Cure for the Common Core

I used to be “knee jerk” for “Common Core” because I perceived so many Red and/or low achieving states “watering down” their education standards to be able to say they were “better”, graduated more high school seniors etc.

I have just finished reading The Math Myth and other STEM Delusions by Andrew Hacker,  a retired Professor.  In both the NY Times OpEd piece and this book he calls into question the Math portion of the Common Core.

He critiques what it teaches, how what is taught is being measured by standardized testing and if the measurement is sexually biased.  Apparently problem solving strategies are different between male and female students (and Adults I presume).  Current standardized testing is biased towards fast, “correct” test strategies/guessing something many males do well.

He argues successfully, I think, that Arithmetic-based courses in “Quantitative Reasoning” are much more useful for the educated citizen that Algebra is.  He makes a GREAT case for booting pure algebra out of high school and college math requirements.  So what is he advocating?

Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Percentages, solving for the unknown so you can figure out how much you need to change for a cooking recipe, practical understanding of statistics and probability without having to derive the underlying algebra and/or calculus.  Applied statistics for gambling.  Etc.

He also points to “The New Math” that I was exposed to in 7th-8th grade in 1962 as another example of “the myth”.  My wife is a retired Chemical Engineer.  She told me years ago that they didn’t use the math taught in Engineering school to calculate results.  They used tables and other references.

So the next step for me is to locate a course or book to work through the topic of “adult arithmetic” or “numeracy” [John Allen Paulos].  I am still looking around for something good on these topics.  If you have an idea please let me know.

Posted in Books I am reading, Personal Musings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FabJob Guide to Become a Web Designer

I was on where I ran across a writer listing  where they wanted to hire a writer to write the “FabJob Guide to Become a Web Designer.”  It occurred to me that while I probably don’t qualify to get hired to do this topic for them, I am both interested and qualified enough to write such an e-book on this topic.


The first thing I have to decide is “what is a web designer”?  Why is this an issue?  Because the one of the first questions is how much graphic design knowledge, skill and editing software is included in being a Web Designer?  How much “Front-end Web developer” knowledge (Html5, css3, javascript, PHP, MySQL) does a web designer need?

While I am pondering that I would like to point to Robin William’s “The Non-Designer’s Design Book (4th Edition) 4th Edition” book as an excellent starting point on this topic.

With any luck, I can blog on this and follow my entire process through.

Posted in Consulting Advice, Personal Musings | Tagged | Leave a comment

Want more than a Chromebook with a turnkey installation?

If you have tried CloudReady, the excellent software only clone of a Chromebook and it either won’t install or you need the flexibility of a user-friendly Linux as well as features of the Chromebook, I would like to suggest CUB – Linux.  CUB – Linux was previously known as Chromixium but Google asked them to change the name.

The goal is the same.  To provide a near Chromebook look alike, with easy access to Linux features.  If you have used the Chrome browser in Windows but mostly not anything else in Windows, you will get the same general feeling except that CUB – Linux will run on older intel hardware that won’t run Windows 10 or CloudReady.

CUB – Linux will co-exist with Windows as well as another Linux installation.  If you have XP/Pro and want to upgrade but Windows 7/10 etc are not usable choices you should try CUB – Linux.

If you have very old intel hardware that won’t run CUB – Linux fast enough, then you may find that Puppy Linux will run on it.



Posted in Consulting Advice, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Virtual Services – Here!

I am expanding the services I am offering to include Personal and Administrative Assistance.  If you are being buried by support activities so you can’t get to your main service/products/marketing activities, then offload them to someone else.  Like me.

I also provide content management and new content for websites.

You can get a good idea of what additional things I can do for you by looking at my Linkedin profile.


Posted in Consulting Advice, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to get paid to be a tourist

By Tom Miller
16 February 2014
Revised: 26 December 2015


The inspiration for this article is a book: Jobs in Paradise that I found at my local public Library “several” years ago.  It got me to thinking about jobs that pay you to do something that you might pay someone else to allow you to do.  Like being a tourist.

So what is a “tourist”?  From™ on the Internet I get:

a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

“the pyramids have drawn tourists to Egypt”

synonyms: vacationer, travelersightseervisitor, backpacker, globetrotter, day tripper, out-of-towner; More

So ask yourself.  What if “Life is a journey, not a destination”?  Could you take pleasure in a Journey that you were being paid to go to?  If the answer is yes, then I have a deal for you!

There any many jobs out there that will pay you to travel from point A to point B and then from point B to point C.  And most of them will pay you to go home, occasionally.

I can point to a tourist guide, airline steward/stewardess, yacht crewperson, vacation liner crewperson, travel blogger, RV delivery driver and truck driver as possible ways you could be paid to go someplace you have never been before.

Let’s take truck driving as an example.  A truck driver hauls a variety of freight over short, medium and very long distances.  You probably will want a regional or long distance job or you will never see any new scenery.  At least part of the time, you will be driving during the daytime, which gives you a chance to see scenery and sights you have never seen before. Often you can stop at a roadside rest area and really view what you were passing through.

You can work for companies who send you all over the country you live in or even all over a continent or companies that run you up and down “lanes” which would get you home more regularly. Once you have had at least 9 months or a year of truck driving experience you can usually find a job wherever you want, driving how much you want.  Many truck driving jobs include “no touch freight” which means you don’t have to get hot, sweaty and tired unloading or loading the freight you are moving.

Modern trucks include air-conditioning, power-steering and auxiliary power systems. This means you don’t have to tolerate as extreme working conditions as truck drivers used to and truck vibration while sleeping.  If you sign on with a “no-forced dispatch” company you can turn down loads that you are not willing to take to a particular locale.  Most companies will tell you if they service “New York City” or not.  You most likely don’t want to drive a truck in NYC.  It is very cramped in there for a full-sized semi-tractor/trailer rig.

I wrote another article on “How to become a truck driver” if you are interested in further details on that subject.

The bottom line is there are jobs that will pay you to go places and see things!  Just Google™ for them.

Posted in Personal Musings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

The Movie.

I appear to have missed this movie.  You shouldn’t!

Posted in Personal Musings | Leave a comment

The Work of Christmas

I first found this as a reading in my church hymnal.  Later we sang it is part of our Choir’s “Music of the Season” church service.

This is by Howard Thurman

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

  • “The Work of Christmas” in The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)

Here is a lovely performance (not my church) of it.


Posted in Music, Personal Musings | Leave a comment