45 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-19-19

  1. Morning Rk. Late afternoon here. So nice to have a day off. Working on forms for furlough and for a performance appraisal as well as a newsletter. More rain. Got lots of things at this mornings market, so I am going to do some cooking. Bee Bim Bop!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bee Bim Bop, Jo!
    Good morning! It’s been storming since around 5 a.m. I awoke around 3 a.m. thinking we had missed it. No. Now we have flash flooding until noon.

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  3. We helped out with the youth group’s all nighter, so got to bed late. I just picked Elizabeth up at the church. She’s showering and going to bed. I’m good, I got my 4 hours so I’m off to do the shopping. Yay. Such an exciting life, I know….

    🙂

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Peter, from yesterday on class participation.
    Unless it’s a law school, or some such. I dislike the idea of “class participation” as part of a grade.
    There are some people who are reluctant to speak in public, including class situations.
    Then, there are people who hog the conversation whether they contribute anything or not.
    But in HS, I only spoke when called on.
    But today, Phos and I would have a great time together.
    I would love it. Bet she would too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Morning! Coffee tastes so good this morning! And it appears Chas keeps fading in and out of cyberspace. “Beam me up Scotty” 😜
    Today I am to make a special type cake for a Seder meal tomorrow. I need to find potato starch and could not find it at the grocery yesterday. I think I am in trouble…it needs to be kosher so I cannot substitute it with corn starch….ugh. I wish our study leader who came up with this would have included where we could find ingredients! (And I have to whip up eggs whites into a fluffy mess which I have never been able to do for some reason….)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Jill, Mind you I have never been able to do that thing with egg whites, but I have been told cream of tartar is the secret. Now you will have to find out if that is kosher.
    Which leads me into why I came here this morning. This definitely isn’t kosher.
    Sometime back in 2013 I had a sandwich. It was on a croissant with pimento cheese, bacon, lettuce, and a pickled green tomato. I have been on a quest ever since to have this sandwich again. The key ingredient being a pickled green tomato, you will understand why it has taken so long. I couldn’t find them anywhere and I sure wasn’t pickling them myself. Yesterday, I stopped at a local produce store. I always like to wander around and see what they may have. Lo and Behold, they had pickled green tomatoes! So, of course, I bought a jar of them. This caused me to have to go back to the refrigerated section and buy pimento and cheese and bacon. Last night I shared this bliss with my husband. He declared I was a wonderful wife and he would marry me all over again simply for this sandwich.
    The funniest part of this to me is that since I no longer cook and am quite rusty at it, I had to ask him how to cook the bacon in the oven.
    Now that I have described this to you, go find yourself some pickled green tomatoes and “make yo’self a sammich”.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. It’s Good Friday, according to the liturgical calendar. Of course, since the Jewish Passover starts tonight, the actual Crucifixion date would be next week, wouldn’t it? Wasn’t Jesus crucified on the sixth or seventh day of eight day Passover celebration? At any rate, since we Christians acknowledge the first day of the week as the resurrection, we can’t move that day because of the lunar calendar used by the Jews.

    So, since this is the day we recognize, here is a hymn about the cross, written by Fanny Crosby.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chas, we can see you, can you see you?

    Not to steal Peter’s thunder, but I sang this with the city church choir two Sundays ago. I knew it almost by heart, having heard it played so often by the classical radio station I grew up listening to. It is probably the most beautiful setting of Christ’s words to Nicodemus in John 3:16-17, composed by John Stainer as part of his oratorio Crucifixion.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. DJ, I find it interesting when I hear people upset about what the workers make. They do not consider the negative aspects of the job. For example, some jobs are very dirty, physically difficult, have shift work etc. Those jobs should and often do pay more. Other jobs have prestige and may have a smaller salary or not. Those who complain often do not try to get those jobs, since they do not want to work in that environment and with the challenges. Nor do they want to work more than 40 hours a week.

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  10. A beautiful day here, sun is still shining so that is nice. We got to start some more garden areas yesterday, so that was fun. Starting to see some of the early growth from what was planted earlier. Meanwhile, in the house, tomatoes and peppers are thriving. I love this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In the case of the longshoremen, yes, it can be dangerous and the air is toxic, not a very pleasant environment in which to work.

