John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


10 Truths

As you may know, I spent some time in Effingham, Illinois. Wow. The way I say that, it sounds like I was doing time. In reality, I made some incredible friends while I was down there. One of these people is Chad. He is the remaining member from Effingham that regularly checks out my blog. I don't know if that's an honor... or if I should feel sorry for him. Chad has challenged me to post ten truths about myself on my blog. You can read his here. I promised that I would think about them before I posted them, but haven't given them much thought until today. I will give this my best shot. Plus, keep in mind that these truths are as of right now and are subject to change without notice. Void in Alaska, Hawaii and where prohibited.

1. God. I can't imagine my life without God. It is actually impossible. I go to church every week not because I have to, but because I want to. It is a great way to reflect on the previous week and focus on the next in the right light. I once heard a speaker say "When was the last time you left church saying 'That was a waste of time. Wish I didn't go.'" How true. Each experience brings forth a truth that relates directly to what I am experiencing in a day by day experience.
I also feel that the Catholic church is the one true church. I know that this is a bold and controversial statement. However, when in college I looked into MANY religions from Buddhism to Muslimism and all the different sects of the protestant religion. The closest religion to my own personal beliefs is the Catholic church. Back then I agreed with 99% of what the Catholic church stood for. With each day, I agree with more and more. I can't imagine my life without the influence of God and His church.

This brings me to my next point.

2. Beliefs. I don't make up my mind quickly. It takes me a while to settle on a decision. This is especially true with my political beliefs. I take an issue and mull it over for a long time. I don't make knee jerk reactions to an issue due to what I am told or what a political party agrees with. Whenever I hear evidence for one point of view or another I assume that it is biased and slanted. I listen to the other side as well and then work it over for myself. This is why I get angered when someone calls me a republican. I am not a republican. I'm John. I'm my own person and disagree with MANY aspects of the republican party. The main one being capital punishment. However, I'm getting off topic here. The most intelligent response to any issue comes from a healthy compromise of the brain and heart. This is why that I am undecided on several issues and why in a political discussion I will take an extreme point of view on a topic that I don't have a side on to see what the rood beliefs of one side are to learn more about the issue at hand.

3. My family life. Many people discuss their family life as turbulent and full of issues and problems. Not mine. I lived in nearly a Brady Bunch experience as possible. My folks are and were great. They did a remarkable job as parents. They were able to teach values and morals without making it seem as lessons. While my friends were able to see "R Rated" movies at 13, I had to wait until I was 17 to see them. I thank my parents for that. I see the unruly children of today who have seen all the "Chucky" movies and own "Grand Theft Auto" and thank God that my parents raised me right. They also did not curse in front of me. I can't imagine dropping the F-Bomb in front of a kid. That is beyond my comprehension and I plan to raise my kids the same way my parents did. They are remarkable at creating a loving and nurturing environment for the development of children.

4. I'm picky. Yup. I'm a catch and am looking for the perfect woman. I realize that she may not exist, but I'm looking for a woman close enough to perfect. She would have to hold true that which is important to me. (For example, my number one truth.) I feel that I'm worthy of someone great and will wait for her. I have a series of tests that I check my dates with. With every moment I evaluate. I grade very generously, but yet, no one has passed completely.

5. Advertising. I don't think that I'm influenced too much with advertising, however, I may be and not know it. What it has done is prevent me from patronizing several advertisers. In my 28 years on this planet, I have never set foot in an Arby's. I once nearly did so until I saw a commercial with an oven mitt that insulted my intelligence as a human being over the age of three. They could have had a 5 for 0 deal and I still wouldn't have visited their establishment. With Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell (Long live the Chalupa) available, I have no need for Arby's. However, my favorite three may have changed recently. I may change Wendy's with Arby's. Wendy's currently has a commercial that says "If beef was meant to be frozen, cows would come from Antarctica." This bastardization and blatant abuse of logic has prevented me from visiting Wendy's recently. Until they get this awful and intellectually insulting spokesperson for Wendy's off the air, I will do without their square-shaped burgers. The W.C. (White Castle to the lay person) has those anyway.

6. Between the sheets. I demand that my bed sheets and blankets be without wrinkles before I sleep for the evening. Why? I don't know. I'm not a tidy person. Anyone who has ridden in my car or seen my room know that I'm not one on order. However, a wrinkle-less bed is necessary for slumber. I don't question it, I just obey it.

7. Food. I have never gotten excited when I saw the waiter coming to the table with my food. I have never looked forward to a meal. I actually see eating as a waste of time. If there were a pill that I could take once a day that would satisfy my stomach and all of my vitamins and whatever else, I would totally partake. I wish I didn't have to eat ever again. Why? I don't know. I am also a picky eater. I dig what I know. Give me a hot dog, pizza, pork roast, polish sausage, chicken and rice or a great steak. When it comes to anything from the sea or Asia, I'm done. That's off limits. Strange? Weird? Close-minded? Perhaps. But, I know what I like and I know how to get it.

8. Tastes. I have a variety of tastes in entertainment. While I can continually laugh at "Dumb and Dumber " no matter how many times I see it, I can also see great accomplishments and meaning behind films such as "Schindler's List." My favorite movie is actually "Schindler's List." I know that people will find that weird, but to see Oscar Schindler fall upon the ground tossing his ring aside saying "That would have saved ten more," well, that is an awesome sight. And I mean "awesome" in the truest sense of the word. That is the only movie where I cried at the end. The same difference occurs with TV. I had to see every episode of "Rock of Love," but also am captivated by a documentary on comets. I especially love anything that has to do with psychology. (See previous post.) Yet, I have been known to catch a "Tom and Jerry" cartoon every now and then.

9. Da Bears. There is no greater football team. No matter the record, there is none better than Da Bears. Oh, and the owners, the McKasky's, (sp?) money-hungry douche bags.

10. Tree Huggers And Eaters. I will take one truth from Chad. (He's the guy who challenged me to write this, remember?) He doesn't trust vegetarians. I agree with him. They are weird. They don't make sense. PETA is almost as bad as the ACLU for the moral fiber of American culture. Sure, be nice to the planet. Be great to plants and animals. They share this planet with us. However, God gave us this planet to use to our best interests. This includes eating cows. God gave us the delicious steak for a reason. If you think that it is brutal or against human nature to eat meat, you are a strange weirdo. If corn screamed when you cut it down, would you stop eating that too? I don't agree with deforestation of our rainforest for condos or corporations polluting our planet. But, this doesn't mean that I will ever give up KFC to help the environment. These organizations have mentally beat the hell out of so many that I am nearly nauseous just talking about it. It was once said by Mary A. "Let them eat cake." I say "Let them eat SIRLOIN!"

Well, it has taken about an hour and a half, but there are ten truths about me. I encourage all who know me to add whatever they want to this list. I also dare everyone reading this to post ten about yourself. Either on your blogspot page or on your MySpace page. Let me know when you do. I want to read 'em.



