My Macbook Is No Longer Ill

I wrote last week that my Macbook was having battery swelling problems. I took it into a local Mac repair shop – not an Apple store, because none of my nearby stores had any appointment slots – and to my surprise, it was repaired within the week. I’d been anticipating being without my laptop for longer, because when I took it in the technician told me the replacement part supply chain had been disrupted due to COVID.

The replacement battery / labor ended up costing me a similar amount to what the laptop is worth (~$400), but… hopefully I’ll get a year or so more out of it before some other part goes bad.

Double-decker Laptop Stand

Double-decker Laptop Stand

One uh… contributing factor to just how bad the battery bloated was likely the thermal conditions I’ve been keeping it in. I have a work laptop and a personal laptop, and I’ve been just stacking them on my desk. (Very Bad Idea, in retrospect!) I suspect my personal laptop wasn’t getting enough air over it or something. I bought a laptop stand that doubles as a “thermal separation” between the two laptops.

It’s Definitely Summer

Every year, Seattle gets three, maybe four, weeks of nice summer weather – and we’re in the midst of them now. These are the weeks that make it worth putting up with months and months of gray drizzly skies. It’s seriously perfect weather: mid-to-high 70’s, low humidity, gentle breeze… *chef’s kiss*

Since we’ve been stuck inside, I’ve been more observant of our local wildlife: hummingbirds, Steller’s jays, woodpeckers, several types of squirrel. It might be the cabin fever setting in, but I’ve been enjoying just watching the trees move with the breeze in the evening. A nice reminder that the Pacific Northwest is abundant with eye-catching nature, even in one’s figurative back yard.

During the last few summers, I was traveling or living elsewhere so I missed these magic few weeks. I’m glad to be around to enjoy the Seattle summer this year, even though the circumstances are not what I expected.

The U.S. cannot prepare for these inevitable crises if it returns to normal, as many of its people ache to do. Normal led to this. Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us.

  • Maybe a little hedonism is good? - This is an interesting press release for a University of Zurich study which found that short-term enjoyment mattered as much to one’s sense of life satisfaction as the accomplishment of long-term goals: (Standard caveats about small sample size, reproducibility, etc. apply)

“It’s time for a rethink,” says Katharina Bernecker, researcher in motivational psychology at the University of Zurich. “Of course self-control is important, but research on self-regulation should pay just as much attention to hedonism, or short-term pleasure.” That’s because Bernecker’s new research shows that people’s capacity to experience pleasure or enjoyment contributes at least as much to a happy and satisfied life as successful self-control.

  • This arrangement of Night in Tunisia was my favorite thing I listened to all week.