Friday, February 29, 2008


There it is. I think I weighed in on some time ago.
The UN thinks human rights are being violated. To some extent, so do I.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Though my father passed away in 1991, I still think about him a lot especially with our baby on the way. My wife and I have agreed to name him after my dad, and I have been having more and more dreams that include my dad. He would have been 70 yesterday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who is helping?

Students are helping. Not the government so much...

Just a few examples from THIS WEEK:

Northampton, MA

Belmont, MA (where my wife used to live - weird) - BC Alumni
Great Falls, MT - a teacher donating funds from students
Ithaca, NY
Howard University

To the people who are helping, even if there isn't an online story about your efforts,


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Education News

The ASCD conference is coming to New Orleans. This is a huge group of teachers and educators. I know this is probably somewhere else other than the earthtimes, but that's where I found it. I wish I was a teacher right now, because I would ask to be paid to attend. Also, my wife's company is one of the sponsors though she's not going anywhere for the next few months. If you get a chance, they are collecting money for teachers who need critical classroom supplies. This is a good organization, and I hope that you New Orleanians show them a good time, that things are still works in progress, and that help is still needed.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Michael reminded me that because Mardi Gras was so early this year, it seems like a long time until JazzFest. In a normal year, I would probably agree. This post is not in chronological order.

In the midst of a kitchen/bathroom/sunroom remodel and expecting a baby boy in the beginning of April, I can't seem to find enough time. To save money on our remodel (how much I don't know), I am painting. Nonstop. I just finished painting the nursery, and recently I have been painting beadboard in the kitchen and bathroom. It's not easy, but I guess it's easier than lugging the baby around all the time.

This weekend, my mom came up to spend a little time with us and go to the wife's shower here in Pennsylvania. My mom had a little baby shower with her friends in New Orleans and brought the gifts up here. It's amazing how many things a baby needs! We received tons of cool things, but I feel like we are missing some of the more important items. Like diapers. And somewhere to put dirty ones.

After we have the baby, I will be ceasing this line of work and be returning to teaching at the end of August at my old school. This should give me some time to spend with my son. We plan on hanging out at the pool.

And I am taking some time for myself for JazzFest. My sisters-in-law are coming for a weekend to meet their newest nephew, and I am going to head down to a well-deserved visit to New Orleans. I am looking forward to JazzFest, but I am curious to see how I will react to being away from the baby so soon. But it will be the only time that I spend away from him until August.

And, if I get the time, I need to create a myspace for Kermit at JazzFest. I would love for people to send pictures and befriend us. It would be even cooler if we could do a mashup of google maps and the location of the photographer...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


or no duh. I think they both mean the same thing.

The trailers and mobile homesare making people sick. Travel trailers are the worst.

"Last May, FEMA officials dismissed findings by environmentalists that the trailers posed serious health risks. They said the trailers conformed to industry standards."
As long as the industry standards allow 5 times the amount of formaldehyde found in new homes.

Thanks, FEMA.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This is why

In stark contrast to the last post on Paul Sanchez and music in New Orleans, this is a group of students I taught a few years ago. They are going to be graduating in June. They were some of the most creative, intense, and funny students I have ever taught. It's 10 minutes long, but it's worth it. This is why I was a teacher and will be again (next year). I will miss these guys...

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Music News

Paul Sanchez is one of my favorite songwriters and storytellers and performers.

This is a one of his best performances while Shamarr Allen plays the trumpet.
'Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans."

I feel like I am getting into JazzFest mode and it's February. And it was 9 degrees when I woke up this morning.

Must Have CD

If you have kids, you need this.

I received my copy on Saturday and haven't been able to stop listening to it. Discipulus will learn the kids songs this way and think all the other versions are wrong or different.

Buy one today (I received nothing for this plug.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mardi Gras and Lent PA Style

I think the last time I made lenten resolutions was in college. The lent a year or so before my dad passed away, I quit smoking and drinking. Then I made a series of boneheaded decisions, one of which got me shipped to San Diego to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. I didn't stay long there. I don't know how many of these things are related to those particular resolutions, but I haven't made many since.

Nevertheless, I do tend to give up eating meat on Fridays even though I don't go to church much anymore. Something about lent makes me feel somber and I think I have to make this small sacrifice. I assure you that it is much more difficult to give up meat in Pennsylvania than in Louisiana. But I intend to do it because it always makes me feel like I am doing something right for a change. One of my memories about lent is the time I went to the Immaculate Conception church on Ash Wednesday for ashes. On my way home, I stopped at the little neighborhood marked on Prytania for some French bread and catfish. I made catfish po-boys from scratch. That just doesn't work up here. (partly because they tend to fry catfish with flour instead of cornmeal.)

Last night, my wife and neighbors went out to Porter's Pub for Mardi Gras dinner (and because they server Abita TurboDog). I had the jambalaya. I just don't understand why everyone thinks Louisiana food has to be so spicy your eyes bleed. The flavors of the chicken (whole breast), rice (spicy), two (!?) shrimp, and mushrooms were good. The sauce (!?!) that covered everything was a little too much for my taste. I would rather have had some Crystal Hot Sauce on the side to make as spicy as I would like. Nonetheless, it was a good time and the food was very good as always.

Today, this article all about gumbo and New Orleans appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I wish I had my kitchen so that I could make some gumbo of my own. There is a seres of posts coming together about the kitchen, too (and I have lots of pictures of things the dogs have eaten, too).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This is the best channel in the world. I am glad that I have a prep day here at work so that I can enjoy some of the best music in the world. So far I have heard:
Topsy Chapman - (3 songs from her All I Need CD)
Kermit Ruffins - All on a Mardi Gras Day
Rebirth? (with Kermit) - All Night Long
some Mardi Gras Indian Song with a disco beat and laser sounds
more brass band stuff- money back (AAARRRGGGGGHHH I need to hear this stuff live and on the street!)

This would be awesome with a video of the parades passing by. I hate missing Mardi Gras and I really miss my apartment on Prytania and Pleasant.

And I can't get the ParadeCam from to work. Dammit.

Be safe, have fun, and catch some beads.

Don't Fortget to

see Rex today if you live in New Orleans.
And say hello to the Queen of Rex. I taught her a little bit of Latin back in the day.

If you live anywhere else, vote.

Here in the Lehigh Valley the Germans have what is called FastNacht cakes. I guess it's sort of like king cake and it always happens on Mardi Gras. From the name I am assuming it's the night of fasting as it occurs just before Ash Wednesday and Lent. And although they are tasty, it isn't king cake.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Everywhere Else

it's SuperBowl Sunday.
In New Orleans it's Thoth and Bacchus. And Mardi Gras is in the air.