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~We Can't Get In~We Can't Get Out...

16 years ago

The roads are closed all around us.

Custer is on graveyards.

There's like four carpools from the area working the same shift. We had a pow wow at our house a little while ago.

Either they all had to stay home or all go to work.

Although they couldn't make it stick, the mine would claim closed roads are not a good enough reason to miss work and try to discipline the miner. Never mind nothing has moved in the pit since last night at this time....

If one car gets runs the road closed gates they'll think everyone should have gotten through, no matter what the highway violation fine.

Dumb, huh?

The vote was to stay put.


If I had a kid riding a bus forty miles from one side of the county to the other I would have been on the phone cussing the principals out. Why in the hell they even HELD school today is beyond me! Why they didn't dismiss at noon is another mystery. Well, really it isn't. Our district, to accomodate athletics and still maintain attendance has a four day a week school week with every friday off. It's a tight squeeze and to get the required number of school hours they can't build in snow days without starting school before Labor Day or going past Memorial. It's a big 'problem' for them to reschedule. Tuff titty is what I say (I wonder if the blocker will take that? If titty is spell wrong, you'll know why...LOL) TWO bus's went off the road today! The kitty kindergarten bus and a off campus tech college facility. That alone SHOULD have sent them home. But no.

Anyway, I'm not far from bed.

Custer is laying on the couch watching a barrel racing movie. We've rounded him up some movies he hasn't seen. I'll leave him a snack in the frig for when he gets hungry about four am.



I talked to a plow operator (and I told him to PUT THE BLADE DOWN AND TURN ON THE SANDER!) and he said the roads aren't so bad except for half on the road and half off the road semis. Nineteen cars are off the road between us and the town to the south. STAY HOME!

Poor Custer.

He slept all day and is now watching videos he hasn't had time to watch. I wonder if he'll doze off or stay up all night? I'm going to bed. I still need muscle relaxers to sleep.


Comments (9)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm glad Custer is home, safe and warm.

    But, I've gotta say I really don't understand the bit about going to school only 4 days per week and not wanting it to extend beyond Memorial Day. When I was of school age, we started the day after Labor Day. We got Thanksgiving Day and the day after as holidays, two weeks at Christmas; and one week for Easter break. Memorial Day was a school holiday, and we got out in mid-June.

    School started at 8:00 a.m. and got out at 3:00 p.m.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cabin fever will set in before very long, knowing you guys, Lori. Maybe Custer can bond with the puppies during his down time. lol

    I don't understand how people can't stay off the roads when the conditions are treacherous. I wouldn't dream of driving when it's that bad and no one else should either. All it does is risk the lives of the people who have to rescue their dumb butts. Woody used to spend whole days every winter pulling the same guys out of the ditch, for FREE. (Almost always it was men, the women were smart enough to stay the heck home. He assisted over 150 cars in one day, during a snowstorm.) He would finally warn them, after helping them over and over as they tried to get to the next county- "next time- you're sleeping in that ditch." THEN they would pull off somewhere and get a room. He doesn't miss doing that at all. And our "ditches" are more like ravines in some places, it can get pretty scary around these hills.

    Stay safe and warm, Lori. I hope you have a good supply of wood to burn!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hmmm.... I live in a little mining community in Ontario. We have the same situation here with winter roads being bad, and management still expecting employees to show up at work. If they do not show up they are considered AWOL. The strange thing is that the guys can't go underground if the roads are closed. So why make them risk going to work??

    Hope your weather clears up soon!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Glad you are inside and safe!
    I hope whatever you got doesn't head this way!
    We are in a Blizzard watch for tonight and into tomorrow. Dangerous windchills,high winds again 40-50 mph and so could be the same as we got over a week ago. We just got an addtional 5 inches of snow on Tuesday I think it was? So its loose enough to blow around and cause problems.
    Its a Madison wkend too.
    Sunday 2 to 5 more inches of snow.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This storm came from the west. Last week's storm (and it was a doozy here too!) was from the north which brought the cold arctic air clear down to us. Your problem Connie, is you live close to the arctic air. It doesn't have to travel very far before it gets to you. LOL

    The four day a week school system is great for students in sixth grade and older. The little kids struggle way to much for the schedule to be a success. The district tried this for two years when Jesse was in first and second grade and she struggled and struggled and struggled. For on thing, the days are longer and the breaks are shorter. Because of being required to cover X amount of subject matter in less time the teachers cannot/will not do the refreshing little kids, on Monday go over the new math concepts covered the Thursday before, etc. etc. It being too hard on the little kids was the reason the stopped doing this before. Now they are doing it again.


    This time Digger was a junior and a senior and things went much smoother. But then, she is older, more mature and learned the first and second grade basics. We're such a tiny school that when there is an away game everybody goes and not just the students. Teachers travel with the teams too. We got into trouble with the State Board of Education because of the low attendance scores. During the basketball season it wasn't unusual for the boys and girls teams to travel to a game on Wednesday or Thursday, then again on Friday. Throw in the wrestling team traveling somewhere during the week and that's a lot of time for students and teachers to be missing school. Now, supposedly, we are not to travel to games/meets on any day but Thursday to cut down on absenteeism. This is a joke. Most games are legal but about 1/4 are not.

    The starting and ending dates of the school year concern is strictly for the teachers, They don't want to start early and stay late. To this I say 'big woo'. Building in a snow day means we would have to have that many more days on the calender so they just don't schedule one. The board thinks they can fool mother nature.


