Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do a soul a favor

As you read this, I'm at the doctor. If you're the letter-writing type--and even if you're not--then break out your typewriters at the behest of yours truly and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired:

Letters Needed for BRAILLE Postage Stamp!

Your assistance is needed in an attempt to get the U.S. Postal Service to insure a Louis Braille Commemorative stamp in 2009. This stamp would be issued in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille. The U.S. Postal Service indicated that they would consider the issuance of a stamp; so, since the stamp would have to be approved and produced in 2008 for release in 2009, we need to ask them to finalize the decision and issue a Louis Braille Stamp in honor of the man who brought literacy to all people who are blind around the world.
Please add your voice to the request by sending your letter to:

U.S. Postal Service,
Citizen's Stamp Committee,
Stamp Development,
475 L'Enfant Plaza,SW, room 5670
Washington, DC 20260-2436

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The British are so far ahead of us

Not in every respect, obviously, but we listen to a lot of stuff from the BBC geared towards the disabled. I won't dismiss how much the American government has done to increase accessibility to those in wheelchairs, but the improvements seem to have ended there. But whenever we listen to those podcasts--whether it's Ouch!, In Touch, or You and Yours: Disability--we're floored by how much Britain has to done to increase accessibility to those with any number of disabilities. Talking museum guides? Tactile maps of parks? Suddenly visiting London with a blind child seems like a good deal!

So of course this exists!! Why don't we have it here?! Thrive: Gardening for blind or partially sighted people.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Someone has a job now!

Didja know?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Job offer

The long ordeal looks to be mostly over. I got offered a job at the middle school. I interviewed at the high school they're sending my kiddos from last year to, and it was a really nice interview. I have a sneaking suspicion that they would have offered me a job right there and then, but the interview was with the head assistant principal not the principal herself. He asked me to give them a call before I accepted anything, which I'm going to do tomorrow morning. I'll sleep on whether I'll accept an offer from the high school if they make one or if I'll stay with the middle school.
I'm extremely happy that I don't have to go to the special job fair for my old school's released employees Friday next and that I have a little bit more certainty now than I did a few days ago.

Big Man is now ...

... Skinny Man! Trent got back from his vet visit today clocking in at 14 lbs, which is remarkable for a cat who had previously tipped the scales at 21 lbs. Miss Lemon is up from 5 lbs to 8 lbs, which isn't bad since 1) she's not an adolescent anymore and 2) she's not emaciated anymore. I personally think she's at full-size now--she's still our petite lady. Yesterday, Owl came in at 10 lbs, and Estelle was estimated to be 11 lbs. We couldn't get an accurate weight because the vet tech was too scared of her to touch her. "Typical tortie!" the vet apparently said.

Trent got comments on his newfound slenderness, Owl got comments on his wonderful coat (which is always commented on), Estelle got comments on being the surliest cat in captivity, and Lemmy got comments on not being Estelle!

I ought to get a picture of Stellee hissing and send it to them. Just to trigger flashbacks every time they go to work.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Chris is at his job interview and I'm bored.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two things

Well, more like three, but two of them are related.
I finally have actual concrete interview times, two of them. One is today at 5 at the Middle School one of the nicest parts of town and the other is at one of the high schools where half of the kids from last years school are going (in quite possibly the worst part of town) tomorrow at 11. Hooray!
The other thing is we're half way to getting out cats shots done. Estelle was taken by surprise and I managed to corner her in two minutes instead of the usual 30 to 40. I get the two compliant ones done tomorrow. That's another check off the list for the homestudy! Inching ever forward.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just in case you don't believe her. . .

Chandler isn't telling you the full picture of the drama that will take place tomorrow morning. Estelle is a special little lady. We once feared a neighbor calling either animal control, the police, or both because of her protestations. You may think that your cat doesn't like being put in the cage to go to the vet, but you probably have a cat that has a least a passing interest in YOU. Little Stellie has little interest in having anything to do with us (aside from food), much less the vet. There's a reason why her primary nickname is Nassy. I think it's why we love her.

It's coming ...

That's right.

Tomorrow is the day.

The ill-fated day.

The day that's been planned for a week now.

A day of pain.

A day of mortal outrage.

A day of sulking and surliness.


Tomorrow is the day.

And those who are involved have no idea what's coming.

What's going to befall them.

The day will begin innocently ...

... like any other ...

... and then disaster will strike .......

Owl and Estelle are going to the vet to get their booster shots.

And the next day ...

... it will begin ...

... again! ...

... when Lemmy and Trent go for theirs.

And that's me ...

.... trying my hand ...

... at writing ...

... movie trailers.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Job interview

I've got my first serious nibbles in the last few days. The middle school that feeds into the school that I have been at called on Friday to schedule an interview that day. As I was walking out the door they called back and said that the principal had to leave due to an emergency and that they'd reschedule for sometime this week. I haven't been able to get anybody there to answer the phone today though.
Second, and more tangible. The professor who knows everybody in town connection got me somewhere. One of his buddies, the principal of the middle school Chandler's dad went to, called me today. He's going to coordinate a time with his Social Studies department chair for an interview sometime this week with me. I should know the exact day and time later on today.
This has been a highly irritating process, but hopefully it's nearing completion.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They aren't shutting that other school. . .

