Posted by: David | April 14, 2008

Could THIS Be Spring?

Not to be too optimistic or anything, but it looks like … that is … we’ve had a few warm days in a row, warm enough to roam about in shirtsleeves (does anyone actually wear “shirtsleeves”?) … and look out the back window.

Most of the snow is gone from the backyard (but not the front).

YUP. I think it’s spring … would ya look at them birds? Where’s the damn squirrel?

The thaw has been gradual enough to avoid the awful mud, which could be here in a jiffy with a couple inches of rain. It won’t be missed so never mind mud gods. I didn’t say anything.

Undeniable sign of spring: the garlic is coming up.

Another thing that happens in the spring is that people change things up a little. Well it took me 7 years to change this, but Friday morning I rotated my desk at work 90 degrees. It used to face out the windows, but now it faces the door. Like a good desk should. Yeah, I sat with my back to the door for way too long. I had to use my super-sensitive bat hearing to detect when people were entering my office. What the heck is wrong with me?

Note the gray file cabinet on the left. Even though it’s hermetically sealed the software in there goes bad in just a few months!

And nothing smells worse than rotting software! I’m still working on cleaning out obsolete junk from the office (except for myself- I’m staying to make sure all the other obsolete stuff is properly discarded). That’s like spring cleaning! So there’s another sign of spring.

Over the weekend I “finished” the greenhouse. Got ‘er done! There was a lot of swearing Saturday and Sunday, along with some wild hammer swinging. It’s just about the funkiest carpentry I’ve ever done. Doesn’t look so bad in a tiny jpeg on a web page. But it is. However, I don’t think the plants will really care that much.

Greenhouse is now usable.

So all these things, and the fact that spring started on March 20, I guess it’s spring. Even if it could still snow a foot.


  1. I too was hesitant to ever proclaim spring’s arrival this year.
    But it was undeniable this weekend when I finally saw a crocus blooming!!!
    It was the happiest day of my last 6 months, I swear.
    Here’s to hoping it fucking well sticks around!

    Hi talea- thanks for commenting πŸ˜€ On the spring thing, let’s stop just short of a proclamation. We’ll just make it a general item: spring is here. Even in Canada. Yay.

  2. I think the greenhouse looks GREAT! Congrats! Also congrats on the garlic. But Oliver needs a chill pill. πŸ™‚

    Thanks vermonter, but trust me, it’s the worst wood butchery EVER. And Oliver actually needs a WHOLE BOTTLE of chill pills. I think that even Chuck Norris would be afraid of Oliver.

  3. What is software made of? Why does it smell? I thought that software was programs and had imagined that it is kept on Cds.

    Yes, the greenhouse is very nice, but the nicest thing here is the garlic and the backyard and the dog and yourself and the geranium at the window.

    The position of the desk is all-important. At the Swiss Credit Bank I once had to bring text to a top manager. What was my surprise?

    The boss had the same idea of office design as Hitler. That idea was to sit at the end of a long corridor so that your visitor would have to walk towards you for about a mile.

    Stinky software was my idea of a little joke. The not-so-funny part is the speed with which software “spoils”, that is, it’s replaced by a “better” version. This really hit me as I was finding and discarding things like Windows 95 CDs and DOS 6.2 floppy disk sets. They seem like antiques.

    I like my desk in its new position. One of my coworkers said I should move it right up to the doorway so I’d have to climb over it to get inside. That would be a Monty Python-esque arrangement. Other coworkers seem to like it. It’s better feng shui for sure! I’ll bet your boss at the bank wasn’t a big fan of walking down that corridor either. Probably there was a special back door for the boss to get behind the desk.

  4. Wishing you a very happy Spring a-springin’! Love the greenhouse! Can’t wait for the exotic pics of whatever’s going to be inside.

    Thanks CuriousC πŸ˜€ Soon there will be all kinds of veggie and flower plants. Not much of anything exotic, except for the cotton and okra my wife started. Scratch that, nothing exotic about cotton or okra really, I guess. Just unusual for this zone. There will be pictures soon.

  5. Spring is always such a relief.

    I’d have a hard time moving my desk away from the window, even to have it situated practically. Having a window in your office is a perk…. particularly with Spring coming around.

    That’s an interesting way to put it Adam. About spring I mean. It IS a relief to be free of winter’s grip.

    The beauty thing about the desk move is that I’m still right next to the window, it’s just a bit to left left now, and I can still look out and watch the people come and go from the library.

  6. Shirtsleeves? I confused.
    Im recovering from a sunburn and the weather forcasters are calling for snow *aye aye aye!!*

    Yeah, “shirtsleeves” is an archaic expression. Guess it means “coatless”. Shit I hope it does NOT snow any more! If it does you can rub some of it on your sunburn. That might be good? Or not …

  7. I think your desk is now much more feng shui:

    The following was
    Excerpted from Feng Shui Dos & Taboos,by Angi Ma Wong.

    Being stuck in an office can be the pits, but learn about the 13 do’s and taboos of feng shui office design and you can feel like you’re working in nature.

    1. DO sit in the corner farthest from the entrance to the room to have a β€œcommand” position.
    2. DON”T sit in line with the door, as you will be in the path of negative energy.
    3. DO keep your back toward a corner or a wall for support. If a post protrudes from the corner or wall, correct it by covering it with a hanging plant’s draping foliage.
    4. DO sit with a tall building behind you to provide the support of a β€œmountain” if your back is to a window.
    5. DON”T face away from the door if you are conducting business from home. Business will symbolically come to you through the door, so don’t turn your back on it.
    6. DON”T arrange your workspace so that you look straight out into a corridor or see the stairs, storage rooms, closets, elevators, escalators, or toilets.
    7. DO put your computer in the North or West area of your office to enhance your creativity. Place the computer in the Southeast if you use it to generate income.
    8. DO place an aquarium or tabletop fountain in the East, North, or Southeast. A small aquarium with black or blue fish in the North area of your desk or office will activate your business and career success. Guppies or a single arrowana are ideal for an aquarium made of glass and metal.
    9. DO place a safe, which is usually constructed of metal, in either West or Northwest, which both represent the metal element. The safe symbolizes the prosperity and financial security of a business.
    10. DO have a good balance of yin and yang when decorating your workspace. Balance light and dark colors, soft and hard surfaces, and smooth and rough textures in your choice of window treatments, furniture, and flooring.
    11. DON”T have any mirrors in your office, as they can reflect negative energy from clients to other people in the room. You should always maintain control over the energy in your office.
    12. DO treat the files in your office with respect. They represent your past, present, and future business.
    13. DO keep the cords to your office equipment well hidden. This eliminate clutter and allows for the free flow of chi.

    Ok, now that’s done. I love your greenhouse and am very jealous. The lazy ass men I live with would never build one. Oh, they both have big plans for all sorts of stuff. But that’s all they have is plans. I love Garlic. I put it in everything.

    I haven’t seen snow in ages here on the Cape. I did see one crocus in my yard.

    I just fed the birds and the squirrel is out by the feeder. Where’s Oliver when I need him.

    Wow joanharvest, thank you for the mini lecture on feng shui. πŸ™‚ That was great! Fortunately I am above and beyond all rules and laws and principles and stuff so the fact that I break more of the 13 Dos and Donts than I follow doesn’t worry me at all. It’s OK since I don’t have to spend a whole lot of time in my office. I’m probably only there about half the day, the other half tending to issues “in the field”.

    But I have to wonder how the black or blue fish feel about THEIR feng shui in item #8. I keep an unopened set of Simpsons action figures on a shelf, and Homer and Marge Pez dispensers beside my hard drive techno shrine. And of course the family photo is also on display. One of the psychology professors had picture frames displayed in her office with the “example photos” of models that came in the frames when she bought them. Isn’t that a hoot?

    Thanks for the praise on the greenhouse, but in defense of you male kinfolk, it took me 51 years to build this thing. Actually started thinking about it probably 27 years ago. I’m kinda slow. And there are so many possible designs for greenhouses …

    Oliver is right here sleeping in a chair. He’s feeling left out of his mother’s barn rat extermination project. Some 10 rats have been dispatched to meet their maker- RATGOD. Unless of course they were atheist rats. And I helped! πŸ˜€

  8. I’m sitting here laughing so much. Only 51 years, that is too funny. But hey, you did it. Yea !!!!

    That is so funny that the professor bought frames and left the model photos in them. What was she thinking? Maybe she had no relatives? I don’t suppose all the models could be relatives? Probably NOT.

    The only feng shui thing I have in my house is a little water fall and I don’t know what direction it’s facing. And I very rarely turn it on.

    Yup nobody ever called me an ambitious dude.

    Yeah that’s a chuckle all righty, and I’ll bet you’re onto something there. There’s a good chance that the models for those WalMart picture frames ARE all related! They’re likely to be very inbred or even CLONES!
    Check out the eyes. Just tad too close together (or far apart). It’s scary what they can do with the biology these days.

    I wondered for a half sec whether you were really into the feng shui, but then I remembered the photos of your home that you’ve posted. Like, maybe a feng over here and some shui over there. That oughta do it!

  9. oooh….look at YOU in your fancy office at your fancy desk with your fancy coffee cup…nice pic of your sweet-self in work mode!! πŸ˜‰

    And holy crap: it’s going to be 20 degrees on Thursday! (isn’t that exciting for our city Talea?;-) )…I’m not sure what 20 degrees celsius means in “fahrenheit” (I don’t think that’s how you spell it, but fuck it I’m not American…lol..), but I DO know that I’ll be eating lunch OUTSIDE on Thursday!!!!

    Who woulda thunk it???

    Magical… πŸ™‚

    Thank you Romi πŸ˜€ I do like my office, and I really was in work mode. Too bad my shirt looks so underinflated huh?

    Glad you’re having nice weather up there in Toronto! Today was even better! Warm (22C) and sunny.

  10. I saw a cartoon, I believe it was at the New Yorker, tried to steal it and could not legally. It was an office building, and there were lawn and snow patches in front of it and bare trees. A window was open and a secretary leaning out, looking almost as if she were trying to get out, and calling back into the room behind her: β€œOh, Julius, look! It’s the first robin!”

    Later I saw there was an explanation which however I did not understand and does not seem to matter: ” the robin of spring breaks through finish line in yard”. And I could not really discern the robin either.

    Uh. OK. Well we’ve had a whole BUNCH of robins here! Very discernable robins I’ll add for comic effect. πŸ˜€

  11. I *think* that twenty degrees celsius is (double that plus 32 & then take away a little is) about 70 degrees!! YOU ARE SO LUCKY Romi! But then again it will be about the same here maybe a little cooler. Now, where *did* I put my Tevas last October…?

    Your Tevas are under the couch. Your cat chewed on one a little.

    My mnemonic for the metric temp conversion (aren’t you glad we finally converted to the metric system?) is from my old days in the darkroom. The best temp to have all the chemicals was “68°F (20°C)”.

  12. Thanks for the calculation Vermonter, that sounds about right, and I’m sure you’ll get yours too! πŸ˜‰ Today’s going to be about 62 I’d say, and that’s A-OK as well πŸ˜‰

    I bet we hit 70°F today!! Vermonter is really really really smart too so you should believe whatever she writes, even her fiction.

  13. Okay, David, I’m going to get on your spring thing bandwagon. But, remember, I’m not all that safety conscious so will bail at any time.

    Dammit, your pessimism was just starting to cheer me up!

  14. Snow? GIMME !

    Please help yourself to a free bushel next time you’re near my front yard.

    Thought of you this morning as I watched the news. A whole baseball team all wearing Jackie Robinson‘s number: 42.

  15. Vermonter is *so* smart she’s not even going to say a word about those ridiculously over-the-top compliments (or even acknowledge their wry irony) and is just going let you all think they are all true… πŸ˜‰

    So what am I then ridiculous, wry, or ironic?? Surely I cannot be all 3 at one time!

  16. πŸ˜€ I love the way that number keeps cropping up.

    Me too, now that I notice it more. I bought the 2005 movie of H2G2. Hope it’s good.

  17. Vermonter’s fiction is great, and don’t shun the shirt, I’m pretty sure the “puffy shirt” look is making a comeback…no? πŸ˜‰

    As far as I’m concerned the puffy shirt never left.

  18. @T-0-D: Wry not? Don’t be ridiculous. How ironic.

    @Romi: }blush{

    Oh, and Nimish: *you* can have ALL THE SNOW addressed to me next season! ? Or maybe you’d prefer a scan of my copy of the front page of the original script, signed by the original cast?!? Anything for another HHGG afficionado… πŸ˜‰

    OK. Wry it is.

    I like the reverse bracket blush. I’ll bet Romi likes it too.

    Nimish would like exactly 1764 snowflakes, wouldn’t you Nimish?? Enough for a pea-sized snowball.

  19. hell ya I love the reverse-bracket blush…I’ve never seen it like that before!!! πŸ™‚

    You see what I mean about vermonter being wicked smaht? (Boston accent) Creative too!

  20. DAVID NOoooooooooooooooo… the movie isn’t that good! 😦

    Well on it’s own.. *maybe* kinda okay. But as far as the H2G2 legacy is concerned, I don’t count it in the H2G2 canon AT all. 😦 Apart from Zooey Deschanel as Trillian. She looks the part, but Trillian was supposed to have a masters in Astrophysics… 😦

    Anywhu, get the radio show, willya?

    Also, yes please to 1764 snowflakes, I’ll drop by in a few winters to collect them.

    @vermonter – OMGOMGOMGOMG!!! YES PLEASE!! :O I am eternally in your debt!

    I wasn’t expecting much. My 2 favorite sci fi movies are 2001 A Space Odyssey and Silent Running. And Alien wasn’t bad, but more of the horror genre …

    Holy crap vermonter, you actually have that script? Which production are we talking about? Jeez, like you are like totally rocking my blog!!!

    PS … Later that weekend … – I got my shipment from BestBuy. I didn’t buy HHGG the 2005 movie. I bought Memento, Kill Bill, and Flight of the Conchords Season 1. I put the HHGG movie into my Netflix queue is what I did. Wheww. Another disaster averted.

  21. To Nimish:

    IS THIS the origin of all those #42 allusions, the number on the shirt of a baseball star?!
    To David:

    For a long time now I have not been able to read any of Moonbeam’s older or recent posts listed in the sidebar of her blog at

    Instead of a post I keep getting a paypal form. I told her, but she can’t see any bug. Could you please try? It would take just a second.

    Hi cantueso- (I see that Nimish explains the source of the 42 citations later …)

    I am able to use the Archives navigation tool in moonbeam’s right column to get back to her very first July 2007 post and a few random posts. Maybe your computer has a spyware intruder of some kind? Does this happen with other blogs or just moonbeam’s site?

  22. Well cantueso, it’s all a reference to the book I hold ahead of any other – because it has no “lessons” to teach you.

    No philosophies to sell, no ideology to market.

    It’s a funny book. Got a lot of jokes, it has. Lots of British humour.

    And science-y bits.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

    I am one of the biggest fanboys in my home town (confirmed) and probably in this city as well (hopefully).

  23. @Nimish: I totally AGREE! The movie is a travesty of a fine original.

    @T0D: I have the BBC original radio series on CD – i teach it in Audio I. Except this year I didn’t because the class was already into making their own play. Pirates. Rated AAAARGHHH….

    And yes I have a FACSIMILE of the front page of the original radio script, ACTUALLY SIGNED in pen by all the cast. I won it in a silent auction at National Audio Theatre Festivals a few years ago.

    I heard the BBC radio series when it was broadcast on NPR back in the early 80s. My wife and I were quite taken by it and the radio was all we had for media back in those days. That is so cool that you have that 1st page facsimile!

    I was not expecting the current movie to be much of anything so no worries.

  24. P.S., David: Do as Nimish says: *skip* the movie and listen to the radio series. The pictures are better.

    Yup, as mentioned. Sad thing is that I’ve never actually read any of the book editions. Maybe after hearing that first radio series I felt I’d gotten Adams’ points. But I should read some of his latter works as they’ve been recommended to me by many fine friends whose opinions I value.

  25. To Nimish:

    But what is the book? Jackie Robinson? I looked that name up and it is a baseball player.

    Or are you still talking about Monty Python?

  26. Cantueso – the book is “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”

    It is also a movie. And a radio show. And was a play. And also a towel.

    And a TV show. And a way of life. πŸ™‚

  27. It’s SPRING! Yay! Your dog is adorable.

    So I finally gave in to wordpress…How is life up at CSC? Say hi to everyone for me. And you can check out my blog now that you don’t have to go to blogger anymore.

    Please leave the link to your new WordPress blog englishbabe. I don’t mind going to blogger or LiveJournal, BTW. I even got my own LiveJournal blog just to see if I could find yours. I haven’t done anything with it though and I didn’t find yours and I didn’t invite you to be my friend, because I already am your friend and I don’t want you to think I’m blog-stalking you or anything.

    Glad you like Oliver. He had quite an exciting day today tied up to various trees near where we were working. It was move the rest of the giant rock day. I’m tired and sore now. Must go to bed … busy week ahead. CSC is doing great. More students than ever. They need to come up with another 40 beds this summer.

  28. To Nimish:

    But no, the galaxy is the last place I want to go. I’d like to go to Russia and also to North Africa. In Russia I’d like to see the little hut on chicken feet and in North Africa the camels that walk across the desert with their nose up in the air. What is there to see out there in the galaxy?

    That very question cantueso has been the motivation for many a science fiction writer. Outer space is very unwelcoming, and the beautiful sights it has to offer are available via the Hubble Space Telescope. However, Douglas Adams is an author well worth reading. His books have the hut on chicken feet and the camel with its nose in the air, Russia, North Africa, and so much more …

  29. To David:

    Once it happened on my own blog. I had put in a little world map that showed visitors as little red dots. Suddenly the blogroll and the list of recent posts both turned into links showing that world map. This lasted only a few days. The bug at moonbeam has been there for more than a week.

    Yesterday for the first time I suddenly saw how to use that little pop-up that you showed me where on-mouse-over a small text yellow text field shows up.

    On-mouse-over! Isn’t that the real technical term? I seem to remember. When did you first hear of computers as something real, not just science fiction?

    Cantueso, have you ever tried using an alternative browser? What do you use for web browsing? Internet Explorer? Ever try Firefox?

    Yeah mouse-overs are behaviors triggered by the cursor moving over an object, without clicking on it.

    My first real experience with computers was in 1973 at my high school. We had a computer called a Digital PDP 8. About the size of a refrigerator, it had no screen display. It was connected to a teletype machine that could be used to make paper tape rolls punched with holes that were used to feed the lines of a BASIC (programming language) program into the machine. After that and a little FORTRAN at college for physics class labs, I ignored computers completely for many years, until 1993. Etcetera.

  30. To cscenglishbabe:

    Look how everybody’s name here works as a link and yours does not. You have to fix that so that people who read you here or elsewhere can reach your blog to see who you are. To fix that you have to go back to “Profile” and put in your URL a second time.

    Just when you arrived here, WordPress felt a need to change everything around, and things have become much more complicated than they used to be, surely to address most people’s sound and video needs.

    YEAH Alicia!! πŸ˜€

  31. Let’s see whether writing stabilizes the page; it keeps falling, not only here. I thought it was the mouse and got a new one, but still the pages fall.

    I think the trees in front of my window are called elms, and they have just shed their leaves, not completely yet. And do you know what? The little buds enclosing next year’s leaves? or flowers? are already there, very small, smaller than the O of the keyboard.

    And the sparrows now get up at 08.14, all at the same time. This would get later and later if we were going into winter, but I think it has already been going the other way.

    [hears a computer question] Try a new keyboard too. Falling pages are not acceptable. 😦

    [hears living hope] The buds and sparrows both speak of life continuing just outside (y)our windows. πŸ™‚

  32. This is a great story about the ***psychology*** professor hanging up the frames with the sales photos. I know your BFFLAT is a psychologist, and so I will keep my mouth shut tight, but celebrate the story and its subject and its object this side of Eden and all over the place.

    The other great story I heard this week was about that shoe that flew and made those people see how many they were and what support they can count on. Did you see? Their parliamentarians asking for the shoe missile man to be freed! Politicians by the carload standing up for Truth! Not seen such a thing since Luther ran against the Church.

    This professor has a very understated sense of humor. I liked this “joke” of hers so much that I share it often and secretly wish to have thought of it first and have had such pictures in my office too. Maybe I will just go ahead and copy her idea.

    I don’t know what BFFLAT is. I know BFF = Best Friend Forever, but what is LAT? Regardless, please don’t keep your mouth shut tight on mine or my BFF’s behalf.

    The shoe throwing journalist really has a very good arm! It’s [almost] amazing that Mr. Shoe Target of the Free World has the nerve to show his face in the country he helped ruin.

  33. Imagine! It took you 51 years to build that greenhouse, and you started thinking about it 27 years ago.

    This means you built it for 24 years as if in a dream or subconsciously as some would say. Goethe also said that this is how all greenhouses are built.

    Thank you for this thoughtful comment. It pleases me. Everything starts in the mind.

    Here’s another thing about this greenhouse adventure. After completing the framing and using up a five pound box of 16d galvanized nails, I went to buy more nails and noticed that I had accidentally used box nails instead of common nails. Box nails are thinner and weaker than common nails. This was a rather large mistake. 😦

  34. Listen. I have a top post called “Famous buildings” and another top post called “KIO towers”. Together they produce about 25 to 30 hits a day.

    For some days now, only the KIO post appears in the search keys and only the buildings post gets hits!

    Look at this address:

    Sorry it is so long. See how it says “Westminster palace” all over? Well, it produces my KIO tower post.

    Where would you think this mixup happens?

    Wow, what a mess of a link! It looks like 2 urls of yours are embedded there. What I see when I copy and paste this link is a Google France search result that shows your “Logics, Wolf, She-Goat, and Cabbage” post of Jan 10, 2008. The url for this post of yours seems to have bifurcated somehow. These 2 urls both point to the post:

    As for the posts on famous buildings and KIO towers I haven’t the faintest idea how that massive, Google-ized link leads to either of those posts. I would guess that someone was searching Google images for a photo of Westminster Palace, and the photo you used in your famous buildings post, by David Iliff, was one of the images returned.

    How Google works its magic is of a complexity many orders of magnitude beyond my puny mind. Hence the term “magic”.

  35. I have found out that several of my posts and/or pictures have misleading links on their Google thumbnails, and so I went to WordPress “Support” forum to ask.

    Something has gone wrong. I had a really nice picture of her majesty the Queen of England looking like a smiling apple under a big scarf (instead of those fatal hats of hers), because she was at the horse races. Well, that picture of hers is linked to my KIO towers.

    Makes one wonder doesn’t it? What could be more ephemeral than a Google result link? You seem to care a lot about how seekers find your blog. This confounding mess is a side effect of that care IMHO.

  36. This time it is not the question of how people find my blog. That question is an effort in speculation where I can make a guess and see whether I was right.

    I have simply discovered that there are several pictures in Google that have the right address and name, but go to the wrong blog.

    However, now I don’t care anymore, because it concerns posts that are of zero importance to me, mere fillers.

    My real, omni-present obsession is not with Switzerland, but with WWII. It took a year for “How Hitler financed his war” to move up into visibility, and now for the first time Speer is getting hits.

    So, if her majesty the queen is wired to the wrong post, it is just funny, but if a building post of mine is not linked right I can’t sleep.

    A ver si aprendes.

    To see if I learn …

    I certainly hold you in as high esteem as her majesty … πŸ™‚

    Speer and his ilk were (are) the truly frightening ones. Genius without morality. That’s my take anyway. Not that you asked …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: