Jul 28, 2013

Dump CCSS Assessments, keep the standards.

PARCC estimates per-student testing will cost $29.50. That does NOT include the cost per child for all the technology that needs to be implemented in order for students to even take the tests. Some states, the smart ones in my estimation, are dumping national CCSS testing and the "every child is exactly the same everywhere you go" approach. They are keeping many of the CCS Standards, just prying themselves away from the money-grubbing hands of companies like Pearson.

Here is my take: the standards themselves are actually very well developed. With a bit of tweaking yet to be seen, they are perfectly viable supplements to existing state standards. And that is exactly how they should be used. CCSS is just as bad for students as NCLB is/was. Students, just like adults, are different in each and every case. No matter how hard the nation might like a society of robots, it just isn't going to happen. In fact, the continues push for such a society will lead, again in my opinion, to more and more people home-schooling and/or private-schooling their children. Public education will all but disappear if this course does not change.

I applaud each and every state that never got into the smoke and mirrors that companies like Pearson used to sucker their victims into the program. I especially applaud those states who have taken the blinders off and have since turned their backs on this corporate infiltration of public education.

It amazes me that communities went bananas when Coke and Pepsi started placing vending machines in schools or when other companies tried to place 'express dining' options in schools, yet they totally embrace a company deciding what their child should learn, how they are tested, and suck the monies from their local districts without so much as a peep. Ridiculous.

I know I have a very small readership, but I can only hope that somehow, people in all the states still hypnotized by the bull companies like Pearson are shoveling will open their eyes, take off the blinders, and contact their legislators to get them off this sick and twisted carnival ride of cash.

I have already written my elected officials on the subject and plan to keep doing so. I work in education. I support my SCHOOLS in the choices they make and in the programs they are required to provide to their students. To that end, I support whatever it takes to help the schools in my area succeed.

But, as a taxpaying individual, I will do whatever it takes to kill CCSS assessments that are provided by the very companies who are pushing the content, pushing the standards, and taking the money out of our states and our districts... $29.50 (plus infrastructure costs) at a time....

My view at church this morning.

Jul 26, 2013

Bill, Mom, and Brian

You can quote me on that... #banalityoflife

"Modern society celebrates the banalities of life as though those were the accomplishments of greatness. And, being a member of said society, I feel it is my duty to contribute." - David W Henderson (me).

Jul 24, 2013

40 Items on my "Bucket List"

Last Updated 06/03/2022

I don't even have a "Bucket List," so this may not even reach 40 items. And, I am including items that I have already done because if did have a list, these would have been on it:
  1. Own a Corvette
  2. Attend the Indians Fantasy Camp
  3. Visit NYC (2009)
  4. See the Indians play
  5. See the Indians play in Cleveland (Summer 2012)
  6. Write a novel (2009)
  7. Get published (2009)
  8. See the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium (2009)
  9. Pay for a group of college-aged kids' supper (payback kinda thing) (2013*)
  10. Go to Australia
  11. Pay off my debts
  12. Go to California (2004, 2014)
  13. Go to Disney World (2008)
  14. See the Grand Canyon (Summer 2014)
  15. Have lyrics recorded by professional
  16. Have lyrics recorded by a demo group
  17. Publish a book of poems and lyrics
  18. Finish the "Top Indians by Uniform Number" list
  19. Watch the Steelers play live
  20. Visit Wrigley Field (as a bonus, I got to watch the Cubs/Tribe play!)
  21. Take my family to Colorado for vacation (2013)
  22. Take a cruise
  23. Visit Europe
  24. Visit St. Andrews (for my Dad)
  25. Ride the Mt. Washington Incline (Summer 2012)
  26. Start my own business (2022, founded Amalgamated Toast LLC)
  27. Win a lottery (not scratch-off/doesn't have to be a big one)****
  28. Anonymously benefit someone in a major way (house, car, bills, etc)
  29. Be on TV or in a movie (commercial, as an extra, leading role, whatever!)**
  30. Invent something successful (and benefit from the sales)
  31. Write a children's book
  32. See a soccer World Cup game live
  33. Perform a stand-up routine at a comedy club (added 04/28/2012)
  34. See a full performance of Cirque de Solei (added 05/18/2013) - They filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. I will probably never get to see them live.
  35. Head a non-profit which helps those in financial straits get on their feet (05/18/2013)
  36. Present at a national conference (added 05/18/2013) (AESA, FETC)
  37. Create a scholarship for students with last name of Henderson who attend Henderson State University. No minimum GPA, no minimum credits. The reward is having the same name as the college. Why? Because no one is doing it now, and it should be a given. (Added 07/24/2013) - In 2020, HSU was sold to the Arkansas State University system. At the time, the university retained its name, but all of the operations are ASU. As the school is no longer its own entity, this item will likely never come to fruition.
  38. Ride AMTRAK at least once (added 05/26/2014) (May 2014)***
  39. Ride on Parts of Route 66 (Added 2014) (Summer 2014)

I'm sure there are other things that should/could go on the list, but that's all I got for now.
(This list was originally posted on 09/07/2009)

*On May 30, 2013, I was with a co-worker at Cracker Barrel in Conway, Arkansas. A group of 4 young adults sat down at a table diagonal from ours. I decided then I would pay for their meal. The longer I looked, though, I could have sworn one of the guys looked like Kris Allen (American Idol winner). I texted a photo to my wife. Before she could respond, the reaction of other patrons left no doubt. When our meal was finished, I asked our waitress (who was also his) if she would give me the check. I did not tell Kris that I was paying for his table's meal.

**In 2009, two colleagues and I went to Schaumberg, IL, for Windows training. While there, we decided to walk around Chicago every chance we got. As we passed by Vic Theatre, we saw that Bill Engvall would be there that night. So, we bought tickets. Turns out he was taping his comedy routine for TBS Very Funny! We ended up with seat near the front and close to the aisle. They were perfect! Not only did we get to see a great show, but we were put on video as well! Later that year, TBS aired the special, and there we were!

*** I added this after-the-fact because sometimes we do things that SHOULD have been on our bucket list in the first place.

**** I have won small amounts in the lottery several times (less than $100). I am crossing this off, though winning a big one would be pretty swooft... Haha!

Yes. Even at 18, he still has to blow out the candles.

Sharepoint, Exporting, and Ditching the Manifest

While working at one of my areas schools, I was tasked with getting all the pictures out of a Sharepoint site. Specifically, it is a MOSS 2007 installation. I used the stsadm.exe program that comes with Sharepoint in order to export everything from the site. When that runs, it creates a series of CMP files.

Turns out CMP files are just Windows CAB files with a different extension. You can rename the CMP to CAB and then simply double-click them to see what's inside. And, what is inside? In most of the CABs, you will find DAT files. The DAT files are actual usable files (for the most part), but you have to know what they were to start with. For example, you could rename the appropriate DAT file as DOC (assuming that specific file had been a word doc) and it would open in Word.  In one of the CABs, though, you will find a Manifest.xml file. This lists every file the system backed up, what its "real" name is, and what the DAT file was called. You put two and two together and come with the correct filename and extension for the files.

That's great if you have a small set of files. In my case, the Manifest.xml alone was 380MB. Yes, that is 380 Megabytes! Ain't nobody got time for that!  Instead, I took the cheater's route: Rename every DAT file as JPG and see what happens.

Now, before we start patting backs here, let me explain what that entailed: Each CMP has multiple (from about a dozen to more than 2000, depending) files in it. In my case, there were 32 CMP files. I needed a way to extract the information from each of those CMPs and then convert the thousands of files to JPG. Here's another kick: The DAT files all start over in naming with each new CMP file. So, you can't simply extract every file into the same folder because files would overwrite each other.

