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Dragoncaller Multidimentional — LiveJournal
I know you are all an hallucination, but thanks for coming anyway.
dragoncaller
I need to post more to LJ. Facebook does not store your memories. LJ does.

So, today!

Kagetsunami had some blood work done and the bill came today. I called to pay it.

The attendant asked a question. I had to ask her to repeat the question three times.

I felt like a dottering fool. It's not that I did not understand the question or her American (which was perfect), I didn't believe the question as she had stated it. It made no sense to ask the question, although it was a perfectly phrased and logical question. The question opened up a series of illogical doors for me.

For you I'm sure it makes sense, but for my 286 processor brain in a Pentium world, I need a few minutes to input/analyze/process the question.

This was the question (Keep in mind she spoke very quickly):

DIDSHEHAVEINSURANCEATTHETIMEOFTHISPROCEDURE?

What? Like half day Wednesday we don't have insurance in the afternoon? I'm not surprised the insurance company would have half day Wednesdays, I just wish they informed me. I'm just here to pay the bill. Does this mean I have to pay MORE on Wednesday afternoons? Crap! How much do I have to pay now?

She then asked, proving I cannot multi-task:

CANYOUIDENTIFYTHEPATEINT?

What? Why should I? The bill is in my name? Why should you care who pays my bill?

I was so confounded I botched Kage Tsunami's DoB and had her born sometime 9,000 years from today.

Getting that all sorted, the lady on the phone said Kage Tsunami had been put erroneously into the system and they will now resubmit to the insurance company which at this time does NOT have half day Wednesday.

Good service! Wonderful service! So patient!

I'm gonna take a moment to let my 286 processor chip cool off. Whew! What a work out!

Current Mood: confused confused
Current Music: Looking out my back door!

Call a Dragon
dragoncaller

Our beloved Kitten Rose passed today. I got her at the pound in Lebenon CT in 2004. She had been found in a box with 18 other kittens in Rose Park in Norwich.

Once she knew you she was a cuddle bum. Until then, she kept he distance.

She was quiet, until she purred and then it's a jet airplane taking off.

I will miss that purr.

I suspect many of her health issues where development issues because of the abuse she suffered as a kitten.

I attribute her happy life to Kagetsunami's care and love.

Tags:

7 Dragons or Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
For you who have followed my LJ you should be familiar with my little tradition. In the fall, before the leaves are gone, I take off all my clothes and walk out the front door. I circle my house, looking at trees and my yard. Before doing this I unlock the back door incase of a needed hasty retreat. God forbid the Fed-Ex guy comes rolling down the driveway.

I do this because I can.

Once the leaves are gone there is a slim chance a neighbor might see me, so I have to time this while there is enough foliage. I'm not an exhibitionist. I'm just happy to live here in the Shire and enjoy my privacy.

It's my way of saying, "I own this another year. I'm lord of my little spot of land and damn-it, I'll walk naked if I want!"

I also make notes. Make sure the house is in proper order. Note how the grass is coming. Actually LOOK at the house.

This year, however, it was a little different. A little melancholy.

I used to look at the house for what needed done to keep it in good kit. But now I'm looking at it in value.

For when I sell it.

I knew the day would come when the winters became too much and a southern siren's call beckoned me, but I figured that was off in the future.

No more.

Connecticut taxes are crushing us.

We're paying over eight thousand dollars in taxes just for the house. Property taxes alone is 8 thousand dollars.

8K.

Now with our new governor we're to have tolls on top of that. CT is already one of the highest taxed states in the country and now we're adding a new road tax. That's what a toll is. A road tax.

CT isn't friendly to retirees. I have been at a Town Hall Meeting where a woman stood up and screamed, her voice stretched and pained: "Why are we paying you to stay at home! Why don't you collect Social Security like everyone else!"

I explained this in a previous post, but to surmise, I was underpaid for over twenty years. To remain loyal to you, you PROMISED to pay me a pension. I lived up to my end of the deal. Now, you want to break your word.

In truth, these are the same words uttered by our new governor. He too hates retirees. He likes our service, our work, but doesn't want to live up to the contract he signed.

A quick search showed I could save over seven thousand a year in taxes, enjoy a lower cost of living and have a bigger house with more land if I simply moved.

Well, you can make your voice heard at the ballot box.

You can also make your voice heard with a suitcase.

Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: If I could turn back time

11 Dragons or Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
"Why are we paying you to stay home?" The woman shrilled in to the microphone causing painful feed back. She shook her fist furiously. "Why don't you go on Social Security like everybody else!" Her voice cracked during her verbal outcry but her message was very clear.

