Meet þ · Months into the cold wet Pacific-Northwest Dark Season and our cat, a charming 4-year-old calico, has been bored and fretful. The obvious solution: Get her a kitten! Easier said than done, let me tell ya. But it’s done. The little feline fluffball’s name is Thorn, spelt “þ”. More on that below ...
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Sea Island · Not the most original name, granted. It’s wedged into the middle of Greater Vancouver’s western oceanfront and is mostly occupied by our airport and its apparatuses. But there are a couple of decent parks, and on a greyish February day they yielded fresh air, smiles, and a harvest of photographs. This particular season of this particular year, we’ll take what we can get ...
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Recent Code · I’ve been programming and remembering how much fun it is. With nostalgia for Old Data and thoughts on my work at AWS ...
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Jassy Talking Points · Following on Tuesday’s big succession announcement at Amazon, I was apparently the only human who’d been in a room with Andy Jassy more than once in recent years and was willing to talk to media. By about the fifth conversation, my talking points were stubs because the points wore off, leaving a well-polished gleam. So I might as well share them directly. If you’ve read any of the other articles this may sound familiar ...
 
Long Links · Welcome to the Long Links look-back at January 2021. Once again I assemble long-form pieces that I’m fortunate enough to have time for due to my lightly-employed condition. Probably few have time (or inclination) to plow through all this stuff, but one or two might reward your time ...
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When You Know · I’m a person who knows a lot about how computers and software work, is generally curious, and reads fast. I’ve been wrong about lots of things over the years. But there have a been a few times when a combination of technology-literacy and just paying attention to the world have made me 100% sure that I was seeing something coming that many others weren’t. Here are a few of those stories. The reason I’m telling them is that I’m in another of those moments, seeing something obvious that not enough other people have, and I want to offer credentials before I share it. Also, some of the stories are entertaining ...
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Late Plague Winter · The first time I posted the first crocuses on this blog was in 2003. And then a lot of times since then. It’s therapeutic; I may be a Canadian and happy about it, but damn I hate winter. Here at Canada’s bottom left corner we don’t get the brutal cold but also we don’t get much winter light, so sun on petals is a morale-booster. And do we ever need one this particular winter ...
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Long Links · Happy new year! Welcome to the first Long Links of 2021; this is a monthly curation of long-form pieces that I, due to being semiretired, have time to read. Probably, most people reading this have less time, but perhaps one or two will add value even for a busy person ...
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Late-2020 EV Charging in Canada · I haven’t seen my 90-year-old mother since January. I guess by mid-year both she and I are likely to be vaccinated so maybe I could go visit. I’d rather drive than fly. What with Covid I’ve been cooped up so long I could scream, so there are few things I’d rather do than get out on the highway. As a displacement activity I’ve been working out how I could get the electric Jaguar 1734 kilometres from Vancouver to Saskatchewan to see her. Thus this quick survey of the state of the infrastructure in Western Canada, and also trip-planning tools. Some of this info might be useful elsewhere than in Western Canada ...
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2020 in a Difficult Lens · I’ve said this before in passing, but I’m becoming passionate about it. Increasingly, I believe that if you go out for a walk with a camera, you should consider attaching a difficult, opinionated lens and just leaving it on. Herewith a gallery of ten 2020 photos taken with such a lens, interspersed with preaching on the subject ...
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Hot Winter Tabbouleh · This is a recipe I dreamed up that has pleased the family twice now. It’s pretty easy to make and has lots of room for creative variation. The name is probably controversial. Let me lead off with a picture ...
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Long Links · Welcome to the Long Links offering for November 2020, in which I take advantage of my lightly-employed status to recommend a list of long-form works that I had time to consume, acknowledging that while you probably don’t, one or two of them might reward the time it would take you to absorb. This month’s highlights: Election rear-views, Siberia, blueswomen, the Orlando NBA bubble, and a lovely lecture about software and music ...
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@bluesky Identity · Twitter announced Project @bluesky back in December 2019. I blogged about it supportively then reached out saying I was interested, and was invited to join the conversation; thanks! Several of us offered proposals; this is part of mine, concerned with how identity might work in a world of diverse federated social networks ...
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The Devourers · I was reading yet another lament at the death of a much-loved publication because advertising doesn’t work any more and they couldn’t execute the pivot to subscription (fewer and fewer can). Ads no longer work because of the Google/Facebook duopoly; suddenly I was thinking “This reminds me of something.” After wandering the dusty back corridors of memory I came up with names that will be familiar to a few oldsters: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. No, really ...
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Editing Francesca · This is a story about researching Russian music, about Italian adulterers in Hell, and about pulp sci-fi featuring fairy-cursed princesses. To be honest, it’s also about editing Wikipedia, why that’s fun and rewarding and maybe you should try it ...
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Facebook Market · In the last few days my fear of Facebook has been ramping up and in my mind the case for breaking it up got stronger. What happened was, I sold the old family minivan on Facebook Marketplace and it’s a juggernaut ...
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Autumn Yellow · This is my least favorite of the seasons, because I can’t help thinking of the looming cold and dark. This weekend — when the timeshift robs us of an hour of late light — feels particularly onerous. But you have to admire those trees ...
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Long Links · This is the fifth “Long Links” episode, a monthly curation of good long-form essays from around the Internet that nobody who (unlike me) has an actual job has time to read all of. A glance through this might turn up one or two pieces that would reward even a busy person’s time ...
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Google Antitrust Notes · I just read the US antitrust “Complaint” against Google. This is obviously just the first chapter of a very long story, but here are early observations ...
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Trickster · This is a recommendation for 2½ books and a just-launched TV series, and for the books’ author, Eden Robinson. As a consequence of watching the TV pilot I’m now re-reading the books, which is strong testimony. While this is pretty Canadian stuff, I think the story of a disadvantaged and hard-pressed young aboriginal person, lost in strange spaces, would resonate in plenty of other landscapes. Anyhow, it’s dark and entertaining, with sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll and supernatural creatures you would not want to meet on a dark night. These are page-turners, keep-you-up-too-late stuff ...
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