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Saturday, November 3, 2012

My oldest son has turned 32 AND working into our thoughts

Friday, November 2, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

Good afternoon!  We’re having a little bit of an emotional moment here.  We realized not too long ago this morning that today is our oldest son – Maury’s birthday today.  This is him pictured above 32 years ago.  Oh my gosh how special he has been.  And, to add to that?  Maury and Nikki’s daughter was born 14 years ago yesterday.  It is a major marker point over at Maury’s house as well as ours.  I just can’t believe it has been so many years since this picture was taken.  I could have had no idea on how life would be 32 years from then.

I’m going to try hard not to go down all those lanes my mind is turning right now, but I will say that the day the nurse brought me Maury hours after his birth were one of the most incredible hours on my life.  It is probably true where they say you remember more of your first child, because the whole novelty of being his or her parent is so unique.  The first thought I had was how incredibly beautiful he was, and then that thought was followed by the thought – are you sure, he’s really, really mine?!!!  Oh my gosh he was so incredible – still is!

Hmmm… that was a lot of time gone by … it’s now 1:48 PM.  We finally got Maury on the phone and we talked for a few moments and he reminded me we could vote early.  So we got dressed, went to our voting place, and then BLAH!  Now we’re back and we DIDN’T vote.  Very grumpy now.  The voting place was the second floor of a town a city or two over.  We as you KNOW can’t stand or walk for more than 8-10 minutes, and they DID have an elevator up, but there wasn’t anyone there to see we needed assistance.  There was just the long line going to the back of the staircase.  People looked at you terrible and there wasn’t enough space to scoot past the first people in line – there SHOULD have been someone assisting people who were disabled.  It’s an older town.  There was nothing to do, but go down the stairs where the people were lined.  We had seen from the top everyone was holding a piece of paper that I assume was to fill out name and such.  BUT we had to stand in line for that too.  We couldn’t stand so at that point it seemed the only option was to leave the building.  There wasn’t a voting person on the top OR on the bottom, so AGAIN NO ASSISTANCE!

We called Rich on our way home and he was of no help.  He said that we should go back and complain, but we’re NOT going back.  Our trips out of this house are limited and there was NOBODY to greet voters at the door.  People up at the top of the stairs looked cranky so I imagined they had stood a long time to get to the front of the line.  I wasn’t going to break through that.  WE ARE not happy.  Well, a little happy, we stopped by Wendy’s for a Frosty on the way home.  It’s not the perfect arrangement, but it does count.  *Grumble, grumble*

OK what can we do?  Nothing to do, I suppose, but go back at a later time, but the lines are just going to get worse.  HUMBUG!

Shhh, shhh… We need a distraction.  Hmm, It IS Maury’s birthday.  Still.  I guess that’s where it all started.  When we talked to Maury on the phone, he talked about donating blood platelets.  That was really a nice something to do.  He said that it takes about 2 hours and something happened with the needle and it started putting blood back into his arm where it didn’t belong.  He said that it was suddenly very painful.  They fixed the problem soon enough and Maury didn’t really think it was anyone’s fault, but then a mother hears that kind of thing and frowns heavily at the thought of something going wrong with her child.  It doesn’t seem to matter how old the adult child is … most likely there’s always going to be a feeling that you can’t protect them enough.  It has to be the MOST dissatisfying feeling thinking that one of your kids is hurting.  He said it was for only a few moments, but I guess we’re still a little huffy.  I’m sorry.

I know I’m going to need focusing on something else.  Hmm, focused for a few moments on something, but now it’s 2:24 and I don’t remember what I just did before Rich walked-in.  Now he’s saying he’ll take me back and we’re too out-of-sorts to do it again.  OHHH that’s what we were doing.  We registered a complaint.  Apparently, in Chicago, they will help you with curbside assistance, but you have to tell them you need it one week in advance.  That doesn’t do me any good now.  That’s a lousy service if you can’t arrange to vote before election, because your only noting it 4-5 days in advance.  We’re back to HUMBUG!

I’m not in a very good mood yet.  I remember we were going to distract ourselves.  We’ve looked at our online updates (email, FB and Twitter).  Now our tummy is too full because of too much chocolate from the shake.  It wasn’t mixed well and had too much chocolate making it feel like drinking Hershey’s syrup.  It didn’t get finished.  Another Blah.

Shoot, I hate being this grouchy.  Maybe I should take my afternoon medicine and then rethink my purposes. 

Ahh, I feel a little better … took the medicine AND I got a couple smooch’s from RICH!  That guy still wiggles all the right buttons!

Hmm, don’t seem to be getting much done today.  Rich sounds like he is in the kitchen working through dinner?  It is starting to smell like food!  He said he would make tonight some Chili for when he is gone over the weekend.  I think he’s leaving very early Saturday and getting home WAY late on Sunday.  He knows chili is my favorite meal when he’s out of town … it leaves me feeling warm and appreciated.  Tonight might be sausage and left over something … what was it?  Maybe dinner from last night?  I’m not sure … we had gone out to eat after Dr. Marvin’s because Thursday is half-price for their hamburger dinner.  We LOVE the waffle fries that come with it – AND you can’t beat a special hamburger meal for $4  Ok, maybe the price was raised a little with the amaretto stone sour.  BUT, it is a really nice way to appreciate being out.  I figure as long as we don’t go over ONE drink an outing, we’re doing pretty good.  Besides it’s only a “GIRLY” drink, right?  AND, half orange juice to boot.  That HAS to be healthy J

Nothing yet from the Linda-side.  I think they were planning on having lunch and then leaving after and I THINK it’s like a 3 ½ hour trip, so we’ll start looking for her in an hour or two, and at latest maybe up to 8 PM.  I’m pretty sure with a coin show for Tpony tomorrow, they are going to need getting home and getting some good sleep tonight.

Ok, then moving on … bearing in mind that it is already 4 PM and Rich will probably have dinner within the hour, we do want to go on and on about a new subject this week.  It is more or less actually a subject left over from one week ago.  Before the “Austin” entry, we had been writing about looking again for the LMS (learning Management System).  We actually found it sometime by late Friday, I believe and now it somehow got to be an entire week later.  Grrr. 

I remember that we knew about it on Saturday morning because we talked a little bit about it to Austin.  We had then gotten out the last blog entry by Monday, but didn’t post until Tuesday and now it is Friday and two sessions have gone by unnoticed with Dr. Marvin, and we’ve progressed our thoughts a lot to again the new LMS.  FIRST, as to that … the new system is called, “Canvas” through the up and coming company of “Instructure.”  As it turned out, they have been in the news over the last couple of days, because they are introducing into the market a competitive product alongside the really BIG online courses of edX and Coursera.  You might remember that they are the avenues of the really elite campuses like Harvard, MIT, Berkely, TX Univ., Stanford, and the Univ. of London.

Ok, hold on a sec.  Small welcome break … not that it was MORE fun than writing, just time well spent.  Rich wanted me to cut apples for some LITTLE pies he’s going to make soon. We are the official apple cutter, but we weren’t doing it because our scraper thing got rusty and he bought a new one that didn’t do a good job cutting apples.  SO for our anniversary … did we say this already?  Anyway for our anniversary he got us a new apple peeler like the old one, but it has a rubber handle.  THAT’s a sweet deal!  So we cut THREE apples and have nothing to even complain about!  YAY for us!  Now he says we have a have hour (now 4:30 PM) before dinner so we can type our hearts out.  J

Hmm, just have to find that part who would rather write than even cutting apples.  You there?  Let’s read back, hmm?

OK, mostly back.  Anyway this new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) has already like 4 ½ million students through at least a couple hundred schools.  They were like sneaking themselves up in the market.  I knew they were competing against the five most popular LMS of  Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn and edmodo, but now they are saying they are just going to skip past those markets and go for the big ones.  Well not actually sweep it, but they don’t have the numbers of these others, but have a package that is new enough to explain that and are pushing forward to being the better product – big and flexible enough for the stylized Universities.  They’ve just in the last few days take a major leap in their advancing cause.  I couldn’t be more happy that I’d looked at quite a few of the HUNDREDS of systems out there and had picked a leader W/O knowing how big it is going to get. 

The main draw – OUTSIDE the usability of the program???  IT’S FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!  Yup, yup you heard it here.  It’s really major that something so valuable is being offered for free.  Not to be confused, they do offer other services like installation and consulting to the big universities, but for the private person they’ve give a whole lot of economy sense.  They also aren’t trying to bully you by saying you can only have 5-10 students or five courses, they are offering the best for the BEST price!

After going into it HEAVY for a few days we’re sitting back now to appreciate how much we’ve learned.  The first night, we put about eight hours into just watching its training videos.  It’s a lot more complicated, hence useful than the program we’d pictured here last week.  Wait I’ll give you a few snapshots!

(late 6,920/984)

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