Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walking with blinders on

The Columbus City School District recently received the news about their own grade card from the State of Ohio. The news wasn't good. Their scores were littered with F and D across the board. I heard the story on the radio one morning as I was driving into work. I was appalled.

For full disclosure on my part, I do not live in the capital city, nor did my children attend CCS. I live in a suburb of the city. My grandson, however will likely be going to CCS in the coming years. I have never done an in-depth study of my own concerning the school district, although I have always paid attention to newscasts over the years. More often than not, the news did not portray a favorable image of the district as a whole.

I suppose my biggest complaint is how the Board of Education has treated the (now retiring) superintendent of the district. Dr. Gene Harris has been the Superintendent of Columbus City Schools now for twelve years. She began her tenure in 2001. Every large organization has its struggles, a fact I fully understand. Your can't turn an aircraft carrier on a dime. But, after twelve years, it appears, according to the state report, that CCS are just simply broken. Within her time of leadership, at no point do I ever remember the school board not giving her a raise, often substantial ones, nor do I ever remember them not lavishing bonus after bonus on her.

Recently, even the mayor of Columbus, Michael Coleman has appeared in television commercials concerning the fate and state of the school district. I ask you now, where has the guidance been for these elected officials if the schools are in such a state of disrepair? Why did these school boards not see the problems for what they were? Why was a superintendent praised year after year and given raise upon raise when at the end of her tenure, after a scandal-filled year, the district seems to be in worse shape than when she started twelve years ago.

If you ever wonder why voters don't want to vote more taxes for school levies...this is the reason.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vintage favorite

Today I was following a post on Facebook that was speaking of a certain vintage commercial. I followed the link to check it out. Below that link was a slideshow of television commercials from the fifties and sixties. I followed along that as well. It was amazing to see how advertising has changed over the years...doctors touting cigarettes, blatant sexism in both print and media and things that today, seem just like they were simply made up, not that we couldn't still say some of the commercials we watch/see today isn't just something someone made up in a room with five others idiots.

That got me to thinking, what about stuff I used to watch as a little boy back in the sixties? I'm sure someone has put some of those things on You Tube or someplace else. Well, sure enough, I found my all-time favorite 'cartoon' from when I was a very young boy in the first half of the sixties.

I don't know how many of you would even have heard of this or remember it if you are my age, but here it is.

Fireball XL5

I'm sure very soon I will see what episodes have been loaded into the You Tube machine. This was likely the catalyst that gave me an interest in space and science. The first books I read as a youngster were a series of "Johnny" books which I have not been able to track down. I think the first title was something like 'Johnny and the Red Balloon' or something like that. Perhaps a project for a rainy day.

Today, it's grass-cutting day.  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

For heavens sake

What would you look like in heaven?

I had that thought earlier today for some strange reason. Let's say for instance I died and the first person I met up there was my dad. What would he look like? Would he look like I remember him in the last few years of his life? Would he look like my dad when I was twenty? He lived for seventy-five years. That is a long time.

How would other people see him? Would someone he knew in the army see him as he was known then? I thought it was an interesting question. How would anyone look to someone else in heaven? If dad had a best friend he only knew as a kid, why wouldn't that friend see him as a child from their days of youthful glory?

After some time of contemplation, I think I came across a scenario that I hope would be true. It's very simple really. I would hope that whomever I see in heaven, God rest my soul, I would see that person at the happiest time we shared in our life together. After-all, why wouldn't you want to see someone any other way?

I only hope God sees it that way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A letter to my daughter

We all suffer at some point from the 'slings and arrows' of everyday life. We view ourselves as the center of everything, which is okay, because to ourselves, we are the center. We have no other point of reference with which to look at the world. We can't look at ourselves from someone else's eyes.

It takes a unique perspective to see ourselves, our loved ones and everything else we do from a different plane. To most, that plane is simply unavailable. In recent years, we have the ability to see ourselves with photographs, and to some extent, how others may see us from social media sites such as Facebook  and others. That however is largely framed by how we present ourselves to others who may then use our own words and likenesses. Some may be flattering while others, not so much.

Life in real terms is about perspective. I view the world one way and you another, yet, we both take up space in the same physical plane. The distances we may have are measured in feet and sometimes miles. I live over here and see things one way. You may live over there and see things another way. To that point, our lives may themselves seem like they are miles apart. But in reality, we share the same life, the same troubles, the same foibles, the same successes. My neighbor is your neighbor, good or bad.

What we make of our lives with this perspective is a matter of what we choose. We all live on the same dot, suspended in a sunbeam is a miniscule corner of a place no single mind has the ability to fathom. Life can be hard, life can be difficult. Life shouldn't always be a mirror. I wish a mirror would show what can be, not a reflection of what we think we see. If change is what you desire, stop looking to the past; turn around, and look to the future.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Free ebook

Just to let everyone know who follows my meteoric writing career (yeah, right), the first book of The Crystal Point Legacy series is currently free.

The Dream Valley is available at Amazon, the iTunes store, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

Hope you all enjoy it. It is an epic fantasy book. Get it while it's hot!