Dept of Transportation Procedures

Having moved across the country just 2 years ago, we have encountered a few problems here and there with different state policies. Nothing major, until yesterday. We have a Jeep Wrangler that broke down and we were not driving it at all. It was sitting in our driveway and we had canceled the insurance. My hubby is very mechanical, and set out to do the major repairs on it over the last month or so. He finally finished it this weekend. With that being said, the registration was overdue and so he had to renew it. He got all the paperwork together and went to the local DOT. They would NOT renew the registration…they said he had dropped the insurance, so he showed proof of new insurance. Then he was accused of driving it without insurance…no, it was not drivable. He proceeded to tell them he had done all the work himself and then they said he needed high-risk insurance because of the repairs…WHAT??? 

So….he came home, got all the receipts for the parts, but since he did the work himself, was that acceptable to them….the answer was NO. So, we happen to have a legitimate business that sells Jeep parts and does repair work. So, he got on the computer, made up an invoice with the business name on it, listed all the parts, charged HIMSELF labor, and printed it out. They accepted it!!!! This whole time I’m shaking my head thinking what is up with this place?

We live in a state that borders Mexico and since there are so many people without insurance, we have to have proof of auto insurance regularly. They don’t have a grace period either. They want their paperwork NOW. Hubby was there for hours trying to get the issue resolved. It took most of the day, but it worked, and now the Jeep is drivable, legal, and no longer collecting cobwebs.

Am I “Micro-managing” My Kids?

The “Mom”

The high school my son attends has implemented Edline, a program which allows students and parents online access to assignments, course calendars, grade sheets, absence reports, team practice schedules… essentially every aspect of the high school student’s academic and extra-curricular life. Of course I am thrilled with this new tool! It should help my son to manage his life. But really, I am thrilled because it’s easier for me to keep on top of what’s going on and what my son should be doing. It gives me more material for those daily chats. Instead of asking “What homework do you have tonight? Can you get it done before baseball practice?”, I can say “So, you have Math and Latin homework and a History test to study for, better get moving or you won’t be done in time to go to baseball practice. Oh, and by the way, you’d better plan on starting that Chem project this weekend.” And, to myself I am saying “Haha! There’s no hiding now!”

Again, I am thrilled with this! I am a control freak – and I know it. But I have this nagging concern. I know that my reminders help in the short run, but what about the long run? When does he learn to manage all of this for himself? Am I really doing him a favor when I “manage” this? If he doesn’t learn to juggle these things now, what happens when he goes off to college, where there will be even more distractions?

I certainly never had anyone making sure I got my homework done. Up until now I have sorted of prided myself on being so much more involved than my parents were, but now I wonder if that’s for the best. I know the answer is “a happy medium”…but I’m just not sure where to draw the line for “medium”.

The “Dad”

All too often, our kids see “communication” and “control” as pretty much the same thing, so yes – it’s our job to know what’s going on even if they’re not inclined to tell us, and not just about the juicy stuff like sex and drugs, but about the boring, everyday icky junk like history homework.

We’ve run into the Miracle of the Sliding Grades with all our girls at one point or another, most recently when the Elf, a consistent A/B student, brought home (no, wait – when they mailed home) a B-/C semester report card, and boy, did the fur fly (little Fluffy the Cat has never been quite the same). It wasn’t any major life-crisis, as it turned out; just The Elf easing up and getting lazy, but we were none the wiser until it was a little too late.

Hereabouts we’re not helped much by the schools; where they loved us and begged us to be involved in the classroom and curriculum during elementary school, by middle/high school were useful only as fund-raisers, and then only at arm’s length. It’s time, they tell us, for the kids to take responsibility for their homework and grades or they’ll never learn…and at the same time they’re telling us that grades and academic performance are hugely important, now more than ever, for college and life at large. So, what, we let them fail (and damage their lifetime-chances-options) so they can learn…once again, just a little too late?

I think the grade grubber 6000, or whatever that system is, is a nice compromise: you can spy on them just as you should without being intrusive, and offer help when they really need it, not just when you think they might (or just when you – I mean me – really wants to.) Go forth and kibbutz – guiltlessly!

“The Teen”

It’s cool technology, I’ll admit. But I think it’s a bad idea.

High school students have their whole days planned out by teachers. When we get home, we don’t want our parents telling us that “you’ve got math problems, government notes and that big literature paper due tomorrow, oh, and you’ve got to set the table, help make dinner and babysit the kids across the street later tonight.” That’s a lot, and we know it! But we can handle it. Emphasis on the “we.” We the students. Not we the family.

Teenagers do a lot of juggling, but if you’re going to be juggling it for us… how will we ever learn?

I understand the need to control some aspect of your child’s life, but when it comes to homework. It should be up to them. A little help might be good, but it should be their responsibility to ask for help if they need it.

If you see your child struggling to get things done on time, or if their grades are slipping, ask if they need some help (with time management or studying) – don’t just give it to them.

Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

Knauf Latvia produces construction materials in Sauriesi near Riga, the capital of Latvia. The main source of raw material is the company’s gypsum mine a few kilometres away. Blasting was used as main mining method. Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

To decrease blasting impacts on environment around the quarry for its mining operations the company is now using an excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker. Although new to the operators, blast-free mining has become the main method at the site and the daily production of the breaker unit has already reached the target level.

Because of blasting impacts, Knauf began looking at blast-free mining as an alternative. The company invested in a Liebherr R974 excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker and the unit started production at the end of January.

JUMP START FOR PRODUCTION

Originally the breaker was intended to support production in the quarry and to be used in areas closer to deposit borders and residents. After the experiences of the first three months, blast-free mining has now become the main mining method. The breaker unit runs in two shifts about 15 hours a day.

Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

1100 TONS PER DAY TARGET REACHED

Atlas Copco’s latest generation of heavy breakers requires less hydraulic input from the carrier while maintaining maximum impact performance. At the Knauf gypsum quarry the average production of the excavator with the HB 7000 DP breaker attachment has already reached the target of about 1100 tons per day.

Atlas Copco further notes that thin layers of brittle material are ideal for blast-free mining. When material quality varies between the layers, or there is undesired material between them, the breaker method has a great advantage over blasting in that it readily enables selective mining.