Busy Busy Busy

Quest for Fall Color (Part II)Image by dbarronoss via Flickr

Hoping to figure out how to make some money to be able to travel, especially to take an extended trip back east in a couple of years. Working on a new blog for that.

Almost ready for school in the fall. Can't wait to start formal geography! Daughter can't wait for nature walks.

Will hopefully write more soon.
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Open House!

Real Estate = Big MoneyImage by thinkpanama via Flickr

We've got a big open house today and tomorrow mornings, 9-1. Let's hope that we get some traffic this time, and maybe even sell the house! It's bittersweet, though, because after living in something so small, the house we're trying to sell seems so big!
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Two More Days and Counting

Bau cetti !!!!Image by Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via Flickr

Two more days of school for the year. I can't wait. My daughter can't wait. We are truly ready for a nice long break.

And no, that's not my daughter to the right, but it captured the carefree attitude that I hope we'll espouse during our break.

We Take Summers Off

Sno-Cones & Popcorn (Re-Work)...Image by KmountMan via Flickr

We still have about a month left of homeschool for the year, but we're definitely looking forward to being done. We start the year on the day after Labor Day (just like I did as a kid), so we usually don't finish until mid June. Some people do school throughout the year, taking breaks as they need to. I like a distinct beginning and end to my year, and a lot of time in one chunk to hear myself think. We're taking the summer off from homeschool, but also from gymnastics and as many other things as we can. It's a time for the kids to have plenty of unstructured time, time for me to relax for once and have some fun time (I'm a work before play type of person, usually), and time for me to get some projects worked on that I don't have time for during the year. The last couple of years I haven't done so well on the projects, but hopefully I'll do better this year. I hope to make a serious dent in one or two of them.

As the kids get older, we'll give them summer projects as well. We'll work together to figure out something they're very interested in that they'd want to delve deeply into. I don't think we'll do that this year, but perhaps once they are 10 or 11.

Then, once the end of August hits, we'll have had so much time off from school that it's an exciting thought to start up again. This is important, as that momentum has to carry us as far into the year as possible. It usually carries me until late winter or early spring, which isn't too bad, when you think about it.

One month to go!
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May the 4th Be With You!

2007 - Day 124 - Star Wars DayImage by Jonathan_W via Flickr

It's Star Wars Day! At least one of them. There seem to be more than one official or unofficial Star Wars Day. But today is one of them, and Star Wars is awesome (at least the original trilogy), so there you go.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 36 today. It wasn't as hard as turning 35 was. I guess it'll be okay until I hit 40. We'll see. At least I'm in good company. As I grow older by the numbers, I just think of all the people I love and respect out there that are growing older along with me.

(Photo: ThreeSistersToys.com)

Lego Space Shuttle!

Combining my love of space/astronomy and my love of Lego, here is the Space Shuttle, ready for launch, made out of Lego bricks.

World's Largest Model Railroad

In Hamburg, Germany, sits the world's largest model railroad, the Miniatur Wunderland. It is gigantic, spanning locations from much of Europe, Scandinavia, and even the U.S. Their meticulous attention to detail and sense of humor is evident in the video.

Learn the ABCs from the Bad Astronomer

Awakening...!!!Image by Denis Collette...!!! via Flickr

Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, is giving us all a lesson in our ABCs today. Some of you may not agree with what he has to say, but I agree with all or almost all of it. Most of you will chuckle a few times, at least. He's a very strong skeptic on just about every subject I can think of, so read at your own risk! =)

The photo at right really has nothing to do with this post, but it's gorgeous, so I thought I'd toss it out there. Remember to see the beauty in every day and in nature.
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Where the Wild Things Are

MoisheImage by minipixel via Flickr

A most beloved book, written ten years before I was born, is coming to life in the form of a film in October. After seeing a trailer, which seems to keep the movie fairly close to the book, I can't wait to see the movie. Of course, the book is quite short by movie standards, and the plot is not complex. I am wondering what details they will fill in, what storylines they'll add, and what aspects they will make more complex to make the movie long enough.

