Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mini-Vacay

We took a weekend trip to a couple of state parks and had an absolute blast at Greenbo State Resort Park and Carter Caves State Park.
If you haven't visited your state parks lately, GO!

I don't know where she came up with that pose, but it's become her signature.





Daddy on my left, climbing the highest thing he can get on top of

Jena on my right, doing the same thing

pony ride



1st time playing miniature golf

she refused to follow instruction, but did pretty well. And LOVED it!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Basketball Riots and Comments on Society

Links to background info, for anyone who might need it.

Post-Championship Riots

Post-Louisville Win Riots


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I never understood rioting as a form of celebration. Perhaps I've just never experienced that much joy, but to me being happy & destruction do not go hand-in-hand. I just don't get it.

Here in the Bluegrass State, there have been two significant riots in less than a week, both in Lexington, both over basketball victories.

I certainly do not understand being so impassioned about a sporting event that I would be willing to riot and destroy in support of "my" team.

If you get this, good for you. But it's something I've never understood.

The thing is, these riots, particularly the second one after the UK Wildcats won the NCAA National Basketball Championship, were not isolated incidents involving a few fans.

The second riot by some estimates included over 15,000 people. Some news sources estimate this to be approximately 40% of the fans in the city at the time.

FORTY PERCENT. That is a significant portion of the fan community. That is not an isolated incident. That is not a few "bad apples". Forty percent.

Just to give you an idea of how big the riots were:

- a number equaling just over 55% of the entire student population were involved.
- a number equaling 5% of the entire city of Lexington were involved
- a number equaling the entire population of the nearest city to my rural home were involved
- a number large enough to qualify to be their own "city" in the state of Kentucky were involved

I hope you get the idea. This was a HUGE riot.

There were reports of: arson of objects (primarily couches), attempted arson of vacant buildings, widespread damage to both personal & public property, violent attacks on emergency responders, and one reported shooting, among numerous other charges.

This was a VIOLENT riot.

I was (and still am) disturbed by how large and widespread the violence was. All in the name of celebration.

Large enough that Jason's department (over 30 minutes away), was put on alert in case it spread to them. Thirty minutes away. That is an event of significant size.

What disturbs me about this isn't the riot itself, not even really the violence (as troubling as it is), but how widespread it was, how many people participated.

Because, in my mind, for such a significant portion of the fan community on-site to have participated, the actions must have been acceptable to the community itself.

And that, is what I find disturbing.

I find it disturbing that one of my co-workers brought in a picture of his child, a current student at UK, front & center at a couch burning, to show off. I don't recall ever seeing a picture of the kid's cap & gown from high school graduation, but participating in an act of arson? He was one proud papa. Passed that baby around the office.

I find it disturbing that when I mentioned on my personal Facebook how "shameful" I found the riots, my page exploded with Wildcat fans defending the riots.
Claims of how it's "normal", how "it happens everywhere", "riots happen at every school that wins", and slams against my alma mater claiming that if we ever won the championship it would be much worse, covered my wall. Only one person, while still trying to defend the action, ever mentioned that they did "not condone the riots". Only one. The rest were all heated up defending violence in the name of celebration.

In fact, in all the conversations I have had about the riots on various social media, and in person, with numerous fans over the past several days (I do live & work in Kentucky you know), only two have expressed that they didn't approve of the behavior. Only two. Every other person attempted to defend the violence in some way. Only two.

Now, I am certainly no expert on psychology or sociology, but to me it speaks volumes about any community who will defend violence because (in their eyes), it's "normal".

And since these types of riots certainly are not exclusive to Lexington (by the way, I never said they were), I suppose that speaks volumes about our society as a whole, doesn't it?

I also find it disturbing that when I posted a follow-up link, and listed the reasons I was concerned (the riots were large & violent, emergency responders were being attacked, etc), I received several comments about how that was "my opinion" and that they "disagreed with me".

I re-read the post. Nothing I said was opinion. Everything listed actually happened. I responded as such, as a point of clarification. The response? They reiterated that it was my "opinion".

I don't even know how to respond to that. Do they actually think the riots didn't occur? Weren't very big? Are they ignoring the multitudes of evidence? Is it a type of denial?

