Self Wright

Month: May 2021

Generally interesting links – Apr 2021

“Shipton’s Arch”

Science

Watchables

  • I like watching all the “Beauty of …” videos, this is one on BladeRunner 49

The world

Readables

Computing

Watching the Hobbit

I recently finished (over a few months) reading through the illustrated version of The Hobbit with my daughter.

This week the whole family watched the 1977 animated version of the Hobbit, and we loved it.

My “possibly unpopular opinion” here is that it is better than the new remakes.

With its 78 minute length (compared with the several hours run time of the three Peter Jackson movies), the story is crisp.

The animation too, is “old school”; pre-dating any CGI, every frame is hand-colored, and there is a very different feel to it.

Additionally, the custom song that serves as the theme of the movie is just … wonderful.

Its lyrics are inspiring.

The man who’s a dreamer and never takes leave

Who thinks of a world that is just make-believe

Will never know passion, will never know pain.

Who sits by the window will one day see rain.

P.S. I also found this Original Soundtrack (which is really the entire audio track of the movie!) with the video featuring an illustrated book — Youtube is a goldmine for rare stuff like this.

MLP and Star Trek

Yes, this is a serious title.

While reading with Tara, I have acquired a “taste” for My Little Pony, and this has largely been due to all the references found within it.

These are not for kids at all or even (come to think of it) for most adults, but rather for a vague yet specific nerdy subculture.

I came across an extremely specific one recently, where Cosmos (a … well, cosmic villain) utters something while being defeated.

“Beratis Kesla Redjac”

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that this is something uttered in a specific Star Trek episode. The classic Star Trek (“Wolf in the fold”, 1967)

This is not a generic Star Trek reference (I can share an example of that later). No, if you had watched every episode of the classic Star Trek but this one, you wouldn’t get it.

I have, for better or worse, watched (along with my brother for most of them) and re-watched these episodes about twenty years ago, and it triggered a vague recollection.

The writers clearly enjoy themselves with these series, and I don’t think they’d find similar luck anywhere else. I don’t know, really, where else you’d find a mix of bizarre out-of-the-blue references in the middle of a completely unrelated for-kids-no-really storyline.

He-man

I did not expect to see this in a store, not in 2021.

Yes, it’s good ‘ol He-Man and Battle Cat.

The last time I saw this was probably the early 90s.

Now I’m wondering whether I just wasn’t paying attention for several years, or it’s “come back in style” recently.

Weird.

On old software

George R. R. Martin, when asked by Conan O’ Brien, on why he wrote on on an old PC, running MS-DOS, not connected to the internet, in Wordstar 4.0.

I actually like it, it does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else. I don’t want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lowercase letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don’t want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.

Monthly recap (Apr 2021)

Some flowers I saw while walking

Major updates

  • Trip to Mendocino for a week
    • Lots of eating and hiking

Minor updates

  • Tara began “full days” at school
  • Got the first Moderna dose at CVS
  • Experimenting with a new Tinderbox/Devonthink flow to replace Roam for a while
  • Playing with modeling clay instead of Play-doh (good riddance)
  • Sleep patterns not that great 😐

Watched/read/played/made

  • (Didn’t keep track ☹️)
  • Picked up Economix
  • Most of the way through “The Hobbit” with Tara
  • Completely weaned myself off The New York Times
  • Reading a lot more Substack, and a bunch of newer long-form content
  • Found a few dozen books to give away

Monthly recap (Feb 2021)

Major updates

  • Hiking at Long ridge trail

Minor updates

  • Uneven sleep, gotta fix that
  • Tara had a “zoom lego camp” for a week, which was … not bad

Watched/read/played/made

  • Reading w/ Tara:
    • Nightmare before Christmas (the “movie-as-graphic-novel” genre is quite nice)
    • Madeleine collection (
  • Playing with modeling clay (upgrade from Play-doh, lol)
  • Watched on Netflix:
    • Planet Earth
    • The Dig
    • episodes of Blown Away (we started watching a baking show last year, and this is similar but different)
  • Finished a 1000-piece puzzle I’d been working on
  • “Fairy garden” (picture above)

(For some reason I forgot to hit ‘publish’ on this a couple month sago ….)

Switching to self-hosted WordPress

For various reasons, I decided to ditch wordpress.com and self-host this blog.

It might turn out to be a terrible idea, but I’ll stick with it for a year.

Some motivations:

  • better control through plugins, more flexibility over time
  • the .blog domain is more expensive, I don’t care for it

New posts (after this one) will appear at abacusnoir.com, older ones will continue to be available at abacusnoir.blog (and be redirected to the new site for some time).

Generally interesting links – Mar 2021

(Note to self by Douglas Adams)

Books

Tools and practices

Misc

Systems

Programming

The Hobbit

Mid-way through a reading of the illustrated version1 of The Hobbit.

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