Happy Halloween to Favorite Daughter and Young Son. . .

31 10 2011

. . .our poet and librarian who’s BEEN to Edinburgh! 🙂

Who left a tree, then a coffin, in the library?
It began with a “poetree” — an ornately-crafted paper sculpture left in the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.

Next was a paper dragon.

Who was leaving these cryptic messages around town?

Indeed, FavD might have been to some of these surprise-sculpture-favored places?

Went to the Scotland Writers’ Museum today! Mostly consists of Burns, Stevenson, and Scott, which is as it should be.
Scotland writers museum in Lady Stair's house
We also wandered around ’sploring, and the long and short of it is: everything in Edinburgh is really cool.

UPDATE from Halloween Night:
Young Son as the Eleventh Doctor Who

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Bagpipes Supporting Civil Rights in America!

18 02 2011

Talk about Learning Without Schooling, one of my ubiquitous tags here. Those who complain there’s no learning happening in Wisconsin this week clearly have lost touch with what real learning is, if they ever knew in the first place!

Wisconsin firefighters march into the Capitol, bagpipes filling the rotunda.

Intelligent cock of the snook to Rachel Maddow’s blog, where you can watch a really moving music video in the best sense of the word, peaceful and committed young people out to make a difference, for the first time in a generation (okay, to be honest, more like two generations) and near the end, the same firefighter bagpipers show up, playing On Wisconsin:

(On Wisconsin! On America!The kids are all right.)





For Burns Night, Our Resident Scot’s “Address to the Haggis”

25 01 2011

It’s January 25, time for Burns Night Supper and even Google is in the spirit:

Robert Burns, the world-renowned Scottish poet, was commemorated today with a Google Doodle.

. . .and you KNOW Young Son was playing Auld Lang Syne on his chanter this afternoon, and tonight will be in his tartan kilt and sporran and glengarry, piping away — as soon as he gets home from Irish step dance. 😉

So for your Burns Night pleasure, here is his Highland bagpipes tutor, Edinburgh native John McIlroy’s “Address to the Haggis” which translated for those of you not wearing tartan tonight, means the traditional Scotsman’s toast to the traditional Scotsman’s um, dinner.

See how much of it you can understand if you dare, or just revel in the brogue; either way enjoy, and then remember, the piper MUST be paid!





Because JJ’s a Sucker for Royals, Weddings and English Accents

16 11 2010

Breaking news! You saw it here first!





Time for “T-Shirt as a Second Language” Test, Ready?

7 05 2010

If you were here for this, get your serious thinking hats ready for this:

That wasn’t the only symbolic protest on Cinco de Mayo. About 20 students showed up at Pioneer High School wearing “Border Patrol” T-shirts. By the end of the day, administrators asked them to remove the shirts, which they apparently did with no problems . . .

Snook’s community of thinking parents host ad hoc honors seminars from time to time: Harry Potter and book banning, homeschool hegemony and the parents’ rights movement, Sarah Palin and fightin’ mad white women. One of the topics that just keeps on giving is the power of story in school speech and dress codes, particularly combined on t-shirts.

No “evolution” shirts in marching band, we can’t have a high school associated with gasp, science! Though it was admittedly “not directly against the school’s dress code” and not reasonably construed as anti-bible, even unintentionally, a few offended parent/teachers nevertheless successfully demanded the band’s new shirts be collected, destroyed and replaced with school budget money.

There was no issue of students (or their parents?) starting a riot at school over the marching band shirts, or none I recall. One boy sent home in another state — for wearing his heritage-proud kilt to school — was told it was for his own safety, to prevent not a riot but just stereotypical school bullying (for wearing girly clothes, as the principal saw it.) Another boy was sent home for “being disruptive”, supposedly, when he wore Pastafarian pirate regalia to school. Were all the anti-pirate toughs about to beat him up too?

Confederate battle flags and t-shirts in the South do start school riots, disrupt “the learning environment” and get kids hurt for real, never mind the slogans and songs — been there, done that, let’s don’t play it again:

With the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear the case, this leaves in place the lower court’s August 2008 ruling that upholds the school’s policy. The appeals court states that Read the rest of this entry »





Latest Scottish Outing for Young Son

12 04 2010




Why Fencing Knickers Make Me Feel at Home

4 03 2010

Getting one’s first pair of fencing knickers is not something that most families celebrate. 😉

But COD and his seasoned 16-year-old Dark Horse fencer will appreciate it, if no one else can. And this week I’m in the hunt for any family-and-friends moment that can draw the cozy circle of “home” closer.

My life seems a little surreal because we’ve moved into a local hotel, pending new traditional wood floors being sanded, sealed and finished throughout our home of ten years. You don’t want to know how dusty places I haven’t seen since 2002 had gotten — we’ve all been sneezing our heads off — or how many boxes of books we packed before we could notice any difference (over 100.) Everything we own from electronics and delicates to the refrigerator and washer-dryer is now stuffed into our garage like a Jenga puzzle, front to back, floor to ceiling, and I mean everything — including, unexpectedly and rather unfortunately from my POV at least, the shirts and suits DH needs for work and all of Young Son’s personal hygiene products.

But by golly, we got out with Young Son’s fencing bag, chanter and bagpipes, Irish stepdance hard shoes, the library’s Les Miserables still in progress, his iTouch AND one of the chess boards. . . oh, and more than a dozen geek t-shirts.

And this laptop, upon which I now muse.

So anyway. Our regularly scheduled daily activities proceed unabated here “at home” except we’re not. At home, I mean. Instead of taking a vacation from our home, it’s more like our home is taking a vacation from us! Who are we, really — just where we are now or also where we were, where we hope to be? What we have with us at the moment and can show, or also what we’ve collected over time, even if we can’t get at it or forgot where we put it?

Wednesday afternoon we went to the fencing salle as we always do, but from the opposite side of town so it was the same but different. The knickers in his suddenly adult size had come in, hurray, so that when he’s ready for his first tournament, Read the rest of this entry »