28 April 2014

Monday Musings...
If your favorite color is GRAY (or even GREY), then you will most certainly find TODAY to your liking.
It's doubtful if we'll see the sun around here with rain rolling through the area, but it could be worse, like those poor folks in Arkansas had to deal with this weekend with tornado activity killing at least 17 people. You really hate the start the week on a downer, but life can, at times, be cruel that way.
Our Hoosierland weather will find us mostly wet (it IS still April, until Friday that is), and that will be having us chase around getting the lawnmowers ready to roll once again.
Temps will top out in the low 60s, and tomorrow promises to be warmer still, before it cools back down for the rest of the week.
So, feel free to cozy up to that morning cup of your favorite beverage as we take a look at what's been going on and what I've been pondering.
*** You know that I love to take photographs (almost as much as CWM does...lol)...been doing so fo a LONG time...when we used to rely solely on something called FILM.
(and drugstores to develop them)
It's been one of those "back-burner" hobbies of mine since I was in high school, when I managed to grow out of the Kodak "Brownie"and "Instamatic" (flash-cube) camera age.
Spent a lot of time along the East coast rails getting pictures of various trains on the mainlines back there (among other places), and taking many rolls of pictures and a LOT of slides of all kinds of stuff.
From "Mother Russia" comes a FULLY MANUAL camera
I miss using a single lens reflex camera, like my never-fail (made in the USSR - don't ask or I have to make you "go away"Zenit-E, or even my very handy and just as reliable Canon Sureshot.
A really good, solid auto camera in it's day.
And I like taking pics of the my "woodland friends" as well as the garden.
So, it's one of those things that I not only take a good bit of pride in, but enjoy a lot (photos of the ghettohood excluded - keeping track of the locals...well, that's more like a "job"...)
Anyway, the other day I want to get some patio "wildlife" pics, and when I fire up that Aiptek camera...I promptly got NOTHING.
Posing for pictures is THIRSTY work.
Got a blank screen and none of the buttons work to get the menus up.
Swapped the batteries out, STILL nothing. Even lightly smacked the camera, figuring it was some electronic glitch...nope, will not function. All of a sudden, it goes bye-bye...gotta love that.
Good thing it wasn't needed for something REAL IMPORTANT (like a basement flood for example).
Luckily we have TWO backup cameras of the same type (more or less), but that means I've got no "knock-around" camera to tote with me 24/7..
What to do? Well, it's eBay to the rescue (as usual).
Found a pawn shop (of all places) in Minnesota that had a similar camera (used of course) but promising to look and work great.
(that's good to know - working great is WAY better than NOT working AT ALL, hmm?).
I snagged that bugger for UNDER $20! You get lucky sometimes. Here's hoping.
A good basic camera for digital pics.
Still, I would "like" to get a more professional camera with a better zoom than a paltry 4x, but I don't want one that has a battery "pack", because they can only be charged SO many times before they give up the ghost and then you gotta pay out the wazoo for another PACK. Give me the old AA battery-powered ones any day. I can always find those batteries anywhere, and for cheap.
I DO like the fact that digital photos cost SO much less than film and you get them immediately.
Now THAT'S a  REAL bargain - No getting around THAT.
Moving on...
*** I hear that our national Public Schools have hit a millstone...I mean MILEstone.
((rolls eyes))
They've reached an (...drum roll, please...) 80% graduation rate!?!
Maybe, it's due to...MAGIC???
(Any pigeons being loosed? No trumpets sounding?)
Here's the story link from Newsday:
Now, I take this several ways, coming from a public educational system that, for all intents and purposes, graduated AS MANY if not MORE students in my day.
It makes me wonder what happened to lower that rate since I was in school?
It is so bright we gotta wear SHADES?
Also, when I hear about "new calculation" methods, the hairs on the back of my neck start to stand up, for I fear some statistical manipulation might be in the offing.
On top of that, can we truthfully say that the graduates of TODAY know MORE (overall) than their counterparts from say 45-50 years ago?
We have been busy dumbing DOWN the kids for decades, purely for the sake of diversity and "fairness", and perhaps these new calculation methods have managed to level whatever playing field we (as a society) have created in that time, but are the kids really SMARTER?
Sure, the smart kids will always be just that, but what about all the Johnny and Jane "Averages" out there.
Are THEY doing better, or have we made it appear as if they are by lowering the STANDARDS?

Spending MORE - getting LESS?
Considering (as I have mentioned here a few times) we spend MORE per student than ANY other developed nation, and YET...according to 2012 stats, there are TWENTY-NINE other nations and jurisdictions that outperformed OUR kids in MATH, while TWENTY-TWO educational systems outperformed our kids in SCIENCE, and in reading there were NINETEEN other nations besting our kids.
Here's the story that backs THIS claim up:
But, we ARE graduating "more", right?
I'm just feeling like I've taken another go-round in the hall of MIRRORS...lots of images, but all false ones. Toss in some SMOKE to make it better.
Somehow, we're not being told ALL the truth, just that much of it that makes certain aspects of the educational system "look good", and that seems to be what it's ALL about these day...looking good.
With fewer jobs available (manufacturing and assorted grunt work ain't what it used to be, people), the need for more specified people to fill those more specified jobs is rising damn near exponentially, and one has to wonder IF we're producing the best people FOR such positions?
And you can't even get into that secondary education, because too many colleges have developed a left-leaning political agenda, but you get what you pay out-the-nose for in that regard
I suppose time will tell where this is all headed (as it always does).
*** We heard about how Georgia has revamped their gun laws IN FAVOR of the law-abiding gun owner with new CCP laws...now Ohio seems to be following suit to some degree.
Here's the story link:
Must be something to our fearless leader in D.C. becoming the nations #1 gun salesperson!
(6 years running, too).
Funny how he NEVER touts THAT distinction?
The main contention for the anti gun lobbyists in Ohio is the whole "gun-free zone" issue.
Advocates say that business owners have the right to limit (or deny) firearms on their business properties, and that's fine. There is no law that says you HAVE to have a gun anyplace...it's the business owner's discretion.
But, let's not forget that criminals have NO problem with toting a gun ANYPLACE at ANY TIME, w/o a CCP.
And usually THEIR motive is not to uphold any law, but rather BREAK a few.
Maybe we mean it...maybe we DON'T.
Criminals will target gun-free zones, because they know they can operate with impunity.
I say put a gun-free zone SIGN in the window (as a ploy), and when the perps come in to rob the place, it becomes like a "roach-motel" - criminals walk in, but they don't walk out...(they get carried out).
Now THAT sounds like a plan to me.
*** Last back to the garage today, we talked about some of the "cultures" this nations has, and none of them are purely representative of what could be called the AMERICAN culture.Our GUN culture comes about as close as one can get, but we have so many others posing as cultures, when in fact, they are adjuncts to a larger part of what passes for culture in this nation these days.
We have become a culture that is comfortable with drug use (legalizing marijuana, while new studies tout adverse effects on the brain), and we've taken perverse music and media as "mainstream", having the audacity to call it "art".
We have subjected our children to predators on our streets,rising violent behavior, broken families, and a secular humanist manner of conducting one's life, relying more on self (or preferably, the government) than a higher authority.
We have become too reliant upon whatever technology we can dream up and market, rather than remaining self-reliant as generations before us managed to do (and quite well).
We (as a society) spend so much more and get so much less (for everything from groceries to gas to education), and pat ourselves on the back when we see nominal advancement and proclaim it's worthiness, instead of it's worthlessness.
What is needed is a serious look at what WORKS, and what does not, and we all have to begin to never settle for less when we can achieve more (as we USED to do).
THAT is what makes a nation great...and keeps it there
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John DuMond said...

"...I fear some statistical manipulation might be in the offing."

Wow, Bob, you're cynical. Next you'll be telling us that the unemployment numbers are being cooked. ;)

Bob G. said...

John D.:
(Just messin' with 'ya - you're 100% right...LOL)
I AM the cynic's cynic.

Yes, that "fragrance" you've noticed is all those tomes in that huge lobster pot on the stove...!
(someone turned up the heat - heh)

Hey, thanks for stopping by today to comment.

Roll safe out there.

CWMartin said...

The exhausted Mr Martin has a couple things to say:

1. As we watch, Mississippi is getting worse than what Arkansas did. Been praying most awake moments of the afternoon.

2.Har! You make light of my chargeable batteries and your camera takes a crap! Karma will get you...

3. All you need to know about the quality of todays graduates, you can find at any factory, any government office, on any new TV series.

Bob G. said...

1-- Yeah, those libtard followers of "the O" have to stop playing with that HAARP array in Alaska.
It's harming the nation.
2-- My ONE camera took the big "dirt-nap"...we still have TWO more (and another two coming in the post...HAH!)
3-- And in EVERY fast-food joint down here...well, those that DID graduate.
The rest just meander about causing chaos when they're not warming that throwaway sofa on their (government-sponsored) porch.

Thanks for stopping by today and commenting.,
You stay safe up there.