Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Steyn on Thanksgiving and Coffee

Mark Steyn is a fantastic columnist who hails from Canada. I first discovered him while working on a lengthy project in Calgary. Since then, I've followed him online, primarily via National Review Online.

His most recent article is on our American Thanksgiving. The whole article is thoughtful and certainly worth reading. I bring it to your attention, however, primarily because of its hilarious second paragraph. Being a coffee lover (a grande-white-chocolate-mocha lover, at that), I laughed out loud.

Well, Americans have a lot to be thankful for. Europeans think of this country as “the New World” in part because it has an eternal newness which is noisy and distracting. Who would ever have thought you could have ready-to-eat pizza faxed directly to your iPod? And just when you think you’re on top of the
general trend of novelty, it veers off in an entirely different direction: Continentals who grew up on Hollywood movies where the guy tells the waitress “Gimme a cuppa joe” and slides over a nickel return to New York a year or two later and find the coffee now costs $5.75, takes 25 minutes and requires an agonizing choice between the cinnamon-gingerbread-persimmon latte with coxcomb sprinkles and the decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato. Who would have foreseen that the nation that inflicted fast food and drive-thru restaurants on the planet would then take the fastest menu item of all and turn it into a kabuki-paced performance art? What mad genius!

Genius indeed!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ah, Autumn

Despite the dry weather here in Georgia (well documented in national news) , we have actually had a spectacular fall with amazing color throughout our community. Those of us who live here full-time sometimes get irritated by the tourist "leaf-lookers" who prefer to drive 5 miles an hour down the middle of the road while gawking at the beautiful scenery. But, the upside is that it forces us to slow down and enjoy the view, and the moment, as well. That old saw about "familiarity breeding contempt" can certainly come into play if we're not careful. Fortunately, we still drive past the lake and around the golf course exclaiming "we get to live here!" to ourselves. I hope I'm still saying that after 5 years.

I posted a photo of the view from our upper deck some time back and promised an update for the fall. This picture was taken last week. It doesn't begin to reflect how stunning the colors have been, but it's at least attempts to get the point across.

I'll post another one after all of the leaves fall and our view is expanded by about 150% and encompasses 2 or 3 more mountaintops.

Every time I start to grumble about the long commute home from the airport after a late (and often delayed) flight, I look out the window and immediately shut up. This is worth it.

In another post, thoughts on why we chose to move to the mountains, homeschool, work from home, and in general live a life that is so counter-cultural to the wonderful world of suburban, commute to work and school life.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Online Scrabble!

Some dear friends of ours from Birmingham (home-base prior to moving to North GA) have gotten us hooked on our first online game. Prior to now, my perception of online gaming was the stereotypical "let's all play serial killer" types that I've never been attracted to (much to everyone's relief, I'm sure).

But now! Online Scrabble. Play with 1, 2 or 3 other people. Play with people around the country or around the world. Check your words automatically in 5 different dictionaries. Ah, bliss.
Check it out for yourselves. (disclosure: there is a one time fee of $10 per person; they take pay-pal).

In the meantime, we're starting to expose Belle, Tink and The Boy to the real game. That and Boggle. You haven't had fun til you've played Boggle with a 6-year old!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For those of you fascinated by backyard siege machines. . .

(and you know who you are), check out this link. Hat tip to Dave Barry's blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The 97th Carnival of Homeschooling . . .

is up over at Principled Discovery. Welcome to Homeschool U does a wonderful job taking us through the carnival entries designed as a college curriculum. It never ceases to amaze me how well done these carnival's are. I've been too busy with work to submit an entry for the past two weeks, but I'll try to get something submitted for #98.

Homeschool Blog Awards

The 2007 Homeschool Blog Awards are now taking nominations. Take a look at the categories and see if there is one that strikes your fancy. Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 17th. I know I've already submitted several nominations (eg "Best Dad Blog" = a sometimes coherent bloviator)