Link to KansasPrairie.net

8/31/2007

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE CARDIOPULMONARY COURSE

Filed under: Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 8:57 pm

6/19/2007 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Somewhere inside Bldg. 1900, an Airman Basic is learning to intubate a patient, run a ventilator and perform a spirometer test.

Someday, that same Airman, with maybe one or two stripes on his or her sleeve, could be stationed in Afghanistan performing those same procedures on patients whose lives are in that Airman’s hands, with no supervision available - or required.

The course the Airmen-in-Training assigned to the 882nd Training Group must take to qualify for such a high-pressure job is called the cardiopulmonary course. It was initially an entry-level course for the AiTs, but thanks to the forethought of the course’s instructors, the course has recently earned a deserved upgrade to an advanced-level course.

“(The change) truly makes this course a center of excellence,” said Col. Katrina Glavan-Heise, former commander of the 383rd Training Squadron.

Started in 1988, the two-phase program earned its entry-level status from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. With the entry-level accreditation, AiTs would be eligible to become certified respiratory therapists after completing the course, but would still need another two years of experience and training before becoming eligible to take the registered respiratory therapist exam.

With the new advanced-level accreditation, the RRT exam is right around the corner for AITs who complete Sheppard’s course. Becoming an RRT not only leads to higher pay, but better prepares the AiTs for the demands of the job.

“You have to come out of school ready to do the job,” said Tech. Sgt. James Woods, education program director. The training allows for the Airmen to be the “go-to-airman” on a deployment where they may be the only knowledgeable Airmen in the field.

The application package was written by Master Sgt. Shane Pearson and his team of instructors.

“I wanted to make the change because I wish it had been available to me,” Sergeant Pearson said.

The course’s criteria went through an overhaul in 2005, bringing it very close to CAAHEP’s advanced-level standards. When deciding to apply, all Sergeant Pearson’s team had to do was tweak a few things.

“Certain areas - neonatal care, in-home care - had to be broken up into their own blocks of instruction,” he said. “But beyond that, it was easy. Most importantly, it didn’t cost the Air Force anything. It takes the same amount of money and time to run this course as before, but now you get more credit.”

As a note for comparison, similar programs for civilians can take up to six years to complete; Sheppard’s program, due to its students’ training for 40 hours a week, takes a little over one year.

And, according to the same commission that accredits the civilian programs, when those Airmen complete the course, they’ll be as qualified and ready to take on their responsibilities as a civilian CRT.

8/30/2007

NEWS FROM TEXAS

Filed under: Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 6:25 pm

Tyler got his job assignment, it’s cardio-pulmonary tech school at Sheppard Air Force Base right outside of Wichita Falls, TX.  I don’t know exactly what he’ll do but it sounds like he’ll assist the doctors.  His first choice of Imagery Analysis was already full by the time he got to pick a job.  Had he elected a job before starting basic training he would have had a better chance, but he wanted to go in and decide when he got there.  He said he is happy with what he was given and will enjoy it.

He thinks that once he’s done with tech school he’ll go to Andrews AFB and then maybe to Alaska.  This is all a guess though, so who knows!

There were 58 in his starting class and they are now down to 45.  He said the first week was the worst and everyone wanted to quit but after that it got a lot better.

Grandma said his uniform looked very nice on him, I can’t wait to see pictures!

Overall he said basic training was easy and was designed to pass but that first week did make you wonder why you signed up.

Anyway, that’s all the news I have.  I wanted to let you all know what is new since I’m sure everyone is missing grandma’s posts!

Luke and I leave on Saturday for our honeymoon so probably this will be the last update I’m able to post but grandma will take over her duty on Monday when she gets back.

-Mackenzie

 

P.S. Remotely from Peg:  From what I can figure out, Tyler will be in technical school for 12 weeks at Sheppard AFB.  After that, he doesn’t know where he’ll go for on the job training, but one of his buddies who is in the national guard and who is also in the same technical path as Tyler does know for sure where he is going. Following Sheppard, he’s going to Andrew’s AFB in Maryland. Tyler can be assigned anywhere the AF decides for “on the job training” which will be 30 weeks and he’s happy to go anywhere they want to send him.

