Week of Feb 21

Small seasons update: The beginnings of crocuses started popping up in the front flowerbeds, trees are starting to bud out, and taps are in the sugar maple trees.

Thanks to a reminder on Instagram from my friend Erin Carlson, I sowed poppy seeds during nap time this week. Hungarian Blue Breadseed and Icelandic Grey poppies. I’m hoping to get enough seeds from the Hungarian Blue to bake with this year.

Variable late winter/early spring weather this week. 60F one day, then snow and ice the next. We didn’t get as much snow as predicted, but we did get ice, so I went out and filled up the bird feeders. As I learned from Richard Prum this week, even though birds do fine even in negative temperatures if they have enough food, they can die in a single night without access to food (like after an ice storm).

I had my first couple day stretch as a solo dad while Amanda traveled for work this week. It was tiring but Charlie and I did alright. There was nothing that I haven’t done dozens of times solo over the past six months—the only difference is that there were no breaks for a couple days. I’m learning to rest in the in-between moments and blog during naps. 90% of these posts are written during naps, the other 10% after bedtime.

I went out for a 15 minute errand and popped a tire on a pothole this week. What a pain. I didn’t bring milk for Charlie because I thought we’d only be gone 15 minutes. He cried the whole time. Thankfully it was a sunny day, I had a tarp and furniture blanket in the car to kneel on, and the tire change only took me 30 mins, and I already had an appointment at the dealership the same day for an inspection, so I had a new tire put on, too. I’ll never leave the house again without a bottle, not even for “quick errands.”

Never despair; Nothing without labour


I’ve added more content to my digital garden. Next I need to figure out how to use pages as the source for the RSS feed and create some meta blocks for published date and last updated date.

I’ve been following along over at IndieWeb with the personal libraries project. Links:

That gives me three ideas for my own Reading page:

  1. Revive the RSS and JSON feeds
  2. Connect the post type to the Open Library API to pull in info and link out
  3. Add a “to read” list to get my wishlist out of Amazon and reduce my Amazon purchasing

I started brining corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. I have two briskets in the soup and one will get turned into pastrami. I’m not Irish and not really into St. Patrick’s Day, but I will take any excuse to eat corned beef.

My heart goes out to Ukrainians. I can’t imagine my life getting completely disrupted by war. The NICU babies getting moved to a bomb shelter really got me. When Charlie was in the NICU things were already scary and difficult enough. I’m very thankful (and often take for granted) that we live in a place with political stability and my family is safe. I’m holding Charlie a bit closer this week. Putin must be dethroned and defenestrated.

I found this 360° view of how we got to the current war in Ukraine from Grid to be very informative. I’m appreciating context a lot more these days. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems and context matters for getting a better understanding. Beyond the obvious attacks and aggression, two things worry me about this war: The rampant online misinformation and the cyber attacks that preceded the invasion, both of which seems to be Russia-sponsored.

Speaking of context, one thing to keep in mind before demonizing Russian soldiers en masse is that Russia has mandatory conscription, punishable by jail time for non-compliance. There is a high likelihood that the young Russian men on the ground in Ukraine didn’t enlist voluntarily and don’t want to be there. They have mothers, partners, and children weeping for them, just like the defenders of Ukraine have. War is such a tragedy.

It is difficult to get a sense of how popular the war is in Russia without a free press there (no one doing that unbiased reporting and data collection, and misinformation being spread there by official sources to garner support.)

I am very glad that Trump isn’t the one making decisions in the White House about what to do right now. I’m not a huge Biden fan, but he is more stable and clear-headed than Trump, who I regard as a loose cannon. Plus, Trump’s ties to and support of Putin are worrying to say the least.

The Russian cyberattacks bring up something that has been on my mind recently: How does one personally prepare for a massive internet outage? Cyberattacks could bring outages, as could coronal mass ejections. I’m not a “prepper”, but I do think it is worth trying to mitigate the downsides of the three biggest ways the Internet affects my day-to-day life:

  1. My income (I build websites!)
    1. I can do physical jobs for a bit, I’m pretty handy
  2. Access to money (Can’t swipe a credit card if the pipes are down)
    1. Mitigate by storing some physical money somewhere
  3. Access to information
    1. Mitigate by investing in more offline reference resources, mostly books. I’ve already made a start here, but there is more I can do.

Who else is thinking about this? 🤔

I’m reading and appreciating Matt Yglesias and Andrew Sullivan a lot more than I used to. I don’t always agree with them, but I find them to be clear thinkers who are willing to take intellectual risks and update their priors based on new evidence.

What I’m listening to this week:

One response to “Week of Feb 21”

  1. Chuck Grimmett Avatar
    Chuck Grimmett

    Good read!
    I agree a massive internet outage would cripple most business sector s including education.
    A physical store of cash is a good idea.

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