Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sick again

I spent the weekend sick. Saturday night I started feeling bad and was just miserable through yesterday. I'm finally over the cold portion, but now have a a killer headache. No idea why, just its murderous. But I have to stuff to do that can't be put off....not this, but other stuff.

The good news...the new season of Gilmore Girls started tonight! Very exciting!!!! Luke and Lorelai are not off to a good start...we'll see what happens there. I want them to get together, but they definitely have some problems! And I think Luke might go off the deep end...he definitely looked furious at the end of this episode!

Well, I have a meeting at 8 AM tomorrow morning...who makes meetings that earlier? I definitely will NOT be awake....but my person will be there. That's all I can promise! Well, off to do some grading before I go to bed.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New seasons

I am so excited about the new seasons of TV! I have three important shows to watch this year! Last year was the first time that Ray and I had actually committed to watching shows on TV. We tend to be the buy the DVD type of people because we can't remember to watch anything from week to week. But we were really good last year and I'm totally pysched! So what are we watching this year?

Bones
This show is about a forsenic anthropologist and a FBI agent. It more lab-oriented and pretty academic - Ray and I just love it. The new season started the end of last month. Last year was the first season and we were so worried that they wouldn't do a second season. It got moved around a LOT due to that stupid American Idol (yes, we both HATE this show....if you like it, that's your prerogative), which probably didn't help its overall ratings. But its back and as good as ever! I'm really hoping that Bones (Dr. Temperance Brennan) and Booth finally get together this season - they are so perfect for each other. I think something big is happening next week! Anyway, I'm totally in love with Seeley Booth. I keep telling Ray that he would really have to worry if Booth was a real person, but Ray wasn't too worried! I wonder why...anyway, the show really is great!

Numb3rs
This show is about a FBI agent and a mathematican. This is another academic-oriented show that Ray and I both really like. The new season started this Friday. This is the third season and started out with a bang. The premiere on Friday was a cliff-hanger. It looks like Charlie (the mathematican) and Amina might FINALLY be getting together. But Charlie is being all-weird and that is NOT good. He's being a jerk! But Larry and Megan might finally get together, which would make me very happy. But the cliff-hanger was Megan getting kidnapped, so we'll see what happens. Very exciting!

Gilmore Girls
I'm finally caught up! I've been behind forever, but managed to get all caught up this summer. This is the start of season 7 - not sure what is happening with this new network thingie, but hopefully it is a good thing. The new season starts on Tuesday and I'm just DYING for it. Ray hates this show, so he couldn't care less, but I do! Last season ended up with Luke and Lorelai breaking up and Logan leaving for London. I really didn't like Logan at first, but now I'm totally in love with the idea of Rory and Logan. And Luke and Lorelai so belong together, but who knows what will happen there because Lorelai slept with Christopher at the end of last season. What a mess! This might be the last season of Gilmore Girls and its a new director, so hopefully it is a good season! All I have to say is that Rory and Logan better stay together and Luke and Lorelai need to get back together! The stuff out on the net is saying some big things for this season....I'm hoping for good things! I haven't been thrilled with some of the things in the last two seasons - the Lorelai/Rory rift and the Rory Yale drop-out semester. But Rory is back at Yale and hopefully its a good season!

Watch these shows - they are awesome!

The Quills

Go vote for your favorite novels of 2006 at the Quill Awards! I won't tell you who I voted for, but go over and vote in your favorite categories. Voting closes on September 30th.

Friday, September 22, 2006

World History Blog: The Carnival of Bad History #9

The Carnival of Bad History #9 is up at World History Blog. I'm featured there, but also go check out all the bad history and/or critique of bad history that has been posted lately throughout the web!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What's that at Ray's side?

Ray joined the modern world and bought a CELL PHONE. I know it's shocking, but he had to. His boss finally wore him down. It was either that or be completely tied to the house every weekend he was on duty (which is getting more and more frequent). He is definitely not pleased with the scenario.

I'm still avoiding it - I carry that Tracphone we've had forever that has no plan and we just add minutes when we feel like it. I only ever need the phone to call Ray from the store to ask a question or something anyway. No one needs to find me...they do that at home just fine.

I did make sure that the first number Ray put in his cell phone was NOT work, but ME. I'm MUCH more important!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bad (Racist) History Rears Its Ugly Head

I happened across a particularly annoying website and decided to expose it as bad history. I was going to just ignore it, but then decided that meant someone else could happen upon and think it was actually decent history. There are actual facts in this history, which makes it dangerous - you can find it searching for information on normal historical topics and if you aren't paying attention to things like who wrote it and the title, you might think that's it is decent history because some of it is basic history text boilerplate (you know the stuff...this battle was on this date and this many people died...), but it is slanted to specifically make the "whites" look good and everyone else look bad. The text likes to leave out important details to make you think they are telling the truth.

It is written for a white pride (in other words it is a racist group) website and has a so called history book The March of the Titans - A History of the White Race. First off, look at the title and you can tell this is going to be very one-sided history. Its central arguement is that racial mixing causes societial collapse. It actually defends Adolph Hitler!

Since I could only stand to read a part of this after I glanced around enough to be sure this was all bad history, I'm picking one section to refute here. For instance, let's look at this section on the Civil Rights movement:
Voting Rights Act of 1965
In addition to this, the US Constitution was amended in January 1964, to prevent any local authority from using poll tax registration as a means of preventing any person from registering as a voter. Finally in 1965, a comprehensive Civil Rights Act, more correctly called the Voting Rights Act, was signed into law by Johnson: this gave legislative enforcement to the constitutional amendment.
The law also suspended (and amendments later banned) the use of literacy tests for voters. The final abolition of the last literacy tests allowed high numbers of illiterate Black to gain access to the vote: in Mississippi, for example, the percentage of Blacks registered to vote increased from 7 percent in 1964 to 59 percent in 1968.


While most of the facts are technically correct, the text manages to make the use of literarcy tests seem reasonable and fair. Why shouldn't you have to read to vote? The problem is that while poll taxes (having to pay to vote) did also disenfranchise some poor whites, literarcy tests were aimed specifically at African-Americans. [As a note poll taxes were more aimed at disenchanising anyone but the wealthy - which would leave out a huge segement of the population simply based on their earnings. I hope this is clear why this is injust. Since the African-American population in the South was mostly poor, this effected them more than the white population.] Back to literarcy tests - an African-American voter candidate was given a harder test that was nearly impossible to pass while white applicants were given an easier test or not requried to take one at all. In essence, literarcy tests were a way to make sure that African-Americans specifically could not vote.

Here is a passage from the University of Houston's online history text on voting rights:
In an effort to bring the issue of voting rights to national attention, Martin Luther King, Jr., in early 1965 launched a voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama. Even though blacks slightly outnumbered whites in the city of 29,500 people, Selma's voting rolls were 99 percent white and 1 percent black. For seven weeks, King led hundreds of Selma's black residents to the county courthouse to register to vote. Nearly 2,000 black demonstrators, including King, were jailed by County Sheriff James Clark for contempt of court, juvenile delinquency, and parading without a permit. After a federal court ordered Clark not to interfere with orderly registration, the sheriff forced black applicants to stand in line for up to five hours before being permitted to take a "literacy" test. Not a single black voter was added to the registration rolls.

Try to pass the 1965 Alabama Literacy Test - this isn't aimed at figuring out if you can read. It is aimed at making you fail. Most of us would fail this test if we had to take it before voting come November (as a thought - are you registered to vote? If not, get out there and do it - lots of people have died so you have that right, take advantage of it!)

Here's some numbers to consider on voting rights:
Disfranchisement
Within five years of the Plessy decision, most southern states had circumvented the 15th Amendment and deprived African Americans of the vote, using such devices as literacy tests, property requirements, poll taxes, and white-only primaries. In 1896 in Louisiana, there were 130,334 black registered voters; in 1904, there were only 1,342. Proponents of disfranchisement justified disfranchisement as a way to end electoral fraud and violence and ensure that only an educated citizenry would take part in elections.
The poll tax was typically a one or two-dollar tax, which was the equivalent of several days' pay. By 1910, all of the southern states had adopted a poll tax. Turnout dropped dramatically, and in most areas, all-white primaries determined the election of government officials. As late as 1935, the Supreme Court allowed the Texas Democratic party to exclude black voters from the Democratic primary, even though a primary victory was tantamount to election.

So as you can see, poll taxes and literacy tests managed to make voting for African-Americans nearly impossible in the South. And why couldn't they vote? Because their skin was a different color not because of their literacy. Plus if African-Americans couldn't read well, it was because of a school system (that lovely "separate but equal" that wasn't equal at all - see Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education) that wasn't equipping them to read.

So what's to be learned from this besides this particular site should be avoided?

First of all, always check your sources. Know where your material comes for. Know who wrote and why you should trust them. This is especially true if you don't already know what you are looking for. As a historian, when I look for stuff for my classes I usually already know the answer - I'm just trying to find a new way to get students interested in it so it is pretty easy for me to spot the junk sites. But if you don't know the material already, you can easily be lead astray by these junk sites that seem accurate. If you want to learn more about a topic, there are a lot of great websites out there, but if you aren't careful you can end up at one that will try to "fix the facts" on you so trace those sites back before you start reading them!

Second, pay attention to what you are reading. If it seems questionable or that it might not be all the facts, look for another site to get another viewpoint. Or actually go find a book - I promise they don't bite!

Third, search carefully. Put in exactly what you want to find. Google isn't verifying sites for you - they are just matching terms.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ray's first game in his area

Herman and Charlotte

We have two huge spiders outside in our flowers. We've even named them. They're killing bugs, so we'll let them continue.
Charlotte
Herman

Pluto



Remember my rant on Pluto....Someone else agrees with me!

Blonde Geometry

My aunt sent me this!

Attached is problem 3 on a geometry examination. It is the solution submitted by a beautiful blonde student. It is our understanding that after careful scrutiny, the student was given credit for the answer by the teacher. When hearing of this the Board of Education warned math teachers to be more explicit in the wording of examination problems but was hesitant to suggest how.

More....

Class sucked...but that was no surprise. I'm trying to find the bottom of inbox (both real and virtual) and balance my checkbook, but thought I'd take a minute and finally update this. Its been nuts here since school started. My history students turned in their midterm on Friday, my math students are taking a test this week...I have assignments due soon...life is crazy. Ray had his first day off yesterday in like three weeks. He's been going CRAZY. He's working on his inbox right now as well. I hate that out of control feeling when you just can't catch up. I'm getting there though. Slowly.....

Back to my book (the good subject). Dee Henderson write Christian suspense. She has the BEST characters and plots. Very involved. This one involves tracking a drug lab. It is very intense, but very good. I was extremely happy UNTIL the ending. When she left SO MUCH dangling and there is no mention of when a new book will be out.....I'm so dying here! I need the rest of the story! I'm horrible about cliff-hangers!

Before I Wake by Dee Henderson

AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, that's me screaming! So I just finished this book...its awesome by the way, but seriously talk about a cliff hanger! There are a million un-answered questions! All I have to say is that there better be another book and SOON!

I have to go to class right now, but I had to scream first....that cat just didn't understand. I will write more later today.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A dreary day...

It is rainy and dreary here today. I don't mind a downpour, but an all day drizzle is just depressing! And I have to go out in it...class and all. I wouldn't mind so much if I could stay home and curl up with a good book...that's a wild dream, I know.

I have Access to Information today...it is pretty much an introduction to reference services, which I like. But it is just so looooong. The prof is even fairly interesting (he tells a lot of funny stories to liven up the lecture), but it just never ends!

I also have a TON of grading to do. My history class had a paper due on Sunday in addition to their normal weekly grades and then there is my math's classes normally weekly assignment. Plus this week is the midterm for history and next week is the math classes' first exam...such fun. So I will be stuck on the computer all night, grading away. I'm home all day tomorrow, which is nice.

Leaves are just starting to turn here...I really want to go on the leaf-seeing train ride this year. Hopefully Ray and I can manage one of the dates.

Olga says hi...she's sprawling on the dining room table (where she's not supposed to be) - I think she agrees this should be a sleepy day!

Yoplait is doing their pink lid collection for breast cancer again, so if you eat yogurt make sure to save and mail them in!

Ray is miserable right now...Aviation Day was this weekend. Which meant he spent ALL weekend at the airport (seriously, noon to 10 PM on Sat and 5 AM to 7 PM on Sun). He also managed (even though it was cloudy and he wore sunscreen) to get sunburnt. So I had to go out last night and buy aloe for the boy. I didn't want to go, but he just looked so pathetic...poor baby. Hopefully, he'll get some rest this weekend! He really needs it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

CT Pictures

Last few pictures from our CT trip last weekend (see it only took me a week to get all caught up!)
Me and Mom

Dad, Gram, Ray and Mom

Dad really reminds me of Pop in this pictures. He kept yelling "Ceil!" all weekend as a joke...he's becoming more and more like his father with every year. We should probably be worried...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Olga's New Perch

This is Olga's new favorite perch in the house. Unless, of course, she is in the mood to hide!

David's Wedding

Some pictures from the actual wedding.
My father and another of my cousins (Emily)

Me and Mom

Is that really my father?

We had to dress up for David's wedding...including my father! Yes, that really is my father...in a suit, no less! The suit isn't his - Uncle Brad's, I believe. My father was wearing camo boxers so he was imperious to the horrendous effects of said suit though. He surivived the night...just barely! But his sister was not letting him show up in jeans!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Flying Home

Look at the crowd who showed up to see us off. Ray's plane was like the coolest thing to everyone and they all wanted to see it before we left. And a couple of them really wanted to fly in it, but the weather wasn't that good so Ray couldn't really take them up. Maybe next time. Meriden-Markham Airport, CT

It was cloudy...can you tell? Its was prety neat to go and in out of cloud banks. And they look pretty cool from above. It was a little strange (and disconcerting) to hear ATC telling Ray about planes around us that we couldn't see though. But Ray knew what he was doing:)

Flying to CT, part 2

We stopped in Scranton (Wilkes-Barre airpot), PA both ways to give ourselves a break as well as get extra gas just in case (we weren't anywhere near low). I did find out that if I want picures of Ray, he doesn't seem to mind when he's flying or working on a plane....hmmm...storing this information for later!

Ray with the plane (its a 2006 actually - its one of the ones that he had to go get from Kansas right after Christmas)

Ray checking over the plane

The little airport (our little side)

The Connecticut border

Flying to CT, part 1

Ray and I went to CT for one of my cousin's wedding over Labor Day. To make Ray happy, we flew in one of KSU's little airplanes. Which my entire family thought was like the coolest thing in the world...when they weren't calling Ray "Billy!" Some people who haven't seen much of us got Ray confused with my brother!

What Ray drives with! His version of road maps.

Ohio from the air

Pennsylvania More of Pennsylvania
Coming into Scranton (Wilkes-Barre), PA to land for gas and a break.

Landing at Scranton - can you see the runway?

2.18

So what's 2.18? The price of gas in Streetsboro! Isn't that cool? Is it so nice to see gas prices actually falling!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back from CT

We are back from CT now. We had a good time, but it was very hectic. I mostly have my life under control now...hopefully anyway for the moment! This is going to be a hodgepodge of interesting tidbits that I have been saving up while I was out of contact:)

UND is working on a NASA space suit. This is the funniest looking thing....

Still working at 100 This guy is GB's oldest worker. He said he tried quitting, but it was too boring...would be like my job?

World's Oldest Person Died at 116 That's just old....on the subject of old, guess how old my mother is today? FIFTY! She's definitely been getting the full brute of everybody's teasing today. Her pic was all over work with black ribbons and balloons.

Steve Irwin - the Crocodile Hunter - died when he was attacked by a stringray. It was just a matter of time with that guy...he was a little crazy!

Oh, pictures are coming soon....eventually...one day....I even have a movie of Ray's take-off, but no idea how to post it....so if you want to see you'll have to ask me to email it.

Well, I have to get up for class tomorrow, so that's all for now!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! Want to know where Labor Day came from?
http://american-presidents.blogspot.com/2006/09/labor-day.html

The final Geico Commerical

Do you think he can sell insurance now?

The tagline read...now where is that duck?

I got this in my email today...isn't it funny?

Sunday, September 03, 2006