Travel prep

Today I did a whole bunch of preparation for my trip to Germany next week. I had to generate and print out COVID vaccination certificates for me and my wife – so that Germany will let us into the country. Travel insurance. Train tickets between the various cities we will be visiting. I drew up an itinerary containing all our travel and accommodation info. My wife also had to contact two different airlines to organise in-flight meals and try to get access to her old frequent flyer account (which turned out to be expired, so she needs to create a new account).

We took a big walk at lunch time, making the most of the sunshine in the middle of what was another cold day.

New content today:

This is a cold winter

I had another busy day, working on buffering up enough comics for my upcoming trip, as well as teaching face-to-face ethics with kids at the school this morning, and three online classes this evening.

There was time to take a break at lunch and walk with my wife and Scully up to the shops to get some lunchtime treats. I got some gelato just because I felt like it. Even in cold weather gelato is good.

It has been very cold for several days now. I commented to my wife that I thought the past week or two have been colder than anything we had in winter for the past two years, and she agreed. The good part though is that it’s been blissfully dry. We’ve had only 1.2 mm of rain since the start of June. It’s been bright and sunny… and things are actually starting to dry out! The huge mud puddles in all the parks are slowly getting noticeably less soggy. It’s still got a way to go, but it’s a definite improvement. Honestly, if it doesn’t rain for another month, I’d be very happy.

New content today:

The Solar System

Today I had another science class with my online student from England, who I’ve been teaching intermittently for some months now. I decided we could move away from biology and start looking at some more astronomy. I prepared a lesson on the solar system this morning, pulling together lots of cool images form various space agencies and observatories. The great thing about these is that most are either in the public domain, or very liberally licensed, so fantastic images are easy to find and use, which is not the case for some other subjects.

And in between teaching that class and two more on the ethics of human rights, I got a message form a parent of a student who I had in ethics a few months ago saying that she was looking for a D&D group for her daughter and stumbled across my gaming group on Outschool. She signed her daughter up right away, and asked me if I had any plans to run actual game sessions in classes. That’s exactly what I plan to do some time in the near future! So I told her, and she said her daughter would be thrilled to be one of the first one to try my adventures online.

So that’s very cool – and it provides motivation for me to get this idea up and running as soon as I can. It will need to be after my trip to Germany in 2 weeks, but hopefully some time in July/August I can get it running.

New content today:

Scrambling with 2 weeks to go

I’m continuing to rush to get everything done that I need to do before we head overseas in 13 days. I worked on making several Darths & Droids strips today. I also had to wrap and package up some Planet of Hats original strips for a reader who bought them. I’ll be mailing those off on Monday.

I did some housecleaning. Went for a run to get some exercise for the first time in several days – it’s been way too cold and miserable to do it during the week past, but today was sunny and not so windy, and a touch warmer.

Tonight I boiled up another batch of my hoard of frozen bunya nuts and made pesto to have with pasta for dinner.

Oh, and here’s a photo of Scully I took last night at the Italian restaurant.

Scully at local Italian restaurant

New content today:

Comic crunching

Today I had a few chores to do: grocery shopping, tidying up some laundry.

And I spent some time working on writing Darths & Droids comics, to try to build up enough buffer to last through my upcoming trip to Europe in a couple of weeks. Two weeks from today I’ll be flying out to Germany for my next ISO Photography standards meeting. My wife is coming with me and we’ll be spending a few days sightseeing in the Netherlands afterwards before flying home.

That prior meeting online that I mentioned a few days ago turned out to be at 3 am in my time zone. I have no idea how the invitation managed to know that and convert the time zone. Anyway, the convener apologised for the inconvenient time for me and said it wasn’t essential that I attend, so I’ve sent my apologies.

Tonight is real life games night, but I’ve excused myself because I needed some time to relax and spend with my wife and do a few more tasks rather than spend the entire evening out. We went for pizza at our favourite local place. It was really cold, but nice to go out and have a walk.

New content today:

More marking – done!

I spent most of today marking those data engineering project reports from the university. I had reports to read through, and then presentation videos to watch. The videos were meant to be 15-20 minutes long, but some teams submitted longer ones – the longest was almost half an hour! I had to mark the reports and videos on 11 separate marking criteria,. assigning marks for each criterion and writing comments for each one. Then I had to paste all the comments and marks into separate fields in the university grading system, so 22 separate pasted entries for every student. Multiplied by 5 teams of 5 students each…

So that was about 2 solid hours of copy-pasting, at the tail end of all the reading, video watching, comment writing, and mark assigning. It was exhausting, and I’ve just finished now, after 10pm. But it’s done!

The only other things I did today were one online ethics class this morning, and then after that I took the car to get new tyres fitted. While it was in the tyre shop, I took Scully for a walk and got an early lunch at a patisserie about 20 minutes from the shop. And, um… that’s today.

New content today:

Report marking

I got stuck into marking final reports for the university data engineering course today. I’ve been putting these off because I’ve been busy with other things, but the deadline is Friday, so I really need to work on these now.

And it was really cold today. The forecast temperature would have made today the 4th coldest June day in the last decade, though it got a fraction of a degree higher at 14.8°C, so I’m not sure where we ended up in those terms. But it wasn’t only cold, it was very windy, with gusts over 70 km/h for much of the day.

I went out with my wife and Scully at lunch time for a quick trip to the post office, and it was pretty miserable out there, despite the sunny sky. Leaves were swirling everywhere and small branches were scattered around having snapped off trees all over the place. Scully didn’t like it much either and raced home.

New content today: