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The Student. Info In. Info Out.

this is a visual on the “learning life” of a typical student. Relating to students starts with figuring out where they are coming from!

Learn about infographics software.

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Solis R. of Austin Texas: Lakeshore Retreat, Olympia Washington

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Lakeshore Retreat, Olympia WashingtonAttending the Lakeshore Retreat was such a great time. Met some new folks and had a great time meeting new folks. But, of course, catching up with my friends from Seattle and Vancouver is always a delight.

Solis R. of Austin Texas

SPEAKER: Jimm M of Austin, Texas

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Jimm M. Recording

 

We had our annual Holiday Auction last weekend. It was amazing how much work went into this year’s event. It was quite the extravaganza. The hall looked great and folks seemed to have a genuinely exciting and fun evening. Our friend Double M was the speaker and our friends in San Antonio asked us to post this, with his permission. So, here it is.

Why President Obama will be Re-Elected

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In the days before the election, our house is a constant buzz regarding the potential outcome of a Romney campaign. There’s been so much speculation initiated by the polls and the back and forth rise and fall of Romney’s standings. There’s also been the recent storm on the east coast, and conjecture about whether that helps or hurts the president.

I have remained mostly silent about all this. Partially, because I don’t like to get too riled up such things. Although, from looking at my Facebook wall this morning, it would be hard to know that. It seems the last month has been nothing but political posts. It made me wince momentarily that from outward appearances, it would seem that my life is nothing but one big political commentary followed by another. However, I suspect this will make for great posterity humor years from now. I mean, I suspect the day after the election we’ll try and subconsciously (if not right out consciously) try and remove “Binder full of Women” from our vernacular.

But the other reason I have not fretted too much is because I am confident that right prevails, and with all that is stacked up against Mr. Romney, and there’s a substantial amount which cannot be refuted, I believe the Democrats and President Obama will prevail. I don’t think ‘Birthers” will ever be won over, or ever could be. The intensity of that kind of blind ideological devotion speaks for itself with the veracity that they’ve hung to the idea that our President is a Muslim, or all the other nonsense that has passed for genuine critical intelligent discussion.

So, no this electorate, that is supposedly split near 50/50 will have to make a decision on all that has been put out so far by both parties. But those who are considered the undecided or swing voters will likely take their cue from these last two weeks of intense criss-crossing the country by both parties.

I was somewhat relieved this morning after a story I read in the Detroit News. It highlights the escalating denial by the various parties involved related to an Ad that the Romney campaign has been running concerning the moving of American jobs to China.

This assertion, is a fabrication. A made up notion. A falsehood. A LIE. Or as the head of the SRT Division of Chrysler asserts, in relation to the infamous and self-declared-tycoon-and-presidential candidate-to-sell-books Mr. Donald Trumps retelling of the story, “Is full of Shit”.

The only conclusion I can draw why the Romney camp would even allow this ad to continue to run, when every credible source, including the source themselves the Auto executives – has refuted this story – is because the republicans are desperate. Desperate people, do desperate things. And, the idea that one can try and stand by a lie, when everyone long-past-knows it’s a lie – can only be described as an act of desperation.

Traditionally the Auto Unions support the Democratic candidates and the Auto Executives and management have rallied behind the Republican candidate. But in this election the Republican Tea Party has managed to do something heretofore unheard of. They have united both union and management against them. They would have been wise to step away from this lie long before now. But the writing has been on the wall (albeit in invisible ink perhaps) but it’s becoming visible and clearer. The Romney campaign has lost itself and perhaps the election in the process.

Although, I must ad one caveat. If for some miracle he were able to pull it off – I hope we can rally a contingent of Americans to be as vocal about seeing his history of tax returns as the “Birthers” have been about seeing the President’s birth certificate. I don’t hold out much hope for that however.

 

23 Years. How did This Much Time Pass?

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Rob and I celebrated 23 years this year. How we arrived at this point I’ll never know. Time does fly and 23 years would have passed with our without my notice.

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What’s been great this year is the opportunity to look back as we not have before. With so much history together, it’s clear now we have a lengthy reservoir of memories to draw upon. Much like our very first date, we reprised with a visit to a theatre (there’s no drive ins anymore like that first time) and to a restaurant after. (The restaurant has gone up significantly in star rating too).

I believe we laughed together (the main ingredient in our ability to endure times where it’s difficult to find humor in the circumstances) all the way from first course to last. We spent time quizzing one another one what our favorite, and least favorite memories were. This turned out to be a very powerful exercise in examining the years through the kaleidoscope of amazement. True shock that we survived some trials, and admiration for one another for making it through the very roughest ones.

I don’t know anyone with more tolerance, patience and love. He has truly shown me how to be a wonderful human being.

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Chicken & Civility

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Chicken & CivilityYou know it was only a matter of time before I was moved to say something on this subject. Mostly I’ve kept out of it. Not because I’m lacking opinion or experience. But, rather because I’ve been rather mesmerised by it all. By both sides really.

But let’s start with Mr. Cathy and his company. Not agreeing with his views notwithstanding, the reason I think his statements can be characterized as lunacy have less to do with the content than why on earth, as a business man, would you want to weigh in on any topic that’s controversial and may bring harm to any group which could be a potential paying customer?

These statements weren’t directed at PETA, vegetarians and Colonel Saunders – any of which are not likely to patronize the Chik Fil A near you – but a group that otherwise might still be a supporter.  I guess that’s what initially had my scratching my head.

But all the charges and counter charges that going back and ultimately degraded into a religious back-and-forth with Christian’s feeling that they needed to camp out to get their chicken sandwich on in order to show that they are dedicated to their love of deity and poultry. I don’t mean to tongue in cheek a religious ideology in the name of attempting to bring humorism to an otherwise unfunny situation. I can see clearly that supporters of Mr. Cathy have wanted to make this freedom of speech issue. And, why not?

Truth is, otherwise well-meaning folks have made it pretty easy to do so. With charges of claiming Mr. Cathy has no right to make such exclamations. Um. Yes – as a matter of fact – he does. He is not a corporation, which might otherwise have shareholders that would have an interest in Mr. Cathy’s comments and how they affect the bottom line. It’s his company. He’s free to run it as he would wish, with in the limits of the law and even to run it into the ground of that’s his choice.

I support that right. The right to say anything you wish. No matter how bizarre or crazy another may think it is. No matter how offensive, or derisive it may be considered.

By the same token – I’m free to patronize, or not patronize a business for the same reasons. So equally as distressing are counter arguments that I have no right to boycott a business that otherwise isn’t breaking any laws. Hmm.

What many supporters of Chik Fil A have failed to understand, and quite likely because they have the equivalent of their fingers in their ears going la, la, la, la – is that as crazy as you might think some are for not recognizing Mr. Cathy’s right to say what he’s saying  is how crazy it would be to provide my money in exchange for a product and then you take the proceeds of that transaction and use it to diminish my quality of life in other areas.

That astounds me.

Really.

When I have discussions with otherwise sane people who insist because no fair employment laws are being broken, because no equivalent of a separate water fountain exist, because no one is refusing service to gays, that somehow it’s “all good”. Really? Based on that line of thinking, Mr. Cathy should be begging the Gays to come to his establishments. What more diabolical plan than to wage cultural warfare than to use their own money against them. Since Mr. Oliver North in 80’s a more evil plan hasn’t been hatched.

To summarize a commentary that could go on much, much longer. It will suffice to say that I will not line up to buy sandwiches. I’d much prefer people lined up to feed the poor and help the downtrodden. That’s something I think Jesus would have actually encouraged. I don’t know that God give’s a (chicken) shit about whether Mr. Cathy’s chain thrive at the expense of others. But, the human element of compassion requires that I not support such endeavors.

So, I’ll pass by these restaurants, which hasn’t really ever been that hard and on Sunday’s it’s been very easy. My hope is that if you ask me, it’s to actually have a dialogue about it and not to slam me with your opposing view. That, after all is not very gracious (forget “Christian” because with each passing day – who knows what that means anymore).

I think one day of record sales of chicken may end up being a drop in the bucket compared to years of erosive sales. Because as time marches on, and the recordings of these events is now everywhere for history – posterity will not be kind to Mr. Cathy and his chicken chain. There will always be supporters sure. And the existing locations may still do well. But, his expansion will always be hampered by potential franchisees who will wonder if they want to be part of this ongoing drama.

So yes. I support your right to free speech Mr. Cathy. But even free speech isn’t free when the consequences may ultimately affect your livelihood. That’s the responsibility part that comes with the freedom.

Stay Away from Roomster.com Room Corp

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My experience with this company was less than positive. It seems there are listings all over the internet with experiences similar to mine. I wish I could have checked these before I engaged with this company.

They do offer online listings for customers to try and match potential roommates. Here’s the scammy part though. They offer a 4 or 5 day listing for just a few dollars. Then, hidden in their verbage is a notification that you’re actually subscribing. The subscription is automatically renewed for you (how friendly of them). Once the charge shows up on your credit card, it’s too late the $29.95 charge is gotten from you. Then when you attempt to contact them to complain they give you a canned response. It appears in the verbage of the agreement you “signed” that it is your responsibility to say you don’t want this subscription and to cancel before the $29.95 charge. After, it’s too late.

So, I’m listing it here, among the other places on the internet – in hopes that the next person will see this or have it stick in their mind that Roomster.com or Room Corp may not operating with the highest standards of customer service or morality. Steer clear.

(Oh, and the unrelated picture just makes me happy to see our puppies getting along. So, in the end – $29.95 is not likely to break me so why worry. Be happy. Don’t let the assholes – like some of these companies – get you down).

Addendum: After forwarding this link, my yelp review, my google plus review, my better business bureau review, my statement to visa contesting the charge.. I received the response “As a courtesy we are refunding your charge for $29.95”. I don’t hate Roomster.com. But, be cautious. (power of the press!)

The Onion. Funny Satire. Tricks People.

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The Onion. It has tricked more than a few of my friends. People who aren’t familiar with this paper, that looks like a legitimate newspaper are often confounded when they read about outrageous stories, sometimes quoting real people, or attributing outrageous actions to them. But, it’s all fake.

One of the funniest posts I read was this particularly R rated column. Why These Homos Keep Sucking My…

As you can tell, much of what the Onion contains is adult humor. And, although their recent post on the new Chik Fil A, homo sandwich including exerpts about their punch-a-fag sauce might be considered to be over the top, I think the whole idea of satire is that it is over the top about topics which by themselves, without any punch a fag sauce added, could be considered absurd.

Certainly a chicken sandwhich restaurant weighing in on marriage? Absurd. Thus, we have publications like the Onion to take that absurdity to new levels. Agree or don’t – I’m glad we live in a country where this type of communication and commentary exist to provide opportunities to think.