Al's Rantings

A view of the world from a hillbilly perspective.

Location: Virginia

I was born and went to school in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, in southern West Virginia. After graduating from college, I got married, and began working in Bristol, TN. I have have various jobs from Tennessee to up state New York and a few points between. Now I work in West Virginia. Some day, I want to live in Alaska.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Global Warming in Virginia...

10 people studied global warming and Virginia. Guess what? They decided it was a problem.

While the group agreed on the main text of the report, there was no consensus on suggestions for dealing with climate change. That's because time ran out before the options could be fully discussed, deFur said.
Ran out of time? A subject this important and they ran out of time? Better get back together soon because.....

"At the rate we're going, Jamestown would be under water in a matter of years" and coastal cities would be flooded, Ebbin said.
Jamestown a matter of years!

Where does the public get its info? From studying the available scientific literature? Nooooo.

"Twelve months ago there was not the public sentiment that there is today," said John M. Roberts of Richmond, a conservationist. He attributed that interest in part to last year's global-warming movie "An Inconvenient Truth," featuring former Vice President Al Gore.
Uber-scientist Al and his science fiction offering. Oh, boy.

How about the Oregon Petition and its backers. Over 17000 scientist can't all be wrong.

Teacher's Pay in Ole W V

Teachers in West Virginia are wanting a bigger raise than the 2.5% being offered by Govenor Joe "Open for business" Manchin. Teacher state they are paid less than surrounding states, but it is also true that the cost of living is less.

However, one teacher union leader said cost of living is not considered by the group when it comes to putting together a salary request.
Why not? Shouldn't all things be considered?

Currently, West Virginia ranks 47th in average teacher pay at $38,360 annually, according to the National Education Association.
47th is pretty low...but wait...

A nationwide study conducted by Education Week magazine in 2001 showed that, when adjusted for cost of living, West Virginia educators were the 23rd highest paid in the country.
23rd, now that's better.

I sent a letter to the president of VPI&SU because the professors were wanting a raise to the average of their peer group. The problem was members of the peer group included Cal. Berkely, Cornell, USC, etc. All high cost of living areas.

The morale to the story is that you have to consider all aspects of living in an area.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

At the Cascades in Giles county...

Made it to the falls. Here are some pictures of the falls from a variety of perspectives. This is the first time you are able to see them from the lower trail.
A photo from downstream.

Leaving by the upper trail.
The upper trail is the less stressful way to get to and from the Cascades.
Rocks, rocks everywhere. They are coming from the top of the mountain. One day, I should take a trip to see the rock generator.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Cascades

With the temperature easily in the mid-60s, I decided that today would be a great time to take that long overdue trip to The Cascades.

After a stop to get a Mountain Dew and a sausage biscuit...I was off.

There is an option for the hike to The Cascades. One way is more difficult, but offers better scenery. The second is easy, but put you above the creek. So, I chose difficult up...for the pics. And easy down.

Here are some pics from the trip up.

Next the falls.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I have a pretty good drive to and from work, about 50 minutes, one way. And I can proudly say that in my drive, there is only one traffic light that I go through. Its usually called a "redlight" regardless of the color..."Go down to the red light and make a right to get to the creek."

This drive can be boring and quiet when I am between radio stations and I have no CDs. My most recent CD purchase is one by Van Zant. Its good southern country. The Van Zants brothers were part of the bands .38 Special and Lynard Skynard.

To help me in my time of need, the Wife got me a Sirius radio. I had my sights set on a "Hillbilly Kit"...squirrel tails for the antenna, shag carpet for the dashboard, and a gas pedal that looked like a big, bare foot. But the radio is much better. I was excited about getting it hooked up until I read the part about the antenna installation. The manual simply says " put the antenna where it can get a good reception and route it into the vehicle and to the radio." Sound easy, but I frown on putting a hole in the roof of my truck, so I had to snake it into the passenger door, behind door gaskets, and up to the radio, without it looking too hick.

After being satisfied with my results, I hooked it up, and fired it up. One call to Sirius and I'm ready to rock and roll. on...loud and clear!

This radio will serve to prevent arguments over Artist or Title , cause it tells you this info right on the radio. For a small piece of electrical equipment, this radio is more complicated than the 6 cylinder engine in my first car, 1977, Ford, Mustang II, Mach I, with a 4 speed manual transmission.

Best part...good channel choices and good reception.
Second best part...a little remote control.
Bad part...remote automatically equals channel surfing, just like the tv remote.

But that a "good" bad to have.