It’s almost been a year since my last update here.
I celebrated my fifth anniversary this past week. It’s been an amazing five years. Ups, downs, pandemic, Japan. Been a ride. I don’t want to say more because it’s a very, very personal thing to me, my relationship with J.
Over the weekend, I picked up reading The Tale of Genji again. I’ve not touched it in months, since I’ve been working on “secret project” non-stop. But this was a weekend to relax and rewind. So back to reading. Turns out, Genji was a douchebag. Not sure I want to keep reading the book now, after what I read two nights ago. But I do want to finish the book. Let’s see.
Secret project is trudging along nicely, though there are some major roadblocks I need to clear before revealing it to the world. It’s not like I’ve not been talking about it to people around me. Basically everyone knows and they ask me frequently about the status of the project. But we’ve pushed the launch date a few times because of some major rewrites and I’m ok with that, somehow.
Over the drive on the weekend, we finished two audiobooks – Hell Yeah or No by Derek Sivers, and Build a Better Brain by Peter Hollins. Good reads, or listens, and some good learning in both.
Visited the “World’s Longest Beach” yesterday. Air quotes because it’s a BS claim by yet another American who can’t think of anything beyond the contiguous United States. But it was cool to drive our car on the beach in the sand. Strange, but cool.
I’ve also been contemplating one thing – should I make an Instagram account for my blog? It wouldn’t be in order to have an Instagram presence, though I have reasons to do that too. It would be more to jump on the bandwagon of people posting their tweets as images, giving themselves another avenue of expression. Also, it might mean more ideas or traffic for my blog, since though I’ll post my tweets there most frequently, I’ll actually only ever link to my blog and the posts I want to publish here. Perhaps nothing will come of it. But J did ask me a good question – what should the name of the account be? I’m not sure.
Page updated March 1, 2021. Days? What are those. The months have merged in together!
April 2020 –
- Everyone keeps telling me that staying at home is so painful. I see it as a boon!
- My birthday was especially interesting this time around. We did a Zoom Cake cutting!
- Secret project work is ON!
- Page updated April 7th 2020. The days are merging in together!
March 2020 –
- Nestling at home. No reason to go out, right? Stepped out of the house for the first time in two (three? Who knows? Time is a human construct!) weeks to get groceries for the next few weeks. $200 well spent!
Feb 2020 –
- Book reading is back on! Reading Janelle Shane’s excellent book “You look like a thing and I love you”. It’s such a simple, easy read into AI/ML and teaches you so much in such a conversational format. It’s also great for reassuring people that the world isn’t going to be taken over by murderbots any time soon!
Jan 2020 –
- Welcome to the new year and the new decade!
- Back from a tour of India and Japan. It was good to visit another civilization. Japan is clean, friendly, and fast!
- India is good ol’ India. It was cold this time around! Crazy cold! We are so not used to not having central heating!
Gave an awesome talk to new-joinees about the importance of having hobby projects. I hope it helped them understand that now that they’re in the working sphere, things are different and they have to work to spend their time wisely – they can’t just be all about consuming! Planning a house move. It’s freaking me out! Getting late in submitting some documentation which it high-priority. Need to step on it! Book-reading is falling behind. Reading a lot of RSS feeds nowadays whenever I get a chance. Instapaper reading is also falling behind.
Reading my first free-with-review book from NetGalley. Let’s see how it goes. Struggling with finishing my book goals. Every day that slips feels like a guilt. But I’m gonna ignore that guilt for a bit and focus and I know I’ll be able to catch up! Went for a hike in the Mt Rainier National Park on 7/21. I might put up the pics from that at some point. Gorgeous day and a beautiful meadow at the end of the hike to rest in. Saw a lot of marmots! I’m back from a trip to Utah. Gah! It was long! It was beautiful! It was tiring! We haven’t recovered from the summer colds and aches till now. But it was totally worth it. Gorgeous state!
My blog is now a static front page! That feels weird. But it’s so easy to now see how many people actually land on here and then go to the archive to read stuff. New goal – 19 books in 2019. That means 1.5-2 books a month. I’m scared! I’m reading Ambiguity Machines by Vandana Singh. It’s a series of short stories, each more absurd and beautiful than the last. I love seeing the range of Vandana’s work! (I’m still reading this, more than a month later. I’m now one book behind on my Goodreads challenge) iPad usage has tapered, though I have found a lot of interesting uses for it. iPadOS is definitely in the right direction! Egg Inc released a massive update, which has made life difficult, but also interesting and challenging. Settled into the long haul, I am! Been a while since I had a good sweat. Weight is holding steady, which is not a good thing in my book, but I’ve gotten lazy about going to Orange Theory.
My iPad usage has increased and thus all other devices have fallen away. Android has been shoved into a bag, iPhone does things. But iPad Pro FTW! I signed up for Instapaper Premium, so I’ve been reading a lot of awesome longread articles. Loads of thoughts, which I export to my blog and publish as private posts, for posterity. I will perhaps start publishing some quotes and notes publicly too. I’ve restarted playing Egg Inc, specially since they have two new eggs out! 🙂 Starting doing something towards my fitness – have started attending Orange Theory again after a few months’ break. It feels good to sweat!
I’m not gaming a lot any more on my iPhone. See note about iPad usage above. I’ve basically abandoned rereading War and Peace. I think I’ll just publish the notes on my blog one of these days. (I’ve abandoned this project for now) I’m in between books right now. I finished Cixin Liu’s Dark Forest and I’m brooding on what to focus on next. Liu is a great writer! On book 7 now – The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu – it’s as glorious as I’d expected it to be. I’ve been waiting to read this book all year!
