Its going to snow today! Thats what Id be saying if it wasnt ten degrees too warm
It's going to snow today! That's what I'd be saying if it wasn't ten degrees too warm. Furchin / Getty Images

How will you spend your $600 windfall? A stimulus payment has been approved, and Americans can look forward to getting a payment of a couple hundred bucks at some point in the next few weeks. (Check your status with the IRS here.) Biden says to think of it as a “down payment” so maybe he’s planning to send more once the White House is fumigated. Meanwhile, financial experts are offering ludicrously obnoxious advice about how to make the most of the $600 payment, like “pay down your mortgage principal.”

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas: Seattle could get some mushy slush today, with various forecasts wobbling between a little mountain snow and mostly rain for everyone else. We’re also unlikely to have snow on Christmas, unless you want to head up into the mountains (which look very pretty, but this week is probably not a great time to be on the roads). This is also the shortest day of the year — tomorrow we’ll gain an extra five seconds of daylight, which will be almost as useful as that second stimulus check.

The Cal Anderson Park situation remains volatile: There was gunfire near the park around 1:30am on Sunday; then late last night there was a game of “Antifa Soccer” that resulted in a couple arrests before dog-walkers were allowed to return to the technically still-closed park. Community meetings to discuss the park are expected to come early in 2021. Meanwhile, the Seattle Parks and Recreation department spent the weekend tweeting about the importance of ferns.

Microsoft is not fooling around with its response to a recent massive cyberattack: The situation is complicated, but basically a group of hackers (suspected to be tied to the Russian government, although Trump blamed China) infected a piece of network monitoring software that then went out to tens of thousands of computers, including Microsoft systems, which then went on to infect even more. In response, Microsoft has essentially hit the nuclear option, issuing an update that will quarantine infected software — a rare and extreme step that could go so far as to disable certain organizations’ networks.

The virus is mutating: Researchers have detected changes in the makeup of the virus recently, though nobody is sure if those particular changes will make it easier for the virus to jump from person to person, or to kill people. It’s highly unlikely that these mutations will have any effect on vaccine efficacy. In the UK, London entered a total lockdown on travel and gatherings over the holidays.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jabs Amazon again: "A 'job' that leaves you homeless & on food stamps isn't a job. It's a scam," she tweeted, noting that over 4,000 warehouse employees are on food stamps. Amazon issued a statement saying they’re “surprised” people care so much.

Cable companies can’t make you “rent” your router anymore: A new law kicked in this weekend that eliminates router-rental fees for equipment that you own — finally, a piece of good news for 2020. The fees were supposed to end in June, but the FCC gave cable companies an additional six months to gouge their customers because of the pandemic (???).

Q could return to Star Trek: How do members of the Continuum age? John De Lancie has hinted that he’ll be back in some form as Q — maybe? — in a Cameo video. He starts by telling a little story about Gene Roddenberry, then adds, “you are going to be seeing more of me.” So … maybe that means more Cameo videos, or maybe it means he’ll be voicing a character on Below Decks, or maybe he’ll be skating around in My Little Pony On Ice, a live ice skating show that I just made up in my head. Or could he maybe reprise his role as Binky Holborn on Murder She Wrote?

Cyberpunk went “boink”: There’s a great writeup in the NYT about the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, which was expected to be the big holiday hit and instead turned out to be something like Cats (2019) — the most interesting thing about it is how wrong it all went. Honestly, the glitches are more cyberpunk than anything they meant to put in the game. You may also enjoy Jim Sterling’s musical number about the game.

Sports is pretty now? This weekend’s Seahawks game startled quite a few viewers with some unusually beautiful cinematography — apparently they had a person on the field with an 8K DSLR that captured some truly gorgeous camera angles.

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Potato men to form new body: I was going through some newspapers from 100 years ago and came across this headline, one of the finest I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop repeating it to myself — potato men to form new body. Potato men to form new body. (But seriously folks, the Washington Oregon Potato Conference is just one month away, featuring such sessions as “A Continuing Saga: Whole vs. Cut Potato Seed.”)