Give Credit to Single Parents

I have to say – there are not too many days that go by where I think to myself at least once a day “I cannot imagine being a single parent”. I was sick yesterday and all I could do was lay in bed…moving was not a real option. Thankfully – I have A to help out with Evan so as soon as they got home – she kept him busy, fed him, got him ready for bed, and put him to bed, cleaned up, let Colby out, fed the cats, etc. I could not imagine having to do all of this when I was feeling like I was and yet many single moms and dads do it everyday. I give single parents all the credit in the world because their kids’ needs come first – regardless of what they might want to do, how they feel, etc. Being a parent – you see single parents completely different than people that do not have kids…and thinking back to all the people I know that raised their kids in a single parent household – you have my upmost respect.

Generation Social

As a history major – I tend to look at everything and find trends, think about what historians will write about our time, and all kinds of fun things that drive Amy crazy. The other day while I was thinking about playing Super Mario 3 on my Wii, I thought about the definition of being social (“interactions between people”) and then thought that my son Evan’s generation will most likely view our generation as very unsocial. We wrote letters that took days to deliver, interacted with people very limitedly, played games by ourselves, and worked independently.

Our definition of communication has completely changed. When I thought about it, I went to college before cell phones were really popular. If you wanted to get in touch with someone it was by phone, email, or by the chance of meeting someone. No one had digital cameras so most of our college pictures are tucked away in a shoebox somewhere in one of our friend’s closets. We had the beginning of networked games, but our interaction there was limited to typing in “hi” or “Don’t go in the dungeon without me Ken!”.

Now – we have instant access to other people’s statuses and whereabouts by the second. SMS, email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, cell phones, etc – people share what they are doing that moment, while other people can comment, look at your whereabouts, get notified the second any change has been made (RSS, etc), read about what you are doing/what you have done all in a community setting. People take photos and videos now and within seconds share the photos and video with family and friends…and even “strangers”. If you want to get ahold of someone – you can do so electronically and it is a good chance I will be talking to whomever I want within a matter of moments, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months.

The definition of face to face communication has also changed. The majority of us have high speed connections which allow us to chat via video so we can see our friends and family at any time, any place within seconds. No more waiting to see cousin x until our yearly trip to Germany. Same goes with business. Why have your office fly to somewhere to sit in a room with others while you could save money and time by doing business via video? Of course it is still nice to meet in person on occasion, but it is not always needed or the best solution.

Even gaming – all of my favorite games are highly interactive with my friends online. I cannot even tell you how many times I had to explain that I was a girl and not a 10 year old kid playing So Com II because we planned our attacks and defense using voice. I have friends online that I know I can play games with at almost any time…from scrabble to planning a sniper attack on the enemy.

On trips, I take photos with my iPhone and send them instantly to family members so they can see their grandson in his latest cute pose. Sharing no longer waits.

I look forward to talking to Evan about how he perceives me and my generation compared to what he knows and understands about the world. I am sure he will one day comment on how crazy it was to not have instant or almost instant access to everyone and everything.

Generation Instant Access

I recently went on a trip which required a long car ride with my son. I figured he would do fine – just as I did when I was his age. I did not have a DVD player and was entertained by just looking out the window or listening to my parent’s 8 tracks. When Amy suggested we bring along a portable DVD player so Evan could watch DVDs in the car to keep him content I was very against it. I have a thing about him not being too dependent on constant entertainment (TV) but in the end, Amy would not give up and we brought the DVD player. Evan spent almost 20 hours in the car in a 4 day period and I do not think we heard one cry, or scream. I am still not excited with the DVD player in the car, but after listening to Amy talk about the grad class she is taking on technology and this generation – it made me think.

This generation of kids has just about everything they want entertainment-wise at any moment. Not only do they have TV – they have several TVs. Not only do they have several TVs, they have hundreds of channels. Not only do they have hundreds of channels, they have the ability to watch their shows/movies without commercials using DVRs, TiVOs, etc. They do not need to get in the car and go to the theatre to watch a movie – they do not even need to go to Blockbuster – they can just automatically download it or order it using their Apple TV or cable box. So – with all of this – there is more. I carry around movies and shows on my iPhone so now they can even watch what the want, listen to what they want anywhere. Instant access to entertainment everywhere, every second of every day.

I will be very interested to see how this turns out long term. Will tuning out become the hip thing in 10 years or will being connected to constant entertainment get even more personal?

super snow!

We got some super snow over the last few days and I am loving it! Yesterday we got so much snow it was a two time snowblower day which is always fun. This is by far the most snow I have ever seen here (Chicago) since moving from the Buffalo area and our streets are covered and it is getting difficult to look to the left and right when pulling out of neighborhood streets because of the big snow piles. The snow is so wet and heavy (with a good inch or so of slush under it all) that the snow blower was barely making it in some deep spots…but thank goodness we have one or I would have to abandon my car and only use the Land Rover until it melted because it is too heavy to shovel.

It was nice to be able to take a break mid-day and go out with Evan for a little bit. We took him outside in his snow suit and pulled him around in his sled which he liked (when we went fast). I look forward to when he is a little older and we can build snowmen and forts together…and gang up on Amy with snowballs. 😉

Welcome 2008

I return to blogging a year older and a little more relaxed now that the holidays are done. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and are ready for a great year! I am in the midst of catching up with work, and getting everything back in order. I learned that the holiday time is more stressful and needs better planning now that we have 2 birthdays (me and Evan) and Christmas and New Years all within a little over 2 weeks. I figure by next week I will be ready to get back to posting more. Happy New Year!

First Days Working From Home

Well, the first two days of working at home have gone great. I have gotten more stuff done before 8am than I can usually do by the time 8pm comes around. I am able to get up, spend some time with my son, workout, shower, and then start working all in the time it would usually take me to get to my office. During lunch, Triscuit, Evan, and I go on a nice walk and then come back for some more work. Not to mention, I can now also stop working much earlier and enjoy some time with the family. Good times. Why did I not “retire” (as Dad Muller would say) earlier? All the while, I get to work with interesting clients on really cool projects which forces me to keep building my skill set.

Evan is here and home!

Evan on the ride home

Well, the full story is available on his web site. He is absolutely wonderful and we are excited to have him in our home. I never thought I could be so tired, but hopefully we can get some sleep tonight. My posts will be very limited over the next few days so happy holidays to all!

getting close to the big day.

Every day Amy and I get another day closer to meeting our son Evan. We are both so excited about this we can barely stand it. Every day I get a phone call from Amy, I think “this is it!”…but nothing yet. I might not blog for a few days in the next few weeks, so if I go “silent”, time to move on over to Evan’s blog which I will keep up to date for sure.

wordpress photo and gallery plugin.

After a long search and evaluation process for a WordPress plugin to fit my needs, I decided to go with a WordPress plugin called fGallery. I started off looking at the Coppermine plugin but after reading about how development had been stopped and the reasons why, I plugged on to find something that would not require any separate software install and offered seamless integration with WordPress. After playing around with it for a bit, I integrated it on Evan’s web site. So far, so good. Now if only I had a plugin that would pull my photos from iPhoto, post them into WordPress and perhaps another online service ;). Hmm…
[tags]WordPress plugins, photos, fGallery[/tags]

feedburner (email posts) error.

Thanks for everyone that signed up to read the Evan news via email. I am sorry to say though that what you signed up for was to have these (jappler) posts emailed to you and that is my fault…I forgot to change one piece of code. Please unsubscribe from this by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email you get with this post in it, and then go back out to evan.jappler.com to sign up for what you wanted to actually read (the correct code is up there and tested).
[tags]jappler.com, Evan, feedburner[/tags]