    But just to give you an idea … Workers are able to work 2 shifts a day, 4 hours each (but paid for 8 hours each). There are lines of thousands of people whenever the lottery is opened up. Casuals, the part-timers, work for years just trying to get into registered status.

    I’m not saying they don’t work hard or that the work isn’t often times unpleasant. What i’m saying is this particular union has been able to play hardball for a lot of years and has driving salaries and benefits pretty much through the roof. I remember interviewing a school teacher once who left the classroom to take a union card. He said he missed doing work that required using his education, but there was absolutely no way he could pass up that kind of money and free medical care.

    Everyone realizes and agrees that the longshore workers needed (and need) a union. Back “in the day,” those guys were not paid so well and had to haul cargo on their backs.

    Through some literally bloody strikes in the early 1900s, the union has fought hard and come a long way. Equipment and containerization has made it a much more domesticated job than it once was. And the union has unusual clout for many historic reasons, hammered out in bargaining, that has given it exceptional power at the bargaining table.

    We all realize it’s a niche job that has real drawbacks. But in this case, the benefits and pay usually outweigh any of that for those clamoring to get onboard. A union card is a ticket to a pretty nice standard of living.

    Automation of the terminals will definitely affect jobs going forward, but they may just transition to other kinds of skills that will be needed. No one knows for sure, and I understand why it would be resisted. I also understand the appeal for employers who sign those checks. Robotic straddlers can move containers 24/7 with no risk of human injuries.

    I sit at a stop sign after getting off the 2nd bridge on my way to work that is right in front of one of the 2 automated terminals in the ports. It’s amazing to watch those towering container handlers gliding to and for, around each other all across that terminal.

    Automation affects all job sectors, it’s a continual fact of life that has to be dealt with. In this case, since the union signed off in 2008 on recognizing terminal operators can automate (in exchange for a sweet boost of their pensions and pay once again), the terminal operators seem to be on solid legal ground for moving forward. The union now wants to draw the line in the sand, but terminal operators argue they got what they wanted from that contract, now it’s their turn to get what they signed off on for their side of the deal.

    The mayor is trying to broker discussions that would at least preserve some jobs on that one terminal going forward, and that’s a fair approach too. It’s probably the union’s best hope to lessen the pain. But going forward, that doesn’t mean that their jobs will go away, they will just probably change.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The “double-back” shifts (my union contact called it the “dirty little secret”) are very popular, I’ve been told. Workers go in for 4 hours in the morning, come home, go back for another 4 hours later in the afternoon or evening. They’re paid for 16 hours, including OT of course. But they’re fairly easy days and many of the longshore workers love doing that. Much of the big money comes with working those kinds of OT shifts where they pay is for more hours than those being worked.

    It’s a co-dependent system that’s evolved and terminal operators play the game as well (though they’d tell you they’re pretty much held hostage at this stage).

    A number of articles have been written on how this relatively small but militant (in the old ways) union manages to command such massive salaries and bring the employers to its knees come contract time.

    People on the outside half admire and half resent the entire set up, but no one speaks too openly against the union. Shops in town don’t dare turning down “we support the union” posters in their windows at contract time as boycotts can and do follow and it can get pretty nasty.

    That said, many of these guys individually are the salt of the earth, they’re our neighbors (and relatives in many local families). But get them together as a group for “the cause” and they become loud and obnoxious and bullying. That’s just my take after having to cover a number of their job actions and rallies. They’ve had a lot of power and aren’t shy about wielding it.

    Not all unions are like that, and I understand the psychology of it all. Employers can and do take advantage of employees, we’ve experienced that first hand in our struggling industry, needless to say.

    But we all love it when a longshore contract is finally signed that’ll last a few years. It means peace for the entire community, at least for a little while.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ok, rant over. 🙂

    Peek-a-boo Anonymous Chas is busy today. I also didn’t like class participation much and agree it puts an unfair burden on some of the more introverted class members. I still tend not to participate much in group settings.

    Back to the cubby office for me today, though I was hoping to work from home to cover the tent raising for a month-long run of Cirque du Soleil on the waterfront. But we’re handling that with art only so I don’t “need” to be there. Sigh. But it is Friday.

