New Jen's Horde

Monday, July 31, 2006

Over the Edge

I just finished a great book! It's called Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Myers and Ghiglieri. I would recommend it to anyone, even if you're like me and you've never been there. Now that I've read this, I'm not too sure I plan to go, yikes!

The authors have researched every known fatality to occur in the Grand Canyon area, and brought their own experience as guides and search and rescue personnel, etc. from the Canyon to each story.

I figured that, like every popular outdoor destination, there would be some deaths there. It's hot, and deep and lots of places are hard to get to. However, I had no idea that is was quite as deadly as it is! There were a couple of surprises, too. For instance, the most potentially lethal way to see the Canyon is by airplane, both commercial and private fights go down in frightening numbers.

Also, there is one activity that is quite dangerous, and has contributed more than its fair share to the number of folks falling to their deaths in the Canyon. Can you guess what it is? I'll put the answer in comments...


Sunday, July 30, 2006

MTV is 25!!!!

And I'm not feeling too young myself...

Hey, does anyone else remember when there were no commercials on MTV (or any other cable channel) because you paid for the programming with your cable bill? Or when there were videos on MTV all day, and no shows?

Ah, MTV, where I spent much of my wasted youth, I guess we're all a little different these days.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Shower of the Future

Why don't we have better showering/bathing facilities? Don't get me wrong, the hot water on tap is nice and all, but our indoor plumbing hasn't really changed a whole lot since the days of Ancient Rome. Why is that? We're not still getting around in chariots and feeding people to lions (well, reality TV is sort of close to that...)

It seems like there should be some way we could step into a chamber, push a button and be instantly cleaned by ions or quarks or something (bear with me, science isn't my strong suit.) Think about it, you wouldn't even have to get undressed if you're in a hurry! And, they could be everywhere, like public restrooms are, so if you need freshening up while you're out you could just pop into the "Hygiene-o-matic" and get rid of any objectionable odors as well as that big blop of ranch dressing on the front of your shirt.

Of course, there will be people claiming that these aren't safe, like the folks who refuse to use microwave ovens. And we will have to keep old fashioned bathing facilities around just for the joy of floating in water in your own home. But, for quick day to day clean ups, doesn't it seem like there ought to be some sort of advancement in all this time?

Can you tell I'm stalling (har!) because I don't want to go deal with the whole boring and time-consuming shower routine today?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

That Darth Vader can sing!


I'm sure this is old news, but I just saw it so it's new to me! I don't know who Gnarls Barkley is, but according to their website this is "Psychedelic Soul." I'm so old and out of it that I don't even know what that means, but I did enjoy this. And, the whole Star Wars theme didn't hurt. I guess that's something the marketers should know, if you want me to take a look at something, you would do well to wrap it up in pure geek beauty. I don't know how you'll sell it to everyone else, but this is working for me...

Hat tip to mum2threegirls.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Who wanted to get out of bed today?

Not me! But, I think that was the Nyquil more than anything. I think I'm OK now, well, except for the cold, which is why I needed the Nyquil, but that was probably obvious.

But, I've never been a morning person, and by morning I mean "any time before noon." I remember visiting my Grandma and Grandpa P. when I was a teenager over my summer breaks. I would sleep until 1 or 2 pm, and Grandma would be so angry with me! She'd say, "You've WASTED half your day!" Hmmm, first of all, sleep is never a waste of time, if you ask me. Plus, I knew I'd be up until 4 am or so, so I still had plenty of "day" left.

So, if left to my own devices, I think I'd be nocturnal. Like a vampire without the bloodsucking or the undead part. Well, I guess the undead part is still up for grabs, we won't know for sure that I'm not immortal until I'm dead for real, right? So, I'm a nocturnal, possibly undead, non-hemovore, does that make sense?

Maybe the Nyquil hasn't really worn off as much as I'd thought? I'm going to go now...


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dalai Lama

Davin and I are going with a small group of friends to see the Dalai Lama when he comes to speak here in Denver in September.

I just thought that sounded really interesting! Tickets are still available if you do, too.


Monday, July 24, 2006

That's just messed up

Boston woman slain at same spot as brother

On the fourth anniversary of her brother's slaying, a woman lighting candles at a makeshift shrine to him was gunned down, killed at about the same spot, on the same day and at nearly the same hour as her older sibling.
It doesn't appear to be the same person who killed her brother, who has since been gunned down himself. So, I guess it's just some sick example of coincidence?

What a mess, their poor family!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Crime Library

We're still dealing with some tummy troubles here, so I thought I'd give something to read while I deal with my urpy family.

Have you all had a chance to check out Court TV's Crime Library? I find the articles here fascinating, and surf through regularly just looking for updates and to see what's new.



Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Barfing Beauties: AKA Maya and Sage

Or: "Why We Won't Be Showing Our Faces at Michaels Craft Store Any Time Soon..."

Thursday everything went well all day. So well that we figured it must have been something that disagreed with them and we actually all went to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner, which went fine, no worries. (Sorry, people at CEC!)

The kids seemed fine all day Friday as well. So, Friday evening the girls and I went to their Girl Scout class at Michaels. I stopped at the register, paid for the girls' class and chatted with the cashier. There was no ominous music, or any reason to believe there was danger ahead. Even so, as we were headed to the back of the store, Maya stopped and said something that sounded like, "HURKLE!"

If you've been around kids, you know what that means. I looked at her and she was bravely trying to catch the contents of her stomach in her hands. It wasn't working. When God designed the relative sizes of stomachs and hands, I don't think He had this eventuality in mind.

Anya and Sage ran to get a bag and some supplies, while I tried in vain to comfort Maya. Mostly I just got barf in my shoes. (Yay Crocs!) We got Maya (and the store) cleaned up and ran out to take her home.

Within 20 minutes, Sage was in on the game. They were sitting on the couch with giant bowls, just watching TV and puking away. Poor little things! They seem slightly better today, but we're still keeping it tame.

If you'll excuse me, I've got some shoes to de-barf (that's Anya's word)...


Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Throw Up Thirteen


Thirteen Different Ways to Say VOMIT

You know your kids have a loose valve somewhere when you're woken up by the sound of vomit hitting the carpet and your first thought is, "Oh honey, they're playing our song!" (Sadly, I'm not making this up, it just happened at about 3:30 am. Scary.)

So, since we've finished preliminary clean up and gotten Maya situated and using a trash can instead, (with Sage appearing ready to take over where she left off) I thought I'd take some time to post my 13. I figured today would be a good day for euphemisms for the act of throwing up, many of the more colorful ones were found here.

1. Puke
2. Barf
3. Hurl
4. Toss your Cookies
5. Ralph
6. 3-D Burp
7. Doing the Dinner Catch and Release
8. Downloading a Meal
9. Worshipping the Porcelain God
10. Reviewing Today's Menu
11. Round Trip Meal Ticket
12. The Technicolor Yawn
13. Yodeling in the Porcelain Canyon

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Due to the fact that it's looking very likely that I'll spend the day doing follow up on at least one kid's dinner, I may not get back to your comments right away. But, do leave them and I'll get back in the next couple of days! I'd better get back upstairs before the action starts back up, if my spidey sense, honed by years of Horde Vomit experience, is correct, we're only in the eye of the hurricane...


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More time to kill?

I've linked to this designer's games before. The games are tricky, fascinating, and beautiful!

I was glad to stumble across a collection of them here, which included some I hadn't seen before!

My favorites are The Quest for the Rest, Samorost, and Samorost 2.

The key is to not get too freaked out over it. There is always a solution, and you can never do anything that will make it so that you can't go on, so keep trying. If you get totally overwhelmed, email me and I'll try to help. :-)


Monday, July 17, 2006

Ok, this is creepy

I wonder what this will turn out to be?

Three college students found dead in a home near the University of Wyoming campus had been drinking that night and died violent deaths, police said Monday...Investigators were still trying to piece together what happened in the home early Sunday, but Stalder said they believe everyone involved had been accounted for and were considering the possibility it was a murder-suicide. "There were several different kinds of weapons used," Stalder said. "This was a very violent criminal act."
It sure seems like the kind of a story where it will turn out to be really weird as they get into it. I mean, just because of all of the different weapons and the savagery.

How very sad, they're all so young.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Please tell me other people's kids do this, too?

Yesterday, Anya and I talking, and we heard the theme song from The Simpsons come on from the other room. Anya looked at the clock and said, "The Simpsons aren't supposed to be on now. Oh, it must be Saturday!"

I remember having the whole TV schedule memorized when I was kid, but I don't recall using it to determine which say it was. Is this really bad, or do other people's kids do stuff like this sometimes, too?

I know she knows her days of the week, etc. I mean, she's 10, she's known them for a while. But, this was kind of cracked...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Do not pass go, do not collect $200...

