it's either a sign of a well organized life or one with not enough in it. The spring holiday to get the taxes done, straighten out the gardening, fix the step and have some naps. And opening week baseball. Maybe some first round playoff hockey, too. The one thing I am not doing is writing a book. This time last year I was in the middle of writing three books each of which has turned out to be, err, cult classics. Happy readers. Low sellers. Good reviews. Niche huggers. I should have known. Beer writers are either fat or thin. Both from the same cause - anxtity yips. Told a pal once his mistake was doing for a job what I do for a hobby. Beer may still pay for itself. It just doesn't take me all that far anymore when it does. That's fine. Been since 2010 that the prospect of a truly idle summer lay before me. I was reading about brainy books back then five years ago today. Probably gave me ideas. Planting some carrot and lettuce seeds will help with that. Tiny seeds in the cold early spring soil don't give you ideas. Just salad.
What to do with a weekend in the middle of February? 11 reps of various dumbbell things along with 30 minutes on the recumbent bike in the basement. I am pretty sure that the bike is good training to sit on a recumbent bike in a basement. Then, eleven or nine loads of laundry. Laundry is a good therapy. I am even ironing shirts once in a while. If I am going to wear a tie, the shirt is going to be seersucker even in winter. A portion of life is dedicated to ensuring you feel like you are in pajamas even if you look ready for business. Roasting. Made a pork roast with pear, ginger and Madeira sauce yesterday and then had it cold on a bun for breakfast. 325F oven turned down to 300F until an internal temp of 140F. Dijon mustard on the crisscrossed fatty side placed up. Looking out the window at the filling driveway is good fun. Three weeks to march and maybe six to peas in the ground. People make Glasgow. Peas may signal the spring but people make Glasgow.
It's one of my favorite things to do, sitting looking out the window of a pub. This was last Monday afternoon. The Bow Bar in Edinburgh. I was just getting used to the time zone and would fly out the next day. Two guys standing at the bar in the small one room space were providing the background track to the seat with a view. Apparently, the Bow Bar is packed on weekends but who sits in bar staring out the window on weekends? It's something to do when your colleagues are at work. When you could be writing a report. Making plans. Paying bills.
A busy Remembrance Day. Elementary school assembly hall at 9:15 am then right over to the main City of Kingston gathering. I say the main one as there is another which starts about 15 minutes for the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery about 200 yards away, then one for the Burma Star after the main one, then one after that at the naval memorial. All are well attended. And well protected. A large police presence with other sorts of security moving around us. All well received. Except by that guy with the black back pack on the bike. Seriously. He went on his way after a good searching.
Lunched. Being off work while the kids are at school does wonders for the luncheon scene. Luncheon dates need a revival. Our first time at Carmelinda's. No avacado to be seen but a solid and surprisingly good chicken sandwich. Thence to Home Depot for stuff to further fix the fence. 12 gauge metal plate to screw in across a week spot. $3.39. It must be 45 weeks since the ice storm of last December. I have the fence 78% fixed and will have to get through another winter in that admittedly enhanced state even if the rot is in. It actually feels fairly solid even if it's all jury rigged. Cheap and jury rigged. Needs to be cheap seeing that the new in-the-wall oven is coming in two weeks. Why?
Oh me nerves. Convection oven fan motor fried right at the end of roasting the chicken for dinner. It made a funny noise and, when I looked in the oven, the fan at the back was glowing bright orange like the coals at the foot of the gates of hell. Race downstairs. Shout to the kids to get upstairs. Thinking of how to call the fire dept. Pull fuse for oven. No flames when I get back upstairs. Leave oven door open to let everything cool. Then find a really good bottle of port. Because the chicken was, in fact, done. Like the oven. And roasted chicken and roasted convection oven fan both good with good port.
That was Saturday night. Me on Facebook, Oh. Me. Nerves. So, a new oven is coming.
And then the beets. Maybe 15 pounds of them? A third of a bucket with a full bucket of greens. Chopped the greens, sauteed them in olive oil and garlic, added a little ham, a little mustard. Kids ate it with a 60% rate of enthusiasm. I've seen worse.
The fourth Internet is scary like Darwinism, brutal enough to remind me of high school... If the first Internet was “Getting information online,” the second was “Getting the information organized” and the third was “Getting everyone connected” the fourth is definitely “Get mine.” Which is a trap.
It sums it up neatly. The end of information. The prostitution of data space. I am not sure it has caused me to consciously draw away from writing on this blog but it may have contributed. "Getting mine" includes those paywall spaces, too. Fees are necessary, agreed, but what ever happened to micro payments? Surely PayPal could be harnessed to let me reach newspaper articles for four pennies a piece. Not that I had high hopes all these years ago. I compared blogging or Web 2.0(a) to CB radio when it was mainly a hobby. Over eleven years ago as it turns out.
Perhaps it is because I make a little money from writing now. I used to make money from blog ads and now make money from book contracts. I am regressing into old media. Because it is reliable. Should I add a question mark to that? Because it is reliable? If I titled this post "Twenty one ways the fourth internet will make you angry... and then leave you amazed!" I would fit in better these days.
Previous celebrations: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Unlike last year when snow lays about in dirty lumps, it lays about us deep and frigid. No seeds have been ordered let alone sprouted. Baseball seems months away still. Thank God for a small wine cellar and a working furnace.