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Weekend Wonk

Of Escalades and Steak Knives

If they are not worming through your phone line, they are lying in wait in your mailbox: folks who want to reward you magnificently just for coming to their solar energy seminar or tromping about their chunk of mountain or mesa. It’s the reward that tickles me, and by now it’s familiar to most of us. Not only does the redundant “free gift” await you, but it will be one of several things, to wit:

  1. matching his and hers Cadillac Escalades, or

  2. a complete home video center, or

  3. a gas patio grill, or

Respectable Laughter Only


The I-Man Goeth

(Can you stand one more column about Don Imus, Gentle Reader? That’s what I thought. Well, since you are staring at the monitor anyway you can do some surfing, play Tetris, whatever, while I indulge myself. You won’t hurt my feelings.)

Healthcare in America: Get It or Die!

It's no secret that in this country of wealth and global power we are facing an internal crisis. The crisis I speak of is not poverty, it is not adult illiteracy, it isn't even that horrible grinding noise I hear when I'm too drunk to work the clutch. No, the crisis I speak of today is one that will eventually decide the fate of every man, woman, and child in the USA. I'm talking about the state of American Healthcare, which may or may not include something called H-M-O, if my employed friends are telling me the truth.

Running a Requiem, Singing a Marathon

I am runner and a singer. More specifically, I run marathons and I sing (bass) with the University of New Mexico Chorus. I ran my first marathon—the Duke City, here in Albuquerque—in 1986, I joined the chorus a couple of years later, and here I am in 2007 still running and still singing. Early on I began to note similarities between the two avocations.

Breaking the Law... or Broken Laws?

News item (The Week, 23 March)
Twenty-one years ago, Juan Matamoros was ticketed for public urination in Massachusetts. Now 49 and living in Florida, Matamoros is being forced to move with his family, because a new law bans “sex offenders” from living within 2,500 feet of a child-care facility. Matamoros admits he was technically convicted of “gross, lewd and lascivious behavior” for peeing in public, but argues that he poses no danger to children. Officials said the law leaves them no choice. “This is not a case we feel good about having to prosecute,” an official said.

Great Moments in Teaching II

Last week I made fun of poor Harold Welsh and his colon problem (or perhaps his problem colon). This week is my turn; it's only fair. So, two stories at Shea’s expense.

I taught my first class, a freshman composition class, in the fall of 1964 at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. I was twenty-two years old. I doubt very much that I slept the night before that very first meeting. To say I was terrified would be rank understatement.

Great Moments in Teaching

The other day I was teaching my sophomore writing class the finer points of colon usage, so naturally I thought of Harold Welsh.

Jemez Half

I found that other essay, Dear Readers, and I count on your indulgence in letting me run it, for surely you do not want to leave me in ignominy at the hands—or rather the feet—of Ed Green, my nemesis from Devil’s Throne.

Devil’s Throne

Dear Readers, An oldie for you this weekend. But I hope you’ll also take it as a goodie. Enjoy.
- Shea

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