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Everything posted by shawthorne44

  1. I read a Gladstone article which agrees with that. There was a study that tried to compare similar kids. The ones that were stronger students at slightly less prestigious colleges were more likely to publish and published more. That made them more attractive to the graduate school. I have a vague memory that the publish level even persisted into graduate school where you think it would have evened out. There was a fight (with yelling) in the Physics faculty lounge about who got to hire me for their lab. That sort of thing gives you confidence.
  2. People are nuts. Also, the 'running out of water' can happen in a local way. For example, California dumping their sewage into the bay rather than treating it and reusing it, which I think is bat-poo crazy. Watering the lawn, can make the water seem to disappear. People on a well, which is in danger of running dry. But, in reality the only real, problem is when some of the water becomes so polluted that it can't be used.
  3. DH appreciates this. Even chanting "Do Not Flush. Do Not Flush" there is a 70% chance I will flush while chanting. At this house, we also have PEX plumbing so I haven't known how much of that was from PEX. One thing about the PEX, it makes the hot water start just as quickly as a tank heater. Since it just has to clear out the water on one skinny pipe.
  4. For clothing in Europe, once I discovered a longish loose skirt with a bike shorts underneath I was converted. The bike shorts keep your thighs happy while you are walking a ton, and you have the comfort of shorts. But, you have the universal acceptability of a skirt. You can go from light hiking to a decent restaurant without changing clothes. Shorts aren't as much of a Thing as they are in the U.S.
  5. I have rolled my eyes so hard before that then I said, "Ouch" because it hurt a bit.
  6. Now I know who to avoid. I don't avoid many. When they first started to do the recommendations, they got a scathing email from me. I'd bought a book documenting the evil deeds of a politician. Then they recommended the autobiography of that politician.
  7. DH was the one most irritated by the Dad_As_Babysitter idea. A few years before DD, I worked with a friend who had a baby, took maternal leave, and then came back to work. We had lunch, etc. while she was on leave so I heard the highlights of the family dynamics. One thing that had jumped out at me was that since she was on maternal leave and he was working, they both thought that all the parenting of the baby should fall on her. When baby was maybe a month old she spent an evening away from home while their baby was home with dad. She was very frustrated because he did the absolute bare minimum. So, he changed a diaper, but left a sink full of un-rinsed baby bottles. He also played video games. When she went back to work, the attitude of his didn't change. Part of it was that he didn't know what to do, and she was the expert. The dad is a great guy, but I think that they got off to a bad start. Because of that, I'd deliberately made sure DH had daily alone time with DD. We established that I could go to bed whenever I needed to, and he would be with DD. When she needed to eat he would bring her to the bed (breastfeeding) and then take her when I banged on something in the bedroom).
  8. You can easily do Europe with a backpack. Not even a big backpack, a school backpack. Just take a small quantity of laundry soap. For a trip like yours, I'd take woolite and just hand-wash small quantities in the sink. Get several of the travel-size liquid containers for the laundry soap/hair shampoo/etc. Toss them as you finish with them or when you are ready to come home. For purses, etc. try to go for non-standard. For example, they can spot the money belt and have your pants undone and the money removed before you can stop them. One trick I liked when it was jacket weather was a fanny pack under the jacket with the stuff tucked at my back and the bottom of my jacket tied tightly. The pack blended with the billowing of the bottom of the jacket. Another one I liked was a leather thing that hung from my neck. The leather cord looked like it might have been for an amulet or something. If you see kids running amok start swinging your arms around. If it hits them, oh well. The kids running amok are pick-pockets. Do not say a word! The crowd will be on your side, unless they know you are a tourist.
  9. Mine is currently working on not barking at the goats. She is an Akita, a big hunting dog. So, I'd once been worried about our free-range chickens. But she accepted them as a protected part of my pack and protects them when they are in her back yard. We recently got baby Dwarf Nigerian Goats. They will eventually be the size of a Lab, but right now they are the size of the chickens. The goats have a 1/2 acre that I call our back-back yard. The Akita gets incredibly jealous of the goats and barks at them and scares them. But, she has been doing much better lately. She whines and she wiggles instead. The goats are learning to sleep in their goat house. Until recently they were with the chickens and roosted with them.
