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Mental Sampler

Am I the only person who wishes the new Blogger captcha checkbox that says “I am not a robot” also came with an option that said “I AM a robot?”  Because… you know… for the robots.


The twins have settled on their science fair project.  It was one of those whiny negotiations where they wanted to work together, but one decided on a project the other one didn’t love and then refused to budge on the project.  The non-excited child’s problem turned out to be the inclusion of the word “tearoom” in the title, insisting this was not a real word despite it being a real word.  Once the veracity of the word “tearoom” was accepted, both children were on-board.

They have made a set of robotic arms, programmed with an arduino and Lego Wedo parts, that can brew tea, remove the tea bag after a set amount of time, and then add sugar.  They’ve designed it with a whole steampunk theme as a nod to the Doctor Who episode “Deep Breath.” Because my kids are cool.  Even if they used an excessive number of plastic cups designing the sugar adder and DIDN’T RETURN MY TAPE TO THE PROPER PLACE!

Pictures forthcoming when they complete the project.


I used the snow day to make all the cookies for Purim.  They’re now in my freezer.  13 hours of work.  228 cookies.  My back gave out in the tenth hour from leaning over the low table, folding hamantaschen.  I crawled toward the cookie finish line, too.  But you’ll never see a CNN news report about my tremendous feat like you will about the marathoner.

I don’t know whether to be impressed with her drive or shake my head at her failure to listen to the limitations of her body.


We’ve recently gotten massively into Sherlock.  Totally enjoyable — enough so that I’m willing to overlook any weakness on the plot construction.  Though with only 3 episodes per season, we’ll soon need another show to watch.  I mean, another show beyond The Americans.

A little off-topic side note (though is this post really any particular topic?) that tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday.  Get writing.


1 loribeth { 02.22.15 at 9:47 am }

I adore Sherlock. 🙂 I was FURIOUS with PBS Buffalo, which opted not to show the third season at the same time as every other PBS station in the country, and delay it by a couple of months while showing old Sherlock episodes in the meantime. We can’t access PBS shows online here in Canada (or BBC shows, for that matter) and I’m not technically savvy enough to figure out how to do a workaround. Needless to say, I was not inclined to respond to any of their pledge pleas for quite awhile after that. :p I am worried they might do the same with the remake of “Poldark,” which is scheduled to start in Britain next month and on PBS in June. :p

2 Northern Star { 02.22.15 at 11:49 am }

I love stories of your kids. They sound like such a wonderful, dynamic little duo!

Thanks for swinging by my blog today and letting me know you’re here today with me as we wait. It means so very much.

3 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.22.15 at 12:29 pm }

You have the coolest kids. Can’t wait to see that video.

And, um, I’m with you about the runner. Admirable, and at the same time smh.

4 Cristy { 02.22.15 at 12:49 pm }

I’m so intrigued by what your kids are working on. A robot that brews tea? Never heard of this but really want to make one now. Can’t wait for photos!

Congrats on getting to the end of the cookie tunnel. Hope your back is better soon.

5 Davidah { 02.22.15 at 1:08 pm }

Have you watched Transparent on Amazon prime? We’re part way through the series. It’s completely inappropriate for children, has way too much gratuitous sex and nudity (especially in the first episodes), and is completely amazing. The family is Jewish and the whole tone of everything is absolutely spot-on.

A non-spoiler review is here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/transparent-tv-review-733983


6 Valery Valentina { 02.22.15 at 3:24 pm }

Sometimes I wonder if you are a robot, secretly. So different from any human being I know in person, maybe you are testing if we are Turing.
😉 (I think you post pictures of yourself to make us believe you are real)

7 Mina { 02.22.15 at 3:48 pm }

Have you tried Fringe? It’s quite cool, and it ends properly, without buts or ifs. Loads of sience, memorable characters, lovely lines. And so many puns! I love shows with clever puns.

8 It Is What It Is { 02.22.15 at 4:33 pm }

228 cookies!

I am offended by the new captcha, because, what if I am a robot?

I am so congested. That is all.

9 createdfamily { 02.22.15 at 4:48 pm }

If it said “I am a robot” that would certainly be a little more exciting. I’m just glad they’ve gotten rid of the captchas they had before. I rarely got them right on the first try and ended up giving up on commenting at times.
Your twin stories make me with my LO had a twin. I’m sure it’s a lot of work having twins, but it also seems so lovely to have a sibling you go through all of the life stages with like that.

10 The Modern Belly { 02.22.15 at 5:40 pm }

I love it when they show you pictures of food to determine that you’re not a robot. It makes me hungry every time. And I can’t even get them right – apparently, I wouldn’t recognize a hamburger even if it walked right across from me in a sunlit street.

11 Donna { 02.22.15 at 7:06 pm }

Dr. Who and steampunk? Your kids are cool!

12 Justine { 02.22.15 at 9:27 pm }

Wow. Whenever you talk about what your kids are doing, I have to suppress the urge to worry that my child isn’t learning anything useful, because no way is he going to be programming anything by this point next year, and certainly not a robot. *sigh*. Very impressive, though; good luck to the twins!

And your cookie marathon is impressive, too. I made muffins this weekend, but not 228 of them. (!!!)

13 Claire { 02.22.15 at 9:27 pm }

Do your Steampunk Robot inventors know about this fine gadget?


14 stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 02.22.15 at 11:16 pm }

That science fair project sounds so awesome!

Also, I think there should be a news report on your marathon cookie making session. I’d watch that.

Maybe the twins need a vlog to report all this breaking news.

15 earthandink { 02.23.15 at 5:02 pm }

I can’t wait until I can bake again. Now I want to make cookies. Which I’m not allowed until it’s a holiday. And I’m not Jewish, so the next one for me is around March 21. Dagnabbit.

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