Tuesday, October 31, 2006

HP Photosmart D7360 photo printer

I just purchased this printer. I like that it has individual color cartridges so that you aren't replacing an multi-color cartridge just for one color. My last printer seemed to have given out even with new cartridges and since cartridges are in reality more expensive than actually buying the printer, I thought I'd try this - it was readily available at Office Depot. I also still have my trusty HP LaserJet 2100 for black and white printing.

HP Photosmart D7360 photo printer

Now, I'm just trying to get odds and ends done before I head north for the first meeting of our new TAHPS grant. Getting the big printer box out of the hallway is now checked off.

Famous chili recipe for sale

The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO - Famous chili recipe for sale: "

Published October 31, 2006 01:19 am - For sale: Joplin landmark Fred & Red’s chili parlor; price includes secret chili recipe.

Famous chili recipe for sale

By Melissa Dunson


For sale: Joplin landmark Fred & Red’s chili parlor; price includes secret chili recipe.

It’s an ad that gets attention from almost anyone who’s ordered a bowl of chili while sitting on one of the 23 stools at the lunch counter at 1719 S. Main St.

Now, Larry Wilcoxson hopes he can offer someone else the chance to be part of Joplin’s history. He is selling the diner as a package deal. That means the building, lots, fixtures and, of course, the chili recipe are all up for sale.

Wilcoxson insists there’s nothing that special about his chili, but he finds all the guessing amusing.

“Secret? There is no secret,” Wilcoxson said. “It’s pretty much the same ingredients as everybody else’s chili. Everybody has their own chili recipe. It’s just the timing of when to put the spices in.”"


Dad still eats here at least once a week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Assessment and Alverno College

This Chronicle article (subscription required) explains the great strides made at institutional assessment of student learning made by Alverno College - a small women's Catholic school in Milwaukee. Our state department of education brought in reps from Alverno as we approached our new state standards several years ago and while they had great ideas, they simply were NOT transferrable to a larger setting. The professors actually stated that their assessment responsibilities replaced any publication responsibilities (as part of the sacred trinity of research, teaching, and service). And basic tests of knowledge of any type simply don't measure student learning well.

I do like the point made in the article about how the goal is to measure student learning and get them actively engaged in learning versus solely attempting to receive - not always earn - a passing grade. However, that would take smaller classes than even our small regional state university averages.

There seems to be a disconnect between whether we are most interested in engaging students in learning as much as they can and whether or not we can get them to pass a state or national test that may or may not have much to do with actual learning that translates into classroom practice when they become teachers.

The case of Alverno is a great case study of what works but making it transfer to larger populations does not allow for the types of comparisons and contrasts and evaluation desired.

And, I'm still trying to figure out what a course grade is if it isn't evaluation . . . .

Little Rock II

The Little Rock trip was well worth the time and effort. The "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Clinton Library was informative - 20 million email to be processed (not counting the attachments to any of these) is only a starting point.

Part of the group was also willing to go by the Central High School National Historic Site. They are in the process of building a new visitors' center. As with visting any historic place, it gives you a better feel of how history actually happened. Another professor in the group recommended Warriors Don't Cry as another possible teaching resource. Also note the numerous lesson plans developed by NPS staff available http://www.nps.gov/chsc/forteachers/index.htm. Three of the Little Rock Nine spoke at a plenary session at the meeting - again, another good way of experiencing history. All 3 panelists agreed that the most important point we should convey to our students is that there was discrimination and segregation so that it never happens again. It also points to better understanding the racial strife that still surrounds us. Because I live in a mostly "wide bread" rural area, the latent racism that still exists often surprises me - especially since it is often an unconscious assumption on the part of those that make racist comments and/or hold racist beliefs. Often the comments don't connect with their actual beliefs about people but further education can only serve to better illuminate issues related to tolerance. On a related note, the panelists aslo emphasized reverse racism - sometime often ignored in today's "examinations" of societal interactions.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Little Rock

Off to another history meeting - this time in Little Rock. Am going to check out my new Sprint broadband card for my laptop so that I am able ot access the internet even in places without wireless networks (primarily security issues for non-employees).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ScrappleFace » Democrats Unveil Iraq War Strategy: ‘Drop the Course’

ScrappleFace » Democrats Unveil Iraq War Strategy: ‘Drop the Course’: "Democrats Unveil Iraq War Strategy: ‘Drop the Course’
by Scott Ott

(2006-10-24) — Just two weeks out from national elections, Democrats today unveiled the Iraq war strategy they will force the president to implement when they control Congress.

