I wrote a rather long blog entry yesterday afternoon about my weekend, and it has disappeared! I deleted one entry which I wrote later in the evening when I saw that it had been posted twice, but I didn't try to remove the earlier writing. Shucks. Has anyone else ever experienced this here?

The Mighty Has Fallen

I just got done watching today's Jeopardy! and, as you may have heard by now, Ken Jennings, who has won over $2,500,000 in his 75 appearances has finally lost. He would have remained the champion had he correctly answered the Final Jeopardy question, which I got correct. The final question, in the category Business and Industry was:

Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees only work four months a year.

The answer to the question is in the comments for this entry.



I received a phone call this evening from one of the two companies that I am looking into applying for a test development position with. I have a phone interview this Wednesday afternoon for a position with them. Hopefully it will go well. I'll be sure to let you know.


Turkey for Me and Turkey for You

I had a good Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at my girlfriend's parents' house. The food was pretty good, although I missed some of the foods that I would have had at my grandparents' house. We'll be spending Christmas day there however, so I'll get plenty (too much?) of great food then. One thing I missed was my grandmother's fresh cranberry salad. It's just not the same eating it from a can, especially when it still has the can shape to it. Anyway, I managed to not eat too much. While there we also played a game of Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition, which I, with a little help from my partner, won!

My girlfriend and I went shopping this morning. First however, we stopped by my doctor's office. I had a physical Wednesday after school just to make sure I am fine. He wanted to check my cholesterol level, so I had to fast for 12 hours before returning to have my blood drawn. I bought a few Christmas presents this morning as well as some items for myself. I'll probably finish up my Christmas shopping online.

This afternoon my girlfriend went to a movie with my mom and my sister. While she was out, I put up the Christmas lights outside. I didn't put up too many lights, although more than last year. Hopefully I don't end up burning down the house.



I'm sorry about my little bitch-fest from last night. It was a tough day. Today was somewhat better, although as I have been spending the last few hours grading tests from last Friday, I was at first a bit frustrated. However, now that I have finished grading them and have the data about the grade distributions in front of me, I feel somewhat better. I was expecting my later two Algebra 1 classes to have more failures for the test than the first two, but the opposite was the case. In fact, the class that I expected to do the worst, actually had the fewest failures, only three, and two of those three students never pay attention in class. We'll spend tomorrow going over the tests.

Now I have something else to complain about. The Fareway grocery stores where I live have decided that they will no longer accept empty beverage containers at their stores. Instead, they think I should take them to my "conveniently" located can recycling center over six miles away. Apparently, the state bottle law requires stores to take back containers that they sell unless they contract with a conveniently located recycling center to do it for them. I'd like to see their definition of convenient as going six miles in the opposite direction of where I'd like to go is hardly convenient. And what are people who don't drive to do? I think that I'll be letting my local Fareway store know that they'll no longer be getting my business. I just hope now that Hy-Vee doesn't follow suit. Perhaps if the state would increase the handling fee that the grocery stores receive, this wouldn't be a problem.


Frustrating Day

I've been feeling a little frustrated with work lately. I enjoy teaching. I like helping students to learn. What has been so frustrating lately is the students who just don't care. That is one of the problems with teaching a class which is required for graduation. It's one thing if a student just doesn't do anything in class and doesn't bother anyone else, but it's completely different when a student interferes with everyone else's education by interrupting class. I have called parents, which was effective for a few days, and I've sent students to the office, which only has any effect if there are serious consequences from the administration. I guess I'll just have to begin repeatedly sending the same students out of class until they get the message that they will not be keeping others from learning!

Now, today is one of the days that makes making a decision about my job after this school year somewhat easier. I checked today and I noticed that the test development jobs that I have previously been contacted about are still open. At this rate, I am guessing that they may still be open in February which is when I plan on applying for them if I decided to go that route. The two companies that the jobs are with seem to act rather slowly in their hiring decisions.

I keep trying to think through the pros and cons of the career decision that I am trying to make. I have spoken with a former coworker of mine who left teaching at the end of the 2002-2003 school year. She had taught for three years and now works as a real estate agent. She has told me that she doesn't really miss teaching too much. She misses the kids, but that's it. There are a lot of other aspects of the job that she doesn't miss.

Anyway, I'll write more about that later. One of the cats just knocked down the Christmas tree. I'm going to see if I can figure out something so it doesn't fall down again. Hopefully nothing on it broke.

I Survived the Weekend

I survived this weekend without gaining much weight. When I weighed myself for my weekly weigh-in on Sunday, my weight was up five pounds from last week's weight. As I suspected, my weight this morning was back down closer to where it was the week before, just one pound higher. I probably had extra water weight due to the high degree of salt in the ham from Saturday's dinner.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I put my Christmas tree up in the basement. It was tough finding places to plug in all of the Star Trek and Star Wars Hallmark ornaments that have lights and sound because they won't connect to some of the newer light strings I have. Tonight, we're putting her tree up upstairs.

Before I sign off for now, one of my students showed me this T-shirt. I thought it was funny and am considering getting one for myself.


Las Vegas Here We Come!

In four months, that is.

I booked airline tickets for my girlfriend and I to go to Las Vegas during my spring break in March. We are going to arrive there in the morning on Monday, March 14, and leave that Friday afternoon. We also have reservations to stay at Binions Horseshoe Hotel and Casino on Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas. This will be the first time I have actually stayed at a casino while visiting Las Vegas. The last time I went, I stayed at a Days Inn, and prior to that, I stayed at a friend's apartment. I feel that we got a fairly reasonable price for our vacation. Oh I can't wait until March! Now I have to save up some money so I have some to spend while we are there.


My Lightsaber Color

I just had to jump on the bandwagon of people learning what their lightsaber color should be, so here it is.

Teal is your Lightsaber's color.

The color Teal signifies trustworthiness, devotion
and healing. It is also the indication of a
spiritual guide and natural teacher.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Diet Is On Hold

I need to get back to watching what I eat. I just finished eating half of a large pizza and some breadsticks from Papa John's. If I'm not careful, I'll gain back the weight that I have lost. I think however that the remainder of this month will make watching what I eat fairly difficult. This Saturday my girlfriend and I are going to her grandmother's house for an early Thanksgiving dinner. Then we are having supper in the Amana Colonies to celebrate my great uncle's birthday. I better bring along the Pepto-Bismol. Then of course there's Thanksgiving dinner a week from today. Then on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, we have a wedding to go to in Iowa City. That will involve some eating and perhaps too much drinking. Finally on Sunday, I'm getting together with Homercles for lunch at a fantastic Mexican restaurant. Oh well, I'm sure I won't gain back all 35 pounds that I have lost since Memorial Day.

Is the Grass Greener?

A couple of days ago, I was talking about the possibility of moving somewhere else, something that I do often. Ana, as I predicted she would, made a comment about me not ever being happy where I am and that perhaps I would eventually decide that the grass isn't necessarily any greener elsewhere. I've come to realize that it doesn't really matter where I live as long as I am doing something that I enjoy and have people whom I love and care about nearby.

I would like to find a different job however. Not necessarily a non-teaching job, but a job with someone besides my current employer. The school district that I work for kind of treats its employees like crap. A few years ago, while negotiating the contract with the local education association, they removed all of the language they could from the contract without bargaining. I believe that this action got taken all the way to the state Supreme Court which ruled that they could remove some of language that was beneficial to teachers from the contract without bargaining. Some of what was there was put in, in exchange for other changes that were more beneficial to the school district, and which required bargaining. So we have been screwed over on some of those issues. As Iowa law prohibits public employees from going on strike, we don't really have much recourse. About all we could possibly do would be to work exactly to the contract, only working our contract-required hours, doing the absolute minimum that our contract requires. Of course the school district knows that we won't do that. Most people who go into teaching do it because they care about kids and we are not likely to lessen the quality of education we provide to our students just to make a point. Hopefully either the school board will see that they should start treating us better, or if that doesn't work, I hope I can find a better job.


Good Night

I know it's morning, and I am not going to sleep now, but I had quite a long sleep last night! I don't know why, but I was completely exhausted yesterday afternoon. I started dozing off while watching Seinfeld at 6:30 yesterday evening. I was so tired that I went to bed at 8:30! TO top it all off, I have a radio that comes on at 6:00 and then the alarm goes off at 6:15. Ususally I get up before the 6:15 alarm goes off, but I must have drifted back asleep before the alarm went off, because it went off this morning. Hopefully with all that sleep, I'll be wide awake today.

On another topic, I've been looking for affordable trips for my girlfriend and I to go to Las Vegas during spring break in March. Going on vacations is tough in my chosen occupation. The only times I can go during the school year, except for an extended weekend, are during winter and spring vacations, and that's when the rates seem to be higher. I'm not complaining though. I still get nearly three months off during the summer. Maybe we'll have to plan our vacation for then.


The Weekend

I had a great time this past weekend. Friday after I got home from work, my girlfriend and I, along with my parents, went to the Twin Cities to visit my sister. She lived in a suburb of Saint Paul. I hadn't seen her condo before. She just bought it a few months ago, and I was quite impressed with it. It was better than my house, although it cost over twice as much.

The main reason for our visit was to see my sister play in a concert. She plays the violin with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, America's only GLBT orchestra. It is an orchestra made up predominantly of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals, although my sister does not fit into any of those categories, not that there's anything wrong with that (to quote Seinfeld). The person welcoming us to the concert, their first of the season, was pleased at the turnout especially considering Cher was performing across town with the Village People opening for her. The concert was really good. It made me wish I had a group with which I could play my cello, although my dad would have to get around to finishing repairing it first.

Earlier in the day we went to the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis. They had an exhibit on Chinasaurs, dinosaurs from China. They really didn't look all that different from the other dinosaurs they had in their museum.

Another interesting exhibit was a collection of Questionable Medical Devices. One of the devices was an x-ray type of machine that was used in shoe stores to fit children's shoes. Also on display was the prostate gland warmer from 1925 shown below. According to its 1918 patent application, the 100-degree heat would stimulate the "abdominal brain!." You wouldn't catch be trying that out.

Prior to the concert, several relatives came over to my sister's place for dinner. My grandmother who lives in the Twin Cities came, as well as an aunt and uncle, two cousins and the husband of one of them, and my sister's boyfriend. It was nice seeing all of these people again, as well as meeting my sister's boyfriend.

On Sunday, we went shopping at the IKEA store by the Mall of America. There were a lot of interesting things available at IKEA, but we didn't get anything. Maybe we will on some future visit. We didn't make it to the mall because my sister had some things she needed to do later in the afternoon and we were running out of time. Before returning to Iowa, my parents, my girlfriend, and I visited my grandmother at her apartment.

Going out of town to some place more interesting than where I live always makes me wish I lived there instead of here. The Minneapolis/Saint Paul area may actually be a possible place for me to move to in the future. Before you decided to comment that I am always talking about moving and that I never seem happy about where I live, I am thinking about next spring when my girlfriend graduates with her master's degree. She hopes to find a job in an area related to her degree, youth and human services. It may be easier for her to find a job in a larger city than in a smaller one, and as the demand for math teachers is relatively high, I shouldn't have too difficult a job finding a math teaching position in a larger city either. The main negatives of moving to the Twin Cities as I see it is that housing would be a lot more expensive and it gets really cold!


Time to Buy a New Computer?

Is it time for me to break down and buy a new computer? I would really like to, although it just seems so wasteful as my current computer is only three and a half years old. I know that's old as far as computers go, but it runs all of the software I have. I keep thinking about buying some games, but I am afraid that they wouldn't run on the system I have. I suppose that's one reason to upgrade to a newer system. Also, my computer has been acting up quite a bit lately. About two or three times a week, it locks up while I am shutting it down, and occasionally it won't boot up properly, so I have to shut it down and restart it.

I am seriously considering backing up everything on the machine and then reformatting the hard drive so I can get a clean start. Of course, then I'll have to reinstall everything. On the other hand, if I bought a new machine I'd have to reinstall everything anyway. I suppose I should go with the less expensive option first, although Best Buy does have two years interest free financing on computers this week.

Have a good weekend everyone. After I get off work today, my girlfriend, my parents, and I are going to the Twin Cities for the weekend to visit my sister. She has a concert this weekend that we are going to attend. We'll probably also visit my other relatives who live there while we are there.


The Wrath of the FCC

Fearing fines from the Federal Communications commission, several ABC stations will not be showing the movie Saving Private Ryan this evening in commemoration of Veterans' Day. ABC has shown the movie before in its entirety, but since the Janet Jackson breast bearing incident and Bono's using the f-word on TV, they fear that they could possibly be fined because of the excessive violence and the use of profanity. The network's contract with Steven Spielberg says that they can't edit the film, so they can not delete the profanities. Now the FCC fined CBS over an incident over which it had little, if any, control. Some of the ABC affiliates who would like to air Saving Private Ryan have attempted to get a waiver from the FCC, but the FCC denied them the waiver. Personally I think that airing the film would be a nice tribute to veterans, but I guess the moral majority has spoken.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Tomorrow and Friday I will be conducting conferences with the parents of my students, at least with those parents who show up. I am really looking forward to meeting with parents of some of my students. Unfortunately, it usually seems that the parents with whom I really need to speak with don't show up. These are the parents of students who don't do their homework, don't pay attention in class, or just don't show up for class often enough to know what's going on. So, after conferences are done on Friday, I'll probably end up making a lot of phone calls home, or if I can't get a hold of anyone, sending letters home instead. I'm also hoping the parents of the students with which I have behavior problems come to conferences. I think there is a good chance that many of them will come.

It's also nice meeting the parents of the students who do really well in class. One problem with meeting with those parents though is that I don't always have much to say. Their child is well-behaved, completes his or her work, does well on tests and quizzes, and seems to understand the material being taught. When they ask for suggestions on what they can do to improve, it can be very difficult to come up with something, since that are already doing so well.

Well, we'll see how things go. On the bright side, I don't have to be to work until 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. Of course, I do have to stay until 8:30. But afterwards, some of us teachers are having a conference of our own at a local drinking establishment.

An Odd Search

People have been stumbling onto my blog lately by searching for the Hardee's commercial with the woman riding the mechanical bull. I made a reference to it a month or so ago, which accounts for that. Of course I just made a reference to it again. Anyway, now someone has found me by searching Google for "hardees commercial pregnant." I don't recall when I used "pregnant" in any of my blog entries.


I Don't Understand

I just do not understand some of the views of the Bush administration. The Republican party, which traditionally has been about limiting the influence of the government on the lives of people has decided that a law approved by Oregon voters in 1998 needs to be blocked. The law permits doctors to assist certain terminally ill patients to die more quickly. This is a law that the people of Oregon voted in favor of, apparently the Bush administration is saying that Oregonians shouldn't be able to make decisions like this for themselves. I find this quite ironic considering that I keep hearing news stories in which conservative groups tout the fact that the people of eleven stated have decided to ban gay marriage and that decisions like this should be left to the people, not to judges. Would not trying to change this law be a slap in the face of those who believe that the people should be able to decide what laws govern them?

