Workin’ from home

My work-from-home setup

For a while now I’ve won­dered just how nec­es­sary it is for me to be on cam­pus. I live about five min­utes’ walk­ing dis­tance away; when I bike to work, it takes about as long to lock up my bike and walk to my office as it does for me to get to the Uni­ver­si­ty.

Now that the offi­cial word is “work from home if you can”, I’ve got my lap­top at home. Today I grabbed one of my two exter­nal mon­i­tors, too, so that I can code on one screen and view the results on anoth­er.

(Lap­top wall­pa­per: The Foun­tain of Indo­lence by J. M. W. Turn­er; exter­nal mon­i­tor wall­pa­per: my pho­to of the Milky Way from sum­mer 2019.)

Also, it turns out that a book on mythol­o­gy is inte­gral to my set­up; with­out it, the exter­nal mon­i­tor isn’t up high enough.

Monitor, back view

(My ISP’s upload speed is pret­ty abom­inable, but that’s a prob­lem for anoth­er day, I think.)

Two years

Eye (photo by Vanessa Bumbeers)

…and I real­ly don’t miss wear­ing glass­es all day every day.

(On St. Patrick­’s Day, 2018, I got my eyes lasered into prop­er shape by these fine peo­ple, and went from a 20/400 pre­scrip­tion in my good eye to a 20/16 in both.)

Some­times, when I’m feel­ing a lit­tle dopey in the morn­ing, I’ll still reach for them. (And find the read­ers on the night­stand, and put them on, and won­der why every­thing’s a lit­tle blurred…)

That reminds me, though, it’s prob­a­bly time to sched­ule an eye appoint­ment…

(That’s still not my eye­ball. Pho­to by Vanes­sa Bum­beers on Unsplash)

Wind + Aurora

Star trails, with faint aurora

It was clear and rea­son­ably warm last night, and there was a rea­son­able chance of get­ting some auro­ra Bore­alis, so I head­ed to my usu­al spot about fif­teen min­utes out of town. I got my tri­pod set up, and retired to the warmth of the car—the tem­per­a­ture was only ‑10°C or so, but the wind­chill was sig­nif­i­cant, a south wind howl­ing along at what felt like about 4050 km/h—and lis­tened to music for a while.

After about ten or fif­teen min­utes, I noticed that I could­n’t see the lit­tle red light on my cam­era any­more. I briefly won­dered if maybe the bat­tery had died, but then I real­ized that I also could­n’t see the thin dark lines of the tri­pod.

Sure enough, the wind had tipped it over into the snow. See the pho­to below, which is the ten-sec­ond win­dow when it actu­al­ly fell.

light streaks as the camera falls over
The moment my cam­era pitched over into the snow.

I cleaned the lens off as best I could, then packed it all up and head­ed home, where I gave the lens a more thor­ough clean­ing and then set it aside to dry. This morn­ing it looks OK, so I think I got away lucky.

Logline for the next story

Writer's Tears Irish Whiskey

I’m work­ing away on my library-full-of-self-eras­ing books, and I have a nov­el to fin­ish writ­ing, but I’ve had an idea and I want to pur­sue it soon. (Actu­al­ly, it’s not a new idea; it’s a re-use of a con­cept from one of my nanow­rimo projects.)

The Slow-Motion Apoc­a­lypse” is a “day in the life” por­trait of an aging wiz­ard who hap­pens to be all that’s stand­ing in the way of a nuclear blast oblit­er­at­ing part of Man­hat­tan.


Steven Page in Concert

[photo of the concert ticket]

A cou­ple nights ago we went to see Steven Page in con­cert at the West­man Cen­ten­ni­al Audi­to­ri­um. It’s been a while; he has­n’t been to Bran­don in twen­ty-five years. He was on tour with Craig Northey of The Odds and Kevin Fox, a cel­list.

The show was amaz­ing. I con­fess, I did­n’t know much of Page’s new­er stuff, but what I heard I liked. We end­ed up buy­ing a cou­ple CDs dur­ing the inter­mis­sion, so I look for­ward to hear­ing more of his recent work.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Steven Page in Con­cert”