Monthly Archives: September 2013

No Recess!

From PJ Media… 4 Secrets from the Hidden World Of Homeschoolers describes “four geek-culture experiences unique to homeschoolers.”

I suppose I could point to things like the “homeschool balls,” which are “carefully choreographed social events at which teens are expected to participate in coordinated group dances (think of the dance scenes in Pride and Prejudice). The girls usually dress in formal gowns — sometimes in period costumes — while the boys are attired in suits or dress shirts with ties,” since this sort of thing signals a return to traditional (and classy) roles and manners and would make traditionalists like Sunshine Mary and Donal Graeme very happy. But screw them, the important part here is blowing $#!7 up.

I don’t know that I have ever attended an outdoor event with homeschooled boys in attendance that did not at some point include fire and/or blowing stuff up.

First of all, every homeschooler knows that #13 in The Homeschool Rulebook states that if something catches on fire, you can count that as chemistry class. And if there is an explosion with projectiles — even better — you can add a Carnegie Unit for physics. There are dozens — maybe thousands — of books on the market aimed at homeschoolers that explain how to teach chemistry with everyday household items.

Many of those books, along with the vast resources of the intrawebs, show ordinary families how to create incredible pyrotechnic displays using everything from toilet bowl cleaner to the family’s Thanksgiving turkey. Homeschooling breeds curiosity in children. Combine that with a male child’s natural predilection toward examining the physical properties of combustion and fiery conflagrations, and it’s inevitable that homeschooling moms with boys will find themselves saying many, many times, “I had no idea you could burn that.” I’m convinced that the next generation of scientists and inventors will come out of the homeschooling community. They’re not used to being told, “You’re not allowed to do that — it might be dangerous!” Look out, scientific frontiers!

Sure, teaching social graces, proper manners, and how to engage with the opposite sex are all nice, but dude, exploding and burning stuff just rocks.

A related article is Will Your Kids Grow Up To Be Weird If You Homeschool Them? To which I reply, I bloody well hope so.

I’m pretty well sold on the idea of homeschooling. The fact that I might be able to send them away to college by the time they’re 12 while I’m still young enough to take up a full-time golf career or join a bar band has nothing to do with it at all.

Good Heavens Miss Sakamoto!

The Pew Research center and Smithsonian magazine have a 13-question Science & Technology quiz.

Going by their own statistical brackets, I am a white male between 30 and 49 with a high school education. I answered all 13 correctly, doing better than 93% of the public and the same as 7%.

How’d you do?

Famous moon rock star Buzz Aldrin records in Doubly.

Turn On, Tune Up, Drop D

[Or: “The Good Kind Of Pain”]

My wrist and fingers are hurting from taking up guitar again. Not just my fingertips, from sliding them up and down the strings – my fingers, from the knuckles down. My back acted up for the first couple days, but it’s getting used to this again.

I’m starting to get back the feel for chords and chord changes. Still sloppy – “C” is a pain in the ass chord – but improving. I can almost work my way through “Pennyroyal Tea” again. However, my amp isn’t handling too well when I switch the pedal from clean to distortion. I’m thinking I can find one on craigslist relatively cheap – anyone had any experience buying used amps? All I need is a 15-watt crate amp.

Bonus points to anyone who gets the triple whammy pun in the title.

Far Off Broadway

After some trial and error (less than I thought there would be, honestly), I restrung my guitar. I haven’t played it in 2 or 3 years, and it’s painfully clear that I have a lot of relearning to do. Still, I remembered a number of the basic major/minor chord structures and was close on the ones I missed. So it’s not exactly time to catch the Greyhound bus for home, as it were.