RBOC

  • Our local grocery has stopped selling any no-sugar-added cereals in the frufru dried cereal area.  They have literally 4 kinds of fancy honey O cereal, but zero kinds of regular O cereal.  I went to the regular cereal section too and the lowest sugar oat O cereal they had was regular Cheerios which still has sugar added but not much.  So I got regular cheerios and then some store-brand mini-wheats and just for kicks some Post bran/whole wheat mini-wheats.  The only whole grain and no sugar cereal I didn’t buy was full sized shredded wheats.  I should probably just start eating oatmeal again, but I’m worried I’ll get sick of it if I eat it every day since it took a while for me to get not sick of it after (wheat-allergic fetus) DC2 was born.  This wouldn’t be such a huge problem except DC1 decided he liked my Rip’s Big Bowl from Whole Foods, so even though I bought three boxes the last time we went it wasn’t enough to last us to our next WF excursion.  Meanwhile I’ve been having toast and handfuls of nuts for breakfast.  But I’d rather not have to *think* about breakfast in the morning.
  • Note to self:  Next time I do bonds in taxable, choose munis VWITX vanguard municipal bond fund (maybe VWLTX ?)  Note 50K needed to qualify for admiral shares.  That is unlikely to happen any time soon.  .17 vs. 09 fees.  Can bond funds drip?
  • For Christmas/Birthday for DC1 I want to buy a theremin kit, a unicycle, and this lockpicking set (not sponsored links), but really we should only get two out of three.  (The lockpicking set is a price that we could suggest it as a present to the in-laws, but also it’s not really something that the in-laws would probably want to get for hir.)  DC1 is in a rapid growth phase, so the unicycle probably could wait another year so we can get a more permanent fit on the seat height, BUT we don’t have PE down here in the South (DC1 has one required semester that doesn’t fit in hir schedule until junior year) and the parks and rec tennis class zie took after quitting swimming lessons ended and zie needs exercise, so learning the unicycle would be a way to accomplish that until we can figure out some other organized activity that DC1 is willing to do.  (DC1 suggested trapeze lessons, maybe from watching too much Kaliedo Star, but the place outside town that had that as an option went out of business two years ago.)  So I dunno.  I’m not finding the reasonably priced theramin kit I saw before, so that may make the decision for us since $350 for something that’s not actually useful is a bit much.
  • DC1 also needs a new bike– although zie is now my height and can probably just ride mine until zie has settled on a more long-term height.  It is insane how quickly they grow as pre-teen/teenagers.
  • My car got a knocking sound that sounded like someone had attached a pie tin to the wheels.  It turned out to be a small rock that got into the brake system.  Nothing specific to the Insight, and not covered under the warranty, but also only a $90 fix.
  • It boggles my mind that in this day and age a prominent blogger would think it’s ok to let hir child dress in what looks a heck of a lot like blackface for Halloween (and is, in fact, a costume that a quick google shows makes the news *regularly* as being bad).  How does one not know that that is NOT ok?  It’s super creepy to me that there are neighborhood Halloween parades that include white people dressed in blackface and nobody says dude, that’s not cool.  Zie took the pictures down and briefly addressed it…but it’s still really unsettling.
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RBOC

  • I got kicked out of two English classes in high school.  We had faculty members who were deconstructionist phds unable to get professor jobs.  I believe that context is important.  That authorial intent is important.  That history and influence are important.  That these things add to our understanding of literature rather than subtract from it.  I also think it’s ridiculous to argue that all meaning is subjective and contextual… if that’s true, why force us to take English class at all?  After vehemently disagreeing with a teacher on this topic the second week of class I was informed by the school counselor that I had been moved to the linguistics phd’s section.  It was a much better match.
  • I have explained our university’s retirement options to three faculty members in the past week, only one of whom is a new faculty member.
  • I have cats because I refuse to be a servant to a dog’s bladder.  (Though I guess technically we do have a dog door and a dog run that are currently taped up so as not to let the a/c out.)
  • I got my raise numbers for this year and went on a small donations spree.
  • Windows 7 is going to reach its end of life soon.  You can actually still upgrade it for free so long as you own a legal copy of Windows 7.
  • The Lottery is still just as chilling now as it was when I first read it more than 30 years ago.
  • On hir English homework DC1 has said that the princess is the protagonist in the lady or the tiger (and not the macguffin). I’m so proud of hir feminist instincts.  Rereading it myself, I think zie is correct.  The princess has the agency, and it is her decision that leaves the reader with the ending, not the commoner’s.  The king is still the antagonist, for he has put the princess in this unenviable position.  The commoner is himself the macguffin.  The internet disagrees, but I think that’s because the internet is sexist– if there is a man, then he must be the hero and the princess is but a prize.  Even when the narrator is third person omniscient.
  • Well, the government finally got around to getting rid of the “is this person racist” question on clearance interviews and replacing it with a bunch of xenophobic questions about whether or not they have friends from other countries.
  • It took another month, 2x weekly phone calls, sending another (incorrect) form, and resending the original (correct) form, but DC1 finally has a college board account.
  • Academics:  If you are reviewing a paper and the report is overdue and the paper is an obvious reject, please just send a short review and reason for rejection.  Don’t keep holding onto it!
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RBOC

