Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I live in a BLUE STATE!!!!!

And I didn't have to move to do it!

It's way too late, but we had to stay up and watch Obama's acceptance speech. And then I made the mistake of getting on line and hitting sites like Google's election coverage site, and ... not good when I should be sleeping.

But at least I was awake when Indiana -finally- got called.

I've never lived in a blue state. Well, Indiana's had a lot of Democratic governors (and currently has a Republican... surprisingly, one I approve of, because he strikes me as a lot closer to what a Republican is supposed to be than what the party's become)... but this state has went for the GOP in presidential elections since before I was born.

But not now!

Lookie, my vote COUNTED this time.

My conservative friends (yes, I have a couple) tell me, "Yeah, let's see how happy you are about this come April 15 when your taxes go up." I find myself thinking of the scene in 1776, when John Adams and I believe Rutledge are arguing (as always), and Rutledge seems to think that Adams is pushing for independence because "your taxes are too high -- well sir, so are mine." When the point was NOT that the taxes were high, or not primarily the point; the point was that policy was being imposed from a government that seemed to be totally disconnected from those whom it governed. That the colonists felt disempowered, and disenfranchised, and insignificant, to those who were supposed to lead them.

And I think that's how many of us have felt for the past 8 years. I don't think staunch conservatives -understand- how totally disenfranchised so many of us have felt. How disempowered we've felt. How it has seemed like everyone in 'power' stood for beliefs, ideas, and paradigms that felt so totally alien to me. And how much it has felt like they absolutely did not care one iota how the 'average American' felt: they had their own agenda, and to **** with anyone else.

I keep hearing, "it's the economy, stupid." Or else I hear that it's about race. But I don't think that's been the whole story at all.

I think Barak Obama will be our next POTUS because he has the gift of empowering leadership. He has gotten a record number of people engaged in the political process this time around, because somehow he's managed to give people a vision of a nation where each person -matters-.

Yes, the economy is a large problem, but I think it's only one part of a larger problem, one that started with Vietnam and has never quite went away: a sense of disillusionment. With the government. With the 'system.' With our leadership.

Obama has reminded us that this country was not just founded on the promise of financial opportunity. It was founded on the promise of -ideaological- opportunity. Of liberty and equality.

Until now, it's been fashionable to be cynical. But I think that's been to hide the pain we've felt as a society, for being so let down, for falling so short of our ideals.

And now, suddenly, it seems that this election tells us that the idealists are still a majority in this country after all.

THAT gives me hope.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My kid's gonna be in a hurricane!

But safely, in Austin, where they're expecting rain and wind, but nothing else.

Unlike the poor folks in Houston/Galveston, who it looks like are going to get hit HARD.

But, he did get a half-day off school today, because thousands of the evacuees are heading towards Austin and they're trying to keep the kids from getting caught in the evacuation traffic. (And freeing up schools to serve as shelters...)

You know, I'd wondered why they had make-up days on his school calendar. I'm used to having them because of snow, but that's obviously not an issue in Austin. :)

Now I know... to make up for 'hurricane days'!

What a belated 15th birthday present for him, huh.

(How is it possible that I am the mother of a 15-year-old now???)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ooh, music...

I'm now in love with - especially since some kind soul has uploaded the entirety of my favorite album of all time*, which I have made into a playlist for those of you who would like to share:

Spock's Beard's "Snow" on

This is a concept album - the "story" it's telling, and the lyrics to the songs, are here:

In other news, my daughter is doing well in 7th (!!) grade [in Indy], my son started high school today (!!!!!) [in Austin], and I'm now working out of our new office on the west side, which is pretty darned cool. Since it's only 4 of us, and we all know each other, it's still not a formal 'workplace' but definitely makes it easier to communicate.

Besides which, I got to help with the layout and design of the office space, so it feels more personal to me, I guess. :)

* Note: Great Big Sea is still my favorite band of all time (and you can use that link to hear some of my favorite songs by them). However, Spock's Beard wins my personal award for putting together the best album. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My boy has moved!

I lost the bet; I cried at the airport. :)

Kids are off on their usual summer jaunt to their Dad's... but only my daughter will return; my son has decided to move in with his dad and become a Texan! Since he's starting high school this year (can you IMAGINE???) it was a logical year to make the transition if he was going to do it.

And, because I'm me and therefore incapable of feeling without analyzing :) I noticed a difference between feeling sad and being upset. I'm not upset about his moving. I don't tell myself any negative stories about it ('he doesn't love me, I'm being abandoned, etc.') I know he loves me; I'm fortunate in that I don't ever question that from my kids. And, I understand that a teenage guy really needs a DAD around as he's growing up, and that the ADHD probably will do better in the more structured household that isn't being run by a grown-up ADHDer. :) I'm excited that he has the opportunity, because he's going to get to go to a very good high school, one of the best in the country; and I'm proud of him for having the courage to take what is a big leap into the unknown for an almost-15-year-old.

And, even though I am not upset about his move, I am sad that I won't see him very often (yearly visits, like his dad gets now), and won't see the day-to-day changes, and be there when he comes home from his first date, and when he gets his license (OK, maybe I won't be sad about missing THAT part. I have enough grey hairs already, thanks! :) ) and all that. Little stuff, like not being with him on his birthday.

