Why Do Parents Do This To Their Kids?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

One of my (many) annoyances is the trend that began, oh, who knows, in the early 80s perhaps, of parents naming their kids last names that are less than conventional. (Meaning names that are traditionally last names only, unlike my own, Randall, or my brother, Christopher, etc – names that function as first or last names). Or just strange and bizarre names. Or changing one letter to make the name look “cool” (usually means replacing an “i” with a “y”, like Madyson or something equally childish.) Contractions of two names. Whatever. Have you even been shopping somewhere, and you hear a yuppie mom yell something like, “Tyler, Tyson, Mckenzie, we’re leaving now!”. When that happens, I want to slap the parent upside the head and ask them why they decided to inflict such cruelty on their children. (If your name is Tyler, Tyson or Mckenzie, no offense!) I was in Costco once, and the woman behind me had two beautiful little girls – their names were Kennedy and McKinley, after dead presidents or something.

From Rebecca‘s site I found “Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing – A Primer on Parent Cruelty” (Bow towards Chris Issak.) Here you will find not lists of names, but “naming questions and suggestions posted on two different baby naming bulletin boards going back as far as early 2001” Read it, and you will cringe. Would you name your child Denver Kade Lional, Xev Chiana Louise, Vashara Rashea, Kakinston? Speaking of contractions, one woman wants to name her girl Thazel, which is a contraction of Thelma and Hazel. AAGHHHHH! But wait, there’s more.
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The Ring

Posted in Film on October 27th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

I saw The Ring last night, and was generally disappointed. The film stars Naomi Watts (from Mulholland Drive) as a reporter for the Seattle Times-Intelligence, whose 16-year old niece passes away from heart failure. Watts’ sister, her niece’s mother, cannot find any record of a 16-year old girl dying this way, and asks Watts to investigate. She learns that her niece had watched a videotape with three other teenagers at a cabin, and soon discovers that all four of them died at the same hour on the same night. The word is, you watch the tape, you have seven days to live.

The film is marketed as a psychological thriller, and it works in parts, but not in others. I confess that I went to the film hoping to be scared sh*tless, and it didn’t happen, not even close. Dozens of giggling teenagers in the theatre, however, were scared as such. I kept waiting for the movie to kick into second gear, with heightened tension, keeping you on the edge of your seat, but this never happens. Watts gets her ex-husband involved, after she watches the tape. He also watches it (of course), and comes to believe in her fear. They begin tracking down the origin of the tape, which leads them to … never mind!
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Posted in Uncategorized on October 25th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

Just finished lunch at work, and am busy compiling a table of research topics of mechanical engineering professors. Anyway, it appears the blurring has been solved. A kind soul in the Moveable Type forums suggested that it might have something to do with the line height vs font size. So I increased the line height by 1 pixel, and it worked.

A Character Test?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

So it’s Thursday night, and I haven’t solved the blurring problem (as you no doubt can tell yourselves.) Argh. As well, I discovered when I went to pay for some groceries and photos at Costco that my AMEX card is missing. Wonderful. And a week from tonight I’ll be in NYC. I called AMEX and they put a “hold” on my card while I look for it (and they verified that no additional charges have appeared on it since I last used it, which suggests I’ve misplaced it somewhere.)

I’ve looked around the house, the car, checked my wallet and pants and jacket pockets a zillion times, even emptied parts of a bookcase, thinking it might have fallen off the top stairs out of a pants pocket. *sigh*

Life is grand. I bumped into Kel at work today. She seemed to be all energy, but said she was tired. I will look for an “I Heart NY” shirt for her next week when I’m there. As for me, I was impatient today. Now I’m annoyed at having lost my credit card, and not being able to solve the blurring problem. Blurred…perhaps it’s a metaphor for my life tonight.

Baby Steps

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

More blog coding headaches, albeit minor ones. I (thought I) solved a problem Geoff mentioned regarding how my site looks in different resolutions. However, now when I move the page up and down, parts of various entries are blurring. It’s all weird, a test of patience and character building, right? You have probably noticed this already. I’ve sent e-mails and posted to Moveable Type discussion lists, hoping to get help on this one.

Yesterday brought a nice moment: on Tue morning, I taught a research skills class to third year chemical engineering design students. Yesterday I spotted about 20 of them in the library working on the first assignment based on my lecture. Not only was it rewarding to see them working on it, in discussions with some of them I could sense they realized the assignment was a stepping stone to developing said research skills to help them with their group design projects. In other words, they realized the assignment wasn’t a waste of their time.
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Man’s Search For Meaning(ful Blogs)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22nd 2002 by Randy Reichardt

No, not a comment on Viktor Frankel’s book, which I haven’t read. Someday, maybe. It was a good day, a long day. I was up at 6:00, because I had to teach a research skills and library resources class to a group of third year chemical engineering design students. Less than half the class showed (25 out of 65, their loss, frankly), and the lecture went well. I spent the remainder of the day in a semi-daze, refueling on black coffee, spinach salad, and fruit.

During the day I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about blogging. She couldn’t see a reason to spend time blogging other than for something subject-specific, related to our profession, most likely. I accept her take on the activity – it’s not for everyone. And subject-specific blogs can be of great use to those who require a quick way to check on the latest developments or news in their areas of interests. A subject-specific blog, such as this one on nanotechnology, almost function as a slow-motion crawl or ticker (the name given to the line of news that crawls across the bottom of the screens of tv networks like CNN). Of course, news there changes every few seconds – an active subject blog might change only a few times a day. But the purpose is similar.
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