    Next week I’m grabbing a couple of random vacation days (Friday and Monday), heading off for the pet expo on one of the days, need to get up to see Carol on one of the other ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. https://www.marketplace.org/2015/02/23/business/unions-decline-dockworkers-still-have-clout

    From a few years ago
    _______________________

    West coast dockworkers and shippers reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract Friday afternoon, ending months of labor strife. The effects of the standoff have been felt around the world – car assembly lines without crucial parts, billions in produce lost, and a shortage of french fries in Japan.

    In a time when organized labor is declining, one relatively small union, The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) still has the power to slow down the economy.

    Neither side will reveal details of the new contract, but it’s likely generous.

    Shipping companies say dock workers average $147,000 per year. The ILWU says if you take out a few specialized positions, the figure is closer to $80,000. Either way, it is a good salary, especially for non-college grads. …

    … Being a dock worker is great work if you can get it, but the key is getting it.

    “The last time we put out applications, 360,000 people put in applications,” said Arian. …
    _________________________________

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  15. Growing up, we did not attend church, not even on Easter, but I always (or at least often) got a pretty new dress for Easter. As an adult, I haven’t purposely bought new Easter dresses, but I try to wear something particularly pretty and springy-looking.

    At my (I started to type “our”) current church, people dress casually, with many of us leaning more towards dressy-casual. For me, that means a dressy tunic with black slacks (or my nicer jeans if I am wearing a blue top), with earrings and a necklace, and often a bracelet.

    This year, Nightingale is slacking off (just kidding). You know that she is usually one to prefer cooking everything from scratch, but she’s had a busy week, and our family “Easter Dinner”, which will be on Saturday, comes between two workdays for her. So she is going to buy a rotisserie chicken and a cake, and make the veggie dishes herself. (It is very rare that she actually buys a cake.)

    But then the Sunday after Easter. she and I will be hosting an “Easter Brunch” for three of her/our friends, and she will be doing a lot of cooking and baking for that, I am sure. (Although we are calling it a brunch, it will be after church services, as three of us attend church.) You may remember we did this last year, and it was a lovely, enjoyable time. (This year there is one more invited than last year.)

    (Chickadee is invited, too, but will not be coming, like last year, since she doesn’t know these ladies well.)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Janice – Yesterday you said something about trying to figure out what to wear for Easter, and that this church is more casual than what you were used to. I would say that if you want to wear a dress, go ahead. You may become a trendsetter! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am an introvert, but I managed to get a good class participation mark. I did not contribute as frequently as other students perhaps, but, from tutor and peer feedback (peer feedback contributed to one’s participation mark) it seems that what I shared was valuable. The academic award I got for my work last year was due to a nomination by one of the tutors of that recurring class. We had two class debates in my last semester, one on assisted dying, and another on mandatory vaccinations, with half the class randomly assigned to one side or the other. I did not contribute a great deal to the debates, as the pressure of making arguments in such a setting is intimidating for an introvert, but at the end of the debate, the floor was opened for general remarks, and I was able to make some points drawn from what I had heard from the debates. There was actually spontaneous applause after my statement on the assisted dying debate, demonstrating that one can raise concerns about a controversial topic and not be ostracized for so doing.

    Besides, the class participation mark was only ever 15 percent of the final mark, while the paper mark value ranged between 25 to 45 percent, with exams and/or group assignments making up the rest. The paper percentage worth increased through the semesters, as did the group assignments, while I did not write any exams in my last year. University programs generally value assignments over either participation or exams, I supposed because assignments are where you really demonstrate your learning.

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  18. When I took education classes we were to grade using class participation, written, oral, test, quizzes, papers, projects, single student projects, and student team projects. No one excels at all of these and it was to give a better view of the student so that one who is an introvert got as much credit as an extrovert.
    I am finding that teaching adults is a challenge. There is one in every class who likes to go off on rabbit trails and derail the class. There is occasionally one who wants to show the rest of the class how knowledgable he is. There sometimes is a “suck up”. I can’t stand a suck up and have to take a deep breath.

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  19. A meditation for Good Friday: https://www.abwe.org/blog/good-friday-meditation-fitting-crown
    ‘…When they had found this most worthless of plants, they took its cruel leaves, and crowned what seemed a worthless man with worthless claims.

    In fact, nothing could have been more fitting, though not fitting in the way in which those soldiers may have thought. For Jesus did not claim the throne of Rome or any other empire. No, his claim was over the whole world, the entire creation, and for that only thorns would do.

    Why only thorns? To understand that, you have to stop and hear the story of thorns in the Bible. Throughout the Scriptures, thorns are a symbol and proverb for futility and pain. Wherever God’s blessing is withdrawn, wherever his curse is found, thorns abound. They are a picture of unfruitfulness and desolation. They choke out and smother good plants. They block the path of the wayfarer. A source of frustration and trouble, they are good only for burning. And it is no wonder: their origin is not on day three of creation along with the rest of the plants, but on day one of the Fall…’

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  20. Kim, the rabbit trailer, the show-off, and the suck-up were always present in my classes. It really did not matter in classes where the instructor was wise to the ways of students, such behaviour never seemed to get them very far. In one semester, the tutor was not a good instructor, alternately flattering and condescending and a very unfair marker (I speak as the one who was marked perfect for a short answer test while my fellow students who gave the same basic answer, just different wording, as I did to certain questions were marked wrong on those questions – I know this because the test was taken up in class). It is in those situations that the rabbit-trailer, the show-off, and the suck-up can often wreak havoc. But, in that particular case, one felt that the real suck-up was the tutor, as she was sugar sweet to some and nearly nasty to others. I really related to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of Eliza Jane in Little Town on the Prairie after that experience. By the end of the semester, entire class disliked and distrusted the tutor, who was not asked to return by the university the next year.

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  21. DJ I don’t mind your ‘rant.’ The job my husband worked was full of teachers. The pay was much better—at least when you worked. With all the layoffs and strikes a lot of money was lost over the years and not at convenient times for many. Teachers also get lots of griping about their jobs and, again, others are welcome to try to get into the job. Many complain, but do not want to put up with the students, parents, administrators. The grass is always greener for others. 😉

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  22. DJ–all this was being argued throughout my childhood back in the Dark Ages. Nothing has changed except it appears a lot of the job is automated–which should make some alteration in those paychecks.

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  23. A word about the class I mentioned yesterday- It was in the syllabus, so all the students knew the first day what was expected. Plus, there were other professors teaching the same class that had different expectations.

    Another thing about the class- It was hard to fail an exam other than the final, as they were take home essay tests. The prof told us the only way to fail was not to defend our position based on the literature itself. He would give us a choice of three questions and we had to answer one of them in a minimum three page hand-written essay.

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  24. Quietly listening for a plane this morning. I am seeing some sunshine, but right at 7am fog began to develop. A high school girl needs to be medevaced with her Mom to Cairns this morning. Prayers appreciated for the flight to take off and have a smooth trip.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Michelle (3:21), yes, it’s been a very long “discussion” community wide and it intensifies whenever the contracts come up (next in 2021, I believe). Containerization in 1960 was a major piece of “automation” that the union decided wasn’t a fight they’d win and since then, actually, the numbers of longshore workers and jobs have risen.

    I recall covering a port clerk’s strike some years ago where the issue was switching from pencils and clipboards to computers in tracking ships that are coming and going through the harbor.

    Automation now also is seen as part of the clean air initiatives the ports are being required to meet in a fairly short time — guys driving diesel trucks and shuttles vs. zero-emissions equipment (commercially available now unlike many of the trucks still in demonstration phases and being slowly rolled out) to move cargo around on terminal properties.

    Lots of moving parts as the industry goes forward with these changes. It’s a constant push and pull between the two parties that have the most at stake.

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  26. Holding back automation is a losing battle. The surprise was that the union had signed off on it in their last contract, acknowledging terminal operators’ rights to automate, and now are pitching a fit over a routine permit to do so at one of the terminals.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Well I never found potato starch. I went to every store in the area. I found potato flour at Whole Foods but no starch. I search every kosher section of every store! At Whole Foods I found a “kosher safe for Passover” seven layer cake and bon bons….I purchased them and came home done and done! I then read the email from our hostess and she said DO NOT substitute her recipe with our own. Well I am so over this..if she wants to serve this she may…if not…I am sorry…I went above and beyond trying to put this together. My sweet husband just says “we are not under the law”….let’s just move on….

    Liked by 3 people

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