Archive for December, 2010

An Interesting Anniversary

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

1 Year ago, today, my wife informed me that she thought she was pregnant. A few hours later, she verified it for me by getting mad at me in front of relatives ;0) I knew my life would never be the same again. :0P

The Eve of Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Christmas Day has never brought to me the same anticipation that it has to many observers.  Now that I have an established Family of my own, however, I am holding onto more and more joy during this cold season.  So, here I am, sitting beside a lit Christmas tree (with a very modest but much-appreciated showing of gifts beneath it).  My loving wife is holding our little son (4 months old, tomorrow morning) before he goes off to bed.   He eagerly watches the motion of his mother’s fingers (those of her right hand) as she tip-taps them across her own keyboard.  My wife is in love with Christmas and the spirit of joy it brings to so many.  This joy is contageous, and I welcome it (especially when it so excellently compliments a brief hiatus from grading).

2011 is likely to be a year of changes.  I look forward to seeing how the year unfolds.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a very happy and blessed New Year!

The Internet — Where do I go?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Besides email, research and planning, I rarely go anywhere on the internet, anymore. In fact, I can narrow down my weekly range to the following areas:

- a networking site (once or twice a week, for Family, mostly)
- a motorcycle forum (daily…usually during my lunch…you’d be surprised at how much Physics gets discussed there)
- a gaming forum (something I picked up on in college to watch out for my youngest sister on…but never seemed to be able to leave)
- my wife’s blog (yes, of course!)
- (daily…have to keep up with all that spam that keeps building up!)
- and a random interactive comic…usually on weekends…just for a diversion

There is really not much else out there that gains my attention. I guess this comes of how I view the internet: as information and communication based rather than as a source for entertainment. The internet has become very much centered on entertainment (I wish I recalled the ancient root for that word…it used to prove enlightening).

I suppose it is not surprising that, before the advent of the internet (*gasp*) I could often be found perusing our 1980s World Book Encyclopedia collection. How I would love a furniture-set of those (newer versions), again.

The Rebel’s Last Ride

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Tomorrow I may very well be getting a new motorcycle. The Rebel (1985 Classic…a 250cc) is showing its age despite its simple, reliable design, and it is time for me to move to a larger-displacement bike for very practical (and not ego-driven) reasons. I will most likely be returning with either a Shadow 600 or a Shadow 750. I have done a lot of shopping around, and although they are not priced the lowest I do feel pretty confident in the purchase–especially after much research and negotiation.

Very likely the final decision will come down to ergonomics–how well the bike fits me and my style of riding.

I could always hold off on buying a bike, but I really want to ride more this winter…and the Rebel is just not cutting it for winter riding (not in its present condition, anyway).

A wedding present from a very dear friend of mine (who also happens to work at the school with me), the Rebel has done well for me for almost exactly 1.5 years. I am using it as a trade-in mostly so that I can avoid having to part it out or try to sell it and to avoid DMV/insurance paperwork. I’m not getting much for it, but it is worth it to get the trade-in. I feel pretty nostalgic in getting rid of the Rebel, but my friend is excited for me, and I always think he knew this day would come ;0) In fact, I remember him telling me when he gave me the bike that it was to learn on until I got another one…and that I would then have the opportunity to use it as trade-in or to sell it.

It may seem strange, but receiving that little motorcycle was the best wedding present I could have received (besides gaining the hand of my wonderful wife!) It brought me just enough freedom to help me get through the rougher days, and brought me even closer to one of my best friends. I also ride with an uncle, and my father-in-law and brother-in-law both ride now, and my wife will be enjoying the larger bike as she rides behind me. Summer is going to be lots of fun–cruising when the in-laws come to watch the little one ;0)

So, my Rebel, tomorrow I will go brave the sub-freezing temperatures for nearly 2 hours…bundled up more than ever before in multiple clothing layers…and trade you in. Thanks for being “cheap, reliable transportation” and for introducing me to the joys of the open road.

Mankind’s Natural Enemy

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Humanity has no natural predators.  Excepting, of course, himself. 

We are of course limited by environment and intellect, but both of these boundaries can be (and are being) tested continually.

“Be angry and do not sin.”

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

A person could live a pretty effective life this way.  Often I find that I should be angry at things in life, and then I should let this anger propel toward bettering myself and my surroundings:

  • anger at personal flaws (all of which can be fixed, I sincerely believe, in every person)
  • anger at bureaucratic nonsense that dampens creativity and development
  • anger at people saying very little in many grandiose words
  • anger at others missing the point entirely on a number of subjects, while still arguing fruitlessly
  • anger at sin and rebellion against a sinful nature

So many times anger is a resource for us.  Sin, however, meets out only death.

I am reminded of a hero of mine:  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Now if anyone had the idea of being angry without sinning down, it was Dr. King.  I wish I could have known that man.  As flawed as any person, but not misguided…he was certainly a man worth emulating.

Where does a 6th-year teacher fit?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

As a 6th-year teacher, I am certainly a professional.  However, I no longer fit in the largest camps.  I am not a veteran teacher; neither am I a new teacher.  I fit, rather, on that middle-ground.  I am well-defined and well-known, but I am not one of those teachers who has “ALWAYS been here.”  Upon reflection…I rather enjoy where I’m at right now.  This is a good “teacher age.”  Neither on the way out nor just on the way in.

Snow, and tomorrow night’s pageant

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I have enjoyed the snow outside of my classroom windows, today.  I narrowly made the wise choice to take the car instead of the Rebel…a wise decision, since the snow (now petered off to nothing) started out as sleet.

Tonight I have a “dress rehearsal” for the Male Teacher Pageant for which I volunteered.  I am hoping that I can cut out somewhat early, though, since my wife and child will be going away for a week in two days and it would be nice to spend a little time with them this evening.  For the pageant, I will be wearing my motorcycle gear…and will be reading some science poems which I have written (as featured on the main site).  One of them will be set to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song (affectionally known as the Fresh Prince of Preshair (Pressure)).

Since I live a decent enough distance away from the school, I will be staying here until the rehearsal tonight…and staying after until the pageant, tomorrow.  It will be the perfect opportunity to do some more grading.


Saturday, December 11th, 2010

I want you to think about one person who has changed your life forever for the better. If you can think of none, then you are blind. If you can think of many, then you are blessed.

This is pretty bad…

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

On the way home from my night job, I was listening to the radio.  On the station was an ad for an agency that helps over-eaters.  It made me ravenous.  And yes, before you ask, I could stand to lose a few pounds  ;0)