Friday, September 22, 2017

Why don’t I pay my children for their grades?

This is a topic I should have posted about 35 years ago, when my older daughter was 14.

My daughter says the other kids get paid for their grades. She doesn’t think it’s fair that I won’t pay her for hers.

I have rules for things I pay for.  I pay for services, that are of no benefit to the person performing them, but are important for my quality of life, such as paying the plumber to fix my leaky faucet. I pay for things I want and need, like groceries or new shoes. I pay for entertainment, such as movie tickets or concert tickets.

When I pay for professional entertainment. I know that performing is fun for the entertainers, whether or not I’m there. I pay for the privilege of being there. I know I’m paying them for far more than inborn talent. I’m paying them for the years of education, training and practice that make them truly worth listening to or watching. I am paying so I may benefit from their performance.

I send my children to school for their benefit. Their grades are their teachers’ way of telling them they did a good job. They have learned skills they need to improve the quality of their lives. They do not learn for my benefit. I pay taxes for their education. I provide them a quiet place to study. I help them if they have problems or questions. I praise them when they master a new skill, or tell me their thoughts on a new subject. I engage with them on their newfound interests. These are the real benefits of education.

When my child asks me to pay her for her grades, she is responding to peer pressure. I will never encourage my child to give in to peer pressure. I don’t buy her a candy bar at the grocery store check-out. I don’t care if all the other moms in the line are buying them.

When she asks to be paid for her grades, I’m aware she is also asking for more money. She knows she can babysit or mow lawns for more money. She will be providing a service that is of no benefit to her, but is of use to the person paying her. This is also something I want her to learn.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Saving 56 Cents


CVS was having a 30% off sale on CVS brand items.
I decided to stock up on some items I use often.

I bought some pantiliners.  Regular price is $5.49
Sale price $3.84
I bought two of them.
The store charged me: $8.24

The invoice had a phone number to call with questions.
I called. My question didn’t fit into any of their categories, so I tried Human, Agent, Representative. Eventually, I got a human.
The woman who answered the phone didn’t understand my concern.

First she had me give her the order number 3 times.
Then she asked if the order had been placed yet.
I explained that the order number is assigned when the order is placed.

She said, “The price is $5.49.”
“That’s without the 30% discount,” I explained.  “I used coupon FRIEND30.”
“You got two of them,” she said. “You have to take the discount from the price for two. You can’t just multiply the price for one.”
So, I talked her through $5.49 plus $5.49 is $10.98.  Times .7 is $7.68.  Not $8.24.

Oddly, she did not question my use of .7 and demand that I use .3 and then subtract.
Instead she got a co-worker over to ask what to do.

Then she asked, “Do I have your permission to place the order?”
I asked, “Did you cancel the previous order?”
She said, “I don’t think it has been placed yet.”
I said, “I wouldn’t know about this mistake if it had not been placed.”
She asked, “What is the order number?”
I told her the number again.

At this point we’d been on the phone for over 20 minutes, trying to fix a $.56 problem.

Her co-worker said “give her a credit.”
She offered me a $3 credit.
I said, “That’s more than you owe me, but I’ll take it.”

“Is there anything else,” she said, dread in her voice.
I said, “Yes. Please send a not to your website programmers asking them to fix this problem. I’m sure this isn’t the only item that is calculating incorrectly.”

“I’ll do that,” she said.
But her voice sounded like she had no idea how to begin.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Airport Passenger Safety

My latest idea for airport safety: All TSA agents should carry photo-ID business cards. Before an agent pats anyone down, the agent should give the future pattee a copy of the card, and make sure that the future pattee sees that the photo matches the agent. After the pat-down, the agent should give an evaluation form to the pattee, which the pattee can fill out and place into a locked box that the agent cannot unlock. This should minimize the groping!

So-called "Random Selection" is not random: https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/letter-from-a-passenger-i-always-get-picked-for-random-screening/

Nor is this a female only issue: http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/2011/04/i-dont-feel-safe-i-feel-violated-humiliated-and-angry.html

http://time.com/3822487/tsa-sexual-assault-denver/

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140131/08552826058/former-tsa-agent-explains-full-body-scanners-didnt-work-did-let-him-see-you-naked.shtml

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Russian Interference in US

Considering that politicians tend to propose bills that punish their own sins, is it likely that Joseph McCarthy was in with the Russians? Have they been messing with US Politics for far longer than we have suspected? Have they really supported the Republicans and misled us all by smearing the Democratic party as Commie sympathizers? After all, the So-called Communists never practiced Communism. They gave the best stuff to themselves and impoverished everybody else. Reminds me of the worst Republicans.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Endowment for the Arts

Idea of the day: The National Endowment for the Arts needs a real endowment.
If 10,000,000 people each gave $100, the NEA would have a real endowment of $1 billion.
This seems do-able. PBS gets donations of this size on average. They have about 1 million donors, just for TV.
NEA supports art, literature and music. 
 This request would be under the duress of Trump not wanting to fund the arts. I think everyone who has anything to do with the arts, either as a book reader, theater goer, concert goer, teacher, or student would donate. Students would probably donate more on the order of $10. 
 Pitched well, I think the companies that donate to PBS would also donate to creating a self-sustaining endowment.

Indian Boyhood Multicultural Book

Indian Boyhood, the True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) Adapted by Michael Oren Fitzgerald, illustrated by Heidi M. Rasch

I'm happy to recommend a book I received as part of the Multicultural Book Reviews program. Indian Boyhood is a modernized and illustrated (based on footnoted historical art) version of Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman)'s autobiography. Ohiyesa lived as a Sioux for his first 15 years, and moved to Canada after his father received a pardon from Lincoln for his part in the Sioux Rebellion. He had a pet grizzly bear, an uncle who woke him at all hours to learn defense, and a family that made him recite folktales.  Eastman was originally named Pitiful Last because his mother died shortly after his birth.  After he won sporting event, he gained the new name Ohiyesa (Victor). This book gives insights into both the life of a Sioux and the insights of a man who was transplanted into white culture as a teenager. A Delightful book.

You can find more books by Ohiyesa / Charles Eastman at Gutenberg Press.

This book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Indian-Boyhood-Story-Sioux-Upbringing-ebook/dp/B01N8OQZ6C

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

American Cancer Society supports FIT

If you had a choice of between a test that is life-threatening, time-consuming and requires horrible preparation, or a briefly gross encounter with scooping poop from your toilet, and you were assured by the American Chemical Society that both tests were equally valid, which would you choose? (If the poop test is positive, you can always get the colonoscopy later.)

This letter from the American Cancer Society is worth posting:
"Let me assure you, no organization is promoting stool testing for colon cancer more than ACS and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. You may be aware that the fecal immunochemical tests, (FIT), are largely supplanting guaiac based FOBT - but the idea is of course, largely the same.
One of the centerpieces of our 80 by 18 campaign to achieve 80% colon cancer screening rates by the end of 2018 is to encourage use of FIT or other high sensitivity stool testing. We are clear in our messaging that colonoscopy is not the gold standard and that the best test is the one that gets done.
May I suggest that you visit our website at www.nccrt.org to get the latest messages and tools. I am also finding a time to come to Jeff to meet with leaders there. One of the topics will be how Jefferson can help achieve the 80% goal. Perhaps we can talk when I’m there. Thanks for reaching out.
Richard Wender | Chief Cancer Control Officer
American Cancer Society, Inc.
250 Williams St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 1.404.329.4313
cancer.org | 1.800.227.2345"