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    One Week Warning!


    2011 - 10.03

    This is your One Week Warning for Karin’s birthday.  Which gives you a whole week to pick out or make the perfect card.

    A while back Karin picked out her birthday present to herself the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWC), that said she’d be happy to let you contribute to that gift if you like.  She’s happy to accept cash, cheque and paypal ;-)  Seriously though, she decided that the ~$600 for the conference was a good investment, and she keeps getting more and more excited about it as it gets closer.  The stumbling block in deciding to go was the cost though.  I think she made the right decision, and really can’t wait to hear all about how awesome it was.

    If you’re looking for something else to get her there are undoubtedly countless appropriate things, some of which might even be in the following list:

    • something for the Geckos
    • something writer themed
    • a master class at the SiWC
    • a dress watch
    • something warm and fuzzy, or at least warm
    • ikea gift cards either for the expedit desk or for ribba frames
    • costco cash cards for prints or canvas prints
    • upgraded iPhone
    • art supplies

    The Geckos


    2011 - 07.28

    I love my geckos.  Usually I love them from school where I can chat with them throughout the day, or bring them out of their cage to hang out with.  I haven’t been doing that as much as I had in previous years because I had a group of kids that I needed to keep an eye on a little closer.  Over the breaks, I often get kids to take them home.  It’s not nearly as wrenching as it had been the first time, but I still miss them.  I especially missed them this year because I had them at home for a few weeks before passing them off to a student.  *sadface*

    IMG_5658

    I bought Sasha in September of 2008.  I wanted a pet for the classroom and originally thought a rabbit would be perfect.  We already had fish tanks with guppies and assorted other tropical fish, and I wanted the same pets as my idolized grade 2/3 teacher…guppies and a rabbit. Imagine my surprise when I was outvoted 17-2 for a lizard *.  Hokay then.  There are vegetarian lizards, right?

    I went to the pet store, after doing some research, with the idea that I would get anoles.  They’re cute, active and they don’t cost very much.  Sadly, they eat live insects…bleh.  I was talked out of the anoles with the adorable-ness that is the leopard gecko.  I was sold on the idea that we could handle them.  Then, the weird happened.  There was a teacher in the pet store with two leopard geckos…she taught in the same district as I do, in the same grade, and in the same specialization.  SOLD! Sasha came home with me that night.

    The class voted on the name and it came down to Sasha or Sparky…luckily Sasha won the day! :) Blind voting is a teacher’s godsend…not that I cheated or anything… Later that year, one of the boys got a leopard gecko and named him Sparky. :)

    Sasha

    About a year and a half later, I was at a different pet store getting some gecko-food ** when I was looking at the other lizards.  I love doing that…and I’ve almost left with snakes and other lizards before…I loves them.  Anyway, I saw this pitiful looking leopard gecko in the cage with some that were way bigger than she was.

    Ennis: The day I rescued her

    She was about the size of a key, her tail was missing, there was bedding imbedded in her tail stump, she was shedding really badly and there were bite marks all over her.  I figured she was pretty much toast…and then I saw her strike at a cricket.  She missed, getting a mouthful of bedding, but darned if there wasn’t some fight left in her.  I bargained her price down (“But she’s only half a gecko!!”) and came home with Ennis *** .

    Ennis: The day I rescued her

    Eventually Ennis grew up, although she’s not quite as buff as Sasha is, and they’re very happy geckos, except for when they bite each other occasionally. Usually by accident.  Usually.

    Sasha and Ennis

    * The criteria for a pet: no more than four legs, must be in a cage/tank and will not grow to the point of needing a cage/tank the size of a phone booth.
    ** AKA live insects.  Bleah.
    *** Ennis = NS = Not Sasha

    Sleepy Geckos

    “I don’t feel well…”


    2011 - 07.26

    Unfortunately Karin hasn’t been feeling well lately.  Fortunately she hasn’t really needed to do anything the last little while, so it’s more annoying than a true hindrance, but no doubt frustrating to her.  We’re assuming that it’s just Ménière’s, but I suppose technically speaking we don’t know that.  We’re doing our best to keep her away from the various triggers, or things which make it worse, but so far either we haven’t done enough, or they just aren’t working.

    What might be the most scary is how many more stories she would have posted for her beta readers if she’d been feeling better, as she’s still managed to be reasonably prolific despite it all.  I know that personally I’m at least two stories (and possibly three) behind at the moment.  In fairness to me, they are getting longer, and I do provide really detailed feedback, but still I really need to take this opportunity to catch up while I can.  I don’t know if she’s looking for more beta readers or not, but if you’re interested you should get in touch with her, for now most of that interaction is taking place on Facebook, so if you’re not a frequent user that might be why you’re out of the loop.

    Speaking of Karin’s writing, she had a tangential scare today, and I think I’ll not try to make the long story short.  In our building today, due to some maintenance which I don’t really understand we have no hot water from 8-5.  I believe the sign in the elevator called it “Emergency” maintenance, although I must admit I disagree, as the notice has been in the elevator for at least a week.  In my book that makes it at most “urgent”, but definitely not “emergency”.  If it were emergency the notice I’d read in the elevator would be:

    “We apologize for the hot water outage yesterday, it was unavoidable due to some emergency maintenance.  Everything is now working normally and we don’t expect any further outages.”

    Regardless, the end result was a false fire alarm this morning, so we got to wander down the stairs and out of the building for a few minutes.  Thankfully it was a false alarm, caused by the maintenance.  Having been through a few of these fire alarms before we’ve learned a few things:

    1. bring a book or some other form of entertainment, you might be a while
    2. make sure to dress appropriately, you might be there a while
    3. don’t expect to get back in quickly
    4. go to the washroom before leaving

    Today, we thought we might go for a walk while we waited for the building to be cleared, but Karin wasn’t feeling so well, so we only did a lap around the building.  Turns out that Karin had a few concerns relating to today’s fire alarm:

    • she was particularly glad that the Geckos were elsewhere and in no danger as a result potential fire
    • she was also very pleased that she’s been distributing some of here writing around to reviewers, so that her only copies were not on a computer which would have been subject to melting or water damage had it been an actual fire

    As a result of the last one, I’m doing some experiments with Google Docs to see if it might be an appropriate alternate method to help ensure that the single point of failure is not sitting in our condo.  If anyone has experiences, good or bad that they’d like to share, or alternate suggestions for “fireproofing” her writing do let us know.

    In talking to Karin last night, she is planning to post something about the Geckos, but given how she’s been feeling it might be a little while before it appears.  I think that’s all I’ve got.

    Goodbye and Waffles


    2011 - 07.25

    So another day of making changes to Random Synapses, at this point I think that the major changes are complete.  At least until Karin really starts to use it as more than a blog, but we’ll see, there’s undoubtedly room for lots of little changes and improvements.

    The Geckos: Sasha and Ennis have been with us since the end of the school year, but today they went to a students house (probably for the rest of the summer).  Karin misses them already!

    When we got home it was time for some comfort food, so I surprised her by making fresh raspberry syrup to go with the waffles.  We’ve still got some syrup left…

    I know I’m boring, but maybe we can convince someone else to write tomorrow, perhaps a retrospective of the gecko’s visit complete with photos, there really should be plenty of them.  We’ll see.

    Oh wait, we did finally come up with an author bio for K.E. Abel to send in for her inclusion in the first Mirror Shards anthology edited by: Thomas K. Carpenter for Black Moon Books.  I think that it turned out pretty good… but we’ll keep you in suspense, after all for those of you who don’t like augmented reality it will provide incentive to buy the anthology ;-)

    Goodbye and Waffles


    2011 - 07.25

    So another day of making changes to Random Synapses, at this point I think that the major changes are complete. At least until Karin really starts to use it as more than a blog, but we’ll see, there’s undoubtedly room for lots of little changes and improvements.

    The Geckos: Sasha and Ennis have been with us since the end of the school year, but today they went to a students house (probably for the rest of the summer). Karin misses them already!

    When we got home it was time for some comfort food, so I surprised her by making fresh raspberry syrup to go with the waffles. We’ve still got some syrup left…

    I know I’m boring, but maybe we can convince someone else to write tomorrow, perhaps a retrospective of the gecko’s visit complete with photos, there really should be plenty of them. We’ll see.

    Oh wait, we did finally come up with an author bio for K.E. Abel to send in for her inclusion in the first Mirror Shards anthology edited by: Thomas K. Carpenter for Black Moon Books. I think that it turned out pretty good… but we’ll keep you in suspense, after all for those of you who don’t like augmented reality it will provide incentive to buy the anthology ;-)