Monday, October 27, 2014

Post Conference Post

Lisa and I spent most of the last week at a conference (she was co chair for the conference...) so we didn't get a lot done here in the last week (That's also why she didn't get around to posting last Monday...I promise I'll bug her to write about the conference next week).

It was a really good conference (2nd highest attendance ever!) and they are going to miss her on the board next year. But, tough! We do have other things going on! (remember I'm not doing too much bragging about the conference because I want her to write about it next week.)

While Lisa was running a conference I found a very interesting glass and enamel studio. I ate at some very fun restaurants. And I got some good writing done. Most of the writing on the trip was for a novel and a novella which are interrelated. I have some non fiction going but I really do like doing fiction (at what point doing non fiction would I get to use the phrase 'buzzard bait'? If I can get it squared away I would really like to have the novella ready to launch in December (I know... planned publication date... scary)

For those who are interested here's a link for the enamel and glass studios... (they're really in the same place but apparently have separate web sites

I also ran into this 'little guy' the pen is for scale

This is a piece of green quartz that I'm going to have to cut into two (due to a crack) but plan on carving. It's no surprise that it took me so long to find this one... I thought I was looking for a piece of fluorite! It was a surprise to find it there (there were only two pieces and the store didn't know they had them!).

The bench is up. And now has 2/3 of the major tools in place the swap top saw and grinder and...

my new drill press (that apparently really want's to be sideways in the blog (sorry :-(  ).

The new uber band saw and some diamond core drills are on the way; so hopefully by my next post we will have some really fun stuff to show.

Well, till next time, remember if you wake up next to your boy friend/girl friend/spouse/whatever in an alternate dimension it might not be his/her fault (well, the first time at least!). Fiction writing, its fantastic!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wall done!

That's right! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls I have officially finished work on that @#$@#@%@#$!!! wall. Now I can see about putting in the workbench and drill press and saw. Still lots of things to do on the house (I have two electrical plugs that I need to fix, at least one light fixture to fix, I should think about new lights for the new work bench, plumbing, calk windows, paint trim...). The scarey thing on this list is there is a "bedroom" in the basement that really needs new flooring (that's not the scarey part)... Lisa and I went to Lowe's to look at options and we actually agreed on the flooring on the first shot (that's the scary part) and it was affordable (now it's really scary). Well more on the house as projects get done and new toys get in.

In the mean time I have officially determined that I can't take myself anywhere... without rock hounding that is...

 I was at the pet store of all places when I came upon this little "gem". That's a Leather-man tool next to it for scale.

He cost me 2.99 plus tax... He's a mahogany obsidian that washed down a river, got scooped up for fish tank rock and now is in my rock pile. Is he a carver? Is he destined to be cabs? I don't know and I won't until I get a good idea and/or my bigger saw gets here (Rather not break him if I don't  have to... Obsidian is volcanic glass so the old chisel method is not the way to go here).

Also on the rock front... Anyone remember that  rock activity at the family reunion... Got some in the fine grade tumble right a few other things in the works so it will probably not be finished for my next post, but hopefully I'll have some pretties from that bunch a couple posts from now : )

At this time of year Lisa and I are spending at least a couple hours an evening with our backs to each other and not talking. No... no... we're not mad at each other I've got writing projects in every stage from planning/research; to first draft; to revision; to submitted for publication (not to mention two blogs to post to) and Lisa's got her dissertation; at least two conference presentations (that I know of!); a book chapter to work on (I think she's on her last go round before publication...), a blog or two of her own; and a class she's teaching. So, we're doing a lot of talking with our fingers at the moment.

Well I'm leaving it here for tonight... Lisa should be posting next week and if I'm not back in two... well... my head probably exploded (hey, you try reading publishing contracts!!!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Things are calming down...are things calming down?

I have been the slacker in not taking my turn in writing on the blog.  Hopefully things will be calming down a little bit and I can get my voice added to the mix.

(I honestly don't think things will calm down, but I can hope.)

Last week I was at the Quality Matters Conference in Baltimore.  I gave two presentations - one on our Introduction to Online Teaching course and another on the delivery side of online teaching.  The second presentation was a bit of surprise, (I had been planning on a short "pop-up" session, but discovered it was on the schedule as a 50 min presentation first thing Wednesday morning!) All, in all, it turned out fine, and I even learned (or relearned) some things about myself as a presenter.  I won't bore you with the details of the presentations, but I will show off the presentation for the first one.  (A special thanks to Marisa for helping me with the magnifying lens graphics!)

(The presentation is not wanting to embed, so you will have to click on this link to open the presentation.)

I did not see much of Baltimor, but here is a picture of the U.S.S. Constellation docked in the harbor.  I didn't have time to actually tour the ship, but it was cool to see it from the outside.

Patrick has been doing an amazing job patching our foundation.  This last wall has been the worst, using lots of concrete and flinging shrapnel, in the form of rocks and bits of nails.  The best part of this last wall is the Gru shaped patch. (Can you see him?  He is the lighter gray.)

I mentioned a hope of things calming down, but with work, writing for dissertation, trying to get a committee together for the dissertation, re-writing based on the feedback I will hopefully get, the NWeLearn conference in two weeks, the usual things with work and church, it most likely will not really calm down.  I will say that with how intense this past summer was, I am feeling more calm now than I was just 3 months ago.  It is all about perspective, right?

Something that has definitely helped was this past weekend with General Conference.  I really enjoy conference and am grateful for the ease at which we can watch it from home.  I like being able to talk about things with Patrick, which would annoy others if we went to a church building or down to Salt Lake City.  Perhaps one year we will go down to the conference center, but for now I like having Patrick's biscuits and gravy or sourdough pancakes during the morning sessions.  I also knit the entire weekend.  Some of the projects I worked on can't be shared just yet, but a recently finished project is a scarf for Patrick.

As I have a great interest in technology, it is amazing all the pieces that come together to make General Conference happen.  It is transmitted via radio, television, satellite, and internet; and it is translated (live!) into 94 languages.  And for the first time, several of the speakers spoke in their native tongue with subtitles put on the screen in the conference center and the internet, radio, and television broadcasts switched to the English translator.  As we are working on closed captioning for the videos at work, I know how much time, effort, skills, and technology is needed to accomplish this.

In addition to all the broadcasting, and live translation, the entire conference is made available online, almost immediately afterwards. So, if you want to check it out you can  go to (that will default to English, but you can pick any of the other languages on the top right!)  David A. Bednar is always one of my favorites - he is towards the end of the Saturday afternoon session.

Well, that is it for now.  Hopefully, you'll hear from me again in two weeks.