Jun 222007

Free Talk Live spent a good portion of the show today discussing an interview with Robert Epstein, editor-in-chief of Psychology Today. The gist of the article was that American society essentially keeps kids down by assuming they’re incapable of anything worthwhile and reinforcing that belief in the teens themselves.

In every mammalian species, immediately upon reaching puberty, animals function as adults, often having offspring. We call our offspring “children” well past puberty. The trend started a hundred years ago and now extends childhood well into the 20s. The age at which Americans reach adulthood is increasing—30 is the new 20—and most Americans now believe a person isn’t an adult until age 26.

In observing my younger associates as they went through their late teens and early twenties, I came to believe the same thing some years ago. I graduated from high school at 17 and basically left my parents house at the same time. (Actually, due to boarding school, I hadn’t lived at home since 7th grade.) Being prone to male friendships over female friendships I had always attributed this to the lack of a rite of passage for young males.

In watching Z move into her tween years the idea has struck home even more. X and I constantly struggle over how much freedom and responsibility to give Z. If only I could get X to listen to this broadcast, or even read the article, I think those fights would be gone. Alas, that is but a dream.

instead, I’ve started to push Z more and more into ‘fending for herself’. I regularly remind her that she only has 7 short years of ‘guaranteed care’ coming from me. At 18 she’s on her own, both figuratively and literally. Not that I won’t be there to help, of course, should she be worthy of that help. At that point she gets judged for the person she has become. Of course, this also give me a deadline. The clock is ticking on my time to shape her into the person that I hope she becomes.

I’m constantly told that my socio-political views would be the downfall of civilization should they come to fruition. If you’ve thought that yourself after reading some of my posts I highly recommend you check out Dr. Epstein’s book: The Case Against Adolescence.

Jun 122007

I went into this film knowing only the name, which is always makes for an interesting viewing experience. No preconceptions whatsoever. It turns out to be particularly fitting in this case as the tale details the exploits of a small group of people who awaken suddenly in padded cells having no idea who they are or how they got there. My first thought was that they were in some early version of the cube, from Cube, which is one of my favorite films. But soon the eponymous monster arrives and it quickly becomes clear that is not the case.

The first half of the film consists of Jolene Blalock (best known as Sub-Commander T’Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise) and James Marsters (Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) exploring the insane asylum/prison in which they have awakened meeting others in their same situation along the way. This is the meat of the film as well as it’s bread and butter. As soon as they start to figure out what’s actually going on, it’s pretty much all downhill. In fact the film continues for 20 to 30 minutes after “the big reveal” and while it all makes sense in a way, there’s not really any point to it. There are no surprises, thus no genuine suspense or drama.

Overall, I’d say the film is worthy of filling a boring Saturday afternoon on some random cable channel, but certainly not worthy of a wide theatrical release.

The above review was also posted to epinions.com

Jun 012007

Z finally conceded that she wants some hamsters in her room. Good news, except that she wants their cages and tubes to be primarily pink so they’ll match her Disney Princess decor. Despite the dozens of cages and hundreds of tubes I’ve collected over the last year, there was a serious dearth of pink, so it was time to go shopping again.

S.A.M. has a new Here’n’There line of cages and the smaller one is pink, so we decided that would be primary home. Retail cost $40.00 ::sigh:: The cage is so new that it’s not really available on eBay yet, and half my online suppliers didn’t have them in stock. Saving money was going to take some serious effort.
First, I managed to pick up a $57.46 Petco gift card at CardAvenue for only $41.00.
Checking BigCrumbs I found they were offering a 7.2% rebate for Petco. Not bad. Then I remembered that I needed to earn another $1 or $2 through FatWallet before the end of the month to earn a bonus $5 from them. Turns out FatWallet offers an 8% rebate at Petco. Even better.
Doing a Gmail search for Petco turns up an online discount code of 15% off any supply order of $50 or more. I’m so glad I’ve learned to Archive the pet store spam instead of deleting it like I used to. Anyway, for some reason, hamster housing counts as a “supply” and I’m never one to argue my way out of money, so…
Off to Petco.com I go and upon entering the Small Animal section I discover that they’re having a B1G1 sale on 10 liter bags of CareFresh (hands down the best hamster litter available, and something I constantly need). I decided to give the Ultra CareFresh a try as it was included in the twofer deal and was only $1.00 more.
Total items purchased:
$39.99 – SAM Here & There Home and Traveler Starter Kit
$4.99 – CareFresh
$4.99 – CareFresh
$5.99 – CareFresh Ultra
$5.99 – CareFresh Ultra
$5.99 – CareFresh Ultra
$5.99 – CareFresh Ultra
$3.99 – Sales Tax
$7.60 – S&H
<$16.97> – Free CareFresh & CareFresh Ultra
<$8.54> – E-Mail code
<$1.05> – Shipping discount (not sure how/why I got this, but I’ll take it 😉
<$57.46> – Value of Gift Card
<$4.55> – Rebate from FatWallet
<$5.00> – Bonus from FatWallet I almost missed
$1.50 – TOTAL DUE
$41.00 – Paid for GC
Total order value: $85.52 Total Cost: $32.95 Savings: $52.57 or 62%

 Posted by at 8:42 pm