September 2008 - Posts

Shark Tale
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 4:02 PM

 Is it just me or is the following just crazy:

I just read where a man from the Florida Keys jumped in to save his pet dog from a shark! He took his dog for a swim and a 5-foot shark paid them a visit. It nearly swallowed the dog whole. Greg LeNoir got his dog back by hitting the shark in the back causing it let go of his dog. He is a carpenter, so I guess he put some serious muscle into his punch.

Now I know we tend to get very attached to “man’s best friend” and will do anything for them, but this one is a little beyond what I imagined someone would do for a dog. Now being a mother, I can’t say that I wouldn’t jump in after my child if they were being attacked in the water, so never say never (I’m not saying that I would punch a shark, but mothers do what they must to protect their young). But his dog? Now, that is a true dog lover. Will he get an award of some sort? He had a news story written about him by CBS News, so maybe he’ll make the “Late Show” with Letterman (whether as a guest or a “mention” remains to be seen).

Fortunately, both Greg and his dog made it safely to shore, so I guess the shark gave up. The dog suffered minor injuries and is not critically injured. No word on the condition of the shark.

by parker | 6 comment(s)
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Identity Issues
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 3:38 PM
After 5 years with no problems, my youngest daughter seems to be having identity issues. I believe that most parents pick a name for their child before they are born. Some wait until the day of birth to choose a name. We decided to name her before she was born and it seemed to be the perfect name both during pregnancy and once she was born. Even to this day, her name seems to fit her just right, at least according to us.

Now according to her, we should have picked a different name. She would like a new name, not the one she has. How often does this happen? Did you want to change your name when you were younger? I find it quite funny that a 5 year old wants to change their name. Maybe she is influenced by TV shows or other children at school. Who knows. She does have quite an imagination, so that could definitely be a large factor in this. We do have an older daughter, but this is our first experience with the name change thing.

One day, I think I will start calling her a different name, just to see if she likes it. She might find out that is not what she really wanted in the first place. Whether or not I call her by the name she chooses remains to be seen. Or, Maybe I should come up with some sort of crazy nickname to make her appreciate her given name. That should clear up the problem, don’t you think? I’ll give it a try and let you know what happens.


by parker | 2 comment(s)
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Language Concepts: Kansas and Arkansas
Monday, September 22, 2008 11:03 AM
My husband is so happy this time of year because it is football season and there is plenty to go around. College and Pro football games. Unfortunately, even though I have "partially" watched these games with him for years,  I still don't know one team from another or who plays for what team. Once I do finally figure out what player goes with what team, he retires or is about to. Such is life.

Well, he was watching Arkansas play the other day. At the same time, I needed to help my youngest daughter with her reading and spelling skills, so we were trying some phonics. Ironically, my oldest daughter and I ended up focusing on the spellings of different states and the sounds. Since the Arkansas game was on, this was the perfect example.

How do you spell Kansas? (OK, I just spelled it, so I should ask, how do you say it?) But then look at and say Arkansas. (arkansaw) Now, what is the deal here? How did two words so similar end up so different. Listen, this is why our children have a hard time learning the English language. I think we totally confused the little one, but she is only in Kindergarten, so we’ll straighten that out later. This week we were supposed to do three letter words.

And forget it for our foreign visitors/residents. I feel so sorry for them when they come here and learn basic concepts of our language so they can communicate. Just when they think they’ve got it, they come across something like: Kansas vs Arkansas or read (did you just pronounce it as reed or red) and we can come up with plenty more.

When we traveled to Mexico, we went with a couple years of spanish class and a small booklet and we were set. No confusing concepts in the spanish language (at least, not compared to English).

Just a thought…


by parker | 3 comment(s)
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Typical Family Dinner
Friday, September 19, 2008 11:12 AM

 We were having the normal family dinner. You know, the one where the kids really don’t want what you cooked because they were looking for hamburgers or chicken nuggets instead of real food. Of course, we had to go through the normal parent ‘stuff’: “make sure you eat it all; don’t waste food; that costs money” etc, etc.

Well, if you are a parent, you realize that you can’t leave the table until your children finish eating. Otherwise, all that talk about finishing their food ends with them “accidentally” throwing it in the garbage or giving it to the dog as soon as you walk away.

We grew tired of sitting at the table waiting for our girls to finish eating the other night, so we walked away to go start cleaning the kitchen. We still had our eye on the girls’ plates though. Half an hour goes by and we had lost track of those plates and moved on to other things. So my husband asks our youngest daughter:

“Did you eat all of that food?”
She replies: “yes.”
I said “you finished it”
“Yes!”
He says: “You mean to tell me you ate all of the food on your plate?” (at that point we were all looking at the leftover food on her plate that she neglected to clear off to help back her story);
So, she says: “Oh. I thought you said did I eat all that I could eat. Not did I eat it all.”

