Friday, February 14, 2014

Dear Teachers of America:

I am taking time out of my busy day to remind you of something that shouldn't need mentioning---if you trash talk your parent volunteers and/or our children, rest assured we WILL find out about it.

Also, if you trash talk your fellow instructors and tell us their personal business, it does not make you look cool and friendly---it makes you look disloyal and as if you have a 'divide and conquer' mentality.  In simple mobster terms, 'never go against the family'.  Present a united front all the time, even if everyone in the cast detests each other in the dressing room.  If parents decide to trash talk a colleague you should deflect the conversation as best you can, unless there is something unethical taking place, in which case, offer to help the parent who may feel lost or afraid to take action, then follow through.

When a parent comes to you with confidential information about her child, such as learning or emotional disabilities, that information is meant to remain confidential so you and the parent can become an educational team to help the student.  For you to break code and blab that information, especially in a negative context paired with, "I would normally care this child's feelings are hurt, but he/she is a crybaby and the smallest tic is the end of his/her world," is unacceptable.

Also, telling another parent you cannot pass a student to the next grade because "everyone" knows the child has learning issues and would never normally advance to the next level is unacceptable, as well as admitting you cannot pass a child because you  did not actually administer assessment testing yourself so you're unaware of the child's abilities and mastery of topics.

For you to fabricate lies about your parent volunteers is unacceptable as well, and yes, we do talk to one another, so we always find out what you are saying.  Always.  Perhaps you WANT us to know what you're saying about us and our kids?  Perhaps you WANT us to report you to the principal?  If this is your goal, what can be said except, "Mission: Accomplished"?

We are not on campus aiding the school and your classroom so you can give us the work you don't want to do because you're too lazy to do it yourself. We should not do your administrative tasks since those are confidential in nature, much like a child's report card.  Besides, how are you really going to know how your students are performing if you don't handle these assessments on your own?  See above paragraph.

Using your "fiercely guarded" personal time with your own children as an excuse not to handle your own workload is also unacceptable.  Your parent volunteers are there to help you, but there is only so much we should do. 

Keeping the children under control, keeping the class noise level to a minimum, keeping kids focused and on task and otherwise acting as authority figures to  them is YOUR job and supposedly what your mentor helped you learn.  YOU are responsible for keeping the environment conducive to learning, and saying you have 32 students and cannot possibly manage your own batch of kids is no excuse. You need to have a system, especially if you've been on the job more than 10 years. 

Other teachers also have 32 students and their classrooms run efficiently.  Other teachers keep their kids in check, and other teachers do  their own administrative work, such as assessment testing.

Another thing--your classroom should be as neat as possible.  I have two kids and my house can sometimes look untidy, so I know how hard it is with 32 mess makers, however, your classroom should never be full of your junk, and bags full of your crafting supplies, your leftover food, half empty chip bags, dirty food storage containers, etc. If a parent comes in and straightens the classroom, your desk, your storage cabinets, etc., you should be on the ball enough to keep it that way.  It should not look like it's never been cleaned the following week when that parent returns.  Just because someone is good at organizing doesn't mean she enjoys it and wants to keep doing it week after week because you have no idea how to put things away.  A tidy, organized room helps the children, believe it or not, because it's good for the environment as a whole, by helping decrease chaos and delays because supplies can be found more easily.  How many times as the class erupted into shouting and noise while you were assisting a parent who needed to find paper clips or glue sticks?  Keep it in its proper place all the time so no one has to ask where it is.

If you see yourself in this blog post, then you need to seriously reconsider how you behave, and maybe even consider a career change.

In the meantime, know that just because other parents aren't saying anything, it does not mean we are being complacent.  We are networking and we are documenting.  We are also reporting you to the principal, to the school board, and in some situations, the unions.

We are also watching out for each other's children to make sure they are being treated fairly, so even though a parent you have been lying about isn't present, rest assured the parents who ARE will be taking mental notes and relaying everything.

Big Sister is here, and she is the parent volunteers you don't appreciate and try to make trouble for.  There are more of us than there are of you, so you'd better toe the line.


