Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricanes


Well, hurricane season is upon us. Hurricane Gustav is expected to hit Louisiana tomorrow while Tropical Storm Hanna is bearing down on the Bahamas. As you can see from the image above, there are two more possibilities following closely behind.

Gustav
Hanna

Bush and Cheney have both canceled their scheduled appearances at the GOP convention in St. Paul tomorrow night. And to think, Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family encouraged people to pray for rain of biblical proportions to ruin the night of Obama's acceptance speech in Denver.



Not that I think this is in any way humorous. It's disgusting. And ironic that the Republican's convention is being threatened with the coming of a Category 3 hurricane.

I'd say that's "umbrella ain't gonna work" kind of rain.

Too bad it's the unfortunate folks in Louisiana who will be suffering as a result, though. Let's hope things work out better this time.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Charlie Wilson

For anyone who lives in the area:

Town Hall Meeting hosted by Congressman Jim Moran

An Evening with Charlie Wilson:
A Conversation on U.S. Foreign Policy in Iraq,
Afghanistan and the Middle East

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Schlesinger Center
Northern Virginia Community College
3001 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22311

Featuring: Charlie Wilson
*former Member of Congress whose real life story is
depicted in the hit movie Charlie Wilson’s War

**Event is free and open to the public, no registration required. Seats are on a first-come first-serve basis.

Obama's Acceptance Speech

Here's a cool "word cloud" I created at Wordle from the text of Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night.


Watch the speech here. It's worth it. I promise.


Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain

Sarah Palin McCain's VP Pick, Sources Say

John McCain tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, two senior campaign officials told The Associated Press on Friday.










Oh my god, if this is true, he is dumber than I thought! I'm at work now, but just Google her to find out more about the job she's been doing in Alaska...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still awake...

So, I had trouble falling back to sleep, and then I just got another text... this time it's for real.


Obama-Biden '08!

Looks like we have a winner...

Thanks to Erin for waking me up in the middle of the night for this (but she totally gets me!)...

Joe Biden Is Obama's Vice Presidential Running Mate

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware is Barack Obama's pick as vice presidential running mate, The Associated Press has learned.

Biden, 65, is a veteran of more than three decades in the Senate, and one of his party's leading experts on foreign policy, an area in which polls indicate Obama needs help in his race against Republican rival John McCain.





If you read the full article, it looks like it was a leak. I'll confirm in the morning!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fake out

Today I was the *lucky* recipient of a fake Obama VP text. Must have been one of my dear readers, as it announced that Clark (my preference) was chosen, and as I didn't even sign up to get a text alert -- only email.

As of now, there's been no announcement... I'm not expecting anything until tomorrow afternoon.

Good times!

Back to work

I've been back at work yesterday and today, which means the blogging may slow down just a bit. I don't have time to do it from work, and I don't always feel like getting on the computer when I get home. We'll see how it goes!

It's been fun to be back. I saw a few of last year's kids around the building today, which was really nice. It's definitely nice to ease back into things.

This weekend, Eric and I are going to a crab feast up in Maryland with his mom. That should be fun.

Oh! And on Wednesday I got to hang out with my college roommate, Jeannette, all day. It was great! We haven't seen each other in almost 5 years, so it was fantastic to be able to catch up. I can't wait till you're back again, Jeannette!

She's so little, she makes me look like a beast next to her!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do I smell elitism?

McCain Doesn't Remember How Many Houses He Owns

John McCain said in an interview with Politico on Wednesday "that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own."

"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain said. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you."

The answer, according to the group Progressive Accountability, is an even 10 homes, ranches, condos, and lofts, together worth a combined estimated $13,823,269.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yearbook Eric

Hooray! Eric thought this was funny, too, so here he is!!

1950
1954

1956

1958 (love the bowtie!)
1964
1970
1976 (my favorite!)
1978
1986
1988
1998 (Fat Eric!)
Now, if you haven't yet... go Yearbook Yourself!

Yearbook Yourself

Wow! This was fun. A friend of mine put this on her blog, and I thought it was funny, and let me tell you, it is!!

There's a website called Yearbook Yourself where you can go to upload a photo and put it into yearbook shots from 1950-2000. Good times!

These are just a **few** of my favorites!!

1952

1958

1962 (my face looks fat!)
1968
1974
1976
1978 (maybe my favorite... weren't the 70s fun?)
1984
1986 (blech, my least favorite!)
1994 (Jessie Spano, anyone?)
1998

Now, I tag EVERYONE, because it's just fun :-)

Yearbook Yourself!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Religion and Politics

Ah, two of my favorite things to talk about!

BUT.

They don't belong together. And I'm getting very frustrated at the increasing link I see between them.

Obama and McCain at the forum at Saddleback Church over the weekend. Polls asking people if they still believe Obama is a Muslim. Candidates defending their faith in Jesus as they campaign. Claims that America is a "Christian Nation."

What happened to the Constitution??

Article XI.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Asking a candidate's faith goes against the Constitution! Why do we let it happen? Why should a candidate for office in this country be required to meet some religious test? It's not what this country was founded on.

Oh, and our "Christian Nation" idea?

John Adams, founding father and second US President, in 1797:
"The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or Mohammedan Nation."

I just get SO frustrated!

Why does it matter what religion (or non-religion) a candidate subscribes to? We should be looking at their qualifications, their plan for the office, their judgment.

Ugh.

Update: Just to add for many of my readers.
Should Romney have been judged based on his faith? Should he have had to defend his Mormonism? That's what I mean, exactly.

VP's

There's speculation aplenty about who will be chosen as Obama and McCain's running mates.

A few weeks ago, I made a prediction--

Obama-Biden
McCain-Lieberman

I don't want that to be the case, that's just what I think will happen.

My hopes?

Obama-Clark
(second choice, Obama-Sebelius)
McCain-Lieberman

Okay, so I want McCain to pick Lieberman, mostly because I think that will infuriate a whole lot of Independents, as well as a good number of Republicans.

That's all for now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Pet Peeve

I really don't like it when music starts playing at someone's blog. I'm probably not into your music and I'm probably already listening to mine. So, I have to scroll all the way to the bottom and stop your music. It's kind of annoying.

That's all!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Trampolining

Well. I thought synchronized diving was a silly Olympic sport. Then I heard about the trampoline competition.

I stole this directly from Marla, but boy, it's laugh out loud funny!!



Intense.

Guns in schools?

Of course, Texas would be the place to do this first. I just read this at BBC NEWS... and can't quite decide what I think about it.

Map

Teachers in one part of the US state of Texas are to be allowed to carry concealed firearms when the new school term opens this month.

The school superintendent in Harrold district said the move was intended to protect staff and pupils should there be any gun attacks on its sole campus.

Teachers would have to undertake crisis management training first, the superintendent, David Thweatt, said.

In recent years the US has seen a number of fatal school shootings.

Trustees had approved the policy and parents had not objected, Mr Thweatt said.

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started," he wrote on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's web site.

Mr Thweatt said he believed the school's proximity to a large, busy motorway could make it a target.

"If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them," Mr Thweatt said.

Texas outlaws the presence of firearms at schools unless individual institutions allow them.


Would I want to be able to have a gun at school in order to protect my students? I don't know. I'm allowed to have a gun here at home, yet there is no part of me that's interested in going out and getting one. Would it make a difference if there was a chance I could protect someone else's children?

I mean, it's not like the gun would be a danger to any of the students. I have a locked closet where it would stay during the day. I surely wouldn't be using it.

But, would I want to do that? It's hard to say. Probably not, as I would rather have fewer guns out there than more. Let's just say, I won't be joining the NRA anytime soon!

An interesting thing to think about, though. Would you want your (current or future) child's teacher to be allowed to carry a gun to school?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Drumroll please

I decided, for kicks, to take a really short political quiz online. I mean, I already know I'm muy liberal, but I wanted to see where the test put me.

Surprise!Haha! No surprise at all there. So, I guess it's a somewhat accurate quiz. At least, it accurately reflects my own views. The website goes on to further explain:

According to your answers,

the political group that
agrees with you most is...

.

Liberal

LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal

matters, but tend to support significant government control of the

economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net"
to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation

of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations,

defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action

to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Sounds like me!

Where do you end up on the grid? Take the test here.

Uhh... whoops!

I bought these "pillow rollers" the other day. I hate getting up before 7am, and with school starting back in a couple of weeks, I was trying to come up with ways to shorten my getting ready time in the morning. So, I thought if I showered at night and slept with these rollers in, it might give my hair a little bounce the next day.

Luckily, I decided to test it out before actually heading back to work.

This isn't exactly the look I was going for!


I feel a bit like Shirley Temple. I had to go in and wake Eric up to show him. In his still-asleep-and-in-bed state he said, "I actually think it looks good."

Really?

After he actually got out of bed, he just kind of laughed a little bit. Yah, that's more like it.

Scrap that idea!

Update: Turns out, Eric was just laughing at my distress over the hair situation. He actually thinks it looks sexy. Great...!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The end is near

Well, I only have 9 days left until I go back to school. I have enjoyed my summer off, but it sure went quickly! I get to start back slowly, though. My first meeting on the 21st doesn't start until noon. Phew. Then, the kids will come back on Sept. 2.

I'm looking forward to it, though. I really like having a structured day, but am very bad at creating my own structure. Plus, I like my job :-) I am excited to meet this year's kids.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty low-key for me. I haven't really done anything in the yard since the landscapers were here. My tipsy pots are still growing, but nothing picture-worthy yet. The roses have spread a bit. My herbs are doing really well. I've even started using them in... wait, let me start over, as I don't actually do the cooking at home... Eric has been using them in his cooking :-)

The weather has been fan-tab-ulous for the last few days. I mean, really great. Not just "nice for August," but actually, nice for any time. Upper 70s, low humidity, nice cool breezes. The a/c has been off and the windows open since Thursday or Friday.

As Eric will roll his eyes and tell you, I LOVE to take pictures of myself. No, no, no, I'm not vain! It sure is fun, though :-)

Well, my new computer has a built-in camera and a program called "Photo Booth." How can I resist?? Here, I just decided to have some fun in the photo booth for your own viewing pleasure!






I'd like to take months off at a time and still get paid...

Did you know...

McCain hasn't been to work in the Senate since April 8?

Pelosi to McCain: You weren’t even here

In an interview with Larry King, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) scoffed at John McCain’s call to bring Congress back into session to deal with high oil prices. “Well, it's interesting to hear Sen. McCain talk about bringing Congress back,” Pelosi said, incredulously. “He wasn’t even in Congress when we had two very important bills on energy.” Pelosi was referring to bills on tax credits for renewable sources of energy and hybrid cars. McCain leads the Senate in missed votes this Congress. The Speaker also pointed out that President Bush rebuffed McCain’s call for him to call an emergency session of Congress.


... now you know.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Speaking of Russia...

If any of you are interested in what's going on between Russia and Georgia right now or would like to learn a bit from history (and therefore not repeat it...) here's an interesting interview with former Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Russia memories

I was looking through a bunch of my old photos, and ran across some from my teaching stint in Moscow. There were a lot of really good pictures, but I'll just put a few here.

Museum on Red Square

Sitting on a snowy bench in Helsinki, Finland
Red Square in Moscow, Russia
Our last day at the school -- we were sad to leave
Those were definitely some good times!!

Photos

I'm playing around with all of my new gadgets (of course!). One of the things I bought is called MobileMe, which uploads anything you want from the computer to a secured online website. I tested it out with my Holland photos. You can access the gallery here.

I decided to buy it for school use, mostly. I left the Holland gallery open, but I can actually secure the site with a password, so only parents and students can access school photos and info. It seemed pretty cool. I got a discounted rate for the year, and I'll decide next year if it's worth it to renew.

Anybody else out there use this feature? How do you like it?

iPod Touch

Oh my god, this thing is amazing. I had no idea how cool it was! It has EVERYTHING the iPhone has, without the phone part and no kind of extra service fee. I mean, seriously. It's awesome. I can check my email, get the weather, watch YouTube, get directions, surf the web, listen to music, etc, etc, etc. Wow, I'm amazed.

If you are an educator or a student, and you buy a Mac, you get one. FOR FREE. Do it!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New toys


I bought a new computer today! Doesn't it look fabulous? And, as a teacher, I got a free iPod Touch, also, which retails at $299. Sometimes being an educator is a really wonderful thing :-)

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