Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A different kind of winter

Today it is sunny, bright and freezing. No snow on the ground here, not even residual snowbanks from previous snowfalls. Yesterday it was sunny and warm, whatever snow was laying around yesterday morning was long gone by evening. And that is pretty much the weather pattern for the past month. We've had a couple of substantial snowfalls, followed almost immediately by substantial rain, warm sunny days and then into the deepfreeze.

Ice is a big problem, I have put cleats on my rubber boots. Rubber for the melting days, cleats for the freezing days.

If it weren't for the non-stop succession of colds (I am into the third this month alone) I would be happy about not having to shovel snow from the driveway. Looking at photos from this time last year I know that bare ground was nowhere to be seen, shovelling was the major physical activity of the month. However I was not sick.

Hapi still needs her daily walks but we are down to one a day, I no longer have the energy for anything more than that. The back yard is filling up with her poop. Good thing it is frozen today.

A couple of days ago I went out for lunch with a couple of friends at the local Big Stop (Irving gas station restaurant). Lin and I had Haddie Bits, Val had turkey soup. The Haddie Bits were good (deep fried bits of haddock sitting atop a pile of fries, coleslaw on the side). But by the time I got home I had no energy left at all, could not even put leftovers in the microwave for supper. Went to bed and slept 12 hours and still felt exhausted. I am marginally better now, but still a ways to go, and I am giving up hope that this will be the end of it. I am quite certain my immune system is shot and when I start feeling a bit better I will be felled by whatever cold virus is lying in wait for yet another round of this miserable business.

A fellow I met while walking Hapi in the Kentville Ravine says he is sick for the first time in years (he called in sick at work but would rather be out in the ravine with the dogs than home in bed, I don't blame him) and his wife is in the same boat as me, her third or fourth cold of the season. He blames the weather, the up and down of it all. I am becoming a believer.

I got a Kindle for Christmas (a late Christmas gift), what marvelous timing! Reading is my principle activity besides sleep.

I am torn between the handiness of the Kindle and the familiarity of real books. It will take me a while I think to find free ebooks on line that I want to read, and the fact that I can't use the Kindle to read library books is a bit of a drawback. Apparently Amazon allows US library books to be read on the Kindle, but not Canadian. Amazon seems very reluctant to move beyond the American market, unlike Apple.

But still, it is extremely user-friendly once you get used to the limitations. And the usage paradigm is quite different from the iPhone/iPad/home computer paradigm. But once you get used to that it is fine.

I've shown the Kindle to a couple of friends and they immediately try to navigate by touching the screen. Since this model is the most primitive of the Kindles, touching the screen gets you nothing but fingerprints. And there is no keyboard either so initially it is a little mystifying as to how exactly one uses the thing. It has a soft keyboard of course, displayed onscreen by pressing the keyboard button, but the characters are not arranged in the familiar QWERTY style. Another learning step. Amazon seems to go out of their way to get you to understand that their product is totally, TOTALLY, different. The screen is not backlit, so you cannot read it in dim light any more than you could read a real book.

So far I have not taken the Kindle out of the house because I am scared of its fragility. I went to Staples to get a protective case for it but they were sold out; apparently a lot of us got Kindles for Christmas. So I am waiting for them to be in stock again. And for me to have the energy to go out and buy one.

Sucks to be sick.


Rain Trueax said...

I like the simple kindle without all the frills. Check out this link pretty much every day as it lists sales which can make a more expensive book cheap for a day. That's the other thing always check when you get to the Amazon site that the sale is still on Daily Cheap Reads. I try to look at it daily and never know if I'll find something good or not but it's fast to check

Annie said...

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out

Anne said...

Often when I read your blog I wonder how you manage to accomplish all the building, learning, chopping, fixing, and so on that you write about. Now you are having a little rest, which is good -- except for the bothersome colds. It probably is the weather, and before long it will be spring.

I love my kindle.

Wisewebwoman said...

I'm neither Koboed or Kindled yet, Annie, I have resisted. I don't know what it is about me and books, I love holding them, putting them on bookshelves, arranging them stroking them, etc.
One of these days probably....
Sorry to hear you are suffering yet again, I had a winter like that when I was in Markham. Hateful viruses, I was exhausted, I can totally relate. Take it easy.

Barbara Anne said...

I have no use for e-books and love the many, many books we have here at home and that I have access to at the library.

We've had no snow yet in our part of Virginia but it's been cold and warm by turns so we're sniffling, too.

Hope Hapi can go out in your yard by herself with a fence to contain her.

Wishing you a swift return to your usual good health. In the meantime, enjoy good food, good sleep, and perhaps vitamins.