Thursday, December 28, 2006

Average Professor/Teacher Wages/Salary

Education is an important subject and is often talked about or groused about, but the conversation needs a bit more depth. I thought I would share some stats and figures that might give some focus to the discussions.

According to the NEA, the average funding nationwide for a public school is $8,618. The Average teacher salary is $47,808. With these amounts there is ever and always whining about a lack of funding and how the teachers are so poor (that is economically poor, tho a case could certainly be made for the other meaning of the word poor.)

According to Money Magazine the average college professor makes $81,491. Per the average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges average $5,836.

Tell me something. What, besides piss poor management, could possibly explain how a college can charge less yet always have enough books and still be able to pay their staff very well when the public schools are on the verge of complete economic collapse unless the public approves yet another mill-levy tax increase.

For comparison purposes, (Per the SSA) the average American makes $35,648 a year, working 12 months a year whereas public school teachers work only 10 months and make 34% more.


I set off a firestorm with the previous post! Apparently it got picked up by both Yahoo and Topix and was placed on peoples homepages. I got up and checked sitemeter at about 6AM and found I already had 120 hits on it. Turned out to be something like 366 for the day

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Life Church Scandal

A defense of Pastor Ted Haggard?

Anyone reading this post is sure to already know about the Haggard scandal so I am not going to bother rehashing it here. I intend to point out the simple humanity found in all of us, and to point out the absurdities of those gloating over his downfall.

Today I heard, yet again, a group of people gloating over Haggard being exposed. Typically, they wondered at how a pastor could on one hand decry gay rights, but on the other hand be gay himself. They were upset at his hypocrisy. How dare a gay pastor try to keep gays down. How the church could rally around their pastor and not condemn him at the first accusation. Somewhat unfortunately they all got up at once and left the table as their break was over, as I was about to call them on their beliefs and their moral superiority.

Left out most every discussion on the air, in the papers or around the water cooler is the fact that Pastor Ted Haggard is a human. Just like everyone else. Humans have failings, weaknesses and skeletons in their closets. Every single one of us do. And we all fail to live up to our own beliefs. We all have regretted doing certain things, we all believe in ideals that we personally don't measure up to. That isn't so much hypocrisy as it is humanity.

Those who would hold themselves out to be superior because they don't have their skeletons aired are perhaps some of the biggest hypocrites around. Certainly they hold some absurd beliefs and are demonstrably full of themselves. Absurd because they believe that they don't have any moral failings, because they believe that if their deepest darkest secrets were known that they would come out smelling like roses. Full of themselves because they hold others to a standard where it only takes one mistake, one flaw, to declare that person an "untouchable." But in their arrogance their own personal failings are glossed over and "aren't a big deal."

But are those things a big deal? It may not seem like it now, and in truth they probably aren't a "big deal." But what if that person were to have their laundry aired on national TV? Making even international papers? Would it be a big deal then? You can bet on it. See, the vast majority of people would never get the media coverage for their greatest feat or worst failure that someone like Haggard gets for simply sneezing. And who wants to talk about Joe down the street coming out of the closet? After all, it is only good gossip when all involved know who is being talked about. Just look at all the gossip regarding Brangelina. The fact that such a nonsensical name means anything to you at all just goes to prove the point.

It boils down to this. Haggard was and is human. He isn't the G-d, nor is he a god. He isn't infallible nor has he claimed to be. He has failings just like you and I do. Any reasonable person should be able to see that for it is only unreasonable people who can conclude that all their actions line up with their beliefs. There is a verse in the Bible that invites the person "who is without sin to cast the first stone." As Jesus wrote in the sand it was the older and wiser that left first, as they realized that the sin they were condemning was in their own lives as well. Perhaps this wisdom could serve us as well today as it did some 2000 years ago.

As Christians we know that sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. We know that it isn't just the "big" sins that lead to death. Nor is it just the sins we don't like that lead to death. It is all sins. More precisely it is any ONE sin. One is all it takes to separate us from G-d so there is no theological basis for a hierarchy of sins nor should we attempt (in our ignorance or arrogance) to build one. Christ came that our sins could be wiped clean that we might be in the presence of the Holy G-d. That blood sacrifice covers gossip, it covers envy, it covers murder and it covers gay sex.