Tyler seems very eager to get moving ahead with his job in the Air Force. He’s very positive about the cardio-pulmonary tech school, which was his second choice. We all feel it’s going to be a better choice for him, but he would have liked the imagery analysis school too. They are vastly different, but he’s relates well with people and we think he has some very strong qualities to pursue in the health care/medical field.  He said he’ll be gathering college credit as he proceeds and eventually could get a Bachelor’s Degree before ever having to use his GI Bill. I think he has it all figured out.

 He leaves Monday at 4:30 am by bus for Sheppard and he seems very ready to go.

8/28/2007

PROOF THAT WE WERE THERE…

Filed under: Vahalik — Peg Britton @ 6:48 pm

A friend of Mackenzie and Luke from Dallas had this to say on her blog. It is sweet and well-spoken:

This past weekend was the roadtrip to Kansas for Luke & Mackenzie’s wedding. I never realized how boring Oklahoma was, but there’s really nothing to look at as you drive through it accept billboards for churches and their anti-abortion agenda. Kansas isn’t very interesting either, but the “Beef it’s what’s for dinner” billboard next to the area where cows are grazing is quite funny. The wedding was lovely; I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mackenzie in a dress before, but she picked a great one. It was more fun watching the two of them whisper during the ceremony to each other and make faces than listening to the readings–it makes me think that no one else existed at that moment except them, which is fitting.

Brit and I were all dressed up…and having fun. If I knew how to resize this, remove creases and bulges, we might pass for Joan Woodward and Paul Newman….maybe. You can tell we stayed out very late as the sun is rising over Brit’s shoulder. The photo was taken by Linda (Ralph) Kohls.

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8/27/2007

KIDNEY BOULDER

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 8:20 pm

Todd has not been feeling well, but maintained it was not another kidney stone. It turns out it is a boulder that he can’t pass. This makes three. He went to the doctor today and it was quickly diagnosed. Surgery is at 4:00 tomorrow and he’s supposed to be quiet until then so it doesn’t dislodge. That’s the quickest the doctor can get to him.

Continued…

Todd has a size 9 kidney boulder. About the largest a guy can pass is a 2. They’ll put a stent in at the time of surgery, rather than later as they did the last time. Later isn’t a good thing.

Brian Smith, who attends to our entire family’s plumbing problems, is a wonderful guy and very good urologist. I have all the confidence in the world in him. He says Todd should be fine to go to San Antonio tomorrow. “Todd says” he’s going no matter what. Maybe he’ll get to use my rocking chair. He wants to leave before sunup. What a ragtag family group we are…but loving and loyal.

Continued…

Well, I haven’t a clue as to what I’m talking about, but it seems the boulder moved sometime between the time the doctor saw Todd early this morning and 4:00 this afternoon. It’s now lodged against his kidney. The plan was to pull the stone out, but the repositioning made that impossible. They sedated him, put in a stent and woke him up. Brian said to go to Texas, have a good time and he’ll deal with the stone by blasting it in a few weeks. He should be fine on the trip

Continued…

I just talked with Todd and he says he feels fine. He and Karen were just leaving Salina at 8:30 and heading home.  He says the stent will carry him over until he gets home from Tyler’s graduation.  The problem of infection and pressure has been eased considerably.  He should do well.  He’ll have three women hovering over him on the trip.

We’re leaving here tomorrow morning at 6:00. I’ll be ready as I’m only taking what I generally wear…shorts and tops. I have everything in a little carry on. I’ll blend in just fine. I’ve already dressed up once this year.

Mackenzie and Jesse might blog while I’m gone. I’m sure you’d enjoy words coming in a more organized manner. I’ll be back to my computer on Tuesday.

MIXING THE PAINT…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:42 pm

It’s not often that I’m gone longer than a day or two during the twilight years of my life. I love my house. I love my Tempurpedic mattress. I love my C-PAP machine. I love the peace and quiet my house, nestled in the trees as it is, offers me. I love being surrounded by books and having my computer very close at hand. I love having friends near by to hassle me.

There were many times in the past, during our younger years, when Brit and I would saunter down the road, catch a plane and be gone for a month or longer exploring one part of the world or another. We loved those days with the excitement and adventures that came with them, but we’re now too ancient for that. Our minds are willing, but the bodies aren’t. At least Brit says he wants to stay home. If it weren’t for the “gettin’ there”, we’d go more often.

I’m going to be gone five days for Tyler’s “feeding and showing” and fun with the kids and grandkids. I will love it. Brit will be happily ensconced in one of his two chairs when I return. Dane can do well by himself and direct his medical needs with help from the aides. All will be well.

