badstar: (ten of wands)
So the county fair thing didn't work out so well...I made it three out of five days. It was utter hell and on the fourth day, I decided not to go because I had almost no sleep the night before and it was Saturday. The way it went the previous three days on full sleep, I barely made it through and on no sleep, and knowing that it would be far more busy on a Saturday, I was either going to have a massive panic attack or haul off and rail someone in the first hour- both of which very nearly happened the day before. Not wanting to deal with a massive panic attack or assault charges (seriously, it was a matter of "when", not "if") I decided to forgo the last two days. I still made some money, I just can't put this on a resume.

How bad was it? Okay, I don't feel like going into all the details (maybe later, maybe not) butput it this way: I would rather do three months of black friday in retail...or a year's worth of tech support where Apple launched a new version of it's OS every day than another week of this.

I've had three interviews for jobs this week (woohoo) and I think that makes it six since I've gotten here- not counting the "interview" at Kelly Services which is absolutely useless. I call from time to time to check with them and it goes something like this:

Me: Hi, I was just calling to check and see if you have any positions available for which I'm qualified?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work."

Me: "Okay, what about anyhting else that I might be able to do?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support positions."

Me: "Customer service? Data entry? I know technical support was the last thing I did but I am willing and able to do other things. Can I come in and take some of your assessments for Microsoft Office and other such software?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work. Sorry. You can try calling back some other time if you want." *click*

(either that, or they tell me everyone's in a meeting and someone will call me back in an hour or so and I never hear from them.)

Then there's Office Team. They list jobs on some of the big sites like Career Builder, and they also have them on their own website. I call to ask about something that I found on Careerbuilder and get told that they hired for that position a week ago and that their web site is the most up to date source of information. But they don't get a lot of technical support work, so they might not be of much help to me. They get customer service work, but I've never done that so I wouldn't qualify for most positions.

I had to sit there and explain to the woman that I have done customer service work at my previous employer- it's there on my resume. And technical support IS customer service work. you know, someone calls up with a problem or a question and you help them with it. (What I didn't say was "Lady, listen, do you realize that tech support is just your basic customer service phone jockeying with about eleventy-eight times the headache?")

She says "Oh...okay, well I guess we can consider you for other call center positions then.

Yesterday I was looking over their job listings for the area. I didn't have a lot of luck finding anyhting until I just started clicking all the keywords to see what there was to see. I found three customer service jobs listed under "secretary-junior" I called in to ask about them and got a call back a few hours later...and am told that these jobs are all telemarketing positions (sadly, at this point, I would be willing to take a telemarketing job until I could find something else) but...they all want someone with immediate recent telemarketing experience. Which I don't have.

I point out that it's really difficult to tell what anything is supposed to be when a job titled "customer service" only shows up under the "secretary-junior" keyword and turns out to be a telemarketing position. The job descriptions mentioned nothing about telemarketing- in fact they specifically mentioned fielding inbound calls. I was told that this was because sometimes the employer changes their mind about what they want the position to be after the posting has already been made. It's your stupid website, you're telling me you can't be bothered to update it so people know what they're looking at?

*sigh*

On an amusing note, I was looking at the phone book this morning and saw that the local Yellow Pages have a heading for, of all things, yurts. There's a company in a nearby town that uh- sells? builds? yurts. This made both myself and Gavin happy. (Not that we particularly want a yurt. It just amused us.)
badstar: (Default)
To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)

But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.

That said...

So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?

I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.

Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.

So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".

Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.

Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.

Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.

Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by what...one vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.

Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source of the unemployment funds.

Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?

Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...


Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.

(From here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes/democrats-unemployment-benefits/19561761/)

Some additional gems:

During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording

And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.

And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess. It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?

A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about.

In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."

Also from the same site:

Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe." (Found here)

And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."

Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."

DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video)

You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.

I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.

I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want more money.

And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.

Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.

Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.

If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please.
badstar: (ten of wands)
Probably bad: They're making a movie adaptation of Kerouac's On The Road.

Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world bad: That twit from the fucking sparkle-sparkle-weenie vampire movies is gonna be in it.

*cries*

This will not end well.

I've read I think six of Kerouac's books, and with the exception of Maggie Cassidy which featured one of the most annoyingly boring main characters I can ever remember reading about, I loved them. For the record though, On the Road isn't my favorite of his books- it's The Town and The City, which I have been seriously considering rereading. I think that that one would make for a better film adaptation, but it would never happen- how many people have heard of on the Road? Yeah, now how many people have heard of the Town and The City?

(Of course, a film adaptation would probably still suck.)
badstar: (stone apollo)
So tonight, I ventured over to the 24-hour Rite Aid, a short walk from the apartment. Before I left, I checked the weather to get the temperature. Weather Channel website said it was foggy. I went out and saw no fog. I call shenanigans. Very quickly though, I realized that, despite not being foggy, it *felt* foggy- you know how it feels when you go outside on a foggy night? Yeah, like that, except no fog in sight.

Initially, I was thinking about fog and foggy nights, which led me to remember some foggy evenings back in Lancaster, and wondering what happened to a small book of photos I had taken- many of them from a rainy, foggy night (including one that led just about everyone who saw it to make some comment about there needing to be a Bat Signal shining into the sky) and that led to me thinking of one of the few things that I actually miss about Lancaster being the random little alleys which often contain little shops or interesting corners and how there's nothing like that here in Baltimore...and somehow that made me think of one of the places that I really liked there, which I just won't find anywhere else- St James cemetery, which is this little cemetery in the middle of Lancaster, on the walled in grounds of an old Episcopal church (one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the country...a number of historical figures such as George Ross are buried on the grounds...sadly, there are no good pictures online to post.)

