April 18, 2014


Volume 8, Issue 30 – April 18, 2014


Q &A Time

As my time at SPSU begins to wind down, I thought I’d answer a couple of questions that people have been asking me.

Yes, I plan to continue writing the Weekly Blab when I go up to SUNY-Canton. Naturally, a lot of the stuff in it will relate to my new university and life in northern New York, but some of it will still be the usual nonsense about topics in higher education, music, the English Premiere League, and whatever else happens to cross my mind. The one thing that will change is that I won’t be sending out the notices whenever a new issue is up. If you want to know right away so that you’ll be competitive in the trivia contest, you’ll have to sign up as a follower for the blog. Just click on the word “follow” in the blog’s menu bar at the top. I promise to mail you a CD if you win.

My last day on campus will likely be around June 20, which also happens to be Jill and my 38th anniversary. I will be going to Canton periodically before then, and will be less available as time goes forward. I intend to get everything done before I leave, so if you have anything you need me to work on, let me know and I’ll do my best. The next time I will be away will be the week of May 4, when I’m going up to Canton to meet the faculty, students, and many others associated with the college, as well as to look for a house.

Yes, I know where my winter coats, gloves, and boots are. I never got rid of them, and I trust they’ll get some renewed use next winter. No, there won’t be any snow by the time I get there, although earlier this week, it was 81° in Canton on Monday, and it snowed on Tuesday. Of course it got really cold here, too.

No, I don’t know who is going to be the interim VPAA after I’m gone. I don’t know who the interim president is going to be either. Presumably an announcement will be made as the date gets closer.

Yes, I’ll miss you all (well, mostly all) when I go. I hope you’ll stop by for a visit if you’re up that way. Canton is a very nice town, and the Thousand Islands region of New York is quite beautiful, with Adirondack State Park and Lake Placid nearby, as are Ottawa and Montreal. It’s worth the trip. SUNY-colleges seem to do inaugurations, so if you follow the Blab, I’ll let you know when it will be assuming we have one. You’re all invited.


Blood Moon

On Tuesday, Jill came running upstairs, saying “you have to come outside and see the moon”. I’m glad she did, because I’ve never seen the moon quite so bright before, and I felt obliged to take a picture of it. The picture below was taken on my Canon SX-20, which has a superzoom lens, allowing an 80X magnification. I didn’t use a tripod, so you should be impressed how steady my hands are. Of course, I’m not showing you the six other shots I took first that were quite blurry.

Moon Photo

It turns out that there will be four so-called blood moons this coming year—the others coming on Oct. 8, April 4, 2015, and Sept. 28, 2015.   Since all these dates are also Jewish holidays, there are several preachers who are saying that this is a big giant omen, and indicates G-d is communicating with us by sending these signals. There are several books on the subject, the best known being one by John Hagee called “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change”. In it he says that these four blood moons predict the destruction of Russia, Iran, Germany, and several other countries as they try to invade Israel (the Gog-Magog war), a worldwide economic collapse, and the Second Coming, pretty much all in this time period. There are other ministers who think Hagee couldn’t be more wrong, one of them being Dr. Joel McDurmon, the Director of Research for American Vision (who lives in Dallas, Georgia). You can read his rather interesting repudiation of Hagee (which also works in a dig at President Obama) here. As for me, I’m not taking sides in this debate, but I figure that if things are going to be peaceful anywhere, Canton NY has as good a shot at it as any.


Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s contest had questions having to do with the word “green”. Our winner was Rich Halstead-Nussloch, getting all five just a few minutes after the Blab was posted. Fast work, Rich! Others getting all five right include: Tom Nelson, Mark Stevens (who admits he owned a 45 of Green Tambourine), Carl Snook, Paul Howley, Barry Szafran (my cousin!), Denise Tucker, Mark Vickrey, and Bob Brown. I guess these weren’t as hard as I thought.

  1. Wisconsin-based football team. Green Bay Packers.
  2. Television show set in the fictional town of Hooterville, starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. Green Acres.
  3. Book featuring the character Sam-I-Am, it is the 4th best-selling children’s book of all time and contains only 50 different words. Green Eggs and Ham.
  4. Science fiction movie from 1973 starring Charlton Heston, about a wafer that’s supposedly made out of plankton (but we ultimately find out isn’t). Soylent Green.
  5. Song by the Lemon Pipers, some credit it as the first bubblegum #1 pop song. Green Tambourine.


This Week’s Trivia Challenge

Just to be fair and balanced, this week’s trivia challenge has all answers involving the word “red”.  As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO zszafran@spsu.edu, since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. She learned why you shouldn’t go through the forest to visit your grandmother.
  2. They put it out at the Oscars for the stars, at fancy hotels, as well as trainside on the 20th Century Limited.
  3. Famous oil well fireman.
  4. Terrific British TV comedy involving a garbage collecting spaceship, a hologram named Rimmer, a slacker named Lister, and an evolved cat.
  5. Popular 1935 song by Jimmy Kennedy and Hugh Williams. It’s about a yacht that Kennedy saw off the northern coast of Ireland. Versions were recorded by Bing Crosby, Guy Lombardo, Montovani, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Big Joe Turner, Paul Anka, the Platters, the Beatles (at the Star Club, in Hamburg), Fats Domino, the Searchers, Connie Francis, Dean Martin, Dave Brubeck, and Englebert Humperdinck. Wow!
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