Games and Tools and Trips

Nefarious is feeling fine but has a bit of a cough that’s impinging on her getting as much sleep as she needs. Because we have a long weekend planned, flying up to Ottawa to visit my brother and Nefarious’s cousins, I let her sleep in and get some rest, skipping school (although she is at gymnastics class right now). That said, we did plenty of homeschooling today, with a nice math lesson that I think did a good job reinforcing one of the central truths of math — that math is dead easy if you understand the procedure. If you “get” how to solve a math problem, the work of actually doing it is a joke. But if you don’t get it, it’s horribly hard work. Then we did lots of word work — scrambles, finding synonyms and antonyms, missing letters, and so on — to supplement what she does at school.

We also played some Rummikub as well. We’ve fine-tuned the rules a little, as we do with most of the games we play, in order to make a better game. Actually, I really suggest that everyone amend the game in this fashion. In every turn, picking up a tile is enforced (ie. even if you can move you still have to). Also, at the end of every turn you must discard a tile. This tile is placed face up. When a player is picking up at the start of the turn, they can either pick up a single obscured card, or one or more (up to all) of the face up previously discarded tiles. This adds a significant skill and strategy element to the game, and transforms it from a pure game of chance into something much more rewarding to your mind.


If you’re wondering why the indoor hat, it’s because it was just knitted and gifted by Caitlin minutes before and was being proudly worn as a victory hat — we played three games and I think overall I ended up losing by something like two hundred points. Ouch.

Caitlin is also going on her own trip this weekend, so I was copying some movies onto a memory stick for her to watch on the long train ride. In the process I discovered that one of my memory sticks is completely dead, so Nefarious and I dismantled it to see what’s inside, grinding down the casing of the memory chip to find the entirely boring innards. This turned into a bit of tool use and training with the Dremel, as she got to try out different tips and grind away at, carve, and sand different materials such as hard plastic, wood, foam, and lead (from some BBs that were embedded in the plywood target-practise sheet). She had loads of fun, and seems to enjoy power tools just as much as I did as a child.


The sunglasses are for eye protection. Not ideal, but a habit that one doesn’t want to avoid.

Anyway, we’ll be out of town only briefly, returning Sunday… I’m very much looking forward to the trip because I haven’t seen my brother in ages. We actually have adventures planned for many of the weekends this upcoming month, so I think time will pass more quickly in February than it already does.


  1. Jana wrote:

    That’s my hat pattern! I’m stoked to see it out there in the world.

    Friday, February 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
  2. Twwly wrote:

    So um… Math classes at Shannon’s house/boat, eh? Can we pay you in tattoos? Or cheese? Or all of the above?

    Friday, February 5, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  3. shimble wrote:

    2 4 8 10 ?? 12??

    im beeing thick but im stumped???
    2 to the power of ????

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 2:12 am | Permalink
  4. Shannon wrote:

    You’re not being thick — there’s a typo in that one, it’s supposed to be:
    2 4 6 8 __ 12

    Nefarious caught the mistake as well, and got an extra point for catching the teacher’s error!

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 4:48 am | Permalink
  5. Mona wrote:

    1337! first thing I noticed in the photo on the left *g*

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink
  6. Elizabeth wrote:

    That hat is simply the cutest.

    How fun to dismantle and “work on” electronics. I got into trouble for that as a child but only because the radio was not inoperable before my taking apart. :)

    Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 6:39 am | Permalink
  7. DON wrote:

    The question which stumped me on the homeschooling ones was the anagram for FEVI which I looked at for several minutes and almost gave up on.

    On the strength of that, I think I would probably now fail my eleven-plus exam if I had to take it again!

    Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  8. rachael wrote:

    Are you going to get a chance to check out any of Winterlude? The ice sculpture competition finished and apparently they’re really great (I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet).

    I wish you had taught me math :( Nefarious is very lucky.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  9. Shannon wrote:

    Yes, Winterlude is a big part of why we went. Nefarious and her cousins got to see a bunch of performers, and also went on the ice slides.

    Monday, February 8, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  10. rachael wrote:

    Hah! I didn’t see when that was written. That’s what I get for reading things while sleep deprived. Glad you had fun!

    Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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