Sunday, December 22, 2013

Robots help kids with Autism

Forget about The Terminator and Skynet, the robots are here to help (at least for now ;-)   New research has been released about how robotics can help with Autism.  Don't get too excited just yet.  For now, they cost about $16,000. Unless you are extremely wealthy it is most likely out of your price range.  However, as with most new technology this price will come down as the technology matures.  

Even though my son is not Autistic, I know several parents who struggle with a child on the Autism spectrum.  Autism is one of the most pervasive known childhood issues.  One in eighty-eight kids in the U.S. is affected.  If your family has not been directly impacted by this issue, chances are you know know someone who has.  Autism is an issue that affects everyone in some way, and we all need to be vigilant because, as with most things, early intervention makes a big difference in the outcome.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Importance of Good Conversation

To give some background for the conversation below:


I live in the Dallas area and we were in lock down for most of this past weekend with 3-4 inches of ice.  For many areas in the country this might seem paltry and somewhat laughable. However, this is Dallas and we are not equipped for ice, or rain for that matter. In some areas the highways were shutdown with drivers stuck for over 20 hours.   Power lines were down in several areas and over 100,000 homes did not have electricity to heat the house. Now that the stage has been set you can read my uncles account of his weekend.

Email from my wife's uncle.   The youngest 82 year old man I know.

This last weekend we were iced in, unable to leave the house. A good friend of my wife's stayed with us because her area had lost power (she got a ride here because a neighbor had a pickup with snow tires). She's a nice person, single and about mid between my wife and my ages. Our home was without conversation, humor or laughter for the weekend. Although she is a very nice person, she also is rather boring to be cooped up with. I don't mean to be hard on her, but to observe how fortunate I am to have met my wife and benefit from her personality and what she has to offer. Life is about "throwing things up in the air" and talking about them and not taking things so seriously that you cannot kid around and laugh at life. You don't realize how important small things are until you are deprived of them.

My response

Great conversation is the glue that binds a couple, and humanity for that matter.    I find that the people I am most inclined to spend time with must be good at conversation.  Conversation is not merely about what I want to say it is also listening and learning from those around you.   I have several friends who will not stop talking and that, in my opinion, is not conversation.   That is only a dissertation on what they know.   
Good conversation, like wine, must be allowed to breathe to attain its full measure,  and like wine age is usually a good thing. This weekend, it appears; instead of opening a fine vintage you uncorked a bottle of vinegar, and apparently still have the foul taste in your mouth.  Hopefully today you will fill your day with good conversation and cleanse your palate

My conclusion

Don't miss the point of the conversation starter.   He is praising his wife for her good conversation and had forgotten its importance.   Good conversation in a marriage is vital.  Sure everyone wants an attractive spouse,  but if you can't talk to each other you have an attractive wasteland that will crumble around you someday    
Attraction fades quickly when trouble comes, and it always comes.   Good conversation is not the only thing that will help you weather the storms of life, but it is a very good umbrella.   If you make it a priority to talk to your spouse regularly, and I don't mean about bills or who will take the kids to ballet, then you will be able to talk more easily about the harder things in life.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let's build - Fantastic Father-Son LEGO® Christmas Commercial

Cool Father and Son Lego Commercial. .   As with any you tube vide don't let the little one's read the comments from the trolls.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mom is playing Minecraft.

Minecraft is addictive....  

I now have the ultimate proof my wife, after years of saying no, finally gave in a month ago.    She played for a couple of hours and decided she did not like it..   Basically,  my son wore her down and she did it just to make him happy.  

Over the thanksgiving holidays she made a deal with the boy that if he did the dishes she would play Minecraft.   This time however, she played a little longer, actually engaged in the game, and enjoyed herself.   She was not hooked yet...   Later, and I believe unintentionally, he volunteered to do the next set of dishes without being asked.    When he was done he asked if she would again play Minecraft.  She relented and this is when her lizard brain kicked in and she got hooked. 

I know she is hooked now because the boy and I are doing other things and she is over on the couch playing Minecraft without us.  I fear she will soon digress into full blown Minecraft addiction.  Should I try to stop her or should I let her continue down this rabbit hole.    If she continues down the rabbit hole she will find a deeper connection with our son.   If she stops she will understand the boys love more but will still be able to function in normal society.