10.28.2008

I'm with them.

Charles Krauthammer took many of the words out of my mouth. I was going to do a long post on my vote and why I chose to vote the way I did.


I could tell you how I am fundamentally opposed to the concept of "income redistribution". You want money? Work for it. If you are truly unable to work, the role of the government isn't to coddle you or pay for you to sit and do nothing. The role of the government is to make it POSSIBLE for you to do SOMETHING.


That's it. Nothing more.


Those that are unWILLING to work for themselves are NOT entitled to MY money or that of my neighbor, my pastor, my doctor, or my financial advisor. And, while I find it deplorable that CEOs of failed companies are walking away with millions of dollars while their investors are watching their investments shrink faster than my wool sweater in the dryer, the ONLY people to blame there are the boards that authorized the payments in the first place. It does NOT entitle ANYONE to claim the profits of any large corporation as their own, simply because they want them.


Instead, Krauthammer brings my focus back to the biggest reason my vote was cast for John McCain...


Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?



The rest, as they say, is gravy.


McCain's selection of Sarah Palin has excited me about politics in a way that nothing ever has in the past. I could try to articulate my thoughts on Mrs. Palin and her candidacy for the Vice Presidency but Lex does it SO much better (as usual). Thanks, Lex.


I'm done discussing politics. I'm done thinking about politics. I've voted. My opinions will not change anyone's mind if they haven't already done so. I hope you all vote. Regardless of who you cast your vote for, I hope you vote.




Pau.




- hfs

10.24.2008

Guess what I did today?

I voted.


Thank goodness for the state of Alaska and their decision to allow voting by fax!




Pau.




- hfs

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children

My daughter started Kindergarten when she was just 4. She's not particularly gifted (well, I think she is but I'm biased) but the state we live in has a very relaxed age requirement for children starting Kindergarten. She she started when she was just 4. When we get ready to leave this state and move to another state, my daughter faces the possibility that the new school she will start at might very well hold her back for no reason other than her age.


Never mind the fact that she can read at a 5th grade level (she's in 2nd grade). Never mind the fact that she is doing just fine in 2nd grade math, language arts, social studies, and science. But because she did not turn 7 until several months into the school year this year, she could be placed a grade back. Military students face this possibility, and many others just like it, every day.


Thankfully there exists a piece of legislation aimed at easing transitions for military children switching schools. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children adheres to an armed forces adage: Recruit the servicemember, but retain the family.



Developed by the Council of State Governments, education experts and the Defense Department, the Compact on Education Transition for Military Children addresses common problems that affect military students as a result of frequent moves and deployments.

According to the Council on State Governments,




Military families move between postings on a regular basis. While reassignments can often be a boon for career personnel, they often wreak havoc on the children of military families. Issues these children face include: losing and making new friends, adjusting to new cities and bases, and changing schools. While the armed services have taken great leaps to ease the transition of personnel, their spouses and most importantly children, much remains to be done at the state and local levels to ensure that the children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals by inflexible administrative and bureaucratic practices.


The average military student faces transition challenges more than twice during high school, and most military children will have six to nine different school systems in their lives from kindergarten to 12th grade. With more than half of all military personnel supporting families, the impacts of reassignment and long deployments are key considerations when making long-term life choices.




Specific impacts on military children include:




  • Transfer of Records

  • Course Sequencing

  • Graduation Requirements

  • Exclusion from Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Redundant or Missed Entrance/Exit Testing

  • Kindergarten and First Grade Entrance Age Variations

  • Power of Custodial Parents While Parents are Deployed


The new Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children addresses these issues, as well as compact enforcement, administration, finances, communications, data sharing and training.


Specifically, the compact will address four key areas:




  • Enrollment

  • Placement

  • Eligibility

  • Graduation Requirements


Compacts such as this one are the most powerful, durable, and adaptive tool for ensuring cooperative action among states. The develop and enforce standards while providing an adaptive structure that can evolve to meet new and increased demands over time. Unlike federal solutions that often dictate unfunded mandates, interstate compacts provide a state-developed structure for collaborative and dynamic action and can often preempt federal interference.


This compact became active when the 10th state enacted it. Currently, there are 11 states that have enacted this compact:




  • Arizona

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Michigan

  • Missouri

  • North Carolina

  • Oklahoma


It has passed one chamber of legislature in four more states and will be considered by at least six more in 2009.

Should you like to learn more about this compact, I would encourage you to watch the video that the Council of State Governments has up - it is incredibly informative. And if your state has not yet already enacted this compact, I would highly encourage you to learn more about this compact and to contact your state representatives and urge them to do so.






Cross-posted at MilitaryConnection.com




Pau.




- hfs

10.23.2008

Stalled. And slammed.

Please forgive the paucity of posting lately. I was stalled before my dad died and his passing has just kind of knocked me back on my heels a bit.

Work has picked up, which is good. But I'm finding that I am stingy with my free time and jumping back into the working world isn't as easy as I thought. But the money is good so I can't complain.

MacGyver is still home on convalescent leave. His shoulder is healing nicely, as far as I can tell. He'll start physical therapy in a few weeks. In the mean time, he's trying to find things to keep himself busy which can be interesting. Currently, he's trying to repair our dead fridge which has led him to an instructional video on YouTube given by a guy in India about repairing refrigerator compressors.

MacGyver has outsourced himself to India. Lovely.

Went camping with a bunch of the teens from church. I like camping (definitely my father's daughter on this one. Mom doesn't do activities that don't have running water and indoor plumbing.) and we had a blast. Literally. I think I lost a few freckles from all of the blowing sand (we camped at the beach). But it was a blast, nonetheless.

The FRG is coming along pretty well. Several spouses have stepped up to get involved which has been a huge blessing. My co-leader (yay!) has more ideas than there are minutes in the day and is an excellent salesperson, solicitor, and volunteer-getter. I'm just the admin. Which is just fine with me.

I've stepped up to take on the Military Ministry at our church and we kick that off here soon. I'm hoping to do just half as well as the woman that started this ministry and I'm excited to be doing this BEFORE my husband deploys again next year.

And, in case I didn't have enough to do with my free time (all 13 seconds of it!) I've also agreed to head up the Christmas play. Whee!

Is it New Year's yet?!?


Seriously. I'm tapped. I'm trying to cut a few things out - the side job, gymnastics for the kids, etc. but I still feeling like I'm treading water in combat boots. I'm sure part of this is the fallout from dad dying? I don't know. Again, I apologize for the lack of posting. I'm stalled.




Pau.




- hfs

10.15.2008

Because I have nothing better to do with my time...

I'll be live-blogging the debate over at Chuck's place. Should be interesting...




Pau.




-hfs

Hugh Hewitt is stalking me.

First, it was at Blog World Expo. Now he's HERE.


Stop it Hugh! There has to be something more constructive to do with your time.


On a more serious note, I want to say thank you for all of the kindness you've shown me and my family over the past week. Even though my Dad was 80 and not in the best of health, I miss him terribly and I know my mom misses him even more. Your prayers, flowers, kind thoughts...they all mean the world to me and my family. Thank you. I'll tell you more about my dad when I'm able to do so without crying on my keyboard.


In the meantime, Hugh...you really need to find a more constructive outlet for your life thank stalking me!




Pau.




- hfs

10.06.2008

Daddy

Photobucket



1928-2008


I woke up crying late at night
when I was very young.
I had dreamed my father
had passed away and gone.

My world revolved around him
I couldnt lay there anymore.
So I made my way down the mirrored hall
and tapped upon his door.

And I said "Daddy, I'm so afraid
how will I go on with you gone that way?
Don't wanna cry anymore
so may I stay with you?"

And he said "That's my job,
that's what I do.
Everything I do is because of you,
To keep you safe with me.
That's my job you see."

Later we barely got along
this teenage boy and he.
Most of the fights it seems
were over different dreams,
we each held for me.

He wanted knowledge and learning.
I wanted to fly out west.
Said, "I could make it out there
if I just had the fare.
I got half, will you loan me the rest?"

And I said "Daddy, I'm so afraid,
there's no guarantee in the plans
I've made and if I should fail,
who will pay my way back home?"

And he said "That's my job
that's what I do.
Everything I do is because of you
to keep you safe with me.
That's my job you see."

Every person carves his spot
and fills the hole with light.
And I pray someday I might
light as bright as he.

Woke up early one bright fall day
to spread the tragic news.
After all my travel, I settled down
within a mile or two.

I make my living with words and rhyme
and all this tragedy
Should go into my head and out instead
as bits of poetry.

But I say "Daddy, I'm so afraid,
how will I go on with you gone this way?
How can I come up with a song to say
I love you?"

That's my job, That's what I do
Everything I do is because of you
to keep you safe with me.
That's my job you see.
Everything I do is because of you
to keep you safe with me.



I'll miss you, Daddy. I love you.




Pau.




- hfs

10.04.2008

Fifteen Years




Fifteen years. As a commenter said over at Blackfive, they were in a place they shouldn't have been doing something for a man in the White House not worthy to command them. Without the support they deserved or needed.


Yet they went anyway.


1st SFOD-D

MSG Gary Gordon

SFC Randy Shughart

SSG Daniel Busch

SFC Earl Fillmore

SFC Matt Rierson

MSG Tim "Griz" Martin

75th Ranger Regiment

SGT Dominick Pilla

CPL Jamie Smith

SPC James Cavaco

SGT Casey Joyce

PFC Richard Kowalewski

SGT Lorenzo Ruiz

Task Force 160 (SOAR)


SSG William Cleveland

SSG Thomas Field

CWO Ray Frank

CWO Elvis Wolcott

CWO Donovan Briley




Pau.




- hfs

10th Mountain Division

SGT Cornell Houston

PFC James Martin

10.03.2008

New Pet

Blogging is going to remain light. MacGyver just had his rotator cuff worked on and is home recuperating (I swear, that word is spelled wrong and needs an 'o' before the 'u'...). In the meantime, I get to play Nurse Nancy. I'll let you all wonder if that position comes with a uniform...


During the course of my crazy day today while picking up my car at the hospital (MacGyver drove himself to his surgery because my schedule didn't allow me to drive him myself. Therefore I had to then be driven to the hospital to pick up the car before I picked him up 7 hours later.), I came to realize that there was a screw embedded in my right front tire (passenger side).


Lovely.


Drove it home with no problem. When I got the call to go pick MacGyver up from the hospital, the tire was still fine and no idiot lights on the dash came on to alert me to any problem. Of course, by the time we came back out to the car, the tire had begun to deflate (I think I dislodged the screw on the way back to the hospital) and my idiot light was on.


Yay.


I stopped at a gas station and filled it back up and we limped home. Sometime either this weekend or next week I will take either the wheel (if I can find time to swap it out with the spare) or the entire car to the shop on post to have them either fix the tire or replace it.


JUST what I want to spend $100+ on right now. Whee.


Anyway, (there is a point to the story) I went out to swap cars around so that I can drive MacGyver's car to take the kids to school this evening. It's a manual so HE isn't going to be driving it for at least 6 weeks. I popped the garage door open and as I went to step out - BAREFOOT - I happened to look down...


I about wet myself. I literally was about to step on the nasty little (well, not so little) bugger. He's a good six inches. I managed to leap out of the way and NOT scream like a little girl at the top of my lungs though there was a loud gasp. They are FAST suckers...something I did not know. He scurried about while I tried to figure out what to do about - or TO - him. Finally I decided to sweep him up into a bucket because I don't want to just shoo him away and have him lurking about my house. Nor did I feel like busting out to the blowtorch and cooking him right then and there. Though that is the fate most likely to befall him.


So he's currently sitting in a bucket (no, he cannot scale the sides and escape) out in my front yard. Tomorrow, when MacGyver is a little more lucid, I'll break out the blowtorch and do away with him.


The cool thing is that, now that I've had an up close and personal experience with a centipede, cockroaches really aren't all that scary anymore.



UPDATE: He's still in the bucket. I made MacGyver go and look at him and he was impressed with it's size and the fact that I managed to a.) not scream like a girl and b.) get him into the bucket. I'm liking the bleach idea mentioned in the comments more than I like the idea of cooking him. We'll see. The kids were impressed with him too and announced that neither of them were afraid of centipedes...in buckets.

As for the tire...it's still flat but I did pick up a repair kit per Sly's suggestion. We'll fix it this weekend. Which is good because I miss my car and I'm not a big fan of driving MacGyver's.






Pau.




- hfs