Monday, June 24, 2013

My Virtual #ISTE13 Experience

So this is the first ISTE that I have not attended since 2002. What I find I am missing the most are the conversations and meeting with far flung friends. I can't keep up on Twitter as the tweets fly by, but do the best I can. It is not the same as being there. For sessions though, it is a little easier. Each half day, I am going through the program and picking out sessions I might have liked to attend. I then look for any handouts or websites from that session so I can go through them. Again, not the same as being there, yet a lot of good information nonetheless.

Friday, January 04, 2013

17 years is a long time!

The white car on the left in the first image is the car I have been driving for the past 17 years. It is a 1995 Toyota Tercel. The gash (or scratch as my daughter initial described it) has been a part of the car for about 9 years. It has 243,000+ miles of which I have put on about 200,000 of them. It has been a great, fuel efficient car, but all good things must come to an end. So it has come for the Tercel, it has been leaking oil slowly for about 5 years. About 6 weeks ago it lost a lot of oil at once and the engine is now dying. It was time to put it out of its misery. It goes up on a local for sale site tomorrow to be sold as is. Most likely to someone wanting parts from it. When we priced to get the doors replaced 5 years ago we were quoted about $800 per door, so it should have some value (okay, not much) for someone.

So, Scratchy (as co-workers have affectionately dubbed it) has been retired and replaced.

This is the new car, a 2008 Toyota Corolla (yes, we love Toyota's, everyone one in my family now drives at least one). It is roomier than Scratchy, and I no longer get stares in traffic everywhere I go. I am also enjoying being able to open and close completely all 4 doors. It was fun to be able to volunteer to drive for lunch at work yesterday, something I haven't been able to do.

Now I have been saving some Apple Stickers for quite awhile awaiting the arrival of a new car. So one of the first things done was to apply them. Most of the stickers I have are fairly recent, the white ones, but I have been saving a set of rainbow stickers for a long, long time for this car. It was very exciting to finally be able to use one. I also applied a UEN (Utah Education Network) sticker. They deserve this little bit of support for all they do for education in Utah. 

Thus this post is a fond farewell to Scratchy, and a welcome to ......., still trying to name the car. So, a new year, a new car, I wonder what else new this year will bring.



Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I been working on the (not) railroad.

Well, made it through the first work day of the new year, okay first half day. I spent the morning getting the deal for the new car finalized (more on that tomorrow).

It was nice to get back into the saddle slowly. On Wednesdays, I spend the afternoon with Crescent Elementary. I am helping the student council produce a weekly news broadcast. It is a lot of fun. Today we started using the iPad lab to help produce the broadcast. I love watching these kids grow.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

iPad Mini


So I got an iPad Mini for Christmas. It has quickly become my go to device as I suspected it would. It has replaced my iPad in almost every use. The big test will come this week as I go back to work (Winter break has been terrific, but time to go back). It will be interesting to see if I use it at work as much as I have at home this last week.

I Hate Resolutions


There I said it, I really hate resolutions, at least New Year's resolutions. That is probably because I have always sucked at them. I do however, believe in goals. It has been awhile since I have set some personal goals, but I am doing it this year. One of the problems I have with goals is that I haven't kept them in my face to remind myself. With all of this new fangled technology that should be a piece of cake, right? I am counting on that. The second main problem I have had with goals in the past is that I either have not made them measurable, or I haven't used a good measuring tool. Again, with all this technology around, shouldn't be a problem, right?

So in just a moment, I will present my goals for the year. And to paraphrase Billy Joel, "I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life. Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone." Except, I do care what you say, and think, that is why I follow so many of you on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Also I don't want you to leave me alone, feel free to comment and agree or disagree. I truly don't care what you say anymore, I care that you care enough to say it. I will agree, I will disagree, that's what it's all about. Okay, on with the goals.

1. I am going to write, photograph and share something every day. I have gotten pretty good at sharing other things that I find, however, my own writing has been all but non-existent lately. I am changing that.

I have a cousin that I admire so much. He and his family have just gone through the most difficult of years. Throughout though he has written and share almost daily. What he has written he calls Gratitude 365. It is amazing what he has written and photographed during this difficult time in his life. I am not trying to emulate the tone of what he does, but the consistency. So I will be posting here dailyish and also posting photographs I am taking. I am aware that I take pretty mundane photos, but they are the fabric of life and that is what I will try to share here.

2. I am going to lose a minimum of 60 lbs. this year. I am shooting for 5 lbs. a month. I can't sugar coat it, I am fat, morbidly obese would be the correct medical term I believe, and I am going to change it. I really need to lose over 100 lbs., but also know I need to keep my goal realistic.

Feel free to ask how it is going at any time. I will be posting loss and gain on my social sites often.
3. I am going to be better at balancing my life. This will be the hardest for me. I love my work, I love the people I work with, but I take it home too much and use that as an excuse to ignore other things in my life. It is so easy to get lost in the technology, but I will make this happen. One way I am going to do this is to unplug from everything for 1 hour every evening. It may seem trivial, but I think this will be the start of helping me gain a better balance.

4. I am going to become more spiritual. I don't talk a lot about my faith online. I am probably not going to start, but I am going to work on my faith over the coming year. It is enough for me to say, that I am a religious person and want to me more so. Thus I am going to work on it every day. Our youngest two children will be leaving on church missions this year. I need to do this to keep up with them. This will be part of my balancing my life as well.

5. I am going to do my job better. I think I am doing okay, but I still want to do better. There are people who count on me to do so and I number myself among them. This will be difficult to measure, but I think I will see the results in tangible ways.

6. I am going to get a new car. Those who have seen my car, know what a piece it is. Well, it is on it's last legs and actually we put some money down on a car yesterday. I just need to take it to my mechanic to have him go over it. Hopefully by tomorrow night at least this goal will be accomplished.
So I am pretty much guaranteed of accomplishing one. Admittedly the most trivial one, but one that is actually a need.

This is how I am starting my year. Feel free to follow the journey or not. All that I do will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, here, and cross-posted to The Educational Mac blog.