Posts Tagged ‘news’

dscn34691“A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.”~ Rudolf Steiner

On the fifteenth of November, which is this week, there will be a board meeting by Capital Metro, which is a bus public transportation here in Austin.

They are proposing some changes to a number of routes that, if passed, would take place in June 2018. They are claiming to want to make bus routes more efficient and faster to get to those people using the service.

Out of the many routes that have proposed changes, TWO of them will be of great importance to me personally.

One of the routes happens to run just outside the apartment complex. And that has been a personal convenience. The other is in the neighborhood down the street by a few hundred feet. And it is the latter route in which I take to get to places into the downtown area for whenever I want to go see live music. Essentially the core part of my social life since 2014.

The proposed change to the route that runs outside the complex will be re-routed to where if I need to ride that bus route, I will have to make a walk of about a half of a mile up a steep hill and then down the other side. Depending on how much stamina I have at that time or how fatigued or not fatigued I am, that could take me up to twenty minutes just to get to the bus stop.

It is not a route personally often, but it causes a great deal of distress and loss of stamina if there came a time if/when I need to use it.

All for the sake of making wait times shorter.

The other route that I use VERY FREQUENTLY and is my link to the social life that I have created for myself (from what I am reading) will go into effect at the same time.

IF YOU KNOW ME FROM LIVE MUSIC, THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT!!

If I am understanding correctly, that bus route that connects me from my neighborhood into the downtown area will NOT RUN during times that public school is not in session. So, essentially during the summer there will be NO bus!!

These two routes are the closest to where I live and if they are gone (seasonal or permanently) then I honestly will not be able to maintain what social life that I have today. Unless I want to travel distances up to a mile just to get on a bus, or to get off of a bus and return home.

My physical health over the past two years has deteriorated, and I am unsure if I will have the strength and stamina to make such a journey.

The two routes in this neighborhood will effect over 1,500 city residents in this neighborhood. With a daily ridership across the ENTIRE CITY of 130,000 people, these changes will most likely cause that number to drop significantly. And usually that will mean that bus fares will go up again in price.

When I started riding in 2014, I could go downtown and back for $1.00 but in recent past, they did change the fare to go up, and now going downtown to catch a live music show is a round trip cost of $2.50, so even if you are in a band and there is NO COVER to your show, there’s always a cost of transportation, at least for me.

So I do have that concern or fear that if these changes are approved by Capital Metro, then my social life as far as enjoying live music and entertainment will die. And those relationships that I have made will eventually fail. And without having the stamina I once had, this board meeting has me completely on edge.

Ride share programs and taxis are either expensive or not an option in my personal case. And that stinks!

Yet I am unsure of any proposed changes for the Night Owl routes, which I actually discovered just over a year ago which run six nights out of the week between midnight and 3:00 AM. And since I learned about it, it has allowed me to actually stay where I am at, without having to leave or bail early to catch a bus back home. I do not know if any of those night time routes are a part of this or not. I am hoping not. If I am out and about and these night time buses are a part of it, I won’t have much choice but to call for a taxi.

I am facing a very harsh reality however that if these changes are approved that life as I know it will cease to exist. I will either have to find another way or find a totally different social life. And hope that I do by the time these changes kick in by June 2018.

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“I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration.”~ Elon Musk

Finally, this day has come.

But why did it take so long?

This morning, I rolled on through to the community room to have coffee and there was a sign displayed that today, there will be NO donuts or fruit.

I laughed to myself when I read it. To be honest, in the past four Fridays, there’s been donuts and fruit only TWICE.

I left that stupid game more than a year ago. I was tired of the violence. Tired of the greed. Tired of it all.

After I got my cup of coffee and was starting to turn into a decent human being, there was some chatter among the other residents in the room about donuts and fruit.

Well… depending on your bend, it is sad or it is a day at last arrived.

Residents were discussing the fact that there will be NO MORE DONUTS OR FRUIT. Period. Done. End of story. I tell you, if I could have done a happy dance, I would have.

If you’ve been with me for the longest time, you’ve read the previous posts about the avarice and the insanity of donuts and the residents that consume them like they are going out of style.

And even though I am glad that the fighting will come to an end, there will be more fighting. For those who want them, they will argue and fight about the decision to get rid of them, and their disapproval. So basically they will take one fight and replace it with another. That’s just how it works here.

Management was not available for comment. But I did go to the social services coordinator and congratulated her on the “smart decision” and told her that now all she had to do was get rid of the Food Pantry distribution and the BINGO every Tuesday afternoon, and this place will turn into nothing but a boring place of business where people will remain in their homes for the rest of their lives and never come out again or for those who will get out, they will leave the property for their social needs.

