Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ugh

There is just so much of this, and what's sad, is that the things that are so obviously wasteful are really just the beginning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coolness of our Age

There are just some super cool things coming, and this is one of my favorites.  I've been reading about 3D printing for a while, but this article is the most fleshed out I've seen, and the first one I've seen talk about using this technology in the medical field.  How amazing!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Light Posting

Links will probably be light for the next couple of weeks, so here are two from Cracked.

#1 on this list is one I had never heard about and is pretty amazing.
These are just fun.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Schools

Amid the controversy over the recommended denial of renewed charter for the most successful school in Georgia (the only Georgia school to EVER get the National Blue Ribbon award), I present Finland's unorthodox school system (via www.ifeminists.com). I know that the US is not Finland, and I don't think that all of these things necessarily cause the success, but why does it have to be so difficult to try new things here?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Scary scary scary

Congress will decide whether the Bill of Rights matters anymore ... in secret.

Admittedly, it's been in its way out since practically the beginning but they just don't work seem to care to even hide it anymore.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Rules

A book that I bought for Dave once we had J was, Rules for My Unborn Son.  There is a companion website, which is terribly addictive, and I particularly like one from earlier this week.

Eat like a local, tip like an American.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Drug War and Surprising Perspective

Well, this perspective isn't surprising to me, since I completely agree with it, however, the columnist from which it comes is quite surprising.

as usual, found via the agitator.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Two for One

To make up for the limited posting lately, I've got two here.

First of all, this poll regarding the Republican candidates is kind of encouraging (polls are generally crap, so take it however you'd like).

  • encouraging: Ron Paul is tied with Obama in head-to-head race. All others trail Obama. And Paul hammers Obama, surprisingly, among voters under 45 years old.
  • depressing: that the result above is listed after the results about which candidate has more football fans as supporters.  

Secondly, if you need a password vault program, so far I highly recommend S10.  I found it on CNET; it's free, and has been really easy to set up.  Just got it today, though, so it's an early, qualified recommendation.

Monday, December 05, 2011

This could be good

This is a step in the right direction for Fulton County Schools.  I hope it works.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good on 'Em

Good for the cops and movers in this story - refusing to help evict a 103 year-old woman. The house would have stayed empty for who knows how long anyway. And it turns out the bank has decided not to evict her (I'm sure the bad PR had nothing to do with that decision).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sing It, Kermit!

I try not to cross-post between Facebook and here, but well ....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Totally Unrelated

Here are two completely unrelated links of the day (to make up for missing yesterday, I guess).

The link to this incredible burn-healing device ("skin gun") was sent to me by my step-dad. It is seriously, like almost unbelievable, incredible.

Having worked in the HR/hiring world for nearly 11 years, I find this step in the hiring process at Zappos fascinating.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Depressing Post of the Day

If this had been J, a lawyer would have been the first person I called after I went to the school and beat the ever-loving-**** out of this teacher.

Then I would have called a different lawyer to sue the teacher, the aide, the school and the district.  And, generally, I'm not a lawsuit person, but this is just unconscionable.  Good for the family for winning the lawsuit and even better for going public.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lazy Link

Because I've been busy reading things written on paper today (gasp!), I'm posting a link to one of the few things I've read online.  This is of a different sort than usual, in that my reaction was negative, rather than "ooh, that's interesting."

At first, I did think it was interesting - a new high school in the area has been officially named.  I don't know why I find that interesting, but I do.  But then that quickly turned to "does everything have to have some deeper meaning?"  I mean, good grief people; it's a school name.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Link + a Bonus

First, the downer via iFeminists.  Victimless crimes account for a shockingly high percentage of the prison population.

Second, some optimism.

New Toy

So, I got one of these last week, and I love it, but man is a new smartphone a pain to get all set up and organized, especially if you're changing operating systems.

