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Friday, March 21, 2014

Remember the Ala What?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence Computers”

You know how once in a while you try to do something mannerly your mother taught you to do in social situations?  Or you try to put into practice what you learned in that very expensive networking workshop about making connections and establishing relationships?  This is one of those times when I tried both.

My twelve-year-old entered the Daughters of the Republic of Texas essay contest.  The topic was William Barrett Travis and the Victory or Death letter he wrote from the Alamo.  She did her research.  I helped her outline it.  I asked her questions; she formulated answers.  She dictated; I typed.  She printed the essay.

When she needed more words, she quoted lengthy passages from Travis’s letter, giving credit and using quotation marks I am proud to say.  She printed the essay again.  This time there were the correct number of pages done in the font and size required.  She submitted her essay.

And it won second place!  She received a certificate and a gift card.  Here she was barely into her second decade and she got “paid” for her writing.  I’m still waiting for my first payment for an essay and I am waaaaay past my second decade.  Still, I was happy and proud for her.

The DRT representative came to the school for the presentation and took pictures for the local newspaper.  I also took pictures with my i-pad.  She asked if I would e-mail my pictures to her so she would be sure to have a variety of shots to choose from for the newspaper.

I did and I also took this opportunity to write an e-mail thank you note like my mother taught me.  Ok, my mother said to use Hallmark notecards and ink, but this is the electronic age and Mother is now 94.  I thanked the representative for the encouraging words she gave to my child, for running the contest so efficiently, and for taking the time to personally come to the school for the presentation.

Thank you note written in a timely manner….CHECK!

Establishing connections and relationships (I have an eight-year-old who will enter the 7th grade on schedule hopefully and will also enter the contest.)…CHECK!

E-mail address entered…Daughters of the Republic of Texas dot yada yada…CHECK!

Subject:  DRT Award…AUTO CORRECT

Subject:  DIRT Award…Not CHECKED!                                               

Banishment from future DRT contests is eminent.  However, as a proud Texan,  I take comfort in the fact that William Barrett Travis did not have access to a computer.  If he had, the Texas battle cry might have been
                                       “Remember the A la mode”

Monday, March 10, 2014

TP and the Phone Home

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for tin can and sting

I am not one of those people whose cell phone has become a permanent appendage that has evolved through a very short evolutionary process.  My husband, as technologically challenged as he is (he till carries a flip phone), is seldom without his phone.

We have often laughed at our friends who will text each other while sitting at the same table or friends who go to a sporting event, but watch it on their i-phone once they get there.

I have come to re-think the "in-house" use of the cell phone.  I was in our bedroom on the far end of our house doing some writing. My cell phone rang but I had no idea where it was.  A search under the bed, in my jean pockets, in the dirty clothes, and my handbag revealed no cell phone.  My hearing is going the way of my cooking, non directional.  The ringing stopped, so I went back to my computer.

Then our land line phone rang.  We keep our land line because, well, I can't ever find my cell phone.  The children discovered that if you place the phone on a tin plate, it will ring loud enough that even I can hear it.  So I went down the hall through the dining room to the living room to answer the phone.  It was Dr. Hubby in the guest bathroom a few feet away.

"Bring me some toilet paper."

"Where are you?"

"In the guest bathroom."

"Why didn't you just holler?"

"I did.  I even called you on your cell phone.  Then I remembered the phone on the tin plate.  I knew that would get you to the phone."

"Why didn't you text me?"  The children found the highest pitched and loudest ring tone available for text messages.  Even if I can't hear that pitch, the dogs can.  They jump up and down to let me know.  

"I know how you feel about texting in the house."

"Well if you had texted me, I could have found my cell phone."

"If I text you, will you bring me some toilet paper?"

"Yes, if I can find my cell phone."

"Say Goodnight, Gracie!"

"Goodnight Gracie.  Do you still need toilet paper?"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Puzzle...and it's Not Legos

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for license to recycle

Ok, here's what I have figured out regarding Legos. You know how when we were kids, we would buy a 1,000 piece puzzle to put together and once it was together, we never looked at it again?  Yes, I occasionally would slather glue on it thinking I would mount it on the wall but I never did.

Well, Legos are the younger generations puzzels. 514 teeny tiny itsy bitzy three dimensional pieces that have to be put together IN ORDER before you could complete the puzzel. Now, I don't know about other kids, but once mine succeeded in assembling it, the next thing to do was create your own "thing"...whatever that might be. 

We have "things" made from various Lego kits, pirates, trucks, Star Wars which is very much like the pirate in the Lego Movie.  My child is very inventive. I just wish he would invent useful things like the braille printer made from Legos like that other kid did.  Creative, practical, and with the potential of financing his future Lego purchases.

My child takes playing with his Legos in spurts. Just let me put away a toy, any toy, that he hasn't played with in six months,  and that is the first thing he will drag out if he ventures up to the attic.  It's like he had never seen or played with the toy before.

This gives me an idea. I think I will toy-nap on the sly and next Christmas I will just give him a treasure map to lost and forgotten toys.  Hey,  it's creative, inventive, and cheap.