I’m experimenting with adding text-to-speech to my site. Click the Listen button at the top of this post to hear it read by a life-like machine. I’ll probably try a few options, but this is a pretty good one to start out with. It’s the conversational style of a voice called Noah, delivered by a service called Play.ht. I found it through this article.
Sunday was Easter, and I watched the livestreams of both the church I usually visit for Easter and my home church. The services were conveniently timed. I found that my usual Easter church’s services really don’t work well for me as livestreams, but I felt very glad to join my home church’s stream. In any case, what I took away from the morning was the defiant sense of hope Easter carries, especially in circumstances like these.
I continued my experiments with my new productivity approach based on Cal Newport’s time blocks and the Pomodoro Technique, applying it both at work and at home, and at least for this past week, it’s been a revolution. At some point I’ll write about it.
My improved work habits have led me to brush off my GTD system, and I’m listening to the updated edition of David Allen’s book to inspire me and remind myself of parts I’ve forgotten.
Thanks to my amazing new productivity method, I finished all the rest of the very long book I was working through, Data Structures and Algorithms in Java by Robert Lafore. I now know the gist of all the basics, but I became very aware that rushing through a book does not translate to deep understanding or long-term learning! I’ll certainly need to revisit the subject in the future.
I haven’t completely settled on the project for this month (which is May in the Thinkulum project calendar), but it’ll be either some programming related to my learning system or some organizing of my software development procedures.
My Instacart order was filled Monday night, and it was a good experience. The app lets you watch the progress of the order, including any replacements the shopper makes that you approved, and even the GPS location of the shopper as they make their way to your home after leaving the store. If there’s a question about an item, the shopper will chat with you about it in the app. It’s a well-designed system, and I’ll probably use it again as soon as this week.
One of the positive side effects of this shutdown has been the way it’s put people in touch. Monday I was in a video call with some old college friends to celebrate the birthday of our other college friend, who I hadn’t been in touch with for maybe ten years. It was a surprise his wife organized. It was a great conversation, and I was glad to be able to catch up on everyone’s life.
Tuesday night our family had another nice video call, except for some technical issues, and we decided we’d get together this way regularly every couple of weeks.
Saturday I finished watching the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, and I mostly loved it. The ending felt a little abrupt, but the acting was phenomenal, and the movie made me feel things, especially since I’d listened to the soundtrack a lot already, and it was meaningful to see the original context of this familiar music that I’d invested with my own significance.