Sunday, February 19, 2006

Griddlecakes Radio

Just in case you aren't a Griddlecakes Radio subscriber (and why aren't you, I might ask? Hmmmmmm...), I'm in a bit over there. Griddlesode 20: Business Babble. Check it out, and tell Ron I sent you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Interesting study results

I don't know, but the armchair sociologist/psychologist in me is fascinated by the results of this study.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Family Love

Last night, my son had his big Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. It was nowhere near as long as last year (which is good, because last year went on forever and ever and ever and ev...), and was actually a lot of fun. My big boy got his Bear badge, and an arrow point, and was so proud to be up at the front of the fellowship hall, getting recognition from everyone for his hard work. The little lady sat there slurping spaghetti and enjoying seeing her big brother get his badges. And when it came time for the "Crossing Over" ceremony, where the 2nd year Webelos cross the bridge and officially become Boy Scouts, both of my little boys sat there, starry-eyed, watching it all with envy.

"There going to be Boy Scouts now, Mama?" asked the little one, eyes wide, wanting to make sure he understood it all.

"Just two more years, and that will be me!" said the big guy, bursting with anticipation.

I'm a proud mama. Pictures will be at flickr later today, for sure.

My family is my everything. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you-- my husband and my children light up my life. Being there last night, with all the other moms and dads, sitting through lists of kids getting awards that aren't your kid, sticking around, applauding, trying not to act bored-- it all reminded me that these little things mean so much to my kids. Family Uno battles, ticklefights, playing in the back yard together, fixing pigtails gently so that hair doesn't get snagged, bringing one of the kids to work with me (Whose turn is it now, mommy?), bedtime backrubs, kissing boo-boos, and doing everything I can to help one of my little ones when they are sick or hurt-- these are the things that they will forever bring to memory when thinking of me. No parent is perfect all the time. I can only hope that the good will far outweigh the bad, and that they'll always see me as their biggest fan and their strongest defender.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Last week, I emailed a picture of my band I direct to the local paper. Not only did they publish the photo, they even included a nice little article about how cool it is that a private school that small can have a band program! Awesome! Unfortunately for my long-distance pals, the article is not available at their web site (they only put up the cover story, obits, and editorial online), and I'm not about to retype the whole thing. But, suffice to say that it is pretty cool! :-)

We got a new camera yesterday to replace the broken one. Excellent! Flickr users beware!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I feel like a nice, warm cup of Maya Angelou right now...

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

I have a few good interviews scheduled this week with people who have repeatedly risen out of the darkness. This will be good. :-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Speech Enhancers, and Crazy People

I recently sent in some audio for my part in an upcoming skit at one of the podcasts I enjoy. The podcaster emailed me back, letting me know that there was something resembling a "noise gate artifact" left in the audio, and could I please check and remove any effects. I hadn't added a noise gate, and didn't even know what a "noise gate artifact" was, Google being no help at all.

So, I was retelling the story to some of my band students today, and they were all laughing at me. My trombone player, who is a skilled musician on other instruments and whose father is a musician as well, explained to the class. "A noise gate is something you do to your audio to reduce clicks, pops, and other background noise from your recording. It uses some of its' own sound to cover up the unwanted sounds, so a noise gate artifact is when the sound it uses to cover up unwanted sound creates its' own unwanted effect."

"Oh, cool," I said, trying to act like I'm still the musical expert. "Well, it turns out that there wasn't a noise gate at all. But when you do a Basic Voice track in GarageBand, it apparently adds a Speech Enhancer effect by default."

"What's a Speech Enhancer effect?" asked one of the other band kids.

Mr. Trombone Know-it-all piped up again. Without as much as a teeny smile, he explained, "That's the effect that fixes it so when you say (faking his best redneck voice) 'Gee, golly, I ain't feelin' good at all today' covers it up and makes it say (sounding like a British robot) 'I. Am. Not. Feeling. Good. Today.'"

And you guys wonder why I like teaching band... Shame on you!

Checking out the news today, I'm just heartbroken over how a group of people can take their rage over a legitimate issue and turn it into something so out of control that they lose all credibility. When things don't go the way you think they should, that's a perfect opportunity to speak out in a confident but measured way to work toward greater justice and understanding. When you take that opportunity and completely violate it, you should not be surprised when people begin to make even greater generalizations and misunderstandings about the group you are claiming to speak for, whether you're truly speaking for the group or not. Freakish anger, vengeance, hatred, and random violence have never solved the problems of any individual or group, and will always just create more problems in the end.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Matt's Today in History

One of the podcasts I enjoy a great deal, and one of the first I ever subscribed to, is Matt's Today in History. Matt, who also blogs at, puts out a podcast in which he discusses interesting historical events that happened on this date in a past year. Well, he recently put out a call for guest podcasts, and being the excited podcast newbie that I am, I couldn't resist sending him my own audio. It's up now at his site, and you can find out about how on February 5, 1778, South Carolina became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Enjoy!

I've been thinking about some other stuff, too, but I'll have to save that for another post, possibly tomorrow. Stay tuned.

You don't know the power of the blog.

While reading one of my favorite blogs today, I thought about how badly it must suck to be a family member or real-life friend of someone who blogs about every stupid thing you do. God bless my husband, Maher, my kids, and anyone else who puts up with the things I tell about them. :-)

Be advised, however, that my heartfelt empathy will not stop me from blogging about you if you do something dumb. It's just too good to resist.

Three cheers for...


So, I guess those of you who live somewhere it snows regularly will think we're idiots, but yip yip yippeee--- it's snowing! May not even stick or have anything resembling accumulation, but it sure is fun to watch outside the window of my office. :-)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play