Much to discuss, much to review. This week has been a rough one for Finn, who started out with a virus before the holiday which worked its way into a viral bronchial infection on our way back from the grandparents’ house. Early Friday morning, Finn woke me up after a bad dream, and I laid down beside her to help get her back to sleep. She tossed and turned and fussed for hours, and complained of a headache while I grumpily pleaded with her to go to sleep. The next day, she was diagnosed with blisters on her eardrums, as a continuing symptom of the infection. Finding this out, and remembering her sleepy complaints of a headache in the early morning made me feel awful. She’s powered through something that would probably have laid most other kids on their backs, and continues to amaze me with her strength.
We’ve started our Christmas earlier than ever this year; the Boy Scouts at the stand across the street sold us a beautiful Frazier Fir which looks perfect in the hallway, and I put our candles up in the office and around the corner in the den. Usually we wait until the last week or so before Christmas, but we decided we needed some Christmas cheer up in this bitch as soon as we could get it. Sunday night we hung lights and ornaments, and this evening’s craft project will be to make some paper chains and other decorations with Finn to further brighten things up.
The pile of holly branches clogging the edges of our driveway is now gone; I made two trips to the dump in the Scout and then stopped off at the Home Depot to pick up lumber for the coal cellar insulation project. There’s been no progress on that front since I shot the Tigerfoam, but with temperatures dipping below freezing these days, the need to get it done is greater than ever.
Sunday afternoon we walked across the street for church, and Finn and I walked downstairs after the Childrens’ mass to play with the other kids. There was a little separation anxiety, but after Mrs. Kirsten and I reassured her we’d be back, she wandered off with the other kids to see what they could play with.
After church was the Big Dance Recital, which went off as well as could be expected. A total of four different groups of girls came out and each did a routine while trying to simultaneously avoid bumping into each other, follow the teacher, and ignore 200 people crowded around the stage holding blinky cameras and cellphones. Finn stared out into the crowd like a deer caught in headlights until she saw Mama and I, and her face brightened like the glow of a thousand suns as she waved. She then mostly ignored the instructor, sticking mostly to interpretive dance and standing still. We couldn’t have been prouder.
The WaPo did a very interesting article on the Christian homeschool movement and some of the underlying ideology behind it. I was surprised to learn how integral they were to the adoption of homeschooling as an alternative to public education but not shocked to hear how xenophobic and isolationist their doctrine is.
Over decades, they have eroded state regulations, ensuring that parents who home-school face little oversight in much of the country. More recently, they have inflamed the nation’s culture wars, fueling attacks on public-school lessons about race and gender with the politically potent language of “parental rights.”
The article follows a family who began to question their fundamentalist beliefs and sent their daughter to public school, only to find it wasn’t full of satanic child molesters, as they’d been told.
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: How to Enable Advanced Data Protection on iOS, and why you should. I’d like to set this up among all of the devices we have here, but we run a lot of older gear that won’t be covered under this seup—and the idea that if I do enable this, we’ll lose some functionality on things like the Apple TV or this old laptop doesn’t thrill me.
Andy Baio has made many amazing things for the internet, one of which is/was called Belong.io, which was a tool using the Twitter API to scrape interesting links from the feeds of a bunch of interesting people daily. With Phony Stark blowing up the service and charging for the API, he’s shut the whole thing down:
Truth be told, it was already dying as those interesting people slowed down their Twitter usage, or left entirely in the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition and a series of decisions that summarily ruined it as a platform for creative experimentation.
Songslikex is supposed to be a tool to suggest other songs you might like based on something you suggest. I’ve put in a couple of slightly off-center suggestions and it’s returned a list of songs that were OK, but I don’t know that I’d put them all in the same category. I don’t know how they’re developing their list, but I guess it’s OK.