(not) Furnishing Castle Ladyhawke

We tried this but the kids have been turning the baskets into airplanes and robots instead of putting their clothes in them.  They seem to do much better keeping up with their ever-increasing wardrobes when they have actual dressers.  Life was so much easier when someone would just dump a load of near-new clothes on us after the last batch was shredded to ribbons by rough play and wearing tulle to climb the highest tree.

So I tried to go to a local furniture store and see what there was to see and if they could deliver it.  First place was closed, and second place was only a warehouse for the main store an hour away.  The third place bragged about their personal touch and unique styles.  I should have known better, but I was hoping to get an order in before the end of the month somewhere, with the 3 month lead times that are so typical with furniture.

I went in.  And this was the joy that greeted me.

Factory finish?

Only 299.99!

Reduced to UNDER 400, what a steal!

Anyway I got tired of looking at stuff that was in worse shape than even what my kids would do to some nice older-wood furniture and yet a lot of women with spray-tans and baseball caps seemed into it.

I will never get the distressed trend.  Also everything was skinny (no depth) but tooooo long.



Mama Magic, oatmeal edition

One of the kids thought it would be a great idea to dump oats into the sugar jar since I said they could have a little sugar with their oatmeal.  Then there were tears since it came up mostly sugar.

I thought I would have to toss it all, but then I remembered something I used to see my own sainted mother do when baking, which was use a sifter.  I didn’t have to use a sifter, I just shook the sugar-oats out with a regular strainer into a mixing bowl.  The oats were greatly reduced in sugar content and had maybe 1tsp a serving, while the sugar just had some oat powder left behind.  Breakfast was salvaged for another few days (my children eat like the war horses at the local stable) and now I have a new kitchen task to train them on.

But the sugar jar is no longer in kid-reach.

Almost all American married parents are Amazon Prime customers.

Amazon recently revealed they have 90 million or so Prime users in America, and that in the income ranges that mark the married class they have 70 to 90% uptake, with the 100k+ being close to 90% as far as they can tell.  By nearly any guess or estimate or account list, the majority of American households period are not just buying from Amazon, but subscribed to its Prime division.

I see right wing people brag about not buying from Amazon ever, and then I look at the reality on the ground for married mothers, who continue to have most of the children.

Acknowledgement of the extent of SCALE is part of the way towards reducing it.  Bragging on a Amazon Web Services-backed server about how you personally never go near the website to buy books or whatever, not so much.

“All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.”

“The percentage of married-couple households that are interracial or interethnic grew across the United States from 7.4 to 10.2 percent from 2000 to 2012-2016.”

From interracial marriage reporting from the Census Bureau.

ETA an interesting note from a working paper about health status in interracial relationships. “Having a White partner is associated with higher self-rated health for Hispanic, Black, and Asian men and women, relative to having a partner of one’s own race/ethnicity. For White women, but not for White men, having a non-White partner is associated with worse self-rated health. ”


June reading update

I read 10 books for this month.

I finished books 2-5 of the John Carter/Barsoom series and I’m done with Burroughs-Mars, not going to check any more of it out.  Unlike Tarzan, which was noblebright, and very pure, Barsoom has a lot more camel’s nose under the tent to it.  Everyone is naked, the imagery (particularly of the various creatures John Carter and various other Martians have to battle) is striking and powerful and influenced quite a few sci-fi writers I read back in the day, but it’s frequently revolting and depraved.  John Carter himself grows increasingly vain and bloodthirsty as the series progresses.  I suspect that’s part of why it’s not as evergreen as Tarzan.  It’s “fetish fuel” and would be hard to film even under current mores as a mainstream series of movies.  The Barsoomian world is sciencey and secular, but also incoherent in its sexual and social morality.

Anyway that was four books down.  I finally read Journey to the Center of the Earth, which was epic and featured one of the most realistically terrifying moments I’ve seen in a book.  I also read Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure story of one of his ancestors.

I was working on and continue to work on some other books, but I got distracted by some new e-releases and read those.  They were the second Alt-Hero comic (which is vastly improved in both storyline and art over the first one) and book 2 in the Saga of the Iron Dragon.  I also started reading Dune and finished it.  I read it once 20+ years ago and I’m counting it as a new read because I’d forgotten most of the characters and plot(s). I also read The Reluctant Dragon which literally just turned up and I realized I’d never read, only seen a cartoon of.  It’s cute.

The current count is 50 down, 50 to go.

Everyone’s a little bit right.

In terms of historical American norms, it’s been normal to Do It All at an upper-middle level, it’s been normal to have (white OR black, native-born OR immigrant) domestic help to do it, it’s been normal to be a college mom, it’s been normal to not be one.  The difficulty is that these groups of women have been co-existing every step of the way. So teasing out how to take the good and ditch the bad from our ancestresses is a delicate and sticky business.

In Dune, 3% was the critical-mass number to terraform Arrakis into a human-friendly planet instead of a total-desert one.  That’s often about the right number for tails to wag social-norm dogs in American society, too.