We were at a town hall meeting. Budget, of course, was on everyone's mind. The town was spending ludicrously, so much so that the State passed a new law to try a curtail the town's wasteful spending. The town, however, still had bills and couldn't pay them so this woman was proposing to take away teacher pensions.

I got into line to get to the open mic, but the woman, and her cronies, left right after her outburst like a gaggle of witches, unconcerned with the answer to her question.

To that woman, and her clutch of friends, allow me to answer your question.

You, woman, are an employer. You hired a person to work for you. You get a service, the worker gets money. The worker does well, shows up on time, complete tasks timely and becomes more proficient at their job. You decide to keep the worker, but you can't afford to pay the worker more and now the worker has training and experience, two important things on the job market. So to keep that worker for going off and working for someone else, you give that worker benefits. This is much cheaper for you.

Time passes and the worker, more experienced and trained, needs to move on because the worker needs to save for the time they can no longer work. You can't afford more money, but you cut a deal with the worker. You'll put a little money aside every month and the worker will put money aside every month and if the worker stays long enough, they will then draw a PENSION.

You get a trained, competent, professional worker and the worker gets a pension.

But you didn't quite do that, did you.

You wanted things so you 'borrowed' from the pension account. You had every intention to pay it back, but things happened and you wanted your toys so badly then and now and retirement is SO far away, you'll worry about it later.

Finally, the worker comes to you. The worker has given you their youth, their strength, their wisdom. Years of life they can NEVER get back.

But you don't give them their pension, do you? There isn't any money to be had. You wanted your things and you got your things and there is no more money. So you scream and your worker, you call them selfish and make them feel guilty for wanting only what you promised. A promise made so long ago, surely the worker isn't going to hold you to that?

You got your things. You also got the workers life and loyalty.

Fuck that worker. The worker was stupid to believe you and that is the workers fault, not yours.

The worker can just go get another job. Start over! The worker has plenty of life! That worker with his competence and skills could easily get another job and work to death because that is what a worker does.

Work to death.

So, you have your things and you get away with theft. That what you're trying to do. You got your things by stealing from the worker's pension account and you want to blame the worker for it.

Let's talk about 401k, shall we?

This is a great system. You put a little in, the worker puts a little in, and in twenty, thirty years we hope there is enough in there to live off. But there's a catch, see? The worker needs to make as much money as possible to build up that account. So that worker will go off to earn more money, more money you can't pay because you want to buy your things.

A pension give the worker incentive to stay with you, to work hard for you, to have good employee evaluations.

Let's talk about Social Security. Pensioners don't get Social Security because they paid into a PENSION which you provided. Take away the pension and they will have NOTHING. But you don't care about that. You got your toys and things.

Screaming into the microphone at the town hall meeting just said to all your workers and future workers, is this.

I will FUCK you. Fuck you for your loyalty, for your years of service for less pay, for your hard work. I got my things and toys and you get NOTHING!

So, what are you left with? Everyone competent and sane will move on to work for someone who will not fuck them over. Someone who will not betray them they way you betrayed them.

This will leave you with workers who cannot get hired elsewhere because they are incompetent, lazy, argumentative. Workers who you can't fire because there are no replacements.

Is this what you want? Teachers who teach your children? Police who enforce your laws? Firemen and paramedics who will come rescue you? What you will have are not what you want.

Unless you're okay with crummy teachers, bully cops, arsonist firefighters and paramedics who will kill you.

If that's what you want, that's what you'll get.

You want to change the contract, change it for the new guy who is young and can move on.

But now you've taken that employee's life. Life that employee cannot get back no matter how much you scream at the town hall meeting.

You made a promise.

Now, own up to it.

Current Mood: pissed off pissed off
Current Music: And I'm down at the bottom of a pit in a blazing sun, all torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike

4 Dragons or Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
I wore my manly shop apron and my manly tool belt overfilled with manly tools. In the back ground, a manly man was going step by manly step on the manly DIY project on a manly You Tube video. All very manly as the tech said, "guys", meaning manly men and manly women.

Armed with my manly Philips head screw driver, Phil a manly name, and my step ladder, I followed the procedures and disassembled my AC unit and cleaned out all the black mold with deadly, manly chemicals, mercilessly slaughtering anything living comprised of one cell or less, their microbial screams became my anthem.

Everything nice and clean and spit spot, I went to reassemble the unit.

I had cleaned the blower fan, a long plastic cylinder, bristling with louvers, and it was smelling pine tree manly. I stood it up on the carpet to dry. Now, I reached for it, but like a wobbling toddler, it fell over, and like a wobbling toddler, instead of landing harmlessly on the carpet, Persian because, you know, manly, the fan clipped the cadenza. The cadenza was my grandmother's, don't judge me.

It was that one in 100,000 odds that it would strike in the one spot and the right angle. The fan broke.

Well, no matter! Manly men know how to handle such things. I turned to the vast library of manliness, THE INTERNET! Not Wicked-Pedio, or the inter-webs, the manly internet with a proper manly search engine,(engine that word is SO manly) GOGGLE, a word invented by a MAN who made up a number so huge it needed it's own name (seriously, who other than a man would create such a manly and useless thing?) and searched for a replacement part.

None to be had.

What?

Well, wot's a man to do? Cry?

Yes, get that over with. Now wot?

Well, Marines (and I am a Marine) when faced with adversity adapt and overcome. This usually comes in the form of a call for naval bombardment. Cruise Missiles and Tomahawk man missiles.

My internet search led me to, well, Seers. Seers lost all of it's manly points as it slowly drives itself out of business, but a man's gotta do wot a man's gotta do.

I opened a chat window with parts tech, Peyton.

Peyton? Pay-ton? This is gonna cost me.

Well, there is Peyton Manning. Manning is a manly name and he plays a manly sport. Let's give him a try.

The part, Peyton types, is unavailable, BUT, he goes on before I manly despair, I will try to source one for you.

He comes through. Part ordered, look for it in ten days.

I wrote back, "Ten days? Yer figuratively killing me, Peyton".

"We have a $35 express shipping option."

See? Peyton understands manly. He didn't mention this before because he sensed my manly aura and men don't pay for express shipping ever, not even for a fire extinguisher. We'll piss that out and save shipping costs.

"No, Peyton, (as you already guessed) I'll pass on express shipping."

Part ordered. Now we wait.

That was yesterday. Today I went into the guest bed room, pulled the fan out of that unit, and installed it in my main unit with my manly tools.

Then, manliness overflowing, I went out on the roof and caulked my skylight with my manly caulking GUN, because, GUN.

And now a manly beer!

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: We're men! We're manly men!

3 Dragons or Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
It was a Tuesday night,a couple years back, a state trooper sat in his car anxiously listening to his radio. The chatter from multiple police agencies, wailing sirens in the back ground, revving v-8's growling, calling out codes, crackled over the speaker. Suspect was traveling over one hundred miles an hour, in the wrong lane, head on into traffic. The trooper's job was to stop anyone else getting on the highway, and engage the suspect he he chose his exit.

To his relief, the suspect pulled off another exit and lost the caravan of cruisers on darkened side streets.

He listened to other agencies, out of jurisdiction, break off. Everything was quieting down.

Still at this post, he saw the silhouette of another trooper's car roll up on him. They chatted, certain they were done.

Then they heard the engine winding up in the distance. The troopers had little time to react as the suspect vehicle barreled past them, glancing the second cruiser as it went by.

Radio calls revived as the trooper was now in pursuit on a dark, winding road, the suspect at speeds well over eighty. While cops can ignore the law of highways, they cannot ignore the law of physics. A Crown Victoria is a midsized sedan with no magic powers, just rear wheel drive and a stupid big engine. This is NOT a car for dark back roads.

The trooper backed off, letting the suspect charge recklessly into the night. Other agencies were calling in, the search pattern starting up again.

The trooper headed back to his buddy and they set up a post with stop sticks.

A stop stick is a long pool noodle of foam filled with hollow spikes. You run over it with a car and the spikes hit your tire, slowly deflating them. As they took positions of safety, the howl of the suspect's engine sounded out into the night, coming closer.

The troopers, ready to throw their stop sticks, waited for the suspect to thread the needle of their positioned cruisers.

He had no intention of driving by.

He slammed into the back of the second trooper's car.

The second trooper, hiding behind his car, was knocked down and stunned.

The first trooper, gun drawn, his eyes fighting the terror of the scene, approached the suspect vehicle, screaming, "Show me your hands, show me your hands!"

Slowly the suspect clambered out of his vehicle, raising his hands.

He was holding a champagne bottle.

Confused, the trooper shouted at the suspect to drop the bottle, and the suspect rose to his full height, his eyes wide and wild, and shouted in a blood curdling voice, "I WILL MURDER YOU!"

He turned and slammed the champagne bottle on the hood of his car, then paused in surprise as it did not break. He did it again, pounding on it furiously, yet the champagne bottle would not break. He finally gave up, and stomped after the trooper, his bottle upraised as a club.

The trooper backpedalled, shouting commands, and the two circled around the car. As they did, the second trooper staggered to his feet and looking up drew his weapon.

The suspect turned, raising his champagne bottle, arching it back to swing.

Both trooper's fired. The second trooper, stumbling back, his shot went wide.

The first trooper's shot hit home.

The suspect dropped.

The two troopers cuffed him, did first aid and called for an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital. In the ambulance, cuffed to the gurney, the trooper asked him:

"Dude, WHAT THE FUCK!"

(I paraphrase)

The man apologized. Then said that he hated himself so much he wanted to die. He couldn't do it, so instead, he wanted to create a situation he could not possibly survive.

This is not a 'story'. I, and I mean, ME, spoke to the trooper who shot him and the suspect's mother. When I say spoke, I used verbal words, I shook their hands, I looked them both in the eye. I listened to their story because the suspect's story did not end there.

His mother had more to say.

She arrived at the hospital, her son under armed guard, and he told her the same thing he told the trooper.

He recovered, did therapy for both his gun shot and his mental state. His mother worked very hard to resolve his issues, learning about mental health.

She did everything a human being could do to help another human being.

His brain, however, was fire.

In the end, he succeeded.

He didn't want to hurt anyone, but he needed to commit a crime so huge he could not survive.

He went after a cop with a machete. He was killed.

The trooper and his mother now go on tour talking about mental health.

Thanks for staying with me so far, but you should be really curious as to what this has to do with School shootings.

EVERYTHING.

The pattern is this. Someone goes to a school, shoots up the place, the cops arrive, they shoot themselves. They often rebuff the first encounter with law enforcement, before capping themselves to the overwhelming force.

There are exceptions, but the pattern is the same, putting themselves in a situation they cannot survive.

Suicide by cop.

I don't mean to simplify mental health. There are FAR too many factors to consider in the scope of the mind, but there comes a moment when the brain betrays us and only horror is an option.

And it can take time, YEARS.

A man, living out in the midwest, thought his life wasn't going the way he wanted, so he began to accumulate guns and ammunition. He traveled around different states to hide under the radar, joining gun clubs as not to raise suspicions for accumulating ammo, and of course, to practice. At one point he got a girlfriend and suspended his plans of murder, until she dumped him.

We know this from his blog. If you found it, it said, "The Password is the day I die."

So, it was locked until that day.

For years he knew the day.

He went to his old school, smuggled his guns in, and chained the doors to the auditorium.

Two things went array. One, the auditorium was canceled so instead of hundreds of potential victims he had thirty, and two, the police were training on campus.

As he walked down the aisle, murdering, he looked up and saw through the tiny auditorium door window a boat load of cops. They made quick work of the locked door, but he had run up on stage, and before the cops could access, shot himself.

They found his blog, and typed in the day's date.

This is your suspect. A man who thought he failed in life picked on his school for failing to prepare him, but reality speaking, he didn't want to live and created a scenario he could not survive. He could have capped himself whenever, but instead, his mind wrapped itself with layers of stories to blame others for his own short comings, made by extension, his suicide.

So he could die.

Not all these go to plan, not all these work. In Florida, a teen walked into school with an AR-15 and shot up the place. The gun then jammed. Unable to fix it, he tried to hide with the other students who pointed him out. The cops took him into custody.

A lot has not been disclosed about him, his mental state, about what he wanted.

I can't comment on it.

I can, however, speculate. His blood lust had not been satiated. The weapon malfunctioned, distracted him, taking him from the moment, allowing reality to settle in.

What was left of his brain, that bit that wanted to survive, suddenly piped up, suggesting to make a run for it.

And he did.

So, in schools and shootings, this is the person you have to stop. Someone who has planned it, someone who knows the lay out, someone who knows the drill.

And most of all.

Someone who wants to die.

More on this.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: And so here I am at the end of the road, where do I go from here?

Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
As promised, more on the phenomena of school shootings.

I was viewing a Facebook Wall of a gentleman who works for the TSA, aka, the Transportation Security Administration. He posts a weekly, showing the amount of handguns confiscated from people either intentionally or unintentionally, try to bring hand guns, knives,and other banned substances, onto planes.

This is an odd thing as legally transporting is rather easy, albeit to me, a little weird. You take your gun and lock it UNLOADED in a case. Walk up to the check up window and tell the clerk you have a restricted item you wish to transport.

It's that easy.

The weird part is more anecdotal.

You walk up, and because you're in a secured area, and there are armed guards with REAL, large, scary looking guns, the LAST thing you want to do is proclaim, I HAZ A GUN! So, I say it in a gentle voice, I have a restricted item.

100% of the time, the clerk, typing and otherwise busy, says, excuse me?

So, in a slightly louder voice, but not really louder, just more emphasized and slower, aware of the crowd of easily panicked people standing right there, I repeat, I have a restricted item.

And what is the restricted item? I can feel the ears pricking up all around me.

Well, here we go, dilly dally will only cause more alarm, just say it, your credentials are all in good kit, just keep your hands where they can see them at all times and say...

"I haz a FIREARM."

Because firearm is friendlier than, GUN!

"Is it unloaded?"

"Yes."

"Open the case, please."

So, here comes the weird part. We don't go off to the side or behind a curtain, RIGHT THERE, in line I take out my locked case and I UNLOCK it and open the case showing my gun to the world, RIGHT THERE! I mean, if I wanted to show it off I woulda worn my Lone Ranger get up.

Then the clerk looks at it. The clerk doesn't manipulate it in any way or do anything other than look at it. For those who do not know about guns, let me state there are many guns and they look and work many different ways and none of them, NONE of them will tell you they are loaded or not.

Wait, Frodo, I'm certified gun professor and I can name several guns that have a notch that pops out indicating the gun is loaded.

Shaddap.

Mr. Big Gun guy, when I see that notch it tells me you didn't clean your weapon and the notch is filled with gunk and giving a false reading.

Treat all guns as if they're loaded. It's a rule!

Here's another sub rule;

You can't look at a gun and say it's safe, or unloaded, or anything other than a potentially dangerous instrument. I don't believe in safeties on a gun. They WILL fail when you need them not to. The safety is YOU. Keep your meat hook off the trigger and the gun will be fine. Lesson over.

But, the airline clerk looks at the gun and then says, "Are you sure it's unloaded?"

Ah, a poker player, looking for tells. I look the clerk in the eye and say, "It is unloaded."

She then hands me a chit and says, "sign this, lock up the case, put it back in your bag and put your bag on the scale, have a nice flight."

Really, wot was that all about?

Here's an idea; leave those chits at the door. I fill one out, attach it to my suitcase, the clerk will see it when I put my bag on the scale and will know there is an unloaded gun.

But, I digress.

My friend posted on his wall in the last week of April 2018 95 dangerous items, mostly guns, were confiscated at the airport security, and when I say, mostly, I mean 93 guns. That place with all the TSA agents looking at you and where you take off your shoes and belts and pants and false teeth and walk through only to be hand searched while surrounded by signs warning you not to carry a gun there followed by an announcement every five seconds on the off chance you were temporarily struck blind as you walked past the sign that specifically prohibits you from doing exactly what you're doing, which is carrying a gun through the check point.

I mean, you're standing in line, you pull off your belt and think: "Oh, God! I'm packing HEAT!" You politely say, "I've changed my mind." and walk away.

Ta Dah.

Crisis, and criminal arrest and confiscation of your firearm and your right to bare arms, avoided.

93 guns a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year, that's a lot of guns.

Fact is, there are a stoopid amount of guns in the U.S. I've seen estimates of over 500 MILLION guns in the United States. That fact isn't frightening. The fact that it is estimated is frightening. Meaning, WE DON'T KNOW how many guns there are.

One of my jobs was to process firearm permit applications. I was to do an cursory investigation, background check, and make a packet with the documents and prepare them for the chief's signature. One day he says, "I used to believe in the 2nd amendment. Now I only believe in the 2nd amendment for me."

I believe there are many people who believe in the 2nd amendment for themselves while giving the Byzantine Side-Eye to everyone else. Just as you can't shout 'fire' in a crowded movie house, or play the Sousaphone on Main Street in Noank, there has to be limits on things like fundamental rights.

When it comes to firearms, there is a middle ground, but no one wants to accept it.

For a few thousand bucks you can buy a 3d metal printer. This bit of wizbangery has already crafted fire arms for demonstrative purposes. Making guns isn't very hard, the science has been around for hundreds of years. Even if we round up 500 million guns, it doesn't stop the new market of illegal weapons. We've given up on enforcing pot laws not because we didn't want too, or because it was 'a victimless crime' (is isn't), but because we couldn't afford to prosecute all the pot heads. They grew it everywhere, or smuggled it in. Heck, we couldn't stop a whole person, how do we stop a gun?

A friend of mine lives alone. She knows her neighbors and lives in a relatively safe neighborhood. She wants a gun for her house. She's taken a gun course, she's tried and fired several, she is developing an opinion on them based on actual hands on experience.

When she asked me my thoughts, I responded, 'Wot's the mission?" What is the purpose of the gun? Protect the house, protect the farm, go into combat, scare people? (Scare isn't an option, but some people think it is.) What do you want this gun to do?

"I want to kill any fucker than comes into my house and tries to rape me." (Paraphrasing)

Well, okay. We then spent a good amount of time on what she really wanted, which was to stop someone from harming her or her dog.

Reason this is important is because we get into caliber. She thought 9mm was good. I agreed. Wide variety of ammo, bullet selection, expansion, velocity, power, the whole gambit. She lives in the suburbs where over penetration, (the bullet passing through the target, through the wall, through a neighbor) is minimal. 9mm comes in all shapes sizes and there will be something that works for you.

She then mentioned that someone in her town, a single woman living alone, was raped. Her assailant broke into her house, raped her, then left, and to this moment has not been caught.

This is dreadfully important.

Her neighbors all have guns. Hunting is big in this area. She is a trained archer in fact, with a 30 lbs compound, sights and string release trigger. She is strong, a rock climber, golfer, runner, and she's smart, working in a high tech field, (I'm not allowed to go into specifics, it's that high tech) and pulls in a rather handsome salary.

She doesn't take shit from anyone.

She's attractive and single.

I know, right?

Her criminal history is clear.

Issuing her a gun permit from her local constabulary is a no brainer.

Here is the responsible (future) gun owner. Some one who knows the response time to her neighborhood for police is anywhere from 12-15 minutes, a lifetime when you're getting your ass kicked. She's made the decision, her line in the sand.

I'm a BIG fan of Tori Amos. If you haven't heard her, sorry. When I first heard this song, well, it's chilling.

I'll make it easy for you:



Now, in this scenario, it is the bad guy, the guy we don't want to have the gun, who has the gun.

So, wot's the mission? Survival.

What dynamics would change is she had a gun also?

I know what my friend would say.

"That fucker would be dead." (Not paraphrasing)

I know some of you are gun/no gun. But just as you would not want me to tell you how to live, don't tell me how to die. I can figure that out myself.

In my story,

at the end of my story,

That fucker would be dead.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: irate irate
Current Music: I've never been to Barbadous, I must get out of this.

Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
What is a teacher?

The obvious answer is simple and yet, not so. Providers of information, but also installers of knowledge. A book can provide information, a video can provide facts but a teacher makes it knowledge, takes zeros and ones of binary and makes it graphic.

A teacher is also a baby sitter. Let's be real. Part of our school's existence is to keep children out from underfoot until they are old enough to be useful for something other than a dish hoover. Since we're not allowed to let them earn valuable experience and wages by crawling through tight and dangerous machinery, we have to do something with them when they are not eating, crying and other wise annoying us.

A teacher is a counselor. Providing children with options of the future, a path to wander. They are also to peel them off the ceiling when their meds wear off, or peel them off the ground and boost their confidence after I destroy it.

In a teacher's career, parades of children march by, and you'd think once the bell rings the faces and names of the little O2 waste units would vanish from memory like an unsaved Word Doc, but they don't. They rattle around in a teacher's brain box long after the semester, long after school is out.

Long after that.

"Oh, I remember your brother." They said to me, which is a euphemism for, "Don't think I'm gonna put up with that crap again, I'm shutting you down now."

Seriously, that was four years ago. You've have nearly 500 students sitting in front of you and you remember, MY brother? Well, they remember all 500 of those students, those faces. That kid with the crayon wedged in his nose, that kid who glued his lip to his note book, that kid who's essay was read at the teacher's convention to a standing ovation.

As each child walks in and out of a teacher's class, that teacher is embossed on that child and in the inverse, that child is impressed on that teacher. Both teacher and child have grown and for the rest of always there will be a link connecting the two.

Tell me why I don't like Mondays?

In 1979 16 year old Brenda Spencer took her rifle to school and murdered first her principal, and then a janitor, before opening up on her classmates, wounding nine of them. She then went home where she was later taken into custody. When asked why, she said, "No one likes Monday's. I just wanted to cheer them up."

Sir Bob Guildoff wrote a song about it. It became a hit in 32 countries.

School shootings are nothing new.

Here's a fun fact. In the cellar of Butler Elementary School in Noank Connecticut is a gun range. I have seen it. It's not an urban legend. I wouldn't go mucking about down there because of all the lead dust but it is there. In fact, many schools back in the day had shooting clubs. These have fallen out of favor.

Many of these schools had strict rules and zero incidents. Brenda Spencer, who was a member of her school rifle team, changed all that.

Have you seen the Disney movie, Ol' Yeller? I'm not going to tell you how it ends.

Now, with all that we've talked about, let's get to the meat of this entree, shall we.

Guns in the hands of teachers.

School shootings have become all the rage now. For the purpose of this essay, I want to define a school shooting as a wonton and intentional act of inflicting mass casualty for reasons other than terrorism. That's my definition, I just made it up. We can work on it if you like.

