As much as I don't like to admit it, I'm guessing it's the latter. She doesn't way much, a mere 134 pounds. But, due to her Spinal Muscular Atrophy, it's a dead weight of 134 pounds. Getting her up in the morning is like moving around a 130 pound sack of potatoes. There isn't much she can do to help that. Nor is there much I can do to help that. But it is part of my motivation to stay in shape. If my back gives out, she's in more than a bit of a pickle.
My weight is up a bit, up to 177 and then back down to 174. The weight training continues. Running times are par for the course.
On Tuesday, I took the van in for the state of Maryland's emissions testing. It was kind of funny. The pamphlet they send out with the notification suggests that you drive at least 20 minutes on the freeway before going to a testing center. Then, once one arrives at the testing center, one is advised to idle rather than shut off one's engine as a cold engine will almost certainly fail the emissions check. But the line takes half an hour to an hour. Consequently, a program designed to reduce emissions guarantees a fleet of 50 to 70 cars driving 20 minutes on the freeway and then idling for half an hour to an hour, all the day long.
I suppose in the grand scheme of things, that extra two hours I ran my car is inconsequential over the course of a year. Nevertheless, I have to wonder if anyone bothered to sit down and do the calculations. It'd be funny if the emissions testing caused more pollution than it prevented.
Personally, what I'd like to see is a chip that keeps track of such data and miles driven. Then once a year, you go through a drive through that reads that chip. Then you get taxed for the number of miles driven according to (1) how fuel efficient your car is and (2) how much pollution your car gives off. Not that I'll ever see such a system.
Hoping to avoid the calendar malfunction of last term, I plugged all my classes and finals into Google Calendar today. It turns out that I have two finals on a Saturday this term. I find that odd. It's also inconvenient as one is in the early morning and the other is at night. But the rest of the calendar doesn't look bad at all. While it'd be convenient if Eastern and Western calculations for Easter coincided this year, they don't. But they're only a week apart and well enough prior to the end of classes that Holy Week should not interfere with my studies.
Speaking of preparation for the term, only about half of my books have trickled in thus far. It looks like a few more are slated to come in today. We shall see.
Chuckles linked to this in the hole. But it deserves a permanent record as it's the most manly thing you can do with a 51/4" drive bay. I almost wish I had a machine with a drive bay that it would fit in.
The Beeb has an interesting reflection on interpretting Hamas. The last paragraph is the only thing that gives me any amount of hope at all over the current situation, ``They also point out that the PLO once talked in similar terms and that it is now in negotiation with Israel about a final settlement.'' But there are key differences between the PLO and Hamas. The PLO did not start out as an ideological movement but as a group of thugs.
And speaking of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, the Vatican likens Gaza to `one big concentration camp.' Harsh words. The dude from the Vatican certainly isn't mincing words, ``Cardinal Martino urged both sides to hold peace talks. `If they can't come to an agreement, then someone else should do it [for them],' he said.''
And an update on Candadian treatment of US asylum seekers: Last year, the Canadian parliament passed a non-binding motion granting asylum to deserters from the Iraq war. But correspondents say the governing Conservatives opposed the motion, not willing to risk upsetting Washington over the issue. This highlights one of the problems of the Westminster system where the executive and legislative branches are effectively the same. On the other hand, to be fair, we have to keep in mind it was a non-binding resolution that the present government is ignoring. Ignoring a non-binding resolution is no great miscarriage of justice.
Britons are discovering what rural USians have long known, squirrels are good eatin' . I don't know if red squirrel in UKia is the same as red squirrel in USia, but if it is, the reds are much tastier than the grays. Or at least I've always thought so.
The WaPo has a position piece that focuses on school reform that focuses on administration working with teachers working with students. It's interesting because one of the complaints that many people have about school reform is that it's useless if the socio-economics of the situation aren't fixed first. Yet here is a school in an exceptionally bad neighborhood that seems to be doing exceptionally well.
My vote for the most idiotic idea of the new year.
New Year's Eve, my daughter projectile vomited from the heights of her 8 foot Ikea loft bed. So I brought in the new year with a bucket of water, ammonia and a washrag. Afterwards, she did some cleaning with a spray carpet cleaner. The room still smells faintly of vomit.
So I did what any man would do in a similar situation, I bought a new power-tool. In this case, it's the Bissell Little Green Machine which is a steam cleaner of diminutive size targeted at those of us who need spot cleaning. It did fine on the vomitrocious areas left over from Saint Basil's eve. It didn't quite get all of the stains out but it did fix the odor problem. It did far better at a test run on some two week old red wine stains. I suspect our carpet doesn't absorb red wine as well as it does stomach acid.
The Bissell was just under a 100 clams. Given that isn't all that far away from the full sized cleaners, I almost went with a full sized cleaner. But the full sized cleaners are rather full in size. And storage space is at a minimum. This little thing fits nicely on the top shelf in the closet. The down side is that it shoots about an 8" swath of hot water and detergent, but the suction nozzle is only about 2.5". The `turbo' nozzle has a smaller spray width. In either case, if the mess you need to clean up is substantial in size, you'd be wise to spend an extra fifty to seventy USD to pick up a Hoover F5914-900
My oldest daughter is being greatly challenged by her math class. Unlike the crappy school district we were in back in Ohio where getting an A in the advanced math course was like getting a gold medal in the special olympics, she has to work and work hard just to get an average grade.
From what she tells me it sounds like her teacher is substandard. Half of what she complains about, I think I can safely write off as stemming from her not liking to have to try so hard. Some of the stuff she complains about, after all, are the things that I think a good teacher would do. But the other things she complains about, if they are true, point to the teacher being a bad teacher. For example, my daughter was belatedly elevated to the honors math class. So she missed the introductory weeks on using the graphing calculator. The teacher is unwilling to sit down with her for an hour or so to show her how it works. There are also other issues. But, if what my daughter tells me is true about the distribution of grades, it is telling. There is one person in the class with an A, a handful of Cs and quite a few people are flunking. That suggests to me a problem with the teacher rather than with the students.
All of this has led to an extraordinary state of affairs. I'm making my daughter tutor me in math to explain what she's learned. She doesn't like this. For that matter, I don't like it much either. I'm a slow learner when I come to math. And the math she's doing isn't all that short of the college Calculus II class that I flunked that ended my academic career as a mathematics major at my first attempt at college.
Of course, she hates it. She just wants the right answers. I want to understand why things work. Thus far the tutoring sessions have ended in shouting matches. I'd rather they didn't. But both her and I are stubborn and butt-headed. So we butt heads. Painful as it may be, I suspect it's good for both her and me. For her, if she can adequately explain who things work to someone who flunked the math she's supposed to be working on, she'll know enough to get an A. For me, I get to spend time with my daughter. Granted, I'd rather spend that time playing games or something fun. But beggars can't be choosers.
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