Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chaffee Gathering

Doug Chaffee has announced that this year's Annual Chaffee Music Gathering will be held at his place in Girard on July 21 and 22.

Headliner for this year is Ekoostik Hookah. I believe I saw them at least once at Grape Jam several years ago (Wattsburg, 1998, maybe?). {Ralph, were you there that year, or were you there for The Tragically Hip and The Dude of Life?}

Anyway, Doug Chaffee's website is

He hasn't updated the site yet, but he will as he gets more bands. Be sure to check it again as we move toward summer.

The Gathering is lots of fun and family oriented...I've played there with one band or another for the past three years and always had a good time. Kids on swingsets and mellow people hanging out. Never had any hassles.

The event benefits the Children's Advocacy Center of Erie County and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Doug is a good guy and deserves lots of support for taking on this event every year. Go hang out at his place in July and listen to some good music.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Barton Fink

Wow! Post #100 today. Thanks for all your help Dr. Dee and James L., and thanks for reading and commenting to all others who've enjoyed Ralph's Place.

Last night I completed viewing my triumvirate of writer movies, which I had planned. It started about a month ago with Wonder Boys, then moved onto Sideways and finished up last night with the Coen brothers' masterpiece Barton Fink. Barton Fink is probably the best of the three - as far as I'm concerned - of course, movies are a very subjective thing. John Turtorro is wonderful in the title role as a self-important writer who wants to be a "man of the people," yet condescends every "common person" he meets. John Goodman, who is equally strong as his psychotic neighbor calls him a "tourist with a typewriter" at one point. Then, they're all these great supporting roles, played with great intensity played by guys like this Tony Shalhoub.

This is probably my second-favorite Coen brothers' flick next to 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, which wins because of the tremendous musical score. But the dark, dark themes and light comedic touch, not to mention some tremendous camera work and acting, make Barton Fink eminently enjoyable. This flick came out in 1991, and I think I saw it in 1992. It's stuck with me all that time as being a great flick. Re-watching it certainly did not disappoint. Have only one question: Was that Brook Shields in a cameo at the end?



Thursday, April 27, 2006


I rarely leave my house before 9 a.m. to do anything but play golf, go to the gym, or grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Today, I was feeling especially ambitious and thought I would go to the MAC, fill the car with gas, and pick up breakfast for the family. Well, I guess the planets are just not aligned right for me at this early hour. I went to the MAC at 36th and Liberty, it was broken. I started to drive up Peach to hit the NW MAC at the Mall and realized there was a school zone thing going on at St. George's. So, I ducked into Country Fair on Gore and Peach to fill up the car and regroup. Pump wouldn't take my card. A blessing in disguise I figure, as now I have to go inside, but I can use the cash back option and not have to deal with the school zone. Cashier's checkout wouldn't take my card. Now, I'm just flummoxed, so I get in the car and drive back home. Put on my own damn cup of coffee and toast.



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Campbell, Collective Unconscious, and Clippers

The following post was taken directly from an email sent to me by my friend, Jon. Jon is a brilliant writer and thinker from DC (I know Ralph is a big fan of his work). I thought it was interesting that Jon sent me an email about Joe Campbell on the same day that Ralph mentioned the collective unconscious and the LA Clippers. Anyway, we'd like to have Jon submit regularly to Ralph's Place. Consider this his first entry. Doc.

I’ve recently been on something of a Joseph Campbell binge. I almost have to laugh now thinking back to my initial reaction upon hearing of Campbell and his work, which was – to me now – surprisingly negative. I don’t know what I must’ve been smoking. It’s like something inside me triggered this false “intruder alert” reflex as though my core values were suddenly under siege and the only thing I could think to do was to quickly erect some strong defenses.

And that’s a testament, I suppose, to the power of what Campbell was putting out – that exposure to it could elicit that kind of response. Surely that confirms he was onto something pretty potent.

I was just telling a friend the other day that my finally coming around to Campbell just shows you how there’s a proper time for everything, and to not respect that can lead to frustration. I guess what I’m saying is that when DokTorDee first approached me – with such excitement, I remember – with this wonderful new thing that he’d discovered, I was just not in a place where I could receive it.

Or, I should say, I could not receive it without subjecting it to all sorts of judgments. It’s taken me this long, I guess, to finally arrive at a place where I can experience Campbell’s teachings with openness.

