danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
Oh, dear mother of two scouts, if you wish to feel rancor toward me for attempting to collect the 11 weeks of past dues that both your sons have not paid since February, by all means, go ahead. You can just imagine my distress at the silent avoidance that you shower on me at the thrice yearly court of honor meetings that you deign to attend.

If you feel that you would do a better job as troop treasurer, then I suggest you resign your current position and take on the treasurer position. Oh wait. You don't HAVE a position as a leader in the troop, nor does your husband. My mistake.

Ah, of course it is the scribe's fault (that would be my son, dear lady) because he singled your family out to not record when your darling boys gave him money. Except that since he hasn't been to easily half the meetings in recent months, it was YOUR son who was filling in as scribe. And don't think I didn't notice the 6 weeks that got marked as paid for each of your sons without the money turned in reflecting that amount (on a week when I was not there either, no less).

Why yes, I think next year we will be instituting a receipt system for cash dues, since you cried out for "a system of checks and balances". It will, of course, be more work for the scribe—oh, your younger son is running for that position? well, good for him. But I think in the end, you will find that his having to account for every payment rather than relying in the honor system isn't going to go quite the way you think it will for you.

And you want to know how your son can get extra funds from the troop for summer camp? Well, your sons have to do more than the absolute BARE MINIMUM required fundraising. Boys who go above and beyond that get credit from the troop. Your boys have been given ample opportunities to earn their way. Too bad you decided not to take any of them.

I know my give-a-damn is around here somewhere...
danagryphon: (Triquetra)
Friday, a tragedy was perpetrated on the youngest, most vulnerable members of our society. My heart breaks for the parents experiencing, despite the cliche sound of it, every parent's worst nightmare, of sending your child off to what should be a safe environment only to have them never return home. And my heart breaks for the teachers who died as well, who acted with the highest form of heroism when they put themselves between harm and their young charges.

And, like many others, I find myself filled with anger as well.

Some say it's too soon to talk about what went wrong, about what laws failed to protect these people, because that is "too political". I say it's far too LATE to talk about these things. And it will be even worse if we wait to talk and ACT before it happens again.

I'm angry about the guns. I will NEVER EVER understand the need of a private citizen to own assault weapons, to own anything that could be labelled as a "cache" of weapons. I personally will never have a gun in my house. That doesn't mean I think that no one should have the right to own a gun. Although if I am being honest, RIGHT NOW, I question the wisdom of the 2nd amendment. That will probably pass. But what doesn't pass is the fact that people can legally own weapons like the Bushmaster. You want to own a handgun for personal protect? Sure, go for it (even though you are more likely to die from it than any attacker). You want to own a single-action rifle or shotgun for hunting? Absolutely. Beyond that, WTF is the point, exactly?

I have had people criticize and attack me because I don't like guns. Some say I'm unreasonable afraid, that I'm ignorant because I don't know how to handle them. Let me address that one first. I know how to fire a handgun. I know how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble a handgun. I know how to load a clip. I was heavily recruited for the pistol team in college because I was at one time A DAMNED GOOD SHOT with a handgun. However, I also grew up in a household that contained both guns and a mentally ill person. I can reflect on at least three times when those guns were pointed by that mentally ill person at my parents or AT ME PERSONALLY. I've looked down the barrel of a loaded rifle, knowing that the person whose finger was on the trigger was unstable and had malice in his heart. To people who so love their guns, I challenge them to say the same, to stand in those shoes and still love guns so much.

I am angry that a woman who it appears KNEW she had a troubled child in her house owned guns, particularly assault weapons. Now, no one knows the circumstances under which she died; perhaps she was trying to stop him. But I have too many questions (which will probably never be answered) to not feel at least a little bit of anger at this woman. Why weren't the guns locked up? How did he get ahold of them in the first place? She was a victim herself, but I still am angry at her that she felt the need to legally own all those fucking guns.

