I am addicted to dots…



Yep.  It’s a full-on ‘Ellipsis Syndrome’ of some sort that I simply have no control over.  It is my absolute favorite punctuation in the whole wide world.  I was looking back over some of my old blog posts, and they have literally been invaded by ellipsi (which I am just guessing is the plural, cause it just makes sense, ya know)

Maybe my crib sheets were polka dotted?  Perhaps I had too many cameras flash in my eyes as a child?  Whatever the reason, I cannot go more than two paragraphs without interjecting those cute little pinpoints.

So, I am embracing my inner dot fetish and have brushed up on some fun facts about the ellipsis, care of Wikipedia:

  • The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot [and I thought dot-dot-dot was just our little ‘pet name’ secret]
  • An ellipsis at the end of the sentence that ends with a period (or such a period followed by an ellipsis) appears as four dots…. [boy have I ever been breaking that rule…I thought the four-dotters were just trying to prove they were better than everyone]
  • In legal writing in the United States, Rule 5.3 in the Bluebook citation guide governs the use of ellipses and requires a space before the first dot and between the two subsequent dots. [I have also not been nearly anal enough about my dots]
  • In Japanese manga, the ellipsis by itself represents speechlessness, or a "pregnant pause." [seriously, who knew my little friends could express so much raw emotion?? and apparently they can even knock people up too!!]
  • The diagonal and vertical forms of the ellipsis are particularly useful for showing missing terms in matrices, such as the size-n identity matrix  [I have no clue what that means, but if it trying to say that people who use the ellipsis also like the Matrix movie, then that is just like, too freakily coincidental!!!]
  • In some programming languages (including Perl, Ruby, and Pascal), a shortened two-dot ellipsis is used to represent a range of values given two endpoints  [techies can be such slackers]

I also discovered tonight that Facebook has a group of fellow ellipsis fans.  No, seriously.  It is called “Obessesed with the ellipsis…that’s right I am…”  Isn’t that just the most awesome thing??  The group even has 71 members.  Well, ok, 72 now. 

It will be good to have some support.  And someone to talk to when I accidentally impregnate my pauses…


Are You A Digital Spy?

I was reading an article this morning about how parents and teens sometimes awkwardly exist together on the social network Facebook.  The article was about how certain teens feel very uncomfortable being “friends” with their folks on Facebook.  I am imagining that one of the reasons for their discomfort is worry over whether mom or dad might be using the network to spy on them or track their activities and friends.

I think that is a valid worry, at least in some cases.  I definitely didn’t join Facebook to look over Uber’s shoulder, but since he has been kind enough to “friend” me and his dad, we probably do find out little tidbits of info about him that we might not know otherwise.  But in general, Uber has sort of an open-book personality anyway.  When H-T gets on Facebook (OMG, that kid will be 13 in just over a month!!!), I can see him being far more reticent to make me and dad privy to his online dealings.  He is just a far more private kiddo.

But the truth is, that the digital age makes us somewhat of an open book to anyone who happens to really want to know about us.  I imagine that if I had your full name, your blog name, and possibly a couple other of your online id’s, I could find out some pretty detailed info about each and every one of you.  If we are online, we are kind of vulnerable.

monitor So, the question is…do you ever take advantage of that vulnerability to dig deeper into your kids’ online lives?  Our internet filter, for instance, has a history feature, that lets me, if I so choose, check up on each and every site my kids have visited.  It would take me less than three minutes to scan over their entire catalog of current interests, obsessions, and possible misdeeds.  Have I used this feature?  Of course I have.  And not just to protect them from evil, either.  Sometimes, I’m just curious.  Nosy, even.  I really try to squelch this in myself, but it does come out at times.

So, here is a place for you to confess…no confession box required.  Are you a digital spy?  Have you looked at your kids IM history?  Their text messages?  Their web hits?  Or have you hit paydirt, and discovered a secret blog they have, or online journal? 

You can tell me.  I won’t squeal.  But I might possibly steal your ideas if they are particularly sneaky…

Wii-ve Got To Move It, Move It

The Topsies just celebrated our first anniversary with our Wii, and I’ll admit that in the latter part of the year, the poor little guy had been gathering a smidge of dust on his case.  But I wasn’t immune to those cool web ads and demos about the next best thing coming to Wii – – the Wii Fit!!

It has been months since I didn’t have to leave my top pants button unbuttoned, and that means it is HIGH TIME I got serious about getting fit – – and if some techie gadget is willing to motivate me toward my goals, then all the better.

I was hyped.  That is, of course, until I found out I was going to have to break into my neighbor’s house at 3:00 in the morning and steal theirs if I actually wanted one.  The blooming things were ridiculously hard to get your hands on.  Fortunately, there is nothing I like better than a challenge. 

Amazon.com was out of stock, of course, but offered to let you sign up for text messages when the Fits were restocked.  The first time they texted, my phone was out of power.  Missed it by a long shot.  A week later the text showed up during church.  I could barely concentrate on the rest of the service because I was so busy imagining our next sanctuary upgrade where we finally get free wi-fi alongside the hymnal racks in each pew.

A few days later, yet another text came while I was driving down the interstate.  Thank God I still don’t have net access on my phone, or this post would likely be written from the local mortuary. 

Finally, one fine afternoon, Amazon texted me that the Fits were in stock, and all I happened to be doing was laundry.  It was five minutes at the most between the time I got the text and the time I logged into Amazon only to discover that they were already sold out.  I was fairly sure that a personal boycott of Amazon by me and my family probably wasn’t going to bankrupt the company overnight, but the idea was definitely entertained.

But the very next day the little beep on my phone went off, and I  never even checked it.  I just knew.  I jumped up from the couch, ran down the hall, jumped over and across the bed, and bounded into the computer chair.  My fingers fairly flew as I typed in the letters. A-M-A-Z-O-N…   At this point, I figured that whether or not I got there in time, I had already burned quite a few calories in my attempt to order.  Bingo!!!  That was the lucky day that my online shopping cart finally got filled up with the Wii Fit.

The big box arrived a few days after Christmas.  Just in time to fulfill all my New Year’s resolutions and then some.  This is my year to move and groove it, and finally button my pants.  I can just feel it….

Thisses and Thats+

It’s New Years, and I am feeling random. So let’s throw momma under the train and rabbit chase for a minute.

  • ~~Have you checked out my blogroll lately?  I’ve made some changes as my feed reader has updated, and you might just find that one of my new favorites is your new favorite as well!  How ’bout giving my new bloggy buddies some love, k?
  • ~~Found an awesome post over at MakeUseOf (my absolute fave website of ’08).  It is called 10+ Web Tools To Save Your Butt In School and granted, we aren’t having to save our butt in school, or anywhere else, but I thought some of these were pretty dang good tools for high school college level students
  • ~~Webinars…do you attend?  Sure. Some of them are just another online waste of time, but I have found some incredible information that I could implement into our day to day homeschooling at the better ones.  One of my all-time favorite webinar series is Discovery Education’s series.  Just go here to view their upcoming offerings, sign up for one, and then be sure and add it to your calendar so you don’t forget to attend.  For purely homeschool-related info, keep a check on the Homeschool Connections calendar for upcoming webinars.
  • ~~Just saw “The Great Debaters” last night and it was a compelling, if somewhat contrived script.  I am always drawn into those “based on a true story” kind of films, and if nothing else, this one will get you and your kids talking, so I give it a recommendation as a family watch for ages say – – 12 and up.
  • ~~You know how much I love cool tools and sites, so here is one you may or may not already know about, but that I had missed somehow and was quite psyched to learn about: Invisible-Auctions.com.  Did you know that a lot of auctions on ebay are overlooked because a word in the title listing is mispelled?  Those auctions can end at far lower final bids because they can’t be located via the normal search methods.  This site lets you type in the item you are looking for and searches for all the different variations of misspellings that might occur for it, and …voila!  You’ve tricked the system! 

So for my final randomness, why not enjoy this pic of our dog Squat on New Year’s Eve?  If this one doesn’t make you go “ahhww”, then you need to head to the doc for a psych tune-up! 

Yeah, yeah, make the dog look ridiculous. Great start to 2009.