REPOSTING… New post on My Adventures in Beekeeping: Preparing for Winter: Part One by AndreaV

Well it’s that time of year. The leaves are changing, the nights are cooler, and the bees are preparing for winter.  Here is an overview of first round of winterizing. In another month or so we will attach insulation and probably change our feeding system, but that’s a discussion for another, colder, day!

We started this process about two weeks ago (I’m running a little behind in the blog-o-sphere).

Reposting & congrats to: VAMboozled’s Two-Year Anniversary

VAMboozled’s Two-Year Anniversary

Posted: 01 Nov 2015 07:53 AM PST

It’s our two year anniversary, so I thought I would share our current stats and our thanks to all who are following (n ≥ 15,000), and also sharing out our independent, open-access, research- and community-based content. We still have a lot of work to be done in terms of America’s test-based teacher evaluation systems, but I feel like we are certainly having a positive impact on the nation writ large, again, with thanks to you all!!

On that note, if there are others (e.g., teachers, students, parents, administrators, school board members, policy advisers, policymakers) who you might know but who might not be following, please do also share and recommend.

Here are our stats (that are also available on our About page):

November, 2013: Blog went live
May, 2014: Subscribers ≈ 3,000; Hits per month ≈ 50,000*
November, 2014: Subscribers ≈ 8,000; Hits per month ≈ 100,000*
May, 2015: Subscribers ≈ 13,000; Hits per month ≈ 160,000*
November, 2015: Subscribers ≈ 15,000; Hits per month ≈ 180,000*


REPOST: CURMUDGUCATION NC: Queen of NCLB Takes Over University

NC: Queen of NCLB Takes Over University

Posted: 02 Nov 2015 08:18 AM PST

North Carolina’s conservative GOP leadership has been working hard to show the nation how an education system can be trashed

quickly and thoroughly, and while we have focused lots of attention on how they are trying to gut their K-12 system, what dismantling of public education would be complete without going after the state’s flagship university?

The writing (in big blocky letters carved out in crayon) has been on the wall for a while. Governor Patrick McCrory proposed a new funding formula

for the university system just as soon as he took office in January of 2013.

It’s not based on butts in seats but on how many of those butts can get jobs.

Stupid liberal arts. What universities need to be doing is providing high-level vocational training.

But the big shocker came when the state systems board of governors, led by Charlotte lawyer John Fennebresque, canned the well-respected university president Tom Ross. The firing was not well-received, and was even less well-received because Fennebresque and the board would not explain their action. Not political, they said. Doing a great job, they said. But still out of a job. The board is hand picked by the legislature, but Fennebresque swears “on a stack of Bibles” that nobody at the capital tells him what to do.
The search for Ross’s replacement was quickly lost in a forest of red flags. The search was conducted in secrecy, with no opportunity for participation or input from university faculty or even many members of the board of governors. And the secrecy wasn’t all that effective, because word leaked that one and possibly only one candidate was being considered– this despite the legislature passing a rule to require the search to look at at least three.

And then in October, the board called an “emergency meeting” to consider one, and only on, candidate. It’s not exactly clear what the “emergency” might have been– UNC would be overrun with herds of unruly hamsters without a president in place? But the legislature found themselves circumvented and the faculty and half of the board of governors found themselves ignored.

And that one candidate?

Margaret Spellings.

Sometimes 8 + 1 does not = 9

​​Good Monday Moanin’ – Oct. 26, 2015

Sleeping for 8 hours, then rolling my clock back 1 hour, does not mean I got 9 hours of sleep!

Each spring and fall the Lakota Nation posts this proverb on its web site: When told the reason for daylight saving time the old Indian said…‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.’

Anyone else besides me remember life before Daylight Savings Time? Michigan did not observe DST from 1949-1967.  Since I was born in 1948 and graduated high school in 1967 – that helps.

My Grampa Harry Harwood and his son Harry Jr. who we all called Uncle Junior, both worked at the same factory – Arrowhead Steel in Howell – Grampa was the factory foreman and I recall very clearly they had seasonal hours. The purpose was really the same as DST I suppose – the principle being that since the building had large skylights they wanted to be able to take advantage of daylight hours seasonally. In addition, I can recall some if not all of our many retail stores in our downtown area also posted “summer hours” which were slightly different than those in winter. I am not sure how much of the rationale had to do with daylight – some of course – but also I just think the longer days meant potential customers were out and about longer because of the additional daylight.

This past weekend we all had to remember: Spring forward and fall back for daylight saving time.

Here according to an article I spotted online at are five things that we need to know about the time change this weekend and the ongoing debate on whether to get rid of the practice.

  1. When do I need to change my clocks?

Officially, the time moves back one hour at 2 a.m. local time Nov. 1; you should reset your clocks before going to bed so you won’t arrive at appointments an hour early.

