Weeknote for 12/26/2021

Christmas

πŸŽ…

Over Christmas my family vacationed at a vintage house in a small, southern Illinois town. The house was built by the owner’s grandfather for his wife in the ’70s. They call it Arsula’s House. The owners have modernized it but kept the tone. We think they did a great job.

 

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Since I walk every day now, we took three different sibling walks. The first was around the neighborhood and down a trail that used to be a railroad. There were a lot of small guard cats and dogs around.

The third was more of a saunter around the property, with a lot of standing still using the Merlin ID app to identify the large flock of little dark birds hanging around. We couldn’t decide between starlings and grackles. They’d land together on the grass or by the pond or in the trees and suddenly a few minutes later all woosh away to another spot.

The second walk was a hike around Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest. The weather was overcast and gusty, though not too cold, and we were surrounded by weird rocks and bare trees, and it all made the walk rather surreal and moody for me. Also we weren’t really prepared for a wilderness hike, but through a group effort we avoided getting lost and made it back safely.

 

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A theme in the gifts I got was hobbies I want to try out next year. I got a garden tool set from Kimberly and an electronics kit from my parents. I meant electronics to be a prelude to robotics in some future year, but they also gave us Roombas, which have an API, so maybe I’ll start my robotics tinkering early.

 

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Christmas labels

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My Christmas gift tags were photos from my walks throughout the year. I tried to tailor each person’s photo to their interests.

 

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Movies

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Encanto was our Christmas movie. The animation, acting, and music were terrific. It was both an interesting mystery and, as Disney movies go, a thoughtful commentary on family, home, and community. I thought these non-Western cultural values would make the movie feel foreign, but instead it reminded me I too care about these things.

Space

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Early Christmas morning I watched the launch of the James Webb space telescope. The launch was the culmination of 25 years of work and billions of dollars, and the telescope will apparently reshape astronomy, so lots of people were nervous. But the launch was perfect, and the first few of the dozens of steps needed after that have succeeded. NASA has a web page where you can track its progress. I tweeted a creation by the WOMBO Dream AI art app to mark the occasion.

Productivity

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I’m starting 2022 with an update to my productivity system. This week starts the Thinkulum month of January. Several projects feel the most important, but the real most important is the productivity system, since it should put me in a better position to take care of the others. I haven’t planned out the upgrades in detail, but to start with I want to try using Org mode for managing my tasks and sketch out an algorithm for scheduling them.

This entry was posted in Christmas labels, Holidays, Movies, Nature, Productivity, Space, Weeknotes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Weeknote for 12/26/2021

  1. Linda W. says:

    Glad you had a great Christmas with lots of great walks. You received some nice gifts!
    I had a quiet Christmas. I spent part of it with friends. We went to see the latest Spider-Man. Really enjoyed it!
    I received a really cool board game–Equimox. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/329450/equinox I haven’t played it yet. I didn’t have a ton of time on Christmas. And i have January deadlines, so no telling when I’ll play it.

  2. Andy says:

    Ahh, Reiner Knizia. Should be a good game then! The theme seems right up your alley too. And yes, Spider-Man, one of several movies I need to go see. I’m glad you liked it! Quiet Christmases are nice, even if they’re also short. Good luck on your deadlines!

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