Archive for November, 2007

But you should see my other website…

In : General, Posted by on Nov.11, 2007

Here’s some news that will be interesting to relatively few of you: I’ve created a new blog called The Ed-Tech Junk Drawer.

I’m using it to catalog all of the time-wasting garbage I collect as I surf the web, and repackaging it as “useful links for teachers.” So, if you’ve been looking for a site to print out worksheets for language instruction, several types of graph paper, or exciting organizational charts, then this, my friend, is the place.

So, please, if you could benefit at all from the site, go and have a look around. If not, go look anyway. It’ll improve my visitor count, so that someday, Gawker Media Network will notice my overwhelming popularity, and cut me in on some of their sweet new-media advertising cash.

Our New Camera

In : Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on Nov.11, 2007

Our trip to Costco turning into a shopping extravaganza.  We bought our regular foods, but I had to buy more.  They had tons of great toys, so I started Christmas shopping.  Todd also found good toys of us for Christmas.  So our early Christmas to ourselves from ourselves was a new Nikon D40 camera, which is a DSLR camera.  For those who do not what that means, we know have a full size camera with two exchangeable lenses.  The whole thing looks like a nice 35 mm, but this one is digital with 6.1 megapixels.  We got a great deal as it was the floor model.  We have been taking a ton of pictures since then.  I love the fact that there is a real shutter sound when you take a picture.  I also love the feedback the camera gives you when you take a picture.  The respond time is great and the continuous mode is great for pics of the kids.

The pictures look good, too.  I think the quality will improve as we learn more about the camera.  Take a look for yourselves.

Riley liked the camera so much she instructed Todd to take pictures of everything.  Her dictatorial debut can be found here.



Work? No, Just Play

In : El Japan, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Travel, Posted by on Nov.11, 2007

I swear that Todd and I work very hard at our jobs. Todd teaches middle school technology, IB A1 English, and high school Publications. I teach 7th grade math and humanities and 8th grade Humanities. However, the calendar at our new school is amazing, and we have had so many holidays since we started, Todd and I are just giddy.

So we are in another vacation. This one is a week long and boy have we been busy.

We decided to stay in Japan and relax a bit. We've had friends over for a game night. We went shopping for clothes at my new favorite store, Uniqlo – think Old navy with cashmere. We went shopping some more and found Chinatown. Monday came around and Todd and I were trying to decide what to do with the rest of the week. We decided to have a date day out. Our nanny came over on Tuesday and watched the girls, and Todd and I went into Kyoto for the day – by OURSELVES!!! First of all, Kyoto was amazing. We saw three things, and we have just barely scratched the surface of what that city has to offer. It is a magical place. However, it was bizarre to travel without the kids. Don't get me wrong- it was definitely easier, but very empty. We didn't regret the decision to come alone. I think Todd and I needed the time together, but it made me appreciate traveling with the girls much more.

The next trip put my feelings about traveling with the girls to the test. Our plans were to go to Nara, an ancient capital of Japan, with other families from school. Todd ended up staying home with Tess because she was running a fever, and we didn't want to infect the whole neighborhood. So Riley and I went to Nara. She was a little brat the entire time – whining, screaming, not listening to me. She was not her sweet self. We totally enjoyed Nara with its deer and amazing temples. I just hope the next time we go Riley doesn't turn into a devil-child.

Todd had a great day with Tess, and they ventured out to a store, Muji. It has everything with most of it being environmental friendly. He said that he likes it better than IKEA because things seemed sturdier. I am looking forward to visiting it soon.

Tomorrow we head off to Costco in Osaka. Todd is going to buy a pasta maker he has been fantasizing about for a month. I am hoping that they have warm clothes for the girls there. I didn't buy enough heavy winter clothes. We will get our usuals – enormous bags of edamame, bagels, bacon, and liters and liters of juice.

I think it is hilarious that most of our time is spent "shopping". I think a more accurate description of what we do is window shop. Our place in Japan is so small that we don't buy many things. If we buy something, then something else has to go.

Here are the pictures from Kyoto and Nara. Please forgive me. I know nothing of the Buddhist faith. I know things are old and pretty. I am able to match the Kanji on the map to the signs so I know I am in the right place. That is where I am right now. Hopefully, I will bet better linguistically and culturally.

The picture in the post is of Tess attempting to drink an empty miniature Coke. I only buy this size, as it is really all the caffeine I need. It is also the perfect size for a coke float which I am now addicted to.

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