dog’s eye view

Uncategorized

Too Busy For a Second Life…

My first presentation today at the eLearning Guild conference was “I’m Busy Enough.. What do I Need a Second Life For?” a tact I took as I expected SL was rather outside the realm of focus for this conference.

Well, that was not fully correct, as there was a fair amount of awareness here of virtual worlds and Second Life, but when I asked the audience of 50 or so how many had Sl accounts, there were maybe 5, 7 hands raised. A number of others let me know they were there because “it sounded nothing like the other sessions my employer told me to attend” or “we’ll never use it at work but I want to know what I am missing”.

Uncategorized

The Guild Thang

I’ve been self chained inside the Hilton in Orlando for 3 mights now. Tomorrow I make my break for the border, over the fence, and will run for the airport. This is mostly my own doing. I am here for the eLearning Guild 2008 Annual Gathering. I have learned that “eLearning” is an umbrella term […]

Uncategorized

Street View Movies

I cannot even remember what I was doing poking around San Francisco with Google Maps, but I was looking around The City with the Street View option turned on it was along a stretch of a street I notice that as I move around, I was following the same car. This makes sense as the […]

Uncategorized

Squirrel + Dog

+ = I have documented the hungry actions of the squirrels who raid my bird feeders and again. Fresa, the cutest beagle in the world just gets wild when she spots the squirrel, and gets riles up in chase/hunt mode. As I just got my Canon Powershot back from repair, I was equipped today to […]

Uncategorized

Fishing / Fish Nuggets

A majority of my blog posts are spontaneous spurts, yet sometimes, an idea takes root somewhere in the gray matter, and just sits there quietly demanding to be let out. This one has been rattling around, and tonight demands to see that publish button clicked. So there is a strand here, some storytelling, and a […]

Uncategorized

Oak Reuse

Caveat Emptor– this blog post has nothing to do with technology, learning, spam, WordPress, twitter, or the other junk that makes up the focus here. Its just about what I did with a tree. I could make a stretch and leap to something about learning objects, re-usable content… but that can be an exercise left for the reader.

Now that I am living in Strawberry Arizona, a small town in the middle of a National Forest, at 6000 feet elevation, a number of environment differences are obvious. First, form where I lived before in Scottsdale, the city has a progressive recycling program- paper, cans, bottles, plastic go in a big giant can, it disappears, and we assume it is all recycled. That story is another blog post.

But in a small town, recycling, transporting, etc is likely cost prohibitive. There is a collection for aluminum can at the fire station, and WalMart in Payson takes paper can cardboard. How I hate now tossing glass and soup cans in the trash! And most of my paper has been used for starting fires in the wood stove.

And heat is an issue, cause it gets damn cold; well below freezing December through end of February, and even through May, can get to or below freezing. I have propane heat provided as a utility (flows out of a pipe form somewhere), but propane prices have gone through the roof- the paper from Payson has stories of people closing rooms, lowering the thermostat to 60, and still paying $500/month. The place I am in now is small (less than 900 square feet) so it heat up well, but I’ve been trying to do most of my heat from burning firewood in the wood stove (another issue not mentioned is the effect of smoke on the ozone, or consuming natural resources).

The wood goes fast when you are here all the time, and I can say there is some exercise value to splitting wood and moving if from the pile to the storage area below the deck to the rack on the deck to inside. I’ve taken a few medium/small trees down (one too close to the house or ones the weather got to) so its nice to use my own wood.

A few weeks back I bought from Alex a cord of wood (good lord what a weird unit- “One cord is defined as 128 cubic feet (3.62 m³), corresponding to a woodpile 4 feet wide × 4 feet high × 8 feet long.”) which is really a pile from the back of a truck. When Alex was here he was eying a big oak off the corner of the houe, right between that and my shed. It was maybe 35 or 40 feet high, with branches over the house, and wa honestly of not much use, especially if I ever considered adding a room or a real garage.

Plus, a he told me, the tree was top heavy. These are either Arizona White Oak or Emory Oak (I tried to find the difference, but am not a botany dude and it really does not matter to me). Alex told me the centers of these tree tend to stay soft and absorb water like a sponge for times of lean water. Smart species find a way to adapt to arid conditions. Anyhow, this tree had a huge open hole on one side, so the sun shined in there and dried out most of the bottom of the tree, which was then largely hollow, while the top was still solid and heavy. So the whole tree was top heavy, and possible in danger of falling.

It was a much bigger job than my chainsaw and skills could manage, so I hired Alex to take it down and leave me the wood. He said something about an extra $25 to haul the crown and smaller limbs to the dump, but I said, “woah” I can find a way to use it all. Let’s not add stuff to the dump I can put to use.

So this is how I used an entire oak tree (or will use).

Uncategorized

Late Uber Mega SXSW Post

Blue, Red, and White Are Just Colors
It’s well over a week that my first experience attending SXSW Interactive ended, and a blog post is just wriggling out. I wavered, wafted, and decided on a different, lazy (lame) strategy… to just soak it all in and write something prophetic later. Well, this will likely fall short on most accounts.

And this is also a year when I am trying a few conferences out of the normal education technology realm, so I was wanting to be more reflective and… okay, I am lazy.

The idea of doing detailed sessions posts was not all attractive; earlier in my blogging I would try and do session blogging, but am not enthralled at being a stenographer. Second, I decided on a new tech strategy- I left the laptop in the hotel, and “lugged” (meaning slipped it in a pocket), my new iPod Touch. The hangup there was the wireless network at the Austin Convention Center got bogged down, so even a quick tweet was a long affair.

Blog Pile

MiniLegends Squashed: Who Is the Mommy?

Sometime last year before my trip to Australia, I discovered the amazing work Al Upton was doing with year 3 students at at Adelaide Australia primary school. The 8 and 9 year old “miniLegends” were blogging, doing creative writing, and getting a fabulous experience in web technology. So it was exciting this year when Al […]

Uncategorized

Behind the Blog

My SXSW blogging will likely be after the fact- lots to cover. The plan to use the iPod Touch works in theory, but wireless access has been sporadic. FWIW Pocketweets has been unusable (never posts) Hahlo.com and iTweets.net better