Monthly Archives: March 2019

why the best white noise machine might be the Google Home Mini

I have had a number of white noise devices with some of them costing a lot more than the Mini. They are not hard to set up and once you do you can ask it to play rain sounds or relaxing sounds or whatever sounds help you relax or sleep it work. Plus you get all the advantages of having it to find out the weather, get news, set appointments and more. If you don’t mind having one in your house – and some people do – then you can buy them everywhere, like here: m.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/google-home-mini-charcoal/11615336

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On having no heat in the middle of winter

In the last five years I’ve lost heat in my house twice in the middle of winter.

The last time it happened was this week. My furnace started intermittently failing. It wasn’t a big deal, despite the cold. I bought a heater and my landlord had the repair people come in a few days and fixed the furnace.

The first time it happened was the ice storm of Christmas 2013. Then it lasted over three days as lack of power prevented my furnace from starting. My house got as low as 42 Degrees, and I could see my breath in the house. And then at 12:30 am on Christmas Day the power was restored and over many hours my furnace warmed up the house.

In both cases I remember the satisfaction of hearing the forced air furnace blowing warm air through the house. It’s such a basic thing, and yet so satisfying.

There are many great pleasures in the world, but few compare with the restoration of heat your home in the middle of bitter winter.

The ikigai Venn diagram

What you really want to aim for in your profession and your life is ikigai.

I’ve seen this a few times and I can’t find the original but also I don’t want to lose it. It really is too good to lose. I’d like to credit and link to the originator.

The problem with carpentry and how it differs from IT

It is near impossible to learn how to do carpentry from either books or the Internet. I know because I’ve tried really hard.

Let’s say you decide you no longer want to buy bookcases from Ikea but you want to make you own. You decide a book case is simply a box and decide you want to learn how to make a box with a few tools and some simple instructions.

If you go search for help with your box, you may very likely come across instructions like this: www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/g1591/how-to-make-a-box/

It makes assumptions that you have lots of tools and you can do hard things like cut joints. After a few hours of searches, you will find most sites are like this: tailored to woodworkers making wood pieces that are hard to do and not anything near modern looking.

IT is different. For any technology out there, you can search for the name of the technology and “tutorial” and find something. You can be up and running using the technology in the time it takes you to give up looking for carpentry skills.

I am not sure why that is. Maybe there is more interest in IT so there are more tutorials on it. You could argue carpentry is harder but I have done both and I disagree.

I especially disagree because there is one site I could that actually does make it easy to make furniture and that is Ana White’s. Because of her I have made a wide range of furniture with basically a hammer, a jigsaw and a drill. The furniture isn’t fancy but it was cheaper and better and as modern looking as Ikea.

I think that is a problem with a lot of woodworking sites. They assume you want to do fine woodworking. Find woodworking is fine, but for people starting out, they likely want to make a simple table, a bookcase or set of shelves, perhaps a storage chest. A good joint may be best, but most Ikea furniture is held together with dowels and screws. If you make a book case with dowels and screws and glue, it will last and hold lots of books.

I wish there were more introductory sites on the internet that help people who wanted to learn how to make furniture and do carpentry, like there is with IT. Right now all I have found is Ana White’s site. I highly recommend it.

Who can bear to be forgotten? Who can bear to be remembered?

Who will pass on without kind words? Who will have loved ones gathered for them? Who will have them stay away? If a tree is best measured when it is down, what does it say when the downed tree is not measured? Where is the measure of how we were loved when we were alive? Or the measure of how we were unloved?

If you read obituaries from your small home town, you will see things and you will wonder. Wonder about lives past. Wonder about your life to pass. What people will think. What people think now. What difference you can make. Did you even make a difference. Are you remembered. Are you forgotten.

And I have thought these things as I read this. RIP D.J.L.

On the things we endure

We endure so much throughout our lives. When we are young, we endure school. We endure our siblings, perhaps. Certainly we endure some of our classmates. We endure teachers and subjects and our parents to some degree.

Later we grow up and roommates, apartments, bad jobs and bad relationships of once kind or another we live through in hope of an end.

Eventually we get old and the thing we have to endure most of all is ourselves. The qualities we seem stuck with, the habits unshakeable, and the traits indelible. We make an effort occasionally to shake them off, like dust, but then we settle and they settle back upon us. And so we endure them. Until the end.