naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (self-portrait)
2010-10-31 12:00 pm
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naturedance: this is me reading Walden (me reading Walden)
2030-10-31 01:00 pm
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naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:56 am

Books rec: Disney Fairies chapterbook series

There's a whole series of these, and many of them are also available as audiobooks. They are pleasant, and teach all kinds of useful life lessons in an accessible way.

http://www.kidsbookseries.com/disney-fairies-chapter-books/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Fairies

I've found many of them decently priced used via Amazon Smile, and our local public library has some of them.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:35 am

Gadget rec: Wii Fit

Nintendo Wii with Balance Board and the Wii Fit Plus disc, along with the Sports Resort disc... I've found them in good used condition at http://www.gamestop.com/ .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Fit_Plus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_Sports_Resort

Great for improving balance and physical coordination. Especially good for times when the weather outside or the available yard space does not let the kids just go run around, or getting the whole crew to the park is too logistically complicated.

Grown-ups need to participate when the kids go into multiplayer game play, to assist if/when competition gets too confrontational... reminding everyone that we're all going for our Personal Bests is so important.

Make sure everyone understands the rules: wearing the safety wrist-strap for the wiimote is REQUIRED (otherwise the wiimote will go flying, possibly wrecking the television).

I've tried several other game discs for the Wii and have been unimpressed. The only ones we've had any success with, aside from the ones listed above, are ones from the Just Dance series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Dance_(video_game)
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:17 am

Website, TV, and App rec: Reading Rainbow Skybrary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_Rainbow

https://www.readingrainbow.com/

Excellent, excellent, excellent for kids as they learn to read. There's an annual cost of the app and it's totally, completely worth it.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:13 am

kids TV rec: Doc McStuffins

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_McStuffins

Great for the preschool set... if the kid has watched this they have less anxiety about seeing doctors or dentists, and get good background toward understanding basic bodily processes, self-care and first aid.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:10 am

kids TV rec: Wild Kratts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Kratts

Live-action and animated adventures, with great info about animals and ecology. Great for the elementary school set.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 08:03 am

kids TV rec: The Backyardigans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Backyardigans

Adorable without being insipid, and of course a backyard can become anywhere you can imagine. Good for the preschool to early elementary school set.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-02-04 07:52 am

kids TV rec: The Octonauts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Octonauts

Adorable, educational, adventurous, ocean-centric... great for the pre-school to early elementary school set. And the rabbit engineer who builds and repairs the submarines is a girl.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 10:36 pm

Books rec: Mothers Almanac, Fathers Almanac, Family Almanac

So these are all somewhat dated, but there's useful stuff in them, presented in a way that makes sense to me because my own parents (who are utterly wonderful and awesome) used the early printings of these books in raising me.

The Father's Almanac by S. Adams Sullivan
https://smile.amazon.com/Fathers-Almanac-S-Adams-Sullivan/dp/0385426259/

The Mother's Almanac by Marguerite Kelly
https://smile.amazon.com/Mothers-Almanac-Marguerite-Kelly/dp/0385468776/

The Mother's Almanac Goes to School by Marguerite Kelly
https://smile.amazon.com/Mothers-Almanac-Goes-School-Twelve/dp/0385131550/

Marguerite Kelly's Family Almanac
https://smile.amazon.com/Marguerite-Kellys-Family-Almanac-Family/dp/0671792938/
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 08:45 pm

Website rec: Aha! Parenting

I subscribe to their blog's Facebook feed so I get reminders of this stuff whenever I go to FB, and also go to the website's blog section and parenting tools section, seeking by topic and by age group... there's lots of great content and things to think about incorporating into my own kid-mentoring strategies.

http://www.ahaparenting.com/

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog

http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/easy-ways-to-improve-your-parenting-no-resolutions-necessary

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/Unconditional-love-creates-Emotional-Intelligence

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/10_Secrets_Every_Parent_Needs_to_Know_about_Saying_No

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/Obedience_Why_Do_You_Have_To_Tell_Them_Five_Times

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/10_Ways_to_Raise_a_Competent_Confident_Child

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/Giving_your_child_the_gift_of_abundance--without_spoiling

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/youre_not_the_boss_of_me

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/Decoding_Your_Childs_SOS_behavior

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/the-secret-of-raising-a-resilient-child

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/what-to-say-when-your-child-is-jealous-of-their-sibling

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/What_Part_of_No_Doesnt_Your_Kid_Understan

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/What_To_Do_Sibling_Fight

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/The_Secret_of_Raising_a_Self-Disciplined_Child

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/5_Ways_to_Get_Kids_to_Help_Around_the_House

http://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/infographic-parenting-siblings-rivalry
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 08:40 pm

Toy rec: Magna-tiles

So there are a bunch of different magnetic construction toys available now, but... not all of them are durable, and not all of them have good strong magnets.

I've had good luck with Magna-tiles. Most kids seem to start by making two-dimensional shapes, then rapidly start building upwards into three dimensions, with increasing complexity. They're great for making abstract art shapes, house structures for small figurine toys or dolls, and guest-houses for any fairies who may happen to visit.

Especially for kids who may have difficulty with fine-motor control enough to enjoy Lego, Magna-tiles seem to be a good thing.

http://www.magnatiles.com/
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 08:33 pm

Toy rec: Melissa and Doug

Good, imagination-friendly wooden toys are difficult to find these days. I've had good luck with plenty of the Melissa and Doug toys.

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/our-toys/developmental-toys/blocks-and-building-sets/

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/shop-by/skill/cognitive/

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/shop-by/skill/fine-motor/

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/shop-by/skill/large-motor/

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/shop-by/skill/imagination/

When I was first buying them as gifts for others, years back, a bunch of their toys were Made in USA, which means a lot to me. Nowadays I don't think they make much here, but read the labels.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 08:11 pm

Toy rec: Green Toys

I've given these as gifts over the years to various kids, and they're great. Durable, unfussy, basic colors, and dishwasher-safe for when they get dirty or the kid's been sick. They're good outdoors, indoors, and in the bath.

And OK, yeah, I kept the rocket astronauts set for myself.

http://www.greentoys.com

(I have been able to find them sometimes at a discount at TJMaxx.)
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2017-01-28 05:23 pm

An additional dimension

Within the past year or two, I've found myself in the role of fairy godmother and extra bonus grownup to four girls aged from elementary to middle school. This change represents a major addition and expansion to my life, and while it's introduced more complexity, I'm thankful every day that I have this opportunity.

I've learned a lot during this time, and I'm wanting to write down what websites, books and products have really helped. So I'm going to make posts here with a new tag: extra bonus grownup.

(And yeah, I'm still working full-time, and my career is still high-priority, but because of job changes I've been unable to attend my usual professional conferences, which saddens me.)
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2014-02-20 10:46 pm

New website for 2014

I’ve finally admitted to myself that I need a single place to archive online all of my conference presentations, workshops, tutorial materials and such.

So I've set up Adele: Rolling in the Geeks at adeleshakal.com.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
2013-01-20 02:31 pm
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Conference Poster Design Recommendation

If you need to create a poster presentation for a conference, read this first.

http://colinpurrington.com/tips/academic/posterdesign
naturedance: www.lopsa.org (LOPSA)
2013-01-17 03:01 pm

Thoughts from USENIX LISA "Advancing Women in Computing" Panel

So, I was a panelist at USENIX LISA 2012. :-)

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa12

https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa12/advancing-women-computing-panel

Here are my random notes to myself regarding that panel participation... Read more... )
naturedance: this is me on a suspension bridge (me backpacking)
2012-02-04 07:33 am
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Thinking about blogging, and why not to blog

This article caught my eye this morning: 10 Reasons Your Small Business Should't Start A Blog at Entrepreneur magazine.

I've also been thinking about all the personal SEO stuff that flies around whenever a new social media site launches (yeah, G+ included, stuff 'n bother... and the now-obligatory (ugh) Facebook...). I think many of the items on the list for small businesses also hold true for personal web-presence-type marketing.

I'd rather make a conscious choice about where and why I have an online presence rather than leaving a trail of disused blogs and sites lingering... I wonder what percentage of the internet is sites and blogs that haven't been updated in six months, a year, three years.

Food for thought over my coffee this morning, that's for sure.

/yawns sleepily
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (self-portrait)
2012-01-30 09:20 am

Because I keep losing this link: MOOcards

Some clever friends and organizations have printed up mini-business cards rather than full-sized business cards or trifold brochures... the place they've used to order the bright-colored eye-catching mini-cards is MOOcards: http://us.moo.com/

Their pricing is apparently listed at http://us.moo.com/help/faq/costs-and-discounts.html and they have a blog with all kinds of ideas of what can be done with their products: http://www.moo.com/blog/

I don't know much about other places that might make such small cards in bulk, or if there might be cheaper alternatives to get them... but a quick bit of websearching yields the following links that might be alternate possibilities:
http://www.allthingsbusinesscards.com/square_mini_business_cards.htm
http://www.overnightprints.com/minibusinesscards
http://www.zazzle.com/mini+skinny+businesscards