Aloha Friday: 101010

On Sunday, it will be October 10th, 2010, or 10/10/10.  The geek in me couldn’t let 101010 go by without a special post.  Since I don’t post on Sundays usually, I made my Tuesday post: Plus or Minus 10 Years.

This marked 3 firsts for me.  It was my first Linky and the first post I created a button for.  Most significantly, though, it was the first time I really apologized (in a public fashion) for something stupid I did when B and I were engaged.  You’ll have to read my post to see what it was.  (Hey, you didn’t expect me to just tell you, now did you?)  Needless to say, I thought I was doing the right thing at the time but hindsight (being 20/20 and all) has shown me how wrong I was.

Thus, my Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you ever done something that affected a loved one that you thought was the right thing at the time only to realize later was the wrong action?

After you answer my Aloha Friday question, stop by my Photo Book giveaway and B’s CardsDirect $50 gift card giveaway.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the Linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #58

Sending Coded Messages

Earlier today, I tried to send a coded message to B via Twitter. I wrote:

Would it be too geeky to tell @TheAngelForever “Number 25 as expressed in binary on one’s hand then translated into ASL”? Yes, yes it would.

Unfortunately, B was too tired to figure out a puzzle. I even sent a hint:

Hint for @TheAngelForever, use this site to find out how to express the number 25 as binary on your hand:

After this, she continued to resist spending time on my little game as she was busy doing my laundry. Fair enough, I figured. Still, I wanted her to get the message even if I had to spell it out in a blog post…. so I will.

Let’s start with a photo of my hand:


Now, my puzzle first specified that you must express a binary number on your hand. Binary numbers are Base 2. This means that the digits go from 1, 2, 4, 8, etc instead of the 1, 10, 100, 1000 that Base 10 uses. So let’s label my hand with the number each finger would represent


Now that that’s done, we need to count 25 on my hand. This is relatively easy now. 25 = 16 + 8 + 1. So we’ll raise those digits and leave the others down. Like so:


Finally, my puzzle said to translate this into ASL. ASL stands for American Sign Language. The photo above might be 25 in binary, but in American Sign Language it has another meaning. This next image is meant as a direct message to B when she reads this post


Like I said, very geeky. But that’s me! 😉

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Clowning Around And Giving Thanks

Yes, I know that Wordless Wednesday posts are supposed to be, well, wordless, but I felt that this one needed some words.  After all, this is not only my "Wordless Wednesday" post, but also my "What I’m Thankful For" post.  Therefore, in no particular order:

My Wife

I’m thankful every day that B has been in my life.  She’s such a wonderful and caring person and I love everything about her.  She’ll deny it left and right, but she’s also incredibly sexy.  (Yes, you are B!)  I’m even more attracted to her today than I was the first moment I laid eyes on her.  (And trust me, I thought she was very attractive then also!)  I don’t know what I’d do without her in my life.  So thank you, B for being such a great wife and friend to me and such a great mother to our boys.  Speaking of our boys….

My Boys

I couldn’t have asked for two better kids.  Ok, there are times when they’re getting into trouble when I might think I could have , but still they are good kids.  NHL rarely gets into trouble at school and loves learning.  He enjoys spending time with me, B or just playing with JSL.  JSL loves helping people out.  He’ll actually get upset and shout "I help Dada!" if I don’t need his help.  He adores his older brother and loves spending time with him.  The little copycat looks to his brother constantly for cues on how to act and what to say.  (This does lead to us telling NHL to stop doing something and then immediately having to tell JSL to stop also…. cute though it may be!)  I’m so glad that they love each other and us so much.  Every day when I go to work, I wish that I could spend more time with them and every day when I’m packing up to leave, I look forward to seeing them soon.

My Mother

First off, I’m also thankful for my father, sister and other friends and relatives, but this year I’m particularly thankful for my mother.  Last week, she had a little accident.  And by little, I mean she almost died.  She was in her attic cleaning things up and fell.

Now, their attic isn’t exactly safe.  You get to it via a fold down ladder in the garage.  That staircase is about as old as I am (i.e. over 30 years old).  Once you get into the attic, you can’t just walk around.  The floor of the attic is thin enough that it can’t stand the weight of a person.  You need to balance on support beams which run all along the attic.  Years back, my father actually fell through the attic floor and got wedged in the hole he made.  His legs were dangling down in the garage, a sight which was scary then but funny in hindsight.

Anyway, my mother was up there cleaning near the ladder.  The details are a bit sketchy, but best I can make out, her foot somehow went through the thin flooring and she lost her balance.  She fell headfirst towards the ladder.  She hit her head on the ladder and skidded across the concrete garage floor.  Luckily, she wasn’t home alone.  A family friend was with her and called 911.

It could have been a lot worse.  She fell a total distance of about 9 feet (maybe more) onto a concrete floor.  She could easily have been dead.  Plus, she hit the ladder with her head so she could have snapped her neck and been paralyzed for the rest of her life.  In the end, she had a concussion (blacked out as she was headed for the ladder and came to on the ground), a couple of broken fingers, a torn up ear and scratches all over her face.  She’s very, *VERY* lucky!

She’s recovering slowly, but surely.  She’s still dizzy at times and needs to take it easy for awhile.  However, the doctors’ don’t think that any permanent damage was done.  I’m very thankful that my mother is alive and (relatively) well.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Happy Anniversary To My Wonderful Wife

[thumb id=1137]Eight years ago today, I got married to the most wonderful woman in the world. From the first moment that I met her in a Yahoo chat room, I knew that there was something special about her. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but as I got to know her online, I knew for sure that I wanted to spend more time with her. (And we did, often talking online or on the phone late into the night.) The first day that we met in person was wonderful. Unlike with other women I had crushes on before, I wasn’t nervous around B. It was the strangest feeling. I was completely at ease. Everything I said or did felt completely natural.