. . .yet.
Mis amigos from that other school were concerned about some rumors flying around about shutting their school down and HR seemed to think that they were getting shut down. However, the school board trustee for that part of town didn't know what they were talking about and the state commissioners office told them that they hadn't decided to do anything. I think that at this point not making a decision is a decision. It's a little late in the summer to do that for next year. I fear that they will just wait for the end of next year and do to them what was done to my school this year.
In other news. There's been some confusion about background checks. Our social worker sent us a form for a national abuse registry check. We had already sent off for one, but there was something from the agency that we got some time ago about some other check. Now our social worker tells me that they're the same thing. Hopefully we won't find out in a few weeks that they are different and we're going to have to do some things over again.
I'm being stared at by a tiny cat who appears to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Friends don't let friends buy foam-lined thermal curtains.

Me this afternoon: "But it said I could dry them in the dryer! In fact, I did it once before and this didn't happen! What went wrong??!"

Yes, I used low heat, and yes indeed I've done this exact same thing before. What went wrong this time? Only the Shadow knows. ... Well, maybe. The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, and what evil lurks in the hearts of curtains may not be in his area of expertise.

One member of the family actually likes it better, though:

Thanks for making me feel better, Lemmy. I love your sunshine toes.

The blackout curtains in our kitchen lack that yucky foam lining and seem to work much better. So if you get curtains to help block out the heat from the sun (as I obviously will be doing very soon), go blackout instead of thermal.

(And the reason these things are still up is because I prefer that it not be 90 degrees in here as well as outside.)

Stuff you should know and read

First, the stuff you should know: I deleted my garden blog. I wasn't updating it and my interest in doing so was minimal. Garden updates will continue here, provided I feel like it.

And now, the stuff you should read! This has been sitting in my RSS feeder for some time, and I'm finally taking the time to share it. Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Also amusing, but in a much less thoughtful way (and let it be known that thoughtfulness often trips up humor, so that's not an indictment), is Five Things I'll Never Buy for My Future Kids.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

An utterly self-indulgent post

But it's my blog, right? I'll do as I please.

Many a soul would post the things they love and the things they hate in their self-indulgent blog posts. Ever the nonconformist, I'll now commence with a list of my own: Things I Hate to Love and Things I Love to Hate. A duo of top ten lists for you ... because if I didn't limit myself, you'd hate me.

10. Soda - Especially Dr Pepper. Tastes so good, yet causes weight gain and sleepless nights. And don't tell me that diet sodas are all the fun and none of the guilt--they don't taste the same and make me homicidal because the fake sweetness screws up my blood sugar something fierce.
9. My garden - Bug bites, sunburn, uneven tanning, higher water bills, strange cats in my yard munching on my catnip ... yet nibbling on a Wenk's yellow hot makes it all worth it.
8. Goats - So cute. But I'll never have enough room to keep one as a pet.
7. Math - I love math, and I'm not ashamed to say it!! ... but it is kind of weird, isn't it?
6. LibriVox - I've finally told myself that I can't keep downloading books from here because I don't have enough time. So my queue is about 20 books long. At least it's free.
5. iPods - I resisted so long. But they're so great. Now I just have about 40 books on the thing that I need to work through.
4. The BBC - Why aren't there any American news outlets that are this good? Or funny? The annoying thing is that I know an inordinate amount about British politics, which is helpful in exactly no situations.
3. Owning four cats - It's mad, an utterly crazy thing. They're expensive, they stink up the place, and they're filled with "pointies" (teeth and claws) ... but I wouldn't trade in a single one for anything.
2. Snow crab - I love snow crab. I used to eat it every chance I got. But it turns out that, while on the mission to get my snow crab, someone probably died a miserable death in icy waters off the coast of Alaska. I don't eat snow crab anymore, partially because of that and partially because it's darned expensive and I have to pay my own way now that I'm an adult.
1. The Game Cube - We have a major announcement coming up about the Game Cube, but until then know that I can't seem to stop ... playing .....

10. Robert Mugabe - I realize that a lot of you may not know what I'm talking about because most news outlets would rather drone on for another day about gas prices than report real news. Those of you who do know what I'm talking about probably also know what I mean.
9. FARC - I'm relishing their decline.
8. Books with the author's name larger than the title of the book - I won't read them. I refuse to. The only exception is if the author is dead and has no say over what the book looks like. But this says to the world that the author is more important than what's being said, and the topic shouldn't matter as long as you're reading a book by this person! Vomit.
7. Books with the author's picture on the front - See above.
6. Earbuds - Those teeny-weeny headphones you stuff in your ears. Ouchy. Give me the giant clunkers any day.
5. Modernism - I'll just say, "Art suicides," and leave it at that.
4. PCs - Oh my dear Mac! How I love thee! Gimme a big ol' hug!
3. Meat substitutes - I could rant on about this crap all day. I don't dislike tofu when it's eaten as tofu in, say, a stir fry. But when you dress it up like chicken then I can't help but roll my eyes. And don't you have to wonder about vegans who are so desperate for meat that they'll eat fake meat? I also shun faux cheese and fake eggs, but I prefer soy milk to the real thing.
2. T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" - How can people like this?! This poem is a piecemeal mess of allusions! Give me "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" any day, thank you.
1. Air horns - Why are these available to the public?