A little bit of hypothetical reality

Yesterday there were errands to run that I could not avoid. When he got home my lower back and pelvis hurt so badly I could hardly lift my feet. I just shuffled. We didn’t get home until 7:46 either, and neither the HM nor I had any dinner- nor had the Cherub, although she did eat two bananas in the car.

I had made dinner- it was in the oven, getting cold and soggy. There was supposed to be asian roasted chicken breasts, roasted brussel sprouts, and roasted cauliflower and all would have been fine if we’d gotten home on time. But we didn’t.

We got the groceries into the house, and then the HM had to go take care of the Boy’s Chickens. I was too stressed and sore to be hungry. I got the Cherub a bowl of chicken and vegetables and brought it to the table along with some purchases I needed to sort.

I sat down and squealed about my lower back for a minute. Then I realized I had not brought a knife to cut up the Cherub’s chicken for her. My joints ached too much to cut it up with the fork.

Now I am not saying this happened, mind you, but I just thought I would let you know that if you are ever pressed for time and energy or for whatever reason and you need to cut your child’s meat up for her but forgot the knife, I totally would not judge you if you cut it up by biting off chunks of meat for said child and dropping them into her bowl. Or his. You know. Just…. IF.

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3 Hindrances To Frugality

godliness with contentment w attribution1. Lack of contentment- gotta have that television/dress/book because I’ll be miserable, ugly, bored without them.  I don’t WANT lentils for dinner again, not even sweet and sour ones.  I’m unhappy with something in my life, and spending money, buying something new, will certainly fix it (sometimes retail therapy does help with temporary mood issues, but it’s only a good idea if you can really afford it- otherwise, you just are setting yourself up for more disappointment).

2. Lack of planning- the window on the van has been rattling for six months, and said rattling has been ignored for six months.  Last week it broke and became an emergency.  Or it’s 6:00 and I’m too tired to fix dinner…. or I knew we would be out running errands from 10:00 until 3:00, and suddenly we all want lunch!  Or— did you know birthdays come EVERY year on the SAME day!?!

3. Lack of knowledge- sometimes our ignorance is so deep we do not even know what we do not know.  More than one smart person in my life has not known that you can make cake frosting from scratch, or your own home-made biscuit mix.  For years I spent money on store bought laundry soap because I didn’t know how easy it was to make your own laundry soap.  I just recently explained to a couple of college students that you could grow your own sprouts from lentils at the grocery store.

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Backyard and Urban Farms Lose Battle in Michigan

Michigan residents lost their “right to farm” this week. This is a new ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live, the new changes “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals.” Previously backyard and urban farming were protected by Michigan’s Right to Farm Act but The Commission has ruled that the Right to Farm Act protections no longer apply to many homeowners who keep small amount of livestock. Kim White, who keeps chickens and rabbits, said, “They don’t want us little guys feeding ourselves. They want us to go all to the big farms. They want to do away with small farms and I believe that is what’s motivating it.” The ruling will allow local governments to ban goats, chickens and beehives on any property where there are 13 homes within one eighth mile or a residence within 250 feet of the property.

The problem is that the previous stance protected backyard farms that were there first.

It’s always outrageous to me that people can buy property out in the country next door to somebody who already owns a couple goats and a horse and a backyard flock of hens, and then gripe about the animals and get a zoning restricting against the pre-existing residents of the area.

In Michigan, there was a common sense protection against that nonsense, but no longer.

I see that it allows the banning of goats, chickens, and beehives, but there’s no mention of pigs. I believe I’d start rearing pigs immediately in similar circumstances.

More here.

Helpful reading:

Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition

The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle over Food Rights

 

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Whole30 Compliant, Paleo, Tuscan Summer Skillet

Tuscan Summer Skillet

Paleo/Whole30/low carb

Feeds 8 to 10

2 T Cooking oil- ghee or coconut oil preferred and you only need this if you are using a fattier grade of ground beef
2 lb. grassfed ground beef, or any ground meat you have available
1 cup finely chopped green onion or onions (minced small)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or more (to taste)
1 cup cauliflower, grated or diced small OR zuchinni OR cooked spaghetti squash, ribboned and sliced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
6 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts (toast them lightly first for best flavor)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
dash or two of fiesta chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion
16 black olives, diced or sliced
2-4 cups diced tomatoes

Directions

Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium heat- it will be best if your pan is one that can also go under the broiler. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, green onion, and garlic. Fry, stirring regularly, until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain if necessary.

Add the diced tomato, cauliflower (or squash), parsley, walnuts, oregano and chili powder. Continue to cook over medium heat while stirring- just until warm through.

*If your pan is not oven proof, transfer ingredients to a baking pan.

Sprinkle  green onions over the top of the ground beef mixture. Top with the olives. Broil on center rack in oven for 5 to 8 minutes until the onions are . Watch carefully.

If you want some extra pizzaz, mix the onions and olives into this savory artichoke sauce and put it in dollops around the top of the beef mixture, and put under broiler just until there are golden spots here and there.

a cup of home-made mayo
1 cup diced sundried tomatoes
1 jar (10 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and diced the hearts (You can save the oil drained for salads)

2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon oregano

basil to taste

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That Whole30 Thing: Day Four

tuna and flax I’m doing Whole 30 by myself at home. Day four is today,  It’s not that big a deal that I’m doing it alone- my husband leaves for work at 4 a.m, and he generally makes himself a sandwich or gets a bowl of oats for breakfast.  He eats lunch at school (it is really inexpensive for him), and for dinner he doesn’t care what we eat. The two eldest girls are doing it at their houses, too, so we can check in with each other for support.

Anyway.  Here we are.  It’s much, much easier than Atkins Induction.  It probably wouldn’t seem so easy if I hadn’t done Atkins a few times before.  Of course, it’s early yet and I may crash and burn.  See, I wrote this yesterday midafternoon but teh blog wasn’t working for me so I couldn’t post, and last night and this morning were more of a challenge.  I was hungry and I wanted things not on the list.  I did not eat them, but I really, really, really wanted to.  I mixed some coconut cream with almond butter and had it spread on apple slices.

For breakfast today I used the home-made mayo I made yesterday and fixed a bowl of tuna salad with green onions and a diced apple (to substitute for sweet relish), which I had with Flax Crackers(the Italian flavors, made with only flaxseed, minced onion, tomato powder, spices and herbs).  Picture at the top of the post.

I do miss dairy a little, and I always miss crackers, but it’s still simpler than Atkins for me.

It also helps that I made those meatballs and meatloaves ahead of time, and the EC shared a couple of chicken meals that she made.  I bought some Shelton turkey sausage patties from Azure Standard, too, and I like eggs.  Those are all things that make it easy for me.  I could eat eggs for breakfast every day- oh, wait, I generally do have either Microwave Shirred EggsOmelettes, or little mini quiches based on this cheese-free, gluten-free egg rich recipe.

I will be making my own mayo soon- I have to figure out how to do it without my regular blender jar, though, ‘cos it broke, and now I have just my regular sized mason jar.  Of course, that could make it simpler to just mix, remove blender cap, add jar lid, and chill.  But I think it will be easier with the stick blender.  Hmmm. I’ll let you know.

As I said, most of this I wrote yesterday afternoon, but then the blog wasn’t working for me.  I did make mayo.  I didn’t follow the directions as I usually do, so the mayonnaise is not as thick as I generally like it, but yes, the stick blender in the jar worked great.  It worked so well without following directions, I have high hopes for next time actually following the directions will work out even better.  What I did wrong: I just put all ingredients in the jar at once, instead of mixing together the eggs and vinegar first and then slowly pouring in the oil. Next time I will be more patient.

I have also been enjoying putting some frozen, organic butternut squash in the oven along with my sausages, dabbing the squash all over with some Ghee, or Clarified Butter, and then cooking for 20 minutes.  Then I salt the butternut squash and mash them with a spoon, and it’s like mashed potatoes only better.  I tried cooking them on the stovetop and mashing them, and I didn’t like the results nearly so much, I am not sure why. The squashy flavor was too strong, and the texture wasn’t as pleasant.

I think I will probably ‘cheat’ this month and do some of my coconut almond pancakes, though.  The Whole30 People’s reasoning behind banning even grain/sugar free paleo pancakes is because you still crave them with sugary toppings, but I don’t.  I prefer these pancakes with just butter on them, or almond butter, and they do allow a coconut wrap that is just incredibly expensive for what you get, so I think I’ll use these instead (oh, wait, no, they don’t any more).  Whatever:

My totally Paleo and unsweetened pancakes:

I just put these ingredients in a blender or food processor:

8 eggs
3 T. oil (I used sunflower oil because I had it)
1/2  generous cup each:

almond or coconut milk

slivered almonds (optional, I suppose. But why?)

Coconut

1/2 t. salt

1 teaspoon of aluminum free baking powder

Let sit a minute or two to thicken. then spread gently in pan and cook like pancakes. I make them silver-dollar sized and, as I said, just butter (or ghee) is all I really want, or possibly a bit of almond butter.  Hmm. I think they might be good with chicken salad, though.

 

Somebody asked for my date, nut, dried fruit candy recipe, the one I made for Jenny and the Boy on their train ride.  All the ingredients are okay by Whole30 which is what made me think of it, but the finished product is almost certainly not because it’s a lot like a candy.  Then again, if Larabars, Cherry Pie Fruit & Nut Food bars are okay on their plan, then these ought to be.

I don’t really have a recipe.

Dried fruits

nuts, probably almonds

(I usually have various dried fruits on hand.  I take some of those and some almonds and I put them in the food processor with the S blades (I really could not manage without my blender, my crockpot, and my s bladed food processor).  I whirl it.  I add stuff like:

coconut oil, just a touch

cinnamon

more fruits or nuts as desired

coconut manna or coconut cream

sesame seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds

I just add, whirl, taste, press with my finger, repeat until I get a taste and a consistency I like.  It shouldn’t be so dry it’s falling apart and crumbly.  It shouldn’t be so moist that it sticks all over everything but falls apart into wet globs if you try to pick it up.  It should be just sticky enough you could roll it in a ball if you wanted to (lightly oil your hands if necessary).

I press this mixture down into a shallow container (pie pan, tupperware, whatever), and I usually score it now.  Then chill it and break it into pieces.  Really, it’s candy, which is why it’s probably not whole30 approved, even though all of the individual ingredients are.  If you want it sweeter you can add a bit of maple syrup or honey to the food processor, but if you’re using dates or raisins, I think it’s plenty sweet enough.

The most useful dried fruits for this seem to be dates or raisins, followed by apricots, pineapple, peaches, craisins, and prunes if you’re not worried about the side effects.  Dried pairs and apples are too leathery to use as your primary fruit, or at all, I think.

I get the coconut cream from Tropical Traditions (they had a buy one, get one free sale a while ago, and if you watch, they often have great sales).  That is an affiliate link, but to be honest, I doubt it works. But I won’t whine about it. I like their products and their sales.

Actually, I’ve found that a spoonful of coconut cream mixed with a mango is more than sweet enough to satisfy any sugar cravings I might have.  Way more.  Mangos are like the home-made tropical fruit flavored  ice-cream of the fruit world.

If you’re curious about Whole30, you can read more about it here.

Some of it doesn’t ring my bells- I don’t get allowing potatoes, dates, and straight fruit juice, but not a single stevia leaf, and I will probably ignore that as I almost never eat potatoes anyway.  It’s funny to me when they say that the reason for banning even a whole stevia leaf is because it’s only purpose is to sweeten something, when to me, that is the only reason to use or eat dates- for the sweet.  I don’t even really like them on their own.  I buy them because the kids eat them, and because I use them to sweeten baked goods from time to time.  So for me, dates would be worse than stevia.  I don’t get no smoothies, but fruit juice is okay.  My smoothies have a lot of green veggies in them, and they aren’t a food with no breaks for me.

I also figure I can cut myself a tiny, teeny, itty bitty amount of slack because they do allow table salt even though it has added sugar, and some oils they normally don’t allow because you ‘have to eat out sometimes.’  Well, I don’t.  And I use Himalayan pink salt, so no added sugars. (Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt (5lb Bag Fine Grain)- that’s a great price for Himalayan, but yeah, it’s a pretty steep price for ‘salt’ so no guilt trips for not using it).

The HG is coming up today and I’m looking forward to some iced cinnamon coffee she says is amazing and totally whole30 compliant.

She also roasted raw cashews and says she may never buy them in a can again.  I’m totally stealing her picture and recipe to share:

cashews and coffee

 

To roast, turn oven to 375.  Mix with less than two tsp oil and the same of water…and however much seasoning you want, then toss with 1 1/2 cups of cashews and spread in pan.  Cook fifteen minutes.

I did the same with almonds last night- I just used some pink salt along with ghee and water.  She’s done salt, and then another time she did cinnamon.  Yum.  I think it might be fun to try a dusting of cocao powder and cinnamon with a touch of salt.

So, anyway- that’s where I am on day four of the whole 30.  I share all this not to brag, because it’s laughable to brag about 4 days of this, but to encourage, and to embarass myself into sticking with it.

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Justice Dep’t Employees and Crimes Federal Prosecutors Declined to Prosecute

Think we’d get off this easy?

– Allegations against an unnamed prosecutor who was recused from involvement with a criminal investigation because of a personal relationship with a criminal target. The inspector general, however, concluded the prosecutor had disclosed information about the investigation and the wiretap to her spouse, “who subsequently disclosed it to the target.” The prosecutor initially denied revealing the information to her spouse, but subsequently acknowledged that she might have “said something” about the investigation. The prosecutor retired last November.

The husband of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Paula Burnett in New Mexico was convicted last September of leaking details of an investigation to Mexican drug cartel members. Burnett retired late last year, according to news accounts. The inspector general and the U.S. attorney’s office in New Mexico wouldn’t confirm whether it was the same case. Burnett declined to comment.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/10/239422_misconduct-at-justice-department.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

 – An FBI assistant special agent in charge sexually harassed female subordinates, retaliated against a female special agent who refused to have a relationship with him and used his FBI-issued BlackBerry to pursue romantic relationships with 17 FBI employees, nine of whom were direct subordinates, as well as 29 other women. In January, the FBI told the inspector general it had issued an undisclosed disciplinary action. No charges were brought. In a statement to McClatchy, the FBI said it couldn’t comment on an “ongoing personnel matter.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/09/10/239422_misconduct-at-justice-department.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
More at the link.
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Community subsets

how-to-build-communityI was invited a while back to become part of an association- this one for a subset of homeschoolers, homeschoolers who were also in another small niche, another subset of the ppopulation I passed on the opportunity to be a subset of a subset of a subset.  At this point, it’s so long ago that I no longer remember the group. Now, I am part of some groups that are subsets to subsets, but they tend to be small, private, and online, like a forum or a FB group for people who are members of the same church and like to talk about ‘crunchy’ stuff, or who homeschool, or whatever.  The thing is, the groups aren’t public so they aren’t obviously exclusive, and they aren’t the subsets aren’t the only way I communicate with people.  The Milkmaid said something recently that meshes with my reasons for nearly always turning down those ‘opportunities.’ (that post is gone now, sorry)

I dislike labels and categories applied too rigidly/exclusively. I don’t like the hegemony that imposes a strict group conformity.  You might be a nurse, a doctor, a sahm, a librarian, a secretary, a vet.  Maybe at your house you’re all in jeans and cowboy boots shoveling our the horse stalls, and at another friend’s house they’re all in flowing dresses or dress clothes with ties, having tea parties. You might sprinkle lavender on your pillows every day, and somebody else might not even bother to make the beds. Mrs. Jones might spend more time baking than any other household chore, while Mrs. Smythe buys her bread at the store and takes her family to the soup kitchen to serve twice a week. We’re reading the Odyssey while somebody else is milking cows and not reading anything more unrealistic than Little House on the Prairie.  You might have voted for this president, the previous guy, or refused to vote at all (or you don’t even live here and don’t care who our President is, you don’t like him). Whatever.

All of these people are interesting people who can be and should be part of our circle of friends.

Sometimes in our craving for community, we are drawing tinier and tinier circles, and they are exclusive and ostracizing rather than welcoming and inclusive.

Inclusive is a word that has become mamby pamby and, frankly, irritating as it also suffers from being watered down by symbolic gestures rather than meaningful action. I don’t mean I pretend to be something I am not- give up my dresses and old fashioned clothing because somebody else might not find it ‘inclusive.’ I don’t need to get a tattoo to show that I’m not excluding the tattooed from my friends and acquaintances, nor do I have to ride a Harley or trade my car for a horse drawn buggy to prove my openness to being friends with those who are members of those communities.

To some degree that ‘inclusive’ label has been co-opted by those who believe they way one somehow ‘proves’ how inclusive a person or group might be are externals. But genuine inclusiveness isn’t a thing of externals. It’s a matter of the heart. I can dress like everybody else and still be exclusive, off putting, cliquish, and within a walled circle of the mind- in fact, in some ways, more so.

Speaking to how this works in Christianity, Christine said:

One wise pastor told me churches get in real trouble when they are known more for a movement then for the gospel of Jesus Christ. While I realize there are exceptions to this rule, I think there is wise council to be considered. Our churches should not ascribe to methods, movements or lifestyles that upstage the gospel of Christ.

I think this is true of other groups as well, groups of ‘clean eaters,’ paleo, vegetarians, attachment parents, parents who schedule feedings and let babies cry it out, groups of homeschoolers and public school families, military families, pacifists, gun owners, anti-gun owners, (and we are members of some of these subsets and not of others) all share a danger of becoming too insular, narrow-minded, and somewhat hostile toward those who don’t share the values of our pet subset.

Longing for that ready-made, like-minded community of people who share your values just might be one of the most self-centered, exclusive, ostracizing thing we can do.

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News stuff

  • IRS Commish: ‘Whenever we can, we follow the law.”  This is part of his testimony before Congress!
  • Feeling frustrated by the GOP?  Feel like the establishment is deliberately squelching the voices of the peons who have to live with the rules they make at home?  You should really read and listen to this and do some hard thinking, some reflecting, some comparisons.  Very useful, from somebody who is pretty much in that same place. 
  • No bias in the media at all, is there?  Jay Carney, recently Obama’s liar in chief, I mean, um, spokesman, is now a political analyst at CNN. It’s a ridiculous joke to pretend that the main networks are not essentially arms of the Democrat party.
  • You’re just not even going to believe the verbal gymnastics the IG used to clear the VA of causing deaths by their unconscionable delays.  Basically, if you bled to death while waiting six weeks to see a doctor, by the IG’s methodology, that six week wait had nothing to do with your cause of death.  Bleeding out is your cause of death.  If you have an infection and you are on the secret VA waiting list for three months, by which time you died of that infection, then according to Obama’s IG the VA did not contribute to your death. You died of the infection, which had nothing to do with the VA.  NOBODY in the industry calculates things like this. 
  • Obama’s Whitehouse lied to us for years about how bad things were in Iraq.  
  • I am a 14 year old Yazidi girl who was given as a gift to an ISIS commander- here’s how I escaped. 
  • Fantastic: 900 Doctors confirm abortion is not necessary to save the life of the mother

From the link: “Unveiled at the International Symposium on Maternal Healthcare in Dublin, Ireland, the Declaration states: “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

“We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

“We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

Signatory Dr. Eoghan de Faoite told LifeSiteNews there is a fundamental difference between life saving treatment a woman may need during pregnancy, and abortion, which is the direct and intentional taking of the life of the unborn child.”  More here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/almost-900-doctors-sign-dublin-declaration-affirm-abortion-is-not-maternal

  • Cool: Watch this barn raising, an Amish barn raising.
  • Outrageous: A Holder Aide made a phone call to a friendly politician’s office, asking them to leak documents to help Holden and other Democrats get ahead of IRS story.  Only he dialed the wrong number:

From the article: “Remember, it is Obama’s and Holder’s position that the Department of Justice is not compromised in this matter and can investigate IRS wrongdoing itself, without need of a Special Prosecutor.

  • It just so happens that the DoJ is coordinating with Democratic Congressmen to arrange selective leaks in order to spin the story for the country.”  http://ace.mu.nu/archives/351678.php
  • The Walker investigation in Wisconsin may well have been spurred on by an irrelevantly angry District Attorney- why was he angry?  His wife is a major Union player and Walker’s reforms made her cry.  Not joking.  Talk about abuse of authority.  Sheesh.

He says not, by the way, but his denial lacks conviction and details:

“Were there blue fist signs in the office and other expressions of support for unions and antagonism to Walker? What was the extent of participation in the protests? Did Chisholm speak openly about his wife’s feelings in the context of the case? Taylor’s article created a strong motivation to respond on that level, and neither Chisholm nor his lawyer provided that response.”

His girlfriend (now wife) thinks it’s the media that ruined her life. She also apologized for ‘her part’ in getting herself punched unconscious and then unceremoniously dragged out of the elevator by a man who showed no remorse or even basic concern until a passerby showed up to witness his behavior.

To really get the full effect, you have to read the above link, and then read one of my posts about the politics in the 1940 book Magic Inc, by Heinlein.  I mean, it’d be better to read his book for yourself. But in case you can’t.

  • I have an opinion on the Scottish Independence movement, but I haven’t shared it before because it’s not my country, I don’t see what it has to do with me, and mostly, to be shockingly honest, when it comes right down to it,  this is the primary basis for my opinion:

But this is an interesting read and watch (there’s a video or two), about the propaganda in the media on the Scottish Independence movement. 

 

 

  • Esoterica (at least for here):

Out of all of our readers, I figure probably two of you care anything at all about ‘gamer-gate,’ and anyway, anybody who does care enough about it to know what it is already has better resources than I do.  But it’s my blog and I talk about stuff that interests me, so here we go (possible language warning, and also, you may need to know that ‘doxxing’ is outing somebody’s private information):

I thought this explanation was about as fairminded as any I saw.

I think the I am not your shield kickback from gamers is pretty cool.

This post by the guy who inadvertently ‘started’ it is pretty interesting to read.

A group called Fine Young Capitalists had an interview in APGNation, which probably won’t make any sense to anybody who isn’t a gamer or who has not read at least the first link in the above list.

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Geography Quiz

Somebody sent me this link and asked me to try it and share a review.

It’s a free online geography quiz about the 50 states.  I think each quiz is 25 questions, all multiple choice.  Some of them highlight a few states and then ask a question like ‘which of these states saw the surrender of two armies, one in the Civil War, one in the Revolutionary War?’ (the question was better worded, I’m going by memory), or ‘Which state is closest to Asia?” (this one annoyed me because they did not highlight Hawaii, and Alaska was the correct answer).

It’s a little clunky and slow (you have to click it to nudge it to continue after you answer each question).  Like most quizzes, it’s not so much a teaching tool as a practice tool.  I like that the questions are more interesting than ‘name this state.’  In fact, if your player doesn’t already know the names of his states, he might find this a little difficult.

I like the fact that most of the questions require some thoughtful knowledge of the country- which highway crosses the contiguous states from east to west? Which state has Carlsbad Caverns? Which state was briefly occupied during WW2?  Which Canadian province shares part of its border with Idaho?

It’s not elegant or fancy, but if your kid likes geography quizzes (and some do), it’s not a bad way to spend a few minutes on the computer.

(I’m not being compensated in any way for this, btw).

 

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Writing Links

Here are two fun sites where I spent entirely too much time amusing myself this afternoon.  both have to do with reading and writing.  One is a site where you plug in samples of your writing, click the ‘analyze’ button, and it purports to tell you who you write like.

I plugged in various blogposts and most of the time I got Cory Doctorow, with David Foster Wallace coming in a healthy second.  I haven’t read anything by either of them that I know of (No, wait, he’s co-editor at Boing-Boing, and I do read that once in a while), and I hadn’t even heard of David Foster Wallace.

I also got H. P. Lovecraft a couple of times, and once, Mary Shelley.  That was for a post on the weird and obnoxious things I’ve known people to say to a parent of children with cognitive delays, and to me that makes a weird kind of sense.

Then I plugged in a random excerpt from Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, and the thing said that *he* writes like Gertrude Stein.

I am agog.*

 

 

The second website is one that assesses the readability of your writing, giving you ‘grade level’ and some other data.  I mostly write at an 8th grade level.  However, the same extract of Dickens Resulted in these scores:

Readability Formula Grade
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 4
Gunning-Fog Score 6.5
Coleman-Liau Index 7.7
SMOG Index 4.9
Automated Readability Index 2.3
Average Grade Level 5.1

 *Well, Pickwick Papers may have been an unfair choice.  The Author of David Copperfield, according to the analyzer, does write like Charles Dickens.
I found these here, where there are some other writing related resources you might find useful. These two were my favorites from the list, though.
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