Ironing is enjoyable for some odd reason. Kind of a stress-busting exercise. With one of these robots, I could make quick work of the awful chore of folding, though. Found this cool video on Boing Boing.
While I'm sitting here watching bubble lights, Santa is scrambling to get everything ready for tomorrow's big trip around the globe. Use the official NORAD Santa Tracker to follow his every move. In something like 4 hours, 31 minutes and 47 seconds, the tracker springs to life with real-time action featuring Google Earth radar and live Santa cams.
When NORAD shows Santa in the vicinity of your town, be sure to watch the skies! One Christmas in Terre Haute, my sister, Cleeta, saw Santa's sleigh up above the treetops on our street. And that's a true story.
"Society equates living in a permanent structure, even if it's a shack, with having value as a person." Becky Blanton shares insight into how she fell into homelessness and depression, eventually finding help and hope along the way.
The H1N1 flu is all over the place, so I'm going through buckets of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, coughing into my elbow and punching the elevator button with anything except my bare-skinned fingers. So far, it's working. Now, if I could only get a flu shot or if I'm lucky, both flu shots ... but the supply of vaccine has so far not made it to my locale, at least for the general public.
I have trouble with Post-It notes. My handwriting is big ... huge, in fact. Can't help it. Regular, square-shaped Post-Its just don't accommodate my giant words. And when I brainstorm, I use oversized sketchpads to hold all my scribbles, diagrams and musings. In fact, I have a big sketchpad sticking out of my briefcase right now with page after page of work-related notes, mostly scribbled during conference calls.
Imagine how cool it would be to be able to use an entire wall for ideas, notes and diagrams. Now, this is an exciting possibility and it's available through a company called IdeaPaint. I don't know how well this works, but in the video, they make it look easy to literally transform an entire wall into a dry erase board. My second question is how hard it is to go backward and make the wall "normal" again, so as to be able to sell your house at a later date, for instance.
When my boys were little, we had a corner of the basement all fixed up like a classroom and they loved playing school. IdeaPaint would have been so cool! I've seen "paint" for creating chalkboards, as well. Wonder how well this stuff works.
Tellman Knudson is on his way to running across the U.S. barefoot and at this moment, he's somewhere in Pennsylvania. Here he is with Sir Richard Branson, talking about this bold effort (associated with Virgin Unite) that's on track to raise $100 million to combat teenage homelessness. Over the years, I've known quite a few teenagers who were on their own at an early age, many of whom just had the bad luck to be born to wacky and/or unfit parents. Yes, some kids can be a handful, too. But turning them out on the streets? When you get down to it, teenage homelessness can occur for a myriad of reasons but always, always results in pain.
Apparently Tellman had a difficult childhood and now he's determined to lend a helping hand to homeless kids and Richard Branson's putting his considerable clout behind him. Take a look at Run Tellman Run for the scoop on this worthy effort. You can donate, arrange to run alongside Tellman, read his very interesting and insightful blog, and track his progress on the 99-day NY-to-LA trek. Barefoot! Don't step on any glass or sharp rocks, Tellman. And if the Amish won't wave back, heck with them. I'll be looking for you as you zip through Chicago in the upcoming weeks.
We all have these kinds of weeks where everything just hits at once. Busy busy busy. An unexpected and alarming health crisis in the family. Impossible to keep up with everything at work or home. Plus, our dog wants me to let him out every hour or so, all night long, so he can patrol the back yard looking for nightime intruders. Driving home from work Friday, the rain stopped abruptly and look what appeared.
Pretty cool, I thought, and also kind of soothing as if there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Rainbows usually have a brief lifespan, but this one just stayed and stayed. I saw some other drivers holding cellphones out their windows to snap the event. This thing was huge, seeming to stretch from Naperville to Plainfield.
I asked my friend, Jodi, who was golfing, if she saw it and indeed she did. In fact, I'll bet the whole western Chicago suburban area near us took note of this huge and basically perfect rainbow that hung in the sky for at least 15 minutes on Friday. What a nice way to end a basically cruddy week!
A couple years ago, I posted a note about how Southwest cheerfully and quickly re-booked Rory and myself on a different flight to LA so we could beat a snowstorm that stood in the way of an important medical appointment out in Cali. And this was during Christmas season, no less! Come to think of it, I've never had a bad experience on Southwest, a company with a good attitude and a great business plan. Here's the rapping Southwest flight attendant.
In an opinion piece in Australia's The Courier-Mail, author Helen Goltz joins others voicing support for fixed-term marriage. Amen! Committing to anything for life is a completely scary proposition. Cars, houses, even lifestyles come and go. The only thing I've ever committed to for life was motherhood, which is by far the best decision I've ever made. I'll be close to my kids forever, but let's be honest. Spouses come and go when, as years pass, they take separate paths, lose interest, evolve in different directions, find someone else, develop different value systems.
This isn't pessimism, but reality for half the people who get married. A friend recently mentioned his 30-year marriage, which is absolutely fantastic. I envy people who remain committed and make it work for a lifetime. For the multitudes who need to get out, however, a five-to-ten year contract sets different expectations, reminding both parties that they must be considerate of each other to keep the contract going. A contract would even simplify and cut legal costs on the way out the door.
This is a great idea. Let's see, if we had signed a 10-year contract, at this time I'd likely be in the midst of renewal negotiations with Chuck ...
Spoiler alert! Last night, I joined thousands of viewers like this one who were genuinely irked when Kutner was unceremoniously killed off on House. He was one of the show's most likeable characters, with a laid-back vibe that even House couldn't crack.
My friend, Jose Fonseca, directed and edited this music video. When Hurricane Katrina hit, I'll always remember that Jose didn't wait for the government to move in and take care of things. He got a truck, collected all sorts of needed items and drove there. He's a take-charge sort of person who is talented, smart and one heck of a videographer!
It's really impossible to describe the pain of seeing a family member or friend suffer terribly from depression. Often, the most clever, creative, funny and kind souls have the bad luck of inheriting or acquiring this disease. And it can be a debilitating, lifelong battle.
I've seen plenty of heartwarming videos online where children are surprised by parents returning from military duty. The clip below is my favorite, though. Seems like this military man arranged for someone to be home with a video camera to film his reunion with his dogs.
Aren't dogs great? You can walk out the door, go to the grocery store and they're all excited upon your return 15 minutes later ... as though you'd been gone for a week. These little guys go absolutely crazy, though. Watch the reaction of the black and white dog.
Rory's friend, Ken, invited him to tomorrow night's Knob Creek Machine Gun Night Shoot somewhere in the Kentucky wilderness. That's where they blast away at containers of gasoline that subsequently explode, lighting up the night sky. Sounds dangerous, and Lord knows I always beg my boys to avoid danger. (Just ask them if their mom is a pest and a worrier.)
Decades ago, when teachers at Warren Elementary quizzed us on our favorite subjects, mine was always current events. For some bizarre reason, I rejected cartoons in favor of Walter Cronkite and that "Industry on Parade" program that aired on Saturday mornings. In the '70s, Woodward and Bernstein were cracking the Watergate case while my fanny was planted in a seat at Parsons Hall, wildly scribbling notes during one journalism class or another.