Friday, March 13, 2009


My oldest is 15 and took the PSAT for the second year - her school urges them to start taking it in the 9th grade for practice.

What is impressing her? All the lovely and expensive mailers from colleges she has never heard of. In a year when units of mail are down dramatically, my lovely teenager is impressed by old fashioned mailed brochures.

I view it that mail isn't otherwise part of my children's overdeluged lives of digital images. It now has become "special."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ah, Daylight Savings Time!

This is the first school morning after Daylight Savings Time kicked in, "springing forward" for an hour Sunday morning.

Yesterday began the ritual of recalling how many clocks we have in our home. As the kids (and we) get older, whose job it is to change all these clocks come into question. This year, I noted we have more and more "automatic" clocks that reset themselves from a central server: cell phones, cable, etc. But we still have clocks on the microwave, clocks in our cars, wall clocks in the kitchen, living room, dining room...

We, as most folks, in theory have fewer watches. My three kids all have watches...somewhere. But two of them usually look at their cellphones instead.

I have something like 6 watches. Why do I have six watches? Well, I have one for the gym and working out. I have one dress watch. I have an inexpensive watch in green and another in red. Two others were gifts that usually sit in the drawer.

I finally have pulled out the pin in the three I rarely wear and they have become my backup watches. So that leaves three to remember to change yesterday...or I'll put them on later and not realize I hadn't changed the time.

Why are we doing this again? There is a nice piece on the origins of Daylight Savings Time on the US Naval Observatory's pages:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mabinogi now has elves...and why that matters at my house

Nexon, a South Korean gaming company known for the game Maplestory, has moved elves into Mabinogi. You would think that you had minted gold coins in our house.

Mabnogi, a "free to play" massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), runs the core game free and then allows you to buy more functions as features with a Nexon card, found at your local Target, 7-11, or other retailer. My son buys cards every so often to get more pets, weapons, and gear.

My two daughters, who both play the game as well, are more frugal. One found that there was a NPG (non-player character) giving away Elf cards for free and told the other. They spent quite a bit of time yesterday trying clothes on their new elves and chattering about a new expansion area in the game that was launching.

My kids have been fickle to games and virtual worlds for some time, drifting from one to another. Mabinogi has something for all three and is run very well. All three kids can play together on our home network system because we don't have to pay a monthly fee per user, but can decide to invest their hard-earned real world money to upgrade their experiences.

In addition, Mabinogi keeps freshening the game, adding features and places to keep them excited.

Would I rather they be reading a book? They do...long into the night so I need to return to quietly turn off their lights over sleeping heads.

The real magic is it has my 11 year old writing. She is cueing off of Mabinogi characters, creating her own stories for up to three hours a day on weekends. She has compiled a fabulous mini-library of engaging stories, taking these digital adventures in the world of words.

I've only played once. I guess I'm stuck in the glory days of my Star Wars Galaxies Wookie that I invested so much time on!