Archive for February, 2010

That other lesson learned in 4th grade

Monday, February 15th, 2010

As you probably know, New Jersey is one of the 49 states to get snow in the recent snow storm. At my house we probably got 30-36 inches in total over a four day period. Ugh.

The skies have been clear for about five days now, and although there’s no snow in the forecast there’s plenty of it on the ground. So I’ve been drawing on the lessons I learned in Ms. McCarty’s 4th grade class at Driscoll Elementary.

There’s no way I’m hauling shovelfulls of wet, icy snow from one side of my driveway to another. Instead I’ve been simply throwing the snow into the street… onto the clear, black asphalt.  Warm, toasty, sun’s energy absorbing black asphalt. I flick the snow onto the street, kick any clumps into smaller wisps of snow and watch them melt almost instantly and flow back into the gutters.

By the time I finished my most recent round of doing this, all the snow had melted and I’d cleared another 54 cubic feet of snow from in front of my house. (That’s an 18 foot wide, 1.5 foot deep rectangle of snow extending two feet from the curb, if you’re scoring at home.)

It’s tiring and my back hurts from all the twisting and throwing, but I’m pleased to have been able to apply the lesson I learned back when we put a piece of black felt and a piece of  white felt on the snow and watched the black felt sink about a foot into the snow over the course of a day back in 1978.

Thank you Ms. McCarty (and “Gifted and Talented” supplemental instruction teacher, Ms. Safran), you taught me well.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other flaw with American Idol

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I know it’s just a reality TV show/contest, and it’s hardly worth investing much thought in, but… it irks me (that’s right, I said “irks”… well, I typed it really, but you get the idea… I USED it) that they do not give equal airtime to all the potential finalists.

I know it’s a tough thing to do, but I think there’s an inherent advantage built in when the process is going to be handed over to the public and then not all the players have been given the same opportunity to connect with the voters.

I remember a few years ago, there was a woman who did not receive ANY air time until she made it to first week of voting America voting. We never saw her sing until the first week that the votes mattered, and … surprise surprise … she failed to garner enough votes to stay.

So, yes, I find it irksome (ohhh, there’s that word again, but in a different form) that they do not give equal air time to all of the potential top 24.

I do recognize they don’t have a whole of time, but you know what? They could cut down on the cutting down of genuinely misguided people who don’t realize they can’t sing. Some people are on there for a laugh, but some of those poor people really don’t know how bad they are. And they don’t realize the screeners have passed them through to the audition room to see them get humiliated.

We do so many things to protect people from their own stupidity, in this country. Shouldn’t we be doing that here too?

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other color

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


It’s a little bit darker than black, but a little lighter than white – snorple.

My kids and I debate the existence of snorple items all the time. They, of course, deny any such color exists. I, of course, say it does.

Yesterday, on the way home from the grocery store, I added in a discussion of a “spangle” (a shape with more sides than a rectangle but fewer than a triangle). How many sides does the spangle have? Why, “skezel” (more than 10 but less than 2), of course. Duh!

I wonder if they’ll torture their own children in the same way when they get older? My daughter will… I’m fairly sure. My son may look like me and want to be like me, but in terms of personality, my daughter is probably the one who inherited the greater share of the genetic contributors to personality.

Poor her (and her future husband).

Contributed by: Scott Copperman