Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Honk if you know why you're honking."

I came across this article today, which I thought was quite interesting: It's about how the world is riddled with car horn misuse. For instance, in some big cities around the world, people hardly ever stop honking and the noise can be dangerous as well as disturbing. The article talks about how some cities have effectively banned honking at certain times of day or even altogether. The rationale is that honking the car horn takes the responsibility away from the person doing the honking. If they spot an accident about to happen and honk, instead of slowing down/changing lanes/etc., they feel that they have done their part to avoid the accident. But if car horn use was restricted, or horns were non-existent, everyone would have to learn how to drive more carefully.

Anyway, this reminded me of two things. One, my driver's ed teacher in high school told us once that the car horn did not have to be used solely as an emergency or road rage tool. If I remember correctly, he told us that, "Sometimes it's nice to just give a little toot to say hello to other drivers." I've never actually tested this theory, because I'm afraid of getting the bird.

The other thing the article reminded me of is a game my grandpa and I used to play while driving places. Just a warning before you read any further: the rest of this post is kind of ridiculous, but it makes me smile. We could be on our way to anywhere, but if we had to go through a part of town where there weren't many houses, we played this game: if we saw anyone outside their house doing anything, we'd honk and wave. The goal was to see how many people would wave back. We didn't know them, they didn't know us, but a lot of people waved back at us. Sometimes they didn't even look at who was honking, they'd just throw their arm up and go back to whatever they were doing. By the way, my grandma and anyone else riding with us thought this game was totally obnoxious. My grandpa and I always maintained that we were just being friendly drivers.

So maybe car horns are useless...

Answer to the Blog Challenge

What am I thankful for?

I have so many things to be thankful for this year that I'm not sure I'll be able to name them all. Here goes:

I'm thankful for my health and wholeness, for my husband, and for our daughter-to-be. I'm thankful that I've been blessed with a fairly easy pregnancy and I'm also thankful that pretty soon we'll be able to meet our bundle of joy.

I'm thankful for my family and friends, and for the love and support they all provide in their own way. I'm thankful for laughter and fun, and for being able to share the hard stuff, too.

I'm thankful for school and learning, even when it's difficult. I'm thankful for my teachers, classmates, and Andy for making my first semester back in school so great.

I'm thankful that I have a job, a home, a vehicle, and food on the table. I'm thankful for the God who has brought me to where I am.

I know that there is much more that I am thankful for, but this feels like a pretty good start. And much better than my last, no-good-horrible-very-bad-day post. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of those days...

Isn't there some kind of pessimistic theory that says if something can go wrong it will? Well, it's been one of those days.

Last night I left my umbrella at work. Of course it rained this morning on my way in.

Yesterday we got word that my husband's car, which is in the shop for repairs, will cost significantly less than we originally thought. Today we found out that it needs a new motor, and is for all intents and purposes now just a metal box on wheels. (I seriously got a text message from my husband saying "Don't panic.") Naturally, we have to pay for the work that has already been done, which really lowers our chance of being able to get something different in the near future. Ironic twist here: about two weeks ago, we finally sold my husband's old car, which ran fine.

Today is payday, and I'm fairly certain that just about all of my check is already spoken for.

So far this week, I've learned that most of what ails me is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things, but that in the moment, sometimes it just makes me feel better to throw a big hairy fit. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Go tomorrow, you can do it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

November 2008

In one of my classes, one of my fellow students posted this link:

It's a pretty hysterical prediction from 40 years ago about what life will be like in November of 2008. This being the last day of October, I thought we'd better get ready for hands-free, thought-free driving and about 24.5 million more people to live in the United States. Four-hour work days and self-maintaining houses sound pretty nice.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Holy cow it's been a month since I last posted! Let me just tell you that working, homework-ing, cooking dinner for your husband nearly every night, and being pregnant makes you lose track of time. I'll try to do better...

Anyway, on to what I've learned this week. I was going to talk about what I learned on my trip to Springfield earlier this month, during which my husband and I visited several Lincoln sites. However, I found this today and I just couldn't wrap my brain around it very well:

Really? Sixty dollars? Plus, I love the last sentence that says: "Taiwan's education ministry has halted campus-based eating contests while an investigation is launched." This makes me think that Taiwan's campuses have regularly scheduled eating contests, other than this annual one in the story. Who thought this was a good idea? What do the kid's parents think? This is very sad, that a basic necessity of life (eating) can be made into a potentially deadly sport. I feel bad for the student's family. Do things like that happen here? I have no idea. I work on a University campus and I can say that I have never heard of an eating contest here. I guess this isn't any different than hot dog eating contests or pie eating contests, but still... Gross. Maybe it's because I am too "girly" to enter myself into a binge eating contest. Maybe it's because I get too grossed out by vomit, which I'm sure is a staple at events such as this.

In case I've offended any previous "Big Stomach Kings" out there, here are a few Lincoln tidbits I found interesting:

Abraham Lincoln had a clean-shaven face until a little girl wrote him a letter saying that she thought he would look pretty nice with a beard.

Lincoln's oldest son Robert sold the house in Springfield to the state of Illinois for $1 as long as it remained in it's 1860 state and no one would ever be charged admission.

Mary Todd Lincoln was not the first woman Lincoln was engaged to.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Worth pondering...

An email went out at work this morning linking to this:

Several more emails arrived in my inbox from the University Library listserv people about how it seems just a tad off that this is "unlikely to enforce this for faculty" (a quote from an emailer who heard President White at a meeting). The resounding question: What about civil service staff? Mind you, this really doesn't bother me as I'm not one to parade around my political opinions on a button, t-shirt, or bumper sticker, but why the special treatment for faculty? The answer is what I would like to learn this week. Whatever the case, I have gotten to read some hilarious emails from staff members about how when they are hauled out for wearing their political button they'll be sure to toss it to a faculty member.

Have a great non-partisan kind of day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am not crazy.

Over the last week in school, I continued to learn about how I learn. More specifically, I found out that I combine thinking about things with learning by doing. I already knew that I learn things best by jumping in and doing them, but I hadn't thought about the thinking part. It's true, though. I usually try to work a technical problem out in my head before I get to the hands-0n stage.

More interestingly (for me at this time, anyway) is what I've learned about pregnancy hormones (an example of learning by doing?). A couple of days ago, in the span of about ten minutes, I went from tearing up at a song I heard on the radio, to thinking something else on the radio was ridiculously funny when it probably wasn't, to having to keep myself from laughing while walking from my car to my building because I was thinking of something else "hilarious." I just kept thinking that people out walking near me must have thought that I was totally insane because here I am, just smiling away at nothing. All I can say is I feel bad for my poor husband, who usually gets to experience these mood swings when they're on the not-so-funny end.

Finally, the best thing I learned this week is that in February (or perhaps March, if being late is hereditary) we'll be welcoming a baby girl to the family. Now I just have to get used to thinking of Baby as a she instead of as an it.