Showing posts from April, 2022

Learning, Learning

I like to learn things. Or at least I think I like to learn things. Yesterday I had the chance to learn about algal blooms on Lake Superior, from the comfort of my dining room table.  Including an algal-bloom-coloured pen! It was an excellent presentation, with representation from both countries, and much useful information about distinguishing potentially toxic algal blooms from (e.g.) pollen, an annual nuisance.  At a time when communicating science has been difficult at best -- lots of folks blaming messengers, people without appropriate expertise serving as messengers, and the inevitable politicization of good health practices -- this presentation was reassuring.  The presenters addressed science and technical questions, and the hour included ways your average person, like me, can distinguish between standard algal growths (look for filaments to indicate standard growth) and potentially worrisome algal blooms. The presentation showed what useful information (like photos, and which

Looking for Wins

We're awaiting yet another dump of snow--we've had one every Wednesday for something like two months.  And today, for some reason, I'm considering small wins. Little victories. Moments about which, even in retrospect in the wee hours, I can be proud of my behaviour.   1. At a meeting in which people made inappropriate and ignorant comments, the kind that make me gasp aloud and my eyes narrow, I didn't get sucked into responding in a way that would have given the comments legitimacy and further derailed the discussion. Much as I am learning to speak up, I am also (perhaps eventually) learning when not to. 2. I figured out a technical network issue after only a quick internet search and giving it a whirl. To be honest, I'd rather do significantly more research than I ended up doing if it meant I didn't have to call tech support.  3. I reset our cordless phones (yes, we have a landline; we are dinosaurs) after they'd mysteriously gone wonky--again, with minimal

Thirty-Year Storm

We're expecting another big storm today--worse for Winnipeg and parts west, but here we expect at least a deluge of rain onto frozen ground, and possibly snow.  At this point, there's nothing really left to say about that.  Except when you're playing with rhythm in the wee hours of the morning, to wit: An April morning: I’m sunny on the inside Rain and snow outside Storm in the forecast They fill wood box and bathtub But won’t wear a mask The house is aging Rain seeps under the windows Creaky metaphor Anthropomorphize Rain as tears, wind as anger In the morning, joy.  Note that I learned the word "volta" in the wee hours as well. It's the point where the poem turns to a second idea, which is apt, given that "volta" is Italian for "turn". So I wasn't going to lament the difficult winter and stormy transition to spring YET AGAIN, but can I just say that I haven't given up hope that this weather system is a volta? And, just so that I r

What I’m Taking Into April

Momentum, mostly: both the thing itself, and a better understanding of it. In March I experienced the strange sort of joy that comes when you finally sit yourself down and get to work. In this case, I was doing all the paperwork that goes into our income tax returns. This lily has been working overtime on growing, and I appreciate it. It’s a lot of paper (and electronic documents, which oddly still feel like paper), what with weird pandemic payouts and changes (or not) in two countries’ tax codes. Truthfully, it’s not THAT big a deal. I’m not researching obscure legal precedents or creating something from scratch; I’m basically filling out forms and passing them along to others who fill out other, official forms. Eventually, money will change hands. However, it IS a job that always looms large in my imagination. Through the years, I have ruined many a sunny-winter-morning-with-coffee moment when I realize, “Ugh, the TAXES—I need to get on those.” But this year, I Niked: mean