Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teenagers say the darndest things.

Today in Physics we were talking about sound intensity (the decibel scale, how we perceive sound, etc) and a couple of interesting points came up.

* * * * * *

Student #1 (incredibly earnestly and in a somewhat hopeful tone): "I heard somewhere that there was a rock concert that was so loud that some girl's top blew off."
Me: "It always comes down to that, doesn't it?"

* * * * * *

Student #2: "So, has anyone tried to make something so loud that they could use it to kill people?"
Me: "I'm not quite sure that'd work, really. Although, in the late '80s, the US military got former Panamanian president Manuel Noriega to come out of the Vatican's embassy by playing loud rock music 24 hours a day... on the eighth day he said he couldn't stand it anymore and came out."
Student #3: "What'd they play?"
Me: "I think it was a lot of Van Halen.* But, I think if you wanted to really torture someone, I'd probably play that 'I Believe' song from the Olympics."
(somewhat-protracted silence)
Student #4 (very meekly): "Um... I like that song."
Everyone in the room except Student #4: "REEEEEEALLY?!!?!??"

* * * * * *

Me (pointing to a diagram of the ear): "You see the auditory canal? When my brother was little, he got the cotton end of a Q-Tip stuck in there and had to go to the emergency room to have it taken out."
Student #5: "That happened to me too! But I just grabbed some tweezers and yanked it out myself."
(assorted other students describe their run-ins with Q-Tips)
(teacher marvels at the overwhelming bad luck and/or stupidity of teenagers)

* * * * * *

Never a dull moment in this gig, lemme tell ya.
* Apparently it was a 2-song rotation of "Panama" by Van Halen and "I Fought The Law" by the Clash.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A stupendously good recipe.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
original location (with a picture) here

The Reader's Digest Condensed Version:

1. Get yourself any sort of pork... a roast if you're into something big, I guess. I used a loin, if memory serves — it doesn't really matter, to be honest. Also, for obvious reasons, you need a slow-cooker.

2. Make a spice rub so you can massage this into the meat, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap, and leave it overnight in your fridge (or for two nights, as I completely forgot about it yesterday morning).

Ay, the rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper

(I used about half the amount of the quantities listed above. Also, I omitted the oregano and white pepper because I didn't have either of them around; ultimately, it doesn't matter too much what you put in, as long as it'll give it some flavour.)

3. In the morning, put a quarter of a cup of water in the bottom of the slow cooker, and put the pork in. Turn it on low and go to work.

4. When you come home, turn the slow cooker off, take the pork out, and pour out the liquid. Put the pork back in, shred it thoroughly with two forks, and toss it in about a cup of your favourite BBQ sauce.

5. Put it on low for another hour.

6. Scoop it onto kaiser buns (I like the ones with the cornmeal on 'em) and EAT YOUR HEART OUT.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yet another reason to love baseball.

Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, showing off some neat lower-leg-wear:


That is all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More public dancing.

A little while ago, I forwarded a high-larious clip of a friend of a friend of mine dancing in a public park (in the St Lawrence Market area) to a backing track of "Million Dollar Bill" by Whitney Houston (but really "We're Getting Stronger" by Loleatta Holloway).

Well, Phil's back at it again. The song is "Fembots," the artist is someone named Robyn, and the location is the lower level of the Eaton Centre, by the south Food Court. Enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Well, it's mid-April again.

This means several things are occurring:

1. Roll Up the Rim time is ending.
Looks like I'm going to go 0-for-2010. Mind you, I only rolled up maybe three rims this year, but still, would one free cup of coffee or one stinkin' cookie have killed you bastards?

2. Hockey playoffs are on TV every single night.
While I don't care about either the Sabres or the Bruins, it's on my TV in the background tonight. And, since it's playoff time, the Leafs are getting a little work done around the house and maybe catching a movie. (Seriously, a team from Florida has won the Cup since the Leafs last won one. That's saaaaad.) I'm glad to see that there's a fair amount of fighting in the playoffs this year, though.

