Thursday, March 31, 2005
Peter Daniel Young, 27, could face life in prison if convicted of all charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce and animal enterprise terrorism, according to court papers.
In Sweden, one can be taken into custody by the police and held for 48 hours without charges being filed or explanation given. I, for one, do not want to see that here in the US. I like the accountability to which the police must answer. I know there are extreme cases that grab the headlines and are manipulted by the media to give a kiltered view of the truth. I know there are loopholes which criminals use to stay one step ahead of incarceration.
This goes back to one of my beliefs about 'truth'. Truth is truth is truth. If something is a truth, then it is true all the time.
There are conditional truths. I can say that the sky is blue and that is the truth based on the condition of the sky. It is not true if it is night. It is not true if it is gray with clouds. So, while it is a truth that the sky is blue, it is a conditional truth. There are more conditional truths than we could ever count. The key, is to recognize the conditional truth and to be able to separate it from the absolute truth.
An absolute truth is true, regardless of the situation or who is involved. It can be applied unilaterally. If we really think about it, absolute truths are rare in our lives, but they do exist. The Bible tells us that the 'love of money is the root of all evil." This is a truth. Ecclesiastes tells us that 'whoever loves money never has enough."This truth can be applied unilaterally. To say, however, that riches are evil, is a conditional truth. Not everyone with money is bad.
We go through our days spouting out nuggets of knowledge. Some of these are misconceptions. Some are learned lies. Some are self made fabrications. Some are opinions. There is nothing wrong with these things until we try to apply the 'truth' label to them.
Still, this system beats all the others in the world.
So, lock the 'mink-inator' for life and turn some of the murderers and drug dealers free after 7 to 10 years.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Three times in the past this court has ruled against their motions to have the feeding tube reinserted. Three times they have dashed the hopes of the Schindlers in their efforts. Suddenly, for whatever reason, they extended the deadline for the Schindlers right to appeal. They didn't say they would uphold the appeal. They didn't say they would reverse the decisions that they themselves had made earlier. They didn't really offer the Schindlers any real hope or chance for a victory.
False hope is just a bus ride between prisons.
This is a sticky wicket. I can identify with both parties. I can identify with the husband, as I do know my wife's wishes should we ever be in this place. The rest of her family knows her wishes as well. I would honor my wife's wishes.
I can identify with the parents as well. I have children. The thought of having to make such a decision for one of them, or standing by while one of their husbands made that decision, is horrific to me. When you read the accounts of these more famous patients, you can see that this tragedy is not that far from any of us. There were no special conditions that precipitated these cases. They came out of the blue. In the absence of any expressed wishes from my children, I am sure that I would fight until my last breath to save them.
I do not know how I would be able to accept that my child was not there anymore. How could I let go of one of my precious lights? How could I stop seeing her through eyes of memory? How could I walk out of my heart and see her with only my mind?
The same is true of my wife. I will tell you that she has told me she does not want to be kept alive artificially. She has given me her wishes should we ever be in this position. Still, knowing her desire, it will be hard to let go. It is the paradox of love. How can I love her enough to let her go when my every fiber screams with the love the demands I keep her?
God willing, I will never know.
God willing, I will never have to make that decision.
It just rings in my ears. False hope is just a bus ride between prisons. I don't remember when I wrote that. I know I never finished the poem of which it was to be a part. Maybe soon.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson visited the hospice where Schiavo is being cared for and said she was being inhumanely "starved to death" and urged Florida lawmakers to take action.
So, we can now add medical expert to Jesse's impressive resume.
I was at an AIDS rally in Miami several years ago where Mr. Jackson was the keynote speaker. He addressed the problem of AIDS in the black community. At that time, the fastest growing group of AIDS patients were gay men of color. The second fastest growing group were black women, gay or otherwise. He is an impressive speaker. He knows how to woo the crowd. He uses the right words. He uses the right cliches. He is a grand actor.
I was more impressed with DR. Wright, the head of the CDC in Atlanta. He spoke of his brother which died of AIDS. He spoke of friends and colleagues. He spoke with compassion as well as knowledge.
Mr. Jackson speaks from lots of knowledge acquired from research on the subject he is speaking about. In this case, he says the words that the supporters of Terri Schiavo want to hear. He doesn't speak from compassionate. He doesn't speak from medical expertise. He doesn't speak from the heart of the community. He says the words people want to hear.
He has a habit of inserting himself into controversial places to keep his name in the paper. He is a glory hound. Romans tells us to live so that others might see our good works and glorify our father in heaven. Jesse seeks his own glory. This is just another Jesse grabbing the headlines stunt.
His insertion will not help Terri Schiavo. His insertion will not help the family. His insertion will only get his name in the news again. But, that is what he is looking for, anyway ... IMHO
The day has been a mild one. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. Spring has sprung.
We will see what my news hopping produces.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Now ... Listen very carefully ... I am not discussing the guilt or non-guilt of Michael Jackson.
Something occurred to me, while I was looking over the facts lain out in the article. One of the cases dates back to 1990. The child in that case will testify (I guess he isn't a child anymore). The child of the 1993 case will not testify, but key witnesses in that case will testify. What occurred to me, is, that those cases were highly publicized. How could the parents of this years accuser allow their son to associate with a known 'accused' sex offender?
The parents of the abuse victim need to answer to this as well. Why would you allow your child to associate with someone suspected of sex crimes. I know he was not convicted. I know he doesn't have a record of sexual predatory crimes. Let me tell you, My kids were never in a place where my Ex-brother-in-law could abuse them. On top of that, he knew that I would prosecute him (if he lived). I convinced his sister to press charges against him for abusing her kids. He fled to somewhere in the Carolinas. He is back now, however, and his mother and sister treat him like it never happened. Scarier even, he has his own kid now.
Somewhere, parents have to make the move to protect their kids.
1. I am 47 and proud of every year it took to get here.
2. I am married for the second time (18 months) after 20 years the first time and 6 years of being single.
3. I have seen 6 decades. I saw the last of the 50's, the 60's, the 70's, the 80's, the 90's, and now the 00's.
4. I have 3 daughters and share 2 sons and 2 daughters with Tammy.
5. Kyle IS my favorite 9 year old living in the house with me.
6. I have 4 grandkids and one on the way.
7. Occasionally, Tammy and I take leave of our senses and bring 3 of them to the house to spend the night.
8. I am a licensed Master Electrician in the state of Kentucky (go CATS)
9. After 27 years working in the construction end of electricity, I have changed careers and started teaching in a high school vocational school.
10. I have arthritis in my back
11. My thyroid is seriously screwed up.
12. No matter how comfortable you get in your skin, you never completely get over the 'want to be liked' syndrome.
13. I was an Ordained Minister for 20 years.
14. I was assistant pastor of a church at one time.
15. I was head of the Church Growth Dept for the state of KY in the religious organization to which I belonged.
16. I was also head of the Christian Education Dept (foreshadowing?).
17. I believe in miracles.
18. I believe in Angels.
19. I believe in God.
20. I believe there is a Devil and I believe he works zealously.
21. I got my first transistor radio in 1970 for my 13th birthday.
22. I began singing at 8 years old, singing in church.
23. My first song was "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho," a Negro spiritual.
24. I have sang a capella in front of a crowd of 400.
25. The first time I sang Karaoke was in a small lounge at a bowling alley and it terrified me.
26. That was about 4 years ago and now my repertoire includes almost 50 songs.
27. I love all kinds of music.
28. I listen mostly to country.
29. I can listen to anything except heavy metal.
30. Which is interesting, because I play the guitar and drums.
31. I played drums in elementary school until my grades dropped.
32. I played guitar in church (learned from my mom).
33. I miss the interaction of the construction site.
34. I do not miss the mud, rain, snow, sleet, cold, hot, crappy parking lots, and the general run of pricks ya run into on the average construction job.
35. I was and still am a dues paying union member.
36. I went to one year of college at UK when I was 17.
37. I got married the first time a few months before turning 20.
38. We separated 20 days after our 20th anniversary.
39. I have worked on everything from putting lights in a garage to the backup steam redundancy system on a nuclear reactor.
40. I have helped companies build Ford trucks, GM trucks, Saturns, Subaru/Izuzu's, and Toyota's.
41. This year, 18 years after starting that job in the middle of a mud field, I took a tour of Toyota Motor Manufacturing.
42. My first ever plane flight was on a 30 passenger plane, in 1986. I was 28 yrs old.
43. I loved it and have loved flying ever since.
44. My best flight was a flight from Louisville to Ft Lauderdale, when my flight was canceled and I was bumped up to First Class. (sweet)
45. My worst flight was the same one. The original airline lost my luggage, forcing me to attend an AIDS rally in jeans.
46. I have been in love more than once.
47. I believe in soul mates.
48. I believe there is more than one out there, though.
49. I believe in kindreds.
50. I am a hopeless romantic.
Deep breath here ...
51. I am head over heels in love with Tammy.
52. I will always love Alex, which Tammy completely understands and it doesn't constrain our love at all.
53. I have dated a psycho or two.
54. I protect my friends vehemently.
55. I make friends easy and let them go reluctantly.
56. I am a passionate person.
57. While I do not hold much with ESP, I do acknowledge that I have an empathic spirit.
58. I believe there are things that are unexplainable.
59. I believe in UFOs in as much as they are Unidentified Flying Objects.
60. I do not believe in life on other planets.
61. I am a creationist.
62. I do not believe in evolution.
63. I am not put off by others that believe differently than myself, only by those that insist on shoving their beliefs down my throat without respecting that I am capable of forming opinions of my own based on both facts and feelings.
64. The best thing on my desk at work is a picture of Tammy.
65. I have a great life.
66. I do not have a perfect life.
67. A friend told me years ago that life was too short to work a job you do not love or be married to a woman you do not like. I have both.
68. For all the love that lives between Tammy and myself, I genuinely like her as well. I know how to keep those feelings separate.
69. I have wonderful kids and fully recognize that I am biased.
70. I worry too much about money, even when we have enough.
71. I can be a social butterfly and/or a loner, sometimes, in the same evening.
72. I am a procrastinator.
73. Tammy and Dad are both obsessive about getting things done NOW.
74. They drive me crazy with that as much as I drive them crazy with my procrastination.
75. When we began dating, Tammy and I were amazed at how alike we are. Now we see how different we are, and that enhances our love.
76. Love grows stronger when it reaches across a difference.
77. I am a poet.
78. I am a painter.
79. I am a singer.
80. I am an amateur photographer.
81. I love animals.
82. I have 4 sisters and 1 brother.
83. We are a close family.
84. My parents, both in their 70's are still living.
85. My granny is 90 and still going strong. She is a blog in and of herself.
86. My girls give me wings and provide me roots.
87. I have a slight heart condition.
88. I do not know why, but a cold or flu is the hardest thing on me.
89. I am overweight, if that matters, you may discontinue reading.
90. I do not smoke.
91. I do not drink.
92. I love and am faithful to my wife.
93. I am old fashioned.
94. I am a walking contradiction.
95. I own 65 plus neckties and I wear about 5 a year.
96. I prefer jeans over a suit, but am just as comfortable in either. The suit makes others uncomfortable.
97. I have way too many clothes.
98. I prefer passionate opposition to mediocre agreement.
99. I support my causes even if they wane in popularity.
100. I have only scratched the surface.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Like the sun streaking across the sky,
Following the cold of one dark night,
Multiplied by the whole of humanity,
Hope came in the sparkling of one eastern light;
That one hope visited mankind,
As the prophecy had foretold,
Hope walked with us collectively,
And the future lost a bit of its cold;
The Lion and the Lamb,
Walked in the form of one man,
The gap betwixt hope and hopeless,
He began to span;
His followers believed the spirit of the man,
As He walked and taught,
He built the foundation of His plan,
Still there was hope to be bought;
As freedom threatened the tyrants,
Popularity turned to oppression,
Ahead, a garden alone in prayer,
Sweat as blood, for the next progression;
The hill of the skull,
Laid waiting for the promise,
A wood cross, and three nails,
Hope taken from all of us;
Hope hung between heaven and earth,
The fury of the skies was rumbling,
In the holy place,
A barrier was crumbling;
Day one, day two, day three,
Hope was dead and in the grave,
But the end of the third,
The stone moved from the cave;
Like the sun streaking across the sky,
Following the cold of one dark night,
Hope finished the battle,
And brought the world marvelous light;
March 23, 2003
Friday, March 25, 2005
That being said, It never fails to amaze me when I run into those that do see the grand workings of the conspirators. They see the invisible strings which tie all the conspirators. They see the trail of deception. They see the web of lies. Above all, they see all those that oppose them as narrow minded or uneducated.
It may be true that there are things about which I am narrow minded. There may be things about which I do not have room in my little world upon which to compromise. I have, however, prided myself on my ability to accept that there are other sides, other views, and other opinions. I respect your right to believe that which you believe, regardless of how radically different than what I believe.
Once again, that being said, I have managed, in my last few posts, to address issues that are important to me. They are, namely, the intrusion of the government or other agents of morality, into the private affairs of the free citizens of America. I have not commented on my view about ending the life of a terminally ill patient in a vegetative state. I have not commented on my position as to whether the spouse does or does not have the right to 'pull the plug'.
Some seem to have missed that point. I am not interested in discussing the merits of the case. I am not interested in discussing the life and death decision. In my own life, I am aware of my wife's opinion if it ever occurs to her. Whether I agree or not, I will honor her wishes. My opinion and her wishes are not your business.
The can of worms that I did open was the intrusion of the Federal Government and the practice of groups on both sides to attach their names to a personal issue to further their cause and increase their donations. If you want to discuss that, feel free. If you want to talk about a 30+ year old dad that brings his 14, 12, and 10 yr old children out to interfere with that LAWFUL process and cause them to be arrested, feel free. Is this the morality we want to teach our children ?
We are raising a generation that has no respect for the law and no idea how to fix what is wrong in it. You do not fix a sinking ship by throwing things at the hole from the outside. You fix it from the inside. You cannot fix the problems in the Government or society by standing on the outside throwing things. You have to be inside and apply pressure and work those changes, from the inside. Lawlessness and disrespect leave you on the outside. Do not be hypocritical. Be who you are, but be who you are from the inside.
That is my can of worms. That is my narrow view.
There are better ways to go (but it is still going). I have tried to keep my personal opinion about this one to myself as far as the core issue. My issue has been the numerous organizations that have felt compelled to intrude on this painful and private ordeal. Yes, I am sure the parents have relished the media attention and see it as an asset to their position. Still yet, it is a private ordeal. If I am ever in that position (and my wife has communicated her desires to me should she be in that position), I am unsure of how I feel if it is me in that bed. When I know, I will communicate that to my family.
