Guidelines for writing image descriptions

Social media posts these days often include image descriptions, which is great. But some image descriptions focus so much on describing every detail of the image that they obscure the main point of the image. So below are a couple of links to useful guidelines about how to write a good image description, both of […]

Tiny cute 2TB portable hard drive

For this trip, I decided it would be a good idea to have a portable external hard drive to back up to. (I also keep remote backups via Backblaze, but I wanted to be able to use Time Machine.) So I bought a 2TB Western Digital My Passport SSD. And I’m amazed at both its […]

Ted Lasso

The other day I saw a list of recommended Apple TV+ shows, and on the list was a show called Ted Lasso. It looked like something I would never have the slightest interest in, so I moved on. Short version of this post: I was wrong; it turns out to be a remarkable and lovely […]

A package’s progress

A package’s progress from NJ to IL: Feb 8, 7 pm: Accepted by USPS in Collingswood, NJ, ~800 miles from destination. Feb 8, 8 pm (~1 hour after previous location): Arrived in South Jersey distribution center, NJ, ~800 miles from destination. Feb 9, 7 am (~11 hours later): Departed South Jersey distribution center. Feb 10, […]

Travel day details

Here’s a long detailed post about how my travel day went. (For background, see my post from the other day.) (The first three photos attached to this post show me after shaving in preparation for wearing an N95 mask; the fourth one shows me wearing the mask; the fifth shows me on the plane, with […]

Visiting Oak Park

Short version of this post: I’m in Oak Park for the next couple months. Longer version: After months of uncertainty and waffling, I decided to come to Oak Park to see Mary Anne and Kat. I’m not going to go into detail here about my whole thought process leading up to that decision. I will […]

On becoming an Expanse fan

Back in 2017, I watched the first five episodes of The Expanse, but bounced off of it. I was intrigued by the plot and a couple of the characters, but the show overall just didn’t grab me. I was especially put off by it being yet another TV show where the writers had apparently decided […]

Read-aloud recommendations?

Short version of this post: I’m looking for recommendations for books to read aloud that feature more character diversity and less wince-inducing prejudice than my longstanding favorite read-aloud books tend to have. (But I have more criteria than that; see below.) Longer version follows. I’m looking specifically for books that meet all of the following […]

What does 95% vaccine efficacy mean?

I’ve seen several web pages that explain how to calculate vaccine efficacy, but most of them explain it in terms of a formula rather than explaining what the formula means. Here’s the simplest conceptual explanation I’ve seen: a VE of 90% indicates […] a 90% reduction from the number of cases you would expect if […]


The winter solstice arrived in the northern hemisphere about six hours ago. (And the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, of course.) Here’s my usual reposting of some winter-solstice verses. First, an excerpt from T. S. Eliot‘s “Burnt Norton” (1935): At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor […]