What's on my mind.

01 February 2010


Cool stuff! Go check it out.

That's about as articulate as I can manage today.

27 January 2010

Confession Time

So, remember that boy (CR) that I was stressing out over back before Christmas? Well, I pretty sure he likes me. We've been hanging out together fairly regularly (except the week he had a killer cold) this month. Things are moving slowly, and I'm ok with that - we aren't spring chickens and both have ex-fiancés*. But I have a confession, and I don't know if I should share it with him yet or not - I've been having rather naughty thoughts about him all day today. I don't want to freak him out - we've kissed but we haven't played any tonsil hockey - and I'm sitting here thinking distractingly naughty thoughts about him, since late yesterday evening.

So if you walk past my office and I'm smiling and blushing while staring off into space, you'll know why.

*When plural is it the masculine spelling? Should I say fiancé(e)s? Since I had a fiancé and he had a fiancée. Can a former English major or some one who knows French speak up?

15 January 2010

Attitude Adjustment Needed

Last night while having dinner with CR, we briefly discussed alcohol drinking limits, teen drinking, etc. (very briefly, mostly in the context of our former teaching careers). I just checked and I don't seem to have ever written about this here before, so I thought I'd let y'all know my thoughts on this topic.

I don't think strict prohibition until the age of 21 works well. I think there's some allure of the forbidden (particularly with teens) but more importantly makes it hard for families to teach teens to drink responsibly. A progressive introduction more like the German's* have makes more sense to me. The parent of a young teen (14?) can order an alcoholic beverage for their child at a restaurant. (I doubt anyone requires documentation for the age of the child or the exact legal relationship of the adult and teen, I assume it's kind of at the discretion of the server/manager/...). Later (age 16 perhaps?) a teen can order alcoholic beverages as long as there is an adult in the party, again at a restaurant or café. At 18 one is an adult and has all the privileges thereof.

But more important than the laws are attitudes and modeling.(Please note I'm not an expert in the field, have not raised any children,...) If parents (and the rest of the family) model responsible behavior and have less of an 'all or nothing' attitude then the kids are less likely to binge drink. Notice I say "less likely" not "won't" because nothing, short of the absence of all alcohol, can completely eliminate binge drinking. Teens are, on average, impulsive, poor judges of risk, and susceptible to peer pressure - these three things together don't make teenagers the best decision makers. On the other hand they aren't completely imbecilic robots who do everything their friends say either. I think if parents drink responsibly around their kids, show a dislike for excessive drinking and talk about it, be honest about their own youthful excesses, and even let kids taste drinks if they want (did you like beer the first time you drank it?), the children will grow up with a healthier attitude toward alcohol. Research even bears this out.

I read an article (or heard a story on NPR) about a study+ that looked at first-generation Irish- and Italian-American families (parent's born in old country, kids born and raised in US). In general the Irish-American families practiced strict prohibition^ until one 18 years old; alcohol was often drunk outside the home; and drinking to drunkeness was accectable. In the Italian-American households children were given age-appropriately sized glasses of wine with dinner, alcohol was mostly drunk with the meal; and excessive drinking was not socially accectable. The researchers followed the children in these families into adulthood and the Italian-Americans were less likely to binge drink as teens and young adults and had a lower incidence of alcoholism than the Irish-Americans.

There will always be teens who get wasted every Friday night but maybe if we change our attitudes about alcohol and teens then it could be fewer?

*At least as I remember from discussions in class 15 yrs ago. And, no, I don't know about any other European nation's laws.
+If I had any idea where I'd read about this I'd link to it but I read the article at least 6 months ago.
^except for communion wine for the RCers, of course

04 January 2010

Present from the Dog

or dogs?

But first - the laundry room lizard reading about physics.

If you are of a weak constitution, you may want to skip rest of this post and take a look at these instead.

I'm not sure where it came from but Honey or some other dog/dogs Wednesday night brought me this:

I'm pretty sure a neighbor had been butchering this little guy and left the head and spine, carelessly, where dogs could get to it. From the tip of the nose to the hip bone he's maybe 5 feet long.

The head is about 14-16" long. I tossed him into the woods Thursday by Sunday it had been pulled across the yard and the skin on the head was gone. I'm sparing y'all that sight. The ribs are gone now, too.

He must have had some kind of rack because it was hatched off.

Luckily it's barely gotten above freezing this past 5 week so he's not rotting terribly fast and the there aren't many flies. Hopefully Dad will find him and toss him in the brush today, otherwise I'll have to go out when I get home and do it in the dark.