Weekend Wonk

Of Escalades and Steak Knives

  Jerome Shea       May 5, 2007

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:

Respectable Laughter Only

  Dan Shea       April 28, 2007

FROM: ME TO: ANYONE WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS SUBJECT: FWD: ADVICE ON INTERNET HUMOR – (DO NOT FORWARD!!!) > > > Slaving away at a keyboard all week got you down? Do you start to loathe the feel of a mouse in your hand before lunchtime? Do you have trouble reading the prices at Starbucks because they aren’t on a backlit LCD monitor eleven inches from your face? Does The Grind have you so ground that you actually want to open that email from Billy down in Receiving which obviously contains a quadruple-forwarded .

The I-Man Goeth

  Jerome Shea       April 21, 2007

(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.) Don Imus, talk show shock jock, deserved to be fired. Let’s get that much out of the way. Even his defenders did not suggest that the insult to the Rutgers women basketball players was defensible.

Healthcare in America: Get It or Die!

  Dan Shea       April 14, 2007

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.

Running a Requiem, Singing a Marathon

  Jerome Shea       April 7, 2007

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. But first, some background. A marathon is a footrace over a 26.

Breaking the Law... or Broken Laws?

  Jerome Shea       March 31, 2007

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.

Great Moments in Teaching II

  Jerome Shea       March 24, 2007

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.

Great Moments in Teaching

  Jerome Shea       March 17, 2007

The other day I was teaching my sophomore writing class the finer points of colon usage, so naturally I thought of Harold Welsh. But before I get to that, I should add that my students—unless they are too polite—never seem to notice the similarity, indeed the identity, of the colon as a mark of punctuation and the colon that constitutes the home stretch of the digestive tract. (In fact, I just looked it up and they actually are of two different etymologies, the former from the Greek word for “limb,” the latter from the Greek word (same spelling, but with an accent change) for “large intestine.

Jemez Half

  Jerome Shea       March 10, 2007

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. -Shea The Jemez Pueblo Half-Marathon is one of the prettiest footraces in the Southwest, a circuit starting and ending in the village itself, running out through the corn and chile and bean fields, and skirting the red buttes, all under an ice-blue New Mexico sky.

Devil’s Throne

  Jerome Shea       March 3, 2007

Dear Readers, An oldie for you this weekend. But I hope you’ll also take it as a goodie. Enjoy. - Shea The thing about Devil’s Throne is, you can’t keep hold of the truth, from one year to the next, of just how tough it is. Oh, you always have a good picture of that absurd hill in your mind and you remember the dozens who don’t make it to the top without breaking into a walk.

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