Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Setting the Bar Too High for Our Kids

                  Here at Views, I tend to write about current events or technology updates and even the occasion sports story. Today I’m really not feeling anything in the news or tech toys and wanted to post a view on today’s family life, in specific, the way we may be setting the bar too high for our kids to be good parents. Now before everyone starts emailing me on how I shouldn’t tell anyone how to raise their kids, this is just an opinion and you have the right to disagree. I’m just looking at the world with my rose colored glasses on and see something that, I feel, is setting a precedent our children may not be able to keep.
                The parents of today have become maybe a little too over involved in their children’s lives. I remember when I was growing up that my mom was there for support but never felt the need to force me into doing something all the time. If it was a sport or activity I wanted to do she supported me the whole way but when I was just sitting at home either playing a video game or just lounging around, she never told me to go join or do something. And guess what? I wasn’t a heavy of fat child growing up. In today’s time, we as parents are constantly trying to get our children outside and involved in something. We feel the need that our kids need to be in an activity all year round and if they are then they are wasting time doing other non-active things. Maybe we have this backwards because as we have our children into active items, child obesity rate has gone thru the roof. Forcing our kids into playing or participating in something isn’t always the answer to a healthy child. We rushing from point A to point B with a car load of kids don’t make for an active child either.
                Another thing I have become familiar with is the proverbial vacation family trips. Now I love a good vacation like anyone else but with a family of 6, sometimes the economy, finances, or just plain old time cause things to not happen. Now my situation is not the same as others and good for you if you can go with the family and enjoy some time off. But what use to be trips to Cape Cod or New Hampshire has now turned into flights to the West Coast, Europe, and other places that were reserved for adults. Which brings me to my setting the bar too high thought; how on earth will our children top or even keep up with those types of vacations with their families? As adults you always want to try and do what was done for you as a child if not more but let’s be serious for a moment. What child needs to go to Disney every single year? Or better yet, what child needs to go on a Caribbean cruise? I can see Disney a few times but when I hear parents talk of how this will be their seventh or eighth trip, it becomes a little too much. Whether you want to believe it or not, you are setting a precedent in your child’s mind that if they don’t do what you have done or slightly better, then they are not a good parent. Don’t believe me? Reflect back to your own childhood and think of how you are trying to keep up or surpass your own vacations.
                I’m just concerned that as we continue to grow in an age of higher production costs and slumping job markets, we may be programming our children for failure. Sometimes just spending time with them sitting in the yard and watching them play ball or ride a bike can leave a much better impression than a $4,000 cruise. Both will be remember when they get older but which one would you like your child to compete with when raising your grandchildren?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

$20 per Gallon: Book fo the Week

                  I’m continuing on my quest to have 75 books read by the end of the year and my newest entry is $20 per gallon: How the inevitable rise in the price of gasoline will change our lives for the better. This book is written by Christopher Steiner and is available through a local library, the Kindle lending library, or for purchase through the Amazon store. I would quote a price but it varies o I don’t want to set any expectation of a certain dollar amount. As I am half way through this book, I can only give an assessment on what I have read, but so far it is a rather informed reading.          
(Picture courtsey of
                The book goes into, obviously, the rising cost of gasoline. As we all know, that is one of the main financial pains in any household. From the cost to fill your car to heating your home, the cost of fuel in general has spike to highs that most economists swore would recede. If anything, they cost has leveled and we have become numb to paying $3.50+ per gallon at the pump and who knows what on heating homes.    The chapter’s line up as the cost of fuel goes up, how it would affect the middle class and ways we as a society would need to change in order to survive. As with most changes in society, they don’t really come to fruition until society is put into a situation where the change is absolutely needed. All of Mr. Steiner’s observations are based on large amounts of research and a pragmatic way of looking at the future. He doesn’t go into the fear mongering that most books I have read go into. He takes the current data, looks at reasonable increases to the future numbers and gives what could very well be our future under a petroleum based society.
                I have been saying for months now that the oil industry is going to hurt this country with the price increases and price gouging that is happening. Of course, I was more near sighted with just looking at the impact on driving and delivery of consumables like food. This book goes into things I didn’t even consider. Like textile items like carpets and countertops. They are manufactured in places that use oil or gas to make. They are made with compounds that are derivatives of petroleum. The impact on these items will eventually hurt home builders, home owners, and the manufacturing industry in whole.
                I’m not going to preach about how we should all make a stand and fight back. We can’t. It’s just not possible to fight something that has become so ingrained in our lives. Petroleum is a dependency; it’s now become part of our culture. They only way to change something in a culture is to find a substitute for that item. To think we can just cut out an item that contributes to almost 90% of our lifestyle would be preposterous. This is the time when those with the ambition and initiative can bring into society a way to lesson our dependency and become a more balance society.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Technical difficultly

Hi everyone. I'm sending a quick update from my phone to let you know I haven't forgot. We're just having some computer issues. As soon as we clear the hurdle, the posts will start flowing again.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The next high profile case Florida NEEDS to win.

                After several weeks of outrage and speculation on what would come about with the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the shooter George Zimmerman has been arrested and is currently in a Central Florida awaiting trial. Zimmerman has been formally charged with Second Degree murder. This is where I would normally just continue to report on what is happening and important aspects of this upcoming trial. Instead, I am going to go off in a little bit different direction. I won’t be discussing the parties the action took place but more so the participants.
                What I mean by participants is more the legal system in Florida. A system than has had its share of high profile cases only to see what should have been a “slam dunk” in legal terms to be only squandered away. The most recent one that comes to mind is the State verse Casey Anthony. There wasn’t a person who watched this case that didn’t think Casey Anthony was innocent. The state just failed to prove to the jurors that it was her that committed the crime. Now we have another case with the same type of circumstantial evidence that if is presented in the wrong manner can allow Zimmerman out of a second degree murder conviction to a lesser charge.
                I know the evidence against Zimmerman is pretty overwhelming and they do have audio of the incident happening. Even so, there is room for a good defending attorney to make the evidence seem ambiguous and possibly lean in the favor of Zimmerman. This should be a case where the state prosecutors should really get some due diligent in and make sure what they bring to the court room is solid enough to convict. I think the reason the state went with a second degree charge is the ability to make some errors and still get a conviction of Zimmerman. There is no doubt that a first degree murder charge could have been asked for, because the severity of the crime. That just says to me how little faith they have in themselves to get the job done.
                I hope for the sake of everyone involved that this case doesn’t turn into a circus. Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old boy. Of course there will be things that he has done that will make him not look like the perfect child the media has painted him to be so far. I don’t know of any 17 year old boy that hasn’t done something stupid. I think it’s almost a requirement at that age. What needs to happen Is the stat should present it in that manner and just cut that right off the defendants attack plan. Just get to the facts on the case and let a jury decide based on those then what Trayvon may or may not have done that night. I think this will be the defining point for a state’s legal system. If this case is lost based on the inept ability of the state prosecutors, I feel that those who follow the rules will be at a great disadvantage to those that don’t in Florida. The ability to feel confident in the court system will wane and cause many to commit crimes they know will be difficult for the system to convict on. Let’s hope for all of us that someone down there gets this one right.