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Today is the second anniversary of my bathroom water heater breaking. No, I still have not replaced it and my finances are worse than they were at any point since then, so without some sudden and unexpected change, there isn't much that I can do about it.

I got used to washing myself mostly with cold water, though there are better and worse days.


Drejk wrote:
*makes notes* mechanical milkmaids?...

makes a deposit into a certain Swiss account

Yes.

Yes.


I don't have a Swiss account! Whom are you paying for making that happen?!


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Drejk wrote:

Fantasy Monster: Alchemicow.

Alchemyooo!

The alchmoomist?


Alchemoomist?

A moomin that practices alchemy or an alchemist that makes moomies?


Well, this should be "fun". Got the COVID vaccine in October but didn't notice it much, then the flu vaccine on the 8th and while I'm dubious as to whether it was a side effect, I missed Monday and Tuesday of work. Today I got my first-ever Shingles vaccine, and the nurse said, "This'll make you lethargic for a couple of days."

Ah, well, at least it's all over and done with for now... COVID, pneumonia, flu, and shingles. And I'm up to date on tetanus. Wonder what else I'm missing...


And there we go. 6:30 in the morning and I have a 101°F fever (38.3°C). I don't feel that bad, so I'm continuing at work (it's not exactly exhausting to sit at a desk all day), but now I at least have to monitor myself and make sure the temperature doesn't go too high.

(If I break 102°F I should just give up and go to bed for the day.)


That sounds awful.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

They are installing the new fridge now. Had to finagle the old one out through the halls now that shelves are in the way.


That's a new one.

My gums acted up for the last week or two, just above a tooth that was treated a few years ago, hinting that I have some incoming tooth issue.

Now I have an aching point inside my cheekbone which is a new (and undesired) experience to me. It seems that a nerve is seriously agitated by whatever is happening lower. I have been planning to go to the dentist for some time now, though I half hoped that I finish what I am doing and get paid before that.

*sigh*

I hope I will find a dentist with an opening tomorrow.


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Google translates "kontrolno-sterujący" as "control and control"...

Spoiler:
It should be control(ing) and steering

I might have a chance of having a bit of meager work for a tad longer...


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Switching from starting work at 7 AM to starting work at 3 PM is weird.


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David M Mallon wrote:
Switching from starting work at 7 AM to starting work at 3 PM is weird.

I couldn't handle that. I like to start early, be done early, and have the rest of the day to relax knowing that I don't have any work ahead of me.


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For those moving towards the age of getting a shingles vaccine, it's definitely better than the alternative. I spent the day in bed with a 102˚F. Both my mother and my father-in-law got shingles in their 60s and had to deal with months of debilitating side effects. I'll take the "one day in bed", thanks.


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Speaking of video games, it's amazing to me just how many games risk losing sales because they don't want to bother with a tutorial.

We enjoy co-op horror games. We played through the ridiculously simple-and-silly Pacify multiple times. We have hundreds of hours on Phasmophobia. So the latest-n-greatest, top-rated, "You HAVE to play this game!" to come along is Lethal Company.

We fired it up. All the reviews said, "You MUST use the in-game audio! It adds SO much to the game!" So we turned off TeamSpeak and used in-game audio.

Step 1: No tutorial. Just message that said, "Read the clipboard," and a clipboard that described basic controls: "You have 10 minutes to mine as much as you can." Not particularly helpful.

Step 1.5: Badly-designed co-op. Shiro went to the store, learned he had $60, and bought himself some gear. Little did he know that that was the team fund. So nobody else had any gear. I suspect wandering around a dark world with no flashlight did not add to our experiences.

Step 2: It's a good thing the timer didn't start until we opened the door, because it took us well over 10 minutes to figure out the kludgy computer interface to actually get somewhere and get the doors open.

Step 3: The critical question on any new game is, "Do you take falling damage?" I jumped off a short bridge to ascertain the damage. Apparently, you take a LOT of falling damage, because I was killed instantly. And... my audio cut out. I could no longer communicate with my team. Even worse, there's no indication to your teammates that you're dead. I could either spitefully end the game, or I could sit there for the next 9 1/2 minutes watching the others play.

Step 4: The other critical question is, "How do you get away from monsters?" GothBard encountered a monster and fled. It pursued her no matter what she tried, so she finally gave up and ran back into the ship. And it followed her and killed her there.

So we basically got in about 20 minutes of figuring out the UI and 6 minutes of gameplay before everyone was dead, and we all agreed that we were none the wiser on what we should have done.

The kids love it, and we might turn to them for help. Or we might give up and return it, because no one has any interest in playing yet another, "If you can't figure our game out you're a loser," video game. So the company will lose money, all from lack of a simple tutorial.


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Argh! Just missed my edit window!

Shiro says that the major appeal of the game is that it's a low-budget indie game where you "can die in all sorts of hilarious ways", then share those deaths with your friends. Our deaths were intentionally falling to test falling damage, falling off a ladder because of poor controls, falling off a platform because it was so dark you couldn't see that one of the plates was missing, and being eaten by the monster. Hardly "hilarious" and more, "Oh, the first one was mildly amusing, but the rest weren't particularly interesting."

It's definitely missing its mark for us. We're going to give it one more chance on Thursday and then uninstall it.


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Well, that's a new level of employee incompetence... brace yourself, Vanykrye!

Global IT: It is time for the replacement cycle for all employee laptops in this country. Please check your warranty expiration date and, if your laptop is expired, fill out this paperwork to get a replacement.
(Notice that even though the email was for a specific country, it was sent out globally, making me wonder a bit about Global IT. You don't have a "by country" filter for your messages?)

Clueless Employee (Replies to All with:) I have a special case. Can you please check my laptop and tell me whether I'm eligible? Here's all the access information you need...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

*facepalm*


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Oh, come on. Who would read ALL of the e-mail carefully before the responding?!


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I dropped by my neighbors house to check on the progress of his Harley. He told me to take it for a spin. I rode around the block. There’s only one word. Freedom. Live to live. Ride to ride. Getcher motor running. Something, something, highway.


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ONE. MORE. DAY.

Students leave at 11:30 tomorrow, then we tidy up and have a catered end-of-term lunch, then get cut loose to go home early or run errands, then back for the Winter Concert in the evening. (It's not a holiday program. No carols. A couple of non-denominational songs about peace, and the rest is utterly random, ranging from nature songs about the seasons to "We will rock you".)
Then we're off until faculty in-service day on January 8th.
I plan to use at least some of that time to wash the kitchen curtains and clean and reorganize the carport, which is still full of moving boxes after two years.
And, of course, make a few dozen pierogi and a makowiec, because Christmas.


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NobodysHome wrote:
David M Mallon wrote:
Switching from starting work at 7 AM to starting work at 3 PM is weird.
I couldn't handle that. I like to start early, be done early, and have the rest of the day to relax knowing that I don't have any work ahead of me.

If given the choice, I prefer working an 8-hour day shift, but I've worked pretty much every shift known to man, so I can acclimate pretty quick. The only thing I really hate is being on call.


If I'm going to continually call out DVC instructors for their terrible behavior, then I also need to give them proper acknowledgement when they do something decent.

Impus Minor didn't do well in his integral calculus class by any stretch of the imagination, but he was at the point that he needed a 59% on his final to get the requisite overall 70% to pass the course with a C. For once he actually worked with me to prepare a bit, so I was confident that he could hit that mark.

He went in and came home saying that it was "bad" and none of the questions looked like anything they'd done in class before. Several of his peers agreed. He got a 51%, so we were ready to accept the D and re-take the course with a different, better instructor (Impus Major finally had a good math instructor, so we knew the name of one for him). Impus Minor's grade finally posted this morning, and he got a "miracle C".

And I know exactly what happened, because I've seen math instructors do it all too often: Instead of a "correct" community-college-level final ("Here are straightforward examples of everything you're supposed to have learned this semester. Can you do them all correctly?"), the instructor got fancy and instead gave a university-level final ("Can you combine multiple concepts from the semester to solve problems you've never seen before?"). The average was most likely a standard university average of 62% or so. Which, given his strict 70% grading scale, would fail half the class. So he probably upped everyone by a few percentage points just to pass enough of the class to not generate any complaints, and that small bump was enough to push Impus Minor into passing.

Not my favorite approach to grading, but I'll take the C. I've seen Impus Minor's work, and it's the grade he deserved.

EDIT: The major differentiator I saw between UC schools and community colleges was exactly that: At UC schools, the professors would ask questions the students had never seen before, including unsolved or impossible problems, just to see "how the students think". But those exams would either be graded on a curve, or on a massively expanded flat scale. At UC Davis I recall that anything over 80% was an A, and anything over 50% was a C, so you had plenty of room if you couldn't solve a problem. If you're going with a strict 90/80/70/60 scale, you have a LOT less leeway to ask extremely hard questions without risking failing your entire class.


Hmm... the "vaccine reaction" claim may be overstated. Impus Major's in bed after hitting 100.9°F last night and 101.0°F this morning. Different symptoms (he has sinus stuff; I didn't), but the timing and the similar fevers make me wonder whether 100% of my illness was the reaction, or whether some of it was whatever this is.


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NobodysHome wrote:

If I'm going to continually call out DVC instructors for their terrible behavior, then I also need to give them proper acknowledgement when they do something decent.

Impus Minor didn't do well in his integral calculus class by any stretch of the imagination, but he was at the point that he needed a 59% on his final to get the requisite overall 70% to pass the course with a C. For once he actually worked with me to prepare a bit, so I was confident that he could hit that mark.

He went in and came home saying that it was "bad" and none of the questions looked like anything they'd done in class before. Several of his peers agreed. He got a 51%, so we were ready to accept the D and re-take the course with a different, better instructor (Impus Major finally had a good math instructor, so we knew the name of one for him). Impus Minor's grade finally posted this morning, and he got a "miracle C".

And I know exactly what happened, because I've seen math instructors do it all too often: Instead of a "correct" community-college-level final ("Here are straightforward examples of everything you're supposed to have learned this semester. Can you do them all correctly?"), the instructor got fancy and instead gave a university-level final ("Can you combine multiple concepts from the semester to solve problems you've never seen before?"). The average was most likely a standard university average of 62% or so. Which, given his strict 70% grading scale, would fail half the class. So he probably upped everyone by a few percentage points just to pass enough of the class to not generate any complaints, and that small bump was enough to push Impus Minor into passing.

Not my favorite approach to grading, but I'll take the C. I've seen Impus Minor's work, and it's the grade he deserved.

EDIT: The major differentiator I saw between UC schools and community colleges was exactly that: At UC schools, the professors would ask questions the students had never seen before, including unsolved or impossible...

dusts off torch, pitchfork


NobodysHome wrote:
And I know exactly what happened, because I've seen math instructors do it all too often: Instead of a "correct" community-college-level final ("Here are straightforward examples of everything you're supposed to have learned this semester. Can you do them all correctly?"), the instructor got fancy and instead gave a university-level final ("Can you combine multiple concepts from the semester to solve problems you've never seen before?").

Isn't that a pretty good data point for the idea that learning math is only learning to do THAT specific thing in the way that it's asked than generally mind expanding?

Or at least the way they're doing it.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
And I know exactly what happened, because I've seen math instructors do it all too often: Instead of a "correct" community-college-level final ("Here are straightforward examples of everything you're supposed to have learned this semester. Can you do them all correctly?"), the instructor got fancy and instead gave a university-level final ("Can you combine multiple concepts from the semester to solve problems you've never seen before?").

Isn't that a pretty good data point for the idea that learning math is only learning to do THAT specific thing in the way that it's asked than generally mind expanding?

Or at least the way they're doing it.

I can produce quite a few of these.

Study #1.
Study #2.
Study #3.
Article citing a study that they didn't link.

Every year or two another study demonstrates that studying mathematics has permanent, long-term, positive effects on the brain. We don't know why, so we can't replace it with another form of study until we figure out the underlying mechanisms.

Until then, I would rather see ALL teachers receive decent pay so that people are no longer subjected to terrible math teachers who give them a lifelong loathing of the subject.

I learned tons of useless stuff in school. I was forced to memorize historical names and dates I'll never use. I spent years learning cursive. I memorized and delivered speeches for the sake of delivering speeches. I was taught all kinds of bizarre sports rules in P.E. Honestly, I'd say that 90% of my education was useless if I only consider, "Do I use exactly what I was taught in my day-to-day life today?"
And yet nowhere is the loathing so severe as it is for mathematics. And I blame the teachers, not the subject.


And for the record, I don't resent all the "useless" stuff I've learned because I'm old enough to look at the possible reasons I learned it.

Cursive? Useless, but improved my hand-eye coordination on fine motor tasks, such as working on circuit boards (which I do do).

Memorizing dates? Useless, but I suspect it improved my long-term memory.

P.E.? Useless, but I cherry-picked the exercises I liked and to this day I'm working out 90 minutes a day and keeping myself in shape.

Speeches? Useless, but I have no fear of public speaking.

And so on...


And a final quick thought on "bad" math teachers:

I never had a history teacher tell me, "You're going to be using the date of the Battle of Gettysburg every day when you grow up."

I never had an English teacher say, "If you can't quote Moby Dick, you can't get a job."

Yet somehow almost every math teacher at every level thinks it's OK to say, "You'll use this every day for the rest of your life, and you can't get a job without it."

Nope. It's a lie. You're learning it because it's training your brain in a desirable manner and we haven't worked out a better way to do it yet. What's appalling is that's what I tell my students from the onset, and they're a lot happier about taking math when I'm not trying to convince them that it's useful to them.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Math is just logic puzzles. We could do with more people having a better grasp of logic.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Every year or two another study demonstrates that studying mathematics has permanent, long-term, positive effects on the brain. We don't know why, so we can't replace it with another form of study until we figure out the underlying mechanisms.

skeptical Freehold is skeptical

NobodysHome wrote:
Until then, I would rather see ALL teachers [receive decent pay so that people are no longer subjected to terrible math teachers who give them a lifelong loathing of the subject.

All teachers deserve good pay. Even if they are teaching tripe like math.

NobodysHome wrote:
I learned tons of useless stuff in school. I was forced to memorize historical names and dates I'll never use. I spent years learning cursive. I memorized and delivered speeches for the sake of delivering speeches. I was taught all kinds of bizarre sports rules in P.E.

Is that a flaw in the teaching system or a flaw in you? Because I'm sure you know the time period of the US Civil War and similar major events, and where you were during 9/11. And I use cursive every day, don't you? Bizarre sports rules? looks up at website I think we use Bizarre rules quite regularly...


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Math is just logic puzzles. We could do with more people having a better grasp of logic.

If this were true, I wouldn't hate math nearly as much.


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NobodysHome wrote:

And for the record, I don't resent all the "useless" stuff I've learned because I'm old enough to look at the possible reasons I learned it.

Cursive? Useless, but improved my hand-eye coordination on fine motor tasks, such as working on circuit boards (which I do do).

With writing in general, and doubly with cursive, for two years of kindergarten, first and second grade my teachers thought I was kinda slow because anything in writing looked like I'd tried to do it with my toes and took so long that I never finished anything. My spelling was/is also terrible.

Then I had a standardized test where all I had to do was fill in a bubble and.. Oh. He's in the 99th percentile on everything but spelling. WTF? There wasn't anyone else in the class for him to copy off of...

Having to write and draw everything out, without crushing the puny pencil, in full sentences, on a sheet of paper where the context was RIGHT THERE was years of painful torture like the quill scene from harry potter.

So its not JUST the math department I want to re arrange...

I can paint miniatures and carve surprisingly tiny things in wood but I think that's despite cursive not because of it.

Quote:
Memorizing dates? Useless, but I suspect it improved my long-term memory.

Even in my day, which wasn't that long after yours, this was recognized as a bad way to teach history. People really do need to understand how we got here in order to recognize where we're going, and how human society functions. But memorizing the exact dates don't help. You need to know napoleon was after the American revolution and invaded russia way too close to the winter but I don't think the date is ever going to add anything.

Many, many problems are traceable not to people not knowing history but to people instead knowing deliberately misleading cultural mythology. Which wouldn't happen if people knew history...

But date memorization is not the way to do it. Getting the big picture story is. If there's an equivalent difference in the way to teach math I've never seen it proposed.

I don't know how up to date it is now but Lies my teacher told me goes into a LOT about what's messed up there and why.

Quote:
P.E.? Useless, but I cherry-picked the exercises I liked and to this day I'm working out 90 minutes a day and keeping myself in shape.

I still use the stretches. Pretty sure I"m alive because if you can dodge a ball you can dodge a hatchet someone is throwing at you. I may not have liked basketball but any kind of moving around is good, even if it isn't particularly instructive.

For the studies, what I'm seeing is a lot of selected for and self selecting samples or groups using really weird ways to measure something that should be relatively easy to measure: I can tell this brain has been mathing does not correlate to this brain is working better. It could just be measuring math trauma...:)

I realize they don't like experimenting on humans but it really is the only way.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I should really get back into the habit of using calisthenics from my Army days. Just so my back doesn't seize up.

Freehold DM wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Math is just logic puzzles. We could do with more people having a better grasp of logic.
If this were true, I wouldn't hate math nearly as much.

Nah, you'd still hate it either way.


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Freehold DM wrote:
And I use cursive every day, don't you?