The Dangers Of Soy

Turns out that, once again, accepted dietary guidelines/recommendations are incorrect. This time disastrously so. An article posted on WND today outlines numerous dangers of soy intake.

One of the trends that I am sure you have noticed is the early maturation of girls. It is simply WAY to young anymore. How young? According to one study 1% of American girls are growing breasts and/or pubic hair by age 3. Age 3! By age eight it is 14.7 percent among white girls and 48.3% amongst black girls. Almost half. It is being linked to increased soy intake.

Soy contains isoflavones, an estrogen-like compound found in that particular plant. Soy is used in most every processed food known to man and is almost unavoidable in this day. But one place where it is perhaps dangerously used is in baby formula. Babes on soy formula can receive the equivalent of 3-5 birth control pills every day. And this is in a child about a tenth of the size of a grown woman. (Note: As I posted previously, the Mayo Clinic has determined that the Birth Control pill AKA "The Pill" is linked to pre-menopausal breast cancer) This intake was found by one study to result in a blood-estrogen level ranging from 13,000 to 22,000 times the level of estrogen in the body of a milk fed baby.

Also linked to this problem are vegetarian mothers. A British study in 2000 showed that vegetarian mothers are five times more likely to give birth to a boy with hypospadias than mothers who eat a varied diet

What is Hypospadias? It is a birth defect where the urethra exits the wrong place from the penis. From the article hypospadias is far more serious. In worst case scenarios, it can require as many as 10 separate operations. Even then, the boy may not grow up to be an adult male with full sexual function. His penis typically never gets longer than one and a half inches. Now perhaps being a guy I find that particularly disturbing. But I think that any parent should be worried about the health of their child, and sexual health is no different even if we don't really want to think about it.

Is cutting out all soy the end all answer? No, probably not. Like most dietary scares this is probably a bit exaggerated too. But I think it is safe to say that the less processed the food is the better it will be for the child. Whole foods (organic when possible) are what we are made to eat: whole wheats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and real unadulterated meats.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lord Emunda the Innocent of Westessexchestershire
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Via Birdie

I have to say this one suits me...
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Exalted Highness Duke Erik the Naive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pikes Peak

The posted photos are of Pikes Peak with a portion of Garden Of The Gods in the foreground. This particular formation contains the Kissing Camels (top, left) But from this vantage it looks like a camel kissing an animal with Mickey Mouse ears. I shall have to get some from the flip side to post. (Taking a second look it appears more like Vulcan ears or perhaps the clipped ears of a Doberman. Just my take on it (o= I didn't create it, I just took the photos!)

In order to avoid awkwardness on my blog I am going to post sales stuff elsewhere. Feel free to comment on the pics. The good the bad and the ugly. (o= Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Andrea mentioned the movie Garden State and it got me thinking (again) on the motorcycle featured in that movie. A Ural Patrol. Essentially it is a WWII style motorcycle with sidecar, but it has a huge advantage over other sidecars. Standard on those bikes is engagable 2 wheel drive so the sidecar wheel is powered also.

I have looked at this bike in the past and think it would be loads of fun to take Lil' Bear around in once he gets a little bit older. Dress up in military fatigues and hit the town or head up to the mountains for some fishing or camping.

It's sister the Gear Up comes with a camo paint job already (but no windshield which could be bad for carrying around a tiny tot. I figure if I want a camo paint job I could probably get a better one anyways.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I know what part of my problem is. I love too deeply. And I have this foolish belief that if I continue to love (not that I really have much choice there) that she will come around. "Just show her an enduring love and she will come to understand it" HA. Probably not ever going to work

On a not unrelated note, I am out of whiskey. Maybe I will try that Rare Breed that Nate is so fond of.

Monday, December 18, 2006

How To Save Money

Okay, not really. Well, it would save you money but I am just messing around and thinking of super cheap ways of insulating your house. Some, in fact most, may constitute a fire hazard so I dont actually recommend it.

Cardboard Boxes
Packing Peanuts
Bubble Wrap
Plastic Grocery Bags

Insulation is all about creating a barrier to heat exchange. This is usually done by creating air pockets that are more or less closed off to other air pockets and therefore slowing the transfer of heat. Well, my ideas would supplement what you already have. Let me state again, I don't recommend doing this, it is simply for amusement purposes only. Note: crumpled newspaper is excessively flammable. Don't use it

Ideas: Use cardboard boxes, cut open to layer your walls. Preferably two or more layers thick. One could also tack up bubble wrap on the ceiling ow walls. You would lose some of the bubbles in the process but the overall sheet would be okay. For the attic you could use packing peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, or crumpled newspaper. Packing peanuts would need to be in bags or boxes.

For under the house you could tack up the opened cardboard boxes to the bottom of the floor beams and then fill above them with the packing peanuts, bubble wrap, grocery bags or newspaper.

This would create a warmer house, and there really isnt a more beautiful decorating material than cardboard boxes and bubble wrap so you would be beautifying your home as well.

This information was provided with only one thing expected in return: That you dont sue me when your home goes up in flames. Enjoy (o=

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Too Funny!

An ad for a new Philips shaver. Best ad I have seen in a long time!

No babysitter, again

Know what? Fuck this shit. I am sick to death of having to try to find a new babysitter every damn week. Maybe I will go sit my arse down at the welfare office tomorrow since I cant go to work.

Whatever. I am going to see what I can do from home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Today has been quite the rollercoaster. I woke up after a very vivid dream of my wife and I was rather upset from that. I got up and around and my boy and I went to a Messianic synagogue and immediately my boy was giving a big smile with the music. After worship they bring all the children in and hold a sort of prayer cloth over the children and we got to go up for that. I appreciate the prayers for him greatly and he enjoyed being up there with the other kids and looking at the cloth above us. Service was good, people were genuinely friendly and made us feel very welcome. They even fed us afterwards and it was very good food!

The service was interesting. The history and traditions are still alive and flesh out the faith. And I don't know if I can express how good it is to see that there are men there. Most churches are gathering places for women and are too effeminate for a guy to feel comfortable. That also gives the impression that a relationship with G-d is girly when that isn't the truth.

Anyways, more of the rollercaoster, I spoke with hmmm Beloved doesnt really work anymore tho I still do love her, but ya know of whom I speak. So anyways that never goes well, cuz even if it does it still causes me to hurt afterwards. Tonight after laying down Lil'Bear I watched some Friends episodes (I bought two DVDs with about 5 shows each at Entertainmart for $5.98) and that of course is funny but it brings up issues and memories so it is kinda bittersweet for me. Part of the reason I am not watching any more tonight.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Econ 103 a.k.a The Inflation Monopoly Game

I touched upon inflation and it really needs more explanation as people dont really understand it or what it does. defines inflation as "a persistent, substantial rise in the general level of prices related to an increase in the volume of money and resulting in the loss of value of currency." And since I cannot improve upon that this lesson is concluded! (haha, you wish!)

So it is a rise in the general level or prices because there is more dollars in circulation, which causes each dollar to be worth less. Essentially you have an actual wealth pool of, say 100 million dollars. Now if there are 100M worth of bills floating around then the price of everything will stay the same (subject to the decreases indicated in Econ 102.) But if you add $1,000 to that 100M then what you get is a dollar that is worth just a little bit less and as a result will buy just a little less than it did before.

Inflation is a process of continually adding that $1,000 to the money supply. Each little bit isn't really noticed but together they add up to steal away the money that you have and that which you have saved. But it isn't just a piddly $1,000 being added here and there. It is usually several BILLION added. Every week. Last week it was $9.7 billion. In one week. ONE FREAKING WEEK!

If you need a mental picture or some sort of hands on activity try this. Pull out the monopoly board game. Actually, pull out two as you will need it. Have everyone start out with the regular amount of money and begin play. But everytime it is your turn, add $100 to your bank (this would grow over the course of the game). Not everyones, just yours, and watch what happens. First off you are going to have complaints, but secondly you are going to notice that as the first person to have that money you are going to benefit from it to the detriment of the other players. This is because you will be better able to buy property or pay fees. But as you start paying those fees or buying properties you are going to find that more and more money are demanded for those fee or for those properties. $400 for boardwalk? Please. Try $10,000. Why? Because you have devalued each and every dollar by adding more to what is in circulation. But what you aren't going to do is change the real cost of each property. This is because their "real cost" hasn't changed, what has changed is the value of the medium you are using for exchange so you see increased prices.

One other thing that should be easy to see in that game of Inflation Monopoly is that the other players have a hard time making ends meet. This is because they are behind the curve of the inflation. This is inevitable. Inflation must end for them to catch up but if you stop inflating then you lose your advantage over the others. An easy choice for the readers of this blog, and I would say an easy choice for power hungry politicians, bankers and behind-the-scenes power brokers. It just wouldn't be the same choice.

Econ: 102

Another Econ lesson. Leave now or you will be forced to either learn something or take a nap.

Things get cheaper over time, in real terms. This is ALWAYS the case. Dont confuse the rising price of something with things actually getting more expensive. Things arent really getting more expensive, your dollar just buys less. That is called inflation. NOT THE SAME THING.

In Econ, "real terms" means you have to adjust the dollar for inflation from one year to the next so that you can compare apples to apples. For instance, the cost of electricity at the local co-op was 5.01 cents per kilowatt hour in 1935. The same per unit price in 2005 was 9.42 cents. But that is misleading. In "real terms" one has to adjust the cost of the two years so that they can be compared properly. If one normalizes the prices to 2005 dollars the cost of electricity in 1935 was 59.09 cents per. Quite the difference, but it is the accurate way to compare the two.So electricity was essentially 6 times higher 70 years ago. In that time the demand for electricity has skyrocketed! Back then it was a single bulb in one or maybe two rooms. Today it is well, everything.

Now you might try to apply another economic principle, that higher demand equals higher price so that it doesn't outstrip supply. Doesn't that conflict with the lower costs we see today?

Not at all. As a technology (or a manufacturing process or product) matures, more ways are found to streamline the process. New technologies are created in an attempt to make more for less. These new processes and technologies build upon each other enabling the manufacturer to make the product more efficiently, with less waste and less labor. This causes the cost of the product to fall as less money is put into the product and allows the manufacturer to sell for less in an attempt to win more market share.

So if I make 100 widgets today at a real cost of $500 today, improved techniques/processes/technologies will most likely allow me to make 100 widgets for only $400 real cost ten years down the road.


I snuck into a room where a training class was taking place during their break so I could check my email and saw a slide on the screen describing the temperatures at which metals melt. The exception was that the temp for steel was the temp at which it begins to lose strength. The temp listed? 2600-2700 degrees. Please note that JetA does not burn near that temp yet despite the insurance industries acknowledgment that it wont lose strength at that temp the official gov story is that 3 steel towers came down for the first and last time due to fire on 9-11.

There is lots of talk about the dollar collapsing. Well of course it is. It is fiat money. One might as well exclaim water is wet. And I am certainly pessimistic about the future of the dollar, but I don't think it will fall just yet. The Gov simply wont allow it to happen under the current President's watch. Look for the interest rate to fall over the next three months, possibly starting in January, in an attempt to awaken the housing market giant again. There isnt much more life left in that giant, his work has been done and his time is over. Look for him to be pressed into service for a while longer.

I would expect another 28-30 months of relative prosperity (as it now seems to be defined) before a serious slump. I base this on a few things I can see. 1, the housing market will carry us thru for a time, and 2, President Rodham will be the preferred one to take the fall. The Repugs will likely do everything in their power to ensure that Bush doesn't usher in the coming recession.

The Colorado Gov is finally starting to get vocal about the problems faced by Colorado's forests. Currently some 640,000 acres are infested by the Pine Beetle, a small little bug that cores into certain pines and over the course of about 3 years kills the tree. We have millions upon millions of dead dry trees that need to be removed and the StateGov is starting to push to get regulations/laws eased on logging these trees and are also encouraging various uses for them such as biomass generators. I, of course, do not approve of the Gov getting involved but I hardily approve of them getting out of the way and removing legal barriers to the free market removing these trees and finding markets for them.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The walls of an igloo, made entirely of natural material - stand
up better to modern artillery than a concrete barricade,
according to tests conducted by a Swedish army. The walls absorb
an artillery blast, are almost invisible from the air, and can't
be spotted by the infrared sensors that guide today's missiles.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Question

In response to my writing this "is one justified in doing anything to try to stop the pain as long as it doesn't violate the Rights of others?"

Res Ispa writes this "Not if you're serious about being a Christian."

Res is right. And that is a good question. Am I? My faith is in tatters and has been for quite some time. It isn't that I don't believe. Its that I just don't really care. I know I should care and I know it should bother me that I don't. But I don't and it doesn't. And I don't really know which way to head from here. Or even where I am.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Historical Tidbits

Munitions Ship Explodes

On December 6th, 1917, at 9:05 a.m., in the harbor of Halifax in
the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the most devastating
man-made explosion in the pre-atomic age occurred when the Mont
Blanc, a French munitions ship, exploded 20 minutes after
colliding with another vessel.

As World War I raged in Europe, the port city of Halifax bustled
with ships carrying troops, relief supplies and munitions across
the Atlantic Ocean. On the morning of December 6, the Norwegian
vessel Imo left its mooring in Halifax harbor for New York City.
At the same time, the French freighter Mont Blanc, its cargo
hold packed with highly explosive munitions--2,300 tons of
picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, 35 tons of high-octane gasoline,
and 10 tons of gun cotton--was forging through the harbor's
narrows to join a military convoy that would escort it across
the Atlantic.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., the two ships collided, setting the
picric acid ablaze. The Mont Blanc was propelled toward the
shore by its collision with the Imo, and the crew rapidly
abandoned the ship, attempting without success to alert the
harbor of the peril. Spectators gathered along the waterfront to
witness the spectacle of the blazing ship, and minutes later it
brushed by a harbor pier, setting it ablaze. The Halifax fire
department responded quickly and was positioning its engine next
to the nearest hydrant when the Mont Blanc exploded at 9:05 a.m.
in a blinding white flash.

The massive explosion killed more than 1,600 people, injured
another 9,000--including blinding 200--and destroyed almost the
entire north end of the city of Halifax, including more than
1,600 homes. The resulting shock wave shattered windows 50 miles
away and the sound of the explosion could be heard for hundreds
of miles.

More can be found on Wikipedia

Looking Ahead

I hear talk all the time of how we should be teaching kids a foreign language at a young age. Usually the language mentioned is Spanish. I agree that it is good to teach them young, and I agree that Spanish would be useful. But I think more useful will be Mandarin. Not the orange. The language spoken by China.

Why Chinese? Because there is currently 1 billion people over there. Because there is currently a middle class that numbers 300 million and is expected to grow to 500 million in the next 10-15 years. Because consumerism is growing rampantly over there. Because there are markets untapped, niches galore. It is so crazy over there that name brands sponsor school age sports teams (think nike, adidas etc.) Because having the latest and greatest is a huge social bonus to the younger generation (basically anyone under35) The Chinese can choose from over 800 different cell phones, compared to Americas maybe 50?, and the Chinese replace their cell phones every 3-6 months because of the social status of having a new phone, not because they are broken.

In 30 years China will be the dominant economic power in the world. There isnt anything, short of nuking them into the stone age, that America can do about it. It is all about the numbers. We can't compete* and soon will be servicing China's need for consumer goods where they now serve us. Knowing this, it would be wise to learn the language as sooner rather than later it will become a hot commodity.

* We actually can compete but only if we are rich beyond anything the world knows today. This would require sound economic principles being practiced by our Gov. Things such as gold backed currency and complete elimination of the national debt are where we need to start. Also necessary is (greatly) easing regulations on new business and lowering/eliminating the taxation on the individual citizens. Without all of these things happening there is no chance to compete and since we all know Gov isnt going to do it.... xue Zhong–wen

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Prepping for work

Some sort of work anyways. I pulled out an old, ancient in fact, tome from the library and am reading thru it to help land me a job should I be back in tech support again. The tome? MCSE Networking Essentials for Dummies, circa 1998. I made it to page 218 in just a couple hours maybe? Partly cuz it is easy info, partly cuz some of it is so outdated as to just skip over.

I can't seem to escape the tech world, but I cant ever rise above the pee-on level either. I wonder if the local library keeps any of the dummies books that are a bit more current? Not that I have the money to take tests but I could win the lotto. It could happen ya know.

Maybe if I get the CCNA, CCNP and an MCSE someone might notice me and make me more than a pee-on, but I doubt it. (the "but I doubt it" was done in my very bestest (or a pathetic attempt at) Eeyore)

According to TCPMag the average salary in 2004 (latest figures I could find) for CCNA was 60K. I checked out MCPMag and their 2006 salary survey showed an MCSA Win2003 worth 95k in Colorado with a whopping 112K in Denver. 112K would buy a little bit of happiness and bring lots of women to my door.

When choosing...

When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before -- Mae West.

When faced with a decision that you will regret either way you decide, is Mae West's philosophy a wise guide? And when your heart is fucking broken and life just hurts does it really matter which one you choose? And is one justified in doing anything to try to stop the pain as long as it doesn't violate the Rights of others?

Monday, December 04, 2006


A new experience for me. I got laid off this morning. Lucky me. The first layoff in the companies 6 years of existence. I have been applying at places since Thursday tho so I am a titch ahead of the game, but not much.

If anyone knows of a decent job, even if it is just a seasonal job please let me know. Prayers are much appreciated.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Sometimes you get results from these little quizzes that are so far off. This seems to be one of them.

Honestly, if you could bottle my psyche and sell it to depressed people you would be amongst the most cruel and evil of the world. It would likely be highly illegal to do so. I mean, just imagine the lawsuits of selling something so toxic to someone already depressed.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Molon Labe

It has been some time since I have added to the Manly Poetry collection. Part laziness but mostly that it simply doesnt really exist. Or if it does I cannot find it. One of events in history that one would expect would be immortalized in proper verse would be the battle at Thermopylae. King Leonidas led but 300 of his Spartans (his own personal guard) against King Xerxes with an army that may have numbered in the millions.

Thermopylae was some distance from Sparta but it was the ideal spot to hold off the Persians as it was only about 55 feet wide at its narrowest point with the sea on one side and soaring cliffs on the other. Sparta, however, did not want to march so far away from home, nor did they want to leave during a religious holiday. Leonidas was inspired by the message from the Oracle (which also happens to be the only verse worthy of posting) which said that the city would be lost if a King was not sacrificed (Sparta was ruled by two kings.) In the following verse the "He" in the second paragraph refers to Xerxes.
O ye men who dwell in the streets of broad Lacedaemon!
Either your glorious town shall be sacked by the children of Perseus,
Or, in exchange, must all through the whole Laconian country
Mourn for the loss of a king, descendant of great Heracles.

He cannot be withstood by the courage of bulls nor of lions,
Strive as they may; he is mighty as Jove; there is naught that shall stay him,
Till he have got for his prey your king, or your glorious city.
Leonidas led his men knowing that no more reinforcements from Sparta would come to his aid. On the way others joined, for a total of maybe 5200 Greeks arrayed against a Persian army so large that one refered to them as drinking up entire rivers. Xerxes, wanting to prevent bloodshed (or perhaps further bloodshed) and thinking that he was dealing with reasonable men offered to spare their lives if they laid down their weapons. To this offer King Leonidas responded "Molon Labe" which means Come and get them. On the morning of the third day of battle, Xerxes had found a path through the mountains to flank the Spartans. Learning of this Leonidas ordered all of the troops back but his Spartans. However the Thespians, numbering approximately 700, stayed and went to meet the flanking troops. They made their final stand there at the pass of Thermopylae. Ctesias, a Greek historian, estimated 50,000 of Xerxes army were cut down over those 3 days.

The burial stone for these heroes reads (as translated by Michael Dodson)
Friend, tell the Spartans that on this hill
We lie obedient to them still.