Winter, it seems, is finally here.
The last few days of snow made for an entertaining time getting T to work yesterday morning—scoping out nearby carshare vehicles for ones that weren’t terribly snowed in, bringing our own shovel to dig out of the parking lot of the one we chose, plotting a route roads likelier to be plowed than others. Today’s winds have kept the “oh goodness let’s stay warm inside” feelings very high.
Living in a house brings with it a new set of chores, including shovelling the driveway. A kind neighbour cleared where the driveway meets the road (easily the worst part) with his snowblower, and I spent equal parts of time clearing our driveway and chatting with another neighbour. It’s been nice getting to know our neighbours, settling into a sense of neighbourhood and so on.
It’s also been a special treat to get regular visits from another kind of neighbour, the chickadees and cardinals and other little birds living in the hedge. T got us a few birdfeeders for Christmas, including one that mounts to our den’s window. Yesterday, I had a long, calm moment, sitting in stillness while the birds bopped to and from the feeder.
So yes, winter’s solidly here, but it’s all made for a good few days of winter cheer.
Some updates on last week’s main topics of discussion!
- The workbench is nearly done! I need to bolt the legs on, install a crochet (a piece of wood on the side of the bench against which you butt the wood you’re working), and drill holes for workholding accessories, but the assembly is all more or less in place. Most excitingly, I can already use the bench as a bench on which to do the rest of the work—it’s awesome.
- The cat is happily inside, healthy and well! We’re calling her Pema for now—after waffling over a long list of other possible names—and enjoying her company. She’s so much more timid than Arthur, we’re learning how to gently encourage a cat (instead of having to hold one back). We’ll be fostering her for now, and seeing what the future brings!
- The UK Horizon scandal has been all over my feeds. Two good write-ups (which contain links to others): how the legal system enabled the Horizon prosecutions, including an assumption in the accuracy of computer records; how the scandal surfaces so many lessons common to digital government and incident response.\
A favourite quote from the latter piece:\
In modern governance, we don’t let people without a financial background manage finances, we don’t let people without a legal background manage legal issues. But it’s absolutely ok for someone without any tech experience to buy, manage and deliver tech systems that are absolutely core to the running of our organisations.
- While this article doesn’t quite make the connection between asbestos and modern firefighting that I’d hoped it would, I learned so much about how and why asbestos was used in nearly every aspect of modern construction, until it wasn’t.
- Jason Kottke has shared a few links about rice cookers this week, including how rice cookers work (magnets!) and Roger Ebert’s essay “The pot and how to use it”. I had some rice for lunch, from the Pot, and it was good.
- For better or worse, simply hearing or encountering an idea isn’t enough for it to sink in—often, we need to live it for it to become real. Rebecca Solnit, on “slow change”, speaks to this challenge, at scales both personal and societal.
All the best for the week ahead!