Thursday, April 03, 2014

Nanny Phone

Our smaller car is pretty bare bones, but the one thing it does have is a USB port so that I can play music that I have stored on my phone, through the radio speaker system on the car. When I plug in the USB cable, the phone sees the cable as headphones. It lowers the music volume automatically, and when I turn it back up, I always get a warning that Loud Music Over a Long Period of Time Can Damage Your Hearing, Young Lady. Okay, I'm touched that my phone cares about my hearing, but really, I'm a big girl; I can decide for myself if the volume on my phone is too high.

Now, not only does my new phone want to save my hearing, it wants to Save the World. When I plug my phone in overnight to recharge, like you do, when the phone reaches full charge, it beeps and leaves a note across the top to tell me to unplug the charger to save energy. Yeah, that's gonna happen. Listen, I plug in my phone, then I go to sleep. If my phone's battery charge is low enough, by the time it's fully charged again, I'm going to be asleep. And if I'm not, I'm trying to go to sleep, not be disturbed by my cell phone. Not only that, I want to make sure my phone is charged, because it's also my alarm clock. Lastly, how much energy does leaving my cell phone plugged in overnight really use? I'm tired of being preached at constantly about saving the planet; I don't need my phone to do it for me too. If it wasn't for the fact that many people do use their phones as alarm clocks, I think the self-righteous people who created this little gem would program the phone to turn itself off because oh noes, we have to save that half a watt of electricity used to make sure the phone is charged overnight.

What's next? Is your refrigerator going to scold you when you stand there with the door open for too long? Will your washer only wash clothes in cold water so you don't use electricity to heat the water? The idea that the government will eventually control the temperatures in our homes has already been tossed around. This is the ugly side of wanting the government to take care of everything for you. At least for those of us who don't need a nanny.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Natural Reason versus Faith

This blog post I'm linking to is very old, but someone I know just mentioned it on Google Plus last week, so I saw it for the first time. On the other hand, it consists of some of Martin Luther's words, and those are older still. But what struck me is how appropriate they are for the times in which we live. I encourage you to go read the whole quote, but for my purposes here, I'll just say that Luther compares those who live by natural reason against those who live by Christian faith in the context of marriage and children. In natural reason, according to Luther, caring for a wife and dealing with a smelly baby who needs his diapers changed is abhorrent and something to be avoided. On the other hand, the Christian sees even the lowest of service as pleasing to God, and so he is glad to do the most menial of tasks for his wife and children.

It really struck me how Luther, writing from nearly 500 years ago, captured the spirit of our age so accurately. I've been seeing people that don't even want to live with another person anymore, because it's too much work and hassle. The other person doesn't do his fair share of the chores, plus you have to deal with his bad habits, and work around his schedule, etc. It's much easier, they say, to just maintain your separate abodes. Get together at one person's place for the evening, have dinner, watch a movie, have sex, and then you both live your own separate lives until you feel like sharing time with that person again. And having sex, of course. The natural man wants all the pleasures life can give him, but not any of the work or unpleasantness.

This so relates to being a stay-at-home mom, too. Modern feminists insist that getting a job outside the home is infinitely preferable to staying home and doing the things Luther talks about: making beds, washing diapers, taking care of the baby when he cries. Of course, you then have to turn around and hire someone to do those things, but somehow that is seen as acceptable. I've never seen anywhere how feminists view those women, the ones who are working but are doing those menial tasks that other women are too good to do. It might be interesting to find that out.

I find it sad that people are willing to forgo the benefits that marriage and children can bring, because there are lots of benefits. In fact, I could even suggest that the good one acquires not only outweighs the bad, but is better than the fleeting pleasures that the perpetually single-by-their-own-choice find, simply because the work required is more difficult. And in loving someone else despite the frailties, weaknesses, and times when the other person simply messes up, we find someone who loves us despite our frailties, weaknesses, and times when we just mess up. There is a true beauty there.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Healing Well

I had a two-week post surgery check up on Tuesday. The doctor was very impressed with my healing, and also informed me that all the nurses on my floor had been talking about me, because I didn't take any strong pain medicine, like codeine or oxycodone, after my surgery. Of course, not having narcotics for pain relief was my choice, because they make me vomit, but I also didn't really feel like I needed them. Apparently this is unusual. The doctor was also impressed at my ease of movement. I attribute that to getting up and moving around as much as I could after I got home, though.

Between this recovery, and the healing of the fractured bone in my foot, which surprised my doctor every time I went in, I'm beginning to wonder if I was injected with some sort of mutant healing serum as a child.

Friday, March 14, 2014

These Children Are Special and Loveable, Except When They're Not

I read many different doll blogs, that offer news and reviews of many different dolls. A couple of those reviews have featured dolls from Extra Special Dolls. What makes these dolls special is that they are all modeled to look like children with Down Syndrome. Not only are the faces sculpted to look like children with Down Syndrome, the dolls also have other physical characteristics of someone born with this genetic disorder. These include things like a single crease in the palm, lower set ears and a tiny curved pinky finger. Your doll can even be created with things like custom scars, as Down children can suffer with things like heart issues, that need surgery.

I admire the woman who first got the idea for these dolls because her own daughter has Down Syndrome. She's worked hard to bring her dream of creating these dolls to life. It's a great story, and I hope the dolls bring lots of happiness to every child who receives one. But on the other side, we have stories like these, where a mother killed her own toddler with Down Syndrome.

That's the sad part of all this, that while some people treasure life, even of those who may have health issues or genetic disorders or physical handicaps, there are some, like that toddler's father, who think that children like his son are better off dead. Despite how "lucky" she was to be the toddler's mom, this Erika Wigstrom decided it was her choice to kill him.

But then again, why shouldn't she? "An estimated 92 percent of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies," according to a pediatric geneticist in Boston. In other words, most children who have Down syndrome never even make it out of the womb alive. If it's okay to kill those unborn prenatally, because they will be inconvenient or inexpensive or if a parent is not "strong enough to raise a child like that," what if they become too much to deal with out of the womb? Please cut out the nonsense about how your "kid is so cool God wanted him." If God wanted him, God would have taken him without you choosing to poison him. No, all these people just want to play God, want to have control of their own lives, want to get rid of everything which isn't "perfect" or that means hard work.

And as the ABC article notes, many more women are conceiving babies with Down syndrome because they are waiting so much longer to try to have a child in the first place. What a schizophrenic society we live in, where we treat Down syndrome children as unique, special blessings for a family, and on the other hand most of them are aborted because they are not wanted by their parents.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Hello Again

The surgery was successful, and I'm starting to feel more like myself. Being in the hospital, and out of the normal stream of life, I felt almost like I was a different person once I came home and started feeling stronger. I'm paying attention to what's going on in the wider world, but I still need quite a bit of rest. I'm making positive progress, so I'm hoping to be writing more soon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gone for a While

I'm having surgery on Wednesday morning, so I might not be around here for a while. I don't own a laptop, so I'll have to feel up to sitting at my computer to actually do any writing. I'm hoping to recover fairly quickly, but I also could take a while to feel better. I'm not going to rush anything. Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Around

The Evil Genius family is all snug and cosy at home for what I hope will be the last snow day of this winter. The high temperature is supposed to be 39 degrees this afternoon, but the snow was bad enough this morning that I'm glad school was cancelled. In my opinion, it would have been seriously courting bad accidents to try to get the kids to school this morning. Mr. BTEG is also able to work from home, and does so regularly once a week in any case, so he and his group are all working from home today.

I can't wait for the warmer temps this week! We're running out of room to put all this snow. Our driveway has been getting narrower and narrower. On the other hand, it's also been getting longer. The piles of snow probably extend out past the curb by at least a foot. Which is good, because in related news, we got a second car!

We've been a one-car family for years. It can be one of the hazards of being a family with a stay-at-home-mom. With Mr. BTEG working downtown and able to take a bus, the burden wasn't too great, although I had to drive him to and from the bus stop. What drove me to the breaking point was the Musician's teaching experience requirements. Twice a week, she has to be at the community college for classes for a couple of hours in the morning, then the rest of the day at the high school. Three times a week, she has been assisting a teacher in the classroom, first at an elementary school, then the intermediate school, then the middle school. Again, this is only for about an hour and a half in the morning, then it's off to the high school. For complicated issues, which I'm not going to discuss here for privacy reasons, the Musician hasn't yet gotten her driver's license. So I spent a good bit of morning driving, then picked the girls up later at the high school, then had to pick up Mr. BTEG at the bus stop, then many evenings the Dancer goes to dance classes. So this second car was a true blessing. Mr. BTEG now handles getting himself to and from the bus stop, the Dancer to the high school, and the Musician to the college on those mornings. My sanity has been restored.