macbook pro turned off
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One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is “turn it off and on again.” It applies to buggy technology, aging machinery, cranky children, weary teachers….

And dormant blogs. After over a year, I’m rebooting this one — my musings as a slightly left-leaning knitter, teacher, and geek. I began it in 2007, and restarted several times since then.

Here’s the double entendre explained. “Sing Surf Knit” are three verbs describing my approach to life. Their abbreviation — SSK — stands for a knitting stitch called slip-slip-knit, which combine two stitches into one that lean slightly to the left (which describes my politics as well as my favorite decrease stitch).

Sing — to give form to anything with elements of beauty and unique interpretation, spontaneously or with diligent practice, for both public and solitary enjoyment. I sing and cosplay.

Surf — to seek any optimum experience, acknowledging that every “wave” is different and that the next one can be even better than the last. I explore the internet and (used to) actually surf.

Knit — to use simple tools (needles and yarn) in a myriad of ways to create something homemade that can be practical as well as beautiful; to connect disparate elements into a new whole. I create garments and lessons.

So why resume now? There is nothing inherently remarkable about November 6,2019. But today I took to heart the message of another educator-blogger-publisher, Dave Burgess, in a post called “Why Am I Writing To You Today?” He argues for making and sticking to a commitment, such as writing every day or every week. He paraphrases Seth Godin, who “makes the essential point that once the commitment was made, it shifted his mindset from ‘Should I blog tomorrow?’ to ‘What will tomorrow’s blog say?'” 

I have so much I want to share! Some of it is easy to do — I converse with colleagues at my high school site; I present to groups of teachers at educational technology conferences; I describe what I do to friends. But the ideas with more long-term effect don’t fit easily into 280 characters on Twitter, or even 400 words in a blog post. So I expect, going forward, to use my blog to document my experiences, especially in the classroom, and to show how my ideas are developing .

I’m daily grateful for my experience almost exactly a year ago at the Google Innovation Academy in Copenhagen (aka DEN18) which gave me tools and guidance to scale up my ideas for innovation in education.

But that’s another blog post. Stay tuned!

Sing Strum Smile

This is my Ibanez bass guitar I got for my birthday a few years ago. She lives in our “home studio” populated by my husband’s and son’s electric and acoustic-electric guitars, mics, mixer, sitar, guzheng, amps, and recording stuff I don’t understand. That’s my concertina behind and to the left, though. We jammed some tonight and my poor, tender fingertips suffered. But I’d forgotten how fun it is to make music together! I need to resume the habit to build up those calluses again. Depending on the research, it takes either 21 or 66 days to form a habit. So I’m looking at summertime. Stay tuned!

When Kitties Attack

Pictured is my normally placid and loving Siberian forest cat, Midnight. His ears are back and eyes almost as dilated as earlier when he attacked me (I’m fine). In all fairness, he warned me vociferously, then nipped at my hand, before feinting toward my face. Apparently he objected to my practicing one of the songs for our school’s upcoming Faculty Follies. I’m not that bad a singer, honestly! But Midnight freaks out every time I sing aloud. 

A cursory Google search reveals others share my “pain.” I found numerous YouTube videos of cats freaking out at singing as well as  queries on pet forums, but no satisfactory explanations. In the meantime, to keep the peace, I guess I’ll restrict my rehearsing to when Midnight is outside or I’m in the shower. Maybe I’ll ask one of my students researching pets for their 20% Time Project to add a tab on feline music preferences.

Celebrity is as Celebrity Does

Image from

The internet is full of tributes to David Bowie today. He died of cancer two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his last album, Blackstar. Reaction is universally shock — he kept his 18-month battle a secret. And people from all walks of life are sharing their grief and stories of his influence in their lives.

Mostly I associate David Bowie with “Space Oddity,” a song that I listened to incessantly over many years. Also, I have vivid memories of an eccentric high school classmate dressed in the style of Ziggy Stardust. Throughout the decades, Bowie hovered on the edge of my musical consciousness and intrigued me with with his cutting edge fashion. I don’t ever recall any talk of obnoxious diva behavior, just adherence to his art in the face of consternation. The same cannot be said of reality celebrities or many admittedly talented artists of today. They act like privileged, spoiled babies and distract from their art. We will miss David Bowie for so much, his classiness as well as his art. RIP.

Happy Harbor Grill Birthday

Tonight we celebrated DH’s birthday with a wonderful dinner at the Harbor Grill restaurant at the harbor at Dana Point. We enjoyed deliciously prepared fish and an pianist who played nothing more current than songs from Cats. Seriously, his selection took me back to my childhood, including “Fascination” which I learned from my jewelry music box, and “Hi Lilli, Hi Lo” from a Leslie Caron movie. A drive home along PCH via Laguna Beach at sunset rounded out the evening. I love summer!

Last Week at Wrigley


Here are a few more shots documenting the Cubs victory over the Rockies last week at Wrigley field. It’s hard for me to believe that was 8 days ago. Time is slipping by way too quickly this summer.

Below is a shot of some random happy guys who were entertaining us post-game at the Cubs dugout with their a cappella plus tambourine rendition of CeeLo’s “F*#! You”. They were taking requests, too. I love people!

Happy Independence Day

Here is  a picture of our patriotic house. Note that palm trees rank right up there with the American flag on our tribute meter.  Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful Monday, July 4.

Below is one of many pictures I have to cull through of the inaugural gig of Johnny and the Punks, the impromptu band of DH’s brothers with me as drummer. No, I’m not playing the chair, but rather the electronic drum kit perched upon it.

Knitting content: much progress on the Featherweight Cardigan. I love summer!

A Winning Day

I have so many pictures from this wonderful day in Chicago — Cubs defeat over Rockies at Wrigley Field, acquiring an Ernie Banks jersey, meeting Brenda (a Wrigley worker/blues singer) on the El, sharing wine hour with new friends, enjoying tapas at Cafe Iberico and a lovely walk back to the hotel. However, influenced by the Principle of Recency, I’m posting a picture of our awesome Paella.  More details on the day after I get a chance to reflect.

“Rent” at Old Little Theater

This charming building on the UCSB campus, the Old Little Theater, is where thee production of “Rent” that DD is in took place last weekend. It plays next weekend as well, a benefit for AIDS research and awareness.

The building is, I believe, part of the College of Creative Studies. The theater seats maybe 150 and the stage is tiny. Kudos to the director for creative use of levels and lighting and area in front of the seats. Our matinee was about half full, pretty impressive, considering the mainly college audience. Apparently they had to turn people away on opening night. I hope they have full houses for the rest of their run.