Monthly recap (November 2019)

Door on the back of a trailer parked by Seabright beach in Santa Cruz
Door on the back of a trailer parked by Seabright beach in Santa Cruz

Major updates:

  • Tara turned Five! 🙂
  • Went for a Frozen 2 viewing with her and her friends
  • A pump-it-up party 😐

Minor updates:

  • Home maintenance: dryer had to be repaired, added a trellis in the garden
  • (finally) visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito

Watched/read/made:

  • Watched It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving

— Watched Modern Love and The Kominsky Method on Netflix

Interesting links: November 2019

An example of a Tinderbox view

In addition, the structure would likely have been topped with a pyramidion, a capstone made of solid granite and covered in a precious metal like gold. The sheer size of the pyramid must have been enough to blow ancient minds, but seeing it all shiny and topped in gold… well, no wonder they thought their rulers were gods.

  • As I’m in the stage of “looking around at schools”, found this piece on NYC schools relevant.
  • For those who care, something about Yggdrasil
  • Recently re-discovered The Cyborg Manifesto, from which this quote:

Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.

On writing instruments

After some trials over the past five years or so, I’ve found that I like to (physically, with pen and paper) write, I like to write a lot, and I like to write in a certain way.

In terms of paper, I seem to like either the soft, thin extreme of Tomoe River paper, or the semi-rough paper of a Baron Fig, or (more recently) Midori MD1.

The paper must have a dot grid — or, as in the case of the Midori MD, a solid grid is find, as long as it’s only lightly colored. Blank paper is no good for me, and lined paper is no good for me.

The only pens I keep around any more are either fountain pens or (for daily carry, and office use) gel pens2. For fountain pens, I have the Lamy Safari I started with3, a bunch of Platinum Preppy pens4, a Faber Castell Ambition5, and my current favorite: the TWSBI ECO6, which is my recommendation for a “sweet spot” in quality and price7.

There are plenty of more expensive pens around, but they’re going to remain in my wishlist, because I can’t imagine getting bored of what I have anytime soon.

As for the experience of writing with pen and paper, I think we need more of it, not less. There is some sort of brain-body sensation, introduced by it, which seems to make a positive difference, though I don’t understand it.

Still, if you’re at all curious, get something cheap to start with: a Platinum Preppy or a Lamy Safari, and a Rhodia pad, and then … write SOMETHING.

  1. No Moleskines for me!
  2. More recently, multi-gen pens, both the Pilot and Zebra Sarasa are staples now.
  3. Seven years ago now!
  4. Astonishingly cheap, at roughly the price of a Starbucks coffee
  5. Currently the most expensive pen I’ve allowed myself to buy, around $60-70
  6. In Fine and Extra-Fine
  7. Can usually get aroundd $30

Monthly Curations: November 2019

What the Apollo Guidance Computer looked like

Substack

(or, “Dispatches from ebbs and flows in a mind-web”)

I’ve been toying with the idea of an email subscription option, with no success:

  • I considered TinyLetter earlier on but never got round to setting it up.
  • I considered Medium once, but the aesthetic constraints never appealed to me.
  • WordPress has subscriptions too, but I do NOT want every single post to be an email update, I “mix in” a microblog within my blog, and don’t want to have the overhead of keeping that separate.

But it does make sense to have my monthly curations (the programming-specific one and the general one) be email-subscription-friendly …

… and then I discovered Substack, which seems to be a soft spot here — easy to use, easy to set up, hopefully not a hassle for you to consume from either — which inspired me to start a pilot project of sorts to use Substack to optionally serve these out.

For now, then, these posts will be duplicated there, available both on WordPress and as emails from Substack, so … pick whatever works. I myself have found it easier to subscribe to a small list of people that way, and once I saw folks like Matt Taibbi using it, it seemed “a credible enough platform” to use.

So, if you want to receive just the curation posts, by email, [Here’s the link] to sign up for updates on Substack.

(and here’s the link to (what will be) my Substack Archive)

Monthly recap (October 2019)

Leaf in my driveway

Major updates:

  • Home with Tara for a week
  • Trick-or-treating with Tara 😀
  • Poor sleep discipline 😔

Minor updates:

  • Finally got a “Real ID”
  • Met up with friends a couple of times
  • Diwali, Halloween
  • Pumpkin painting (twice)
  • Experimented with Airtable for a few inventory-ing tasks

Watched/read/made:

  • Random books in half-read stage
  • Watched (on Netflix) The 2000s, Modern Love, Oceans (one of the best documentaries ever), Death dive to Saturn, Dark Crystal (whole separate post on this …)