Archive for the ‘LAME’ Category

I am still grading — part of the problem here is that I got caught by AMC’s showing of the awesomely-80s “Christine.” My justification for watching it is that I am also Doing Work. So sad.

Anyway, I have discovered why the Dallas ISD decided to take only the 5th-grade boys to see “Red Tails”. The movie is about pilots and flying planes, correct? Well, despite the fact that a living Tuskegee Airman was horrified by the decision (and said that his wife would be MORE horrified), there is an excellent explanation for why such a seemingly sexist choice was made.

According to Jennifer Rubin’s interview with Rick Santorum, women are problematic in combat situations because they pose an emotional danger for the male soldiers who will feel compelled to protect the female soldiers from harm. Santorum acknowledges that there are women who fly for the Navy and the Air Force, and he generously admits, too that “women are fully capable of ‘flying small planes.’”

Well! thefrogman’s Tumblr page has a pictorial rendering of that statement…that, plus Santorum’s (delightfully ludicrous)  comment, are clearly guiding the DISD’s decision regarding “Red Tails.” Obviously, those planes in the film are not small enough for The Ladies to be able to fly, so the 5th-grade girls have absolutely no need to see the movie and its Big Manly Planes. You see:

Lady Planes!

So there you go. Silly me…here I was thinking planes were ungendered. Guess Rick Santorum cleared that up. But his view of the world truly worries me.


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I was surprised (because I always think we’re moving forward…silly me) to learn that the Dallas ISD took c.5700 students to see a movie today. Apparently, going to see the (very poorly written) movie “Red Tails” is equivalent to a history lesson about African-American contributions during WWII.

Matthew Haag, who writes a column for the Dallas Morning News’ website, received the following statement from Jon Dahlander, a spokesperson for the Dallas ISD:

Approximately 5,000 fifth grade boys in the district are watching “Red Tails.” The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots whose acts of bravery during World War II earned them the President Unit Citation in honor of their achievements.

Haag went on:

[Dahlander] said the district paid for the $32,000 field trip with Title I federal funds, which are earmarked for educating low-income students, and that the district’s Texas Education Agency monitor approved the field trip.

Dahlander said that World War II is part of fifth grade curriculum, and that teachers designed lesson plans to be used before and after the movie.

I hate to point out a flaw, here, but did anyone ELSE notice that Dahlander mentioned 5000+ BOYS? Do girls not need to know about the Tuskeegee Airmen?

So you ask yourself, do the girls get to go another day? And what are they doing? Fortunately, Haag has that information too:

Dahlander writes, ‘There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie. Girls stayed at school but principals were given the option to show them “Akeelah and the Bee”.’

Soooooooo….the boys see a movie about WWII, the teachers will take the boys back to the classrooms and then use curriculum materials to link the movie to the lesson, and the girls will be able to participate in the discussion through their POSSIBLE exposure to a modern film about a spelling bee?

And let’s not even discuss the utter laziness in using a BAD FILM to teach history. Why not spend some time in the library or watching a documentary or having a guest speaker or something that doesn’t involve going to a frickin movie in the middle of the class day? Why not use the $32,000 to provide classroom materials?

Why not use your flipping BRAINS, stupid stupid DISD?

I just….there are so many things I want to say about this, but I’m trying to keep my blood pressure within normal ranges. Can anyone help me here?

(courtesy, again, of Matthew Haag)

Jon Dahlander earlier today told me that the boys-only field trip to see “Red Tails” cost $32,000.

This afternoon, Dahlander clarified. The $32,000 only covers the cost of movie tickets for the 5,000 students. The district spent another roughly $25,000 on the buses to take the fifth graders to the AMC 30 Mesquite.

Schools also had to hire substitute teachers for the girls who stayed behind in the classrooms. Dahlander said he didn’t know how much that cost.

Dahlander said interim Superintendent Alan King and interim chief of schools Shirley Ison-Newsome approved showing the movie.

How, exactly, is the educational benefit of watching a lame movie worth over $57,000?

My brain is starting to boil…..

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Barefoot Cellars

Seriously -- no.

Last summer I bought a $25.00 Gr*upon for $75.00 worth of wine from Wi.ne In*side*rs, which sounded like an excellent deal.

