Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Objectivist Round Up

Welcome to the March 29, 2012 edition of objectivist round up.  This one is a little small, so lets start off with some inspiration from Helen Keller.  While she was both deaf and blind from a young age, she famously overcame those obstacle to become an eloquent individual.  While I don't recommend the whole letter, this quote is from a letter she wrote in answer to what she "saw" and "heard" after visiting the top of the Empire State building.  

"...I see in the Empire Building [] passionate skill, arduous and fearless idealism. The tallest building is a victory of imagination. Instead of crouching close to earth like a beast, the spirit of man soars to higher regions, and from this new point of vantage he looks upon the impossible with fortified courage and dreams yet more magnificent enterprises.

What did I "see and hear" from the Empire Tower? As I stood there 'twixt earth and sky, I saw a romantic structure wrought by human brains and hands that is to the burning eye of the sun a rival luminary. I saw it stand erect and serene in the midst of storm and the tumult of elemental commotion. I heard the hammer of Thor ring when the shaft began to rise upward. I saw the unconquerable steel, the flash of testing flames, the sword-like rivets. I heard the steam drills in pandemonium. I saw countless skilled workers welding together that mighty symmetry. I looked upon the marvel of frail, yet indomitable hands that lifted the tower to its dominating height..."
Helen Keller 

Here's to appreciating the beautiful and good in our world!
This week's Objectivist Round Up:

Edward Cline presents Islamic Jihad: Hurry Up or Wait? posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "I liken Islam to an ideological Black Death that must be faced up to by politicians and intellectuals. There's no such thing as a "benign" Islam. It is a death-worshipping ideology from top to bottom. And the only way to emasculate it is to repudiate it in its entirety."

Darius Cooper presents A citizenship questionnaire posted at Practice Good Theory, saying, "I propose a constitution should include a multiple-choice quiz!"

John Drake presents Sunk costs, body image, and rationality posted at Try Reason!, saying, "What do sunk costs, body image, and rationality have in common? More than you may think."

Peter Cresswell presents CUE CARD ECONOMICS: Economic Harmonies, and The Miracle of Breakfast posted at Not PC, saying, “Find out the best lesson philosophers can learn from economics—which is also the greatest lesson economics is able to teach, and the most benevolent.”

Rachel Miner presents Tool Box: Rediscovering Simon Says posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "I briefly share my rediscovering of Simon Says with my eight year old and some of the tricks I used to make it more fun!"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the objectivist round up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Even Closer...

... this looks like the week!  We have the closing scheduled and should be in our new home by next weekend!

Other good things:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:
• bringing over his colorful lego weapon with a gleam in his eye and saying, "I just massively upgraded my sniper rifle!"

• insisting that while it was true most animals need male and female to have a baby, two cows could have a calf without a bull, "It's true for other animals but not cows!"  (I'd stumped him on a verbal absurdities question and he didn't want to admit it.)

• so disliking putting on shoes that he ignored both putting his feet over the top of the sneakers' tongues and squashing the heels (makes the walk a wee bit shuffley).

• when it was the pre-agreed time to watch a TV show with my dad, he called in a long, ascending, amusingly demanding voice, "Graaaaaaaaaandpa?!?!?"

• finding his electric toothbrush outside next to his earth worms after forgetting where he'd put it for three days!

• when I tried a playful "simon says" as we were walking out the door he both said we weren't playing and added, "I outrank Simon."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tool Box: Rediscovering Simon Says

A few days ago, my kiddo asked me to play Simon Says.  Now, my kiddo is eight and fairly bright and I figured this wouldn't last long.  Two hours later (and many, many giggles too), we finished up a rousing evening of fun!

We started off with all sorts of different acrobatics like crab walk, army crawl, hops, twirls, sprints, skips, and summersaults.  Then I started adding in obstacles like having him wiggle under chairs or hop between them or spin on top of them.

About this time, I started adding things he usually avoids like his journal writing and tooth brushing... he didn't even pause, he went off smiling and came rushing back for the next Simon Says!  I even used it to ask him questions like, "Simon Says tell me what sounds yummier for breakfast?" I started making multi-step directions too and being extra tricky and it just kept going with lots of laughs and smiles.  We've now played Simon Says multiple times over the last week and had so much fun!  I hope you find this tool useful!  Here's to rediscovering past parenting tools :)

I was surprised recently by an interest in holding hands too!  I love the growing independence, but it's fun to share the more youthful games / activities too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stability Getting Closer

We have an offer on our Kent house and things are moving forward on getting into our Los Gatos house so... we're hoping to have two closings by the end of the month!  Yay!

Other good things to share:
The latest Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:

• Informing me that he brought the earthworm inside and put it on my parents' windowsill so he could "see it better"
• getting so into Simon Says that when I said "Simon says enjoy your last half hour of video game time before the computer shuts off.", he asked to keep playing Simon Says instead!
• laughing hysterically again and again while reading himself Calvin and Hobbes comic collections
• talking non-stop for thirty minutes to tell me the story of his latest video game adventure
• playing gleefully with worms and splashing in the puddles with… ONLY pants on and it was in the 40s!
• commenting on his increasing tolerance of zesty foods, "I'm getting into the hang of spicy."
• pointing his gaze down the neck of the wine bottle, "I like the look of this wine!"

Legos are the favorite break time activity at Lindamood Bell

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thyroid? Migraine? Take 2

[ Once again, only for those interested in my health search saga...]

Eight moths ago, while things looked more positive, symptoms and challenges remained and quickly plateaued.   The neurologist confirmed the symptom diagnosis of migraines, gave me Imitirex (which works as a patch), and didn't have any advice regarding the causative agent (although she did point to some potential triggers).  The sleep specialist didn't have anything to add except a book recommendation with was a quick read but did not change anything.  The hearing specialist said I didn't have any significant hearing issues.  So, I was stuck again and decided to seek assistance from a new practitioner.  

Two months ago, I consulted with Chris Kresser.  I have been listening to his podcasts and reading his articles for several years.  I like how he's constantly integrating the latest, scholarly literature and trying to help a growing population of medical patients.  He had both clinical expertise and a focus on the latest science that I hoped would help me get at more root causes.  He also had success with migraine treatment specifically.  While his website is more anti conventional medicine than I am, I have found him not adverse to recommending conventional approaches when he finds them clinically appropriate.  

To start, I completed multiple, detailed questionnaires and got a set of required blood work.  The first consult resulted in multiple supplements targeted at migraine prevention and a highly restrictive diet.  The supplements have been awesome for minimizing migraines.  I have still had several instances over the last month, but they have been much more mild and not required medication.  The diet eliminates / minimizes three substances that can trigger migraines and eliminates anything that is not a lean meat or a non-startchy vegetable.  The diet, a protein sparing modified fast, is designed to spare my muscle by ensuring that I eat adequate protein while allowing me to burn the extra body fat that I have.  The goal is to reset what my body defends as its "normal" weight to what is my ideal weight.  So far, it's been working beautifully!  I have lost 15 lbs easily!  It's been two years since I've been at this weight and it means I'm down to 30 lbs left to lose.  

I had a second consult yesterday in which I found out that my thyroid function is still low and may be contributing to the remaining migraine / illness issues.  So, I have several more supplements on the way that are supposed to support thyroid function.  These last two months have been wild with all the moving prep and changes, but it is really exciting to be seeing progress!  Here's more positive steps toward optimal health over the upcoming year :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book Review: "Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution"

Last night, I finished reading "Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution".  I wanted to share my consolidated notes on the book for those considering reading.  I am particularly interested in taking them up on their offer to integrate new ideas into their plan for the next forty years.  This is a great opportunity for activism, fighting for a better future.

The good:

-They begin by choosing solidly  positive values to guide their specific goals / actions.  Fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets are good things!

- Their optimism and enthusiasm for America is delightful and gives one hope that the American sense of life is stronger than the counterculture they aptly describe.

- It's awesome that they very clearly state they are not taking any stance on social issues.  I think that helps them avoid pit falls (that their founders clear acceptance of god's-will would present).  It also helps them appeal to a broader group of Americans who really want the government to focus on economic / political freedoms NOW!

