Saturday, December 30, 2006

Snakes On A Bed!

OK. Don't get squeamish, but here are pictures of "Cloudy Sky." He's a snake, so if you don't like snakes, please don't scroll down. (But he's a teeny snake, so maybe that's alright.)

Cloudy Sky on Saul's arm.

Saul Being Very Still for the camera.
(Snakes are hard to photograph, people. They wriggle!)

Youngest daughter hamming it up.

And the poor neglected dog, Hobbes.
("Don't you love me anymore?")

Friday, December 29, 2006

There she goes again...

I totally wish that this were a better scan, but it is what it is.

My kid's art has just taken a huge leap forwards. (It's all the doodling she's able to do in class in Middle School, I think.) I'm not sure if you can get the details here, but her anthropomorphic grey foxy character is playing air guitar to her iPod shuffle, which is flying up into her white hair as she jams. My daughter's now starting to ink in different widths, varying the line shapes to give her drawings better flow and character. And check out the details on the jeans!

Mommy's totally blown away.

Do comic book artists ever give lessons? Cause this kid needs a tutor, especially in digital art, in the worst way. She's obsessed with Inuyahsha these days too. (Any other Manga recs? I'm totally clueless on this front.)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Hey guys.

Just a note to let you know that I'm OK.

Just haven't posted in a while. (Then I upgraded Firefox and lost my blinkety blankety password too. Humph.)

Hannukah and Christmas are done. (Yay!) We actually had a guest over for Christmas--very unusual for us, but made it much less morose for me. The kids are out of school until Jan 7 or 8.

Best Holiday news? My son, bless him, worked really really really hard on his behavior and earned a reward that he picked for himself: A Corn Snake.

So far the snake is a little freaked out--we covered his terrarium with computer paper so my son wouldn't get right up next to the glass and peeeeeer in on him. But we've handled him a few times since he came home on Saturday, and he's very friendly once he calms down.

He's a Miami phase corn snake which means that his saddles will mature to a burgundy color and his background will be either tan or tan with silver. Because of the silver, ours is named "Cloudy Sky." I'll try for a picture in the next few weeks after he's calmed down some. Cloudy Sky's probably about 15 inches long and not quite the diameter of my little finger. Here's a picture of an adult Miami Phase from South Mountain Reptiles:

Pretty, huh?

I've been spending hours and hours on the various herp boards looking at pictures. My favorite "morph" of these guys is a really dark charcoal though. Great, a new time waster.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sturm und drang

OK, hang in with me for one more political post. Then I promise to shut up. Really.


There's not much more to say about this.

You know how I've been fighting to get raises for the teachers because they shouldn't have to take pay cuts while we were in a fiscal crisis?

You know how I had to sit at a meeting a few years ago and vote against closing a school because I wasn't convinced that it was necessary?

You know how I've whined over and over again that big anonymous meanies are attacking me and my colleagues for saying that the budget is actually better than they think it is?

You know how I've had to hide under rocks from time to time to defend myself against legal threats after we "escorted to the door" the financial officer (and then Superintendent) who not only cried at meetings when her numbers were questioned, but also insisted, even while the teacher's union was showing her documentary evidence to the contrary, that we were just about go under by about 5 to 10 million dollars?

You know all that?

Yeah. It was all a big misunderstanding.

New Business Officer with connections to the County (who's responsible for our budget) made a report last night (with the aid and assistance of the County using not District reports, but only the reports which had been made to the County and to the State). In her report she demonstrated that, oops, we've had money all along.

Two years ago when we closed a school? We had one million extra dollars.

Eighteen months ago when we almost drove the unions to strike because we were pushing them so hard for concessions? We had 2.4 million extra dollars.

Last Fall when my new colleagues were getting their reputations slandered while they ran for office? We had 3.2 million extra dollars.

We were projected to end 2005-2006 in the hole, but we actually have 4.8 million dollars in a positive ending balance.

Good thing that parent committee which was charged with advising us on the numbers but instead spent most of its time coming to meetings and calling us names was hard at work "overseeing" the budget.

When I got on the Board in 2003 we were required to have had a 3% reserve but we were 1 million in the red, obviously with no reserve. It took us years to show a 3% reserve on the books when in actuality we had it long before then. By the close of 2006-2007, just for comparison, we are projecting to end the year with a -- hold your breath -- 10-12% reserve.

Holy Fucking Christ.

What an insane waste of time, energy, acrimony, and effort.

No wonder no one goes into this line of work unless you're part masochist.

Now our job is to ensure that our new business officer never ever ever ever ever goes away. Candy? Chocolates? Romance novels? Tea? Coffee? Dinner and a Movie?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Silly TV ad

This version cuts the final frame. The words next to the "Goomba's" head at the end read, "Call us" and the ad ends with the logo of an equine insurance and purchasing brokers company. But I can't get that version onto Blogger. Humph.