Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Ides of May

May has been busy, and difficult to plan within. Sorry if friends and family have not seen much personal news here.

The weather has been really wierd. Some days surprise us with early summertime, others have rain. I cannot plan ahead about slacks or shorts, yard work or rain, hiding inside (warning: link has sound) from an allergy attack or biking to work.

Our biggest outside project of late was when a friend fixed our sprinkler system (our "help" was little more than watching him), so once the hot weather stays around our yard will be happy. I got some other small home improvement chores done too.

My wife and I have been doing a lot of baking, some of which was experimental. I still need to adjust on the pretzel and berry pancake recipes. We've also been enjoying a lot of smoothies, made from milk, yogurt, and the berries we picked at local farms last year and stored in the freezer in our garage.

The congregation had a camping trip for Lag B'Omer, which was quite nice. We were blessed with reliably sunny weather those days. But the 19-month-old with us made sure everyone was awake earlier than ideal, so we all needed to rest up after the trip.

Regarding my math teaching, the Spring term is winding down so the students have "spring fever" and I am constantly thinking not only about my current teaching plans but also about what to improve for Fall term. This term I changed my routine to include more computer work during class time. Next term I want to work on adding more teaching about how to take notes for math classes.

I've stopped playing Go. I spend so much brainpower trying to imrove my ministry work and teaching that I found I really did not want a hobby that also required thinking about how to improve. So now I'm playing America's Army, because it's a free game and within the game it is easy to find genuine teamwork. Most of the online games are hosted by "clans" that use free voice chat software to coordinate their game play, and almost all of these are friendly people willing to have even unskilled newbies join their games and make use of their voice chat server, whether for a few minutes or as a regular. Unlike other multiplayer online games, players have no characters to roleplay (so it is not as addicting) and missions are about 5 minutes each (so it is as easy to play for a 20 minute break as for a few hours during an allergy attack day).

As the month presents its share of worries, headaches, and joys, still the cycles of work and rest and rodent-transportation continue. I continue to enjoy the daily Bible reading plan from my PDA. I've finished reading Narnia books to my wife as bedtime stories. Our squirrel count is up to 10.

May Adonai bless you and keep you, and protect your gardens from varmints (warning: link has sound).