Crystal growing

Got one of these and it pretty much worked as advertised.

Final version of the crystal

This is after about three weeks of leaving it unattended.

The beginnings of crystal formation

I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out, because we didn’t stir it too well, and didn’t really “arrange” the stones at all, and we were expecting it to be just a bed of crystals at the bottom.

An intermediate version with “one tree” done growing

In the beginning nothing happened for the first week, but then it ended up “growing upwards”, a bit more every day, which was fun to watch!

I think we’re going to check out more adventurous versions of this now, maybe combining colors?

Monthly recap (Mar 2021)

A plane flying in the clear blue sky

Major updates

  • Weekend trip to Carmel

Minor updates

  • Got a haircut after a long time, lol
  • Trying out Fastmail as an email provider

Watched/read/played/made

  • Re-started reading Against the Day (on and off over a few years now …)
  • Started reading The Hobbit with Tara
  • Experimented with a “Crystal growing kit
  • Watched a bit of How to train your dragon with Tara
  • Watched Can’t get you outta my head (Adam Curtis’ new docuseries)
  • Invented “Scooter Polo” where she kicks a ball while on the scooter (good, dumb, fun)

The little wallet that could …

Recently became _aware_, for a few moments, of the wallet in my pocket.

I used to have a big, thick one I carried around everywhere.

One day, I got sick of it and looked into card wallet instead.

I ended up getting this Alpine Swiss wallet — when I initially got it, I was worried it would fall apart, but it has lasted for nearly a decade now

Generally interesting links – Feb 2021

(A short list this time)

Watching Adam Curtis

A poem that shares a title with a docu-series by Adam Curtis from 2011

The first time I watched an Adam Curtis documentary was “Century of the self” about a decade ago. After that, I have, on-and-off, tried to watch everything by him that I could get my hand on.

Not all of it felt equally good, but the good ones were very rewarding. No one else, to my knowledge, comes close to tackling these themes, hard-to-grasp and spread out over decades and involving so many threads of narrative as they are.

For the first time I looked up his filmography and found out that — I found this amazing — he has been making “this sort of thing” since before I was born (!)

Also, I realized I’d watched his work in a very haphazard, non-chronological order, jumping across decades.

I just watched the first 30min of the first episode of his latest creation after a gap of many years (I can’t get you outta my head), and it feels like one of his better ones.

I tend to watch everything slowly these days, so I imagine it will take me a while to get through it (at over eight hours), and perhaps I will mention whether or not it lived up to expectations when I am done.

But in the meantime, I can recommend these favorites of mine (I have been able to find everything on Youtube):

  • The century of the Self (2002)
  • All watched over by machines of loving grace (2011)
  • The Trap: what happened to our dream of freedom (2007)
  • Pandora’s Box (1992)

Enjoy.

A decade (nearly) of Lamy

Lamy Safari, Charcoal Black, Fine Nib

I’ve had this pen for about nine years now, which is longer than I’ve had my laptop, or my phone, or my current pair of jeans, or my bed, or the tv on the wall, or the lamp next to me, or … you get the idea.

I think I’ve mentioned recommendations for fountain pens before, but I’ll repeat this anyway: it’s hard to beat this cheap and reliable workhorse, the good old Lamy Safari (not quite old, though, there are new versions available)

I have two of these that I keep filled with (usually) black and blue ink, and I have secretly wished that they stop working, or even just degrade in quality just a bit, to give me an excuse to try and buy one of the more expensive fountain pens I’ve kept in my wish-list for years, but … that just hasn’t happened yet!

Tip on buying: if you’d like to skip paying Amazon, two great places for “stuff like this” are Jetpens and GouletPens.

Monthly Recap (Jan 2021)

An arrangement of leaves and twigs

Major updates

  • Well, a new year and a new adventure for me at Sigma Computing (bit more on that soon)

Minor updates

  • Played a bunch with silly-but-fun air-pump “rockets”
  • Switched to a new phone after three years
  • Doctor visits for Tara, not fun
  • Haircuts for everyone, after a long time
  • Poor sleep patterns for me

Watched/read/played/made

  • Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (I had missed this earlier, it was surprisingly good family fun)
  • David Attenborough’s “A life on earth” (good, but depressing)