Wish list for the movie buffs

So you don’t know what to ask your wealthy friends and family members for for Christmas.  Well, how about Indiana Jones’s whip or fedora from Temple of Doom?  Or how about that light saber used by Mark Hamill in the original Star Wars movie?  Now you know why I said wealthy friends and family, because no ordinary person is going to be able to afford these things, but if you are one of those who can, the auction is December 11.  There are some things for ordinary mortals too (though still starting at $1000 for most), but don’t expect to get some of the more famous stuff including the above mentioned items for less than 100 grand, and no- the chocolate bar won’t work as payment. 😛

The place to find more information is Profiles in History and what to look for there is Hollywood Auction 33.  Besides the two films above by Mr. Lucas, you can find items from films like Harry Potter, Gremlins, Men in Black, Terminator, and many more.  What are you waiting for?  Go and check it out.  Be sure to get something to catch that drool first…  The first bunch of items are photos, but after those the good stuff starts.  I downloaded the catalog at 24 megs, but you can view the lots on the web too.  Indiana Jones starts at lot 368.  Star Wars at 346.

The expected post :)

This is the post you were expecting today.  Happy Thanksgiving!  My mother, my grandmother, my uncle, and I got together on this fine day for our nonstandard (read: restaurant) meal, followed by pumpkin and apple pie at home.  My brother and nephew always spend this day with Alex’s relatives on his mom’s side, so they didn’t join us.  Not a big gathering as you can see, so there is not much to say unlike my fellow blogger Jamiahsh.  As such, I will just say thank you God for my family, my job, my friends, and my salvation through Jesus who died on the cross for my sin.  Now I will end with a couple of Thanksgiving videos I pulled from Godtube.  They are sort of related to the theme of my site too, as they involve kids.  Enjoy!



A real piece of spyware

This is one to be appreciated by spy show enthusiasts everywhere.  Apparently someone in Italy was caught with a gun disguised as a cell phone.  Read on:

A 28 year old man was arrested by the Italian police in a Naples suburb. He was caught with a gun disguised as a phone. The phone gun – complete with a dummy display – holds four .22 bullets. The phone transformed into a gun by sliding the keypad section.The stubby antenna is the barrel, and a touch on a particular key fires a bullet. A gun disguised as a mobile phone, the Cool gun! A police spokesman said: ‘This is the first time such a weapon has been seized and shows the sophistication that the crime syndicates are turning to.

Article with pictures and video can be found at this Likecool.com link.  Well, since the video is hosted at youtube, why don’t I just post it here:

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving!  I think among the important things like my family and Jesus Christ’s free gift to me, I can be thankful this was found half a world from me and not here… 😮

Feast day- two days early

Well, it looks like I was somehow able to get a day of work in this week.  Apparently the teacher was gone yesterday too, and they didn’t use the same sub which left the door open for yours truly.  I am writing this post with a headache, so don’t be too surprised if it turns out shorter than normal.

I was able to pick up this day early yesterday afternoon meaning that had I worked yesterday I may not have secured a job for today.  Who knows?  Only one opening slipped past my radar for yesterday (locked when I tried to select it) so I imagine today would have been no better with the selection still being only one district.  The job?  Mentally impaired kids at the school furthest from me at about 13 miles.  I hoped to run into one of my church students here who graced my cabin at summer camp a year ago, and even found myself in the classroom across the hall from his, but as it turned out our paths never crossed.

So what is this sort of classroom like?  Think kids who can barely talk even though some are ten or eleven years old, two of which are wheelchair bound and can’t even feed themselves.  There were seven kids, three aides, and one teacher.  Yes, a ratio of less than two students per teacher; it takes that much energy to work with these kids.  Now these kids were very low-functioning, but that doesn’t mean non-functioning, so there is room for teaching them.  Mostly this is very basic math and simple writing (not all can write though), and a lot of coloring, cutting, and pasting.  Naturally the theme for the reading and writing lesson was- drum roll please- Thanksgiving.  I read them a book parodying The Night Before Christmas, replacing Christmas with Thanksgiving.  Then the kids did a sequencing activity on the book.  The ones who were able to write not only sequenced things from the book, they also had to write about it, a challenge for me to get them to do this.

Mostly the aides ran the class.  This was pretty much my only lesson.  I acted as an aide myself for much of the day which is standard practice as the aides know the routine and what to expect out of their students.  In the afternoon the day ended with an actual Thanksgiving feast.  There was corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and turkey- erm, cookies.  No actual turkey- several kids don’t eat meat anyway- but cookies decorated to look like turkeys.  I actually didn’t eat much of anything, and since this was less than two hours after lunch not much was given to the kids, but for them it was supposed to be a learning experience.  A lot of what these kids do is life skills, including cooking.  Last year I subbed in a class like this where the kids folded laundry (gym loaner uniforms).  I did force myself to eat a small slice of pumpkin pie.  There was only once slice left and I didn’t want to start any arguments 😉 .    I also took a cookie home since they were homemade and I didn’t want to offend.  You got me, I have a sweet tooth anyway so I didn’t mind.  One thing that the meal was missing was the thanksgiving part.  I didn’t expect prayer, this being the 21st century in a public school, but the aides didn’t ask what the kids were thankful for.  Maybe that’s too high a level for them, I don’t know.

Well, it looks like my post isn’t short after all, though I do still haved my headache even after taking an allergy pill and a 600mg Tylenol.  Come to think of it, I seem to remember that you don’t take Tylenol for headaches.  Waste of a pill- now where’s my Aleve?

Catch-up time

What does a sub when it’s Thanksgiving week and three of four districts he’s signed up in is off all week? Catch up on TV of course 🙂 . For the fourth district it is near impossible to get a job off the web when few show up (teachers must have been told to not take this week off if possible) and it’s the time of day when the system calls subs as well as shows the jobs on the web. When trying to select such a job it is locked 95% of the time because the system is offering it to someone over the phone at the same time. So, as I tried this morning I finished yesterday’s paper (I’ll go out sometime later today to retrieve today’s paper currently laying at the end of the driveway), viewed a few more themes for this blog, and ate some breakfast. I think I like the theme I am now using, so barring any annoying bugs this should be the one. It has a static width optimized for 1024×768 it looks like, meaning there should be no gap issue with my readers- why did only one mention it by the way? Surely others encountered it unless only the one uses Internet Explorer- regardless of the window size and there is now only one sidebar making more room for pictures. Those with browser window sizes less than 1024 wide should see a scroll bar at the bottom since the theme width is locked, but the sidebar is on the right so that will be the first thing unseen. The window will have to be pretty narrow I think before you start having to scroll to read the actual posts. I really hope this is a good one because my options are quite limited. Three-column doesn’t work because I like to post images, a lot of the themes are static optimized for 800×600 so that would limit the image size again, and many just don’t appeal to me.

Back to subbing, I expected to have Wednesday through Friday off, but I was really hoping to work today and tomorrow at least.  There is still a slight chance for an afternoon job today, and a chance of course for tomorrow for the time being so I might yet make some money this week.  If I don’t though, there is a pile of recorded shows dating back to the beginning of the summer.  Why I didn’t watch the summer shows I don’t know, but they’re there along with several fall shows.  I would really like to replace all the VCRs in this house with DVD writers one of these days, but money is tight and the other member of this house is quite comfortable with video tapes and wouldn’t know what to do with recordable DVDs.  I set up my little DVD/media player for her to watch some shows I had downloaded, but for now she is skipping them and watching her own backlog of videotaped shows instead.

Speaking of a backlog on shows, I am down to reserve #12 of 32 on season four of The Office at my library, on three copies so I should hopefully have it by Christmas to watch.

Shaking things up a little…

Just trying new themes out.  Don’t be surprised if things change a bit daily as a take a look at some themes.  I know a couple I tried before had bugs so even ones that look good may change.  Now that I post graphics, I am trying out two-column themes to make more room for them.

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Yoga. Yo-yo-yo-yo-yoga. Yo-yo-yo-yo-yoga…

To butcher a line from a Weird Al song about Yoda (which parodied a song called Lola), but if it fits…  This was my fate Thursday when I accepted a PE job at a middle school.  This was every bit as unexciting as it sounds.  There was a yoga instructor two double-classes of eighth grade with myself and at least one other teacher standing bored while the kids went through a yoga routine.  When I first found out about the yoga my spiritual sensors perked up as yoga can be taught from a spiritual point of view.  Hey, if Christianity isn’t allowed in the public schools neither is Eastern Pantheism; i.e. new age religion.  Fortunately they left this part out, and I did pay close attention to make sure of it.  I have read too many stories of kids being taught the experience of other religions, and not just about them to just sit back.  In any event, as I said, all was well.  They mostly did relaxation exercises and positions, with no explanation of those positions, at least on that day.

You might have noticed I mentioned eighth grade with the yoga.  What about 6th and 7th grades?  After all this is PE we’re talking about.  Well, those grades did yoga too, or fitness, depending on the class.  However, the teacher I was subbing for had four periods of health and just two of PE.  6th grade had a video to watch.  It was a video that was shown on prime time TV around 1990.  It was a “test” about how much we know about handling emergencies, and was hosted by the late John Ritter.  It also had several other stars of the day including Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Landon, Julia Child, and the one that played the geeky character in The Wonder Years.  I tried to look up this video on IMDB but it never got entered in as none of the actors I looked up had any reference to it listed.  Essentially it was a 45-minute multiple choice/true-false test (with at least one other type of question thrown in).  Of course we didn’t finish it, but a couple students asked if they would finish it tomorrow which means it interested them.

The 7th grade classes also involved videos.  They were making videos with iMovie, using the built-in webcams on their iBooks.  This got interesting watching them finish them, playing the parts of police officers, drunks, homeless people, announcers, and whatnot.  Many were editing though so I didn’t get to see everyone act.

Wednesday was really nothing special, just an easy day with 3rd grade.  Easy particularly because they had a half-hour of gym in the morning, an hour of art in the afternoon, and twenty minutes of filling out a “wish list” for the book fairs.  These Scholastic book fairs are really for the benefit of Scholastic and the schools, which receive commissions in books for the books sold.  As for the consumer, the parent, it’s just an opportunity to pay full cover price for some books and software.  I guess since it does benefit the schools I really can’t complain.

This brings us to today.  I was in the rival school to the one I was at Thursday.  The subject: one of the five foreign languages taught at this school.  In fact, for 6th graders they have to take every one of them during the year.  They all have one period divided into quarters for the year and one period in sixths.  These “hex-mesters” are a short six weeks, so needless to say they don’t learn the languages as much as explore them.  7th and 8th graders are treated to a full year in one language for the learning purpose.  I would suppose they get to choose which language they want to take.  Which one did I sub for (don’t even think I taught this class…)?  Just call me Herr Teacher instead of Mr. Teacher.  Actually, don’t because I don’t like the sound of it. 🙂  These kids just made word searches all day with a particular set of deutsch (German) words each grade had been learning.  Well, they can’t all be fun days. 😐

From Tuesday to Thursday, I guess it could be said that I went from 8th to 8 and back again… 😀  Eighth grade to 8 years old, like C & L’s eldest, back to 8th.  Well 6th and 7th grades were involved too, but still…  8)