Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween 2010

 Robert is an M-I-B this year.

With mom.

Coming soon:  The alien chiweenie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Politically Incorrect Halloween Costumes

By Scott Roeben

Before you choose a Halloween costume this year, it's important to consider whether it's appropriate. You may feel your costume is creative, but in these politically correct times, you need to take the feelings of others into account! The following costumes have been deemed politically incorrect, so beware.

Raggedy Ann. This costume clearly objectifies women.

Werewolf. Offensive to animal advocates and those with male-pattern baldness.

Cave man. The proper term should be "evolutionally challenged"; "man" is overtly sexist; also insulting to those in loincloths.

Cop. Authority figures should not be ridiculed.

Grim Reaper. Trivializes death; may also encourage children to use scythes without the necessary supervision.

Napoleon. Offends the French. (In much the same way deodorant does.)

Frankenstein's Monster. Pokes fun at those with psychological or emotional problems, as well as those with identity crises.

Bride of Frankenstein. Extremely offensive to women—they should not be known by, or valued more, merely because of their husbands.

Skeleton. Exhibits an insensitivity toward those with eating disorders.

Angel. Mocks religion and the religious.

Hunchback of Notre Dame. Ridicules those with physical deformities, as well as those suffering from "ligyrophobia," a fear of noise.

Dracula. Endorses the irresponsible practice of transmitting bodily fluids.

Sigmund Freud. Insults those with the lifelong opinion that a cigar is just a cigar.

Flapper. Demeaning to women and tassel salesmen.

Gladiator. Insensitive to cross-dressers.

Cowboy. Encourages violence, cruelty to animals and spontaneous "whooping."

Mafioso (mobster, "wise guy"). Unfairly stereotypes Italian-Americans. OK, actually, fairly stereotypes Italian-Americans, but it's still stereotyping.

Tarzan. Condones mistreatment of minorities and animals. Again, hurtful to those in loincloths.

Ghost. Glorifies the occult.

Witch. Religious persecution. Also pertains to warlocks, Gnostics, conjurers, chiromancers, shamans and Druids.

Leprechaun. Shows contempt for the Irish-American community, as well as the diminutive.

Presidents. Encourages scorn and contempt for authority figures, at least half of whom have no criminal record whatsoever. (See also "Cop.")

Characters from Star Wars. Offensive to Star Trek fans.

Characters from Star Trek. Offensive to Star Wars fans.

Mummy. Offends Egyptians, embalmers and the undead.

Genie. Objectifies women; subjects those who may be "buxom challenged" to ridicule. (Note: Same applies to wenches.)

Pirate. Distasteful to those with hooks for hands and the vision impaired (wearers of eye patches), not to mention parrot owners.

Zombie. Disrespectful of the dead.

Princess. Contributes to myth that women must be "rescued" to live happily ever after (same goes for Snow White); also insulting to certain Jewish-Americans.

Gorilla. Condescending to our friends in the wild kingdom.

Medusa. Exploits animals; sends the wrong message to young girls by implying women are defined by their physical appearance.

Gumby. Ridicules those with disfigurements (especially of the head).

Knight. Offensive to dragons, I imagine.

Baby. Promotes a lack of respect for youth, human life and those who drool voluminously.

Biblical Figures. Religion is no laughing matter, except for that part about Noah fitting four million species of animals onto one boat.

Ballerina. Cruelly mocks the short, not to mention the waif-like.

Indian. Native-Americans have been oppressed, slaughtered and persecuted—imitation buckskin and feathers are the final insult.

Devil. Affront to demons and those currently possessed by demons; Satanists are people, too, all right?

Sports Figures. Belittles our heroes.

Convict/Prisoner. See "Sports Figures"—the groups often seem to overlap.

Fairy. Offensive to interior designers and choreographers. (Note: The same guideline applies to sprites and pixies.)

Priest. The Catholic church has enough to worry about without being the butt of jokes (if you'll pardon the expression).

Bandito. Racial stereotype; subtly condones handlebar mustaches.

Headless Horseman. Blatantly sexist; wrongfully pigeonholes equestrians; also involves another physical deformity—offensive to amputees and the headless.

Viking. Endorses razing; in addition, glorifies pillaging and ravishing.

Porky Pig. Insensitive to members of the Jewish-American community (as well as members of Weight Watchers).

Klingon. Unjustly hurtful to illegal, as well as resident, aliens. (See also "Characters from Star Trek.")

Hobo. Derides the economically and hygienically disadvantaged.

Professional wrestlers. Offensive to just about everybody. (See also "Sports Figures.")

Mermaid. Slights women and aquatic life simultaneously.

Daffy Duck. Unkind to those with speech impediments. (Same goes for Elmer Fudd and Barbara Walters.)

Phantom of the Opera. Unfeeling toward those with physical malformations; shows contempt for those committed to ridding the civilized world of musicals.

Ninja. Perpetuates stereotype of Asians; also promotes "lurking."

Albert Einstein. Insulting to those who have a problem comprehending the particle nature of light.

Chinaman. Sexist; racist; upsetting to immigrants and honor students.

Clown. Deeply offensive to Geraldo Rivera.

Aunt Jemima. Racially inflammatory; serves to exacerbate the already incendiary "pancake vs. waffle" debate.

Robin Hood/Merry Men. Suggests an intolerance for those with alternative lifestyles.

Aside from those costumes, you should be just fine. Get out there and enjoy your Halloween! Oh, and don't use the phrase "trick or treat." Hookers are people, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vatican to Baptize Alien?

From Light Sound Dimension quoting the Guardian:
An alien – ‘no matter how many tentacles it has’ – could have a soul, says pope’s astronomer.

Aliens might have souls and could choose to be baptised if humans ever met them, a Vatican scientist said today. The official also dismissed intelligent design as “bad theology” that had been “hijacked” by American creationist fundamentalists.

Guy Consolmagno, who is one of the pope’s astronomers, said he would be “delighted” if intelligent life was found among the stars. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it – when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.”

Speaking ahead of a talk at the British Science Festival in Birmingham tomorrow, he said that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” Would he baptise an alien? “Only if they asked.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Church Gives Away Free Weddings

From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:

By Kellie Bramlet

LEVELLAND Six cakes. Six couples. Six weddings. One weekend.

The equation makes things pretty busy for South Plains Church this weekend.

The church offered six free weddings, complete with decorations, cake, a photo and video package and hair and makeup provided, for six lucky couples.

Approximately 32 church members came together to make the wedding weekend happen.

“This is a privilege for us to be a part of,” said Pat Trice, organizer of the wedding weekend and wife of pastor Eddie Trice.

Trice said she hoped the free weddings would encourage long-lasting marriages.

For the first of the six couples to celebrate their wedding the special weekend meant a second chance.

J.D. and Jessica Rodriguez were married in 2002, but their relationship fell apart. The couple got a divorce. But a year and a half later, they mended their tarnished relationship. On Friday they said “I do” for the second time.

“We’re trying to do it God’s way the second time,” Jessica Rodriguez said.

When the couple planned to marry again, they sought marriage counseling at the church, where they are members. When Pat Trice came up with the idea for the wedding weekend, she first asked the Rodriguez’ if they would like one of the free weddings. The other five were available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The couple captured the idea behind wedding weekend: a family trying to make it work, Pat Trice said.

When Eddie Trice asked who presented the bride, three small voices shouted “We do!”

The Rodriguez children, Donovan, Orchid and Clover, made up most of the wedding party, and part of the reason why the couple celebrated the second wedding. Jessica said she wanted her children to see the importance and sacred nature of marriage.

J.D. and Jessica said they were very grateful to all those who had made their special day complete.

“This church is really out to help our community,” Jessica said. “They take what God says to do and make it happen for them.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Hidden Costs of Teaching

From Scholastic Instructor:
What other profession expects employees to spend their own money to furnish their workplace?
By Megan Kaesshaefer

You want your students to get the best education possible, even if it means dishing out your own money to help make it happen. 97 percent of teachers do just that and more (case and point below), and with budgets tightening, spending for students is on the rise. We asked Instructor readers how much they sacrifice each year.

"I am in a high-poverty district where supplies and contributions are limited. I spend hundreds of dollars of own money buying supplies for 25 students, but when I see where they live and that they have so little, I know it will make for a more successful school year." -Amanda Graham, via Facebook

"I teach in the city, and students rarely bring in anything. Teachers are not given supplies, so I spend between $1,000 and $1,500 per year." -Lisa Haley Berardini, Rochester, NY

"I spent $800 last year. This year, I began with practically nothing, and have had to beg, borrow, and buy to make a functional classroom." -Jola Sulaiman, via Facebook

"My mom, a retired teacher, volunteers in my classroom, and between the two of us we spend $100 a month. It's not just on supplies, it's food, too!" -Marjie DeWilde, Nixa, MO

"I teach in an inner city school with over 900 free-or reduced-lunch enrolled. I help pay for field trips for kids, buy socks and underwear, and granola bars to keep in my closet at the beginning of the year for needy kids. It's not just teaching supplies; it's life supplies!" -Mary Anne Feller, Evansville, IN

The Truth About Teacher-Spending:
More than half of teachers aren't equipped with the basic everyday classroom supplies they need, and in a job that pays less than the big bucks, we know you feel the strain. Here's the truth about teacher spending.

  • $623. Amount the average teacher spends for classroom supplies out of pocket
  • 79% of teachers say they need more school supplies or better equipment for their classrooms
  • 70% of teachers claim their schools do not provide them with the necessary tools needed to effectively teach students
  • 28% of teachers say they have to cut-back on spending for their own families in order to use the money for their classroom
  • 65% of teachers think that most parents don't know educators spend their own money on supplies for their kids
  • 32% of teachers say they would give up two vacation days if it meant their students' learning environment could improve
Source: National Teaching Realities Survey, Kelton Research, 2010

About the Author:
Megan Kaesshaefer is Assistant Editor of Scholastic Instructor.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


 In my day, guys didn't wear homecoming garters.  Now they do, in Kermit anyway.  This was the first year Robert wanted one.

Robert chased the bee (mascot) at the game.  Photo by Robert.  We wound up losing but we put up a good fight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Centennial and Celebration

Sure looks like we're in for a spell of celebratin'.  Yup.

Kermit is nowhere near Route 66.

Kermit Celebration Days are an annual observance;  The Winkler County Centennial is a one-time deal.  Remember that now.

Happy tie-dyed Robert.

It's almost like a fair.  You can smell the food and hear the sound of parents being separated from their money. (Photo from the Winkler Post.  See all 180 of their shots here and here.)

Old gasoline signs.

Chihuahua races!  Next year Kokomo can enter! (Post photo.)

Here's some antique kitchen items for your politically incorrect friends.

 Liz found this cool panther candle warmer.

Helicopter rides were $40 per person.  I offered to let Robert go, but he declined. (Post photo.)

The only Kermit in evidence.

This claims to be a 1929 John Deere Hit-n-Miss Ice Cream Machine.

A hole where the 1960 time capsule used to be, and four golden shovels.

Burying the new time capsule.

This is just a ceremonial burial.

The real one won't be buried until next week.

Be sure to check this blog in 2060 for the opening of this time capsule,

 for which Liz's students have written letters.  Hers was the only elementary class to contribute to the new capsule.

Here's some of the things from the 1960 time capsule:
These items are perfectly preserved, which is amazing because the old "capsule" is a now-rusty section of pipe which was welded shut.

The "Brothers of the Brush" were a group of guys that grew beards to promote the 1960 celebration:

Some of them had a shaving permit ...

 ... and some carried a card like these so they wouldn't be mistaken for beatniks!  Nothing worse!

The oil fields and the sand dunes haven't changed much.

Come meet the regular fire.

This is interesting and touching.  Two children wrote letters after their father passed away suddenly: 

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