Love. Listen/Observe/Read. Act. Repeat.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #16

Peggy: So, Sam, how are your new classes going?
Sam: Pretty well.
Peggy: Are they all required classes?
Sam: No, just the personal hardware class. I'm taking Linux and animation for fun.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Return of the Pawnee

Thanks to Texas A&M's little video, "Texas Inlay & Four-Flap Grafting," the girl can graft.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bloom falling off the yellow rose ...

Texas faces an $18 billion deficit, and it is likely that some painful cuts will fall on the state's most vulnerable -- as if this state's services for the aged and those with disabilities and special health care needs weren't already starved for resources.

Here's what could be lost, simply assuming the across-the-board 10 percent cut ordered by Gov. Perry:

Community Mental Health Services = $80 million
State Mental Health Hospital Services = $44 million
Children with Special Health Care Needs = $24 million
EMS Trauma = $23 million
Mental Health Crisis/Transitional Services = $10 million
Primary Care = $9 million
Immunizations = $8 million

Some of the beautiful people in Austin who remind the legislators to have a heart, and be smart, with our money, have organized a rally on the north steps of the capitol for 1 p.m. Sept. 1. For more information, call Dennis Borel or Chase Bearden at 512-478-3366 or e-mail:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #15

Peggy: So what do you think of this beautiful weather?
Sam: What do you mean? It's the same.
Peggy: No, the 100s are gone. It's beautiful out there.
Sam [stepping out on the porch and checking the thermometer]: My God, it's a hurricane.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lend your experience

Some of the best help a parent can get is from another, more experienced parent.

If you are like me, one of those more experienced parents, you might think you don't have time to help. But you do.

There is some training involved, but it's fun and chances are, you'll learn a thing or two that helps your family. And then you pay it forward by providing support to another family -- usually on the phone, or through e-mail.

If you're ready to help, mark your calendar for Sept. 25, because that's the next time Texas Parent to Parent will be in Dallas for parent volunteer training.

Here's a little from their press release:

"We believe that support from other parents is the best way to assist a family on the journey of raising a child with special health care needs. The sharing of joy, frustration, and hope with another parent is one of the most powerful experiences a parent can receive. We’re looking for a few parents who are ready to share their time and their experience.

Do you know a family who would like to attend? Who are the parents who have made a difference in your life? Who has helped you along on your family’s journey?"

Call 1-866-896-6001 ... and pass this on.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Billy Bob's

Last year, Michael discovered that he could get into Billy Bob's, Fort Worth's famous honky tonk, on Thursday nights for free.

He and Sam went together this Thursday, sort of an end-of-summer celebration. Both start classes this week. They were lucky this time, Michael reports, because the cover band kept playing. At one point, they played a family favorite, Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood.

Sam reports that he had fun and would like to go again soon. "People always have fun at Billy Bob's," he said. It took a while to figure out what was going on, he said. He danced with one girl.

Michael danced with the same girl.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #14

Michael: Oh, why is college so complicated?
Sam (in a fatherly tone): I think you know the answer to that, Michael.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Confundus charm

J.K. Rowling has a great mind, not just a great imagination. There is no antidote to a Confundus charm, only the strength of character that allows one to resist.

Or, as Epictetus said, "Only the educated are free."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #13

Sam: Those lights on the modem and the router are really beautiful.
Peggy: Yes, they are.
Sam: Blue and green. Like Christmas lights.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #12

The little rooster crowing at the evening sunset.

He's five months old.

Overheard in the Wolfe House #11

Sam: It's an even year. Time to vote again.
Peggy: So who you voting for? No Hair or Good Hair?
Sam: No Hair.

(Subtitle this one: No hair, just a head.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

The theory of self-reference

I've often wondered why we don't hear much about the possibility that artificial hormones play a role in the rise of autism rates.

I couldn't tolerate birth control pills and wrote about the experience, in relation to Sam's autism, in my book. To me, hormones could explain why, until recently, autism was in first-born males four out of five times. It could explain why the uptick in recent years. It could explain why more girls now, and not just boys. It could explain why a recent university study found more occurrences among the wealthy

Like being rich causes autism. No one believes any chicken laid that egg. But it is well-known that the wealthy have better access to birth control options.

Yet, people keeping beating that vaccination horse, even though it's been looked at rigorously for the past decade and no one has found a solid link. And lately, Vitamin D deficiency is all the rage.

I'm skeptical any causation theory if the proponent follows their theory with a "treatment" protocol, or hopes to file a class action lawsuit. Yeah, right. I'm not buying it.

From the theory of self-reference -- in other words, no scientific basis whatsoever -- I still want to ask, why aren't we looking at the effect of artificial hormones?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #10

Peggy (disappointed after reading her favorite grocer won't expand to Texas): Trader Joe's isn't interested in being online either.
Sam: You can buy a plane ticket to Sacramento if you want to shop at Trader Joe's.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Overheard in the Wolfe House #9

Sam (on manhood): I might have to start shaving every day. Boy, it's hard to keep up with that.

Nature and Nurture

We've come a long way since Bernard Rimland shredded BrunoBettleheim's theories that refrigerator moms caused the autism in their children. Or not far at all, depending on your point of view.

In this summer's Columbia magazine, I read about a promising study in Norway that is tracking 110,000 people over their entire lives. A mother-and-child cohort will gather data that could be used to test dozens of theories for autism's causes. In addition to chronicling every illness, immunization and medical treatment, they will be tracking gastrointestinal problems, too.

The world will likely get another pass at testing the persistent thought that autism is linked to vaccinations, although more than a decade of study has yet to link the two conclusively. In my opinion, very little work has been done to examine the stomach problems our kids have.

I'm not certain Sam's gut problems, even though they began at about 18 months old, came first and the autism came second. He had autism problems from the start. But it's about time some serious research got done in this area. With the last doctor I mentioned this concern about his gut I got -- as usual -- a blank stare.