Go directly to your drugstore and buy a cheap bottle of plain old aspirin and make yourself an Aspirin Mask!

I read about it in this thread at The Beauty Bottle (surfed through from Craftster, love the Craftster!).

Aspirin is a salicylate, many forms of which are commonly used as skin exfoliants. Obviously if you have problems with aspirin or salicylic acid, don't do this. But, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you're one of the smart people and I don't need to tell you that sort of thing, do I? ;-)

There are many variations, as you can read in the thread, and I'll tell you what I did. I took 5 tablets and dropped a tiny bit of water on each one. I let them sit a little bit and then they were ready to crush with the back of a spoon. I added a little honey and a tiny bit more water to make a paste. It was still fairly gritty, I probably could have done a better job but I was excited to try it.

I patted it all over my face and neck (carefully, because I have rosacea and didn't want to irritate it) and left it on for 10 minutes. It never started to sting or burn like other chemical exfoliants do, so I kind of figured it wasn't working. Then I rinsed it off and WOW! My skin looked so peaches and cream-y and felt so smooth!

So, I thought I'd pass it on. Anything that works for my picky skin and doesn't cost more than rebuilding Steve Austin is pretty rare.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thursday Thirteen



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All the Ding Dong Day!

Apparently the people who live around here have no idea what the "No Soliciting" sign on my door means. Is this pretty common, or just a problem in my neck of the woods?

Anyway, I wrote a new sign to hang out:

Please Do NOT Ring My Doorbell Unless:
-You Are Delivering Something
-I Know You or I Am Expecting You
-You are Ed McMahon or Someone Else Bringing Me an Oversized Check

Many Thanks!
Can you tell me if that's too over the top, or worse, if people STILL won't get it?


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My birthday is August 10

Normally when I get tagged I try to reply in the person's comments, or I've already done it or something. But this one actually seemed kind of new and fun and interesting, so when Lynda tagged me I put it on the back burner until I had a minute to actually do it. I'm not going to tag anyone else, but if you do this, let me know!


1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. One holiday or observance (if any).

I'm assuming they mean things besides my exciting and wondrous birth, so I'm off to look ;-)

1856 - In Last Island, Louisiana, a hurricane kills about 400 people.
1981 - The head of John Walsh's son Adam is found in Hollywood, Florida. This event will later prompt the U.S. Congress to pass the Missing Children's Act, giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation greater authority to track the disappearance of children. It also makes Walsh a national spokesman against crime and eventually leads to the establishment of America's Most Wanted.
2005 - Lee Seung Seop dies from exhaustion in South Korea after playing 49 straight hours of StarCraft.
(I noted they didn't list anyone actually born the same year as me. I'd better hurry up and do something to get famous enough to get listed in Wikipedia so they don't have a gap! ;-) )

1933 - Doyle Brunson, American poker player
1943 - Ronnie Spector, American singer (Ronettes)

1969 - Leno LaBianca, American businessman (murdered) (b. 1925)
1969 - Rosemary LaBianca, American housewife (murdered) (b. 1930)
(Can tell me who murdered them? No fair googling.)

Holiday or Observance:
Roman Catholicism - the feasts of at least 3 saints:
St. Laurence
St. Blaan
St. Deusdedit


The Carnival of Homeschooling is up!

More later, but I wanted to tell you to check out this week's Carnival of Homeschooling. The theme is Ode to Summer.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Slow Blogging Day!

Sorry, not much blogging going on today, I'm too busy making flashcards and bingo cards for the kids out of the vocabulary words we're learning.

I wish we'd had this cool stuff when I was in college Latin! It would have made the Alea jacta est-ing and Manus manum lavat-ing so much easier...


Sunday, July 09, 2006

I can crochet "chaos" without even trying!

Of course, it's not the sort of chaos these folks are talking about.

Scientists crochet chaos
Dr Osinga explained: "Imagine a leaf floating in a turbulent river and consider how it passes either to the left or to the right around a rock somewhere downstream. Those special leaves that end up clinging to the rock must have followed a very unique path in the water. Each stitch in the crochet pattern represents a single point [a leaf] that ends up at the rock."
To be honest, I don't get it. But, it sounds cool, almost like poetry. And, when they put it all together, it is beautiful, don't you agree?


If you'd like to make your own copy, they link you to the pattern. It's 29 pages long and includes the calculations they used to generate the stitches. So, I probably won't be getting to it any time soon, even though it's awfully cool. If you do, will you let me know? I'd love to see it!


