Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Twins are Insane

The Mets are going to get Johan Santana for four prospects as long as an extension can be worked out with New York. Are the Twins insane or what? Santana has been one of the top pitchers in the Majors for like the last five years. The Twins aren't even going to get a big name out of this? The deal is reportedly for six years and $150 million. I just don't get it. These prospects better be super heroes!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Allergic Reaction

I missed school today. I went to the doctor on Friday to get an antibiotic for a sinus infection. I woke up Saturday just a little itchy and didn't think anything of it. By Sunday the itching was driving my crazy and I had figured out that it was an allergic reaction to the medicine! It is weird because I am not allergic to any medicines that I know of. Of course I couldn't get to a doctor to correct the problem. Last night I got about two hours of sleep and my skin is just crawling! I called the doctor today and got a new antibiotic prescribed. I can't start taking it until tomorrow. I am still itching like crazy.

It seems like it is always something but I will get through it and be ready to go tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Weekend

The Carey family had another busy weekend. On Saturday some guys and myself were making chili for the Cub Scout Chili/Soup Supper at 7 a.m. I left from the school at around 1 p.m. and come home and took a shower. I went back to the school to start working again at around 3:45 p.m. My family came to partake in the chili at around 4:30 so I stopped and ate supper with them. My son and I stayed and worked the supper until around 6:45 p.m. My son and I were exhausted. I went to bed around 10:30. Today I got to sleep in until around 8. I did my walk and then went and watched my son play his last game of basketball for the year. He did a really good job today. He has learned more with each game. My daughter has a fever today so we didn't do much as a family. I hope I am able to go to school tomorrow. I guess it will depend on whether or not my daughter's fever is gone. I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Student Blog Posted!

It's official. Our junior high science classes have posted their first blog. It is by four boys from my 7th hour class. We are all in the process of getting our first posts done as groups. We have around 32 groups total for this project. It has been quite a process, from the teacher's (me!) point of view. It involves a lot of organization and instruction but the kids are responding well! So far it has been a good experience for all. I am really proud of the kids and how hard they are working. Junior high kids sure have a lot to discuss and really come up with some good topics. I would say by Wednesday of next week all the groups should have their first post posted. I hope all the junior high students are enjoying this as much as I am teaching it!

By the way, I am also teaching the kids how to use Google reader and Google documents.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Update on Busy Day

The chili cook-off was a little disappointing. Only one of the chilis really got my taste buds going. My favorites were two soups. The Patio had this delicious BLT soup and County Market had this killer Portabello Potato Soup. It was fun to get out on a cold day and have some good conversation with friends. My son played pretty well in his basketball game and did a really good job listening. He learned a couple of things. He learned how to front the post and how to screen out the shooter when they are shooting a free-throw. At the teacher get-together we had a lot of fun and got to watch two good football games. The Pats and the Giants in the Superbowl! I could not imagine playing football in weather with a wind chill of -23 or so. Frozen Tundra INDEED!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Busy Day

I have a lot on my plate today. Late this morning my mother-in-law and father-in-law are coming to visit. Later in the morning my wife, father-in-law, and myself are going to a chili cook-off. Our school had a team in it the last three years but we are taking this year off. It should be fun to just relax and enjoy some good conversation and some good chili. At 1pm my son has a basketball game. Later in the afternoon some of the teachers are getting together at a local establishment to enjoy some football and celebrate the three day weekend and one of our colleague's promotion.

It should be a busy but fun filled day. I will update you on how the day went either tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

College Basketball and Chili

What better way to spend a day, where the high is supposed to be around 10, than to make chili and watch a full day of college basketball? Right now I am watching Syracuse and Villanova. It's a good game with Syracuse leading #25 Nova by 5 at half. I am also keeping track of Georgetown and Notre Dame. Georgetown is playing some good ball! They are up 13 at half. Later today is when the real fun starts. North Carolina plays Maryland. The game is at NC. Then, "my team", DUKE, plays Clemson at Cameron. Duke has beat Clemson 21 consecutive times but that certainly doesn't mean it won't be a good game or that Duke won't have to fight for the win.

As for the chili part, I will be making my meatless chili this afternoon. High in protein and flavor and low in fat. It is really simple to make and really satisfies the appetite. Add any kind of beans that you like. I use HOT chili beans, black beans, and pinto beans. I then add 2 cans of diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes "ready for chili". I like a lot of onion in my chili so I use a whole onion that I sweat in about a teaspoon of oil. I also like a lot of chili powder in my chili. I use approximately a 1/4 cup of chili powder for this amount of chili. Occasionally I will use about a tablespoon of cumin along with the chili powder. I then simmer my chili for a minimum of one hour. If you want you can serve this chili with low fat sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or chopped green onions. ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Duke Blue Devils

I think my, and Mr. Harbourn's, Duke Blue Devils are sneaking up on some people. I listen to a college basketball podcast and they are rarely mentioned. In the AP we are now ranked #7 and in the coaches poll we are now ranked #5. We are now 2-0 in the ACC with Boston College on top. Boston College is 3-0 and UNC is 2-0. We have four guys averaging in double figures. Nelson is averaging 14.1 ppg, Henderson 13.0 ppg, Singler 13.0 ppg, and Scheyer 10.7 ppg. King is right behind them with 9.9 ppg. That is a balanced attack and proves that we are playing as a team. We also have ten guys averaging in double digits in playing time. That is nice to see! I could go on and on with stats. I am a stat-man, but I won't bore you. I really hope we keep playing well but I hope we don't peak to early. I want to be ready for March Madness! We have three pretty tough games coming up. We have Clemson at home on Saturday, VT at VT on the 24th, and we play at Maryland on the 27th. GO BLUE DEVILS!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Glory Days

I was doing my walk tonight in the mall and listening to my Zune. "Glory Days" by Bruce Springstein came on. I got to listening to the words. I haven't heard that song in forever! As I am listening to the words I am thinking, "Man, is that the truth!". I mean when I get together with my friends, especially from high school, we sure get to talking about the "glory days". We talk about the plays, the dusty plaques, the tarnished trophies, and all the fun we had , especially playing sports. The funny thing is that all those things that made me part of what I am today don't mean anything on most days of my life currently. Nobody cares if I was all conference. Nobody cares if I had a big hit to win the game. I must be getting old because it doesn't really matter to me if people do know that. What matters now is what you are now. I still would like to tell stories of my friends and I in sports but I know that that would bore most people to tears. The only person that I really struggle with not telling these stories of my past to is my son. I want him to know some of the highlights of my life but I don't want to bore him with ancient stories of my past. Is that wrong? I guess my dad told my brother and I plenty of stories so maybe that's why I hold back some. If you remember your days in high school I am sure that those days bring back some of the best memories of your life. It is that way for me but presently I keep them to myself most of the time. It kind of scares me because I know if I don't talk about them, and relive them in my mind, that I will start to lose those special memories. I have never been one for "I did this" or "I did that" but I do want my kids and their kids to know something about their father's and grandfather's past. So is it right to talk about the "glory days" and bore your family and friends to death or should you just concentrate on making the most out of the present? I would like to think you could do a little of both! I am thoroughly enjoying life right now but I would also like people to know what put a sparkle in my eye in the past. I guess for now I will stay with the present but the next time I see one of my high school buddies I don't think I will be able to make that same promise. I guess I can sum my feelings up by saying always keep looking forward but never forget the past.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Feeling Good

Most people I know made some kind of New Year's resolution. I did not. I did make one in November after my last scare with my kidneys and my father-in-law's quadruple bypass. I have to eat right and exercise. My body (kidneys) and my doctor have told me that. I wouldn't really call it a "resolution" because if I break my "resolution" it could have some dire consequences. It is a lifestyle change. I have one advantage. I have done this before and, for me, it is not that hard, most of the time. I still have the occasional urge, or bad day, but for 95% of the days I don't have much of a problem sticking to eating right and exercising. I will be honest. I find it hardest to do the exercise part. Not that I don't like it but I have a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old and I don't like taking time away from them, or my wife, to leave and go exercise. My Zune makes it easier because it takes my mind off of things and let's me relax. I can either listen to music or podcasts. It is a good time to just get away and forget about everything. I think exercising is as good for the mind as it is for the body. I try to walk around 40 minutes a day on weekdays and around 50 minutes a day on weekends. I also try not to take off any days. It just makes it harder to get back into it. I think since November I have missed a total of five days exercising. I think that is pretty good. Anyway, here it to all of you that have chosen to make a lifestyle change this year and to all of you that have to make a lifestyle change this year. Good luck and good health!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Great NFL Weekend

It sure is fun to watch leaders at work. Brett Favre leading the Packers into their division championship while playing at the "Frozen Tundra", and Tom Brady continuing the Patriots perfect season, are just two reasons why watching football this weekend has been exciting. Currently I am watching the Colts vs. the Chargers. Again, another quarterback, Payton Manning, controlling the tempo of the game and being a true leader. If you think about it, three out of the four quaterbacks that were, or are, playing this weekend, are definite Hall-Of-Famers! To me, that is amazing! The Packers game was especially fun to watch because of the snow they were receiving at Lambeau Field. AT times it was snowing extremely hard. I commented to my kids that "wouldn't it be fun to play football in that snow?". Of course my daughter didn't agree with me. I thought the two games last night were good games and well played. The Packers and Seahawks set a record for most points in a first quarter. Check the scores here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Day Full of Bad Choices

My son is 9 and I love him to death. He is very intelligent so that makes this story even harder to believe. He had recently lost a week of playing Gameboy and PS2 for misbehavior. He gets up this morning and argues with his mom and gets another day tacked on to that. When he is at school today he breaks his $175 retainer. I pick him and his sister up today after school and we get home and I find out he got in a little trouble at school today because he lost some homework. My wife gets home and we notice that he is upstairs. My wife goes to check on him and busts him playing his sisters Gameboy. Now he loses TV for the night and video games for a month. Now the kicker, remember I told you he broke his retainer today at school? He waited to tell us about that after he got in trouble for the "Gameboy Incident". He has to pay half of the retainer cost. Anyway, live and learn. He is a good kid but sometimes doesn't think things through...obviously!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to School

It was good to get back to get back into the groove of things today and see all my co-workers again. It looked like we all had a long break. We all seemed to be in first gear. Of course the kids were a little "iffy" getting back also. Tomorrow we only have a half a day of school because of a workshop on ISAT testing. I am thinking about asking our superintendent if I can Ustream it to let all the teachers see how it works. It should be pretty easy to set up and get going.

I am watching the LSU/Ohio State game (BCS Championship). It is a good game and so far Ohio State has the upper hand. They are up 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

End of Christmas Break

Christmas break is over. I will return to school tomorrow to start the 2008 part of the year. I am looking to forward to accomplishing many things with my students. I am pretty sure that I will have a student teacher this year. She did observation last year and I think she is going to make a really good teacher. I am anxious to get back to my routine.

I would like to take this time to tell my 8th graders something that I tell all my 8th graders. Keep in mind that you can accomplish anything in life as long as you are willing to work hard for it and make the necessary sacrifices to achieve it. This especially pertains to your career. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something! It is your life and if you work hard enough you can achieve it!

Good luck to all my students in 2008 and keep working hard!


Today I went for a 50 minute walk...outside...in 60 degree weather! It is January 6th? What a beautiful "Spring" day! Right now it is 67 degrees. I set out on the front porch for about an hour playing on the laptop. My allergies are acting up. I am sure we will pay for this with some upcoming nasty weather. I am enjoying this weather but it sure makes me think of spring and the end of school. Anyway, enjoy this wonderful weather if you live in the area, and if you don't live in the area, we will enjoy it for you!

I just saw, as I was watching the Giant and Buccaneer game, that it is only 70 in Tampa Bay. We're close!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Feeling Accomplished

I have been busy the last two days. I have installed wi-fi at my house, with the help of a good friend, and purchased and installed a web cam for use on the school's laptop and my home PC. Today I put my first video on Ustream. I tell you what, technology is awesome! I am "toy-king" and enjoy "playing" with all the new "toys" I have. I can't wait to implement them in my classroom. Today I actually feel like I am gaining on the technology rush. I am not, but I feel that way. I have to get some other friends, that are teachers, on board so that we can come up with some valid and exciting ideas for the classroom. I love being the first to do things in my classroom but I also love conversing with other teachers and racking their brains about the ideas they have. I have so many ideas rushing through my head I am having trouble keeping them straight! Check out my Ustream video.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Am Legend

What a movie! I loved it. There was action from the get go and there were many unexpected turn of events. I would warn any dog lovers to bring a Kleenex or two. I thought this was one of Will Smith’s best performances. It was intense and full of “what ifs”. Being a science teacher these sci-fi films always peak my curiosity. Could something like this really happen? I doubt it but it sure makes you think. I guess you never know. Anyway, good entertainment! I would definitely recommend this movie.

Next on my list to see…Alvin and the Chipmunks (with the kids). By the way, my son is really excited because we saw a poster for the new Indiana Jones movie. He is a big fan. It is due out on May 22nd, 2008.

Favorite Sitcoms Ever

This is my list of favorite sitcoms of all-time. Ok, not all-time since I am only 40, but some of them are pretty old and I have only seen reruns. These are not in any particular order. “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “All In The Family”, “Roseanne”, “The Cosby Show”, “The Honeymooners” (I don’t know if this counts as a sitcom but I am counting it), “I Love Lucy”, and “Happy Days”. I love all of these for different reasons. I love “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Roseanne” because they had the ability to take life as it really was sometimes and show you that you have to laugh at life. I think I love “The Cosby Show” and “Happy Days” because we used to watch these sitcoms as a family while I was growing up. I love “All In The Family” because it was such a bold and on-the-edge comedy. “I Love Lucy” and “The Honeymooners” remind me of the laughter of my parents while I was very little. They would show reruns of these shows all the time. So I guess these are my top seven sitcoms. What are yours? I know there are not any new sitcoms on this list but, first of all, I don’t watch that much TV any more, and secondly, I don’t really see anything on TV presently that even wants to make me watch a sitcom these days. Are good sitcoms a thing of the past? Are there good sitcoms out there that I am just missing?


I think we all make resolutions this time of year. Some of us let everyone know what our resolutions are and some of us don’t let anyone know. I think it is important that everyone does make resolutions to start the New Year. I don’t think it is important that we let anyone know. I am not saying you can’t let people know what your resolutions are but I don’t think it is necessary. After all, you are making the resolution(s) for yourself, right?

Why do I think resolutions are important? We all need goals in our life and what better time to set your goals than the beginning of the New Year? Don’t make your goals unreachable, but don’t make them so easy that you don’t feel like you have really accomplished anything either.

I have just a couple things that I am going to work on in 2008. First, I am going to continue to work on improving my health and eating habits. Second, I hope to spend more quality time with my family. The second one sounds easier but for me I find this hard with all the schedules and appointments we have as a family. It is possible though.

Everyone have a prosperous and healthy 2008!

Bowl Daze

Well, it’s bowl day (New Years Day for you non-football fans). There should be some good games today. Of course here in the Midwest we are watching some games closer than others. Currently I am watching Wisconsin vs. Tennessee. The game is now tied 7-7 in the first quarter with 7:33 left. The two games that will be watched closely around here are Missouri vs. Arkansas and Illinois vs. USC. I think the Missouri/Arkansas game will be a better game. There are two runner-ups for the Heisman trophy that are playing in this game. It will be interesting to see how the Midwest fairs in these Bowl games. I am using ESPN Interactive to keep track of scores and when the games are played. It is a great feature on the Dish Network. Since my Fightin’ Irish aren’t playing in a bowl game this year I am forced to keep track of the Midwest teams in the Bowls. We will be back next year!