I have a plan. it’s not often that plans fall into place as perfectly as this, but I have a friend from Wilson coming to paint the interior of our house while I am gone. Well, he can start on it. It will probably be crocus spring-up time next year when he finishes. This house is a painter’s nightmare. I hope Ken and I will still friends by then….that’s a lot of togetherness.

What could be better than for him to paint two bedrooms and the bathrooms while I’m gone. Walls and ceilings are getting a couple of coats of plain old white paint so he can’t be mistaken that I won’t like the color. Or if I do, I can change to Goth black. I have a lot of paintings and “things” hanging on the walls as well as very colorful friends so I figure I need a white background to show them off. It’s always been that way…either white or black.

We’re using Panzer’s insulative stuff in the paint. It should be like being wrapped in a blanket this winter.

After that we need to replace the carpeting. It’s the original from ‘76! Actually, it still looks pretty good except where Ringo, during his childish years, ate a hunk here and there.

If this plan falls in to place the way I hope it does, I’m a genius!

AVAST! ANTIVIRUS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:51 pm

I have struggled with Outlook almost since my new computer arrived a year or so ago with it already installed. I can’t begin to recount the issues, problems and crashes I’ve had with my mail program. The problem, I thought, might be McAfee and all its special packages that are attached to it.

There were exasperating problems also with my last computer and Outlook. I suspected then that McAfee was the culprit.

Mackenzie has suspected McAfee was hanging up on my incoming mail virus scan. I couldn’t download all my mail without logging off my computer and firing it up again. That was an operation that occurred several times a day.

While she was waiting patiently to get dressed for her wedding, with time in her schedule to do a little more computer work, (hehheh) she took McAfee apart bit by bit and decided we needed to trash it even thought I have well over another year on it. She took it off and installed Avast! Antivirus, the free version, and things are working as they should. It is so nice to have a computer work as you want it to.

Mackenzie has used Avast for….ever, and swears by it. So far it’s working beautifully for me and I get far more and better warnings with it than I did with either McAfee or Norton. She says I don’t go anywhere that I need it anyway. I might surprise her. Nah…no surprising Mackenzie when it comes to computers.

THAT REMINDED ME…THE TOTO IS AMAZING BY COMPARISON

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:24 pm

Plunging, the title of the previous post, reminded me I should give a Toto toilet update.

My happiness “fixture” is one of the best things we’ve added to this house…and I’m serious. We’ve had it several months now and it hasn’t even thought of stopping up as the old American Standard did with regularity. It laid in wait for the opportunity to cause grief in the household.

The Toto is always clean as a whistle since it has the semigloss finish throughout. Nuttin’ sticks to it! In addition, the Toto requires only a fraction of the amount of water of American Standards. You can do a quick flush for #1 and a slightly longer flush for #2, to be specific about it. It doesn’t take much water in either event. And there isn’t much of anything to break or replace where as our old AS was full of parts and bits and stuff that were always breaking.

That’s the end of this latest breaking news….

PLUNGING…

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 2:03 pm

If all goes according to plan,Tyler graduates Friday from basic training. He will have time off to leave the base on Saturday and Sunday, if he’s performed according to plan during the past six weeks.

Everyone in the family who is able plans to drive to San Antonio, view his graduation ceremonies and watch him spend the weekend eating. He’s lost 19 pounds and is starving, he says. Watching and feeding him seems to be the objective for the weekend. I think I’ll participate in that as well. It doesn’t sound as though it would be physically stressful for me.

At the very last minute, I’ve decided to tag along as well. They can put a rocking chair on the luggage rack and bungie cord me in it. I’ll be fine if they don’t try to go through any drive-throughs or swerve at high speeds without taking into account my displaced center of gravity. I need to remember to wear my goggles and to keep my mouth shut.

If it’s as beastly hot as I believe Texas is at this time a year (not unlike Kansas), then I might not be able to attend his graduation, especially if it’s outside and involves a lot of walking. Tyler can scope that out for me so I’ll know by the time I get there. If I miss his graduation, which I’d hate to do as I understand it is pretty impressive, then I’ll just join the rest of the family for indoor activities. I have plenty of books to take to keep me occupied while I’m waiting. That works for me.

Karen is trying to find rooms for all of us in the same hotel. We will leave early Wednesday morning and return home late Monday evening. There are tours of his dorm and other facilities on Thursday. His graduation is Friday. Saturday and Sunday he can leave the base for the first time and get a glimpse of San Antonio.

Tomorrow he learns what tech school he gets. It should be one of six he applied for. He ranked very high on his tests last week so it should qualify him for his first choice which was Imagery Analysis Apprentice school which requires top secret clearance. That particular tech school is in San Angelo TX.

Now to get things together so I can leave with Todd, Karen, Ally, Rod, Genn and Drew. Not to worry about the luggage rack detail…we’re going in two cars. Brit, Ruby and Ringo will look after the house and farm.

8/26/2007

IT WAS PERFECT…UNUSUAL…MEANINGFUL…BEAUTIFUL…

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 2:02 pm

The wedding, everything that came before and followed, were perfectly planned down to the last detail and came off without a hitch. It could not have been better for Mackenzie, Luke and our family. We have wonderful memories to last forever. There is nothing better than being surrounded by a loving family and close friends for such personal events as a granddaughter’s wedding.

Luke and Mackenzie will be home in Royse City later this afternoon. Next Saturday they fly to Honolulu for a couple of days of sightseeing. Then they board a cruise line to tour the islands for eight days before returning home the 11th. They are very much looking forward to a vacation/honeymoon.

It is quiet around here now. My niece and her family came by for breakfast before leaving for Denver. Nicholas and Demi can hardly wait to come back to Ally’s farm. They think that is the “funnest” place in the world. Nicholas said he loved the farm and the party, but he wasn’t real excited about being in anymore weddings right away. Words from a five year old.

Brit and I returned all the tuxedos to Darr’s this morning.

Drew came by to tell us goodbye before returning to Manhattan. He’s such a neat young man. It’s hard to believe he’s a junior in college. He’s going to talk to his profs about making up work on Thursday and Friday so he can go with the rest of his family to San Antonio for Tyler’s graduation next weekend.

Now it’s quiet around here. That’s good for a day or so then I’m going to have to find something more to do.

I’m going to kick back and watch “Fractured” again. It’s a good movie and worth watching twice.

I’ll have some wedding pictures to share later on.

Thanks for tuning in…

8/25/2007

WEDDING INSTRUCTIONS…

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 10:44 am

Getting the scoop:
Front…my son, Todd Britton
Second row…My grandsons Rod Helus and Drew Britton
Third row…friends, Brian and Sara Belmonte, Quyen Moreland (reader), Nancy Muldoon (wife of Tim the officiant), Patricia Vahalik (aunt of the groom)

The big news is that I finally learned how to post pictures, thanks to Mackenzie.

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LUKE VAHALIK, ANNA CANNON, MACKENZIE BRITTON PRACTICE RUN

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:17 am

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PRACTICE RUN…

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 7:52 am

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Paul Vahalik (grooms father) watches Dane Britton, Mackenzie Britton and Luke Vahalik go through a practice run for the wedding.

8/24/2007

THE WEDDING PARTY IS ARRIVING

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 10:00 am

The relatives started arriving last night. Luke’s parents, sister, brother, aunt and nephew pulled in about 9:00 pm after a 16 hour drive from Victoria Texas. My niece and her husband, along with Nicholas and Demi arrived shortly thereafter from Denver.

Three young ones, five, four and three, were turned loose after being pent up in vehicles all day,and, along with happy-tailed Ringo, combined to make a lot of Whirling Dirvish action in the living room. It was a busy evening with lots of conversation, two different meals/menus, and dishes to wash. The families got acquainted for the first time and settled in for the wedding tomorrow.

It’s very quiet this morning. Luke, Mackenzie and Julie left early for Salina to put the finishing touches on flowers and other reception arrangements. They got the wrong tux for Luke in Salina and retrieved one from Wichita. Todd is filling coolers with beverages for the rehearsal dinner tonight. Brit is picking up tuxedos for himself and Dane at Darrs. Pat and Susie are here lending helpful hands to get the house back in order after last night. And the phone keeps ringing. Whew!

One of Kenzie’s readers, her college roommate, and her husband had their flight out of Boston canceled. They won’t make the rehearsal, but they should still make it here for dinner. She doesn’t need practice “reading” anyway.

My namesake and her husband are winding there way here from DC.

Friends of Kenz are coming from both the east and west coasts not to mention a bevy of them from Texas.

