Bragging on the kids

I’m not allowed to brag on my kids on Facebook.  My wife, for reasons she won’t clearly state, doesn’t like it and gets downright mad at me if I do.  Well this is my blog and I can do anything I damn well please here so here goes.

My 21 year old daughter Courtney just got into the University of Montevallo.  It seems that she’s found what she wants to do and she’s really working hard at it.  I think she’s finally maturing and thinking about her future. I’m so proud of her!

My 13 year old daughter Rachael was on the A-B honor roll for the year. She also was in chorus at school, rang bells at church, sang duets with her sister at church, was in a production of Cinderella at school, Junior Beta Club where she competed in the Tower of Power competition at Myrtle Beach, and won awards in competition dance.  I’m sure that I’m forgetting something because it seems that she’s always busy doing something.  Poor Rachael has do constantly deal with the fact that the people giving out the awards aren’t conscientious enough to spell her name correctly on the awards.  Maybe I’m just a bad parent for wanting to give her a slightly unique name.

My 11 year old daughter Alyssa was on the A honor roll not only for the year but also for her entire time in school so far.  There weren’t many kids who earned this honor for sure.  She’s also in chorus at her school, rang bells at church and sang duets there with her sister.  She won awards in competition dance like her sister did.  She was part of the “Live on 5″ news crew at the school where she reported the news to the school “on TV.”  This girl is also the sweetest kid I’ve ever seen. She’s got a heart of gold.  She’s also the one that you don’t want to get mad, but outside that small percentage of the time, she really is the sweetest kid.

They were in different dance groups this year and both did really awesome.  They worked so hard at this, having dance class 4 days a week between the 2 of them and always begging us to let them stay and watch the other dancers or help out with the younger kids.  They both had younger dancers there who just loved them to death.

Last but not least is my 8 year old son, Patrick.  He’s gotten all A’s since he’s been in school.  He was described by one former teacher as a possible genius.  He ranked in the 99th percentile nationally in math this year. In the Cognitive Abilities Test,  he ranked in the 98th percentile in cognitive abilities and 99th percentile in nonverbal ability.  Because of this, he was invited to attend the Charles Townes Center for the Gifted and Talented next year. Only 75 kids in the county are invited to this each year.  Patrick also won the 2nd grade spelling bee and is in Cub Scouts where he earned his Wolf Badge this year.

While I’m bragging, I might as well brag on my wife Heidi a bit as well.  She was voted by the teachers as volunteer of the year at Bryson Elementary School, where she was PTA President.  She helped to coordinate all of the fund raising efforts for year.  She volunteered on field day, the Washington DC trip for 5th graders, and on and on.  She’s such a math guru that me, the Computer Science major, never gets asked math questions by the kids.  They always to go Mom because she enjoys the math so much and I think explains things better than I do.  Most importantly, she put up with me for another year.

Junk Calls

Just received a call from 202-378-7651 telling me I have been chosen to receive a grant of $9,000.  He said in his Indian accent, ” you are probably wondering what you have done to receive this grant,” to which I said, I know this is a con, I’m just trying to figure out what your angle is going to be.  He promptly hung up.

Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan, tells troops ‘We stand in awe of your service’ | Fox News

“We’re going to stay strong by taking care of your families,” the president told troops at Bagram Air Field in a roughly 25-minute speech. “We’re going to stay strong by taking care of our wounded warriors and our veterans. Because helping our wounded warriors and veterans heal isn’t just a promise, it’s a sacred obligation… I’m here to say that I’m proud of you.”

via Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan, tells troops ‘We stand in awe of your service’ | Fox News.

So the question is, if there wasn’t such an outrage over Obama’s lack of leadership on the terrible state of care these hero’s are getting from the VA, would he be there now?

I’m glad that he’s there even though it’s likely a political move more than a compassionate move.  Some of the military folks probably like him and think the visit means he actually cares.  If he cared, he would be taking better care of them when they return home and making sure that they get everything that they need.  He’s a politician, not a leader and you should never confuse the two.  A leader leads, and both feels the pains of his decisions and the pride of success that’s shared with those he leads.

Much like Bill Clinton, Obama is worried more about his legacy than the suffering of those he leads and rules over.  A true leader doesn’t rule, he leads.  Obama is a ruler, not a leader.  Hillary on the other hand, well Hillary is a completely different animal by most accounts.

According to a lot of those close to her, she’s more dangerous than both Bill and Barry.  She has components of both in her personality in that she wants a legacy but she also has something that they don’t; the conviction that what she’s doing is really best for the people.  I, of course, don’t know her any more than I know the other two.  Based on information that I’ve read from various sources, this is the real Hillary Clinton.

It will be interesting to see how the media portrays her as opposed to Obama.  He’s black and she’s a woman so there are so many different components to how they handle these differently that it’s hard to keep up.  The media both thinks that Obama is their messiah and fear their own machine of being called racist if they oppose him or point out his ignorance to the world.  It’s sad to have such a person as President of the United States, particularly when we come to days like Memorial Day when we honor those who he despises, the very people who have paid the ultimate price for his right to be an arrogant ass of a ruler.  Then again, you get what you pay for and you bought this mess with your vote or your lack thereof.

Classic Shell – Start menu and other Windows enhancements

startmenu3

Classic Shell – Start menu and other Windows enhancements.

I personally use Start8 ($4.99 from Stardock.com) but this looks like a decent, free alternative if you want to keep the tiled look of Windows 8 or 8.1 but want to be able to actually find things.

My biggest gripe with 8 isn’t simply the tablet interface, it’s mostly the fact that as a power user I can’t find anything.  You have to dig to find any meaningful customization options or setup commands.  Simply getting to the device manager is nearly impossible without some kind of overlay like this to help you out.

I upgraded to 8, then 8.1 for speed and robustness.  I’ve found that it is more stable than even Windows 7.   I only upgraded because I could use Start8 give me a usable interface.  If you upgrade as well, take note that you will lose some functionality that you have in 7 like the Windows DVD Maker.  That is an awesome, free program that I’ve used countless times to put video from my cameras onto DVD’s for the kids mainly.

If you upgrade or decide to use Classicshell let me know how it goes.

The Clan Gathering

So my wife and I are at dinner at Miyabi in Greenville.  I love that place by the way.  We were celebrating my birthday, just the two of us.  When we were seated, we were put together with a large group of black folks.  At some point, my wife asked me what the next trip I had planned was.  I casually mentioned that it was the clan gathering in June, not thinking until after I had said it how it could be misunderstood.

You see, old as I am, I’m a member of a gaming clan.  It’s just a bunch of old farts that play online video games together on the PC.  I took the next opportunity to clearly say that my gaming clan was having a get together in June and at one of the guys homes near Portland.  Nothing was said by anyone at the table and my wife didn’t even notice until I mentioned to it after we had left the restaurant.  We went on to have a nice evening and actually found out in polite conversation with a lady at the table that her brother is Chadwick Boseman.  He played Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 and James Brown in the upcoming movie Get On Up.   You just never know who you will meet and where, I guess.

Language

 

I’ve always wanted to learn another language.  I’ve often thought that I could do it if I put my mind to it.  I still think that I’ll be able to get it, but wow it’s tough.  I’ve been in French Translation 1 for about a month now and I really have an appreciation for those folks who know multiple languages.  We have some of them at work.

Three people in my class are not native English speakers. The class is based on English to French, so they really have a tough time of it at times but they seem to be catching on very well.  One person in particular doesn’t have a great grasp of English pronunciation but he’s doing really well on knowing what words mean what.  His native language is Chinese.  I guess if you can learn Chinese, you can learn any language.

When I was in college and working full time it seems to me that it was more hours of work but it was easier to remember.  I do enjoy what I’m learning but I guess programming is a bit more in my DNA than French.  I spend the time studying and I’ve found that flash cards really do help me to remember the words, especially when I use Quizlet and have to type in the translation.  I guess tying it together like that makes a difference.  When I’m learning objects, it seems easier than when I’m learning articles and prepositions.  Objects I can see in my mind like maisons and usines and that makes the link.  Numbers I can remember, but expressions de quantité are kicking my butt.  Work, work, work, I guess.  Wish me luck!

 

A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list – CNN.com

There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

via A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list – CNN.com.

Shameful!

Why The Feds Chickened Out On A Nevada Ranch – Kevin McCullough – Page 1

Finally we were allowed to know the connection between a communist Chinese wind/solar power plant and its connection to that senator named Harry Reid. Evidently a plan had been hatched to use the Bundy property for a solar farm and instead of paying the Bundys, someone, somewhere in the administration believed it was easier to just take what they wanted.

via Why The Feds Chickened Out On A Nevada Ranch – Kevin McCullough – Page 1.

Who is surprised to find out that there was another reason behind this? Anyone?

While I didn’t expect this and I did expect that there would be some bad news coming any day, I’m not surprised that this administration has yet again stepped on its collective wanker, AGAIN.  Power has driven Harry Reid and the Obama’s completely mad. They don’t see how anyone can question their authority.  They seem dumbfounded when they are questioned on obvious foul-ups.  If not for the independent media of bloggers and grassroots efforts to get this story out, it likely would have ended very badly for this poor family.  Why?  All because of power players gone mad and excessive greed.

I’m not against going after money. I’m not bashing the “rich”. I’m talking about when you are willing to do anything, like Reid is doing here for his pals, to make a bigger profit.  There’s money, then there’s blood money.  Would Harry Reid, Eric Holder, or Barack Obama have lost any sleep if the Bundy family had been killed?  I doubt they would notice if not asked by the media and who would have bothered to do that?

I hope that the feds learn something out of this whole mess.  I doubt they will, mind you, but we can hope that they are less bold about wrongly going after someone.  They are, after all, the self appointed most powerful entity in the land.  As long as they can control the publicity, that is.