The state of our education system.

As one of the people that “fell through the cracks” in the education system, I can relate to how Jeff Bliss feels about the education he is getting from teachers.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98_cmS-M9dQ?rel=0]

Our Education system is severely broken and needs to be fixed! No longer are students educated to provide them with a means to grow a career, students in public education, are taught everything they need to pass a test. A test upon which an overall grade is given to schools and districts. Better scores mean bigger budget for those schools and districts.

When I was in High School, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) was the test we were trained to pass, and in 2004, a year after I graduated High School the Vancouver School District required passing the test Sophomore year in order to Graduate. From my understanding, that was cut pretty quick after low Graduation numbers.

During the course of my schooling (1990-2003) I can remember taking 3 or 4 WASL tests. I remember taking a test in 4th, 7th and 10th Grades.

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) my Sophomore year in high school, and was taking a medication through my Senior year. I always had trouble learning in school because I would get bored easily, and when I was in 1st Grade it became clear to me I had issues learning. I can remember being given a math work sheet and just crying because none of it made sense and I couldn’t work out the problems. The teacher never made it back to me (Last name starts with W, we were seated alphabetically) and I was never given a chance to understand the work. This trend continued for as long as I can remember.

I had a few teachers during this time that realized I had fallen through the cracks and did their very best to help me, one teacher at Discovery Middle School when I was in 6th Grade, Mr. Joseph Balin (who now works at Hudson’s Bay) even took his own personal time to come to my house and help me with my homework! THAT is dedication to a student. He obviously couldn’t do this very often but I remember on a couple of occasions, he would help me with my work. The other teacher that really helped me, was Mr. Burpee who now works at Battle Ground High School as a math teacher. I had him for Math my Junior year (unsure if I had sophomore year too) and he really took the time to make sure I understand what was being taught and I actually started “getting” it and being able to pull a B in Pre-Algebra. Sadly because of my hectic Senior year, I was unable to continue taking math my Senior year, He really wanted me in his Algebra class my Senior year, even saying so directly to me.

I’ve certainly had a few teachers who could really care less about the students and are there to simply collect a paycheck and fill a seat. I have really mixed feelings about Mike Goodpastor who taught my U.S. History class Junior year. I have to admit I did learn a lot from his class, but there were many things I learned after High School that I was shocked weren’t taught in his class. For instance, he was (and probably still is) super against unions (even though he’s part of one…). After my graduation, I learned about Bloody Thursday which was between Longshoremen and San Francisco Police. There was one day, our whole class was listening to “In a Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly.. Good song, but NOT something that fills an entire class period.

Education shouldn’t be something that is taught strictly to garner a better budget or at the discretion of the teacher. Anymore, High School is more like an advanced day care! It wasn’t made aware to me during my time in High School that places like the Clark County Skills Center existed, or that my credits even mattered. From 1st Grade through 8th Grade, I was under the impression if you just showed up to school and played along with what the teacher was teaching, you’d just move on to the next year of schooling.

So when I got to High School, I was under the impression that none of it mattered. That is until I got to my Sophomore year and my counselor pulled me aside and explained that if I didn’t start passing classes I wouldn’t graduate. Realizing I was in deep shit, I didn’t take any time off from school, buckled down and made up 2 years while keeping grades up for the last two years of High School. Doing 4 years of work in only 2, including two summers of summer school, night school and taking an online class. I found out I was Graduating just days prior to Graduation, when all the seniors were doing our practice walks into the gym and rehearsing everything. I maintained a B or better Junior and Senior year.

Our whole education system needs to be revamped, there needs to be more interactive education, more hands on, more information openly available to students. Being a low income student, I was always given the impression I couldn’t take part in things because I was one of “those” students. Looking back, there were so many things I would have loved to take part in.

Sorry for the long drawn out post.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

 

Idiots shouldn’t drive!

It’s time for a bit of a rant about idiotic drivers.

1. Don’t be an ass, if you’re going to park your vehicle, use one spot like the rest of us. Damages to your vehicle should be expected as people attempted to park next to you. And, No. Those aren’t marks from a baseball bat, it’s collateral damage.

