Friday, May 31, 2002

Last day of school, last day of blogging until I get a new home machine or decide to go through with teaching a month of school. I have finally made it a habit to do this every day I can, and now it's gonna end for a while. Look for me in a week or so, in the mean time, let's hope cooler heads prevail in India-Pakistan, neh?

Thursday, May 30, 2002

One of the big problems/boons of this blogging thing is the huge number of incredibly talented and clear thinking writers available to those interested. I try to digest the media and the myriad bloggers out there and come to some sustainable self-evident opinions every day. Even while I do this, I see my own writing and attentions wavering this way and that. It is a constant struggle to stay on top.

Today is Tor's birthday! Three years old, fer crying out loud. Happy Birthday to Tor.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

What are we but wanderers in this earth, who is each but our sister or brother, each one a potential friend or an enemy? And how is each made so? By our own decision, our reaction to every perception. Some offerings may be more clear in their communication, but who but each of us is to decide how to respond?

What do you want from this day?

Who is your friend or brother?

And what your enemy?

I got here to my classroom and checked on the local news, and oh, what a great idea did I learn! Our great state, wherein an oft-referenced religious dyna-byte is "the glory of God is intelligence," the legislature is proposing a "slacker" student tax. We don't want people exploring the options this society has to offer, nor do we need people scribbling outside the lines of the established "liberal eduation" establishment. Bah.

I was going to write a poem, but that will have to wait for a while now. I am a bit more disgruntled after that. It isn't enough to cut funding and get rid of our program, I need to develop a far thicker skin than that.

I'll try again later...

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

It worked! This rarely-trammeled page of hum-drum oddities is officially searchable on Google. Somehow that lends me some sense of accomplishment. Now to define and rank that accomplishment...

Sometimes things just dissolve into a simple walk of faith, despite metaphysical circumstance to the contrary. When will I understand that which is ultimately the goal?

Yeah. What a weekend. Yardwork and discussions with my kids about everything from bugs to why streams meander back and forth. Two of my cousins wandered the streets of Spring City on Sunday evening until they found me on the porch of our friend's house. We had dinner there and adjourned to our own house for some conversation and relic sharing. It was good to see Brady and Josh. Good men from great families.

Jesse turned six on Saturday. He is a gracious son. Sure was happy to get a fishing pole, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

I registered the old vehement introspection with the open directory project yesterday. I don't foresee this humble scribble becoming something of note or import in the lives of others, but perhaps it will attract some I know or miss to get reaquainted with our family. Wouldn't that be nice.

The view from here is overcast and the wind has finally left us to regain our postures of relative perpendicularity to the earth. It has been nice to have rain and a brief return to cool temps, I hope the soil soaks and retains at least a week's worth of reserve.

There seems to be quite a bit of discussion going about regarding the situation between India and Pakistan on the blogger-net. I can't pretend to comment intelligently on the situation, but i know enough of Indian and Pakistani history and current affiars to know this is something to be wary of at the very least.

Probably won't be around tomorrow, do take care over the weekend.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

It snowed yesterday, clearing off just in time for the sun to go down and things to then get really cold. I think plenty of blossoms froze last night.

Just as the sun went down the sunlight glinted off of the beads of water on the grass in our pasture. It was splendid to watch the grass sway to and fro in the breeze, glittering like a pond. We have had a beautiful last couple of days.

Drie is reading the Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie. She says the language is fun and the characters well animated. I agree. Wonderful book for a long summer evening.

Today is cool and partly clooudy. The students are annoyed by the cool weather, though undeterred in their slacking off as the end of the year draws near. Things have gotten awefully quiet and awefully loud, depending upon the day and the period involved.

Ah, my life is fairly mundane.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Goodness. What an outstanding show. Peter Murphy's concert at Bricks on the west side of Salt Lake City was completely entertaining. It was performed at an oudoor venue with a capacity of around two thousand people. Marcus and I got there twenty minutes early and the line to enter was already stretched around the corner.

As we got in, we decided to head up to the railing/balcony above the main floor. A couple of nice people waved us over to a couple of seats night next to a barricade keeping people from the center stage lights fixed to the railing. The sweetest drop descended when security came up to remove the barricades and direct us to go to whatever seat we wanted. Marcus and I proceeded to center stage, about twenty feet from the microphone. What a seat.

Though the sound board operator was hopelessly deaf and technically challenged, setting up the amps facing the audience and consistantly setting the vocal levels under even the rhythm instrument, it was a fantastic concert. Peter Murphy is a consumate performer and a Mystic Poet, getting under the audience's skin despite a minimum of conversation with the audience other than in song and gesture. His lyrics are lucent, coming from a place impossible to describe other than in poem or transcendent verse.

His band was wonderful, playing instruments ranging from a truly incredible electrfied violin to turkish lute and a banjo played in a way I have never before heard. Absolutely delicious.

They did five encores, the last of which was done by Peter without the band while the crew was dismantling the stage after the lights came up. He came back out to tumnultuous applause and proceeded after a few instructions to the crew into a three minute a'cappella solo to top off the truly wonderful evening.

I loved every minute.

Oh yeah. My Toyota is still in the shop.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

I'll be off tomorrow and Monday. No web at home (due to a frazzled modem well past its useful life), so I probably won't be writing 'til Tuesday.

Peter Murphy concert and another Long Suburban Trip tomorrow. Ought to be fun. Petrol bill will be lots of tears this month...

This morning I saw the mirror in me,

against a mottled sky and forgiveness withheld.

A dream fossilized is as arteriosclerosis,

my son- Dear son,

create your mass and become as you pray

throbbing soul and shadow coursing with each sun's pass overhead;

beneath, below the telephone line take cover from rain,

(because what I want is what we need-)

escape from this jagged resource my only desire.

With each pass of that sun

skin stretches and doesn't quite return

cell walls have kept me here for so long, they tire too soon of their labour;

remain in our work

and so the shadow remains,

and shall remain as each truefriend passes

my cord of silver then mystify will

bringing with it the Sun.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

My Poplar tree has leafed out finally. I wonder if they are a late tree in general or if this grand old tree is just winding down and getting tired. It has to be around fifty feet tall and some of the branches look pretty bare and forelorn. I wonder who planted it.

I taught a wee clinic on the art and skill of bow and drill fire making yestereve. Some of the kids were really amazed and interested in figuring it out. It seemed the ones on a decent life path and who's parents spend lots of time with them were the ones who wanted to learn most. Very intriguing for an old teacher of at-risk youth.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

After a hiatus of a few days, I am back to the nosey-grindstone (reference: Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang).

I awoke at 3:30 am on Wednesday in order to be up in Logan for a job interview. By the time it was all over, at about 9:30am, I was too weary to hot-foot it down to Snowbird for the first day of the Troubled Youth Conference.

The other factor creating apathy toward the drive was that I was driving the Great Big Suburban. Grrrrr. What a waste of space and raw cumbustive power to drive alone. My Toyota is still in the shop. Still in the shop. I'll speak to that fiasco more in depth some other day.

I got to see Marcus and Dustin. Boy was that therapeutic. Marcus lost his job at a dotcom about six months ago, wasn't able to find anything in his field, and went back to school up at USU to get his master's. Another story for another entry. As for Dustin, he has been jacked around by USU for at least the last year and a half trying to graduate with his BA. That one is worth a few entries. A story calling for geurilla insurgency and revolution if they're at all justifiable anywhere.

It was great to see them. We always have a good time. I got to see Marcus for a only few minutes, he was slaving for wages in a low-skill manual labor job and couldn't spend time talking to anyone. Dustin and I went out for lunch and went up Smithfield canyon to shoot his .22, letting off some pent-up steam.

As I said, very therapeutic.

I spent the entire day up there in Logan, heading down to Kaysville to see Ryan around dinner time. We went to a little Mexican Taqueria for a bite and walked around Layton seeking a simple USB double female cable. HA! Nowhere to be found. We cussed alot, looked at many electronics we couldn't afford, and created another new religion. Oh, Ryan got recently laid-off from his teaching job as well. He was at a private career college teaching graphics and technology. What sort of a world is this?

All the afore-mentioned peolple are 'INFPs'. Figure that one out. Synchronicity?

I stayed at Ryan's for the night and headed for the Conference early. Snowbird is a very beautiful place. No matter what the season, no matter what the reason, it is a good place to be. To make a long story short, the conference was ok, not as good as the last couple of years, but it was worth it on the whole to be up at Snowbird. (If anyone has any questions about what would go on or be discussed at a "Troubled Youth Conference," please contact me about your curiousities.)

Heading home in the afternoon on Friday, I stopped and saw Susan, one of two INFPs I know who remain gainfully employed. She was doing splendid, veritably effervesing with beauty and potential. She works in a health food store as the "Supplement Manager." Working tremendously well with people and having a huge knowlege of physical health, it is a good stop on her way to what she wants to do with her life.

I made it home by around seven-thirty. Good to be home, so good to see my family. The cell phone is a boon, but it is no substitute.

The weekend was another couple of entries, Mother's day was nice though stressful, and yesterday I stayed home from work for a few good reasons. Nice and restful. Damn Toyota is still in the shop, though. Can't have perfection just yet.

Yes, and enough of this INFP business. I just like to link. Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, May 7, 2002

It really seems to me that this life we humans live is too short to do much good. I know the chances are this is my own personal dilema and perception coming of a serious deficiency in my learning curve, but I feel about ten years behind where I should be with five kids, an intelligent wife and a mortgage. If we only had another fifty years life expectancy (along with creating numerous other challenges) i think we could perhaps learn what we need to know from our wise elders, keep up with what we need to learn and pass on what we have to those coming after us. As it is now, I feel like i am just charting new waters with each day.

I am also what seems sometimes to be a lone INFP in Sanpete County, though. My view of things is probably terribly skewed. Damn idealists, anyway.

Monday, May 6, 2002

I slept yesterday afternoon from 3:00 pm until six. Those were some precious hours of sleep, although I was pummeled with REM the entire time. Sheesh, talk about escapist imagry.

Our lawn looks like the first weeks of august during a drought. It's all dry around the edges and burnt patches are creeping toward the centre by the big Locust trees. Pathetic to be happening the first week of May, but this is the latest in a long line of short water years. I did turn the irrigation on for a while to get rid of the burnt patches under the tree. That is too much for me to take in May. The water will probably be turned off soon anyway. Gotta get those alfalfa crops in from the desert after all.

Friday, May 3, 2002

Everyone in the house is still down with this coughing-plague. Drie went to bed for a while at six-thirty, right after dinner. Everyone is really run down. Well, actually the kids are all fine and dandy until it is time for bed when they begin chorus o' cough action, sometimes narrowing to individual solos at times. That is why the parents are so dern tired, getting up and down all night attending to especially rough episodes in the nightly score. I can't sleep very well when the whole house is in an uproarious clatter from muscilaginous bronchials. How's that for onomatopoeia. It sounds and reads like the terrible noise in the night.
It's the Bush Scorecard of Evil!! What a fellow. Only time and the freedom of information act will tell.

Thursday, May 2, 2002

I'm looking at my friend, the Lombardy Poplar, out of my window. All the trees around it have budded though it remains bare. I will maintain hope.
Thor'sday. A perfect day for Depeche Mode. Especially something brooding and self-imposing like Never Let Me Down. I am even now subjecting my rap-addled students to a generous helping of eighties techno-glum, as I like to call it.

Part of the reason for this self indulgent spree: I got the official Dumping-Letter from the District yesterday. It was terribly impersonal, without formal or personal greeting, and I am still feeling a bit defeated by its redundant and insulting message.

I've a clever little brother. When he allots time for his little webpage he shows great ability and wit. Case in point. But most of the time other activities take presidence.

Drie and I watched the "Frontier House" feature on PBS over the last week. An interesting and fun show to watch. Flawed in its execution, its methods of selection of participants were geared toward drama and effect rather than probable success or ability to learn. For heaven's sake, I know plenty of people who could have done much better at the skills and mindsets necessary to succeed in that environment. But they are not our society's standard of true "twentyfirst century" people, and I reckon the real homesteaders were for the most part uninitiated in most of the skills needed to eke out a living from the frontier. Just like those chosen for this show. Eh. Who knows.

We especially felt for Mark Glenn at the end. Though not reflected in his profile at the website, he seemed a person made for the challenges of at least the ideal of the homestead lifestyle. His demeanor and comments toward the end of the experience and two months after made my heart ache. I understand how he felt and share many of his bad feelings toward our society.

Nate Brooks was outstanding throughout. Wonderful attitude and great talent. I hope he has a great life. What a man. I could learn a couple of things from him, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Do you think mechanics should charge $1400 to completely rebuild an engine, screw it up somehow so that a valve guide goes bad only a month later, then sit on it for a week or more even though the engine has a three-year warranty? Neither do I. I am getting annoyed. But what can I do about it? Absolutamente nada.

Sin embargo, I am left here in Sanpete trying to figure out a way to get back into school and support my family. Nothing back on any of my numerous lines left a-bobbing in the river of life yet.

Culturally, the only thing I can offer you is this creation by a gent named Jogchem Niemandsverdriet. It is a pretty apt metaphor for where I am in my little world right now. I need to believe it is all worth it, at least.