Really? When the kids had to learn it in elementary school I literally had to YouTube how to draw some of the letters because I hadn't used it in so long...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Sometimes I have to look up how to sign my name, because that's the only time I use cursive and I don't do it nearly as much as when I was active.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sometimes I have to look up how to sign my name, because that's the only time I use cursive and I don't do it nearly as much as when I was active.

OMG. The kids' signatures are hilarious. I told them that legally all they need is a distinctive mark that they can reproduce; it doesn't even have to be words. So yeah, the kids' signatures look nothing like their names, but so far even banks, the DMV, and the passport office have accepted them. And no cursive is involved.


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**PAWPRINT**
&#128062;

They will take that in person online not so much.


Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. Hmm. Something else happened that year. Without dates, it’s a little harder to grasp the bigger picture.


Waterhammer wrote:
Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. Hmm. Something else happened that year. Without dates, it’s a little harder to grasp the bigger picture.

all you have to remember for a rough timeline is what year the war of 1812 was...


The French and British were fighting each other in Spain. Napoleon extracted his troops for the Russian Campaign. Which allowed the British to move against New Orleans. In the end both armies were annihilated. Not sure how that affects the big picture, actually. I do find things like that interesting though.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
And I use cursive every day, don't you?
Really? When the kids had to learn it in elementary school I literally had to YouTube how to draw some of the letters because I hadn't used it in so long...

I was in that wonderful cohort of Millennials that were taught cursive in elementary school in the mid/late-'90s, and expected to use it for everything... until junior high and high school in the early '00s when we were abruptly told to stop using it because it was hard for the teachers to read.


I don't know who was happier about the advent of word processors me or my teachers.


I learned to write cursive in school, and still use it fairly frequently, but my handwriting is neither beautiful nor particularly legible.


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I never actually learned how to write in cursive, not from a lack of forcing me to write cursive, but more because of my sheer stubbornness that it was (and still is) archaic and absolutely useless.

I was (and still am) right about that.

As far as teaching it to improve motor skills, that's a lie created by a*~*$%&s that like to torment children. My motor skills are top notch.


runs around making fire engine noises


captain yesterday wrote:

I never actually learned how to write in cursive, not from a lack of forcing me to write cursive, but more because of my sheer stubbornness that it was (and still is) archaic and absolutely useless.

I was (and still am) right about that.

As far as teaching it to improve motor skills, that's a lie created by a%~$~&~s that like to torment children. My motor skills are top notch.

Clearly you are wrong.

CURSIVE FOREVER


Apparently I owe the shingles vaccine an apology.

Last night I spent the evening taking care of Impus Major, who had...
...a 102.6°F fever and symptoms almost identical to mine.

Sometimes a virus is just a virus with poor timing.


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Cursive is about more than elegance and fine motor skills. There are also neurological benefits.
Also: children learn to read more easily when they learn cursive writing at the same time. And make fewer b/d reversal errors *when reading print* (something a lot of kids do at first, not just kids with dyslexia) than children who learn to write in print only. It aids in the development of composition and spelling skills. Simply put, your brain sees words differently--more fluidly, more musically--when you write in cursive.
You don't have to like it. I totally get it.
I hated it too when I was a child, never learned to do it properly (I begged my dad for a typewriter when I was seven so I wouldn't have to) until I went through teacher training and found out I was going to have to teach it.
I could go on, but I realize I'm (a) probably boring everyone to tears, and (b) in need of a second cup of coffee, and (c) still in my pajamas at 10:30 because it's the first day of school vacation, so I'll shut up now.


lisamarlene wrote:

Cursive is about more than elegance and fine motor skills. There are also neurological benefits.

Also: children learn to read more easily when they learn cursive writing at the same time. And make fewer b/d reversal errors *when reading print* (something a lot of kids do at first, not just kids with dyslexia) than children who learn to write in print only. It aids in the development of composition and spelling skills. Simply put, your brain sees words differently--more fluidly, more musically--when you write in cursive.
You don't have to like it. I totally get it.
I hated it too when I was a child, never learned to do it properly (I begged my dad for a typewriter when I was seven so I wouldn't have to) until I went through teacher training and found out I was going to have to teach it.
I could go on, but I realize I'm (a) probably boring everyone to tears, and (b) in need of a second cup of coffee, and (c) still in my pajamas at 10:30 because it's the first day of school vacation, so I'll shut up now.

pauses fire engine noises

Not just beautiful but wise!

resumes fire engine noises

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