In an effort to answer critics who say Democrat war policy consists of little more than attacks on President George Bush, presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, held a news conference to explain the new strategy, dubbed “Drop the Course” as a counterpoint to the president’s often-maligned “Stay the Course.”

“Victory isn’t always about winning,” said Rep. Pelosi. “Those of us who went to college know that sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough drop out. Who among us hasn’t experienced the exhilaration of walking out of the registrar’s office after dropping a course you were failing. America deserves to have that feeling again.”

Asked to respond to the Democrats “Drop the Course” plan, Mr. Bush said, “I guess if you see freedom and national security as electives, that makes sense.”

The president added that the new plan didn’t surprise him, “since the Democrats so often cut the class, it was inevitable they’d drop "

The Significance of the Name Kelly

* There are 518,946 people in the U.S. with the first name Kelly.
* Statistically the 103rd most popular first name.
* 81.79 percent of people with the first name Kelly are female.

This is from HowManyofMe.com via Historianess.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lost Weekends

I just spent my last weekend in Kansas until Thanksgiving. It rained during the Maple Leaf parade so the time spent with friend's at Dad's building was the highlight of the day. He's really proud of the floor with the car insignias designating the places of the classics.

Yesterday I began catching up on paperwork and getting ready to take out the trash and then brought the pedal kayak for storage at the farm. It seems as if we went to summer to late fall/early winter. But the good news is that all the weeds have virtually stopped growing at the farm. And I'm also trying to gauge the growth of the lawn to only mow one more time and not have to buy any more gas that won't keep until next year (now that I know you are supposed to use it within a month in order for power equipment to start easily.)

I'm enjoying the 37" LCD panel TV (it replaced a 20' screen (yes, in the living room) since I was trying to figrue out all the new technologies. I bought this one from the Target ad and ended up saving an additional $400 since they discovered it had been returned - which they claim was unusual for it to be put back on the shelf but it was the only one they had left. It turns out that it was only missing 4 speaker screws (to mount on the sides of the screen). The most frustrating part of the assembly process however was trying to figure out how to connect the speaker wires since they were bare wires that went into snap connectors. I had difficulty figuring out how to find any help on the internet since I didn't know what they were called - my only clue was the red and black "markings" and knowing there were four of them that went with two speakers. That just compounded the fact that that was the only thing left COMPLETELY out of the directions that came with it - even the French version.

I was feeling a little down Saturday - the usual letdown from all the activity - when one of my favorite cousins called. It turns out he wanted to see about visiting us over Thanksgiving. He was worried about intruding but we actually welcome additional folks since there is still just the 4 of us. So, if they can work it out with the kids' schedules, they will actually make it out here. He had commented to his wife that I had been to all of their houses (including Rome!) but they hadn't been our way. There should be plenty to do out here - he's like my Dad in that way - likes all the little hands-on projects. It's a nice break from his corporate work. And having a fast internet connection (via fixed wireless) out here will enable both he and his wife to do whatever work needs to be done while they are away. This is also excellent motivation to catch up out here and give myself a schedule of writing and cleaning. I have to keep reminding myself that I cannot write for 20 hours a day even if I wanted to. Plus, the cleaning breaks allow some thinking time.

Now to get my morning swim in . . .

I actually saw two different herds of deer this morning as I walked the dog - it's about that time of year!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday morning

Where did the week go? I'm almost done with the federal reports for several history grants and a state grant. I helped a colleague conduct her first teacher workshop yesterday on economics and state standards. We based it on the T-Shirt in a Global Economy book and I think it went well. She suffered from a common problem of first-time presenters - trying to cover everything in one day as well as underestimating what she had to offer teachers.

BTW, NPR also has some great stuff related to this book.

Today I will finish with work and then start getting ready for the biggest festival in my hometown. Dad will be riding in the lead car as mayor. He was quite excited he made both USA Today and the AP feed on Wednesday for a quote he made about the "Whee" bridge that we always had to take to Dairy Queen when I was a kid.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday morning

It's a rainy Monday morning that finally feels like fall. I wish we'd had more rain in August so that the trees were more vivid colors but they are falling on the ground - at one point, we thought the heat would never end.

The Western was a great meeting as usual - especially meeting up with friends and colleagues and more friends. Besides Riddles, we also ate a great meal at eleven/eleven.

On the way home, I stopped by The Hill to shop. That was even more important than during my last visit to St. Louis since our local Italian grocery store is becoming just a small grocery store. I used to try to give them business even though the rest of their products weren't as fresh or as varied so I really hate that they had to make the business decision to quit carrying the great imported cheeses, tomato products, and spices.

I actually took yesterday to wind down so I would be ready for a busy week - meetings, paperworks, and the first time for an econ workshop.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


A friend from the area gave us a great insider's tour of the city last night. The highlight was eating dinner at Riddle's. Locally grown food is the highlight plus great service. We ended the meal with 4 varieties of homemade ice cream - including sweet potato. Yum!!!

This afternoon is a session at Anheuser-Busch. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Headed to St. Louis

I'm headed to St. Louis and imagine posting will be light given the busy schedule.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

History News Network - Anti-Muslim Violence

History News Network: "Since 1948, the number of Muslims killed by the Americans and Israelis combined is still less than the number killed by the French. And the number of Muslims killed by the French, Israelis, and Americans combined is still less than the number killed by the Soviets/Russians. And the number of Muslims killed by the Soviets, Russians, French, Israelis, and Americans, combined, is still about 1/3 of the number of Muslims who have been killed by Muslim states."

No tears, please, for Buck

Kansas City Star | 10/08/2006 | No tears, please, for Buck: "No tears, please, for Buck
Fans and friends gather, keeping his spirit of hope and love alive as the news of O’Neil’s death sinks in.
The Kansas City Star

* He meant so much to so many people | video
* Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was his passion | video
* Fans pay respect to their friend | photo slide show
* Sign/view his guestbook
* More stories, photos and videos on Buck O'Neil

The flowers have come from black fans and white, from young and old.

People have come here, to this table in a back corner of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, from all over Kansas City and all over the demographic chart, to say goodbye to their dear friend.

But this is no funeral. No, this is more celebration, if it’s possible to celebrate somberly. Buck O’Neil, right up until the moment he died about 9 p.m. Friday of complications from congestive heart failure and recently diagnosed bone marrow cancer, always made people smile.

He told friends that he hoped nobody would be sad when he died. They tried to keep that spirit.
Buck was truly an ambassador of good will to everyone he met. Meeting him at last November NCSS meeting was a highlight for our teachers. It's really too bad that the politics of the National Baseball Hall of Fame have overlooked him. If any one person could, he personified the Negro Leagues Baseball.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

New Design

It was time for a change and settling in for fall so the blog has a new template. I hope to work on editing the template in the next few months as I work on other web-related projects.

The presentation on Thursday went well and I'm excited that 15 of our TAH grant teachers are going to NCSS in DC this fall. I think being able to attend a meeting in nearby Kansas City last year made all the difference - ie deciding it's worth the time away from work and family to attend with the larger group.

A group of 5 teachers will be going to research at the National Archives in Seattle and we discussed some of their options with them.

Yesterday was filled with paperwork and dealing with home repair issues. There's always something. But I keep telling myself housework keeps you sane and in the real world.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Chapter Submission Complete

One of my motivations to get a book chapter done was not allowing myself to blog until it was submitted. Wahoo - it's been submitted and I can get ready for our JFK seminar tomorrow with Project Primary Sources. And, as always, take some time to catch up on the paperwork on my desk and dining room table. At least I stayed on top of the bills for the last month and didn't end up with any of them in the wrong pile where I missed them. My other reward for finishing my writing assignment, you ask? going out to get the mail!

The bad news is that I'm finding it's almost impossible (or should I say frustrating) to write to write late into the evening. But that may also point to the fact that I am being successful in getting more balance in my life between work and the relaxation necessary to actual think about and reflect upon what I'm doing?

Our speaker arrives in town in about an hour and a half and I'm looking forward to catching up over dinner. He's been a great asset to the profession and there is always more I can learn from him.

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