Archive for January, 2011


Yellow Snappers


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Snorkeling with the Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle of Buck Island, St. Thomas

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Useful Analogies and Metaphors

  • Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a thigh master.
  • His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  • He spoke with wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  • She grew on him like E. coli, as if he were room temperature Canadian beef.
  • She had a deep throaty genuine laugh like that sound a dog makes just before he throws up.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad, as, like, whatever.
  • He was a tall as a six foot three inch tree.
  • The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge free ATM.
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  • McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7 pm instead of 7:30.
  • Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
  • The hailstones leaped up off the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
  • Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across a grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  • John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  • Even in his last years, grand pappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  • Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  • The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil.  But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  • The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for awhile.
  • “Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.
  • He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame.  Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.
  • The Ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  • It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids with power tools.
  • He was deeply in love, when she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  • She was as easy as the TV guide crossword.
  • Her eyes were like limpid pools, like when they forget to put in any pH cleanser.
  • She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
  • Her voice had that tense grating quality, like a generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightening.
  • It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

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iPod Touch Safety

A more apt title for this post would be “The Year the Kids Got iPod Touches and Mom Went Berserk Trying to Make the Internet a Safe Place.” More on that in a moment, though. 😉

So, the holidays have come and gone and despite that it was most likely our busiest Christmas ever, it was an absolutely delightful time. Family and friends came to stay and visit, the dinner was great (although I thought my turkey was a tad on the tough side) and we even got some snow a few days beforehand. Besides that, all the presents were well received, especially the youngster’s iPod Touches.

So, the iPod Touch. Let’s just say this isn’t a device for the faint-of-heart parent. If you have WiFi and a Touch in your house, your child now has portable access to the internet, webcams, phonecalls (Skype) and texting.

Daunting to say the least.

More daunting is trying to make cyberspace a somewhat safe space to be — especially when the browser that the iPod comes with (Safari) has no safety filtering. Especially when you touch the “Favorite” icon for the YouTube app and it takes you to a page that has a video of a mostly naked woman, a video featuring “genitals” in the title, and another video on “How to Kill Yourself.”

All this from the touch of one button.


Just what I want my children exposed to! This should really help with the nine year old’s development.

My immediate reaction was to disable YouTube and Safari. There was MUCH protesting, however — which I can understand, because I’m not a complete ogre.  I did lay down some absolute laws though and then we compromised on some others.

One of the absolute laws was to follow through and disable the YouTube app and Safari browser on their devices. The compromise was a browser that offered safer internet access. Initially, I purchased an app that eventually caused me great grief. It was supposed to filter out the bad stuff and for good measure, keep track of where everyone had been surfing. That was a bust as it either filtered EVERYTHING or NOTHING. Not what I wanted at all and so it ended up doing zippety squat for us.

So, then I did a little more research and found the MOBICIP app and website. So far, so good, but it does look a little shaky in some areas. Up front though, it allows the kids to search through Google and get to YouTube, where I have logged into my YouTube account on each of their devices and activated “Safety Mode.” YouTube on “Safety Mode” isn’t perfect, but I’m not entirely keen on my kids living in a bubble, either. I have to trust that they will exercise their own good judgment and common sense.

MOBICIP only cost $4.99 USD for the initial app and then $9.99 USD for a PREMIUM subscription for one device (I’m giving it a test drive on E’s Touch). If I like the PREMIUM version, I’ll buy it for the other two, as well.

Further to that, more absolute laws include: no FaceTime, Video Skyping or internet in bedrooms. Regular Skyping is okay, but all the other stuff has to occur in common living areas. No Touches in the bedrooms after “lights out” — no one needs to lose sleep because they woke up at 2 a.m. and just happened to start playing Angry Birds and couldn’t stop (did I mention that that game is SUPER addictive?).

So, anxiety aside, the Touch is a pretty neat little gadget. It’s incredibly handy and I completely understand why people like them and the iPhone so much. In fact, I liked the kids’ so much, I got one for myself on Boxing Day. Already, except for word processing and extensive emails, it has made my computer obsolete. I imagine the iPad could help me out with that though. 😉

How did your Christmas go? Did you have snow or find anything special under the tree?

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