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“I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.”~Robin Williams

At this point in time, I honestly do not have anything that would be considered to be epic or profound or even uplifting.

Upon hearing the news, I immediately went into denial mode. So many celebrities have been “reported” to have been dead when it was all just a hoax.

It being Robin Williams, and it NOT being a hoax? I am not going to lie to you, it tore my shit up from the floor up.

I haven’t been this lost, confused, shocked, and sad since the death announcement of Michael Jackson. And to be honest, knowing that Jackson’s death has already been several years ago is just mind blowing to me.

This was not a celebrity death that I ever thought I would see. Robin Williams in my own eyes was the ultimate king of comedy and had been for all of my life. From the re-runs of Mork & Mindy to the plethora of feature films that he made, spanning a career of various in-depth characters. And he was seemingly flawless every time he stepped in front of that camera.

Now I know that there are plenty of people flooding social media websites and other networks right now with articles announcing the death.

However, just as it was with the death of Whitney Houston, I CHOOSE to wait for a full investigation to be concluded on just exactly what had happened. I am aware of the statement given relating to Williams suffering depression. But yet I remain firm in the choice to wait and see. And it does bother me every time there is a “celebrity” death that people right away know what happened. Why can’t we all just stop, take a deep breath, and just wait for the professionals and experts to do their job??

Still on the other side of this coin, I suspect that what they are saying about this matter is probably going to be the truth. I say let’s wait and see.

Williams caught my attention in “Patch Adams” as well as other films such as “Dead Poets Society” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” of course. The poem that he reads in “Patch Adams” has since then had a remarkable bolt on my life both private and public.

I sincerely send my best wishes to his wife and children and the rest of his family. For those of you who were waiting on the next installment from my SIX MINUTE CENTURY adventure that came to an end this morning… I sincerely apologize.

But this death announcement has put me in no state to write about my most recent journey as you the reader, are deserving of. Please be patient.

God bless Robin Williams and his family at this time. I am totally shattered. We will always love Robin Williams and will miss him greatly.

 

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“Behind every strong independent girl is a dumbass guy who did her wrong & made her who she is today.” ~ Unknown

I kind of was hoping not to give these kinds of awards out any more. But stupid is as stupid does. INDEED!!

34 year old, Reena Patel, is now behind bars because she foolishly decided to try and hire someone to kill her husband for her.

This story has a particular  flavor to it, rather than the mundane garbage that gets made into primetime television movies or mini-series. This one was close to home.

The police said that she had approached teenagers at an apartment complex last week seeking to have her husband killed was charged with solicitation of capital murder, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released on Monday.

Patel is being held in a Travis County Jail with bail set at $1 million.

Police said they questioned Patel when she visited a North Austin apartment complex on Wednesday afternoon and offered a group of teens $4,000 to “take care of” her husband. The conversation was overheard by an adult, who called authorities.

“You could tell she was serious that she was willing to give or do anything to get it done,” said Ebony Pettiford, a witness. “Anyone’s willing to do anything for a whole big sum of money and materialistic things.”

When police arrived, the affidavit says, Patel told officers she was lost and stopped to get directions.

She was told that she was in a high-crime area and would have been better off visiting a business nearby for directions back to her home in the Steiner Ranch area across the opposite side of the city.

The affidavit also said Patel told police that she was a dentist working part time and was due to pick up her children from day care.

When she was told by police that residents overheard the conversation about having her husband killed, the affidavit said Patel did not appear surprised.

Police later contacted he husband. He told them he and his wife had argued the night before because the dentist office had not paid his wife. He told her he planned to sue the office for the wages owed, the affidavit said.

Officers then contacted the Texas Board of Dental Examiners and learned that Patel had never applied for a license to practice dentistry in the state.

“(The husband) stated that he and his wife had had a dispute over stating that she had been employed, and she had – in fact – not been employed,” said Sgt. Scott Ehlert.

Police also learned that Patel’s husband – a local doctor – had a $2 million life insurance policy.

There is a protection order against Patel. If she gets out of jail, she is not allowed near her husband or their two small children.

Now here’s the scary part.

That little neighborhood that she strolled into because she was told was a high crime area, is only about two blocks away from where “I” live.

And yes, I will concur that the area in which she was in is VERY high crime. As a matter of fact, my sister and I call it “Murderer’s Row” because the some of the last few violent crimes that led to murder happened in that neighborhood. And before anyone starts freaking out…. I am fine. I do not go near there if at all possible.

Yet this woman is stupid enough to think that she’s going to get away with it. And with what we know about the case, it sounds like a case of greed, wanting her husband’s life insurance money. The policy was something that she was aware of. And when she pulled into that neighborhood, she spoke to ANYONE who would listen to her, asking several people to do the job for her. As long as that person had done it before 3:30 in the afternoon, which is the time the husband was to come home and the two small children were return from school. She only had $700 on her, but the police did find $4,000 which went along with the story that was reported by a concerned neighbor.

The teenager that agreed to “do the job” was only 16 years old. Believing that because of his age, the court system would only give him a slap on the wrist.

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“From the end spring new beginnings.”~ Pliny the Elder

Ladies & Gentleman, boys and girls.

Welcome to your NEW Austin Blades sledge hockey team.

Sort of.

The team that I play for now has a branch of the STARSkaters program and will be now protected by its 501(c)3, and receive all of its non-profit status.

A press release that was sent out today by STARSkaters stated:

At a recent board meeting, the Austin Blades Sled Hockey team voted unanimously to become a chapter of STARskaters.org
 
Chapter status will allow them to expand their fundraising efforts to support Sled Hockey in Austin as well as send some of their players to the 2014 Sled Hockey National Championships which will be held near Boston, Mass next April.
 
At the meeting, Frank Dorval was elected chapter President.  Frank got to work immediately enlisting STARskaters founder Jim O’Neill to assist planning a 3 on 3 Tournament in Austin which will serve as the clubs first major fundraising effort with a target of $5,000 in proceeds.
 
For more information about the Austin Blades Sled Hockey Club, contact Frank@STARskaters.org
 

And this is all true. We did have a meeting and we ALL voted to go for the STARSkaters program. We’ve connected with the program in friendship and have bonded with them personally that it all just made sense to go with them. Simply because Jim O’Neill had heard about our troubles with the secretive information about the non-profit status.

The team now will have the knowledge on how to go about fundraising and everything else in between.

Some of the team members (including myself) have already hit the pavement to go after corporate sponsorships locally.

But we are only at the beginning. The sigh of relief was collectively felt and heard this afternoon when the news finally came that the necessary papers were signed, and now we are dealing with our own chapter.

We still will remain the Austin Blades. But are ARE with/under STARSkaters.

And a few of us are still hopeful to go to Boston in 2014 in order to play in the national tournament. The Austin Blades at this point have no idea just how much or what kind of help we will be receiving (if any) from STARSkaters on this matter. And a few of us still believe that its not the right thing to do to just suck on the backs of the program. So we are still attempting to get things rolling here locally on our own.

I have my own fundraising campaign specifically to get to this tournament in Boston. Along with another teammate, the two of us are going strong to raise funds by donations. With YOUR HELP, we can achieve this dream and go for the gold!!!

Even though the tournament isn’t until next year, we only have until the end of January 2014 to “Get-R-Done” so to speak.

We’ve reached 8.9% of our total goal for the both of us to be able to go in a month. And we’re super excited about that. But we’ve got a long ways to go.

PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING WHAT YOU CAN TODAY!!!
http://www.gofundme.com/2t2pvs

Every little drop will help, believe me!! And for those of you who are reading and have already donated, we honestly thank you from the bottom of our asses, because they are both larger than our hearts. If by chance that you are able to, please consider donating again.

And don’t forget about the wonderful FREE incentives that go along with this fundraising effort.

Together with the donations, and now being a chapter of STARSkaters, we can make our goals.

My personal goals in the sport can actually have a light at the end of the tunnel without it being a freight train. Gold at the end of the rainbow.

I can’t wait for the beginning of the 2013-14 season. Its  going to be so wonderful.

jasoncollins

“If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.”~ Thomas Sowell

So apparently, WordPress wants to go ahead and post a blog post that has nothing in it. Sorry about that. I will continue to “edit” and keep writing.

Most recently in the news, NBA player Jason Collins has come out of the closet to announce that he is gay. He is the first openly gay athlete in any major American team sports.

I am sure that for Collins, it is a wonderful thing. The homosexual community is out in droves celebrating him and his decision to be public about it.

Here is my question: Why is this news???

There are millions of men and women who are homosexuals. Many of them become public with their sexual orientation each and every day. And most of us never hear about it.

So then why Jason Collins? Just because he plays in the NBA??

I can only imagine that Collins struggled with his decision to come public with this. But I do not understand why in the world this has to be front page news and a topic for discussion for a time to come.

What about the guy down the street who owns the gas station who came out publicly about five months ago? Where’s the press on that with him?

The fact of the matter is that there are so many other men and women who are homosexuals and whether or not they decide to become public about it… we don’t hear about it in the news every time someone decides to be public about it.

I can almost bet that there are other people who are homosexuals, and the general worldwide public doesn’t even realize it. Not everyone who is gay, will come out. It is a matter of choice. Collins made the choice to come out publicly. And that most likely took courage and strength. Kudos to him for having that strength and courage.

