30 October 2007

Free Rice for your Brain

Holy applesauce! I went over to Freerice.com on Orbital Teapot's recommendation, and I have to say that it is so engrossing that I may not get my book done on time. Basically, they quiz you on vocabulary, and for every correct answer, the advertisers donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.

Seems pretty straightforward. But, they've got some algorithm that measures how you're doing and then matches your level. This means that, at least for me, it was just the right ratio of challenging to easy that meant I couldn't look away until my eyeballs fell out of my skull. Plus, the little rice bowl is filling! How can you just leave when people are hungry? Okay, I'm going back. Book, schmook.

26 October 2007

What to be for Halloween?



A surprise visit from mom (not mine) reminded me that it is way past time to decide what to be for Halloween. I was pretty happy with the Kid's choice last year, a butterfly (big thanks to the Artistic Aunties for encouraging him to go with the homegrown art project).

I think this year he wants to be a firefighter, but we have a couple of handy backup costumes in the closet in case he changes his mind. If he wants to be like his mom, he can choose the Hockey Player:

And if he wants to be like his dad, he can be the Techno Hipster:



No matter what, it's going to be a fun time for everyone.

22 October 2007

Red Sox and Rockies in the World Series


Oh, no! What to do about this? The World Series has two teams that are sweet and inspiring, and no evil overlords to root against. It's just too tough to decide a favorite, so I'm afraid it's going to be one of those World Series where I can't pick a team ahead of time. I'll just have to wait to see who my insides are rooting for.

By the way, if baseball is America's Game, wouldn't it stand to reason that the World Series was also a national holiday, so that we could have a week or so of celebration? Okay, you got me, I'm in Canada now, but I've been ruminating on this one for a number of years. Plus, who knows? We might follow suit up here.

19 October 2007

Dept. of Not Posting

Sure, I have nothing to say here, but I did manage to dash one off over at Total Drek, where the real blogging action is.

16 October 2007

Doctor-Patient Ratios


This graphic presentation of doctor-patient ratios is from StrangeMaps. I'm going to use it in my Intro to Sociology class when we get to talking about health care. Click it to Big It Up!

13 October 2007

Fall is Here

Ah, the Fall. The leaves change color, the chill in the air, the letters of recommendations to write, the courses to prepare, the paper deadlines, the data collection process to organize, the book must be finished, the Kid's pants are too small, the Kid has a superhero pajama party but no superhero pajamas, the boiler needs to be turned on. Blogging suffers.

Not being able to post regularly is what made me close up shop on my last blog. Something about having that same last post just hang out there at the top of your blog for weeks on end is depressing. I knew this would happen, though, and I am not going to cancel the blog just because October is a tough month for me (note to readers: December also sucks, but in the summer, I kick ass).

RSS feeds will hopefully keep me connected to both of you who read this blog (hi Mom!), preventing you from the disappointing daily check of what's going on. If not, you're in for a lot of heartache from Prickers and Thorns.

In any case, I have been having some fun between the successive tidal waves of work that have hit me. On the weekends, family time has been extra special. Fall activities like swim lessons and music class have started, and now that the Kid is over 3, he has graduated from Parent-Tot status, which means that I'm kicked out of the pool and off the dance floor to the sidelines, from which I silently cheer him on. It's extra sweet to see your Kid being happy and successful without hanging onto your leg, and I am proud.

Also, the new neighborhood totally rocks. We are making friends and hanging out in the park down the street. Last weekend, one of the kids in the 'hood turned 3, and we had ponies to ride in the park, followed by pizza and cake. What beats that? You got me. We got some great photos, but I can't find the cable that connects the camera to the computer, so who knows when you'll ever see them.