Personal Life, Self-Expression

Christmas comes whether you are ready or not

Normally, I am the person that everyone gets irritated with for being SUPER organized for the holidays. I order my cards and custom calendars in November, get my cards out the door a week before the recommended deadline. And I always give and send gifts that are thoughtful and often unexpected. And I get them out the door with plenty of time to spare.

Today is December 24th and this year I am just NOT that person. Half my cards are in un-addressed envelopes. The rest made it out the door on Saturday – miraculously. I barely remembered to buy something for John, let alone other people in my life that I like to give something to. Not because it’s expected, or because I need reciprocation, but because I like to give them a little something to show them they are important in my life – to make them happy for a second.

A few people DID receive something. But one person’s gift is still on my kitchen counter. And WAY TOO MANY just aren’t getting anything from me this year.

Yesterday, I felt so terrible when I received such wonderful and personal gifts from Bob and Mikaela and I had nothing in my hand to give them in return. How … thoughtful of me. What can I say? Christmas is not something I looked forward to this year. It’s an odd time of year for many people, so I won’t get into that. But I just couldn’t muster up the ‘I really give a fuck’ attitude this year.

So if you normally receive a token of my affection at Christmas this year and you normally do, it’s not YOU, it’s ME. You still mean the world to me in so many ways.

My goal is to send an unexpected gift in the New Year to make up for it.

Hell, my SISTER didn’t even get a card.


Gaming, gaming coach, Parenting

The Hearthstone is Real.

Yes, I think I am hooked. My son didn’t realize how basic his explanations would have to be (when I first started a few weeks ago) for someone who had NEVER played a TCG (Trading Card Game). I was missing very rudimentary information – like what counts as a ‘spell’.

But I’m learning! Slowly! And I am hooked!

You can follow my adventures in this playlist!



Gaming, gaming coach, other channels

Introducing Herald582

My son is an awesome gaming coach. He has mentored me in StarCraft 2 and is now helping me with Hearthstone. He has decided to try to host a mentoring/teaching show on Twitch. I was today his test subject.

We had some issues with streaming over the wifi from his room, and some audio level issues, but that does not take away from the amazing job he did. I am sharing it here with you.

The poor kid has to split it in 3 for his own channel, but the increase will come if he persists.


I am at as usual

He can be reached at:

Twitter: @bitsaltnetwork (he interns for the Bitter and Salty Podcast ;))

And I’ll add his YT once I know it’s posted correctly.

feminism, Parenting, Personal Life, politics

Correcting a wrong with a wrong


You get a puppy at the start, because you need to have a happy place to return to if this post makes you angry at the world or angry with me. So that should serve as a WARNING. This is a post about a couple of things. It is a parenting post describing my outrage at the implication that my son had no right to speak his opinion. And it is a post about feminism, social justice, and sexism.

In my previous post, I briefly described what had happened to my son in his Debate class the other day. To recap what happened: My 16 year old is a Junior in high school.   In debate class, discussion turned to giving more weight to submissions (I believe it was a writing contest – but I could be wrong on that detail) from women than those of men in order to have equal representation from the two sexes among the finalists. My son said quickly spoke up and said he believed each work should just be based on its own merits.  His teacher said, and I believe this is a direct quote, since I’ve heard it from 3 people separately – “Do not open your mouth; you are a man.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is so much wrong with this. But I am pretty sure I know people who would side with her. I believe their argument is something like this: because men come from a position of privilege, they are incapable of seeing the world from the position of the Other (in this case the oppressed woman), and that if he recognizes this position of privilege he should let women only speak in this matter since they, as the oppressed and discriminated against are the only ones who can properly define the problem and educate him on what the world is really like. This is probably a derisively toned version of the argument, but I have difficulty taking it seriously.

Effectively, this is sexism. Because you are a man, you have no right to speak. Righting one sexist wrong with another only creates a larger wrong. “Your sex oppressed my sex for so many centuries, now I get to tell you to shut the fuck up in return.” Talk about sins of the fathers and all that. Sounds like revenge to me.

We have always tried to teach both our boys that everyone in the world deserves equal opportunity. I am a Libertarian. I believe in personal liberty both socially, morally, and financially. This also means that I have a very strong belief in equal opportunity. I believe that affirmative action is a form of discrimination in itself. My oldest son applied to every Ivy League university, but we knew he had next to a zero chance of admittance because of those universities’ discrimination against white males who are not in acute financial need. They fill their affirmative action quotas first, THEN they look at people like my son. I’m not saying my boys are not privileged, but they are also at a distinct disadvantage in that sort of situation.

We have actively tried to prepare them for this. But I never prepared him for the sort of “shut up – you have no right to speak” situation he was placed in the other day. I am proud of how open and accepting my sons are. They meet most people with an open mind, and try to judge on merits, not gender, sexual orientation or color. Or accent for that matter. But that viewpoint is not valued. It is dismissed as not even worthy of a voice.

The fact that it was his DEBATE teacher who shut him down like this only makes me angrier.

He has asked me not to say anything at or to school. He would rather not have an uncomfortable school year, and he really enjoys debate – so I will not make a fuss. But I am angry.

I know my viewpoint is not popular amongst many of the people I interact with. But tough. Comment away if you want, but hateful comments and trolls will be cheerfully deleted.