Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yes! There are dumb questions.

I was told by a University professor that there was no such thing as a dumb question. There is! I have just been ask by an 8-year-old more dumb questions than I can endure.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Hungry! Will work for food."

That is what it said on his sign. There still isn't a law against begging at an intersection in Pasco county Florida.

Today a neighbor boy, about 8, hit on me for money to go to the Tarpon roller rink. I gave him a dollar. He said he needed $5 and I told him that he would have to get the rest somewhere else. The little boy doesn't know yet that the needs a permit to ask a householder for money. The only way here to beg without a permit is at an intersection. They usually do it where there is a stop light.

Wait until they post a sign. That is prohibited by code too. LOL

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Twit me!


Some are already angry.

I didn't go to to the Boat Club last night because I felt threatened by angry people last Tuesday.
There I heard a long tragic story from a 52-year-old mother who was recently fired from the Home Depot.

I thought in the beginning that the arrival of the Home Depot was going to be tragic for many. It is a convenience for me. For the small independent retailers, it was the beginning of the end. My father thought that bigger was better. People like him bought from the biggest retailers. However, I continued to buy from Holiday Wholesale until it closed. It had been the source of income for a family, a few friend and a good neighbor. There I could write a check without producing a ID and get helpful advise regarding solving a plumbing problem.

The Home Depot not only caused small retailers to closed, it blocked others from starting. If you were not authorized by the Home Depot and willing to forfeit 10% of the sale, then you were not allowed into the Home Depot circle.

So if you cannot start a business, then you have to work for perhaps the Home Depot as an employee. You become wage slave. Is Junior achievement about becoming a wage slave?

Code Enforcement has gradually become a blocking factor. There is little that you can do that does not require a permit and a required license to get the permit. They both require money up-front. If you advertise and you are investigated. The result of that is usually a visit from a Code Enforcement officer. This has been extended to your own home. Yes, in most cases a permit is required to improve or repair even your own home.

Not long ago the desperate could take scrap to the Hobb's Junk yard. That now has been blocked. Every way they turn, their a source of income is blocked by rules, regulations and enforcers. This is not the end of the story. It is just that I have exceeded my willingness to write.

Their anger is justified.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Danny's Lawn & Landscaping

Daniel [14] gave me his flier today. In the past, I received one of these from a similar boy. At the time I thought it was a great idea and something I should support. It is what Jr. Achievement is all about. It is the free enterprise in action at its early beginning. Young boys providing a service that helps others and receiving money for meeting other's needs. There cannot possible be anything wrong with that or is there? There is and I'm not going to encourage Daniel.

The boys that began that path were arrested and put in a juvenile home for criminal boys. Their business venture was the beginning of the end for those boys. What happened was basically nothing. Not one of the retirees living here hired the boys to do anything. I hired them once to put out fliers. The problem occurred because I knew where not to leave a flier. All hell broke loose and I had to tell the boys to stop. That ended the money they had been receiving from me and no one else hired them to do anything. That made the boys angry. I think they were justified to be angry. They took out their anger on the club house. That act turned them into criminals.

Daniel is going down the same path. He hasn't become disillusioned yet. He will and then there is the high probability that he will become angry. Where and how he directs that anger will determine his future.If he lived in a nurturing society, he would have a bright future. Little does he know that Code Enforcement will soon visit him. They are never encouraging. They will ask him to produce a license and when he cannot do that, he will be ordered to stop. If he doesn't, then he will be ordered to appear in court. If he doesn't do that, he will be in contempt of court and there will be a warrant for his arrest. Daniel will have a good reason to be angry. I don't want to be around when he acts out.

The bottom line: When a child provides goods or services for money, they are in the the adult domain and potentially in jeopardy. In other words, when a child has to hustle for money as do many poor kids, the legal system will not be far behind. Fortunate are the kids from families where they are free from the hustle and can focus on learning, travel and socializing. All those things that are the birth right of the upper class.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Son Died 30 Years Ago At Kent State

My Son Died 30 Years Ago At Kent State
by Elaine Holstein

Today is the 30th anniversary of the killing of four students - including my son Jeff Miller - at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard.

