Link love

Why it matters that HRC got 2.7 million more votes and counting.

Why Pat McCrory lost and what this means for what we can do going forward.

Donald Trump still doing nothing about conflicts of interest.  Here’s more on that topic.

Education secretary pick also has conflicts of interest.

Evan McMullin on what we should do going forward.

Important thread on how the nytimes whitewashes white supremacy.

Pope Francis on fake news.

They want to hurt their fellow Americans.

Love is not enough.

Stop blaming the victims.

GOP should have run on gutting Social Security in the most recent election.

Trump transition is ousting civil servants who helped with Obama climate policy.

More FBI harassment.

This makes me feel queasy (domestic violence, OH abortion law)

So creepy.

Hairspray today.

Poverty line.

Financial planning for the top 1%.

Silence.

steampunk parrot does science

Behavior study wants to know how cats learn.

The 2016 annual hater guide to the williams sonoma catalog.

Dec 14-25 for a very special BCN.

Ask the Grumpies: Favorite books for pre-readers?

Leah asks:

Fave books for kids not quite ready to read?  We’re rocking a lot of Curious George, Corduroy, and Pout Pout Fish. Just looking for new library reads for my 2.5 year old who LOVES books.

Rented Life adds:

My kid, same age, loves books too. I second that question.

Allyson adds:

I also have a two-year-old and we could use good library reads, lots of books in the house already. Her fave is Where is Spot? and we have it in English and Spanish. Lift-the-flap books are big in my house. Can I add a request for recommendations of classic children’s books in Spanish that may be easy to find? Some translations seem to work with the rhythm of the originals and some are more literal and not as much fun to read.

First up, check out the comments in this recent post.

Leah– one series I would add to that list is the Froggy books.  Those along with the Clifford books hit our DC’s interest at the same time as Curious George.

Allyson– Our favorite lift the flap books are the ones by Karen Katz, of Where is Baby’s Belly Button fame.  She has a bunch of these.  We also loved Dear Zoo.  A related much loved cut-out book is Where’s that cat?  There are a ton of Where’s Spot books as well, though I am not a fan of the Easter one (the kids like it, but it bugs me that [spoiler] Spot finds an egg on the table after mean old female hippo tells him to get off the table; Spot also gets more eggs).

Spanish translations: Our favorite Spanish translations are Buenas Noches Luna and Insectos asombrosos (which you probably won’t find).  We also like the bilingual books by Eric Carle, such as Animals Animales — these are fun because they have moving pieces.  Our DCs also really loved My First Spanish Word Book.  We do have a bunch of other Spanish translations but they’re not popular.  Wandering Scientist is probably good for asking for other suggestions.

Our general recommendations for these age groups are:  Anything by Sandra Boynton, anything by Mo Willems.  These will age well as your child ages.  Your children are probably also on the cusp of being able to sit still for Red Fish Blue Fish or Dr. Seuss’s ABCs or Go Dog Go! or Put Me in the Zoo, but you could also wait another year.  They will definitely like the board book versions which are shorter.

Related:

Books for 3 year olds

Favorite children’s books (this has a number of classics like The Little Engine that Could and Ferdinand and The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes)

What say you, Grumpy Readers?

It’s been a bad week/month/year and some RBOC

Posting continues to be scattered and sparse.  On top of #2’s recent loss of her father-in-law, and red tape kinds of problems resulting from that for her mother-in-law (adding insult to injury), and everything else that is going on in the world, her cat is having some pretty major health problems.  He started out with some health problems when she got him last year, but they seem to be getting worse and more varied.  She’s having a rough time of it so the posts she was planning on books and on reviewing a vegetarian service that is like Blue Apron (called Purple Carrot– she likes it) are just going to have to wait until her world is no longer a dumpster fire.

