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Friday, May 28, 2004

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on our way to corvallis for rob & kyrie's wedding, after a quick stop to feed seeger's cats. amelia, however, is staying home, and i'm steeling myself for for 2 days worth of crap upon my return.

the pieces, in the daylight, are nice! the extra special can't-mention-it-yet present almost makes me cry. but there will be pix upon returning. i reeeaaaalllllllyyy wanted to show michaelmas the pieces, but the timing didn't work out. meh.

i forgot to mention i bought leopoldo's ibook named "meow." we're waiting for the 10.3 disks to arrive, and then it will be mine! :D two really good epsidodes of firefly last night, too. one actually made me squirm almost the whole time ("out of gas").

Thursday, May 27, 2004

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finally.... finished... rob & kyrie's wedding present...... *yawns*

interesting things about this calligraphy project:
total of 23.75 man hours:

it took me about 15 minutes apiece to line and calligraph each of the poem's lines, for a total of 5 hours;
30 minutes to line and number them;
30 minutes to sign each of the tents
30 minutes to erase all the pencil lines (except for the lining around the numbers because it was so charming!)
1 hour to add eyelets;
1 hour to add ribbons (ooooo, and by this time i was grumpy);
45 minutes to wrap the additional present i can't talk about yet in case they're reading the blog (ha!)
(gl.: 9.25 hours)

sven put 10 hours in measuring, cutting, drilling and assembling the table tents;
another 1 hour to carve the linoleum block for the stamp;
30 minutes hour to cut the circle the stamp would go on
1 hour to stamp;
1.5 hours to create the additional present we can't talk about yet
(sven: 14 hours)

plus another 30 minutes to document and take photos, in part because i didn't buy enough materials for even one extra tent (duh! what was i thinking?).

we may be underestimating this a bit, and none of these hours take into account the number of hours to conceptualize, plan, buy, or agonize over materials. nor does it take into account any of the false starts and stops inherent in a process like this. that probably close to doubles our time.

you might have noticed sven's hours were actually more than mine! sven has been amazing, truly above and beyond. i've never had someone who wanted to work with me on something like this, and i was amazed at how great having a collaborator was, especially since he likes doing the things i hate, like measuring. :D plus, he has great attention to detail. this may be one of the best wedding gifts ever given to anyone, ever, if i may indulge in a slight bit of hyperbole.

(btw, arches text wove combined with this random orange ink and a 1.5 tape nib has been the best combination ever. there's been no fighting with the materials for this project at all, which is really unusual. unfortunately, the maxim about using good (i.e. expensive) paper to practice on might in fact be true. and how did i ever live without an ames lettering guide? and my first introduction to fabric depot was a successful one, even if the ribbons gave me fits when i tried to add them to the pieces.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

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tuscon was fun. i met sven's mom, grandparents & his graduating brother -- shield albright, father to zoe, keeper of the most official collection of neil gaiman materials & bibliography in existence and moderator for the neil gaiman message board! i wish i had the picture to show you of me squealing and flapping my arms in the leather jacket neil auctioned off a few years ago and which is now in shield's possession. he also has original art (and another leather jacket, hmm...) from jill thompson. he also says edward gorey was slated to do the illustrations for coraline until he died. meh!

we visited my grandmother & aunts in phoenix, much to everyone's surprise. we did not go to nogales, but we did go to sabino canyon, which was better. and we went to the kitt peak observatory! and dark arts: assassins and an odd all-ages dance recital based on mental illnesses.

when we got home (thanks for the ride & "dew stop," jalex & aaron!), there was a lovely loud thunderstorm (and jalex said she saw lightning!). michaelmas and i went to burgerville to celebrate my first year of not working for csusm (at least, until exhaustion made my tongue too thick to speak without an enormous amount of concentration). i picked up amelia yesterday from kitty cat condos, which i feel compelled to mention again because i was really impressed by that place! they have about the same rates as other boarders, but it's cat-only, quiet, very clean and knowledgeable, comfortable, accessible, and they take digital pix of your cat during her time in the "condo" to take home with you! (unsurprisingly, amelia's pictures are of her sleeping.) she's now safely contained in the laundry room again, and the search continues for someone to adopt her.

in what-am-i-doing-right-now news, i'm working on the pieces for meadling's wedding. i'm taking the poem they're reading at the wedding (e.e. cummings' "somewhere i have never travelled") and breaking each line, more or less, into separate pieces, about 20 in all. as far as i know at this point, they'll be placed on the tables, so i am prominently numbering the pieces in line order so that you're encouraged to mingle to read the whole poem. :) to facilitate this, sven has set me up a small art space in the living room. sweet boy! but now i have no further excuses... :D

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

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off to tuscon for a week (thanks for the ride, leopoldo!). amelia is comfortably, if not happily, staying at in one of the "cozy rooms" at kitty cat condos while we're gone (though i recommended they might want to remove the rug from the floor if they have any hope of keeping it clean).

Monday, May 10, 2004

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my spam rate has skyrocketed over the last few days. and they all spell my name right. who sold me out, damnit?

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the blogger "updates" sapped all the joy from posting about my first urban exploration date w/ leopoldo at the waterfront, kyrie's bridal shower in corvallis, and the crisis line volunteer recognition party.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

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holy cow! blogger just got a big update today! i'm sad i don't have more time to play with it because it's got permapages instead of anchor tags and finally finally finally includes comments! in celebration, sven played they might be giants' "spiralling shape" for me.

internally, the interface is drastically different, too. i wish there was an "expand all" for these little triangles next to the titles, and, as always, wish you could type in how many posts you wanted to see at a time rather than the blogger menu default. :P

Friday, May 07, 2004

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michaelmas, sven & i went to see the oregon book arts guild's "journals of discovery" show at the central library last night. terrilynn had a piece in it! i'd like to again cry about how frustrating i find the concept of beautiful books behind glass. but they had a heck of a food spread, which included the best desserts i've had in a long while (tasty but not too sweet). then since firefly got cancelled for the week, sven & i went to see robot stories (hi, philip!).

otherwise i'm still trying to catch up from the psu project. unsurprisingly, nobody has claimed amelia yet, so that's still high in my mind (though she has been behaving remarkably well considering her confinement to the laundry room). i have several small things to do before sven & i leave for tuscon, including kyrie's bridal shower and a couple of more psu things.

i don't know if anyone noticed, but mph has lost a blog, while doug has gained one! sorry to lose ham sammich, but am very glad doug finally got his own space rather than the one he had at silly thinking. it was sort of hard for me to visit then, with features such as "may day w/ uncle joe stalin."

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

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i didn't even get to post the pictures of michaelmas moving before he asked me to take amelia away. which i wish we could have neogotiated better, because i was in full-on maggie mode: my last meeting w/ her is tomorrow and although i have a kick-ass report, it took me a loooooooooong time to get it finished.

anyway, i advertised on freecycle: 57 people looked at her picture, 8 people responded, 3 said i should dump the boyfriend instead of the cat (seriously! sorry, michaelmas!), 2 made helpful no-kill shelter suggestions, but none offered to take her. no surprise, really. but sven & i are leaving for tuscon tuesday, so if you or someone you know wants a new furry complication in your life, pleeeeeeeeeease let me know.

aaannnnndddd... apparently the dress & shoes kyrie picked out for me to be rob's groomsgirl are ready to be altered. and they gave me some quotes to calligraph for them for the wedding.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

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things are better off than i thought. no excuse to slack, but i think i've confirmed my worth to my supervisor, who i called at home yesterday to ask more (yes, even more!) questions. we scaled back what i was initially asked to do because it looks like we've got most of what we need out of what i've done so far. at any rate, i still have more cataloguing to do (module 4 and then an AJ syllabus & assignment, i suspect) and then writing. due tomorrow! my previous time estimate for cataloguing of learning objects looks a little low (you could probably double it: 10 minutes to identify & catalog each object= 66 hours), but she considers it to be a small investment for a course which could take 200 hours to develop and then be able to reuse chunks of it in other courses at what is hopefully a significantly reduced development time.

maggie has been working on a paper for the webct conference which talks about the very project i'm working on, and so it's kind of funny that we're working on it in parallel. as i work on the project, her paper changes. she sent me a copy of it, and it was nice to get that mid-level sort of view: i knew about the concept of learning objects and the basic steps which were involved, but then leapt right into the microscopic details. it's like the difference between, "hey, that's planet earth" and "hey, look at this parking space." so it's nice to get that "hey, is that colorado?" view. but it's also interesting to see how my previous analysis work for her has been used in this paper (statistics for webct course usage). ee!

today we're moving michaelmas (and amelia) into 306! this is one of the times freecycle has failed me: i've asked twice for a cat door panel since michaelmas has a patio now, but to no avail. two nice people emailed me to tell me they had the kind of pet doors you actually cut into the glass, but that seems, um, impractical in a renting environment.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

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so i just spent a lovely 14-hour day working on this psu project. and when i say "lovely," i mean "numb." boy, i had forgotten about this. and i get to get up in the morning and do it all over again. and again. and again. monday is when the final report is due. and then i will sleep. and sleep. and sleep.

but i have to admit, having spent the last several weeks developing the theory behind this project, i hadn't realize how much work it would be to actually do the work. because something i thought would take two hours took more than a dozen, i've ended up cancelling two big events this weekend in order to complete the project. but i promised myself when i moved here that work would never again be my highest priority, so i'm still taking some time out tomorrow to celebrate sven's unbirthday, and helping michaelmas move on sunday. so... having finally done one whole module now, let's do the math: 40 learning objects per module times 10 modules=400 learning objects per course, times 5 minutes per object=2000 minutes which =33 hours per course! yipes! the hardest bits are figuring out how to describe a text object that's only a sentence or two long, and classifying them based on a model that in practice isn't very practical (hello? why didn't the scorm people find "example" to be a decent learning resource type? or "reference"?).

i'm pretty good at working by myself, but there are times when it's good to bounce ideas off someone else's head, so i'm glad sven was around to help me work on developing a reasonably good naming schema for the objects in the database. but having gone through all this, i can't see anyone at either of my prior universities agreeing to go through this process, and i hope it's more than an exercise in futility. i'm hopeful, though: one of the things i like about my current supervisor is that she seems fairly balanced between progressive and accomodating; it seems like she's got a fairly good program set up despite the inevitable political pressures involved w/ online courses.

speaking of sven, he gathered the last of my things left w/ michaelmas, and then promptly got a flat tire on the way home. :( and in other news, i'm cat sitting for seeger again starting sunday.