Friday, August 31, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News, news, news.

As soon as I have time to start checking out the local news, a lot of stuff starts going on. I've noticed recently a lot of police officers out and about, and just assumed it had to do with the return of tens of thousands of college students to the area. It seems other things have been happening too...

There have been an amount of home invasions and car break-ins that, I've heard, the police think are connected. It would make sense -- thousands of people moving in to places within the same two weeks.

But then I saw this humorous number, where a local CD shop was selling thousands of pirated discs. The way the article makes it out (the police just "discovered" the stuff at his store) seems like someone was just shopping and realized that all the CDs and DVDs were copies. Why would you sell that from your store?

Then the police just up and find a house growing marijuana -- half a million dollars worth. The owners weren't home at the time, and apparently haven't been caught yet. I've delivered to that street before... I always wonder what the government does with confiscated materials...



And then -- a real tragedy. Yesterday I went to an eatery downtown and heard someone say "They should lock those kind of people up for 90 years. Don't even execute them." I didn't know what they were talking about until I stopped at a gas station for soda. The attendant there just went right into it without me saying anything: "I'm glad they found him. That's just awful." "What?" "That man who killed that worker down at the BP."

Also known as the gas station on the corner of where I used to live, where I would walk down to for late-night chocolate or soda. The details of the crime are very confusing and sad -- this 24-year-old had been working there for a month, was hit, struggled, and was shot. Three times. Robber left without any money. Then the police picked up a suspect who confessed to it, but are continuing to look for clues and evidence.

There has naturally (and justifiably) been a scare amongst parents, since this happened one day before fall classes started.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Still got it.

I've got to give it to 'em -- for two guys, this stuff remains consistently entertaining. I can't now remember why I stopped checking it.

Public school dropouts.

The commission has calculated that these days nearly a third of all new teachers leave the profession after just three years, and that after five years almost half are gone — a higher turnover rate than in the past.

According to the most recent Department of Education statistics available, about 269,000 of the nation’s 3.2 million public school teachers, or 8.4 percent, quit the field in the 2003-4 school year. Thirty percent of them retired, and 56 percent said they left to pursue another career or because they were dissatisfied.


Will this force the U.S. to pay teachers more?

Will this persuade the U.S. to put less emphasis on standardized testing and inane "school grades"?

With all the crap public school teachers put up with (college professors, too, I suppose), I'm all the more surprised that I had a tip-top crew of good-natured, intelligent, inspirational instructors. Here's hoping our kids have a shot at some qualified teachers.

No Good Teacher Left Behind

What the shrapnel in my back pocket could afford.

I thought deeply about changing the layout/design of this blog, but decided against it. Call it laziness, lack of an innovative spirit -- whatever. I picked a template and fiddled with it (without knowing a bit about HTML, mind you) until it looked closer to what I liked when I started this thing, and now I've grown accustomed to it. Then, it continued to look like crapballs in Internet Explorer.

In trying-to-grow-up-and-pay-attention news, the median price of U.S. homes is in decline! I suppose that's good for me.

"On an inflation-adjusted basis, the national median price — the level at which half of all homes are more expensive and half are less — is not likely to return to its 2007 peak for more than a decade, according to Moody’s Economy.com, a research firm." (Source)

Score?

The official kick-off of the rock band season (which for me could be compared to what 78% of college students identify with college football) began last weekend with a performance by Polyphonic Spree and Diplo. Unfortunately, our hero was busy working. To ensure this won't happen with things I would like to see in the future (... Spoon? ...), I will start asking for days off.

This week sees the arrival of Glasgowian outfit The Cinematics, who, despite the crappy name, might have a shot at the mainstream. Perhaps I will go, and perhaps they will be good live.



Perhaps not. (This was the first I saw/heard of them, and the opening line, "I like my loneliness" did not make a good first impression.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bathroom propaganda.

For the first time in a while, I saw a positive (well, non-negative really) message scrawled on a bathroom stall:

Be like Dad
And not like Sis
Lift the lid
before you piss.

I was taken aback by its lack of faux-macho racism/sexism/lewdism. But I did not laugh, nor chuckle, nor smile.

I can recall the last message before that one to get my attention:

"the last of the famous international playboys."

Scrawled on a bathroom wall in the Bellamy Building on campus, it was accompanied by an arrow that pointed to a lewd offering written by someone else below it.

I smirked.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mueck.

SO I got this chain email about this sculptor, Ron Mueck, and I decided to share with my extremely dedicated fanbase.

I couldn't find any official web page of his, so if any of y'all find it, that would be great.