Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let's Get Real

I know, I know. Some of you read my blog first thing in the morning along with your morning coffee. That is often when I am writing entries, which accounts for some of my not-yet-caffeinated ramblings. Anyway, since it seems unfair to leave you only with sponsored posts on this fine morning, I figured I should put something more relevant up here to brighten your morning.

(Waiting for inspiration.......)

(Still waiting..........)

(Still waiting..........)

(Consider if there is anything interesting to be said about the fact I need to send a reminder to my energy law profs about the contact names they are going to send me. Probably not. Well, to me this is interesting, but probably not for most of you.)

HALLOWEEN!!! That's it. Tomorrow is Halloween! After a party at work, which I have helped organize despite the fact that I am not a party planner, I will be skipping my evening classes and taking the kids out trick-or-treating. I missed Halloween my first year of law school, and decided I would not do that again. The kids really look forward to it, and it is one of my favorite holidays, too, so...family time it is! At this point, I believe I will be taking a clown and a Care Bear to visit Grandma and Grandpa, a few neighborhood houses, and possibly the community center. By tomorrow night though, who knows what they will have settled on? Last year, in an effort to be just like me, Boy Wonder gave up his skeleton costume he'd had on much of the day and we dressed him as a pirate. Here are some pictures from last year:

Pretty darn cute, right?

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Damn, What Was I Thinking?

Damn. I think it just hit me today: I work full time. I go to LAW SCHOOL 3/4 time. I'm raising a family. Am I nuts? This is a lot of work.

I know, I know. Most of you are probably saying something to yourself right now along the lines of...."Duh."

I apparently am incredibly slow. I usually do not really get that this is a lot. It is just life. Somehow, this semester I feel like I've had less time to process what I should be learning than ever. Realistically, I know this is not true. There has never been nearly enough time to process what I am learning. This semester is really no different. What is different is this is the most credits I have taken. I am taking 12 credits. Is 12 really any more work than 11 though? It's a tad more class time, but really....in my life, it is still 4 classes. Same - same.

This semester, it will be fine, but I am looking forward into next semester, in which our Brave Hero fool-heartedly charges head first into another 12 credit load and a 10 hour a week internship, on top of the 32-hour per week job. WHAT? I've poured over the class schedules and there is just no good way out of it.

So, if you are looking for me next semester, you can find me in a "tranquil setting" with padded walls and no sharp objects. I'll be the one babbling something about the Bar Exam.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Thursday

The radio station I listen to most mornings, wait, correction, ONE of the radio stations I listen to most mornings has "Random Thursdays" where they talk about any topic. It appears many of my Thursdays are random, too. In fact, my entire blog is somewhat random, though I do try to weave in law school, my kids, my relationship, and life in general as much as possible in between odd bits of inspiration. A couple days ago, I was writing about leaves, several months ago, it was The L Word, next it could be first communion invitations, or the worms in our backyard. Actually, maybe the snails. Wife told me they seem to be in abundance this year and is worried it means our house is going to fall down around us as they eat it from the outside in.

Today's random thought has to do with naming streets and other things, which I'd discussed a while back....how streets get their names from people who have lived there or events that have happened. Well, we've been reading a case in Environmental Law (see the way I worked law school in?) about the Kill Van Kull. This is apparently a waterway in New York filled with industrial pollutants, or it was at the time of this case. With a name like that, I am wondering what else was in the body of water? Well, a little Google-searching has revealed the name is actually of Dutch-origin and means something to the effect of "a small stream beyond the water." *Whew* The alternatives swimming through my warped mind were not pretty.

Incidentally, doesn't the name Kill Van Kull sound like a rock band? Yes. It is. Heavy Metal. I thought so. My mind is a scary place.

Wonderful Weather

I go to school at a very environmentally aware school. We talk a lot about global warming, climate change and the frightening things that are happening with global weather. Sometimes though, it sure is nice to step out of the role of environmentalist/concerned citizen/worried mom and just breathe in the crisp fall air. Yesterday was a wet, dreary day, but today it beautiful - blue sky, sunshine, still cool at 53 degrees, but its the kind of day you can look upon and smile. I'm doing just that right now. I hope you are someplace that you can appreciate the beauty in your day.

Stepping Outside Ourselves

Browsing web sites from other countries is really interesting. The language, even when in English, is just enough different that it invokes thoughts of a very different lifestyle. For instance, at this UK site on home insurance, here is something you just won't find on most US sites: "We have been around since 1867..." Sure, it could happen, but I have yet to run across it on a web site.

Here is another refreshing aspect of this site, they have a section called "Ethics in Action." I don't know if this is common in the UK, but it sure caught my attention. The introduction to this section says, "CIS became the world's first insurance company to launch a customer-led ethical policy to guide the social, ethical and environmental aspects of its investments." Doesn't that make you seriously want to consider doing business with them? I know I am always attracted to companies that seem to be doing good things for the environment and the community instead of just themselves.

It is nice to see what others outside of our own country are doing, after all, we are all one planet, and now more than ever, we need to be finding the commonalities and working together for the good of all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In Awe of Autumn

I took a walk today to get some air and enjoy the fall leaves.
The colors are truly breath-taking. I found this one perfect leaf that had so many colors and such beauty in it that I had to pick it up and carry it with me for a while. Artistic inspiration.

I finally took a picture - but I only had my camera phone - so the resolution is poor, but the colors were still captured.

The background is some fabulous moss found on a log in the forest where I ended up. I finally tossed the leaf over the edge of the path where it can continue onto its leafly destiny.

I stood in forest, the sunlight barely making its way through the still-thick tree tops.
Leaves fell all around me, their crispness brushing the branches, the sound like rain.
The sound like peace.
There are so many answers here - if only we know how to listen.

Sunny Skies - but I am Freezing!

Yesterday it got up to 70 degrees outside. It was gorgeous! Blue sky - multi-colored autumn leaves - perfect! Today is equally gorgeous. (Here comes the but...) Somehow, the sun has apparently signaled the building in which I work that summer is once again upon us and the air conditioning has kicked in. I am pretty sure that my hair should not be cold while sitting at my desk. I should not need to get high risk life insurance
just because I'm not getting up doing aerobic exercise in order to keep my body temperature at an acceptable level. Seriously though, I work at the end of a maze in cubicleland and it could be days before anyone realized I'd frozen back here. The poor person who wanders back to ask how to request a contract at a new site will be in for quite the shock. I think I may have to go outside to warm up!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I AM Gay Enough!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Wife and I recently discovered we were not gay enough. Someone's blog listed us as "gay like"....well, this is a correction. We are simply "queerish", as opposed to truly queer, it seems. Well, hey, I don't know this person, but they have a link to my blog on theirs, and seem "queerish" themselves, so if you are interested in this gay parenting thing, check out their site.

You will all be happy to know I have evidence that I am gay enough.

This is actually pretty good, and speaks volumes of stereotypes and truth. I met a 1L at my school the other day prior to an event about discrimination in the work place. She was there to meet her mentor, one of the panelists. I was there to meet the same person because I had heard she was quite out as a lesbian and was involved in energy law. The student asked if I'd ever met her. When I said I had not, she replied with something to the effect of, "So you will know who you are looking for, she looks a lot like you but with red hair."

Now, it took a lot for me not to crack up at that point, because I what I was hearing in my head is that all dykes look alike. Of course we do - how else will we know each other when we meet? (That was sarcasm, by the way.) I was polite, and I really was not offended, but I was amused. Did the 1L even know the other woman is gay? Probably not...which does say that there really is a tangible something about the lesbian vibe, and the stereotype.

Did the woman and I look alike? Well....not really, but we both have short hair, are of medium build and give off a definite lesbian vibe. (I think that is a self-confidence thing, actually, because in a room of powerful women - say, attorneys - all wearing suits - well - the lesbian vibe is a lot more difficult to distinguish, at least, quickly.)

So, you see, I clearly AM gay enough since I look like an OUT lesbian.

