Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just A Quick Thought....About Grammar

So I'm currently visiting family through the end of the year.  Hence, no new posts, not that you probably noticed since any attempt at keeping a posting schedule has been obliterated by writers block and life in general.  Anyway, this has provided an interesting conversation that I thought I would take a moment to muse on with you all while my kids are being entertained by Grampa.

So every year I write a Christmas letter for family and our closest friends, I don't send them to everyone, but I do post it on facebook so I guess I really should, maybe.  Sending a Christmas letter really isn't an option in my family, I mean my dad's relations are all descendent's of Shakespeare and cousins to Mark Twain, and like whatnot.  Anyway we all write!  My uncle even does it for a living.  So, we all send Christmas letters and the challenge is, to keep it shorter than a novel.  Generally, the rule is two pages or less (front and back), but if you are truly skilled, or had a really uninteresting year you can shave it to a page or so.  I try to stick to one page front and back, because all my family and friends who aren't from that branch find it overwhelming.  I've even got  some relatives that write in limerick, couplets, or to the tune of popular songs.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

May you all be blessed by his presence in our world!  Enjoy this day of rest, rejoicing, and celebration!

Best of Wishes from all of my family here at the Edge of Insanity.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Couple Christmas Distractions

Ok, I haven't been completely diligent on any of my tasks --- so you get a bonus blog ---, and if your family likes Santa (I do because I grew up with it, but I know that's controversial and it's been really hard for my husband to grow accustomed to, etc).  Anyway!  Here are a couple fun "Santa" things you can do by yourself, with the kiddos, or whomever!
Photo from PNP TV linked below

A Week w/ A Plan

Ok, so it's officially been break week for the schools and I had this glorious idea of what all I'd accomplish this week.  As usual I planned a practical set of goals for the realistic time and then added other 800 things I want to do.  Which leads us to where we are now at the midpoint (or rather over the midpoint since Friday and Saturday will be spent in holiday cheer, most likely.)

My original goal for the week was simple, get caught up on work, clean out my closet, and to make treats with the kiddos.  Of course I also want to spend time relaxing with my family, watch a couple Christmas movies and the like, maybe do a craft or two that's been piling up on the craft with an adult shelf.  Oh and I wanted to go to the library on Wednesday with everyone (check this off right now, that's where I am).  Oh and we have to go see Santa because my oldest daughter blew it and didn't get to go when I took the other kids.  Oh and then there's this other thing, and this thing, and man I really seem to need to catch up on my sleep, because I've been seriously tired!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Got Sucked Away w/ A Girl Who....

I'm sorry I haven't been writing, especially last week, you see I wasn't really doing anything, I was reading.  While I'm nursing I can't do much.  I used to be able to play facebook games with my mouse, but now it just doesn't work, and there is absolutely no way I can type.  So I've been reading.  Since we already go to the library once a week with the little kids (or rather my husband goes, now I'm stuck at the school for lunch stuff).  Anyway, it doesn't really matter because I have to request or reserve anything I want to read for some reason.

Well, upon the recommendation of others, and the hype I reserved and read all of Stieg Larsson's Millinium Triology (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest).  Actually, I think the first book was in, in Large Print, so my husband grabbed it with a handful of other stuff because I was burning through juvenile fiction like mad.  Anyway, I put it in my stack and gave it a go.  I suppose you can guess that since I read all three books AND it kept me from posting on here last week, that I did enjoy them, but it's not all roses and sunshine.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Katie

Dear Katie,

I am sure by now you know that thousands of people think you are a very amazing girl.  We are so proud of you for admitting to your mother that you were being picked on by the boys.  Geeks everywhere are so thankful for your continued love of Star Wars, helping to validate our interests into the next generation of geeklings.  With you in mind I dug out my Star Wars (episode 1 - sadly) shirt and wore it to my daughter's (she's a kindergartener) school while I helped in the cafeteria during lunch.  Her school is small, but has classes through 6th grade.  I would like to share the comments I received, and assure you that I took the message of tolerance and acceptance to the place it really needed to go..... back to the school yard (and the cafeteria even).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Please Read and Participate on FRIDAY

Unless you've been in a net hole (or you don't read any of the same sites I do) then you know about the girl who was the subject of bullying do to her interest in Star Wars.  Here's the original post by her mom.  This has been picked up by many groups and there is a movement in effect to have tomorrow (Friday Dec 10th) be Star Wars Pride Day, to help break down barriers and stop bullying.  If you can please where something geeky or Star Wars, or carry a cool water bottle.  This is for a 1st grade girl named Katie, who was teased because of her choice to be who she is, a girl that loves Star Wars.  Here is the facebook event page you can join if you do that sort of thing.

Why do we have to break things down into 'boy things' and 'girl things'?  It just drives me nuts.  I hate pink, I always have.  My first boyfriend absolutely LOVED the color.  He wore it whenever he could, but it sure didn't make him popular with the other guys.  No, he didn't turn out to be gay either.  I love geeky stuff.  Star Wars was my favorite film growing up, but my kids are somewhat hesitant to like it because it's not a "princess movie", seriously?  You have to have that requirement?  It's just frustrating.  I've had several conversations with my daughters about there not being "boy colors" and "girl colors", but I don't think it has stuck.  We still battle it everyday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The busiest week of the year

And leaving ninja day behind (sorry I didn't mention it, it snuck up on me and I didn't see it coming at all!) we plow headlong into the busiest week of my year.  I think the fates have conspired against me this year because in addition to holiday stuff, my oldest daughter's birthday (12/11/10 - how cool is that!), and life in general, this year there are also school holiday stuff (2 for just my oldest daughter!), helping my husband on his exciting project, and trying to wrap up my work stuff - I WILL get the buffer code working!

This weekend, I built rockets for the party, got a launcher from a friend, treated my family out to an in town holiday party, and went to a very cool jewelry/garden party where I actually bought a pair of earrings for me.  Now, I never wear earrings except once or so a year.  I've already worn these for two days, I love them!  I'm not a jewelry person, but I saw many things I liked and could easily wear, for me that's rare (if I had her link I'd totally give it to you, check back I may find it!).  Then I brought home the hostesses daughter for an impromptu sleepover, surprising and delighting my kids.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wow, Just Wow -UPDATED

I like to wear different stuff to school during lunchtime.  I think most of you know that I volunteer at the charter school where my oldest daughter is a kindergartener, during their lunchtime.  The school goes through 6th grade and the interests of the kids are varied.  It's a small school which for the most part only has 1 class per grade.  After Harry Potter came out I wore my cloak to school (which was great because it had snowed and the cape kept the wind of my legs and kept me from freezing), but mostly I wear different graphic t-shirts, mostly from

Today I wore my "Hello I'm It (run)" shirt.  It's an old one and it's really just a simple joke about playing tag, a game that even the sixth graders still play.  Because it is written with capital letters sometimes people think it's an equally appropriate Information Technology joke as both my husband and I have worked in IT.  Most of the kids got the tag reference and some I tagged on the shoulder as they tried to scoot away.  However, one sixth grader had a very different interpretation of what it means to be "it".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Love Winter

We are finally having what feels like a real winter, and I'm loving it!  Snow is covering the yard (best my yard looks all year!), the fire never dies, and the hot cocoa is plentiful!  What's not to love?  The kids thrive on running in the brisk air kicking snow all over, making snowmen, and sledding down the big hill (probably this Friday).  Soon my whole house will smell of Christmas Tree (although I did have to get something other than my traditional Scotch Pine - it's still a pine of some sort so it should smell good right? - yeah botany wasn't my best class), it will glisten with it's new LED twinkle lights - in the proper C7 size even!  (Our old lights were, well, you had to keep shaking them to keep them on.)  

