Sunday, May 31, 2009

Keep a Lid on It

I wonder what's trapped beneath those colourful grids.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a nice, free, on-line tool that lets one create data-bases. This is a good thing as I'm in the process of updating our community's Kosher Foods Directory and with the new database, those responsible for keeping the guide updated will be able to do it without any input from me :)

The tool in question is Its *sort of* free in that if you don't mind making your data available under creative commons with limited bells and whistles - its free. If you want the more sophisticated version, they have monthly fees but they do host the data for you and their system is very easy to use. Besides, my stuff is all of the "creative commons" type - so I'm extremely happy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shavuot Sameach 5769

Shavuot is here and it would not be the same without an issue of the "Sinai Star" nearby.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Images that are related to Jewish Holidays live at the preceding link where you can browse by holiday and download the image in high resolution (for printing etc).

Today's Gratitude Item: I'm half-way through writing my reports and am up to date with my marking. It seems like we are all drowning in work at the moment and I don't know how my full time colleagues cope.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jagged Leaf

Sometimes fractals can be downright dangerous!

Today's Gratitude Item: Being able to add a song to a playlist twice. This is a good thing as our dance group is performing tomorrow for Shavuot and we want to do one of our dances once and then repeat the same dance but get the community to join in too. Our playlist is ready to go and hopefully it will go well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Soft Bundle

Clipart from reference photo taken at my recent first aid course. No people were hurt in the making of this image :)

Today's Gratitude Item: That our phone / Internet is working again. It stopped working at some point on Sunday night and we had to get a "guy" out to fix it. Happily everything is back to normal. Lets just say that being sans internet is not fun - it means not being able to do basic things like blog!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brushed Hearts

Another in my "first aid" series. Weirdly, the clipart on this one looks nothing like the reference photo!

Today's Gratitude Item: The fact that a massive range of Israeli Dance videos are on You Tube. Its perfect for reviewing dances when one has forgotten the steps / sequence.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

At Work

Sometimes it can be really peaceful at work. I like it when that happens.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my nephew made it safely into the world! My brother's first born son arrived this morning at around 8:30am. When he called to tell us, we could hear the kid crying with some enthusiasm. This is a good thing :) Mazeltov Dave! Baby's name yet to be confirmed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Night Compass

Dedicated to all those trampers out there. Don't you wish your equipment was as cool as this :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Cheap Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Delites. There are a favourite snack and getting them on special is a very good thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sun Salute

This guy is either saluting the dawn or he's searching for the rest of his body! I know skeletons are not too everyone's liking but for some reason this guy makes me smile. Must be the Biology teacher in me!

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a full 6 period day tomorrow :) This means getting paid extra which is a great thing. Last year I was kept pretty busy with extra relief, this year it has been a lot more "quiet", mostly due to budget constraints.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Metal Bands

Background reminds me of a series of metal bands / a reinforced wall.

Today's Gratitude Item: That there were not enough "takers" for the Israeli dance elective that I offered to take at school. Whilst I would have loved to teach the kids to dance not having to do so frees up 5 hours of time for me and means not having to leave one of my classes with a reliever (substitute). It also means getting paid relief on Friday which would not have happened if I was running the elective.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sundisc on Water

The best time to play outdoors is when the sun is setting / its not too hot. Got to watch out for mosquitoes at that time though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding out that I won't see my one class tomorrow in time to change my gear order appropriately. All too frequently we have interruptions in our teaching program for other "stuff" like assemblies / chapel. It drives my colleagues and I crazy as it cuts into our teaching time and hampers our efforts. Sadly such "stuff" is a necessary evil.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Snake Wall

Reminds me of snakeskin. Was pleased with how this one turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering the "Search" function in itunes. It made it super easy to create a play list I needed. When one has over 400 Israeli dance songs on an ipod, having a search function is extremely handy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pent Up Emotion

Ever wonder what happens to emotions when you hold them in? Wonder no more!

Today's Gratitude Item: That some reference shots I took earlier turned out well and are thus extremely useful.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Couch Ladies

I love to see kids reading! Its so cute when they get transported to their own little worlds. Did I mention that when they really get "into" it - the room gets nice and quiet?

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding "cheap" feta cheese. Cheap being relative. Turns out that depending on the cheese, you can pay anything from $3.35 to over $9.00 for 200g. I'm more than happy with the cheap stuff. Don't get me wrong, the expensive stuff tastes wonderful - just not that wonderful.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Helen's Hearts

Dedicated to a friend who has a "thing" for both hearts and shells. Hope this hits the spot.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to get all the music from my ipod onto my work computer. I needed to do this so that when I run my Contemporary Israeli Dance elective at the end of next week, we have music to dance to without me needing to bring in said ipod. The process of transferring the music was not simple - but eventually it got done.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Purple Peace

Being able to sit and sketch in peace is a wonderful thing. Its even better if you are good at sketching (I'm not)!

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of my students managed to salvage an experiment we were trying to do by volunteering the use of her compass to fix our bottle racer after the elastic band got stuck inside. After that mishap said experiment went rather well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Climate Change Butterfly

I've always wanted to make a fractal butterfly. You know - the kind that flap their wings and change the globe's entire weather pattern. It finally happened! Not too sure about the implications for climate change from this one - it could make things better :)

Today's Gratitude Item: One of my images now graces a large glass panel in the new Middle School Learning Center at school. Said picture is big. Very big. Is this what it means to "leave one's mark"?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ice Forest

When exploring, one should avoid walking beyond those "hazard" cones - no matter how tempting the view on the other side.

Today's Gratitude Item: That dance class went reasonably well. Our leader was away leaving me to "take the class". Happily I had plenty of help from our other experienced dancers and we all had a good time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blue Buddies

As in the colour, rather than the emotion. Not too sure about the "clipart" on this one - but at least it limits the commercial value of the piece.

Today's Gratitude Item: That both my work computer and swipe card *should* work without any further hiccups. Parking at work this morning was slightly difficult as the gate would not recognise my swipe card. Turns out they were doing maintenance on the gate thingy at the time - which is why the person who came after me could not get in either. It would have been nice if there was some warning that this would be happening but nothings perfect. Likewise my work computer should cooperate. The hard drive diagnostic did not show any problems and we're that the random "blue screen of death" which appeared every so often is a thing of the past.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Psychedelic Roof Tiles

As in this reminds me of psychedelic roof tiles that glow in the dark. Those would be cool - especially if you want to annoy the neighbours.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally getting the hang of creating "masks" in Illustrator. That's one of the things that's incredibly useful and really easy to do - if you know how. Happily, now I know how.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Work Day Dream

He's supposed to be working but instead, he's contemplating the fractal carpet and dreaming about the weekend.

Today's Gratitude Item: That its so simple to find information on the Internet. I'm constantly blown away by how easy it is to research these days. My favourite trick is called "guess the URL". Basically I wanted to find out some information on the "40 hour famine" and simply put in My browser immediately redirected to the page I was after - simply magic!.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reading Light

When reading, its advisable to ensure that the light is good. Of course if one is really tired, good light may not be sufficient to keep sleep at bay.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my hard drive on my work computer was not completely broken. As in we managed to get it started after it said that it could not and back up vital files. The tech guys will run diagnostics on said hard drive and I may end up getting a new one. Hopefully my computer will be completely healthy when I pick it up on Monday morning. It had been behaving oddly and every so often it would shut down while I was in the middle of something for no apparent reason.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Heart Paper

I wish this stuff was real so I could use it as gift wrap. Never mind.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the Takahe did not get my lunch. We went on our field trip to Tiritiri today and whilst we got rained on, the students still enjoyed themselves. We did warn them that once we got to the visitor center, a certain Takahe (called "Greg") would invade any open bags in his search for forbidden "human" food, but there is always one student who does not listen! Greg duly appeared and managed to get one of our student's lunches - not a good outcome for Greg (especially as the food was wrapped in plastic and the Tiritiri staff took it off him) or for our student who went hungry. I felt more sorry for the bird than the student.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hot Pink Flowers

After a rather tragic phase some years ago where I framed everything, I realised that it was generally better not to frame. This image is the exception that proves the rule.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our field trip today was canceled! This is an odd thing to be grateful for, but the weather was quite wet at times and being warm and dry is pretty high on my list of priorities. Said field trip may happen at some point in the fourth term.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Throwing it Away

In this case, throwing it away is a good thing.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our students have access to a number of useful databases and that these databases make it really easy to cite sources. Doing research these days is so much easier than it used to be! Of course the amount of information can make things a challenge.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Getting Ready

To score :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Having our faculty meeting in one of the conference rooms rather than one of the labs. This might not sound like a big deal but being able to eat my lunch at the meeting made a nice change (there is a strict "No eating in the lab" policy at school).

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Diamond Buddies

Good friends are more valuable than diamonds - just ask these two.

Today's Gratitude Item: Perfect weather! We had our Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations today and it went well, thanks to a gorgeous sunny day and clear blue skies. After the cloud and rain we experienced yesterday, today's great weather was a minor miracle.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Beach Buddies

These two are lifeguards keeping an eye on all that beach action.

Today's Gratitude Item: Making it all the way to Hamilton and back safely. Its the first time I've driven that route and whilst its extremely straightforward, I'm grateful that the journey was rather uneventful. When it comes to driving, uneventful is very, very good.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Blue Throw

Apparently its best to play rugby under clear blue skies. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my lab is still in-tact and did not catch fire after my students got a bit too enthusiastic with a certain metal ball and ring experiment. To be fair it was not entirely their fault that the ring came away from its holder. Happily they were working over a burning board which prevented any damage.