My life right now is:

  • I’m way behind on research, like months behind.  Re-entry from leave has been harsh.  I am far too scattered and need to get back into a rhythm.  So far I have been trying to add structure and then completely ignoring it once push comes to shove.  This is also how I’ve been reacting to money things.  It’s like, most of my life I’ve been running scared and when there’s no reason to worry anymore I just give up because nothing is a big deal.  But I really don’t have that luxury even if it seems like it because DH could lose his job or I could have to leave this one, and I do care about my research reputation and my salary, and I would far rather argue for salary increases because of my scholarly reputation than because I’ve decided to go into administration.
  • My mind has been in political action.  I bumped the post I had scheduled for today on campus hate activities because it was too depressing on top of everything else #2 is going through.
  • I am at the point in the semester where a lot of my students are really getting it and realizing they’re getting it and that is lovely.
  • I’m doing an elective next semester that is going to be more difficult than usual because of current events.  Generally we hit Medicare in April.  By April Medicare may no longer exist as it does in my lecture notes.  I don’t like having uncertainty in my lecture notes.  I also have well over 2x the students that I normally have in that class, so I’m going to have to restructure teaching methods from a small seminar to a larger class.
  • On the day after the election, I took the ebook server from paradise that I still have access too, searched for “regency”, then sorted the 777 items therein by author’s last name.  I have been systematically reading all of them that have 4 or more stars on either goodreads or amazon (with a few exceptions for close to 4 but the synopsis looks interesting, or not reading those that are 4 that have rape or another one of the things that life is too short to read about).  The Bs and Cs had some really good stuff that I’ll be talking about in our next what are we reading post, but there have been a lot of duds since then.  I’m on the Ks now.  This was really helpful for getting me to get out of post-election depression and more focused on what I can do.
  • DH went to a local dems meeting (that from meetup didn’t look like the monthly meeting and had only 4 people signed up).  There were >30 people there and it was pretty disorganized, but not disorganized enough for him to try to take over, and not organized enough that it looks like it’s going to be easy to be a part of it.  The person in charge is someone who talks a lot and goes on lots of tangents and doesn’t stick to the agenda but kind of meanders around the agenda.  But at least there was an agenda.  DH left with no action items and had to look up some of the terms she’d used.  He has no interest in being a precinct leader.  We’re not sure what to do.  There’s people who want to do things and can be harnessed for power, but they have no direction, unless they want to do this time-consuming thing that is geared towards extroverts.  My sister reports similar levels of disorganization with the official democratic organization in her city.  The woman’s organization she joined, however, sounds just phenomenal.  Focused, brought in outside speakers about strategy, etc.  I will probably take my sister’s suggestion and call them to ask for advice.
  • I do think right now that political action is worth slowing my research down for.  But I can’t slow it as much as it has been.  That probably means cutting the regencies, not posting regularly on Tuesdays, and being more focused on work when I’m at work (even though some of our new hires are chatty).  Possibly also adding half a day or more of work back into weekends.

How are you all doing?

Dealing with a 10% paycut at work

When DH’s boss asked all the employees to take a 10% paycut everybody but DH and the guy who recruited him said yes immediately.  DH, said, as he always does when it comes to large decisions, that he would have to talk to his wife.

After talking it over with his supervisor, his colleague and with me and with his colleague again, DH has decided to accept the pay cut with the stipulation that he be allowed to use 4 hours of each week working on important but not urgent tasks for the company.  He wants to make the documentation, instructions, and examples for their open source code better so that they get more clients through that venue.

He thought about saying no, but we don’t really need the money and there’s no reason to be difficult.  He thought about asking for 10% unpaid time off instead, but he doesn’t really need that time.  He thought about seeking another job, but he really likes this one and this paycut isn’t enough of a reason to leave it.  What clinched it for him, though, was feeling like he’s made more of an impact on economics than he has on his own field.  His work does, eventually, save lives, but only if it gets used and not relegated to an electronic dust-bin.   So he needs to write papers or make their main product more user-friendly so more people will want to use it.  Given the time frame and the current state of their projects, he prefers the latter to the former.

So that’s how he’s dealing with a temporary 10% paycut.

How would you deal with a two month 10% paycut?  How about not being sure if your company was still going to be around in a few months?

Link Love

If you’ve been hearing about Trump “saving” jobs in Indiana, first off, they’re paying the company $7000oo/year for those “saved” jobs (and many of the jobs are still going to Mexico) and SECOND, and more importantly Donald Trump owns shares in the company (according to the Indiana Star).  Check the Activism tab for how to call the house financial oversight committee (202 225 5074), your congressperson to support the presidential accountability act, and email the GAO ( congrel@gao.gov ) to audit Trump’s finances.  This is insane!   (Even Sarah Palin says so.)

