Monthly Archives: January 2011

Size does Matter!

So, yesterday evening, I was relaying to Donovan the large change over the course of my short life in the size and power of the personal computer.  We researched some of the first computers, and I even introduced him to punch cards.  As a side note, I still cannot find my piece of Mylar punch tape – wherever did it go!

Anyway, in reviewing an announcement that came a few weeks ago by Intel, I found this bit of information.  Intel now has one of the smallest Solid State Hard drives on the market.

I’ve been impressed at the size of the 2.5 inch hard drives that go into laptops (they’re roughly the size of an American dollar bill).  Take a look at the latest 80 GB hard drive, compared to the dollar size 2.5. 

Pretty soon, we’ll have watches that can store a terabyte of data – what do you think of that Mr. James Bond?

 

intel_310_ssd2

They tell me that his story was violent…

So a public school teacher told me this afternoon that in thirteen years of teaching, she had never had a child illustrate a picture book the way my son had, so it had upset her, and she wouldn’t tolerate it.  I let her know that in thirteen years, she has never had a child as amazing as my son, end of story.

Here is a little more detail:

The teacher drew pictures of Santa, and he was supposed to write the story behind it. 

He started off with Santa not wanting to get up, so a bear hit him over the head with a bell (instead of ringing the bell while standing over him).  Then they tried to steal his pants (instead of helping him get his pants on).  Next, the reindeer chased Santa, and a dog tried to eat the reindeer, and Santa crashed his sled, got stuck in a chimney and went to jail for trespassing.

All very appropriate to the pictures (if you were to see them) – but none of them fitting the "perfect sheep like mold" setup by public schools.  The teacher tried to tell me that it was violent, and tried to use the fact that she had never had a child in thirteen years, teaching 3 sets of students each year, ever write a story like that, and she was deeply disturbed. 

Her version of "creative" was when one child said that Santa had to say "Ho Ho Ho" three times before he did anything.  I’m thinking that OCD is not creative, it’s a disease – and was left pondering what a sad existence she must have to think that "Ho Ho Ho" is creative, and think my son’s creativity "disturbing".  I made sure to point out what a tragedy it was that she never had a child as creative as my son. 

I then proceeded to ask her if she lived in the same world that I live in, if she had ever watched the loony toons, and finished my diatribe by letting her know, that without any question, the one thing I will not let public school do to any of my children is to file them into round pegs and strip them of their creativity and their identity.

Other than that though; the school system as a whole is doing very well to help him work through his anxiety, hyperactivity, and boredom regarding the pace of going to public school.  They have definitely been willing to work with him at his own pace on some of the issues that he does need to work on, so I have to give them the level of appreciation that is due. 

But dampening his creativity, and molding his identity into what they think a "good little child" should be, is something that I will never let happen!  Ever!

An Epic Adventure from the dark side back

over the last two weeks, I have been on vacation.  Over the last two weeks, I have been too sick to do much outside of the house.  One thing, however, we have done, is we have watched the Star Wars movies from beginning to end (most of my children and myself).  I have always wanted to do that – but have never really had the time.

It was a great opportunity to spend a little quiet time with my children, for the oldest, it also provided some prompts for him to ask some of those more basic questions of life.

I haven’t watched Star Wars in a long, long time; and for one, I am so glad that the first three were made, as they provide so much important insight.  It always felt like the last three were not complete.  Who was Darth Vader, what happened to him, why had he turned to the dark side.

As we sat and watched the movie together, the feelings it stirred up had quite an impact on me.  I could totally see what happened to Anakin, I could even, in my own mind experience it.  I have had things in this life that were so precious to me that I would do anything to keep them, anything.  As Yoda said however, greed leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side of the force.

Anakin was so wrapped up in what he wanted, that he didn’t take the time to experience what he had.  He was so consumed that it blinded him, and eventually, he himself caused what he was trying so hard to prevent – and then, he lost hope. 

“But”, Donovan said to me, “It’s never too late to change”.  Unfortunately, it’s much easier to see that from the outside looking in.  However, Anakin took his path from innocence, to evil, and in the end, through acts of selflessness by someone else who cared enough for him to give up their own life; he was redeemed. 

How much that touches on my heart, as I have experienced that; in fact, I experience that almost every day – it’s like a mini-journey.  My children will too.

To often my heart can grow hard, and calloused, and there are things I want, and I’ll work for them at any cost, all the while neglecting those things that are most precious to me.  And then, to gain those things most precious to me back, often takes more than I can muster in my own strength.

I am so thankful for the reminder that in the end, there is someone that is willing to help us, and with that help, we are then enabled to choose the good side of the force, to throw off the bondage of the dark side, and to seek redemption.

It was like watching a movie about my own life, just as my namesake – Darth Jedi – a precarious balance between the good side and the dark side.  How Epic!

A reminder about Credit Card Companies

Not that I should expect anything different, but it’s funny, when you have plenty of money to spare, the credit card companies are like leeches, everyone is sending you offers and trying to woo you into a relationship.

When they start seeing that money drying up (the 2010 expenses have been unbelievable after depleting storage of excess for the adoptions) – they are like rats abandoning a sinking ship.

Over the last two months we’ve had credit card companies close accounts and reduce balances all without prior-notification – to the point of causing me to have to make unexpected $500-600 payments on a single card as it’s available balance was reduced by a couple hundred dollars.

With other cards, now that we have balances for the first time, they are sending us balance transfer offers with very fine print stating that you will start paying off your lower interest balances first before your higher interest balances.  So they are throwing out offers of lower interest so-as to get us to pile on lower interest loans onto higher interest loans; so they can compound interest.  The most obvious is when you have credit cards from the same company, same credit line, etc. and they give you low interest balance transfers for the accounts that carry a balance but not for accounts that do not carry a balance.  Worst part is, most people don’t realize this is what they’re doing.  Sleeze balls!

Little do they know that this is one of the ways I weed out the good card companies from the bad… that in a few months I will pay off and close the accounts that tried to screw me over, and no longer feed them the excessive amounts of money with each swipe at the gas station or the grocery store. 

However, it’s always nice to remember that credit card companies are the equivalent of bottom feeding, blood sucking leeches & rats. They should come with a warning label (Note: we will be here for your convenience, but don’t turn your back as we’ll take every opportunity to try and screw you if it looks like we can).

C’est la vie!