help anyone that gets in her way.
Hopefully, he will be home and back to work tonight.
We will keep ya informed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Clawing my way thru the week

It is been a busy odd week.

Monday: No school (MLKing day)
Tuesday: Regular classes for the most part. Students worked independently on handouts.
Wednesday: No Students (Snow) We went to Carrollton for awards presentations. We had lots of snow. There were 1 to 3 inches depending on where you were located.
Thursday: interrupted day. The HS had AA, which throws off the schedule of the rest of the morning. Students worked on handouts. The late afternoon had a tour coming through.
Friday: Will be a half day in school for me. Then I will be in Lexington for a SkillsUSA conference.
It has been a week without regular parameters. That is difficult on me and even moreso on students.

Next week will be a 'whip it back into shape' Week.
I am heading home. y'all have fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Something I finished

Time Trader

Suppose the time trader came to say,
You have a day, for which I am willing to pay,
Money is no object in this trade we make,
The only question is, which day I choose to take;
A tempting offer it seems at first glance,
To lose a day of misery, a wonderful chance,
To forget a hurting deed, or word wrongfully spoken,
To lose a heartache, or misplace a promise broken;
So many days I could really do without,
Glad they were finally gone, no doubt,
Finally, I thought of the chance I would be taking,
For the choice was his in this deal we were making;

Which sunrise would I cast into the abyss?
Which sunset, barely made, would I miss;
Which day, good or bad, that made me,
Would I be willing to lose in life’s vast sea?

Every day on both sides of this crooked fence
Makes me who I am, past, present, and future tense,

The mountains make me appreciate the hills,
A plethora of won’t makes me value the wills,
Rain clouds help me treasure days of sunshine,
Blankets of snow feed the flowers of springtime,

I could leave behind the pain of losing a friend,
However, the lessons garnered would fly on the same wind,
To know the merit of expressing the heart rhyme,
To show love’s true colors while there is still time,

How many dark clouds would I cheerfully lose
Without knowing the far reaching wake,
How many ripples would be lost,
By the simplest stone not tossed into life’s lake?

So, time trader, I regret to tell you
I cannot even consider the cost of your deal
For the sake of grievous wounds and well earned scars
This is all of my life, with no days available to steal

I am the more than summation of my years
More than the entirety of my routine
I am the full product of every one of my days
And thousand more yet to glean

Ronald Simpson, Jr.
January 16, 2006

Monday, January 16, 2006


I was watching an Allstate Insurance commercial this weekend. I had seen it several times before, but this time I must have been listening closer. The ad was about their 'no accident' reward program. For every year you go without an accident, they will reduce your insurance bill by $100.

The spokesman, who played President Palmer on 24, says that it might reduce accidents. It sounds like they are saying, we are out here having accidents on purpose, and if they up the offer, we will stop needlessly ramming other drivers out of our way.

One of the problems I had with Safety People when I was working in the construction field, was their delivery of the message. They approached us, the working class, as if we were out there looking for ways to hurt ourselves. I realize there are scam artists that will inflict injuries upon themselves in the hopes of a large settlement. However, the most of the work force are not out there trying to screw that insurance companies. I want to go home with the 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes and 2 ears, that I had when I arrived at work.

I am not driving to work looking for someone to hit with my truck while planning how I am gonna lose a finger or eye, so I can sit home and collect checks. I would just as soon work the rest of my life than get injured for a settlement.

I ran into the same attitude at times when I would be off work for short or long periods (depending on the time of the year and my desire to travel or not) and would sign up for unemployment compensation. The contractor for whom I was working, would pay into a fund, that would pay my compensation. None of the money came out of the pocket of the claims taker. I can understand how John Q Public might not be up to date on the governmental workings of unemployment compensation, but the workers at the UI office should be familiar with how it works. Still, every now and then, one of those spirited public employees would act as if they were going to have to take out their checkbook and write me a check every other week.

I am just a working stiff. I want to go to work. I want to do my job. I want to pay my bills. I want to keep just a little bit of my earnings.

What we have to deal with are insurance companies that treat us like we are trying to screw them, Government employees that treat us like we are robbing them, contractors that treat us like we are out to subvert their efforts, and general public employees that look at us with suspicion and mistrust. Everyone is not out to take you. everyone is not out to rip you off.

I have a theory (like this is a new thing) about how people treat others. The liar thinks everyone is lying to them. The thief thinks everyone is out to steal from him. The cheater thinks everyone is out to cheat him. We tend to see people through our own glasses. Our glasses alter our vision to see people as we see ourselves.

Tammy says I trust everyone. I see myself as trustworthy, for the most part. Therefore, I see people in a kindly light. This is not an advertisement for me. It is just who I am. I am not a saint. I am not an angel (though Tammy swears there are wings hidden somewhere).

Just treat me like you want to be treated. If you want respect, offer it. If you want trust, offer it. If you want kindness, offer it.

The Bible says, if we cast our bread on the water, it will return to us on ever wave, not many days hence, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Kindness begets kindness. Gentleness begets gentleness. Anger begets anger. I know, the law of averages tells me, even if I give only kindness, I will reap some malice in some crop (law of wheat and tares), but, for the most part my life will be filled with kindness.

What you want, you have to give.

What do you want today?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sleepy time

I am dragging my hiney today. I didn't get much sleep last night. I wake up a couple times a night. That is natural for me. That doesn't bother me. That doesn't wear me out.

Last night, I got up around 1 am to go to the bathroom. After relieving my bladder, I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water from the fridge. As I passed through the living room, I noticed the slightest of a cool breeze around my feet. This is usually a signal that a door is opened somewhere. I went to the front door and checked it. It was unlocked. Then I went into the shared foyer, and the door to the outside was standing wide open. Chris was not in bed, or anywhere inside. I locked both doors and went back to bed, assuming that Chris was upstairs.

I couldn't sleep. I got back out of bed and went to the computer, checked mail, and played Spider Solitaire. Shortly after 2 am, I heard them coming down the stairs. By them, I mean: Chris, Sierra, & Tommy. They were on the front porch, yelling back and forth, with Tommy hollering about whether he was being too loud or not. MORON !

Chris and/or Sierra tried the front door. No luck. Chris gave Sierra his key to the back door and she came in , got her pills, and left. Chris came in, returned Tammy's phone, and said he was going to sleep upstairs.

Finally, about 2:30 am, I got back to bed. I was wide awake. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and generally aggravated Tammy until I dozed off.

This morning at 5:15, the alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button every time it went off for the next 45 minutes.

I was running late on my morning drive, didn't stop and get breakfast, ate my lunch for breakfast, figuring I would get Steve to get me something when he goes out for lunch every day. I got to work, and there was no Steve. Lunch was crackers and peanut butter.

Still, all in all, it had it's good moments. All my students passed and most aced the safety test. It is almost the end of the week before a long weekend. I do not have to be anywhere tonight that I don't want to be. Best of all, I get to see that beautiful smile on the face of that sexy red head that puts up with me, good days or bad.

Even on a sleepy, semi bad day, life is good.

Breathing is great.

I think I will endeavor to do it as long as I can.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blowing a 'day is almost over' sigh

It has been a long day.

I had people from the state in here this morning and most of the day. We are trying to clear out some old, no longer used, equipment. The State Guy (what a prestigious title ! ... "I am THE STATE GUY.") was here to look at what we had and meet the manufacturers rep to determine how usable the equipment is. My class (to give me free time to work with these guys) was in the Automotive shop with some work from me.

Well, there was a conversation that lead to glaring, which lead to words, which lead to one of my students punch/shoving a kid over two tables and a desk. OUCH ! My prize football player/student is in PASS for the rest of the day. I brought the rest of the class back to class with me to move some of the equipment and study for the test that is to be given tomorrow.

Then, my 3rd block was in Automotive while I worked with the Man. Rep. Fortunately, there were no more incidents.

Still, it has been a busy day. It is past time for me to be at home and I am still here waiting for info to download that I may be able to use to teach with some of the hi-tech equipment that will remain. My students want to experiment with it. I told them we weren't experimenting with equipment that cost more than I make in a year until I was trained on it. (Insert look of disappointment on their faces.)

The Rep (Herb) was able to give me some great ideas about where to find training and how to go about getting so practical hands-on experience with this stuff. Thanks, Herb.

I am ready to bolt for the door before anything else happens.

I am taking work home with me. I have to write a test for these guys.

Fun, fun, fun.
We will leave my iceberg tip of yesterday resting in the water for this afternoon. We will revisit it later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The news is overbearing these days. Some days, the ostrich ‘head in the sand’ idea seems like a good one. I can remember (and I am not that old … only 48) when the story of violence was the odd story on the news. I was born in the late 50’s. It was a completely different time. I know I was a different person then as well. I was not as knowing, not as watchful, not as interested in the world. (If it didn’t happen in the house, yard, or church dad pastured, it didn’t involve me.

Still, I can remember the reaction of my parents to bad or violent news. It was from the newspaper or radio. We didn’t get a TV until I was around 9 yrs old. Even then, I can recall my parent’s reaction to the growing news of violence.

I paid some attention in High School to my history. I remember Gandhi and his passive resistance. I can remember how effective it was, even though he was met with violence. I know the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. I know the great men that have stood for what is right in the right way. I know of the works of Flavius Josephus.

I know there are times for ‘right by might’ when a tyrant must be stopped with the very violence that is his/her tool. I readily agree that war is a necessary evil at times. This, however, goes far beyond the dictates of war.

The murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. ignited a wave of violence in our country. White Supremacists used violence as did slave owners of our past to keep their power base intact. It was the undercurrent. It was the hidden, behind the curtain, in the dark, work of such groups.

Today, it is splashed across the news nightly. Is that because of the abundance of our media? Is it because we are in more places with our ‘prying’ eyes? I say yes, but it is also because there are a growing number of people, seared to the effects of their violence. We are growing a generation, numb to the effects of violence. The sound of the gun and the spray of blood are little more than the detailed effects of some video game driving into their brains.

Are the games the problem, or just another symptom? They are both. They are part of the problem and a blazing symptom. They desensitize our youth, and point to our fascination with gory death.

This is not about the games. This is about the violence. When we, as parents, turn our heads to what is displayed on our TV’s and Gameboys, we are silently nodding in agreement. When we allow evil to prosper in silence, we abet it. We must, if nothing less, oppose in our homes. We must oppose violence where ever we can. We must learn from our past or we are destined to repeat it.

Violence begets violence. We will never cure the rage of our society until we learn to control it in ourselves and stop it’s influence in our lives.

Just the tip of the iceberg ...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Climbing out of the toilet

I looked better when I got home yesterday. Tammy told me I did.

She was concerned last night, though. She was lying beside me (a delicious feeling, by the way,) when she announced that I was 'hot'. I told her thanks. She was ready to smack me, even though she didn't. My fever was back up. I still felt better and declined any medical assistance.

I felt better this morning. My co-workers agreed. I looked much better. I have 'color' today. Apparently, ghost white pale is not a good look for me. (Remind me never to come back as a ghost and haunt ya.)

The day is progressing. The students have been manageable. They haven't taken much advantage of the fact that I am not at 100% yet.

The news is slow today. I did notice (from another blog I read) that the porn awards were handed out last night. I will have to check that out when I get home this evening. Tammy and I don't watch any porn, but that isn't to condemn anyone that does. Whatever floats your boat, I say.

Students are coming in, so it is time to roll out of here.

Catch ya later.

Monday, January 09, 2006

For better or worse ...

I am here at work.



Let's see how long it lasts.

I am eating some crackers, trying to calm the stomach. The tylenol has been taken to fight the fever. Fortunately, we will be in the lab today, involved in some minor clean up and removal of some old projects. I won't have to be on feet as much and I won't have to talk as much. That should help. Maybe.
I hope your Monday is better than mine.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Have I mentioned today how much I love my Honey ?


You cannot be my ‘enough’

If you are just my enough,

What are you on those days when you are less,

And those days do happen.

What do I do when you are less and I need ‘enough’

Do I find it elsewhere ?

No, you are my ‘more’

You are the desire

That lingers behind

After the kiss

You are the want

That can only be appeased

But never be quenched

You are the memory of a touch

That lives in a thousand thousand crevices

Of my heart

You are the melody

That never leaves my lips

You are the warmth

That goes with me

When I leave our bed

You are all this and ‘more’

You are more

Than I can describe

You are more

Than I can dream

You are more

Than I can want

You are all that I can hold

And more

You are the waves

That will continually

Gently caress my shores

You are the light

That never dims

Even when out of my sight

You are more than I can want

And I want more

You are …

And I want you;

Ronald Simpson, Jr.

January 3, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Caught by Troubled Rumblings

The bug, slowly as it moved, finally caught me.

I missed work today due to the rumblings down south that threatened the integrity of my underwear.

It seems the slow bug now has Tammy in it's grip.

And the waterbed mattress is leaking again. We can't find the spot. The liner is holding most of the water but there is some leakage. We went out this evening to get a garden hose to use for draining it. It seems there is no market for garden hoses except from March to August (according to Wal-mart).

We did find a waterbed mattress online with free shipping. We also discovered a place here in town that should carry them. We will see what tomorrow brings. Tonight brings the couch.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Holy cow !

Can it be that it has been 5 days since I blogged ?

I have been busy .. uh .. away .. uh .. distracted .. uh ..

Actually, I have been busy with the holidays and several other regular life events. I have discovered, from reading other blogs, that regular life is just what everyone has, for the most part. Life away from the drama is what we seek. There is plenty of humor in that.

Unfortunately, there is drama lurking around every corner. I read something years ago that I have tried to consider in my life. It stated that, "Life usually works out best for those that make the best of the way life turns out." I try to make my lot in life the best that it can be. I understand that there are going to be hard times. There are going to be trying times. There are going to be hardships. Sometimes those will come heavy like the rain or light like rain. That is just what is going to happen in everyone's life.

