Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Friends of the NRA Fundraiser

This year the County Line Friends of the NRA fund raiser was held at a barn in nearby Herald. The barn is a lot bigger than the hall we rented for last year's fund raiser. But the acoustic was horrible. There were about the same number of people this year when compared to last year's event.

Everyone on my table agreed that the bar-be-cued tri-tip, salad and beads were delicious. Simple but superb.

For twenty dollars, you get a mug where there were between $20 - $100 worth of raffle tickets in it. Of course it is a game of chance and you do not know whether you have more than $20 worth of tickets when you buy a mug!

Red necks clinging to their guns and religion? Heheh, the joke's on Obama!

Silent auction items.

Jewelry on silent auction. There were a few pieces that I really liked and found it hard not to make a bid on them!

There were some really interesting items on auction. A professional auctioneer led the auction.

This special edition hand gun was one of the items put up for auction.

This bronze deer sculpture was one of the items on auction.

I had hoped that I would at least win one item this year. I bought a $20 ticket on the Sarah Palin Freedom Board, for a chance to win this gun.

I bought a $100 worth of raffle tickets and had hoped to win at least one of these beauties. Alas, Lady Luck was not with me that evening! :-(

Maybe next year, eh?

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
-- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

Friday, September 12, 2008

Discrimination in special ed services

I took Duncan for his first speech therapy session for this new school year last Monday. From what I observed during the session this speech therapist will be good for Duncan. She was firm and got Duncan to do what she wanted. Duncan is the kind of kid who finds it difficult to sit still for long and focus on the activity at hand.

The only disappointment I have over this speech therapy thing, is that Duncan is only entitled to 15 sessions this year. Why? This special ed service receives federal funding and one of the conditions that this service is offered is that the child must attend a public school. Duncan is in private kindergarten. I thought the condition was unfair and discriminatory. As a taxpayer, I have no choice whether or not I should pay the school taxes. Part of the taxes I pay goes to the schools in the school district that I live in.

I have a meeting scheduled with the therapist and another therapist the middle of next week, to see if there was anything they could do to fit Duncan into one group speech therapy session, that is, besides the 15 one-on-one session that he is entitled to.

I think my health insurance covers speech therapy, but who wants to drive 10 miles to go to a speech therapy that lasts half an hour when there is one offered just 2 miles down the road? I hope the therapists can work something out for us because I believe there shouldn't be any discrimination in the special ed services offered. It shouldn't matter if your child is in public school or private school.

A career in criminal justice

One of the people in law enforcement that I admire and hold in high esteem is Sheriff John McGinnis of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. Under his leadership violent crimes in the county have seen a marked reduction because of the department's successful implementation of "a new effort to reduce violent crime and restore quality of life in the diverse communities" that the department serves.

Sheriff McGinnis's effort couldn't be that successful if he did not have a team of dedicated and trained men and women in his department.

I think in order to be successful in a career in law enforcement not only does a person need to have certain traits like trustworthiness, alertness, patience, diplomacy and a desire and willingness to help others, but a person also needs to have the proper training and qualification like a criminal justice degree.

You might wonder whether it is really necessary to have a degree in criminal justice just to be a deputy sheriff but if you want to go far and have better opportunities in a similar field, a degree in criminal justice can most certainly help.

Rasmussen College, a college that has been awarded Regional Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), has a program where you can obtain your criminal justice degree online, full-time or part-time. Among the courses in this program are Criminal Behavior, Victims in Criminal Justice, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Cultural Diversity and Justice.

Rasmussen College has several campuses in Minnesota, Illinois, North Dakota and Florida but like I mentioned earlier, there are programs that you can complete online without having to be physically at a college campus.

Besides offering a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, the college also offers programs like the Paralegal Associate’s Degree, Professional Peace Officer Education Certificate, Accounting with Financial Investigations specialization Associate’s Degree and the Office Management with Legal/Criminal Justice specialization Associate’s Degree.

If you are in Illinois and would like to prepare yourself for a career in the field of law, Rasmussen's paralegal school illinois would the ideal place for you. You might want to check out the college's website for further information on what the course entails.

Back to where I started, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department have positions open and with the number of people being laid off due to the downturn in the economy, a person would be wise to acquire some qualifications, like a degree in criminal justice, as a back up if for nothing else!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kelantan Maghi Part 2

Last month before we made our way back to California, we visited Kelantan. It had been more than 25 years since I was last in Kelantan and I don't remember all that much about Kota Bharu. There were two things I remember most about that first trip. One, I couldn't understand a word of the Kelantanese dialect, and two, I enjoyed the different foods there.

This time around, I did not have difficulty understanding anyone, probably because they mostly spoke the proper Bahasa Malaysia except with their Kelantanese accent, and the food was as fabulous as I remembered! mrgreen Er, except for the tough squid that I had at the food market!

One of the things that surprised me most, something I never knew about Kelantan, was the number of Buddhist temples found there. And I am not talking about little temples! These are large temples with large statues of Buddha in them. I did not associate Kelantan with Buddhist temples. In Sabah and Sarawak, and even Penang, yes, but Kelantan?

This is the entrance to the Thai Buddhist temple called Wat Photivihan.
This reclining Buddha is huge. You would expect to see a Buddha statue like this in Thailand but this Buddha is found in at Wat Photivihan in Tumpat, Kelantan.

A pose with Zawi. Zawi was kind enough to take us around Kota Bharu and surrounding areas when we visited Kelantan.

This sitting Buddha is found at Phram Buddha Bharameedharm Charmruslok ... whatever that means!

I thought it strange that there were dragons in this Buddhist temple and statues of Chinese deities.

In the evening, after a day of sight-seeing Buddhist temples and being driven to some other attractions in Kota Bharu, we met up with a few bloggers and their friends and family at a restaurant serving Kelantanese cuisine. It was a popular restaurant and Doug was impressed by the food he ate.

L-R: Awin, Zawi, Pakpayne, Kamal, Doug and Captain Yusuf, and Duncan in the front. Wan Aziz is not in the picture.

Doug is now keen to see the other states in Peninsular Malaysia after that visit to Kelantan!