Friday, June 26, 2009

We'll Miss You Uncle Reed

Lester “Reed” Richardson passed away on June 23rd 2009. This kind and gentle man was born in Texas to a military family and was raised and educated in Washington State. After serving in the Army for two years, including a tour of duty in Viet Nam, Reed joined the Washington State Patrol. He retuned to college and earned a BA degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound in 1982. He had a successful career as an accountant, working at several business firms and taught business classes at Pierce College in Washington. Reed relocated to Southern California in 1999 continuing his work as an accountant. He was a member of Saint Michael’s Parish in Poway where he was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, sponsored several RCIA candidates and taught one year of High School Religious Education. He also was a volunteer for the International Relief Team of San Diego that served victims of the Cedar Fires. Reed’s hobby was wood working and he loved to play golf and watch various sports on TV. Devoted husband, son, brother, father, and grandfather, Reed was predeceased by his father L.R. He is survived by his loving wife Teresa, his mother Emma Frances, daughter Lara Jaeger and her husband Geoff, grandchildren Megan, Jessica, Jake and Lucy, son, Raymond, brother Bob and his wife Rayanne, stepchildren, Daniel, Olivia, and Victoria, step grandsons Jason and Garrett, his Uncle Buddy, Aunt, Betty, Uncle Fred and numerous nieces and nephews. Mass will be celebrated Wednesday July 1st at 2:00 pm at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 15546 Pomerado Rd, Poway, reception to follow. Reed is truly loved and will be missed by all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tar, baby

So, I took the flock to the La Brea Tar Pits this past week. I've insisted that they take a break from all those brainless activities that make a summer vacation,.. .a summer vacation.

I got us out the door not too shabbily at 8:30 - 9:00 ish and we made it to La Brea just like the iPhone said. Then, the iPhone decided to play hardball with me when I took a wrong turn on La Brea Blvd. - it refused to continue routing me to my destination. In fact, it pretended to not know that the tar pits existed. I don't think it had really gotten over Spring vacation when it was navigating me and I still ended up in Disneyland, instead of the Ontario Airport. I had no idea the iPhone had a built in IQ meter, but apparently I don't qualify for ownership.

I've never led anyone on, dear iPhone, in my lack of navigational skills. I am the first to laugh hysterically at the fact that I have an actual degree in geography, but I can not find my way out of a paper bag with a Thomas Guide. Or, that I work for a company that makes mapping software for a living, but fail to know which way is east unless I see the sun and say the rhyme in my head "lefty westy,.."

So, little iPhone, I'm sorry I turn you on your head so I can figure out where I am (represented by that pulsing blue dot that looks a lot like my blood pressure when I've been in the car with five crazed children for almost two hours in LA traffic and have lost sight of my termination point) and where I am supposed to turn in time to actually turn there. Unless that iPhone grows arms out of its sides and takes control of the wheel, I will continue to get lost. YOU GOT AN APP FOR THAT?

Anyway, I digress. We get to the parking lot. They only take cash for the $8 parking fee. I have only a five dollar bill and no ATM card in my purse. (what is a trip if it's not adventurous, eh? No vocanoes to hoist myself on? Well, I'll drive into LA with no cash or gas, but with five kids and see where it takes me,..) The gatekeeper takes pity on me and waves me in anyway. We park, J finds his wallet and lets me borrow three bucks with very high interest, I assure you. I give the money to the man.

The museum is beautiful, if you can get past that tar smell. For God's sake, don't you think the people of LA would put some sort of proposition on the ballot next time to take care of the stench?

Nice grounds for rolling down, running away from mom (especially fun if you are only one year old and can make EVERY PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE yell loudly at me 'Your baby is over here!" Yes, people, I have an eyeball on it. I haven't lost one yet. Kid, I mean. Or eyeball for that matter.)

The musuem itself is very nice and would be more fun if museums didn't make all five of my children deathly hungry just as the credit card is processed. I make them suffer through two movies and trapse the whole way 'round. I point out the real life paleontologists who are hacking away at fossils behind the glass. I make them walk in the aboretum and ask them all sorts of annoying educational questions before we go back outside to gnaw on some granola bars.

We then go find PIT 91 - reminds me of Area 51, but this has massive amounts of old bones. Now that the children have fuel for their brain cells, they find this marginally more interesting. Five minutes pass, so we trapse to the snack bar for $25 worth of coke and chips. Then go and spend more time in the gift shop than in the museum. Leave. Actually find the freeway all by myself with no help from any electronic devices.

Only have gas in the Suburban for oh, 60ish miles. Decide to gun it out of massively annoying traffic and see how long I can coast down hills to the Valley while all the babes sleep. Decide to exit right before the warning light. Pull into gas station - that only takes cash - and go back out into extremely bad traffic looking for gas station. Try to look composed as children all wake up and ask what's going on. Fume on in to credit card accepting station and fill 'er up. Then, fill up the kids again, because it's been, oh, what? an hour? Starving. In and Out is nearby. Make it through the meal until the very end when Fifi spills my dt. coke onto my lap. Now, THAT will keep me awake for the rest of the ride.

Put a sweatshirt on the car seat and turn on the seat heater in hopes that by the time I have to stop for food again on the way home, I won't look like I just peed my pants.

Get home in time for dinner. Remember hubby is at a meeting til late and I'm in charge of dinner. Run to store for pizza and beer. Call it a night. Get ready for the next field trip back to the Science Museum. And the good thing? I've been there before and vaguely know where it is,...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Musings on the 21st Century

Well, I did it. I'm hip again, at least in my own convoluted mind. Not only do I have a blog, a facebook account, I've dabbled in LinkedIn, but I tweated. For those of you who don't know, tweating is basically the ability to use a computer to send random thoughts to the entire populace with a quick push of a button. It's pretty frightening.

I tweated on a white paper I copyedited for a rocket scientist at NASA who uses my company's software to perform space optimization. Okay, so I don't know if he's an actual rocket scientist, but it makes me feel smarter. Anyway, you post 140 characters (ack!Good thing I'm usually at a loss for words!) on whatever you feel like and it gets sent into the cybersphere. In about 5 seconds (the amount of time it could take you to think "OMG, what have I done?!?") you can see that many unknowns out in the world have read your tweat and indeed, clicked on any info you included, like the URL to said whitepaper.

When I say unknown, I mean unknown. It tracks and categorizes the trackers into 'HUMAN' and 'BOT'. Yes, Virginia, we are living in a TRANSFORMER/TERMINATOR world. I never thought I'd have to worry about robots tracking my information in cyberspace. Perhaps I should move.

That may be scary, but I am finding that these new fangled technologies can be a boon to my life; for example, now that we have secured a mobile phone for our preteen boy, I've never had so many conversations with the kid in my entire life. And I don't mean by communicating via voice, like we 20th century folks would assume you would do, especially using a PHONE; I'm letting my fingers do the talking - I've done better parenting through texting in the last three months than I have in the other 12 years of that kid's life.

We've had in depth conversations about everything. I'm finding that I can do virtual parenting from virtually anywhere in the world. Who needs a babysitter when you have a rule oriented, bossy 12 year old in charge (or so he thinks) of everyone in his domain. I've been distracted in many meetings at work by texts such as "K ate 16 poptarts - is that okay?"and "Z is calling me names, can I hit him?", "Can we watch JAWS?", and "WHERE R U?"

Woops. Gotta go. I think there is a BOT at the door texting to get in.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tivo Queen

I used to be anyway. The master of the DVR,.. .the keeper of the vault of soulless TV shows that were always there if I wanted to watch them; kind of a security blanket. Not that I would, mind you. We try and be kind of social in this household, which means limiting hours of TV viewing and game playing, spending time doing other things. Oh who am I kidding, I'm not as quick as those little whipper snappers I live with. Their little fingers have been engineered to dial in just the correct HD channel quicker than I can say 'But Oprah's on!'

I used to have all sorts of things in my collection, like House and Grey's Anatomy and Top Chef and the Colbert Report. Then I noticed my shows were getting deleted before I even got to view them. I'd see Fringe displayed, blink, and then it was gone. In it's place is an assortment of Yo Gabba Gabba (this is like an earthquake emergency kit - gotta have something fun and dancable to distract frenzied infants and toddlers. It's on virtual 'do-not-destroy' orders), Night in HD, MythBusters, Engineering Marvels, Dinosaur Shows, Things-that-Eat-You-in-the-Ocean-so-you-should-never-go-boogieboarding-again from the Discovery Channel and really - how many Hockey games do we have to record? Huh? Who said all these little nature and true fact show loving, sports obsessed little boys could run ripshod over my DVR?

Not that it matters anyway. Once and a while I force my will on my youngsters. "IT'S MY TURN!" I bellow. Just to turn on something that either gets immediately drowned out by all sorts of urgent requests, or is deemed inappropriate for child viewing. Forget it. Which channel is Noggin, again?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Monday

I can't spend too much time playing in my favorite sandbox, what with all the whining and carrying on (who knew children demanded so much attention??? Fifi will only go find her shoes so many times before I have to really deal with her).

I've got to do stuff like this today.

Getting ready for the day actually involved getting six people ready for the day. As I was attempting my 3 year-old's fine blond tresses, which gnarl quite nicely, as though her head was a drill bit and she was burrowing into her pillow,... I asked her "Did an owl make a nest in your hair?" To which she looked at me very seriously and responded, "No, I'm not a tree."

Well, duh, mom.

Which reminds me of the last time I was helping at her preschool, pushing this totally cute little boy on a swing. He gave me all sorts of wise words of wisdom, my two favorites by far were:

* "Yeah, my dad's a human."


*"Did you know we are all manimals?"

Here's to a great week, if not a great month!