The “Before” Pictures

We moved into this suburban split level just over six years ago. In that time, we pulled down the wallpaper in most, but not all, of the rooms. We did some “unfun” renovations — a new roof, a retaining wall, a boiler. But we haven’t had the time or the money to do much beyond those “unfun” but necessary renovations. We are still using furniture that was hauled off the street when we were grad students. Other pieces are hand-me downs. The kitchen table was once in my grandparents’ Bronx apartment.

Next month, we’re doing fun renovations – an entirely new kitchen and a revamped family room. Here are the “before” pictures. I have a video that I’m posting on Instagram. Click on the image in the sidebar.


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Yes, yes, I know you are are due for a proper blog post, but you’ll get a link-fest blog post and you’ll like it. Because I have edits to get to this morning.

Millennials aren’t shopping in supermarkets anymore. They are getting their avocado toast in restaurants, thank you very much.

Stop and stare at the crazy people who voted for Trump and are still happy about it. Lots of snark on twitter today about the Times’s decisions to feature these halfwits on its op-ed page.

Developers have hearts of dog poop. Evidence.

Megan McArdle, friend of Apt. 11D, weighs in on the #MeToo movement.

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Only 44% of currently enrolled students would attend their same college again if they had to do it all over again.

Another story about stress on teenagers. Another pathetic adjunct story.

I’m on the fence about attending the Women’s March in NYC on Saturday. The march doesn’t have any clear policy agenda, and everyone is coming armed with signs advertising their own pet issues. I haven’t decided, if I like that feature of the march or hate it.

“Many gifted kids have A.D.D. or O.C.D. or Asperger’s. When the parents are confronted with two sides of a kid, they’re so quick to acknowledge the positive, the talented, the exceptional; they are often in denial over everything else.” Or sometimes the schools only see the disability and put really smart kids in disabled classrooms meant for kids with intellectual disabilities.

Property Tax in New Jersey

Taxes in Jersey suck. They just do.

Walk into any diner on Route 17 and ask the guy at the counter. He’ll tell you, “our houses cost a lot, and we pay a shit load of taxes. Now get me a egg, cheese and Taylor ham sandwich, dammit.”

Here in Jersey, we are going to get royally screwed with Trump’s new tax plan. We used to be able to deduct part of the giant-assed local taxes from our federal taxes. Can’t do that anymore. Am I slightly laughing at the Trump voters in New Jersey right now? No. Because I’m too pissed off at them.

The towns directly around us are considering a plan to convert taxes into charitable donations, which still can be deducted from federal taxes. Our town must be considering the same plan.

How Schools Are Bridging the Coding Gender Gap

Turning girls onto computers and coding requires strong leadership, said Superintendent Dr. Kristine Gilmore of the D.C. Everest School District in Wisconsin.

Computer science classes have long been the domain of boys. While girls and boys are now equally represented in advanced science and math classes, girls still are not flocking to classes like Programming in JAVA or Mobile App Development. With the growing need for computer scientists in the workforce, school leaders are trying to convince girls that these classes aren’t just boys’ clubs.

“Things don’t happen by chance,” said Gilmore. “You have to ask, ‘Do all kids have opportunities?’ As a superintendent, my job is to remove barriers for kids.”

Girls only made up about one-fifth of all AP students in computer science in 2013, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project, even though girls are equally likely to take the science and math AP exam. This gender gap continues into college. In 2015, only 18 percent of all computer science college degrees in the country went to women.

Read more here.