Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Category: Children (page 2 of 15)

Guess Who? (City)

Doodle and I have created a new game that’s very educational for both of us.

With labels turned off in Google Maps, I look away while he zooms in on a random city somewhere in the world. Then I look at the city and tell him what continent it’s on. Sometimes I can tell him what country it’s in, and once I was able to tell him what city it was (St. Louis).

Here are some of my techniques.

This city has some reddish roofs, a developed road system (hence the traffic circles) and the center of the city is very tight, signifying pedestrian based zones. To the west, you see the face of first-world subdivisions.

What do these point to? Europe. Probably central-northern, judging by the shade of the green spaces.

Prague, Czech Republic

Considering the photo below: the only thing keeping me from guessing Africa is the hard-to-see road layout, which points to a developed country. The roads wouldn’t look like that if Continue reading

Belated Photos

For the Chilean independence holiday, Dieciochera (September 18), you may remember that there was a weeklong festival in the park next door.  The festival is sponsored at least in part by the city of Providencia, and the city provides the park’s immediate neighbors with free entrance tickets to the festival.  This gesture is, I suspect, a sort of apology for all the disruption.  Our apartment complex is right next to the park.  During the festival traffic is heavy around our usually quiet block, and finding a parking spot is nearly impossible.  Noise is also an issue.  Concerts would start around noon, and music would blare from the park until midnight.  We could hear it inside our apartment, and we’re on the side opposite of the park!  I can’t image being in one of the units that faces the park.

The city sent us a few different types of tickets.  Basically, we were all able to go together two times.  But we also had two tickets that could be used repeatedly for the entire week.  So, at any given time, two of us could go enjoy ourselves.

So, one afternoon, Rosebud and I went together.  It was like a mother-daughter date.  Here she is all dressed up and ready to go.

You can see she had a spring in her step as we headed to the park. Continue reading

Rosebud said 5.0

Rosebud changes her best friend a lot. One day it’s Sudoku, next day it’s Doodle, and today, it’s me. I stole “doria”, her doll, and told her I would only give it back if she would be my best friend (talk about extortion!). She agreed to the deal, and so far she hasn’t broken it. Continue reading

Dolls Grow?

Rosebud recently out-grew her last year’s swimsuit, and we managed to find a replacement at a Hiper Lider (the Super Wal-mart equivalent in Chile).  Yesterday she brought me her old, outgrown suit… Continue reading

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a free online education program. They cover almost everything. Biology, physics, chemistry, history, economics, and math of all types, from one-digit addition to calculus.

I have been a member for over two years. Doodle has not even been a member for a year, but he is making amazing progress. He has won more awards than me and has almost as many points.

Khan Academy has courses on Canvas, a programming language designed for moving graphics. There are hundreds of amazing video games that have been created by students. It is the go-to place for computer games. The really cool part is that you can edit the code yourself, to customize the game to your preferences! Doodle is creating his own Canvas programs.

For homeschoolers, this is an great option because of its vast coverage and all the ways they make it interesting– Doodle does this on his free time. He is very motivated about it; trying to get this award, or trying to master that skill, or trying to finish his canvas game.

There are some downsides…. they recently redid their site and started everybody’s math status over again, and it didn’t work out well. They had me take a test to see what level I was at, so that I wouldn’t have to re-master simple arithmetic and things like that, but after the test they considered me not proficient in 2-digit addition! I am at a much higher academic level than Doodle is, but thus far according to them I have mastered 65 skills, and Doodle has mastered 165.

Also, Khan academy is like most non one-on-one education situations in the aspect that you’re not forced to actually understand how it works, just how to get the answer right.

Here is a link to the site.

My Illustrator Map

I recently finished a map-making course in Adobe Illustrator, and Made this map of Santiago.

The black roads are freeways, the green ones are streets with at least six lanes.

The Bus Lane

If you’re riding hard, where’s the best place to be? Obviously not the sidewalk, and really, not the bike paths either.

There are several disadvantages to bike paths: they typically run along the sidewalk and merge with them when you come to an intersection, at which point you are waiting in a crowd of pedestrians and have to dodge around them once the light turns green. Sometimes walkers or joggers will use the bike path. There are sometimes blind turns around bushes or trees on a bike path, preventing high speed, and every side street you come to you have to slow down in case a car is coming out of it, and can’t see you, because you’re still 30 feet away, going 30 mph. Not good.

Riding on the road with the cars is a decent option, but the most dangerous. In this case the slower you ride, the more cars are whizzing past you. Cars whizzing past you is not a good thing. In some cases you can ride as fast as the cars, but it’s still dangerous.

So what is the answer? The bus lane.

Some major roads around Santiago have a separate two-way section only for buses. It is in the middle of the road, separated on the sides by a fence or reflectors…. as shown below on Vicuña Mackenna,

on Grecia,

and on Pajaritos. (Note: Google’s camera car is driving in the bus lane!)

Because these lanes are only on the biggest roads, the only time you have to stop is when there is an intersection with another major road. Side streets don’t hinder you at all. Nor do pedestrians. There is one problem: the buses. When they are on these lanes, the buses drive fast. And the driver will get mad if anyone slows him down. There is not space for a bus to pass a cyclist. And because the blocks are so long, if a bus gets behind you you’re in trouble. It happened to me once.

I suddenly heard a bus close behind me, and my options were: slow to a stop and squeeze against the fence to let the bus pass (there was no dirt median where this happened), or ride like the devil’s after you. I chose the latter.

I am now somewhat paranoid– I check behind myself every 30 seconds to make sure no buses are in sight.

If you play it right, it doesn’t get any better than the bus lane.

My computer and fitness stuff

I just finished a course on Javascript, a programming language for adding action and interactivity to web pages.

Using previous experience and what I learned in the course, I made this web page, and am adding Javascript to further enhance the user experience. You can see the site here.

I am learning to walk on my hands. I started about two weeks ago, and my record is ten seconds. I have started doing the 7-minute workout. See the official 7 Minute workout here. I have been doing push-ups and pull-ups for over two years now.

I also run some, and that combined with cycling caused a stress fracture in my shinbone, simply because my calf was too tight, and my shin-muscle was too weak. The remedy to this is to lift a weight with your toe. In my case, I use the couch.

Update on cycling; I rode almost to “Farellones” a town of about 100 people up in the Andes a while outside of Santiago to the east. I gained 3,900 feet in elevation. The whole ride was 45 miles and took me a little over 4 hours. From my looking around on google maps in street view, the switchbacks up there seem to be some of the world’s best.

Rosebud said 4.0

Yesterday I was playing Crazy Eights with Rosebud.

After she won, I said “Do you want a knuckle sandwich?”

“No thanks” she replied politely.

I should mention that she is allergic to gluten, so I said; “It’s gluten free…”

“Sure!” she replied, with a big smile on her face. At that point I was laughing too hard to care that she had just asked for a knuckle sandwich.

Rosebud said…(3.0)

A couple of days ago, Mom, Rosebud and I were in the kitchen cleaning up.

Rosebud pointed at the fish we were going to cook for dinner and asked; Mama, does it have seeds? Um, I mean bones?

Later that evening, we were all sitting at the table and we had just prayed when Mom said; Be careful of seeds everybody.”

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