Mackenzie is as well organized as anyone could be. Without a wedding planner, she prepared for everything remotely in Texas and has the best wedding agenda you can imagine. She had to as she had no one here to stand behind her and remind everyone where they had to be and at what time. The woman at the Holidome who handles wedding receptions told Mackenzie that in the seven years she’s been doing this, Mackenzie was by far the best planner of all. I’d agree with that.

To show you how well the agenda that Mackenzie developed is working, she and Luke were in line at Mr. Goodcents and Luke’s phone rang.  It was Deacon Tim Muldoon, the friend from Dallas who is officiating their wedding, saying they were in Salina. But, they could hear two voices and turned around and there were Tim and his wife in the same line.  Tim said they read Mackenzie’s agenda, knew exactly where they’d be at that time and joined them for lunch.

John Griffith, who took care of Dane at the home in Wilson when he worked there, is taking care of him today and tomorrow…getting him ready and dressed, driving him to and fro and seeing that he’s doing all right. John is an exceptional young man and we’re very fortunate to have him willing to help. He’s a lifesaver as it takes a lot to move Dane around. We’re all very fond of John.

It will be a good weekend for all, especially since the forecast is for much cooler weather. We had a little over two inches of rain last night which cooled the pavement and filled cracks in the ground. The wilted look of the landscape is gone and now appears clean and lush.

A letter from Tyler indicates he’s winding down with tests and classes. He says he’s constantly hungry. He’s so hungry, he says, he’s eating food that has onions in it, which he hates. They give them only 3 to 5 minutes to eat and he can’t get enough down in that time to fill that long, lanky frame of his. He sent his mom a long list of food items to bring for graduation.

Thanks for tuning in….I don’t know when I’ll have time before Sunday to add to this. This is a busy place. Ringo is standing in wait for the next willing playmate who walks through the front door.

8/21/2007

ETHAN FOSTER…MOUNTAIN CLIMBER PAR EXCELLENCE

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 8:21 pm

My cousin’s son, Ethan Foster, started climbing mountains when he was very young. He has climbed everything that has erupted Colorado.

Here is an interesting video of his climb to the The Indian Peaks Wilderness, Apache and Shoshoni Peaks. Indian Peaks Wilderness is a wilderness area in north central Colorado managed by the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest. The wilderness area borders Rocky Mountain National Park to the north, and the James Peak Wilderness to the south, and straddles the Continental Divide. The area receives high visitation due to its proximity to the Denver metropolitan area.

It takes time to download (it’s a Windows media audio/video file), but it’s well worth it for the vistas and thinking this could be your son. Ever since he started climbing, almost every weekend of his life, I’ve had the willies just thinking about what he’s doing. Then again, heights aren’t my thing.

Ethan is the one in the red jacket or blue tee with the yellow backpack. I don’t know who he friend might be. My cousin’s other son, Adam Foster, is the quintessential base jumper. Ethan and Adam are the great-grandsons of Dr. H.W. Jury of Claflin.

My “cousin”, Annie Foster and her husband, Kenny, are going exploring in the back county of Montana next month. They are hiking to Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. It is a 7 mile climb with a 3000 ft elevation! It’s is a beautiful place and quite a piece of history…and the only way you can reach it is on foot.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR…

Filed under: Kanopolis Musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:36 pm

The next few weeks will offer a lot to see and do in Ellsworth. Check all the links, mark your calendars and support with your presence those who have made all these events possible.
Movies in the Park

Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8:00 – 10:00 am, South Main and Douglas Ave.

September 1 - Saturday, St. Ignatius Annual Fiesta, 472-4675, Kanopolis.

September 9 - Mosaic 18th Annual Golf Tournament; 4-person scramble, $40 per person entry fee. Ellsworth golf course.

September 27 – Cowtown Idol Contest, Preisker ParK, 7 pm.

September 28 – Cowtown Idol Contest… Ambassador Club- Chamber of Commerce…Hamburgers, Brats, Corn, Chips… 5pm-9 pm.

September 27-30 Cowtown Days – The Great American Cattle Drive

Party till the cows come home

ROLLING HILLS ELECTRIC STATE-WIDE FOOTBALL COVERAGE…

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:01 pm

Rolling Hills Electric has a supply of the 2007 Kansas Pre-game Football Magazine for those who ask for it.  Most of the schedules for high school, college and university teams across the state are included. It is paid for by advertisers, so it is free to you. The listing for the Ellsworth Bearcats has a full photo page and an interesting commentary on Caleb Kruse and the team. Stop by and get your copy.

BACK TO SCHOOL BASH, FREE BARBECUE AND FREE MOVIE FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS.

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:48 pm

Grade Schoolers and Their Parents (No Middle/High Schoolers)

Enjoy a free barbecue and movie, SHARK TALE, with your friends while staying cool in the pool. Pop and Water Will Be For Sale.
7:00 P.M. on Friday, August 24th at the Ellsworth Swimming Pool.
Free for the whole night.

Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers (No Grade Schoolers)

Enjoy a free barbecue and movie, JAWS, with your friends while staying cool in the pool. Pop and Water Will Be For Sale.
7:00 P.M. on Saturday, August 25th at the Ellsworth Swimming Pool.
Free for the whole night.

Jonathan Mitchell
City of Ellsworth

8/20/2007

RUMBLE

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 8:54 pm

There is a constant rumble of thunder in the distance. The sounds are ominous, the kind that make a computer lover quiver.

The weather northwest of us has brought rains and complications. It’s time to shut down.

If Ringo were still up and around (he isnt’), his dentigerous grin would be an indication that something was amiss. It definitely does not sound good… out there in the distance.

The bride and groom arrive tomorrow from Texas. The happiest day of their life is planned for Saturday. Nothing has been overlooked in the plans. If I had to bet on this marriage to be one of the best ever, I would. They are so committed and so alike. If I were challenged to find a life partner for my granddaughter, I would have found Luke somewhere out there. He’s a very special man and now an important member of our family. Nothing could be better.

Blogging will be difficult to arrange the next six days, but I will try to slip in a paragraph or two. We’re all excited and very much looking forward to our extended family and friends converging for a wonderful celebration of marriage.

Stayed tuned.

TYLER JAMES BRITTON

Filed under: Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 7:28 pm

We heard from our soldier today.

Last week, during his 4th week of  Air Force basic military training, Tyler participated in “Warrior Week”. It had to be a relief from the anal repetitive motion of rolling boxers.

In his letter we received today he said: “Warrior Week  flew by.  It was HOT, filled with Texas fire ants, MRE’s (meals ready to eat) field rations and tear gas”. He seemed not to mind. He said he received 30 letters during the week that he’s still trying to find time to read.  There was no opportunity for response.

This week he’ll be involved in classroom study and tests, tests and more tests. Tyler always scores high on tests when he wants to. Basic training is intended to be very stressful, but can’t compare to that of soldiers on active duty. It should prepare him for it. Tyler might learn  this week which tech school he will be attending. It will be interesting to see what that might be. It would be nice if he’d get his first choice which was imagery analysis apprentice tech school.  He’ll take what they and he decide.

We’re very proud of our soldier.

WATCH THAT BANANA PEEL, SENATOR…

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 6:10 pm

Politics, the authoritative allocation of values, is fascinating, amusing, frustrating, rewarding and disappointing. You get hooked.  Nothing is ever as it seems, but I feel compelled to learn as much as possible about each candidate so I can make wise choices at the ballot box. That so many people haven’t a clue as to who is running, or they hear one sound bite and leap to outrageous conclusions about candidates constantly amazes me.  That’s what happens.

For instance. A long time ago…I’m an authority on “a long time ago”…John McClellan was running for a senate seat in Arkansas.  He and his opponent, I can’t remember who it was right now, were up on a platform at a county fair making speeches.  The guy McCellan was running against talked first and listed all the problems of the world that could be laid right at McCellan’s feet. He got a moderate response of applause from the crowd.

While he was wrapped up in his moment of glory, listening to the applause and smiling at his audience, he picked up a water pitcher by the railing on the platform with the intention of refilling his glass.  Instead, he had a mental lapse and poured the pitcher full of water on the head of an elderly grandmother in a wheel chair who was seated below.

McClellan waited until his opponent had apologized profusely and the grandmother had been sponged dry then said to the crowd:  “Do you want a senator who’s too dumb to pour water in a glass?”  That’s all he had to say.  He won the election.

An incident like that was the tipping point in that election.  Now, mistakes consisting of poor choices of words, inappropriate use of “names” or not knowing how to respond to questions that most people could answer in a heart beat are taking their toll on candidates. The longer our current platform of candidates debate and speak publicly, the more costly their mistakes become.  The weeding out process continues.

Listen. Don’t miss out on all the fun.

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