It's been on my to-do list for a while now, something called "parental controls". My thoughts around that has to do with having a pre-tween in the house, as Penny is well into fourth grade and the school is asking her to have, as part of her fourth grade supplies, a USB flash drive. She'll be using the computer, and the internet connection, more and more.
The first two sites talk a lot about safety on the internet for children, what parents should know, how to talk to your kids about it. That's all good stuff, and I think we probably have a handle on how to do that. But what I'm most interested in is how to monitor and possibly filter our internet connection when the kids are connected.
That can be done at the network level, by adjusting settings at the router level, but that might be overkill. My thoughts now are more along the lines at the user account level, including setting up and monitoring email traffic. At some point real soon, we will be setting Penny up with an email account, probably at our personal domain. Some of her friends are already have email accounts, so it's probably only days until she's asking for her own. Gmail can probably do a better job of providing such tools, so I wonder if setting up a gmail account might be easier, and it might even provide better control from a parent perspective.
I'm up for any suggestions, so please either enter them in the comments or email me directly. If nothing else, it will get me off my bum to finally do this properly, including the thinking that's needed before actual implementation.
I mentioned last week that I was picking up the running thing again, and I hit an interim milestone.
Turns out that I skipped Friday, but ran 17 minutes on Saturday with Penny, then did 38 minutes around the neighborhood yesterday, and today, I took to the Guadalupe Creek Trail again, and went all the way to the airport again, shaving about a minute and a half from my time. Not back, I'm on the right trajectory!\
I'd like to forecast that I'll be ready for the Turkey Trot next week!
Penny and I are readying for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, will be our second year straight. Last year, we walked, ran, and walked the TT 5k. It was her first experience participating in a race. She's in running club at school, and though I don't believe it's her favorite activity, she seems to tolerate it and even readily agrees to come out for the event.
This year, I'd like us to get a bit more serious about it, and run more than walk, opposite of what we did last year. Penny has running club at school to get her in practice, but I'll have to rely on my own discipline to get motivated to train.
Not quite two weeks ago, I started to make time to pick up running again. It's been a while since I’ve been on the Guadalupe Creek trail, and I’m noticing some changes that have taken place out there. The homeless camps are still there, flourishing even. And the work to rebuild the railroad trestle just north of Julian St has been completed (gone is the distinct aroma of tar infused lumber of the old structure, replaced by iron girders and concrete decks). The Guadalupe Park has installed patches of demonstration native, low maintenance grasses just north of Coleman Ave. But all in all, it's still a familiar trudge.
Today was about the fourth time out. Each time, I went a bit further. Today, I reached a point that I wanted to get back to, crossing the highway 880 overpass and coming up the other side, at the southern edge of the airport. It was a bit of a milestone to get back to this point, and I did it in only four attempts.
Clouds were deep grey today; it had been heavily sprinkling earlier in the day. Drizzle was coming down during my run. I was getting a little wet but my poly running shirt wicked it away, and with the help of my body heat, worked to disperse the moisture back into the atmosphere. It felt great; I felt great. I felt like I was maintaining a better pace than the last few times out here. I continued the entire distance, to the airport and back, just a hair over 44 minutes round trip.
Now it's later in the evening and my body is reminding me of today's run. Not hurting, but just fatigued, in a good way. This is the feeling that really makes the drudge worthwhile. I expect to sleep good tonight, rest for a day or two, then have an even more awesome run on Saturday or Sunday.
Penny, thanks for the catalyst for the motivation!