History of counting to three?

Counting to three is a common way to indicate to kids that you're being serious and they need to do what you're saying, and I find it helpful with my kids. It's associated with Thomas Phelan's 1995 book 123 Magic, but it's older than that:
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Childcare III

Four and six years ago I wrote posts describing what we'd tried for childcare. Now that the kids are older (7y and 5y), I can ask them what they liked and didn't. Both of gave the same order:
  1. Us or someone else (au pair, nanny, housemate, friend) watching them.
  2. In-person school.
  3. Virtual school.
  4. Watching themselves.

Anna has only just started Kindergarten, and so has very limited experience of school. She did a small amount of virtual preschool, because she didn't like that only Lily had calls, but she didn't like that and we stopped.

They really didn't like watching themselves:

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Handling Identical USB Sound Cards

My Pi Sound Box has two output channels, each on a USB sound card. One has a mic input and runs my whistle synth, the other has no audio input and runs fluidsynth. This worked fine, up until my first gig out (busking in the park) where it decided to swap the devices: my whistle card moved from hw:0,0 to hw:1,0, and vice-versa.

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Thinking About College Funding

A few years ago I wrote about how, if you're trying to decide between direct work and earning to give, the college price discrimination system of financial aid can push towards direct work. It's a bit of a niche thing, since it really only applies if:

  • Your children are likely enough to be admitted to the kind of institution that commits to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need, or otherwise has a similar "100% effective tax rate".

  • You're not be very interested in saving money for your own future use. The CSS Profile suggesting 5%/y for parental assets means that with three kids at 4y each you might be asked for 60% of assets.

  • Your earnings need to be low enough just before and during college, either because your career has never been highly lucrative or because you are willing to change your line of work for that time period.

Now that we have a third child I'm thinking about this again, and in our particular case I now think we are pretty unlikely to take the direct-work-minimize-income approach:

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Selecting the Default Browser in Facebook on Android

On mobile, when an app wants to open a web page, it has three options:
  1. Use the user's default browser. You leave the app entirely, and switch to the browser. History, logins, autofill, etc work as the user expects.

  2. (Android only) Use a "custom tab". Same as #1, except the app has a bit of control over appearance (bottom toolbar, custom menu, etc). Also some apps [shakes fist] don't respect your default browser, and always use Chrome for the tab.

  3. Use an "in-app browser". It is as if the app has implemented their own web browser, where you are logged out of every site, history is not shared, and they are able to inject arbitrary JavaScript into the pages you visit.

I mildly prefer #1 over #2, but strongly prefer either to #3. In-app browsers add friction with no benefit, don't respect user choice, make it harder for Firefox etc, and are insecure (more).

If you click on an external link in Facebook for Android, you'll get something like:

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Lots of Hooks

The entryway had gotten pretty messy, with a lot of things scattered on the horizontal surfaces. We decided to put up some hooks, to move things onto the vertical services. I used some trim that I'd saved from an earlier project, cut it to width, screwed it into studs, and attached hooks:

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