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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

April 16 tragedy internal review committees

The overview of the findings concerning the Virginia Tech murders has been released.

On the Security Infrastructure it was found:
good cooperation and sound agreements between Virginia Tech and local police, fire, and EMS jurisdictions including ongoing training exercises; sound emergency communications; robust communications infrastructure; a sound emergency preparedness plan; engagement of the leadership in campus emergencies; and a nationally accredited campus police department.
Having a nationally accredited campus police department did little to affect the murders that took place.

The security group recommends enhancements in physical infrastructure, emergency communications, emergency preparedness, and selected protocols.
Nothing about students and staff protecting themselves as far as I can see. Too bad. I will read the entire report just to be sure.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This must be called Hok-ohol (combination of Hokie and alcohol). I found this at the Kroger in Blacksburg, Virginia.

It seems a little strange for a land grant, state university to have an official wine, alcohol, adult beverage. What signal does it send to kids about VT's stand on alcohol. We spend lots of $$$ telling kids not to drink and then put the Hokie bird on this wine....mixed signals.

By the way, isn't there a cheapo wine called Thunder Bird?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Virginia Education Association Meeting

According to the VEA web site, "Convention Delegates Approve New Business Items in Virginia Beach". Take a look at all the items.

One issue that is constantly brought up is the lack of teachers...cannot find enough teachers...we need teachers...etc. But looks like they do not want to look too hard because they rejected a couple of items that may have made it easier to recruit teachers.

Item #20 - Don't want to recruit instructional employees from state colleges.......
The VEA shall begin the process of actively recruiting instructional employees in state-supported institutions of higher education.
(Moved by Joseph Emerson, York, and seconded by Carol Bauer, York)
Item #21 - Don't want to recruit outsiders...
The VEA and local Associations will initiate programs to recruit and support new professionals of all ideological stances and make them members of our professional community. These programs will utilize current research on why new teachers leave the profession and will include comprehensive internal organization with public relations support.
(Moved by Shawn Tickle, Bedford Co., and seconded by Imogene Morris, Bedford Co.)
Item #37 - Don't want to give potential teachers a financial break...
The VEA shall seek legislation to provide forgivable college loans to students who, upon completion of teacher preparation in a Virginia college or university, teach in Virginia public schools for 5 years.
(Moved by Joyce Tyree, Culpeper, and seconded by Michael Weisbrod, SVEA)
I would like to see some of the reasons and discussion behind these decisions.

No wonder there is a teacher shortage.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


After reading my friend John’s post about his wedding anniversary, I began to ponder my marital status which began in the Year of our Lord, 1981. I can say with confidence that I am lucky that The Wife has hung around for all these years. We have not made it easy for her.

The Wife has had to live in a house with 3 often smelly, hairy, sometimes ill-mannered, usually forgetful, occasionally gaseous, and now and then rowdy males. Impromptu wrestlin’ matches were common and collateral damage was inevitable.

All these years translate into lots of dirty male underwear to sort and wash, thousands of meals to prepare, countless hours cleaning the kitchen, and untold time consumed with picking up, straightening up, and cleaning. And trying to communicate with males is an issue. My idea and her idea of cleaning the kitchen do not jive. My idea of cleaning is to put my dirty plate and glass in the sink. Her view is a lot more complete and time consuming.

However, in recent times, I have taken pleasure in operating the ole Oreck. Once The Wife told me “nothing turns me on like a man running the vacuum cleaner”, I could not be stopped.

For all her years of suffering, The Wife will finally gain the majority, just like the Democrats in the Senate. She and Little One will gain the majority after Son #2 gets out of college and flees the house for sane accommodations. The score will be females 2, males 1. I’m okay with that. She deserves it.

So soon there will be dresses, frilly clothes, hair spray, make up, pantyhose, and various feminine products about the house. It may look like a sorority house, but who cares? And lastly, there will be boys hanging around calling on Little One. I’ll be ready. They will be no match, they will not be a worthy opponent. I will have my “A” game ready…sittin’ at the kitchen table, cleaning my 12 gauge, and telling horror stories about fighting in the hot and sweaty jungles of Vietnam, or just giving them a stone-cold stare.

With this power shift, I hope The Wife will re-up for at least another 14 years. Now is not the time to cut out because “You have the power!”

Now excuse me while I go run the vacuum cleaner.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Its not what you know, its who you know...

Remember when Jim Webb's assistant was caught going into the Russell Senate building with a loaded gun and two load magazines. It look like a no-brainer for the prosecution because:
"It was determined that he did not have a license to carry a pistol in the District of Columbia," Schneider said. "He was in possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition. He was subsequently placed under arrest and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition."
But look at the outcome.
"After reviewing and analyzing all of the evidence in the case, we do not believe the essential elements of the crime of carrying a pistol without a license can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt," U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor, top prosecutor in the District of Columbia, said in a short statement.
The US Attorney could not find the essential elements? The man was arrested with no license, a loaded gun, and two magazines. And there was not enough evidence?

How hard is it to be a US Attorney? If he could not prosecute this case, how in the world will he be able to prosecute difficult cases.

I just shake my head.

Status of VT Memorial

I was in Blacksburg, VA on business tonight so I decided to check the status on the Virginia Tech Memorial. All photos were across the street from Burress Hall.