Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday’s poetry corner.


My Brother took a poetry class in High school and the text they used was the best anthology of poetry I have ever come across. It was called, “Beowulf to Beatles.” I spent years looking for it and finally found it at Amazon .com. It was not the first edition but a second edition and did have all the same poems but still a good read. One of the poems I remember was “You Dun Stomped on My Heart by John Denver. It is a very y funny song about love gone wrong but I always remember the line,”sweet heart you sorta stepped on my aorta and smashed that sucker flat. So for your reading enjoyment I give you, “You Dun Stopped on My Heart.”

I told you that I loved you, you said that is so good.
I called you my darling, I thought I always would.
But now you've gone and left me, I don't know what to do.
So my little darling, I write these words to you.

You dun stomped on my heart and you mashed that sucker flat.
You just sorta stomped on my aorta.
You started going out with guys. I felt us drift apart.
And every step you took was a stomp on my heart.

I only hope that someday, you get them low down blues.
In some smoky honky-tonk you'll look down at your shoes.
You'll think about that tender heart that you crushed beneath them soles.
With your cold busting stompers, you left my heart so full of holes.

You dun stomped on my heart and you mashed that sucker flat.
You just sorta stomped on my aorta.
You started going out with guys. I felt us drift apart.
And every step you took was a stomp on my heart.
And every step you took was a stomp on my heart.

Taken from http://www.lyricstime.com/john-denver-you-dun-stomped-on-my-heart-lyrics.html

Vocabulary word of the day.


Derelict

der·e·lict

Pronounced der-uh-likt

Definition: remiss or neglectful of duties.

I am sorry I was derelict in my duty and did not do a vocabulary word yesterday.

I am sorry.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We are all going to die!


Sunday evening my son was watching a program on the Discovery channel listing the top ten ways humankind can be wiped off the face of the earth. I came in for the last few ways we are all going to die. Among them was death by meteor. A meteoroid wiped out the dinosaurs so why not us too. This was followed by a nuclear winter. The interesting thing was it was not some third world wacko the scientist saw as dangerous but the United States and Russia. I thought we were so over that. The next way we would meet our demise was through a pandemic outbreak of some sort made by either nature or some evil genius with a high school chemistry set and a thirst for revenge. The number one way for life on earth to be destroyed was by having to listen to Al Gore explain how global warming is going to kill us all. Personally, if global warming provides Arizona with some decent beachfront property, I am ok with loosing parts of California.

After calming my son down and explaining that I didn’t think any of these tings were very likely to happen in say the next few days and that he still needs to finish his home work, I started to think about all the ways the media has tried to scare us over the past few decades. If the food we eat tastes good, it causes cancer, hyperactive activity or obesity. Our electronic devices cause brain cancer or sterility or can induce seizure activity. The air we breathe and the water we drink can give us cancer. Killer germs are out there just waiting to infect us with some flesh-eating bacteria. And if the environment and our diets don’t kill us there is always the criminal element out their just waiting to get us when we least expect it.

I have therefore decided that the only safe course of action to follow is to turn off the computer and go back to bed. Crawl under the covers, making sure the blanket is not an electric one as that can pose a shock or burn hazard, and curl up in a fetal position. I will stay there until told that it is safe to come out again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vocabulary word of the day.

Pinnacle

Pin.na.cle

Pronounced: pin-uh-kul

Definition: The highest point or position.

Senator John McCain hopes to reach the pinnacle of his career by becoming our next president.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What’s my punch line.



This weeks joke is, “ A Detective, a Firefighter and an Ambulance driver are marooned on an island with Brittany Spears.

Top ten reasons Mondays bite.

10. Not having any clean under wear because you forgot to do laundry.

9. Dragging your children out of bed and getting them ready for school because they all stayed up way too late over the weekend.

8. Driving in Monday morning traffic, do all the idiots forget how to drive over the weekend?

7. Knowing that you have five days to go before the weekend.

6. Finding half your lunch in your desk drawer because you got too busy Friday to finish it and now it really stinks.

5. Trying to find your wallet, keys, purse, badge or what ever because you cant remember where you tossed them when you came home Friday evening.

4. Arriving late for work because you forgot to reset your alarm clock Sunday night

3. Listening to lame coworker decried their boring weekend.

2. No episode of 24 tonight because of stupid writers strike.

And the number one reason Mondays bite is,

1. Working with a hangover

Monday morning confessions

I have a confession to make. I am a product of a poor educational system. I was taught to read using the Site word method, which was accompanied by Basel readers. I especially remember the Dick and Jane series. As a result and no fault of my own, I can’t spell. That the awful truth. I am an incredibly bad speller. I remember misspelling spelling on the top of a spelling test. I am so ashamed. But for people like me there is hope. The spell checker that comes with my word processing program has been a lifesaver. It has always been there for me correcting my misspelled words gently correcting me when my grammar is incorrect. But lately it has been acting strange it has become politically correct. I wanted to us the term lunch lady in a post earlier because that is what I am a lunch lady. It wanted me it change it to lunch person or lunch woman. Nope I not a lunch woman I am a lunch lady! It didn’t like schoolgirl it wanted pupil or student but what’s funny about giggling like a student? That is right nothing is funny about a laughing student. And it has something against using contractions. At first, I went along with it and changed all my contractions per its suggestion and then I realized that it made me sound pretentious. And I am not pretentious, ok maybe a little.. I have therefore decided that I will use the words I want and I will use contractions when I want because I am not afraid of my spell checker. I just hope it keeps correcting my misspelled words.

Vocabulary word of the day.

Melancholy

mel·an·chol·y

Pounced: mel-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn-kol-ee

Definition: feeling gloomy or sad.

Monday mornings can very often be the cause of ones melancholy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

And the winner is!


The winner of this weeks joke contest goes to Dana. She wins this weeks contest by answering how many bloggers it takes to screw in a light bulb. Her answer was Three: One to screw it in, one to make a comment about the one who is screwing it in, and one to add to the first comment by quoting another blog where a light bulb has already been changed. Congratulation to Dana for a very funny answer. Be sure to come back Monday for the new joke of the week.

And even though I can’t win my own contest, I did come up with my own ending to the joke. How many blogger does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, but then they will write a post about it in their blog. The posting will generate 15 comments, 4 of them will praise the blogger for an excellent job in screwing in the light blub, 6 of them 3 will claim that they have screwed in light bulb better, one troll will complain that screwing in light blubs causes global warming and we would all be better off sitting in the dark. The rest of them will say, “You said screw and giggle like school girls.

Whoops!


As I mentioned yesterday I have joined weight watchers. For a week, I have been carefully counting my points. I started each day with 18 points with the understanding that I had an additional 35 points per week to use if I need them. Today at work, a coworker asked me how many points she could have per week and as I was helping her figure it I realized I had made a mistake. A huge mistake, when calculating the points you take the first two digit of your weight, for example if you weigh 180 pounds the number would be 18 points plus points for your sex your age and how active you are. My mistake was I took the first two digits and added them together so instead of getting 18 points for a person weighing 180 I would have had 9 points. I had effectively cut the number of points I should have been eating daily by half. No wonder I was hungry all week. When I realized my mistake, I thought either I am going to do really well or I have sent my body into school and not lost a thing. Happily, it was the first; I lost 6.6 pounds this week. Hopefully I can get the rest of their friends to follow as well.

Vocabulary word of the day.

Elated

e·lat·ed

Prounounced: i-ley-tid

Definition: happy, proud and joyful

I was elated when I stepped on the scale and was told I had lost 6.6 pounds in my first week of weight watchers!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Look out scale, here I come!


I have been on weight watchers’ for one whole week! I weigh in this afternoon and see just how good I have been. I have been good, not perfect but considering how I had been eating pretty good is a huge improvement. I counted my points and tried to eat variety of foods so as not to get bored. That’s because when I am bored I tend to eat and we don’t want that. Work as been a challenge because I work in the cafeteria I am surrounded by food and it’s very easy to take little bites here and there. I know its cafeteria food but it’s pretty good. And there are times when I will eat anything as long as it’s not moving. But I was good at work I didn’t snack and I ate salads for lunch. It also helped that my supervisor is supportive. She herself has recently lot o lot of weight and looks great. She has been giving me the clothes she can no longer wear and as I loose weight, she promises there is more where they came from. So wish me luck as I step on the scales this afternoon and I will report my success to you in the morning.

Vocabulary word of the day.


jet·ti·son

Pronounced jet-uh-suhn

Definition. To discard or throw off a burden.

I hope I find that I have jettisoned several pounds when I weight in at weight watchers today..

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Does this template make my butt look fat?


I am trying on a new template. Tell me what you think should I stay with it or go back to the way it was before? I felt like trying something new.

What’s my punch line?

Ok it Wednesday and only one contestant and she has a funny one. Check out the competition and see what you can do.

Wednesday‘s poetry corner.


My mother passed on to me a book of poems entitled 101 Famous Poems. It is one of my treasures and I still love to read the poems in this slim volume. One of my very favorite poems is Walt Whitman’s “Oh Captain my Captain.” Walt Whitman wrote this poem in tribute to Abraham Lincoln after his assassination. Every thing in the poem is about how we had won the civil war but the one man responsible for seeing that the union remained was dead before the cheering and celebrating ever stopped. So enjoy the poem and if you can read it aloud, it sounds better that way.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head;

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

Taken from wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Captain!_My_Captain!

Vocabulary word of the day.

Serendipity

ser·en·dip·i·ty

Pronounced ser-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn-dip-i-tee

Definition an accidental discovery.

Serendipity caused me to find Blogs 4 Baur and all of the wonderful bloggers friends I have made since then.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The hatchet lady.


A little story from my childhood to shed some light on why I turned out the way I did. I have two older brothers who from as early as I can remember loved to scare the crap out of me.

At the every far corner of our basement was a pantry where my mother kept her canned fruits and vegetables. She makes the very best canned peaches. Whenever she would ask me to go down stairs and bring up a can I resisted, I didn’t want to do it. She would yell, I would pout and make the long trek down the stairs around the corner and down the long hallway. It never failed as soon as I was half way down the hall the light would go out and I would have to make my way the rest of the way in the dark. I would grab the peaches and go running back up the stairs usually to find my brothers laughing their butts off.

That wasn’t the worst though, the worst was when my parents would go out for the evening. They would leave my brothers in charge and tell them to look out for me. That was not their idea of a good time. Instead, they would tell me that the hatchet lady was loose, again. It never occurred to me that every time my parents left the hatchet lady got loose. Then they told me they were going to go out and look for her and I was to stay inside and keep all the doors locked. If I dared open the door for any one, it would be the hatchet lady and she would kill me! Then they would go out and party, leaving me all alone in a locked up house with every, and I mean every light on down in the basement watching the Twilight zone. I never told my parents they were leaving me because I didn’t know they were supposed to be watching me. But they knew they could go out have a good that and I was safe at home.

I got my revenge though. One night after watching the Night Stalker on TV, I went up stairs to go to bed. Unknown to me my brother had gone up before me and hid in my closet. As I got into my nightgown, he began to make a growling noise and scratch on him inside of my closet door. Talk about being scared I ran out of my room screaming, crying and not breathing. My brother followed behind laughing at me until he saw me turning blue then gray and he thought he had killed me. I think my mom blew in my face or something to get me to breath again I don’t remember what she did to my brother but knowing her I am sure it was good.

Just in case though if you hear the hatchet lady is out there , stay indoor lock all the door and turn on every single light in the house and find something scary on TV to watch. That will keep you safe. It worked for me.

Vocabulary word of the day


Malaise

ma·laise

Pronounced ma-leyz

Definition, a feeling of being unfocused, mentally uneasy, and lethargic.

I can’t seem to shake this malaise since I finished my last class and will not have another one for at last three to four week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Teenage Brain.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The teenage brain, Laurence Steinberg says, is like a car with a good accelerator but a weak brake. With powerful impulses under poor control, the likely result is a crash.

art.giedd.ap.jpg

Dr. Jay Giedd of the National Institutes of Health says the brain continues to mature up to age 25 or later.

And, perhaps, a crime.

Steinberg, a Temple University psychology professor, helped draft an American Psychological Association brief for a 2005 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty for crimes committed before age 18.

That ruling relies on the most recent research on the adolescent brain, which indicates the juvenile brain is still maturing in the teen years and reasoning and judgment are developing well into the early to mid 20s. It is often cited as state lawmakers consider scaling back punitive juvenile justice laws passed during the 1990s.

"As any parent knows," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the 5-4 majority, youths are more likely to show "a lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility" than adults. "These qualities often result in impetuous and ill-considered actions and decisions."

He also noted that "juveniles are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure," causing them to have less control over their environment.

Some child advocates have pointed to the Supreme Court decision and the research as evidence that teens -- even those accused of serious crimes -- should not be regarded in the same way as adults in the criminal justice system.

Dr. David Fassler, a psychiatry professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine who has testified before legislative committees on brain development, says the research doesn't absolve teens but offers some explanation for their behavior.

"It doesn't mean adolescents can't make a rational decision or appreciate the difference between right and wrong," he said. "It does mean, particularly when confronted with stressful or emotional decisions, they are more likely to act impulsively, on instinct, without fully understanding or analyzing the consequences of their actions."

Experts say that even at ages 16 and 17, when compared to adults, juveniles on average are more:

•impulsive.

•aggressive.

• emotionally volatile.

• likely to take risks.

• reactive to stress.

• vulnerable to peer pressure.

• prone to focus on and overestimate short-term payoffs and underplay longer-term consequences of what they do.

• likely to overlook alternative courses of action.

Violence toward others also tends to peak in adolescent years, says psychiatrist Dr. Peter Ash of Emory University. It's mostly likely to start around age 16, and people who haven't committed a violent crime by age 19 only rarely start doing it later, he said.

The good news here, he said, is that a violent adolescent doesn't necessarily become a violent adult. Some two-thirds to three-quarters of violent youth grow out of it, he said. "They get more self-controlled." for the rest of the article CNN

If you think about your own behavior as a teen and how your children behave now it does explain a lot.

Oh Yuck!


Have you or your kids ever wondered what causes acne or why we stink? Would you like to learn more about pus, snot or poop? Then I have the book for you. For Christmas this year my mom gave our son a book by Joy Massoff called,”Oh yuck! The Encyclopedia of everything nasty.” And believe me if it’s nasty or gross or just gives you the hebie jeebies you’ll find it in this book. So in between going ewww, you’ll laugh and maybe even learn something. For example, did you know that some sneezes have been clocked at over 100 miles per hour? As an allergy sufferer, I think I may have exceeded that on occasion. It’s a fun read and if you have kids, I bet they’ll love it too. Now remember the proper way to pick your nose is with one finger not two. It says so in the etiquette book from the 1500’s.

What’s my punch line?


Last week was the first complete the joke contest. We had three contestants and Wyatt won due to his unfair use of puns. This week I would like to see some more participants. So get your funny on and see what you can do with this classic.

“How many bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

Vocabulary word of the day.



Abeyance

a·bey·ance

Pronounced uh-bey-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngns

Definition of abeyance is to be in a temporary state on inactivity.

I spent my Sunday in abeyance and will probably do the same on Monday. Working for the school, I get Monday off with my kids. That’s another good reason to become a teacher.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I passed.


You would think I’d be happy about it but I’m not really. I did not do as well as I should have and as a result my final score for both tests was a 79.5 percent and I needed an 80 % average on both test in order to pass the coursed and apply for the program. I sent an e-mail to my instructor, a fantastic teacher, and asked her if that meant I would not be passing the class. As a result, she changed the score on my essay portion of the test bringing by one point giving me the 80% that I need to pass the class. With her changing the grade and my other course work, I ended up with a final grade of 85%, a good solid B and I can now apply for the second half of the program, So why do I feel bad? Why do I feel like I do not deserve to pass? This was the hardest class I have taken and I did work hard so why can’t I just be happy? I have never felt so bad about passing a class before. This sucks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What a day.

It has been quit a day. The house was quieter this morning as we are short one child. Our son went camping with his Boy Scout troop to Greer, Arizona. It meets the requirement for a snow camp. I just have to say I am glad it him and not me. The over night low I believe was 5 degrees. Much too cold for me.

I took my final this morning and I hope I managed to get 80 percent. The test is made up of twp parts. The first part is multiple choice and true false. That makes up 60 percent of the test. The second is essay and that makes up the remaining 40 percent. The computer scores your multiple choice and true false right away. I was feeling good about my answers and thought I would do really well. Boy was I wrong I got a 77 percent on that portion. Now in order to get at least a B. I must get at least 36 out of 40 points possible. I hope she grades the test quickly. This waiting is killing me.

When I was finished with that, we went on a road trip to get some lunch and to return the head he had purchased from a junk yard about hour and a half from home. Turns out the head was warped and would not work. We had lunch at Burger King and I was able to stay on my points by ordering a gilled chicken salad. I messed up though when I used the ranch dressing. The dressing had more pints then the salad. So now all I have left are three ½ points. I think I‘ll be having soup for dinner, it only has two points. It was nice spending time with him and we had a nice chat. There has not been much time for that due to the long hours he has been working.

But the best part of the day was watching my daughter finally learn how to ride her big girl bike with out training wheels. I was so proud of her she caught on fast. I think having a new friend her age on the block her can ride her two-wheeler was just the right insensitive to get her to try it. She is growing up so fast.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wish me luck.

Wish me luck; I have a final on Saturday in Phonics, reading and decoding. So far, it is the hardest class I have taken and I have to get at least an 80 percent or I will not pass the class. I squeaked by on the mid-term with exactly 80 percent. I will let you know how I did as soon as I know.

What’s my Punch Line?


I am pleased and proud to announce the winner our inaugural edition of the what’s my punch line contest. After much deliberation and laugher, we have chosen as the winner of this weeks joke off, Wyatt Earp. Now before you all go jumping to conclusion and think I am showing favoritism because Wyatt was so very helpful in getting my blog off the ground, that’s not why I picked him. I thought all three jokes were funny. I liked the gamy wild turkey and I liked the classic humor of put it on my bill. But I love puns. The punnier the better, so Wyatt wins because his was simply the punniest joke this week. Please visit his blog and congratulate him on his incredible sense of humor. Be sure to check next Monday for the new punch line and try your hand at making me wet myself.

Marching to his own drum


My husband was very involved in sport when he was in high school. He played basketball, football, and he wrestled. I think when he became the father of our some he envisioned that someday his son would follow his example and play high school sports as well. My son however marches to his own drum and chose to join the chess team instead.

So I called him at work a few months ago and told him his son and gone out for a school sport. He said sounding little excited, “Really which one?” And then I told him, the chess team.” I think He was just a tad disappointed that his son would not be exactly following in his footsteps but still proud of him for joining the team.

Our son does enjoy sports; he plays football, hockey and basketball. But he prefers to play with his friends in the park or in the street where the rules and the sides are not set in concrete and sides may change as the number of kids increases or decreases or simply because they choose to change the rules to make it more exciting.

He competed in his first school chess tournament last week and did very well. He played two games and won both of them. We are both extremely proud of our son and support him whether he plays chess or if he latter decides to play organized sports as long as he tries his best , is a good sport and most importantly has a good time doing it.

Vocabulary word of the day.


Trepidation

trep·i·da·tion

Pronounced trep-i-dey-shuhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn

It is a noun.

Definition. Being fearful agitated, in a state of anxiety or dread.

Even though I have studied for my final, I am still filled with trepidation.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's my punch line?


It is not too late to submit your punch line for what is my punch line. Think of your funniest finish to the joke, submit by 5:00pm tomorrow, and then be sure to check it out on Friday and see who wins.

No child left behind.

I am a conservative republican and I both respect and admire President George W. Bush. I voted for him twice, but that does not mean that I support everything he does. For example, the no Child left behind act. On paper it looks good and I have to admit when I first heard about it I was all for it, after all we ant our children to receive the best possible education available. However, in practice it has only served to hurt our children and our schools. I have included a portion of the no child left behind act so you can see specifically what it says. If you are interested, you can read the act in its entirety by clicking “No child left behind.

The Policy

Closing the Achievement Gap:

  • Accountability and High Standards. States, school districts, and schools must be accountable for ensuring that all students, including disadvantaged students, meet high academic standards. States must develop a system of sanctions and rewards to hold districts and schools accountable for improving academic achievement.
  • Annual Academic Assessments. Annual reading and math assessments will provide parents with the information they need to know how well their child is doing in school, and how well the school is educating their child.
  • Consequences for Schools that Fail to Educate Disadvantaged Students.Schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for disadvantaged students will first receive assistance, and then come under corrective action if they still fail to make progress. If schools fail to make adequate yearly progress for three consecutive years, disadvantaged students may use Title I funds to transfer to a higher-performing public or private school, or receive supplemental educational services from a provider of choice.

Improving Literacy by Putting Reading First:

  • Focus on Reading in Early Grades. States that establish a comprehensive reading program anchored in scientific research from kindergarten to second grade will be eligible for grants under a new Reading First initiative.
  • Consequences for Failure. The Secretary of Education will be authorized to reduce federal funds available to a state for administrative expenses if a state fails to meet their performance objectives and demonstrate results in academic achievement.
  • Innovative School Choice Programs and Research. The Secretary of Education will award grants for innovative efforts to expand parental choice, as well as to conduct research on the effects of school choice.

It sounds good and you might think how any one could have a problem with wanting our schools to be accountable and make sure our children receive the best possible education. The no child left behind act has determined that every child must be able to pass standardized test given at specific grade level. In other words, they have decided that the information in the test is for example what every third grader needs to know. If the third grades in your school have not mastered that material when the government says they should have then your school is considered a failing school. This does not take into account the exceptional learner, or the English language learner's who are unable to pass the test due to their handicaps or inability to speak English. Yet they are held to the same standard as the child who has no handicaps or who is a proficient English speaker. Many schools which provide an education to children who have special needs or who have a large migrant population are therefor unfairly penalized for not achieving the test scored that the government has said they should be achieving for a school with the population of student that they have.

All this does is hurt many schools that are doing a wonderful job of educating our children by penalizing them for having students that simply should not be held to the same standards as other children. This in turn hurts the child because instead on focusing on the things, they can do and enhancing those qualities, a teacher may spend too much time trying to teach them to pass a test they will never be able to pass. Alternatively, it may frustrate the English language learner who is trying very hard to lean the language while at the same time master the standards. No body wants to leave a child behind but what we should remember is that every child learns at their own pace and not all children are ready at the same time. Instead of making sure that, no child is left behind why we do not make sure that all children are led where they need to go when they are ready to go there.

Vocabulary word of the day


Malfeasance

mal·fea·sance

Pronounced mal-fee-zuhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngns

It is a noun

Definition, the act of a public official that is harmful or wrong

Hilary could have been charged with malfeasance for her roll in the White water scandal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Giant rodents

(CNN) -- Scientists have discovered the remains of a rodent the size of a small car which used to forage the South American continent. The 1-ton creature is believed to have been about 3 meters in length and 1.5 meters tall.

art.giantrodent.trs.jpg

The fossilized skull of the new giant rodent

The giant rat's skull, which measures an impressive 53 centimeters in diameter was found by Andrés Rinderknecht and Ernesto Blanco, two scientists from Montevideo, Uruguay.

The two paleontologists stumbled upon the fossilized remains in a broken boulder in San Jose along the coast of Uruguay.

By looking at the size ratios of the skulls and bodies of existing rodents, scientists determined the bodyweight of the rodent must have approached 1,000 kilograms or a ton, making it the world's largest rodent to have been discovered to date.

The relatively small size of its teeth however, suggests it fed mainly upon soft vegetables and fruit.

"We can give an educated guess that the rodent would have been 3 meters long -- assuming that it was similar to a Capybara (the largest rodent alive today) and taking it into account that large mammals generally have relatively smaller heads. It's tail probably was closer to the one of capybara or guinea pig (very short) and not like a rat," Ernesto Blanco says.

The scientists believe the rodent, named Josephoartigasia monesi, roamed the earth about four million years ago at the same time as other giant creatures, such as terror birds, saber-toothed cats, ground sloths and giant armored mammals.

During this period, the now arid region was forested and rich in vegetation. The largest living rodent is the capybara, a 50 kilogram guinea pig found in South America.

source CNN

I still think my cats would try and take one of these things on.

My daughter


My daughter wanted me to do a posting about her in my blog. When I asked her what she wanted me to say she said, “Tell them I am pretty.” Well she is pretty, funny, smart, messy, and easily provoked by her brother. However, what I really want to tell you about here are the lessons she has taught me as a parent and as someone who wants to educate children. When the Tornado was younger, she had a bad articulation problem. I understood and I would act as her official interpreter. It was working fine until she started school and then it was a problem. Her teacher and classmates could not understand and I was not there to interpret for her. As result, there were lots of tears and a frustrated daughter. Fortunately, the school provided her with speech therapy. I was not very happy with the first therapist but she left the school and they hired a new one. She turned out to be a godsend for my daughter. I received a phone call one day from her speech teacher. She was concerned about my daughter’s behavior and wanted to know if it was something she could control or not. She described that at times when they were working one on one it seemed like she just went away and would not respond to her no matter how loudly she called her name. Then it was as if she woke up and would continue doing what she had before the episode. Well the light bulb went off and I knew what was happening. She was having petite mall seizures just as I had done when I was little. I called the pediatrician who set up an EEG and we made an appointment with the neurologist. Sure enough, I was right only now they call them absent seizures. She is now on medication and the seizures are under control. The interesting thing about all of this is the speech teacher told me she was unsure about whether or not she should call me and tell me what was happing because she did not know how I would react. From this experience, I learned that as parents we could sometimes be so wrapped up in our children that we feel when they are successful we are seen as good parent’s ands when there is a problem we will be seen as bad parents. Very often, this causes parents to become defensive when a teacher points out a problem. This response makes teachers sometimes reluctant to speak out when they have a concern fearing that the parent will get defensive and angry. As parents, we need to remember that ultimately we are all on the same team. Parents, teachers, and school officials all are working toward helping your child reach their full potential. Moreover, teachers need to remember that even though a parent may not react they way you would like them to you need to voice your concerns. It may be the difference between a child being frustrated and dropping out of school and a child receiving the proper diagnosis and treatment for a medical condition. In addition, remember to respect the parent because after all they were the child’s first teacher and will always be the most important teacher in their lives.

Today’s vocabulary word


Plethora

pleth·o·ra

pronounced pleth-er-uh

A noun

Definition, an over abundance an excess.

I have a plethora of notes to review for my final on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can I get an Amen! Revised

I received an e-mail a few days ago, that claimed to be a monologue by Andy Rooney. I found the piece interesting and I wanted to share it with my readers. I have since found out that Andy Rooney never said anything of the things in the piece. Moreover, as a so very pleasant commenter pointed out I am a looser who has pathetic research skills. For that reason, I am deleting the post. I apologize for not checking in to the varsity of the e-mail I received but I am not in the habit of doubting my friends. As a new blogger, I promise to check all my facts in the future. What I won’t do is change my opinion on issues simply because they are controversial or someone chooses to call me names.

The Chandler Rapists.

I do not know how many of you are aware of the Chandler Rapist. He has been terrorizing young girls in Chandler, Arizona since June 4, 2006 when he raped his first victim. She was a 12 year who he tricked into opening the door by pretending to be her father. Over the next several months, he raped several more young girls. The rapist would target girls in single parent households and wait to attack until after the parent had left for work.

On January 12, 2008 he was caught. Now for the surprising news, he is an illegal alien who was deported back to Mexico twice. That is right, you read correctly, twice. The advocates for the immigrants are all upset saying that the mean people who want to protect our borders are going to use this information to bolster their position that we need to secure our borders. What do you know; they are right? We need to secure our border to protect our citizens. The ones who follow the rules and come hear legally are not the ones who are committing the crimes. If you can disregard one law to come here I think it makes it so much easier to disregard all our other laws such as do not rape little girls. But that just my opinion.

Vocabulary word of the day.


Vocabulary word of the day.

Jocularity

joc·u·lar·i·ty

Pronounced jok-yuh-lar-i-tee

It is a noun

Definition: Characterized by good humor and fun.

There will be much jocularity in this week’s edition of “What’s my punch line.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

What’s my punch line

Today is premier of "What’s my punch line?" I will give you the start of a joke and you complete it. After careful review, I along with the able assistance of my stud muffin husband, will choose the very best one. The winner will be posted on Friday. So send me your best funny line sand the one who makes me wet my pants wins. So with out further ado here is the very first joke. It is an oldie but a goody.

"A duck walks into a bar . ."

Vocabulary word of the day



Amiable

a·mi·a·ble

Pronounced ey-mee-uh-buh

Definition pleasant, good-natured, friendly sociable and agreeable.

Don’t you think that Wyatt Earp is an amiable person?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

You have got to read this.

My neighbor is a reporter for the Arizona Republic and a blogger. I have linked his blog to mine and you can check him out at Life and insignificant times and read his posting under the date January 12, 2008. It is very moving and will make you believe in miracles.

Why I want to teach.


I have told you that I am going back to school in order to become a teacher, but I have not told you why. Some people think it is because we get our summers off while other believes that those who can do and that those who cannot, teach. That is not why want to teach. The reason I want to teach is my children’s experience in kindergarten. Both my children had difficulty reading in kindergarten. However, with early detection and appropriate intervention they were both quickly reading on grade level. I cannot say enough about the importance of being able to read on grade level. A student cannot learn anything if they cannot read. They cannot learn social studies, history, science, math or any other subject if they cannot read the textbook and understand what is written. How can a sixth grader understand the lessons if they are reading at a third grade level and their textbook is at a sixth grade level? Did you know that the average newspaper is written at the sixth grade level and yet vey large majorities of Americans are unable to read it? That is unacceptable. I want to be able to make a difference for the children who are struggling with the written word. I want to bring them up to speed so they can fully participate in and understand what is going on in the classroom. In order to accomplish that I will need to become a reading specialist. I understand that I will not be able to do that right out of school but that I will need to spend a year or so in a classroom while I earn a masters degree in reading and then I can become a reading specialist and help those children who are lagging behind their classmates. Not only is being able to read absolutely necessary in order to learn it is with out a doubt vitally important so that we can make sure that the people who elect our government officials are doing so after they are as informed about the candidates and issues as possible. We all know that if your only source of information is the media you are going to be getting a very biased message, as the media will only tell you what they want you to know. In order to learn what you need to know you need to be able to read and read well so you can tell the difference between fact and opinion and are able decide for your self. In m y opinion an uneducated, illiterate voters is very scary and just the kind of voter the Democrats are looking for.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What’s My Punch Line?

Starting on Monday I am to starting a contest for my readers. How it will work is I will provide the start of a joke and you will finish it. The very best one wins and will be prominently listed in my blog with a direct link to your blog. So please check out “What is my Punch line.” on Monday morning and let’s see who wins.

Vocabulary word for the day.

Inconsolable

In-con-sol-a-ble

Pronounced in-kuhn-soh-luh-buhl

Definition, unable to console, cannot be comforted.

As in, if you people don’t start commenting on my postings I will be inconsolable.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A request for help.

A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver, has a post up in his blog linking a plea for help from some of his friends. They really need the help and support of everyone so please read Melody's posting "We have been blind sided , and we need help." and if you can help in any way please do so.

What part about illegal don’t you understand?


As a resident of Arizona I see what illegal immigration is doing to our state and to our country. I am so tired of being told that I am intolerant or a racist if I want to protect our borders. That I just don’t understand that the majority of Mexican immigrants how come across our border are decent hard working people who just want a better life. I get wanting a better life, heck I want a better life. But the big difference is I do not go breaking into your house to get it. All I want and what most of us who are opposed to the illegals in our country want are for them to respect our laws and immigrate here legally. By crossing into our country in clear violation of our border they are saying that their wants and desires are more important then our nations right to its sovereignty and the right to determine who can are can not come into our country. Our nation is great because of the people who have come here from other countries and who brought their hard working values and desire to succeed and become Americans. All we ask of the Mexicans who want to share in the good things that being in America offer is do it legally. Then we will be more then happy to welcome you in to the greatest nation on earth, America.

Vocabulary word for the day.

Predilection

Pre.di.lec.tion

Pronounced pred-l-ek-shuhn

It is a noun

Definition – an inclination toward something.

Liberals have a predilection toward being on the wrong side of just about any issue.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Do your job like it matters, because it does.

When my daughter started all day kindergarten, I decided it was time for me to return to work. I wanted to find something so that I was working the same schedule as my children, because I did not want to place them in day care. Working as a lunch lady at a near by elementary school worked out perfectly. However, my mom was less then pleased when I told her I was going to be a lunch lady. She said, “I could do better.” When I explained to her that this job would allow me to be with my kids before and after school, but more importantly it will allow me to go back to school to get my teaching certificate. Than she was all for it. Even though I had never envisioned myself working in a cafeteria I resolved that while I was there, I was going to be the best cafeteria worker I could be. I have always felt that there is value in any job a person undertakes. That is why I like Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs so much. He treats every person and every job with such respect. And it does not hurt that he is very good looking as well. It is also, why I always admired the late Johnny Carson. He treated every guest on his show whether they were the most famous movie star or the little old lady who ran a library is some small town with the same respect, kindness and genuine interest. That is something that both Leno and letter could stand to learn. Another thing that makes cooking for roughly 450 students tolerable is the fact that I really like the women I work with. They are incredibly strong women who have raised their families and are now enjoying the fruits of their labors, namely grandchildren. We just seemed to click when we first met; we have the same work ethic, a strong sense of faith, and an odd sense of humor. I have laughed more at this job then any other job I have held and there have been 12 different jobs since I entered the work force many many many years ago. It would be interesting to see how many different jobs and what kind of jobs people have held, but that is a post for another day.

Vocabulary word for the day.

