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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chris Gregoire Looses One More Vote

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To be honest I've never really liked her, and I don't think most do. The problem really comes from the Republicans not putting a decent candidate up to run against her. I actually voted for Rossi the first time he ran against her, just not the second time the poor looser ran against her.

I don't even smoke it, anymore, but this is why she won't get my vote this time around, Gregoire vetoes some medical marijuana reforms.

As far as I'm concerned there is no reason to have a Democrat in office if that Democrat doesn't go along with the majority Democrat state senate that wrote and approved the bill. We know the Republicans are against such legislation, as they are against everything. The are the party of no, after all.

But if we are going to have a governor who is going to veto bills such as this, we might have well have a Republican.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Alabama To Blame

Why am I talking so much trash about Alabama you might be wondering. People are dying, homes are lost, and lives are destroyed.

I may not be much on religion, but I am a big fan of karma. In a Gallup poll, Alabama was rated as the most conservative state in the country. Which, of course, means that the majority of people in Alabama don't believe in global warming/climate change. They believe god will take care of them, that speaking out against your country is "un-American," and that gays and lesbians shouldn't have equal rights. When other disasters happen they use terms like, "it's gods will."

Alabama, global warming is happening, whether you believe it or not. It isn't just seen in the melting of the ice caps and rising temperatures. Global warming is also witnessed by more extreme weather patterns. More tornadoes, more extreme winters, more extreme hurricanes, more flooding, more rain, and more heat waves.

Alabama governor Republican Robert Bentley has said that, "he would only accept as his brothers and sisters those who had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior" apparently not enough people in Alabama have done so, because if they had, maybe they wouldn't be getting hit by so many tornadoes.

So let me ask you Alabama, if god is real and global climate change is some left-wing conspiracy, where is your god now?


Douche-Bags on The Bus - First in the Rain

One of the nice things about my job (for now) is that, depending on which office I'm working in, I get to take the company bus to work. One of the reason this is so nice is the fact that it picks us up in a parking lot. I get to park my car, sit and listen to the radio while waiting for the bus to show. The bus then parks and allows me time to get out of the car, walk over and get on.
Yet, there are some people who always have to be first. These people would rather stand in the rain, on a cold day, waiting for the bus to show, instead of in their nice warm cars. They do this for the sole purpose of getting on early and getting a window seat. A window seat where many will put their laptop bags next to them, in hopes of avoiding having someone sit next to them.




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

God Hates Arkansas

Ten people have died in Arkansas over he past few days in Arkansas as the state has been ravaged by tornadoes, flooding, and storms.

The only obvious conclusion is that god hates Arkansas, just like he hates those fags.

Read more on the storms here…

Update 6:00 PM - God must really be pissed, the death toll is up to 17 now.

Update 04/27 - Up to 248 Arkansas. You aren't praying hard enough.   



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seattle Approves Chihuly Glass House

You know what I'm always thinking to myself while walking down around the Seattle Center, when looking at the eye-sore that is the EMP. I look over and think, we need a large glass building full of blown glass.

Well, thanks to City Council we now have another super lame tourist destination, the Dale Chihuly Museum. And I use the word museum loosely. Really it’s a museum with the sole purpose of making money from out-of-towners looking to buy some glass art, from a one-eyed man who doesn't even make his own art.

Read the news here...



Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Teachers Don't Suck

I'm pretty tired of people talking trash about teachers right about now.  Like the dude in this article, stupid people assume they know what they are talking about. I'd like to invite those people into my school and my classroom for a week or so. I'd like to educate them like I do my students: with evidence and experience instead of guesses and stereotypes, politics and evasion.

The problem with this guy and the hoardes like him is that they view the problems we face over-simplistically-- and they are anything but simple.  People want to chalk everything up to bad teachers or blame it on needing more investment or training around standardized testing or blame it on needing teacher-proof curriculum.... and blah blah blah.  Oh man, the list goes on forever.

Wouldn't it be so easy if all we had to do in order to educate students better was to dump more money into standardized tests or some new curriculum from College Spring Board?  Everyone would love that, it would at least be an end to all this maddening, disheartening, bickering.  But that's just not what reality is like.

And hey, if de-unionizing would somehow make students smarter or help get rid of the masses of bad teachers infiltrating our educational system, I'd be the first one to propose it.  But that's just not what is likely.

What is likely is that the problems we have are multi-faceted in such nuanced ways that it would take a whole host of approaches and strategies to even begin to solve the problem.  Yeah, maybe we should spend more money on curriculum or at least curriculum training.  Probably a lot of teachers would really benefit from that.  And yeah, maybe we should let teachers get fired more easily. I know I've run into a few teachers in my short time in public education who really don't deserve to be teaching anyone anything, ever.  I get it; that would be helpful.

But, after you fire some bad guys and buy some more stuff, there will still be students who say things like this nugget I literally just overheard, "My Easter sucked, I didn't get anything."  I could spend a whole post just analyzing how awful that statement is and yet it is perfect for the point I'm trying to make: the attitudes of society, parents, and students is the largest bar to student achievement and success I've ever come across.  It's removal would be the biggest boon to our educational system and society that I can imagine.

Here's a comic that illustrates part of my point:

It's not the students or parents fault they live in a society that teaches everyone to expect anything they want to just magically appear before them, like consumables and money on Easter, like proper grades without effort on a report card, like easy fixes to an entire system of education.  No, it's not their fault.  At least, not specifically.  But everyone definitely needs to take a deep breath, let it out, and then look in the mirror.  What happened to "it takes a village to raise a child"?  I think that idea in this society has changed into, "it takes a teacher to raise 150 children per day, with no help from anyone else".  And let's fire them if they don't! Stupid teachers....

Here's the run down of my day, a day which I love and cherish and value and would exchange for no other, but nontheless a day in which entirely way too much is asked of me:  I am a teacher, I am a coach, I am a life skills expert, I am a counselor, I am a mediator, I am a mentor, I am a child abuse reporter, I am a disciplinarian, I am a planner of curriculum, I am an enricher, I am a teacher of curriculum, I am a grader of curriculum, I am an organizer of a classroom system of movement, I am a bargain finder and tool provider, I am a feedback giver, I am an expert on every single last student's progress and goals and skills, I am a differentiator of instruction for 30 different individuals for two different topics within two hours.  And that's just what I can come up with off the top of my head.  Who is helping me?  No one.  But there's plenty working against me.

I've recieved literally no supplies from my school except access to printers and paper.  All the tools that my classroom needs like scissors and glue and paper and pencils; that's up to me to provide, unfunded.  I've recieved literally no input from any specialists about the 10 or so English Language Learners and Special Ed and 504 students who are put into my classroom as though they are anywhere near the capability level of my other students; that's up to me to figure out and up to me to make additional sets of curriculum.  I've recieved literally no help from any parent all year long with any one of my students who are failing or not meeting standard; it's up to me to stay after long hours, giving them extra help, if they even show up to a special session.  All of this is dificult to deal with.  When you put your all into something and come up against a student who won't try because it is hard and not magically downloaded into their brain, a parent who will make any excuse they can for their child who isn't trying, and a public who won't fund the materials you need in your classroom, that is hard.

But, it feels worse that I've recieved no love from our society, either; after I give everything I have, every single day, to try and help as many students as I can become cognizant, emotionally healthy, functional members of society.  Instead, I get blamed and laid off.

I count society as lucky that I keep trying anyway. You all are lucky that I love helping people enough to continue despite all the horror and then, on top of it, deal with getting crapped on by a society that dismisses me in an instant in favor of classrooms packed with even more students so that we can spend more money on a test.  I just wish people would think a little deeper about the problems we face before they quickly jump to the hot button topic of the moment in their search for who to blame for the hoardes of unintelligent kids we produce every year.

And I swear to god I will kick in the face the next person who tells me I have too much time off and I'll stop when they tell me an equivalent job in society where you are required to donate a minimum of 10 hours a week just to get by and take classes and courses that you aren't paid for but have to pay for and make LESS than 50K. Try me.

Douche-Bags on The Bus - Fake Sleep Guy

I've decided to start a new series that I'm titling, douche-bags on the bus. All about, the smell, rude, and stupid people I encounter while taking the bus.

Volume 1 - Fake Sleep Guy

It's hard to see in the photo because I was trying to be subtle. 

The day in question had quite a few people on the bus, I was stuck sitting next to someone as were most people. What this guy did, so as to avoid having to sit next to someone was sit his bag on the seat next to him, and flip his hoodie up over his head and pretend to be asleep. It worked, because no one sat next to him, and that's why he gets to be the first douche-bags on the bus.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why I like Four Dollar Gas

Image Source
It might seem kind of odd to be in favor of more expensive gas, yet 4 bucks seems to be the magic number when it comes to getting people to consider reducing consumption.

Last time the gas price hit 4 dollars a gallon, people stopped buying SUV's, and started buying hybrids instead. It forced companies like GM to begin work in it's electric hybrid the Volt, and got people to park and take the buses when available.

Of course, gas prices dropped and people being the short-sited people that we are, stopped thinking about fuel prices and started thinking about whatever passing news item they saw in the latest 15 second clips.

Thanks to turmoil in the middle east, we are now witnessing another increase in gas prices, and like last time, bus ridership is up and people are talking about more fuel efficient cars. I can only hope that this time around the high prices are here to stay.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Calves Bludgeoned

I've always tried to be somewhat cognizant of where I get my food from, although I'm not always good about it, I figure I'm better than some. For example my milk comes from Organic Valley.

Even though I eat meat, and drink dairy, I do want to eat and drink food that is not only better for me, but I can hope is from an animal that has been treated relatively well.

It's videos like this that make it worth spending a little extra money on the better quality foods. And it's videos like this that make me wish I could bludgeon people legally like they can bludgeon animals.

Warning: graphic video.




Monday, April 18, 2011

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,441

As of Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at least 4,441 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
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  • The figure includes nine military civilians killed in action.
  • At least 3,502 military personnel died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.
  • 32,044 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department's weekly tally
  • Currently there still are 47,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
  • 146 journalist killed, 14 by U.S. soldiers. 
  •  And the current cost of the war, as of February 2010, around $704 billion

Sources:
Iraq War Fact
Boston.com
costofwar.com



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cop vs. Squirrel

Apparently this officer feared for his life by this dangerous attacking squirrel, leaving him with few alternatives, choosing to pepper spray the squirrel.




Friday, April 08, 2011

What Planned Parenthood Actually Spends Money On

Contrary to what tea-bagging Republicans would have you believe, Planned Parenthood actually spends most of it's money preventing the need for abortions, not giving them.



The United States Peace Index

The United States Peace Index came out with the list of most peaceful and least peaceful states.

Take a look at the list and see if you see the same trend as I do.

The group lists the ten most peaceful states in order as:
  •  Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Minnesota
  •  North Dakota
  •  Utah
  • Massachusetts
  •  Rhode Island
  • Iowa
  • Washington.

Least peaceful states in order
  •  Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Nevada
  •  Florida
  • Alabama
  • Texas
  •  Arkansas
  •  Oklahoma
  •  South Carolina
  • Maryland

Most peaceful states:
  •  Maine - Blue
  • New Hampshire - Blue
  • Vermont - Blue
  • Minnesota - Blue
  •  North Dakota - Red
  •  Utah - Red
  • Massachusetts - Blue
  •  Rhode Island - Blue
  • Iowa - Blue2008 election, could be red now
  • Washington - Blue


Least peaceful states:
  •  Louisiana - Red
  • Tennessee - Red
  • Nevada - Blue2008 election, most likely red now
  •  Florida - Blue2008 election, most likely red now
  • Alabama - Red
  • Texas - Red
  •  Arkansas - Red
  •  Oklahoma - Red
  •  South Carolina - Red
  • Maryland - Blue

Notice any trends based on the political affiliations and violence?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Bad Customer Service at Farmers

I’ve had my house and automobile insurance on one policy through Farmers for about 5 years now. A few months ago, I changed from Chase bank to BECU, which of course involved switching all my auto-payments, which I did.

In February I went to the Farmers website and changed and made my payment there was well, for my March bill. Then as April rolls around, I get my bill which shows a 25.00 check return fee. Since I don’t pay by check, I thought this was a little odd and called. In speaking to the girl who answered, I was informed that I didn’t change my payment method correctly. Instead of updating it online, I was supposed to call since I had it setup for auto-pay.

I responded with a polite, "I wasn’t aware of that" and nothing on the site told me that when I was updating my payment method. I said all this, expecting that they would just refund the 25.00 bucks, which they did not offer, and actually said they couldn’t do.

I’ve been with them for 5 years, never filed a claim, and paid my bills always on time. They made a lot of money off me. So I responded with, “Okay, then cancel my service.”After saying I wanted to cancel her response was, “okay great,” in a very nice tone of course. At no point was she like, “I’m sorry to hear that. Or I understand.” Just a simple, "I’ll cancel that out today."

My first call was to Progressive and I was happy to find out, that they could give me a better rate on both my homeowners and auto insurance.

So thanks local Farmers office. Thanks to your not willingness to credit a good customer 25.00 dollars, I’m taking way more than that, which I pay each year to Progressive, and saving money in the process.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Chinese Animal Keyrings


When I pull my keys out of my pocket, I think to myself how can I use this as an opportunity to torture animals. And, thanks to a few resourceful people in China, I now can.

Chinese venders have started taking fish, frogs, and turtles, and packing them into a little bag for people to buy and carry around on a keyring. The keyrings are becoming very popular and a great way to make money, as the animals usually die pretty quickly requiring the purchaser to buy another one to replace it.

Read more here:
Weird Asia News
Tree Hugger

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Elon Musk is a Douche-Bag

For those who haven't read this somewhere, Tesla Motors, the makers of the all electric roadster, is suing the BBC's Top Gear. Tesla is stating that Top Gear made false claims and other slanderous comments during a test drive of their car.

I've seen the episode in question, and Top Gear also spoke very highly of the car in parts, and said it's the first electric car that a person might want to own. Also, anyone who watches the show knows they speak honestly and make fun of just about everything, including electric cars.

Personally I'm a fan of Tesla and am looking forward to the Model S being released next year. But, I'm also a fan of Top Gear and this lawsuit is really just making Tesla and Elon Musk look like a bunch of cry babies about a bad review.




Welcome to the automotive world Elon.



Friday, April 01, 2011

Used More than New at Amazon

So, a guy I know wrote a novel, and I was checking it out on Amazon to place an order. And I noticed something interesting. The used price for his book is more than the new price…. I'm going to have to go with a FAIL on this one Amazon.

Here's the book by the way. You should get a copy and help a writer out. I did.