    The thing that baffles me the most is if our schools are in session until noon (or if a student is in school until noon) it is considered a full school day. They could send everybody home at 12:15 any and every day and still meet the attendance standards. (Test scores would suck but that's beside the point) So why didn't they bundle the kids up and TAKE THEM HOME at noon, in full daylight? *sigh*.
    "There weren't any kids on the bus" is how the district is excusing the two drivers who ran off the road yesterday.
    Again. 'Big Woo'.


    Sometimes I think a man named Crandall actually owns this coal mine. Long ago if the roads were closed and guys couldn't get to work the mine would just not pay them for that day. New management changed that policy ten years ago and started taking a guy's sick/personal day. In a bad winter could pretty much eliminate a guy's sick and personal leave. While he was boss guys had to be pretty careful when they called the federal safety hotline because he would get even with them. Right now the union and the company are arbitrating two cases of harassment because miners either called the hotline OR said 'I won't move my piece of equipment because it isn't safe." The pit bosses will try to intimidate the miners. They can't fool with the old timers like Custer but guys who just started are pretty careful because they are afraid they'll lose their jobs.
    Yes, I think Mr. Crandall's son or nephew is running this mine.

    Now they have a new manager and he seems like a decent guy. Maybe there won't be any flack over last night? There's been times when the roads were closed and carpools would run the blockade, go to work and divvy up the fine between them. They've stopped doing that. The union lost an arbitration over road closures because if one carpool gets through (and takes the risk of a wreck or a fine) the manager figured EVERYBODY should get through. That's why they all stayed home last night. One fellow in Custer's carpool has only worked there two weeks and until he's off probation he has no time off. He was nervous and wanted to
    go by himself. Custer finally got the union president on the phone who assured him NOTHING would happen to his job if he stayed home where it was safe. I'm not sure he believed the guys but when Custer pointed out that collectively the guys in the carpool had over a hundred years at the mine compared to his two weeks he did calm down and listen to them. LOL Poor Kid.

    Driving on bad roads does not bother me. When my babies would get sick I would drive into the jaws of hell to get them to a doctor. I know what to do on slick roads; my vehicles were heavy and reliable. I also know 4x4 doesn't mean you can't drive 76 miles an hour on ice/snowpacked roads. LOL
    What always worried me was people who aren't as cautious as I am. They're the ones who'll get you in a fix.

    Today is beautiful though.
    The skies are blue, the wind isn't blowing and the birds are stealing cat food and driving the cats nuts.

    I'm feeling pretty good too. A little stiff and sore but I think it's because I've laid around all week. My house is starting to bug me too. My living room is a wreck and the carpets are begging for a vacuum. I think this means I'm feeling better.


  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I hope your power stays on! Stay warm and safe and off the roads.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Our district, to accomodate athletics and still maintain attendance has a four day a week school week with every friday off."

    Any school district that short-changes LEARNING (and teaching) and puts such a high emphasis on playing games has a screw loose.

    I've never heard of a single person who failed to get a decent job because they had not played football or any other sport.

    I know of plenty stuck in dead-end low paying jobs because they cannot read, write and do basic math at a competent level.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lori-Sounds like your school district needs some new "brains"!LOL

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    New brains is right.

    On one hand the school week is somewhat justified.
    We have less than 400 students in the entire district and around 150-175 in high school. It takes every student to put on the yearly high school musical...literally so 98 percent of the kids are involved in many areas of school, include math competitions and sterling scholarship contests. There aren't many one sport athletes either.

    The football team will also wrestle or play basketball during the winter. The volleyball team will also be the basketball team OR be a cheerleader or on the drill team during the off season. And of course, ALL of them are in the school musical.

    The big problem is parents who, when an older sibling is playing an away game on thursday and friday night the entire family takes two days off from school and it truly causes an attendance problem. Aside from the absenteeism, the problem would not be as big IF the teachers would assign work while the athletes/fans are gone to the few remaining behind. But, you know, that is too hard. A lot of the teachers have children on the teams so they are gone too. So, those left behind are put into one or two classrooms (because substitutes are gone too) watching movies OR playing ball in the gymn and just generally screwing around. A well written set of work and assignments for the sub would work very well but you know how that is: they'll just have to go over the material next monday anyway when the athletes get back. *Sheesh*

    Athletes away dont' have to make up work in advance either. The teachers just cover that ground the next week when all is attendance.

    Now, I am a huge football fan. I cannot tell you who won the superbowl last sunday but I know the scores and stats of the boys and girls basketball games last week. That said, our schools do produce some very well rounded individuals and not only in sports (there are at least two students recruited to play college ball or wrestle each year as well as up to five rodeo scholarships) but academically as well. A college associates degree can be awarded to a student as well as their high school diploma at commencement. We have a branch vocational college in the area and it's possible to achieve an associate's in that curriculum as well. Digger, for instant, will be one math class short of a dental hygienist certificate as well as her CNA nursing degree and her high school degree this May.

    We have an agreement with the state that our CORE tests and the UBSCT (A competency test for the teachers which the kids have to take) must, at the least, remain steady or increase. Last year we were borderline. This year? Who knows. Personally I think we'll have to go back to five days a week, whether the teachers like it or not.

    At any rate, school should have been cancelled yesterday.
    End of sentence.
    The north bound bus'were tucked between two state snowplows to get the kids home safely. County road plows took care of the bus' heading south.

    For the most part, parent's like the four day school week.
    There a few who disagree but only because now they HAVE to get a babysitter and extra day of the week.

    Screwed up, no?

    Also since we're small we are kind of stuck taking any applicants. The good teachers move on to higher paying positions in Wyoming. The others couldn't make it anywhere else and do just enough to get by.

    It stinks and I only have to deal with it for another three months.

    This year's senior class motto is:
    'Thirteen years with these people is too long'

    How appropriate, don't you think?


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