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Feb. 5th, 2020

Misled is a good term for this feeling.

We made a decision last night, after a meeting after martial arts class, that essentially confirmed what we'd known at the back of our heads for the last almost 5 months now.


When we first started with the CIT (Certified Instructor Training) program, it was because they had asked us to eventually become instructors. That was well over 2 years ago.

About 8 months ago, they announced we'd be doing STORM training, which was a path to becoming instructors. So we went through and completed the course to become what they said was 'blue tops'.

A martial arts event happened in Lexington last summer, we were unable to attend due to finances. One of the others in the CIT program did. I had a bad feeling after that event, one I couldn't explain.

All well and good. And in class, they kept up with using us to lead the classes in warm ups, occasionally to train a technique, etc.

Gradually that stopped. They said they'd return it to it. They never did. They started getting on us for things we weren't doing, for things *full instructors* were supposed to do, for things they *said* were happening *outside the dojo* (case in point- they claimed one of the parents overheard one of the CIT swearing in front of the kids. We know for a fact we never do that. But the implication was that it was either me or Mark.) That was the first time I thought, I don't want to do this anymore.

4, almost 5 months ago- last fall, they said the course for red top was coming up, that it was a streaming thing. WE explained, along with the other guy, that none of us could stream. We were told about an app we could use to conference call in. That we'd be told when it was starting.

Only we never were. And the other guy was. Occasionally after C.O.B.R.A. class, he'd be called into the office to do this course. We knew this because once we overheard them. That was the second time I thought, I don't want to do this any more. I should have listened.

The other guy shows up, in December, in a red top. We looked at each other with knowing looks. We had deliberately been left out of that course. I think it was then we both figured out, we were never going to become instructors.

He went to black top and asst. instructor the week after he went full black belt.

The January meeting was cancelled. We weren't given an exact reason as to why.

Last night, we had a meeting, where upon its announced we are no longer CIT, we are instead 'Leadership', ie, model students. Only, we would be model students doing things instructors are supposed to be doing, like greeting parents, greeting new kids and getting to know them, then getting to know their parents, lining kids up, holding pads for pad drills, cleaning the dojo, etc.

Mark asked if we were still to become instructors and we were told, quite firmly, that was a whole other conversation that needed to be had. That it was a three year program that required a lot of hours and commitment to do. Never you mind we'd already put in over a year. Never you mind we'd already had that conversation.

Let me tell you, my poker face was on point.


On the way home, man, we vented. Betrayed. Irritated. Disappointed. Discouraged. All those and more.

So, we decided after tossing and turning for a good portion of the night, after investigating why someone drove down our driveway to the empty house next door at 1230am and drove through their yard, that we were going to step down from this 'Leadership' group thing.

It was not what we had originally signed up. It was not what we had been asked to join and it was not what we had been told we were working towards.

We both also had noticed over the last month to almost 2 months, a distancing between us and the full instructors and the guy that is now an asst. instructor. We decided we didn't want to deal with this crap anymore.

so tonight, at COBRA class, we will inform them that tomorrow will be our last class as former CIT/Leadership. That we had decided it was in our best interest instead to step back as students and focus on the upcoming black belt pretesting and testing. That we'd revisit the possibility of working towards becoming instructors again after May.

And next Tuesday, we'll go back to wearing our regular uniforms and attending only our class instead of both our class and the beginner/intermediate class.

I rather feel like they've done this to themselves, by telling us one thing, then excluding us and preventing us from actually *doing* that thing, then changing the program completely, all while deliberately excluding us from pre-class talks, from meetings and generally making us feel like outsiders. They could have just been upfront and told us they changed their minds and no longer wanted us to become instructors. We might have been ok with it then.

But instead, they wanted us to do the work of instructors,while still being *students* without us actually *becoming* instructors and I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way for us.

Mark said he actually *slept* after we had our discussion and made our decision. Quite frankly, so did I.

Which means, for us, this is what we need to do.


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Jan. 17th, 2020

Death is only the beginning...

It's official, my computer is starting to die.

Well, it is over 8 years old, so to be expected, honestly. Luckily, much of my important stuff is already stored on my external drive, so when the hard drive does finally fail, I won't lose too much.

So, come tax refund time, we'll be getting me a new computer this year. I so look forward to reinstalling all my Sims games... not. Heh.

In other news, they passed 3 'gun control' bills this week here.

One, reinstates the repealed 'one hand gun per month' law, another allows localities to ban guns from certain areas, such as government owned buildings, and the third expands background checks yo all fire arms sales and commercial transfers.

People are already angry over these bills, claiming, wrongfully, again, still, per usual, 'they're coming for my guns rights!' If you can't control yourself and buy *one* gun per month, then you have issues. If you can't understand why government officials don't want guns anywhere near where they're holding court proceedings or passing laws, etc, then, again, you have issues. If you are so against expanded background checks, then *you must have something to hide*, and you have issues.

I mean, seriously, they already arrested three alleged white supremecists, with *way more ammo than they really need*, enroute to the 'rally' in Richmond. Do you really think they were planning something, with 1500+ rounds?? Are you that out of touch with reality?

Some people, apparently, are that out of touch, mind. That's why idiots are trying to form an illegal militia in Floyd. Form a gun club, form an organization. That's fine. You just cannot call yourself a militia. Only the *state* can do that.

I swear, my state gets more insane with each passing day, because no one will read what the proposed gun bills actually do, and they believe rumors and misinformation spread via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, et al.

For gods sakes, they're trying to claim Virginia is 'criminalizing gun ranges, cellphones for anyone under 21, and martial arts', among other things.

Yup.

News to me, particularly that last one.



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Sep. 25th, 2017

That's not how rights work.

You don't get to tell someone when, where or how they can protest.

They have the right to peaceably protest, when, where and how they choose. They do that knowing there may be consequences.

You do have the right to disagree with when, where and how they protest. But you *do not* have the right to tell them they cannot protest, simply because you disagree with it.

That's not how rights work.


As a US Marine Vet, I , and others, served so you and they could have those rights. I will defend their right to peaceably protest, and I will defend your right to disagree with them.

They have the right to protest by kneeling during the national anthem. You have the right not to watch or support the players or teams.


So. Call me a ' snowflake', tell me I'm 'no true Marine', or claim I'm 'triggered', all you want. That is your right and I served so you could do so.

*That's* how rights work.


By the way, while you're complaining that NFL players are 'disrespecting' the flag, millions of Americans are currently without power, running water or communications, thanks to the recent hurricanes and being all but ignored by the president in favor of complaining about NFL players, North Korea and imaginary stories about Clinton. Your fellow Americans are being systematically killed for the color of their skin, daily.


Where's your outrage over *that*?


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Sep. 5th, 2017

DACA and the ramifications.

So.

How many Trump supporters who are currently cheering the end of DACA, are going to step up and fill those jobs and positions the Dreamers who now stand to be deported- roughly 800,000- that were supposedly 'stolen' from them? You know, the jobs none of them would have done even if they'd been given the opportunity.

How many are going to step up and buy the properties the Dreamers who own them, now have to sell before they get deported? You know, the houses they paid taxes on, the vehicles they paid taxes on, and so on.

Trump supporters, the DACA recipients are your neighbors, your friends, your children's friends, and even your coworkers. Some are parents to naturally born American children themselves.

Congrats, you've helped screw them over.

I hope you feel proud of yourselves, when the cost of produce goes up due to lack of labor to bring in the harvests, when the price of goods you took for granted goes up because there's no longer anyone to stock the shelves, to transport the goods to the stores, to even manufacture the goods in the first place.

Don't give me that line about how they should have come over legally. Age of consent in the US is *18*. Not a single Dreamer was of age to consent to being brought to the US.

As far as doing it legally... What the devil do you think they *were doing*? What do you think they were registering every year to two years, paying hundreds of dollars each time, keeping their heads down, paying taxes, being good citizens for? *They were doing it legally as they were allowed and told to do*. It costs *thousands* to become a US citizen,as well as *years* and many need a sponsor first. That's what they were working towards when they came of age.

And now, all that work is going to be taken away from them.

This is what you've wrought. Now we all have to live with it.



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Jul. 7th, 2017

In which Photobucket shoots itself in the foot.

So Photobucket- that I haven't been using for almost a year now, sent me an email, saying I can no longer '3rd party host with my account through them'. I have the formerly free, use as I like but there's ads, account.

In other words, any photos I uploaded there and used in any blog posts or a comment here, or pretty damn well *anywhere*, no longer works, because 'the account level you have doesn't support third party hosting'.

Then they proceeded to tell me I needed to upgrade to the 'Plus 500' plan.


For $400.00 a year.



I don't fucking think so. And even their $60.00/yr plan doesn't allow 3rd party hosting. Even their $100.00/yr plan doesn't.

I foresee Photobucket dying soon as a result.

$400.00 a damn year to do something I've been doing since *2004*, and only stopped paying for at originally 25.00, then 50.00 a year, a couple years ago. Even Flickr wasn't that drastic in their pricing changes.

I will be removing my photos fro there, post haste. Unfortunately, this also means, the last 12+ years worth of photos in blog posts here, are now broken links, and unlikely to be fixed, because I don't really have that kind of time.

I give them a year before the site dies completely.


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May. 15th, 2017

Dammit.

Last night, we heard a gunshot. Fairly close to the property. Given that the nearest neighbor we can see, has told us before that they do pistol training/target practice in their backyard, we didn't think too much of it, other than being really close. (And yes, we looked around and didn't see anything.)

Just now, on my way to the mailbox and back again, I had to fight* with both dogs to get them to keep walking past a certain area along the edge of the driveway, where the hayfield meets it.

They shot the damn fox last night and it died there. They mowed the hayfield around him, so I couldn't see it until the dogs beelined for it. (Which makes sense or the resulting mess could mess up the cutter *and* the hay.)

I get trying to keep wildlife from your chickens, what have you. But dammit, you *knew* we walk our dogs along the driveway. Why couldn't you have killed the fox at the pine tree line or something instead.

Now, we get to bury said fox tonight and hope it rains soon to wash away the scent, otherwise, *everytime* we walk the dogs through there until it does, it's going to be a battle with them.

* I literally had to take both by the collars and march them well passed the area, on the opposite side of the driveway.

Calling out the bullshit.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39920676

One of the comments on the Facebook page by the asshole quoted, called me(female Marines) a 'barracks whore'.


One- I am not a damn bird. I do not belong to the avian species. Therefore, I cannot be a 'chick'. I am, however, a US Marine.

Two- I have never been a 'barracks whore'. *Because I refused to be one* is a reason I was given for not being allowed to stay on Okinawa (Camp Henoko/Schwab, where there were maybe a dozen female Marines to tens of thousands of male Marines) for another year, because I settled down with one guy- also a Marine- instead - whom I married and am *still married to, nearly 25 years later*.

Three- Enough with this bullshit 'women don't belong in combat/they don't have the biology for it1!' crap. It's been proven, over and over again, that it's just that- crap. That we can and do hold our own just as well as male Marines.

Four- the female Marine portrayed, is a Capt, a logistics officer who is combat decorated. THAT should be applauded, not degraded.

Semper Fi.
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