Rules for Life

Sauna Etiquette and Other Important Things

Dear Kid,

As the song says, there are some things you just don’t do. You don’t pull on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask of the Lone Ranger.

And you don’t pour water on the heating element of a sauna when other people are expecting a dry sauna experience.

It turns out that some people (me) thought you should save water for a steam room and never ever pour water on the “coals” of a sauna. It further turns out that the experts on the internet are quite comfortable with the idea of a wet sauna experience in which one adds water and keeps the temperature at a lower level.

Hey! Guess what happened at the gym the other day? Jenelle and I went into the sauna expecting dry heat and this chick kept pouring water on the rocks. We were not amused.

If I'd wanted steam I'd have gotten a cup of hot coffee. DearKidLoveMom.comIf we’d wanted steam we’d have gotten nice hot beverages. We wanted dry heat.

Not having consulted My Friend the Internet, I was convinced that the chick was a heathen and going to break the sauna and electrocute us all. Turns out I was wwwwrong, but facts are not the point here. The point is that it’s a public place and you follow public etiquette in a public place.

Why didn’t we say anything?

We tried the subtle method of delicate commenting, but she had headphones on and her music was cranked loud enough for the entire city so I’m pretty sure she didn’t hear us.

More importantly, she looked like she could kick our butts without breaking a sweat.

Love, Mom

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Rules We Need, New and Interesting Products, and Edith Ann

Dear Kid,

There ought to be a rule.

OK, to be fair, there are all sorts of rules in the world. I’m talking about a new rule.

I’m talking about a rule that says that websites shouldn’t talk about New and Interesting Products in a way that makes people want to find out more when the New and Interesting Product in question is not yet available for sale. And doesn’t have a price posted.

The New and Interesting Product I’m referring to is called the HOVR. It’s a gizmo that lets you swing your feet while you sit at your desk. This improves health and cognitive ability according to the inventors.

Those of us with short legs have always known that swinging your feet while you’re sitting and working is fun. DearKidLoveMom.comThose of us with short legs have always known that swinging your feet while you’re sitting and working is fun.

And it doesn’t cost anything.

Except possibly a little dignity.

When I saw the promo, I was intrigued and thought I’d investigate to see how much such a gizmo might cost. I’m not likely to purchase one, but I was curious about how much I was not going to purchase it for.

The first site I found was happy to tell me everything (including the cost of shipping) except the price.

That was frustrating.

I searched more.

My Friend the Internet groaned a little about being awoken from a perfectly good nap, but got to work.

The HOVR costs $89. The tracker costs $33 (that part is optional). You can attach the HOVR to your desk or you can buy the stand which costs $100. You read that correctly: the stand costs more than the thing you’re buying.

There ought to be a rule.

Love, Mom

 

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You Have What Stuck In Your Head?

You Have What Stuck In Your Head?

Dear Kid,

I have a song stuck in my head. I woke up with it playing loud and clear, and it’s kept playing ever since.

Most of the time, a song stuck on constant repeat (repeat repeat) would be a bad thing. It would normally be a reason to wail and bemoan earworms. To do everything possible to find a way to replace, reduce, remove the song in question (the questionable song).

So while I generally can do without earworms, this one is welcome to stick around for a while. DearKidLoveMom.com

Amazingly, this one is the exception. The song that’s stuck is making me incredibly happy. It’s upbeat, it’s fun, it makes me wants to dance around.

So while I generally can do without earworms, this one is welcome to stick around for a while.

Love, Mom

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Correction, Pre-St. P, and Actual Daylight

Dear Kid,

Happy Today! DearKidLoveMom.comYou get an extra day. Because I “oops-ed” and said that yesterday was Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. The AIKD people were kind enough to point out that I was a day ahead of schedule. So in case (horrors!) you didn’t read about Absolutely Incredible Kids Day yesterday (when it wasn’t), you should read about it today (when it is).

I am also joyfully celebrating Pre-Saint Patrick’s Day (which I can do because apparently I have a hitherto unknown skill called Celebrating Early). Pre-Saint P’s Day means wearing a light shade of green. And drinking green tea. And thinking kind thoughts about Kermit. I know this because I just made it up.

Happy Pre St Patrick's Day! DearKidLoveMom.com

Speaking of things to celebrate joyfully (because celebrating miserably seems just wrong), I went to the gym yesterday (that’s not the part to celebrate). As I was leaving, I noticed a bright light outside. My first thought was ‘Yark! Is there a major storm I don’t know about?’ My second thought was ‘Did they change the lighting in the parking lot?’ My third thought was ‘What should we have for dinner?’

It was at that moment I realized what I was seeing—daylight. As in longer days plus Daylight Saving Time. Actual light from the heavens. I was so excited I almost rolled around on the ground like a happy puppy. DearKidLoveMom.comIt was at that moment I realized what I was seeing—daylight. As in longer days plus Daylight Saving Time. Actual light from the heavens. The angels sang (to be fair, it might have been a YouTube video). I was so excited I almost rolled around on the ground like a happy puppy. (You’ll be glad to know I restrained myself.)

I love that it stays light longer. I love that it’s still bright when I get home. It makes me feel that all is right with the world and anything is possible.

Love, Mom

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the answer is we had leftovers for dinner.

P.P.S. We think you’re incredible every day. Happy Absolutely Incredible Kids Day anyway.

