Joe Woods

Published on 2021-03-31

March 2021

Hello! Things are pretty much all the same around here. I hope things are going great for you too.

Music

Here's this month's installment of the playlist! I hope you enjoy it. Here's the article, and here's the playlist on Spotify:

I've been listening to so much internet radio this month — I made a little roundup of some stations that play electronic music here.

Life

It is extremely hard for me to quit things. This month, I put a permanent pause on my Japanese learning. I said goodbye to a 331 day Duolingo streak, and about a 240 day streak of Anki flashcards. I do intend to continue my flashcard habit for all of the other things that I'm learning — like, for exampling, continuing to reinforce my terrible French that the university somehow gave me a degree in — but I just wasn't sufficiently motivated enough to continue to spend 20 minutes a day at the very least on this thing. I do feel like a quitter. But that's okay. Sometimes the best move is to quit. Since quitting, I've really felt like I've had a lot more free time… because, well, I have! I'm not sure if this is a temporary pause or just giving up, but I think I'd like to take some time away from language learning for a little bit and then take a different approach sometime down the road.

Spring is here! I rearranged the back deck just a bit so that we could get as much privacy as possible — I can imagine all of our neighbors are going to be spending as much time outside as I will be, so I'm glad I took the preemptive measure to block off some sight lines so I can lounge about on our couch outside for hours just like I did last year… only, you know, with fewer moments of direct eye contact with the neighbors above and beside us. M and I also started some planting — well, almost entirely M, with a little bit of M pointing and me assisting. We're already getting some sprouts, and we'll see how much they develop!

I continue to play almost exclusively Rocket League as part of my video game time. The club I'm in continues to use the Discord we set up specifically for this purpose, as an offshoot of another purpose-made Discord server, and we've been playing pretty regularly. I'm still getting to the point where I'm not horrible at the normal game modes, but we have a whole lot of fun playing the extended game modes … and astonishingly enough, though I'm ranked pretty low on normal Soccar, I've been bouncing in and out of Diamond while playing Rumble with this group.

I've also been playing a little bit of Genshin Impact, which is good fun!

Programming

Earlier this month, work was deaccessioning some older servers, so I decided to grab one to give it a new permanent home. Many people may warn you of this, but if you're thinking of running a server from your home, do not underestimate how large, loud, and heavy they are. That being said, it was a lot of fun getting it set up — though I mostly leave it turned off, I now basically have a networked 18TB RAID6 drive. A very loud one, but it's more storage than I'll ever need, and I learned a whole lot from the experience of setting it up… and it was free!

I've automated more of my document management to get things done. One thing I've been focusing on this month is my "upkeep" tasks — recurring tasks that don't necessarily have to happen on a specific day of the week or date of the month, but should generally happen around the same number of days apart. These types of tasks fall into a pretty wide range: there's stuff like chores — for example, I clean the bathroom every Sunday, but sometimes I do it on Monday or Saturday; or things like making sure I keep in touch with friends and family members.

I moved notes.joewoods.dev to be a static site built with Zola. It's pretty much using the same theme I built for this blog, with the old styling from the old notes site. I basically only did this so that deployment would be easier, and so that I didn't have to write RSS templating by hand!

I also built a quick script to generate text which describes articles I've saved to Pinboard with the tag "roundup" — articles that I think are share-worthy — and I've been publishing the list weekly here. This idea was very much inspired by Tom Woodward's Weekly Web Harvest!

Reading

Near the beginning of this month, I finished Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. This was an interesting read, and the plot would have been immensely satisfying, if the novel hadn't used physical assault on a character as a cheap plot point in such a contrived way. There were so many things about this book that I liked, but this specific element of it just sort of ruined the whole book for me. But I've finally finished this trilogy, which means I get to move on — it took me 58 days to read these books, and though I mostly enjoyed it, I was certainly ready to move on by the end of it.

Next, I finished Busy Doing Nothing by Rekka Bellum and Devine Lu Linvega. This books is transcribed from the logbook which describes their 51-day journey by sailboat from Japan to Canada, and though many parts of it are rote descriptions of fact, between the lines are life-altering descriptions of human struggle and triumph, meditations on life and our places in it, and the small moments which define relationships. I highly recommend this book, though I'll warn you that it may encourage you to make radical lifestyle changes, or otherwise be the catalyst for who you become years down the line.

Finally, I've been working on Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin, at the recommendation of my grandfather. It's extremely good so far, but as always, more to come once I actually finish it!

failbetter

This month, failbetter published "Panic Attack" by Elizabeth Hazen and "War's End" by Andrew Joseph Kane.

Some other stats

This month,

That's it! Thanks for reading. Feel free to get in touch with me any time at joewoods@fastmail.com.