I started my April vacation around 4:00 P.M. on Friday – a little late due to meeting with a parent, who I really wanted to meet and talk with, so it was well worth it.

My wife and I were supposed to go to NH for hiking and a little visiting with family too, but due to the weather forecast we decided it wasn’t a good choice and canceled our trip.  Since we made that decision I have purposely not done any school work and have played around on my Mac quite a bit to try to learn a “lot” more about how to use it more effectively and clean it up.

Yesterday it was snowing or raining most of the day, so  I worked on learning more about OSX, Pages, Safari, Mail, iTunes, Calendar, and Keynote, by watching videos or reading guides from YouTube, Woopid, Mac For Beginners, and Make Use Of websites. The Make Use Of website had a downloadable eBooks (PDF) onThe Big Book of iTunes and The Mac Manual (plus a lot others) which I wished I had had when I first got the Mac.  So I did something yesterday that I usually don’t do, actually taking time to learn more indepth many of the programs that I use.  Now let’s see if it helped or not.

Today was another rainy/yechy (technical term) day outside, so I decided to play with the eye candy part of the Mac – i.e. Icons.  I wanted to change the look of my Mac/icons, so took the time to learn how to change them and found a couple of great spots for downloading free icons for the Mac Deviant Art and InterFaceLIFT, I found quite a few different icons that I like and changed them over.  I couldn’t figure out how to change Finder, Mail, Calendar or Address Book, but hey, I will figure it out eventually.

I have been using Opera, Safari, Chrome, FireFox and Flock and just haven’t been pleased with any of them all that much for a variety of reasons…so this evening I downloaded Camino and OmniWeb and played around with them a  bit in hopes of them being the answer I am looking for.  Unfortunately, they weren’t the answer. I found them both clunky and not intuitive.  So I am back to using a combination of FireFox, Safari and Opera that I have found works for me.  I did go through and look for a new theme for Firefox and am a lot happier with my new one than the old one, I can read it much more easily and also it was not my usual blue, red or gray choices.

I feel a lot better about how to use my Mac than I did on Friday, but still not completely happy with any of the browsers that I have been using – yes they all do the job, but I just have not found what I am looking for – I don’t know what it is, but I will know it when I find it.

Back to reality tomorrow, I have to work on finishing up a WIAT test that I did on Friday, finish up 3 IEPs that need to be written and a bunch of Advance Written Notices for May.  Tuesday will be more of getting all my grades in the Gradebook (one of my frustrations, most of the browsers have issues with this mandatory use program), I think it was originally developed for IE and doesn’t work as good on the browsers on the Mac(?).  Then I want to develop a good reading lesson plan for one of my classes and work on improving my Touching Spirit Bear Unit.

Do a couple of other things to get ready or ahead of the power curve for that last stretch before school ends in June.

I guess this is my usual teacher’s working vacation, I just can do things more at my own speed and time.  It is now 12:16 A.M. EST and I am actually getting a blog done.  🙂

Have you made a difference today? How?

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