I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3


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me and my reflection

Little DannyDan at Hadrian's WallBorrego Springs trip Mar 14 023      Some ideas hit me a little bit late . Once every so often I suddenly get a concise and comprehensive insight on an event . Often , it seemed ,the insight arrived in the middle of the night like a night stalking  burglar  . The  moribund bulb one way or another brightly lights up . Years late , sometimes . But still .


Lately I’ve been pondering what college I should have gone to . I had an uncle at the time all those many years ago who lived in San Diego .  My dad suggested that maybe I attend University of California at San Diego .  I could live with my Uncle John and  Aunt Ann . They had a plain little  house in a shapeless S.D. neighborhood . Their house was amazingly  similar to Ada’s and my plain little house in our non-chic neighborhood .

No way did I want to do that at the time . But , maybe it would have been a good idea , I think now .

Dan - High School graduation

Wow , how my life would have gone other places !

If I had been wiser then I  would have realized that the experience might well have been a wonderful one for me . The thin threads of my life’s weave would have been woven together differently , would have made an  other cloth ; not the one that is now .cloth zanzibar

I sit here wondering , at the keyboard , pondering  possibilities , the missed opportunities , the wisdom of the choice .  Where would I be otherwise ?  Where would any of us be ?  A silly question , a useless quest .  I don’t regret . I just wonder .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Why do I think of that past passed decision now so many years removed  from it ?   I wonder about that too .

The answers will come to me . One of these years .




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flowers Brit. Mus.

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A few cool faces in downtown San Diego.

Dan Hennessy:

I came across a cool San Diego photo blog after a recent trip there . Check it out .

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

Mural of Native American appears tattered on a modern building.

Mural of Native American seems tattered on a modern building.

Here are six pics of interesting faces found in downtown San Diego.

Face of Andre the Giant high on a building near America Plaza.

Face of Andre the Giant high on a building near America Plaza.

Wide-eyed graffiti face on a downtown taco stand.

Wide-eyed graffiti face on a downtown taco stand.

Painting of female face by an artist near Seaport Village.

Painting of female face by an artist near Seaport Village.

Bearded face painted on a downtown San Diego building.

Bearded face painted on a downtown San Diego building.

Grinning monkey head on billboard in San Diego.

Grinning monkey head on billboard in San Diego.

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teaching rant

Pardon me while I fulminate .


I post pictures  in this blog of odds and ends of these and more pictures of those  . I’m wondering if I  am, therefore , a  visual learner ? Is that one of the learning modalities  ? I should have paid more attention in education jargon class . Let’s see . Visual learner . Audio learner .  Metro -cognitive . Paradigm shift . No, no ……meta-cognitive  !


Joe , who teaches now , again , after his retirement , mentioned Bloom’s Taxonomy recently  . Bloom’s ?   The mention was embedded within a piece of Joe’s  poetry , I think . Maybe . Bloom , as in Bloom’s Day ?   Joe is a big James Joyce aficionado and the Bloom mention may well have been a reference to Joyce . I had a copy of Bloom’s taxonomy for several years , not the Ulysses Bloom , outlined on yellow paper . It was a useful reference tool in my teaching . Now…….ask me what “taxonomy” means .  Taxonomy . Rubric . Rigor .  Well , I missed those basic education Jargon classes ; heard the terms but never paid much attention . The administration was always , in recent years , seeming to ” roll out ” some program or other . The term “roll out” was , as others , stolen from the corporate world and used in the halls  of the school district and then  assigned to  the school sites to be , often inaccurately , used . They’d be mouthed around for a few years until , I suppose , the lovers of that particular sample jargon retired , or the corporate world’s  jargon  too , had moved on .


Just an aside here : Education is big business . Of course it is . But teaching is another universe altogether , a horse of a different color , about as non-corporate as you can get . My opinion . An opinion shared by most teachers , I think , but an unknown perspective  in the realm of school district offices  rife with its hobnobbers with money men and governments , with career-ladder headhunters and lobbyists , textbook companies , real estate developers and , and , and investment brokers ; an opinion  forgotten or ignored or horribly misunderstood by school principals who take the ivory tower’s orders .


    I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework .——-Lily Tomlin


The superintendent in some nearby school district was in the news again today . He’s suspended now , with pay , while the FBI investigates how it happened that he was higher paid than the superintendents of L.A. , New York , or Chicago schools  , even though this guy’s  school district has only a few thousand students , a couple of high schools . The district paid his life insurance , too , the newspaper said today . Two policies , actually . They had paid him a one-time lump sum to buy credits to bump his state retirement up . His previously reported  salary was about $ 700,000 per year . With the insurance it’s up a notch .  What was his cell phone allowance per year paid by the District ? And he needs his housing allowance , of course. And the car .

Test scores didn’t go up at all , though .  Teacher salaries didn’t go up at all , though . Only by chance did it all come out suddenly in the news . Caused a big stink .  So he had good negotiating skills !

It’s not like he made up his own salary , as did Mr Rizzo in the City of Bell  , who manipulated the city budget so that he was secretly paying himself a fortune .The city council , and others  , shared in the corruption . City councilmen and women who were getting $100,000 a year for committee membership on non-existing or never-meeting committees claimed innocence and ignorance ; they said that they had not noticed anything off .  Ignorance was bliss for them for a few years . Now it’s jail time , though .  Rizzo was sentenced a couple of days ago . The woman administrator who did his dirty paper-work  got twelve years , too , I think .  She’ll be out in six, no doubt , however . But still .


Did you hear about the Santa Monica teacher who wrestled the student to the ground a couple of weeks ago in his classroom ? There were cell phone videos of it , of course , and they immediately hit the net .  The Santa Monica-Malibu School District Superintendent immediately issued a statement proclaiming the teacher’s action  ” totally inappropriate ” and she immediately suspended the teacher . Of course she would . She later explained that her initial assessment may have been flawed but that it was  , nevertheless, ” routine District policy “. Of course it was . Routine District policy is to immediately blame the teacher .

This one backfired on the superintendent , though . A former student of the teacher started an internet petition to reinstate the well-respected teacher . The petition quickly received support from 150,000 people .  Meanwhile the 18  year-old student involved was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a box-cutter on campus and assault on a public employee . The superintendent backed down in the face of perceived public outrage . The teacher’s suspension was lifted today .
dr strange comic


My point is , in giving a sketchy outline of this story , that these big-wig school people live in a non-teacher world , co-opting corporation jargon and methods and  ambitions , perhaps ,  but not comprehending that teaching is an inter- personal , individual , human thing .  Classrooms can’t be effectively run like assembly lines , rolling out this or that program but ignoring the human intricacies of classroom interaction , ignoring all the several complex factors involved in learning .  The art of teaching has been undervalued and almost quashed . A teacher’s art .

Meanwhile , the big boys and girls do the best they can , padding their  own nests  along the way . Anybody would . Wouldn’t they ? The cookie jar is wide open , after all ,  in our currently  selfie culture . Nothing wrong with that . Eh ? As long as you don’t get caught .   Whatever bad publicity that comes out in the news the school districts will  bend to  . This or that .  Even , sometimes , they’ll toss the routine Teacher-Is -Always-Wrong policy out . Stranger things have happened ; but not often .


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FDR died April 17

roosevelt statue


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roosevelt walking at white house


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roosevelt portrait 1111roosevelt portrait young roosevelt on plane


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lincoln died april 15

lincoln monumentblog stuff garden house 030



Lincoln Memorial statue by Daniel Chester French


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lincoln candidate poster


abe l



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