The Two Man Group

Rose and I went to the Victoria Theatre last night to watch The Two Man Group (http://www.colinandbradshow.com/) perform.  It was a hilarious night of comedy.  The Two Man Group includes Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood.  If you ever watched the show “Whose Line is it anyway?”, you are familiar with these two.  The entertained us for 1 hour 45 minutes of improvisational comedy.

The packed house at the Victoria spent the whole night laughing.  It was awesome.  Both of them are masters of comedy and very quick on their feet.  It seems like we laughed the whole time they were on stage.  Using members of the audience to help provide ideas (“sexy armadillos taking over a golf course”) or providing sound effects when clued in by Colin or Brad helped add a layer of hilarity.  It helped that “T-man” – one of the guyspulled  from the audience was a little crazy looking.  Brad said at one time “Glad Manson could get out of jail”.  Needless to say he was the butt of a few jokes.

Without giving a lot away, their final act involved them walking around barefoot and blindfolded while trying to avoid stepping on 100 mouse traps.  It was funny and crazy at the same time.  If you ever have a chance to see this show, I highly recommend it.

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The Death of Facts

This article (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-huppke-obit-facts-20120419,0,809470.story )  was brought to my attention through a Tweet (the #1 reason I got a Twitter account). It talks in a joking manner about the death of all “Facts”. The point of the opinion article is that with today’s 24 hour news cycle, the lack of civility in the world and the availability of the Internet as a forum for spouting off, Facts are no longer important.
The catalyst for this article to be written was a reprise of the 1940’s – a Congressman asserting that as many as 81 of his fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives are communists.
If you set aside any political considerations of the ultimate death of Facts, underlying the article is a fundamental situation – people believe what ever they want to believe. And they will defend those beliefs without even considering the other side. Global warming may be the ultimate example of this. I have no idea if we are experiencing global warming, but I know there are a LOT of people who will take one side or the other of this issue and not be willing to listen to the other side.  When did that lack of common sense occur?
One of my favorite quotes is by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan – “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”  I feel so strongly about that.  Please, feel free to have a position on something.  But understand that an opinion is NOT a fact. True wisdom is understanding the difference.  You can feel passionate about your opinion.  But don’t confuse it with a fact.  Tupic is not dead, the President’s religion, Who really killed John Kennedy, the existence of Sasquatch. The list goes on and on. And the issue is not “who is right and who is wrong”. The issue is, “do you understand the difference between a fact and an opinion?”

RIP Facts – you are missed

PROM!

Well, Rose and I attended our first prom together last night at Romer’s Catering in Greenville, Ohio.  Rose wore a red Yves St. Laurant gown with jewelry provided by Hildago.  Her bracelet was specially designed by Charriol and featured pearls from the Great Barrier Reef. I was dressed in a suit by Lucianno Natazzi and matching tie.  Actually, I made those last few sentences up.  But Rose did have on a nice red dress and (of course) looked great.  I wore a suit with a red and gray tie that matched her dress pretty well.

We had a fun time.  The highlight of the evening had to be the promenade.  The prom-goers went out the back door and walked around the building to the front door.  Outside lining the walkway area were family and friends.  Everyone in the crowd got to see the attire of the prom-goers (sparkly dresses and white tuxedos were “in” this year), give a “shout out” and take pictures.  It was kinda fun to see that go on.

Rose and I did get a couple dances in so we could prove to ourselves we actually could dance some of the dances we have been learning.  I am sure we did not dance as much as Rose would have liked but the last hour or so was music made for young people.  Isn’t that a nice way to say that?  Basically the last hour seemed to be songs you had a certain “dance” you did to the song.  All we could figure is that kids watch You Tube videos to learn how to do the “right dance”.  But in the end, most everyone seemed to have a good time and no problems occurred at the dance.  I can’t speak for the activities after the prom (all my students are good kids so I doubt anything bad happened!).

Our after-prom activity consisted of driving the one hour home and going to sleep (it was WAY past my bedtime).  But since this was Rose’s first prom, I am sure it was a great memory.  And I have to give a shout out to those students who came over to say hello and meet Rose.  It was nice of them to do that.

It’s Time to Get Out

The recent news that more National Guardsmen from Ohio had been killed in Afghanistan leads me to finally say it out loud. ” It is time to go”.   We’ve sacrificed enough lives.  We’ve done our best to help the Afghani people get on with their lives.  We’ve fought back the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

But let’s face it.  Afghanistan is a black hole for America.  Just ask the Russians what it was like.  Or any other country/kingdom/empire that tried to make Afghanistan a country.  We’ve been in Afghanistan for ten years. I am sure we can point to all kinds of “success” and all kinds of “progress” we have made. Great, let’s do that.  We have had thousands of brave and patriotic Americans fighting over their for our country.  Thank you very much.  But let’s leave.  Now.  Our leaving is not a reflection on our soldiers.  It is a reflection that Afghanistan is a sinkhole.  We are like me at the beach trying to keep the tide from the sand castles.  Thanks for the effort.  It is noble.  It is just.  But it is futile.

We are not wanted there any more. As we extend our stay, more incidents – burning of the Koran, mass murder by an American soldier, etc. will continue.This will only make the Afghan people madder at us. And it will embolden the Taliban and Al Qaeda to try more desperate measures.  Whenever we do leave, Afghanistan will go back to whatever it has been for thousands of years – a land run by tribes and groups.

The most recent people killed were National Guardsmen. People characterize as “citizen soldiers”. These were people who had chosen a different career in life than to be a full-time soldier. But because we have been so overextended for so long, our Armed Forces cannot cover all of the duties we ask of them. I recently read that more than 50% of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard. For most of us, when you are overextended – financially, socially, whatever – we cut back. But not the USA. We are committed to some “ideal” in Afghanistan.

Well, it is time to leave. It will take a long time to disengage ourselves. We have hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment over there. And I know we don’t want to appear to be “running away” from danger. So we don’t have to announce we are leaving ahead of the timetable we already set. Just start pulling people out of areas in a quick but orderly fashion.

Let’s bring our people home and let Afghanistan get on with whatever it is going to become.  Let’s stop sacrificing more lives.

Twittersphere!!!!

I created a Twitter account  (Dwaggens @Twitter.com) yesterday.   One more step into social media for me.

Why did I create an account? Not because I am going to be tweeting all of the time. My biggest reason is I want to understand better how it is used and how it fits in the world. I am convinced that I need to incorporate it into my work at school because that is the way kids communicate these days. How I am going to do that, I don’t know. My second reason is I know that my son Nate uses Twitter as a resource for good articles to read.  Perhaps I’ll find that out also.  In the end, it may not do much for me.  But as a friend reminded me the other day, you have to be willing to fail if you ever want to succeed.

So, I’ll start out following a few people and see where it takes me. I’ll probably drive my son Nate crazy with all of my questions (I think I already have gotten him half way there). Anyhow, thanks for the help Nate!

So does anyone out there have a Twitter account and/or some favorite Twitter accounts they follow?

Obsession

At what point in time is it appropriate to let go of something that has been an obsession for a long time? I was pondering that question the other day. What prompted me to think about obsession was when I ran near the University of Dayton. There is a lady who has been protesting for many, many years some sort of discrimination that the University of Dayton committed against her .   This lady stands on the corner of Stewart and Brown (a busy corner). She sings songs – really loud – and holds up a sign. Generally she is there on Friday afternoons. She appears to be a little crazy at times.

Now I am not judging whether she has a valid case or not. I do not even know the facts.  And I am not condemning her right to protest. But at some point in time I feel like it is best to “turn the page” and move on to something else.  She has become a caricature – not a symbol.  I don’t believe her actions lead to anything happening – UD is not changing, people’s perception of the college are not changing, policy is not changing.

I am sure we have all been wronged at some points in our life.  And I am sure we all would like to “get back” at someone or some entity.  We can even wish ill will on that other party (can anyone say “NCR”?).  We can even harbor a grudge for as long as we want.  But for me, I am going to move on.  I prefer to channel my energy towards something else.  What do you think?