Monday, August 22, 2011

Never was there a tale of more woe...

Than that of Michelle and her dryer-o.

I have been blessed with craptastic dryers my entire life. We didn't have one as a kid. All the clothes went out on the line. Which was fine with me, I loved to play tents out in the clothes. Except in the middle of winter, when they mostly just froze, and we had to hang them in the bathroom to let them thaw and finish drying.

I was 6 when we got our first dryer. It was so warm and toasty. I would just sit in front of it, and feel the warmth. That was my last good experience with a dryer. Now granted, most of it is my own fault. I did my own laundry as a teenager, and managed to shrink almost all of my clothes. Then, going to college, I don't know how many bras got stolen out of the dryers at the laundromat. But again, my own fault for not staying with my clothes. After marrying Dave, we used to take our clothes to a little laundromat down the road from us. One that was popular with creepy dudes. You never knew what you were going to find when you took your clothes there.

So you can see why, when Dave finally commissioned, and we moved into our first real house, with our first real washer and dryer, we were ecstatic. Too bad it left blue streaks all over our clothes. Wah-wah-wahhhh. That was when I swore off dryers. I went back to the clothesline of my youth. But when we moved out of that how, we got a new dryer, and it's convenience beckoned once more. And we had a pretty good relationship, me and that dryer. Until we moved again, and the top got smashed in. It still worked, but now it was damaged goods. Our new house came with a wonderful dryer, which worked beautifully, for all of 2 weeks. Then we were back to using our damaged dryer, which in addition to being dented on the top, now had a malfunctioning timer. You had to set a kitchen timer, and go turn the dryer off when the time was up.

Now we are in another house. And in addition to the dented top, and malfunctioning timer, the dryer has taken to shocking me every time I touch it. Yes, that's right, before it was satisfied with merely being annoying, now it has resorted to outright hostility. Oh, and it only gets hot when it's cool outside. If it's hot outside, the dryer refuses to work. Sigh.

We have plans to get a new washer and dryer when we get to California. However, I don't have high hopes. I've been hung out to dry one to many times...

(That was corny. Sue me.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creepy? Um... yeah.

So, during my shower today I was thinking about how sad I was that my new neighbor had died before I got a chance to get to know her. My landlord told me that she had been sick for a while, and it wasn't unexpected. But it's still kind of sad. But then I started thinking about the neighbor at our other house here in Dayton that had died. And then about our neighbor on base in Cali that had died. Then our neighbor off base in Cali that died. And I came to a sick and horrifying conclusion. In the past 6 years, we have lived in 4 houses. And at every house, a neighbor has died. No joke.

-California City House-

We moved in, we saw an old lady out a couple times, and then she was gone. Come to find out, she died in the house, and her son found her 2 weeks later.

Death number 1.

-Edwards AFB House-

Everything was fine while we were there, then the day we moved out, a Marine 2 houses down shot his wife and himself. They had just moved in.

Death numbers 2 and 3.

-Beech Tree Ct House-

An old lady across the street, died in her sleep one night. She had been really healthy, but one night, she just died.

Death number 4.

-Tomberg St House-

The nice older lady just next door died of cancer, within months of us moving in.

Death number 5.

To quote the Bhagavad Gita, "Now, I am become Death."

Please don't be my neighbor.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Watson's win doesn't scare me

So, some people are all freaked out about Watson winning at Jeopardy. Not me. Here's some background, just in case you aren't a Jeopardy freak, like me. IBM wanted to see if they could build a computer that could beat the two best Jeopardy players ever. Ken Jennings (the man I crushed on through out most of college) and Brad Rutter (a bastard). They made a big deal about all the other uses for Watson, but really, I think they just wanted to see what they could do, just to do it. Anyway, so Watson won... by a lot.

Now the internet is all weepy about the end of humanity... blah... blah... blah...

I disagree. Here's why. It's not that Watson won. Computers are smarter than people. I figured that out in 1996. It's HOW he won. He won by being a computer. The final Jeopardy question was, "this city's largest airport is named after a WWII hero, and it's 2nd largest is named after a WWII battle". Well, obviously, the answer is Chicago. Ken got it right, Brad got it right, and Watson got it WRONG. Now, he had $33,000, Brad had $5000, and Ken had $2400. Watsone only risked $900. ONLY $900. Watson doesn't know how to play the game. And that's why I don't fear for humanity.

There is so much more to being human than fact recall, or being able to answer questions, it's being able to risk it all. Watson wasn't able to grasp that what makes Jeopardy so great is that in the end, you roll the dice and no matter how much you calculate, you still might be wrong. Watson doesn't feel the adrenaline, he doesn't feel the pressure, he plays the same game whether he's sitting in your living room or in the studio. He doesn't care. And until a computer can feel an emotion, I think humans will remain the dominant life form on this planet. Because when it's all on the line, a human will risk everything, even in the face of overwhelming odds, and you can't win big unless you're willing to risk it all.

A computer can calculate the odds, but if the payoff is worth it, a human doesn't care, and the human spirit can't be calculated.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drug Induced Rambling

So. I broke my back. Well, I fractured a vertebra. Doesn't that sound fun? Yeah, it's not. I was coming down the stairs, lost my footing and fell flat on my back. And apparently, when the edge of a stair hits a vertebra, it can crack it, leaving the person in agony for 2 days until they figure out that it's probably more than a bruise and ought to seek medical attention. Of course by then, we were in the middle of icepacalypse, so I slid down the driveway, twice. With a broken back. Lots of fun. And before icepocalypse, I went to Kroger with 3 kids for grocery shopping, with a broken back. I was pretty miserable the entire time, but it's kind of funny what you can accomplish when you convince yourself that you're just being a pansy. And I have a long history of this, like getting strep and just taking Motrin for 3 weeks because, "it's just a cold, you pansy!". Until the bacteria spreads to your eyes and you can't see. Most people get sick, go to the doctor, and get better. I get sick, yell at myself for being a pansy, then either get better, or get so bad I have to be forcibly taken to the ER. And even when that happens, I still usually feel like a pansy. Although, I will give myself some credit this time. I tried to go to the Doctor. I even made an appointment, but I couldn't find childcare so I just told myself I was being a pansy. That's what I get for trying to be normal. But I do get a sexy back brace and a lot of good drugs.

This icepocalypse is cray-cray! We lost a tree, but thankfully, it didn't hit anyone's house. And luckily, we have buried power lines so we didn't lose power. I know some people have had some crazy stuff go down at their houses, so I'm especially grateful we're snug in our house. Even if we can't leave it. Although honestly, I think Heavenly Father knows that I couldn't handle any more being thrown at me right now. *She said as the power went out, and a tree crashed into the roof*. Dave has even worked from home for the past 2 days, which has been super nice. We love having Daddy home, especially when Momma is most comfortable laying in her bed.

In other news, Dave got into Test Pilot School! Yay! Now we're moving back to Edwards. Yay. That will be weird, moving back to a place we've already lived. I've moved 30+ times in my 28 years, and I've never moved back anywhere. I'm just glad this time it will be for TPS, so we don't have to worry about where to live. And since we already did our time there, we probably won't be staying past a year. Hopefully we'll be headed to Florida. But there's always the Cold Lake assignment. That would be like icepocalypse from October to April. No thank you. But TPS is 11 months away, which is stupid. I hate knowing a year in advance that you're going to move. Been there, done that, and it blows. That's just way to much time to think about things. Especially if you're me, and have to plan. The good news is that we'll probably be out of our house this summer, so that gives me something to plan for within a reasonable time frame. Now we just have to finish fixing up the house to get it ready to rent. But that's one more thing on hold until my crack heals.

I have a lot of thoughts, but most of them are fueled by the drugs, so they don't make much sense. Some people say that narcotics make them feel all fuzzy in the head. They make my mind race. It's like it go 150 mph, then crashes and I sleep for 3 hours. I'm getting close to the crash. Which is not good because it's almost dinner time. Falling asleep while cooking is not a good thing. I've done it before, and I don't recommend it. I'm sure I'll have more drug induced thoughts later, but I'm not much of a writer so we'll see what makes it onto the blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A new direction...

So... I've made a decision. One that, if you know me, you're going to be giving me that squinty-eyed "huh?" look.

I've decided that next year, I am going to home-school my children.

I'll give that a minute to sink in.

Better now? OK. I used to think this was a good representation of home-schoolers...

But after a lot of research, talking to home-schoolers, and most importantly, getting some experience in the public schools, I don't think that's the case anymore. I'm beginning to believe that homeschooling my children might better prepare them for the challenges of adulthood than letting them go to public school. Here's why...

1)Socialization. I know that's kind of a buzzword for home-schoolers. Everyone asks, "but how are your kids going to be socialized?" or "aren't you worried about socialization?". Well, let me tell you about our experience with socialization. There are 2 girls in my daughter's class that make her life miserable. They call her names, they tell her she can't play with anyone else. She gets off the bus so sad nearly everyday. She asked me the other day, "Mom can you talk to them? I just want them to stop calling me names." She's not emotionally mature enough to deal with this, and honestly, I don't want her to be. She is 5 years old, she should be running around, playing, learning about her world, not being beaten down and trying to figure out someone else's emotional problems. If that's "socialization", thanks, but no thanks. Am I sheltering her? Heck yeah. But that's not a bad thing. Yes, she will have to learn how the world works someday, I can't shelter her forever, but hopefully by then she'll have a bit more emotional maturity and be able to handle it better. And I'll say this, the older kids I've met, who are home-schooled, are some of the most self-confident, mature kids I've ever met. If home-schooling had anything to do with that, I'm willing to try it.

2) Academics. My kids are smart. Really smart. And I'm not just saying that, at 4 years old, Nora was doing 1st grade level work at her private school (it was a Montessori school where every child worked at their own pace). Now, in public school, she's back to learning ABC's and 123's. She's gotten in trouble a couple times because she finishes her work early and wants to talk to her table mates. Unfortunately, in a group, you have to go at the speed of the slowest person. I want my child to be challenged. I want to her think that learning is fun and not boring. That's not happening in her school.

3)The military thing. We're military. We move, a lot. In fact, we're moving in about 6 months. And I'm having the same issue with this move that I've had with all the others. How to I balance living close to the base with finding a good school? I don't know why, but for some reason, really good schools and Air Force Bases don't mix. And if they do, good luck finding a place on Captain salary. When we moved to Ohio, the question was, "where do we want to compromise?". Did we want to compromise school quality, or on distance from the base, or price. Finally we decided to compromise on school quality, we picked the best school district we could, close to the base and a house within our price limits. Why? Because it's been my experience that having Daddy close is worth more than just about anything else. At our next assignment, it's the same thing. Good schools within our price range? Hour commute. But if we homeschool, that's not a problem anymore. We can live close to the base, and not worry about the quality of the schools. Then there's the curriculum. I grew up military, and I remember moving to a base, and being completely lost for the first 6 months because I hadn't learned what they were teaching in my new school. Then we moved, and I was bored for the next 6 months because I had already learned what they were teaching. With homeschooling, that's not an issue for us.

4)Religious Instruction. I hate religion in public schools. I think religion is a private thing, and that everyone's religion is different, so to force one doctrine to be taught (or practiced, ala prayer) in a public school is wrong. But, in a homeschool setting, we can make religious instruction part of school. There are tons of LDS resources out there for homeschoolers. How great is that?!? It's like seminary for 5 year olds. I love that I will have that many more opportunities to teach my children about the gospel. Talk about building on the Rock.

Not that everything about this is all butterflies and rainbows, ribbons and pixie dust. I'm confident this will be the hardest thing I've ever done. And I don't like hard work. Here are my biggest concerns...

1)Am I organized enough to pull this off? I'm a pretty organized lady and, aside from some stroller issues, I do a pretty good job of keeping things running around here. But it comes in spurts. I'll spend 2 days cleaning, getting things all great looking, then lay around for 2 days. I can be MONUMENTALLY lazy. I was always better at the sprint than the marathon. This is definitely a marathon. Which is why we're going to start out with an online charter school. They provide the curriculum, I provide the space and the kids. My hope is, that will help me ease into it. Someone else does the work in the beginning, until I figure things out a bit. If we like it, we'll stick with it. If not, then I can make my own curriculum.

2) We want to have another baby. How do you homeschool with a newborn? And through a pregnancy? Not to mention that what if I get sick? Does school just stop because Mom is throwing up? I'm not sure how to deal with these issues. Is it really so flexible that we just don't have school those days and then work extra hard the next couple days? I don't know. Maybe it's just one of those things we will have to work out.

3) This sounds lame but, my exercise routine. I finally found something that works for me. I go to the gym everyday (almost). It works soooo well. I'm nervous that homeschooling is just going to screw it all up. The problem is, going to the gym is pretty vital for me. I love it. I hate the way I feel when I don't go. If there was one thing that could make me change my mind about homeschooling, this is it. I'm very nervous.

All in all, I think it will be a good thing. A HARD good thing, but still a good thing. Of course, ask me again 3 months into it. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blogs are so 2007. Twitter is where it's at.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the road again...

Still traveling. And I'm about sick of it. Who thought of this 3 week interlude between duty-stations?? Well, whoever she is, she's an idiot. Good news, we bought a house! Check out Dave's facebook to see the pics. I would post them but I'm tired and lazy. I promise a juicy post once we get settled. Until then, keep up with me on the fayboo.