Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home Schooling

I have to admit, when my daughter first said she was going to home school my grandchildren I was a bit hesitant. After all, she doesn't have a degree and wasn't exactly a motivated student for much of her academic career. But I must say I am very pleased with the results so far.

With home schooling you can spend time with the child when it is convenient to learn, indeed the entire day can be a series of learning events. My 5 year old grandson has read a book to me, does basic math and is on the verge of basic algebra. He and his three year old sister are also learning Spanish and other more complex topics through a CO-OP of other home schooling parents. I even helped a little with a science lesson but I need to do more, I just wish they, or we lived closer, it is a 60 minute drive to go visit. Of course, he is also more computer savvy and likes his learning games that he is allowed to play 30 minutes a day.

At a recent consignment sale Michelle picked up a lap harp and a whole pile of music for it, now Mikie loves to play that as well and does a bang-up job too! Once he develops a bit more hand strength and coordination she plans to start him on guitar and dulcimer, he already loves to sing. I guess I need to dust off the woodworking tools and build him a Dulcimer of his own. Of course I have also seen a place where you can get a kit that has cardboard and wood that you can use build your own Dulcimer, maybe he and I can do that as a project once he is old enough.

With all the troubles we hear about in schools these days, I am really starting to like the home-school option, combined with a good CO-OP with other like-minded parents the kids can be taught more, get socialized and in many places even opt to play on regular school's sports teams should they desire.

With home schooling Mikie and his sisters (Hannah and Lily) get to spend lots of quality time with Michelle, and learn to help with home chores. They help tend the chickens, help with house work, and Mikie really likes helping his Dad with the various maintenance tasks around the house. The kids also get plenty of outdoor playtime. One of their gifts this last year partially from us was a really nice wood play set outside where they can climb, swing and role play to their hearts content.

I am looking forward to helping with science and math as Mikie and his sisters progress. Of course it won't be long I fear before they start asking questions I can't answer!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Morning Walk

In an attempt to die at the slowest possible rate I have started walking a mile each morning (that I remember). In order to keep from being bored, I try to keep a count on the squirrel population, with the cost of meat these days I may be cataloging future meals, you never know.

Anyway, the average for my mile walk so far is about 20 squirrels now how that compares to national averages I don't know, but they seem happy and healthy and are enjoying the bumper crop of maple seeds this this year. I also watch for interesting birds and anything interesting my neighbors may or may not be doing. To tell you the truth, so far my neighbors are fairly boring, the usual yapping dogs, odd looking cats and over done yards. With the kids out for spring break (remember before the PC era it was called Easter break?) I don't even get to see the latest clothing fads as I pass them at the bus stop.

On my walk this morning I saw a relative rarity (no, not a teenager up before noon) I saw an albino squirrel in the wild. White fur, pink eyes, pale skin, the entire albino genome in a compact package. Of course small albino animals of any ilk are rare because being different makes them stand out from the rest of the herd (or is that a dray or scurry for squirrels?) and makes it hard to hide from predators.

I am sure there is a cosmically important lesson there but I haven't had enough coffee to decipher it from the background noise. Anyway, the brain may actually be awake enough no face AWR and Statspack report analysis now (for those not aware, Oracle databases use these to tell me what is wrong with them) so I will close for today, time to rejoin the scurry!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Civics 101

The founding fathers set up the government with three branches: The Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial. These three branches where set up to provide checks and balances against each other to prevent any one branch form getting too much power. The Legislative consists of the Congress and the Senate, the Executive is the President, Vice President and their various helpers and of course the Judicial is the Supreme Court.

The Legislative creates the laws and sets the budget. The Executive has veto power over the laws made, sets policies, deals with foreign powers, etc. and the Judicial makes sure the other two follows the constitution and sets precedents used by lower courts to judge the constitutionality of the various states laws and other issues.

Now we have a POTUS who feels the the Supreme court shouldn't overturn his favorite law because they aren't elected. He actually said it was unprecedented which means that the Supreme court has never overturned laws passed by the legislative branch. As a point of order over 158 laws passed by the Legislative branch were found unconstitutional. It is the job of the Supreme court to overturn unconstitutional laws. Supposedly the POTUS is a constitutional scholar, I wonder which constitution?