Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Motorcycles and Scotch

As you can tell from my photo, I have an interest in traveling on two wheels and in alcohol distilled from barley in the British Isles. Every summer I travel the northwest with friends in search of good motorcycling roads and good scotch. I have developed a taste for Islay scotch and long sweeping turns in the road. If you ride, I would highly recommend highway 12 in Idaho from Lewiston to Lolo Pass. It is an awesome ride and there is a hot springs you can stop at, at the pass, and swim, soak, or even stay the night. My favorite scotches are Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin. The motorcycle that I ride on these trips is a 1993 Honda ST1100. I carry a full complement of camping equipment, but I am not averse to staying in a motel.


Why are we here?

I occasionally go through bouts of depression and self-loathing, and in those selfish, wallowing moments I usually reflect on the timeless questions such as "what's the meaning of it all" and " why are we here". Being a person who depends on logic and science to explain most things, I have a hard time clinging to blind faith and religion in these moments. That's not to say that I'm not spiritual, but I don't believe that any one church, sect or religion "has it right'. I think it's incredibly arrogant and illogical to believe that you or your church or your religion know "the truth". The Bible, the Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, etc. are books written by men. Even if they were inspired by a deity, they went through the filter of human thought and experience, and can't help but be biased by that filter. I believe that anyone who blindly follows such teachings without rational thought and analysis and a fair bit of skepticism is being cowardly or at the least is shirking responsibility for their own life. (As a result of my beliefs, I don't talk about religion with others much).

Happy thoughts!

What is Fair?

Just a thought... When someone says "that's not fair", what do they really mean? Generally my experience has been that when adolescents say it, they really mean "I'm not getting what I want!"

But what is fair? I was once told that 'fair' was what was needed by each individual for their situation. This would be the philosophy behind welfare and such. Some would argue it is the philosophy behind true communism (which has never existed for any length of time). Some would argue it's what is attainable within the existing laws and morals of one's society. It's "fair" that an athlete can make $20 million a year playing a glorified game within a free market system. It seems wrong to me, but then again, I'm not the one making $20 million a year :-)

Bored ramblings of a tired teacher in need of a vacation.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The title of this blog is semi-facetious. I am a math teacher so my life literally revolves around mathematics, but I am not a mathematician. A mathematician studies math and is always looking for new math discoveries or new uses for math. I recycle and regurgitate simple math to semi-comatose high school students so they can graduate and go on to more illustrious careers (hopefully they can balance a checkbook and understand compound interest, but I wouldn't bet on it).

I do love teaching, and math is one of the things I'm good at, so... I'm finishing my 24th year and I still love the students--if anything drives me out it will be the paperwork and the b.s. that comes along with anything involved with a bureaucratic system of government. There's also the attitude of some parts of the public that we are "public servants" and therefore are somehow inferior to people that work in the private sector. As soon as they require every parent to take a parenting class and require them to be involved with their child's education, I will willingly take a 20% pay cut.

Carpe jugulum.


I am a pathetic blogger. I set up this blog months ago and this is my first post. Since no one will read it (anytime soon) I'm not sure why I'm doing this, but it seems semi-important to me at the moment.

My baby (read 'daughter of 18') is graduating Saturday. I'm not completely sure how I feel about this, but I'm mostly proud and relieved. She will be one of the valedictorians of her class and is at least as smart as either of her parents, and more motivated and more interesting than I was at her age. She has become very independent, which is a two-edged sword. It means that she has a good chance at being successful at whatever she chooses to do, but it also means that she doesn't really need me anymore. It also means that she will be off doing who knows what with who knows who, who knows where. I just have to learn to let go. I'm doing a pretty good job of it, but it still bugs me at times. I guess if it didn't I wouldn't be a good parent.

The prospect of an 'empty nest' is an interesting one. Will it become a boring and repetitive life without children in the house, or will it give us the freedom to do things that we couldn't with children here? I guess it depends on us and the choices we make (seems pretty obvious).

The temptation to sit in front of the TV or the computer and waste time is a problem for me. Each has it's place, but it's easy to overdo. I've had days where I have done nothing but watch TV and either play computer games or just mindlessly surf the internet. Sometimes I think that technology is a bad thing. Problem is, I wouldn't be willing to give it up. It has too many benefits. I just need to have the will power to limit my use. I usually do a pretty good job on mindless TV--I refuse to watch "reality" shows. If there is a bigger waste of time and brain cells, I don't know what it is. I do love good comedy, good movies and simple, addictive computer games. Are you familiar with Zuma? I've scored over 3 million on that one! (The Zuma nerd crowd goes wild!)

TTFN (random reference)