Archive for August, 2015

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Not Arnold Anderson but it’s how I picture him.

TRENTON, NJ — An elementary school teacher who was allowed to keep his job despite being late 11-times in 2-years said Friday that breakfast is to blame for his tardiness.

“I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning and I lost track of time,” 15-year veteran teacher Arnold Anderson told the Associated Press.

In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator in New Jersey rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School to fire Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline. But the arbitrator also criticized Anderson’s claim that the quality of his teaching outweighed his tardiness.

He was late 46 times in the most recent school year through March 20 and 65 times in the previous school year, the arbitrator said.

Anderson said he was one to two minutes late to school “at the most” but was prepared and was never late for class.

“I have to cut out eating breakfast at home,” he said Friday.

Anderson remains suspended without pay until Jan. 1.

Teachers, you know I love youI really do. I taught for 30-years, man. And being one of those damn liberals you read about, I truly believe in strong unions. However, this is the type of bullshit that gives us all a bad name. Think a construction worker can stroll in late to his job? How long do you think a self-employed farmer would stay in business if he had a “late breakfast” every morning?

And I’ve never, ever understood why people can’t get to work, or anywhere for that matter, on time. Set your damn alarm clock 15-minutes earlier, dumbass.

And unions? I love ya but don’t protect the weakest links, man. It weakens the chain.

With my comments, of course.

Well, that accelerated quickly. Good God, man. And to think I used to be thrilled when my answering machine light was blinking. The anticipation! Anywho . . .

1944: The first operational computer was used at Harvard. Let’s just say it didn’t fit in your pocket.

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1975: The development of microprocessors made the concept of personal computing possible. It has begun, people. Be afraid.
1976: The first Apple computer was released. It looked, well, a little primitive. Is that a wooden back?

Da hell?

                                        Da hell?

1981: The first personal computer was released by the IBM Company.
1986: The number of PC’s shipped worldwide reaches nearly 64 million and a 15-year period of continuous growth began. How many of you had one in ’86?
1988: Recordable discs became available. Woot! CDs man!
1989: The World Wide Web was invented. Regular folk had no access yet, mainly because we didn’t have a computer.
1990: The laptop was introduced. Prior to this the term referred to some sort of strip club maneuver.

Looks like a suitcase.

                    Also called Mr. Bulky.

1993: The World Wide Web (WWW) is released to the public.
1995: Microsoft launches Windows 95 & Internet Explorer selling more than 1 million copies in the first 4 days of its release.
1996: Approximately 40 million people are connected to the internet.
1997: Recordable and re-writeable DVD discs become available.
1998: MP3 digital music technology is introduced by Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. Albums, cassettes, tapes and CDs will all be dead soon, although albums make a valiant comeback. Yes!
1999: Napster is founded, giving users the ability to share music online. Napster, man!

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2000: Approximately 400 million people worldwide are connected to the Internet by the end of the year. Also known as, “The Year We Were Officially Hooked”.
2002: The industry ships the 1-billionth PC, according to industry analyst firm Gartner Dataquest.
2003: Electronic devices that could send emails, access the web and could receive phone calls became commercial. Actual human social interaction ceases, and kids begin to lose the ability to look each other in the eye.
2004: Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” to students at Harvard by invite only after he stole the idea from the Winklevoss twins. True story. Zuckerberg, man. What a dick.

Facebook-2004
2005: Social networking sites begin to gain popularity. Fat, ugly 45-year old men begin hitting on 23-year old hotties from their mother’s basement.
2006: Facebook opened its membership to everyone over the age of 13 with a valid email addresses. The age restriction means nothing because kids, you know, lie.
2007: Amazon releases the first Kindle reader. To this day, books are better.
2007: The first generation iPhone was released.

iphone-original
2009: The BlackBerry Curve is the most popular phone device on the market, dominating the smart phone category in sales. It had a nice run but was eventually crushed by the iPhone.
2010: Apple released the first iPad handheld computer.
2012: Apple introduces the iPad mini.
2015: There are over 1.5 billion Facebook users worldwide who spend over 700 billion hours on social media each month. We’ve been overcome and overwhelmed.

So there ya go, the rise of computer technology. The question is, will there be a fall?

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I approve of this sticker.

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Look at the little Bobtail Squid, man. Just cute as a button, except all squishy and whatnot. It’s related to the Cuttlefish but is much cuter, causing friction at family reunions. They swim by either using their fins or by jet propulsion, which sounds space agey as hell. The Bobtail Squid has a special light organ that illuminates, making them invisible from below because they blend in with the light from above. That’s just tricky, man. Anywho, Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

[click on the individual photo to see the Bobtail Squid in all its glory]

Good times.

MoviesinIndia

All for a foul ball. Pathetic.

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Yeah, yeah, we all know Paul McCartney isn’t dead. If he did indeed die back in the late 60’s, his replacement has sure made some damn good music for the past 40+ years. Band on the Run, Jet, Maybe I’m Amazed, and Live and Let Die were pretty good songs if written by some replacement. Still, something was going on back then, because the lads left way too many clues for it to be a coincidence. Was it a prank? Were The Beatles just messin’ with us? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure – it’s fun looking at the clues they left.

For those out of the know, it all started back on October 12th, 1969 when some shady character called a Detroit radio station (WKNR-FM on your dial!) and told disc jockey Russ Gibb about the rumour and its clues. Gibb and other callers then discussed the rumor on the air for the next hour. Thus, the firestorm had begun. Soon people were discovering clues everywhere, on album covers, in song lyrics, hell, even when you played certain Beatles songs backwards. The clues dated back to Sgt. Pepper’s in 1967.

Holy shit man, was Paul really dead?

As the story goes, Paul had gotten into a huge argument during a recording session, rushed off and was killed in a horrific traffic accident. He was then replaced by the winner of the Paul McCartney look-alike contest, the contest that was held with no winner ever being announced. I know, pretty preposterous and obviously untrue. But still, a bazillion and three clues were left, some more credible than others, but all incredibly compelling. Let’s discuss some of my favorites . . .

“Turn me on Dead Man”

This one was a d-o-o-o-z-y (anyone get the Groundhog Day movie reference? Sigh). Here’s the deal. If you put the song “Revolution #9” on the turntable (it’s on the White Album by the way) and turn it backwards slowly you hear “Turn me on dead man” over and over. Now, that song was freaky anyway, but listening to it backwards in the middle of the night was downright chilling.

“Paul is dead, man. Miss him. Miss him.”

Also from The White Album. At the end of the song “I’m So Tired” and before the beginning of “Blackbird” there is some mumbling. When played backwards you can hear the words, “Paul is dead, man. Miss him. Miss him.” Again, I have the audio right here for y’all, more proof that I’m not your average run-of-the-mill blogger. Enjoy.

“I buried Paul.”

This is a good one. If you listen to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” at the end of the song there’s a fade-out followed by a fade-in of gibberish and noises. Then, right before the second fade-out you hear the words, “I buried Paul.” John said later he was saying “cranberry sauce” but I never bought that. Of course, at another time he said he was saying “I’m very bored” so John was either forgetful, messing with us, or high (definite possibility). Click here and you be the judge. It begins at the :13 second mark.

There are numerous other lyrics people point to when declaring that The Beatles were trying to tell us something…

“He blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the lights had changed.”

These are lyrics from “A Day in the Life,” on 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, and of course they fit right in with the conspiracy theorists macabre conjectures.

“You were in a car crash, and you lost your hair.”

From Ringo’s “Don’t Pass Me By,” which was on 1968’s White Album. Sure are a lot of references to car wrecks, huh?

“Yes, he’s dead” and “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah.”  

If you listen to “All You Need is Love” closely, which you will in a second, you’ll hear “Yes he’s dead” and shortly thereafter the words “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah.” I’ll give you the link shortly.

“Will Paul be back as Superman?”

At the very end of the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album you hear some weird voices with unintelligible words. When played backwards you can hear “Will Paul be back as Superman?” Cu-reepy.

I actually found a video with the last four examples included (as well as some others I have and have not mentioned). You can hear “Yes he’s dead” at the 1:20 mark and “We loved you yeah, yeah, yeah” at 1:29.  The others are pretty clear-cut. Here’s a link to said video. It also includes the “Walrus was Paul” line from Glass Onion. The walrus was apparently the symbol of death in Scandanavian culture, and Paul was dressed as one on the “Magical Mystery Tour” album cover. Good stuff.

There are other weird lyrics, like in “Come Together” when John sings “One and one and one is three” which could be the lads trying to tell us there were only three Beatles left. No way, right? But still . . .

There are also several clues located on album covers, in album sleeves and elsewhere. I’ll begin with the most famous . . .

Abbey Road Album Cover 

Everybody knows this one, right?

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Here’s the way this one was interpreted. You see, from left to right we have George dressed as a gravedigger, Paul as the corpse (left-handed Paul is holding the cigarette in his right hand and he’s also out of step with the other three), Ringo as the undertaker and John as the preacher, ambulance driver or heavenly figure according to what you read.

And on the back of the Abbey Road album we have this:

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Check out those dots before the word BEATLES. If you connect them can you make a 3? As in 3 BEATLES? Some people can. In addition, some can see a skull in the shadows to the right of BEATLES. A stretch? You be the judge.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album Cover

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Well, the first clue is pretty obvious, since there’s a grave on the cover. But check out that guitar made of flowers. Is it possible they spell out PAUL?, including the question mark? Can you see it? Oh, and did I mention that’s a left-handed guitar and Paul was left-handed?

There’s also a photo of the boys on the inside fold-out. Paul has a patch on his sleeve that apparently has the letters OPD on it. Let’s see . . . Officially Pronounced Dead? Sure.

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On the back cover there was a photo of the band and only one member has his back turned. Yep, you guessed it. Here’s a close-up:

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You can’t see the lyrics George is pointing to, but they say, “Wednesday morning at 5:00 as the day begins.” Since Paul supposedly left an all-night recording session in an angry state, could this be referring to the time he was killed?

One more thing regarding the Pepper’s album I must mention. On the cover there is a hand above Paul’s head. This, according to the experts, is a European symbol of evil and/or death. Here’s a closeup:

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There are several examples of this hand over Paul’s head on the Magical Mystery Tour album as well.

Magical Mystery Tour Album

There was a booklet contained in the album, and it included this picture:

Yep, Paul has a black rose, everybody else has a red rose (the pic is enlarged in the corner for your benefit – again, top-notch blogging). The black rose, obviously, is a symbol of death. Why the hell did it take a phone call to a radio station to get people to see these clues? Geez.

Here’s another photo from the booklet:

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Sure enough, there’s Paul with a sign saying, “I was” on it. Can’t get much clearer than that.

As I said, these are just a few of my favorite clues. The list goes on and on . . .

There are tons of websites dedicated to the rumor that Paul McCartney died back in the 60’s. If you don’t believe me just Google “Paul is Dead” and see what happens. Insanity.

To reiterate, we all know that Paul is indeed alive. Still, it’s pretty clear to me that The Beatles were having some fun with us. There’s just way too many clues to be coincidental.

But it’s 2015, and Paul still isn’t dead.

Rock music creativity, though? Yeah, definitely on life-support.

Alright, I’m going to get right to the point. I’ve finally been pushed over the edge. For the third time in the past month I’ve heard the following words uttered in one context or another from one of my students. Although different sports were involved, in each incident the conversation went something like this:

“Hey Mr. Shoe! Did you hear about our soccer tournament last weekend? We won third place!”

Wait. What? You WON third place? What is this, some psychobabble nonsense somebody came up with in order to save our kids from damage to their self-esteem?

Good Lord.

You know, I think I first heard this senseless phrase one summer when some Euro Trash announcer proclaimed that a biker in the Tour De France had “won second place” in some stage of the race or something. At the time I attributed it to the fact that the announcer was French and well, the French are usually gutless wussies fairly sensitive folk.

But, I guess I was wrong.

It’s a phenomenon that’s caught on right here in my own neighborhood. May God, and Bobby Knight, have mercy on our souls.

Oh by the way, I really feel better now knowing that we won 2nd place in that ’72 Olympic basketball game against the Russians. And to think that for all these years I thought we lost. Whew. That’s a relief.

Additional thought: Can you win 12th place? Serious question.

So here’s where we stand, America. We have kids who are “winning” third place, Junior High games where we don’t keep score, coaches who aren’t allowed to cut players, teams in which every kid is guaranteed to get playing time, teachers who aren’t allowed to give grades, parents who are suing little league coaches who don’t play their kids, gym classes where competition is discouraged, and soccer teams with 12 captains.

Sigh.

Listen, I know our kids need us at times and my son knew I was there for him if he had a serious problem. But doesn’t anybody realize that by protecting our kids from every type of adversity they may face, we are preventing them from learning how to deal with said adversity? That only by letting our kids face and conquer their problems on their own will they learn to handle them in the future? Is it that so hard to understand?

Apparently so.

Because the wussification continues . . .

girls-high-school-basketball-team-accused-of-running-up-the-score-after-winning-107-2Our high school football team played a clearly overmatched opponent last night and we were leading 36-0 at halftime. During the second half our coach used that lead to get some valuable time for our reserves as well as making sure our best players didn’t get injured playing meaningless minutes, and we won 36-6. Still, after the game I heard several comments as I walked to the car:

“Why did we quit playing? Our starters deserve to play. They’ve earned it!”

‘”Hey, it’s the other team’s job to stop us! It’s their problem!”

Nah, not really. Can’t see it, won’t see it, won’t ever see it.

In professional sports I can see this argument. The players and coaches are getting paid a ton of money to do a job so there are certain expectations. High school? Totally different situation.

In high school, coaches basically have to play the hand they’re dealt. Sometimes a team is simply outmanned, and you can’t have a circus without the elephants, as they say.

I mean, what’s the point? To embarrass a bunch of kids? Make yourself feel like a tough guy? Show your superiority? Prove you’re a man?

Bullshit.

And I hate this argument: “I can’t tell my substitutes not to play hard! That’s not fair to them!”

Newsflash: I didn’t say don’t play hard, but nobody needs to work on basic fundamentals more than your younger players. They learn nothing by throwing long bombs in football for TDs or throwing up 3-pointers in basketball. Slow it down, burn the clock, work on the basic stuff, try and get better, all the while saving the other team from a humiliating ass-beating.

Hell, my players know that they’re to not even take a last-second shot if we have a big lead. It’s pointless, not to mention classless.

Quick story. During my first few years of coaching we were pretty successful, and if we did lose it was usually a close game. I remember a local team had lost badly in the state tournament, and I told an older, experienced coaching friend of mine, “No team of mine will ever get beat that badly. We’ll slow it down. We’ll hold the ball if we have to.”

I’ll never forget the guy’s response:

“Shoe, I wouldn’t say that if I were you. One day you’ll have a team that simply won’t be good enough no matter what you do. Holding the ball won’t be an option because they won’t be good enough to do it. You’ll be totally outmanned and at the other team’s mercy. Trust me, if you coach long enough it’ll happen.

At you know what? He was right. I soon had a team that got waxed several times and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. The only person who could halt the destruction and embarrassment was the opposing coach. Some did, some didn’t.

But I’ll never forget the ones who showed a little mercy.

And last night, our coach showed leniency on a bunch of 14-17 year old kids from the other school that undoubtedly deserved it. And like I said, our better players left the game healthy and our reserves got some well-deserved playing time.

Bottom line, if our team really, really wanted to we could have probably scored 100-points on our opponent last night, But you know what? We didn’t. We showed a little something called class, and I for one am glad we did.

Well done, coach.

The trampolines are coming and we’re next. Be sure and watch both videos.

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Basket Stars live in deep sea. Get this – in the wild they may live up to 35 years. They can also weigh up to 11 pounds and their arms can grow to nearly 30-inches! Basket Stars lack blood and achieve gas exchange via their water vascular system, and I have no idea what that means. Anywho, Basket Stars.

BasketStar

Question: Why do only large animals stampede? Why can’t we have rabbit stampedes? Squirrel Stampedes? I think too much.

[click to enlarge]

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Love it.

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Is there anybody more pretentious than a guy on a Segway? Answer: There is not. Well, maybe those guys that ride the little auto-balancing scooter that people mistakenly call a hoverboard. Anyway, some guy on a Segway (or as some people call them, “Jerk Strollers”) almost snapped the legs off the fastest man on the planet yesterday. Here’s the dizzle:

Idea. No more Segways at major sporting events. Thank you and goodnight.

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Whodathunkit?

CNXy-4XWsAAFUhu

The Birds.
BirdsPoland

The Ring-Tailed Cat is actually a member of the raccoon family, which seems sort of obvious to me. I guess people name animals before really figuring out what they were, ya know? This guy is really little, actually smaller than a housecat, and his main predators are the Great Horned Owl and the Red-tailed Hawk. It wards off predators by shooting out a nasty musk, sorta like a skunk. Anywho, Ring-Tailed Cat.

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Hell yeah!

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Man, in my exhaustive research for this blog I came across some ugly-ass uniforms. What can I say? People have made some bad, confusing decisions when picking these things out. Let’s take a look. In no particular order . . .

THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates wore these. Somebody thought a giant cartoon buccaneer head would look good on a uniform. It did not. The sideways name and number on the back didn’t help.

THE BAYLOR BEARS

baylor-fluorescent-uniform-brady-heslip

I don’t care what you say, these highlighter-colored unis favored by Baylor and Michigan are disgusting. I swear they give me a headache. And the matching shoes make it worse.

THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Chicago-White-Sox-uniform-1976-Ralph-Garr-005230951

Yep, back in the early 80’s somebody (owner Bill Veeck) had the idea that shorts on major league baseball players would be a good idea, thusly rendering the Chicago White Sox the butt of a thousand softball team jokes.

THE HOUSTON ASTROS

Houston-Astros-uniform-1980s-Joe-Morgan

Yes, the legendary Nolan Ryan once wore this rainbow atrocity. Good gravy.

THE TORONTO RAPTORS

Toronto-Raptors-uniform-1997-Marcus-Camby-Damon-Stoudamire

Hey, let’s put a cartoon dinosaur on our new unis! It’ll be great! Nah, not really. And those jaggedy stripes going down the jersey and pants? No thanks.

THE COLORADO ROCKIES

Colorado-Rockies-uniform-1999-Larry-Walker

See? It’s a giant mountain with a big baseball flying by it. This would be great for a beer softball league team. Pros? Not so much.

THE SAN DIEGO PADRES

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Who the hell thought brown and yellow uniforms with white shoes would look good? The weird thing is, Oakland has those awesome green and yellow with white shoes ensemble and they look great. Makes no sense.

THE MARYLAND TERRAPINS

Maryland_crop_north

Listen, there was a time when I loved all things Maryland. I worked Gary Williams’ basketball camps for years and adored the colors. But whoever decided to incorporate the Maryland state flag into the football uniform design was insane. Damn, that’s a busy look, isn’t it? Gives me a headache, man.

THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

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Number one, the short sleeve T idea is just awful. Number two, the pinstriped shorts and plain top are just hideous. Sorry, all you youngsters that perceive this look as cool. You are incorrect.

The last uniform I despise so much I cannot even type the team name. It makes me nauseous to look at this abomination. Still, with one eye closed and the other half open I can bear to look for a split second. Be warned that convulsions may follow:

Nov 26, 2011; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson (16) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Disgusting.

That is all.

Say hello to Mr. Snappy.

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Stunning.

[click to enlarge]

SAfrica

The Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any arthropod. Big shocker there, huh? Dude has some long stems there. This guy actually has a gentle disposition in spite of his horrifying appearance. That said, if I see one I’m swimming the hell out of there like Michael Phelps in the ’08 olympics. Anywho, Japanese Spider Crab.

PS: Check out the bonus old-timey photo down below. Good God.

japanesespidercrab

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Let’s do this!

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Always finish strong, kids. Always finish strong.

Smooth.

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