Monday, January 29, 2007

Man of the People

John Edwards

29,000 square feet. Two Americas indeed.

All Survived

Although I have NO idea how the three boys managed to not injure themselves and/or others. The had rather creative methods for stopping at the bottom of the hill.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Proactive Good-Bye

I've had a lot of fun with this blog, and I have appreciated (both of) my readers, but I feel I must sayIt's been nice knowing ya!

Because, tomorrow, I'm going skiing. I haven't been skiing in over twenty years, and I honestly feel chancing are great that I may break my leg. AND, if that happens, there is no way I'm going to be able to hobble downstairs to my computer. I hear it takes (almost) 40-year-old bones forever to heal, so by the time I got back online, you will have all deleted this blog from your bookmarks list. So, if this scenario plays out the way I fear it might, this is good bye.

Otherwise, I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Oh My Lord

Please help me in this time of trial.

I cannot do a single thing today, because my youngest son has been demanding food EVERY 15 minutes.

And, he really can be a tyrant when he puts his mind to it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Favorite Moment of "American Idol" Last Night

Confidenciality

Used in a sentence:

"I have lots of confidenciality.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Weight Watchers Complaint

There is something screwy about the Activity Points. Those are the things that lets you eat a bit more, if you only get off your arse and go to the Gym. Anyway, it always seemed a tad random to me; the assigned values for different activities. You pick your exercise, then add in your time, and it tells you how many activity points you get.

It doesn't have a value for "Nordic Trak", but it does for cross country skiing. Forty minutes lands me 5 Activity Points. Woo Hoo, say I . BUT, I just got back from the gym, and the elliptical trainer only gives me 2 points for that same forty minutes. But, never fear, I have found the answer here, which allows you to assign points based on the intensity (heart rate) of your exertion. Yea, now, my elliptical foray earns me 5 points!

And, That's what I'm most upset about.

Detroit schools are horrible.
I live in Detroit.
My children are driving me nuts.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Detroit MEAP scores

State Eighth grade average:
Math 68.1% (pass)
Reading 75%
Science 74.9%
Writing 66.9

Detroit's stats
Math 39%
Reading 54.7%
Science 43.4%
Writing 43.8%

Grosse Pointe:
Math 84.4%
Reading 91.1%
Science 89.1%
Writing 84.9%

The Detroit Public School system is broken from the top to the bottom; from the parents to the principals. Every proposal for change is met with resistance. Nothing can be done for improvement. Detroiters have four choices to meet the needs of their child's education: private, Catholic, charter (if you are lucky enough to get into one) or home school. Well, actually, they have a fifth options; they can move out.

What would happen, if on the first day of school next year, no kids showed up?

Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm Coming Out ...


bilde
Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
I want the world to know,
Got to let it show


I figure that was the theme song going through Nathaniel Abraham's head as he left the courthouse Thursday. Nathaniel, if you will remember (if you're not a Michigander, perhaps you will not) shot and killed 18-year-old Ronnie Green eight years ago. When he was eleven. At the time, there was a bunch of hullabaloo regarding how he was to be charge; as an adult or as a child. He was a child who committed a man-sized crime.

He was sentenced, in the end, to a juvenile detention facility until the age of 21. Eight years in juvie for killing a man. But, the real prize is that upon his release he is being given two years of free housing, and four years of college tuition. Kill a man, go to college.

Since this murderer has become a ward of the state, we have spent almost a million dollars on his rehabilitation, with very questionable results. What do have we for our money? A pimp who still has anger management issues, and problems with authority. In case you cannot tell, he is wearing a black FUR coat, a fedora, and matching pink shoes, tie, and shirt.

Not exactly the image of a penitent individual.

Update: River Rat has come up with an excellent pool; How long until Abraham falls off the "rehabilitated" wagon? To be fair, I think you should know that killing a man wasn't Abraham's only brush with the oppressive enforcers of law and order:

At the time of his arrest for Greene's killing, the then-11-year-old Abraham had been suspected in 22 different crimes, ranging from burglary to assault with a metal pipe. But because of either lack of evidence or uncooperative witnesses, Abraham was never formally charged with the crimes. He was only arrested once — five weeks before Greene's shooting, police apprehended him for burglary.


Really, though, he was only arrested once before. Yes, I am filled with optimism. Oh, and while in one of his work/rehabilitation facilities, he was caught stealing cleaning supplies for his girlfriend. Yes, his GIRLFRIEND. He has that, je n'est ├ža pas called street cred that makes him sexy to the ladies, and earns him respect from his peers.

:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You know ... II

I have a really good excuse as to why I have nothing posted. For the past few hours, I have had 11 children (simultaneously) in my 3-bedroom, bungalow house.

A grand time was had by all.

YES!

I prolly will post. In just a bit.

Anyone hear Mark Steyne on Bill Bennett's show this morning. That was some funny stuff.

Post?

Yes, you are right. I should post.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Something's Rotten In Detroit

Last night, I was up for hours; sleepless. Among the pressing and stupid thoughts that kept my brain spinning, out of control and refusing to shut down, was that I would never be able to vote for a black man (or woman) for President. This wasn’t some sort of ideological realization, simply one of practicality.

