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Entry date: 11-18-2022 - Random thoughts - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy random thoughts Friday…

This week has seemed like about a month so far. The new job is interesting to say the least. As per usual in my life (and probably everyone’s professional life), the job was not exactly as advertised.

My class of thirty children is full of characters. I have a few quiet ones and a few boisterous ones. I have a few who just want to be pleasers and a few who could give two shits what I think, so far. I have one who does not speak English, but he tries. I can understand more than he lets on, I think.

They are not used to boundaries yet. They are also not used to doing a lot of work for grades. This will be a challenge. The downside is that even though I have shared with them that I don’t give out free grades, there are going to be some surprises when this first round of grades comes out.

As you may know, in many schools around the country right now, teachers have been discouraged from giving Ds and Fs. One of the ways we are discouraged from doing this is having to fill out what amounts to be excessive paperwork for giving anything less than a C. This royally sucks because there is a faction of kids out there, even in fourth grade, who feel like they really don’t have to do any work.

Some of this is because they have been getting Cs for doing nothing the past few years. Some of this is because parents think their children are working because they have been getting good grades and they don’t buy it when you tell them their children aren’t doing anything. It’s a bad situation. I need to have that tough conversation with my new principal about how I am expected to give grades, especially since I am starting out in the middle of the 2nd quarter.

We shall see.


It was great to see the Suns beat the Warriors again the other night (Wednesday). I have to admit that I like watching them do the champs like that, especially missing two starters and a key bench player. They are also not getting a whole lot for the investment in Deandre Ayton either. I fear he is turning into one of those players who got his money and that’s that. No more improving the game.

Another thing I do like, though, from what I’ve seen from the Suns so far this year is that are playing like a team again and working on improving the aspects of their game that were exploited in the playoffs last year. Devin Booker seems to have a lot more poise when the opponent throws double teams at him. He needs a bit more help than he’s getting, so hopefully others will continue to step up. Mikal Bridges has had a number of good games as of late, but he’s still woefully inconsistent offensively.

Supposedly they will be trading Jae Crowder soon, so it will be interesting to see who they get for him. I wouldn’t mind if they brought Kelly Oubre back and Gordon Hayward would be nice. That would mean a bunch of salary going east, though, so it would cost them Dario Saric and Landry Shamet, along with Crowder.

Again, we shall see.


I’m very curious how they will end Walking Dead this weekend. I didn’t read the comic, so I don’t know how things went there, but I know they have made some different decisions. I will be tuned in on Sunday, though, to watch. Especially since my favorite Sunday show, The Rookie, is on its fall break right now.

I hope the zombies win. I also hope they use a Zombies song in the show this week. That would be classy.


Tonight, we celebrate my friend Rob’s 55th birthday at the Yucca Tap Room. I met Rob at Hollywood Alley about 27 years ago or so. He was a bartender and promoter there and he put Hillbilly and Pinky on tons of shows over the year. About a decade ago, we put together a little band called Bourbon Witch to play the Alley’s 20th anniversary party.

Bourbon Witch was a lot of fun to do, so we have done it a few more times over the years. A few of those shows were dubbed the Bourbon Witch/Pinky Family Band and we played a set that was half covers and half Pinky songs.

This version is down our two original guitar players, Jay and Jx, but we are joined by Mike and Nick from Blanche Davidian. I loved Blanche Davidian and Pinky played a bunch of shows with them over the years. I also played a handful of shows on bass for them, too, after my friend, Zeb, left town. Zeb was Blanche’s original bass player.

We have a nice crop of covers picked for this show tonight, though, and I think people will be entertained. One of the things we do is look at a song and think, “How would the Melvins cover this” and then do it that way. It’s a good formula.

If anything, Yucca Tap Room will sell a lot of booze tonight and we are going to do both a Blanche Davidian song and a Pinky song. I hadn’t wanted to do a Pinky song as the band is retired, but since we are playing in a slightly different key, it is more of a cover song, anyway. I won’t give away the other covers. You’ll just have to come and see for yourself.

This will probably be the last time Bourbon Witch plays live, so if you haven’t seen it and want to, come check it out. I won’t say never, but I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to do any projects that aren’t new anymore…unless we can get Hillbilly Devilspeak on a cool show in 2023. It would almost be the 30th anniversary of the band. I might be tempted to do that.

See you tomorrow.

My last music classroom for 2022. Who knows if I will teach music again. I was out sick all week before going in to get some personal belongings and they trashed the room. Heathens!

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