David Dykstal

Cheboygan Light

Five minutes before we were able to cross the bridge, the bridge closed due to some sort of security incident. Now waiting along the beautiful Lake Huron shore in Cheboygan Michigan. 😐

On the road again. Ann Arbor to Manistique. Crossing the Mackinac Bridge on the way.

Currently reading: From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History by Kenneth J. Hammond πŸ“š

Currently reading: Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way by Ursula K. Le Guin πŸ“š

Finished reading: It Can’t Happen Here (Signet Classics) by Sinclair Lewis πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by Cheri Baker πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by Cheri Baker πŸ“š

Finished reading: EndTimes by Bryan Walsh πŸ“š

The subject matter is grim, especially on the existential threats we create for ourselves. The book was released in 2019, and accurately predicted the way the science-denying Trump administration would “handle” a pandemic. Fortunately, while SARS-COV-2 was serious, it wasn’t the big one. Other anthropogenic topics covered are the AI apocalypse, nuclear annihilation, climate change, bioterrorism. Add to that the natural existential threats of supervolcanoes and asteroid impacts and you have a book that makes for some interesting reading. The science is presented well.

I “read” the Audible audiobook. The narration was OK, but the narrator tried to assume the accents of the people who are quoted. That didn’t work for me. I would have preferred to actually read the text.

Finished reading: Figuring by Maria Popova πŸ“š

The funny thing about all of Popova’s writings such as BrainPickings is that you want to take notes. Lots of notes. She works from a wealth of sources, although she obviously has favorites, and you want to see just how all this stuff is connected. This holds true for this book as well. I didn’t avoid that temptation at first, and it made the book slow-going. After I gave up trying to tie everything together and just read the damn book, it became much more interesting.

If you are interested in finding out about the influences of several historical figures (mostly women) in literature, art, and science then you’ll find this fascinating. Major figures include Maria Mitchell, Harriet Hosmer, Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickinson, Caroline Herschel, and Rachel Carson. Appearances by a host of others including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Johannes Kepler, Herman Melville, etc.

I plan in re-reading this at some point.

My three favorite inks at the moment are Iroshizuku kon-peki, Iroshizuku yama-budo, and Colorverse Quasar. The yama-budo is currently in a broad nib Kaweco Sport that doesn’t really do it justice. I may end up breaking my “no new pens” vow. Sigh.πŸ–‹οΈ

πŸ–‹οΈ My shimmering ink problems might have been due to a new nib that wasn’t properly cleaned. I’m now using the J. Herbin Gris Orage ink with a Pilot Metropolitan with an italic nib. Seems to work fine.

Fountain pen people – I have a couple of glittering inks, but I’m having difficulty with them. I’ve been using a 1.1mm stub nib in my TWSBI Diamond Mini. Maybe the reservoir is too big? Any advice?

I’ve been taking a couple of hours each day the past week to play with Mathematica. Just stumbled on the image processing suite. Fun and perhaps useful.

πŸ“š It’s not all work and no play. I’m also reading The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by @cheri.

Tech Resources

I like having tech books around as reference and for ideas (Ruby, Python, Linux, security, style, …). I tried various books apps to use them: bad idea – no way to leaf through them easily on ereaders, although desktop isn’t too bad. I tried hardcopy which is better but bulky. The real problem is obsolescence. Both of the forms are subject to that.

I was a big user of Lynda, but video is just too damn slow to pick up on essentials, and it is also horrible for browsing, and it’s gone into the trashcan since LinkedIn bought it.

I’m now trying oreilly.com. They might have gotten this right. One subscription, no purchases, a boatload of resources. It still has the browsing problem, but I can use the desktop for that, and they add newer titles regularly. It’s not cheap though.

πŸ“š I’m reading Popova’s “Figuring”. I do not understand Emily Dickinson. Perhaps with time?

Just finished the audiobook β€œThe Wave in the Mind” by Ursula K. LeGuin, an excellent set of essays on the crafts of writing and reading. The narration by Christina Moore was flawless. I’m keeping a print copy around to mark up. πŸ“š

Ann bought a new step-through bike today so, of course, that means I had to buy a new bike rack for the truck. 😜

I just bought two Homepod mini’s and set them up in stereo in our condo. These things are great! I’ve got a Sonos setup at home and these are more convenient if you are into the Apple ecosystem.

I keep way too many fountain pens inked up (9). But I can cut back anytime I want. πŸ˜‚

One thing that is NOT getting a lot of use is the reMarkable 2. I’m a little surprised at that. I’m finding it too single-purpose and find that I’m much more keyboard oriented. I think it has a place for some folks, perhaps just not me.

I’ve been using a new iPad Air while traveling. I’m a little surprised by how much I like using the new keyboard/trackpad. I almost never touch the Apple Pencil.

Just finished the audiobook of β€œA Dance with Dragons.” Looks like I’ll have to wait quite a while (like years) for books 6 and 7 of β€œA Song of Ice and Fire”. Hope I make it. πŸ˜ŽπŸ“š

I’m getting tired of having to learn a whole new set of keyboard shortcuts for every notetaking app I’ve tried; looking at you Roam, Workflowy, Craft, Tinderbox, … I’m swearing you all off and sticking with plaintext. Off in the darkness someone whispers “nvUltra”. SQUIRREL!