June 2020

The world is still different. I think it’s become clear that we’re in this for the long haul. Are we, as humans, going to be able to get our act together and change the world so that each and every person can be treated with not just dignity, but respect and even gratitude?

I’m so glad that soccer is back. I’ve been watching the Bundesliga, EPL, and NWSL. I really love the beautiful game, and I look forward to watching a match in basically every time slot that I can each weekend.


I published another blog post with tiny reviews of songs which came out recently, which you can find here. Here’s the playlist:


We (well, almost entirely M) did a small amount of planting on the porch. My big project was migrating this succulent to a new planter; some of its pups got moved to new tiny pots.

Repotted succulent


So: not going to lie, I didn’t write that much code outside of work this month. I worked a little bit on learning Sails, but nothing of note to talk about yet. I did spend some time designing the future of failbetter‘s infrastructure, though, so I hope to spend more time implementing that soon.

But all the time that I normally spend writing code for fun this month was essentially taken up by my reading about code and organizing my flashcard system.


I have fully re-embraced Anki. A few years ago, I finished Glutanimate’s “Great Works of Art” deck, having memorized most of the artists for every card included in the deck. I also occasionally add cards for works that I’ve seen in real life and snapped a picture of as well. However… I let this slide for a few years, so I’m finding that I have to relearn quite a few of these!

I’ve also taken the effort to reorganize my decks: I have decks for words that I can’t spell correctly, programming concepts and APIs, general trivia, and thoughts about life (“reflections”) that I want to make sure I keep in mind.

Here’s some examples. Figuring out which deck each flashcard belongs to is left as an exercise for the reader:

  • How can you make an element’s background be translucent, blurred, or similar effects with CSS? What is its syntax?
  • “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
  • Capital of and largest city in Iceland
  • How far away is the moon?


I finally (finally!) finished 2666 after about three months. I have so many mixed feelings about this novel. Was it a good book? I don’t know, probably not. Was it engaging? Very much so, for the most part. “The Part about the Crimes” was a slog of a chapter to get through. As a whole, the book’s project definitely worked. I would be happy if this one replaced Infinite Jest in basically every way.

I also read Ancillary Mercy, the final book in the Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie. I thought it was enjoyable, but I didn’t get as invested in it as I think I would have wanted.

As far as programming, I finished my project of reading every single web.dev article — at time of writing, my RSS reader now has 135 read entries. I found this pretty useful and enjoyable. Near the end of the project, I noticed that I was skimming a bit more, because there was a little bit of repetition, but I learned about the existence of quite a few browser features, as well as took down some trivia for my flashcards. web.dev definitely has a heavy slant toward the web that Google wants to see, but that was fine.


This month, failbetter published two equally fantastic pieces: “How to become an almost American,” a short poem by Frank C Modica, and “Lid Locking Into Place,” a short story by Sasha Graybosch.

Some other stats

This month,

  • I typed 820,000 keys (+80,000) and clicked 167,170 (+12,953) times.
  • I listened to 1,986 songs (-112).
  • 33 albums escaped from the Album Gauntlet (+11).
  • I wrote 22,878 words in my personal journal (-697).

Not bad for a shorter month!

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