Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving redux

Had a great meal with the family for Thanksgiving at the farm. the 10-11 lb. turkey is in the right range - I just forgot to add the egg to the stuffing recipie - probably won't ever forget that now. Dad is still here - we cut some trees down that were either in the field or hanging down enough to prevent the farmer from driving his equipment underneath it. We waited until the rest of the family left (and had Thanksgiving dinner redux) before heading out but still go in 3 good hours before we lost daylight. I saw the deer several times as well as the turkey crossing the road. Gun season starts December 1. Assume my cousin isn't coming down but the fireman will be out and have the whole 160 acres to himself. The bowhunter has already been out here quite a bit for both turkey and deer.

The satellite guy is supposed to be coming to set up the dish for local channels (difficult to get on an antenna when you're in 30-foot tall trees) and trying to clean up from the bad install job to begin with. Hope he ends up coming but we'll keep an eye out for him. I'm learning that people showing up when they say they will is always a 50/50 proposition. Two weeks ago the office arranged for him to be here yesterday but when he called Wednesday, he said he was heading 4 hours into Missouri to set up the wiring and in for a new restaurant. He was going to try to get by here in the evening - not sure how you work outside with wires in the evening. So we set it for today. Maybe that was a mistake but there was no way to get it all done late in the day anyway. Also have to find out why my bedroom connection only works when the connection is barely touching instead of screwed in.

This has been a good break - time with family and the physical work outside. Hopefully Dad makes it out here again this winter - usually he's been able to make it before now but retirement keeps him busier than when he traveled 50,000 miles a year calling on bedding and furniture manufacturers. (The day after I graduated with my MA in History I went to work in the bedspring factor since the were on strike and Dad had nothing to sell and had just been paying my tuition. Standing on concrete under a tin roof in the heat of August was an experience I'll never forget and one which still makes me cautious of getting overworked in the heat since I found out you can faint from heat exhaustion well after you're out of the heat if you overdo it.)

Going to finish wacthing and then outside in the wind and ten degrees colder. But that should help burn off more of the turkey dinners . . . .

Friday, November 26, 2004

What's the Matter with Kansas? Not Much.

Via The Cranky Professor, another take on what's not the matter with Kansas. Although I was born in Missouri and still have fun teasing fellow Kansans that they have to "show me," my residence here for the last decade has made me appreciate their "western spirit" and frontier tenacity. Also note that the article that stated that Kansas is as "flat as a pancake," that study only took one small section along I-70 (and it wasn't the Flint Hills) and although we don't have the majestic climbs of the Rockies, we're not totally flat - just like all of New York State is most certainly NOT New York City. But, living in "flyover country" has its advantages - one of which being having your feet in the ground and having not only discovered the "reality-based community" in the recent past, but -- more importantly -- having lived in it since we were born. BTW, everyone should be proud of where they're from - our diversity is our strength. Trying to pin everyone into one right, excuse me - "correct" - category only weakens us.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


There's a lot to be thankful for today - family, friends, and Ws of all kinds. Kirk's family is also in my prayers - holidays will be the time they miss him the most - even though they're all together.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Turkey 101

I ran across this site while looking for instructions on thawing turkey - am trying to balance the winter starm watch with getting out to the farm. Check out the November 12 entry (the direct citation has a lot of pictures and the chart is quite a scroll down). Interesting mix of cooking and information technology.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday in Baltimore

Spent Tuesday and Wednesday working at the farm – saw a bobcat walking around the back of the house – thought it was a coyote at first but it wasn’t moving the same way as a coyote.

Thursday’s trip to NCSS in Baltimore extremely well. Connecting through Cincinnati is much less stressful than connecting through Chicago – esp. getting to eat at Chik-Fil-A. Took the group into Little Italy last night since it was walking distance and then we walked a little closer to the harbor – it will be great for them to see it in daylight today Am in a session on NCATE/NCSS reviewing of teacher education programs in history and the social studies. Learning something new all the time but, as I learned last year, the national review process is much more humane than the current status of our state process. It now appears that 3 years of data is sufficient – so we can plan that for 2010/2011. “Uniform models” seem to be the word of the day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Off to NCSS

I'm meeting 3 of our grant teachers at the Kansas City airport to head to NCSS ( in Baltimore. Hope to blog from there. Also check out their conference blog available at their web site.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

election analysis

Here's the first rational voice I've heard from those who are passionate Democrats. And by that I mean he's not calling anyone names (including the ever-present "stupid") and not blaming other people for the election results. And this actually comes from another professor!

It will be nice when the feelings settle down a bit so that the issues can be discussed more rationally all the way around without either side calling the other one names.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Interesting Thoughts

The blogosphere has been quite interesting. I'm still not sure I understand why some folks don't get the concept of majority rule. Those of us who didn't vote for President Clinton dealt with it - and he had much less of a mandate as far as percentage of the popular vote. Another interesting question - how much wider of a spread between the two candidates would there have been if the Democrats hadn't worked so hard to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot.

It's also amazing that some are questioning the exit polls - which are, first of all, primarily designed to understand why people voted the way they did - not predict the outcome. And the idea that they concentrated on cities and stacked it 60%/40% in favor of women. The heartland really does count and we actually do have brains and didn't even have to go to the wizard to get one.

It will be an interesting four years. I'm sure Hillary is happy because it appears that she can easily emerge as the frontrunner for the Democrats in 2008. Did you know that her husband knew about his heart blockage but put off his surgery for about 4 months . . . interesting timing.

There's a good article in the Chronicle (subscription required) on the Clinton Library. The only point the author misses is that although FDR set up the first "modern" presidential library, he did what FDR usually did and only worried about his own. It was Missouri-born Harry Truman who had to go home to live with is mother-in-law that worked to pass legislation regarding presidential libraries and presidential pensions.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

W - The President - STILL!

Blogger was too busy to let me post this morning. I have been yelling "Wa HOO!" all day and during my drive to Memphis. I'm now surrounded by historians who for the most part are NOT happy campers (I had to endure then 4 years ago in Little Rock right after the election so it all evens out). I wore my W 2004 button under my coat tonight to eat dinner at the Rendevous . ... . .Have braced myself for the rest of the week by listening to two hours of NPR today.

One notable comment from a caller "I don't think the president should make any decisions based only on his own beliefs." What???? So you prefer his sticking his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing????? It's a democracy and the majority won and, yes, the American people DO understand the Democrats' message!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I voted - did you? Posted by Hello

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