Archive for March, 2017

Robin Hood

29 March, 2017

when I was a child, one of my favorite movies was Disney’s 1973 cartoon Robin Hood.

Later, when I went to England with the youth symphony, we visited Nottingham, and saw “the tree that Robin Hood hid in from the Sherriff…OK, probably not really, because we think this tree is only about 600 years old.”  Right then, a little kid went running across the field, singing loudly, “Robin Hood and Little John, running through the forest…”

MsSqueaky was just in a play, an after school club production…it was Robin Hood. It included the awesome “Oo De Lally” song.

It was great and so much fun to watch her.

 

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Weapons of Math Destruction

28 March, 2017

Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

by Cathy O’Neil, Ph.D   (in math)

Good book, cheesy title.

 

One of the things I like to remind people, professional sports uses data to make choices in hiring. And they fail often. They have data on how fast, how far, how strong, we have video of the players performing the very job that we want them to do. And still, we get Darko getting picked above Wade or Bosh. We get  Richard Sherman being picked in the fifth round, Tom Brady getting picked in the sixth round.  O’Neil doesn’t mention this, but does talk about how companies will use proxy data to make predictions, such as “Do you have good credit?” for employee applications, or “Are you a good student?” for insurance rates.

She talks about feedback loops, such as sending more cops to “high crime areas”, where, they find more criminal activity, and thus need to send more cops. And often the crimes are minor, such as public drunkenness, or jaywalking. She asks, what if we had a “zero-tolerance strategy in finance. They would arrest people for even the slightest infraction, whether it was chiseling investors on 401ks, providing misleading guidance, or committing petty frauds. Perhaps SWAT teams would descend on Greenwich, Connecticut. They would go undercover in the taverns around Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange.”  (I recently heard, “in poor neighborhoods kids are getting arrested for marijuana and underage drinking, things that happen every Friday night in a frat.”)

I learned of the “Flutie effect”. Exciting football game, Flutie makes a great pass to win, more attention to the school, more applicants, leads to lower acceptance rate, which leads to more prestige, which raises ratings of the school as “better”.

 

today

25 March, 2017

We attempted to quickly do chores, so that MyBetterHalf could take the childrens to go see Boss Baby. She said it was cute. They liked it. (MrCuddles kept saying “poop duty” today.)

Got home, me & MrG did a bit of basketball on the deck. Then he and MyBetterHalf traveled south to go see the Portland Trailblazers.

Me, MrCuddles & MsSqueaky planted strawberries. He was more energetic about it than me.

Then we went roller skating. I had to bribe MrC with “we can get ice cream if you do four laps.” I told him later that sometimes you got to learn stuff before it gets to be fun.

Then Thai food for dinner, and then icecream.

Right now, MrC and MsS are sleeping in a tent-fort they made in the living room.

kitties

24 March, 2017

Oliver-kitty is having a thyroid issue, and so needs medicine twice a day.

Sophie-kitty has gotten very sensitive on the haunches, and does not like to be brushed there.

camp

22 March, 2017

I dunno who started it, but last night, the childrens were writing invitation to each other for “join my camp”

For example:

  • Super important Letter
  • What you do: Surprise!
  • Leader: MrGrunty
  • When: Wendays Fridays 6:00 → 6:30
  • Starts: 3/22/16
  • Where: MrGrunty’s room
  • Cost: Free (But tips if you want)
  • Circle yes if you want to do it and no if you don’t
  • Hope to see you

MsS circled “yes” and addded “Yay cant wait”

 

monopoly

21 March, 2017

the local grocery has a collect stickers Monopoly game going on…the childrens are very excited to collect the stickers and are hoping to win either a million dollars, or more…

They have collected enuff to give us a $15 of free food. So there’s that.

future

20 March, 2017

recently, in a sermon, our pastor mentioned “someday, you will not be your children’s primary support system.”

Good to know.

I’m pretty sure that day will devastate me.

Rationally, I know that it is good for them to grow, become independent, go on to bigger and better.

But I’m gonna miss them.

catching up with 2016 – Halloween

18 March, 2017

Oh yeah…the past year.

A few days before Halloween, MrCuddles had his last game of the season. The field was horrible, there were holes in the field, most of the grass was torn up, mud everywhere, an inch of standing water on most of the field, conditions so bad the players couldn’t pass, dribble, or shoot. Awesome! Field conditions took away every advantage the other team had. And by random chance, somehow (also with the help of Andre defensively kicking a ball out of bounds) we managed to either have a tie game or even a win. First time this season. It had been rough for our better players and/or players that cared, because our team was terrible. (One poor kid, he had five shots on goal one game, and missed everyone of them by a few inches.)  MrCuddles…he participated in all practices (I was assistant coach), he participated in games (sometimes he was WAY off-sides, he said it was so he would be ready to shoot a goal), he had a couple decent dribble drives up the field, a couple decent shots on goal. I think it was successful for him. I mostly had fun as assistant coach.

The past Fall 2016 Soccer for MrGrunty & MsSqueaky… a lot of mud. One game, I feared MsS got emotionally broke, because her goalie was barking out orders to her, and she took it personally, and refused to go back in saying “it’s too muddy.” Another game, on a turf field, (which was against a coach who was trying to micromanage individual players, like playing Nintendo, during the game, “Courtney two yards left! Susy ahead three yards then turn right!), MsS was beast goalie of the game, only got scored on once, she had a couple easy stops, but once she had to be brave and put her face down in the zone where players were kicking. MrG…working better with teammates, got a couple of assists, got some goals, using his left foot. But what I liked about his season, he is really excited and joyful when a teammate gets a goal, but when he gets a goal, he’s more laid back and business like.  The WORST part for me… picture this, you arrive to the field early Sunday morning, soon, all the team is there, you look around, proud, well organized, some grandparents are there too, people happy for early game, easier parking, plans for later in the day. Did I mention one of the grandparents was in a wheelchair? And the weather was alright too. Wait a minute. There are six fields, and we are the only team here. What? Check schedule that I printed, yes… quick (actually slow) internet, phone call to opposing coach, who said, “oh yeah, weird stuff has been happening with the schedule, the game is this afternoon.” That is embarrassing.

Halloween 2016. The childrens had the day off, and I was lucky enuff to spend it with them. (Seems the teachers take a Monday off every month for paperwork, training, catching up, meetings, planning. OK by me.)  We headed North, to a corn maze. The place was, VERY muddy. But we basically had the place to ourselves. MsS lost a boot, she sank so deep. I just threw away my old shoes when I got back home. We had the place to ourselves. The childrens wandered off around the kids corn maze, which I got lost in. There was a rope maze, so you could see everything, but had to follow the maze. MrC finished first. MsS got super mad at finishing last. We picked out some pumpkins. For trick-or-treating that night MsS was a warrior, MrC was a soccer player, MrG …well, I tried to turn him into a mummy, but he ended up looking like a kid covered in rags and he didn’t like it. They went out with a bunch of their friends. (I went to work that night, because, sometimes, you gotta go back to work.)

 

The Death Defying Pepper Roux

17 March, 2017

Well, that was a comedic yarn. Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Death Defying Pepper Roux.

 

The One and Only Ivan

11 March, 2017

When I was a child in South Tacoma, we would sometimes go to the B&I. I saw Ivan. He didn’t seem happy in a small grey cage.

Just finished reading Katherine Applegate’s The One & Only Ivan to the childrens. It was a pleasure to read, well written, time well spent with my childrens. And, even though a “kid’s” book, dealt with weighty themes like cages, freedom, family, death, fear, animal cruelty, economic stress…and if you were paying attention hints of divorce, poverty, alcoholism too.

I recommend reading it.