  10. I know what you can do to soundproof a wall. If you think about it, you need to do two things. 1) stop the transmission of sound through the air. This is obvious and likely already done or the first thing you do. 2) stop the vibrations through materials, i.e. the wall. Lots of the sound-proofing stuff, foam etc., is designed more to preserve the acoustics where the sound is being produced, i.e. theater/music room or practice room. All you care about is stopping the transmission of noise. To sound-proof a wall, remove the drywall on one side. You are going to build another stud wall. The top and the bottom horizontal boards will be 2x2's. The vertical studs will be 2x4's. But this is the important part, they will be placed so that they are in the middle of the gap between the studs on the real wall. The studs for the new wall will stick into the gaps between The left and right studs will be 2x2's also. Build the sound-proofing wall on the floor and then tilt it up into place. Do not have your new wall touch the real wall anywhere. Get some bats of insulation and put them between the walls horizontally so they weave in and out between the studs on the two walls. Then hire someone to drywall the sound-proofing wall.
  11. You just need to get one sized big enough. I remember a chart that had had many water outlets (or maybe bathrooms) and what zone you were in. For example, the same house in Minnesota needs a bigger water heater than one in Texas because the incoming water is colder. Another I liked when DD was little. There is a digital temperature setting, so we left it lowered to a safe temp for her. Then if we needed to do something like run a Sanitize wash cycle, we raised the temp. Another another nice thing was the extra storage space. The furnace and the tank water heater are in a closet off one of the main hallways. So, when the tank heater left we had all that open area. You wouldn't want to put shelves there. But those giant plastic storage containers with the solid plastic lids were great. If the water is hard, then you just need to do more maintenance on it. But that is true on a tank water heater too. DH and I spent our first days of marriage taking care of the carpet after the tank water heater busted. I hate tank water heaters.
  12. Totally! I won't be without one now. We've installed them in two houses now. Note, we tend to use hot water in high use for short spurts of time divided by long periods of no hot water use. So, the energy savings are huge. If you are forced to get an electric one get one made by a German company with a name starting with an 'S'.
  13. I've been thinking on this. I've heard people talk about colleges eliminating the test score requirements and that this is a good thing. I am NOT a fan of the SAT or the College Board. But, not because I am against the idea of the tests, but because I think that they do a crappy job. But, the tests obviously do something of what they are supposed to do, i.e. documenting those too dumb to go to their desired school. Think about what would have happened if those schools didn't have test requirements. The parents could have gotten their kids admitted without even bribery. The expensive private school could have shown them getting straight A's. A tutor could have 'edited' their essay. Money can by lots of shiny extracurriculars. But while a bright, poor kid can get a high SAT, a dim rich kid can't get a high score without cheating.
  14. I listened to Michael Knowles show when the news of this first hit. He went to Yale and as a Freshman someone congratulated him on getting in. He responded something like it wasn't that big of deal since there was a lot of people that got in. The other person said something like, "Well, you got in on your own merits. Most of the others bought their way in." Although I assume that the person was referring to the old-fashioned method of huge donation. Speaking of the super-rich and ethics. I am reminded that Harvard Law is supposed to have the highest percentage of disbarred lawyers. Makes you think.
  15. My husband loves misc. spices. For a couple of years I swear everything he cooked smelled nasty. I once falsely accused him of making something a little more nasty smelling than normal. Turns out it was our skunked dog and we only figured it out because he wasn't cooking anything. We then bought the exhaust fan with the biggest motor we could buy that cost less than $300.
  16. I think a open-floor-plan was started by a lazy home builder. I once looked at a house near my parents that is known as 'the one room house' by the neighbors. The owner was a bachelor who knocked down a bunch of walls. 3000+ sq.ft. house with three bedrooms, one bedroom hallway, one kitchen and one giant room. One thing I noticed is that even without walls, there was several distinct rooms within the giant room. The only advantage I could see to the lack of walls was that when playing pool in the 'game room' you wouldn't hit the wall with your cue as in every other residential game room I've seen. Our house came with a one-room addition of about 500 sq.ft. That is our living room and kitchen. I hate that people see the kitchen when they walk in the front door. Eventually after more additions that won't be true anymore.
  17. I thought of you guys when I read about the actresses kid getting 100% extra time. I call B.S. on the prof that said that extra time doesn't benefit NT kids. If that were true, then there wouldn't be a time limit. I could see it possibly apply to dim but NT kids. But, your average kid or higher IQ would definitely benefit from extra time. I feel for the kids that have a genuine need for extra time. Did you notice that she also seemed concerned that the school was providing the proctor? There is a story there. Also, I haven't seen any comment on this, but in the messages it seems that the test was over two days. How does that work?
  18. DD is 3rd grade. But, we just discovered the Train Your Dragon series. We'd started it as an audiobook because David Tennant is the narrator. David Tennant was my first Doctor Who and therefore has a special place in my heart. But the books are an early elementary reading level.
  19. The idea with announcements is that they are sent instead of an invite. They can be considered more polite because a wedding gift can be expected of those that receive an invite, but not of an announcement.
  20. We had one of those moments this weekend. We were doing the History Walking Tour in San Antonio. Tour guide pointed out some little statues for sale. I missed the name of that style of craft, but it was painted with little points of color. DD said. "Like Pointillism" Tour guide said, "Are you homeschoolers?" BTW, I'd recommend the tour.
  21. Well, there is that blind kid that did that. He could 'see' the difference between a tree and a man by the sound of the echo.
  22. My dad was one that did college as the next thing. It was his parents that even filled out his application form. He didn't finish the first semester. He contends that it is because his parents paid for it. I contend that it was because he wasn't motivated and he didn't have a reason to be there. In Dad's case he got lucky and it worked out fine. He went to a tech school and flunked (being color-blind) from computer hardware into programming. This was the late 60's. Back then computer programming was NOT respected. That is why women were allowed to do it. One idea, instead of assuming college is the next step, put the decision on her. If she doesn't make a decision, the default is for her to get an apartment after high school, and that will be tough on Chik-Fil-A pay. Otherwise, she might think that the default was living in your basement and having no worries.
  23. You are right in that they won't pay for any repairs. But, wrong in that you have to pay the stated price. There is an inspection on the house before they list the house. They don't want any complaints later about the inspection missing something. So, they warn you about anything that might be bad. For example, mine came with a warning to not use the fireplace until I had it repaired. But, being Texas I said, "Meh" About 5 years later I got a guy out and he just had to clean it. So, they won't do any repairs, but you know what they are up front and that is considered in the price. On the stated price. There is hidden price below which they reject an offer. There is a super-secret formula that sets the hidden price. Based on experience, the realtors can tell you what the secret price is. On our second house it had to be a cash sale and we didn't quite have enough for the secret price. You are supposed to prove that you have a bank balance with the amount of your offer. So, we submitted an offer of what we had on hand which was 6K less than the secret price. Every week we submitted another bid that was a little more than the previous. Eventually, we hit the price the realtor told us and they accepted it. So, he was accurate. But, where it gets easy-peasy is that after your offer is accepted. That is it. There isn't any Owner Person to deal with. No one to coordinate repairs with. No one that can change their minds and have regrets, or want to move the closing date. No owner that needs to move out before you can move in. You just get together your money and close on the house. The realtor on my first house said that buyers usually move in when the offer is accepted. Because there isn't anyone that cares enough to make sure that you don't. So, you turn on the utilities and replace the front and back doorknobs. I had actually started the demolition in my first house before the offer. The garage had a small electrolysis office added inside which made the two-car garage a no car garage. I had that mostly removed before closing. The appraisal I'd had done for my bank stated that it was worth more with the office removed, so I was increasing the value of the house.
  24. Yes, we'll be buying two and selling one. The house I bought as a single, and I always planned on renting out has gotten too expensive for a rental. So we will be selling it and buying two farther out from the hot zone. It is still extremely stressful. I've bought two houses, but both were from HUD. Even at the time I knew that was the least stressful way to buy a house. Reason being there was no seller or seller's emotions/flakiness.
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