June 22, 2008

my web-based birthday

my birthday is on wednesday (for those who did not know), and i have asked jon for two web-based birthday presents.

i want to subscribe to weight watchers online. http://www.weightwatchers.com/index.aspx
they have amazing e-tools to help lose weight, and you keep track of your daily points, which foods you eat, exercise you do, and it gives you quick access to the point values of every food. right now i am just counting points on my own using a crappy imitation online point calculator and weight watchers point books i bought on ebay, along with a paper journal to keep track of points, so it will be really nice being able to do everything online, especially b/c i have my sweet moto q with unlimited internet access. right now i'm just planning on doing it for about 6 months until my wedding, so we'll see how it goes.

the other present i asked for is a subscription to edhelper http://edhelper.com/ , a website for teachers. it has thousands of worksheets, lesson plans, and ideas, so i won't have to spend so much time creating all of my own materials. there is no special ed curriculum (at least in my district), so teachers are pretty much on their own to come up with everything. but this website will definitely help save me time, and there is a special ed section which will hopefully help me come up with lots of ideas for teaching life skills to my students.

i think it's really interesting that my presents from jon will all be web-based, it really shows how the internet has taken over our lives. but i'm not complaining- we don't have room in our house for any big gifts anyway, so it works out quite nicely.

Posted by JenMagenta at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2008

warn or watch: which is worse?

although we don't really get tornadoes in phoenix, i was watching a rerun of desperate housewives last night and was reminded of the "tornado watch"/"tornado warning" terminology. for some reason, i can never remember which is worse. one summer when i was still living in chicago i asked my mom which was worse and then wrote it down on a post-it and put it on the fridge so i would quickly know in case of emergency and wouldn't have to call her at work.

here's the thing- i can make a case for each term being equally serious.

tornado warning: "i am warning you that there is a tornado outside"
tornado watch: "watch outside- you'll see the tornado!"

i think they should go to like a number or color system or something, like "code red", but oh well. anyway, the national weather service defines the terms as follows:

tornado warning: "Issued to warn the public, emergency management and other cooperating agencies when a tornado is forecast to occur or is occurring. The warning will include where the storm was occurring and its direction of movement."
tornado watch: "Issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in and close to a defined area."

but even their definitions leave room for argument- a warning could mean that a tornado is "forecast to occur", which apparently is different than a watch in which there may be "possible tornadoes in and close to a defined area". whatever.

anyway, moral of the story is that warning is bad. think of warning as "code red", which means really bad, and you can remember it because warning and red both have r's in them.

Posted by JenMagenta at 1:18 PM | Comments (2)

June 9, 2008

my security system

we recently got two new windows for the front of our townhouse and took out the old nasty '70s windows along with the metal security bars that were in front of them. we don't live in the safest neighborhood, but our townhouse was really the only one in our complex w/ security bars on the windows b/c we bought it from a paranoid old lady. anyhow, although i did not like the security bars because they were horribly ugly, i do feel that we need some type of security system in place to deter burglars.

i checked out ADT and brinks, and both are at least $40/month in addition to the $200 installation fee and require a home phone line (another $10/month) which we do not have. i was also looking into these rolling security shutters http://www.rollashield.com/rollingshutters.html , but they are about $1,000 per window and that is out of my price range. so short of installing another set of black metal bars over our new windows, this is what i decided to do:

i'm going to buy a giant cactus with lots of painful needles and have it placed/planted in front of our two windows, i'm estimating a few hundred dollars to buy it and have it delivered. i also ordered an ADT yard sign and window decals from ebay so that we can pretend we have a security system. you may think i sound pathetic, but i think i am a genius.

Posted by JenMagenta at 6:43 PM | Comments (4)