I don't know how my thoughts progressed from one to the other, really but it went from St James cemetery to thinking about the grove, and one of the things that I really miss about the grove. I was thinking about how I used to often sleep over at the grove, either the night before or the night after a ritual, and how, much as I am not a morning person, one thing I really liked doing there was waking up early and lighting all the candles, getting things ready before people showed up.

At the time, I thought of it more as a clergy-related thing, that I was doing this for the people who would later be there- and likely it was partially that. But now that I think of this, I really think it was more a matter of doing it for the various and assorted gods and spirits that were there. This was the one case, aside from rituals, where despite not really having a connection to most of them, I actually actively felt them around me, and felt that I was really doing something.

So now I'm thinking more about how to bring that to us here...we've had our own little temple room here in the apartment, but we just haven't been treating it so fully as a temple as we could. I think it will be easier to do after moving, if we really actively work on setting up the new place with this in mind, I think this could make a significant difference.

In other news, while at Rite Aid, I was accosted by another customer. She was trying to find something- I have no idea what she was talking about, she just kept talking about something called "shine". This particular Rite Aid is severely understaffed- no matter what time of day you go in, you can count on waiting 15-20 minutes in line and if I knew what she was talking about, I would have just told her if I knew. But I didn't, and I tried to tell her that I didn't work there and she started freaking out and threatening to get me fired. I thought for a minute that she was going to physically attack me. Thankfully, a security guard was nearby and told her that she had to calm down or he would call the cops. It took a few minutes, and I had to explain to him what had happened. I escaped a bit weirded out, but otherwise unscathed.

In yet other news, I've now got a dreamwidth account. Just in the "still checking it out" stage, what I use it for is yet to be determined but fear not, I'm not going to make my LJ readership subscribe to yet another service that they don't want to add to read my stuff.

*grumble*

Apr. 10th, 2010 12:15 am
badstar: (ten of wands)
I am again receiving emails from Tim, the Avon Lady, as of Wednesday.

I sent him an email demanding that he remove me from the list immediately and not send any more. He hasn't responded. Hopefully, I just won't get another email.

I was going to contact Avon directly, but when I tried to track down that information...well, they don't have a nice little contact form or anything ;ole that on their website. they have a snail mail address and phone number for their whole freakin' headquarters in Manhattan.

So I guess my next step will be to call them up and wade through the company directory until I get ahold of someone who can tell me who I need to talk to to get one of their representatives, with whom I have previously had problems with- to stop sending me promotional emails.
badstar: (Default)
Can't remember if I mentioned getting a summons a few weeks back, but I was called for jury duty. Joy!

It turned out to be a far cry less painful than I was afraid it might be. There were several rooms where they were showing movies- idiotic movies that should never have been made. Hello, Monster in Law. And there was a quiet room. I decided to take my chances there. Signs posted admonished against any speaking at all, and the um...jury candidate babysitters informed us that they were listening in on all rooms, so they would know what was going on. Not to mention security cameras and all that jazz.

Despite all this, knowing how people are in this city, I was afraid that I would end up in a room full of blathering idiots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that people actually followed directions and shut the hell up. Woohoo! I took a backpack full of books with me, plus my ipod. Spent most of the day in a reasonably comfortable chair, listening to music in blissful quiet. Oh, and the guy sitting across from me looked like Topher Grace's long lost twin. That was a little weird.

The main irritations were people getting really noisy after lunch- I was just about to issue a general "Hey, don't you people read the signs? I and the rest of us came to this room for a reason" when they finally all shut up again. And a security guard telling me I was acting weird.

Wanna know why? I was looking up at a stained glass dome. See...the inside of the Baltimoe courthouse is really pretty. Three s a lot of gorgeous marble and granite carvings and Doric style columns and mosaic floors...and a stained glass domed ceiling above one of the marble stairways. During the lunch break, I was walking around a couple of the hallways (They told us where we were and were not allowed to be, so I wasn't in an off-limits area or anyhting like that.) A guard walking by asked what I was doing (As if it would be so hard to tell by the fact that I was standing by the steps (not in anyone's way), looking up at the elaborate stained glass work above my head) and I said just that, that I was looking at the dome and commented that architecture and art history interested me, and there was quite a bit to see in the building. He then informed me that since he had checked my bags when I came in, he knew I was there for jury duty and that I didn't have any weapons on me that I was going to do anything, but that I should be careful because it was weird and might arouse suspicion.

Sadly, this isn't the first time I've heard things like this- taking an interest in the aesthetics of a public building makes people think you're a terrorist or criminal or something.

The guard was rather sadly mistaken though when he said that they'd checked my bags so he knew I wasn't carrying anything I shouldn't be- I had a backpack with four zipper compartments and a couple of smaller inner pockets. They barely glanced into the main large compartment and saw some books. A weapon could easily have gotten in that building just by being stuck between the books or at the bottom of my bag or in a smaller pocket. They didn't even run the bags through the metal detector that everyone has to walk through- they take your bag on the counter, you walk through the detector, they glance in your bag and they hand it to you on the other side. When I left and came back at lunch they didn't even do that, just waved me around the detector.

Yeah, you're smart. And you're worried about how weird it seems that I was looking at a pretty ceiling? Oh, the idiocy. You don't really bother with the most basic of security measures, but you get all suspicious at someone's appreciation of a work of art. What the fuck is wrong with this?

/rant

Towards the end of the day, a large segment of the jury pool (yours truly included) were called in for selection. There were probably about a hundred and fifty of us there, and the woman sitting next to me kept saying every few seconds that the whole process should be over in five minutes and why the hell was it taking so long? Gah, why couldn't she just shut up. I was actually impressed that their system actually seemed to be going rather efficiently. Maybe not as well as I could imagine I would do, but hey, I couldn't find a whole lot to complain about, idiots sitting near me aside, of course. After the first few minutes, about the only thing keeping me from smacking her was the presence of so many witnesses, cameras and law enforcement officials in the room and even that was a pretty loose tether after a while.

I am reasonably sure that I was going to be one of the people picked for the jury- I was one of the few people that I noticed who didn't stand up to give a "yes" response to any of their weeding-out questions. But in the middle of all that, they suddenly dismissed everyone back to the playpens holding rooms without warning or explanation. After we got back there, someone said it was because the prosecuting attorney had pictures of the defendant at the crime scene sitting out in the open (did I mention, it was an attempted murder/assualt case? Yeah.) I actually saw one of the pictures, but it was just a big green blob. Looked like someone had pointed the camera straight down at a patch of grass and took the shot. But yeah, potentially biasing. So...we were all dismissed. Guess that trial won't be starting on the scheduled date.

So...jury duty. Yeah. I did some reading, began a little writing, spent most of the time being not bothered by all the people. Got paid fifteen bucks for my trouble.
badstar: (ten of wands)
I just found out that turning off Buzz in gmail does, in fact, not prevent your list of frequent contacts from being seen in your public Google profile.

Nice.

If you want to turn it off, log into gmail, click settings and look for the Buzz tab. Then, under "Display following lists", select "do not show these lists in my public google profile."

You can also disable it altogether in the same tab- like, cut the cord altogether, it looks like.

Once again, fuck you Google.

More on the public, er, response here:

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/google-tweaks-buzz/
badstar: (i'm a genius)
I've made my views on things like this clear before- I hate Twitter. I mean really, truly loathe it beyond my ability to explain. Things like this are contributing to the crumbling of language, people's attention spans, privacy and social interaction. (and, as Gavin says, it goes against countless centuries of wisdom that tell us that your every single, solitary mere thought do not need to be given voice- and no one should have to be subjected to them.)

But Twitter at least has one thing going for it- it didn't sign me up by a default setting of its mere existence.

Google Buzz, on the other hand, did. I've turned it off.

When Google chat was introduced, it wasn't forced on me- I was asked if I wanted to enable it. When Google Wave came out a few months back, it asked if I wanted to try it- I never did, and it never tried to force me either (whatever happened to Google Wave, by the way? Never took off I guess?)

But I logged in the other day, saw something about Google Buzz and noticed that lo, it was enabled by default on my email account. I checked the settings and couldn't find any immediately noticeable way yo turn it off. So I went poking around a bit and found this blog post:

http://www.accmanpro.com/2010/02/11/google-buzz-off/

This post informs us:

However, it didn’t take me more than 20 minutes of having Buzz plugged into my email to realize: I DON’T WANT THIS SHIT. I may not be alone. Despite the claim to help me: ‘to start conversations about the things you find interesting,’ it does nothing of the sort. Instead, it adds in any ’stuff’ that people it has decided I am following put into their Buzz (a bit like Twitter) along with any other accounts that Google has linked via their profiles such as Flickr, Twitter, Google Reader, assorted blogs….the list goes on. In other words it is aggregating a pile of stuff and lobbing it over the wall into my GMail.

Additionally linked from that post was this:

http://www.businessinsider.com/warning-google-buzz-has-a-huge-privacy-flaw-2010-2

Which informs us that...

The problem is that -- by default -- the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile.

In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see the people you email and chat with most.

A Google spokesperson asked us to phrase this claim differently. Like this: "In other words, after you create your profile in Buzz, if you don't edit any of the default settings, someone could visit your profile and see the people you email and chat with most (provided you didn't edit this list during profile creation)."


And there's the part that, if you choose to use Buzz, informs us that they don't let you know that this information is all made public by default:

If a user notices the box, it might help users "catch" that they might be following people they don't want the world to know they're following. But you don't have to close the box to use Buzz. Closing the box does not trigger a warning or anything else that alerts the user they've agreed to publish a list of the people they email and chat with most.

(It all makes more sense if you read the rest of the post- I'm not copying the entire thing here. There are pictures to show you what they're talking about too.)

They also point out:

The good news for Google is that this is a very easy problem to fix. Google must either shut off auto-following, or it must make follower lists private by default as soon as possible.

But at least for now, it seems that Google doesn't agree with that.

If you want to know how to change your settings for privacy and whatnot, both posts include instructions on how to change them.

If you just want to turn off the fucking thing, log into gmail, scroll down to the very bottom of the screen where the tiny print is and you should see a link that says "turn off Buzz"- it's right next to "turn off chat".

you may need a magnifying glass and a tour guide...but it's there. *sigh*

Every day, I loathe technology a little more. Technology is supposed to make your life better, not more vapid, empty and lacking of any substance whatsoever.

You're not gonna convince me that this will in any way better my life. I see shit like this and I think more and more that the Amish have the right idea.
badstar: (you didn't see that)
If things have gotta change,
well that's cool with me,
we'll just light the fuse and then get away,
hell yeah...


Things are just...happening lately. In addition to losing my job back in August, and being just a step ahead of the mass pagan exodus in the last week or so when I left the grove last month, I am now going to be leaving Neos Alexandria and Neokoroi, and my ADF membership, which runs out this month, will not be renewed.

After a whole lotta whathefuckery and some really appalling moments last week (if you know what I'm talking about, you don't need any more explanation. If you don't know what I'm talking about, trust me you're far better off that way.) I think things are calming down.

Also, I've pared my friends list way down. For the most part, people that I cut were either people who haven't posted in over a year, people who I haven't talked to in a ridiculously long time, and a few folks that I couldn't even remember who they were. I will probably eventually shave a few more off, but things stand as they are for the moment. If I've kept you around, it's either because we have a lot in common, you're otherwise interesting, or my own diabolical reasons (or some combination thereof).

I'm mildly surprised to find myself pretty much stress-free over all this at this point, aside from a lot of eye-rolling and restraining myself from giving a few people a piece of my mind. (Well, job search stuff aside, but even that could be a lot worse.)
badstar: (seven of swords)
So I'm at work...Matt called in sick, so they asked if I wanted to take his shift for overtime. I did but had to go back home and feed/water the cats- I left them with enough food/water that they'd be okay til I got home around midnight, so when they asked if I wanted to stay another nine hours, I said I'd have to go home and feed the cats, since Gavin's not home and thee's no one else who can do it.

So I'm here, and just wanting to throttle yet another coworker who does nothing but sleep- and snore, loudly. Oh my god, why don't they fire this guy? So he comes in, pulls up a filing cabinet near his chair, takes his shoes off and drapes his legs over the cabinet as if the whole setup was his living room recliner at home...what's next, bath robes and boxer shorts?

If this guy's still sleeping at eight AM, I will be SO tempted to go find chuck and let him know.

But...anyway...overtime. More money for me. Yay!

Additionally...

On Monday, I came into work to find an email in my box informing me that the former administrators of our health savings accounts had tried to mail me a check but it was returned, saying that they had the wrong address. They asked me to look at the address and verify or correct- oddly enough, they had the address correct. So they said they'd send it out again.

See, thing is, I was really confused. I hadn't filed any reimbursements in almost a month, and I'd received all the reimbursements that I've filed. So I try to find out. Over the course of the next two days, I talk to the account administrators and there's nothing in the system about an outstanding check...but in the meantime, I recieve an email back saying that they've resent the check.

So yesterday morning, I finally grabbed the HR person to try to ask her what was up with that. Apparently, this was a $40 check from early March, not just a week or so ago as the email had said.

So when they opened, I tried to call in, asked them to check farther back and sure enough there was a check on its way for $40.

See, here's the thing, I know what that $40 was from, and I also know that I have received that reimbursement, and an extra $40 has not been taken out of my balance. I mention this, and am promptly given a "Well isn't that lucky for you? We're not your administrators anymore so we can't do anyhting about it and when this happens, the money is yours."

Huh. Okay. $40.

So this afternoon on my way back to work, I checked the mail and sure enough, there was an envelope in the box from them.

I opened it. The check wasn't for $40 but for $72.49.

I remember filing that reimbursement. I also remember depositing that check into my bank account. But I got another one.

But anyway...between that and the overtime that will be on my next paycheck, a nice unexpected chunk of change.

Hail Hermes!

But on the other hand...our HSA is now being administered directly by the bank that owns the accounts. supposedly this was going to make our fees and whatnot go down.

I'm having some trouble seeing where this is the case. The former administrator offered a debit card, direct deposit, and didn't charge to issue a check. Oh, and there was no monthly fee.

The bank now charges us $2.75/month. They also offer a debit card. They also offer checks (you have to pay for them) you can get reimbursement by writing yourself one of their checks (but you have to pay for the checks), at an ATM with the debit card (there's a $2 fee) by requesting a check (there's a $10 fee) or scheduling an electronic bank transfer or going to the bank with the debit card and requesting a cash advance (I'm sure that costs something but there's no fee given in the brochure). As far as I can see, they don't offer direct deposit.

Now...explain to me how our fees were supposed to go down?

Great. So I can't get reimbursement for the last couple of appointments with the therapist until I at the very least get the debit card- though I should have that soon but still...what to do with receipts? are you telling me I have to hold onto them *just in case* they're asked for? Great, more clutter to hang onto instead of just faxing the receipts in where they're verified and kept digitally.

Where the fuck is the logic?

I am so happy that Gavin's coming home today. It's just not the same without her here to agree with me as to how everyone sucks.
badstar: (Default)
So the poem from my last post? Who knew it would generate such entertaining reactions?

Posted this poem to a couple of email lists, including one that is devoted to Apollo. Preceding the poem, I explained that it was my interpretation of part of a little-known myth, and I provided a link to the text of that myth, as written in an ode by Pindar. As I said, preceding.

Came home from work this morning and hopped online to find this, er, emotional response (yes, he's serious.):

I wish I had not read this so early in the morning because I am unable to control how upset your poetry has made me. If you were to ever leave a demigod alone in a field I should hope that Hera and Apollo would strike you down as you so deserve by these thoughts. You say you dont know that a demigod would even survive when you leave it in a field. I'm sorry, but you have made me quite ill with that. This would be like Mary leaving Jesus to fend for himself in the stables or something. When in the mythos do any demigods get left to die? Selfish wench. This poem is all selfish undeserving of the gods wench filled horridities! thumbs down.


