Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

It's halloween and the kids are all slepping. In just a few hours we'll be up and dressed and on our way to sign class. I may take Jonas out for a few stops before going to class, but most likely instead of going door to door, we'll just go to the sign language party.

I was really looking forward to the class meeting all of my kids, but Ady has been sick for a few days and we aren't going to bring her out. Nobody else in the family is having any problems though, so I'm taking the boys to class with me. I'll get some pictures of our halloween night posted when we get back.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Jaden 1 year old

Wow. Jaden has grown recently. Erin took him to the Dr. today for his one year baby checkup and he's now 32 inches long, which puts him in the 90-95 percentile. He's been at the 50th percentile for each of his previous appointments, which is why his weight being at 20 lbs and 12 ounces (20th percentile) is also shocking.

Now I have a tall and thin baby, as you have seen from some of his pictures it's true too, a lot of the baby fat is gone. Now he's walking across the room too. He surprised me yesterday by walking from in the toyroom back into the living room, turned the corner and kept going laughing about it all the way.

I think it's hilarious how all babies hold their arms up over their heads as they learn to walk. I tried walking around like that the other day for a little while and it felt very odd. It made me wonder if we could teach kids to swing their arms, if they would be able to balance themselves earlier.

My next big post will probably be about Halloween. It's coming tomorrow and the kids are coming with us to Sign language class for a party. Too bad there's not a sign for trick or treat, I'll just have to teach them to sign "Give me candy"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ady making her pumpkin





Erin posted the pictures of Jaden and Jonas making the pumpkins on her blog, and I've been meaning to get the pictures of Ady up on mine. Here they are. She had a great time making this pumpkin. She also brought one home from her dad's, but I don't have a picture of it to post right now.

Week 8: Football picks.

Week 8
SUN, OCT 29Pick
San Fransico at ChicagoChicago
Atlanta at CincinnatiCincinnati
Seattle at Kansas CityKansas City
Houston at TennesseeHouston
Arizona at Green BayArizona
Tampa Bay at NY GiantsNY Giants
Jacksonville at PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Baltimore at New OrleansNew Orleans
St. Louis at San DiegoSan Diego
Pittsburgh at OaklandPittsburgh
Indianapolis at DenverDenver
NY Jets at ClevelandNY Jets
Dallas at CarolinaDallas
MON, OCT 30Pick
New England at MinnesotaNew England



Week 7 I didn't get to pick until the morning games were over. I picked without having heard
a score and did aweful. But since I didn't pick until games started I decided not to post
anything about it.

This week I made sure I got my picks done before games started. I have a few upsets in here. Just feelings, or picking with my heart, I'm not sure. But the big ones are Denver, Dallas, and Houston.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Don't lie to your kids

I was at McDonald's for lunch one day this week, and a lady and her 4 year old son were looking for a table. The boy kept saying, I want to eat in there, and pointed to the play area. His mom was persistent, "No, there arent' any empty tables in there. No, they are full in there. No there's no place for us to sit." The little boy went right up to the door and got really loud. "No it isn't!!! See that table is empty." Mom then said, let's sit right here and when we're done eating we can go play. I feel bad for this kid. I wasn't there when they went to play, but I doubt that he got to. Mom already had no problem lying to her son, and teaching him that lying is ok. There would have been nothing wrong with her saying, "No, we don't sit in the toy area, we eat out here, then go in there to play" or "I don't like sitting in there to eat, it's too loud for me, but you can go play when we are done eating." Either of these, so long as they are true would have been a better lesson to her son. Instead she taught him if you don't want to do something, lie and do what you want. It's a lesson he'll probably learn, because I doubt it's the last time he's taught it.

World Series thoughts

Last night, I sat at home and watched the world series while I was playing on my computer. I still couldn't understand how Detroit was losing. I thought for sure they would have just stomped on St. Louis. I like St. Louis. I think Pujols is going to be one of those guys that's close to breaking (if not breaking) a lot of records before he retires. Eckstein is my favorite player in baseball. But the Cards are hurt. Pujols has a pulled hamstring. Eckstein just missed time for an oblique. Rolen and Edmunds have been hurt off and on all season. This is a team that should not be winning.

Then it hit me. Eckstein hit's a flyball to right field, the fielder falls down. Next, Shingo bunts and the pitcher throws it over the first baseman's head alloowing the run to score. The announcer mentions "That's the 4th error by Tigers pitching in this series".

Maybe the Cards aren't winning because of Tigers jitters. The Cards may not be destined to win by the Gods. Maybe they are destined to win by the gamblers. This happened once before in history when a team was supposed to win and didn't. That team is now affectionately known as the "Black Sox". Do we have a "No Town" from "MoTown"?

How else can you explain 4 pitching errors, and two outfield blunders that both help Eckstein and give St. Louis the win?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jaden almost 1.

Tonight we went grocery shopping to get the party food for this weekend. Jaden is about to turn 1!!!! I'm vey excited. It's hard to believe it's been a year that he's been alive.
In the past year a lot has happened.
October:
28th. Jaden was born. 6 pounds 7 ounes
29th, his brother and sister went to see the Wiggles with Grandma and Grandpa. We were going to make that a special bonding thing that Erin and I did with the kids, but the doctor decided that Jaden was coming early.
30th. Jaden comes home at 1 PM. He won't eat, acts strange and his temperature drops to 94. We take him to the ER in Clinton (this is the last time we will ever make that mistake), at 7 PM. At 12:30 he gets to Springfield NICU.

November:
4th. We get home from NICU we received a call telling us that Jaden was borderline for Fatty Acid Oxidation disorder. (This ends up being a problem for the next several months)
Thanksgiving. Everybody gets to meet Jaden.

December:
Erin's Birthday!!!
Christmas. It seems like the entire month is spent getting ready for parties. There are so many birthdays in December that even just buying everyone a card costs about $40.

January:
Jonas Birthday.

February: I start complaining that Jaden hasn't rolled over yet.

March: Erin decides our house isn't full of enough stuff, so we go get a dog from Bland Missouri. It's a terribly long day and the dog throws up in the car less than 10 miles down the road. I thought about taking her back. Sometimes I think I should have.

May: Our wedding. Yes, you read correctly, Jaden was born before we were married. I'm not going to get into that. It's a great wedding, everything is beautiful, especially the bride. Oh yeah, and it's frickin cold.

The summer just zooms by. We have Jonas a lot, and I have to work a lot, at this time of night I don't remember much of what happened this summer. Jaden starts crawling some time in the summer.

September:
Sign language class starts.
Jaden starts signing "more" when he wants more food.

October 2006:
Jaden starts walking.
Jaden starts signing "Please" He signs it when he wants something other than food that he can't reach. It's so cute, sign "Please", then reach and grunt, Sign please, then reach and grunt, rinse repeat. It's so cute.

There's a brief recap of what happened in the past year, with me being too tired to really give it the time needed to make it a great post.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Real deaf people

Tonight was the first class for Sign 2. It wasn't quite a normal class. Instead of just having Steve teach us, he brought his good friend Joyce with him. We did learn new words. First we went through and learned how to sign some cities, such as Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, Normal, Chicago, and St. Louis. Then we learned a bunch of words related to Halloween. That was pretty cool. Steve and Joyce were throwing so many words at us that I couldn't write fast enough to capture what I had to do to actually do the signs. I love sign language because I get to move my body to add that extra level of memory to the signs, but if I don't have it written down to study, I will forget it. At break time I told them that they were going way too fast for me. Thankfully after the break they slowed down enough for me to take my notes.

This is the first time that I've ever actually watched two deaf people sign. I've seen interpreters signing with deaf people, but there's a whole new level of signing speed when two deaf people sign. They would both be signing to each other at the same time, and I couldn't follow either one of them. I've often wondered how deaf people can communicate with each other easily, because signing is so much slower than talking, but it's really just that my singing is so much slower than talking. They were both even fingerspelling some things as fast as I can say the whole word, it was awesome.

It just goes to show, that even though I have learned a lot of words, I've got a long way to go in being able to communicate efficiently with deaf people.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ex-nephew

Jonas called me this weekend, and was very happy and excited, we had a great 5 minute conversation, it was awesome. His cousin Kyle was there also. I haven't seen Kyle since before the divorce, other than a few pictures Trish has taken with Jonas and Kyle together. Jonas asked Kyle, "Do you want to talk to my daddy?" Then Kyle got on the phone and talked with me for a few minutes. He was such the little man. He told me he knows who I am because he sees pictures, but he doesn't remember that he's seen me before. I've thought about buying him birthday presents, but his mom was really mad because of the divorce, and I haven't because I just don't want to make open any old wounds there. After a few minutes Jonas asked Kyle, "Can I talk to my daddy again?" and Kyle told him, "No, I think he wants to talk to me a little longer".

It was a wonderful phone conversation, I wasn't on the phone 10 minutes total, but I got to talk to two happy little boys. That was a very touching phone call that made my day start great and stay great all day.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vegetarian?

Erin and I have been talking about trying to become vegetarians. It's not that we have anything against meat. We don't, in fact, that's going to be difficult for both of us. But we are both trying to eat healthier, and think that switching to vegetarians may help.

I've read a lot about being vegetarian online, and we've gone to the bookstore and looked through some books. This is not something that I'm going to force on anyone, and we do not plan on removing meat from our diets completely until after the new year. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming there's just too many get togethers to organize and participate in to be able to do it. Also, this is not something that we are going to force on our kids. We do plan on offering them the same healthy meals that we eat, but I don't expect to completely remove hamburgers and lunch meat from their diets.

I have a few concerns about it. Mostly, I'm worried about being able to have enough variety in meals. That's why we are researching things now and getting recipes that we think we will like. We are also planning to start mixing in some of these meals between now and the new year to find ones that we know we will like. Another concern of mine is eating out. It's not something that we do a lot of, but I do probably go out for lunch once a week. I will have to change what I get when I go out for lunch. Also we occasionally go out to eat for dinner, adnt that is almost always some really good chicken or steak. Both of these will go away. I'm not sure what kind of vegetarian meals exist out there for these situations yet, but I'll be paying close attention the next time I'm at a restaraunt.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What I'm thinking about.

I've been thinking about learning styles a lot lately. There are 3 main ones, but a google search tonight linked to a site that was discussing the 16 learning styles. The bigger problem is not so much understanding learning styles, I've been reading about them for almost 2 years now, but I just realized, that none of the articles that I've read talk at all about teaching to learning styles.

How do you teach reading to an auditory learner? How do you teach reading to a kinestetic learner? Hands on reading? Ady is definitely a Visual/kinestetic learner. Jonas is an auditory/visual learner. Those seem to be their strong learning styles. Jonas is more auditory and Ady is more kinistetic. I'm not sure how to do hands on with some things, such as reading. I've read that someone who is a kinestetic learner can sometimes remember things that they read while riding an exercise bike or walking better than they can remember when studying in silence, but that won't help with teaching reading.

Learning styles is something that everyone should be aware of. It doesn't just affect parents who want to homeschool. Adults may have grown up never having been taught the way that they learn best. If someone that you work with just doesn't pick up on new things as easily as you, it may have nothing to do with them being stupid, they may just learn differently and the method that something was presented was not the easiest for them.

Ady being cute, just before bedtime.


Ady is going to be Dora for Halloween, this is her practicing her color anti-coordination.

Football Week 6 Results

Week 6
SUN, OCT 16PickResult
Buffalo at DetroitBuffaloLoss
Carolina at BaltimoreCarolinaWin
Cincinnati at Tampa BayCincinnatiLoss
Houston at DallasDallasWin
N.Y. Giants at AtlantaN.Y. GiantsWin
Philadelhpia at New OrleansPhiladelphiaLoss
Seattle at St. LouisSt. LouisLoss
Tennessee at WashingtonWashingtonLoss
Kansas City at PittsburghPittsburghWin
Miami at N.Y. JetsN.Y. JetsWin
San Diego at San FransicoSan DiegoWin
Oakland at DenverDenverWin
MON, OCT 16PickResult
Chicago at ArizonaChicagoWin

This was a terrible week for me. I lost a St. Louis and New Orleans at the end on long field goals. For the 2nd week in a row Tennessee impressed everyone. Can anyone say Jeff Fisher for coach of the year? Buffalo stuck with the tradition of teams losing the week after they play the Bears. I wouldn't doubt that this is also going to be often the case with Baltimore and Denver's defense this year. I was a terrible 8-5 this week bringing my total up to 65-22. Compared to the ESPN experts, I am several games better than any of them. It's interesting to see them pick, because they are often the same as me, but even though they are all the same as each other it doesn't mean that they are right.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Breaking my heart

I feel so bad for my little Jonas. He's gone through a lot with the divorce. I know that he's loved a lot and taken care of well by his mom, and by me and Erin when he's with me. So I preface this story with an understanding that Jonas going back and forth between mom and dad is hard on him, and that he doesn't fully understand what the divorce is. But he is loved by everyone and we all are working to make sure he feels loved completely.

On the way to my house last Friday Jonas and I talked the entire ride home. I was a bit shocked, since we got home at 10:30. On the way home he kept tellimg me. "Daddy, I like staying at mommy's more than I your house. Daddy, I like it at mommy's house better." I was crushed. Of course mommy has always been his favorite, but still it hurt. I tried not to show it, and I was glad that it was dark and he couldn't see my initial reaction before I composed myself and asked, "Why do like mom's more?" "I don't know, I just do." "That's ok. You can like being at mom's more. But I love you just as much, if not more than mom, and I really look forward to you coming to see me." "yeah, but I just want to stay at mom's all the time. Maybe you can come and stay at mom's with us like you used to, when you and her were married." "no, Jonas, I'm sorry we can't do that. Your mom and I aren't married anymore, we had problems when we were married. We both love you very much, and we both want you all the time, but it can't be that way, so we talk and figure out when you can get to be with each of us." I was very careful to try and phrase everything as him being with us rather than us trading him back and forth like he was a toy that we both wanted. We do both want him all the time, but it's at least as much for him to be with us as it is for us to be with him. We kept talking and he continued with "I like mommy more than I like you." "That's ok. But I still love you very much, and I love it when you are with me." "Yeah but she's my favorite." "I understand, and it's ok for mommy to be your favorite." "Yeah, but Nam is her favorite." "REALLY!!! Why would you say that?" "Because mom talks to nam all the time, and she doesn't really talk to me, and she doesn't play games with me, she just talks to nam." Jonas is almost in tears at this point. "Jonas She may talk to Nam more sometimes, but Nam is her mom, just like she's your mom, and she likes to talk to her a lot, just like you like to talk to your mom a lot." "Yeah." Somehow that seemed to end the conversation in Jonas' mind and he moved on to other topics.

Everytime he told me he likes mom's better hurt a little, but that didn't make me want him any less. If anything it may have made sure that I focused more of my weekend time with him this week. I did spend practically every waking moment with him. We did dishes, played games, read books (lots of books). Got pumpkins and decorated them. Jonas and I have a tradition. When he's here, he and I run to the grocery store to get something and he helps me pick out a flower for Erin, usually a single rose, but sometimes a carnation. We've even gotten her a dozen roses a few times. Jonas loves this. He always gets to hold the flowers and bring them into the house for Erin. Even though I feel like they are from me, I think he really thinks that he's giving Erin the flowers. Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

Strange happenings today

I bought gas yesterday after leaving work. I could have waited, but the price was 1.99. I couldn't remember the last time that I filled up for 1.99/gallon. Today, when I went to work gas was 2.19/gallon. Whoa!!!! I was excited that I got it yesterday though. I saved $1.40.

Cars and vans and trucks generally have different names. One of the few that stands out in my mind as having different styles is the Ford Taurus. The station wagon and the midsize car are both Taurus. Tonight on my way home I was behind a minivan that was a Chevy Lumina. I was shocked at seeing the Lumina as a minivan. It has to have been around for a few years, but I haven't seen it before, so I was shocked.

The boys decorating their pumpkins.

I was going to post these, but Erin got to them first. This weekend Ady was with her dad, so we let the boys decorate their pumpkins. It's Jadens first pumpkin. Erin thought a pumpkin with his handprint on it would be neat, Jaden wasn't having any of that, he wanted it to have his hand smear instead. I have a problem with messes and his hands were covered in paint, that was difficult for me.

We told Jonas he could decorate the pumpkin any way he wanted, here are the things that we have to put on it. He chose to make it a face. There's not a picture of it, but he did add some halloween stickers to the backside after making the face. The Elmer's glue wasn't quite strong enough, since then, the red eye has fallen off. Jonas had a good time and used one of just about everything that we had, paint, glitter, stickers, and gems.

We decided not to carve the pumpkins this year. Last year nobody wanted to gut them, which left me with 4 to gut. I'm not a big fan of that, so we didn't cut this year. Maybe in a few years we'll let the kids gut the pumpkins again.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Football Week 6 picks

Week 6
SUN, OCT 16Pick
Buffalo at DetroitBuffalo
Carolina at BaltimoreCarolina
Cincinnati at Tampa BayCincinnati
Houston at DallasDallas
N.Y. Giants at AtlantaN.Y. Giants
Philadelhpia at New OrleansPhiladelphia
Seattle at St. LouisSt. Louis
Tennessee at WashingtonWashington
Kansas City at PittsburghPittsburgh
Miami at N.Y. JetsN.Y. Jets
San Diego at San FransicoSan Diego
Oakland at DenverDenver
MON, OCT 16Pick
Chicago at ArizonaChicago

This is the most upsets that I've picked in a week. There are several toss-ups that were hard to pick also.

The Bills are only 1 point favorites, which seems odd. I have a general rule that I don't pick a team the week after they play the Bears, but they're playing against Detroit, and I just can't bring myself to pick Detroit.


Carolina is a 3 point underdog to Baltimore, but I think Baltimore's offense is really hurting and that Carolina's offense is better than Denver was.

