Sunday, March 30, 2008

By the Way, Speaking of Corky

We had an interesting conversation this afternoon regarding her upcoming comedy show...
We talked about the different topics she planned on covering during her set and reminisced about other past events that were humorous...

But the end of our conversation was the part that stood out the most to me...

I told her about how I misjudged how long it would take to install Leopard on my computer and how it took two hours to do it.
She paused for a moment and said it seemed odd.
I said well Cork, it's an operating system, it takes a while to upgrade...
She asked why I has nailing a leopard to the wall in the first place...
I said, no Corky, it's an operating system.
She said, I know it just seems like a strange thing to do...
I said, it's an operating system... You know like Windows on a PC, only it's called Leopard on a Mac.

She said, well do what you like, I don't know how it could take 2 hours to install a Leopard...
One last time... I say, it's an operating system.... For my computer...

She says, Oh, I imagined you drilling a stuffed leopard into the wall of your room,
that makes way more sense...

Taking her Show on the Road

So my sister Corky is going to be flying solo this Friday for the first time...

She is the self proclaimed entertainer for the Gardner Family and we are all very proud for her first attempt at greatness.
I am sure she will do fine, as entertaining runs in the family and she is very quick and witty. One of our many family mottos has always been, "If you can't take a joke, then the hell with you"

So with that in mind I am sure she will do fine...

She asked me to try and jog her memory regarding some of the humorous events of our lives that she might have forgotten...
I would have to preface this with a small note on how our sense of humor may not be on parr with that of others and that we often laugh at some of the more interesting aspects of life...

Set one:
Corky vs. Fence: Bring on the Japanese Tour Group

I am sure you have all heard this one before...

So while living in Ashland, Corky was part of many groups, clubs, and teams. Some of the more notable ones were different activist groups around town and Global Local, a small television show aired on public access to a small crowd.

Corky is due to be interviewing the main guest at the beginning of the show... She makes a quick stop at her apartment to get ready and realizes, as usual, she's running late.
The studio is clear across campus and there is a large fence separating her from her destination.

So in usual Corky fashion, she decides she can save some time by taking the shortcut... As usual, this is not the case...

So Corky sets out on her mission... She plans out her strategy carefully.... After attempts at jumping over the fence fail for the 5'1" renegade, she decides the best plan of attack is to go under it.... She even finds a small clearing where the fence is set apart from the ground... That's the one... She lays on the ground and begins to burrow her way to victory....

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle...

Aw, but her joy is cut short when she realizes the fatal error in her plan and notices that she cannot fit through the hole. Good try Cork, good try... So she begins to give up on plan number one and sets to the task of backing out from under the fence...

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle...

It is only then that she realizes the final outcome... and the error of her ways... She is stuck under a wooden fence in the middle of campus, in broad daylight... Suddenly trapped, with nowhere to go and no way to explain what she could possibly be doing stuck under a fence... (Her explanation of shortcut, would probably not be working now)

So what could possibly make this situation better?
That's right, the Japanese Tour Group come to see the Beautiful Ashland Campus, and Corky, one of their students, trapped under a fence...

Trying to blend in as best she could, Corky attempts to cover herself in leaves and hold perfectly still, which only completes the added effect of making her look like an abandoned corpse on the edge of the sidewalk...

Good times..

But somehow, she made it out, sans shirt of course and ended up on the show, right on time with perfect composure and no evidence to the contrary aside from her shirt being inside out and having been impaled by a stick or two.
Ok, he's fine...
The new water and the ich stuff seems to have fixed him up...
He stopped lying down and got all the fuzzy mold off his head.

Not that anyone could possibly care about the play by play lives of my goldfish...
I am just keeping the world posted...

Since I know there are only a handful of people who read this.

Just happy he stopped sinking...
Though Autumn tried to comfort me that he was fine unless he was floating and that sinking was ok...
Ha ha, just some white fuzz on his head and spending large amounts of time at the bottom of the tank, nothing to worry about...

Anyways, catastrophe averted, one more day for Blackie (George).
Blackie is dying, and Autumn is about to stop taking my calls...
I should have changed his water more...
I was selfish and lazy...

