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.
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.
- Apparently, there's a world championship of “Microsoft Office” (and it's canceled this year because of COVID).
- Ed Yong's “Why the Pandemic Is So Bad in America” is a must read. There's nothing new in it, per se, but the way that it lays out a timeline of the pandemic – and the US's failed response to it – is arresting. Ed Yong has been one of my favorite writers during the pandemic (The Atlantic as a whole has been churning out sharp writing), and this latest long form article did not disappoint.
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.