Jeremy Felt

Open source student.

A weekly note

Happy solstice, happy Yule, happy festival of the Unconquered Sun, happy Christmas.

The days just keep getting brighter.

The True Meaning Of The Season, via Phil Gyford’s weeknote last week, is just great.

Midvinterblot, a painting by Swedish painter Carl Larsson that depicts the sacrifice of a king.

Domalde was a Swedish king who was sacrificed by his people during a period of famine. This is depicted in a painting by Carl Larsson titled Midventerblot, or “midwinter sacrifice”.

Now, bring us some figgy pudding,
Now, bring us some figgy pudding,
Now, bring us some figgy pudding, and bring it out here!

I forgot to mention the robins and the starlings in last week’s note.

At some point during the week, we were very surprised to see several robins in the snowy front yard as if they had forgotten to go wherever robins go in the winter.

The day after the falling frozen tree incident, we saw maybe 20 juvenile or immature starlings along with a large number of robins just going to town on a melted part of the yard as if spring had just sprung.

It’s normal to see juncos, house finches, and nut hatches right now, but robins and starlings when it’s 20 and snowy, what even!

A few minutes after I wrote that (last Sunday), a robin flew into our side door with a large thump.

Birds!

A had his first sled ride on Monday. There was a fresh few inches of snow and he (and Michelle) had an absolute blast walking around the block and the yard.

The airport registered -19 at around 6am on Thursday morning. It’s now above freezing and sporadically rainy, a state we’ll be in for the next week at least. We’re very happy that our friend and lessor-now-tenant offered unprompted to clear the snow from the flat area of our roof yesterday.

He reported ~16 inches of snow and it started raining right as he finished.

Hopefully by next year we’ll have replaced the sunlight with one we can open from the inside and access the roof by ladder. Then ice-climbing experience won’t be a prerequisite.

A great thing about extreme negative temperatures is the way the snow sparkles at night.

I bought a JonoKnife a couple months ago and it would be the best thing since sliced bread if it wasn’t the thing that sliced the bread. Worth it.

Our dryer wouldn’t start the other night and it seemed suspicious that it was also negative-something-stupid degrees out. Because the inside of the dryer was so very cold, I detached the dryer exhaust vent, plugged it up, and let the dryer sit for a while.

Sure enough, once the dryer itself was more like room temperature, things worked fine. It, like us, just wasn’t too excited about the direct arctic blast that was blowing in.

The flapper on the outside portion of the vent was stuck open because of course you should check it more often that once every 5 years and lint is very good at collecting in corners.

I broke that flapper while trying to clear the lint, but it was okay because I had already gone to the hardware store and grabbed one that fit on the inside.

The vent is now flappered, the dryer less cold, and it all matters less now that the temperature is normal again.

The pure wailing sadness of a toddler who is denied access to the vacuum which is currently being used to pick up sharp plastic bits from a dropped container.

His evasive maneuvers when he doesn’t want to be picked up have become more and more impressive.

He’ll shoot his arms straight up as soon as your hands hit his armpits so that any sense of structure disappears completely.

Once you get an arm around his chest and under his butt, he’ll start doing this crazy dolphin kick to wriggle out of your grasp. If you make the mistake of setting him down, he won’t let you have a second chance, crawling around the house at a speed that just doesn’t seem natural.

Michelle asked me how I pronounced Björk last night. I was doing it wrong.

We watched Lindsay Lohan in Falling for Christmas. It was exactly as bad as was required of it.

We watched Green Frontier all week and it was beautiful and slow and very well done. We had to pause early a couple nights because I kept falling asleep. The story was fascinating, but the score and pace were so peaceful and calm, my brain would just start drowsing.

Apparently Yggdrasil is an evergreen ash, which may be one of the reasons for the reasons we have a fake plastic tree decorated with ornaments in our house.

I appreciate the idea of the evergreen as a symbol of life, renewal, and the annual cycle from light to dark to light.

Here’s to trees. 🌲

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