Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nate the Great, Twice Missing

Smiley has been sick quite a bit during the past eleven days.

I went to the local library and got him three compilations of Nate the Great books on CD.  There are now on his "story player" and he listens to them in the afternoon when his little brother naps, and he also needs to rest but cannot manage to fall asleep.


Oddly, our library has volumes 1, 3, and 4, but not volume 2.


A mystery!

Both boys love mysteries.  I am currently in the middle of reading them on my Kindle Paperwhite a library loan e-book that is a Ron Roy mystery for kids named Detective Camp.

Gallant now gets very excited whenever I misplace something.   "It is a mystery!" he proclaims.  "No," I think to myself, "I just left something downstairs."  But I do not want to deflate his enthusiasm.

But we do have a real mystery in the house.  Ironically, Smiley has lost one of the library's hardback Nate the Great books.  For a month I have been renewing it.  But eventually we will need to find it or pay a fine.

The Ur-Quan are Back

I was playing Hearthstone, but now it is not working with my version of Ubuntu or wine.  So I needed something else to play at night when the boys are tired but earned watching a game before their bedtime story.

A few days ago I downloaded The Ur-Quan Masters, a free re-make of Star Control II.


The boys love it.  But then, who would not love silly and cowardly Fwiffo?


When I was an undergraduate I played this game for many, many hours.  There was so much to explore and do!

One of my friends even played through the game an extra time to record all of the music to cassette tape.  This was back in the days when our computers had Sound Blaster cards, and recording sound files to your hard drive was a distant dream.  I still have my copy of his cassette tape in a box of old tapes.

Now I have less free time, so I am relying on a walkthrough for mining and other efficiency issues.

(I was amused to see that GameFaqs has a speed guide that claims to complete the game in only nine in-game months.  Maybe I will try that some day.)

I also found some maps that are more readable than the in-game Star Map.

One map is spoiler free.


The other map has spoilers.  I use it when Smiley becomes fearful that we might be going too deep into enemy-controlled space.


This morning little Gallant called to me before breakfast, "Daddy, we have to go!  We have to go somewhere in our solar system!"

Gallant pretends to use an old calculator as a spaceship control dashboard.  He calls it "Playing Blast Off".  He types a countdown from 9 to 1, then presses the equal key while saying "Blast off!"  This makes another copy of the digits appear, which he finds quite satisfying.

The calculator also has four arrow keys.


He uses these to excitedly steer our imaginary spaceship after it blasts off.  Despite the frantic pace, I feel completely safe while he is piloting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Days 2014-11-18

Cooking/Baking
Gallant had a new cold and his nose was running like a faucet.  My day largely involved helping him blow his nose, then going to wash my hands.  Not conducive to baking.

Website Pages Worked On
For math geometry concepts I made a polygon area page useful for both Math 20 and when I volunteer at Edgewood Elementary School


Air Quality
146 pm (no wood stove!)

Things I Did for My Wife
We were both exhausted and went to bed soon after the kids did.  No time to really spoil each other.

Things My Wife Did for Me
see above

Cute Things a Son Said
Gallant: This is my walking stick.  [He is holding a tower of marble run cylindrical pieces, topped with a single marble run trough since Grandpa's walking sticks are shaped like that on top.]  It is a transformer walking stick.  If you push this button it turns into something else.  Like a race car.  Or an airplane.

Red Air Quality Today

Today is the first day this fall that the LRAPA air quality measurements were in the red zone.


LRAPA is being generous and still declaring "Burning cautioned". When the shift to "Burning prohibited" they start using satellite imaging to locate houses with smoke coming from the chimneys, and issuing fines to people.

Last year Eugene/Springfield has only six red days.  (Oakridge had seven.)

The wood stove prohibitions keep the number of red days low.  Too many and the Environmental Protection Agency starts interfering.

There have clearly been many people unaware of (or ignoring) the rules during the past few days.

Rain is predicted tomorrow.


I wonder if anyone will be fined before the rain clears the air.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Smiley's pattern

One advantage of being a math teacher is having pattern blocks at home.

A few days ago Smiley made a fancy pattern, and photographed it himself.

Days 2014-11-17

Cooking/Baking
In the morning I made both tropical pancakes and egg baby, a good start to having breakfasts for the week.  In the egg baby recipe I replaced some of the skim milk with canned pumpkin, which meant it did not make its fancy custard layer but did have an autumn theme.


After lunch Gallant and I made more of those brownies (the GF Krusteaz brownie mix from Costco with extra chocolate and walnuts)

Website Pages Worked On
Nine Powers sample adventure Caves of Chaos, but the new work is not online yet.

Air Quality
126 pm (no wood stove)

Things I Did for My Wife
it is a Monday, another swing dancing night!

Things My Wife Did for Me
it is a Monday, another swing dancing night!


Cute Things a Son Said
Me: [through a closed door] Do you need any help?
Smiley: No.  I am fine.
Me: Are you sure?
Smiley: Well, you might want to help me clean up in here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Days 2014-11-16

Cooking/Baking
my wife used some of our loaf bread recipe without the eggs and honey as pizza crust, then set aside the remainder to rise a few days

Website Pages Worked On
Nine Powers design
Math measurement homework
Math geometry homework

Air Quality
101 pm (no wood stove)

Things I Did for My Wife
helped her a little with her garden chore
traded massages after the boys went to bed

Things My Wife Did for Me
let me sleep in until 10am
traded massages after the boys went to bed

Cute Things a Son Said
Gallant: I am reading Winnie the Pooh...in Spanish!  It is my kind of Spanish.  You do not know these words.