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Sincerely, your something or other.

cc: everyone else.


Optimistic post

I'm recovered pretty well from the vasectomy and feeling pretty much the same as before now. From what I can tell I got a shorter recovery period than some (although I didn't go rock climbing the next day like some people).

I'm also recovering from that kind of overwhelming fall/December in work, union and domestic stuff. I'm in no danger of running out of that, and we were briefly out an oven (but Elizabeth and Diane took apart the electronics, scrubbed them, or them back together and now we have a reprieve), but I'm sleeping better and feeling much less stressed. I've been kicking the tires of Woebot (kudos to the person who mentioned them in a recent private entry) for a little while and so far they seem earnest and more like a text adventure game than my best friend… but fun and full of reminders to take care of my brain.

I feel like the working and volunteering universe keeps throwing teaching opportunities in front of me; maybe that will be a theme for 2019. I'm re-learning R in order to learn some of its confidentiality features so I can teach my stuff in the context of a tool that the cool kids are using these days. I'm also looking forward to giving Positive Space volunteer training another crack having gotten some feedback on my first go around. I think I'd be very satisfied with doing these things well if I do!

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relaxed, family, happy

Hello 2019!

It's cold out there and I'm holding the fort having made cookies. Elizabeth will be bringing back the kids, JP, Leah and Esme from skating on the creek soon.

I'm not out skating partly because it's currently colder than Winnipeg out there,maybe TMI… followed by holiday stuff and the start to the yearCollapse )

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That scone recipe

These scones are rapidly becoming a go-to recipe for me. It's adapted from the Bon Appetit Cookbook (2006) edited by Barbara Fairchild — we have lavender around the house more than lemon zest and don't do blenders.

Easy Ginger-lavender scones

Preheat 400 F

Mix in largish bowl:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lavender flowers, squished between fingers

Chunk up and blend in with a pastry blender until everything is a coarse meal:

2/3 cup unsalted butter, right out of the fridge


2/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Make a well in the center and add:

3/4 cup whipping cream

Blend with fingers until cream is mixed in (there will probably be some flour kicking around still).

Divide into halves (for normal-sized advices) or thirds (for mini scones), knead each part 8 turns or so, squash into a disc and cut in 6 wedges.

Bake around 18 minutes until lightly brown, then transfer immediately to a tin. They reheat nicely at 350 F for 10 minutes the next day.

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Tags: ,

politics, science

Sprint upon sprint

I'm run pretty ragged lately… the constellation of stuff around work is exciting and chaotic.

I attended my union's annual general meeting a couple of weekends back and may have gotten a little famous for questioning the exaggerated bar graphs in our electronic voting system. I also had a chance to meet some neat people, speak on the Professionals Canada question that was in the news lately, and vote on things of substance and things deep down the procedural rabbit hole. It was enlightening, sometimes maddening, and worthwhile.

Last week I did even more standing up and speaking in front of people — I chaired one AGM and delivered the Treasurer's report and ran the elections in another. At the end of the week a bunch of scrambling around resulted in a good talk on statistics on gender under the Positive Space umbrella.

I was fairly convinced that something was going to go down in flames last week, and it didn't! Between good help and my grinding away at managing things, we got things done.

This weekend marked 14 years of Elizabeth and me kissing. Heather and Andrea took charge of the kids and we got to go treat ourselves to the nearby spa — baths and saunas and tasty food in among the carefully placed oaks and rocks :) The kids got to go sliding (Morgen got to slide while snoozing on Andrea… that totally counts) and drink hot chocolate, so they were only a little jealous.

I'm starting this week with delivering a pilot Positive Space orientation and then heading off to bargain for three days. In December I'm teaching the record linkage course for the last time, then a first teaching experience on data access and confidentiality in my new portfolio. Somewhere in there I put my name in for a promotion — the process is a little different each time and this one feels a little more streamlined than recent ones. I'm looking forward to things settling down a little before Christmas is really upon us. I suspect it won't, completely, but I think the most intense parts are behind me for now.

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chatter, cartoon


We have a fridge and potable water again! Yay, back to 21st century privileged life.

I also got to take care of little Morgen while Heather and Andrea went out to see a play… I mostly just swayed while she slept on me, but it's nice to make the mutual aid more mutual — Heather in particular has helped a ton taking care of our kids.

Vivien is in a Hallowe'en mood already. Choice quotes:

"There are no ghosts upstairs… they promise!"

And she was decorating her trick or treat bag with stuff: "a pumpkin, a skull, and a BLOOD BANANA!"

I can't resist saying "BLOOD BANANA!" randomly now.

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Camping / not camping

I'm at the sports centre while the kids are swimming — the parent gallery is on the other side of a wall with windows, so I'm watching a swimming lesson on almost-mute. The muffled sounds suggest fun, and there is lots of bouncing and splashing and the occasional "trust you can float" exercise. I got the kids the goggles they wanted last weekend and they're the only kids with goggles in the pool today.

It's been a long couple weeks — still fridge-less, despite having talked to lots of people and voice recognition systems and had a technician visit a couple of times. Maybe we'll get a replacement soon… the city is also doing some municipal water work so we're under a boil water advisory until Thursday morning at least. It's almost camping!

I'm done my antibiotics for my elbow but I still have to wait for the now-not-infected swelling to go down (and blood donations are out until the elbow is completely healed). I feel a little urgency to actually donate because I'm not super optimistic that the MSM deferral won't be replaced by some other lovely normative standard around monogamy and white picket fences.

We all have a bit of a cold. *Sniff* I'm hoping we'll have a healthy, restful stretch with modern amenities soon (and maybe Elizabeth and I will be able to take a proper break together).

Today Oscar gets to go in a biplane with [personal profile] commodorified (and a pilot). I think he's excited and Elizabeth and I will find something awesome to do with the younger ones…

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Things in October, in reverse chronological order

Today I saw a bear just off the side of the bike trail through Gatineau Park (near the intersection of the trail parallel to the parkway and the trail parallel to Allumettières). I was wondering why the oncoming cyclist was way over to the left and then I saw a black bear cub that she was clearly giving a little space. I didn't stop to take a picture.
Read more...Collapse )
It's been a bit of a month, I guess. And it's only the middle.

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Into spring 2018

My bike is back from the shop for its spring tune-up. It rides so light and comfortable. I also installed a Trail-a-Bike hitch so I can have an auxiliary drive up hills and keep better track of one kid while biking. I've been biking to work more often than not these days, which feels good!

I'm looking around for a new assignment at work… I've switched within my section a few times over the past decade but it's time to make a slightly bigger jump. I'm really enjoying my extracurriculars so one big criterion going forward is being able to stick with at least a couple of them. I think I say this every entry but I love working on Positive Space. It's a good-people magnet.

Elizabeth wrote ten new songs in February, which is becoming a tradition, and had a little house concert brunch earlier this month. I like these at and food gatherings we do!

I celebrated two years with Heather and a year with Andrea this winter, and we're planning to combine Ada's birthday party with a ten-year wedding anniversary party for Elizabeth and me. My heart and couch runneth over <3. They'll run over a little more in the fall, too: Heather and Andrea are expecting. If all goes well, thanks to their dedication and the help of a donor, they'll have a kid. Oscar is hoping the kid will be a Virgo like him (Viv has been getting a lot of mileage out of me and her being Leos and I think Oscar wants a sign buddy). I'm happy and excited for my loves and know how much they've wanted this! I look forward to another kid in my life and to finding ways to be helpful and in solidarity.

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Work and work activism

Feeling pretty good at work this week… much computational and negotiation grinding has culminated in my being able to deliver a bunch of data (on the order of 25 gigabytes!) to some people that needed it.

I'm also getting a feeling for where I can contribute best in the coming fiscal year on Positive Space and mental health fronts… and it should let me trim down the lists and meetings I'm on. Things are moving and I'm in the right place to help push and steer! I'm also finding the other pushers and building connections with them. It is very satisfying.

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User image meme

a black and white image of a seated woman from behind superimposed on a stack of washers

Body: I created this image from some with I was doing on interactive media way back in 2004, helping out a professor in the Communication Studies department at Concordia. It's a still from a Flash toy where the washers are all tottering around and responding to mouse presses and movements. The group was very interested in bodies and technology and this was one of my takes on the link between the two. I use it now when I'm thinking of my health and aging.

a hand-lettered sticker reading 'YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL' stuck to a black background

Beautiful: I saw this sticker on a magical, giddy first trip to Ottawa with Elizabeth back in 2005 — someone had stuck it to the inside of an OC Transpo bus. It was touching and positive and probably put there with some political intent.

a blue wooden dining table chair and a traffic cone in the street

Art or moving: this was from another want with Elizabeth, around Duluth or so in Montreal. I was taken with the idea that someone was making performance art in the street but Elizabeth pointed out that maybe they were just trying to hold on to the parking spot for moving. It's a nice silly icon.

If you want me to pick some of your icons, as [personal profile] amazon_syren did for me, comment below saying so, or with a non-sequitur.

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