Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Prince Family

Phoebe Prince, 15, a freshman at South Hadley High School in western Massachusetts, hanged herself in January. Her family had recently moved from Ireland.

When I saw the headline, "Western Mass. Bullying Case Leads to Indictments", I said to myself, "good for them". I had not heard of this investigation. When I clicked through I found to my chagrin that the bullying which led to suicide was at South Hadley High School. I turned to my high school student, who had noticed that I had suddenly started swearing at the computer, and said "this would never happen at M.L.C., but I can sure see it at S.H.H.S." What a depressing story. And the 'other' in this case was a recent immigrant from Ireland of all places! Looking at the names of those indicted, some appear to have been discriminating against their own ethnic group. South Hadley is full of dumb ass in bred former immigrant groups, in bred old yankee farmer types, and also the children of professors and staff at Mt. Holyoke College; the one's that didn't go away to private school that is. For my family it was a bedroom suburb, Stan commuted to Springfield every day. Couldn't wait to get out of that place.
The last time I hazed any one was during Boy Scouts. During one Jamboree, our patrol picked on a fellow scout, who I still remember by name. We went 'zombie' when we crossed a certain line in the woods. Real stupid stuff, used to scare this classmate, as we were all in Junior high school together too. I know I never teased or picked on another person after that weekend (except for siblings, maybe). He wasn't in Scouts much longer, but I always made sure to engage him in conversation in high school when we met.
This subject comes up in the workplace and the cases where I have felt that a worker was picked on, even witnessed in HR meetings, were always the worst. For ten years in labor relations I helped many people when faced with this behavior in the work place to move to another job and documented the behavior so that that a pattern and a paper and email trail existed. No indictments of the school officials or teachers that knew about this abuse, I hope that is coming.
Watched one reporter's standup with S.H.H.S. in the background, the camera would have been in the driveway for the packy across Newton St. from the high school. A couple of the camera shots it looked like some remodeling, and of course more parking. Apparently what is inside is still crappy. I haven't been back to South Hadley since Stan's funeral. I don't miss it a bit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Camping

Margo and I drove up to the property yesterday and spent the night. It was cold. It snowed. We were toasty in our camping rig. Also, could have a giant fire as there was no fire danger. Land looked good. No big trees down. Tar paper and insulation ripped off the platform by the winds. Seemed like a good idea at the time!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Roots in a Parched Ground

Mick starred in the lead role in the M.L.C. production of Horton Foote's (1916-2009) play, part of The Orphans Home Cycle, an eight play series centered on the life of Horace Robedaux.

Here is a link to my photo album:
McKean O'Connell as Horace, Jr.

Mick also played B-ball for M.L.C. this season and passed all his classes with superior portfolio pieces.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Thanks Skippy! Its also Conor's Birthday and Albert's birthday! Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I hate it when the rat eats the p-nut butter off the trap and doesn't spring it. Oooh, but that makes me think, its only a matter of time baby! I saw the rat myself last weekend when the sun was shining, and I was enjoying the moment on the patio against the warm wall. The rat was across the patio against the garage wall. It paused then darted through the open door into the garage. Gross. I thought it was a squirrel at first glance. It was huge. We have chickens, we store grain and throw it out on the ground. The rat didn't look worried about its next meal. Verry soon the cat comes around the corner of the garage, but must go around the chicken fence that the rat can squeeze through. Margo brought home a couple of new traps when she went to the grocery store. I baited one with peanut butter. The next day sprung, p-nut butter gone, and spring broken. Grrrr. That's gonna get my Irish up! Second trap gets p-nut butter eaten off it, not sprung, for a couple of days. Margo and Mick see the rat ... Cross The Street! from Paula's to under our truck then through a hole in the fence. Actually, she used the word waddle. I know its the heart of the hood, but a rat that brazen cannot stand. Awoke this morning and when I let the chickens out. Yess!!11!!11 Woohoo! Margo came out to see and said, "I knew it right away!" I think the rat is not in the trap cause the cat played with it. Maybee it shook off the trap in its death fight. Died of a heart attack, when the thing went off? I'd be setting up the webcam if the p-nut butter kept disappearing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

China Bankers

China unveiled strict new rules Wednesday governing bankers’ pay that are designed to limit risk taking, Reuters reported from Beijing.

Payment of 40 percent or more of an executive’s salary must be delayed for a minimum of three years and could be withheld if the bank performs poorly, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement on its Web site.

This would ostensibly put China at the forefront of a global movement to use regulation of bankers’ pay as a way to control investment behavior.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eugene Debs

Today's random quote at one good move:

Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder.... the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish their corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace....They are continually talking about their patriotic duty. It is not their but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches.—Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jon Swift

I didn't start blogging until after I had quit my office job. I knew it would be too tempting to sit and blog all day, doing even less work than when I was just reading other people's stuff 'on break'. I first started reading Jon Swift during the Bush years, and immediately loved his prose. Also, anyone of Irish extraction who is even mildly cynical should love the work of Jonathan Swift. That may have been what caught my eye first, but I stayed for the snark. Always delivered with a smile, I thought. I would like to write that way. When I did start my blog, Jon Swift was on my Blogs I Like To Read list. When the posts stopped coming, I was bummed, but checked regularly to see if Jon Swift had started blogging again, as the last post was ambiguous. Now that I know why(Blogger mlfcyw said...), I can go back and visit the archives. And thanks Mom for letting us know.