Tuesday, April 29, 2008
So I just have to say, that the School Board has quite a job to do. I think that it has to prove a lot. I also think it will fall flat on it's face. The inevitable progress has not been shown from projects past. So I'm wondering how long does the Board get a pass, and how long before people start to question them. Just to help anyone who has suddenly become more civic minded...
BEAUFORT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION:
Regular meetings of Beaufort County School Board are broadcast live 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6 PM. Meetings are unedited replayed at varying times in the schedule.
Copied straight from the WJWJ website. Watch. Listen. Learn.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:59 AM
Monday, April 28, 2008
Well I don't really have a lot to say. It's one of those mornings, the kind where you wake up two hours before you have to, try to go back to sleep, but yet still feel tired. That's me today. The referendum passed, I guess that means a new shiny laptop in my future. Actually, for those that support the referendum, and this is a person that speaks as a parent AND a spouse, you just don't know what you did. I can't feel good about it, but I understand. Just don't come back to me, or others like me when what they promised, doesn't come to pass.
Maybe people are just planning on staying a few years, then moving when they can. That's what I think anyway. Most people find out that this really isn't paradise. But that's just me. Now I got to go dig up some coffee or something, sooo tired.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 8:22 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I have an older brother who is 5 years older than me and a cousin who is 4 years older than me. I also have myriads of sisters (6) plus a younger brother but this isn't about them. These two were basically hell on wheels, and when they got together it only got worse. Of course I was the victim in many of their misdeeds because I was younger and for some strange reason, wouldn't rat them out. My cousin is now a fugitive of the law, I think they want him in 4 or 5 different states mostly on drug or DUI charges, my brother was smarter, he grew up.
I'm reminded of one of my first childhood memories of the two (my brother and cousin) together. See we went to dad's house on the weekend. And our cousin, my father's sister's kid, liked us, plus I'm sure she couldn't wait to get rid of him, so anyway we were all at my dad's house, except my dad wasn't because he was going out... if you know what I mean. (the night time was his time, during the day we were all his)
My father left us in the care of older sisters. I was probably 3 or 4. Anyway these two geniuses decided to make a camp fire, in my father's bedroom closet, with his Playboy magazines. Can you imagine??? I was in the room because my sisters had their boyfriends over or what ever. And I can hear them with matches... MATCHES, trying to start a fire. At some point they went to a lighter, and I remember seeing a flame along side my dad's dresser. Lucky for everyone that this two idiots couldn't get anything ablaze... this time.
Well my oldest sister comes in to check on us and.... she says "I smell smoke" she then calls my other sister and confirms that yes, she too smells smoke. The "I smell smoke" thing repeated again and again. I mean so much so that it's a bit of joke all these years later. "Do you smell smoke? I smell smoke. What about you?" "No I don't smell smoke." Maybe the beating they got from it just made it even more memorable or maybe it's just me.
Really, my childhood would probably not win any awards. Often times I got beat on because of something my brother did, or everybody would get a beating, sometimes for nothing. Then again, he might not do anything, and that was why my brother was always willing to at least try anything, because you really didn't know what kind of reaction you were going to get out of the old man.
But I love my dad, and he was going through some things, mainly my mother leaving him, that I couldn't fault him for. Back to my brother, it's crazy to think about now, the egging houses, the ummmm knocking on doors (racial slur, involving the "N" word), the bottle rocket wars, the making of bombs, Setting all kinds of things on fire, not to mention all of the grief and physical harassment brought on me, that I even lived to make it to this point.
But it makes me who I am and I don't think I'd change anything... well maybe not so much trouble from my cousin, but really I don't even think I've seen him in 15 years, so even that I wouldn't change.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I'm not a homophobe in fact I have gay friends and they would agree, the 7am hour of the Disney channel on the weekends, has got to be the gayest hour ever. You wonder why I'm watching the Disney channel anyway? Because I have a two year old, that's why.
We start out with The Wiggles, the Australian quartet that have swept the nation. Jeff is sleeping, Anthony is hungry, Maury is playing music and Greg doesn't really do anything. This group would be ok, if it were not for Captain Feather Sword, he is the Antichrist. Him and maybe Dorthy the Dinosaur. One zucchini, one tomato too...
The next show is Johnny and the Sprites. I can not stand this Broadway wannabe. What kills me is the way Johnny pulls out the guns... all the time. You know what I mean, when some one uses their hands as a gun. This is something I simply cannot forgive, and something very prevalent in Broadway. I don't think someone could walk a Persian cat on a rhinestone leash across the stage and look gayer than this show.
The kicker? My daughter absolutely loves both of these shows, LOVES them. So I have one hour if gay on TV. I'm ok with that.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 8:39 AM
Friday, April 25, 2008
All this hubbub about a cat, I don't know. I mean really his side of the story has yet to be heard, but in paper he looks guilty as hell.... but that is on paper. Let me tell you about a teenage boy (me) who loved animals.
One day I was in a hurry, and I wasn't watching what I was doing. Meanwhile a momma cat had her kittens under the porch steps. In a hurry, probably to see my girlfriend I run down the steps, and on the last step I feel a crunch. Yep, I just killed a kitten. Stupid me, for not thinking, but he was still dead. That crunch is unforgettable.
Never mind that I used to watch my brother shoot cats (we had a feral/tame colony) for fun. In fact he'd shoot them, then pet them a couple of hours later and you could feel the BB's under the skin. Yes I think that is horrible, but that does change the fact that it happened. And cats are just like that.
Back to the dead kitten. I took it over to my grandma who lived with us, and she pronounced what was already painfully obvious that it was dead. But it really didn't mean much to anybody around and I think that is in glaring contradiction to what happened this week. My grandmother made her living off of dead animals. And still to this day I can remember the eyes of deer moving back and forth as she had me cut off the antlers (she was a taxidermist). This was absolutely nothing at all. In fact the momma cat had 5 more kittens, and there was never any shortage of cats anyway.
So hold out until you know the whole story. You never know who might be a cat killer.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:06 PM
The big day is tomorrow... the referendum that is. I can tell you where I stand, because it is a resolutely no position, my wife, a Beaufort County School District employee is a yes position. She knows all the problems with the district, she's even experienced them herself, which is unfortunate. But in her defense more schools mean more jobs, so maybe she'll find a place she likes. Still the referendum of 2006 didn't stop the mobile units from coming. So at my house, it is a standstill. But we haven't come to blows or anything... yet.
Meanwhile I'm trying to convince my wife that maybe private school is the way to go. Because we've seen what happens when we left our older daughter who isn't very school minded, with essentially "dead weight" teachers. And maybe with our second one, we'll stave off any negative feelings, and believe it or not a teacher in the same school as her child is a curse, not a blessing, especially when you consider the dead weight issue.
So I vote no, my wife votes yes, and we both consider taking the problem out of the hands of the school board completely by going private... Now I just have to find a way to make this affordable or even possible.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 12:22 PM
Ok this is not your everyday movie. In fact it took us two days to watch. Anything over two hours is a fairly tall investment to ask someone to make, this movie was just over 3. I think if you take Gandhi for what he's worth, everything will come out, unfortunately we all have preconceived circumstances and that almost always makes us discriminate something.
Gandhi is the purest form of non-violent tolerance. His ability to practice acceptance not only of race, or gender, or religion is great, but he takes it to another level when he bucks the system with even including the untouchables, you can see why there's no other like him. What the man had to go through and the trials he faced is pretty unbelievable. But even more than that, my 2-year-old daughter sat for more than two hours watching this movie. That's insane, but it happened.
I say that while the movie is not exactly a classic, it is worth seeing. Would a 2-year-old lie?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I won't be one to critic a drill, but I do wonder about the scope and effectiveness of this particular drill. I know to properly drill, you can not really worry about money, and it's good that the government is doing this thing, because they always have money to waste. But there were some critical players left out of this drill and some, like the 3,000 National Guard, included that won't be here if/when this really does happen.
Having been a part of the military, I know how what's intended and what is actually delivered is two completely different animals. The military has a tendency to concentrate on the military and that leaves the civilian population wanting something more. Again I'm not faulting anyone, but the scale of this drill has got to make you wonder.
