Saturday, December 27, 2008

Once more unto the... crawlspace?

(dusts Self off) Well, that was a fine mess I got Myself into. (brushes wood chips and mineral wool out of hair) But it was for a very, very good cause.

Warmth.

As I type this, the temperature in Winnipeg is -20 Celsius... Approximately -4 Fahrenheit. Not the coldest we've seen this winter, but not exactly swimsuit weather either.

And, lest it get really cold when I'm not looking, I thought today would be an excellent day to add more insulation to the crawlspace under the back end of My kitchen. It's a weird little space under there, sand and rock and bits and pieces of old building materials; ABS drainpipes that freeze solid every winter (rendering the downstairs bathroom unusable); and *shudder* the occasional piece of petrified cat poop.

So, armed with suitably warm clothing, sundry cutting and stapling tools, a six-volt lantern, and a tarp to sit upon... Off I went. Flung slabs of insulation through the trap door at the back of the house, and sliced and diced My way to a much warmer kitchen.

I managed to install most of a bundle of R14 insulation in only two forays under the house, elapsed time somewhat less than two hours. Once I was in there, out of the wind, it actually wasn't all that bad working under there. At one point I did have to evict cats from the construction zone, and I did come in for a tea break at halftime. By the time I called it quits, there was insulation across the east end of the crawlspace wall, and under one section of kitchen floor.

Sometime in the next few days I'll probably go under there again and insulate at least one more section of the floor. When Spring comes (ahh, Spring!) I'll be doing some serious crawlspace reno work... Adding a telepost or two; stripping out those old drainpipes and relocating the bathroom right next to the main part of the house; and building an inner wall to protect the new drainage system from the outside cold.

But, overall... Not bad for two hours' work.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

An odd little week, this.

As December 25th wobbles to a close and collapses snoring in a pile of shredded wrapping paper, I'm taking this opportunity to catch up on My reporting of life at Astrejurhof. Things have been busy, extraordinarily so; and yet, everywhere I've turned there's been truly remarkable synchronicity.

Like yesterday's shopping trip... I got off work at 12 noon; walked out the door and three minutes later caught a bus that took Me exactly where I needed to be. Went speed-shopping, going to six stores over a distance of seven city blocks, and making purchases at four of them. Arrived at the bus stop just in time to catch another bus that took Me straight home. (And with five minutes left on the original transfer, no less.)

On Tuesday night, Red and I and a friend performed a moving job for a relative. Three people; two short trips with a small pickup truck and a rather brave '01 Cavalier; a crescent wrench, a couple of screwdrivers, and some duct tape; three tables, two chests of drawers, and a double bed, duly moved. Getting the smaller of the two dressers into the back seat of the Cavy was actually fun, in a weird kind of way.

Today, the roast duck was done to a turn; and, in this blissful Henkell Trocken-numbed state I successfully emptied out the custom-built closet where I keep most of My musical instruments. Managed to fit several single-drawer filing cabinets into the space... Again with the 'synchronicity' theme, the closet was just wide enough (a scant 3 centimetres of horizontal clearance) to install them two abreast. So now I have room to put away some music books and ring binders and electronics gizmoi, which are Legion. Oh, and the closet beside the large one is just wide enough to hold two more guitar cases and a Roland JV-80, too.

But I must admit that I'm looking forward to taking Boxing Day off. Really taking it off, as in 'staying home and not doing much of anything.'

Except, perhaps, eating mass quantities of chocolate and finishing off this bottle of sparkling wine. Happy holidays to one and all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

Tonight, after returning from writer's group, I did My traditional Yule baking. In just over two and a half hours I constructed a batch of brownies; about three dozen Skor™ cookies; and an orange cake.

Recipes are here. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sentience on the surface of reality

(walks up to blog and erects sign)

Memes Under Construction
Hard Hat Area

A few minutes ago, while wreaking havoc on one of My usual forums, I started pondering the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Specifically, I started wondering about the hypothesis that consciousness is an innate property of matter, and that greater complexity and interconnection leads to greater levels of awareness. (q.v., Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the noosphere).

(The Internet itself makes a case for this... It has developed a life of its own. And a few gods, as well. :-D)

But as I sat here knitting a scarf for a tiefling friend of My daughter, My attention turned to the needles that were performing the actual work. It's their boundaries that define them. Just as the surface of *sip* this glass of Green Chartreuse *sip* defines its... Darn, it's all gone. What was I saying, again?

Oh, yes. Imagine, if you will, a collective sentience that gets bigger as the universe expands... Thinking with its surface area, not with its insides. And smaller spheres of interconnectedness that grow into greater awareness as they expand their boundaries.

Think big, and look for the connections between Everything and Everything Else. We now return you to your regularly scheduled reality.