Saturday, July 19, 2014

What I learned from Holly

Holly is good at photo manipulation, and related issues. She showed me how to find a color, from an image, for making matching fonts or lines or backgrounds. I've used that trick quite a bit.

Today I used it again here:

We have three juice glasses, probably from the early 1960's, I got from a thrift store. One day just for fun I photographed one.

Thinking about the heritable personality trait "openness to experience" and thought it would be good to start collecting notes about that, for the benefit of unschooling families.

Helen Davies had brought a Ray Bradbury quote to a discussion:
I was not embarrassed at circuses. Some people are. Circuses are loud, vulgar, and smell in the sun. By the time many people are fourteen or fifteen, they have been divested of their loves, their ancient and intuitive tastes, one by one, until when they reach maturity there is no fun left, no zest, no gusto, no flavor. Others have criticized, and they have criticized themselves, into embarrassment. When the circus pulls in at five of a dark cold summer morn, and the calliope sounds, they do not rise and run, they turn in their sleep, and life passes by.
That inspired me to use the photos of the circus glasses on that page.

This week, someone was asking what to do if adults quiz her child. The child in question is six months old, so it's too soon for her to care. But in the discussion someone used the phrase "my child isn't a circus monkey."

When Marty was four or five (I've forgotten), I wanted him to roller blade for his grandparents. He was really good, very young. He declined. They were getting ready to drive home (200 miles) and I wheedled at him. Keith said (to me, to get me to drop it) "He's not a performing monkey."

True and good point! But what if Marty had wanted to show them and I was the one who had been saying, "No, don't"? And what if someone used "circus monkey" instead, when I already had a page with a circus reference AND a picture of a circus monkey!? Well then it goes on the page.

I didn't think of the page when I wrote my response, but I did think of Marty, twenty years ago, and of Keith who hinted that I should not be a ringmaster.

But back to Holly. The page had a section in red. It clashed with the glasses. The page had horizontal lines as section dividers. They were boring.

I went into photoshop elements to sample the red (somewhat fading away) on the glasses. It was different different places, and had lots of numbers and letters. Not the clean kinds of code webpages need. I picked up the phone to call Holly to ask her how I can find the nearest web-worthy code, and then I stopped and thought "What would Holly do?" So I looked around at my photoshop options and found "Web colors only." Tadaaa! Thank you, Holly who isn't even home!

Holly says she learned photoshop from Marty. I learned it from Holly, but each of us has found things for the others, and that's pretty sweet!

Yesterday on an old episode of Robin Hood I saw a performing monkey in a little coat.
(He's drinking out of the goblet, lower left.)
One more connection, and it won't be the last!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

iPhone, ME!

Like Pinocchio becoming a real boy…

I got an iPhone today, and it's just like a little iPad that's a phone. That last phone I had never did work smoothly. Even Holly (who has a phone just like it) and Marty (who can usually figure out any gadget) couldn't help me.

Keith was feeling generous and encouraged me not to get the smallest iPhone. Destiny was sweet and talked to me all about what was what. Holly went with me to get it "ghost armored." Marty…he's been saying "You should get an iPhone" for quite a while. He said I would already know how to use it, because of the iPad. He was right!. Kirby has had iPhones for years, and he's not even an Apple computer guy, beyond that phone—so I took that as a good sign.

There was one other Mac given to me by Pam Hartley and her husband, when my first iMac was failing to have the power and brains to operate well with all the unschooling work I was doing on AOL—chats and forums, and lots of e-mail—I might find a photo of that and get help identifying it, at some point.
It took lots of thinking and encouragement, but I've owned Apple computers since the Mac IIsi I got in 1991, and had helped Ray Moseley (transcribing The Hammer, and working on a catalog) using Ray's Macintosh II in the 1980's.

Since then I've had an iMac G3 (the fat round ones), iMac G5 (elegant—LOVED THAT ONE), MacBook Pro (a string of those, for various reasons with interesting stories behind each change), and now a MacBook Air.

I have no preferred brands of shoes, chocolate, cars or much of anything, but these past 25+ years of Apple computers have been GREAT! So… I was slow to get an iPhone, but I have one now.

Note to future me: This shows a 13" MacBook Air, iPhone 5s and iPad Air

As I find portraits of the others, I hope I will bring them here, too. :-)

Holly and the G5:

Kirby and the IIsi:
Kirby 5:00 a.m. photo kirbyasleep.jpg

Sunday, July 06, 2014

333 (patterns)

My three kids, in birth order, and then 33 others.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Dead Poets Society, 25 years

This is a powerful movie that came out over a lifetime ago for people the age of most of those actors. Some of us who are parents of adults now had babies then, or were yet childless. Such a story with boarding schools for rich boys is foreign to most of us, but not to all the people I know. Such parenting is more familiar than the school is.

The 1950's are gone, right? Long time ago.

This is a great movie, and potentially a painful one. If it seems exotic, and out of your experience, that is wonderful, especially if you have children.

Robin Williams and Norman Lloyd are both still living and working.

Robert Sean Leonard, not long after, played Claudio in Ken Brannagh's
"Much Ado About Nothing." Later he played Dr. Wilson in the TV show House, for years.

Kurtwood Smith played Red Foreman, Eric's dad in That 70's Show for eight years, which redeems him as a dad (where even though he was a cranky dad, he wasn't as bad as the movie character.

Josh Charles played Will Gardner for years on The Good Wife.

Ethan Hawke has been in tons of movies, and played Hamlet in 2000.

Below are interviews with some of the actors, ten years later (fifteen years ago).

Don't watch it if you haven't seen the movie.
ONLY WATCH this IF you have already seen the move AND you remember well what happens. :-)

It says "Movie trailer," but it's 27 minutes of memories and stories about the filming.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ace Art (by Holly, 2010)

Holly did this art for a very small unschoolers' gathering several years ago. I just came across it and put it in a better place. The name came from Adam Daniel (documented here), the concept of a zia-based ace was mine, but the artistry and execution were all Holly Dodd's!

A little more about the small series of meet-ups:

Albuquerque Chat and Explore
Albuquerque, and The Ace Festival (notes about the name, and connections made because of it)
3rd Learn Nothing Day winding down (Holly's t-shirt, like Adam's t-shirt)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saxon mother's son

One thing led to another. "Only" was on the lyrics game and I played "…only ever has to give me / love forever and forever / she don't give boys the eye" from "She's a Woman," by The Beatles. While I was thinking of the lyrics, I thought about the tune. It's interesting. And the words are pretty much one per note, so that reminded me of my collection of verse in small words (early native-English words in modern poetry and lyrics).

"She's a Woman" has three words I figure weren't native, but came from the Norman French:
I cast my mind out to what else might fit on that page, because having added the lyrics to "She's a Woman," I needed one more song to fill my chart. The next song I thought of was "Help":
I need somebody
Not just anybody
You know I need someone
I went to look, and found a recording I had never heard or seen (as far as I remember).

I love the internet. I love the people who volunteer to share the videos that they or their parents made, or that they've scrounged from hither and yon. I love seeing (again) the youthful movements of John, Paul, George and Ringo. I'm happy to have been cognizant when they first produced records, and am happy to have seen Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on live TV not so long ago.

But "Help" is insufficiently Anglo Saxon for my collection. It has all this mess of borrowed words:
On the other hand, there are some phrases that are beautifully antique.

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way

If anyone reading here can think of a song (not necessarily by The Beatles) that has almost all elderly English words, please leave a note!
My collection is here: Small Words and has The Boxer, Easier Said than Done, Surfer Girl, Your Cheatin' Heart, Glad All Over, Red Rubber Ball and a few others.

(P.S. The title of the post is part of a description from a Beatle's song. Double points if you knew that before you got here. Triple if you can sing the chorus of that song just from reading that phrase that comes before it.)

(Two black-and-white posts in a row!
Both concern English history mixing with modern days.(

Little John being rewarded by the Queen

Archie Duncan played Little John in the 1950's Robin Hood series I've been watching lately. I watched it when I was little, but I was very little. There are snippets I remember. I see the roots of some of my interest in early music and costume.

But something happened, and I will be happy if someone who reads this knows a way to discover more.
"Duncan was briefly replaced in the Little John role by Rufus Cruikshank for about ten episodes after Duncan was injured when a horse bolted toward the spectators, mostly children, watching the location filming of the episode "Checkmate" on 20 April 1955. He grabbed the bridle, stopping the horse, but the cart it was pulling ran him over, causing a fractured kneecap and cuts and bruises. He received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery Award and £1,360 in damages from Sapphire films." (wikipedia page)

"Received a Queen's Award for Bravery for protecting a group of spectators (during filming of a first season episode of Robin Hood) by grabbing the bridle of a horse, which had bolted, and was drawing a cart with fixed axles that could not be steered. The cart ran over Duncan, fracturing his kneecap and putting him out of action for the next eleven episodes." (imdb trivia)

According to this, in the 1950's it was called the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, and the name was later changed to "Commendation for Bravery" in 1994.

I would love to know more about the particulars of this award, as Elizabeth hadn't been queen for very long, and the brave act was done in costume as Little John, with a medieval-style cart, on a film set. It must have been mentioned somehow in the presentation, on in the certificate.