These statues of a hillbilly and and a cowboy greet people when they arrive at Bagnell Dam, the massive dam that controls the waters of the Osage River to create the Lake of the Ozarks. The statues stand at opposite sides of the road then you drive in from the south side on Business 65.
I took these pictures during our recent family reunion. Just for fun I tried to Gimpshop a few powerlines from my original pictures.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I are a Supreme Funnel Cake from the Indian Taco vendor at the Ozark Empire Fair. It was three times the size of a normal funnel cake and topped with five artificial toppings: blueberries, strawberries, cherries, chocolate, and Bavarian cream. Every bite was greasy and delicious.
It cost six dollars and I shared it with my sister and my friend Isaac.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Film critic Brandon Fibbs reviewed Will Ferrell's newest film Step Brothers. I've been reading his reviews for a few years now and I've never seen him assess a film in such a scathing manner.
Read his conclusion:
Being childlike is far from being childish, but a generation of theatergoers isn’t going to know the difference between innocence and ugliness. These sorts of films both reflect and contribute to our society’s national unsightliness. For actors like Will Ferrell to become popular, audiences have to find his distinct brand of juvenile, infantile, potty humor funny. And in laughing along, they become complicit in the problem.
The full review is available on BrandonFibbs.com
Monday, July 28, 2008
Walt Disney must have been a heck of a math teacher. While my family and I were staying at some condos at the Lake of the Ozarks I saw this old vinyl album titled Addition + Subtraction. Originally created in 1963 this album features Jiminy Cricket and Rica Moore singing songs about addition and subtraction.
The A side of this LP features songs about addition, and the B side feature songs about subtractions. As you would expect, most of the songs on this Disney album are pretty benign, featuring titles such as The Pointing Game and The Mix Up Waltz, but the subtraction side features a freaky little gem that I doubt will be rebroadcast on the Disney channel any time soon- a song titled The Cannibal Song.
The Cannibal Song song teaches subtraction by telling the plight of ten little savage cannibals. Here are the lyrics:
Once upon a time there were ten little cannibals swinging on a vine.Songs like this aren't as bad as they seem. When I was young and learned to count, I sang ten little Indians. When I learned to count in Japanese we sang "Hitori, Futari, San-nin no Samurai." When I was growing up and attended Boy Scout camp we sang Great Big Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts, My Dead Dog Rover, and Johnny Verbek.
One tried to pat a big wild cat and then there were nine.
One of the nine drank turpentine and then there were eight.
Then one more fell dead on the floor and seven was their fate.
One went in politics then there were six.
One took a dive now five we see.
One went to Singapore and then there were four.
One turned green and then there were three.
One fell in some glue and then there were two. They drank from a loving cup.
One became a skeleton and then there was one and he ate himself all up!
If kids don't learn to laugh at the disgusting things in life at an early age and if they're reared believing that it is politically incorrect to mention any socio-economic group less plugged into the consumerist machine than their own, I think that they would have to go through life stiff-lipped, self-conscious and depressed. I'd rather eat myself.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Grandma's hands baked cookies and carefully placed the dough on the pan.
Grandma's hands held the wooden spoon when I wouldn't stop whining.
Grandma's hands serve pet food when it was time for feline dining.
Grandma's hands held mine as we walked across Shelter Gardens.
Grandma's hands are now frail. She lives in a world of frustration and strife,
But each bump and wrinkle tells a story from her life.
This is my contribution to The Sunday Sharing from The Notes from My Heart Blog. The original topic was My Father's Hands but I hope that they will forgive me of the creative liberty.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here's a picture of a nest that can be found on my family's farm.
Here's a picture of the baby bird that is growing inside that nest.
Here's a picture of what that little bird will become.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Wheel Inn in Sedalia, Missouri sells the one-of-a-kind guber burger. The guber burger is exactly the same as a regular burger except for one catch- it has slathered with peanut butter. If you're in or near Sedalia, stop by this classic American drive-in.
Charles P. Pierce wrote a short review of this restaurant in his article "16 Things to Do Before Labor Day." (Stopping by this drive-in is listed as number five.)
Find the location via Google Maps.
