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Archive for October 2006

Oct 31 (Tuesday)

October 31st, 2006 — 1:12pm

released butterfly!
Lemony Snickett
wrote out 2 and 3 times tables
did several coloring pages for Story of the World

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Oct 30 (Monday)

October 30th, 2006 — 1:05pm

Henry beat the 3-times troll in TimezAttack!  Yay Henry!
Lemony Snickett
volunteered to help with little kids’ halloween party at the dojo

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October 30th, 2006 — 9:29am

Sometimes, on the LibriVox forum,  we get posts like this:

Hello from kenneth in the uk . may i just say thank to all who put the books on the site . and a very big thank you to Miss Joy Chan. best wishs and thank you all. i thought the days of me reading were over. But thanks to this site i have found books again …… kenneth ( the old man )

Now doesn’t that just warm your heart? Kind words like that make all the work and effort more than worthwhile.

Our Searchable Catalog System is coming along nicely.  Volunteer “Data Entry Drones” (as Catharine calls them :) have been entering all our completed projects into The System, and there are nearly 400 total, counting the in-progress projects.  Unbelievable.  Go play with it and let me know if anything breaks:

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October 29th, 2006 — 11:29pm

Our friend Squigley from Australia is travelling all over the country and stopped in LA, so he took the train down to visit us today for a few hours! He’s just as nice in person as he is on IRC. He and Dan went down to the Guitar Center in SD so he could buy a Geddy Lee bass (much cheaper here than in .au) so I got a LOT of recording done while the house was quiet: four or five sections of the poetry book and one of the Letters of Two Brides. (As I had hoped, the poetry book included “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix“!!!) When they got home, the guys played music while I made a huge ginormous lasagna for dinner. Henry came home and played TimezAttack (he’s almost beaten the 3x troll) and Fizzball, and then we ate. Squigley brought us a little jar of Vegemite :)

The time change threw me off, of course (did I mention how extremely much I hate the time change? I HATE the time change!), so dinner was very early. Henry and I had time to play WoW for an hour while Dan and Squigley went to the shooting range. At about 8pm Henry and I started the Bedtime Routine and I read him the last chapter of The Dark is Rising. Ahhhhhh what a book. It runs circles around Harry Potter in every possible way. At 9 Chloe called and said they were up in Carlsbad and could they stop by! YAY! So we all sat around and talked til 11. So nice to see them!

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Dry dry dry

October 28th, 2006 — 6:46pm

The air is so dry, and I think there are particles in it from the big wildfire that’s been burning up north. The inside of my nose has felt yucky all day, like it needs to be washed out. Oh I wish it would rain. I put the little humidifier in the bedroom and hung up some damp towels to try to make it more comfortable tonight. Dan and I ran some errands today, and I edited four more recordings, and did a bunch of LibriVox work. And I registered Fizzball!

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Oct 28 (Saturday)

October 28th, 2006 — 3:04pm

Multiplication drills (TimezAttack)
karate demo

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Oct 27 (Friday)

October 27th, 2006 — 11:01pm

3-mile hike
baked a cheesecake from scratch
multiplication drills (TimezAttack)
The Dark is Rising

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October 27th, 2006 — 4:18pm

It took three hours to drive to Tierrasanta and back!  Lordy.

I found a good game to help Henry memorize the times tables: TimezAttack.  Warning: the page loads an annoyingly loud demo, so turn your sound down before you click:

The game only works in Windows, though they claim to be porting it to MacOS.  It’s free!

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Oct 26 (Thursday)

October 26th, 2006 — 11:30pm

Bayshore Science — mixing colors of light
Bayshore art — mosaic
Bayshore Spanish
worked on Halloween costume
verbal multiplication
math at
The Dark is Rising

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October 26th, 2006 — 1:22pm

I’ve just found a wonderful new game! Fizzball works in MacOS X, Linux, and Windows. It’s jolly and fun, great for kids and adults, not too hard and not too easy. It’s sort of a pinball/breakout combo, but to make things interesting you need to rescue animals by hitting them with your ball. The ball (sort of a bubble, really) starts out very small and you can only rescue the tiny animals, but the ball grows as you progress and you can eventually rescue the big cows, sheep, and horses. The graphics are adorable, and there are lots of whimsical touches — the dogs start out sleeping, but the first time you bump into them with your ball, they wake up and open their eyes, and then the next time they stand up and bark. Monkeys hop up and down and scream, as all good videogame monkeys should.

As you play each level you get powerups, coins (used to progress to different islands and to feed the animals in the sanctuary), trophies, and other bonuses. I can imagine going back through the levels I’ve completed and attempting to collect the bonuses I missed on the first time through.

The good people at GrubbyGames have, as usual, provided a very generous demo version. You’ll be able to play for quite some time, and decide if you want to register. It’s only $20 to buy the game, a more-than-fair price for such a well-thought-out and entertaining game. Since we are a multi-computer, multi-OS family, I emailed the developer to see if they had a family discount or something, since we’re all three going to want to be able to play on our own computers. He emailed right back and said that we’ll only need to buy one copy, and we’ll be able to download as many versions as our family needs. How generous! How pleasant not to be treated like a criminal! If all companies treated their customers as fairly, there would be a lot less piracy.

Thanks, Grubby Games!

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October 25th, 2006 — 8:04pm

So so so tired, but nice day, Henry and I ripped out the dead tomato plants and dug up the soil and worked in water (takes so long) and worked in compost.

We did lots of math at and also verbally, worked on his Dragon costume (made tail, made spikes, cut out wings).  Gotta put the clean sheets on the bed and then i will go to sleep i guess.

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Oct 25 (Wednesday)

October 25th, 2006 — 8:00pm

Worked on Halloween costume, planning, sewing
math at (multiplication, charts, adding decimals)
gardening – preparing earth for seeds
verbal multiplication practice

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Toddler Colin

October 24th, 2006 — 10:04pm

Busy busy day. And I had a rather bad headache all day, but still I got a lot done! Karate in the morning, and then on the way home we shopped for costume supplies. Henry’s going to be a dragon. He and his dad went to Costume Castle and bought a big purple and green latex dragon head, and we’re going to make wings and a tail and spines and stuff, built on a navy-blue sweat suit. He’s got the pants already, and we found a sweatshirt at Target for $3.66. Bought purple and green felt and some extra stuffing for the tail — total was like $11 or so. We want to get some stick-on claws at the costume store but we were too hungry so we came home.

We had to be at Bayshore early for photo day, so Henry made himself a PB&Banana sandwich and I gathered up his Mythology notebook and my laptop and then we dashed away to Bayshore. Got his photo taken, and then waited around for classes to start. Nice teenage computer helper at the school gave me the wireless password so I could get some work done while I was waiting, yay! Mark finished his recording of Uncle Remus, but I’d stupidly missed the fact that his id3 tagging scheme was not quite The Thing, so I had to re-tag all 40-some files, which took a loooooooong time. So it was lucky I had those two hours + laptop + wireless. Entered all the required info into the system and started the Big Upload to, then cross-checked Betsie’s 250-file poetry project for her, and by then it was time to head home again.

Little Toddler Colin (young sibling of Sal’s piano student) was waiting for Henry when we drove up. His mom said she offered to read him a story in the car while they were waiting but he demanded that they wait on the steps until Henry got there. I fixed H a plate of lunch and he sat with Toddler Colin and his mom and chatted. My 3pm student cancelled, thank goodness, so I just lay on the bed and rested. Henry came to keep me company after Colin had left, and we talked and did some math together. Fun :) And then Matthew came to pick him up for the evening, and I just lay around and did more tidying up at LibriVox. Made the catalog page for Uncle Remus, added stuff that belonged on the “To Come” page and took stuff off that was finished. I’m bad about remembering those steps :)

Then Dan got home and built his new chair while I rested some more, and then I made dinner. Then bedtime and Survivor. Ahh, so soothing.

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Oct 24 (Tuesday)

October 24th, 2006 — 4:03pm

karate (teaching little kids)
verbal practice on 7-times table
adding fractions
Commutative, Associative, and Identity rules of addition
rounding and estimating
musical theater

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October 24th, 2006 — 8:10am

We were boingboinged!

We did a multi-language recording of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for United Nations Day (today). Great project. I read the American English version.

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Oct 23 (Monday)

October 23rd, 2006 — 3:59pm

verbal practice on 7-times table
The Dark is Rising

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Instruction Page

October 22nd, 2006 — 4:19pm

So we’ve got this spiffy new cataloging system, and it includes this spiffy new “reader list” feature that lets Book Coordinators keep track of reader and chapter information.  But it’s a bit complex to use at first, and it has a lot of features that are not readily appparent to a new user.  So I wrote a document explaining how to use the system.  I’ve worked on it all day. I think it’s pretty good now.

Instructions for Reader/Chapter List

If you’re a BC/MC with LibriVox and you think I need to add or change anything, please let me know!

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Lipstick Jungle

October 21st, 2006 — 11:19pm

This afternoon we sat together in Dan’s Fortress of Solitude. He played games and I did a TON of LibriVox work. I edited and proofed 10 sections of the poetry book and another chapter of Wives and Daughters, and did some administrative stuff too.

Dan went out for a few hours this evening to help Caesar with RC aircraft stuff, so I made myself a cup of Special Coffee (hazelnut decaf from Trader Joe’s, extra-strong, lots of heavy cream and sugar) and sat in my comfy chair in the quiet and read and read and read. I read the last three quarters of “Lipstick Jungle” by Candace Bushnell. I had a hard time getting into this book, which is why I’d only read about a quarter of it in the last week or so, but once I got partway into it I started to enjoy the story a lot and blew through it tonight.

I started a little hat with some white and blue cotton yarn I had hanging around. I did the crown already and wanted to do a lace pattern for the main part but I had a hard time finding a good one. Ripped back three different tries tonight while we were watching Venture Brothers and South Park, and finally found one I like, “Horseshoe Lace”. I don’t know what striped lace will look like but I guess I’ll find out.

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Oct 20 (Friday)

October 20th, 2006 — 7:47pm

Social Studies — St. Augustine, monks, monasteries, hand-copied manuscripts
subtraction with borrowing
The Reluctant Dragon
Rowan of Rin

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CD Covers

October 20th, 2006 — 7:46pm

Check out these amazing and creative CD covers that our volunteer Sayeth has been designing for us:

So far he’s made cases/covers for 13 of our books, which can all be found here: (do a browser find if you’re looking for one of the books that Sayeth made a cover for). A nice audiobook on CD with a lovely full-color case would make a great (and nearly free) Christmas present, so help yourself :)
I cataloged Mark’s reading of The Reluctant Dragon and Kristin’s reading of The Amateur Cracksman today. Yay, two more beautifully-read LibriVox books! Henry and I listened to The Reluctant Dragon today. Charming story.

Henry and I read a chapter of his history book, about St. Augustine bringing Christianity to England, and monasteries, and monks. And we found some lovely illustrated manuscripts online to look at. And we worked on subtraction with regrouping (which was called borrowing when I was a kid). He gets the concept, just needs a bit more practice actually DOING it.

Have you seen the ok go treadmill video, or the backyard dance video? I’m a bit obsessed with these. Here are links to youtube:

Treadmill Video

(treadmill live at MTV VMA)

Backyard Dance

And some of my favorite fan-versions of the backyard dance:




solosilo (these guys rock especially hard)

Yeah, ok I’ll stop :) But you can go to youtube and search for “ok go backyard” or “ok go contest” and come up with a million more.

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