Jackson and Fiero

My friend Brenda generously gifted us a hot pepper plant and a tomato plant, and I found a place for them in our back yard this morning. We have named them Fiero and Jackson, respectively (the tomato is of the Pollock variety).

The back garden was always completely Catherine’s domain, so this is a stretch for me, and starting out humbly with two plants seems the best approach.

Brenda was full of helpful advice, and I have the full power of The Old Farmer’s Almanac to deploy if needed (/plant/tomatoes has a whole new relevance in my life now!).

Now that you have reached the end of Netflix…

Four recommendations, all of which can be found on Crave in Canada (a Bell-owned mashup of HBO and Showtime):

  • The Newsroom — The Aaron Sorkin one, not the Ken Finkleman one. Three seasons of Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer, with an excellent supporting cast that includes Sam Waterston, Jane Fonda, Dev Patel and Alison Pill. I just rewatched from the beginning and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

  • Homeland — Just wrapped up as a series after 8 seasons. Mandy Patinkin and Clare Danes never disappointed. Among my favourite series ever.

  • Billions — Damian Lewis as a hedge fund billionaire vs. Paul Giamatti as district attorney. The fifth season just got underway and it’s not the strongest. But the first four were excellent, especially season four, which moved Asia Kate Dillon into a more prominent role.

  • Picard — Star Trek continues, focusing on Patrick Stewart’s Jean Luc Picard. I could do without all the Romulan sub-plot, but I’d happily watch a Picard do nothing but tend his vineyard.

Crave is frustrating for its multiple subscription levels, meaning I often run into “you can only watch [this amazing new thing] if you have the + HBO + Movies extra package.”

(There’s also the danger of the entire Seinfeld back-catalogue, which can consume hours if you’re not careful).

But these four series are worth a month’s investment if you’ve exhausted Netflix.

Sounds of the beach at Wood Islands

When Oliver and I were on the beach at Wood Islands Provincial Park on Sunday, I recorded just under two minutes of the same of the water lapping against the rocks. You’ll hear birdsong in the background if you listen carefully.

An interesting project in these pandemic times would be to stick a permanent microphone at the shore to broadcast sounds of the PEI surf 24/7 to those unable to be on the beach in person.

I Shut Down Catherine’s Instagram

Since Catherine died in January I’ve been lurking on her Instagram, drinking in the daily dose of heavily weaving, spinning, knitting and woodworking photos that she would have seen.

It’s been nice. I’m inspired to make more fetching outfits for myself (fetching outfits seem to be an Instagram staple).

But it was time to shut it down. So I did.

A reminder, though, that you can see Catherine’s Instagram photos in this archive I created earlier this year.

I type my name and email address dozens of times a day…

I have two text shortcuts set up on my Mac, px and pz, which, when I type them, automatically get replaced by Peter Rukavina and peter@rukavina.net respectively. Setting these up is easy: System Preferences > Keyboard > Text:

The Text Shortcuts tab in MacOS System Preferences

Given that I have to type my name and my email address dozens of times a day, this is a big timesaver.

The key here is to make sure you don’t use a key combination that occurs frequently in nature: on my first go I set pr as the shortcut for my name, and got really confused every time I typed probably or procrastinate.


From this month’s edition of The Craftsman Newsletter:

Second was the encounter with textile artist Rachael Matthews who introduced Noguchi to the use of darning mushrooms, a tool for mending and not a hallucinogenic substance. The view of a sweater that Matthews had patched up time and time again using colourful yarn challenged Hikaru’s understanding of repairs. Until then, she believed that you had to make the damage become invisible, the repaired object needed to look like brand new. Hikaru started darning her own clothes.

This seems like a way of maintaining clothes but also a way of maintaining oneself.

Them of Receiver

This is one of my favourite photos; I took it two years ago at Receiver Coffee Brass Shop, and magically managed to capture the People of Receiver at just the right moment in their smiles:

The People of Receiver Coffee Brass Shop

Receiver has been a lifeline for me and Oliver during the pandemic; their weekly deliveries of coffee beans, bread and “Seany’s Suppers” have been invaluable both for their sustenance and for allowing us to retain a tether to the world outside our doors. This will be the first week I haven’t placed a Receiver delivery order, but that’s simply because Receiver is open again, now that we’re in Phase 3. So I can pop in any time. In fact I might go there for lunch today!