Update for 5/7/2017

Project updates

  • Media
    • Podcasts – My library checkout of the Hardwired audiobook expired, and I took the opportunity to take a break from it, since I was in more of a mystery mood, and I listened to the podcast S-Town, an investigative journalism piece by Brian Reed from This American Life. It fascinated me from the very beginning, both the people involved and the storytelling, and it ended up being moving and thought provoking too.
    • Books – I’m about halfway done with Hardwired, and I’ve checked it out again and hope to finish it this week, after which I’ll finish Yancey’s Prayer.
    • TV – I’m pushing myself through Arrow and The Flash, and I’ve reached the end of the first season they share, which turned out much more interesting and exciting than I expected. Recently I learned that Supergirl crosses over with them, and that show started with The Flash‘s second season, which I’m about to start, so I’m adding that one to my lineup this week, which is a little annoying because it’ll slow down my catch-up even more, but I did like the Supergirl pilot episode and planned to watch the rest. Then in the season after this one, I’m sure I’ll be adding Legends of Tomorrow.
    • Comics
  • Public coding guide – I’ve been told I didn’t celebrate the completion of this phase of the guide enough, so I’ll say I’m relieved to get all that writing done, but really the phase isn’t complete until I’ve written and linked the code that relates to it, since the code will show how I’m specifically implementing these topics, so I’m working on that part next. I’ll also be relieved once that’s done, but I think the guide will feel so rough and incomplete that I still won’t be ready to celebrate yet, though I might start asking knowledgeable programmers for feedback.
  • Nostalgia box – I feel like my life has settled down enough that I can spend a little more time on this. My next steps are to finish looking through April’s folder, open May’s, and catch up on the new folder contents for the past few months, which will take some serious thought about how to simplify my ideas so I can get each one done in a few hours.
  • Beliefs report – This has been on the back burner, but Sunday I had a conversation with my pastor (probably the first we’ve had) in which he asked if I was in a small group, to which I replied that I used to be but wasn’t now, and he recommended it and told me who to talk to if I wanted to join. I like small groups in principle, but I’m hesitant for a few reasons, and one of them is the doubt and lack of clarity that plague everything religious I think about doing, and it reminded me again of my beliefs report project, so that’s moving back up the priority list.
Posted in Beliefs report, Books, Comics, Nostalgia box, Podcasts, Public coding guide, TV | 6 Comments

Update for 4/30/2017

Life updates

  • Chapel – Last week I forgot to mention that at work the week before, our chapel speaker was Kim PhĂșc, the “napalm girl” from the famous Vietnam War photo, and she was funny and inspiring, especially her story of meeting John Plummer, who claimed to have ordered the attack, though Wikipedia and some Googling tell me there are problems with this story, so I’m curious to see what ends up in her memoir, Fire Road, which comes out later this year.
  • Board games – Saturday was International Tabletop Day, and I celebrated it with my friend Tim by visiting my friendly local game store and buying Isle of Skye, which we had time to set up and (re)learn but not play, so that’ll happen later.

Project updates

  • Public coding guide – I’ll post the configuration and logging sections this week (spoiler: I did), and that’ll finish this phase of guide writing.
  • Code console – After the coding guide, I’ll start making my cookiecutter templates, which will hopefully only take a week or two and not a month.
  • Car – I’ll probably buy a car sometime in the next couple of months, so I’ll start researching the process to remind myself, since it’s been 12 years.
  • Nostalgia box – On Sunday I opened April’s folder, a series of comics called Sillyman that I drew when I was 9. I read about half of the main series, and I’ll get to the rest soon.
  • Comics – This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day yet again, and sometime before then I’m going to try to post to the wiki a guide to reading comics. I’ll post a link on the blog when that’s done.
Posted in Board games, Car, Chapel, Coding project generator, Comics, Life updates, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide | 2 Comments

Update for 4/23/2017

Project updates

  • Public coding guide – I posted my documentation updates, and the only thing left for this phase of writing is a couple of sections on configuration and logging, after which I’ll make the boilerplate code that corresponds to the things I’ve written so far, and then I’ll get back to my regular programming projects.
  • Nostalgia box – I didn’t get around to opening April’s folder, so I’ll do that this week.
  • TV – I finished Iron Fist, and my feelings about it are mixed. Danny’s changing circumstances were interesting, and I’m curious to see where the story goes next, but Danny himself still seems like an overpowered child to me, though he grew a bit towards the end, while Ward ended up being one of my favorite characters, and the Hand is currently my favorite villain organization, mostly because I’m not familiar with them from the comics, so they’re still a mystery to me.

Life updates

  • Meetups – Saturday I went with some people from my geek meetup to C2E2, a pop culture convention in Chicago (posts from my experience, including a really short video where I can just barely be seen), and while it was draining enough that I didn’t enjoy every minute, I’m glad I went, and I hope to go to more of them. I went to a couple of panels (all the livestream recordings)–an interview with Frank Miller and Stan Lee and a discussion by a couple of big YouTube channels, Comicstorian and ComicsExplained–but mostly I shoved my way through the very dense crowd on the show floor, looking at all the merchandise and cosplay (a gallery showing a small fraction), but I think of this convention as a trial run, and now I know how such events go and how I can be more prepared for them as a somewhat casual fan. Conventions are basically marketing and sales events, so I wanted to participate and buy stuff, but my cautious buying habits and the additional mental burden of dealing with a crowd conflicted with that goal, and I only bought a trade paperback of the Infinity Gauntlet series, but that kicks off my Marvel collection, so I’m considering it good. After the convention we had a delicious dinner at a Cuban restaurant, where we tried beef empanadas, yucca fries, and a soda called malta that tasted like molasses (maybe because it contained molasses).
  • Death – Sunday I learned that the day before, a Wheaton College student was killed in an accident at a track meet, struck by a hammer during the hammer throw. Reading an article about his life reminds me of a sad and sobering thought I always have when I hear about deaths at the college–that having a promising future on earth doesn’t guarantee it will come to pass.
Posted in Comics, Conventions, Death, Life updates, Meetups, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide, TV | Leave a comment

Update for 4/16/2017

Life updates

  • Life maintenance – Last week was mostly spent catching up on life from the week before–grocery shopping, laundering, library book returning, and napping.
  • Easter – Easter was good.
    • Friday – I had Good Friday off work, as usual, and I picked up my brother from the airport, had we had lunch at a Greek diner and went to our usual TaizĂ© service, during which I caught up on a little sleep. Afterwards were frozen Chinese dinners at home, accompanied by my long and rambling summary of the plot of Arrow to explain the episode we were trying to watch, and then I dropped Michael off at another Good Friday service and spent the time watching streams because I was slightly too tired and lazy to do anything productive.
    • Saturday – In the morning we slept in and took a slightly long walk before kidnapping Jeremy for a very long lunch at Potbelly, after which was a short stop at Target and then dinner accompanied by the rest of our rather eventful Arrow episode. Then it was time to drop Michael off at another long church service, which gave me a chance to finish my taxes, which I did with a bit of help from Michael when he got back.
    • Sunday – Easter morning I was in a good mood, I’m sure helped by having my taxes done but also by the energy of the service and by visiting a church I like after a long absence, and I found the homily unusually moving and helpful. After church we hung out at Starbucks until it was time for lunch with some friends of mine from church, where I continued my tradition of overstuffing myself with food when the food is Indian, made by Indians, and eaten in their home. When we arrived and met the other friends they’d invited, it turned out one of them lives in my apartment building a few doors down from me, so maybe we’ll run into each other again sometime in her last few weeks here. After a fairly wide-ranging lunchtime conversation from which I took the location of an Indian grocery store and some Indian movie recommendations, I drove Michael back to the airport and then had dinner with Tim and finished the movie we’d been watching.
  • Meetups – On Saturday I’m fulfilling my long-held goal of attending a pop culture convention, heading to Chicago for C2E2 with people from my geek meetup.

