Spanking is Wrong for These Three Reasons

As a psychologist, I often am asked questions related to children, child rearing, and development (Despite not being a developmental psychologist!). As a generalist in teaching psychology, I do my best to give researched and nuanced answers. One comment I often get from students and parents alike is that they disagree with most experts on spanking. They believe it’s an effective form of punishment and (in some cases) have told me that they will not change their mind. I figured today I’d take some time to explain the reasons why spanking is wrong, giving you a chance to think about them and debate.
Continue reading “Spanking is Wrong for These Three Reasons”

Chapter 26: A New Day



“You look different”, Mara said as Sara Beth walked toward her.

“What do you mean”, Sara Beth said, visibly confused. Nothing here ever changed in appearance. That was the most disturbing part of living in another person’s mind – you were pictured however they thought of you, and it turned out, it wasn’t often you were remembered wearing different clothes. Continue reading “Chapter 26: A New Day”

25 Questions to Ask Walt Disney after Watching Cinderella

Yesterday I watched Cinderella for the first time in 20 years. Here’s a list of 25 questions or comments I’d ask Walt Disney regarding this film…


  1. So it’s bad that Cinderella is a servant, but it’s apparently OK to exploit talking animals for slave labor?
  2. Who names anything Lucifer?!?
  3. How does a mouse get enough lower-body strength to kick a cat that hard?
  4. Why carry a tray on your head when you have forearms?
  5. Let me get this straight – the King is mad that the prince is avoiding his responsibilities… and his only responsibility is to have kids so the King can play with them? The king has mental issues.
  6. Why don’t those slave laborer mice and birds help with the house cleaning?
  7. Jaq the super mouse can also kick doors closed? What sorts of steroids have these mice been taking?
  8. The lady mice tell Jaq and Gus to ‘leave the sewing to the women’, which apparently leaves the larceny and vandalism to the men?
  9. Who builds a chateau with elaborate mice doors in the molding and candelabras? The mice obviously didn’t build them – they appear part of the original construction!
  10. At the beginning, we’re lead to believe Cinderella makes the mice their nice little mice clothes (and presumably the clothes for the birds as well). Really though her greatest gift to them is modesty? Why do animals need to wear clothes around her anyway?
  11. Fairy godmother cuts off Cinderella as she says “You’re my…” with “Fairy godmother? Yes”. So the existence of fairy godmothers is known in these parts? I’d be a lot angrier at FG that she just now showed up after being tortured by my family for years.
  12. How do spiral wheels turn anyway?
  13. Where does the Grand Duke get that Monocole Yoyo?
  14. Wow – if the prince doesn’t propose and marry a girl after seeing her once, the King is going to KILL THE GRAND DUKE. Let that set in – this guy is clearly not in his right mind.
  15. In all the singing about love, Cinderella never thinks to mention her name?
  16. At the stroke of 12, Cinderella goes “It’s midnight”, to which the prince replies “You can’t leave, it’s…” It’s what? Early? This guy is going to try to make the argument that midnight isn’t late? Player.
  17. The Grand Duke calls after Cinderella, calling her Mademoiselle (makes sense, they’re in France, even though they’re speaking English), and then calling her Señorita?!? Does he really think she might have been Spanish?
  18. That clock takes forever to ring 12 times.
  19. Magical footwear is apparently immune to time constraints AND unique to the wearer!
  20. Walt, let’s have a talk about the appropriate size of doors and beds, OK?
  21. Why is the King such a deranged pimp? He lights multiple cigars simultaneously with a candelabra!
  22. Wow, the King really was going to kill the Duke. Harsh!
  23. Amazing how that dog we only saw twice saves the day!
  24. An evil stepsister calls the royal “shoe checker” “of all the stupid little idiots” – if not getting the Prince married off is punishable by death, shouldn’t insulting the royal delegation also be somewhat severe?
  25. Apparently the Duke has a supply of those yoyo monocles – where can I get one?


OK, This is Sorta Creepy When You Think About It

Recently I’ve been working out and trying to get back on my diet (err… Reduced Calorie Intake Plan – RCIP, remember?). One of the sites I use to track my information also has a forum for members, and I sometimes scan the list of topics just to see what’s going on. It’s there that I found a slightly creepy exchange.

The back story: A woman complains that her husband doesn’t want to have sex with her as often as she wants (especially now that she’s working out and it’s “all she thinks about”). He’s got no interest. Amidst many of the helpful comments, one person wrote the following, which was heavily quoted and heartily agreed to:

So assuming her husband does not want to have sex, I believe the word that describes the actions above would be… oh yea… rape. Could you imagine if the roles were reversed? How super creepy would it be to go to a forum and see a man complaining about his wife having no interest in sex, and then have someone write the above. “shush her and tell her it will all be over soon” – sounds like a line from a horror movie or crime docudrama, right? And then to have multiple people agree…

Kinda creepy on this Friday morning!