Why My Job Is Hard

I found these two news stories online today. Both of them have something in common, and that is irresponsible adults. Both of them were irresponsible in their own way. One of the things that makes my job difficult, and it's not the only thing mind you, is parents who are not responsible. I just want to make sure that no one reading this is taking this as a personal criticism. Most parents are quite responsible, but the parents who let their kids control everything and do whatever they want, when they want to, really make teaching more difficult. Some students with parents like these expect to be the center of attention in class and for me to cater to their every whim. Well I can't, and shouldn't, do that. I have about 29 other students at a time who I have to worry about, but some of these students just can't take "no" for an answer.

I don't have any children of my own, so perhaps I am a bit out of line here, but I believe that if more parents were to set well defined boundaries for their children, the children would be able to become more responsible for their learning in school.

Anyway, whatever your opinion, I'm sure that you'll agree with me about the parents described here as not being very responsible.

The first story is about a father who let his nine-year-old son drive a car in an occupied parking lot. The kid ran the car into a Jeep in the parking lot. The father felt that everyone was blowing the incident out of proportion.

"They're making a big deal out of nothing," said the father, Robert Samuel Sr., 46, of 2813 Burnet Ave. No one was hurt and the damage to both cars was minor,
Samuel said.

While the damage was minor, it could have been much worse. If Mr. Samuel wants to let his nine-year-old drive a car, maybe he should make sure it is somewhere where no one else is put at risk.

This first article really doesn't even compare to the second one. This story involves a 29-year-old woman who allegedly had sexual relations with an eight-year-old boy, a friend of her daughter. I didn't believe this story when I first heard about it yesterday, but when I read this follow up article, I was outraged. The "adult" in the situation had the gall to blame the eight-year-old for the incident.

The divorced Birch Drive resident has told investigators the boy a playmate of her own 7-year-old daughter was the aggressor in their relationship. Imre said he ordered her to dump an adult boyfriend and told her not to take birth control pills.

If this statement is even true, why didn't she tell the boy "no!?" I mean really,the boy was eight years old. I seriously doubt he could have forced himself on her. Besides, why would he make any comments about her not taking her birth control pills? That just doesn't make sense. She was supposed to be the adult there. The child should not have been the one to make a decision like that.

Veterans' Day

Yes, I know it's two days early, but today at school we had our annual Veterans' Day assembly. We don't have school on Thursday because of parent-teacher conferences, otherwise I'm sure the assembly would have been then. It was a very nice assembly. All of the veterans on the school's staff were acknowledged as well as the JROTC students and students who have signed up to join the armed forces upon graduation. To everyone who has served in the armed forces, I'd like to say thank you. Without your sacrifices we wouldn't have the freedoms that we now enjoy.

I do feel a bit guilty though. During the assembly, some of the speakers kept using the phrase "freedom isn't free." In itself, it is a good sentiment. However, it is also the title of a song from Team America: World Police, and hearing it kept making me think of the song distracting me from the assembly. In fact, I had it running through my head for the remainder of the day.


Topless Voting

A woman in Louisiana cast her vote for George W. Bush last week while topless, except for her bra. This article reminded me of the episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine gets her friend Sue Ellen a bra, since she never wears one, but Sue Ellen wears it as a top. Later in the episode, Jerry gets into a car accident while he is distracted by looking at the woman walking down the street wearing a bra. Hopefully this woman's wearing of a bra at the polling place didn't distract other voters from voting as they wished. Of course I read the article and understand why she did what she did, so much the high moral standing of the Republican party.


Partying and Movie Going

Last night my girlfriend and I went to the birthday party of a cousin of hers who was turning 16. We went to a local pizza place, but because there were so many people, we didn't get much pizza. We ended up going to McDonald's after the party because we were still quite hungry. Anyway, there were quite a few adults at the party as well as some young kids, and of course a fairly big group of teenagers since the birthday girl was 16. As one group of girls came in, another cousin of my girlfriend referred to them as "hookers in training" due to the way they were dressed, and it did seem appropriate. Some of them were barely wearing anything. Fortunately my girlfriend's cousin goes to the other high school in town, so none of the party goers were students of mine except for one, another cousin of my girlfriend.

After the party, we went to a movie with some friends of my girlfriend. After purchasing our tickets I heard someone call me over to them using my last name. That could only mean one thing, one of my students was in the theater. I looked over at a group of college-aged women and one of them said "hello" to me. It was a student I had four years ago when I taught at a small high school south of Iowa City. She looked familiar, but I didn't remember her name. She did tell me, and that did help me to remember her a bit more. It's usually nice to be recognized by former students. I also ran into a student from last year when we were at McDonald's. That made me think about the number of students who I have taught over the years that I have been teaching. I estimate that I have taught around 750 students in the seven or so years that I have been teaching. Anyway, we went to see The Incredibles and it was great! It was a really fun movie and I wouldn't mind seeing it again, although I'll probably wait for it to come out on DVD. Oh, and before the movie was the trailer for the new Star Wars movie.


Voted Fraud?

I just got off the phone from talking to my mother. She was telling me about allegations of voter fraud in both Florida and Ohio. She was telling me about voting machines in Florida that registered more votes than there were voters. She gave me the address of a website she said I should check out to learn about it. I think I'll hold off until I find something from the mainstream media. I sure pray to God that this allegation is not true. I don't think we, as a country, can go through another four years of people bitching about how Bush "stole" the election.

In other election news, I just heard that South Carolina has changed its constitution to allow bars to serve alcohol from containers other than mini-bottles. This is going to cause some problems for bartenders who have never served drinks from a full-sized bottle, but it will provide a lot less glass that needs to be dealt with.

Now away from the election. Last night my girlfriend and I went to Cedar Rapids for a wedding reception for a friend of hers. They aren't actually getting married until next weekend, but it's going to be a very small, private ceremony. The reception was at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library. There were some excellent hors d'oeuvres being served, plus an open bar, but since I had to drive back to Waterloo, I only had two drinks in the hour or so that we were there. I did however, eat way too many crab cakes. I had a bit of an upset tummy on the drive home.


The War on Terror Comes Home

It looks like the war on terror has turned toward a homeland target. In February of this year, Education Secretary called the National Education Association a group of terrorists. Last night an elementary school in New Jersey has been fired upon by a National Guard F-16. Fortunately no one was injured as the "attack" took place at 11:00 in the evening.

Ok, it was an accident, and lead bullets with no explosives were used. Also, Rod Page did apologize for the "terrorist" comment, but I found this story interesting.

Angry Students

The last couple of days, listening to students talking, I have come to realize that many of the high school students I work with are truly angry about the outcome of the election. Some of them just can't believe the outcome. I'm not happy about how things turned out, but that's how it's going to be, so we'll have to deal with it. Homercles has made an excellent point that the Democratic Party really has skewed too far to the left. If they want to get back a broader base of support, they need to come back toward the ideals of mainstream America.

Related to the election, yesterday a student in one of my classes asked me who I voted for. I didn't answer him, but another student indicated that I had voted for Kerry. This had come up previously. I admitted that I had. He asked me how I felt about the outcome of the election and I indicated that I was not surprised. I had been kind of expecting Bush to win. This student then asked me why I voted for Kerry then if I didn't think he would win. I explained to this student that I based who I voted for on who I thought would be the better president, not on who I thought would win. This isn't an election for the homecoming queen or student government; this is the real thing with real consequences.


A Record Day

Today a record was set, and no, I am not talking about George Bush getting more popular votes than any previous presidential candidate. The Republicans are making a big deal out of this, but to put it in perspective, John Kerry received the second most popular votes of all presidential candidates to date. Instead I am talking about Ken Jennings beating the record for the most money won on a TV game show. As of the episode of Jeopardy! that aired today, his total winnings are $2,197,000. Now that's a lot of money!