The film makers apparently consulted with Maurice Sendak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are (among other very wonderful things), on the movie. Sendak gave his strong opinions, but then deferred to co-screenwriters Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers. In fact, it was Sendak who came to Jonze a few years ago to pitch the idea of a movie for Where the Wild Things Are.

The trailer shows images which really do look like they are straight from the book. Silhouettes of Max dressed up as a wild thing and brandishing his scepter bring back memories of all the times I've had the book read to me, and read it to my own children. There wasn't a lot of swinging from trees in the trailer, but I'm sure that will be in the full film.

Books from our childhood are precious memories to us. Some books are made into films well, others not so well. Some are made into great movies but are quite different from their wonderful book counterparts. This trailer shows great promise to the young and young at heart. I can't wait to see if it delivers.
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I'm Going to the Maker Faire!

I have the most awesome opportunity. I recently started writing for the GeekDad blog over at Wired Magazine, which is so exciting! It just so happens that GeekDad has a booth at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA, in late May. I'm going to help run the booth! It'll be a great opportunity to meet lots of awesome people that I don't know. And a great opportunity to go to a crafty festival that I've been wanting to go to ever since I knew it existed. So we're making a weekend of it, including my daughter's 8th birthday in the mix.

This year the Maker Faire's theme is to Re-Make America, following President Obama's call to "begin again the work of remaking America".

I hope to have a full report when we get back. But it'll be a couple of months before we get to go!

ThinkGeek Rejected Product

ThinkGeek lubs you :-)Image by Rain Rabbit via Flickr

You may think that the products that ThinkGeek carries are weird. Well, here's a video of a product that they rejected. It's pretty obvious why it was rejected. This video is hysterical and worthy of a couple minutes of your time. Enjoy.
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The Secret Life of an AT-AT

Ever wonder what a little AT-AT does when you're not at home? They play with the cat, go out for a run, play in the snow, and frolic on the beach. Now you know.

Josh Freese's New Album, $7 to $75,000

Massage in Frankfurt, GermanyImage via Wikipedia

I've never heard of this guy, but he's got a new album coming out tomorrow called "Since 1972". You can have different levels of it, and of Josh Freese's time, for a range of $7 to $75,000, depending on how many bells and whistles you'd like. Want a couples massage? That's one option. Want to get drunk and go to Disneyland? That's another. You can even cut each other's hair. Oh, and the music is thrown in there somewhere, too. For a great laugh, go check out his site. I have no idea what the music is like. But he gets a lot of points for style.
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Releasing The PastImage by AmahRa58 via Flickr

A friend told me about the Firefox plugin Zemanta, which is supposed to help with blog entries and such. The most appealing part, to me, seems to be the help in choosing copyright-free photos to go along with your entries. As I now need to have a photo or visual of some kind with each new GeekDad post, I thought I'd try it out. So this is a bit of a test post to see how it works. If anyone else uses Zemanta, I'd love to hear about your favorite aspects.

So far it doesn't display too many interesting photos, but perhaps if I talk about a subject in particular. Like robots. My kids love to pretend to be robots, especially my son. He walks around talking in a robot voice quite a lot. Robots are a fun thing for kids, and some grownups, but I'm not exactly sure why.

Well, so far there are a few really great photos, and quite a few that are boring. And the really great ones have nothing to do with what I've written about.

Tips anyone? Experiences? Okay, I finally got one robot image. Sorry for the nonsensical post here, just a big experiment!
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I'm the Newest GeekDad!

I know, I'm a mom, not a dad. But that doesn't matter. I am now a contributor to Wired Magazine's GeekDad blog! My first post is up, about my meeting Wil Wheaton in person a bit over a year ago. Please check it out. Tell all your friends.

Wooden Blocks for Your Wee Mad Scientist

Got a geekling at home? I'm sure they'll love these wooden blocks, designed for everyone's inner mad scientist. Find them at ThinkGeek!

And while you're at ThinkGeek, peruse the hundreds of other very cool products, including a dedicated children's section. And no, they didn't pay me to say that.

Exciting Things Afoot

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. There are some exciting things going on that I'll tell you about soon, but in the meantime my writing and posting efforts have been used elsewhere.

Happy Pi Day!

It's Pi Day, everyone, (3/14). Go out and have some pie and do some math for fun!

We're actually going to be eating pie today, but only by coincidence. =)

If Maps Could Fight

Here's a quick summary of World War II in drawings, each country its own character. It's quite interesting, at times amusing, at times enlightening. From the great folks at Strange Maps.

Secret Message from Long Ago

Here's a really cool one. Apparently inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch was inscribed a secret message about the Civil War. Watchmaker Jonathan Dillon was repairing the watch and felt inspired to leave a message behind. They say that Lincoln never knew that a secret message was written inside his watch. History rocks.

Wil Wheaton Still Must Win!

Thanks to any of you who voted for Wil Wheaton in the Penultimate Four round of Geek Madness. Now we're down to the final two, Joss Whedon and Wil Wheaton! Wil had an early lead, but now Joss has taken over. Let's help Wil win!

Wil Wheaton Must Win!

I know I have a very small following here, but please, vote and tell all your friends to vote for Wil Wheaton! He is so much more a geek than Gabe & Tycho. Wil was waaaaay ahead until just today, I guess. Who knows what happened? The voting ends sometime tomorrow (Sunday), so work quickly! Each IP address seemingly can only vote once.

Edited to add: Wil Wheaton is kicking butt at present, so thanks to any of you who voted for him. I'm sure, though, that my friend Matt's post over at GeekDad had much more influence! The final vote, if tallies stand as they are, will be Wil Wheaton against Joss Whedon. That will be a tough one, but I'll still vote for Wil, since he's an awesome all-around geek. Joss seems more like an awesome specialized geek.

It's So Crazy, It Might Just Work!

Awesome Wil Wheaton has realized that he can sell a lot of stuff doing his own publishing. He recently published a mini book on Lulu.com (which I bought, of course), and today he had the idea to create a homemade audiobook for a portion of that mini book (his Criminal Minds Production Diary - a great read, btw). He's selling it for $5. What a great idea! He said from inception to completion, today's crazy idea of his took 5 hours. And he'll make a ton of money on it, too. Certainly more than 5 hours worth of money.

Now if only I could come up with ideas of things to write that people would pay $5 for... Not that I want to be famous. I definitely don't want to be famous. I'd just love to make some money doing something fun and interesting and on my terms.

Coolest... Business... Card... Ever...

Ever wanted a custom made minifig that looks like you and has your name and contact information on it? Then just go work at Lego!

Today is Square Root Day!

It's 3-3-09, so enjoy, people! Squares are my favorite shapes, and for my birthday this year, I'm turning a square number. Hmm.. How to celebrate?

Edited to add: Also, my birthday is on 4/16, another square combination. This must be my year.

Prescott Game Night!

Seven years ago, when we lived in Colorado, we had two separate groups of people with whom we played games each month. The goal was usually to have fun, but there were definitely some serious gamers there. There was usually a variety of games played, from strategy to trivia to party games. It was always great fun. Since we moved to the Prescott area lo those years ago, we’ve been mostly unable to fill the hole in our lives created by not having regular game playing. We have quite a number of friends down in Phoenix that play each month, but we’re not usually able to make the trip. And the groups we’ve gotten together in town either haven’t stuck with it, or wouldn’t play more than one game.

I’ve recently discovered a fun and interesting group of people, here in Prescott, who play games together regularly. They used to meet at a game store in Chino Valley (how did I not find that one?), but now they meet every second and fourth Wednesday from 5pm to 8:30pm at the Prescott Public Library (in the Elsea room upstairs). Two weeks ago I stopped by just to see what kind of group it was. It looked promising, so this week we all went with games and kids in tow. We were the only people to bring kids, but no one in the room seemed to complain.

As people trickled in, seven of us sat down to a very exciting game of TransEuropa. It’s a train-building game, different from Ticket to Ride. I much prefer it (and its sister game, TransAmerica) to Ticket to Ride, but I seem to be in the minority. Anyway, the game is designed for up to six, but playing with seven seemed to work just fine (we used pennies for the extra pieces). One thing I liked about playing with this group of people was that everyone was paying attention and mostly knew their next move when their turn came around. This helped the game move quickly.

After the group was a bit more established, we split into two groups and played two separate games. The other group played a game called Colosseum where you had to draw spectators to see your events in the arena. My group played a game called Stone Age where you compete to build buildings, feed your people, and accumulate points, all in a stone age type of way. I’d never played it before, so it was a challenge for me to absorb the game rules while running interference with my kids, who were somewhat entertaining themselves, and somewhat not. I guess I absorbed the material well enough, as I got the hang of it after a couple of rounds. By the end of the game, I could see that there are quite a few different strategies one could take. I picked one that presented itself, and went with it. I ended up winning! Beginner’s luck, possibly.

I’m sure there are more of you out there who long for some real game playing with others who share your passion. It seems the group mostly plays strategy games, but if enough people come who are interested in other types of games, I’m sure there will be room for all. If you read this blog, perhaps you’re a geek as well, so give it a try! The people there were all incredibly nice, welcoming, and approachable. Come and bring your favorite games!

Dare to Finish Projects!

My old favorite saying was, “Imagine the Possibilities.” I still subscribe to that notion quite a bit, but I’ve found a new favorite saying that is more a drive to action and less a contemplative activity: “What Would You Attempt to Do if You Knew You Could Not Fail?” That brings up so many images in my mind. I would write a book, travel the world, make a nature notebook, become a great photographer, and somehow find a way to pay for it all. These are all things I wanted to do before, but somehow the new saying pushes me to actually do more, not to just think about it. I’ve been trying very hard to take the advice of my loved ones, both friends and family, who have encouraged me to do things, make my goals happen, try my hardest, and realize that I can do anything I want to do.

I have a few things holding me back, though. One of the two big things is time. I’ve examined my life lately and realized that I do tend to waste quite a bit of time. I’ve tried to whittle away the time suckers and just do the things that matter, to me or to someone else. It’s hard to keep new time suckers away, however!

The second very large thing keeping me from allowing myself to succeed at my many goals is my perpetual problem of not finishing projects. I start really awesome things, and then I get distracted by another really awesome thing. Then craft projects, writing projects, many other types of projects sit unfinished.

I recently learned some terms that describe this part of me. Apparently I’m a Scanner and a Renaissance Soul. I have too many interests to stick to just one or two, and I often get distracted by the next thing before finishing the current one. There are a couple of books about this (see links below) that I haven’t read yet, but am very tempted to do so. I’ve even joined the Scanners & Renaissance Souls group on Facebook!

Being a Jane of all Trades, Mistress of None has been an advantage and a disadvantage in my life. It’s an advantage because I can talk to people about just about anything. I am interested in so many things that I’m always excited to learn new things. I do pretty well at Trivial Pursuit. I love just about every subject that we do for homeschool. It’s a disadvantage because I have a hard time finishing projects, and I’m not an expert in anything. I would love to delve deeply into one subject and know it better than anyone else. However, something else always comes along to pull me away. This is why I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up (other than a mom). This is why I have too many goals, few of them reached, and a ton of book ideas and notes, but no books written. This is why I’m drowning in fabric but no specific plans of what to do with it.

Part of the problem may be that I don’t want to miss anything in life. I’m often the first one to arrive at a party and the last one to leave. But not missing anything ironically makes me miss many other things. I don’t take the time for the things I truly want to do, and spend too much time doing unnecessary life maintenance tasks. Since we began homeschooling a few years ago, television has taken a less prominent place in my life. But the Internet has taken a much more prominent place. I spend too much time reading blogs and making sure I don’t miss anything cool that comes down the pipeline. I have to start allowing myself to miss things and cut out many of my daily routines.

Another part of the problem is that the things that I really want to do require uninterrupted time. I don’t have much of that, since I’m at home with the kids. I can’t sew well if I’m constantly getting up to help one of them with something. I can’t research and write a book if they’re asking me something and pulling me out of my concentration. If only I needed less sleep at night!

