Zwinky and Such

I really enjoy making idealized pictures of myself. I've gotten pretty decent as well, I think. Most recently, the picture I've made is at Zwinky. I've taken a screenshot and uploaded what I have.

I've also made myself into a (less idealized) Simpson character:

And here's a PixelArmy version of my EverQuest character, Dorwinyn, who was an idealized version of myself:

Anyway, that's it for now.


Life and Times with a Three Year Old

I have the amazing joy to share my life with a three-year-old boy, my son, Tre. Though at times it is a bit stressful, the stressful times are far outnumbered by my "I'm so glad he's a part of my life" moments.

We take him to restraunts and everyone remarks at his food choices, manners, and how well behaved he is.  It's been fun to explain that the reason he usually prefers the salad bar over pizza at Pizza Hut is because he's never been told that one is better than the other.  He is able to listen to his body and choose what's best for him without any false priority being given. Because we've never tried to make salad more important, or to limit his exposure to sweets, he doesn't think of salad as something that must be endured to get to the "good food" nor does he obsess about sweets. That's not to say he doesn't choose to eat a lot of something when we haven't had it available (or he hasn't been aware of it) for a while, but that something could be peanuts, bread and butter, or tomatoes as easily as cookies.

I am also regularly reminded that he's supposed to have gone through his "terrible" twos and be in his "terrible" threes now. And I think I understand just why they seem so terrible for most parents. At around that age, a child moves from being willing to do whatever you say just because you said it to thinking for himself and wanting explanations for parental requests. Parents who are willing to accept a child's autonomy (as those who choose radical unschooling do), do not find it surprising or a big hardship when the child starts wanting to make decisions for himself on the basis of information, rather than parental authority. But if you are expecting your child to obey everything you say, you'll run into trouble at around age two or three until one of two things happens: you back down and let the child be autonomous or you "break" your child into the understanding that he's not truly autonomous and must instead listen to you, because you're bigger (regardless of the reason you give or think he gets from the "breaking" this is what the understanding consists of).

This "breaking" lasts until the balance of power shifts in the teen years, at which point it beomes a major problem for traditional parents. But parents who have accepted their children's autonomy from the time of their first display at two or three (or earlier) do not have the same issues to battle in the teen years. Instead, they can continue to accept their children as autonomous. Separation from the family, moving into adulthood, becomes just one more step on the path that began at birth or shortly thereafter.

Radical unschooling is NOT easy. It requires much more of a parent in finding ways to meet everyone's needs instead of the child or children obeying "because I said so." But the rewards, it seems to me, greatly outweigh the early costs. And it does becomes easier with practice.

All My Ridiculously Huge Projects

I've been extremely busy doing nothing much.

The only real news I have recently is that after almost TWO YEARS, I finally have recovered my data drive. I destroyed it in late January or early February of 2005 by deleting the partition that contained all of my data. And I do mean ALL. I had been actively working to have only installed programs on the C drive, while all program settings and such were on the D (data) drive. But then, during a Windows reinstall (which ought to be done by most people at least once a year on general principle), I goofed and removed the data partition. I realized instantly what I had done, so I stopped, removed the drive, and didn't do anything with it until I found a way to recover it. (Continuing to use it makes the data move from "likely to be recovereable" gradually through stages to "impossible to recover.")

So, last week after jumping through a lot of hoops (most of which were, in hindsight, completely unnecessary), I finally got all my data back, and I've been busy combing through the files, figuring out what I had, what I have, and what I'm still missing. Reorganizing the files I've made since the loss with the earlier files so that everything's easier to find. It's a big job, but I seem to thrive on big jobs my husband considers useless.

I've also been working on my music/audio book collection, making everything into MP3s. Most audio books already have fairly short files (two to five minutes long, on average), so that if you have to stop listening and start again at the beginning of a file, you don't repeat too much (or if you choose to listen to the end of a file, that's not too long a commitment). But a few of mine have chapter long files and the ones that came from cassettes are 30 to 45 minutes in a file, which is ridiculous. So, I'm using a piece of software I found for FREE (gotta love freeware) called WavePad to break them into two minute chunks within each chapter (I put new chapters in a new chunk by default).

Of course, I've got tons of data entry I'd like to be doing (cross-stitch patterns, digitizing books, recipe input), but I've been so busy with everything else that it just hasn't been happenning lately. If I were to get inspired, be able to remove all my distractions, and work on the data entry I'd like to complete non-stop until it's done, it would probably still take many years. So, I'm not too pressed if it doesn't get done, but I do like to be making some progress.