News, Thoughts, Opinions, & Stories

"We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed, and many, many different abilities that will help you get there." - Howard Gartner

The above quote comes from a book my brother game me called, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ.

Many of the most successful people (whether you measure financially or in terms of happiness and/or relationships), weren't very good students. IQ has only a 20% correlation to financial success and very little correlation to other success measurements.

Our culture can be so narrowly focused and while certainly it makes sense to make sure kids are proficient readers and capable thinkers, our new testing obsessed approach imposes an overly narrow focus in our approach to education.
Americans pay more for bottled water per gallon than they do for gasoline... and this when they can get free, often times higher quality, water out of there taps. The environmental impact of the popularity of bottled water is staggering, between creation of bottles, transporting, and disposing the cost are huge... and for the most part completely unnecessary.

While certainly there are times when its necessary, it should be avoided whenever possible. Here's a link explaining in more depth. Read More...
Image: Tornado!!!
We had a wee bit of excitement here on November 28th as a class 0 tornado touched down in my back yard... it was quite the surreal experience... I was working in my breakfast room at around 11pm when rain started pelting the windows loudly... odd, I thought, never heard that before... then the door started shaking and I thought might burst open so I decided to hold it shut... it didn't take long before I realized that was stupid and so I ran and called for Jen (who was in the upstairs bathroom wondering why the windows were shaking) so we could head to the basement but by the time she made it down, it was over...

The storm knocked a huge chunk of my sycamore into my back yard along with the top of the neighbors magnolia. The neighbors large pine tree was uprooted into his front yard and a huge old oak tree fell into another neighbors house. Branches and whatnot were all over (and did quite a job on my car) and my roof (which needed replacing anyway) was everywhere, including in a yard 7 houses away. Pics
Image: House Project Progress
We've been working furiously trying to get the house in shape for our new arrival (they're very picky about this stuff you know)... We replaced the roof which has needed doing for awhile but was helped along by the class 0 tornado we had on Nov. 28th. We're currently more than doubling the size of the master closet by just building it out into the unused deadspace and putting in all new closet stuff.

We're still in the process of completely redoing the breakfast room (aka Efficion Consulting's world headquarters). So far we've removed the drop ceiling to put in a slatted wood ceiling and ripped paneling off the interior wall to expose great brick work. We'll be redoing the floor, putting in a large bay window, replacing the door with much bigger mostly glass door, replacing paneling with dry wall, putting in a new fan/light and redecorating.

After that stuff is done, we've only got two more rooms to redo, the kitchen (big project) and the living room (just patching and painting). And then all the little fixes, improvements, and whatnot that houses require... oh, and replacing the fence in back, and reworking the driveway/garage and...
Image: Coming along nicely...
We're six month into this pregnancy and boy do my feet hurt... As you can see from the accompanying pic, there's no doubt Jen's pregnant. If she's this big at 6 months... could be a long 3rd trimester.

Near as we can tell, everything is progressing swimmingly... the baby is in the 70% of size for his "age", so much so that they moved our due date up to March 14th (from the 24th). All indications are that we'll have a fabulous little boy in a few months... Jen's having a harder time finding a comfortable position to sleep, her feet swell if she's on them for too long, getting up from a chair is getting more challenging, and shoe-tying will soon be a thing of the past (give's me a chance to practise up on tying shoes on others before the big day arrives).
Image: New Toyz
It seems I've given into darn near every electronic craving I've had lately and now I am awash in so many new toyz... Just bought a brand new Toshiba laptop, the old (3 years) desktop computer was beginning to slow my productivity and so it was time... Courtesy of Verizon's "new in two" program I scored myself a new Razr for only $100 and it's built in 1.3 Meg camera will allow me to share the latest pics of the soon to be new one with y'all... Jen got me a Toshiba Gigabeat MP3 player which combined with my Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription means I now own all music... or darn near. My parents were kind enough to get me a new wireless keyboard and mouse and I got myself a new external harddrive enclosure so I'll never run out of space on my laptop...

And finally, and probably my favorite, I'm actually saving money and getting a free DVR out of the deal by ditching Charter and going with Dish Network... in addition to the free DVR which is amazing, I also get all the movie channels free for 3 months so my DVR is chocked full of stuff Jen and I have been meaning to rent for a long time... now we just need time to watch it...
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