What pains me the most is the blatant exploitation of this family's misery to push a choice through the media. I hate the use of personal tragedy to promote an issue. The issue is just as important, with or without a martyr for the cause. Is the issue of terminal patients a dead issue (pardon the pun) unless there is a prominent patient out there to rally around? Since we have (as a society) imprisoned Dr. Kevorkian, the issue of assisted suicide has fallen out of the limelight.
Right is right, with or without a name to rally around. AIDS is an issue based on the mass numbers of people that are HIV+. Even with that magnitude of infected people, it is still both an individual and societal issue.
The numbers of people facing a similar situation as Terri Schiavo cry out for a decision. Everyone of them is a voice. Where are the protestors? Where are the children bringing them water? Where are the countless background people working for them?
I know there are those that make it their life calling to address the issues facing our nation. It just galls me when some of these groups exploit the Schiavos of this world, to keep their name in the news.
That is my personal opinion on that.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
As much as it was a victory for one side, it was just that much of a defeat for the other. There are no clear lines in a case like this. Both sides have merit. Both sides have a personal stake. Both side will weep over this outcome.
Kids should not be at school wondering if someone is going to open fire at any time.
Ask me what the answer is. Go ahead, ask me.
I do not have a clue. The security guard and metal detectors did not stop the shootings in Minnesota. At the school itself, the security guard was the first one shot. It is deplorable that kids have to learn, while worried that their lives might be at risk. I know, from talking to my students, they do not dwell on it all the time, but it is in the back of their minds, always. I do not think about it while I teach. I do not think about it when I reprimand a student. I can't. If I dwell on it, I lose my effectiveness as a teacher. I have to maintain control of the class. I have to have control in the lab. If I have to worry that every student that I caution about safety glasses or horseplay is going to come back tomorrow and shoot me and students, I would go home now and never return.
The answer is consistency. I will come to this school, every day it is open. I will teach every day I am here. I will maintain order and allow my students the safety of learning. I am the first line of education.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Bioethicists familiar with the Texas law said Monday that if the Schiavo case had occurred in Texas, her husband would be the legal decision-maker and, because he and her doctors agreed that she had no hope of recovery, her feeding tube would be disconnected.
"The Texas law signed in 1999 allowed next of kin to decide what the patient wanted, if competent," said John Robertson, a University of Texas bioethicist.
Now that the light of popularity has fallen on him and he has squeaked by on one of the narrowest margins in history, he thinks he has a mandate from the country to right all the 'moral' wrongs out there. Can we say, "Coughcoughbullshitcoughcough" ?
It doesnt matter if you are a Bush fan or not, hypocrisy is hypocrisy. I havent seen anywhere that he has made any life affirming changes in his religious or moral outlook to make the 180° turn about. The only change is the number of eyes on him now as president.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I agree, that, if their arrest was soley on the writings, that there was a serious breach of his civil and first amendment rights. However, in his writings, he talked about his army. There are several students (some in my classes) that say they were approached to join this army. They were told that they would be protected from harm during the assault. It was implied to them that anyone else was fair game for the shooters.
This goes back to my post of yesterday. Some people need to butt out. This is not about a high school student in Clark County. It is about getting your name in the news.
The arrest and investigation has probably done a great deal toward the prevention of a school take over. The knowledge of it's possibility and planning has heightened security and awareness in the school and community. This is a great step in preventing such actions. In all the school shootings that I have read about, no one suspected.
Yesterday, a student killed his grandparents, possibly stealing his grandfathers guns, and went to his school, where he killed 5 students, a teacher, a security guard, and himself. No one suspected.
Where are the protectors of my right to live ? Where are the protestors of my right to work and not expect that, at any time, I might be confronting a student with a gun and no desire to live ? Where is the group that will comfort the widows and parents after they have made it impossible for the police to act on tips and writings ?
One of our founding father said that he was willing to give up some liberty in exchange for safety. There has to be a price for the security that we enjoy. If the price is that my writings be scrutinized, then so be it. If that price is that I explain my writings or actions from time to time, so be it. This is not the abolition of free speech. This is not the end of independent thought and expression. This is the security of our schools. This is the safety of our children.
I am a writer. I cherish the freedom to express myself, but there has to be responsibility attached to writing and expressing. Do we curtail the right of ministers to 'rightly divide the words of God" when we seek to stop the spread of hate speech in the guise of religious writings? Possibly, but is it a price we are willing to pay ? There are convincing arguments on both sides. It is hard to take the overhead view when it is your livelihood that is threatened.
I say, try the kid. Put it to a jury. Let a jury of his peers decide. Let the nay sayers be silent.
Monday, March 21, 2005
U.S. District Judge James Whittemore issued no decision yet after holding a two-hour hearing to consider a request from Terri Schiavo's parents to reinstate tube feeding for their 41-year-old daughter that was halted three days ago.
I was online earlier, checking mail, and checking the news, when I came upon some pictures of protestors holding signs concerning this much publicized debate. One sign said, "She is disabled, not dead yet," and another said "Don't let the judges murder Terri." As near as I could tell, these protestors have never met Terri Schiavo personally. They have no family interest, nor will their lives be changed in any way by the passing of Mrs. Schiavo. Their interest is in furthering the power of their political might.
If you haven't been following the story, it goes like this. Her husband wants to remove the feeding tube and allow Terri to live or die of her own volition. Terri's parents claim that she is sometimes responsive and could recover. They have gone to court to stop the tube removal. Now, the tube has been removed. It will take one to two weeks for Terri to die without the tube. She is brain dead. She will not suffer. Michael, the husband, claims that he has Terri's best interest at heart. He says that she would not want to be alive like this. Whether that is the case or not, I do not know. Whether she is responsive or not, I do not know.
I do know this much. This issue is a family issue. It is not a congressional issue. It is not a presidential issue. It is not a moral majority issue. It is not a Christian Conservative issue. all these sides that want to be involved have forgotten who is going to suffer from all this. When this is over, they will all go their way. Somewhere, in some archive, this story will be buried. Terri Schiavo will be forgotten. Her accomplishments as a person will be forgotten. Her impact on the lives of her family and friends will be forgotten by these political groups. The rift between the husband and the family will never heal, but will not even be a footnote in these archives.
Too many have lost sight of the issue, and the issue is not the issue, the issue is one woman. It is about one person. It is about a husbands right to act in the best interest of his wife.
My opinion in this is irrelavant, except to me and my wife. What I think should have no bearing on the outcome of this personal matter. That is my take.
Everyone needs to step back and let it be decided by those that will miss her when she is gone. Everyone else, back off !
Sunday, March 20, 2005
We did get out and about for a bit today. Tammy and I went out to do a couple things. We stopped at the store for some feminine hygiene products. We made a few u-turns around the circle (legal, of course) and got some lunch at Wendy's. Then we went to the movie. We saw "Constantine". It was an OK movie. The premise was flawed, but it is a work of fiction based on a comic book, so that was to be expected. The acting was good. The special effects were good. Some of the Hell scenes were interesting. The movie did a fair job of explaining itself without becoming to bogged down with the origins.
After the movie, we came home and chilled.
Tammy fixed stir fry for supper. It was delicious.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
The good news ... UK beat Cincinnati
Friday, March 18, 2005
I don't think I will ever get rid of this cough. I have smokers hack and I don't even smoke. It just jumps up in the middle of talking. There is an irresistible urge to cough. It doesn't happen with any consistency. Sometimes I talk just fine. Sometimes, I can even sing. Other times, I get a verse out, almost, and I am coughing over and over. That is the aggravating part of it all. I love to sing. I need to talk. Singing makes my heart smile. Not talking makes my job impossible.
So, I get 2 days to rest my voice and try to figure out how to get rid of this thing. It may just be a time thing. It might be something else. Either way, it has got to go. Cough cough cough.
I think we decided not to go out tonight. It is 8 o'clock and I have no desire to put my shoes back on. I would much prefer some naked lick and tickle with Tammy. Hey ! We are a married couple that still greatly enjoys an active and fulfilling sex life. Get over it. Just think of us sitting in the bed talking ... Or knitting ... If that helps.
I doubt we will get a repeat of last weekend. It was like a vacation. This weekend promises to be busier. However, I am sure there will be time for feely touchy stuff. You know ... Stuff like knitting.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
This project will be graded harder than the previous projects. The more they do, the more I expect of them. That is just like they will find on a construction site, mostly. One thing they will not find on the site is someone willing to watch them and fix their mistakes as they make them.
Still, it is a March afternoon in Kentucky, and the Cats are playing basketball. The eyes and/or ears of most KY fans are tuned to the game. This is as it should be, in Kentucky, in March.
I procrastinate (right, Honey?). I cannot recall the times I have had to rush to meet a deadline. I can not begin to recount the times I have had to change movie plans because I waited too long to leave the house. We won't even go there with the movie late fees or the other things that have been returned late as the result of my proclivity to procrastinate.
This is that 'one time in one hundred' for me. I contacted a publishing company when I finished my book. (Actually, I contacted many, and am still talking to several.) One company offered me a contract with no out of pocket expense to me. Now, I am not a lawyer, but my friend, David, is a lawyer. I gave him the contract to look over. While, I have not been able to sit down with him and discuss the contract, he did tell me there were some things that we needed to discuss about this contract.
Another publisher has contacted me, or has been trying to contact me. They have left numerous messages at home. A couple days ago, they called while Tammy was home and the line was free. They were ecstatic about finally reaching a person. Tammy took the opportunity to ask several question about 'self publish' companies (of which, they are one). They admitted there was a stigma and problems with some vanity publishers, especially those that use the POD (print on demand) method. They referred her to a website called "Preditors & Editors" (Predators was misspelled on purpose, I assume, to make it more like 'editors')
Regardless, the company that sent me the contract was listed on that website as a predator. They are, according to that site, a "vanity publisher that masquerades as a traditional publisher." There are complaints about record keeping, paying royalties, breaching contracts, and not putting books in the hands of real 'brick and wood' book stores. The answers that this company gave were double speak. The person responding to the allegations even refused to divulge the CEO of the company.
It seems, that this one time out of one hundred, might have been a good thing.
This book is more than just a book to me. I am sure every writer feels this way. This book is part of me. It is a part of me that I am willing to share with the rest of the world. It is my baby. The publisher that handles her must be above reproach. This is the only baby I have to offer right now. And ... Heaven help us if someone abuses my baby. Then, there is the matter of the over 140 poems that are ready for publishing as well.
Still looking for the right one ...
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
It is dependent on so many changing factors. If it is a deep night at the house, then it might be a deep blog. If it is a casual night at home, that may be reflected in the blog as well. The drive to school in the morning might affect the blog (The babysitter is teaching the kids bad habits). Sometimes it comes on me suddenly, and other times it doesn't manifest until I am writing. So, one can never be sure, when opening a blog, just what one will find.
I read a dozen or so blogs regularly. It seems that this 'sweet to cynical', 'sublime to ridiculous', 'serious to shallow', thing is a common theme amongst them. They are like a walk through the life of the writer. They touch the common strings and sometimes echo the deep thoughts of all of us. I do not agree with all the sentiments that I read. That is not a requirement. It is just the diversity that makes life interesting. There is a rich diversity across the country. There is a rich diversity in one individuals life, even. Life swings. It changes. It pulsates.
therefore, one day it is strings and the next, it is the crazy mad insane drivers in any hometown, USA. One day it is the shallow vanity of finding a gray hair and the next it is the affect of an accident with your child that jolts you back to reality. When we look back on a day, we focus on the major events of the day, but need to take into account all that minors that filled the spaces between.
While writing this, I am sitting in my classroom, eating a delicious sandwich, lovingly made by my sweetheart. It will not be the end all topic of a blog, but it will always be one of the sweet fillers of my day. Life is just that way. The roller coaster ride and the standing in line will fill the days. AND ... The filling of the days will be the tender meat of the blogs of our lives.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Sometimes, it is all to easy to be captured by the multitude of strings in our lives. Individually, the strings would not nor could not capture or hold us. One by one, we have added the strings that capture us in this life. They tie us to the jobs, relationships, situations, and they anchor our spirits to prevent us from flying free. We don't even notice it until we awaken one day and try to move, only to find that we have been captured by all the small details of our lives.
This is not to say that the small details of our lives, in and of themselves, are bad. I relish my close and personal relationships. I revel in my roles of father and husband. My job is grand. However, it is all too easy to allow myself to be defined by my strings. I am much more than a husband. I am much more than a father, I am much more than an electrician and teacher. I define these roles in my life. They do not define me.
These strings can hold us, bind us, capture us, and stifle us. If we allow it, we will awaken to find ourselves trapped under the strings, lying in the tall grass. We may be the envy of our friends and still be the prisoner of our lives. These strings can bind us or we can tie them to the frames of kites and let them fly brightly and free. I want what I am to be the strings that fly and flip the kites around me, and not the ties that bind me to the ground. They must be the streamers in my life and not the cords that keep me from flying
Monday, March 14, 2005
1. People that talk incessantly ... Why is it that people like this never seem to find anything interesting to talk about?
2. Professionals that do not call back ... If you aren't gonna call, just say so !
3. Lexington Traffic Idiots ... Looney tunes (seriously)
4. Guys I know that still hit on my wife ... (it's about respect)
5. Too many choices ... Yeah, I got satellite ... 500 channels ... who needs that many choices ?
Things about me ...
1. I do not smoke.
2. I do not drink.
3. I try not to use profanity ... I am not very f-beeping good at it.
4. My thyroid is seriously screwed up.
5. I am lucky to be married to my hunny.
Just a quick short list .. will add more as I figure out what irks me or might be important about me
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Friday night, Tammy and I went out for dinner. We went to one of our favorite places, Friends & Co. Friends is a bar/restaurant. They have a great atmosphere, good food, good prices, and we know all of the regular crowd there. It is always a good time. Gary and Russ were there that night, watching the UK game. We sat on the restaurant side and had our meal. I had the lobster and grilled shrimp. The shrimp was great, but the lobster was overcooked, leaving it rubbery and mostly tasteless. I brought this to the attention of the one of the owners, Chad. He took the cost of my meal off the ticket completely. I told him that wasn't necessary. The shrimp, baked potato, and salad were great. He still insisted. I tipped the waitress according to the original cost of the meals. It wasn't her fault the lobster wasn't cooked properly.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Today, we are installing 3 way switches. For the less informed among you (and don't feel bad ... Electricity has it's own language), those are the switches that allow you to turn a light on or off from two locations. They are one wire more complicated than a single pole switch.
Most of the kids are grasping the concept. I have told them all along that this is really easy stuff. If it is hard, you are doing it wrong. To my amazement, two of the first finishers in my 1st block were Kameron and Michael. "Why am I amazed," you ask. Good question! Kameron, Michael, and Roger are my goof offs. They are usually off task and on some prank or otherwise useless discussion. Michael took off on the first project and did well. Kameron and Roger finished eventually. I was there to assist if there were any questions and it was difficult not to get a decent grade unless you were just trying not to get a good one.
Today, Michael asked several questions, but not 'how to' questions. Mostly his questions were just for clarification. "Am I doing this right?" Kameron was attentive and industrious. His work looked good and it worked. Michael's work looked good as well, and worked also. Good job, guys. This left me with a bit of a problem. Roger was left out. There was no one to cut up with or slow down. He struggled. His wires were too short and had to be replaced. He felt frustrated because his usual goof off or lag behind buddies were done.
I always knew that if I kept Michael away from the other two that he would do well. Kameron surprised me. He seems to be the ringleader most of the time. He is the one that starts the trouble then slowly backs out to leave the others to get in trouble. He is smart, just not motivated. Well, at least not motivated to do school work. This may be a fluke. This may be the aberration. Either way, it leave me with the problem of how to motivate Roger. If any readers have ideas, feel free to share.
The rest of the class is taking to the ideas well. They are slowly learning. The key, is to remember everything you did last time, and add to it. I lay down certain basics in every project. The NEC requires 6 inches of wire in the box for terminations. The NEC requires that romex be supported with a staple within 12 inches of the box. This is the same on every project. Outlets are installed the same way every time. Switches work the same every time. Now we are adding the 3 way switches to our litany. Next is the 4 way for controlling lights from 3 or more locations.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
During the preliminary hearing, excerpts from a journal written by Poole, who is charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, seemed to provide few clear-cut answers.
The preliminary hearing marked the first time Winchester police have publicly disclosed Poole's writings that led police to charge him on Feb. 22 with threatening an armed takeover of the school, where Poole was enrolled as a junior.
Poole told police during a 30-minute interview following his arrest, and later reiterated during an interview with WLEX-TV, that what police had seized was a story about zombies taking over a high school, assigned by his English and computer teachers at GRCHS.
However, Detective Steve Caudill testified that neither teacher had any knowledge of what Poole had written and there was no mention of zombies in any of the writings.
Poole occasionally shook his head or laid his head on the defense table as Caudill read excerpts from a journal police allege was an attempt to recruit a gang to take over GRCHS.
Police were tipped off to the writings by Poole's grandmother, with whom he lived. Caudill explained that she read his journal and became concerned.
Seven documents were seized by police. According to police, Poole was attempting to create a gang called NLS, or No Limited Soldiers, sometimes also referred to as "True Soldiers," an organization that was to be comprised of Poole's acquaintances, according to Caudill.
Throughout his writings, Poole makes numerous references to a "brotherhood," such as in an overview, in which Poole wrote, "We will make the brotherhood known throughout the high school." It continues with a three-part plan: 1) Recruit new soldiers, 2) Get everyone in ranks, and 3) get the numbers to 100.
Caudill testified that at least seven acquaintances of Poole's reported that Poole had attempted to recruit them into a gang, but that none of them were interested.
In his writings, Poole makes references to four geographic zones. Zone Two refers to Clark County, according to Caudill. The other three zones mentioned in Poole's journal are Barbourville, South Carolina and New York City.
Caudill also read from a letter sent by an unnamed person who was referred to as a "colonel" in the Barbourville organization, promising to aid Poole with weapons and money. In one passage, Caudill testified the person in Barbourville admitted breaking into homes and said he had thousands of dollars and 50 guns at his disposal.
"You know what I mean, man. We will handle things if you want us to," the individual wrote Poole, who referred to himself in the journal as "Nappy Boy," the head of the Clark County organization, according to Caudill.
In the overview to his writings, Poole wrote, "We will shut down all the other groups that come against us." The only way to join the brotherhood, he wrote, "is doing something stupid.
"A separate story, titled "War" was described by Caudill as "futuristic," and referred to a group of people sitting down at a kitchen table, where they plan a takeover of a school, determining how long it will take for police to arrive on the scene. "They will all die together," Poole wrote.
Another excerpt, read by Caudill, states, "All the boys sit down at the kitchen table and start planning it out. They wrote down how many teachers, students and guards were at the high school. Also, how long it would take police to get there. They wrote down what was needed and how they was going to do it. They agreed right there they they would all die together.
"He continued, "They yelled, 'kill them,' and all the soldiers of Zone 2 started shooting. They are dropping every one of them. After five minutes, all the people are laying on the ground dead.
"Other documents, titled "Death of a Soldier" tells his family goodbye and list two separate dates for his death, Nov. 20, 2004, and Feb. 19, 2005. The latter date was three days before Poole was arrested.
One document mentioned that William P would go to the school and map out the floor plan, including locations of the cameras.Nowhere in Poole's writings did he refer to a specific school. It also did not list any specific targets, making only general references to teachers, students and school security.
According to Caudill, Poole told police that a teacher at GRCHS read the piece called the "Overview," and warned that Poole could be in trouble if others at school saw it. Consequently, Poole reportedly told police that he left his writings at home. The teacher told Caudill he did not see any of the journal entries that police confiscated.
Assistant County Attorney John Keeton told reporters after the hearing that, as a prosecutor, he has to take the writings seriously. "The downside of not taking it seriously is beyond comprehension," Keeton explained. He added that "it will all have to play out in court.
"District Judge Brandy Oliver Brown denied a motion by Poole's attorney, Brian Barker, to reduce his $5,000 bond. Brown instructed Poole that if he's able to post a $5,000 bond, he is to remain away from school property and may not have contact with anyone named in his writings.
As for the shocking experience, I instructed the students not to install the switches or outlets, or light to the box. I needed to see the back of them to tell if they were wired properly. When I temporarily hooked them up to power, I was right there with them as the flipped the switch. One student went to flip his switch and his swtich moved because it was only supported by the wiring. It wasn't going to move much, but it did wiggle. He put his hand around the back in an effort to steady the switch while he flipped it on. It didn't take long for him to let go. He got a little bite. The look on his face was priceless.
Today we are studying on 3 way and 4 way switches. There are a myriad of ways to hook up these type of switches, governed by where the power comes in and where the wire to the light itself feeds. It will be interesting when we begin the actual installation. It will build on what they learned in the last project. There will still be measurements to take and boxes to install, and wiring to do, and, of course, the 'does it work' grade.
I emphasis to them all the time, here, you get a grade. In the real world, you get paid or not paid, per your efforts and results. We will see if it sinks in.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
You know what happens anytime you plan on coming in early? You are always later than usual. When I left the house this morning it was already after 7. I was way late. I got to school at 7:30. Then Richard wanted to ask me about a fan motor for his furnace. It was 7:35 before I made it to my class.
I unlocked and opened the tool room. I got my tools and material. I installed the project. I cleaned my area. I put away my tools. I got upstairs into the classroom at 7:55. It took me 20 minutes from start to finish. It was not a record time, but it was a good time.
The class has been doing them all day with at least an hour to accomplish it. No one has finished it yet. They are, for the most part, trying and doing fairly well. One more block to go. We will see if anyone approaches the bar.
Monday, March 07, 2005
It hasn't been a bad day, just a tiring one. It turns out that the lessons I have sent in each day were unused. They mostly dispersed my class into the other classes (auto, welding, or health services). Today they are learning (the book way) about installing outlets, switches, and lights. Tomorrow, they will do the real thing. They will mount boxes are specified locations. They will run romex. They will make the necessary connections and install the switches, outlets, and light fixtures. They will leave a tail that can be used to temporarily supply electricity to their work. This will be an individual project for each of them. There will be no-one to share the credit or blame.
Good luck guys (as I put on my heavy duty rubber gloves)
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
I don’t love you because you are fearless
I don’t love you because you are beautiful
I love you because you make my heart sing
You make my heart sing when you are strong
You make my heart sing when you are fearless
You make my heart sing when you are beautiful
You make my heart sing in the morning
With morning hair and no make up
You make my heart sing when you are weak
You make my heart sing when you are afraid
You make my heart sing and I love you
March 3, 2005
It was a day of days. There are still things to be sorted out about yesterday, but I don't think we can sort them all out in any quick and short order. There was drama and humor.
After taking the kids to school, Tammy returned home and went back to bed. She hasn't slept a lot since I have been sick. I was on the couch coming in and out while she was in the bed. My phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but answered anyway. It was an attorney that was standing in for the attorney handling the guardianship. They were bringing up her mom's case and If Tammy could get down to the courthouse, they could settle it. I yelled into the bedroom and told her that her mom's case was today. She said, "I know." I told her they were about to hear it. She said, "Oh shit, I forgot!" She was up and out of the house in under 10 minutes.
From there we got gas and went to gather Kyle at school. Then it was home. Tammy went to pick up some things and gather Chelsea.
I need a place
Where I don’t have to have
The words to speak
I need a place
Where I can be weak
I need that space
Created when you hold me
I need to hear the soft beating reminder
Of your uncompromising love
The sounds of life’s dramas fade
The weakness I hide comes to light
Here in my special place
I let the strong
Drain from my fingers
And the words stay
Within my lips
Soon, I will be strong
Soon, I will be wise
I have my place
To be weak
Ron Simpson, Jr.
March 2, 2005