The Cupcake Diet

By Dr. Jonathan E. Westfall

(Totally a real Dr… Just not a Medical one…)

Cupcakes Are Your Savior

So you’re fat. How do I know that? Well because you’re reading a diet book. Well, I guess you might just want something interesting to read while on vacation, or perhaps you know me personally and are curious about this whole Diet book thing.

But I’d like to think you’re fat, because I’m fat, and we all know from pop culture that fat people are losers who like to hang out together because somehow that makes us feel better. At least skinny people think that, and we shouldn’t burst their bubble.

So seriously, we’re all fat here, and we want to lose some weight for some reason or another. Maybe we want to look better, or be able to do more, or we don’t want to die 2-4 years earlier than our skinny friends (Because some amazing things are sure to happen to us in those last 2-4 years. Presidential Elections, senior discounts, advances in fiber sciences, etc…). And at one point or another, fat people want to find something that works when it comes to weight loss. Well friends, I’m here to share an amazing secret with you – the answer is, seriously, cupcakes. Continue reading “The Cupcake Diet”

Geek Thrills: My DD-WRT Router Kicks Your Linksys’ Butt!

This is a long geeky story that starts with pure ENVY. Yes it’s a deadly sin, and yet it’s one of those that I sometimes engage in, despite no deathwish. My envious feelings are a bit different than most so.

This all starts when Karey & I moved into our new apartment last month. The first night we were here, I took a quick peek at the SSID list – after all, apartment buildings provide a number of interesting entries. I saw quite a number of entries that looked like this:

And was intrigued. Who was this Rick Ray, and why was he running a guest network? Was he some sort of “those without internet” savior? So I hooked up to his network (a deadly sin in and of itself, but hey, maybe I’m the sort of guest he wants) and saw this:

Yep – a guest access splash page with a Cisco logo on it. Knowing Rick Ray probably wasn’t a network tech with an industrial grade router at home, I realized that Cisco/Linksys must be adding this as a pretty logical feature on their newer APs / Routers. And here I was with just a regular old WPA-protected network that I told people the password to as they needed it. This put my Geek card in real jeopardy. Read on to hear how I fixed this the only way I know how: Overkill! Continue reading “Geek Thrills: My DD-WRT Router Kicks Your Linksys’ Butt!”

#75 Surprises

Leo woke up not to the sound of his alarm clock, but to a loud knocking at his door. It was 4 AM, well before his 5:30 AM alarm. He put on his robe and went to the door to find a policeman.

“Are you Mr. Hickman?”, the cop asked.

“Uh… no – Hickman lives next door”, Leo said, gesturing toward the right, as the officer apologized and excused himself.

Leo couldn’t get back to sleep, and when his alarm rang it felt like the world crashed down on him. He reluctantly got up, got ready for work, and walked out the door. No sign of the police, and interestingly the lights were on in Hickman’s house – he never had to wake up early! Leo paid it no mind and got in his car to drive to work.

At work, Leo received word that his request for a raise hadn’t come through, although he had received 2 extra weeks vacation each year. He wasn’t aware that this was an intermediate option between raise and no raise. Leo spent the first half of the day annoyed, and cooled by mid-afternoon. At least he had something good in the surprise, even though it wasn’t exactly what he wanted.

That night Leo came home and told his wife about the day.

“That’s OK Leo, two extra weeks gives us more time together”, she said as they sat down to dinner.

“Oh, by the way, did you hear about the Hickmans?”, Leo’s wife asked.

“Naw, just saw a cop this morning looking for them. Didn’t have a chance to look into it further”, Leo explained.

“Their daughter was in a major car accident this morning. She’s hurt pretty bad but they think she’ll make a full recovery – just might take 6 months or longer”, Leo’s wife reported.

“That’s horrible”, Leo exclaimed. He couldn’t help but think about his own daughter, living away at college. He’d call her later tonight just to make sure she was OK.


#43 If Pets Could Talk

If Pets Could Talk…


“OMG you’re home! I’m so happy to see you. I did so much today while you were away! It might not seem like much, but they were a thousand little victories and I will share each one with you! Wait… don’t go away… keep playing with me! Hey – is that FOOD? You gotta hook me up with some of that man – really – it looks SO TASTY! You won’t give me the food? OK then… I guess that’s cool… even though I REALLY WANT IT. Anyway, back to my day. First I chased something, then I caught something, then I dug around, then I….”

Ella the Snow Dog © by jpctalbot


“Why do you keep me in this glass prison? What lies beyond this great forcefield? And why is my little castle surrounded by multicolored rocks? Couldn’t the decorator pick out one color? Oh no, not those stupid flakes again… guess I’ll grab some.”

Hamster © by Paul Holloway


“Good god you’re huge… thankfully I’ve got these tubes to crawl into. Can you spare something wood-based for me to chew on? Don’t worry, I won’t get fat – I got this squeaky wheel I can run in at midnight”.


“I like flying – why don’t you let me out more? Sorry I leave my droppings everywhere – it’s just sorta my thing. If you play the same sound for me over and over, I might start imitating it – however I’ll want to poke your eyes out for making me listen to it so much. Now open the window so I can talk to my friends”


“Just so you know, if I ever break my leg, I’m not telling you. I’ve heard things…”


We will only converse when I want to. And right now I have some important sleeping to do. I’ll be back later when you’re busy and we’ll talk then.”

Guinea Pig:

So what if I have a weight problem? Provide me some greens that I might feast on in addition to these ‘pellets’ you so like to feed me. And turn on Wonder Pets, I dig that the Guinea Pig on there is the leader, even if they all do have a combined IQ of 3″


Why would you ever keep me as a pet? My neck is sticking out your window, and you really need to re-shingle your roof buddy.”

Giraffe © by Chester Zoo


#40 The Big 4 Oh

“OMG” is what he said
upon realization
That he had written and read
almost 40 dramatizations

“WTF” is what he said
upon rationalization
That #40 rattling around his head
needed justfication.

“LOL” is what he said
upon interpretation
That #40 might be led
to excessive clairification

“It’s just an odd poem, OK man” is what he said.
submitted for your validation!


#39 The Teddy Bear

“Come on Nicki, time for bed”, Nicki’s mother called out from the top of the stairs. Her reluctant daughter slowly dragged herself up the seemingly endless stairs. She didn’t want to go to bed, but she felt tired, so she resigned herself to the fact that Mom was to be obeyed. Mom was tired too. It wasn’t yet 9 PM but it might as well have been midnight. Long days are common for single moms.

Nicki’s mom tucked her daughter into the bed, and watched as Nicki grabbed her big fluffy teddy bear, Cuddly Joe, from his usual resting place on the pillow next to her. Cuddly Joe had been with Nicki through a lot – illnesses, the divorce, and moving from place to place. Nicki couldn’t sleep without Cuddly Joe, and at her age, Nicki’s mom was a long way off of suggesting her daughter ditch the bear. If it gave her a sense of security, then it was worth the hassle of toting it everywhere they went overnight.

“Mommy”, Nicki called out, “Cuddly Joe smells funny!”.

“What do you mean honey?”, her mother said wearily.

“He doesn’t smell like he’s ‘asposed to”, Nicki said adamantly.

“Honey, maybe he needs washing, or it’s just your imagination”, her mother said reassuringly, “We can figure it out in the morning.”.

“NO”, Nicki said, “He doesn’t smell right, and I can’t go to sleep until he does”.

Nicki’s mom knew that her daughter wouldn’t go quietly on this issue. When Nicki decided to pick a fight about her stuffed animals (or her stuff in general), she seldom gave in.

“Nicki honey, Cuddly Joe might just need a bath, or maybe it’s another smell from the day you’re smelling. Mommy can fix it tomorrow, but tonight we’re both tired, we should just get some rest. We’ll work it out in the morning”, her mother said to the child.

“NO”, Nicki said again,”It aint right”.

So Nicki’s mother spent another few minutes rationalizing to her daughter that things would be OK and that Cuddly Joe was fine, the world was fine, and everything could be fixed in the morning. At the end, she concluded with a strongly worded “Goodnight”. Nicki said nothing.

Turning on a small lamp, Nicki’s mom could see her asleep in the bed. “That was easier than usual”, she thought to herself. She left the room and started toward her own bedroom. It was weird that Nicki would find Cuddly Joe smelling different – she never complained about that before. Nicki would often smell Cuddly Joe to reassure herself at night, but never complained. Oh well, they were just so tired tonight, perhaps her daughter was acting a bit loopy.

Nicki’s mom found herself sitting in an old rocking chair that normally served it’s purpose of holding a pile of laundry, not rocking. How did she end up here? She started feeling sick, and all at once the pieces fell together.

A few hours later she woke up in the ER. Upon seeing her eyes light up, the nurse attending to her quickly told her exactly what she wanted to know.

“Mrs. Smith, don’t worry – you’re going to be fine, so is your daughter. It was a close one, but you managed to get yourself and her out of the house just in time. A neighbor of yours was jogging by and noticed you. He called 911. Any longer in there and that leak would have been… fatal”.

Nicki’s mom felt a shock of relief come over her. A few hours later they wheeled her next to Nicki’s bed, where Nicki lay sleeping. Her vital signs were good, there was no brain damage due to the lack of oxygen, and right next to her in the hospital bed was Cuddly Joe.