Enter command line fun:
The first thing I did was rename the CMP to CAB. That was easy:
ren *.cmp *.cab
I created a new folder on the computer called SchoolName (I used the actual name, of course):
md c:\SchoolName
To keep things easy, I made sure I was working in the SchoolName folder on the C:\ drive:
c: (then press Enter), then type: cd\schoolName (and press Enter)
Next, I knew I would have to extract each CAB into its own folder. So, let's create folders:
for /L %a in (1,1,32) do call md schoolname%a
This ran a loop that created a directory called schoolname1, schoolname2, etc to schoolname32 inside the SchoolName folder. So, from the root, they would be C:\SchoolName\schoolname1\, C:\SchoolName\schoolname2\, etc...

I switched back to my flash drive where the renamed CAB files resided:
e: (then press Enter, where "e" is the letter of your flash drive)
Now, I needed to extract those files from the CABS and put them in the correct folders:
for /L %I in (1,1,32) do call expand -F:* schoolname%I.cab c:schoolname%I 
Notice that I did *NOT* put a backslash after the c: in that line! By excluding the backslash, I am telling Windows to use the c: drive, but start in the last directory I accessed on that drive. That was SchoolName, remember? So, this will extract the files inside the CABs to the appropriate subdirectory in that SchoolName folder. That is, schoolname1.cab files will go into the schoolname1 subfolder, etc.

Okay, the next shortcut? I was just looking for pictures. I decided to use JPG as the extension of choice. So, if I rename all the files I just extracted to JPG, then I could use the "Medium Icons" view to see which files actually show images!  Again, I don't have time to delve into every single folder to rename thousands of files, so let's have a FOR-LOOP to the work:
for /L %I in (1,1,32) do ren schoolname%I\*.dat *.jpg
 Once that ran through, I opened each folder, deleted everything that wasn't a valid picture and kept the images. Now, I do realize that there are other picture formats. Ideally, I would have run the REN command to change the extension to PNG or GIF or whatever. But, I knew that the majority of the images they wanted to keep were JPG.

Was this the "best" way to accomplish the task? Maybe not. Did it get the files? Yes. We ended up with 250MB worth of images that someone will have sift through. I'm just glad THAT isn't my job.

Note: The above steps would work for any files. Need to pull all your PDFs? Just name all the DATs as PDF and look for PDF thumbnails. DOC, XLS, PPT, etc might be a bit trickier, and might be worth trying to open a 380MB xml file for somebody. Not for me in the scope of this project.

Jul 20, 2013

My view across the table!

At Reggie's!

Thayer Method vs Flipped Classroom?

I'm not in the military nor had I heard the term "Thayer Method" before today. How is the "Thayer Method" different than "Flipped Classrooms?" And, if there is no difference, then why is flipping a classroom not called "Using the Thayer Method?"

Feel free to answer on the blog, reply to Twitter or respond on Facebook. I'll compile answers in another post at a later date.

Thanks for playing along!

(psst, I am also testing new ifttt recipes with this post)

Documenting My Work Life

Some of you know that I irregularly post to another blog called "Documenting My Work Life" (keepingupwiththejob.blogspot.com). Well, this morning, inspiration struck: Why not just post work-related articles here?


The problem: I can never remember to post my daily updates on that other site. Between the posts I add here and the ones I post for my Indians baseball site, I end up forgetting to write what I did each day. I'm not exactly sure why I made it a separate site anyway.  Well, yeah, I do. The goal was to keep work life and personal life separate. The truth is: I can't. Maybe some folks can, but I'm not like that, it turns out.

So, I will be posting updates about various work-related items as daily as I can. I am not doing just so everyone can see what I do every day. In fact, the reason the site was created in the first place centers on the grant that provides the funding for my position. We have document our school visits, various projects, etc in order to show that the state is getting a proper return on their investment on the Technology Coordinator position. You can agree with the idea or disagree with it, but the fact remains we state-level Technology Coordinators are required to justify our positions with the legislature.

Frankly, I hated the idea at first. Our position is created by Arkansas state law. We are one of the few education positions to be so. Yet, lots of other positions in the state are not created by law and they don't have to justify squat. They simply get to exist and collect paychecks. For many years, we did not have to justify our position. In the last few years, though, the "need" for our position came into question, and so we've had to prove that we are needed.

For me, once I let the concept of proving my worth sink in, the documentation (not just n a blog or a log, but also in the form of travel receipts for school visits, state meetings, etc and other documentation) shows that the state is actually getting a heck of a lot more bang for their budgeted buck than they realize.  Documenting various problems I've encountered also helps when similar problems come up later. I look back on a post and take what I learned the first time to help fix the problem in a different location.

My plan is to tag work-related posts as "work life" and add other tags as necessary and as appropriate for those items.

Of course, I'll keep posting whatever random thoughts come along. After all, you never know what might just pop into my head!

Jul 17, 2013

The usb hub my boss got me for serving on an interview committee. Prop spins, makes noise, has light!

Fostering New Ideas

There have been a lot of changes where I work over the past few years. Like any changes, I've agreed with some and disagreed with others. The biggest change I've been a part of, however, comes by way of what I call "entrepreneurial endeavors."

Under our new leadership at the office, I have seen several programs and/or ideas come to fruition. For example, we have a project called SPELL in which we are gathering resources to be included in an open-resource library for teachers to tie these resources to the Common Core State Standards. Another project I am looking into provides off-site data backup for our member districts (or anyone else that wishes to participate, once everything is in place).  We are also looking at changing and expanding the services provided by the Teacher Center - a place where teachers can make bulletin boards, have posters printed, and where schools can have bulk documents (say, student handbooks) printed inexpensively.

In each of these scenarios, there has been group discussion and a fostering of new ideas. I think the key, at least for the projects in which I am involved, is to have a goal in mind before approaching the boss.  For example, with the offsite backup program, I sat down with area techs over several meetings to talk about what they wanted and how we, as a service center, could help. Then, I started talking to vendors, colleagues, and other outside sources about design, implementation ideas, very rough costs, bandwidth needs, etc.

Once I had a loose plan together, I talked to my boss casually about it. In addition to a general overview and a few specifics, I made sure that I showed a way our organization could recoup the costs, and possibly generate a small budget for future expansion, equipment replacement, increased bandwidth, etc.  We'll see where things go once I have some more solid numbers.

The specifics of that project are not the main focus here. The fact that our organizational culture has shifted is my focus. I believe, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I am wrong, that anyone in any of our departments would be welcomed to present similar "entrepreneurial endeavors."

The key, I believe, is to have a well-thought plan. Understand the costs. Explain how those costs will be recouped. Show a potential for growth. Most of all, show how it benefits our schools. How can we take the idea and tie it back to something our schools need or want? Can we make it cost-effective? What will it look like 5 years down the road? Is is sustainable? Are there plans for expansion or for modification as things change? What is the interest level? Meeting with possible stakeholders is vital. In my case, I started with the Techs. Once I have more solid figures and features, I will meet with and present to the board. Above everything, though, you must believe in your program proposal.

I am enjoying this new approach to the services we provide. It's great to work in an environment that fosters new ideas.

Jul 13, 2013

100 words or less: Mirror Mirror

Every once in a while I enter writing contests. I'm not one of those "gotta win" kinda folks. I just like to throw my stuff in the ring and let other reads the random stuff on my mind.  This flash fiction story didn't win any prizes, but it did generate a bit of a conversation between me and the person I submitted the entry. Basically, she wanted to be absolutely sure it wasn't based on a true story. It isn't, but evidently I write fiction (sometimes) that seems to real to be made up...

Mirror, Mirror by David W Henderson:
As Abby sang “Hakuna Matata,” it darted into the road from the underbrush. Should I swerve? I held my breath. My indecision thrust the vehicle forward. It sat on its haunches and turned toward me. Disappearing from view beneath my hood, it darted leftward. The steering wheel wiggled against a small bump. “Thudathump” echoed from the rocker panel. In the rearview, I saw the small, furry grey squirrel lying in the road – tail raised stiffly in surrender. 
“Did you kill him, Daddy,” my daughter asked from the rear seat as our eyes met in the mirror.

Jul 12, 2013

Green Machines on the Interstate

When my brother and I were kids, we had the "Best thing since Big Wheels" - The Green Machine. We each had one, and we rode those things everywhere we could.  One time, I believe this was during the summer though I cannot tell you what year - most likely '78 or '79, we went with my Dad on a trip.

I think we were driving to Cleveland to see my Grandparents. At least, that seems the most logical, though I am not sure why my Mom wasn't with us. At any rate, as we headed down the highway, we had our stuff including our Green Machines.

Somewhere around Exit 10 (In those days, it was Exit 10. Nowadays, I don't know the exit number, and it may still be 10 for all I know) on the Turnpike, our car broke down. I think Dad may have gotten a flat or something. Well, there weren't ubiquitous cell phones back then. Dad pulled the car off the highway, and we waited for a passing car to help or a tow truck or a police officer.

As we waited, time was going by and I'm sure we kids were driving my father crazy, so we convinced him to let us ride our Green Machines. We rode them on the nearest paved road - the Exit 10 offramp. Yes, that's right.  My Dad let his two kids ride their toys on the offramp of a state turnpike!  Those are the kinds of cool things you could do back in those days. Or, so we thought.

Turns out, if you want the cops to show up with lights and sirens, just have your kids ride their Green Machines on the Interstate. The officer did not see my Dad and his car off the side of the road. He saw me and my brother turning donuts on the Exit 10 offramp after we had crossed over the overpass.

I think Dad got off with just a warning, and we kids got a rather lengthy lecture about "playing on the Interstate." What I learned from it was that people will ignore you completely unless you do something so far out of the ordinary that they have to come see just what you're doing.

Jul 10, 2013

Bucket List Item #17 - Publish a book of poems and lyrics

Bucket List Item #17 - Publish a book of poems and lyrics

I've published a novel. I've published a collection of short stories. I will publish a book of lyrics and poems before 2014. I am going to use NaNoWriMo as my way of keeping on track for this. I don't know that I'll 50,000 words in poem and lyric form, but that's not really the point for me. The point is that I want to get it written and have it done by 2014.

I actually tried using the site 750Words, but for whatever reason, that didn't stick. Sure, I made a few entries and I am still technically registered there, but NaNoWriMo is a much more intense, focused goal-oriented method for me.

As for the poems and lyrics themselves, well, they are what they are. I have the freedom to write what I want, how I want because my words are for no one else but me, primarily. If they happen to help someone else that is great!

I think once I publish the poems and lyrics, I'll donate a set of all my books to the local library. That'll be a fun thing to do. I'll take my daughter along and she will see my books in the library. To her, that is the true sign of being an author - haha!

Jul 8, 2013

Bucket List Item #33

Bucket List Item #33: Perform a stand-up comedy routine

Truth be told, I don't necessarily want to tell a "routine" so much as tell a few funny stories from my childhood and make a few observations about life in general. To me, a "routine" is something that is well-rehearsed and basically doesn't change from venue to venue.

I actually have a list of things I want to talk about.  Sure, I know, it's called a 'set list,' but again, that's not really what I'm after here. I envision a one-time, open mic kind of thing. Give 5-10 minutes and we'll call it good. I'll either make folks laugh or make them cry. Either way, I get to share.

I can see this one happening pretty easily. I just have to get the guts to head to an open mic night in a relatively nearby town and do my thing.

