Making The Grade In The Big Apple

Here you go, another public indictment against “public education.”  Or as my old friend Brownie used to say …. “Edumaycashun.”  Geographically speaking, you get the drift, dontcha?

This week I am reading where they are telling cab drivers in New York that they will fine them $350 for honking their horns unnecessarily.  Which I agree with completely, we need far less noise in this world we all live in.

Now here is something that is not good news. The powers that be in New York City have decided that grading papers in public is not a good idea.  They are telling teachers that they cannot grade papers in public and that sucks (for lack of a better word).  Which I do NOT agree with at all.

My English teacher in high school was Mrs. McGee, a nice personable, kind woman of great patience.  She deserved much more in life, than the white pasty faced kid who never seemed to get it or could pay attention.  She taught me all the things that my parents didn’t have time to do, she did it cheerfully and often with great reserve.

We had our moments, Mrs. McGee and I.

I am sure if she were around today and could see and read Creative Endeavors she would be proud of where it is that I have come in life.  (We might not be much in the world of publishing and all that … But baby, we are all we got.)  Her influence and her steady hand can be found within the pages of this website just about anywhere you look.  She helped to shape, mold and guide me thru my youth and most importantly … She taught me a thing or two.

New York City for lack of something “important to do” this week sic’ed (sp) cops on teachers grading papers in public and asked them to stop  the practice.  As cops are prone to do when called, they showed up and asked the teachers to move on. Which I find not only personally disturbing but outright disgusting.  With a mountain of problems in this city, this is what they find important and harmful to the public good?  How warped is this?  (comments section is open take a shot at it, three guesses, the first two don’t count).

You can read about it here.

It appears that “public places in New York City” are no longer just that … public.  No matter that they have signs of protest or whatever, we are being overloaded everyday with “so-called societal rules of behavior.”  As quickly as a surgeon with a sharp knife, one more freedom is removed from the fabric of our lives.  This is just another example of it.  Each day in this country, our treasured freedoms seem to be falling by the wayside in the name of security or the common good.  Where it will end is anyone’s guess.

What possible harm could come from a small group of people quietly sitting and grading papers in a public arena.

Grading papers in public isn’t that big of a deal to me, it should be allowed and there should not be a second thought about it.  Now changing out a baby diaper in the booth next to me at Denny’s … That should be addressed quickly and firmly … but this?  I say leave the teachers alone.

One of the things Mrs. McGee taught me was this:  “The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.”  But this, leaning on teachers for nothing more than grading papers in public is just not funny.  If New York City is setting the stage for the rest of the country, then I say it is time to stop the bus … I need to get off.


Obama – Change Is A Coming

Obama Wins It!

Congratulations are in order for a long, hard, protracted nasty fight.  How do you spell relief?  O-B-A-M-A- WINS.  Good Morning America!  Here is another “Brain Freeze” from the middle of the country.  I found this amusing, came across this yesterday.

Willie King made a bad mistake.  He decided to snatch a wallet from the coat of an elderly woman in Greenwich Village, New York City.  The woman turned out to be a 94-year old Yolanda Gigante, mother of Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, reputed head of the Genovese crime family.

King was caught a short time later and as soon as he learned who he’d mugged he agreed to plead guilty to grand larceny.  His sentence was determined to be one to three up river in prison.  At his sentencing hearing his lawyer commented, “My client your honor admitted his guilt at the earliest opportunity, because he wants to put this incident behind him, and he hopes the Gigante family will, too.”


Have you been reading all this hoopla on people with tattoo’s?  Municipalities and city governments, even some universities are now demanding that people cover up their tattoo’s when at work.  But there is a way around that, you can now get FAKE TATTOO SLEEVES if nothing more than to rankle your boss.

Now you can get “inked” by night and still keep your day job with our “tattoo sleeves”. The tattoo is printed directly on the stretchable fabric sleeves fabric which is a machine washable nylon. They come in pairs; wear one or both.  Wonder if they have the naked babe like on the Semi-truck mud-flaps?  Please have your credit card and expiration date handy … Every offensive thing you can think of, all at your fingertips, is this a great country or what?


Cedar Rapids Iowa – A jury awarded more than $55,000 total to two former teachers who said they were illegally strip searched after they protested against President Bush in 2004. It was the second trial for Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson, who were initially awarded a total of $750,000. A judge lowered it to $75,000 and told the women they could accept it or have a second trial.  They agreed on the later, and I hope every dime of it comes out of Bush or Cheney’s paycheck.


Not long after the wind turbines began to spin in March near Gerry Meyer’s home, his son Robert, 13, and wife, Cheryl, complained of headaches.  They have trouble sleeping, and Cheryl Meyer, 55, sometimes feels a fluttering in her chest. Gerry is sometimes nauseated and hears crackling.

The culprit, they say, is the whooshing sound from the five industrial wind turbines near the 6-acre spread where they have lived for 37 years. “I don’t think anyone should have to put up with this,” says Gerry Meyer, who compares the sound to a helicopter or a jet taking off.

As more turbines are built, the noise they create is stirring debate. Industry groups such as the American Wind Energy Association say there’s no proof they make people sick, but complaints of nausea, insomnia and other problems have surfaced near wind farms across the USA.  If my memory serves me correctly, I remember the same problems with people who lived too close to high intensity power transmission towers in the sixties and seventies.

So now we have a new ailment Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) an industrial plague with a new scientific name.   It is man-made and easily fixed.  Proper Propeller setbacks are the best cure.  There are at last count, almost 15,000 wind turbines in the USA, and most people live near them without incident.

Isn’t it amazing how we can come up with a scientific reason almost immediately for just about anything?  I always like it when we can readily come up with some kind of logical explanation for that which is not easily explained.  WTS, PMS, ADDD, we are so quick to find the appropriate politically correct abbreviation.

Like PMS … I asked my doctor, how come we call it PMS?

And he said “Mad Cow Disease” was already taken.

(Yeah I know, don’t write me any letters)

Wash your hands, folks, especially you ladies.  A new study found that women have a greater variety of bacteria on their hands than men do.  That is the good news, now here is the bad.  Everybody has more types of bacteria than the researchers expected to find.  So the Politicians aren’t the only folks in town with dirty hands these days, contrary to popular opinion.

“The sheer number of bacteria species detected on the hands of the study participants was a big surprise, and so was the greater diversity of bacteria we found on the hands of women,”   The researchers aren’t sure why women harbored a greater variety of bacteria than men, but have suggested it may have to so with the acidity of the skin. Men it was noted, generally have more acidic skin than women.

So, all you big, burly NFL-types, remember this the next time you decide to make a lunch outta your fingernails.  Bottom of the page rolling up, need to wrap this up and get on to other things.


Yesterday at the café, the waitress looked at me and asked, “Have you voted yet?” and I replied, “No, later on this afternoon, you?” She smiled a big smile and said, “Yes!” So out of idle curiosity, I asked her, “Who did you vote for?”

Her smile quickly disappeared and she got very reserved, unwilling to tell me her choice, so sensing her apprehension I said, “It’s okay, who did you vote for?” She smiled and said, “McCain.”

Then I said, “Good for you girl, everyone should vote and I am glad that you did.”

Perhaps this special moment in time will be the vehicle that will change America I don’t know.  But a person should never have to be apprehensive or fearful of telling another person in this country who it was they voted for.  I cannot remember an election in my lifetime that has been so tense, so mean spirited, so disruptive for the country as a whole.  It is my profound hope that somehow, someway, something good comes out of this for our country.

As I have in the past made it perfectly clear, “I don’t give a damn about politics or politicians” but I do love America.  And I will fully support anyone or any thing, that will preserve the American way of life, for not only me, but my grandchildren, my friends and neighbors.  This particular mindset has a name, it is called patriotism, a phrase that has become old hat, passé’, relegated to the back burner of the stove here lately.

Our friends overseas in Europe should be happy, perhaps now their collective newspapers and media outlets will give them some news of what is happening in their respective countries, instead of shoving American politics down their throat each and every day.  So as you can see, some good has come out of this already, there is no telling where it will lead us to in the future.

Like Yogi Berra, retired Coach of the New York Yankee’s,  was quoted as saying, “When you come to the fork in the road, you can go both ways*.”

Congratulations Mr. Obama on your victory, now roll up your sleeves, WE have a lot of work to do.


RELATED: Baracks House (audio)

*  Yogi lived on a Cul-de-Sac and the fork in the road led to his house, by going either left or right.