Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Seventh grade English, sixth period. As it was a Monday (with half hour periods), they had a silent reading day. (Don't even get me started on the Monday schedule. Having the kiddos read silently is probably the best use of the day that there is.)

The day had been going pretty well (for a Monday where it rained all day). I had had one difficult group (of eighth graders), but otherwise the day had been going pretty smoothly. 

And sixth period was going pretty well as well. 

Once they got settled they (mostly) silently read. (They were seventh graders. A few needed a bit more persuading to focus on their books.) With intro time and settling down time, they probably had fifteen-ish minutes of reading time.

Then they had a reading log to complete. I let them know when it was time to fill it in. (They were just noting what pages they read with a brief summary.) As the semester has just started, I had passed out their new logs during the intro time.

I had placed the stack of reading log copies on a front desk so I had easy access to it. On that desk I also had the class roster and a Chromebook. (I had a couple slides with the agenda for the day projected on the in-class TV.) 

As sixth period was leaving, something felt wrong about that front desk. That's when I realized. The stack of reading logs had vanished. (The computer and class roster were still there, though.) 

I had one more period. Where had the copies gone? 

I looked everywhere. In the trash cans. Under the desks. In the teacher's refrigerator. On any available surface in the classroom. They were nowhere.

(I looked outside for trash cans, but none were close enough to the classroom for me to check without leaving the classroom unattended.) 

There was nothing for it. I got seventh period settled and reading, but when it was time to do their logs, I let them know that they'd have to get those pages from their teacher later. Deep sigh.

I ran into the teacher later in the week. The copies had been left in the back of the classroom in a spot that I was sure I had looked. 

Next time I'll keep a better eye on the copies. 

Seventh graders. *shakes head*

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Cue the Production Number

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

I was proceeding through another streaming show when in the next episode in the very first scene the characters burst into song. I rolled my eyes. Another musical episode...

It seems that lately every show is doing that one musical episode. Some are well done. Some, not so much. But as I was suffering through the one I'm mentioning, I got an idea for a "what if?". 

What if you ended up having a "musical episode" day? (Assume it comes out of nowhere, although there may be a logical reason it happens--some musical episodes have underlying reasons that make sense in the show's universe.)

Monday, January 29, 2024

Can't Count

I saw something online the other day...

If you've been thinking about taking up knitting, cross stitching,  or really any kind of fiber crafts this year... Just stop for a second and ask  yourself... "Can I count?" And can you count really loud, when other people want to talk to you? Somebody else enters the room... *counting intensifies*

...and yeah. This is me.

I worked on the blue afghan this past week. It's a fairly simple stitch pattern. All knits and purls. I created a chart.

It's just three repeats of the pattern. With border stitches. Easy.

Except... I lose count. 

If my mind drifts. If something on the TV catches my interest. If someone asks me a question. If my phone alerts. 

Wait. Was that the two knit stitches after the four purl, or was that after two purl stitches, which meant I should have knit four? 

And then I found myself tracking back to the beginning of the row, counting which stitch is which. And realizing that the last ten stitches I did were off and I have to rip out and fix.

After about the third such mistake, I realized what I should have done. (I didn't do this because three pattern repeats. I didn't need it with three pattern repeats, surely?)

Stitch markers.

These are little plastic or metal rings. You put them on the needle in between the stitches. It's a signal that something needs to happen here. Like, this starts pattern repeat number two. Or, this is the end of the border stitches. 

So, on the very next row, I pulled out my stitch markers, and I placed them at the end of each pattern repeat. I only needed four. 

And it made things go so much more smoothly.

I still have to count. And that can be dodgy. But when I lose my place, I only have to track back to the marker and not back to the beginning of the row. 

The afghan thus far:

blue afghan with diamond shapes

It's coming along.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Locked Out

Thursday. I was having a morning. I had gotten out of my house late, and by the time I got to school, I was feeling rushed. 

The good news was, I had covered Ms. L's co-teacher on Tuesday, so I had had a chance to talk to Ms. L and I knew what the lesson for the day was. I had volunteered that I knew how to work the classroom TV, so I had the copy of the slideshow for the day. Which meant (the bad news) that I needed a bit more time this morning to get set up (because while I know what to do in theory, without having set everything up on this TV, I couldn't be sure everything would work smoothly). 