I recently re-read “Thou Art That,” read for the first time parts of “The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology,” and just started reading “Myths to Live By.” The experience has me seeing the world quite differently. I’m not sure where it’s all headed but I’m enjoying the ride.

I almost feel like I want to affiliate myself with a Campbell study group or something. There must be such a thing out there (in DC at least).

Here’s an radical question: Do you think the study and experience of myth can or should REPLACE religion in one’s life? Because lately I’ve been feeling a deeper experience of the divine through what I’m learning about mythology than anything I’ve ever felt as a participant in organized religion.

I’m starting to feel like cultivating a deep understanding of mythology – studying and musing on it regularly – makes the need for religion seem almost beside the point.

What do you think?

L.A. Clippers

Is anyone else in Erie possibly an L.A. Clippers fan? I know it's a bit of a stretch, but this is the team that was formerly the Buffalo Braves back in the early to mid-1970s. I must have been 10 years old when they moved from Buffalo to San Diego, in some strange deal that also involved the owner of the Boston Celtics. I have about two or three Braves' memories. One involves NBA scoring champ and MVP Bob McAdoo and another a playoff loss (or maybe regular season) to the Celtics. There was also my grandfather teaching me how to say Ernie Digregorio's name. I think we settled on "Ernie D."

I've followed the franchise since it moved out West. Based on his column today, Richard Cohen would probably label me a sucker of the worst kind, but what the heck, it's kind of fun to be a Clippers fan. They're like a mysterious friend or lover from far away who only visits late at night a couple times a year. Because of that, they're always interesting. And being based in L.A. makes them an exotic pleasure for a Buffalo fan. Of course, a couple years ago, SI labeled the franchise the worst in professional sports, so it's not all roses. (They're also probably good tonic for a Yankees' fan.)

My buddy in L.A. took me to a Clippers game a couple weeks ago in a move that started out as a lark, but turned into a bit more than that, as the Clippers have somehow found their way into the playoffs this year for the first time in more than 10 years. The Clippers are actually a hot ticket in LA and last night, they won their second straight playoff game over the Denver Nuggets to take a 2-0 lead in a best of seven series.

The game started at like 10:45, as TNT held it up until the Heat/Bulls game ended. I've never heard of such a scheduling procedure, but, it is the NBA... About 10 p.m., I'm laying in bed, getting ready to sack out when I've overcome with an urge to watch this game. Now, I don't have TNT for reasons just like this. Yup, it gives me an excuse to go out. The choice was walk to Andy's or drive up to Wild Cards. Deciding to embrace suburban sprawl, I hopped in the mini-van and carted myself up to Wild Cards. They put the game on the big screen right in front of me, set me up with a Blue Moon draft on the ice-chilled bar and I was in business. I was sitting there in my orange Shaun Livingston throwback T-shirt (that I got at Staples) and must have been the only person watching the game. It was great. I think the Clippers played the all-time greatest first half in the history of the franchise. They were up 32-13 at the end of the first quarter. And after a brief run by the Nuggets, Cuttino Mobley - a journeyman sharpshooter, nails a half-court, three-pointer to end the half 56-34. I saw Penny Marshall in the crowd cheering.

I went home after that and the Clippers held on easily to win by 12. The whole experience was weird. My main questions regarding it are 1) what energy drove me out of the house to go watch the first half of the game - something I would rarely do? And, 2) was that energy tied in with the same energy that propelled the Clippers to such an amazing half? I would say yes. It's all part of the collective unconscious - And that, Mr. Cohen, is what makes being a fan a bit more than being a sucker.



Monday, April 24, 2006

Mid-term elections

E.J. Dionne really paints an optimistic picture for the Democrats in the upcoming elections. Most of the stuff I've seen on to this point has painted the Democrats as being in too much of a mess themselves to fully take advantage of the Republicans' woes. Dionne, however, does not rule out the Dems capturing a majority in the House, or even the Senate. I don't know Dionne too well, and imagine, because he writes for the Washington Post, he has liberal leanings, but nonetheless, this is the first I've seen from even a liberal that was this optimistic. I think a lot of the state race stuff surrounding Bebko-Jones and Good and other incumbents being put on the on hot seat is a positive sign as well. Finally, people are getting fed up with the status quo in government and seem to be doing something about it.