The real question is whether or not I invite friends and family. You'd think they would be the ones to laugh the hardest. Thing is, they've probably heard many of the stories already. Like the time my brother and flushed fish down the toilet because we wanted hamsters. Or the time my parents dumped enough chlorine in our kiddie pool to fill an Olympic-sized pool and the subsequent visit to the hospital.  Or the time my brother and I played with my cousin the the fresh pool of tar at the bottom of a hill and had to bathe in gasoline or turpentine or whatever my parents concocted... Or the time...

Jul 7, 2013

Bucket List Item #36

Bucket List Item #36: Present at a national conference

This one is actually very attainable. In fact, I've already come close twice. The first time, the hosting organization (which shall remain nameless) lost the presentation proposal.  We had an initial conversation when the organization received the proposal, but then I never heard anything back. When the presentation date loomed closer, I contacted the organization about dates, times, etc. That is when we discovered the error. By then, all the spots had been booked. Oh well. Next time.

The second time I came close, my submitted proposal (to a different organization than the first) had made it through at least one round rounds of approvals but was denied on the final round for whatever reason. No hard feelings. I'll just try again.

I've been to several national conferences over the course of my career. I've seen great presenters and I've seen sessions that inspired me to apply. That is, afterward I thought, "Well, heck, I can do that."

Now that we're in a new fiscal year, I plan to apply to several national conferences as a session host. I've got a variety of topics I'd feel very comfortable discussing and/or demonstrating to a crowd of folks. I'll let you know how it goes and which conference(s) I'll be presenting. Should be fun!

Jul 6, 2013

Chromebook after a few days

Those following me on Facebook know that I brought home a Chromebook (Samsung $249 jobbie) from work to try out over the long weekend.  After just a couple days, here are some random thoughts so far:

  1. The 11.6 inch screen is bright and clear. As a tech dude, though, not being able to mess with screen resolution drives me a bit crazy.
  2. The keyboard is not bad. Chiclet keys are responsive though feel a bit flimsy - as if I could accidentally hit the space bar too hard and it would come flying off.
  3. Since I use a MacBook Pro primarily, I sorely miss the backlit keys. But, I do understand that is a feature not found in most laptops. Still, hard to get used to not having it.
  4. It is well known that Chromebooks do not do Java. They do Javascript, but not actual Java. Many educational sites use java-based activities.
  5. But, worse as far a education goes, the device does not support Shockwave. Shockwave is **NOT** Flash, despite many, many people thinking they are the same. So, sites like ExploreLearning cannot be used with a Chromebook. Sorry, no Gizmos for those classrooms. 
  6. Emily (10 yrs old) says the camera did not do well in certain light. She says she likes the camera in her MacBook much better because the Chromebook was not very clear. She said she had to be VERY still to get a good photo.
  7. Emily did say, though, that she likes the Chromebook. She has used it the most and watches YouTube videos and now that she has seen "SumDog" on it, will probably play that on it as well. haha!
  8. The OS takes a little getting used to as far as figuring out what the different settings are and how to enable/disable certain things. 
  9. Google play seems a bit confused by the whole thing, which is odd since it is a Google Chromebook and I am accessing the Google Play store. For example, the media player asked me to install an uploader. But, you can't install it because it is a Chromebook. Then, why would the default player that comes with the Chromebook ask me that in the first place!? A bit silly, no?
  10. Most of the Chrome Games on Play appear to be browser/Flash/HTML5 based, so I randomly selected a few. The only one that seemed to have trouble was Need for Speed World, but that looked more like a server issue on their end. Knowing EA, the game probably doesn't even exist anymore.
  11. The Chromebook is super light. I envisioned the thing to be a modified netbook from days gone by, but really, in it a lot less than that, literally. Since everything is based on chips, there are no moving parts that I can tell. There isn't even a fan on it. Of course, if all you are doing is surfing the web to run the apps, it really doesn't need one.
  12. On the upside, my MBP runs very hot when playing certain browser games (like the one where you match candy. You know, the one everyone seems addicted to these days. Including me.), but the Chromebook never heats up beyond a slight warming. Of course, it doesn't play as smoothly, either. But, hey it works.
  13. Like all laptops, you have to figure out where certain buttons are and what they do. Instead of CAPS LOCK, there is a magnifying glass to instantly bring up Google search. Function Keys have been replaced with back/forward/refresh and other items.
  14. The touchpad works much like the MBP: two finger-click to bring up the alternate menus, swipe up and down to scroll, etc.
I'll be playing with other features and posting more info later, but this is a start. Thanks for reading along!

Jul 5, 2013

Bucket List Item #28

Entry #28: Anonymously benefit someone in a major way (bills, car, house, etc).

I think it is important to give back and/or to share one's passion about something with other people. You may or may not know that I give away a LOT of baseball cards over on my trading card site. That's because I think it's fun. But, that is also not anonymous.

Some the greatest pleasure comes from helping someone who doesn't know they are being helped. One day, after I am in a position to do so, I plan to help someone in a major way. I would like to be able to pay off a house for someone who is struggling, or buy a car for a family in need, or provide some other significant monetary benefit.

This is actually very high on my priority list. Almost directly under "pay off my debt" as far as things I truly hope to accomplish before the Good Lord calls me home. I have the faith to believe it will happen, too. I believe each person has several purposes, reasons, call it what you want, for being on the Earth in the time period they were born here. And, I believe that is one of my purposes.

I'll keep you posted.

Jul 4, 2013

Bucket List Item #29

Bucket List Item #29: Be on TV, in a movie, etc.

Yeah, that's me in the picture at the top of this post. A couple colleagues and I took a trip to Chicago for some Windows Sharepoint training back in '09. While we were walking around after a day's class, we saw that Bill Engvall was in town and decided to buy tickets to see his show. The seating was general admission, sit where you want. Once everyone was seated, we were told that he show would be recorded for an upcoming DVD and TBS Special. We were told to only watch Bill, don't look at the camera, don't do anything crude. Basically, we were told not to be stupid on TV.

We had great seats. We sat on the aisle in the first section near the top. You can see the rail behind me dividing us from the next section up. This turned out to be perfect. Not only did we have a great view of the stage, but the camera came up and down the aisle next to us. We played our part: we laughed, we watched the show without looking at the camera, and we didn't do anything stupid (that I recall, anyway).

Fast forward and we're watching the special on TBS. And POW! There we were! It was surreal seeing myself on the screen, and also in that I knew many friends and family would see me on the screen. I enjoyed every minute of it.  The photo above is actually from a friend who wrote recently and shared the pic on facebook.  He said, "Is that you!?" Yes. Yes, it is.

Just A Guy : Notes From A Blue Collar Life Engvall; Bill Religion Medi

Jul 3, 2013

Bucket List Item #10

Since I don't write on this blog as often as I would really like to, I decided that a fun way to create some posts would be to add an entry for each of the items on my "Bucket List." I am basically going to jot down my thoughts as to why that particular entry made it to the list in the first place.

Bucket List Item #10 - Go to Australia

Ever since I was a very small child, I've had a special place in my heart for koalas. Back then, it was because they are cute and cuddly, or seemingly so. Remember, I was a kid, so I knew them from TV, the little NatGeo animal cards we would get in the mail, and from stuffed animals.  As I've gotten older, I still like koalas, but I think it is more for the fact they sleep 90% of their lives and the one food they eat basically keeps them "out of it." Nice.

There is just kind of appeal to me about Australia. I want to see Sydney, of course, but I also want to take a ride through the deserts, watch the sunsets there, and get a feel for what the locals really think about Foster's Beer, Outback Steakhouse, and Crocodile Dundee.

Even though this is on my list, it's not a "high priority" item. I mean, sure, if I win a trip or something, I'm gone. But, there are other things ahead of this in my list as far as priority goes. Still, if I even get the chance to go, I'll jump on it.