At a few minutes past noon today, I am once again observing this anniversary - an anniversary that marks not only the most tragic event of my life but also one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history.

Thirty years! That's 10 years longer than Jeff's life. He had turned 20 just a month before he decided to attend the protest rally that ended in his death and the deaths of Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer and Bill Schroeder, and the wounding of nine of their fellow students. That Jeff chose to attend that demonstration came as no surprise to me. Anyone who knew him in those days would have been shocked if he had decided to sit that one out.

There were markers along the way that led him inexorably to that campus protest. At the age of 8, Jeff wrote an article expressing his concern for the plight of black Americans. I learned of this only when I received a call from Ebony magazine, which assumed he was black and assured me he was bound to be a "future leader of the black community."

Shortly before his 16th birthday, Jeff composed a poem he called "Where Does It End?" In it, he expressed the horror he felt about "the War Without a Purpose." So when Jeff called me on the morning of May 4th and told me he planned to attend a rally to protest the "incursion" of U.S. military forces into Cambodia, I merely expressed my doubt as to the effectiveness of still another demonstration.

"Don't worry, Mom," he said. "I may get arrested, but I won't get my head busted." I laughed and assured him I wasn't worried.

The bullet that ended Jeff's life also destroyed the person I had been - a naive, politically unaware woman. Until the spring of 1970, I would have stated with absolute assurance that Americans have the right to dissent publicly from the policies pursued by their government. The Constitution says so.

And even if the dissent got noisy and disruptive, was it conceivable that an arm of the government would shoot at random into a crowd of unarmed students? With live ammunition? No way!

The myth of a benign America was one casualty of the shootings at Kent State. Another was my assumption that everyone shared my belief that we were engaged in a no-win situation in Vietnam and had to get out.

As the body count mounted and the footage of napalmed babies became a nightly television staple, I was certain that no one would want the war to go on. The hate mail that began arriving at my home after Jeff died showed me how wrong I was.

To most people, Kent State is just one of those traumatic events that occurred during a tumultuous time. To me, it's the one experience I will never recover from. It's also the one gap in my communication with my older son, Russ: Neither of us dares to talk about what happened at Kent State for fear that we'll open floodgates of emotion we can't deal with.

Whenever there is another death in the family, we not only mourn the elderly parent or grandparent or aunt who has passed away; we also experience again the loss of Jeff.Elaine Holstein lives in New York. She can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org[P.S. Two days after this incident, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi were also killed by the National Guard. These six students were peacefully and constitutionally protesting an unjust war and tragically became victims of it.]

Where would we be as a social group if ....

Where would we be as a social group if those of us who care were considered by the majority to be mentally sick? Teaching should be a caring profession. I have always thought it was. But, what if I have always been wrong?

I just got down from my roof where I had to deal with a roof problem. There I could hear the lyrics of a rap song. Repeated over and over were these words with a female voice: "He be gone crazy, he be gone crazy, he be gone crazy ...." Do you really care? These could be the words of a high school drop-out. The boy was doomed by the system. Do you really care?

Caring isn't dead ....

Caring isn't dead, but it sure has become rare. What can be done for someone that will not care for themself?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael expected us to be kind.

When Michael Jackson expected us to be kind, he was expecting too much. That should not be the case, but it is the majority of the time. Kind people are the exception.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This is what Warren Buffett said about our economic situation.


This is what Warren Buffett said about our situation. http://www.cnbc.com/id/31526130

Mike's step-son got out of jail a few days ago. His mom has negative expectation for him. The kid is doomed. Here the people, houses, and businesses are coming apart. You and James are the exception. Here, things are just going from bad to worse for most of us. We might drag everyone else down with us. 'Lawyer Bill' thinks it all just a big joke. So long as he is dunk or under the influence of something everything is cool. His wife should Baker Act him. There are always exceptions, I don't think that the excepts will save the day.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Twitter address has changed again.

https://twitter.com/StephenLyons03 Put this in you browser. When there, if you want to follow, click follow. Respond, if that is what you want to do.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Twitter is being added to Lessonplans.com

This link will take you to our Twitter. http://twitter.com/Lessonplans_com (I thought it would, but it doesn't. You can get there by cutting and pasting the URL into your browser window.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Teaching without purpose or meaning ....

... is pointless.



I watched an education segment on USF, Create. There a high school student was teaching how to write an equation that defines a slopping straight line. The teach took about 15 minutes. I was at first impressed. After I realized what had happened, I was greatly unimpressed by the disingenuous teach.

The presentation had been speeded digitally. What should have taken at least an hour spread over a few days was compressed into minutes. I learn fast, but not that fast. I think it was beyond anyone’s ability to learn. I could follow the student teacher because I had already learned what was being taught; for me, it was a review.

The speed reminded me of when I was in a speed-reading class at Midland High. We would scan down a page and flip it. Books would be read at an astronomic speeds and comprehension was supposedly high. I realized that it had been a fraud after I became an educated adult.

There are several factors that could be supporting speed-teaching:

1. Students are in a competitive environment where learning is a measure of intelligence. Those that learn the quickest and the most gain superiority. That reminds me of my nephews. Both of them went though a phase where they were encouraged to read books. They reasoned that reading more books was better than just reading a few. So they would announce periodically the number of books that they had read: 10, 32, 105 etc. They both were socially promoted and graduated from high school. (Mom was a math teacher and Dad was on the school board) One dropped out of community college the other graduated from a recreation college where he majored in mountain climbing.
2. Administrator can lower the cost of education an individual student if they can do it quicker with a non-certified student of about the same age that is paid usually nothing. And, student, parents and even Stephen will be impressed. I really was at first.
3. Most short attention span student would like it. Then they can get onto doing what they really want to do and that is not understanding how to write and algebraic equation. How many of them are interested in the ‘Y’ intercept?

The bottom line: I am not impressed with speed-teaching regardless of who is doing it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is this what is right about us as humans?

I wonder if this is what is right about us as humans. The following is a list of dances we have learned. I have learned only a small fraction of them, others have learned much more then I have and wonder why I am driven to learn a new dance before I have mastered the ones I already know.

It's great fun and it has a positive effect on my life.


