Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meet George Jetson!

So how many have the theme to the Jetsons going through their brain right now?  I LOVED the Jetsons growing up!  Ok, the Flintstones, too... 

I just knew when I got to this age, I would be using a rocket pack to get around!  I'd have a little Jetson's rocket car to "drive" around in.  We'd be living the life.  I actually started getting disappointed once, because we weren't even close to that lifestyle.  Actually, we are pretty close!  Unfortunately, we don't have the car.  We have instant contact to people, the internet, you name it-  in our pocket, purse, etc...  If you have some brands of cell phones, they can actually show your live picture to whoever you are speaking with.  You can use a computer to do just about anything.  Some of those things are getting us into trouble.  Some are a great help. 

There is a problem though, we all say, we don't have enough time.  Why?  Could it be that technology is taking up our time?  Could technology for all the help it is, also be a distraction from the really important things?  Do we have too much communication?  Do we get in to more things than we can handle because technology can help us out?  I mean, it's not like we have to go to the river to wash our clothes!  These are all questions I am asking myself lately.  I'm not sure if I know they answers.  Some of the answers I am coming to, make me uncomfortable.

So what do you think?  What is technology doing to your life?  Is it improving it or making it complicated?  Is there a better way to use it?  How is it impacting our kids?  Please, let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Just Business and Other Promotions...

This week I was talking, well not really talking... I was having a conversation on Facebook with a friend who was lamenting about the small town we live in.  There is a new business that is a coffee house and also has live entertainment.  This week they had a blues band come to town for two nights.  You could see this band perform and there was no cover charge, no charge at all.  They were working for tips.  TIPS!!!!  There were 12 people there the first night!  Oh my goodness!  TWELVE PEOPLE!  You see, folks around here have been asking for a business like this to come around for a while.  My friend was disappointed that now, after having the business here, people weren't supporting it.  I hear this often.  There are a lot of businesses in this town that have closed recently.  I have to be honest, I have thought about it.  There is not a day that goes by that at least one customer does not come in and tell me something is cheaper at Walmart, Bass Pro, Cabelas... you name the big box store, it's mentioned.  It has become a source of frustration for me.  I was talking about it with a customer this week and the customer said something very profound, "People don't have a sense of community anymore."  Is that where we are folks?  Will the 21st century be the end of small business as we know it?  I hope not.  What are your thoughts?

So, now, here is my promotion.  It's not for me, it's for friends of mine.  They have bought a building and are starting a farmers market in their town.  They had the market outdoors for the summer, but their plans are so much bigger than that.  This is the kind of thing that a community can support.  Will they?  Will we?  Well, the question still hasn't been answered as of today.  Here's a link to their project:
No amount is too little or too large.  Either way, thanks for taking a look at it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Virginia "Tebow" Law- My Perspective

My apologies to my friends on Facebook who also read my blog.  This is a post I put on my page this week, but I felt I should put it on my blog for others to read.  For those who don't know I am not only a business owner, but I am also a homeschool mom.  A couple of years ago, when my kids school got more complicated, I even changed my store hours to better work around our schedule.  I love my kids very much and I love sports, hence one of my reasons for owning a sporting goods store!  Whether you are for or against the homeschool sports access law currently going through the VA legislature, I hope this helps you to understand at least one homeschool family's view.  Remember, I was writing the post on Facebook as a sort of response to some posts I had read where folks were making generalizations about homeschoolers and the law without knowing facts.  So, if some of the responses seem specific, that's why.

1. I would like to know, how many homeschoolers are you around? How many are you friends with? You seem to think homeschooling is just for conservative Christian families with 12 kids. Many people homeschool now. Some because it helps their family to be better unit. They may have a strange work schedule and homeschooling allows them to be together as a family. Some because they live in inner cities or areas where the schools are not educating their children up to a higher level. Maybe some would put their kids in private school if they could afford it. I wonder, if you lived in an area where the schools rank in the lower in the country and are literally unsafe, would you have your child in public school?  I personally don't, but I would definitely not send my kids to public schools there.  The greatest gift I have in this world are my children.

2. The statement/question has been made about homeschoolers not being held to the same requirements as the public school students when it comes to academics. This is flat out wrong.  We are actually being held to a higher requirement. We have to show academic progress for two years of our assessments, which are sent to the county superintendent to be reviewed in July. The public school athlete has only to pass 5 classes the semester before playing the particular sport they are in. In an aside to this, I have been told by numerous public school parents, that the academic standards are often skirted for certain star players. You can believe that my kids will not play sports if I perceive it is affecting them academically.

3. I guess that last line in #2 has to do with discipline. I keep hearing, "How do we discipline these kids?" Why is that being asked? How are the public school kids disciplined? They run laps, or get benched, etc... The same would apply to my kids.

4. I keep being accused of "keeping my kids away from the public schoolers" by people who are against the law. This isn't the case. My kids are friends with kids from all types of schools- public, private and homeschool. I have chosen to educate my children. It's my right as an American. I am actually taking a load off the overcrowded schools. Yes, I am protecting them, from the following things I have read in the paper this past year that have happened in our local schools: gang fights, bullying, drugs, bomb threats, racism. Do they know about these things? Yes. Do they have to deal with them as they do their schoolwork? No. I pay for my curriculum. I pay taxes that go to the county schools. I also pay taxes when I eat out in this county which also go towards the schools.

5. Rec League is not an option in certain sports once the child gets to high school age. Football, soccer, tennis would be several sports that can't be played in rec league at high school age. Soccer is offered, but the kids play it in high school, so there are not enough kids to fill a high school age rec team. Oh, and my kids have played in rec league sports. I have also coached.

6. We have to play in the district we live in. My kids can't go play in Harrisonburg, or at TA. We play where we cheer.  Oh, yes, we do cheer.  We go to games and support the team just like you do.

7. Finally, we are not guaranteed any spot on a team. Homeschoolers would have to try out. I remember watching as Broadway in football this past year. We were heartbroken. The thing is, these other schools have many students that play just one position. They have a dedicated kicker, punter, etc... Their teams are loaded. To me, it would make Broadway more competitive and maybe we could win that State Title in football in the next few years.

I guess the thing we are just asking for is a chance.  It has worked in other states.  I know you have heard of Tim Tebow, but what about Colin Klein?  He's the starting QB for Kansas State.  Here's an article about him: http://cjonline.com/sports/2012-01-05/homeschool-experience-shaped-k-states-klein#.Twd2FD2Qu5A.facebook  You may have heard of a guy named Jason Taylor.  He just retired from the NFL.  He was also homeschooled.  So, before you write off homeschoolers as antisocial misfits, think again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Many complaints, but...

I hear a lot of complaints about the Commonwealth of Virginia's management of resources.  I plan to write a more in-depth post about this soon.  There are definitely good points from folks on this issue!  I am a huge fan of old fashioned common sense and many of my customers seem to have it!

Anyway, just a quick funny story from this week.  After hearing an earful about the states ineptitude in trout stocking, the local stream was finally stocked.  All I can say, is people must have been calling to complain about the lack of stocking.  For the first time in memory, I had several people tell me they caught state citation size brook trout!  Even had a customer tell me he saw them putting those fish in and thought they had put the equivalent of two truck loads.  Sometimes, you can chalk up talk to fishing stories, but in this case, it looks to be true.  Hopefully, the fish will spread out further from where they were stocked and the weather will keep folks from being on the river to assist in this.  Not so the fish will not be caught, but so they can be caught longer than a couple days!

Either way, for one day, there were no complaints.

Brook Trout