The High One

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The First Nation, or one of them, in Alaska, is the Athabascan people. I traveled to Alaska and saw Denali National Park while I was there. The tour guide explained that the mountain we could see (generally, it is shrouded in clouds) so clearly on our tour was called Mount McKinley after a U.S. president that never came to Alaska. The people of this region call the mountain the high one or in Athabascan: Denali. The Ohio delegation to Congress and I think the Senate as well, always blocked any attempts by the native people to have their mountain released from the fake name of Mount McKinley and returned to its original name: Denali.

Remember I wrote I am not political? Well, listening to the tour guide and also hearing a presentation put on by a true Athabascan (he was so quiet and kind) I was ashamed to be from Ohio. I deeply dislike the current president (tripled the national debt and gave it to the wealthy) but I had to say just this once, he did one thing right. The mountain in the pictures, both professional and my feeble attempts is amazingly beautiful. I am not just saying that because I have also been to Zermatt. The Matterhorn is an awe-inspiring mountain as well, so I know an awesome peak when I see one.

My point (and this time I actually have one:) is that a good thing has just happened from an awful president. The mountain in Alaska has been released from the fake name and returned to its true self. Denali is once again “The High One” and I for one am happy.

American Public Education

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I received an ARC from an author and only managed to get about 17% into the work before I finally just stopped. I was going to leave a review, but I didn’t finish. I don’t think you should review if you don’t have the fortitude to finish the book. I don’t have it in me to try and finish this work. I am spending a lot of my time highlighting the missing words, verb tense confusion and just downright bad English.

Now I could have just deleted the book at this point but I fast forwarded to the end instead. The author tells about herself and thanks her ‘editor’ and friends and family and her daughter.The author lives in Kentucky. I am taking the long way around to say the American public education system is failing, badly.

Many of my friends from high school tell me the only way their children received a good education was because they paid to send them to private school (I’m from Ohio). The schools I went to when I was young no longer provide quality educations. The budget cuts in most states started with education and never recovered. My brother lives in Texas and tells me the same thing. After reading this ARC, I now understand what everyone was saying. This author’s work is so bad it is painful to read. She thanks an editor in her acknowledgements and I nearly dropped the Kindle. I was going to write to this author and suggest an editor! Holy Crap! I sincerely hope she did not pay for this so-called editor because the woman failed, utterly.

The current generation and a few prior, received a public education that not only did little to educate them, but caused a rift between those whose parents could pay for private education and those who could not. Perhaps that is why these generations are slow to leave the nest, slow to establish at a workplace, and generally not coping well with life in general. Without the foundation of a good education, they are adrift and we are to blame. We let the public education system die. We sent our kids to private and charter schools and did nothing when the political jackasses stole the education budgets. I am horrified. The work I was sent a copy of is a statement. The pubic education system is worthless.

If you read this far, thank you. I want to say just one thing: VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Never ever let anyone have a second term. The whores we call politicians must leave and we must not let them return. Throw them out, throw them out  THROW THEM ALL OUT! I am not political, but now I know we do not need anyone who has ever been in any elected office. We need those with a public education who have the will to renew our public education. A person without a command of our language can command nothing!

Soapbox stored, thank you for your attention.

Traveling

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I have done a lot of traveling in my life and generally enjoyed most of it. Even hopping rides on military transports was great fun to me. But just recently I had to travel from California to Kentucky and the true disaster that we call our major carriers was brought home to me on a Tuesday.

Most travel advisories tell you to travel on a Tuesday because it will be less crowded and cost less. The Monday business people are already at their destination and the families are all home. It made perfect sense to me so I booked flights on Tuesdays. What I failed to understand and what has been on the major news channels for some time now is that the airlines OVER BOOK!

It was a Tuesday and we had gotten up at five in the morning to make a Delta flight at 7:55 a.m. We figured with a bite of breakfast, because only first class has a hope of any food on any flight and turning in our rental car, we would be well within the two hour check-in window as requested by Delta Airlines. What we did not understand and were notified on my cell phone after we got to the airport was that the flight was cancelled because the plane broke. Not my words here, this is what the Delta agent told us when we went to check our bags. It was chaos. An entire plane of people looking for ways to get home. American Airlines had two seats, but those went fast while the Delta agent tried to find some way to connect us to a California-bound flight. Tim the Red Vest Delta agent, I think the ‘manager’ gave us a voucher for a taxi to Cincinnati and directed us out the door.

Now we were a little pressed for time because we have pets that we believed we would be home in time to feed using our original itinerary. The Delta agents in Cincinnati encountered the same problems and we sat and waited while they conferred, far enough away from us to prevent any chance we would over hear them. My husband, who has a whole set of his own issues, decided to eavesdrop on the red vest agent as they all tried to figure out what to do with us. Now I did not hear the complete conversation but at some point my husband slammed his cane on the desk and I heard “…do I look like I fit in a center seat?”. Well, as embarrassing as it was, things suddenly started to happen. We got tickets on a flight leaving at 11:40 and first class tickets for our connection to California. They also gave us $50 vouchers (only good at Delta.com) and a promise that when we reached San Francisco (we live in Sacramento), a Delta agent would be there to give us a voucher for a taxi to Sacramento.

I sincerely wish that was the end of the story, but there was more to come. We checked in at the gate for the 11:40 flight, but it had been delayed so we took our food vouchers off to have some lunch. When we returned to the gate we were told that plane was also broken and they directed us to another gate. Anyone who flies knows gates are never close together, so we walked fast and made that flight.

If only that were the worst of it. When we arrived in Detroit the connecting flight to San Francisco was listed as “boarding” at gate 16. We were at gate 4. Now that may sound like a good thing but we were at the hub and the next gate down was gate 38 and even with the moving walkways it was a run to make it to gate 16. If you have read this far and I can’t imagine why, you will remember the slamming cane. Yup, the old guy cannot run. I tried to tell him to let me go ahead and hold the plane, but he insisted on trying to keep up. It was at least a two-mile hike to get to the next gate and at some point I stopped (I stopped several times to let him catch up) and said that it simply was not worth dying over. He was looking a bit droopy. Thankfully, at least from our standpoint, some prior passenger had stopped up the rear lavatory and the plane was delayed. I felt sorry for the flight attendants as the captain wanted to depart and was riding the attendants to handle the situation. We were the last of the first class passengers and when the flight did take off we had a very nice experience on a four hour plus flight.

Now we were in San Francisco and of course, no Delta agent had any knowledge of our need for ground transportation to our car in Sacramento. To give credit where credit is due, the ground personnel at Delta were Wonderful! They had to go through their channels and we waited about forty-five minutes for things to be sorted out, but we received a voucher for a super shuttle to Sacramento. I will stop here because the super shuttle is too unpleasant to recount. We finally made it home about twenty-four hours after our five in the morning beginning of this mess.

The moral of this story, if there is a moral, is you cannot be polite to the agents of the major carriers. It is sad, but I believe we might still be sitting in a Delta terminal somewhere in America waiting for more broken planes to take us home. Delta, I fear, was just like all the other major carriers. They were overbooked and only my husband’s outburst got us moving. Delta has a slogan “Keep Climbing”. I have a suggesting, Delta. You seriously need to “Keep Trying”. The vouchers were a nice offer, but I don’t think I will try flying on Delta again. I don’t think I will fly on any major U.S. carrier if I can avoid it. Overbooking is here to stay and shame on all carriers for maximizing profit over service.