a priori/a posteriori

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My April Set-List

I.  There are "Adult Tests"
     a.  Can you pick Iceberg Lettuce out of a line-up?
     b.  I mean if you can, you're a part-time adult.

     c.  Now, there's a multiple-choice quiz, you have 5 choices
         1.  Iceberg Lettuce
         2.  Romaine Lettuce
         3.  Nappa Cabbage
         4.  Lettuce that is wrongly marked as cabbage
         5.  Organic Lettuce -- but the PRICETAG IS YELLOW

2.  Your First Adult Question is:
         1.  When your wife says you she is making salad and she is fine with you getting the cheapest ingredients...
         2.  Does she mean it?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Playing Career Jenga

Jenga is a game that old people used to play, when we were children.  Before there was Internet.

You set up a tower, and then you pulled little pieces of it apart.  You tried to find the piece that was loose, so that you could remove it without have the entire tower collapse.

If you pulled out a piece and it fell down, you lost.

(note:  my editor deleted several jokes that would have crushed if my only readers were my college improv troupe)
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My career climb has been slow, since I left New York.  Or maybe I'll look back and say it was quick.

But right now, as it's happening, it feels glacial.

I want to be running an SAT/ACT program with Vanessa.  We want it to be huge.  We want it to inspire thousands of kids.  We want it to shift the average standardized-test-scores of entire school districts.

Turns out, that's pretty tough. 

But I've made small gains.  I'm teaching in schools.  I'm coaching.  I'm working at summer basketball camps.  I'm making contacts at multiple high schools.  I'm learning how to communicate better with students and administrators.

I feel like I've hit a dead end.  But I haven't.  I'm just trying to pull out the wrong Jenga piece.

I need to find the next loose piece. 
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That was one neat thing about the game of Jenga.  Every time somebody pulled out a piece, it shifted the pieces.  It changed what was now possible.

A year ago, I applied to work at the local Rec Centers.  They turned me down. 

That was before I was coaching.  That was before I was substitute teaching.

Maybe that's the new Jenga piece.  Maybe I can get that job now.

And maybe if I do, it will loosen up the next piece.
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I can't know unless I try.

I haven't failed if I keep trying.

I'm Excited to Find Out How Scott Taylor Votes on This Health Care Bill

I've called multiple times and spoken with his office. 

I don't think this is a good bill for our country.  It appears it would help people who are wealthy, and make life more difficult for a majority of Americans.

I don't understand why that is so often the case, with new laws. 
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Representative Taylor's staff has assured me that his top priority is supporting a bill that would do the most amount of good for the most Americans possible.

Their exact words are that he will only support a bill that "provides for those most in need."

I am excited for him to show courage this week, and oppose this health care bill.
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I also appreciate his staff taking time out of their busy day to hear the concerns of one of the people he represents.

I know that's how it's "supposed to work."  But it doesn't always work that way.  And so it's a good sign, to me, that his people have been so responsive.

I'll keep calling this week. 

Laws are important to me.

My President has claimed he will be the "law and order" president.  That's fine with me, as long as those "laws" and "orders" are ones that help our nation's most vulnerable and most-deserving of opportunity and support.
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So far, I have not seen that from my government.  But I am eligible to run for the House of Representatives.  I am eligible to run for the Senate.

I am an eligible voter. 

I have no excuse for why my government is not closer to the government I want.

I live in a democracy. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Eating Trash and Counting Change (Dear Preston and Danina 2)

Hey Preston.  And Danina.  I hope your new house is still making you as happy as the day you closed on it.


It should. 
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Danina, I hope you start feeling like these posts are yours, too.  If only because they make you feel less crazy, for being with Preston. 


If we were all on Facebook, I'm sure we'd be communicating on there, writing on each others' walls, and all that good stuff.  Since Vanessa and I aren't, this site is the next best thing.  (unless we all used Google what's-it-called.  hahahaha remember that thing?  I already forgot the name of it)


Google Glass?  Google Next? 


What was their version called again?  I seriously forget.
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Anyway:  I eat trash.  Vanessa is not a fan, and Dragonfly is pretty disgusted.  I am trying to change my habits.  It's tough, when food is so delicious.


I am also going to count some change today.  I know this may sound crazy, but I think it's a healthy thing to do.  I think that America -- and many parts of the world -- would be a better place, if people took their currency more seriously.  It costs our government a lot of money to produce all the coins that exist, and so if no one pays attention to it,


we are wasting our resources.


As I get older, I am becoming more conservative.  That word, to me, means that I want to conserve more.  I am not in as big a hurry to change everything, all at once.


I don't love the idea of "digital currency."  Maybe it's because I don't understand it.  Maybe it's because my 20th-century mind desires something more...tangible.


Or maybe I'm just weird white trash that eats trash.  Maybe I need to let a computer control my car and my wallet, and just have faith that the person who's programming both


for some weird reason


has my best interests at heart, and not their own.


?
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The only way that works is if there is someone who has come to the conclusion that it is in ALL of our best interests if the best of us succeed.  And if the most-deserving of us end up, eventually, making the most important decisions.


If that person is in charge of mechanical cars or whatever, then cool.  If that person is in charge of digital currency, sweet.


How do we find out if that's the case?
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That's what I don't know.  That's what I'd like to figure out.


I'm going to do my best to stay curious, and to try to piece together the puzzle of the world.  I root for us humans to figure out a way to live harmoniously with the Earth. 


My gut tells me -- as I see trees dropping all around me, and wood houses sprouting up in their place -- that we can do better.
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You guys are doing better.  You purchased a well-made home that already existed.  That is AWESOME. 


I hope your new home is still making you as happy as the day you closed on it.


It should.

I Lost My Phone

And I'm not that worried. 


I have a job.  I know how to get there. 


Vanessa has a job.  I know where she is every day.


Our kid has a school.  I know where she is every day.


We have a home.  It has a roof.  I haven't noticed any leaks.
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Life is good. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

I Smell Like Smoke, and I Love It (Dear Drew Johnson 2)

I was waiting tables at the DC Improv, when they changed the law.  No smoking inside.  At all.

I remember having a conversation with Rob Englert about it.  He told me about a conversation he'd had with a politician.  About how difficult it was to make decisions, as a politician. 

If you vote against the "no smoking" law, then you want babies to get cancer from second-hand smoke.

But if you vote for the law, you're also saying that after a 16-hour shift, the owner of a bar can't smoke a cigar in his own office.  That seems like a reasonable "happiness" to pursue as an American citizen...right?
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Making laws is really hard.  Because you're making a law that will apply to everyone the same, (in theory),  but will affect everyone differently. 

Sometimes a law is a great law, and a terrible law, at the same time. 
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When someone protects their child, they are admired.  When they provide for their child's future, they're a hero. 

Well, that's what white-male politicians do.  They provide for their children.  If America is a great place for them to live, then they're going to want to keep it the same place, for their kids.

I'm not saying they should all be admired. 

What I'm saying is, they should all be understood.
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These Republican politicians are not monsters.  They are fathers of sons.  They want their sons to have the same lives they've had.  So they "provide" for their sons, in the form of laws.  Laws that benefit them more than other children.

Politics is not rocket science.  It's much smaller, and much more personal, than that.
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The truly dangerous politicians are the ones who do more than simply provide for their own. 

When a politician starts seeking out the pain of his opponents, we are in a dangerous moment.  When he is not content to be President, but must also smear the reputation of his predecessor, we are in a dangerous moment.

When an American is told his ability to travel has been limited because he is on a "watch list,"

and that American was vocally and publicly critical of the current President,

we are in a truly dangerous moment, here in America.
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*Stops writing.  Starts speaking calmly but firmly*

We are in a dangerous moment, here in America.

To know that fact is not enough.  To blog about it is not enough.  (sorry, Millennials)

It needs to be spoken. 

Yes, it takes courage. 

No, you are not alone.

I'm a conservative American citizen, born in Pittsburgh, raised in the suburbs,

and I'm afraid to write my thoughts.
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That's how scary it is, here in "the land of the free"
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Vote for Jason Miyares. He Returned My Call

I don't know if the guy is in a party. 

I know I called four of my politicians yesterday, and he was the only one to call me back today.

Not his "office," and not his "people"

He called me back.  Himself.

When I think of someone "earning" my vote, that's what I dream of.

I couldn't talk to him, because I was already at school.  But I look forward to talking more with Jason soon.