Saturday, July 08, 2006

"No school" doesn't equal "homeschool"

...Christina, 16, and her sister, Louise, 14, said that instead of studying their homeschool lessons, they spent all day, every day from January through June 2005 traveling to malls and stores across Ohio, stealing thousands of clothes, tools and collectibles by order of their parents...

Both girls said their father told them he would kill them if they ever refused to steal or reported their parents.

It's time the media and the general public understand that not every child who isn't enrolled in school is being homeschooled. I don't know this family, but I'm guessing they weren't taking time out of their busy shoplifting schedule to fulfill the notification and evaluation requirements set down in the Ohio state homeschool law.

There's a term for children who aren't in school and who aren't legally exempt from their state's compulory education statutes. These children are not homeschoolers, they're "truant." I wish the media would quit lumping negligent and abusive parents in with parents who are genuinely working to provide positive educational opportunities for their children by homeschooling them properly and legally.

Which is not to say that I think that all homeschoolers need to follow a rigid schedule, but even by unschooling standards, I don't think day after day of thievery under duress counts as providing an education.

When you think of homeschoolers, please don't think of people like these. This is not what homeschooling is about.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Well, that's half right...

I was looking through some photos and I found this one of Tiernan, my 9 and a half pound boy, fresh from the womb on his first day.


The photo reminded me of the girls' reaction to him. After 3 girls, having a boy was pretty mind-blowing. So much so that they apparently actually forgot his name... the first guest to come see him was greeted by Anya (then 6) saying,
We have a new baby,
his name is JAMAL, and he has a PENIS!!!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thursday Thirteen


Thirteen Things I Learned While CAMPING

1. When the camp rangers warn you that you'll be sharing the campground with a bunch of folks attending the Bob Weir/String Cheese Incident concert, you should heed their warning and camp elsewhere.

2. Because, no matter how many Rainbow Gatherings, you've been to, or even if you've lived in a veggie co-op house and done the communal thing, these are not the kind of "hippies" you're used to, regardless of how they're dressed.

3. I don't know if it's because they were younger and don't know how to act or if this was just a non-standard group, but these were some of the most aggressive, selfish, angry "hippies" I've ever seen.

4. Not all of them, some were mellow and friendly and more what I'm used to. Definitely stoned to the point of complete loopiness, but harmless and comfortable.

5. Others were loud and belligerent, and raiding other people's campsites looking for things to steal. Foul-mouthed (and for me to even notice with my sailor propensities is BAD) and disrespectful towards people and nature alike, they even trashed the campground.

6. One woman was screaming obscenities at my family at dawn in our tent because we didn't have any cigarettes for her to take. In Boulder, we used to call these kids the "Trustifarians" ie trust fund babies who dress the part but you can see their entitlement issues coming for miles.

7. So, like I said, don't camp with the poser hippies. But, if you do, keep your eyes open for people watching opportunities, that was interesting.

8. And, I have to say, that the drum circle was pretty cool.

9. Moving on... I learned that even a big fat girl like me can be bodily picked up by the wind while trying to keep a tent from blowing away. This was our second shade tent, the first one was completely destroyed by the wind the day before so I was really determined to keep this one together. We did get it taken down, and luckily our sleeping tent was of different construction and weathered it just fine.

10. Not everyone else's did, though. I also learned that if you buy a dome tent, stake it down well because they roll like beachballs in the wind. Also, if your dome tent is over 4-5' tall, be sure that you have strong shock poles because they don't do well in the crazy wind, either.

11. If your shock poles do break, duct tape and a butter knife are only a temporary solution, as our troop leader can attest to. The next big gust actually bent her cutlery!

12. No matter how well you pack, you will forget something. This time I forgot Tiernan's nighttime pullups. Yikes!

13. In a pinch, two bandanas and a Target bag can be fashioned into a reasonable facsimilie of a diaper, and it will keep the sleeping bags dry. The big problem is convincing the child that his parents have not lost their minds, and that this is a desireable substitute. So, if you're ever in this situation, say this over and over until it has the right mix of authority and enthusiasm, "Look Tiernan, it's a CAMPING pullup!"

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

I've just finished moving our homeschool group from one set of message boards to another, which involved setting up the forums, moving important threads, and making sure everyone is able to sign in. I think I'm going to hide away from the computer for the rest of the day!

I'll be back tomorrow with my Camping 13!



Tuesday, July 04, 2006

IN YOUR FACE, King George III!

Happy Independence Day, USA!


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