If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


I took the kids to see Pirates of the Carribean 2.

The music was awesome! Really, you can close your eyes and listen, and when you open them, you haven't missed much of anything!

I was 2 1/2 hours. It could have been 2 if they'd edited out one 'rolling down the hill uncontrollably' scene and shortened the interminable sword fights.

But the sound track is fab!



Here, my friends, is the latest installment of the dumbing down of America. A professor at the University of Arizona has created a sticker that will tell when fruit is ripe. I know, it takes the guesswork out of picking produce. You don't have to remember if the melon is supposed to have a hollow thump or not.

My problem isn't with ripeness stickers; it is that the guesswork is going out of everything. We're becoming a non-thinking society. The media spins a story, and people don't think to challenge details. We blindly accept statistics thrown at us from every direction. It's no wonder there is so much consumer debt in the U.S.; commercials tell us 20 times an hour that our lives won't be complete unless we drive/wear/eat a specific product. There are websites that will find your perfect compatible mate. (Compatibility in every area is over-rated, by the way, but that's a rant for different day. If I don't get to it soon, drop me a comment; I've probably forgotten. Old age, you know.)

My biggest challenge as a homeschooling mom is teaching my kids to think independently. I tell them to do a 3-page research paper on any topic they want, and they look at me like I've lost my mind. Like their public school peers, they want the information spoon-fed to them. Kids are less educated and more lectured to these days. Curiosity is a thing of the past.

Big Brother is watching, y'all. He's around the corner, waiting for us to wander aimlessly enough that he can take our hands and lead us down the road to hell.

(And now you're wondering how I got all that from a fruit sticker, right? Don't ask!)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Two more goose eggs

We're on a roll! We sent the last payment on Eric's car last week. Yesterday we discovered we were getting some money we were owed, and it was almost enough to pay off the van. We decided to splurge and take the remainder out of savings to just pay the whole thing off. How's that for a splurge? *G* This leaves us with two credit cards to pay off, and then we can start the big emergency fund. Once that's done, we'll have a little time to bolster college funds. I guess the house will keep a little longer!

Man, it feels great to get out of debt. I got an AmEx application in the mail yesterday offering 5% cash back on gas, food, and restaurants. I looked it over for a while, reading the fine print, before I decided I don't want to have to keep up with the 25 day grace period. After all, paying interest is going to cut into my cash back. OK, honestly, I don't trust myself. We've worked so hard to pay off our bills that it's really better just to shred temptation. With the advent of Visa debit cards, it really is possible to live a normal life without a credit card.

Watch: Next year I'll be the anti-credit card gal at the family reunion. You know; the reformed smoker who wants to "help" everyone else quit? That'll be me, quoting Dave Ramsey and (hopefully) wearing an 'I see debt people' t-shirt!