Monday, August 31, 2015

The Ghost Story (true)

As a rule I do not believe in ghosts. The following is a true story. It happened to me.

I work for a security company, and some times I get assigned to work at Cowtown. Cowtown is a living museum of how our city was back in the wild west days. I had been told other guards had seen ghosts there. That strange things happen that just can not be explained. That even a couple of guards refused to work there. I just laughed and said I would have to see to believe.

So a week or so ago I was assigned to Cowtown. I was told that I needed to check doors. Kind of like the sheriff would do back in the old days walking around the town checking to make sure doors were locked. So at around 8 pm I take off to go check doors. As I am making the rounds everything is going good, everything is locked up.

As I turn the corner and head towards the saloon I start to hear piano music. As I get to the saloon I find it is locked and I listen the music is not coming from in there. So as I walk to the next building the music gets a little louder. I check that door and it is locked. I again listen but the music is not coming from inside. I move on to the next building. I check the door it is locked, but listening at the door I can tell this is where the music is coming from.

So now I have found where the piano music is coming from I shine my flash light in the windows and the music stops. I shine the light around the room, I don't see anything out of place so I figure someone forgot to turn something off. I laugh to myself and turn my flash light off. The music starts playing again. I step to another window shine my light in and again the music stops. In my mind I think someone is playing games with me. I turn my light off and the music starts. I walk around to check the side door and it is unlocked. This is when I think OK, one of the Cowtown people are playing games with me.

I step in side the door and this is definitely where the music is coming from. On the inside of the building it's just one big room, like maybe a dance hall. There are two rows of chairs pushed up against the north and south sides of the room, leaving the middle of the room empty from the front to the back. To the right of the side door there is a piano. I think ok, someone forgot to turn the player piano off. But as I look at it, the keys are not moving and it appears to be a standard piano. I yell "Hello, anyone in here". Nothing, but the music gets louder. I yell again "Hello, I going to lock the door. If anyone is in here they need to come out now". Nothing the music just keeps playing. I step back outside and close the door. The music keeps playing. The second I turn the key in the lock the music stops. I wait a couple of minutes and no music. I laugh to myself and check the rest of the doors. That was the only door that was unlocked.

I'm still not saying I believe in ghosts. I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation as to why this happened. When I told my boss about this he just laughed. He said that it seems in the fall there is more of this stuff happening. He said he didn't know if it was because they were old buildings with old wiring and with the change in weather it caused these things to happen. Or if the place really was haunted. To be honest with you I can't wait. Because if nothing else it adds a little food for thought.
Kevin

Thursday, August 13, 2015

School Budgets

As school gets ready to start here in Kansas there is a battle for dollars from the state to the school districts. I just read a news story that said a large school district in western Kansas is starting the school year with openings for 30 teachers. I know money is tight. That everyone is trying to find extra money no matter what business you are in. But I would think schools might consider going back to the old ways. Now I have some friends that are teachers. They may not agree with this, but in my mind it seems like it might work. Here is my idea.

Lets go back to having the first day of school the Thursday before labor day weekend. 6th graders & freshman go half a day on the Wednesday before for orientation. This saves money from having to cool rooms during the hottest part of the summer. Because most schools are air conditioned now, that electric bill has got to be over the top when they start on the 13th of August.

Christmas break, depending on where Christmas falls during the week, kids go to school a 1/2 day on Christmas Eve. If Christmas falls on a Sunday or Monday they go to school all day on Friday. Then they go back to school on January 2nd. Unless the 1st falls on a Friday or Saturday then back to school on Monday. Kids could also go to school a 1/2 day during parent teacher conferences. Kansas has a mandatory 180 day school year going half a day would help reach that 180 days.

Spring break, only college kids need a week to 10 days off. Spring break for K thru 12 should be Good Friday and the Monday after Easter. This helps parents who don't have to look for daycare while they work when kids are on spring break.

Also lets cut the teacher in-service days. the last year my youngest daughter was in high school there was at least 1 in-service day a month. that needs to be cut to 1 a nine weeks. I am not sure what goes on in the meeting of in-service days, but the stories I have heard is that they are really a waste of time.

School could then let out around the 27th of May for the summer. There would be some Federal holidays that the school would not recognizes. But that is just getting kids ready for the real world. You don't always get Federal holidays off if you are not a federal employee.

This worked for us back in the 60's & 70's. K thru 6th grade started the school day at 9 am had an hour for lunch and got out at 4 pm. We also had a 20 minute PE period in the morning, free play ground time during the lunch hour and a 15 minute recess. So kids were getting outside and active 3 times a school day.

7th thru 9th grade we started the day at 8 am and got out at 3 pm. We had a 50 minute lunch and we could get outside for some fresh air and activities. We also had about an hour for gym class.where you did some exercises and played organized sports.

10th thru 12th grade we again started at 8 am and got out at 3 pm. We also had an open lunch where we could leave the school campus and go out to eat instead of eating in the cafeteria. We also had an hour of gym time.

This worked back in the day. They are still teaching the same basics. Reading, writing, math and science. Why couldn't this work today? Think how much budget money could possible be saved by going old school.
Kevin