Fragile Reminder

May 31, 2009

Broken glassImage via Wikipedia

Driving home today, after having a talk with Josh, I had a realization. I hate yelling now.

Despite growing up in a house of yellers (large 4-bedroom, 10 people, majority kids – we were a loud bunch, and yelling was faster than walking all over the house trying to find someone), I don’t like it anymore. I used to be the most vociferous (my grandmother constantly telling me “If I wanted you to yell, I could have done it myself. Get off your butt and go find [insert name of relative]”).

We used it mainly as a means of communication -- not to belittle, harm emotionally, nor rant without thinking of the consequences. Josh’s first 4 years were in this environment and he’s sort of used to me being a yeller, but not like this weekend.

Sure, I have used yelling in those ways before, who hasn’t? Tim used to complain about my yelling in the house to get Josh and Joy’s attention if they were other areas. Again, as a means of (in my opinion, effective) communication. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that you could go as far as you wanted so long as you came running when she called? BEFORE cell phones? Back when we could play outside all day and half the night? I digress …

This past weekend was hard. The days started with yelling (around 6AM). And it didn’t stop till bedtime (between 9-10PM). And I wasn’t the one yelling. In fact, Josh and I were the only ones not yelling, screaming, crying, or otherwise creating negative energy. It was horrible. Josh called my mom on it, she accused him of yelling and he had to ask her “When do you ever hear me yell?” Because, really, he doesn’t. Except at Joy. But we’re working on that.

Josh opted to leave the house 1.5 hours early for church. I tried napping to block it out. One of my nieces came into my room to snuggle and get away from it. Unfortunately, she was the object of much of the yelling. Not because she’s a bad girl. She drama queen’s as much as Joy does, if not more, and it can be frustrating, but that’s no reason to yell unceasingly at a child.

All this to say that I feel on the edge of breaking. The last time I felt like this was right before I told Tim that I would no longer allow him to take his anger out on me and the kids. I had finally realized and accepted that I was being abused mentally and emotionally and I had had enough. No more making excuses for you. I am not a verbal punching bag. And neither are the kids.

I feel bad for my nieces. They deserve better. I don’t know if she realizes what she’s doing to her kids. It’s different, but as bad as what her father used to do to her. I feel bad for my son. It feels like we just got out of an emotionally toxic environment.

It’s going to be a long week.

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Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan?

May 29, 2009
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 29:  Nathan Fillion...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I wish. Many of my friends in real life and online are well aware of my huge *cough*crush*cough* on Nathan Fillion. I am constantly talking about Capt. Tightpants of Firefly, Serenity, and most recently, Castle fame.

One fan, with infinitely more time and talent with After Effects than I have has created a simply spectacular movie trailer for a non-existent movie. I hope the movie execs are paying attention.

1) Hire this guy and


I give you Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern

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Response to: Growing up in the Digital Age

May 26, 2009

Image representing MySpace as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

My blogger/twitter friend Duong wrote an interesting article on Kids in the Digital Age. She ended it with a question:
How do you deal with your kids growing up in the digital age? What advice or suggestions would you offer parents?

My answer was pretty long for a blog comment, and it got me thinking. I decided to post my response here, just in case:

I was/am very strict with my teen son's use of social media. At one point he got his computer privileges taken away for over a month for starting a MySpace account without parental consent -- and I made him wait until he turned 14 (legal age according to MySpace TOS at the time) to get an account. The one rule was that I had to be one of his friends and if necessary, could require his password at anytime. I try to check his account on a regular basis to see what he and his friends are up to. He has to know every person in real life, and his account is private. If he can't explain to me who someone is, I make him delete that person. So far it's worked.  

I don't think people consider WoW (World of Warcraft) as a social network, but it certainly is becoming one for him. He's meeting people from all over the world the same way I do with twitter. And now he understands the attractiveness and addictive quality of it (not so much a good thing).  Because of the way it's set up I have much less control over the types of people he interacts with. It used to be the same friends as on Myspace and from church, but he's branched out.  

So far I am blessed that he likes to relate anecdotes about what is going on with his raids, the characters/people he interacts with, etc.  A part of me does worry about what he might be leaving out, but for now all I can do it trust him and trust that I have raised him to be somewhat discerning.

My daughter is 7 and still more interested in playing with her friends face-to-face, though she does want her own cell phone for games, the ability to call family and friends, and text now that she can read and spell (who would have thought *that!*). I introdiced her to one social network, Barbie Girls, but she didn't like it. We haven't tried any others, she's not even interested in Club Penguin.

The part I left out, considering the length, is my advice. 
  1. Instill your children with a sense of discernment. Make sure they know how to think critically and carefully and can exercise good judgement before allowing them on social media and networking sites.
  2. Build trust with your children. They need to know that you trust them enough to be on those sites. They also need to know that as parents, it's our job to keep them safe and that yes, we have the right to check their accounts and "invade their privacy" if it means keeping them safe. This is NOT advice to micro-manage your child's online activities, but know that as minors their activities online need to be transparent.
  3. Even if social networking is not your "thing", get educated. 

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Geek 4 Kids

May 20, 2009

Geek4Kids a new site by @sendchocolate and her kids showcases Tribbles:

Think Geek is carrying tribbles for $14.99-$19.99..and they are guaranteed to be sterile. If they are not, they promise to dispatch someone to your location in seventeen-point-nine years. Is that not kind of them?T., Geek 4 Kids, Feb 2004

I want one. And you should read the whole article. -- Talented bunch of geeky kids over there.

Girl Power!

May 18, 2009

rosieriveter Who needs men to move? Evidently not me when I have my mom and a few good girlfriends (would be plural but I had to do it this weekend instead of next). I figured my friends are getting tired of moving me and my crap around, totally understandable. Josh counts it as four times in the last two years, including the move from Oregon. It feels like more.


This past weekend I just needed to move my stuff out of storage in Long Beach to a less expensive storage center in Lancaster (because who knows how long we will actually be in Lancaster). The biggest piece of “furniture” is my TV, a 30” HDTV that is NOT plasma. That sucker weighs like 300lbs. But we figured it out, got it moved, and no one injured anything.  I say that makes the move a success. Now to finish getting my crap out of my mom’s living room before my sis and nieces come back this weekend …

If there really was a fairy godmother…

May 13, 2009

What would you wish for and why?

This thought is posted at work. No one at work has filled in the little thought bubbles. So here’s my thought bubble:

  • Wisdom -- it might be cliché, but the older I get the more I realize that I need it. A lot. besides, with wisdom I can probably gain contentment, if not happiness, as well as wealth and health.
  • The metabolism I had as a teenager (my nod to vanity)
  • The ability to recognize love.

I’m Starving

Not really, I live in America after all. Not that that matters since we have people who starve here. But that’s another post.

I’m affection starved. This is a real phenomenon. Some of you may have heard of it. Yes, it started in my marriage. Before that I had plenty of friends that I could be affectionate with and we never thought anything of it (until later in life when we found out not everyone was as free with hugs and shoulder touches and hand-holding that didn’t mean anything more than “I am so happy to be near you”). Ok, yeah, in High School there was the potential for mixed signals, and maybe even in college, but I lucked out that most of the people I was affectionate with, despite being the opposite gender, had no interest in me sexually. Or if they did, they let me be clueless (thanks guys!)

I’m the touchy-feely sort. I need the positive bio-feedback that I get from being touched, being able to touch, and letting people know how I feel about them -- in a purely platonic fashion. What I didn’t realize is what a stress-relief it can be.

I am stressed to the max. There is a lot going on that I don’t want to talk about or deal with. Someone said I am carrying around a lot of emotional deadweight. I can feel it in my skin. My body is crying out to be touched, hugged, something, anything! And not necessarily sex. NSA (no strings attached) sex is too fleeting, too distanced, and doesn’t lead to a positive bio-feedback loop. Yes, been there, done that in the search for affection. Don’t look so shocked. I do some stupid things when I am nearly out of my mind with loneliness and the simple cure is a hug from someone I didn’t give birth to and don’t have to clean up poop after.

So I’m starving and crazy. Welcome to my world.

Tooth Fairy

May 12, 2009
Elizabeth Donovan, M.A of  wrote a comprehensive article on the Tooth Fairy (you know you believed and you make your kids believe for a time) and used one of my ideas (see below).