3. I'm stupidly busy(er) at work.
My three classes are rolling along alright — they're pretty much the least of my worries these days. But, this is the time of year when a bunch of things come to a head:
  • As the Union rep, I have to be in on meeting after meeting when we're talking about how to staff the entire school at large, who we have to declare surplus to the school, how we can hold on to the people already in the building, and so on (in addition to the regular Union-based stuff I have to do normally).
  • As the department head in charge of building the timetable for our dozen-ish teachers, we're fast approaching the time where I'll have to go through a bunch of permuations of classes, rooms and teachers; we're going to have more classes than we've ever had before in recent memory, and with the IB program, things are getting mighty complicated to schedule. It usually takes about 8-10 full timetable-builds before I get it right.
  • As the baseball coach, we're starting our season next week, which means I'm going to be missing several afternoons in May while watching our team get pummelled by, well, everyone else in the league. (I think Charlie Brown might be my pitcher.) Plus, these 7:45am practices are killing me, but we can't get gym time afterschool, so that's what we have to do most of the time.
  • As the seniormost Physics teacher in the building (?!), I'm organizing our annual field trip to Canada's Wonderland, which some people in the school board would like nothing more to kill because of the potential lawsuits if some kid gets hurt, so they bury us in paperwork hoping we'll just give up on the whole thing. We go in late May, but we have to have everything in 5 weeks beforehand.
  • As a regular classroom teacher, we've been going pretty hard on the ol' treadmill for eight months, and we're all getting a little burnt-out by this time of the year.
Then again, as the old saying goes, "I signed up for this." I think the only thing I'm going to cut out for next year is the coaching; it seems a little selfish, but to be honest, it happens at the absolute worst time of year for me.

Is it June yet?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I saw White Cowbell Oklahoma last night.

I want to sit all day in a very, very quiet place now.

But, tonight at Everyone's a DJ (at Disgraceland, on Bloor west of Ossington), I'm doing a set at 11:40, so that's gonna have to be sort-of loud.

Maybe I could play easy-listening tunes or something.

Good god that was loud.

Fantastic, though.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

On faith.

I'm currently reading Lewis Black's latest book, Me of Little Faith, which has proven to be funny, insightful, and a little bit surprising (but I'll let you read the book to figure out why). That, coupled with the fact that today is Easter Sunday, got me thinking today about the idea of faith.

It gets a little long; click below to get the whole thing.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I will no longer be taken in by master-baiters.

Ah, how I love (a.) double-entendres and (b.) homonyms.

So, Sarah Palin, eh? She's quite the fireball. Here she is speaking at a Tea Party rally in some godforsken corner of the most godforsaken state in the Union (that would be Nevada):

I would never suggest that anyone watch the full ten minutes of that claptrap; I do have a pretty high regard for the sanity of others, after all. A couple of minutes should do nicely.

Now, once upon a time, I could work myself into a pretty good lather watching crap like this: "How could some Americans be so dumb?", "She appeals to the worst in people!", "Yet another example of people getting misled by sound-bites!", and so on.

No more, though.

If there's one thing Ann Coulter and I have in common (aside from both being carbon-based life forms, as far as I can tell; I'm not so sure she isn't made from pure hatred, though), it's that we both think it's impossible to have a reasonable discussion with someone from the complete opposite side of the political spectrum as yourself.*

So, why bother? If you're a commie-hippie fag-loving bleeding-heart liberal, no amount of calm discussion/spirited yelling/severe bludgeoning with a ball-peen hammer is going to change the mind of a gun-loving free-market git-r-done conservative — and vice-versa. It feels good to vent your ideas to the beginning. But when your well-thought-out arguments never change their mind, it ultimately ends in a big, steaming pile of frustration (and perhaps a slashed SUV-tire or four); and it will never, ever end anywhere else.

As I have come to this conclusion, I have vowed not to get baited into discussions with the aforementioned right-wingers. I may state something like, "Well, I disagree with you for a lot of reasons," but that's where it'll end, I hope. Oh, I'll want to point out the fallacies and the fantasies and the like, but... steaming pile.

I just hope I can resist.
* The fact is, it's really hard for someone on the moderate-left, like me, to have a conversation with a hard-left Troskyite, for example. I'll think they have their head in the clouds, they'll think I've sold out, and we might as well be on opposite ends of the spectrum, for what that's worth.