How to Restore and Repair Old Wooden Windows

Wooden window restoration is something I am very familiar with. I have antique wooden windows in my home. Well, they are sort of old and differ from how windows are made nowadays, so I guess I can use the word “antique.” The house where I live was built in 1939. I do not know how old the windows are. It is possible that they are from later than the house itself, but they definitely are at least several decades old. More importantly, they are really pretty. I moved to my current home seven years ago. Back then the windows were covered with countless layers of flaky, dirty, old paint. Now they are restored and saturated with linseed oil.

Window

My bedroom window. It’s made from pine wood and covered with linseed oil. The plant on the windowsill is Nepenthes x ventrata.

[Read more…]

Symbolic Photography

This is a self-portrait I made two months ago, back then I published it with the title “Bold and Proud.”

Avester

For some people merely staying alive requires being bold. When you don’t fit into any of the boxes that the society has been trying to enforce for centuries, when your mere existence is an eyesore for conservative people who believe in traditional gender roles, you have to be bold just to survive. When all the “rules” the society tries to enforce clash with your personal lifestyle choices, all that’s left to be is to stay bold and proud. [Read more…]

My New Year Spruce Tree

Spruce trees are one of those goods that lose their value in an instant. On the morning of 31st December, people sell them as Christmas trees. At the evening of the same day, unsold spruce trees litter the dumpsters. In Latvia people start selling Christmas trees in mid December, and 31st December is the last date on which trees are still available for sale. Then, at the evening of 31st December, all the unsold trees become garbage and are thrown out. [Read more…]

What a Waste

Now that the Christmas is over, some of you might have gifts that you don’t want. If so, you might be thinking about returning an unwanted holiday gift back to the store. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance your holiday returns will end up in a landfill. Each year, consumers return a lot of goods, a significant portion of which are processed during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, only some of returns make it back to shop shelves.

Once a product is returned, the retailer has to deal with the cost of assessing the item and repackaging it. Sadly, especially with low value items, often it is cheaper for the retailer to throw out returned goods rather than trying to resell them. On top of the sorting and repackaging problems, there’s also the time limit to get certain products resold. Returned electronics, for example, can lose much of their value in just a few months. This is why many returns are sold for pennies to liquidators and discounters before ending up at regional wholesalers, who send the goods to pawn shops, dollar stores or out of the country. Retailers have worked out logistics how to get goods from the place of manufacture to the shop shelves. Reverse logistics (getting good from customers back to the shops) are severely lacking. [Read more…]

Defining Violence

Whenever people start to passionately argue about proper word definitions, it’s probably because somebody wants to get away with verbally hurting other people. Either that, or they are super excited about linguistics, and let’s be realistic—majority of people have no interest in philology. I say this as a person who has a master’s degree in German philology—whenever I try to tell people about how languages are really exciting, they instead find excuses how to change the conversation topic.

But what does “getting away with verbal abuse” even mean? If I dislike some person and I call them an “asshole,” I might get called out for it. Somebody can say, “This was rude and offensive, moreover, you hurt this person’s feelings.” If I wanted to emulate the typical behavior of a bigoted person, at this point I could argue that “asshole” isn’t a rude word, instead it’s a perfectly neutral description of who this person is; after all, I cannot be rude if I merely state things as they are. This is how some people try to insist that calling trans women “men in dresses” cannot be an insult, because it merely describes the reality as it is. On top of that, the person who said this transphobic phrase will argue that they aren’t even a TERF or a transphobe, instead they are “gender critical.” Just like people with racial prejudices are not racists but “race realists.” And mass murders of entire populations aren’t “genocides,” but some other euphemism du jour. [Read more…]

Snowy White Christmas Fluffy

Where I live, right now the weather is rainy, temperature hovers at about +4°C. We had some snow back in November, but now all of it has long melted. This year, there will be no snowy white Christmas for me. This means, it’s time to dig up some photos from my old archives. These images are taken two years ago (in March, actually).

Pomeranian Dog

[Read more…]

Always Read the Fine Print

Whenever I go grocery shopping, I always examine the packaging of any food I consider purchasing, and I specifically look for the information that is written in the fine print. I expect sellers to lie and to attempt to cheat me. Personally, I don’t care about counting calories (I am perfectly happy with my weight). Instead, I am looking at the ingredient lists. Once you start to examine the ingredient list of every food you contemplate purchasing, you will notice a certain interesting trend, namely, people who make food want to rip you off. [Read more…]

Various Shades of Sexism and Transphobia

We live in a cisnormative and sexist society, which tries to force traditional gender roles upon everybody, including people who don’t like said roles and don’t want to follow them. There are countless ways how a bigot can try to force traditional gender roles upon another person. Some of these “strategies” are very blatant and hostile, others are subtle and barely noticeable. In this article I will share my observations of various tactics that bigots use in their attempts to maintain the status quo, namely, a sexist and transphobic society with prescriptive gender roles. I will also talk about how male bigots differ from female bigots. [Read more…]