World Wide Waste?

Once again, the folks at TED have tickled my brain. Two days before I present a session on instructional technology at our administrator's yearly "retreat," Ethan Zuckerman adds an interesting new angle to a point I've been trying to make for some time: Even though most of our students have internet access, that doesn't mean they know what to do with it.

Zuckerman explains that while the world may have a global infrastructure, that doesn't necessarily mean we have a global mindset. Precisely why today's student needs teachers who challenge them to do more online than just update their "status."

(Try not to let his Benjamin Franklin-esque appearance distract you too much. Ben was pretty brilliant, after all.)

Posted at 8:02 PM
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106? Well...almost

We didn't quite make it up to 106* today as predicted here in Big D. We only hit 103.

Even the bugs were on fire. See?

Sunburned dragonfly in my backyard. Picture by me. :)

And now? At 9:38 PM? It's a mere 93*. That's pretty much a cold front.

So, it should be no surprise to anyone that Daisy didn't quite make it out in her stifling garage to put together the second set of patio furniture like she had planned. There's always tomorrow.

But there are some bonuses to so much sun. Plenty of power for my new solar powered patio umbrellas to soak up. So tonight, after raking up the leftover trimmings from Winged Monkey's Sunday-afternoon-chainsaw-hedge-trimming escapade, Daisy sat herself down, cranked her umbrella up, flipped the light switch on, and...viola!

Inaugural lighting of the solar powered umbrella.
Photo by WM, showing off with his iPhone 4.

Twinkly evening lights! Powered by solar powered rechargeable batteries! Environmentally responsible AND super cute? Double bonus points!!

Posted at 9:34 PM
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Some Assembly Required

Summers in Texas have a couple of requirements:

1) You must, at some point, grill some cut of beef.
2) You must, at some point, catch fireflies.
3) You must have a comfortable place to sit outside from which to watch said fireflies while said beef is cooking.

Now, since purchasing the new house, the Winged Monkey and I have seen plenty of fireflies outside along the treeline that runs down one side of the backyard. And a couple of weeks ago, we grilled some pretty spectacular beef kabobs (Daisy highly recommends Central Market's butcher case) with WM's friend D, who was nice enough to donate his gas grill to our new backyard since his apartment building no longer allows them on the balconies.

But we had yet to have a suitable perch from which to supervise these summertime activities...until today.

While WM was trimming (and at times chainsawing) the ginormous bushes and untamed trees behind the house, Daisy was assembling the plethora of patio furniture she has acquired over the past two weeks from the summer clearance sales all over town. And I do mean all over town.

No one has ever accused Daisy of being particularly decisive. Actually, that's not quite right. Daisy is extremely decisive, but it takes a while for her to actually make a final decision. That's one of the reasons Daisy would suck on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Regis would "Is that your final answer?" me, and I would be all, "Um, actually, no. I take it back. I've decided to go with D instead of C."

And Daisy would do that on pretty much every question.

The good news is, once Daisy has settled on the final answer, she sticks with it. That's how she ended up driving the same car for 11 years, until the transmission was, quite literally, falling out the bottom of it.

Knowing this about herself, it was no surprise to Daisy that she had to return all the patio furniture she originally purchased, before she had even taken it out of the box. In fact, that's the main reason she didn't rush home to assemble it as soon as the credit card receipt was signed. Instead, she let the boxes sit in the garage for a week while she made up her mind, or in the case of the first set, decided to take them back.

But the second set was a keeper, so a week after purchase, Daisy spent a couple of hours this evening assembling a table, four dining chairs, a fire pit, and two Adirondack chairs.
The result of this evening's labors.

One set to go. Yep. You heard me. WM and I want to do some outdoor entertaining as soon as the evening temperatures drop below 98*, so we got 2 table and chair sets (they were half price, after all). So, this evening we relaxed outside, and ate our Thai delivery leftovers from last night, and bounced a bit in our new bouncy wrought iron chairs while we watched the branches he had cut burn in the fire pit I had bought. It was a great way to spend an evening together.

And tomorrow? Tomorrow morning Daisy'll spend another couple of hours assembling the second set and staging the rest of the patio. And why in the morning, you may be asking? Because the solar cell on the top of the umbrellas need 8 hours of direct sunlight to make the LED lights under the umbrellas light up.

How cool is that?!?!

You know there will be pictures tomorrow night.

Posted at 9:52 PM
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Daisy's Tweets

My Momma Taught Me To Share

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