The fact that this happened is not anyone's opinion, any more than the fact that the Wildcats won the National Championship is. It happened. They won. People rioted. Both facts, not opinions.

Back to my FB wall, to be fair, a lot of the conversation on blew up when I wasn't even around. But as I read the comments & private messages later that night, I realized I was being attacked. Accused of starting it when I called all UK fans "stupid", and apparently at some point insulted the basketball program as well.

Confused, I went back over my posts. Everything I posted was directly in response to the rioting. No where did I call out all of the fans. I did have one mention of "stupidity", clearly directed at the violent behavior. And I never even mentioned the basketball program.

Apparently, in the fervor to defend "their"... team? fans? school? not even sure at this point... my words were twisted in their mind and I became the attacker, as I supposedly hurled insults at not only all of the fans, but also the team & the school.

But I suppose that's neither here nor there, except to show you how worked up people can become over sports.

Which leads me to yet another comment on society.

I have seen people post things on Facebook that are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, and attacking religion... yet never, never have I seen any response as strongly as what was received on my post calling a violent sports riot shameful.

How is it that our society has reached a point where a sports team will incite such an incredible response, yet prejudicial remarks about race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion receive minimal, if any, attention at all? What does that say about where our priorities lie as a people? Not as individuals, not where you say your priorities lie, but as a group, what do we get impassioned about?

I don't have any answers. Again, I am no sociologist or psychologist, but this whole thing as me deep in thought about our society, not only where we are presently, but also where we are headed.

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Thanks for reading my ramblings, and as always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Soooooo..... blogger / blog follower meetup idea

Prior to our Girls' Day in Indy, I actually had been thinking about seeing if any of my readers would be interested in a get-together of sorts.

I'd seen on other blogs that I follow where they meet up with some of their regular readers, usually while on vacation or what-not.

And I like the idea. As I was telling Steph & Candace on Saturday, there's something about my regular readers, a connection. Especially those that comment, and those that have their own blogs that I then follow.

I suppose it depends on what you blog about, how much you put into your blogs, but as you well know, other than leaving some things out for privacy's sake, I'm pretty open, it's pretty much just me, as me.

And I feel like my readers get me.

More than the people I chat with on message boards, even though I've been on those boards longer. I suppose maybe it's because here my posts are longer, more personal, more expressive of myself than a short quick note on a message board. As are yours.

And in a few cases, it seems like a few of you understand me better than a few people who know me in real life.

So why didn't I ask?

Because in my head, I couldn't think of how to ask without sounding egotistical. All who-wants-to-meet-me-ish.

But in a way I guess that's what it is, right? And... I guess I shouldn't really care if it comes off that way, because what I'm really saying, is that I want to meet you.

So... if you're interested in an in-person get-together, email me at kyfirewife@gmail.com with the following info:

name / blogger name
blog / website (if you have one - not all of my followers do)
your general location (be as specific or general as you feel comfortable)
ideas for what to do (lunch? shopping? what?)

Knowing that, at least as far as I can tell, most of my readers are not from Kentucky, I am not at all opposed to a roadtrip (the voice in my head just went "Roadtrip! Woo hoo!"), so I'll see where most of the interested readers are from and we'll pick a general destination from there, so hopefully the most people will be able to attend.

Whether I get two responses or twenty, we'll see where this leads. Hopefully it leads to meeting at least a couple of you in real life!

Thanks for checking in!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Fragments



This weather has been such a tease lately. Just warm enough for FireGirl to think she can play outside all day. Just cold or rainy enough that I have to drag her inside after not-very-long. Torture for both of us.

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FireGirl has a bad diaper rash. Again. None of her creams are working on it. Not even the prescription ones. She's had it about 2 weeks now, and it's a bad one. I'm trying one more over-the-counter ointment that we've never tried before, recommended on one of the moms' boards. If that doesn't work, I guess we'll be visiting the pediatrician.

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We delayed having our taxes done because our "tax lady"'s husband was in the hospital for over three weeks, so we were giving her a break. Finally got them done last week. We get a nice little refund, which we will be using most of to get an air conditioner (right now we have none) and a new furnace (which we will probably need in the next few years anyway). I guess it's cheaper if you get them both as a unit, so that's what we're doing. Fun, right?

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Oh, I meant to point out that we get a nice little refund if the government doesn't shut down. That would stink. Because it's supposed to hit 80 degrees here this week, and FireWife no likey the heat in a house with no A/C.

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My sister is coming to town next week. I'm taking a vacation day on Friday just to hang with her, and I can't wait!

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We have LOTS of mosquitos at our house already. Lots. Swarms. Kinda reminds me of when you see a swarm of gnats in the air during the summer, except when you get closer, they're mosquitos. And they're everywhere. They even get in the house. Makes me scared for summer.

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I haven't felt great for about two weeks. Not bad, per se, just not great. Some stomach issues that I suffer thru, then get over, then get again. And an upper respitory infection. And I'm really tired all the time.

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Saw the doctor last week and she gave me an antibiotic for the upper respitory infection, and said the rest was probably just virus-related and I just need to wait it out. Ugh. Two weeks.
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I just wanna feel all better.
Or "all, all better", as FireGirl would put it.
Tired of feeling icky and blah.

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My daughter is awesome. Have I mentioned that?

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

{{slowly steps off of soapbox}}

So, after a day of agonizing over this decision, being sick to my stomach, googling vaccines, immunizations, exemptions, etc., searching the state of Kentucky's website...

It ends up we don't have to get those vaccines in order to send FireGirl to school.

Her preschool called me back today. She said that we do, in fact, qualify for religious exemption.

me: we do?
her: yes
me: but I thought religious exemptions were an "all or nothing" thing (which is how I read all of the information I could find online)
her: no, not exactly. If you refuse or delay certain vaccines you have to specifically write the name of that vaccine on the exemption form
me: really? awesome! but we're not not getting them because of religious reasons
her: your refusing them because as a parent you believe getting them is not in your child's best interest, right?
me: yes...
her: those "beliefs" qualify as "religious", in regards to the exemption
me: really?
her: yes. Trust me, we've been thru this many times before.
me: awesome! Thank you!
her: since your daughter has some of the vaccines, just make sure you turn in her completed Immunization Certificate, as well as your signed Religious Exemption form, and be sure to specifically name any vaccines you have refused or delayed
me: awesome! and I can just bring that on her next day of class?
her: yep
me: awesome. Thanks!

And the weight fell off of my shoulders.

Although I am no longer on my soapbox, I do have a request to the State of Kentucky (and many other states as well, I am sure):
Could you please make this information easier to find? Heck, all of your information... could you make it easier to find?

I remember when I moved to Kentucky, trying to figure out how to register for this & that, get a new license, transfer my car registration, etc, etc, etc. I spent tons of time on the internet, even called & asked just to be sure, and still ended up not having all of the info I needed. It was a mess. I was furious.
Information I needed I found on the state and/or county websites, only to find out it was either outdated, or missing some pretty important pieces. It made the whole process of moving here needlessly stressful and frustrating.

Yesterday I spent hours (literally) on the internet, looking up regulations, exemptions, visiting numerous message boards, touring the state site, as well as even anti-vaccine sites, looking for information. And no where did I find this info. Why is that?

Oh well. It's a shame that the info is so hard to find. And it's a shame that some parents will get the vaccines that they don't want for their children, so they can send them to school, because they don't know about this inclusion in the exemption. Heck, after much gut-wrenching, I had FireGirl's appointment already made. So glad I cancel it and forget this whole thing. Well, at least until next year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

{{slowly climbs on soapbox}}

I don't think any parent should have to choose between putting their child thru what they consider to be an unacceptable medical risk, or enrolling them in school.

We, as the parents of FireGirl, chose for her to not have two vaccines, and to delay others. This is based on our own research of each individual vaccine.

Why look at each one individually? Because they're all different, that's why. They each have different benefits, including rates of protection, and different risks, including side effects and rates of side effects. So it doesn't make sense to look at all of them together, as if you can make one generalized decision.

Think about it.

If my doctor wants to prescribe Augmentin to me, as an antibiotic, would I object? No. It's reasonably effective, and I have no known reactions to it.
What if my doctor wanted to prescribe Illosone, as an antibiotic, to me? It's also an antibiotic, right? Well, yes, it is. But as an infant it almost killed me. So guess what, I'm gonna object, and refuse.

Kind of a simplistic example, but I think you get my point. Just because all vaccines are lumped together in a group called "immunizations" doesn't mean they're all equally effective, or equally safe. Therefore, it is wise that we look at them individually.

So... back to my point...

The only "legal" objections to not vaccinating your children for school, at least in my state, are religious (but this is a blanket exemption for all vaccines, and doesn't pertain to us), or medical (which does individualize, but essentially requires your child to have a pre-existing condition).

Which means that no matter how much I believe a particular vaccine is not right for my child, I have to choose between the medical risks, or enrolling them in school.

And I don't think a parent should have to make that decision. More importantly, I don't think our government should force those decisions on parents. Or anyone.

Now, before someone says "well, if you don't vaccinate then other parents will have to choose between the risks of being around your unvaccinated child or sending their kid to school" - I want to point out that if their child is vaccinated... if vaccines are so awesomely awesome that you felt it was worth the risk to give your child that vaccine... then why are you worried? Your vaccinated child should be perfectly safe, right? Isn't that why you got the vaccine? The only children in real "danger" would be those who were unvaccinated. And if that's not the case, if you're not so convinced that a vaccine will protect your child from the disease, then I must ask: why were you willing to put your child at risk for the side effects if you didn't believe it would work?Ugh.

I just finished re-reading the package insert for one of the vaccines. I'm literally sick to my stomach now.

Listen, I am not anti-vaccine. I understand that vaccines serve a purpose and there are benefits to getting vaccines. I'm not anti-medication or anti-doctor.

What I am is anti-government-telling-me-what-is-best-for-my-child.
I am anti-no-one-can-tell-me-the-long-term-ramifications-of-this-vaccine-because-hasn't-been-out-that-long (and I'm planning on FireGirl living past her teenage years, so...).
I am anti-someone-else-telling-me-what-to-do-without-the-willingness-or-capability-to-provide-(what I consider) reasonable-proof-to-back-it-up.

And I am sick to my stomach. We believe it is best for FireGirl to attend school, including the private (but still-required-to-meet-gov't-regulations-about-vaccines) preschool she just started. We also believe it is best for her to not get these two vaccines. We are intelligent, well-educated parents who have done our research and have reached these conclusions based on what is best for our daughter.

And, as someone with a degree in history, I am still trying to figure out how the government even has the right to make such stipulations to begin with. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. I just don't know what to do about it.

Blech.

Monday, August 3, 2009

To everyone who keeps spouting "Buy American" cars:

Do you have any idea how many AMERICAN jobs are created by "foreign" auto manufacturers?
Do you have any idea how much money is pumped into the US economy by "foreign" car companies?

I am so sick of hearing this. Why?
Because usually it's said in ignorance.
Because I'm tired of people buying into some line that their being fed by the media, or the UAW, or even our own President instead of getting the facts & thinking for themselves.

Did you know the most "American" car for 2009 is the Toyota Camry?
That five of the top 10 "American" cars are made by "foreign" manufacturers?http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0709

It's not just the plants where the cars are made either. The number of AMERICAN suppliers, sub-suppliers, and raw materials suppliers that get business from "foreign" car manufacturers is ENORMOUS. So big it's actually difficult to grasp.

Look here in the tri-state. Over 1000 people employed by TOYOTA in Kentucky alone. And that doesn't count the contractors they employ. Or the suppliers that I mentioned earlier. Over 1000 people in Ohio & Indiana employed by HONDA. Again, not counting contractors or suppliers.
And that's just the manufacturing side. Doesn't include finance (Toyota has an office in Cincinnati), sales (all over), etc.

I'm not saying buying American is bad. I'm just asking people to use their heads and think about what that really means.

Is it better to buy a "foreign" car that is built in Kentucky with the majority of its parts from the US?
or is it better to buy an "American" car that is built in Canada with a good deal of parts from foreign suppliers?

Just because the company is based in Detroit doesn't mean you're necessarily driving an "American" car.
And just because the company is based in another country doesn't mean you're not.

Just think about it.
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