Friday, February 29, 2008

I Stepped Up

Well I went to the pile of shit that was the "stepping up" meeting... maybe it wasn't shitty, but it really wasn't anything new or different and certainly it was not helpful. Basically do the right things, lalala, all that kind of garbage. I think kids come to some kind of point where they're either going to make it, or they aint, and there really isn't anything we can do about it. We can pretend if we want to, but I know in my case if she's going to make it, she'll do it on her own. Maybe there might be a teacher or someone else that sparks her interest, but ultimately it's up to her.

Still the school has to do something. And so they did, it's not for lack of trying, but honestly maybe quit trying to help the unhelpable and start doing something with the kids in between. That and don't let school board members talk for 30 minutes. I would have much rather heard from teachers... the people right there with kids... than a school board member that had his kids in school 20-30 years ago.

Yeah I stepped up, but it turns out I stepped right back down again.

EDIT - And then I stepped in it. HARD.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It's funny how people have their priorities all screwed up. You'd think that people would worry about shit that's really important, or at least I do. Instead they're worried about something trivial.

That's America. Utterly reactionary. I guess I'm guilty of it too. Or I'm just bored. Probably the latter but who knows? I do know that you can't talk about fast food restaurants, or their location without a litany of irrelevant responses. Throw reasoning, good judgment, and best business practices right out the window, they only want what they want. They have no idea how it really works, they just think that it should be open for them, even if said business would lose money hand over fist.

Ah yes, capitalism at it's best.

Stupid Machines

I was going to post something about gas prices but instead blogger got assy. Which is funny, because hotmail has been assy all day. Which is now today's subject. Why oh why do we let stupid little things like this drive us crazy? At work my entire analog life revolves around 4 or 5 programs, all of which have to be connected to some far off place, you're lucky if you even seen it. If for some reason it goes down, I almost feel like a kid again, but it always comes back up.

But that is the way the world is now. I think when I retire I'm not going to take any more technology than required, a very meager existence, but then again in 20 or 30 years who knows what new fangled equipment they'll come up with. I wish they'd make personal transport more personal. Like Star Trek's beamy thingee or maybe Futurama's pipe deals. Imagine you live in Colorado but you work in New York or even somewhere in Europe... yeah that'd be sweet.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another Question

Dear Mad Hatter,

What kind dogs do you have?

I have two small dogs. They are purebred. That's about all you're going to find out about them. I will say that when they die along with the family cat, I will not have any more pets. Does that make the hatter a hater? No, it makes me aware of the economics involved, with not just food and medicine and boarding, plus I'm just plain tired of cleaning up after them. I want to live life, and dogs (or cats) don't fit that equation. I have my own medicine and food to get, dogs are rich man's toys. I know, all kinds of people have dogs. But more likely than not they aren't properly cared for.

Add to that the premise of a mutt... no way. Sure I've owned them before, but that was when you could just leave them outside, and never really have to worry about them. Hell my grandma used to kill puppies and kittens as soon as they were born. She didn't want to be cruel, it was simply another method of birth control, for those who couldn't afford to spay or neuter their pet. My father has spent many a Saturday afternoon at the grocery store giving puppies away. Not me, of course I do have my pets fixed, and they live inside, and I try to make time for them, but it's hard. A lot more work than people think about.

I know certain people out there want to find that Beagle/Pomeranian a home and that's great, but really nobody lets any kind of purebred anything breed with something else, and I'm sick of seeing it. It's a dog, just leave it at that. I just can't stand it when somebody tries to tell me their dog's genealogy. Unless your dog somehow came over on the Mayflower or he's the number 1 dog in the world, shut up telling me anything else about him... including how smart he is. My 2 are dumb asses and I fail to see anything in a dog that is more than a pet.

So thats what I think about dogs, which is quite honestly a rich, or a demented person's hobby.

Email any questions to Ask Hatter

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Tree

I'm a little down bear with me... things aren't working properly.

Yesterday I bought a tree, now before I go in to that, you should know that I've never purchased or sought out one before. I first stopped at a local nursery on Hwy 278. First thing I can say is damn, they proud of what they got because they sure want a lot for it. But let me drift off subject for a moment. I watched the traffic go on around me. Man things have changed, or at least you can really notice them, when you take time out to.

I mean you probably know there's all kinds of growth, and I came here after most of it had already hit the area. But I wonder who really takes the time to notice. We all might say it's bad or might complain about it... but at least for me, I have a job that's based on that growth and it really is something to back deal the deck if you know what I mean (say growth is bad, then make money off it anyway).