Tooth Fairy: "How parents make the tooth fairy’s visit fun?

* Leave a unique token: Leaving a unique tooth fairy token when your daughter’s first tooth is lost (or for each tooth) is a memorable way to celebrate the occasion. Annette Holland, mother of two and author of the blog Musings, recalls “For both of my children, the Tooth Fairy gave them golden Sacagawea dollars.” Giving your child a unique trinket provide lifelong keepsakes and give your children something special to look forward to with the loss of each tooth.

* Tooth fairy certificate: Create your own personal “Tooth Fairy Award or Certificate” to commemorate the occasion. You may also find pre-designed “Tooth Fairy Certificates” online.

* Throw a ‘Loose Tooth’ party: When your child loses her first tooth, it’s usually a big deal. When my eldest daughter got her first loose tooth, we had a “Loose Tooth Party” and made a special chocolate cake to mark the occasion together."
(emphasis mine)

If you and your child are about to enter that phase of life, I highly recommend Elizabeth’s article.

Talk Geek to Me, Baby

Ready for some good, clean, fun?

Recently, quite by accident, Scott McGrew and I have developed quite the meme on twitter. It all started on April 26th. Well, maybe a day or so earlier, but that is the first time I used #talkgeektome (yup, I take full responsibility, ok, partial. He replied and kept it going, and going and going…).

It was supposed to be a joke. Not an ongoing intellectual HAWT (both definitions, thankyouverymuch) conversation. I think I was debating on whether or not to get a USB powered external HDD or go for the one with an external power supply. I still haven’t decided, by the way. But I did order a replacement power supply for my existing Western Digital HDD (Zoe got bored one day… another story). I think I have been having too much fun getting to know people with extremely sexy minds and clean (enough for government work) minds.

And I’m learning so much!!! I have my own brand of geek, but as we get more and more into it I’m learning a lot. Especially about servers and network management. Go figure.

I love being in the #hashtagmafia (makes me add random hashtags to conversations). Who knew that it would bring me so much fun. And thank you @Texskiss for putting me and Scott together in a #followfriday tweet. I don’t think we would have found each other any other way.

Back to work, I can barely keep my train of thought long enough to finish this post …


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The Governator Likes Open Source

May 8, 2009
Now this is something I could get behind, and not only because it's Open Source. The only immediate drawback I see is finding quality producers. This is our children's education we are talking about.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has an ambitious plan to reduce the cost of education in California. He intends for the state to develop digital open source textbooks for high school math and science classes. The books will be available for free and will be used at public schools across the state.

Schwarzenegger has tasked California Secretary of Education Glen Thomas with making sure that the new textbooks are ready for deployment in fall 2009. Thomas will be collaborating with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the president of the State Board of Education.

Public education is costly in California and accounts for roughly 40 percent of the state government's annual budget. The state's current financial woes have forced Schwarzenegger to search for ways to cut some of the fat out of school spending.

Full Article at Ars Technica

What do you think? Should K-12 go Open Source?

You can get more information at the California Open Source Textbook Project site.

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Why are powerpoint presentations now called "decks"?

May 5, 2009



Filed under: Learn something new everyday

daNanner: Why are powerpoint presentations now called "decks"?
about 25 minutes ago
phraktyl: Because you used to arrange physical slides into "decks" to show them. Old terminology.
about 24 minutes ago
Enoxh: Someone decided to call stacks of cards power point presentations..avoids literary confusion...
about 24 minutes ago
jstolle: No freakin' clue. When you find out, please enlighten me.
about 22 minutes ago
BlackLotus73: I don't know but please share the answer when u find out ;)
about 19 minutes ago
GladstoneX: Only if they're printed... Yeah... It's stupid.
about 18 minutes ago

Happy Star Wars Day

May 4, 2009

Ok, I'm a geek, we know this. What's cool, is that I am meeting all sorts of other geeks. Tim never even told me this, I found out on twitter of all places.

May the 4th is Star Wars Day. Get it? No? Ok.

Me: Happy Star Wars Day!
You: What?
Me: May the 4th be with you

Now go hug a Wookie
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