The only troubling thing mentioned in this article, and it's probably water under the bridge now, is that Bush's approval ratings are so low less than two years following he re-election. My question is, what has changed between now and the 2004 elections? Of course, personally, I'll go back to the 2000 Republican primaries when Bush's win drove me to switch parties - to Democrat. But for those who didn't recognize Bush as a fool right away, how could you not see it in 2004? There was never any believable justification for the war, and it was going badly at that time too. How could you approve of him then and not now? Or was it just a lesser of two evils choice, and when Kerry was involved, I can't say I can fully blame you... so, does that mean today that you vote for Bush again if the 2004 elections were held tomorrow?



Sunday, April 23, 2006

MTR Stink

Yes, Summit Township has always been known for the beautiful and scenic Lakeview Landfill, the aromas of which, when the wind is blowing the right way on a peaceful summer afternoon, could make even the closest Hammermill neighbor retch. However, that stench is quickly being replaced by another putrid odor. Yes, it's the one originating from the MTR racetrack/slots parlor dealings.

Pat Howard does a great job in his editorial today, answering some of the questions I raised a couple days ago. Of course, he draws some of his information from a story that broke today (not posted yet) involving the details of an amendment to the current state gaming legislation - you know, the one that can provide Erie County with $10 million or $3 million, depending how you look at it. It seems the admonition would give $10 million directly to Summit, instead of Erie County. The paper also casts Marlin Coon in an even more villainous role than he's been cast so far. And Flo Fabrizio doesn't come off much better. Move over, Filippi and Rubino, MTR has sucked two more into its cyclone of greed.

As I've said before, this whole MTR things keeps getting stinkier and stinkier. Soon the landfill will smell like fresh daisies on a spring day in comparison.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 and Net Neutrality

The following email hit my desk two days ago. It is reason for great concern, I believe.

Because of the overall length of this document, I pasted the latter portion of the letter as a comment to this entry (it's the PS, the PPS, and the Sources).


From: Eli Pariser, Civic Action []
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 5:15 PM
Subject: Congress is selling out the Internet

Google, Amazon, MoveOn. All these entities are fighting back as Congress tries to pass a law giving a few corporations the power to end the free and open Internet as we know it.

Tell Congress to preserve the free and open Internet today.

Dear MoveOn member,

Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an Ipod? These activities, plus MoveOn's online organizing ability, will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law that gives giant corporations more control over the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet's First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. doesn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.

If Net Neutrality is gutted, MoveOn either pays protection money to dominant Internet providers or risks that online activism tools don't work for members. Amazon and Google either pay protection money or risk that their websites process slowly on your computer. That why these high-tech pioneers are joining the fight to protect Network Neutrality1—and you can do your part today.

The free and open Internet is under seige—can you sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality? Click here:

Then, please forward this to 3 friends. Protecting the free and open Internet is fundamental—it affects everything. When you sign this petition, you'll be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the heat on Congress. Votes begin in a House committee next week.

MoveOn has already seen what happens when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Just last week, AOL blocked any email mentioning a coalition that MoveOn is a part of, which opposes AOL's proposed "email tax."2 And last year, Canada's version of AT&T—Telus—blocked their Internet customers from visiting a website sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating.3

Politicians don't think we are paying attention to this issue. Many of them take campaign checks from big telecom companies and are on the verge of selling out to people like AT&T's CEO, who openly says, "The internet can't be free."4

Together, we can let Congress know we are paying attention. We can make sure they listen to our voices and the voices of people like Vint Cerf, a father of the Internet and Google's "Chief Internet Evangelist," who recently wrote this to Congress in support of preserving Network Neutrality:

My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it. Enshrining a rule that broadly permits network operators to discriminate in favor of certain kinds of services and to potentially interfere with others would place broadband operators in control of online activity...Telephone companies cannot tell consumers who they can call; network operators should not dictate what people can do online.4

The essence of the Internet is at risk—can you sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality? Click here:

Please forward to 3 others who care about this issue. Thanks for all you do.

