Space Race.

I remember when I learned about the space race, both in elementary school and in secondary school, it was taught in such a way that felt as if we, as a country, were still patting ourselves on our back over our collective victory against the Russians.

It is humorous and strange to me that adults would teach this sense of group superiority to children. Not only that they would teach it at all, but especially teaching it decades after the event.

As a child I played sports and other team activities and I can understand the fun and excitement of getting wrapped up in feeling a part of a group that has succeeded.

I also understand that on an evolutionary level, groups and tribes were very important to our survival. One part of being a good member of the group is taking pride in the group's victories, but also, in an earlier time the groups victories had a strong correlation to our survival. If the group was strong and victorious, as an individual our likelihood of survival would be much greater, so it would be to our advantage as individuals to feel a sense of emotional investement in our tribe or teams victories.

But like so much of modern life, things that were useful to us in the savannas of Africa no longer serve the same function, yet because they are so deeply ingrained both biologically and culturally many hold on to them just as tightly.

I also realize that the struggle between the U.S.A's space program, and that of the USSR was more than just a struggle of national super powers, it was a test of idealogies. People saw the success of the space program as being anolog to the success of Capitalisim or Communism. If they were to show that Capitalism was superior to Communism being able to be the first to the moon could supposedly do it.

While I can understand the childhood pleasure of, and the biological factors for, I can not relate to the feeling of group pride. Particularly having the feeling on such a level that I would want to pass it on to young children on an institutional level.

I feel about as much attachment to the Russian engineers working in the space program of the 1950's and 60's as I do to the American engineers at Nasa of that time.(not much). Both groups of people I have never met, nor do I even know their names. Nor does either of their achievements have any correlation to my ablity to achieve. As good as they may be at engineering, I can take just as much personal pride from the achievements of Nasa as I can from from the Sun's ability at being very hot.
The Nasa engineers and the Russian engineers do come from the same species as me, which is something inherent in our nature, but our national identities are totally arbitrary. We should feel the same satisfaction at one countries success, particularly in scientific areas, as we do ours. It would be nice if we could be more concerned about the progression of the human race than particular countries.

One part of growing up and maturity, I feel, is being able to be happy for other people's achievements. As a child I was not able to do this at all. As a young adult I still cannot always do this, but have come much further along than I was before. The more comfortable and confident I am with myself, the less I need external factors confirming to me my own sense of well being, and the less I see the success of others as somehow taking away from me in any way. It is not as if we are in a competition. We are all in this together trying to be happy and figure out what in the world is going on. Our culture is very much about competition and being the best, which I see as emotionally immature, particularly when we as a country and people are still teaching in schools our children to think of our group as better than others.

give away

This is a repost from my sister blister's(in-law's) blog. I am doing this so I can get something for free.
okay so i entered a giveaway on my friend's blog, and the "catch" was that i had to do this same giveaway on my own blog... so here you go!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. My choice. For you. (I know...a little scary, but maybe fun, huh?)

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like it .
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done by the end of March.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a loaf of homemade bread. It may be a bag, a card, an apron (my next project). It may be a book, a scarf, a poem. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did it will then win a Fabulous homemade something made by me!

Ready, Set....


Tilt shift

These images are fake miniatures. It is a digital effect called 'Tilt-shifting'. It is very easy to do. Using photo shop or gimp, simply select the area you want to be in focus, then unfocus everything else. For obvious reasons it works best on photos taken from a distance. I have seen several examples online where someone tries to tilt-shift their room and it just looks like the photo is weirdly blurry. Though, I believe a realistic looking a bedroom tilt-shift would be possible if photographed correctly. Dave Bottom, I am hoping you found this enlightening and humorous. Alissa Skinner, you are dying to hear more stories about marissa's mom!




Times when I don't have a lot to do I really enjoy how much it rains in Olympia. I love staying inside and reading books or doing the dishes or watching movies instantly on netflix, but when the sun is out I feel less comfortable not leaving the house.
I was reading that most suicides happen on days with really nice weather. I can understand that. Times when I have been bored and lonely have been exacerbated by the warm nice weather because it further reminds me that while conditions are perfect to be outside having fun with someone, I have nothing to do that sounds fun or anyone to do it with.

Not that I am at all lonely or bored now, nor have I been for a long while, but I still enjoy when it rains and I get to stay inside reading books in bed without any sort of inner restlessness compelling me to take advantage of the nice weather.
Though, I also do love it when the weather is good. Especially this time of year when the novelty of winter has worn of. I guess what I am saying is that I like rainy weather, but I also like good weather, but for different reasons, and when people kill themselves it is often when the weather is good.

wakka wakka wakka


Kahea Hendrickson, Fowl Connoisseur.

I have begun a new blog. It is about my roommate kahea, and his for for baked fowl.



Couples blogs.

Another recent phenomenon, along the line of Mommy Blogs is couples blogs. I only started being aware of this a few months ago.
The couples blog is always written by the wife, but is often written from the point of view of 'we'.

These blogs tend to be amusing. They are all so similar. Every entry is about how much they are in love and the word 'amazing' is used to describe almost everything. Lots of of hugging,kissing and date pictures that make me feel kind of uncomfortable but, for all I know, are seen as cute and romantic to the female friends who read it.

While these blogs are mostly amusing curiosities to me, they are also a bit unsettling to me. That a person would want to present themselves as having no identity or thoughts outside of their relationship. I suppose that is what being young and in love is often about, however strange that may be to me. It would be somewhat more understandable if these couples had their individual blogs in addition to the couple blogs, but as far as I can tell, the couples blogs are it. I wonder for how long will these young couples maintain their relationship celebrating blogs? After time will they tire of it, and want some blogging independence?

What I am curious about is this: is this a Mormon phenomenon? I have only ever seen young Mormon couples with this type of blog, however the only young married couples I even know are Mormon, so I don't have a good pool to judge from. Does anyone have any insight to this question?

here is a good example of a couples blog

Looking over that link it occurred to me that a Mormon Couple Blog is basically a Mormon Mommy blog, before the woman has a bunch of kids to write about.



Last night Marissa showed me this blog called Seriously SO Blessed.

At first we were under the impression it was a real person. For those who have seen Mormon Mommy blogs, this blog is such a good parody it is difficult, without reading several entries, to realize it is a hoax. The only thing her blog is missing is an "I read nienie" ad. (this blog gives you a list of the real thing. Or, to experience the epitome of Mormon Mommy Bloggers, my old boss at Barnes And Nobles little sister, the person all young Mormon Mothers are, for some reason, striving to be Nei nei!!! )
One of my favorite parts was when she listed her year in review she put:

"Got an expensive camra and started a photog biz w/ no skills or experience!! ADVENTURE!"

I don't know how common this is for housewives who are not Mormon, but I do know within the world Mormon housewives it is very common.