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5/31/2000

From Poor Clio (a newish

Filed under:General — eric @ 10:47 am

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From Poor Clio (a newish & very well done weblog) comes the CornCam from Iowa Farmer Today. Watch the corn grow! Thanks to this, I can re-live my tenth grade geography class. It was tought by Mr. “Action” Jackson (retired as of last week) — a tall redhead with a low monotone voice. He spoke in cliches, and his catch phrases were very predictable. So predictable, in fact, that to keep me and my friend Ryan awake, I created an “Action Jackson Baseball” game. <Warning: Nerd alert!!!> I spent several weeks analyzing his catch phrases, coming up with the statistical probability that each would be uttered. I then matched them up with plays from baseball that had close statistical matches (Say, batters hit a single 7.3% of the time; Mr. Jackson said “You betcha” 7.1% of the time. Therefor, “You betcha” equaled a single.) based on numbers from a sports almanac. Once done, Ryan and I, sitting in different rows, could play baseball games against each other by carefully listening and documenting the utterance of the catch phrases. Oh, what fun! Well, it was something to do, anyway. It’s strange, now that I think about it, that I then taught Junior High geography for a while. But, I digressed somehow. The CornCam. I distinctly remember (though my mind may be exaggerating a bit) a slide show that Action Jackson gave us titled “My Vacation to Iowa”. I think it was a multi-day presentation. It went something like this: “<click> Here you see another typical Iowa corn field. You’ll notice my lovely wife standing next to the boulder. That boulder was transported here by glaciers thousands of years ago. <click> Here you see a typical Iowa corn field. If you’ll look closely at the dirt I’m holding in my hand, you’ll see that it’s very black. Iowa dirt is very fertile. <click> This is an Iowa corn field. The large boulder there at the side of the road was transported here by … ” Ahhh… high school! Oh — Mr. Jackson: If by some wonder of the modern age you are actually reading this… it’s been thirteen years now since I had that class. I’m sure my memory is playing tricks on me. I’m sure you were a great teacher.

Lee Iacocca is peddling an

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:04 am

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Lee Iacocca is peddling an electric bicycle that I’d love to own. (Sorry. The wording was hard to resist.) I saw some at my Saturn dealer last time I was in. I’m going back Friday for a service visit. Of course, I have no money for an e-bike… but maybe they’ll let me have one for free to ride around Athens on and drum up business for them. Yeah! I’ll ask them.

“That dirty little coward that

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:15 am

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That dirty little coward that shot Mister Howard has laid poor Jesse in his grave.” Or, maybe not. The body of J. Frank Dalton, who died in 1951 claiming to be Jesse James, is being exhumed for testing to see if it really was. Did he fake his death in 1882 and live to be 104? We’ll know in three months or so. One of the James’ Gang’s hideouts was Meramac Caverns, just a few miles down the interstate from my Missouri hometown. If you take the tour, they’ll show you “Loot Rock,” where they divvied up the gold. You know, the caverns has advertising painted on every other barn from Utah to Ohio, but I can’t find a single official website. Hrmph.