Screen Free Spring Break - 03/12/14

      I know 75% of you have a smartphone.  That's what they told us in a consulting seminar I sat in on today.  I know the majority of you watch TV while also surfing your smartphone.  Did you know there's a name for people like you?  They taught us today that you're called "two screeners."  They even taught us about "four screeners."  Talk about ambidextrous--- these folks can watch tv, text on their smartphone, work on their laptop and surf Facebook on their tablet simultaneously. 
      I know we can't put the genie back in the bottle, but my family WILL for 9 straight days for Spring Break.  We're disconnecting to reconnect... with each other. No smartphones, no TV, no Ipads.  We're going to play with each other instead of our devices.  What a concept.
      In our house, we do this many weekends anyway and our kids are screen free most days during the school week while at home.  We're screen free at the lake during the summer (mostly because there is no wifi or TV.. heaven on Earth.)  
     Last weekend we were screen free and oh the joy that swept over us all.  The kids went outside, built a fort with blankets over the swingset, then made arrows out of sticks for a bow and arrow, they found rocks for the slingshot and kept an eye out for the bad guys.  Oh, the days of old.  They had a look of sheer satisfaction on their faces as they fell asleep having used up a nice dose of kid creativity that afternoon.  It is truly satisfying.
       Screen free is healthy.  Our screens are helpful, vital to our jobs and vital to education in many cases.  However, these screens have their place and sometimes we just need to remember to put them back there.

 

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Last Update on October 21, 2014 09:08 GMT

WATER THEFT CHARGE

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The owner of a northern New Jersey business found himself in hot water after admitting his role in a plan to steal at least $100,000 worth of water from a local utilities authority. Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Nicholas Vene, of Holmdel, New Jersey pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Officials say from January 2007 to March 2012, Vene and others diverted water flowing from a Jersey City pipe to a Reliable Wood location and away from the water meter on that pipe. That resulted in an under-reporting of water usage.Vene faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 26.

FREE SALMON

POULSBO, Wash. (AP) -- The early bird catches the fish, or at least a few lucky people did when they lined up with coolers Monday to wait for free salmon at a hatchery on Washington's Kitsap Peninsula. Workers at Grovers Creek Hatchery, northwest of Seattle, netted several dozen fish from the pond and harvested eggs from female chum salmon. The hatchery gave away one salmon per person because of limited supplies so early in the season. But they told those who didn't get a fish Monday to come back later. The hatchery, run by the Suquamish Tribe, is one of a few in Washington with a salmon give-away program.

STINK BUG-MICHIGAN

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) -- An annoying insect is bugging homeowners in southwestern Michigan, and some say it just plain stinks. A Michigan State University program says the brown marmorated stink bug has been detected in low numbers in traps set around fruit and vegetable crops. But there are "a few hotspots." Cathie Buckley, of Stevensville, Michigan, lives with her husband on 6 1/2 acres including a former blueberry patch. The couple are finding the bugs "all over the place," and she says she's encountered hundreds of them. "I have lots of them -- and my husband can't stand the smell of them," Buckley said. "They are horrible." The stink bug does not bite or pose any danger to humans, but it has a gross smell.

SPEEDWAY WEDDING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- Two NASCAR fans raced to the altar to finally arrive at marital bliss. Kevin Lane and Ashlea Leggett got married on the Talladega Superspeedway infield before the GEICO 500 in Alabama on Sunday. The Athens, Georgia couple attended the race last year, as their first big trip together. So this year, they asked their friends and family to join them on the track for a ceremony before the race. The gathering was complete with a 10x10 foot white tent, flowers and music playing from a smartphone connected to a small speaker. After the 15-minute ceremony, the entire crowd shared wedding cake and watched the racers rev up.

 
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