Monday, August 31, 2009

Back To School: The Right Way To Help With Homework

Back To School: The Right Way To Help With Homework

Can you help too much?
Increasing competitiveness and assignement overload are causing some parents to do their children's homework for them. Here's advice from expers about what parental input truly helps kids...and what doesn't.

  • DO provide your child with a space in the house that is clean, well lit and set aside especially for doing homework.

  • DON'T let your kid watch TV, take phone calls or make pit stops at the refrigerator during homework time.

  • DO help your child get started on tasks and brainstorm ideas for projects. Ask what topics are of interest to him/her.

  • DON'T tell your child the answers. This sends the message that soemone will bail him/her out when faced with a challenge.

  • DO praise your child. Educators say that effort is more important than success. Be sure to applaud small milestones.

  • DON'T nag or bully your child into getting homework done. Pestering most often breeds resentment, not motivation.

  • DO acknowledge homework that is well done. But instead of gifts, let him/her pick and activity, such as a trip to the zoo.

  • DON'T bribe your child to do homework by offering money or gifts. This teaches kids to work only for compensation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

HELP! DPVHS is in desperate need of bedding - especially towels! Please consider donating any spare items you may have to the Leverett or Springfield locations!

Leverett - 163 Montague Road
Springfield - 171 Union Street

The animals thank you!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homes For Our Troops: Learn About Homes for Our Troops

Homes for Our TroopsHomes For Our Troops: Learn About Homes for Our Troops: "Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 2004. This organization is strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to their country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries. We assist severely injured Servicemen and Women and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and then coordinating the process of building a new home or adapting an existing home for handicapped accessibility. The finished home is then given to the veteran.

*All services provided by Homes for Our Troops are at no cost to the veterans we serve."

Mill Street Brews

Mill Street Brews: "Saturday, September 19, 2009

With tickets being only $17 per person, this makes for a nice Frugal Night Out. This would be a fun evening. I have not seen this show yet, but have heard good things. He usually has shows at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee.

So if the husband is reading this, maybe he can take a note :P

Saturday, September 19, 2009
Pabst Blue Ribbon Pr
Pabst Blue Ribbon Presents
John Valby
What makes Valby so unique and entertaining is his uncommon rapport with the audience and his ability to mix his musical Talent with a mad-cap variety of "Dirty Ditties". Few people can resist laughing at songs that would have earned them a mouthful of soap when they were children. Valby's repertoire is composed of popular songs, limericks, classical arrangments and his own original creations. Valby has made a career out of poking fun at his audiences, stretching the limits of free speech and accepted good taste and satirizing current events from behind the piano.When he's not playing and singing, he yells obscenities:the audience yells back and everyone has a good time. The best way to descibe John Valby is to blend the following performersTogether. Allen Sherman, spike Jones,Lenny Bruce and Wierd Al Yankovic all topped off with the Dirt of Redd Foxx,Only better.
W/ Special Guest Comedian Josh Ramirez!
Doors Open At: 7:00 PM
Show Starts At: 8:30 PM
Mill Street Brews
John Valby
What makes Valby so unique and entertaining is his uncommon rapport with the audience and his ability to mix his musical Talent with a mad-cap variety of "Dirty Ditties". Few people can resist laughing at songs that would have earned them a mouthful of soap when they were children. Valby's repertoire is composed of popular songs, limericks, classical arrangments and his own original creations. Valby has made a career out of poking fun at his audiences, stretching the limits of free speech and accepted good taste and satirizing current events from behind the piano.When he's not playing and singing, he yells obscenities:the audience yells back and everyone has a good time. The best way to descibe John Valby is to blend the following performersTogether. Allen Sherman, spike Jones,Lenny Bruce and Wierd Al Yankovic all topped off with the Dirt of Redd Foxx,Only better.
W/ Special Guest Comedian Josh Ramirez!
Doors Open At: 7:00 PM
Show Starts At: 8:30 PM
Mill Street Brews

GET TICKETS: $ 17General Admission - Mill Street Brews & - VIP TIX ALSO AVAILABLE! CALL 508-764-6900! General Admission - Mill Street Brews & - VIP TIX ALSO AVAILABLE! CALL 508-764-6900!

Magic Wings Butterly Conservatory & Gardens

A place I have still not visited...

Warm Your Body and Soul

Our 8,000-square foot conservatory is home to nearly
4,000 free-flying butterflies from all over the world!

Shared via AddThis

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quabbin Resevoir will reopen Monday to private boats

Super Nanny Tips to Make School Fun.

Super Nanny Tips to Make School Fun.

Dedicated time
Avoid procrastination by structuring your child's study and homework, setting aside time in the afternoon or evening where school and study is the focus, free of distractions like TV, e-mail and that pesky cell phone. While it is important to take exercise and snack breaks (at least 10 minutes for every 50 minutes of study), the focus of this time should be study, and it should be part of your family routine.

If procrastination is a problem, a simple Reward System might boost their motivation. Offer to cook your child's favorite meal or take them to the mall if they can complete two hours' study in their most difficult subject.

When it is appropriate, participate with interactive quizzes, and help solving problems in math, science, English, etc. By understanding the areas where your child's interest wanders, or they are having difficulty, you can give them the tools to find the answers themselves, and ignite interest in critical thinking and problem-solving.

We are not all oriented toward reading, science or math, so there may be times when your child will benefit from tutoring. Ask the teachers in your child's school where to seek help, or ask other parents where they have found success with their children.

Study groups work well for some children. And tutoring companies like Sylvan Learning or SCORE! Centers have locations throughout the U.S. - many other private resources should be available in your community. If your children are plugged into the Internet, they may benefit from an online tutoring service.

When it comes to tutoring, do your own homework. Tutoring services can be costly, and they are only as good as the results they help your child achieve.

Test preparation
On the actual test day, your child should feel prepared, calm and rested. Unfortunately, many children's study habits make them feel over-stressed, tired and nervous on test day.

If your child takes time each day to master material, preparation before test day should be all about review, and relatively stress-free. Continue to adhere to a structured study time, and make sure your child gets a good rest the night before test day. Send them armed with flash cards or other references that will give them an opportunity for last-minute review before they sit down for the test.

Remember: Perfection is impossible to achieve
Sure your children can score 100 percent on their exams, but learning isn't just about test results. Children who value learning understand that it involves a combination of discipline and genuine curiosity - it's more about the journey than the destination.

To encourage your children, stress the process in your conversations, focusing on their experiences. "What did you learn today?" is a good starter. Or "Do you feel ready for your exam?" and later, "How did your test go?"

If you know that children are giving their best effort, and are motivated by interest in the subject matter, the grades will follow. There will be subjects and classes that don't do it for your child, but when they learn for learning's sake, they can handle the coursework, and even get something out of it. It sure beats dragging them through their homework every night, and having them cram information that won't stick around beyond test day.

Other Super Nanny Articles of Interest:
Boosting Reading Skills
Best Homework Websites
Taking The Stress Out Of Test Day

Friday, August 14, 2009

SamsonZ is the coolest!!
the babysitter situation isn't looking too good tweeps...


Just another dumb spam that tricked me and so I opened it. I knew better but thought what if.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Nath Colby" <>
Date: Aug 14, 2009 11:28 AM

We had previously written to you based on the information made available by late Ms Grace Knox moments before she passed on, but we are not quite sure if it go you or not.
Kindly inform us if you are by any means related to Ms. Grace Knox who  named you as her Next Of Kin on documents made available to us and subsequently confirmed for approval by her Attorney whom we have written to secure release of all such documents to respective affiliates or participants (You, our Company, her Bank etc)moments we establish contacts with you and confirmation to such attestation made positive.
Mr. Richard Lebron who is Chargé d'Affaires will exercise his extra jurisdiction and facilitate the disbursement of the inherent fund upon your approval.
In appreciation of her meritorious and laborious services while she worked with us before she passed on and as part of our responsibility we would like to ensure that her benefits and life savings as declared by her Bank goes to you as her named family member (Next Of Kin)
It is our obligation to formally notify you of her bequest and  so furnish you with available avenues by which you can claim them.

We sincerely await your acknowledgment.

Kind regards,
Nath Mtisi Colby.
G & Co
Consultants and Chartered Accountants

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quickblogger for Google android

Testing with quickblogger for the Google android.

(413) 782-8372 (H)
(413) 205-8584 (C)

androblogger for Google android

I am using the androblogger app for the Google android phone...just testing this out to compare it to the quick blogger app. which one do you use, recommend or prefer to use?

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm getting rid of a bunch of stuff, for FREE, I don't want to deal with a tag sale or flea market this year. Yes you can have it! Offering it to my friends first. If you want it or know someone who does, let me know. Can you recommend LOCAL charities to bring the stuff to? I will update my status as I list the items to offer...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

on our way to @westwarren for a bday party to celebrate my nephew's 2nd BDay!
a Message from my brother but no phone call..."Take care. im on my way 2 the middle east. i will c ya in a year. "

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Facebook Down. Twitter Down. Social Media Meltdown...
Serious Twitter Outage Ongoing, Denial Of Service Attack (Updated)
Facebook, too?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

13 Things You Can Do When Twitter is Down

How to Cope when 'Something is Technically Wrong'...It's an anxiety-provoking moment.

You have your tweet ready to go, your all-important thought to share with the world at large, and Twitter informs you that it's not accepting Tweets. When you're not enthused about seeing the giant Fail Whale sharing the bad news, and feel your excitement waning from the 'Something is technically wrong' message, here are thirteen other things you can do as you wait for the team at Twitter to fix the problem:

1. Write a quick blog post. Your blog, that other online publishing outlet you used to use before Twitter invaded the blogosphere. Elaborate on that 140-character thought and really share your ideas with the world.

2. Do some facial yoga. Bust out some yoga moves that will give those facial muscles a quick workout.

3. Place your order for a Fail Whale t-shirt. Consider it a justified purchase as you continue to play in Twitterville.

4. Check in with Helpful advice from this site (push 'refresh' for more insights) include: 'When Twitter is down, yell 'favorite' at attractive strangers,' and the ever so wise strategy, 'When Twitter is down, move on to the next thing.'

5. Clean up your desktop. Delete those extra images, files and other desktop clutter you no longer need and empty out the recycling bin. A quick desktop vacuuming can be very refreshing.

6. Find a new screensaver. Why are you still using that default screensaver? Find a cool and trendy screensaver to keep yourself occupied with some visual acrobats. At least for a few minutes.

7. Browse the Twitter Down Art Collection. This talented graphic designer has created an attractive set of pictures and messages to replace our joyful whale friend.

8. Get some fresh air. If you're in Twitter mode and rearing to go on that tweet, some fresh air could be all you need to keep those creative juices flowing. Step outside, take a quick walk around the block and return to Twitter in a few minutes for an update.

9. Join FriendFeed. If your compulsion to Tweet is getting the best of you, join this growing social community where you can comment, find friends and post your thoughts in real-time just like the good ol' days.

10. Consider sharing your immediate thoughts via video. Seesmic is leading the way in video conversations, encouraging people to show, not tell the world, what they're doing.

11. Give Pownce a whirl. Pownce is another application that makes it easy to share links, files and thoughts with a quick blast from your web browser. There's no character limit with this one, so you're free to micro-blog or write an anthology as you please . Go on, share because you care.

12. Take a power nap. Set the alarm on your phone and enjoy a quick snooze. Right at your desk, if you have to.

13. Call Mom. You know you haven't called her for a while now, so send her a quick message via Skype or communicate the old-fashioned way. Pick up the phone, and enjoy the freedom of no word limits.

So there you have it, thirteen things you can do when there's a Twitter outage. When your Tweet really can't wait, there are plenty of ways to cast that thought into the blogosphere...until Twitter returns.

Tuesdays are Grocery Days...

Tuesdays are great days to find deals. Traditionally, Tuesdays have been grocery days in newpapers across the country and a good day to head to the grocery store after the shelves have been replenished and store traffic is low. Look for advertisement in your local newspaper or circulars and match your free grocery coupons with deals that are going on mid-week, when grocers want to drum up business. Many grocers use the mid-week period to let you get double your grocery coupons savings. You will find that the aisles are easier to navigate and you can also maximize your savings by taking advantage of a slow grocery day along with your free grocery coupons. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

been keeping myself quite busy...too much to do, fell behind and trying to get caught up...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back To School: Choosing The Best Backpack

Back To School: Choosing the BEST Backpack

Can you identify a well-made backpack?

What do four textbooks, plust three notebooks and a host of electronic devices in a backpack equal? Risk of back pain, or worse, if kids aren't careful. Experts say kids should never carry more than 15% of their body weight. Consider these features when shopping for the right bag:

  • Two Padded Shoulder Straps reduce pressure. Contoured (as opposed to straight) straps permit free arm movement and avoid prssure under the arms.

  • A Hip Belt transfers some weight from the back and shoulders downward, resulting in a more even distribution of the load.

  • Reflective Material makes kids more visible at dawn, dusk or on dark, foggy days.

  • Multiple Compartments spread weight around while keeping items secure and accessible.

  • Bags with Air Pads can provide extra support to the lower back if your kid chooses to carry it or opt for a wheeled backpack to really take the load off.

10 Commandments of Being the Parent of a Teen

10 Commandments of Being the Parent of a Teen
I've only been the parent of a teen for a few weeks now, so, I acknowledge that I have a lot to learn.
With apologies to, um, God, let me share with you what I have gathered thus far:
1. Thou shalt not make any small talk with random strangers in line at the grocery, for this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
2. Remember thou art for transportation and money purposes only. Any other attempts at relevancy shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
3. Thou shalt not attempt to engage guest teens riding in thou's vehicle in either verbal or eye contact, yet, thou shall neither be totally quiet in said vehicle, either, for thou shall be deemed "weird", and, this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
4. Thou shalt not covet thine own small electronics, for they are no longer really thou's, and, any attempt to retrieve them from teen shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
5. Even though thou knows better, thou shalt try thou's hardest to refrain from emitting the words. "Fella, ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh", when female teen is talking about boys for this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
6. Thou shalt not make any reference in public that thou has driven the teen to an event lest anyone find out that the 13 year old didn't drive herself to said event for this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
7. Thou shalt not play music of any kind that can be heard outside the car if thou is engaging in any activity such as a picnic near the car for this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
8. Thou shalt not perform any cheerleading moves in public despite their effectiveness for getting said teen to do what you ask for this actually might affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
9. Though shalt not converse with or otherwise acknowledge a teacher outside of school business, even when said teacher is an actual friend for this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way.
10. Thou seriously shalt not ask, "Where are they going?" when teen says two people are "going out" for this is not nearly as amusing to the teen and this shall affect the teen's reputation in a negative way

Job Sites For Teens and other financial info...

Job Sites For Teens

Groove Job: teen employment-focused website that offers a diversity of cool opportunities. Perfect for part-time, hourly and seasonal/summer positions. Those with arty abilities can put those skills to professional use and get paid for their talents. It could be a truly great experience for college-minded, creative teens looking to break into advertising and other related fields upon graduation. This site offers not only cool part-time and freelance work opportunities, but also unique public art projects, grants and internships for teens as well.

This site was specifically established for kids 14 and up to search through tons of job opportunities in your local area (or beyond). They also provide links to articles that offer guidance on how to improve their job searches, tips for obtaining employment, information on labor laws and even how to develop a resume.
Offers jobs for teens, but also articles on how to find the best job and tips on how to excel. Practice smart habits at your current job and you will be noticed! If you do not yet have a job, sign up with SnagAJob now.

PAYjr Chore & Allowance Statistics
Most popular chores assigned
1 - Make Bed
2 - Clean Room
3 - Feed Pet

Highest Paying Chores
1 - Mowing yard, $20 (highest amount paid)
2 - Watch Sibling, $15
3 - Wash Car, $15

Lowest Paying Chores
1 - Brush Teeth, $.01
2 - Layout clothes for tomorrow, $.01
3 - Do homework, $.01

Odd Chores and Stats
Changing underwear pays $.05
Capping toothpaste pays $.02
Staying awake for sermons pays $.10
Waking up happy pays $.05

How Much a High Schooler Should Know...
The Jump$tart Coalition asserts that all young people graduating from our nation's high schools should be able to take individual responsibility for their personal economic wellbeing. Broadly speaking, a financially literate high school graduate should know how to:
· Find, evaluate, and apply financial information
· Set financial goals and plan to achieve them
· Develop income-earning potential and the ability to save
· Use financial services effectively
· Meet financial obligations
· Build and protect wealth
Find out more about the national standards of finacial literacy for 4th graders, 8th graders and high school graduates

Teen Spending
It is estimated that teens will spend close to 155 billion dollars this year. That's an increase of more than fifty percent in five years. Hot on the trail of these passionate purchasers are marketing trackers. With the average seventeen year old spending over 100 dollars each week, marketers have found a new focus. For many marketing people, their job is almost as fun as being a teen...Read Full Article

Washington Post Censors Video Of Dana Milbank Calling Hillary Clinton A "Mad Bitch"

Washington Post Censors Video Of Dana Milbank Calling Hillary Clinton A "Mad Bitch"

Ridiculous, panty-raiding Washington Postcolumnist Dana Milbank is partaking in further jackassery on behalf of the legendary paper yet again, this time, making videos where he's calling Hillary Clinton a "mad bitch." The Washington Post pulled the video, but someone kept it.

Milbank likes tries to be funny and cool and things that traditional newspaper columnists aren't! Which is funny, again, because - as made evident by his last appearance here: his embarrassing HuffPo-diss-hiss punditry on CNN - he hates bloggers, who do that kind of thing for a living, because we're not journalists or something. But that kind of doesn't make sense, because here he is, making a video about the Obama Beer Summit, suggesting that all parties involved "got it all wrong" and also, that Hillary Clinton should drink "Mad Bitch Beer." The Washington Post pulled the video, but Media Matters still has it up. Whoops!

So, why'd the Washington Post pull it? Per Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall:

Says Kris Coratti, Director of Communications at the Post: "The video was a satirical piece that lampooned people of all stripes. There was a section of the video that went too far, so we have removed the piece from our website."

I'm not sure anybody on this site could get away with joking about what a "mad bitch" Hillary Clinton is - lots of other people, sure - but then again: maybe we could! But we wouldn't, because - even more important than the overplayed outrage factor over certain people referring to Hillary Clinton that way with completely non-ironic inflections - it's just not that funny. Furthermore, the joke - which the Washington Post noted as lampooning people of all stripes - maybe could've been funny if Milbank were satirizing some of the ridiculous names people come up with for their microbrews, but he wasn't.

Coming up with beer names for politicians is comically weak, and there's nothing less funny than a bad joke. No doubt Milbank - who called Nico Pitney a "dick" after his CNN appearance with him - has probably said far worse things than this somewhere on camera, so maybe despite the Washington Post's statement to the contrary, they just pulled the video because they're utterly embarrassed over how weak-kneed that stuff is. We've found a few comedy classes in DC for Milbank to check out and sharpen up his skills, and until then, look forward to his next effort.

