An even quieter week than usual, which is saying something.
- My wrists are behaving better than they have in months. I got new braces to wear overnight, as the old ones were literally falling apart, and I haven’t been wearing them during the day at all for the last several days. So far so good.
- Jessica Jones‘ second season has so far failed to grab me the way the first did, which is disappointing. I’m still going to finish it up, but after the amazing Kilgrave arc, this is something of a letdown. Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Last Man on Earth continue to be excellent viewing material, thankfully.
- I got to play Transatlantic at an extended game night this past Tuesday. It was a very solid game, if not quite up to Concordia‘s level of brilliance, and I found myself thinking about it again repeatedly over the last several days. I want to write a post about Mac Gerdts’ designs and why I find them so compelling, but I haven’t been able to arrange my thoughts in a way that I like enough to post.
- I still haven’t started on Rewind rewrites, but I got some excellent feedback on the zeroth draft from a friend that pushed me ever closer to getting started on them. It’s going to take a lot of work; the story needs to be roughly twice as long, at a minimum, and there’s a lot of guff that needs to be removed and plot threads that need to be woven more tightly. I will probably have to break down and actually do some outlining to make sure it all fits together the way I want, something I’ve avoided… well, forever, actually. Sigh. But it’s for the good of the story, I know.
- I finished reading Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, which was fine, if slight. Mostly it made me wish I was rereading his Pretties series, or Leviathan (which, no joke, I got through two of the three books to finally realize that I had already read the damn series… but I was too into it to put it aside, and finished out the re-read.) I managed to be the first person in line at the local library for the new Stephen King novel, so I look forward to reading that next; my understanding is that it’s something of a return to form for him. I’ll report back.
The new CHVRCHES album came out today; I’ve already spun it a few times and quite enjoyed it. Don’t be surprised if you see a review of… well, probably not it, but perhaps one or both of their earlier albums soon.
Anyhow: quiet. Not boring, of course–you know that by now!–but not busy. And that’s fine.
Sorry for the late update; last night was a bit rough and I had a friend over today.
- Keto is going well. I fit into a couple of pairs of shorts I haven’t been able to wear in a while, just in time for the hot summer months.
- I finished up The Punisher, which was Just Fine. Time to start Jessica Jones season 2.
- I actually watched a couple of movies recently; specifically, I caught up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, watching both Black Panther and Spiderman: Homecoming. Both of them were great in different ways.
- Still slowly reading Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, which hasn’t grabbed me the way most of his books do. After that I’ll go back to the Wheel of Time series, at least for one more book.
- Did a bunch of puzzles, including the single largest Kakuro I’ve completed. It took me about six hours (!), although at least two of that was because I screwed up and had to erase over half the puzzle. Ugh. I persevered, though, which made me happy; a younger Phil would have scratched through the puzzle and moved on.
- Speaking of puzzles, my latest order of Japanese magazines came in. I also ordered a pair of books for the daughter of one of my friends, who has done a bunch of Sudoku but not much else. It was fun walking her through some of the different puzzle types. I gifted her one of my precious Zebra M-402s. She’s aware that’s the only one she gets.
- My wrists are behaving way better than they had been, which is good, because my old braces finally gave up the ghost. I ordered some new ones just a few minutes ago, actually.
A pleasant, quiet week overall. I’m almost done with all of the first round of the Great Value flavor enhancers; expect to see an up-to-date review/ranking sometime this coming week.
It was a very split week, with Saturday and Sunday in Arkansas, Monday a grueling haul across a third of the continental United States, and most of the rest of the week recovering from said haul back in the comfort of my home. That said, there’s some things worth bulletizing, so let’s do that.
- The writeup on all the major writing I’ve done hasn’t had any responses, which is sad, but it refreshed my knowledge on all of that stuff, which was nice. Still a lot of garbage, though.
- I’ve watched a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine this week. Too much, to be honest; I binged it for a couple of days, a thing I’m trying not to do any more with TV. But the show has a lot of episodes, and they’re so popcorn-y, that it’s hard to resist. I’ve slowed down my consumption rate to just a couple a day now.
- I finally caught back up on GameNight!, unquestionably my favorite YouTube show about board games. I’m actually bringing CrossTalk to a thing tomorrow, along with a deck of 11 nimmt! cards we can use to play The Mind, which looks absurd and amazing.
- I haven’t talked about Colemak in a while. I’m still using it exclusively, except for once a week or so when a password gets dangerously close to failing out due to my typos. I haven’t cracked much more than 65wpm, but I also haven’t been pushing myself to type faster, either, thanks to the whole Wrist Situation. I should work on it more, though.
- Speaking of which, my wrists are much better behaved than they have been in ages. I actually spent most of today without them on, even typing some, with no discomfort. I wear the braces a lot now, and I think they’ve helped a ton. I may be able to roll back down to just wearing them to sleep.
- Did lots of puzzles, mostly sudoku, as I’m getting near the end of another book I’ve been working on for years.
- Not a lot of reading, though. I haven’t picked my Kindle back up since the end of the trip. I need to keep on with The Wheel of Time before it all slips out of my head. The size of that series is intimidating as hell, though.
The long trip was the perfect combination of “great to go, great to come back,” and I suspect I won’t be doing any serious travel again until the holidays, although you never know. Nice thing about retirement: if I decide to head off and drive around for a week or two, I can do that. Nice.
I’m writing this right before crashing out early for tomorrow’s trip; I plan on getting up at 5:30am and hitting the road by 6am so that I can get into Baton Rouge at something resembling a reasonable hour. We’ll see how well I manage.
- In preparation for the aforementioned trip, I picked up a Samsung Chromebook 3 from Amazon this week. My full assessment will have to wait until I’m back, but so far I’m pretty impressed. It even natively supports Colemak, which came as a pleasant surprise.
- Speaking of which, my wrists are behaving quite a bit better… or, at least, they were, until I was lazy last night and didn’t put them on before going to bed. Sigh. I plan on wearing them for at least most of the day tomorrow, which should help some, but I’ve got to stop doing that. It’s not doing me any favors.
- Not a lot of gaming this week, other than the usual little stabs at the various free-to-play games you’ve gotta do every day to keep up with the grind.
- Well, that’s not entirely true. I had a couple of old coworkers/friends over on a whim yesterday afternoon, and we had a blast playing video pinball (both Pinball FX 3 and The Pinball Arcade) along with the perennial Towerfall Ascension.
- I went to a farewell dinner for one of my old teammates; they’re moving to Raleigh, which makes me sad to see them go, but I suspect they’re going to be a lot happier there from a social perspective. It’s rather too quiet here for most people.
- (Re)read some more of the Culture series, watched a few more episodes of The Punisher, solved more puzzles. Steady state, in other words.
Now to try and get some sleep. I usually have a lot of trouble sleeping the night before traveling, but I hope that won’t be the case this evening, particularly given how much less stressed I am about this trip than, uh, any other one in living memory. I guess it’s time to find out!
Weekly adulting level: High.
End-of-week energy level: So low. So, so low.
- I spent most of the week avoiding full day binges at the computer and PS4 in an attempt to baby my wrists given my long-running issues; it’s helped quite a bit, but I’m going to keep it up for another week at least.
- Because of that, I haven’t been typing very much. I’m still in the low 60s typing speed wise, which is simultaneously more than fast enough for… anything, really… and still so much slower than my traditional typing speed that it’s driving me nutso. I wanted to start properly drilling this week with the help of gtypist, but I’ve only done a bit of that thanks to the whole wrist thing. In a couple of weeks, though… yeah.
- The visit to the ENT went really well, and I recommend seeing Dr. de Neef at Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat if you need to see someone and don’t have a regular.
- The other big bit of adulting was me getting all of my stuff together and bringing it (digitally) to H&R Block for that most dreaded of American traditions: taxes. I did that yesterday, and found out today that I owe… a lot. Nearly forty grand a lot. The raw number was a bit shocking, but I knew it was going to be a huge tax bill, since I sold almost all of my tech company equity at the end of last year. Still, ouch.
- That said, with all three of those essentially done, I can now start planning for a multi-week road trip to Arkansas and Louisiana to visit friends and family. I’m actually pretty excited about this! Which is rare for me, because as I’ve mentioned before travel is most definitely not My Thing. I’m looking forward to the languid “go whenever, leave whenever” possibilities for visits that being retired affords me, though.
- I finished the second season of The Expanse, which was even better than the first. Still working on Transparent, although I’m close to the end there too. I really want to start on the second season of Jessica Jones next, but my completionist tendencies mean that I have to watch Punisher first.
- My other big “not gaming, not computing” time sink has been a reread of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. I made it through the first two this week, and am already about 20% of the way into Use of Weapons, which remains the hardest one to reread. (I’ve done this “read them all” thing a few times already.) After Weapons, though, the rest of the series is smooth sailing.
…that’s a lot of text, and my arm is tweaking a bit, so I’ll stop there and settle back down with my book. But, hey: progress on actual life things!
I’ve had problems with my wrists for years. A lot of it comes from bad keyboard hygiene in my youth, and, well, all the way into adulthood; switching to Colemak is mostly an attempt to stave off those problems as long as I can. There’s no question that it’s helping, but there’s also no question that I’m playing more games, and typing more, than I did when I was still working. (Turns out workdays have lots of interruptions–meetings, lunches followed by board games, hallway chats–that you just don’t have when you’re home alone all day. Who knew.) And that additional wear-and-tear is causing issues.
I’m wearing my wrist braces every night now, a habit I used to follow religiously and then gave up for the most part during my most recent job tenure. My wrist problems are definitely exacerbated by the fact that I’m also a hand-curler in my sleep; I often wake up in strange positions, limbs twisted unnaturally and with various extremities going bzzzzzzzz from a lack of blood flow. I’m also wearing them a lot during the day too, particularly when I’m doing a marathon game session. They help, but still.
I think I’m going to have to simply start going easier on all the tech. More reading, which is good; probably a bit more passive television watching, which is less good, but it’s not like there isn’t a ton of stuff for me to catch up on. It’s frustrating, of course. Having your body fail you slowly but surely is part of growing old, but I can’t imagine what I’d do if I could no longer use my hands. So I’ve got to be careful, play it safe, and listen to when my body is telling me it’s time to quit.
Speaking of which: enough typing for now. More later this week.