To My Children…

This arrived in my email a few days ago… and, while it is addressed to those of us who have children, it really applies to all of the relationships which mean a lot to us.

Stop and 'smell the roses' more with your loved ones this coming year.

If you get nothing else accomplished, your life will be richer and more satisfying.

Here it is:

This is for all of parents and grandparents, that sometimes forget during our busy lives just what is the most precious thing in our lives.

To My Children…

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening , I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms wat ching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day...

And that, gentle reader, is my final post for this year. Thank you for reading my blog this year… it has been an interesting and exciting almost four months. I'm looking forward to more in the coming year.

From me and my family, to you and yours… have a safe and Happy New Year!!

'See' you next year!!

LaVeda H. Mason


A Quiet, Lazy Day…

sleeping in, eating what we want for breakfast... whether it is leftovers from last night's dinner, or doughnuts and milk, sort of like backwards day :-).

The weather here is overcast and gloomy, but it is still fairly warm for December.

I'm looking forward to spring coming back again, I have another chance to try my hand at growing more vegetables, although from my experiences last year, I'd say that I'd make an excellent herb grower.

Not *that* kind, silly! Culinary and medicinal herbs :-)! Barring that, I'd probably have an excellent second career as a weed killer... all I'd have to do is tell the weed that there was some reason to eat it, and *poof*! It would die off, faster than you can say, "pesticide", lol!!

Anywhoo... it was a beautiful, quiet day, the kind that years later, when life has picked up considerably, that you look back on and think, "I need more days like that one!"


And, So This Is Christmas…

And, So This Is Christmas…

And all is well with the world. The children enjoyed their presents, both the ones that they gave, and the ones that they received. They have eaten all the food, cake and candy that they can hold, and they did their best to stay awake long enough to work off the last of the sugar rush.

But, it didn't work.

They lay strewn about the living room, gently snoring the sleep of the overstuffed. Now, I have to wake them up long enough to get them to bed, and then I can go to sleep as well.

What's next? Planning for New Years'!!



Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, and so on...

It seems like this year has simply flown by... it seems like yesterday, it was time for back-to-school stuff, and here we are, looking at the New Year!

Anyway, from my family to yours, enjoy your holidays, and don't spend too much, eat too much, or work too hard... the New Year is coming, and you're going to need all your strength to hit the ground running, LOL!!


Locating Games...

One of my children has decided that they want to give a video game to one of their siblings. Unfortunately, it is an old, discontinued game, so I have scoured eBay, and haunted the local GameStop. I discovered a new GameStop in my area, and when I go in, lo and behold! It is there, on the shelf! So, I call said child, and ask if this is the one. I am told, yes, and I purchase it. However, they do not have a system they can test the disk on to see if the game actually runs (it is a used game)... but hey, they have a guarantee, right?

Of course, after waiting for everyone else to go to bed, I tell the 'gift-er' to check the game, and it doesn't work.


I'm just going to return it, and get my money back. Time to move to Plan B for this child... maybe a nice box of chocolates for their sibling?


The Home Stretch...

Well, this is the last week before Christmas.

I was sitting here this morning, thinking that there was plenty of time to get those last Christmas dinner groceries, and then I *looked* at the calendar.


Next Monday is Christmas Eve, and the Federal Government is closed. So it's a three-day weekend. And anyone who has the vacation time to take Friday off, will.

So that leaves today, tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday during the day to finish everything for Christmas… because there is absolutely NO WAY I'm going to be in the street the weekend before Christmas! I'm leaving the last-minute shoppers to their own devices... they won't have me to kick around this year!

Thankfully, it's mostly the special ingredients for Christmas dinner that I need. And [checking pantry], not too much of that.

I'm still not in true Christmas mode, mainly because lately, it has been so warm here. It feels more like the beginning of summer, than time for New Years' fireworks.

Today, it was colder, but more like a nippy fall day, than like true December weather. Maybe it will be cold on Christmas Day [fingers crossed].


Stumble Upon...

is like Crack.

Yikes! You hit that "stumble" button, and away you go... before you know it, that fifteen minute email session is over. I sometimes feel like a lab rat in an experiment… how many times will you push the lever to get your reward?

That having been said, it is a great place to 'stumble upon' interesting websites. I have found more than a few hysterically funny pages... just when I needed a laugh.

If you wish, add me to your Friends… my handle is 'LaVeda'.


And Now, A Word From Dr. Seuss…

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons.

It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

'What if Christmas', he thought, 'doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?' "

And now, a few words from me...


Take a deep breath.

Christmas isn't about toys, gifts, or stuff.

Christmas is about relationships.

Keep that in mind as you shop, cook, wrap, and ship.
(Think of the alternative!)

Now, don't you feel better?


All Quiet on The Home Front...

The only thing that is slightly odd is that it is 80 degrees here!

I am absolutely heartbroken… Christmas is coming ... where is the snow?


Ok, so I'm not so upset about the snow. I am LOVING this weather! Wheeeeee!!

Overcast this morning, but the sun broke through the clouds, leaving little fluffy cotton balls strewn all about the skyline.

Sunshine that you can FEEL, not just see, on your skin.

Not too hot (no air conditioner), not too cold (no heat/sweaters) ... it's jusssst right.


And that concludes today's post about simple pleasures...

What do you enjoy, that seems too simple to even comment on?


It's Wonderful… It **Just Works**!!

Linux Users at Best Buy:

Linux Users at Best Buy

We actually stand around the antivirus displays with the Mac users just waiting for someone to ask :-)

[Click the image to go to the site for more cartoons]


A Charlie Brown Christmas

In today's excerpt--in December 1965 came A Charlie Brown Christmas, the most successful special in television history. In a simple story from Peanuts' creator Charles Schulz where Charlie Brown looks for genuine meaning in Christmas while Snoopy and Lucy revel in its glitter, the show defied convention by using real kids' voices, no laugh track, sophisticated original music and uncluttered graphics:

An Image of Peanuts' Charlie Brown

"No one was more ready than Charles Schulz to write a parable about commercialism when [his agent] Lee Mendelson telephoned one Wednesday in May 1965 to announce that he had just sold a Christmas show to Coca-Cola. ... He brought in Bill Melendez, the Disney animator who had earned Schulz's respect by not Disneyfying the Peanuts gang ... [by] changing their essential qualities, either as "flat" characters or as his cartoon characters. ...

"[Schulz left] Lee and Bill to audition some forty-five kids, ages six to nine, then train the cast of seven principles, some of them too young to read ... [to deliver] their lines with startling clarity and feeling. ...

"Schulz loathed the hyena hilarity of canned merriment and rightly judged that an audience would not have to be told when and where to laugh; Mendelson countered that all comedy shows used such tracks. 'Well, this one won't,' said [Schulz] firmly. 'Let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed, in their own way.' Then he rose and walked out, closing the door behind him. ...

"On the subject of scoring and music, however, Schulz put aside his own tastes ... [and his producer hired] Grammy Award-winning composer Vince Guaraldi. The catchy rhythm of 'Linus and Lucy' ... became the centerpiece of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and eventually a pop music standard. But it was the slower, mixed-mood, improvisational pieces in Guaraldi's jazz suite, especially 'Christmas Time is Here,' that elicited the unarticulated emotions lying below the holiday's joyful surface. ...

"Lee and his wife had read Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Fir Tree' to their children the previous year, and when he suggested that the show somehow involve a comparable motif, [Schulz] siezed upon the idea: 'We need a Charlie-Brown-like tree.' ... [And Schulz] insisted that the season's true meaning could be found in the Gospel according to St. Luke, and they agreed that the show would somehow work in the Nativity story. ... When the script was finished in June 1965, Lee Mendelson made a stand against Linus's recitation of the Nativity story, insisting that religion and entertainment did not mix on television. '[Schulz] just smiled,' Mendelson later wrote, 'patted me on the head, and left the room.' ...

"In a screening room at network headquarters in New York, two CBS vice presidents watched the show in silence. 'Neither of them laughed once,' Mendelson recalled. When the lights came on, the executives shook their heads and shrugged. 'Well,' said one, 'you gave it a good try.' 'It seems a little flat,' said the other. 'Too slow,' said the first, 'and the script is too innocent.' 'The Bible thing scares us,' said the other. The animation was crude--couldn't it be jazzed up a bit? The voice talent was unprofessional--they should have used adults. The music didn't fit--who ever heard of a jazz score on an animated special? And where were the laughs?"

David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts, Harper Collins, Copyright 2007 by David Michaelis, pp. 346- 358.

Link to DelanceyPlace.com -- for more excerpts


Dog v. Cat


8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are
fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for
the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in
order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my
dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on
the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their
feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it
clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made
condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event.
However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that
my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what
this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try
this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and
snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly
released -- and seems to be more than willing to return. He is
obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with
the Guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My
captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell,
so he is safe ... for now ...


Today, I Was Telling A Friend ...

… that coding my websites has started to become an obsession. What else can you call writing out layouts and hex#'s for different color combinations on any stray piece of paper that comes to hand? Spending weeks working on a script that you just can't get to work (so, I never said that I'm *good* at it, lol!) ... Googling until you can hit the key combinations in your sleep... Tinkering with your sites before you've had your first cup of coffee? The 'sad' truth is, that I've discovered that I'm a geek!

Now seriously, there are worse things to discover about oneself... and, personally, my tastes in men have always seemed to run to geeks and nerds. They are usually more interesting (what's going ON in there?!?) to me. But I hadn't realized until recently, that *I* was a geek as well.

Which explains a whole lot of things.

I'll get into that on my other blog at another time (haven't you noticed, that once you begin blogging, *everything* starts to look like a blog post?), but for now, I'm just enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling of belonging somewhere.

No more apologizing for: my extensive mental collection of Star Trek quotes, being able to argue which Captain was the best (depends on my mood), being able to keep up with the science behind it all, and oh, those wonderful extras on the DVDs that tell you about how it was all done!! Not having to hide being interested in astrobiology, and astronomy, and whether or not wormholes actually exist. And let's not get into my Dr. Seuss fixation. [And, I *would* read it in a box, and ...]


Let others cower in their caves of fear and ignorance... I stride boldy forth, to engage my mind and brain in the struggle for understanding the universe!!

[spying the children advancing in a triangle formation with a syringe of some powerful sedative]


It is nice to know that there are others who are interested in the same things that I am... the Internet is wonderful, because you can find people who share your interests, even if there are an ocean away. It's nice to know that you are not Crazy [Official Diagnosis™], even if the only person that shares your interest is on another continent!!

I've got to go... I hear the children talking to someone on the phone, and I'm hearing words like 'psychiatrist', 'home visit', and 'straightjacket', and those three words in the same sentence do not bode well for me, lol!!

I'll leave you with a geek joke:

The Computer Programmer And The Frog

A computer programmer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero." The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will be your loving companion for an entire week." The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to his pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want." Again the man took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket."

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The man said, "Look, I'm a computer programmer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."


Couple: Police Killed Our Pot Plants

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - A couple whose medical-marijuana plants were seized are threatening to sue authorities because the plants were returned dead.

The police seized 39 live marijuana plants from Jim and Lisa Masters in August 2006 and arrested them on drug charges, said their lawyer, Brian Vicente. The couple said they were using the plants for medical purposes and providing marijuana to several patients who were licensed to get it.

The narcotics charges against the Masters were dropped in June, and the plants were returned to them Monday, but dead.

The plants might be worth more than $100,000, the couple's attorneys told the Coloradoan newspaper.

The department didn't have to care for the plants because the couple did not have documentation to show the plants were legal, police spokeswoman Rita Davis said.



Inkjet tech delivers drugs - via transdermal patch

A Singapore-developed technology used in Hewlett-Packard’s patented process for its inkjet cartridges, could soon be used in skin patches to administer drugs.

The locally-developed microneedle technology is used in Hewlett-Packard’s patented process for its inkjet cartridges, could soon be used in transdermal patches to deliver time-controlled release of drugs to patients.

HP announced that it will license its microneedle technology to Crospon, an Ireland-based medical device maker, to develop and manufacture drug-laden skin patches for the healthcare market.

In a phone interview with ZDNet Asia, Crospon CEO John O’Dea said that the skin patch is akin to “a very small infusion pump”. Still at the prototype stage, the patch will likely be 25 mm square in size and 3 mm thick. It will incorporate an array of microneedles that are between 75 and 100 microns, which will penetrate the top dry layer of the skin, also known as the stratum corneum.

“Above the microneedles is an array of wells, [and] those wells can hold one or a number of drugs,” O’Dea explained, adding that for the actuation of drugs, the device has “an active mechanism to push the drug through the needle”.

As such, the patient is not depending on a “passive” type of drug delivery, he said.

According to O’Dea, the device will be completed and ready to hit the market in three to four years’ time. By then, it will also have a CPU onboard, likely to be in the form of “a regular micro controller type system” on flash memory, and be programmable to deliver one or multiple drugs at an appropriate dosage and time.

For instance, a patient after a cardiac surgery would be on as many as up to eight different drugs, all of which could be contained in one device—the transdermal patch.

From printers to patients

Lim Eng Hann, associate director of HP’s Asia-Pacific IP Licensing Center, told ZDNet Asia in the same phone interview that the technology used for the drug delivery system is not an exact replica of HP’s inkjet technology, but a modified version.

“The programmable part [of the patch] comes from HP’s inkjet technology where we could program to fire different nozzles for ink, and we repurposed that for firing drugs,” Lim said.

Two components are involved in the technology transfer from HP to Crospon: the microneedles which dispel the drug, and the “firing” mechanism that excretes the drug.

“We believe it’s an industry first to be able to deliver multiple drugs through a single patch with microneedles,” O’Dea said.

He acknowledged that while there are also players in the market “exploiting the potentials of microneedles”, there is no skin patch incorporating microneedle technology that is on sale in the market today.

ZDNet Asia understands that companies such as Procter & Gamble, Debiotech and Exploit Technologies—the commercialization arm for Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR)—have also used microneedle technology for transdermal drug delivery systems.



Anatomy of A Black Hole

No, I'm not talking about your Christmas credit card debt, lol! The real ones...

And Think Technologies has come up with an excellent visual to explain how they work (according to our scientists' best knowledge):


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