Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chanukah 5774 - 4th Night

Dedicated to all those tetris lovers out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: Cheaper petrol. For some reason, the fuel stations to the West of the city are a whopping 6c per litre cheaper than their counterparts in the North. Moral of the story? If you are travelling through West Auckland (and live in the North), fill up with fuel.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chanukah 5774 - 3rd Night

For the crossword aficionados. Original crossword was generated over at

Today's Gratitude Item: Hopefully getting another web design client. It's a relatively straightforward site and hosting will be involved. Which is good :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chanukah 5774 - 2nd Night

This is the most traditional chanukia of the series.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to use line connectors properly in MS Office 2013. This means that I can now use MS Office as a crude flow-chart tool and when I move boxes around, the arrows will stay attached to said boxes. Anyone who has ever tried to make an organisational chart will probably know what I'm on about.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chanukah 5774 - 1st Night

Based on this image. Weirdly, the original menorah had 8 branches instead of seven...

Today's Gratitude Item: Spare Chanukah Geld. Will distribute to my colleagues in the morning - should be fun.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's *almost* Channukah

This one started out as a 'what if' question and then grew from there. It took a ridiculously long time to make. Details are best viewed at full size. The crossword puzzle / maze are real - if you want separate versions of them, please ask nicely.

It's a day early because my plan is to post an appropriate wallpaper for each day of the festival. Stay tuned to see what I mean...

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: Apple pieces wrapped in filo pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar and baked until golden - a rare, tasty treat.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crinkled Triquetra

The search for a great triquetra image continues...

Today's Gratitude Item: That our staff meeting this afternoon was mercifully brief - thanks in part to a double booking of the auditorium. Short meetings are good meetings - that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Frozen Sunrise

The title is ambiguous - just like the image.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a whole lot of 'small' chores done. Suffice it say some of those 'small' chores were actually quite large.

Sacred Halls

The question is, what is at the end of these hallways...

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a new hair dryer. It's funny how 'inconvenient' life becomes when small things stop working.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Midnight Triquetra

Sometimes purple is a good thing.

Today's Gratitude Item: Large doors on both sides of my classroom. This means being able to generate a cross breeze - which is a good thing given our current warm weather.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunflower in Brass

I thought this one would look better than it does. It's OK, but the colours are not quite what I'd hoped for.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the ePub I made to teach my students basic (and not so basic) formatting in Word works. I've tried it using Readium (a Chrome extension) and in iBooks on my iPad. It will be interesting to see whether my students prefer using an ePub to other materials (such as videos embedded in a .pdf).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quarter Sunflower

This is one of those times when the background is a lot nicer than the foreground fractal.

Today's Gratitude Item: A good turn-out for dance. Sometimes the group is much smaller than expected and it can be difficult to anticipate how many dancers will join us for any given class.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Star on Silver

For some reason this one makes me happy. It's good when that happens.

Today's Gratitude Item: That most of my home room students seem to enjoy participating in the "Word for the day" challenge. Each day, I put a new word on my board and if the students can tell me what it means, they get lollies. This activity has proved to be rather popular with most either knowing the word or whipping out cell phones / devices to look it up. Turns out that bribery can be a good thing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fire Bead

Bright but uninspired. Sometimes following where parameters lead is not a good thing.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having time to create resources for next year. It's a pity that everything takes longer than anticipated.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sparkling String

This one would make a lovely piece of jewellery.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having help with baking! Two sets of hands is a lot faster than one. Results were really tasty.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Marine Memories

This one reminds me of a nautilus.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having time to de-stress after a too-busy week. Was feeling a lot more human by this afternoon.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gold Fern

If at first you don't see the fern, then try squinting.

Today's Gratitude Item: Useful professional development. Learned, networked and enjoyed good food and great coffee.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Copper Scales

Best categorised as 'vaguely interesting'. I'm not too keen on the bit at the top left hand side though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Junior exams are finished! Which means no more 'supervised study' periods and no more exam supervision. Suffice it to say, pacing up and down for an hour whilst watching 25 odd students write an exam is not my idea of time well spent.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Blue Clock

For some reason this one reminded me of a wrist watch...

Today's Gratitude Item: That my external moderation came back and it was 'all good'. Moderation is basically 'quality control' carried out by the government and it is quite important (long story). Needless to day, it was a relief that the moderator agreed with the grades that I assigned and has 'high confidence' in my assessment abilities.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Connected Christmas

This one would make quite a cool Christmas ornament. It's a pity that it is virtual rather than real.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting most of my planning / documentation for next year done. This was quite a big job - made slightly easier by the fact that I could recycle at least some of this year's work.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eye Spindle

This one is simple weird.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to memorise the names of most of the kids in my new tutor group. Having them in the room for an hour of 'supervised study' was helpful (although in come cases there was not a huge amount of study happening).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nuclear Spider

Reminded me of the "Nuclear" symbol trapped in a web of some description.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the bagels I made today turned out really well. Said bagels are easy (but time consuming) to make.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Heating Element

It took a bit of nudging to get the background to line up but the effort was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: That there are open-source alternatives to most software. The only problem is that finding the alternative takes time and often the learning curve is rather steep. If anyone out there has a good alternative to apple's "iBook Author" software, I'd be keen to hear about it. Specifically I'm looking for something which is free, allows one to publish as an epub and makes it easy to include multi-media content.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Hot Whirl

In my world, global warming is quite pretty.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to cover Y9 PE last period today. Long story, good ending.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Modern Comfort

Reminded me of a luxurious pillow - hence the title.

Today's Gratitude Item: Co-incidence! About a month ago, a colleague asked me if I'd be able to talk to her class about 'Judaism' as part of their Social Studies program. I agreed and today was the big day. Yesterday I inherited a new tutor group after my senior students left. Turns out that the kids my colleague wanted me to talk to and my new tutor group are one and the same. Had a really great session with them this morning (ie: they were shamelessly bribed with lollies) which bodes well for the immediate future.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Odd Curves

Bright, funky and quite odd.

Today's Gratitude Item: Clients who pay promptly. Need I say more?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Kiss and Tell

Background took forever to 'get' and even then I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied with this one. It's not horrible, it's just not what I'd hoped for either.

Today's Gratitude Item: An uncooperative sound system. This meant that today's assembly finished sooner than it otherwise would have which is a good thing. One of the downsides of being a teacher is having to endure long, boring assemblies / awards ceremonies - especially at this time of year.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Dented Wall

This one is from an interesting perspective.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding my watch! It has been AWOL since Friday and I've been going nuts trying to locate it. <in-joke> Naturally, it was in the last place that I looked</in-joke>.

Confused by the weird brackets? Every so often, I feel the need to use faux tags. This might be considered a character flaw.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Butterfly Book

As in a book made of the wings of butterflies.

Today's Gratitude Item: No regrets. One of my ex-dancers passed away today aged 85 (and a half) after a brief illness. His passing is best described as an incredibly sad relief. I've been visiting him every Saturday for about six months and saw him in hospital yesterday. I am sure he is now dancing, perfectly whole on the other side.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Floral Fabric

Very ordinary. It goes that way sometimes.

Today's Gratitude Item: Very light reading - sometimes it's good to read material that is anything but serious. Especially if said material is fast moving and rather entertaining.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Ring Thing

This one is far more ornate than originally anticipated.

Today's Gratitude Item: A very easy day at school. A lot of my students were away for various reasons which meant very quiet classes. I'm still waiting for a few kids to hand in assessment work but for many, the year is pretty much 'done'.