Evil Genius Protesting: Fun With Flags

Trump was at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) last Friday. No surprise there.

There was flag-waving at this Good Ol’ U S of A event. Again, no surprise.

But did anyone have a good look at those flags? 

Image courtesy of The Independent


Yessiree minions! That’s the Russian flag!!

It took a few minutes (enough for some photography and social media) before CPAC officials noticed the problem. You know. Flag waving. It’s a constitutional right or something, isn’t it?

Word is, the flags were handed out by two protesters dressed just like all the other Conservatives there. How devious! Because we all know only the extremists/criminals/uneducated/uncivilised/unpatriotic/ etc would dare defy Hair Fuhrer (thanks to Shiri for that name). 

From Twitter user @deeinhouston

Protest level: Evil Genius

Maybe the aides should add The Big Bang Theory to Trumps “Calm Down Time”. Never before have we needed a spin-off so much. 

Making Patterns Out Of Chaos

For years, I’ve been blaming the wrong person. 


For years, I have been teasing EG Dad about his need for structure and order.

Clearly, our 17 years of non-fatal co-habitation shows he has mellowed over time, which has been good for him. Because there are very few neat-freak, organised perfectionists who can survive in a family of evil genius without succumbing to a bit of their own chaotic evil genius. 

It has been a huge sore point; to be completely honest, it still is. I am not a neat person. I often refer to it as organised chaos.

But today I realised there is actually a lot of pattern to my madness. 

I would even go as far to admitting… I think I am the one who is obsessed with patterns, and not EG Dad obsessed with order. 

*gulp*

I love finding patterns in anything. To me, it’s the easiest method in problem solving. Look for the pattern and then analyse the bejebus out of it. 

Sounds very mathematical doesn’t it? And yet, ironically I was told at school I would never succeed at math; I had too much humanities and not enough logic. 

This year, Sinister is in year 6 OC (gifted program) and the homework aid usually falls to me, mostly due to time availability. And I’ll be honest: I am more self-conscious this year, with those long-ago voices rearing their ugly heads again.

Just last night, Sinister asked for help on this one:


This is for test preparation and thus, time is of the essence. 

Now, for what it’s worth, the answer is D–36. Congratulations if you had that. 

Last night, there was no chance in any potential reality for me to have even guessed it right. 

But when I looked at it this morning, I sat down … And looked for the pattern. Calculate corners. Break it down to a smaller model. 

And I had it!

And then I looked around at my messy home, and realised even in my chaos, I can see the patterns. Which is why the mess never seems as bad to me as it does to others. 

The patterns soothe me. Like stanzas in poetry. Like Shakespeare’s spoken word. It is a musical flow that resonates with me, even to the point of observing and manipulating others. 

Both my mother and my high school math teacher had it wrong. My humanity did not exclude me from mathematics. In fact, it was a direct result of a core concept in mathematics: pattern recognition.

I’m not saying maths will solve every human-related issue, but I now have a new way to approach homework this afternoon. 

I’ll be more confident. I will show a better way to break big problems to smaller problems to identify the patterns. I will show them better ways to build patterns from there, and thus manipulate their results. 

How?

Let’s start with a game of Qwirkle and see how I go.

“MUM!! Look what Dad did to the Qwirkle tiles!!”

Oh yeah, and back to blaming the other guy. Can’t let the spawnlings know all my quirks. šŸ˜‰

How to Survive a Heatwave with Your Kids

It’s a little hot in the EG Lair today.


In this type of weather, no-one is a happy camper.

We don’t have aircon, and we’re OK with that. It used to be only a few days each Summer that actually required serious cooling down, and on those days we would drive to the closest shopping centre. 

But the hot days are increasing in numbers and intensity. To put it simply, we are having heatwaves. And more of them.

Want proof? Sydney has just broken a 125-year-old record of the most days in Summer breaking 35C (about 95F?).

I’m not a Summer kind of gal. The spawnlings handle it far better than I do, but even they are having trouble sleeping and keeping calm in the sibling battles.

So here are my Top Five Tips For Surviving A Heatwave:

  1. Get thee to a shopping centre–or swimming pool, local library, or the like. Something indoors. Outside options, including the beach, still come with a high risk of heat exhaustion. Movies are good, so are cafes and food courts. Seriously.
  2. Freeze your Fabrics–EG Grandma always puts damp washers in the freezer and they are perfect for calming the odd overheated moment (or seven). Then I moved to Central Queensland and learnt about putting your underwear in the freezer. GENIUS!! It doesn’t last long, but that immediate relief is worth it. Plus the spawnlings love the idea of undies in the freezer!
  3. Ice-creams in your bottle-shop–for those not from Aust, our “liquor stores” are known as bottle-o’s with GIANT fridge sections to keep the beer cold. Often they are located right next door to the corner shop or convenience store. Buy your ice-cream at the shop, walk next door and “peruse” the beers until your ice-cream is finished. You may want to consider buying one for the bottle-o attendant. Just in case they aren’t initially sympathetic. 
  4. Re-appropriate a kiddies pool–you know you’re just a big kid anyway. Fill the kiddies pool with water and a few dozen ice-cubes and chill out. If you place it right, you can even set it up near the TV, with ice cold drinks around you.
  5. Frozen rice–this one is for bed time. You know that wheat pack you have, for all those aches and pains? This works in the same way. Put a cup of rice in a clean sock, tie it off, and throw in the freezer. After at least an hour, you can put in bed to cool the sheets for an easier sleep. Rice won’t melt and make a mess, but does retain cold very well (thanks to Sharlene Hensler for reminding me about this one. Good minion)

Hopefully the heatwave in Aust won’t go too much longer, but each year just keeps hitting more and more extremes. That’s why it is so important we keep our cool while we convince the rest of the world to come to the climate change party.

Stay cool minions. 

Do Your Spawnlings Wear Sunglasses?

sunglasses-featureI wear sunglasses all the time. Seriously, every day. Take a look at my profile picture. The spawnlings each have their own pair as well. However, shoppingĀ forĀ sunglasses is a tiring exercise.

I recently did a review on some sunglasses over onĀ GeekMom. Yes, I scored some freebies for it (perks of blogging). To be completely honest, I was really wary about any sunglasses purchased online. Remember, I am of the bespectacled species; pretty much useless if my prescripted lenses are even slightly out.

I also grew up in Northern Australia. Sunglasses are part of the uniform when you cross the border. And if the sunglasses aren’t meeting the grade, it will cost you big time in headaches, eyestrain, and a bunch of other health factors.

The idea of buying sunglasses online was as appealing as shopping in person–which IĀ hate.

The thing is, how do you know you’re buying quality before you hand over your cash? You look for reviews of people who truly put something to the same testing you would.

And yes. My spawnlings like to destroy things.

So here’s the review for you again, in a more “Evil Genius Mum” standard. Again, you can read the full review over atĀ GeekMom, with full costs and links; I’m just expanding upon the testing and suitability for eachĀ spawnling.

For the energetic 3-year-old honey badger

Zaltu is three years of pure energy (like a lot of three-year-olds), inspired and motivated by her older brothers. Sheā€™ll give anything a go, because ā€œshe donā€™t care!ā€ Zaltu is not a stereotype; she likes all bold colours, surfing the waves with her dad, racing in Mario Kart with her mum, pulling out theĀ DC Superhero Girls dolls, and dreams of being an astronaut. Generally, she likes theĀ ideaĀ of sunglasses, but they never stay long on her face because they tend to interfere with whatever chaos ensues.

These Julbo Booba sunglasses have been an absolute hit. Zaltu loves wearing them everywhere. And yes, I do mean everywhere.zaltus-sunglasses

The sunglasses look good. They have bright boldĀ coloursĀ with soft enough arms to rest easily on her head. Zaltu has a big head like her mother. We recently learnt Zaltu’s glassesĀ fitĀ an 8-year-oldĀ friend. True fact. I was a tadĀ nervous about stretching them, but the sunglasses flexed really well.