–Eli Pariser, Adam Green, Noah T. Winer, and the Civic Action team
Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006


Did anyone see this latest story on the slots revenue that is supposed to be coming to Erie County. Now, it seems instead of paying out $10 million annually as originally promised, there is some loophole, which the PA Dept. of Revenue is claiming will allow allow MTR to pay as little as $3 million based on a percentage of revenue. Of course, to make things even odder, MTR seems to be saying there is almost no way the loophole thing will stand up. And then, they're saying it's all irrelevant because they don't even have their permit, yet. I guess there are some hearings today.

First of all, if they don't expect to get the permit, why are they building? From their latest financial reports, it doesn't seem like they have money to burn. Second, if they didn't bring up this loophole argument against the $10 million, who did? And why is the PA Dept. of Revenue supporting it. Read the article. It's really bizarre.

This whole MTR thing has stunk from the get go and continues to. Did you ever see the Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail." Apparently Conan O'Brien, a former Simpsons writer, claims this is his favorite episode. Anyways, this whole MTR racetrack thing has always reminded me of the shenanigans the occurred on that episode. From the monorail song:
Abe Simpson: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley (monorail proprietor) : No, good sir, I'm on the level.

On a lighter note, it's good to see the City of Erie Streets Dept. hard at work these days. They did a wonderful job filling in the deteriorating spots on West 40th street. And they even fixed the broken guard rail/fence by the golf course on 40th and Cherry. Sometimes it's good to have influential neighbors.



Thursday, April 20, 2006


Checked out the Seawolves again last night. Beautiful night. Maybe 65 degrees at gametime (6:35 p.m.) Seawolves had won two in a row. And you know how many people showed up? Less than 1,500. What gives? I know the 'Wolves have set a goal of like 4,000 fans per game and are working/have done some stadium improvements. But to draw a sparse crowd (and I probably should have counted because it certainly didn't look like 1,500) like that on a night like that makes me question the team's future here.

Maybe things will pick up as the summer/tourist season approaches. We can only hope because the Seawolves played some good ball last night in picking up a 3-2 win. Had a couple nice homers, some strong pitching, and took advantage of a mistake by the opposing team to put up the winning run. But I felt bad for the players, playing in front of all those empty seats.

Through seven games, it appears the 'Wolves are averaging 2,225 per home game. Recent history says we can expect to average around 3,500 for the year, but this also includes popular 'buck nights and other free ticket giveway specials. Plus, maybe if this year's team can actually post a winning record, it will also help draw people to the park.

It will be interesting to watch this situation. Part of the problem may be the novelty has warn off, but it really feels in a lot of ways that the Seawolves buzz has warn off. Finally, last night, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs (and to some extent in the eighth, when we scored the winning run), there was a little life in the stadium. But aside from that, it was very quiet and subdued. Not a lot of the howlin' and cheering that used to go on in years past. Maybe all it will take is a winner. We'll have to see....


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dial "1" First

Is there anyone out there that doesn't realize you have to dial "1" as the prefact to toll-free number? Apparently, from my phone ringing off the hook this morning, there are quite a few people in this categorey. It seems some bank changed their service number to a toll free call that starts with the same seven digits (866-XXXX) that make up the beginning of my phone number. I've received at least 30 calls, starting at about 6 a.m. Amazing...


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chief Freedom Professor

Got a call from Corey Donaldson today. Who is Corey Donaldson? Why, the self-titled Chief Freedom Professor. He is the author of Volunteer Slaves in a Free Nation, a preview of which I published back in February. I finally received a draft of his book in the mail last week, but as I explained to him, I had to clear my plate before fully diving into this energetic piece of literature. At the beginning of the book, he wants you to agree to a some conditions and one of them involves reading the manuscript in two weeks (he also wants you to take notes). Anyways, before I can committ myself to Corey's program, I need to get prepared. So, I'm getting there. I promise a review within the month.



Friday, April 14, 2006

Howlin' Wolves

We checked out the home opener for Erie Seawolves last night. Great night. Great weather. Even though the Seawolves lost (big), it was a great game. Baseball of course, is the American pastime, which means a game is a great way to pass time - I think- and on a beautiful night there is nothing better. Of course, about the middle of the ninth inning the weather started to turn. It dropped about 10 degrees and today's rain and chill is the end result. It looks like the rest of the Seawolves homestand will be tough - as far as attendance goes. There were only like 4,000 there last night and it was beautiful and opening night and they previewed this new scoreboard, which cost like $1 million. This all leads to my point that Erie is not a Double AA town. I know I'm hearkening back to days of 'yore, but the Seawolves were kick-ass as a NYP short season team, because the season started in late June and Erie doesn't really get rockin' until that time. Springtime in Erie generally sucks and it's not time for baseball. At least last night was fun, but that I think is the exception. We'll see...


