Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Texas State History Museum

Photography in displays or movies prohibited. DOH.

Well... four hours of being surrounded by schoolkids eight to ten years old. Very tiring. Some history of Texas is fascinating. Some is fascinating and vile. Nice museum, though, for sure, and high-quality movies with great musical scores.

Stars everywhere. There was a coin, first coins struck in what is now Texas, by Mexico, and they have a single star on the back. Small. And their first flags had a star. So that star is old, for Texas.

There were designs on the floor that reminded me of those in the Phoenix airport that Holly and I saw on the way to San Diego. But these weren't tile. They were sections of poured floor between brass dividers.

I read the Texas declaration of independence all the way through, in a reproduction of the original. I liked a lot of the wording. One of their charges, though, was that Mexico hadn't provided schools.
It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.
So there we were, surrounded by a few hundred public school students of 175 years later. Each had a checklist of questions and they were zipping around trying to find the answers. On kid popped up between Kirby and what he was trying to read. Then two others did. Totally obscured what he was looking at. Then a teacher said "If there aren't any answers, move on." They took that as a clue that they were looking in the wrong place, so they stopped reading and zoomed off.

Another time two girls were reading something I was reading. Their teacher said "[Name. NAME!] Come here, right now!" They stopped reading and went to the group. The teacher said for everyone to take a slow, deep breath, and they did, and she said to focus on the fact that they had nothing left to do now but to go down and leave. The teacher was stressed; the kids weren't. It seemed cool to her that it was over. The kids (at least those two) were more interested in reading about the history of Texas.

Bottom Dollar String Band

The other day we saw a little old-timey/bluegrassish group called the Bottom Dollar String Band. I'm sad that I accidentally deleted a video of part of a happy song, but the still images are here. Kirby liked them especially, so might try to catch them again sometime, somewhere.

Oh hey... someone else got them that day. DARN I wish I had my video.

They hav a facebook page with music: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bottom-Dollar-String-Band/178848978837296

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A few images of West Texas

We're all the way to Austin now, but I saved some things to share, from early this morning. In Muleshoe, I found a sort of "Wheel of Fortune" puzzle for you all:

Turning the other way, was a large array of things, all made of steel. Most of it was old steel, but there was one new green girder, and the building just past the International pickup was newish.

That black speck is a big bird; crow, or raven.

In Lubbock, we passed a couple of places that probably had internet (Denny's and a large, local cafe), figuring we would get gas in the car and then find a breakfast place with internet.

Further on I saw a little burger joint about the size of a billboard. :-) I thought the menu might be fun for people outside the U.S.

"HB" would be hamburger and "CB" cheeseburger.

There was also a very current drive-in theater in Lubbock, showing double features of new movies on three screens. I thought of Julie Daniel. This one wasn't set with slanted rows in the old classic style, but was just flat. The screens were set in a triangle, and I we didn't pull close enough to see how the cars were to have been arranged.

We drove and drove and finally saw a truck stop with a cafe called: Tech Cafe

Keith was going to the bathroom, and I stayed out to take photos of a very cool looking piece of farm equipment with which I was unfamiliar, and a special sort of church. It was a non-mechanized something; the wheels turned freely by hand. What's it for??

Having grown up attending a Southern Baptist church, I know exactly what THIS is for:

In case it's too small to read, the smaller print says "We teach 'Jesus Saves'," and "A Ministry of Redbud Baptist Church."

The mail box was for prayer requests, and the blue sign to the left of the door is Romans 6:23, but it's not the King James translation.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Wheelchair accessible:

I wanted to post all those photos above so people could see these things before we got to Kirby's house, so I got my computer out of the car and went into the Tech Cafe to meet Keith.

"The Tech Cafe" has a smoking room, all sealed off from the other part.
The Tech Cafe has no internet.
The Tech Cafe doesn't take charge cards; only cash or check.

The food was traditional, unadorned, and presented without any artistry, but it tasted great!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Compost parfait

I love these layers! There's a third matching "parfait" on the other side of the yard. On a base of the summer's weeds and kitchen scrap, Keith added brown leaves from the trees that turned early, and when it froze last week the mulberries dropped their leaves green.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Sandias from here

Today Marty's jeep wouldn't start when he was at CNM, so I took the jumper cables over there. There was a picturesque tumbleweed, some pickups, the mountains, and Marty.

There's snow at the crest. Don't know if you can tell. It was halfway part of last week.

Yesterday, same mountains, all pink with the sun going down, the other direction from our house:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some mentions of me here and there

A quote with illustrations.

On a blog about infants and sleep,http://parentingbabytosleep.blogspot.com/:
"At the moment I am reading Sandra Dodd...just google her (I'm learning how to mobile blog sorry no links yet). But she talks about unschooling...might be a bit much for some who cry it out but wow good stuff."

There is a 118 page book about me in India. Huh.
Looks like it's between $53 and $58 dollars American, though. It might be a nice souvenir. I asked Hema to order one for me. It looks to be all stuff lifted from online. I give it away anyway.
That's way too expensive. If I were in India, I would order a C.O.D. copy and bribe the delivery guy to take back a letter from me saying "I'm Sandra Dodd; I'm not dead; I've been in India just lately, and I'm not payin' for this book."

Oh well. :-)

I had forgotten about this interview:
The original site is linked there, but I've lifted a copy to my site. It's been there for two years now (and is still there) but my readership doesn't need to provide advertising revenue for a general homeschooling site.

I had seen this one before, years back:

First it was in Zen Habits:
and then reprinted:
Education Needs to Be Turned on Its Head
Written by Leo Babauta
Quotes me, Agatha Christie, John Updike, and John Holt, in that order.
And in Chinese (Jihong confirms it's Chinese) http://fanyi.edu2do.org/page/2
On THAT page, there are things by Joyce Fetteroll and Pam Sorooshian, too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shadow Cat

This cat hardly ever lets anyone touch her, and I've picked her up a couple of times this week, and she's let me hold her. This time we were close enough to the computer that I could catch a photobooth shot of her beautiful eyes. Poor old crazy Shadow...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

UK Style, at Sears, for Christmas?

Holly and I went to Sears to look at jewelry boxes, but found this:

These guys weren't blamed on the UK, as those other things were:

We didn't buy anything there, but had fun wandering through.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Big mountains, and bigger sky

Today Ashlee sent me a photo of the Sandias from a little distance. This morning the whole area was gray with odd little snow in the air, and then noonish the sky was clear and there was snow on the mountains. It's beautiful:

Our house the other day

I love waking up and finding an art project to examine. Marty is making a t-shirt having something to do with Fallout.

Holly had friends over in honor of her birthday, on the first Saturday past Halloween. It's hard scheduling a party when one's birthday is so near Halloween. First they met at Blake's for a milkshake, and then came to the house for games. There was some Picture Picture, some Apples to Apples and some Wise and Otherwise. (Click to embiggen.)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

20th birthday (Holly's), confusion (mine)

Yesterday we had a late lunch on Holly's birthday, with 3/5 of the McNeill family. The empty spot at the table was mine. There might be another photo later from Jasmine's camera. The light wasn't the best, but the evidence will help us remember (and be something for Helene and Sophie to see). They can be enlarged.

The table from my point of view, though, up the left and back down the right, is Marty, Keith, Holly, Jasmine, Darwin, Leon, and Ashlee.

This morning I dressed a bit more warmly and walked over to Kinko's (now FedEx) to copy two book chapters I intend to transcribe (and the books won't lie flat) and an article from unerzogen to send to Wolfgang. As the copy machine was passing its lovely green light over one page, I realized my printer at home is a copy machine. If I were making a large number of copies, or needed two-sided copies, walking in the cold to Kinko's would've been fine. So I made my black and white single-sided copies and walked home in 38°F degree weather, feeling old.

The other day, Marty looked old:

He was being a mad scientist, and I guess Ashlee was his devilish assistant.

Holly tried looking like her boyfriend, Will:

...and had planned to reproduce his tattoo, when the day came she decided other things were a better use of her time. But it's a good tattoo—his band's logo.