Mad and Sad about “Girls and Robots”

Früg & MeightRobots, Trains, and Cars, oh my

Andrea Phillips’ recent post “Girls and Robots” made me so very mad and sad for both Andrea’s daughter and my own. 1  Right now my daughter and I play with trains, work on robots, talk about science and try to invent and discover things together.  It almost goes without saying, but she also loves fairies, princesses, pink, purple, and anything fancy or frilly.

I know she’s going to face the same pressures as Maya and I try so hard to inoculate her from them.  I tell my daughter she can do anything, because she really can.  I tell her to persevere and not listen to other people when they say you can’t do something.  And I try to set a good example for her.

A few weeks ago we took my daughter to the Western Train Museum in Solano.  After a fun little train ride we took a tour of some of their trains, walked around a few others, and visited their small gift shop.  Inside there were two Thomas the Tank Engine tables – with a little boy, perhaps 3 years old, who was hogging one of the tables.  When my daughter approached the one side he shambled over and tried to shoulder her out of the way.  I looked over at the child’s mother who wasn’t watching her son at all.  So I told my daughter there was a whole other table she could play with by herself – and she went over to play with it quietly.  In a minute or two the little boy walked over to grab a train from her table and the boy’s mother said, “That’s a girl train, this <indicating another> is a boy train, she can play with the girl train, you play with this one.”

I was so furious.  Who is this ignorant woman who can’t control her own toddler to tell my daughter what she should play with?  If she wants to teach her grabby child to be a pig, so be it – but keep away from my kid.

I stomped over and told my daughter, louder than was strictly necessary, “Honey, you can play with any train you want to.  You don’t have to listen to anyone.”  The woman said nothing and was soon gone.2

I can only hope the incident won’t leave any impression on my daughter – but I’m not optimistic. 3  What really scares me is that a multitude of ignorant people will all make innumerable ignorant remarks and one day, my daughter will tell me that she doesn’t like trains and robots because she wants people to like her.

  1. Photo Credit: Don via Compfight []
  2. Only as an adult to I realize the terrible price a parent must pay for teaching their child to be independent.  Doing so successfully means your child won’t be subservient to anyone.  It also means you’ve sown the seeds of insubordination.  I suppose if that it is the cost of a free-thinker, I am happy to pay it. []
  3. Yesterday, out of the blue, she started humming Darth Vader’s Imperial March.  Then she mentioned something about Darth Vader inspecting a spaceship.  Shocked, I asked her how she knew about that since she’s never seen the movies.  She said I once told her about the beginning of Star Wars.  If I did, and I must have, I would literally have to have been at least 6 months prior. []

Bad Idea #2098

My response to Denise..who called me a cheese comes from happy cows, but bad milk comes from mad cows

I like my coffee with sweetened and with milk or cream.  However, about six months ago we found we had no milk, no cream, no half-and-half, not even whipped cream in the fridge for the coffee.  What we did have was powdered milk.  I tried my coffee with sweetener and powered milk and it… was… epic.  See, with regular milk you’re actually diluting the coffee at the same time as you’re milk-ifying it.  With powdered milk you get coffee that is as creamy as you want, but without any dilution of the sweet sweet coffee.  Yesterday I had my morning cup and prepared my second cup in a travel mug – but forgot to take it with me.  It sat out all day, all night, and this morning I thought, “Hey, what the hell, how bad could it be?”1

Pretty bad.

  1. Photo Credit: Keven Law via Compfight []
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Do you have a Maker card?

The best business card ever handed to meThe best business card ever handed to me

At Maker Faire last year I received several such non-business Maker cards from people.1  I’m thinking I would like to have some too.

Do you have a Maker card?  What information do you include on it?

I’m thinking a QR code some some amusing text.

  1. Photo Credit: Nathan Rupert via Compfight []
May 8, 2012 | Comments Closed

Yeah, twice

StevenDon’t you laugh at me, Moffat…

I’d say every time I’ve watched a Moffat production the second time, I’ve caught things I didn’t see the first time.1 Damn him.  This almost goes without saying, but don’t read further if you haven’t seen the episode.  Here’s what I did and didn’t catch the first time:

Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Photo Credit: Sara Zizza via Compfight []
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No I don’t!

it's a matter of size (bigger is better)Short is relative

Suck at brevity, that is. 1  That post has some useful links I’m quite confident I’ll look forward to re-reading.  As this blog is as much an external extension of my memory as it is a method of expression, I’m hopeful you might find them interesting as well.


  1. Photo Credit: William A. Clark via Compfight []
May 6, 2012 | Comments Closed