Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, October 30, 2016


I spent most of today being cameraman for a school project by The Girl:  for her Japanese class they needed to prepare some food item, and describe the process in Japanese.

Nothing super fancy:  her digital camera; my tripod.

She wrote out the script; I set up the shots (The Girl defined the scenes, but I framed the shots); and The Girl did all the editing.

It actually turned out really well -- and reinforced my notion that someday I want to shoot a film short, as well as a few music videos.

It's somewhere in the queue.

We both had a nice time, I think.  Got to spend some time together on a mutual task. :)


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Good lyrics by Kevin Adams

This is a bit of an "open letter" to "Captain Crash" Adams -- Kevin G. Adams:  if you ever Google this, please ping me.

What prompted this is that I've have our album in heavy rotation on my car's mp3 player, and "Rose in the Sand" has the line "It's like I'm wishing on a rainbow // And there's nothing at the end".

That's a good line.  Nice one, Kev.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Three more neckties

I collect neckties -- so I wear 'em to work (most of the other men don't).

It's accidental that these three all feature red or pink neckties:  most of my neckties are blue, green, or black.



My Stylophone timeline

November 2009 (approx.):  Saw the below Molly Lewis cover of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" on YouTube; decided I wanted a Stylophone (see 0:47).

12 December 2009:  Added MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” to my (exceedingly long!) list of "Songs to Cover... Eventually".  Notes include:  maybe use a Stylophone for the main riff.

24 January 2011:  Mail-ordered a Stylophone from a "neat-o things" Australian website; showed up in the mail after a few days.

Late January 2011:  Played the Stylophone once; found the interface awkward (poking the flat keyboard with a stylus); put it back in the box.

17 Oct 2016:  In our "Room of Boxes", where I do my music things, ventured into a rarely-visited corner; saw the Stylophone on top of a pile of boxes; realized I had not touched it in (literally) years; decided that there's little point in me keeping it.

18 Oct 2016 (morning):  Gave the Stylophone to a co-worker "Notesy", with whom I occasionally geek out about synths and other musical gear; he's far more likely to actually use it than me -- and at the very least, he'll appreciate it (he certainly seemed appreciative at the time; knew what it was from the photo on the box, even though I had the name intentionally covered up).

18 Oct 2016 (evening):  Typed up this timeline; realized that it wasn't just "a few years" that I'd not used the Stylophone -- it was more than five years; yep.


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Monday, October 17, 2016

Multitool magic

I send my family a snapshot of me and a necktie, and my sister e-mailed back to ask about my belt pouches.  This was my reply:

Tools: I dislike being without tools on my person -- it drives me nutty to be unprepared. For example, every few days at work I open a package of frozen veggies: instead of having to go back to my desk, I just get my folding scissors out of my pocket. 

About two weeks ago a co-worker came up to me and asked if I had a screwdriver (I have a reputation on the floor for having tools). I reached into my pouch and got out my multitool: he was suitable impressed that I had a screwdriver **on** me (rather than my having to crawl under my desk to get my tool kit). 

And yesterday during my lunch break, two German(?) young-ish tourists were sitting on a bench, trying to open an inexpensive bicycle LED light they had just bought, to insert the batteries. I offered my assistance, and (again) brought out my multi-tool. I let them do the actual opening, though [using the flat-blade screwdriver]. 

I also also carry a few rubber bands with me (looped around one of the pouches).  I was standing in line at a store, about two months ago, and the woman in front of my asked the check-out lady if she had a rubber band she could use. The check-out lady said, apologetically, that she did not. But -- I did!!! So I gave her a rubber band, and saved the day. 

Two pouches on each hip. From far left, to far right: pocket knife; harmonica; multitool; cellphone


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

My shoulderversary

This is to my kids, and my future self:  my one-year shoulder-versary.

Friday, Oct 16, 2015.

It's good to be able to floss and tie my shoes without needing the help of children.  :)



Possible tribal tattoo

The Girl has an owie on her arm.  Similar to "signing a cast", I drew a design on her band-aid.

It would make a good tribal-style tattoo.


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Saturday, October 15, 2016

A reminder to The Girl

Girl (your future self),

I know that sometimes you and B1 ("Blondie Boy") sometimes don't get along.  So I want you to remember this:

Today was B1's turn to go shopping with Mom.  You collect owls:

While they were out, they saw another owl:

Mom was sure that you already had that one -- but B1 was certain that you did not.  He insisted -- so Mom ended up buying it.  And, of course, B1 was right:  you didn't have it yet.

B1 knew what you had (and didn't have); and he looked out for your interests:  he wanted you to be happy.

Remember that.  :)


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Someday a road trip

Sometimes I get funny ideas in my head.  Like:  I rather dis-like travelling -- but a few years ago I had the notion that it would be neat to live in Norway for a year.  But then I realized that I envisioned myself hiding out and doing woodworking and recording songs -- and I could do that more easily here at home (and not have to ship my tools and musical instruments overseas).

A variation of that occurred a few weeks ago, when I accidentally stumbled across the town of "Bell", in regional Queensland.  It's a few hours west of here, and pretty small:  hypothetically I could spend a few months there, recording and doing woodworking:  and driving there with a pickup truck or van full of tools and instruments would be far more feasible.

My latest thing is this:  I was reading an article in a guitar magazine this morning about ten great guitar shops in the U.S.; one of them was in Chicago; and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a used guitar from Chicago?"

And the thought developed:  I've never really been on a "road trip".  Family trips as a child don't count.

I drove from Tacoma to Portland, Oregon once, for business (about a three hour drive); and from Seattle to Pullman, WA once (about four hours).  And that's it.

So:  one of these days, fly into Oregon; meet up with Old Roommate; and do a road trip to Chicago.  Stop by a few guitar shops along the way (and whatever is of interest to him); drive, reminisce, stop at some truck stops and diners.

And when we get to Chicago, phone the store to ask how to get there without getting stuck in any of the dodgy neighborhoods.

Aim for getting a guitar.  But if a Fender Rhodes, a compelling tube amp, or some funky old synth, calls to me...

Bonus points if I buy a used guitar from a Chicago pawn shop!!!

Then drive down to Nashville (only eight hours away!  Had not realized it was that close!), book a few hours in a low-end recording studio, and record a demo -- just to say that I've recorded in Nashville.

And then drive back.

Not now.  Maybe in a decade or so -- when I'm about 55 or 58.

Not in the summer -- too stinkin' hot -- nor in the winter -- getting stuck in the snow. Either the fall or the early spring.  Maybe fall, so I can have Thanksgiving with my family before heading back to Australia.

The "fun" part will be trying to ship that stuff back.  Probably by ocean freight, not by air freight.  Depending on the volume.


Addendum: (3:55pm) -- Bring a guitar or other musical instrument (but one that I don't care about!) to sell at a pawn shop in Chicago.  That way I can also say that I pawned a guitar in Chicago.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Chicken coop mod reminds me of my grandparents

I'd like to think that I reflect certain (positive!) traits of each of my late grandparents.

I have my maternal grandfather's jolly, laid-back temperament.  Usually.

I have my maternal grandmother's tendency to "take in strays".

I have my paternal grandmother's positive outlook, and the attitude that "food is love".

And, possibly to the greatest extent I echo my paternal grandfather's tendency to build things out of wood:  enjoying the mechanical problem-solving, making wooden things for others which solve specific needs.  As an extension of this, we both modify our home environment to suit our needs.

I was reminded of that final trait this morning, when I was feeding the chickens.

I needed to open a new bag of chicken feed:  usually I have my pocket knife and my multi-tool with me -- because they're always on my belt.  But at that moment I was wearing sweatpants -- so I didn't have any tools with me.  Gah.

