Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day!

We ate the whole thing!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

hair salon

Until today, I was the only one ever to have given either of the boys a haircut. But they've been on a mission to grow their hair out (exactly how much is unclear), and I wasn't sure my skills were up to the longer cuts, so we went to Great Clips in the Diamond Heights Shopping Center.

VoilĂ !

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

new fence

We (and our neighbor) got a new fence for the west side of our backyard. We're told the old fence lasted 25 years, and the design on the new one is a bit better, so hopefully it will last even longer!

Step one was taking down the old fence.

The new posts went in next

The old fence had used pressure-treated wood for the posts, because they went straight into the footings. The new design has metal brackets in the footings, so that the posts are above grade. This is the improvement I mentioned above, which hopefully will extend the life of the fence.

Here is the nearly completed fence. The change in grade between the two yards is addressed using 2 x 12 pressure-treated wood along the bottom of the fence.

The other notable design difference is that the fence is symmetrical, so we and our neighbor see the same pattern of overlapping boards (a "picture frame board-on-board" design).

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Bacon of the Month: Ozark Trails

This month's bacon selection from Zingerman's hails from Arkansas. It's wet-brined, peppered, and probably the lowest on the sugar (and salt) so far. It's also the thinnest cut, and the smallest package (12 oz. versus 16 and 14 in the previous two months). To me, it tastes the most "bacony" of the three varieties. The pepper kicks in slowly, with a delayed aftertaste that I noticed several seconds after my first bite. I'd have to do a side-by-side comparison to be sure, but I think I like this better than the Nueske's!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

bedtime reading

mathematical thinking

The fourth graders are sometimes given a "problem of the week," which this week asked them how many more minutes there are with at least one 5 in them than minutes with at least one 6 in them in a 12 hour period (using a digital clock with no seconds). They are allowed to have an adult help them work through the problem.

One notion I've been trying to work with Anders on is that for a problem like this, figuring out the answer is only part of the solution—you also need to be able to explain your reasoning. Anders quickly figured out that there are "matching" minutes for 5s and 6s. That is, just as there is a 1:05, there is a 1:06. Then we explored the 5 o'clock and 6 o'clock hours, where every minute has a 5 in one, and every minute has a 6 in the other. Finally, we talked about the minutes from :50 to :59, where every minute has a 5, but only one (:56) has a six.

After all of that, we figured out the answer (there are 99 more minutes with at least one 5 than with at least one 6)—in fact, we figured it out three times, using slightly different techniques (two of which are on the left page below). Finally, we worked out a way to express the solution (right page). Once we had hashed that out, Anders wrote up the answer himself.