Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina Coverage

Seeing all this madness and the large number of displaced persons makes me want to DO something. REALLY! Our community has opened a shelter but the people haven't quite made it here yet. As soon as the evacuations get going fullfledged, I'm sure a bus load of people will be living in our town.

The best coverage is from two places. First, from the people that were there. Go to THIS LINK or THIS LINK and read the emails posted on CNN and Fox News from the people who have been affected.

Secondly, if you're looking for a condensed, quick, and always up to the minute news, then head over to Michelle Malkin. She is showing us again why she is the blogging queen.

If you feel like donating, please jump over to here. My church is very active in helping those that need it. I know after the Florida hurricanes, we were able to help those after FEMA had left. Quite a few people lost their monies due to rip-off-contractors and we were able to help them. The Red Cross is extremely good at what they do, providing the basics. There's lots of room for other organizations to provide other needed support, structure, and love for the people.

Ruby Slippers stolen

A bunch of wicked witches have stolen the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of OZ!
DULUTH, Minn. - (KRT) - A pair of ruby slippers considered to be "The Holy Grail," of all Hollywood memorabilia has been stolen.

A rare pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the classic movie "Wizard of Oz" were stolen during the weekend in what appears to be a targeted burglary at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.

I didn't think this was real...

...but yes, you can buy this.

And as a side gift, why not add the Nuclear War Survival Skills book. I'm sure it will make great bathroom reading

It's okay to cry baby

It was earlier this week that a medical article in the JAMA claimed that unborn children younger than 7 months development can't feel any pain at all. This study spit in the face of those who do in-utero surgury and those who work with tiny premature infants. Currently, a bill in Congress would require that pain information be given to potential abortionist mothers. One poorly done study could give the pro-abortion crowd all the ammo they need to start derailing this needed bill. Our bill states that fetal pain begins at the 20th week but our friends across the pond, the Brits, recommend pain treatment in the 18th week.

And, of course, the author of the study just absentmindedly forgot to mention her direct connections with the abortion industry. She was previously a director of an abortion clinic and now she's on the board of a pro-abortion advocacy center.

Ooops, yeah right.

But right on the heals of this study, comes another study that sheds light on the behavior of infants in the womb.

A new study has revealed that unborn babies cry within the womb. Ultrasound videos taken of infants within the womb revealed 28-week-old babies crying in response to a noise stimulus.

Whoa! That's extraordinary! The researches would play a loud sound, 90 decibals, that was loud enough to reach the child inside but, of course, not loud enough to cause any damage. The researchers took video of the children's reaction to the sound and compared it to actions taken by newborns. The similarities were amazing. I wonder why I never thought of this. Of course, a baby in the womb would have reaction to outside stimuli. Why would their reaction be different?

Go and read the full article. They even have a link to the ultrasound video of one of the infants crying.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tool of the Week II

Week of 28 Aug 2005

The Quick Stand will travel with you and make all your chain lubing troubles go the way of the dodo. A swing-arm button on the right side of the bike is all you need, but you'll probably buy the pair.

The Quick Stand breaks down to easily fit under almost any seat. Pop it out, connect the shafts, and hook it to the right side button, after using the supplied hook and loop strap to secure your front brake.

A tripod is formed using the QS, your side stand, and your front tire. The tire will be suspended in the air and will rotate freely, just as if you had it on a track stand. A word of caution, don't use this method of lifting the rear end to remove the wheel, or for long-term storage. It probably isn't the most reassuring way to suspend your bike. Get a track stand for that.

Java is acting up

This is completely wack. Where did the buttons go? For some reason, my post create is only text with nothing else. All the other stuff disappeared. The preview button is gone, the html button is gone. The word processing toolbar, with bold, italic, underline, and other easy helpers, has disappeared too. This is weird.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Pajamas Media to change name

You might not be familiar with Pajamas Media if you're not a big time political blog reader. They're a start-up company that will help connect bloggers and those who want to advertise on the blogs. The business was put together by some of the most prestigious bloggers out there to serve their other fellow bloggers. After having all the quirks and problems normally associated with a new business, today they announced another step towards their dreams.
The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the Pajamas Media Information Site
is live.

