My brother Michael’s visit continued on Sunday. He was in town to see the head priest of their new church plant get ordained. I tagged along and got to see my old work friend and his family, who were also in town for the same reason. I found myself getting absorbed in the proceedings as if I were part of the new church. As it happens, I don’t even live in the same state, but I wish them well, especially since everyone had such sincerity and enthusiasm.
Later in the afternoon Michael and I popped by a traveling exhibit at a nearby church. It was a set of scrolls of the Hebrew Bible, some of them commissioned recently and others centuries old, all handwritten with machine precision. I was impressed.
Monday my reorder of William Russo’s Composing Music arrived, and I wasted no time starting the first exercise. Yes, after however many years away from composing, I’ve written a whole little piece. The rules for these exercises are very restrictive, so I was surprised at how interesting it was write. I’m working out my schedule for these and how I want to set up the uploads of my scores. I should have several of them online by the next blog update.
Tuesday our futurism meetup’s topic was conflicts over water. One of our members works in water treatment and suggested the topic. I’m very ignorant in this area, so it was interesting to hear what he had to say. I was also pleased that a couple of our videos came from one of my favorite channels/podcasts, Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know. It seems that certain corporations are up to no good with the world’s water supply. It was the first I’d heard of it, so I don’t know what to think.
It bothers me that I seem to waste so many evenings. Every once in a while I try coming up with a plan to fix it. Last Thursday was one of those times, and I decided to try treating the evening like an extension of my workday. After a break for errands and dinner, I’d work from 6 to 8 and try to get to bed at 10. It worked decently that day, as you might expect. It worked okay on Friday too, except that I stayed up much later.
I’ve tried an evening schedule before, but this time I want to be more conscious of what goes wrong and how to fix it. For example, judging by those two days, it should really be 6:30 to 8:30, and also I don’t think I should let the weekend be an excuse to stay up later.
Reading Continuous Delivery, a book about effective software development practices, has put me in the mood to work on my general life procedures, so I’ll probably do more of this kind of thinking.
My main evening project has been my goal map. I made quite a bit of progress and learned interesting things about my goal structure, but I’m not ready to post anything yet.
Tuesday Bob Woodward’s book on the president came out, Fear: Trump in the White House, and I have opinions. I’d been resisting reading any books about Trump, since I didn’t want to get more cynical than I already was, but there are two topics I thought were worth exploring if good enough books came out, and now they have. The topics are his personality and his dealings with Russia. Woodward’s book deals with the first, and Craig Unger has one on the second, House of Trump, House of Putin. To get more context I’ll probably also read David Cay Johnston’s biography, The Making of Donald Trump.
I’d preordered Fear, and on Tuesday I put Continuous Delivery on hold to listen. Surprisingly, Woodward’s book actually made me a bit less cynical. I thought it managed to humanize most of the players, even the president. Trump might lack empathy in some ways, but I think not in others. Empathy seems to drive some of his decisions, such as his reaction to Syria’s attack on its citizens. And I appreciated his apparent interest in hearing multiple points of view on difficult issues, at least when he didn’t have already entrenched ideas. But those entrenched ideas are no small matter. He hates trade and thinks you can try out an international trade war as an experiment, for example. For that and other reasons he’s still very wrong for the job, and I’ll be relieved when he’s out of office.
I didn’t want to get distracted by more interesting projects and neglect my apartment, so Saturday I flipped through Clean My Space and made a shopping list of cleaning supplies I didn’t have yet. An hour or two at Target, and I had almost everything I needed to try out the Maker Method. The next step is to make some cleaning products using her recipes.