But I'm not even talking about that. I'm just saying, all the cars had a driver, and maybe other passengers and each one had it's own story to tell us, though we will likely never hear them. Moments like that always awe me.

So back to the subject, we left the nursery, the kind of clients they have are not me, not even close. I feel like this at the outlet mall too, because I just can't wrap my head around some of those prices but that's another blog. We stopped at Home Depot and got a $20 tree, a red bud... one of the same trees at the hifalutin nursery, with a gift card at that. The ultimate price of a tree was free in my case.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I have this freckle thats been on me now for about 6 months, and I don't know what to think about it. Now I can say, throughout the years, I have gotten quite a few freckles all over my body, Especially when you consider that as a child, I pretty much lived at Grand Isle in the summer. But this particular freckle has me wondering.

It's on my hand, on the inside, right where my thumb and pointer finger meet, and for the most part, I've been sun free, for at least 10 years. It's not cancerous or anything like that, but it's location is weird. It's even got finger prints. I just don't know...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Bed

Well we got big plans for weekend... at least big in our lives. We say goodbye to the crib, and hello to the toddler bed. I'm not real sure how to take this information. I guess we'll just have to see.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Last Stroke and First Question

I think this will be the last post I make about my stroke. Honestly it ran it's course anyway. To stay on it anymore just causes all kinds of problems. I'm not saying I'm 100% cured, because there's a long way to go. But I am good enough, and by closing it, it will just be another page in the book of me. A chapter I cannot wait to finish.

Today was my last appointment with speech therapy. We talked about stalling techniques, because I do a lot of stuff over the phone, and I usually don't get all the information in the first go at it. We also talked about "fine tuning". Which only I can make happen, nobody can help me. "Fine tuning" is things like communication where I used to have a higher repertoire to make my message known, or basically not sounding like an idiot. Anyway, enough on that.

I got my first question last night.

What do you think about the pope?

My first thought was "Man, that guy has a pretty suave ride." But I haven't really heard of this version doing much. Not like the last pope anyway. All I've really heard was that he was a Nazi or something but I don't know. I think that the pope in general shows just how stupid religion is. And this is from a guy that went to catholic school. He's living in the Vatican City, chillin', and delivering the mass. Now to anybody who says I'm a deviant/scum bag/devil thats your right, it just seems all to ridiculous for me. But that's just ME. He does have a suave ride though and a pimp hat.

Email your question to

EDIT- Here's my pope cartoon... Thanks Alex

The plot thickens...

...sorta. As you may already know, I've described how the school district will take things from a dual calendar, to one unified calender. What I haven't talked about is those on traditional calendar, and how they are going to be... hosed. The year round is going to lose it's ability to remediate failing kids, and traditional is going to lose it's summer.

What we'll have, if you remember is the "unified calendar", which basically blends the two together, but doesn't have the benefits of either. And they'll do it right under your noses, because no one will realize it's happening until it's too late.

Goodbye year round school, and goodbye traditional school too, we'll have a quasi/morphed/kinda calendar instead.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ask Mad Hatter

Just another thought that I'm going to throw out there. I'm thinking about doing an "Ask Mad Hatter" kind of piece. This of course would all be dependent on users writing in questions. You could pretty much write anything you want, because unlike other places, I have no sponsors to worry about. I know you're out there, I can see IP addresses, of course this would all be anonymous so write in and see what happens.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

May 3, 1978

What makes me, me. May 3, 1978 there was a flood. In fact there was such a flood that the only thing talked about that was worse than that was Hurricane Betsy. (This was long before Katrina... of course) The cause was a stuck thunder storm.

"A squall line approaches the Greater New Orleans area from the west, intersecting a stationary front that was settled over the city. The result was a morning of torrential rains in excess of 10 inches, with rates of 2 inches per hour at times. Coffins were lifted from ground level tombs, along with empty gasoline tanks at service stations in the New Orleans area. The city's population was at a virtual standstill as nearly all main arteries were flooded or inaccessible well into the evening hours."

It was pretty bad to say the least. What was I doing? Well I was two and I was doing what 2-year-olds do. This freaked my mom out because we were in a 2 story apartment. Basically in those days it seemed rather easy and commonplace for toddlers to climb out of the crib, which I did, and for whatever reason there was no baby gate at the stairs so I went on down to see what the ruckus was about.

