Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Paying Tuition

I called the kids' school, today, to double-check if they'll be having class every day.  Since the answer was "yes," I've cut a huge check.  No, I'm not looking forward to that money leaving my hands.  Yes, I am looking forward to sending the kids back to school.  They've been home since the third week of March, and they're getting as sick of it as I am.  
No, we're not going back to normal, yet.  The idiot in charge of my city has declared that everyone will wear a face panty, and so many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon that it isn't even funny.  And it is a bandwagon--a frenzy, a hysteria, much along the same lines of the Beanie Baby craze or the tulip bulb craze, but far more destructive.  The face panty mask ordinance comes up for renewal about a week after the kids go back to school.  I really hope it's not renewed.  I miss Sam's Club.  Especially early enough it's not open to any but the plus members. 
I had doubts that I would be paying tuition, this year.  I wasn't sure the kids' school would be holding classes daily, since it seems that several of the other local schools aren't planning to.  I had back-up plans, for if that would have been the case, but it would have involved buying the curriculum their school uses, and spending all of my energy wrestling the kids through it.  In a way, yeah, it costs less (cash); in another...it would have been a hell of a lot more expensive (my energy).
So far, the school is doing daily in-person classes, and they will be offering lunch service.  They're still trying to work out how, but they will be.  Elementary kids will be having lunch in their classrooms, most of the time,* so peanut butter sandwiches on the days the kids don't want what the school is serving are out.**  I'd do lunchables, but they're too damn small for my kids' appetites, and too damn expensive for what they are. 
Funny thing, though.  When I took the check in, I swung by the superintendent's office on the way out, to look into something.  The kids have been at their school for...six years, now.  And in those six years, they've had three superintendents.  This newest one...his name was very familiar.  So I went in and talked to him.  He was my 8th grade science teacher, and one of my absolute favorite teachers, period. 
Small world.  I'm glad the school's opening up as normally as current political realities will permit, so that I could pay tuition this year. 

*The school's going to "bubble classrooms"--the kids will stay in their classes, and the art, music, and Spanish teachers (as well as the other special classes) will come to them.  The only exceptions will be PE and recess (with their specific classroom only--which sucks for my pixie, since her best friend is a year younger).  And lunch, once in a while, apparently, to keep the kids (and likely their teachers) from going absolutely batshit. 

**Peanuts and tree nuts are banned in the classrooms.  Just not the lunch room. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

I am really looking forward to how Walmart handles ADA lawsuits

Because they, and every municipality that's requiring mask wear, are going to be slapped with them--hard. 

1.  Masks do NOT work.  

In fact, they make things WORSE.  I've read studies (couple of weeks ago, now--can't find the links anymore) that suggest that people in places that require masks are having more, and worse, and weirder health issues cropping up related to wearing masks than what the masks are supposed to prevent.  One thing I saw mentioned was that there are people showing up in emergency rooms with breathing problems caused by mask wear: fungal infections and bacterial infections of the upper AND lower respiratory tract.  Translated into layman's terms, people are getting pneumonia from their face-panties.  And on top of that, they're not blocking the spread of the novel cold going around.  

2. A lot of people cannot wear masks.  

Whether those reasons are psychological or physiological, there is a sizable minority that simply cannot wear masks.  There are supposed to be work-arounds for the disabled, but that's often a shrug and a "don't care, you can't come in, we've got delivery, that's your accommodation, go away." 

My sister has intense claustrophobia.  As in: panic attacks to the point of passing out when her face is covered or breathing restricted.  My mom has COPD, and has low blood oxygen saturation to start with.  Neither can or should be forced to wear a mask. 

I found out this week that I cannot wear a mask.  I've been to various doctors' appointments three times since this "mask" idiocy started.  All three times, I was asked to wear a mask...and did, since they were asking, and polite.  All three times, it triggered a nasty ME/CFS attack.  Monday's mask wear sent me to bed all day Tuesday.  I'm better enough today that I can sit in my recliner, but not better enough to be able to do much more than that.  One such reaction after mask wear might be happenstance, but three for three says I just...can't.  Not won't, can't.  I have too much other stuff to do to be able to go down for a couple of days because some fucking coward requires me to wear a face panty.

3. Reasonable Accommodations aren't.  

In a lot of areas of the country, the only grocery store is a Walmart Supercenter...which will be requiring masks of the people who shop there as of 7/20.  And, say, in my mom's hometown, there is no curbside pickup, no delivery.  Nothing.  No accommodation for people who can't wear masks, but they'll be turned away anyway, due to company policy.

Other areas have the curbside pickup...but I have only very rarely gotten everything I asked for.  I've been told it was out of stock, but when I checked the website immediately after having gotten home, it wasn't.  The shopper clearly either couldn't find the item, or just didn't bother.  Since I don't permit substitutions (allergies--I know what does and does not have the ingredients that trigger our household's allergic reactions), I wasn't charged...but some of those things were either something we were looking forward to, or needed for the next week's meals. 

Some places advertise delivery, but...it doesn't work any better with delivery, and frequently, doesn't work as well.  And delivery slots are sometimes booked up weeks out, not days. 

Along with all of those, the click-and-pull curbside delivery does not seem to include anything other than groceries and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.  Does not seem to include things like kids' summer clothes...which my family needs.  (Yes, this means I'll have to go to Walmart with my kids in tow before Walmart's stupid edict goes into effect...but what am I supposed to do about school clothes?)

I can see how, in an area where the curbside and delivery actually works and works well, those features could be considered "reasonable accommodation."  However, it would have to be expanded to all the items in the store, and would have to be absolutely equal to being able to walk in and do things for yourself...but it isn't. 

In conclusion, given all of this (especially that first point--that masks don't work), I am eagerly awaiting the ADA lawsuits.  This is going to be a glorious slap-down of the cry-bullies and control freak mask fetishists. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Words mean things...

...until they don't. 
An example: take the word silly.  What does that mean?  Stupid?  Goofy?  Childish?  Sure.  That's what it means...now. 
Originally, the word meant blessed.  The word evolved to mean joyful, then happy, and has...yeah.  Devolved is a good way to put it. 
Take the word racism.  Or, better yet, racist.  Used to, it meant someone who actively said or did awful things to people of other races--Native American, Chinese, African, you name it--because they thought those of other races weren't really human.  Barely a step up from an animal. 
The word is applied to anyone born of visibly Caucasian background.  No, you don't have to do or say anything--in fact, silence is now deemed being racist.  Not noticing the color of people's skin is racist.  Treating everyone exactly the same is racist.
It's ironic, really.  Many of the proponents of this view are, at best, agnostic, and more often rabidly, evangelically atheist.  Yet the language they couch "racism" in is very familiar to Christians. 
It's Original Sin, just repackaged by leftists to make it useful for them to hit the rest of us with.  But, unlike with Christianity, there's no salvation, at all, ever. 
I am beginning to respond to the screams of "racism" with a shrug, and a "so what?" 
Words mean things...until the word's definition devolves to mean nothing. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


I truly wish that I could find hardback versions of all of the Mageworlds books (Debra Doyle and James MacDonald).  They're some of our favorites, and our paperbacks are wearing out.  I guess Kindle will have to do, but Kindle doesn't offer the same reading experience: the feel and smell of the books as you read. 

There are actually a lot of books I'd like to have in hard-cover, because Odysseus or I have read the paperbacks to death.  The Mageworlds books--starting with The Price of the Stars--is only one set.  Many were never released in hardcover, more's the pity.  We've also replaced several of the paperback Honor Harrington books several times (David Weber), and The Star of the Guardians (Margaret Weiss) books at least once. 

Several years ago, TSR re-released the books following a particular character in hardback...one series of pulp D&D Forgotten Realms books per hardback.  I have, I think, three of the hardbacks (all by R. A. Salvatore), and still have my worn-out paperbacks.  I did the same with Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion. 

David Weber's Honor Harrington books have been re-released in hardcover.  Yes, we've been replacing our worn out paperbacks with the hardcover, when we can.  Otherwise, we rely on the electronic copies that Baen Books put out on CD-Rom inside some of their hardcover books in the early 2000s, before they partnered with Amazon.  

I wish they'd do the same for the book series I mentioned above.  I really doubt it will happen.  Tor seems to be committing active, slow, painful suicide by woke-ness (and the Mageworlds books do not fit within the world they're trying to force into being), and Bantam...I don't recall the last time I'd purchased a Bantam book.  Nor Ace. 

Honestly, it makes me sad.  When our current paperbacks go to pieces, we're likely to have to turn to Kindle for replacements.  I'm pretty sure most of the book series I named are out of print, and have been for a long time.