Ah, change. You'd think that since it's constant, we'd all get more used to it, but no one really seems to, do they?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I has a generation!

I'm not Gen X. I'm not a baby boomer.

I'm Generation Jones.

Makes sense to me.

* Note: Yes, the technical 'end date' for Jones is '65. But a) some demographic studies argue '67 or '68 and I think that's more accurate. b) Most of my classmates were born 65-67, and I contend that you get raised based on what grade you're in, not what age you are, when you're a 'different' age than most of your classmates. c) I can tell you that even when we were in high school, we knew that starting about two grades after me, people were -different-. Significantly different attitudes, actions, paradigms. Had we thought more deeply about it, we would indeed have said that they were far more cynical than we were. Therefore, my experience was that Generation X started, at least where I grew up, with people who graduated high school in about '87. I would argue that Generation Jones consists of those who graduated high school between about '74 through '85 or '86.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

High Tech, meet Pop Culture

This is too fun.

First of all, we get what may be really-for-true confirmation of water on Mars, which is a spiffy thing.

But how it got announced to the world is even more fun:

NASA's Phoenix has a Twitter page.

So the announcement of water wasn't through some formal press release, or a guy in a NASA suit standing awkwardly in front of a microphone.

It was the rover itself, saying, "Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!" to 20,000+ people on Twitter.

(Obviously, it would have been "Best. Day. Evah." if they didn't have to be careful how many characters they send, due to the 140 character limit on Twitter. :) )

Now that's amusing!

(See also and for more)

Friday, June 13, 2008

So Tired Of Rain

Last summer, we had a drought, and I really really missed storms.

ENOUGH ALREADY! We've made up for the lack and THEN SOME!!!

But... it's not been too bad in Indy. However, a friend of mine in Columbus, about 40 miles south, had quite a different experience:

Really makes you grateful for what you have...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

18 hours without power, whee!

But given the storms that ripped through here last night, and that ours is back up when IPL says some people won't have power until Tuesday, I guess I can't complain. No damage here: a few large tree limbs down, but not -on- anything. Just a long dark night was all...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Meme: One Word

Subject: One word....

You can only type ONE Word!

Not as easy as you might think. Now copy or forward, change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It's really hard to only use one word answers. You can only type one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? charger
2. Where is your significant other? universe
3. Your hair color? variable
4. Your mother? wounded
5. Your father? lonely
6. Your favorite thing? possibility
7. Your dream last night? unremembered
8. Your dream/goal? growth
9. Your favorite job? inspiring
10. The room you're in? bedroom
11. Your hobby? teaching
12. Your fear? stagnation
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? centered
14. Your favorite place to relax? nature

15. What you're not? rigid
16. Muffins? chocolate
17. Top of your wish list? peace
18. Where you grew up? Brazil
19. What were you doing before you sat at your computer? resting
20. What are you wearing? clothing
21. Last thing you watched on TV? producers
when? 10:00
22. Describe your pet. dead
23. What kind of car do you drive? olds
24. Your life right now? hopeful
25. What is your mood today? renewed
26. Missing someone? sometimes
27. Do you have any regrets in life? some
28. Your favorite store? goodwill
29. Something you're not wearing? bra (woot! :) )
30. Your summer? freedom
31. Love someone? many
32. Your favorite color? green
33. When is the last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? past

35. Who will resend this? unknown

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy April Fools Day!

Google has done their usual amusing 'adjustments' today, I see.

Actually, I found the whole list of 'em on Wikipedia:'s_hoaxes

I think TiSP was the best of them all. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

What a night...

I have spent way too much time with doctors this winter with my kids. I don't think I remembered to blog that my daughter fractured her middle finger in January. Was in a splint for 6 weeks (and couldn't play the viola all that time!), but all is well with her now.

Well, tonight I just got home from the ER. My son has not been able to hold down food since Monday, and has been off school all week. So tonight I took him to the urgent care center ('cause regular doctor office hours suck when you're a working single parent). Urgent care doctor found tenderness in the lower right abdominal quadrant. Said it was still quite possible that it was a virus... but given the location of the worst tenderness, appendicitis was enough of a possibility that he wanted me to take him in to the ER to get checked. Tonight.

So I went home and got my daughter, 'cause she doesn't like being at home alone at night (understandably).

And we were there until 1 freaking 30 am. To find that, of course (but thank heavens) it was NOT appendicitis.

Fun things from the evening: My son's veins SUCK. They couldn't get the IV in the left hand. Couldn't get it in the right. Finally got a blood draw out of the right, but then the vein moved and they couldn't keep that in. Eventually they called someone with mucho experience who could find veins that are a) buried too deep in b) way too thick skin (inherits from his father) and c) tried to slide around when finally found. And finally got it in. This in a kid who has the (what at least I've found is a) typical guy response to needles. At least he didn't faint.

Then, he couldn't give them a urine sample for ages, 'cause, well, he hasn't been holding stuff down, so as much as I've tried to keep him hydrated, he probably wasn't very much so, and, he has 'bashful bladder' when he tries to do things like that anyway. FINALLY got that part taken care of.

Then got the CT scan, after two hours of waiting (apparently, it takes that long for whatever fun concoction they make you drink to get through your system. Plus, they were very, very busy there tonight).

Found after all that that that it -wasn't- appendicitis, or at least, the CT scan looked normal and the white blood cell count was normal... they did warn me to keep an eye on him 'cause apparently appendicitis doesn't always present 'by the book'. Got a script for an anti nauseant (suppository. They asked if *I* was going to insert them. He's 14 1/2 and 5'10". Heck no I'm not going to; he can poke on his own butt!!! :) )

Then they took the IV (well, the heparin lock) out, to his great delight, and I left the room so he could change... and heard a 'MOM!!!' through the door. And rushed back in... and found that where they had taken the IV out was bleeding. A LOT.

So I grabbed paper towels, elevated, applied pressure, and yelled for my daughter to grab a nurse RIGHT NOW.

The nurses got there, put on gloves, and added more pressure (since I'd grabbed it originally, at least I was the one with the blood all over my hands - and when it's my kid, it's NOT a biohazard, unlike what the nurses would have had to deal with) and then it finally stopped, and was fine. Assuming it was just a last-minute gift of the ol' heparin.

So now I'm finally home, and the load of laundry that desperately needed to be done is now done, and I am going to BED.

What a night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Training Chyk is Happy...

The Training Chyk found a full set of FREE templates to create web-based courses, at

Can I code Javascript from scratch? No. Well, I'm sure I -could- but the learning-to-development time would be far higher than anyone wants to pay me for.

Can I *modify* existing code? Yeah, THAT I can do.

This toolkit has everything already set up, testing, certificate, everything. I can't believe someone's giving this away for free. This is too awesome.

(Ok, so it doesn't take too much to make me happy. So sue me. :) )

Monday, March 03, 2008

I have permanent employment!

No more consulting - I'm now... well, the job title is "business analyst", but I'll be doing a LOT of stuff... for DKI Services Inc. I'm VERY excited about this opportunity. My new boss is also a good friend of mine, the company is solid and I like their attitude, and I'm going to be BUSY... creating CBTs, technical documentation, marketing documentation, doing a bit of tech support, and perhaps even doing some product management and marketing. No more 'what do I do when this project ends' moments. Benefits. And a real challenge in a position that is being tailored to my specific skill set. The only drawback is that it is a tiny bit of a pay cut from my consulting positions, or at least most of them... but that should be made up for by the fact that I won't be docked for time off, since I'll be salaried. (Amazing, when you're a consultant, how an hour here and there of 'picking the kids up' adds up to a hole in your paycheck. And we won't even talk about what holiday weeks are like, especially the two-day holidays...)

So this is a great career opportunity for me and I'm really, really excited!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One hit wonder quizzes

Yes, I got 100% on BOTH of them. This indicates (1) they were too easy, or (2) they used one-hits that are Way Too Old. :)

One-Hit One-Ders

Score: 100% (10 out of 10)

1-hit one-ders part 2

Score: 100% (10 out of 10)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ah, an explanation for the electric car question...

This article in Salon:

...explains the difference between a regular hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an all-electric. I guess, not having paid too much attention to hybrids (I'd love one, but when you're on a used-car-only budget, you don't get that option), I had assumed they already -were- plug-ins. Which was why the previous article confused me so much.

The one argument I have with the article - the writer says that a 40-mile-per-day capacity really isn't needed; most people drive less than that. Do I really commute that much farther than the average person? My drive is somewhere between 17 - 20 miles one way. So I easily do more than 40 miles a day, especially once you add a grocery store trip, or picking a kid up from school or a friend's house, or any of the other million errands that seem to come up every week...

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I don't FEEL 40. :)

That is all. :)

PS - Thank you to all who sent me cards and well-wishes!

And for the California gang, since I know you'll get this if I post it here - a) really, I will email soon. I just can't get to personal email from work again (they block all the good sites, darnit) and, as you can see from the ungodly hour of this post, it's hard for me to find time that a kid isn't using the computer. :) And B) I am, honestly, not avoiding a certain member of my family. I just suck at writing letters. Shame he doesn't have email. :) I will get one out soon. Just... you remember what it's like to have kids this age, right? Someone's ALWAYS going somewhere. I am Mom Taxi Extraordinaire.

And speaking of which, better go sleep now -- have to be at the school at 7 Freaking 45 AM tomorrow for speech tourney...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nothing like wiping the past from existence...

I am reading this article:

It is talking about "bringing the first plug-in, all-electric cars to market."


GM already DID that. More than 10 years ago, with the EV1.

I know. I worked on the dang thing!

(Yes, I was only a secretary, before anyone gets excited. But I do know several of the patent-holders on it. Typed for many of them.)

Now, I know there was a lot of bullhockey surrounding taking the EV1 off the market. (Anyone besides me watch Who Killed the Electric Car? I had to see it... I actually knew a couple people who were in it, albeit briefly.)

But I didn't know that both GM and the media were now pretending it never existed...