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Everything posted by mamajag

  1. The gun show loophole is a pretty big myth in the world of gun sales. I've bought countless guns at shows. Every.single.one required me to do a background check. It may not be required, but I've never experienced not having a background check run and I've been at shows all around the country. Believe it or not, the dealers don't want to sell to people who aren't supposed to get one. They don't want to be the guy that sold the gun to the mass shooter. They really don't. Yes, reporting needs to get better. Law enforcement needs to take tips about dangerous students seriously. We as a society need to get better about noticing these problems and making sure the people get the help they need. Frankly we need to stop talking about bullying and then doing nothing to stop it. I don't think we'll do it because it requires a bit more thought than just banning guns, but it really needs to be done.
  2. Maybe 2 to 3%, and mostly "unschoolers". Are there many who could do better? Yep. I think I will always feel that way about myself because I'm a perfectionist, so I'm not sure about whether my standards are realistic. But educational neglect is a pretty high bar to meet. I see a lot more issues with parents pushing their kids way too hard and creating anxiety, ulcers, and other issues. I'm in a metro area with a lot of homeschoolers, and many of them have schedules for their kids that boggle the mind. We do a play group, a teen group, choir, church group, and music lessons and it feels like a lot, but compared to many other families we are recluses. We're all introverts, though. The area is fairly liberal and we're fairly conservative, so they don't really have a ton of opportunities for truly like-minded friendships. I'd love to change that, but I can't change the wider culture and I don't want my kids changing just because they want to have more peers, so it is what it is at this point. I'm far, far more concerned with the educational neglect that is pandemic in public educational institutions, frankly. It's really hard to look at a homeschool family I think could be doing better and tell them that public options would be better because in many cases that simply isn't true. I notice many that could be doing better struggle with planning and using time effectively, so when asked for advice that's the sort of tips I wind up handing out most along with how to juggle teaching multiple kids.
  3. How many have happened since the election? I can't count 4 that got national attention off the top of my head. I don't automatically disbelieve, but I don't automatically believe, either. I do what should be done: I wait for the investigators to do their work and see what the facts are. In both cases, the purported victims should be believed insofar as much as the allegations should be thoroughly and vigorously investigated. The hoaxes aren't bringing light to a problem. They're becoming an excuse to ignore actual incidents, and therefore they should be soundly rebuked.
  4. I've lived all over the Bible Belt, and I have yet to see this. And yes, I've met ATI/Gothard families. They may not have been doing college prep work, but the girls I spoke to were intelligent, well-spoken, and proficient in math and life skills. They certainly equaled if not exceeded what was available at the abysmal public schools in the area. I did not agree with teaching creationism and that evolution was a lie, so I naturally found their science education lacking but otherwise they could graduate from public high school based on their knowledge level.
  5. It's a threat to Girl Scouts, not AHG. The people who are participating in AHG won't go for putting their girls in "Boy Scouts" and will likely pull their sons from Boy Scouts in favor of more traditional, Christian oriented scouting for boys.
  6. Thanks to rampant globalization, that small business has to compete with widgets made in countries that pay a fraction of that $10 widget. People will simply buy the cheap, foreign widget, and my business closes.
  7. My husband and I were where you are now except that I had experiences that meant I could not discount the supernatural completely out of hand. We've been Catholics for a few years now. It's hard to pinpoint what changed. A very close friend died, and I began having a very specific dream again, which I now realize was Mary bringing me home. Bishop Barron's Word on Fire ministry started by countering my arguments intelligently, led me to Aquinas, and from there RCIA class with a very sharp sponsor brought me along the rest of they way. This is in no way doing what happened to me justice, but that's as close to I can get to it with mere words.
  8. At the drugstore I really like the CeraVe stuff.
  9. I'm so sorry. This is why my kids' piano teacher requires payment in advance and has you sign a contract for a 1-month notice if you stop taking lessons. People took advantage of her good nature far too much.
  10. We have this one and we love it. It's so easy to clean and comfy. We bought it with two of the cupholder consoles instead of one, but it's been great. https://www.roomstogo.com/product/Living-Room-Sets/Cindy-Crawford-Home-Barton-Springs-Gray-6-Pc-Sectional/1009763P/
  11. Honestly, that's a bit cold. If you've been poor and lived terrified that your beater car was going to break down and you were going to lose your job because of it, you'd understand why they desire reliable transportation. If you've ever gone to an interview and been underdressed in your best clothes, you'd know why they want the proper wardrobe. If you've worked multiple jobs, some down time would be nice. When I was broke I didn't dream of being able to sit on my behind and read. I wanted to survive without being stressed to the nines about the basics. Being able to sit on my behind and read was a fairy tale. I just wanted reliable transportation and a wardrobe that could get me hired or promoted. It's easy to forget or judge those things when you've never been there.
  12. I got gas last Thursday in Austin and one major chain of Shells was only allowing people to fill their vehicle’s tank. No containers. They had gas the longest. The first place I stopped had gas but required you to buy the highest level car wash to purchase gas. I didn’t buy there but did report what they were doing. GasBuddy is now showing gas available at most places. The ones that don’t have gas are mostly Chevrons. I think that points to supply chain in their case. I’m still not using gas the way I usually do. I’d planned to go to Ikea, which is 30 miles one way, but decided to wait a bit.
  13. Part of the reason for exclusions is to keep the prices reasonable and manageable for the members. I have yet to see a sharing ministry that doesn’t spell out what it does and does not cover, and frankly if you want traditional insurance that market exists. Since the ACA, my family has been priced out of the insurance market. We’re quite content with having essentially major med coverage through the sharing ministry, our normal healthcare through a husband and wife practice that has a flat monthly rate and can handle most anything the ministry doesn’t cover, and GoodRX for my long term meds. It works for us even though it’s a patchwork, and I can afford those things and put some into savings for when we need it. It’s a win/win for us. I know it’s not for everyone, but they aren’t ministries that were created for a mass market. They are large groups of similarly-minded Christians who help each other with medical needs but can’t afford to fund every pre-existing condition or self-inflicted illness out there. As they are upfront about what they do and do not cover, choosing whether to join is a pretty simple decision. Definitely read everything and look at all of them. They don’t all have the same restrictions.
  14. I know how I would do it now. I would create a lesson plan, and on the assignment tab, I'd look for the "more options" link beside the every day add this. Choose "My assignments follow a recurring pattern". Click next. Choose how many times you want the loop to repeat on the next screen and which days you want it to appear. Click next. There are some things to be aware of here. If your loop is of fewer than 5 subjects, you almost have to double/triple the amount to get above 5 and make a nice repeating loop. For example, if your loop is 3 subjects and you do one every day, click all five days here, and on the next screen choose "add another day to schedule" so that you have 6. This ensures your loop is always complete regardless of the number of days. Create your loop on this page, Assigning each subject to a day and adding days as necessary to get the lowest number of days that creates a full loop. This may be more than one loop if the number of subjects is small. Take a look at how things appear in the preview window, click ok, and confirm your choices. When you're back at the main screen, it's time to enter your assignments. You should have already created assignments that tell you what subject each day is. Whether you edit this and add the assignment to the notes or choose add an assignment to this day is up to you. It will be easier to lesson plan if you fill in the subject name in the "show containing" field on the assignment list. It should pull up only that subject for ease of entry. ​Clear as mud?
  15. I’m in Austin. I think we’ll be okay but have tweaking precautions in case of power outages.
  16. I would just create the loop as a lesson plan and name the assignment accordingly. Day 1-geography (assignment details), day 2 art appreciation, etc in a loop, and they’ll just come up in the right order.
  17. Yep. I accidentally stumbled into this when I mentioned in a group text that we were skipping piano lessons to watch the eclipse. I’m going to blind my kids. Nope, I’m really not.
  18. I have a friend with 8 children who was buying 6 pears, and the cashier commented on the quantity. She told her she had a large family, and when the cashier inquired how many children, she answered. The cashier asked, "Do you even know what causes THAT?!?" My friend, who has a wonderful girlish innocence about her, giggled and said mischievously, "I think it's the pears!" I crack up every time she tells that story.
  19. I use This brand’s toner in all of mine now. I have gotten the occasional dud, but they ship a new one out quickly if that happens. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B009SIV5BS/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1502915376&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=tn450+high+yield+toner+cartridge&dpPl=1&dpID=41Z9PNPHpUL&ref=plSrch
  20. I have Spectrum 300mbps and pay $99 a month. I don’t complain because I’ve had one outage in the almost 3 years I’ve been here, and they mean it when they say unlimited. We use almost 900GB a month and have never had a problem.
  21. The answer is to get a better job, yes. Minimum wage will always be essentially legalized slavery even if we make it $100/hr. The sooner we get people the realize it, the better. It's the minimum for a reason. The blanket nature of supposedly good intentioned people's answer to poverty is a large part of the problem. I know a good man in my hometown who is unemployed and the government is supporting his family. He is a talented carpenter, but some bad things happened in a row and he doesn't have transportation to work. Instead of looking at his situation and seeing a talented, capable man with a very specific problem, the government signs him up for generic programs. He's alive, but he can't dig out. If someone truly looked at his situation and helped him get a vehicle, he could support himself AND the government would save a lot of money that could be used to help someone else. That is what I'm talking about. Looking at every situation as unique and individual and giving targeted help to solve the problems that are keeping them where they are. (My family and some friends are trying to put together money to find him reliable transportation.) I don't know if bureacracies are capable of that level of intervention, but dang it makes a whole lot of sense to look at people's situations and help them remedy whatever the hangup is that is keeping them where they are. Maybe it's childcare. Maybe it's a lack of education. Maybe it's just a lack of direction and hope. Most people I know who haven't climbed out have problems standing in the way of that, and I'm advocating helping them conquer that. I'm advocating mentorship and community building and the return of dignity instead of warehousing the poor the way we currently do.
  22. I have several of those stories, too. It's apparently not okay to say that not making the best choices lead to suboptimal outcomes. It doesn't matter that it is true. It doesn't matter how many times I have lived this experience and tried to give otherwise very decent human beings a way out, too. Because my answer isn't pity and endless handouts and enabling of devastating human conditions, it's not okay. But basically because it isn't nice to expect people to own their mistakes the way I own mine. My husband often tells his trainees that you cannot fix a problem when you have no idea what the cause of the problem is. Right now there are lots of people that look at poverty and don't look deep enough into cultural, generational, and bureaucratic factors that encourage stagnation instead of climbing out. And yes, if I work my tail off to get my kids a better start in life than I had, then my family earned their position. Did my kid earn that start themselves? No, but it's not a bad road for a family who 3 generations back was following companies building paper plants wherever they led and risking their lives for a little better start for their kids. My mom's generation had a pretty bad setback, but all 3 of her kids have made pretty decent lives for themselves, and college for her grandkids is not seen as something as impossible as winning the lottery. That's beautiful. That's the essence of the American dream. This thread brings this quote to mind: " It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered." Aeschylus in Agamemnon. It's a mix of envy and entitlement. When I see someone who is rocking their world like that, I don't want to take what they have. I want to have that life on my own. I might ask them for advice and/or tips because they are living a life I aspire to, but the envy and judgment displayed on this thread is making me sadder for humanity than I thought possible.
  23. If my husband and I hadn't taken a risk, we'd still be living in a run down trailer in MS...if that. I left college to join my husband on a traveling construction job. The pay wasn't great, but it was better than either of us (or my mom) had ever been paid. When that started to falter my husband got a job sand blasting and painting in the offshore oil fields. At that time oil was climbing, and his company offered courses on maintenance and operations for free during his time home. The downside was that we had to pay for hotels and would only get per diem. We sunk every bit of money we could spare into those courses. After 12 years in the industry, he's a mentor in Africa teaching nationals how to run a platform themselves all because we spent all his downtime in hotels living off a measly per diem. It was miserable. We hated it. We did it for long-term payoff. The guys that onboarded with him and didn't take those courses are either out of a job or sitting in the gulf making less than half what my husband is. There's risk in every type of change: starting a business, pursuing a degree, grabbing a second job. It could backfire. It could fail. You might not get a job in your field and be left with student loans. It's risky. It's also just about the only way to significantly change your economic status. It's considered safe to be stable and do what you've always done, even if what you've always done is barely get by.
  24. They aren't the norm because of generational and cultural factors common in impoverished communities. I can't tell you how many friends we lost because we kept struggling to get out. Every success cost me someone, and that's a high price to pay. Not everyone is willing to do it. My husband and I did because I had medical issues that had gone mostly untreated for years, and at the time our goal was a job that offered insurance. We made it to the low 6 figures. We're hoping to give our kids a better start than we had. This is how it is SUPPOSED to work. How on Earth do you think you're entitled to the proceeds of generations of work on the part of other families? I don't mind funding a safety net for basic needs, and I'm active with local charities through my parish, but the idea that somehow our success means the government redistributing a large portion of our salary to people who are unwilling to take the chances and do the things we did makes my blood boil. The entitlement mentality is what holds people back, not other people's success.
  25. Demoralizing? How? I see it as something I aspire to. My entry wasn't cushioned. My mom helped where she could, but we were very poor. We took a LOT of risks to climb out, getting a job with a traveling construction company and then an entry level job in the oil field when that collapsed. We will be able to help our kids with college expenses, and we're strongly encouraging them to stay at home during college and build savings before just moving out just to do it. We'll be able to help more than my mom was. Hopefully my kids will be able to do more. This is generations of effort and ladder climbing. It's the American dream. Take heart and do the best you can and encourage your kids to think long term about building a foundation to improve their condition. It can be done. <3
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