Thursday, July 30, 2009

My High School Chemistry Lab.

In Chemistry we were taught how to separate the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen. We would then causes them to recombine into water with an electric spark. That caused a pop that could be heard by the Chemistry teacher. The pop made him angry and he threatened to close the lab if it happened again. It wasn't very long when it happened again and he closed the lab for the rest of the school year. I always thought he was afraid that someone would get hurt and he would be held personally responsible. I only realized recently what we had discovered.

In Astronomy the origin of water is a mystery. I live near the Gulf of Mexico and have wondered where all that water came from. One explanation that I have heard is comets during the early formation of Earth. I think that accounts for only a small percentage of our water.
This is its source. Look at the periodic table. Hydrogen is the first element and oxygen is number eight. Put them together and add a spark and you have water. Hydrogen happens to be the most plentiful element and oxygen is also plentiful. Earth is made up of all the elements. Hydrogen is here only because it combined with oxygen as water. Any hydrogen that didn't escaped into space because our gravity isn't strong enough to hold it leaving behind water. Now you know where all that water came from. It took me 35 years to figure it out. The Chemistry teacher slowed discovery, but he didn't stop it. If his intent was to do that, then he should have shot Stephen. It only took you about 60 seconds to read this.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First World Urban Elite

That just came onto my radar for the first time. I wonder what that is about.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The city way of life rules.

I'm a country kid that went to the University. I still remember the country life. Wixom like was near me and there the city people would move to their resort homes and play with their water toys. They had more money and felt superior to us. I over heard one of the girls say when she was asked, "What are you doing here?" She responded, "Watching the grease slide."

They likely didn't know the source of the food that they were eating. Hundreds of tons of beans, corn, and sugar beats at the time were being harvested from our fields. You likely took that for granted and thought that would continue for ever.

That generation is now living in houses on some of our best farm land. We sold it to land developers. They divided into lots and wrote deed restrictions that prohibit you from growing your own food.

Mike was you to watch this.

Humm .......

I thought that teachers would be a solution and then realized that most of them and their system are the source of the problem.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I asked 10-year-old Chris when he will learn to dance.

Chris answered, "NEVER!" Then he said, "Do you want to see me do the rock-n-roll dance. To that I said, "Yes." He stood and told me to think of him holding a guitar over his head and then he smashed it onto the floor. Chris then said, "That is my dance!"

This is the third year that Chris has watched us dance and take a lesson. He never participated. He would only be there and be preoccupied with his fantasy world.

I might introduce him to a few steps. Seems that he could learn to run, run, run counter clockwise 3/4 of a circle and then hitch. That is the last 8 counts of Mad World. What percentage chance to I have of him attempting to learn that? I think it is zero.

Ignorance is bliss?

Seems like there are schemes everywhere.

I just experienced CompUSA scheme. A few last week I got caught up in the Home Depots contest scheme. I can spot them within a few minutes. Sometimes I realize what happened when I'm setting in my car. All the people that are doing this have one thing in common. They were in some one's classroom.

What are you doing to create these people?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So your son wants to buy a Fuji touring bike.

A Fuji touring bike costs between $900 to $1,100. I bought a used one a few years ago for $299. A friend said I paid too much. I feel fortunate I bought it.

I just came back from a ride on the best bike I've ever owned.

Pinellas County, Florida was agricultural.

It's not agricultural now. The only thing that remains are roads such as Brian Dairy Road. Saul's Dairy is gone without leaving a trace. I know where it was because it is in my memory. Your first responds is likely that it has no consequence to you. And, you would likely be right. But it does to the students that drank milk from those dairies.

I live in what was an orange grove. A few of us have citrus trees in our back yards that create enough for me and a few friends. I tried to sell what I didn't want a few years ago and got cited by Code Enforcement. Giving them away is also a problem.

Zoning has restricted manufacturing. There are now few areas zoned for industry. However, there are still a few zones where clean manufacturing is allowed.

Manufacturing has traditionally been where your students could eventually earn a living and support a family. That has ended. What we have now is retailing, restaurants, medical services, pan handling, street walking and law enforcement. What kind of a future is that?

I was a kid from a farming community.

I helped grow the food you eat. The field in front of my house was over a mile long and a quarter mile wide. It was some times full of corn other times beans and sugar beats. We know the source of your food and the city kids really didn't care. FFA was not a positive label and most people know know the meaning of those letters.

Unfortunately the gap between those who raise your food and those that take it for a given that they will always have the food they need is not a certainty. The ignorance of students and their parents and teachers will cause a lot of pain in the not too distance future. Think about Maslow's Hierarchy of needs again.

This problem had begun when I was a high school student. It has only gotten worse since then.

Humm .... What do you think?


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn

Friday, July 24, 2009

We live like kings and queens.

Your first response to that is likely, no I don't. If you answer no to most of these questions, then you do.

1. Do you grow your own food?
2. Do you prepare your own food?
3. Do you can, dry or otherwise prepare your food for storage?
4. Do you weave your own cloth?
5. Do you make your own clothes?
6. Did you build your own house or living unit?
7. Do you maintain your own house or living unit?
8. Did you make your own transportation?
9. Do you maintain your own transportation?
10. Do you set while someone else entertains you? (A YES for this one is the same as a NO.)

If you answered no to most of these, then you live your live as a king or queen.

You might think that you could live your life differently. That is not the case. Laws, rules and regulations blocks much of what you would try to do. The other obstruction is the lack of specialized tools, knowledge and skills.

Your students are caught in the same predicament.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You know the economy is tanking when they think you are eating cat food.

My three cat were out of canned cat food and they were pestering me. So I thought it was best to go to the super market and buy cat food and a gallon of milk. I was out of that too. At the cash register a kind voice said, "Don't eat the cat food." Humm .... the milk was for me and the cat food was for KittyKat, Dixie and Pixie. The cashier likely visualized me putting the cat food in a bowl and pouring on milk.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reserve you Twitter name NOW!

I attempted to reserve Stephen_Lyons and discovered that someone else now has it. I then tried Stephen__Lyons and that had not been taken. I have it now and I will not part with it. Visit mine and you will see what I did.

Twitter is great for announcements.

Your students will think highly of you if you are using Twitter. If you don't, you risk being thought of as being an outdated jerk. I would agree with them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The last best hope!

Readers, writers, and books are fading away: I doubt if I get an email from anyone. That will help confirm the premise.

Yesterday I got my issue of Wired. I found this on page 43. "A device like that [Kindle] is the last best hope paper-based companies have for coping with the reality that paper is doomed." I think that reading and writing books is doomed also. Your attention span has shrunk to the point where you are unable to read a book. Without readers of books, then what follows?

If I do get an email as a result of this post, it will likely be short and rude.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I got a surprise in my mailbox.

I ordered from Noam Chomsky's Failed States. It should be an enlightening read. What surprised me before getting past the cover was how cheaply made it is. I've handled a lot of books and I know what they should feel like. This one has the feel of a cheap paperback even though it has a suggested retail price of $16.

It has been a few years since I have bought a book. When was the last time you bought a book or read one. That it the problem. How many books are in your house? That is another problem.

Okay, so you and your friends don't like to read. What effect do you think that has on writers?

What happened to Junior Achievement?

I remember Junior Achievement. I was attending Midland High School at the time. After that, I lost contact with it for many years.

Junior Achievement wasn't in Saginaw High when I was there. I then taught in the Meridian school system. It wasn't there either. That may have been that Meridian was a rural school system and the people there didn't think that it was of any worth. There you were either a farmer or you worked by the hour for Dow Chemical or General Motors: you were an hourly or salary employee. One of the school board members wanted us to punch in and out with a time clock. If it was good enough for him, then it was good enough for teachers.

Junior Achievement had been in small town high schools. It see that it has now in the elementary and middle schools, if at all. It is now and that is another loss.

What happened to cause this to happen? There are multiple causes. Think about it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A great loss of a 22 year-old.

It is with great sadness that I tell our class about the death of the Ballroom Instructor Stephan Matkowski (22), Tuesday night Inst before us, who died in a plane crash on Sunday in Virginia on the way home from competition in New York with one of his students and her husband the pilot (Checker's executive) and owner of the plane! It is so incredibly sad!
He will be greatly missed by myself for sure! He always had such a positive attitude about life and always made the transition of his class to ours very easy and fun! He was a huge part of the studio with his Ballroom background and will be really missed by the owners! Stephan was there before the new owners took over!
See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 06, 2009

We have become a nation of freaks.

Hi Ronald,

Those fat women next door and their kids in the pool are the continuation of nothing good. They should not be allowed to create more of their same kind. They are representative of a destructive force that is killing us and the source of our current problem.

We have become a nation of freaks.


It's only a light bulb!

The light bulb in the attic needed to be replaced and the ceiling is very low. It is only a crawl space and little Ray enthusiastically wanted to do it. He's father thinks he is a genius. I'm sure you have experienced parents like that. Off little Ray went. When he got to the fixture, he didn't know what to do and he couldn't follow my directions but one. Ray, "Get out of there, I'll do it myself."

Remember this joke? How many ____ does it take to change a light bulb. Three: one to hold the bulb and two to turn the ladder.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It is seven times more likely that it is dad.

I was at the Green Bay grocery story and on the way out I looked at the front page of the Tampa Tribune. There I saw this headline: Child porn's dirty secret: Dads often behind lens.

Read all of it at this link.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A food binge at a restaurant

I took Nancy and Kyle (Nancy's son) out for breakfast. I thought I had enough money. Kyle was 20 at the time. He is a large boy, perhaps twice my size. Kyle ordered much more than I have ever ordered for breakfast. I thought at the time that I would let it pass because of his size. Nancy ordered very little and I cut back.

The food arrived and Kyle only ate a small percentage of what he ordered. There was enough left for Nancy and Kyle's lunch. I thought they would just take it home with them. Kyle would have none of that. He would not eat it and he would not take it home. I began doing a slow burn inside. I did not like what was happening. I paid the bill and that was the last time I took Kyle with us.

What Kyle did was execute a food binge. The consumption binge is everywhere and at all levels and it destroying us. It's happens when someone fills their Hummer. It happens when someone leaves lights on in the house so they will not have to turn them on when they come home. It happens when the obese shops at Sam's and fills their large cart with food. On and on it goes and it will eventually end. Kayle ended and so did Nancy.