We had to laugh at that one. I don’t know why we think that once we start raising children, they will be so much different than we were when we were kids. I remember hiding food in my napkin, flushing it down the toilet and giving it to my brother to eat if he liked it. Why do I think my daughter will be any different?

by parker | 2 comment(s)
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Kindergarten: What A Year
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:01 PM
Well, my youngest daughter is well into her kindergarten year now and boy have we had some experiences with her teacher.

We started off with orientation. This was the week before school started. Unlike the rest of the kindergarten parents, our class had to stay in the classroom for an abnormally long period of time in order to listen to our daughter’s teacher explain that they will learn to read and write. Yes, this took what seemed like, no I take that back, what WAS over two hours. We were supposed to go meet other teachers in her “special areas” (art, music, physical education and so on) but we were not able to do that at orientation due to the length of time we were asked to spend in the kindergarten area. This teacher is so proud of a special binder she created for the kids, that we listened to a full blown presentation (complete with overhead—yes, there are still overhead projectors out there—wow!) on how to use this binder. Put important papers here, communicate with me here, homework will be here, etc. There are so many folders in this binder that I get confused. Some papers could go in more than one folder.

Well, two weeks later we had Open House. Now we get to meet other teachers that our daughter interacts with during her school week. But first, we must go to the kindergarten area for a “brief” introduction to the kindergarten teacher. This was an opportunity for those who did not make it to orientation to learn all about how the children will read and write and to learn about that special binder. So I ask, do you think we got a brief presentation so that we could go meet other teachers and school staff? You’ve got it! The overhead came out and I thought I would die. The entire Open House was to end by 8:30pm and that was for older children. Kindergarten was to be done by 7:30, yet at 8:00 we were still listening to this presentation.

I still had to go to meet teachers in the  4th grade area for my older daughter. By the time all was said and done, we left after 9:00pm. This was a school night, so all that talk about being sure the children get to bed early and get plenty of sleep was out! I was exhausted, the kids were exhausted, we got about 5 minutes with each special area teacher and I have had enough of learning about how to put my notes in a kindergarten binder!


by parker | 1 comment(s)
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Warning: Fish Could Cause Injuries
Monday, September 15, 2008 8:00 AM

This story (from earlier this month) comes from a newspaper in Arkansas. A 15 year old boy was out riding on an inner tube in a lake in his area. While being towed by a boat, a silver asian carp (fish) jumped out of the water and smacked the boy in the face. Can you imagine being attacked by a fish while tubing? The fish hit him so hard it knocked him out. He went to the hospital (can you imagine being the parent who explains this story to the hospital staff) unconscious, but he came to, not remembering a thing about what happened to him. This fish literally knocked the sense out of him. Unfortunately, he had to have surgery (the boy, not the fish) to wire several of his teeth together. The fish also caused whiplash.

Many questions come to mind here: How does the hospital file this accident? What medical billing code covers a fish knocking you out? Do you think the hospital staff believed the parents of the boy, or do you think they wanted to call child protective services?

The crazy thing is that this is not the only reported injury in this area. These fish have caused quite a few injuries on the same lake where this young boy was tubing. Guess it’s about time they post the proper signs in the area to warn any boaters/swimmers. What should the sign say?

“Caution: Lake full of jumping fish.”
“Warning: Lake contains jumping fish. Enter at your own risk”
“Seriously, look out for jumping fish”
"We are not responsible for what happens to you out here. People have been known to be injured by fish."
 

by parker | 2 comment(s)
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This One Is For Procrastinators
Friday, September 12, 2008 8:00 AM
Many of us might be very good at getting things done, but we tend to do them at the last minute. We just didn’t plan ahead of time. Well, if you were able to implement the online calendar (or have some sort of other great reminder/organization system for yourself) try to put yourself ahead of the game.


For instance, if you know you have to travel in two weeks, why not make a list of everything you will need to pack to go on that trip. Save that list on your computer. Place a reminder in your calendar to let you know to print that list at least one week in advance.  List everything you will need to get done before you leave town.


Will you need to have your mail held? Go ahead and file the form with the post office. Will you need to hold the newspaper? Let them know. Will you need to make arrangements for your pets? Go ahead and call early. This will come in handy right before holiday trips when spots tend to fill up fast. Have plans to have laundry washed and ready to pack days in advance of leaving. Put dry cleaning in early enough to be able to pick it up a few days before your trip. If you are driving, have the car maintenance done at least one week in advance as well, oil changes, tire rotation, fluid checks, etc. If you are flying, be sure arrangements to get to and from the airport are well planned out. This will save you a lot of frustration.

