Re: My hands were sad like gulls in an Exxon spill.

1

You forgot to tell us who guestwrote this awesome post.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
2

Oh M/tch, I thought the g/lls and the sp/lls in the title were give-aways.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
3

This post creates an improved blog reading experience.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
4

I'm a fan of the foam dealies, too, for the reasons heebie states. On the issue of overly viscous soap (henceforth, "OVS"), my place of business has OVS dispensers that serve a dual purpose as air fresheners. That is, when one pushes the button for OVS, an air freshener also fires off briefly. However, from time to time, one wants only some air freshener to be dispensed, the bathroom's air having been defiled by, well, you know. And so what is one to do with the OVS one dispenses to get the air freshener? Dispense into a paper towel and dispose? Doing so seems wasteful, and yet, that is what I, admittedly, do.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
5

Some of us just wash our hands with the soap after defiling the bathroom, Stanster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
6

4: The simple solution is to take a cup or other receptacle in with you. Dispense the soap into that. Then, when you've finished defiling your hands by, well, you know, you can then use the saved soap to wash them all clean again, as clean as your conscious will be from not having wasted soap.

Also, I hate air freshener.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
7

5: Obviously, I was referring to encountering a bathroom in the already defiled state, having been defiled, that is, by someone else. Obviously.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
8

Those Dawn commercials with the baby duckies and otters and seals all getting the Exxon washed off have been making me all weepy. The cuteness! The environmental tragedy! The tragedy to the cuteness! And Dawn take Exxon outta their way!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
9

Stick a finger up your butt before entering so that you'll have incentive to wash before and after? It's free, and it's right there with you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
10

I sort of miss the old powder hand soap dispensers. I didn't like them much; it's just nostalgia.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
11

It's free, and it's right there with you.

You should gone into advertising, heebie.

Alas.

Anyways, new mouseover?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
12

Who defiled comment 11 by removing the "have"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
13

10: Rah and I look favorably on the powdered soap dispensers in the restroom of our local Ted's Montana Grill, Where Americans Eat Americana.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
14

13: You're supposed to actually use them, Robust, not just look at them.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
15

THE MALE GAZE IS NOTHING IF YOU CAN'T BACK IT UP


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDPA | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
16

YOU BETTER BACK THAT GAZE UP BEFORE I BACKS IT UP FOR YA, GRANDPA!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED WOMAN | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
17

I would love to be the sad sack who writes glorious descriptions of the hand-washing experience.

It's a blast, let me tell you. But it pays the bills.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
18

17: But does it provide an improved bill pay experience?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
19

At one point I wanted to write copy for the packaging of organic processed food, and to promote myself wrote this on spec.

To this effort Molly said "You do know that there is only one guy in the whole country who writes these things, right? And he's barely able to make a living writing all the copy for all the packaging in America."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
20

That Molly. Such a dreamcrusher.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
21

You know what would really be great? An improved hand-washing experience on Amtrak trains. I can't believe they still have that faucet where the way you have to dispense the tiny trickle of water is to push upward on the spigot itself with your hand.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
22

THAT'S BECAUSE OF SOCIALISM, WITT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDPA | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
23

I would love to be the sad sack who writes glorious descriptions of the hand-washing experience.

I was the only-slightly-less-sad sack who translated descriptions of all sorts of products for a publicity company in Germany. The reasons they come up with for you to wear luxury watches aren't very creative and kind of depressing.


I sort of miss the old powder hand soap dispensers.

Take an EC train in Europe!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
24

21

You know what would really be great? An improved hand-washing experience on Amtrak trains. I can't believe they still have that faucet where the way you have to dispense the tiny trickle of water is to push upward on the spigot itself with your hand.

Um, I have been on several Amtrak trains and I don't remember the faucets on any of them working like that.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
25

The watch industry must be in crisis right now. Although there may not be any ads for low-priced watches anymore, I have seen a couple ads for luxury watches which basically make the point that you should be very, very disappointed with your children if they grow up to not treasure your gift of a luxury watch.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
26

24: You should try washing your hands after you use the bathroom, James.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
27

That's how the faucets are on every Amtrak train I've been on. However, this may have been literally the same physical train, over and over (the route from east to west Pennsylvania).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
28

25: The end of that "Speeding" video you linked in the Boat thread features the protagonist offhandedly presenting some super fancy watch to a cop as a bribe and saying "that's my license and registration."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
29

The real problem for the watch industry must be that we are heading toward a world where every single physical object has a digital clock embedded in it. Sure, right now you have a clock in your computer, your cell phone, your car dashboard. But soon, there will be a clock built into your coffee cup, and your chair, and your shoes. (They will also all be networked.)

Within our lifetime, ignorance of the exact time of day will become biologically impossible.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
30

I have been on several Amtrak trains and I don't remember the faucets on any of them working like that.

Cf. The Vermonter, circa Aug. 2009. I was going to say maybe you and I use different bathrooms, but they're all unisex (Amtrak: Ahead of its time!) so maybe it's just age of equipment/different train lines.

I actually have an extended critique of Amtrak bathrooms and train station bathrooms, mostly centered around:

a) How depressing it is that street homelessness dictates so much people-unfriendly design in public spaces
b) How clear it seems that bathrooms are not designed for people who ever have bodies that bleed monthly, bodies with disabilities, or people who have small children with them.

With a side helping of how annoying it is that the OPINIONATED GRANDPAs of the world are right, and the political power struggles over Amtrak have undoubtedly contributed to some of the worst offenses.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
31

I can't wait for clocks to be embedded into soap dispensers.

Also, further to 6, I suppose a simpler solution might be for Stanley to carry around a little personal can of air freshener with him.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
32

28: You watched the whole thing! On behalf of Officer Rawse I am so pleased.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
33

Stanley to carry around a little personal can of air freshener lighter.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
34

33: I was trying to avoid the use of such a vulgar term with my carefully chosen euphemism. Stanley is sensitive, you know.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
35

I'm sensitive where it counts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
36

I'm home with a head cold. Vulgar or befuddled are all I've got.

(Where's teo? He's not doing something like attend classes or something crazy like that, on his first day of school? What kind of pattern is that to set?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
37

ignorance of the exact time of day will become biologically impossible

Why 'biologically'?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
38

How clear it seems that bathrooms are not designed for people who ever have bodies that bleed monthly

The placement of the little refuse boxes for sanitary products is often especially problematic. I would like to be able to reach it while sitting on the toilet, thank you. But please, also do not put the coat hook in such a position that my coat will touch the refuse box if I hang it up.

I know, I know. Women are so demanding.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:11 PM
horizontal rule
39

37: I dunno, either because your brain will be directly networked to a GPS dependent server or because you will be unable to contort your body into a shape where you will not have a digital clock in your field of vision. Maybe there will be digital readouts on the insides of your eyelids. Something like that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
40

14 is good advice in many contexts.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
41

||

That "magic" spam commenter was at once persistent and unsubtle. Weak game, Big Spam!

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
42

The new foam soap dispensers in my workplace are nice, but they seem to forget to refill them disturbingly often. Maybe they run out much quicker than the old liquid soap ones did?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
43

The new bloggy uproar over creationists on Bloggingheads annoys me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
44

To this effort Molly said "You do know that there is only one guy in the whole country who writes these things, right? And he's barely able to make a living writing all the copy for all the packaging in America."

This reminds me. I remember when I was growing up that I was always impressed with the quality of writing in Lands End catalogs. Then, when I was around thirteen or fourteen, the style of writing started shifting noticeably and, after a year or two, they were just like any other catalog.

But, darn it, before that it was obvious that someone put time and energy into the copy.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
45

Take an EC train in Europe!

That's probably the last place I saw one, although it's been a while since I've been on one of those trains and I don't actually remember the soap. Anyone want to buy me a ticket (including airfare to get to the train, no accommodation necessary, as I'll just take night trains).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
46

when I was around thirteen or fourteen, the style of writing started shifting noticeably

Was that in 2002 when Sears bought them out? Because a lot of things changed then, including the quality of their merchandise and their telephone customer service.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
47

Another vote pro-foam, and in favor of Amtrak upgrading their bathrooms - the Downeaster had the annoying press-up spigot. The Acela Express, unsurprisingly, was much nicer.

Hand soap at home is getting complicated, though - regular liquid or foam would be OK, but I don't want to keep buying new dispensers, haven't seen refills for the foam dispensers (I assume regular soap doesn't work) and it gets harder and harder to find liquid hand soap refills without triclosan or another antibacterial agent.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
48

Was that in 2002 when Sears bought them out?

I'm not that young.

Sometime around 1990.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
49

it gets harder and harder to find liquid hand soap refills without triclosan or another antibacterial agent.

You could always buy in bulk.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
50

Sorry, Nick, I paused when I was writing that, half-thinking that you had misremembered how old you were when it happened. Not that there is anything wrong with being 20 or 21!

it gets harder and harder to find liquid hand soap refills without triclosan or another antibacterial agent.

And it's really class-based. I can tell who grocery stores and drugstores think are their customers based on whether it's possible to find a single non-antibacterial soap on their shelves.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
51

Maybe they run out much quicker than the old liquid soap ones did?

HOW DO WE DO IT? VOLUME!


Posted by: OPINIONATED FOAM SOAP MANUFACTURER | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
52

And it's really class-based.

Huh. I will have to keep an eye out for this.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
53

Sorry, Nick, I paused when I was writing that, half-thinking that you had misremembered how old you were when it happened.

No worries.

It is possible that I'm misremembering, but my sense is that the shift happened well before 2002.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
54

You watched the whole thing! On behalf of Officer Rawse I am so pleased.

Heh. I also watched that whole thing. Speaking of music videos, Yglesias apparently decided to burn my brain by linking to LFO. I couldn't stop watching. I was paralyzed with horror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHuGG_FsC20


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
55

Y'know, I had vague memories of the chorus from the LFO song, but had never really listened to the lyrics. After doing so earlier today, holy cow. It makes the "On A Boat" song read like Bob Dylan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
56

53: The shift! It did happen well before 2002, because I remember as a smallish child being fascinated by Lands' End catalogues. Also, there were none of those "inlets" all over the place; Land's End stuff was exotic, vaguely posh in a preppie way merchandise away for which one sent by mail. It was sort of old "This Old House" in its overall aesthetic. Sigh. I miss those days. Or maybe I just miss my youth, although probably not.

It is a sad reflection on the manufacturing sector that even now Land's End clothes are better made than most mid-range garments. And that's a hell of a thing for an anarchist to have to think about! Bring back properly-made clothes so that I can once again think only of revolution; thinking about office-appropriate yet durable shirts is a drag.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
57

||

Standard cell phone contracts here - standard meaning you pay substantially less for the phone - appear to be for 3 years. That's insane.

|>


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
58

Where is my beloved Gmail? Why is it not working?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
59

56: Catalog.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
60

58: Terrible, isn't it? I think I crashed it--I sent an email to one of my fancy anarcho-bookstore lists and right after that the whole thing shut down. An email about drugs, no less.

Sorry.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
61

1990 corresponds to when Gary Comer, who started the Land's End catalog, stepped down as president. See here.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
62

haven't seen refills for the foam dispensers

I have, but I just started noticing them recently.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
63

I assume regular soap doesn't work

I think it does -- just liquid soap + water + foaming dispenser = foam.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
64

61: No, no I'm quite certain it's my fault for obsessively checking my mail rather than working.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
65

More detail about Lands' End than I'll ever want to know here.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
66

I'm trying to guess whether it's rich people or poor people who are more likely to demand antibacterial soap, but I really have no idea.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
67

Class markers are made in permanent ink.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
68

66: Poor/working class: antibacterial only. According to my data. (N=40 stores in extremely varied neighborhoods in three states.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
69

I'm bemused that liquid soap in dispensers has become an ordinary substitute for having a bar of soap on the sink at home. I'd claim I was being environmentally conscious of unnecessary packaging, but mostly I just don't like liquid soap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
70

I'm trying to guess whether it's rich people or poor people who are more likely to demand antibacterial soap, but I really have no idea.

Really? I would think that it would be obvious that rich people are interested in soaps like the one I linked in 49.

Plant nutrients are formulated to gently cleanse without drying hands. Our Coconut Oil Cleansing Complex is one of the most gentle yet effective lathering formulas available. No irritating sodium laurel or laureth sulfates. . . .

Of course, I live in hippie-ville, so my perspective may be skewed.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
71

69: Ditto. I feel pretty archaic using bar soap instead of "shower gel" too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
72

In my experience, people who care about the environment are not rich people, and vice versa.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
73

71: The various liquid bath soaps are insanely expensive compared to bar soap, aside from the non-degradable plastic packaging.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
74

Hm, I don't like bar soap at the sink because it makes a mess that I don't like cleaning up. However, I hate the disappearance of bar soap from other people's tubs. I need actual soap, people.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
75

69+71: ditto ditto. Part of it for me is that a bar of soap just lasts so much longer. But I also think I just like it better.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
76

Jumping on the shower-gel-hating bandwagon, I'd add that the gels seem to leave more of a residue on the shower walls and curtain, too. DO NOT WANT.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
77

76: It feels harder to rinse off one's body, too, although I think that's just because it generally has more/stronger water softener/wetting agents.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
78

I agree with 74. Though bar soap at the sink is fine too; it's just not what I usually do (which is reuse the same dispenser and buy large quantities of liquid soap for refills, though that usually ends up being antibacterial soap).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
79

For all of the reasons listed, I prefer bar soap in the shower and liquid soap at the sink -- particularly at the kitchen sink.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
80

74: I find older sinks with a little indentation for the bar soap to be not messy at all. It is annoying when you have to keep it in a soap dish though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
81

74 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
82

I had expected that the google wizards were feverishly toiling to have gmail back up and would have toiled successfully by now. I need my non-work email, thanks!

Bar soap is better than dispenser soap and lasts much longer. Also does not require you to constantly deal with either plastic dispensers or the cleaning and refilling of permanent ones.

Some lunatics have glass or ceramic soap thingies on the edge of the sink, where they can fall into the sink or onto the hard floor and shatter so that a horrible mixture of soap and sharp broken bits gets everywhere! I disapprove of this. Or maybe I admire it, since it I suppose bespeaks either a lot of self-confidence or a delightful devil-may-care attitude.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
83

Very few roommates I've had ever seem to put any soap except dish soap at the kitchen sink. I don't understand that.

Also, the last three roommates I've had haven't used dish racks to dry dishes. One placed them on a dish towel; the other two just dry immediately, I guess.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
84

83: Suspicious. Perhaps they were extraterrestrials, trying to blend in, but not yet completely fluent in our cleaning customs?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
85

I didn't have a dish rack for a very long time (no space for a wire one, no Ikea to get a cheap foldable wooden one). I became a master as stacking dishes on a towel to maximize drying speed.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
86

Mr. Bathyscaphe is a master at stacking dishes on the drying rack to minimize drying speed. Dude: concave down.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
87

Very few roommates I've had ever seem to put any soap except dish soap at the kitchen sink. I don't understand that.

uggh.

At my workplace, for a while people were just diluting dish soap and putting it in the soap dispenser in the bathroom.

I ended up just bringing in bar soap and leaving it in the bathroom because the dish soap was drying out my hands way too much.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
88

86: minimize s/b "maximize"?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
89

gmail is back, but I didn't get any mail! All that refreshing for nothing!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
90

88: Alas, no. Everything goes in the rack concave up, and nothing ever dries.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
91

88: "drying speed", not "drying time".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
92

88: "drying speed", not "drying time".

Got it. I knew that I was missing something obvious.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
93

86: That's a relatively common variety of "odd quirks otherwise competent people somehow have".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
94

92: But I read it the same way as you at first, so clearly GB said it wrong. Somehow. Yeah.


Posted by: Mt/ch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
95

57: Canada is maybe the only developed nation that is behind the U.S. for cell phones. Europeans have much better service and pricing. The Koreans and Indians have pretty awesome stuff. Canada has the same technology, bad contracts and high fees. There was a mini rebellion when the companies were about to charge people for receiving text messages (which is better than the situation in the U.S. Apparentlyuy, it is not actually possible to get an iphone in Canada. The company that provides them has a separate line telling you that they are backed up.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
96

Mt/ch

A new commenter!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
97

At home, I like Trader Joe's Trader Jacques French Honey and Orange blossom soap which is a knock off of a fancy brand. In the kitchen I use their Next to Godliness soap which has tea tree oil and chamomile in it, so I guess that it's antibacterial, but it doesn't have any trixlosan in it.

I like the foam stuff okay in an institutional setting, but the lathering part of soaping up can be counted toward the total time rubbing yoru hands together, and when you're talking about germs (as opposed to dirt) the time spent rubbing your hands together and rinsing under water are what's important.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
98

Canada is maybe the only developed nation that is behind the U.S. for cell phones.

IF VOTRE CHESTERFIELD ISN"T O CANADA GET VOTRE ZED OUT NOW, EH?


Posted by: OPINIONATED CANUCK | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
99

Lands' End used to have stories printed inside their catalogue. I rather enjoyed reading the catalogue for those and for learning about cotton. I got a great terry robe from them, a winter jacket and a swimsuit. The swimsuit wasn't exciting, but it fit. Their collared shirts never looked good.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
100

92, 94: And after I posted 90, I thought, wait, Nick's right and I'm wrong. So I think we can all agree that 86 was ill-phrased.

93: Things like this totally get my goat, because if I have a talent in life it's figuring out good ways to do small household things. (I'll go far, I know.) So I say, look! Here is a better way! It is in its small way a triumph!; and the response is, ehn, whatever, can't be bothered. More frustrating than it ought to be, given that the only reason this comes up is that the dishes are mostly not my job.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
101

I use Dr. Bronner's liquid soap for cleaning with some vinegar and maybe some borax. I don't think I'm hard core enough to use the bar and make soap flakes for cleaning. I think taht you can still buy soap flakes.

OPINIONATED CANUCK-- The Canadians I know complain about their cell phone options.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
102

Apparentlyuy, it is not actually possible to get an iphone in Canada.

Also, the data plans, according to the website at least, are terrible. On the other hand, the cell phone cos. websites are all terrible and I'd never buy something online from any of them with so little information explained in a reliable, legally-binding way.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
103

More frustrating than it ought to be, given that the only reason this comes up is that the dishes are mostly not my job.

This, more than anything, is why the dishes are my job. Wife! Why do you put things in the dish drainer the way you do? Don't you realize that it makes no sense whatsoever? (Also, why the fuck did you buy coffee at Ikea?)

Those 3-4" square blocks of olive oil soap in a dish by the sink (with a little wooden rack to keep the soap from sitting in water) are the best. The best. You can't convince me otherwise.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
104

OT: I am reminded of why I don't read Politico regularly:

White House officials are increasingly worried liberal, anti-war Democrats will demand a premature end to the Afghanistan war before President Barack Obama can show signs of progress in the eight-year conflict, according to senior administration sources.
These fears, which the officials have discussed on the condition of anonymity over the past few weeks, are rising fast after U.S. casualties hit record levels in July and August.

Not worried enough to go on the record, but worried.

[...] Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) last week called for a timetable to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan -- the same tactic he and other war opponents used to build congressional support for forcing an end to the Iraq war.

The Iraq war is over?

But Obama officials -- including National Security Adviser James Jones and Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- know the problem is much bigger than Feingold and timetables. They anticipate a growing number of anti-war liberals will call, with increasing force, for an end to the conflict when lawmakers return. Cost could become an issue, too. With deficits high, there will be heavy pressure on Obama to find savings somewhere in 2010 -- and war critics see Afghanistan as a good place to start.

Gosh, that really is a problem.

[...] Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told POLITICO: "We have to show the American people that all this effort, all these resources, all these lives are making a difference."

Vietnam.

White House officials expect that a whole new national conversation about what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan, and how, will be prompted by recommendations for strategy adjustments that Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, made in an assessment of the war that went to the Pentagon on Monday and is likely to be delivered to the White House in the next week.

Vietnam.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
105

Apparentlyuy, it is not actually possible to get an iphone in Canada.

Like right at the moment? In a general way, it is definitely possible.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
106

Vietnam.

Yep.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
107

charge people for receiving text messages (which is better than the situation in the U.S.)
Uh, all the carriers I know about in the US charge for incoming texts....


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
108

And thus, merely being "about to" charge for incoming texts is a better situation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
109

Vietnam.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
110

||

Too excited to scroll thru comments, so miht be pwnd. But This

might be Unfogged material. South Carolina gets smuttier.

Following the link thru another link to the actual stories, I thought to myself:"You, this feels like woman-written southern conservative evangelical hardcore porn." Was I being sexist?

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 5:29 PM
horizontal rule
111

On topic, Irish Spring in the shower, of course. With these really rough plastic sponge thingies, like the mean side of a dishscrubber.

Some kind of liquid dispenser at the sink, with alcohol gel afterwards. I forget what, I think I bought ten gallons of the shit at Wal-mart years ago.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
112

On topic, Irish Spring in the shower, of course.

"For noses that have otherwise given up the ghost."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
113

A soap bar left in a puddle turns to mush.
Non-decanted soap shall be deprecated.


Posted by: E | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
114

I can still picture that sort of threatening hooligan hacking off bits of it with his knife.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
115

I am way too delighted by 110. It makes my bosoms heave and pulse quicken, as I briefly close my eyes to better smell the scent of warm hypocrisy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:11 PM
horizontal rule
116

105: In the general way of getting the older models, I think. The 3GS or whatever apparently is available if you happen upon the right store at the right time, but most people - and everyone online - are being told that it's so sold out that they're struggling just to fill the backorders. It might be possible in that situation to get on a waiting list.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
117

From following the links in 110:

This source says that Maguire emphatically denied that the writing samples were hers, and that she and the governor's chief of staff, Scott English, immediately set about to ensure that none of the material remained on the Internet.

Wait, so they're going around erasing someone else's writings? I don't think you're supposed to do that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
118
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:37 PM
horizontal rule
119

I don't think you're supposed to do that.

On the other hand, after reading Continental Cuisine (pdf, dirty dirty dirty), I can't say that they will be missed.

The "I had a Danish for breakfast" bit could be deployed much better. And there's a difference between continental breakfast and continental cuisine.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
120

Yeah, I had pretty much exactly the same thought about the title.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
121

On the other hand, it shows promise. I left politics for creative pursuits almost two years ago. It's not an easy path, but you gotta follow your bliss. This could be a blessing in disguise for her.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
122

Here's the part that gets me: So what? I mean, I get that Gawker is basically just general-opportunity meanness looking for a place to land, but why does the rest of the world care?

AFAICT this woman didn't do anything illegal or even unethical. She didn't molest a child, cheat on a spouse, use taxpayer money to fly off to wherever. She just (allegedly) wrote p├Şrn. Or erotica. Why does she have to resign? Is this just American/Republican weirdness about sex?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
123
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
124

122: Isn't it the hypocrisy issue, for liberals, and the uptightness about sex, for conservatives?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
125

Unless there's now a law against bad erotica. (I really wish I hadn't read Continental Cuisine.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
126

For me, my delight is half that I find erotic fiction inherently funny, and half to watch conservatives eat their hypocrisy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
127

122: Because she's an abstinence-only evangelical hypocrite who wants to control other people's expressions of desire?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
128

127: To be clear, I could not care less if she resigns or not. But I do not feel the least bit bad about her, uh, unveiling.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
129

127 is quite right. I believe the South Carolina Republican Party that she chairs will have the biggest problem with her remaining in office.

Of course, her writing mentors would also tell her that if she chooses to remain in office, she won't be able to advance creatively.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
130

124: I guess. But I get furious about hypocrisy when I perceive it to have bad consequences. This seems pretty innocuous to me. I don't envy her children (if she has them), but again, it's not like she's passing anti-gay-marriage laws while sneaking off to have sex with a female lover, or preaching on about the gloriousness of war while helping her kids evade the draft. THAT'S hypocrisy with consequences. This hardly seems to measure up.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
131

Surely no one here is all that affronted or personally demanding her resignation. But she and her supporters are horrid and it's a pleasure to see horrid people get into a tizzy and hoist with their own petards.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:33 PM
horizontal rule
132

130: At this point, I think that others have outlined why the hypocrisy is objectionable, but given the programs she supposedly headed in her official capacity, I do find it to be hypocrisy with consequences. Abstinence-only education drives me batty.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
133

I hate to ignore the extremely bad erotica, but I'm still hung up on the part where a home-schooling parent is the chair of the state Board of Education. (To be clear, I think I'm correct in saying that it would bother me to an equal extent to have a parent of private-school kids serve in the same office. I think. Whereas it wouldn't bother me to have someone childless serve.)

Non-sinister case: children are disabled in some fashion; parents are unable to find a school that teaches them and treats them appropriately. Parents decide to home-school and also to work for change at the state level. Fine! More power to them.

Sinister case: public schools have Harry Potter books in the library, teach sex ed, etc. Parents decide to home-school and also to work for change at the state level. Alarm!

Is this just prejudice on my part? I fear so; and yet...


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
134

Abstinence-only education drives me batty.

That too. It's vile.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
135

Clearly hypocrisy does not bother people on the right, though. For me, a woman who refuses to send her own kids as head of the Board of Ed is pretty hypocritical, but hey, I'm not in charge of South Carolina.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
136

pwnt.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
137

I thought only liberals kept their kids out of the public schools.

Anyway, I don't see why someone, in the general case, who homeschools automatically would not have something to contribute to education policy.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
138

I totally agree with 137. Also covenant marriage is a really good idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
139

Geebejus! NPR had an "interview" with the my local paper's political correspondent about Bob McDonnell's craziness.

Our paper is ridiculously conservative.

Every question asked by NPR was met with "McDonnell denies that and the DEMOCRATS can a huge problem with the voters about ______."

Every freakin' response I was screaming at my radio.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
140

134: Me three.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
141

140:
add me to the list.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
142

Anyway, I don't see why someone, in the general case, who homeschools automatically would not have something to contribute to education policy.

Yeah, no, I know, which is why I'm not terribly comfortable with my gut feeling here. And as I said, it's not hard to imagine a case that I would be all for. I think it's that, of the non-trivial number of home-schooling parents and kids I know, all have chosen that route because of religion, and in particular because they feel that their particular beliefs are inappropriately neglected, and "secularism" inappropriately promoted, in the public school system. I take that position (not their religious beliefs per se) to be a disqualification for a post controlling the public schools. The leap is in extrapolating from the folks I know to all home-schooling parents everywhere ever: obviously not valid, but all I have to go on.

Also, boo abstinence-only education, if that wasn't already clear.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
143

Further to 142: There's probably an interesting discussion to be had about which public offices are perceived to "need" to be headed by a consumer/representative of the population to be served. Dept. of Veterans Affairs -- does it have to be headed by a veteran? Office of Vocational Rehabilitation -- a person with a disability? BIA -- OK to have Anglos running it? etc.

I suspect most of us are in the position of not having strong feelings about some cases and very strong feelings about others, with an uneasy notion that nothing underlies the whole except our own prejudices. I admit to being mildly disturbed when a man is asked to head a task force or government department that deals overwhelmingly with women, but I'm not sure I'd defend myself as being reasonable to feel that way.

And that's not even considering GB's other point, when a political appointee takes office specifically to sabotage and undermine the stated mission of the agency s/he is heading.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
144

abstinence-only education

Biology: Don't fuck.
Geography: Don't fuck, anyplace.
History: Don't fuck, anytime.
Science: All Newton all the time.
Writing: "I will not fuck".



Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
145

139: Ah, the Times-Disgrace, one presumes?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
146

My knee-jerk reaction to the school board thing comes from having watched while, when I was in HS in Kansas, the Board of Ed regularly tried to gut high school education and bring it to its knees while trying to promote vouchers so kids would go to private religious schools. They tried to assemble a vote to dismantle funding for all arts and music, foreign languages, psychology, and I forget what else. We wrote letters, mobilized petitions, and basically threatened to burn down the BoE if we had to. It's not like I'm saying someone has to be, say, a woman to run a panel on women's issues. But I'd be fucking suspicious if the guy hired to run it was, say, a serial rapist. Or if the new head of the library was part of a pro-censorship group. Or... analogies abound.

Homeschooling happens. I have a student right now for whom my classroom is the first she's ever been in. And she's great! It's a religious school and there were no private schools of her religion in her area, so she was homeschooled up until now. Yes, someone gave her a great education at home. Still, if her mother wanted to run the public school system, would I be suspicious? Hell yeah.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
147

Anyway, I don't see why someone, in the general case, who homeschools automatically would not have something to contribute to education policy.

Even assuming a non crazy homeschooler who's doing a good job, what they're doing just isn't going to be analagous to teaching 20-30 kids at a time in a public setting.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
148

A board of education does provide support to and regulations for homeschoolers within its jurisdiction. However, that's a pretty peripheral part of its mandate. Someone with a special interest in homeschooling might make a great member of the board. Head of the board? Very odd at best.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
149

148

I think a random homeschooling parent would make a better member of the board than a random parent.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
150

Do you have kids in public school, James?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
151

I felt somewhat violently towards homeschoolers for a while, basically because Latin became a chic subject among their set and I ended up teaching a bunch of them and having to explain, no, you didn't test out of anything based on the placement exam, and it doesn't matter to me that your mom has been teaching you Latin for 8 years. Seriously -- in every case. Six, seven, eight years of Latin with nothing at all to show for it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:46 PM
horizontal rule
152

149: On the premise that a random homeschooler has thought harder about pedagogy and curriculum than perhaps the random parent, I might agree with this.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
153

152: On the premise that the pool of potential homeschoolers might have a higher percentage of nutters with nutter ideas, I might disagree. I mean, if we're talking random. Are school boards not, in general, elected? They are here.

I know from following, briefly, the news there that NYC is its own little special ongoing something, but, nationwide, I don't really know.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
154

I don't think anyone would be a good fit to run a board of education if all their qualifications could be reduced to where they sent their kids, if any, to school, if any. What I was objecting to was the idea that someone who homeschooled their kids - in addition to whatever other education policy experience they might have - was automatically a problem as a board of education director, not to the idea that someone whose only interaction with education was homeschooling their kids would be a problem. Of course someone who had no other ideas or experience beyoned homeschooling would be a problem.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
155

151: What did they learn, then?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
156

Boards of Education and school boards are quite different aren't they? I think of the former as a policy/administrative position, not something directly related to teaching.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
157

155: I sincerely have no fucking clue. They could not decline or conjugate or parse. My best guess is that there are produced for the home school market trots of religious texts that basically hand everything to the student and prevent them from learning anything.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
158

Rote memorization is a kind of learning.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
159

150

Do you have kids in public school, James?

I don't have children. And for what it's worth I think a random parent would make a better member of the board than a random nonparent.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
160

158: And one that I am even in favor of in terms of learning declensions and conjugations! But I don't even think that that is what was going on.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
161

The assertions in 149 and 159 sound true to me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:21 PM
horizontal rule
162

158: I would say something or other again, but apparently I've already repeated myself.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
163

153: True enough. I'm hamstrung in that pretty much all the home-schoolers I know are liberals who are home-schooling for any variety of reasons besides being total nutters.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:28 PM
horizontal rule
164

162: That you're Googling from the .ca one is kind of adorable, it must be said.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:29 PM
horizontal rule
165

I'm just going with the defaults.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
166

The only homeschooled kids I've known well were very well educated. Their schooling was a collective effort by a few Catholic families who for whatever reason didn't want to send their kids to any of the local parochial schools. For various reasons I suspect they're not representative, but homeschooling varies.

I wouldn't assume that the random homeschooling parent has thought harder about pedagogy and curriculum than the random parent of a kid in public school, to the extent that that matters. I would expect the average parent of a kid in public school to have more experience, say, confronting principals about staffing or class sizes, or teachers about homework or bullying, and would therefore be better acquainted with the institutional needs and capabilities a school board member has to consider. Of course, that doesn't prevent a random board member from being a know-nothing petty tyrant.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
167

I'm hamstrung in that pretty much all the home-schoolers I know are liberals who are home-schooling for any variety of reasons besides being total nutters.

I have not encountered these people. What sorts of reasons do they give? To what extent do they overlap with the anti-vaccination people?


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
168

166.2: Like I said, might agree, and I agree with most of what you say. (Though I think plenty of random parents don't learn a thing about the schools they send their kids too.)

167: In my small data set, people who are too poor to live in good school districts* and/or to pay for private schools but are rich with time and knowledge themselves, and who assume that their children will get a better education at home. For what it's worth, they also are pretty active in ensuring good socialization for their kids through sports, etc. None of them are anti-vaccination and one set of parents used to be public school teachers themselves.

*One family lives in a city with terrible schools that are also quite violent; the other lives in an incredibly rural area where the local school is poorly funded and can't attract decent teachers.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:07 PM
horizontal rule
169

Huh, okay, that's interesting. Thanks. I'll revise my assumptions accordingly. Still all anecdotes, obviously, but more of 'em, at least.

I've yet to see the home-schooling family that didn't put serious effort into socialization, and good for them. And in only one case was I seriously worried about the basic academic competence of the teaching parent; in another, whatever the parents did, it produced one of the more promising grad students I've seen in my field. But then you run across something like this, and oh goodness mercy me but it's scary.

I guess I don't have a good sense either for how many home-schooling parents embrace such a curriculum, or for how many public-school parents think the public schools ought to. The former is probably a smaller fraction than I fear, and the latter much bigger than I hope.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:26 PM
horizontal rule
170

169.2: Wow. Yeah. Nothing like that in my experience, although home-schooling did produce a number of the weirdest kids in my college class. But they were all smart and knowledgeable.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:30 PM
horizontal rule
171

oh goodness mercy me but it's scary. awesome.

Also, since the author's name is Ruth Beechick, I can only conclude that she was given this name by someone who noted "hey, that chick likes to stick her nose in beehives!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:40 PM
horizontal rule
172

I thought everyone learned about Hansel and Grendel when they were kids. Or about how Adam and Eve used Wiglafs to hide their shame.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-09 11:46 PM
horizontal rule
173

Most of the homeschoolers I know are similar to those Parenthetical describes, although my brother and his wife homeschool their two kids and they're some type of fundamentalist/evangelical. My impression is that there are basically two broad tribes, at least here in Austin: the rightwing Christians and the hippie/liberal folks. Within each tribe there's a lot of collaboration and co-teaching and sharing of resources and socializing and the like with other homeschool families, but unsurprisingly they don't mix with the other tribe.

100.2, 103.1: Greeting my fellow comrades in small household task optimization!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
174

I also know liberal secular homeschoolers. They are not anti-immunization, and do, as M/tch says, collaborate and socialize a lot within their tribe. Some are into "unschooling," which could surely be a disaster if pursued by people who aren't exceptionally thoughtful, attentive, careful, and resourceful, but seems to be producing excellent results in at least one family I know.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
175

I also knew someone, a really wonderful smart sardonic historian, who homeschooled one of his kids after the kid got heavy into heroin at around 13. The kid suggested it as a way to make it easier for him to avoid falling back into habits and social circles he was trying to avoid. It was really a great sacrifice for the dad, whose PhD was delayed significantly, among other things. But it was wonderful for the son, who had in fact always chafed against the authority and structure of school, and found it much easier to be a charming "bad kid" than to attend to academics in any way.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
176

a really wonderful smart sardonic historian

I've never heard of the Sardonians.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
177

My anecdata on homeschoolers shows them to overlap heavily with the "quiver-full" type of absolutely bat-shit right wing nutcase. They also tended to be extremely quick to explain why they homeschooled and it never failed to include something about Jayziz or communists. I have, in the limited time I have available to sort through my prejudices and examine them for worth or worthlessness, basically lumped homeschoolers in with the people I knew who sent their kids to private religious schools for purely religious reasons, which is to say, my reflex is to have zero respect for them. They seemed to be acting purely out of fear that someone else might one day get to express an opinion around Wee Precious and I have zero patience for that kind of thinking.

Stereotypical and unrepresentative as they may be, my earliest experiences match some of the ones described above in that the private schools in my hometown were not academically superior, they were simply strictly religious and/or bastions of social stratification. There was the Catholic school for the kids of wealthy professionals in town, the school for trashy fire-breathing Baptists out in the county and the school for rich fire-breathing Baptists out in the county. They all touted some measure of academic superiority that boiled down to, "and we teach religion."

When I was in high school we were always encouraged to attend performances of equivalent arts programs at other schools in our area to see what they were doing. Let me assure you that the very last thing you will ever want to watch is a performance of a ham-fisted nationalist play put on at a school so socially conservative that the boys aren't allowed to wear stage makeup. It was basically an army of zombies explaining how one is nothing without a flag to fly only much less awesome than that sounds like it would be.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
178

176 -- That's probably because Paul's Epistle to the Sardonians was suppressed at the Council of Nicea.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
179

I've never heard of the Sardonians.

As a historian, RFTS' friend will have taken care to ensure that the boy understands that as soon as he (the father) is too old to earn a living, his son must feed him a decoction of hemlock and then beat him to death, while he rocks with sardonic laughter.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
180

It's a big, diverse country, so I know you can't easily generalize that home-schoolers are this or that. However, whether hippies or Biblebangers, all of the home schoolers I have personally known* have had the common trait that homeschooling their kids had approximately nothing to do with the kids' academic/social needs and everything to do with the parents' neurotic need for control. Home schooling was usually just one of many manifestations of said neurosis.

*Not counting the few whose kids had such significant disabilities that home schooling really was the best available option.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
181

Possibly one of the infamous "Sea Peoples".

According to Dr. Donald Redford, the Shardana can be equated with the Sardonians of the classical era, a people from the Ionian coast who were skilled in fighting (1992: 243). A battle between the Phocaeans and the Sardonians is recorded in Herodotus' History, book I, 165, in which we are told that the Sardonians were a formidable naval force. In the 14th-13th centuries BCE, the Shardana also had a reputation as pirates, and it is possible that their success in this occupation provided one of the motivations for the activities of other groups of Sea Peoples. However, this idea is tied to the theory that the primary factor in the Late Bronze Age-Iron Age transition was massive pillaging and piracy on the part of certain groups in the Aegean (Redford 1992: 244).

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
182

179: What if I want the "dropped from a high rock" option instead? Do I have no choice?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
183

Which Epistle is mostly know for its opening line: Chill the fuck out.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
184

The Apostropistle?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
185

Well, if your kids really like you a lot they might give you that choice. Be careful how you make your will.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
186

I'd say that a homeschooling parent has probably spent more time thinking about education than a public-school parent (good, in terms of being on the school board) but is much more likely to be generally opposed to the provision of public education at all (bad, in terms of being on the school board). A homeschooling parent who thinks that the broad availability of public schools is a good thing, I don't have a problem with.

The only homeschoolers I know in NY are hippies (loosely) or one family with a kid with some sort of mild learning disability/social weirdness who was just very unhappy in school, and they thought would do better with the middle-school years at home. I'm pretty sure she's planning to go to high school, and her little brother's been in school all along.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
187

They seemed to be acting purely out of fear that someone else might one day get to express an opinion around Wee Precious.

To be fair, this also describes a few of the liberal/hippie tribe homeschoolers I've run into. Not many, but certainly a few.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
188

rfts--In July, they were all out of iphones. Yes, they are supposed to be sold in Canada.

Jesus: Those 3-4" square blocks of olive oil soap in a dish by the sink (with a little wooden rack to keep the soap from sitting in water) are the best. The best. You can't convince me otherwise.

My college roommate's extended family was in Puerto Rico, and her mom would bring back these awesome dark green soaps from there. I think that they were pretty cheap there. They were round and wrapped in black and had a drawing of a woman on one side. The soaps themselves were dark green. I've never figured out where to find them and would love to get some. (The old roommate and I are not on such good terms.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
189

188: The old roommate and I are not on such good terms.

"What a nightmare when I roomed with BG, she'd use up all of *my* soap. Couldn't even keep it in the room."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
190

homeschooling their kids had approximately nothing to do with the kids' academic/social needs and everything to do with the parents' neurotic need for control. Home schooling was usually just one of many manifestations of said neurosis.

As I said above, I've definitely met the type, but my experience with homeschoolers hasn't been nearly so uniform.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
191

I've just remembered that asilon homeschools her kids and has written some interesting stuff about it on her blog.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
192

180 and 187 are both excellent points and my breezy dismissal of homeschoolers as universally being right wingers is, as I say, stereotypical and based purely on anecdotal evidence surely at least as much a product of where I was as anything else. It was a place, like most or perhaps all places, where regardless of schooling methods many families were using religious teaching as cover for a heavy program of indoctrination into a specific sociopolitical tribe and psychological control.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
193

191. She does and has and I went to look for it only to find that she no longer links there under her sig. Which is a pity. Paging Asilon?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
194

GB-- asilon home schooled all her kids until recently when one of her daughters decided to apply to a competitive state school. I think that there are hippy home schoolers too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
195

I think that there are hippy home schoolers too.

I fail to see what body type has to do with homeschooling.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
196

I have pretty good semi-hippie friend who has homeschooled here (and also relied on a cyber charter school, which is an interesting and somewhat controversial subject in its own right). He says it approaches 90/10 right-wing religious versus hippie/back-to-land/liberal values not compatible with rural school district folks in this area.They were not adamant on homeschooling his third child is opting (and they are agreeing) for the public school.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
197

my experience with homeschoolers hasn't been nearly so uniform

I'm working with a pretty small sample size (laydee-- no, wait, I mean...), so assign my findings the proper power.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
198

It's not like I've conducted national surveys, but based on both my wife's experiences at a public library in the northern ATL suburbs and my colleagues' experiences at our MSP educational museumy place, I would say that the prominance of hippie home schoolers in commenters experience is indeed sampling bias. Gwinnett County has one of the highest proportions of home schoolers in the nation and they were overwhelmingly conservative creationist weirdos. Yes, there was some variation in type and degree of weirdoness, but weirdos indeed. Junie lead the t(w)een book group and had one home-schooled participant who, though smart and sweet, was deeply shy and unsocialized (when nervous, she would make cat-like noises to herself and in response to questions from others).

MSP isn't nearly as consrvative a place as Gwinnett County, but our home schoolers are. And while there are many fine and sensitive parents who are only trying to help their children as best they can , the majority of those who come in to the museum's programs more closely resemble Apo's description.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
199

198: Right, it's the Pauline Kael problem. There are just so few conservative religious types in my neighborhood, that even if they're the vast majority of homeschoolers nationwide, I wouldn't run into them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
200

Eh, I don't care if my experiences are unrepresentative; I just wanted to point out that there are non-crazy reasons to home-school.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
201

33, probably pwned like crazy: lighters don't help. You need a good old-fashioned match or two, for the sulfur. How we will replace this trick when smoking disappears for good is beyond me.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
202

201: You know, I thought the exact same thing when I read 33, but wasn't completely sure so didn't say anything. But besides smoking, there's camping, old gas stoves, fireplaces . . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 2-09 8:53 PM
horizontal rule
203

I've also known screamin' libertarian homeschoolers who were very specifically preserving their childrens' competitive advantage by concentrating all their resources on them.

Oh, and then one of them threatened to sue the *neighboring* school district if it wouldn't let Precious take English with a famous writer who happened to teach there.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 3-09 10:58 AM
horizontal rule