What is your favorite kind of stuffing?

#1:  Stuffing is one of my favorite foods ever.  LOVE it.  I love all kinds.  We just had an amazing fennel and onion stuffing (with whole wheat bread crumbs) in a fancy pork tenderloin dish.  Amazing.

But my favorite stuffing is homemade cornbread stuffing with lots of butter and celery and onions and carrots and apples and either walnuts or pecans (whichever we have).  Delish!  I have been known to make up to four different kinds of stuffing if we have a lot of people to serve.  Sage wheat bread stuffing made with sage wheat onion bread (a recipe from a show that is no longer on PBS about a monk who baked).  Plantation stuffing that has cornbread and wheat bread and rice and takes a while to make.  I’ll add cranberries to another, and then just have one plain (with the standard onion/celery stuff but no additions) for picky eaters.   When I’m out and about I love seafood stuffing and sausage stuffing even though I don’t generally make them myself.

#2:  um, cornbread and andouille sausage?  I’m not a big stuffing fan, honestly.  Seafood is gross and chestnuts are meh.  (p.s.  I hate cooked celery and also wild rice.)

Mmmmm stuffing.

What’s yours?

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My iphone 6 is dying

I got my first smartphone 3 years ago when we were on leave in Paradise.  Not wanting to spend a zillion dollars, we got a new iPhone 6 instead of an iPhone 7 or whatever the latest model was at the time.

When I was at a conference this summer, it started eating the battery quickly every time I unplugged it, pretty much after it updated to the latest IOS 11.4 something.

I don’t have many apps.  I don’t even use my iphone that much except for hangouts, surfing the internet, calling my senators, and google maps.  I don’t have a whole lot of apps installed.

I went through all the online things about how to figure out what’s going wrong and how to save power.  I turned lots of switches from green to not-green.  I noted that my analytics was constantly updating the required things like amdd, whereas DH’s updated them rarely.  I put myself on battery saver mode most of the time.  The problem seems worst when there’s trouble with internet or cell coverage, so it may be something there, but the last two hot and hard crashes were in my bedroom where service is not usually a problem.

The only remaining possible software problem, the internet suggested, was IOS 11.4.  The IOS 12 update should fix that problem.

I waited for the IOS 12 update.  It never came.

My phone battery life dropped to 94%.  Then 92% after a major crash in which it heated up and then blacked out.  Then it dropped to 78% after another major crash while on safari that didn’t involve overheating.  Now it says it needs to be serviced.  Right before a trip that requires 4 hrs of driving, of course.  (I will take my laptop and the garmin and the ipad, so I won’t be completely stuck.)

The nearest certified apple services are over an hour away (and sadly not in the same place as my roadtrip).

So, do I get a new phone and then get this one serviced and hand it down to DC1 after it has a new battery?  Or do I go phoneless for however long it takes to send it some place and get it back?  Or is there a different option I should pursue?  We can afford a new phone, but I really don’t need one, except that I need a phone, preferably one that runs google maps.  Plus the battery alone is ~$80 (the iphone 5 didn’t get a discount for the throttling thing they were doing a while back), and labor is probably more.  Update:  Actually it is an iPhone 6 and it is covered under the discount thing.  So I should just send it in or spend a weekend in the future at an apple store in the city, though I’m not sure I can wait that long.

what should I do?  What would you do?

Do you twirl your spaghetti?

And if you do, do you use a spoon to assist with the twirls?

What are your thoughts on cutting spaghetti noodles?  Pro/Con/Ambivalent?

#1:  I twirl but don’t use a spoon. A very small part of me cringes at the thought of cutting spaghetti noodles, but the bulk of me thinks it makes total sense.  This is somewhere around the level of split infinitives for me, maybe some other grammar thing that I don’t do in formal writing myself but don’t mind when others do it.  (I’m pretty sure I occasionally split infinitives in formal writing.)

#2:  Yes twirl, no on the spoon, I think cutting it is wrong but my dad does it (and I continually give him [excrement] for it)

Do you track your net worth?

#1:  I really don’t.  Our long-term finances are kind of a mess.  We have so many different accounts with different providers.  (The paranoid part of me thinks this might be a benefit if the fascist government cracks down on dissidents– we might be able to get to Canada or another safe harbor and transfer at least a subset of our accounts before they figure out all of them… hopefully.  We’ll see.  Or hopefully this won’t actually happen.)  I do track some of our accounts on mint (but mint often double-counts things or can’t log into things, so even that number isn’t accurate) and I monthly track our savings and checking account because I need to know whether or not we’re on track for the unpaid summer.

I think I’ve calculated our entire net worth 3 times in the past 11 years.  (Back in graduate school it was easier– our networth was just our checking and saving (and DH’s student loans…) and then later a few etrade accounts).  Each time it’s come as a bit of a pleasant shock.  I think that’s what happens when you wait a long time between calculations and keep spending less than you earn.  (Markets going up has also helped.)  Knowing it is above a number has helped me loosen up on spending, so it’s probably just as well I don’t look more often (assuming it is going to keep going up… I might need to recheck in case of a major market meltdown).

#2:  I have never done so before. Well, back before retirement accounts I guess I did because there wasn’t anything to track. Retirement accounts are worth such a varying amount from month to month. Thinking about retirement account balances is stressful, so I just put money in and don’t think about it too much.


Do you track your net worth? If so, how often?

Locally specific manners? Reading at the dinner table edition

Do you let your kids read at the table?  I feel like this used to be impolite but personally, I have no problem with it.  When I was growing up, at home we were allowed to read at lunch (my dad still does).  But we were not allowed to read at the dinner table.

I’m lucky that my parents supported and modeled that reading for fun is a great thing to do.  My dad’s mother was also a big reader, and as a result so are most of her children.  I think it’s ok to read in restaurants and bars (if you can concentrate).  My nightmare is a person who sits on a plane next to me and brings nothing to do except talk.  What did you plan to do for this six-hour flight, just stare into space???

Do you think reading at the dinner table is rude or perfectly ok?

#2 who has kids hasn’t really given this much thought but her kids do read at the dinner table sometimes.  We’re much more informal about meals than we were growing up though and sometimes eat standing up in the kitchen.  #2 also cannot handle the middle-seat chatterbox who has run out of the airplane magazine.  #2 wants to read novels uninterrupted on planes!

For our peeps in grading jail: How do you motivate/reward yourself while grading?

I’m in the middle of grading final projects and exams and completely tuckered out.  And yet, I have to keep chugging.

I tend to work best when I set myself a reward like, “after grading each problem for all exams, I can watch a 4 min youtube video or read a part of a book chapter”.   If the procrasinatory mood is right, I might be able to “reward” myself with less pleasant things like switching out the laundry or loading the dishwasher.

How do you keep yourself going when the grading gets rough?  Non-academics, how do you motivate yourself to do long repetitive boring tasks that are frequently disappointing?

Ask the readers: Skip school to go to an awards ceremony?

DC1 currently has perfect attendance.

DC1 scored high on the 7th grade talent search.  This is a national thing which basically means zie had a high SAT score for a 7th grader.

The recognition ceremony is in the afternoon on a school day.

If DC1 goes, zie will no longer have perfect attendance and will miss some class.

I hate ceremonies, but I can’t go to this one anyway, so it would be DH taking time off work to go.

DC1 has been consulted and has no preferences.  (DC1 isn’t into preferences unless they result in getting sushi.)

What do you guys think?