Thursday Open Thread 12-7-2017

Interesting little study published last month looking at the quality of play in toddlers and the number of toys they have available.

With fewer toys, participants had fewer incidences of toy play, longer durations of toy play, and played with toys in a greater variety of ways. This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively.

Adults are not significantly different than toddlers when it comes to toys or as we often call them tools. The question is - How are we decreasing our creativity by thinking we need a specific tool or app (software program) for every task.

Discussing with an friend regarding the need to repaint the exterior paint on his mobile home. He has had the paint for two years, but did not have a spray gun he believed was necessary to do the job. Suggested he use a paint tray, roller and extension - it worked fine.

Been reviewing a few pages of The Ashley Book of Knots daily since the 11/23 Open Thread. Realized if I took the time to learn a few specific knots there are a number of products that would not need to be purchased.

Have multiple appliances, pots and gadgets that are used for cooking. The same dishes can be made with a wok, chopstick and knife with no change in quality, often quicker if the time to clean-up everything is included. It just takes time to learn the skills.

The difference between us and the toddler is they can't run to the store or internet to buy
the newest tool or gadget. We have greater control to increase or decrease our creativity.

Farm Report
Morning light on Mt Hood
soe hood am.jpg

Rising sun peeking through the trees.
soe  sun am.jpg

Dormant grass in the field.
soe grass dormant.jpg

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riverlover's picture

was to change over my whole house water filter. He suggested a band wrench (think oil) so I ordered one on Amazon. Self-sufficiency is an American trait. Suckers. But Trade prices!

7 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

studentofearth's picture

@riverlover small hands, poor grip strength and and lower arm strength. Sometimes the barrier to fixing a project or regular maintenance is not knowledge but physical or time.

Fixing the little stuff does help keep our cost down. On the plus sides Trades are one of the last employment/profession areas to be corpratized. Franchises have made a big impact replacing independent owner/operators, but in my area slower than other businesses categories.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

I photographed it from the Vancouver Ferry once...
Mt Hood from ferry.jpg

And it is in the background of this Rainier shot as we flew out of Seattle...

Beautiful part of the world there!

Around our place it was row cover time this week as temperature finally fell to winter levels. Over the weekend we drop into the 20's, but the lettuce will hold up under the covers through that. Last years winter was so mild we over wintered the lettuce.

For those of you who like salad, leaf lettuce is so easy to grow, and just taste healthy.
Here's some tips from Alabama's Bonnie Plant Farm
You don't need a farm or even a garden...
Lettuce is one of the best vegetables for growing in containers. Lettuce roots monopolize the top few inches of soil to form their leaves. As long as it gets regular water, lettuce can thrive in salad trays as shallow as 4” (10 cm).

I've accepted the total complete corporate coup of the US and most of the world (what choice do I have?). Growing your own food is one of the few ways left to stick it to corporate agriculture.

Gardening is an opportunity to train children, the community and the government on how to correct the most fundamental problems in our society. In the model we have now for addressing health and nutrition, people are growing further disconnected from the land and the nature of food, and disease is practically encouraged, as our health care model is directed at symptom management rather than achieving health. This de-naturing of the human body leads to the degeneration of the human mind and spirit, creating a nation of unhappy, dependent people.

As a form of protest, and as a way of displaying resilience to overwhelming pressure by agro-chemical and seed companies to dominate the right to grow food, the public reaction to propaganda gardening is always more positive than rallies and political party events that tend stir up contention.

Check out the UK town of Todmorden to see their radical guerrilla gardening movement
There's a 12 min film too

So here's to fresh salad and gardening as we encroach on winter in two weeks or so.

Have a good day all!

9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

but we use lettuce but sparingly. Things with shallow roots, suitable for containers, and especially shade tolerant ones, however, can fill a lot of special niches (hanging gardens come to mind). Figuring out how to research such, however, is another issue entirely. I just read that garlic is quite good for this, though my experience has been spotty and erratic. Ginger should work too, but my experience so far has been completely dismal.

