September 2009


Just tried to retune the digibox,  EPIC FAIL.  The box does 5% of the retune then halts.  It looks like the box is just too old.  We will have to get a new one, thanks channel 5!

I was out of school for a few periods this morning.  When I got back into my classroom it had been completely transformed.  My normally chaotic mess was tidy.  My desk was especially affected being now neat and tidy.  The students tell me that an English teacher was covering one of my lessons and exclaimed, “how can someone live like this?”  They told me that they tried to stop her but she was on a mission.  They told her that I would be very cross.  I am not, I could never find anything anyway!

I had a meeting after school today.  Before I left for school I told the lovely Sharon this and she said she had a meeting after school as well.

The lovely Sharon: “I have a Year Head meeting with the Principal and Senior Management.  What’s your meeting about?”

Me: “Lego”

1 : nil, but to whom?  Me I think! 🙂

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It was not the phone call I expected, but then it was something no-one could expect.  I was just munching my muesli and savouring my coffee when the lovely sharon rang.  She was emotional; through sobs and sniffles I caught a few words,…….”killed”…..”squirrel”………  Forgive me if I had an image of the lovely sharon going berserk (Norse berserk) on a poor fluffy rodent that might have stolen one of her cashews.  It turns out it was an accident and not rage that ended its poor life.  It was just frolicking along the countryside when it stepped out onto the road at the wrong time.  After she hit it, after the fluff had settled, she turned the car and returned to the scene.  She gave it some dignity by returning it to the countryside so that it might remain un-crushed by further cars.  As she lifted it by the tail she reflected on how cute it was and how mortality can be knocked out so easily in an instant.  And the worse thing, the thing that I think haunts her the most; she says she is not sure, but she think she might have seen it turn and look at the car in that last split second.

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Wordle: Untitled

Giving our results in the  MMM the standard scientific treatment gives rise to an interesting conclusion.  According to the line of best fit we are due for an outright guaranteed win in 2012.

MMM extrapolation

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Yet again, the lovely Sharon and I have finished the Mourne Mountain Marathon.  We don’t really know the exact reason we did it.  It did fill us with dread before we did it.  We hated many aspects of it while we were doing it, but we can say that we are glad we did it.   Other aspects of it that we are glad about include the fact that it was an amazing weekend with respect to the weather.  The views of the mountains were majestic and the real beauty of the marathon is that it takes you to vantage points that you don’t normally go to.

The campsite in the evening is another gem.  With over 200 tents and 400 people squeezed into a tiny field, the atmosphere is extremely friendly and humorous.  Everyone talks to everyone and you meet all sorts of interesting people from far and wide and all walks of life.  As a result of all competitors having to carry all their own equipment and food for the camp; lightweight seems to be the main theme of everyone’s kit.  That said, we were surprised to discover that not as many people had heard of balloon beds (animal balloons slotted into a thin sandwich of parachute silk).  As I sat and inflated our beds, all 14 balloons, several people dandered over to ask what the hell was going on.  To keep our neighbouring tent happy I finished by making a poodle and attached it to our guy rope.  The lovely Sharon says that this helped her find our tent when wandering around the camp site.  But I am not so sure, more about that later.

Nearly everyone used some sort of dehydrated dinners.  Not the tastiest of meals but amazingly light.  A few people did ignore this school of thought and decided that after day 1 and 20km of distance and at least 1100m (3600ft) of climbing, they needed their luxuries.  One of these groups were our neighbours.  After competing in the same category as us they arrived into camp, slept for an hour or so, then proceeded to light their disposable barbecue.  A while later they pulled out two steaks, a full bottle of red wine and smash (complete with herbs and butter).  We worried about being so close to them as people seemed to draw close like hyenas.  All turned out well as everyone agreed that to carry all that they deserved their feast.  I wonder if everyone was as sympathetic to the group who were frying sausages right at the entrance to the camp site.  The smell must have been tormenting to the groups arriving late.

Later that night as I was preparing myself for the long sleep and the long day that was due to follow, I heard the laughter of the lovely Sharon as she returned from filling her water bottle.  She clambered into the tent in fits of giggles claiming that she had just been stealing other peoples socks.  It turns out that she had got a little confused on the way back and arrived at the tent to begin to remove her muddy socks that were drying (as best they can) on the guy rope.  As she was calling into me, ”hello, hello”.  Our group of friendly neighbours caught her attention and pointed out our actual tent which was 4 tents over, and complete with poodle.  What strikes me as most unusual was that she was laughing at the fact that she had got confused and was not in the slightest bit aghast at having touched someone else’s socks.  Socks which are guaranteed to be absolutely stinking judging by our own.  My own socks were relatively new and are now completely trashed, destined for the bin.

I have to get a team up and running for the Lego League this year.  Last year was our first experience of it.  It was an interesting experience in terms of the challenge and the team working together.

I found a video on Youtube of a group that seemed to achieve the amazing feat of full score.  It seems nearly impossible.

At them moment the competition board is looming in the corner of my classroom.  The challenge bits are lying in pieces in un-built.  Every so often I catch students playing with it.  They ask them why I have all this lego in my room.  I tell them it is because it calms me when I feel  stressed.

Packed rucksack, unpacked rucksack, threw things away, packed, unpacked.  Don’t know how to get it as light as everybody else without compromising some luxury.

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