Thursday, July 13, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Pepper spray fail

The next time someone tells me that I don't need to carry a firearm because I can simply use pepper spray, I am going to show this article to them...

When Reyes still wouldn't leave, Mosley sprayed him with pepper spray that he had attached on his keychain... at which point Reyes grabbed a machete and repeatedly struck Mosley... Police said Mosley was semi-conscious when they arrived, suffering from severe injuries to head, torso and arm, and his hand was nearly severed. The 63-year-old man was airlifted to a local trauma center, where he was in "extremely critical condition" before he died Saturday

Pepper spray failed, because the assailant was high on narcotics. A firearm would have worked much better.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Walkabout, continued

The travels continue. We parked the car in Seattle and took a bus to Vancouver. Once there, we caught a cruise ship through the inside passage into Alaska. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Hoonah, Alaska. The cruise ended in Seward, and then we took the train up through the state, with stops in Anchorage, Talkeetna, the Denali National Park, and Fairbanks. In all, we spent two weeks in Alaska.

We then flew back to Seattle and retrieved the car. We drove through Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

I bet you are wondering how we stored my handgun. Before we entered California, I placed it in a Pelican case with desiccants and oxygen absorbers, lowered the spare tire from under the car, and placed the case on top, and raised the tire back up. Once we left Washington, I lowered the tire and retrieved it, none the worse for wear.

We continue on our journey...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On walkabout

I have been on the road for the past few weeks. During that time, the wife and I drove from Florida to Seattle, on our way to Alaska. We stopped for a day or more in each of the following cities:

1- New Orleans, LA
2- Gonzalez, TX
3- San Antonio, TX
4- Phoenix, AZ
5- Sedona, AZ
6- Flagstaff, AZ
7- Las Vegas, NV
8- San Francisco, CA
9- Eugene, OR
10- Seattle, WA

It has been a great trip so far. We have had beignets and went to a jazz concert in the French Quarter, saw the Alamo, the Grand Canyon, and more.

I did discover that the Hilton in San Antonio is posted against both concealed and open carry, but the Marriott was not. Since signs have the force of law in Texas, I was faced with the choice of breaking the law and hoping not to get caught, or leaving my handgun in the car and hoping not to get burglarized. Once this trip has concluded (we have already paid deposits on all of the hotels for this trip) I will no longer use Hilton. I will be switching to the Marriott brand for my future travels.

Phoenix was hot at 108 degrees. The Grand Canyon was amazing.

One of my hobbies is that I am a bit of a gambler. The only game that I really enjoy is Craps. During our 4 day stay in Vegas, I won about $1200 at the tables. I will admit that I generally do not play as well when the wife is next to me watching. I think it is because she looks at me oddly when I make $100 bets. For this reason, I do not think that I can concentrate as well, and I tend to do less well. Once we were in a casino with her parents, and I was slightly at a loss ($100 or so). She left and went to the bar with her father, and 2 hours later I rejoined them, having won $3200.

At any rate, it's been a good trip so far. We leave in the morning for our next destination. We have already driven 5,000 miles in the past three weeks. The journey continues.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I feel dirty

I just saw the end of my first grading period at my new school. As I was preparing to finalize my students' grades, I was pulled aside by my department head and informed that there were a couple of things that I needed to be made aware of, if I wanted to avoid having "that conversation" with my administrators. 

The rules for student grades are:
1 No student who is an ESOL student (meaning that they do not speak English as their primary language) can receive less than a C in any class they are taking.

2 No more than 15% of your students can receive less than a C.

Doing so means that you will be called into the principal's office, and will be told that you need to do more to improve your student's performance. Even if your students don't turn in any work, even if they are absent the entire grading period, if more than 15% of them have less than a C, it is YOUR fault as the teacher, and if it continues, you will lose your job.

The teacher across the hall from me refused to adjust the grades that her students earned. She was just told that her contract is not being renewed next year.

Me? Of my 132 students, 30 of them have been absent for at least 22 of the 45 days of the grading period. One student was absent for 29 of them, and at least 15 minutes tardy on 9 other days. Still, if I refuse, I will be fired and replaced with someone who will comply.

I adjusted, folded, spindled, and added points. 88% of my students got a C or higher. I'm hanging in there, but I feel like I have sold out. 

The education system is irretrievably broken. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Immigration discussion

I got in a social media discussion with someone who said that anyone who advocates breaking up families by deporting people is a monster. I pointed out that this was no more monstrous than breaking up a family for any other reason, such as jailing people for owning assault weapons or for DUI.

He tried claiming that illegal immigration is a victimless act, and therefore not a crime, and so all righteous people are charged with resisting any law which criminalizes free immigration. I pointed out that so was DUI and owning an unregistered machine gun.

He then tried claiming that all laws which have no specific, individual victim that you can point to are null and void. I told him to try not paying his taxes, and then see if the judge agreed.

He then moved on to saying that if he wanted to invite his friends from Mexico City to stay in his home, I was interfering with his property rights by denying that right, and therefore I did not respect property. That was when I asked him what the difference was between an individual's property rights and a nation's property rights. He then accused me of changing the subject, and began calling me a racist xenophobe because I hate Mexicans and Latinos.

I replied by saying that I did not mention race, and that HE was the racist for assuming that all illegal immigrants were Mexican or Latino.

That was when I got banned.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Frat Party

In January of this year, we decided that we needed a getaway. we found an inexpensive cruise on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. Being Diamond level members in their customer loyalty, program , we booked and paid for a suite on the March 10th sailing. We got a great deal, because all cabins have to be paid for 90 days prior to sailing, and the ship wasn't even half booked by that point.

Unknown to us, a Florida travel agency bought all of the remaining cabins, bundled them with unlimited alcohol packages, and then sold them to college kids as a spring break getaway. We were surrounded by booze guzzling, clothing optional Frat boys and their female counterparts. Vomit was everywhere: in the pools, the passageways, and the casino. Drunken passengers running up and down the hallways at 3 am, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Being a bit of a gambler, I was in the casino playing craps, and had to contend with college kids waving their hands in front of the game, and causing problems while I had several hundred dollars of bets on the table. When I asked them to stop waving their hands and their drinks over my chips, all I got were smart assed answers.

I saw a college girl with a VERY short dress and no visible underwear sitting on the lap of a piano playing crewmember, and right next to them was a crew member with his hand inside of the dress of another young woman.

In short, the trip was a booze fueled college party. I am too old for that crap, and it was NOT the relaxing vacation that I was looking for. Now, I will say that this was not our usual cruise with this cruise line, and we have never had issues like this before. A complaint to the cruise line customer relations onboard got us some sympathy and a 30% refund, but the manager told us to contact the cruise line's main offices when we got home.

When we did that, the customer service people were very rude, and said some outrageous things:

- What do you expect when you travel during spring break?

- We can't control what other passengers do 

- They paid for the cruise, just as you did 

- This is March, and you have to expect this sort of thing 

- Yes, we have a guest code of conduct, but there is little we can do to enforce it 

- We are sorry this upset you, but this is to be expected when college students are aboard. Maybe you should book cruises during other times of the year 

Maybe I should think about another cruise line.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

On the brink

A man armed with an AR 15 threatens to kill a man for having a Trump campaign sticker on his truck. the left would have you believe that the thug was simply expressing his right to protest. There is a lot of foul language and NSFW.

It seems like we are on the brink of a civil war that will cost lives. The last one cost over 600,000 lives out of a nation that contained only about 31 million. A similar casualty rate today would mean over 6 million dead. That number horrifies me.