Despite TB being 5 point underdogs I almost picked them. I didn't only because the QB was a surprise in his first start, now that there is some film for teams to review I don't know that he'l perform as well.

Dallas is a 13 point favorite, pretty hard not to pick them.

I went with the Giants a 3.5 point underdog against Atlanta. Warrick Dunn has been shut down two weeks in a row, and the Giants have a decent defense with a good offense. Plus Tiki Barber is my Fantasy Football RB and it's time for him to break out a 3 TD game.

Phily is a 3 point favorite, their D is one of the most disruptive and Reggie Bush likes to fumble.

Seattle is a 3 point favorite, so I picked St. Louis. First, St. Louis only has one loss. 2nd Seattle is still playing without Alexander.

I picked Washington, who is an 11 point favorite, but after Tennessee only lost by 1 last week to Indy, and Washington's offense hasn't been that dynamic this year, I was shocked at the spread and the OverUnder being 39. I think this game will be lower than this, and would pick Tennessee against the spread.

I picked Pittsburgh who is 6.5 point favorites. Both teams have lots of injuries right now and I think this is going to be a tossup. How hurt Larry Johnson is after being tackled by the facemask last week may be the real deciding factor here.

I picked the Jets who are technically a 1 point favorite at home, but c'mon. Home field advantage is good for 3, so that's like picking an underdog. Why? Joey Harrington is the ex Detoit QB that couldn't win on the road. And he's the upgrade from Cullpepper.

It's San Diego at San Francisco. SD has an awesome running attack and a strong D. It could be a 2-1 time of possession ratio this week.


Denver is a favorite over just about anybody right now. Should a team averaging 12 points a game really be 15 point favorites? This may be one of the best offensive showings of the year for Denver.

I will not pick against the Bears this week. They could lose half of their team to injuries and I'd still pick them, they are something special.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Funny Story

Everytime I say funny story right now, I think of my sign language class. The teacher will ask us if we have any funny stories to tell. There aren't many of us that feel comfortable enough to try and tell (sign) our funny stories. I try to, but mine usually aren't that great. So I really like it when little quirky funny things like this happen to me, because then I can tell my funny story in class.

And now back to our regular programming.

The other night I was putting Ady to bed and she had to go potty before bed, like always. While she was sititng there she started to fall in, and I told her to be careful so she didn't fall in....
A few seconds later she looks up at me and says, "it tickles daddy". What? "What tickles sweetie?" "The water on my butt." Uh, hrmm. uh...... "Don't put your butt in the water, your done, get up and wipe off your butt, your whole butt."

It's sometimes very hard to teach the kids how to behave properly when I just want to laugh at the things they are doing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Week 5: Football Picks results

Week 5
SUN, OCT 8PickResult
Buffalo at ChicagoChicagoWin
Cleveland at CarolinaCarolinaWin
Detroit at MinnesotaMinnesotaWin
Miami at New EnglandNew EnglandWin
St. Louis at Green BaySt. LouisWin
Tampa Bay at New OrleansNew OrleansWin
Tennessee at IndianapolisIndianapolisWin
Washington at NY GiantsWashingtonLoss
Kansas City at ArizonaKansas CityWin
NY Jets at JacksonvilleJacksonvilleWin
Oakland at San FranciscoSan FranciscoWin
Dallas at PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaWin
Pittsburgh at San DiegoPittsburghLoss
MON, OCT 9PickResult
Baltimore at DenverDenverWin

I had another great week with a 12-2 record. That brings my running total to 57-17. If I knew I was going to be this good, I'd be placing bets in Vegas. I could be making some money off of a record like this.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sign Language Update

Sign language has taken a large chunk of my time recently. I am spending time practicing it. Tuesday nights are almost completely devoted to sign language. And I blog about it.

Class last week was great. We learned cold, warm and hot, then we learned warmer. It was followed by a 20 minute handwaving argument over whether or not we can say hotter. Since the teacher can't hear, whenever someone else wanted to speak they would start waving their arms and banging on the table to try and get his attention. I spent the entire conversation sitting back and laughing. The final conclusion, we can't say hotter because he's the teacher and he said so. The guess from the students is that Cold and Hot are the extremes, something can be warmer than something else, but if it's hot, that's like saying it's at it's max, nothing will be hotter or hottest, it will be warm, warmer, or hot. Similarly it will be cool, cooler, or cold. It may not be correct, but that's why we think it is the way that we learned.