I got to school later than I would have liked. The classroom was at the far end of campus, upstairs. But, I know the layout of the school, so I didn't get lost. I took out the key, twisted it in the lock, and the door would not open.

Deep sigh.

I know a few tricks. I can fiddle with the doorknob. Sometimes the key needs a little extra push. Perhaps I turned it the wrong way. Nope, nothing worked. It would just not twist that little extra bit to disengage the lock.

I didn't have time for this.

(Yes, it was the correct key. It clearly worked in the lock.)

Out of ideas, I decided I'd try to call security and see if they could brute force me into the room. I went to the classroom next door (Ms. K who I subbed for earlier this school year) as it was open and asked if I could use her phone.

Ms. K: "Are you subbing next door? There's a trick to the lock..."

Ms. K led me back to the door and demonstrated how to get the door open. It involved shoving her shoulder into the door while turning the key. 

Well, that's a new one.

(Ms. K's door has the same issue. They've put in a work order to get it fixed. They're still waiting.)

Now that I knew the trick, I was able to get back in the room later. (I don't leave the door open or unlocked when I leave to use the restroom.) 

That extra bit of time to get in the room did not help with me setting up the slideshow for the day. (Seventh grade English class. They were learning about writing an argumentative essay.) Because, of course that didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked.

But the day went fine, once things got going.

(It was an advanced seventh grade class, so keeping them busy writing notes was just the trick to keep the class mellow.) 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

A Ho-Hum Week 13

Some weeks are just boring. The classes are mellow. The kiddos do what they're supposed to do. And there just isn't anything interesting to write about. Last week was one of those weeks. So, rather than grasping for another story, I'm going to do a Thursday 13. These are the things that happened last week but wouldn't make it to a blog post normally.

1. I had an even week. The schools are on block schedule, but they're not on the same block schedule. I was at one school on Tuesday/Thursday and a different one on Wednesday/Friday. (Monday was a holiday.) And that just happened to correspond to each school's periods 2, 4, and 6. 

2. And their period 8, but I happened to get four classes with no period 8. Which meant I got to leave early each day. Woo-hoo!

3. It was also an English week. Mostly. On Tuesday I covered a special ed teacher who had two periods of "learning center". (The learning center is a place where students can go to get extra help.)

4. Tuesday's special ed teacher co-taught one period (on even days) with the teacher I covered on Thursday. (On odd days she co-taught the whole day with that same teacher.) 

5. The learning center just so happens to be located in a room that is between two of the classes I covered the week before. I heard the Spanish teacher showing the same videos I showed her classes the previous Friday. 

6. Tuesday's English assignment (for seventh graders) was standardized testing. It's a test I've given various classes when I was on various long term assignments (I've given it at least five times now), so I knew the drill. As it was a co-taught class, the other teacher took care of it, really. I just assisted.

7. On Wednesday I had eleventh and twelfth graders. That teacher always leaves a bunch of independent work when she's out, and they generally have enough to keep them busy.

8. The eleventh graders started reading The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. They were supposed to read a couple chapters and then there was some activity that went along with what they read.

9. On Thursday I got to revisit the sixth period from Tuesday, this time with the special ed co-teacher leading the class.

10. The other two classes were advanced seventh grade, and I had their slides for writing an argumentative essay. They learned four terms: claim, supporting argument, counter claim, and rebuttal. (The co-taught class did the same thing, only slower.) 

11. Friday's ninth graders were writing a reflection (they just did an oral presentation on various colleges) in MLA format. I did a whole lecture on MLA format to ninth graders in the vacant English class I began the school year in.

12. On Friday I also had one period of twelfth grade AP. They were doing an assignment that went along with the book they're currently reading: Jane Eyre

13. The picture at the start of this post is from Friday's classroom. I had covered the same group back in October. It was the class that finally stuck on October 5th, that day that all the jobs I took kept getting cancelled. (Although, that was an odd day, so I had a different configuration of classes.) 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

A Bad Idea

Wednesday, ERW English 12, period two. As expected, my biggest issue was staying awake.

(ERW English is an option for juniors and seniors. It's a class that focuses on reading and writing skills needed for success in college. It's a bit more intensive, hence it's an option and not a requirement. During the year, many students complain of the work. But, the students who have graduated and returned to visit report that having taken the class had helped them so much in their college coursework that the trouble was worth it. So, the class is gaining in popularity.) 

They had been left a list of assignments to complete, and while I noted a few on their cell phones, that was mostly towards the end of the period, and I had seen pretty much everyone doing the work. While not silent, the room remained fairly quiet the whole time.

With second period over, they left. Fourth period began arriving during the passing period. While in transition Ms. L, one of the assistant principals, popped into the room.

Ms. L said she was "checking on the subs", which was odd as they never do that. (There were a lot of English teachers out for a school thing, so there were more subs than usual on campus.) Then she got down to the reason for popping in. 

Had any of the students been on the phone?

Well, of course they'd been texting...

Oh no. The school had gotten notification from the sheriff's department that some calls had been made to 9-1-1, and there was laughter in the background.

Considering how quiet the classroom had been, I was fairly certain the students hadn't made any voice calls, let alone been calling 9-1-1. 

Again, it was worse than that. The students had been making calls from the classroom landline.

To which I could confidently reply that it did not happen on my watch. Because no student had gone anywhere near the phone, let alone been using it. I didn't even use the phone during class.

Ms. L was not surprised. As soon as she saw me, she dismissed the idea that it had happened in my room. (I have a decent reputation.) But she was asking everyone.

Which begs the question. Well, several, actually. Who wasn't watching their class closely enough for that to happen? Why would any students think this was something to do? What should they have been doing? 

I mean, I've been in the room when kiddos make prank calls. (Well, one call. I shut that down real fast.) But 9-1-1? Seriously?

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Not a Myth

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

What if mythological creatures (centaurs, cyclops, ogres, etc.) actually did exist at one time? 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Time to Start Over

Before I got the yarn for the blue afghan, I had about a week with nothing to work on. I've had this idea for a while now to do another dragon swatch, so I started it. Then I got the blanket yarn, and I started the afghan. But I was about halfway done with the dragon. 

The dragon is an extra spicy knit, and while I knew where I was in the pattern, I wanted to finish it before I put all my focus into the afghan. A week ago, I spent about two days really focusing on the dragon.

And then I took a good look at what I had knit.

The first obvious mistake was something I could fix, kind of. I knew just what to do, but it was something I would do after I finished. The second obvious mistake I thought I could ladder back to and fix. Only, when I did that I made it worse.

And that's when I knew. The piece was a goner.

The best way to fix it is to rip it out and start over. Deep sigh.

I could point out the errors, but I'm not in the mood to go to the trouble. They're obvious in person. More importantly, they'll bug me if I don't fix them. 

But, I'll do that once the afghan is finished. Now that I'm not trying to finish this piece, I don't have anything else to distract me from finishing the afghan.

And I just wanted to make a note of the dragon before I ripped it out and started over. For me.

I hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Friday Late

I have a phrase I use when a morning kind of goes sideways. I wake up on time. I get out of my house on time. But then I hit every red light. Or I get stuck behind a garbage truck. (Or both...) And even though I should be on time, something caused me to be late.

Since it seems to be a Friday phenomenon (I don't know why), the term is "Friday late". 

Last Friday became a Friday late.

First the traffic lights. Then the garbage truck. (I had to wait for forty cars to dart around me before I could get around it. Even the school bus that I got stuck behind a block earlier was able to dodge the garbage truck.) 

And then on my way to the classroom, I ran into a fellow sub and we got to talking. I realized I should get moving as I knew I had technology to set up, and considering how the Friday was already going, I figured odds were good that things weren't going to work. But still...

So, instead of having nearly a half hour to troubleshoot, I had about ten minutes. Ish. 

I had seen Ms. S the previous day, and she showed me what I needed. She had a DVD player set up. But there were also a couple videos (on Costa Rica--it was a Spanish class) on YouTube, so I had to set up her computer. But it wouldn't let me log in. (This is a usual problem that I anticipated, but it took an extra couple minutes that I didn't really have.) 

As the students arrived, I was still setting up. Once class started, I started the video...

"I don't think we're at this part yet."

