Late lies the wintry sun a-bed...

Between the noise of modern life and the solemnity of winter, there is balance to be found.

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed...
Art by Anita Jeram

Hello, world!

This week has been dedicated to three things: a minor surgery, holiday shopping at second-hand stores, and work on EveryLibrary’s next big project.

There’s a lot to love about this time of year. For me, the gray, rainy weather is perfect. I’m far more likely to go strolling on a rainy day than a hot and sunny one! (Just call me Wednesday Addams, I guess).

There is also a potent aspect of our ancient humanity that still pulls us in during wintertime. For one thing, during the summer we have very few holidays, whereas winter still retains ancient traditions. For some, these exist only via religious doctrine, but the psychological and mythic sources of our ritualistic inclinations go back far enough into our species’ infancy as to affect us all.

Katie and I are working on a considerable project for the year ahead: we want to create celebratory practices throughout the year! First, by simply observing more of the holidays that already exist, but also by bringing in new traditions to honor things that mean something to us. (“Mr. Rogers Day” and a day to celebrate “Our Lady Le Guin” are examples). I’ll write more about that as it takes shape.

The header of today’s newsletter is from Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson.

In today’s newsletter, I have three very different articles to share with you, as well as five pieces of microfiction from the last week. I also have a bevvy of interesting tidbits from the broad world of the Web that I think you’ll enjoy.


This week, I’ve been tackling a lot, and that’s meant that my own writing practice has been knocked aside for a bit. However, I still got some article writing done, as well as research for future articles. I also completed one piece of microfiction every day, which has been a really fun practice for me.

My friend Kyle and I founded Round Table Writers in the time-honored method of simply meeting every week to hang out and write together. Every week, Kyle would bring some new writing prompt or exercise to the table, and I greatly admired his joy for storytelling and unique language.

My microfiction pieces hail back to those weekly write-ins. I simply sit down and write. Very little editing, and almost no idea what I’ll write when I start out. Sometimes I work with a prompt: usually an image, but oftentimes the prompt is just a feeling, or a phrase that pops into my mind.

If you’re a writer who is struggling with creative projects, I highly recommend following the habit of a piece of daily microfiction.


  • Perfect Love Something in the photographer’s tone haunts him.
  • Your Time to Fall Falling contained the strangest form of terror.
  • Wanted for the Blacklist “Known Copylefters, Mr. Salmon. Dangerous people who don’t believe in, or respect, Corporate rights.”
  • The Cat-Guard The night before Christmas, the cat was especially perturbed. The sounds from inside the wall were louder than normal, more insistent than before.
  • Who Watches the Watcher Who Watches? “Always the same thing. God-damned awful shows. Who makes this stuff? Who watches this? Pandering to the lowest common denominator.”


This week, I have three articles for you. The first is all about slow media that’s good for kids. I firmly believe that how children experience television and computer use should be a carefully structured and highly intentional exercise on the part of parents, so I enjoyed working on this piece.

Waldorf and Montessori schools are a small niche to target, but I think my suggestions will be valuable for others as well who might just be looking for something different than what modern TV offers as children’s programming.

Mastodon continues to expand, and other federated social networks alongside! It’s great seeing people leave the walled gardens of Twitter and Facebook. I hope I can convince more people to check Mastodon out, so I continue to make guides that offer simple answers to common questions.

I am actually very excited to be returning to 3D printer content. The company Creality, which makes the popular Ender series of printers, reached out to me directly to ask if I would write a review about their new Ender 3 S1-Pro. That review will hopefully be coming sometime early next month.

For now, here’s a review of my current favorite 3D printer, the Anycubic Kobra Plus. It’s the ideal printer for a beginner, but more than capable of becoming the daily driver for experienced enthusiasts. Anycubic has been a delight to work with, and I hope they ask me to review more of their products in the future!

Random shot of my cat-goblins getting along (but only because they forgot the other one was still on the cat tower).

Other Projects

The biggest project that’s taken my attention this week has been working on this project for the 501c(3) EveryLibrary. It’s a great team, and a superb organization, so it’s been a real delight to work with them. I’m getting a great crash-course in aspects of NPO work that are new to me, and diving deeper into the political side of things, which certainly calls to me.

This project should be getting its soft launch soon, and it’s exciting to see it take shape. It’s focused on defending first amendment rights for free speech, and will be initially concentrating on fighting book banning efforts across the country.

My work, this week, has been to develop the draft of the community guidelines—which is a massive amount of work. I’ve also been using my somewhat rusty HTML skills throughout my work, as I’m also helping prepare our new website for launch.


This week, Katie and I finished our latest re-watch of Parks & Rec, which is literally one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It somehow blends ridiculousness and profundity, and creates a heartwarming viewing experience.

I remember, when I first hear of it, I’d only heard of it compared to The Office. Since I was definitely not a fan of The Office, I was hesitant to try something that seemed so similar. But I’m so grateful that I did. It’s got a big slice of magic, as well as some still-poignant social commentary.

It’s hard to context-switch after being so deeply immersed in a series like that. We tried to watch 30 Rock (which we’d both seen and enjoyed in the past), but it’s a remarkably inferior show to Parks (though Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin play off one another beautifully), so we gave up on it.

We’re considering Only Murders in the Building, Spaced, Community, and Red Dwarf for our next binge. Neither of us have seen Murders, and only I’ve watched the other three before, so there’s some potential there.

Mainly, I’m missing the weekly Farscape party we’ve been doing with some good friends. Now there’s another series that’s absolutely gold.

The World Wide Web

Things be crazy in the wide world… so I’ll start with a bit of holiday humor for the geeks in the crowd. Pretty punny stuff, here.

Data: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a Vampire? 
Data: Frostbite!
Even Data is getting in on the act!

In one of the biggest wins for privacy rights, EU privacy regulators have declared that Facebook’s practice of forcing you to give up the right to your privacy can no longer take place in Europe. Pretty amazing stuff.

Yeah, you read that right. Of course, this isn’t a new issue—nor the last time we’ll hear about it. The first time police in the US killed someone via robot was in 2016, when a robot delivered a bomb that killed a sniper.

The reason why the police want to wield this power is obvious, but the risks far outweigh any supposed benefits. The council revoked their decision after mass protests, but they only sent it back for review. I’m certain we’ll see more of this sort of thing in the near future.

In much happier news… we’ve all long known that the 5-day workweek is not only morally repugnant, but literally harmful to a person’s work productivity. Well, we’re finally seeing a real change happen! There is some serious consideration happening in the UK right now that might herald a real change.


This nifty website,, allows you to create vast soundscapes. The person behind this program, Stéphane Pigeon, has created one of the most comprehensive soundscape programs available… and it’s really cheap. You can either pay $5/month if you want to show your continued support to the project, or you can pay a one-time fee of $10 for lifetime access.


This week, I had a bunch of health stuff to take care of, including minor oral surgery. I’m glad I got it taken care of, but having someone slicing and dicing away parts of your mouth just… isn’t fun. So, I’ve been practicing mindful compassion as diligently as possible, giving myself some space to take life a little easier.

My mom was in two art shows this week, one of which Katie and I were able to go and see. I’m very proud of the stuff she’s doing out there in the world, and I feel like she needs to start selling prints of her work soon.


I’ve also been preparing for the holidays! This year, Katie and I agreed not to buy one another presents. We purchased a couple of board games, together, and we’re getting fun stocking-stuffers, but otherwise the only presents we can give to each other are ones we’ve made.

I’m trying to expand this as well, and I am working hard on making presents for some friends and family. In the future, I want to be much more diligent about shopping at thrift stores throughout the year to collect presents for holidays and birthdays, as well as for the raw-ish materials that I need to make gifts.

If you’ve ever watched Parks & Rec, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that Katie and I both want to be Leslie Knope.

Otherwise, life has been pretty nice this week. Lots of nice home cooking, quiet gray wintry days, and long walks in the drizzle. More of this weather, please!

Thank you for reading Halvorson Times. This post is public, so feel free to share it.

Well, that’s it for today! I’m looking forward to the week ahead. I have lots of writing, reading, project-work, and holiday-fun planned. But I’ll still try to go easy. And, if I can’t go easy, I’ll go as easy as I can.


Our longest Terraforming Mars game yet!

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