Archive for November, 2007


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2007 by Budd Black

My wife is upset because Ashli has officially categorized herself as a “Tomboy.”  I thought it was cute when she said it, but my wife completely freaked out.  She is afraid that being a tomboy will damage her socially for the rest of her life.  I am getting a lot of the blame for this as well.  My wife states that she was a Girly-Girl up until she was four and my wife started working nights and I had the kids alone during the evenings.  My wife has told me that I am not a good influence on them (yes, it does make me mad). 


I don’t see anything wrong with tomboys.  It could be a phase, or it could be that she just likes to be more rough and tumble.  Either way is fine with me.  As a father, the girly-girls are cute and cuddly, but a father doesn’t really bond with that type of girl.  The girly-girl, in my opinion, is more prone to Freudian or Oedipal thought processes because they feel that they are the princess and need a prince to save them.  At pre adolescence, that prince is often the father.  Yuck!  Ashli, doesn’t need saving; she wants to be the hero and do the saving. 


It isn’t as though she is an all out tomboy either.  She has grown to not like pink so much and she hates the Disney Princesses, but she still likes Hello Kitty and littlest pet shop and pretty much anything else that is cute.  She still wears dresses and skirts, but she does so while riding bikes or doing the monkey bars.  She loves playing catch with me.  She loves all animals, even reptiles and bugs.  Her favorite TV shows are Pokemon, Teen Titans, and Dr. Who (she has watched blink about 500 times).  She has made it clear that we are not to get her Barbie dolls for Christmas.  She wants a DS with Zelda.


I can’t seem to comfort my wife on this one.  I don’t understand where her fear is coming from.  I don’t think that I am even the right sex to understand where the fear is coming from.  I understand that she wants a girly-girl to dress up and make look pretty and that Ashli often has messed up hair from running and playing.  But, Ashli still loves to dress up and look pretty.  Maybe culturally I am unable to understand her fear.  I don’t know how tomboys are treated in Korea or if she even understands what the term implies.  I think she might consider it to mean transgendered.  That worries her.  She wants normal kids that grow up to be normal (yet exceptionally smart, beautiful, and successful) adults.  I think tomboys are normal and she does not.


When my wife told Ashli that she had to change, Ashli rebelled.  Ashli said that it was who she was and she couldn’t and didn’t want to change.  This turned into a shouting match between the two of them about being who you are.  Of course, my wife was mad at me for this.  I don’t do all that phony self esteem crap they sell in schools about being perfect just the way you are, but I do tell them that it is okay to be different from other kids.  I mean, they are half Korean, so they are always going to be different from other kids in school.  I have to teach them to be proud of their differences and not worry about what other people might say. 


I think my wife is taking the wrong track.  Instead of discouraging being a tomboy, she should encourage girly-girl behavior.  It would be as easy as having a make up party, or having her put on a fashion show.  I am sure there are other things she could do too.  My wife says I need to change the way I am around her to get her to change and that I shouldn’t be so male with her.  But, when Ashli has played dolls or Polly pocket with me in the past, I got noticeably bored really fast.  On the other hand when we wrestle in the living room it can go on for hours.  My wife doesn’t really play with the girls.  She is more concerned about education, so she does a lot of work with them.  If they want to play they have to do it on their own.


My wife doesn’t see it yet because she is so young, but Ally is following directly in Ashli’s footsteps.  She wants to be like her big sister.  She gets played with in a rough and tumble manner and watches her sisters Tae Kwon Do class.  If Ashli is wrestling with me, Ally jumps right in too.  Ally still loves princesses and pink, but how long before Ashli’s distaste for them rubs off.  Yes in a soon to be future, we have two tomboys and then my wife will really go crazy.

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I still like Ron Paul,

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2007 by Budd Black

but the Huck gets cool points for this.

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 27, 2007 by Budd Black

My six year old, Ashli, has a login on the family computer with a lot of internet shortcuts to sites like Pokemon Crater, PBS kids, and NASA kids.  She has her own wallpaper of Ash and Pikachu and I downloaded a Cat theme for her firefox.  She is getting to the age where she is independently getting on the computer and playing on these websites.  The World Wide Web itself is hardly interesting to her as of yet, but she enjoys the puzzles and games on her websites. 

Yesterday, I set her up with a Zoobuh account.  Zoobuh is a child safe email service.  The parent sets up the account and has administrative rights over the account.  They have many different tools to make the service safe.  Right now, I have Ashli set up so that she can only send and receive emails from people in the address book that I create and have sole administrative power over.  I can always go in and read any email that she has sent or received.  If I want, I can block attachments and links.  Every email from the Zoobuh account comes with a disclaimer that the email was sent from a child.  I think it is a great service and it was an idea that I had on my own and was glad I found a site that implemented it. 

So far, Ashli has sent emails to Me, her mom, and her uncle.  She thinks it is neat and it is helping her learn where the letters are on a keyboard.  She told me that she wanted to learn how to type like me and her mom.  I can now use the email to send her notes or a link to some cool kids website that I found for her.  I will talk to a couple of her friends parents and maybe she will be able to email a couple of her friends too.  It is only a matter of time before she wants email anyway, and this way, she gets it on my terms.  It is better this, than her going to hotmail or gmail and setting up her own account in a couple of years that I have no access to.  Zoobuh also has a setup for teens and the parent can change the prefrences at any time, so the site will grow with your child. 

If you have kids, I would really check this out.

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QotD: Guest vs. Host

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 26, 2007 by Budd Black

For a full sit-down dinner with several guests, would you rather be the one cooking or do you prefer to just show up and eat?

Has there ever been a stupider question.  Anyone that has ever cooked for a group of people knows what a pain in the butt it is.  Of course you would only want to show up and eat.  Even if you like to cook, it doesn't mean that you want to slave away for a large group.  I don't think anyone enjoys cooking that much. 

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QotD: My Alma Mater

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 26, 2007 by Budd Black

What's your alma mater?
Submitted by Lies.

Middle Tennessee State University, or MTSU, or Mitsu.  One of the top universities in the country for Aerospace and music.  Their business school isn't too shabby either.  Unfortunately, my degree was in English.  Sure the faculty is one of the most published in the country, but that doesn't make my degree worth anything.  Located in a state that ignores any school that isn't University of Tennessee or Vanderbilt, Mitsu has one of the most handicapped accessible campuses in the Southeast.  Fortunately, I am not handicapped so this feature of the school doesn't do much for me.  There isn't really any famous alum to speak of.  One guy won the 1986 Nobel prize for economics.  Other than that, just some politicians, oh and that girl in the band evanessance or whatever dropped out.    It is the largest undergraduate university in the State of TN.  This means that parking sucks.  If you go there, they have a great exchange program with Korean and Japan.  Women's basketball is the school's best sport.  The ROTC program is one of the top in the country, but I am sure that is just because they teach the test.  The campus is close to Nashville, which means everyone leaves for the weekend, and by everyone I mean 95% of the student body, and no, they do not come back for weekend sporting events. 

The school isn't as bad as I make it sound.  I am just bitter that any school would offer an English degree knowing that they are crippling anyone graduating with that degree that isn't going to graduate school or minoring in Education.


I am also an alumnus of the school of hark knocks. 



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First Solo Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 23, 2007 by Budd Black

This year was the first year that we haven't gone anywhere for Thanksgiving.  My wife's knowledge of American food, especially Southern dishes, is limited, so it was all up to me to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.  We made way to much and probably could have had people over and still had left overs.  It was good though.  I surprised myself.  I ate, slept, then ate some more. 

Halloween and thanksgiving-19Halloween and thanksgiving-20Halloween and thanksgiving-21

We had, country ham, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, rolls, corn, green beans, dressing, white beans, hoe cake cornbread, red eye gravy, and pumpkin pie. 

Just so you know, the only way to eat white beans and cornbread is like this:

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Hey Amazon, Are You Listening?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 19, 2007 by Budd Black

So the Kindle has officially launched. I have been pumped about E-Readers for a while now and I like what Amazon is doing.  I don't really need another tool to surf the net and the Kindle seems to recognize this.  The no docking station, or need for a computer at all, in order to by and upload books is perfect.  The thing is kinda ugly in some pics and in others it doesn't look that bad. 

I would tell you how seemlessly it works but Amazon didn't send me one to blog about.  It likely would have gotten rave reviews from me. 

The good news is that the books are ranging from $1.50 to about $10 (unless otherwise marked) and there are a lot of books available.  The E-Ink is easy on the eyes and battery life seems great.  I have already mentioned that you can shop for books from the product itself without connecting it to an existing computer.

The bad.  At $400, I am afraid to even put it on a wishlist.  It is too much.  This is a first gen product.  There will be bugs or prettier colors.  I don't feel like paying a lot of money to be a guinea pig.  Knock it down to $200 and I will think about it.  for $150, you have my interest.  For $100 you have a sale.  For $50, you have changed the way that people will read. 

I want one but not at that price.  I mean what is the point of having the capacity for 200 books if I can't even by one book after paying for the hardware.

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