Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lasso Maria

Auggie dances around this line of little boy and big kid. He reads whole novels (recently, The Hobbit and Gulliver's Travels) and adores square roots and algebra and just started cooking his own eggs each morning (cracking and everything!).

On the other hand, he loves playing with his Hot Wheels. Today he set up his Gator Gulch track and spent hours putting them in competition, ranking them, awarding them medals, and encouraging them to keep trying.


His favorite is named Lasso Maria. No one knows why, and that pretty much sums up August.




(There's also Blank. Blank didn't appear in any photos as he's just a chassis. )

Thursday, January 11, 2018

So this is pretty much par for the course these days...

Mid day email from a teacher...


If I tell you I laughed out loud at the "they disagreed about whether it was returned" part, will you judge me as a bad mom or just realize that the crazy is starting to wear me down?

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Vaguely unsubstantial job update stuff

Teaching: last semester I took on a 6-course load. Note that most faculty teach 2-3, at the very most 4 courses in a semester. I was ready to pull my already all-gray hair out.

Research: I can only hope that my co-authors are all willing to still reply to my emails when I finally get back to our projects this month. It has been hard to do anything besides the teaching.

Tenure: no real news. The appeals last spring triggered a new committee to consider my case. They will submit a recommendation to the powers-that-be and then I'll eventually hear something which could be as late as May.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Economics and inflation: Auggie edition

"Mom. Back when you could buy a piece of candy for, like, 25 cents, was that because money was worth more or because stuff was worth less?"

Dude! He's 7! And he's wondering about currency inflation vs. costs of products.

So I explained inflation with something close to the Big Mac Index -- when I was a teenager working a minimum wage job, an hour of work was just about enough to buy a super value meal. Now Maryna works a minimum wage job and even though she earns about 175% of my minimum wage, an hour's pay is still barely enough take-home to get a super value meal. So the value of the money has changed, but not the value of the goods relative to the value of work.

And then we switched topics to Pokemon, naturally.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

It's snowing. A lot.


There's so much snow.

It snowed and then there was some snow and after that a bit of snow. Temps are low and it's miserable, but the awful awful snow is unreal. It's drifting off of the rooftops and dragging down the tree branches and there's nowhere left for the plows to put it so all of our neighbors are taking turns yelling at each other because your plow guy shoved all the gravely dirty snow onto our yard (Ok, fair complaint, that was a jerk-move on his part) and then today Your plow guy is piling all the snow at the end of the driveway areas and it's ruining our visibility (ok, also fair, but honestly there's nowhere else for it to go!) It collapsed our carport.

Someone haul all of this snow far far away, please!

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Post Christmas clean-out

There's a small benefit to the madness of Christmas in the depths of winter. As you remove the holiday decor, your house suddenly feels about 20% bigger. And there's no point only cleaning up where the tree is, and so suddenly your house is also fresher and cleaner than it has been in weeks as you also vacuum and clean everything else. At least that's how it is here. Maybe other homes are better at keeping the filth in some kind of limit.

In anticipation of a good cleaning after the tree comes down this weekend, I enlisted all available kids to help clean today -- DEEP cleaning. I had them cleaning all the hair and wrappers out from behind the radiators, moved the piano out and dusted the whole area, sorted out a huge box of donations from our various gloves and slippers piles, cleaned out under and behind the couches, sofa tables, and TV stand... Two giant bags of garbage, several baskets full of misplaced Lego and other game pieces, multiple cleaning cloths and buckets of water worth of grime...and we basically did all of the front room and part of the living room. The rest of the living room and a good crack at the dining room will be next weekend.  That will certainly be easier without the nativity scene and an on-going 1000 piece puzzle in the mix.


Some random game recommendations

The kids got a bunch of games for Christmas and among some traditional ones we also have some newer creations. A few favorites so far:

1. 5 minute dungeon -- oh my goodness the shouting and panic is hilarious.
2. One-deck dungeon -- a bit more intense to learn but difficult to beat and fun solitaire
3. Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters -- even the teen plays this one! It has a semi-challenging starting version and you can choose to play by harder rules as you get the strategies figured out.

We also got the card game version of Oregon Trail which is somewhat fun but mostly frustrating. And we're waiting for a good night to all play Betrayal at House on the Hill which looks awesome for a family night activity if we can all be home and not miserable at each other on some magical day. Bloxels is also a lot of fun but more of an online game with a game-board support.  Finally, Jorge used a gift card to buy a tiny card game called Orc which is surprisingly fun and requires some competitive strategic thinking about conquering and deck building.