Tuesday, January 31, 2006

why does my stomach feel so pit-y?

I suspect it is because I just realized that when Panda TiVoed the State of the Union for tonight, she must have told the mighty TiVo that it was OK to not record the Gilmore Girls. Sadly, I fear the TiVo could not stop Panda's cruel, cruel abuse of power.

I want my G-girls!
This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Shallow Truth

Last Thursday I watched the movie Underworld in preparation for seeing Underworld: Evolution with my friend Irene. Its about vampires, werewolves, and kicking ass. I love vampires (a la Buffy and Angel) and I love kicking ass. What I realized while watching this movie, which was a fine enough movie, was that I do not like werewolves. They are ugly and unpleasant which makes for a less than satisfying movie watching experience.
This blog post brought to you by "Movie Mondays"

Fun with Spam Mail

If you get as much spam mail as me, you know tht most subject titles are lame, such as "RE: confirmtation" or "RE: HI! It's me." I'm sorry, but since there's no turnip truck out there missing me, I'm not going to click on these supid messages.

I recieved a spam mail message today at work, however, that must be given props for an original subject line.
It read: "How to cast effective spells easily..." I have to admit - pretty tempting...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

after a short hiatus

I haven't posted in nearly a week, and that is the longest I can rememeber going with out blogging. Let me tell ya, it's hard to get back in the swing of things. Always the first to admonish my fellow bloggers for not posting regularly, I now realize the pressure that they may have felt in trying to find a blog post worthy of re-entry. Well, I always told them - "It doesn't matter! Just post something." So, that's what I've done. Here is a picture of Lucy for good measure. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

If you were the host...

If you were the host of a meeting that lasted from 5p.m.-9p.m. would you serve dinner, or at least hearty snacks? I would. Unfortunately, the host this evening did not.

My Family Tree

Over New Year's Panda and I took a drive through the country with our folks. On that trip we started to piece together our family tree, and now we have branches of our tree written on several different small pieces of paper (the only paper we had in the car at the time). Last night, I found this website that allows you to created your own family tree website. All you have to do is enter in the members of your family and make notes about them. Later, you can add pictures, etc. It's pretty good and I recommend it if you are thinking of making your own family tree. The only snag I've hit is that there is no place for 1. nicknames and 2. maiden names. But, it is free and I can get away with the above mentioned problems with parenthesis. I also like that there is section of notes that will show up on the website, so you can tell your family history.

I also found this page that allows you to print out a family tree chart so you can create your family tree by hand if you are so inclined. You can print out a family tree chart here.

A-B-C. Easy as 1-2-3.

Who knew online courses would be so much busy work? Misguidedly, I thought I could take two internet courses and a face-to-face course each term this semester. This semester that is also the busiest time of year at my work with 10 events and numerous trainings. Yes, I am a fool. I spent all day yesterday ""finishing up my week's assisgments for my online courses, but sadly, I am no where near finished. So today I dropped one of my online courses and picked up another 8 week face-to-facer for next term. My credit hours will stay the same, but they should be more managable. My stress level has dropped tremendously!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Movie Recommendations

Have you seen an awesome movie lately? It can be a new, old, funny, dramatic, great, or a guilty pleasure.
Tells us about it -
** What it is
** What it's about
**Why you like it/ Why one would enjoy it
** Anything else

This blog post brought to you by "Movie Mondays"

Word of the Week!

Thank you to our Word Box contributors! Here are the words in our Word Box:

Ennui – Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom; the feeling of being board by something tedious. My life is filled with ennui.
Tidbit: I was going to relay the history of the word, but in learning about it I became so filled with ennui that I did not continue.
Fecund – Capable of producing offspring or vegetation; fruitful. Also: marked by intellectual productivity.
Is – Third person singular present indicative of be. Sometimes it is best to get back to basics.
Paragon – A model of excellence or perfection of a kind; a peerless example.
Priapism – Persistent, usually painful erection of the penis, especially as a consequence of disease and not related to sexual arousal.
Tidbit: The Greek god of gardens and fertility was named Priapus. He was the son of Aphrodite, who disowned him because he had a grotesque little body with a huge penis. He was a member of the retinue (followers, attendants) of the god Dionysus and chased after nymphs.

Great words! Still, there can only be one winner. This week's Word of the Week is:

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Happy Birthday

Beautiful! Gorgeous! Wish you were here!