5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout greens are gone. The is an easy read with lots of valuable information. Could expand the growing techniques to greens such as bock choy, spinach and chard for steaming or stir frying. The nutritional value of fresh picked vegetables, especially greens, can be up to 50 percent higher than fresh in the grocery store. Cut vegetables loose nutritional value faster than whole ones.

Enjoy your pictures, thanks for the compliment. Really liked the head of the wood-pecker Friday.

6 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth Nice bit of info about fresh greens having up to 50% more nutrients than store bought.
I have good luck growing greens in my climate. I had a half-dozen pots of a variety of greens going through the winter and into early summer last year. You can stagger the sowing time so you always have some. The only problem is they are labor intensive to harvest. But if you calculate into that cost the saving of not using plastic bags and extra packaging, no pesticides, no transportation cost on either end, and increased nutritional value, it may be a small step in a positive direction. Additionally, I didn't have a cold last year. There may or may not be a connection to that.

5 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

That is most definitely the case with my son, who will be two by the end of the week.

His favorite thing to play with by far is our set of pots and pans, which he lays out on a low table and play acts as if he were cooking. He can do that for most of the day, literally. Just that one thing, to the exclusion of a bin of toys he's accumulated (which I'm not in favor of) that family bring him and my partner buys.

Went many a year without kids and given lots of thought to what I would do if I had them, by virtue of watching so many friends and family resort to status quo rearing and consumer culture conditioning. Watched how kids were being spoiled, incapable of carrying on conversations with adults, how self-interested they, the horrible foods they were given, the trends and fads they fell into, etc. I filed it all away and thought I'd want to do things completely differently if I were given a chance.

So one thing of many that I always thought I'd do was to involve my toddler in the things I liked to do. But especially to see an opportunity to mingle my love of cooking with a chance to get him to appreciate and interact with food. So almost every time I cook I talk to him about and show him how it is prepared, the differences in the textures, colors and smells of various vegetables, spices, herbs, grains, beans, etc. So by now he's very comfortable and adjusted in helping me prepare meals, feeling a sense of participation, inclusiveness and satisfaction.

To me it's important on many levels. First, he gets familiar with all types of food and develops his palette. But also he can learn to appreciate what goes into cooking, the process of making a meal, and not to expect things to just magically appear like a tv dinner, that all the steps can many times be a fun collective effort. Quite frankly there are many opportunities to instill the right fundamental philosophy in a child, while doing anything really. That goes for reading books too, where I like to have fun pulling out the subversive qualities in the children's stories and emphasizing them.

As usual George Carlin's take on this stuff always rings clear in my head, and I find myself reaching back to his gospel often in life. He was so right on about so much:

...a special kind of bullshit that has taken hold in this country in the last 30 to 40 years. It's a form of bullshit that really only can be called child worship. It's this excessive devotion to children. I'm talking about today's professional parents these these obsessive diapers sniffers who are over-scheduling and over-managing their children and robbing them of their childhoods.
Even the simple act of play has been taken away from children and put on mommy schedule in the form of playdates. Something that should be spontaneous and free is now being rigidly planned.
When does a kid ever get to sit in the yard with a stick anymore. You know, just sit there with a fucking stick. Do today's kids even know what a stick is? You know, you sit in the yard with a fucking stick and you dig a fucking hole.

God, whenever I hear the word "socialization" drop from another parent's mouth, as they ponder aloud putting their babies in some kind of school-type program before they're even two, I just roll my eyes inwardly and think, "What Would George Do."

Lastly, your plain pictures always give me a warm feeling, and conjure up the simple essence of life I want to make my son more aware of. So lately I made it an event for us to go up and take a look for the moon (we live in an apartment where we can readily see it, but are half a floor down from the roof where we can). I will ask him in the late afternoon or before he goes to bed if he wants to go see the moon with me. He always get very excited and now even calls for it during the day, sometimes wakes in the early morning saying aloud "mooooon."
We'll go outside, look up and merrily greet it, saying "hi moon!"

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:


- Kurt Vonnegut

@Mark from Queens and dig a hole.
I like your approach to kindergarten entrance exams. I meant to say, I like your approach to child rearing. Smile
I agree with some of what Carlin says here but I think he is wrong on a number of things.

I don't think we worship kids enough. Or, instead of worship, a more accurate word might be respect. I don't think we respect kids enough. I think if we bother to respect them enough to try and figure out what they need to develop and flourish as much as possible we would be doing well. I don't mean to spoil them with superficial praise. I mean to respect them enough to spent a lot of time with them while they are young, to guide them, to show them how to behave, to do things with them, to include them in our activities as much as possible (they seem to like that when they are young), to let them do things independently when possible, to have as much fun as possible, and yes, to "socialize" them.

To me socialize just implies the ability to function within (admittedly) the constraints of society. We all need to be able to do that, it's not a bad thing. Even our puppy dogs need to be able to do that. I have high expectations for my puppy.....that he will not bite other people (especially children), that he will not chew up my furniture and turn it into a pile of
sticks. High expectations are good for puppies, children, and adults.

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enhydra lutris's picture

with few toys beyond sticks and, in retrospect, had a lot of fun and good times all the same. At the time, of course, I did greatly envy those with specific spiffy toys,though many seemed to get bored with them quickly and I probably would have too.

Tools, to some extent, are a different matter. Doing a brake job on old fashioned drum brakes in no way required the special gizmo for turning the adjuster wheel. I never owned one and the time I borrowed one it only made things a little easier and quicker. OTOH, doing the job without brake spring pliers was a struggle, fraught with danger, tiring, invariably damaging to knuckles and other body parts, etc. In that vein, one could do a clutch job without a tranny jack, but the time, energy and miscellaneous raw materials used in successfully working around the lack thereof plus the likelihood of misalignment woes and/or repetitive operations to fix same tilted the scales enormously in favor of going and renting one. (And I knew tons of those knots, having learned and learned to rely upon them at an early age. Actually, iirc, I still used some even with a tranny jack.)

I think the trick is to know in advance (HAH) which tools are nearly essential, which aen't but are really a godsend, and which are frivolous. In the kitchen my wife is of the "All you need is a wooden spoon and a bowl" school and I am a bit of a gadgeteer. Over the course of time, we have discovered that she comes to also adopt and rely upon roughly every fourth or fifth gadget. Many of them are, of course, classics, so it makes sense that if the professionals have been using them for decades and even generations, maybe there is a wisdom to their ways. (That is also a great argument for using an old-fashioned waiter's corkscrew and skipping the 4,657 "improvements" out there on the market.

There are things, btw, that allow you to make and improvise things, temporary or otherwise and allow you to make quick ad hoc gadgets as and when needed, and then take them apart until you need to make another one. The combination of assorted sized of small, spring-loaded clamps, rope and twine (Heh), and Night-Ize Gear Ties lets you do a huge number of things for which specialized gadgets are sold. Throw in some sugru and some low temp thermoplastic beads and you will very likely surprise yourself.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --


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earthling1's picture

I learned at a young age to make do with less. The hours spent with playing cards flapping in the spokes of my pieced together bicycle taught me how to repurpose clothespins and cards. It carried with me throughout my life.
As a young adult cowtrailing across open expanses of desert, resilience taught me to carry bailing wire, rope, duct tape, and spare nuts and bolts in my toolkit.
My mantra today is still reduce, repair, repurpose, or recycle.
What to do with excess Italian Squash?
Halloween decor! And the grandkids loved decorating them.
Thanks for the excerpt on toys and kids.
On our travels down the coast. Roosevelt elk.

9 users have voted.

have always interested me. The Scandinavians seem to have done the best job of incorporating what we are learning about child development into their child-rearing practices and into their educational system. The Finns as well are very progressive and enlightened in terms of adopting this knowledge into their practices. Kids to me are the embodiment of a hope and a prayer. I wish as a society we treated them with care.

6 users have voted.

I like Roosevelt elk. They do seem to care about the poorest among them unlike the Trump snakes.

3 users have voted.

Beware the bullshit factories.

mhagle's picture

I have had kid chores all morning and this afternoon have to cover stuff in the garden as it is supposed to get down to 25 with possible snow tomorrow.

Comments and enrollments will have to wait until tomorrow. Loved reading all of this though! Smile

3 users have voted.


"Make dirt, not war." eyo