Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for school again

I don’t know if I am happy or sad that summer is over. We did not do any of the things we planned. Instead we spent the first part of the summer getting over really bad sunburns. We never went back to the beach this summer. We planned to go almost every weekend. It took us a month to heal from the burn we got from one day in the sun. We over did it, and our summer paid for it. We thought we would go places and do things this year. Instead we struggled to pay our bills and did very little.

Now school is about to start, in a couple of days, and we look back at all we did not do. It makes me sad that we did not do much. Lucky for the kids they went to summer day camp and did trips every week. They did lots and did not really notice what we did not do as a family. I think they were just glad to be home and relax on the weekends. We are actually giving them the last week of the summer off of summer camp. They like spending time with us, but we want to make sure they have other children to play with.

Now they are going to be going to school, a difficult thing for our son, and a fun time for our daughter. I am not sure I am ready for the struggles I know are to come. The demand of homework alone is a battle I don’t wish to take on. I know that every day I will have to fight with my son to get him to do his homework. Often he fights me over his homework. He hates school work and homework even more.

He gets picked on by other students and does not like going to school. School work is difficult for him. He has ADHD and an unnamed language based learning disability. We think he may have dyslexia. Overall school is not a fun time for him.

My daughter on the other hand has fun at school. She is a typical student having good and bad days. She gets along with others but tends to be a follower, not a leader. She will be ok with the other kids. So far she seems to be an average student. I am sure she will be fine as long as we work with her, and make sure she does her homework.

I worry that we are not able to do enough for him, and are not doing enough for her. We can only do so much and hope we are doing enough. I just feel anxious. I want them both to have the best opportunities and I am not sure they have. I worry that my son will again have a poor teacher, unequipped and unwilling to work with a child that does not fit the normal behavior pattern. The last couple teachers he had actually made things worse, only the E.A. took the time to understand and help him and the other children stuck in this women’s class.

I worry that I don’t do enough for my daughter because she is fine and my son needs lots of help. I know she acts out to get more attention sometimes. I hope that she does not act out in school to try and get more attention.

Most parents seem to be happy when their children go to school. All I can think about is how difficult this school year may be. Both children have teachers new to the school. I am hoping that this will give both my kids a fresh unbiased teacher who will give them a chance.

Welcome to Lord of the Rings MMORPG, now I am addicted

Addictions can get you anytime, anywhere. I have never thought of myself as having an addictive personality. I don’t drink, do drugs, hoard stuff or anything I would consider a type of addiction. Even my gambling is “safe”. I play bingo once every few years, I play the lottery weekly and used to spend $10 every couple of months to play online poker. I am addicted to coffee, but have cut it back to one to three cups in a day. So I would never think I could become addicted to anything.

Seems I am addicted to my computer and computer games. I was playing Dragons of Atlantis on Facebook for a bit. Found myself playing for hours on end. I never noticed the time go by. My kids and husband got quite cranky after a couple of weeks. I liked the game but had to stop playing. It is never ending, with new things to do all the time.

My husband made the mistake of introducing me to a MMORPG Lord of the Rings. It is free to play now, and a lot of fun. It blew Dragons of Atlantis away for me. It does not have the strategy aspect I loved on Dragons of Atlantis but the graphics are much better. You can walk around, talk to people, fight things, create things and even find things. There are quests and tasks to do. You can work with people, or alone. Though, at times you are required to form fellowships to finish some quests. I love it.

I am playing a lady hunter who makes jewellery and food. Seems my personality showed up in my game character. I have fun doing tasks and quests but am not very good at fighting with others. I am a little focused on just getting through that I forget about the people playing with me. Not so good, but am working on it. I think it will just take some practice.

My husband tended to take over my character when I did fellowships and skirmish’s. So now that I am actually trying to do them I suck! I just don’t have the skill yet. I will learn it but I have to do group fights at a low level until I get my skill up. I like doing the quests and tasks more than working as a group, but for some things you need to work with a group so I am learning.

I have had to limit myself to how much time I can spend on the game. I thought Dragons of Atlantis had sucked me in. Lord of the Rings is much more addictive. There is just so much to do. Lord of the Rings is so flexible and complex that it works on many levels. Each person is experiencing a different game but playing the same quests and tasks.

You can create unique and individual characters, change their looks and what they do until you are happy. You can create several different characters to play on one account. That way you can be anything and everything in the game. You can even have a home to relax in. There is a hobby, fishing. And you stand there and fish. I think this game is a way to have fun and leave the stress of the day behind, as long as you don’t end up creating problems because you are spending too much time online playing.

My family has made some smart choices about this game. We have limited ourselves to one account with different characters for each of us. This way we have to share the account and the time we spend on it. It would be a bad thing if we each had our own account. It would be too easy to find ourselves playing on different computers for hours. Instead we are limiting our time, but not our fun.

We are working together as a family. We make sure we spend time together off line, and help each other in the game. It is taking a lot of work to make sure we have that balance. Lord of the Rings is just that much fun. I am glad we are playing it the way we are. I am not sure if my husband and son will still be playing once the new Star Wars one comes out, but until then we are having fun together.

Because it is free I am happy to recommend Lord of the Rings to other people. If you do decide to try it out it would be appreciated if you would put Fenwolf1978 as the person who referred the game to you. If you do they will give us some Turbine points that we can use to buy or open up new quests and areas of the map, horses, houses, clothing and more. If you do, thank you in advance. If not, enjoy the game anyway. Look us up, Fenwolf, Mohasaba and Nicdragon. We will be happy to help out with any quests and tasks. You could fight with Fenwolf or Nicdragon. Or you could help me, Mohasaba, be a better team player. Just don’t blame us when you realise you have become addicted to the game.

Working from home - The good, bad and ugly

For several years now I have worked from my home. I ran my own business for years and now I work for a company doing copy writing for their websites. I love my work but there are some real pros and cons when working from home.

Working from home can be a great experience but it takes the right person to be able to do it. The demands of life always seem to interfere. There is always something more important to do then sit down and work. You have to be strong willed and motivated to make yourself sit down and go to work, even with all the distractions going on around you. There are phone calls, people dropping in and house hold chores crying out to be done.

At times, ok most times, a job is work and is boring. Not too many people enjoy working and do it because they have to. Watching TV, reading a book, talking with friends and playing video games are much more fun than working, even when you like what you do. It can be too tempting or easy to not work when you work from home. For some people working outside of their home is the best option otherwise nothing would get done.

When working from home there are good, bad and ugly things to be said about it.

The Good

• I don’t have to travel to and from work.
• I can work around my schedule.
• I can wear what I want.
• If my kids get sick I am already home, I can be with them and then work when they don’t need me.
• I get a good paycheque and I love what I do.
• I can still work even when I am sick.
• I can avoid most office politics. I can also avoid being distracted from work by co-workers, there is no chatting around the water cooler.
• My work space is mine, I don’t have to share and no one cares what it looks like or what I have on my wall.

The Bad

• It is very difficult finding a job that you work from home.
• There is no real socializing with co-workers. You tend to work by yourself. At times it does not feel as if you are part of a group. It is not good for people who love to socialize in the office.
• I have to have a work space. Even if I live in a small place I have to have an area that is just for work.
• I supply my own hardware, desk, chair, computer and everything else I need for my job.
• I am responsible for my computer software, internet and protecting my computer. If something goes wrong with my computer I have to pay to have it fixed or buy a new one.
• I pay for internet, electricity and everything else.
• It can be hard to get started some days. There is always other stuff to do. Some days the couch and TV call my name and I don’t get work done.
• If my kids are home I get nothing done.
• I cannot get away from work. There is no leaving it at the office.
• Problems with communication with boss. It can be harder to get hold of my boss then if I worked in the same office. Sometimes it can be difficult to get clear and precise instructions. It would be easier if I was in the office and could see what my boss wanted.
• I forget to stop working. There is no “end” to my work day. I can work 24/7 if I wanted. That means I sometimes forget to stop and eat lunch. Once I lost track of time and was late picking up my kids from school.
• It is not easy, I have real work to do and no one to help me or do my job if I am sick. It is not a cushy job sitting around my house doing nothing. If I don’t work I don’t get paid.

The Ugly

• I am treated different when working at home then I would be in an office.
• People just don’t respect my job.
• Working from home is viewed as not actually having a job.
• It is too easy for people to forget you are working.

o There just seems to be a lack of respect for my job and my work hours. People are always saying they would love to be able to work from home, but when I say that I do suddenly my job is not as important as theirs. It somehow becomes devalued by the fact that I don’t have to dress up and go into an office every day.

o Many people think that because I work from home it is not a real job and I can stop and do other things whenever they want me to. I get phone calls during my work hours when people just want to chat and then they think I am being rude when I say that I have to get back to work. They would never call me at “work” if I worked in an office. But because I am at home that means I am not working and I should be available to them.

o I was taking to child care subsidy. Because I work from home they were telling me they don’t usually give child care subsidies to people who work from home. After all they can watch their kids because they are home. The fact that they cannot get any work done and they lose their jobs is their problem. It would be a different story if I had to leave my home to work. After arguing with them and pointing out that I have a job, with a paycheque, and scheduled hours they had to agree that I have a job and require child care. It was only because I told them that I do have to drop into the office every once in awhile that they agreed that it was a “job”. There is an office to work in but I don’t always work there so I have a real job. The fact that I don’t have a desk there and only go there for face to face meetings with my boss was not as important as the fact that I had to go into the office at some point.

o Even my husband has said to me, you are going to be at home today so you can get all this stuff done. Then he looks surprised when I say “no, I am working”. He used to think that I should be able to stop and do things with him and would actually get upset that I was blowing him off to “work”. That changed when he had a work from home job for a bit. He suddenly understood that being home does not mean I am not working. I think it would have become a big problem if he had not experienced working from home for himself.

Working from home can be very rewarding, but it is not easy to do. I think that I am very lucky to be able to work from home. But that does not make it any easier to actually work from home. I have to make myself go to work every day. It is easier to do so when you are expected to show up someplace and do a job. I don’t have my boss breathing down my neck checking up on me but I still have to get the work done. I am 100% responsible for what I do and do not do.