Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Incredible Cool Weather Roundup

It was 60 degrees on the back porch when Cassie and I stumbled out at five-thirty. Just. Unbelievably. Gorgeous. It’s almost 8:00 now and still cool enough that if I would get off my duff we could go for a walk.

* * *

Incredibly later…

* * *

Yes. A very pretty day. Ambled with the little dog through the beautiful old neighborhood where the rich folks live, nice and quiet and peaceful. Then back to park said dog at the Funny Farm and take off again on a bicycle. Perfect morning for a bicycle ride.

Coveted a house for sale; can’t find it on Zillow or Trulia. Estimated asking price: about $425,000. Oh well.

Back to the Funny Farm: could not stand the dirt one more minute!

Threw a load of laundry in the washer.

Tossed the garbage out of the refrigerator. Hauled all the various hand-crafted and home-made gewgaws out of the desk drawer and two other drawers and moved an old silverware tray into the desk drawer and some little boxes into the other drawers and organized all those necklaces and bracelets and earrings and rings and anklets and tossed the worst of the junk into the craft drawer to be recycled into new home-made gewgaws. Or better, forgotten.

Hung up the clean clothes. Threw another load into the washer.

Picked up the mountains of paper littering the desk. Threw most of it out; filed the rest of it. Wiped the layers of dust off the computer and surrounding surfaces.

Hung up the second load of laundry.

Continued, as above, through four other cluttered rooms.

Cleaned the kitchen counters (stove already cleaned yesterday). Grilled a slab of mahi outside; heated a tinfoil packet of frozen peas with it. Cooked pasta; topped it with fresh tomato, Italian & Thai basil, crumbled feta; whipped butter, fines herbes, and fresh lemon juice together—topped the hot fish with that. Cleaned the outdoor tables. Dined al fresco. Magnificently.

Vacuumed 1860 square feet of extremely hard, foot-flattening tile. Hurt too much to dust-mop and then steam-mop all of said square footage. Mopped the kitchen floor, after scrubbing up stickiest, most grocery-littered spots.

Drew a hot bath. While water was running, dust-mopped house, planning only to hit the worst spots but ended up dust-mopping all the floors. Tomorrow: steam-clean. Now: sink into hot bubble bath. Marvel at the number of places one’s body can hurt at once.

But the house is cleaner than it’s been in months!

Want to know what’s to be done to help America’s kids learn? Read it here. Literacy—true literacy, which means being able to write as well as read, and understanding how language works—is the key to all learning. Too bad educators lost track of that a generation or two ago.

Spare us all from wasted time, no matter what our jobs are. But especially if we’re supposed to be teaching young people.

Holy mackerel! 101 Centavos has been hitting the ball out of the park every day this week. Start with this elaborately thought out discussion of why California’s gasoline costs so much. Then hit the home page and just start scrolling down.

At Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Crystal & Len have finally made the big move! Yes: they’re into the new house, after the usual round of Contractor Standard Time and closing headaches stacked on top of a trip to the Financial Blogger Conference and running the blogging empire and keeping the business going. Ah, to be young and have that much energy…whew!

At A Gai Shan Life, Doggle is recovering from breathtakingly expensive and challenging surgery and Revanche writes another of those soul-searching posts that are her specialty.

Speaking of cruising a whole series of recent posts (as we were, above), eemusings is back at Musings of an Abstract Aucklander with a whole series of posts describing her travels, complete with adventures and photos. Start here and scroll back through the amazing journey.

What does a strangler fig have to do with personal finance? Mrs. PoP expands on a creative and entertaining trope at Planting our Pennies. She’s got photos, too.

At My Journey to Millions, Evan ponders the hysteria over the new health care tax with some astonishment…for good reason, it appears.

Abigail reflects on her and Tim’s state of NON-poverty at I Pick Up Pennies. Especially considering all those two have had to deal with, they’re doing pretty darned well!

Frugal Scholar and Mr. FS have been in California attending to the difficult job of packing up the worldly goods of his late parents. They came up with an interesting solution to the problem of how to move the stuff all the way across the country, back to Lousiana.

What are hubcaps for? Take a guess. Then go on over to Blue Collar Workman, where TB reveals the real purpose of hubcaps.

Freshly arrived in Alaska, Donna has a decluttering revelation. To wit: Get. Rid. Of. It. All of it! Check it out at Surviving & Thriving.

Well, folks…Mama’s too whipped to read another word, to say nothing of writing any more of ’em. Time to go. Have a good weekend!




Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. Thanks for the link to the Atlantic article. I noticed last week that my daughter’s 6th grade English teacher is teaching specific words and phrases to use to link sentences and thoughts. Last week she was doing this while teaching the class to write a book report. As a mother of a child who struggles with school, I will try to reinforce the ideas presented in this article. And I will send a copy to the teacher.

    • Specific words and phrases? Hmm… Well, I can remember grade school teachers suggesting that one use transitional words and phrases to link paragraphs: “thus,” “from this we can see,” and the like. Or pick up a term from the previous paragraph to put in the first sentence of a new paragraph. But I don’t recall anything formulaic.

      Two major points of pedagogic stupidity plague our children:

      1) The theory that kids can’t and shouldn’t try to learn, in any formal way, how their language works. We stopped teaching grammar and spelling decades ago, and the result shows in our kids’ writing and learning.

      2) The idea that somehow having kids do creative writing — journals, short stories, poems — will make them better writers than teaching them to write clear, well focused, source-based exposition. This bit of wackiness began about 40 or 50 years ago, and it’s the reason college freshmen come into one’s classes never having written a research paper.

      I first ran into this in the very first year I was teaching the one-semester advanced comp course GDU used to offer to kids who tested out of Eng. 101/102. A very smart young woman who had straight A’s through high school raised her hand as I was discussing the format of footnotes (in those days, MLA style still used footnotes instead of in-text citation). Her question: “What’s a footnote?”

      After class, she came up and said she hoped that didn’t sound stupid, and of course I emitted the usual “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” chestnut. She said she’d been in AP classes all through high school and grade school and had NEVER written a sourced paper.

      Imagine! I can remember the papers I wrote, to this day, in junior high school — complete with footnotes and bibliography.

      Years later, the chair of our department on the westside campus cooked up a course for our writing program. Its title was “Grammar and Style for Writers and Teachers of English.” She was proud.

      Shortly before the first day of class, she’s sitting in her office and the dean of the College of Education shows up at her door. Says he: “I wish you wouldn’t teach grammar to our education majors.”

      He wasn’t kidding. Colleges of education don’t even want English Ed majors to know grammar! Lest, presumably, they should accidentally teach it to some hapless kid.

      It’s working, too. One semester I was talking to an advanced editing class about how to tighten writing by converting prepositional phrases into noun phrases, when a graduating senior in English — not an English education major but an English English major — raised his hand and asked, “What’s a preposition?”

      LOL! Two student questions that bracket my teaching career.

  2. Pingback: Worth Mentioning #10 | Planting Our Pennies

  3. Funny, I totally agree with you on your two points. I’m old enough (despite having young children) to have been taught grammar and composition in grade school and high school. Remember diagramming sentences? We did a lot of that. We also wrote research papers in high school. The teachers put the fear of God into us, telling us that the U of Illinois would flunk out large numbers of freshmen based on the freshman rhetoric class. And I guess it did, too.
    I know that I also learned much about language and English by taking French in high school. There’s nothing like studying another language to make one see one’s native language more clearly.
    Anyway, my kids are in a private school that values tradition, so I hope for better results than you have seen recently.

  4. PS I find that story about the dean of Education appalling.

    • The entire state of our public school system is appalling. At least in Arizona: we’re 50th in funding and 48th in measurable quality.

  5. Pingback: Blue Collar Roundup -- Arsty Fartsy Fall Photos Edition | Blue Collar Workman