But the first news on their newest site was disappointing.
PJ News : Why We'll Be Changing Our Name

When the bloggers who started this company first came together it was almost natural we would call ourselves Pajamas Media. It was a playful tip of the hat to that moment when bloggers exposed the misreporting of CBS anchor Dan Rather. At that time, an ex-executive for CBS tried to dismiss us as riffraff in "pajamas." But the bloggers were right, CBS was wrong, Rather retired (without apologizing) and the rest is history.

But as we have gone forward putting together this company, it has become clear to us that we do not wish to be defined merely as gadflies in opposition to mainstream media. We owe our readers and our colleagues something bigger, an alternative to the structures we have lived with all our lives. It's not enough to criticize. We also have to build something new. To do that, we needed a name that would allow us to grow. And that name we are in the process of deciding.

Let us assure you that whatever it may be, we do not intend to lose our sense of fun or to forget our raffish roots. We only want to be more and hope you will join us in that quest.

One of the unique characteristics of bloggers is their ability to name events. The scandal-of-the-week-gate is the most often used name. Names for the current Air America business scandal include BoreAmerica, Air Enron, Air Deadbeat, and Air Scamerica. A business titled "Pajamas Media" would have fit into this niche market perfectly.

But the name Pajamas is also politicalized. It's a direct reference to the time when the "right" won and the media executives went down in flames. Since their business wants to be open to all bloggers, no matter their political motives, the name had to go. They're not looking to conquer just their personal niche market, they're looking to sell to the world, even socialist!

But it's not like the famous pajamas quote is going to be forgotten anytime soon. There's as much truth as mis-truth in the statement. A blogger who has never blogged in their pajamas is a rare bird indeed.

This site is blocked from your viewing.

For a short while, I was on the high school computers. I was a bit bored so I decided to browse. The students had finished all of this week's assignments and were browsing their favorite sites. I saw a ton of the guys shopping for the coolest shoes. The Nike website will allow users to design their own shoes, just like those old-fashioned Barbie doll clothes designer toys. Music sites are definitely the most popular but I also saw student browsing wedding dresses and some boys who downloaded video-taped fights.

My browsing didn't have many problems until I tried to go to my own blog. It was blocked as being "General Pornography".

Thanks a lot you stupid filter.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I am the Teacher Part 2

So, I went to my very first substitute teaching job yesterday. Just walking through the office without the secretaries questioning me was a rush.

So, my first job was a cinch, even by substituting standards. I have a student teacher that already knows the class plans and lessons. The teaching part only takes a couple minutes because the textbook is built for self-learning. It’s a computer class learning Excel so learning is hands-on and help is one-on-one. I know the material so I’m able to help around the room.

So, I walked into the secretary’s office to sign in for this easy seven day job. All I have to do is sign in and get a couple papers. This is our conversation:

Me: “Good morning, I’m here to sub for Mr.S.”

Secretary C: “Oh good to see you. Just sign in there. Let me get you his class schedule and attendance papers.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“Oh, and are you interested in a long term substitute position? I have a class open right now through December.”

“Yes.” [My heart lept into my throat when she asked me this.]

“It’s a math class though. Are you any good at math?”

“Yes…I’m a math major- I’ve finished my junior year of classes.” [I began to go into a shock at this point. I couldn't look at her for a moment and just tried to concentrate on signing in. What was my name again?]

“Oh great. This is a geometry resource class- maybe some algebra too.”

“Oh, I love algebra. But are you sure I’m qualified? I’m not teacher certified at all?

“Oh, that's okay. How far are you through your teacher certification program?”

“I’m not currently enrolled in one. I’ll be doing alternate certification and I’ve only taken one of my teaching prerequisites- Educational Psychology.

“Oh, you’ll be fine. Here’s the class schedule. Why don’t you go up and talk to her.”

So, I signed in for my very first day substituting and was given a long-term position. They’ve been looking for somebody but 5 other people have turned it down. Now it’s mine for the taking!

To be continued….

Math Joke Friday 2

If you don't understand this joke, please call me immeadiately. I will arrange for a math joke tutor.

A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he
will say that on the average he feels fine.

It's 5:30am. Do you know where your children are? Part 2

Today we're going to talk about other people's children.

I had the honor of driving to Walmart this morning at 5:30am. I was baking and was ONE banana short. How annoying. I was driving past the high school when I see an SUV backing out of the high school parking lot. In the headlight beams, I see two students. School doesn't start until 8:30.

Walmart is just around the block from the high school but it took me forever to get there because I got stuck behind a giant Yukon going only 15mph. I was sure this sleepyhead was going to Walmart too, when suddenly, the truck makes a turn into...into.... the swimming pool parking lot. Looking through the fence, I see the pool is filled with kids, some in grade school, all doing laps. If in the coming years you hear about students from Bryan, TX winning all sorts of medals at the Olympics, you'll know why. When they win, they'll be sure to thank God, who guarded those vehicles as sleepy parents drove in the wee hours of the morning.

I spent $15 at Walmart and came home with 3 bags of grocery. I picked up some donuts anyway. And most importantly, I remembered the bananas.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The "Jap" bikes

I ride a bike designed and built in Japan. It has a plastic fairing for aerodynamics and style. It is bright green. Is it any wonder that it stands out in a sea of Harleys?

The local Harley Davidson (HD) shop allows us to hold the classroom portion of our classes in their classroom on Fridays and Saturdays. A very fine arrangement. On Saturday mornings the class begins at the range and the students ride through several exercises. Then we break for lunch and meet up back at the HD shop to finish the classroom book work. A written test concludes Saturday's portion and the remainder of the class finishes up at the range on Sunday.

Last Saturday, I pulled into the dealership after lunch and see big, shiny, chromed bikes line the parking lot. A couple hundred by my estimate. There was a big ride, you see. They would take off from the shop in groups at predetermined intervals so as to avoid the hassle of choking traffic with the masses.

I had a hard time finding a parking place, which is really odd. There were bikes parked 2-4 deep in some spaces, but all the spaces had at least 2-3 bikes in them already. I rode around a bit, noticing some of the neat and $$$ machinery present. I also noticed that I was almost alone in a loaded parking lot. You see, there was only one other bike there that was easily identifiable as a non-Harley bike. It was a Gold Wing 1500.

For those of you not in the know, a Gold Wing is Honda's flagship model for luxury motorcycling. It comes with all sorts of electronic gagetry, gizmos, and thingamabobs. Come on folks, you can get them with 6+ CD changers, CB, and intercom from the factory. It is a bike that may have been designed in Japan, but is built in the US and is more American than some Harleys. (but that's another story) The luxo-tourer that it is puts it in another class from the one in which my fundamentalist sporty-bike exists.

I made some comment about having the only Japanese bike in a lot full of proud American iron owners. Several customers and students from my class insisted that there were two more "Jap" bikes out front and insisted that I had missed them. I am not perfect (as mollo will attest) so I walked to the front to see who rode what sushi bikes to the Harley ride.

There they were. Sporty looking bikes. One had a half fairing, the other had a full one. One white and the other yellow. Then I laughed to myself when I recognized the white one to be a Buell Firebolt. Buell is a company owned by HD that makes sporty bikes and uses modified Sportster engines. This "Jap" bike was actually made just up the road from the birthplace of HD, is sold out of Harley shops around the world, and there were models of the same bike in other colors in the very shop they were standing in. A Buell is a dressed up Harley. (Har-de-har-har) Many were just as startled when I revealed the identity of the yellow unknown bike to be a Triumph Daytona 955, a British bike.

So much for not being the only "Jap" bike around. *giggle-tee-hee*

What kind of torture do you prefer?

If you were a substitute teacher, which would you pick as your first class?

Kindergarten or High School?

Howdy Boots and Sabers Friends

Welcome to our my baby blog!

I must admit, I first went to Boots and Sabers because the name sounded like an Aggie blog. I enjoyed reading it, posted a couple comments, and left. It took me a while to figure out why I kept coming back. After all, Wisconsin politics is Owen's niche market and I have no vested interest in that at all. I live in a completely different state.

First, Owen and Jed are really smart guys and good writers. And it's great that Wendy will drop in and post a couple comments too. The atmosphere at Boots and Sabers is friendly and considerate. The fellow commenters are diverse but above making nasty personal side remarks about their fellow debaters. And since Boots and Sabers doesn't have posts and comments that run into the 100s, everybody there knows that their comments are read and responded to.

But I think the main reason I kept coming back is because WISCONSIN POLITICS ARE ABSOULTELY NUTTY. So what if the Texas legislature can't decide on a school budget. The Wisconsin Aldermen work and slave and compromise on bills and budgets, just to have their governor cut and shred it like Enron memos. Let me give you a better example: The legislatures can take Webster's Dictionary, slapped a new cover on it, and then pass it into law as their new budget for the fiscal year. Then, the governor, (just like a serial killer), can use sissors and markers to cut out only the words he wants, paste them down, and make his own law. This, according to their State Supreme Court, is what partial veto means.

It was only a short while ago that the latest Wisconsin minimum wage increase was on the front page of our small town newspaper. As I chatted with the gas station cashier about the front page I said, "I have friends in Wisconsin. Let me tell you...."

Yes, I think friends was the proper word.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Two funny quotes

The price of being cool during a robbery:

Melissa Sauer, an employee at the store, spoke exclusively to Action News about what happened. She says her boss was showing a customer how to work a DVD player when two men walked in.

Melissa Sauer/Pawn Shop Employee: "They walked around the display cases and started... lifted up his shirt and started trying to pull out a gun and it kind of got stuck in his pants."

Melissa says that gave her enough time to run behind and lock an iron security door to the back of the shop where she called police.

New parenting advice from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett:

He said that years ago, parents might tell children, eat your dinner because there are children starving in China. Now, he said, parents could tell children, “Do your homework; there are kids studying in China."


Apparently the Mayor was merely quoting wisdom from a prominent author, Thomas Friedman.

When I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, ‘’Tom, finish your dinner—people in China are starving.’’ ...... I am now telling my own daughters, ‘’Girls, finish your homework—people in China and India are starving for your jobs.’’
But I think they both flubbed it up. I was sure the classic line went "Eat your dinner- there are children in Ethiopia/Africa that are starving." I swear I never heard China.

But this Friedman sounds like a down-to-earth kinda guy. I just might read his book.

A little help here... please?

I need a haircut. I have relied on mollo to get the job done since just after we were married. Why do I need a haircut? Well, because it has been 8 weeks since my last one. Mollo will tell you that I don't need one, or that it is just getting long enough to start looking good.

While in the Army, I needed a chop every week to avoid getting in trouble. Problem is, four $5 haircuts in a month adds up to a very large percentage of your income when the Army pays so little. We were counting pennies in those days. A few here or there meant the difference between hot dogs for dinner or macaroni and cheese.

We bought a set of clippers for $17 (if I remember right) at the Ft. Hood PX. Then the experimentation began. Mollo had no formal training or beauty school in her background, so it took a few months for her technique to produce a haircut that the guys in my platoon wouldn't make fun of. She eventually got really good at it, but you wouldn't know it if you ask her. She does a good job with my hair and I can think it is great, but she almost always says it looks bad. As soon as I want another haircut, she tells me that it is just starting to look good again.

Well, haircuts aren't $5 around here, they're $10 or more. A home haircut is still a good way to save a few bucks. Trouble with a free haircut is the barber has to be in the mood to do the job.

The voyage continues

Well, as mollo is starting a new chapter in her employment I too shall embark on a new journey into the unknown. It is called Dental Hygiene school. It is where I will live for the next two years. Monies have been paid for things with anticipation and a lack of understanding what the $$$ was really for. (Just what do you know about dental hygiene tools?)

People dream about what they will do with the rest of their lives and then go and do it. I never planned out my life like that. Carreers were never of much interest to me. I always knew that I wanted a family, and I did ok with that. But what to do with the rest of my life and how to sustain the parts that I knew I wanted in the future? Good thing for cavities... sort of.

I have never been very good at taking care of my teeth. I went a whole year without brushing and had good checkups with my dentist as a teen. The following year, I started brushing regularly, and using mouthwash. That following dental visit presented me with several nasty cavities which were promptly filled. Go figure.

Fast forward about 8 years. I have been off active duty for a couple of years and go in for my first dental checkup in about 3 years. I was informed that I had cavities forming under my fillings. I had a couple of cracked teeth as a result. Well, 2 years, a lot of $$$, and 9 or 10 crowns later, I knew that fillings weren't forever. I wish I had known that as a teen. *sigh*

Thus my feet were set upon the path to becoming a dental hygienist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I am the Teacher

Today I went to Substitute Teacher Orientation and by 1pm today, I'll be officially employed as a teacher. :) I'm a "professional substitute" which means I can be in the classroom alone.

I had always thought being a teacher would be fun. I would have wanted to teach my favorites, math and history, or maybe a creative mix of them both! All the bad news in the media about how teachers are choked and tethered from all sides has put a damper on my immeadiate future plans.

But the educational requirements for teachers have also soured me on the prospect. To teach math, all you really need is complete your sophomore level math classes. However, first you need a degree- ANY degree. I don't have that dang piece of paper yet I am more qualified than some. Frustrating, eh.

It's 5:30am. Do you know where your children are?

For most parents, this question should be a cinch. They're probably in bed, dreaming about lollipops and ice cream lands. But this question isn't so easily answered in my household. My oldest daughter regularly sets her alarm for the wee hours of the morning. This morning, like most mornings, she got up at 5:30am and promptly started watching Gilligan's Island. J-Boy joined her shortly afterwards.

We had to make it a rule in the house that nobody is allowed to get up earlier than 5am. At one time she had started setting her alarm for 3am so she could get up and watch tv. And this is where I thank the Lord (again) that I don't have cable. There's plently of bad stuff for her to watch without supervision at 3am with only 4 channels. If I had cable, she would've been able to peruse all sorts of non-describable stuff.

These School Days

Ahh, school used to be those basic R's- reading, writing, and arithmatics. But no more! Click on the linky to go to one of my favorite educational bloggers, Joanne Jacobs. Here's some recent highlights from her blog:

Prep school for kindergarten? Too late, somebody else already thought of this enterprising idea. But first, you need a couple "experts" to convince the parents its needed.

The favorite class of the next generation is going to be online gym!

Check out the shock of the Chicago School District when they realized that tutoring actually works!

And these stories are just from this month. Some of my other favorites include the proposal in Great Britain to ban the use of the word "failed" in schools and replace it with "deferred success" and school districts that are starting to pay money to student with perfect attendance. But the best article I read thanks to Ms. Jacobs was about the enterprising young student of the Austin (TX) School District. When candy bar machines were banned as unhealthy from the schools, the students started their own underground businesses, charging as much as $1.50 for a single Milky Way. Some reported earning as much as $200 a week.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tool of the Week I

Week of 21 Aug 2005

Lubing your cables is as easy as can be with the assistance of this small device. Clutch cables are dripping with stuff in moments. Just disconnect your cable's top end, attach the luber, and use your favorite lube's straw to send loving care down the sheath to protect and prolong your hard working cable's service life.

I may leave home without it, but I always come back.

Cindy Sheehan

I got over my annoyance with this Cindy Sheehan protest rather quickly and now I just feel really, really sorry for her. Sometimes people get that same "YOU KILLED HIM" mentality she is exhibiting with doctors after a loved one died.

This woman's whole life is falling down around her and her "friends" seem happy to escort her further down that road. She says she hasn't spoken to her extended family since the election because they voted for Bush. Her family spoke out against her and her response was "they never really knew Casey anyway." Her husband is divorcing her and even she admits it's in relationship to her anti-war activities. Her other son tried to join the army but she begged him not to because "the government was going to get another one of her children." She's said she's no longer going to pay taxes. Well, the list just goes on and on...

There was another man who once was willing to put the death of a son before his whole family. It was Jacob, in the book of Genesis. You know, Israel, the guy with 12 sons. You know, one of those grand ol' Bible people who never did anything wrong.

