Monday, May 18, 2015


We have a great dentist here.  Seriously, I love her.

She has several great points, she's very very friendly, she seems to be a very good dentist, she's trained reasonably recently, so she is very up to date.  I don't feel like she's out for money as she very much works on a minimal intervention.  If she sees the beginning of a cavity she waits and watches it, rather than billing us 150 + for filling it immediately.  Sometimes, they don't change.  Sometimes they get better on their own.  Turns out.  Not something my Canadian dentists ever admitted to.

She's also nice.  In that she works with positive reinforcement about dental hygene rather than the shaming that Canadian dentists work with.

Finally, she's really really really cheap!!!!

Oh, and then, instead of a toothbrush?

Look what we got today.....

Meet Chuck

Most of you already have.....but here he is again.

Chuck's had a rough couple of days.  Started on Sunday when he went walking with Youngest to one of the local mountains (very very low).  You see, they lost each other.  For about an hour.

Fortunately Youngest had a friend with her who stayed put.  Also, Youngest had a photo of the dog on her phone, so she could ask people if they'd seen him.  Also, fortunately, Youngest is very fit, cause she walked up that mountain once and ran flat out up it twice that day.

Chuck eventually found the friend who had the sense to hang onto him.

This is Chuck once he got home.  He kinda needed a nap, but also kinda needed some physical contact.  I worked on the floor for a bit.

Then Barça won the league last night.  This involves lots of yelling and shooting off of fireworks.  Not Chuck's favourite thing.  And after the day he'd had?  There's no photo, he was hiding in a cave or box.  He didn't eat dinner and didn't want to go out for his walk.

So today he got a bath, went to the vet and got a vaccine.

Poor pup.

Though he actually seems pretty fine today.

Youngest  is, well, young and fit.  She's only a wee bit sore.  Got the highest score for girls on sit ups (57 in a minute) and the most flexibility in the class.  (22 cm beyond her toes, while stiff from running)

Exciting times.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nothing in far far far too long

So much that I don't know where to start.....

So I'll go see what I have photos of!

Before I do that though...the reason why. There is that pesky Master's degree I am working on, and darn it, they don't let you just buy it, you have to actually work for it, and that is time consuming. 

Plus I got another job, this time teaching English online through a university!!!! YEAH!  Long may it last.......but that is also quite time consuming.

And then there is the usual work and family etc etc etc.....


some photos.......

I went into BCN a few weeks ago now (wow) and we had a marvelous day, I ended up doing and seeing four (4!!!) things I had never before done in BCN......

First we went to Sant Pau del Camps church which is a little old romanesque church tucked away in a corner of BCN.  I used to go by it often and never managed to get in.  But friend had organized a guide and everything!!!

Here it is.  Lovely little church, no?

A detail on the outside....they suppose that it is ...well men and lady parts.....which was apparently common at the time, though honestly, I cannot imagine why.  Looks like poop to me, but again, why?

Turns out the guided tours were cancelled for a batpistm.  Luck for us, the guide found us and took us around...and showed us stuff that no one normally sees, like into offices to see more features.  It was AMAZING.

Picasso lived in BCN for quite some time and did a lot of sketching here, as well as a painting of the church.  It is thought that this particular figure on one of the pillars may have been influential for  the Desmoiselles.

I can kinda see it. Especially in her face and the really big hands.

Filled with delight, we walked off to Monjuïc and took a tour of the roof of MNAC...never did that before, 2 Euros and you can walk all around the roof, though having done it before, it would be easy to do it for free....though that would be a little scuzy.

This is the walk up to Monjuïc, and I don't seem to have grabbed any photos from the roof.  Views of BCN and all...

Except this one, which was a dance that was going on nearby, the photo was taken from the roof itself.

Then we noticed that a building behind MNAC was open, which almost never is.  Honestly, it was something of a nasty pile....nothing special at all, but cool to see and had nice gardens.  Apparently (Spanish) King Alfonso the something or other stayed here during the world fair ages ago.  Whatever.

Then walking back through Montjuïc, we came across the font dels gats....which turns out to be a font, (not this one, it isn't so picturesque) but also a restaurant designed by Puig i Cadafalc, though not one of his most amazing works.

A lovely little place to take a break though.

Here's the restaurant.

And the entrance

And a view from above...

Then a walk down through the park and saw this lovely bit of tile work alongside a fountain.

Really, a wonderful day.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Oh my goodness, that was nice.

It's Setmana Santa here this week, kinda like March break with holier overtones.  Why am I writing about this?  Cause it means I am working less, and damn!  It's nice!

Worked this morning, did a 5 hour intensive class, which was cool.  A good group.

Then came home, had lunch, had a loooooong nap..even fell back to sleep after the alarm went off, and I cannot tell you how sweet THAT felt, walked the dog in the mountains and took as long as I wanted, looking for asparagus.

Got home (locked out) so went down to the climbing gym, youngest was there and wanted me to stay!  So I did, very fun. 

Came home, had dinner with the family!

Will confess that I now have to sit down and work on the computer for several hours, but this has been absolutely LOVELY!


Saturday, March 28, 2015


It is the most outstandingly beautiful clear sunny warm day.  Walked the dog, picked and ate asparagus and just felt happy. 

Goodness indeed.

I love spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Yeah, the little birds from fairy tales.  When I was a child, I remember reading, and probably being read, stories that included nightingales, wonderous birds whose song was so mesmerizing that kings would search whole continents to have one. 

Turns out they live here in Catalunya.  They are called Russinyols, and they are very nearly common.

I had had hints of this before, talking about birds while walking with friends and hearing bird song that was long loud complex and beautiful, and they would tell me it was a russinyol, and one or two told me it was a nightingale, but they English levels were low, and I kind of didn't believe them.  It seemed impossible that I could be living in a place that had nightingales! Strangely I almost didn't want to believe them, too magical.

But, it turns out they are right (not a great surprise).  There was one singing outside the kitchen the other day and the song was so extraordinary that I started to do some homework on the topic.  And yes, some of those little brown jobs out there are stunning singers, and straight out of fairy tales. 

OK, I love living here for so many reasons, but the new best one, I am living in the land of fairy tales.  How many folks can say that. 

Ahhhh, nightingales.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Got a class with the university!!!!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Learn to write. Really. Please

(and these are supposed to be teachers!)

The master's is lifting off again, and the first section of it I am finding a struggle, not that it is hard, at all, but that it is BORING in the extreme, and stupid.  Also many of my classmates are apparently entirely incapable of writing.  Entirely.

The activity that we have to do now, in both courses is an online debate.  Ho hum in the extreme...(key point, get in early so that you don't have to read EVERYTHING everyone else writes to find something original to say.

Especially when the typically write like the sample at the bottom! 

Doesn't matter what he's actually saying.  He is yelling, underlining, using more than one colour and using italics.  (I have to say that there are a few people who do not do this.  Who have a desire to craft a sentence and paragraph in such a way that it leads the reader, nay draws the reader eagerly on to the next sentence) 

Mostly not though.

Buddy.  Learn to write so that people can see what you have to say without this bullshit!  It is the worst mass of writing I have ever had the misfortune to have to read, and I might add that I read and mark teenager's writing assignments on a regular basis, in a language they don't speak well.  I might also add that there are 50 students in this class, and we must all make at least three contributions and most people are making more.

I am despondent. 

I am also sending my kids to school in Canada and Scotland.

Després d'analitzar i compartir la definició de "Opensim" procedeixo a ampliar el seu significat. En primer lloc, estem davant de dos conceptes "open" i "simulator", és a dir, estem davant d'una alternativa a la plataforma per a la simulació d'entorns virtuals "Secondlife" o "wonderland" i que a diferència d'aquestes és una eina de codi obert, gratuita, multiplataforma i de llicència lliure. Pretenc, doncs, contextualitzar la plataforma "Opensim" a través dels conceptes "codi Obert", "simulació" i "entorn virtual". 
En relació a la simulació podem establir un seguit d'avantatges i inconvenients. Com a principals avantatges trobem: 1) Sol ser intuitiu i fàcil d'interpretar. 2) Normalment, permeten analitzar sistemes de major complexitat que amb mètodes analítics. 3) De vegades només podem trobar una solució a través de la simulació. 4) En determinades ocasions -degut a temes econòmics o de risc- resulta impossible fer proves en un sistema real. 5) L'escenari es pot modificar per simular diferents escenaris. Com a principals inconvenients destaquem: 1) Solen ser costosos en diner, temps de desenvolupament i validació. 2) De vegades és impossible trobar una solució óptima.
Si ens traslladem al món educatiu podem considerar l'ús dels Entorns virtuals com una eina pedagògica que creix de forma constant al llarg dels anys i que permeten:
1) Creació d'aules virtuals per a l'EaD.
2) Creació de laboratoris virtuals per fer experiments i probes en ambients controlats.
3) Creació d'Entorns virtuals per fer reunions, conferències, classes entre persones que no es troben en el mateix lloc.
4) Integrar diferents sistemes educatius propis d'una institució  dins del seu entorn virtual (per exemple sistemes 2D com el Moodle, blogs, ...).
Els entorns virtuals presenten, com no podia ser d'una altra manera, avantatges i incovenients. Destaco les següents avantatges: 1) Intuitius: fàcils d'instal.lar i utilitzar. 2) Els participants
poden interactuar en temps real (converses, conferències, tutories, debats,... 3) Normalment implica una alta motivació i interés tant dels professors com dels alumnes. 4) Afavoreix el treball col.laboratiu, experimental i exploratiu. 5) Afavoreix una comunicació més lliure ja que s'eliminen factors limitadors que estan presents en la comunicació presencial (ansietat, timidesa, discapacitat,..).  6) Elimina barreres típiques en entorns presencials: limitació d'espai, necessitat de tranportar-se físicament, ... Com a inconvenients dels entorns virtual destaquem: 1) Necessitat d'invertir temps per apendre i familiaritzar-se amb l'entorn tant per professors com alumnes. 2) Es perd el contacte físic i es dificulta l'us de expressions visuals  bàsiques per l'aprenentatge com poden ser l'humor, sarcasme, enuig ... 3) desacceleracií del visor del món virtual y de la seva activitat com a conseqüència de problemes de connexió o de la velocitat de procesament dels ordinadors

I would like to add, sadly, that he is a high-school principal and teaches Economy in the same high-school.  Such is the state of the education system here. At least he doesn't teach literature.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Linked in, not loving you

Have a linked in account, not cause I really want one, but because I had to have one for a course in the Masters, and really, if I want to be working online, probably should  but linked in, don't love you.

They have a screen when you go in asking you to send an invitation to everyone you have ever emailed.  Kinda creepy how they can do that.

WELL, today I hit the button by accident.  Damn it. None of these, 'are you sure you want to do this?' notices either, eh? 

Linking to people I don't know, people I don't like and people I never intended to link to.

Also some friends, so not all bad, but what a freaking bad and deeply annoying design.

Damn it all.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Went running

And about time too!

The dog was ridiculously happy to be out running with me, ridiculously.  So was I, frankly, pretty darned happy to be out running again.  I had just sort of stopped. 

I didn't run at the beginning of the year (that would be Sept/Oct) while my legs got used to the load of cycling, but then never really got going.  The Master's was pretty intense during Nov and Dec and then well, I wasn't in the habit.

Must get into the habit again.