Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Random Communication Notes

Using "I" Message

An effective way to talk to your partner is
through "I" messages—statements that describe your
feelings and tell how you are affected by your
partner's behavior. "I" messages can express
emotions in a way that is not threatening as they focus
on the speaker's feelings and not blaming the
"I" messages are very different from a "you"
message. "You" messages place blame and judge the
other person based on their behavior. "You" messages
often trigger defensiveness or hostility your partner
and tend to increase conflict. Think about how you
feel when you hear
"You always..." or "You never...."

Different Communication Styles

Different Communication Styles
Communication plays a very
important role in partners being satisfied in their
marriage. If you would like better communication
with your partner, it's good to understand some of the
differences in communication styles.

One partner may be more expressive. Expressive
people like to share emotions and feelings. They look
for real-time feedback or responses.

Task- or Fact-oriented
Another partner might seldom talk about
feelings, and may use facts instead of emotions, as in:
"I feel that I'm not making enough money." This
person is looking for acceptance of his/her point of
view, not emotions.


Three Things I Love and Hate About You
This exercise will truly be helpful if both the individuals practice it honestly. Both the partners should have a piece of paper in their hand and they should write three things that they love and hate about their respective other. Make sure you practice this exercise alone where there is peace and quiet, you'll then give this list to each other. Now, without getting offended or too happy about the list take the three things which your partner hates about you into serious consideration and feel happy about the things that your spouse loves about you. Think how you can be a better partner to your spouse and thank him/her for being truthful.

You Have to Listen
Remember that communication is a two-way street, you have to listen to the other person and listening with open ears and full concentration is always appreciated. 90% of problems in a marriage happen because one out of the two is not listening attentively to what the other is saying. Listening carefully to what your spouse has to say and giving each other importance is essential. Just remember your dating period, you two were so much in love and use to give each other opinions so much importance. You have to follow the same thing in a marriage.

Positive Speaking and Healthy Words
Another reason for lack of communication in marriage is because of negative speaking. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that positive speaking is better than negative speaking. Speaking harsh words may hurt your partner and she/he may feel attacked and insulted. If you are not comfortable with something, then its good to speak up and let them know but it's also advisable to be polite and gentle while speaking. Speaking positive words is a great communication exercises for married couples.

Stop Assumptions
Another good couples communication exercises that you can follow is being non judgmental. I've seen it many times and even you're mature enough to know it that making assumptions always lands you in trouble. When you make assumptions, you start projecting something that hasn't happened yet and this embarks a string of fights and misunderstandings. So it is better that you stop making assumptions and think from both sides of the coin.

These were some basic communication exercises for married couples which help establish effective communication between them. There might be times when your spouse may hesitate to speak fearing how the conversation may turn out. In such times, it's very necessary that you support her/him and let her/him be comfortable and free.
Read more at Buzzle:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eggs Bread and Cheese

Vegan egg replacers (for 1 large egg)
■1-1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
■1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill All-Natural Egg Replacer mixed with 3 tablespoons water
■1/4 cup tofu blended with a little liquid in the recipe
■1/4 cup soy yogurt
■1/4 cup vegan buttermilk
■1/4 cup mashed banana or applesauce
■1 tablespoon soy flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water
■1 tablespoon agar-agar mixed with 1 tablespoon water
■1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water*

1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted vegan margarine (both work fine)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water until the yeast is dissolved. Let it stand for a couple minutes.
2. Add the salt and vegetable oil/melted margarine. Mix. Add the flour, and mix.
3. Roll out the dough, and place on pan or stone. Put it in the oven for 5 minutes.
4. Take it out and rub vegetable oil over it. Add toppings, and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes.
Makes: 1 serving, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes

"Cheese" Sauce:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 (12 ounce) block firm (not silken) tofu
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon vegesal or in lack of fancy product, just use salt
1 dollop mustard, optional

Thursday, June 02, 2011

For Profit Colleges

Jen and I were watching a commercial yesterday for University of Phoenix  (may have been some other college) and the lady told a story of being single, twenty and having 2 kids. She told the story how she picked her self up from her boot straps and got degree after degree until she finally became something in an impressive uniform.

Jen asked me if those commercials were real and my only response was yes they probably were. I said they have thousands of students and one or two had to make it good and why not feature them.

Today as I was driving to work I heard a story on PBS how many of these schools are in danger of losing  federal aid.

After months of delay, the Department of Education on Thursday issued new rules that could shut down some for-profit colleges and universities.

The department says the regulations are meant to cut off federal aid to schools whose students cannot earn enough to repay their loans. The administration softened the rules in response to industry pressure.

Before he announced the rules, Education Secretary Arne Duncan paid tribute to the important role played by for-profit schools, such as the University of Phoenix.

Well it seems there are some success stories, it also seems these people are coming out of college and not being hired. I see the logic in this, but I must also question it. Lets face it teachers coming out of grad school face an uphill road when finding employment when getting out of school. Well let us not split hairs, as this fact is also true across the board, across all professions.

Ironically, there are many people who are out of work right now and it is logical that they head back to school to update their skill sets.

I think I'll go back to college and get a PHD and solve this little dilema.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Disaster From Afar

We have a cat that is a crazy as they come. She used to be shy little cat and over the past few years Astrid has come out her shell and she is quite the talker. And she brings Jen and I presents. She has a toy called Qua duck. What Qua duck actually is a question for another day. It is half octopus (with four legs) and half duck. Astrid meows in a throaty load purr when she has Qua duck in her mouth. The other day she brought Jen a ball of yarn and our bed was like a big spider web. She brought me a fastener that wraps around a head of Kale. Why she brought me that I have no idea.

But I remember many years ago I was in the apple orchard and I was picking apples. (Such an idyllic childhood) and I saw my Mom hanging wash (people used to do that and my Mom was good at it and she liked hanging wash). The I saw our cat Beacon (our Mom called him BJ) walking toward my Mom much like Astrid now does with Qua duck. Only BJ was walking across the lawn with a big old snake in his mouth. The snake was still alive and wiggling like crazy.I saw my Mom hanging wash and Bj walking across the lawn with a present for my Mom and I could see a disaster of epic proportions ready to erupt and I was helpless to stop the train wreck.

It actually didn't end in train wreck but I remember that fleeting feeling of not being able to stop the disaster at hand. It was uproariously funny in my mind but I also wanted to spare my Mom of the surprise present.

As anticipated my Mom turned and started yelling at BJ to drop the snake and our startled cat to my surprise ran like hell and the snake slithered into a bush.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Even in the Quietest Moments

I remember when I was about 15 years old. I was too old to participate in family vacations in my mind. But I still had my favourite childhood memories tied to going to the beach ( I believe we called it the shore)  with my family. We would spend most mornings getting up early and having a big breakfast , walking the beach, doing a little wave riding but when GrandFather Hoover determined that the tide was right we would head back to the bay to do some crabbing, Yes we all loved going to Assawoman State Park and do the crabbing thing. Throw a chicken laden string in the water and five minutes later pulling up the string and snaring a ceab in our net.

I remember riding in our parents car back to our favorite crabbing spot and me being the self centered teenager that I was. I decided that i would pop in Supertamps Crime of the Century cd. In retrospect our Grandfather was in the car and he had made the drive to our favourite crabbing spots a thousnad times before.

But he sat there that day and listened to the cd I had pur on. The song Even in the Quitest Moments came on the car sterwo and everyboday sar silent and listened to it.

My grandfasther commented that was a beutiful song.

I heard it again todat and it brought me back to Crabbing in Deleware. And some of the simple pleasures I miss today.

And Slim as many used to call my grandfather.

And even though the stars are listening

And the ocean's deep, I just go to sleep
And then I create a silent movie
You become the star, is that what you are, dear?
Your whisper tells a secret
Your laughter brings me joy
And a wonder of feeling I'm Nature's own little boy
But still the tears keep fallinThey're raining from the sky
Well there's a lot of me got to go under before I get high
Don't you let the sun disappear

 My grandfather sat and listened to these words with me and I have not recisted them until I  heard it today on WXPN/
A beauriful song always stirs a memory.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My On Again Love Affair with Bikram

I write about Bikram Yoga often. I have a love hate relationships with Bikram and yesterday I went back to old friend with a goal of sorts.

1. Reduce stress.
2. Lose ten pounds by July 4th.
3. Reduce the side effects that my back is having on everything else.  (Damn I get winded when I sprint in my soccer games).

Well my wife bought me a wonderful gift of Bikram yoga for my birthday and yesterday I took the first step of actually going to class. Like I have written before I generally hate the 90 minutes of class and love the 24 hours after it.

Yesterday was a bit different. Leah was our teacher for the day and the atmosphere was so much different this time around. The schedule has changed just a bit. Classes are now at 530 and 730 which suits my life a little better. Yesterday's class had around 13 students which is better for myself.