Last year, the location of this restaurant changed. You can read all about the old location at the Neato Coolville blog.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
This statue of comic icon Beetle Bailey is located outside the alumni center at the University of Missouri- Columbia campus. Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey's creator, graduated from Mizzou in 1948 and to dedicate his time at the campus the alumni association erected this statue in 1992.
One of the most unlikely things happened while I was a student at Mizzou. I was returning to my dorm from class at Townsend Hall and I saw a gray-haired man sitting alone next to the statue smoking a cigar. A brief thought went through my mind, "Could that have been Mort Walker?" I thought that it was too unlikely. It had to be some old codger who was out for a smoke. I just kept walking.
When I got back to my dorm an looked up a photo of Mort on the internet and I have a strong feeling that it was him. I'll never know for sure, but I'll always wish that I had stopped to ask if had really seen Mort sitting next to the statue of the character that he created.
MU Archives: Sculpture of Beetle Bailey
@Mizzou: New Student Center on the Horizon
(Features a photo of Mort and the statue.)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Vicki E. Snider has written a book titled Myths and Misconceptions about Teaching. The D-Ed Reckoning education blog has an incredibly thorough review of the book, and just reading the review will help people understand some common pitfalls of American educators. I haven't read this book, but from the review I read it looks like its assessment and advice about education is perfectly accurate.
D-Ed Reckoning: Book Review-- Myths and Misconceptions about Teaching
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Through Twitter I found a new blog worth reading. It is called Notes from My Heart. The author is a C-Net Asia editor, blogger, and, most importantly, a Christian dedicated to following God.
Here's a post from her personal blog:
“You know I’m bad at managing my own life. So why don’t you take over? You take charge, God, just tell me what to do! That way, life will never get messed up again!”
As soon as those words flew out of my mouth, I realized that is exactly what God have been asking for all along. That is the most basic thing every Christian is taught - to stop being self-centered and let God take charge.
The other day when I was in a Carl Junction gas station I found a three foot long gummy snakes called the "Big Fat Hissee Fit." I love gummy candy, but I never thought that I'd see this much gummy candy in one package.
You can but this candy at stupid.com
Note- Apparently it isn't 36", it is just 31". Read all about it at Consumer Reports.
(By the way, I snagged the logo from their site.)
Monday, July 14, 2008
My friend got a surprise in his box of Frosted Flakes. It was a genuine honest-to-goodness Indiana Jones Adventure Spoon. He pulled it out and made his own onomatopoetic dun-da-dun-da Indiana Jones theme music as he showed off his new toy/eating utensil.
For those that might be interested, the Indiana Jones Adventure Spoon is a gray plastic LED device with the Jones logo that is attached to a removable dishwasher safe spoon. When you push a button on the spoon the colored LED lights up and illuminates what you are eating. The spoon is equipped with either a red, yellow, or green LED. The curve of the spoon is engraved. If you get a green LED, your spoon is engraved with an alien head. The red one has a spider etched into it. And, best of all, the yellow spoon has a skull. I have no doubt that nothing enhances the breakfast experience more than a spider, alien or skull. Breakfast is no longer a meal, but an experience; and this spoon makes breakfast an adventure!
It hasn't been since I was a child that I have gotten excited about a toy in a box of cereal. I had nearly concluded that the cereal box toy was a lost art. Even though I occasionally ate sugared cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch through college, I don't recall finding any toy in the last fifteen years. Before that, during my elementary school years, I do recollect finding Nintendo stickers, spiders that crawled down the wall, Flintstones removable tattoos, little race cars, and even a music disc in cereal boxes. I remember begging my mom to buy a certain box of cereal because it had a free toy and engaging in the unhygienic practice of reaching my hand down into the cereal box to obtain the free toy inside.
As my experience would suggest, I admit that most breakfast cereal toys are lame marketing gimmicks designed to steal the attention of the Sesame Street set. Yet, I do believe that there is something different about the Indiana Jones Adventure Spoon. Just the design and the should pique the curiosity of kids and adults and lets them remember the thrill of seeing the movies and help instill in them a desire to go off on their own adventures. I'm not alone in thinking this. I did some internet searching and found a number of people who have been influenced by the spoon.
One guy claims to have gotten a job because of the Adventure Spoon.
One person on Yahoo Answers wants to know who holds the power of the Adventure Spoon.
Kevin Tuccio wrote extensively about his Spoon and posted some high resolution pictures.
Finally, and most importantly, there are two kids who have made videos about the spoon and posted them on YouTube. Their production values are questionable, but the videos show that the spoon is doing that Spielberg and Lucas probably intended, giving kids the desire to make their own movies and engage in their own fantasy. Both of these major film producers became inspired after watching adventure and sci-fi serials in their youth, and now there is evidence that they are inspiring the next generation of creative film makers.
The Curse of the Indiana Jones Adventure Spoon
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I have a curious interest in places that display animatronic figurines. I don't know if it is some throwback to the days when I used to watch Today's Special on Nickelodeon, but I do wonder what makes museum curators decide to throw up a talking mannequin instead of a video or 3-D display. Animatronic figures are clearly a throwback to a time when someone was looking for something a little bit more engaging than a wax museum. Their presence makes the display seem like something that is stuck in the past. Maybe that is why I like them.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
What is happening now on a number of Missouri blogs could either represent the best or the worst of the what bloggers have to offer. There is a vicious and unsubstantiated rumor that Governor Matt Blunt is a homosexual. As of yet there is no proof for this claim. There are just unsubstantiated claims that "CNN will soon out the governor," that "multiple sources" validate this, and that the ongoing controversy with the missing e-mails and Missouri's Sunshine Law has something to do with it.
Until you see the evidence, don't believe the lie.
However, if the allegations are true, it will be the biggest Missouri news story of the decade. Matt Blunt is a stalwart Republican who actively opposes gay marriage. It will be very similar to the Ted Haggard story only significantly more important.
If the allegations are false, then Matt Blunt should posse up his lawyer cronies, track down the bloggers that started the rumor, and sue the pants off of the liars that began these false allegations. Matt Blunt should push a high profile test case for slander in the blogosphere through the courts and take care of these guys Singapore style.
The KC Blue Blog has slightly more information about the situation.
(Note- The content of the KC Blue Blog is fine, but it does link to some sites that feature offensive content.)
Obama's Theological Chinese Menu by Joseph Farah.
There aren't many paths, according to the Bible – just one. And it tells us even that one path is very narrow. Obama makes the mistake of many who believe themselves to be Christians – that they can pick and choose what they like about the Bible as if were an oversized Chinese menu.
This article points out how Obama's faith should be compared more closely to Unitarian Universalism than Evangelical Christianity. Although I'm not sure why Joseph think his Chinese menu analogy is so clever.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I was watching Jay Leno and heard him tell a joke that the Democratic National Convention, in an effort to be "the greenest convention ever," will not have any fried food on the menu. His punchline was that after Al Gore heard this he switched to the Republic Party.
At first, I didn't really believe the premise of Jay's joke. I thought for sure that it was some mild scheme or plan exaggerated by Rush (or someone of his ilk) and then used by Leno for a comedic jab.
Then reality set it. I did a quick Google search and found in the Wall Street Journal Online that the Democratic National Convention has indeed excluded fried food from its menu:
Matt Burns, a spokesman for the Republican convention, looks on with undisguised glee at some of the Democrats' efforts -- such as the "lean 'n' green" catering guidelines.Among them: No fried food. And, on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include "at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white." (Garnishes don't count.)
This election is the Democrat's to lose, but this food ban is a symbol of what could make the party weaken its sure grip. It is also symbolic of America's attempt to polarize and politicize each and every aspect of a person's life. In my relatively short political memory the distinctions between parties were based on political philosophies, economic principle and moral imperatives.
Food, the most culturally relative of all of life's element, should not be politicized. A Korean-American who likes to return to his home country and eat grilled dog should be just as welcome as the PETA vegetarian or the southern fried KFC lover.
As soon as your party starts alienating and excluding entire cultures on such absurd premises you will either lose the contest or marginally win and throw the whole country into a bunch of silly debates. I can see it now. A bunch of Democrats trying to take over a local school board, not so they can fix the drop out rate, but so they can change the school lunch menu. Local city council members arguing about increasing the taxes for businesses that serve fried food while accident causing pot holes remain in the street. I'm a-fried of the future.
A copy of Metropolis (1926), one of the most impressive science fiction films from the silent era, has been found and with missing scenes intact. Directed by Fritz Lang in German, the film has only existed in edited format with entire reels missing.
On noteworthy aspect of the film is its use of the Schufftan process. A procedure where miniatures are reflected on magnifying glass which is placed at a forty five degree angle relative to the camera lense.
In preparation for teaching a high school film studied course, I've been reading A History of Narrative Film by David A. Cook. Lang doesn't lavish praise upon the film buy simply describes the film as a "simplistic vision of a twenty-first-century totalitarian society." I disagree, films such as Metropolis are valuable to society and provide a stark warning to society about what will happen if the privileges of people in power go unchecked.
Here's a link to more information about the recently recovered scenes.
Zeit Online: The Revival of Metropolis
Here's a video explaining the way social media works. The narrator's voice is a little annoying, but it is worth sitting through the video because he paints a crystal clear picture of what internet technology is doing to society.
Social Media in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.
(Via IZ Reloaded)
Monday, July 07, 2008
A guy named Michael Wong has a scheme to increase traffic to blog sites by posting links and staring a "community." Part of the scheme is posting links to other sites. I'm playing along.
I teach many students who would best be described as "third culture kids." This means they move around a lot and essentially have three different cultures to learn to negotiate: the culture of their passport country, the culture of their country of residence, and the culture of the other foreigners in their country of residence. Sometimes the transitions are pretty hard on the kids. Think about the difficulty that you had growing up, and then multiply that struggle by three.
Blogger K!mberly just sent me a link to a blog titled The Irrational Season by a woman named C'havara who writes extensively about how to support and help third culture kids. C'havara grew up as a third culture kid and currently works for CRM Ministries.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I'm back in Springfield, Missouri, now I don't quite always know what to do with my time. What is my solution? Do the same things that I did before moving to the other side of the pond. Part of that is watching concerts by artists that I enjoyed listening to in high school and college.
I hope to attend two concerts in the month of July. If anyone reads this blog and is interested in attending with me, give me a call.
July 19, 2008
Big Smith, opened by Mincks and Miller
Cartoon's in Springfield, Missouri, 7.00 P.M.
July 28, 2008
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Ozark Empire Fair Grandstand
If you've got any good suggestions for shows I should attend in the month of July, please put them in the comments section.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I know it is really bad form to repost press releases on blogs, but my old high school took sixth in the national at the National Forensic League Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. This seems like the best way to get the information out.
Springfield Public Schools
Community Relations Office
940 N. Jefferson Ave.
Springfield, MO, 65802
(417) 523- INFO
For immediate release:
June 30, 2008
High school debaters excel in national competition
Four Springfield public high schools excelled in this month’s National Forensic League National Speech Tournament in Las Vegas.
Parkview High School's speech and debate squad placed sixth in the nation in cumulative rounds of competition. Parkview’s Cassidy Miller placed 10th nationally in original oratory. At least one Parkview student has placed within the top 10 of the tournament in seven of the past nine years.
Four students from Central High School were among 25 in the nation named to the NFL’s “All American” list. Nick Ramsey, Lindsey Zhang, Daniel Phillip Schultz and Evan Dorshorst ranked No. 4, 6, 9, and 12, respectively.
Other district results from this year’s competition are as follows:
Central High School
Samantha Maerz and Brian McGarry tied for 17th in public forum debate.
Tucker May and Lauren Schriver ranked 29th in duo interpretation.
Nick Ramsey ranked in the top 40 in commentary.
Evan Dorshorst ranked in the top 40 in expository speaking.
Lindsey Zhang ranked 10th in expository speaking.
Parkview High School
Thomas Andrews ranked in the top 36 nationally in extemporaneous commentary.
Jeremy Eutsler ranked in the top 60 nationally in dramatic interpretation.
Alex Ndikum ranked in the top 70 nationally in extemporaneous commentary.
Glendale High School
Allyson Strickland and Thomas Fritts ranked in the top 16 in public forum debate.
Kickapoo High School
Bonnie Lyons placed 6th in the nation in expository speaking and ranked in the top 60 in original oratory expository speaking.
Beth Anne Hendrickson placed in the top 15 nationally in expository speaking.
Kevin Satzinger placed in the top 30 in international extemporaneous speaking.
For more information, call district Public Information Officer Robert Keyes at 523-0050 or go to www.nflonline.org