I am legitimate!


Ron bought me my very own domain tonight! http://www.careysparks.com is all mine.  That’s right, I am legitimate now.

Reminds me of MC Hammer.  2 Legit 2 Quit!

So now, we have pointed my newly upgraded blog (moved to WordPress) to my new domain.  This means, I will have to blog more often.

I struggle sometimes finding the right topic or I just simply procrastinate.  But now, with my name on the line, I can’t quit.

Not only that, but last April I said I was going to pick up photography as a hobby and look how long it took me to finally just get a camera?  (Ron and I bought the Canon Digital Rebel XSi at the end of December).

So my goal is to use this blog to keep me check, keep me honest!

Ron and I have taken the camera out and have tried out different techniques and just simply trying to figure out all the bells and whistles of the camera.  Just this past week we headed out to Leu Gardens (our very favorite quiet space) and took tons of pictures.

So what is next?  Well, I still want to take some classes at the Crealde School and Ron works with a bunch of photographers, so I plan on picking their brains as well.  I am so excited and plan on sharing my progress here.  It’s a win-win situation.

Bringing home Einstein


This past weekend we added a new member to our family. We welcomed Einstein to the mix. He is a 2 1/2 month old rescue. We are told he his a mix between Boxer and Lab. The vet mentioned she saw some Beagle as well, but we’re not sure.

I won’t rehash the whole story of how we came to decide to get a new puppy. Ron already blogged about that story (check it out at http://binarybiker.wordpress.com).

Anyhow, I wanted to share how our first few days have been. In short, TIRING, but fun! It almost brings back memories of when Ashlee was a baby. Forgot all the hard work that comes along with puppies. Apparently, it is not always playtime.

Einstein (who has also been nicknamed “Monkey”), is a very active, but sweet puppy. He is a bit clumsy still. His paws are HUGE, hence he is going to be a big boy. So he trips and slips, but it doesn’t stop him whatsoever. He gets along famously with Cassie, our Beagle. They play very well together. They both iniate the playtimes as well. Either Cassie will bump him with her butt or he will come over and slap her with one his big paws. He is very inquisitive and gets very determined to figure things out.

Einstein also loves to have whatever Cassie has. If she is playing with the ball, he wants the ball. If she is chewing a hoof, he wants that hoof. How do we know this? Well, Einstein crawls up close to her and barks at her. Cassie, being so mild-natured, just gets up and leaves whatever it is and lets him have it. So adorable! We haven’t decided who will become the alpha dog. We’ll see as time goes how that plays out.

We have been actively working on crate training Einstein as well. We’ve been getting him to go in and get treats and toys, trying to show that the crate will be his safe place. He even took a nap in the crate yesterday (after some coaxing, but he did stay for an hour). Bedtime, however, is a different story.

On night number one, given he isn’t ready to spend the entire night in the crate, we tried putting the crate in our room so I knew when he needed to go outside. Yea…that wasn’t a good idea. He wanted nothing to do with sleeping in that crate. This puppy wanted to be held. He can fall asleep on a dime when I hold him. That’s right, I have sucker written all over my forehead. I held him, got him to sleep and then put him in the crate. As soon as I turned around, BAM! Wide awake again. So, I looked lovingly over at Ron, hoping he had some dog training wisdom to share. Silence. We were both tired, so we decided to just let him stay in the bed with us. He slept like a rock until around 4:30am. So I took him out, came back in and tried the crate again. Silly me. 10 minutes later, Ron grumbled something like “just put him in the bed so we can sleep”. Ok, maybe it didn’t come out that grumpy, but it was 4:30 in the morning. As soon as I put him in the bed again, he was out like a light! Yep, we are 2 suckers! We fell for it.

This picture below shows how he can just fall asleep if I hold him. This was us in the car the other day.

So, here we are, coming up on the end of day 4, Einstein has slept with us every night. Tonight, we are going to stand tough and put the crate out in the other room and hope it works. Wish us luck.

Today was also the first day he stayed in the crate all day. It was so hard to leave. Ashlee rushed home after school and confirmed he made it through the day. He did have an accident, but he was VERY happy she was home. Tonight, we are setting up the “puppy cam” so I can check in on him from the office to make sure he is doing ok.

So here’s hoping for a good night’s rest and hoping for less accidents in the house. We always have to have a goal right??

Gender Gap in Video Games?


Here is my thought provoking question of the week. Is there a gender gap in the video games market?

This past week, young Christopher Sparks spent his hard earned money on the new Nintendo DSi. I have to say, it is pretty darn cool. Christopher already had the DS Lite, so he was kind enough to take pity on Ron and I, and therefore “let” us have it since he has the new one.

Ron and I, the geeks we are, were quite excited! Now we have our own portable game system! We realized quite quickly that we did not have any games for it of our own. Christopher and Ashlee grudgingly said we could borrow a game, but there was no giving us a game. So much for the fact we bought half those games!

So Ron and I took a trip over to our favorite Target store to see what we could find. Ron was bouncing all over the place. He was finding all sorts of games that were piquing his interest. There was Call of Duty 4, Lego Star Wars, Pokemon, Speed Racer, Transformers, Zombie Teenagers, Iron Man, must I go on? I was not so lucky. I don’t like the fighting games, so what does that leave me with? Cooking Mama? Nintendogs? High School Musical? Petz? They were all more interactive/role-playing games, which are not so intense. Not that there is anything wrong with these games, I just found it amusing how there is truly two different markets.

Fighting and violence for the boys and arts and crafts and pets for girls. What does this say about us? It reminds me of the old nursery rhyme:

“What are little boys made of?

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.”

So the question is, is there a problem? Is there a missing vertical of video games? I am on the fence. I am sure there are girls who like the fighting games and I am sure there are boys who like the interactive-type games. I don’t even know what the missing game type would be, so is there really an issue? I feel like something is missing, but maybe not.

I guess I will go play Animal Crossing and think about it some more……. (wink wink)