The quality of the lenses is fantastic: plastic category-3 lenses, designed for full UV protection. These sunglasses are the genuine product, cutting out the glare so prevalent on both the beach and the ski slopes. And the added wrap-around feature is a boon to both light-leak and fitting on the head.zaltu-julbo-sunglasses

They are also fairly scratch-resistant. Zaltu throws these things everywhere. Yet they come up a lot better than the scratch-resistance IĀ paidĀ for with my sunglasses. They have survived the sandy beach and easily cleaned up afterwards. I’m not sure exactly what they have done, but these sunglasses have completely survived the Summer Holidays of a three-year-old. They are good.

For the experimenting 7-year-old scientist

Nefarious is the scientist, with the curiosity for why things happen (and how to make it go ā€œBOOM!ā€ again). He is theĀ one to think outside the box and push things to the limits.nefarious-sunglasses-polaroid

Aesthetically, the style is a little more ā€œclassic coolā€ with bolderĀ coloursĀ to choose from. They are the perfect transition point between the high-energy fun of the Julbos and the more conservative frames for the older kids. These frames are a harder plastic but not so hard as to stick into a kidā€™s head.

The good thing about the harder plastic frames: they have survived tree climbing, being sat on by Sinister, and a short but effective game of tug-o-war with Zaltu. The frames have a small amount of flex to the structure, but not so much to bounce out a lens.

Of course, Nefarious loved the reflective lenses because they hide his eyes. Yes, I did explain to him about the practicality of the lenses, but he didnā€™t care. He is seven. He just loves rolling his eyes at me behind those shades.nefarious-polaroid-sunglasses

Only downside: they donā€™t wrap around and stop the light leak on the side. However, Nefarious says he hates that style. So clearly this isĀ myĀ issue, and I should be grateful he has sunnies he is willing to wear.

For the smooth 10-year-old chilling out

Sinister is the more subtle of the three spawnlings. While he loves to be the class clown, he only likes the attention if he is in control of it. At heart, he is quite conservative and deep-in-thought. Sinister is the one to sit back and watch you from behind his sunglasses, playing out a million and one scenarios in his head.sinisters-sunglasses

Again, smooth, classic style but in aĀ colourĀ variantĀ he likes. These are the hardest plastic of all the frames. There is no flex in the arms whatsoever.Ā The trueĀ test of comfort: Sinister is still wearing these on top of his sunburnt noseĀ and there is no pain.

Like his brother, Sinister also likes the mirrored lenses. He also appreciates the singleĀ colourĀ scheme, as he feels a little more ā€˜grown-upā€™. What I did notice with this pair is that the frames are ever so slightly curved to the face. Even though they are not fitted, they do provide a bit more protection to the eyes on the sides.sinister-sunglasses

See those water droplets in the photo above? No watermark. Not sure exactly what special feature that is, but from a prescripted lens point of view (who hates any smudge or scratch on her glasses) this is AMAZING. What kind of dark magic is this?!? And how do I score some!!

Each of these sunglasses survived the Spawnling Test Zone; buried at the beach, thrown across the room, sat on by older brothers, running through water features, spinning around and around on aĀ spinning teacup. The worst they seem to have is a slightly loose screw in one arm on Zaltuā€™s sunglasses, which is easily fixed at any glasses shop or with your own tiny screwdriver at home. I wear glasses all the time and a loose screw is nothing new in this familyā€¦ or in our glasses.

Iā€™m still stunned by how easy it was.Ā Vision DirectĀ is an Australian website, and they deliver anywhere in the world. They provided me with the kidsā€™ sunglasses for reviews, and now I am so impressed I am going back to them for my own prescripted sunglasses (at my own expense).

The hardest part of the whole process was probably measuring Zaltuā€™s face for her glassesā€”have you recently asked a three-year-old to stand still for 10 seconds?