Comic making blur

Today was very busy. I had ethics classes at 9 and 10am, followed by going for my daily run, lunch, and then getting stuck into making another week’s worth of Irregular Webcomic! strips. I wrote 5 strips, photographed them, assembled them, and wrote annotations for them all in just a few hours. By the time I was done I needed a break, because I’d been working solidly the whole time.

This evening I had an ethics extension class, followed by a class of my human vision science lesson. One of the new kids who joined ethics last week found this class and enrolled in it, and he was really keen and enjoyed it a lot. At the end he said he learnt a lot and it was really interesting, so that’s good! And the parent gave me a 5 star review. I should schedule this class more often – it was a lot easier to teach it this time than the previous times, I think because I now have a lot more experience doing this, and felt a lot more relaxed with the material and using Zoom. (I hadn’t taught this class for almost a year, and was only prompted to schedule more classes because Outschool threatened to delist it.)

I cut a pineapple for dessert tonight. We haven’t had a pineapple for some time, and I saw them in the supermarket and just felt like one last time i went shopping. I like to have pieces sprinkled with cinnamon – it really adds something.

Oh, and I updated my desktop machine to MacOS Monterey tonight too. I’ve bene putting this off because previous updates have taken hours to install and I’m never really confident that it’ll work, but this one was relatively painless, and took barely an hour.

New content today:

Our last market day?

My wife and I got up early today, to pack the car and head off to the market at East Lindfield. She has new products to sell – hand made decoupage bangles, to go with the dog bandanas. She’s slowly been crowding my photography stuff to smaller areas of our table, so this time I suggested we just grab a second table and have one each. I thought there’d be enough room, and as it turned out there was plenty, because one of the ladies who usually has the stall next to us wasn’t there, and the organisers had rearranged things a little, so we had a slightly wider space than usual. I was thinking we’d have one table sideways, making a corner, but we ended up just having two tables lengthwise end-to-end, and plenty of space to lay out all our products.

Unfortunately, the numbers at the markets were very low. It was incredibly quiet, with very few people coming through to browse or buy. All the stallholders were commenting on it to one another. We did actually make enough sales to cover the stall hire and make some profit, but not a large amount.

We discussed whether we should keep doing this market thing or give it up as not worth the effort. We can’t do the April market, because it’s on Easter Sunday and we’ll have a family lunch, with our nephew who will be coming back from Europe for the first time since COVID began – so it’ll be a pretty big event. Our liability insurance expires at the end of May, so we can possibly do the May market and then not bother renewing the insurance for another year. We’ll decide in a while when we’ve had some time to mull it over.

Back home in the mid-afternoon, I did my run in afternoon heat, and then had a couple of ethics classes. In between I made pizza for dinner.

And now to rest after a busy and tiring day!

New content today:

Friday/Saturday joint update

I was too busy last night to write an entry, so today will do for both Friday and Saturday. I’ve been busy working on a secret project, which I can’t say more about yet, so there’s actually not very much I can say.

I did my running, had two ethics classes yesterday, went grocery shopping. Last night was online games night with my friends, but I went out for pizza dinner with my wife and Scully first. While walking home, a storm rolled in from the south, and there was a lot of lightning and thunder, very loud. We rushed a little, and managed to get home just a minute or two before the clouds opened and the rain came pouring down, so we were very lucky. It was incredibly heavy for about 20 minutes.

Today I pretty much just worked on the secret project, with some short breaks to do a few chores and other things. Tomorrow we have our market day, the first one since before Christmas. Hopefully my wife and I will sell a good amount of stuff!

New content yesterday:

New content today:

Speaking of misbehaviour…

I had my first serious behavioural issue with students in one of my online classes today. After almost a year of teaching online, the students have generally been incredibly well behaved. But today I had three who started goading each other in the Zoom text chat. I told them multiple times to stop it, but it continued, and eventually I had to disable the text chat when they started calling each other stupid.

It was very unpleasant at the time and not having had to deal with anything like this before it made me a bit flustered. After the class I wrote messages to all the parents. Two of them have replied so far, very apologetically, and saying they had had a serious talk with their child. SO hopefully it won’t happen again. But next time if anything seems to be bubbling up, I’ll just close the chat earlier, now that Ive had this experience.

It was rather upsetting, and dealing with it took up much of my morning. I went for my usual run to clear my head and get into a better mood.

This evening was week 4 of the Data Engineering course, and this time we went for about 2.5 hours instead of the 2 hours of the previous three weeks. The class is scheduled from 6-9pm. but the lecturer feels the students get a bit tired after 2 hours, so doesn’t want to fill up the full 3 hours.

But at least tonight the trains were kinder. We caught a train as soon as we arrived at the station near the university, and it went straight through to both our stations ( I assume it continued on to the lecturer’s station as promised). So I got home a lot quicker than last week.

New content today:

Face to face ethics, week 4

The busy days never seem to end…

This morning was the 4th week fo face-to-face ethics teaching at the local school. Out of the class of what is now 21 students on the roll, about 6 or 7 of the students I have yet to see, them having been absent every week now for four weeks. And some other students who were present last week were away too. Oh, and also the regular classroom teacher was away, with a substitute covering for him.

I can only assume COVID is running through the school. It’s a little scary, but I’m wearing an N95 mask the whole time I’m on the school grounds and am fully vaxed, so I guess I just take my chances.

It was a good discussion today. This class is really a delight compared to the classes I had in the last couple fo years before COVID interrupted the lessons last year. It’s full of good kids who make sensible contributions to the discussion, and nobody really misbehaves or interrupts. Hopefully it’ll stay that way as the no-shows start trickling back in.

New content today:

Back to the office

For my wife, not me. She’s been working from home for months because of COVId, and then her work decided to renovate the office while everyone was away. That renovation is now done, and they’re inviting people back into the office, so she went in today at lunchtime to check it out.

I took Scully out for a walk and to get some fish & chips for lunch. It was a beautiful early autumn day, partly cloudy, with some blue sky and fluffy white cumulus clouds, and a pleasant temperature. I took the food to my usual eating spot, overlooking the harbour from high up on the hill. The harbour water is still very brown from all the rain runoff, but it’s still a great view from there.

This morning I wrote my next ethics class, on the topic of property. I’ve had the first class already, earlier this evening. We start with the question of who owns the moon. The kids generally agreed nobody owns it (as I expected). Then I suggest what if Elon Musk sent robotic miners there using SpaceX rockets, and they dug up some minerals, would Musk own them? The kids split 50/50 on this question. Then I asked what if the robots brought them back to Earth and Musk made Tesla cars with the moon minerals. Would he own those cars and be able to sell them? And they all said yes. So then I asked why does he now own something that nobody owned before?

It was an interesting introduction to the subject. Then we go on to other forms of property, including the concept of copyright for things like songs. Interestingly some kids thought the concept of “owning” a song was ridiculous, but they also said that if someone writes a song, then other artists should have to pay them if they want to record it and sell that recording. I think this will be a very interesting topic for the coming week.

New content today:

Flat out comics day

I had the last two classes on my current ethics topic of inventions this morning – an hour earlier thanks to the USA going off daylight saving time, and most of the students in these classes being in the US. Although one student in Taiwan had to switch to the other class to maintain the same time in his zone.

After that I spent much of today doing comics work. I wrote 5 new strips for Irregular Webcomic! and photographed, assembled, and wrote annotations for them. This is a smaller batch than I usually do and would have liked, but I didn’t have time to do a full batch to last multiple weeks, so next week I’m going to have to do it all again.

I also ended up spending a significant amount of time dealing with administrative overhead on Outschool, answering requests and questions from parents. Again daylight saving time is causing issues, because when Australia goes off it in April it had caused all my classes to be listed an hour later, and a parent noticed. So I had to go through and cancel all the April classes and relist them again an hour earlier (my time), so they’re the same time for everybody overseas.

And now it’s late and bedtime, and I still haven’t really relaxed or unwound from a full busy day.

New content today:

A long walk to a cake shop

I spent today working on Darths & Droids comics, as well as teaching the last class of my current 6-week course on creative thinking and a couple of ethics classes.

At lunch I went on a walk with my wife and Scully, a few suburbs over to the good Italian bakery. I had a pie and they had doughnut-shaped thing covered in chocolate and almonds which looked amazingly good. The label said it was an eclair, but it looked nothing like any eclair I’ve ever seen. I just ordered one, regardless of what it really was because it looked so good.

It turned out to be… an eclair! It was choux pastry in a doughnut shape, filled with custard and coated in chocolate. It was delicious – actually better than any other eclair I’ve ever had. A top notch choice!

For dinner tonight I used more bunya nuts. I made potato salad with the nuts as one of the ingredients.

Bunya nut potato salad

New content today:

Proofreading and cleaning

Saturday is traditionally a day of rest for most people, but I was hard at work today, proofreading that academic paper. I wanted to get through it sooner rather than later, and give myself enough time this weekend to do some other things I want to get done. It turned out to be easier than the first paper I edited a while back, because I’m familiar with the subject material now, so it went quicker. Which is good!

I cleaned the bathroom and shower today, and my wife has been running loads of laundry all day to clean towels, and clothes, and Scully’s dog towels. I also took some product photos for my wife of a batch of the bangles she’s been working on for her Etsy shop. And took Scully for a couple of walks.

Tonight we went out to the Thai place that we like. It’s 15 minutes drive away, but it has outdoor seating for us and Scully, and the food was really good. Except now they’ve changed ownership and name, and honestly the food was not as good as it used to be. This is the fourth Thai restaurant near us that that we’ve really liked which has now closed down. There are still several others around, but none of them what we’d really consider excellent quality any more.

New content today:

Cooking and editing

Today I started work on another proofreading job, going through an academic paper and making corrections. I hope to get this completed over the weekend, for the authors who want it back next week.

I also did some cooking, baking a new loaf of sourdough, and preparing another batch of bunya nuts. I’ve further refined my method of peeling the bunya nuts. They’re significantly easier to cut and then extract the nut halves form the shells when hot, so instead of draining them all after boiling, I’m only taking a few out at a time and cutting them open before they cool.

Tonight for dinner I used some in a pesto, made with fresh basil and Parmigiano Reggiano, served over spiral pasta. This weekend I plan to make potato salad with the rest of the peeled nuts.

The weather by the way has cleared up from the ridiculous amounts of rain we’ve been having. We’ve had a couple of sunny days, which actually seems really weird after two solid weeks of rain.

New content today: