Saturday, April 22, 2006


I've been offline for almost a week. Apparently the power company decided to turn off the power. My computer objected, and then, pouting over the mistreatment, refused to turn back on.

It's back now, thanks to my wonderful brother Brad and one of my friends who supplied the parts. Needed a new power supply.

I've got a couple of drawings to post over at Distilled in a bit, but for now you can see a Photoshop experiment inspired by Drawn!.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Letter To My Niece

Here's an excerpt from the first letter that I wrote to my niece. The first one had only text, the second had images too. I'll post something from the second one soon.

Dear Niece,
Hi. How are you?
It’s Saturday, and I’ve done all my errands for the day. It’s very humid out, and it
started to sprinkle on my car as I left the pharmacy for home. It’s been a long time since I just put my hand out to feel the rain, so I rolled down the window and stuck my hand out. The rain wasn’t cold, but I didn’t keep my hand out long. Just long enough to feel a few drops and wonder if the people in the other cars noticed and thought it strange.

It's more boring than I remembered. Going to have to work on that bit. I read through it a couple of times to make sure that there wasn't something better to post, and there wasn't.

To see the image that I sent to my nephew, go to my other blog, Distilled.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Letters to the Niece and Nephew

I was thinking the other day how much I used to love to go get the mail. When I was little definitely, and then later on when I had pen pals. I had a pen pal in England at one time, and another in Trinidad. I lost touch with the British one when she got married and the other one because I/we just stopped writing.

I want my niece and nephew to like getting the mail, so I decided that I'm going to write them letters and cards, and try to include some drawings and things too.

So far, I've written one letter to my niece. She's fourteen, so I can just write to her. The nephew's only one though, so I thought I might put more drawings than writing.

It's been more difficult than I thought it would be, but I'm working on it. I'm about to send the second letter to the niece and the first one to the nephew. I've drawn some pictures for him and put a description on the back. I told my sister, and she said she likes the idea.

I'll post excerpts at Distilled soon.


Our school has something called behavior charts. When a student shows problems with behavior, meetings happen, parents and experts get consulted, and sometimes the committee decides to give the student a behavior chart.

The chart usually targets no more than three behaviors. For example, one student's headings might read: respects teacher/classmates, remains in own area, follows directions. Then the teacher writes some kind of symbol to indicate compliance or non-compliance, such as stars and x's.

One of my students with no boundaries at home forgot his chart when he came to class. One of the goals of the chart is to guide students to being responsible by remembering to carry it with them. As the student had not brought his chart on a previous day, I wrote x's on his chart for non-compliance.

The next morning, he came into my room with his chart. He held it out at me, and said "Here," with a very smug look on his face. I glanced down and saw that his mother had written something on it. "Did you give Damien all x's just for not bringing his chart to class? If so, call me."

I looked at Damien, handed his chart back and said "Thank you." He left. He came back five minutes later and held out a pink post-it. "Here's my mom's number so you can call her." And then he smiled at me, with that look that little brothers and sisters give you when they've tattled on you. I took the post-it.

I was furious. It seemed that this mother had told her son that I would be in trouble for doing this to her son, and I wasn't going to have it. I waited a day to call her.

When I did, I explained that he'd forgotten the chart on a previous occasion. She simply said, "That's what I needed to know." and we hung up. I felt puzzled, wondering why she'd not yelled at me or otherwise made me responsible for her son's problems, as so often happens.

I'm positive that this hasn't ended, but I couldn't tell you where it will go from here.