Breaking Out into the Fresh Air

Yesterday and today, Ian and I got out for the first bike rides of the season. The daytime highs were 6 and 10 degrees, so still chilly but assured that the meltwater across the paths was in fact water and not ice.

Strava link

Today’s ride. Sloppy with meltwater. Would make the morning commute dangerous.

Went to the bike shop with Ian this morning. Got some new tires for my commuter. Noticed that I had completely worn through the tread on the rear. Nice new rubber! Also picked up some tubes and a new air pump.

Taming the Wi-Fi

Someday I wish that my home network connection is fully reliable. I have done a number of things over the years to try to tame it, but it never seems to get all the way there.

But I suppose as I add more devices, there will be problems. I have had a number of glitches with VOIP or FaceTime-style calls.

This morning, I decided to move all of the “smart home” devices off my main Wi-Fi network and on to the guest network. The guest network does not have any access to other devices on the network so should decrease the possibility of interfering. This included all of the Amazon Echo devices, smart lights, switches and plugs.

It wasn’t easy. I had to reset all of the smart stuff and then re-connect it to the different network. The only device I was not able to move was the LED strip that I installed in the bedroom. I should have done all of this when I installed the devices in the first place, but better late than never.

And Yet More Silver Lining

It seems as though our isolation has spurred another creative outlet in our family: Ian has been inspired to cook.

He has the Tasty app on his phone, and he brought this recipe for buttermilk-fried chicken sandwiches to Tammy and a couple days ago they bought the ingredients. He and Tammy made them yesterday at lunch and they were delicious.

And this morning at breakfast, I found a small pile of lettuce on the cutting board and Ian told me that he was going to attempt a breakfast bagel. It was better than attempted, he succeeded.

Breakfast bagel

Good to see creativity blossoming as we are into week two of COVID-19 isolation.

Social Interaction is Down, Artistic Productivity is Up

Since Covid-19 closed school, I’ve found myself with enough time to craft. I’m sure you’ve all seen the album art I made for mom’s birthday; that was the first time I tried drawing with a grid. It worked! Quite pleased with how easy it was to draw the lines so I created another one. I shrunk this one down onto a 6″ x 6″ piece paper instead of enlarging the cover art. Additionally, I used water-colour paper for this one which reduced smudging and made it easier to erase my grid when I applied ink. This one is Eliminator by ZZ TOP:

I like how it looks from a distance.

A close-up so you can actually see it

Also created a pair of earrings for mom with some charms I picked up at Michael’s yesterday. Each one has a cat at the bottom with two fish and a metallic bead:

Right gem toes the line between blue and green. Purple gem is almost the same shade as the bead so that worked out well.

Yay! Vacation!

Let’s do something fun, kids, like… uh… um… well… how about a board game? Movie binge watching, anyone?

It’s vacation, COVID-19 isolation style. Ski hills are closed. Rec centres closed. Libraries closed. It’s -9 and light snow outside.

I scheduled this week off to spend time with the kids on spring break. Turns out we might get more time together than I counted on. I had a little talk with everyone at the dinner table tonight. If you feel like you need to get away from everyone, put your boots on and go for a walk. The house is going to start feeling pretty small soon.

Still School… for teachers

Unfortunately, there is still school for the teachers whether they be K-12 or post-secondary. ¬†The classrooms and hallways are mostly empty. Only the gentle clacking of keyboards can be heard as teachers compile information for the term-end reports at Columbia. I went in yesterday, daytime, to begin the process. Miranda went with me to do some homework. I’ll be going back in, on my own, today to complete some more. Initially, we are given just 2 paid shifts to get 36 reports written/typed and entered into the various computer systems. It’s never enough time and we evening types end up working on our own time.

This morning my supervisor emailed us saying that classes were cancelled for this week and next (they were originally only cancelled for Monday and Tuesday). This means the one-on-one student-teacher conferences have also been cancelled (reports will be mailed or emailed to the students instead). Since we all have to be at school for our regular shifts over the next 2 weeks, I was hoping that we could use these 2 extra shifts to complete any outstanding reports. I asked my supervisor if we could use this extra time if there weren’t any meetings about next term, but all he said was make sure you submit them on time (which is this Friday). I guess I’ll complete as many as I can today and go from there.

Le sigh.

No School

ALL CLASSES CANCELLED, Effective Immediately

Mar. 15, 2020

‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚ÄčThis afternoon, the government announced that all classes¬†are cancelled immediately and indefinitely due to COVID-19. We thank the government for listening to‚Äč school boards and parents to support the health and safety of students, staff and families.

Please do not send your students to school Monday, March 16, 2020 and until further notice. Before and after school programs are also cancelled.

Staff will be available at each‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč school to ensure that, if students show up, parents will be contacted and expected to pick up their child immediately.

More information will be sent to you in the coming days with details on when to pick up personal belongings, return library books, etc. Schools will create a pick up schedule which will be communicated to parents.

So the kids are home this week. Next week was Spring Break anyways. More COVID-19 news as it happens.

For all the information go here:

Deep Fake

Call it an unintended consequence of the digital age: as computer graphics technology becomes more and more powerful, it will become harder and harder to believe anything you see on the Internet. That is going to have powerful implications on politics. When a video goes viral purportedly showing a candidate doing something abhorrent, it’s going to be practically impossible to refute.

I present to you: Willem Dafoe and Gillian Anderson, starring in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs.*

I mean, Whiskey, tango, foxtrot, over. This website has been around for almost 20 years now. What will the deep fakes look like 20 years from now?

* I debated putting this here, but it’s actually a scene with Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

My Insulated House

I haven’t posted in a while, so to make up for it, I made a new post about a science project called the insulated house. this project its based on the heat and temperature unit. This unit in class was about particles and energy transfer. There’s conduction, insulation, thermal energy, kinetic energy, etc. We as a class were given a task to do in class which was to build an insulated house. We had to build a house that was able to fit a Petri dish(8.5 cm diameter)with an ice cube into the house and insulate it enough so that the radiant energy from the heat lamp won’t get inside the house to melt the ice cube as easily. we will be timed to see how long the ice cube will last before melting, and whoever wins will get the grand prize. I have just completed the construction of my insulated house and have taken a picture of it.

Here’s the picture:

So, the house is complete. It took in total 210 minutes or 3 and a half hours. We did 1 and a half hours on the first day and 2 hours on the second day. Tomorrow, I will take it into class for the competition.

My House Half Way Though Construction

Miranda Locked Down

Miranda’s high school was locked down this afternoon. It was right after the classes let out and most of the students were still in the school. She got ushered into one of the guidance counselor’s offices along with a bunch of other kids in the vicinity and then proceeded to spend an hour and a half sitting on the floor, texting her friend Jiya and reading comics on her phone.

Tammy texted me just as I was getting ready to leave work.

Tammy: SWC (Sir Winston Churchill) is under a lockdown right now.

Me: ??? I see that M is still there. What’s happening?

Tammy: Got an email from the school saying it has been under lockdown since the end of classes. Police are there. Everyone stay away.

Me: Have you tried to contact M?

Tammy: Yes, she’s fine.

We don’t know all the details, but it sounds like a student brought some sort of an air gun to the school and another student saw it in their backpack. We don’t know any more than that, but Miranda is fine. The police have a student in custody.

Miranda’s biggest complaint is that it was hot in the room. There were too many people in there and no windows and the door was locked (obviously – they were on lockdown).

Updated the very next day…

And now, not to be outdone, Zachary’s school was evacuated due to a bomb threat.