Well, the kids are back at school, Cara's back at the lab, and I'm sitting here at home with plenty of time to write. I've
been mulling a change in the format of my blog for sometime as the dichotomy between politics and family just doesn't seem
to hold anymore. This morning before walking Maxwell & Zara to school I went for yet another blood test - the state likes
to keep tabs on dangerous subversives who stand and do nothing rather than obey police orders and assist in their own
arrest. Since such a dangerous criminal can't get a job fixing cars or manning a cash register, much less crunching
numbers in a cubicle I am left with copious free time when the kids are not around. So here's what I've been doing lately:
1). Honey Locust Experiment - Honey Locust seeds are encased in large, sweet pods which suggest than some animal no
longer extant once ate them. I'm testing to see if the seeds' germination rate can be improved by simulating mastication
and digestion by abrading the seeds with sandpaper and soaking them in vinegar respectively. So far it looks like abrasion
is the most important factor in getting the seeds to germinate and no unabraded seed has yet germinated!
2). SAT Practice - Alora and Brittan are taking the SAT again later this month so I've been administering practice
tests which has led to a great deal of discussion abouts the vagaries of written English and setting up equations. I even
taught them the quadratic formula song!
3). Chile - The UNL library has a lot of books which I have been availing myself of since becoming unemployed and
then unemployable. Over the summer I focused on Tudor & Revolutionary history of England. In the Fall I moved on to Chile.
Having gained a good grasp of the history I've now branched out into Andean geology on the one hand and reading Neruda's
poetry (in Spanish) on the other.
4). Netflix - With a huge selection of things available to watch instantly on the Wii, I've been plowing through
documentaries and classics like "Seven Samurai" which I've not yet seen.
5). Yoga - Back in October my brother Packie reminded me how good yoga is for the body so, again using the Wii,
these past couple months I've been doing yoga just about every day. Some days this means dogs knocking me over while
wrestling with a toy and others it means Maxwell & Zara crawling under the bridge.
6). More Vlogging - Since
has become one of my biggest sources of income as of late, last month I took the
time to vlog every day. Getting the videos uploaded was another story though, as our desktop and only computer has a bad
habit of turning off randomly and without warning. Windows Movie Maker has been severely downgraded in Windows 7 relative
to XP as well, meaning what my iPhone shot is what I got. Some quality is better than others. I think I need to bite the
bullet and spend money we don't have for a new camera & laptop to keep this revenue stream growing.
7). Twitter - Gushing my daily trivialities and timely readings turns out to also be interesting enough to advertise
amongst my tweets. I've found
SponsoredTweets to be the most lucrative in this regard. Again, diversification of revenue
streams seems to be the way to get by.
Still, though, politics intersects my family life. An odd quirk of the probation bureaucracy in Nebraska is that I don't
have to give weekly random blood tests ($248 each) when out of state. I've been traveling as much as possible these past few
months, but I've also had to attend weekly indoctrination sessions ($75 each) where I learn about what a horrible criminal
I am. My last indoctrination session is Friday, so next week I'll be leaving the state until mid-February to avoid the
expense of blood tests. Hopefully this will stop the financial bleeding as well. It will be tough on the rest of the family
for me not to be there, but it'll be a good opportunity for everyone's personal growth.