Life has ganged up on me. Real content resumes tomorrow


Estimating and Applied Math

Peter Grant had a piece about the frustrations of people who depend on computers and can’t (or won’t or don’t have time) to double-check what went into the computer and the numbers that come out. When DadRed was tutoring in the public schools, he encountered an absolute absence of the ability to estimate and round.

Now, I am not exactly innumerate, but close. Doing math in my head hurts. I do it, and do it often, but it is not easy and requires complete concentration. When that’s not possible – say, when I’m in the grocery store – I estimate. Continue reading

The Pleasure of Adult Company: Or In Praise of Quiet

Those of us who are situational-induced extroverts forget how wearing it can be when we do it five or six days a week for months. Then we get a pause, and ahhhh. There’s a lot to be said for being self-entertaining, and being around other self-entertaining people who are happy to leave you to your own devices for hours on end. Continue reading

Well, That Got my Attention

The central US has been having a bit of weather this week. It is March, and one never quite knows what will come racing out of AZ or charging down from Alberta. In this case, it was much needed and very welcome rain, with 80 MPH winds as a chaser. No, that is not a typo or exaggeration. Even in town we were gusting over 70 MPH. I grabbed the photo below from a live wind map:

The wind bloweth wheresoer it listeth.

That whirlpool is a low pressure system. Truly, it sucks.

Continue reading

Things Fried

I don’t get to eat many fried foods at home. Frying tends to be messy, even if you have an enclosed deep fryer, and the way the cabinets are hung over the counters at RedQuarters, there is a higher risk of splatter and potential for fire. We tended to stew, bake, saute, roast, broil, make casseroles, stir-fry, but not deep fry or grill. (Wasp nest in the gas grill. End of grilling pretty much. The little indoor electric option got moved outdoors because of spatter.)

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Influenza and the Family

During 1918-1920, a strain of influenza swept around the world. It is generally believed to have jumped from swine to humans on a farm in south-western Kansas in late 1917 or early 1918, then went to Ft. Riley KS with a young man who was reporting for duty as a draftee. From there it swept out and eventually around the world. It carried a two-fold punch, because many of those who survived the influenza proper appear to have succumbed to a secondary infection. Recall, that these were the days before antibiotics.

My family has a direct connection to the Spanish Flu, as it was later called. Continue reading