2. The on-ramp was created to give you time to get up to highway/freeway speeds.. so when you enter the highway/freeway at 35mph don’t expect me to slow down to let your lethargic ass in. Either get up to the proper speed, or get off the road.

2a. MERGING.. Holy crap, people. Merging isn’t that hard. If you’re already on the freeway/highway, there is NOTHING that says YOU need to slowdown for the traffic entering the highway/freeway.  The person getting onto the highway/freeway needs to be responsible for either speeding up or slowing down to get into traffic. When idiots who are already in traffic slow down to let someone who isn’t up to speed into traffic, they cause people behind them to slow down, which causes a big slow down. You can always just change lanes to get around the idiot who just entered a freeway/highway at 35mph.

3. If you’re going to drive, DRIVE. I am sick and tired of seeing people who are too busy fumbling with something in their hand or the radio and either not staying in their lane, or driving way too slow. If you cannot correctly navigate your vehicle and do whatever it is you’re doing in addition to trying to drive, then don’t do anything but drive!

4. I can understand the mind set of an elderly person wanting to continue to drive until they physically are unable to anymore, but sweet baby Jesus! Some of these people! Moving along at a snails pace in the slow lane. There should really be annual driving tests for anyone over the age of 70 to ensure their still capable of properly operating a motor vehicle without  issue. How many times have you seen an older person driving way too slow OR they “mistakenly” press the gas instead of the brake and plow into a business? Exactly.

5. Can their be a mental evaluation included in driving tests? Are we able to rule out the people who are just too stupid to be driving? I swear to God, I’ve seen a lot of people recently who have that deer in the head light look on their face while their driving, they pay no attention to their mirrors, their heads don’t move while their driving to assess the area around their vehicle, they just go forward. Cutting people off, or not obeying traffic signs, blowing red lights, changing lanes without looking to see if someone is next to them.. Ugh. sometimes I wish my car had a battering ram on it.

6. For the love of God people, if there is a cop that has someone pulled over, THERE IS NO NEED TO SLOW DOWN! However, Washington State Law does state that we need to provide the officer with one lane between us and them, so change lanes to do so. BUT, You don’t need to slow down to look, or be freaked that he’s going to somehow, stop what he’s currently doing and chase after you!

6a. STOP SLOWING DOWN TO LOOK AT WRECKS!!!!!!!! It’s obvious what happened, someone who wasn’t paying attention, crashed their vehicle into another vehicle or object. YOU don’t need to slow down to look at the scene. If you’re so damn curious, park whatever it is you drive on the side of the road and get your rocks off.

6b. The police will always see you before you see them. Just because you suddenly notice a police officer on the side of the road, there is no need to slow down! If you’re obeying the law and driving the speed limit, he shouldn’t have a reason to pull you over (unless of course, you have a problem with your vehicle that he deems unfit and wants to inform you.. i.e. light out). Seriously, if you were speeding, the cop saw you a quarter of a mile away and has already got his eye on you and is probably already getting in his car to pull your ass over.

7. Your vehicle comes with these wonderful things called LIGHTS. You have head lights, turn signal lights, brake lights, emergency flasher lights. A. Make sure they ALL work correctly. Bulb out? it’s like $4 dollars to buy a replacement bulb! B. USE THEM!! Your head lights aren’t there just so YOU can see, their also there so I CAN SEE YOU! If it’s near dusk and it’s getting dark, don’t be an asshole. turn on your head lights. What’s that? You’re changing lanes? There’s a little thing behind your steering wheel you can flip UP to indicate a right turn or push DOWN to indicate a left turn. What’s that? Your hands are too full to do that? Excuse my french, GET OFF THE GOD DAMN ROAD! It’s people like you who don’t deserve to drive!

8. See that sign that says, “Lane closed ahead”? When you wait to the very last possible moment to get over, I’m never going to let your sorry ass in. You had your chance to merge. Grow up and stop bitching when nobody lets you in. I can see you nearly tearing your steering wheel off when nobody lets you in. You now what that’s called? Me being satisfied. 🙂

9. Sitting at a red light? Good, WATCH that light! Because when you happen to look up from your phone and notice the car in front of you has suddenly gone missing and you turn into speedy gonzales and go flying through the intersection just as the light turns red, everybody behind you is wishing death upon your good for nothing sorry ass. Plus everyone else sitting at the intersection knows you’re the idiot they hate, or their just too busy playing on their phone to even notice.