- They have a glorious call to action that puts the power and responsibility back where it belongs, with individual Americans.

My concerns:

- They not only frequently refer to god given rights, the authors all thank god as their primary deserver-of-credit in the book's acknowledgements.  Could the Tea Party Patriots be trusted to protect liberty in this area?  A pro-liberty candidate must vote on laws in a way that respects individual rights in fields other than just economics.  

- In their section on health-care compacts, they again miss the issue of individual rights and seem quite content with the states trampling citizens (just the federal government shouldn't be allowed to impose such systems).  p97 "Health-care compacts themselves don't impose a one-size-fits-all approach on any state.  They allow each individual state to choose what solution it believes is best for its citizens.  Will some states implement systems that aren't compatible with the Tea Party movement's core values of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutionally limited government?  Of course.  Are we okay with that?  Absolutely.  Power to the people."  That sounds like democracy, the tyranny of the majority and a clear lack of focus on individual rights.  The states can say "buy that insurance" (or drink that hemlock), just the federal government can't.

- While making an excellent case for the need for education reform, there is an implied view that states should actually provide the education.  It's ambiguous though and many of the suggestions are intriguing.  I think they would benefit from this article in The Objective Standard:.


- The repeal amendment idea smacks of democracy, but also offers an intriguing limit on supreme court errors.  I'd want to study this idea much more thoroughly, but I see potential value. 

- In their chapter regarding popular culture, they quote Ayn Rand's "Romantic Manifesto".  On one hand, it fits and supports their point, but on the other hand it's a throw away reference which brings me to my key concern.  The argument for actually taking action is on a wobbly base.  It seems like what they are saying again and again is: 
-The founders did it this way.
-They were really smart.
-It worked.
-We should do it that way.
If they don't think it is morally right that people should have a right to their own property, but only economically effective, they are more of a danger to capitalism than those who present an opposing argument.  A weak argument is more detrimental because it can give the impression that the idea is wrong when it's just that the argument supporting it was in error (for example saying the free market has failed in America when what we're dealing with is a super-regulated, mixed economy).  I place this concern under the "ambivalent" category because I think the book's core values are good and I think they support individual rights in some aspects.  However, when I see states put over individuals as the primary holder of power for both education and health-care, I am concerned that the Tea Party Patriots' support of individual rights is vulnerable.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Catching Up On Cute Antics

It's been awhile since I've shared cute antics, but I'm still collecting away thanks to my rambunctious kiddo giving me lots of material :)

• reading aloud a Valentine written to him by classmate it said, "I'll miss you because you're nice."  Cameron paused, smirked, and said, "So she thinks!"

• discussing friends together, he said "I don't have any friends.  And adult friends, besides you and Daddy, are just a centimeter above the friend line."  (Then we talked about friends in given areas and I was impressed with how much more awareness he's gaining when he is calm and processing.  He identified many friends in certain contexts.  The more he understands, the more positive relationships he can build, maintain, and enjoy.  He still gets so confused, but he's learning!)

• agreeing to a play date eagerly, but adding the condition that he be allowed to bring his lego shot gun, colonial hat, and very, formal uniform.

• getting very snuggly on one side of my chest and then saying, "Now the other one!" (while his father watched and laughed wickedly.)

• while playing our History Go Fish game, he came across Plato and Aristotle and  asked if had, "Play Doh and Aristotle"

• completing my Dad's Shakespeare quote… cauldron burn and… "Me in trouble!"

• declaring that broccoli was "one of the worst things in the world through my lens".  (He continued to comment that it might be different through someone else's lens, but then returned to its poor evaluation through his.)

• when I commented on his verbal presentation, he corrected me, "I wasn't screaming I was just shouting a little!"

• musing, "Maybe I should practice my spin death so you can be my audience for the performance."

• making us feel great trepidation when he left the bathroom giggling, "Everyone is going to have a big surprise when they go in that bathroom."

• commenting out of the blue while we were driving home, "Why aren't you teaching me calculus?"

Showing me the Lindamood Bell kitchen and showing off the hat my dad gave him.