There are several 'credos' I have in my life. They are significant statements made by others to which I try to hold. They are:

1 Samuel 15:17 "When thou wast little in thine own sight, ..."
This was Samuel's statement to Saul when he was telling him why God was rejecting his kingship. Saul had gone far from his humble beginnings and had in various instances usurped the authority of the priest and had even thought to second guess God and not complete a commandment. Samuel was explaining in a few simple words that Saul had gotten full of Saul and was therefore of no use to God to complete his plan.

I try to keep as much of me out of the equation as possible. I try to consider the needs of others. I don't always succeed. Sometimes it is an AAR Day (All About Ron). However, as a general rule, I try to keep the greater good in mind.
The second one is in line with the first somewhat. Sir Issac Newton said, "If I have seen further than other men, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Simply put, he says that standing on the works of the great men that came before him, he has seen farther than they did. There was another version that was related that said a pygmy standing on the shoulders of a giant can see farther than the giant. I have not trouble crediting the works of others that have led me to where I am today. Great teachers have brought me to this place of knowledge, and I can add just a bit more to the collection of that knowledge.

Between these three statements, I try to balance my life. They are not the sum of my life, but they are a few of the guiding principles.

New Years Eve is traditionally a time of reflecting back on the past year and resolving to correct the things that were wrong. I prefer to look ahead at the challenges that face us. I prefer to look with my eyes open. I know that this new year will bring new challenges and new trials. These challenges and trials can make me bitter or better. That is my choice.

Now, on to regular life ...

We busied our selves with lots of things.

Sierra and Jordan got an apt, finally.

Russ came to visit and we went singing and drinking (I did the singing, Russ did the drinking, Tammy did singing and drinking.) It was an interesting night. One lady wanted to take us all home with her.

Russ went home Saturday. He called about an hour later with a flat tire and no tire tool. Tammy and I both have 4 way lug wrenches. Well, we did have them. When we looked for them, they were no where to be found. We went to Jordan, who also has one, and his was missing as well. There is a ring of lug wrench thieves prospering in Lexington. We bought one and headed out to find the Russ. He was about 45 miles out from Lexington. His liftgate wouldn't open to allow us to lower his tire. I pulled the plastic molding away so we could manually release the gate. We got his tire lowered. We got his truck jacked up. We got the tire off. We got the tire on and Russ was able to get on his way.

Saturday night, we went out to Todd's to sing in the new year. We had fun. To be honest, Tammy and I both would have been just as content to spend the evening at home watching a movie. We do like going out, but it isn't the do all end all of our existence. We have a great time out, but we have a great time in as well. We sang and toasted the new year. We kissed at midnight. Then Tammy drank our glasses of champagne. I figured I didn't need to drink a glass of champagne and then drive home. I wouldn't be drunk by any means but would blow heavy on a breathalyzer should we be randomly stopped along our route. We made it home, but of course, not without drama.

Chelsea's BF 'little J' has been grounded from the house for a bit, since the no show at Christmas and the "Fuck her," statement to Chella about Tammy. I relented and allowed him to come to the house on new years eve day and for he and Chella to walk to the store. He was to be here at 4 pm. He was late. Chella and Beek walked to the store and she only got to see him for a short time. Still yet, that was the concession to his punishment. On our way home, via a phone call, we discovered the Chella went upstairs to 'watch the ball drop', (which is odd, since we have TV downstairs) and J was there (preplanned, I am sure). Kyle (10) tried to lie for her (not at her request) but that didn't work. Needless to say, there was much discussion and some punishments meted out.
It was late. Doors were locked and folks went to bed.

New Years Day.

Chella has to come up with a punishment for Kyle, as he was abetting her. She says this is hard. She just figured we had some sort of standard for meting out punishments. She got a look into the workings of parenting. We told her, since she seemed to know better than us as parents what was best, we were going to let her decide the punishment for Kyle. The kicker is, whatever she makes his punishment is added to hers, and it must meet with our approval. She has decided, and it has been approved, that they will clean the entire house and write an essay on honesty, integrity, and the need to follow rules. Kyle has to do a 500 essay and Chella, a 1000 word essay.

Needless to say, J is not allowed to be here for a couple weeks, minimum. Chella will not use the phone for a month, since they used her phone privileges to set up the meeting.

I am sure there is more regular news to report, but I will give my fingers and your eyes a break.

I am off today, since the holiday falls on Sunday. Relaxing is the word. I can do that now that the extreme emotional guilt of not blogging has been eased.

Y'all have a good new year now, ya hear !