Project updates

  • Public coding guide – I wrote some more but didn’t post any updates, which I’ll try to do this week.
  • Nostalgia box – Either this week or next week I’ll open April’s folder, probably this week to give ideas from this month’s content a chance to mix creatively with things I see at the convention.
  • Movies – The movie Tim and I finished was Ip Man 3, part of a series about Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher. This one had plenty of combat, but it was really about his relationship with his wife, and I thought its treatment of that theme was interesting and compelling.
Posted in Holidays, Life maintenance, Life updates, Meetups, Movies, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide, Social life | 1 Comment

Update for 4/9/2017

Life updates

  • Work – In the middle of last week my boss pulled me into the rather large project of reorganizing our typesetting file archive, and that took over my life for several days, including Saturday. It was kind of fun, but it throw off other things I was planning to do, such as laundry and taxes, so this week I’m catching up on life, which is why this entry is so late. But at least with all the extra hours I worked, I didn’t have to use up personal time for my medication infusion on Thursday, and I even earned an hour of comp time.
  • Palm Sunday Orchestra – Sunday was our performance, and although I was a little anxious about it for most of the week, by the Saturday morning rehearsal I found I was settling into the music, and although during the performance my lips got about as tired as I expected, making the sustained notes harder and especially the higher notes, overall I played better than the first rehearsal led me to expect, and afterward people told us how much they appreciated having the orchestra play. I found that it did feel like a special occasion, and I liked the arrangements, and I’ve had some of them running through my head since then, so I’m thinking of looking for recordings.
  • Easter – My brother is making his annual Easter visit this weekend, so I’ll try to get the apartment somewhat ready for him, but especially after the life disruption of work last week, I’m being easy on myself and accepting that most of what I’d like to do won’t happen but that it’ll turn out okay anyway.

Project updates

  • Public coding guide – I’m discovering a lack of satisfying guides on some issues and new tools to learn for handling others, so I’m going to have to leave certain sections in a very incomplete state for now, but doing that will let me get on with the more concrete and usable parts of this project, namely the project skeleton templates.
  • Media
    • Books – Juggling two audiobooks has noticeably slowed me down, but I finally finished Watership Down last week, and although I’m not really qualified to judge these things, I’ve heard it described as a modern classic, and it definitely has that feel. Its tone struck a nice balance between gravity and accessibility, the plot seemed very well constructed, and it even carried a sense of (rabbit) mythology mixing with the characters’ present-day adventures. I still don’t know if it’s a kids’ book, but for anyone at least slightly older I absolutely recommend it.
    • Movies – I watched Snowpiercer with my friend Tim, split up over a couple of weeks, and it was strange and rather implausible but interesting, one of a couple of dystopian SF films about class warfare I’ve wanted to see after watching others like In Time and Aeon Flux, and the next on that list is High-Rise. I’m not sure why these movies appeal to me, other than their sometimes shiny aesthetic, but they tend to stick in my mind.
Posted in Books, French horn, Holidays, Life updates, Movies, Project updates, Public coding guide, Work | 1 Comment

Update for 4/2/2017

Life updates

Life events seemed to dominate last week, so I’ll start with them.

  • Car – I spent a worried Monday and Tuesday with my car left at the mechanic to assess a rusted, leaky brake line, wondering if I’d be buying a new car that week and fretting how to arrange all the necessary logistics. But he fixed it affordably, and so although my car does seem to be on its way out, at least now I have more of a choice of when that happens, which may be in a few weeks. If I do replace it this year, I’ll probably delay moving another year to give my finances some time to recover.
  • AI meetup – Tuesday night, since I had my car back, I attended the first meeting of a new meetup I joined for discussing AI and related topics. It was an interesting group, I learned a few things, and I’ll probably keep attending.
  • Palm Sunday Orchestra – At Christmas my church assembles an Advent Orchestra to play on one Sunday near Christmas, and because of my vacation schedule I’ve rarely been able to play, so when they decided to do the same thing for Palm Sunday, I joined (on my other instrument besides the piano, the French horn). Our first rehearsal was Thursday, and although I played better than I expected after two or three years of not even touching it, I played annoyingly worse than if I were playing regularly, so I’ll definitely be practicing between rehearsals. To make the rehearsal more adventurous, my first valve string (which connects the key to the rotary valve to let air through the pipe to change the notes) decided to break fairly early on, so I had to become mechanical and find a workaround, which I did with the help of our trumpeter’s screwdriver, and then on the weekend made a trip to Sam Ash to pick up some new string.

