Thursday, October 24, 2013

Problem solving, thinking, and some effort...

Some posts are written down on paper first, this ain't one of them.  It's really just disguised laziness.  I like the challenge of problem-solving.  I like teaching math and I liked the part about math where you work real hard to figure something out and then figure it out.  It is a special accomplishment and why people always view math as hard and a measure of intelligence.  It is often a challenge but it is not any more of a measure than any other study, we just measure it on a different part of the scale than we do other things.
I work to try and help people build their schema of math understanding and develop that part of reasoning and symbolic logic.  Unfortunately, I am not the most organized individual so I haven't refined how to best reach my goal.  My goal also involves changing others' viewpoints and that just don't always work so well.  People are a stubborn species and teenagers are a stubborn subset of people.  Getting them to buy into a different view of the world, particularly one based in the unexciting system of algebra, feels like a pointless fight at times.  My only advantage is that the students do believe that something about the subject is good for them, even though they have to ask "When will I use this?" every class.
That supremely frustrating question is why I am shifting to a class more focused on problem-solving rather than mechanical-computational skills.  I am also moving in that direction because modern students have astoundingly little space or need to recall facts and skills.  They are absorbing information at peak levels.  They know fifty times more bands that I did at the same age.  So much of the working memory I need access to for traditional learning is used up on things far more interesting to teenagers. do I teach a subject that requires a significant amount of this cognitive process? I have faith, perhaps too much, in my ability to present the information to people in way that makes sense but the same people often don't store it.  I am trying to circumvent this issue by using a problem-solving approach or a method in which I guide students to construct their understanding of mathematical systems.  Both methods require thinking and both require effort from the students.  Effort is a challenge in the subject.  Student often ask for help as soon as they read a problem. He or she may work on it for a minute or two but rarely long enough to reason through it.
I have worked on a problem-solving approach for a few weeks in one of my classes and I am seeing signs of change, though.  I hear fewer more questions and students seem to be following my guidelines to find some manner of solution.  Next up, setting up the problems so that individuals develop an understanding of the rules of higher math.  Until now, we were working mostly with old computational skills.  I am adopting my system from Exeter's Harkness math but I am confined to less time and with a broader range of students.  I do know they are more engaged and that students who could care less for a lecture on solving quadratics enjoy they can find different ways to solve a problem.  Watching people use different methods has taught me a great deal about math over the past few years.  Ehh, I just got tired and stuff so I will continue this later...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some pictures, a story start, and some rambling.

Still going.

   Let's see if I can get to the words on here.  I should be helping at his school or cleaning the house.  Instead, I am going to see which of the mundane sentences I jotted down last night make any sense here.  Writing on the computer is not an organic process for me and it really takes away much of the power of expression.  I relied on the machine form during school and in boring work, that reliance pushed me from the habit of writing as a release and as a place to make the inner discussion real.

 A Story in Progress
     "You jerk."  The lady shouted as she pulled into the elementary school to pick up her kids.  It was hot out, her husband was pretty much useless and the line of cars to get into the school lot was not moving.  She needed to turn left and some asshole and some asshole in a big truck wouldn't stop to let her forward.  To make it worse, he pretended he didn't even notice but he must have for they were just yards apart, sitting in their traveling recliners.  He looked like one of the young men who had come into her office and made work less bearable.  He knew nothing and pretended like he knew everything, that she should be on her knees before him.  At least the old boss wanted her bent over the table so she could get some pleasure from it.
     "You jerk.!"  He heard the woman yell as she passed.
     "Damn lady, I didn't mean to do nothing." He wondered as he could feel the heat sweat out his back and his legs stuck to the seat.  "Does she freak out like that with her kids?"
    He was worried, bothered by the moment.  He was a jerk, that he could admit but not to some stranger and not for being stuck in school traffic.  He wasn't a jerk merely for existing.
    Maybe if these lazy folks wouldn't drive right up to the school. Damn, I hope I get an email from the people soon.  Every time he saw the yellow light next to the E it reminded him that he was broke.  Try as he might, work was not easy to find.
     The messed up thing about it all was work was not the chore.  All these people around searching for a way to make rent and scrambling to pay some old debt or to buy some milk,wasting a few dollars on beer flavored rotten barley to forget, finding someone to blame but really just wanting to work, to feel like they had meaning and to have some cash, they were everywhere.  Begging outside of stores and serving up fries, pushing papers and making traffic stops.  They attacked each other because it was the only thing they could think to do.  Others just watched T.V. on and endless reel.  

     Not that it's a new idea but it's one worth explaining.  What does another person live through?  I was on a selfish version of this thought game, "They just don't know my responsibilities or my concerns, strengths, limitations, motivations, trials, etc.  This self trudgery and fairly useless line of reasoning occurred on yet another walk to the store to get another beer to mollify the worry of the day and give me freedom to dream of something more than the moment.  I was going along the familiar stretch of sidewalk as my son ran about  figuring out how to throw a frisbee.  We found it on the strip of grass that catches all the trash from the evils of the road.  A red VW bug kept passing up and down the street, a couple about my age enjoying driving the loud little car.  Various other people drove by dressed in machine finery or wrapped in torn and patched metal getups.
    All these people going around and meeting demands in their lives were worn down by bearing the challenges of the day or exalted by the events great or small, new love, finding $20, a healthy baby, a kind word.  Here we all were going through time-space in some controlled idea driven by wants and needs.  Consuming on past consumptions.  Actions mandated by habits, choice at moments when the future seemed different or lacked any reality.  Another drink, a new car, a late night fling, doing what one wanted and then the obscure shackles of obligations were locked.  The choices may have  been the best, to not call the woman at the bar back, to not join the Army, but there was and is no way of knowing.
     Scientists are at work proving that time is an illusion.  Perhaps they are right in some sense that it is part of a time-space construct but we know it to be a real law that we live by.  Our mortality is one of the absolute truths, if not the only one.  It is fun to think of time dilating around planets and we may get some useful stuff from it but it ain't the world we live in.  Rain fall, counting a beat, a measure, a rythem as it builds into the puddle, falling over its breaks into a swirl, slipping into a gurgle, falling into the creek and beyond.  All along, we see the present, recall our past, and imagine a future.
     Kindness, sympathy, caring, love: the forces that push for  better moment are how we know that we do understand each others little worlds.  Greed and violence are the actions we take when we only act for ourselves.  I find myself in another conflict and perhaps with a greater understanding of greed.  Seeking, begging, lying, and stealing in order to provide support for my family.  Is it not an honest goal?  But the end provides poor support for the means for it makes me a weaker man  and further scars my being.  Festering sores that I pick at in worry and shame.  Afraid to admit to those I love and further leaving a part of me rotten.

     Seems that I either lost direction or forgot where I was going.  It's the problem with no plan.  Bugs are bit annoying and my stomach is burbling from too much coffee.  Can't seem to shake this filthy nicotine habit.  A car horn goes off in the distance, probably a forgotten alarm.  Maybe a kid found the panic button and now it has stopped.  The bright yellow corvette is going on its laps. plan, just gonna revive a habit that never stuck like it should.  Why do the good habits require maintenance of effort while the bad ones just come in to control.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flowers, children, and shapes.

Sitting in a class with some tunes and folks busy at work making kites.  On my best days, I would think my class was awesome, not so sure about my bad days. It's always a challenge figuring out what the process of useful learning is.  What is worthwhile and what is interesting, what helps build a students understanding and what applies to a real development of knowledge.  I have finally learned that it is okay just to follow the guides and textbooks when
I ain't so sure where to go.  I wish I had swallowed that bid of pride in earlier times but I am not really good at doing that until I keep getting hit in the head with the same board of stubborn imbecility.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Down by the water

One of our favorite places to go for an excursion is down at McKellar Lake. It's a pretty funky place and I imagine it would be a blast to live down there.  The people are always super nice and it's a visual extravaganza. Got some more pictures to come. Would any of these make good cards?

Silver, fruit, and something else I forgot...

The top one is a better picture of a necklace. The middle is one of the earrings before it gets it's findings and finds a home.  The bottom one is the first watermelon I have ever grown.  It's a little one but gives me hope for the future.  I found it when I cut off one of the vines that tried to take over the swing set in the backyard.  I had been looking at all of these others failures of tiny melons and this one just appeared. I think I'll try it tonight. Someday, I'll get some halfway decent gardens and be happy enjoying the fruits of the earth. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More images for cards...

I will throw these up here for now but soon the tab for Art should have all kinds of useful things. 

I imagine most people would prefer the happier looking ones for cards but I decided to play around a little bit with them. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Words on memories, food, and always more questions.

        It used to be something of a need.  Now  I only get by on a force of will.  The needs have degraded into ill-suited habits and the best of my actions are a memory not so attached to reality.  Therein lies a potential question.  What is a memory but a skewed perception of a time-space point?
We store some information with a purpose but most with no conscious reason.  I keep track of the clock because 20 minutes after the rice pot starts boiling, I need to turn it off.  When I focus on a specific element, the rest of life at the time fades off.  I must be doing the other parts of cooking a meal but I can't pick them out.  My memory is serving a purpose on several accounts.  Some purposes are more transient.
        Food is an interesting builder of situations because it is primal and refined.  Eating comes after breathing on our list of needs but we have cultivated the development of food to a high art.  Even the chemistry experiment that is fast food is developed.  The foods I can recall are situational.  Part of me is still there when I think of a candy bar at the top of a mountain, a bratwurst outside of Fenway Park, a drunken pretzel in Baltimore, or fresh picked concord grapes and farm milk at my grandmother's.  Why was all of that acutely stored when they were not the best meals I have ever had? I can't recall most of the food I cooked and I know I have made some pretty good dinners.  Perhaps it is because as I am making, my focus is on the product and my memory is telling me what did work and what failed.  Where did I put the knife? How long should I leave the chicken on the grill?  I eat then to both enjoy the fruits of my labor and to identify the process that led to something good or into a gooey mess of over-seasoned tastelessness.
        I have notes and scraps of poorly written slopes of letters detailed in repetitive doodles all over the place.  When I look back at some of these things, I can find the time-space I was in, which is odd because I had to have been focusing on the words and not my surroundings.
        Then again, my son likes to point out things when we drive that are fairly inconsequential but not to him. "That's where mommy got her glasses."  He states every time we passed the glass shop that we went to once over a year ago.  We weren't in their long but he knows where it is.  Something about that visit made an imprint on him and became a part of who he is.  The way he understood the waiting room and the shelves of eyeglasses or the lady at the desk or the parking lot or something else caused him to build a bigger picture of the world.  Maybe that's why my memories are less sensory and more pragmatic through age.  I have stuffed my head with a world view and now I need to focus on items I have deemed important.
        How wonderfully vivid my younger recollections can be.  The more recent ones are distilled down to important elements, not the taste of the breeze, sting of hot sand or cold water, the way my space in that time made me alive and free in that knowledge.  My only hope now is to focus on creating and exploring.  At least I may make some cool art and take Daniel James to some cool places.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A possible new line and a definite New World Order.

I am fiddling around with a few ideas and procrastinating anything productive.  The top image is the original of a card I made sometime after Christmas.  Since it was a card, I gave it to someone but I did think to take a picture. The second is a slightly edited version and the last is a more edited one.  I am gonna tr to make some more and see if they sell.  Let me know what you think..
On the procrastination front...somedays the interwebs can take you on a voyage through crazy.  I saw a friend post about Senomyx and that we can all drop the boycott of Pepsi.  It's some weird stuff.  Society is trying to get food companies to put less sugar in processed food.  They need the sweet stuff in there so it is tasty. To make consumers happy, they hire a company that has engineered human taste using embryonic stem cells from the 70s to make an additive that makes us think the food is sweet and wonderful and delicious.  It could be a pile of poo but our brain has been tricked.  So that part of the story is pretty weird.  It is probably another reminder to limit the processed food.  The next step was reading various articles where people compare it to Solyent Green, that we are being fed ourselves.  This processing is somehow tied to the Agenda 21 grand conspiracy of global domination that I never heard of.  It is a liberal agenda that W signed us into with the U.N. for the elite to gain control of all natural resources.  The more convoluted the conspiracy, the more entertaining.  I gather that the all powerful bike lobby is actual a progressive group aimed at destroying our right to drive and the structure of the American city so that the government can claim underused suburban land.  Those bike people sure had me fooled.  I thought they were some occupy hipsters but they are actually undercover U.N. Agents.  They are drugging us with PBR.
One of these fun commentaries on how the world is ending had a series of wild discussions of a movement to legitimize infanticide.  It turns out, that the BMJ did have an essay arguing the validity of infanticide.  I linked to a part which can take you the article, a statement from the BMJ, and a response from a Catholic theologian.  Those things do make for an interesting discussion and no matter where you stand on the  ProLife/Choice debate, the BMJ series shows how discussion works to advance.  Though that is not nearly as fun to read about the Socialist Plan to Destroy my Car and put Babies in my Frozen Pizza.  Conspiracy sites are the best.  Especially the ones trying to sell a book and with crazy front and all kinds of flashing warnings of the New World Order.  I think I may change my whole plan soon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's raining so I didn't start running...

I was going to go on a run this morning.  I hate running but I need some exercise and need to do something to force a change in habits.  It started to rumble just as I was getting the motivation and then it started to rain.  I probably could have gone and only got a little wet but it looks like the sky will fall at any moment and I don't feel like getting caught in that type of mess.
So I read somewhere that Goldman Sachs drove up the aluminum market and made a bunch of money by buying a couple of huge warehouses and moving the metal back and forth between the two.  They did not do anything illegal, they merely found a way within the system to make cheap money. This littlish event brings about a variety of questions and perhaps no answers.  I saw that some people had suggested that the government should have closer oversight of necessary resources.  We need to be careful of granting any entity more power.  One should look and see if that entity will be motivated to act in a general best interest with this added power.  What would the government's motivations be in the aluminum trade?  Would it change prices for preferential contractors? There is a history of such treatment and so we have no reason to think otherwise?  The brokerage firm was interested in buying the warehouses to control the price of aluminum stock.  It had no interest in making cylinder heads and airplanes.  No one group should control a needed commodity but those with the least interest to drive up price would probably be at the manufacturing end.  The company selling cylinder heads is not selling aluminum work done.  If that company did have the power to control the aluminum, it would change its focus and look toward how to generate a profit by manipulating the market.  This mess demonstrates how the free market is supposed to work as a network of people and companies whose overall best interest is to work together.  The network is compromised when a member can gain too much control or whose interest is not aligned with the rest.  How can the market decide which members are necessary for the whole and which are like Goldman, providing no benefit to the network?  How can you develop a system that meets the needs of individual and the group without having a governing body?

All this mess is not making too much sense yet and so I am just using this space to explore the various ideas involved.  My initial point was that I don't understand how people make money without doing any work.  The real estate "bubble" was inevitable when people where making hundreds of thousands of dollars just by buying and selling a house without doing anything to it.  I guess it is all part of the need for instant gratification by the buyer and the seller.  Well, back to marinating on the original idea of an organization with no governing body...Is it possible?

Off to the fun world of math and stuff...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

No paper...

I seem to be lacking something to write on but this stupid keyboard. I suppose it will have to do. We are at some typevof opening at a gallery down the way from home. It is a bunch of presentations and very boring for kids. Fortunately, there is a pretty cool area in the back where someone has made a concrete backyard, full of intriguing things for kids. I wouldn't mind watching the stuff inside, but gotta make sure kids get new experiences and don't drive everyone else crazy. Time to go....more on it in a minute.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another year wandering away.

I finished up another year of school this past Friday.  I am back at the school on a Sunday morning. I really don't mind it and feel more at ease with the preparation, planning, meetings, and misc. work I have for the next academic year than drifting through the summer.  It has been a different year, but each one has been so. The highs were less but the lows weren't so jarring and I feel like I may be growing to be a part of a school that identifies itself with a very tight community.  Along the way, I have learned a great deal as a teacher and let me see if I get a jump on the planning through this summer so I can use what I have learned.  Knowledge and experience are only valuable in how we respond moving forward and adjust our understanding of our place in the world.
I am really looking forward (because I am a dork) to studying more about the history of math and physics, which brings about a history of learning and it all turns into some understanding of the world, thought, myself, and some other esoteric stuff that I can use to make class more interesting since the people that came up with quadratics and angular momentum and gravity were nutty cool.  It is a summer, that among other things, I need to raise my level of learning to another level so that I can be a better teacher.  My best teachers challenged me to be the best and were so full of knowledge that almost everything they said taught me something.
I'll add some more later but this it for the moment.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tests are the Bestest

I love teaching.  Learning is fascinating and guiding through others in the process is a honest joy.  Education should and could be one of the best parts of growing up but it is being suffocated by those who want to make it a controlled process rather than the inherently organic system it is.  I asked the internet the other day "Why can't I learn algebra?" and found enough interesting answers to get the rusty gears turning.  People could not even explain why they did not understand the subject for it was so obtuse to their line of thinking.  They had demonstrated problem solving through their writing or had successful careers and so they had the honest question of why they were forced to learn something that they never understood and so clearly aided little in their development.  Math is a growing field and we have found a way to apply it everywhere we can because it provides evidence to our arguments and makes us more confident in our decisions; moreover, computers only make choices based on logical progressions, though those are designed by people.  I have students who can grasp programming logic as if it is second nature but struggle mightily to solve an equation.  They think they are bad at math but I see them demonstrating and making use of calculated and formal decision making, finding patterns, and solving a problem.  If that ain't math, then I don't know what is.  Really, what is math?  My favorite thing to hear from a student is that, "It makes me think so hard." I know I have had some measure of success and he or she is gaining the real key from the study (at the level I teach).  I could have them make and design all kinds of cool stuff that allow them to have a purpose for thinking so hard.  I could try to guide a discussion on infinite and nothingness and all that would entail, or try to make sense of transcendental numbers but I need to make them learn how to find out how long it will take John to paint a house if he and Bob usually can do it in 7 hours and Bob can do it in 28 hours. Why? It could be on a standardized tests.  ETS, a non-profit, had a revenue of over $1,000,000,000 last year.  The largest component of education reform is standardized tests.  Kids in middle school are forced to stress out all year and then take two weeks of tests that determine their worth.  Later on, they are forced to believe that the ACT/SAT is the most crucial element for getting into college because all those grades mean so little.  There are many studies that don't support this, Geiser and Santelices have an excellent study.  Grades are the most important predictors of college success, followed by subject tests.  Those tests are focused and allow the student to demonstrate his or her strengths.  One going into the liberal arts needs to be able to write and one into STEM needs to be able to add.  Grades show a greater body of work as well as a student's work ethic.
At this time, we have models in other countries of better education systems that don't use testing.  The education communities are constantly proving that we need to foster real growth and learning for the best success but it falls on deaf ears.  Your tax dollars pay for people with PhD's to find the best solutions but those results are not use because someone else paid legislators for a different solution.  I want the smartest people solving the hardest problems, not the richest.
I got lost somewhere in this train of thought but it is a question I am still working with.  I believe all students can learn math and can find value in the subject but algebra is not the only math out there.  Even as a math, it is a toolbox and not an end.
- to be continued.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Birds and other things

A small flight of soon to be earrings resting on the windowsill I see.  Taking pictures of jewelry is kinda tricky, but we can all appreciate the grainy cell-phone picture in its beauty.  Every moment must be documented so we can prove to ourselves how cool we are in those times when we are being our more standard selves.  That isn't really true but the pseudo-intellectual cynics deciding what has weight in the discussions of the everyday like to think so.  The greatest moments in my life weren't documented at the time.  I wish I wrote about them more but that will come in time as I forget what they were and struggle to preserve what I have left.  The reality is that those moments define who I am and they resonate through me for I have been molded by my interactions with the world.  What causes a more profound impact, the few individually great ones or the continuous cycle of mundane ones?  Who knows but the nature of the question reminds us that the everyday moments are vital to the lives we lead and the people we wish to be.  I, for one, have an extremely difficult time changing my habits and changing these multitude of small interactions for the best, despite my best wishes.  Oh well.
I will put up some better pictures of the earrings when they are finished. Shout if you are interested.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why do we need this.

I am about to be teaching my students about rational functions.  The one above is one I am planning on basing a lecture around.  In all likelihood, a few students will ask why they need to know this and what it is that they need to know.  I want them to be able to explore the relationships involved in the function and how they result in the curve.  There is some application of the problem, I am not sure of what that is but one can find areas where math is used in all kinds of interesting places.  People did not arrive at these problems to solve an application, though.  The vast majority of math problems have been solved as reasons unto themselves. What purpose does this have? Math is a creation of man.  We use it to explain things around us but everything you see above is applied thought, not a reflection of observation.  Many of the courses we study are based on observation of actions and reactions of the world around us but some are extensions of personal expression.  People recognize paintings and songs as such but they like to exclude math from this group.  The do so because math takes study to understand. 
How do these forms of expression aid our knowledge? Why study them? Our minds, bodies, and souls are built from the same stuff as the rest of the universe.  Those things that we create from within are not expressions different from what we observe but internal developments in a manner that reflect the relationships we see in the world and amongst ourselves.  Math is a study of thought and provides us a possible window into the cognitive process of the everything around us.  Does this make sense? I wish I could more carefully formalize the argument and make a more profound connection.  Hopefully, through the act of teaching and learning, I can.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

T.V. makes me feel worse about myself.

Most video productions of a band are not good.  Musicians, producers, effects people, and more all work together to make the show.  The music, lights, sets, and all of the other elements are what make for the show.  It is not the work of one person but the camera is on a jittery closeup of the lead singer.  They sell us this face and this person as the one responsible for all of the spectacle, most of which we can not see.  We can't see the fireworks and dancing robots and the back up singers doing their cool moves and the drummer keeping count; most importantly, we can't see it as one grand piece.  They do the same thing with sports.  They focus on the man with the ball and not the whole game that is interesting.
I went to an opera the other night.  I have never been but the show reminded me of this.  I would get tired of the singing and other parts but when the stage was full of people, there was a whole world to watch.  The members of the chorus were engaged in antics and storytelling so I was able to take far more from the show than the basic story.
Yet T.V. and more want to sell me the powers and genius of an individual, and they do so with individuals who are clearly the face of a larger group.  The Beatles today would be sold as Lennon.
The problem is that no one person can be so profoundly great.  Those who may reach such levels of brilliance tend to hide or attribute those around them.  Why is the superstar pushed on us?  We look to one person to rescue all.  People blame or praise the President as if he is the one making all the laws and decisions of the country.  He is one hyper-publicized face of government.   Even if he made all of the choices of the Executive Branch, he is one-third of the Federal government.
Here I am, one part of a family and a small part of a school.  In neither case, am I a savior.  I can do all that I can for the best but nothing more.  That fact is probably at the root of the cause.  We do not like to believe ourselves not in control.  Each of us is an essential element of our world and can change the world so we can achieve happiness.
Individuals can do monumental things but we are not sold most of these people.  They are not produced and polished to fit a certain image of star or hero, though they would definitely be more profound to some people.
to be continued....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"What an honorable life to emulate."

I know I should be more respectful but something has me confused about a great man who is distinguished by having the most kills in American sniper history.  My confusion came from a series of comments in his memory and how he would be in heaven.  He has killed at least 150 people and probably more.  These comments were near discussions of gun freedoms and how the president hates Christians.  I am no scholar of the Bible, I need to read and study it but I find it so boring to read.  I just do not have any way of understanding how followers of Jesus can find any form of killing to be okay, much less moral.  The fundamental Christian argument against abortion is that one can not take a life.  If that is the case, how can one shoot someone in self-defense, much less kill innocent people with rockets?  If you really believe in the Jesus's teachings, should you not be working to overcome enemies with love.  Feed their poor and not strike when attacked.  I actually think this would work better toward a global peace than sending armies.  We could then use all those resources for destructive technology toward positive things.
"These people hate us and our freedom.  They want to kill us." Hate comes from suffering and oppression.  Nations of fed and free people do not hate us.  Perhaps we should start with feeding the hungry.  It's an easy way to get people to not hate you.
None of these pipe dreams will happen while established powers fight to keep the status quo and themselves in the bridge.
On top of that, or at the base of if the debate, is that we must respect and fear violence for we are living creatures that prefer to stay alive.  People use it in any confrontation that they have lost control in.  They use it because it makes them feel powerful and respond to it out of self-preservation.  We have paths for violence.  Today is a holy day of a sport based on violence and aggression.  If we could only fight wars with marching bands and sporting contests.  That would be a civilized approach and one in which we wouldn't have shell-shocked soldiers, orphans, and widows.
I had somewhere I was going but I don't know where it is.  The goal is to find a way out of this dark path and to a trail of more hope and more possibility.  Society can at least give everyone the best chance to pursue happiness.  Our individual demons make it hard enough, much less the power struggles of presidents bombing thousands in pissing contests.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On guns, in some sense.

Guns are not the reason people commit heinous acts but I believe access to them makes such acts more imaginable and therefore may facilitate the process of insanity to reality.  We can't legislate ourselves out of a problem, though.  People always cry for more or less government, depending on what they need.  Which is it?
I decided to read through the Bill of Rights since that is the key piece of the debate.  Why are the first two the ones always discussed and argued about? I hear no  arguments about the ninth amendment:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
This says that the Constitution can only give people more rights and not limit any others already held by the people.  Now we have come to an argument on State and the people.  
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  
Here we have the purpose of the militia is to guard the State.  People were guaranteed the right to arms since citizens made up most of the army.  We now have a professional army but a time may come when we will all be called to protect the security.  The key for our present debates is that the right shall not be infringed.  Legalese can leave much room for interpretation but I see none here.  However you feel about someone walking down the street with an RPG, it is his or her right as defined by the laws which we hold so dear.  Gun control is unconstitutional.  
Do we want to live in a place where we need armed teachers?  I don't.  What manner of society have we created where people shoot down hundreds in schools, where people get in gunfights at funerals, where someone feels better strapped while he waters his pansies?  
Oh the loopholes of law.  Do these scenarios violate any of my rights as a person not covered in the Constitution?  I am not sure but imagine it is rather likely.  These events do bring to light my central issue on guns.  I just don't want to live in a place where I need a gun.  Should we not examine ourselves.  We want to arm teachers but don't think many of the skills to teach.  I'm confused.  
I gotta go for a bit...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

notes from a scrap.

I have never been good at keeping a notebook nor have I been good at keeping a diary. My dad writes in his diary most every night. It seems like a useful practice, I tried a few times but always failed in my limited discipline. The past few weeks have seen me confronting some inner demons and taking steps to be better in some shape of the idea. I don't know if we can really change who we are but we may be able to change our actions.

Part of this is to keep down some things so I don't forget. Who knew that Edward Lear did such great drawings before writing silly poems.

I am setting up an etsy shop for some jewelry that I started making.  Don't worry, you'll see more pictures of it.
I will also one day learn to draw. I have made a variety of cards like this.  I'm trying to expand from the circle theme but it's good practice and a good way to learn how to use the pens my brother gave them.
The last one is a practice page of what I hope to complete someday, a book for my son. We'll see how that happens.
The coloring really helped me to stop drinking.  I was going, gone down a path that I needed to get off of. I won't say that I quit, but I have stopped.  It was really having adverse effects throughout my life.