You can't really drill on some things, you can do your best, and all the people involved are clearly doing that, I just wish without having an actual disaster that the real people... the one's too busy doing their job to drill... were more involved.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:00 AM
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I know that the referendum this weekend is coming up, and the buildup to it is pretty much at fever pitch. I think that anyone who has watched the school board on TV and/or been around the school system long enough to feel it work against you, knows how they should vote.
That is not to say that if the referendum passes it will be the end of the world. It would be bad, especially when you think about the school board. There will be, according to my wife, laptops for every teacher, and a smart board for everyone. Silly, but true... maybe.
And there you have it. How can anyone vote against education? Plenty, maybe even enough.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:38 AM
Monday, April 21, 2008
I don't really have anything to talk about today... my youngest daughter has given me her cold. Nice to share isn't it? It seems like these days we can't all be well, organized, and complete. I really don't know why that is other than to say that is a dream. I don't reckon anybody has the "perfect life" but mine has certainly been full of "events" lately.
Still I'll keep plugging on. What else can a guy do?
Posted by Mad Hatter at 8:32 AM
Sunday, April 20, 2008
We went out to Port Royal to check out the soft shelled crab festival. It was nice, the weather was good and for the time we got there, which was toward the beginning crowds were manageable. some things I wondered while there...
Lots of dogs, lots and lots and lots. In fact one owner let one take a dump right behind us and he didn't bother to pick it up. Nice. Anyway while watching all this humanity pass me by, along with accompanying four-legged friends, I watched and I wondered if it was worth the trouble. I mean I have dogs and I've taken them with me, but now I can't help but say... stay home. No sniffing anybody crotch, or getting into fights with other dogs, or god forbid them pooping somewhere.
I actually took my wife to the soft shelled crab fest 3 years ago when we were dating. We haven't been back. Funny how time flies. It was easy to spend $50 without thinking about it. There was some soft shelled crab available. And there was plenty of dancing... if you were 2 or younger. Still it was a good time and nice weather, worth it in my opinion.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:17 AM
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Well we went to TGI3rd Friday, something was off. Some of the stores changed hands or something, the vendors were different, maybe it was the music, but it was not the same. Add to that, the heritage... and it was a virtual ghost town. Too bad, I like to have me something cold and adult to enjoy while I'm listening to the music, but then again... TGI3rdF really wasn't meant for me.
Another thing happened this early morning, I crashed, again. But the whole outcome was completely different. I knew where I was the entire time, as well as who my wife was. I came out fine, or as good as can be expected. Why this is happening escapes me. It's almost like my body is normal, and the insulin I inject is causing problems. I don't know...
Friday, April 18, 2008
So about 5 minutes ago, I pretty much got rid of any negativity that was hiding inside of me....
By riding a pallet jack that's how. Now I'm not recommending that anyone else try it, but it works for me. Think about it, will anyone try to stop to you? no, you're piloting a pallet jack, will someone go out of their way to tell you something, probably not! I can't really explain it, but I and the girl who saw me know it... its just fun, and outside of the rules. I'll do better next time, I promise.
Until otherwise told not to, I say ride `em cowboy!!!
Posted by Mad Hatter at 2:03 PM
There is no classic film today, blame netflix, or improper planning, or whatever but I have no film to review. I do have a sick daughter and it's funny how she can be really sweet and then 10 minutes later become a screaming hellion for no reason whatsoever. At least I don't think there's a reason.
It was time for her medicine, of which she calls her penguin medicine because she has a nebulizer that is shaped like a penguin. Life is simple when your 2. Except not right at that time. She screamed, yelled, threw herself, pretty much everything, but of course she still got the medicine anyway.
My whole deal with diabetes, and my sugar being too low the other day, it's never going to be better but (thanks to a letter sent to me this morning) I think it is going to be Ok. Just saying (and thank you for your letter). I have a doctor's appointment today.
My wife did a presentation yesterday. It involved smart boards. I can say that at first I though it was frilly crap, but seeing how she used it, it really does make it a little easier and more enriching.
So what did we learn? 2-year-olds are temperamental, as are diabetics, and smart boards are pretty good.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:50 AM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I’m going to tell everyone what happened to me but realize that my interpretation is not really concrete. Yesterday I got woken up by EMS, because apparently my wife couldn’t wake me up. Anyway I got woke up, and ate and drank my way into normalcy, because my blood sugar was low. I can’t understand how that happened, but there were two EMS guys there in front of me… so it must have happened. I didn’t know who the woman I pledged to live my life with was. I just have to take that in for a moment. My wife doesn’t seem all that bothered by it, but I do. How can you improve something that you have no control over? When my wife woke me up this morning she asked me if I knew who she was. I answered “aren’t you that porn actress who’s good at blow jobs?” That didn’t go over at all. But even in the greatest of adversity we have to find humor, we simply must.
If you have kept up this blog at all you know that in December I suffered a stroke and a day before the stroke was much like it was yesterday, EMS called because my blood sugar took a plunge. Was all of this happening to me again? One could only wonder and… wait. Of course there was the whole “don’t know your own wife thing” to deal with too. I was, for lack of better words, up the creek without a paddle. My wife was a trooper, and hung tough, but this thing bothers me.
I didn’t know who the woman I pledged to live my life with was. I just have to take that in for a moment. My wife doesn’t seem all that bothered by it, but I do. How can you improve something that you have no control over? When my wife woke me up this morning she asked me if I knew who she was. I answered “aren’t you that porn actress who’s good at blow jobs?” That didn’t go over at all. But even in the greatest of adversity we have to find humor, we simply must.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 8:57 AM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ok here is a very special blogger, and dare I say friend, Peach Blossom, or as I know her simply PB...
What could be better? A house that has been sitting on the market for six months, a reeeeeally enthusiastic emcee, a speed-dating event (for the HOUSE) and a 70's theme party. I see disco balls., and I'm guessing that the BeeGees will be popping up at any minute.
This clever olio (I do crossword puzzles) is the newest TLC entry in its Saturday night home improvement lineup. I guess the flipping thing is wearing thin. I think I've seen almost all of the TLC flip episodes as I struggle to decide about remodeling my house, so a new angle is probably a good idea. But I'm not at all sure about THIS angle.
I sympathize with everyone who is in a house-for-sale swamp. I'm definitely seeing the effects of the soft market on my street. Yesterday as I saw a cleaning crew entering a neighboring house, I realized that the house is now a short-term rental. That's the first one on my little cul-de-sac, where most homes are second or third places for people who live elsewhere, but are kept unoccupied. The new rental was on the sales market for a very long time, and finally sold north of a million, but I remember when it was just a regular home with only one master bedroom and no debt. It's been remodeled twice since the death of the lovely owner I knew well, and it has been vacant most of the time. I guess that spells i-n-v-e-s-t-m-e-n-t p-r-o-p-e-r-t-y and therefore desperation in a down market.
I thought The Learning Channel was supposed to promote ideas that might appeal to everyday people, but would the average seller go for the speed-dating plan, which includes staging, an open house, and then an overnight trial by someone who might want to hold a theme party to see how the house handles it? I don't know. Then again, I always have the option of remodeling and getting into the game too. Disco. Luau. Masquerade. Toga. The possibilities abound.
Monday, April 14, 2008
So we really forgot all about it, even when we did get reminded about it we were going to blow it off, but we went anyway. I must say... it really didn't leave me feeling warm-n-fuzzy inside. I think it's good to have the children pumped up about math and science, and maybe the turn out, which was not too good from what I hear about last year, but me and my daughter thought, WTF?!??
Oh well, maybe next year, maybe not, who knows...
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:17 PM
So it has been a rather nice weekend... all things considered. But nice weekends have a potential problem being that the weather and such makes grass grow, and so I have to cut it. I did that this past weekend. Yes I really didn't get into the whole daughter-dance thing. I think some things are better left unsaid. Nothing bad or good happened, and the people involved have the protection of age... still go get `em John Travolta. Anyway, I cut my grass this weekend.
And it was a chore. Not that it wouldn't have been a chore otherwise, but with the stroke and all, it was harder. Add to that the bungee cord lawnmower of death, that you don't know about
(if you, want to know email me) but trust me it aint nice. I got it all done, the mowing, the trimming, and edging. In for the most part about a day. But let me tell you, I crashed hard.
I fell asleep and I can't remember a time where I slept so soundly. Like a baby even... So that was my weekend pretty much, either out there cutting the grass or napping on the sofa. One day, maybe real soon we'll have a hammock and then I'd have even less travel time between the two. Nice huh?
Tomorrow's blog post will be by someone who I hold in great esteem, though we've never met. Look for it!
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:49 AM
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Ok, you might have noticed the blog catalog button to the right there. I did not know that people make money, or a considerable amount of money blogging. There are even blogs about blogging, I don’t get it and unless somebody shows up with a boatload of money I’m not going to get paid, so why have it? I don’t know really. It’s good to step away from this little hamlet of the Lowcountry now and then, I suppose. Plus I thought I might be able to drum up bloggers there… but no dice.
Basically you have a list of friends there, and they’re only interested in getting more people to be their friends, I'm sure there's exceptions, but anyway. Honestly, how are you keeping up with 300 or even 3000 friends? You’re not, not at all. In fact my analytics tells me that they are for the most part not bringing me any traffic, save the one or two times that they initially visited.
The most viewers are from Bluffton, then Hilton Head, then Savannah. I appreciate the readership. Which is kind hard to keep up with when you subscribe, but really there is no better way to do it than plug in a RSS reader. My stats, which I probably pay too much attention to, have been steadily going up. And to a point, so too has my recovery. Weird huh? I never would have dreamt this would work. I mean when I called BT quits, I thought I was a goner.
1. I’ll not have anybody pay attention to me.
2. No one will bother with me.
Well I was wrong. But it has not been easy. It would be a lot easier to either fade into nothing or re-name myself in one of the newspaper websites. Instead hard work has paid off. If you can call this work. So I don’t need the blog catalog, or any newspaper to make it, but I do need YOU. I need you to read my blog and build your own to be added to the Blog Jam. That’s all I really need.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:55 AM
Friday, April 11, 2008
Today marks a bit of a milestone in my parental life. Letting my 12-year-old go to a dance. I really don’t know how to take it, I mean in one hand she’s only 12 on the other she is growing up, and it is amazing how the whole female sex works. I mean really, she could have a baby by now... Yikes!!! So what to do, what to do?!?!?
There’s A bit of repercussion for me though… I get to be a chaperon, which I will. So you can go to the
Posted by Mad Hatter at 5:03 PM
So here we go… We have a classic film Friday to review and I thought why not make it one of the all time greats, Citizen Kane. Although if you’re not all that into classic movies it won’t seem that good. It’s a movie of how Charles Foster Kane, a media magnet, makes a name for himself, but in the end dies alone and miserable, newspaper men try to find out what his last word means “rosebud”.
The movie seemed a bit too long, and it didn’t hold my wife’s interest at all. I think it’s the way the story is told, you find the dead Kane, then you here all about him from various people, and in the end they are no closer to finding out what “rosebud” is than when they started.
The strangest thing about the movie is how Kane falls in love and subsequently marries Susan Alexander (Kane’s second marriage). His love for her and her singing (which nobody else liked) causes him to build an opera house. When she opens at the opera house she is greeted with scathing reviews, but he insists she must continue the show. I can see where some might think this is a man who pretty much had everything at his beck and call…. Turned from a man that is for the people to a man that simply wanted to control the people. And I’m sure that’s probably what happened. But it just doesn’t strike me that way.
I think the movie is OK, but there were a lack of stars, and the story doesn’t really go anywhere. The “rosebud” winds up being a sled that Kane had as a child, when we was poor. I think if you are in to classics then you HAVE to see this movie, if not so much, then I’d take it or leave it.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I just wanted to take a moment to kind of speak my mind/think things through. You know a lot of people seem to think that children are the end all and be all. I don’t think that at all, in fact my two have their moments, but they are not my sole reason for existence. I don’t really know how or why this happens or why we should think badly about someone who doesn’t think that kids are IT.
Again I’m not saying they aren’t good, but they certainly don’t deserve a lot of what they get. If we aren’t going to praise grandpa for killing Germans/Japanese or grandma for holding down a job or mom for doing the jobs that moms do, do we really do ourselves justice by putting kids in one giant basket?
My almost teenager could care less. Sure she likes what she has got and I’ve threatened to take it away from her (and she suddenly becomes a lot more helpful) but there is an element of spoilage there. My point is the kids should not be held to such a standard that we, the adults, can’t enjoy ourselves. I will not get a second mortgage so my kid can go to school or drive a new car. Maybe you might be able to afford it, but I look at it like this, I paid for everything, food, clothes, insurance, house…. Everything for however long they decide to be with me, they need to start paying for themselves sooner rather than later.
Does that make me an animal or a pool pooping miscreant? Maybe, but I’ve already determined that I will have something to show for my time on this little ball of mud, besides my kids. In the upcoming referendum they (the people all about the children) seem to think that tugging your heartstrings... mainly by saying what a crime it is that more kids are in mobile units (trailers) than in the actual school. Never mind that North of the Broad there are over 1000 empty desks, or that the Whale Branch High School will even further extend that "emptiness". Adjust the zones already. Kids are good, but they do not enslave me forever and they sure aint worth millions even hundreds of millions, not my kids or yours. Vote No...
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:00 AM
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I took my friend's 2bitsworth words and permission and posted them here... read and comment as you like, he uses words much better than I. Enjoy...
In the March 29 issue of Bluffton Today Mr. George Wilson, our esteemed school board member from the Bluffton/Sun City area, replies to a letter to the editor by Mr. Albert Slechter that was printed on March 21, 2008. Mr. Slechter proposes that the referendum be postponed for a number of reasons and Mr. Wilson predictably attempts to refute the idea of postponement, strongly lobbying for passage of the referendum.
The exchange is good for Beaufort County voters as any discussion that includes both opposing and supporting views will only serve to inform the voting public, and this exchange is a good start to discussing the upcoming referendum.
I suggest that we stipulate that the Bluffton area needs both more schools and more classrooms at existing schools – those are a given. There’s no debate on that subject. There is, however, some debate on the priority of which schools should be built/expanded first and some question the need and affordability of Early Childhood Learning Centers to house non-mandated programs. That discussion though would best be conducted separately from the bigger referendum discussion. For the time being, and for the sake of discussion, let’s accept the plans for new Bluffton schools.
That leaves us with the rest of the referendum and the projects contained therein as well as that portion of the five year plan financed with 8% money. Many of the projects are, by definition, maintenance items. Items that should be paid for through annual maintenance budgets not long-term financing. This is particularly so in the category of painting walls and doorways. There is no logical reason to finance painting. What’s more, there is no logical or rational argument that supports a correlation between painted walls and student achievement. Yet that is exactly what the Board/District is arguing, that painting these walls are “absolutely necessary” for student achievement. Bull hockey. I challenge the District to provide data supporting improvements in student achievement due to newly painted walls and doors.
Roof & HVAC replacement are more appropriate capital-type renovations to finance through bonds, painting is most certainly not and, further, painting is not “absolutely necessary” for student achievement.
There are two major projects in this referendum that are not “absolutely necessary” for student achievement within the District. Those two being the $888,000 wrestling facility at Battery Creek High and the $9.7 million state-of-the-art performing arts center at Beaufort High. I believe Mr. Slechter had these in mind when he referred to “piling on”. I prefer to refer to these projects as pork-barrel spending – school board members bringing home the bacon for their districts. Even Mr. Washington doesn’t defend these two with anything more than “parents asked for these.”
No, these two projects are not “absolutely necessary” for student achievement – they represent the special interests of two small groups at their respective high schools. We no more need these than we need an advanced rocket propulsion lab at our high schools. Nice to have, but not “absolutely necessary”.
Mr. Wilson cites some consultant reports to support his arguments for the various projects in the 5 year capital plan. One report that he does not cite is the Carey report which clearly states that there is no need for additional classrooms north of the Broad save for the Lady’s Island area. This “oversight” on his part is relevant to two projects that are, in fact, adding classrooms exactly where the Carey report says we don’t need them. Within the list of projects in the referendum is to “add classrooms” at Mossy Oaks Elementary. It’s no secret that there are hundreds upon hundreds of empty seats north of the Broad, several hundred of which are right down the road (literally within minutes) at Beaufort Elementary. There is no need to expand the capacity at Mossy Oaks, but there is a compelling need to expand the attendance zones of Beaufort Elementary where the enrollment hovers somewhere around the 50% mark.
The other project is actually from the 2000 referendum but is addressed in the report overlooked by Mr. Wilson. There is no need for Whale Branch High School, none whatsoever. Again, there are hundreds upon hundreds of empty seats north of the Broad. Battery Creek High School is not at capacity and this is the school from which Whale Branch High will draw its enrollment. The construction of Whale Branch High will result in hundreds more empty seats north of the Broad. What’s more, every single feeder school to Whale Branch High is experiencing a trend of dropping enrollments. A trend that is projected to continue. Another example of pork-barrel spending on the part of the School Board. Mr. Wilson campaigned for his seat on the Board under the banner of accountability and wise planning yet he continues to support the construction of this needless school and the increase of empty seats north of the Broad.
He (Mr. Wilson) also points out that it would be wise to pass the referendum to save money on construction materials. His statement presupposes that all $162.7 million will be spent immediately and construction materials will be purchased at today’s prices. Hellooooo out there, two years after the 2006 “emergency referendum” we still haven’t spent hardly anything on materials for the two new schools in Bluffton. In fact both are over original cost projections albeit for a variety of reasons. A project list of this magnitude does not get completed overnight, inflation is a key component of any planning. His red-herring argument to accept the pork-barrel spending to avoid inflation falls flat when the light of truth is shone upon the facts.
He likens the cost of this referendum to a few happy meals, or a day of golf. This is not unlike the argument used in the 2006 referendum. Most astute taxpayers are still waiting for an explanation of what happened to almost half of their property tax relief last year. I wouldn’t accept their cost projections as gospel any more than I would accept that we can improve education by simply throwing more money at the problem – which is what we are doing with this referendum. Further, the School Board/District as well as County Council have all targeted the tax savings realized as a result of the property tax relief – they are intent on getting their hands on that money one way or another. They unashamedly make reference to that tax savings in comparative terms to the cost of this 5 year plan.
We cannot afford frivolous spending such as that we see in this referendum. Demand accountability by voting “NO” to the referendum on April 26 and FORCE them to give us a referendum without the pork-barrel spending. A “NO” vote doesn’t mean that Bluffton won’t get schools, it means that we don’t accept all of the baggage that they are packaging with the real needs. If this referendum is defeated we will see another in less than 6 months, pared down to include only real needs – not pie-in-the-sky projects like $888k wrestling facilities and $10 million auditoriums.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I got introduced to Bocce Ball over the weekend. It's interesting. Not only is it fun, but there is a whole bunch of different ways you can look at it. Get close to the jack (small ball that you score by getting close to) or knock them around a bit it's good fun and a lot more exciting than I would have thought. It probably has something to do with me not sucking at it, but still. I smell a bocce ball set for my birthday.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:30 AM
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I got to go out...on a date...with no kids. Yeah can you believe it? So anyway where do we go? what do we do? Ahhhhhh.... I don't know. Our friend, and my wife's best friend, offered to babysit. So we settled on going to Savannah, because we almost never go out that way anymore, but more importantly more stuff to do, that don't cost money. We braved the rain and wound up in Vinnie Van GoGo's. Let me say that was probably the pizza, that will make all others taste like cardboard, I mean I have been fighting a taste bud issue, really a vomit issue but anyway... the funny thing is, it didn't cost all that much.
$30 bought us a girlie beer for the wife, a whole pitcher of beer for me, and a large pizza (two topping). I don't even remember when I got away that cheap. Seriously. Now I got to tell you, the restaurant is a hole. The tables and chairs are better at Wal-mart. But the food, once you get it, you know it's good. So take your wife, or your girlfriend, or heck you can take me. The pizza is something that just can't happen in a fast food restaurant, and the beer... if bought by the pitcher... is cheap ($10). We actually spent more on beer than food. But anyway, give Vinnie's a try.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 1:52 PM
Saturday, April 5, 2008
So here it is…. My garden
In it are 9 tomato plants, 1 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 2 sweet pepper plants, and 1 green, 1 red, and 1 dead bell pepper plants. The one dead plant really isn’t dead, but it might as well be. But everybody has to pull for something, so we’re gonna see. I don’t know of a name I could call it, because honestly this is a plant and forget it kind of deal. I got the garden irrigated, so just call me when it’s ready to eat.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 10:06 AM
Friday, April 4, 2008
I hope that Speed Racer/Offspring video helped you all just calm down a little... heh heh. Anyway there have been some things about the blog that I don't like, or want to change. Classic film Friday will be coming back... maybe as early as next week. It looks like the Daily Affirmation will hold the Wednesday slot. The rest of the week is pretty much wide open. Though I might talk Daily Affirmation into to two days... maybe.
I've also been talking to some folks about being a guest blogger... negotiations are ongoing as we speak. I know some very smart people that do not have a blog of their own, or have one but for whatever reason choose not to have it displayed. I'll be the outlet, if you like.
To wrap it up I have a bit of an ode to summer, because it's getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and because I want to... here are YouTube videos that make me think of summer...
Posted by Mad Hatter at 6:43 AM
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I have to say... I do not have to deal with traffic, or I should say I don't have to put up with the island traffic. I won't tell you where I work, but it is some where... not related to the island. As far as traffic though, most people should be happy that they have it, because around here that means people going to work. We certainly would not want the alternative would we?
When I lived in northern Georgia I had a job where I pretty much drove... everywhere. I could map it out for you, but let's just say Atlanta, and there you have it. Seriously that town had a traffic problem. I'm glad I can put that place in my "rear view". But as bad as that was it was still nothing when compared to Seoul, South Korea.
They had guys selling stuff in the traffic there. Lets say downtown Atlanta and put guys selling food and/or drinks in the mix. Insane. While I was there in Seoul a bridge collapsed. A mall also collapsed, and a US Army helicopter pilot was "captured"... it was quite a time to be over there, though our money (dollar) wasn't doing so good. A year later I heard you could buy suits, or... pretty much anything at 1/2 price that I paid earlier.
Anyway, back to traffic. Just look at it as our economy is maybe not doing so bad as other places. I mean as expensive as gas is, and bouts of road rage aside, it could be worse right?
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I know that I haven't been exactly positive lately. In fact its been almost down right negative. I know that nobody likes to hear somebody bitch, and I certainly didn't want to give off that impression so I'm aware of the issue, what I do with that info is any body's guess. It's been hard, especially coming off of various medications. Because I still have it in my head that I need to be just like the old me... and I probably never will. Which is hard for me to deal with.
That said there's still lots to be happy about. Now I know I sound as much a tool as some our local Fluff-Maestros... That is not the direction I am trying to go either, more like somewhere in the middle is what I'm shooting for. Something more real, real life adventures even. I'm not apologizing because this blog is mine, but I will try to curtail the extremes a bit. And perhaps save the whine for something that deserves it. You know what I mean.
So on to the daily affirmation...
The King... Has Spoken
I had a hot/cold moment after work yesterday. The hot moment was driving home from wal-mart and seeing a double rainbow. It truly was impressive. My two year old also got to see it, and I believe it was her first one. What a way to start out. I was going to take a picture, but alas by the time we got home it was gone. So fleeting is the life of a rainbow. It was just around sunset which also meant the gnats were out in full force. And really, they were at a 10 out of 10. But that wasn't even the bad part if the day.
In the cold section I found 3 dogs, of which I believe one was in heat in my back yard. I tried to pin them down, but they were too elusive. How in the world can people own a pet and let it run free? I just can't fathom how, in this town, which is on the surface anyway, is the dog lovers capital of the world, anyone could allow dog to run free. Anyway there was a German Shepard, a black lab mixed dog, and a medium to large sized terrier. If you are looking for them, I'll tell you where I saw them last... and I can tell you I live right next to gators.
Gnats were biting, chewing, and otherwise eating me alive, but at least I tried. And the German Shepard looked to be full blooded... A shame. They ran off into the woods, of which it's inhabitants are even more hungry for blood, so I dare not follow.
Posted by Mad Hatter at 7:44 AM