and won't change the subject."
Yesterday I made no attempt to follow any diet or regimen. I went out for dinner with some folks in southern Orange county, at Harpoon Bay, in Warwick.
I left the house at 4:30 (long drive), and we met at 6:30 pm. At 7:00 we gave up on waiting for two more people who were supposed to arrive but never did, and the seven of us ordered. At 8:35 our food arrived. The place was packed, and the sous-chef had never arrived, so there was only one cook. I'm surprised that no one offered us any nibbles. We'd got a bread basket at 7, but it was gone by 7:30 and never refreshed.
The conversation was good, and when the food finally arrived it was very good. One of the guys wondered if it was the wait that made it so good.
I had chicken strips and various colors of peppers and onions on thin rice noodles with a peanut sauce. My dessert was sauteed bananas on puff pastry with ice cream and a fruity caramel sauce.
I think there might have been a few calories involved. I doggy-bagged half the chicken and noodles.
On the way to Warwick I was listening to NPR, and there was a discussion of how teachers' unions are strenuously objecting to the whole idea of merit pay.
I can see that there may be some valid objections to exactly how merit is determined. What criteria is used, who determines a teacher's effectiveness, and how evaluations are done. How can you ensure objectivity? But that doesn't seem to be the objection.
It sounds weird, but from some of the speakers against merit pay I got the impression that tenure is paramount, yearly scaled pay increases rule, and "what does merit have to do with anything anyway?" "What right does anyone have to judge me in MY classroom?"
That's flat out scary.
How can a teacher see no value in rewarding excellence, and penalizing a failure to meet requirements?
As to one way to evaluate, any fifth grade teacher can tell you whether the fourth grade teacher was any good. When I was teaching Algebra II, I had definite opinions on the efficacy of the various Algebra I teachers. Come on - it's pretty easy to see when someone didn't try and didn't care.
For years I've been frustrated by the laughingly called "flower bed" across the front of the house. If I don't keep after it constantly it gets full of weeds. Not just weeds - we're talking WEEDS! Raspberries, blackberries, thistles, poison ivy, sumac trees (those things spread by roots and can grow a foot a week), virginia creeper, wild grape, and other big strong nasty stuff spread by birds, animals, and wind from the surrounding woods and fields, and with persistent roots. Then when it starts to get overgrown, the ground-nesting yellowjackets move in, and I don't want to disturb the ground.
I'll try for a year, and get it looking pretty ok, then the next year we have a wet spring, or my back will be fragile, and it's overrun again before I can get ahead of it. Once I plant flowers, I can't use spray, so it's all hand-work.
I've pretty much given up.
Mulch, barrier cloth, bark, stones, all those things people suggest don't work. They don't stop the kind of stuff that gets in there, and then just make it harder to get it out.
In the past few days I've realized I was looking at it wrong. I want to get the ground weed-free, and plant flowers in the ground, and then keep the ground weed-free. This is impossible!
If I dig and rake and spray and get all the roots out of there, or at least kill the roots that keep things coming back, and then lay a nearly-impenetrable layer of poly-something or other, and cover that with stone or bark, I can put some of those huge plastic-but-look-like-clay pots out there (six should do to start), and plant anything I want in the pots. Just like they do outside office buildings. But mine will look nicer because they're on bark instead of on sidewalk.
Whoop! I can hardly wait to get started.
Weeds will probably still get into the pots, but they can't spread underground, the available weed area will be smaller, and I can weed them sitting on a stool, which is much easier on my back.
Why did it take so long to think of that?