[thumb id=1122]As we dated, I quickly realized that I was falling head over heels in love with this wonderful woman. Every time I thought that I was the most in love that I could possibly be, B would say or do something (or simply look stunning like she usually does) and I’d find new levels of love to explore. I soon knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with B. I proposed to her one hot July evening after going for a walk around the block with her and we were married the following June.

[thumb id=1134]Since then we’ve been through highs (the births of NHL & JSL), lows (NHL & JSL’s seizures and hospital trips), gone on wonderful vacations (Vegas, Disney World) and had some very stressful situations (first home purchase). Through it all, there has been no one that I’d rather have by my side than B. She is the most wonderful, amazing, and sexy (yes you are, B!) woman that a guy could ask for. She’s also an incredible mother I love her with all of my heart and still, to this day, am constantly finding new levels of love with her.

Your Spouse is Not A Child

Tyler, from Building Camelot tweeted about an article titled Parenting techniques to try on your Spouse by Fernanda Moore.  In it, the author, upset that her husband hasn’t filled the ice trays, decides to try five parenting techniques that she has used on her children on her husband.  Overall, I found the article quite insulting in that it depicted husbands as being unable to do anything unless the wife "manages" them.  Marriage should be a partnership, not one member controlling the other member’s actions.  (Think about how insulted people would get if the article was a husband using parenting techniques to control his wife’s behavior.)  With a bit of modification, though, these rules might actually work.

Strategy No. 1: Reward good behavior

When my wife and I were first married, our lives revolved around each other.  I was the most important person in her life and she was the most important person in mine.  When NHL was born, it was a transition for me to accept that I was no longer #1.  I wasn’t even #2 (my wife was).  I was #3.  As time went on, I felt myself slipping down the ladder of importance even more.  At times, it seems that I only get my wife’s full attention is when I mess something up or don’t do it at all.  If I do something well, I sometimes feel like I might as well be invisible.

I would love for my "good behavior" to be rewarded, however, Mrs. Moore used it to control her husbands actions.  When she got to sleep in one morning, she rewarded her husband’s good behavior (by praising him) in an attempt to get him to "perform properly" more times.  (i.e. Get him to allow her to sleep in more often.)  When he didn’t "perform right" (he inquired about alternating weekends) she got angry that her attempts to control his actions didn’t work.

A proper use of this strategy would involve praising good behavior without expecting your spouse to "perform right."  If a spouse (or anyone for that matter) is praised when they get it right, it helps to offset the times when they don’t and helps the relationship overall.

Strategy No. 2: Keep it brief

In this strategy, she insults her husband’s intellect by assuming that he can only perform an action if she sets up the entire thing (puts everything in place, puts the tools out, etc) and gives him short, simple commands ("Baby gates? Today? Install?").  For a child, yes, they might understand the shorter commands better, but husbands are not children.  We do have adult-level intellects and will resent being treated like babies.  A better modification of this might be to keep your "honey do" list brief.  Don’t ask us to fix every last little thing, especially when we’re not in a position to do it right away, and then complain when we don’t do it all.  Strategy #1 applies here as well.  If you ask us to do 10 things and we do 9 of them, praise us for the 9 we did, don’t ignore those and berate us for the 1 we didn’t do.

Strategy No. 3: The time-out

Here’s where Mrs. Moore got ridiculous.  During an argument, she tried to apply the Time Out principal to her husband and yelled at him "go to your room."  She quickly realized that there was no way for her to force her husband into his room for a timeout.  She just doesn’t have that kind of authority over him.  (Neither would he have that authority over her.)  In the end, she "modified" the rule so that she confined herself to their room for awhile.  Perhaps this is the better application of a "time out."  If you sense that an argument is getting too heated, take a time out.  It is better to cool off for awhile than to say something that you’ll regret later.  (And, if an argument is heated enough, you *will* say something you regret.)

Strategy No. 4: Give quality time to get quality time

In this strategy, she wants to take a bath and he wants to play a game with her.  She tries distraction and various other techniques to get out of it, but finally decides to give him 15 minutes in an attempt to placate him enough so that he won’t object to time by herself.  Now I won’t deny my wife her "me" time.  I need "me" time every now and then also.  However, as a husband, I could also use some time with my wife where we aren’t acting as parents but as just husband and wife.  And no, the time doesn’t need to be spent doing activities that are X-rated in nature… not that those are bad, mind you.

As I said before, I sometimes feel like I’m at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to my wife.  I’m sure she feels the same way with me from time to time.  It would be nice to have a little quality time with each other.  And it would be nice if that quality time was, unlike Mrs. Moore’s, not an attempt to do the bare minimum required to placate me.

Strategy No. 5: Creative discipline

In this one, Mrs. Moore sits down with her "disobedient" husband (guity of the crime of being late) to "figure out together how he should atone and, ultimately, change the behavior."  In some ways, this is good:  They sit down and have a talk about the situation instead of her yelling at him for being late every day.  If the discussion is phrased properly, this can actually be a good thing.  However, Mrs. Moore’s intention was to use this discussion time not to work out their differences, but to bring his behavior back in line with what she demands.  In other words, he’s nothing more than a disobiedient child to her that she needs to lecture about doing what she tells him to do.  The discussion should be a discussion of equals, not a "parent spouse" talking to the "child spouse."

In the end, only twisting the rules around makes them a good idea.  As employed by Mrs. Moore, the rules are insulting and demeaning.  Instead of treating your husband (or wife) like a child whose behavior needs to be carefully controlled, why not treat them like an equal partner in the marriage?  Sit down and talk calmly with them.  Spend some quality, non-parent time with them.  Let them know when things that they do make you happy.  But never, ever, think of them as a disobedient child.

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