Favorite YouTube Channels

by Honolulu Mother

I recently added some new YouTube channels to our list from a Gizmodo article on DiY channels.  They join a list including channels with some educational value (RimStar, BrainScoop), assorted exercise channels, some British and French tv, Dead Gentlemen, Cracked, and of course such kid favorites as Kids React, Roseanne Pansino, and every Yogscast channel known to man.  This is in addition to the playlists — I have a karaoke one with everyone’s favorites for family karaoke night, a playlist with videos related to our upcoming trip that we used to help decide on our itinerary, a general to-watch list, and several playlists related to school subjects such as the Renaissance or the Silk Road.

I think we watch more shows off YouTube than we do Netflix, Amazon, or cable tv.  Perhaps more than all of those combined.  With the YouTube channel on Roku and similar devices, it’s easy to watch on the big screen, and over the course of its 10 year history YouTube has become a surprisingly broad entertainment option, with something for everyone in our family.

Does your household have favorite YouTube channels that might be of interest to other Totebaggers?  Is YouTube a part of your regular tv rotation, or do you stick to other online sources or cable or broadcast tv?  Do we have any swimming-against-the-tide Vimeo users?  And has your usage changed over the last few years?


184 thoughts on “Favorite YouTube Channels

  1. Also, not that there’s a specific channel but you can find a ton of full length BBC programing on youtube.

    For example – Google “richard hammond invisible worlds”

  2. I don’t really watch. I stick with netflix and cable. My daughter loves these Dan and PHil characters and my son likes to watch other people play video games which baffles me beyond belief! Honolulu – you just made me feel pretty olde.

  3. “my son likes to watch other people play video games which baffles me beyond belief”

    +1. I, too, don’t watch YouTube a lot. The one channel I follow is Emergency Awesome, who does a great Game of Thrones recap. I tune in every week to the analysis and viewer commentary.

  4. Terrific discussion idea for a Friday, HM. I’m afraid I add no value to this one. We don’t watch any You Tube full-length shows at all. My You Tube watching, other than for fiction-related research, is purely a result of one of the kids running at me, laptop aloft, saying, “You’ve *got* to see this.” Things like: the guy who ordered ice cream cones in McDs drive throughs, and grabbed them by the ice cream as he drove through; the corgi taking a “flying” leap off a dock (huge build up for about 1 inch of distance); those cute babies babbling to each other in the kitchen; and our all-time favorite, the little “Linda, listen” kid, who is responsible for one of the nicknames one of our kids goes by. I’m sure the kids have things they watch regularly. The only one I know about is two Brit boys (Finn and Jack, I think?) whom our small ladies are obsessed with — they “had” to buy certain cookies/candies in London b/c of that show.

  5. My kids surf on YouTube a little bit each evening, and they show me funny videos they have found. The big favorite is Spoderman (warning, foul language but very funny in a 9th grade boy sort of way).

    Our kids constantly refer to “Illuminati”

  6. My kids are constantly watching “PopularMMOs” and other Minecraft related you tube videos. This falls in with the “my son likes to watch other people play video games which baffles me beyond belief” comments.

    I watch Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars getting Coffee” episodes.

  7. Well, I’m officially subscribed to: British Pathé, which has cool old newsreel stuff; The MST3K channel; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; and Rifftrax. But I watch a lot of BBC stuff, including Fat Doctor, which is their weight-loss-surgery show, sort of like My 600 Pound Life. Also Perpetuum Jazzile, a great a capella group from somewhere in Eastern Europe. And of course massive amounts of Weird Al. Other than that, it’s whatever somebody points me to on FB or here or wherever.

  8. “YouTube has channels?” – Yes Laura, but you still have to get up from the sofa to change them! ; )

  9. So, my actual experience with YouTube is:

    1. DS watching other people play Minecraft. See comments above x 1000.

    2. Kids periodically snorting over funny fails, which once in a while results in Risley’s “you’ve got to see this.”

    3. Me looking for something. Like the other day, when I was looking for an example of a literal pissing match for Finn and ended up with the kind of browser history you really feel compelled to explain before your SO stumbles across it on his own. . . .

  10. If you have teen boys, take a look at the viewing history on YouTube every so often and be prepared – eeek!

  11. My boys also love to watch other people playing video games on YouTube. Mostly Minecraft. Like others, I am completely baffled by that, but they’d rather do that than watch anything on TV.

    I guess it’s not that different from how I like to watch cooking shows.

  12. “. We don’t watch any You Tube full-length shows at all.”


    I only use youtube to watch a music video or segment of a movie, tv show, musical etc.

    DH uses it to learn how-to do DIY stuff

  13. Boy likes to watch the game videos on YouTube. Girl watches Rainbow Loom vidoes and is now making some pretty neat little Rainbow Loom items. It is like her own Etsy shop. All our family and her friends have now been gifted these. The grand moms like to watch the cooking shows. They have realized that all the little tips and tricks in the cooking videos, were “secrets” that cooks in the home country kept carefully guarded but the younger generation of home cooks are happy to share these on YouTube. If I am looking up something and a video comes up I’ll watch it.

  14. Kids will watch anything from John Green. Apart from that, it’s whatever funny video is passing around school that week. DSs French class watches funny French videos on Fridays.
    For me, it’s mostly getting clips of late night TV that I missed ( like the evolution of Mom dance).

  15. “my son likes to watch other people play video games which baffles me beyond belief!”

    MINE TOO. I don’t understand it. He is mesmerized. There is some guy in Nebraska making videos & talking about the inane details of his life with his wife & kid, and my kid loves him. It’s so weird. I watched enough of these with him to deem them “safe for child consumption” and now his voice haunts my dreams. DS also watches a lot of sports clips and old highlights. One day he was watching the 1979 World Series & asking me questions about it.