To get there, though, I have to bring you along to what brought me to that conclusion. My father’s car was stolen almost a month ago. A week before Christmas, my dad stopped over for a short visit, and parked his car in my driveway. An hour later, when he left, it was gone. Car thefts and Detroit go together like Vernors and vanilla ice cream, so although it was exceedingly annoying, it wasn’t very surprising. I drove my dad to the police station, because in Detroit, you must go to them (aside- I’ve had a half-hearted daydream about someone calling to report their car stolen, and upon learning that they must now drive to the station to make a report, the distraught citizen responds– "I’d LIKE to, but, you see, my car was STOLEN"). Anyway, we reported the car stolen, and were informed that they would call my father when they found his car; and find it they would, we were assured. Eventually, and in disrepair.

They found his car last week. Missing a door (probably the reason the car was stolen) and it’s tires, and generally a mess. It is apparently fixable. Happy ending? Well, not so much. Because my dad had to pay about $900 to get his car back from the city of Detroit. It had been "impounded", so there was the initial tow fee, the "storage" fee, and the "delivery to the gate" fee at the impound lot. PLUS, he got a letter from the State of Michigan that he had some sort of legal issue to deal with because he had "abandoned" his car on the streets of Detroit.

All this, for a car that had been reported stolen within an hour of it’s disappearance. For a car with a Vinn number on it’s windshield, that could have been rekindled with it’s owner within hours of being "found."

Now, I suppose this happens in many cities. Stupid bureaucracy. But, in Detroit, it’s epidemic, and I have no hope of it ever changing. No one is ever held accountable in the City of Detroit. And, this is where I come to why I can’t ever vote for a black leader.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor of the City of Detroit, was elected initially because he was young, black, and had his mother to make all the right connections for him. He hasn’t shown any leadership, or had any great ideas. He got busted for charging things on the City’s credit card. But, none of this mattered, because he rolled out a campaign stating that we needed to reelect Kwame, because he was "our" boy. His challenger wasn’t black. Oops, I mean, he was black, just not black enough. He certainly wasn’t a "hip hop" mayor.

In a climate in which someone must be "black" enough, why would it be wrong for a "white" person to refuse to vote for anyone who wasn’t white enough? Bush, he’s "our" boy! The racial double-standard in politics is disgusting and dangerous.

But, even worse, is the lack of accountability of black leaders. Marion Barry. William Jefferson. Alcee Hasting. And don’t bother pointing out white leaders with spots on their record, because the difference is that the white guys got kicked out of office, while these three clowns got reelected. By their black constituency, who are always willing to give a guy another chance (if they are black). And, their stay in power with the complete backing of the Black Caucus.

In addition, once a city "goes black" – like Detroit, there is never-ever- ever the chance that a white guy or gal can ever get elected to anything. Not to City Council, not as a representative, and not as a Mayor. A white person would even have a hard time getting on the Board of Education. Because, black racism is the acceptable form of racism, because (apparently) it doesn’t exist. It can’t exist, they say, because blacks do not hold power, and racism can only occur when one has power over another. Except, of course, in Detroit, where blacks do hold all the power. And racism is rampant.

Because of this racism, blacks do not hold their black leaders responsible for anything. Or, at least, not a majority of black voters. In Detroit, they are happy to let a do-nothing Mayor continue-on, while the city disintegrates as long as the guy, is black. Rampant crime? Horrible schools? Decaying neighborhoods? As long as the black man is in power (in City Council, on the school boards, in the Mayor’s office, as the Police Chief, and as State Representatives), everything is OK.

Finally, the part where I explain why I’ll never vote for a black President of the United States; because there is absolutely no chance that a conservative black individual will EVER reach an elected position of power. Certainly not in any of the traditionally black cities. If a black man or woman has even a whiff of conservatism about him, he or she gets branded an Uncle Tom. "Black" politics can only be liberal Democrat. I suppose, in the end, this is a minor point. But, hey, it was the middle of the night.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Crap Next Door


P1110763
Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
River Rat gave me a great idea (he sent along this picture) for a new Friday feature (since no one is EVER around on Fridays, might as well just through up a picture.)

I'm going to have to start bombarding you guys with pictures of the abandoned and crack houses from Detroit. Doesn't this sound like FUN!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oooooh, what do I see here?

On my doorstep, I just found a "complimentary" copy of The Michigan Citizen, with the slogan "America's Most Progressive Community Newspaper" on it's masthead. Is "Michigan" a "community"? Oh, but let's not quibble. I'm sure this is going to be FUN.

Update - already, sorry. But, on page two, I find a story entitled "Gore Vidal says Bush has lied to the world." Isn't that just precious? But, it gets better. Because guess WHERE Vidal said this? Not JUST in Havana, but in the Che Guevara Hall. It's hard to say what is my favorite part, but this sure is good:

"In reality," Vidal stressed, "there has never been nor will there ever be democracy in the U.S., nor are there adequate political parties because the founding fathers wanted it that way."

From CUBA he makes this pronouncement.

Minimum Wage Bull

Today in my local newspaper is the following letter (to the editor):

It is past time to raise the minimum wage. A minimum-wage worker earns $10,712 a year working full-time. Those efforts bring them to less than half of the poverty level for a family of four. An increase to $7.25 an hour would help more than 12 million low-income people, mostly women, by an additional $4,400 per year.
The average chief executive makes 821 times the average minimum wage worker. That is obscene.


My first question, is how someone could possible expect to be the chief breadwinner for a family of four, if the only makes minimum wage? Assuming the father holds this status, perhaps mom should consider going out and getting a job as well? That would double the house-hold income to almost $22,000 a year, and VIOLA, they are out of poverty (the 2006 HHS poverty guide lines rank the level, for a family of 4, to be at 20,000).

Of course, to back this up a bit, perhaps an individual who only makes minimum wage should hold-off on the whole marriage and family routine for a while. For a single person, the poverty level is a meagre $9,800, so that minimum wage job is already keeping them above that lower thresh hold. He (or she) might not be living large, but with a room-mate, and a used car (I didn't have a new car until I was 27, and even then it was "our" car, as in the new car, shared by a married couple), I'm sure he, our minimum-wage-earner, can struggle by for a while until he either get a raise, or finds a new job. That is simply the natural order of things.

Now, the letter-writer compares our minimum-wage earners to chief executives. I'd like to compare them to something else; Hollywood stars.

Nicole Kidman made 14.5 million in 2005, which is 1353 TIMES what your poor minimum wage-earner made. How is THAT for obscene? But, this is kind of fun. Johnny Depp made 3457 times what the minimum-wage earner made! Damn, I hope that our minimum wager earner didn't waste any of his cash seeing Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean movies, because that would certainly be obscene.

Of course, I am being ridiculous, because we don't compare - we can't compare - minimum wage earners to Hollywood stars (or NBA or NFL players, or other performers), because everyone knows that Hollywood stars care about the little man (by doing things such as calling Bush "Hitler" who used Katrina to kill brown people), while chief executives are just greedy corporate hogs who only achieved their largess by stepping on the backs of their fellow man.

Water+Children+Keyboard=

No blogging or emailing.

I think this baby is just about all dried out now. Took two days.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apparently ...

Steve thought up the idea to start a diet on the New Year (and post about it), so I guess I'm gonna have to fold.

OH WAIT, no he didn't. And, as I go through my records, Steve started posting about his diet 1.8.07, while I began mine on 1.2.07.

EAT THAT, Steve.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007

Quick Hits

Trying to stay motivated this morning, but I'll try to get back and post a cat picture or something.

Hope everyone's new diets are going well. Blue Girl dropped a few suggestions into comments, and here's mine: eat an apple, orange, or veggie snack about 45 minutes before mealtime. When I don't do this, I get too hungary to care about losing weight.

Self report? Well, I'm down 2.5 lbs, and have been doing my cardio workouts all this week. I've totally sucked, though, on weight/resistance sessions. As in, I haven't done them. Oh well, can't be perfect right out of the gate, right?

Anyway, I saw a bit of the swearing-in session yesterday, and I think I vomited a little in my mouth.

Movies: Slither- horror, but with a sense of humor. A tad high in the gross-out factor, but I enjoyed it. Of course Nathon Fallon was in it ...

On the bridge for today: sorting clothes, driving books and (aforementioned) clothes to the Salvation Army, bank, haircut, shoes for two children.

Home again, then catblogging (if I can fit it in, of course), and finally a workout. Ready? Break!

If I have ANY time left over, perhaps I'll go back over to Hot Fudge Detroit. I haven't yet figure those guys out, but never the less they are pretty entertaining.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hump Day Catblogging


DSC00795
Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
Iggie's napping spot for this week.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Books, Glorious Books

First on the list for my "Get My Sh*t" together Resolution (which, technically falls under Resolution #2- part of that accomplish more, set daily goals dealo), is to sort through all my books. I have books everywhere; in my bed room, in the living room, in the attic, and a whole crapload in the basement.

So ... everything is going into boxes. The only ones to be spared are those 1)on my immediate reading list, and 2) our school books. This is just an awful project for me, because I start out with good intentions, and then I come across a book I haven't seen in ages ... I open it just a bit to peek. Next thing you know, the book has just been transformed from the "pack-it-away" pile to the "I-might-want-to-look-at-it" (ever increasing) pile.

New Year's Resolutions?

I know people hate these things, but as I heard someone say on the radio the other day, it is better to make 'em and break 'em, than to not make them at all.

So, here goes:

1) Lose (at least) 20 pounds. I joined weight watchers, and here I am on day two still surviving.

2) Accomplish more on a daily basis. Waste less time. Set daily goals.

3) Spend this week retooling our educational set-up, and begin the year on a high note. Enjoy more. Take more field trips. Stress less, learn more.

Anyway, I think that's enough to start with.

Crapfest Never Ends


craptastic_1
Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
This one was taken by Krista, who apparently was caught in the act by the home owner.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Late Entry


100_2608
Originally uploaded by Carinroz.
In my Craptastic Extravaganza. From my uncle Martin. This overachieving display can be found in Troy, New York.