I wish we weren't so busy though.  I mean it feels like we run and run and run all fall and winter.  School starts, we have Halloween, friends' birthdays, Thanksgiving, my oldest daughter's birthday (can't believe she'll be 6 in less than 2 weeks), Christmas 2 weeks later, another trip to visit family, a get together with my best friend from high school and my college buddies (one of whom he married), New Years, and then school.  This year we are adding my son's birthday to January. . .  probably the only good thing from the month of contractions I had last year is that his birthday landed near the end of the month, instead of at the beginning.  Maybe we can catch our breath beforehand.  

Still I have the most wonderful memories of building a snow fence and snowmen with my dad.  I know I spent many wintery hours playing in the snow with my sister, and as there has been less and less snow every year it's so nice to see it come back.  I do hope it lasts until Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All Shopped Out - A Secret for Hard to Shop For

Ok, I'm not a big shopper.  I absolutely abhor clothes shopping (which is probably apparent by my fashion sense, or lack there-of), I hate making pressure purchases, I detest crowds, and I do not believe that "buyers remorse" is a valid reason to return something to a store.  When I do buy something, I like to know all my options and it takes me forever to make a commitment to a large purchase.  I like getting a deal as much as the next person, but I'm not going to call customer service and beg for it for half an hour.  And to top it off I have expensive tastes.

Still I went out on Black Friday, not early in the morning, but still.  I went because we were in a town with shopping options and I needed some items.  In fact everything that was for holiday or birthday (yes, we have two birthdays coming up) fit in one regular sized plastic bag tied shut.  Thankfully, I can say that my shopping is done, with the exception of a few party supplies and a couple gift cards.  Yet, there is always that person that is impossible to shop for.  You know who they are!  They are usually a Mom, or a Grandma, or that friend that has everything.  I've always had a secret weapon, and now that my secret is available via Amazon Marketplace, I'm going to share it with you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy American Thanksgiving!

Living in the state's I've taken the week to go visit with my family for the holiday.

To all of you celebrating with me I hope you enjoy your feast with family and friends!  Insane ramblings will resume next week or so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Itchy Itchy

I have a wool allergy.  I've had it all my life.  My mother has a wool allergy, she's had it all her life.  My sister has a wool allergy, she's had it all her life.  For all of my life growing up, it was almost unheard of for me to come into contact with processed wool.  My grandma probably even has the allergy, I don't really know, it was never important, because she never kept processed wool around.  My point is, growing up there was very little wool in my life.  My allergy was never that big of a deal, and it wasn't that bad either. I did tolerate a fully lined lettermen's jacket, but I also never cuddled with it.  My mother was worse, she couldn't touch it at all except by the lining.  Somehow I once ended up with some green wool socks, which I of course never wore, at least not for very long!

My allergy to wool, to me, has never been that big of a deal.  I mean you just avoid wool and carry on with your life, right?  Except, lately the allergy has gotten a lot worse and mixed fabrics that were just uncomfortable before our downright painful now.  Additionally, every time I turn around more wool is entering my life.  It seems that everything is wool or a wool blend.  My mother-in-law got my daughters some wool sweaters, yup my hand stung after opening that box!  We ended up sending the sweater to the cousins because I just couldn't have it in the house and my daughters' claimed it itched them, but I don't know whether they share in my hereditary defect or they just found wool sweaters itchy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Microwave Popcorn Is Evil

Ok, I like popcorn well enough.  I mean, I usually get some at the movies (as long as I have people to share it with) and I even own a popcorn popper, thanks to a former roommate.  I'm sure there are still some packets of microwaveable popcorn in my pantry, but there are also some 15 year old cans of spam in there and I've never prepared spam.  Even the best microwave popcorns are bland, burnt tasting, and really just not that good.  I mean yeah, it's a low calorie snack and you can indulge in large quantities without feeling guilty, but it's just not that good either.  Naughty popcorn is much better, and it's still popcorn.

So why is it, whenever someone makes microwaveable popcorn, no matter what kind, the smell makes you want some?  I mean you know it's not going to taste good.  You know you're going to have to wash down the grittiness and the salt (if there is any) with some kind of flavorful beverage.  So why do you crave it from the smell?  Heck!  Sometimes the smell isn't even that good as the hint of burnt paper is often present.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Too Tired

Life seems to be sliding back down to normal, but my sleep is all messed up thanks to Murphy and the storm of the year.  I did reap a discount sale, all but finishing my Christmas and birthday shopping.  I went to bed early, slept for 2 hours before being woken up by the sleep apnea snoring of my loving husband on the couch.  Sadly, I could not return to sleep.  I tried to work (I need to make a pdf, finish some code, and make a mailto script by tonight), but I wasn't very successful at that either.  So I read some blogs.  I should've written one for all of you, but I didn't.  I will try to do that after work tonight.

You know you are way too tired when you are sitting at a decent Chinese restaurant and order food you know you like, but when it arrives the only thing that tastes good is the tea.  Not a problem, the kids and hubby ate everything else, but now I'm really hungry.... and I'm off to be lunch lady.  I hope know one brings popcorn (which was going to be today's discussion).  Until later!  KtC

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Head-to-Head with The Law

So I've got my self a pretty cush part time gig, and I like it a lot.  Most of the time it's no stress at all.  My boss is cool and laid back and we have really relaxed deadlines.  I also can work from home so I work around nursing my baby and talking to my kids and trying to spend time with my husband.  Sometimes the hours really suck, but that's life, right? 

Every once in a while though things are not the little relaxed pseudo-utopia of my preference.  Every once in a while there is a concrete deadline, typically one of my uber-cool bosses has a meeting to beg for money and well they want a stable update to show off.  This week is one of those weeks.  It's also one of the downsides of working at home, I don't just stumble into my boss in the coffee room.... so I don't always get a lot of heads up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm In Love....

For the past several weeks, I've had more than just an interesting show to look forward to on Masterpiece on Sunday nights, I've had a show that has made me want to be home in time to see every minute.  More than just remembering what time it's on, but avoiding any potential conflicts.  I can't even begin to tell you how long it has been since I've cared about a show that much!  Unfortunately, like many BBC shows, the season was painfully short and as I write this on Sunday, I wonder what I'll watch tonight, feeling a bit empty at the idea that Sherlock will not be on.

Before I link you to the site's website I think you deserve some background and why Sherlock is just so absolutely awesome.

Friday, November 12, 2010

So Much Junk, It's Nice to Have Something Useful

I hate junk!  I think I've made that perfectly clear in several of my posts exonerating my frustrations in simplifying my life and organizing my clutter.  But the kitchen is just one of those areas that's a total crap magnet!  I mean there's a million gadgets and gizmos, right?  Yet, ya have to eat.  More importantly, ya have to feed your kids and you have to feed them good stuff, otherwise they get sick or have horrible health habits or both.

Personally, I'm probably a bit more granola than average.  I LOVE the whole food movement.  Except I'm not the most prodigious cook.  My Mom wasn't really a cook, so there was no example, and my mind it's not wired for meal planning.  Still we muddle through, mostly thanks to my amazing cook of a husband.  Ok, so I'd probably eat a lot worse without him and so would the kids.  Still, cooking is everyone's job and the kitchen is full of stuff that may or may not get used.  As we try to add more and more whole fresh foods, one item that has been absolutely indispensable has been our Helen Chen bamboo steamer basket.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You For Your Lives

Happy Veteran's Day everyone!  Go out and shake the hand of a soldier wherever you are, they deserve it everyday and even if you aren't in the US you should thank those who've taken time from their life to do the bidding of their respective country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dyslexia, ADHD, I Must Be a Demigod!

Ok, I don't have ADHD, it's actually ADD, but that's not important.  I mean my whole life I thought I was half alien, when it turns out I must be a demigod!  Or maybe the daughter of a demigod.... hmmm I wonder who my dad's deity parent is?  Or maybe not....

If you are totally lost, then you haven't been sucked into the very popular Percy Jackson quintology by Rick Riordan.  I recently blazed through this series (in between Dresden books by Jim Butcher) - did I mention I'm on a reading binge?  Percy's been hailed as the next Harry Potter, and I don't think that's quite right, and his movie definitely didn't get treated with that much respect.  That doesn't mean it's not an amazing story concept, wonderful world, fun characters, and a read that if it were any more like eating candy would leave cavities of pleasure in the brain.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pick Me! Pick Me!

I have so many wants to write about.  Of course this blog will remain my primary source of printing out absurd ideas, insane plans, crazy designs (boy I really need to get my graphics pad hooked up and learn to electronic sketch, don't I?), and other crazy detritus inspired by my own personal walk with insanity that finds so few outlets in real life - at least not without some ungodly hour of the evening/morning, several overtired friends, and possibly a some form of adult beverage.  Unfortunately, those insane ideas and the stuff I really really really want to get out of my head take the most effort to get to make sense on the screen.  Not to mention they get long and weighty and I rarely have time to type that much in one sitting right now, maybe later, at least that's what I keep telling myself.  Seriously, I owe you some economics considerations in an alternate reality and an analysis on the failures of communication, war, the Tower of Babel, and the impossibility of Utopia.  I know you can't wait can you?

So since so much of that stuff is so time consuming and frustrating to get into text, I fill time (when I actually write anything at all - thank you all who push me to keep the updates coming, you know who you are and I appreciate it a LOT)  So I whine about my observations of society, my life, my obsessions, my quirks, and just blather in general.  I also get to comment on stuff I'm watching,reading, playing and whatnot (which I haven't done much of, but I've got lots I want to talk about! - especially some of the books and this BBC show I've been watching).  Unfortunately, I'm not what's considered an "early adopter," mostly because I'm broke and have expensive tastes.  Although I did get to write a great review of a video game a year ago and I loved that, so you know when I get the chance and get typing, you'll get more!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Word, A Theme, My Children

One of my goals for this blog is that it does not become a "Mommy Blog".  I have nothing against them, but Paper Napkins is more of a place for me to think beyond my daily grind of feedings and homework and sippy cups that have been redesigned to leak (seriously, I love Nuby's but the new tops - disaster!)  Still, a large part of who I am, what I feel is important, and what I invest my life in has to do with my children.  Therefore I think it is only fair that you have an introduction to who they are, at least as I see them.

There have been many ways I've associated concepts and people.  Every guy I seriously dated has a song that symbolizes them to me.  Many major events in my life are marked by a small insignificant item.  Certain phrases, sounds, movies, or games bring up fond memories of friends and times gone by.  Even reminiscing about Rocky Horror this past weekend with the photographer brought up fun memories of many friends, most of whom I've never even seen Rocky Horror with!  In the same way, each of my children have a symbolic representation - they are each associated with a word, a single concept, yet that concept is hugely identifying of their personality and who they are.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I feel pain, therefore I am

I feel so horribly I haven't been posting anything at all here.  I think anyone who hasn't read it elsewhere deserves a bit of an explanation.  Back at the beginning of October I got a cold from my infant son.  No big deal, I came down with the worst of the symptoms going into the weekend and while I do most of the writing for this blog on the weekend, I was relieved to have the time to sleep and let my body deal with the virus.  After the weekend most of the cold symptoms were gone, except for a deep cough.

That cough, well it just didn't go away.  And the longer it persisted the more miserable I became.  First it was a pulled muscle, and then a migraine.  It persisted for the entire month and the remnants are still present today.  Along the way muscles and ligaments in my torso became aggravated.  Eventually (last Friday), I went to the doctor and she diagnosed me with a bunch of itises, gave me some antibiotics to hopefully kill off the cough, physical therapy instructions (can't afford the actual thing) to regain movement in my right arm (seriously annoying, I can barely lift the arm and I can't really use it for anything), and strict orders to take lots and lots of ibuprofen, to deal with all the inflammation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Mole Day!

Ok, technically Mole Day isn't until Saturday, but that gives you all an extra day to prepare while I'm off learning how to be a better wife with my husband.

Apparently, not everyone had the cool experiences I had growing up and not all of you know about Mole Day.  Given my varied background, it might not even be easy for you to guess about, so if you are really clueless I suggest you check out the official site or even Google it - there are many great sites!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm A Zombie, RRRAAARRRRGGGHHH *hack* *hack* *cough*

I haven't been posting much, I haven't been online much, heck, I haven't even been awake that much.  Although I no longer feel the cold symptoms, the cough and reoccurring headaches - occasionally migraines, still plague me.  The cough itself is horrendous.  If I had health insurance I'd have an appointment with a doctor yesterday.  Sadly, however, I don't, so I will continue to rely on over the counter cough meds and prayer.

I have reluctantly been carrying on the bare minimum of my daily duties.  I continue to dope up and face the elementary school lunch crowd, which has gotten much more mellow and interesting as the kids have finally given me the chance to show that I'm not just a rule enforcer, but a fairly interesting person.  At least I think I'm interesting.  I have so much I want to write about, but the time and my ability just aren't matched.  It may be a bit before full blogging resumes as my husband and I will be attending a marriage conference this mole day.  So until the next time, I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcome Georgie!!!!

--I know at least one of you has been waiting with baited breathe for my promised announcement, of course some of you have already heard it as it happened on Friday, but wait, even for you there is more!--

On Friday, my oldest daughter experienced a major geek landmark in her life.  While I suppose some people may not notice or understand the importance of the moment, but as gamers my husband and I both shed a tear as our little girl chose her first alias.  

My daughter has played MANY games, my husband scored many a reader rabbit (and other similar fare) at garage sales from the moment my bump was securely growing.  A few years ago he even claimed an "all-in-one" at a sale and upgraded it, coupled it with a froggy keyboard and speaker set (thanks woot!), Hello Kitty mouse (thanks Aunt N), and a USB wireless adapter - perfect for any kids machine, simply pull the adapter and the internet disappears!  Not only on the computer, but she's had several opportunities on our wii, our PS2, and Daddy's gameboy.  But Friday was something special.  Friday was different.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I have a wonderful announcement to make, but my cold and general feeling of absolute crappiness has kept me from my laptop.  I have tons I want to write, but I just haven't been able.  And I've learned that if I cough while laying down the surgical umbilical hernia causes intense pain AND gets really really hot and angry.  Praying this cold passes quickly and the coughing ends even more quickly.  I hope you all had a lucky binary day (and double ten day for those of you in Taiwan and any other country that celebrates such days).  Regular blathering shall continue shortly.

