Monday, June 15, 2015

In the world of low pay Hobbit Houses

Really I do think something like that would be cool literally and not that costly to make.
Well for one it would be underground so AC in the summer would be less of an issue
with the insulation of dirt. Hail, Tornado's, etc also less of a concern.
Flooding might be a issue if you are not on a hill, but overall I see something like that
is to far out to not have one!

"Cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and protected from the elements, earthen
shelters or hobbit houses aren't just for Bilbo in the Shire."

~~~~~How To Build An Underground Hobbit House That You Can Live In,
That Will Last 100's Of Years.
Hobbit House's are very popular today. Owning one and having the pleasure to design, 
construct and use your very own Hobbit House  is an excellent adventure. 
Technically this is not a Hobbit House but everyone speaks about how it reminds them 
of a Hobbit House, thus we call it our Hobbit House. This site describes the construction
methods to accomplish the creation of an underground Hobbit House. 
The house construction uses basic concrete placement for foundations, shotcrete 
placement on the concrete dome portion of the Hobbit House, Formwork for casting 
the dome roof and masonry placement to add character.

The Hobbit House described is for use by full size humans. The Hobbit House has a fully 
functioning kitchen, bathroom, and living area. Inside four separate levels provide a 
basement, entrance/kitchen, living/bathroom and aloft in a total footprint of 
approximately 20 ft diameter. Light comes into the Hobbit House from a 60" 
diameter central skylight dome. Electricity, running hot and cold water are included. 
A wood burning stove provides heat and cooking. The underground nature of the 
structure provides natural cool temperatures in the summer and never gets below 45F 
in the winter (without the woodburning stove). 

The project was performed on weekends over a 1.2 year period, direct expenses for 
materials was less than $17,000. This structure has been built to last hundreds of years. 

~~~~~Our £3,000 Hobbit house:
Fed up with huge mortgage payments, Simon Dale decided to take matters into his
own hands literally. Armed with only a chisel, a chainsaw and a hammer, the
32-year-old moved his family to a hillside in Wales and started digging.

The result is a wooden eco-home constructed in four months and costing  just £3,000
which would look perfectly at ease alongside the Hobbit houses in The Lord Of The Rings

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Things happen for a reason, known, unknown, wanted, unwanted!
Being superstitious is really like a way to suppress and depress you.
I see that and know I don't want that, it might bring me down for a bit.
But I come back.

I did this story before a little ago then the next day after I did it
I found out a construction worker fell at work and died later.
Is it superstition? I was sort of guided to do this story.
At work I seen a box what had mirrors written on it.
And the first thing I thought was like the box dropping,
breaking the mirrors. Then the song popped in my head
from Europe, Superstitious. And realizing what the song was saying
later when I listened to it, it goes all directions. And I also realized
I did a story a little back "Where have I been, Mirror, Mirror."
So I saw it as meant to be like on the same plane!

Plane (esotericism) "In esoteric cosmology, a plane other than the 
physical plane is conceived as a subtle state of consciousness that transcends 
the known physical universe."

Then that bad stuff happened so I pulled the story!
But now it's back for the better of the people.
Like a new day, or the other half of your day, it's all ok!

So really we don't need superstition these days.
I don't close no doors, my door is always open anytime!
So I don't belong to superstition. I don't hide in a box because
there is no room in a box! If I did belong to superstition,
down the road I would realize I am missing out on everything
over false fears and I would get out of my box!

So... These days there is too much superstition and not enough. ( ( boom! ) )

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Waiters

No matter what, who, or whatever you are waiting for, things happen for a reason.
Wanted or not, things, people or just all around unknowns drop into your life.

You wait for this or wait for that and the end, thank god for something!
Like with me waiting at a Muffler shop in the 90's, I had the best custom
exhaust job on my car by a drunk welder.

So know there is an ending to the waiting and look at the good in life!
After all it's not about the pursuit of un-happiness!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Income comes first than Education

I know many educators in the US won't say it. It's like they have their fingers
in their ears and are saying la, la, la I can't hear you! Their heads are in the sand?
Because the mass of inequity, income needs to come first then the education.
The thinking of getting a education and working to a better paying job is now
something that is stretched out way too far for many right now.
Many are not getting much of a grant / funding and have to pay out of their pocket,
way more than they are able, they are poor!

"For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students
come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data,
a statistic that has profound implications for the nation."

"Kids who are the first in their families to brave the world of higher education come
on campus with little academic know-how and are much more likely than their peers to
drop out before graduation."

There needs to be a change of thinking for schools, colleges.
Many workplaces are understanding this and are adapting.
As in Google hiring people without a college degree, but may expect you
to go to college later. There will be more businesses to follow in that.
Employers demand for increased skills and education and are getting it
by hiring people without a college degree wanting it later or not.
"You don’t need a college degree to be talented." Or being poor and talented!

Income is rising depending on failed Republican policy's that keep pushing on,
with the same failed results as lower income. Making their consumers poor and
expecting a good economy as people stay home and do without.
But the economy is moving on up from places raising the pay up.
The wages are going up, but in better ran states.
Note this is starting up, and to keep things rolling up Employers are adjusting.

For the kids working their way to college, this won't last and now it has never been
such a good time to get in to Google, and places like that as now, before they change
their thinking! Go for it! If you know enough call Google, etc and get set up.
Let them know you are looking to work there and want to get educated,
down the road. Be real! You have to make things better for yourself!

And schools need to put that on the list of options, going to work at Google etc,
and going to college later! Not doing so is putting the kids lower than they could be!

Do you know what you’re aiming for?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Standardized Testing Reveals - Between Rich and Poor

In my state they voted to kill the common core because of "Government overreach."
That to me was not the point, nothing good comes from paranoid thinking!
I did not like the testing in the view of small towns that have less funding and
lower pay than a bigger city. "Historically, standardized tests have been reliable
indicators of access to resources and nothing more." Keeping the common core testing
would put the blame on the Schools and Teachers for being in a low income town
with less spending money for education.

You get what you pay for thats why parents want their kid to go to Harvard
and not a JR college. Lower education is lower pay down the road.
It's bad for the labor pool as the wages are set low by the masses,
as along with the cost of the low pay in low sales with tax revenue losses.

