May 8th, 2015

#4710: Well, they're not wrong

High school literature classes always consist of really depressing stories. All through junior and senior high I read a bunch of depressing crap for school, things like My Antonia and Killing Mr. Griffin and a host of others. Contrast all that horseshit with promethian SF--stuff from Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, and Niven--which was what I read for pleasure.

I was glad I didn't have to read much Steinbeck or Hemingway or-or-or when I was in high school. And is it any wonder we have trouble getting kids to read when all we push on them is depressing crap that doesn't seem to have any point to it?

I do agree with Ms. Alkon's thesis about helicopter parents trying to protect their special snowflakes from sad stories--it's stupid--but if the helicopter parents were at all good parents they would have long since taught their kids to read and would have on hand a large supply of entertaining books and encouraged them to learn to enjoy reading.

Kids being kids, they want to have fun; if you want them to read, you should have fun stories on hand. You don't need to hit them over the head with Proust and Steinbeck and Chaucer and so on; give them something interesting and exciting to read, and if they get interested in the so-called "greats" then they can read those stories, and select classes in school which will expose them to critical technique. If they don't get interested in that stuff, it's no one's loss because they already read a lot anyway.

Whether kids read is a hell of a lot more important than what they read, damn it.

* * *

Last night I had to turn the AC on. It was warm in the bunker and ventilating with outside air simply was not cooling it enough for us to sleep, so I closed the windows and switched on AC. I only had to run it for a couple of hours (if that) to get the temperature and humidity into a comfortable range, but the place remains closed today and probably will until later tonight.

I have chores I need to get after, and one of them involves getting fuel for the lawn machines. Meanwhile there's heavy weather building out by Peoria, and it looks like it's heading this way quickly enough that I may not get much else done besides the grass.

But if I don't get that grass cut today, it's going to need a herd of goats before I again have time to get at it.

This year has been, so far, an amazingly busy one. It seems like I never have time to relax any more, no time just to sit and do nothing; if I'm not at work, then I'm doing chores, or running errands, or a host of other things.

Well, it could be worse.

In any case, the grass--so, off I go.

#4711: Well, I got the grass cut, anyway.

In the time it took me to go get gasoline and then cut the grass, that storm front moved the approximately 114 miles between Peoria and the Fungal Vale. That was an hour and forty minutes, about, so that storm is moving a bit faster than 60 MPH, and it's heading right for us!!! In fact, as I was getting the pusher out, the wind shifted and the clouds began looking ominous, and sure as shootin' as soon as I got inside and checked the weather radar--

I don't think I'm going to make it over to Og's place today, to get that steel, because I don't fancy operating electrical power tools in the rain. That irritates me, because that steel tubing is going to be the material I use to build the go-kart, and I'd sure like to get started on that project, but first I have to cut apart that shelving unit and haul home the tubing. The next chance I'll have to do that? Sunday afternoon, if Og is amenable. (And available.)

Overall I'm glad to have gotten the grass cut, though, because it had to be done before we got even more rain, especially since I'm not likely to have time for it before Sunday or Monday at the earliest.

...and this is my day off. But there is joy in simple chores, even so, and cutting the grass in eighty degree weather beats hell out of shoveling snow.

#4712: Well, I've got the steel for the frame now.

Turned out Og got home early and had finished cutting his grass, so he cut up the shelves for me. All I had to do was go pick them up, and now they're out of his hair and in mine.

Looking over the side pieces, I do indeed think I can just use one of them for the basis of the frame--I just need to clean up some welds and do a little stitching on a couple of joints where it's only welded on one side, but once that's done it should be strong enough to handle a hoon or three.

Next step is to get the garage cleared out so I can set up a work area in which to build the thing. I've got a couple of side projects to get done that will take care of that, though, and then I'll be able to set the frame up on jack stands and start figuring out how to build what I need to build.

* * *

This evening I have made nachos like Ruben's does.

Their nachos supremas can be had with beef, chicken, or pork, and it's a wonderful appetizer for two. I love their nachos: crispy chips, refried beans, meat, and wads of gooey cheese--win. Sometimes I'm tempted to have just that for my meal.

For Cinco de Mayo Mrs. Fungus and I had tostadas, so I already had all the materials present; and since she's having a girls' night with her best friend S, I'm baching it tonight--why not get rid of some leftovers? So I got out the pizza pan, covered with a square of aluminum foil. Chips, refried beans, taco meat, and then grated the entirety of the leftover queso onto it. About 10-15 minutes under the broiler and voila, nachos supremas!

The meat is not exactly right, of course, but it's so damned close that it doesn't matter. This is good.