I started the day yesterday with earthquake lesson plans, then picked up my bar pan on the way to the gym, where I was reminded about Daniel Gilbert and Carl Linnaeus, a couple of interesting guys with important things to say. I’ve written about both of them before, so I will try to resist the temptation today.

After the gym, I got back to the computer. #1 son assisted me with the blues lesson for first grade, which has been giving me fits. The whole requirement to make it something that can be done without access to musicians makes it way harder. Then I got out numerous containers and chopsticks to develop experiments with percussion instruments which would also have connections with Caddoan, Siouan, or Southern Iroquois linguistic-cultural groups.

My children are very patient. They tolerated quite a long spell of “Is that different?” “Okay, listen to this: number 1, number 2, number 3. Were those different?” “Well, then, what exactly was the difference?” Then, once the difference was established and a connection with the Cherokee crafted, we had a good long spell of determining whether the difference was caused by increased mass or a decreased air column, and how to convey this to first graders anyway.

If they don’t want to spend their time this way, they should leave for work earlier. This does not apply to #2 daughter, who participated via IM from her office in a neighboring state.

Actually, #1 son quit his job. I do not admire this, but he has work study available, and I guess he will go back to work when he runs out of pocket money. Since I am working two jobs to pay for his tuition, the amount of time he spends sitting around playing his guitar rankles a bit, even when he plays blues progressions for analysis and inspiration.

Not that my jobs aren’t more fun than his was. I think his last assignment — removing possums from the dumpster — was the last straw for him. Apparently, the possums turned mean and chased him. He might have felt that he just couldn’t return.

Anyway, I did finally get the music subunit finished up and dispatched electronically to The Empress. Then I sat down with the state frameworks to plan out the second grade book. The state history requirements for second grade include finding the county they live in and the capital, comparing their culture to that of people in other places, knowing the state gem, mineral, rock, mammal, and anthem, knowing about the historic Native Americans of the state, and comparing technologies of the past with those of the present. I am contemplating the various ways in which these things might coalesce into three subunits.

And then the UPS man arrived with my latest item for review from amazon.com. They send me free things on the condition that I review them. “Things” has hitherto meant “books,” plus one DVD. But yesterday they sent me a Homedics Shiatsu Massaging Seat.

I am not allowed to give these things to people. When I began thinking of all the people I knew who would love to have one of these things, I went and looked up the price, and I am sorry to say that no one will be receiving this item from me for Christmas.

However, if anyone ever offers you one of these things, you should accept. You have to remove a screw from the base of it before you turn it on. That was the most difficult part of it. Especially since, instead of reading the little notice saying to use “the enclosed allen wrench,” I hared off to find something from my husband’s tool box that might work. But once that little thing is done, the Shiatsu Seat is very easy to use. You plop it into a chair and sit on it. It has a remote control with lots of buttons which will be fun for people who like buttons. Also for people who have specific ideas about massage, because they can have complete control over the massage.

I pushed the “demo” button, which is a choice completely in character for me, so I am glad they offered it. Then of course, since I will be going over to review the thing, I also tried out all the other buttons.

Whatever button you push, the thing begins pummeling you. This is not a gentle vibrations kind of massaging chair. This is a “Take that!” kind of massage. It was kind of painful on the bonier parts of my back. It was very nice for the parts that get tense and kinked while the owner of the back concentrates deeply on things like earthquakes and the blues. And when it was finished, those lat pulldowns were a thing of the past, not a thing that continually obtruded on my notice while I tried to think about the physics of sound on a first grade level.

I was well prepared for last night’s rehearsal. It went well, too. I don’t think the Shiatsu Seat can take credit for that. I just mention it. If you live in my neighborhood (and you know it if you do), let me know and I’ll give you the concert info.

Today is Tuesday, and therefore I will be at the store and then go directly to pick up Partygirl for class. First I must go do the essential daily computer stuff for the store. I wonder whether the Shiatsu Massaging Seat will fit office chairs?