Archive for October 2006

Our Island Story, ch. 38

October 20th, 2006 — 7:46am

038 – Simon de Montfort

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Oct 19 (Thursday)

October 19th, 2006 — 9:29pm

Spanish – Halloween words
Art — mosaic
Science — prisms and spectrums

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October 19th, 2006 — 9:27pm

I love Visine.  I just love it.  I’ve used up half of Dan’s bottle already.  My eyes only feel a little bit dry now, and not painful anymore.  But I keep dousing them with Visine anyway ’cause it feels soooooooo good.

I felt fine today!  The sore throat which threatened me yesterday never came to fruition.  So today I recorded five more sections of the poetry book, and ran errands, and took myself to the library.  And worked on the librivox catalog system of course. Here’s a peek at our new searchable catalog – it’s not finished yet and we haven’t entered even half the data yet, but you can get an idea:

Did I ever mention the LibriVox Community Podcast?  One of the best things about LibriVox is the people. We have the nicest, most helpful, most civilized online community in existance.  Really.  It’s amazing how well we all get along! Recently someone (Jim?) decided it would be fun to get together and do a podcast for and about our community.  Some of the folks have been taking turns creating a weekly (more or less) podcast which is so much fun to listen to!  Sometimes there are interviews with random volunteers, usually there are bloopers, there’s a listing of newly-released works, etc.  And they just chat about the goings-on behind the scenes and stuff.   I look forward to it very much.  I recommend you copy and paste this feed into your podcatching software:

Or just go to and download the individual episodes:

There are some running jokes, you might say, so I suggest you start with the first episode and listen in order.  In the most recent episode, the host, ducttapeguy, featured bits of actual singing from some of our books.  You’ll hear me singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat” from Alice in Wonderland, “The Doxology” from The Secret Garden, and “The Boar’s Head Carol” from our upcoming Christmas carol collection. And lots of other people who can actually SING ;-)

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Ain’t She Sweet, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

October 18th, 2006 — 9:14pm

Ain’t She Sweet, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A bit, ahem, hard to believe, but very entertaining!

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The Best of Friends, by Joanna Trollope

October 18th, 2006 — 9:11pm

The Best of Friends, by Johanna Trollope

Another winner!

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Oct 18 (Wednesday)

October 18th, 2006 — 9:01pm


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Massive Data Entry

October 18th, 2006 — 6:30pm

Woke up feeling kinda sick, like I was on the verge, or just over the verge, of a sore throat.  My throat felt stingy with I drank water.  So after I made breakfast I went back to bed for a while to rest, and then I got up and went grocery shopping.  And forgot to buy frozen strawberries, BAH.  Henry felt tired todeay (up too late ast night) but he still the carried groceries in for me. And then we lay on the couch all day.  We put on The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra for entertainment.

When we started to feel moldy we went out in the backyard and I soaked up some nice autumn sun while he watered the plants and played with an old dog toy.  I worked on LibriVox’s massive data entry project all day, too. We’ve got this wonderful new catalog system.  Dan built the foundation while we were in Montreal at Hugh’s house, and Chris and Kri have been adding features, fixing bugs, and making it pretty and user-friendly for the last two months.

We’re just about ready to go live so we need to plug all the existing completed projects (there are 300-ish, I believe) into the system.  And since we have this awesome system for keeping track of readers and chapters we needed to get all the known readers’ forumnames, catalog names, and personal urls into the system as well.  Which is what I did today. Basically I took this info: and copied and pasted everything into the new system, fixing errors at the same time.
So it was nice to have something so dull and repetetive and non-challenging to work on today.

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Our Island Story, ch. 37

October 18th, 2006 — 7:45am

037 – Hubert de Burgh

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Less Itchy

October 17th, 2006 — 9:34pm

My eye is a bit better today, not so itchy. Dr. Dan told me to put Visine in every hour, which I didn’t quite manage but I did use it frequently all day. Dr. Chloe recommends Theara Tears, which I’ll get tomorrow if I still have any discomfort.
Tiny Tigers in the morning. I think Henry really enjoys working with the little kids. He’s so sweet and patient with them. He was playing with the toddler sibling of a piano student this afternoon and I told him with just a little more experience he could get work among homeschool families as a Mother’s Helper, and then in a few years as a real babysitter. He got all excited about that prospect!

Mythology and Musical theater this afternoon, and I stayed at the school and edited recordings – 5 sections of the poetry book (I’ve got 20/81 done now, preview here: Poems Every Child Should Know) and another of the Letters from de Balzac’s Letters of Two Brides. (I’m reading Louise’s letters). When we got home we baked fantastic oatmeal raisin cookies and did math at while they baked. Lots of fun. Except that the java thing is semi-broken on my mac. You need to reload pages several times, sometimes, before keystrokes are recognized, but oh wel, it always works eventually. Henry is a whiz at math, the concepts anyway. Memorizing Facts is less fun, but I think being a whiz at understanding concepts is more important anyway.

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Oct 17 (Tuesday)

October 17th, 2006 — 6:29pm

Karate (helping Tiny Tigers)
Mythology (various creation myths)
Musical Theater
Baked cookies
math at — subtraction with re-grouping, calendars, fractions
origami shuriken

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October 16th, 2006 — 6:29pm

Felt horrid all day, like my head was stuffed with cotton, and had a headache that extended down into my neck and shoulders.  Tired too. And the corner of one eye has hurt since Saturday. It’s red and swollen and itchy. Dan has lent me his Visine to try to keep it from itching so badly.

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Oct 16 (Monday)

October 16th, 2006 — 6:24pm

math club — measuring with metrics; mass
made origami shuriken

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Our Island Story, ch. 36

October 16th, 2006 — 8:44am

036 – The Great Charter

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October 15th, 2006 — 12:51pm

A few weeks ago, Dan’s friend Rod (from the RC aircraft field) invited us to his 50th birthday party. Of course we wanted to attend, but our introverted natures felt quite nervous about it. What if we wore the wrong thing? What if we said the wrong thing? What if we felt so uncomfortable that we had to hide in a corner all night?

Well, the party was last night at a great little restaurant in Fallbrook — the Cafe des Artistes. We got there about 5 minutes early so we wandered around the attached art gallery for little while until things were set up. Rod had hired a magician to entertain everyone during the “cheese and wine” hour before the dinner was served. The magician, John Carney (what a great surname), came up to us and did several close-up card tricks, very amazing and entertaining. There was also a two-man band playing sort of uninteresting generic party-music, but the lead guitar player was astounding. He was this old guy, maybe in his 60s, and his guitar (and violin) skill was unbelievable. Dan and I found a spot to sit down and just watched him in awe while everyone else was mingling, heheh :)

Then after about an hour we all went in the dining room and found our place cards at the small tables. Dan and I sat with a fellow named Caesar and his wife, a VERY nice couple. Caesar is an RC airplane flyer who wants to get into RC helicopters but doesn’t have the time or inclination to build them. Dan loves to build RC helicopters but doesn’t have anywhere close enough to fly. So the two of them had a lot to talk about! Oh, and the magician was at our table too :)

The food was good — started with a creamed cauliflower soup, which was absolutely delicious, and then a green salad with really tender organic lettuce and a yummy dressing. I could have eaten that soup and salad all night. Then I had veggie lasagna, which could have used a lot more seasoning, and Dan had Chicken Marsala which he says was great. Then there was dessert — flourless chocolate cake, and little squares of lemon cheesecake, and chocolate truffles. YUM.

Then the magician did a show for us in the dining room, which was wonderful, and then everyone went back out into the main room for dancing. Dan and I sat and ogled the guitar player and his 1964 Strat for a while and then we said goodnight and headed home. We both had a really lovely time and are very proud of ourselves for overcoming our introversion. Go Team Venture!

Oh, and the restaurant uses Fiestaware, which I found very very interesting because I’ve daydreamed about replacing our nasty old dishes with Fiestware for years, but I’d never seen any in person. It’s lovely! They used an assortment of colors, which was charming.

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Librivox in the Montreal Gazette

October 14th, 2006 — 3:44pm

Craig Silverman, who wrote us up for the NY Times, has published another LibriVox article in the Montreal Gazette. The text is available on his blog:
LibriVox and the power of distributed communities

Craig quotes Jon Udell re: projects such as LibriVox and Wikipedia:

“From my perspective, the key value of this is in changing people’s expectations about the relationship between being a consumer and being a producer,” he says. “For several generations we’ve been trained to be consumers … the option to be a producer in a variety of ways doesn’t even occur to people.”

Interesting, eh? I do find it to be extraordinarily satisfying to produce these recordings.  Thanks for another great article, Craig!

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The Monarch Program

October 13th, 2006 — 10:49pm

Went on a fantastic field trip to The Monarch Program.  First we visited the Butterfly Vivarium, which was like a big airy greenhouse with butterfly-friendly plants and a little pond in the middle.  There were tons of adult butterflies flyling around and some caterpillars and chrysalises. The kids got to feed cantaloupe to the butterflies, and let caterpillars crawl on them.  They loved it.  Henry says butterflies are his new favorite creature.  After the vivarium, we went indoors for a great presentation with a little film about the life cycle of the monarch (every time I type that word I think “Somebody loves the monarch!!”) and a slideshow.  The Butterfly Man and the Butterfly Lady were kind and enthusiastic and great with the kids.  We got to purchase two monarch caterpillars and three milkweed plants to feed them on until they hatch.  When we got home we made them a house in an up-ended cardboard box with saran wrap over the front.  They ate nearly a whole plant this afternoon, so we gave them a fresh plant before Henry took them to his dad’s house for the weekend.  He’s fascinated by them!

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Oct 13 (Friday)

October 13th, 2006 — 10:40pm

field trip to the monarch program – life cycle of butterfly – brought home caterpillars to raise!
created home for monarch caterpillars
wrote thank-you letter (handwriting)

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Our Island Story, ch. 35

October 13th, 2006 — 8:43am

035 – Prince Arthur

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The Ambien Cookbook

October 12th, 2006 — 7:31pm

Oh my god.  This is the funniest thing ever, especially if you know an Ambien user.

The Ambien Cookbook

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Oct 12 (Thursday)

October 12th, 2006 — 7:13pm

Math at – fractions, place value
went over 7-times table
The Dark is Rising

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