I decided to solve the problem, so that I would always be able to open the bags of chicken feed.  First, I went back inside, and got an extra set of scissors from my box of (of course!) extra scissors!.  I went back to the chicken coop and cut most of the top off the bag of feed, and dumped in the metal storage container:

I had also brought a paper clip from inside.  I bent it into a double-hook shape:

And then I hung it near the top of the screen, near the entrance door but inside the chicken coop.  I hung it high enough that it would be sheltered by the eaves and therefore -- hopefully -- not get rained upon and rust.

The hook next to it used to have a green screwdriver hanging from it:  I'll have to see where the screwdriver went.


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Still using the knife

A while ago I posted a blog entry of the pocketknife that Old Roommate gave me during my last trip (June of this year) to the U.S.

Yep -- I'm still using it, every day at work.

As pictured.


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Alien hand tree

Saw this outside of work.  In person, it looks like an alien forearm and hand, rising up from the sidewalk.

Not so much in the photo, I'm afraid.   Needs a 3-D element, for the "thumb" to be closer to you than the "fingers".

The left-most branch is the thumb.  Plus, two fingers.  Palm of the hand is towards the viewer.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Finally accepted The Dandy Warhols

For years, people have been telling me that I'd probably like The Dandy Warhols.  And about five years ago I saw the music video for "Scientist" and liked it -- but when I investigated some other DW songs I wasn't really taken.

Maybe my tastes have drifted slightly -- because a week ago I picked up their album Welcome to the Monkey House, and it's been on non-stop rotation at work. 

Curiously, the vibe and vocal harmonies of their song "I am Song" reminds me of The Rentals -- except that the arrangement lacks vintage synths.  Being reminiscent of The Rentals is a good thing.  :)

So, yeah:  Dandy Warhols.


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Monday, October 10, 2016

My necktie of the day

The kids have a school concert tonight.  Parents are supposed to dress in black and white.

Rather than wear a different necktie at work and in the evening, I just wore the pictured necktie.

I kinda like how the grey (silver?) in the necktie matches the grey (silver?) in my hair.


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Sunday, October 09, 2016

The fallacy or myth of wishing that your parents or mom had made you keep doing piano lessons

I occasionally hear someone say "I wish that my parents hadn't let me quit playing piano -- because then I'd know how to play the piano now."

If you break out the components, what the person is really saying is "I wish [person in authority who isn't me] had made me keep doing [task that requires cumulative discipline and effort over many years], because then I'd now have [desirable skill or characteristic]."

You could create other variations of this wish:

-I wish my parents had made me eat healthier food when I was a kid, because now I wouldn't be overweight (or, "less overweight").

-I wish my parents had made me go jogging twice a week, because then I'd have excellent cardiovascular right now.

-I wish my parents had made me lift weights three times a week, because then I'd have a great physique now.

-I wish I hadn't quit taking Spanish in 10th grade, because now I'd be a fluent speaker.

-I wish my parents had made me save and invest $50 a paycheck over the years -- because I'd have a pile of money by now.

-I wish I had taken swimming lessons as a kid -- so I'd know how to swim.  (This one is in a different category.  But the later section of this post is relevant.)

What all of the above overlook is:

-the amount of cumulative effort (drudgery?) that was avoided;

-that there was a reason that you didn't do "the beneficial thing" (i.e. you clearly didn't enjoy it, or didn't want to do it!);

-these laments typically put the responsibility on someone else, not yourself (e.g. "Why did my mom let me quit taking piano?") -- which shifts the responsibility away from yourself.

The rebuttal, of course, is:  Fine.  So:  do it now.  As an adult.

Let's say that you wish that you had stayed with piano until at least the end of high school -- rather than quitting when you were twelve.  Good:  start taking piano lessons again.  As a grownup, you're smarter and (presumably) have greater discipline than when you were a kid:  you'll progress faster in the six years now than you would've during your teen years.

You wish you'd started lifting weights when you were twenty.  You can't go back in time -- so start lifting weights now.

You wish you'd saved more, starting twenty years ago?  Fine:  start saving now -- and twenty years from now you'll be where you wish you were right now.

