The Winter Tree

It’s been a long 6 months since I took this picture of our Tree.

An unusually clear day in our Summer of Smoke

The heat, and the smoke, and my ‘chitis, lingered long into Autumn.

But the leaves did eventually start to turn

Winter’s first chill put a halo of frost around the fallen leaves.

Brrrr, that’s brisk

Then, this being the Fraser Valley, it rained, and rained, and rained.

After the summer we had I wasn’t about to complain

We put up some Christmas decorations …

If you look close you can see real fairies with their wee lanterns lighting up the glitter. 🙂

… and had ourselves a merry little (white) Christmas.

My little cellphone even managed to capture the white stuff as it fell

Coco the Community Cat came to visit and admire the view.

Of course I’m not going to look into that strange thing you’re shoving in my face. It could steal my soul … and then you’d be sorry!

Two days later the snow turned to ice. 5 cm (2″) on the first day!

I probably shouldn’t’ve budded this early

Trees bowed and broke under the weight. Power lines were knocked out. We knew it was coming, there’d been enough warnings from the weather bureau. Our 72 hour emergency plan stood us in good stead, but we were stretched to the limit at the end. Now we have a 144 hour (6 day) emergency supply of fuels, (gasoline, kerosene, propane) and storage and purification capacity for 120 liters (31 gallons) of water.

The staccato sounds of falling trees snapped through the crystal air without cease.

Bending under the weight

What was beautiful and soft turned into dangerous and beautiful.

The sun came out and we sent out to see what we could see

A neighbour’s maple trees became a curtain of ice

Ice everywhere, over everything

A wire fence became an instant icicle factory

Down by the lake Grandmother Willow had succumbed to the weight on her ancient branches

The hedge across the way became a frozen waterfall

We sat in our little house, snug and warm, and read, and passed the time disconnected from the rest of the world, but at peace with it as well.

The next morning we pulled up the blinds on our study window and saw what had become of our Winter Tree

Two major branches, gone. Frozen to the ground, waiting for the thaw

Coco came to commiserate

As did a deer, who must’ve come across the lake after it froze

In spite of all the damage across our island and indeed the entire region, we held no animosity, perhaps a little sorrow, but in the face of such a beautiful blue sky, it didn’t last.

Winter on Widder Island

Advertisements

Patreon Screws The Pooch … (and Some Alternatives)

… and  it ain’t pretty.

This is from The Verge

This Gizmodo’s take on it.

Do an interwebz search on ‘Patreon’ and you’ll see what I mean.

This will have varying effects, which I’m not going to get into, for content creators and the people who support them, suffice it to say that if you’re using this model as an income stream it might be time to investigate other possibilities.

In my sojourn I came across a few of those alternatives. I want to be clear here though, I haven’t gone into any depth with any of them, but have provided links in case you want to. Just click on the name and the link should take you to their home pages.

Ko-fi

Flattr

Wildspark

Tipeee

The Gas Lift Chronicles – Part 2

Part 1 … HERE

Due to a strange and inexplicable inability to work at my desk sitting in a chair that engaged in way to much familiarity with the warp and weft of my study carpet, I ordered a gas lift from Amazon.ca. It was here in three days.

THREE DAYS!!!

And then … 

… a week ago this finally arrived …

At least it’s the right shape and size this time

Firmly ensconced on my readjusted chair I wasn’t in any hurry to open the box so it sat on the shelf, all forlorn and abandoned.

I took pity on and attacked it with box-opening tools … and voila!

A gas lift!

Now I have a spare. One can never have too many gas lifts.

I suppose

P.S. If anyone wants to do the math, my first contact with the manufacturer of my chair was on 18th October.

P.P.S. on the other hand, if I ever want to build myself a chair I now have two of the main ingredients.

Way To Go, Australia

The 24th country in the world where marriage equality is for everyone.

Couldn’t be prouder 🙂

That’s all three of the countries I’ve lived in! I’m sensing a pattern here.

Unanswerable Question Of The Day

Why didn’t Harry Potter use magic to fix his eyesight?

I got into bed the other night with a pot of tea, a book, and my glasses, ready to settle in for a couple of hours of indulgence. The book was printed with a smaller font than the average bear, so rather than squinting, up I got and toddled off to the study to rummage for a stronger pair of glasses.

Once I was all snug again I looked at the page without my glasses and saw nothing but a blur.

I’m so used to looking through glasses these days that it was a bit of a shock. I’m sure it was only a few years ago when my eyesight was perfect.

I reflected, with a sort of enigmatic melancholy, on the passage of time and how I would if I could, and without a moment’s hesitation use magic to fix my eyesight.

And so I wondered … why didn’t Harry Potter use magic to fix his eyesight?

Not having immediate access to JK Rowling, I put the thought away, poured myself a cup of tea (after I put my glasses on) and got on with my book.

Turns out the question is answerable via the ‘magic’ of the interwebz, a reddit thread, and ‘beatskin’ who posted this six years ago …

When a fan asked J.K. Rowling why Harry Potter wears glasses, Rowling answered: “Because I had glasses all though my childhood and I was sick and tired of the person in the books who wore the glasses was always the brainy one and it really irritated me and I wanted to read about a hero wearing glasses. It also has a symbolic function, Harry is the eyes onto the books in the sense that is always Harry’s point of view, so there was also that, you know, facet of him wearing glasses”.

There you have it.

My glasses all have wire or black plastic rims. I would rock a pair like these!

The Gas-Lift Chronicles – Part 1

This is what a gas lift looks like.

It’s the doohickey that is used to adjust an office chair to a comfortable height.

About 2 months ago the one on my chair started to lose its get-up-and-go. Every so often I’d experience this sinking feeling and after a quick check of my emotional state I realized it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with my chair … so, I ignored it, until it became an almost daily experience.

Even though my chair is a few years old, it still has a few good years left so I decided to just replace the gas lift. They’re not difficult to install, the tricky part is removing the old one, but I’d done it before, I could do it again.

I checked the manufacturers website and although they listed several replacement parts I couldn’t find any information about the gas lift.

I emailed them directly. The very next day I received an email back apologizing for the lack of information and they offered to send a gas lift to me, gratis.

I was impressed. This is my kind of customer service, I thought. A problem is brought to their attention and the resolve it. No fuss, no bother, I thought.

The ‘10-12 business days’ waiting period passed, and no UPS truck graced my stoop with a package, so I waited a few more business days, (we are a bit out of the way here on Widder Island) and then emailed the very nice person at customer service …

… who wrote back that it looked like, ‘the package was lost during shipping,’ and they would make sure the package was shipped the very next day.

-oOo-

Today, 6 ‘business’ days later a UPS truck deposits a cardboard box on my stoop.

I open it.

I close it.

I open it again.

This is called a ‘butterfly seat plate’

I burst into raucous laughter, and valiantly try to approach my keyboard to contact that friendly neighbourhood customer service person, but I keep bursting into further gales of laughter.

I take myself outside to rake the leaves that had fallen from the Summer Tree, and three bins of leaves later I feel I have enough self-control to approach my keyboard and inform Customer Service of this latest chapter in our saga.

As my chair slowly sinks to footstool height, I await a reply.

RagnarROK-N-ROLL!!!

Mrs Widds and I saw Thor: Ragnarok  last night.

Cate Blanchett chewed scenery wearing a second skin of shiny black, something-or-other, (Loki is no longer the shiniest villain in town) Jeff Goldblum did Jeff Goldblum, Stan Lee’s cameos were funnier when they were shorter and he didn’t speak. The Hulk, did speak.

Many great deeds were done and buckets of blood were shed. Witty quips abounded, and every now and then a hero allowed a single tear to slide down a manly cheek.

It was magnificent.

The poster that says it all