Friday, February 12, 2010

In Search of the Perfect travel mug!

I thought it would be nice to talk about something different for a post.

I travel a lot for work....A Lot....Every Friday through Tuesday I fly to Corpus Christi and Houston.

I also work in a fabrication yard (similar to a construction yard), so if I want to enjoy a nice cup of joe from Starbucks, I have to drink it in the 15 minute car ride to the yard. As most of you know, those paper cups they give keep the drink warm for a whole 20 minutes? If were lucky?

So last week I went on a "shopping" spree and bought 3 different highly ranked travel mugs. The first one I am trying this week! It is by Brugo, and has this "innovative" feature called "Tip and Cool", where you tip the cup backwards and side to side and it stores a small amount of hot beverage in the top of the mug to cool down faster.
So when you take a drink, it is the right temperature for drinking. This is a cool feature, however, I found it annoying having to tip backwards and side to side after every drink. It would be much better if they figured out a way to do this without requiring any additional motion. Sure you can say that I am lazy, but if you ever try it, Im sure you'll agree!

It also has a "Lock" and "Sip" option. The "Lock" does not work perfectly. I found out that if you tip it upside down, it still seeps out the liquid (not a gushing stream) but enough that I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis. But it is definitely better than a cup without the feature. Also, if you use the "Tip and Cool" feature, the small amount of liquid that is cooling down is outside of the lock feature so it will spill like a normal mug if tipped over. The "Sip" option makes the mug like any other mug where you can drink unlimited amounts of scalding hot beverage. Switching between the modes requires two hands, by turning a dial on the top...but once switched it is one handed operation to drink!

The big factor for me is how long it will keep my drink hot. An hour after I purchased my Starbucks coffee this morning; I open up the "Sip" feature and scalded my tongue...yup still blazing hot!

As for looks, it gets a 10! I even got a compliment on it from the Starbucks person who filled up my mug! That's pretty impressive since it's not one of their products!

If you are looking for a 100% sealing/locking mug, this is not it. It will let a little spill out. However, it won't let liquid splash out from a brisk walk/run or even a fast tip over. I would have to admit that it is a really good mug. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't 100% leak proof, but you can't have everything in the World. I would definitely recommend the mug as does an excellent job keeping the beverage hot. Plus, the "Tip and Cool" feature will save your tongue at the beginning half of any hot beverage!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stolen Babies: A Matter of Ethics and Morality

So, I was making my "rounds" of blogs a couple of weeks ago, when I came across a blog about stolen babies sold for adoption. Apparently, in China there is a black market of babies being stolen and sold to be adopted. The blogger goes on to contemplate what they would do if they found out their child was stolen and sold into adoptions and asking the audience on their opinions. As I read the responses, I was appalled and sort of sickened by the responses.

Many of the sentiments were along the lines of "well, we didn't do it", "we wash our hands of responsibility", "let the birth parents know annonymously, and send some photos, and letters occasionally, but annonymously so the birth parents can't search for them", "it's in the best interest of the child", etc...

What made it particularly appalling to me was that just weeks earlier, many of these same commenters were arguing to me about how "there is only one mommy, and that is me". They were explaining to me how they are the only "mommy" or term of endearment, because the birth parents gave up their rights to that when they "put their child up for adoption". But when discussing this scenario, the parents never gave up legal rights, but yet this group of commenters didn't seem to care.

It seemed very hypocritical? It's ok to "strip" the birth parents of any terms of parental endearment when they "put the child up for adoption"; but then to have total disregard for the birth parents when the child is stolen (ie...never "put the child up for adoption"). Using excuses such as those listed above to justify their excuses of totally denying the birth parents their rights.

This is an interesting question/scenario, but it shouldn't be as hard as these people seem to make it. Sure, emotionally it is very difficult, but ethically and morally I don't think it is very difficult. I can't imagine how this scenario could be anything but black and white. Also, I know some people may view this discussion as a matter of only thinking of Birth vs. Adoptive parents and totally leaving out the adoptee. However, the point I am trying to make is the fact that the birth parents were disregarded, and the decision was made without their input.

No doubt, this is a very hard scenario. However, I think the decision should have to be made by the birth parents and the adoptee. Obviously every scenario is different. Im not saying that a 16 year old, who has lived in the US since they were 1 years old, should automatically be sent back to China or Korea. Obviously what age someone was adopted, and how old they are now, plays factors into these. However, ultimately is not the birth parent's decision to make? I would hope that birth parents would be able to realize what is in the best interest of their child to let them be in the US, if it has been too long since their "adoption", but now they can have communications. Yet at the same time, if the child is young enough and not much time has ellapsed, then would it not be best to have the child grow up in their native culture with their birth parents.

This is not a matter of who can provide the best lifestyle. Money doesn't make better parents. Who are we as humans to determine if parents in a 2nd World country is worse than parents in the US? If this rationale is used, then what is to stop of "taking" children away from their parents in 2nd and 3rd World countries and giving them to parents in the US or parents with money. Obviously the World would be up in arms if this happened.

I can't imagine the elation of birth parents if they were told their stolen child was found years later, and then having to make the decision of what to do. Do they decide to leave their child to the adoptive parents, and have an open relationship? Do they take their child back to raise? It's an incredibly hard decision to make, and I think the World would have to accept the fact that the parents would hopefully make the best decision....just like the World accepts the decision of every other parent in every other scenario.

However, I can't imagine the elation of birth parents who are told that their stolen child was found years later. Then to find out that the "adoptive parents" refuse to communicate openly and stay anonymous. No parent in the World should have to experience having their child stolen, but especially no parents ever should be held "captive" like this. This has to be worst torture and horror one human being can do to another human being. I understand the emotional ties and difficulty for the adoptive parents, but I can't imagine being so selfish to totally ignore what the birth parents would be going through.