Friday, July 29, 2011

Three Simple Steps...

Ahh…children’s television.  We like the PBS and Disney stuff but darn if those tunes don’t get stuck in my head and eventually drive me crazy!

Most likely anyone with preschoolers out there will recognize the "three simple steps" I titled this post. Yes, Secret Agent Oso is a cartoon where a cute bear teaches kids how to do just about anything by breaking it down into three simple steps. Tooth brushing, tying shoes, you name it.

Which always sort of humors me because in essence, as those of us who work in project management or enterprise architecture well know, decomposing anything down into its smallest "atomic" components is how you create work packages in a plan or...oh my gosh...what gobbledygook--just do what Secret Agent Oso says.

Have you ever noticed that kid's TV shows nowadays are all about teaching? None of this Roadrunner and Coyote, drop anvils on each other’s head stuff.

No. Today, Curious George teaches us all about how to measure and think critically. Sid the Science Kid? You guessed it. You can learn all about observations and formulating and then proving your hypothesis.  Imagination Movers is all about solving problems too, and of course Mickey Mouse is about figuring out the best tools to do the job (and practice your counting while you are at it!)

I read once that the Flintstones was an ode to “The Honeymooner” which was Jackie Gleason’s show.  “To the Moon Alice” Ralph would rail, much like Fred did to Wilma on the cartoon. I don’t recall much educational value, but maybe there was.  After all, we learned how to lie and scheme our way out of problems that we ourselves caused, (but never really got away with.)  

So I guess in closing, what I’m getting at is that if those of us who grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s were influenced by TV and turned out the way we did, how will today’s kids turn out?

I guess if I thought about it hard enough, I could break it down into three simple steps.

Or could I? -M

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stay cool boys. Real cool.


Have you ever wondered how "blogging" became a verb? (Okay, a gerund as I wrote it.) But my point is that the word blog came out of the idea of writing a web log.  If it had been an internet log we'd all be tlogging right?  Words are fun!  Like Staycation and Frienemies. Who comes up with this stuff?  I guess all of us do.

In fact, just yesterday day I told Susanne that I was finding the whole debt ceiling debacle to be a clear case of "Dumbageddon". (Need I say who which party in the negotiations epitomizes pure dumbness?)

Well, I guess I'd better sign off an get back to my stupid job. Which I may just start calling djob.  Although if truth be told, I'm grateful that I have my djob. In this economy. Thanks to the dummies leading us to Dumbageddon. -M

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthdays!

Today is my sister Mary's birthday and tomorrow will be my brother Paul's. I've been thinking about them both a lot the past few days as their birthdays have approached and I hope they both have fantastic days. I don't talk to either of them super often, but we all know that we love each other.

When I called Mary's cell today, I asked if I'd caught her at work, and then felt rather stupid about my question when she reminded me that she had traveled to see her daughter and that she would be at her grandchild's baptism this weekend. You see, I knew that. She'd mentioned on FB how excited she was to be going to see them. And then I realized my problem.

You see, for my whole life, I and my siblings had the most amazing gift. The 411. Access to all information that was important to keep up with. And the source was our mom.

It's been just about 7 months since mom died. And although I didn't think much about the role she played in being our "glue" when she was alive and well, I think about it now.  Even though I spent most of my life living in distant cities, mom and I spoke at least once a week, often more. She loved to keep me (and all of us) up to date on the latest family news (okay, gossip.)  Sometimes she'd forget she'd already told you something but you didn't mind because, hey, you knew she was sharing that same story with at least 7 children, 4 grown up grandchildren and various assorted other relatives.

If mom were healthy and still with us, she'd have made sure I knew where Mary was and most likely would have reminded me to call her. I'd hear the whole story about baby Ellie's baptism and Paulie's birthday too.

My sister Alice who took such wonderful care of mom is sort of taking over mom's 411 role a bit. Maybe I think that because just like mom was always the hub for our many spokes, Alice is now the one that everyone checks in with (especially the brothers who my mom worried most about.)  But Alice has a busy life and can't possibly play the role that mom did, and she does not need to. No one else ever really could anyway..

Mom, if you can hear me typing, I hope you know that you made life fun. And interesting. And I miss you. -M

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation...

Danny had a wonderful time visiting his grandmother in South Carolina as you can see from these pics. It does make me wonder though how easy it must be to get a license to captain a boat. Those passengers look far too comfortable to me at the prospect of a four year old taking them on a tour of Lake Marion! -M

Friday, July 08, 2011

A Parade Worth Waiting For!

The Takoma Park 4th of July parade delighted both Danny and Benji. Who doesn't love a parade! -M

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Dog Days indeed...

I have decided that I'm not a big fan of summer. Heat, mosquitos, humidity. Need I go on?

I used to like summers better when I was a kid because, well, I didn't have to go to school in the summer. I didn't dislike school so much, but I just got sick of it. Summers were a healthy break.

But for some reason my employers seem to believe that summers off are not good for the soul. I disagree.

In thinking about this I guess that I'm mostly not liking this summer, because I'm not much liking my job. I guess self-awareness is the first step to solving a problem.

Thank goodness my children bring me such joy. If only I had the summer off to enjoy it more with them. Sigh. -Monica