I am angry that our country doesn't have a decent model in place to deal with mentally ill people, especially ones who are violent or show signs of becoming violent. Reports are that the shooter was on the autism spectrum. And while autism is NOT a mental illness, it can lead to mental illnesses if these kids are not helped deal with a world that to them is scary and overwhelming. But more often than not, these kids fall through the cracks. I experience this first hand every day with my son. He functions well enough in the world that he cannot qualify for services to help him, but not so well that he can reach his full potential. Even though he has an IQ in the genius range, he is perceived by many people as intellectually disabled because of how he interacts with his environment. Dear gods, it's a miracle that he ISN'T depressed.

But even people who show real signs of sociopathy, or personality disorders, or even schizophrenia—like my brother did—are ignored by the system until AFTER they do something horrendous. My brother threatened two teenagers outside his house with a gun and then later tried to kill himself. Between those two actions, all he got was a 3-day psych hold and a lame-assed offer for outpatient therapy (not *treatment*, mind you, no medications were involved, just "talk therapy"). He couldn't be committed, he couldn't be held for mandatory treatment. He could have been that shooter on Friday.

I'm angry that people think MORE guns are the answer. That if some teacher had been armed, that person could have stopped what happened on Friday. First, what happened occurred within MINUTES. Second, it really is not so easy to shoot another living person. Even people who are trained professionals freeze up, or miss. I can't imagine a situation where MORE guns in the hands of private citizens will ever be the right answer.

I watched Pres. Obama's address on Sunday in Newtown. As he said, the issues that lead to something like this are complex. There is no simple answer, no one law that will fix it. Unfortunately, as he said, it may be impossible TO fix. But we have to try. Other countries do not have the number of gun-related deaths that we do. By a wide margin. We need to look at what they are doing right. Because one more child, one more person dying in a mass shooting like this will be one more too many. We have had too many already.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
The recent situations in Kansas and Mississippi remind me of a Ron White joke.

It goes something like this:
"I'm from Texas where we have the death penalty and we USE it!. You come to Texas and kill someone and we will kick you back. There is a bill in the Texas legislature to speed up the process. If more than 3 CREDIBLE witnesses saw you do what you did, you don't sit on death row for 20 years, you go to the head of the line. Other states are halting executions, my state is putting in an EXPRESS lane!"
So just to recap, for anyone who hasn't been paying attention, Personhood Mississippi brings you Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment" that will be voted on by the denizens of that state on November 8, that if it passes (and it is expected to!), will declare that personhood begins at fertilization. Abortion will be murder, miscarriages will be manslaughter, and birth control will be attempted murder. Along with a whole slew of other unintentional side effects that have been talked about all over the blogosphere. What they think they are trying to do is halt abortions, cloning(!!), and stem cell research.

Meanwhile, in Topeka, Kansas, they are were getting ready to put in that express lane, but decided that it was only worth it if you waited a few dozen years until they were nice and older and juicy. Due to budgetary concerns, they had voted (which they now seem to be about to change their minds on) to decriminalize misdemeanor domestic violence. Just so we all know what we are talking about, this can still a violent crime that involves beating someone, but as long as you only THREATEN to use a weapon, instead of actually grabbing a crowbar and bashing someone's head in with it, it remains a misdemeanor. As long as the injuries are minor, or you only threaten or coerce or stalk or scare the shit out of someone, it remains a misdemeanor. And in Topeka, they thought that was a fine thing to let people do willy nilly because, y'know, they have MONEY woes! Oh noes!

So yeah, scratch Kansas and Mississippi off my list of states that I will ever be willing to visit. Right up there with Okla-freaking-homa. In fact, I thing Mississippi is going at the top of a new list. "States I Will Never Set A FUCKING Foot Into For One FUCKING Second". Because my junk still works, and gods forbid I might ever go there with an unwanted bun in this rickety old oven, because it would probably come out undercooked anyway, and I wouldn't want to get thrown in jail for killing a fertilized egg person.

What a fucked up country we live in.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
The recent situations in Kansas and Mississippi remind me of a Ron White joke.

