Job news

Good news is that I have accepted a job. Bad news [at least for my wife] is that it is a contract for 6 months [but with the possibility for full time position]. The ugly part is that I'll be working for a university. [I still haven't written my missive on college, yet.] I have a lot of gripe about colleges but it is unavoidable for some jobs [like medical professions]. So maybe I can warm up to a college experience for my sons after all. Hmm, interesting turn of events, indeed.


Ban cars NOW!

"DRIVER'S RAMPAGE: Carnage in the streets of San Francisco". Since SF banned guns, will they ban cars, too? Or at least SUVs (Honda Pilot did the "killing")?

Do guns,knives,cars kill people or do people kill people? [Hmm: will arms and legs of martial artists be banned or cut off, next?]

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Public Schools Gone Wild

Lots of news/commentary out on public schools:

"Schools lean on parents to close their budget gaps" SJ Mercury.
"Prop. 13 Is Stealing From Our Children: Why are parents subsidizing the textbooks and drama classes schools should be paying for?" LA Times.
"Give Oakland students a real choice: TRANSFERS: Parents shouldn't have to lie to get a better education for their kids" SF Chronicle.

Funny how public schools' problems are mostly money problems. And they want more of it, of course. As if all those who do not have children in the public schools are even more responsible for those who are in it.

And they get a free press at Parade weekly newspaper magazine: "Good Schools Can Happen." As if attending good schools amounts to the same thing as becoming educated. As Freakonomics points out, it's how the parents live that matters when it comes to children's education.

It's bad enough that I already am forced to pay for these worthless programs. And now the entitlement generation wants me to pay more? No way!

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Mortgages Gone Weary

Motly Fool has "Mortgage Disaster Ahead? [fool commentary]" which has some good advice for those facing ARM resets. One thing I didn't see was about how to deal with pre-payment penalty for changing the loan(s).

But then, why become slaves to the banker(s) in the first place? Rent until you can buy all cash. That is, save before you buy or don't buy until you have the money: delayed gratification. What a concept!


CAVA: public schooling at home

I had to briefly look at CAVA [California Virtual Academy and based on what they require [and their subtitle "Home-Based Public School"] I won't be taking my sons through it...


SoCal Rental info

I'm still looking for a job but once I find a job, I'll be renting near work [ideally, I would like to be able to walk to work, like I did in San Jose, CA]. Unfortunately, the most recent rent survey for SoCal doesn't sound good. But then again, with all those homes bought by "investors" once they get on the market as rentals, the prices will fall just as real estate prices have begun a free-fall in SoCal....


DNA testing: not reliable afterall

Genetic Chimera is a known condition where a person has 2 sets of DNA inside a body [apparently due to absorbing DNA from twin sibling] such that it is possible to have normal DNA test mismatch with your own children's DNA's.

So much for DNA as a proof of identity. And yet another defense against any given DNA evidence.

And, what other problems with DNA testing that we don't know about?

[Saw this in ABC news just now and then googled to find wikipedia info].


Financial Advice: try dumpster diving

"Try Dumpster-diving, airline tells workers: Baggage handlers facing layoffs get 101 money-savings tips from employer Northwest Airlines, like moving to a cheaper place or never grocery-shopping while hungry." (hat tip to Upstater at housing bubble blog)

It's one thing to be blogging about it via anonymous ID (like about freegan I've posted before). It's another thing to advise someone who's about to become an ex-employee. What is this world coming to?


Small car crash vs SUV rollovers

At wired, there are lots of comments for the blog "Fuel Efficiency Won't Kill You". Unfortunately, like most discussions [both online and offline], people are just spouting opinions.

If you read IIHS Q&A of Rollover and roof crush:
4. How has the number of rollover fatalities changed over time? [...] Compared with other crash types, the percentage of fatalities in rollover crashes for each vehicle type has remained relatively unchanged.
Things haven't changed all that much when it comes to rollover accidents. No news here, move along.

If you look at the death stats up to 2004, you'll find that smaller cars are more dangerous in multi-vehicle accidents. Single vehicle accidents are more equal across the vehicle types, so as long as the driver is in control and isn't too agressive, this is a non-factor.


Privacy to me

If you ever want to write private secure email, send me via PGP/GPG.

My public key [and some pointers on usage] is here.


Anti-Stupidity Pill

"The pill that cures stupidity" [the commentary in the article is forgettable but] seems to help with short term memory and attentiveness -- whatever that means.

Hmm: I guess it will help people become even better at obeying short term commands, good for the high tech age?


Home Educating in California

What a pain! We are in the People's Republic of Kalifornia (PRK) even when it comes to home education.

There are various groups with various opinion on what is legal here in PRK (regarding private school affidavit, or what used to be known as R-4):

HSLDA seems that a family registering as a private school is OK.

California Home Educators do not recommend it.

California Homeschool Network has process for how to go through the process, including 2005 updates.

HomeSchool Assocation of California has detailed requirements for the process. They also point to a legal opinion (PDF file!) by Stephen Greenberg, who is an appellate attorney and a home educating dad.

Christian Home Educators Association of California has details on filling the form, too.

So what is a parent to do? Stay tuned on what we'll do....


Innocence Inquiry Panel

I saw Nightline program on North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry and I applaud their move. The judicial system is stacked against those with little or no money and something like Innocence Inquiry would help [but then again because it is a tax funded system, I don't know how things would work out].

As I write elsewhere, no government is the best government. As long as few people are in control of the basic "rights" (i.e., monopoly control), things are never safe for us common folks. [Where, I might add, 2nd amendment has its proper place.]

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Civilians: The War Victims

"Civilian Killings Went Unpunished: Declassified papers show U.S. atrocities went far beyond My Lai." The civilian murders being reported in Iraq is the tip of the iceberg if what happened in Vietnam is any indicator. My Lai in Vietnam was well publicized but other murders which were confirmed have yet to be published widely. And who knows about the ones which never were confirmed or kept quiet: back then and now today.

War is never a good thing.


World Wide Debt Problems

Here's a sign that debt problems are global: "Barclays bad debt level hits £1bn"

As I wrote before:

Borrow a few billion, it is the bank's problem
Borrow a few trillion, it is the taxpayers' problem

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.


Moving Lessons

Well, we've made it to SoCal. Through the flooded El Paso. And past all those snipers in Phoenix (I guess the news is that there is only one sniper while a second killer is mere murderer).

And did learn few things about moving on our own:
  1. Getting those containers were a good thing. Cheaper than hiring full-blown movers. Less hassle than renting a truck since we would have to haul our SUV and then figure out how to send one person ahead (legally it can only seat 3 people and we are a family of 4) and still pay for all those gas [plus mileage I believe]. Also, we don't have a place to move into yet so we would have had to rent storage space, dump our stuff there and then rent a truck again to reload and re-unload. With the containers, we just keep them in storage (and pay a bit more for the convenience) and wait until we find a place and call them up for the delivery.
  2. Having the weekend to load up the containers were good too. I only wish we requested it be delivered on Thursday rather than Friday.
  3. You can never have too many boxes. We ran out [we've been saving many over the months leading up to the move] and we restored to stuffing things into garbage bags: not a wise thing to do when you have too much trash and can't tell trash from goods.
  4. We had too many stuff so had to end up borrowing U-Haul trailer. We didn't have any reservation but it was easy enough to get one-way rental. We didn't plan on having this trailer so some things we valued but wanted to carry directly, we had put in the container first so we couldn't take them out and reposition them in the trailer. It was good thing we got a trailer since some items like household cleaners and other poisons aren't allowed on the containers.
In the whole thing, my only regret was not having the added options on my Expedition to handle towing (bigger engine, oil cooler, towing package): we could have rented a bigger trailer and we could have gone faster through the desert [we kept the RPM of our engine below 3000 so going uphill was pretty slow] -- instead, we drove in pace with many semi's. But then again, I wish we owned a Suburban rather than Expedition but that's a whole different story.

One thing we did notice was that there seemed to be less larger SUV's and pickups on the road this month compared to Christmas'05 (and few years before then). Maybe the $3+ gas prices are finally impacting the spending habits of Californians?

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved