Monday, February 2, 2015

Couple O' Quotes Plus

I don't normally discuss much in the way of politics here, school superintendents being an exception, but this was too good to pass up:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
-- H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
Found it here.

I've read quite a few of the Robert B. Parker mystery novels - the ones featuring Spenser, Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone - and while not great literature, they're entertaining and easy to read. I was in a different library branch the other day and came across a couple of Parker's cowboy novels and decided to give them a try. Here's a little philosophy from the half-breed character, Pony, taken from Blue-Eyed Devil:

"In land of Blue-Eyed Devil, not so simple," he said. "Man can't always be a warrior. Man get to be cowboy and store man and saloon man. And man who sit in office. Not warrior. I just man who saddle horse. Pitch hay. Pick up horse shit. But I go with you and Virgil, I warrior."
     "Not everyone wants to be a warrior," I said.
     "No. But nobody want to be pick-up-horse-shit man, either," Pony said.

As someone who has shoveled a bit of many different kinds over the years, both literally and figuratively, I can certainly agree with that. I think that might be why farm kids usually made pretty good students in my shop classes. With some skills and education they weren't going to have to be the pick-up-horse-shit man all their life.

Since I mentioned superintendents, might as well throw this out. The NWI Times had a couple of opinion pieces on whether the state superintendent of instruction should be an elected position or an appointed position here in Indiana. On the local level, I've worked under both systems with an elected and an appointed school board and saw advantages and disadvantages with both. At the state level now, even though the superintendent was elected with overwhelming popular support, the governor and the representatives have done their absolute best to freeze her out. If it was an appointed position, the superintendent and the governor would be in harmony but it could easily end up like what we had just previously with Daniels and Bennett. Either way, elected or appointed, it would be nice if those involved would try to put their personal politics aside and do what's best for the students and the teachers.

And since I mentioned shoveling, it's still snowing here this morning. I'm not sure how much snow has fallen but it's been a bunch. It was a heavy, wet snow yesterday when I was out on the tractor getting the lane opened up. It's now the big, pretty flakes that are falling. We didn't get the 45 mph wind gusts they were forecasting, thank goodness, so it should be fairly easy to get the paths out to the barn and chicken coop opened up again. Likewise, the lane should be easy enough to do since I peeled the heavy stuff out of the way yesterday. The Missus was supposed to go back to the hospital for another round of invasive testing early this morning but she cancelled that out. I'm supposed to go to the doctor today myself but that's later in the afternoon and just uptown. So today, in addition to being my usual kitty litter and pick-up-chicken-shit man, I'll get a chance to be a warrior with my snow shovel as well.

Have a good week!

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