Aspiring teacher that I am, I have decided to introduce to you a new vocabulary word each day. A Long with the new word I will give the definition and show you how the word can be used in every day conversation to impress your easily impressed friends.
The word for the day is in conceivable.
In.con.ceiv.able
pronounced in-ken-se-ve-bel
it is an adjective.
Definition- no it does not mean the inability to conceive. It does mean unbelievable.
As illustrated by the following sentence. It was inconceivable that Hilary Clinton actually won a primary. So go out their impress the easily impressed with your highly developed vocabulary and be sure to come back tomorrow for the new word of the day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stupid writers strike.



I only watch a few shows on a regular basis. They are NCIS, CIS, Ghost Whisperer, Moonlight, and numbers. So when I sit down at 7:00 pm on Tuesday and tune into see NCIS I would like to see a new episode. After all, it is only the middle of the season no reason for reruns yet, except for the stupid writers strike! Come on its been long enough cant they get their acts together and get these thing solved so I can find out if Tony and Ziva are ever going to get together and will Gibbs head slap someone if they do? I do not know exactly why they are striking except that they feel they are entitled to royalties from the sales of DVDs’ that contain their work. That seems like a fair enough request. If the actors get royalties from the sale of DVD so should the people who write the material. Now let us get this thing settled and get back to the business of entertaining me.

Rain

It rained yesterday, one of those steady rains that last all day. It was nice. Most people do not get too excited about rain but here in the dessert it is rare enough that when we do get a nice soaker we tend to get a little excited and wreck our cars. Yes, people in Arizona cannot drive in the rain. You would think it could not be that hard but for some of us it can proove to be a real challenge. I do not know if it is because all the oils that have built up on the roads during our long dry spells make the roads extra slippery or they cannot figure out how to use their windshield wipers because they are used so seldom or perhaps is just the sheer excitement of the rain that makes them stupid. In any case, we had our share of fender benders yesterday. Today however the sun is shining, it is a pleasant 65 degrees and they will have to figure out another way to screw up the traffic for the rest of us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Routines are good

Going back to school or work after a break is always hard. I was anticipating a rough morning getting the kids up and out but they surprised me. My son actually got out of bed the first time I asked him and got dressed, ate his breakfast and gathered up his stuff for school. He was all ready to go when the car pool arrived, my daughter got up and only had to be told a half dozen times to get dressed and then she got dressed. She ate her breakfast while I got her backpack ready I brushed her hair and off she went to the neighbors to walk to school with their two boys. I think one of the reasons everything went so smoothly is that Daddy was home when they got up. Normally Daddy leaves the house well before they wake up but the head on his car died and we are down to one car. He had to take me to work this morning but I was able to get a ride home with my supervisor. An incredibly super lady, who I am glad to call my friend. The hubby is taking Wednesday and Thursday off to go to the junk yard to get a new head and replace it with the help of our son’s friend’s father who luckily for us just happened to be a mechanic. It keeps the cost down and that is always a good thing. So with Daddy home I think they were on their best behavior, we will see how tomorrow goes since the sonster has chess in the morning and has to be at school at 7:00am. It is good to back on our routine, I think we all function a little bit better with some structure in our lives.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Baby


cody's hands 2.jpg

My baby is growing up. I was playing with my son, who wishes to remain nameless in order to avoid embarrassment, and there it was, an armpit hair. I yelled for his dad to come and see. His dad shrugged and said, “It’s an armpit hair.” However, it is so much more then that, it means he is not my baby anymore. So much has changed since we brought him home from the hospital almost two weeks after he was born, a tiny little boy barely four pounds and now he is growing up into such an incredible young man with armpit hair. I am so proud of who he is becoming but I miss the little boy who napped on my chest and gave me Cheetoes because they would make me feel better after a miscarriage, and who thinks I am the coolest mom because I make the best forts and make his mash potatoes green and his pancakes blue. As much as I miss that little boy it has been an incredible experience watching him growing up to be a smart, funny, compassionate young man who I believe will leave his mark on this world. I hope that it will wash off.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

School work

I am currently enrolled in a class for my teaching certificate called phonics, reading and decoding. It is the last class I need to take before I can officially enroll in the program. So far, I have done very well. I have taken 23 credit hours and I have a 4.0 average. Yeah me! However, this class is the hardest I have taken so far and I am struggling just to keep a B average. This will really bite if I do not get at least a B in the class because that is what you need to get into the program and I do not want to retake this class. However, as hard as it has been it has also been a lot of fun and very informative. As I learn how to teach reading and decoding, I have to apply those skills to a real live student. My seven-year-old daughter was recruited for the job. She had no choice but has been a good sport about the whole thing. We are actually having fun working together and I can see her reading skills improving. I might actually have what it takes to be a teacher after all. I tend to waffle bout that, some days I think yes I can do this I can teach! Other days I ask my self what do I think I am doing I can’t even control my two kids and think I can control a room full of little ankle biters? My admiration for the people who taught me and who now teach my children has grown tremendously since I started on the path to becoming a teacher myself. I only hope that I will be able to make a difference in a child’s life by giving them a love of learning that will last their whole life long, that and I get my summers off.