Thursday, August 26, 2010

The New Semester

The new semester starts today. I have been here all spring and summer, but it still feels like a renewal. You know when you are tired beyond all things and then POOF, after a shower or a 15-minute nap you are relieved?

That is the feeling that the 4 true days of absolutely nothing to do (no grades to enter, no syllabi to copy, no theological reading to outline) has had on me. I am renewed, refreshed and revived. I am ready to hit this semester with both fists!

It may be a little jarring for my English 132 students tomorrow, but I am going in honest and straight-forward. It usually sends them "runningk for zee hillz" but we'll see.

So to all of those newly green freshmen, smart-ass sophomores, and beyond...happy fall semester. NOW GET TO WORK! I AM WATCHING YOU!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Interesting Look at SE Ohio

Whenever I get to spend a few days back home, I always try to get down to the Ohio River to drive the routes along the river bank. The bank is peppered with little towns with fabulous little gems. In Gallipolis, if you are driving through the main square, there is a great little 50's dinner with an enormously diverse menu (for SE Ohio, that is). There are comfortable little side roads (off the main river roads) that will take you through coal reclamation country. Some hills are clear cut in attempts to bring in a little bit cash for the landowner (or developer/outside investor).

In one little hiccup of a town, Chesire, Ohio. The air is filled with smog and thick smoke (apparently toxic, thick smoke). The electric company (owner of the local coal-burning power plant), bought out most of the town's residents. They took some money with the promise never to seek retribution on the company, etc. (regular legal stuff). There are a few remaining residents who refuse to sell out and hold tight to what little is theirs, their property.

Well, there was a recent picture that captures the disparity of SE Ohio. Large house, coal stacks in the background and the smog forming. Check it out here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beliot College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Imagine living in a world without the 30-minute Domino's Delivery Guarantee? Imagine never having known the joy of parental advisory-less television viewing? Now you have walked a moment in the shoes of this year's upcoming freshmen class. 1992 was the year that Gansta Rap and Grunge hit the musical scene. It was also the year of birth for these greenhorns.

On the upside, a quarter of these youngins have immigrant parents. This means that the country I grew up in is no longer here...I like it.

Read the list HERE.

As Bob Dylan reminds us:

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Excellent Grand Finale

I don't know how long this video will remain on YouTube (As the NBC execs scramble to OxyClean their image), but here is the fabulous rendition of "Free Bird" by Will Ferrel, Conan, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Beck and Max's Tonight Show Band. Great ending:

Friday, January 22, 2010


I am taking a semester hiatus of online teaching. That means that I will again be blogging. I know that I am basically talking to my students of English 131 (and a couple of others). However, I am excited to be back posting my interesting finds.

I'll be altering my focus a bit as I have gotten less political in the recent months (for my personal mental health). So here's a little funny...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Insubordinate Soldier

So in the latest barrage against President Obama, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army has defied presidential orders and claims that he cannot execute the orders until Obama's citizenship is proven! Lt. Scott Easterling asserts that his pledge to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land conflict with following orders from the President because he does not have proof of citizenship.

Would there be such support of this soldier if he were asking to see George W. Bush's, Bill Clinton's or Ronald Reagan's birth certificate? Has any Presidential candidate been forced to "prove" his credentials to the American military? Last time I checked, Obama was inaugurated as President and now sits as the commander-in-chief.

When I was in ROTC in college I was told that such actions were equal to "insubordination" and even "conduct unbecoming an officer." Why isn't this dude being reprimanded by his superiors? Why aren't the pro-American forces coming out en masse to support the Commander-in-chief? Is it because he is black? Is it because his father was an immigrant?

Federal and state courts have already thrown out a dozen or so cases just like this due to the vetting process that has already taken place. Sounds like this officer does not understand legal precedent. The courts have interpreted the laws and decided that such arguments against his eligibility are unfounded and will not be heard due to lack of evidence. What makes his case any different other than the fact that he is refusing to do his job in the meantime?

This just makes me so mad! Why are humans so god damned divisive?

Read the full story HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Great Find by One of My Students

This hilarious little YouTube film was sent to me by one of my Bible as Literature students. I swear the creators of this stole my lecture notes, because this is almost verbatim what I say about Genesis chapter 19.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Quirky News From SE Ohio

I usually read the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette (which I lovingly call the "Eagle-Mistake") online and love reading the police beat. While it has been disheartening recently with the rash of break-ins and obvious economically based crimes, it is good to know that there are still some stupid people doing stupid things that are relatively harmless. Here is a recent story from the "Police Beat":

"THORNVILLE - A Thornville woman reported someone left a hog's head on her door step Friday night, according to a report from the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office.

She arrived home about 1 a.m. and noticed the animal's head, which, upon inspection, she saw was decorated with makeup, a wig and tiara.

There are no suspects."

Now maybe this is a politically retaliatory action. Perhaps this was a comment towards Republican leanings? I am not trying to read too much into this, but I am trying to figure out how this is a crime. Sounds like a prank to me.

I particularly like the part about "no suspects." It makes it sound so official.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tighten Your Belts

Bill Hicks used to have a bit about how he wouldn't mind having to "tighten his belt" in tough economic times if he could do so around the necks of Congress. Hicks today must be rolling in his grave as Congress votes itself a pay raise in this tough economic time.

The $4,700 a year raise will cost taxpayers $2.5 million. Wow! Talk about HYPOCRITES! They sat there and chastised the CEOs of the Big Three and lambasted the greedy UAW workers for not wanting to take an uneven pay cut. Now, they have found the heart to give their own wallets a bailout. Thanks, U.S. Congress. You bunch of A-holes!

Read about it HERE.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Only in America

I was watching the news and the news-reader nonchalantly passed off a story about a father in Pennsylvania who was upset a local cake shop would not put his son's name on his birthday cake. Get this - the kid's name is Adolph Hitler. You can read the full story HERE.

The father claims that he named his son his simply because it would be a unique name and "no one else in the world" would have that name. I thought, okay, I have seen Seinfeld. I have pondered a child named "Soda" or "Seven," so why can't this guy call his kid whatever.

THEN I SAW HIS OTHER KID'S NAMES. His daughter's middle name is Aryan Nation and his other daughter's name is derivative of Himmler's name. Jesus...Only in America.

Good news for good old dad....WAL-MART was happy to fulfill his request. Anything for a buck...

A Christmas Thought

I saw this on the internet and it gave me a bit of pause:

Just a Christmas thought...

Monday, December 15, 2008

I am Personally Offering Pres. Bush a Dodgeball Scholarship To HFCC

In this weekend's cultural insult, I found one skill that I had overlooked in our often maligned Commander-In-Chief...His Mad SKILZ dodging things. He has dodged the Vietnam War, impeachment, etc. but this weekend he showed his cat-like speed and reflexes dodging that shoe.

We need him on the HFCC dodgeball team. Maybe can just enroll in a few classes and get an associates in HVAC or criminal justice. If he joins the team and enrolls for an associates in religious studies, I will personally pay a full ride scholarship to Henry Ford Community College. So, come on, Mr. President...we are waiting.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Has the South turned on Former Sons & Daughters?

Michigan Lt. Governor John Cherry is just now on television here in Michigan trying to calm fears about the recent refusal of the US Senate to create a 'bridge-loan' for the auto industry. Now, don't get me started about how this same Senate had no problem giving a blank check to banks who had SQUANDERED the American financial stability. Give this bailout NO QUESTIONS ASKED to the people who helped create the credit crisis but want MAJOR restrictions from the blue collar people working the line. Shouldn't they worry about what the CEO of the company makes and not the lowest paid worker? Isn't this a bit hypocritical, also, coming from a congress who regularly increased their own salaries? Bitches. That is for another day (another blog) completely.

Lt. Governor Cherry mentioned in his speech the connection between the auto industry and the South. "We here in Michigan (my family and many others) were in fact Sons and Daughters of the South who came to Michigan knowing that there was opportunity here. And we prospered here. And many of us consider ourselves very lucky for that opportunity. Michigan has never begrudged sharing its prosperity with the rest of the nation. In fact in times of crisis, Michigan citizens have opened their wallets, given of their time to help others in distress and when we had Hurricane Katrina, under the Governor's leadership Michigan responded with open arms. Michigan citizens left the state and went south in response to that human need. In this recent debate over the automotive loan we've seen the nation turn its back on Michigan."

Now his speech wasn't all finger-pointing and doom and gloom, but Cherry brings up a great point. The nation is turning its back, but not on Michigan. Rather, it is turning its back on the working class person who wants better for themselves. Some people are suffering and will not be happy to alleviate their want others to suffer with them. Misery loves company.

But think about it - the South is the #1 place that foreign car companies (which aren't really foreign, but again, another topic for another blog) put their factories. They do not want to level the playing field for the American company. Hell, every other developed country has long-since bailed out their auto industry. China pumped hundreds of billions into theirs.

