Saturday, 5 September 2015

Summer's End 2015

As I said back in 2013, I shouldn’t be so focused on teaching that I neglect other achievements. As the end of August is more of a conclusion to a year than the end of December could ever hope to be, here we go. I think this summer went better than the last two. I’m not going to break it down chronologically either, let’s split it another way.


Less than the last two years (could be a correlation with my mood?) in part because no “Twitter Math Camp”. I finished reading “Our Days Are Numbered” (by Jason Brown) which has been on my shelves since 2013. I started reading “Fooled by Randomness” (by Nassim Taleb) a more recent acquisition. It’s heavier reading, I don’t expect to finish it this year.

I also got through “Avoiding Teacher Burnout”, a small book put out by the Educator’s Room. For writing, I blogged about COMA and OAME conferences, and put some news articles into my stats website. That’s about it, unless you count the TweetUp in Carp (which was really for fun).


Depends on the fans.
The faucet in my kitchen has been without water pressure for at least 16 months - no more! It has been replaced. The water filter in my fridge has needed to be replaced longer than that - done! My back deck has been growing algae or something - cleaned! Related, the old barbecue out there was hauled away, and me and my wife bought a new one and assembled it. The air filters hadn’t been cleaned since 2013 - done! Washed a number of the exterior windows too, and replaced a toilet arm.

Last winter, our soffit and eavestrough were damaged somehow - work has started! (I hope they finish soon...) And though I’m still not sure what’s harming my trees, mini-ones are not growing in the eavestrough corners any more. On a more personal side, I booked myself a physical for the first time in four years. (Amazing how some things slide. Should do my eyes as well at some point.) I also signed up for a clinic to track exercise and diet over the next 12+ months. And I’ve continued to see my social worker to try and handle my depression, including maintaining a journal.


Math Webcomic!
I went to ConBravo in June, and blogged extensively about it. It inspired me to charge ahead with my personified math, and I’ve now published five comics (I update there EVERY MONDAY). My time travel serial has continued, in fact I’ve edited ahead into 2016 (end of Book 2). Re-edits for the serial take longer than I thought; at least an hour or so per part, assuming no major rewrites (and there have been some!). Book 2 will start soon.

I’ve also written a completely new bridging episode for the story (before Book 3), and completed 10,000 words on *Book 5*, the one I started roughing out last summer but didn’t get too far with. Honestly, the drawing is what’s holding the current story up, as I’m more familiar with writing/editing. I tend to draw in chunks. But I’ve still been able to update every FRIDAY. Commentary every second Sunday. My 200th post here was also a short time travel story.

I finished reading “Shadows Over Sheradan” (by Scott Barker, a teacher in my district); I hadn’t really wanted to start Part III without the time to enjoy it. I read “The Beautiful Land” (Alan Averill) which my wife bought me for my birthday. I read “Starship Titanic” (Terry Jones), on my shelves for a while. I caught up in some online serials: “TwiceBound” and “Unruly” including leaving some commentary there. Also more commentary on “Legion of Nothing” (nearly caught up!).

Subliminal message?
I did an anime marathon of “A Certain Scientific Railgun” (first season), which I’ve owned and have been meaning to do for a couple years. I streamed “Nanoha Vivid” and the show remains cool (though ‘Adult Mode’ is a bit creepy). I also marathoned “Attack on Titan” (first season) and watched a couple episodes of “Steven Universe”, to keep up with popular culture. I’ve read some manga. With my “There Are No Dumb Questions” education column having wrapped up in May, I have the XML from Steve, and intend to re-run it on this blog, on WEDNESDAYS.

Web Videos: I watched “Radio Dead Air” live for their 10th anniversary show, and 3 times since. I caught up on Nash’s WTFIWWY. I’ve stayed current on Linkara’s show (not Longbox, granted, the guy’s a powerhouse of content) and saw the SF Debris Comic History among other online shows. I caught up in NCIS: New Orleans with my wife, as well as Sherlock Season 3. Bought ’Chvrches’ and ‘Carly Rae Jepsen’ CDs. Am trying tumblr.

I started reading “Outlander”, but I think that goes on autopilot next week... along with everything else. (Sound like a lot? For contrast: The other 10 months of last year I was able to stream “Sailor Moon Crystal” and keep up with “Doctor Who” and “Agents of SHIELD”. For reading, I got through “Shada”. And I wrote 2,000 words per week, Sept to March. That’s basically it on hobbies.)


Bach, to the future
Went to France (in laws) and Germany (cousin’s wedding). Airlines did not lose our luggage! This is friggin’ huge after the airline mess around Christmas. Air France is awesome, just saying. Honestly, I’m more pleased about the webcomic than going to Germany, but it’s a close second, in part because the Bach Museum was in Leipzig. I got a tie. There was also a pretty cool writing museum (which was free).

Back in Ottawa, I went to the Governor General’s movie night, and a couple other movies in there. Celebrated our anniversary, checked out the new restaurant down the street. Went to the Alex Colville exhibit at the National Gallery. (I do get to some NAC shows the other 10 months of the year too.) Figured out how to get pictures off my new camera.


So, with all that... what did I NOT get to? Song parodies. I’ve had one in my mind for a few months, but haven’t set aside the time to work on it. Videos. I’d thought of doing one for a parody, or to close off Series 6 of the math serial, but no. Improving my marketing is still from nowhere, my name is out, but it’s not a draw.

There are other anime I didn’t get to, like Durarara and “Certain Magical Index”. I have a one week buffer in my blogs; more would have been good. And more T&T would have been good to write. There are also some books I still did not get to, including “Thinking in Numbers” (bought last year) and “Buffy Season 8” (had it for a while).

Still, those are all things that would take an investment of more than a couple days. I’m at the point where I’m spinning my wheels a bit, unable to find something to do that’s a short term investment. To that end, I guess I’m ready to go back. I need to figure out Desmos Regressions for my Data Course, and I should incorporate more “what do students already know” in my plans.

Which basically wraps up this post. I have now posted 10 straight days across 3 blogs, so taking tomorrow off, then Webcomic Monday. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, feel free to read the Summer 2014 Wrapup or Summer 2013 Wrapup.

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