Pumpkin Patch Fun

As my energy law paper deadline more rapidly approaches, I find that we are now down to 1 1/2 family days. This sucks for us all. Although, this weekend, we were fortunate that the rainy day was my half-study day and the sunny day was PUMPKIN PATCH DAY! I don't have the pictures yet, but keep an out of on Wife's blog. I'm sure she'll have some up soon. We had a good time scrambling up the hay pyramid, grinding corn to feed chickens, feeding goats, winding through a hay maze, and taking a bumpy ride out to the pumpkin patch itself. Baby Girl LOVED the bumpy ride and it made her laugh with delight. The pumpkins themselves were "too dirty" and I had to carry even the smallest one, but she was fine with throwing clumps of dirt for fun. What? They were not too dirty? Boy Wonder had a great time disassembling/inspecting a giant sunflower, and barely noticed the pumpkins at all. All right - as long as a good time was had by all.

It may not have been Disneyworld, and we didn't get to end our day in a plush Orlando vacation home, but it was a nice escape made even nicer by a mostly-sunny fall day. Might as well save Orlando for a winter vacation anyway :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mmmmmm......Hot Coffee

OK, I got it. I now have my coffee. I could feel your concern over my lack of caffeine. Thank you. It's all OK now. Really, I generally only have one cup per morning. Sometimes two. Not the half-pot size cup that Wife drinks either. These are generous cups, to be sure, but not giant by any means.

I have 25 minutes to get a bit of work done. Then I head to class, sit there absorbing knowledge for 80 minutes, drive to my mom's house, and study the rest of the day. I'll be home for dinner and Family Time by 5:00. (At some point I'll wonder if we are going out or if I need to figure out something to cook....but that won't be for several hours yet. Come on - I'm only on my first cup of coffee!)

That's my Friday for you! Hope you all have a good one!

Cufflinks - Have I Been Missing Out?

Wife wrote in the last day or so about how the Boy has been carrying around an old set of my dad's cufflinks. At his memorial tribute, we had his old jewelry box (for lack of a better word) set out, and near the end I opened it to see if there was anything inside. There were a few things - cufflinks, a fishing weight, some tie clips, some screws, lots of keys, and a few other misc. metal things. It smelled good - like a garage and tools.

Anyway, my sisters and I all took a few things we wanted, and then let the kids pick a few things, too. I explained cufflinks to them. Do all men have shirts that need cufflinks, or only if they rent a tux? It seems like cufflinks are a typical groomsmen gift, but is a wedding the only time a guy really needs cufflinks? There are amazing cufflinks out there, both for men and women. Makes me want to start a new collection! I'd need some dress shirts though. Well, hey, I'll be a fancy lawyer before too long, and then I'll need them. It's never too soon to start collecting!

Where's the Coffee?

It's Friday morning. It's 7:33am. I have been up since 5:12am. I've showered, dressed, fed the animals, scooped the litter box, greeted Boy Wonder who was up by 5:45, eaten a bit of breakfast while sitting on the couch with him watching Lilo & Stitch, let the dogs in and out and given them their carrot treats, brushed my teeth, kissed Boy and sleeping Wife goodbye, driven to work, turned on the lights at work since I was the first one here at 6:40, read my email, made the coffee BUT have I gone to pour myself a cup of the delicious morning brew? NO.

I have been too busy sharing my life with all of you. How is that for a sacrifice for my readers? Lame? OK, so I've just been too lazy to get off my b*tt and go get the coffee. I'm going now. I suspect it will make my Environmental Law class, which starts at 9:00, much easier to comprehend.

Friday Fun!

On my Disneyland blog I just posted a list of the first five sounds that I think of when I think of Disneyland. Well, at least, the first five sounds I though of today!

I thought here I would list my top five Sounds of Fall.

1) Crisp leaves crunching under my feet.

2) Heavy rainfall outside my window at night.

3) Halloween candy pouring into a bowl.

4) Running around, laughing, rolling with my kids in the leaves.