Hope this helps. Now, even if you don't have a trip planned yet, go start your list!

by parker | 2 comment(s)
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Do You Use Your Email Account For Reminders?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:00 AM
Face it, majority of us have so many dates to keep track of that we have a hard time keeping up with them all. Some dates stick in our minds and we don’t have to worry of ever forgetting them because they are special to us. But what about keeping a business calendar? Sometimes we write down those important dates, and then forget to look at the calendar or paper where we wrote the date down. Maybe what you need is something that will jump out at you right when you need it. I guess it is safe to assume that since you like to read blog posts, that you spend a lot of time on your computer, either at work or at home. Whether you use Outlook or some sort of pop email account, you should have some sort of calendar available to you. Try taking a look at it and adding in some important dates to you. Upcoming business meetings or conferences you have to travel to, doctor or dentist appointments, school events, when it’s time to change your oil, anything. Set your reminders for days, hours or minutes in advance to remind you by email that the event is coming up. This could take a lot off your mind if you tend to try to remember everything. If you read your email from your cell phone, then this will be all the more useful to you. If you don’t, most of these calendars are printable if you need a copy when you are away from your computer. I have found the annual reminders to be a life saver too. Give it a try.
by parker | 1 comment(s)
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To Forward, Or Not To Forward
Monday, September 8, 2008 3:21 PM

We are trying to limit the amount of mail that we receive. Taking steps to help save that tree, like signing up for e-billing on all of our accounts and removing our names from the junk mail list. Well, the amount of mail we get has gone down considerably, but whether that is due to our efforts to cut it down or to post office “error” we have yet to find out.

We moved into a new home over 2 months ago. We had to “visit” the prior home at least once each week to get all of our mail out of the box. Although we did put in our mail forward request a little late (about one week before moving) we did not expect to have to go looking for mail at both addresses after their so-called “10” day forwarding time. Two and three weeks went by and we still had mail at the prior address. The home we moved out of is on the real estate market to be sold, so it has been vacant since we left. To this day, we still receive the mail of the homeowner where we currently live and she forwarded her mail in advance of moving the same way we did. So now, we get her mail and send it to her. Our mail goes to our previous address. We have left a note for that mail carrier that the property is vacant, and they still leave mail in the box. Then, we realized that we should stop taking it out so that it can pile up enough for the mail carrier to get the point. The only problem with that is our concern over leaving our mail unattended for that long. Our prior neighbors were keeping on the lookout, but you still want your mail delivered to the correct address. Several calls to the post office were no good. No one wanted to try to track the change of address order, they are trained to tell you that it takes up to 10 days. Even though we told them it had been more than 10 days, they still tell you it takes up to 10 days. Now I see why people go “postal”. That place can’t keep it together! And to anyone who works for the post office, I want my mail sent to the address I moved “to”, not the address that I moved “from”. What is that form for if you are going to ignore it?

 

by parker | 2 comment(s)
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In-Office Vacation Spot
Wednesday, September 3, 2008 2:43 PM

Every once in a while, it’s nice to get away from it all. We can’t always take a vacation or take time off work when we need it. So how about a few moments of bliss right there in the office? Try using a nice, large, comfortable bean bag chair. One day my boss gave me the ok to try out a new bean bag chair in the office, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I really liked it and often dream that I am in it while working at my desk and getting fat in my office chair. Then I got our “office” dog (my co-workers sweet puppy) and took him with me. Take a look at what we thought of it (this comfy chair is brought to you by Sumo):

 

by parker | 3 comment(s)
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After the Armadillo
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:28 AM

(You have to read my previous blog to understand this):

Night four came and all was quiet until we heard banging out on the road. Yes, it’s time for the night crew to catch up on some lost time and work on expanding the highway a couple of lanes. This just started, so who knows how long they will be out there. It could be months. It could be over a year. The noise is like rolling thunder, only every night. We think it’s time we start playing soft music at night so we can sleep in peace.  No matter where we have lived, it is always something.

Our first home, was next door to a home that attracted non-stop parties that start at 11pm. For those of you who enjoy partying at night, sorry but we old, working folks need sleep. We get very cranky without our sleep! It also leaked every time it rained and those who came to “fix” it, were not very good at their job.

Then, there was our second home. This was more of a family oriented neighborhood, however, we were fortunate enough to have some teenagers directly next door. There were two girls whose boyfriends came to pick them up or drop them off around 2-3 am. This would be ok if it was your average drive up, get in (or out) the car and go event. No, they had to yell at each other, slam doors and “breakup” with each other at least twice a month. No peace there.

So, we move into the current armadillo/highway construction home. We are looking to build in a quiet area with enough property so that our neighbors will not be close by on either side and, of course, it will not be anywhere near the highway.

And what happened to the armadillo? Well, after Tropical Storm Fay came through with all of her rain, it made for double the size puddle we had before I laid out the cardboard. So now we need to come up with a more permanent fix to our problem (more than likely, some sod).


by parker | with no comments
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