2020 Is Finally Over

So here we are at the start of a whole new year, and a whole new decade if you want to count it that way. In any case I sure hope things are better in 2021. I’d say I’m not sure how they could get any worse, but I don’t want to jinx things.

Along with the celebrations of the various holidays — most of which involved overeating, as usual — a few things have been accomplished of late, and a few mildly interesting things have happened as well, so let’s get going.

First, I need to recognize that Medium (the website where these posts are hosted) confused me a couple of weeks ago. They added the ability to customize how my posts look a while back, and in response I made things very purple. Just because I could. However, it turns out that if you are reading my posts on the Medium app on your phone or tablet, the colour changes don’t appear. Nothing in Medium’s description mentioned that limitation, but it was pointed out to me by a reader who uses his phone for such things.

Thus, if you want to see the horrific purple mess you need to visit my site on Medium from a web browser, not through the app. Sorry about that.

Recall my past complaints about a weather app constantly predicting snow that never happened? Well, we finally had some actual snow. The Monday before Christmas looked like this:

It was big, heavy, wet flakes that went “thud” when they hit the ground.

Tuesday morning dawned like this:

And while it didn’t snow again, it was cold enough that a tiny bit of it stuck around for the actual holiday.

One downside to snow is that it can collect in “interesting” places on the roof, which can lead to leaks when it melts. Yes, we discovered one in the upper (older) roof, not the roof we had redone when we moved in. A few tablespoons of water dripped out of the ceiling fan in an upstairs bathroom. They did no harm as far as I can tell, but that is not supposed to happen.

As a result I was up on the roof (in the snow… that was fun, not!) moving said snow away from a couple of places that it might get in through. And I seem to have succeeded in that endeavour. The leak stopped and did not return.

A couple of days later — when the snow had melted enough to let me do it again safely — I got up on the roof with a gallon of roofing cement and applied it liberally to the two possible leak locations I’d cleared. I have no way of knowing for certain that I solved the problem, but as of this writing it is raining again and things remain dry in the bathroom. At least I didn’t make anything worse. We’ll know more with the next snowfall, I guess.

Christmas day included these:

Those are aebleskivers, a kind of Danish pancake. Ours were filled with cooked pears and were quite yummy. This is one of our holiday traditions, for which we thank our friends Alan & Irene down in California.

Also on Christmas, Skookie asked to send her holiday greetings to everyone:

She’s such a sweetie!

In actual news, a friend shared an article that discusses the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in depth. That is, it treats it like a computer program and reverse engineers what it is. In the process it clearly and concisely explains a lot of what we know about DNA these days, and points out some areas where things are still foggy.

Even if you don’t program computers and have no idea what a programming language looks like, this article is definitely worth a read. Give it a shot if you’re even remotely interested.

As you know from the last two posts, I’ve been collecting names or text that could go on these hooks in our entryway:

The suggestions received so far, in no particular order:

  • Our 5 favourite dwarves from Snow White
  • Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Toto — because we’re not in Kansas anymore
  • Enie, Menie, Miney, Moe, and Curly
  • Enie, Menie, Miney, Moe. (And maybe “it” added by me.)
  • Chico, Groucho, Gummo, Harpo, Zeppo
  • Cargo, Chinos, Khakis, Jeans, Capris
  • 5 elements: earth, air, fire, water, metal (or ether, depending upon the system)
  • 5 elements of abstract art: form, colour, line, tone, texture
  • 5 senses: touch, taste, see, hear, smell
  • The household members: Tinkerbelle, Cruzer, Skookie, Jeff, and Anne
  • Our 5 favourite constellations/planets
  • Our 5 favourite musical pieces or musicians
  • Our 5 favourite movies or movie characters
  • Wendy, Nana, Michael, Peter, Tinker

Thank you to everyone who made a suggestion!

As of this writing, Anne has yet to see the list. She’ll see it when she reads this post, I guess, and from there she’ll figure out what she wants on the hooks. Assuming she makes a choice, I will share it next week.

There was more progress on the library. It’s been painted, the shelves all put back, another set of different shelves put up, and Anne has unboxed the rest of the room. I was going to share some photos, but as I think I have said before, the room is tiny (it was made much narrower years ago when space for a staircase was carved out of it during a remodel) and taking photos inside it is difficult at best. Nearly all the photos I took are terrible, so you’ll have to do without all but one:

That’s Oscar the Wild, the first thing unboxed once the new shelves were setup. It’s a bronze cast from a stone I carved a long time ago. Someday I will make more casts — I have the mould — but I have no clue when that will happen, or what those casts will be made of. Plaster? Hydrostone? Not sure. And there’s an awful lot to get done before that bubbles up to the top of the to-do list.

The big news associated with finishing the library (well, except for the carpet and the inside of the closet) is that we are now fully unpacked except for my studio. And before I finish unpacking that I need to complete a number of projects and get a better handle on how I want to store things in there. Only a few boxes remain, though, so we are doing really well. It’s so nice to be unpacked again after three years.

Finally I give you this interesting examination of a particular aspect of being Canadian, which was stolen from Reddit, but came without attribution. I did some poking around, though, and the image is at least ten years old from what I could find. And yes, it looks a bit blurry. I assume that is distortion from ten years of file format conversions being applied at random intervals. Sorry.

Go figure, eh?

Keep safe, wear your mask, and wash your hands!

All the best in 2021!

Written by

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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