Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is Three Too Young for Kindergarten?

I've got a smarty-pants on my hands, and it's not easy. She was about 20 months when she started to read letters off my shirt. By 22 months she could identify most of the letters of the alphabet, and all of them before she was two. The grocery store set the scene for her favorite game, reading letters off the wall. "Where's 'M'?" "Where's 'I'?" "Where's 'L'?" "Where's 'K'?" Nonstop. Now she has to add the phonetic sound to each letter. Reading from my shirt again, "K k-k-k" "S s-s-s" "T t-t-t" "P p-p-p" (She reads the 0's in 1500 as o's, however, "ah-ah-ah.")

I have to sheepishly admit that I did not sit her down to teach her all this. No, embarrassed as I am, she learned most from Sesame Street (which she now finds too "babyish" at her mature age of 25 months) or her favorite movies, The Talking Letter Factory, The Talking Word Factory, and The Storybook Factory.

But her favorite movie by far is Math Circus. She was counting to 10 months ago and now can count to 20 with help. She was even getting it when I dared to take her up to 30.

Unfortunately, she has my mind in more ways than these and can throw a righteous fit when it suits her. Despite the tantrums and incessant spelling, I really don't mind. I understand her. You see, she's just like me.

I am thinking, however, that I'm ready for her to start kindergarten. If I started at age four, so can she!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Winter Hibernation

Well, it caught up with me after all this year: the Annual Winter Weight Gain. I was set to get away with it, even losing a little over the cold, sunless months. But I had yet to meet February.

My theory is that I was getting a lot of exercise over the spring, summer and fall, building up muscle, so when I had knee surgery at the end of fall, I didn't gain, but just started to lose muscle. At this point, I guess I've lost all my muscle and am still not getting enough exercise. Ten minutes on the stationary bike does not count as sufficient exercise.

I want sun! And warmth! And walks by the lake! Now there's my antidote for the dastardly five pounds.

Now Serving Citizen 235-860-1964

I sit here laboriously addressing packages to ship my wares, and begin to wonder, how long until we no longer need shipping addresses? Any day now, we are to be assigned our national number. Think of the conveniences this brings us in tandem with our vigorous technological advances! Not only will our implanted chip tell the postal service where to send the package for Citizen 235-860-1964, but we will be required to file travel plans with the Central Computer 7 days in advance (pending approval). Society will hum along seamlessly with Uncle Sam matching Citizen 593-589-3385 to the aforementioned 235-860-1964 to produce new Citizen 593-860-3364 (See Any Rand's We The Living) and the trains will run on time.

You could live that long, but do you want to?

A 107-year-old man in Hong Kong is attributing his long life to sexual abstinence. He admits to smoking on occasion, which will surely cut his lifespan by twenty years.

The way things are looking, I have a long, miserable life in front of me.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Future of the Electronic Nation

We were gathered at "Brits" sometime last year when Harsh Pencil announced that his two-year-old could rewind and replay VHS movies. We poked a little fun at Pencil, suggesting the movies just hit the end and rewound themselves. But I doubt you no longer, Pencil. My two-year-old (Jan 8) has figured out the whole DVD/VHS combo player, switches out the DVDs and tapes, knows which button to press to move between DVD and VHS on the player, etc. I'm just not sure this is something we should be bragging about. What does this say about us as parents? What are we doing when all this is going on, playing MahJong? (Cut me some slack -- she set up the macros on my computer to take me directly to the game.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Beats Drowning In a Shoebox of Receipts

As I started to think about starting to think about doing my taxes, I found a good stalling technique was to collect some random thoughts on taxation from various sources on the internet:

What Mae West said about sex is true about taxes. All tax cuts are good tax cuts; even bad tax cuts are good tax cuts.

What's the difference between a mosquito and an IRS agent? One is a bloodsucking parasite, the other is an insect.

"It's tax time and President Bush is saving a lot on taxes this year. He's writing off his entire second term." --David Letterman

"65% of people say that cheating on your income tax is worse than cheating on your spouse. The other 35% were women." --Jay Leno

There is no child so bad that he/she can't be used as an income tax deduction.

Nothing makes a person more modest about their income than to fill out a tax form.

The income tax forms have been simplified beyond all understanding.

Income-tax forms should be more realistic by allowing the taxpayer to list Uncle Sam as a dependent.

A lot of people still have the first dollar they ever made - Uncle Sam has all the others.

It is reported that the politicians in Washington are thinking of abolishing the income tax and taking the income.

Another American invention is the permanent temporary tax.

Patrick Henry ought to come back and see what taxation with representation is like.

Another difference between death and taxes is that death is frequently painless.

For every tax problem there is a solution which is straightforward, uncomplicated and wrong.

How do you know you've met a good tax accountant?
He has a loophole named after him.

The kid had swallowed a coin and it got stuck in his throat, and so his mother ran out in the street yelling for help. A man passing by took the boy by his shoulders and hit him with a few strong strokes on the back, and so he coughed the coin out.
"I don't know how to thank you, doc...", his mother started.
"I'm not a doctor", the man replied, "I'm from the IRS".

The Love Department

Dennis Kucinich is authoring a bill to create a US Department of Peace. I have some other brilliant ideas for new departments. My favorite is:

The Love Department. We have reached a point in society where we prefer to delegate our most important decisions (retirement, health care, etc.) to government. With the divorce rate at over fifty percent per marriage, it is clear that the government should step in to regulate the matchmaking process. A department must be formed, administrators, sub-administrators and hordes of staffers hired to cull through databases of single men, women, and other, matching each for the highest probability of marital success. A sub-department dedicated to gene-matching should also be established. If we agree that society works best with intact families, I can foresee no viable or cogent opposition.