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Singing Bridge Part Two

This is a reply from David Rutkowski, Assistant Manager from Presque Isle State Park, to an email I sent to him the other day concerning reconstruction of the Singing Bridge at Presque Isle State Park.


Dear Doc:

We, also, would like to see the bridge project started December 1 and finished by December 31. However, something like that is not possible.

First, the prime tourist time is also the prime construction time. While it is possible to construct bridges during the cold winter months, it is also better to construct during the summer. There are curing times necessary for the concrete to pass the strength tests, and concrete without the additives necessary to cure in cold weather makes a stronger structure. The curing time is also the reason why the project takes so much longer than seems necessary. Each component of concrete must cure for a certain number of days before the next component begins. That extends the time necessary for construction. Also, the old structure has to be demolished and removed, the access ramps re-worked, guard rails installed, etc. The process is a lot more involved than what it seems to a layman.. The project involves demolition of old and construction of new abutments, sidewalk, parapets, wingwalls, reinforced concrete deck, paving, landscaping, etc. Believe me, contractors want to do a job as fast as they can, but they also have to meet specifications and standards that ensure a quality construction. That takes time.

Another factor to the timing is the release of the funds. The design for the bridges was completed in 2002. We were waiting for the release of the funds for construction. When the funds are released, we begin the bidding process, followed by construction. The timing of the release was such that the work would start in April. We could have chosen to delay the start until after Labor Day. However, there are several problems associated with that. Such a delay would move the project into the cold-weather period. Any weather delays would have pushed the completion back, and could have impacted late spring-early summer traffic in 2007. Also, inflation would have increased the cost of the project if it were delayed. In addition, the bridge was down-graded from a 14 ton limit to a 3 ton limit last fall. Any further delays would have meant further deterioration to the existing structure, and would have risked a bridge failure if a large bus, delivery truck, or motorhome ignored the posted limit and collapsed the bridge. We could not take that chance.

So, bottom line is we at the park would prefer a different timetable, but we have what we have, and we will deal with it. I hate to use the old cliche, "Temporary inconvenience -- Permanent Improvement", but it is true in this case.

David Rutkowski
Assistant Park Manager
Presque Isle State Park
(814) 833-2945 FAX (814) 833-0266

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Here's some of the action from courtside at Staples Center Friday night. I'll have to say these guys are pretty impressive in person. They didn't put much into in the first half, but as they came down the stretch, their athleticism really started to show. That's Sam Cassell and Mike Bibby with the great Ron Artest in the background. Artest dominating coming in and the Kings won by three. Although Friday was a great night, I'm still not sold on L.A. I guess my brush with greatness story is that that Penny Marshall sat directly in front of us for the third quarter, but still I as having a tough time getting down with the whole L.A. vibe. As DoktorDee commented earlier, San Diego can be a nice place, and S.F. is great. Still, however, searching for real kicks in L.A.



The Singing Bridge

Okay, so the Singing Bridge at Presque Isle is getting old and needs to be replaced. I understand that part.

But, instead of getting the job done during the off-season, they plan to close the bridge on Wednesday, April 12...just as the nice weather begins. That strikes me as odd. This project should be wrapping up now, not starting.

Then there's the kicker: News reports claim that they hope to have the bridge rebuilt by Labor Day.

Labor Day????

I mean, that bridge isn't that big. Why should it take five months to rebuild? That seems like an awfully long time for such a short span.

Besides, what are they going to do with all the traffic that heads in that direction at Presque Isle? Are they going to put in a big turnaround at Perry Monument? Or maybe they'll have a big sign at the split point telling people that the bridge is out. Seems like a big mess to me.

Maybe people will be so enamored with the new Tom Ridge Center that they won't need to actually visit Presque Isle...

Seriously, here's hoping that the bridge project is completed before the end of the tourist season. I would like to learn more about how these decisions were made.


The Man Who Rides His Bike Around Presque Isle ~25 Times Each Year.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Jesse Cook

Saw Jesse Cook last night at the Mercyhurst PAC. He plays flamenco guitar. It was a good show. His band is filled with talented musicians and they blend the flamenco sound with blues, jazz, and middle eastern sounds. Pretty cool.

I've got a pretty busy week coming up, so I don't know how much blogging I'll be able to do. I'll try to dial in a few times with some commentary.

Welcome home, Ralph.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

SoCo (as in Southern Cali)

All right. I think they've made posting pictures easier. Anyways, that's my "surfer dude" shot from not-so-sunny Southern California. I'm about to give up on this place. Highways and strip malls and the weather isn't even nice. We stayed at this tremendous resort by the beach in the picture the past couple days and they had two beautiful outdoor swimming pools, but noone could use them. I guess the weather out here has to be nice sometimes, but I never seem to get it. And the thing is, there were all these Europeans at this conference who brought their summer clothes because they've all seen too much of sunny California on TV I think. It's a fraud. I really made up my mind I was going to have a good time out here this time and so far it's mostly sucked. Tomorrow my last chance, otherwise, I'm going to throw this place on the scrap heap. We've got courtside Clippers tix. I also brought cha-ching - which I thought was all you needed to enjoy yourself out here. I guess you need more. Well I'll let you know. Looking forward to an interesting time at least.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No Child Left Behind

I've been reading about No Child Left Behind. It seems like a fairly well-considered plan, all in all. However, there seem to be two major problems.

First, the mandate came from the Feds with little or no funding. As a result, the NEA, with support from many states, has filed suit against the US Department of Education, claiming that the Federal government should fund Federal mandates. Makes sense to me.

Second, although the goals of the program are lofty (making sure that all schools are "accountable" and that all students recieve a good education), it seems that all of these goals are going to be achieved through an increase in standardized testing.

Standardized testing has many problems, but allow me to point to a few. First, standardized testing resembles no activity in real life. Who has a job in the real world where they sit and fill in dots with a Number 2 pencil? Therefore, it doesn't teach any life skills, other than test taking, which is fu**ing goofy in my book.

As a result, we're going to see students who are very good at filling in lots of dots without knowing how to, for example, construct a simple bibliography.

The other issue is that only a small percentage of the population is good at standardized testing. Most students that I have seen immediately equate standardized testing with FAILING. That's been their experience in the past, so it becomes the present and future for them as well.

And I can understand. I have 11 years of college and can decipher all kinds of code/ texts written today or long ago. But when I read sample questions from standardized tests, I often become confused and agitated: "Do they mean this?" I think to myself. "Or not?" "Does the meaning of the question all hang on one word, or am I making it more complicated?"

Now I feel stupid.

Let's give standardized tests (at the high school senior level) to 100 random adults (college grads, even) and see how well they do. I'll bet many of them fail or at least struggle--even as they are otherwise successful in their professional lives. Better yet, let's give the test to Mr. Bush (since this is his plan) and see how well he does. I'll bet he gets stressed out and does poorly.

All this tells me that standardized tests are not very good barometers at measuring overall student performance.

In my opinion, too much emphasis on standardized testing will give this country a false sense that students are getting better and smarter, when in reality, they are only getting better at test taking and are ultimately less prepared for the real world.


Monday, April 03, 2006


Wanted to apologize for a dirth of postings over the last week or so. Been a bit slowed down by this stomach/sinus/it's all connected thing...Also trying to get ready for trip I have this week. Heading to Southern California, where, incidentally, the weather is supposed to be mid-sixties and cloudy and rainy. Now, I don't know what cloudy and rainy means out there, but we'll see. However, I can say that I've rarely enjoyed great beach weather in my trips to Cali. Strange how that Hollywood machine works...

Reason I'm posting now, if you'll excuse me, is because the people who I am going to see, despite my protests, claimed they could only book me on Northwest. And yes, even though it's the first flight of the day, it's already delayed because of insufficient crew rest. Instead of leaving at 6:30, we're leaving at 7:10. Not too bad and I should make my connection, but mind you, they originally wanted to book on a later flight with like a 30-40 minute conneciton window, so at least I'm not feeling too bad about getting up at 4:30 this morning.

More later.