Monday, October 31, 2011

Now THAT'S Scary

October 31, 2011

A Halloween story from today’s Statesman:

Teacher bonuses in several Idaho school districts will partly depend on how involved parents are throughout the school year. (Note: Bonuses, not base pay.)

In the understatement of the decade, the president of the Idaho Education Association argued that the amount of parental involvement may be outside the control of teachers to some degree.

May be? To some degree? Idaho must be a pretty idyllic state to even consider this approach. I say so because I’ve lived in places where you could have a meeting in a student’s living room and the parents still wouldn’t attend. And I don’t really believe that such parents don’t exist here.

So good luck with that.


Geography Lesson

October 31, 2011

The Big East athletic conference is making overtures to Boise State about joining.

Never have the words, “Do I need to draw you a map?” seemed more appropriate.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Imponderables

October 25, 2011

1. Why does your hair always look best right before you go to bed?

2. Does any real person ever have the 4-10 pillows on the bed that the decorating magazines show us?

3. What is the purpose of couch pillows?

4. Why do we think we can change the future by praying, but not the past?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ancient Artists

October 18, 2011

I saw the movie "Cave of Forgotten Dreams", about cave paintings in Chauvet, France. They predate the famous ones in Lascaux. (And I'm happy to say that the scientists are taking better care of these.)

I always thought of cave paintings as stick figures, but these folks could really paint! If you get a chance, go see the movie.

Since the paintings are so similar to the later ones at Lascaux, I wondered if they had ancient art teachers who rapped the knuckles of students  and said, "We've been painting this way for thousands of years. No need to get all modern on us! Stick with the old techniques."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Almost Got It Right...

October 5, 2011

In 2009 I wrote a post griping about the proposed soda tax, saying that sugar, white flour, oleo, and any cooking oil that wasn't canola would be next.

Well, I almost got it right. Denmark is now taxing oil and butter—in fact, all foods containing saturated fats, including milk—to help fight obesity.

You heard it here first. (Even if it’s not our government yet—these ideas seem to spread.)

There's a Moon Out Tonight

October 12, 2011

The full moon brings out…articles. Articles on whether the full moon really does change behavior. Let me offer my theory:

I think that, with the increased light at night, predators are on overdrive—look at how much better we can do!

Consequently the prey is hyper-alert as well.

With all that adrenaline running around, no wonder creatures (man included) get jumpy.

Just a theory.

Make Up Your Own Joke for This One

October 3, 2011

OK, this one is so weird that I don’t even have to work on the phrasing. Make up your own joke:

BSU got in trouble with the NCAA for various recruiting infractions, such as letting recruits come early to Boise for practices (before dorms were open) and sleep on sofas or floors instead of making them stay in hotel rooms at their own expense. For these and similarly serious infractions, BSU was penalized, to the point of being able to offer fewer athletic scholarships for three years and forfeiting some spring practices for three years.

From what I understand (although this is not making sense to me, so I could be wrong), if the kids couldn’t afford hotel rooms, they weren’t supposed to come early, since you’re not supposed to provide expensive perks to the players. Total benefits received by all the students involved? $4,934, which the players have repaid and donated to a local charity, the school said.

Too bad the kids couldn’t have earned their keep by fetching water and chopping wood, like in the old days. Then they could have worked off those expensive perks—floor and sofa space, and rides to and from practice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taking the Stress Out of Dating

September 28, 2011

I just heard an ad for a dating service called, "It's Just Lunch." Seems you can sign up and meet people for lunch to scope out your dating prospects. I thought that was a brilliant idea!

Think about it:

1. There's a definite time limit. No trying desperately to think of an excuse to leave early.

2. You're already wearing business attire; no need to gussy up for a fancy date.

3. You can find out if you're interested in going to a show or a game or whatnot with this person before you commit to an entire evening. (And before you waste all that time gussying up.)

So go get 'em, folks. And good luck.

Eat Your Hearts Out, Chicagoland Commuters

October 4, 2011

Hey, Chicagoland Commuters, when the big blizzard swooped down on you in February, did any employer say, “Since I’m not letting you go early, even though I know there’s a dangerous blizzard out there, I’ll put you up for the night in a hotel room?”

I thought not.

If you’ve got those ol’ Commuter Blues, come to Idaho and run for the Legislature.

Idaho offers a per diem of $122 for housing costs during the legislative session if you live more than 25 miles from the capital.

A couple of the legislators live in Nampa, a city about 26 miles from the capital, a straight shot down the highway. People commute to and from Nampa every day, and it doesn’t take hours (although to a commuter it always feels like it does).

So here’s what these legislators did:

Guy 1 stays at his parents’ house in Boise. But by law he’s entitled to the per diem, so he takes it.

Guy 2 took the $122 per day to stay on the couch in his office. His reasoning: He specifically got the office large enough to accommodate the couch so that he could sleep in the office at night; if he had gotten a smaller office that wouldn’t hold the couch, he’d be paying less rent, so he’s entitled to the money.

This charmer also, through a “clerical oversight”, charged the state mileage for commuting back and forth to Nampa, even though he was sleeping on his taxpayer-funded couch in Boise. Once it was brought to his attention he paid the money back. No response to the question, “How do you accidentally submit a mileage form?”  Don’t you have to sign those puppies? If not, let’s start.

So, friends, the next time you’re griping about the commute from Palatine to Villa Park, or Chicago to Roselle, just consider moving to Idaho and running for office. It’s way more fun.