Thursday, March 12, 2015

What Happened, America?: Magical Bling Bling Leads to School Suspension

What is America coming to when you cannot even pretend to be a character from the Lord of the Rings?

Texas boy suspended for saying he could make classmate ‘disappear’ with ‘Lord of the Rings’ sorcery

I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and read The Hobbit in 4th grade.  That's right about the grade this little boy is in.  This easily could have been me playing around with my friends back in the day.

I am at a loss as usual when it comes to these articles.  Has the quality of our nation's educators been diluted down so badly that critical thinking is almost non-existent?  Have zero tolerance policies turned off that part of the brain that handles the cognitive abilities to determine play from real threats?  It sure seems so.  There are many great teachers out there.  My wife was a teacher for a few years.  Lord knows I have been exposed to what they have to deal with.  It seems to me that the numbers of these good teachers are dwindling and the mediocre to outright idiot teachers is on the rise.

Is our education system doomed?  Are quality teachers going to keep disappearing in favor of other professions?

What Happened, America?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GORUCK Light #632: Kansas City, MO February 21, 2015

On the march.  Onward!

The week leading up to this GORUCK event was interesting in the weather department.  The Thursday prior saw the area get hit with 20 degrees, moderate snowfall and icy conditions.  I even rucked 2 miles in 30 minutes that evening to get a better idea of the layers I would need for the event on Saturday.  Friday night the Challenge participants were subjected to these same conditions with much more icy dangers.  As the Saturday for the Light event dawned, I expected to have at least below freezing temperatures and precipitation on the ground to contend with.

It being the Midwest, the sky parted, the sun came out shining and the temperature was around 40 degrees with a stiff 12-15 mile per hour breeze.  This melted and then dried the ground out almost all over the metro area.  The day had turned out to be perfect for a GORUCK event by the time I showed up at 2:00 pm at the Liberty Memorial.

Cadre Brad led Light class 632.  The Welcome Party was a good blood pumper to get ready for the movement portion of the event.  I actually fared pretty well compared to my very first GORUCK Light.  Part of that was due to my new workout regimen.  Brad had us move to his rental car for some once the Welcome Party was over.

Sand bags were passed out for some extra weight to lug on our first movement.  We were then told to head towards the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.  We immediately set a pace that was fairly quick.  As we got underway, I let some of the first timers know that we needed to maintain as fast a pace as possible in order to avoid any extra PT that might get dished out for slacking.

We arrived at our destination and Cadre Brad informed us that since we had set such a fast pace, that instead of PT, we would be having some fun.  There was still a good amount of snow on the ground.  A snowman contest was in order!

The clear winner, right?

I think they bought off the judge behind our backs.  Pfffft.

Alas, my team, while creative, couldn't capture the vote that mattered.  Our penalty was ten 8 count body builders.

The next destination was to the Lewis and Clark Monument.  Again, we made good time.  Brad asked for new leaders after about a 5 - 10 minute rest.  It was my turn.  We were to lead our team while carrying a "dirty bomb" (represented by a 5-6 foot long wooden beam) to the Richard L Berkley River Front Park.

Well, I and the other team leader screwed up and apparently misread the map.  We were in heading in the right direction.  However, we both thought that the street that ran south led straight to the trail.  Once we realized our mistake, we back tracked slightly and hiked parallel to the river until we saw the crossing (the same one we used during Challenge 1262, consequently).  Our little detour added almost 2 miles to the overall route (oops...).  Still, our pace was good and we got another rest at the destination.

Thankfully, the leadership torch was passed.  Next up was City Hall.  The movement to City Hall felt good.  It was time to put on a mid layer when we reached City Hall.  Once that was done, it was time to get back to the starting point, Liberty Memorial.  We took Grand most of the way back and passed through the Power and Light along the way.

Brad directed us to his rental as we approached Liberty Memorial.  We put the sand bags away and we were then informed we had finished the event!  Brad commented that we had made very good time and pointed out that we successfully worked as a team.  He then patched each one of us.

The details for this event:

Temperature: High of 50 degrees F
Mileage: 9.8 miles
Time: 4 hours 40 minutes

It was good to see new faces at this event.  I definitely felt much stronger throughout this event than I did previous events.  Funny what actually training does.  Who'd a thought?  This event was encouraging and served as motivation to get ready for the KC Challenge on June 19th.

On a gear/clothing related note, I tried out Triple Aught Design's Force 10 AC Cargo Pant on the recommendation of Brian over at AllDayRuckoff.  Brian, if you're reading this, great suggestion!  These worked out very well.  I only got a little damp, but the pants were dry wicked fast and were definitely comfortable with no binding at all.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they hold up in future events and in general day to day use.  I may write up my own review after wearing these more often.

Please comment below if you have any questions or just to drop a note.  And feel free to share with others.  Thanks!