Sunday, January 28, 2007

Who am I rooting for in the Super Bowl?

I don't like either team.

I'm sick of Peyton Manning to the point of hoping he gets a permanent case of laryngitis while doing a spastic billion-yell audible so he can run up the middle. That way he won't be able to do any more commercials.

So I was tentatively for the underdog Bears.

Then I read this, and I read guys actually sticking up for him in the comments.

Now I'm rooting for neither team to win.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Don't I suffer enough?

Got this in the email at work today. I won't break down the door to go...but maybe I will (the price is right). I don't do inspriational.


In appreciation of teachers across the nation who give endlessly and enrich the lives of so many students, AMC Theatres and Paramount Pictures are offering teachers an exclusive opportunity to see the highly acclaimed inspirational film, Freedom Writers, free of charge. All teachers (a) throughout the U.S. are invited to visit an AMC theatre Friday, Jan. 26, through Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, to receive one free ticket to any showing of the film during that time. The offer is valid exclusively at all participating theatres in the AMC system including: AMC Loews theatres, AMC Star theatres, AMC Magic Johnson theatres and AMC Cineplex Odeon theatres (check local listings for film availability and show times).

"We are pleased to partner with our friends at Paramount to welcome teachers across the country to a free showing of Freedom Writers, said Peter C. Brown, Chairman and CEO, AMC Entertainment Inc. "We at AMC are indebted to all teachers for the selfless work they do to motivate, teach and encourage our children. In turn, we hope this will help express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that they do,
often with very little 'thanks' in return."

Inspirational-teacher stuff is either glurge (God, but I hated Mr. Holland's Opus) or great teacher works against horrendous administration (Dangerous Minds, or Dead Poets Society, which I actually adore, perhaps because I saw it before I became a teacher). The message is that, to succeed as a teacher, one must fight the hopelessly flawed system. I'm not positive that's accurate.

Student Blooper du jour

"I thought I had died and gone to heave."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

We are doomed as a civilization.

I've been told that, if I wanted to confirm all that is worst about our culture, that I should watch MTV's My Super Sweet 16.

Holy shit! What will become of these kids? Is there ANY CHANCE of them ever becoming self-aware?

In the episode I watched, this girl was thrown up on at her party...and I cheered! I'm not proud of that, but to be honest, ANYTHING to have a kid feel a genuine human emotion that is unconnected to vanity or conspicuous commercialism felt like progress to me. Even being barfed on.

My bride just put it best: "I think you really have to try to raise a child this shallow."

But it's mesmerizing. I'm now watching a second episode, where I have watched a mom buy her daughter $13,000 earrings, and watched a fairly offensive audition for the job of the four guys who will carry the girl into her parties. (The audition consisted of taking the ten buffest guys at her school, having them remove their shirts and hula hoop in front of ogling bikini-clad girls. If the genders were reversed, there'd be picketers at both MTV and at the parents' house.)

"This is the moment of a lifetime," one of the girls just said. Which sucks for her, since her lifetime likely has 70 years left in it.

Now the girl is Jaguar shopping with the dad. She's gone right to the $96,000 car. He says he'll talk it over with Mom. I hope what he's talking over is military school for her.

When I worry about my abilities as a parent (when the time comes), I guess I can turn on this show and be comfortable that I'll be better than a certain subset of our population.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The lowest level of hell is...

Today I saw one of these.

Beauty and the Geek

It doesn't look like I'll like this season as much, and I blame the women. The women in the first two seasons, as a collective, had a sense of adventure and genuine affection for their guys. They seemed to really be rooting for the men, and I found that sweet.

This year, I'm not getting that vibe. I'm just getting bullshit intramural female cattiness, which is a lot less interesting a show.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Routes once pioneered on a dogsled are routinely paddled in a kayak now"

We're so screwed.

Six-day weekend

Third snow day in a row today, bookended around MLK weekend. I'm so stir-crazy I feel like a rabid wolverine in a cage.

I'm spending today uploading my CDs for my I-pod. I started at A. I just finished the Beatles.

This project will take longer than I thought.

Monday, January 15, 2007

To the victor go the spoils...part II

I threw $20 into an NFL Underdog Pool this year. Each week, each player chooses one NFL underdog that he/she thinks will win outright. If that team wins, the player gets the number of points that the team was an underdog by.

I have clinched the victory in the pool. (My strategy: spend the entire second half of the season picking the Titans every week.)

That's $220 I get to play with. Add that to my $200 in fantasy football winnings, and I've got a load of spending cash.

Net result: My earlier dilemma of "do I add it to the vacation fund or buy myself an Ipod" no longer exists. I can do BOTH!

As a friend of mine likes to say, "Always bet on sports."

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's an Ipod Nano at the mall with my name on it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It just keeps getting worse...

That ridiculous robo-player going through warmups on Fox. I hope to God he retires after next week. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Who likes crap like that?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Did anyone else notice...

the woman in the Superdome crowd in the first quarter with the "Fuck Da Eagles" T-shirt?

Fox sure didn't. I wonder if the FCC will?

Does Title IX require cheerleaders to go to both girls' and boys' games?

In Binghamton, NY, they say yes.

His mouth to God's ears

ESPN's Phil Rogers lauds Portland as the next home for Major League Baseball.

I'll ride high on this article until my business-major, Portland-expert wife reminds me of the reasons why MLB in Portland is doomed to failure.

