Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hands On Skills For Everyone....

The WSJ had an interesting headline today

Welders Make $150,000? Bring Back Shop Class

The story is about skills that companies can't find in the US, hard hands on skills like welding and how we are not really teaching those skills anymore. The story is a good read, but I want to look at this from a different perspective.

Even if you are not going into those fields, lots of those skills are just good to have, even if you don't ever use them professionally or even around the house.

For example, when I was a kid, I built a couple of Heathkit kits, from these I learned some basic electronics and circuits (stuff I always had an interest in) as well as learned soldering.  Outside of some stuff I do in ham radio once in a while I really don't use those skills. But I still have them.  Since then I have learned some basic wood turning and have small lathe in my basement.

But neither woodturning nor electronics assembly feed my family. But the feeling I had as a kid and get as an adult of truly building some physical has a lot of value.  Learning how to build physical things is a positive no matter what you want to do in life.

As much as the app revolution is nice, I have to say the personal satisfaction I got and get building physical things is very different and in general is better than the satisfaction I get when building a system, database, etc.

Right now on my desk I have a pen I turned, it only took an hour and it isn't a complex process but I can hold it, look at it and feel a real pride in it.

I am not saying give up the history major to become a welder, what I am saying I think everyone could do with some shopclass.

Full disclosure, both of my kids have taken shop class in middle school.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Naperville Is A Top 10 City For New College Grads...

Who don't want to live in a big city....

As someone who lived in Naperville as a new college grad, let me say, live in a big city.  Nothing against Naperville, but if you can live in Chicago for a while before you have kids and the desire for a yard, do so.

No 40 something ever thinks, you know I wish I lived in the suburbs longer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Nine Vote Yes, But Only Five Are At The Meeting...

WBEZ does a great job covering the parliamentary maneuver that  made it look like a house committee voted unanimously to approve funding for the Obama library when 5 members of the committee were at the meeting...

Yes, it might have been allowed under the rules, but when it comes down to it, this whole procedure may illustrate what is wrong with Springfield.  Because outside of the mind of someone who has spent way to much time in the is there anyone who thinks this is how a western democracy should work?  Where you take a vote for one thing and then vote to turn it into a vote for a different thing.  Seriously, what does this accomplish?  Do you think it gives legitimacy to the vote? Do you really think it convinces anyone to agree with the position?

I sincerely wish someone would ask why, not can you, but why in the heck did you?

If you wonder why there is support for term limits in Illinois, it's in part due to stuff like this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We Get Calls...

This time by an outfit that showed up on the caller ID as Mouthpiece Com asking questions about the governors race.

Well questions might not be the right term.

After saying "not trying to sell you anything" and me responding to my "if I can ask him some questions" by saying they were not pushing a viewpoint.

Then asked me if I would vote for Quinn or Rauner...

After answering Rauner he didn't have any questions...

Go Figure.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Another Big Ten School In Illinois... Really.

Under the heading of I can't make this up, there is a proposal to try to turn a second state school (after the U of I of course) into a Big Ten School..
Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) has introduced legislation that would require the Illinois Board of Higher Education to set up a commission to look into having one of Illinois’ 11 other public universities join the Big Ten. 
Murphy has said enrollment at the University of Illinois has become so competitive, many students with top grades and test scores don’t make it in, and end up going to Big Ten schools in other states. He thinks more would go to schools in Illinois if another public university were in the Big Ten.

Well, lets start with the obvious question, what the heck does top academics have to do with the Big 10 in any way shape or form?  Seriously, when does athletic conference make a difference in the academic quality.

Well OneMan,  Big 10 schools have high average ACT scores, well some of them do, several of them however have averages that are not much above NIU's for example (Nebraska) also Iowa accepts 84% all applicants (vs 44% at U of I).  From what I understand for years Ohio State had open enrollment.

But even take all of that out of the picture....

Lets look at this from a practical athletic viewpoint...

Look at the last two schools the Big 10 has added, Rutgers and Maryland.  Does anyone really think they got to join the club because of their quality academics or because of because of their access to large media markets?

Only three schools in the state play Div I-BCS football and two of them are already in the Big 10 and the third NIU would have to spend millions just to upgrade the football stadium. For any of the other schools to join the conference they would also have to spend millions to upgrade their football stadiums as well as upgrade their programs to Div I-BCS programs and that would cost millions of dollars.

If you want to upgrade the academics of a state school, I am all for that.  Odds are by the time the process would bear fruit it would be long after either of my kids would be done with college. But using an athletic conference as some sort of smoke screen.

If you want more in state smart kids to go to state schools, upgrade the state schools, get tuition under control. That is going to help, if a kid is going to a school just because it is in a specific athletic conference, the kid isn't that smart to begin with.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Well It Looks Like It Is Going to Be Bruce...

Suffice to say, the next few months are going to be interesting.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Democratic Pal Of Mine Got A Call Encouraging Him To Vote In The Republican Primary..

It was from the teachers union suggesting he take a Republican ballot and vote for Dillard...