FCC questions Apple on blocked Google software

FCC questions Apple on blocked Google software

Apple Inc. has been asked by federal regulators to explain why it won't allow Google Inc.'s voice application to run on the iPhone.

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday sent letters to Apple and AT&T Inc., the only wireless phone company allowed to sell the iPhone, to explain the decision. The agency asked them to respond by Aug. 21.

The informal inquiry appears to reflect the tougher approach that regulators in the Obama administration plan to take toward business, if they believe competition is being threatened.

The FCC is already looking into the wireless-industry practice of exclusive handset deals in which only one carrier is allowed to sell a certain device.

AT&T, for example, has had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone for more than two years. Only Sprint Nextel Corp. (S 4.00, -0.02, -0.50%) can sell the Palm(PALM 15.73, +0.28, +1.81%) Pre while Verizon Wireless has exclusive rights to the BlackBerry Storm.

Critics complain that such deals hinder competition and deny consumers their choice of network provider.

"Recent news reports raise questions about practices in the mobile marketplace," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement.

Google's voice application performs some functions similar to Apple's own software tools and it potentially could enable iPhone users to communicate more cheaply - the result of which could be less revenue for Apple and AT&T.

Apple (AAPL 163.39, +0.60, +0.37%) and AT&T (T 26.23, -0.11, -0.42%) could not immediately be reached for comment, though AT&T has said that Apple decides which applications to allow on the iPhone.

Google (GOOG 443.05, -2.59, -0.58%) said in a statement late Friday: "We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users, for example by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers. We will supply the information that the commission has requested."

If the FCC does not find the answers satisfactory, the agency could open a formal investigation.

Tim Burton - Upset About Politically Correct Parents

Tim Burton - Burton Upset About Politically Correct Parents

Tim Burton

Moviemaker TIM BURTON has blasted politically correct parents for ruining fright nights for their kids.
The director fears today's children rarely get to see films that scare them, insisting a little bit of terror is good for youngsters.
He tells WENN, "I don't know why adults keep fighting that. They keep fighting the fairy tales that have been told since the beginning of mankind. They're fighting Pinocchio. They forget what it's like to be kids. Kids like to be scared.
"Most great children's literature is politically incorrect, so I don't know why they can't get used to it by now.
"Dr. Seuss, there's something wrong with him. His stuff was, at the time, considered having communist implications. I don't see it myself but certain people do see those kinds of things.
"Real people, real life, your neighbours - that's scary."
And the Nightmare Before Christmas moviemaker insists such political correctness often makes it hard for him to do his job.
He explains, "When I was first doing stuff like Beetlejuice or Batman I used to get a lot of s**t for things being dark... When I was working on Nightmare Before Christmas I had endless arguments with the studio heads who said, 'You can't have a main character that's got no eyeballs. How is someone gonna feel about somebody with just eye sockets?'
"It's those kinds of things that really kind of wear you down."

The Pope To Release His Own Album!

Perez Hilton: The Pope To Release His Own Album!: "Turns out Pope Benedict XVI will soon release a record composed of Lauretan litanies and prayers."


The record, Alma Mater, is going to be released through Geffen Records. And, according to execs at Geffen, listeners will be "shocked" by the Pope's "incredible voice" and will feature him using five different languages.

The album will have eight tracks of music with Benedict singing one song and the others will feature music accompanying his prayers.

The Pope had originally been working on an album with the Choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome.

That's when Geffen Pres, Colin Barlow, says, "We travelled to Rome, heard some of the music and realised it was a beautiful piece of music and something that actually could be an incredible record for us to work on. It's very much about delivering a really brilliant piece of music and making sure we treat it with the respect it deserves."

And there's a nice outcome coming from this. The proceeds will go to provide music education for underprivileged kids worldwide.

Expect the album to be released on November 30th of this year. Just in time for Christmas.

What a coincidence!

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