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Showing posts from February, 2007

Autism Report Cards

I've got this idea rolling around in my head about how to help parents of autistic children help their kids. What I would love to have is a district by district, school by school break down on what services are available for autistic students. I want to know how accommodating districts are in meeting the diverse needs of autistic students. Some schools and districts do better by their students than others and I want to know which is which.

As parents we are often at the mercy of the school districts who hold all of the cards and know more about what programs are available than we do. It has been my experience that they don't always share that information. We've had to go to outside sources to get a more clear picture of what we could and couldn't expect from our school district. It is also the case that some school districts are unaware of what programs they could utilize to help their autistic students.

Over the years of my involvement with our school district I've …

Now Iraq May Be Another Vietnam

Aside from the fact that I wasn't born until after the whole hoary mess went down and so have no memory of it I have been thinking much the same thing ever since Democrats started talking non-binding resolutions. After years of resisting claims that Iraq was another Vietnam I am now ready to admit that those who made the claim maybe after all right. But only because those who made the claim over and over again have done their best to make it so.
Gambling on Defeat
By Michael Novak

Once again, they have repeated their deed of 39 years ago, turning victory into defeat, setting the stage for last-minute departures by helicopter, banging with rifles the up-reached hands of friends of the United States, who are begging not to be abandoned.

I thought that day that that obscene, humiliating, disgraceful departure from the United States embassy in Saigon was the most dishonorable day in American history. I still feel sick thinking about it.

That dishonor was brought about by a Congress determi…

Birth certificates for stillborn babies

Parents of Stillborn Babies Push for RecognitionParents in a number of states around the nation are fighting for what they see as recognition of their stillborn babies. They want the state to issue birth certificates for their babies instead of fetal death certificates. A few states have complied. Fourteen states have already passed Missing Angel legislation allowing the issue of birth certificates for still born babies. You can go here to find out about your state's status on this matter.

Abortion rights groups (the story specifically mentions the National Organization of Women) are concerned that this could lead to an erosion of abortion rights. The MISS Foundation which sponsors the missing angels legislation push addresses this in the FAQ section:
Q: Everyone who I talk to about this seems to want to bring “abortion” into this issue – what’s up with that? Why do they do that – and how can I get them to understand that “abortion” isn’t what it’s all about?

The arena of women’s rig…

Storm Story

Round about 8 o'clock this morning I happened to look out of the window to see that the snow was already halfway up the tires of our minivan. I told hubby that he might want to start digging out ASAP if he wanted to make in to work for 9:30AM. Round about 9 o'clock he made it outside to start digging out. About 5 or 10 minutes later he came back in and asked me to get the kids all trussed up in their snow gear so they could help trample the snow in the driveway (no school today, several districts closed up shop last night, the rest this morning). So I got the kids all dressed up and went out there with them.

There was enough snow piled on the front porch in front of the door to make getting out difficult. Out in the front yard the snow was almost up to my knees. Sophia could barely move. Isaiah was happily pouncing on the snow. At one point he was laid out in the snow like a beach bunny gettin' her tan on. Ethan was the only one who made it to the driveway. There was so muc…

Signs of Spring?

The birds must know something I don't. They were happily chirruping in the neighbour's arborvitae this morning as I was getting the boys ready for school tis morning. Meanwhile, 1 to 3ft snow is predicted to fall across the region between tonight and tomorrow. We may have yet another snow day.


This is much more menacing than the map above.

Conversations with the kids

Sunday school teacher: Ethan, what's the memory verse? Jesus came to seek and...
Ethan: (dead pan) Jesus came to seek and (pause) hide.

Then he turned and walked out of the room. The memory verse is Luke 19:10, Jesus came to seek and to save.

Hilarious

Weird Al has got to be the most creative entertainer in a generation. I've known about this for a while now but today was the first time I've seen the video. I much prefer the Weird Al version to the original. He's up for a couple of Grammys tonight. Good luck dude!

Fun with science

On the Trail of the Death Cap Mushroom
"...Pringle rounds a corner on the trail, coming across her postdoc, Franck Richard, belly down in an alder swamp.

He's ecstatic. Richard's lab back in France studies fungi that only grow in alder patches. And here, on Point Reyes, he finds something similar to the European species but clearly different. In fact, it's a species unknown to science.

Pringle and grad student Ben Wolfe join in the hunt, and with little effort they find eight new undiscovered species. One looks like a small gray potato, another is luminous white."

Oh how that brings back the memories! Out in the middle of nowhere, in a cloud of insects (some of them looking to make a meal out of you), sweat rolling down your back, digging around in the leaf litter and coming up with yet another unidentifiable little brown mushroom.

This is a great story you should read/listen to it.

Unless you're a trained professional mycologist or a highly skilled amateur it'…

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
Central heating.
Hot water.
The car works.
Warm socks.
Google.
Warm blankets.
Snow pants.
The snowfall we've gotten so far can be measured in inches rather than feet.
What are you thankful for?

Denying the "Undeniable Fact" of Global Warming

Below is part of a response made by "Aaron" to my global warming post that was quoted on another blog:
Global warming is a fact, an undeniable fact, as recognized by every reputable scientist on the planet.

I suggest you all watch Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and see if you can refute just one of the facts presented their, just one. But I imagine you're afraid to even watch, because it might make you face the reality that every other thinking person on the planet is being forced to face.

Or try reading the thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers which all come to the same conclusion that the disasters warming of the planet is the direct result of human folly and greed. The entirety of this comment can be found here.

Since it has been slow blogging for me this week, and because I think people really need to consider this issue very carefully, I'll post my response:
Aaron the dispute is over anthropogenic global warming. Do you know what that means? It is the c…

Snow day

Yesterday while I was listening to the local NPR station an emergency alert was broadcast. The lake effect was coming and with it some of the coldest air we've seen yet this winter. Wind chills of 30 below and frostbite in 20 minutes the alert warned. I was glad I didn't have anywhere that I really needed to be for the next few days.



Today I've been stuck in the house with all of the kids. It was so cold, and in some places there was so much snow, that most of the school districts in a goodly portion of the state closed up shop. What do parents who work during the day do with their kids when there's an emergency closing? I get to roll over and try to get a few extra minutes of sleep before the kids start banging on doors demanding breakfast.

I'm not a morning person so many a winter morning I secretly hope for a school closing. When they come (like today) I usually decide that they're not all they're cracked up to be. For one thing the boys really miss being …

Conversations with the kids

Hubby and Sophia had this conversation at the dinner table just a short time ago.
Sophia: Daddy what you doin'?
Hubby: I'm cutting up your pancake.
Sophia: Why?
Hubby: So you can eat it.
Sophia: Why?
Hubby: Do you want to eat this pancake or not?
Sophia: Sure!
Thankfully Hubby cut this conversation off before it really got going and Sophia really did want the pancake. We've been getting a lot of why questions out of Sophia lately and I've been hard pressed to come up with answers good or bad. Really how much can you expect a two year old to understand about how a microwave, oven, or dishwasher works or why mom has to pay the bills on a regular basis.

We're all gonna die!

My one anthropogenic global warming question that encompasses many of the problems that I have with the issue. What is the evidence that current climate trends are any different from any of the other times that the global climate has oscillated between "hot" and "cold"?

I find Tim Blair's take on this new development rather endearing "YEEEEE-HAAAAA! We’re all gonna die, according to a global headline consensus." He got links to several stories about the UN's new consensus that human beings are the cause of global warming.

Frankly, I find the "consensus" to be a rather egotistical assessment of the influence of human beings on the natural world. Yeah we can muck things up when we don't pay attention to what we're doing. However, this rock we live on was spinning in space and doing its thing long before we crawled out of the ooze or walked out of Eden (depending on which creation story you choose to believe).

Here's a link to the

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
Sophia and I have been able to hide out in the upstairs of the house during the day which is much warmer than the downstairs.
It's February! Just a couple more months until spring.
Sophia happily chatting away all day long. She only stops talking when she sleeps.
Isaiah bopping along to the songs I sing to him and to the music playing on the CD player.
The heat in the car is working. It was on the blink for a couple of the coldest days last week. That was not at all fun especially since I couldn't get Sophia to keep her mittens on at all.
What are you thankful for?

Families and War

I heard this program on NPR yesterday, Personal Stories of the Iraq War
While arguments rage over troop increases or withdrawals, for millions of Americans and Iraqis the war is a family issue. The mother of a recent enlistee, the father of four U.S. servicemen, and two Iraqis talk about how they are directly affected by the war in Iraq.
I found it interesting that the callers that I heard were more interested in talking about how much they don't like President Bush, the war is about oil, the war is a personal vendetta, etc rather than themselves and their family members who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Chaldean-Iraqi expatriot on the show made it very clear that were it not for the intervention of US troops Iraq would be a different and not good place. Her message seemed very much to be that she was grateful that the sons and daughters of these people choose to serve.

I also found it interesting that one mother said she was proud of her son for joining the military and p…