Monday, February 25, 2008

I like to ride my bicycle

Thanks to a very kind moo-ma and moo-pa, I now have a shiny bike to ride to school. My travel time has decreased from something like 13-15 minutes to something around about 6-7 minutes each way. This is awesome, and not in any significant way environment destroying, which is way cool (car travel time = 5 minutes).

It means I can now pop home during a non-contact or lunch hour! Previously it took half an hour to walk home and back, leaving very little at-home time in a 45 minute luch hour. Now it's closer to 12-14 minutes travel time, effectively inverting the home/travel ratio.

I have stoppped reading books on my way to and from school, but have taken up listening to Terry Pratchett audio books on my mp3 player, 7 minutes at a time. It's going to take me a while to work my way through an unabridged book, but I am still getting a daily literary fix (in addition to the books I have to read for school).

Oh yeah, I read 'Martyn Pig', a book about a kid dealing with disposing of his dad's corpse, and am now reading 'In My Father's Den' for school. I chose good books for my classes to study this year :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stinking Hot

It's not that hot today, but my classroom is an oven. Stupid tiny windows which have security latches to stop them opening all the way, and heat-generating students in classes of 28-29 at a time, heating the place up.

I look forward to the 2 or 3 days between summer and winter where the classroom is comfortable (before we get into the odd binary winter where the central heaters are either on, and the classroom is unbearably stuffy, or off, and the classroom is an icebox).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Meme? I do a meme now?

What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color yellow, which embodies the characteristics of joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, gold, hope, liberalism, sociability, friendship, death, courage, intellect, confidence, communication, travel, movement, attraction, persuasion, and charm. Yellow is the color of the element Air, and symbolizes the sun, grain, and the power of thought.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

The Simile

As taught to my Y9 class:

A simile is a comparison made using like or as. For example, 'as big as a house', or 'watching us like a hawk', or as angry as a PE teacher with deflated balls.

A few of the kiddies giggled at that one ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CT Scan and Results

So, last Monday Dominic had a traumatic time in hospital, getting his arms twisted and squeezed to make the veins stick out, having a big needle stuck in the back of his hand, and then having his chest scanned.

There were multiple attempts at the scan, which required him to lie still. We'd been told by a neonatal nurse that the plan was to either get the baby to sleep through it by feeding him, or else to sedate him. It turned out the staff doing the CT were opposed to sedation, so they kept telling us to go into the brightly lit, noisy, windy (it was a very windy day and there were doors open everywhere) waiting room and "get your baby to go to sleep".

Incredibly he did settle each time, but woke up when they decided to take his clothes off, inject contrast dye, switch on the machine etc. On the third time he woke up they abandoned the sleep plan and got Debbie to put her finger in his mouth to suck on and stroke his head, and he stayed still enough for the scan.

We got the results yesterday, and it's a mixed bag. He does have a CCAM. It's at the top of the lower lobe of his right lung.

We knew this already.

Because of the position, it can't simply be snipped out. If it is taken out, it will have to be a lobectomy - losing one of three lobes in the right lung. This is a slightly bigger surgery, and while the outcome is similar (you can get on fine without one lobe) it's not as simple a surgery.

So, the new plan is to keep an eye on it and see if it causes any trouble. If not, Dom won't have surgery. If it does cause infections or anything, the operation will go ahead.

So, not really good news, but at least he doesn't have to have an operation this year.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Currently Watching

Outrageous Fortune, genius NZ comedy/drama. We borrowed the first season on DVD from a colleague, and were hooked after one episode (really hooked after two). He's bringing the second season in shortly for us. It's a very funny, compelling show with a range of characters who are really engaging. Top class work - and only $28 a season on DVD at the Warehouse!

Teachers - genius Brit comedy about high school teachers. My brother picked up the DVDs on special from, and it's fantastic to rewatch (and in the case of episodes we missed on TV see for the first time). Very silly, sarcastic, biting, and filled with vicarious pleasures :-)

We're also watching House on TV (even though that means we've skipped a season), and will probably get back into watching Lost, several episodes at a time (it's a bit unsatisfying to watch in a drip-fed week-by-week way, but save up 4 or 5 episodes and binge every now and then and it becomes (for us) quite an enjoyable show).

On the shelf, ready to go are the Family Guy Star Wars special (Blue Harvest), and the first two episodes of the Sarah Connor Terminator TV show (not, I think, a sitcom, but we shall have to watch it to find out).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The terrifying tale of titty mouse and tatty mouse

A few days ago Debbie and I sat down to read Dominic a story from the quite respectable looking "The Classic Purnell Edition Great Children's Stories (1975)". The first story that caught Debbie's eye was the tale of Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse. We began to read it to Dominic, but didn't get past the first page.

We should have been warned. The story ought to have a disclaimer at the start.

The full text of this children's classic is available on the internet here. I shall give you a quick summary, allowing you to be forewarned about the horrors of the tale.

1. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse live in a house together. They are hungry, so they go pick some corn.
2. They come back and each make a pudding on the stove, but when Titty Mouse puts her pudding into the pot "the pot tumbled over, and scalded her to death."
3. Tatty Mouse is sad, and the furniture asks her why. As each piece of furniture learns the sad news, it nuts out in some way.
4. The tree, bird, and little girl outside each find out about the death, and nut out (losing leaves, shedding feathers, spilling milk).
5. The old man next door who is thatching his roof finds out. “Oh!” said the old man, “then I’ll tumble off the ladder and break my neck,” so he tumbled off the ladder and broke his neck."
6. The tree falls over, destroying Tatty and Titty's house, and Tatty is buried under the rubble.

The end.

Seriously, what happened to Joseph Jacobs to make him lose it so badly that he wrote this 'children's tale'? What exactly is the message? Don't share bad news, or else people will randomly kill themselves and you'll be crushed under their corpses? Don't grieve in public or you'll upset the neighbours? Mice, even the pudding-making anthropomorphised ones, are all evil and bring nothing but trouble to the idyllic countryside?

What. the. hell?

Here's a cute photo as a palette cleanser:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Perfume, cute photos, clothes and such

Debbie and I watched Perfume last night (actually we watched most of it last night, then I fell asleep (we were watching it in bed), so we watched the end this morning). I found it to be quite an odd, but a very compelling film. I thought they did a great job of using a visual medium to show how powerful a character's response to smells were. The fact that the actor playing the main character was Pingu from Nathan Barley (a very funny, adult Brit comedy) made me feel sympathetic to the lead character, even when he was killing people.

I missioned out to Harvey Norman today to print off some photos, both for my office at school and for the photo album. I got a large copy of this photo, 'cos it's quite a cutey:

And for anyone who's interested, Dominic now fits some 3-6 month clothing rather well:

Coming soon: The terrifying tale of Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse - or what happens when children's book writers have nervous breakdowns.

Monday, February 04, 2008

War stories

First lesson with my Year 12 students. Course outline says typing up homework is good, but printer breaking down is no excuse.

Teacher: Of course, if your printer breaks down you can always email me your work. Here is my school email address. Please don't email me for personal stuff, like 'Hey mister, how's it going.' Work stuff only.


Teacher: Except when you leave school, then if you want to email me in a couple of years to tell me what you're doing, say hi, that's cool. You know, if you've joined the Air Force and you want to email me and say "Hey Mr, I'm in the airforce and I just shot a bunch of Iraqi's." That's cool.

*pause, horrified looking students*

Teacher: Well, that's not cool, y'know, not that particular thing. Hopefully nobody will be gunning down Iraqi's in a couple of years, but you get the idea.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Outdoors with Dominic

We took the little man outside after school today to check out some dandylions and stuff. It was neat. Debbie has already got him to feel the grass under his feet, and he quite enjoys it. Yesterday he weighed in at 5.53kg, which is a healthy gain (slightly slower than his previous weight gain, but pushing him one or two percentage points up from the national average).

I am very glad that it's the weekend.