The Teachers get the blame for bad test and not just from low resources
but a result from that in all around poverty, it's all connected.
It's also like in view of Rotter, Social Learning Theory, Low Expectancies.
The kids will see it as other kids being punished with a test and they will
form an expectancy that the test is punishment so they won't
take the test, or just blow it off! I myself made happy faces with the dots on
the test before when I was in school, I said hell with it and blew off the test.

~~~~~How Standardized Testing Reveals Stark Inequalities Between Rich and Poor
Last month, USA Today reported on the hundreds of thousands of children across New York State who opted out of the state standardized English Language Arts (ELA) tests. Data from the tests is high stakes all around; it's linked to individual students' academic advancement, teacher evaluations, and overall school performance ratings. Proponents of testing usually argue that collecting such data is necessary to measure student achievement and hold educators accountable, but the state director of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), Nicole Brisbane, offered USA Today a surprising explanation for why students really ought to take these tests: "Schools are one of the biggest differentiators of value in the suburbs," Brisbane told USA Today. "How valuable will a house be in Scarsdale when it isn't clear that Scarsdale schools are doing any better than the rest of Westchester or even the state? Opting out of tests only robs parents of that crucial data."

The opt-out movement was bigger than ever this year, with an estimated 200,000 New York children refusing the state exams that test ELA and math. After a budget season in which Governor Cuomo pushed hard to have student test scores count for 50% of a teacher's evaluation, critics of high stakes testing had even more evidence to argue that the so called "education reform" agenda has more to do with firing teachers and closing public schools than it has to do with ending inequality.

Following Brisbane's statement about potential Scarsdale homebuyers to its logical conclusion would suggest that testing is actually about maintaining inequality, not fighting it. "It is apparent that this competition, market-based ideology accepts that there will be inadequate resources for some and an abundance for others," says Jia Lee, a New York City public school parent and teacher. "I would argue that all public schools should and could be excellent places for all of our children and communities." Lee rejects the premise of pro-testing reformers that standardized tests are reliable indicators of quality education. 

"Historically, standardized tests have been reliable indicators of access to resources
and nothing more." When it comes to resources, there's no question that wealthy school districts in New York State have an abundance compared to those that serve poorer children. According to data from the Education Trust, the highest poverty districts in the state receive 10% less funding per student in state and local revenues than those with the lowest poverty rates. Adjusted for the needs of students in poverty - who, according to the federal Title 1 formula, cost at least 40% more to educate - the poorest districts actually receive 16% less than those with the least poverty. On top of that, districts serving the most students of color receive 11% less per student than those serving the fewest students of color.

Given these funding disparities at the state and local level, on top of the individual advantages that wealth provides students, like access to school supplies, tutoring, and enrichment, it becomes clear that students in a place like Scarsdale aren't on remotely the same playing field as students in the Bronx, where there is a 45% child poverty rate. Using the data provided by standardized tests to argue that wealthier neighborhoods have "better" schools further entrenches that inequality. Wealthier neighborhoods simply have wealthier schools. "It makes me so angry that there are people who have so much money and so much power who are using that power to keep my students in poverty, by putting policies in place that they know will keep some property values high and some property values low," says New York City public school teacher Megan Moskop. For Moskop, Brisbane's quote is significant because it unveils what's beneath the successful narrative of so many education reformers who advocate for closing public schools in the name of equality. "The narrative of DFER has been so carefully constructed and thoughtfully worded to call it a civil rights narrative. I think there are a lot of well intentioned people that buy into that narrative," including passionate teachers who believe in the charter school movement, says Moskop. "They're not seeing the other side of that, which is that this is a competitive system where kids are losing more and more."

Victoria Frye, a New York City public school parent whose son has chosen to opt out of the tests since fifth grade, was surprised to hear DFER's focus on wealthy communities, given that the organization's agenda is all about focusing on accountability for schools in under-resourced communities. (A national reform organization, DFER advocates for "policies which stimulate the creation of new, accountable public schools" (particularly charter schools) "and…simultaneously close down failing schools.") "They're supposed to be concerned with the so-called 'failing' schools that are failing poor students, not with suburban property owners," Frye says. Her son is now a seventh grader and is opting out this year even though the tests are a determining factor in high school admissions; his current school goes through 12th grade, and he's happy to stay. "[Opting out] really diminishes your opportunities for applying to different schools, which is, of course, part of the whole market-based consumer model of education ushered in by Bloomberg," says Frye.
Frye and her husband are both scientists and firm believers in quantitative measurement. But as her son lost increasing amounts of instruction time to test prep, and as the tests became further connected to teacher evaluations, "it just became more and more obvious that they were used for political reasons and not for pedagogy."

Indeed, according to DFER's website, the organization's mission is to support leaders who "champion America's public schoolchildren." But Brisbane's USA Today quote is not an outlier. She expressed a similar sentiment in a DFER blog post, writing: "How will suburban communities maintain their draw if there isn't a measure of how the schools are actually doing in comparison to those across the state?" She went on to argue that test data has "sparked so many positive changes for low income students."

In a statement to AlterNet, Brisbane claims it is the opt-out movement, not testing, that really harms low-income students: "The people who are opting out of tests are largely those who already feel like their child has access to a high-quality education, and are doing so in a way that directly harms low-income and minority students throughout New York. We should be supporting students and teachers throughout New York, whether they are in Scarsdale or the Bronx, and making sure all students have a fair shot at a quality education. Rather than maintain the status quo where wealth determines a quality education, data can and should highlight where the gaps are so we can invest in schools that need it the most."

Brisbane's suggestion that the resistance to testing is populated by people who have no stake in the matter is evidently an attempt to make the protest seem less legitimate than it actually is; it is, however, an accusation that is demonstrably untrue, as reports of just who is opting out make clear. New York principal Carol Burris, for example, has written about her district, Brentwood, which had a 49% opt-out rate for ELA tests, and a 57% rate for the math tests administered the following week. Burris notes that,
"Ninety-one percent of Brentwood students are black or Latino, and 81 percent are economically disadvantaged. Brentwood is not unique - Amityville (90 percent black or Latino, 77 percent economically disadvantaged) had an opt-out rate of 36.4 percent; Greenport (49 percent black or Latino, 56 percent economically disadvantaged) had an opt-out rate that exceeded 61 percent; and South Country opt outs (50 percent black or Latino and 51 percent economically disadvantaged) exceeded 64 percent."
Those numbers clearly run counter to the narrative that the movement is exclusively white and middle-class. And while new data analysis from the New York Times reveals that districts with the highest opt-out rates had 50% or fewer students receiving free and reduced lunch, the opt-out numbers were higher this year in nearly every district where data is known. Critics of testing also point out that there are a number of factors making it harder for low-income families to refuse, from language barriers to a lack of educational options. "Families who are struggling financially are in even more difficult situations because they've been pressured to raise the scores to keep their schools open," parent and teacher Jia Lee says. "High stakes standardized tests are a distraction when we already know what the problems are. That is why families, especially in the shrinking middle class, are realizing more and more that the only way to push back against policies that deepen inequities, is to refuse the tests."

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