austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The existential threat is always hanging about

I got up a bit before 9 am for a Benefits Meeting video chat for work. The video chat was for 3 pm. I misunderstood something, obviously. The meeting ran fast, though, taking about half the scheduled time. Possibly because there was a shortage of questions. I know I felt overwhelmed by reams of acronyms and tables showing that things could be one of three, or in some cases two, things that were a little different and I don't know how to know which is right. Really when enrollment opens (next Monday) I'll be forwarding data to bunny_hugger, who's got experience reading this sort of thing and who understands our medical needs far better than me.

Something foreshadowing fun times ahead: the Group likes to do things through the proper work e-mail. Fine. It also likes to have stuff that's, like, about confidential personnel matters sent by some secure e-mail scheme. All right. So I get these e-mails that are inaccessible until I submit a one-time passcode which, of course, they send by e-mail. Thing is that these codes have been taking about 20 minutes to arrive. The codes expire after fifteen minutes. A couple times I've had one arrive fast enough to still be good, but ... ? ??? ?????? ???? Anyway this is a good way to let my wheels spin a half-hour instead of accomplishing things.

Some more pictures around the house, back in September, and the completion of an important project.


Local tree looking quite nice in the late summer.


And the plants bunny_hugger sets on the ``Bauhaus Monstrosity'', a concrete bench in our front yard that, as it weighs 400,000 pounds, will never be moved to a more convenient location.


Our flower box! This six-foot-long, eight-inch-wide structure with the spirals on it was in danger of falling off the house. You may be able to see three rusty holes in the back of it, which were all that held up an 80-pound metal box. The box was designed and put up by the former owner of the house, an artist who made metal sculptures and for whom spirals were a particular specialty; the guy had been in the day co-owner of The Spiral, an important gay bar in town.


bunny_hugger's father came over to do the re-hanging of the flower box. He brought a yardstick which fascinated me because it included such handy home carpentry information as how many pints are in a quart or how many miles are in a light-year or the ``speed of the Earth through space'', a thing that raises further questions.


Other parts of the yardstick's tips are more obviously useful, like how deep one cubic yard of concrete will fill various base areas, or what nail lengths are, or the decimal equivalent of 7/16th.


And the end of the yardstick's useful information: how heavy a pound of water is, how big a yard is, and what goes into a cord of wood.


And here we are. The metal box --- previously held up by two bolts as one was rusted out --- will now be fixed to the house by eight brackets each bolted into the house in two spots.


The bolts lined up underneath the front window. I know what you're thinking but no: we measured it correctly! It fits in well.


See? Now the box is ready to stay until it completely rusts away, when we'll be extremely sad.


And the window box with our autumn flag hung over the window. Every year we hang this and then we spend a week wondering why there's something weird about the light in the living room.


The back of the Bauhaus Monstrosity and a view of bunny_hugger's gardening work. Plus, out in the distance, some of the street.


And oh, hey, did I mention we got a new phone in September? A cousin sent bunny_hugger this vintage Snoopy phone which, first, is a rotary dial and, second, works. And, third, is extremely loud and disconcerts us every time it rings. Surrounding it are some of the squirrel plush of the house.

Trivia: In the early 18th century about three-fifths of the books published in Germany were in the German language. The fraction rose over the century. Source: The Age of Revolution, 1789 - 1848, Eric J Hobsbawm.

Currently Reading: Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear, Jim Steinmeyer.

PS: How to crumple paper, pointing to a neat bit of mathematics research that's out there.

Tags: home, lansing

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