Project updates

  • Public coding guide – I’m still working on the documentation section, but this week I’m posting each subsection as I finish it, and hopefully next week (or the week after, since this one will be busy) I can move on to the last couple of sections in this phase.
  • Code console – During my coding guide research, I found a well-supported project called cookiecutter that lets you create programming project skeletons using templates, which is exactly what my code console was going to do, so I immediately dropped my own project in favor of creating cookiecutter templates, which doesn’t eliminate the work of learning best practices and deciding on code conventions, but it does take care of the actual creation of projects.
  • Knowledge representation – In my controlled language studies I’m starting with Attempto Controlled English. I’ve been reading the reference material, and once that’s done, I’m thinking of translating the examples from Huddleston and Pullum’s Student’s Introduction to English Grammar so I get a better idea of what you can and can’t say with Attempto.
  • Taxes – I keep accidentally putting these off, but I made myself start on them Saturday night.
  • Beliefs report – I don’t think I worked on this last week, but it’s still a current project, even if I only work on it occasionally for now, though I’ll try to finish my thoughts on prayer soon.
  • Games – As an experiment in writing spontaneously on the wiki, I started an article for collecting video and board games about programming I’ve run across. Then I realized there are already very good lists like that on the Internet, so I linked to some, but for now I’m keeping the article because I like adding things to it and I think it has one or two games that aren’t on the others.
  • Nostalgia box – This is sort of on hold until my other projects settle down, but the more time wears on, the more important the simplification aspect of this project becomes–trimming down my initial idea for the month’s project into something I can finish quickly. Overly ambitious project ideas are a continual problem for me, so I expect that learning this skill will help me with all my other projects.
Posted in Beliefs report, Board games, Car, Coding project generator, French horn, Knowledge representation, Life updates, Meetups, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide, Taxes, Video games | 3 Comments

Update for 3/26/2017

Project updates

  • Knowledge representation – I installed software for the three controlled languages I want to look at, plus Inform 7 because I’m curious how well an interactive fiction engine can be adapted to general KR, and I’ll probably explore some logic programming too, since it’s fundamental to most forms of KR. This week I’ll probably read some reference docs but mostly take a break to work on the code console.
  • Code console – For the coding guide I collected a lot of the links I’d found for documentation, and I’ll finish that section this week, along with relevant code in the console project, and work on the last section for this phase of the guide, configuration. After that I can work on the code console’s main functionality, creating a new project based on templates.
  • Beliefs report – As a context for thinking about my future religious activities, I’ve been starting to round up my current beliefs into an essay, an idea that comes to mind occasionally in church when I’m confronted with other people’s spirituality or exhortations about my own (in the form of sermons rather than personal advice). Last week a friend helped out by asking what I believe about prayer, so I’ve been working on my reply, and some version of that will probably end up in the essay.
  • Media
    • Books – I finished The Divine Conspiracy–finally, after many years of meaning to and starting and restarting it–and although I’d quibble with some of the details, I like its overall vision, especially its focus on eternity and its outline of a discipleship program. Since we’re still in Lent and I need more spiritual reading material, I would reread it, but I see it as more of a signpost than a destination, and I’d rather read something with more detail on one of its themes. Right now my theme seems to be prayer, so I’m moving on to Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, which addresses some of my core issues.
    • TV – I’ve progressed in Iron Fist through episode 6, and I’m happy to report it does get better. I was able to relax into it by the fourth episode, and even Ward, my least favorite character, is growing on me.

Life updates

  • Car – This problem has been developing gradually for a while, but Sunday morning my brake pedal was consistently sinking to the floor when I pressed it, so I’m making an emergency trip to the mechanic Monday morning. My anxiety level was up Sunday morning, since I wasn’t sure how safe I’d be driving it even the minimum I needed, or how easy it would be to make my emergency arrangements, or how long the repair would take, so I made a worry list, got through the first couple of items, and felt better.
Posted in Books, Car, Coding project generator, Knowledge representation, Life updates, Project updates, Spirituality, Theology, TV | 3 Comments

Update for 3/19/2017

Happy spring!

Project updates

    • Code console – I’ve posted the first iteration of my public coding guide, and the next step is to research documentation, document my findings, and apply them to my coding console, which I’ll work on this week.
    • Knowledge representation – I settled on three controlled natural languages to explore–Attempto Controlled English, ITA Controlled English, and object-role modeling–on the basis that they’re decently expressive and have ready-made tools for working with them, and now I’m installing the tools so I can study the languages and experiment.
    • Nostalgia box – I didn’t do much except start reading my Celtic design book, and I’m thinking for March I might just draw some practice designs rather than trying to make a book out of them, even a very short one. I still have to finish February.
    • Media
      • Movies – I saw Logan with some people from the geek meetup, a completely different branch from the one I played games with, and I had a nice time, though to be honest it’s a little awkward seeing a movie with strangers, but I’d hang out with them again. The movie itself was very good, and I think even if you aren’t into superhero movies, you might enjoy it.
      • TVIron Fist, the latest Marvel-Netflix series about New York street-level heroes, came out on Friday, and I’m three episodes in. It’s been an odd show so far, and it’s been hard to get a feel for what the characters are supposed to be like, though the episodes have been getting less awkward and inconsistent, so I’m mildly hopeful.

Life updates

    • Work – One of our biggest customers is going out of business, so last week the president held a meeting to tell us about our situation and the contingency plans we’re activating, which all sounded reasonable to me and not too painful (for me at least), and it reinforced my impression that our company is managed well. But it does mean our department won’t be going to PyCon this year, so the West Coast will have to wait.
Posted in Coding project generator, General, Knowledge representation, Movies, Nostalgia box, Public coding guide, TV, Work | Leave a comment

Update for 3/12/2017

Life updates

  • Birthday – Tuesday was my birthday, and it was good, though a little surreal as my birthdays always feel to me now, since the attention I get from other people spikes just that one day. It was also sort of nice in a surreal way that I had to convince one of my online friends that I was actually 19 years older than he assumed from my picture, which was from a few years ago, but not that many. But the best part of the day was opening the March folder of my nostalgia box, which I’ll tell you about below.
  • Funeral – Wednesday the office manager from my previous job messaged me that our designer’s daughter had been found dead of an overdose the day before, which would be a shock in any case but especially because I’d met her a few years before and she was young–only 30, I later learned. I consider the father, as well as his family, a friend as well as a coworker, so I was glad I was available to go to both the visitation and the funeral. As usual, I found the service thought provoking and even inspiring, since she was a complicated person with a vitality that lifted up everyone around her and a faith that persisted even while she struggled with substance abuse, to the point that she befriended her atheist roommate in the hospital and led him to the Lord.

Project updates

  • Nostalgia box – I’m still working on February’s project, but I’d planned my March folder for my birthday, so I opened it that night and “discovered” that it contained a diary my mom had kept for a while after my birth and a set of encouraging notes from people in my teenage years, mostly around the end of high school, plus a Mad Lib-style booklet from an elementary school assignment where I described things about my life at the time. It ended up being a very good birthday activity because it gave me a sense that people value me and reinforced the desire I’ve had to work on my social connections and support people more proactively, so I recommend that people collect these kinds of messages and revisit them from time to time. I worked some on February’s project last week too, and I’m going to have to start over somewhat to simplify it so it takes less time. I’m also planning March’s project with a short time frame in mind, since ideally I’d like to take at most a week per month on the nostalgia box, mixed in with other projects so I’m not pausing everything for it.
  • Public coding guide – Other than the nostalgia box, I focused on the guide last week and got a decent amount written, but it turns out there was more to write than I realized, and I haven’t gotten it quite to the point of posting. But I’m simplifying this project too, at least its current phase, and hopefully I can post this week.
  • Knowledge representation – I’m supposed to be taking a break from KR to work on the code console/guide stuff, but I’ve been sneaking it in anyway, reading a little of my book on Object-Role Modeling, Information Modeling and Relational Databases by Terry Halpin, and discovering controlled natural languages, which are a way of restricting the way you write to make it clearer, either to other people or to both people and computers. It’s exciting to me because half my reason for studying KR is to find a more disciplined way to take notes, and I’ve been thinking along the lines of a simplified English, and happily I caught myself before I tried to create my own, and I researched and found these existing languages, so I’m reading about them to find and learn the most suitable one for my purposes.
  • Media
    • Books – I’m still chugging my way through Watership Down and The Divine Conspiracy and enjoying both and having thoughts provoked (my main purpose in life, it seems), but mainly I want to comment on TDC. Willard does a good job of pressing the main point of his interpretation, which is that in the Sermon on the Mount, rather than laying down laws, Jesus is illustrating the kind of person who has the kind of inner life that results in the actions he’s describing. It’s getting me to think again about how you’d become that kind of person, the kind who believes God and loves others, and right now I’m thinking prayer is a central discipline–prayer as a type of meditation on truth. Usually I don’t like prayer, at least intercessory prayer, mostly because it’s hard to come up with things to say and I’m always sure I’m not sincere enough and I doubt God will do much to respond to my requests and it feels like a waste of time, but maybe if I treat it as a project that I plan for the way I do with my others and if I approach it in a conversational, Immanuel fashion and wait for God to give my prayers their main content, I could get myself to do it and feel like it’s at least doing something for me, even if it doesn’t supernaturally change the rest of the world.
    • Movies – I’d had Boyhood on my mental list for a while, and Jeremy had seen it recently, so I took a couple of days to watch it so we could talk about it. It was surprisingly engrossing for a film about everyday life, and I found myself thinking about it afterward much more than I expected, so maybe boring old regular life is more interesting than I typically assume. One of the more interesting details was The Black Album, which is a real thing you can listen to, and I take its inclusion to illustrate the close relationship the director has with his actors. Mason’s life was pretty different from mine, but it seemed to be the story of the stereotypical experiences of an average person in his demographic, and it made me want to find similar stories about other kinds of people.
Posted in Birthdays, Books, Death, Knowledge representation, Life updates, Movies, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide | 2 Comments

Update for 3/5/2017

Project updates

  • Code console – I looked into documentation practices a little more, but right now this project is on hold for a bit while I catch up on the next one.
  • Public coding guide – Writing helps me clarify my thoughts, keeps them moving, and lets me share them with others, so I’m documenting my process of revising my programming practices in a guide that I’ll post on the wiki sometime this week, a guide for moving from programming for oneself to programming for other users. So far I’ve written most of the introduction, and even though the code console isn’t in a usable state, I’ll want to post what I have on GitHub soon so I can link to it from the guide, since it’ll be one of the main ways I document my new practices. Once the guide has reached the stage of development I’m at in the code console, I’ll go back to working on the console, which is why I’m starting the guide now when that gap is small.
  • Knowledge representation – I’m almost done with the book’s lengthy part one, but I’m going to put this on hold too until I’m where I want to be with the coding guide.
  • Computer hardware – I got around to installing the new RAM into my desktop (8 G for a total of 14), which was easier than I expected, and it does feel zippier now, so it was a good idea. I also tried out my video adapter connecting my Surface to my desktop monitor so I can have two screens, and that worked well too, so now I have one less excuse not to stream.
  • Nostalgia box – I bought a long reach stapler, so now I can easily and somewhat cheaply make my own custom notebooks to use for experimenting, practicing, and making small projects for the box. I’m still on February’s project, which is an experiment with a very nonlinear presentation of a random concept map in a 16-page booklet–illustrated, if I have time, and I hope I do, because page after page of words in circles really isn’t that interesting to look at.
  • Media
    • Books
      • Algorithms to Live By – This book is about what I call transferable concepts, ideas from one field you can apply to others, in this case from computer science to everyday life–some of the ideas specific, like keeping a cache of recently used items so they’re easy to find, and some more general, like the need for good-enough solutions when perfect ones would take too long to find. It doesn’t really contain math, and I think most people could make use of its advice, but it’s probably easier to understand for programmers and mathematicians, since even as a programmer I’ll have to reread some of the explanations. I’ve wanted to write about transferable skills in programming, maybe not a book, but now that Christian and Griffiths have written this one, and much better than I could at this point, I have a lot of jumping off points for further contemplation and research.
      • The Divine Conspiracy – For some Lenten reading I’m starting with this book, which is an explication of the Sermon on the Mount with the aim of showing that the gospel involves actually following Jesus’ instructions and adopting the view of God and the world Jesus held that makes his instructions make sense. For me Dallas Willard is a mixture of important ideas I want to hold onto and annoying or odd supporting arguments I’d like to replace, and hearing the latter in this book is reminding me of how much I value detailed and nuanced philosophical discussion. Willard was a philosopher, but that wasn’t the purpose of this book, and I kind of wish it was.
      • Watership Down – I’d heard of this book in passing, but I always thought of it as a sappy sibling to books like The Wind in the Willows (which I also haven’t read because the just about only talking animal stories I don’t avoid take place in Narnia) until I heard my boss talking about it last week with my coworker, who got him into it, and he was marveling that anyone could think of it as a children’s book and was making serious remarks about rabbit names and warrens and dictators, so I was intrigued, and I started it immediately after Algorithms. I haven’t gotten to anything really dark yet, but so far it’s just a normal story, and I don’t feel talked down to or sickened by sentimentality, and I also agree with my coworker that the audiobook reader is excellent.
    • TV – Friday night I watched some of a video on YouTube from an old instructional TV program we watched in elementary school called The Book Bird, where a story was read to the audience while John Robbins drew a picture to illustrate it, which defined a large part of the way I’ve thought about artistic creation, as a magical unfolding, which is only reinforced whenever I watch skilled artists work. As I glanced through the related videos, I thought of one of my unsolved childhood mysteries, the identity of another show we used to watch about spacefaring puppets (but not “Pigs in Space”), and there in the list I saw title that sounded vaguely space related next to a show title I faintly remembered, “Vegetable Soup – Outerscope,” so I clicked, and there it was–a rickety wooden cone wandering through space, manned by puppets that were much creepier than I remember. And thanks to the intrepid cultural preservationists of YouTube, I can watch many episodes, along with the show’s other segments that I barely remember, if we watched them at all.

Life updates

  • Worship team – We’re out a pianist, so until our worship minister can work something out, I’m playing for an additional team, though during Lent it’ll probably be only that team, since we’ll be playing for both services and he kindly doesn’t want to overload me. I don’t really mind the extra weeks, since I’m hardly doing anything else at church these days and I feel pretty comfortable performing now, and even playing for both services isn’t too bad because the morning schedule has some natural breaks that give me a chance to work on things like this blog.
  • Birthday – It’s Tuesday, which brings me to a most inappropriate 39, since I still feel about 20, which I’m sure explains some things. I don’t have any plans yet except opening March’s nostalgia box folder, even if I’m not done with February’s, because I put some nice things in there with my birthday in mind.
Posted in Birthdays, Books, Coding project generator, General, Hardware, Knowledge representation, Life updates, Nostalgia box, Project updates, Public coding guide, TV, Worship performing | 2 Comments