PI Week: 2014

Hello everyone…

ok, so no one is likely reading this, but that’s ok.

So, my PI week challenge was to become more officially versed in Computers, Networking and Security.

How: CompTIA to the rescue!  – they had a 3 course package that included the A+ certification: a basic intro to computers (220-801, and 220-802), Networking+ and Security+.

So today started out slowly, Java was not up to date on both my school computer and my Government computer.  Fortunately, I have the ability to update my school computer (yay Administrator rights)  As most of you know downloading large files from the internet in the North is atrocious at best, so I went and got my coffee.

As I proceed to finish with Java and work on the popup blocker, an announcement comes over the PA… “There will be a generator test, and we will be on generator power”… which means computers won’t work properly… Everyone else here at the school had a hissy fit too, but fortunately, we only had to wait 25 minutes in the dark.

Starting up the e-learning course was a bit confusing, but I finally got into: CompTIA A+ 220-801: BIOS and Motherboards, which was a good review, and could potentially be used for grade 10 modules here at the school…

As the computer generated voice droned on, interrupted by my impatient clicking to the next section, my brain began to swell, filling with facts of POST checks and BIOS and CMOS and every acronym under the sun, North bridge and south bridge and Sandy bridge and more busses than Central London and wireless specs and speeds, Ghz, and Mbps, and speeds all twirling in an infinite spectrum.  The worst was the motherboards…. ATX, microATX, miniATX, BTX, NLX, PicoBTX, MiniITX, eATX, and each of them have different physical sizes!!!

Sooooo… needless to say I’m going a bit insane.  Most of this I know already, so it’s not bothering me, but there’s so much to memorize and know.    But, on the other hand, I have an appreciation for my students.  It is a bit different, one subject all day… long…

I am glad that this will be available for 6 months, because I can’t take the test here for the certifications.  I’ll probably do one at Christmas, maybe two.

So stay tuned… for tomorrow brings more eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (read as high pitch squeeling of inaudible sounds)..




Knit witt

It’s started to get dark earlier… I noticed it at the end of the day today. It’s likely the fault of daylight savings time, but when I googled rankin inlet sunset, it was true. Today the sun set at 3:36 pm. So what is the plan to wile away the hours in darkness? Knitting. Yes, as a new home economics teacher, I thought it would be important for me to learn how to knit. So off to you tube I went, learned the long tail cast on, and the knit stitch, and I was off to the races. Who knew www.knittinghelp.com/ would be so much help! It started as a pink tie,


the ironic male knitting project, and somehow in the messy learning I added stitches. Don’t ask me how, it just happened. So I kept going, added fringes to disguise the “mistake” and made it a scarf for my daughter. I sewed / embroidered her name on the shorter side, and a polar bear on the other side. Don’t ask why the polar bear is brown… Brown and pink go so nicely together. I sent it off last Monday, so it should arrive next week sometime, maybe this week if we’re lucky.20121107-205830.jpg My next challenge was to learn to purl stitch. But my next project was a scarf for me! No knit one purl two for this manly scarf! I wanted it to be warm so my mom sent some wool she got in Scotland! Thanks again mom! I now realize how addictive this hobby can be.


Today I was tempted by double ended needles, and managed to make a small tube with four needles. I think it will end up being a finger puppet, or driving finger mitt…So to you stitch and bitch groups, unravellers, knitery knights, knit witts, and yarn bombers, I now understand you a bit more. And I think I like it


Some photos with a touch of reflection

It’s strange how the framework of a situation can so dramatically drive the direction of events. I feel that the last couple of weeks have been very inconsistent. With assemblies and exams and pi week the students seem unnerved. I had attempted to go back to the beginning and revisit rules and needs and behavioral expectations, but I got quite the backlash. Fortunately I had some great support from pat and Thursday Brenda. Tomorrow I’m going to focus on lots of routine. I will emphasize basic skills out the wazoo. For those that are done I can get them to look deeper. But I need to still make it fun. The problem is when it gets fun, the structure suffers. I know that they crave structure and simple what do I do exactly. Well, it seems I do now what I need to do, but just need to get to it instead of blogging, watching rent and taking pictures of outside! As soon as rent is over, I’m going to plow through!







Lights, camera, fail.

My amp build got finished Friday afternoon, but was less functional than expected. I had light from the vacuum tubes, the camera was on, but no action. Not all is lost, my next step is to find a better schematic online and see where the directions went wrong. Maybe I need to FaceTime with an expert cough Tom Hughes??? image
The drums are coming along, but the snare setup is proving difficult to do right. It looks a bit sloppy, but I’ve got a couple more to do, so I get to practice.

Time flies when you’re making instruments

It is already thursday, and I don’t think I will finish on time. I’m also concerned that will be some left over parts from the amp making. Nowhere in the instructions does it say where to put the diodes… image
I reclaimed some hardwood from the dump on the weekend for the bracing of the drums, and went back to get another. There was so much more dumped and scraped and piled that the wood I saw was buried. I did find some nice table legs that I can plane and cut down though, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.
I’m feeling a little disappointed in this week. My blogging has gotten bland and I feel like no one is reading, save my mom and a few key relatives. At least everyone knows I haven’t been devoured by a polar bear. I hope to be more interesting in the future.

Hump day

Day three of pd, and things are looking up. The cajons are coming along… I still don’t like the log style one, but that’s ok. I had some success with the reclaimed wood! I found a piece of wood with some feet I intend to put on later, and after cutting it in quarters and planing, it is perfect for the reinforcement behind the tapas (front hitting surface).
I considered planing down the tapas to 4mm called for in the plans, but we’ll see how the 6mm boards sound. The sample piece seemed to stand up, but I won’t if I don’t have to.
I hope I will have enough time this week to finish my projects. I know that I can work on my spare time, and I might put all my effort in to finish by Monday.
The amp is also coming around. I think if I have time I will make an enclosure for it.
More work. Yay!


Day two- spinning wheels

Day two is at an end and I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. This morning, I spent most of my time cutting pieces out for the interlocking drum. This took almost all of the time. The result is less than desirable. Because the drum works on air pressure, the unexact cuts and poorly filed edges won’t make a very good sound. I thought it might work as a travel canon, but it doesn’t stay together on its own. So, I’ll have to glue or silicone it together to get a tighter fit. At the end of the morning I was getting frustrated, so I thought I would just plane down the other two boxes… Mistake… I was impatient, so I went to the power plane, and it ripped part of the plywood off that was going the other way. Boo. So more work to do tomorrow.

The afternoon didn’t seem very productive either. I kept having to reposition the vacuum tube slots, but I did get them soldered together.

At this point I have two thoughts. One that I’m not going to get finished/ around to the didgeridoo organ, and these are not projects for students. Perhaps it would be good for advanced students framed in an instrument making unit. Lower ability students can create other projects like the hose-a-ma-phone… Tune in tomorrow for more updates, and later this week for my trailer!

Pi week – day 1

Day one of five:
I think I had a good start to the week. I’ve got all the exterior wood cut, the hole for the back cut, except for one of them… I can cut that tomorrow. I’ve got two of the drum glued, and will dry overnight.

I’m a little worried about keeping a flat surface on the front, but there’s always planing.
This afternoon it’s amp time.
Keep your eyes open for a sweet trailer using iMovie!

Amp making is hard!
This afternoon I completed my first turret board soldering job.

Not too bad for minimal instructions and no help from google! Google started working at the school near the end of the day, which helped. Thanks Steve! I am having a blast. How do I know? I look at the clock and it’s 5:30… I thought I would have a better idea of scheduling, but I still don’t know how long these projects are going to take…
Half of the fun!