The old ways are best (but I still don’t follow recipes)

We have started eating traditional foods for our family’s main heritage.  It does help with a lot of the winter issues, although the learning curve is pretty high.  We’ve been buying pickled herring

It’s not bad, though dill pickling is much better.

and have discovered that a majority of the family is on board.

T.W.O., as his forefathers did, likes pickled beets as well.

Not made by his actual aunt Nellie.

Honestly, the food selection is pretty basic, eggs and whatever meats are still edible in the cellar, root vegetables and any herbs you’ve dried or are willing to grow indoors are the other sorts of things to pick from.  But when you’re eating what people have been eating for centuries, it seems to go easier.  Vitamin D from traditional food also seems to get absorbed better than even liquid supplements, even though technically it’s a smaller amount.

Anyway we’re tired of buying store pickled herring and will be making our own next year.  It’s pretty easy and always tastes better than even the really good stuff in commercial jars.  We go through a LOT of herring, hahahaha.

Advertisements

November reading update

I read 7 books for this month.  Another ebook only month, Kindle Unlimited had some good options.

I read Larry Correia’s second high fantasy book, the third is out next year or so.  It was a little thin, but still engaging.  T.W.O. read it too and what jumped out for him as a flaw was the lack of dance.  Dance is deeply important to martial fighters for what are no longer obvious reasons, and it’s usually absent from fantasy fiction involving martial arts these days, and this was, alas, no exception.  I continued in sequels with the latest in a magitek series written very quickly by one of the assortment of modern pulp authors.  It was ok, I’ll probably read a third or fourth.

I also read some more Tanith, short stories and novellas that were easy to check out.  I finally read Cordwainer Smith’s spy novel, published under yet another pen name.  It is all too short, but very action-filled and fascinating.

I also read one of those historical society collections of annotated pictures about a pair of counties in Indiana because it had a paragraph about Gene Stratton-Porter.  I thought it would be more than that, lol.  The evolution of the counties over a century was much more interesting than expected.  Indiana is a major cultural fulcrum point in American literature and social myth.

I have some print books I’ve been working on, but I don’t know if they’ll be done by December’s end.

Anyway, 94 books down, 6 to go.

 

October reading update

I read 15 books for this month.  It was also an ebook-only month, which is pretty unusual for me.  It usually means I’m mentally overexerted and want easier stuff to read.  So almost everything was fluff, esoteric, or esoteric fluff.

I read seven short novella-length ebooks about spies and true crime.  I also read Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s love letter to fandom and when nerds *really* loved science, Fallen Angels.  That one is cute and parts of it remain terrifyingly plausible.

I also continued reading a light D&D-ish series, as the third book was just sent to the mailing list and was a happy surprise.  In similar vein, I read the wrap-up book of a pretty good zombie series, also a surprise release earlier than the author said.

I tried out Kindle Unlimited, and I’ll probably keep it for a couple months.  I used that to read a truly fascinating biography of Cordwainer Smith, a collection of Clifford Simak shorts that reminded me of why I am just not that into his work, a very silly but cool-concept sci-fi book about magic being introduced into the world when humanity is banned from using space technology by evil aliens, and a very cute Tanith Lee novella.

I also used Kindle Unlimited to read the very funny, very sharp, but also very “written by a Boomer” satire “The Narrative.”  It’s by Deplora Boule and quite spot-on.

Anyway, 87 books down, 13 to go.

 

Married parents and the public school exit.

No matter how many ways you slice the onion, it’s becoming more and more the case that married parents are exiting or very strategically accessing the public school system.  This poses real medium and long term issues regarding funding and support for public school teachers.

What does exit mean?  It means 30%+ of married parents’ kids are outside the public school system or inside it via de facto segregation tactics like specialized, high-parent-participation “options” or outright effective magnets/charters within a larger public school.  About 15% are in private schools, with a steady increase in private Protestant schools specifically (although the general private school split is 45% Catholic, 40% Protestant, and secular bringing up the rump end at around 15%.  The classical Christian academy is maturing away from co-op models to full-time private schools all over the country.  Another approximately 7% are homeschooling full time, typically longer than a year but less than full K-12.  Another 8-10% are doing various combinations of specialized public school programs, homeschooling using the public school curriculum (public-private partnership, “alternative educational approach”, the various names for this make it hard to break out on its own), and mixed schooling (combining several part-time school options).

Homeschooling is completely normalized now as an option to include in the college prep race among the very parents who dominate married parenthood, the college educated majority.  It’s not part of a “fundie fringe”, it’s something a double digit percentage of married parents do for at least one year between K-12.

Also, kids just never stop costing money now, because all these options have costs in time and money.  Either you’re writing checks, one parent is not working full time or outside the home, or both.  The other side of it is that public schools push fringier and fringier views on the remaining children whose parents can’t optimize them into a special program where that stuff doesn’t come up or is cheerfully waivered out.  Where I live, essentially in our version of the higher-end NYC public magnet schools, an example fringy goal is to teach transgender advocacy to kindergarteners in the “regular” public schools.    It’s already approved, implementation is coming in another school year or so.

So even the very liberal parents who might be fine with this in junior high are making plans to do for-pay K or even K-3, on top of 7k/mo mortgages and 1k/mo property taxes to pay 100k salaries to teachers and 150k salaries to administrators who added this stuff to the curriculum.  Exit isn’t cheap, and it’s not getting cheaper, but it is increasing over time anyway.  This is not a stable equilibrium.