Earliest rhododendrons blooming, following on the rhodora. Lilacs strong enough to perfume the roads. Hobblebush blooming, and I maybe saw a painted trillium at the edge of bicycle botany range. Apples and cherries are dropping petals. The poplars and their cousins are shedding fuzz and catkins.
No roadkill, although I rode over numerous blood patches. Cleanup crew is fast around here. Did have a couple of tree swallows shoot across in front of me, so at least some bugs are going to a good cause.
Major item of import, saw a bunch of "dig safe" graffiti around a condemned house in the next block. Don't know yet whether they plan to fix the collapsing foundation or are just going to tear it down.
Still overcast but not raining, so I got out on the bike. Did not die.
15.27 miles, 1:15:30
Rhodora blooming, chokecherries, and honeysuckle. Actual visible needles on the tamaracks. Also the tent caterpillars are blooming. They love cherry blossoms. Or cherry leaves . . .
One each squashed red squirrel and gray squirrel, plus some warbler-sized bird with an olive back. That is not particularly distinctive.
World warmed up, dried off, I got out on the bike. Did not die.
15.28 miles, 1:15:02
Air temperature 52 F, wind south about 5 mph, overcast. Not yet raining.
Have another bit of Life in Maine:
Almost half of the songs went unguessed, including some that really surprised me because they were major hits. I've provided links to the unguessed ones for the curious.
( Click here for the answers! )
And as usual when I do something with a lot of links, I'm profoundly grateful for the preview function. :-)
One dead woodchuck, about 3.5 miles into my ride. Silly critter was hanging out in an industrial park.
Lilacs blooming, wild strawberries, working apple trees and some ferals, and flowering quince to bait in hummingbirds.
Air temperature got up over 60 F, winds 10 mph gusting over 20, so I just took a local route. Didn't feel like coating myself in slimy cold sunscreen for extended riding. Call me a wimp and get over it.
16.5 miles, 1:30:20
Air temperature 37 F, with frost in some areas of the state*. This after 90 F and more on Thursday. Wind calm, scattered clouds. May get out on the bike after the world thaws out.
*Our frost-free date for tender plants, such as tomatoes, is the end of May. Life in the Great North Woods.
There's an expression I sometimes use, and it's some morbid dark humor though I know a lot of depressed people would understand it.
( cut for morbidity )
(If you didn't click through: I've been feeling pretty badly - not suicidal, but not exactly loving life - and please remember my gift for understatement!)
Last week, I was asking myself when was the last time I didn't feel this way, and I couldn't remember. Months - since the beginning of the year for sure. It feels like eternity.
The good news is, in the short term, I now know that plenty of rest will help, and I've certainly earned some downtime. I finished up my first documentation project at AWS, and I'll see what they think, and I have some ideas for more.
It was kind of neat. I wanted to write up how to control IO on SQL Server. In RDS (where I work) we supply provisioned databases, and they have one serious weakness: they have only one volume - one pipeline for data. This isn't insurmountable, and it's not intrinsically bad, but to reduce contention on anything, the best way to do it is make more of them. With database engines, multiple data paths are considered a very good thing.
There are ways to control most IO traffic, but to explain why they're important, a person needs to know a bit about indexes and file storage in SQL Server.
Well, we have a Wiki for knowledge sharing, and Wikis are good for linking things - so I now have three articles, one on databases and file storage, one on indexing and indexes, and one on IO control. And while I'm exhausted and know I haven't got a lot of energy to spare, it feels really good. I accomplished something, and something more permanent than just helping one customer get through one question/problem/situation. So, that's something. I'm feeling a lot more positive about life and it is, thank god, the weekend.
Here's hoping life is treating you all well.
This is a very young kitten, no more than 8 weeks old and possibly as young as 6 weeks. It's a medium-grey tabby with no white markings. We haven't yet determined whether it's male or female. It's non-aggressive and will be easy to socialize; there have only been a couple of pro-forma hisses, no swats or biting, and Russ has already had it on his lap.
Anybody want a kitten? We really, really don't need another cat, although I think we should keep this one for a week or two and work on getting it used to people. We'll throw in a bag of kitten chow, and we'll have its shots taken care of before we pass it over.