Wednesday, July 28, 2010
...degrees at my house in Lakeview Meadows at 3:30 am this morning. "We are having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave." The paper yesterday had a story on the snow making machines at Loveland Basin and how they will start making snow again in a few weeks. Hard to imagine. It snows in just about every month most years but it is just a skiff. A flurry. A moment in time. Hard to believe that they are thinking of starting again. The new college bulletin came yesterday. I have three classes maybe four in both Dillon and Breckenridge. The summer semester ends and the fall semester begins almost right away. No rest for the weary. Start in August and end in December when there will be snow again for real. I have lived here for forty years and I still am not used to the weather. I guess it would not matter if I still played in the stuff but I gave that up as a bad habit once there were too many people on the slopes. I read recently that Breckenridge is the busiest ski area in North America now. I can believe that just from looking out my window on the world at the traffic backed up nearly every day of the year. The new four lane will just add to the congestion as it will allow more cars on the road. A friend once said to deal with traffic and tourist problems that we should just stop paving the road. Once someone lost a windshield or two it might dissuade them from further travel.
Monday, July 19, 2010
...what you love and the money will follow. This is the title of a book that I first read many years ago and that I recommend to many of my students. The basic premise is that if you are doing what you enjoy doing then you will be successful. If you worry more about making money than about your personal happiness then you will probably spend most of your life doing something that you hate. According to many surveys most of the working stiffs in this world really do not enjoy their job. They are doing it because they got on the wrong track and feel they can't leave. They are doing it because their parents said they should and then they found out that it was the last thing they really wanted to do. Yes, you might be financially successful but around the time you reach 45 you will look back and ask yourself, "Why did I waste my life doing something that I really did not like doing?" I have written before about the need to find your passion and then to focus on that passion. The most difficult part of that equation is finding your passion. I like to use things like: Your passion is things that you enjoy doing. Your passion is things that make you happy. Your passion is your greatest dream put into action. Your passion becomes your goal. If you spend the entire week in the office thinking about how you would rather be a rafting guide then maybe you should be a rafting guide. If you spend your entire week thinking about traveling and being in other countries then maybe you should find a job in another country. I realize this all very simplistic but it is true. If you see this in your life then I would suggest that you decide to change immediately. You are not getting any younger
Saturday, July 17, 2010
We have been told for years that if you reduce your intake of food and increase the amount of physical exercise you get you will lose weight. Now there are a couple of studies that refute that premise. The studies say that if you sit on your couch all day long and do nothing you will burn almost as many calories as if you exercise. Rats. Just when I thought I had it figured out. It does not say that exercise is bad for you. It is very good for your heart and lungs and your overall health. But what it is saying is to forget doing exercise to lose weight. It does little or nothing for a slimmer you. Of course what you eat has a huge bearing on the whole weight thing. If you want to maintain your current weight then find out the number of calories needed to do that. You can find it for you personal needs on the internet. If you want to lost weight slowly shoot for around 2000 calories a day. Not carbs and not protein and not fat grams. Just calories. Where the calories come from is not important. You could do a 2000 calorie a day diet of M/Ms (my favorite fruit) and still lose weight. If you want to speed things up in an unhealthy way then get closer to 1000 calories a day. Not a good idea especially over the long haul. Now before you whip off a nasty comment to me just keep in mind that I do not make this stuff up. Some researcher made this stuff up. The report that I heard this morning on the BBC quoted scientists in the United Kingdom but there have been US studies as well. Time will tell. See you on the couch with the remote control and the big bowl of candy.
Friday, July 16, 2010
...and sons. The older I get the more introspective I become. I have five children, two sons. My father had two children and one son, me. My oldest son Eric lives in Ithaca, New York and is 43. My youngest son Matthew lives in Denver, Colorado and is 29. My father passed away twenty four years ago in Iowa at age 76. I turned 68 in May. What I find myself doing on a regular basis is thinking about what my dad was doing when he was my current age. What his health was like and what kinds of things he was doing that he enjoyed. I also ask myself the question of what was I doing when I was the respective ages of my sons. It is an interesting exercise to look back and then consider today. I was always very proud of my father. He accomplished a lot under daunting circumstances. I am also proud of my two sons for what they have already accomplished and what they will accomplish in the future. I have no regrets in life. I am sure that I would have done some things differently but I also realize that my father had the same thoughts and challenges as well as my sons have today.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
...is an epic poem by Walter Scot. It contains the often quoted statement,
Oh, what a tangled web we weaveWhen first we practise to deceive!
I was reminded of this as I have read about candidate for Colorado Governor Scott McGinnis and his struggle with the truth.
I have known Scott personally for the past 27 years. I had lunch with him a few years ago in Denver. He is a former Glenwood Springs police officer. Went to law school and became an attorney. Served in the Colorado House of Representatives. Became a United States Representative in Washington D.C. Left that to work for a Denver law firm. He is now running for Governor of Colorado.
There is a family in Beaver Creek with a lot of money who are big supporters of Republican candidates. Their son ran for my old seat in the Colorado House of Representatives and lost. He then ran for Colorado Secretary of State and lost that also. I read recently that he has now moved to California.
The family apparently paid Scott McGinnis $300,000 to write a paper on water here in Colorado. It looks like Scott hired a retired water engineer from Glenwood Springs to help him with the paper as a researcher. That fellow included parts of an old paper written by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs. Scott published the paper as is and got the $300,000.
Now the Denver Post has investigated it and found that Scott plagiarized some of the paper. Scott blames the researcher. Scott's campaign has now asked the researcher to take full blame for the error and he has refused and has come out against Scott.
At the same time a column and a speech that Scott gave a couple of years ago included verbatim text from another document written by someone else.
Today Scott is being asked by some in his own party to step down from the Governor's race. I think the time has come and I would echo that request.
It is so very hard to find good help these days.
Monday, July 12, 2010
...are part of a haunting memory of mine of growing up in Iowa. They seem to be everywhere growing like weeds. They grew in the shade and in sunshine with a dull sort of color in a dull sort of bloom. They did not smell nice like many flowers but rather they had what I would call an unremarkable smell. Not something you wanted or would remember. For some reason I remember them growing most often in the alleys of my home town often growing against an old wooden fence or a crumbling outhouse or barn. Not a place that any self respecting flower would want to be.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
...market numbers were way down yesterday. Maybe Paul Krugman was right. In my Contemporary Social Problems class last night we were talking about Education. I always have a hard time with that unit. Students need to learn how to plan their education. They need to pick a major sooner rather than later so they don't take a lot of hours that they will never be able to use. 120 hours to get a Bachelor's degree with nearly half of that in your major field in core classes. The rest are classes that a required by the college as basic required core classes and electives. I am the worst example in the world. It took me two years to finish my Associate's Degree and then another thirty three years to finish my Bachelor's degree. Again, 120 hours needed and I had completed over 200 hours at about seven different colleges. Not a good plan. And then the other dilemma for today's student. What field can I pursue to get a degree that will give me the best opportunity for getting a job. Any job in any place. A few years ago it was computer science then it went to anything in the medical field. I wish that I could tell them what will happen in Paul Krugman's scenario for the future. The best bets are things that relate to food, clothing and shelter. You know, the basics, the things you need to survive. Well maybe not the shelter part because we are seriously overbuilt and the population is not increasing very much lately. Hmmmmm. What's a teacher do?