Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've Moved!

Come visit me at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Video Killed the Lazy Mom

I love that my husband is a "computer guy."  He's smart.  Smarter than me or I would be able to put into words exactly what he does for a living.  When people ask me, I often just say he's a "computer guru" but sometimes I say "Programmer."  Because he does program and I mostly know what that means.

When I was younger I thought I wanted to marry a masseuse so I could always get a good back rub.  Turns out, marrying a C.G. is infinitely better because you get the best computers and round-the-clock repair service for free.  As an added bonus, my C.G. also gives back rubs.  What luck!

His technical savvy also translates to video cameras.  Santa Claus gave us a nice one this past year.  Now here's the weird thing:  I have an expensive scientific calculator that I used for some college classes.  I knew it was capable of interfacing with my laptop, playing games, and even connecting with other similar calculators to upload graphs, formulas, etc.  I never would have guessed that you can connect my calculator with our video camera so that it can be programmed to take pictures at 15-second intervals, thereby filming a time-lapse video.  Somehow my C.G. accomplished such an amazing feat.

I'm proud of him but I don't know that I fully support his new hobby as videographer.  His first film, entitled "An Evening with the C*****'s" is now featured on his Facebook page.  Ironically, what I find objectionable is not that this is an invasion of privacy.  (I suppose I could object to this.  An observant viewer will spot a stain on the carpet, for one thing.)  It's what the video reveals that bothers me.  My entire "performance" is done while I lay on the couch cozied up with my pink laptop, Cheez-Its and Coke within arm's reach.  What does this say about me?  One word comes to mind: lazy.

Then I had a semi-profound thought.  If you really think about it, our whole lives are "recorded," so to speak.  We're all going to die someday and we're going to enter the Pearly Gates and give an account of our life.  There will be no Johnny Cochran's to defend our actions.  Who would need an attorney, for that matter?  What's to defend?  God knows what we did.  He saw it all and it's all been "recorded."  The only thing that is going to save us from our damnable deeds is Jesus.  And we'd better know Him, otherwise we'll be taking a trip on the down elevator.

 Wow.  That was heavy.

So let's think about this in the here and now.  If someone were following you around with a camera, what would you do differently?  I'm not talking about using a tissue instead of just your finger.  (But if you do that... Ew.)  I'm talking about how you would spend your time, because when get down to it that really means how you would spend your life.  Would you really want to watch as much TV?  Would it really be important to you what place you held in the Bejeweled Blitz tournament?  (I can't help it.  I'll stay up a little later if I think I can beat my high score.)

"An Evening With the C*****'s" really convicted me.  If nothing else it's served as a reminder to me that life is short.  I need to get off the couch.

The Ants Go Marching One by One

It seems every time I go in my backyard I'm bitten by an ant.  They must be hiding out there, secretly stalking me and then creeping up my shoes undetected.  I don't know what I've done to provoke these attacks.  So I did a little research.  Turns out, you don't have to do anything like disturb their nest to incite the little devils.      

Here's some interesting facts I found: fire ants don't actually bite you, they sting.  The bite is just to grab hold of you with their pinchers and then they sting you from their abdomen, injecting you with venom.  You could end up with a small welt, which may actually be the result of ten tiny stings.  You're not supposed to scratch it because that brings the blood to the surface, which allows the venom to spread.  (You can use ice to try to reduce the itching.)  The right thing to do is use soap and warm water to scrub the whole area.  One recommended home remedy is to soak paper towels with Worcestershire sauce and apply them to the stings.  Weird.

On a side note, we could all learn a lot from ants.  They form colonies that may have millions of ants in them.  Those colonies are called "superorganisms" because they work as a unified entity, working together to support the whole colony.  Within these ant societies, they communicate through pheromones, formulate defense strategies, and teach each other interactively.  In some cultures, ants and their larvae are considered an "insect caviar," which can sell in the U.S. for up to $40 per pound.  I never knew that.  Personally, I wouldn't care how much value they had, I don't want them in my house or taking over my backyard.  There's a whole city of them out there.  Haven't seen any rubber tree plants go by yet.  But I wouldn't be altogether surprised.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Irrigation" Laws

My teen doesn't have a hearing problem.  She has a listening problem.  I'm not surprised.  I often see her with the TV on mute, wearing earphones that are blasting tunes while she's on the computer Facebook'ing.  She's not unusual.  Most teens are exactly like this, giving 1/3 or less of their attention to any one thing at a time. 

So it comes as no surprise that when I tried to have an actual dialogue with her there was a "communication problem."  To bait her into the conversation I got her attention by asking, "If your Dad and I decided to, would you be willing to move to Canada?"

Her:  "What?!  You mean we'd actually move?"

Me:  "Maybe.  Would you want to?"

Her:  "Really?  To California?"

Me:  "Noooo.  C-A-N-A-D-A.  Canada."

Her:  "Yeah, whatever.  Why would we move to Canada?"

Me:  "Not 'whatever.'  They're totally different places.  Canada is a whole other country."

Her:  "Well, why would we move anyway?"

Me:  "Well, it's getting kind of scary, you know, with the immigration law and all."

Her:  "So, you're serious?  We would actually to move to Canada?"

Me:  "Not necessarily.  I don't know.  Your Dad and I were just discussing things."

Her:  "Ok, well, tell me about the irrigation laws then."

Me:    "Not irrigation!  Immigration!  Irrigation is when you water land to grow crops and stuff. [I wouldn't attempt a more in-depth explanation than this.]  The immigration law is going to force cops to ask about a person's immigration status.  It's going to be illegal not to "carry your papers."  [Clearly, I was losing her interest.]  "Lawsuits have been filed!  People are threatening boycotts!  Aren't you hearing about this in school?"

Apparently, they're not. That's an outrage, as far as I'm concerned.  Here's one reason why:  my husband completed the census a long time ago.  Sunday afternoon there was a knock at the door.  It was a census taker who informed us they had no record of us completing it.  So, my hubby took the time to answer all of the questions... for a second time.  Other than the inconvenience of a stranger showing up at our door, getting the dogs to bark and disturbing the baby, all just to give info we'd already given, what really set me off was hearing him ask, "Is there anyone of Hispanic descent living in your household?"

EXCUSE ME?!?  Did he just ask us specifically if we had any Mexicans in our house?!?  He went on to ask about the ethnicity of each resident.  That was a separate question.  The fact is, he went out of his way to ask if anyone in our house was Hispanic.  (There isn't, but I want to know what would have happened if we'd said yes.)  That's alarming to me.  It smacks of Nazism.   

But I don't care what your stance on the law is.  I personally have a lot of problems with it.  First of all, it's the job of the federal government to secure the border, not the state of Arizona.  Secondly, the state is already having financial troubles.  We've even recently begun paying 2% tax on food to curb budget deficits.  I'm happy if the tax will actually ensure some policemen and firefighters get to keep their jobs, but it could drive away snowbirds who will just spend their winters someplace that doesn't put a tax on food.  But I digress... 

Enforcing the new immigration law is going to hit Arizona in the pocketbook, as well as the boycotts which threaten a revenue loss estimated between $7 million up to a whopping $52 million.  Nobody can say yet how much it's going to cost to train police officers and incarcerate the arrestees.  Not to mention that according to the IPC (Immigration Policy Center) Arizona could lose more than $25 billion (that's with a B, not an M) in economic activity.

Ay ay ay!  It makes me scared just thinking about it.  Like, scarder than I was when I first saw "Nightmare on Elm Street" as a kid.  That was pretty scared.