Lot 16

The table markers at Samuel’s in Summerside are named after the Island’s township lots. I scored Lot 16. I once bought a schoolhouse in Lot 16, so this is entirely appropriate.

Revelations on Food

Two podcast episodes over the last month have opened my eyes to things I didn’t know.

First, that cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, and kohlrabi are all variants of the same species of plant, something revealed in an episode of the Surprisingly Awesome podcast.

Second, via an episode of the 99% Invisible podcast, that expiry dates on things like milk and yoghurt, have nothing at all to do with food safety (although it’s important to disclose that my partner Catherine insists that she’s been telling me this for years, and I haven’t believed her).

If your Airbnb tenants’ meth lab contaminates or burns down your neighbors’ property…”

From a recent post, Oakland incident highlights risks for absentee landlords, by Edward Hasbrouck:

Second, Airbnb’s guarantee does not cover any personal liability to third parties — only damage to the rental property and its contents.

If your Airbnb tenants’ meth lab contaminates or burns down your neighbors’ property (the other condo units in the same building, for example, or the house next door) along with your own, Airbnb will reimburse only the damage to your own home. You’re still liable in full for the damage to your neighbors’ homes. Ditto if damage to the plumbing, or firefighting in your unit, causes flooding and water and/or smoke damage to other units in the building or other nearby properties.

I’ve been a contented Airbnb “guest” several times but, like Edward, I’ve never considered becoming a “host,” for many of the same reasons he enumerates.

Automated Alerts for PEI School Storm Closures

Thanks in part to the efforts of the English Language School Board, it’s now possible to receive automated alerts about winter storm school closures on Prince Edward Island, alerts that look like this:

Pushover Alert about Storm Closure

You have to hand-stitch together some parts to make this work, but it’s not all that difficult.

The bedrock of this system is that when the school board announces a storm closure on its website, they tag it with the category “closures” (meaning that if, for some reason, they don’t do that, then this whole alert system falls apart).  There’s an archive of “closures” posts on the board’s website, but it appears they remove most closure posts after the fact, so it’s not really a complete archive.

What I’ve done is to create a recipe in IFTTT (which you can use right now with a free IFTTT account) that looks for new blog posts with this tag, and if one is found it sends an urgent alert to the Pushover app running on my phone. That’s what you see in the screen shot above (what you don’t see is the screeching siren that also goes off when this happens, which is the important part as I’m generally asleep when this happens; note the 6:40 a. m. time on the alert in the screen shot).

While I’m using Pushover to receive my alerts, any of the various “…then that” services, from sending a text message to turning on the lights in your garage, could be the conclusion of this recipe.

If you find this useful, I would encourage you to send a laudatory message to the board thanking them for sending alerts to their blog, and encouraging them to continue to do so.

There are things you do outside of yourself…

Garnet Rogers, introducing his song Small Victory:

There are things you do outside of yourself, that are, they’re not initially for yourself, but they end up being that way. The act of … any kind of selfless act will eventually come back to you in some sort of reward.

It is one of my favourite of his tracks, and one of my favourite songs in general.