  • This summer has not been great for a number of reasons, which has led to increased anxiety.
  • My anxiety has started affecting my teeth!  For the first time I’m showing evidence of grinding!
  • DC1 is in an AP class this year, but cannot sign up for an online account which is required for class because zie is 12 years old and the FTCs COPPA rule prohibits them from collecting information.  (If you’re in this situation, this FAQ says what to do:  https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/join-your-class-online. This is incorrect, as we found out.)  This whole AP class as a freshman thing is bizarre to me– in my day you did no AP courses until junior and senior year and then you drowned in testing.  So… maybe this is better.
  • After being told that DC1 is 12 (because we needed the form), DC1’s AP teacher cornered hir in the hallway and asked if zie was absolutely sure zie was ready for an AP class.  It being only the second day of class, DC1 did not know what to say.
  • The AP director called the College Board and they said that FAQ was incorrect and we have to call to get the form.  Which… they could have sent to us when we called to ask why DC1 couldn’t register(!)  SIGH.
  • After being put on hold 6 or 7 times, they said they would email the form to us in 2-3 days.  I suspect they do not know where said form is.  We have a case number in case we need to call day 3 to ask where the form is.
  • We did have to call on day 5 to ask.  It came on day 6.  Then we got an incomprehensible email response after we sent the form in and after not getting clarification when we questioned, we ended up having to call again.  Now we are on day 7 of the 7 days that we were supposed to wait before calling about the account not actually being created.
  • the account was not created in day 7 and now we have a new case number to check on the account creation case.
  • There are 42 students in DC1’s Algebra II class.  That seems like a lot.
  • There are 18 students in DC2’s third grade dual language section.  That seems like not many!  Last year there were 21 in hir first grade section which seems more normal.  I guess more dual language kids move out of district than move in (generally only Spanish-speakers can move into dual language)?  Or maybe there are demographic differences by year in the number of Spanish-speaking kids in the district (which determines how many sections of dual language there are).  DC2 says there are two new kids in hir class besides hir, which is nice so that zie isn’t the only one.
  • DC1 has been watching an old Standard Deviants Spanish dvd, and it has a very young Kerry Washington in it!

RBOC

  • The other SIL also decided to stay at home from this summer’s vacation.
  • I found out when DC2 brought home all hir school stuff that zie had written an essay on “my Christmas vacation” that had me staying at home.  I did not stay at home for that!  I only stay at home for the summer vacation!  What must her teachers have thought?
  • As DC2 gets into the terrible 7s, I have more and more sympathy for Mrs. Bennett and her Poor Nerves.
  • We’re replacing the fan in our 17 year old refrigerator again.  $83.43.  I asked DH if he wouldn’t rather have a newer fridge and he said no.  (In terms of environmental concerns, we have a low-end energy star fridge and we would probably replace it with a higher end one.  The last time I ran the efficiency numbers switching wasn’t helping much in terms of day-to-day, so we didn’t think it worth the costs of creating a new fridge.  We could replace with another low-end fridge, but I didn’t run those numbers.  I think that was a couple of years ago though, and the numbers may have changed.)
  • After having been especially trying at daycamp dropoff and having privileges rescinded (a very rare occurrence!), DC2 came home (after enjoying hirself fully at daycamp), remembered the lost privileges, shut hirself in hir bedroom, and started sadly playing hir new harmonica.
  • UGH, stupid HR sending me an email that I didn’t have the stupid wellness credit stuff done so I had to login and look up my stupid password and check even though I’ve had it done since forever and it doesn’t expire until after the school year starts.  Don’t send me incorrect information!
  • I feel like Hannah B would have benefited from watching Frozen prior to this season of the bachelor.
  • Anna rhymes with Hannah and is also a palindrome.
  • DC2 passed the test to skip 2nd grade and now we need to decide whether to do that even though hir Spanish isn’t great yet, or to wait another year.  (More people skip 3rd grade and the test is supposed to be easier.)

RBOC

  • DH and I have decided that if we ever have someone ask for permission to marry a daughter, the answer will be no.  (Because nobody should be asking a parent permission for an adult to get married.)
  • One of my colleagues said she just wouldn’t vote if Bernie was the nominee.  I told her that not voting is half a vote for Trump.  She said she couldn’t bring herself to.  I said I would vote for road-kill over Trump.  Because there are children in concentration camps in our country and children’s lives are at stake.
  • One of my RAs got hir entire school account suspended because one of the datasets zie was working with was called sex_and_gender
  • One of our relatives just named her new son Pnykolass.  The P is silent.  [Actual name may have been changed to protect the innocent and to prevent googling!]
  • Remember how we got a whole house water filter?  It turns out that unfiltered water has chlorine in it and filtered water doesn’t.  Which means that that pink/orange bacterial slime that loves to eat soap has infiltrated the master bathroom.  We are debating the pros and cons of getting a bleach tablet for the toilet (which will corrode the toilet innards) or hiring a cleaning service just to do the kitchen and bathrooms (since I hate putting stuff away before a full clean).  Spending every weekend cleaning the bathroom sounds not fun to me, but I also am squicked out by pink slime.
  • update: a single intensive cleaning session with bleach is buying us time.
  • DC1 went to two different programming camps and got two Raspberry Pi.  I said zie didn’t have an r so zie didn’t have a circle, just two pi.  DC1 pointed out that Raspberry starts with an R.  DC2 chimed in that no, DC1 has two pi Remainder asberry.  I’m so proud!
  • Every time I see a headline or tweet for 90 day fiancé I get really excited until I realize (again) it doesn’t say finances.
  • The new countertop in the kitchen settled, taking the shiny new caulk down with it, so we had to recaulk.
  • When I was starting college halfway across the country, I was the only kid I met there whose parents didn’t go with them on move-in day.  I thought that was weird.  Plane fare was so expensive.  And why pay for crowded hotels?  (My parents did move-in my sister but she went to school in-state so it was just a lengthy drive.)  And yet… when it is our kids’ turn we will probably go because it won’t be a big chunk out of our budget and it is one of those milestones.  And I guess DC1 will be younger than I was, depending on what zie decides to do 4 years from now.
  • OMG, can you believe [bachelorette spoilers].  I sure hope she doesn’t [more spoilers] because I want him to be the next bachelor.  But they never pick the guy I want, so…
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RBOC

  • The price of cheetos in the vending machine went up.  My colleague counted over 60 individual cheetos in her bag (the claim on the bag was 42) and has decided she thinks they are worth three cents per cheeto.
  • Home Depot wanted us to get our water turned off on Friday so as to get the countertop installed the NEXT Friday, 7 days later.  Because they only do plumbing stuff on Fridays.  So we asked if we could get a refund on the plumbing install and pay our own plumber instead because I do not want to live without a dishwasher for seven days if that can be avoided.  Especially on less than a day’s notice when there’s a salmon dish in the refrigerator I have no interest in cleaning by hand in either the laundry room or the bathroom.
  • Turns out that the Home Depot person who said plumbing was only done on Fridays was incorrect.  We’re getting the water shut off on Thursday and turned back on on Saturday [update:  turned out to be very late on Saturday but they didn’t tell us they weren’t going to make the 9am to 2pm window so we were stuck at home all day, but by 8:30pm the plumber had finished].  Whew.
  • I don’t understand why it takes the car dealership so long to actually cash the check we give them.  You’d think they’d want to lock that $20K+ down ASAP.
  • I have to share this with somebody.  I was at the gas station making sure that my Accent’s tank could fill after the replacement EV and I was next to a young guy in a business suit with a new Insight, so I asked him how he liked it, and he told me that the dealership had given him a deal in which he pays his financing bills for 9 months on the LX model (that’s the low trim) Insight and in 9 months if all his payments were on time, etc., they would trade him for a new Touring model (that’s the leather trim with all the little things my car is missing like a built-in garage door opener and a place to put your glasses) for no additional cost.  He was super excited about this and I did not want to dampen his enthusiasm, but I had to wonder how much they’re charging him both for the cost of the car and financing that such a deal makes it worthwhile for them to give a new car in exchange for a used car (though I suspect it will be a 2019 Touring model, not a 2020, so maybe that will be part of it).  They did not suggest any such shenanigans to us.  I think they are very good at this dealership in reading the customer.  We want a quick sale at low price (usually a price that we provide them after bargaining with other dealerships) and that’s what they give us.  This gentleman wanted to feel like he was getting a steal, so they offered him something unusual.  I bet in the end they make more off of him.  But we don’t take much time and we get one of their cars off the lot and driving around town for more people to see it.  (I have to say, the Insight is a really nice looking car– similar to some of the higher trim Accords in terms of exterior features.)
  • … another problem with buying a fancy car is that repairs are a LOT more expensive than for a generic low-level car that isn’t a new model.  I am too embarrassed about how I know this to say more.  Especially not about right-side mirrors with cameras on them and garages that are just a little too narrow.  (DH says that at least my stupidity costs less than unnecessary rabies shots and is a lot less stressful.  I say that I don’t have the excuse that I was being heroic.  Also he didn’t use the word stupidity because he’s a nice person.)
  • Turns out water pressure is a bit high on our new drinking water spigot.  One can create a shower for someone in the breakfast nook by attempting to fill up a water glass.
  • Also the gas hookup is taking up a little bit too much space so we can no longer close one of our drawers– we will have to get that drawer shortened or a new one made.
  • I am starting to get hooked on SiriusXM — the ability to listen to classical music during my commute is pretty amazing (our local station does NPR in the morning and doesn’t switch over to classical until 10am and is back to news by 4).  But… probably not $15/month amazing, especially when I could pay a kid to rip all of our classical cds onto a flash drive or load up some podcasts now that I have a USB drive instead of a cassette player…  So I will let it lapse when the free trial runs out.