Jonas has been given the book "The Joy of Signing" by one of his moms friends who interprets sign language. There's a few really cool things about this. First, I'm told Jonas loves to sit and flip through this book and practice the signs that are in it. Second, his mom has a good friend that can help Jonas with learning sign language if he continues to show interest in it. I'm really excited that Jonas has gotten so interested in sign language this far. I was worried that first night in class he may be bored, but it's been entirely the opposite. At home, Jonas will get our attention with a sign (he knows how to sign dad and Erin), then he'll wave his hands around or spell something and look at us expectantly, waiting for the interpretation as we act accordingly. Unfortunately his signs are too often, still not signs, but he's learning. I think the spelling games that I've played with him over the years are going to start helping him with sign language and reading all coming together, he'll get a good feel for the makeup of words.

Jonas is not alone in the sign language department in our family. Jaden has learned how to sign "more" and is very aware that using it gets him more of what he has. Ady doesn't use signs the same as Jonas, but I ask her how to do some of them that we've shown her. She has a good memory for the signs, but does not seem very interested in trying learn more of them. It's not that she complains when we show her new ones. She doesn't, and she learns them very fast, it's just that she doesn't ask us how to sign something, or make some random thing and ask what sign it is. It's just another example of the learning style differences that Ady and Jonas have.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Birthday weekend

This weekend I went out of town to a good friends 50th birthday. The party was fun and I got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen in a few years. It is hard to keep up with people long distance. There's just things that need to be said in person, that won't come out correctly over the phone or in an email. I try to blog a lot about my life. If you read through my blogs, you pretty much know me, that's one of the things that I like so much about blogs. However, these are people that I grew up with, they were friends of the family, but our families were so close it was as if we were family. Over the past several years I've only seen them once every other year or so. 2 years ago I went up for a wedding. Two year before that the youngest graduated college. Now I went up for a 50th birthday. They haven't made it down for anything. I love these people and think of them as family. The hard part is growing apart from them. I want them to be more involved in my life, and I want to be more involved in their lives. I have their phone number, but I'm not used to talking on the phone a lot, it's something I don't do well, and I can't do it and something else at the same time, because I have a terrible habit of pacing when I'm on the phone (is that a runon sentence). Email works, but the replies get lost. I can send an email and wait a month to hear back. It's not that they don't want to email me back, it's just that nobody else is as big of a geek as I am. I'm going to make more of an effort to see my extended family more often. My Godbrother has a baby due November 16th. I expect to get some pics when she comes, and I'm waiting for a 4-D sonogram that they had done. I haven't seen it yet, but heard how awesome it looks.

Last weekend was a big birthday weekend. Not only did we take the trip to Wisconsin to see my friends, it was my cousin's birthday. I regret missing her 17th party for the 50th, but I'll be there next year for the 18th. I called and wished her happy birthday twice, but I really missed being there. Maybe when teleporters are invented I can make two parties in distant places on the same day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week 5: Football Picks

Week 5
SUN, OCT 8Pick
Buffalo at ChicagoChicago
Cleveland at CarolinaCarolina
Detroit at MinnesotaMinnesota
Miami at New EnglandNew England
St. Louis at Green BaySt. Louis
Tampa Bay at New OrleansNew Orleans
Tennessee at IndianapolisIndianapolis
Washington at NY GiantsWashington
Kansas City at ArizonaKansas City
NY Jets at JacksonvilleJacksonville
Oakland at San FranciscoSan Francisco
Dallas at PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Pittsburgh at San DiegoPittsburgh
MON, OCT 9Pick
Baltimore at DenverDenver

There are a few games that I was more conflicted on this week than in the past. I was planning on picking Green Bay at home, but Favre is shaken up and 3 of his wide receivers are out, so picking Green Bay at home will be very hazardous. If I were picking against the spread, I would put money on Tennessee. I doubt Indy runs the score up 20 points. Expect to see a lot of subs get playing time on the Colts side during this game. The Giants are favorites, but I think it's only because they are at home. With Clinton Portis playing well, I think Washington should be the favored team. I was very surprised the KC wasn't favored by more than the 3.5 points that they are after they completed beat the snot out of SF last week. I think this game will be just as big of a win. SF is a3 point favorite over Oakland, and I picked them, but last week Oakland impressed me, then blew it. Oakland could actually win this game. Philadelphia has played great since the first game this season. Their offense and defense is clicking. That's why I was shocked to see they are only 1.5 point favorites at home. I love Dallas, and love to cheer for them, but I expect even with TO there to help, that Bledsoe will be sacked 5 to 8 times and intercepted twice. The Philly defense will do enough to beat Dallas. The best thing that Dallas can do is play a lot of shotgun to give Bledsoe the chance to see the rush coming. A no huddle offense would put a lot more pressure on the defense too, but I don't think that Dallas has that in them. San Diego is favored over Pittsburgh, but I think Big Ben has had enough time to recover and he'll come out and put on his best show of the season. If Pittsburgh's defense can play up to expectations I think they should be able to pull this out. Plus winning this game gets them back in the race with Cinci.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Who needs sleep?

Jaden was not nice to my sleeping last night. I was up until midnight working on the computer and then at 3 AM, stands up in his bed and says "Mom, Dad, get your ass out of bed". It's his first sentence, an it was so cute I didn't want to punish him, so I just laughed it off. Erin fed him, but he didn't want to go back to sleep, so we put him in his bed and went and sat on the couch, I think we fell asleep out there for a little bit. With the lack of sleep I'm not sure how much of last night was an halucination and how much was real.

Blog Commenting Tips

I read an article today about Blog Commenting Tips. I found this interesting because of the mean spirited comment that I had in the past on my blog.

I try to make my comments on other blogs constructive and encouraging. It's rare that I am negative in a comment, and in the times that I am, I also add something positive such as "I like your blog generally, I enjoy it a lot and continue to return to read it, but today I completely disagree with you....." However, I never make a personal attack on someone. If I don't like what they have to say, I just stop reading. I don't have to go there. I can post my disagreement, and if they respond with a personal attack instead of an intelligent conversation, then I don't bother going back. What I read is my choice.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blogs a terrorist friend?

Do blogs make terrorism easier?
Blogging has become an easy way to exchange information. an anymous email address can setup a an account and anything can be posted, including comments. If someone wanted to communicate through a known code, even a fairly easy code, they could do it on a blog. A coded acknowledgment could also be posted. It's possible that people on opposite sides of the world can send each other messages encoded in simple blogs.

Don't believe me? It's been posted recently that pictures can be used to send encrypted messages. A picture could appear, but be slightly off from the original. Blogger allows 3oo MB of free space, then all you have to do is create another blog account. There are also other sites on the web that offer free storage space and photo hosting, these can be used to host the photos while displaying them in blogs. Think about that the next time you hit the random button on blogger. Think about that the next time you see a blog that's just a lot of pictures. Could they be sending secret messages?

Smart Baby's come from Smart Mommy's

I've suspected it for years, but now there is proof. Breast Feeding does not make your baby smarter. Intelligence comes more from the environment you are raised in than from nutrients in breast-milk. Some babies may be more genetically predisposed to be smart, but that is also not from the breastmilk. Breastmilk will not change what is in the DNA.

I hope you take the time to read the article for additional benefits that breastfeeding does have for both the mom and the baby. And if you are feeding your baby formula, don't worry. Make a stimulating learning environment for your baby and he will be smart.

Week 4: Football Picks results

Week 4
SUN, SEP 30PickResult
Arizona at AtlantaAtlantaWin
Dallas at TennesseeDallasWin
Indianapolis at N.Y. JetsIndianapolisWin
Miami at HoustonHoustonWin
Minnesota at BuffaloBuffaloWin
New Orleans at CarolinaNew OrleansLoss
San Diego at BaltimoreBaltimoreWin
San Francisco at Kansas CityKansas CityWin
Detroit at St. LouisSt. LouisWin
Cleveland at OaklandClevelandWin
Jacksonville at WashingtonWashingtonWin
New England at CincinnatiCincinnatiLoss
Seattle at ChicagoChicagoWin
MON, OCT 1PickResult
Green Bay at PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaWin


I continue to make good picks. This week I'm 12-2. There were several wins that came down to the last seconds in the game, and only by sheer luck did I end up this good. A total of 2 minutes game time going different could have made me 9-5. This brings my season totals to
45-15.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Decisiveness

What is a decisive person? What does it mean to be decisive? Am I decisive?

Being decisive means being able to quickly come to a decision and to stick with it.

A decisive person is one that comes to a decision quickly. Then follows through with the decision by taking whatever actions are necessary to make the decision meaningful.

I've been reflecting on my own ability to make decisions recently. I feel that I am a decisive person. Most of the time I come to a decision within less than a minute on just about any topic or situation that is presented to me. I think this is a strength. It prevents me from getting stuck in inaction. The true key, I think, is to not be stuck in your decision. If after progressing towards your goal with the decision you have made, you learn enough informatoin to realize that you have made the wrong decision, then you need to change course. That is the true mark of a decisive person. We are all presented with many decisions to make every day. Those who are able to see the end goal and make their decisions with an end goal in mind will continue to progress towards it. Even if a better decision exists that could be made, making a decision with the end goal in mind helps to make progress. That means that ultimately those who are the most decisive are the ones with the best defined goals.