Now blackie has fuzz growing on his head...
Probably encouraged by his stagnant movement and lying on the bottom of the tank.
Moss grows on a still fish...

So I put the ick stuff in the tank and changed the water, he was fine, but now he isn't moving again...

Way sad, I killed him, he's dying...
Ok, he's moving... but he isn't happy and is definitely fighting fate...
I have his next tank set up, and if he makes it through the afternoon I will move him...

Lame... I should see if I can hire someone to take care of these...
It isn't hard, I just can't handle the stress and guilt of being in charge of these...
And I am worried once I start working that I won't be able to take care of them...
I suppose I could just buy them in bulk and throw them out once a week like flowers, but that would take an amount of detachment that even I would have a hard time coping with...

This isn't fair, goldie is doing great...
I kinda wanna put blackie in the big tank too, thinking that the current would take care of the fuzz, but worrying that the fuzz would spread and then the big tank would be contaminated, killing them both, and then forcing me to scrub the tank and get rid of all the water...

Guess I will get back to making those little viking ships for the bathtub, we will see how many popsicle sticks it takes...


This is my new lamp...
Way cool, and it casts jagged shadows on the ceiling in all shades of grey...
Nice.




Overly Excited about Nothing

So this morning I awoke at the crack of dawn with the mad urge to make cookies...
A massive amount of cookies...
I first looked around to see if Autumn was home...
I found her bike sitting in the usual place and immediately crept up the stairs to confirm my suspicion...

After seeing a familiar pile of blonde curls protruding from a green sea of blankets I flew downstairs to set to my mission before she woke...

I made a pot of coffee, finished off the last of the dishes from our party and cranked up the oven.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with appreciation for all the wonderful things in my kitchen...
Mostly for my parchment paper... which made the cookie process both simple and efficient...

Then I noticed the latest antics of the evil fish that ungratefully lives in my tank...
From the very beginning goldie has been on my list...
First with his many attempts on blackie's life... then with his mission to eat all my new duckweed, now going even further to infuriate me by digging a large whole next to my new plant.

I can see what he's up to... He is either attempting to knock the thing over, or expose the roots and eat it...
Either way, I am way mad at the fish.

My only revenge for his wrong-doings is that I turned up the filter as high as it can go, which creates a whirlpool effect that forces the evil thing to swim for it's life constantly... And if he ever stops moving as fast as he can, he gets sucked into the vortex and swirls backwards in the tank...

It's my favorite part of the whole set up... Torturing goldie, the renegade Denis the Menace in my living room

I also noticed a small pool of water on the ground behind the tank today...
Another ominous sign of problems to come...
Apparently it isn't the tank, just a collection of moisture from the filter combined with the awkward slant the tank has taken on.

But enough about the darn fish...

Everyone says I am way too worried about them and that they will be the final straw that pushes me over the edge...

I am constantly thinking the black one is dying, since he lays down all the time...
And I don't have the energy to change the water every five minutes...

Anyways, the coffee wore off.

Back to cleaning...

Friday, March 28, 2008

No Way

I was just glancing at the weather report...
Snow, snow, snow...

After looking out the widow and being blinded by light I thought they were crazy.

Then I heard a scratching sound in the back yard and thought someone was stealing my patio furniture...
Nope, just buckets of hail bouncing off my window, then a flurry of snow, and then back to sun again.

I would go outside, but I wouldn't know what to where...

So this evening we are having a small dinner thing at the house... Autumn is gathering supplies from work and making 6 different kinds of Calzones... Should be excellent.

My only job was to redo the living room for the 40th time this month...
We are completely out of space...
The thought of entertaining even 6 people at a time definitely means half of them will be sitting on the floor.

At least there is a little floor left...
Oh well, who needs space... when I have a giant fish tank...

Which is about to explode.... Mark my words, it is going to be trouble...

It is sitting on a slightly slanted foundation and leans precariously on account...
I think it is only a mater of time till the forces of gravity interact with the 250 pounds of water I just put in it...

And twice as brilliant, I placed the thing next to all our photo albums, so I will have more to deal with than just the flood...

Anyways, I am less than motivated, but I need to empty the thing *again*...
Move it, and put some foam under to even it out, that and buy a level so I have more info...

The whole thing works, I got it all up and running...

I have to stand on the couch to work on it... it's too tall for me to reach from the ground...

So the test runs will take place this week and the move in date for new occupants is scheduled for next week...

KC

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Autumn's New Fish

video

Manic Monday: Welcome Home George

video

It's Been Only a Few Hours...

And yet I have not been this stressed out in a long time...

Today I got a wild hair and decided to pick up two small goldfish...
No big deal... When I think the height of easy and low matenance, I think gold fish.

It was instantly a more involved process than I was ready to take on from the start.
With the helpful pet store owner scolding me and insisting that I name the fish before he would let me purchase them.

George and Sally, I said, hesitantly looking at the plastic bag. Not knowing anything about what was going on.

So usually they say to prime the tank over a period of time to allow particulate matter to settle and to allow chlorine to evaporate and disipate in the water to create a stable environment for the new inhabitants... Not me... Oh no, I am impulsive, I couldn't have waited 24 hours and risked the urge to research this plan.

So Autumn mentioned that she wanted a googley eyed fish...
So I got one of those and a little gold one that wasn't anything special...

I poored in 10 drops of the dechlorination solution (instead of 2) and poored the little critters in....
At first they both seemed content to be out of the bag... The googley one taking the lead in energy... So after a while I noticed the little gold one looked sad... I took every possible movement as a sign of depression.

It wasn't swimming, it was just staying in the same spot and staring off into the cramped space it now called a home.

So I was convinced that I had killed them and that it was only a matter of time till I would need to go dig up my net and throw them out... I even contemplated spending the rest of the afternoon making small Viking ships out of popcicle sticks that could be lit ablaze in memory of their short lived lives.

Corky mentioned that I should already start planning the invetations to the funeral and start posting adds for the memorial services.

So after all that stress, staring at the poor little guys, I freak out, sure that I am killing them with chemicals, and break down and call a local aquarium. It's now 5:55. They close at 6. I am in my car so fast, driving with a small cup of tank water in one hand and steering with the other... I break in as the doors are locked and have them test the water...

The man looks up slowly from the multicolored test tubes...
It doesn't look good...
(I feel like I am in the ICU)
They are going to need round the clock water tranfusions...
It's not going to be pretty...

And you need a 55 gallon tank...

I just don't know about this, at the time, when the fish man was solemly reading me the diagnosis, I would have done anything to make the situation better... but the truth of the matter is I have a $10 investment that is poised to cost me major money... Maybe I could get a bigger tank, sure, but a 55 gallon tank sounds considerably more expensive... And then what, will I have to buy a share in a small pond then lake to keep this thing up?

It's a GOLDFISH!

They are supposed to be calming... I should not be driving down 11th as fast as I can splashing water all over my car just to illiviate the guilt of not being able to read the directions on the back of the water conditioner...

Lame... I can't keep anything alive...

If anyone wants so sweet fish, they are yours if you drop me a line before the roomie comes home and gets attached....
Hell, take the whole set up,
I couldn't live with the guilt.

The Tank is Clean



It's a beautiful day...
The tank is clean?!

One Down 4 to Go

So I finished the 3 hr. iWeb class...
I usually do the entire course in an hour and a half and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to take up the time effectively. Well I ended up going ten minutes over, so I guess that wasn't an issue...

I believe that was my first full length feature, and 3 hr. workshop.

For me the time flew by, and there was still plenty to cover...
It is an overwhelming amount of info for the participants to take in...

I am sure it was a little much for many of them, but we seemed to have a good time, with the usual glitches and questions arising at every turn.

Funny little thing that we did...
I was trying to show the class how to make a folder on the desktop that would contain their webpage...
No big deal, and nothing to complicated... Except:
My laptop in it's classic fashion, wouldn't let me make a folder...
It usually works out that way, so since I was on a smartboard, I just picked up a pen and drew one...
That was pretty fun, I told them to pretend...
At least I thought it was funny... Though of course that is not my main objective... But I try to have fun with the classes to wake them up once in a while.

Anyways, one down...
Tomorrow is iMovie 08, then Leopard...
Good times...

I will sleep next week.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Where are they now?

It is kind of interesting to think that I started this site over four years ago in October of 2004. I was 20 years old...
It was an assignment for one of my first technology classes at the U of O.
It was frustrating at first...
I had many issues getting the thing off the ground...
Then I went into the crazy phase of modifying every bit of code possible...

Then years went by, and all the people who read it slowly moved on and away...

Later I actually taught a class on blogging to the same tech class i took 3 years earlier...
That was a lot of fun. I was able to say I taught a university class...
It was a kick.

It's just interesting to think back on all the people I went through the program with and how they all scattered to the wind when the bell rang and they recieved their degrees... Many of them have married and started families, and others are hard at work with in schools all accross the country.

Originally we started a blog just for the members of our cohort,
but no one has posted to it since december of 2006...

That was kind of a bummer... It would be wonderful for people to use that resource and touch base. but I guess most of them probably forgot their logins and don't have the time...

Well I will just have to do my part and secretly wonder where they all ended up.

Apparent Deep-Seated Aggression

Apparently I have some pent up aggression, that or I should be a pro boxer...
My friends let me try out their Nintendo Wii just for kicks and we tried the boxing game out...

Don't worry, we got it on tape...

Anyways, I went on to single handedly demolish everyone in the household, even to the extent that when Josh dropped his controller by accident, I swooped in for the kill while his defenses were down... It was pretty awesome...

I think I got a little too into it, so much that I am completely sore from the game and might have hurt my back...

So this is a new found skill and if anyone wants to fight me, I would be down...

Good times...
Finally tried the Wii...

Much cheaper than therapy, and I am already thinking of all the people at work I would like to challenge... I think that would be great for team morale and really bring us closer together...

We shoud put one in the staff room!

KC

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Lesson Learned

Apparently, when you go to a Chinese buffet and spend less than 20 minutes eating from start to finish, they think you didn't enjoy your meal...

I had no problem with the food, it's cheap, but fast...
I just didn't feel like staring off into the corner for much longer than that...
I had been there many times, with other people, but thought it would be faster than sitting down to order somewhere else...

Kinda funny the way not being in a group makes people stand out...
The hostess asked if it was my first time visiting them, though I have been going there for over four years...

I like looking at the ceiling there... Sounds strange, but before it was a Chinese Buffet, it used to be Lyon's, one of my favorite restaurants. I found it hard to believe that the place didn't make it, but I suppose the owners may have just retired or passed the business on to their children...

At any rate, I have many fond memories of spending time there, sipping chocolate milk shakes after hitting the hot tubs that are right down the street... It was our routine during finals week...

I really miss the location and that now the only place to track down a milk shake in the area is Wendy's.

New Song on Repeat

Puddle of Mudd: Psycho
I am going to see how many times I can play it before Autumn takes it away...

9:25
49 times and counting...

She's still working... Or doing what ever it is she is up to these days...

I cleaned... Went off on the kitchen... Dismantled the oven... Still haven't put it back...
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Morning

Just thought I would let you all in on the antics that went down this morning just after the sun came up, and shed a little more light on why more often than not I am a little more than "fashionably late" for the beginning of my days...

So let me just set the tone by giving a little insight on the clock scenario going on in my house... So far daylight savings has taken the usual catastrophic toll on my schedule... Usually I just ignore the clocks entirely, not that I could reach them if I wanted... I usually just do a bit of mental math in the morning to see how far behind I am and it generally works out.

But lately that plan has not entirely worked... I came home the other night to find that it had been 9:45 for entirely too long. I glanced at the clock as I fell asleep to The Sward in the Stone and was surprised to find that I had not been sleeping more than a few minutes, which seemed odd... I glanced into the kitchen to see it was three hours later according to clock number two...

So days went by with the pathetic second hand bouncing back and forth in place... I finally broke down, put on my bathrobe, trekked out to the car in the rain and retrieved the necessary batteries to remedy the situation.

Hours went by and I finally mustered the energy to fix the thing...

So now the kitchen is off by an hour and the living room is right on schedule... I can handle that... it's just a side note and an explanation as to why I might not be on time for some events....

Back to the morning from saturday night live...

So I get up to my alarm, lie in bed for an hour and a half, like I usually do... wander into the bathroom ready to take a shower... Just as I am about to start my routine I hear Autumn's alarm go off on her phone, indicating I am behind schedule and that she will need to be out the door soon as well...

So I dive in the shower, fumble with the curtain and fight the latest annoyance of the constant spray of cold water that has recently sprouted out of the shower fixture... It has the added bonus of covering the floor with water from every direction... So I go about configuring the curtain in such a way as it's only function is to keep the daily flood from soaking the floor...

I finally get out of the shower and get dressed... Autumn is standing in a towel waiting for her turn...
I haven't even brushed my teeth yet, so in an awkward move she hops in and I attempt to finish getting ready at the same time.. While searching for some random thing under the sink the drawer falls out of it's socket and hits the ground. Nothing is where I left it and I am trying to give Autumn a little privacy and get out of her way... Just as I head down stairs to find my shoes and tell Autumn good bye all hell breaks loose... Suddenly the CD player which is set to full blast starts skipping madly, the smoke alarm goes off from all the steam, I am 20 minutes late and scrambling for anything I can find to fan the screeching alarm... Inadvertently I grab an envelope filled with cards written to me from children... I begin fanning the alarm and shower the handmade cards all over the second floor and the stairs...

I start cracking up laughing, the alarm stops, and just as I am headed down the stairs again it goes back off...

So here it is, not even 8 Am and we are making an insane amount of noise...
Finally I subdued the evil alarm, which prior to this event I had wondered if actually worked in the first place...

So yeah, that was my morning... There are still little cards all over the house... and I almost fell down the stairs trying to make my escape...

Good times.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One more for the Road

I wanted to write about something that came to mind the other day before I lost interest and forgot... Not that the napkin I wrote on won't preserve the memory or make it more interesting to look back on, it's just that I loose things, and have been in the midst of a half hearted cleaning spree.

Yeah the house is almost clean... Mark your calendars... I'm sure it won't last more than a few days... It never does... But I digress.

So the small memory was of how the world looked to a small child in the front seat of our family car, rolling down the highways at night on our way to California. This is a trip that we took many times over the years to go see my mother, whom I have interesting memories of... But the other night as I was watching that fore-mentioned horror film of the year, I was reminded of the feeling of the drive...

I always loved driving, from the very beginning. My dad often mentioned how as tiny children we would often go for long car rides on bouncy dirt roads to lull us off to sleep. I thought that was an interesting trick and if it weren't for the price of gas, I would definitely have planned on including gas and a new suspension system in my childcare budget.

I always loved the rides we would go on. We were constantly visiting parks and beaches in the far reaches of our state and others. I loved going on picnics, grilling up steaks with potato salad and throwing the grill into the closest river when it was time to go.

But I just wanted to try to crystalize the feeling of the long drives we would take to California. It seemed like on most trips it was raining. I remember the lights hitting the winding roads, lined with Redwood trees for as far as I could see, and the rain splashing on the windshield. That is really the detail that stood out most to me. The look of the world through a car on a rainy road in California. I remember how the cars that would occasionally pass by would light up the car and illuminate the droplets on the windshield. I also remember the rhythmic sound that the wipers would make, creating the soundtrack for our journey.

The sounds of cars has always stood out to me. I seem to inadvertently be looking for the familiar sounds of cars gone by. One of which was the sound of the blinker of my mother's friend Ken's car. It was probably just an old car from the 70's but the turn signal would echo in the car and was one of the slowest tinking sounds I have ever encountered. I still listen to signals hoping to find one that holds the same kind of impact...

Anyway... Off to bed... Hopefully to dream of anything but snipers and hit-men.

It's Been Hours Since I Last Saw You

"And time has stopped..."

That was the last text message I sent to Autumn, wondering where she could be at 12 pm on a Monday night...

The rest of the message was...

"No really, the clock died... Could you pick up batteries on the way home?"

I can't reach it... Well not without a chair and that would defeat the crutch of being short.
I actually enjoy the feeling of waving my arms at things I can't reach and waiting for tall people to help me. I think it gives them a sense of purpose and the feeling of being needed as well as indulging my sense of laziness...

