Monday, November 23, 2009

My "wow" moment as a parent, from a Reddit comment?

When I was in the seventh grade, I had an awesome English teacher.

He was an obsessive eccentric who made the class a giant party every day. If our school had been in a ghetto, some washed up actor would totally be able to save his career by playing Mr. Springer in a movie about inspiring underprivileged kids.

Because he was such an amazing teacher, the school brought in new teachers to train under him. The way it worked in the district was, the new teacher would have total control of the class. The old teacher would only be there to answer the newbie's questions and offer moral support.

Mr. Springer made no secret of his absolute disdain for this system and for this underling in particular.

She was a "rules are rules" disciplinarian. He randomly handed out ten dollar bills in pink plastic eggs to anyone who could pass a spelling test.

Personally, as much fun as everyone was having, I really wasn't his biggest fan. I mean I liked him and I thought what he was doing was cool but I always felt guilty taking up a spot in his class because frankly I would have done well anywhere. I didn't need a giant dancing science fiction parade every morning to enlighten me to the power of story-telling.

Anyway, one day I finished my work and was writing a note to a friend. I first wrote up a draft, highlighting some of the thing I wanted to say. In the draft, I circled misspelled words and drew little arrows showing where I would move lines around for clarity.

I considered note passing to be a modern form of letter writing. I knew that my friends would keep these notes for years and reread them as adults. I kept that in mind as I wrote. Did I mention that my class work was done and that I had the highest grade in the the class, something like 800 points over the points possible and that the class had been taken over by a tyrant with total control over the class? (See a bit of grudge holding here?)

Well, she spotted my note writing and FREAKED. "How dare you take up my class time with THIS! "

She had serious demon eyes and literally had veins popping out when she yanked the notes off my desk.

This was the first time Underling had dealt with this type of felonious assault on her class time so she had to go to the big guy at the desk for guidance. Guidance from the guy who did nothing but glare evilly at her all class and no doubt wrote and rewrote Poe like scenarios against her in his mind while he watched her botch his class day in and day out .

She slapped the notes against his desks and called me up. He sat back and read the note, then picked up the draft. "What's this?"

"My first draft."

He leaned back in his chair and reread the draft. He immediately recognized some techniques he had taught. "You wrote a draft to a note?"

A huge smile crept across his face.

"This is what I taught you guys to do. And here you are using what I taught-all on your own. I am amazed. "

He leaned back again. And sighed a deep sigh.

"I'm so happy right now, I don't know what to say."

He took both notes and shook his finger in Underling' s face. "You are not going to the Principle with this. I am keeping these notes. This type of thing is why we are all here. She used what I taught her all on her own."

Really even better than a "wow" moment, it was a wow/revenge moment. And I got to be a part of it.

My wow moment as a parent came while I was snooping a bit.

I was looking through Reddit when I realized the page was still signed in to my 12 year old son's account. Knowing I had access to a 12 1/2 year old boy's musings on the the internet was a bit stressful, I wasn't sure what I would run into.

A common theme in our house is the discussion of the idea that every small thing you do in life affects a great many different people and events. We often find that some of the most earth shattering, crazy events in our lives can be traced to some small event that meant almost nothing at the time. I talk to the kids about how different I feel ( sometimes for hours) after someone lets me in in traffic as opposed to when someone doesn't say thanks when I let them in. We talk about all the different things I might do throughout the day based on the traffic exchange that occurred and how that effects others and so on .

Anyway, below is a response to a post on the social news site I can can see we need to work on sentence structure but I think we are all guilty of run-ons when posting an emotional diatribe.

Below my kid's comment are the responses it generated -wow again. ( and ya- he did write this himself. He does talk like this all the time.)

Every time we go out and about at least three people ask what his IQ is.

Answer: really fucking high

My kid's post;

These people are pathetic. If you move to a rain-forest in Brazil, your still in the middle of the Fucking rain-forest, recession or not.

If you go to veterinary school you will walk away with the ability to medically care for animals, that is knowledge that means something, knowledge that will always be useful and has been useful since man domesticated wild animals.

if you learn carpentry then you can build a house, if you make a movie then it's always there, ready to make you laugh or smile or cry, if you join a conservation program then your actions may save a species.

they may tell you that one man cannot change anything, that everything you do will have no affect on anyone else.That is a blatant lie.

Everything you ever do, from smiling at someone you don't know to throwing your brother a surprise party, everything you do every single day of your life impacts the lives of those around you and vice versa, with their destinies slightly shifted by your actions, they go on to effect the actions of others, years after you've done something the direct consequences are playing out on the other side of the world. everyone is the Center of a gigantic ripple in the the pond we call Earth, each center being constantly affected by the Billions of other ripples being given off each day by Billions of people. Causing the ripples you create to be fundamentally different and have different affects on the other Centers, and on and on. A gigantic ever-shifting Monument to the mastery of the human race over it's own cosmic destiny.

Welcome to the Universe.

There is no human on this Earth that does not posses the power to change his or her own destiny, even in the the smallest of ways, they throw excuses in their own paths, they say that hey have no choice but to live the rut of routine that they created for themselves and exist in by their own choice, that the invisible "System" they claim holds sway over their lives does not allow them to be themselves, only glassy-eyed automation's screaming for release. but in truth all that holds them back is themselves, there is no physical barrier preventing you from telling your boss to suck it, no looming guard forcing you to use your overpriced credit cards, no walls to keep you from moving away from your shitty housing development and your obnoxious neighbors, there is nothing but your own delusions.

You remain in your grudging life of your own accord, not knowing that you've had Ayn Rand turning in her grave at MACH 2 for years.

What will you do? will you ignore my words and continue to wallow in self pity? Or will you acknowledge your existence as an utter individual, that one thing that can move the world through will alone, as you have been able to from birth. Just like the entire human race.

What will you do? The choice is yours and yours alone.

Offensive_Brute 0 points1 point 8 days ago[-]

its important tp properly measure the dragon force with which one upvotes.

deadilyduplicate [S] -1 points0 points 9 days ago* [-]

I think the point that the writer was trying to make in what I submitted was not that our actions lack meaning but rather our thoughts do. Sure when we get out and do something we produce effects which may be good or may be bad. But when we reflect on those actions and think about our lives we find nothing.

You rant is superficial in this respect. It reaffirms our existence by relying on things which we don't question. The point of the quote I submitted was that our lives lack the distractions of previous generations and for those who spend to much time in their heads, life is ultimately revealed to be meaningless.

At least that is how I read it. I liked that line because it felt critical on what I just mentioned. Not really sure why that is pathetic. Although what you said, apart from misreading the submission, is still very much correct and thus gets an upvote from me.

Offensive_Brute 0 points1 point 8 days ago[-]

perhaps the authors thoughts are meaningless. My thoughts are my most prized possessions. My mental scrapbook, my thoughts and memories, are not valueless, they are priceless.

The author sounds like he needs to do some gardening.

ysalex 0 points1 point 9 days ago[-]


First, I suspect you wrote the submitted post. That aside, what you just said makes no sense.

We think the way we do to force external action to happen. Without internal pressure there is no external force. Actions would only be meaningless if we could not observe them or if they had no effect. But our actions are both effectual and observable, and thus they are meaningful, as the thread OP pointed out (and you agreed with).

But external actions are indicative of internal pressure. Therefore the internal pressure (our thoughts, feeling and emotions), have meaning. The biggest of meanings, actually. They are the driving force behind humanity. The are what makes us explore and excites us to discover. They incite love, hate, anger and fear. They push us to help or hurt one another and, most importantly, they give us reason to exist and survive. Without our thoughts there would be no 'survival of the fittest'.

Saying that thoughts mean nothing is like saying that the only thing that matters in a collision is the collision itself. But before the collision there were forces pushing the objects together, maybe even guiding them together. These guiding, pushing forces are our thoughts and perceptions. Reality is what you perceive.

deadilyduplicate [S] 0 points1 point 9 days ago[-]

But external actions are indicative of internal pressure. Therefore the internal pressure (our thoughts, feeling and emotions), have meaning. The biggest of meanings, actually. They are the driving force behind humanity. The are what makes us explore and excites us to discover. They incite love, hate, anger and fear.

