Wednesday, 6 September 2017

09:15 – It was 57.1F (14C) when I took Colin out at 0655, overcast and raining. We had about a third of an inch (8mm) overnight. Barbara is headed for the gym this morning, after which we’ll be working on science kit stuff.


Barbara spent the afternoon yesterday volunteering, so I took a couple of hours off to watch some Youtube videos on the Roku. One of their recommended videos was from another homesteading channel, called Guildbrook Farm, operated by a 30-something couple named Jaime and Jeremy. Their homestead is in Davidson, NC, about 85 miles down the road from us, on the northern edge of Mecklenburg County, about 20 miles north of Charlotte.

They’re homesteaders and serious preppers, although none of their videos I watched had any political content. And they make a lot of videos. Jeremy formerly produced videos professionally, so they’re well-done technically even though they’ve sold all their professional equipment and are shooting the videos on their smartphones.

I didn’t get the full story, but it seems that the government is trying to force them out of the county, presumably because they don’t want people homesteading and keeping livestock inside the county limits. So they’re in the process of relocating to somewhere that’s friendlier to the homesteading lifestyle.

They’re typical back-to-the-landers, and are into stuff like “organic” food and homeopathic “medicine”, but they’re likable people regardless. The first video I watched was about their deep pantry, and was pretty interesting. But the next of their videos that came up was unintentionally scary. Jaime was canning meat, using recycled single-use canning jar lids. Ugh.

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68 Responses to Wednesday, 6 September 2017

  1. DadCooks says:

    I’ve been following Guildbrook Farm for awhile now. There situation is becoming all too common, problems with HOAs and zoning regulations/laws. All of these folks did normal due diligence, but not diligent enough to catch old hidden gotchas. There are those little weasel words in all title and document search companies paperwork that absolves the company from being liable for any problems relating to non-obvious/hidden covenants, codes, and laws. Just because the previous owner had livestock and gardens does not mean you can.

    Here is another family that had their lives ruined by prepping/homesteading haters:
    Big Family Homestead: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClBCi5TpnTXorbRke79UyLw/featured

  2. nick flandrey says:

    but recycling is good right?

    n

  3. SteveF says:

    It sure would be a shame if the HOA biddies had something unfortunate happen to them. Unfortunate indeed…

  4. Greg Norton says:

    It sure would be a shame if the HOA biddies had something unfortunate happen to them. Unfortunate indeed…

    The “HOA biddies” in my FL neighborhood were retired SpecOps types who worked contract gigs at the JB MacDill freak show doing things like the snake torture down at Gitmo.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of psy ops and threatened with death … over sod. The thought that a house could be a “10 bagger” investment did funny things to people in 2007 … and the base was already a loony bin IMHO.

    “Paging General Ripper. Jack D. Ripper, please report to the MacDill Officers Club. Your Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agent mistress is waiting.”

  5. Greg Norton says:

    There are those little weasel words in all title and document search companies paperwork that absolves the company from being liable for any problems relating to non-obvious/hidden covenants, codes, and laws. Just because the previous owner had livestock and gardens does not mean you can.

    Our HOA covenant revisions about 10 years ago in FL specifically banned vegetable gardens. The individual who drove that rule declared that he didn’t want the neighborhood to look like a farm.

  6. Harold says:

    Our HOA was run by a couple of nut jobs. No “unapproved” flags (gasden for instance), only 5 approved home colors, garage doors must remain closed, etc. etc. etc. We the NORMALS got together, packed the HOA board, and voted them out. These control freaks usualy make enough enemies to make engineering an overthrow dead easy. It just takes some “community organizing” to take our freedoms back.

  7. nick flandrey says:

    “individual who drove that rule”

    One person makes your rules? Someone else must have voted.

    We’ve got one selfish person here fighting against sidewalk upgrades. It would mean she can’t park in her driveway, so she’s fighting. The others are going along because of lies and FUD, and racism. But she’s not alone.

    n

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I just emailed Jaime and suggested that she and Jeremy look for property up around here.

  9. SteveF says:

    I’m not big on community organizing, on account of I hate people, but I’m fine with cutting break lines, cutting house electrical lines, and cutting off fingers. I’m sure some accommodation could be reached.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    One person makes your rules? Someone else must have voted.

    Sure, but in 2007, everyone thought that Tampa’s real estate was going permanently parabolic. That real estate bubble bubble (like the current one … cough) was driven by “This time it will be different” thinking.

    The individual who drove the “no gardens” rule was a failed rabbi who, according to FL court records, was fired from two temple gigs for gossip, manipulation, and backstabbing. He had nothing better to do all day than work the stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “cutting break lines”

    Eh?

  12. Dave Hardy says:

    Methinks Mr. Greg could write a book about the McDill era with which he is familiar. Yikes!

    A third day of steady rain and drizzle and fog; inside cleanup ops and the Selectboard meeting later.

    I bugged my VA case officer for a laptop and while I’m not certain, it looks like they’re just gonna order one for me, so that should be interesting. It will also be their property until I’ve finished half the program, i.e., when it’s lost just about all its value, lol. So Mr. Ray may be right after all; they’ll send me some refurbished piece of Winblows chit and the “Microsoft Office suite,” with two years of antivirus, whatever that it is. I’ll yank the drive immediately anyway and throw a big fast Linux SSD into it with Crossover and the VPN. Of course Mr. Ray may also be right to the extent that it’s so crappy I may not even bother trying to do anything with it and just get by without it, which I can do very easily.

  13. MrAtoz says:

    Ooo! A rare Mr. SteveF flub. Calling Mr. OFD! Engage hyper literate mode!

  14. Dave Hardy says:

    Naw, they only call me out for the heavy chit. That was just a typo.

    I make those, too, but I’m so anal with this stuff I read what I’ve just written to correct that. Lately I’ve noticed an increase in my typos, like I’m typing too fast and thinking three or four words ahead. Either that or I’m getting dyslexic in my advanced dotage and decrepitude.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    From yesterday

    “Irma isn’t going to Texas. The latest model runs are even starting to predict the possibility of the storm missing Florida. ”

    This is the very ESSENCE of prepping.

    There is a known threat, with a range of likelihoods of it happening. Because it’s weather, there is no way to predict its behaviour this far out. Unfortunately, the things we have to do to mitigate the threat take time. Therefore, if I want to mitigate the threat I have to ACT as if it was going to happen, or I will run out of time to take action.

    Whatever the threat, whatever the mitigating actions, and whatever the severity of the consequences, you have to juggle and judge, and determine what you can do, and how long it takes. Building up a 1 year supply of stored food to mitigate the threat of famine takes time. Depending on your assumptions it might not be worth doing. If you assume there couldn’t ever be a famine in the US again, ‘cuz Uncle will provide, then you act accordingly.

    If I want to reinforce my closet, I need to buy materials (ahead of anyone who might also want that material for window covers), I have to prep the area, and also do the work. Takes time. Since I’ve had the project underway for many years, finally getting some materials in makes sense, no matter what happens with Irma, it just takes the immediate pressure off if it turns. So no loss for me, except having spent the money NOW and having it in my driveway for a while.

    If I want to board up my windows, that will take time too. The covers are in offsite storage, have to be dug out of there, transported here, and installed. That takes time too.

    If I want to send the wife and kids out of town, they will need to leave before everyone else. Again, timing.

    So I have to assume Irma can enter the Gulf and hit Houston. No matter what the guessers are guessing, IF I WANT TO ACT.

    n

    (or I could be a sheep, and simply assert that it won’t affect me, because that is easier.)

  16. CowboySlim says:

    @Miles

    WRT women’s wrasslin’: Good suggestion. One of the cable channels available to me, USA, has WWE each Mon & Tue. I’ll check it out. Also, used to enjoy women’s Roller Derby. The LA Thunderbirds were incredible; always trailing going into the last quarter, but always winning!

  17. SteveF says:

    “cutting break lines”

    Eh?

    In my defense, I was insufficiently caffeinated when I typed that.

  18. Dave Hardy says:

    Irma tracking shows any of three possible main directions for FUSA landfall but as Mr. Nick says, discretion is the bettah paht of valuh (only he doesn’t say it like that, probably uses some kinda hahd-core Texas accent) and timing is of the essence.

    I notice a lot of the pics from the Caribbean islands and Floriduh shows big fat peeps pushing carriages loaded to the gunwales with bottled wotta and thinking that it won’t last them the weekend, if that. Peeps shoulda been storing that all along, not in a mad rush in the hours before the storm. Plywood futures look great, too. Again, shoulda had it staged somewhere like Mr. Nick. It’s not like these storms only roll by every fifty years or so. Also noticed a chit-load of cars parked out in the streets and now mostly submerged on some of those islands. Wouldn’t you wanna move your friggin’ cah a couple of miles inland or just GTFO of Dodge with it instead of simply losing it to a flooded street?

    Rain seems to have tapered out here for now; back to the scut work and taxes again, seeing as how we got another certified threat letter yesterday from you-know-who.

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    DH wrote:

    “A third day of steady rain and drizzle and fog…”

    Rained almost every day here for the last three months. Glad I’m on a hill. I haven’t watered the garden since about March.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “In my defense, I was insufficiently caffeinated when I typed that.”

    I actually wasn’t sure what you meant. At first, I thought it was a typo for “brake lines” (knowing you), but then I got to thinking about the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and how they’re desperate for firefighters to cut break lines. I thought maybe you were considering volunteering for that.

  21. SteveF says:

    (only he doesn’t say it like that, probably uses some kinda hahd-core Texas accent)

    If I were to imagine Nick speaking, it would be that he speaks in an impenetrable Rasta-mon accent.

    I imagine RBT speaking like, totally, like a Valley girl.

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “I imagine RBT speaking like, totally, like a Valley girl.”

    You got me. On the phone, people are always mistaking me for a Valley Girl, despite the fact that my voice is basso profondo.

  23. SteveF says:

    I thought maybe you were considering volunteering for that.

    Seattle and Portland can burn, for all I care.

    I actually wasn’t sure what you meant.

    That’s one of the hazards of wordplay and trolling combined with imperfect typing. “Was that a pun that I’m not getting? A veiled threat? Just a fumblefingers?”

  24. SteveF says:

    On the phone, people are always mistaking me for a Valley Girl, despite the fact that my voice is basso profondo.

    Secrets of the voice mimics: It’s all in the intonation and word choice.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    “Irma isn’t going to Texas. The latest model runs are even starting to predict the possibility of the storm missing Florida. ”

    This is the very ESSENCE of prepping.

    We were always prepared for storms, but, after 40 years of sweating the tracks living in FL, I guess I’m a little complacent. Certain things always happen with the big hurricanes that track across the Atlantic; the ones that worried me the most living in Tampa were the late season storms that originated in the Caribbean.

    In 20 years, I will be one of the old timers sitting on the bar stools in Sloppy Joe’s in Key West. Unless and until the water lapping at the door from the Cat 5 storm enters the bar, they don’t leave.

  26. Dave Hardy says:

    I can attest that RBT’s voice is indeed de profundis, whereas mine is actually Valley Girl.

    “Was that a pun that I’m not getting? A veiled threat? Just a fumblefingers?”

    Always assume the veiled threat.

    “In 20 years, I will be one of the old timers sitting on the bar stools in Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.”

    In 20 years I’ll be either yelling at the damn kids to get off my lawn and firing rifled slugs at them, or pushing up skunk cabbage in some abandoned boneyard out in the woods up here.

  27. Ray Thompson says:

    You don’t realize how big a crew cab F-150 vehicle is until you have to wax the entire thing by hand. The roof requires a step ladder to do the waxing. Paste wax of course.

  28. SteveF says:

    Remember, Ray: wax on – right hand. Wax off – left hand. Big circles.

  29. DadCooks says:

    Another day of “very unhealthy air” here in Southeastern WA State. The “authorities” still highly advise wearing an N-95 respirator for everyone going outside. And if you have a heart of breathing condition you should stay indoors, no matter what.

    Went out to run some errands, one of which was getting gas. Costco was 2.79.9, which is 50-cents more I paid 2-weeks ago. All the other stations I passed were 10 to 20-cents higher. The West Coast refiners are definitely taking advantage of the panic stirred up by the hurricanes MSM.

    My prediction for Irma is that it will continue West into the Gulf and then slowly turn to either the Texas or Louisiana coast. The sharp right turn the MSM is currently showing is highly improbable in my novice weatherman opinion. I find it perplexing that the Eastern seaboard had a line of high pressure yesterday that has magically changed to a line of low pressure today.

  30. Clayton W. says:

    I got hit by the same storm 3 times once. It hit us, bounced back to sea and built back up, hit us a second time and went through to the gulf, finally came back over the state and Hit Brevard County a third time. Damndest thing. Fortunately it wasn’t very strong. House is shuttered up except the front door and everything is ready. I am in Indiana this week and considering heading home Saturday to make sure everything is riki tik. And to be there if I need to get my SO and the cats out.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    Went out to run some errands, one of which was getting gas. Costco was 2.79.9, which is 50-cents more I paid 2-weeks ago. All the other stations I passed were 10 to 20-cents higher. The West Coast refiners are definitely taking advantage of the panic stirred up by the MSM.

    This is also the time of year that the West Coast refiners switch to producing “Winter” blend gasoline for CA. It is verboten to sell “Summer” gas in “Winter” and vice-versa.

  32. medium wave says:

    My prediction for Irma is that it will continue West into the Gulf and then slowly turn to either the Texas or Louisiana coast.

    I had the same reaction when I saw the projected track bringing Irma to the tip of FL, almost exactly the same spot Katrina was in twelve years ago before it was predicted to go up the west coast of FL.

    Thanks to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s fixation on removing “Confederate-era” statues in lieu of addressing the more mundane drainage pump uptime and catch basin cleanup problems as well as the other ongoing scandals at the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, New Orleans is perhaps even less prepared to survive a hurricane than it was pre-Katrina.

    As Glenn Reynolds says: Tar. Feathers.

  33. Ray Thompson says:

    Remember, Ray: wax on – right hand. Wax off – left hand. Big circles.

    Tomorrow I will try catching flies with chopsticks.

    West Coast refiners switch to producing “Winter” blend gasoline for CA

    I thought they all switched to the “more expensive” winter blend at about the same time. In the spring they switch to “more expensive” summer blend.

  34. CowboySlim says:

    “….taxes again, seeing as how we got another certified threat letter yesterday from you-know-who……”

    The tax collectors that contact me do so by phone from Bangalore.

  35. Chad says:

    I’ve always avoided neighborhoods with covenants and active HOAs like the plague. While I can appreciate some of their intent (nobody likes to live next door to the guy who has turned his yard into a junkyard or painted his house lime green) it doesn’t outweigh my strong belief in personal property rights. Most of the major stuff is usually covered by city ordinances. The covenants and anal HOAs usually just nitpick.

  36. SteveF says:

    strong belief in personal property rights

    If the HOA tells me I can’t have a garden, my property is now worth less than it was last week. They can cut me a check for $50,000, or they can piss off.

    I will try catching flies with chopsticks.

    Just make sure not to get your stick caught in your fly.

  37. Miles_Teg says:

    Heh, I got a phone call a few days ago saying that the cops would soon be on my home and/or work doorstep if I didn’t call such and such a number. It was a synthisized voice which was barely inelligible, even after I listened to it twice. I’m still here.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    The tax collectors that contact me do so by phone from Bangalore.

    The “IRS” has stopped calling me ever since I switched tactics to simply asking, “Are you a fresher?”

    “Fresher” must be the Indian equivalent of calling them “cupcake”. 🙂

  39. lynn says:

    Either that or I’m getting dyslexic in my advanced dotage and decrepitude.

    I am with you bro.

    Yesterday, I called one of my engineers in to show him a nasty bug in the code. He pointed out, correctly, that I was wrong. I blamed it on old age and incompetence. He called it transitional dyslexia.

  40. SteveF says:

    “Fresher” must be the Indian equivalent of calling them “cupcake”.

    Good to know. Thanks for the tip. Is it effective on men, on women, or on both?*

    * Note the microaggression revealed in not asking about the other 55 genders.

    He called it transitional dyslexia.

    Transitioning from “man in his prime” to “old fart”?

  41. Dave Hardy says:

    I like that, “fresher.” Seems to imply a young rube, an idiot, an imbecile, a virgin, maybe.

    Does anyone know the etymology?

    Never mind:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fresher

    Basically a noob. Indians in the tech field must find it a galling insult, no matter their level of competence. I knew a couple of them who were geniuses, and a host of others, especially the young ones, who still can’t grok English and pose for cute selfies with each other on FaceBerg.

    WRT “transitional dyslexia,” that could be it, but watching myself type I tend to think my own genius thoughts are racing ahead of my fat old fingers. Or vice-versa.

    Off shortly to the Selectboard meeting; could be another lively one.

  42. CowboySlim says:

    When I am told that the agents will be at my house in 45 min to arrest me if I do not comply, I ask what kind of beer do they like as I can go and be back from the store by then. How rude, then they hang up without a proper good-bye.

  43. Greg Norton says:

    Basically a noob. Indians in the tech field must find it a galling insult, no matter their level of competence. I knew a couple of them who were geniuses, and a host of others, especially the young ones, who still can’t grok English and pose for cute selfies with each other on FaceBerg.

    My grad program was 98% Indian, mainly spoiled rich kids from the Hyderabad area. Most had to take a remedial programming class that would have been an insult to the intelligence of our senior undergraduates.

  44. SteveF says:

    I’ve mentioned before but possibly not here that until maybe ten years ago, most of the Indians who came to the US to work in STEM were pretty sharp, top third of their class and the classes were a smaller fraction of their people. That matched my experience.

    Since India’s big push to become an IT supercenter, nowadays the top tier go to work directly for Indian companies. Second tier go to work for consulting companies in India; they may be doing remote consulting for US or European companies, but their butts are in India. Third tier go to the US or Europe, mostly going to work for body shops. And the class sizes are enormously larger and the technical colleges are graduating people who wouldn’t have gotten in twenty years ago. This comes from an Indian who owned a small consulting company, had been in the US for many years, and was disgusted by most of the Indians who’d come to the US in recent years. I can’t vouch for the truthfulness of his claim, but it would explain what I’ve seen in coworkers (where the “work” part of their jobs was considered optional).

  45. lynn says:

    Well, look who woke up ! “Sun Unleashes Monster Solar Flare, Strongest in a Decade”
    https://www.space.com/38057-sun-unleashes-decades-strongest-solar-flare.html

    “Early this morning (Sept. 6), the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.”

    Well, now we have flood and fire. When will the other two horsemen of the apocalypse show up ?

  46. Greg Norton says:

    Irma must be bad. Sloppy Joe’s looks like it is empty.

    https://sloppyjoes.com/cam_lp/

  47. Dave Hardy says:

    The chairs seem to be overturned and stacked there, and there’s no bartender. Bummer!

  48. paul says:

    A bit ‘o stacking… I just ordered 12 cans of Keystone Beef, 28 oz. from Wal-Mart. Price unchanged from April. Plus 6 cans of turkey.

    Ship to store. Which might be an op-sec breach… then again, they didn’t act all that bright when I picked up my Roku.

    The last order delivered via FedEx was dropped over the fence. Because pushing the very obvious button to open the gate is “too hard” or something.

    Keystone sells in 12 packs. Hopefully Wal-Mart will use the same box. Dent control. No matter, dented cans will be returned on the spot.

    Assuming they don’t lose my order in the store. Again. I’ll find out Monday.

  49. Spook says:

    ”Keystone sells in 12 packs. ”

    Keystone is not a very good beer…

  50. Ray Thompson says:

    Just make sure not to get your stick caught in your fly.

    One word: Velcro.

  51. Spook says:

    ”Just make sure not to get your stick caught in your fly.

    One word: Velcro.”

    Just be sure not to get the hook side of the Velcro
    stuck in your fuzzy side…

  52. SteveF says:

    Don’t let this happen to you! Especially you, Ray.

    Totally apropos nothing, there’s a great judicial quote, from Pillars v RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co, 1918: “We can imagine no reason why, with ordinary care, human toes could not be left out of chewing tobacco, and if toes are found in chewing tobacco, it seems to us that somebody has been very careless.” Similarly, if someone accidentally saws off his own penis, it seems to us that he has been very careless.

  53. Ray Thompson says:

    Don’t let this happen to you! Especially you, Ray.

    To quote my wife “No big loss”.

  54. SteveF says:

    The deepest cut of all.

  55. nick flandrey says:

    Damn pest got more of my stores than I thought. went thru some of the pouches tonight and a whole bunch were empty. The scat was def mouse sized on this one. Bastard at about $30 worth of pouch meat and nibbled (ruined) another 10 flavor packets for gravy, etc.

    I gotta catch this thing.

    Will try the other traps tomorrow.

    n

  56. nick flandrey says:

    Took 300# of scrap steel to scrapper. 100# mixed Al yesterday or day before…
    n

  57. Nightraker says:

    “Similarly, if someone accidentally saws off his own penis, it seems to us that he has been very careless.”

    I recall a lawyerese warning label on Swedish chain saws to that effect.

    Re: overarching neighbors and authoritah:
    One of the elderly apartment complexes that our company ran had a coupla rather forlorn outlots close to the street. The local municipality had a “weed commissioner” who would cite us periodically when the lots got overgrown. The fine was less than I could find a contractor to mow it, so we just paid the money: the commish would come out and whack the lots, city truck and mower. Always wondered if he was “sidewalk commish” for snow clearance during the winter or just went south for the season. Stupid, but lucrative, gig.

  58. MrAtoz says:

    Good news: Richard Branson mansion leveled in Caribe.

    Bad news: Branson survives in wine cellar.

  59. Dave Hardy says:

    Back from Selectboard; run-of-the-mill droll session; got some new intel and also some spiffy new satellite maps from the town administrator guy. Everybody likes me. They better or I’ll kill them. Just kidding. KIDDING!

    Our son’s b-day today; he’s 32 and an exec at Salesforce.com out in Sodom-on-the-Bay. I started helping to raise him when he was 11. Tempus fucking fugit. Damn.

    Off to the Moh-ree-all airport tomorrow morning so wife can fly up to Bathurst and then drive her mom back down on Sunday. From there she’s heading back out to Kalifornia.

    I have chit-ton of chit to do this week with ground-floor cleanup operations. Plus the porch. And the cellar freezer. And the back yard.

    Plus school and homework, mostly reading. But it’s kinda dense reading. Still, not as dense as reading the very late Thomas Hobbes. That fummamucker could put a logical and informative complete sentence together across a couple of pages. And his translation of Thucydides reads like he’s channeling the guy. Truly awesome character; also translated Euclid.

    And now’s that for digression?

    WRT Branson; he’s on Necker Island:

    http://fortune.com/2017/09/06/richard-branson-hurricane-irma/

  60. Spook says:

    Bottled water panic…
    Duh. Fill up jugs and bottles out of the faucet. — Miami Mayor.

  61. nick flandrey says:

    They fight over water while it’s running out of the tap. Acting on their programming. Programmed to think drinking water only comes in bottles.

    just one of the many widespread memes, in the classic sense of the word, ideas that persist and spread themselves.

    n

  62. nick flandrey says:

    And the newspeak has permeated the culture at a base level-

    This comment on ZH wrt Barbuda being wiped out.

    “These pictures are very sobering. The people in this region are going to be really challenged in the days ahead.”

    Ever work for someone who insists that ‘there are no problems, only opportunities.’?

    They’re gonna be “challenged.” F me. Yep, challenged.

  63. Dave Hardy says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard that chit from PHB manglers in IT: a serious clusterfuck is a “challenge,” and an “opportunity.” No problems, no hassles, no clusterfucks, they’re all just challenges.

    The Chicoms are reporting they think there’s a cave-in at the NORK nuke testing site; that could be a real challenge for the Korean peninsula.

    Irma striking up along the East Coast is another challenge for the peeps living there.

    Me not falling backwards down the stairs here is a challenge some days. And an opportunity; to lose more weight, exercise more, try acupuncture, more drugs, more vitamins and supplements, pain management classes with the PT guy at the VA, etc.

    It’ll be another challenge getting us two cripples out of here in the AM and her to the airport where her challenge is to drive her mom back down here Sunday, and then another challenge for her to do two more weeks in a row of gigs out in Kalifornia and I forget where else.

    A challenge for me to continue being point man on the taxes and house and yard cleanup while mobility is quite fucked up and Mr. Pain is here for all waking moments.

  64. SteveF says:

    Daughter’s first day at the new school yesterday. I’d been concerned about the Latin I’d tutored her in over the summer, what with, you know, me never having learned Latin myself. (I self-taught enough to mostly read it with occasional recourse to a dictionary, but that’s not the same thing.) I’d been worried that she wouldn’t be up to the level of her new classmates because my teaching wasn’t up to snuff.

    Well…

    Selene reports that the first day’s lesson was review of first-year material. She was the only one who could answer any of the vocabulary questions or do any of the conjugation and declension chants. I was to guess, I’d guess that’s because we did the material more recently than the other kids did — they probably went through the school year well enough but didn’t do anything with Latin since last June, whereas Selene and I started learning the material in the Spring and once we finished in early August I continued reviews and games with Latin up until last Monday. (Her favorite game with Latin was skits with her mountain of stuffed animals. I’d put together a sentence in Latin or English and she’d translate to the other language and the animals would act it out. It tended to get repetitive because there’s only so much you can do with a 240-word vocabulary and limited grammar rules, but it was not nearly as boring as yet another vocabulary drill. Besides, I could play tricks by adjusting word order in the sentence and have the animals attack her if she missed it. There’s nothing quite as fun as having a basket of stuffed animals dumped on your head. I’m not interested in that myself but ten-year-old girls work by different standards.)

    Thanks go to Dave H for helping me out when a couple things puzzled me and the textbook didn’t explain well enough and I couldn’t formulate a question well enough for an internet search to do any good.

  65. Dave Hardy says:

    And a big congratulations to you and Selene; outstanding! Learning goes a long way if it’s fun for kids, rather than the way all too many of us got it growing up.

    Case in point: in 8th-grade I was already a huge reader but still, what did I know about art and the Renaissance and John Singleton Copley and all that stuff? Our teacher took us into Boston to see Shakespeare plays on the stage and on film, and also to the Museum of Fine Arts (where I goggled in wonder at the mint-condition Greek and Roman GOLD and silver coins just sitting there in glass cases) and to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where I was utterly gobsmacked (took wife there on one of our first dates over 30 years later and she had the same reaction and she’s a genuine artist). THAT stuff from that year of English is my most fond and brilliant memory of public skool in suburban Boston during the late 1960s. (On the bus in, our future class president was playing the Stones on his beta-version boombox).

    Glad to see that the summer of Latin was a success; hard to keep a kid’s attention when everyone else is out playing in the summer breeze.

  66. lynn says:

    Selene reports that the first day’s lesson was review of first-year material. She was the only one who could answer any of the vocabulary questions or do any of the conjugation and declension chants.

    Congrats ! And great kids name ! There won’t be many of that name in her classes. I named my kids Michael and Ashley. My son had 1 to 3 other Michaels in every class. So did the daughter.

  67. dkreck says:

    High school – junior year – advanced chemistry. About 30 kids – 5 Davids (we’re just above average).

  68. MrAtoz says:

    Me. SteveF, parent extraordinario.

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