Gina Guillotine

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Knitted Towel

I really wanted to make a quick knit over the Christmas holidays so I grabbed some Dishie and made a kitchen towel.  This one is super easy.  Ready?

I invented this pattern because I wanted to knit something I didn't have to think about, and because I wanted something reversible.

What you need:

1 ball of Dishie, or other cotton yarn
1 set of size 7 needles, either straights or circs.

What you do:

Don't worry about gauge so much.  It's a towel.  It can be as small or large as you want.  This one measures roughly 21 1/2" by 19".

Cast on 75 stitches.  Determine if you want to begin with seed or garter stitch and go for it.

Work four ridges in garter stitch, then six rows in seed stitch.  Repeat until you're almost out of yarn, then cast off.

If you notice on my picture below, the very bottom edge has more than six seed stitch rows.  That was the cast on row, and I thought the towel was going to be 100% seed stitch, and then I decided I couldn't do an entire rectangle of just seed, so I switched to the garter rows.

Making the rows really fat, like 8 ridges of garter, and 10 rows of seed, would be interesting, too.

Wash and dry towel a few times to remove cottonseed oil, then enjoy your new, absorbent, functional, beautiful kitchen towel.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Ripoff Report feeds Trolls and Cyber Bullies

Never make any posts about anyone on the Ripoff Report no matter how tempting.  This web site is a den of lies and when a consumer tries to get help with something, it awakens the cyber bullies, and the cyber bullies are free to retaliate by ruining the victim's reputation, which is why I now have false reports on the site and my reputation has been temporarily shattered.  I wrote an expose because I had been scammed by a client, and she took everything to the next level.

The Ripoff Report hides behind freedom of speech, but what happens on the site is something else.  Their own TOS says everything needs to be truthful, but when falsehoods and lies are posted, those lies go against RR's TOS, but they leave them posted for everyone to see, meanwhile they delete the TOS complaints.  I have emailed them repeatedly to tell them the lies about me go against their TOS and that I can prove my side of things, but they don't care.  They maintain they never remove anything for any reason.

They say a victim can post a rebuttal, only they take the rebuttals and label them as 'updates' sometimes, and they squeeze them into different parts of the threads so it looks like the victim is recanting the claims, which further damages  the victim's reputation.

For my own rebuttals, I refused to list my own name again because I didn't want search engines to keep finding me and keeping me at the top of the search pages.  Because I called myself, 'the above named person' instead, the RR was free to put my rebuttals anywhere they liked and it made my cases look even worse.

RR says they never remove anything because they don't want victims to be bullied into submission by companies, but the true criminal nature of RR is revealed in that statement.  The real problem is when the deceitful person being reported turns out to be a cyber terrorist with years upon years, and pages upon pages of dirt, filth, and frightening behavior tied to her name.  Should a person go forth and say, "Yes, I was a victim of this person, too," or should a person be afraid to be honest about it and keep quiet?  When RR refuses to help with victimization, and allows cyber trolls to say anything they want, and it all stays online to be found, even many years from now, who is the real bully?  Who is being inadvertently coerced into submission?

They do not remove anything from their site because they say they don't want companies to bully victims into submission.  Meanwhile, the true victims of defamation are left to try and rebuild which can be difficult, and sometimes impossible.

There are web sites that will accept hundreds of dollars to rebuild a victim's reputation by creating positive content to try and shove the RR pages toward the back of searches.  A victim can do this for free, though, but it's very time consuming.

There is another web site that will allow a victim to make an authorized statement which, if it gets to the first page of search results, is supposed to help, but this costs $500.  I admire the battle of this site's owner, he wants to shut down RR, but few people have that much money to give to anyone.

Google will not remove the negative RR pages from search engine results without a court order.  It's hundreds of dollars for a court order, and it will only take care of Google.  There are OTHER search engines that perform crawls and eventually, a person can rest assured, his or her false RR will make it to the top slot on the first page of any search engine's results page.  The real solution should be for all search engines to D-list the RR and stop showing the web site on their pages, but when the RR and search engines are making money from one another, there is no way the RR is going to be D-listed.

Sounds like an impossible situation, doesn't it?  Well, that's where RR comes to the rescue.  Pay these extortionists $2000 and they will "investigate" your case and then remove the information.

