Saturday, December 30, 2006

An interesting point

While arguements fly left and right over the execution of Saddam, there was one point I found interesting. CNN found it acceptable (and frequently flaunts) to show the death of US Soldiers by insurgent snipers...however, they will not display the execution of Saddam. Is this not the same thing? While I have not decided my view on "public executions," it is an interesting point, nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post-Christmas Family Fun

So to alleviate the post-Christmas cabin fever, we headed out for a good Mexican dinner...then followed up with a short walk through Garden of the Gods. It's good stuff. Sarah took pictures with her digital, while I covered the film side. The end advantage is Sarah's as we have the stuff now. I have to wait until later to peruse my efforts. For the time being, here's a couple shots:

It's a really pretty place. Lots of unique rock formations.

But of course, it makes for decent portraits:

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Being Excited and Scared at the same time

The Marine Officer Selection Board has met. I now have a slot at Officer Candidate School - 194. I will be in the inaugural Marine Officer Reserve program. After the completion of my training, I will report to a reserve unit and serve my drill once a month.

My excitiment is tempered only by the knowledge of what is coming. It's a hard road ahead, but I know I will be better for it when I return as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Massive Update

To all, I apologize for the 9-day lapse in posts. It's been really busy and I'm just now catching back up. So what all has been going on? Well...first, my EMT-Basic license will have to wait for a bit. I passed my skills assessment, but failed my patient assessment. The skills test was specifically bleeding control and the KED (a spinal immobilization device for use on seated in cars). I knew my material there and had no problem.

The patient assessment seemed fine while I was performing it...then afterwards, I realized I made a major error. Before touching your patient, you are required to vocalize that you put on your glove and checked to see if the scene is safe. I forgot to do this...and am 99% sure I would have passed if I hadn't done so.

At the same time, I was juggling around my drill weekend. The interesting part was working for Toys-for-Tots, the Marine Reserve program to help getting toys to underpriveledged kids. If I could pass one word along, it would to be aware why these kids are getting toys from us: they can't afford thier own. If they can't afford Christmas gifts, then most likely, they do not have a playstation, PC, "Leapfrog," etc. Also they probably don't have "Talking Dora the Explorer," so don't buy the clothing that goes with it unless you tape it to "Talking Dora the Explorer."

I would suggest, to get stuff for the older kids. Infant to 10 are always plentiful...but the 12 year-olds and up get the shaft. I would suggest inexpensive bookshelf stereos or walkman CD players as exellent donation items.

Anyway, I'm signed up for a retest of my patient assessment next on January 6, so I hope to get my license done and out of the way.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Educational Dumb Ideas...

From Ace of Spades, we have this mess: Mass. High School Stops Reporting Honor Roll To Local Paper, Citing Desire To Reduce Stress On Students

H.S. Halts Publication of Honor Roll Needham High Cites Stress On Students As Major Reason

NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Needham High School has abandoned its long-standing practice of publishing the names of students who make the honor roll in the local newspaper.

Principal Paul Richards said a key reason for stopping the practice is its contribution to students' stress level in "This high expectations-high-achievement culture."

The proposal to stop publishing the honor roll came from a parent. Richards took the issue before the school council, which approved it. Parents were notified of the decision last month. Richards said he received about 60 responses from both parents and students and the feedback has been evenly split for and against.


Richards said publishing of the honor roll represented "an unhealthy focus on grades." He pointed out that there are lots of other ways that students achieve, such as in clubs, musicals, concerts, athletics and community service.

He said the ranking of students solely based on grades goes against the school's overall mission which is to "promote learning."

Um, wow. So why bother? The only reason kids would want to work on grades is for scholarships...and that's it. Many have no reason to even try.

I like the last two paragraphs..."an unhealthy focus on grades" followed by the mission to "promote learning." Grades are supposed to be indicators of learning...not random numbers. Why on earth do you hide achievement? Just because someone else is better? One of the lessons of "Real Life" is that there's *ALWAYS* someone better. Live with it and move on. This type of decision bugs me because it removes lessons learned from high school and places it higher in the chain...thus you have people with unrealistic expectations. As my dad always said:
"kids go through life thinking it's like Barney...when they grow up, they find out it's like Jurassic Park."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Discipline your own freaking kids...

Oh, come on, people: South Carolina mother has son arrested for playing with Christmas present

Focus quite:
"It was only to teach my son a lesson. He's been going through life doing things...and getting away with it."

My question is simply, who has let him get away with it. It is your responsibility as a parent to raise your kid. This includes punishment. Police shouldn't be involved at this level. I've heard of effective use of police for "at risk kids" and those with serious disciplanary issues...but playing with your Christmas gift? I've got a simple fix for you. Return the gift. Exchange it for a lump of coal. Doing this results in a lesson learned, and less public humiliation.

The other issue is here:

The mother said her son was diagnosed in the last year with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but his medicine does not seem to help.

I soilidly believe that ADD and ADHD are horribly over diagnosed. My sister has both...and those that have *real* experiance with it understand the Jekle/Hyde type of change that occurs when on medication. To me, this says he doesn't have the disorder. He's probably just being a 12-year old many of us have been before him...

What I did over the weekend...

...other than get a youtube account.

I was mildly concerned about losing the camera there at the end, but it was ok...I ran over the side of a stump, btw.

In this one I was attempting to turn the sled to avoid the chain link fence. I didn't see that retaining wall until I was almost on it...normally, I would have just gone over it, but I was slightly concerned with airtime and my wife's camera. Not a good combo.

Update: It seems the sound is off some in the video...dunno how to fix that...