Thanks all,


Friday, October 8, 2010

Dream Machine

I'm sure you've had quite enough of my whine for the last two days so here is some cheese.

Several years ago the first Final Fantasy movie came out.  After missing it in the theater (I was still a beginning FF freak then), we saw it super cheap on VHS, remember what those are?  Anyway, my now sister's husband recommended it as a good movie, which it is very enjoyable, and we picked it up.  Ever since the first time I saw it I was instantly jealous of a simple piece of tech that is standard equipment in the movie:  the dream recorder.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

If Only I Were a Tree

You might finally be able to convince me that fall is actually here, or on it's way,  or in some way the change of seasons is happening.  You couldn't last week, but now with the rain and the cooler temperatures, and most of all with the fact that with only parking for 15 mins on Main Street, downtown, my car was covered in little yellow leaves.  In fact the street is littered with them.  Too small to pick up or rake, but turning the whole street yellow nonetheless.  As I ran the windshield wipers to clear those leaves it FINALLY felt like fall.

Everyone keeps assuring me it's fall, I mean before the leaf thing.  People kept insisting it's October.  It just didn't feel like it.  Now though, I guess I'm a believer.  I honestly hope it stays, despite having a summer birthday, it's just too hot to really enjoy that much.  I mean I love camping and getting out, but as a responsible adult I barely get to do those things anymore (and when did I become a responsible adult anyway?).  Fall, if it weren't for the collective insanity that always seems to accompany it - maybe that's just living in a University town - really would be a wonderful season, except...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jealousy of a Duty Which Aut to Be Mine

Darwinian success is determined by how many offspring your offspring have, thereby passing on your genetics and insuring that your offspring were able to do so as well.  To achieve this there is a spectrum in which an organism chooses it's path towards success.  Since in biological sciences everything is about food and sex, and having as many sexual reproducing offspring is the goal, the spectrum lies between having the most offspring yourself and intensely caring for an offspring to insure it's success.  According to the scientists all living organisms choose a strategy that balances care and offspring number, those with the least parental care come from the largest clutches and so on.  So spider species which don't do any child rearing have many many eggs, but koalas that spend years caring for one joey, only have a few joeys over their lifetime.

I've always felt very strongly that families should support one another.  That we should be there for our family in any time of need as much as we are able.  That even in the littlest things, it is a family duty that we should be expected to fulfill without issue and without complaint.  Ironically, I've never enjoyed romance novels although my husband has tried at least to get me to watch the English dramas on Masterpiece from time to time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I LOVE multitasking.  I hate when my mind goes onto overdrive and my fingers cant' keep up, or worse my fingers can't reach an outlet for the crazy insanity, brilliant ideas, or long sought solution that is pounding at my grey matter.  I simply can not be the only person that suffers from this stuff!  I refuse to believe that I am!

Yet, here I am pounding away at a keyboard, my carpel tunnel (inflicted from playing volleyball, typing, and scooping ice cream as a teenager at an arcade - seriously NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER let your child scoop hard serve ice cream for a living, especially if they have flaky tendons.)  Oh yeah, I've seen Dragon Naturally Speaking, it's a cool toy.  I guess there is this professor that used to come into the computer store that writes most of his stuff with it, but he was a little off if you know what I mean.  Fun toy, but not a practical keyboard replacement.  Even the Google tool on Google Voice that my husband uses to translate his voicemail to text so he can understand it (hearing issues, voicemail is a nightmare) only gets a 75% on good days.  At least it's good for a laugh.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Phones Are Evil

I know I haven't been writing like I would like to, and part of that is simply because I barely can touch my keyboard, I've been so busy.  However, quite a bit of that is because my baby is needing to eat at night again and I am getting very little quality sleep, coupled with the medication problem I'm already having (not set quite right so I'm overly tired), and I think I can barely talk a sentence that's coherent let alone maintain something as complex as the convoluted thought process that leads to stuff that's actually worth writing on napkins while waiting for food as opposed to just laying on table with my head down hoping that bedtime will arrive soon and that my dreams won't be too horribly bizarre.

So with the disclaimer out of the way, let's begin our discussion on how the telephone has ruined society and therefore is an inherent evil, not only a bane in my existence.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Google!

Just a quick one.  I know I've been off the radar.  But we've missed some notable birthdays.

Happy 25th Birthday to Mario and Luigi of Super Mario Brothers!  So many many hours of my childhood I've given to those overly ambitious plumbers.

Happy Birthday Google I still remember teaching people how to use search engines and never finding what we were looking for and then came along and positioning on search lists way outstripped the AOL keyword nonsense.  THANK YOU GOOGLE and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Gotta Be In Their Face

Recently, I've been doing some volunteer hours for my daughter's charter school.  I supervise lunch.  That means I keep all the kids from doing bodily harm to one another AND I attempt to teach them to quiet down and form orderly lines by class without holding their hands while they do it.  I'm having a varied level of success on both fronts.  In exchange for my efforts my daughter gets to attend all day kindergarten for free.  She loves this and this enables her to attend all the special classes like music, PE, Spanish, and art (theater is in the morning).  It also lets her stay for science and social studies as the morning is full with reading skills and math.

I'm very happy with our arrangement, even if it is absolutely exhausting.  Dealing with other people's children is always a challenge.  Not to mention going from bed rest and a prolonged recovery to walking for two hours and chasing kids, is a bit of a shock to my rapidly aging system.  Yet, today as I was patrolling the school yard and the cafeteria, I was struck by a bit of a realization.  It's very easy to tell the kids you are going to have issues with, without knowing their names, anything about them, or even talking to them.  They just have it in their faces.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Dear Friends, Today Is My Eleventy-First Birthday!

Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!...  I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am....  I shall not keep you long,... I have called you all together for a Purpose....  Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits....  I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.... Secondly, to celebrate my birthday.... I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today.... Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression.... 'One Gross, indeed! Vulgar expression.' It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel at Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say 'thag you very buch'. I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party.... Thirdly and finally, he said, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT....  I regret to announce that – though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you – this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!
Ok, it's not MY birthday, but it is the birthday of two very noteworthy heros.  And if you are good little geeks, enjoying Tolkien week this year (started Sunday ya all!), then you will most like have already reread or heard, or listened to, or thought of fondly, Bilbo's fairwell speech underneath the party tree all those years ago in the Shire of Middle Earth.  Or maybe you didn't and you forgot about all those holidays I told you were coming up.  Well it's not to late to start participating, and what's greater fun than Hobbit Day?  So, "Greetings you my friend, may I get you some tea?"  It's time for a feast and a celebration of the sort you seldom see.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Arr Me Mateys

First let me say sorry for the lack of posts this week.  It's been a busy week and we are expecting some very important company this weekend, so there may not be many posts next week either.  However, we are approaching some major geek holidays, and I do want to at least talk a little on each of those.  First, let me help you all prepare for the very important holiday coming this Sunday, International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

This phenomenal holiday got started they way many want-to-be holidays do, not with noble aspirations, but with a few good friends joking about.  It "officially" began in 1995, but exploded onto the international scene (and out of the friend quirkiness) in 2002 when in one of those amazing moments, the holiday creators contacted Dave Barry (oh, like I need to tell you who that is?).  And then the world noticed, and that September 19th the interwebs, offices, pubs, and most other places exploded with the colorful intonations of "arr", "me", and "mateys".

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Follow The White Rabbit

I believe that the foundations of wisdom are knowledge and understanding.  You can have all the knowledge in the world, but without a deeper understanding that ties those facts together you can't have wisdom.  If you have lots of understanding, but lack the knowledge of the underlying principles behind that understanding, you still lack wisdom.  A fool can have facts and figures, charts, tables, and all of the knowledge in the world, but without understanding, he remains a fool.  I hate to sound a fool.  Therefore when I talk I try to impart both knowledge and understanding so that wisdom may be shared.

Without the shared basic level of understanding and knowledge from which a topic is drawn, wisdom can never be attained, nor shared.  Therefore, frequent side tracking must occur in the discussion to bring in additional side points, examples, and related knowledge to fully understand a concept.  Additionally, my personal thought association, not so much a train as a terminal, leads to explanations that often require running through the brush and associated disorder along a rabbit trail.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Walls Walls Wall - An Answer For Bruce

When I shared about my new facination with the show Bones, Bruce commented that maybe the reason I fail to feel connected with my fellow humans was not because I was so weird. 
That I was really more connected than I thought, but the disconnect was in reality a construct of my own immaginings.  In more common terms, I am throwing up walls that prevent anyone from getting close to me and keep me from percieving the closeness that others try to give to me.

I'm no stranger to making walls.  Whether they are physical constructs on a property line or emotional barriers.  For a large part of my life I didn't leave my bed without full mental body armor, walls, centries, rampart cannons, and a moat.  I didn't let anyone close.  I didn't want anyone to know me, and I did not want to get hurt.  I was never "popular" and some of that stems from social awkwardness as a child and the fact that all the other kids knew each other outside of school, before I came on the scene. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Hate Deja vu

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!  It's never wrong, it's never consistent, and something usually happens.  It starts as something little, nothing that you'd ever notice, something you don't even remember really being in the dream or the daydream or seeing.  Like something in the corner of your eye way beyond the lens of your glasses and so far out that you can't really be sure you are seeing it, yet so unbelievably clear that there is no denying that when you see it again, this time with both eyes in full focus (or both ears - as many are auditory memories while the visual is merely a placeholder, like while in the car).

Bad stuff doesn't always happen, sometimes nothing really happens.  But sometimes it starts a wave of deja vu events, and sometimes it means something big is coming, something unplanned, something that unbalances me even more than those, "hey didn't this already happen?"  moments.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Moderation in all things.  That's what we are taught.  Heck it's what I try to teach my kids.  I'm a firm believer in moderation.  Moderation is the way of science.  More an more we find that if chemicals are present in a moderate amount they are less damaging then if there is a lot or a little.  We know that if we engage in alcohol, or pain killers, or even physical activities occasionally, or moderately, there may be some health benefits.  Yet, I'm not so moderate myself.  I tend to binge.

It's not just in one area of my life either.  It seems to be most things.  It's like everything in my life is on a rotation and when it's time for one activity to take is precedence I binge on that activity until I can't take anymore and then it swings out of rotation.  Some of the rotation is fast, some is slow, but for most things in my life they can be found on the unbalanced wheel of my binging habits.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I love what if's and daydreaming.  I love making plans for "if we did this...." even if we have no intention of ever doing it.  One of the games my husband and I play is, "we could do this when we retire."  First off with three kids under 6 we aren't about to retire anytime soon, especially when the oldest wants be a doctor.  However that doesn't mean we can't share our thoughts.  Our thoughts may never meet the reality, we have so much we want that is important to us, but one of my husband's thoughts is to sell everything and live on the ocean.

I've never been sailing, so I can't say how I'd like doing that, but in some ways it's a lot more appealing than RV living, or even the really cool miniature house thing.  Living on a boat would allow us to travel, to see the world, to get away from it all, but to still get around.  Traveling the world is a big goal for my husband and myself, we already have friends scattered around the world, but it never seems to be our turn to head out.  Something always comes up.  Savings always get required for some crisis.  It just doesn't happen.  Yet, being on a boat makes it hard to see things that are further inland.  I mean sure in most of the world there are decent rail systems that are relatively inexpensive, but not in the US, and we love our children, what if they move too far inland?  What if we had one of these instead?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How Do I Love Google, Let Me Count The Ways

I got an unexpected surprise yesterday.  I'm already loving it.  You know sometimes its those little things that just really really make you want to keep pushing.  To get through whatever it is that is weighing you down.  And hey, I'm a girl that just loves a new toy!  Google brought me that when my primary email account was offered the new beta Priority Inbox.

While I love organization and everything having a space and being in it's space.  My entire existence is surrounded by unorganized chaos.  Honestly, if it wasn't for the electronic nature of email my inbox would probably look like a newsstand after a tornado.  I jumped at the chance to go to gmail years ago.  The idea of searching instead of the constant sorting, heaven!  Yet now I've got so many lists and things and fwd fwd fwds (thanks Dad) that stuff gets lost in the shuffle.  I use my primary email for everything, event he email from this blog is forwarded to it (I go sooooo tired of checking 6 email accounts daily, seriously much happier now).  I've overlooked stuff from my boss.  Missed seeing something that was time critical.  And after being offline for travel or when I was in the hospital.  The well wishes from facebook alone (which I will be the very first to admit got me through some very dark times), I'm drowning in electronic correspondence.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You....

Yesterday, a helicopter carrying two biologists and a pilot crashed in a small town where I spent one summer interning.  Ok, I wasn't in that town, but I spent a lot of time there, calling where I was stationed a town is stretching reality a bit too much.  Sadly, it had been my honor to work with both of these biologists.  I hadn't really kept in touch since I left the agency, but I still counted them as friends and cherished having them as officemates (we shared an office for a few years), and for one of them as a classmate and teammate while we attended college together.

As tragic as this event is, I can still picture the banter in the office over this past week.  You know there were the smiles and the "lucky dog" remarks as this date crept closer and closer on the calendar.  Going up in the air and flying as low as possible over a hillside or a river to count something is one of the big perks of the best jobs.  Everyone knows the risks, but it's still one of the highlights.  Why is it that the most thrilling, the things we look forward to the most, are the ones that have the greatest potential for extremely bad consequences should something go wrong?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peek ahead at Geeky September observances

Ok, since I totally punted the post last night (yeah sorry, but when things pick up on life, cool stuff like writing here get pushed back).  I just thought I'd open up my Google Calendar and check out the geeky holidays for the month of September (which is a great month for geeky observances!) and share what we will be celebrating this coming month.  Of course there is nothing right away, but after the back to school and labor day festivities (and PAX for those lucky enough to be going) settle down we have two weeks of amazing geekdom to close out the month with.

September 18th marks not only the INFAMOUS Talk Like a Pirate (and dress like one if you can too) Day, but it also starts Tolkien Week!!!

September 22 marks the highlight of Tolkien Week - Hobbit Day!  What a wonderful day this is, mmmmmm can't wait!

And after we've recovered from Tolkien Week, September 30 brings every school kids favorite day, Ask a Stupid Question Day!

So you see, lots to do this coming month, and lots to talk about!

Now back to getting through these next couple days of craziness!

No Time For Insanity

My oldest is starting kindergarten tomorrow and I spent the weekend over dosing on Season 1 of Eureka.  I have some half posts, but I won't torture you with now.  Maybe there will be something later, maybe not.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Once upon a time, as a tween (although they called us pre-teens back then), I was in those wonderful two weeks of vacation bible school.  I think it was the last summer I went too.  Every day I walked with my sister, which was a big deal because we had to cross a major road that was normally off limits to us.  It also meant we had the opportunity to go and stop at the little "gas station" that sold all the fun candies that we never got any other time.  At the time I was dating a guy who I'd had an on again - off again relationship with since we were 6, and all of my peers were finally starting to think that wasn't so weird.

I don't really remember a ton from what we "learned."  I'm not even sure what the theme was.  It was obvious that teaching our class was hard for the volunteers, I guess we all must've started to disconnect.  Anyway, I distinctly sitting around a big table in a small classroom in the "adult" section of the church.  It was hot and there weren't any boys in the class, I'm not sure if it was just a temporary thing, or if the class was just girls.  The leader, also a female, decided to talk to us about boys.  I don't know what were on about, I just remember sitting there awkwardly, probably the only girl in the room that had had any serious interactions with the male gender, and having this Mom ask us about our ideal man.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ow My Hand!

My hand is officially dead as of this moment.  Oh I'm sure it'll feel better eventually, but for now, toast.  I spent many many hours for the first time in a long time working in photoshop.  I hooked my WACOM Graphire tablet up to my laptop (Hermes) and set upon a very specific task.  Sometimes while nursing and holding a baby.  Let me tell you, I may be ambidextrous, but on the couch, without a table, there are just some things I can't do under those conditions!

My task was something special for my hubby, and I think it turned out great!  If it works to help him get a job, I'm totally going to share it, if not, well I'll think about it.  At any rate, it'd make a sweet business card.  I should make one for myself, but not tonight.  I hope to regain feeling in my fingers sometime tomorrow or over the weekend, then I can start writing again, if life doesn't get in the way.... stupid life, it gets like that sometimes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

and What do YOU Want?

Yeah this is late, but I'm going to post it anyway.  I have no idea why, but I am just in a very antisocial mood today.  There is really no reason why I should be.  I mean I even sort of had a date with my husband last night.  Heck, it's afternoon and my daughters still aren't home from their sleep over (partially because my husband took the car to a job interview).  In fact for the functional part of the morning, it's just been me and the baby.  Whom I love to pieces, even if his noisy sleeping did keep me up and producing milk all night.

I had messed up dreams, involving lots of weird stuff from my childhood all smashed into a semi present reality.  But that's not THAT unusual.  I dreamed that my family as it is now had moved into my childhood home, but even that's happened before.  Heck, it's not even that unrealistic since I know the current owners and my kids have been to the house, this summer even.  There have been several times where I have thought what if I lived there.  That's not that unusual, I play that game with every house I'm in.  What if I lived here, how would I lay out the rooms, what would work for me what wouldn't.  Some layouts work for me better than others, and maybe someday that info will be remotely useful.  It still doesn't stop me from feeling in the frump today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I don't watch a lot of TV.  In fact I haven't had cable since 1997.  I don't really miss it, although there are a few shows I feel I've missed out on, those few do not justify the costs of obtaining them.  Usually, we just rent them when they are released on DVD or don't worry about it.  Hulu and webcasting has changed that some.  I now watch more shows than I did in the past, but it's still really limited.  In fact I can list all of the shows I regularly watch on one hand.

Normally this isn't a problem, but early this spring I found myself stuck in the hospital for 10 days.  During that time my family was pretty much forced to away while I healed.  My dad helped my husband with our daughters and our one week old son.  My mom kept me company in my hospital room.  A lot of the time we dozed and read books, but after a while, the room just gets to you - and the noise from other patients.  I had no idea what to watch on TV for noise.  I mean a girl can only watch so much SciFi (syfy) before there's some form of unentertaining detritus or wrestling comes on, and I'm well past my wrestling phase.  One night while channel surfing my mom recommended the homicide drama, Bones.  I have watched several homicide shows, some good, some funny, some just a bit ~ eh, not my thing.... since mom wanted to watch it I gave it a go.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Still Neglecting My Keyboard

Sorry this is late, and not long.  I had a great blog for you all, but life prevented me from reaching the keyboard.  So it's gone.  Sorry all.  More later.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Say No

You see, there was a time in my life when I was a walking pharmacy.  Seriously, even the teachers at my high school came to me for the good pain killers.  I had them legitimately, I had/have migraines.  By high school I'd made a thorough effort to void any and all warranties on my body.  I had an annual appointment with radiology from 3rd grade through high school (not scheduled mind you, just was there every year for something.)  My long term physical goal is to be able to walk when I'm 60, and before we married I made perfectly sure that my husband is aware that I may need him to carry and care for my broken down self.  But hey, all those owies came with some seriously good dope.

I'm currently in the throws of a horrid summer cold.  My baby got it and of course if you sneeze within 50 ft of me, I get it.  Ok, so I'm totally miserable.  My husband has been a champion dealing with things, but this is the bulk of why I haven't been writing.  Not that the whispers (and sometimes yells) of insanity aren't still pounding at my head, but they aren't the only thing pounding at my head.  But there's a little problem.....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Personal Computer

It has come to my attention that a device that has been not only pivotal to my life, but something near and dear to my interests, the personal computer, better known as the PC, has recently celebrated it's 29th year of public availability.  Wow, can you even begin to imagine life without a computer?  Oh sure there were Apple II's and Amigas, and Commodores, and all those back then, but the PCc was different.  It had an idea of DIY for the masses.  The robust notion of upgrades, which admittedly has been a boon to the whole industry, even if laptops, the current most popular computing device is barely modifiable by most users.

My first computer wasn't a PC, it was a Commodore.  A Commodore 128 to be precise, although relatively speaking, the extra cash my parents forked over to get the "upgrade" from 64 mode, was not really utilized by anyone for several years after the unit made it's grand entrance into our home.  Especially since my school only had 64s, it became the mode I was most comfortable with, and of course the only mode that all our bootlegged (thanks to whatever math student it was in that class that my mom was substitute teaching in when the Commodore came to live with us) games would run in.  And someday I really will play the emulated versions of Twin Kingdom Valley and Leather Goddess of Phobos, that despite my multiple decades of having started the games, I WILL someday finish, with minimal cheats.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paved With Good Intentions

My life is paved with good intentions.  I've always had all these ideas of things I'm going to do. Ways I'm going to organize.  Clutter I'm not going to keep.  Friends I'm going to make.  Dates I'm going to go on.  Food I'm going to eat.  Places I'm going to go.  Languages I'll learn to speak.  Yup someday I'm going to rock the world, or something like that.  For some reason I keep getting sidetracked by the inconvenient necessities of life.  I need to work, and then eat, and then put the kids in bed, then I'm stuck at home and I never do seem to get around to meeting my neighbors, not that they are out of their houses and busy lives all that much.  I want to organize my kitchen, but because one device can't multi task I have to have several that do almost the same thing in different ways.

Some of the issues stem from the inability to acquire the types of efficient items I'd prefer t surround my chaotic life with.  Some of the issues are from a lack of drive and commitment.  Some are simply because my mind has never learned to limit itself to one set of interests, one focus.  My father could do anything, build anything, fix anything.  Even had an interest in just about every hobby imaginable.  To me he passed on this gift/curse.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Have A Dream...

We all know the famous "I have a dream speech" of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Most people can quote at least part of it.  "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,"  is one of my personally favorite lines.  I have so many dreams for my children.  I always have, even when I wasn't sure I wanted to have children because of the kind of world that I would be bringing them into.  There are so many hopes I have for the future.  So many goals I hope that mankind can attain in the way our societies function within the world.  So many scientific achievements I'd love to see brought forth for my children and their children and for all future generations.

Some of my dreams seem as simple as Dr. King's statement, I have a dream about the character of my children and of those whom they will come in contact with.  I have spent the entire lives of my children molding them in such a way that they will have the manners and outward thinking necessary to permit them the choice of a future in any career they may chose, whether that leads them to the white house or a tree house in the woods.  I desperately hope that those who spend any time with my children find them to be a pleasure and truly enjoy having them around without the need to worry about the state of their house, yard, or other personal property before or after our visit.  As such I love to take my children out to meet the world.  To help to practice in all that I want them to project.  Yet, there are still many elements, those pesky sub cultures, that run contrary to that which I want my children to project.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Equal But Not The Same

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal."  If more poignant words are held in such esteem in this country, I don't know what they are.  Even people with only a basic understanding of American government know these words, "all men are equal."  It's a great start for a government.  The idea of living in a world of equals, wow.  Where each person has the opportunity regardless of what their parents chose to go anywhere and do anything that they can reach for.

In the not so distant past these words led people to decry slavery, to decry segregation, to bus together kids from different neighborhoods so that all would have the same opportunity to learn in the prominent public school system.  A system that started as the brain child of the same man who penned the declaration that all men are created equal.   It was his idea that all children should receive a basic education that would provide for them the fundamentals of reading, writing, and maths, which would enable each citizen to knowledgeably vote in government elections, to be able to follow the news of the day, and to figure ones own taxes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Something just clicked

We recently finally took our first family camping trip.  Totally weird given my background.  I mean I have a degree that involved extensive study of most things living outside of our modern society (and a few things within).  One summer I spent the entire summer living out of a tent!  It was an amazing summer.  Full of great times and memories.  I loved it!  Except I missed my then boyfriend (now husband) and I totally couldn't leave my kids like that now.  The pay wasn't even that much less than I make now, and I've taken several jobs since where I've made less.  Heck if you count the food we were provided I probably made more then!  That was even the summer we won our tent at the bank.

My camping wasn't limited to that summer.  I spent 10 days in the largest continuous wilderness area in the lower 48 states!  It was for a class, and we did have structured accommodation for part of it (a research station), but there were several nights of sleeping with nothing but a bag and the stars.  Before all that "higher education stuff" there were a myriad of yuppie camping (uh I mean car camping and KOAing) as a kid.  I have nothing but good memories!  Driving all day, then setting up camp and cooking dinner before the sun set.  Mom would bring things like stew we had frozen in advance of the trip (the ultimate camp dinner - well ok, steak is good too).  We'd set camp and eat and wash up.  Mom would be scared of the threat of bears.  My sister and I would share a tent.  Sometimes we'd brave the showers.  Sometimes there wouldn't be flushies.  Usually, we'd be there for the night and after breakfast we'd break camp and be off to the next site!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hi I'm KtC, and I'm a Fox News Addict

Normally I prefer to get my news overseas or at least from as neutral of a news source as I can find.  It's not always possible and I am horrendously lazy about such things, as I've already posted.  Still I don't know whether it's my human obsession with the extreme, or my desire to know the odd.  Maybe it's my wandering along insanity's sharp ravine that makes me crave those stories.  Makes it so I can't stop reading.  So there I sit opening tab after linked tab.

I know there is better things I can do with my time, but it's just so compulsive.  I've even taken to opening a separate browser for my habits so as not to mess up the 30 or so tabs I keep open in the main browser (yes I've abused tabbed browsing for probably a decade - I used to use Opera).  I just can't help it.  I have to learn about the depravity and the heroism, the odd discoveries and the side notes.  I used to be a loyal reader of News of the Weird, and now I find it all on Fox News.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Observations of: Google Ads

I <3 Google Ads, I LOVE 'em.  The genius behind ad words gets a big high five!  The whole idea of scanning text to see what is being discussed and then attempting to tie in to the interests based on keywords to post an ad, well it definitely can be the bringer of admittedly hours of entertainment.  Sure sure, sometimes it's spot on, something way cool and totally appropriate wanna know more kinda stuff, ka-ching.... absolutely working!  Other times, well that's when we let the good times roll.

Surely you've seen it.  You are chatting along on a forum, or reading your email (if you use web mail) and then in the corner, down at the bottom, there are these little ads.  They advertise things many times the likes of which you have never heard of.  There are some great ads for toilets and toilet accessories if you happen to be on a thread discussing lots of crap.  If you are talking about weddings or babies or any of those major markets, WOW!  Oh baby!  Bring on the advertisers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Rare Find

There are different cultures and subcultures all over this planet.  Briefly I have already mentioned my own frustration in belonging to a culture and that I also associate highly with geek culture.  This is all still very true.  I strongly identify with the geek subculture.  I feel my parents are closeted geeks who still struggle with allowing their inner geek to come out.  My husband is a geek and several of my real life friends are geeks.  My inlaws are not geeks, my poor husband.

I feel most at ease with people who also associate, at least on some fundamental level as geeks.  Sure I have other things that aren't geeky about me.  Yet, over my life my closest friends have been those that are geeks.  This has posed a real problem for me.  As many of you are starting to guess, that has meant most of my friends are men.  Now I have nothing against my geek-guy friends.  I love them dearly and we have some great discussions, but it is a unique and wonderful day when I meet and am able to befriend that rarest of finds, another She-Geek.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thanks GeekDad

Not too very long ago Wired's GeekDad wrote a review of a book about Adult Lego Fans, LEGO: a Love Story by Jonathan Bender.  In their post they offered an copy of the book to a fan that replied.  I was that lucky fan.  I never had LEGOs as a kid, but my Dad let my sister and I build with his American Bricks (pre-Playskool).  You can check those on ebay if you don't know what they are.  Eventually one Christmas my sister and I were awarded our own tub of "generic bricks".  Which were cool, but not compatible with LEGO pieces.  Anyway, it wasn't my bemoaning my childhood bereft of the "cool bricks" that got me the book.  It was the random number generator.

Not having much time to read has made my active reading list rather light.  In fact I wasn't reading anything when my copy of the book arrived.  I set to reading it right away, even though it isn't the kind of thing I'd buy for myself.  I'm more of a sci-fi reader (and lately been reading kid's fantasy), but I did really enjoy the book.  I connected with the author on more than one front.  That longing for bricks that I never had, the projects my bucket just couldn't build, and those summer days spent doing nothing but building and playing.  Then my husband, who still has all of his LEGO bricks from childhood despite moving across the country a couple times, read the book.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Pinhole of Ignorance

Once upon a time I was a naive seventh grader.  Like most people (at least those I've talked to), my middle school experience was miserable.  I was not popular, or pretty.  I was still of the a religion different than most of my peers.  I had a new best friend and for the first time in my life, I stopped hanging out with guys and having a boyfriend and instead had what looked like to outsiders as a childhood.  So even while I was mentally regressing into a childlike state, our teachers were constantly trying desperately to get us to focus and think outside of our bodies, our families, and our town.

One such teacher was my social studies teacher.  I wish I could remember his name.  I didn't like social studies and my memory for names was never installed properly.  In addition to introducing us to the shapes, names, capitals, and predominate religions of the other countries that share our globe, (did you know everyone doesn't live in North America and some of them do things differently?  Amazing!) he tried to encourage us to take an interest in the happenings outside of our little lives.  In a desperate effort to get us to take an interest in national and international news and in reading the newspaper he had us each take a piece of black construction paper.  Then we were all handed a straight pin (which most people "stitched" to their palms, or used to pin fingers together).  The pin was to poke one small solitary hole in the middle of the paper.  Then we held the hole to our eyes and used the paper to block our peripheral vision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Score One For Moms Who Fight Societal Norms

Ok, I admit it, I'm a sucker for parenting studies and parenting as a topic in news articles.  It's simply amazing to me that the act of raising children, something people have presumably been doing since the beginning of people, is something that we really don't understand scientifically.  I find the research largely relevant, fascinating, and great ammunition for conversation with a variety of people.  Mostly, I compare it to the gut instinct I use in raising my own kids.

Yesterday BBC News posted one such fascinating article.  You can read it here, if you want.  There is lots to question in the way the study was conducted as, with most studies of parenting, it's basis is a quick qualitative observance and a passage of years.  Still the overall analysis from BBC writer strikes me as a very, well duh, moment.  Yet, as I reflect on all the parenting I know, it may not be as obvious as it appears to be, especially with the push to raise independent beings that seems so very prevalent in a large segment of the population.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Sanitation Engineer

Have you ever thought about your garbage person?  Have you ever wondered who they are and why they would chose a job that had them dealing with other peoples refuse every single day?  Aside from wanting any job with a cool truck when you were under the age of 7, have you ever really considered the job?  Or do your nasty unusables just disappear by magic?

What about the guys that put the circuits on your motherboard?  Or the people that stock the shelves in the back of the store.  What about all the little people that do all the little things that make society worth living in?  Do you ever think, what set of choices could have led them to do the things they do and why they do them, and whether or not anyone is ever truly thankful for the work that they do?  Or do you just assume all that stuff just sort of happens?

Monday, July 26, 2010

What's My Culture?

When I was little I wanted more than anything to be Native American.  I even have a Shoshone name given to me by my mother for a second grade assignment, Morning Star.  No, my mom's not Shoshone, but one of my classmate's grandma's was!  He really didn't show that he had any Native American genes, he was super pale and had red hair!  It didn't matter though.  He had culture, a history.  Customs and traditions that tied him to something very cool, something unique, something I have never had.

All my life I was taught that I am nothing.  My culture if I can even call it that, is unimportant in history, and if anything we are the cause of most of histories problems.  Ok not all, but we are the bad guy a lot.  There is no study us day.  There is no recognize your cultural differences.  Heck, we don't even have cultural differences.  I grew up in a void of culture.  I was raised as a plain American.  That's it!  There's nothing else.  Our cuisine is microwavable and full of empty calories.  Most meals of our meals are bastardizations of some other group, and we even refer to them as such.  We have no holidays other than those on the national calendar and we celebrate those as represented by the Hallmark Channel.  We have no "special language".  No going back generations.  Nothing that set us apart.  Everything that made us different, that told who my ancestors were, that gave me roots had been torn away long before I was born.  I grew up in the anti-culture.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ah Come On, It'd Be Cool And You Know It

Often I get these crazy unrealistic ideas.  Two years ago I designed a tablet (think iPad) on post it notes while listening to audio books and counting lamprey.  I still really want one, seriously, the thing would kick an iPad in the arse!  Maybe I'll type up the concept for another post, but keep in mind it's two years old and solid state hard drives were super new and so it was an option in the design, hmmm maybe I'll edit the sketches when I have time.  Anyway, that's not what I want to talk about right now.  This one is way crazier!

Were you ever in a marching band?  So many people were.  I was!  Some of my most defined memories of high school revolve around the band, and some of my least defined memories from my experiences marching in college.  In high school my band director was all about drum corp.  He wanted us to march perfectly.  He wanted us to play perfectly.  He wanted us to look professional.  He wanted us to wow the audience, making them cheer, gasp, and even cry.  We had the trophies to go with it, even though "band" wasn't the competitive thing where I grew as it was where my husband did.  In our school, band was still just that thing that happened in the middle of the football game.  Therefore my director was always looking for something that would keep butts in seats through the concessions rush.  This would totally rock his world.  Although, like the repeated requests to do a Star Wars (or even a John Williams show), he'd probably never go for it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Problem With Marriage

I'm married, and have been for the last 9 years.  I love my husband and feel I have a rather good marriage.  It has problems, we have struggles, but so far we have stood together.  There are lots of reasons for that, but for right now, my marriage isn't the one I want to focus on.  I want to focus on the institutions of marriage as seen in the United States.  Did you see what I said, institutions.  <-- Look there's an "s" on that.  That means more than one.  And that is what I mean.  There are more than one institution of marriage.  Understanding that would make the whole marriage debate as a nation a lot easier, at least in my humble opinion.

Currently, in the United States the issue of who can marry, and what that means is a very hot debate item.  It is my opinion, that in reality there are several different institutions that are definably different.  Therefore what really needs to happen to forward the debate in a meaningful way is that the contract and responsibilities expected under the term of marriage needs to be separately defined as far as the federal government is concerned.  In order to do this, I propose that the concept of marriage in a legal regard be distinctly different and independent of the many religious considerations of marriage.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Welcome to Insanity

We've all been there, or maybe you haven't?  Who are you, you freak?  Go experience some life!  Meet Insanity, peer into it's cavernous ravine.  Know what terrors and brilliance flood inside your mind that has been so beaten regulated and caged within your skull and within society.  Then you will know what the rest of us know.  That there is a place on the edge, a place where ideas come in floods and there is never paper at hand, nor hand fast enough to keep up.  A place where you grasp at paper napkins, post-it notes, and scraps as the rambling, the design, and the commentary burst forth!

In my treacherous walk, bordering the realm of the insane, I have learned the solution to so many world problems, if only we could start again, or lay aside greed.  Unfortunately, so many things have so many good valid dimensions before you even consider the selfish power mongering ones and I can see so many playing off of each other moving in real time, pulling equilibrium and sustainability through the dimensions like a man being drawn and quartered.
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