Self Wright

Category: Life Page 1 of 4

System of the Sun

This is not running a very localized observation (I’ve noticed this both where I stay in the south bay area, and also during our recent short trip to Hawaii), but still: among the bright objects seen in the sky at night, are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn.

At one level, we can marvel at this “real” experience of the existence of planets and stars, something which was natural from the beginning of humanity until recently, and which is only made harder to look at given that we are either staring into our phones or screens of some other form.

More than this, though, is the fact that in looking at these three planets we are seeing the solar system “for real”: these planets mark the ecliptic, which roughly marks the plane of the solar system.

Looking at them, you can feel connected to this system of planets astroids (and comets and everything else in it), that orbits this particular favorite star of ours.

Monthly recap (Oct 2021)

Sea lions under the wharf at Santa Cruz

Major update

  • Halloween trick ‘n’ treating (after a lull last year)

Minor updates

  • Weekend trip to Santa Cruz (again)
  • My grandfather passed away (will write more about this soon)
  • Had a package stolen from our doorstep
  • Some tax shenanigans

Watched/read/played/made

  • Watched Dune (in an actual physical theater, with great sound)
  • Watched a few episodes of Squid games (beginning and end)
  • Read a couple of graphic novels (Templar and vol. 1 of The Graveyard Book)
  • Begun reading The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe
  • Watched Lego Star Wars (the holiday special)

Supplemental pics

Giant rainbow on a rainy drive back from Santa Cruz
Interesting bug

Monthly recap (Sep 2021)

Natural Bridges state beach

Major update

  • Weekend trip to Santa Cruz

Minor updates

  • Finished a (sixth) 1000-piece puzzle
  • Had a family “no phone day“, which went well
  • Bunch of dental stuff
  • Walked to the Mountain view fair downtown
  • Tara had a sleepover
  • Various social get-togethers

Watched/read/played/made

  • Watched (now that we have Disney+) “Cars” and “Raya and the last dragon”
  • Episodes of “On the verge”
  • Began reading a little bit of the fourth Harry Potter book

Monthly recap (Aug 2021)

An evening sunset

Major updates

  • Trip to Aptos
    • Started out as a Santa Cruz day trip, expanded in scope to the weekend 😀
  • Tara started school (in-person! first grade!)
    • Sadly, many of her former friends’ families relocated in the last year’s Covid churn

Minor updates

  • Some dental adventures I won’t go into 😞
  • A team dinner (sounds boring but I hadn’t done one of these in a long time !)
  • Family “game time” with Labyrinth and Ticket to ride
  • Two birthdays, two-three social meetups
  • Tara’s first sleepover

Watched/read/played/made

  • Watched Harry Potter #3: Prisoner of Azkaban with Tara. One and a half times.
  • Watched the new season of Money Heist
  • A new “reading mode” where I just keep a bunch of books open.

 

Monthly recap (Jul 2021)

A butterfly in the backyard

Major updates

  • Week-long trip to Gualala
    • Airbnb
    • included a Foosball table that we used a lot
    • time at the beach
    • an old record player that … only briefly worked
  • 1-night stay to Asilomar
    • Visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Bunch of other “visits after a long time” (Covid milestones)
    • Visited the “mini Legoland” in Milpitas
    • A first movie-in-the-theater experience (after perhaps two years?)
    • Visited the library

Minor updates

  • Completed a bunch of patio work — and we now have a hammock
  • A butterfly (“painted lady”) hatched from a cocoon that Tara brought back from school
  • Got a HomePod Mini (quite satisfied so far)
  • Discovered new restaurant downtown Mountain View: Kakaroto
  • Another birthday went by 😐
  • Bit of “appliance hiccup” when the dishwasher and the fridge stopped working on the same day
  • Bunch of camps for Tara

Watched/read/played/made

  • A lot of Harry Potter
    • Watched Chamber of Secrets with Tara
    • Listened to the audiobook of Soceror’s Stone with Tara
  • Listened to the audiobook of Idea of the World (Bernardo Kastrup)

Monthly recap (Jun 2021)

Within Muir Woods

Major updates

  • A trip to Muir Woods

Minor updates

  • Got a covid test (negative!)
  • Dealing with some ants and cockroaches at home
  • Patio work at home (tiling)
  • Got some cards for Father’s Day 🙂

Watched/read/played/made

  • Rango (for the third time)
  • First (An unexpected journey) and second (The desolation of Smaug) Hobbit movies with Tara
  • Watched several episodes of Teen Titans Go with Tara (yes, odd)
  • Season 3 of The Kominsky Method
  • Beowulf (the 2008 movie)

Monthly recap (May 2021)

Clay modeling “face” made around a spiky round seed ball that fell from a tree

Major updates

  • Not a lot, this month just flew by!

Minor updates

  • Some gardening attempts at home
  • A “terrarium activity” at work; got a hardy plant in the bowl to show for it
  • Weekend
  • Random play time: clay modeling, lego

Watched/read/played/made

  • Tools: spending more time in Doom Emacs
  • Tools: Found Roam too slow for my “life-log”, tried Tinderbox for a while, but settled back with DevonThink
  • Watched: The Last Days on Netflix

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.

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 ….)

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