Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A tragedy

My heart goes out to the friends and families of those killed yesterday at Virginia Tech. As the parent of two college students, I just can't imagine how they will go on.

The tragedy has set off a lot of emotions among friends and colleagues. Lots of argument for gun control, etc. But I disagree. Had the teacher or other students in the classroom been armed, there wouldn't have been such a large-scale massacre. Or if the students had been taught defensive measures, as some students in Texas schools are being taught, they might have had a chance to survive. One of the things some of our students are learning is how to use a textbook as a shield, to grab their desks and use them to charge the shooter, using the desks as both shield and weapon. The worst thing they can do is dive for cover and wait to be executed.

But that's the natural instinct. Without training, any one of us would do the same. But one man armed with a pistol is no match for 30 charging students. He might shoot one, maybe two, but he would be overpowered before he could kill 32 and wound 26.

A lot of blame going around, too, for school officials who didn't sound the alarm after the first shootings. But honestly, how were they to know? Sure, they should have done more than email 2 hours after the first shootings. They should have locked down the school until he was caught. But that's easy to say in hindsight, isn't it? The students had already been somewhat traumatized earlier in the year by a similar incident and school officials probably weren't eager to alarm them again.

What concerns me now are the copycats coming out of the woodwork on campuses across the country. Bomb threats, notes passed to students saying worse is yet to come. Families need to wake up and get help for their out of control kids. They need to be aware of what's going on with their children. They need to keep their guns locked up, out of kids' reach and they need to ask why if their college-aged child feels the need to buy a gun. A little concern and awareness can go a long way toward averting a potential tragedy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


For some reason lately I've been really bored. So bored, I've resorted to cleaning my house and doing laundry. Even my writing is boring me to tears. I guess this is one of the hazards of living an hour from anything resembling civilization and of not having my own car. The transmission went out on my 13 year old, 300,000 mile Crown Vic and it's just not worth spending the money to fix it. But with our irregular income in the construction biz, borrowing money to buy one isn't feasible and shelling out the dough for another used car--just as old and with nearly as many miles, which is all we can afford--doesn't make sense either. So I'm stuck either going everywhere with the hubby or taking off on my own in his work truck--which I don't do often.

About the only thing exciting that's happened recently is that a friend got the call! And I can't even tell you about that yet until everything's final.

So I'm thinking about posting an online serial of my first book. I loved that book, it came very close to selling to Harlequin Special Edition, but it's not likely to ever see the light of day. My writing has improved big time since that first book and my voice has changed a lot. So, knowing all that, would anyone be interested in reading a chapter a week or so?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

When is it okay to halt progress?

The electric co-op here is upgrading from one-phase to three-phase service--whatever that means. To do this, they want to bring the poles across our property. Um, no. That would mean taking down 4 big trees, chopping off one whole side of about fifty 40 foot or taller trees, and I'd have electric poles in my front yard, my garden, and my pasture.

Why can't they put them across the street, where the people have done nothing with the property, they have no big trees, and they wouldn't look out of place? Because the neighbor across the street is the grandfather to the budding serial killer we've had to deal with for the last ten years. He's an ass.

I'm not going to consent to them putting those line on our property. They'd have to come inside to service the lines, and if they have to go in the pasture, we'd be risking having our cows get out. Besides, here's a picture of my front yard. Would you want poles stuck in the middle of it?

I think the pole that's already there looks bad enough. So I'm voting to halt progress--right in my front yard.