It goes something like this:
"I'm from Texas where we have the death penalty and we USE it!. You come to Texas and kill someone and we will kick you back. There is a bill in the Texas legislature to speed up the process. If more than 3 CREDIBLE witnesses saw you do what you did, you don't sit on death row for 20 years, you go to the head of the line. Other states are halting executions, my state is putting in an EXPRESS lane!"
So just to recap, for anyone who hasn't been paying attention, Personhood Mississippi brings you Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment" that will be voted on by the denizens of that state on November 8, that if it passes (and it is expected to!), will declare that personhood begins at fertilization. Abortion will be murder, miscarriages will be manslaughter, and birth control will be attempted murder. Along with a whole slew of other unintentional side effects that have been talked about all over the blogosphere. What they think they are trying to do is halt abortions, cloning(!!), and stem cell research.

Meanwhile, in Topeka, Kansas, they are were getting ready to put in that express lane, but decided that it was only worth it if you waited a few dozen years until they were nice and older and juicy. Due to budgetary concerns, they had voted (which they now seem to be about to change their minds on) to decriminalize misdemeanor domestic violence. Just so we all know what we are talking about, this can still a violent crime that involves beating someone, but as long as you only THREATEN to use a weapon, instead of actually grabbing a crowbar and bashing someone's head in with it, it remains a misdemeanor. As long as the injuries are minor, or you only threaten or coerce or stalk or scare the shit out of someone, it remains a misdemeanor. And in Topeka, they thought that was a fine thing to let people do willy nilly because, y'know, they have MONEY woes! Oh noes!

So yeah, scratch Kansas and Mississippi off my list of states that I will ever be willing to visit. Right up there with Okla-freaking-homa. In fact, I thing Mississippi is going at the top of a new list. "States I Will Never Set A FUCKING Foot Into For One FUCKING Second". Because my junk still works, and gods forbid I might ever go there with an unwanted bun in this rickety old oven, because it would probably come out undercooked anyway, and I wouldn't want to get thrown in jail for killing a fertilized egg person.

What a fucked up country we live in.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
No thank you, I don't want to use your stupid "sitebuilder" wysiwyg I-can't-write-in-html tool to rebuild my lovely website because you are no longer going to support me just uploading my lovely html files directly to the defunct ftp site. Especially when half the supposed functionality of the tool doesn't actually work as advertised.

So either my website is just never going to change again (since the files are still THERE, I just can't get to them. EVER.), or I may decide to stop using all the nice free space verizon gives me and go find someplace else that won't treat me like I'm an idiot. I'd put a placeholder page in my Verizon account to just redirect to a different site, but I can't even get the stupid "edit text" function to work like it's supposed to. Arrg.

No love,
me
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
No thank you, I don't want to use your stupid "sitebuilder" wysiwyg I-can't-write-in-html tool to rebuild my lovely website because you are no longer going to support me just uploading my lovely html files directly to the defunct ftp site. Especially when half the supposed functionality of the tool doesn't actually work as advertised.

So either my website is just never going to change again (since the files are still THERE, I just can't get to them. EVER.), or I may decide to stop using all the nice free space verizon gives me and go find someplace else that won't treat me like I'm an idiot. I'd put a placeholder page in my Verizon account to just redirect to a different site, but I can't even get the stupid "edit text" function to work like it's supposed to. Arrg.

No love,
me
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So back in mid-July, I got a ticket in the parking lot at the commuter rail, even though I DID pay the fee. It took 3 days and emails through the commuter rail site complaining about it to finally get someone to call me and confirm that I had paid, and the ticked was voided.

Well, they did it again. Only this time, they ticketed me for a numbered space I WASN'T EVEN PARKED IN. I was parked in the space NEXT to it. And again, I paid. However, since the person in the spot I was ticketed for had a monthly parking pass, of course there wasn't any payment in the honor box for that spot. Just can't figure out why they decided to ticket ME for that.

Morons.

I wonder how long it'll take to fix it this time. And I do plan to raise a stink about the fact that this is the second time I've gotten an undeserved ticket.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So back in mid-July, I got a ticket in the parking lot at the commuter rail, even though I DID pay the fee. It took 3 days and emails through the commuter rail site complaining about it to finally get someone to call me and confirm that I had paid, and the ticked was voided.

Well, they did it again. Only this time, they ticketed me for a numbered space I WASN'T EVEN PARKED IN. I was parked in the space NEXT to it. And again, I paid. However, since the person in the spot I was ticketed for had a monthly parking pass, of course there wasn't any payment in the honor box for that spot. Just can't figure out why they decided to ticket ME for that.

Morons.

I wonder how long it'll take to fix it this time. And I do plan to raise a stink about the fact that this is the second time I've gotten an undeserved ticket.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So the Littleton commuter station now has an honor box for their parking lots.

This morning, I parked, and went and put my $4 in the honor box. Yes, I put in all $4. Yes, I put it in the right slot. And when I got back to my car this evening, there was a fucking ticket on my windshield.

I called the number on the ticket and left a voicemail. However, they say right on the message that they don't give credit for partial payments (which this wasn't) or payments put in the wrong slot (which this wasn't), and that they only check the messages once a day in the morning and return the calls that day. Which means I won't hear from them until Monday.

Oh, and of course, I have abso-fucking-lutely no proof whatsoever that I made the full payment into the correct slot. Because it's a fucking HONOR box.

So today's parking is probably going to cost me a total of $9, being the $4 I put in the box this morning, and the $5 ticket ($4 plus $1 service charge, which becomes $20 service charge if not paid within 3 days, which I'm assuming means "business days", since I'm sure I'm not going to hear back from them until Monday).

This so totally fucking sucks.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
So the Littleton commuter station now has an honor box for their parking lots.

This morning, I parked, and went and put my $4 in the honor box. Yes, I put in all $4. Yes, I put it in the right slot. And when I got back to my car this evening, there was a fucking ticket on my windshield.

I called the number on the ticket and left a voicemail. However, they say right on the message that they don't give credit for partial payments (which this wasn't) or payments put in the wrong slot (which this wasn't), and that they only check the messages once a day in the morning and return the calls that day. Which means I won't hear from them until Monday.

Oh, and of course, I have abso-fucking-lutely no proof whatsoever that I made the full payment into the correct slot. Because it's a fucking HONOR box.

So today's parking is probably going to cost me a total of $9, being the $4 I put in the box this morning, and the $5 ticket ($4 plus $1 service charge, which becomes $20 service charge if not paid within 3 days, which I'm assuming means "business days", since I'm sure I'm not going to hear back from them until Monday).

This so totally fucking sucks.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
Last night was the annual meeting for our condo owners association. If you are a regular intrepid reader, you will recall that I had some issues with the condo board this summer because of the two window AC units that were in our upstairs bedrooms. In the back of the building, on the second floor, overlooking a retaining pond.

So after the nasty and contentious back and forth this summer, the board generously decided to grant a stay of execution, and allow us to petition the owners at this meeting to change the rules.

Yeah, well, that didn't work out so well.

Cut for massive rant, skip if you don't care )

The only good thing to come out of last night is that I did meet another of the 40B couples, and we will hopefully be bonding over this. Because the rest of them can kiss my ass.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
Last night was the annual meeting for our condo owners association. If you are a regular intrepid reader, you will recall that I had some issues with the condo board this summer because of the two window AC units that were in our upstairs bedrooms. In the back of the building, on the second floor, overlooking a retaining pond.

So after the nasty and contentious back and forth this summer, the board generously decided to grant a stay of execution, and allow us to petition the owners at this meeting to change the rules.

Yeah, well, that didn't work out so well.

Cut for massive rant, skip if you don't care )

The only good thing to come out of last night is that I did meet another of the 40B couples, and we will hopefully be bonding over this. Because the rest of them can kiss my ass.
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
Dear officer from a neighboring Barony,

When you crossposted YOUR event announcement to OUR group's mailing list asking "What else have you got to do on a cold winter's day?", perhaps you might have wanted to consult the Kingdom website event listing and been clue-full enough to notice that perhaps we might want to spend that day attending and helping with OUR OWN EVENT!

Just because our event has been on the kingdom website since December, and you just posted yours yesterday, of course, should not stop you from urging the members of our group to skip our event and go to yours. Because, "what else have you got to do"?

Thanks for playing.
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
Dear officer from a neighboring Barony,

When you crossposted YOUR event announcement to OUR group's mailing list asking "What else have you got to do on a cold winter's day?", perhaps you might have wanted to consult the Kingdom website event listing and been clue-full enough to notice that perhaps we might want to spend that day attending and helping with OUR OWN EVENT!

Just because our event has been on the kingdom website since December, and you just posted yours yesterday, of course, should not stop you from urging the members of our group to skip our event and go to yours. Because, "what else have you got to do"?

Thanks for playing.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
Srsly, Madame Latin teacher?

A container of applesauce, containing 23g of sugar, no protein and no fiber, is a superior mid-morning snack to a bag of baked cheetos, containing 2g of sugar, 3g of fat, 2g of protein, and 3g of fiber, which you actually had the nerve to hassle my child about eating? A child who has blood-sugar issues and hyperactivity?

You really want to go there?

And then you make him write down a list of "approved" snacks to bring home to show me?

Ok, game on.

Dood, you so need to learn something about nutrition. And since you were first to thrown down that gauntlet, I'll be doing a little homework and compiling the nutritional information on that little list of yours and sending it back.

Himself thinks we should just send in a note saying that we are giving E snacks from the list compiled and approved by his nutritionist, and suggest where she can stick her list. But I think edumacating her a little bit about nutritional values of various snack foods might be in order as well.

Just because I am feeling evil.
danagryphon: (Picard WTF)
Srsly, Madame Latin teacher?

A container of applesauce, containing 23g of sugar, no protein and no fiber, is a superior mid-morning snack to a bag of baked cheetos, containing 2g of sugar, 3g of fat, 2g of protein, and 3g of fiber, which you actually had the nerve to hassle my child about eating? A child who has blood-sugar issues and hyperactivity?

You really want to go there?

And then you make him write down a list of "approved" snacks to bring home to show me?

Ok, game on.

Dood, you so need to learn something about nutrition. And since you were first to thrown down that gauntlet, I'll be doing a little homework and compiling the nutritional information on that little list of yours and sending it back.

Himself thinks we should just send in a note saying that we are giving E snacks from the list compiled and approved by his nutritionist, and suggest where she can stick her list. But I think edumacating her a little bit about nutritional values of various snack foods might be in order as well.

Just because I am feeling evil.
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
Another school year, another chance to go round and round with the teachers at the middle school about what is an appropriate snack for my child. Because the Latin teacher obviously knows better than I (and now E's nutritionist) not only what kinds of things my child will be willing to eat, but what kinds of things will spike his blood sugar and lead to that inevitable crash.

The ones that always kill me are the ones who thing the only appropriate snack is a piece of sugary fruit. Because protein and complex carbs (cheese and pretzel/crackers are my usual snack fare) are obviously so bad for you (especially when one has a tendency toward hypoglycemia, which the glucose monitor is demonstrating that E has).

Here's a lesson, oh purveyors of wisdom:
<picture one> Here is a diagram of a fructose molecule from a piece of fruit.
<picture two> Here is a diagram of a fructose molecule from the high-fructose corn syrup used to sweeten that candy bar.
Can you tell the difference? No?
Guess what? Neither can your body.
Stop pushing fruit at my child.
(I spent a good deal of my time in elementary school feeling sick and shaky from low blood sugar after I was given just fruit to eat at snack time.)

Then there was the Spanish teacher who tried to tell us that the cheese and pretzels we used to send in with B were inappropriate because he shouldn't have that much salt. He's got a cardiologist and a urologist to worry about that, too, thank you very much. (Yes, this is the same boy who the pediatrician said he would kill to have blood work as good as.)

Here's a hint folks, being a polyglot (why is it always the language teachers?) does not make you an expert on nutrition.

I understand that teachers are taking a lot of flack to try to stem the tide of childhood obesity. I even understand that to look at him, they might think that my child sits at home eating ding-dongs and ho-hos. But there are underlying endocrine issues, and an inactivity issue. If the schools really want to do something to help my child eat better, instead of making the teachers be food monitors, how about stop selling cookies and ice cream in the cafeteria, which my child uses his allowance to buy after he eats the lunch I packed him, because he *doesn't* get to eat those things at home (or even worse, the middle school principal who used to buy cookies for B at lunch, because he was trying to be his buddy). If they really want to help, how about stop cutting gym class, and piling on so much homework that he doesn't have a chance to go outside and play after school. I really don't blame the teachers, I understand that they are getting pressure from above. It's the administrators providing the pressure who I have a real beef with.

Ok. Rant done.
danagryphon: (Discourse Hand)
Another school year, another chance to go round and round with the teachers at the middle school about what is an appropriate snack for my child. Because the Latin teacher obviously knows better than I (and now E's nutritionist) not only what kinds of things my child will be willing to eat, but what kinds of things will spike his blood sugar and lead to that inevitable crash.

The ones that always kill me are the ones who thing the only appropriate snack is a piece of sugary fruit. Because protein and complex carbs (cheese and pretzel/crackers are my usual snack fare) are obviously so bad for you (especially when one has a tendency toward hypoglycemia, which the glucose monitor is demonstrating that E has).

Here's a lesson, oh purveyors of wisdom:
<picture one> Here is a diagram of a fructose molecule from a piece of fruit.
<picture two> Here is a diagram of a fructose molecule from the high-fructose corn syrup used to sweeten that candy bar.
Can you tell the difference? No?
Guess what? Neither can your body.
Stop pushing fruit at my child.
(I spent a good deal of my time in elementary school feeling sick and shaky from low blood sugar after I was given just fruit to eat at snack time.)

Then there was the Spanish teacher who tried to tell us that the cheese and pretzels we used to send in with B were inappropriate because he shouldn't have that much salt. He's got a cardiologist and a urologist to worry about that, too, thank you very much. (Yes, this is the same boy who the pediatrician said he would kill to have blood work as good as.)

Here's a hint folks, being a polyglot (why is it always the language teachers?) does not make you an expert on nutrition.

I understand that teachers are taking a lot of flack to try to stem the tide of childhood obesity. I even understand that to look at him, they might think that my child sits at home eating ding-dongs and ho-hos. But there are underlying endocrine issues, and an inactivity issue. If the schools really want to do something to help my child eat better, instead of making the teachers be food monitors, how about stop selling cookies and ice cream in the cafeteria, which my child uses his allowance to buy after he eats the lunch I packed him, because he *doesn't* get to eat those things at home (or even worse, the middle school principal who used to buy cookies for B at lunch, because he was trying to be his buddy). If they really want to help, how about stop cutting gym class, and piling on so much homework that he doesn't have a chance to go outside and play after school. I really don't blame the teachers, I understand that they are getting pressure from above. It's the administrators providing the pressure who I have a real beef with.

Ok. Rant done.
danagryphon: (Pink Marriage)
"The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control,"

Dear Mr. President,

No, you cannot OPPOSE same-sex marriage but support EQUALITY for gays and lesbians. Civil union =/= marriage. Separate is NEVER equal. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Lets try a few word substitutions and see if that makes it any clearer.

"The president does oppose interracial marriage, but he supports equality for interracial couples"
"The president does oppose abolition of slavery, but he supports equality for African-Americans"
"The president does oppose women's suffrage, but he supports equality for women"

Seriously, Dude, are you TRYING to completely alienate the people who elected you?

No love,

Me
danagryphon: (Pink Marriage)
"The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control,"

Dear Mr. President,

No, you cannot OPPOSE same-sex marriage but support EQUALITY for gays and lesbians. Civil union =/= marriage. Separate is NEVER equal. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Lets try a few word substitutions and see if that makes it any clearer.

"The president does oppose interracial marriage, but he supports equality for interracial couples"
"The president does oppose abolition of slavery, but he supports equality for African-Americans"
"The president does oppose women's suffrage, but he supports equality for women"

Seriously, Dude, are you TRYING to completely alienate the people who elected you?

No love,

Me

December 2015

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930 31  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios