Saturday, August 26, 2006

Simpsons Season 8 Arrives.

Upon reflection, this would have to be my favorite season of the Simpsons. Many critics would insist that the animated powerhouse peaked at season 5 (or 6) and "jumped the shark" during season 7. In my mind things are just getting good.

For all Simpsons fans, Season 8 contains at least one of your Top 10 favori
te episodes, in my case, 3 of my Top 5.

"You Only Move Twice" -- Homer moves the family to Cypress Creek to work for Globex Corp. and a new boss in Hank Scorpio. Hank, unbeknownst to Homer, is a supervillian threatening the world with his Doomsday Device.
Key Dialogue: Homer: Sir, I need to know where I can get some business hammocks. Hank Scorpio: Hammocks? My goodness, what an idea. Why didn't I think of that? Hammocks! Homer, there's four places. There's the Hammock Hut, that's on third. There's Hammocks-R-Us, that's on third too. You got Put-Your-Butt-There, that's on third. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot... Matter of fact, they're all in the same complex; it's the hammock complex on third. Homer: Oh, the hammock district!

"El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer" -- Homer attends the Springfield chili cook-off, eats Wiggum's "Guatemalan Insanity Pepper," and goes (suprise!) insane. He wanders off on a spiritual quest where he meets a wise coyote voiced by Johnny Cash.
Key Dialogue:
Ralph: "You don't want to drink a candle mister!" Homer: "Maybe I do son, Maybe I do..."

"Mountain of Madness" -- This episode takes us on a Nuclear Power Plant company retreat into the mountains where Burns and Homer are trapped in an avalanche.
Key Dialogue:
Homer: "Lord, bless this rocket house, and all who dwell within the rocket house."

While these three are my favorites, also included in season 8 are the introduction of Frank Grimes (pictured left) in "Homer's Enemy," Bart's educational trip to the gay steel mill in "Homer's Phobia," and Homer, the Beer Baron, in "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment."

And for X-Files freaks (and you ARE freaks), Duchovny and Anderson appear as Mulder and Scully in "The Springfield Files." Classic scene: Moe with Lenny and Carl carrying Shamu back to Sea World...Moe: "Oh, who thought a whale could be so heavy?!" Another classic: Scully: "Now, we're going to run a few tests. This is a simple lie detector. I'll ask you a few yes or no questions and you just answer truthfully. Do you understand?" Homer: "Yes." (lie detector explodes)

Factoring in these episodes and your standard commentary on all episodes by Matt Groening, this DVD is another stellar addition to any collection.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little Nathan...

Back to the grind

This week marks the one month back to school date. It's hard to believe that in mid-August school has been in session for a month already. Take me back to the long summer where school starts after labor day...

Changing schools has been more of a positive than I could have imagined. At the elementary school I was the only counselor to 550 K-6th graders, now I am on a team of 7 counselors to a school of 1250 7-8th the math...that's about 300 students per counselor -- trick question -- because 3 of the counselors work with our high-risk kids. It's nice being on a team. Someone to answer questions, provide resources, handle other responsibilities, etc.

The kids are 100% different, the elementary was about 75% white, 10% black, and 15% other. At Ilima, ethnicity is spread fairly equally between Hawaiian and Filipino, with white and black being a sparse minority. The racial tension is unlike anything I have experienced. During the first week of school, there was a brawl involving 10 kids of Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The interesting thing to note was that several of the kids were of a mixed ethnicity. (Meaning: They were fighting with the Hawaiians even though they are half-Hawaiian). Police have been to the school for violence related issues more than 10 times in 20 days of school.

One major plus is the average age of teachers and support staff at the school. I would say that half of the staff is in their first 7 years of professional employment. (VS. several teachers at the elementary school that had been teaching AT THAT SCHOOL since the year I was born).

The other bonus is that I am coaching the 7th grade girls and the 7th grade boys basketball teams. Right now I am working with the girls and the boys start in February. This is something that I've wanted to do for years, and now that I've gotten started, I really enjoy it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


At the beach...

holding on...Nathan at 6 weeks

Friday, August 04, 2006

Gone Daddy Gone

Not to try and compete with Eisley's groove (on Sam Bills' blog), but to add to it...