macbook pro turned off
Photo by Craig Dennis on

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!

Fred Rubble

Pictured is DS with his 21st birthday present, a Channel Islands/Al Merrick “Fred Rubble” surfboard. Kelly Slater just won the US Open of Surfing on one. Even though DS had the choice of a Firewire (obvious geek cred plus the virture of parabolic balsa wood stringers on the rails, not down the center), I preferred the Fred Rubble just because the name amuses me. Gotta love surfer shaper humor.

Surfing Ruined My Life

This is the most bizarre surfing-related bumper sticker I’ve ever seen about surfing: “Surfing Ruined My Life.” It was on an SUV with no surf racks and puzzled both me and my surfing DH. Thanks to Google, I learned it’s probably from a Sunset Beach surf shop and is also a t-shirt. Also, someone apparently has the trademark on it. But the saying is also associated with either a MySpace musician/shaper or a blogger. Regardless, it just seemed wrong to, even ironically, choose to participate in something wonderful then blame it for the ills in your life.



Since “sing” is the first word in this blog’s title, I clearly value the word/concept/activity in my life, although I feel that most of the world undervalues it. Sure, even children can relate to the idea of feeling joy in song, as in this Sesame Street tune. But what’s more complicated is understanding the many kinds of power of song, such as to celebrate and empower. If I had to choose, I kind of almost think I’d rather hear than see because I would lose so much without the ability to appreciate song.

In this morning’s sermon, our own Fr. Claude suggested a use that puts an additional important spin on “sing” for me. This is a vastly, unfairly simplified version of only a part of his message, but one way of “loving one’s enemies” is singing a holy song to them. Imagine it: the iconic photo of a peace protester placing a daisy in the muzzle of a soldier’s gun comes to mind.

An adjunct of the message is all the nuances of  St. Augustine’s words, “cantare amantis est,” or “singing is what the lover does” or “singing belongs to one who loves.”  Singing is a higher form of  praise or prayer than mere recitation. I’ll save explanations of how “surfing” and “knitting” are also forms of prayer for future posts. 😉

Weird Weather

I caught this full moon shot at about 6:45 this morning on my way to work. I wish it showed how huge the moon appeared. It dominated the sky. The last few days have been unseasonably hot. I’m guessing this is just the first of many blog posts to come about unusual weather conditions. DH surfed this morning — great offshore conditions, lots of peaks. So … global warming, bring it!

Uniquely Hawaiian

This replica of a barreling wave adorns the upper wall at Da Kitchen restaurant in Kahului, and is probably fairly unique to Hawaii. Our first stop after getting our car was to get an authentic Chicken Katsu plate lunch with a scoop of potato-mac salad. My drink was a POG (passionfruit, orange, and guava juice). I really miss living in Hawaii!

Two quick comments that characterize this week: (1) the more hectic the present, the more poignant the memories of the past (oh, Maui, how wonderful you were!) and (2) a hot bath cures many ills, but not a migraine. 😦

Happy Veterans’ Day

I join my voice with many to express gratitude to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, including my own dad, who fought as a guerilla in the Philippines during WWII. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Today my DH and I spent the morning in Lahaina, Maui, and the afternoon back at the Grand Wailea Resort. The day began with a Big Breakfast,which in Hawaii includes the option portuguese sausage, eggs and rice. Yum! The condiments/utensil pack even included a skinny little packet of soy sauce. Tomorrow I might have the Spam version.

DH rented a 9’1″ board from Maui Wave Riders at Lahaina Harbor for two hours that stretched into three. The waves were a whopping 2 to 6 … inches (not feet). Well, maybe up to two feet. But he had a great time on the long, slow rollers, when he wasn’t maneuvering through the students having lessons. Then we had a wonderful burger and salad lunch at Cool Cat Cafe right across from the big Banyan Tree in the center of town. The Courthouse was our favorite historic building and we drove by other notable sites with the top down on our rented Mustang convertible.

For those who follow the podcast I co-host called Geeks on Glee, we recorded tonight despite a few technical glitches. Thanks, Skype for Mac beta! *ironic scowl* We had dinner at the Molokini Bistro and shared this awesome creme brulee for dessert. The decoration is supposed to be a volcanic eruption. It was delicious!

Knitting content: While waiting for DH, I worked on a few inches of my Gryffindor scarf from The Prisoner of Azkaban and chatted with the surf shop clerk. This is going to take a while since it’s knit in stockinette in the round. Also it’s Frog Tree cotton, which is not stretchy at all and hard on the fingers. Oh well, at least it won’t be unbearably hot or heavy.

Grafitti Before and After

Our rental house opens onto an alley and has been the target of much tagging of late. The city keeps pestering us to paint it over, which is hard from 50 miles away. You can see where we had already painted some over twice in a lighter green. However, this time DH decided to try to deter future tagging by creating his own masterpiece:

Not bad for using just spray cans, is it!? Next time we visit he plans to paint a surfer coming out of the tube and add a bit more drama in foam and some purple deep inside the tube.

Knitting content: almost finished with the second Baggy Beanie.It’s perfect car knitting and knitting just before falling asleep at night.