Then Joseph tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many
days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be
comforted. "No", he said, "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my
son." So his father wept for him. Gen 37:34,35

He never forgot his son and he was unwilling to be the father he needed to anymore. Immeadiately after Joseph 'died', Benjamin became his "loved one" because his favorite son was gone. He holds Benjamin higher above all his other brothers. He let Simeon rot in jail for a long while and refused to deal with the situation. Only when the grain ran out, and the family had to go back to Egypt for more, did he finally deal with the problem. But he throws his sorrow in his other sons' faces by saying,

"You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is
no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. " and "My son will not go
down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If
harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head
down to the grave in sorrow."

But this doesn't make Jacob any less worthy of God's love. And the same should be for Cindy Sheehan. A person who believes in Jesus also knows that they are going to see their loved one again in heaven. I wish more of Cindy Sheehan's "friends" were telling her this true message of love.

Friday, August 19, 2005

On the hunt for a job

The other day, Hubby and I went to the County Clerk to file some all-important paperwork. The two girls that helped us were the new hires, a position that I had applied for. Well, they were new so the boss was there to help them. We didn't mind that problem. We did mind however that we were checked out by two unprofessional slobs. One though an un-tucked t-shirt was proper business apparel; the other was flashing almost 2 inches of cleavage. AND THEY WERE BOTH SMACKING ON GUM.

I was dumbfound. They didn't even call me back for an interview and but hired these two weirdos? This left me feeling depressed all day long. On top of that, I saw an employment ad requesting a Bachelor's Degree + 2 yrs experience but starting pay is a measly $9.14. That's ridiculously low.

Math Joke Friday 1

Does everybody know I'm a math major yet? So, I'm going to start my first "feature" on my blog: the friday math joke. Statisticians are the easiest mathematicians to laugh at.

When a statistician passes the airport security check, they discover a bomb in
his bag. He explains. "Statistics shows that the probability of a bomb being on
an airplane is 1/1000. However, the chance that there are two bombs at one plane
is 1/1000000. So, I am much safer..."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

First Day of School

It was with a sigh of great relief that I got up this morning at the obscene hour of 6:09am. Today was the first day of school here in Bryan and the kids were up and ready to go. They dressed right away, got their breakfast, and even brushed their teeth without troubles. They didn't complain about what was in their lunches and their clothes even matched.

Hubby and I walked along the way to school, happily holding hands, as if this was a special family outing. The kids hurried ahead, sticking together and waiting patiently for their slow-poke parents. They didn't wander in front of cars or walk in people's yards.
Well, that was this morning....

I waited by the bridge at school to the "real world" to walk the kids home. Jarod just ignored me, happy to have his friend walking home with us. Sonia was behind a bit because her teacher was new in the school and was a little behind herself. Whitney celebrated her very first day of Kindgarten by plopping her bag beside me, kicking a shoe off, and declaring that school is boring.
But I can't say I blame her. They decided to hold recess, snack, and then a nap right before school gets out. For a child that hasn't taken naps in 2 years, this left quite a bad taste in her mouth right before she left. She also had to eat lunch at the strange hour of 10:50.

Warning: Rant Ahead

But since it is the beginning of the year, let me take a moment to rant and rave about the ridiculousness of full-day kindergarten. If you consider the situation where they eat lunch at a noon hour, then you realistically, the teacher only gets ONE more hour of instruction. The rest of school is filled with nap and recess.

But why would the school districts endorse full-day instruction? Why pay a teacher for 3 more hours of work when you only get a net worth of 1 hour? Don't listen to those lies about the "socialization" of these kindergarteners. These socialization skills would/could be a bonus to the children but it is based on a fallacy. That fallacy is the idea that the children would not get ANY socialization skills while during those extra three hours. But in fact, due to daycare and good parents, the child would get socialized even while not in school. It's simply a trade-off of who's doing the skill building. After all, they don't leave school and go hide in the closet all day long.

People wanted to believe that if their child was in school longer, it would automatically mean that they would learn more. They could catch all the problem kids and set them out straight. But I think this could have an adverse effect on the younger, less school-ready children. Consider Susie Q- she comes to school every day with her hair done perfectly, the latest coloring page in her folder with each letter of her name written with a different crayon. She would benefit from extra instruction. But Johnny B doesn't care. He hates everyday, is tired of coloring, and doesn't want to sit. Instead of a quick, half-day, this boy and teacher are forced into a daily battle of wits to make a boy who's too young fit the mold of a studious child.

But everybody's doing it. Even my church's school has gone to full day kindergarten. Hey, it's free day care for most people. But be wary, very wary. Now they are talking about demanding pre-school for every child. They'll offer the same excuses. But you don't need somebody with a 5 year degree being paid to teach your child their colors and numbers. Let's think about it.

Written Tues, 16 Aug

City Stylin'

Kudos to the City of Bryan! This snazzy picture is the cover of the City of Bryan's Drinking Water Quality Report. It even made the evening news. :) Ya Gotta love small towns.

We have extremely soft water here in BCS area. When I first got here from Houston, I remember taking a shower and scratching the skin on my face because I didn't think the soap was washing off. Now, when I go to Houston and shower, my hair feels dry and tangly. (Is that a real word?)

A couple years ago, I threw newspapers in the early mornings. It was the summer that the Brazos Valley hit 100+ almost every day for 30 days. The hottest day was 112 and my CD player cooked in the van. During this drought, I would come home completely wet and covered in mud from all the apartments that insisted on watering their lawns every night. The amount of wasted water shocked me. There were always rivers of clean healthy water going down the drain. Their sprinkler systems were always messed up. A single sprinkler would be assigned to a patch of grass that was only 2 by 4 ft area. It would often water more concrete than grass and a couple of cars. Hey, maybe it was part of the lease agreement that the apartment would clean your car every night for free.

The worse thing was the geysers. More than once, I had to call apartment managers and tell them that they had geysers from their sprinkers. I'm not talking about a cute little fountain spray either. I do mean GEYSER. The one that stands out in my memory the most was the two story FAT geyser that blew for 5 days before I finally called the complex. I didn't call right away because I was SURE that the residents would report this one. Why didn't anybody else in the neighborhood notice this loud rushing and crashing sound right outside their bedrooms? Didn't that noise make them want to get up and use the bathroom all night long? The managers always said," Responsibility for maintenence and testing for the system is the job of the gardeners. "

It's no wonder that College Station is #2 in the state of Texas for water usage. (Dallas is #1)

It still ticks me off to see business water the grass during the rain. And why go watering the grass every night? Don't they know they just have to pay somebody to cut it down? Cause and effect- get it right dang it! Grrr!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sewing project

I've been working and slaving away all day on this dress I'm making for my littlest daughter. Geez, does my back hurt. And I can't stand ruffles any more. I've already done 5 ruffles this evening and I have 2 more to go. I promise to show a pic of the dress when it's completed.

I got this sewing machine from my Grandma and Mother as a Christmas present. Learning to sew and making darling dresses has always been a dream of mine. I would be a lie to call it hand sewn though since I do 99.9% on the machine. I haven't made much on my own yet. First I made a dress, then a costume, next pjs, and now another dress. I told my husband that now he couldn't say I never finish projects any more.

Well, isn't the English language a beautiful thing?

He says, "Okay, but you still start more projects than you finish."


I think I could already make a wedding dress. After all, it only has to last for one day, right?

My Sidi Vertebra 2 boots.

Here are pics of my boots. Sidi's Vertebra 2 style in black. There are some red highlights. The Sidi logo appears on the sole of the boots in yellow. They still have that new-boot smell.

Here's another shot.

Here's another.

100 Things You Didn't Want to Know About Me

Howdy everybody! Here's my very first blog post for your enjoyable viewing. Like any good blogger, I am already copying my ideas from everybody else. We'll talk some more later!

1. I have 3 kids and a husband.
2. I live in Texas and will probably never move out of the state.
3. My husband rides a motorcycle.
4. We were almost hit on our last anniversary date.
5. It was fun to swerve like that.
6. I enjoy reading- a lot!
7. I like to read a lot of non-fiction.
8. It means I know lots of nothings about everything.
9. I haven’t read the Harry Potter or the Tolkien books.
10. I will one of these days.
11. I think Laura Ingalls Wilder is great.
12. One day I’ll write a long post on all the wisdom in her books.
13. I’m completely addicted to anime and manga.
14. Most of y’all don’t even know what anime and manga is.
15. It’s cartoons and comics from Japan.
16. I have my sister to blame for getting me addicted.
17. Apparently it was getting too expensive so Sister plotted to get me addicted so we could both buy stuff.
18. My favorite series is Fushigi Yugi.
19. I’m the oldest and have a sister and a brother.
20. One of my sisters died from diabetes.
21. My grandparents live in Hawaii.
22. I’ve been there a couple times.
23. I’m learning how to sew.
24. I think I’m pretty good already.
25. I am working on my degree from Texas A&M University.
26. People tend to go into shock when I tell them my degree.
27. I’m a senior in my Applied Mathematics B.S. with an emphasis in statistics.
28. I can’t say statistics.
29. I am a statistic because I got married and had my first child before I was 20.
30. I’ve been married for almost 10 years now.
31. I married my high school sweetheart.
32. I’m a little ditzy.
33. Okay, a little more than just a little.
34. Hubby knew that when he married me.
35. I like to sleep a lot.
36. I can sleep 14 hrs straight easily.
37. I’m not afraid to kill in self-defense.
38. I don’t talk about my sex life with people, no matter how much better mine is than theirs.
39. I can’t sing well or carry a tune.
40. I’m addicted to the internet and getting more information. (See #7 & #8)
41. I’m deathly afraid of tornadoes.
42. They have always haunted my nightmares.
43. My favorite band is Bon Jovi
44. I’ve only been to two concerts, and they were both Bon Jovi concerts.
45. I get cold easily and wear long sleeves even in summer.
46. I grew up without air conditioning in my house.
47. I have cool in-laws.
48. I like going to church.
49. I’m a Lutheran.
50. I’m married to a Mormon.
51. He jokes that I go to church because I’m addicted to the communion wine.
52. I don’t smoke or even drink.
53. I don’t have cable.
54. I don’t watch much television.
55. I never watched Friends or Seinfeld.
56. I love Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island
57. My oldest daughter loves Gilligan’s Island too.
58. I’m a thrifty person.
59. I’m poor.
60. I am a good cook.
61. It’s genetic.
62. I can bake anything except cookies.
63. I live for Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.
64. One of these days, I’ll have a cat again.
65. Public speaking doesn’t scare me.
66. I didn’t have my driver’s license until I was 19 years old.
67. My husband taught me how to drive.
68. He bought us a car for a wedding gift.
69. I really enjoy camping.
70. I used to go backpacking a lot.
71. Mosquitoes rarely bite me.
72. I was a Girl Scout for most of my life.
73. Now I’m a Cub Scout person.
74. I’m always prepared.
75. My house has so much food we could survive any sudden disaster.
76. Grocery shopping is more fun than mall shopping.
77. I’ve finally stopped buying more Christmas decorations.
78. I gave birth in an Army hospital twice.
79. The third one was born in a private hospital.
80. My oldest daughter can already draw better than me.
81. I’m a messy housekeeper.
82. I made this list.
83. I’m politically conservative with some libertarian leanings.
84. I vote.
85. I want to own an environmentally friendly house.
86. It would be cool to live in a giant tree house.
87. The blood bank rarely lets me donate because I have low iron.
88. I still have all the My Little Ponies from my childhood.
89. I lose my keys constantly.
90. I’ve locked myself out of the house, out of the car, locked the keys in the car when it was running, and locked them in the car with my infant girl asleep.
91. I like real pencils.
92. I let my kids walk to and from school.
93. I once lived across the street from a tiny car lot. A Doberman and a goat lived in the car lot.
94. I went to private school.
95. My best friend from grade school is still my best friend.
96. I eat cereal and a banana for breakfast almost every day.
97. I often get mistaken for being 10yrs younger than I am.
98. I’m terrible at remembering faces.
99. I read Dear Abby because I like to laugh at all the stupid people.
100. I never realized I was such a boring person.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I'm not alone in the world anymore!

Well, I have discovered the way to add members to post here. I have been successful inviting my lovely wife. Hopefully she will be posting here soon!

Boy am I a lucky guy. She is a math major at Texas A&M with current plans including to be married to me for the long haul. We have been together for about 12 years and are in our 10th year of marriage. We have three delightful kids with plans for more after we finish school. Get it, onlythreesofar?