Pregnant Teens and Yearbooks…

Dear Reader,

I am not sure if you are aware of this but teen pregnancy is at an all time low. Oh yes, the record is held by the generation born between 1972 and 1976 back in 1991 this generation was having children at the rate of 61.8 for every 1000 females. Most multiple births before the age of 18. So why I wonder on every story I read of another pregnant teen the general consensus seems to agree that teens today see having a baby as a rite of passage. Considering the most recent numbers being down by more than half, I should think it’s all the opposite.

Yet, there are still a myriad of stories regarding schools making headlines for attempting and in some cases succeeding in banning visibly pregnant teen photos from appearing in the yearbook. Please note the words visibly pregnant, most everyone jumps in the crucifixion bandwagon and happily glazes over the words visibly pregnant. I can understand the school officials not wanting to send the wrong message that teen pregnancy is no big deal, that it has no consequences and sets a bad example for other students. However, if they take this step with teen mothers to be, then my only question is why, oh why not take the same steps with teen fathers and school bullies? In the case of teen fathers, have we forgotten it takes two to make a child? In the case of bullies, I personally think bullies set a far worse example on their peers; in some cases they scar their victims for life. Yet if we are to open a yearbook at any given point since they became a thing, we will find them filled with pages of teen fathers and school tormentors. Rarely do we find more than one photo of that kid, who lacked social graces or parents that could buy their children the social standing by means of money or popularity by association.

These cases of students being banned from school functions or yearbooks because of their clothes, sexual orientation in some cases, or even because they are visibly pregnant usually get headlines and end in litigation, citing the First Amendment in most of the cases. Yet, I don’t see a story anywhere, where students litigate over far more important matters such as the quality of their education, the extreme shortage of books, the conditions in the classrooms, the lack of well trained teachers among so many others. What is quite clear is that teens as much as school officials care more about appearance than anything else. It’s sad really, but there it is.

SoCal Gas App….

Dear Reader,

Today, is not particularly a good day. I was installing apps, to pay my bills since I recently reset my phone. They all worked fine, safe for one…Socal Gas otherwise know as the Gas Company.

I installed it, and as soon as I clicked on it, it went to the Terms of Service on browser and opened over 100 pages of it, to the point, it stopped counting and gave me an infinity symbol. I tried closing the tabs, only to have them come back at me again, so the browser was unusable. Tried uninstalling, and it took me back to my blank browser with the 100+ TOS pages.

So I called informing them, the app was broken. The first lady took the trouble ticket, and I told her I was using another browser. Realizing that might have been my mistake, I reset my phone, as it was the only way to get back to normal.

I installed again once all the in phone apps had  updated to give it another go. This time I got  a Terms of Service Screen very badly designed that didn’t even fit the text. I waited and waited until finally my phone shut itself off. I did it again phone shut off again. I called to tell them. I am using an Android System, fresh with no other apps, that don’t come with the phone, fully updated and the problem does not only persists but it is worse. However, the lady insisted talking about Chrome and how everything was okay because she just had one customer use it no problem. At this moment I thought, wow, so one out of more than twenty customers uses it fine and that is good enough to call it working.

She would not even let me explain that the problem persists, and that it is a phone breaking problem. She just kept on. So I finally, thought okay “Goodbye”. I seldom hang up on people, but when I do, it is because they failed customer service. I was going to contact SoCal gas online, but they still have not caught up with the times.

So for all of you out there install SoCal Gas App at your own risk, and do so when you have an hour to get things back to normal.

For all you companies out there, one successful launch does not mean your software is problem free. Because for every one that works, there are 100 out there or more that don’t.

A non Emergency…

Dear Reader,

Have you ever had a sort of emergency, or as it would be qualified a non emergency. Today, I had such an emergency, where, I started itching,  really bad, granted the itching had started to show up yet again today, but this time… Well, it was more how do I put it horrible. I of course, called the nurse advice line, whom insisted, I call 911. So being that they know more than  I, I did just that. I have never been seen by paramedics, and I don’t know the extent of what they do, and clearly treating an allergic reaction that has not reached anaphylactic shock is not something they do. They did offer to take me to a hospital, as they said they are not a rolling pharmacy. Their words not mine. I figured, it was way too much, to go to a hospital for Benadryi.

Not a good experience, since I’m still itching and not happy. I always pictured if I ever had to deal with paramedics, that they would have better bed side manner or something. So, I send them on their way to be free to attend to people who were actually in peril.

That brings to mind yet another need of mine to learn to drive. None the less I did learn a valuable lesson today. 911 should not be used unless I’m already dead or or I can see my bones sticking out of me. You know something major, apparently an itching attack is not it.

Either way,  live long and proper, make the best out of a bad situation, and smile, because even though your non emergency seems trivial sometimes. If it is the worst you ever felt better safe than sorry.

Downer…

Dear Reader,

I been kind of on a writing break for a while now, because lets face it, the news gets worse every day. I live in the land of the free, and I like to keep thinking the land of the great. However, that thought is getting difficult to hold on to. I been looking for uplifting stories or something good to write about. I am sure if I look hard enough I will find it.

The last few months the headlines have not helped that resolve. Violence, and not against people but animals. First it was Cecil the Lion local celebrity in Zimbabwe , and while I had a few choice words no one sums it up better than Jimmy Kimmel

I thought the whole thing would be over, then again, dog bitten to death, mocking note left on his body. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot go on pretending that human depravity has gotten worse. Since, history will show, that worse things have happened. Vlad the Impaler, Hitler, Bin Laden. You name it and evil people and dark times have always been around. Yet, I figured, we are more civilized now, we should know better. Some of us do, but it seems people still need work.

It is not all about animal cruelty, the latest headlines of summer, are not about kids drowning in the pool, or pool side accidents. Oh no, for a while there on the news it was story after story about adults forgetting kids in the car, causing them to dehydrate or worse die.

On that end, all I can say is. Wow. Save me the excuses of how it can and it is possible. If a person does not forget their phone or their keys in the car, there is no excuse for forgetting a child. Humanity has been driving for over 75 years, Cars are not the latest craze. Yes, we leave the keys in the car, I know, my point here was it does not take us all day to figure it out!

You know that forgetting a child has become an epidemic of massive proportions, when car seat companies have to add an alarm to remind you the child is in their seat.

Children are our future, and we should care and nurture them beyond the best of our ability.

Live long and prosper always.

Netflix & Windows 10…

Dear Reader,

I recently updated my laptop to Windows 10, having very decent guts on it, I did not expect much of a change in performance, as on Windows 8.1 I was doing good. All was well, until, I began to notice, it was hanging on Netflix. Having no issues with other streaming sites like Youtube or Pandora, I figured it’s probably heavy online traffic to the site. It wasn’t

Today though, it got worse, I mean audio, video synch issues, and crashing on every browser I tried it on (3 of them to be exact) but to the point where my machine was so frozen I could not get it to shut down.

I began to debug after reporting the issue to Netflix, who were kind enough to inform me, they had an app for that. Naturally, I had no idea, because, hello, I have never owned a Windows phone, and Windows 8.1 was basically a giant Windows Phone, from what I been told, worse than Vista in my opinion.

So I ran anti virus software thinking it might be a worm or something. Nothing, all was well. I restarted the laptop more times than I care to count, and still no fix.

So then, I thought maybe it’s a windows update thing. Which, I had not considered before since, all apps, updated once Windows 10 was installed. Plus, I saw no notifications, that there were updates or restart to update cues anywhere.

So I went down to Notifications which looks like a chat bubble next to the clock on Windows 10 expanded menu, and went to All Settings, then there was a bunch of square icons one of them says Update and Security, and the first thing it showed was the Windows Update Tab, there I saw a cumulative update, set to install at 3 AM, I had no idea, as before on the previous system if anything was waiting a simple restart would get it going.

Contrary what I thought there was no cue for “Install all”, there was simply a button that said Restart. I found that redundant since I had restarted before, but did it anyway since I ran out of options.

Presto, it ran the update and my laptop went back to working normally. Browser and all. The first thing I did was check Netflix, all issues gone.

Pleasant surprise as this is the first time I see a Windows Update that does indeed improve performance.

So, if you find anything wrong with you system, check Windows Updates, Windows 10 is not perfect yet, more like a work in progress, so far, I’m happy that ridiculous Start Screen is gone.

A Woman on Currency….

Dear Reader,

While we are living in the decade of change. Yes, there has been a lot of history making moments in the last ten years. Despite the opinion that some hold that millennials have not had many moments to be proud of, I disagree. One of those historic moments is the possibility of a woman either sharing or taking over the portrait on the ten dollar bill, a bill that is currently and since 1929 been occupied by Alexander Hamilton.

At first and before doing some research, like some. I was not happy about this decision. Not because I don’t support women on dollar bills, but because my favorite motto is “don’t fix what is not broken”. The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with the ten dollar bill. Not to mention, that if it’s all about honoring a yet to be named woman, there are other ways.

Now, the above was before my research. Turns out that prior to Alexander Hamilton, the ten dollar bill, “green back” and all of it’s incarnations has had such greats as Lincoln, Jackson, Franklin, and a personal shocker Lewis and Clark. Why a shock? Hmmm… Well, it’s the first time I ever heard of a double portrait. A total of 11 people of importance besides Hamilton have graced the front and or back of the ten. Read about it here. http://www.antiquemoney.com/who-is-on-old-ten-dollar-bills/

So having learned this, I am in favor of change. I understand the Hamilton descendants for being unhappy with the change, but to go as far as calling him “the father of paper money” is a bit of a stretch. Paper money, you see has been around since the 1690s, they were called Colonial Bills. After that came The Continentals, which of course, were easily counterfeit and lost value fast. By this time Hamilton was  was 20 and part of the militia. He died twenty nine years later. In a duel. Of course, in the course of 27-29 years he wrote the Federalist Papers among other things.

Not sure how many people have been featured in other denominations, but on just the ten dollar bill, Hamilton and Morris were the only faces that were not born in the United States. Being a founding father that’s not odd, but of all the current bills in circulation he is the only one.

Yes, he did accomplish a lot, and I doubt removing him from the ten dollar bill will in any way diminish his historical value.

As for the woman, who will grace the ten dollar bill I can’t wait until her identity is revealed. She will be the second woman on paper money that I know about. Mexico, has or had at one point Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, and she was amazing. Being the US, I hope she is equally interesting.

Everest…

Dear Reader,

The last few days have had a feeling of strange in them. The weather has been unusually colder than normal. I half expected to see snow in the mountains and even some heavy rain. Of course it does not help that there has been earthquake activity in this city. However, nothing has prepared me for what I learned. Everest has moved. On Sunday at noon, Nepal time an 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook Everest. The damage and devastation are reminiscent of the 1985 earthquake that struck Mexico City. My prayers are with them.

Living in a state that is in constant movement. I can tell you, I’ve been through some very destructive earthquakes in my lifetime. Northridge, among others. The highest being a 7.1. Even so, I can’t ever get used to the ground moving under me. The experience is still terrifying. The sounds one hears are not easily forgotten.

The thing with earthquakes is that regardless of all the technology around us we have yet to predict one with certainty. That is what makes them even more scary, I suppose. All we can do is be ready. Pray for a good outcome and hope it’s decades before the earth decides to move strongly enough to notice.

Not all that glitters is gold…

Dear Reader,

It is easy to say, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. After all, who is to say, you aren’t trying to start with the man in the mirror? No one. Some people, however, say things worthy of a Michael Jackson song simply for mass appeal, to sound philosophical, humble or intelligent. Whatever the reason, we hope they mean what they say, or that given the opportunity they will practice what they preach. Quite recently Britt McHenry, a ESPN reporter by the grace of God, Destiny, the Universe, or good old fashioned Karma got such an opportunity.

Ms. McHenry, posted on Facebook on March 29, something about the impact words can have, we should always say nice things. Less, than 14 days later, she went out parked her car, had dinner and for reasons known only to her, she left without it. When she came back the next morning, naturally she expected to find it exactly where she left it. To no one’s surprise but her own the car had been towed. Granted, the company that towed her car has a horrible rating online, but even bad companies do their job right once in a while. What followed was something worthy of the movie “Mean Girls”

Find video here. Be warned, the language is explicit http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b0f_1429232562

There are two sides to every story, and I’m sure there is more to this video than the edited version that has made the rounds online. I just cannot fathom what could have been said to her to deserve the tongue slashing she delivered.

For all the education Ms. McHenry boasts about, you would think she would have learned the basics, like, never become the story, maintain grace under pressure, and my personal favorite, anything you do can and will eventually end up on online.

As expected ESPN has suspended her for one week effective yesterday. She has not apologized to the lady. I doubt she ever well, and by the looks of it, she is not at all sorry for her actions, she is sorry she got caught. While, the world will soon forget this debacle. I won’t.

Not a week goes by that I don’t read a story about a kid getting bullied in one way or another. It just makes my skin crawl when I see what by age qualifies as an adult being the bully. Ms. McHenry, is certainly being part of the problem rather than the solution. If there was any hope of the pretty Regina Gorge, to be simply a figment of Hollywood, that hope has been dashed. Pretty, blonde, and mean.

Like the tag line to the movie Chicago says, “If you can’t be famous, be infamous”.

Whatever, the future holds for Ms. McHenry, I hope sooner rather than later, she becomes the person she pretends to be.

Goodbye Pitt Bull…

Dear Reader,

I called my parents as I try to do at least twice a week. The news they had was not wonderful, not that all they say must be filled with wonder and rainbows. Their dog, who had been in the family since he was a baby, had passed away.  He was just a little over 15 years old. It is amazing how time flies.

He looked so full of life the last time I saw him, I can hardly believe he is no longer with us. He died of old age, as not too long ago he was given a clean bill of health. It was a sad day for the family as to us, pets are family and they are missed as such.

He was an American Pitt Bull Terrier. I know in general some dog breeds have a bad reputation. However, Chico was the biggest baby around, who would not hurt a fly. That is unless, you jumped the fence to the backyard, or tried to hurt anyone. He was quite a character, very playful and loving. I will miss the ways he almost acted like a playful cat, as though he forgot how big he was, or even how he would get on mom’s shoulders and she would sing to him and he would walk forward, it almost seemed like he was dancing.

He will be greatly missed. I know I certainly will miss seeing his playful face welcome me when I visit.

Hold your family pet, enjoy their company, because they are a blessing that brings smiles even when smiling is the hardest thing you can do.

Until the next post. Live, Learn and Enjoy.

Galaxies…

Dear Reader,

Did I just paint a picture in your mind of the first space themed movie or TV show you saw or perhaps the last? Or, maybe a simple picture of stars and general outer space?

The truth is galaxies are far more complex than that. Some if not most are extremely unique. In the universe there are two types of galaxies that are most prevalent spiral and elliptical (no I don’t mean the workout machine). Then there’s Hoag’s Object.

Now, according to StarDate.org there are two leading theories on how galaxies first came to be. Yes, we would like to think that after the Big Bang the dust settled and space was as we know it today, but in reality, nothing was that instant. About a billion years after The Big Bang, (quite a long time folks) the first galaxies were born. A galaxy’s birth is far more complicated than the birds and the bees talk we all have had with out parents.  One way that was an “explain it all” way for a while,  was that vast clouds of gas and dust collapsed under their own gravitational pull, allowing stars to form, and presto you got a shiny new galaxy. However, as times must and always will change, mostly due to advances in technology, yet another theory has come out of the wood work, and it has gained popularity. That theory states, that the universe contained many small “lumps” of matter, which clumped together to form galaxies. According to this theory, most of the large galaxies were spirals, that eventually merged and the elliptical galaxies were born.

So what makes Hoag’s Object so rare and unique? Well you see, when two galaxies come together to become an entirely new galaxy it basically becomes a survival of the fittest. It is difficult to imagine something as vast as space can be crowded, but it is, galaxies on their own are huge. Think about it for a minute, The Milky Way Galaxy, a very recognizable name as far as galaxies go, home of our solar system it itself is made up of many other galaxies it has gobbled up over millions of years. It’s nearest neighbor is Andromeda, and it is only 25 times the size of the both galaxies in distance away. That is not enough breathing room. So eventually a collision happens, and only one survives, becoming either spiral or elliptical, except you guessed it Hoag’s Object, this galaxy is unique in that is is both, and to be honest how it came to be so, cannot be explained by science, yet, yes theories abound, but none solid enough.

Now, collisions are not rare, in fact, they happen quite often, it makes one think of space as a gigantic game of Pac-Man. The universe is ever changing and evolving, even though when looking up at the night sky we see the same stars and the same phases of the moon, there is a world of action going on further than the eye can see.

Now with new galaxies being born most of witch are in the elliptical category thus supporting the new theory of creation by collision, one would ask about the stars, what happens to them, do they become further fuel for the crash or what? Well, it is vary rare that stars are scathed during these death matches, more often than not they are thrown out of orbit, they are tossed so far they become residents of a new galaxy or just float in space, this is due to the fact that the distance between stars is so great. Not all, however, is death, destruction and chaos, more often when new galaxies are created, millions of brand new stars are born, thus adding to the grand circle of life.

Yes, we all would like to see space as a very dark and void place to visit, and to the Astronauts that went to the moon, it might have appeared so, but if you look up photos of galaxies far from our own, Space is the most colorful and beautiful canvas of all.

 

 

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