The entire matter would not be such a problem if Google's algorithms didn't pick up what's been labeled, "the humiliation algorithm."  Click the link and read about the ongoing battle between one man, RR, and Google.  If you don't want to read, then watch the video.

The RR may have begun as something useful, but it has become a bastardized version of itself.  The entire site is full of one lie after another.  The problem is that everything posted becomes one person's word against another, and it is difficult to find the truth in the middle, if any is to be found at all.  The RR can solve many problems for everyone if they would consider the true victims---those like me who have blatant lies posted on the site.  When we can prove everything, we should be able to have falsehoods removed.  We should not have to suffer having our reputations destroyed because some people have severe mental illnesses and too much time on their hands like my cyber bully.

If you have been the victim of slander, libel, and defamation on RR or some other smear site, you can try to repair your reputation.  Read this page and follow the advice.  The basics include increasing your positive online presence. 

Have you been victimized by RR or a cyber bully?  What did you do to combat the situation?  Have you been able to recover? 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Revisiting Skyrim

Oh, stop grumbling.  I can both hear and see you, you know.  It's been a long time since I've posted about Skyrim, which I actually need to go play right now since Miss Muffet is going to bed.

As you may remember, you were quizzed on it, afterall, I had two characters, both high level, both amazing assassins, and I had over 300 hours invested in EACH character.  Unfortunately, when that much data is stored on an old Xbox 360 that everyone in a house uses, eventually, it begins to freeze and crash.  The load times for my game were insane, and sometimes the game would load and then crash.

Naturally, I stopped playing for a long time, even though there are still six or seven achievements that need to be won.  Who has the patience for crashing?  And what was there to be done about any of it?  The thought of deleting the save files and starting fresh was devastating.  Sparkleshine would no longer be married to that hot, sexy man of hers.  Cupcake would no longer be the best thief and assassin in Tamriel. 

After too many glasses of wine and grousing about the Xbox, I decided to delete everything and start fresh.  It was one of those, "Screw the Xbox, it's not going to tell ME what to do, this is AMERICA," kinds of things. 

After clearing the files from the system settings, I was surprised at how good it felt.  I was now free to be anything.  I could be a mage that uses only magic, or I could be a Reguard, or a high elf.  The possibilities were limited, but in my euphoria, they felt endless.

My brand new character, Sofia, is a cat person.  I really didn't feel like picking anything else on that day, and could not for the life of me think of a goofy name to give her.  She is trying to join the Companions and will be a werewolf because I still need to complete the werewolf perk tree to get the achievement for that.  She will also be a Stormcloak because at the end of the day, I (Sofia, of course) still have a thing for Ulfric even though he's a detestable racist who only cares about himself. 

Sofia can't help her feelings for Ulfric.  When he and she were on that wagon together, facing beheading at the hands of those  douches the Imperials, who are really doing what those horrid Thalmor tell them to do, it was the beginning of the end.  He is dead sexy.  It's the voice and the hair.  Plus, if you're familiar with Ulfric's history in the Elder Scrolls, you know he's a total badass, so yeah, duh, of course Sofia's going to run off and join his cause.  She needs to do something about that female blacksmith in Windhelm, though.  She's a bit TOO into Ulfric for Sofia's liking.  Maybe she will trip and fall into the smithing forge or something. 

Sparkleshine had a thing for Ulfric, too, but when she wore the Amulet of Mara, he was immune to her advances, so she settled for Stenvar.  Stenvar isn't a bad choice, though, he's totally hot, and he's a badass, too, but it was pretty sad to come home from adventuring and find him cooking a pot of food, and hearing him say, "Hello, dear."  It was cool, though, to bring him on the road and hear him say, "Let's go find something to FIGHT!"

The problem with having a traveling companion in Skyrim is that they kind of cap at around level 40.  They never get any stronger, meanwhile, the character you play keeps gaining levels and power.  They are handy, though.  I like to travel with mages, though, because they use all that cool magical stuff while I hide in a corner and use a bow and arrows on everything.  At the end of the day, I'm always grabbing too many things from dungeons, and Divines help us if I've killed any dragons because bones are heavy, so I load everything into my helpers' inventories and make them carry it all.

It has been so much fun to reconnect with Skyrim.  I should have gone with an entirely new type of character, something that can become a mage, or other player that I've never used before, but I simply enjoy stealth, bows, arrows, and if necessary, one handed weapon combat.  Currently, Sofia carries two scimitars she nabbed from some Redguards she killed and she loves to whip them both out and go wild on someone, slice, slice, slice, slice, power slice, BAM, and KILL CAM!

While I am totally obsessed with sweet, innocent, happy, fluffy bunny Animal Crossing: New Leaf during the day, at night, I want sneaking and blood.  I want fighting, and strategic playing.  I want to go where I want to go, and do what I want to do. 

I have found myself returning to some old habits, one of which entails the inability to sleep unless I have hunted and killed a few dungeons full of draugr first, or bandits, or Silverhand bandits----you know, whatever it takes.

And with that, I must depart.  Lydia and I are on our way up to see the Greybeards at High Hrothgar so they can teach me about the ways of the shouts.  Poor Lydia.  She just charges right on in there whenever we have something to fight, and last night she got killed by a frost troll.  I won't leave her that way, though, I'll reload a previous save and revive her.  Lydia is very cool.  Even though her armor is heavy and clangy, she's fun.   As soon as I can buy a house in Whiterun, she will be my housecarl, and then I will switch to Jenassa.

Jenassa can be purchased at the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun.  She is a light armor wearer like me, and is great with a bow and arrows.  She is probably my favorite fighting companion because she understands the importance of quiet, shadow, and stealth. 

Alrighty, then.  I must go now.  Ulfric needs my help and the business with the Greybeards can wait no longer.

Watch the skies, traveler!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Miss Muffet was Dorothy this year.

This was a Simplicity pattern, but it was anything but simple.  I hated this pattern, but the dress turned out nicely.  Miss Muffet LOVED it, and can't wait to wear it again, and again, and again!  She plans to wear it to school. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Williams Fishtales Pinball Machine

Um.  This is just getting a bit embarrassing.  We now have a Fish Tales pinball machine.  I know, it seems like we have amassed a bunch of tables, but we still only have two.  I am NOT letting go of that rule.  If the husband wants a new machine, one has  to go.

This  time around, he got rid of the Roadshow table. We still have the Bride of Pinbot. I never did a post about Roadshow because I hated it.  I was so glad to get rid of that dang table, I don't know where to begin.

That one has two dummy heads, Red and Ted, and this dumbass song by Rosanne Carter Cash that goes, "Every little dream I dream about you, every (something something I can't remember) of you... I love you so much I hatechoo... I oughta keep ya locked up at home... (something something) honey when you leave me here all alone."  I do NOT miss that annoying ass song.  Every time it would start playing, I would totally dissociate and shut down until it was done.  No joke.  It was seriously traumatic to listen to it.

When the machine is turned on, Red says, "Time to go to work, let's fire that thing up!"  It became a running joke around here every time Mr. Guillotine would say, "Time for some pinball," we'd say, "NO!  Don't fire that thing up!"  I hated that game BEFORE he brought it home because I played it at the Pacific Pinball Museum.  I knew what it did and just didn't like it.  It's not fun.

I'm not sure how long we had Roadshow in the house.  Seems like an eternity.  Everyone in the house quit playing it EXCEPT for Mr. Guillotine.  One day, he finally decided to have mercy on the rest of us and look for something else.  He found a Fishtales in great shape on Craigslist and swapped Roadshow for it.  So, now we have Fishtales.  I'm not exactly back to playing pinball again, but I have played this table and it's fun.  I can safely say I'm just burned the heck out on pinball.

See the fish at the top?  I have named it Finnegan.  When you do something in the game, he flops and flips and makes all kinds of clackety racket.

 I can't remember how to light the stringer, but it gives you something good if you do.

What good does it do to go fishing without a tackle box?

A boat that does something.  The ball in the bottom of it is for something, and I don't remember what.  What a useless post this is.  hahahaha  I'm seriously just burned out.  Hitting that ball gives you more points or something.

What's a Williams table without some criss-crossing ramps?  These ramps make the table feel like a pinball machine should feel.  I like the criss-cross ramps.  Hurricane had them, Taxi had them, and Diner had them.  On the left is the fishing reel.  You have to get the ball in there for some bonus action, or a tall tale or something.

Anyway, the husband is glad to have this new machine in the house.  The Bride is a bit lonely.  She doesn't get turned on each and every day anymore, but Fishtales does.  The Bride gets booted up if we have people over.  We'll probably always have her here, it's a GREAT pinball machine, it's just that this one is new to us, so it gets used more frequently.

I think the perfect pinball collection would include; Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bride of Pinbot, Whitewater, Diner, Hurricane, the Guns & Roses machine with the sound turned all the way off (seriously it is a GOOD table, it's just that fricken Axl can't sing and the songs are annoying), Funhouse, and hmmm...there's got to be one more.  Maybe not. My husband's collection would consist of some of the above, but would also include the Addams Family and Twilight Zone.  I've not played Twilight Zone, so it might be a fun one, but I've played the Addams Family and wasn't impressed.  Could have been the table was just in shitty condition, though.

Ok, so there you have it.  The newest pinball machine to enter the Guillotine domicile.  Leave a message, gone fishin'.

Friday, September 6, 2013

More From TeaParty

Oh, the animals in my Animal Crossing: New Leaf game crack me up.  They can be so lazy sometimes.  Here we have my character, Cupcake, having a common discussion about delivering packages.  Please notice the cast of characters.

Biskit the dog wants me to make a delivery for him.  OK.  Easy enough.  He wants me to make the handoff to Ribbot.  See that robot-y frog?  Guess who that is?  Please note that Sylvia the kangaroo is eavesdropping.  She is a total noseybody, but has no role in this scenario.  Anyway, why couldn't Biskit handle his own delivery since Ribbot was RIGHT THERE?  hahaha

 After the gift, which was a shirt, was given to Ribbot, he decided to get all super pumped and give me a major award.  A BANANA.  Um.  I have bananas growing on the beach.  hahahaha   A BANANA!  He couldn't do better than that?  All the gifts I've sent to him in the mail, and he hands over a BANANA!  So amusing.  And I love how jazzed he is about his gift.  He really thinks he's giving me something special.  "it's all you, money!"  hahaha

Let's talk about Sylvia, now.  She is one of my favorites because she is clearly mentally disturbed.  She's the one from the other Animal Crossing entry who said she likes to take tape and pick up all the lint from her carpets.

She's talking about a sheep in our town named Wendy.  Wendy thought Sylvia didn't have enough furniture.  Sylvia has plenty of furniture, and spends way too much time inside her house doing the cleaning.  She uses tape to get lint off her rug, for Tom Nook's sake!  I should give her a vacuum.

Wendy, by the way, is normal.  I like her, too.  I didn't hear the exchange between the two animals, but Sylvia is paranoid.  She thinks people bury pitfall seeds around her house at night, even when they don't.  hahaha  She's too funny.

Yeah.  So, she's going to become a HOARDER now to prove a point to Wendy?  hahahaha  As if she weren't messed up enough. 

Then, Sylvia came to visit my house:

I realize the house is a bit... not as organized as it should be... but it's only because the house is a work in progress.  I'm still in the process of collecting the furniture I need to complete the rooms.  Sylvia is OBSESSED with cleaning.  The way I see it, she wanted to come over on the spur-of-the-moment.  I'm a big believer in coming over whenever you want if you want to see ME, but if you want to see my HOUSE, you need to make an appointment.  And, if Sylvia thinks my house is cluttered, then SHE can whip out her super industrial sized roll of tape and get to work on the carpets, cob webs, furniture, and whatever else she thinks needs to pass the white glove test.  It's a good thing I find her mental instability so entertaining.

In the above conversation, she told me she had just finished cleaning and rearranging all of her furniture.  I feel sorry for her little joey.  He just sits in her pouch all day long and never gets to come out and play.  All she does is clean house!  hahaha  She cleans and asks me for more pieces of furniture if I happen to see anything I think she'll like.  I'd really like to know how her joey turns out when he's grown.  He'll probably be a total slob and never even bother to change his shirt.  hahaha

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