Fertile Mind

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Disposable Americans

July 16, 2014 by · No Comments · Personal, Seasoned Stafffers

dis·pos·a·ble adjective—designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up: (“the definition of disposable,” n.d.). This came from Dictionary.com based on Random House. At that website, there are two other definitions, but the relevance for this essay. A bit of backgrounder for why this subject becomes personal. This author is 49 years old at composition time; having been out of the workforce for over 5 years now after Transportation series of jobs, (it would be generous to call it a career after only 5 years). The trucking business is notorious for being difficult on one’s health; it certainly was on mine. One of the big issues in the business is a lack of consistent sleep, which leads to many diseased problems down the road.

Driving performance unswervingly worsens in sleep-loss states and is influenced by circadian rhythm and time on task. Maintenance of lane position, reaction time, steering, and speed deviation all worsen in sleep-loss states. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among longhaul truck drivers varies from 28-78% of the trucker brotherhood, much higher than the prevalence rate of 2% to 4%reported in the general population studies (Heaton & Rayens, 2010, p. 137).

I had a rollover accident in March 2008 in Wayne County IN. It was a snowy night and the load started in Indianapolis, picked up in Hartford City IN, and scheduled to deliver in Columbus OH the next day 104 miles away from where it all essentially ended. Once you roll a truck over, that is the end of your primary driving career. While the facts weren’t known, sleep apnea played a major role as I was fighting sleep during the whole episode, and was trying to get to the Love’s Truck Stop in Richmond to end the night. Passing a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a small truck stop in Lynn, IN. There ended up three different stints with trucking companies that were unfulfilling and didn’t last. The Department Of Transportation requires a level of fitness to drive that involves blood pressure, sugar levels, vision, et cetera. I did manage with medicines to stay legal and fit for the road; this hid some disturbing medical issues I am dealing with today. Morbid obesity has been an issue for at least the past 10 years. When I started, my weight was about 283 lbs. and I’m 5’7” which equates to a Body Mass Index of 40, where 30 is considered Obese. The last scale weight was 415 lbs. or BMI of 59. Contrary to popular belief and legend, I did not spend my nights at truck stop buffets on a regular basis; in fact, it was maybe once a month. Truck stop/travel center buffets are generally outdated limited to the TA and Petro chains and scattered independents nationwide. However, you are still eating out nightly and healthy choices were not as widespread then as they are now. I have most of the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes, such as excess thirst, frequent urination, and constant hunger (“Diabetes mellitus type 2,” 2014). In addition, my eyesight has gotten worse, have leg ulcers, constant headaches, general fatigue, and major foot maladies. According to all of my doctors, I am considered Disabled. The local transit authority and state of North Carolina DMV concurs. The tragedy here is that the Federal Government, using North Carolina as its agent, decided on two occasions that I was not disabled, therefore ineligible for healthcare, funds, and other services. I personally know people who have received Disability for lesser symptoms and much less, drama was involved, but North Carolina is one of the 25 states that did not take the expanded Medicaid for political (Republican) reasons. For me to get Medicaid and help that the rest of the civilized America gets, I would have to move 250 miles to West Virginia of all places, 450 miles to Maryland or Kentucky, or 600 miles to Arkansas as the closest locales. NC and every state that touches it is under the same Republican grip of denying benefits to citizens because of who the president is or another reason they will proclaim which flies in the face of reality.

Who is going to hire that person, even if he has an Einstein type brain? I am not implying that I am even close to his level, just making a statement. There are laws against age and health discrimination; if a company doesn’t want to hire you, a reason will be made up of thin air and can get around all of this, NC is an at-will state, therefore, hiring and firing decisions can be made with or without a reason unless under contract. Werner Enterprises in Georgia decided that I was not worthy of their company by crating bogus medical claims for denying fitness that local doctors couldn’t see. In trucking, you can have a valid license and medical card (now combined in most states), but each company will insist on their own medical exam (only 2 of the 9 companies that I went to orientation used existing medical cards) and use it as a Weed Out process, nothing to do with drug tests which are automatic and lawful. The next plan was to increase my educational footprint. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Auburn University many moons ago and decided that an MBA was the new BS degree in the marketplace. Found a way to attend school and not deal with the Graduate Management Admission Test that traditional schools, including Auburn and UNC Charlotte, require to get into their graduate MBA programs. In October 2011, I achieved my Masters of Business Administration w an Information Systems specialty from Ashford University. That went nowhere, so further schooling ensued with the last of these courses ending in June of this year. Altogether, I have three graduate degrees and no job, career, or hope of that fact changing. The legality of employment deserts for 40 something and beyond is such that only first-person narratives exist in the wild. Reaching out to “experts” that can get you a job in this economy, well all these people want to do is sell you their manuals that are ideal, but do not really work. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if someone in Human Resources would come right out and say, you are unemployable, and here are the reasons why? That person would be sued out of existence for being honest; grown adults such as me can take it.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of our country’s greatest presidents and certainly before my time on earth. He has many quotes attributed to him that stand the test of time, here is one: True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made (“Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes at BrainyQuote.com,” n.d.). Some factions of the populace are more than content to command total control over other people’s livelihoods, and by making older workers who can still get the job done equivalent to soiled toilet paper serves their ends.

Full circle has arrived and a return to the definition of Disposable by reminder: designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up: (“the definition of disposable,” n.d.). Could it be that The Powers That Be / 1% have no more use for anyone over 40 that manage to lose their job, regardless of fault? Cast aside a whole generation of late Baby Boomers/early Baby Bust like Kitty Litter as a means of creating a docile permanent underclass? Ignore the rule of law for corporate personhood, oh wait, we already have that (“Corporate personhood,” 2014)? Even levels of government enter this Matrix by only playing lip service to Citizen Services, denying Medicaid because it can, or because of conflict of interest with medical personnel who will say whatever the person that pays them want to hear.


Corporate personhood. (2014, July 13). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Corporate_personhood&oldid=616377824

the definition of disposable. (n.d.). Dictionary.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disposable?s=t

Diabetes mellitus type 2. (2014, July 13). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Diabetes_mellitus_type_2&oldid=614674578

Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes at BrainyQuote.com. (n.d.). BrainyQuote. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franklind134721.html

Heaton, K., & Rayens, M. (2010). Feedback actigraphy and sleep among long-haul truck drivers. AAOHN Journal, 58(4), 137–145. doi:10.3928/08910162-20100329-01

In information technology, gray matter counts more than gray hair | ZDNet

July 6, 2014 by · No Comments · Journal

Finally, some encouraging news to those of us of a certain age who are felt to be disposable, unemployable, and just discarded with the trash, because we are not corporate people.  PS, I do have a comment on this story

In information technology, gray matter counts more than gray hair | ZDNet.

And I agree with you that Databases of all flavors run businesses, but to interact with them and enable line of business applications, you have to put somebody’s “scripting” language in there. Whether it’s JavaScript for the Web, Python, C#, Java, et cetera, there will always be a play for them.


Imax pushes 3D cinema with 38-pound 4K digital camera – CNET

June 30, 2014 by · No Comments · Interesting Tech, Multimedia

3D movies has been kinda pushed down our throats a bit by Hollywood with tepid success. Reminds me of the whole Blu-Ray thing. A great technology that never really took off, and digital downloads will replace it when most of us get serious broadband (ala Fiber To The Home). This development of a 4K camera cannot be a bad thing.

Imax pushes 3D cinema with 38-pound 4K digital camera – CNET.

Here is my list and other changes if I ruled the US

June 26, 2014 by · No Comments · Journal

Herbie's US Map

I saw an article about changing the map of the United States to have only 38 states. It got me to thinking, since school is out and waiting on the “decision”, I would make a few changes to the United States map that make sense, at least in my head.

  1. Combine the Dakotas and allow 4 senators for 6 yrs. then down to 2.
  2. Split California into 2 states @ Kern, San Luis Obispo, San Bernardino counties southward.
  3. Create the state of Columbia/Anacostia/Georgetown/etc. that covers the DC, Prince Georges, Montgomery Counties in Maryland, and independent cities of Arlington and Alexandria, counties of Fairfax, Loudon, and Stafford in Virginia.
  4. Combine Wyoming and Montana and allow 4 senators for 6 yrs. then down to 2.
  5. Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Florida counties move to Alabama.
  6. El Paso and Hudspeth counties Texas move to New Mexico and Mountain Time Zone.
  7. Lake and Porter counties Indiana move to Illinois.
  8. Place Alabama and Middle Tennessee in the Eastern Time Zone.
  9. Separate New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County from the rest of New York for its own state.
  10. Combine Connecticut and Rhode Island and allow 4 senators for 6 yrs. then down to 2.

When all is said and done, I still have 50 states.

Prime Time for 4G | ZDNet

June 16, 2014 by · No Comments · Interesting Tech

Some readers of this blog are old enough to remember the modem wars of kFlex and X2 from Lucent and US Robotics. Even further back was the infomus Betamax vs. VHS battle. DVD (+) plus and (-) dash. Also HD DVD vs Blu-Ray. With the latter, streaming is the hot tech and even though Blu-Ray won, most systems that have optical drives still include DVD-ROM.

Now on the subject of mobility. The great aspect of modern telephony is that GSM and CDMA don’t matter in a Long Term Evolution (LTE) world where all forms of communications are data based. Still one generation away from total interoperability, but a short one at that.

Prime Time for 4G | ZDNet.

EDU 697 End

June 10, 2014 by · No Comments · Journal

Now we are finally here, this is the end of my current level of schooling and MATLT (Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology) degree from Ashford University. This makes the 3rd and final degree that I have earned over the past 4 years. To some people, this doesn’t make sense; after all, if one does not have the “real world” experience that employers seem to be demanding in 2014, then there is no seat at their table. Not all of the degrees in the world changes that fact. I look at it this way; there are things that need to be done for reasons that are not obvious and apparent, and for other motivations. This teaching degree fits into that category. Never mind the fact that the Education profession is in a state of turmoil, and not just from funding issues. Recently a California court ruled tenure being unconstitutional. Historically, I have never been a fan of the teacher’s union, but they are a buffer against political and financial pressures to dispose of teacher’s at-will, just like every other employer in North Carolina and many other states. With the trend of teacher’s being evaluated primarily on test scores and situations outside of their control, the privatization of the school systems, and the transfer of education to a widget sales model, there are few wonders why anyone would subject himself or herself to this drama. I would only to stay off the streets and the homeless shelters of the world. During an interview, if you get one, these motivations would be hard to hide, even if the majority of candidates feel this way at a certain age.

As for the week just past, well I created a reflection multimedia presentation and authored the last paper for the class, which turned out to be over 3,600 words long. The blog you are viewing was updated a bit, and for potential employers, an ePortfolio is available. I will graduate with an cumulative GPA in the 3.84-3.89 range, depending on the grade of the final class. This is much better than my undergraduate GPA of 2.12, but referring to the first paragraph, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

It has been communicated to me to be more positive about my lack of employment situation and other matters not discussed in this forum. Most of those commentating mean well, some are trying to sell books and tapes, but all of this is taken in anyway. Beyond this week, there is little compelling reason to do a weekly journal, since there is no formal schooling left. I can’t promise it will continue, but this blog will stay active to the 2s of weekly readers.

Breaking News: Alabama Judge Overturns Law Giving Public Funds to Private Schools | Diane Ravitch’s blog

June 8, 2014 by · No Comments · Education

Finally some common sense shows up in my home state.

Breaking News: Alabama Judge Overturns Law Giving Public Funds to Private Schools | Diane Ravitch’s blog.

Ira Shor: When Do Kids Count? | Diane Ravitch’s blog

June 6, 2014 by · No Comments · Academicstan, Rants

As my final, final paper is being composed at this hour, this essay by Diane Ravitch is too important to be ignored, so it made my last paper in a roundabout manner. Food for thought this AM.

Ira Shor: When Do Kids Count? | Diane Ravitch’s blog.

EDU 697 Week 5

June 3, 2014 by · No Comments · Journal

One more week left and the graduate school career will be over. At least the ability to borrow money to attend school and the stipend to live on will end here. The hope is that with my ePortfolio now available and this blog being a part of it, more visitors and interaction. I do not expect Diane Ravitch numbers, however, it would be nice to be read and seen. This past week was the last of the prelims to the big show reveal coming up. What is different in the class that the final paper must essentially be written 4 days before the end of class, for reasons that totally escape me, but that is the hand dealt. Luckily, for me, there is no NBA basketball for a few more days, so I won’t have excuses (Seattle v. Atlanta in baseball doesn’t count <g>). At the end of the day, I will have a 3.8x GPA for my graduate career, which should mean something to an employer, but so far, it hasn’t moved the needle.

EDU 697 Week 4

May 27, 2014 by · No Comments · Journal

This was a better week in school terms because the subject was Technology. I even managed to get my initial post in on time, what a concept. With the NBA Playoffs getting really good and my desire to end the school thing for now leads to procrastination. I ended up taking longer for my assignment than the three hours I gave myself. It started out as a simple repurposing of a couple of activities I did for EDU 656 TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR JIT TRAINING & LEARNING. Come to think about it, I only needed one to change even though I had to meet 2 learning objectives. Anyhoo, I chose a survey that I created with the free version of Surveymonkey.com about a Needs Analysis Survey that did not change any results or formatting here. I did add to my extended learning about the value of surveys and education. The second assignment had to do with a Comparing JIT Solutions that I updated with current information, a graphics program instead of screencast.com, which I hate. I also managed to do embedded linking in both Word and Acrobat, so I was almost able to recreate Word capabilities to people who don’t have Word on their system and is not required for viewing content. So a few minutes ago as I compose this, I managed to learn new capabilities that will help me in all manners of writing for profit.