There was a case when a girl walked into her class, shot her friend dead, then declared, "This don't concern y'all." Then put the barrel in her mouth and pulled the trigger. That's not a school shooting.

Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland. Those are school shootings.

Another job for a teacher is guardian. Protector. Stoping children from harming themselves and protecting them from harm is a difficult task under ordinary circumstances because kids are just so danged good at harm.

But now one of your students, that goofy mouth breather you reared as a pup, taught, counseled, aided, advised, lead, trained, has come in with a gun, snarling, his brain boiling, his aura unrecognizable, and is killing people. Bang, bang, bang.

You must protect your students, get them out of harms way.

There is a call to arm teachers.

Give Teachers Guns!

Only a good guy with a guy can stop a bad guy with a gun.

Think about that.

This is, by extension, your progeny, your squire, your student, your ward...

Your child.

Yeah, for that time a teacher is teaching, that child becomes the teacher's child. That's why they remember them for so long. Teaching is taking onto oneself the responsibility of being a parent.

Now we expect that teacher to drop a hammer on their child.

Ol' Yeller.

But what about times of peace? What about all the other times you've got your student and you're the teacher and all is well.

You will always have bubbling in the back of your head, "What if I gotta drop a hammer on Billy, on Peggy Sue, on Walter?"

Imagine teaching in that environment.

Maybe some teachers can live like that, function like that, teach like that.

We underpay and under-respect our teachers as it is. Now we add the additional burden of gunslinger to them.

Should a teacher who chooses to exercise his 2nd amendment right to possess a fire arm on school property be allowed to do so?

Ol' Yeller.

That's a decision between that teacher and his conscience. (Edit, with specific school/tactical firearms training and appropriate equipment)

We can play the fun game of what if, but I won't. I think a teacher's first job is to get his students into a safe place and remain with them.

If you're interested, I'll post about other avenues of school safety at a later post.

But to sum this one up.

Teacher, you teach. Teach unfettered and unbridled. These are your kids. Teach them well.

Security should be left to the security personnel. Towns, SPEND MONEY ON SECURITY and on TEACHERS instead of stoopid things like buildings you don't need! You'll be surprised how that works. Good guys with guns stopping bad guys, there's something to that.

More on this if you care.

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2 Dragons or Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
I am saddened to announce my friend of many years, photodharma Tony Baldwin, has passed away after his battle with cancer. He was a passionate man who always looked out for the disenfranchised, under dog.

He was one of the reasons I wrote Shard's Thugs as a novel. I had written Shard's Company, as a short story. I had no destination for it, no second chapter. I wasn't thinking.

He was head over heels for it and encouraged me to do something with it. He even did some art work.

. PFC Gralfange.

I figured I I can inspire someone to do this, then I had a story needed telling.

He was a good man. He will be missed.

Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: ...

Call a Dragon
dragoncaller
Comi-con! Gen-con! Creation-con! Con-con! Wrath of Con! By Fans for Fans with Fans because it gets hot in here and you'll need a lot of fans!

Come put your geek on!

Meet legends, meet the makers, meet your heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy!

Comic books will come to life!

Oh, let it die already.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Lying, cheating sacks of shit. You've lost yer way! Forgotten the cause! Betrayed your kind. Outcast!

Christmas used to be magic. Mesmerized by the flashing lights of the Christmas tree and a little creeped out by We Three Kings of Orient Are. It held such wonder. Cons used to be like that. Stuff to see, people to see, toys and games and panels.

Christmas is now the Holiday Season and no one gives a shit if you've been good. Cons are now a money making scheme, much like the feudal system raising lords over us. All on the backs of the peasants, I mean, volunteers.

I blame, of course, the fans. Greedy, crumb-snatching, illiterate fans who want their content pre-chewed and sterilized. And listen, it's Cosplay, not fucking Halloween. Put a little thought into it, huh? No! You don't have to go out and BUY everything, and you don't have to become a FX master, just some thought, and get a mirror. I think a mirror would really help you out.

Check this kid out. I think he was 8 or 9.


Cardboard, spray paint and duct tape. I spoke to his mom who said they kid put the whole thing together. The circle on his chest, an old plastic Tupperware lid. Knee joints, coffee cup lids. The face, a cardboard cut out. Now that's cosplay. He had the C3PO walk down pat! It was brilliant!

One thing the really bugged me about cons in the 80's was everyone was bootlegging stuff. "I'm a fan but I'm okay with STEALING stuff." Here's an idea, why not support the writers and directors and producers trying to give you great stuff. Well, just frigging YESTERDAY, December 10th, two thousand and mother fucking seventeen, some mouth breather BRAGGED to me he was going to pick up a bootleg version of some show he was watching. REALLY? You pay thirty dollars to get into a con to by and blackmarket version of a program you could probably download legally for $2.99?

Well, I stammered and said something along the lines of, you could probably get it off of Amazon really cheap and he mumbled something I couldn't hear and wandered off, giggling and nose picking with his minion.

Running the Con. It takes A LOT OF WORK to run a con. I don't mind that guy gets a salary. But, if he(she) is getting paid, I expect professional service, ESPECIALLY if I'm paying close to $300 for a 6 foot table.

Gamer-Con $275
Conneticon $300
Super-Con $220
Phil-Con $160
SuperMegaFest $180
Wicked Fare $450-800. Really? Mother fucker? $450? FOR WHAT? A table?
And of course Gary-con. $90

Gary-Con. I was sold a bill of goods from that guy. This brings me to,

CON DRAMA!

I never had given it much thought but cons are a bunch of friends who get organized and make a con happen. Friends, like husband and wife, like family, like brothers, fight. Sometimes irreparable damage occurs. That is what happened to Phil-Con. Pissy, pretentious, arrogant white misogynistic racists who thought Fiction could only be written by white old men couldn't get along with the idea of, "Why not have a black female author as our guest of honor" so they destroyed 80 years of fandom. This was the story I was told and in looking at what was being salvaged from Phil-con, that story made sense.

Gary-con was different. (here's what I heard) A bunch of guys who couldn't agree; okay, Gary packs up and makes his own Con. But his old buddies don't like the idea of competing with Gary so they sue him. During this time, one of them discovered that Gary hired a registered sex offender to be a photographer. He then starts a social media spiel calling Gary out on it. Gary foolishly doubles down defending they predator and torpedoes his own con. By time he comes to his senses the damage is done. He's already got my money and the money of all the venders, so it's no skin of his nose. Gary wins the law suit and thinks that somehow vindicates him from hiring a sex offender.

Gary Con had the highest percentage of kids I've seen at a con. At a minimum, he should have checked his paid staff on the sexual predator list. It's free. It was reckless of him and if a person had been harmed I think Gary would be culpable for it. But he didn't. Okay. When he was called on it, he shoulda cut the guy loose. Sure, the whistle blower's motives for calling this guy out may, MAY have alternate motives, but a lit fuse is still a lit fuse. He didn't cut the guy loose but instead tried to battle it out. Wow. A good general chooses his battlefield. Gary chose very poorly. Defending sexual predators while pushing a Kid's Event is not a good battlefield.

This brings me to a really sore spot with me. Sexual Predators. I'm all for injecting Drano into the testes, but I've been told that's Draconian. Okay, fine. But why are we the ones defending ourselves from predators?

Here is what isn't happening:

One, if you're on the list it's like parole. You have to check in with your parole officer and he gets to randomly spy on you to make sure you're telling the truth. If you're not in compliance, Drano to the testes.

There must be conditions on the order. Announcing someone is a predator and putting no conditions on the form is just confusing and frightening. Also, with no conditions, he CAN'T violate it. Nothing stops him from hanging out at the parking and watching your kids, or getting a job watching your kids. Why do I have to do a background check on anyone I meet? That's the parole officer's job!

If what this guy did is so slight there are NO conditions of the order, get rid of it. There you go, either no order or Drano to the Testes.

Yes, Marion Zimmer Bradly is a different kind of monster but we gotta start SOMEWHERE.

Hey! Here's an idea! GPS tracking bracelets! Wander too close to a school too many times, Drano to the Testes. DONE.

But back to cons. Some of these cons have 50-75 volunteers. Checking ALL of them would be problematic. And what about the fans? How many of them are sexual predators? All walking around looking at all that lovely spandex, how do we stop them? People get sexually assaulted at Cons, it happens and we need to STOP IT RIGHT BLODDY NOW! As in now, NOW. Yes, NOW, NOW.

Cosplay is not consent is a great start. It is about the fandom, not assaulting each other.

Jeez! I just wanna sell books.

Books.

That is the heart of Sci-Fi. It's the heart of all stories. It is the story that drives EVERYTHING. No writers, no nothing. NOTHING. Heck, even professional wrestlers need writers.

You would be surprised at the amount of people who said, "I don't read."

The saddest three words ever.

Here are some more bad words.

Without books, without stories, we're all fucked.

So,

Buy a book and save your world.

Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
Current Music: The sailor says, Brandy, you're a fine girl.

4 Dragons or Call a Dragon