Thoughts on Incentives – Government Edition

Jan 11th, 2017 Politics

Last week, my brother-in-law asked on Facebook if it made sense for schools to measure a middle school music teacher’s competence by the students’ ability compared to those in other feeder programs as they moved up to high school. The responses pointed out some valid arguments against this method, such as the myriad of variables that go into how nimbly a child can pull that bow past a…

Finley With Scripting

Jan 3rd, 2017 Kid Stuff

When we were going through various diagnostic sessions with Finley, one question that came up again and again was if he was “scripting.” This is a term that is thrown around enough that if you search for “scripting autism” you’ll get helpful results on Google (though “scripting” by itself is apparently more associated with programming on the Goog). To sum up the term, scripting is…

Agents, Anxiety, and Writing

Nov 4th, 2016 Books

Anxiety runs in my family. It’s a trait on the Gordon side, passed down along with above average height (which somehow skipped over me) and sitting on the carpet with only one knee up. For example, Grandpa Doug was probably the best-loved high school biology teacher Redding will ever know, entertaining thousands of students over his long years of teaching. His stories are some of…

SAMi Seizure Monitor Hates Cats

Oct 19th, 2016 Kid Stuff

We’ve had our share of seizure scares over the past few months. After a particularly frightening incident, we broke down and bought the SAMi-3 Sleep Activity Monitor, which is recommended by the Epilepsy Foundation to help worried parents get a decent night’s sleep. The camera itself is pretty great (except for the dumb limitation of having to be hooked up to a iOS device). The idea…

Problems With Balancing Blogs

Oct 12th, 2016 Creating a Platform

Every few months, I get super motivated about creating a platform for my writing. Writing’s something I oddly enjoy, a cathartic release from the daily grind of numbers and IRS deadlines, so why not attempt to get people to read it, too? Maybe up that Adsense revenue from $5 a month to $6. Back in high school, finding the audience was easy. The goal was…

Front Row Seat To People Sucking

Oct 5th, 2016 Other

My office has a great view of a very frustrating intersection. Accidents are a weekly occurrence, typically caused by some speedy driver thinking he can just make it, only to be proven wrong in the worst possible way. Everyone so far has walked away from the scene, shaken and hopefully a little more sober. Yesterday, though, a triplet of drivers managed to take that impatience…

A Series of Unfortunate Bedtimes

Sep 30th, 2016 Books

Several years ago, I remember commenting to a friend that Finley didn’t get into characters the way most kids do. By that age, I had already memorized every Mario character, GI Joe, Thundercat, and Dino Rider created. Yet Finley never really got invested in any of the brightly colored characters parading across the screen. That eventually changed with Phineas and Ferb and, much more annoyingly,…

Minecraft Bridges Generational Gap

Sep 21st, 2016 Games, Kid Stuff

Back in my day, The Sims was a phenomenon. Everyone was playing the game, from Granny down the street to the teenage basement-dwelling punk. Finally, a game where you could make your avatar do exciting things like. . .go to work, and exercise, and cook dinner, and use the bathroom. Why would you want to run around like some super hero saving the world when you…

Warcraft Adventures Less Than Kid Friendly

Sep 16th, 2016 Games

One of my favorite games growing up was the original Zork on the Atari 8-bit. I sucked at it, for sure, but I remember spending countless hours mapping out the the huge cavern and the dam lobby, not exactly knowing the point of the game but sensing something great from that Grue-begotten adventure. For years after that, I couldn’t get enough of adventure games, something that…

Bullying Really Does Start Young

Sep 15th, 2016 Kid Stuff

I once read an article about a man who had grown up oblivious to the emotions of others. I can’t recall the details of his situation, but much later in life he went through medical treatments that allowed him to gain the super power of emotion. He hated it. It totally ruined his comfy middle class life. It’s like the 30 Rock episode where Tracy Jordan…