Playing with my blog more nowadays. Thinking of setting up a static front page to highlight all of my simple blogging ideas and tools. I’ve made the change, but I’m not fully satisfied with it. Let’s see. On book 6 now – an autobiography by Indian poetess Amrita Pritam, called The Revenue Stamp. It’s a poignant story, with a dash of absurdity thrown in, but I suppose that’s what everyone’s life is, if you think about it – absurd. Nowadays, I carry three devices – my trusty iPhone 7 Plus, a Samsung S9, and an iPad Pro 10 inch. Interesting times! I’m using the S9 less and less. It’s just not exciting once you’re done with mucking around with the basics of Android. I’m specially disheartened because there are no communication apps on it. WhatsApp and SMS won’t work because I’m loathe to shift my number to the phone. Signal also needs my SIM to be in the phone, which is a stupid thing, frankly. I’ve discovered a few interesting games to fill up the void left by Egg Inc. PAKO Forever is a strange and beautiful game. It’s difficult too! I’ve also discovered that my childhood favorite – a puzzle that goes by the name of the Einstein puzzle – has a few good apps on the app store. I’m solving these puzzles with a vengeance! My friends have started hiking and I’m missing that. Hopefully we’ll also start hiking soon!
Recovering from having my lower wisdom teeth removed. The pain and soreness in my jaw hasn’t gone away and it’s been a week since the operation. Still, soldiering on. Ibuprofen for the win! For a while I wasn’t having any hard foods (khichdi only) and I realized that I lost a couple pounds because of that! I finally got all trophies on Egg Inc! Now I’m just dawdling with the game. There’s a void and no other game has been able to fill it since I started looking. There are still contracts that pop up in the game, and if you’ve been alerted to the contract by the push notification, it means your usage is slipping. That hasn’t happened to me yet. But let’s see. On books four and five right now – Dark Matter (Hadron #1) and The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. Lot 49 is a weird story. If all of Pynchon is like this, I’m not sure if I’ll like it. But I am surprised by how much overt sexuality exists in western books. Symposium and Lot 49 have that in common. Dark Matter is an easy read, 284 pages, reading time of 4 hours and change. The Kindle Android app was prompting me to read it because I’d picked it up for free at some point. So I just started it. For almost 10 days, my reading dropped. There were a range of factors, health being at the forefront. But now I’m reading with a vengeance! Recovering from a sinus infection. I’m supposed to be doing neti pot every day and taking steam too. Too lazy to do these. Playing Eggs, Inc. on my phone heavily. My wife calls it my habit of making chicken run. I’m close to getting the last egg’s achievements! On book three right now – The Symposium by Plato.
Jan 2019 –
Finished reading War and Peace, but now reviewing my notes and highlights before I publish them here. That’s another multi-month project. Recovering from a sinus infection. Got my life’s first CT scan 😀 Experimenting with Android. I’ve finally found the time to look at my first Android device. I don’t want it to be my primary device, so I’m using it like an iPod. What is ‘it’? A Samsung S9 borrowed from my brother. Thinking of rooting it now. Recovering from a trip to Austin. It’s a beautiful city! Loads to eat.
New goal – 15 books in 2018. A little aimless right now. I’m supposed to be reading The Symposium, but it’s just sitting there on my bedside while my attention is diverted by other things. Recovering from a trip to Portland. It’s really a wonderful place and the wife and I agree – it’s a Utopia of sorts. Loads of discussion around it! Reading (#12) a short book of short stories called Six Short Stories by Michael David Johnson. I think I’ve read parts of it before, just didn’t record it, or remember it, so I’m going to let GoodReads add this to my books read this year. Recovering from a trip to SoCal. Too good a place to come back from! Artemis Fowl #1 The Devourers by Indra Das Hosting family Playing Homescapes and Gardenscapes right now and egging on Eggs, Inc. on my phone. Reading War and Peace with a vengeance. Any moment I get, I read this book on the Kindle app on my phone. Playing Egg, Inc again. It’s an addictive game and my interest came back because I am subscribed to the egg inc subreddit, which I recently browsed through. Also playing Homescapes, because why not? 🙂
Reading Grant Snider’s The Shape of Ideas. Trying real hard to be as close to my 20 book GoodReads goal for 2017, though I know I’ll fail this time. But it’s a good kind of fail. 🙂 Trying hard to finish reading We have no idea. It’s a looong book with a *lot* of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ideas which keep exploding in my mind! Reading like a hedgehog in hibernation. (reading “We have no idea” right now) Finished reading ‘Dunk and Egg’ and a non-fiction – Prisoners of Geography Prepping to go to India soon (Back from India. I’m married now.)
Editing some stories I’ve written recently. I’ve come to realize that I can make multiple passes and keep improving my writing. writing some ionic based code for an iOS app that I’m building. I’ll never release it since it’s for my brother. writing some ionic based code for an iOS app that I’m building. I’ll never release it since it’s for my personal liveblog. Kinda done with this app. I’m using it on my phone right now and it works pretty well! Inspired by Sam Ghobril’s Ipsum iOS journal app, I’m writing my own version of this. With ionic, it’s pretty easy. I’ve got the basics down, but I’m working to fix some missing stuff that Sam glossed over in his v1 release, like export and calendar view. Done with this app. Sam has moved on to stuff like touch ID, which I think I can easily integrate into my version, but I don’t feel the need for it now. It works great as a conversational diary. Reading Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ on the side as a break from War and Peace. The writing’s heavy and very inwards focused, but it’s a topic that’s close to my heart. I’m nearly done with this book, but I want to make it a project and hopefully publish my notes on it when I’m done compiling them.Done. POKEMON GOOOOO. I’m crazy after this game and so is the Mrs. We love spending our evenings out, walking, talking and catching Pokemon. The app is terrible and the experience really displays how bad the technology around us is – crappy network, terrible phone battery life, failing servers, and crashy code. But it’s a fun game when it works! 🙂