Oh Well

It looks most likely like we will have four more years of George Bush. I'm not too pleased with that idea, but I guess I will have to live with it. Thinking about it, my life won't really change that much due to his being President instead of John Kerry. I guess I can be pleased that I'll get to keep my big tax cut that will allow me to take my girlfriend and myself out to dinner a couple of times a year. I still won't have to worry about how the government will pay its bills. My future children will have to take care of that, not me. I'll still be protected from Saddam Hussein and his non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Hopefully Kim Jong-Il doesn't decide to come after us. Hey, I'm not gay, so I guess President Bush doesn't mind if I get married as I would strengthen the institution of marriage, not degrade it. I wasn't planning on having an abortion anyway, so if a new Supreme Court with justices appointed by Bush makes abortion illegal once again, it doesn't affect me. I have health insurance through my job without any additional expense. Hopefully I won't need to insure more than just myself as the cost it outrageous. I still have a job and because of the current trend in standardized testing, I may even be able to get a better one. I'm still free to express myself and read whatever I want to, as long as what I read doesn't make the government think I'm up to no good.

Now I am still disappointed that I have a President who thinks that my colleagues and I in public education aren't doing our jobs, otherwise he wouldn't have promoted legislation that takes choices away from the states and instead gives them to the federal government. But I suppose I can live with that since I am thinking about changing careers anyway.

At least now we will have a president for whom more people voted for than his opponent, although a margin of 51% to 48% is hardly a mandate.

It was nice that George Bush decided not to give a victory speech yet, instead giving John Kerry time to "reflect on the results of this election." What the fuck does that mean? It sounds like Kerry was a bad boy who was sent to his room to think about what he did. Oh well, I guess this is just another example of George Bush's "compassionate conservatism."


That's Enough for Now

Ok, I told myself earlier that I would stay up until this thing was decided, but I've decided that there is no point in doing that. This could end like 2000, and we still won't know for a week or so. Besides, CNN is reporting that Florida's absentee ballots may not be done being counted until Thursday, and I'll be damned if I am going to go that long without sleep. Well, with CNN currently having the electoral vote 197 to 188 in Bush's favor, I am off to bed.

Poll Watching

I spend two hours this evening poll watching. I sat at a polling place and checked off voters from a list I had of voters the Black Hawk County Democratic Party was targeting in its Get Out the Vote campaign. I didn't work until 7:00 tonight, so it wasn't very busy. Also, I didn't witness any voting irregularities. No one was kept from voting who should have been allowed to vote. There was one woman who had recently moved to Black Hawk County from Bremer County and had not changed her voter registration. Because she was not registered in Black Hawk County, she was not able to vote. One voter came in about 30 seconds before the polls closed she was the final, and 675th voter at the precinct today.

What is the Problem?

I read an article on CNN.com today about a high school where the students are being required to wear photo badges while at school so they can be easily identified as students as the school. Apparently several students and parents are complaining about this. I can see students not liking this policy, but parents? Some of the parents views requiring students to wear the badges to be "an infringement on their rights." What rights exactly would those be? I am required to wear photo identification at my job, which is at a high school. I was also required to do so at the company where I worked this past summer. In a large organization, requiring people who are supposed to be there to wear identification helps everyone to know that they are where they are supposed to be. I can see this as being unnecessary at a small high school where everyone knows everyone else, but if this is a large school, the policy seems to me to make some sense.

Here We Go

And the end of the election is finally here. People who have not voted early are going to be heading out to the polls, but I am not going to write about the election today. Instead, I am going to write about a change I am making in my life. It is nothing too extraordinary. I have simply decided to start exercising more regularly. This summer I did quite a bit of bike riding, and I believe that it aided in my weight loss this summer. However, for the past two months, my weight has remained fairly constant, so I am going to be working out more. Last night I did my first workout on the Bowflex. I didn't work out for too long the first time, but I plan on increasing my workout as I become in better condition. I also need to get back to bike riding. It's going to be rather cold outside to ride my bike, I am seriously considering buying a trainer to let me ride my bike indoors. Starting exercising kind of made me wish that I had been more active when I was in junior high and high school. I regret that I did not participate in any sports then. Perhaps if I had, I'd be in better shape today.