21 July 2016

Rules for Being a Good Guest

One exercise in our reading book is to make a poster about manners in different situations.  Here's our poster about how to be a good guest.  People, we just do not punch faces and kick hineys in other people's houses.  Just so you know. 

19 July 2016

My Question: WHY Didn't You Steal a Better Speech?

Ok, I'm not even bothering to watch the nomination and the speeches at the Republican Convention.  Know why?  It hurts to see that Trump and Hillary are my choices.  So I'm not watching.  But I read a partial transcript of Mrs. Trump's speech. (Thank GOD not the whole thing, or I think my brain would explode.)

Is it just me, or do any of y'all have a lot more problem with some of the photos she's posed for than what she said in her speech?  Anyway, here's an in-depth analysis of what she said:

Bla bla bla next generation inspiring, we live in such a great country, bla bla values, bla.  Land of opportunity.

Which with a few bla's in different places, is pretty much what Mrs. Obama had to say years earlier.  So it's this big controversy thing right now and lots of people are talking of it as though it were some huge horrid thing that like, killed people or something.

14 July 2016

Kindness Always

Are you ok with animal abuse?  The way animals we use for food are treated certainly qualifies, Sarah Withrow King argues in Vegangelical .  How can we as Christians be ok with this cruelty? 

God gave Man "dominion" over the earth and all the animals. What does that mean?  How should we care for the earth if we are made in God's image and are caretakers of this world we've been given?

King reaches a rather extreme conclusion:  becoming a vegan and avoiding the use of all animal products is the most ideal way to live.  We shouldn't even be patronising circuses or zoos as they exploit animals as well.

She's an idealist, and while I can't say I've been entirely persuaded to embrace the more radical conclusions contained in this book, her call to "reduce suffering where you can" is important for Christians to consider. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

12 July 2016

Chess Doesn't Make You Smart.

Ohhh yes.  You'd think it would be so, so obvious that children who like chess and do well in it are generally the smart ones who do well in school.  But parents who want their children to do well in school see these chess players and go, hmm!  Let's sign Junior up!

And the chess coach is happy to take your money while talking up statistics about children who play X number of hours tend to have higher grades and bla bla bla.   The chess coach is also happy to teach some private lessons to these new to competitive chess parents before they figure out that they could hire an international master for cheaper online.

I've seen it happen very frequently. 

It's a great game and I'd encourage kids to play just to play.  But every kid does not need to have private lessons from a grandmaster and travel around the nation or world to play in expensive tournaments and so on.  An article in The Telegraph backs me up on this, but hello?  This is not "surprising" news.  Go ask any parent who has taken kids to rated tournaments for more than six months.  This is not some secret knowledge being imparted here.

Hey, I know some families who are just made of money and enjoy going to tournaments.  We like going to the ones we can afford to attend.  But I've seen some monster parents who make huge sacrifices and pressure their children to be something they're just never going to be. 

Just a small example:  I've seen a mom smack a biscuit out of her child's hand at breakfast-time before a tournament and yell, "Protein only!"  And generally treat him badly when he didn't perform as expected.  He was a fourth grader rated about 700.  Not horrible, but this ain't Bobby Fischer here.  It's not worth the drama.

Then again, for those super-elite children whose parents are spending tens of thousands of dollars on their training and travel? Oh yeah, they'd better do well.  At least in these cases, they are trading all that extreme hard work for something, you know?


11 July 2016


So the children are learning how to get the corn ready for the pot.  They had a glorious time for about half an hour playing with all the husks and string-y bits.  Then when the corn was all finished, they refused to eat it.  Oh, well.

08 July 2016

Owning Your Own Home Makes You a Snobby Elitist.

Single-family zoning "has roots in racial and class exclusion and remains among the largest obstacles to realizing the city’s goals for equity and affordability" according to a draft report by the housing task force of Seattle.

So it's recommended the City Council revamp the zoning laws.  This way, everyone can afford to be able to live in "micro housing apartments" after developers snatch up all single-family homes on the market in the city and wreck 'em.  If you don't know what a "micro-housing apartment" might be, think "human bee hive meets noisy but kitschy third world misery" and you would not be far wrong.

Sure, it's gonna totally wreck the whole flavour of the town, task force co-chair Faith Pettis admitted, but hey!  Diversity and affordability and stuff.

You're a snobby racist if ya don't like this idea of living like the Borg.  Just so you know.

07 July 2016

Our Latest Doctor Visit.

So sometimes this kid turns red in different places and swells up for no apparent reason. Now the medical people have doodled all over him and he's on antibiotics. Poor Woodjie.