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Showing posts from September, 2005

Firefly rocks!

Hubby's been taping episodes of Firefly so we can watch a whole bunch of them at once (and so we can hit pause when ever the kids do something crazy). I was hooked after the first couple of episodes. All of the hype about the movie Serenity had me impatient to see the rest of them. I had hubby borrow the series DVD from a friend so we could watch the rest of the episodes (which we're doing as I type) before we go see the movie. Don't know when we'll be able to see the movie though. Babysitters are scarce 'round these here parts.

I don't know what I was doing when the series first aired but I'm kind of glad that I missed it then. I also missed out on the trauma of having episodes aired out of order or not shown at all.

So when does the campaign to bring the series back begin?

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:
A few hours out of the house by myself doing what I want (translation shopping). Last week I bought 3 pairs of shoes. All at once. All for myself. I don't think I've ever done that before in my life. This week I finally found a wallet to replace the one that was stolen.
A sense of peace that passes all understanding.
Opportunities to hear what others have to say about different issues. Especially when we have differing views. Civil discourse is so uplifting.
Freedom.
Sophia elbow deep in a box of cereal that she swiped from one of her brothers.
What are you thankful for?

Christians and Harry Potter

La Sahwn Barber's doing research for an article about Christians and the Harry Potter franchise.

I discovered the science fiction/fantasy genre of books when I was about seven years old. It was a book about a small town where people kept turning into frogmen. I won't spoil the story for you in case you come across the book yourself. Anyway I was hooked. My dad wasn't too pleased about me reading sci fi/fantasy stuff. He gave the standard it's demonic/evil/witchcraft arguments. I always responded that it was make believe and I knew the difference between what was in the books and what was real life. I also knew the difference between right and wrong.

I was the kind of kid who read the stories and tried to imagine myself in the thick of things. How would I deal with the challenges and conflicts? Would I make the same decisions that the writers had the characters make? How would I express my faith in terms that the characters of the books would understand? You wouldn't …

Pirate name

Image
My pirate name is:


Calico Ethel Rackham



Often indecisive, you can't even choose a favorite color. You're apt to follow wherever the wind blows you, just like Calico Jack Rackham, your namesake. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.


(Via Dirty Sam Read. Arrrgh!)

Blogging light

Between the cooking, cleaning, laundry, bill paying, dispute mediation (between the kids), and all of the other little things that go along with being a mother I haven't really had much time for any moral outrage or insightful meditation so posting has been light. It may continue being light for a while until I can claw my way to the top of the heap of responsibilities. I'll keep up the Thankful Thursday posts as they help keep me sane. One of the few bright spots for me these days is sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Maybe I'll post some pictures of a few of my finished projects.

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for/that:
Sis 3's birthday is today. Happy birthday!
The roof is almost done. I just have to figure out what to do with the water damage that occurred while I was lobbying to have the roof fixed.
Homemade biscuits. I've got the oven heating up to bake a batch right now.
Changing seasons.
Annual church hay ride tomorrow. I missed last year's because of Sophia.
More of the house than usual is still cleaner than it usually is despite all of the kids' best efforts to totally trash the place.
I finally made new curtains for the dining room. It's so bright in there now that I keep thinking that I left the light on.
What are you thankful for?

It ain't over yet

Hurricane Rita is fast reminding people that the Atlantic hurricane season isn't over until November. The one good thing about Hurricane Katrina is that it seems to have done away with much of the hurricane bravado that so many people had. No one seems to be taking any chances with their lives now with the possibility of Rita doing serious damage in the Gulf. No one seems worried about the political fall out of ordering evacuations either. The fall out from not ordering evacuations in a timely manner is far worse.

Again everyone's talking about what this will do to oil production in the Gulf. Can we ease off the oil for just a hot minute? I got some words for you about that oil.
If there is anything that I know about people, it is that they can be remarkably creative when they really, really want something. The best evidence of this comes from a rather unexpected source: underage drinking. The creativity with which adolescent teenagers obtain fake photo IDs pretty much makes the…

Unions

I've been meaning to write bout this for weeks now. All summer one group of workers or another has either been on strike or threatening to strike. I can't help but think that it really isn't a very good tactic to threaten financial ruin to the entity that is ultimately responsible for you being able to put food on your table and clothes on your kids' backs. But that's just me.

Frivolous Friday

Image
Okay. Deep breath in, deep breath out, and lets just forget about the previous unpleasantness for a bit shall we? (Via Reading, Writing, and Ranting)

Your Brain's Pattern
Your mind is a creative hotbed of artistic talent.
You're always making pictures in your mind, especially when you're bored.
You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts.
And although it may be hard to express these thoughts, it won't always be.What Pattern Is Your Brain?

I really do always draw pictures in my head to help me better understand things. The other dancers in my troupe have come to recognise the drawing-pictures-in-mind-head look I get when we're working on new choreography or costuming. I'll take a good diagram over written instructions any day.


You areWhat Rejected Crayon Are You?
I snickered so hard at this I nearly choked on my gum.


Your Power Color Is Teal
At Your Highest:

You feel accomplished and optimistic about the future.

At Your Lowest:

You feel in a slump and lac…

Grrrrrrrrr Ha!

Woke up this morning to discover that my purse had been stolen. Hubby and I spent all morning canceling credit cards. Now I'm waiting for the cops to show up so I can file a report. I also have to figure out what to do about my missing Social Security card. The next door neighbour found my driver's license and Wegmans shoppers club card on the curb. At least the enterprising criminal genius didn't get anything important. Sigh.

Update 1:17 PM The enterprising criminal genius really didn't get anything at all. Less than an hour after speaking with an officer he called me back to say someone in the neighbourhood had found my purse. He brought it back (after dusting it for prints of course) so I could check for what was missing.

The criminal got away with one credit card (now cancelled), maybe about $2.00 in pocket change, a couple of calling cards, insurance and benefit cards, old college IDs, some pens, a few old receipts, and the $2.00 bills that hubby's grandmother g…

Abortion and the disabled

I must have missed this part of Senator Brownback's speech yesterday from the Roberts confirmation hearing. I'm posting it here in case any of you missed it as well. Emphasis is all mine.
And I want to take another point on that to tell you -- we talked a lot about the disability community, and well we should, and the protection needed for the disability community. And that's important, because I think it really helps people that need help, but it helps the rest of us to be much more human and caring.

Senator Kennedy is helping me with a bill because a number of children never get here that have disabilities. Unborn children prenatally diagnosed with Down's Syndrome and other disabilities -- I don't know if you know this, but there was a recent analysis, and 80 percent to 90 percent of children prenatally diagnosed with Down's Syndrome never get here -- never get here. They're aborted in the system.

And people just say: Look, this child's got difficulties.…

Random observations about the President's speech from New Orleans

President Bush looks like it was his home and lively-hood that was blown and washed away by Hurricane Katrina. I wouldn't want his job, now or ever, for all of the tea in China.

The President has a lisp. I don't think I ever noticed that before. He compensates for it very well.

Every time anyone talks about rebuilding New Orleans I think of a song my sisters and I sang when we were kids.
Don't build your house on the sandy land.
Don't build it too near the shore.
Well it might look kinda nice,
But you'll have to build it twice.
Then you'll have to build your house once more.

A bit irreverent perhaps but I can't help myself.

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for/that:
I remembered that today is Thursday and that I needed to do my Thankful Thursday post.
The roof is being fixed. It's a bit tough on the greenery around the house but it was all about to go dormant anyway.
More of the house than usual is cleaner than it usually is.
I've put away all most all of the clothes I washed this week. (The clothes from previous weeks are another matter entirely.)
Me: Ethan what is this? (Holding up a picture he just drew)
Ethan: It's a apple! (Big grin.)
And it really did look like an apple too. I'll post a picture shortly. So things took a bit longer than I expected. Here are the pictures.
Ethan puts the toilet seat back down when he's done using the toilet. Some young lady is going to be very happy about that some day.
A dancing baby
The family escape artist (Isaiah) has been a little less prone to escaping since starting school last week.
What are you thankful for?

Roberts confirmation hearing

On the CNN news banner less than ten minutes ago:
Democrats try to break Roberts "cone of silence"
Media bias? What media bias?

Condi on "black enough"

"I've been black all my life. Nobody needs to help me how to be black." Said by Condoleeza Rice to Bill O'Reilly in response to a question about other blacks thinking she is a shill for the President. Ha! You go girl.

Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't

President Bush took responsibility for the failures all around in response to Hurricane Katrina. This of course does not satisfy those who have despised the President from day one. The piece below was lifted from the comments section here. It just about sums up what people really say about the President. I find many of my liberal friends are in a bit of a muddle over Katrina. They know that somehow it's all Bush's fault, but they're not sure how to frame the argument. I made a couple of these handy crib sheets, then went to Kinko's to laminate them against crocodile tears:

If: President Bush returns to Washington DC to work the disaster from the Oval Office. Then: He's out-of-touch with the situation on the ground. He should be at the scene of the devastation (this worked great against his father with Andrew in 92).

If: Bush goes to the Gulf coast to work the disaster from the ground. Then: He's practicing photo op presidency, he'd be more effective in DC (th…

Gaza Burning

Gazans Burn Synagogues in Israeli Soldiers' Wake

First I am not at all surprised. I don't think anyone expected anything less. If you're willing to send your children off to blow themselves up in the hope of killing a few Jews burning down a Synagogue is child's play. Second, I can't help but think that the withdrawal from the strip is a set up by the Israelis. All the world now has a clear view of the real priorities of the Palestinians. Whether or not the world will see what is right before its eyes is another matter entirely.

See La Shawn Barber's comments on this.

This NPR report makes no mention of the burning of the Synagogues and only mentions in passing the looting taking place in Gaza.

Uganda Conflict Action Network

I received this email a few days ago and got permission from the sender to post it.
Hello!

This is Paul Ronan here (as you've probably figured out by this point). As I'm sure most of you know, I studied abroad in Uganda last semester. What you may not know is that since I got home I've been working with the Uganda Conflict Action Network (Uganda-CAN, www.ugandacan.org) to try to help to do something about the insane nightmare that northern Ugandans are suffering through. I'm trying to get people at SU and the greater Syracuse community involved in our work, and although I know this kinda stuff may not be everybody's cup of tea, I'm at least gonna make you read this email. If you are really lazy, skip to the end and read the "Checklist to Stay Paul's Friend".

Last semester several other students and I studied for several weeks in northern Uganda, which was been wracked by a civil war since 1986...... 1.5 million people displaced, 25,000 child abd…

Confirmation hearings

I contemplated watching the confirmation hearing of John Roberts today. I even tuned in for all of 30 seconds and had the misfortune to hear Ted Kennedy's voice. I quickly realised that I just don't have the stomach to watch the grandstanding and cat fighting today. I've already voiced my opinion on the way Senate has been demanding to know what Roberts thinks about this, that, and the other thing. And I'm really not in the mood to watch someone's character be beat upon for political gain. Folding my laundry is far more appealing.

September 11, 2001

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the September attacks on the United States of America. I still remember but if you bury your head deep enough in the sand you could almost pretend that it didn't really happen. Almost.

Autism Archive

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Flawed research into causes of Autism
ADD/ADHD and autism spectrum disorders

Thursday, March 04, 2004
Personal experience with autism

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
To pre-school or not to pre-school?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004
First Day of School

Saturday, July 10, 2004
School update

Monday, August 29, 2005
Adventures in motherhood: Teaching Ethan to write

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Autism, mercury, and vaccines

Thursday, September 08, 2005
Brain connectivity and autism

News from the hurricane front

I received this news from a family member who's on the front lines of the hurricane relief effort last night.Wanted to give you all a head's up and status report on our efforts for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.

I'm on the ground in Louisiana, part of a team from CCC who are helping the Christian Emergency Network/Foundation for Hope/Red Cross come up with a system for resourcing evacuees with churches around the US. We've got a site where churches can register to take people for 3 months: www.foundationforhope.org and we're tweaking the whole process to make it work well in Lafayette, where we have about 7000 people, and duplicate it around to other areas which also have people in need.

We're having major technical difficulties, which you can pray for. Phones hardly work, if at all, both POTs (landlines) and cell. We've had sporadic internet access (mostly down), and are in the same boat as FEMA, sharing the good and bad as we work side-by-side. We'…

Blogroll Update

Brain connectivity and autism

This may explain why Ethan has an easier time with writing when he talks about what he's doing by naming each stroke in each letter than he does with just trying to write in silence.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Brain Synchronization[link fixed]

In contrast to people who do not have autism, people with autism remember letters of the alphabet in a part of the brain that ordinarily processes shapes, according to a study from a collaborative program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Compared to the control group, the volunteers with autism showed more activation in the right hemisphere, or half, of the brain, and less activation in the left hemisphere. The left hemisphere takes the lead in processing letters, words and sentences, whereas the right hemisphere plays a larger role in processing shapes and visual information.

Dr. Just said that the brain could interpret letters either spatially, as geometric shapes, or linguis…

Thankful Thursday

Hubby and I are in the midst of an argument about cleaning out the attic. In one sentence or less, I want to throw stuff out and he doesn't. Consequently I've gone and forgotten what I was going to be thankful for today. I guess I can be thankful that hubby and I will make up and the attic will probably be a little less of a junk haven.

Autism, mercury, and vaccines

I don't spend much time in the blogosphere's autism community (didn't really know there was one 'til now) but may be I should. I found this post, Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet, from June about a mercury-in-vaccines-causes-autism article written be Robert Kennedy Jr. Someone emailed said article to me back when it first hit the news. I didn't do much more than skim it then because it wasn't really saying anything that I hadn't heard (and rejected) before.

Orac of Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac Knows") does a fine job of addressing many of the problems I have with the mercury/vaccines-cause-autism crowd. There are also some follow up posts linked to at the beginning of the above post. Here's an excerpt:
Confusing correlation and causation. The article repeats the usual canard about how autism was unknown before the 1940's, which, coincidentally was when thimerosal-containing vaccines were first used. The article even go…

Back online

Sis 1 and Sis 2 were here for Labour Day weekend. They kept me away from the television, the computer, and NPR which was good for my mental and emotional health. Now I've got to catch up on what's going on in the world.

Frivolous Friday

I need to do something light hearted or I'm going to explode and bite somebody's head off. (Can you imagine how the survivors must feel if just watching this stuff on television makes your blood boil?)

I said something to Ethan yesterday that I wasn't expecting to have to say for another ten years or so (he's 4 now). "Ethan turn that music down!" At least it he wasn't listening to Turnequet (did I spell that right?) or something.

Sophia has figured out that she can go all the way up the stairs by herself whenever she wants to. Before she would just go part way up trying to get to me if I went upstairs. Now I'm wondering if I should show her how to get back down. She's only wanted to come back down twice since Tuesday and then she just stood at the top of the stairs and yelled until I got her. Most of the time she plays with the boys in Ethan's room.

Isaiah still likes to go splashing in the toilet. I'm surprised he hasn't made himself sic…

Now I'm starting to wonder (Up dated)

It's Thursday. Hurricane Katrina hit on Monday. People are still wandering around with out food, water, other supplies, and a place to lay their heads at night. If reporters can get in (with the food and water they need to sustain themselves) to report from the areas devastated by the hurricane why can't others with food and water for those affected also get in? If helicopters can fly in to send us back pictures of people huddled on highways and wading through water to get to higher ground why can't we fly helicopters in to drop those people food, water, and supplies until we can get them out? What's stopping us from dropping some personnel where there are large gatherings of refugees, triaging the group, evacuating those in the worst conditions, and leaving supplies for the rest until we can go back and get them? What is stopping us from dropping leaflets to let people know what's going on? What's stopping us from setting up temporary public address systems to…

Thankful Thursday

It's hard to find things to give thanks for in the face of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina but there's always something. I'm thankful for/that:
The sun rose this morning.
I'm alive to write this.
You're alive to read it.
There are many many people ready and willing to help hurricane survivors.
All of those who are already helping hurricane survivors.
What are you thankful for?

More Hurricane Relief Resources

I got these recommendations for charities from an elder at my church. He also mentioned minsitrywatch.com as a tool to evaluate any ministries that you may consider giving to. These groups are all highly rated by the site.
Operation Blessing International, Virginia Beach, VA
http://ob.org/
International Aid, Spring Lake, MI
http://internationalaid.gospelcom.net/
Northwest Medical Teams, Portland, OR
http://www.nwmedicalteams.org/
Children's Hunger Fund, Mission Hills, CA
http://www.childrenshungerfund.org/


He also included some of the more well known charity groups working in the Gulf.
World Vision, Federal Way, WA
http://www.worldvision.org/
Samaritan's Purse, Boone, NC
http://samaritanspurse.org/
World Relief, Baltimore, MD
http://wr.org/
Salvation Army
http://www.salvationarmyusa.org
Food for the Hungry, Phoenix, AZ
http://www.fh.org/
Mission to the World (Presbyterian Church in America)
http://www.mtw.org

Instapundit has an extensive list of othhers giving their recommendations for charities.

Te…