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February 23, 2017

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Jeremy Brooks
Oct. 9, 2009

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Total Comments: 41 (view all)

Telecommuting can be rough, whether you're new at it or have been doing it for years...I've done it more on than off for over a decade, and there are definite benefits and pitfalls, including social isolation and lost opportunities for elevator meetings.

Earlier this year I started a meetup group for people who work from's not a work group, per se, although when I work at Starbucks, The Beat (love The Beat), etc, I will post it on the meetup page as an open invitation to anyone to co-work. We usually meet on Wednesdays for dinner/drinks/some active thing or a fun activity, as a way to socialize with people in similar work helps to connect if you don't get that regular social time in an office. It's a small group so far, but I've made some great friends there. The meetings are free, no commitments, no sales pitches for is ONLY for socializing with other telecommuters. I don't want to buy anyone's SUCCESS NOW! DVDs, and I won't try to sell you my novel.

If you want to to check it out, it's at I usually post new meetups for the next week on the prior weekend, so I'll post next Wednesday's sometime this weekend.

(Suggest removal) 10/6/11 at 9:39 a.m.

Just yesterday, I received in the mail a summary of my daughter's high school, including demographics test scores as compared to the district and the state. They were, to put it lightly, horrible.

From said report, her school and the district:

Dropout rate: 6.5%/4.8%
Reading Meets Standards: 69%/49%
Writing Meets Standards: 56%/75%
Math Meets Standards: 38%/53%
Credit Deficiency (kids lacking credits to grad): 41%/22%

Sad picture no matter how you look at it. Not to draw correlation/causation, because there isn't enough information to do so, here are the demographics:

Male: 54%/52% Female: 45%/49%
Top 3 by race, hispanic 67%/42%, black 15%/12%, white 14%/32%

So, I had the discussion with my two kids last night, asking for their opinions on why scores are low, why so many kids drop out, etc. Their biggest observation was that kids didn't see the value of education unless it was trade-based. All of their male friends want to do construction or work on cars, and their female friends all want to start families, find a man to take care of them, or deal cards.

This city--more specifically, the people living in it--just don't seem to see the benefit of education. They don't see the money or opportunities for a better life that comes from it, because there seems to be little evidence of it around. The role models here are entertainers...aunts and cousins are blackjack dealers making decent scratch, or career housekeepers or asphalt layers with steady work and decent bennies...the primary and higher education systems are usually only discussed in negative terms.

It's a chicken/egg problem: no education, because the desire isn't there...the desire isn't there because the opportunities don't exist...the opportunities don't come around because there's no education.

(Suggest removal) 9/9/11 at 2:28 p.m.

Michael: it can be difficult...when you lose/spend money from a debit card, provided you use PIN entry (and not signature), you are subject to a completely different set of rules for reimbursement. For debit, it comes down to what your individual bank's policy is (as well as the debit network used for that particular transaction, Maestro, Cirrus, etc), whereas credit transactions fall under the blanket of Visa/Mastercard association rules, which tend to be more cardholder-friendly than many bank rules. Those protections come with a price, though, which is why merchants pay more for credit transactions than debit (and, therefore, why many merchants try to guide you toward debit).

(Suggest removal) 6/2/11 at 9:55 a.m.

Per a recent op-ed in the RJ (Tom Mitchell, I think), the firefighters were told recently to stop collecting from road medians and in stopped traffic...given the city's official position of allowing the Nation of Islam to solicit donations in traffic (not legal but, per Tom's writeup, would not be prosecuted by the DA due to political sensitivities), I'm curious if the firefighters will be held to the same standard and allowed to solicit unencumbered on the streets? That would be an interesting litmus test on several levels, I think.

(Suggest removal) 4/13/11 at 9:58 a.m.

But it's the legal prostitutes keeping new businesses away.

(Suggest removal) 4/6/11 at 11:15 a.m.

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