I will once again soon be sitting in a police station. I have to prove
I’m not a felon. At least now when they fingerprint you, it isn’t with
staining dark ink. But your fingertips still feel funny. Maybe it’s all
in my head. I hate being fingerprinted.
I started working again this week. I will be working
in a very highly regulated sector and have to pass a background check.
My criminal record will be looked at. Which should take about a nanosecond,
since I don’t have one.
I was fingerprinted when I taught high school. Then
again when I moved to grade school. I was fingerprinted when I worked
in a nursing home. I was fingerprinted when I was a substitute teacher.
Once again, we are going to make sure I don’t have a criminal past. I’m
very fortunate since I do not, in fact, have one of those.
But all this fingerprinting stuff got me thinking.
What would become of me if I did have a criminal past?
With rising unemployment, there is a greater pool
of people to choose from when hiring. Many more people are doing background
checks for jobs that seem to have no need to be all that careful. So what
happens to people who are getting out of jails and prisons in today’s
I did a little hands on research on my way home
from work today. I stopped at my favorite grocery store. It is a chain
in the southeastern part of the US with over 1,000 stores. They do a comprehensive
backbround check before hiring. I stopped at an international discount
store and asked about their hiring policy. They do a criminal background
check, but no credit check. I stopped at a national chain of home improvement
stores and they also do a criminal check, but not a credit check before
How long does your criminal record follow along
behind you? If you can’t even get hired for less than wonderful jobs,
how do you ever get enough money to stay out of the correctional system?
If you can become an air fern or find someone to feed, clothe, and house
you for seven years, you are home free. Your criminal record for background
employment checks is no longer supposed to be an issue after that long.
If everyone wants to check for any nefarious activity,
why do we keep putting non-violent people into the system in the first
place? If you smoked pot in college, you can be President, but if you
were unlucky enough to get arrested for it, you can’t vote for the guy.
If having a criminal record makes you ineligible
for most jobs, what are we going to do with all the ex-cons who need to
be released because our prisons are overflowing? Are they somehow all
going to become entrepreneurs? It seems like they won’t have the start
up money or the proper skills for this, unless all they need is some lock
picks and a deft hand. But that is going to land them back into the system.
Right now, more than 1% of the US population is
behind bars. Millions of people. Some of them will remain there for the
rest of their lives, but many more will be released into regular society
eventually. And what will they do? Michael Vick is back playing pro football,
but not everyone has that lenient of an industry to go back to.
We already have millions of ex-cons on the streets.
Where are they going to find jobs? Is some petty criminal activity in
one’s teen years or early twenties really a life sentence? How do you
overcome having a criminal record? Can you ever get a job in any large
I know my background check will turn out okay. I’ve
never been arrested. There is nothing there to find. I even agree with
making sure I was safe to be around children and older folks who might
not be able to "tattle" on me should I commit illegal acts.
In highly regulated industries, making sure those working there are safe
But I know people who have been arrested. I know
people who have been incarcerated for dumb teenage stunts. And with all
our "zero tolerance" we are making more of these types of felons
Should most jobs require a background check? Are
other countries becoming as paranoid as we Americans? How do you ever
get past an arrest and get a decent job, allowing you to earn an honest
living and stay out of jail?
What will happen to those who managed to be caught
being stupid as teens and were awarded jail time? Have you ever been fingerprinted?
Did you hate it?
PS - As mentioned above, I began working this week.
I haven’t held a job for over three years. I’m also scheduled to be on
the other side of the country for over a week. I’m slightly overwhelmed.
Mike has given me a two week vacation. He will write something here or
find an archive article. Hopefully, I will no longer be overwhelmed after
that time and be back to writing.
On This Article
it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ going? Please click the
link and direct your contribution to keep RGQ going.
“It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By
definition, there are already enough people to do that.” - G. H. Hardy
“Popcorn is the last area of movie business where good taste is still
a concern.” - Mike Barfield
Having lost weight
over the past few years, a lady was discarding things from her wardrobe
that no longer fit. Her seven-year-old daughter was watching as she
held up a huge pair of slacks.
“Wow,” the lady said, “I must have worn these when I was a hundred
Her daughter looked puzzled and asked, “How old are you now?”
“Nobody seems to know yet how television is going to affect the radio,
movies, love, housekeeping or the church, but it has definitely revived
“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?”
“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”
- all from Edgar Bergen who died on this day in 1978
has some thoughts to share on whats important in life. Here’s your
15 minutes Tazz!
I have been doing alot of reading these days while recovering from a number
of illnesses that have kept me indoors. I am finding that this country
is not built on important things like family and friends any more like
it once was. Instead, I’m running into quite a few who are just in love
with themselves, and what they want. It did my heart such good to see
the article about grand children and the comments that came from that.
I see also, that people seem to want alot of things, but sense when did
things keep you warm at night, and give you a hug during the day? For
me family is important, and so are friends, and spending time with them.
Now, do not get me wrong I like my personal time, and such, but I’m most
happy when I have family to eat dinner with, or a friend to go on a long
I’ve many friends who complain that they’ve no one to do anything with,
and no one to help themwith things, but then when someone does come along
they do not reach back when they’re reached out to.
What do you think? Have we turned our attention to too many material and
selfish things, or is this still a country of families and friends? -
Most people know that every Canadian and U.S. currency bill (banknote)
has a unique serial number. What many people don’t know is that some
bills produced in subsequent years may have the same serial number.
In the U.S., it is entirely possible to have two $1US bills in your
hand with the same serial number and you not be arrested for counterfeiting.
In the U.S. $5US bills and up have adopted serial numbering plans that
include alpha characters corresponding to the year issued. This makes
it possible for a $5US and a $10US
bill to have the same serial number if issued in the same year, but
no previous bills of the same denomination will have the same serial
There is a website that allows a user to track their currency.
Where’s George tracks U.S. currency. There is a sister website,
that tracks Canadian currency. Not to be left out, a website was created
to track Euro
bills. This has led to a gaggle of other sites popping up to track specific
banknotes. There’s one for Indian rupees. There’s one for British pounds.
Another for Swiss francs, plus others.
I’m a member of Where’s George, Where’s Willy, and EuroTracker, although
I’ve never had a Euro in my hand before. Being American, I get plenty
of U.S. bills, and, to date, I have had one of my bills appear and be
reentered in every state. I’ve even had one found in Canada. It took
several years to get that widespread. It takes a good while to get even
your first "hit". My average is a little over 228 days from
the time I enter a bill to the day it is reentered. All I’ve had in
larger Canadian currency are Loonies and Twonies. Since they are coins
and have no serial number, they can’t be tracked.
It is nice to receive an email telling me one of my bills has been discovered.
I click a link in the email and see where the bill was found and maybe
some comment as to the circumstances of the find. All this is free,
although you do have to register with each website you wish to participate
in. There are advanced features you can get, but you have to subscribe
to a "for a fee" enhancement to get those features.
Here’s your quiz:
Do you have time to enter the currency you receive into a website?
Do you wonder what happens to your bills when you spend them?
Do you realize that some of your bills are having more fun in exotic
places than you can?
Where’s George - Keeping An Eye On Finance, In A Fun Way
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)
just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has
reached it first.”
~ Unknown ~
It would not be accurate to say that I woke up on Sunday morning with
a sense of occasion - for that, you have to have slept. I can say
with complete honesty, however, that I had stayed awake for most of
the night with a sense of occasion. As I got up shortly after 5:00
a.m., I felt the weight of six months of training. I remembered the
lonely runs at five in the morning, the times I laced up and hit the
road in the pouring rain, the long Sunday runs with the sun beating
down on me. I had now come to the day when it would all matter, the
day I had been working so hard for. As I laced up my running shoes,
I knew that at this point, there was not a thing I could do beyond
running the race wisely. My body was ready. I had successfully run
a twelve-mile training run. I was capable of running 13.1. I just
had to make sure that my mind would stay strong. Runners everywhere
know that training is 90% physical, 10% mental. Running a race is
10% physical, 90% mental. Racing is mentally harder because it matters
so much more, especially if you are doing it for a cause.
We left the kids in the care of my mother-in-law and her sister, and
were on the highway by 5:45. We got the starting point of the race
about an hour before the start time. I was super-excited, unable to
sit still, constantly visualising myself at the finish line. I was
targeting a time of two and a half hours, but I didn’t really care
if I met that or not. Just as long as I finished the race (no way
was I going to try and compete with my time 1:57:24 from my previous
half-marathon eight years before).
All of a sudden it was 7:15 and I was at the start line, listening
to a moving rendition of O Canada. Fifteen minutes later, the start
gun went off and I surged forward along with thousands of other runners.
It took me seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds just to cross the
start line. As I ran down the road, I saw myself on the giant screen.
I waved at myself and wished myself all the best. I thought of my
son George, my beautiful boy who has autism, the reason I was running
the race. With the image of him in my mind, I started the race.
I started very slow - a habit from days gone by that had worked for
me eight years ago, and turned out to still work for me now. I had
slews of people passing me in the first two kilometres, but I didn’t
care. I knew that by the time I reached the halfway mark, I would
be passing most of them. The course was mostly flat - just a couple
of hills that were very manageable. There were spectators all along
the route who cheered and yelled out how well we were all doing. I
had brought along my iPod, just in case I needed inspiration, but
I may as well have left it at home. I got my inspiration from the
crowds, and from the runners around me.
I ran the first five kilometres nice and easy, then I picked up my
pace a bit. At about seven kilometres I started passing people who
had sprinted out of the starting blocks too fast. Kilometres five
to ten were fantastic. I found my rhythm but still didn’t push too
hard. I made good time and still had plenty of energy when I reached
the halfway point, about an hour and a quarter after crossing the
Kilometres ten to fifteen were my fastest. I hit my stride and felt
fantastic, buoyed by the psychological energy that comes with knowing
you have made it halfway and are now heading home. I practically floated
up the next hill and cruised along. I was experiencing the “runners’
high” at this point, and was vaguely aware that I had an inane grin
on my face. I couldn’t help it. I was so happy.
For kilometres sixteen to eighteen, I slowed down a bit. This was
a deliberate tactic aimed at ensuring that I would have the energy
for a strong finish. I picked up the pace for the last three kilometres
- by now I was feeling well and truly shattered. This was where the
mental part of the race came in. I knew that my body had enough reserves
to make it for the home stretch but my mind was trying to tell me
otherwise. I pushed all negative thoughts out of my mind and focused
on the finish line, now just one kilometre away.
As I made the turn from Lakeshore Boulevard onto Bay Street, I knew
that I was in the home stretch. All I had to do was run north for
a few minutes and I’d be home. Just as I thought I wouldn’t be able
to run another step, I saw a sign in front of me saying, “500 metres
to go”. My legs got a sudden burst of energy, and before I knew it,
I was passing the sign that said, “400 metres to go”. Somewhere around
the “300 metres to go” sign, I suddenly heard my name being called
from among the spectators. I looked up, and to my complete surprise
I saw a friend and fellow running enthusiast whom I hadn’t seen for
a long time. She cheered me on, urged me to the finish line, yelled
out her congratulations. In jubilation, I waved at her with both hands,
and felt a massive rush of adrenaline that got me to the finish line.
It was a moment I will never forget. Heeding the advice of a fellow
runner who pointed out that I would get an accurate time from my chip,
I forgot about hitting the “stop” button on my watch in the interests
of ensuring a decent finish line photograph. As I crossed the line,
I raised both arms in the air, feeling nothing but absolute joy. I
had done it. I had run this race for my son and for people with autism
everywhere. What made the moment even more perfect was my husband,
standing right on the other side of the line, waiting to give me a
Twenty minutes later, I stood beside my husband, medal around my neck,
foil blanket over my shoulders, holding a picture of my son. I reflected
on all of the training, on the reason I had done this, on the incredible
energy that had surrounded me throughout the morning. I thought of
my legs, which were already screaming at me, and the fact that I was
exhausted beyond belief.
Sharing a moment of triumph with a fellow runner, the Mayor of
the official results came in, I had a gun time of 2:37:08 - this is
the time elapsed from the start gun until the time I crossed the finish
line. My chip time (the time I care about) was 2:28:32 - this is the
time from when I crossed the start line to when I crossed the finish
line. Not too shabby, considering I haven’t done a half-marathon in
eight years and could barely run around the block six months ago.
Will I do it again next year? Hell, yes. Only next time, I will pay
extra for the post-race massage.
On This Article
Tim wasn’t feeling well, so here’s an article from the archive.
Get well Tim!
I love my job. I get to work with some of the brightest minds in the
world, and they come up with some of the stupidest ideas you could
Allow me to explain. We have students that will spend their first
year at our college, then go to another school for two years, then
spend their last year back at our college. The get a degree from us,
they pay us, all that stuff works like a normal student. Some of them
even live on our campus, even though they are attending another school.
But they aren’t registered for any classes, so the registrar wondered
how they could keep their student computer accounts (e-mail, library,
food service, etc.) active.
Lucky for us, they knew the answer. Boss got the first meeting with
them on Thursday when they presented their solution to him. Then I
got a phone call on Friday. They have problems turning on their computers
at times, but they knew how we should fix their problem. They would
just click "this box" and we could just change all the programming
for the entire new system, the library server, the food service server,
etc., and all the computers would know that these students are still
I tried to explain that it wasn’t that simple. "Yes it is, we
just check the box." No, it means I have to do work, and even
if I did the work, it still wouldn’t work. "Yes it will, we’re
sure of it!" If you’re so sure of it, why don’t you stop down
and show me how to do it? "I don’t know how to do it, you do."
I know how it would have to be done, and I know it won’t work. "Yes
it will, we’re sure of it!"
It won’t work. I’m sure of this because I’m not even going to try
to make their idea work.
Instead I’m going to suggest they register these people for a free
class. Then everything will work, with the possible exception of me.
Having a Ball with Yarns
E-mail Dear Tim
Comment on this article
To make your own corn meal mix: combine 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup all-purpose
flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons baking powder. You can store
it in a tightly covered container for up to 6 months.
Good turn-out this time. Keep ‘em coming!
Next opening line…
There once was a shiek with a harem…
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
once had a furry black cat
I dropped him off the roof of my flat
To see an aerial feat
But ’stead of on his feet
He hit the ground with a splat. - E. Cole Aye
once had a furry black cat
But I don’t know where she’s now at
But I won’t worry
For I know she’ll scurry
When cat food hits her dish with a splat! - Anne Onimous
|I once had
a furry black cat
Who everyone loved to pat
‘Til my kid (not a saint)
On his back poured white paint
So now he looks like a polecat. - Anne Onimous
|I once had
a furry black cat
Who all around the house just sat
But one day that lug
Caught the dancing bug
So now he’s one groovin’ hepcat. - Anne Onimous
|I once had
a furry black cat—
Until one day, when he went splat—
around from the corner
came a car, then no more-
was Fluffy, and then that was that. - Cassandra in New York
|I once had
a furry black cat
In fact I’m so fond of them that
This is cat number 3
Doesn’t matter to me
Since a black cat is where it’s at! - Maria in Illinois
|I once had
a furry black cat…..
Not the "Cat in a hat"…..
He stayed in the house…..
We had nary a mouse…..
And he grew very lazy and fat. - Skeeter
|I once had
a furry black cat…..
I often told him to scat…..
He would wander and roam…..
Then finally come home…..
This is true except it’s "we"
and that’s that - Skeeter
|I once had
a furry black cat…..
Yes, he was black as a bat…..
Oft he would go…..
In search of you know…..
One time he didn’t come back. - Skeeter
had a furry black cat,
that liked to sleep under my hat.
My hat in the chair,
the cat under there,
now I’m careful upon what I sat. - Mike
Re: Old folks and pot
Have been smoking pot since I was 14 or 15 and I am 53 now. I have
no concerns about smoking it. I must say, I do not smoke a lot of
it these days, very little in fact, but I do still enjoy it!! - Bonnie
Mike asked: Do you know anyone over 50 who uses pot? Has it been
a lifelong usage or have they recently started back? Have you tried
it recently? Do you think at some point in your life you might try
At the risk of getting myself in trouble - who knows who reads these
things! - I will say, I’m over 50, and never actually stopped, except
for maybe 2 years total, spread out over the last almost-40 years.
I’d be interested to see the statistics (altho I’m sure there are
none; if I had the wherewithall, I’d start a study!) of life-long
users and the glaucoma rates.
But I digress… in all those years, I’ve managed to get a master’s
degree, among other things, raise a family, and hold down a job. My
health is fair to partly-cloudy, and I have found that I use more
for medicinal purposes anymore than strictly recreation. It helps
with my chronic back problems, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, but most
importantly, it keeps me from killing people (better than any anti-anxiety
meds, as far as I’m concerned, but then, I’m not one of the people
who get anxious from smoking it!). I tend to be high-strung, and believe
me, it’s a good thing that I continue to use.
And yes, I know a lot of folks my age who haven’t stopped, either.
And I bet I know a bunch more who just won’t admit out loud that they
smoke on occasion. I understand; reputations can be destroyed by being
honest about this issue. It’s a shame, really. - Anonymous
Re: Cliff and fall
The leaves are getting colourful here, and almost hiding the lawn.
We had a very cool spring and summer, so I’m not ready for fall! I
used to make some memorable Haloween costumes, but I would not start
until Noon on the 31st, after I’d seen some costumes for manic inspiration.
I’d pick up some stuff at a thrift store, and attack it with scissors
and hot glue, with a budget of $4.00 in current funds. These days,
I just put a seasonal silhouette on my orange front blind, and hand
out "Vampire Repellent" - organic popcorn with garlic butter.
- Bob of the North
I don’t do costumes, and
have absolutely no interest in halloween. When I was a kid, they had
to force me to do the trick or treat thing, and I came home as soon
as I could. I didn’t like begging, didn’t like having to do a trick,
(yes, in my day, not so very long ago, we had to do a trick, or tell
a joke) and hated the costumes. By the way, this has nothing to do
with religion. I don’t decorate for Christmas either. My personal
favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
I do, however, love autumn in New Mexico. We have a few trees that
change colors up in the mountains. The cottonwoods just turn yellow,
then brown, then drop. But the weather is perfect. Cool nights just
perfect for good sleeping, and warm days. Can’t ask for better than
that. Please don’t shout that out too loudly, we have enough people
here already. - L&K, herm
The crisp, cool temperatures of Autumn are incredible, especially
at just before daylight. That is when I leave my house to drive 2
miles to the park where I do my daily 4 mile walk–it is truly wonderful.
- Bonnie >^,,^<
Re: Citizenship tests
I thought I had gotten a
90 on the test until I looked up #5.
This is what I
found from Answers.com
Authors of the US Constitution
A man named
Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania was in charge of the committee to
draft the final copy of the Constitution. Other men who had much to
do with writing the Constitution included John Dickinson, Gouverneur
Morris, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Edmund Randolph,
James Madison, Roger Sherman, James Wilson, and George Wythe. Morris
was given the task of putting all the convention’s resolutions and
decisions into polished form. Morris actually "wrote" the
Constitution. The original copy of the document is preserved in the
National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.
who, at the time, was assistant clerk of the Pennsylvania State Assembly,
and whose office was in the same building in which the Convention
was held, was given the task of engrossing the Constitution prior
to its being signed.
Here is more
input from others:
U.S. Constitution is the work of several men, directly and indirectly.
The three most notable persons whose work influenced the Constitution
but who were not involved in its writing are Thomas Jefferson, John
Adams and Thomas Paine. The group of men involved in the writing of
the Constitution are generally referred to as the "framers".
- No single individual wrote it. Twelve of the thirteen states
sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention to revise the Articles
of Confederation and the entire convention worked on it. After the
political questions were hashed out a ‘committee of style’ was formed
to put the ideas into formal words. It is generally accepted that
Gouverneur Morris created most of the actual wording included in the
final draft from the Committee of Style.
- The original copy of the document is preserved in the National Archives
Building in Washington, D.C.
- The person most associated with authoring the US Constitution
was James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Primary
Author: James Madison (Drafted the Virginia Plan). He is known as
"The Father of the Constitution". James Madison wrote the
Constitution in 1787. The constitution wasn’t passed until 1788.
Bruce in Colorado
I know every one except "the supreme law of the land", which
could be anything from "love thy neighbor" "do unto
others" "in God we trust" "the Supreme Court"
to "Catch Me if you can". - Lucille
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be
accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly
attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time
to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect
quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
Click here to see the archives of past issues, or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reallygoodquotes/messages.
If you run across something really outstanding when perusing the archives,
I’d appreciate it if you’d mail me at TheBestOfRGQ@yahoo.com
and point it out to me. I’m in the process of compiling an e-book
called, not surprisingly, The Best of RGQ, and I’d like to hear from you
which pieces impacted you the most.
Comments? Want to contribute a joke or a quote or an image? Feel free
We’d love to hear from you! We’ll even publish your comments, if they
make any sense!
you’d like to receive RGQ by email, please send a blank e-mail
can’t imagine why you’d want to, but if you choose to unsubscribe, please
send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you choose to unsubscribe, please e-mail
us and tell us why. We listen to what people say, even if they’re