What does this mean for indecisive people? Take time to think about your life, your goals. You are already making decisions everyday, give yourself a reason to make good decisions and make them quickly. think about where you want your life to go. Constantly think about how anything that you are doing will affect your goal of where you want your life to go. Then when you have a decision to make, weigh it against how it affects your goals. Most of the time your decisions will be easy. Sometimes they will be very gray. Let me give a few examples.

Life goal: Live to be 100. Retire at 60 (yes I consider that early). I'm 15. If I'm offered a smoke I'll turn it down. If I'm offered alcohol, or a ride with someone who is drunk, I'll turn it down. These are clear, simple decisions that will risk my living to 100. Get a job or sit at home and play video games? Get a job. I can't retire if I don't have money saved for retirement. Yes these are things that I think. At 15, these are decisions that I made that have dramatically affected my life, but moreso, my decisions.

Example Number 2:
Retire at 60. Go to college, or become a manager at a fast food restaurant. In this case going to college will cost money, but the payoff for going should be more than worth the cost. However, being a manager could provide me with an initial boost into my retirement. I chose Go to college. Did I make the right choice? For me probably, because I also chose a field that pays well and I know has more than offset the cost of college, however, either decision would have helped me. If I had chosen to sit at home and do nothing however, I would not have been progressing towards my goal.

Example Number 3:
Life Goal: Continue my family name and be a good father. Retire at 60. These goals are fundamentally contradictory. Having children will without a doubt cost a lot of money. Kids are expensive, doctor's bills alone will cost a small fortune, but there are many other things. Which is more important to me? Family is more important to me. Now that I have set my two life goals out and prioritized family over retirement, decisions are easier to come by. Do I sign my kids up for activities and sports? Hrm. The retirement goal says no, but the family goal says yes and it's got a higher priority. Do I sign my kids up for every activity. No. That would take too much away from my retirement goal. There's a precious balance that I have in my mind. Having decided long ago about the priorities of my life goals makes coming to decisions a lot easier. There is a lot of gray areas. But any decision that helps to further one of my life goals is a good decision. I can always change my mind later when more information comes to me.

Have you sat down and come up with your own life goals? Knowing what you want out of life is very important. It makes everything you do easier, it helps to make your life purpose driven. Speaking of which, there is a book "The purpose driven life". This is a religious book, I presume about using God to help you set your life goals with God as a part of your life goals. I think this is a great idea, and I've got many life goals that pertain to God. Having God and faith in your life goals helps you make your everyday decisions in the eyes of the Lord. This is a book that I have not read, but would like to.

If anyone has read this let me know what you thought of it?

After having written this post, I ran across Steve Pavlina's recent post about Making Decisions that stick. We seem to differ on several points, but I find it an interesting alternative.

Frappr Map

Frappr is a website that lets you create groups of anything and add to a map where everyone is. It let's you see the relationship, distancewise, in people who are in your map.

I created one a while ago, but never sent it out to anyone. If you are interested, feel free to add yourself to my Frappr map.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Caught up on my reading.

What a strange feeling. I caught up on all of my blog reading. I almost always have between 5 and 10 that I can't quite get to at the end of the day, just because the posts are long enough that I don't have a chance to finish them. Several of the blogs that I read have very long posts. I guess now I'll have to read a real book. Very strange.

Book Review: Da Vinci Code

Wow, this book was excellent right up to the last 30 pages or so. the ending was fairly anti-climactic. Up until that point the book was extremely interesting and I didn't ever want to put it down. However, when the conclusion came I was a bit dissapointed. I was just hoping for a bigger bang. I would recommend it to anyone though, there was a lot that this book offered to ponder. It's a great work of fiction. I'm looking forward to reading Dan Brown's other book as well.

Kids fighting over God

A funny thing happened at dinner this weekend. Ady said the prayer for Dinner on Saturday and Jonas started pouting and said a silent (but whispering) prayer afterwards. At Breakfast on Sunday Jonas said the prayer and Ady complained "That's my prayer", then with our encouragment she repeated the prayer. At dinner we all said another prayer together, this time with no fighting.

I laughed when we said our last prayer together. It's like my kids are fighting over who likes God more and who gets to be his favored child. This is exciting to me. We like to try and make God a big part of our life. We don't make church a big part of our life, but we like to try to make God a big part of our life. Jonas usually picks out bible stories to read for bedtime and we have completely read his little beginners bible several times, it may be time to upgrade them to a more detailed version of the bible, so they can learn more.