Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Presidents, and Politics, and Voting, Oh My!

To me, politics is like a horrible car accident that I just can't look away from. There is nothing that I can do about the situation. The accident has already happened. I am a smart person who could get involved with the best intentions, to help, and provide support. But I would be in the way once the true professions are on the scene. I have strong feelings on what I think should happen, ideas to help all involved. But at some point people will have strong feelings that are contrary to mine, with a louder voice and the ability to lie with a straight face. I will find my openness and truthfulness that I have always considered a strength, a weakness. That is what politics is to me.
So why vote? Because I care, I want change, and the right to vote is still available to me in the limited fashion of the Electoral College.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cat Fight!

Lemony is a crazy cat person. We have added a new kitten to the house, and boy are the other 2 cats MAD! Our Mau pure breed was the first cat because of the pretty coat and the personality of Maus is more like a dog. Then it was decided that he was lonely and we got a cat from a local cat rescue. She was not warmly welcomed by the other cat, but they get along well enough now.

So the cat rescue emailed Lemony and said they had a kitten like the one we had adopted and was wondering if we were interested. Long story short, we got the black one. Lets hope the other cats don't eat her.

Update on cats: Nobody got eaten. Feliway saved the day. Happy cats are here again!

Osiris, Shakira, and Halima.

Osiris and Halima share a cat nap.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Exile

When we first got Netflix a few years ago, I started watching a lot of anime. Last Exile was a series that I threw into the queue just because it had 4 stars. I found that Last Exile was not only beautifully done with a well thought out story line, but the thoughtful intelligence that is in each episode makes the series worth watching over and over.
I won't go into a full review, you can follow the link below and check the reviews given on Amazon. They give a more eloquent review than I could. I will however comment on the music in the series. In most anime that is translated over to English, they either butcher the music or it does not seem to fit the series at all. Last Exile is one of a handful that got the music right. If you like Anime, check this series out.

Note: Last Exile is also available on Netflix for Instant viewing. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Game Designers in Space

"Richard Garriott is the first game designer in space. The creator of the Ultima series of video games was launched into orbit 17 hours ago with a crew aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft." This is news worthy for the following reason. "Garriott is the sixth space tourist to fly a rocket into space, but his mission is likely draw a lot of attention from around the globe. As the son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, he’s the first second generation astronaut. You can track his progress on a web site."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Debt clock runs out of digits, Dow Loss, AIG still asking for more

The digital counter marks the national debt level, but when that passed the $10 trillion point last month, the sign could not display the full amount. The board was erected to highlight the $2.7 trillion level of debt in 1989.”
If this isn’t a clear sign of a weak economy, maybe the fact that the Dow closed below 9,000 is the sign for you. But its all good, right? AIG still has access to money, using 70 billion of the 85 billion government loan. The 700 billion dollar bailout was signed after 110 billion of pork spending was basically added to the first bill plus the FDIC will now guarantee $250,000 in bank accounts. Wow, that was worth vetoing the first time.
Can we call this a depression yet? The current Government administration has been very careful not to call the economy over the last few years a depression, always referring to it as a recession. I think we can call it a depression now. Of course the next question is will it get worse? Yes it will. Why? Oil production will at sometime slow down (predicted in the next five years), we are still supporting large scale conflicts in the mid-east and most importantly no large scale changes are happening to alter these facts. Welcome to the new, new global world economy. Just beware of Chinese made goods.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

FLL Missions With Note

This is the mission videos for FLL (FIRST LEGO League). (The FLL videos can be seen and downloaded here.) Our two eldest are in FLL this year. These 19 missions equal to about 7 seconds for each objective to be completed. Note the correction on insulating the house. In the Video it shows the blocks stacked. That is incorrect, both blocks must be touching the mat to score.

I will post more about FLL and how the team does in the future.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pumpkins - Quick Post

Lemony has always enjoyed Halloween. This has passed on to the kids. To get everyone into the fall season, here posted are a few pictures of pumpkins that the kids and Lemony carved a few years ago.

Addendum, from Lemony: The next photos are from two years ago; my favorite Halloween costumes the kids have had so far. We love Halloween, but I like to keep the holiday focused on the original notion of "ancestor appreciation", so we try to stick with themes out of our History curriculum. Here are Bastet, Seeta (with Hanuman), and Ares, and a close-up of Hanuman:

Bastet's mask is a foam black panther mask, purchased from the gift shop at the zoo. We put a big gold hoop earring from the dollar store in the panther's left earlobe. Her hair is a Peggy Sue wig from a Halloween store. Her tunic was sewn by Wort, from pillowcases, with curtain tie trim. Her wedjat is made from air-dry clay, hand painted with cobalt blue acrylic paint and finished with tsuyadashi coating for origami (it's what I had on hand). The sistrum was made of metal coat hangers, floral wire, butttons, newspaper, masking tape, and paint. Seeta's saree was bought online from an Indian clothing store. She is also wearing a maang tika and bindi. The henna is Dover art tattoos. Ares' costume is a souvenir that Wort brought home from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He's also wearing thick cotton tights with socks underneath, and sandals. Hanuman (real name Pippo) wears shorts made from a recycled t-shirt. His heart is cut from the same fabric. The mace and crown are made of cardboard, tape, and paint. He carries a plastic gold ring.

The kids (and I) were mortified that no one at our community Halloween Block Party had a clue what any of their costumes were. The horror!

This year, Bastet wants to be a Cat Mummy, Seeta wants to be Cleopatra, and Ares wants to be a Medieval Knight. (They're pretty consistent.) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

He Said, She Said: The Anniversary Post

He said:

About 18 years ago, I met a girl in high school art class. She was smart, full of attitude, and really cute. We got to know each other in the next year, flirting, talking about the people we were seeing at the time, flirting some more, working on art projects, flirting…you get the point. I went off to college and we lost touch for a year. When I came back after the first year, her father was doing some work for my mother and he mentioned that I should give her a call. I did. That same night, we went to Friendly’s and caught up over Fribbles. I drove her home that night, and in her driveway, she gave me our first kiss. A little over 3 months later, I gave her an engagement ring, and 3 days shy of the anniversary of our first date, we were married.
After all the trials and tribulations, tears and fights, hurt feelings, moments of great joy and comfort, I would do it all over again. We did more than just stay together over the last 14 years; we grew up together. We grew to know each other and ourselves, and I like what I have become with her. I love who she has become with me. She is probably the only person who truly knows me.
If that was all I had, I would be happy, but 3 other things that we have added to our lives has made me feel complete in my life. My wife has given us three of the brightest, most beautiful, perfect children that were ever made. (In reality my kids are like any other kids, but as a parent it is part of the job to think that.) This post is to Lemony, my friend, my wife, the person I grew up with, and the person I want to grow old with.

She said:

Oh, elope with me in private and we'll set something ablaze,
a trail for the devil to erase... --
Belle & Sebastian, "
Piazza, New York Catcher"

I followed him home one day, and he kept me. He always did have a special place in his heart for strays.

His brother toasted us at the wedding reception, quoting Yeats: "On this day, a terrible beauty is born". Andrew knew.

Two years later, we got in the car and drove to a different state, to start a new life. It was an almost spontaneous decision. Everything we owned fit in a Toyota Tercel, and that included the microwave and the dog.

When things were really hard between us, and we weren't sure we were going to make it, he spent his last dollar to take me to a theme park, and ride a bungee-like skycoaster ride. I liked to think of it as "taking the plunge" all over again. He hated that ride, but went with me anyway. I found that rather symbolic, and appreciated it, in every respect. The firstborn came soon afterward, which was a coaster ride of a whole different sort.

Together, we've learned how to be honest with ourselves and each other, and not take most things too seriously. We've faced parenthood, which is just about the scariest thing in the world, next to that other thing we weren't exactly expecting so soon--waiting for biopsy results.

He makes me laugh, he makes me cry. He brings me contentment, and he drives me crazy. He shakes me up, and yet he is my firm and solid ground. He's smart and sexy, and grows more so with each passing year. The kids and I have everything we need, and much of what we want, thanks to him.

Wort, you are the best man I've ever known. I'm grateful for every day I get to share with you.