January 2024

What a way to kick off 2024 — this has certainly been one of the more eventful months I’ve had in a while. I hope you had a good start to the year, too.

Near the beginning of the month, I released a time tracker I hacked together over my winter holidays. You can find that here: https://dotduration.com. I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.

M and I took a day trip to New York. This was mostly so we could do our interview for the Global Entry program, but we did manage to get some nice walking around done and eat some great food.

Unfortunately, we both caught COVID. I was pretty sick, and had to miss this month’s JS Club. I’m really grateful that I managed to avoid COVID until 2024, though.

After that, M and I made our way down to Mérida, Mexico. We had an amazing time, learning a lot of history and making friends with a lot of cats.

All of this downtime together meant that I got a ton of reading in, but didn’t do a whole lot of programming this month.

I did, however, spend some of that downtime writing, and collating ideas for articles I might want to write. This has turned into a totally new project: Joe’s Tech Leadership Blog. I hope you’ll check it out! So far I’ve published:


This month, I watched 8 films:

  • Get Out — ★★★★½
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse — (rewatch) ★★★★½
  • No Time to Die — ★★★★
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious — ★½
  • Skyfall — ★★½
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie — ★★★
  • Emily the Criminal — ★★★½
  • Gran Turismo — ★

Have I mentioned that I love Letterboxd?  You can follow me there.


This month, I finished 5 (!) books:

  • System Collapse by Martha Wells — I mean, it’s Murderbot, so it’s going to be fun. I kind of struggled with this one, though — I had a hard time determining what parts of the book were parts I wasn’t meant to understand yet, and what parts were references to previous books I had simply forgotten. I also didn’t find the way the conflict was resolved very satisfying. But, again, more Murderbot.
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou — this was pretty great. Really fascinating, and a lot to think about.
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik — I found this one sort of cheesy, but mostly good.
  • Transition by Iain M. Banks — I am so sad to not have any more Iain Banks sci-fi that’s new to me. In the Iain Banks list, I wrote: A complicated project that picks up a lot of speed as the narrative progresses. Mostly fun, but a little awkward on a few levels.
  • Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow — this was a re-read. I found it to still be a quick little microflash of speculative fiction entertainment, but I definitely feel that the way the world has changed since the first time I read it has made it slightly less fun. Nevertheless, this book had a huge impact on me many years ago, and I can see why it did.

I got around 2/3rds of the way through The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen; though I was interested in the plot, the style of the prose wasn’t up my alley. Once it felt like the pace of the book had ground to a halt, I decided to give it up.


This month, failbetter published:


This month:

  • I typed 270,000 keys and clicked 44,846 times.
  • I listened to 706 songs.