Friday, April 22, 2011

Cooling off the Three Cups of Tea outrage

Amira on the Greg Mortensen scandal:

in which she points to this news piece, as evidence how difficult it is for anyone to do development/aid work in Central Asia

And, even Krakauer points out Mortensen has done a lot of good, has built schools.  Just  not as many has he's said, and the money's not being handled the way you've been led to believe.

I can't bring myself to regret the money I've donated to Mortensen's Central Asian Institute.  I do, however, expect they'll now bring their financial practices into line, and I do hope they'll be able to continue good work.

The Guardian complains that the US uses Mortensen because he provides a feminist pretext for interfering in foreign countries.  I'm laughing because of all the Soviet materials I read in college in Uzbek.  The Soviets needed an underclass to justify the revolution, and chose women as their substitute proletariat.  I'm not on board that furthering women's education is really the same thing.  

Most enlightening review of the Book of Mormon Musical

Which I badly sum up in my own words here:
Thinks religion is ridiculous, but Mormon people are nice.  They got the doctrinal details correct.  It's crude, the language goes beyond a few f-words.  There are on-stage sex acts, mimed I presume.  Very, very funny if you like South Park humor, but music isn't that great (road show?) and performers aren't A-list quality.  Evident racism in the way the Ugandan characters are presented.  Big reliance on shock value.

I haven't seen the show, unlike the reviewer I link to above.
My husband saw the show and liked it, but I don't think I would.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

reading lamp hunt

LED, but 90 of them? too bright?  toggle on column. ~$190
square base is cool but I don't like the traditional shade.

Halogen, ~$300, not modern but functional classic.  

a little too show-biz, halogen,  switch near bulb, $100

LED, switch on column, diffuser is a big old dorky glass circle, ~$150 

"Gyro" bends in 3 places, LEDs, in-line pedal switch (on cord?!), too dental? ~$180

Halogen, high-quality German company, but 4x price
LED, switch on column, looks like shower head, ~$150

LEDs, 20 of them in square pattern,  toggle on column, ~$120

too long a light line?  LEDs, oval base
So, I need three reading lamps--two for our room, so we can read at night, and one for the piano.

I figure stand lamps would be best. And, if they all match, we can borrow the lamps from our room for other musicians when there's a concert at the house.

LED, switch at light, too-shiny chrome finish ~$150

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kacy on Obvious Homemaking Tips

Blog: Everyday I write the Book; Tag: Obvious Tips

best ever.
they're useful, but what makes them really good is:
she's a good writer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

guest post: my son on church talks

It seems like whenever someone gives a talk at church, they always cry excessively.

"boo-bhoo-hoo, sniffle, and that is my secret chili bean recipe, for which I am very thankful. sniffle."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Patio Furniture, of synthetic wicker

Yes, nothing is so dull as watching me shop. But I'm going cross-eyed trying to figure this out, so I'm putting my notes here.

Price range, top to bottom.

Niko 6-pc. Two corners, two armless, two ottomans.
Pros: can make conversational setting. Two armrests can hold drinks.
Cons: lots of pieces.
Confused: silver corner feet
1-2 week delivery

same price
Savannah 3-piece plus table
Pros: Corner and two 5" sides, '
Cons: table wants to be chinese but isn't. Glass top smaller than table surface
Confused: channel that the cushion tucks into. Are the cushions thin, or comfy? No visible feet
3-4 week delivery

$100 less
Encore 4-piece. Chaise long, armless, one-armed loveseat, table.
Pros: lots of positive reviews, including on thickness, comfy-ness, and stability of cushions

also $100 less
Euro Lounger Set. One SofaSleeper/DoubleLounge, two club chairs, two sidetables. Conversationally perfect.
Pros: Hey, we can sleep outside. (but we could do that on the trampoline too?)
Cons: Could be considered weird? Tufted cushions on the SofaSleeper.
1-2 week delivery

Also $100 less Panorama 4-pc One couch, one 1-armed, two sidetables
Pros: Good reviews. Could be couch + odd chair
Cons: Cushions are hard
2-3 weeks

$400 less (on sale)
Endura 6-piece: 2 corners, 2 one-arms, armless loveseet, large ottoman
Pros: Darker fabric. Makes nice long sofa plus loveseat plus ottoman.
Cons: lotsa pieces, corners won't work as armrests. Some sliding apart complaints in reviews, no clamps to hold pieces together, suggest using zipties.

$600 less Portofino sofa and table
Pros: Sofa, which is my #1 priority. Cushions look good.
Cons: coffee table hard to put together according to reviewer. No conversational seating, which is my #2 priority. Rather than legs, this has platform style.