Also, if you're in the market for a new phone, I recommend Amazon's new wireless store.  If you look closely at the CNET review, you can probably figure out why.  Yes, I got this phone for $.01 (and a new two year contract).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

This is it

Today's link - I only wish I was this clever about pointing out even minor government silliness.  But at least I can enjoy it.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Today's Link

Cracked.com has quickly become one of my favorite websites.  Today's link about six history myths is fascinating.

#6 is my favorite.  Next time a politician says, "Do you want the streets returned to the days of the Wild West?" when some gun restriction expires, you can confidently say "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do."

Friday, November 04, 2011

Favorite Link of the Day

I really do intend to keep up with this blogging thing, but for some reason just can't seem to do it. So, I have a new idea that may get me on here at least once a day. I want to institute a "favorite link of the day". These are most likely going to be links I don't post on Facebook, since I don't like posting stuff that's too political there. There may be a little crossover here and there, though. We'll see.

So, for today, a link I found at both Reason.com and The Agitator.  All the hoopla lately about the exploding income inequality among individuals is misplaced - surprise.  It turns out the "increasing" inequality falls apart when you look at household income, instead.

Friday, October 21, 2011

J - Two Years


Dear J,

Yeah, I know this letter is late, but that’s just how it is right now.  Sorry about that, kiddo.

You’re napping, and I have a few minutes, so I thought I’d jot these notes down for you.  You’re TWO now.  Two.  No really.  It’s already been two years.  I’m just amazed, but I’m happy to say that I have been able to watch and enjoy this entire time with you in our lives. 

The thing most people say about you is how very happy you are.  Of course, being two, you do love to say “no,” but for some reason, it’s always with a smile. 

What goes along with that, too, is that you have absolutely the sweetest and most agreeable nature.  I have to admit that this makes it pretty easy for us as parents, so far, which is nice, but it does make me worry a little about your future.  By that I mean that I worry you will be too nice to most people, and that you will be taken advantage of, and maybe even have your precious heart trampled by some girl(s).   Yes, unfortunately, it is possible to be too nice, and I’m afraid you’ll learn that the hard way.

In the end, that’s OK, though, because I’d rather you be a very kind person than a selfish or hurtful one any day.  Of course, I know there’s somewhere in between, and maybe that’s where you’ll end up, but if not, well, that’s quite alright. 

You have become chatty and are even starting to say some sentences – most of which are demands.  “Get up” to me (or, sometimes, “Up please”) and “Come here” (more like “Commeer”) to the cats and dog.  Also, the way you mispronounce some sounds is, of course, adorable.  “Fl” is “shw”, so “butterfly” become “bushwy” and “flush” become “shwush” (yep, we’re potty training).  For a while you said babadabee for bumblebee.  And our favorite, though, is “lah-thu” which is “love you”.  There are plenty of opportunities to use “oops” and “oh no”.  Ah, and your favorite, repeated at least 500 times a day is “uss at?”, or translated: “what’s that?”

You have brought an untold amount of joy into our lives, even though your desire to be “OUSSIDE!!!” often interrupts lunch, dinner, shopping, and whatever else we happen to be doing inside.  But who cares, really?  Life is good.

We love you so much,
Mom

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interesting Study

I find these studies on the genetics of happiness so interesting, especially how the information ties back to theories around political systems.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Critiquing vs. Enjoying

I like this line from today's Lileks Bleat:

"Sometimes the self-imposed need to have a critical opinion is like a Berlin Wall between yourself and enjoyment."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where does the time go?

So J is 21 months old now, and he's all over the place.  He's running around like a mad man, trying to jump (uh-oh), and chattering all the time.  It is just pure joy having this little man in our lives.

I wish there was more to talk about, but I just can't think of anything.  We're just rolling along and going about our business as a typical suburban family.  Typical - what's that, again?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Long Time doesn't seem quite so

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted last.  Things here have been crazy, what with my job change and all.  We also squeezed a vacation in, and J's going to bed later.  The later bedtime really eats into what adult tasks can be accomplished in an evening.

Anyway, I'm still working on the vinyl project, but I've decided on a different process.  Instead of recording and then labeling and converting each album, I'm going to record them all, then label and convert them individually.  I'm not sure why, but it seems easier that way.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Current Personal Theme Song

Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
The Avett Brothers

If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Financial Reading

I've been doing a lot of financial reading lately, not surprisingly I guess, and I'm loving it - thank goodness.  However, I have been asked about recommending a basic book on finance that simplifies the investing message.  Right now, I'm reading Investing 101 to see if this would be a good option.

Have you read a basic finance or investing book that you would recommend to others?  I must say that have a personal bias against the "Idiot's Guide to ..." and "... For Dummies" books, but if you've read their investing versions and liked them, I'll check them out.  Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Albums

7. Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
8. Peter Paul and Mommy - Peter, Paul & Mary
9. Hit Express (1982)
      Don't You Want Me - Human League
      Do You Believe in Love - Huey Lewis and the News
      (Oh) Pretty Woman - Van Halen
      Did It In a Minute - Hall & Oates
      Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
      Urgent - Foreigner
      In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins
      Spirits in the Material World - The Police
      Love is Alright Tonight - Rick Springfield
      Tonight I'm Yours (Don't Hurt Me) - Rod Stewart
      Hold on Tight - Electric Light Orchestra
      Abacab - Genesis
      Working for the Weekend - Loverboy
      I Love Rock 'N Roll - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
10. Sports - Huey Lewis and the News
11. Fore! - Huey Lewis and the News
12. Ol' Waylon - Waylon Jennings
13. Arena - Duran Duran



Thursday, March 31, 2011

J - 18 Months

March 31, 2011

Dear J,

I know I’m a little late with this letter, but things have been crazy lately. Time is moving very quickly, and you’re growing up too fast, that’s for sure. We’re trying to enjoy these days. They really are special right now.

You’re just so much fun. You’re happy most of the time and just love to laugh and play play play. You’ll play with your toys, boxes, pots and pans, the animals, whatever strikes you at the moment.

Everyone talks about how much older you look – like a little man. It’s funny, because that’s exactly what we all call you. But you really do look so much older. You’ve had a full head of hair since you were born and have been getting it cut since you were eight months old. You also have all your teeth except but the last four molars. I really hope your baby teeth situation bodes well for your permanent teeth, since they’re all completely straight. And none of that even covers how unbelievably expressive you are. I also hope that stays; you have no poker face, and this will come in mighty handy in about 12 years.

You also jibber jabber a lot, as your dad calls it. He actually says jibber jabber to you so much that you’re starting to say it, too. There are so many words, and I know I’m forgetting some, but so far there are: brush teeth, NO! (the index finger must be pointed for full effect), kitty, picture, baby, mama, daddy, gigi, papa, nana, cheechu (that’s a truck, strangely), uh-oh, what’s that, ball (comes out “bow”), cheese, and ice.

Speaking of cheechu, you LOVE trucks and buses. Every morning, we lift the blinds in the living room and watch the busses. Mondays and Thursdays are the best, though, because not only do we get three buses, but also garbage AND recycling trucks.

You’ve learned that a doggie says “woo woo” (you aren’t quite there with the f’s yet), and you bark with your whole body. So, of course, we ask you what the doggie says all the time.

You’ve learned to blow kisses, which makes your constant flirting even more irresistible.

We’ve struggled only with getting you to sleep at night. We’ve tried everything: rocking, cry it out, modified cry it out, staying in the room and soothing, going to bed earlier, going to bed later. And until three nights ago, nothing seemed to work consistently. Then, all of a sudden, for some reason, you’ve decided that you are ok if we slowly leave your room after putting you in bed. You pull on one of your many music players attached to the bed. You pull all your blankets into the crib. You throw your sock dog, Soda, onto the rocking chair. You talk to yourself, and generally procrastinate sleeping, for about an hour. But, and this is the best, you don’t scream your lungs out and cough and heave and gag anymore. Needless to say, we are keeping our fingers crossed that these three nights are the new way of things.

We love you and can’t wait to see what cool things you do next, but, please, not too fast. We are enjoying this time so much.

Love,
Mom

The Album Project

You may have seen on facebook that I'm working on digitizing my record collection.  I'll try to track the project here.

Last night was the first effort, and it took a while to finally nail down the right software and process.  With a little help from Dave - just one last setting - I'm there and really ready to go. 

Album 1, recorded March 30, 2011: Greatest Hits - Kenny Rogers
Album 2, recorded March 31, 2011: Thriller - Michael Jackson
Album 3, recorded March 31, 2011: No Jacket Required - Phil Collins

The initial part of this project will be my albums.  This is just a handful of records from the late 70s and early 80s.  The next round will be albums that my mom recently gave me (the largest collection - probably 30 or 40), and then, finally, the rest will be the albums that came in a record cabinet handed down from my Great Aunt Lou.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do you ever

use too much shaving cream?  I do.  Every. Single. Time.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Exciting Times Ahead

I haven't posted this anywhere yet, because there are clients on Facebook and LinkedIn who don't know and need to be told personally.  But well, hardly anyone reads my blog, and I'm so excited to tell people that I've figured out what I want to be when I grow up - and I'm going to go be it now. 

I hadn't really thought about posting this here until today, but as I was driving around and running errands this afternoon, I felt a sudden rush.  I've been at my current company more than 10 years now, about eight doing essentially the same job, and I'm ready for something new. So, when the company merged with another one earlier this year, I was not-so-secretly hoping for a severance package.  I didn't get one, and though I was initially disappointed, now I'm even happier.  That may seem strange, but today an incredible feeling of power hit me - power that comes with leaving on your own terms. 

I turned in my notice on Monday, and it wasn't a shock to my boss because this has actually been in the works for several years and I've been up front about my plans (even working part time in both companies for the last year).  I think, though, that there are people who didn't think I'd really take the leap. 

I gave a couple months notice, will take a week of vacation, and then as of May 16th, I'll be working full time to become a financial planner - queue simultaneous excitement and terror.

Here we go ...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1001 Rules

I'm pretty sure I've blogged about 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son before.  He just posted another great one: "If you choose not to own a TV, keep it to yourself".


Saturday, January 08, 2011

American Spirit

I can't remember exactly where I found Slacktivist.  It was either BoingBoing or Instapundit.  He's good, and I particularly like this post about how corporations have removed incentives to be more productive, but for some reason we keep doing it.  He asks a good question: How long can that last?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2011 in Entertainment and Travel

This year, I'd like to see more live shows, but last year I did manage to read a lot more than I had in some time.  That makes me very happy, and since I got a Nook for my birthday, I think I'll be reading even more this year. 

Movies
The Bridges of Madison County
Avatar
Noel
Zombieland
The Great Escape
High Society
Best in Show
Ocean's 13
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Sherlock Holmes (2010)
Couples Retreat
Babylon AD
Iron Man 2
Love the Beast
Crazy Heart
Away We Go
This Is It
The A-Team
Toy Story
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lighting Thief
Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The Two Escobars
Day Breakers
Barton Fink
Hope Springs
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Gran Torino
Kick Ass
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
The Rookie
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Diggers
Spirited Away
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Inkheart
A Single Man
Inception
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Robin Hood (2010)
Rachel Getting Married
How Do You Know

Live Shows/Events
Craig Ferguson - Cobb Energy Center
Minnesota State Fair
A Prairie Home Companion - Grand Stand, Minnesota State Fair - St. Paul, MN

Travel
Magee, MS
Charleston, SC
Hilton Head, SC
Minneapolis and Whitefish Lake, MN
Boston, MA
Charleston, SC

Books
Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz
Forever Odd, Dean Koontz
Brother Odd, Dean Koontz
Odd Hours, Dean Koontz
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien
One Day, David Nicholls
The Passage, Justin Cronin
The Princess Bride, William Goldman