More voter restriction in North Carolina

This is true

Wandsci on politics

Wake-up Call

Turns out being president is a bigger job than Trump thought.

This parody of merriam webster’s word of the year is actually not quite as horrible as the word that’s actually on track to be word of the year.

“By rules of their philosophy, you are only folks they take seriously. Stop telling the rest of us how to change their minds. You go do it.”

Some garbage a guy used to believe about equality.

27 women waiting patiently for men to stop talking in 2016.

BCN fixes its lighting

This opens up the question:  should you trust the Washington Post about what news outlets you should be reading?

Go back to fairyland

Uber is unprofitable and will increase prices after it has become a monopoly.

#2 wants this shirt

Disclaimer:  I have never watched the Gilmore Girls

Sleep restriction is bad

Zika in TX

Quicksort

Advent calendar!

doubting your charitable giving

This mcmansion hell is especially…special.

Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for audiobooks?

Chelsea asks:

Also, I’d love to hear people’s favorite audiobooks. Right now I’m 1/2 way through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is fantastic, but in a mere 200-ish more hours, I’ll be done. What should I listen to next?

To Say Nothing of the Dog has a fantastic audible and is a fantastic story.  First top choice.

Redshirts was absolutely fantabulous.  Wil Wheaton is the perfect voice narrator for the book, and it’s funny until the codas and then you cry a lot.  But a good kind of crying.

We recently did Agent to the Stars on a roadtrip and it was a lot of fun.

Most Scalzi books have good audible, including his latest short piece, The Dispatcher.  We did end up not finishing Little Fuzzy though because it was kind of boring.

My DH likes both the Iron Druid and the Harry Dresden series on audible.  I’ve listened to the first two Iron Druids and the voice acting is pretty good, but I couldn’t handle any more of the series after [spoiler redacted].

Grumpy listeners, what do you recommend?

RBOC

  • DH and the kids have been making up fake tag-lines to Darkwing duck.  “I am the sludge at the bottom of your hot chocolate.” “I’m the one who is stuck to your hair when you can’t comb it”
  • All this calling I’ve been doing of my representatives has made me a lot less phone shy.  I had no problem calling my mom’s local bookstore to get her a gift certificate there (they don’t have online ordering).
  • The appropriate response at work when someone way down the hall from you and on the other side politely asks you to turn down your music is, “Sorry” and to turn it down.  It isn’t, “Seriously?” and “Where is your office?” and then to just turn it down a tiny bit so that the person still has to close hir door AND put on headphones to not hear your crappy ass music.  (Although before the combination wasn’t working.)  Nobody wants to hear your music!  This is why God made headphones.  Or you could close your own fricking door.
  • dear middle school, please stop with the random spirit days that happen about once every one and a half weeks that require dc1 to dress in different types of clothing (specific sports jerseys or hats, random colors, etc.) that zie often doesn’t have and that we are not going to remember even if zie did have them.  It was hard enough remembering spirit Fridays for things most kids have (like the school shirt, or a funny hair style) last year.  This random day element is just too much.  We have jobs.  Dc1 has homework.  Why are you doing this and why are you attaching it to a group prize so that kids who don’t or can’t participate are shamed?
  • I do not like mosquitoes.
  • dc1’s orchestra class requires hir to download an app and record a practice session.  They also required the purchase of a specific $20 t-shirt for performances.  I have to wonder if they have anything for kids who don’t have a tablet or smartphone at home or who can’t afford a $20 shirt.  And do those kids have to go up to the teachers and admit the lack of resources or does the school take kids who qualify for reduced price lunch aside?  For science class they asked for donations for students who couldn’t afford an $8 piece of equipment but nothing like that in orchestra where the demands are more expensive.  Last year in paradise things were provided to all students from the school, but a lot was paid for with $500 donations requested at the beginning of the year (half for extracurriculars, half for everything else).  No large donation requested here.
  • speaking of donations, there are so many junky school fundraisers here.  I so much prefer just cutting a check.
  • Dc2 goes to a for profit daycare but they want to expand so they’re asking us to do fundraising (they’ve also started asking us to bring in items for projects instead of providing them and they are now enforcing late fees).  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  If it were nonprofit I would happily donate, but with a for-profit I’m not so sure.
  • I bought Wonderwoman stamps.  They make me happy.  Wonder Woman!  Wonder Woman!

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