Following that was yet another response:

i'd like to add, that in Hellenism, the general idea is that the Gods cannot reveal their true selves to us in physical form, as is detailed in the story of Dionysos birth, when his mother was killed when Hera convinced her that she had to see Zeus true form to believe he was who he said he was. She instantly was burned to nothingness. Further, how can you say that you would not love him?

"How could I not have loved the beautiful god"

???

"A son I would have loved, but for shame cannot keep."

I agree with Syd, how could you feel shame for giving birth to a demi-god, what could be more joyous, especially for a Hellenist.

"In this field of violets, surrounded by honeybees, I'll lay him down."

Isn't Pan the God of bees? Isn't that kinda bizarre to leave a child in a swarm of bees? Especially when its a demi god? Sounds like a good way to piss off the Gods if you ask me.


Okay....clearly someone missed the part about it being from a myth and the link to the original story (which, by the way, I didn't stray far from, only wrote from a first person perspective and took the liberties of giving this nymph a few thoughts of her own) and jumped to the conclusion that Apollo walked bodily into my room, had his way with me and got me knocked up. Additionally, I bore the child and then took him to a nice patch of wilderness and plunked him down in a field and let bees eat him, and walked away.

Later, when I posted to "clarify" that I was simply retelling part of a myth, and cited the entire ode containing the story- pertinent bits highlighted, I got a response from the second guy admitting his mistake...

But the first guy? Flat out said that he completely skipped the part where I said t was a myth and provided the link to the myth,"apologized slightly" for the critique, but still basically said that I deserved it for such "horrific horridities" that have spewed forth from my fingertips.

I asked him if he's now insulting Pindar's ghost thusly for telling the story in the first place.

Dude, I don't really give a rip if you don't like my poetry, but I think we've taken this one a wee bit far.

Of course, I think it's hilarious that these two guys think I'm so special as to have gotten knocked up by Apollo and killed his kid.
badstar: (ten of wands)
Okay...so there's this pizza place near me- close enough to see it from my bedroom window. (No, I won't say which place it is because that would be publicizing information a bit too close to my home address. If I know you and you know whereabouts I live and want to know what place it is so you can avoid it or whatever, feel free to message me)

So this place...their pizza is really good. Their subs are good too, but their pizza is some of my favorite. And they're open late. So it's good and convenient. Oh, and pretty cheap too.

Well, in theory. See, they seem to have a problem with sticking to the advertized pricing. I swear, they try to charge me a different price every time I get a pizza- and we almost always get the same thing. Sometimes they charge full price to get a topping on half the pizza, sometimes they charge half price. Sometimes the price includes one topping, sometimes it doesn't. Doesn't seem to matter what the menu, or the signs in the window say, it all seems to be at the whim of whoever's taking the money.

Today I called up to order a pizza to pick up. I thought the price before 330 was 6.99 for a large cheese with toppings extra- that's what the sign in the window says anyway. They tell me it's 7.99...but that includes one topping. Okay, fair enough, includes one topping and the sign in the window does give the pricing for a *cheese* pizza. So I ask for a sausage pizza with half tomato and half onion. I'm expecting about ten dollars with tax.

I go to get the pizza and the person running the register- who is the same person who took my order- tries to charge me like $16 for the freakin' pizza. She breaks it down- 8.99 for the pizza, $3 each for the onions and tomatoes.

Ummm...excuse me?

1. You told me that the sausage pizza before any extra toppings was 7.99. Also, this is what your menu says, for a large pizza picked up before midnight, cheese plus one topping.

2. Your price for toppings is...well, clearly you pulled this from your ass. Because event chargign me full price for both toppings, that should be $3 total, according to your menu which says that an additional topping on a large pizza is 1.50....this is completely in addition to the fact that I'm getting those toppings on half the pizza and you can never seem to make up your mind if you're charging full or half price for a half-pizza topping.

When I call her on all this, she tells me that she'll reduce the base price of the pizza to 7.99 as if she's making some grand concession. No, bitch, you're going to charge me what you told me the price was originally, which is what is printed on your menu. And if absolutely nothing else, you are going to charge me the menu price for those toppings. She then, again as if it were such a grand concession, said that she would charge me $1 each for the toppings.

Oh my god. These people. It's insane.

Gavin- Next time I want pizza, please, please PLEASE remind me not to go there. The pizza at Michelangelo's and at the crack wings place is just as good. So we'll have to wait for delivery...I'll live. I don't want to deal with these people anymore.
badstar: (Default)
If you actually read this post (and I won't blame you at all if you don't), please, I beg of you, do not try to address my issue of figuring out the ADF stuff with respect to what's going on in my own brain, that's not what I'm writing about here, and for reasons you will see below, I am liable to knee-jerk and rip your head off. Nothing personal but people have really aggravated me today.

In reference to this post: http://community.livejournal.com/adf/143425.html

So recently, in my attempts to figure out why I'm waffling so much on ADF and the IP for the last year, it finally dawned on me how much my experience with getting my DP approved has bothered me. I know I bitched about it plenty. I know I've said it made me mad, but I don't think I've really realized just how much until now. There is another person on my friends list, who shall remain anonymous unless he chooses to identify himself, who has been having communications issues with the clergy training program and has been writing about it on occasion. I've followed these writings wit interest. And after knowing other people who have had issues in the higher study programs too, one of the big issues in my mind is that I pretty much know that it's going to be the DP over again and on a grander scale- since the DP was one big submission, but the IP is multiple segments submitted separately. It's a lot more writing, so a lot more potential for repeat performances.

Finally, last night I got it in my head to make a post to [livejournal.com profile] adf. Now...I think I did a reasonable job of being very clear that I did not expect the impossible and that I understand that this is all volunteer-based. I also think I did a decent enough job of making it perfectly clear that The issue that I was posting about was the *only* question that I could not answer for myself.

So I express concern about such points as:

Having submitted my work already approved, but when it got re-reviewed (which to my understanding was just to be a once-over to make sure that everything was okay since I was the first DP for Caryn to review), the reviewer (Whose name I don't know and after this debacle, don't expect I ever will) had questions about my work but didn't bother to ask me- who wrote it all in the first place- or Caryn- who okayed it but took it to Raven Mann who also didn't bother to ask me or Caryn, but took it to the clergy council- well, took the questions, but not the actual work being questioned.)

Once I submitted my DP for review yet again for the CTP, I was asked to do some additional work on three essays, but no specifics given, basically just "add to this kthxbye". On the first two, I guess I got lucky, they were accepted without question on re-submission. The third, however, came back to me three times. The first two times, no specifics were given and it was weeks between sending them off and hearing back, never even got a "Received your essay, will review it as soon as possible" notice. Finally, on the third try, I was told what was wanted.

Now, for running on volunteer power, you'd think people would want to be as efficient as possible right? I mean, wouldn't it make sense to have added the one additional sentence to the first request for additional work on the essay so I could get right to the point to begin with? There would be a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to reread the essay, a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to think about it, a coupe of times where they wouldn't have to email it back to me. But no, they wasted their time and mine, and at the time, because of this one essay and the crappy communication, I was ready to give up. If I wasn't accepted wen I was, that would have been it.

I don't want to go through this again. I know someone working on the CTP who would submit her work and not hear anything for months, and get no reply when she emailed asking for a status update. I know someone working on it who gets his work rejected with no explaination why when it is comparable to other work that was accepted. I don't want to be in this spot.

So I made the post linked above, and the reaction is to blast me over the volunteer issue, to lecture me about how people have their own lives and how they can only do so much. Bitch, please. I don't expect a volunteer to work miracles. I expect that if I'm doing a study program and someone has volunteered to review my work that they will at the very least acknowledge when they receive it and let me know that they will be getting to it. I expect that if something happens to delay things, that they will have the courtesy to let me know. A two-sentence email "Hey, I was going to sit down with this last night but my kid got sick, I'll need a few more days" takes roughly thirty seconds to write (at least as I type) and lets me know that they're not ignoring me. Hey, if something comes up, I understand, but where my work is concerned, I expect to be kept in the loop.

This is not unreasonable. This isn't brain surgery, people. Hell, it isn't even rocket science.

Then there were several people who asked me what it was that I wanted out of ADF anyway. This was completely beside the point. I don't need help figuring that out. I mentioned my questioning of what I'm doing to give an idea of why I was posing what I did.

Another individual...and this one really pissed me off, came back with "Oh, maybe you just had a bad personal experience" and proceeded to tell me about her own experience and how she had to wait, but hew reviewer actually bothered to COMMUNICATE with her and ASK her the questions that they had oh my god someone was doing their fucking job, even if it was a little slow. Well golly geee yee fucking ha it must be nice! Oh, and it was a learning experience for you, it made you think. Well then I guess you're just a better dedicant than me. Here, please have a fucking cookie, would you prefer snickerdoodle or chocolate fucking chip?

Another person accused me of being antagonistic. Listen, if you have a better way to describe my experience and express concern about how many other people are having similar experiences and about the possibility of going through it all again than please...do feel free to rewrite my post with sunshine and butterflies and send it to me so I can repost it to your liking. Because I can't think of a better way to say what I had to say. I was very clear that I understand that people have lives to deal with and all that. I was very clear as to what my concerns are. I was very calm and civil and I even went back and edited myself several times to make sure that I wasn't sounding like I intended to rip people up for this.

I thank the people who actually had constructive and understanding things to say, or who will when they're able to respond. It's good to know that some people are actually bothering to read what I've said and respond to that, not what they've imagined it to be in their little brains.
badstar: (i'm a genius)
Dear Bitch,

What the holy fucking hell is your major malfunction? Do you really expect to sit there screaming on the train and not have someone ask you to lower your voice? Nevermind that you were yelling for several minutes before I finally turned around and asked you to please lower your voice when clearly, no one else would, and the train driver didn't really care. The rest of the world is not the staging grounds for your screaming dramas about your boyfriend cheating on you. If I can hear your every word halfway down the train on top of my already loud iPod, you're invading my space and everyone else around and it is beyond reasonable to expect you to lower your voice.

And don't you fucking dare call me a racist for asking you to lower it either. If I didn't hear you screaming, I never would have turned around. I had no fucking clue what your skin color is, and even if I did care what color your skin was, all I would have to do is keep staring straight ahead and never look at you. But no, you drew the attention to yourself. You made an embarrassing spectacle of yourself. You are the fucking obnoxious bitch here, I don't care what your skin color is, I don't care what your issue is, I am not fucking oppressing you by expecting you to act like every other decent person on the train- you did notice that nearly every other person on the train was black too, right? I had no problems with them. Why? Because they weren't screaming their fucking asses off.

You don't get to play the racism card to excuse your unfuckingbelievably ridiculously juvenile behavior. Your behavior is not a race issue, it's equally unacceptable from anyone. I've seen better-behaved screaming two year olds.

So, in short, shut the fuck up and take some fucking responsibility for your atrocious attitude and behavior. you're not acting like that because you're black, you're acting like that because you're a raving bitch with no courtesy to speak of.



The thing that gets me is that this isn't the first time I've been called a racist for asking someone to lower the noise. When in the hell did it become acceptable to expect the entire world to put up with your screaming/yelling/insanely loud uh...whatever it is that masquerades as music because of your fucking skin color? and no, I don't find this sort of thing acceptable from anyone. It's not an issue of race, it's an issue of having a little decency when being out in public. Oh my holy fucking gawds.

And I've only ever seen this in Baltimore. In similar situations in New york City, Philadelphia, Dallas and Lancaster that I remember, people either ignore you, mumble a vague apology or just tone it down a bit, no one's ever screamed racist at me for asking to lower their voice. I don't fucking get it.
badstar: (Default)
Why do I bother?

So I logged onto the Comcast technical support chat to try one last hope- they never tried sending a signal to our cable box, so I decided to give it a shot and see if that might do anything. Negatory on that one.

After they sent a signal, I decided to ask if there was anything that could be done to discourage/prevent people from cutting the lines, since I had been told that the issue was that the lines were cut as if someone was trying to splice in and steal our service.

So the response that I get was "We are going to send out a technician tomorrow and it is already noted on your account that you are having an ongoing problem with the cable service."

and then "The technician will be the one who is going to decide if they are going to cut the line physically or they can do something else."

Um...why would the technician cut the line? I figured I'd phrased the question badly so I tried again, rephrasing the question a bit and preceding with "The last technician told me that the problem was that someone had cut the line, can that be prevented?"(Though I thought that "Is there any way to protect the wires from being cut by someone trying to steal service?" was pretty straight-forward)

So her response was "I already talked to my supervisor and he said that we are just going to take note of your request so that the technician is aware that you want to prevent us from cutting off the lines."

*headdesk* It's not the fucking technician that I'm worried about. *sigh*

I gave up at that point and said that I would just talk to the tech tomorrow.
badstar: (Default)
I hate Comcast. I fucking hate Comcast. I really really really really hate Comcast. More than anything. My service is down for the third time in a fucking week. I woke up today to find no serivce. It was working this morning. No TV, no internet. Modem completely unresponsive. Nothing happens even when hitting the standby button. Service blows goats like no other. I am so tempted to switch services right now, but unless there's another cable TV option as well as internet...I'm up a creek. Verizon FIOS isn't available and I won't touch Verizon anyway after The Great Verizon Debacle Of 2006. The only thing that's better about this situation is that Comcast service is going down and they're not charging me for time down (I've also been granted a couple of free months at this point) whereas Verizon was charging me for money I didn't owe and when someone would finally say "Oops! Our bad!", They wouldn't give it to me in writing that I didn't actually owe them money and a few weeks later, I would suddenly owe them money again....and eventually cut my service after six months of this. Given the choice, I prefer to not be charged for service I'm not getting. But this still pisses me off more than anything

I called. First they tell me that there are a small handful of people having issues in the area and they need to schedule a tech to come out (they didn't even try to troubleshoot)...oh, but thay couldn't send someone til Wednesday afternoon. I reiterated the situation, this would be the third time in a week that Comcast sent a tech, and it was ridiculous that I need to have another one, but I couldn't wait til Wednesday. She kept insisting that there was nothing else she could do so I asked to speak to a supervisor. She said that she'd transfer me and then there was some runaround, and several minutes later she learned that the situation had been upgraded, they'd gotten enough calls to declare a full-on outage in my zip code and techs had been dispatched in the area and were working on it.

So when I got to work, I called again. The outage was still in effect. A bit later, I used their tech support chat service and was told that it was back up, my modem was on standby and it just needed to be reset...so I called Gavin and got her to check the modem...it's still completely unresponsive. So I called again, with her still on the line and was told that they needed to send another fucking tech out. Another tech. At that point, I started rambling and raving about how I just couldn't deal with this anymore and how ridiculous it was and that this just isn't reasonable service, and that not only did I not have service, not only did I have to have yet another tech come to my apartment...but I also had to deal with the fact that it interrupted my sleep because I work nights and the only way to be sure that I'll be there when they get there is to schedule it smack in the middle of the day.

Then the guy tries to tell me he can't have anyone out til at least Wednesday afternoon. I pretty much lost it. I actually started crying, I was so mad and frustrated and feeling rather helpless. He was saying that at this point in the night, they could only make emergency phone service call appointments and he had no way to get anyone out there...I asked to speak to a supervisor, he tried to tell me that they would do the same thing...I babbled a little more, probably just repeating the same things over again...I don't really remember now, after a minute or so I stopped myself and asked to just speak to a supervisor, please. He said ok, put me on hold and came back a few minutes later.

Well...I never spoke to said supervisor, but he was able to get me a service call between ten and one tomorrow. I don;t know what I'm going to do if this happens again. I'm just ready to do things that would probably make homeland security come after me if I wrote about them, so I'm not going to detail the scenarios in my head.

I came back to my desk kinda sputtering and dancing around for being so pissed off...I scared Brian and Tiffany.

Gods, I really hate Comcast. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate. They suck. They blow. Hoover should take lessons. This situation is just so ridiculously epic, I don't even know where to begin.

In case you missed it, I hate Comcast.

Oh yeah...and I'm thisclose to the point in my temper where I start to throw things.

I'm also pissed off that I will have to interrupt my sleep tomorrow Bad enough that it gets interrupted but I have an appointment with the therapist...so I get even less sleep than usual. *kicks things*

Sarah Palin

Sep. 3rd, 2008 03:16 am
badstar: (Default)
I have never disliked a political figure in such a short time after first hearing a name.

I was going to write a nice, detailed, specific list of reasons why...but the more I read, the more my head hurts and for the sake of my poor little brain, I think I'm going to put it off for another time.

I'll leave you with this little tid bit for now (bolding mine):

Q: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance?

A: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.
Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire Jul 31, 2006


Then there's this link, with a very high shake to stick ratio of links to sources for all kinds of fun stuff on the sort of things to which she is connected: http://dogemperor.newsvine.com/_news/2008/08/29/1803647-sarah-palin-dominionist-stalking-horse

Mmmmmm....Dominionism.
badstar: (Default)
Arright folks, never mind all the other, logical, rational, legitimate political reasons for which I find Sarah Palin absolutely stomach-turning, even if it weren't for all that, I could never in good consciousness vote for her.

She has given birth to children and pinned them with such awful names as Track and Trig.

WTF, does she harbor a secret desperate yearning to go back and teach high school or something? (Not that Piper, Bristol or Willow are such great names either. But Track and Trig. Geez.)
badstar: (Default)
I went home this morning, tired. Very tired. I got into bed and fell asleep almost immediately. sleep, beautiful sleep. It was wonderful.

Then I woke to the sound of Gavin muttering about something going on, immediately followed by our power cutting out.

Then the noises started. Jackhammering, trucks, guys yelling, you name it. I had been asleep for barely over an hour.

Replacing power poles behind the house. Workers told me to expect power to be out for two hours. Two hours in stagnate air and lots of noise. I called BGE to bitch that they never notified people ahead of time when things like this were happening (not that it would ever do any good, but dammit, I was just woken up and I was in a bitchy mood and I was going to give them a piece of my mind.)

Unfortunately, it's hard to effectively bitch out the electric company when the representative that answers the phone appears to have an intellect rivaling that of a lump of silly putty.

Wait, I think I just insulted silly putty.

I asked her why we never got notices to this thing, it's not like they just pull street names for repairs out of a hat in the morning and send the trucks off based on that, right? (Right?) They have to know in advance. And all she could do was tell me that her computer said that no one was working in my neighborhood. Umkay, well four trucks and a bunch of guys with jackhammers who just cut my power beg to differ. She repeated this a few times.

It got even better when she started offering to send someone out to examine our power lines and determine the cause of the outage. Why is this so difficult? Look, I get it, you don't know, you're a peon who answers the phone, story of my own life. It's not a strike against you, maybe you could ask a manger or something? But I just told you precisely why my power has been cut, why would you send someone to check it out? If you want proof that they're working out there, lemme hang up and take a picture with my camera and send it to you. Piece of pie. Er, cake.

I told her that I know why my power is out, cause of the dudes out back with the noisy stuff doing stuff. She got a little more insistent in her offer to send someone out and look for the cause of the problem, and I gave up and said "Thank you that's okay I can see we're getting nowhere here, have a nice day."

Dammit, all the stoopid took the wind out of a good bitching.
badstar: (Default)
This is messed up.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25284886/

(If you follow the link, there is a picture of a kid's arm, with what is clearly a scar, and clearly in the shape of a cross. It's not a gory picture, for those who want to see for themselves. Unless you're extremely squeamish, this visual is quite mild.)

Teacher in trouble for burning crosses on kids,
Board votes to fire him, says he was preaching Christianity

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - A school board in central Ohio voted Friday to move ahead on firing a science teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs in class and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms.

The Mount Vernon school board voted 5-0 to pass a resolution of intent to terminate the contract of middle school teacher John Freshwater.

Board attorney David Millstone said Freshwater is entitled to a hearing to challenge the dismissal. A lawyer for Freshwater said he will request such a hearing.

A report by independent investigators found that Freshwater also taught creationism in his science class and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible and other religious materials from his classroom.

School board members gathered a day after consulting firm H.R. On Call Inc. released its report. The community is about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.

The report comes one week after a family filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Freshwater and the school district, saying Freshwater burned a cross on their child's arm that remained for three or four weeks.

They're family values, friend says
Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.

"With the exception of the cross-burning episode ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Friday.

Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the district for 21 years, as a great guy.

But Lynda Weston, the district's director of teaching and learning, told investigators that she has dealt with complaints about Freshwater for much of her 11-year term at the district, the report said.

Science tool used to make crosses
A former superintendent, Jeff Maley, said he tried to find another position for Freshwater but couldn't because he was certified only in science, the report said.

Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students' arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an "X," not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said.

Other findings show that Freshwater taught that carbon dating was unreliable to argue against evolution.


So what I want to know is...why isn't a bigger deal being made about the fact that he burned these kids? They're scarred. They were probably in pain. How did he convince anyone to participate in this? Why would a teacher knowingly burn their students???? Oh, and after all that, the superintendent tried to find him another job???? (On rereading, the finding another job looks like it was before the branding incident)

Okay, then comes the religion aspect of this nonsense. He burned what is clearly a cross on these kids. and then all the other religious details. Okay...keeping a copy of the bible in the classroom...that's a fine line there, but if the teacher was just reading it on a lunch break or something...not such a big deal. But I don't think that's what he was doing. Public schools, science class. Hello! McFly!

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