Archive for the ‘me’ Category

mmm internets

When I moved here in August, I had done some research on local phone & internet options and was pleased to find an alternative that was not only not one of the major corporations monopolizing the market but was also actively working in support of net freedoms AND did not require a contract to sign up. The only downside was that they could not provide cable internet in my new neighbourhood but projected it would be available in October. They did have DSL, but I already owned a cable modem and didn’t want to buy another gadget I wouldn’t need in a few months. After some deliberation, I figured I’d rather wait and make use of connectivity on campus, at friends’, and as it turned out, a strong open wifi connection in my immediate vicinity.

Five months later I looked up and noticed that there’d been no word of progress on the cable internet front. When I checked in with the company, I was told there was no longer any ETA; they wanted to expand but didn’t know when it would happen here. (I didn’t ask why the new delay). Well, the free wifi I’d been enjoying was reliable and fast, and while I didn’t intend to borrow it indefinitely, there wasn’t any pressing need, and I still didn’t want to buy a DSL modem when I really hoped to have cable internet in the end.

And then last weekend happened, when I was suddenly unable to connect to my old pal “dlink”. The network showed up; there was no new password requirement; my computer just failed to connect. Over and over and over. Now, I’ve taken “digital sabbaticals” before. I generally try to turn off the internet around 8pm most days (although using my ipod touch for bedtime music and reading has made the temptation to take just a little peak uncomfortably easy, with disastrous results for my early-to-bed inclination). I have gone days or weekends without connection, and while there’s always that impulsive reach to plug in at first, it gradually passes and I learn not to miss it, mostly. This week has not been like that; there’s a huge difference between choosing not to have or knowing I won’t have an internet connection and facing the unknown. Suffice it to say productivity was not the result of being offline. Would it come back? Would I be able to connect this time? How about this time? Now? Now? NOW? NO?!

Nick in a boxThis morning A New Hope has appeared, the valiant “linksys”, showing up next to the disturbing void that is “dlink” in my internet connections list but letting me in, opening the door to the wide virtual world. I am simultaneously calmer knowing the door is open (just like my cat) and more distracted trying to figure out where to go first, and next, and next. And I am going to call the internet folks tomorrow and make arrangements for my very own DSL connection that will never ever leave me.


ING Orange Key: get $25 for opening a new account

[No, my account has not been hijacked by a spammer.]

If you stumble across this entry in search of an Orange key to get your $25 bonus for opening a new account of at least $100, here’s mine:

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If you are USian, I can also give referrals to for a $25 bonus, but they require me to fill out a form with your name, email address, and whether you will be opening a savings or checking account. I’m happy to do this (it’s free money for me, too): email to astherism on gmail. Minimum qualifying deposit is $250.

seed time again

I don’t know if this will remain my sporadic gardening blog or if geography talk will surface, but I am here again to discuss seeds. It’s much too early to do more than dream, given that there’s currently 6 inches of snow in the balmy Niagara region of Ontario. I do have two small planters (repurposed salad mix containers) of greens growing in the kitchen illuminated by a bare CFL bulb. Lettuces, mesclun, kales, that sort of thing. So far the yield has been about one salad in 2 months. I’ve just planted more seeds and I’m hoping to increase the harvest a little.

I bought several different packages of mixes from Fedco Seeds Coop last summer, which is great for variety but it also means I don’t actually know what I’m growing other than “winter lettuce mix”, “organic greens mix”, and “kale mix”. In another month, I will start seeds indoors from the “heirloom tomato mix” and I don’t know when, late May? plant the “rainbow carrots mix” outside. I don’t think carrots are good candidates for starting inside, but I should confirm that.

I’ve got a stash of egg cartons and toilet paper tubes ready to go as biodegradable seed starting planters. I’ve got more seeds than I can use and too much shade in the back yard to take full advantage of all the space. And I’m making lists of what other seeds to buy: spinach, beans, peas, herbs. I just hope my excitement carries over into implementation this time around. My previous record isn’t all that great.

territory claimed

I keep getting emails reporting password change requests for this account. Sorry internet spam-bot, I haven’t forgotten about this site and don’t want to give it up yet. Happy Valentine’s Day.

it’s dark out there

so much for writing. has anything changed since the last/first entry? yes and no…

in the dusk

I don’t want to have another blog. I had more than one before and I merged them because it was too much work to keep things seggregated and decide what belonged where. I’m mostly happy with what it has become, and it’s paid for and I don’t want to give it up. But now I’m thinking about writing more, differently. And I’m not comfortable doing that on the other blog, where I’m more or less out as me. I’m not ready to have an audience for what I hope to express here. And yet I do want the possibility of an audience, it seems. I could just write these things on paper or in private entries on the main blog. But instead, I want to post them here, in the open, where the likelihood of anyone finding them is slim but not none.