Category Archives: Everything Else

Just deserts

And by “deserts,” I don’t mean “an arid expanse of sand-covered land”; nor am I referring to strawberry pies (which, btw, would be spelled “desserts”). Rather, I’m talking about somebody getting what he deserves: his just (righteous and fair) deSERTS (punishments or rewards).

Isn’t English ridiculous? Right, I’m straying off topic. As Holmes and Watson said in the movie the other night: Let’s crack on

He’s nobody’s love slave.

Jer Bear is in serious trouble, that is for sure. Even if he’s found not guilty, he will suffer repercussions for the rest of his life. There are those who would wish (and have done so, publicly and repeatedly) terrible circumstances on him if he goes to prison — of the “being made someone’s concubine” variety. How many times have you seen something to that effect when reading about the conviction and sentencing of a child predator? I hope he gets put in a cell with a psychopathic lifer named Bruno, who…

Many folks want to see the same suffering exacted on the perp as he or she visited upon the children. It’s true that child molesters are vilified more than any other criminal in prisons — which is precisely why Sandusky, if convicted and sentenced, will also be carefully protected. That was an a-ha moment for me, because my first gut reaction was why should he be spared?

According to The Daily Beast, that’s not the way things run, and after reading the article last night, I must say I’m in agreement. Columnist Mansfield Frazier says:

[S]ince prison officials know that sex offenders would be subjected to brutal treatment at the hands of other prisoners if placed in the general population, for years now those inmates have been segregated. For their own safety, they’re placed in correctional institutions with other sex offenders, the aged, and the disabled. Sandusky, if sentenced to prison, would spend all his time . . .with prisoners who perhaps were convicted of crimes even more despicable than those he’s being accused of.

Moreover, regardless of the less-than-stellar reputation that prison wardens are saddled with (primarily due to exaggerations in the movies), most subscribe to the following maxim where their charges are concerned: You are here as punishment, not for punishment. If you ruminate on that, you’ll see the sense in it. What could be worse than going to prison and having one’s most basic freedoms yanked away — in some cases, for a long, long time? Sure, there’s the argument that you get three squares a day, free TV/internet, and free education at taxpayer expense, but really: for someone like Sandusky (and countless others who have families and grandchildren and who enjoy the comforts of a free existence), it’s tantamount to a death sentence.

Of course there are people with no hope, no family, no conscience, or highly dysfunctional lives — or all of the above — who would see prison as a joyride. Every society has those, I reckon. But for otherwise “regular” people who want to do things like go to the store or the casino or the library or church or out for a boat ride with the family? They are miserable, punished and desperate in prison as it isNo need for piling on.

Additionally, there is a legal angle (isn’t there always?) of which prison wardens have to be wary:

Beginning in the early 1990s, prisoners around the country started filing (and in many cases, winning) class-action lawsuits against departments of corrections, directors, and wardens over the conditions of their confinement. And gradually, things behind bars changed. The fact that prison authorities have a duty to protect prisoners is now well established, and no state wants to risk paying out huge sums or having to tie up legal staffers defending such actions.

So, as Frazier states, no warden or prison official in his right mind is going to fail to perform his duty to protect such a notorious prisoner as Sandusky would be. It’s far easier to just do the job by the books, and leave the judging to the judges.

Wise words. And so my mind is changed.

Hey, it’s Monkday — time to visit the school house, where the sound equipment guy is going to come to my classroom and install my new PreSonus StudioLive Digital Mixer. Yaaaaah HOO! A good day to all my wunnerful fiends.


A true blue spectacle

I am not kidding. I’m ’bout to blow yall’s minds. It’s so amazing to me, I had to tell my students about it yesterday, and their minds were blown. Ready? Are you sure? K. Here goes.

You know those people who, when the alarm goes off in the morning, reach for their glasses before even sitting up? I’m one of those people. Or I should say I was one of those people. Ready for the money shot?

Last Friday, I was married to my contact lenses and glasses. Cripes, I wore contacts and glasses (bifocals) at the same time. Yet, as of yesterday, I read music and emails all day long, and today, I am typing this without glasses or contact lenses. And I can see.

That’s the mind blower. I can see — without corrective lenses. Granted, I’m still a novice at this new approach, so I’m not 20/20 yet, but I’ll bet I’m 90% better. And I didn’t have laser surgery. So…I’m sure you’re dying to know…how did I do it? Here’s the answer:

I took off my glasses.

(That’s IT? That’s the mind-blower? Psh.)

No, fiend. With the help of a book called Take Off Your Glasses and See, I am learning to take back my eyesight through an inner refocus; a throwing off of the standard mindset that people with vision problems are A) relegated to corrective lenses for the rest of their lives (or surgery), or B) doomed to poor sight in middle age. What I’m finding is that in the field of vision correction, there’s been no challenge to basic mores: Bummer, I can’t see clearly; guess I need glasses. This doctor, over his 20 years of research, has basically come to the conclusion that most people with eyesight issues are given a crutch (glasses/contacts) right away, and so their eyes — and minds, as pertains to their vision — stop working for healing, as if the brain has absolutely no bearing on the amazing restorative properties our organs possess. The author wonders aloud why doctors and the lay community joyfully accept miraculous disappearances of tumors in terminal cancer patients, but can’t wrap their brains around the sudden ability to see better. Troof.

So I’m sure you’re wondering at this point (and I do have a point), What’s the secret? Well, half of it I’ve already told you: just take off your glasses. The second part is a realignment of your own belief system with regard to your eyesight. According to Dr. Liberman:

Most people who try this [initial] experiment [of going for a walk outside without any lenses] find a noticeable improvement in their acuity. How can simply removing your glasses clear your vision? Taking off those crutches allows your eyes to readjust to seeing on their own. The longer you keep your glasses off, the more you will notice the constant fluctuation of your eyesight. Sometimes, you may have flashes of perfectly clear vision; other times, your vision may appear to be worse. This dynamic fluctuation is a sign that a healthy visual function is reasserting itself after being locked in a rigid focus for many years. Unlocking that focus is the first step toward reclaiming your naturally clear vision.

And this from a guy who started wearing glasses in elementary school, and who now wears no lenses at all — and he’s in his sixties.

I suppose this approach could be placed in the same folder as acupuncture, reflexology, chiropractic and the mind-body holistic methods used at places like the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I also imagine that, as with any medical treatment regimen, it doesn’t work for everyone. But I’m here today to tell you that it is working for me. To go from feeling blindly for my glasses on the night table every morning to getting out of bed and coming downstairs and reading my email with virtually no blurriness…well, to me, that’s a miracle. A true blue spectacle. And it makes me more sure than ever that the mind-body connection in healing is way more than a hopeful, last-ditch effort. I am living proof that it’s real.

I had a student ask me yesterday, “Could this be all in your mind?” Maybe. But if it is, I’ll take it. Whatever works. And this is working. I’ve thrown down the crutches, and I’m learning to walk all over again. And don’t think for a minute this revelation doesn’t translate to other parts of my life.

Ah, clarity. I’m getting there — hopefully in many ways.



Know what was under that light dusting of snow on my back porch steps at 5:30 this morning?

One of life’s truisms: if there is ice to slip on, I will find it. Let the chiropractor visits begin.


On the bright side, we had a blast at Kay & Bob’s last night, followed by a visit to an area watering hole to help Seamus & Hannah celebrate the anniversary of their first date. Fun to chat with some people we haven’t seen in awhile.

Now off to find the Aleve…


Yesterday, I took that personal day off school. Best day ever. So what could “fall out” from the best day ever? The next morning.

Have I mentioned that people have toddlers in their 20s and 30s for a reason? Or maybe it’s just that we need to get in shape. Actually we know that’s it. That’s why we went out last night and bought this dandy looking treadmill. I say dandy looking because I haven’t tried it yet. It’s still in a heap on the basement floor; after the Thriller and son Lars hauled it in and down the stairs (by the way, thank you Lars sweety), we lost one little black circle washer thingy, and until we find it or replace it, there’s no treadmilling for us. And do you THINK we could get our hands on the Thriller’s big honking rechargeable flashlight? Nowhere to be found. The thing’s as big as a pipe wrench and weighs five pounds — and we can’t find it. Using a little mini-mag and my cell phone light just wasn’t cutting it, and we decided to wait until daylight.

So we spend major green on this huge, fancy contraption, only to be reduced to standing there looking at it, which burns not a single calorie. I know — the purists are saying, “Just get out and run on the sidewalk!” Yeah well, thing is…

I will not walk outside when it’s dark (if you’ve ever broken your ankle, you know the reasons), and I won’t walk if it’s below 45 degrees or raining. That takes up a lot of Ohio days. Too easy to make excuses if you’re a slave to the weather up here. So we removed that excuse. It’s going to really help us both. Our schedules are polar opposites, at least during the school year, so we can both use the treadmill as much as we want and not worry about stepping on someone else’s time.

The thing has an MP3 player dock, and since it’s located downstairs in the Thriller’s office, I have TV so I can watch the early morning news. Cuts into the blog time, but I’ll just have to make up for it. I mean, I’d rather write than exercise, but you know…gotta keep this sassy old chassis moving somehow. I have the 4 & under crowd to keep up with at the park.

Time to go get ready for school. Now if I could just get up. Oi.

Creak Fink

All right, unbelievers.

I made them myself, I swear!

Yesterday was our faculty potluck lunch at the high school, where everyone brings in goodies to share. After rehearsal Thursday night, I baked up 28 of my Devil’s Food Cake Truffles and took them in Friday morning. After picking up my serving dish at the end of the day (there were two truffles left, yay for the Thriller), I checked my mailbox in the office and made my way down the hall. Several teachers were talking near their classroom doors, and one called out to me that I’d “won the prize” for the snazziest dessert of the day. Then she told me there was some discussion over the lunch table as to the “homemade” authenticity of my truffles. Whoa! I was simultaneously flattered and flummoxed. Did they really think I’d buy pastries and try to pass them off as my own? After another colleague walked by and teased, “Nice fakejob, Jax,” I thought “Hmmmm…mebbe so.”

I told the Thriller it was like trying to convince the doctors at the asylum that I really, honestly, truly wasn’t crazy. Hilarious. So as I drove home, an idea popped into my nut. “Why not go foodie blogger for a day?” Since I’d had two teachers ask me for the recipe, I figured it might kill two birds by posting photographs of me actually making the things. So, without further delay…

Devil’s Food Cake Truffles

You will need:

Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan according to directions on the box. If you’re making the icing/filling from scratch, mix together the following:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 T. butter, softened
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • Mix above ingredients, then stir in 2 to 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar (I eyeball it)

Otherwise, you can buy a 16-oz. plastic container of ready-made whipped cream cheese frosting.

Now the fun part…














See you guys? My name was even on one of the pans. Would I ever cheat?

About this, I mean?