I Can't Watch Scary Movies

So it's 12 at night, and I keep watching the door, anticipating a hit man with a childish haircut to burst in the door any minute. With a quarter in one hand and a silenced shotgun in the other... Which on it's own is a ridiculous idea... I swear it can't even be possible to make one of those, the sheer science and mechanics of it defies logic on it's own.

I spent the entire movie with my hands over my eyes while plugging my ears and trying to imagine a happier outcome for the numerous cast members that would shortly be leaving the script.

It was a great movie, don't get me wrong. It won best picture and had an amazing story line, and the added side note of not having a single song to accompany it. I hadn't seen that trait in many movies and was impressed by the impact of having no music in the background. It seemed to make the film more realistic and true to life, since other than in my head, and in my classroom there are little events that are set to music in the real world. But all the same I still look back on the whole event as a little troubling seeing as it has left such an impression on me.

I kind of wonder if it is part of who I am or an underlying maturity level, or even the ability to separate fiction from reality that leaves me sitting in a dark room shading my eyes from things I don't want to see. I wonder what it is about the people that truly enjoy being scared that allows them to follow the intensity of these plots, work them out in their minds, and then leave them at the door and go on with the memories...

It's not like I am scarred for life by films, I just retain the childlike quality of freaking out for a few days afterwards and planning out my ideal conversations with the villains, you know, like you do.

Anyway, it was a great film, I highly recommend it, and there just might be a discount with door locks and therapy that should come with it... Not that either of those things would help you if your name ended up on this guy's list... ha

And one last thing, I found it very interesting how a normal person with a bad hair cut could look so terrifying... I kind of thought about how that impacted the film. I mean if this guy had shown up with a mullet and a shotgun, I doubt that people would have taken him as seriously... But the cropped Beatles helmet really added to the effect. It was the kind of hair style that went out in the 70's and would have sent many children over the edge. I immidiately started working out the details of the plot thinking there should have been a segue into his childhood that focused on some horrible event that occured when he was seven and how he snapped and kept the style as a crystalized reminder of things that went wrong...

So yeah, that and Autumn isn't home yet and I have assumed the worst...
I will put out another add for a new room mate in the morning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oops

This is a brief ode to my poor little plant that I assume is not long for this world...

So I know my last name is Gardner, which people often mistake for gardener... not the case...

So I ran across a neat little Scottish moss in a friend's garden... It was a most fascinating plant... With a bright green and the claim of enjoying being stepped on. I found it rather entertaining that I could stomp on this little green thing and that it would be all the happier on account of it...

I ran out and got two small plants, ready to put them outside my home and stomp on them daily...
Ok, sounded simple enough, just forgot one thing...
Let it get going before physically assaulting it...

So on the first round, I took my ice cream scooper outside in the rain and dug a meager hole, apologizing to the displaced worms that would rive on the sidewalk. I dropped the thing in the ground, tucked it in, wished it luck and went on my way. Very pleased at my latest accomplishment.

Feeling a little over confident I set out to repeat this process again with the second of the two... This time, carelessly carving a hole in the mud, throwing the poor plant in, and stomping on it for good measure...

Inadvertently I had destroyed my fledgling's chance for success...

I immediately felt sorry for the poor thing, now squashed and showing little enthusiasm for life...

So to recap, I bought two plants, threw them in holes, stepped on them, killed them and went back in the house...

Next time I will save myself the trouble, hand the lady two dollars and just go straight to throwing the thing away...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Small Sigh of Relief

But not really, as my responsibilities are mounting daily...

Super Saturday and the Irish Fest are over...
The Saturday extravaganza went without a hitch, and in stepping back I can see that my students really did learn a lot, weather or not they can see it or appreciate it... Some of the highlights from my Saturday morning include:
Riding a lowrider Schwinn Stingray through the halls of an elementary school... Spinning tires and screeching around corners between carefully placed tables and chairs as fast as I dared to go. A site that would have left many children in awe. Seeing a teacher, still dawned in full professional attire, riding an odd shaped bike, reaching awkwardly for the oversized handlebars and fighting my instincts to gracefully maneuver the pedal breaks before crashing into something expensive...

This is the one break from work I was able to enjoy, and it didn't last long enough, though it was an experience I can always look back and smile at.

After that it was back to exporting and burning 45 projects onto disks for the children, one of whom made it explicitly clear that she would be needing it to be sent and received by the following week, in time to present to her class. No pressure there...

Usually I take it all upon myself to cart the work home with me and sit for endless periods of time, sorting, retrieving, organizing, and burning little CD's and putting them into labeled paper sleeves.

Not this time... This time I decided to wait it out and get it all done in one fail swoop... I even had a few helpers to direct through the process, continually reminding them not to forget to hold down the option key when transferring files to avoid the dreaded "Shortcut to Nowhere" CD... An almost unavoidable outcome with helpers, but the last thing I wanted, seeing as I planned to be completely done with the process on the first try and desperately wanted to dodge the prospect of upset children and families eagerly opening an empty CD...

So I waited it all out, only to encounter 3 projects with technical issues that made me rely on my resourceful nature and revert to my McGiver way of problem solving...

One student, who has attended all of my classes since the beginning put in more work than most on his 30 second video, and I was saddened to find that when the time came, his video would not export like the others... It had to do with the audio he had recorded in combination with the timings he had set... So in a last ditch effort to save all his hard work I took advantage of the light weight machines in the lab and repositioned two of them face to face so that one could play the sound recording while I re-recorded it onto the new project with the new timings... It was pretty funny to see and took quite a bit of coordination. With myself on one machine, and my helper on the other, both of us poised over the record and play buttons... Three, two, one... Go... We both hit our buttons and I began to time the show with mere seconds between slides, furiously taping the arrow key to keep in time with the original show... The end result was almost perfection, with the only added downside being the distant tapping that was me, attempting to save his project. The arrow key could be slightly heard in the background, but I was happy with the end result... With that dragon slayed I was able to save the project and get back to backing up the 30 some odd machines still left to go....

The other mishap was well timed on my part... I saw some of the tell tale signs of insubordination rising in one of the lab machines and quickly had one of my students save her work to CD, just in time as the dreaded spinning beach ball of death swooped down to steal her work... I beat it by moments, and was so relieved....

One last tale on that note was the unexpected response of a talented little 7 year old that was in the back row of my class. Many of my students are very bright and are vastly above the level of their peers, but every now and again I get one that is off the charts... This little girl was 7 going on 25 and had all the mannerisms of a full grown adult, politely waiting as one of her fellow students went on and on about something, and casually rolling her eyes as she waited for him to finish speaking... The comment came when I was recalling an encounter with our school secretary the day before.... I mentioned that after bringing her a new camera to take a few pictures of some new students she promptly called my room and informed me that the camera was "Broken". She said that when she looked in the finder window, all she could see was black...

A moment passed and the small girl rolled her eyes once again. She looked up at me smiling and coyly said, "She didn't even have it in camera mode?" and laughed... The parent standing near by waiting for the end of my class looked up with a strange face and couldn't believe what he had just heard. A second grader had just schooled a 40 year old... Brilliant.

So that made me feel good to know that a little girl who had probably never held a digital camera was so comfortable with them now that it seemed like second nature and completely made sense...


The rest of my day was pure chaos just as I had planned it to be... I arrived at the Irish Festival just after leaving my school, a short commute to find two high schoolers manning the volunteer table... All seemed fairly calm, and I had to shudder at the morning they all must have had, with over 40 extra people showing up at once all wanting to help out...

As I came in it was perfect timing as one of our volunteer photographers had just arrived to begin taking photos and was wondering where the cameras where... I was ready after finishing my class I still had 4 cameras from home and over 30 batteries ready and at hand... So that was one fire out... I soon noticed that there was little organization at my table, something I immediately set out to fix. As participants and festival goers wandered in, a swift breeze would blow past our table, sending the little helpers into a frenzy chasing after our various sheets of paper...

One girl went as far as to tape a sign over one door that said "Exit Only"... I found it funny later that she had used the back side of a flyer that had originally said, "Enter Here"
This attempt at order was soon ruined again as we soon found that one door was plenty to manage the job of blowing away our sign in sheets... I finally took action and taped the whole thing down to the table... At this maneuver I received shocked looks, and they all wondered why they hadn't thought of it earlier....

So I was slightly disappointed at not being there in the morning to handle the mad rush of helpers and to have abandoned my team in their time of need... But the same scenario took place the year before with carefully planning landing the festival date on the last day of my University class...

Oh well...
So the rest of the weekend I thought I had single handedly ruined the festival by having too many volunteers and not being more helpful... It seems I may not have completely done it in, but I still felt a little guilty for not doing more...

Once that fiasco was over I selfishly set aside a few hours to visit the coast and one of my old friends whom I had not seen in a very long time... I was excited and disappointed to find that her demeanor and antics were still very much immature and that she couldn't stop for one day to just relax and spend a little time... All that aside, we were still able to go to the beach, have a nice breakfast and catch up just a little. Though most of it was lost in commuting and problem solving....

So I set back out on my way at around 6 after having my favorite ice cream... Arrived home at 7 and was completely disoriented on account of the time shift and not having slept in 3 days...
I instantly fell asleep to wake at 3 AM to the overwhelming list of things that needed to be done by that morning... And with the added stress of not knowing the real time on account of all my highly placed clocks that cant be reached without a chair...

Then on to the impossible day of testing, teaching, creating, directing, fixing, creating, planning, and driving that were all part of my non stop day. I often get scolded for not checking my email, a funny thought for someone who is surrounded by electronics throughout the day... But the truth of it is I have little time to sit down, and even less for something like getting online.... So I always come home to about 40 unread messages, waiting to hear from me, and having wanted a reply the day before....

Done.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Before







There are no plans for after...
I just wanted you all to see what the house looks like, and why it takes me so long to find my keys...

Darn It


Evan... I sat and wrote you a carefully crafted story... I spent hours on it... I was thrilled and embarassed at the length... it was funny, witty, and is now gone...

Darn it.
I am so done...
Totally crushed that I did it again.

But on the bright side, I now have an office to yell in...

We redid the house. You should check it out.

KC

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Song on Repeat






If You Want Me
Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard

The Swell Season
Playing in Portland, Monday the 28th

My Unhappy Apples

Yes, I have been a fan of apple for a very long time, always bragging about their durability and other defining qualities. I always explained that people have to invest in their equipment, and that apples generally give back much more than you put in.
True, they are on the higher end of the price range in some instances, but the experience they give is something that can be hard to put a price on or find anywhere else... And any machine I can poor a beer into and take to work the next day is alright in my book...

But lately... And perhaps it is just fate getting in line to slap me down, lately I have not been having a good time...

There was the issue with the discrepant hard drive information.... and that was mildly troubling, and perplexing, if nothing else...
I should have seen the signs.... And of course with my second machine, there was the unforseen death of sound and forced my new found appreciation for silence... I didn't mind that either... I am flexible.... And I didn't mind that each time I closed the lid on my laptop a ominous light would flash and an eerie chime would follow, signifying that my machine had restarted on it's own, defying logic by accomplishing this feat in sleep mode, with no input from me...

I didn't mind any of that at all... I learned to deal with it, and wear a smile as my files refused to open one after the other... I had my hunches as to the culprit and continued to trudge on....

I could handle all of that and so much more as long as there was some hope... that things would be ok...

And I know I should have seen the signs, and it's all as clear as day... but all those wonderful thoughts won't put my world back now. It's all over, and in a moment it was all gone... All those little worlds, crafted out of clay and paper. All the smiles and hard work, reduced to a spinning ball, followed by blackness that never subsided... Faint chimes, flashes of light, and the taunting feeling that there might be some hope... That I wouldn't have to look into 27 tear stained faces and tell them it was all gone. And sure I could tell them that my whole world was gone too, but that is no consolation to a child. I would lay down all of my work over and over to save the work of a child, the priceless dreams that are now irretreavable, staring back at me in a stream of red letters spelling out the verdict of a corrupted hard drive....

I have one week to get it all finished, and could have done it, aside from the one deciding factor that my hard drive up and died ten minutes into class and I am screwed.