Now my mom was still sleeping, and I might have a case for neglect, I don't know. And this story would have been so much cooler if I would have become a marine biologist ...but it was not to be. So anyway I mosey on down the steps and play in the water. Which was rising with more and more water. It got to the point of climbing back up the steps, and the water was full of living things... mostly snakes. My mom did finally wake up and was of course mortified and proceeded to "freak out", but since we're all alive today, it's now become one of those funny stories.

I guess the May 3rd flood, will for the most part be forgotten in light of more traumatic events of Katrina. The flood only lasted one day, that's life in New Orleans. Eventually the pumps catch up to the flood and suck the water away.

More on Schools

I must say, yesterday was one of the most productive days I've had in at least 3 months. Ok, there is that whole you had a stroke thing but still work is going quite well, home life is ok, and the internet presence is getting out there. So you can pat yourself on the back if you're somehow responsible.

The School district is trying something with the calendar. Next year's schedule is only going to be a difference of maybe 3 or 4 weeks...or less. They are saying that SIC (School Improvement Council) is going to get a vote, hence parental involvement, on which calendar they want. Seriously look for a single system within two years.

Meanwhile we're told about improving student achievement. You want to get achievement? The only thing you can do is hope the population changes. I don't want to sound mean, but the chronically failing, the black and Latino population, need something different. Like a family that cares about what they do in school. If we don't have that, you're just spinning your wheels.

What if you do care and you have an under performing child? You need to look at your child's PACT score or even MAP score, your child's teacher will have this information, and come up with exercises that can be done after school to help your kid out. In my wife's class, I came in one day to help some kids count money. Over and over and over again, I doled out the money and they attempted to count. That's probably the hardest part, the hard, monotonous practice that's required.

Your not supposed to just coast through school. If you are then you aren't being challenged. My take on it anyway...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Blog Idea

I've been kicking this idea around for several months. Basically its everything you wanted to say, but for whatever reason didn't. It's also done in jest, so don't go getting offended. What I wanted to do is sort of wish everyone a rotten day, if you know what I mean. so here it is...

It's by no means my master craft, in fact its just the opposite. I guess I could say whatever here, but it looks so much better there. Lots of places wish you well, I can't think of one that wishes you bad, that is until now. It's not updated on a regular basis or anything, at least not yet. Enjoy, or don't if you catch my drift...

Non-Classic Film...uh Monday

I had the chance to watch a movie last night. It was called Yesterday and it was one of those movies that really makes you think. It's the story of a Zulu woman in South Africa who is exposed to HIV. There are so many different ways you could have gone with this, but for her, the education of her daughter is most important. And so, with the virus moving it's way closer to death, she stays alive just long enough to see her daughter in school.

She got HIV from her husband, who worked in Johannesburg, and I'm guessing messed around... they never really say. In fact, she is always accepting of her husband, even after he kicks the shit out of her. She never worries about the past, or trying to change it, she only attempts to change the future.

I searched youtube and everything else and there is no preview anywhere... so you'll have to take my word for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

300 pound, Naked, Escaped Mental Lady

A little background on what makes me, me. First off I had to be told this story because I was simply to young to remember it. A newborn to be honest. My mother had me strapped into the car seat, which was not the safety minded things we have today, but anyway. She had me in the seat and she had to run to grandma's house to drop off papers for some real estate deal. So rather than go through the deal of unhooking the car seat, she left me in the car while she ran the papers inside.

Easy, quick, and there's nothing to worry about right? Not exactly. This was on Franklin Ave. which was about 5 or 6 blocks away from the biggest, baddest public housing project in New Orleans. And on this particular day, there was someone out. And not only that but this person was an escaped mental patient, a good 300 pounds, and oh yeah completely naked.

Yes, yours truly got up close and personal with this person, a woman, in fact she was trying to sit on me. Now at this time the story pretty much turns to laughter and I get a bit confused (because remember, I am too young to remember a black, 300 pound woman's ass crack ...naked) My mother screams when she comes back to the car, and my grandmother, well lets just say she wouldn't at all be welcome in today's society.

Through my mother's pleading and more likely than not my grandmother's posturing with a gun (not to mention rains of curses and racial slurs), they eventually got the woman off of me. It turns out that I was ok, no harm had come to me, but that was just the first of many run ins with the psychotic, stupid, or just plain death staring at me. And now you know too.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I was just wondering...

