Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Intelligent design

The San Francisco Chronicle carried a story today about the new movement to undermine the teaching of evolution theory by requiring teaching something called 'intelligent design.'

I've always agreed with the idea that the cosmos didn't just happen, but I'm uneasy to take the Bible literally (6,000 years ago God said 'Voila!'). I prefer the line of reasoning that shot down Clarence Darrow in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. The notion was that God may have created the world in seven days, but, at the time, how long was seven days? God hadn't created the 'day' yet. Perhaps she took her time and by our current reckoning, well, it was a little longer -- maybe 6 or 7 million years?

The infusion of religious beliefs into our schools isn't as troubling to me as the lack of respect that such infusion usually carries with it. In this case, if you have doubts about creationism you are branded a heretic, not a skeptic. With our current prez, that means trouble my friends, right here in River City and certainly in the small towns where evangelical Christianity is gaining momentum.

Watch your mail for literature from the Flat Earth Society.

mjf 11/30/04

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Entering "The Funnel"

It's that time of the semester I call "The Funnel."

Suddenly all the projects, papers to grade, stories to write, year-end wrap-up kind of things begin swirling around faster and faster and the time available to do them gets smaller and smaller.

The endless vista of the semester turns to a frenetic race to the finish line.

Perhaps a better analogy would be what the pioneers faced when they came west and first started over the Rockies. When it became obvious that the pipe organ couldn't be hauled over, or the furniture, or, or, or, they started simply discarding things one by one, littering the trails. People behind them in wagons picked up the furniture, but not for long. Too heavy, and the trails were too steep.

This semester, jettisoning anything seems nearly impossible: the stack of papers to grade is four inches tall, two story deadlines loom, and at least a first cut at finding all those income tax records has to be accomplished before we leave for Mexico just before Christmas.

The Funnel. Someday I'll figure out how to avoid it.

Oh, wait. I'll retire! Then it will get easier.


When I leave the university in three years or less(i.e. retire from state service), I'm sure I'll create another funnel for myself with writing and movie making.

But first I have to survive this one.

mjf 11/16/04

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The anonymous website

So, after waxing poetic about my newly launched website yesterday, I neglected to post where it is, exactly.

Not that Andrew Sullivan or any other notable bloggers are likely to flock to it for wisdom, but is certainly needs some note for anyone to find it.

So, here's the url:


And with any luck at all, it will actually work.

(I remain more than a little suspicious of technology...)

mjf 11/14/04

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The pace of change

I admit to being a late adopter of new things. I admire innovation, I'm just slow to grab ahold of it.
I fought the cell phone for years, refusing to get one, then refusing to carry the one I had, then refusing to turn on the one I carried with me.
Of course NOW I never leave the house without my phone. And if I do by mistake, I feel a little naked.
But today was another milestone.
Today I have a web page.
It's not a fancy thing. Just a photo and couple of links (one to this page), but after several years of being urged to do a web page by Admiral Fox (my commander in chief), well, it's there, thanks to her actually putting it together.
It's kind of neat, seeing your picture on the Internet, joining the world of information and electro-babble that goes on.
It wasn't that long ago that I started this blog -- not too many weeks before the election (ooooh don't think about the election..). The blogging has been hit and miss, based on how much other writing I'm doing -- and I'm doing a lot of writing for several different outfits: education stories, a legal opus, the business of bed and breakfast.
And the movies?
Well, 21st Century Fox-Fitzgerald studios has been off-line for most of the fall, except for two short flicks about granddaughter Samantha. Both were rockumentaries, of course, with lots of pounding music.
But school only has another month to go. Then maybe it's time to finish the Seneca Lake feature movie, or a new one on the storyboard titled "He's a Rebel."
More on that in the next posting.

mjf 11/13/2004

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Omen this morning

After NOT watching late returns last night, I awoke to the sound of rain this morning, a hard rain (global warming?) that was not predicted. A very gloomy, rainy morning which told me that I didn't need to look at the computer to see if the nation would suffer through four more years of Bush & Company.

I was reminded of Nixon's re-election in 1972 over George McGovern -- another apparent triumph of the immoral over the moral. Yet it was only two years later that Nixon left the White House in disgrace and spent the rest of his life trying to regain his dignity.

So there is hope.

But for the draft-age, the poor, the gay, the elderly, well, it's going to be a tough 20 years because four more years of the current administration likely means decades of wars and inflation and maybe an end to social security as we know it.

Still, 55 million Americans wanted to throw the Bush administration out of office. Maybe they will rally and toss him out before he does too much more damage.

We can hope... We can hope...

mjf 11/3/04