Things I do that would drive my mom nuts

Written by kathy on Saturday, 20 of June 2009 at 7:48 pm

My mom was a stickler for how to do things “right.” She was a perfectionist and what other people thought about her and her family meant a lot to her. So, she spent a lot of time doing things “right.” I sometimes wonder what she would say about how I do things now that I have three children, a house, a husband and a dog. I know she would definitely tell me what she thought and I really miss having that input.

So, mom, here are some things I do that I know would definitely drive you crazy if you were alive today:

1. I don’t make the kids’ beds every morning and neither do they.

2. I don’t give them baths every night.

3. I do the laundry when it’s overflowing, not just on Saturdays.

4. We often let the dishes air dry.

5. We always use the clothes dryer, even in the summer.

6. I take long showers.

7. I let Jacob take long showers.

8. I don’t use coupons (okay, I don’t even do the grocery shopping – Brian does it!)

9. We let the kids play on the computer.

10. We let the boys have a television in their room

11. They even have a pet turtle now!

12. I don’t clean the bathrooms every Saturday.

13. We give the dog table scraps.

Mom, we do tell our kids we love them everyday several times a day and we tell them how important their family is. We do visit Grandma and Grandpa regularly so the boys know their grandparents and understand who their family is. We do talk about you although they really don’t understand who you are and why you’re not here. We go to every baseball practice and game. Brian coaches their teams just like you did for me when I was in cheerleading.

I think you’d be proud even if our laundry may overflow on a Saturday night and our beds are a pile of blankets. Your intentions were understood and we do have a happy family.

Thanks Mom.

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Business Week cover story paints the wrong picture

Written by kathy on Sunday, 15 of October 2006 at 1:02 pm

I wrote the following on the blog about the Click Fraud cover story in a recent issue of Business Week:

I think the article explained click fraud pretty well but did so only after painting all online advertising as fraudulent. The cover itself, if one were walking by a newsstand, gives the impression that online advertising is somehow deceitful and not trustworthy.

As the director of Internet operations for a small daily newspaper in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I was especially annoyed by the unsourced statement on page 49 and repeated in the sidebar on page 56 that “There is concern that some media companies commit impression fraud by overstating the number of visitors to their sites.” Concern from whom? This so-called concern as never been brought to my attention or to the attention of any of my colleagues.

I’d like to know who is concerned.

I think it’s irresponsible for Business Week to parade click fraud, a very real problem on SOME Web sites, as the poster child for all online advertising. Your cover design was intended to spark fear in the market and your unnamed sources only served to fuel that fire without any evidence.

Please name the source of the concerned so that we, in the responsible online media realm, can address those concerns.

I’m disappointed that neither of the authors nor the editor decided to respond. I guess that’s answers my question about who is concerned about traditional media’s online media traffic stats — no one is.

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Category Kathy,Media

He’s Five Years Old

Written by kathy on Sunday, 1 of October 2006 at 8:25 am

Jacob is a smart little boy. We always suspected that, but he’s already proven his intellectual prowess in that testing ground of all testing grounds — Kindergarten.

It started about a week ago. Mrs. Fannock, Jacob’s teacher, wrote a note in his MOOSE book (that’s an acronymn for Management Of Organizational Skills Everyday which calls for a separate post altogether) asking me if I signed the note. I wrote back the next day that I didn’t see any note. We exchanged another round of Q&A the next day and she called the house on Wednesday and asked Brian about the note.

Turns out Mrs. Fannock wrote a note on Friday explaining that Jacob had been terribly bad that day. He was spoken to three times by three different teachers; had his desk moved away from the other children; and got up anyway and pushed a child in the back.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the note was missing from his MOOSE book because he took it out, rolled it up into a ball and stuck it in his desk. Mrs. Fannock found it the day she talked to Brian.

That evening we talked to Jacob about what he did. He just stood there staring at me. He didn’t flinch when Brian told him Mrs. Fannock called. He didn’t seem to mind that if he gets in trouble again at school he can’t watch television for two days. He just stood there.

I’m hopeful that the lack of acknowledgement is a reflection of his age. He’s five. What the heck does he really know of deceit? He got caught. What does he really know of expressing regret?

If it’s any consolation, he’s been really good the past few days. He hasn’t hit his brother nearly as much as usual. I’m hoping the whole aggression thing is a phase he’ll grow out of.

Afterall, he’s being managed to the bone. The MOOSE thing sounds like a tool from General Electric’s Jack Welch. Jacob actually tells me he works all day and he’s tired. His world of trucks, playdough and swingsets is over.

Who wouldn’t be pissed and act out against THAT?

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Category Kathy,the Boys


Written by kathy on Saturday, 23 of September 2006 at 10:52 pm

Jacob’s favorite book today, Truelove, is one that Brian bought for me before Jacob was born. It tells the story of a mutt named Truelove who feels neglected when his family has their first baby.

MakevaJacob told me he likes the book because it has a lot of dogs and he would like to have more dogs. We have two already, one is about 14 years old and the other just over a year. Jacob really wants a dog he can hold in his arms. Loki, the younger dog, was already more than 40 pounds when we adopted him. He’s a white german shephard.Loki

I understand Jacob’s desire to have a puppy. But, despite the lesson of the book Truelove, sometimes you can’t take them all home. I know. I used to beg my parents to save every dog I saw on the street. They didn’t, but I always had a dog as a pet and so will Jacob and William

Pets really are a true love.