5) The laughter of this silly stuffed animal we named "Pumpkin Boy." He looks like an orange bear but with a pumkin head, and when you squeeze his hand you hear a child's laughter, twice, then "Happy Halloween!" Baby Girl was afraid of him last year, but she's delighted with him this year.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Jungle Full of Stuffed Friends

We love stuffed animals around our house - or rather "friends" if you are talking with Baby Girl and "buddies" if you are talking to the Boy. Wait, let me correct myself. *I* love stuffed animals. Wife is fairly sick of them....mostly because there are so many of them. Baby Girl will pick a friend, or a Baby, over almost any other toy any time she gets to choose. She is so nurturing, and is just adorable caring for her friends. I am totally a sucker for the really soft gund animals. It's hard to resist something that I think is totally cute, and I know my daughter will love. Still, we do sometimes say "no" and remind her that she has lots of friends at home that need love, too :)

Wind's a Comin'!

So, we are expected to get a big windstorm today. Earlier I heard it would be over by 2:00, but at 2:00 we only had some unremarkable wind. The latest predictions have us in a wind storm watch until 5:00pm. Any moment I expect to see a bazillion leaves, an umbrella, a couple hats, maybe a pearl necklace, and possibly a small animal blow into the courtyard that I look out onto from my desk at work.

Well...maybe not. I hope not. Breezes are nice. Damaging winds, not so much. *glancing up into the sky* The clouds sure are moving fast up there. Storm may still be coming!

That Wasn't Enough? Five More Things

OK - so, five was not enough? Really?
OK - then here are five more. Tell me at least one doesn't make you smile!

1) Hot, fresh pizza piled high with your favorite toppings.

2) A hot bubble bath, candles, soothing music.

3) Rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

4) The first snow fall of the year.

5) Zippers. Seriously. Have you ever thought of how much more convenient your life is thanks to zippers? Think about it!

Have a Happy Day!

Five Good Things About Today

I've felt it around campus, on the blogs, in the air - it's that time of year that we could all use a little "pick me up."

OK - so here are five good things about today:

1) The leaves outside are absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous. I have actually been taking the the time to really notice the vibrant reds, yellows and oranges of the changing leaves against the still bright green grass and unchanged leaves. Wow!

2) These three - depending on the day, you may wish to substitute your own family:
(I don't know what's up with that smile!)

3) Halloween candy is out. Halloween decorations are out. Chocolate is relatively easy to find.

4) Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Please God, let the United States wake up.

5) Kate Moennig.
(Sometimes, I do these just for me.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hobbies and Such

Hobbies are good. We all need a way to relax and dive into a world separate from the things we do every day. I remember when I used to have time for reading for pleasure. That was fun. Going to movies was fun. Remember life before law school? Oh, wait, maybe that was life before kids I am thinking of!

Now, sometimes simple things have to be considered hobbies....driving to and from work, eating lunch, taking a walk to the drinking fountain! Yes, it's true - I know how to have fun!

One of the hobbies I do have is very informal (though not less formal than the water fountain one)- it is collecting watches. I have a couple of Disney watches, maybe a Timex or two, and most whose names I don't recall because I'm not really hung up on that aspect of it. I don't have a Hamilton watch, but I certainly wouldn't mind getting one. They have a very nice looking triangular-shaped one that I would love to add to my collection. These are higher end watches than I can currently afford to collect, but maybe one of these days!

Perspective on the times

It's a scary world out there. Has anyone else been feeling it? I'm not just talking about the war, and the frightening power-mad "leader" of the free world (using the term leader loosely). It seems like in the last few days I've gotten word, mostly from the blogging world, about bad stuff happening to good people. There's break-ups and babies being taken away from good parents and sick children and now, Ellen and the dog. It's just so much. Is anyone else outraged by the bad, bad people that took the dog away from Ellen's hair dresser's family? They don't care about animals...they care about...what? Paperwork? That's more important than the actual happiness and safety of the dog? Have we heard of the "spirit of the law"? Come on people!

I know that there is always bad stuff going on in the world, and how I process it is directly in response to what I choose to focus on. Rather than the negative, I need to focus on the positive. For instance, my kids are wonderful, amazing human beings and we have enough pictures of them to fill about a gazillion micro sds. Rather than fearing for their safety or health, I need to celebrate their lives and enjoy every moment I can with them. There is much good in the world. Sometimes, we just have to look more closely than others.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Go Help a Fellow Law Student

Here's your chance to do something really nice for a fellow law study, and it is easy, too! One of the blogs I sometimes read is Merits of the Case by LawMom. You guessed it, another crazy law student who is a mom, and she is also battling breast cancer. She is a finalist for a $10,000 blogger scholarship. As you can imagine, her family can really use the money. For more info and how you can vote, check out her post about the scholarship.

Marathon Homework Weekend

I had a marathon homework weekend. Wife took the kids to see her side of the family, all who live about four hours away. (Be sure to check her blog in the next day or so, I am sure she will post pictures of the great pumpkin patch adventures!) She bravely drove off on Friday morning while I was in class; the only adult to supervise not only the long drive, but the entire weekend. I am happy to report that they all did quite well.

I missed them, and I also got a lot done. I not only did this week's homework, but got a good start on outlining, and a well-developed outline for my energy paper. I would love to have started writing the paper, but really, the hard part is pouring over the materials and really figuring out the argument and how to put it together, so I am pretty satisfied.

I am unconvinced that drug treatment, or maybe it should be called vitamin and herb treatment for colds is effective. I battled a cold all last week, and through study weekend, finally feeling much better simply breathing steam from a boiling pot. Sadly, Wife and Baby Girl now have the cold that Son and I are pretty much over. So the winter season begins.....Can we be done with sickness for the winter now? We are all still tired of it from last year! I have too much studying to do to be sick, and the rest of the family is just too busy with their lives, too. Who do I talk to about this?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Coming Out Day

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Today I hosted a screening of the film Inlaws & Outlaws for the Staff Council of the University where I work. We had 25 people watching it at three locations throughout our state. Everyone was moved to laughter and tears, and unanimously want to host a larger event to include faculty, students and our broader University community.

Inlaws & Outlaws is a very candid look at marriage and relationships, both gay and straight, and without preaching at all, portrays the simple fact that we all just want to love and be loved, and we share a lot more in common than not.

I've already had four people, all straight actually, tell me they want to buy the film. It's that good. They want to see it again and share it with their family and friends. Check out the web site for clips and more information. (www.inlawsandoutlawsfilm.com/)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We've had enough

We will be happy when 2007 is over.

I know that every year has its ups and downs. Were it not for the hard times, we wouldn't appreciate the good times. I get that - mostly. Still, we are tired of the hard stuff this year.

Yesterday we lost our sweet, crazy, wonderful 14-year-old tabby that Wife had since about 6 months before we got together. For those counting, that makes 2 cats and 2 parents who have died in the past 11 months. Our poor son - he keep losing the cats he is closest to, and he gets close to them because they are old and slow down long enough for him to pet. Intellectually he seems to understand the concept of death - as much as you'd expect from a 5-year old, or even a 15-year old, really. Emotionally, he seems OK, but we worry at what point does he stop bonding with things for fear of losing them? Hopefully, never. Still, it is one of those things a parent worries about.

All of our pets are getting up there in years. The next couple of years are likely to bring more loss as we have to say goodbye to those loved ones, too. Son is already begging for a new cat (we currently have 3 cats and 2 dogs), and we've explained that we need to love the ones we have and that when the time is right, a new kitty will be led into our lives. It always happens that way for us. Still, a part of me wants to be able to get him a young cat that is likely to be around for a long, long time, but even then, there are no guarantees.

So, while overall there is much that is positive in our lives, for now, we are sad and are making a general announcement: ENOUGH - PLEASE?

Monday, October 08, 2007

New Blog Announced

Hey folks, I just wanted to announce that I have started another blog! (Because I clearly have too much spare time!) This blog has a focus on balance, on finding meaning in life, and on being true to yourself. Is called:
Who You Are/What you Do. The brief description I've posted on the site describes the purpose as this:

Who you are" is not necessarily "what you do," or is it? This blog will explore how people find meaning in their careers and hobbies, and what it takes to integrate who you are with what you do.

I hope you will check out this site, enjoy it, and tell all your friends!

In addition, if you feel your "what you do" is in alignment with "who you are," or if you have other particular insight to share, I would love to interview you, and of course, provide a link to your personal blog or website. You can email me at the address on my sidebar.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

What is that exactly?

During the celebration honoring my Dad this weekend, my sister's husband sang a song that my sister wrote about my Dad. She knew it needed to be light so we didn't all in up in tears during the whole thing. Besides, all that crying would have made it hard to hear and appreciate the words....Anyway, it was a song sung to the tune of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line." Some of you may recall that Johnny was one of my Dad's favorites.

My sister's version was called, "It Should be Mine," and was about his love of getting a great deal on something and turning it over for a profit. It ended with a nod to the fact that now all this stuff that my Dad had gotten great deals on over the years, and did not turn over, is now ours to figure out what to do with. He has a few good tools, nothing fancy like a plasma cutting device, but useful none-the-less. However, the vast majority of it is either mostly junk, or so obscure that no one knows what it is, even though it might be valuable. My Dad was a junk collector, a bargain hunter, and a pack rat. I mean all that in the most loving way possible. I admire that he could talk someone out of a $500 piece of equipment for $35. The problem was, he often did not need the piece of equipment, he just saw the potential and set about bargaining. He was an interesting character, my Dad.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ban on Germs and Other Family Drama

Today we had the Celebration of my Dad's life. It was good, really good. I'm still processing it, but let me cover the pre-game show first. The 24 hours prior to the event were filled with drama as various family members came down sick and we debated postponing or not (but with all the kids and the winter season setting in, someone may well be sick from now until May), and the related drama. It was stressful and not pretty and it seemed that no matter what someone was going to end up disappointed or upset and there was nothing that could really be done about it.

Whenever we have our kids around others who have been/still are sick I wish that we had something we could give them that would boost their immune system, perhaps something from the garden of life. I'm a bit afraid that most of the immune boosting formulas would be too strong for kids though. Still...a magic pill for when they are out and about in this germ-filled world would be nice! I know that getting sick is supposed to boost their immune systems in the long run, but as stressful as our lives are when I am in school, even a simple cold can mean a week of way less sleep for everyone, more crankiness all around, tough to handle kids for Wife, and poor quality in-class and study time for me. We need a moratorium on sickness!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Celebration of Life

Tomorrow we are finally having my Dad's "Celebration of Life" event? party? memorial? It's kind of strange that it has been all summer since he died, and my sisters and I didn't really talk much about his death, or this memorial, and we all waited until the last minute to plan. Denial? Maybe. I found some peace in coming up with all the interesting/strange/funny things I inherited from my dad. Maybe I'll share some of them after this weekend.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Meaning of Contemporary

Do you ever wonder what "contemporary" really means? Contemporary with what? Merriam-Webster Online says it means: 1: happening, existing, living, or coming into being during the same period of time 2: a: simultaneous b: marked by characteristics of the present period : modern, current. Well, seems somewhat clear, until you look at houses, or maybe furniture, or are reading something without context. You might think...this house looks like it may have been contemporary, meaning modern, about 30 years ago, maybe it means it is existing simultaneously with the houses next to it. If you want to see what contemporary furniture looks like - furniture that is both modern and exists at the same time as the furniture next to it, see Bush furniture. I wonder what furniture that does not exist at the same time as that which is next to it would be like. Talk about your creative writing exercises!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yacht Insurance?

OK - I know, I just posted about travel insurance, but doesn't yacht insurance sound intriguing? Owning a yacht sounds more intriguing than the insurance part, but hey, you've got to insure the thing. Sure, a lot of us may not have a yacht, but here is something fun I learned at this site. You can get dinghy insurance, boat insurance, narrow boat insurance, and
RIB insurance. Here's where you are about to learn something: RIB insurance is for Rigid Inflatable Boats!

This is actually a kind of fun site if you like boats - there are links to wallpapers, boat reviews, sailing clubs and more. In addition, there is really useful information on boat safety and considerations when purchasing a boat. Of course, there is also information about all kinds of boat insurance. If you live in the UK and have a boat, this may be a very useful site for you. If you don't, there is still good information for boat lovers of all kind.

UK Travel Insurance

Do you live in the UK and need travel insurance? If so, Covermytravels might provide some useful information for you. Their insurance covers such things as: Loss or damage to baggage, Loss or theft of personal money, Travel delays, and Cancellation of flights/transportation. They even cover hazardous activities such as SCUBA diving, hot air ballooning and archery. (Hello - if you think you need insurance for this one, you may want to find a different group of archery friends!) They also cover over 65 travel insurance.

The site itself is user-friendly, and offers tabs, similar to a notebook, so you can quickly find the insurance section that is right for you - single-trip, long-stay, family..etc. There is a FAQ section that provides some good information. You can also get a Quick Quote on-line.

I know that now that we have kids, we always check the travel insurance options that are offered. It's something to think about!

Random Thursday Thoughts

So, it ends up that a glass of wine before energy law class does not make the subject easier to understand. Go figure. Well, at least I tested the hypothesis.

Have you ever laughed so hard you thought you could use : adult diapers?

Lately, the times that I laugh the hardest are when I am really tired and something on tv or something my wife says just strikes me as particularly funny, and I can't stop laughing. I realize, on some level, that whatever it is is not that funny, but I just can't stop. Let's face it, laughing that hard feels really good....well, until you pull a muscle in your side, or you can't catch your breath and you pass out or something.

Creepy Halloween Food?

I just got out of a meeting at work regarding planning a Halloween party. Now, I am really not a party planner...but I am chair of our Staff Council group, and one of our big goals is improving communication and relations among groups. What better way than sharing food, right?

Anyway, one person was talking about some creepy Halloween recipes, like deviled egg eyeballs (put an olive in the middle and sliced pimento for the blood-shot part), spider hot dogs, pumpkin cake (2 round bowl cakes put together and frosted to look like a jack-o-lantern)and more. Do any of you have a favorite? I think I may do some surfing eventually this month. How much fun would the kids have with creepy food?!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Love Coupons?

Do you love saving money? Me too!
I just found a site that I think may be really helpful during Holiday shopping, and beyond: couponchief.com

This is a site that provides up to date coupon codes, promotional deals and discounts. In order to see if I thought this site would be really useful, I went directly to their travel category, and immediately found Orbitz deals that were very attractive, such as $100 off for selected family destinations, including Anaheim. Gotta love that!

What else? They work with lots of companies, but the next things to catch my eye were the ebags deals. Ebags sells luggage, messenger bags, backpacks and the like - quality stuff made more affordable with a 10% off coupon!

This looks like a great place to bookmark and keep in mind all throughout the year.

Lisa Heinzerling Visits Campus

Today during our Environmental Law class we had a guest professor and she was really interesting and dynamic. Here are the details of this amazing woman who was the primary writer for the Massachusetts v EPA brief.
Georgetown law professor Lisa Heinzerling -

Professor Heinzerling has taught on the faculty of Georgetown University Law Center since 1993 and in 2003 she received Georgetown's faculty teaching award. She teaches several courses at Georgetown, including Environmental Law, Advanced Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Food and Drug Law, and a first-year course on the regulatory and administrative state. She served as counsel for the successful petitioners in the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, which addressed the EPA's role in regulating air pollutants associated with climate change.

Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, Heinzerling served as an assistant attorney general in the Environmental Protection Division of the Massachusetts attorney general's office. Previously, she clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for Justice William J. Brennan Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as editor in chief of the law review. She is the author of numerous articles on a variety of environmental subjects and the co-author of three books, including Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (2004) with economist Frank Ackerman.

Not a bad resume, eh?

Tonight, I will be going to her lecture, "Climate Change in the Supreme Court." Should be interesting!

What happens in Vegas...

Time for some fun? Who doesn't think it would be fun to take off for a few day to the mountains, or beach, or Vegas and just hang out with no responsibilities? OK, here's where I confess that I have never been to Vegas - never seen the Bellagio hotel, the bright lights of all the casinos, the flashy entertainment. I don't mean this in a "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" amnesia sort of way, I mean it in a never-got-in-a-plane and visited there sort of way. One of these days we'll get there - maybe after law school and once the kids are older. On the other hand, I think Wife and I will always chose Disneyland over Vegas. Maybe we can do a combo package!

Piece of the Sun!

Today is a rainy, rainy day. It is kind of nice to see the rain after summer. The plants and grass get all shiny, the air smells good, the sky changes from dark to light to dark over and over. I can enjoy it for a while. Like, maybe a few weeks. Although, driving home in a downpour last night reminded me that I dislike driving during hard showers. I like driving when the pavement is dry, thank you very much. So, while I am happy with fall right now, give me a month and I'll be wishing we had a prime piece of real estate in sunny Southern California, near enough to visit Mickey and friends (and Audra and her wife) whenever we wanted!

OK - So I am Strange

I was driving into work this morning, and got to thinking about how streets are named. You know how streets used to be named for a local landmark, or the business or professional you'd find on the road, or some other such logical connection? There was always a Main Street, for obvious reasons; perhaps a Baker Road, because the baker lived on it; maybe there would be Lake Road or River Road, again for obvious reasons. This morning, reading exit signs mainly because they are there, I noticed something that caused some concern: What in the world would cause someone to name a street Killingsworth?

Just saying....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Melissa Etheridge Rocks!

I know, it's not a unique or a particularly deep revelation, but it is so true in the more traditional sense of the phrase and in the current sense of the phrase. This woman rocks as a musician, as a human being, as a role model for us all.

Her new album, The Awakening, has just been released and it is amazing. Pick it up, read the liner notes, take the journey with her. This album represents the path of her life - through wanting to be a rock star and making it and then dealing with breast cancer and finally through a period of awakening to what life is really about. This is a spiritual journey, but also one of politics and love and family. There is an hysterical song called Threesome, which she talks about in an interview on AfterEllen.com that has to make you smile. This is good stuff. It really is.

You can see Melissa singing and talking a bit about her music on Amazon.com, but when you go to buy The Awakening, do it from Safeway, if you can. Proceeds from the CD's sold through Safeway go to breast cancer causes.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Lights Go On and Off

Ever been sitting in class and one minute everything seems to make sense, and then all of a sudden, it doesn't anymore, and then, miraculously, it does again?

Right. Me neither.


Odd the way the brain works sometimes, isn't it? It's like it gets full and you are just done for a bit, and then, a little space opens up again, and you can put some more in. Kids are like that, too. They can only be "good" for a while, and then they just have to let all their crazy energy out, and then they can get a grip again.

We're never that far from childhood.

Not a Techno Geek

When it comes to technology, I get by, I can surf the waters, but definitely cannot handle the big waves without taking a spill. I really like technology, when it is working. Late yesterday afternoon, and unfortunately, into the evening I set up our wireless router. Old one died over a year ago, and we've been doing without. This seems like it should be an easy thing. It was not. It was a frustrating thing that makes me wish I had a techno geek with no social life living next door at my constant beck and call. It got it running and we are happily wireless, though I never was able to run its installation wizard. Every time I did, it disconnected the broadband connection and we'd end up with NO INTERNET at all. Not fun. So, we have it installed. No security. Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not. Seems we are vulnerable, no matter what. If you know that I have just opened up my family to certain attacks, do let me know.

For now, I will be happy with my semi-tech life that includes a desktop and two laptop computers, 3 digital cameras, 2 cell phones, 2 dvd players, and a partridge in a pair tree. I do not have an iPod, a Blackberry, a GPS device, or a 28" viewsonic monitor that would increase "my gaming and viewing pleasure" (or something like that). Still, as long as what I have is working properly, I am happy!

Disclosure Policy

As many of you already know, I sometimes accept sponsored posts. That means sometimes I get paid if I include a link to someone's web page. Occasionally I will do a product or site review, and get paid to do that. I am always honest in these reviews and do not accept any assignments that dictate what my opinion must be. If I recommend a product or site it will only be because I really like it, and more often than not, these will not be sponsored posts, and usually, I will reveal that fact. Please note, a personal recommendation is much different than a review that says something to the effect of "I found this site and they have cool furniture."

Some folks believe this act of accepting money compromises the integrity of a blog. I accept money for work I do everyday and don't believe this compromises my integrity. Getting paid to blog provides some much needed extra income for my family, and it actually encourages me to be a more frequent, more creative blogger. I blog on a wide variety of topics, some paid, some not, and I think most reveal a little something about me, my family, and my perspective on life. I hope you, my dear readers, agree.

Thank you.