I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

March 10, 2014 - 12:05 p.m.

If Johnny had 3 Apples and gave me one I'd have an allergic reaction

It's another slow start day. I don't like that. I'm still hesitant about what I plan on writing about. I might pull an audible at the line of scrimmage.

Yesterday I did nothing. Well it's not quite true but it comes close. I did go to Trader Joe's and made soup. I went a different direction this time. I used garlic instead of jalapeo sausages and jerk seasoning instead of red pepper. I got the heat by using a hot pepper that I diced. I learned my lesson, last time I used a whole pepper and it was too hot. This time I used just a quarter and it was just right, which is quite hot. These are hot peppers.

Part of the problem yesterday was anxiety and angst. It didn't take over but it's massing it's troops on the borders. I guess I'll have something to talk about in therapy.

I don't think I talked to my landlady yesterday which means that the only time I used my voice was with the cashier at Trader Joe's. I did not say much to her.

OK I have some food catching up to do. I forgot to tell you that the time before yesterday that I went shopping I bought scrapple! I made it for breakfast on Friday. I'm going to eat every unhealthy meat byproduct food before I die. Yes it's a race. Of course I'm also trying to eat healthier by becoming more of a frugivore. I now always have bananas and oranges in the house and eat them every day. The problem is that I love apples, raisins, and figs but can't eat them for health reasons. I don't like most other fruit, peaches, pears, grapefruit, plums, pineapples etc. Any suggestions of things I might not have tried? nothing with a tough skin like a raisin or fig. At least I got frugivore right, the other day in conversation I said fructivore. Now that is reasonable but it isn't the right word.

The other thing I forgot is that Kay had whoopee pies at the house concert. Yum!

More on food. I'm having a ridiculous conflict in the refrigerator. I keep fruits and vegetables (hey potatoes and peppers are vegetables) in the one of the two fruit and vegetable bins. One of my housemates removed them to put in chicken. It even says "Fruits Vegetables" right on the bin. And there was plenty of room for him to put them elsewhere. So I removed them and put my stuff back in. then he removed my peppers and put something else that had no need to be in the crisper in it. Let's see how long he keeps the chicken in the fridge. He also filled the other veggie bin with chicken.

Wow I still don't want to tackle the philosophy/politics/religion. Instead I'm going to give you a metalesson I often give my class. It's on why it's important to take math even if you don't use math and why I require them to do problems a certain way. I started talking about this in a comment to a post I made on Facebook. Let's see if I can link to the thread, Are you smarter than a 5-year-old? Preschoolers can do algebra. I argued that solving a problem intuitively is not using algebra. Algebra is a method of solving problems. And it's an important method. Now if I said find a number that when you add five to it gives you 20, you could solve that without algebra. Rebecca gave an example like that. I had them in grade school, it would have looked like 5+ __ =20. In algebra you'd write it 5+x=20. You'd then subtract 5 from both sides to get the answer. Now I and many of you could solve 3x-7=23 without algebra. But that doesn't mean you don't need to learn algebra. Could you solve 3+2[5-(3x-7) ]=7(5x+7)-13x+7 without knowing the rules of algebra? And that's still simple, no fractions. We give examples that can be solved without algebra to hone the skills to be used on the harder problems. and here's where it gets meta. Nobody cares what the answer to the problem is. As a teacher what Im trying to teach them is the methods. If they can solve them without the methods they still haven't learned what I'm trying to teach them. And it gets more meta than that. It isn't about learning those methods. It's about learning how to learn to use new methods. That is something everybody should know. My students object when I teach them multiple methods of solving a problem and make them know all the methods. I do it because there often are multiple ways of doing something and being able to choose the appropriate one for that problem is important. And that's what I'm trying to teach them. It isn't important if they know graphing by the method of intercepts and the slope intercept method. What matters is that they can learn both methods and learn which one is better for the problem they are working on. The fact that they hate it is the reason they need to learn it. They don't find that kind of reasoning routine. It stretches their abilities. And that is of course the entire point. It is very much like athletes doing weight training and running even though their sport involves neither. it's building up their muscles and endurance. Math builds up mental muscles and endurance. When I had the job from hell in market research my boss and our clients would often not understand things that had nothing to do with math that I found easy because they never trained their minds to work like that. So yes I make students learn both the quadratic formula and factoring.

I don't let them use calculators partially because I want them to develop number sense. The article in the post I linked to called the ability innate and Alison objected to that and so do I. It is something you learn. The more you do with numbers the better you get at it. And it isn't just things like estimating the size of a number. It's realizing that if you add two even numbers the number is even. You learn that explicitly but there are tons of other things that you just pick up without even being aware of it. I'm sure if that I told you that 241615=148,217 many of you would know it's wrong even though it's only off from the right answer by 2. How? Because you know it has to end with a 5. You aren't taught to look for such things but you learn them from experience. The more math you do, the more math you can do.

Didn't I say something about writing things My Gentle Readers would find interesting? Oh well I'm not going to start over again. You'll like the stuff about the food.

Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile March 10, 2014
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