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Category Kathy,the Boys

Jo the Super Nanny

Written by kathy on Tuesday, 19 of September 2006 at 8:33 pm

I admit it, I watch Super Nanny sometimes and last night was like being there for me. My boys are not nearly as bad as Rosemary’s three boys, but I could relate to much of what she and her husband John are going through.

My boys don’t listen to me unless I’m yelling. I can ask nicely twice for them to stop and they do nothing until the THIRD ASK . I take things away. I count to three. I make them sit in time-out.

Nothing seems to work.

And, like Rosemary and John, I have felt like giving up. Just let them do what they want. I don’t want to yell every day. But, that is exactly what Rosemary and John did and why they were on the show. They gave up. Their kids did WHATEVER they wanted. They went to bed when they wanted. They never cleaned up their rooms. They broke their toys and didn’t clean up the mess. They were even worse in school and after-school.

So, the good news is that I haven’t given up. I’ve thought about it. I’ve really wanted to walk away, but I haven’t. And therein lies the hope.

That and I’ve admitted to watching the damn show, so that’s the first step toward recovery.

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Category Kathy,the Boys

Don’t believe the hype

Written by kathy on Tuesday, 19 of September 2006 at 10:24 am

There are lots of commentators predicting the death of newspapers. They point to falling circulation and the shift in advertising dollars from print to other media, including the Internet.

I don’t argue that the newspaper industry is undergoing a transition. But, it’s irresponsible to assume we are not actively participating in our transition. Sure, change is slow and our readers and advertisers are probably moving faster than we are right now. But, if you look closely, we are moving.

At the tiny Pocono Record, for example, we break news first on our Web site. Recently, there was a fire in downtown Stroudsburg around 9:30 p.m. We had it first on our site with pictures and subscribers to our text alert service got the news on their cell phones soon after.

The ongoing news reporting through multiple media makes our print presentation, which more than 50% of the market still wants, that much stronger. We were recognized by the Poytner Institute for our front-page coverage of that story. Click here for a screenshot of the coverage.

We recently started producing audio slideshows. The slideshows are a great way to capture the emotion of a scene through sounds that complement the fantastic photography of our staff photographers. Some would say, “big deal, lots of sites do this and even do video.” Well, they’re right. And we have plans to start capturing stories with video but I don’t think it’s the technology that’s makes a difference.

Anyone can do a slideshow. I make them for my family but that doesn’t mean they are any good. Any can shoot video.

But doing it well is a lot harder than it looks. Our reporters, photographers and editors are trained to tell compelling stories in ways that capture imagination and inform. To say it’s responsible is an understatement. We have a public duty to report. Do the millions of bloggers out there hold the same duty? I doubt it.

And who blogs about the Poconos anyway? Who reports on what the school board discussed last night? Who captures the images of the local 9/11 Memorial Ceremony to share with those who couldn’t attend? Who goes to every high school football games, writes down the statistics, takes pictures of the best plays, and compiles all that information into a package for online and print readers to engage with at their leisure?

Well, no one does that except the Pocono Record.

Are there challenges facing us and the industry at large? Absolutely. Are we sitting around doing nothing about it? Absolutely not.
Great content wins the day. Our business might be different in a few years, but we’ll still be the public record for the Poconos for many years to come.

My friend and colleague at the Knoxville News Sentinel wrote this in his blog:

The number one thing that newspapers have is that a newspaper throws away more content in a day than Yahoo makes in a year.

Shawn Riegsecker, CEO of Centro, a Chicago-based media buying firm

Riegsecker was speaking Tuesday at the Newspaper Association of America conference for newspaper investors. The quote was in a story in Online Media Daily from MediaPost CommunicationsHis point was the biggest advantage newspaper Web sites have over competitors like portal sites is a large amount of quality content that advertisers want to be placed alongside, the article said.

Another notable comment in the story was that Tribune Co. said interactive revenues will be $225 million or 6 percent of publishing revenues this year and will be 12 to 15 percent within four years.

Dying? No. Different? Yes.

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Category Kathy,Media

the PTA

Written by kathy on Monday, 18 of September 2006 at 2:01 pm

I attended my first PTA meeting last week for Jacob’s school. There was a good crowd there and I noted silently that there is always many more people at the first meeting than at the second.

I hope to buck that trend and show up as often as I can. Their decision to hold some meetings during the day hurts my chances at succeeding, obviously. But, I’ll give it a try.

The sole purpose of the PTA is to raise money for those things that the school district cannot afford to buy or just won’t buy. So, items like field trips, class presentations, the science fair. All things that I fondly remember enjoying when I was in school but never cared about how those events were paid for. Maybe the PTA paid for our field trips back then, too?

Anyway, I’m not much of a fundraiser. I’d rather just write a check and be done with all the marketing materials sent home in Jacob’s back-pack. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to just add together the costs of all the things the district won’t pay for and divide that number by the number of children and ask the parents for whatever it comes out to? The fundraising programs are sophisticated and must cost a pretty penny to run. The direct route — asking parents to donate — would enable all the collected dollars to fall straight to the bottom line.

But, hey, what do I know?

Oh, and if you want to donate you can buy frozen food online here and put in our school code so we get credit — 24656.
Or, you can buy stuff here and enter this number for LB Morris – 1692971.

There, that’s my plug now who can I make the check out to?

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Category Kathy


The Schwartz Family is an active American family living in the northeast region of Pennsylvania. This site is a way to keep in touch with friends and family while also keeping up with and trying the latest technology. So, if something doesn't work, please let us know!