Category Archives: Informational

The elusive “soccer mom” (and a bit of Betty Friedan)

Pejorative pigeonholes

Honda Minivan

When we hear, “she’s a soccer mom,” we Americans all know the speaker means that the woman drives her kid, and perhaps their friends, to and from soccer in a minivan. Like all stereotypes, there is additional meaning lurking just below the surface. However, because this stereotype is “coded” with markers of the dominant culture, those of us within any part of that culture may not “read” deeper. A “soccer mom” drives a nice late-model minivan, the family’s second car. Her husband drives the sedan to work. The wife is probably harried by having to organize when she drives which kid where, but has the time to do it: she doesn’t [need to] work for pay. The husband, wife, and children (most likely biological) live in the suburbs. The practice uniforms, because they also have game uniforms, are clean when the kids leave the car and dirty when they come back. Unspoken but especially important to the stereotype is that the soccer mom is white. Continue reading The elusive “soccer mom” (and a bit of Betty Friedan)

Not Just for Geeks: How I use my iPad & What It’s Done for Me

This is another installment of “Not Just for Geeks,” in which I try to give non-technies insight into technologies I find interesting. The previous one was about Magical iPhone Technologies. {Braced comments are for other iPad users.}

Wait: don’t go! Even if you’re not a self-professed geek, you may find something of interest here.

When the iPad first came out, I knew I didn’t want one. For someone like me who “needs” gear, this was highly unusual. True to my nature, however, within 3 months I had figured out the tremendous need it could fill, figured out roughly how I would configure it to meet my requirements for true mobility, and, of course, bought one. While I am always interested in seeing how new technology can push the boundaries, the ways in which I routinely use my iPad are mundane. Nonetheless, for me, using an iPad has been revolutionary. Continue reading Not Just for Geeks: How I use my iPad & What It’s Done for Me


I have blogger’s block. I’ve rediscovered my baggage about writing. I am suffering from bloggage.

A sufficient number of my kind readers have responded positively to my blog that I’ve been “trying on” thinking of myself as A Writer. I’ve sought, received, and somewhat followed, excellent advice. I’ve remembered the supposition that being A Writer requires self-torture. I’ve re-written this paragraph five times, and still it doesn’t satisfy me.

The front cover of The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, has a blurb from the New York Times Book Review.”Annie Dillard is a wonderful writer, and The Writing Life is full of joys.” I haven’t found the joys yet. She presents many interesting anecdotes about the process of writing, many of which at first appear to be tangential speculations, but they all meander back. Using several algorithms, Continue reading Bloggage

Words: A Foible

Luxurious words come to me, particularly when I write.  Aegis.  Austere.  Foible.  Gibe.  The sounds are part and parcel of the words.  They say to me, aurally, what they mean.  Loquacious:  my son.

Then I worry that the word that has appeared in my mind isn’t accurate.  Maybe I’m using the wrong one.

Carvaggio Foundation image

Aegis: according to one–albeit pathetic–dictionary, “support.”  According to my brain it means “under the banner of.”  But let me be sure.  Whence aegis?  The derivation bares the meaning I intended.  “The goatskin shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena.  Athena’s shield carried at its center the head of Medusa.” Continue reading Words: A Foible