Tag Archives: family

MineCraft and my brats.

This has been a huge hit in our house and with a lot of my gamer friends.

Both kids have their own accounts and work together and with others to build, mine and explore. It’s been my daughters first foray into online servers for a pc game and it’s going well. Yes she has discovered asshats but is learning that as with real life if you don’t like how people are playing there comes a point where you walk away.

She has been playing that more then online games for the xbox as chat is the norm on xbox live and she no longer wants to be in a situation where she gets hassle for being a girl and young and playing on xbox live.

This doesn’t happen with Minecraft, both my brats know well how to stay safe online and not to give out info and how to quit any conversation they are not happy with and how to block people who are annoying asshats and to be careful they aren’t the annoying asshat.

Notch/Markus Alexej Persson (the creator of minecraft) currently is the desktop picture on my son’s pc. It seems that he may have replaced Peter Molyneux as the person he wants to be when he grows up. Yes Santa is bringing Fable 3 but the indie start up of Minecraft has certainly captured his imagination and at almost 13 he has already decided that he wants to do Computer Applications in TCD and then the MA in game development in DIT.

Minecraft is giving them both a chance to have control and crate the virtual environments they play in. They have both toyed around with level editors for games, usually race track games but the scope of minecraft is something they keep coming back to.

And they are not alone, they are reading the wikis and sharing knowledge on how to make and create things with others who log on to the sever to share the experience. I guess I have to face up to the fact my kids are pretty much immersed in gaming culture esp when I dragged from the kitchen to
watch this.

Minecraft and country music, my daughter is thrilled and is doing her best to learn all the words, I guess that will join Jonathan Coulton‘s song ‘Still Alive‘ from portals as a sing along in the car song.

I guess I don’t write that much about the types and amount of gaming we do esp as a family, I guess I should. So be warned there will be more posts.


Every now and then my kids come out with things utterly unexpected which make me very proud. The latest is, re the new Harry Potter movie, “It’s just not a good as the book” Says the first, “Yes the books are much better” Says the second, “Mam can I borrow the first book of Lord of the Rings to read?” asks the first, “Mam could I get a copy for christmas so we can be reading it at the same time?” Asks the second. Sometimes it’s hard not to punch the air with jubilation and to calmly reply that they can borrow it and to explain what the term abridged means, when your kids are made of so much WIN!

bibles, mass and school continued…

I had two scheduled meeting in the school today, one was with my child’s tutor and SNA
the other was with the head mistress re the bible and a few other things which have cropped up re having a non christian child in thier school.

The first one went well and as I was walking away told my son that I would see him at lunch time as the school has a half day on Wednesdays and and his tutor said ‘Well after mass, as the school as a mass on.” “Excuse me” was my reaction “Oh yes, did he not tell you the whole school is going to Mass at 12:40 for the remember in November the parish priest was in to talk about it yesterday and the kids gave up names for the list of those gone.”

I looked at her and looked at my son and asked him if he wanted to go and that he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to but if he did as his classmates were going I was ok with it. He said he didn’t want to and I then asked the Teacher did he need a note and she said no as it’s out side of school hours…..WTF.

Out side of school hours but the students are being told to go, expected to go told the mass is for them and that they are going directly when school ends.

I told her that my son is not part of the parish, is not christian and that he doesn’t have to attend any masses what so ever. I am raging.

As for the other meeting it was cancelled, grrrr they tried to fob me off with the home school illsason teacher who barely had 5 mins, didn’t know what the meeting was about and when I asked for a copy of the schools policy about non christian children wasn’t sure if they had done and then couldn’t think of were to look for it.

I have a new appointment again on friday morning.

The Gideon international, thier books and schools.

We all know that the Gideon are a group who put bibles in every place they can squeeze one in. apprently they have managed 1.5 billion in hotels, hospitals prisons army and now schools here in Ireland.

The young lad who is in 1st year came home with a pocket edition of the new testament and proverbs and psalms, they came into the community school gave them out and he was instructed by the teacher to take one and to put his name on it and to keep it in his bag and the class was told to read a bit from it every day.

This book is not on the book list it is not part of the curriculum, but this evangelical organisation was allowed in the school and it’s literature was pressed on every child. The book has a special index in the front which points to passages to help with life’s problems, christian virtue and character.

I am staggered they were allowed in the school and it was given out and that my son who is not christian (and the teachers are aware of that) was instructed to take one and put his name on it.

Am I the only one who thinks this is well out of order?

You know your child is a geeky gamer child when…

Their complaining about the size and weight for their school bag runs along these lines:

“Stupid bag why can’t it be like a T.A.R.D.I.S. and be bigger on the inside then on the outside. Why can’t I have grav gun to carry it to school? Or better yet have a school bag made of sapient pear wood, but it might eat the teachers. Or why can’t
school bags be bags of holding or why can’t I cast a Mobiliarbus spell on it but I would still have to walk with it. Why can’t there be portals from home to school,
that way I wouldn’t have to walk with it and I would never be late or get rained on. Life’s not fair!”

This was the rant at lunch time when he came home and was switching his books for this afternoon classes, I had to try not to roar laughing.

“For the honor of Grayskull!” She-Ra is 25 year old.


Female superhero ‘She-Ra’ marks 25th anniversary
By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
October 6, 2010 9:19 a.m. EDT
She-Ra was the alter ego of Princess Adora in an animated series that began airing in 1985.
(CNN) — For the honor of Grayskull!

2010 marks the 25th anniversary of “She-Ra: Princess of Power,” otherwise known as “Princess Adora,” aka “The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe.”

Last week, “She-Ra” was released on DVD, iTunes and Hulu.com. And throughout the year, toy manufacturer Mattel has been releasing collectible action figures based on characters from “She-Ra” and the character’s twin brother He-Man, also known as Prince Adam.

“She-Ra: Princess of Power” began airing in 1985. Ninety-three episodes were produced, along with a Christmas special, books, a magazine, comics and of course, the toys.

At one point in every episode, Princess Adora would transform into her alter ego, She-Ra, whenever justice on Etheria was threatened.

She would reach for her sword and utter her famous phrase, “For the honor of Grayskull! I am She-Ra!” Then in a tornado-like swirl of colorful glitter (and a theme song), she would morph into her alter ego.

Lisa Baron, who runs a She-Ra fan site, told CNN, “She-Ra holds a special place in my heart because every afternoon for 30 minutes, I could escape into a fantasy world of the magic that was She-Ra. Her voice was captivating, she had great messages for children and kids looked up to her as a great female role model.”

CNN spoke to the voice behind She-Ra, actress and voiceover artist Melendy Britt, about the anniversary, her experiences on the series and the character’s lasting relevance as one of the first female superheroes.

CNN: How did you approach the character of She-Ra?

Melendy Britt: She-Ra was very different from any other character I did. She had more of an impact on my psyche and I had a strange instinct about the character when I auditioned for it and I knew she was a spiritual character who had a basic concern for everyone. I wanted to make sure my voice showed the change from Adora’s youth and innocence to She-Ra’s wisdom and self-assured power.

CNN: Did you know the actor who did the voices for He-Man and the other characters?

Britt: Absolutely! It was an incredible cast with a group of very, very talented people. John Erwin was the voice of He-Man. He has since moved away from California. He also did the voice of Morris the Cat. George DiCenzo, who was Hordak; he was another very talented man. Alan Oppenheimer, who played Skeletor in the series, gave us great laughs. He’s still in L.A., and we talk to one another every now and then.

CNN: Did you have any of the toys? What’s it like to have your own action figure?

Britt: I do have the She-Ra action figure. You see, my kids were in junior high when the series premiered, so they weren’t interested. But I got She-Ra, Swift Wind and Catra. Over the years, I’ve let kids who’ve been visiting me play with them, so they’re not in pristine condition.

As far as having my own action figure, I think if I’d received a lot of money from it, it would be like winning the lottery, but since I don’t get any payment from that, it just feels kind of interesting. I do remember that when I first saw the action figure, I thought, “Gee, I think she kind of looks like me.”

CNN: Did you ever meet kids who grew up with She-Ra? Did they make you say the lines?

Britt: When I was doing the series, I met lots of kids who watched the show, and they’d ask me to do the lines, particularly “For the honor of Grayskull!” And then many times parents would ask me to call their kids on their birthdays and talk to them.

CNN: If they made a live action movie version today, who do you think should play She-Ra?

Britt: That is such a hard one. I’d have to have a big list and kind of narrow it down to one person, if it could even be one person. Right now, my brain goes to Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and even Lady Gaga with a little Meryl Streep thrown in.

CNN: What other characters have you voiced in your career?

Britt: Well, on “She-Ra,” I did Catra, Castaspella, Hunga the Harpy and some others I can’t recall. Before “She-Ra,” I was Batgirl and Catwoman in “The New Adventures of Batman,” and Aura from “Flash Gordon.” I did various characters in “Transformers,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and I was the Wicked Queen in “A Snow White Christmas,” among many others.

CNN: Do you have a favorite episode?

Britt: I have a few, but for different reasons. Some because of the emotional content of She-Ra’s voice, and then some were my favorites because of the impact of the show.

CNN: What was really going on between She-Ra and Sea Hawk?

Britt: Not a lot. I think honestly that She-Ra had a calling, maybe as Adora. If she was only Adora, maybe there could have been a relationship with Sea Hawk, but she had a much higher calling that really didn’t include him.

CNN: If the show had continued, how do you think it would have wrapped up?

Britt: Maybe they’d have continued with She-Ra and her challenges with people trying to bring evil into Eternia, but if she exhausted all the challenges, I don’t know if there’d be any drama.

CNN: How does She-Ra compare to the current crop of cartoons? Could She-Ra even be made today? Or would there be too many parental concerns about violence?

Britt: The only one [current cartoon] that I have watched that I think is funny is “Spongebob Squarepants,” and it seems there’s a lot of white-collar violence going on there.

CNN: Why do you think She-Ra’s 25th anniversary is so special?

Britt: For me, it’s a chance to, again, have these memories of a series character which made me realize that I had a real part in people’s lives and that they love and remember her. For others, it’s a chance to relive and share the days of their childhood. I think each person has their own memories.

CNN: Why do you think She-Ra still holds a special place in the hearts of women who grew up watching She-Ra as little girls?

Britt: She was one of the first role models who combined femininity with feminism making her truly, really the most powerful woman in the world. I’ve been told by some of the female fans — particularly this one woman who set up a fan site for She-Ra, and for me — that they were really able to identify with her. That they felt great that not only boys had someone to look up to and meant something special to girls who were able to watch it.

Personally I identified more with Madam Razz then I did the long legged blonde, funny that.

Who was your cartoon role model growing up?

School homework has ‘no real benefit’.


School homework has ‘no real benefit’
Friday, 8 October 2010 15:58

There is little evidence to suggest that school homework in its current form has any real benefit, according to a primary school principals’ group.

In a submission paper to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Curriculum Reform, The Irish Primary Principals Network says the role of homework in the education system ‘requires serious research and analysis.’

IPPN says that principals and teachers have serious concerns about the impact of homework.

The Network has highlighted nine areas of concern in its submission paper to the committee.

It says ‘effective teaching in the classroom, which differentiates both children’s learning styles and learning abilities far outweighs any value of homework.’

‘Homework can often be the source of a huge amount of stress between parents and children,’ says IPPN Director Sean Cottrell.

Pointing to the fact that quality time can be scarce among families on weekday evenings, Mr Cottrell said it this time can often be spoiled by homework.

The majority of stress and strife around school in this house over the last 6 years has been homework. Not that it’s too hard but the resistance to doing it has lead to rows and tears. I do think that it can be good in terms of letting parents know what the kids are doing and how they are doing but there has to be a better way, esp when it only becomes an exercise in undermining a child’s confidence.

CAO first offers.

It’s been intresting watching the traffic graphs for the cao site

We have come a long way from trying to read the tiny number by an orange street light having gone into town for the earliest edition.

So many young adults will be on tender hooks to today convinced that to have the life they dream of or to have any hope of it they need to get into the right college and into the right courses. Life is never that simple and there are many paths up the mountain.

I often worry that the points system and the CAO entry system leads to hot housing and that an education should be aiming at making a person well rounded rather then tasking them to just preform well in a set of exams spaced over two weeks.

As mishmash as the america direct applications system seems to be there is an inclusion of extra curricular activities, be it sports or arts or community work into the process.

As freaky as the thought is that it has been 18 years from when I stood under that street lamp and that kids which were only and not yet born are looking at the offers today, is the fact I will be trying to deal with my son no doubt pressing f5 like a loon in 5/6 years time.

At least he will have parents who have been through the system, I didn’t which made it even more daunting. And 18 years ago I didn’t get any of the course which I wanted and looking back this was a good thing as I was 17 and 2 months old and I knew better when I applied two years later and got exactly what I wanted.

I was blessed that I ended up working in DCU as a member of staff and in the evening took on City and Guilds courses in electronics and went on then to apply for electronic courses which would mean I would have to live away from home during the week but could come home at weekends.

So not getting my first preferences was a blessing. Hopefully those who don’t get their today will know it is not the end of the world but just a different adventure.

10 years…

This day 10 years ago I took my bag, went into the hospital and eventually my daughter was born it took nearly every trick to get her moving, she is still a stubborn miss at times but I look and wonder where the last 10 years went and what will happen to and for her in the next 10.

“Pride” and famlies and teachers.

This week is Pride week in Dublin as well as many places around the Globe.
It has been great to see it become a full week with many events on which show a lot more
of the diversity of the LGBTQ community.

The listing of the events can be found here: http://www.dublinpride.ie/

Two which caught my eye is the week long showing of The Wizard of Oz in the Screen Cinema.
Who wouldn’t want a chance to see this on the large screen also it is something I can bring my brats to.

Usually Pride and kids would be something which most people would not think would or should mix,
I have had encounters which were less then friendly when I have been in town with them and brought them to have a look at the parade in previous years. Indeed most people seem to think ‘gay’ people don’t have kids or don’t have contact with kids or should not have contact with kids both those in the ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ communities but that has got to change.

This year Outhouse is having a family fun house event.

Come to the Family Fun House afternoon where there will be clowns, face painters, a bouncing castle, a games console on the big screen and make-and-eat chocolate treats. This is a day for parents to unwind and let the kids have fun, so bring your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousin’s and younger siblings along for some great fun and bring out the kid in you too. (All Children must be accompanied by an adult)

For further information please contact Fiona on (01) 873-4999.

Admission: Free
No tickets required.

I am really glad to see this, people who are lgbt are also parents, aunt, uncles ect and children should in my opinion aware that there are lgbt family members. My own two know that some people like men, and some people like women and some people like both it’s not weird it’s just how people are. This way children grow up with positive messages about
being lgbt and if they are when they grow up they don’t feel so isolated and have no one to relate to which can cause a lot of issues.

This year also in the Pride Parade all the primary and second-level teaching unions (INTO, TUI, ASTI) will have an official presence. This is a huge step forward.

Currently under Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, schools can fire teachers who are LGBT as it is said to conflict with the ethos of the school, which means as 92% of all primary schools have a catholic ethos, all of those schools can fire a teacher if they are outed. Hopefully this will change there have been calls to have it abolished.

I think all of this is a massive step forward towards shifting away from the idea that ‘Gays’ don’t have families we are after all, someone’s sons and daughters, brother, sister and being lgbt does not make a person anti family, or that they don’t have pride in their family.