Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Planner Organizer Crazy!

I'm supposed to be looking for ways to teach kids about running their
own planner and getting them organized and self-sufficient.

Instead, I ran across the improvements in Google Desktop. WOW!
There's crap in there that I didn't know I needed. Did you know that
you can tell your computer when you toss in a load of laundry, and
it'll tell you when the washer should be done!

Google Desktop

Google Gadgets
So far, I like the sketch pad for notes, the to do list, and the photo
thing (not sure what that was called), and I have to restart to get
the laundry one going. (I wonder if it tracks how many loads? Maybe
it'll buy me a drink when I hit 100 )

I did remove lots of things that I won't use - Stocks, weather, email,
network monitor. But, it looks like a very cool idea. I do happen to
know that one of the reasons that make Google a great company is that
employees are encouraged to take a certain percentage of their time to
work on "their" projects and interests, and they encourage independent
people to submit their projects.

First, I forgot to add that there is a "Google Pack" of good stuff to
download like Google Earth, Picasa, and Norton. (Symantec is better,
but free is good too) at (the
pack is at bottom right)

And, is the
address for the templates that I was looking for. There's a new
"Student ID" under the education section, and I use the Fitness Chart
for Women and the weekly meal planner quite often. I took a chart
that looked like what I wanted (Project To Do list?) and made it into
my chore chart that I've offered to share.

If you know how to save your form every so often, and use control Z to
kill the things that aren't working (it means back up one step) - then
it's pretty easy to change things around and make it fit you better.
I like using the templates because I'm not so good at starting things
from scratch, but I can set up nice things pretty well if I have
something to start with.
Rather like icky cotton candy - isn't it?
Took some time to get my house in order, and quite a few things happened. First, I have to update the "wierd hair" page. Leo decided to dye the dreadlocks pink and purple. It looks like he got a swirly in a cotton candy machine. Ok, I've found a zen about his hair - but my shower was purple. Not a little purple - the entire bottom half was purple. It took four tries and a female friend, but he did finally get it back to white.

I don't want to tread on feelings here - but this is important to me. Kids at my house do quite a number of different things. One of the big ones is bike riding. There's a golf course where they can play or just get a soda, and the bike trail system right close. One of the friend's was supposed to be picked up at 9am - so he was ready at 9 am. Finally at about 10:30, I call his mother and he was supposed to be at practice at 9am. She said she'll get him in an hour or 2. Never showed. About 3ish, we had to grab something for dinner, so I had her son try to call her. I heard yelling, and I think she hung up on him. So, I told the father what we were up to, and gave him my cell number. Took the dog, went to a park, grabbed chips and home for dinner. Mommy dearest rolls up at about 9:30 having a temper tantrum. Apparently, they'd missed me at both numbers and just never tried back. Uh, I don't have an answering machine - my voice mails get bounced to email.

(Put coffee down) This is a para (helper) who is supposed to be kind and patient with special ed kids in the school district. Ick, icky ick.

So - what to do? I'd like to perserve the boy's friendship, but I really do not want to deal with this again. Plus, if she rants and raves like this at an adult - then how does she speak to her kids? I already know what her son's self esteem is like - is it only a matter of time before he starts acting out?? This stuff is leaving me sleepless. I pretty much expected an apology the next day, and nothing.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

(Jeans not dry)

Excellent Article at Salon. You do have to watch an ad to read all of the articles, but it's still better than registering for spam...

Quarterlife Crisis

Dear MTV,

This week, you turned 25. We've spent a lot of time with you over the years -- we're 25, too -- and we wanted to wish you a happy birthday. But we also want to say something else. It's a request, really, or a plea:

Please. Stop. For the good of the country, stop what you're doing.

Look, MTV, we don't mean to be a downer on your birthday. We know you faced the pressure to change. It happens to us all.

What we're suggesting -- and we realize it's very un-"MTV generation" of us -- is that, just maybe, now that you're 25, you ought to take some responsibility for what you're doing. Because if you merely made bad TV, none of this would matter. But you don't make bad TV. You make TV so good it's created a generation. You have the chance to show that generation there's more to life than spring break in CancĂșn, more than getting wasted, picking up girls and swimming nude in the hot tub (fun as that always looks, no matter how many times we see it!), more than beauty pageants, decadent parties and manipulating friends. Something beyond all that.

Why is it so difficult to keep jumping? One obstactle - ok, two - ok -- but when the stepping stones get higher and higher then even the little ones can feel like you need a cheering section and a vaulter's pole.

I'm getting rather tired of the blog-sphere. I'm trying to think of how we can do a rating system and an RSS feed like Daily KOS - only set up about the things that I want to read. Some days I might want to dig into politics and understand why the estate tax had to be tied into higher minimum wage in an "Up or Down" style vote. Some days, I really just want to read about someone's cat or a toddler being sweet. Even sillier - I wanted to skim someone's blog to see if I was mentioned. (Yay - I was! But no link :P)

Today, I did the "blog jump" where you just keep hitting next blog, next blog until you find something that you do want to read. I found a beautiful one where some woman was be-moaning about her step-son's drug problems. I would have loved to echo that with links to the proposals that I read about on BBC to make all prisoners do some type of re-hab and/or address learning/emotional problems. Maybe that woman would have liked some words of support - or just to know that someone heard her anonymous journalling. I would have liked to have lined up a nice little essay somehow about programs that work and programs that just warehouse people.

Or - maybe I'm just avoiding sitting in a noisy crowd again. I did it last night, and took pretty pictures (over to the right under the flicker thingy) - but all day... So far, I've run a dishwasher, picked up my house, started cleaning the kitchen, tossed back the clothes I planned to wear, and put in a load of laundry... When I found myself thinking seriously about baking something to take with me - I knew that I'd better do my nails and read for a bit to get ready to *GO*. *L*

Nails are done, comfy jeans are in the dryer (maybe I should shop for another couple of pairs of those?) . They'd go well with the platform heels, but then I'd have to do my toes too. I wore nice shoes last night and ended up walking a few laps of the park in 4 inch heels. Comfy shoes? Ick. Hiking. Ick... So much nicer to sit out on the patio with a cup of coffee and my knitting. I did get quite a bit of knitting done yesterday. 58 stitches in a section times 8 sections...464 total stitches around. How big should this thing be anyway? Maybe I should measure gauge and measure where it's going to live and see....

Ahhh, dishwasher's done, the coffee is about gone, daughter is showered and ready... So much for running out to pick some zucchini and make some bread to take with us. I'd get out the door, but I still have to pick the shoes. Hmmmm...

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Dragon boat dragon meets Paul and Babe.
It was spun when I started. That's ok. I did get a bunch of good pictures. The dragon boat thing is very cute, and many of the local companies did a great job putting together teams.
Well, we're just about ready to head over to the Dragon Boat festival I want to go over before things get too crazy and take lots of pictures and video.

I did start a new project for next year's fair. Super Spiral from "A Gathering of Lace" by Meg Swanson. But, I'm cheap. I'm making it with $5 in yellow baby yarn. It is *SO* soft and pretty.

The story behind this shawl for me is really neat. I started a dark, shiny grey version of this 2 weeks before Katrina. It took me ages, but I did finish. I could barely look at it without thinking about people on the roof. I ended up getting into Project Linus and donating a bunch of the things that weren't completely loved. This year, the heat has been horrible. I'd bought yellow yarn for a 1/2 sweater/shawl thing, but they just didn't work. So, I got to thinking about honoring the sun, and started another spiral. I'm hoping that the warmth of this summer will carry over nicely when I'm wearing the shawl this winter.