Mon - August 14, 2006


* Babble.

That's right, I'm incoherent. I've been babbling nonsense for pages in the dissertation, and just wanted to change subjects so here I am.

Got up late, edited a few pages, took Mom to her cataract checkup appointment, edited a few more pages while there, laptop battery was low so took out broadband card thus losing connection, laid card in chair next to my butt, mom came out, we left, without the broadband card. Took her home, grabbed yogurt and some things i needed to take to school, went to school, got out laptop, plugged it in to check on textbook orders, oops no broadband card, called eye clinic, they found it in the chair i had been sitting in, worked on filing for a few hours, Miss IGMN was in for a time with her kids and just fluffed her room, has now got windowsills full of family photos and stuffed animals, she left, I was walking to car when Boss stopped me and said:

1. your textbook PO was faxed ( I already knew this) and we had to do all the paperwork to have a new vendor approved ( I know, I did the paperwork) and thank you for all your hard work on this

2. Bruce will be unable to do any but the first inservice training and we would like you to act as trainer for the district ( duh, why did they think I went to the training of trainers thing this summer; its about time you start using the staff here for what we are worth)

3. Would you be the teacher representative on the applicant screening committee (yes school starts Sept 5 and we are still hiring and in my department no less) and we will pay you for your time (now thats sweet)
I left and went to get broadband card, then went to Office Depot to see if they'd match the deal Circuit CIty has on SD Ultra 2.0 but they could not match the rebate. I got some bulletin board trim stuff with frogs on it (biology, remember) and some belcro cord things to wrap around the microscope cords. Then I went to Walmart to get extension cords and fish food and a tool box. I also got crack cocaine sugar, bad bad me. Sugar can bloat me 5 lbs in a day and I am sure it's a culpret in hot flashes....... but still, I snarfed down half a bag of pure sugar, and am now feeling my hands swell as I type.

I spent the evening randomly surfing and wrote nothing. This has to stop. I need sleep but can't.

Posted at 07:53 AM       |

Sat - August 12, 2006

Send an Oceangram

Send an oceangram . I got these today:

hello my names ben
Hello ben
How are you doing Ben?
what's up ben? I'm shirley
Hi Ben! I'm Holly.
Hello Ben im Trig (UK MSE)
Hi Ben, I'm c_az
hello ben! i'm clare. Do people ever call you benny?
Hello from Indiana, Ben
Hello.Todays date is 8-11-06
Hi Ben I am Val in the UK. MSE

Are you a crazy?
Only crazy about you!

im crazy bout people but no not generally :D
Crazy in love


Hug your children today


I live in Oceaside, sunny and breazy So. California?

Anyone out there who lives outside the USA?

Not me, but I'll pass it along just in case it floats to a different shore. ~MDC
Your bottle is in the frigid water of Plymouth, MA - home of the Pilgrims!
Now it has made it inland to San Antonio, TX
Hi from Tokyo.
I got it in Escanaba Michigan.
Back to so california, but not Oceanside, unfortunately. 27 miles NE of L. A., where it is a hot 91 degrees at 4:24pm on 8/12/06

Posted at 07:52 AM       |

Wed - August 9, 2006

"Other girls dream of working here. You merely deign." ~Nigel

A comment made to me as I arrived at the aquarium last night for my bi-monthly shark dive.

How true - it appears glamorous, until one realizes that most of what we do is clean the shark-poo off the fake coral, while of course 24 potential man-eaters circle us.
It was decided last night that we need some UW photos of the South Pacific Aquarium (read: shark tank) for purposes of making a grid map of the UW exhibits. Currently our method of cleaning the coral islands is to have duplicate sets of coral. We send down a pair of divers (with shark sticks) to an island, then send down huge trash cans full of replacement coral. We then remove a piece of dirty coral and replace it with a new, clean, identical piece. The dirty coral gets placed in a rubble pile and sent back to the surface once the bucket is full. So, in weeks to come, I will have photos.

Only 2 sharks of the 24 have posed threats. The sand tiger, ST2, himself has never made a move but his species has. I was bumped by one on a deco line on the East Coast once. Apparently they will snap very quickly at anything within their reach that hacks them off for whatever reason - so we keep our distance from him. And Lemon, the large, lovely lemon shark, once nudges a diver who held up her shark stick and it touched Lemon's nose. Lemon then swam to the far end of the tank and charged the diver, turning away at the last second. That was apparently several years ago; but still if Lemon is agitated, we get out of the tank. I love this job, I really do. I love diving open water of course, but there's something about the aquarium that's just too cool.

Here's our boy ST2. Note the obvious need for an orthodontist.

And here's our lovely lady, Lemon. She's truly regal, isn't she?

I got 6 pages of the dissertation edited yesterday, and need to get back at it today. Mom has her checkup later and needs to run about 1000 errands, then I will bring her home and go to school to finish working on the mess there.