I also found myself very relaxed and not frustrated at all if I did not come close to making the pose. I was very into the moment and my mind did not wonder. I found myself not quite where I was the last time I did Bikram but so what. It is a process, I am 3 years older and I came here with problems with my back and 11 pounds to lose. One day at a time. One pose at a time.

Once class was over that's when the you reap the benefits. The breeze flowing down Fremont street was gentle and beautiful and the light rain felt great on my forehead. We had watermelon for desert and it was the best thing I tasted all day. A cold glass of water after dinner replaced the usual beer. I slept very well last night.

And that matters.

I went for a walk with our Beagle last night and her leg seemed better. Probably not related but I love the Halo effect that comes with Bikram.

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Head Talks

Sad Tire
Effective July 16, 2010, Earl Scheib, Inc. has ceased operations nationwide. Each store is now independently owned and operated by a person unaffiliated with Earl Scheib, Inc. Based on this change, customer warranties of Earl Scheib, Inc. will no longer be able to be honored at these stores or by Earl Scheib, Inc. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you (and the inconvenience we got rid of), however we believe the independent owners and operators will (begrudgedly) continue to provide the same great service that Earl Scheib, Inc. offered for almost 79.9 years.

In other words go take your crappy paint jobs back to them because we made a deal never to deal with this crap again. On second thought go but a new car instead of getting your car fixed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Having Vibrams = Liking Journey

Apparently there is a school of thought that What Your Favorite Classic Rock Band Says About You

Journey: You own those running shoes that are shaped like feet.

Jimi Hendrix: You are under 20 or over 65.

Click her for a complete listing.

I have no favourite classic rock band as they all suck. But I have the forementioned running shoes. Vibrams and this rocket surgeon study assumes I like Journey and just make you stop believing I will state here that Journey is the worst band I have ever heard. Hands down and I love my Vibram running shoes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stolen Baby Sea Lion

Love this essay and memory from Marina.

Marina Schofer

Sophomore English

March 17th 2011

I found my perfect washable pet at Zupans Market. As a second grader at the grocery store all I could focus on was the candy aisle and the miscellaneous toys scattered about – Bam! The white stuffed sea lion in the middle of a body scrubber caught my attention; it was hanging next to the natural body wash above the reach of any 7 year old.

I ran down the long deep wooden floors that held the heavy aisles of countless snacks. I spotted my parents among colorful piles of oranges and bell peppers. I skipped over to my parents and right as I tugged on my dads flannel the sprinklers poured over the bright green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers. I put my face and arms under the mist to feel the same freshness each crispy bell pepper felt. The mist distracted me from my goal for only a few seconds.

“I want to be cleaner daddy!” I said looking straight into his big brown eyes.

He looked at me with the humorous face that he makes where he turns his head to the side a little bit and widens his eyes.

This made me giggle. I pulled him down the aisle towards the baby sea lion. My mom slowly pushed the cart with my little brother in it down the aisle behind us; she was intrigued by all of the packaged goods.

I pointed at the baby seal body scrubber.

“Cute!” He said.

My dad picked the one that I wanted off of the clip and handed it to me.

At that second I knew for sure that I was lucky. Holding that seal gave me memories of warm summer days at the zoo and baths with my baby brother, the only things I knew in life was the family that loved me and my favorite coloring books. Life was amazing.

I brought my baby seal over to my best friend Isabelle’s house, we ate snacks and played with polly pockets until my mom came and picked me up. I always missed her at this point. We drove down the hills of western Portland and into the valley of Beaverton. The second that I realized my baby seal was missing I called Isabella’s moms. I was furious, nobody had ever stolen anything from me before, especially an item of such value.

“I just wanted to let you know… that Isabella stole my baby sea lion. I want it back. It is white and fluffy and is wrapped in a purple body scrubber.” I said with the slight attitude I still have today.

“Okay sweetheart!” she said with a full kind heart despite of my attitude. I hated her and Isabella because of my lost baby seal.

I sat on my bed with my mom’s cell phone in hand expecting a very important call. It didn’t come. I called back after an hour went by; I was furious about the ticking clock. Isabella and I were never friends again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

About Culture

This here is an absolute brilliant peace of journalism. It has me awestruck.

And solidarity seems especially strong in Japan itself. Perhaps even more impressive than Japan’s technological power is its social strength, with supermarkets cutting prices and vending machine owners giving out free drinks as people work together to survive. Most noticeably of all, there has been no looting, and I’m not the only one curious about this.

This is an absolute amazing human trait amongst a large group of people. I did not read the analysis as to why that is. I will save that for another day. For now I can only guess with reasonable accuracy as to why that actually is.

Japan as a culture has a 'we' mentality as opposed to a 'me' mentality. This is taught from school age on up all the way into the community and corporate culture. The demographics of the Japanese people is quite different. There is less a disparity in income as seen in the United States. The poor are generally taken care of better in the Japanese culture. This results in less need to loot for basic needs. There is also less hostility toward those with ample resources. This takes away the , for lack of a better word, urge to plunder. The need to take what is rightfully their own.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Purging at 50

10:00 and All is well

  • Oh sheiss, no food for today. Drink only clear liquids and mix this crap together. One bottle of some crap mixed with Gatorade.
  • 40 minutes until I have to take the pills and evacuate the system. A friend said I should prepare for flu like symptoms. I already have that anticipating tomorrows jocularity.
  • At least I have the new REM CD to listen to. What associative memories I will have of that.
  • Of course I am hungry as hell.

  • Take the four pills every 15 minutes .
  • I actually followed the directions and these pills make me feel like crap.
  • Riley Is eating food which is driving me crazy. I showed her and took a bath. (She currently can't take baths)
  • All concentration now is gone.
  • Okay the directions say to drink 8 ounce of this stuff every 15 minutes. The Gatorade -shatever (new word)mixtures tastes like day old oral sex.
  • The directions said that i would get chills. Check
  • I didn't realize I would have to go to the bathroom exactly 15 seconds after drinking that regurgitated cum. But I did and it was not a placebo bathroom break.
  • Shit , 30 minutes are up and I have to drink that stuff again.
  • All hands on board.
  • Taking a bath is not a wise decision. The bunny hop from tub to toilet is amusing.
  • The colon is 4 feet long so they tell me.
  • Who aspires to be a colonologist - my doctor evidently.
Directions from the Portland Clinic

Foods that are acceptable. Jello, pop sickles soda apple juice etc.
Foods that are not acceptable. milk, creams, dairy, soy nut dairy replacements, orange juice, foods with red or purple colour. I do not see Vegetarian Reuben from the Goose Hollow on the list. I am assuming I can have one.

I did not realize I had to drink a second batch of that crap at 700. The second batch was horrible as it was more concentrated and more crappy. I use that word here plenty.

I was afraid to go to bed because I was always going to the bathroom. I was getting more familiar as to how my colon worked. I also became a little more familiar with how woman feel monthly.

Colon OZ Comy day

My wife couldn't sleep either as I was up all night, but we arrived at 715 on the dot. Strip down naked into hospital garb, and on to a gurney. It was so surreal and calm. I listened to a lady being interviewed next to me. It was so predictable in my world.

Nurse - Are you wearing any hearing Aides
Patient -What
Nurse - Are you wearing any hearing Aides

Patient -Louder -What
Me (over the curtains) -Assume she isn't.

The procedure is such a non event. I was done and out out of there by 930. It went faster than advertised.

But it is peace of mind. The day off was nice. They warned me that people lose their short term memory after said procedure. I was hoping I would find mine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Call from School

I just received a call from the principal at Davinci Arts Middle School. Ususually that means trouble in my world. Today Max was in Mr. Marshall's office once again. I picked up the phone with some trepdation and it was Mr. Marshall on the other end of the line.

Mr. Marshall said that we had Max in his office and I immediately thought "OHNO". Mr Marshall I think wanted me to think that for a second. To make a long story short he told me Max was in his office to recieve an outstanding citizen award for having an outstanding Oaks Testing score. One small victory and a tribute to the hard work Max is putting in. Mr Marshall is thankful also.

Link to Davinci

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My daughters perfect paragraph

Thought I would keep it just to look back at it later. It is what it is.

The brain is constantly developing throughout your life; the brain does the most developing from the ages of 2 to 18. I do not agree that minors who commit felonies should be treated as adults in the U.S. criminal justice system. When one is under the age of 18 it is easier to learn from mistakes because of the connections the brain is still creating. A minor should not be sentenced to death when they still have a chance to be a better person and bring positivity into the world. Being a teenager is difficult and comes with a lot of pressure from peers to make mistakes and push limits. When one still has the chance to make up for what they have wronged they should be given every chance to make better.