Mar 25, 2010

Have an Opinion!

The 1% sales tax referendum passed in my county.

As I said in an earlier blog post, I was on the fence. In fact, I was on the fence until about an hour before I went to the polls.

Please note that I went to the polls. This tax directly affects me, because I buy stuff. I know very few people who don't buy stuff, and of those, someone buys stuff (usually diapers) for them. Because the referendum passed, those diapers will cost 1% more. I voted yes, anyway.

Did you get a 1% pay raise this year? I did not. Can you earn even 1% on the money in your savings account? Tell me where you bank.

The thing that kills me is, voter turnout was only 30%. That means 70% of the registered voters did not register their opinion at the ballot box. In my household, 25% of the registered voters are away at college in another state & failed to get an absentee ballot, so I can understand that you'll never see 100% turnout. But less than 30???

I guess I don't understand people who have no opinion on things that directly affect them. Reminds me of a Joe Wise song:

Yes Indeedy
By Joe Wise

Yes indeedy, pumpkin seedy
No siree bob, hey diddle corn cob
Yeah but no but wait a minute, could be so
Maybe baby, chicken and gravy
Don’t be silly sarsaparilly
Hardly yardly, bailing up barley, pick a little, I don’t know!


My Uncle Fred had a problem in his head
So I hear tell from my old Auntie Kay
He could make up his bed but not up his mind
In answer to most any question, this is what he said:

Chorus

My Uncle Zeke had some funny thinking streaks
He would sit for days just wandering in his head
After weeks of sitting a’whittling and a’spitting
You asked him if he wanted supper, this is what he said:

Chorus

Uncle Fred and Zeke were driving on a peak
When the car went to the edge, Zeke yelled out, “Brakes!
Should we put them on, old Fred?” was the last thing that they said
And you could hear them singing standing at the Pearly Gates:

Chorus

----end lyrics-------

No one wants to be responsible. They want someone else to decide for them, so they can play victim if things don't go right. I just want to yell, "Man up! Take responsibility! Right or wrong, decide something!"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more windmills at which to tilt.

On what will you express your opinion today?

Mar 13, 2010

Time - A Precious Gift

If you could spend all the money in the world on your children, would you?

If you could spend all the time in the world with them, would you?

If you had to balance the two, what percentage would be time, and what would be money?

Most parents are working hard to make more money. And that's ok, in balance. How much is enough to pay the bills, and how much is just to trade up for a better house, a better car, better clothes, better lifestyle?

Kids, on the other hand, would rather have your time. The time with your kids only comes around once. When it's gone, it's gone.

Once the kids are grown, you have lots of time to make money. You can always make more money. Where do you get more time?

Lots of old folks are wishing they had to do it over again, wishing they could get that time back and build the relationship with their children that would last into their old age. You don't have to make all the mistakes yourself. You can learn from the mistakes of others. That's real wisdom.

What are you going to do with the precious time you spend with your kids today?

Mar 10, 2010

I Love Math

I love math.

There, I've said it. I set myself apart, as a small minority of geeky people who groove on numbers and statistics and calculations, when "normal" people should prefer American Idol and NASCAR races.

There is a certain prestige associated with teaching math. I have mastered concepts that others fear. We're not in the "awe" league that pop stars (and wannabes) have for Brittany Spears, or movie directors for Steven Spielberg, but there is a certain admiration for those colleagues who are a level above.

Math is absolute. There is no subjectivity when I grade a math test. The answer is either right or wrong. You don't get a better grade on a day when I'm in a good mood. I can't help you by giving partial credit for an almost-right answer.

There is no drama to math. In a school full of hormonal energy, where bffs are created and destroyed in a matter of hours, where jubilation is exchanged for misery on the hourly roller coaster of emotions, math is constant.

1+ 1 will always be 2. It doesn't matter how you feel about it. i = √-1 no matter what your friends think.

Math is something to count on, in more ways than one. What a breath of fresh air.

What is a constant in your life?

Mar 8, 2010

Perspective

For your consideration:

1.7 million people in the US have lost a limb.

1.3 million Americans are legally blind.

There are 2.9 million disabled vets in the U.S.

There are over one billion undernourished people in the world.

Almost two million died of hunger this year.

Twelve thousand people died of hunger today.

One and a half million people are homeless in Chile after their Feb 27th earthquake.

Hundreds of thousands in Haiti are living under a blue tarp on a dirt/mud floor after their January 12 earthquake.

4500 children will die today because of lack of access to clean water.

My cat drinks cleaner water than half the world's population.

I woke up in a warm bed, in a warm house, with all my body parts more or less working the way they should. The family members in this house love me to pieces. We all have education in varying amounts, plenty of clean clothes & shoes to wear. We have food and drinks in the fridge and in the cabinets.

We have clean water that arrives at the turn of a spigot. Today it was cold. Something's wrong with the water heater & we had no hot water.

All things considered, I have *nothing* to complain about.

What will you keep in perspective today?

Mar 5, 2010

Preparedness: Japan next?

The US is putting a lot of economic pressure on Japan. By giving excessive publicity to Japanese car recalls, inciting fear in car buyers, Japan has halted production and is scrambling to save its good name. The US media could have buried the story on page 15, but they did not. Why?

Giant oarfish have been found ashore in Japan. These fish have traditionally been harbingers of earthquakes to come.

As if Japan needs one more bad thing to happen right now.

Yes, Japan's at great earthquake risk being in the ring of fire, but if (BIG IF) you imagine that earthquakes can be "caused" deliberately, as a military (or economic?) weapon, you'd say it was quite a coincidence. Bad US media, deliberate weapons of war... Are we still fighting Japan?

If I were in Japan right now, I'd be nervous. Would it be better to not know it's coming, and just go merrily on your way? Even with warning, many folks don't prepare for disaster. How many families do you know that have 3 days' worth of water stored in case of emergency? That's what FEMA and the Red Cross recommend. Do you have canned goods? A manual can opener? Do you know how to use it? If credit cards don't work post-disaster, do you have cash on hand?

I prepare for hard times, whether I "know" it's coming soon or not. I can relax, somewhat, knowing whatever happens, happens. I did my best. Whether it's putting together my earthquake provisions, or saving money for a rainy day, planning for the future takes leadership.

Where are you leading your family today?

Edit 3-14-10
If oarfish show up on the Gulf Coast, I'm going to be really nervous.

Look what Japan got today. H'mmmm.

Maybe I'll pick up a few extra gallons of bottled water at the grocery store this week. And every week. You never know.