Just a few rantings and ravings today for your reading pleasure.

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**  Ambulance rides.  Not their existence; there are quite a few situations in which an ambulance ride literally saves someone’s life.  But could somebody please explain why they’re so freaking expensive?  Travel 200 yards or 10 miles to the hospital – either way you’ll get a hefty bill for the wear and tear on those tires.  Maybe it’s a siren surcharge, I don’t know.

**  Ticks.  I mean, some quick research gave me a couple of good (that term being relative) purposes these creatures serve, but there is a major creep-out factor here.  Not to mention the whole disease-transmitting facet.  And why are they so dang hard to remove?  I’ve yet to find success with any of those “foolproof” tick tips, and the idea that my failure to properly remove a tick leaves its head stuck in me is plain old gross.

**  The fact that there’s a price differential between identical men’s and women’s products.  Just a few examples: Degree deodorant (men’s $4.39, women’s $6.79), Nivea body wash (men’s $6.79, women’s $7.99), Gillette disposable razors (men’s $10.99, women’s $11.99), Redken professional care shampoo (men’s $13.00, women’s $18.49), and even almost identical bicycles at target.com (men’s $139.99, women’s $189.99).  (See 18 Lady Products That Cost More Than Their Male Counterparts.)  I’m sorry, but it’s not enough that we have to put up with having periods every month?  You’re going to charge us more for products, too?!  That just sucks.

**  Why does wet dog smell overwhelm every other odor in your home?  Garlic, onion, stinky feet, rotting vegetables – wet dog wins out over all of them.  There isn’t a spray or deodorizer in existence that can counter it.  And why does it linger long after your dog is dry again?

**  End of Grade tests and the pressure cooker environment they create in our schools.  For the love of all things holy, this is one of those vicious cycles we can’t seem to escape.  No one could argue with the concept of No Child Left Behind without seeming callous to the kids who couldn’t actually read.  Now, despite a lack of proof that increased accountability through testing is improving our kids’ education, no one can argue that we shouldn’t hold our teachers accountable for their students’ progress without seeming irresponsible.  So everyone except the legislators keeps wringing our hands and watching our children develop ulcers at a ridiculously early age.  (And THAT probably answers the question of “Will you ever go back to teaching?”)