Monday, January 31, 2005

What you don't know can kill you...

Wonderful. And this is what my kids will be taught.

Good thing that I've already started sex ed with them on my own. I'm fairly certain that by the time they get to this point, they'll have more information (correct info, I might add) than they'll be getting in school. (Plus, they'll get the Our Whole Lives curriculum from church, which is a great program.)

Yes, it's different than when I was a kid - sex couldn't kill you then. Yes, I want my kids to wait until it means something, and to be safe. And no, I don't let my kids read or watch sexual things yet. They're only almost-9 and 11, for heaven's sakes. They need time to be kids first before they're mini-teenagers. Surprisingly, they seem to appreciate this. Corwin had some bad moments being teased last year because he wasn't allowed to watch R rated movies (FOURTH graders! Can you imagine?). But he also had a little bit of the "nyah nyah, my mom cares more about me than your mom does" attitude about it too. :) I simply explained that just as you have to put healthy food in a growing body to get a healthy adult body, you have to put healthy thoughts in a growing mind to get a healthy adult mind , and things that are OK for adults to see and read and do aren't always good for kids, because they need to learn first. This seemed to make sense to them, as they're both quite quick to point out things they catch when we're watching TV or a movie together that they don't know if I'll think are "appropriate" for them. Amazingly, they grok appropriate. :)

And no, I don't fear that my teaching them will make them run out and have sex. I think that's ridiculous. Now granted, I have only a statistical sample of one - me - but I knew about sex way before any other kid I knew (I was the one at recess explaining all the confusing things after the obligatory puberty videos in 5th and 6th grade, as I recall)... and I'm also the only person I know who was a virgin when I got married. So my personal data tells me that teaching these things doesn't make you run out and do them.

(Ok, so I made up for it later, but that's far in the TMI category. Everyone should have a past, darnit. :) But better to have the past when you're an adult and have no one to blame but yourself. :) )

Sunday, January 30, 2005

More Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact...

I bought an issue of Popular Science at the CVS on Friday. I'd forgotten just how much fun stuff there is in this magazine. I think I may have to subscribe, even though a great deal of it is on the web.

For instance, I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but found the full article -- did you know that in the not so distant future they'll probably be able to print new organs for you? (I actually saw a preliminary article on this in Wired about three years ago. A friend immediately wondered if this meant he could get a new liver after he drank his to death... :) )

Even more fascinating, and yet oddly disturbing, is this Los Alamos scientist who is trying to build a life form from scratch. And no, the irony of his being at Los Alamos is lost on no one...

On a much less macrocosmic level, there's an article about backing up your console games on PC and playing them via emulator. I don't know about the backups, but I want to find an old Intellivision emulator!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Got my RSS feed to work, I think

Thanks to the exhausted mind, I figured out how to publish my blog to RSS. How cool is that! I've got the link to it in this post, and also down in the links section of the blog. (I don't have much in the links section yet, just a couple of friends' blogs. But I'm really supposed to be working on round 2 of procedure edits, so I really don't have that much time right now. But hey, a girl can't live on work alone. :) )

(And how sad is it that my big entertainment is playing with my blog? I really must get a social life someday. :) )

Monday, January 24, 2005

Whew, all that work for formatting...

I was going crazy because this blog had stopped wrapping my archive links, recent posts, and profile to the side. Figured out which posts were too wide, finally, and fixed 'em. I will have to remember to be careful with the cut/paste of quiz results from now on!

I know, if I wrote more and posted quizzes less I wouldn't have this problem, right? :)

Yet Another Quiz (TM)

Quiz found by following random links off reading Carnivale's webgroup - I'm not sure I could even trace how I got there; when your mind goes off on tangents at the slightest provocation anyway, and then you're in a hyperlinked medium, well, you could end up anywhere on the web at all! :)

Verbal Linguistic

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.

Verbal/Linguistic

93%

Musical/Rhythmic

93%

Intrapersonal

79%

Interpersonal

71%

Logical/Mathematical

43%

Visual/Spatial

39%

Bodily/Kinesthetic

0%

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with QuizFarm.com

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Boy, if THIS printer jams you're in trouble...

I remember reading theory about this a couple years ago. It appears it's closer to reality:

http://www.physorg.com/news2734.html

I find developments like this utterly fascinating, and the ultimate proof that the future is now (to sound like a bad TV commercial). See life imitate science fiction! If only this was a publically held company so one could invest. :)
------
Meanwhile, if you feel bleary Monday, here's the mathematical reason why:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4187183.stm

(I think they're nuts. Everyone knows the worst month of the year is February, not January. I even wrote a sermon on that last year - I'll have to post it soon.)
-------

Finally, here's my stock pick for the day:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?d=t&s=PANL

(Disclaimer - I am NOT a financial professional. I'm not even a financial amateur. I'm someone who got in the habit of doing some research for a guy who plays the market, and discovered that even when things didn't work quite the way I'd hoped there, it turns out I really like doing the research. So I think I'll post my findings here. I take NO responsibility for money losses, as remember, I don't know what the &@#! I'm doing when it comes to finances. Percentages of monitary gains, however, can be sent my way if you're feeling generous... :) :) :) )

They just got a pretty small contract with the DOE for "smart window" development. No, they're not making money yet. Yes, they're decidedly a Big Ol' Risk. But they're pretty much at a 12-month low right now, and note that while this was a small contract, it's for concept development. Note also what the DOE says about the concept in general: "if daylight can be efficiently captured and directed into the building, it may be possible to reduce lighting loads by about 25%, saving one quadrillion Btu's annually in commercial buildings." That's (a) great environmentalism, and (b) great capitalism - one of my favorite combinations. :) (See why I have problems with both the liberals AND the conservatives? I like to go green, but I also like the green technology to be able to make money/provide good investment fodder. I'm an equal opportunity offender! :)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Ok, someday I'll do something on this blog other than post quizzes...

But they're so addictive!

20 Questions to a Better Sense of Humor

Sunny/Dark: 3/10
drY/Gross: 6/10
Traditional/Offbeat: 4/10
Active/Passive: 6/10


You are a SGT--Sunny Gross Traditional. This makes you a John Hughes.

Your sense of humor makes you the ultimate every- person, just I'm-a try not to trouble nobody. You're laid back. Like la-a-a-aid back. You might be from the Midwest.

You enjoy the occasional weird or dark humor, and the right joke out of nowhere can really make you laugh out loud. In fact, the funniest stuff for you is the stuff that takes you off guard. If you can see it coming, you don't want to see it arrive.

You probably don't think this site is all that funny. So it's weird that you're here. I appreciate it, though. Maybe I'll cut back on the ranting and say something nice for a change.

Of the 7003 people who have taken this quiz, 28.1 % are this type.

Your Active humor score of 6/10 means you are ju-u-ust right. You're probably pretty popular -- a walking social lubricant. You know how to take someone from on edge to relaxed, and from relaxed to larfing. You're kind of like an episode of Arrested Development. That show is good. Anyway. Rave on, funny one.

Take the quiz here!

Crediting my blog's title...

I meant to post this when I started this blog. I wasn't original when coming up with the Disoriented Express line. It's one of many "full-deck-isms." There's a great list of 'em at http://herbison.com/canon/fulldeck.html - enjoy!

His Satanic Majesty...

Who knew being from Texas could cause so much confusion?

Testing this "Hello" application...


An artist's rendition of the author... Posted by Hello
Created via the Portrait Illustration Maker, which takes a bit to figure out how to use but is darned addictive once you do, IMHO. :)

This is supposed to be where I'm philosophizing...

...So why do I feel like I'm talking more about the dating game than the philosophy of the world? Hrm. :)

That said, I have no idea how or where to start meeting people. Apparently, no single guys go to Unitarian churches - they only show up there once they have kids that they want to give a well-rounded religious education to. :)

And I really need to be friends with someone first, which makes the personals ads difficult. I've never 'dated' in the traditional sense - my relationships have always been with guys that I hung out with somewhere, usually in a "group of people hanging out together" context, who turned from friend to boyfriend in some spontaneous manner. Getting to know someone new one-on-one is a frightening concept. I'm quite talkative once I know someone, but I'm horribly tongue-tied and self-conscious at first, which isn't a great first impression.

Finally, there's the difficulty that I'm looking for a geek who nonetheless has some social skills, someone not particularly straight-laced who nonetheless has ethics, someone a little unusual who nonetheless has an interest in succeeding in the world (not because I'm trying to be a golddigger, but because I really like being the support person for someone with big dreams, whether they're realistic or not, and I haven't been able to do that in my previous relationships 'cause the guys didn't want any more out of life than time to sit around and play computer games. I like computer games but they don't particularly inspire passion and dreams! Well, maybe the Gabriel Knight series, but they're not making those anymore... :) ). So I'm looking for an odd combination to begin with.

Given all this, I'm wondering if I need to resign myself to being single for a while...

No, no, no. Must be positive. I mean, I did lose all that weight, so while I'm no model, I'm not scary anymore. Surely there's someone out there who'll be interested in a short brainy slightly-geeky slightly-used redhead who's too conservative for her wilder friends and too unconventional for her straightlaced friends. :) Trick is finding where he hangs out, whoever he is...

edited Friday morning to spell "unconventional" correctly. I'm spoiled without Word catching my typos. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not in the stars...

Well, IIRC, I'm Capricorn with Aries rising and a Virgo ascendant. So this indicates that horoscopes are bunk. :)


What sign of the Zodiac am I?















Aquarius 66 %
Pisces 53 %
Aries 53 %
Virgo 46 %
Capricorn 40 %
Sagittarius 40 %
Libra 33 %
Leo 33 %
Cancer 26 %
Scorpio 26 %
Gemini 26 %
Taurus 20 %



Take the Zodiac test here!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Quiet birthday...

Then again, quiet is its own gift sometimes. :)

I didn't think I was this much of a nerd:


I am nerdier than 80% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


And I know I'm not normal:


I am 54% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!



What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!


However, this is welcome birthday news:





You Are 32 Years Old



32





Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.





You are old, Father William...

Ok, Father William may not be, but I am. :)

And what do I get for my natal anniversary? That's right, edits on my primary procedure! Go me!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Another quizinski

I had a professor that regularly said "We're going to have a quizinski" instead of quiz. Amazing the things that stick with one. :)

Edited 24 Jan as I think this post is the one that's messing up how the other posts wrap. We'll see as soon as I republish here.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Quiz time!

How Sexy Are You? - http://quiz.ivillage.com/relationships/tests/Sexysingle.htm

Sufficiently Sexy
You tend to engage men more with your personality and confidence than with your looks. Not that you don't care about your appearance. You do. But your style is more casual and classy than dressed-to-impress. Men feel comfortable around you, probably because they can tell how comfortable you are with yourself. You draw them in without overwhelming them. That's great, but don't be afraid to act alluring sometimes, too -- not in a trashy way but, rather, by doing your best Sharon Stone impersonation (and we don't mean her character in Basic Instinct). As long as you know when to draw the line and let men see and appreciate your other (nonphysical) qualities, it can be fun to play up your sexuality.

-=-=-
The Identity Test - http://web.tickle.com/jumpto?test=five_factor

The test you've just taken is a short version of the Five Factor model of identity. Among psychology experts, this approach has become broadly accepted for its accuracy and consistency. The five dimensions in this model give a complete description of your personality traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Negative Emotionality. Read below to see your scores and understand what they mean.

Openness To Experience
Your high score in the Openness category means that you probably have a strong creative streak. Your broad intellectual curiosity and your interest in the various arts set you apart. Some people may consider you somewhat of a dreamer, and your taste for variety often means moving quickly on to the next experience. This tendency makes you appear a bit flighty and inconsistent. But these elements of your personality simply reflect a character full of new ideas and charged with emotions.

Conscientiousness
Your medium score in the Conscientiousness category means that you have achieved a solid balance in your outlook towards responsibility. You are probably somewhat organized, with a little room for improvement. Your priorities probably reflect a mix of work and play. Thoughtfulness characterizes your thinking style, so you give gravity to important decisions without making a big deal out of minor issues. You are probably serious about achieving success, but do not feel completely driven by this motivation. All in all, you've got a very healthy perspective on work and duty.

Extraversion
Your medium score in the Extraversion category defines your social identity. You are probably comfortable in either a crowd or by yourself, and spending time alone or with company is equally enjoyable. When among others, you tend to stand in the foreground, although you may not always wish to take the position of a leader. Instead, you seem to prefer moving between the role of leader and follower, as the situation requires. You probably keep a moderately active social life; you're generally on the lookout for excitement, but certainly don't require it. You tend to keep a fairly positive emotional outlook, and people can usually count on your for some good cheer.

Agreeableness
The Agreeableness category refers to your social disposition. Your high score indicates your tendency to forego your own desires for the sake of others - sometimes to a fault. You are probably known as a kind and modest person who is willing to overlook your own needs for the interest of the group. You believe in creating harmony among people, to the point where you can sometimes act a bit dependent. With your straightforward style of communication and your sentimental nature, this isn't hard for you. You tend to see the world by the light you cast - as honest and genuine.

Negative Emotionality
Negative Emotionality refers to your emotional reactivity. Your medium score means that you're someone who negotiates your emotions depending on your situation. Sometimes you may feel quite sensitive and emotional, while other times you may remain resilient to outside pressures. This quality of adaptation best describes your emotional character. You maintain a rational outlook, which is moderated by feelings. For example, you can sometimes feel sad, stressed, worried or embarrassed under the weight of a situation, but you are able to act quite calm and reserved, without yielding to the stress. Responsive, without being overly reactive, is the best way to describe you.

-=-=-

What Inspires You? - http://web.tickle.com/tests/inspire/
Suzanne, you're inspired by Expressing Yourself

You've got something to say, and nothing feels better than letting the world hear it, whether that means you're into singing, writing, designing — or you're just the kind of woman who's not afraid to share her opinion on the issues that matter most to her. Why should you try to blend?You're a bold individual who definitely gets a kick out of standing out from the crowd. Sure, you might sometimes shock your friends with your loud-n-proud statements, but you know they are often impressed by your courage to show off who you really are. As for you, there's nothing better than the rush you get from being true to yourself and the causes you believe most deeply in.

