So now I prepare for 22 consecutive hours in an airplane. Is that how the pioneers felt crossing the great plains? All though in their case it was more often 20+ days not 20+hours. Where did you plug your zune and your computer in when traveling in a covered wagon 😉

If I have loyal readers – my apologies – the blog will be hit or miss for the next 10 days as I head off to South East Asia. I will resume when I return.

Farewell for now!




So why is it that when I get off an airplane – no matter how well rested I was prior to getting on I am tired.

Is it the air?

My throat always hurts, my head hurts and I can’t focus the next day as well as I usually do. Why is that?

Surely after all these years someone can solve the problem of flying. Anyway – I need to go get some Tylenol – my head is killing me.



More on educators, the DTS and sadly athletes

Sorry for the duplication today, but I am still saddened by the whole story of athlete’s cheating to enhance their performance.

Many years ago I taught a summer school Gym/Computer class in summer school. It was an experimental class (1/2 of the time they kids were active – the other 1/2 they were learning computer skills.

The age range in the class however was huge. I had first graders and sixth graders in my gym class. That meant any sport we played would be horribly unfair to the younger children. So I did some research and found a game built for the other enabled athletes, where ability became as much of a liability as did speed and size. The name I found at the time (nearly 20 years ago so it was not a PC game, was Wheelchair Baseball).

The game was was played indoors on a basketball court. Fielders had to stay within certain boxes. The older the person the smaller the box. The advantages of being smaller meant that you could hit the ball a short distance and end up with a home run.

What it did was to change the way the teams were picked. Being small and not very good as an athlete became an advantage, while the older kids had a chance to hone their leadership skills.

To me, that is a sport. Where people have an equal chance to succeed and it’s about the mix of brains and brawn.

Which saddens me when I look at the athletes (103 that we don’t know in baseball) that cheated.

Maybe we should celebrate the wonder of competition and remove those who cheat from sports.



This topic once ignited the largest thread on the old DTS-L

A long time ago I founded a teaching society that focused on discussions of various topics. This particular topic lived on the list (nearly 7,000 people at the time) for over 6 months.

It is “the ethics of sports” or the value of sports or do we need sports. I love watching football, baseball, basketball and other sports. I bleed cubby blue. But the current steroid issue in baseball bothers me.

Am I naive in believing that athletes are taught by someone? That some coach spent hours of time help that athlete become better at what it is they do?

I was a coach once, 20 years ago. They don’t get paid much (outside of the colleges and even then look at the money they bring into the universities). In fact most coaches (and most teachers as a whole) do what they do for the love what they do.

So some coach at the high school, AAU or other place taught these kids how to play baseball. Not how to inject steroids. Not I hope to win at any cost.

The thing is, athletics does a lot to create a community. I have followed loyally Indiana University athletics for over 40 years now. I sat in the stands as a young child and watch Mark Spitz swim. I watched the 1976 Indiana University team go 32-0.

I idolized the coach, the team and the players. They showed what was best about college athletics – they graduated (Mark Spitz has a dental degree). They were student athletes in the best sense of what it meant to be a student athlete.

And suddenly that happy memory is gone.

Athletics in the past 10 years has taken my love and wasted it.

So go ahead and use any performance enhancing drug you want. I won’t be in the stands. My children won’t be in the stands. Sure, I will enjoy the game on TV, but I won’t root for the professional teams they way I used to.

I will go back to rooting for Indiana University athletics. At least we have a new basketball coach that is a future super star.


And now its Monday

Once again the weekend slipped out the backdoor and it’s Monday – back to work. Why do weekends do that? Why do they slip in and out of the house like they are uninvited guests – allowing the real uninvited guest (Monday) in without even a fight.

I am stating out loud right now – Saturday – you are welcome. Sunday you are a dear friend – stay as long as you like. If that Monday guy comes knocking on the door- send him away. Saturday and Sunday are dear friends welcome to stay.

Sad when Monday sneaks in and drinks all the milk in the fridge.

Sad when Monday sneaks in and eats all my leftover spaghetti.

Sad when Monday comes and the alarm clock rings (or is it wrings) the last of the weekend away.



New technology alert


Interesting pen – I love the feel of a pen on paper. It makes a difference to me. I love tablet pc’s but, frankly the feel of a pen on paper is what I long for.

LiveScribe hit the mark with their new product the pulse pen. Take audio notes, write handwritten notes, then import them both into the computer.

But the thing they did is gave you the ability to link the audio notes to the written notes. They also added calculator and other tools you can easily use.

The pen (pulse) is a little large but still useable. The note pad is nice and has a solid real paper feel. It’s the best I’ve found so far (and I have used all of them).

LIvescribe 🙂



Was I sure?

A friend I haven’t heard from in awhile called yesterday. It’s probably been 3 or 4 years since the last time we talked.

But it was like old times – we talked like we had seen each other just yesterday. Catching up on family and personal things that I seldom share with people I talk to all the time. But this was natural.

So now I ask, as I think about my friends. Why do you share everything with some friends? Why is it you can walk into a room of people, and one person becomes your friend out of the 200 that are in the room.

Sure you know them all – they are humans, people that you know. But one, new becomes your friend and stays that way forever.

Is it chemical?

Is it environmental?

Would you be friends with this person in a different scenario?

Do we have a limited number of friends for a lifetime?

The questions are “too deep for such a simple mind” to quote The Logical Song.


Close the door when you leave please

The windowless office.

The last cup of coffee in the pot.

The only person left.

What is it that causes us to remember negative things? My new thinking process is only remember the happy times – like the day your child was born or the day you graduated from High School or college. Let’s only think about and remember things that were happy moments.

Like the old song “don’t worry – be happy.”

Think happy thoughts.

Oh yeah and please close the door when you leave!



Do I understand?

A question is asked and I wonder, did I hear it correctly? Communication is such a structured process that when it breaks down it feels like nothing is working. We communicate all day long, virtually every day we are alive. But we often fail to hear.

A question is asked and I wonder, was it the right question to ask? Communication is the process of connection. Often we don’t connect with the questions we ask. I spent some time in the MCA program where we focused on the concepts of how people ask questions.

Guiding questions – helping through questions guide someone to an answer.

Clarification questions – helping clarify a point or fact with a question.

Leading questions – open the door to expansion and further discussion with an leading or open ended question.

The assumption would be that each of the three types of questions (and there are many more) would produce a structure and unified response that would lead all to accept the idea and move forward (communication at it’s peak efficiency is of course – consensus).

Synthesis is the absorption of communication and the acceptance of consensus, producing your own version of the communication at a higher or lower level (pending your audience. Big words don’t work with six year olds but communication and synthesis of idea’s does.).

A question is asked and I wonder, why?



I dream a quiet dream

In the morning light all seems the same. Peering out the window, coffee clutched in my hand, the world seems at peace.

Then of course the boys come downstairs, and with them flows the noise and the funk. That ends the quiet with the sound of boys dancing.

I don’t mind the noise, it makes me smile some times to think about what my world was like before children. I wouldn’t trade the noise for any amount of quiet – it’s just nice to think about it at times.

Sliding quietly off to work..