And etcetera.

Unless there were external forces at work (e.g. your family weren't able to keep paying for your ice skating lessons, so you had to stop), then the reason you stopped [name of lesson or activity] was that you didn't like it!  And, as an adult, you probably do have activities that you enjoy... spend time at... and (because of the time invested) are probably pretty knowledgeable and skilled.  (Bowling?  Golf?  Photography?  Model ship building?)

So:  to say that you wish you had stuck with something that you really didn't enjoy at the time, just so you could have that skill which you probably wouldn't make use of right now, anyhow -- just doesn't make sense.

That is:  let's say that you had stayed with your piano lessons until the end of high school.  Would you really be playing the piano right now, recreationally?  ReallyHonestly???

Probably not -- at least, not very often.

Put differently:  Elton John, Howard Jones, Regina Spektor, and others presumably enjoyed playing the piano -- and that's why they stuck with it.

And, to those that say "I don't have time":  well, that's possibly true -- if you're working two jobs, or working a job plus studying at university.  But if you have any sort of free time (after the kids are in bed -- if indeed you have any kids) -- how you spend your time is a choice:  your choice.

If you spend an hour a night watching t.v., or reading before you go to bed:  that's fine; that's legitimate.  But you could be studying Spanish, or doing a few push-ups, or following along to that yoga DVD, or practicing guitar.  And that's your choice.  And if you'd prefer to read or watch t.v.:  that's a choice as well.

And choices have consequences:  often, pretty easily anticipated ones.

And as a grown-up, you're not allowed to make choices -- and then complain about the (easily-foreseen) consequences of those choices:

Such as:

-Spend your money in ways you know you shouldn't -- and then complain that you're often short of money.

-Never exercise -- and then complain that you don't have the physique that you want.

-Eat all sorts of junk -- and then complain that you're overweight.

-Watch t.v. all evening -- and then complain that you don't possess [name of skill or ability].

No one can do it for you.  You are responsible for you.

And, yeah, that's unfair -- perhaps.  But, it is how it is.

And maybe there are situations outside your control that make it hard -- very hard.  (Maybe you do have to work two jobs...)  But, it's your life -- and you can either complain and be ineffectual -- or buck up and take control of your destiny.

Your airplane has crashed in the middle of the desert.  Do you (a) Sit around and complain about how unfair it is; or (b) Do everything you can to survive?

Your decision; your choice; your life.

And, yes:  I've not been in the situation myself, but I hear that quitting smoking is difficult -- very difficult.

But:  is "It's very difficult" a reason to not do work to achieve what you want?

And:  just so I don't sound like I'm Mister Perfect:  I've only come to this realization about five years ago.  I'm now in training for some very specific personal goals.  I don't work out as often as I want to -- and sometimes I slack off., or get busy  But ever time that I do manage to work out is a "win".

This afternoon I asked my teenage daughter if she wanted to go jogging with me, and my wife said "She hates jogging."  My response was, "I do too."

I don't like exercising.  But I want to be able to do a one-armed chin-up -- and that means that I need to do chin-ups and pull-ups with a weighted backpack, a few times a week, until I achieve my goal.  I've been doing it for a few years -- and I have many more years to go.  (I call it "applied OCD"...)

Whereas if I don't do my exercises, it's guaranteed that I won't achieve my goal.  No one else can do it for me.


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I want to repair it

The Lady admitted that she was -- unusually -- in the mood for a steak.  So the family spontaneously went out to a restaurant:  the first time in months, and the first time in years that wasn't Chinese food, Indian food, or a buffet style.

The benches and tables were "rustic" style:  wooden slabs.  Ours had a chunk taken out of the surface (see between my fingertips, in the photo) -- and it appears that our "slab" table top is actually covered in a veneer.

Someone had tried to putty the hole up -- but it didn't work.

I actually know how to repair these things properly.  But:  not my table.

It was very unsatisfying to not be able to repair the hole.


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Saturday, October 08, 2016

Missed a scavenge

Saw this as I was leaving the local shopping mall:  two wooden "vegetable displays" in the bins.  The wood for the legs is pretty hefty:  enough "meat" that I could do something with it.

And the display stands themselves -- presumably surplus from the produce store -- could probably be put to work as some sort of gardening stand (for potted plants), or some sort of work surface.

Sadly, I have no way of getting them home.  If only I had a pickup truck, or a small trailer.


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How to effectively discipline your kids

This morning, at the swimming pool where my sons have swimming lessons, I witnessed some darned ineffective parenting.  The dad's two children were messing about and being unruly, and the dad kept saying "Stop that.  I said, stop that.  I really mean it:  stop that."

There were no consequences to the kids' actions -- so the kids kept doing their ill behavior.

And I thought:  Dude!  You're just training your kids to ignore you...

Thus, this blog entry.

What follows is my 2c.  The following underpins what I do with my own children, and it seems to work:  we occasionally get compliments on how well-behaved our kids are, and my response is usually, "Thanks.  We work hard at it."

My approach is based a lot on "operant conditioning" -- if you remember that from Psych 101 (Wikipedia page?).  My below approach is not a lot different from other approaches that you'll see -- except that I don't charge $$$ to attend my seminar or enroll in my program.  ;)

Executive summary:

-Parenting is basically "training" your kids, through rewards and punishments.

-Being consistent, and giving the reward or punishment right away is a lot more important than the size of the punishment.

-If you let the kids get away with stuff, then you're training them to ignore your commands and ignore your rules.

-If you interrupt their bad behaviors with small but immediate "micro-punishments", then you're training them to not misbehave.

-During "normal" life, also compliment (a reward!) for all of their tiny good behaviors.

-When they do something wrong, give them a chance to make it right. 

-Parents aren't perfect -- but they are in charge!


-All creatures learn from their behaviors.  They learn through trial and error.  (If they didn't learn, they would starve and/or get injured.)

-If a behavior is rewarded, then that behavior will be repeated.

-"Rewards" are the gaining of good things (which includes "feeling good" or "is fun").  But "Rewards" can also include "removing bad things (e.g. "Goofing around, to be less bored").

-"Punishments" are when you give the person a bad thing (e.g. pain, anger) -- but can also be the removal of a good thing (e.g. "No t.v. for a week").

-If a behavior causes distasteful things (e.g. punishment; pain; yucky taste), then that behavior will fade out over time.

-Learning patterns of behaviors (both good and bad) is cumulative:  it doesn't happen all at once.

-According to Psych research, rewards and punishments do not have to be large to change the behavior:  they just have to be "large enough" -- large enough to out-balance the other half (e.g. the punishment has to be bigger than the reward; the reward is bigger than the punishment).

-But!  The outcome to the behavior does have to be (1) fairly prompt or immediate, and (2) fairly consistent.

-Rewards are just as important as punishments -- and in fact work better, because a reward-based environment is happier than a punishment-based environment.

Some implications of the above are:

-You have to provide an environment for the child where the rules -- and the outcomes for following or disobeying the rules (and commands!) are clear and consistent.

-Since the size of the reward or punishment isn't the main component, you don't have to cause physical paint (e.g. spankings), yell, or use extreme punishments (e.g. "No t.v. for a month!!!").  All you need is something to "interrupt the flow" (if the kid is goofing around) or neutralize the "rewarding thing" that the kid experienced.

-(Personal insight:  With my first child, I once slapped her hand when she was reaching for something she wasn't supposed to.  She looked at me and said, "Daddy -- you hurt me!"  And I realized that I couldn't think of any misbehavior that my children could do that deserved me to intentionally cause them pain.  And that's when I decided that there was no point in spankings:  there were other approaches that didn't involve hurting my kids.)

-However, the immediacy and consistency with the kids is crucialI personally don't believe in the "three strikes" approach -- because you're training your kids to ignore what you say the first two times!  (And:  that they can do bad things twice -- for "free"!)

-Bad example #1:  "Johnny, put the cat down.  Johnny, I said to put the cat down.  Johnny -- put the cat down!  Okay:  punishment."

-Bad example #2:  Susie hits brother.  "Don't hit your brother."  (Pause in behavior.)  Susie hits brother.  "Don't hit your brother."  (Pause in behavior.) 

-Another problem with the "Three strikes" approach is that if the gap between misbehaviors is too long, then it's hard to tell when "Strike #1" occurred.  So the kids just intermittently misbehaves (e.g. hitting her brother) -- and gets used to it!

-Because the "size" of the punishment isn't the key, you don't gain any effectiveness by yelling.  So try not to.  (Yeah, I sometimes do.  But I try to avoid it.) 

-It's good for the parent to say "please" when "asking" (telling!) the kid to do something:  it models polite interaction styles; and it's the follow-through that

-As a parent, try really hard to give the kid lots of praise as well:  because "doing the right thing" is so often a "non-event" that it passes unnoticed.  So compliment (or thank) the kid on washing her hands before meals (without being asked), throwing his socks in the laundry basket, etc.

-And if you ask the kid to do something (e.g. feed the dog), and the answer is (legitimately) "I already did it", then that deserves a "Ah!  Good job; thanks!"

My specific approach:

-I've tried a few things over the years, but it's finally ended up as:

-If it's a "permanent, obvious" rule (e.g. need to ask a parent before getting candy; no hitting), then there are no "warnings" -- because the kid already knew.

-If it was a genuine accident, then there's no "punishment" -- although if the kid was being obviously foolish or reckless, then there might be a punishment.  And the kid has to "un-do" the harm (see below).

-My "go-to" punishment is to have the kid stand up, go to the nearest wall and face it, while I slowly count to twelve.  (There's no magic in "twelve":  it just seems like the right amount of elapsed time to "break the flow", cause an inconvenience, and remove the kid from whatever behavior was happening.)

-However, the angrier I am, the longer the number.  But I try not to go beyond about a minute ("sixty") -- because then **I** get bored!

-After the "twelve-count", the kid then has to apologize (and give a hug?) to the sibling or parent that was harmed.

-"Facing a wall" works really well in public -- because there's nearly always a wall (or a pillar; or a table) to face.  I suppose if you were in the middle of an open field, you could have the kid stop and put her hands over her face.

-If there was damage to property, or a loss of property (e.g. ate a sibling's candy bar; broke a lamp), then I invoke a version of "restorative justice" (Google it?).  Basically, I'm trying to (1) neutralize the damage; (2) restore the social bonds; and (3) restore the self-esteem of the offender.

-For "Neutralizing the damage", I have the kid pay from her allowance, or do work around the house for pre-stated "$X/hour" to buy a replacement, hire a glass-repair person, or whatever.  If the labor is something that a kid can do (e.g. paint over graffiti), then I have the kid do that as well.

-Note:  When I was growing up, my parents were really good at figuring out very "fair" and "just" things for punishments. 

-For "Restoring social bonds", I have the kids apologize, and hug (we're a very huggy family).  Some families might want both parties to be able to share their side of the story -- but in our family everyone is so talkative (and the kids are loud!) that the whole backstory is immediately out on the table.

-For "Restoring the self-esteem", by allowing the kid to -- as well as possible -- undoing the damage that she or he causes, it teaches her/him responsibility, and gives them a self-concept of a good, responsible person that sees things through, corrects their own mistakes, and etc. 

-I try to give out all sorts of positive reinforcement, all day:  both "generic" ones ("I love you very much"; "You know, yer a great kid..."), as well as more behavior-specific ones ("Thanks for remembering to feed the dog, without my having to remind you.  Good job."; "Hey, I noticed that you're getting your laundry into the laundry basket.  Good job.")

Ownership and training:

-Another implication is that if you "clean up their messes" for them, then you're just training them to leave things around.  It's easier (less work!) to just leave your jacket on the sofa, your dirty plate on the coffee table, your shoes in the hallway.

-So, if you clean up after them (either quietly -- or even complaining about it!), then it's still easier for them to leave a mess -- because someone else will clean it up.

-Whereas, if you say "Hey -- could you please put down you book and come put your jacket away?" -- the kid will say "Awww -- that's a pain..."  And you'll say, deadpan:  "Yes.  Exactly."  And hopefully -- after enough repetitions -- she'll just figure out that it's faster and easier to just hang up the jacket in the first place.
-Plus the kids learns to be responsible and self-sufficient, and to not cause problems for others.

-I'm trying to teach my kids:  "Don't cause more work for others:  other people have enough of their own work to do, without doing yours."  And that there's no shame in asking for help -- but only if you've honestly tried to do it yourself, first.

-In other words:  don't be a PITA to others; you don't want to be that person (at work; among your friends...).

An additional part of my approach:

-I don't believe in trying to pretend that "the parents are always right":  because we're not.  Sometime we don't have the full information -- or we're just plain wrong.
-But!  The parents are (1) the ones in charge, and (2) the ones responsible. 

-Note:  I think the above two points are true of any leadership situation:  e.g. your boss at work; the CEO.

-This means that when I tell the kids to go do something, they get one rebuttal.  (e.g. "Okay!  Time to put your shoes on and go to the car!"  "Oh -- but Mom texted and said that we don't need to leave for another half hour."  "Ah.  Did not know that.  (But why didn't anyone tell me before...?)"

-Another example:  "Could you come and set the table, please?"  "Oh -- but my YouTube video only has two minutes left -- I really want to finish it...!!!"  "Okay -- but directly after that video...!"

-But they don't get to have a whole list of attempts to "argue the way out of it". They have to pick their best rebuttal.  (Well, okay -- sometimes two.  But not a whole list of attempts.)

-As another few parts of being imperfect:  if I accidentally, un-justly punish a child -- it's less bad if the punishment was "12 seconds facing the wall" than "inflicting pain (a spanking)".  And I apologize.

-Also, if I'm wrong, I apologize to the kids.

-Also, if I lose my temper, I apologize, and point out that yelling wasn't the right way to do things -- but that I'm spending my whole life trying to get better.

-I think that those things (being imperfect; admitting my mistakes; taking responsibility; making things better) are also important role-modelling.  I don't want to have arrogant kids that think that they're perfect and can do no wrong, never apologize, and never admit their mistakes. 


-This approach should work with special needs children, such as those with developmentally disabilities or ADHD.  There's no reason why it shouldn't work:  if your children know to head towards the bathroom when they have to pee, and head to the kitchen when they're hungry -- then they're capable of learning.

-But, yes -- I suspect that it would be more difficult, and take more repetitions, with someone that has learning difficulties.

-Yeah, sometimes I screw up with my parenting.  I do not think that I'm sort sort of perfect parent.  (e.g. we typically leave the house in the morning in a mad rush; I don't read them bedtime stories like I always thought I would; I let them spend too much time watching YouTube videos.)

-Someday I may re-visit the above, and change some of the phrasing.  But for right now, I just wanted to get my thoughts out.


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Sunday, October 02, 2016

Review of Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium

(I left out the apostrophe, because I don't like what punctuation does the the URL.)

Last night the family saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.  Dustin Hoffman plays a somewhat Willy Wonka-like character in a large toy store (in New York City?).  The store is magic, and Mr. Magorium possibly is as well.

Natalie Portman plays the store manager (and only other employee??!!), who is struggling with the prospect of taking over the store after Mr. Magorium's approaching death.

It was pretty decent.  Worth seeing once for the kids.  I think adults could get by without seeing it -- but if you've rented (or streamed!) it for the kids, you may as well see it as well.

Rated "G" -- so, hey:  good family fare.



Saturday, October 01, 2016

Another necktie installment

I like neckties; I have a lot, so I end up wearing them to work.

Here are some recent examples of the more "daring" color combinations: