Decide how you feel

Here’s an excerpt:

For example, let’s imagine you have a job that is really bringing you down. Let’s say you are bored and stressed, and your boss isn’t competent. You come home every day tired and frustrated, and you wind up drinking too much and watching a lot of dumb television to distract your mind. Tomorrow, try a new tactic. During the day, take a few minutes every hour or so, and ask, “How am I feeling?” Jot it down. Then after work, journal your experiences and feelings over the course of the day. Also write down how you responded to these feelings, and which responses were more and less constructive.

Have you heard about metacognition before? What are your thoughts about “thinking about thinking?”

The bite

Waffles, my daughter's pug, at the Utes pool.
Waffles, my daughter’s pug, made it on “We Rate Dogs” a popular “pupper” site on Twitter and Instagram. Waffles got 13 out of perfect 10 rating — and more than 75k likes for this photo taken by someone on my daughter’s college team.

What would you have done in our place? Would you report the dog and/or ask the HOA board for restriction of some kind? How do you think the owner should corrected Star?

Somebody was in a bad mood!

View from my morning walk before sunrise.

“Don’t you use dividers anymore?” the cashier said to me with a grunt while I was waiting to check out at our local big brand grocery store.

The woman in front of me had just pointed out two items rung up on her tab that were not hers. My Tater Tots and loaf of bread.

The cashier looked agitated as she had to remove my two items off the other woman’s bill.

“You’re the one who removed the divider,” the woman in front of me told the cashier as she plunked her credit card on the reader.

Now it was my turn to check out.

The cashier, who I usually chat with and has only been pleasant, starting throwing my items into plastic bags. It was sloppy and filled with anger. The metal rack that held up her plastic bags fell down to the floor.

Angrily she slammed the bag holder repeatedly into the rack to hook it into place. She muttered to the employee who was helping her bag, “Take this or I’m going to throw it!”

The woman calmly replaced the bag holder and returned to placing my grocery bags into my cart.

“Can you believe this?” an elderly woman behind me said with her eyes.

When my groceries were rung up and I was paying, the cashier took the plastic divider and threw it down the conveyer belt where it slammed into two other dividers.

“Just because you’re in a bad mood doesn’t mean you have to take it out on us!” the woman behind me said.

“I didn’t say nothing to you!”

I pushed my cart away and the older woman who was behind said “Wait. I’m reporting this to the manager, please come with me.” We were out of hearing distance of our disgruntled cashier.

I hesitated because I knew the cashier’s attitude and actions were unacceptable, but for the past two years, she had been professional and friendly. I didn’t want to get her in trouble.

Another employee mopping the floor overheard the word complaint and said loudly with fear, “Complaint?”

The employee who was bagging in our lane ran over and said, “I’m the manager and I witnessed what happened to both of you. I have no idea what is going on, but I’ll pull her aside and talk to her.”

If you were in my shoes would you complain to the manager? What would it take for you to complain if you were at a restaurant or store?

P.S. I’ve changed my blogging schedule to Monday, Wednesday and Friday as of this week.

How much would you pay for hot sauce?

This one caught me by surprise. I read yesterday that people are paying up to $120 on ebay for Sriracha sauce. Some are getting a deal at $70.

From CNN Business, yesterday:

Sriracha sauce is selling for as much as $120 amid prolonged shortage

Story by Jordan Valinsky 

The prolonged shortage of a certain red sauce is making the black market go wild.

Prices of Sriracha sauce are as high as $70 on eBay as people look to snap up the spicy sauce — and they’re even steeper on Amazon, up to $124. Huy Fong Foods, which makes the rooster-adorned bottled sauce, has been dealing with a years-long shortage of the chilis, which is hurting production and causing some shortages.

A search on eBay shows prices for various sized bottles ranging from $39.98 for 17-ounce bottles to a 28-ounce bottle for nearly $70. In both instances, shipping is an additional fee, jacking up the price even more.

Prices are even higher on Amazon, where one seller is offering a 2-pack for $124. Of course, it’s unclear if anyone is actually paying these exorbitant prices, considering a 17-ounce bottle typically costs around $5.

The company recently told CNN that it’s still experiencing a shortage of raw materials. “Although some production did resume this past fall season, we continue to have a limited supply that continues to affect our production. At this time, we have no estimations of when supply will increase,” a Huy Fong spokesperson said.

The story of David Tran, founder of Sriracha Sauce in Irwindale, Calif. is one of success by an immigrant. Not to say he hasn’t had his troubles.

I remember reading about neighbors complaining about the smells coming from his factory and he being at odds with the City Council.

From NPR in 2014:

Sriracha hot sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods has been tussling with the City Council of Irwindale, Calif., near Los Angeles for months now over whether the factory’s spicy smells harm its neighbors. There have been legal action and suggested fixes, but also pleas from other cities for the company to consider moving there.

David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong, says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions.

“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] U.S.A., and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” Tran says.

Irwindale’s city attorney, Fred Galante, says the city loves having the cult condiment factory but must pay attention to the health of residents.

“It’s difficult to tell a resident that suffers from asthma or their child that suffers from asthma, ‘Sorry, we do not want to be considered business-unfriendly; just keep your child indoors,’ ” Galante says.

It’s a tough call, because Sriracha is a glamorous commodity. Bon Appetit named it one of its favorite foods last year. Chiliheads began to hoard it when it looked like Huy Fong might be forced to stop making it.

The other day my husband asked me to buy some sort of Clorox stick to get out stains on something white. I looked at the store and couldn’t find any. He looked online and a single stick was $65.

Then he went to the pharmacy to pick up an Rx and was told it was on backorder. They expect it in September. Of course, he didn’t take that as an answer, but shopped around other pharmacies to find it in stock — sometime soon.

Something is drastically wrong here.

What do you think is going on?

In the name of equity

We woke up to two inches of snow yesterday, which quickly melted.

My kids went to Palm Springs High School, one of several high schools in our district. They had a longtime principal who was popular with students and teachers alike. I think the main reason the teachers liked him is he left them alone. He didn’t get in their way of creating curriculum or classroom management.

He retired and a principal was moved from another high school in the district. The new principal immediately made changes. His first move was to tell established AP teachers they would be moved to general ed classes. He was going to appoint new teachers to the AP classes.

He wanted the excellent AP teachers, who had been there for years, to help students who were struggling. The kids in College Prep and AP would do just fine no matter who taught them.

However, he didn’t realize that some courses like AP Calc or AP Chem could not be taught by anyone!

The teachers were furious. They had taught their courses — in some cases — dozens of years. They had developed their curriculum and loved what they were doing.

Parents were asked to go to a meeting with teachers and the superintendent. The teachers wanted our support. It was one of those meetings where parents and teachers voiced their concerns, but we realized the superintendent and principal’s minds were made up. The meeting was a weak attempt to appease us.

Two excellent teachers, the AP Chemistry and AP History teachers, resigned. They decided to retire.

Then the new principal announced reassignment of the Latin teacher to teach English. She had created a four-year Latin program which was used as a model throughout California.

The other high schools in the district didn’t offer Latin, so it would be eliminated at Palm Springs High School. That’s only fair, right?

We had a standing-room only meeting with the school board. Here’s an excerpt from an article in the local paper The Desert Sun about the controversy:

The Latin language isn’t dead, at least not in Palm Springs. Some community members are fighting to keep it that way.

Parents, teachers and current and former students showed up to speak at Tuesday’s Palm Springs Unified board meeting, outraged by the reassignment of Palm Springs High School’s beloved Latin teacher. Svetlana Lazarova has been teaching all levels of Latin for more than two decades, and according to students and parents, Palm Springs High School administration informed Lazarova of her departmental transfer on the very last day of school.

“My greatest concern is how it was handled,” said Anne Hebert, a teacher at Palm Springs High School. “She was told within one hour before the end of the school year that she would be an English teacher.”

Lazarova joined the Latin program at Palm Springs High School in 1993. When she started, there were eight students in her class. Twenty years later, enrollment was up to 200 students across six classes. According to a 2013 interview with the California Teachers Association, she gave up her prep period to accommodate the high demand.

But students say the popularity of her class never prevented her from mentoring students individually. Lazarova’s first year students start with the basics of Latin grammar and vocabulary. By the end of the fourth year, they’re able to navigate the worlds built by Cicero’s prose and Virgil’s poetry.

I’m happy to let you know we won and Lazarova still teaches Latin at Palm Springs High. The new principal was either fired or transferred.

In current news, students in Virginia who earned National Merit Awards weren’t told about them because it might hurt other students. It reminded me of the Latin controversy at PSHS.

What do you think about cutting out courses in high schools like Latin so all schools are the same? Or not informing kids of their National Merit awards?

Even the alligator got topped with snow.

First trip to the Dream Center

sunset pink sky
Pink sunset sky Tuesday night.

I took a tour of the Phoenix Dream Center with a group of women yesterday. It’s the residential facility that heals and houses victims of human trafficking.

I wrote about The Dream Center HERE.

The building itself is an old Embassy Suites. It has security from Homeland Security as well as their own security staff surrounding the building.

I was impressed that it had it’s own medical office. They said they want to check the victims out physically within a day of them entering the program. Often human traffickers keep the victims documents like driver’s license or social security card when they escape, so it could take 45 days to get new documents and a doctor’s appointment. They lost one young woman to organ failure and felt that they could do better. So, they built their own medical office and doctors volunteer their time so there is no need for documents or insurance.

The girl who died said she was at peace, because she was free and felt like the Dream Center was home.

The center also has a dental office and optometrist office.

I cleaned out my closet the day before my visit and found they have two rooms for men’s and women’s clothing that were clean and organized. Residents can go into the clothing rooms and pick whatever they want off the racks for free. Residents also are responsible for maintaining the clothing rooms.

There’s a garden which is healing for the residents to work in. They also have a chapel, therapists and psychiatrists.

One of the eye popping statistics was that unlike the drug traffickers who sell their product and then need to find more to sell, human sex traffickers can sell their victims from 12 to 16 times a day for years. Young boys around 11 years old can earn $300,000 a year for their traffickers.

We were told that 95% of the residents grew up in the Phoenix area, they are not coming from the southern border. The number one trafficker is a Romeo, who a vulnerable young woman falls victim to and is manipulated into sex trafficking. They may meet their trafficker online or in person.

It was a worthwhile day, but I’m emotionally exhausted.

I thought human trafficking was a border issue, but it turns out it’s not and it’s throughout our country and the world.

What are your thoughts about human trafficking NOT being a border issue?