Ok but actions only have meaning in a very superficial context. Once you remove yourself from that context you see them as pointless deterministic chains which have no real significance. I don't believe this to be a contentious claim. Countless writers have realized this. Tons of people suspect that once you probe to far into your reflections on life you realize that life is meaningless or it does not hold up to pure, unbiased reflection.

for example, you say that thoughts motivate us to explore, discover, etc but you do not provide reasons for why exploring and discovering are at all significant. Are we just supposed to accept that they are? well yes in fact. That is the whole point.

And I did not write the original submission, but that really does not matter since, at this point, I have certainly read far more into it then was intended.

ysalex 0 points1 point 9 days ago[-]

I suppose you're making the assumption that because you cannot see the outcome of your actions on a larger scale, that they mean nothing on any scale.

It all depends what are you weighing an 'action' against. Personally, I find that my life makes sense, has 'weight', if only for the minuscule chemical reactions that take place within the beautiful head of my loved one, who's life I touch everyday.

But I think you're saying that, because we are contained within this universe, and after we all die the universe will still exist and humanity will be long forgotten, and long after entropy has caused even the universe to cease it's existence that nothing matters because the weight of our actions will not be see able, remember able or knowable at that point?

Well thats bullshit, because I made a girl smile this morning. And if time isn't a continuum then that smile lasts forever, somewhere. I made a girl smile forever.

You'll get over it. Trust me, everyone goes through this faze. You're just a little immature, but that fades with age and experience and eventually you won't find making bleak statements about the fragility and hopelessness of life to be as interesting and profound as you once might have thought.

Good luck with life. I hope you find whatever it is you need to make your actions mean something.

deadilyduplicate [S] 0 points1 point 9 days ago* [-]

It all depends what are you weighing an 'action' against. Personally, I find that my life makes sense, has 'weight', if only for the minuscule chemical reactions that take place within the beautiful head of my loved one, who's life I touch everyday.

Yes and I have no problems with finding meaning in life. But you don't have to live your live blissfully unaware of the glaring nihilism. I can find meaning and still have the knowledge that this meaning is not absolute or objective.

I don't need to ignore this fact in order to be happy. To me that is immature.

(Edit: And it is unfair for you to me making assumptions about who I am. I am neither the author of the piece I submitted nor particularly young. I have gone in and out of phases of every flavour and didn't like the quote because it was profound, I liked it because of its critical tone.)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Going Back to Veggie, Mormon Democrats and Labor Day

From the time that Stewart and I were married in '94 till our second baby was born, I was a vegetarian.

No greater cause involved, I just thought I try it for a few days and after that, meat just didn't look good to me anymore.

I think the one real advantage, health wise is, it forces you to premeditate meals.

When I get tired and it's dinner time, everyone knows it's going to be chicken and rice again. Now that I've gone veggie, that would mean just rice for me ( which would be cool if I were watching a Kurosawa samurai flick, with a bottle of Saki and some empty wrapping paper tubes for the slow scenes ). So vegetable steamer it is. I've found it's quick and easy to chop onions, peppers and a portabella mushroom with tomatoes and maybe some cheese on top. I almost always put out a spinach salad too but I just feel better having a nice platter of veggies. I love to see the kids with a nice colorful plate.

But what really spurred me on to go back to vegetarian was pure selfishness.

When I was a vegetarian, I weighed about 90lbs. I was also running about ten miles a day, in the heat, pushing a double jog stroller, something that's a bit easier to do ,time-wise, with one or two kids than it is now with five. But I think I'm going to refocus on that. I'm not so sure my knees can handle 10 miles a day but they can handle five or six.

On a different subject; Labor Day

Reading to our kids about the origin of labor day, reminded me of when I was ten and my mother went on strike.

I had a very Mormon family but they did have a secret .. . they were democrats. (Can you see here how I checked the libertarian box soon after my 18th birthday?)

I know there are some Mormon Democrats around but unless you are Harry Reid you're not getting invited to any fab LDS parties if anyone lets on.

Anyway, because of our strange household politics, there was a bit of a war going on.

Up until then, my dad could be literally leaning on the fresh pot of coffee (coffee!-another secret) and my mom could be literally across the room and my dad would ask her to pour a cup for him. And here's the weird part, she would do it.

Then came the whole equal rights amendments thing and I'm not sure how it all started but . . .

it ended with my mom marching around the house, hoisting a bottle of Era laundry detergent chanting;

"E" "R" "A" "E" "R" "A"

My dad even learned to make his own coffee after that small revolution.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Oath Keepers, cancer, T-shirts, homeschooling and the FBI

My mom-in-law's cancer has really progressed and it has not been easy for hubby.

Her mother passed away recently and I think that may have been the catalyst for her downward spiral. It was extremely important to her to make a video of her mom's life for the memorial but she was in no shape to do it. Stewart and I are pretty low tech so, Jim Ayala, the guy who does the Oath Keeper videos stepped up and it meant the world to Dusty (my mom-in-law).

She was actually hospitalized by the time of the memorial so we held it in a chapel at the hospital.

One my fav pics. from the memorial video; Stew surprising his grandparents in the grape fields

Dusty was wheeled in- in her bed so she could be there. Dusty talked about overhearing her dying mother repeatedly praying for her as she walked away (Dusty was still able to walk on crutches before her mom died).

Happily it is not in any of her vital organs but it is throughout all her bones and wrapped around her spine and some of the tumors are quite large and are pressing on her nerves. The result is agonizing pain. She can no longer sit up on her own and the reason for her hospitalization was a broken femur as cancer had eaten through it.

The whole thing has been hard on Stewart. Dusty does not have insurance and as soon as her
team of docs found out, all their talk about the attack plan went out the window and they sent her home. But she could not sit up or get up on her own at all, so every time she needed to get up Stewart would drive over to lift her.

( Do NOT take that rant as a hint at socialized medicine-just because I despise corporate style health care doesn't mean I want the government running it. You see here, why us libertarians have such angst? )

She has her daughter living there to help but sis isn't able to lift her straight up, the way she has to be lifted in order to not cause too much pain (though she' only 90 pounds now).
So with legal work and Oath Keepers T-shirts and hat orders all piled to the ceiling and email that is just stunning Stew was spending hours a day caring for his mom. Of course, now he keeps getting sick from emotional and physical exhaustion.

All of this would be tolerable but you would not believe the things people say in email (The Oath Keeper email boxes now total 9,000 - 10,000 unanswered emails. Stew's personal email receives hundreds a day. ) And if you can believe it- he actually receives email multiple times a day from people who say things like- if you don't answer this email within two days it will mean __________ (fill in the blank with some ridiculous belief like you hate all Americans or you think forced vaccinations are totally fucking awesome).

Now you know people don't generally say things like that in everyday correspondence so it must be something that control freak types save for people they know don't have time to answer as way of using force to get an answer. Some have even posted our address on the net; essentially threatening me and the kids, claiming Stew didn't write up what they told him to, so he must be a plant.

Oh well, nutty people on all sides , I guess.

And ya- we're all getting death threats from all over the web now, but mostly from the
non-violent left.

Looking back at grandma's memorial video, I find it funny that people have been accusing hubby of being a white racist. He has the most racially and culturally mixed family I've ever known. Raised in a mix of Filipino and Mexican cultures. It was totally a requirement before we got married that I learn to make chicken adobo from grandpa and tortillas form grandma.

Oh well, but back my regular life. I have gone on Oath Keeper strike. And happily found some awesome people to do all the shipping. The emails are still looking for help but may wind up going on a ticket system.

So today I am actually getting back to the whole "homeschooling mom of five thing."

The laundry does not wait on politics (if it did, I'd run for president).

We're trying out Susan Wise Bauer's
The History of the Ancient World. Looks good so far. The little ones are doing the Story of the World. This is my second round on that one and we're using the audio CD to save my voice. Also we're trying out Singapore Math and dumping Saxon, I'm tried of spending six hours a day doing "busy math".

Now for some good news, when Dusty was going to the hospital, the paramedic said his mom was in the same state and was saved by some experimental treatments. Well, it turns out that same team of docs was willing to take on Dusty. Her first treatment is today and I promise promise that I will update everyone on that.

Now before anyone sends me stuff on alternative cancer treatments, let me add this. Until she ran out of money she was going to an alternative hospital in Mexico and is still doing the raw food thing. They did amazing things for her there but it's all cash on hand. No surprise though, that kick-ass experimental medicine here is some of the same stuff they do in Mexico standard. I have high hopes for Today.

In other news, as long as Dusty responds well to treatment,
we are going back to Montana.

Our backyard before we left Montana -no need to show our current backyard as a comparison, as it's posted all over the net ; )

Honestly, my kids deserve a better childhood than they can have in Vegas. My oldest turns 13 in a few months and I have an obsession about giving him a tree to build a tree-house in before he's too old.

Oh and a message to "non-violent" folks at the Daily Kos who are calling for the death and or imprisonment of me, my husband and my children, who think the FBI ( who they hated for eight years but now love ) should round us up. . .

You'll be happy to know that we did, in fact, receive a visit from the FBI the other day . . .

Dakota checking his target at an Appleseed shoot (One of those violent American heritage gatherings, where they tell stories and shoot real guns)

Oh wait, that's right . . . they were just here to pick up Oath Keeper bumper stickers.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Do I look like a bitch? Maybe I am. But I'm a libertarian bitch.

I'm considering removing those last post because some freaks from around the web are copying my blog and "discussing " it.

Apparently liberals have suddenly caught a disease. Wherein they now believe the executive is all powerful and saying anything against him amounts to treason.

Liberals, Listen Up

For eight years I've been yelling from the roof tops til I was blue in the face warning against Bush and essentially everythi
ng he was doing and or about to do.

For eight years liberals have been saying "right on". We're with you. The President should not be a dictator.

I have not changed!!!

I'm saying the same thing but now receive a totally different response. "Where have you been for the last eight years. What do you mean Obama can't do this? "

I've been here! Where are they now?

If I say I'm being targeted for my political beliefs they say,"What? Well, how does it feel? This is what we've been dealing with for eight years."

If warn against Obama's gun grabbing pals, they say "What? That's fear mongering! "

Listen you "tolerant" liberals; say what again. Say what one more goddamn time.

Do I look like a bitch?

Maybe I am.

But I'm a libertarian bitch.


I thought this was cartoon was cute but I'm much more of an AR-15 kind of girl myself.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oath Keepers has taken over my life!

When we needed a break from
OK, I kidnapped my entire family to the mountains of Utah-no computers aloud.

You guys, this things has just gone nuts.

As a homeschooling mom of five, it's not like I hang around eating bon bons all day. I often fall asleep with shoes on and rarely get through half the the things I'm supposed to do without the OK thing.

So sometime in March, Stewart says he's starting up a little project he's been tinkering with for a while.

There were a few get togethers of old friends and new and then he launched it-just put up a Blogspot called Oath Keepers and two weeks later a hundred thousand people showed up.

Now two months later the MySpace is around 5oo friends (which is amazing because I run that and I have now idea what I'm doing) blog followers are around 400, Twitter is only at 130 but again the problem is I run it, 900 posts on the message board, Facebook is well on the way t0 3,000 friends, Youtube is at 1200 subscribers - it is nuts.

And every one of us are trying to maintain a normal job of some type. None of us are getting any sleep, the emails are coming in by the thousands, and if we don't shut them off, the phones ring all day (and we've never made our phones public) .

It's all a good thing but, holy cow!

I have a few other thoughts to share about how crazy this has become in another way but I think I'll cut off here and put that in a different post. It definitely deserves it's own space.


Saturday, March 14, 2009 Coming soon . . .

The third photo on the wall is a picture of my dad. He passed away in 2006 , some of you may remember the post about it.

To everyone who emailed and commented here and around the web on my sister-in-law, thank you. I apologize for not giving a faster update but you know how emotionally draining these things can be.

She is doing much better and maybe her child to teen emotional state actually has helped to bounce back.

We're taking her skating with the kids this week. And then we'll think on how to handle the legal end.

In other news: hubby and friends have come up with something. It started out as a weekend long discussion a year or two ago and after launching it about a week ago has taken off like wildfire. Take a look.

Oath Keepers discussed with Jack McLamb on Alex Jones 3-13-09

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Heart Rocks-Imagine Britney doing a Led Zeppelin cover?

I had a ton of fun going to a Heart concert Friday night. Although I've never mentioned it on here, I am a die hard fan.

It occurred to me while listening to Ann sing that although she has an amazing voice, if she were just starting out today, she wouldn't have a chance because she doesn't look like Britney Spears.

In order to get radio play today you have to have enough money to pay the larger radio stations and in order to do that you need funding and in order to get funding you need to fit the formula; Britney fits it, Ann doesn't.

Watching them reminded me of the vast difference between the boy/girl band generation of music and the generation that grew up in the 50s and 60s.

I remembered as a kid watching the Osmond's (of course-we actually went to church with them) and the Mandrel sisters' shows, they all played multiple instruments, wrote music and sang at church concerts growing up. Against that family background there may have been one or two standouts who had both a lifelong study of music and preforming behind them and also an amazing natural talent that was obvious to all.

This was how stars were born and this is what I saw watching Ann and Nancy put down a guitar and pick up a mandolin, drop a microphone and pick up a flute, put down a mandolin pick up a harmonica ect. and then laughed to myself imagining Britney running around grabbing instruments trying to figure out which end to play (No hate to Britney, I simply don't know the names of any other recent pop star types. You can insert any pop artist's name there, I'm sure.)

Ann Wilson has a voice that is stunning. Like listening to an opera singer at their peak; just her voice alone can send a chill down your spine. But their music is also a lot of fun. And even more fun when your hubby surprises you with tickets :) like mine did.

And since I can't seem to post even about a rock concert without it turning political, I'll have to add this. If you remember during he election Sara Palin's nickname during high school was Sara Barracuda. And whenever she came out to give a speech, she came out to Heart's Barracuda.

Being one of the original Seattle garage bands with the politics that the culture demands, Heart was not happy and supposedly published this letter. It appears to be a spoof done by a Seattle paper, but is funny just the same.

Some Heart clips below as well.


Nancy doing Tom Petty's You Wreck me

Ann's version of Immigrant Song


Monday, February 02, 2009

Another reason Montana Rocks-Glacier Bank Tells Government to Fuck Off!

That's right, Glacier Bank turned down the bailout money.

One more reas
on to love Montana.

What's not to love about a state that threatens succession over the Heller decision and is at it again over the
made in Montana firearms bill. Why the Freestaters chose New Hampshire I'll never know

"Also, then the government would become a shareholder in the bank.
Philosophically, we sure didn't think it was a road we wanted to go down. " -President and Chief Executive Officer Mick Blodnick

Take that Bank of America!

And what road are they talking about? Maybe the Road to Serfdom?

We've been banking with BoA by default since they took over the local Vegas bank we had an account with some 15 years ago.

But here's the thing, when we move back to Montana this spring/summer, I'm closing that piece of crap account and opening one with Glacier.

For me to say anything positive about a bank is bordering on a miracle.

Those who have been regular readers know that I was completely traumatized by a bank when at nineteen years old, the Mormon credit union I belonged to made me call my mother from the manager's office when I wanted to withdraw money.

The money was to purchase a car with my boyfriend.

Buying a car together suggested we lived together, which suggested we had sex together, which suggested the bank manager had to get my mom on the phone right away (ya, the same guy I married and have five children with).

So anyway, Mick Blodnick, I fully support what you're doing but if you ever try to make me call my mother, it's over.


Nation's No. 1 bank turns down bailout money

By NANCY KIMBALL/Daily Inter Lake
Published: Saturday, January 31, 2009 11:46 PM CST
Glacier tops financial scorecard

Glacier Bancorp of Kalispell made national headlines twice last week.

Bank Director magazine named it the best bank in the country. And Glacier announced it would take no bailout money from the federal government's Troubled Assets Relief Program.

President and Chief Executive Officer Mick Blodnick is honored that the nationally respected magazine put the bank holding company in the lead spot in its annual ranking of the top 150 performers nationwide.

But there's more to the story.

"What we as a company, all of our 11 banks collectively, take more pride in is the fact that for the last five years we have been in the top five," Blodnick said Friday. "We were number two last year and number three the year before.

"Number one is nice," he said, "but all of us feel more proud of the fact that consistently we have been up there for some time."

Glacier Bancorp, with $5.03 billion in assets, is the holding company for Glacier Bank in the Flathead Valley and 10 other independent banks in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Washington.

The magazine's top ranking is compiled from six different criteria measuring return on average assets, return on average equity, two measures of capital adequacy, and two indicators of loan quality.

More here

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Damn, it feels good to be a banksta

Now that your neighbor's stuff is all piled up on their lawn, don't you just feel better knowing these guys have 37 million dollar apartments, thanks to us?