About Me

My photo

I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Won!

The Scream

We had our Oklahoma County Democratic Convention, and I was elected County Chair. Now the work begins!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saturday's the Day!

Go Green!

On Saturday, the delegates to the Oklahoma County Democratic Party Convention will meet to choose our county officers including the one I am running for, county chair. I have been have some anxiety about the result, not so much about whether I will win as much as the thought, "What if I do if I do win?"

This is an awesome responsibility because there is so much riding on our success, and so much work that needs to be done to achieve success.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

On Being a Politician

NPR: This I Believe

(Our church has been using the NPR Series This I Believe and the companion book as the basis for its annual Lenten Study Series. Rev. Meyers, our pastor, has encouraged each of us to write an essay describing some belief we have in 500 words or less. This is my contribution which I read at today's service as a part of my responsibility as lay worshp leader for that service.)

I eagerly await the day that researchers involved in the Human Genome Project announce that they have discovered the “Political Gene.” I can think of no other reason why some of us become so politically involved. I am one of those whose political gene is dominant.

My political tendencies manifested themselves very early. In 1960, I had my classmates in the 3rd grade vote on which of my two best friends would be my “very bestest friend”. Since I personally favored one over the other, and I knew my parents favored Nixon over Kennedy, I ran one as a Republican and the other as a Democrat. Thus I not only took part in my first campaign, but my first “push poll” as well.

It is easy to become cynical about politics in our time. In fact, that has long been the case. Aesop is supposed to have said, “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” My childhood faith in politics and politicians has gone through many tests. For example, my first campaign in Oklahoma, was to elect David Boren as governor. Later I watched him as a US Senator vote to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, an action that Boren later said he, too, regretted.

Politics is like that: glorious one moment, appalling the next, very much like humanity as a whole. Politics is, after all, a human enterprise; therefore, we should not be surprised that it displays all of the generosity and compassion humans are capable of showing as well as the cupidity and cruelty endemic to our species. The same body politic capable of creating Social Security and Civil Rights legislation can also reward corporate greed and deny some Americans their rights because of their sexual orientation.

So why do folks like me, and many of you, keep at it year after year, election after election? I believe it comes down to our faith in the possibility of justice, the only true purpose for any society. After all, any political decisions from the school board to the federal government must be examined in the light of whether or not the choice enlarges the realm of justice. We should always ask this question, “Will or will not this action allow more of our citizens to enjoy their right to dignity?” For human dignity is the true measure of a just society. I also believe that, despite setbacks, defeats and occasional reversals, we are making progress towards securing justice for all. The task, of course, is far from finished. What justice we have achieved happened because a body of people, usually an elected body, had the courage to do a just political act. Because I believe in justice, I must to be political. Therefore, I am proud to say that I am a politician.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Today Is My Birthday!

Today, I turn Double Nickels, 55! I had a very nice birthday that actaully began on Thursday when we had the privilege of seeing Hal Holbrook do his one man show, "Mark Twain Tonight!" at the Rose State College Performing Arts Center. Then we went to Tulsa where Cat's sister and brother-in-law live. They are both movie buffs and so they took us to see a very weird Korean film called The Host. I found it "interesting" but certainly not to everyone's taste, including mine.

The next day we had "brunch" at IHOP with Cat's son, his wife and his wife's two children. I have always said that when I turn 55, I'm going to embrace the age by ordering the off the Senior Citizen's menu, so I had the "Senior Citizen Sampler". The food was okay, but the service was very 2nd rate.

Then we went to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. I really enjoyed that. I'm fascinated by nature, particularly aquadic nature because I really feel it's like looking at something right out of the age of the Dinosaurs.

I had a great time!

Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I've Decided to Run for OK County Chair

Go Green

I've decided to run for the chair position of the Oklahoma County Democratic Party. The election is March 31st.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Early Spring in Oklahoma

The weather has been very warm here lately. We have had some beautiful daffodils bloom in our garden. Of course, next week, being Spring Break, we are likely to be buried under 6 inches of snow and ice.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

When Did I Get to be Old Fashioned???

Our old cable box went on the blink. The cable guy (insert your own joke here) came around and installed a brand new "DVR" that does all sorts of neat things if you can just figure out which box to press on our brand new remote.

My wife and I are thinking about adopting a 10 year old, but we don't want it to be a permanent thing.

Is it possible to just rent one?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Beautiful Magnolia Tree Outside My Classroom Window

Southern Magnolia Tree

One of the few beauties we have on our high school campus is this Southern Magnolia tree that can be seen outside by classroom window. I love to see its large, waxy blossoms each spring. My classroom is on the second floor just to the left of the tree. The photo was taken during a spell of warm February weather in the courtyard that my room overlooks.

New Soup

I Can Relate to Ernie

Frank and Earnest

Thursday, March 01, 2007

National Pun Day

Idol Time

I have unilaterally declared March 4th, NATIONAL PUN DAY because this date is itself a pun which answers the riddle, "What date do soldiers hate the most?" (Think about it a while and you'll get it.)

Someone said that a pun is not funny only because you didn't think of it. Here are a few of my favorite puns.

One day Abraham was in the family tent working on his laptop trying to download some new software. (This is a little known story from the book of Genesis.) His son, Issac, walked in and saw what his father was doing.

Issac said, "Dad, that old computer has been around since the days of Noah. There is no way that it's going to have enough memory to download that program."

Abraham turned and looked at his boy, "Worry not, my son, God will provide the RAM."

And if that doesn't have your groaning, I give you the infamous "walked into a bar" jokes:

A neutron walks into a bar. “I'd like a beer,” he says.
The bartender promptly serves up a beer.
“How much will that be?” asks the neutron.
“For you?” replies the bartender, “no charge.”

A pair of jumper cables walk into a bar.
The bartender says, "Well, you can come in, but don't start anything."

A ham sandwich walks into a bar.
The bartender says, "Hey, we don't serve food here."

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar.
The bartender says, "Is this some sort of joke?"

A piece of string walks into a bar.
The bartender says, "We don't serve your kind here."
The string walks out, ties himself in the middle, ruffles up his head, and walks back into the bar.
The bartender says, "Aren't you that piece of string that came in earlier."
The string says, "No, I'm a frayed knot."

A mushroom walks into a bar.
The bartenders says, "We don't serve your kind here."
The mushroom, "Why not? I'm just a fungi!"

A snake crawls into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry. I can't serve you."
The snake asks, "Why not?"
The bartender replies, "Because you can't hold your liquor."

A brain goes into a bar and says to the bartender, "I'll have a pint please".
The bartender says, "Sorry, I can't serve you, you're out of your head".

A guy sits alone at a bar, drinking his beer. From out of nowhere, he hears a voice say, "You look great, man! Have you lost weight?" He looks around, and confirms that the only other person in the bar is the bartender, who is all the way at the other end of the bar. He shrugs it off, and takes another drink of his beer. "That's a really nice suit. It looks good on you," the voice says again. The guy freaks out, and shouts, "Hey, bartender! Come here!" "Who keeps talking to me?!" The guy asks the bartender. "Oh, that?" The bartender says, "It's the peanuts. They're complimentary."

Three vampires walk into an bar.
The bartender says, "What'll it be, gentlemen."
The first says, "I vant a pint of blud."
The second says, "I vant a pint of blud, too."
The third says, "I vant a pint of plasma."
So the bartender says, "Okay, let me get this straight. You're ordering two Bloods and one Blood Lite."

Well, that's enough. Happy punning!