[This should have been my first indication that things might not go splendidly.]

Before I bought the Gr*upon, though, I did some trawling around the web to see what  interwebpeople thought of WI, and it seemed like a reasonable company. I checked their website and found more or less what I had expected — no-name vineyards and prices that are good when the company is having a sale or a promotion. I figured that if I could get 3 or 4 bottles for $25.00, at least one would be pretty good and the others had to be better than the Barefoot or Yellowtail wines.

My first problem was that the Gr*upon number that I was assigned wasn’t recognized by the vendor, which the Gr*upon people helpfully pointed out was my problem, not theirs. So I waited several months to use the Gr*upon because I was too annoyed with the whole thing to bother right then.

Of course, I forgot to use it, and got increasingly frantic emails from Gr*upon, reminding me in a somewhat manically cheerful tone to “go use your Gr*upon!”

So, less than a month from the coupon’s expiration, I used it. I found what seemed to be some reasonable zinfandels and cabernets and ordered 2 of the 2010 zinfandels and 2 of the 2009 cabs. The 2009 got fairly decent internet reviews, while the jury was very dubious about anything newer.

Blah blah blah, thank you for shopping Wi.ne In*side.rs, your shipment should arrive on February 3. Etcetera.

The package arrived yesterday, of course, when I wasn’t home. They retried today — just 10 minutes ago, in fact, when I was home. Am home. So I have 4 bottles of wine.

All of my bottles are incorrect. All of my bottles are the 2010 vintage. 2 bottles of the 2010 zin, and 2 bottles of the 2010 cab. Why, no, thank you…the shipping form showed 2 bottles of the 2009 were sent to me, and that is what I ordered — which raises (not begs!) the question why did I not receive the 2009?  The shipping form, alas, says that they shipped 2 bottles of the 2010 zin when I ordered the 2007. When I called the customer service rep, she informed me that they were probably out of the 2009 (you can’t check?) and that they have the right to substitute something of equal or greater value (as determined by them, never mind the fact that some of their wines are crap and I ordered what I ordered because I researched it first). Besides, she said, there’s no difference between the 2009 and the 2010.

Yes, there is, I told her. I looked up the interwebs reviews, and there is a significant difference. She, however, was unfazed and so I hung up.

Now I have written a letter, explaining my dissatisfaction, explaining that my order should match the shipping form which in turn should match the shipment, and that when someone orders something online, and when it goes into their shopping cart, the inventory should be reduced online immediately so that I know that my purchase will be sent to me.

I expect to receive, if anything, a blah-blah form letter.

I plan to avoid Gr*pon and Wi.ne In*side.rs like the plague, in future. I’d rather spend my $25.00 on fewer bottles from familiar vineyards and get what I paid for.

ETA: I decided to check the WI webpage to see what they had substituted for the 2009 cab….and I found that, in fact, they were still advertising the very wine they claimed to have run out of. Because the woman didn’t bother to check.

I called again and explained to a different rep that I had been told that the wine was out of stock when in fact it was still being advertised. The rather snippy woman informed me that apparently, they are allowed to substitute vintages even if they have the one you ordered in stock. So if I pay for a 2009, which (we are assuming here) is better than a 2010, they are allowed to substitute a poorer product at will because they feel like it? I raised that very point in a snippy voice of my own, and she hurriedly put me on hold and came back to tell me that oh! they do have some in the warehouse and they’ll be shipping it out to me.

Mmmm-hmmmm. Still not giving these people any more of my business, particularly when their first line of customer-service defense is ‘we can send you whatever we want, despite what you thought you were paying for.’

E(again)TA: I checked my receipt to see which vintage of the zin I had ordered, and whoops! it was a 2007. Which, you may be unsurprised to hear, is still being sold on the internet. In fact, the 2010 vintage is not even for sale for either wine.  So I called again, and politely ripped them a new one. Upon hearing that they save the good vintages for club members, I told them that their practices were deceitful, since they are selling something that they have no intention of sending the customer and they are advertising something that they DON’T have and substituting something that they aren’t advertising at all!. She had no answer to my point that if they are out of it, they need to change the vintage that IS for sale. I am going to make an official complaint about this to both the company and the BBB. Tools.

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