I haven’t given up my goals, though. I am still determined to do the things I want to do. I’m going to try harder to do them during the summer months, when we’re not doing school, and to carve out a little time now and then to work on them at other times.

Happy Birthday, Galileo!

Galileo Galilei would have been 445 years young today!

Not Just Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! We had a very un-exciting day of showing our house to two, yes two, people/groups that came through the house (over 7 hours). Lots of people drove by to look, but they didn't come in. Don't they realize the house is much bigger on the inside than the outside? It's a hyperhouse!

Anyway, today is much more than just Valentine's Day. It's my cousin's birthday (Happy Birthday, Elena!), my daughter's Girl Scout leader's birthday (Happy Birthday, Jen!), and Arizona's birthday (Happy Birthday, Arizona!). Arizona is 97 years old today, the youngest of the lower 48. Three more years and it'll be our Centennial. I wonder if big things are planned.

Does this day hold additional excitement for anyone else out there (other than my fellow Arizonans)?

Snow Cones, Not Sno-Cones(TM)

Most people love to eat cold things in the summer. It's a great way to cool off, from the inside out! But how many people have ever had a real snow cone, made of real snow? I'm sure many of you up north have, but I had my first one last night. We finally had enough snow to scrape some up into a cup and not get anywhere near the ground. We've made homemade snow cone-like items with an ice shaver before, but it's so much better with real snow. The consistency is perfect. It is quite a delight, especially when you're already warmed up from being inside for a while.

So, if you live where there is enough snow regularly for this kind of treat, pick up some flavored syrup and try it, if you haven't already.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Here are some photos from our winter adventure yesterday, and from this morning, the aftermath. We have gorgeous blue skies this morning, making the snow bright and twinkly.

This shows the road that I didn't try to drive up. Other cars were having quite a lot of trouble and had to back down the road, so I parked halfway up and we walked the rest of the way home.

Here we are, taking a short cut on a snowy path instead of walking along side the harrowing road. The kids had a ball. It really was an adventure, and a much easier climb than I thought. I stopped along the way and took some more pictures on the path!

These two were taken on the path. I love it when the snow clings to trees and such.

This photo shows the termite mound made of snow that was supposed to be a snowman. The snow was sticky but not quite sticky enough.

Here is a last night/this morning pair of shots of the same stuff. Note the extra snow this morning, and the gorgeous blue sky.

The snow this morning on our very narrow railing outside the front door.

Double Your Birthdays, Double Your Fun

On February 12th this year, there are two special birthdays. It is the bicentennial birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin! I had no idea that both men were born on exactly the same day.

Of course, in reality, neither man would be around to celebrate such an occasion. Abraham Lincoln only lived to age 56, assassinated while attending Ford’s Theater to see the play “Our American Cousin.” Darwin lived to age 73.

People celebrate Darwin Day annually, but this year it’s extra special. Search for events in your area. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the man who gave us Natural Selection.

It’s been a while since we celebrated Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday separately, since they declared President’s Day a holiday to get more work out of the American public, but this year Lincoln’s Bicentennial is something worth celebrating on its own.

Life’s Milestones

Late last night, my daughter finally lost her first tooth. It had been loose for a month or so, but it wasn’t going anywhere quickly. Then last night she bonked her tooth on her knee and it was hanging by a thread. We were all worried she would swallow the tooth in the night, so she worked hard to get it out before bed. She finally asked my husband to yank it out, which he did. Though the tooth spent the night under a Dixie cup in the bathroom (so the cats wouldn’t play with it), the Tooth Fairy still arrived. We haven’t figured out how much the Tooth Fairy will bring for each tooth in the future, but since this was her first tooth loss, the fairy brought a Sacagawea dollar. My daughter figured out the myth of Santa Claus a couple of years ago, and I’m pretty sure she extrapolated to figure out the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and other mythical creatures and beings. For her, losing this tooth happened a little late, as she’ll be 8 this spring. Many kids lose their first tooth much younger. But hers fell out when it was ready. This was just the first of many teeth to fall out, but it is a milestone, like she’s starting another chapter in her life.

I’m coming up on my 36th birthday. That day will mark me having had my driver’s license for a full 20 years, quite a milestone. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but I guess it was! Having my license meant that I could get around by myself, without having anyone else have to help me. My first step to independence, and to responsibility. Sometimes I wish I could go back to before that day, even for a week. But only knowing what I know now, of course.

Probably the single most impactful milestone in my life was having children. I’ve always known that I wanted to have children. There was never a time in my life when I wasn’t sure, even as a little kid. Before I had children, I knew I hadn’t done everything that I wanted to do that was important in life. Now I know I’ve done all the non-negotiables. However, I still have to be around to raise them, and to thoroughly enjoy the raising of them, which I do. And hopefully I’ll still be around long enough to witness the entire raising of my grandchildren (both of my kids have already declared that they want to have kids someday). Of course, there are many more things I want to do in life, but that’s another blog entry.

Life is full of milestones, both wonderful and not-so-wonderful. Birth, death, marriage, having children, losing baby teeth, hitting puberty, being able to drive, being able to vote, getting your first job, retiring from your last job. The list goes on and on. Different people have different lists of milestones, and some are more important to people than others. What milestone have you had lately? Which milestones in your life have been the most important to you and why?

Jimmies or Sprinkles?


I tend to call them sprinkles now, but I grew up calling them jimmies (learned that in Wisconsin). How about the rest of you? The few that actually read this thing? Please state what you called them as a kid, what you call them now, and where you grew up. Thanks. =)

There's Snow on Them Thar Hills!

I woke up to a lot of snow this morning. Well, a lot of snow for Prescott. Normally, this view would include Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain, but the falling snow was blocking it. It's that nice, wet, clingy snow that's great for snowballs and snowmen. The weather has forecast more precipitation for a few days, so we'll see if it lingers. It might put a big damper in our plans to work on the old house today, lots of cleaning and such. We may have to just work really hard during the week. If the snow stops.

Now, before you call me a wimp for not wanting to go out in the snow, realize that we live in the hills now and we have to go up and down a very steep, twisted road to get in and out of the neighborhood. With no guard rail. And a steep embankment.

Edited to add: Turns out the roads are fine! The snow keeps coming and going, with periods of bright, warm sunshine. Gotta love the weather here.

Our House is for Sale!

If anyone is interested in buying our house in Prescott Valley, AZ, let me know! I'll give you more details.

My Son is an Oompa Loompa!

They cast my son as an oompa loompa. We couldn't be more thrilled. He's excited, but he probably has no idea what is in store. I'm sure they gave every child a part who was comfortable on stage, but still. I think he'll love it. And if he doesn't, then we'll know! And we won't make him do it again. =)

My Awesome Son

He did so great at his audition tonight! He sang the song as well as he has done before, and even held it together when they wouldn't let him finish (they cut a bunch of people off). I'm so proud of him. I did film it, so it'll be available soon on DVD.

When I signed him in originally, they asked how old he was, so I told them. Then I asked if they graded on a curve! The lady said that he'd probably end up as an Oompa Loompa! So let's keep our fingers crossed. He'd be an awesome Oompa Loompa.

Helping Your Children to Thrive

One of our jobs as parents is to help our children find areas in which they will thrive. It can be a challenge, say, if your kids have very different personalities than you do. But it's so important to find groups in which your children feel at home, help them find some kindred spirits in which they have a lot in common. I know I always do better and am happier when I am with people who I understand and who understand me.

My daughter, who is quite shy, is hard to match up with good social outlets. Mostly she just needs a few really good friends who are wonderful, nice people. She has a few like that now. She also is very physical. Her talents have always included gross motor skill activities. So she's in gymnastics, is also taking dance right now, and she loves to be outside. She's thriving in those areas.