A few of us signed up for a cool physics workshop in Seattle on Sept 1. Miss IGottaMoveNow was one. We signed up as soon as we got the info, but it was too late and we were put on a waiting list. I found out a few weeks ago that we made the cut to go, and emailed Miss IGMN. She would check on her availablilty, and let me know asw she thought they had reservations somewhere for 4-wheeling (!!!). Yesterday, I still had not heard from her that she was available, so I replied that she could not go. Of course within 8 hours of my declining for her, she decided that yes indeed she could go, so I had to email back and say oops I goofed. Another reason to love her. But it's am inportant part of mentoring her (why am I mentoring a teacher with 2+ years of experience??? Because she didn't get it the first time....) that I keep her close. Besides, there's that thing that my tech instructor trainer taught me: Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.

Back to work. Have a great day.

Posted at 10:23 PM       |

Tue - August 8, 2006

After the move and some cleanup

Photos of my classroom, AFTER I worked several hours today to clean up the moving mess:

I just stood in each corner and took a picture. This is the back left corner.

Note new refrigerator and lots of microscopes. I have to share them, and that pisses me off because they are put away with slides still on the stages, or with the cord wrapped around the neck. Still a lot of stuff out.

Back right corner.

Stuff all over counter because this room does not have cupboards beneath the countertops like the lab next door, that I moved OUT of. Four, no five teachers are now sharing 2 rooms; two of them part-time. A chem teacher who had this room before me comes over from her math classroom to teach a chem class during my planning period, so I lose the use of my room then. A new, yet to be hired bio teacher will need to use this lab somehow, sometime. And then there's Miss IGottaMoveNow, currently in my old classroom/lab next door.

This view is toward the right front corner.

The door goes into the storeroom/prep room. You can see a front lab demo table full of the papers that could not be put away properly during the move. They are now in very messy piles on the front demo desk. I'd like to tear the thing out as its wasted space. I have to walk all the way around it to get to a kid. I don't like being on top of the kids, but I do need to be close to them. Keeps the insanity manageable if you are right thre.

Looking towards the door to the hall.

Still crap all over the student desks, and tomorrow I can't go back and do anything because my mom is having cataract surgery on her second eye and I have to drive her there, then stay with her til i have to go to the aquarium to dive with the sharks.

Close-up of the mess on the front table and the front desks.

Its mostly stuff I should have put away as I used it last year but didn't. Time was a bit short; I taught straight through all day with only lunch, no planning period. Yes, it was bought out and paid for handsomely; something i will NEVER do again. Besides losing the 90 minutes that I taught, I had to plan for that time, set up labs (it was a freeeking Physics course) and then do all the work I didn't get done during that time PLUS all the work I made for myself by teaching then. Never again; I was never close to caught up. Hence the reason for the piles.

I realize that I appear to be a bit behind with filing. I'll get in on Thursday and get it all cleaned up. Really I will. Note the large utility sink in the corner. I love that sink. It will make cleaning aquaria much easier. Oh yeah, I'm leaving one aquarium next door with Miss IGottaMoveNow, just because she asked and I am a nice person and want to model professional behavior. Sharing, I think its called. I was working up numbers for Biology texts that we will need next year, and she asked if I were ordering for her biology sections too. "But I thought we were all going to do the same things. And we will need another set of transparencies and materials, too, and a teacher manual." I told her that I did not need a teachers' edition so would donate mine, and all the other materials would be available. The new person might want to do things differently; we need to allow for that. (Read: the new person might want to do their own lesson plans instead of mooching all of mine.)

And here is a photo of the awesome Persmart aquarium, purchased at the garage sale mentioned in the first post.

I have no clue where I will put it. I'd love to make it a native PNW tank, but will probably need a chiller that costs about $400....... perhaps there are some native species that can tolerate 70+°.

And here is my desk.

Needs a bit of cleaning, huh? I like it. My last desk was a slab of countertop perched on my 2 2-drawer filing cabinets because I had no room for them anywhere else. Now I need to find a filing cabinet for New Person, as I have cleared a desk space and even a nice computer and some storage out of the Back Room. I even ordered extra office supplies for Him/Her today too. Now we just need to hire someone worthy of my efforts.

So the last 2 photos below, in case anyone is still actually reading, are of my old classroom, yes, that now belongs to Miss IGottaMoveNow.

Note the stacked up chairs and haphazardly--placed tables. They have not been placed anywhere because it is MY job to find her nice desks like the ones I took out. I have them located, and tagged, but am NOT carrying them over. Her kids could have done that the day she brought them to work, but nope, they each brought a laptop and plugged it into the network to play online games with their friends. Go figure. Networking our own personal laptops through the district "equipment" is strictly forbidden (thats why I have a broadband account, to prevent withdrawl:-) so I had to point that out to her lest the Network Nazis think I was plugging in MY laptop illegally. But I digress.

Look around this room. Bright, cheery, interesting, inviting? Makes you want to learn Physical Science, Astronomy, and Biology, doesn't it? I'm sure it will be much nicer after I add the nice desks for her.

Now, back to the dissertation. Really.

Posted at 10:20 AM       |

Mon - August 7, 2006

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Actually, I never really left.

Took that week's vacation the first week the kids were gone in June while Spouse had his new hip installed. Have been back in my classroom a few times a week at least, well weekends anyway to feed the fish. Hungry little buggars, they are. Every time I go in I see a new population explosion in the guppy tank. I do love the critters. I miss my gerbils too; not allowed to have them in Washington. Sniff.
Came back and learned we HAD to do the big classroom swap THAT DAY because the person at the tail end, the one who was to be last to move in the nice orderly switch, said that this was the only day she had all summer to move. So the rest of us called in students to help, rolled up our sleeves, and began to just make the switch as expedientl as possible. I had already moved all her boxes away from in front of my classroom cupboards. Apparently she had made the summer custodians move her things, and I arrived that morning to find them all piled in a way that I could not get my own cupboards open withoit relocating every damn box first. So I did that, then Miss IGottaMoveNow finally showed up and wanted to know what of my stuff she could move out of the way. I said, really, I will move it all once I figure out where to put it as the room I was moving into was still occupied due to the sudden reverse order of the move. So, the rest of us decided to just have at it and start with the originally-planned emptyroom end and work really fast, utilizing the football-types we had enlisted with bribes of pizza and cash, and got all the rest of the stuff moved, for 2 other teachers who never bothered to show up at all. Miss IGottaMoveNow waited until I was out of the room, then proceeded to empty all my stuff from her new room by placing it wherever she found space as we cleared it out. SO - once all is moved, I'm left with essentially a whole room of stuff with nothing in a logical place. Nothing. Guess what I've been doing since.

And guess who's been in a few times a week as well, walking around in her room that's neatly organized and ready for her students. Today, she had the nerve to ask if I'd been working at all as it sure didn't look very different. Yes, I had, as a matter of fact - finding new desks for her room, finding a desk and a place to put it for the new science teacher we must hire, finding course numbers for next year and scrounging textbooks, ordering materials for HER sections of biology....... I'll stop now.

And now - back to the dissertation, as my fun for the evening.

Posted at 08:51 PM       |

Ohio vacation

Spent a week in Ohio, if you can call that vacation. Spouse did not come along. He is still recovering from hip replacement surgery and although it's been 7 weeks, he did not think he could sit on a plane that long. The boys miss him as much as he does them.

He would not have enjoyed the shower though. Not sure what men, or women for that matter, are into that stuff. The fun part for me was that Angie did not know I was coming and was really surprised. Her face was priceless. Good to know she likes me :-) It was fun to see formerr students, expecially those with babies of their own now. Amazing.

Lots of loot - not sure if she appreciated the Emeril coolware we got her, but Geoff will. I couldn't believe the stuff that used to be wedding gifts that are now shower gifts. Blenders that cost $100, china - you name it. She did get a few things like a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies, and plenty of mattress pads and towels. I guess one can never have too many towels.

I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday stripping woodwork in the new old house. I did 6 complete doorjams, 7 windows with casings, the window seat, the mantle, and 3 bookcases with a total of 7 doors with 8 small panes of glass each.

There went the French manicure, even with gloves. I had forgotten how much I liked working on old homes. Sucks that the one I have now is new.

Got back in the middle of the night Wednesday night, although Geoff threatened to not take me to the airport until I had finished all the woodwork. He gave in though, although I did want to stay there and play with them. I didn't get to spend much time with Jon although he did come each night to help a little and have dinner. He's looking pretty hard at jobs out here. I'd love to have him move. Trish would come wiht him, she has said, and for that I am glad. She is the best thing that's ever happened to him and I hope he knows that.

The dissertation was neglected for a few days then, but for boredom on the plane. Actually, I read a few new articles and came up with some new ways to present my data, so I did accomplish something. Yesterday and today, I implemented one of them to go along with some of Walter's suggestions. So now all I have to do is babble some great educational jargon about my data to fill about 150 more pages and I am good to go. I think the misconceptions part will be easy based on thats what I got really good at while doing national boards. I have to renew that this year too as soon as i get the defense done. I hope to hell I have enough things that I've accomplished in the pase 10 years to get it renewed or I will die of humiliation. I think it's just a matter of properly presenting the things I have done, just as the things that I did the first time..... we'll see.

Photos of shower and house here:


Posted at 12:12 AM       |

Mon - July 10, 2006

Hood Canal

Photos, pathetic as they are, are here.

Posted at 12:13 AM       |

Sat - July 8, 2006



Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you're not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
To watch shepherd need shepherd
But you you're not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

I don't think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate
~ Alainis Morissette (?)

Posted at 10:27 PM       |

Wed - June 28, 2006

Cove 2

... with new friends/buddies, Lynne, Peter, and Georgina. Max depth 67 ft for 53 minutes. Peter was taking photographs as best he could in 5-10 ft viz, and I was having a delightful time looking over a new dive site. Found the Honeybear on the first try. Did not go to the deep set of I beams as it wasn't on anyone else's dive plan. That's fine, it will be something to do on the next trip there.

Mike is recovering well. He rode along and read, watched bubbles, enjoyed the gorgeous day at a lovely park on the water and no doubt also enjoyed the scantily-clad female rollerbladers.

I am seeing how remiss I've been about updating here, especially dives. I will do better, promise.

Posted at 12:20 PM       |

Mon - June 26, 2006

Why it hurts -

Posted at 03:56 PM       |

Sat - June 24, 2006

Update on the Surgery

He's been home for 48 hours now. Here is a list of his activities:

# times I have carried the walker up and down the stairs to the bedroom: 5
# timed I have gotten the walker out of the car doing errands: 10
# of times I have been reminded to put the walker back in the car during errands: 9
#of times I have received "suggestions" while preparing food: 19
# of times I have been reminded to do something I have already finished or am currently doing: 27
# of tasks I have been asked to do all at the same time: 5 (he's still a bit out of it from the pain meds)
# of "easy" SUDOKU games he has begun and not finished: 4 (see above)
# of phone calls he's made to tell the same story - at LEAST 7
# of times he has honked the stupid horn on his walker to get the dogs to move: 72
# of times the dogs have actually moved: 0

Posted at 12:11 AM       |

Fri - May 26, 2006

My student immigrants

Much as i welcome diversity in my classroom, outside the classroom I have no tolerance for those who broke the law and have come into this country illegally.

That said, I must deal with students who fit in the latter category. One child in particular stands out. She is, I am guessing, not here with any legal paperwork. I don't know because the school is forbidden by law to ask. I don't honestly know if *I* can ask, but I don't. I overhear a lot, though, and can put pieces together pretty well. Anyway, this child is very very bright but hasn't much of a work ethic. Over this past semester since the child has been enrolled in my (semester-long) class, we've gotten said child's grade from a 35% after the first 4 weeks to a 78% which is almost a B. The child has vocalized about the good feelings one gets when one turns in one's assignments (I praise lavishly in these situations.) This child has dreams of law school, but yet refuses to consider college. Reasons for not considering college are pretty vague..... it's a lot of work, i can't pay, i'll be fine without it...... with a wistful "gee I wish I could go!" look on said child's face.

The child is in this situation not because of anything the child did. A mother and the mother's boyfriend with whom they live probably drug the child across the border 6 years ago (as stated by the child as to how long the US has been home.) This child would grow into an asset to the citizenry, well as much as a lawyer can be ;-) How do we get this child an education?

I would therefore propose that adult illegal immigrants be charged also with child abuse. What kind of life will their children have if they don't even have American identities? Perhaps we could keep the illegal's children who succeed in our schools, and send our flunkies to Mexico. There, the flunkies might just realize how good they had it here, and what they threw away.

Posted at 09:08 AM       |

Mon - May 22, 2006

I don't know all the answers either......

Posted at 05:31 PM       |

I will never fly SPIRIT airlines again.

Posted at 02:02 AM       |

Sun - May 21, 2006

Toby and Reba are still in my 6-disk changer.

Dixie Chicks' Maines Says U.S. President Owed 'No Respect Whatsoever'
Sunday, May 21, 2006

NEW YORK  — The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines apologized for disrespecting President George W. Bush during a London concert in 2003. But now, she's taking it back.
"I don't feel that way anymore," she told Time magazine for its issue hitting newsstands Monday. "I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever."
As war in Iraq loomed in 2003, Maines told the London audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
The remarks led to death threats and a backlash from other U.S. country stars, including a high-profile spat with Toby Keith. It also stalled what until then had been the group's smashingly successful career.
Bandmate Emily Robinson said she knew right away the remark wouldn't be taken lightly and got "hot from my head to my toes."
"It wasn't that I didn't agree with her 100 percent; it was just, 'Oh, this is going to stir something up,"' she told Time magazine.
For band member Martie Maguire, the controversy was a blessing in disguise."I'd rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith," Maguire said. "We don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do."
The Chicks' hits include "Landslide," "Goodbye Earl" and "Wide Open Spaces." Their new album, "Taking the Long Way," is due out May 23. The first single is "Not Ready to Make Nice."

Posted at 08:34 PM       |