On the second Sunday in March, move your clocks ahead one hour.

  1. What effect does the time change have on my body?

The effect depends on a person’s age and work, eating and sleep schedules, according to David Earnest, a professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at Texas A&M University.

“Our internal clocks have to shift, be it only an hour, and the ability to do that varies from individual to individual,” Earnest said. Sleep-wake cycles change as people age, so adults 65 and older may struggle with the time change more than others. “(They) tend to go to bed earlier, wake up in the middle of the night and have sleep interrupted in the middle of the night by frequent waking and difficulty getting back to sleep,” he said. A typical person should be able to adjust to the new time change within a day or two, he said. The key is fighting the urge to take advantage of the extra hour.

“When it falls on the weekend, sometimes people think they get to sleep in an hour later, and they decide to stay up two, three hours later,” he said. “When you celebrate the time change and the extra hour, you overshoot, and irregularity adds to the problem.”

  1. Which states have ditched the time change?

Arizona and Hawaii are now the only two states that don’t observe daylight saving time. During daylight saving time, parts of Arizona match up with Pacific Time instead of the Mountain time zone that the state is in. U.S. territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas also do not observe daylight saving time.

Other states have tried to pass bills that would end daylight saving time and failed. Most recently, the Utah state legislature rejected a bill that would have ended it and another hasn’t made it out of the House Rule committee, KSTU-TV, Salt Lake City, reported.

Indiana was once like Arizona, but in 2005 the state joined most of the rest of the USA in observing daylight saving time. Before that year, the only counties in the state that observed the time change bordered parts of Kentucky and Illinois.

  1. When was daylight saving time signed into law?

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act into law. The U.S. Department of Transportation is the keeper of daylight saving time.

  1. Why does it exist?

One argument for daylight saving time is that fewer accidents happen during daylight hours, so extending morning daylight in winter and evening daylight in summer results in a slight reduction in automobile accidents. The idea behind daylight saving time is to take advantage of daylight hours and save energy. According to a 2008 federal Department of Energy study, U.S. electricity use decreased by 0.5% for each day of extended daylight saving time, resulting in a savings of 0.03% for the year as a whole, KING-TV, Seattle, reported.

The savings are small in percentage terms, but in absolute terms, they added up to 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours — enough to power about 122,000 average U.S. homes for a year. These savings come in the summer months of daylight saving time, not the Standard Time months we are about to enter. The time change actually is rooted in an agricultural society, Earnest said. The idea of “extending” daylight was meant to provide more time to work in the fields.

“General consensus is that really most of those things that were used as arguments for having daylight saving time in the past are really not applicable nowadays,” he said. “Every year, the question is: ‘Why are we continuing with this, particularly when in some cases, it is more of a nuisance than benefit?’ ”

(Contributed to USA Today by: Jolie Lee, USA TODAY; KING-TV, Seattle)

Michigan lawmakers say they want to ditch DST

They may not be able to decide on a way to finance road repairs but a couple of Michigan lawmakers say they want to ditch DST. Rick Pluta from Michigan Public Radio reports that two state lawmakers have forged a bipartisan effort to take Michigan off Daylight Saving Time. If they get their way, Sunday would be the final time Michiganders have to re-set their clocks to accommodate the time change.

State Representatives Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, and Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, say the twice-a-year time change is inconvenient, confusing, and can even be dangerous to people’s health and safety.

More on this here –

Good luck with that Reps. Irwin and Lucido.

I hope you get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before you take the floor when you make your case for changing the law.


Election Day 1948: TRUMAN WINS! (Not Dewey)

Yes… happy birthday to me. One more for me means one more for brother Joel.
And as my classmates exclaimed in our senior year (1967)  of high school, “What’s in heaven? SIXTY-SEVEN!
And another 30 of happy, healthy and whole years is fine with me.
Going to celebrate by doing some yard work today and throughout the week as we have a late Indian Summer upon us this week… a stretch of 60s and even 70s begins today. Mowing leaves and creating homemade fertilizer — clearing leaves and debris from the gutters — among other chores.
Son Mike taking me to lunch. In keeping with my “walk-everyday in November” I will stroll uptown to his insurance office. Suspect Shelly might just accompany us too.
Papa Taxi after school duties – probably just the two grand-daughters (Sarah and Maddie) as the boys will have  junior varsity (Mitch) and varsity (Auston) basketball workouts today.
Movie with Penny late this afternoon.  Robert Redford and Nick Nolte as they walk the Appalachian Trail. And I will think of late-cousin Ric Garwood who made a couple attempts but nagging injuries stopped his full completion of the challenge.
All in all a nice full day to celebrate living a nice full life and that’s my wish for one and all too.
Retirement: I highly recommend it.