My son is another story. Granted, he's younger, and there haven't been as many opportunities to put him in environments where he will thrive in that same way. We live in a small town, so I haven't been able to put him in music conservatory classes to foster his natural musical ability like I took when I was his age. He's almost five years old now, though, and things are finally opening up for him. Unlike the rest of us, my son is not shy. He will talk to anyone, anywhere. He doesn't mind being the center of attention, and seems to seek it out. He doesn't understand boundaries too well yet, but we're working with him about that. In any case, I believe I've finally found something we can try for that would really allow him to be his complete self. The opera house in town does plays and such, and they are having auditions for children age 4-19 for the spring play of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"! My son does take direction pretty well, so I hope the audition will go well. None of us have every done anything like this before so I don't know what to expect, but it would be so exciting to have him do things that help him grow. And, it's free to participate! Unlike many of the things around here. So I'll let you all know how the audition goes. It's at the end of January.

Awesome Music

Whatever your political persuasion, wasn't the music at the inauguration excellent? The amazing John Williams song with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and others... It brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful music.

Can't Wait for Tuesday? Watch the Inauguration in Lego!

I keep shamelessly linking to Matt Blum's GeekDad articles, but here's another one. (And what can I say, a lot of what he puts on there is awesome!) Legoland in California has already held the inauguration, created out of Lego bricks. Video and Matt's blurb are here.

Star Wars Retold by Someone Who Hasn't Seen It!

Want a really good laugh today? Thanks (again!) to Matt Blum at GeekDad for this awesome post. If you have seen the Star Wars movies (original trilogy, of course) as often as I have, you'll really enjoy this recap done by someone who doesn't know what she's talking about.

Growing Older

I'm almost 36. I'm truly beginning to feel not-young anymore. It's no fun. I find I have to focus on the good things about growing older - the wisdom, the experience, my relationships, watching my children grow. Turning 35 wasn't fun, but I could kid myself that I was still in my early 30s somehow, and it was a nice round number that didn't end in zero. I'm trying to get excited about being 36 in April because it's a square number, and squares are my favorite shape. I want to do something grand for my birthday. I wanted something grand last year, but it didn't happen. I keep wanting an awesome experience specifically for my birthday, but usually you don't do those for yourself. Other people tend to do them for you. But perhaps I should just plan one myself anyway, since I seem to have control issues!

This is a horrible year for it (lack of money, trying to sell the house, etc.), but I’d love an awesome trip somewhere. Too bad it’s hard to get to Europe without flying. But how awesome would it be to take a train across the U.S., meet up with a transatlantic ocean liner, sail to Europe, spend a few months over there, and then return the same way? Who’s with me?

Dream Job? Not For Me!

There is a dream job available to anyone who loves the beach, the ocean, snorkeling, underwater life, and the southern hemisphere. I would hate this job, because I am not a great swimmer, and I burn too easily in the sun. But I think a good portion of the world's population would love this!

You're the caretaker for an island in the Great Barrier Reef. But hurry, they are only taking applications until February 22nd! If you get the job, please send me a postcard.

Hubble's Tonight's Sky

If you love astronomy, or you want to, be sure to check out the monthly Tonight's Sky thingy from the Hubble people. It gives you a little animation detailing constellations you can see that month, planet sightings, season details, and any other astronomical events. We are sure to watch it each month. I think each one is about three minutes long, so it's not a big time investment!

Geeky Cakes!

Here are some awesome Geeky Cakes. I've seen a few of them before on Cake Wrecks, but some of these are new to me. Awesome, and tasty! My favorites are the Lego one, and all the Mario ones. They are just done really well.

Star Trek Embroidery

A little Star Trek, a little embroidery, a little Carmen Miranda. This cracked me up so much. Unfortunately, Wesley Crusher isn't included.

Make Some Snowflakes!

Need a Snow Day?
I've seen cool snowflake making sites before, but this one is especially neat because you can also see what other people have made, and you can attach messages to your snowflakes.


Not the show, not the awesome David Bowie song, but my ever-growing minor fame is the subject today. Apparently word is getting around about my little newspaper blog! It is all very exciting.

First thanks to Dave Beaty, the awesome artist who did the neat superhero graphic for my "What Is Your Superpower?" article. He has a real love of comic books, so he got inspired!

Second, thanks to my high school classmate, Matt Blum, who writes for Wired Magazine's GeekDad blog. He wrote an entry that mentioned and linked to my Daily Courier article on superpowers! Thanks, Matt!

This is pretty cool.