Celeste watching juncos
Wednesday, December 23 2015
At some point today, I observed Celeste (aka "the Baby") looking out through the pet door at the barren soil of our main garden patch. At the time, a couple dozen industrious Slate-colored Juncos and a single bright red male Cardinal were foraging in that patch for seeds and perhaps small invertebrates. Though the birds were enticing, Celeste evidently knew that to go out through the pet door would cause a disturbance and the birds would all fly away. So she just sat there and watched. Had she been Ramona and the juncos been a bear or a squirrel, she would not have made a similar calculation. She would've exploded out of that pet door like an angry white guy going for a Black Lives Matter protestor at a Donald Trump rally.
Yesterday I'd received a brand new 10 inch chain blade for my GreenWorks battery-powered saw, and the change for the better in the forest early this afternoon was astounding. It rapidly cut through eight inch pieces, the kind with which I can only assemble four or five-chunk loads. Today was a five-chunker, though three of the pieces were only six inchers, so the load was a relatively-light 95.2 pounds. It all came from that spot just west of the Stick Trail 300 or 400 feet south of the Chamomile crossing. (I use such descriptions repetitively so the site will stay consistent in its description. I do this even after the description proves erroneous, such as for that site "one third of a mile down the Gullies Trail." That site is almost certainly less than a quarter mile from the house, even by trail.)
I had to deal with yet another web crisis today, this one involving a nefarious file that was causing an essential web page to load very slowly. It turned out the file contained code to capture $_POST data and send it to a disreputable site. How had it gotten there? And also, how had it been changed over the summer to send the data to a different disreputable site? The hack reminded me of the one to Asecular.com involving the dropping in of an .htaccess file, though the potential damage in this case could have been far greater. It made me wonder if perhaps there is an exploit available in the Apache web server allowing files to be dropped by malevolent actors into a web directory.
This evening, just after stabilizing that website, I drove into Uptown Kingston to meet up with Gretchen and our friends Jeff E. and Alana at the Stockade Tavern. A huge mass of humid tropical air was in the process of charging northward into Quebec, and it brought with it constant heavy rains but no wind or electrical activity. It made driving just difficult enough that at one point I lost track of where the road was going and almost lost it in a curve. What with having been the hero in sleuthing out the website problem this afternoon, for once I had an interesting story to tell about how I'd spent my workday. Jeff E. talked about a job he's taken where literally all he does during an entire workday is hitting the play button on a tape deck at the one or two appropriate times.
Gretchen and I drove from Kingston out to the eastern fringe of Woodstock to drop off a tray of brownies at Eva & Sandor's place, which Gretchen owed them as a perk for having given to some fundraiser she'd done. I arrived in my car first, and I could see Sandor in the house watching teevee, but I felt super awkward about knocking on the door, since we hadn't called to say we were coming over and I didn't even have the brownies. So I waited out in my car in the ongoing downpour until Gretchen showed up, something that took much longer than I'd expected.
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