    I don’t subscribe to any channels on You Tube. I pretty much only go to You Tube to search for things that I know exist somewhere in the ether (old TV clips, etc) or click through funny videos that are emailed/linked/tweeted, etc.

    We also have cable and no subscription to Netflix, Hulu, etc so I guess we are officially old & out of date.

  16. the kind of browser history you really feel compelled to explain before your SO stumbles across it on his own. . . .

    I do feel like there should be an option where you can note why you searched for something in your browsing history so if the cops ever have cause to get ahold of it you can say “well officer, I was listening to soft rock and that song “Sunny” came on – you know “sunny, thank you for the love that you’ve brought my way” and I googled to see who wrote it but then that got me thinking about Sunny Von Bulow and did he really kill her, so I googled “how to kill someone with insulin” and the Wikipedia article talked about Sunny and mentioned how Jeremy Irons played Von Bulow in the movie and I like him a lot, so I clicked on him where it said he was in the Borgias, which got me thinking “did the old popes really have orgies?” which is why I googled “Orgies + Pope” where I read about the Banquet of Chestnuts, oh boy, that’s something. So then I wondered “How many people do you need to qualify something as an orgy”…….. I’m really a respectable citizen, I swear!

  17. Interesting topic. I’ve never thought of You Tube as a viable tv show source until now.

    Last night, I watched a video on You Tube to show me how to put together my Origami Owl wrap bracelet. I also leave on the music of a particular artist and then just minimize the browser (look up artist, click “play all”). That is all.

  18. So then I wondered “How many people do you need to qualify something as an orgy”…….

    LOL! I’m going with 5 or 7.

  19. Ivy – I am old too. We only have Netflix because my BIL linked his account to DH’s computer. We have yet to use it.

    Moxie – That is by far the best thing I’ve read all week. I love you. Next time I’m down in the VA/DC area, I need to visit.

  20. Moxie: Don’t keep us hanging…or worse–compel us to look it up ourselves–How many people??

  21. at the IN writing conference I attended this spring, a writer said she googled “what does human flesh taste like” for a book she is writing.

  22. “One day he was watching the 1979 World Series & asking me questions about it.”

    Short version: it sucked.

  23. Moxie – lol.

    DD puts on youtube to listen to music while she does the dishes.

    Rhett, you just made DS’ day with the suggestion of Jay Leno’s garage and Richard Hammond. We will have to check those out. DS has been going through major Top Gear withdrawal.

  24. LOL! I’m going with 5 or 7.

    Like flower arranging, where you need an odd number? And three is just a threesome, and four is a double date with benefits, so you’re up to 5 already.

  25. whoa – just realized I could watch “What Not to Wear” on youtube! I had no idea.

  26. I’ve added the first of that Richard Hammonds series to our watch list — thanks!

    RMS, British Pathe is one of our subscriptions too. It is cool.

  27. “four is a double date with benefits”

    I’ve heard of friends with benefits but never this before LOL

  28. For those of you YouTube newbies, step one to subscribing to channels or creating playlists is to create a YouTube account, or just use your existing google account. When you’re signed in, you have the option to subscribe (new uploads from that video will show up as suggestions for you and you’ll have a link to the channel off to the left side of your YouTube app) and you can click “add to” to add an individual video to a playlist. I find that subscribing and creating playlists is easier on a computer, but the playlists and subscribed channels are easy to access through the YouTube app on our Roku.

  29. WineMama, I may possibly have made it up. Either that or I have a more exciting social life than anyone guessed.

  30. HM beat me too it… but I’m with winemama – “four is a double date with benefits” – is new to me. Does that count for all even numbered groups? Is 6 a triple date?

    Wine – how are you? Have you emerged from your workload victorious?

  31. Rhode-

    thanks for asking, adjusted to my new role at work and have my replacement trained, seems like our external auditors live here, fun times :)

  32. I don’t watch anything regularly on You Tube. A few months ago DH and I were talking about Sat. morning cartoons when we were kids and explaining that we just didn’t have cartoons all of the dang time. So we started talking about the Gummy Bears cartoon and singing the theme song. The kids got curious and the only place we could find full episodes was You Tube. The kids were mesmerized. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime and that’s what we mostly use, but I do know how to get to You Tube on the Roku.

  33. Other stuff the kids like to watch that I chuckle at – Americas Funniest Home Videos (or FHV in their vernacular). It was the you tube before you tube. I think it’s on Netflix.

    Ivy – Stampy Longhead’s (of Minecraft fame) laugh now haunts my dreams. Total earworm.

  34. Oh, we have been watching West Wing too! It is slow going because we only have a chance to watch every couple of weeks or so, and now DS2 insists he has to watch too, so it has to be a time when he is available. DH and I had started watching House of Cards about a year ago, but DH hated it so much after 3 episodes that he wouldn’t watch any more, so we switched to West Wing. It is a far better show, IMHO, than House of Cards. Of course, we are still slogging through the first season

  35. I have never really used YouTube for anything except watching links people post on Facebook, but I just remembered that I can get it on the TV in my bedroom so maybe I will try to find some channels based on what y’all are recommending. I have used both YouTube and Vimeo for work. My university’s official PR videos are all on Vimeo so I actually have a channel there for the ones I want to keep bookmarked.

    Moxie – that was the funniest thing I’ve read in ages, and I can just picture you turning it into a standup routine. And I want to meet up the next time I’m in DC too!

  36. I’ve never watched full shows on YouTube.

    My brother started watching other people playing video games on YouTube as a loophole when my parents told him he’d maxed out his playing time for the day. He got pretty good at pretending he was on the computer for homework.

  37. If you said 5 you are right on. From quora –

    “George Andreas, nipple coach, pump coach
    2 upvotes by Hazrat Unmad and Quora User.
    Since I often organize group sex encounters and I call myself orgy master and orgiophant, I would say an orgy starts with at least five people involved. Otherwise it’s maybe just two couples having fun together. Still great – but maybe a bit to standard to be called an orgy.

    Every good orgy also needs an orgiophant (orgy master). An orgiophant is a teacher or revealer of secret rites and day- and nighttime cultic congregation popularly thought to involve sex, celebrated with dancing, drunkenness, singing, etc. (See Bacchanalia and Saturnalia)”

    Frankly, if you ask me, it sounds like A LOT of work. I’d rather watch You Tube. (and she brings it back round to the topic at hand!)

  38. I was going to say I am too old to see YouTube as an entertainment source, but RMS shamed me out of it. I use it as many do, to see videos posted by others, instructional materials, play old audio and video material (often when yet another icon from my youth dies – BB King RIP), and keep up with the highlights from Foster Dad John’s and TinyKittens’ Livestream kitten cams – there are helpful kitten addicts who cull out the best few minutes a day and post them.

  39. I’d be happy to meet anyone in DC, assuming this thing with RMS and LfB isn’t some crazy Single White Female debacle (and I’m just talking about me!)

  40. On the 1979 World Series:
    “In short, it sucked”

    LFB, Just yesterday Amazon shipped me my copy of “60 years of Orioles Magic”. I simply cannot wait to read it.

    Didn’t it snow during one of the games in that Series?

  41. “We also have cable and no subscription to Netflix, Hulu, etc so I guess we are officially old & out of date.”

    Not necessarily. You could be cheap, or fiscally conservative.

  42. I watch You tube to see either something I missed (a funny guest on a talk show), a classic part of an old tv show (Moonlighting episode when David and Maddie finally did it!), or maybe a music video (old or new).

    The link to the Hitler/expense report reminded me that there are a bunch of really clever Hitler movie spoofs – everything from Ned Stark getting killed to Harry Potter to Hilary Clinton!

    I guess I will have to look into the channels!

  43. But, I think the ’89 Series sucked more…Loma Prieta quake, Tom Brokaw’s Hair, and the Giants lost.

  44. I watch YouTube a lot at work. Some of it is even for work. Some of our vendors have their own YouTube channels with videos on features, installation, and operation of their products. When I need to do some equipment investigation and selection, that sometimes leads me to YouTube videos about some of the equipment I’m investigating.

    I also use it a lot as a source of music to listen to as I work. I’ll often listen to recordings of pieces the kids are working on, or have played. It’s also a good way to sample musicians DS suggests– he has a pretty good idea of my tastes, and has made some very good suggestions.

  45. Fred, while the 89 Series kinda sucked (and gave the As a big advantage over the Giants in allowing them to start their top two starters twice in 4 games), the 89 NLCS was great. Far better than the 87 NLCS.

  46. My son was watching this one this morning — he feels this would be a good project to try at home:

    So YouTube can definitely be a bad influence.

  47. Oh, and he saw the same guy skydive in a tuxedo, which now he wants to do. (This is tuxedo son I’m talking about, natch.)

  48. The A’s won, so it was a great series for me!!

    “They” say that because it was a Bay Bridge series the traffic on the roads was lighter than normal at 5:04 pm, and that this helped keep the death toll down on the Cypress freeway. I remember that they expected to find more cars under the flattened portion.

    I don’t remember if the number of cars had an impact on the Embarcadero not falling down – usually I hear that it was a matter of time – a few more seconds and it would have collapsed as well. I’m very glad that they tore that down for aesthetic reasons, but it was convenient!

  49. moxie – I have met a few out of town and local totebaggers over the years. I never saw any risk. there are also a few former or current posters who have fairly transparent public identities. I conjecture that the most guarded individuals do not choose to go further either because they are very cautious, or because they made a promise to themselves or to their spouse/partner to protect the family’s anonymity at all costs.

  50. that this helped keep the death toll down on the Cypress freeway. I remember that they expected to find more cars under the flattened portion.

    Unfortunately my best friend’s sister was one of those flattened. Best friend was at the game (you should have waved to her, Finn.) She and the sister’s fiancé were both devastated, and wound up getting married. It’s an odd world.

  51. RMS – I’m so sorry to hear that. It must have been horrible for her family (and for you).

    It is funny about grief bringing people together. Maybe it works because other people just don’t get what you are going through and can only listen/deal for so long. I imagine it creates a very strong bond.

  52. RMS, I am sorry about your friend. I think grief can bring people together. I married into a family with a great aunt that is married to the widowed husband of her husband’s sister. Does that make sense??? The two that were left as widow/widowers got together after their spouses died, and the spouses that died were brother and sister.

  53. Lauren,

    Fellows receive full tuition each year, plus an additional hefty stipend and an iPad.

    Not only is it free, they are literally paying him to go. In round numbers what are we thinking is a hefty stipend? 5k, 10k?

  54. It looks like that scholarship doesn’t cover room and board, and the stipend isn’t enough to meet the full room and board amount of $12,716. So it’s not quite a full ride.

  55. Rhett, it appears on what you consider a decent level of assets- I ran it with 3 kids in college and once and with 1 kid in college, and it appears to take 5% of your total assets each year, in addition to its income calculation. The 5% of your total assets each year becomes risky for us older parents with lots of years of undergrad education.

  56. Lauren – seems like he really IS a smart kid. Good things will come to him!

    Meme – I was only kidding about the worry. RMS and LfB seem harmless, plus I’m a black belt so….

  57. “RMS and LfB seem harmless, plus I’m a black belt so….”

    Oh, crap, now *I’m* scared. . . .

