June 2021


It’s been a bit of a weird month for me! I’ve spent so much of the last few months focusing on work, so when a major project wrapped up in the middle of this one… well, let’s just say I haven’t really adjusted yet! I’m very much looking forward to returning to the office next month — though nothing’s really going to be all that different, it kind of feels like life is about to radically change for me.

M and I slowly emerged from our COVID-enduced sequester, finding new and fun ways to get outside and interact with the world a little bit. I ate my first meal outside the apartment in a long, long time — we got vegan poutine and funnel cake from Fox & Son in Reading Terminal Market almost completely on accident, since we’d ducked inside to avoid the rain.

In other exciting news, I got an iPhone! I had a short adjustment period to iOS, and there are still a few quirks that I’m getting used to, but all in all I think the only way that Android beats out iOS is over the price point. I’m now spending so much time on my phone — my Screen Time average last week was 6 hours and 37 minutes a day, though surely that’s skewed by having videos on on my phone while I’m doing other things. But still, I’ve been using this thing a lot. There’s just a few things about this device that really shine that I now can’t imagine going without — the two biggest standouts are Face ID, which has sped up a ton of my workflows, mostly logging into services, and the shared clipboard between my MacBook and my phone. However, the biggest win is just that navigating my RSS feeds is so much easier on this device — web content loads so much more quickly, and the Reeder app is much better than any purpose-built RSS reader apps I’d found on iOS.

I took a trip up to Rhode Island to visit some family over a long weekend. It was my first time leaving Philly in 16 months, which was honestly a little overwhelming. I have always really loved taking the train, so it was really nice for my first trip fully-vaccinated to be on the Amtrak. I took a few great pictures, got to see some family I haven’t seen in a long time, and, of course, got a Del’s.

Other than that, not a whole lot is going on! I continued my Finance as a Hobby (FaaH?) research and watched a whole lot of the Euro 202~0~ tournament.


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:


So, like I mentioned, I’ve been spending a lot of time on my phone, so these are just iOS games!

First, I played through What the Golf, which was delightful and surprising. I was really glad that the game somehow managed to stay entirely fresh, introducing new gags at just the right time, and extending gameplay in a smart way that’s totally optional. I enjoyed getting crowns for the levels that I really found joy in, but otherwise just continuing on my way.

I feel like Good Sudoku has completely rewritten my brain. I’ve been a huge fan of Zach Gage’s games, and I was excited to be able to run the full Apple Arcade gamut. Good Sudoku is exactly that — the way the tools of the game set you up to be able to do creative problem solving in a low-stakes way is almost exactly the type of leisure my brain wants to be doing. I’ve been playing it so much that I’ve even been getting the Tetris Effect for sudoku puzzles, which is an interesting experience!

I’ve tried a few other iOS games, but nothing has quite stuck so far like those two have.


Like I mentioned, not a whole lot of code writing happened outside of work for me!

One small thing is that my homepage now has an RSS feed that collates two of my writing locations — this blog and my more general notes page — so that folks can follow both a bit more easily. I have vague plans to improve, expand, and maybe even make this available to more people, but I actually learned that these vague plans were just getting in my way of me just doing the thing, so I did the thing!


This month, I read The Windfall by Diksha Basu. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one — it certainly had some interesting moments, but the underlying premise of “help, I don’t know how to be rich!” that so many characters in this book portrayed doesn’t really appeal to me, personally.

I also read The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Larimore, Lindauer, and LeBoeuf. All information about finance is dry as all heck, but these folks did a good job of presenting the necessary information in a relatable and entertaining way. I think, really, what I was aiming to get out of this book was a little bit of confidence and the feeling like I’m on the right track — and I think I succeeded!

Next, I decided I wanted to reread The Crow Road by Iain Banks. I haven’t made that much progress into it so far, but it’s just as good as I remember.


This month, failbetter published:


  • I typed 850,000 keys and clicked 145,285 times.
  • I listened to 1,757 songs.
  • 15 albums escaped from the Album Gauntlet.
  • I wrote 22,821 words in my personal journal.

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