I checked the time on the DVD player. Ms. S had left the time code as to when they left off, and it was a good six minutes past that. But that was an easy enough fix.

Phew. The videos worked. And while I spent the first class scrambling, the students didn't really lose any time. (We were missing a video worksheet, but Ms. S had forgotten to leave me those copies.) By the second class, everything was running smoothly.

Friday late got me again. But it's something that only bothers me before class starts. Once the day truly begins, the day tends to fall into place.

(In case anyone is curious, the Spanish II class finished the movie A Better Life. They watched it in Spanish with English subtitles. Then they saw "What Is Costa Rica?" and "Costa Rica: Animal Paradise of the World". Those were in English. The Spanish III classes watched Viva Cuba in Spanish with English subtitles.)

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Performance Review

Thursday. Tenth grade world history. Sixth period.

The students had an assignment in Google Classroom. Pretty standard stuff. They had some reading to do followed by questions. I told them this, and then I told them to get started. I went through the seating chart taking roll.

Nadine was not in her assigned seat. I asked her to move. And then I asked her again. And again. Nicely, I thought. I said, "Please." I said, "Thank you." It was after the fourth of fifth request that she did, in fact, move back to her seat.

She complained. She wasn't sure what to do. I hadn't explained it "well enough". (This was directed at a friend, not me.) I wasn't sure what more she needed explained. I told Nadine that my lesson plans said pretty much what I had already told them. If she had any difficulty figuring out something, I would, of course, assist her in that.

Nadine didn't want my help. She and the rest of the class got to work.

It was one of those boring days. The students worked quietly. I strolled to the back of the classroom to see what they had on their computers. Most of them had the assignment. Most of them were doing it.

They packed up at the end of class. The bell rang. They left. 

Nadine approached me.

She started out nice enough. But quickly she got into the reason for wanting to talk to me. She said that I did not do my job. She said that I did not behave appropriately. And she said she would get her mother to come down to the school to complain if I wanted to take this further.

Um... okay...?

I'm not sure what more she wanted, really. But whatever. I didn't feel like arguing with her. She left (with her two friends who laughed at her audacity while my talking to happened). And then it was lunchtime.

Of course, I get the last laugh. I noted this conversation in my note to her teacher. And now I'm making fun of her on my blog. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Found Me

Our first day back after the winter break was Wednesday. (The teachers had a professional development day on Tuesday. Monday was just another day off.) I was unsure as to whether or not I would work until something popped up on Monday.

As I was on my way to the classroom from the office, I stopped in the teacher's mail room. I figured since it was the first day of the semester, I should probably check Mr. F's box just in case there were rosters or something in there. Turned out that the students' new schedules were there, schedules that I was going to have to pass out.

But also while I was there, another teacher was in the mail room. Ms. L turned to me and asked, "You wouldn't be Mr. F's sub, would you?" 

It turned out that she had his lesson plans. She would have eventually knocked on his door, but this way she didn't have to make the extra trip.

Mr. F has an instructional aide. (He teaches a couple periods of English language development.) I worked with Ms. R in that summer school class I taught two summers ago. (I also started Mr. F's class before he was hired, but that was a bit longer ago.) Since then, I've attended a couple of Ms. R's off campus gatherings. (Long story.) She had wanted to run into me to let me know about another similar group. 

It's funny how findable I was last week. I've got one more story.

On Thursday, I was on my way to check in for the day when a teacher stopped me. "You're subbing for me tomorrow, right?" Indeed, I was. Ms. S needed to touch base with me to make sure I knew how set up her video-showing equipment. (More on that on Friday.)

I've been around long enough that many of the teachers (and staff, and administrators) know who I am. They can find me if they need to.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Their Big Secret

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

Lately I've been watching a bunch of reruns on TV. One of the shows is In Plain Sight which is about a U.S. Marshal and her witnesses in the witness protection program. And one episode I saw last week got me thinking...

What if you learned that someone close to you was in the witness protection program? (It was a bigger deal on the show as a 16-year-old girl found out her mother was in the program and had been since before she was born. I can't specify anything that specific, but the closer to you the better.)

Monday, January 15, 2024

It's Begun

I pulled out my stitch dictionaries and found a pattern. I cast on. I started with moss stitch for the bottom and the sides. And I just completed one pattern repeat.

So, the new afghan is coming along. It's not quite big enough for me to enjoy the warmth while I'm working on it, but it'll get there sooner or later. Hopefully before things warm up.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Wild Boys

Tuesday. Seventh period. Middle school art.

I had covered this class once before. I had had some of these boys in other classes (most notably, a math class). I knew I was in for it.

I had a couple roamers. (I don't know what it is about some students not being able to stay in their seats.) I had a kid with a basketball (that I had to confiscate). I even had to stop kiddos from chasing each other (in a classroom!). 

It's an art class. It's not fair to the art teachers, but many of the worst behavior problems get stuck in the art classes. Usually it's because these students don't choose an elective, so they get put in one. 

But this is a story about Aspen.

Aspen is a small African-American boy. And he thinks that he's all that.

He was late to class. He was constantly out of his seat, instigating trouble, and not doing the quiz he was supposed to be doing. (It was the final.)

A couple times I lost track of him, and then I found him outside the classroom. Ugh. 

Most students know to ask if they want to leave the room. Even if they're just stepping outside to blow their nose or something, they indicate this to me.

Aspen? When I questioned him on why he was disappearing, he said the room was too warm. I pointed out that he could just take off his jacket. This he refused to do.

(The room was not too warm. I run warm. I was comfortable. If anything, the room was cool.)

Towards the end of the period, Aspen had disappeared again. I went to retrieve him only to find him being escorted back to class by security. Security even said that Aspen was out of control. Yup. Agreed.

So, security escorted him from the room. (Alas, I had other issues, so I didn't get much relief from him being gone.)

As I was walking to my car after school, I passed a group of middle school teachers (who I've subbed for at various times), two security guys, and Aspen. (One of the security guys was the one who had escorted Aspen from class.) 

Aspen was loudly protesting. What I gleaned from the bit I overheard (I did not stop, so it was a brief snippet) was that Aspen had jumped some kid (with a couple friends--three on one was what the teachers were saying), but Aspen was denying involvement. Loudly. He was denying involvement in a way that made it clear he was definitely guilty.

Ah. No wonder he was so wound up.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Remember Me?

The Tuesday of finals week (the week before winter break), I caught an art class. I had covered Ms. G's class back in September (one of the first I covered after finishing the long-term freshman English class), so I had a pretty fair idea of what I was in for.

Third period. Their final consisted of them completing a slide show on Google Slides on the seven elements of art

The class was largely freshmen. While most of them got right to work on what they needed to do, I had some of the usual issues.

I approached the back far table to remind the three boys they should be working on their final.

"You hated our fifth period, didn't you?"

Jensen had been in that fifth period freshman English class that I started the school year in. But in that moment, that's not where my mind was. Monday I had just finished up the long term special ed social studies class, and I hadn't even been back on this campus since the beginning of November. 

I vaguely recalled the English class. But it would have taken me a minute to cast my mind back to that time. I didn't want to take that minute. I replied.

"I have covered so many classes since then. I don't remember."

Because holding onto the emotions from classes isn't worth the effort. I keep things fresh in my memory for a week until I post the interesting bits here, but then many of the events get lost when I get busy doing something else the next day. It's fun to go searching through my past posts sometimes. I'll read something and barely recall the incident (until I read it, and then sometimes I recall it vividly). 

As I watched the class, I did cast my mind back to September. Jensen was consistently late, sometimes as much as a half hour. And as he played around rather than doing his final, I noted that he hadn't grown up any in the past three months.

Apparently it was a point of pride with Jensen that his class was awful? 

Ah, freshmen. They are such different creatures.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Ten Minute Coverage

The second semester starts today, so I'm back to posting about my subbing adventures. This week's posts all happened before winter break.

On Tuesday, I managed to catch a gig, which was great as it was finals week. The teacher I was subbing for had a first period prep, so I was just sitting in her classroom, trying to keep from being bored, when the phone rang. 

Could I cover a first period? It wasn't going to be for the full first period, just a half hour or so.

We get paid extra for covering extra periods, so of course I took it. I headed across campus.

It was French class. As the students arrived, I asked them about their final. They had no idea if they were having a final. (The time allotted for their final was that period.) 

I was going to tell them to look over the material so they'd be ready for their final. But, since they weren't sure, I told them they could spend their time going over material for any of their finals. (Luckily it was first period, so the finals had just started.)

It's hard to deal with a class when there are no lesson plans. But of course there were no lesson plans as the teacher was just running late, not missing the whole period. 

So, I started off by taking roll. By the time I was ready to settle in (as the kiddos had followed my instruction and many of them appeared to be looking over notes or quizzing each other with flash cards), Mme. F walked in. 


All in, I was in class for maybe ten minutes. Well, okay, then.

(Mme. F got stuck in traffic. Something about a shooting and a detour.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Not Quite the Conspiracy

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

What if that conspiracy theory was constructed just to distract us from a very mundane but very angering truth? I'm not specifying any particular conspiracy theory, only that it's not all of them. 

Monday, January 8, 2024

New Project Loading

Just got the yarn...

(Michael's was having a buy one/get one 50% off sale on all yarn.) Now the planning begins.

(After seeing the dragon afghan, my father's wife requested a throw of her own, minus dragon. Since it's cold and I've enjoyed working with the yarn, now's as good a time as any. I seem to recall being here this time last year. I have thoughts. I'll update my progress as it happens.)

Friday, January 5, 2024

Oh What Fun!

This past summer I started doing random questions on Fridays (as the quizzes were too much work sometimes), so that's what I'm posting today. 

It's the end of winter break, sort of. (We have this coming Monday and Tuesday off as well.) I know that most people went back to work this week, so we're a bit weird with that. (I don't know who decides the school calendar. I just go along with what was decided by them.)

Of the holidays that just passed, what did you enjoy the most?

(I can't answer this question yet, as I am writing this on December 20th. Maybe I'll have something to add in the comments.) 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

13 Laws of the Internet

We're still on winter break, so my subbing stories from the last week of the semester will wait until next week. For today's Thursday 13, I've compiled some internet "laws" that various people have come up with. By "laws", we mean in the scientific sense, not the legal sense. But unlike real scientific laws, I don't think anyone has actually done the work to prove these. 

I relied heavily on Wikipedia for this as the definitions there were written the most succinctly. I also cribbed a bit from this blog post from 2009 that I stumbled across.

1. Poe's Law

Taken from Wikipedia: Poe's law is an adage of internet culture which says that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, any parodic or sarcastic expression of extreme views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of those views.

This one is the reason for the list today. I ran across a post on social media that had sparked debate. (I didn't save it, so I can't recall what it was about.) Someone argued Poe's law (as opposed to taking the post seriously). And I realized that this would make an excellent topic as there were several others that immediately popped in my head.

2. Muphry's Law

From Wikipedia: If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.

Via Sketchplanations

Ever since hearing of this, I have been very, very careful when noticing errors online. I'm completely paranoid. When I'm tempted to point it out, I resist. (Here's another link about it.) There are several related corollaries, but I won't specify them here.

3. Finagle's Law

Also from Wikipedia: Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment.

4. Godwin's Law

This one may be one of the oldest memes on the internet. Via Wikipedia: Godwin's law, short for Godwin's law of Nazi analogies, is an Internet adage asserting that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches 1.

This was funnier before more recent times. 

5. Dunning-Kruger Effect

I refer to this one frequently. It's something that you can really see with teenagers. 

Again, Wikipedia boils it down quite well: The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with limited competence in a particular domain overestimate their abilities. 

Or, in other words, absolute beginners think they know way more than people with experience do. And don't we see this one all the time everywhere?

6. Rule 34

If it exists, there is porn of it. (Wikipedia actually has a longer version definition.)

While I was compiling this list, I stumbled across this one, and I could have smacked myself. Because this one I knew, but I had completely forgotten it. It rears its head every so often, and every time I'm like, oh right, I know this one. 

I, uh... don't want to find an image to go with this one. I have a feeling that's going to go very, very badly.

7. Rule 35

If no such porn exists, it will be made.

Just in case you thought you could find an exception to rule 34. (There's a whole list of these. This link goes to TV Tropes, but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere as well. Be warned: TV Tropes is a rabbit hole that you might not get out of, so don't click any links.)

8. Streisand Effect

Again, via Wikipedia: The Streisand effect is an unintended consequence of attempts to hide, remove, or censor information, where the effort instead backfires by increasing awareness of that information.

Via Sketchplanations

This, of course, was named after Barbra Streisand, and there's a whole story behind it

9. Brandolini's Law

Also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, here's Wikipedia's definition: The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.

Via Sketchplanations

10. Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. (Or, alternatively: Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence.)

Via xkcd: When You Assume

11. Cunningham's Law

The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer.

Via xkcd: Duty Calls

When I saw this one, I laughed. Because it feels true, doesn't it? (There are some long-winded articles about it, too.)

12. Hofstadter's Law

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

Via Sketchplanations

13. Kranzberg's laws of technology

Well, there are six, but I'll only type out the first: Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral. The others are in this graphic. (Clicking on it should make it bigger so you can see it.)

Or, if you prefer, here's a longer article on them.

Which of these had you heard of before? 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Doom Patrol

It is winter break at the schools, so I will save any subbing stories until school is back in session. That means it's time to talk about a TV show.

When it comes to TV shows, I sort of collect lists of what sort of looks interesting, but I don't actually start any until the right mood strikes. In late November, the mood was finally right to start Doom Patrol. (Well, that and the new season had started, which meant it was at the top of the streaming page.) 

And... it's dark. I made it through the pilot, barely. It took about half of the first season for me to be on board. (It helped that I don't have much to watch at the moment, so each night I'd just start the next episode.) I like the show, but with reservations. 

We start out with five main characters. In season one, they're trying to find their "chief", the man who found them all and has tried to help them. 

So, for some character soup: we've got Cliff the robot (whose brain was the only thing that survived a car accident), Jane with DID (and each of her personalities has a different superpower), Jack who has an energy being trapped inside him (and who almost died in a plane crash), Rita the former movie star (who turns into a blob of goo), and Victor the cyborg. 

It's not your typical superhero show. These characters are damaged. They've all suffered some serious trauma, and the show is mostly about how they deal with that, and with their superpowers (which they don't really use to save people). 

The best way to get a feel for it is to see a trailer. The show just finished its fourth (and last) season, so I'm posting all four seasons' trailers. 

Season one:

Season two:

Season three:

And season four:

Have you seen Doom Patrol? Is there another show you could recommend to me? (I'm always on the lookout for something to stream.)

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Not a Secret

What if? It's the basis of many stories. We ask. We ponder. We wonder. 

On Tuesdays I throw one out there. What if? It may be speculative. It may stem from something I see. It may be something I pull from the news. 

Make of it what you will. If a for instance is not specified, interpret that instance as you wish. And if the idea turns into a story, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

What if the thing you thought was a big secret was known to everyone? (That is, you thought it was a secret, but it turns out that it's not. You've not been saying anything, and then you find out that people knew this all along.)

Monday, January 1, 2024

Actually, Really Buttoned Up

It's a new year, but I have some old business to discuss for the very last time. Really. I'm sure. 

(Well, I might bring it up again, but only to reference the project. Because... It. Is. Done. Officially. Really. I mean it this time.)

I, of course, mean that body pillow cover. The last time I mentioned it, I said I wasn't going to touch it again until January as I had other projects to complete. 

I got the dragon afghan finished and shipped out. It arrived in time for Christmas. And then I was down with a cold, so I wasn't feeling like doing anything. But I was better by Wednesday (well, Tuesday evening), and then suddenly my fingers got that itch. I was ready to do something. But what?

And that's when I looked at the body pillow cover. I realized that I started it in January (or at least, I started planning it in January). And I thought, I could totally keep the project entirely in 2023. If I finished it up immediately.

So, that's what I did.

I had used some vintage buttons I had on hand to close the cover up.

But, unfortunately, they didn't do the job all that well. So, I figured I might as well use the big buttons I had bought specifically for this project. 

I decided to double the buttons, and as they were bigger, I'd need to make buttonholes. So, I did a single crochet edging with holes for the buttons, and then I finished that off with another row of crab stitch. I am rather pleased with the results.

No gaps. Yay!

I am pleased. This is what I wanted all along. And now it's done.


And now I have to figure out what I'm going to make next. Sigh.

The pillow cover's progress in blog posts: