Saturday, March 24, 2018

Marching for Their Lives

That's me, last Monday, at our local branch of Bowling Green State University. My friend and I volunteered (begged the powers that be) to have a voter registration table in the "pit" for a day. The student media coordinator made a cute "GIF" of us waving and welcoming future voters, but I am not smart enough to share an action video. I screenshot this from their Instagram account. Which is about as techy as I can get.
I was wavering between attending the March for Our Lives, in support of children not worrying or being shot in schools, either in Washington DC by bus or in a larger, neighboring community, When I heard that some students at our local high school in our small rural community were planning their own march, I was thinking that would be easier. My mind was made up when they contacted us to have a voter registration table prior to the march. 

We were swamped! It was so inspiring to think that these kids, voting for the first time in just a few months, are enthusiastic and willing to step up and make decisions for the benefit of their country. 

The march was planned, organized and led completely by high school students. You won't see them much in my photos because they were leading us and old people like me were in the back of the line.  So lucky these little cuties, children of a friend, walked with me. I think Miss Ava may just change the world. Jonah is going out after dark to find Big Foot tonight. 
Just some of the young women who will change the world!
They were not sure how many to expect. More and more kept arriving! We numbered between 140 and 150! (not counting dogs). 
We marched through residential neighborhoods for over a mile. There were gestures of support and some lovely people who disagreed by driving by yelling profanities, using hand signals and pretending to shot a gun in a hand motion which was a little scary to the tiny people. The adults felt that these people were merely demonstrating the need for mental health certificates prior to gun purchases. 
We ended up in our downtown area, in front of the office of our local congressman. He actually lives almost 100 miles away from our town, the opposite end of our gerrymandered district shaped like a duck. To my knowledge, he has not visited his office here in over 18 months. And I kinda keep track. 

The students read pre-written speeches, so moving that I was almost brought to tears. Unfortunately three young men decided to harass the speakers, crossing the street into our permitted area and demanding their megaphone. Our local law enforcement reminded them that they had every right to get a permit just like the students had and to bring their own megaphone to their event, just like the students did.  A middle schooler near me was trying to find out what was going on. I told him that it was like someone who wasn't invited to your birthday party showed up and you asked them to leave.  One of the girl's dads spoke to the men in the most even, considerate tone (I am not kidding) listened to their concerns and tried to explain the point of the march, while the girls continued their speeches. We don't want children to live in fear and possibly die at school. 

The back of my sign: 
We live in a rural community. I understand that people want firearms for hunting and protection. I even (surprise) understand that people like to use firearms for sport shooting and recreational shooting.  

But I have to register my car every year (we do not have gun registration in Ohio). I have to take tests every three years to renew my driver's license. I have to purchase new license plates for all my vehicles every year. I have to purchase insurance on all my vehicles and sign an affidavit every year that I have purchased this insurance.  Why can't someone come up with SENSIBLE laws to even try to prevent firearms getting into the hands of mass shooters at schools, malls, concerts and other public events? 

We pay our politicians very good salaries to come up with fair solutions. Unfortunately they seem to earn more money in BRIBES by special interest groups to vote in their special interests instead of what is best for the country.  After listening and watching our students across the country, I do have hope that they will change the world!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The 2018 Cleveland Auto Show

It's time for the next adventure of the #RetireeRoadtrip. This time we went to the auto show. We have never been to the auto show, but we are considering a new vehicle and thought it would be nicer to view them indoors instead of the snowy parking lots. Parking was free (paid by auto dealers) and admission was $14.00 each. 

This is mostly what an auto show looks like. It is a lot of men standing in lines and in crowds. Most are much taller than I am. Occasionally there are women and I was surprised at how many people brought children since it was $12.00 admission for children. 
 There was a vintage auto show in one of the side galleries and we actually enjoyed that the most. What I am looking for is a vehicle that can hold multiple (as in more than 2) car seats. These were the only vehicles that met that challenge. But they do not have rear seat belts. Look at that back seat!
 Look at the size of this back seat! I bet I could have two regular car seats and two toddler boosters!
 I guess this is also a very important part of auto shows. These carts were everywhere. Yes, $4 for a bottle of water and $10 for a glass of beer. Everyone was paying $10 for a glass of beer. Yikes!

 They did have some activities for the tall guys. I have no idea what this is. 


 There were all kinds of opportunities to drive cars. The lines were unbelievable. And I did not want to attempt this. 

I did measure the back seat of every single sedan and SUV in the IX Center. None of them were large enough for three car seats. Several have three car seat latches, but there is not nearly enough room for standard car seats. The sedan with the widest backseat was the Chevy Impala and the truck with the width backseat (and only one to accommodate three car seats) was a special edition Dodge Ram. It was so high I could never lift the kids and buckle them in. None of the SUVs or vans could accommodate more than two car seats on a bench seat. 

We narrowed the search to what we probably need:
And what we want:
It was an interesting way to spend the day, but I doubt we will attend again. 

My kind husband then took me out for a late lunch and bought me a draft beer for $3.00.
That is not a head on the beer. The glass was so cold that it turned into a beer slushie. It was delicious. I drink about 3 beers in a year and this one will probably be my favorite!

Miss Merry