Saturday, March 18, 2017

My best photos

There are half a dozen photos or so I'm really proud I took. Finally (in April 2017) I've collected them all in one place. I you click the image, you might get a bigger one, and more information (or one of those):

One was a wagon that was up by itself on a hill in Shakespeare, New Mexico, when Marty and I went on a road trip to look at ghost towns in [what year? 2004, 2005?].

It was my desktop when I answered a trivia survey, and I described it as "A sheepherder's wagon, with a kitchen in back like a chuckwagon—a photo I took when Marty and I went to ghost towns in southwestern New Mexico. This wagon is in Shakespeare. Behind us were buildings."

My favoritee: Chariot of carousel at Hollycombe Steam-in-the-Country Museum and Steam Fair (they have various names; I combined them all). It's printed on canvas and in the den at my house.

Roof line and houses behind, in Stroud, June 2011:

Bird flying off a Chevron sign at sunup in Arizona the morning before Marty's wedding—printed out on a wide canvas, and in our front room. It's on my website. This was a bird messing up my photo, I thought, until I looked. I took another without the irritating bird, but of course the "mistake" turned out to be the good one. You can click it to go to a copy you can zoom in on.

Airplane over a gargoyle:

Why am I wishy-washy about finding one plae and putting them all there? It's a mystery. If I at least put them all in this blog and label them favorite photos, maybe I can find them and stop saying they're not all in one place. Wah wah wah. Found the last one; brought the others.)

I came back to add Amanda's Cat Simon, in Pilar. Click it for more context:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kirby, a grown man, married

This happened in October, but I'm moving this photo here because things on Facebook are washed away in the flood of words and images.

Marty was married first, of our children. Holly is still single.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Anniversary of my Korean Drama interest

My favorites, in order



Secret Garden

Warrior Baek Dong Soo

My Love from Another Star

Personal Taste

I also liked:

Kill Me, Heal me
It's Okay, That's Love
Answer Me, 1988

"February 8, 2015, a Sunday, I started watching faith. All day Monday, I watched that show. Keith brought me food. I finished it Tuesday, February 10."

My notes are here, and now that time has passed, I wish I had left clues to myself of which I would recommend, or watch again, but I think if I recommend my very favorites, people who try them can find their own way into other dramas. Sometimes by genre, sometimes by following one actor or writer or director. Sometimes by recommendations from the friends you will find if you start watching them.

The dramas are generally 15 to 24 episodes. Most are 20, probably. I've watched 75 of them.

I don't recommend these to people with young children or busy jobs, because they can draw you in and hold you, but with my kids grown, it has been a very interesting new hobby which has led to learning I never would have expected. I have no interest in Korean food, and I don't want to go there to visit, but still there are connections to things I had known before, and things I'm glad to know now, about culture, religion, language, laws and literature. There are ways in which their cultural expectations are like ours, and ways in which they're as foreign as foreign can be.

Most shows begin with a rough incident or situation, which will be overcome or smoothed over as the story progresses. Most begin with irritating characters, so there can be growth and redemption. Often there's an underlying mystery about the childhood of one character or another that isn't revealed until several episodes in, and the solving of that becomes part of the plot and of the interactions.

Unlike a two-hour movie, a twenty-hour story can give you depth of character and time to think, as novels can. The writing and acting are better than I'm used to from American and British TV and movies.


I didn't publish this on the day it should've been scheduled. This poor blog! I did post on the korean drama discussion, and on facebook, and I forgot my own once-most-favorite blog. I back-dated it. :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The worst thing about homeschooling

The worst thing about homeschooling is being associated with fundamental Christian homeschoolers.

A few dozen times over 25 years the years someone has tried to pressure me by saying that I should support ALL homeschoolers equally, or that I should use my influence to promote all homeschooling methods and philosophies.

I have never done so, and never will. I will tell a couple of stories, but first will link a post by someone who was homeschooled, revealing some truths about the HSLDA. Some who read it already knew these things. Others might be surprised, or amused.

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah, Kieryn Darkwater on January 26, 2017

At dinner in restaurants, friends have sometimes asked a question about homeschooling that shows their assumption that we were doing something, anything, like fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers were. My plate, on the table, was pointed out to represent school. The sale, or a fork or something, is set on one side, and I'd say "Christian homeschoolers think school doesn't control kids well, and gives them too much information." On the other side of the school/plate, I would say "Some people think school controls kids too much, and doesn't give them enough information. We're on the far other side of the school. We're not doing the same thing at all."

People have criticized me for "only" caring about unschooling and not promoting their more conservative projects or ideas in my discussions or on my blog or whatever, but I still don't promote them, and I haven't. I've irritated a lot of people who can't tell the difference between learning philosophies and political movements.

A couple of times I have said this, but haven't put it in public before, so here it is. Not only have I not wanted to support Christian homeschooling, with their dishonesty and creationism and revisionist history, I have said that I would rather they be prevented from doing what they're doing, even if it had meant having my own kids in school. They are stealing their children's chance to learn about the world, and to meet people who aren't of their own very narrow beliefs. And that's not so broad as "fundamentalist Christianity." There are MANY subgroups, and there are families that didn't let their children be in playgroups with other kids because of some slight difference in dogma. Anyone who doubts that should look up "statement of faith homeschool groups" and "legalism in Christianity."

To find a samples, I searched for "legalism Christian homeschooling" and here are a couple of interesting things:

Found Legalism in Homeschooling Methods, October 2016
I feel like the homeschooling community is coming to grips with the long-held misconception that homeschooling our children is the ticket for all of us to get to heaven. If homeschooling were the answer, why would we need Jesus?

Submission or Doormat Legalism?
There is dangerous trend in several homeschool movements that focus on obedience to man-made rules instead of God’s rules. Legalism is essentially opposed to grace.

Biblical submission teachings are distorted to the point that family life centers around the father of the home rather than on Jesus Christ.

The webpage of Patrick Henry College, founded by the same person who runs the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, is a good read. Read about Libery University after that, if you're still in the mood.
What Makes PHC Different

Patrick Henry College ("for Christ and for Liberty") was founded in 2000 with a vision to restore America by educating the best and brightest Christian students to take their place as future leaders of the nation and its culture. Its Mission is to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American Founding.

What we do as unschoolers is more like public school than it is like fundamentalist Christian home schooling (they like two words better than one). What they do is more like public school than it is like radical unschooling. It's worth knowing something about their intentions.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

"God is officially a grandmother"

Holly wrote something sweet on Twitter:

I saw an amazement in the sky yesterday afternoon - the sun had a baby!

Then she added: "God is officially a grandmother."

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A guy calls me a closed-minded educator and an idiot

I got e-mail from someone wanting me to promote something vague:

I want to share my "learning that excites, learning that sticks" absolute radical unschool program. It was 30 years in the making, but it is like no other as far as how much it is loved by students.

I have been wanting to connect with the unschooling movement, so any information you could send would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
David Hamilton
I've removed the e-mail and phone number, but left the website.

At the same time he had applied to join Radical Unschooling Discussion on facebook, but one of the other moderators flicked it away without me even getting there to say "same guy, different name." He used a made-up name and had a page promoting something vague, but I hadn't known that yet.

I looked at his site and searched for more, finding one youtube video that he had uploaded but hadn't made, nor had he credited. So I responded, by e-mail:
From: Sandra Dodd
Subject: Re: Hello
Date: January 2, 2017 at 9:17:11 PM MST
To: David B Hamilton...

-=-I want to share my "learning that excites, learning that sticks" absolute radical unschool program. It was 30 years in the making, but it is like no other as far as how much it is loved by students.-=-

Please don’t use the term “radical unschooling” about anything that involves the term “students.”
I looked at your site, and it does seem you only used the term because you were writing to me. I hope you’re not using it more widely.

Best wishes, if your project was 30 years in the making. I can’t find any more than the one website you sent, and a video on YouTube that you didn’t credit to the owners.

I’ve been unschooling for 25 years, and so you’re five years beyond me, somehow. Please don’t use the term for lessons for students, though.

Sandra Dodd

His response:

Typical response of a closed minded educator. Only can see the negative. Unfortunate. My presentations are loved by students. Your loss.
And, I don’t need your permission to use the term “radical unschooling”! Ha! Like I need your permission? You are an idiot.

So if he's contacting other unschoolers, don't feel guilty about ignoring him.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The last fire

I took this photo in October, 2016, and called it "first fire 2016," but what I didn't know is that we would need to stop using the fireplace so it was one of the last fires.

This fall was hot, and after that cold spell in October, we didn't need a fire. When the fireplace was cleaned in November, serious cracks were found inside the chimney, so we will be getting a wood-burning insert in January.

I felt deep sorrow at first, for losing the use of such a familiar and wonderful fireplace we've had for nearly twenty years. I'm sure I'll get used to the stove, when we get it, but for right now I'm sadly without a fire.