-=-=-

(And I must ask, what does THIS mean? I mean, it's not that I'm totally disagreeing with the result, though I don't think "sassy" is a word I'd ever use about myself, but... Papaya Shake???)

What's Your Vibe? - http://web.tickle.com/tests/vibe/
Suzanne, your vibe is Papaya Shake

It's never hard for a sassy gal like you to get your groove on, and your vibe always shakes things up. You tend to think the world is a pretty fun place. Even better, you always seem to make people around you feel the same way. Whether you're heading to work or out on the town, you've got a smile on your face and a gleam in your eye.Of course you take things seriously when you need to. But your unique ability to see the bright side of situations is a talent that helps you enjoy every day. You appreciate the little things in life — and that's why you're able to find joy wherever you go. Let the good times roll!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Titan Ho!

(And no, that doesn't mean a red-haired prostitute! :) )

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/huygens_images_050114.html

Finally, we get to see one of the really interesting places in our solar system! Now if only we could have launched that mission to Europa too...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Carnivale tomorrow!

It's weird, it's surreal, it's a bit gothic, it's very metaphysical, but it's worth keeping HBO for IMHO: Carnivale's new season starts tomorrow night. I'm just not even sure how to describe this one, as it's not like anything else I've ever seen. Best just to go to the website and look for yourself if you're curious. Or check the episode descriptions on my favorite TV-related site, http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show.cgi?show=122.

On a completely different note, this horrifies me on so many different levels:

  1. The gut-level "they're first graders and they're doing what???"
  2. "The boy and girl somehow slipped off unnoticed..." This just fills me with confidence on how well teachers are keeping an eye on things. Not only did they go fool around in a corner, someone lost them long enough for them to do it!
  3. I'm not at all sure that the punishment was appropriate. Did someone first check to see if they actually knew what they were doing? Is making that kind of big deal about it telling them that bodies are terrible? Are they going to be sexually scarred for life? I mean, a five day suspension is -huge-.
  4. They're talking about kicking them out of school for the rest of the year. Might I point out that if they are in an abuse situation you've just thrown them into the home situation that allowed this to happen, full-time??? I actually might call them on that one.

(And I shouldn't say this... I really, really shouldn't say this... but I'm going to, aren't I: I wonder what kind of willpower roll the journalist had to make to not create the headline "School 69 Sex Suspension" :) )

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Should old acquaintance be forgot...

I just finished reading this blog post. I was going to post this response as a comment there, but decided I'd like to share the couple quotes that came to mind more generally, so am posting here instead.

First off...

Wow. Not often do you see that level of emotional honesty and eloquence combined. To be able to both experience and express that is impressive.

I find myself thinking of two quotes. One is from a fantastic little book I read recently called "Let Your Life Speak" by Parker J. Palmer, about finding true vocation. He doesn't use the term vocation in the sense I'd always heard it before, as a spiritual calling (though he is Quaker and therefore sees all of life as a spiritual journey). Instead, he pointed out that the word vocation has the same Latin root as the word "voice." To him, finding and following your vocation means letting your true voice be heard, your true self be seen, not necessarily what others expect of you, nor what you expect of yourself. (That last was the kicker for me. I've done a good job of shaking off other peoples' expectations of me. I didn't realize what rigid expectations I put on myself. I don't have to be Ghandi; I just have to be me. To quote a Hasidic fable: "Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, "In the coming world, they will not ask me: 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask me: 'Why were you not Zusya?' " But I digress.)

Anyway, the point I was getting to came from Parker, who described his depression as an important part of the journey in which his soul learned to 'speak' his vocation. A turning point was when his therapist told him: "You seem to look upon depression as the hand of an enemy trying to crush you... Do you think you could see it instead as the hand of a friend, pressing you down to ground on which it is safe to stand?" It struck me that you've seen it that way, that you've been able to let the depression be a time when you can "lie low" and catch your breath until you're able to fly again. Which is sometimes a very needful and helpful place to be (albeit painful - Oh no, not another learning experience!).

The other wasn't truly a quote, but a song that started playing in my head when I read about your trip. (There's always music playing in my head: it's like built-in Muzak. Only better quality, I hope!)

Dan Fogelberg, Same Auld Lang Syne:
We drank a toast to innocence,
We drank a toast to time.
Reliving in our eloquence,
Another 'auld lang syne'...
...
Just for a moment I was back at school,
And felt that old familiar pain,
And as I turned to make my way back home,
The snow turned into rain...

Brian, I raise my glass in a (belated) New Year's toast to you... for your insight, for your honesty, for your eloquence, and for being able to take a pretty crappy situation and learn and grow from it. (And, come to think of it, for being the only person I know who uses more obscure Bab 5 quotes than I do! :)) Would that we all could deal with our darkness that constructively!