Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Other Side of the Coin

My previous post got me to thinking about other "hot" musicians from the '70s. Peter Frampton immediately came to mind. The album cover above is from the late '70s.
THIS is how Peter Frampton looks today. Do the words "rode hard and put away wet" come to mind while viewing this photo? In addition, Frampton is a year younger than Rick Springfield.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Still HOT!

I've had a crush on Rick Springfield since I bought his first album, Beginnings, in 1972. I bought the album for the song Speak to the Sky. I had no idea how good-looking Rick was until I purchased the album (pictured above).

I was ecstatic when Rick's career REALLY took off in 1981 with the release of his album, Working Class Dog. The 80s was Rick's decade, and I happily snapped up all of his albums. L even bought me a copy of his movie, Hard to Hold.
Today, Rick was a guest on Oprah. I can't believe how well he's aged! It's just not right that a 58-yr-old man should still look this HOT!

I wonder if those glasses are bifocals?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish."
"Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it."

"Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good--death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it."

Hermann Hesse, from Siddhartha

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Google Me Baby!

Please don't put tampons in the toilet poem (Have you checked Wordsworth or Tennyson?)

eating uncooked ramen (Yes, my grandson has weird eating habits!)

give hot hairry (From Bangalore, India. Move on pervert!)

can the lego studios camera be used as a webcam (Yes.)

can sniff novocaine (From the UK. Wouldn't it be easier to score some Whiteout or model cement?)

tantrum menopause (From the Antilles. Isn't it comforting to know that this is a worldwide problem?)

its cdo not ocd (Somebody agrees with Courtney!)

eve angel reformatory pics (From Italy. WHY did this search arrive HERE?)

kucinich ufo planet ashtar (More "federation" crazies!)

scrapbooking obituaries (My cousin kept my Grandma's collection. We used to make fun of Grandma's book, but it's been an invaluable tool for researching our family tree.)

elizabeth kucinich ascended masters (Again with the crazies!)

menards theme song (You gotta be kidding me! I've had several people searching for this.)

daddys men mature aged (Italians do some WEIRD searches!)

tom and val gonser (WHO?)

site to check your hours at menards employee (They're on your time card brainiac!)

irish lefse (Really? Do you know anything about this Jeannie?)

15-yr voyeur (Happy Anniversary!)

talk funny norwegian (NO, I don't have a MN accent!)

"who would buy that?" (What were they hoping to find with this search? At my blog they found dog poo ornaments.)

minnesota mom (That would be me....and Pam.)

lumber yard door shop hanging (Huh?)

"ate too many slim jims (Glutton!)

sananda and the galactic fleet (....and MORE crazies!)

head is fuzzy recovering from pneumonia (And your point is....?)

hairry mom (Hairry gets so many hits that I'm considering giving him his own blog!)

mendards (From Winnipeg. Is this the Canadian spelling of Menards?)

voyer hairry (From Czechoslovakia. Hairry has a pretty widespread fan base.)

demi's creations (Be careful what you wish for!)

wc huge turds voyeur (I understand how this search arrived here, but WHY are they searching for this?!)

voyeurs boy 5-15 age photo (From Amman, Jordan. Stay on your own side of the pond you friggin' pervert!)

sme pizza (OK, I HAD to Google this one for myself. Yes, there is such a franchise. Maybe you should sue them for royalties SME?)

on what page is cower written in the great gatsby (Apparently a clever teacher has found a way to make sure the kids actually READ the book. Nice try kid; now go read the book!)

cherie's blog (Did this guy from Argentina find you Cherie?)

chocolate dog turd candy (That would be a unique alternative to our ornaments.)

extremely hairry (From Portugal. Yes, he is!)

creaplu (Netherlands. No clue!)

longshoreman walk the plank blogspot (Estonia. I swear like one at times.)

star fleet galactic federation 2012 (Dec 21st to be exact. Why don't you camp out at one of the landing spots? It's never too early to stake out a front row seat!)

mud wrestling vancouver (Come spring you can use my front yard.)

"unix performs better" (Zombieslayer and my son think so.)

"payback's a bitch acronym (That might come in handy.)

fun stuff to do in menards (I dunno....smell the cedar boards?)

belle starr ancestors (I seem to recall that one of my readers IS a descendant. GWB maybe?)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Just a few things that have been perplexing me lately:

Why are men's underwear sized to match their pants size, but women's underwear comes in size 5-10?

Why are adult socks one-size-fits-all? My Dad wears a size 13 shoe, L wears a 7, yet they wear the same size sock. L is comfortable in socks; my Dad can't wait to remove his, as they squeeze his feet.

Why is D-width in men's shoes standard, but D-width in women's shoes is wide?

Why do companies keep changing their packaging? I don't care that Pepsi now comes in a "cool" graffiti-look can! All that matters is the product inside the package.

Why do they make snowmobiles that go 100mph? For that matter, why do they make cars that go over 80mph?

Why don't they make a men's cologne that smells like sawdust? To me, there's nothing sexier than the smell of a man that's been working with wood!

Why is curb appeal and paint color so important when buying a home? These items are easy to change, and give a home your own style. Doesn't anybody worry about structure, windows, water heaters and furnaces anymore?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Freaking Out!

I didn't realize how smoothly our homeschool learning system was working...until Thursday.

When I got home from work, Z was freaking out. He was certain that he'd never be able to pass his Driver's Ed class. He was struggling with coming up with 4 questions, that weren't in the book's quiz, about the chapter he was reading. This required Z's brain to be in 3 places at once; reading the material, remembering the book's questions, and trying to find new questions about the chapter. Z's ADD kicked in, and he was totally frustrated.

We have spent the last 3 years of homeschooling getting Z to concentrate on ONE thing at a time. ADD requires this. He needs to home in on the single task at hand or his attention span flies out the window. This is a skill Z acquired in the past 6 months. It's a new skill that hasn't quite become 2nd nature to Z yet. Re-entering a classroom setting, where the class jumps all over in the material, does NOT work for Z. His brain NEEDS to complete an idea, before it jumps to the next. He can't return to the original idea and complete it later.

In addition, the teacher covers some of the chapters in class by having the kids read the chapters aloud. Z was appalled at how poorly a lot of the kids read. It was painful! While these kids are haltingly reading the material, Z's ADD brain focuses on their mistakes, not the content of the material.

I also have the feeling that Z is inhibiting his tics while in class. I realize that he has a natural desire to be like everybody else, and fears ridicule. BUT, inhibiting tics requires a lot of his attention. ADD doesn't give Z much attention to spare.

Z has always had a hard time picking out the important facts in his reading assignments. He needs to take in the assignment as a whole Only then can his brain process the information and arrive at a logical conclusion. This may be an OCD trait, rather than ADD, but it's still the only way he can function for now.

Z also has dysgraphia, a common TS/ADD trait. Handwriting is painfully slow for him. By the time a thought has traveled from his brain to his hand, another thought has popped into his overactive brain. At home, we have conquered this problem with keyboarding. Z's typing skills are amazing, and allow him to quickly get his thoughts on paper. Dysgraphia makes it almost impossible for Z to answer essay questions. Even single word answers are difficult for him. He has no problem with true/false or multiple choice questions. I don't foresee Z having ANY problem passing our state's written driver's exam, as the questions are all true/false and multiple choice. His Driver's Ed class is another story. The teacher uses ALL essay or written answer questions. Z got 8/10 correct on his last quiz. I think this is quite good for him. The teacher says this is a failing grade. WHAT?! Since when is 80% a failing grade?!

All of these minor problems, added together, tend to send Z into panic mode. When Z's stress level spikes, memory and attention span fly out the window! Z NEEDS to remain calm and focused, despite the distractions of a classroom setting.

Together, we have developed a plan. Z will work ahead of his class at home, where he can concentrate. His classroom instruction will only serve as a review of the material he has already learned. I told Z to remain calm and do his best on the quizzes. If he continues to score 80%, I WON'T let the teacher fail him. The law says that Z needs to complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and pass the state's written driver's exam in order to get his learner's permit. The law says NOTHING about passing classroom quizzes. Z is putting in his time and has learned the material in the book. If necessary, I will demand another quiz format for Z. I hope it doesn't come to this as Z says I tend to piss off teachers. It's not that I'm confrontational. It's that our teachers don't like to think outside the box, or admit that parents may know more about their kid's abilities than they do. It's a power trip thing, and I DON'T DO power trips!

Homeschooling has taught Z something that the other kids don't do...Z learns from his mistakes! When Z answers a question wrong on his quizzes, he goes back to the book and learns why he got the question wrong. He won't make the same mistake twice! Believe me, Z won't be getting behind the wheel until L and I are convinced that he understands the rules of the road and safe driving practices. WE are Z's final exam!

The one good thing that has come from this experience is Z's response: "This is the 2nd most important time that I've been soooo grateful to be homeschooled! Thanks for doing this for me Mom and Dad!"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

That's Our Boy!

Yesterday was Z's first day of classroom Driver's Ed. We were going to homeschool this class, but you wouldn't believe the hoops the state wanted us to jump through. The red tape is incredible! So, we bit the bullet, paid our $75, and enrolled Z in Driver's Ed. The class runs for 2 weeks, from 4-7 p.m.

The sheet we were given at registration stated that Z MUST attend all 30 hrs of class in order to take his written permit test. The only excused absences are for severe illness, or earth-shattering family emergencies, and these absences must be made up. No problem.

I dropped Z off at 3:45 yesterday afternoon, slightly nervous. Z's bullies still attend this school. How would Z handle a confrontation? I figured the odds were in Z's favor as his former classmates took Driver's Ed last year. Z won't be 16 until later this summer, so we didn't see the point in him taking Driver's Ed until this year.

Z went to the classroom and was told, by the Driver's Ed instructor, that the class had been canceled for that day. Class would start on Tuesday. HUH? The kids can't miss a class, but the instructor can cancel class on a whim? Whatever! Fortunately, Z had our cell phone with him and called me to come get him. He then went outside to wait for me.

While waiting, Z was approached by one of his bullies, a "mean girl" named Mandy, and 2 of her toadies. This girl had made Z's grade-school years miserable by deliberately humiliating him at every turn. Z decided to let bygones be bygones and had a friendly conversation with Mandy. She wanted to know where he'd been for the last 3 yrs. Z told her that he was homeschooled. Mandy asked if he was coming back to school, to which Z replied: "I'd kill myself before I'd come back to THIS school!" Mandy exchanged a few more pleasantries with Z, then went back into the school.

A few minutes later, the principal came out and started questioning Z about who he was and why he was there. The principal then told Z that there had been a "report" of a kid in a black trenchcoat, who was threatening to kill people. Mandy strikes again! Z repeated the conversation he had with Mandy to the principal. Then Z proceeded to politely tell him what he thought of our school system: "As a special needs student with Tourette's Syndrome, ADD, and OCD, your system made it impossible for me to get a decent education."

The principal's jaw dropped and he was speechless, but not for long. The cavalry had arrived! Two police cruisers zoomed in and surrounded Z on the sidewalk. An officer got out, questioned Z, smiled, and asked if he could search Z for weapons. No problem! As the officer was patting him down, Z suddenly remembered that he had his Swiss Army Knife in his pocket. Oh shit! Like any normal country boy, Z always carries a jackknife in his pocket. He forgot that this is a forbidden object in school and he SHOULD have left the knife at home. Fortunately the officer felt the knife in Z's pocket and chose not to mention it. WHEW!

When I arrived a few minutes later, all I saw was Z talking to one of his friends on the sidewalk. Z hopped in the truck, started giggling, then told me what had happened. When he got home, the adrenaline that had kept Z going wore off and he got a bit shaky. I told him that I was soooo PROUD of the way he had handled the situation. A year ago, this would have totally unnerved Z and brought him to tears. Now, here he was, handling himself like a polite, responsible young man, with all the confidence in the world. If we have accomplished nothing else in homeschooling, we have managed to return Z's confidence and self-esteem to him. He proved to himself that he knows how to use these tools in a difficult situation.

Z was a bit nervous about returning to school this afternoon. I thought of offering to walk him to class, but I knew he'd refuse the offer. When I dropped him off, Z took a deep breath, swallowed his fear, and proudly walked through the doors of the high school with his head held high. As the doors closed behind him, I let out the breath I'd been holding, and drove home with tears of love and pride shining in my eyes.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Isn't this exciting?

Sunday, we have the SUPERBowl. Sorry, not interested. NONE of my family members even know who's playing.

In case you haven't noticed, pro sports, especially the Superbowl, are all about the money! If you want to encourage the corruption of corporate America, then by all means, watch the game! The networks love your viewership; it's how they justify the high price they charge for ads during the game. Don't forget to buy a big-screen TV, team memorabilia, tons of munchies, and BEER! We don't want all the commercials and printed ads from the last month to go to waste, do we? SPEND, Wall Street is counting on you!

Next we have SUPER Tuesday. This interests me, but I still won't be participating. Why, you ask? MN is a CAUCUS state. This means that I must attend a caucus meeting at 7 P.M. at our high school, and sit through at least 2 hours of party rhetoric. THEN, I would get to vote...via "show of hands". That's right, no secret ballot, show of hands!

Nobody, in my sphere of family and friends, participates in this process. Why not? Many, like L, are working. Countless others, like myself, are tied up with extracurricular activities, feeding their families dinner, getting homework finished, and getting their kids to bed. How many people can afford, or even find, a babysitter, so they can attend a caucus?

Would all of my family and friends vote if we had a regular primary? ABSOLUTELY! We need a regular 7 A.M.-7 P.M. voting day! EVERYBODY can participate this way. Parents can bring children to the polls with them, workers can vote before or after work, AND thousands of MN "snowbirds" can vote by absentee ballot. I've been pushing for this change ever since I attended my first caucus at the age of 18!

C'mon MN; let's CHANGE this!!