The South has a genuine fear and hatred of organized labor. Organization lost them Jim Crow, organization lost them control of the coal mines and organization ultimately brought down their Feudal system. Hell, I'd fear it too. Apparently the time bomb was further labor concessions wanted by the "Southern Gentlemen." They were trying to circumvent the spirit of the bill and again attack the union (good going, Dicks...keep playing partisan on your way out the door).

But it doesn't really matter. With all the political rallying and positioning that has occurred, "Georgie Boosh" will go back on his word and open the $700 Billion dollar bailout money to help out the auto industry. If there is one good time to not "stay the course," now is it.

But I cannot help to think about the old, tired adage, "The South Will Rise Again." Is this what they meant? Economic wars? Labor wars? I don't know, but damn it scares me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am finally finished grading. Of course I have to now tally final grades, but the reading is complete! Only four days of reading...not bad.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Buried Under Papers

So as I sit here in the basement buried under papers. I have about 120 student essays ranging from four to 14 pages. Usually this process takes about 20 minutes or so per paper. So, don't expect to hear from me in a while.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Hawks fall to the Cardinals

Usually in nature the hawk, as a bird, is stronger than the cardinal. Cardinals are Hawk food. This was not the case, however, in Saginaw yesterday with the new Henry Ford Community College Club Dodgeball team.

The Saginaw Valley State University varsity dodgeball team (#3 nationally) handily defeated the HFCC team 16-0. The loss will, however, will still get the Hawks in the Top 10 in national rankings. Because some of the conference teams do not begin in earnest until after the first of the year, HFCC will be ranked above THE Ohio State University during the holiday break.

In this 50 minute game (two 25 minute halves), the Hawks performed diligently. The hard work of the past month and a half was apparent; if not by the score then surely by their spirit. The Hawks fielded a 14 person team while SVSU had the allowed 15 person team.

The Hawks line up for their first ever collegiate game.

Playing at this noted disadvantage was not visible during a half a dozen points when the HFCC team had dwindled the active SVSU roster to a handful of strikers (a feat for any first year team). However, when it came down to three on three or five on five, the SVSU team's years of experience and continuity was clear. With a little more experience the Hawks are sure to pull out a win before the end of the season.

SVSU's own teammates made this observation during the game. "This is your first game?" confusingly asked one of the players, "We got beat 17-0 our first game out and we didn't look half this good."

Another player commented, "If you guys play this well with half the teams in our league, you are sure to beat about 4 of them or so."

All in all, the 2.5 hour trip (in the Michigan snow) to Saginaw was a good experience for the HFCC team. They got to see what an NCDA game is like as well as learn of some of the shortcomings of playing college CLUB sports.

"Their refs were they're freakin' players," commented one HFCC Assistant Captain. "How can you ref a game when you are playing the next point?" asked another HFCC teammate.

There were a few questions during the game about the involvement of SVSU fans in illegally returning balls to their field of play. This was handled quickly by SVSU and ceased (making play more balanced). There were also players on both sides who were consistently stepping out of bounds and not leaving the field of play after legitimately being hit with the ball. All of these things could have been avoided with more staff for the game.

Shaken, but not destroyed, the Hawks line up for another point.

"It is a problem for the conference to figure out," stated HFCC's coach. "If the NCDA (the National College Dodgeball Association) wants to be legitimate they need to batten down the hatches on officiating and requiring conference teams to adhere to the conference rules."

"The problem is the financing for these things. These club teams are on a bootstrap budget, but there needs to be ways to get proper refs, ball returners, etc. If and when we host a game at HFCC, I'll find a way to get the refs and staff needed even if I have to take it from my own pocket."

The Hawks have more opportunities for that first win in the months to come. They have taken on a healthy first year season. An invitation to the Michigan Dodgeball Cup as well as possible games with #1 ranked Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University are examples of the calibre of teams HFCC has set its sights on. If they do pull out a win before the Nationals in April, the Henry Ford Community College Hawks would be the first college dodgeball club in the NCDA to win a game in their first season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mr. Stewart Again Hits it on the Head

Jon Stewart again proves why he has such a following:

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So, the Henry Ford Community College Dodgeball Team is ready to go. We have a new website (you can check it out HERE).

We are also gearing up for our first game Saturday. We are taking on nationally ranked No. #3 Saginaw Valley State University (yes, there is a collegiate dodgeball conference). Even if we loose we will still get a ranking (some teams, like Ohio State, do not begin their season until Winter). It's a win-win situation. So, we'll at least go into the holidays with a ranking - YEA!

I think the guys and gals on the team will do well. They have worked hard at practice for the past two months (on Friday nights, I might add). I have the utmost faith in them that they can pull out a win. GO HAWKS!!!