RBOC

  • Did I mention that one of my colleagues bought the house next to hers and uses it as a meeting space and office?
  • Near her houses there’s a street with a huge dip in it.  I took it at like 5 mph and still managed to scrape the bottom of my car, which turned out to be too much for my poor abused under cover which decided to finally separate from the car and drag on the road on my way home that day after a much smaller bump.  We ordered a new one along with the assembly package and put it in, $43.55, but it took a week to get the parts.
  • One of my other colleagues said that if I can’t decide what kind of car to get then maybe I should just go with the cheapest.  Which makes a lot of sense.  Another colleague impressed upon me the importance of safety ratings (her Prius got totaled last month).  And I’m really big on reliability these days.  So that leads me to the Honda Fit (slightly safer, slightly more expensive) vs. the Hyundai Accent (more reliable, worse mileage).  I may test-drive them!  Though while I’m there I might also try the Ioniq.  Update:  Tried to go to the Hyundai dealership to test-drive an accent and he JUST WANTED TO TALK, so we left when it became clear he wouldn’t let us test drive one without him doing his sales pitch and finding out about our lives first.  On the way home we stopped at the Honda place and quickly test-drove a Fit (from a very non-pushy salesperson which may be why we’ve bought two cars from this place), which… is not 14 years nicer than my current accent.  So I tried a low model Civic and liked it.  The Civic has better mileage than the Accent but is about 10 inches longer and has worse reliability.   The problem with DH having a Clarity is that I have discovered that I kind of like nice things.  So just being better than my 2005 Accent may not cut it.  Do I want to go with being spoiled or do I want to fight it?  ARGH.  I don’t know what to do!  And I hate pushy salespeople.
  • I think I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot.  I wish I trusted doctors around here more.  My GP is great for OB/GYN stuff but not so good at anything else (generally her answer to anything non-reproductive-system-related is: it will go away on its own and if it doesn’t then put lotion on it).
  • Now my car shuts off the pump right away instead of letting me pump gas.  I just barely got the new drip pad put back on!  Hadn’t even gotten gas since it happened.  That means that either something needs to be cleaned (for the cost of compressed air, which DH already has, but DH decided there were too many cables to try this on his own) or something needs to be replaced (which could cost as much as $600, though probably will be more like $300).   Part of me wants to just exchange it now, but one of my (not t-t) colleagues wants to buy it as a backup car for when his elderly truck is in the shop, which means it should be in working condition even if I give it to him super cheap (probably for $300….).  Deciding things is hard.
  • According to the hospital billing, they will send us a bill after DH’s health insurance sends them the remaining $2K for the second emergency room trip.  So the most that we could still be billed would be $2K.  So the costs for DH’s four rabies shots to us are:  $250 (first emergency room visit), $250 (second emergency room visit), $350 (first Walgreens shot), $350 (second Walgreens shot).  So… going to the emergency room for the third and fourth shots would have saved us $200, but cost his health insurance company quite a bit (I have no regrets– Walgreens seems so much more efficient).  Unless we get that bill for $2000, that means the total cost of his rabies shots is $1200 that has already been paid, so it won’t be dipping into my car fund.  (Still, I’m kind of used to the idea of getting a cheaper rather than more expensive car.)  DH’s elite coastal health insurance is so much better than my Southern university plan (with its 20% copay…).  It also has a better bargain with our hospital– they got the cost per ER visit down to 7K instead of 10K, which seems odd to me since you’d think my plan would have more bargaining power being the one everyone at the university has, but maybe the power goes both ways.  We’re thinking that when he called about whether or not they cover the rabies shot, the person on the phone must have looked at whether they cover the pre-travel rabies shot rather than the post-bite rabies shot?