Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day

The kids didn’t have school today, of course.  We've got at least 6, maybe 8, inches of snow out there.  J had to go in.  I knew he would as soon as I looked out the window and saw that the asphalt was visible in the tire treads in the road.  Though he almost certainly would have gone in anyway.

Funny thing is, there isn't any asphalt visible out there now, and it hasn't snown any.  It's done some blowing, but I wouldn't think it enough to cover it.

I've been making cookies today.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cold and Snowy

Brrr … it's cold today.  Actually, it's been cold all week, but today it's really snowy.  3-4 inches already, and no sign of stopping.  I've been feeding the fire all day, but it still feels quite cool in here.

The kids had school today, it wasn't too bad when they left, but it really got snowy while they were gone.  Most of the other districts around had early dismissal, but ours didn't.  I don’t know why not.

I considered taking the car down to get the kids at the bus stop, but watching the trouble the cars were having getting into the apartment complex there, I was glad I didn't.  Some of the front-wheel drive ones made it with much spinning and swerving, some backed up and tried two or three times, and one tried several times, and finally gave up and parked in the church parking lot, and toted a full laundry hamper across the street.

After we waited about 10 minutes past the usual time for the bus, it drove by the other way, and the bus driver yelled through the window that she hadn't been to the school yet, and was going to pick the kids up.  Most of the other folks left at that point, but I didn't figure it’d be worth the walk up the hill, and then back down again, especially since I had no idea when it'd come back by again. At that point, it would have been nice to have a car to keep warm in.

I'm expecting J. to walk in any moment now.  Hopefully he'll have no trouble getting here.  Actually, I'm rather hoping that things are bad enough in the morning that he'll decide to stay home.  Not that I expect that to happen.  The only other time it happened was in the ice storm last February.  That was after he didn't get home until almost nine, and the power went out.  I don’t expect that it will happen this time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Pictures

Hello isn't working this morning, or I'd post a couple here. See here for pictures.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Day after Halloween

The kids had a fun time trick-or-treating last night at church.  This is at least the third year that we have gone there for trick-or-treating.  They both came home with big bags of candy, which we’ll distribute over the next few weeks.

N. wanted to go as Dash, his character from ToonTown.  Dash is a dog, so we made him dog ears, and had to figure out how to attach them to his head.  If we had found the elastic sooner, we could have sewn it to the ears, but as it was, we tried bobby pins, which kept coming off.

C. Went in as Rufus, from Kim Possible.  She designed her own mask, and seemed to like it, though once again we had trouble keeping it on her.

We went early enough this year to be home not long after seven, so we actually got a couple of trick-or-treaters this year.  We didn’t get any the last couple of years.

I’ll try to post pictures soon.

Its happened again. More Strange Mail.

This one’s not quite so strange, but still inexplicable.  (Until, of course, we get an explanation.)  This time we got a Priority Mail from someone we don’t know in Florida, with a regular envelope inside it.  Inside the regular envelope was a folded sheet of paper with eight $500.00 American Express Travelers Checks in it.  Once again, no explanation of what we were supposed to do with it.  No sign of any foreign country anywhere in the package.  Although the inner envelope did have USA at the end of our address, which usually implies that it was mailed from overseas.

Somehow, we must have gotten on the “Stupid Americans who have agreed to launder money for us,” rather than the “Stupid Americans who might agree to launder money for us,” list.

If it happens again, I’m going to begin to be seriously annoyed.  

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Weird mail

On Friday we got something very strange in the mail. It was in a homemade brown paper envelope, which was hardly sealed, with a Nigerian stamp on it. I know what you’re thinking. Nigeria and scam are almost synonyms. But it gets even weirder. Inside was a folded piece of black carbon paper. Folded up in the carbon paper were four $1,000.00 post office money orders addressed to my husband from someone in Chicago.

That was it, no letter, no note, no explanation at all.

I pulled it out of the mailbox, look at it, and said “What on Earth?” I’d never heard of a Nigerian scam which involved them sending us money.

So I called J., and asked, “Have you been talking to anyone from Nigeria?”

He agreed that sounded weird, but he hadn’t talked to anyone in Nigeria. Of course we’ve both gotten those junk emails from Nigeria, but we usually just delete them.

On Monday, he checked into it, to see what he could figure out about it. He called the FBI, and they told him the postal money orders were probably forgeries, and he should go to the post office to check them out. He did and they were.

Apparently the scheme is that the Nigerians get you to agree to help them process money. They send you the money orders; you keep a portion of the it, and send the rest on. By the time you discover that the money orders are phony, they already have your money, and you’re out of luck.

Two mysteries remain:

1. What they send us the money orders when neither one of us had agreed to pass it on, and had absolutely no idea where it was when we saw it?

2. What was the point of the badly sealed brown paper envelope? Why would they want to draw attention to those envelopes? If they can afford the nice printer is used to forge the money orders, they should be able to afford to buy envelops to send them. Especially if in theory they’ve got someone in Chicago who is buying the money orders. I just don’t understand it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Trip to the Zoo

We went to the Zoo yesterday. The kids had the day off, so J. took a vacation day and we all went together and had a lot of fun. N. had been looking forward to spending the whole day playing ToonTown, so he tried to be miserable. He didn’t quite succeed; there were too many fun things to do, like playing on the playground (of course) and seeing the meercats and the warthogs (Hello Timon and Pumbaa!).

Most of the animals were relaxing, of course, some of them far away from where we could see them. We never did see the lion cubs or the gorillas. The hippos were visible for a little bit, then they vanished under water. Looking carefully, we could see them maneuvering under water (looking rather like small whales). But someone just walking by probably would have thought the enclosure was empty.

Unfortunately, several things were closed for renovation, including the Red Barn (which had a lot about farm animals in it. The Kansas City Zoo has been working a lot for several years now trying to go from the traditional zoo cages to more realistic settings for the animals. Of course, this also gives the animals a lot more places to hide so we can’t see them. But there are interactive displays in many places that let you know how things work, and the type of sounds the animals make, and other fun stuff.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hello This is a test

Hello.  This is a test of the free Word plug in.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Starlight Theater--Disney on Record

We went to the season opening of Starlight Theater last night, "Disney's On Record". We've noticed previously that they tend to have one olden goldie, one brand new, never-before-seen musical, one "adult " musical, and one "children's " musical. I'm guessing that "On Record " goes for both the new one and the children's one.

With our season tickets, we bought the meals at the Applause Club, a delicious buffet. This week it was barbecue. I thought it was delicious, but Carly decided to go for a pickle sandwich and grapes. Nathan just had the grapes.

"On Record " is a collection of Disney songs from all eras, songs like "Lavender Blue", "Beauty and the Beast", "Minnie's Yoo Hoo", no dialogue, very little plot. In fact, the plot is so subtle that some folks might not realize that there was any.

It's set in an ostensible recording studio, with the musicians in sort of a "Hollywood Squares" arrangement on stage. While we walking around before the show, we did notice that there was nothing down in the orchestra pit, and when we saw the stage, we knew why. The songs were done well, with minimal costume changes, minimal scenery/props, but a lot of dancing. One thing that I found interesting was that frequently the songs were sung by a person of the opposite gender as in the original. And the mixes were interesting also, putting songs together that I would not have thought of, such as putting "We are Siamese" and "In the Tiki Room " into "Everybody Wants to be a Cat". I was most impressed with the song "Be Our Guest" sung in four languages.

I really enjoyed the show, but Nathan thought it was boring. He kept asking to go home and go to bed. Part of the problem might be that during the first part of the show there were people in front of us, so he could only see while sitting on my lap. They left during intermission, so the second half went better.

The next show is "Footloose" in two weeks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another Day

Rainy weather today. Had a bit of everything, (except snow) rain, wind, hail, (just a little pea sized hail). I suppose we also didn't get much sun. We even had a tornado warning. There wasn't a tornado anywhere near here, but the sirens went off anyway. Which I suppose beats the time several years back, when the sirens went off after the tornado had gone through. Oddly enough, the warning system went through a major overhaul shortly thereafter.

But anyway, the sirens really scared my son, even after we checked the TV and saw that the storm was no where near us.

Complaint Generator Page

My complaint about Jasini

Because many of the things I'm about to say regarding Jasini have already been beaten into the ground, I will try to keep this letter short. Let me begin by citing a range of examples from the public sphere. For starters, Jasini likes to cite poll results that "prove" that the moon is made of green cheese. Really? Have you ever been contacted by one of her pollsters? Chances are good that you never have been contacted and never will be. Otherwise, the polls would show that Jasini is out to blitz media outlets with faxes and newsletters that highlight the good points of her jaundiced hijinks. And when we play her game, we become accomplices. Astute observers have known for years that she is doing everything in her power to make me die in oppression, chaos, and despair. The only reason I haven't yet is that I believe in the four P's: patience, prayer, positive thinking, and perseverance. It is deeply unfortunate that with Jasini's announcements, simple credos like "check your sources" and "argue the other side of the question" have gone out the window, since we must acknowledge that I myself find it most unfortunate that this letter had to be written. As mentioned above, however, that is not enough. It is necessary to do more. It is necessary to take up the mantle and comment on a phenomenon that has and will continue to inspire a recrudescence of ridiculous fatuity.

When we tease apart the associations necessary to Jasini's reprehensible, illiberal activities, we see that it seems clear that Jasini appears to have a problem with common sense and logic. But we ought to look at the matter in a broader framework before we draw final conclusions on the subject: We see that in public, Jasini vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, Jasini never fails to feed us a diet of robbery, murder, violence, and all other manner of trials and tribulations. Mankind needs to do more to point out the glaring contradiction between her idealized view of fascism and reality. Understand, I am not condemning mankind for not doing enough; I am merely stating that it is easy to see faults in others. But it takes perseverance to take a strong position on Jasini's doctrines, which, after all, create a climate in which it will be assumed that our achievements reflect not individual worth, talent, or skill, but special consideration. This is a lesson for those with eyes to see. It is a lesson not so much about Jasini's unsophisticated behavior, but about the way that Jasini ignores the most basic ground rule of debate. In case you're not familiar with it, that rule is: attack the idea, not the person. If she got her way, she'd be able to ridicule, parody, censor, and downgrade opposing ideas. Brrrr! It sends chills down my spine just thinking about that.

Despotism is the answer, but only if the question was, "What's the moral equivalent of letting Jasini separate people from their roots and cut their bonds to their natural communities?" To say merely that her newsgroup postings are a ticking time bomb, set to crush the remaining vestiges of democracy throughout the world is an understatement. Her recommendations have no basis in science or in human experience. Instead, they consist of unbalanced epigrams derived from a world view rooted in snippy tribalism. More prosaically, there is something self-centered about her shabby mendacity and sneaking duplicity. Jasini vehemently denies that, of course. But she obviously would, because if one could get a Ph.D. in Sesquipedalianism, she would be the first in line to have one. Now that this letter has come to an end, let me remind you that it was intended to provide an accurate, even-handed, and balanced discussion of Jasini and her demands. Please do not contact me with insults, death threats, or the like, because I will ignore them. If you disagree with my arguments or can provide further information about Jasini, please contact me and I will endeavor to make any necessary corrections to this letter.


Funny! :-)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

New School next year.

We had a meeting with our daughter's teacher today to discuss whether she should stay at her school or start attending our local school next year.

When she started attending this school way back in kindergarten, our local school did not have the ability to deal with her autism, but since then we've moved within the district, and the current local school should be able to handle her. Not to mention the fact that she's grown and changed so much in the last three years, and learned how to handle herself better.

We decided at the meeting that she should go to the local school next year, and ride the regular school bus rather than the special ed bus, but they'll pick her up at the door. That will sure be easier than walking the two of them all the way down the hill like I've been doing. And it also should help the kids across the street.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Nathan and Cubbie
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Cubbie Award Ceremony
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Carly and Sparky
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Carly gets plaque
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Awana Awards Ceremony

Last night was the Awana Award Ceremony. This was a big step for both of my kids. Carly finished her third year of Sparks, and got her plaque. I think she was really proud of herself, as she should be. Next year she should start Truth in Training. Nathan finished his second year in Cubbies, and will be in Sparks next year.

A huge scare

My boy really gave me a scare today. I was walking the kids down to the bus stop, when a dog ran up and started barking at us. I've met this dog before, he's really a coward. He'll run up, bark at us from about ten feet away, and then run away, without getting any closer.

Apparently my son didn't know this, since as soon as the dog ran up, barking, Nathan ran off across the street, right into the path of a coming car. Fortunately, the car was going slowly, and was able to stop just a few inches short of him.

He, of course, was absolutely fine, and couldn't figure out why I was so upset.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Peanut's Playhouse artist's rendering (from
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

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Carly in Kanga Roo
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Opening day at Worlds of Fun
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Carly and Nathan
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Nathan in Krazy Kars
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Charlie Brown and Carly
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Opening day at Worlds of Fun

This was the opening weekend for Worlds of Fun. Being season ticket holders, we tried to be there for the opening. And we would have been, too, if they hadn't opened the gates early. By the time we were there at ten to 10, not only were the gates open and admitting people, there wasn't even any suggestion of a line backup, the full opening crowd had already gone through.

My daughter had was walking down the sidewalk while reading the park map, so she slipped and got some scrapes, making it necessary to by the first aide station. A couple of bandaids, and she's all better. Amazing what bandaids can do.

The kids both really enjoyed all the rides we went on. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of mentioning to my son that he was now big enough to ride the Fury of the Nile. We thought that'd be something he'd enjoy, but apparently he got scared. He kept telling us that he wanted to go home. (Between the other rides, which he really enjoyed.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005