Category Archives: Ponderings

General day-to-day stuff

Megamaxx Console Game

Megamaxx Console Game

So we gave Nate a phone for his 16th birthday. However, we didn’t want it to be too obvious, so we got a “prank box” to put it in. The one we got was for a “Megamaxx console game” (console not included) for doing chores.


It has a link “for more information” on the box – –
which doesn’t actually go anywhere. (That’s part of why I’m blogging this — so a Google search might actually find something about it 😀 )

Inside that, I had a box (also wrapped) that contained a bag of chips covering another wrapped item – the phone.

I put a Minions birthday background on it and set it up with a “Happy Birthday” ringtone. We called it after he got it out of the box.

I also took him to the Department of Motor Vehicles to try for his driver’s permit this afternoon, after lunch at Subway.

He passed. 🙂


Think it Through

Think it Through

Like a bushel of acid-dipped feathers released into the wind, so are thoughtless words: never to be fully retrieved and each causing damage to the surface on which it lands. This damage may be irreparable; one might never know the final result of some of the strewn pieces.

One would think after 43 years of life (most of that with the ability to talk), I would have figured this out. Unfortunately, with the speed of the internet, I still have (too many) times when my fingers start typing without my brain in gear and I say/post something and don’t realize until later just how it sounds – “later” usually being when the person to whom I sent it (or someone else in the thread, if it’s public) says something about it.

I have, however, discovered that attempting to explain myself generally only makes things worse, especially if I do so while still feeling deeply embarrassed at my faux pas. Unfortunately, simply apologizing is also usually ineffective, as the other person often feels (or, maybe, it appears to me, in my admittedly oversensitive state at that moment, that he or she feels) that my apology is insufficient to atone for my error.

Perhaps it would be wise to step back from technology and go back to pen and paper – where it takes more time to put into words one’s thoughts.

I think part of my problem, personally, is that I try to follow the saying on the “rules of men” that I saw on the internet several times – the one that says, “If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.” If someone says something to me (in text, which has no vocal cues) that appears it could be snarky or sarcastic, I generally choose to take it at face value instead, whenever possible. Perhaps that means I miss some genuinely snarky or sarcastic moments that would be indicators that I had done something to offend, and missing that could mean I also miss my opportunity to make it right.

I tend to be rather gullible and face-value in most cases. If you have a problem with me, I’d really rather you just say so, because if I haven’t apologized for whatever I did to offend you, chances are that I don’t even realize I offended you and you are not helping either of us by not telling me. If you tell me, I can do my best to make it right with you, AND it may help me to stop myself from offending someone else in the same manner.

Running, Running

Running, Running

Along the path I daily tread
From morning until time for bed,
Step by step, a couple rungs,
A burst of speed, refill my lungs,
I watch the path as it goes by.
The end will get here, if I try…
Keep pressing on, yard by yard,
Some steps easy, some steps hard.
It seems a mile, or maybe two,
I draw along th’entire crew,
‘Til at long last, I stop to rest,
Lift up my head from off my chest.
I look around – to my chagrin,
I see the hamster-wheel I’m in.

-Dawn Harvey, 9/29/2014

Books and Movies

Books and Movies

tvI love books. I’ve loved books ever since I began reading at 2-and-a-half years old. There is a recent trend in which famous books are being made into movies. (Case in point: The Hobbit, which is currently playing in my living room.)

What I can’t figure out is why they bother naming the movie the same as the book, when it is obviously “loosely based” (at best) on the book, and not an actual depiction of the actual events and characters in the book. The Hobbit and its predecessors, The Lord of the Rings movies, are the closest to the book of many, but even these are more their own stories than they are J.R.R. Tolkien’s. Much is left out (obviously, it would be impossible to include EVERYTHING or it would be a six- or seven-movie series rather than one movie) and, more unfortunately, things are added.

Most of these books are SO GOOD in their own right, that adding things is really not necessary to make a good movie. We don’t NEED extra violence, or extra stupidity, or extra humor. What is already there is fine!

Of course, there is also the fact that there is no way that a movie can compete with the human imagination. Sometimes I wonder if the movie makers have ever even READ the book. The layouts are often incorrect, characters have the wrong hair color or style, the wrong eye color, maybe even the wrong skin color!

This is not to say I dislike movies, nor that I think they should stop making movies of books. I just think they should either try to match the book better, or stop saying that the movie is the story in the book, when it so obviously is not.



You hear it everywhere these days. “It’s reverse discrimination!” “That’s reverse racism.”


Discrimination, according to, is “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.”

Racism, from the same source, is “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”

Note that neither is specific regarding which thing or ‘race’ is affected. This is because it applies regardless of who or what is affected. If a Mexican person is trying to put down a Chinese person, that’s racism. If an olive-skinned person treats a person badly simply because they have reddish skin, then that’s discrimination.

There is no such thing as “reverse” of either of these. If it’s discrimination, it’s discrimination, plain and simple. And if it’s racism, then it’s racism, plain and simple.

FYI: Craig cmp741e tablet reset information

FYI: Craig cmp741e tablet reset information

We had a customer who had purchased a 7″ tablet – a Craig cmp741e – and whose grandchild had entered a pattern password and then could not remember it. She was looking for a way to reset it. We searched all over the internet, including Craig’s site, to no avail.

We have just been called back with the proper procedure by this customer. She said that one must simply insert an SD card, then power on, and the tablet will be reset. It will not do it without the SD card.

I hope this helps someone else out there!

The Beauty of Nature

The Beauty of Nature

Robert Marleton PhotographyI’ve seen a lot of beautiful photos over the years. My daughter takes some wonderful pictures, as many of you know. I’ve recently discovered that a friend from long ago now does some wonderful photography, as well. If you have a minute, you should take a look at some of his work; I’m sure you will enjoy it. I know I do!

(Update: fixed the link that wasn’t working.)

January is over. Already.

January is over. Already.

How does the time go SO fast!? We just celebrated the new year, and the first month is over already. I think it was good that I made no resolutions, as I have not done anything particularly different yet this year. I have goals, but have barely begun to work on them. One of them is to get more exercise, because I am very out of shape. I began yesterday by riding my bike around the block twice (a mile), and repeated that again today (except we went around a longer block instead of twice around the short block).

What are you doing to meet your goals for the new year?

January Update Letter

January Update Letter

Dear Family & Friends,

First, I want to apologize for the length between update letters! I had intended to send one at Christmas time, but obviously I failed. I hope you had a pleasant holiday season and I hope this letter finds you feeling well.

I haven’t written since August. I know there have been things that happened in that time, but most of it is a blur to me. I’ll try to hit the highlights, anyway.

In September, Robby turned 45 and Rachel turned 17. We went ice skating for Rachel’s birthday in what has become a tradition (or, anyway, it was our second year in a row to do it). She really enjoys ice skating. She received art supplies, mostly, and has enjoyed creating beautiful pictures.

In October, Timmy turned 15. I still can’t get over how fast these kids are growing, you know?

Also in October, I had the privilege of going to a ladies’ meeting at a church in Hartselle, AL, where a lady was speaking who had grown up with rheumatoid arthritis. She was diagnosed at 18 months! Her story was quite inspirational, as she discussed how she could only make it through with God’s help.

In November, we had Thanksgiving, and Robby’s youngest sister Cathy was able to be here with her family. It was very good to see them, and the cousins had a great time playing together.

I was also able to get a great deal on a train table and train set for the little kids in November, and they really enjoyed it! I like that the train is expandable with most wooden train sets.

A couple days after Thanksgiving, John Luke turned 6. He bought a toy rifle with his birthday money and dressed in camo and an army hat to pose for this picture.

Of course, we had Christmas in December. Robby’s sister Stephanie and her children were able to be here this year, and it was great! Bobby & Alex spent a lot of time together and we really enjoyed getting to visit with them for a few days.

This month so far, Nathaniel has turned 12. He was given a bicycle for his birthday and is thrilled with that!

We have had pleasant weather, for the most part, and some days were practically summer-like, which has been very nice. I hope that your new year so far has been going well, too.

God bless you!

Why do I write?

Why do I write?

Why do I write? I write for many reasons. Some of these include: to process things; to vent; for fun; to share information; and to connect with others. What motivates me to write? Feelings are often motivators – when my emotions run high, writing offers an outlet that may not be otherwise available. This includes both positive and negative emotions. When I’m angry, a rant to a blank sheet of paper is more productive than venting all over someone who is not even involved in whatever it was that made me angry. When I’m overwhelmed by gratitude, writing that out (and sending it!) is an excellent way to express it – and a lasting one.

Now, that only applies to the dribbling, rambling sort of writing (which is, admittedly, much of what I do), but there is also the literary side of writing. For example, I entered NaNoWriMo in 2011, and even though I didn’t win, I wrote more than I have in any previous attempt. Why do I want to write a novel (of which I have two started now)? For one thing, I have always enjoyed reading. What could be better than being on the other end of that? As much as I have enjoyed reading, creating a work that others can enjoy would be immensely satisfying.

As for inspiration, that is more difficult. I usually have to work at finding things about which to write. My brother and my daughter seem to have never-ending waterfalls of ideas, but I have to chip bits of idea from solid granite.



I found out about this book in a rousing bit of that family fun thing that I did discuss in a post prior. This book contains not that thing that most usually shows up in works of fact or fiction, and it is difficult to avoid it. I found a wild thrill at this finding. If I can, I want to obtain a copy of it.



Adding: a copy is found on



Quelf is an amusing and delightful game in which players act like idiots without it being a problem. Everyone gets in on the fun and it is a blast! There are five categories of cards and eight character pieces (each with its own personality, as shown by quotes on the cards). Apparently some boxes also include biographies of the characters, but the game I bought at Walmart did not include these. The cards include trivia, stuntz, showbiz, a Scattergories-style one, and roolz. This is a game that you really can’t appreciate until you play it for yourself!

Schedules, School, and Sleepiness

Schedules, School, and Sleepiness

So here it is, Monday again and a new week. A new year! So we started to follow our schedule (which I created a few months ago, and it worked great the single day in which we managed to follow it successfully). So far, we only missed one thing on it today.

School is in progress, and one of my students has already finished for the day. Another is working diligently, and a third is … not.

The biggest issue with restarting the schedule is the time at which we need to arise. We are, unfortunately, a family of night-owls, and getting up at 6am is not the preference here. We have found, however, that we get more done if we get up earlier and get busy, so here we are. Again. Yawning abounds, and naps are being requested.

We’ll see how long it lasts this time around…

Ten things

Ten things

1. Life is brief. A dear friend was just fine last Tuesday, and tonight her empty shell is buried in the ground, leaving behind friends and family that miss her, and precious memories.

2. Memories are precious. Don’t underestimate the power of making good memories.

3. Smile. You don’t know who will be blessed by your smile.

4. If you have something kind or uplifting to say, say it. Don’t wait – you may not have a chance to say it later.

5. If you have something unkind or cutting to say, bite your tongue. Life is too short to be negative.

6. A headache is terrible for concentration.

7. If you use a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor – you’ll know that the name is a lie.

8. ASL is an absolutely beautiful language.

9. Cuddle with your littles while you can – they don’t stay little long.

10. It’s bedtime. Good night, all!