December 22, 2004

Now Playing At The Hoyt Theater

SCENE: The children are finishing dinner, rather calmly, for them. In the corner is a container which contains, among other things, a bag of charred, blackened cookies with which it was discovered that the oven no longer worked.

ETHAN: Ardith, can we have any dessert?

ARDITH THE CRUEL: No, you can not.

JASON: What about what's in the container over there?

ARDITH: What container?

SHARON, pointing: The one over there. With the leftover burnt cookies in it.

ARDITH: Oh, I see. Yes, Jason, if you want the leftover burnt cookies, you may have the leftover burnt cookies.

MELINDA, rushing over: I want some leftover burnt cookies!

JASON, jumping up and stomping over: Hey! Those are MY leftover burnt cookies! Touch the leftover burnt cookies and DIE!

Chaos ensues.

Jason calmly sits in his chair, eating blackened cookies in a satisfied manner.


Posted by Ardith at 07:55 PM | TrackBack

This Morning's Mail

I should stop looking through the CBD catalogs. This one annoyed me more than most. It had "Homeschooling Sale" blazoned across the front, but that wasn't the part the troubled me. It was the "You know it's Christian when you see the [insert fish symbol here]" note in the bottom corner of some of the pages. So I looked, and sure enough, there were things with a little fish symbol next to them, and things without the little fish symbol.

It was funny to see what things were marked in this way; everything from Tolkien, to the Little House series, to the Spencerian Penmanship Set. All of which I have read or used, and none of which I would label as especially 'Christian', just as written by people who were working from a Christian perspective. The materials have Christian attitudes and perspectives because the writers couldn't help it, not because they were trying to put it there. The only possible exceptions are the penmanship copy books, and they have strong Christian overtones because the schools at the time did.

But the Christianity or lack thereof of the items they've labelled isn't really the problem. It's the fact that the people getting the catalog need to be told which are which. This is CBD, for crying out loud! The acronym stands for Christian Book Distributors!

So, apparently parents need to be told which things they're getting for their kids are most Christian. Which reeks of the current mindset in, say, the Christian music industry:

"This is Christian music, so it must be good for you!"

"This isn't Christian music, so we don't think it's as good for you!"

Even if they aren't saying that, the constant practice of differentiating between 'Christian' and 'secular' music/books/games/whatever only underscores that Christians don't feel like influencing the outside world anymore. Instead we have to have a separate 'Christian' section of everything. Can Christian artists not manage to compete with secular artists? Can Christians not figure out which things are good and profitable without the little 'Christian' label?

Nope, we're all stupid and have to rely on the publishing houses and book distributors to tell us what we want and what's good for us.

Posted by Ardith at 06:50 PM | TrackBack

December 20, 2004

Toothpaste: The New Comet

Apparently the latest fad in housecleaning is to use toothpaste for the bathroom sink. I couldn't get out of Nolan exactly why he felt it was a good idea to empty a quarter of the tube into the sink, but he didn't deny that he was the culprit. So I'll chalk it up to his non-existant propensity for cleanliness.

Since the oven is still in a rather dilapidated condition (read: not working at all), we had carry-out pizza for Ethan's birthday dinner. Earlier today when we were discussing how many to get, the general consensus was that three were not nearly enough, and four would just barely stretch. So, we got four, and ate about 2.5 for supper. I guess we all know who'll be having left-overs for lunch tomorrow.

On the bright side, some neighbors very kindly loaned us a roaster oven for us to use while our mainstay is down. Which means we can still have home-made rolls and honey butter for Christmas dinner. Maybe even a few Christmas cookies if the kids are very good and it works out. XD

And so Christmas vacation starts off with a bang, yet again. I can't believe Christmas is this Saturday. With any luck, we'll get the tree up tomorrow, and all the decorations put out. And then maybe on Wednesday we'll try making fudge. Or, more accurately, Sharon will try her hand at making fudge. And I plan to con little children into helping me experiment with making Christmas cookies in a roaster oven.

*takes short break to make Nolan return file-cabinet keys cleverly pilfered from parents' room*

I ordered my new power supply, so given the Christmas shipping delay, it should be here in...

*counts on fingers*

*runs out of fingers*

...eventually. And then my computer will be happy again. Hopefully I'll get the computer room cleaned up and various kids' computers worked on before then, too.

I've got all these great plans. With any luck, I'll get half the stuff done I intend to.

Posted by Ardith at 07:29 PM | TrackBack

December 18, 2004

Home Again, Home Again...

Yup. Made the drive up from Texas all in one piece, with absolutely no exciting events to report. And then I went up to my room and put four blankets on my bed. Because it's Iowa, and the drafty old farmhouse is cold.

Oh, and I finally got around to running some preliminary tests on my computer. Here are the final results:

Test 1: Hook computer up and turn on.

Still not working, so I can't blame it on a momentary fluke. Oh well, that was a bit much to hope for anyway.

Test 2: Replace power supply, and try again.

Theoretically, this is least likely to fix the problem. Seeing as I just replaced the power supply and all. But as we all know, theory almost never works in real life. And since it turned on and happily booted to Linux, the power supply was the problem.

I'm only slightly bitter about how the horrible power which we have down in the apartments screwed up my power supply. So I shall be bringing a UPS back down with me. Fortunately, I can get new power supplies really cheap now. And by 'really cheap', I mean 'less than $30'. Which is a lot less than the motherboard which I thought had gone bad.

In other news of the day, I've cleaned up about 1/5 of the computer room in preparation for repairing various kids' computers. And found lots of exciting things like memory expansion cards, a whole filing cabinet full of 5-1/4" floppies, and an extremely old digital multimeter. So old, it doesn't have an LCD display. It has nifty little vacuum tubes with filaments shaped like digits in them.

Since the oven doesn't work right now, we had homemade mashed potatoes and jello with applesauce for supper. It was loads better than SAGA. However, this means the Annual Christmas Cookie Baking will be delayed until further notice. So sad.

Posted by Ardith at 09:13 PM | TrackBack

December 08, 2004

Still Reading Too Much Science Fiction

So, lots of stuff has happened, but I don't remember any of it. It probably had to do with school, though. Most stuff does.

I want Christmas break now.

Um. Wow. Heather's talking about Frosted Flakes. In a very convincing 6-year-old voice. I think she's ready for Christmas break, too.

And so, in honor of Christmas, I shall now add to my History of the Future.

This installment is brought to you by the letter A, 24 oz. of Mt. Dew, too many projects, and Toffee Cookies from Swiss Colony.

2060: Bored with living by Alpha Centauri, the former denizens of Earth decide to migrate back to their original solar system. To live on Mars, of course. Greenpeace still being active, there is a big fight about whether or not terraforming the planet by crashing large chunks of ice into it is a good idea. Violence ensues.

2070: The terraforming project is brought to a halt with the discovery of telepathic Martian natives. The natives die out quickly, due to their extremely impressionable natures. Everyone's very sad, but since there isn't an atomic war on the now non-existent Earth to drag everyone back home, life goes on.

2080: Aided by the discovery of vast resources of depleted uranium, the inhabitants of Mars defeat a large invader/miner task force from Psychlo. The Intergalactic Mining Company suffers a sizeable economic setback, and plans for invasion and plunder of parallel universes is delayed by a few millenia. By this time they are made obsolete by the discovery of transporter-proof shields.

2090: In an effort to keep any future invaders at bay, methods are developed for making intergalactic war a game playable by 12-year-olds. Unfortunately, plans are derailed when the Greenpeace contingent makes a come-back and demands equal rights for Mars rocks.

2100: Sand worms and geriatric spice are discovered on Mars. Political upheaval and vast manipulative plots ensue.

Posted by Ardith at 02:13 AM | TrackBack