Mar

06

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : March 6, 2009

I listened to the debate on the Economic Stimulus Bill. There was no consensus on the bill because there was no consensus on what the bill was supposed to accomplish. Almost every Senator had a pet project that would act as a stimulus and create an untold number of jobs.
“Why don’t the committees sit down at a table, isolate the problems and think about how to solve them?” I thought. Then I remembered.
I was a member of The Undergraduate Committee for several years. One of the responsibilities of this committee was to select the text books for the mathematics courses.
A calculus text comes out in a new edition every three or four years. (A practice that keeps students from being able to sell their books or buy used ones.) Most schools just go ahead and use the next edition because choosing a new text is a no-win job and a lot of work.
When I began university my calculus text was about the size and weight of a Rex Stout mystery novel. Year by year calculus texts grew thicker and heavier until they are now over 1000 pages and suitable for weight training.
This means that they are physically harder to use. I couldn’t carry my copy and so I cut it into two sections and made covers out of cardboard.
Since they have been stuffed with more topics than God could cover in three semesters, you jump around and lose continuity.
I could go on forever listing the faults of calculus books but of course I haven’t seen every calculus book.
We all get five or six calculus books to look at and rank. I didn’t see how to rank them; they were all equally bad.
I made a suggestion. “Why don’t we first decide what we want the students to learn in the calculus sequence and then try to find the book that best satisfies that want. Then we’ll have a way to judge the books.”
The idea was considered but cast aside after a few minutes of discussing what we wanted to put in the calculus sequence. Everybody had their pet topic: determinants, Descartes’ Rule of Signs, conic sections, epsilons and deltas – introduction to matrices, introduction to probability, introduction to number theory, introduction to graph theory. Everybody wanted to introduce their pet topic regardless of the absence of any value to the student. Nobody wanted to leave out their favorite topic.
Thus Spake the Old Fogy thinking, “Let’s build a stairway to nowhere and add a new step every day.”

Mar

06

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : March 6, 2009

I decided to give you something a little different today. Please read it all and I am sure you will like it. The subjects covered affect us all on a daily basis.
I’ve learned

Mar

01

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : March 1, 2009


By Britt Thompson and Amanda Miles Thompson

From The Malakoff News
Friday, February 28, 1947

Athens, Texas

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009

The Malakoff Tigers season came to an end in Fairfield Friday night with a 51-41 loss to the Troy Trojans in the Area round of the playoffs.

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009


Services for Phyllis Ramsey, 73, of Malakoff, were held 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at Trinity Baptist Church with Bro. Tommy Bolton and Bro. Floyd Loven officiating. Interment followed at Post Oak Cemetery under the direction of Tomlinson Funeral Home of Malakoff.
Mrs. Ramsey died Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, in Athens. She was born Jan. 4, 1936, in Dallas to the late Paul Huffman and Flora Dell Arnold. She was a housewife and a member of Trinity Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband, the late Raymond Ramsey; son-in-law, Quincy Hutchison.
Survivors include sons, Samuel and Jenny Ramsey of Trinidad, Raymond Jr. and Debbie Ramsey of Malakoff, David and Patty Ramsey of Payne Springs, William and Lynda Ramsey of Trinidad; daughter, Susan Hutchison of Malakoff; sister, Paula Mullican of Malakoff; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were Danny Ramsey, Scott Ramsey, Kellan Ramsey, Jonathan Hutchison, Rusty Hutchison, Johnny Valdez, Shannon Ramsey, Jeff Wilson.
Honorary pallbearers were Charles Colman Jr., Bob Boone, Stephen Alvarado, Joe Mosier, Mike Colman, James Ritz.

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009


Guy N. Johnson Jr., 75, of Trinidad, died Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, in Dallas. He was born July 30, 1933, in Miller Grove, Texas, son of the late Guy N. and Connie Johnson. He was retired from Dallas Parks and Recreation after 33 years of service. He also served as treasurer for the Log Cabin Swingers Square Dance Club.
Surviving are daughters, Mary and husband, Robert Potter, of Frisco, Texas, Laurie and husband, Jordan Dunlap, of Crandall; grandchildren, Stephanie, Christina and William Potter, Jared and Jordan Dunlap; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, Guy and Connie Johnson; wife, Laura Gene Johnson; brothers, Thomas S., Charles H., and Robert Lewis Johnson.
Services were held at Tomlinson Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23, 2009. Interment followed at Miller Grove Cemetery.

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009


Gerald “Jerry” Eugene Hinkle, 66, was born March 21, 1942, in Cleburne, Texas, to E.O. “Gene” and Berta Corpany Hinkle. He graduated from Cleburne High School in 1960 and married Barbara Travis on Nov. 16, 1963. Mr. Hinkle graduate from Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, Gupton Jones in 1968. Mr. Hinkle later received his Bachelors of Business degree. He was a Funeral Director, Mortician for over 40 years and retired in 2009 as a License Nursing Facilities Administrator.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara Hinkle; daughters, Sheree Hinkle Hill and husband Ron of Burleson, Texas, Angela Hinkle Flores and husband Chriss of Burleson; grandchildren, Travis Kleypas, Tabitha Hill, Ryan Hill, Jacob Hill, Aimee Hill, Mathew Flores, Michael Flores and a sister, Judi McNabb, of Cleburne, Texas.
Services were 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, at Mountain Valley Funeral Home in Joshua, Texas.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Pleasant Hill Children Home, PO Box 1177, Fairfield, Texas, 75240.
Arrangements are under the direction of Waxahachie Funeral Home.

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009

The summer that I was 18 I had a job at a private swimming pool in Arlington, Virginia. It was my last cushy summer job.
Two lifeguards sat in high chairs on each side of the pool and once an hour they would clear the pool, take a break and dive off their high chairs into the pool.
This particular early afternoon one the lifeguards ended his dive by breaking a tooth on the bottom of the pool. I was appointed to drive him to his home in Washington, D.C.
He lived in a neighborhood of red brick row houses. The streets were lined with trees and parked cars. There was just enough room for cars going in opposite directions to pass.
We were headed for the other end of the block but our passage was prevented by two of those cars going in opposite directions that had stopped so that their drivers could talk.
I would have waited until I was noticed and maybe said, “Pardon me but would you mind moving your car.”
My passenger took matters in hand, leaned out the window and yelled, “Get your ****** car out of the road.”
“Stuff it, jerk,” was the immediate reply, more or less.
After a few loud threats and curses, the car in front of us moved ahead and pulled into the other lane and stopped. The driver got out and I thought there was going to be a fight but he and my passenger just did more yelling and I drove away.
This was my introduction to communication by yelling. What I had witnessed were not fighting words but a form of communication.
In 1984 I went to a music store on Times Square. It was long and narrow with a balcony on one side behind which were their instruments.
All communication was via the raised voice, that is, yelling.
“Throw down a Les Paul.”
“I need a Gibson RB50.”
Yelling is often a very effective way to transmit your thoughts. Contrary to the invective, “Don’t yell, ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” the most rational way to get the news of the fire out is to yell, “Fire.” The problem lies in the irrational response of the theater audience.
When I was in grammar school we had fire drills while we were in class and were told to react calmly but with all deliberate speed. We never had a fire drill during an assembly. It was the perfect place to practice responding to “Fire,” yelled in a crowded theater but that practice never happened.
Students in the 1950s were taught to “duck and cover” a completely useless skill but not how to leave a crowded theater that was on fire, a much more survivable occurrence than a nuclear attack.
Here we see a failure of education. It is so much easier to make yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater illegal than to teach people how to exit a burning theater.
Thus Spake the Old Fogy thinking that the easy way with no chance of success is so often chosen over the hard way that has a chance of success.

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.” – Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.” – “What does that tell you?” Holmes questioned. – Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?” – Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “Watson, you idiot. Someone stole our tent!”

A couple was having their Sunday morning breakfast, when the wife went to get her Sunday church clothes on. When she returned, the husband was still in his bathrobe. “Aren’t you going to church this morning?” asked the wife. – “No, I’m not going this morning. In fact, I’m not going to church anymore at all.” – “What do you mean, we’ve gone to church for years, so why the change?” – He responded, “Look, there are people at that church who don’t like me, and frankly there are people at the church that I don’t like, and I’M NOT GOING!” – She answered back, “I’ll give you two good reasons why you need to go to church. One, you’re 42 years old. Two, you gotta go, you’re the preacher!”

A lady came into the kitchen, sat down at the table, leaned forward, put her head in her hands and said to her husband, “Honey, I feel terrible! My head hurts, my back hurts and my left breast just burns and burns.” He said, “I’m gonna help you, dear. I’ll get you some aspirins for the headache, and I’ll rub your back with Myoflex for the backache, and if you” sit up and get your breast out of the coffee, it’ll stop burning!”

I met someone in the elevator who was drinking coffee and complaining about how coffee made him nervous. I said why don’t you quit drinking coffee. He said, “Because if I didn’t have the shakes I wouldn’t get any exercise at all.”

The perfect woman. A young man finds the woman of his dreams and asks her to marry him. He tells his mother he wants her to meet his fianc

Feb

27

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : February 27, 2009


Jack Cooley passed away on February 21, 2009, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Mr. Cooley was born on July 8, 1933, to Catherine and JC Cooley and raised in the West Texas mountains of Alpine with his siblings Carolyn Rutledge, George and Sam Cooley. He attended Sul Ross and Southwestern University. Mr. Cooley served his country in the Air Force during the Korean War. Mr. Cooley had a successful career as a national representative for Zollenor Pistons.
Mr. Colley loved to fish, golf, and do woodwork. He was also an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Mr. Cooley was an active member of the Trinidad Methodist Church.
He loved his wife, Valerie, for 54 years and together they traveled and had a large circle of friends.
Mr. Cooley was adored by his children, Lynda Perry, Mike Cooley and Larry Cooley (deceased). He was grandfather to Jacob, Mathew, and Greg Cooley; Sam, Zak and Brook Perry. Mr. Cooley was also a great-grandfather to Jennifer & Allysa Cooley, and Corbin Perry.
Mr. Cooley will be remembered for his strong work ethic, his fun and easy going personality and gracious spirit. A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 27 at 11 a.m. at the Trinidad Methodist Church. Conributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Trinidad Methodist Memorial Fund or the Cancer Society.