A Little Ray of Sunshine

Friday, December 09, 2005

Enough blame to go around

This little boy was murdered here by his daycare worker. He was put in this special daycare because his parents (divorced) thought he might have autism. The parents put him in daycare. The daycare didn't do background checks on their employees. The city didn't make sure the daycare followed the laws for the business liscence they granted. The worker's counseling liscence was suspended for a previous felony conviction. (Heroin) The daycare denies the person worked there. Then how do they explain letting her take the boy home with her?

http://www.journalnet.com/articles/2005/12/08/news/local/news01.txt is another story about the same. In it the mother is quoted saying she doesn't blame the daycare for her son's death. WTF? Apparently, the taxpayers paid for this center. Through Medicaid.

http://www.journalnet.com/articles/2005/12/07/news/breaking/news01.txt State legislatures suggest changes in regulations. Um, if the regulations had been followed, this little boy would still be alive. Changing the regulations isn't going to change a thing.
I suppose one lesson to take from this is that if you must put your child in daycare, you better demand to see all the background checks for everyone working there.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


One of my friends, A., is a libertarian-leaning liberal. We have a lot of fun. Aside from making my mom cringe every time we see each other. (Mom is still convinced that politics and religion should never be discussed.) We're both Eastern Stars, so we usually chat after meetings. Some of the older ladies, from the over sixty group, (A and I are the under 30 crowd, except for when T. or M. show up, rarely) have taken to sitting next to us regularly, though they won't join the conversation, they're definately listening.
Anyway, A. and I always agree on the problems, but never on the solutions. Sometimes I wonder what the other ladies think. It's fun for A. and I. Last time we got started on the increased funding and increased mandatory attendance vs. ending public education debate. I think the biggest difference between us is that she still thinks it's possible and desireable to protect people from themselves.
She's the president of the college democrats, but she says if she could get some other people interested, she'd leave and start a college libertarians club. I laughed at that. "Getting libertarians to do anything together is like herding cats, A. Libertarians can't agree on anything. If you want a club, start it yourself, but be prepared to be the only member."
One of these days, when her finals are over, I intend to drag her into the blogosphere, kicking and screaming, probably. We'll have fun. A., like me, can't keep her opinions to herself. She's a great friend. I wish there were more like her out there. She's five years younger than me, so I'll enjoy watching her gain more life experience, and seeing how her views change, over the next few years. There's a long distance of experience between twenty and twenty-five.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Prayers, please

Our car broke down yesterday evening. My husband had to go to class, and was going to drop the boys and I off for our Monday swim with my mom. Fortunately, we splurged on AAA. Or not, as we used it. It surely would've been more than the membership cost to have the car towed. Unfortunately, from the symptoms (sweetish light gray smoke, check engine light, car shaking sideways), my dad thinks it could be something between a cracked head gasket (just a few hundred bucks, which we have most of in our emergency fund) and a cracked engine block (a heck of a lot more than we can afford). The mechanic won't get to it until late this afternoon, he said, when I talked to him this morning.
It was the best possible time and place for this to happen, if it had to. Mom was able to help us with the boys, and give us all a ride home in her minivan. It's dead week, so half my husband's classes are cancled (teachers who gave their finals last week so they wouldn't have to do them at the 7 am slots they were assigned). And the old Buick Century we have for sale, well, it hasn't sold yet. So, if it's the worst, we can change our insurance to the Buick and still get around, albeit in rather cramped and awkward style. The Buick has its share of issues, or maybe a little more, but they are mostly lock and key issues, and all have work-arounds. The key does work on the passenger front door, the electric lock will still serve to open the driver side door (though you can't unlock it manually), the manual locks work on the back two doors, and a screwdriver does just fine for the boot!
However, Murphy has been formally evicted. He needs someplace else to live. Anyone want an obnoxious guy who makes things go wrong? Didn't think so. Well, there's a homeless shelter downtown.
The mobile home park we live in is up for auction on the 15th. We're waiting to find out what this means for our lease-to-own. Hopefully the new owner won't have some way around the fixed space rent in the lease terms, or if he does, it'll be a way that lets us out of the part of the lease that says the home has to stay here physically for four years. For now, at least, everyone's healthy, and I already did the grocery shopping for the month. We'll need more milk in a week, but Mom will help us get to the grocery store if need be.
But my little boys thought the tow truck was really cool. They watched, and we explained what the driver was doing. I know Hemi didn't understand any of it, but I think Beau did.
So long as nothing else goes wrong, we'll manage. And if it does, we'll manage that, too. Prayers would be appreciated, though. Especially for patience for me. (One of my BIG faults.)
UPDATE: It is the head gasket (a head gasket? Is there more than one of the things?), but being a Ford, the cyllender heads need to be . . . something mechanical because Ford is a cheap company who made them out of the wrong stuff. Resurfaced? Refinished? Whatever. Expensive, anyway, and needs new accessories, bolts and suchlike, too. My insurance company, AAA, was willing to shift the insurance to cover the old Buick until the Ford is fixed, no charge. My parents will help us out with the repair costs, and we've got a vehicle that'll get us through the week. We're getting the heater core done as well, and our mechanic finally found us a used fan box, too, to replace that. Ray, our mechanic, is rather overwhelmed, as usual, and won't get to it until Friday. This is what happens when you do decent work at a reasonably low price, find used parts for your customers, and don't do stuff that doesn't need to be done yet: you become the mechanic of choice for the entire poor population, which in this case includes a university worth of students. His shop is always full.
Now I know why American auto makers are going bankrupt. They make cheap stuff. I told my husband I want our next 'new' car to be foreign made. Back when I got the Buick, I only wanted American made. ('New', in my family, means any vehicle of any age not previously owned by the family. A 'new' car may well be over ten years old.)

Friday, December 02, 2005

A favor for Vox and company

Vox asked those of us who'd be interested to post this, on behalf of the White Buffalo. So here it is:
Dec 2, 2005: Slingdot.com goes live!
SlingDot is a gaming community built around on-line casual gaming, chat, contests, cash and prizes. SlingDot features a Free Games section open to unlimited play for all gamers over the age of 12 and a members-only gaming area called the DotSpot. DotSpot membership is available Dec 15th and is only $4.95 a month or $29.95 a year. Full membership benefits include access to exclusive games, member contests, enhanced chat features, no advertising, and greater opportunities to win cash and prizes.
All levels of gamers earn Dots for their play. The better you are, the more you'll earn, and DotSpot members earn triple the Dots of free account players. Beginning Feb 1, 2005 Dots can be used to enter daily, weekly, and monthly drawings for cold hard cash. In coming months SlingDot will unveil many other benefits and personalization items that players can access using their Dots. And as the old saying goes - he who dies with the most Dots wins! How many Dots you got?
Dec 2 is a soft launch for the site with more features and games being added every day. Visit us, check the news area for upcoming additions, and share your thoughts with us. This is a gaming community, and the players will drive the look, feel, and feature set as this community grows. Our goal is to make your gaming experience the best it can be!
As a special introductory offer, all players get a 14 day free trial membership to the DotSpot, giving everyone access to the members-only games. Play them all, rack up Dots, and save them for the future.