something home schooling parents miss out on

So when people talk about the relative advantages of home schooling vs farming their kid out to The System, I bet they never talk about the frightening illnesses their kids will never bring home.

This is by way of mentioning that I have been waiting out an attack of Scarlet Fever this week.

You thought it was a 19th Century scourge, of a piece with brain fever or the vapors. Nope, it’s still common: all it really is is strep with a skin rash (the scarlet component). Still, it’s pretty nasty. Strep (the same child had it a month ago) is one of the most unpleasant things I can remember having: I’ve had it once, in my mid-20s, and I thought someone was cutting my throat, slowly and continually . . .

We’re on a course of military-grade antibiotics now, with the resultant diarrhea (the military grade reference was not to their strength but to their indiscriminate killing). School may not be on the cards tomorrow: woo hoo for the one day school week!

Now playing: Just by Radiohead from the album “The Bends” | Get it

adagio tea impressions

So this tea arrived today: some days ago, I made a link to their site in exchange for a sample.

Adagio tea

Pretty impressive stuff. With the 4 oz package, you get this little tin and some teabags (in case you want to roll your own), all extremely well packaged. Hey, I was expecting a cardboard box and nothing else.

But how does it taste? Well, again with the surprises, they sent me Citron Green, a green tea with little flecks of lemon and lime peel: the aroma is wonderful.

You can’t see the little citron flecks as clearly as you can smell them, but they’re very much part of the experience.

It’s good stuff: I didn’t brew mine in one of their sophisticated looking little pots — I have a Bodum pot for loose teas I pressed into service for the occasion — but it came out pretty well. The citron flavors are well-balanced by the gentle grassy flavor of the tea. It’s a nice combination, refreshing without detracting from the soothing characteristics of green teas.

Based on this, I would be inclined to try a few more varieties. This was such a pleasant surprise, I’m curious to see what else they have in store.

books observations

on diversity and freedom of the press

Chris at Crooked Timber takes the GlobalRichList test (202) and realizes the real need for diversity in the world of weblogs isn’t white or black, male or female:

Crooked Timber >> On being super-rich (7):

[O]ur place in the local distribution makes us radically misperceive our position in relation to the vast majority of humanity (my ex ante guess would have put me in the top 5 or 10 per cent—but the top 1 per cent!). My guess is that most active bloggers and journalists (in the developed world) are in that top 1 per cent also. One effect of this is that the blogosphere casually trades in assumptions about what is normal, where those assumptions are just a projection of what is normal for that top 1 per cent.

I would guess most people who communicate this way are in the extreme upper ranges, so let’s not get too carried away about the democratic nature of this medium just yet. Even at the price of an account on LiveJournal or Blogger, you need reliable net access and the infrastructure that underpins it to get a seat at the table. Even our newly liberated brothers and sisters in Baghdad are dealing with daily power cuts and that’s one place where we could all use more unfiltered information.

food observations

an embarrassment of reading

The library has showered me with granted book requests this week. My reading table groans under the strain of

“Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” (Jared Diamond)


“The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life” (Richard Florida)

Obviously, Collapse needs to be dealt with first, as it will not be renewable. So far, it’s a lot like Gun, Germs, and Steel as a readable, general interest book on some pretty deep topics.