Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Sad Day

Today is such a sad day for me and all the other fans of "The Andy Griffith Show." On the front page of my Sunday paper are the words, "Barney Dies." That is so far from the truth, though. Barney will never die. Don Knotts was the talent that brought him to life, but Barney will live forever. He was truly the best television character ever. It is really sad to watch the TV stars of today even try to live up to the standard set by people like Don Knotts (not to mention the beloved Lucille Ball.) The writers do not have the heart and soul for it, and the actors don't have the understanding. They are reduced to stupid insults and sex jokes that only cause the kind of uncomfortable laughter brought on by embarrassment.

I am just grateful that my family and I can still share a little bit of what was Mayberry. A huge part of that was the talent of Don Knotts.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In my mailbox this week...

I finally got the COOL thing I ordered a while back. It is a DVD set of "The Electric Company" episodes. I really don't know why this is so entertaining to me, but it is hilarious. Now it seems very low-tech and corny, but I'm sure they were as well-done as they could be back then. It was still PBS and all. You can see clips of it here You have to click "Audio and Video Clips." I guess you would had to have watched it back then to appreciate it. My kids are young enough that they find it very interesting. They really like the "Silent E" song. It starts out: "Who can turn a "can" into a "cane?" I think Peanut just likes it for the music, but Junior is fascinated by the fact that there is a letter that doesn't make a sound.

Scott, you need to get one of these!

Todd doesn't remember this show. At all. I don't know what the deal is! I think he watched plenty of TV as a kid, I guess not daytime TV. He was probably listening to the radio. Whenever we hear a song from way back in the early seventies, he'll say, "Remember when this song came out?" No, hon, I don't remember when "An Old Fashioned Love Song" came out. How can you remember '71 or '72? He probably was listening, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Going through my pantry

Today I got I burst of energy (or maybe it was insanity!) Or both. First, I just meant to go through our medicines because I knew some of them were probably expired. That went well, so I decided to go through my spices. I have heard that you can keep spices for a very long time, but I think they do lose some of their flavor. Anyway, I got on the Internet and tried to find out how long you are really supposed to keep them. McCormick's website says 3 to 4 years for whole spices and 2 to 3 years for ground spices. Then the question is, "How do you know how old they are?" They don't have a date on the bottle. But McCormick has a decoder on their webpage that you can type the code from the bottom of the bottle and it will tell you the date it was packaged. Pretty cool. I noticed that the newer bottles actually have an expiration date on them.

The weird thing is that they have a little blurb on there where they say if a bottle says "Baltimore, MD" on it, it is over 15 years old. Well, I had one of those bottles. But here's the thing: I remember buying it, and it was not 15 years ago! It could have been 8 years, maybe. But think of how long it must have sat on the store shelf! The little decoder gave me the date of 1981, but I know that can't be true, because the label says "Copyright 1985." But still!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Homeschool stuff in our state.

Yesterday I got an email from the Home School Legal Defense Association. This is a great organization - they do a lot to protect our rights to homeschool, this is the first thing they have sent along that I am not too sure about.
Here is what they have to say: (This is for the state of Oklahoma.)
Calls are needed immediately to stop Senate Bill 1690 which would prohibit 16 and 17-year-olds from obtaining a driver's license unless they first pass a state-approved math test. The bill is scheduled for a hearing today at 2:30 p.m. in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

A student would be required to pass either the state-wide 8th-grade math test, or another test approved by the State Department of Education. Homeschooled students would be at a tremendous disadvantage since they don't use the state's math curriculum and would have no control over the alternative test the Department of
Education might approve.

I can see part of their point. This looks like just another hoop to jump through to get a drivers license, and I wonder what 8th-grade math really has to do with being able to drive. But I can't see calling and identifying myself as a homeschool parent and then saying I was opposed to this. What does that say? That I'm afraid my kid will not be able to pass the math test and might not get a driver's license? At 16 or 17, they had better be able to do 8th-grade math! I am not sure that homeschooled students would be at a tremendous disadvantage.

Of course, I'm one of the people that doesn't think it is a terrible idea to raise the driving age to 18, so what do I know?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Peanut's Report

Monday at co-op, Peanut went to public speaking class. This is the first time she has gone. The theme was "Space," and she chose The Sun for her topic. I had her tell me some questions that she might have about the sun. Then we went online and looked up the answers. Now mind you, I read all this stuff to her and kind of pulled out the important parts. She asked some really good questions and this is what she came up with:

My talk is about the sun. I had some questions about the sun, so we wrote them down, and then tried to find the answers.

When was the sun created? The fourth day of creation.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:16 – 19.

The sun is a star. We are just closer to it, so it looks bigger.

How do scientists study the sun if you’re not even supposed to look at it.

Scientists use a satellite called SOHO that orbits around the sun. It has telescopes and other things that help scientists study the sun.

What is the sun made of? Mostly hydrogen and helium.

Why do things orbit around the sun? The sun is so big that it is always pulling the planets around it. The reason they do not fall into the sun is because they are going so fast. They would go straight out into space, but the sun pulls them so they go around in a circle instead of straight.

How hot is the sun? 10,000 degrees. There are stars that are hotter than that, and stars that are not as hot.

Yay Peanut!! She did a great job. She spoke up nice and clear, which was no surprise from her. She had some visual aids as well, two balls out of Junior's toy box, but they did not turn out to be that helpful.