Thursday, March 2, 2006

Kids need more free time!

I see that the local school board just came out with their schedule. State law now says that school can't start till after Labor Day and will be out around Memorial Day. Tourism and Vacation planning seems more important than our childrens preparation to lead the world. Makes me shudder to think what it's going to be like as this century unfolds in front of us.

Back in the 80's...remember those old days? I was living in California, Torrance California to be exact. The home of Toyota and other Japanese owned, USA based companies. Our young teenager was in one of the better public schools in the area. He was 1 of only 3 non-oriental rooted students in his class of 20 something. He felt special because when public school got out, he was free to come home, ride his bike, play video games or just look at the funny clouds that the polution grouped in the sky's above our townhouse. See most all the other kids in his class had to continue their studies at a private Japanese learing center. For almost two extra hours each weekday AND for 1/2 a day on Saturday those students were being put through extra learning drills. They were schooled in Japanese, but also in English, History, Math, Science, Media, EVERYTHING that would give them a ONE UP in becoming future leaders of their individual worlds. HMMMM, from Chris' point of view, he was the winner, but to me it looks like he AND our entire country are becoming the loosers.

My German foreign kids were used to being at school in the 7am hour, out of school at 1:30, then home for 3 to 5 hours of study. And they do that for 10 months of the year. Butts in chairs for more hours just has to contribute to a more highly educated workforce. I think we're slipping!

Talk to any employer and their major complaint? Going through worker after worker to find one that has the same work ethic as they the owner/boss has. What has happened to the folks that want to work for works sake? Who take pride in a job well done even if it's not their chosen career? I remember in the 70's I hired a young man to clean my store. His career was to be a piano tuner and he was developing that busines, but he sure did a wonderful job of keeping my store clean! Every day he would use one of those old mops and wash/wipe from one end to the other. Never complained, always had a great attitude and took pride in his "job of the day!" Now I have work that goes undone from year to year even though I'll pay a PREMIUM to have it done. No one shows up saying, "Have you got some work, I'll do anything, I need some money." They're to busy to stop and do physical work, that would interfere with their free time. Sorry I'm ranting about this, but I look around me and see SO MUCH that could be done, and I've got cash in my pocket to get it done. I've got job offers posted at the employment office AND the University. But alas, no one calls so I'll end this and go do some physical work which is good for me anyway but would sure be happier to pay for that so I can continue my core business. Where have all the good men (and women) gone?


Well it's a sad day for the community I live near (Crookston Minnesota). There's an old hotel in the center of town. It's in terrible disrepair but the frame is sound, it's even got an elevator shaft. Last night the county announced that they're going to tear it down. It will probably cost them a half a million dollars to do it. Here's the sad part.

If they put the same amount of money into a group/company/developer/individual, that individual could lever it into more than enough to make it a grand living space (yes for lower class incomed individuals)(GEE they need to buy food and clothes and gas and videos too!!) for many people, AS WELL AS having a ground floor area that could be rental of retail, restuarant, or civic use space. Our downdown is dying, and no one has a backbone to develop a vision to save it. Those that try give up quickly because of all the mountains that are put in their way. Taking out this core feature that occupies 1/4 of the major downtown block will leave the center of the city looking even more sad and open. Visitors and residents will then see the back sides of the other 3/4 of the block, a sight best left to movie makers and deliverymen.

If blame is to be put, I put it square on the shoulders of the local media. There's no one out there doing the job that media was supposed to do. In our neighbor city of Grand Forks, 2 giant building project happened almost simultaneously. Although I don't see eye to eye with talk show host Scott Hennen on a lot of issues, (who now is on the air on WDAY in FARGO) I can tell you that those two projects went through because EACH AND EVERY DAY he was on the radio pitching their value to the community. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN he kept hounding and cajoling, interviewing and correcting citizens who "didn't get it!"

MEDIA is supposed to be for the underdog, they're supposed to stand up and fight for the little guy, to take the higher-ground path even when it's against the financial powers that be. But in out town, money drives the media. No one is going to say or do anything that might cause even one business man to hold up even one dollar in advertising. And because there's no one shouting for the high ground in our town, the residents have become complacent. No one cares, no one shows up, no one (or almost no one) writes letters of support, or donates their hard earned cash to such projects.

It's always been said that a strong willed media keeps our country free. It's such an old line but so true about the power of the pen (microphone?) overcoming the sword. In our town the destructive swords sweep across our landscape because no one with power is using their pen! It's a sad day for the community I live in.

Monday, February 27, 2006

F.A.S Do you know what it means?

False Authority Syndrome. This is a real and actual disease which I have diagnosed in many people over the years. As time goes on here I'll elaborate on it.

Goodbye XX Olympics

Well it's over. I watched the winter Olympics more this time than any other time in the past. I was actually whooping and hollaring when Apolo got the gold and then did so well in the relay! That's never happened to me before. Am I becoming a sports enthusiast in my middle age? And how do those skiers "learn" to do those acrobatic moves. The first time must be a real mind bender! So thanks to the Curlers and the Skiers and the 1/2 Pipers and especially the Skaters! A lot of folks have been complaining about the coverage and saying that the Canadian station put out a better feed. OK. Being a technical guy and seeing all that they delived to my TV I have no complaints about that or even any "comments of improvement."

Here's my only complaint. There's a WAR going on and yet I never heard one comment about, "I did it for my brother in Iraq." OR "this is for the troups." OR even "HI to our troups." No matter what your feelings about this war, we've lost well over 2000 brave soldiers. How many thousands more have severe injuries both physical and emotional/mental. AND NOT ONE WORD!? Shame on someone. Did you hear anything? Please let me know.