 

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Think You Know Everything About Pi? Think Again

Think You Know Everything About Pi? Think Again

Dear Kid,

Once again, it is Pi Day. Amazingly, it comes around every year.

Pi Day! DearKidLoveMom.comYou might think that I have already shared all there is to know about Pi (the number, not the sister person). Turns out, you’d be incorrect, my friend. Because after hours of research (and by “hours” I mean 3.14159265 seconds), I have found Wildly Interesting Information you don’t know about the number Pi.

Are you sitting down? Because this one is a stunner.

Pi had to be invented.

Not just Back In The Day when people were sitting around making up numbers (“What shall we call that thing that comes after 2 and before 4? 3? 3? Does everyone agree? 3 it is.”). Pi was invented in relatively modern times (and by “relatively modern times” I mean 1706).

Here’s what happened.

Everyone (and by “everyone” I mean relatively few people) knew that that there was a ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter and that the ratio was a constant but no one had come up with a cutesy name for it.

Meanwhile, in Wales, a math teacher named William Jones was having a bad day. He was completely out of useless ways to torment his students. So he invented Pi, and in the worst example of teaching anywhere introduced it 20 minutes before the test, making it a concept that could be approached but not reached in time for a good grade (that’s really clever which you’ll get if you re-read it several times and think mathematically).

William Jones was the first person to use a symbol to represent 22/7; Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician, may have been the first to use the symbol pi (sometime before 1783 because that’s when he died).

Pi is an irrational number. This is not the reason it is your sister’s nickname, although it is an interesting coincidence.

Love, Mom

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Stuff You Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time. And Trains. And Penguins.

Stuff You Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time. And Trains. And Penguins.

Dear Kid,

Happy the first Monday of Daylight Saving Time. This is the day it really hurts. Because for many of us, weekend time is different. A few minutes extra sleep, a couple minutes one way or the other, are not a problem, not an issue.

But today we return to real life. To obligations. To appointments. To Being On Time. And our bodies have not adjusted.

In the spring, all trains instantly become an hour behind at 2am (or sometimes an hour further behind). In this case, the engineer shrugs and keeps going. This is also called efficiency. DearKidLoveMom.comSo, being the kind of Mom I am, I’ve decided to bring you some little known factoids about DST.

If you’re involved in international business (or international friendship), beware. Different countries begin (and end) Daylight Saving Time on different days. Meaning what was a 2pm call last week is not a 2pm call this week. Consult The Google for local (here or there) time.

DST used to be even more confusing than it is now. (Now: Oh, look. My phone changed time. Guess it’s time to get up. Then: Oh, look. The headline in the newspaper says we are supposed to change our clocks. Is that now or tonight? Or last night? Or tomorrow? And which way do we change it? Spring forward and fall back? Or fall forward and I’ll catch you? Or always back? Never mind. I’ll watch the 6 o’clock news tonight and figure it out.)

Back in Ancient History (and by “ancient history” in this case I mean the 1950s and 1960s), each locality was allowed to start and end DST whenever it wanted. Which meant you could easily cross 453 time zones just driving to work. This was pretty much the textbook definition of “Arrrrgggh!” Also, it confused people. Enter the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (no, this had nothing to do with what people wore to work, just when they got there.

When we first moved to the Midwest, time in the state of Indiana was, um, different. Some parts of the year it was the same time in Indianapolis as in Cincinnati. Other times it wasn’t. This is because Indiana didn’t observe DST. Which made it hard to figure out what time to get to the airport if you decided to fly from there. They fixed this in 2006 so Hoosier time is now much more consistent with the rest of the universe.

Penguins do not worry about Daylight Savings Time because they don’t have any daylight to save when it’s winter and no reason to save it in the summer when they have daylight 24/7. Mostly they worry about lunch, not being lunch, & staying warm. DearKidLoveMom.comPenguins do not worry about things like Daylight Savings Time because they don’t have any daylight to save when it’s winter and no reason to save it in the summer when they have daylight 24/7. Mostly they worry about lunch, not being lunch, and staying warm. The research stations in Antarctica observe DST anyway so that they are synchronized with their supply stations.

This might be my favorite: In September 1999, the West Bank was on DST and Israel had just switched back to standard time. A group of terrorists on the West Bank set time bombs and smuggled them to three comrades in Israel. No one said the comrades were geniuses. The bombs went off as planned, but the comrades didn’t understand the “as planned” time, and boom! went the terrorists as the bombs exploded an hour earlier than they expected.

In a set of “what are you gonna do?” unintended consequences, Daylight Saving Time impacts trains. Trains are not allowed to leave the station before their scheduled departure time. So in the fall, all Amtrak trains that are running on time stop dead still at 2am and wait an hour (this is called efficiency). In the spring, all trains instantly become an hour behind at 2am (or sometimes an hour further behind). In this case, the engineer shrugs and keeps going. This is also called efficiency.

Daylight Saving Time can mess up important things, too. For example (this has really happened), if twins are born under the right circumstances, their birth order will be reversed. If Twin 1 is born in the fall at 1:58am and the sibling is born a few minutes later (oops, change the clock, fall back) it is earlier (perhaps 1:10am) when Twin 2 is born. Absolutely no one cares about this except A) the twins who will have their entire lives to argue about which one is older and B) inheritance lawyers in the middle ages when so much of inheritance was based on birth order.

Hope you have an easy time adjusting to the hour.

Love, Mom

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