Life in Lockdown- day 2

Photos later

I thought I might try to keep a written diary of these weird times in a tiny Town in SW Scotland. I’m starting with day 2 as I didnt get out on day 1.

Firstly let’s look at the positive, spring is here, the cherry blossom is out on the trees and it made me think that when this is over new life will spring from the old.

Tip of the Day

I’ve just sorted out a whole bunch of pens that don’t work. I put them in the bin and wish I hadn’t. Instead clean it off, pop it in your pocket and use it as an extended finger, like an aye aye. It’s great for putting in your pin for card payments. When you’ve finished put it in the bin.

Town at 9am the town was dead. I walked in the middle of the road to take photos and only 1 van travelled through town as I walked through. The Co-op fruit and veg aisles were back to normal but there were no loo rolls, pasta, or tins of soup, tomatoes etc bean, Ive noticed no shop runs out of sweetcorn.

The greengrocer has set up a table outside the shop and a gloved and masked assistant was serving a couple of older customers who kept their distance. Most shops were closed and bars and pubs had notices on their doors.

Inside

Microsoft teams isn’t coping with the traffic so uploading files is a lottery. It’s great to be able to have a main meal at lunch and Kiwi keeps us all entertained. I finally felt like I was making progress setting work between 6pm and 10:30 pm.

Site Stats

I was asked on Friday by the students if anyone visited this website and were shocked that I said they were. I think it is a matter of them not realising that not every teacher has a site they can log into, or maybe they do.

So I’ve just cut the monthly stats from each part and if you tot all those up you can see who is visiting. I love the stats as there is so much really interesting information that can be taken. I am sure you can spot when the D&G Space School happened and when the exams are on (although that is more obvious from the daily stats)

I am sure compared to most websites the numbers are tiny, but it does make me feel less like I am just doing this to amuse myself and more for helping students and teachers studying Physics, especially in Scotland.

Happy visiting! Do drop in a comment if you visit so I don’t feel like I am talking to myself (actually than can be what it is like in the classroom at the moment!

AH creeping up to 1000 hits per month
N5 between 3000 and 4000 hits per month, except in the summer!
N4- looks like I need to spend more time here!
spot when I was posting about Space School!
This section depends on the homework I set
Higher- follow the cycle of the Higher course, from when it ends to when exams are on nudging 2500 hits per month
Spot when I do a Road Safety Event
I’m not sure what people are doing on here, unless it is to visit the SG Papers, which BTW are being used so much in N5 questions.

Most of the visitors here appear to be arguing about whether it is metres squared or square metres, but the NPL have given me the definitive answer so that might stop the arguments.

I can’t compete with the great sites out there by people who know about websites, but at least it makes me feel like the money I spend on this, which obviously comes out of my own pocket isn’t quite as self indulgent. Would I take sponsorship? Well I like the ability to do things my way, but sometimes it is annoying how much teachers spend of their own money providing things that other companies would put down to expenses.

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January 2020

New Year, New Learning

Phew, well that has been another epic starting from Christmas Eve and finishing a few minutes ago. I’ve moved server and WP has updated to 5.0.2. It is at times like this when you realise the best years are behind you. I wasn’t even the main person doing this. Callum Laird was helping me with this but it was a lot for my brain to get around. I know 20 years ago that would have been a cinch, but not now.

So we’ve gone over to Guttenberg for the WP which is totally different, and we’ve migrated the website to another provider. It is now all tickety-boo, I hope. I think I was even sad enough to be conversing with the new webhosts on Christmas Day- at least it was quiet so no need to wait for help.

So I am sorry if you’ve been waiting for things or wanting to check things out over Christmas (as if) but I am now, hopefully back up and walking! I am not sure if I will ever be able to run again.

My new year’s resolutions- to learn WP 5.0 and to clear out all the dross in here, oh and to get some webmail up and running so you can contact me straight away.

I’ll do this when I feel down at the time it is taking me to write the new Higher Physics Notes, I mean how can it take so long when the course hardly changed?

Happy New Year and I hope that you learn something new and special every day.

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P.S. Thanks Callum, and an especially Happy New Year to you!

Icons

That seems an appropriate title for Easter Sunday. Happy Easter to you all. Lying in bed very cold, it reminds me of the Easter camps under canvas that I attended at Flagg in the Peak District: the difference is I’m indoors, but it doesn’t feel like it, it’s baltic- student accommodation, it makes you tough.

Last night I attended my first Jewish Seder and an interesting night it was too. Thanks to all who made me feel welcome.

So Mrsphysics had this idea that she wanted a homepage icon for the website to reduce the space taken up by the menus. Though keen to do it herself she felt she ought to give employment to poor students and hence commissioned the daughter. I think you’ll agree she made a good job of the boat home.

So then came the question of uploading it and adding it to the menu. This was the bit I thought I could do myself but that was the tricky bit. As I’m on WordPress.com we are not given access to the CSS code, so after consulting the internet and having a play we

A) downloaded the menu image app.

B)  uploaded the icon

C) spent 45 mins adjusting the icon size

D) filled in the appropriate boxes.

Daughter by this time was on a roll and converted the About me and subject homepages to icons. I think daughter has done a grand job and I’m delighted. I think that was cheap for the price. I think dinner will be on me!

Happy Easter and remember “Great oaks from little acorns grow.”

Have an idea, run with it and see where it takes you.

Addendum

Well daughter has really inspired me. If she can do something why can’t I? I’ve spent the afternoon updating some of her icons to more glamorous pictures. This has involved me having a go with GIMP (I don’t think this is very intuitive) and finding pictures and altering things. I hope you like the new headers and daughter- thank you! 

Well this is another example of Mrs Physics having an idea and spending far too long on it. Strange thing to do to relax, but I am now quite chilled.

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Offline, online

Well I’m sitting in seat A30 in carriage A of the 18:43 to Norwich. We’re on the Cross Country line and just shaken ourselves around so we can all find a seat. We we’re packed in like sardines on the Transpennine train from Lockerbie, with silly announcements like “Sorry you’re packed in like sardines, but what do you expect if you travel at peak times on a Friday.”

This week has been mental for being on and offline. On Saturday I got a warning from the website hosts saying unlock your FTP as Forthhosting is migrating servers. Looking at the control panel I could see no way of doing this and wasn’t sure the email was genuine. I signed back up for Jetpack in case things went pear shaped which they did. CALLUM, who set up the site, assured me he’d done a full backup of the 4.6Gb site. Then Sunday Mrsphysics went down. I must have been around when it was happening as between me getting an email from a conscientious student saying it was down and me checking on my phone that it was ok the thing went offline and stayed that way, until an hour or so ago. I’ve come to rely on using it: students had the excuse that homework couldn’t be handed in as they didn’t have access, and I couldn’t get the video clips I’d uploaded for AH.

All this coincided with a shut down, at school of connections on Wednesday for totally different reasons. No phones, no registration lists, no internet and lots of blank faces. “We’ll just do this, drat can’t it needs internet, we’ll do that, heck it’s not working!” “Has anyone seen any books recently?” I think everyone left early Wednesday.

This also happened to be the day our lovely partners at MRC, in Glasgow were expecting us to train for our Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow project. It would have been an ideal time to pop up and start this project as Rosie the Head is up there waiting to be plugged in. The email mentioning this had been sorted into my ‘canal’ box as I’d offered a narrowboat trip after the training. Alas, I found this too late to sort.

Hopefully we can get this thing off the ground on 11th, before saying Goodbye to Owen, my star in all this who is moving to Trumpton; he’ll be sorely missed!

After crushes on the train and crashes taking me offline I think I’ll unplug everything and mooch around the market with Mum for the weekend and remember what it was like when trains went clackerty clack and typewriters made a similar noise and only people from Bletchley had heard of computers.

Ha even this post crashed, as I lost the 4G signal around Stockport, and Chrome disappeared to nothing.

Going to read a book. Have a good weekend.

Going grey; making grey!

This has been on my mind for a week or so, changing the colour of the About Me page to match with the book on the home page. I’ve been trying to work it out on my mobile- which is not the easiest way. Finally after 3 hours I’ve changed the colour strip around the page on the Usefullinks part of the site.

I know, for you this is lower than basic, but I’ve been struggling with this. I hope one day to get the page to be grey for About Me. When you click on About Me on the main page it is a custom link to Usefullinks, but it seems odd it comes up in the Usefullinks colours. I want to change this one page to grey. I’ve read about 20 blog posts and added double that number of codes into the Custom CSS part of the Appearances, but only the final part seemed to work.(I added the little code “body.page-id-31 {
background-color: #99A3A4;} “)

In the time it has taken me to put a little grey box around the page my hair has gone decidedly grey. I wish it was as easy to change both my hair colour and the page colour. I am hoping to change the whole page, but I think that will mean an additional plugin, which I am loathed to do as it will slow down the site. Wouldn’t it be funny if we could just dial in a hex code to get our hair colour! Must work on both of these tasks!

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PS. Looks like it wasn’t my fault anyway….

4 Reasons You Should Never Use WordPress.com (And 4 Reasons You Should)

The Physics Jewel

Mrs Physics has an ally! Over several years she’s got quite used to doing her own thing, but the new generation are yapping at her heels. With one eye to going boating and ignoring the state of the world, she has passed the rights to the National 4 part of mrsphysics.co.uk to the new kid on the block, as Mrs Physics has a new colleague.

It is exciting to work with a new young, enthusiastic Physics teacher, (although I really wish she didn’t share my initials!) and I am sure that very soon she’ll be teaching me everything I need to know.

It is an odd feeling, handing over your baby, but it’s important to share things if you want them to improve.

Welcome on board Physics Joule!

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TablePress- for mental exercise!

Whippee, after a few false starts with Tablepress and a lovely email from Tobias Bäthge, the creator of TablePress, I finally managed to get the width of the tables right so that you can read the headings and values. The Gas Laws results in the N5 section Properties of Matter is now accessible and I’ve deleted the preformatted tables. I still don’t know if it works as well as it could, but at least it is an improvement on what was there before, which was totally illegible.

Maybe I need to start being content with functional, rather than trying to get things just perfect. Then I might be able to spend more time doing the gardening and looking after the house.

I wonder what your distractions are, and whether you justify your distractions as hard work, thus putting off other important tasks.

I think I really ought to be happy with what I’ve done and go and get a cover for the air gap in the eaves before the bats move in again! That would be a whole new level of distraction.