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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe, maybe not

Friday was my last day in the classroom. There was a nice reception in the teacher's lounge and we're still eating sheetcake that was left over and I brought home. I received the bronze statue of three horses (we're the mustangs) and the well wishes of my students and fellow staff memebers. I'm not officially retired until Thursday and have to do grades on Wednesday. The man taking over for me should do well and the students shouldn't miss a beat with me gone, which is a good thing.
While reading over all the retirement paperwork I discovered that I can go back next year if I want. The only real reason for leaving was financial and once the bankruptcy if finalized in May there's nothing to stop me from going back for as long a I still have fun.
This could really just become an extra long summer vacation for me.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Healthcare is finally voted on, but still has a few hurdles. Most of the provisions don't go into effect until 2014 so it's going to be a slow process. This is good. Rushed legislations, like the American Patriot Act is usually bad legislation.
I wish it had a public option and would have preferred a single payer plan, but we got more than the nuckle dragging neanderthal tea baggers want.

The republicans were against social security and foretold the end of the world if passed. They fought Medicare and Medicaid tooth and nail saying that it would bankrupt our country, and it passed. Both of those positive social programs have increased the quality and quantity of the people in this country and have become the third rail of politics. You touch it you die. That more than anything is why the corporations and their lackeys have fought so hard and been so rabid against this bill. Maybe the voters will learn that only progress improves the well being in this country.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fun While It Lasted

Lobos got beat by Washington yesterday. Still their first season winning 30 games had the town buzzing. New Mexico State was beat by Michigan State, so the big dance is over for us this year.

I was supposed to be in a tournament yesterday, but they postponed it until today because of snow. It's sunshiny and nice now. I'm hoping to have a nice outing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Gripe with CBS

Tried to watch the Lobo game last night. The problem was that they kept cutting over to other games. I know they want to show the last minute of a close game, but in basketball the last minute can last for twenty with all the free throws and time outs. Meanwhile on the game you're wanting to watch when you get back there's quite a bit missing. I mean the Lobos are up by 14, they cut away and when you back Montana has closed it to within 2 points, then they cut away again. They at least showed the last five minutes and it was very exciting, but I'd have enjoyed seeing the whole game.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wrong Analogy

I've waited a couple of weeks to post this. One I wanted to cool down and two I wanted to think over what I'm saying.

Chris Rock made a surprise appearance on Bill Maher a couple of weeks ago. The topic was health care. He made the analogy that health care reform is like people who've paid for first class on an airplane being upset when others who haven't get upgraded.

This analogy is totally wrong when it comes to health care because the true analogy is that the taxpayers are the ones paying for those in first class and paying to sit in coach and half way through the flight getting shoved out without a parachute.
Medicare and Medicaid are both paid for by tax payers. To qualify for the first you have to be over 65 years of age. To qualify for the second you have to be poor.
The working class pays for this medical care and have to pay for private insurance through their employers or go without. Those self-employed that try to get insurance find it exorbitant in the extreme.

Personal example:
We have a good health plan, not through the schools, but through my wife's employer. My daughter spent an hour in an emergency room, had an ultrasound and a unit of blood, then transferred to the hospital had minor surgery and a two day stay. The health plan payed the bulk of the costs, but what was left over swamped us financially and forced me to retire early and declare bankruptcy.
Contrast that with my mother who was in the emergency room for a day, six days in the hospital and ten days of rehabilitation. With Medicare, payed for by taxpayers and a supplemental plan that is a considerable cost to her, she has only the ambulance bill to fight over. I do not begrudge the medicare plan that helps my mother. Financially it was a life saver for her and without it she would have died. I do not begrudge the medicaid that helps my son and his two children.
Still the working class shouldn't have to pay for everyone else's health care and then be denied the care they need or get wiped out financially. There needs to be a level playing field here. Medicare for all or a single payer system is the only fair system, and it is the kind of health care that almost all the other industrialized countries in the world have and in those countries the number of bankruptcies due to health costs are zero. In the U.S. I've become one of the 150,000 families forced into this situation.

On a side note: Thanks George W. for changing the bankruptcy laws that have forced me to retire and lower my income so I can declare bankruptcy. The gift that keeps on giving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Little Fall

We were just getting ready to leave for Church today when Mom called. She'd gone to early church and fell right on the knee she had replaced in September. I went over and she was icing it down. Doesn't seem to be much damage as she was able to walk on it and there wasn't any swelling.
I brought her over here and we had a nice lasagna dinner then watched three hours of the John Adams mini-series she's never seen. She was getting a little stiff by the time I took her home. She's going to call her doctor tomorrow and will most likely get some e-rays taken on her knee to make sure there no other damage.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feeling Human Again

There is something about this time of year. I had a bad cold last year during Spring Break and this last week I've had another bad one. I guess one bad cold a year isn't too bad, but I'd kind of hoped I'd dodged the bullet this year. At least it's over with before Spring Break so it won't ruin my plans of golfing that week.

Winter doesn't seem to want to let go. We had a sprinkling of snow today with another storm supposed to hit tonight. The wind is what makes everything so cold. I do hope it warms up for the weekend.

Friday, March 05, 2010


As it stands now, March 26 will be my last day in the classroom. I'm not retiring because I'm burned out, tired of the job or even want to retire. The dear Corporats changed the bankruptcy laws and if I work I make too much money to declare bankruptcy, if I retire I can. That's a crappy way to end a career. Daughter was in the hospital in January. There is no way we can pay the bills accumulated after the insurance pays its 80%. It declined to pay the emergency room and that bill alone sank us.
Assistant principal showed me a resume of a young man who's just finished his student teaching in December that's applied for the position. I wish him well. It will be a good foot in the door for him.
I've spent three weeks cleaning out over twenty-five years of accumulated teaching supplies. Maps, posters, interact lessons, books and have distributed them to others in the department. The room looks rather bare and my wardrobe is practically empty. There a big book case of stuff and a few other things I'll leave for my replacement. A hell of a lot more than what I had the first day I walked into a totally bare classroom in November of 1982.
The other teachers tell me that they can see a change in me since I applied for retirement. I look a lot less stressed. Well no shit Sherlock. I haven't had to attend all the crap pd meetings to learn how to be a better teacher! Some things I won't miss. I will really miss the students. God how I'll miss the students, even the ones that just want to sleep, text or listen to music. I'll miss them.