A library is a good place”

Rebecca Toh, on libraries:

I’ve always loved libraries. They are a glimpse of the kind of ‘better world’ we all want to live in. That’s because by their very nature they are inclusive and welcoming. Anyone who walks through the doors of a library is reminded, just by inhaling the air of the library, just by being embraced by its atmosphere, to be a kinder and more caring person, and to forget, for a moment, the usual rules of our capitalistic society.

A library is a good place.

Swimming Lessons

I had a swimming lesson for the first time in 42 years today.

Lisa reasoned, rightly so, that as we’re living in an ocean province, on the beach a lot, we should top up our swimming and water safety skills, so we booked a week at the Mr. Bill Swim School in North River and today was lesson number one.

Whew: swimming is hard!

But I learned things, even in the short 30 minutes we had today, that will improve my swimming right away: how to alternate breathing sides for the front crawl, how to position my head for more efficient swimming, how to scissor kick. It was also my first time swimming with goggles (had they been invented in the 1980s?), which made things so much easier.

It was a “refresher course” for lessons I learned, more than 40 years ago, at the Downtown Hamilton YMCA from the estimable instructor Kevin Von Appen, but my lessons were so long un-refreshed that it seemed like a brand new day, with the aid of some vestigial muscle memory.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning.

2,487,999 words

Prompted by Wouter’s own count, I did a rough count of the number of words I’ve written here since 1999:

sum(LENGTH(field_body_value) - LENGTH(REPLACE(field_body_value, ' ', '')) + 1) as wordcount
FROM field_data_field_body;

The total: 2,487,999 words, or an average of just about 100,000 words per year.

I counted in 2006 and came up with a total of 724,006; a more detailed count, by year, in 2005 counted 548,561 as of a year earlier.

I want to sit here longer…”

Annie Mueller, in I am adamantly opposed to urgency:

I need to shower, start laundry, do chores, start work, get the day moving forward. Where is the pause button? I’m competent and I can do so much but I don’t want so much to do. I want to sit here longer, to move unhurried, to glide, to breathe, to be ordered but not scheduled, to release into reverie, to let my mind wander, my shoulders loosen, my being melt and flow with curiosity, delight, warmth, ease.

I am achieving some measure of unhurriedness this week.

On being humble and accepting success”

Manuel Moreale writes about accepting success:

I find it interesting that the pursuit of endless growth is something we despise when corporations are doing it but it’s not something that bothers us too much when it’s done by “content creators”. And yet, after a certain scale, it’s the same mindset. This is why I love to support small creators who do things simply because they enjoy it and are not driven by other incentives.

Manu edits the wonderful People & Blogs, the arrival in my RSS reader of which I look forward to every week. He runs a Ko-fi to help support the effort, and it was this post that pushed me from passive onlooker to financial backer. 

Gold Velvet Folding Chairs

When Lisa proposed buying four folding chairs with gold velvet covering last summer, I didn’t immediately buy in.

But I suspended my disbelief, and we drove to Borden-Carleton for a chair transfer with a very helpful Summerside cousin intermediary.

The chairs have been a part of our life since. In winter they are taken out for large family gatherings as overflow seating around the dining room table. In summer they come to the camper with us, where they are general purpose workaday performers.

And I have come to love them. They are everything folding chairs usually aren’t: comfortable, solid, nice to look at.

Lisa’s broader mind FTW.