This week I blame naps and procrastination because I felt I had too many thoughts to collect.
- Nostalgia box – This seems to have been my major project last week, spending a few hours sorting through the old stuff I brought from my parents’ house and picking out things to put in each month’s folder. Each month I’ll open the matching folder, spend some time with what I put in there, and replace it with something else for the next year, probably something I make; and most months I’ll keep you posted about what I “find.” I’ll do January’s folder this week.
- Code console – This is the new name for what I called my Python console last time (my code manager that creates projects from templates), named more generically now since I want it to apply to other languages too. I want to focus on this project after the book feedback and nostalgia box because it’s the gateway to a bunch of other programming projects on my agenda.
- Area X – I finished this last week (awkwardly, since I waited too long to listen to the last 15 minutes and had to reborrow it), and my reaction to the series is ambivalent. I liked the philosophizing about knowledge and some of the character explorations, but the storytelling seemed to keep the mysteries even more confusing than the story required them to be. I think I’d appreciate the series more on a second reading, but I don’t know if I’ll get around to it. As for the audiobook narration, I had the same problem with Carolyn McCormick I had during The Hunger Games where half her sentences sound like pronouncements, I liked Bronson Pinchot for the most part and wouldn’t have recognized his voice at all if I hadn’t seen his name, and I’ll have to hear Xe Sands in something else before I decide if I like her style.
- Little House in the Big Woods – The Little House books had been crossing my mind lately as a depiction of life’s rhythms back in pioneer days, and I wanted to explore the rhythm idea and see if I could adapt it for my life, so I listened to the first book last week. I’d read some of that series when I was young, and it was interesting to come back to it as an adult and ask my grown-up questions about it to get an idea of its context, and I could see some of why the books are so popular. They’re an interesting and cozy window onto a healthy family living in a very different, simpler time. I might come back to it in a while and listen to the rest of the series.
- Experimental literature – I collected a few more links for my list. But this is on hold till I get through the code console.
- TV – I finished The OA, and it impressed me how seriously it took its very unusual subject matter. It got me thinking about my profound questions (such as, what do I mean by a profound question?) and about the times the profundities break through the banalities of life and make you rethink everything. It also reminded me of a genre I call therapy stories, which offer fairly direct opinions on the meaning of life and how it works, movies such as What Dreams May Come (which is also a book) and books like The Shack (which is about to be a movie). Maybe I’ll start a page on the wiki to collect a list of these.
- Firefox – As an example of the way I get completely sidetracked from my plans, on Saturday I opened Firefox and was greeted by a message from the developer of one of the Firefox add-ons I have installed (Tab Groups), saying he’s quitting his add-on development because major upcoming changes in Firefox would severely restrict what his add-ons could do and would require him to rewrite them in any case. This news pushed my buttons, so instead of the three other things I’d planned to do, I spent the next couple of hours reading about these changes and people’s reactions to them. But the time wasn’t completely wasted, because it made me aware of important issues to take into account when I eventually create the add-ons I have in mind and when I study Firefox for its add-on architecture.
It’s Thursday, a record for lateness on one of these weekly updates. For the newcomers, the date in the title really just tells you which week I’m updating for rather than the exact day I’m posting it. Ideally I post the entry on Sunday, but in any case it covers the previous Monday through that day as “last week” and reports my plans for the upcoming week.
- Project map – I’ve decided to separate the map from the wiki guide, since they really have different goals, and separating them should help me think about each of them. The map is a higher priority for me, and my latest thought on it is that most of my projects are aimed at achieving some kind of enlightenment (more than just learning things), which feels like a significant insight.
- Python console – This is the programming template project I mentioned before, and I started it a long time ago, but now I’m revising it to conform to my new programming project structure; and before I return to my other programming projects, I want to get it to the point of being able to create projects with the structure I’ve established so far, since I’ll be updating the structure as I work on them, and I want to record in the template what I’ve done so far.
- Life maintenance
- Housekeeping – The maintenance guy has fixed the ceiling, and from my conversation with him, he seems intent on finding and fixing the source of the leak, so that’s good news, though it could be annoying for a while.
- Cooking – I did some, which always feels newsworthy–chicken tikka masala this time. Lately I’ve been cooking in stages over multiple days, so one day I cook the meat, another day mix the spices, etc.
- Nostalgia box – Before the end of the month I’d like to start using this, so I’ll need to sort through my old things, pick out stuff to put in the folders, spend some time with January’s thing, and replace it with a thing for next January.
- The Revenant – I watched this at the beginning of last week, and while the cinematography and some of the music were beautiful and profound and the performances were impressive, the story was straightforward and simple and didn’t give me much to chew on.
- Silence – I saw this with Tim on Sunday and found it much more satisfying, both beautiful and roiling with ideas. It was a grueling experience, however, watching almost three hours of continuous social and personal crisis. But it illustrated one way I’ve found that history can interest me, where I wonder how a situation got from one state to another, in this case how Japan stopped persecuting Christians, and in researching the answer I was helped by having watched this short, amusing history of Japan a while back (warning: strong language).
- TV – My coworkers apparently want to talk about The OA, so I’m trying to finish that up this week.
- Comics – On Monday I found out that a fan convention, C2E2, is happening in April, and it will include celebrities I’d like to see, so since I know about it before the day before, I’m starting to make plans to finally go to one of these things, which will involve finding existing or new friends who want to go, since it’s lonely and annoying to go to events by myself, so I might join one or two comic-related groups I found on meetup.com.
- Treasure Island – My N. C. Wyeth illustrated Treasure Island arrived, so my old book collection has begun! Back then publishers communicated a book’s publication information differently, and it seems the printing date is on the title page (in Roman numerals–thanks, publisher), which makes this one a 1924 printing.
- Experimental literature – I’ve been having fun collecting web links based on the chapters in the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature to post in an article on the wiki and to form the basis for a reading list. I’m collecting them as Firefox bookmarks, and at some point I’ll write a program that will convert them to a wiki article, and then I can post it. These link collections are easy to do and feel useful, so you’ll probably see several more of them this year.
- Book feedback – A friend asked for feedback on a nonfiction book he’d like to release soon, so I’m going to try to spend most of this week on that.