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Showing posts from February, 2014

Parenting Ramblings: Punishment or Correction?

I am a mom. My husband and I raised our kids to think for themselves, be responsibly for their actions, and care about others, and for the most part I think we did okay.  My kids get decent grades, have good friends, and do their chores with only a little bit of sighing and eye-rolling. Parenting discussions are a must for any parent, including the one where you discuss how to handle a misbehaving child.  I read all the books and magazine articles available at the time, talked to other parents, and watched other parents with their children.  It soon became apparent that there are two main ways to discipline kids:  through punishment and through correction. Traditionally, parents used punishment for discipline.  From spanking to time-outs to losing toys, a child was punished for not behaving appropriately.  The reasoning behind punishment goes something like this: A child does not want to be punished, so he will follow the rules to avoid punishment. Only, children respond bes

Revelations from Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is a first-person role playing game set in an apocalyptic future. You, the player, wake up after getting shot in the head in a tiny town called Goodsprings.  From here, you have choices about what to do.  Do you follow the trail to the people who tried to kill you or do you explore the area?  Do you help the people who found you?  Or do you help another group take over the town?  Your choices create your karma rating, and your reputation with different factions in the game. It's the choices that I like in this game.  I choose what I want to specialize in, I choose whether I want to solve problems with words or guns.  Sometimes, there are no good choices and yet I still need to make one. I've played this game a lot lately, and I realized something on a gut level that I only knew in my head before - I learned the cost of fighting and war. This revelation began with the Great Khans, a tribal faction that people wanted either manipulated or dead.  One

Phony Phone Calls

It happens to all of us.  The phone rings when you're either making or eating dinner, and you rush over to answer.  A friendly voice asks for you, but refuses to say who he/she is or what the call is about until you verify your identity.  Or a robotic voice begins to speak.  And you know, you just answered spam, a phony phone call. Robocalling and telemarketers have plagued the phone system for decades, completely known and so far completely unstoppable.  The government instituted a Do Not Call list , which stopped legitimate telemarketing companies, but does nothing for illegal ones.  In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) even offered $50,000 to whoever came up with the best idea for stopping illegal telemarketers and robo-callers.  Several people submitted good ideas, but nothing has come of it so far. The problem is all of these solutions focus on the people receiving the phone calls, not the call providers.  The government already has laws against these calls, but th

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful....

I live in Metro Atlanta, an area which had an interesting few days this week.  Note, I'm using the word "interesting" as in the Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times" or the Firefly definition, "oh, god, oh, god, we're all gonna die". Not that I think a little snow and ice will kill you, but I'm fairly certain that someone thought it might by Tuesday night. If you haven't heard, the Metro Atlanta area got 1" - 3" of snow on Tuesday, as forecasted by, well, everyone.  Now, snow is a bit unusual for here and if the storm had not been predicted two days earlier, what happened on Tuesday would be completely excusable.  The problem here is that city and county officials everywhere around Metro Atlanta acted as though we weren't going to be hit with snow.  So no schools closed, no government offices closed, no one asked people to work from home, they didn't have sand laid over bridges and overpasses...  No p