Saturday, December 24, 2011

Very pregnant mama

Trying to relax in her computer corner :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The 12 Days of Unschooling

From some Bunnies:

(sing to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas)

On the First Day of Unschooling, My Wondering Eyes Did See . . . 

A treehouse in a big tree
Two tie-dye shirts

Three French curse words

Four bird calls

Five ice cream sundaes (for breakfast!)

Six hours of gaming

Seven empty boxes

Eight toddlers nursing

Nine hula hoopers

Ten trampolines

Eleven LARPers LARPing

Twelve teens a-texting

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bubble Samurai Flash Mob

Some folks from SFBUN having more fun than is allowed :-)

Larry Devich
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Saturday, December 17, 2011


So it's 38 degrees out and 11:00 PM so of course Serenity is at a Birthday Party outdoors! All Spanish speakers except for us :-). Happy 5th birthday to Chelsea!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cannon ball story UPDATED

OK, maybe the dude is right to be pissed... look at the stinking hole!  They really could have been killed.  That thing went all the way through the house!  Yikes. 

Caption: An exit hole next to a 2nd floor window is seen in the rear of the house that the cannonball passed through when the "Mythbusters" TV show accidentally shot a cannonball through a house in Dublin, CA Tuesday December 6th, 2011.By Michael Short/Special to the Chronicle

Full story is HERE.
--  Larry Devich I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11b

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 'Mythbusters' cannonball hits minivan in Dublin

I would be HONORED if the Mythbusters hit my car with a cannon ball!  This cry baby needs to get over it. I'm sure their insurance will cover the damages. :-)

A story from

'Mythbusters' cannonball hits minivan in Dublin

Download the app for your iPhone from the App Store today!

Larry Devich
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes") Copper thefts around tracks bedevil BART officials

Now I know why there was an hour long power outage on the ride to work Sunday!  These people are NUTS!

A story from

Copper thefts around tracks bedevil BART officials

Download the app for your iPhone from the App Store today!

Larry Devich
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Animal School

A version of this was posted to the SFBUN mail list, I loved it so I posted it here as well.  This version is from Jane Bluestein's web site.  According the site "this story was written when George Reavis was the Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s! This content is in the public domain and free to copy, duplicate, and distribute."

The Animal School: A Fable

by George Reavis
Animal SchoolOnce upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living the Peace of St. Francis

I just got home from St. Charles where we had an "Advent Evening of Reflection: Living the Peace of St. Francis" with Fr. Ed Shea, OFM.  It was wonderful.  I've been fascinated by Francis and the Franciscans for years and to see Fr. Ed in action was amazing :-)  I laughed, I cried (really) and I sang songs.  What more could you want?  Francis was all about Peace and Love and tonight was about how we can live out those things.  I wish I had a recording from tonight, I'd like to hear it again.  Years ago I went to a Franciscan monastery and asked about joining, having a kid to support disqualified me though ;-/  Just as well probably, besides, I wasn't Catholic then anyway so it was an Anglican Franciscan place... now that I'm becoming Catholic though I think I will look into the "Secular Franciscan Order" which is not living off in a monastery but is living a Franciscan life in the everyday world.   Once I'm done with RCIA I'll see about that, probably.  Who knows?  Right now it sure feels right.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Small talk

After writing my previous post I started thinking about all the "chit-chat" and small talk that people do.  Of course I don't do it because I'm terrible at it.  What is it that I do that is so wrong?  I can't see the spaces people leave for me to talk, they go past and I never realized they were there, when I do see what I think is an opening a couple of things can happen, usually, by the time I start to speak, someone else is already there talking so I never start.  The other thing that happens is I go ahead and talk and realize as I'm speaking that I've barged in on someone else's (all the dictionary software, spell check and Merriam Webster on line claim I can't write it that way, but how else can I write the possessive form of else?! It belongs to someone else, it is someone else's.  Bah!)  turn.  What ends up happening is that I sit quietly and listen, and so get the reputation of being a "good listener."  Whatever.  So I don't do small talk, if you want to DEBATE now, that is a totally different story, I'll argue either side of whatever you want to talk about just for fun.  Also I'm up for purposeful conversation, ones designed to actually impart information, which other people tell me are actually me giving "lectures" to them :-)  That's as close as I can get to the small talk thing though so there.  

Standing On the Outside Looking In

Rachel, over at "Journeys with Autism", wrote a great post yesterday titled "The Path That Chose Me".  Several things jumped out at me as I read it, the first and biggest "Oh Yeah, that's me!" was this: 

"...I was on the margins. I just didn’t fit. Even when I was standing next to them, I watched my family members over there, as though they were in the center of the room, relating to one another, and I was on the outside. For a long time, I was sure that I must have been adopted, because there was no one in the family who reminded me of myself at all."

I'm like that in virtually all of my relationships, even though I feel like I want to connect I don't, in any group, no matter the size, it seems I'm always on the margin, on the outside looking in.  I don't fit into the spaces there, when I do squeeze in it feels as though I'm forcing myself into a shape that is not my own.  People have objected when I've told them I feel this way, they tell me I belong.  Of course that's not the point at all, it's my own feeling of standing off to the side that is what I'm talking about.  The fact that I can pretend to be in the group just means I'm pretty good at faking it for short bursts.

The second thing I really identified with was her "Great Regret" over past decisions.  I have similar regrets, if only I had not turned down an appointment to West Point, if only I had continued in school, if only I had not changed directions so often... yet in looking back they were the only possible choices for me at the time.  I simply could not cope with the pressures of those paths, again, despite what other people always wanted to tell me about what I'm capable of, they don't really know me. 

Like I said, it's a great post and you should go and read it right now here.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Praying the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours

As I've mentioned before I'm in RCIA at St. Charles in Livermore.  I'm learning about the Catholic faith and enjoying it a lot.  One thing I've begun to do lately is to pray the Rosary.  I've done that before, I've owned a rosary for many years, it's made of olive wood from Israel.  I've prayed all sorts of different prayers using it, modifying it to make it a "Protestant" rosary.  Now I'm praying it in the traditional Catholic way and today as I was meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of Christ's Passion, I was struck with sorrow for my sins, for how much I've hurt others and how much I've hurt Jesus, what it cost Him to save me from sin.  In the past I was unsure of the value of a prayer like the Rosary, but it's become a part of my daily devotions that helps me to really calm myself and focus on Christ.

Another thing I've found helpful for the last few weeks is praying the Liturgy of the Hours every day.  At first it seemed like a lot but as I've practiced it every day I've found that pausing during the day every three hours or so to pray keeps my day from going sideways, if you know what I mean.  The prayers during the middle of the day are very short, only about 5 or 10 minutes long, they fit into a work break quite nicely.   Doing these prayers regularly has also helped me to remember to pray for others, for my family and co-workers and the world, always in the past I've said I was going to do that but somehow it never became a real habit.  It remained sporadic.  Having the hours to pray on a set schedule (I've got an alarm set on my iPhone for Terce, Sext, None and Vespers) has made it happen for me.

Here's how I've been doing this for a few weeks now:

Matins (Office of Readings, the longest of the liturgies) prayed first thing when I get up in the morning, usually 4:30 am
Lauds (Morning Prayer) at 6:00 am
Terce (Mid-morning Prayer) at 9:00 am
Sext (Midday Prayer) at 12:00 pm
None (Afternoon Prayer) at 3:00 pm
Vespers (Evening Prayer) at 6:00 pm
Compline (Night Prayer) at bedtime 9 or 10 pm

Occasionally something will prevent me from praying at the hour I have listed here, if I can get to it within an hour or so I'll go ahead and pray it late, but if I miss one it's not that big a deal, and it's really easy to get them all done actually.  I don't make a big production out of it either, I usually just go off and do it without saying anything.  The prayers are mostly Psalms and other readings from the bible so it's really stopping to listen to God through the day, couldn't hurt :-)

So if I don't "make a big deal out of it" why do I even mention it here?  I write in the hopes others might find a regular practice like this as helpful as I have.  If you don't have a regular prayer life then making it happen on a set schedule, no matter what that might be, you don't have to do the full hours, can really help a lot.