  58. They probably do, but when I’m sixty, hopefully not all my assets will be in a 401(k), nor do I have time to recover from paying half of them to colleges. If I inherit anything, I will likely have done so by sixty as well. The math of 5%/year for 10+ years for an upper middle class family is just too risky for me.

  59. I am also old and do not subscribe to any channels on youtube. I mainly use it to look up pieces that we are singing in the upcoming concert (better than listening to 3 hrs of rehearsal) so I can get the music in my head – particularly if I miss a few rehearsals. ;) Or to practice the words for karaoke songs.

  60. WCE,

    5% of your non retirement assets is too risky? Are you planning to take it with you? I can only assume you’re saving more than $50k now such that you will accumulate substantial non retirement assets.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem a little like your mother in that you hope the financials don’t work out for them to go to Stanford or Cal Tech.

  61. That’s 5% per year for 13 years, or ~49% of my assets, depending on growth over time.
    Yup, that’s too risky.
    And I’ve known Cal Tech people, and my kids are not that academically inclined. :)
    Based on testing so far, they are in the top few million Americans, not the top few thousand.

  62. Also, my four great grandmothers lived to an average age of 94. I can’t assume I’ll die by 80. I want to afford the good hearing aids in my old age…I care less about that than whether my children are extremely well-educated, and I realize that’s kind of a minority view on the Totebag.

  63. This kid seems special, but it just demonstrates how the top schools are trying to go after many of the same kids when so many other kids are qualified.

  64. Whoops, I care MORE about affording hearing aids… rough afternoon with a fussy baby and a kindergartener with a ruptured ear drum… darn “wait three days for antibiotics” policy

  65. Or to practice the words for karaoke songs.

    L. Get your techie husband to set you up — either a mike feeding into your tv sound system, or if you don’t want to do that, use a mike with a blockrocker (or other PA system) to get your singing volume to match the tv volume.

    Or if it’s no fun unless it involves tinkering he could make a raspberry pi based karaoke machine that feeds from YouTube.

  66. WCE,

    I would need you to show me the math I guess. To accumulate substantial non-retirement assets you must be saving an amount significantly above the $36k you’re contributing to your 401ks combined. And if you are, you’ll have plenty of money anyway.

    And as for your kids’ aptitude, due to your penchant for looking at things in the most pessimistic light, I’m going to assume their potential is much higher than you seem to think.

  67. WCE,

    All your analysis starts with the most pessimistic possible set of circumstances. I’m just here to try and help combat your admitted negative outlook bias.

  68. Rhett, the simple math is that you keep 95% of your assets each year for at least 13 years, so .95^13 = 51% of your assets. Here are a couple favorite articles on OSIF’s.

    Also recall that the $18k/year to the family 401(k) is subject to taxes and division in the event of divorce. We have not EACH maxed out our 401(k)’s every year, though many years we have.

    If you like the site, there is also an article somewhere about how Hebeler’s Dad retired in 1965 and lived another 40 years, and how the bad stock market and high inflation affected him. In 2009, we had major medical bills, I was unemployed, Mr WCE was at high risk of losing his job, there were few jobs available, and our 401(k) dropped a lot. Monte Carlo analysis doesn’t consider the risk that bad events will be correlated with one another, as is often the case.

    The second part of the answer is that I don’t think undergrad education at prestigious schools is important enough to drop my confidence in having enough assets till death from 90% confidence to 80%, so it’s largely a matter of priorities. If my kids want to go to Stanford, they can go for graduate school.

  69. If you like the site, there is also an article somewhere about how Hebeler’s Dad retired in 1965 and lived another 40 years, and how the bad stock market and high inflation affected him.

    And we’re back to basing our analysis on the most pessimistic of all possible circumstances.

  70. Exactly- also recall I’m married to the guy so uninterested in academic prestige that he was a NMSF who didn’t bother to return his form to be a finalist, so I kind of doubt he’s going to be encouraging a prestigious school.

  71. WCE,

    I kind of doubt he’s going to be encouraging a prestigious school.

    Then that’s your job. Do you think your kids will benefit from all this pessimism and negativity? I only bring this up because of your comment the other day that your mom used to root for you to fail.

  72. Damn fuck1ng straight! America!


    Amusing to me on a few levels–the meddlesome pencil-neck school administrator, the slack-jawed statements from the patriotic student, the overly eager reaction from the community, and the reason for the “[sic]” on the quoted written response from the school.

  73. I hope I haven’t said anything out of line. I just know how hard it can be to break out of unhealthy patterns you grow up with. So…I just thought I’d mention it.

  74. I guess I don’t view it as pessimism and negativity- the guy over the wall from me is the site manager for ~1300 people, went to the local state university, and his son is starting an MD/PhD program this fall. If my kids WANT to go to Stanford or other prestigious school, I’ll let them apply and we’ll have a discussion about our family’s financial situation at that time and any loans they’ll need to attend. Unlike my mom, I have a job so we are not scraping by. But my view of success is not so narrow as to think that a prestigious school is key to a happy life.

  75. I guess I don’t view it as pessimism and negativity

    Pessimists never do.

  76. Oh, I can’t believe I missed it the first time. The reported advice at the end from the kid’s father: “…even if it means leaving school”!!!!

  77. Milo, that is freaking priceless. It’s equal-opportunity stupid.

  78. But my view of success is not so narrow as to think that a prestigious school is key to a happy life.

    It’s certainly not. However, if the universe presents you with an opportunity you should grab it with both hands. Your tone seems to say if the universe presents them with an amazing opportunity you’ll (grudgingly) let them apply.

  79. Do [sic] to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy,” the school said in a statement.

    I’m the king of the typos and I’ll be the first to say he needs to be fired immediately.

  80. I think the challenge is to identify what is an amazing opportunity for a particular person- unlike my family, we’ll be in a position to afford application fees to as many schools as my kids can reasonably want, so, unlike me, they’ll be able to compare costs across multiple prestigious schools if they are admitted. Despite my hours on this blog, I can’t figure out what the big deal is about prestigious schools.

  81. Milo,

    I can’t see the video right now. But, “I’d understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody,” he added. “I wouldn’t do that.

    He seems to have a healthy understanding of American history and culture up to the present day.

  82. Yeah, good point. I’ll give him credit for that. This wouldn’t be nearly so cut and dry if he were flying the “stars and bars.”

    I also loved the tidbit about the group of *apparent* veterans coming out to salute the procession of pickup-mounted national ensigns.

  83. Despite my hours on this blog, I can’t figure out what the big deal is about prestigious schools.

    Humans are status animals. People are label whores. People judge books by their covers. Is it really so hard to grasp?

    In an ideal world women wouldn’t be held to different appearance standards than men. Job candidates should be judged on their actual potential not on where their diploma is from. We don’t love in an ideal world.

  84. Of the two Harvard undergrads I knew during high school, one is helping refugees in Haiti, subsidized by her parents I suspect, and one is a wedding planner in the Bay Area. My opinion is probably influenced because I know the non-Sheryl Sandberg people.

  85. I just watched the clip. A transcript of the gentlemen’s comments would indicate a higher level of cognitive ability than video of the comments. Is it wrong that we judge him on his speaking style* vs. the content of what he actually says? Sure. Is that what people do? Yes.

    * Milo of all people using the Cletus the slack jawed yokel stereotype against the slow speaking southern guy. – shocking.

  86. Of the two Harvard undergrads I knew during high school, one is helping refugees in Haiti, subsidized by her parents I suspect, and one is a wedding planner in the Bay Area.

    Of course, don’t use John Roberts, Bill Gates or Marc Zuckerberg as you data set. Don’t even use some random Goldman MD or a well regarded Houston oncologist. Let’s use the least successful people from their respective freshman class.

  87. Rhett – The kid’s fine. He’s as articulate as just about any 18-year-old, including many of the AP Calc kids. And he doesn’t even have much of a drawl.

    I hadn’t watched the video clip until now. I think my initial description was more likely based on the way his comments were edited by the production team into simple sound bites, and the Blaze reporter didn’t seem to have much direct information beyond what the TV news reported.

  88. Also, note in the video coverage of the parade of cars flying U.S. flags (about 20 seconds from the end of the clip), one of the horns has been modified to play the first notes of “Dixie.” I would guess that the irony of that juxtaposition IS lost on that driver. OTOH, Lincoln himself admitted that it was always one of his favorite tunes, too.

  89. As far as I can tell, 20K in today’s dollars, which less than full in state non commuter sticker price at most State flagships, is a reasonable in state or scholarship funded expectation of the net cost per year per child for a middle class family. It is doable for each child to borrow 20K total for four years, and possibly each can earn another 20K summers and part time over 4 years depending on skill set and local opportunities. So a total parental contribution would be 160-200K for four children. The very definition of educated middle class, not even upper middle class, is that parents can manage to cough up that much out of earnings or if they are early retired, out of savings. It is not a plan to budget $7.5K per year for college. It is a fallback position.

  90. Atlanta – I’m just reading the Whole 30 book now. Please keep posting on your progress. I may join you.

  91. Rhett – the Cause is not lost yet:

    I have taken my kids to a reenactment. We didn’t stay for the concert and dancing.

    (I use YouTube extensively to find songs and sample music, usually after Pandora has introduced me to an artist.) And for random stuff like this.

  92. “It looks like that scholarship doesn’t cover room and board, and the stipend isn’t enough to meet the full room and board amount of $12,716. So it’s not quite a full ride.”

    For NMF, room and board are covered for the first year, and the scholarship is for 5 years.

  93. “I can’t assume I’ll die by 80.”

    Actually, you can, whether or not you really want to. You live in Oregon, after all.

  94. “Of the two Harvard undergrads I knew during high school…”

    Of all the female MDs I know well enough to know what their husbands are, all are married to doctors.

    We’ve already established that it’s fallacious to extrapolate that.

  95. “To accumulate substantial non-retirement assets you must be saving an amount significantly above the $36k you’re contributing to your 401ks combined.”

    Not to mention $11k/year into IRAs, and the $12k/year catchup contributions once you and spouse hit 50.

  96. Perhaps another assumption of “educated middle class” is “not providing financial support to relatives”. I know lots of people supporting elderly relatives and expect this to become more common among the [statistical] middle class. My parents funded a nursing home for my grandmother and figured I could manage college on my own.

  97. @WCE – we are helping one set of parents and we have our kids to consider as well. However, in our case we are not completely on our own as far as parents are concerned because there are siblings who are doing well enough to help with a portion of the expenses, should the need arise. Both sets of parents are savers as well, we hope they don’t outlive the money.

  98. I know far, far too many parents who would argue with the study, Rhett. If you listen to them, by 8 months, many are writing symphonies. Not mine or apparently WCE’s, of course. Ours were almost toddlers.

  99. When DSS was just beginning to vocalize, he said “addis ababa” a lot, and we knew he was brilliant, because how many infants know the capital city of Ethiopia?

  100. That article may be correct about 117 semi-randomly selected babies.

    If you have children with 150+ IQ, like the 19 year old in the article, you can teach those children to read at 2.

    I know several people who read fluently before age 4. It turns out to be a quick way to distinguish pure academic admits to Harvard from those with a hook (legacy, athletics, ethnicity, interesting background, etc.).

  101. Of course, how can you constantly claim your kids aren’t challenged enough unless you endlessly ride them to stay 3 years ahead of the material they are covering in class?

  102. How better can you teach your child to value one’s childhood?

  103. PTM, I think Baby WCE may be gifted- she passes gas marvelously.

    Meme is right that $20k/kid/year is a reasonable goal for college. At this point, I’m trying to raise sons with the motivation and organization to excel, a task I seem to be failing at this week. My Harvard undergrad friends are in their current roles because they see no need to have a ROI on their educations- they value education as an end in itself. My children, unfortunately for them, will not have that luxury.

  104. WCE, don’t forget you have a bunch of blog friends who went to Harvard undergrad and have children as well as lucrative employment.

  105. HM, good point. I will be both happy and stressed if one of my children gets into Harvard or similarly elite school. One of the reasons I like this blog so much is that y’all are so darn nice.

    On an entirely unrelated note, this is the time to make strawberry jam. I like the low sugar Sure Jell freezer jam recipe the best. Guess what I’m doing tonight…

  106. @WCE – there you are making homemade strawberry jam and here I scour the stalls at the farmers market, grocery store shelves for “home made” strawberry jam. I constantly get the difference between jams and preserves wrong and I had to look up freezer jam. Also, in our house after ages of eating Bonne Maman strawberry preserves we have branched out into other flavors

  107. Rhett,
    Nice article slamming stay at home moms who have rich husbands. That is one group the NYT feels safe throwing stones at.

  108. I often browse estate jewelry sales. There are many examples of necklace and earring sets, gorgeous artistic brooches, and other custom or select customer items from internationally known jewellers. No wealthy executive or financier of an earlier era would have been so vulgar to have given his wife a cash bonus. But he certainly purchased, or has his exec Secretary purchase once or twice a year, anniversary and birthday gift pieces, that lived primarily in the bank vault, at a cost greater than that of a middle class house.

  109. A Parent,

    Are you saying the article is factually inaccurate?

    My primary takeaway was that we need to maintain the carried interest deduction otherwise these men won’t be able to pay their wives their sexual performance bonuses.

  110. I think I may have permanently damaged my son. Again.

    This goes back to a topic last week. Because the teachers have long since ceased all teaching opportunities for the remainder of the school year, last Friday was “Field Day.” The kids are divided into two teams and compete. Junior’s team lost.

    Today as he was cleaning out his backpack, Junior handed me a second place ribbon. I said, “Cool, how did you win this?” “Field Day,” he replied. I blurted out, “What? You guys got an award for losing?!! With two teams?!!”

    Yep. They did.

    Then Junior didn’t understand when I explained that the object of completion was to win– not lose. If you lose you shouldn’t get an award.

    I have had it. I am going to make at least one enemy for life and talk to the principal about this. My kid lost!

  111. Races with three or fewer entrants was my entire strategy for getting ribbons in my youth. Hurdles, when I have to stop and ease my way over each one? Sure, why not, no one else likes them either so I’ll get second place! 400 yard fly even though my form is so bad it ends up looking like breast stroke? It’s no worse than regular swim practice, plus I’ll get a ribbon! Let the lazy and unathletic fight for last place in the 50 yard dash — the competitive and unathletic will try to figure out discus well enough not to scratch.

  112. Summer has sprung in our house… all our summer gear (gazebo, hammock, patio furniture) is out of the shed and in the yard. Garden will happen this week.

    Reading by 8 months you say? Huh, Baby Rhode already knows the words to Good Night Moon. He yawns each time you say “hush”. He also can say “Hi” and “Dee”. With the second sound, we are pretty sure he’s communing with his dead great-great Aunt. :) I’m sure he’ll stay on track to design Frank Lloyd Wright-esque architecture by his 3rd birthday.

    I would get participation trophies for last place in our soccer league. Throughout the years, I was on a team that finished dead last, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st in leagues with 6-10 teams. They looked nice ordered by height on my shelf.

  113. Are y’all gearing up for the #madmenfinale?

    Rhode – the little guy sounds brilliant! I bet he put together the gazebo this weekend, using instructions that aren’t in English.

    PTM – that’s crazy.

    I think I’ve told you all about how UNcompetitive DD is. Stops during 5ks to help others tie shoes, or because, “Anna had a cramp and she asked me to walk with her.” Drives her brother up a wall. When she started competing in horse shows, she wanted to collect all the ribbon colors. Blue is first, and then there’s (in an order I’m forgetting): pink, green, yellow, red, brown and whatever other colors that make up seven. She was always disappointed to get another blue (first place) because, “I have blue already! I need yellow!”

  114. Both my kids are good sports people but are unathletic. I asked them if they wanted to do triathlon camp. The look of horror on their faces was priceless. They both said that they could swim and bike but no way they wanted to run. Maybe a special event could be created for them.

  115. I think Camp Treetops is real.

    I am not so sure about the housewife “earned” bonus. If I were a multiple degree holder married to a hedgie, and some pretentious writer married to a slightly lower tier finance type moved into the neighborhood and said she wanted to write an anthropological study of my circle of friends, I would call up my besties and concoct the most outrageous stories. Not so different from the stuff field anthropologists reported from indigenous cultures that turned out to be false, or at least greatly misunderstood.

  116. Rhett,

    Factual accuracy isn’t the point for the NYT article. The point is to generate clicks. They have choses to do so by restarting the mommy wars between the at home and the working moms. They tell a story about the non working moms who happen to be married to rich men, so we can all hate them.

  117. Posted on wrong page. Completely off-topic: we made a quick round-trip to the inlaws in The Heartland and rented a minivan for the drive. It was a Dodge Grand Caravan with fun technology we don’t have on our cars. But by the end of the trip, the technology lost its cool factor and the substantial road noise was all I could focus on, so I definitely would never choose that over an Odyssey.

    As part of the cleaning out of the ancestral home, we were given a lot of memorabilia of my FIL. There was some fascinating stuff from his WWII service in the Pacific, including a Japanese flag from an island he served on. Definitely not traditional Totebag stock, as he only made it through 6th grade before going to work in the family auto repair shop. Lots of stories of a long line of crazy, including “who was that guy Grandpa Bob shot and buried in the cornfield behind the house?” and tales of my FIL trying to launch his young son tied to a weather balloon he filled by tapping into the gas line (on the gas company side, of course, with an electric drill). Fortunately, it drifted into a neighbor’s house and blew up before he had actually outfitted the rigging for his son. Good times, apparently. Again my kids are lecturing me on the dearth of good essay material in their boring, stable lives.

    On the NYT article, I don’t see that description of the SAHM as anything people would not have guessed. We’ve discussed on here before how maximizing life for the family may mean one person staying home. Certainly if I were making hedge fund money, my husband would not be working and making sure everything ran smoothly. If part of fulfilling the expectations for their social circle and business events is looking impeccable, but then you do what you have to do. There is clearly no financial detriment to the family due to the wife staying home. What I find much more mind-boggling is those living on the financial edge with the wife SAH, especially with no children at home.

  118. Certainly if I were making hedge fund money, my husband would not be working and making sure everything ran smoothly.

    And if he failed at that task? Put him on a performance plan and start documenting everything so there is no blowback when he inevitably gets terminated?

  119. Clearly you haven’t met my husband. I can’t even imagine how the conversation would go if I told him I would be instituting a performance plan. Fortunately, he’s pretty competent, so I’m sure with the nanny, the housekeeper and the chef we’d have at that income range, that he would Exceed Expectations and earn his max bonus.

  120. That article is not new news. Both the husband and the wives know what the expectations are. In a friend of a friend’s case, where both the husband and the wife were working initially, husband gradually grew very successful and they fell into roles described in the article, it would be wise to get a postnup otherwise a divorce can get very messy.

  121. Report from the teenage front: DS got himself 2 summer jobs, both of which presented him with a chance to start immediately, rather than waiting till mid-June when school is out. Last week was his first on the job at both, and today is the first day he beings official hours for one of the jobs: 5:30am-9:00am. I had some work I needed to do, so I was up at 5:00 and had a quick chat w/ him as he scarfed down Meal 1 of 15 for the day. Never have I seen a teenager more cheerful about getting up so early.

    These are the first real jobs he’s had. He has historically split holidays b/w me and his dad, so it’s been logistically impossible for him to get a job. Also, we didn’t push it — we told him to enjoy his rare time with his dad, have cool experiences, etc. During the school year, he’s had sports and a million other extra-curriculars that I told him were more important than having a job.

    And maybe that’s true, that the sports etc were more important. But after this week, I don’t know. I think I need to concede this one to Rhett, at least in part. I think the sports and clubs were important to a degree. I think the time off with his dad was vital. But, I think that during the school year, he maybe should have done fewer school clubs and teams, and freed up a little time to fit in a job of some kind. I have never seen this kid more fulfilled than he appears to be now. I don’t recall his appearing this satisfied about any of his school sports or activities, no matter the level of the team’s success. And at one job, the four (young, male, highly disciplined) owners are apparently coaching him all the time about things like: do things right the first time; show initiative; learn something new about the business every day; set goals constantly and exceed them; exceed our expectations every day, etc. In the long run, hearing things like that from guys he admires will surely make more of a difference in his life than doing another school play or mock trial competition or another season of a sport.

    He’s thinking about things he hasn’t considered all that much before: How do you make the unpleasant parts of your job bearable, so you’ll continue to do them well day in and day out? What kind of guy do you want to be — the kind who shows up early, stays late and fills the time between working hard, or the guy who phones it in and collects a paycheck? The guy who stays out late with friends every night, or the guy who calls it a night early because your jobs are physically exhausting and you want to be alert and on your game the next day? Is your answer the same even if the job’s not so interesting? Does the fact that this is just a job and not your career mean you should exert less effort? And of course, now that he’s seeing his paycheck and the withholdings: isn’t Libertarianism the way to go? ;)

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m starting to think it might lie somewhere between the totebaggy desire to have the kid pack a college app with clubs, teams and volunteer gigs, and Rhett’s desire that kids have jobs in HS.

    DD has been talking about working in the upcoming school year. She wants to buy her own (used) car rather than using the available kid car. She has the money now for a car (assuming some parental match), but DH has told her she’ll need snow tires, so she has to earn money to pay for those. I’ve been thinking it’s crazy for her to work simply to own a car, when one is available to her for free (and it has snow tires already!). And, she would need to scale down her school clubs, etc, in order to fit a job in. Not so crazy, I think now. I’m going to tell her to go for it–scale down at school, get a job, buy a car.

    Maybe I’ll get her to name the car “Rhett.”

  122. Risley, thanks for sharing. I’m just starting the “me, me, me” phase in MS. I’m happy to learn that this phase will be temporary.

    I watched the MM twice before I went to sleep, and then I couldn’t sleep. I dont want to share yet in case others didn’t watch the episode yet. My DH does not watch this show, so he doesn’t understand why I was counting the minutes until the start, but I was also sad that this was the last one.

  123. Risley, you described so well what I have experienced and observed about kids working. At the same time, it would be hard to give up some of the extracurriculars to go for the job. However, if my kids expressed preferences either way (balance some ec’s with a job or go full blast with ecs) I would be happy with their decision.

  124. CofC – yeah, I have no regrets that DS did 1 million ecs. He wanted to do them all, he’s a total joiner, he learned a lot, he developed a great work ethic and responsibility and blah blah blah. So, I’m not thinking I should have forced him to quit those and get a job. But, I didn’t promote a job at all, and that might be the reason he loaded up on ecs instead of looking for a job. So, I’m with you that I think I’d be happy whichever they chose, but I will do a better job at making sure the younger kids know that part-time work is an option, along with the ecs.

  125. @Risley – thanks for sharing about the job. My mother was very adamant that I get one in the 11th grade. I had a lot of free time after morning classes; a job was very doable. None of my friends worked. People thought that either 1. my family had gone nuts 2. my parents had lost all their money – since they sent their daughter to work part time in an air conditioned office.

  126. Louise/Lauren – anytime. I often think my best value to this group is in sharing the many lessons I’ve learned, after having screwed things up with the kids* in so many, many ways. :)

    *My screw ups are in now way limited to the kids, but if I don’t cap the subject somehow, I’ll have way too much to write about here.

  127. There are ferries to Fire Island from the “main” land in Suffolk county, but there are no ferries to the Hamptons. It is far! I don’t think a lot of people realize how far it is from NYC to get to East Hampton or Montauk. I once had a share house in Hampton Bays when I was right out of college, but that is almost an hour closer to NYC vs the towns that are further east. My DH has family with a house in Bridgehampton and I think there is still a beautiful vacation experience here for mere mortals. I do think that there are too many planes and helicopters. You can hear it, and it changes the experience near the airport and heliports.

  128. I learned a tremendous amount from working in high school (summers only). I learned that the world is full of dumb people who nevertheless have jobs, and that employers don’t give a damn about you as a person. Both excellent lessons. I wanted DSS to work, but his parents both nixed it.

  129. I loved the endings for everyone on Mad Men other than Don. His ending was fine, but kind of underwhelming. I would have greatly preferred to see the actual thing happen. Yoga Don was kind of weird and not how I want to remember him.

    His call with Betty was fantastic. As were his calls with Peggy and Sally.

    Ok – I am not going to say any more so I don’t spoil it for those who haven’t watched it yet. I am going to really miss this show.

  130. Milo,

    The traditional ferry from the Cape to Nantucket takes 2:15 to go 26 miles. For the 121 miles from Manhattan to Montauk it would be like 10 hours.

  131. Coming full circle – you tube and how the rich businessman traveled to and from long island

  132. Just got the *best* email salutation ever (/sarcasm): “Mrs./Ms. Rhode”. And it’s from a student who wants money from my research organization (I’m the treasurer). A trip on the organizations website shows I have a Ph.D., as does about 30 seconds of Google. With the “Mrs./Ms. Rhode” distinction, I’m either my MIL or my niece.

  133. I actually liked the MM ending. That is the only show I watched consistently. I absolutely loved it because, I guess, I grew up in that era. I, too, will miss it.

    I thought DD’s ending was terrific! I feel like I absolutely have seen that puppy coming. I left the show thinking, “Ah, yes. That’s what happened. Of course it would!”

    As for Peggy, I was less satisfied.

  134. PTM – I like the ending for DD. I just didn’t like the execution. I wanted to see one last pitch Draper-style. But in white shirt, no jacket.

    For Peggy – what didn’t you like? The guy part or the work part?

  135. Milo,

    Good point. But, looking at the fast ferries it looks like they typically serve destinations which high levels of year round passenger traffic – Tangiers to Algeciras, Dover to Calais, etc. I’m going to guess you can’t make a high speed ferry work if 80% of your business is falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

  136. +1 on kids watching over people play video games on you tube. Makes me nervous for my Aspie kid since it replaces actual human interaction. We limit it during the week.

    I subscribe to yoga with Adrienne. Good for yoga newbies.

  137. Milo/Rhett – I don’t think the people in the Hamptons would want the high speed ferries bringing hordes of day trippers. I think the slowness of transport options (other than the private helicopters/planes) suits them just fine.

  138. I hate to say it, but on occasion way back when, I used to fly into the East Hampton Airport. Usually when I had house guests from far away or a party scheduled and was stuck in NYC on a deal. I’d arrive Saturday late afternoon and take the early Sunday morning flight to the City. Back then, though, the wasn’t really even an airport there– just a landing strip and a very small hut and that was about it. The flights were very infrequent and in small propeller planes. There weren’t the private jets and helicopters that are so prevalent today.

    A few people– heads of investment banking firm types– had helicopter pads on their estates and would fly in, driving all their neighbors bonkers to the point where the Town would enact some measure to keep the helicopter out. Back then, that worked. I wonder what changed.

    Even back then the traffic was horrible. One had to travel at off times and frequently that didn’t work too well. I’d have loved a ferry!

  139. “typically serve destinations which high levels of year round passenger traffic”

    New Bedford to Oak Bluffs? (I only ask because DW and I have taken it. I was prostrate on the floor during the return trip.)

  140. I like the very last bit of ending for Don, but I just wish he came back to NY to interact directly with the cast one more time. I didn’t like the rest of the episode for Don, but I have no patience for some of that stuff so I am biased. I know some people wanted that ending for Peggy, but I thought ti felt rushed at the end.

  141. New Bedford to Oak Bluffs?

    26 miles in a hour for the fast one vs. the “real” fast ferries that are +50mph.

  142. L – yes, it was address “Mrs./Ms.” By a grad student. I kid you not. At least the student knew I identify as female… (except my first name originated as a man’s name, but it’s very rarely used for men anymore).

  143. Thanks, L. Other than finances for college, I am quite happy. I have a 7 month maternity leave and can choose good infant daycare while I work part-time. Baby WCE is starting to babble and she is happy and cheerful. It would just seem odd to post here about how much I’m enjoying my fourth baby. I’m not sure why.

  144. Meme, can you recommend any particular web sites for estate jewelry? (For browsing, not actual purchases, alas.)

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