Quote of the moment: Doug Sahm on Texas music

April 14, 2011

Doug Sahm, Magnet Magazine photo

Doug Sahm, 1941-1999, Magnet Magazine photo

“I’m a part of Willie Nelson’s world and I love it, but at the same time, I’m part of the Grateful Dead’s world. One night I might be playing twin fiddles at the Broken Spoke and the next night I’ll be down at Antone’s playing blues. In that way Texas is a paradise, because all that music is here.”

Doug Sahm, 1975

Tip of the old scrub brush to Un Perla, Por Favor.


You couldn’t make it up

April 14, 2011

Yeah, I know — Eagles sang about how things would “get down to the bone,” but I don’t think they meant it the way this birther said it:

I knowingly and of sound mind would ask as a.bonified Citizen of the United States of America request that our President “Barrack Hussein Obama ” step down from

Bonehead

"Bonified" genius

(That’s it.  No end to the sentence, no end to the clause.  No period.)

You think, maybe, he meant bona fide?”

Ick.  “Bonified” suddenly brings all sorts of ugly visions.  Others have thought of it, too.


Dallas educators still bracing for the budget storm

April 14, 2011

Here’s the view from Ross Avenue, HQ of the Dallas Independent School District, as of today:

A message from Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa

Today, Proposed Budget Version 3.0 was presented to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees. This plan considers what a $110 million cut would mean to the district’s budget during the 2011-2012 school year.

From the outset, I want to be clear that we are under no impression at this time that the district will end up facing a $110 million cut. It may end up being larger than that. At the same time, there is a slight possibility that it could be less.

In any event, with only six weeks to go in the Texas legislative session, it is more apparent than ever that school districts throughout the state, including ours, are facing significant cuts because of the state’s budget shortfall. I have worked in public education in Texas for more than 30 years and have never seen anything like this.

The Texas House already has approved HB1, which would require cuts to our budget of anywhere from $130 to $170 million. It would also eliminate significant funding for prekindergarten; reading, math, and science initiatives; and teacher performance pay incentives.

The Senate has yet to vote on HB1, nor has it passed a Senate version, but we are hopeful that it will be an improvement over the current bill. The deficit is so large, however, that it is difficult to get too optimistic.

Proposed Budget Version 3.0 would still eliminate more than 2,400 positions from the district’s payroll. The only positive under this scenario is that, thanks to the 700 contract employees who took the early resignation incentive, the district would not have to further reduce the number of teachers currently employed. While that may be a relief to many, it means that those teachers who remain will be asked to do more.

For instance, under 3.0, the collaborative planning period during the school day for secondary teachers would be eliminated. Middle and high school class-size ratios would be set at 25-1.

The details of Proposed Budget Version 3.0 can be found on the special Web site created to update everyone on our budget: www.dallasisd.org/finoutlook. Bear in mind, however, that as soon as you have a chance to review this plan, our financial staff will have already begun preparing Proposed Budget Version 4.0.

I again want to thank all staff members for your patience throughout this process. I also want to thank those of you who have contacted your lawmakers about your concerns and, especially, to all those who have traveled to Austin to speak out in person. Every little bit helps. Please continue to make your feelings known to lawmakers as they reach the final stretch of their discussions.

When school begins next fall, we will have the same number of students in Dallas ISD, all of whom have dreams for the future. None of them will care about our budget; they will only care about how we are preparing them with the skills to be successful. I know that our dedicated staff will once again rise to the occasion, as it has done so many times before, to meet their needs.


One Boy Scout’s story: Kazimierz Piechowski, “I escaped from Auschwitz”

April 14, 2011

Good reading:  An article by Homa Kahleeli in The Guardian from Tuesday, April 12, 2011:

I escaped from Auschwitz

Kazimierz Piechowski is one of just 144 prisoners to have broken out of the notorious Nazi camp and survive. Today aged 91, he tells his extraordinary story

Kazimierz Piechowski, Boy Scout who escaped Auschwitz - Guardian photo

Guardian caption: "Kazimierz Piechowski in 2011. 'We just planned that I would play the role of an SS officer so well that the guards would believe me.' Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian"


George Jetson come true? Maverick Flying Car at Oshkosh

April 14, 2011

Next time somebody asks ‘where’s my flying car?” you can show them this.

Steve Saint of I-TEC drove his road-legal flying car from Florida to Oshkosh this summer. Since then the FAA has also issued the Maverick a S-LSA aircraft airworthiness certificate. I-TEC hopes to be in production by EAA Oshkosh 2011.

[Because it comes with built-in autoplay from the Experimental Aircraft Association, it’s below the fold.]

Read the rest of this entry »


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