Captured Robin’s handwriting at age 10

It’s a surprisingly endearing thing to do. A personality snapshot in time.

2 Replies to “Captured Robin’s handwriting at age 10”

  1. Hi Ben,

    I just wanted to send you a few kind words concerning your blog. I think I stumbled upon a link to the plottybot on reddit, that’s why I’m leaving the comment here, but in reality the comment concerns your whole blog and even more. I really liked the idea of capturing the handwriting, then after reading that post I took a look at the rest of the blog and found some other interesting posts. Then I went deep down the rabbit hole and read the whole blog from the very beginning to the last post which is currently from March 2021. I read each and every post of the currently 267 pages over the course of a few weeks. So if there are no comments under some posts, that doesn’t mean that they are not read by anybody.

    There are so many things that I found inspiring and true. The way you and your family built your house is awe-inspiring. Living off the grid wouldn’t be for me, but I see it as an impressive experiment. Your way of homesteading is amazing. (I am a bit more critical concerning wood as an energy source due to particulate emission, though, that’s why we have a heat pump powered by green electricity here). As a mechanical engineer, I do agree that it is best to learn a lot in order to perform certain jobs yourself. One of my mottos is “on n’est jamais servi aussi bien que par soi-même”.
    You seem to raise your kids with lots of love and creativity. I have three kids (age 7, 5, 1) myself. We already had lots of fun copying your duplo ideas.
    I also liked the mandalagaba and the gnuplot one-liner from hell, among other things.
    Let me wish you all the best for you and your family. I will from now on make sure to check your blog for new posts every now and then!

    Greetings from Germany!

    1. Wow… thank you that’s very kind.

      I’m all ears for wood as a heating source being questioned. I’m convinced the way we’re doing it is carbon neutral, but my understanding around particulate emission may not be accurate. It currently is that with a good hot fire, particles aren’t an issue. Or maybe simply less of an issue. It’s true that we emit smoke when the fire gets started, it’s also true that there’s nothing coming out of the chimney when the fire goes. But maybe it’s just nothing visible and there are still tiny particles. I don’t think it makes sense where houses are close together for each to have their own fires, but I’ve been to a community here in Vermont where they have a massive wood boiler generating heat and hot water for 20 houses. It works because of their density, and it is one hell of a fire so, if my understanding bears some truth, particulates are even less likely to find themselves in the exhaust.

      So with higher housing density, I think wood can still be a good energy source. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a dense place with everyone starting their own fire every morning and let them die every night. Around here, smoke particles just find their way back to the ground to be… reabsorbed by nature? Please do tell me what I’m not getting right :).

      Keep in mind that winters can be brutal here and heat pumps when they are used are only meant to complement to a beefier heating system, to lower its cost of operation and because they can also provide cooling in the Summer. In Quebec, they make so much hydro power that they heat their house with electricity from it. I believe that a majority of New England electricity comes from the province’s over abundance but by the time it gets here it’s pretty pricy. I can’t imagine heating a house with electric, I think the bill would be between $400 to $600 a month. So really our choices for heating are fossil fuels or wood. I think wood wins on cleanliness to the environment, and that’s not mentioning its many other advantages.

      Anyway, I can’t believe you read the whole thing :), especially the early posts which, let’s be honest are super boring. I do like to see our progress through the years on this blog, I’m glad you found it inspiring. I really like who we are now, and It’s nice to be reminded that we both shaped it proactively, and were shaped by the process. Creativity is new for me, and I felt it coming into me from all the adventures we got ourselves into. Winters in particular are a very creative time.

      Please do send Duplo pics! I’ll see about putting the Nosy Monster online for your kids. All the best to your family as well and thank you again for the very kind words.

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