10. For the love of God people, stop being egotistical moronic, sophomoric retarded morons. Have you consumed alcohol? Smoked weed? done any kind of drugs? You had better not drive! You seriously need a cab. can’t afford one? too freaking bad! God gave us legs and feet for a reason. Get to stepping twinkle toes!

It’s idiots like you who make life hard on the rest of us, you are incompetent and shouldn’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. It’s because of YOUR actions while you’re driving that causes wrecks, and traffic jams. If everybody that is operating a motor vehicle, did just that, OPERATE the motor vehicle and NOTHING ELSE there would be a lot fewer wrecks, fewer traffic jams and everybody would arrive at their destination when they wanted to be there.

Oh and one more thing, If you do not have a drivers license or insurance, and you hit my vehicle and try to talk your way out of it, rest assured, I will take the cost of the damage out on you.

Gaynor’s Automotive….

I’m all for a company making money. The whole idea of running a business, is to make money to build the company. However the margin of profit that Gaynor’s is asking, is just flipping crazy.

I took my wife’s car in to have it diagnosed, the car had been dying at random and the oil light was flickering and the engine was steaming from what appeared to be a leaky coolant line.

Diagnostic cost: $115.

Here is where it gets interesting.

They found that the Oil Sending Unit is leaking oil. Cost? $180
They also found that the Coolant Temperature Sensor is not working. Cost? $85
They said the PCV Valve is bad as well. Cost? $117
Here is the real kicker. The Coolant Bleeder Valve is leaking. Cost? $767!!

So, I did what any right minded person does, call another shop that is a small mom and pop type of shop.

My biggest concern is getting that oil sending unit replaced. So I called Rick’s Garage. Cost? $40 to install and the part costs around $30 for a total of $70. For a total of $110 less!!

My brother-in-law says that the Coolant Bleeder Valve is a really easy fix and the part costs around $65. The Coolant Temperature sensor is around $15-$25. And, Finally the PCV Valve is between $4 and $15.

Now as I said before, I am all for a business making a profit but for God sake.

Assuming that I can get some of the parts for cheap from a local parts store, I will have spent all in all $114 (i’m calculating the cost of the oil sending unit not the install) which saves me a grand total of $1,035!

End result? Never going to Gaynor’s EVER again. Bunch of Scam artists!

 

What makes a good President…

I’m a little tired of hearing people arguing about how their candidate will do a better job, but I haven’t seen anybody really explain why THEY think their candidate will be better than the other guy.

So I ask the question, “Why do YOU think your candidate will make a better president?” answer in the comments below.

I’m not looking for an argument. I’m looking for a cordial debate, backed with Facts.

NYPD.. Are you for real right now?

I am disgusted with the NYPD. Ruthless Cowards who abuse their power as police officers. Disgusting. Ruthlessly beat and assaulted peaceful American Citizens for demonstrating their 1st Amendment Rights to Peacefully Gather. Your excuse this time? AGAIN “The Park Needed To Be Cleaned” So when the Parks need to be cleaned do you send Police in and beat the homeless senseless too? Do you go in there with batons and start beating and knocking people to the ground and dragging them out??
Hey NYPD! What about that poor young lady who had a seizure AFTER YOU ARRESTED HER AND YOU LET HER LAY THERE FOR 10 MINUTES BEFORE GIVING HER MEDICAL ATTENTION!?? You can’t deny this one, a live stream from a cell phone shows the young lady violently having a seizure and police did NOTHING. 10 minutes in Police and Paramedics shows up and started treating her! Can you say Police State? Regardless of your views on Occupy, What the NYPD did last night was Violent, Ruthless Aggression and was Completely uncalled for! After seeing so many attacks on Peaceful Americans, I am embarrassed because in the Land Of The FREE and Home Of The BRAVE, YOU CAN’T EVEN ASSEMBLE WITHOUT POLICE BEATING THE SNOT OF YOU!!

This needs to stop. I will make it my mission in life, Police have no right to execute that kind of violence on a peaceful crowd! If people are smashing windows and attacking other people, then it is a different story. But to walk into Zucatti Park and just start beating people and dragging them out. Simply uncalled for. Oh, and AGAIN the NYPD forced all Media OUT of the park and started harassing them about why they were covering the clearing of the park.

I can not sit by and watch Police Officers who are suppose to Protect and Serve, senselessly beat and attack peacefully gathering Americans! I have said it before and I will say it again, The Police are No longer Protecting and Serving the American People, The Police are now Protecting and Serving the Corporate Power and Money that runs the City they are employed by.

Well, I have a problem with that. When did the Police Department become Big Corporations personal Security? What happened to the Police being on the side of the Protecting the People? Police Officers are under this impression they are not affected by the same stuff citizens are. Scary part is, Police are underpaid and over worked just like the rest of us. The police don’t realize they truly are one layoff away from being part of the ever growing Unemployment line. The police may think they are protecting the interest of the City they work for but in fact they are hurting themselves. We are fighting for EVERYONE to have an equal playing field, not just a select few. We see a problem in the system and local and big government see us as a problem and proceed to send the police to attack.

So much to say..

In the last 24 hours, so much shit has happened… It’s just insane. I honestly don’t know where to start. It appears that for all general purposes, I have been excommunicated from my family, Which I am actually alright with. Having dealt with 20 years of garbage and to finally for the last 2 1/2 years been outside of that and doing my own thing, to have to never think about dealing with it again.. actually sounds alright with me. A few close friends and family had asked me to write a letter to my grandmother about 5 months ago trying to patch things up, which I did.. Only to get a note mailed to me 5 months later that simply says, “Your stuff is in the front, no need to come to the door” Meh.

And then this whole thing with my wifes family. Which I won’t talk about because I am unsure about who knows what.

Life is just crazy! My gosh!

Proverbs 11:29

New International Version (NIV)

 29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.

– Dan

Wait for the call..

Well, without realizing it… I broke Comcast’s rule about download and upload maxing out at 250gb in a month. Well, currently I am at 302gb and were 15 days into the month..

Their website says they have a department that handles “excessive users”.. Once you break the 250gb level they call you and talk about you going over the limit. Well, now I wait.

In the mean time. Hoist the flag!

The 4th Of July, Vancouver Style.

For my whole childhood the 4th Of July was always something special. They called it the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi. That is until 2010, when the Fort Vancouver Trust brought the show back in a smaller show and smaller entertainment stage. It took away the feeling of this being a big event.

Here are some pictures of what I’m talking bout.

http://modernclassicsflytying.com/Flash/FVHS_Fireworks_08.html

Here is a video of the 2008 Fireworks which were at about 1000 feet.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5eUAXZh478]

and 2010 .. just barely above the tree line. The fort vancouver trust said “About 400 feet in the air”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVcNzlyk2gw]

For good measure, here is 2007..

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRrPxQdKRJk]

Due to not having enough money the event was cancelled in 2009. When they brought it back in 2010, they down scaled a lot. Note the size of the stage in the above pictures.

http://www.fortvan.org/pages/Official_4th_of_July_fireworks_stands

 

Here is what they had last year and again this year.

***EDIT***

Here is what they have this year (2011) for the main stage..

This is a picture of the fireworks in 2010

 

The big event feel was taken away. Hopefully next year it will change.

Makes it feel like a meaningless event. The stage is small the audio quality sucks, the guy running the lights made the stage appear too red… Felt like a horrible low production event.

Here’s to hoping for a better event next year.

Thanks for reading.

Dan

“Techs”

I have never understood why people call them selves a “tech” when calling Tech Support but moments later they are unsure what your talking about.. Example: Customer calls in with their “Tech” and are having issues getting online, when I asked the “tech” if the phone cable is plugged into the wall the answer I get is, “Well, there isn’t a plug on the wall big enough for the cable” !!!!!? Turns out he was attempting to plug the Ethernet (Cat-5) into a phone jack (RJ-11), which will never ever work.. Upon further investigation he hadn’t even checked to see if the phone cable was plugged in.

Here is a lesson (Free of charge I might add) in DSL Troubleshooting.

1. Make sure your DSL Router has power and has a green power light

2. Verify that your cables are correct, i.e. check the phone cable between the wall and the DSL router. Check it for faults or loose connections. At this point its wise to check to see if the DSL line has dial tone, simply plugging a phone into this line. Also, check the cable between your computer and this device or your LAN Router to ensure its plugged in on both ends.

3. Most DSL Routers will have a DSL light on them, in most cases (not all) that DSL light will be solid. If that light is slow flashing, unplug the power and wait 15 seconds, then plug the power back in. If after about 1 – 2 minutes your service isn’t working, call your support.

4. If the DSL light is solid, there might be an Internet light (depending on the router and the type of service you have, this light might be off) and its solid, you should be on line. If you aren’t it’s time to move onto your LAN Router (Such as Linksys, D-Link, Netgear..Just to name a few) at which point you should call the manufacturer that makes your LAN Router.

Just an F.Y.I. to would be Techs.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

Thoughts ‘n things.

 

I’ve always wondered about people who make huge claims in order to garner the attention of the world, What makes them do things like that? Why are they making outrageous claims about things in which they probably know little about, lets take the most recent events for instance.

Harold Camping, an 89 year old Preacher and owner of “FamilyRadio”. He is a multi-millionaire and has hundreds of employees at his radio station. He could have easily retired and just existed somewhere in California… Apparently that just wouldn’t work for this douche. Instead he starts telling people that being a member (or going for that fact) of a church just isn’t needed and that baptism is completely pointless. To top it off, he is a “Hell Fire and Brimstone” kind of Preacher, so he scares the shit out of the people he preaches to, old west style.

Camping presented several numerological arguments, or biblical “proofs”, in favor of the May 21 end time. A civil engineer by training, Camping stated he had attempted to work out mathematically-based prophecies in the Bible for decades. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle he explained “… I was an engineer, I was very interested in the numbers. I’d wonder, ‘Why did God put this number in, or that number in?’ It was not a question of unbelief, it was a question of, ‘There must be a reason for it.’ ”

In 1970 Camping dated the Great Flood to 4990 BC. Using this date, taking the statement in Genesis 7:4 (“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth”) to be a prediction of the end of the world, and combining it with 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”), Camping concludes that the end of the world will occur in 2011, 7000 years from 4990 BC. Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be May 21, and hence predicts the rapture to occur on this date.

Another argument that Camping used in favor of the May 21 date is as follows:

  1. The number five equals “atonement”, the number ten equals “completeness”, and the number seventeen equals “heaven”.
  2. Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
  3. If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar, as distinct from lunar, year), the result is 722,449.
  4. The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.
  5. 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
  6. (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.

Camping said that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a “story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we’re completely saved.”

Camping was not precise about the exact timing of the event, saying that “maybe” we can know the hour. He has suggested that “days” in the Bible refer to daylight hours particularly. Another account said the “great earthquake” which signals the start of the Rapture would “start in the Pacific Rim at around the 6 p.m. local time hour, in each time zone.”

In Camping’s book 1994?, self-published in 1992, he predicted that the End Times would come in September 1994 (variously reported as September 4 or September 6). When the Rapture failed to occur on the appointed day, Camping said he had made a mathematical error.

On May 19, 2011, the search term “end of the world may 21st” reached second position on Google Trends, based on the popularity of the search term in the United States. The related searches “Harold Camping“, “May 21 doomsday”, and “May 21 rapture” were also represented among the top 10 positions.

So… Basically he was the kid that cried wolf a few too many times, just on a big larger stage. I’m thinking he should just be put in a rubber room and medicated until his death.

I doubt he will ever accept that he failed and admit he is a false prophet, he will just blame this one a mathematical error and try again at some later date.

Thanks for reading. Portions of this blog entry were found on Wikipedia. (Don’t sue me, I gave credit where it was due.)

Dan