My point is that what Jason Collins does in his personal life… is private. And it should be private. Whether he wants to tell his family or relatives or friends that he is gay is his own choice. The media and news should NOT be so damned involved in it as they have been lately! My own personal life and the life of millions will not continue on lacking anything if we do or do not know about it.

But if Jason Collins WANTED the media to know about it, again, that is HIS choice. I just think that the media is just taking on too much of an interest in this particular case. If he wanted the media to know, then report it and move on to the important topics of the day that surround us. Someone’s sexual orientation is hardly breaking news. But I wish Jason Collins well in his sports career and hope that he finds his happiness that he was seeking.

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“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”~  Carl Sagan

In local news this evening, a story was broadcast about a bus driver who dropped off a 9 year old child at the wrong bus stop.

The child was unharmed. But it naturally and understandably unnerved the parents. Now the mother is calling for that driver to be fired from his job.

The local network posted this story on Facebook and asked for opinions of whether or not the people agree or disagree with the mother’s ranting about how the bus driver should be terminated from his job. And it just got worse from there by the mother.

From time to time I do like to weigh in and participate and tonight I did with two words — Mistakes happen.

Before I knew it, up to about 10 or 11 people had hit that “LIKE” button to my brief comment and opinion. At last peek, there was 24 and probably still the count rises. So I assume that meant that these people agreed with me.

So I had moved on. No more than an hour later, I received a notification that someone replied to my comment. And shortly after that, I had no less than three messages in my inbox on Facebook. ALL of them, were from people who disagreed with my comment that I had left on the issue.

However they all went as far as to say things like I am stupid. I am insensitive. I lack the ability to care for children. And so on.

And that can’t be true. After all, if I lack the ability to care for children… then I don’t think that my sister would entrust me with her children as she goes to work every Saturday.

The only thing that these responders got right was the fact that no, I am NOT actually a parent. However, I am an uncle. And for the niece and nephew that I often sometimes watch as my sister goes to work, it is the closest thing that they’ve got to a father or another parent since their father, my brother-in-law, passed away last year.

Most of these people who had the guts to send me any kind of correspondence like that said something along the lines that they wished I would die. And the day that I did die, it would clear out the spoiled gene pool.

Pretty courageous of them. Pretty rude of them as well.

My short but brief comment had a point. And I was really trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the bus driver. The fact that so many others were screaming that they agreed with this mother and that basically this driver’s head should be severed and put on a stake was actually overwhelming. But the thing is, is that none of us who were leaving their comments and opinions were actually there when it happened. So we honestly cannot say one way or another to what happened during this unfortunate situation.

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As I stood there with my back in a corner, I fired back in my retort that knocked the wind out of my assailant’s sails and put the fire back in her own camp.

Could I have defended myself? Of course. And I did. Could I have fired back with as much venom as these people had given to me? Sure, but that’s not what I did. Instead, I rather took upon the lessons that my own dear mother taught me when I was young whenever someone would pick on me in school or come after me with such violent intent.

One woman said in her response about the gene pool being cleaned out of horrible people once I were to die. Taking the advice of my own mother from many years ago actually took the wind out of this woman’s sails and then others who had noticed the exchange focused their barbs on the woman… telling her that she just got owned. I mean after all, there was not another thing that the woman could say to me in response. NOTHING!

Again, my retort to her was short and sweet in a different pair of words: Thank you.

I did have a momentary relapse to consider that there just might be a few people who would disagree. And as I said, many people were taking this story so freakin’ serious as if it had happened to them personally, when the reality was that it did not. It is as if someone makes a mistake or does someone else wrong that the person who was wronged is just allowed to fly off of the handle and then they decide to just kill everything with fire. The mother wasn’t there in this case, so how can she rationalize such a decision to attempt the termination of this bus driver????

The last time that I checked, I still lived in the United States of America…. where there is a freedom to express your own opinion. And there is that freedom to disagree with me if you feel the need. As well as the freedom to express how your own opinion differs from mine.

But wishing someone to die goes far beyond extreme. People often don’t understand, realize, or forget that even on the Internet to wish someone harm or death can be criminal, should someone wish to take it that far to bring criminal charges of being a threat by the use of terrorism. Especially if they tell you that they intend on making it happen. And that did happen in the privacy of messages sent to me in the inbox on Facebook.

This will not deter me though. I’ve received so many death wishes/threats in the past 12-18 months from random strangers that it doesn’t bother or phase me as much as it used to.

So we can go on with life now. We are very capable of expressing our opinions when we feel the desire to speak up. But we must never forget that there will be those who disagree, and it can feel like stepping on a land mine.

I will not allow this to stop me. As well it shouldn’t.