If I hear or see the number "7," I associate it with the color red. "B" is blue. "C" is yellow. I think the reason why I see particular colors with letters and numbers is due to those multi-colored letter and number magnets that my folks had on the fridge to help me spell. Do you put letters or numbers with colors? How about words or sounds with tastes?
So, what is "Synesthesia?" It, to me, first sounded like some weird form of Amnesia or something. Instead it is a rare condition where subjects actually associate colors with numbers or letters. Or they could link tastes with words. Essentially it is a combining of the senses that are VERY real to those who have this condition.
I just watched a documentary on this on the Science Channel called "When Senses Collide." It was FASCINATING! They talked with a woman who would look at a sign or a billboard and all the letters, even though they were white or black to the regular person, they were all their own vibrant color. This extended to words which had their own color as well.
Another man would hear or read words that he would associate with tastes. If he ever met a man named "Derek," he would associate that name with the taste of ear wax. Perhaps at one time he met a Derek that left a bad taste in his mouth. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) They soon found that it was more sounds than words that he associated with taste. The words "Light," "Bright" and "Might" all tasted like soy sauce to him.
They also talked to a man who went blind at some point in his life. He put words that fell into sequences with colors. Words such as numbers or days of the week had their own color, but other regular words did not. He would get a flash of white when you said "Monday."
They gave him an M.R.I. to study his brain waves while hearing certain words. During regular words, the only areas of his brain that were extremely active were the sides of the brain near the ears associated with sound. However, once numbers were introduced, portions of the back of the brain, which control sight, were illuminated showing that he did, in fact, see something when these words were spoken.
Being that the man was blind, this offered a great deal of validity to his story and this condition. To have these areas of the brain fire for a blind man is close to miraculous. Perhaps once more is understood about Synesthesia, those who are blind or deaf could use their other senses to build up a virtual representation of the lost sense. Although, that would be a very extreme future possibility.
Think of the numbers 1 through 10. Most people put them in sequential order from left to right. It is the most logical way to visualize all of these numbers at the same time. Plus, we read from left to right. I wonder if someone of a different culture who reads differently would do the same way. (I think it is because my kindergarden teacher had the numbers above the blackboard that way!) There is a woman who sees 1-10 as small blocks in front of her at all times. 11-20 are layered upon them and so forth to 100. Then just to the right of these stacked blocks begins 200-300 in the same manner all the way to 1000 and beyond.
Why is this occurring? One theory is that this is a way for many to be able to visualize and/or cope with a very complex world. Math is all around us. We have built extreme structures that reach the sky and this could explain the number blocks. The woman who sees them is not an architect, but does use the blocks to be sure she gets the proper change back.
Another theory is that this is the culmination of generations of speech development. When we were living in caves, it was a series of grunts that got a point across. Over many years, we developed the complex language that we have today. And even the common man confuses sensory concepts with non-sensory. This is done nearly every day in metaphors.
The writings of the poet, song writer, playwright and other creative people are able to decode complex ideas and feelings into playful and descriptive words using our vast English language. When someone says that it is bitter cold, we know that this has nothing to do with taste, but just becomes a better way to let someone know that they are going to freeze outside. Should a good friend say that their heart is breaking, we don't run for the defibrillators or call a cardiologist. Instead we know that they have just been dumped or something.
A scientist in California took two shapes to the beach. They were each roughly a foot and a half in diameter and orange. One looked like a cloud. It had very rounded edges. The other looked like a "New and Improved" sign on a bottle of detergent. It had jagged, sharp edges to it. He told people that one was a "Kiki" and the other a "Boola" and asked them which was which.
Majority of people said the sharper object was the "Kiki" and that the more rounded shape was a "Boola." You may have thought the same thing while I was setting the scenario up.
Say to yourself (Or if you are with people, feel free to look at them and say this to them.) "tiny" and "large." Notice your mouth as you say these words. The mouth barely needs to open for "tiny," yet for "large" you may open it nearly all the way.
The way we associate words with the things they describe may be more linked to the senses than we realize. What I wish they had gone into more was sound waves. Due to my radio experience, I am always able to visualize words in sound-wave form. (I don't do it all the time, but I can switch it on when I want to. I usually do it when I start to get bored with a conversation.) Hard concidents are represented in sharp spikes in the sound wave. However, soft sounds such as vowels are low and have a more rounded approach.
Perhaps there is a link between the actual sound wave and the way we interpret it. Maybe we are all able to see these waves on a more subconscious level which would explain why we gave things the titles that they currently have.
I know this is somewhat of a tangent, but I just discovered an awesome article on the Science Network's main page. We all had assumed that the first recording of the human voice was Edison singing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" in 1877. However, voice was recorded earlier in 1860 by the French. They sang (you guessed it) "Au Clair de la Lune." My favorite.
However, we are able to play back Edison's recording. We were not able to play back the French's recording. It was put onto paper in a wave-form. This wave-form was re-created recently and was able to be heard again just recently. If you want more, you can click here for the article and the ability to download an MP3 of the first ever recording. (How strange is that. A 150 year old MP3?!)
Anyway, back to the original topic. We all know people that talk with their hands. This may be a very loose combination of the way we combine the intangible with the tangible. It doesn't quite fall into the category of Synesthesia, but does show a correlation between words and actions. Some say that the part of the brain that connects speech is linked slightly to the part of the brain that deals with movement. Some people have a greater connection than others.
This brings me to something that has fascinated me for a few years now, Nero Linguistic Programing. Or NLP or the study of body language. We have all heard that 80% of what we say is in body language. I don't know if the number should be that high, but body language is SO VERY vital. The way one sits, either straight, slouched or leaning back can tell you a great deal about them immediately. If they slouch, you may already infer that they don't have a great deal of self-confidence. If they are sitting straight up, perhaps they are a bit ridged. If they lean back, they may be disinterested in the conversation they are having or just relaxed in their environment.
And this is just how they sit. There is a fun exercise at parties or group situations where you may have a one on one conversation with someone. Look at their toes. The number of toes they have pointed at you can tell you how interested they are in you. If you only have one foot, you need to be more interesting. If you have no toes, you need to write out some interesting stories before you leave the house. However, if all ten are in your direction, you have completely engaged the person you have having a conversation with. (Just think about the different body positions and how they make you feel in a conversational setting. Just based on what you read already can tell you a great deal about how true this really is.
We are also mimics. Have you ever taken a sip from your drink to see that majority, if not all, of you friends do the same thing. Or if you are with a bunch of smokers, if one lights up, many do? It is, somewhat sub-conscious, social conforming. Guys, if you want to find out if a woman is checking you out, look at your watch. If she does the same thing, she is trying to gain some sort of connection with you through body language. Sometimes people will do this even though they don't have a watch on. It is great fun to try at bars. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it is fascinating.
Why is body language so important? Perhaps while we were in the early stages of our language, body language was even more vital to communication than actual speaking. Maybe this still lingers within the sub-conscious mind. If we wished to be successful in the hunt, perhaps thinking as one and being a part of the group was important to survival against dangerous game.
I know I have jumped all over the place, but I can't help but think that all of this is linked somehow. I will continue looking into this and offer any insights to anyone who is still reading. (Which I doubt is very many at this point.)



There are some people who love food. There are types of food that are known as "comfort foods." Ice cream and other snacks may fall in this category. Most have their favorite foods of pizza or sushi or something like that.
I don't. I don't snack on ice cream or Cheeto's when I'm feeling blue or something. I also don't have a favorite food. The standard meat and potatoes is my main staple of life.
However, I wish I didn't have to eat at all. I think it would be awesome if I could spend more of my time doing things that I want instead of cooking and eating EVERY single day! It seems not a day goes by without me having to eat. What a waste of time.
I don't even recall ever even looking forward to a particular type of food. While I dig a good Chicago-Style deep dish pizza, I've never salivated over the thought that any minute it would arrive at my table.
Do I just not get it? Maybe I don't.
This make sense to anyone or am I missing something? Let me know.


Dennis R. Rich

February 11, 1971 - April 1, 2008


Yesterday was April Fools day. I had a great joke that I was going to play on everyone in the MySpace community, but MySpace was being slow and unresponsive. So, I may just save that for next year.
One of my favorite pranks was when I was a morning show DJ on a Country station and each hour we played a few Who or Stones songs to fool the listeners into thinking that we had switched to Classic Rock. I even produced liners to go in between the songs to make things sound EXTREMELY authentic. It took a while to put all of this together.
People were LIVID. It was great. The amount of angry phone calls we got made all the effort worth while.
Want to search some of the best pranks of all time? Click on the picture for an article that claims to have them all.

Racism Or Irreverance?

As many of you faithful readers of my blog (Both of you, I thank you) know, I am a college professor. Or, at least I consider myself to be one. I may just be an instructor, but you may call me professor.
I realized recently that I haven't written a whole lot about my classroom experiences. So, what the hell.
I teach a class called "Digital Audio Production I." Essentially it is intro to how to make commercials. But, it sounds cool and complex, doesn't it? I thought so. I once asked the class what is "feedback?" I expected a response such as "It is where a microphone picks up the audio from a speaker and feeds it's week signal to an amplifier built into the mixer and then sends it back to the speaker creating a loop of continually amplifying sound." Or at least "When you get that squeal from putting a mic next to a speaker."
Instead I got "It's when you ask a group of people to fill out surveys on something." Yup. I have a few smart-asses in the class. I'm glad that I do. It's payback, I know. I was a bit of a smart-ass in class (I know you are perplexed with this revelation.) and this is just payback for my previous behavior.
What I'm here to talk about is what occurred yesterday. If you are offended easily, this MAY not be for you. This isn't too bad, but it is a bit "racier" than I'm used to posting.
The college I teach at is predominantly black. Well, hell, my class is all black. I don't care. I judge my students on how much they respect my teachings. That's also how I grade them. I have students who get things right away and excel. They get good grades. I have students who listen intently and do all that they can to do what is asked of them. They get good grades. (Not quite as good as those who excel at what is asked. That wouldn't be fair to either group of students.) Then I have students who are there for no apparent reason. These students will not pass without the intervention from Jesus. They don't try. They don't attempt. They come to class late and leave early.
What I see now more than ever is how much teachers realize. They aren't the first-nameless cyborgs that I once thought that they were. Instead they are human beings who go out and have fun when they aren't teaching. They have friends, relationships, families and they can tell when you don't give a crap about the class at all.
Yesterday I was going to have the class use sound effects in their commercial. In order to do this, they would have to download the sound effects from the Internet and I found that the way they had their Macs (Awful machines) set up, that downloading an appropriate file that worked with the program that they were using (Mac compatible) didn't jive well together. Hell, it didn't work at all.
I then changed up the project to write a commercial. I figured that it was an important skill to learn and would be a good substitute for the project I had ready to go.
I asked the students to come up with an idea for a company that would advertise on the radio. They came up with a restaurant among other things. Including Valtrex. I figured a "restaurant" would be the most PC and easiest to write about. Then they came up with "Sr. Love Daddy's BBQ." I recommended that this restaurant have a catch. They came up with "SR. Love Daddy's Organic BBQ." I have no idea what an "organic BBQ" may consist of or, let alone, taste like, but it was creative and we went with it.
So, the next thing we learned about are "Copy points." These are essentially the aspects of the business that the client wants to put in the commercial. They are the skeleton of the ad. They came up with "Taste," "Atmosphere" and several others that also included "For white people and black people." I condensed this into "Ethnically friendly." I figured that this may be the best way for a white teacher to put down what black students had said. While it is the same thing, it sounds A LOT better!
Their reason for the two races coming together was the "Organic" aspect and the "BBQ" aspect. I will let you decide which race is looking for what. I then paused the exercise to let them know that, while being white, I have never, to my knowledge, eaten organic food. Yet, I thourally enjoyed BBQ. They seemed rather impressed. I began to wonder if I have failed in connecting to my class on a more personal level as we continued. But, none-the-less, the lesson must continue!
We then decided to determine who our target audience was. They came up with "women." Which is great, because MAJORITY of all of advertising is targeted toward women. This should be easy. The woman they were going after was 25-54 (A rather big spectrum of people, but I let them fly with it) and a soccer mom with a Volvo. They then said "Caucasian." I was slightly reluctant to put this on the board, but did. We further defined her by saying she had a few kids and listened to certain radio stations on the radio dial.
I then let the class know that their ad should include the Copy Points of the restaurant as well as target their audience. They had about a half hour to write a thirty second commercial based on what we had developed in class.
It was at this point that one of the members of the class came in very late. She has no idea what is going on. We will call her Kelly. I informed her on what she had missed and encouraged her to write a commercial based on what was written on the board.
Shortly after she began the assignment I heard her say "I have a problem with this." I looked up from my work as she explained herself further saying, "I am not happy with our teacher putting 'Caucasian' on the board. I feel that this is not right." She said this in a way that I took this as a joke. The rest of the class did as well.
I assured her (despite assuming this was a joke, I decided the best method of action was to take this as a true concern) that the 'Caucasian' comment was not something that your white teacher put on the board. As a matter of fact, one of these black students suggested that. It is mealy a description of our "target audience" and that this was what radio stations and advertising agencies did to determine who they were going to market to. In fact, many stations have even greater characteristics of their target demo. They have names for their target as well as their children and get EXTREMELY detailed. This way the DJ's and other members of the station always have "Stacy" or "Ruth" in mind in everything that they do.
She accepts this and goes back to her work. Or at least, I assume she does.
It is at this point that I hear her say "Oh hell no."
I am again looking up from my work. By now, the rest of the class is interrupted from theirs and looking at her. "Ethnically friendly?" She asks. "What the hell does that mean?! I am offended by -"
A guy in the first row turns back to cut her off saying, "Shut the hell up!"
I wanted to high-five him. He reflected the sentiments of the entire class as well as me. However, being an instructor I couldn't let this be known. These two went at it for about a minute before I made it over there. She asked him "Would you go to a restaurant who said they were 'ethnically friendly?'"
He responded to her saying "I'm ethnic. If they are gonna promise to be friendly to me, I'd like to go there."
I went over there and asked them to stop. They didn't. A guy in the corner let her know that she was making a big deal out of nothing. He said "It isn't like I'm having ol' Cletus do this ad. He ain't sayin' 'I love me sum ribs from dis joint.'" This only complicated the situation. The two started yelling at each other and I sensed that it went from joking with each other to a little more heated.
So, I did something that I didn't think that I would have to do in my class. I raised my voice. To those who know me, to those who have even known me for decades, this is a rare thing that very little, if anyone has seen. I pointed at Kelly and the guy who originally called her out and talked to the whole class when I said "The next person to talk will FAIL this project."
Silence smashed into the room. They put their pointed fingers down and picked up their pencils. The rest of the class looked at me with awe and wondered if I was telling the truth. I give a look into the eyes of all upon me to let them know that I mean business. Everyone puts their heads down and go back to writing.
The silence continues. All I hear is the sound of pen to paper. Well, that and the click of cell phone buttons. Several of the students are texting on their cell phones. In my mind this will not stand. It is an insult to my class and it is a disrespectful action towards me. If you are texting, you are going to take longer on your project, which means that more time will be spent on this aspect of class making those who finished this project faster have to wait to get to the next aspect of class. You are also showing that you care more about what your friends did last night than what I am attempting to teach you in class.
What I did when I realized that several members of my class were texting instead of working was I made an announcement. "I am about to go get a drink of water from the fountain outside. When I get back in, everyone will have their cell phones put away and cease texting or talking on their phones. Otherwise, they, too, risk failing today's project."
I then left the room. I got a drink of water. I came back in the classroom. I watched about 25% of my students quickly shove their cell phones into their pockets and purses.
The only student bold enough to keep their cell phone out for texting was one of Kelly's friends. We will call her Sarah. Sarah has yet to turn in ANY project and has only turned in the mandatory quizzes that were given on the days she chose to show up for and mid-term. Not once have I received any project from her. Sarah puts her Elmo back-pack up on her desk to conceal her cell phone. Surely with the help of Elmo (this is a college course, mind you) this plan is fool-proof! What she forgets to realize is I'm not an idiot.
I see her cell phone and make reference to it. She puts it away. But, only for a few moments. Apparently she got another text that MUST be answered immediately. Again, the Elmo back-pack should have hidden her cell phone from my view. However, the third friend in this trio, Becky asked for my assistance with the project. Sarah is visibly upset that Becky is asking me closer to their side of the room as I assist Becky with what was asked of the class.
After offering suggestions and answering questions, Becky is now aware of what is being asked of her for this project. Unfortunately, Sarah feels it is mandatory to keep up texting while I was 2.5 feet away. Either she felt I was an idiot or didn't care what I had said. Either way, she was now getting a zero for the day. This may explain why she didn't turn a project this day.
I then ask the class to turn in their projects. Once they are all in, I ask the class what aspects of the computer program that we have been using for the past five weeks leaves them with questions that I could answer for them. Several questions are asked. All are answered. I then go into what is expected of them and I give some audio examples of how I have used what they are learning in the real field. It is at some time during the asking of questions and the answering of them that there is a notable disruption from Kelly's side of the room.
Her cell phone had not been muted after being asked. It is silenced only after the first few loud notes of a song play alerting her to a call coming in and interrupt my concentration. She exaggerates a stretch and says "Oh man. I need to stretch out in the hall. Maybe get a bit of water." I am pissed. I note the phone in her hand and prevent myself from saying the first 10 things that flash through my mind.
I only looked at her and watched her walk quickly into the hall to answer the call which was obviously more important than my lecture. I paused. I slowly walked to my book and made a mark next to her name that matched that which I had made next to Sarah's name. Her friends saw this and let out a noticeable gasp.
Once she returned, it was only moments before she opened her mouth. Right in the middle of one of my explanations of a complex process within the program that we were using she said, "Why you put a mark down when I leave the room." I paused, mid-sentence, and looked her right in the eye and said "You felt it was important to leave the room when you got a phone call that interrupted my instruction."
She looked right back at me and said "But I left the room instead of answering it here and-"
With the sternest voice I have ever used I interrupted her with "You answered your cell phone in my class. End of story. If you wish to discuss this further Ms. _______, then we will do this after class. But, you will NOT waste more of my class time with your nonsense."
She closed her mouth and moved her head back as if to show that she had given up on that argument. She never met me after class. She didn't even stay until the end of the class. I can only assume that she had given up on her obviously flawed attempt at changing my mind once she saw the definition within my eyes.
I realize this post is on the borderline of funny and may have another foot in the serious. This is why I need to be careful how I take this. I will let you know how it goes.


Whine Expo?

This weekend a wine expo is coming to town. This is something that I would normally overlook. I wouldn't think twice about this. However, Libby (see previous posts for a frame of reference) is big into wine. She lived in California for 7 years and visited all of the vineyards. She even took visitors from Illinois on the "Sideways" tour. She even visited California to catch up on old friends last week and frequented several vineyards while she was there. To me, it isn't that big of a deal, but to her, it is the cat's pajamas. (That phrase needs to come back. Help me out here - start using this as much as possible. Bee's knees also works, but isn't as effective because it rhymes and looses some of it's effectiveness in it's cuteness.)
This wine expo has classes on different types of wines. I think I might find this interesting because I don't know much other than the classifications. Sure, I know the difference between a chardonnay and a cabrenay, but which brands are good and which areas of the world produce what and how the grape is nurtured or blended or talked into the wine it will become - got me.
What I think would be great is if wine were more like beer. Not in taste or anything, but in brand recognition. We all know of and start with the basic brands. Miller, Budweiser and maybe even Coors. Then you venture out to Sam Adams, Blue Moon and maybe even something exotic like Corona! Then you go to Guinness and other incredible beers such as Guinness. Or you can go down to Milwaukee's Best, Keystone or Beck's. You also begin to realize that Miller makes Miller High Life, Miller Lite and the AWFUL Miller Chill. Guinness also makes Harp. The differences between an ale, stout and a lager is easy to understand.
Wine? No real brand recognition. Sure you have the classifications like beer, but no starting point. No concentric circles of quality to go in or out from. Instead EVERYONE has a vineyard. You probably even have a wine producing vineyard and not even know about it. (Google yourself after reading this. You may be surprised. I'm guessing Lucy has been pressing the grapes just waiting for you to take over the operation. "Maybe today! Maybe today my feet will rest!")
THEN they blend wine with weird stuff. I recently tried a wine that was blended with green onion and grapefruit. Yup. I figured that was just on the boarder of strange enough for me to try. Wasn't too bad. Was from Austria. Each place has several different blends and will occasionally combine wine. Why? Just to confuse us, I'm sure. I would be willing to bet that the most experienced and knowledgeable wine conosures are just full of it and are great at pretending they know about wine.
I'm sure that these guys are the ones giving the seminars and because they have tasted and spit out more wine than I have. (I don't think I have ever spit it out before. If I'm paying $8 a glass, I'm making that crap count!) I will listen to what they have to say because of this.
What I seem to recall is that hidden within this expo of old grapes is a seminar on whiskey. This is more my speed. I'm pretty sure that the whiskey experts have never spit out Johnny Blue. If they do, I will punch them in the mouth... then finish their glass. I will try to get this seminar on the list of "Must Do's" ahead of all the others. I'm not positive if it's there or not, but I will look it up.
Or, maybe I won't. Libby has arranged a brunch with a friend that will not free her until 12:30. I'm pretty sure this event was on the calender for a while, because the brunch is with an out of town friend. So, I now have a situation on my hands. The 12:30 is a maybe. It could be later. The expo starts at 11 and goes until 4. Roughly a third of the event would be gone. Majority of the seminars begin at 12. Plus, if her friend is from out of town, why rush things? She hasn't seen her since her visit to California last week. Oh, and the friend is spending majority of Saturday, including spending the night, with Libby. So, the pillowfights in their underwear may take away from valuable girltalk time.
So, I told her that we should go see a movie instead. This way she could spend more time with her friend and things wouldn't be so rushed. We are both "The Office" fans and a movie with Jim (Jon Krazinski) and Awful Batman (George Clooney) is coming out this weekend called "Leatherheads." I will let you know how it goes.

Idiots + Technology = Forwards

There are a lot of idiots out there. George Carlin once said "Think of the intelligence of the average man. Then realize that half the population is dumber than he is."
Want to know who this bottom half is? Check your inbox. They are the ones sending you e-mail forwards. They tell you of the power your cell phone has to unlock a car door from great distances, how to sign up for the "National Do-Not-E-Mail Registry" and about how a bullet impregnated a woman. (Nope. Not making this one up. Click here.)
How do we combat these idiots who have convinced the public so much that there are warnings on gas pumps not to use your cell phones for fear that the phone could start a fire? (Check next time you are at the pump. Despite this being a lie, some stations do have the warning on their pumps.)
One website has come to the rescue. Many have heard of it. But, just in case you haven't, check all that you get through It is an AWESOME website.
With this information, you can paste the link on your "Reply All" to that dumb-ass e-mail forward you got. Hopefully soon all these idiots will be too embarrassed to resend crap to everyone in their address book - including you.

Nearly 200

I just checked the stats for this blog and nearly 200 people visit it each week. Yup. 200. Why? I don't know. While most are from within Illinois, we have far off, exotic locals checking in such as Canada, Israel and New Jersey. Yup. Someone spent 21 hours checking out this blog from New Jersey. Needless to say, that's a little creepy.
For some reason the biggest portal to my blog is a "Random Thoughts" post I wrote in October of 2006. Why? I don't know.
The reason for why these trends are they way they are is VERY confusing to me. It was a good "Random Thoughts," though. I even worked in Prime Co.
Just thought you'd like to know that there are MANY other people checking out this blog with you. For more, tell your friends, family and house plants. They will all thank you for enriching their life in such a meaningful way... or disown you. In any regard, you come out ahead.