NFL Round 2 Picks

Chicago over Seattle. The Seahawks, simply put, look awful...the Cowboys were just worse. It'll be a blowout.

Philadelphia over New Orleans. The Eagles look strong, and the Saints have no playoff experience.

Baltimore over Indianapolis. Payton Manning spends a lot of time on his can.

San Diego over New England. San Diego looks like a champion to me.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Some changes here.

I have categorized posts...all 584 of them. Once I figure out how to get a list of categories on here without negatively changing the look of this here place, I'll do it. Meanwhile, you can click on the little dealios under posts if you'd like.

Additionally, I have deleted a few less-visited blogs from the blogroll at right.

That's what happens when you have consecutive snow days and need stuff to do.

How y'all doing?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Just after I get board certified...

my governor has proposed a big increase in the stipend for board-certified teachers in this state.

Thanks!

This is too close to home.

When they won't teach evolution in Kansas, well, that's far away.

When they aren't allowed to show An Inconvenient Truth in my home state, well, that makes me mad.
"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."

Frosty doesn't believe in global warming?

Al Gore is not a schoolteacher, but neither are you, Mr. Hardison. The teacher is. And he/she gets to make the decision of how to present this issue. And it's not an "issue." It's a fact. The earth is getting warmer. The argument isn't whether human beings are responsible. The only remaining scientific argument is over how much we are responsible.

They want "the other side" taught, but as the movie's producer puts it, "there is no other side to science." Mr. Hardison's arguments have no basis in the truth. He has a right to his political and religious views, but he cannot change viable fact.

The article talks about how scientists have grown to accept the premises of global warming pretty damned universally. To not teach it in a biology or earth science class would be malpractice. Shame on the Federal Way District for capitulating.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The perils of the acronym

Had this conversation with a pair of refs tonight:

REF #1: The Apprentice starts tonight!
ME: Yeah. My wife watches it. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I like Beauty and the Geek.
REF #1: I understand. Me, I'm into AI.
[lengthy, confused pause]
REF #1: That's American Idol.
ME: Oh. I was thinking Artificial Intelligence.
REF #2: Yeah...I was thinking Allen Iverson.
ME: He's a reality show in himself, isn't he?

Oh yeah...

My NFL picks. I was 1-1 yesterday...Dallas sucks just a little more than Seattle, so I got that one right. I thought KC would run ragged over the Colts. Nope.

Today, I like Philly (the Giants just don't have it together, and I can't believe they're a playof team) and New England.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

TRP's 2006 NFL Prediction Results

One thing I've noticed: Both two years ago (Bears) and this year (Jets), the team I picked to be worst in the league made the playoffs.

Within a game is "on." Two games is "off." More than that is "way off."

TEAM...my prediction...actual...on/off/way off

AFC EAST
New England 11...12...on
NY Jets 3...10...hilariously off
Miami 10...6...way off
Buffalo 6...7...on

AFC NORTH
Baltimore 8...13...way off
Cincinnati 8...8...exactly on
Pittsburgh 10...8...off
Cleveland 4...4...exactly on

AFC SOUTH
Indianapolis 13...12...on
Tennessee 4...8...way off
Jacksonville 11...8...off
Houston 6...6...exactly on

AFC WEST
San Diego 9...14...way off
Kansas City 10...9...on
Denver 10...9...on
Oakland 5...2...off

NFC EAST
Philadelphia 6...10...way off
Dallas 8...9...on
NY Giants 9...8...on
Washington 10...6...way off

NFC NORTH
Chicago 12...13...on
Green Bay 3...8...way off
Minnesota 7...6...on
Detroit 7...3...way off

NFC SOUTH
New Orleans 5...10...way off
Carolina 11...8...off
Atlanta 6...7...on
Tampa Bay 10...4...way off

NFC WEST
Seattle 12...9...off
St. Louis 10...8...off
San Francisco 5...7...off
Arizona 7...5...off

Total off: 83 Average off: 2.59 (off) 12 on, 8 off, 10 way off

My prediction of Carolina winning the Super Bowl? OK, not so much. And my AFC Champion, Indianapolis...no damn way they get by any of the other division winners.

More damningly...I predicted exactly 4 of the 12 playoff teams.

But hey...I'm still fully willing to show you this. A lesser man would have deleted the old post.

Some things I learned today while judging Student Congress

With apologies to Jim, whose playbook I'm ripping off...

"If they choose to be anorexic or a bulimic, that's their business."

"A federal employee is someone who just...works, basically?"

And then, as we're about to adjourn:

--"Wait! Point of order! Can we extend the day by three minutes so someone who hasn't given a speech all day can give a speech?"
--"Absolutely! All in favor of extending the day?" (Unanimous ayes.) "Great! Now, who would like to give that speech?"
--(Long, awkward silence)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Heroes, studs, awesome dudes...

I think I could do what these guys did...

but I do not think I could do what this guy did.

Monday, January 01, 2007

How to pick what bowl game to watch

Gator or Capital One?

I chose Capitol One, Wisconsin against Arkansas, over Gator, Georgia Tech against West Virginia. I was raised in a Big Ten household--that was the deciding factor.

A few minutes into the game, I heard a voice. Who was that? Mike Ditka? No, he's ESPN...

Then I recognized a voice I have avoided for over a year. Paul Effing Maguire.

I'm now watching the Gator Bowl instead. Nobody should willingly listen to him.

(It's quite a fun ballgame, too.)