Friday, February 25, 2011

Jude watches the snow

These pictures are from earlier this winter. But I forgot to share them.

Jude was absolutely enthrawled by the falling snow.  So was I, when I looked.

There's the view out our front window.  Brr.  If you look closely you can see cat ears in the lower right.
Zoom in on the lower right.  There's Jude.
Just look at those perky ears.  So attentive!
I love his expression, and the dichotomy of freezing, snowy outside with cozy, warm inside.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cat pictures

It's been a while since I've included pictures of our kitties. Actually, I'm not sure I ever introduced Penny here. Don't think so. Too lazy to go back and check.

Jude likes my spinning basket.
Yesterday was Evan's and my 3 year dating anniversary. Yay. When we adopted Jude two Augusts ago, the vet told us he was about 6 or 7 months old, putting his birthday approximately in late February. So we decided Jude's birthday was our anniversary, which was 2/22. This past September we adopted Penny, who was estimated to be around 2 years old, or maybe a little less, so we thought she could share Jude's birthday and our anniversary.

Here's Penny when we first got her:
Scrawny little thing.  She was just recently a stray, recently spayed, and she went right to the folded up blanket next to my spinning wheel to chill.  She has since bulked up quite a bit.

She hissed at Jude whenever he dared to make eye contact for a couple weeks, but she's slowly crown to tolerate him.  Now they move pretty much in parallel, almost always together.  Not always friendly, but together.  Kinda like siblings.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beat that, Geico!

The Setup
Evan and I were working through our taxes over the weekend, and nearly had a joint heart attack (which is funny because he's studying cardiology in med school right now).  We were cruising along in TurboTax, looking at our familiar and reasonable $$$ return figures in the upper right corner, but when we entered the info for Evan's scholarship, there was a $$,$$$ discrepancy between the amount paid and the amount spent, which translated into $,$$$ we had to pay for federal and state taxes each!  Eeek!  When Evan went to investigate his school finances, he found that he owed $$,$$$ that he thought was supposed to be paid for by his loan.  (The amount was similar to the amount of the discrepancy, but not exact.)  This kind of pissed me off, because I had just recently used $$,$$$ from my savings to pay off a significant chunk of his student loans, and those funds would have been very useful right now.

The Situation
So it looked like we were going to have to pay $$,$$$ to the school, plus $,$$$ and $,$$$ in taxes.  Ouchers.  We had been planning on insulating our house, which would cost $,$$$, but that would be impossible after all this.

The Resolution
Evan went to talk with the bursar this morning.  They quickly found that the $$,$$$ discrepancy in his scholarship was due to a payment made at the tail end of December that didn't get processed until January.  So we don't owe the school anything, and we can edit that info in the taxes to remedy the error.  As Evan said, "I saved us $$,$$$ in 10 minutes.  Beat that, Geico!"

Also, Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

B. Russell Quote

Here's a quote that snagged me:
Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position.
Bertrand Russell
British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)
It's true. So how do we rework the education system to de-emphacize passive acceptance without sacrificing efficiency? Or how do professors in upper-level education quickly rewire their students' thinking to promote active learning and questioning over passive acceptance, especially in science, where clear and obvious fact have been stressed previously?