⑫ Thoughts for the week 12

Trying something new this week; below is an audio recording of this section of the post. I’m sharing this for several reasons. First, and foremost, whilst screenreaders are fantastic tools, they often don’t quite provide the context or emphasis that a human voice may be able to provide. So this is primarily for folks who use screenreaders. Second, I’m going to try to improve my mic skills. I’m pretty bad when it comes to breathing, and plosives, and a whole manner of other things and I’m documenting my progress over time.

Audio recording of Thoughts for the week 12.

Almost everything in our home has been given a name. The sofa is called Noah, the washing machine is Walter, the cactus plant is Milligan, the peace lilly is Lilly (I didn’t say the names were complex), our car is Florence, the airpods are pinky and perky, the media server is Roger, and you get the point.

This extends to (mostly) unwanted visitors to our home, too. Last year we had semi-frequent visits from Monty, a very cute, but somewhat annoying field mouse. Our home, as you may have guessed, is not a field, and it is ours, not Monty’s.

We made several attempts at safely capturing Monty. I first constructed a completely impenetrable fort around the kitchen – the last place we saw him. The aim was to isolate him so we could then capture him and take him somewhere safe and – importantly – not our house. It turns out I am not an engineer of great forts; Monty escaped. Within hours. The following day we bought and deployed several humane mouse traps. We were told that mice like peanut butter, so we bought some of that, too. Chunky and smooth varieties. Several days later we’d had a couple run-ins with Monty, who was very much not in a trap.

Monty didn’t like peanut butter.

We then bought some, err, less than humane traps. After learning – the hard and painful way – how to set the traps (I’m not the sharpest tool in the box), they were set up in a few places. Half-hoping not to hear the likely-problematic-for-Monty snap, we left them for a few days. No snap, but also no Monty.

Monty, the escapologist mouse with an aversion to peanut butter, was a smart mouse.

Earlier this week – probably about 11 months after our last encounter – we saw Monty again. Except, it wasn’t Monty. This new mouse was a different colour, just as cute, but significantly faster.

All of the above was a set up to the name I’ve given to the new mouse. It’s a joke, y’see. One I was very proud of. But, now that I’ve just written all this down, I realize, it’s not funny. The new mouse, one who I hope doesn’t return, is called Montezuma. He’s faster — more zoomy — than Monty. Monty-zoomer? I’m so sorry.

Montezuma doesn’t like peanut butter, either. 🐁

Health authorities in BC updated our vaccine rollout this week. It has made two major changes. First, a list of folks in certain key professions including K-12 teachers, grocery store workers, first responders, and others will be prioritized in April, regardless of their age. On a personal note, I was thrilled to hear this as I have several friends who are in one of these professions and I couldn’t be happier for them. The second thing the PHA did was move everyone’s vaccine schedule up by a month. It’s now quite possible that I will have my first shot in May or June, meaning there’s a really good chance I’ll be fully vaccinated by the end of the summer. I really hope that plays out; I can’t wait to go to a restaurant, or watch football in a bar with my friends, or a whole manner of other things that I’ve either been unable due to public health orders, or felt too uncomfortable to do for now more than a year.

We also continue to have a high number of cases, a large number of people in hospital and critical care, an increasing amount of variants of concern, and a suboptimal set of trend lines for these things.

It’s a confusing time.

In a zoom meeting that was set up by UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office, as a way for UBC’s community to come together in reflection about anti-Asian racism and violence, I heard a phrase that hit me like a ton of bricks: “Silence is safety”. The person who shared this explained that the only way they could feel some modicum of safety, was to stay silent. It wasn’t the only thing that caused me to cry in that meeting – several experiences that were shared by the incredibly strong women were truly harrowing – but that one phrase has stuck with me.

People who look like me simply can’t comprehend those experiences; I’m not sure we have the ability to understand them, meaning we can’t truly, honestly, empathize either. But we can listen – actually listen. We can, and should, believe, and act upon what we’re hearing. Those actions, in order to be – and act as – an ally, are multi-faceted. We need to call out racism as racism when we see it. We need to continue to listen to and believe the lived experiences that we’re being told. We need to have the hard conversations with our friends and family when we hear or see racism. They’re only hard conversations because we haven’t normalized having them and calling out racism. And a lot more beyond.

As white people, it’s on us, it can only be us, to stop racism perpetuated by white people. And we must.

Gutenberg Icon Finder is a, err, Icon Finder for Gutenberg. Useful if you use Icons in your block editor-based work. 👀

Eksell (pronounced like the spreadsheet software from Microsoft) is the newest theme by Anders Norén. It is, as you would expect, beautiful. It’s also a template for how themes might integrate with the block editor in the near future. 🖥

It’s hard to describe how amazing I find this amateur (I use that term with a wince) astrophotography project by JP Metsavainio from Finland. A 1.7gigapixel image of our Galaxy. 🔭

BC COVID-19 Vaccine Count: 9.52% (+2.12%) and 8.04% (+1.88%) Canada-wide. 👩🏼‍⚕️