Failing the Test

Man Who Found Next-Generation iPhone in Bar ‘Regrets His Mistake’

A young man finds a prototype iPhone in a bar. It isn’t claimed by anyone sitting in his vicinity, so he keeps it and ends up selling it to a competitor for $5000. Despite this, his lawyer says he’s a really good person:

“Brian has been working part time at a Church run community center where he was teaching swimming to kids age 3 to 10. He also has taught English in China to college students and volunteered at a Chinese orphanage in 2009 while enrolled in a study abroad program through college. In that same year, Brian volunteered in Vietnam to plant a friendship garden.

He also volunteers to assist his aunt and sister with fund-raising for their work to provide medical care to orphans in Kenya.”

Volunteer work is nice and all, but a true test of a person’s virtue is how they behave when faced with temptation. Not many people give away their time or money for worthwhile causes, and hence they are laudable activities. But fewer still do the right thing when nobody is looking, when there is money to be made, or when it seems you can get away with it.

All he had to do was turn the phone over to the bartender. Simple. He failed. I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy, but I wouldn’t trust him.

Super Nanny "saving" the day, again

California County Bans Toys in Kids’ Meals at Restaurants

Yeager said the aim is to help direct parents to more healthy choices. He said the government has a responsibility to keep kids safe, and cited rules on car seats, cribs and other baby items as examples where the policymakers step in to regulate products.

Yesterday, I watched my friend’s four children while she took her fifth to a doctor’s appointment. Thank goodness I own a big van, because three of mine and three of hers had piano lessons in back-to-back sessions. After the first session, I picked up my children and her one daughter who was working on a duet with Katie, left my friend’s older two, and drove straight to the fast food drive through.

It has been at least a few weeks since any of these children have eaten fast food.

I offered a limited selection: burgers (the small ones) or nuggets.

Everybody shared an order of fries with somebody else (and many were left uneaten).

I purchased no soda; We ate at my house, where they could have water, milk or lemonade.

My friend’s daughter asked for apple slices; I gave her an apple at home.

One of mine asked for a meal with a toy; I said NO.

All of these children are skinny.



Better parental decision making?

We weren’t this obese 30 years ago, and they had toys then, too.

How to "share" snacks with children

A recent informal survey shows that, if offered blue corn chips and no other alternatives, four out of six children will reject the blue corn chips outright and the other two will consume only a fraction of what they would had they been white or yellow corn chips, leaving many left for parents to consume all by themselves.

I am brilliant.

Starting Monday Off Right

Inspiration for a Monday morning:

Sophia Academy founder is Georgia’s ‘Mother Of The Year’

“…after one particularly frustrating and despairing day, she came home in the early afternoon and just “wanted to sit in my car and cry,” Corrigan says. But then she had an unusual visit.

“I look up and see this man in a white painter’s suit—we had some painting done at our house—so I thought maybe he was looking for work. I got out of the car and told him, ‘I don’t need any painting today.’ But he didn’t ask me for a job; he just gave me a textbook with a cover with an eagle on it and a bible verse.”

The verse on the jacket cover was from the book of Isaiah: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

“Then he left, and I never saw him again.”

I love that the messenger was dressed in white.


Of interest to those who have deployed spouses: I wrote an article for a National Guard magazine (Foundations) which they published last month. If you follow this link, you need to flip to page 48.

I must admit, it’s pretty nice to see your own writing in print.

If you are a National Guard family and did not receive a copy of this magazine, let me know. I have a few extra copies. It’s pretty good.

This week’s stress…

…brought to us by the New York Times.

In Army’s Trauma Care Units, Feeling Warehoused

This article is very one-sided and does not do justice to the services, programs and care being provided by Warrior Transition Units. Note that the article discusses a unit very similar to my husband’s unit. We are hoping that it brings more attention to Wounded Warriors and assists in a dialogue that will benefit them. Unfortunately, the negative tone invites defensiveness instead of positive action. Perhaps other media will follow up with a more open-minded look at these units and recognize the Herculean energy being expended in taking care of and advocating for our Warriors.

Coffee and Morons

Yesterday, I got up at 4 am and started the drive from Savannah to Atlanta at 440 am. I was tired. Driving when it is dark and even the birds are still sleeping is difficult to do without assistance. Of course, I had coffee. But I have found long drives require more than just caffeine to keep me alert.

The best thing to make me forget my warm cozy bed is good conversation. Unfortunately, this was a solo flight. The next best thing to having a good conversation is listening to someone else’s good conversation. Talk radio generally has plentiful discussions, many of them which can get your blood boiling. I scanned the airwaves. I heard stations from Chicago, Des Moines, Cincinnati, Charlotte and New Orleans. Sports stations. No help.

I finally gave up on Talk Radio and turned to the FM stations. If you can’t talk, and there’s nothing to listen to, good music is a good alternative. I found a station whose tag line was “Songs You Love to Sing Along.” Perfect. After Low Rider, they cut to commercials…and then static. Back to scanning.

Finally in the Atlanta metro area, I started listening to some morning shows. I hate morning shows. The first one lost me when they started guffawing about farts. I guess their audience is in the 10 to 14 year old age range (mentally). Of course the reason I hate most morning shows is that this tends to be how they are anyway.

{Classical music stations all have hosts with calm, soothing voices. There may be some bantering with the traffic guy or the weather gal, but for the most part, they play the music which is all the entertainment the audience wants anyway. Since most people listen to radio other than classical, I wonder if people really do want juvenile jokes and inane babble for their drive into the office.}

The show that got me on the last leg of the drive did have an amusing Cajun dialogue that made me laugh on the punchline. And I heard the weather forecast for the weekend. I don’t think I heard any music. The traffic report didn’t mean anything to me, since I don’t know the roads. And then there was the 3 minute pre-recorded monologue.

Mr. Monologue sounded like he was in his 50’s or 60’s. He said he had heard people complaining about taxes, and complaining that the government was taking away their rights. He said we pay federal, state, local and county taxes. He said we get certain benefits from these taxes (roads, etc). He suggested we think about how these governments take away our “rights.” He listed as many ways as he could think of that the government affected our daily life: we have to obey traffic laws; we have to get a driver’s license; we have to get our dog vaccinated. And that was about it. His point: what are we complaining about? We are free; this is a great country; the government is looking out for our best interests; stop the moaning.

My retort: Old Man, have you been living under a rock? Please stay home on election day.

On that last leg of my journey, I was alert and ready for action. Increased blood pressure is a wonderful thing.

Burning questions

Anybody going to the Laura Berquist workshop this Friday at the CHS Catholic Homeschool Conference? I’ll be there, although I’m doubting my sanity after I saw how far away it really is. And that I’ll hit Atlanta at rush hour (and I’ll need to get to the other side). Good thing I have Jersey plates on my car (and a smashed taillight to show you shouldn’t mess with me).

Now. Serious question. Does anybody know how to prevent spiral bound books from becoming unspired? Over time and lots of flipping, the spiral is getting unwound on my many school references and checklists. Suggestions? They are mostly plastic, so I can’t kink the ends. Surely there exists somebody who had gotten more annoyed than I and had figured out a way to prevent that. I spend all day rewinding the spires (really, no hyperbole at all).

My personality

Congratulations to Amanda at Whimsically Plucky who was the only person to guess that I was an F and also happened to get the other letters correct as well. The practical example we were given for determining T or F was: “If a friend calls and says she’s having a crisis, what do you do?” T’s will ask lots of questions and decide the best course of action. F’s will rush over immediately. Last month, I was on the phone with my neighbor and friend when she dropped the phone crying out her toddler son’s name. “Help me, Michelle,” she said. I waited for a bit, uncertain what to do. “Call 911,” she finally managed. I immediately did so, and gave all the information I could. And then what? I rushed right over – on foot – even though the tenth of a mile or so would be faster traveled by car. This is an F knee-jerk reaction.

BTW, the toddler had a seizure brought on by a fever. He’s fine. You see how I have to reassure you? That’s my F-ness, too.

My complete personality type is an INFP: Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.

Interesting that only Amanda and Barbara got the P part right. I’m not a J, believe it or not. I was, in fact, the only P in my small group. The facilitator asked what we had done to get ready for the trip to Kansas. J’s will strive to take care of every little thing well in advance. Now, I did have to do some prep work. One cannot just up and leave 6 children at home without making plans. However, when it came to things that affected only myself – for example: packing – I was not as premeditative. One woman in my group started packing a week before. I packed an hour before we left for the airport. My husband, who is my complete opposite (an ESTJ), also packed an hour before we left, because he had not had time beforehand. The difference? This really bugged him, but I cared not one whit. Did we leave things behind? Yes, but nothing truly important.

Learning about the Meyers-Briggs personalities with moderators who understand the types is very helpful. I learned much about my personality, my husband’s personality, how we work together, and how we function under stress. Interesting to note that, when under stress, we actually tend to behave in ways characteristic of our opposite type. The thinking types will get overly emotional. Spontaneous people will cling to schedules. Based on the test taken at 10 pm the night before, I actually came up an ISTP, almost an ISTJ. My personality has not changed from my high school and college days when I was an INFP. Rather, the answers that swayed my results demonstrated the lingering effects of the deployment, our 900 mile move, and my current stresses about finishing the school year and dealing with new people, places and responsibilities.

Also, the results I got as a young adult were more valid than those I would get now anyway. Over time, we develop behaviors that are successful. We get burnt by Friend A’s constant problems and learn to step back. We know if we don’t make a list, we will over spend or not be able to have the dinner we want this week. Had I left my mother with 6 children and an empty fridge, I doubt she would be happy to ever help me out again.

So, Amanda, congratulations again on a good guess or an astute awareness. Email me your address so I can get some yummy chocolate out to you. Let me know if you have a preference for milk or dark.

And I’d love to hear everybody else’s personality types.