Sunday, December 8, 2013


I am terrible about writing here. I've been writing some stuff for my technical blog! And not finishing and posting it. It's a little silly.

I upped the dosage on my medication, and now I feel pretty close to the "normal" of 2007-2009. I just had a cold, and I'm out of shape, so there's some ambiguity in the state of things. The key thing I'm noticing is that I'm sleeping through the night, naturally waking up between 5 and 6 AM, then doing zazen, puttering a bit, and taking a nap. Then often another nap in the afternoon/evening, as available. This is the previous sleep pattern that I know to be sustainable (if not always convenient), so it's a little like meeting an old friend, and I'm feeling more rested.

I went back to aikido today, and some aspect of my body was not happy about it--after a cold, my lungs often don't work quite right for a while. I have to be careful when I train, because my muscle memory allows to do many things that my muscle conditioning will only tolerate a few times.

Work is...enh. I switched teams, which is way better than before, but the problems have always run deeper than that. I feel a little bad for the managers, when the best I can offer anyone is "We'll see what happens."

Lastly, it's cold here! Usually we consider it chilly when it gets down to 40°, but we've been hitting 32° and occasionally down to 28°, even here on the flatlands next to the Bay. Nothing and no one here is equipped for an extended cold snap: it's obviously the worst for the area's homeless, four of whom died of exposure the other night (while there were open shelter beds, even). For the rest of us, we're wrestling merely with the fact that buildings in this area are generally uninsulated. This is just as true of buildings from 1999 as of buildings from 1938. The building code doesn't require it, and why should it? Unlike my brother's town in Minnesota, which recently hit a charmingly lethal -1° after reaching a balmy 4° during the day, it is entirely possible to survive 32° indoors under a sufficiently large pile of blankets. If you're a builder, insulation is an obvious corner to cut: you won't be paying the energy bills, after all.

We can't insulate the walls without stripping them to the studs, but with the pronounced cold, I am noticing that our floor really is cold, and remembering a friend who installed insulation under his floor and was much happier. We can also replace our four worst windows, which are all some combination of drafty, janky, and/or dangerous. (The glazing of our large 5'x6' bay window is so rotted that if anyone ever so much as leans against it, they will crash through and fall three feet to the ground, followed by nice pointy shards of glass.) All single-paned, of course.

Normally I set the heat to 60° overnight, and the house can keep that warm if it's only 45° out; with this weather it's running every hour or so.

We have ice on our windshields. We don't have an ice scraper. Why do we need an ice scraper? Luckily, years ago I discovered that if it's not Actual Cold[tm] (as it would be in a place with actual winter), if you just pour some water on your windshield, the ice melts.

It should go without saying that if you do this in a place where boiling water evaporates on contact with the air, pouring water on your windshield ice may just give you thicker windshield ice.

Time to go to bed, and climb under our numerous blankets.

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