Showing posts from September, 2004

'American Idiot' by Green Day

I first heard this song on David Letterman last week. Dave likes Green Day. I liked the song then, and I've grown to like it even more as I've heard it more. I just looked up the lyrics. I haven't really contemplated them too much, but it's obviously a punk protest song of some sort, which I like! Here are the lyrics:

Don't want to be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation that under the new media.
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mindfuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Well that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along in the age of paranoia.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomo…

LAUNCH music video player

Yesterday on Yahoo! I came across the Launch Music Service. There was an advertisement on Yahoo's front page for videos, including U2. I clicked the link, and it began to play a U2 video, surprisingly quickly in my opinion. There was no need to download extra software, which was a plus. Of course, the video was not 100% clear on my computer screen, but the audio was great. I plan on spending more time exploring this service.

I noticed yesterday, after watching a few videos, I had to sign into Launch with my Yahoo! ID and password. I had to do this again when viewing a video today.

Today, I used the full screen view, which was pretty clear. I like this service! So far, there is no indication that I will have to pay for anything to continue using it. There are ads that play before each video, so that is obviously how Yahoo receives some revenue for the service.

Will Nadar take votes from Bush?

I wouldn't have thought this likely, but something I read on a military weblog a few days ago made me think about it. A soldier from Iraq posted his thoughts about the upcoming election. His unit is trying to register him and his group to vote via absentee ballot. While he noted that he could not say anything bad about his 'commander in chief', he didn't necessarily say anything good about him either. He also noted that he would never be able to vote for Kerry, mainly due to his protest actions following the Vietnam War, especially the throwing of his medals at the White House. Then, he said that he was seriously considering voting for Nadar as an F-U vote. Interesting. I wonder how many people are out there like this soldier. They don't like Kerry, but they also don't like the mess that they perceive Bush to have gotten the country into. Especially military people, whose tours have been extended, and who a pseudo-draft has been imposed via stop-loss p…

Omaha Zoo

This past weekend of Sept. 25th, Sharon, Dominic and I met Jim, Alice and Melissa at the Omaha Henry Doorley Zoo. I am happy to report that the zoo lived up to its stellar reputation. Over the years, I had heard how nice the Omaha zoo is. I finally got an opportunity to see for myself how nice it really is.

Sharon, Dominic and I left our house at about 7:15 on Saturday morning. Dominic got up by himself, and he was in a great mood. Sharon and I were pretty tired, having stayed up rather late the night before. We met Jim and Alice at McDonald's in Platte City where I was able to juice up on coffee, and Sharon had some breakfast. Dominic claimed he was not hungry. We made it to St. Joseph before Dominic said that he had to go to the bathroom. So, we stopped, got gas, snacks, drinks and relief. We managed to follow Jim & Alice all the way to the zoo. We only had to take one other bathroom break after St. Joseph, which we did on the side of the road somewhere in northwest Missouri…

Pictures on Blogger

I just downloaded Hello from Picassa to my laptop computer that I use at work. To my disappointment, I discovered that I was unable to logon. I think this is because of the fact that Hello does not support Proxy servers. I am probably connected to the Internet via a Proxy server at work. So, I guess I won't be able to upload any pictures to my Blog from work.

I am going to try an alternate method. I can't get it to work either. I was trying to use a standard HTML image tag to map to an ofoto picture, but I keep getting an HTML error. Oh well, I guess I'll post pictures from my home computer. I don't think the ofoto option was going to work anyway, since the link for the picture brings up all of the surrounding ofoto 'noise'.

Multicultural Education

I am trying to come up with a research question for one of my education classes this semester. The research project needs to be about multicultural education. I would like to do something along the lines of religious diversity. According to the technical research textbook I've been reading, religious diversity in school would be my topic. However, I need to narrow this topic down into a distinct research question. Some of the angles that I've been looking at are:

How does religious diversity in the classroom contribute to education? Tolerance?

This could be an interesting theme, considering intolerance about religion is responsible for so much of the world's problems.

Here is some brainstorming:

We shouldn't ignore religion in the classroom. This is not the solution to battling religious intolerance.

Is battling religious intolerance a worthy goal of public schools?

How could we design curriculums to teach about the value of religious diversity?

Creation vs Evolution de…

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

I am about halfway done with this book. Jag bought it for me during his last visit. It's written by Kevin Phillips, the same author of Wealth and Democracy. It is written in the same academic style as Wealth and Democracy, with a lot of statistics and references. It is an interesting read, and details the facts behind some of the generalizations usually levelled against the Bush family. As with Wealth and Democracy, I give it a serious read since Phillip's is a former Republican. If it were written by a Democrat, I would have less faith in its credibility. Perhaps this is not fair, but it is my opinion.

Matthew Christensen

Matthew Christensen was a guest speaker at my Special Education class last night. He was entertaining and enlightening. Matthew has dyslexia, and he spoke to us about his experiences growing up with the disability. It was highly charged, educational and at times emotional. My assignment, to be turned in at next Wednesday's class, is to write a reaction paper on Matt's presentation.

Controversy over CBS Bush military service story

I've done some catching up on this story. I was on vacation last week when the story originally aired on CBS, with the documents in question. I read an artcile in Time magazine last night summarizing the controversy. CBS is standing by its story, asserting that the documents are authentic. Bush allies are calling the documents forgeries. Experts can't agree, and are arguing over things such as when Times New Roman font was invented. It's all somewhat surreal. Pardon me, but I don't think the document controversy has that much bearing on the crux of the story, which is that President Bush, along with many other well connected kids, got preferential treatment during the Vietname draft, and was allowed to serve stateside instead of overseas. Sure, it would not be good for CBS to be airing forged documents. However, the real focus should be on whether it was appropriate for Bush to have been able to serve in the National Guard as opposed to being sent overseas. That type o…

How much diversity is appropriate?

This is a question I've been thinking about, and I wanted to get it down in writing. I have been thinking about it in reference to the educational system, but it also could apply to other social institutions, or society as a whole.

Farewell Larry Avery

I was shocked and saddened to learn that my high school baseball coach, Larry Avery, died as a result of an auto accident last Wednesday. Mom saw the obituary in the newspaper at home after we returned from Ohio Saturday night. I always had respect for Mr. Avery, and I liked him as a person and a coach. Even though he had a rough style of communication at times, I think he always had the genuine interest of the kids he taught in mind. He made a life out of teaching kids, both in the classroom and on the sports field. I regret that I did not make the trip to Iowa a few months ago for the 15 year reunion of our state baseball championship. Todd told me that Mr. Avery was asking about me. I wish I would have been there. I pray for his family, especially his wife and daughters. Ironically, Mr. Avery's crash was right in front of the high-school where he taught for over 30 years. It is also ironic that he taught drivers education for most of those years, as well as travelled thousands …

Vacation 2004

We returned home in Kansas City last night after a week of vacation that took us to stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa. In a word, it was--exhausting. I was happy to be able to see some of my relatives. It seemed like the week went by in a flash. I didn't get much exercise, which I am disappointed about. I think that is one of the reasons I probably felt tired most of the time. We were definitely tired of being in the car! Dominic was happy to be home. He had a good time though, and got to play with his second cousins Jake, Justin and Patrick. The following is a summary of our vacation on a daily basis:

Friday, September 3
Sharon and I picked up Dominic at La Petite at approximately 3:00 on Friday. This was later than we planned, but we still left earlier than we would have if we hadn't been able to get out of work early. We needed gas right away, so it wasn't until about 3:15 that we officially left. I started out driving, but I got drowsy quickly. I drove to a town east…

Goodbye Michael Baker

I was shocked today to learn that one of the chefs here at Cerner, Micahel Baker, was shot to death last night in a drive-by shooting. Every once in awhile, these types of events happen closer to home than is comfortable. Of course, they are always close to home to somebody. In a way, it's sad that we are only aware of the tragedy when it happens close to home. I did not know Michael, and I'm not even sure which chef he is. I am picturing him as one of the chefs that I have seen in the cafeteria often. I'm saying a prayer for his family and loved ones.

Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)

I listened to this song last night during a 4-mile jog. As I was listening to it, I wondered about the lyrics and their meaning. I think that the version I listened to was recorded by Manfred Mann, but I notice online today that the song was actually written by Bob Dylan.

Here is an interesting interpretation of the song by Jim Trombetta. According to Trombetta, the song is about the apocolypse, which sounds reasonable to me, given the lyrics.

Evidently, The Grateful Dead also recorded this song. I don't think I have ever heard their version.

Here are the lyrics (my thoughts are in parentheses):

Ev'rybody's building the big ships and the boats,Some are building monuments,Others, jotting down notes, (different strokes for different folks as the world comes to an end. Some follow Noah's example of building an Ark.) Ev'rybody's in despair,Ev'ry girl and boy (it's not a happy time.) But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,Ev'rybody's gonna jump f…


I read an excerpt from a book last night (The Silent Language by Edward T. Hall) about culture. Specifically, the text I read argued that all peopole should look closer at their own culture to help them become more self-consious, and to better understand themselves and their world. Interesting.

Culture is such a broad term. What does it mean? When I think of culture, I think of "way of life". Interestingly, I think of other peoples' cultures (i.e. foreign cultures) before I think of my own, when I hear or read the word. I think this is part of Hall's point.

Merriam-Webster defines culture as:

a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon man's capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes a company or corporation

My …