52 PokerFace/CraigBennett/intermediate43 Whiter Than White-Kim Ray/Intermediate-Advanced 29 Amame-Robbie/McGowan-Hickie/Int 29 Coochie coochie Bang Bang/Blevins/int29 Guantanamera-Kim Ray-Int25 Make My Day-Francien Sittrop-Beg/Int.24 Life Without You/Maggie Gallagher 24 Tango Cha/Thompson-Szymanski & Szekely/Int 22 Jesse James/Rachael McEnaney/Intermediate/Advanced 21 U Turn/Robbie McGowen Hickie/Beg/Int20 18 yellow Roses/Maria Tao/Intermediate20 Moonlight Kiss-Maggie Gallagher/Intermediate20 My Veronica-Peter Metelnick & Allison Biggs/ Beginner/Intermediate 20 Turn Me Loose-Simon Ward-Int 18 Hush Hush-Musk/Advanced17 Broken Glass/Scott Blevins/Int/Adv 17 Holding On To Yesterday/Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs/int17 Insomnia/Walton/Intermediate 17 Roomba/Guyton Mundy/Int 16 Addicted-McEnaney/intermediate-Advanced16 Feel/ScottBlevins/Int 16 Here's Looking At You Kid/Steve Lescarbeau/Intermediate15 Beautiful/ShazWalton/intermediate15 Love Worth Waiting For/Maria Tao/Intermediate14 Born 2 Dance-Julia Ann Kennedy 14 Sting Me/Pamela Leader & Ray Crum/Intermediate13 Go Mama Go-Kate Sala & Robbie McGowan Hickie-Beg/Int13 Isolated-McLaughlin/Intermediate-Advanced13 Love Me Tomorrow/Peter Metelnick / Alison Biggs /Int12 human-dancer/alan birchall/intermediate 12 TOES/Rachel McEnaney 12 Wanna Be Elvis/Robbie Mcgowen-Hickie/Beg-int.11 Ease on Down/Rachael McEnaney/JP/Bracken Ellis Potter11 Halo/Neville&Julie/Int 9 And I like it/Maggie Gallagher/Int 9 Being lonely/kim Ray/int9 Go baby go/Rachel McEnaney/int9 My New Life/Offermans/Begin.8 Magic/Shaz Walton/Int-Adv 8 My Next Love/Poulsen/Intermediate 8 Never ending love/Maria Tao/Intermediate8 Not like that/Robbie McGowan Hickie/Intermediate8 Purple Rain-McEnaney/Intermediate8 Runaround Sue-Rachel McEnaney . 8 Sister Kate/Ria Vos/Intermediate7 Am I?/Cato Larsen/Intermediate7 Cha Cha/Peter Ng/Intermediate7 Cool Chick-Robbie McGowan Hickie7 Country As Can Be-Suzanne Wilson7 Downpour-Paul McAdam 7 Faith In Love/Junior Willis & Craig Bennett/Intermediate7 How Long -Jo Thompson 7 I Held Your Hand/Sevel & Poulsen/Advanced7 invisible-Junior Willis7 Mama said/Maria Tao/int7 Rio - Diana Lowery 7 Shattered/Tom Clemons/Intermediate7 Swing-N-Cha/Patrick Fleming & Zac Detweiller7 Why Did You Lie?/ Jo Thompson Szymanski & Debbie Szekely/ Intermediate6 1-2-3-Summertime/Verdonk&Bos/Intermediate6 Better In Time-Dancin' Terry/Int6 Bossy/Michele Perron/Int/Adv 6 Burning/Larsen/Intermediate6 Drop the Beat-John Robinson6 Fire On Ice/Sala/int 6 Food Chain/Scott Blevins/Int 6 Go with the Flow/Peter&Alison6 In Control/Cato Larsen/Intermediate6 In Your Backyard-Thomas Haynes 6 Just Dance/Peter Metelnick&Alison Biggs/Int-Adv 6 Just The Two of Us/Ruben Luna6 LA Secret/Robbie McGowan Hickie/Int 6 Like A Dream-Peter & Allison-Int6 Mystery Cha/Paul McAdams/int.6 Notice the Danger/Mundy/Int6 Searching/Kate Sara/Int6 Senseless Cha/Neville & Julie/Int6 Tennessee Waltz/Maria Tao/Intermediate 6 Zjozzy's Funk/Petra/Inter 5 All I Got/Robbie McGowan Hickie/Int 5 Amore Di Hielo/Ellis/int5 Boyfriend of the Year/Yvonne Anderson/Int 5 Caught in the act/Ann Wood/Int 5 Cha Cha With Me-Niels B. Poulsen 5 Charanga/Rachael McEngeny/Int 5 Crazy foot mambo/Paul McAdam/int5 Creepin’/Scott Blevins/Int5 Cuban Kiss/Poulsen/Int5 Four On The Floor/Matt Thomson & Michelle Ziminski/Intermediate 5 Galway Girls/Hodgson/Intermediate5 Gimme a chance/Maggie Gallerham/int 5 Good Time-Jenny Cain 5 It's Goin Round Round - Joey Warren/Inter 5 Lost In You-McEnaney-Int5 Miller Magic/Palmer/Simon/Cox 5 My Mamacita-Rep Ghazali-Intermediate5 My One Desire/Metelnick&Biggs/Int5 Oklahoma Wind/Teather/inter. 5 Spotlight/Musk/Int 4 1976 - Mike O'Brien 4 All Summer Long/Pim van Grootel & Daniel Trepat/Int 4 Bossy Boots / Robbie McGowan Hickie / Int 4 Cabo San Lucus/Rep Ghazali/Beginnger 4 Catch The Rain/Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs4 Come dance with me/Jo Thompson/beg 4 Dance Off My Blues/Dan Albro/B-I 4 Earthquake - Susan Brooks4 Firecracker/Lindsay/int 4 Funkafied Blues/Jo Thompson/Int4 Girl/Craig Bennet/int 4 have fun go mad/scott blevins/intermediate 4 Headphones/Maggie Gallagher/Int4 Higher and Higher/Perry/Int 4 Hit the Lights/Sittrop/Int4 It's up to you/Kim Ray/int4 J Ho/ Maggie Gallagher/Int4 Jai Ho / Amy Christensen / Intermediate4 Jo 'N Jo Tango/ Jo Thompson Szymanski & Rita Jo Thompson/ Beginner 4 Keywest/Sala&Hickie/beg-inter.4 Little Red Book-Dee Musk (B) 4 Pacifico/Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs/Int4 Rebel Amor/Roy Verdonk & Wil Bos/Beg-Int 4 Snowbird/Maria Tao/Int 4 Something Crazy, Neville Fitzgerald/Julie Harris4 Summer Wine/Winnie Yu/Beginner/Inter 4 T.O.P - Neville Fitzgerald/Julie Harris4 Thank You/Maggie Gallagher/Intermediate/Advanced4 Tumbling Rush/Peter Metelnick & Alison Biggs/Intermediate 3 Angel cha/Neils Poulsen/int 3 Angels on the Moon /Guyton Mundy / int/adv 3 Bad Boy/Robbie MH/Easy Int 3 Because - Neville Fitzgerald/Julie Harris3 Cruising - Neil Hale3 Did You Ever/Robbie McGown Hickie/Int3 Different Shoes/Christopher Petre/Beg Plus3 Do That Again/Scott, Buckley, Andrew &Sheila/Beg3 Don't Be Afraid Steve Lescarbeau Int 3 Fairytale/Cato Larson/ Beginner-Intermediate 3 Get Involved, Paul McAdam3 Hey! Hey! Goodbye! / Guyton Mundy 3 Hold Me Love Me/Alan Haywood/Beg/Intermediate 3 I Promise You - Craig Bennett 3 If I could Change / Ruben Luna / Inter.3 I'm Yours / Neils Poulson/Int 3 Island Girl/Peter & Alison/Beg/Int3 Lay It On the Line/Guy Dube/Inter.3 Leave the Boat/Rachael McEnaney/Int.3 Let Me Love You/Hazel Pace/Intermediate 3 Locomotion - Jo Thompson 3 No More Cloudy Days/Alan Birchall/Beg/Intermediate3 Ol Skool Company / Rona Kaye / Intermediate 3 Reach Out - Shaz Walton/Int 3 Respect/Daniel Trepat/Beg-Int3 Simplementa/Kate Sala/int3 Try To Remember/Maria Tao/Beg 3 When I Cry/Maria Hunt/Int2 All summer long/Paula Baker/int2 American Pop / Michael Barr and Michele Burton 2 Anticipation / Peter and Alison / Int2 Ay Amor/ria vos/beg.int.2 Bad Influence / Mark Furnell & Jo & John Kinser / Beginner/Intermediate 2 Bosa Nova/Phil Dennington/Int 2 Brazil/Frank Trace/Beg2 Butter Beans/Christopher Petre/BI 2 Cuckoo/McGowan Hickie/Intermediate2 Doctor's orders/Maggie Gallagher2 Don't Call Me Baby...Anymore/Barbara R.K. Wallace/Int2 Dreams Can Come True/Terri Alexander/Easy Intermediate 2 Duck Soup - Frank Trace2 Eat Mo' Grits/Dancin' Terry/Beg./Int. 2 Feed the fetish/Scott Blevins/int 2 Find A Way/Furnell & Kinser/Beg/Int 2 Hard to Breathe - Wes Smith - Intermediate Level2 Hippy Dippy Mambo - Sue Ann Ehmann - Beginner 2 How Do You Sleep?/Junior Willis/Jill Babinec/Int 2 I Dance Susan Puruleski Int 2 I Told You So/GYTAL/B 2 Inside Out/Kim Ray/I2 IRISH STEW/LOIS LIGHTFOOT 2 Kiss a Girl - Wes Smith - Intermediate Level2 Lady Gaga/Linedance N Smile/HB 2 Leaving Of Liverpool/Maggie Gallagher/Beg 2 Let's Honky Tonk/Peter Metelnick2 Lets Lie in the Sun/Cresdee/Beg Int2 Like I Never – Wood/Intermediate2 Love Sex Magic/Lawrence Allen/Beg-Int2 Make a memory/Michael Barr/int2 Miss California/Rachael McEnaney2 Nimby/Maggie Gallagher/int 2 No Need to Rush- Neville and Julie2 NuFlow/Masters in Line 2 Oh Babe!/ Johanna Barnes/ Inter 2 Partytown 4-10 / Rep Ghazali / Int2 POT OF GOLD/LIMA HRYCAN 2 Prison Break/Racheal McEnaney/Int 2 Red Dress / Peter Metelnick 2 Run Sue, Run!/Cato Larsen/Beg 2 Sag Drag & Fall/Frank Trace/B 2 Shake Yourself Loose by Kathy Hunyadi2 She believes/Kate Sala/int2 Sixty Minute Man-Dancin’ Terry 2 So Persausive - Dan McInerney/Int/Adv2 Speechless/Rachel McEnaney/int2 Stand Up Routine Jordan LLyod2 Strength in Numbers/Peter & Alison/int-adv2 Sweet Thing 2 Tempted Tonight/Michelle Burton/Intermediate 2 Thanks a lot/Robbie McGowan Hickie/int 2 The Climb / Shaz Walton / Intermediate 2 The Dance/Craig Bennett/Intermediate2 The LaLa Dance/Bos & Verdonk/Beg/Int2 The Smell of Your Sweet Perfume/Ward/I2 The way you look/Craig Bennett/int2 THE WAY/GERARD MURPHY 2 Time To Swing /Andrew Palmer & Sandra Cox / Int. 2 Under A Spell / Kate Sala / Intermediate 2 Vital Signs/Watson/Beginner Intermediate2 Viva La Fiesta(Garth Bock) 32Ct/4W/Int 2 WAVE ON WAVE/ALAN BIRCHALL2 What's the Deal (Bennet,Musk & Walton) High Int 2 WHERE WE'VE BEEN/LANA HARVEY WILSON 1 Sweet Mambo/Gytal/BI

Friday, June 12, 2009


Just wondering about teachers' expectations for the future of their students. Do you see future caring professional people, the working class that will struggle on food stamps or do you see future prisoners? Perhaps you see a mix. Your expectations effect what they will become? Perhaps it will have no effect. We can not know with certainty if our expectations will be self-fulfilling. I think we should project a positive future for our youth.

Mike's step-son is now in jail. He wants him there and he wants him to be a career criminal. Mike has him mentally tracked in that direction. He even disclosed that he hoped the Jared would be sodomized. There is no law prohibiting having low expectations for someone, even if they are your student, child, or step-child. However, I am certain that there are ethical and hopefully religious grounds for condemning someone that does this.

"Annually, as many as 125,000 people with mental illnesses requiring immediate treatment are arrested and booked into Florida Jails" Did someone or some institution track them into that situtation?

Friday, June 05, 2009

I do not feel safe with such behavior in my neighborhood.

Hi Mike,

I turned on the computer at 2:45 a.m. and witnessed a car being chased by a police car at a very fast speed. Soon there were several other police cars. I went out in the Ranger to see what was happening and discovered that one of the cars had crashed into a house on Holiday Lake Drive. The police car was likely faster and nudged the rear of the other car causing it to lose control.

I wonder what was so important that they would chase at what would have been at a speed greater than 100 mph and then cause an accident that resulted in great property damage and likely death.

I do not feel safe with such behavior in my neighborhood. I live on the same side of the street as the accident.