Panda and went on a gorgeous hike in Illinois - Piney Creek Nature Reserve. This is the most beautiful mid-western hike I have ever been on. Although the trail head says the trail is difficult, I did not think it was too bad - it was quite nice. There was some elevation, but its a slow climb. The trail itself is pretty short, but there are several side trails that you can explore to make a day of it. The trail was extremely muddy, and during or after rain I am sure it is very slick so a walking stick would be a good idea.

Here are some pictures I took on our trek:

Piney Creek
View of the creek most of the hike follows. There was quite a bit of water, and many small cascades and waterfalls were visiable even with the relatively dry winter we've experienced. I can't wait to go back in the spring after some rain fall.

Prehistoric Petroglyphs and Pictographs
Early on in the hike, you can take a short side trail to see these prehistoric drawings. They are dated from AD500 - 1500 Unfortunately these drawings share the rock wall with graffite from later artists and passersby. Some is dated 1904, others are clearly more recent.

Leafy Pine Trees
After you hike along the creek for awhile (most of the hike), the trail leads you up through forest and views that allow you to see the snaking creek down below. Finally, you find yourself on a path through these leafy pine trees. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Class Tonight

Today is Week 1 of my eight week class this term - whoo-hoo! I have my trusty uniball, so I am ready to go! All of my classes are held in the same class room at good old UniversityName Hall. I was hoping for a change of senery, but it is not meant to be. The good news is that my classroom is right next to the snack room where the Doctor Pepper is always in stock!

Word Box

It's Wednesday and that can mean only one thing: Word Fun!! So it is time for my favorite Wordy Wednesday activity- the Word Box! Submit words often - the more words you submit, the more chance you have to see your word highlighted in all its glory! I also highly recommend using your word in a sentance. I'm not saying your word is better off for it, but... your word might be better off for it.

This magical world of vocabulary will be open until the evening of Sunday, January 22.
As always I am eager to see what words fill our wonderful box! Happy Wording!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Movie Quote Game

It is time once again for....

The Movie Quote Game!!!

Don't let that scare you. Let that free you!
In what movie would you find this quote?:

"If your going to spew, spew into this."

This blog post is brought to you by Movie Mondays.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I Am Me Again

I consider myself an environmentalist. In college I actively fought for the enviornment, and I am always consious of the effect my choices make on the earth. Lately, however, I've noticed myself slipping back into bad habits - many of them I kicked in the 6th grade when I was first introduced to Earth Day and ecology - and turning in to a big ugly hypocrite. For example, Panda and I have not been recycling for the last few months. I could give excuses as to why we aren't, but really there is no excuse; there is only lazyness. Extreme laziness and apathy for the world around me. It's not cool. Not at all. So, things are going to change around here - step one: we are a recyling household once again! There is a recycling center down the street from me - it's on my way to class, so Wednesdays will be my recycling day for the next 8 weeks (it will switch as my school schedule does). If anyone who lives near me wants to give me their recycling on Tuesday evenings, I will drop it off at the recycling center.

I came upon this website today named Earth 911. If you put in your zip code it will tell you about what recycling is available near you as well as other important information such as when/where to dispose of hazadous waste. The website also offers a ton of infromation about decreasing air & water pollution, preserving energy & water, and much much more. I encourage each of you to check it out.
This blog post brought to you by "Earth Friendly Fridays"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Six Degrees Winner!

Although Squishy is the one to beat in this game, this time FishFrog did it! Kudos to him for connecting Adam Sandler to Dustin Hoffman in only 3 moves faster than anyone else did.

FishFrog's entry:
1. Adam Sandler was in "Little Nicky" with Harvey Keitel
2. Keitel was in "Pulp Fiction" with Samuel L. Jackson
3. Jackson was in "Sphere" (movie sucked but book was good) with Dustin Hoffman

Sphere was indeed a good book.

FishFrog - the next time I see you, you will be the proud owner of a small box of baking soda. Check out my previous posts here and here for ideas on how to use your baking soda effectively. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Idiom Corner

My friend Greg lent me his book Made in America by the totally awesome Bill Bryson. In it, Mr. Bryson tells the history of the US through the language we’ve spoken and how/why many words came into common usage. It is extremely interesting to me because I love history and I love learning about a words, their usages, and their origins.

I also love idioms and learning how certain idioms came to be. And so, here we are at a little segment I like to call "Idiom Corner" - Flashy, no? Feel free to suggest a better name – I am all ears. In this segment, I will highlight an idiom, its definition, and its origins.

Sometimes the provenance of idioms are hard to trace, so feel free to comment if you think I’m wrong or have another explanation. Additionally, feel free to tell me your favorite idioms and I will highlight them in future Idiom posts to the delight of all my readers.

Today’s Idiom (one of my favorites):

A Bubble Off

Meaning – one who is not quite right, odd/wierd, a little slow in thinking, and/or crazy.
Provenance –Levels (for hanging pictures, etc) are liquid filled tubes with an air bubble that movies to the center when the level is, well level. If it is not, it is "a bubble off."
This blog post is brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Present to Myself

I just bought a 2006 planner and oh, how I love to plan! I don’t go in for those fancy organizers with a page for each day or even a page for each week. I don’t need beautiful scenery or funny comic strips. I like simple monthly view planners. I color coded important things like work stuff, school stuff, and birthdays. I am not even upset about the fact that I’m working 5 of the next 6 Saturdays. Why don’t I care? Because I’m distracted by how pretty my work commitments look highlighted in purple on the page.

Passion Lives Here!

Today's post comes because yesterday I saw a commercial for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Olympics mean one thing to me - my shows are not on. At least Winter Games, unlike the Summer Games, is somewhat intersting with the hockey, skiing, snowboarding and figure skating. Note that I said figure skating, not ice dancing. Now, I realize that the ice dancers work really hard and are way way way more athletic than me and all of my friends combined, but I want to see some triple axels! Otherwise, it just looks boring to me and I will not watch it.

For all of you who are excited for the 2006 Winter Olympics, you only have 1 more month to go! They'll be here February 10th. I, for the most part, will be entertaining myself with TV on DVD.
This blog post brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Monday, January 09, 2006

So, What Should Parents Do?

Part 2 -

Regardless of the CI issue, or if you want to your child to try speech and speech reading, I think all parents who have a child who is deaf should do the following:

  • Enroll in an ASL course (if you have a first steps program, they should aid in the cost of this) – if one is not offered, contact a National Association for the Deaf for help.
  • Set aside some time each day for "Signing Time" - even if it's just an hour. Just like hearing babies learn spoken language by absorbing what they hear around them; deaf babies learn manual language by absorbing what they see. They will start “babbling” with their hands. Kids are language magnets, so even if you have other children, they can participate too.
  • Socialize with the Deaf Community, hire Deaf babysitters, go to Deaf events, etc. There are more than you think!
  • If you live in a city large enough and you have the resources, try to start a Deaf play group – make this a Signing Time for everyone- again, the kids will learn more by watching you.

    When it comes to deciding on education, there are many different options. From what I have read and observed a bilingual approach works best. A really good book to check out is Raising and Educating a Deaf Child. It is a must read for any parent of a Deaf child before they decide to do anything.

Other things to watch/read/resources:

Documentary - For a Deaf Son
Documentary - Sound and Fury

Book - Train Go Sorry
Book- Pictures in the Air: the Story of the National Theater for the Deaf

Website - Captioned Media Program

Views on Deafness & Cochlears

A lot has been discussed lately on the subject of Deafness in my personal blogosphere. So, I thought I’d join in. You might find it interesting to check out Matt’s post here and FishFrog’s post here if you haven’t already. I think FishFrog's post here could also be considered related. This will be in two posts. First – the issue of Deaf Culture and Cochlear Implants & my vies. Secondly, what I think a good plan of action for parents of deaf children looks like.

I have been fortunate enough to learn American Sign Language from native signers and to learn about Deaf culture through readings, classes, and personal experiences while teaching and socializing with Deaf people. Because of these experiences I have a great respect for the Deaf Culture. Like any culture, there are many differences and differing viewpoints on a variety of subjects within the Deaf Culture. Whenever talking about other cultures we must recognize the existence of these differences and also remember that no culture is wholly good or bad, right or wrong. They just are.

Both my experiences and my knowledge of deaf history have shaped my views on the subject of Cochlear Implants. I see both the positives and the negatives that Implants can offer. I only hope the technology continues to get better so enrich the lives of those who would prefer to hear. CI can be a godsend to those who want them. It is also important to understand that not everyone wants them, and to the validity of their views and the controversy that surrounds Implants.

Many within the Deaf Culture see Implants as a form of cultural genocide. The mainstream society is once again belittling and discrediting their language and way of life. To fully appreciate this view point, I believe you must understand the history of Deaf Education from the last 150 years or so. In the 1850s Deaf schools with Deaf teachers who used a manual language (signing) for instruction were abundant. It was in about the 1880s that the man push for Oralism (speech and speech reading) came about from well-intentioned people who thought that Deaf people would be better off being as close to hearing as possible. Teachers were fired, children were punished for using sign language, and strict oralism was implemented across the country. Although most oral institutions today admit the benefits of signing, only very recently have these oral schools allowed any signing at all. I actually know a teacher who comes from the oral philosophy, but left a prominent oral institution in the area because she was disgusted that the children were reprimanded for trying to sign.
For years, doctors have told parents that any signing at all will hinder a child’s ability to learn English. Although most now acknowledge that this is not the case, many people still believe this. It is funny to me that we teach our hearing babies signs to foster their language development, but we keep sign language away from children who are deaf as long as possible.

For a complete history, I recommend Harlan Lane’s Mask of Benevolence. It is a great book that not only details the manual and oralist movements, but also brings to light different modes of technology over the years used to “cure” deafness, and the proposed practice of not allowing people who were deaf to have children. It is within this context that you can begin to realize why the Deaf Community feels the way they do. You might also check out Journey into a Deaf-World and When the Mind Hears also by Harlen Lane.

My main problems with Implants are twofold. The implants themselves and the mindset (I’m going to continue to call it Oralist b/c to me Implants are simply a tool for the oralist philosophy) that no one would want to be Deaf, that it is child abuse not to implant your child. In my opinion, people who say this, like many, do not know the greatness the Deaf Community has to offer or the risks and inconveniences that Implants offer.

Firstly, the risks/negatives: These risks range from the dangerous (meningitis) to daily annoyances (setting off theft alarms at department stores). The FDA has a list of benefits and risks here. Personally, I am not convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks. Once these “cons” are addressed and fixed, I would change my views on the technology itself.

Secondly, the mindset: In my experience, the mindset that assimilating into the mainstream hearing culture is the only way for Deaf people to have a good quality of life leads well-intentioned doctors, educators, and social workers to push the oralism and CI. Parents all too often are not given all the options. I have interviewed coordinators for First Steps and they admit that they do not give parents information on signing or resources to get in touch with Deaf adults and associations. They do not give information about signing classes for hearing parents of deaf children, deaf baby-sitting information, or anything. They do give them lots of information on Cochlear Implants and information about the many private oral schools here in the area. Throughout history, this disregard for the Deaf culture has been common practice to the detriment of the children these doctors and professionals profess to serve. If you read any of those books I mentioned, you will hear recounts of doctor visits, etc.

This is what people have a hard time understanding: Scores of Deaf people have no desire to ever hear a sound. Many do not use their hearing aids because they find the noise annoying. Many deaf people enjoy music – just not in the same way that most hearing people do.

So this brings us to what you should do if you have a deaf child. Get a cochlear implant? Maybe. Maybe not. Technology is getting better and each parent has to make that decision. I do not believe, however, that parents can make an informed decision if they have no understanding of the Deaf Culture. I believe they must talk to members of the Deaf Community about their experiences and then make the best decision they can for their child. Regardless, I believe all children who are Deaf should be given the chance to learn their natural language – manual language (in the US, American Sign Language).

Six Degrees of Separation Game

You all know the drill, and if you don't just go to this post for a review of the rules.
Rule clarification: please only use actors (not producing, writing, or directing credits)

The one to connect in the fewest turns the fastest will win a small box of baking soda. The game ends on Thursday, January 12, 2006. NO CHEATING!!!!

Connect these actors: Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffmann

This blog post brought to you by "Movie Mondays"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Philosophy of Special Agent Dale Cooper

When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object in inquiry we must always pay strict attention.

Tonight's Agenda

Laundry. It must be done.

Word Trivia

What is the only English word has three consecutive double letters in it but doesn't need to use a hyphen to break up the letters?
This leetle blog post brought to you by "Wordy Wednesdays"

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Thank you for being a friend

ROSE: I know if he got to know me he'd like me.
SOPHIA: Why? I got to know you and I don't like you.
ROSE: You just say that.
SOPHIA: Repeatedly.

Hee hee. Oh, that Sophia! I got the chance to watch a little of the G-girls this weekend and boy, did I laugh. How could I not?
This blog post has been brought to you by "TV Tuesdays"

Back to the Daily Grind

Back to work! Back to work, to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool! I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight! Ohhhh, back to work! Back to work! Back to work!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Lucy and her box

Lucy was not happy that Panda and I were gone all weekend. Her voice is all but gone. Poor Lucy. Poor neighbors who had to listen to her ululating.

Word of the Week!

Only three words were submitted this week, but all are great words.

edentulate - having few if any teeth
fascism -A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.
ululate - To howl, wail, or lament loudly

And the word of the week is....

This word was submitted once before and I think it deserves recognition.