Weeknote for 2/20/2022

Productivity

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I’m creating mnemonics for Emacs commands. I’m thinking it’ll help me learn the many, many arbitrary-seeming commands in this software. The keystroke sequences have fairly regular structures, so it shouldn’t be too hard to search and replace the keys to create memorable image descriptions, treating the commands like mad libs. For example, I’ll use one of the typical alphabet mnemonics to represent the commands’ alphabetic characters. Last week I finished adding the basic data to the command spreadsheet, and this week I should be able to add the mnemonics.

Fiction

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The Shadow of the Torturer is a strange book, but I liked it well enough to continue with the series. My boss suggested it because it’s February’s read-along on Media Death Cult, and I happened to have it on Audible. I keep hearing this series is dense with meaning, almost all of which I’m sure glided past my ears unnoticed, though I did notice some mysteries. They reminded me of the artifacts the Wheel of Time characters would run across, strange and sometimes magical relics from a forgotten age. In Shadow some of them were only mysteries because the narrator takes the features of his world for granted and doesn’t explain them. I never feel up to taking the time to analyze these kinds of works myself, but I’m looking forward to hearing everyone else’s deep dives.

The Castle of Llyr is another good Prydain story, but the series is starting to feel formulaic. Still, the formula he’s using is a decent container for the kinds of themes he’s exploring. And there are story arcs across the series, so each book isn’t just a repetition of the others. I remember identifying with Taran’s quest to find himself in the next book, Taran Wanderer, so I’m looking forward to being reminded of where it takes him.

Food

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I tried more tea, and my ratings are becoming more varied as I continue to refine the scale. 4 is now “I like the fumes and aftertaste, or it’s subtle but has grown on me, or I like its flavor less [than the 5s’], at least without additions.” The teas in Bigelow’s herbal collection all get 4s. Twinings’ Oolong gets a 3, and Celestial Seasonings’ Cinnamon Apple Spice was an instant 5.

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