Climate change your mind, skeptic

People who doubt that mankind has had an effect on the climate of the earth puzzle me. I am a person of faith, and not a scientist, but I am fascinated by science, and the creativity involved, and I do believe strongly in the scientific method.

Wscientific-methodhen well over ninety percent of the world’s scientists agree on something, I think it is foolish to doubt their logic, their methods, or their conclusions are incorrect or politicaly motivated.

The scientific method (question, pose hypothesis, experiment, analyze results, form a conclusion) has a lot going for it in areas aside from science.  But aside from simply accepting the claims of others, there is something I have in my own home that using in simple, accidental, experimentation convinced me that the theories behind greenhouse gasses and climate change are legit.

It’s bacon.

The earth has been hanging around for millions of years, and aside from the natural life cycles of natural pollutants like forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and flatulating cows, it is not unreasonable to believe that a couple of centuries of an industrial revolution pumping all the junk we do into the atmosphere of the planet has had an undesirable effect.

Bacon is a perfect example.

Grab a pound of bacon, throw it in a basic, twelve-inch frying pan, put it on the stove and turn the burner on beneath the pan.  Cook the bacon and then don’t stop cooking the bacon. Let the bacon fry to a crispy brown and then let it simmer to a crispy, charcoal-black shade. Cook the bacon until the bacon no longer is visually identifiable as bacon and scientific-method-editthen keep cooking the bacon until every smoke alarm in the house has triggered in tandem.  Then, turn off the stove, shut off the smoke detectors, let the pan cool down, throw out the bacon char (and probably the pan, too).

Then look up at the ceiling of your kitchen.

That sooty, greasy, glop you see? It’s not going away anytime soon. It will be there, timeless in its heaviness. Just like your favorite roadside diner that still has the same grill and deep fat fryer they have had in place like stucco since 1967.  You have just replicated the classic American diner ceiling in your own kitchen. Ambiance.

Ample proof, and documentable, that global warming is indeed caused, at least in part, by mankind.

Obviously, one pan of bacon is not absolute proof of anything, but if you replicate this experiment, which, according to National Safety Council statistics is done at a steadily increasing rate on a daily basis in America (with statistically alarming spikes on Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day) and extrapolate the results outward mathematically, manmade global warming is easily believable.


Oh, and, if you have a textured ceiling in your kitchen, you will also have more faith in the theory that dinosaurs became extinct by being choked,  en masse, not by gasses produced by a huge asteroid strike or volcanic eruption, but by the smoke and grease from billions of wild boars who were barbequed by the conflagration triggered by the aforementioned asteroid.

Try this experimentation yourself, kids, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. As a wise old man once bacon1told me, “Don’t ask a question if you aren’t ready for the answer.” Global warming is real.

The proof is in the bacon. And on the ceiling.


Jottings from a pocket notebook

Photo2596 (2)Yes, English teachers get spring break, too. A few days in to mine, all I can say is that the bulk of the items on my ‘to do’ list are not getting ‘too done.’

RobertBurns‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.’

Robert Burns must’ve had a few spring breaks like mine, but I don’t look great in a kilt.



Sometimes, people…

I understand the appeal behind the idiom of ‘beating a dead horse’ – (figurative) beating can be very cathartic.

But continuing to yell “Giddyup!” while doing it?

Dude, you got issues.


Lessons learned and re-learned

potholesSometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Me? I tend to be the guy with the shovels full of hot asphalt filling pot holes on a cul-de-sac.

On the plus side, I don’t need GPS to get back out quickly.


Kids, DO try this at home:

Rogets thesaurus“Umm…what?”

Favorite recent not-understood-observation-by-my-students on their classroom decorum, usually delivered following a deep sigh on my part: “An entire shelf of thesauruses over there, and yet – there are no words.”

Sometimes, there just aren’t.


‘Thank you for your support and concern’ department:

“Mr. Lucker! What’s up?!”
“My blood pressure.”

This is a not uncommon exchange in our school hallways during passing periods. Usually, it is at the start of fourth period, as my third period class of 35 seniors can be a real group of peasant’s donkeys; my fourth period seniors know this, and most empathize.

BPUsually the kids just shake their heads, smile, walk into class. But, once or twice a semester, one kid will actually HEAR
, and stop, a look of concern crossing his face (it’s always a male student, oddly) and some form of the following ensues:

“Mr. Lucker, your blood pressure really bad? You should see a doctor about that. My granddad had high blood pressure. He had a stroke…and died!

“Same thing happened to my grandma.” chimes in student number two, equally concerned.

“Thanks, guys. Nice to know that someone cares. My blood pressure is going back down, but now I’m really depressed.”

“Ummmm? You’re welcome?”


Like, in an elevator, and you can’t place the tune…

I recently heard a cover version of a common wedding and graduation song played by a Mariachi Band; they called it Photo2594 (2)‘Tacobell’s Canon.’

That joke is obviously Baroquen.

Yeah, I know. There are no words.

Stray scraps of brain paper

scratchndentstoresignforpostHalf way through January, and my list of resolutions looks like a bargain appliance picked up at a scratch-and-dent clearance sale.

And you?

Most of the vehement independents I know (the one-man-for-himself, I-got-this, don’t need you for anything types) bring their rugged Individualist pseudo-swagger with little credibility to back it up.

suburbssuburbsBecause they live in the suburbs.

You know, those places with the cookie-cutter houses and ‘homeowners associations’ that dictate all those key things like flagpole height and how early in the evening you can/can’t put out your garbage cans for the next day pick up. Most of the go-it-alone tough guys I know prove they have starbukcspucthe moxie to be ‘their own man’ when they take the house blend at Starbucks because their chai tea hasn’t finished brewing.

If you live on a street with the name ending in ‘Court’ ‘Circle’ or ‘Place’ you don’t get to talk to me about your autonomous approach to life. But please, do continue to tell me with great excitement about the shades of beige you are considering for the new siding on your townhome.


darthJEJ!I love those Sprint Commercial with Malcolm McDowell and James Earl Jones, but once…just ONCE, I want to hear Darth Vader thunder “Totes McGotes!”

As I visualize him swinging his lightsabre and decapitating someone I…

Never mind.

Hasn’t the whole being part of a ‘nation’ thing passed? It was cute when ‘Red Sox Nation’ cropped up as a nice moniker for their all-of-New England fan base years ago when they made the World Series, but now it’s gotten out of hand. Every sports fan (pro and college) now thinks they are part of some sort of ‘nation’ because of their allegiance to a team or stray group.

TwinsTerritoryA few years back, my hometown Minnesota Twins began an ad campaign designating their expansive upper Midwest (Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa) fan base as ‘Twins Territory’ which I found a much more applicable moniker, and very much in keeping with a more middle-American sensibility.

Personally, I am much more comfortable roaming free and still being a part of someone’s ‘territory’ than part of some zealots’ nation.  (Less saluting.)

But the ‘nation’ thing has gotten way out of hand. I have, in recent weeks, stumbled across ‘Handmade Nation’ (a group of crafters) ‘Pie Nation’ (a group of Internet pie lovers) and others. Just the other day I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt proclaiming her membership in ‘Poodle Nation.’


Unknown if there are any territorial/border disputes between French Poodle Nation and Standard Poodle Nation. If Penguinnationthere are, maybe Peekapoo Nation can mediate or send in peace keepers. I think most of the folks who proclaim themselves part of some sort of sports or celebrity ‘nation’ can’t even conjure a quorum in most other aspects of life.

And no, I will not be partaking in any events of ‘Blogger Nation.’ Unless they seriously consider my application for ‘Emperor.’

I’m sure they’ll be wanting references.

chiashirt774Stray, melancholy note of personal trivia: I’ve been on this planet for fifty-four Christmases and not once have I received a Chia Pet as a gift.

Just sayin.

Which reminds me, I have a milestone birthday coming up – my speed limit birthday: 55. That’s half-way between fifty and sixty, or 55% of my long-stated minimum age goal of 100. I’m no math whiz, but it seems that I’m like, ten-percent of my way through middle age, which seems incongruous. of 55signcourse, considering advances in medical science, bumping my target minimum age goal up to 110 doesn’t seem unreasonable, and I can remain solidly, legitimately in ‘middle age’ for another year without repercussions.

Maybe I should just skip the whole ‘speed limit’ angle to this birthday. There are far better flagpersonsignroad signage/birthday analogies I can think of for middle-age guys such as I, like the multi-dimensional ‘Yield.’ On a physical level, you have ‘Low Shoulder,’ ‘Bump,’ ‘Dip,’ ‘Rest Area’ and ‘Slow Down When Workers Are Present’ all come to mind. To represent relationships, there are ‘Do Not Enter,’ ‘Detour,’ ‘Road Narrows’ and of course the ever popular ‘Merge With Caution.’

malcolmMaybe that last one should also be on the physical list.

Of course I can still hope to occasionally get to use that old standby from my younger, single days, when a pretty girl would ask “What’s your sign?”and I could always reply, “Slippery when wet.”

A guy can hope, can’t he?

F.Y.I. – Chia Pets are usually discounted steeply after Christmas. Totes McGotes.

Like I said, just sayin.