Category: Geeky Stuff

Shamus’ Autoblography

Things are crazy busy around here but I wanted to hop on and point out (for those who don’t already read Shamus’ site– though I know most of you do) that Shamus has been writing an autobiography of sorts on his blog. A lot of it explains why we specifically unschool and how his particular view of the US education system formed through his own experiences as well as how we met (today’s post was about our first date.) You can find it here.

That is all.

Where We Are: September 2011

This month (and the end of August) has seen as much busy-ness as our summer though of a new variety. We are prayerfully considering what direction we should be heading financially (have money to live on for the moment and had hoped to save up and live on it longer by bringing in more income but that all but stopped when the check finally came. Good thing God knows what He is doing (and He obviously has us trusting Him completely in this) because we have no idea. Well, we have some slight direction, and the Lord is kind of herding us in a certain direction that we are getting more and more comfortable with but the logistics of it all are still kind of out there and we don’t feel free to share yet. Still no money for the house payment and we are just waiting for the bank to kick us out– packing things up that we don’t need so we can simplify significantly is what we are focused on at the moment. Due to our awkward financial circumstances (no steady income, no savings, everything pretty unstable) they aren’t willing to work with us (not that I blame them.) So we will see what is around the next bend.

Idlewild 2011
The kids on a ride at a rare trip to Idlewild park (carload days are awesome.)

In the meantime, still doing GAPS– in fact we are being more rigorous with it while we are here so we can kick some more food allergies (which will simplify things down the road.)

The youngest son of a friend who sheltered with us during Hurricane Irene.

We are still unschooling (and yes, the kids are still learning way more than they ever did when workbooks were a way of life for us).

We just got a package
The kids opening the box of Magic: the Gathering cards friends sent us-- our living room is overrun.

We are focusing on doing the next thing, whatever that is, as the Lord guides us. Right now that means I will be painting, purging excess stuff (and God willing having a yard sale, taking my grandmother shopping several times a week, helping Shamus with his projects, and more time to spend with the kids; chatting with them, being with them, loving them where they are. Shamus is currently working on his autoblography which when done, God willing, will become an eBook memoir.

If you would be praying for wisdom and direction, especially regarding our finances and where the Lord wants us but also regarding spiritual things He is showing us recently, we would heartily appreciate it.

In Case You are Wondering

where I have been.  PAX East put a new bee in my bonnet:

Click here to watch awesome video of Birdhouse in Your Soul

Well, not that sort but still.  It’s a good song.

So I started another blog, thanks to meeting all the lovely people at The Escapist (the fact that there are other female gamers out there over 25 is AWESOME!!!! ) and got me thinking lots of thinky thoughts that I needed somewhere other than here to park.   I love you all but I think it may totally alienate you if I went on and on about games and story and art (which is what the new site is about).  That said, you are welcome to hop over there and join the discussion.  There are only 4 posts and I would definitely start at the beginning with “Another Website?!?!?”, where I explain WHY I am making yet another website.  Also, for those who are fellow unschoolers,  I interviewed both girls about female video game characters.  I didn’t interview Issac, not because he is a boy but because I asked if he wanted interviewed about it for on the blog and he said, “Nahhh.  I don’t play girl characters.  Though the girls in Harvest Moon that I like are really pretty–I have pretty good taste.”  He then proceeded with the running commentary about all he is building in Minecraft.   What more can you expect from a 9 year old boy–at least he wasn’t on about cooties and all the typical stuff like a 9 year old boy would.

And if you don’t care about geeky stuff, go back up to the top and listen to “Birdhouse in Your Soul” because regardless of geekiness it is an awesome song.

PAX East

Because I am feeling lazy and tired I will only give a brief description of our awesome weekend (and some of the God stuff that occurred) then leave you with Shamus’ more specific posts and a slideshow of all 3 days.

Not only did it work out (in an awesome God sort of way that I am not going into right now) that we got to go to the show on Saturday but we got to meet lots of people from the Escapist (including some of our kids favorite internet celebrities which totally freaked them out when we got home–“You ate dinner with the people that do the Daily Drop!!!!”) Also mission accomplished as far as going to PAX in the first place– necessary networking was done and we now have some help in getting both Shamus book and the card game marketed properly. The whole trip went very smoothly despite Shamus concerns (he doesn’t travel because bad things happen when he does). All in all God gave us a beautiful weekend, enough money to do all that we needed to do, provided tickets and dinner on Saturday, with lots of kindred spirits, perfect weather, and too much to do to get all of it done so we took our time and even stayed an extra night instead of driving home exhausted. Shamus signed lots of autographs (many more than he expected– note to self: next time bring a Sharpie), got to meet lots of cool people and put faces to names (his editor, Susan is AWESOME!!!!), and was on an impromptu panel for the Escapist while being 4 hours past his bedtime. It was a pretty awesome weekend and great to relax away from home and kids.

Meanwhile the kids had a great time with family, who made sure they were very well entertained and had as much to tell about when they got home as we did.

For more specifics about what happened each day you can read here (each link goes to a post Shamus wrote about that day/time frame):

Settling in

Being in Line




Cosplay at PAX East 2011


Last night someone  on Twitter asked if there was a blogging software similar to Windows Live Writer in Ubuntu.  I didn’t know so I did some research.  The result of my findings was Flock. Flock is not a blog software only like Live Writer, instead it is a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox but with built in social media capability.  You could feasably get similar usability by adding large quantities of plugins to Firefox but Flock is sleek and smooth and all the media just works.  It is also available in ALL flavors from Windows to Mac to Linux.  If you, like me, find yourself juggling multiple open web browsers/tabs trying to keep track of writing projects, web pages in use, AND various social media sites, then you might want to look into it.

It has taken me most of the day to catch onto how it all works (though, if you are inclined, there are several video walkthru’s at the ready when you first open the browser.)  There are various settings you can adpat to your own needs plus it uses all the plugins for Firefox you feel you might need.


  • The uploader for media works beautifully!  One of my biggest complaints about Flickr is that the apps are often hard to use and messy.  This one gives you a preview of everythign you are uploading, has all the info you might want to add, and is quick and easy to use and upload.  You can use the uploader for multiple media sites–Flickr, Youtube, and Photobucket just being a few.
  • The blog editor.  The blog editor is simple and concise.  If you blog on several sies you can enter your info for each site (which it saves), make your post, then choose which to upload it to.  It also saves drafts and has all the basic functionality you expect in a blog editor.  (I am posting this from Flock.)
  • All people things in one place.  I LOVE that you can see all your different chat mediums in one spot.  Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, etc all post to the same spot AND you can toggle between individual sites without opening them up if you like.  This really simplifies things for m (I have been avoiding posting due to issues with the image uploader in Flickr for Linux AND the uploader in the new version of WordPress iving me trouble.)
  • Feed reader.  The feed reader is built in and very well done.  You can view ALL the sites, put them in folders, see excerpts of each and how many posts in each folder.  It marks them as read as you open them but keeps them all so you can go back and see them if you missed somethign or didn’t have time.
  • I like that I can have this open with all my social media and work in a separate browser (Firefox.)  This way I am no longer confused about having multiple browsers and tabs open and trying to remember which is where and what is what.
  • It has a clipoard which is integrated into the browser AND the blogging software meaning I can grab links that I want to use later and save them easily (it also lets you email links easily.)


  • It is a bit more clutter than I prefer.  It is beautifully themed and elegant but all the little buttons that alert you to different updates are a bit much.
  • I love that it saves my favorite sites but wish it would show me whr eit is making that my favorite and allow me to delete the ones that really aren’t.  It doesn’t.
  • It has a nice little pop-down media browser for photos and videos that I could totally do without. 
  •  I wish there were a weather widget–I keep opening Igoogle anyway to check the weather then stay since that is where my comfortable stuff all is.
  • I have to keep Igoogle in case I am on a different computer since Flock doesn’t store your settings online.
  • As far as I can see you have to manually go to twitter or facebook to actually post a comment.  I miss being able to do it from Igoogle–though granted Betwitered is down part of the time.
  • There are a few other nitpicks and some of the items may just be me not being used to the software or not having found out how to use everything. 
Blogged with the Flock Browser

My Daybook ~ September 8


Hosted by Peggy @ The Simple Woman

Outside My Window…is a rather warm, dry afternoon (yes I am late this week) with a bright red couch sitting in the middle of the yard.  Everything else is gone–still praying for the perfect person to see it and fall in love.

I am thankful that…the rest of the furniture is gone from our front yard and that I know God has a plan for our poor beautiful couch.

From the kitchen…is a mess.  We are moving the desk out so we have someplace for the china closet when we paint the living room.  Yeah, we are painting the living room–all that open space is inspiring.

I am wearing…Old Navy shorts and top and Rockport Hiking tennis shoes–all thrifted of course.

I am creating…a new look for the living room, and the hall, and the kitchen, and the girls room.  Yeah, I am nesting or something. That happens a few times a year and my poor hubby just smiles and nods.

From the learning rooms…

Both girls finished writing their books, Issac has been reading to me nightly.  I got the kids a “math kit” from the school supply clearance at Target and Rach has been going about making charts and graphs–and insisted on getting 2 books on charts and graphs out of the library, yes, nonfiction books on different sorts of charts and graphs, on her own, because she wanted them.  Um.  Yeah.  She has also been helping me figure out the area of the living room and hall so we can get laminate floor and paint the walls of the living room.  Essie has been helping me paint her “new” desk, mixing colors to make the perfect robins egg blue. She has been reading, as usual, and is excited that we got the Bunnicula series on cd to listen to.  Issac is waiting for them to finish watching Eloise  (bought for $1 at the library) so he can watch his natural disasters video (also bought for $1 at the library).

I am going…to move some more furniture around and laer move the couch to the garage so it doesn’t get rained on.  Also working on 2 seperate wiki’s for the new unschooling site, plus need to do some more organizing and gleaning of articles for the site:  So far it is going well. 🙂

I am reading…some new books I got from the library (A Gail Carson Levine plus a compilation of King Arthur stories–an old passion of mine.)  Also reading the new Lucky magazine and the IKEA catalog. 🙂  We are eventually going to need a new couch. 😉

I am hoping…to finish painting the desk and move it upstairs so I can get to work on moving furniture in the living room.  Also hoping to figure out the wiki site so I can start posting to it.

Around the house…The girls are watching old videos from the library while Issac plays webkinz and in the tent in his room.

One of my favorite things…is installing a new program and it is WORKING!  Woohoo!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Working on Wednesday for the antique appraiser I occasionally help out.  I am going to be working once a week for her–which will hopefully pay for redoing the floor in the living room.  Work on the wiki’s some more, gets things sorted out on the new site, etc. etc. etc.  Nevermind all that, I really just want God’s will for this week, we will see what that is.

Here is picture thought I am sharing

James took each of the kids out on the motor boat–this is right before he turned it on and suddenly she was way above the water shrieking.

God is good!  God has provided, perfectly, wonderfully, and right on time.

Despite a financial tangled mess in our personal finances (check from out of country being held causing a cascade of fees etc.–all should clear up in mid August) God has provided the funds, in cash, to cover our trip south, through a variety of sources, including the yard sale finishing providing them at 9pm last night for some work I did on a computer.  And people wonder why I refuse to plan ahead. 🙂

The kids and I will be heading out this morning, God willing, aiming for Alexandria, VA and then Monday or so we head down to visit my dad in Ocean City, MA.  I have one fellow blogger that we are going to try to meet up with while down there, which would be awesome, plus plans with my friend CJ, whom we are staying with, to do some fun stuff with the kids.  We are both pretty much broke so we will be doing the cheap stuff.  I am really hoping to get back down to Old Town Alexandria,  and to Trader Joes. 🙂

I will not have internet access for most of the trip, though my laptop goes with me (where else would I put my hundreds of photos?)  If I find some wifi along the way I will likely check in and I do have a Sunday Doodle finished and reasy to post.

Have a blessed week!

Because I can and because he is

my husband–he has a new web comic (some of you I know are familiar with DM of the Rings–his Tolkien meets D&D screenshot comic.)  Well, he has a new comic out, one that is part of a bigger than he is website, and it is funny–and I am not saying that just because he is my husband.    Now, if you are anti-video game or offended by some mild language it is not for you, but if you like video games and making fun of the silly stuff game designers do, or if you enjoyed his previous comic you may just enjoy this.

Daybook for June 2

Hosted by The Simple Woman
FOR TODAY Mon. June 2, 2008…
Outside My Window…is SUN!  Wonderful, sweet, happy sunshine.  Yes, I am SO sick of the constant RAIN.
I am thankful for..A few more finished paintings.  Coffee brewing, 10 and a half hours sleep (what is up with that?) time out with my husband yesterday, work to do, and that the kids are either still asleep (Rach) or playing quietly (the others), that the Wii has provided tons of entertainment and educational stuff but that the kids are still playing outside more than playing Wii.
From the kitchen…I smell my coffee–almost ready.
I am wearing…my long black Old Navy skirt with pockets (which is as common as jeans for me–it goes anywhere and has POCKETS), and a red t-shirt.
I am creating…Page 5 of the bunny book, the background of another book, a website for a friend, a less chaotic household–I hope.
I am going…to get some coffee–be right back.
I am reading…Romans, C.S. Lewis letters, the Dick-King Smith books the girls got out of the library.
I am hearing…whispers from upstairs, the air cleaner running, cars going by outside, myself typing.
One of my favorite things…A Chinese teacup full of paintbrushes and another full of inking pens and pencils.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:See if Rachel still needs a dentist appointment for the loose tooth that broke off instead of falling out–if it isn’t hurting and doesn’t look bad we need to wait because of her trouble with medication and her SJS.  If it is infected or hurting we need an appointment.  How come things like that ALWAYS happen on the weekend???  Otherwise cleaning, painting, and hopefully preparing for the yard sale and having it this weekend would be good.
Here is picture thought I am sharing…