Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crazy, nutty, insane week.

I've gone back to college.

I find it overwhelming and slightly deflating. First week and already I feel like I'm behind.

I'm completely frustrated with the book store. Digital books are too unreliable when it comes to NEEDING it. I didn't have a book when I needed, foolishly thinking if I ordered it for digital I would get it sooner. I ended up having to call the store for the particulars and then too many technical problems just to get to it to read it. In the end, I cancelled the damn thing and ordered a hard copy. Next year I just go get the darn things.

I WENT BACK TO COLLEGE! *squeee* And even though I'm far older than most, I'm not the oldest. :) That kind of helps.

I have to constantly tell myself that it's just for a job. Not because I'm looking to be a giant administrator for 50 billion different places. In the end, I'm not sure where I will end up, but I need to start somewhere.

Oldest bought his first car. Much amusement was had as our mechanic pointed out that the car was a year older than he was. In five years, if it lasts that long, the car will be an antique! Heh. All in all, it's not in bad shape. Even better, Oldest got to flex his independence. He found it, he got the money lined up, we were just the support team. No more having to take him to school. :D

Hubby got a severely part time job. It's suppose to be two days a week. But this first week it was four days in a row. I missed him terribly.

Youngest has an after school route. He's doing pretty good in it so far.

What with school, aiding in getting the car, the second job, the route and getting work study set up.... I was exhausted come Friday.  The sun went to sleep and so did I!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Not a Joke

Remember how I blogged about my nervousness over my oldest driving? I talked about kids I'd known who were in car accidents.

This morning I got another call about another young life taken too early. He was in his twenties, the youngest in his family, asthmatic, drank a bit too much, liked guns and was totally charming.

I keep thinking it's a bad joke. There's nothing in the newspapers online mentioning an accident. It must of just happened. But it has to be a joke right? Because I just saw him on Saturday, talked about getting him to a bar and being his wing man, getting him a date.  He tried to argue how women selling beer are used because women want to be her and men want to be with her. I argued that I know I'm not that woman, don't want to be that woman and if the beer commercials really want to get my attention use a good looking man! They made him switch places with another so he would stop yelling his point across the table.  I snuck the last bite of pizza from my husband, opened up the garlic sauce and let him have it. He's far too skinny. Was.

My mind keeps thinking this is such a bad joke. A terrible one. I'm going to kill his brother for calling work and making it.

It's not a joke. I don't know the details. Don't care to know. I'll probably hear them somewhere down the line, but right now, I just don't care how it happened. It just happened. Again.

Such a bad joke.

Edit  The funeral is on Friday. Poop. It wasn't a car accident. Around here people hear "accident" and they think car. In some ways I feel slightly better. I'd feel fantastic if it never happened at all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Growing up I had a plethora of reading material. I looked forward to the Readers Digest and the National Geographic every month. My parents had a ton of books and more that came in when they joined a book club. Because of that I read Red October and Toy Soldiers before they were movies. 

I loved the set of encyclopedias they had. The Egyptian section was full of information with colorful and interesting pictures to support the words. I'm not sure if man had gone to the moon yet in that particular set. The outdated information didn't stop me from loving the weight, the smell and the feel of the books. 

My parents had two newspaper subscriptions. I was a normal kid, I started with the comics. I would read the whole thing eventually.

I remember with fondness the summer I read the entire Dune series at the local library. I can remember the first person who told me to read the Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. To say reading has had a positive effect on a young mind would be an understatement. 

I don't always have time to read like I used to. With age my eyes get tired sooner. They will water and twitch, their way of demanding I put the book down. It's a struggle for me when the book is an interesting one. I'd rather be wiping away and rubbing to find out what happened next. 

My books are still in storage. I have a few out that got put in some odd box or other or they are recent purchases. My husband picked up a nice shelf unit on the cheap (yeah! cheap.) and I look forward to hitting the storage and getting out at least a couple of boxes. I'm gleefully planning which books I'll put out first. I think I'll keep my eye out for the Disc World books and certainly the Harry Potter. Whatever else is in the box will get a coveted spot.

Today I had a converstaion with a couple of pediatric health professionals. We were discussing summer plans for our children and I mentioned reading my youngest has done. It was mentioned how nice it is to hear there are books in the house.  They mentioned how some houses don't have books, that the kids are playing video games or wandering the street because that is all there is to do. They don't have various outlets for their interests and don't even consider the library. I said out loud without hesitation, "Oh. That makes me sad."

I can't imagine how empty my life would have been without books around. They are an all over sensation from feel, to smell to mental stimulation. I don't think my kids could understand how important books where. Now they don't have to wait for a movie to come to town, (the smaller the town the longer the wait was) or for the library to open for research. Those encyclopedia's were life savers a couple of times because I didn't get down to the library that day. Reading was my reason to stay up late, my entertainment because it was Sunday and only golf was on TV on all THREE channels, a good reason to be inside on days from very cold to over a hundred for the third day in a row. There's only so many times you can build a snow fort or hang out at the pool before it gets old. A book always had something new to offer, a new place to experience, or a different way to look at life. It was my portable entertainment.

I feel bad for those kids out there who have never wandered over to a book shelf to browse to find a new and interesting world to occupy for a time. Every kid should get that at least once in their lifetime.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I've been kidnapped by Supernatural. UGH! 

Anyway, they do a lot of researching on that series, using a lap top and what not. We watched Jaws last night and wow, what a time warp! He was looking through these things... pages in them with black and white and color photographs... what are they called again? Oh, yeah, BOOKS for doing research. Then, on the boat, one of the characters opens a beer and his finger takes the whole thing off! Yeah, a pull top! And then, that character goes crazy and smashes the boats radio and get this... they can't. contact. anyone. No. cell. phones. 

Truly a horror story of another kind for the kids, heh.

I remember having to go to the library to "do a paper." My parents had a full set of encyclopedia's! Loved those things. We got magazines in the mail and read them! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Lovely School BLECH!

I still wasn't thinking straight when I posted about Youngest and his disastrous p/t conference. 

With some time and a cooler head I realized the real issue was communication. More like the lack of it and the blame game I felt the school was trying to pull. 

I'm not sure how I feel about this particular school. I don't know if I want him going there anymore. I recognize that he might have some issues of his own to deal with that has nothing to do with the school system. I'm addressing that now. 

After reading the e-mail I received yesterday, I can see they really want to blame us as parents. That ain't going to fly. Now I'm all pissed off again. UGH!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going back to school in the fall.

Extremely need to brush up on math.

When I'm done I'll be able to show that I actually have a skill set that pertains to a career, not just a job.  

Still wish I could find at least a part time job. 

P/T Conferences

*sigh* Youngest's didn't go so well. Matter of fact, I got so pissed at one teacher, I finished with another and stomped off straight to the counselors office. All to do with bullies.

There are a couple of boys that bully Youngest. He told me about it last semester. I told him did you tell a teacher? Not yet. I told him he needs to. He did and he went through the process. But, I was so rabid today I totally forgot that he had talked to the principal about it.

I've told him all the ways to deal with bullies. Walk away. Ignore. Use humor. Stand up and defend yourself.

Apparently none of the above was working so well. This particular teacher told me that Youngest and the other boy were sent to the counselors office because Youngest was bullying.  "They were bullying each other." Didn't even ask youngest who started it. I turned to Youngest and asked him was it 'quotation marks with hands' (because we call them Fat Boys so I know who he's talking about). He nodded. I told the teacher I knew about these kids and that they were a problem for Youngest. "Well, did he tell a teacher? We have a process to deal with that." I was getting mad. I couldn't remember.  I told the teacher that I had given Jon permission to stand up for himself because he's old enough now that he should know right from wrong. "Well, we're not talking about the other boy right now. We're talking about your son."

Yeah, PeeWee, I get it. What the fuck do you want me to say? "I want to talk about the social and behavioral issues we're having." Yeah, you mean the ones you guys are creating by not communicating with the parents or each other. The one created by the lack of communication between staff freaking members! Or the ones making my kid not even want to try to do well in school because he hates it so much?

Yeah, obviously there are some issues we have to deal with to boost this poor kids self esteem. But there are obvious communication issues this school needs to deal with.

I went straight to the counselors office. My poor kid was in tears because of that clod hopper. But I was so rabid I couldn't think straight and communicate well myself.  All I got there was excuse after excuse. I left abruptly. Not handled well on all sides, I'd say.

I was mad enough that once I got home I called to see if I could get him transferred to another school. The lady there was at least able to get me to settle down a little and talk more sense.

Seriously, if my child has a problem with behavior in class, then yeah, it needs to be dealt with. Getting blind sided at a parent teacher conference with other parents and teachers in the room was enough to make me see red. It was degrading, classless, crude and embarrassing. To make excuse after excuse when I'm just steaming freaking mad didn't help at all. Do you seriously think a raging parent is thinking about what happened six months ago? I could barely put two sentences together.

Don't know what's going to happen now. I just seriously know I don't want him going back there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Interesting Article

State: 'Serious' Questions on Pipeline GOP Bill

What I find most interesting is this little bit, right about in the middle of the article: TransCanada first applied to build the pipeline in 2008, under the Bush administration.

That's not interesting because it's states it was under the Bush administration. It's interesting because of the lady with the pasture in the sandhills who testified before the state legislature. She had a letter dated 2007 from TransCanada that they were going through her pasture to dig. She wrote back that no, they wouldn't. Perhaps it would be better to move it two miles the other way. They wrote one more time saying saying no, that's not a good idea. They would have to use eminent domain and she'd just have to sit and spin. Ok, not exact quotes, but basically that idea. She went to her state reps and no one even knew about it then.

Now, either the article is incorrect in the date or there is some foolery going on somewhere. 

And then there's this bit: Project supporters say U.S. rejection of the pipeline will not stop one from being built. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada is serious about building a pipeline to its West Coast, where oil could be shipped to China and other Asian markets.

Hold the phone... what?! But I thought all that oil was America's! /sarcasm. So they went and admitted not a single drop of that bullshiz is supposed to be for the American economy. 

And the humor keeps on rolling: TransCanada says the pipeline could create as many as 20,000 jobs, a figure opponents say is inflated. A State Department report last summer said the pipeline would create up to 6,000 jobs during construction

*cough* 1, 500 *cough* That's what I take that to mean because we all now that the state dept. loves to exaggerate. I'm betting about 200 would be permanent. The rest temporary.

So, let's sum up questions drummed up by this article, shall we? When did TransCanada actually apply for the pipeline? How does it coincide with the date land owners were informed that they were going to be dug up? (Which is a dicey thing to do in the sandhills. It causes what they call blowouts. The dunes aren't anchored by the grass anymore and start blowing around taking over highways, fences and whatever else they feel like getting into. It's one reason why it's a bad idea to dig out there. ) Where is this oil going to? What economy will benefit from it? Chinese, Canadian, American? None, all three, only two? Are we talking permanent or temporary jobs? And what are the realistic numbers on how many of those jobs? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Careful, your toddler is showing.

Oh, you silly TransCanada. I thought you grew up, but then you stuck out your tongue and said "Play my way or I'm taking my ball and going somewhere else to play." As shown in the statement "It's going to go to China if we don't build it here." Yeah, one of our senators said it but it doesn't take much thought to know where he heard that statement first.

 And here I thought TransCanada said it would take too long to re route everything, yet as stated below, in a "mere few weeks" they found a new route.

Some serious spots are showing on these cats.

To further up the nonsense, they want it to look like they aren't the only ones wanting the route. I predict that Montana and North Dakota will become TransCanada's fall guys. See, it's inside your borders! It's not us. We are bowing from pressure within the states to get this built. It's not our fault, guy!

Wait for it...

TransCanada: New route for pipeline nearly done
  • Posted: January 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm   
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Canadian company attempting to build a $7 billion pipeline to carry oil from Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast soon will have a new route that seeks to allay worries of U.S. regulators, a company executive said Wednesday.

Pourbaix and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told North Dakota officials and oil industry representatives that if the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline is not built Canada's oil-sand developers likely would ship the crude to Asia."In a matter of a very few weeks we will have a route that everyone agrees on," said Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada Corp.'s president for energy and oil pipelines.
"It's going to go to China if we don't build it here," Hoven said.
The U.S. State Department in November delayed a decision on granting a permit for Keystone XL, largely because of worries about the pipeline's environmental impact, especially in Nebraska.
Pourbaix said the Calgary-based company has been meeting with U.S. regulators and officials in Nebraska on mapping a new route that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills area of Nebraska. He would not elaborate.
President Barack Obama signed into law last month a payroll tax bill that contains a Republican-pushed provision for the president to decide by Feb. 21 whether the pipeline is in the national interest.
The disputed route runs through six states from Canada to Texas. So-called feeder pipelines would connect the Keystone XL to rich oil fields in North Dakota and Montana.
TransCanada announced a year ago that it would accept crude from both states, after facing political pressure by oil companies and officials from North Dakota and Montana who had complained that development of the states' oil patches had been hampered by a lack of refineries, pipelines and rail facilities.
Hoeven said the Keystone XL would carry 100,000 barrels of crude daily from North Dakota and Montana. The pipeline would lessen truck traffic in western North Dakota, while improving prices for crude and creating jobs, he said.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Keystone XL Whistleblower

An editorial column by a man who has applied for whistle blower status with the US Dept. of Labor.

By Mike Klink | Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 11:50 pm | (13) Comments

There has been a lot of talk about the safety of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
I am not an environmentalist, but as a civil engineer and an inspector for TransCanada during the construction of the first Keystone pipeline, I've had an uncomfortable front-row seat to the disaster that Keystone XL could bring about all along its pathway.
Despite its boosters' advertising, this project is not about jobs or energy security. It is about money. And whenever my former employer Bechtel, working on behalf of TransCanada, had to choose between safety and saving money, they chose to save money.
As an inspector, my job was to monitor the construction of the first Keystone pipeline. I oversaw construction at the pump stations that have been such a problem on that line, which has already spilled more than a dozen times. I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up.
When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job — but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work.
What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as "not too bad," shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands.
I shared these concerns with my bosses, who communicated them to the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didn't appear to care. That is why I was not surprised to hear about the big spill in Ludden, N.D., where a 60-foot plume of crude spewed tens of thousands of gallons of toxic tar sands oil and fouled neighboring fields.
TransCanada says that the performance has been OK. Fourteen spills is not so bad. And that the pump stations don't really count. That is all bunk. This thing shouldn't be leaking like a sieve in its first year — what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet?
Let's be clear — I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn't build pipelines. We just should not build this one.
Pipelines can and do stand the test of time, but TransCanada already has shown that they cannot. After working on engineering projects all over the world, I can tell you that a company that cared about safety would not follow these types of practices.
If it were a car, the first Keystone would be a lemon. And it would be far worse to double down on a proven loser with Keystone XL.
The stories of how TransCanada has bullied landowners in Nebraska rings true to me. I am living it, as well. After repeatedly telling the contractor and TransCanada about my concerns, I lost my job.
But I couldn't watch silently as a company put innocent people at risk with a haphazardly built pipeline. I am speaking out on behalf of my children and your children.
Oil spills are no joke. We need to do all we can to protect our water and our food. I am glad the Nebraska Legislature stepped up to protect Nebraskans. I can only hope that they stand up to TransCanada. We should all take a hard look at the damage that this pipeline will do. I should know; I've seen it in person.
Please do not sell out to foreign oil and foreign suppliers. There is no guarantee the product will stay in the United States, only the toxic waste. God bless the United States and those of us who still believe in the fact that her people matter.
Mike Klink of Auburn, Ind.., is seeking whistleblower protection from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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