If you have something that's considered a sacred cow, is there no repute or line of questioning that somebody, anybody can ask? Just thinking out loud here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Learning to Drive & Radio

Yesterday has come and gone, and Valentine's with it. I did ok for a married, with children kinda guy. I mean, if you count that I also had a stroke. Besides that we really try to make everyday a day where we tell each other our feelings, so Valentine's really is a wasted holiday. You know what I mean.

On the way home from work, I realized that I got just a small part of my life back. Again this might seem small to you, but until you lost it, you really don't know. I was able to listen to the radio... and drive... at the same time. I know that sounds like nothing, but for me its big.

It's part of that whole cognitive thing that reset in my head from having a stroke. So now I can drive and play the radio, and you don't have to worry about me wrecking... thats cool right?

Classic Film Friday is going on hiatus for at least another week. I just haven't had time for it. In fact I got 2 Netfilx movies that have been sitting on my shelf for a month. It'll be back, I just don't know when.

The weekend marks my daughter's birthday. We're inviting something like 20-30 people, which isn't really her friends, it's our friends, but still good fun, especially since we can all use a bit of a party, and hopefully the weather cooperates.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Well it's Valentine's Day

And honestly I be in some hot water if I didn't say that I should be getting a gift, or finding some flowers, or some other crazy mad idea. Because honestly this is all about women. In fact my wife even told me so the first time we spent one together.

I don't care about that. Women, today is your day. I'm not really even sure we men get a day, and that doesn't matter either, because honestly its such a small price to pay, and if you love the person you're with, even smaller still. Tonight I plan to spend the evening with my wife, cuddled up next to her, or maybe more...who knows. The important thing to remember is she's happy, and that she knows that she is loved. No money required.

So get out there and make her happy today, tomorrow isn't guaranteed, and that is pretty much all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


So it looks like it's going to be Obama and McCain in the general election. Damn this is really the best we could do? I could be behind McCain, but the inevitable has come to pass, the Christian coalition will not be denied... Ah well.

And Obama, He talks about change, and doing stuff differently but I bet you anything when it's all said and done, it's the same ole' same ole'. I mean it'd be nice if he did something, but really it would take a change in congress too, and that aint happening.

Of course NONE of the people running really had my support. So I guess it really is time to pack up and move to Canada... well at least when the rebate checks come anyway, plus it'll be warmer too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Endorse the Zoo

So we went to the zoo over the weekend. Which started out great, the ending not so good but it was fun. We saw the sights and my 2-year-old loved it, but I think I'll give it another year or so before I try it again. Kids have a whole different way of viewing at the zoo than its designers intended. The main reason for this I think is height involved.

My daughter was intrigued with the bars, the meaningless shrubbery, basically anything about knee high. She also liked anything she could see, like the penguins, fish, and tortoises. She could have probably stayed in one place because she really didn't realize that we wanted to see yet more animals, instead crying the horrors of us dragging her away from the last place. Maybe she'll get it next time... maybe.

By the end of the day she was done, and showed us by falling asleep as we were going to the car. Never mind that up until that point just being around her was next to impossible. But I guess that didn't matter anyway, because I was pretty much spent too. For certain, the zoo is not something for the weak at heart. Still it was an all day event, and it was well worth the drive, money, and energy used to make it all happen. They even had lots of places to hold your kid prisoner... I mean photographic opportunities, to enjoy.

She still talks about it. Mostly talks about the monkeys that I can tell anyway. She’s got a monkey that she must have with her, which was preceded by the baby, the dog, and pooh. This was supposed to be about the zoo, Riverbanks specifically, but it turned into an everything 2-year-old post instead, can you tell we’re whipped?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Really Low Down Dirty

I’m sick of the paper. They had an article that was probably condescending maybe even a bit snarky the other day. You’d think that with it being a small town paper it wouldn’t be like that at all, but you’d be wrong. You’d think an article about education would be about someone making a difference, making the grade, or just trying to get better. Nope we instead find people making fun of 1st graders. I’m talking about Saturday’s version of the paper.

I know that I’m slightly biased, but really that story was crap. Maybe if the paper put more effort into real stories that actually impact us, maybe they wouldn’t have time to make light of 1st graders. I know they say they don’t have people to do such things, but they have enough to poke fun at young people, seems to me they have no excuses.

The most dangerous part about this is that impressions from this one article could affect the community's outlook of the school's programs in their entirety. If they aren't honest in this story, how many other one's did they get wrong.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


It seems the school board is up to its usual tricks again. The money forked over is laden with pork. $810,000 for an elementary school design and site development design fee of $110,500. The referendum isn't even passed yet, but already we've spent close to a million. Of course there's the whole Smartboard fiasco, Which seemed like good idea, that is until somebody else tried this Promethean board. Now we have to abandon Smartboard, and go to Promethean.

And to make it worse the district is looking at increasing days, though it would need state approval. Not very likely since the people who need the most help are not exactly voters. Its quite simple. My wife is one of many thats trying to improve schools and out of all the kids she helps, all but one is Hispanic. I won't say if it's right or wrong, but essentially it costs money to hold a kid back for a year... so they just push `em through. This is what makes education a joke, at least around here.

And here's the kicker, this is because of the PACT test, and they are considering dropping that test. They're dropping it, yet our school board is talking about it. Maybe they should try talking to people in the state before going through all the trouble?

To add to the confusion, Valerie is looking at implementing a single calendar. And to make that happen look for another year of two calendars, though they will start a bit later and then within two years they have us all on one schedule. What I'm saying is the calendars will effectively be whittled away, until they are the same...policy change by slow increments, so nobody really notices it and therefor does nothing about it.

So That Didn't Last Long

I admit it, I tried to blog on that other site. I guess it is impossible not to really. The amount of ignorance is just too much not to really. One thing I have to say is that though the mind is willing to enter such conversations, the body is not. I'm not sure if/when that'll come back (or even that it will come back). This week has been hard. Its pretty much the first week back at work and there's nobody else, no help. Sometimes someone will approach me and expect the impossible even if I didn't have a stroke. When I meet those people now, all I can say is "I don't know" or "I can't help you". That's a little disconcerting, but I keep telling myself it will get better with time.

Think of it as once being able to communicate as a wise-cracking Bugs Bunny and being reduced to a bumbling idiot Elmer Fudd. Temporary. Thats what I keep telling myself. Still looking back at my writing, I can definitely see a difference. But even still, the ignorance I encounter is still dumber than me...

Very strange indeed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

I've been heein' and hawin' over the presidential debate and in general which person to pick. And what makes it worse is when I think I got it figured out the candidates or the public do something to change my mind. I like republican, if they'd get away from all the religion and that small thing called Iraq. I like democrat if for no other reason than to try something new. What to do? Probably should start by finding the TV in the off position. I don't know.

Monday, February 4, 2008

More super bowl thoughts

The Patriots never really had a chance. Well not really. Looking back at all their previous super bowl victories they never really knocked any other team in the teeth. This fact is usually over looked by the fact that they won a super bowl and the details get forgotten. I mean you find that one team really dominates another. Does this mean the competition has kept up, making for a better game or is it just 2 marginal teams put on a better show?

Let's consider that that Patriots are in a very easy division with the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins. I bet the 49'ers, Cowboys, or even the Broncos wish they had opponents that weak in there runs up to greatness. And then there is the whole cheating scandal. And of course they did some crazy stuff like go for it on 4th down a lot. I'm not saying they don't deserve what they have. They're just not so shiny anymore. Me personally, I'd want to win, decisively, in the biggest game there is... and the Patriots just haven't done that.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Prediction

Ok, I know this is the definitive place you come to for all things news. The giants will win the super bowl. Mainly because I hate everything New England. And that's that.

EDIT: And I was right, hehehehe

Friday, February 1, 2008

Classic Film Friday Trifecta

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn is intoxicating and completely believable as a hip, socialite Holly Golightly in New York. Paul, a writer and “kept” man belonging to an older, very rich woman finds himself spending more and more time with Holly realizing after just a little time that she herself is for “sale”. Throughout the movie, I found myself not liking the two main characters on and off. They both seem so caught up in what they can get from someone else. Along comes the scene when the two spend the day together taking turns doing things they’ve never done before, and then begins the magic.

Auntie Mame which is a story of a woman who inherits a boy because her brother died in pre-great depression America and the fall out of happened there after. She goes from happy and rich to broke and back again.

Arsenic and Old Lace: A hapless writer falls in love with the woman of his dreams, the only problem is his spinster aunts kill people and he needs to straighten it all out before he go and live the happy life. Add a crazy uncle, and a brutal brother who has a dead body to the mix, and you have quite the comedy on your hands.