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Saturday, September 02, 2006
Dan Seals for Congress? Barbour County Fair, 1st week of school over
Listening to:Dan Seals interview
Reading:Plain Truth
Weather:54, overcast
Dan Seals is running for Congress in Illinois. No, not that Dan Seals. Had me fooled for about 30 minutes this morning. Long story short, I joined the Dan Seals tour info Yahoo group this morning, which prompted me to surf around a bit for Dan stuff, and stumbled on this Illinois Congressional race featuring a Democrat named Dan Seals, who is progressive and anti-war and probably kinda Dan Seals-ish, really. Confused, you are? K, the Dan Seals musician is the pop country guy whose hits include the Bop, All That Glitters Is not Gold. Reach back farther, and he was England Dan (in a duo with John Ford Coley) whose awesome 70's vocal pop hits include Really Love to See You Tonight, Nights Are Forever Without You (both written by Parker McGee), and Love Is the Answer (written by Todd Rundgren). Now reach back even farther, before Dan was born his parents gave birth to Jim Seals, who would play in the Champs (50's hit tune Tequila), and Seals and Crofts (Diamond Girl, Summer Breeze, I'll Play for You). And both brothers are members of the Bah'ai faith, a socially-progressive activist religion only about 150 years old begun in Iran, oddly enough. Anyhooooooooooo, not that Dan Seals, so don't get all excited.

I scooted out of work early yesterday to go to the Barbour County Fair. We bought tickets in advance, a mere $6 for everything including parking, rides, admission. So when tropical storm Ernesto started raining up the forecast, we had to try to prognosticate about whether Friday or Saturday would be the better fair weather, so to speak. We decided to go for Friday, in part because Liv's bf Brandin had plans with his dad for saturday night.

It was overcast and chilly all day, but the predicted rain just kept holding off and holding off all morning and early afternoon, thankfully. I picked up Liv and Brandin at MHS around 3p, we called Liv's dad Larry and confirmed that we were on our way. A little trafficky getting out of town (typical friday pm, plus this weekend is the stupid so-called Coal Bowl, the long-awaited game with Marshall, about which I could not conceivably give less of a shit), but once we got south of motown on the Grafton Road, smooth sailing. We stopped at home to pick up sweatshirts, not usually necessary for the fair but it had barely gotten above 60 all days. We met Larry at Sheetz in Philippi, and continued out route 250 past Philip Barbour Highschool to the fair grounds. We got neatly parked in the grass, and headed for the muddy walkway up to the food booths.

A nice long pavillion with picnic tables is lined with food booths on either side, so even though it was sprinkling we were dry. We shared some good fair food (barbecued chicken, soup beans and cornbread, slaw, fries) and finished it off with a deep-fried twinkie. You heard me right, and you so wish you had a bite.

Then off to the rides. I'm pretty much past the carnival rides part of my life, so I enjoyed watching Liv and Brandin and Larry and their freshly-clogged cardiovascular systems whip around on various squeaky machines. We wandered through the crafts and garden foods displays, blue ribbons and hand-lettered labels, through some other sundry displays of politicians and local newspapers and whatnot. We actually went on a search for the honey booth, since we were all intrigued by the sign at the entrance about live bees. We tasted a variety of honeys, pretending like we were connoisseurs sipping amusing beaujolais, and bought a jar of local goldenrod honey and some honey straws. We stopped to see Lar's neighbor a the 4H booth and shared some blackberry cobbler.

Cold, wet, and tired we headed for our cars, carefully avoiding the mud puddles. The ride home seemed significantly longer than the ride there, ain't that always the way. The kids were asleep before Grafton. It's been a long week.

I had to bitch and complain out loud the other day from the counter of the Blue Moose. A headline in the Demented Pest led me to read a bit about the new women's prison in Hazelton. The article said it could hold approximately 500 inmates, and had 450 full time employees. !!!! My kid has 40 kids in her French class. That's one lousy, and I may actually mean lousy (more on this later), teacher for 40 kids, and our taxes support nearly a one-to-one ratio for staff and female prisoners at the shiny new gulag. What a truly fucked up state our nation is in. I could wax vulgaric about this for pages, but suffice it to say that prioritizing punishment over education will eventually radicalize even the moderate sheep. Is that what you want?

And speaking of school, Liv had an OK first week of 10th grade, though there are definitely some significant concerns brewing. First, as an attempt to curb the rampant skipping the administration has stopped students from using a very common interclass route that led out the door of one building into the door to the adjacent building. This requires kids to go a very long alternate route up and down stairs in already seriously crowded hallways. How bloody stupid. Instead of posting a sentry teacher inside each door to prevent kids from going out, how bout posting them outside the doors to be sure every kid who comes out one goes in the other? Yeah, I know, I'm a freakin genius. And speaking of crowded, she has overcrowding not merely in the aforementioned French class, but also several classes where there are more kids than desks. Some stand and some sit on the floor and some get office chairs. Nice. Very conducive to both learning and teaching. Not. Kinda like her bus, where there are over a dozen kids who have to stand or sit on the floor by the last pickup stop. I'm not joking. And the last of my school-related bitching, her science teacher not only inappropriately gender stereotypes several times just in the first class, but hands out a sheet that actually says science is a verb. Way to science, meathead. Nice sciencing there, chauvinistic pig, way to get your science on.


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Dan Seals for Congress? Barbour County Fair, 1st week of school over
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