Random note: 437943

I realized the only reason this is WordPress is that (1) it allowed me to import older material from an old Tumblr, and (2) I’m still in the “write-somewhere-then-export-to-Wordpress” model, with a separate “source of truth (right now, Ulysses).

If I were starting this today, I’d probably have a “living Notion site” that I’d edit in-place, without the write-then-publish cycle.

On the shortened blog name

In the beginning, “Abacus Noir Form” was a play-on-words for ”A Backus-Naur-Form”, which I soon realized was funny in my head, but not necessarily meaningful to anyone else.

General inertia kept things as they were for a few years, until I finally changed this recently, chopping off the “Form” at the end.

Now that I look at it, I sort of like it, so I’ll keep it for a few years more.

Random synchronicity

  1. There’s a particular house with a very elaborate Halloween setup, with movie scene recreations, and a screen playing various scenes. I take a few pics when I pass it once, about a week ago, setting out for trick-and-treating with my daughter.
  2. Passing it on my way back again, I notice a black-and-white scene playing on the screen, and there’s an air hostess and … someone I recognize, is that, hmm … William Shatner? (as in … Star Trek, and, uh, Priceline?)
  3. I make a mental note to look this up, but then forget all about it.
  4. I’m browsing Netflix, for “recommended shows”, and I like to pause at every suggestion, because I watch a few seconds of whatever “clip fragment” ends up playing, sort of gives me a flavor. After a while, I’m not really looking at the titles, just the clips.
  5. I come across a black-and-white scene, with an air-hostess walking back towards … huh? … yes, it is William Shatner, and he’s looking out, and then he sees … something or someone, on the wing.
  6. It’s literally a continuation of the scene I was watching a week ago, picking up right where that left off. It’s an episode of the Twilight Zone
  7. This isn’t some random Twilight Zone episode, it’s one of the few episodes that I actually remember, with the weird creature on a plane’s wing.

(P.S. the title for this post really should’ve been a ‘tag’, but what could I possibly put as a title then?)

Quick rules for personal technology

(Edit: found this while cleaning old posts, must be about 2-3 years ago, but seems very relevant still 😀)

Bunch of suggestions from me, take it or leave it:

  • get off social media
  • no more free games on your phone
  • no news apps
  • no notifications (as much as possible)
  • use “do not disturb” aggressively
  • turn off ads everywhere
  • make something instead of “swiping away”: doodle, write gibberish, whatever
  • write a small journal everyday

Dark Crystal

I kept watching past the last episode, and “the making of …” was just as thrilling as the episodes themselves!

Puppets? Puppets! Glorious, CGI-enhanced puppets in so many shapes and sizes, requiring to be manipulated in so many different ways!

And the sets, and the detail in every physical object, and the music, and the effort involved in every hand-crafted piece, is just … overwhelming.

To think that I just began watching this by accident!

If you haven’t watched it already, please do — it’s a full-spectrum audio-visual spectacle, a treat for the senses, that will soon leave you entranced, if you let it.

On Apple Maps

I keep giving Apple Maps a chance, but it just can’t seem to recalculate routes!

What happens right now, whenever I veer slightly off-course, is I see this triangle representing my car just moving along, departing from that nice blue line it was so close to just a moment ago.

Now if I can make my way back, things do resume, which is … better than if it didn’t. But there doesn’t seem to be any point where it goes “hey, I think you’re way off course now, let’s find you a route from where you are now“.

I do like the traffic-light-based directions, and telling me I’ve entered the parking lot … that’s a nice touch! … but seriously, without route recalculation, it’s hard to pay attention to these other goodies.

Dark Crystal

Here’s how it happened: I was browsing Netflix, got the usual nothing to see here. Oh well, what’s this Dark Crystal thing?

Two minutes in, I get the feeling, “meh, this is too childish, did I accidentally get into the kids’ section?”

But ten minutes in, I realize I’m watching some of the most visually arresting scenes I’ve ever watched — and this isn’t CGI, so someone has put in an absolutely insane level of effort to depict and capture this fantasy world!

Anyway that was episode one. Added the rest to my list.

My current list of pens

Mostly just for my future self, would be interesting to see how this changes in (say) five years.

  1. Lamy Safari (x2, oldest one is from 2012 !)
  2. TWSBI Eco (Fine and Extra-Fine)
  3. Faber-Castell Ambition (imho, the smoothest writing one of the bunch)
  4. Platinum Preppy (x2, currently with blue and purple ink cartridges)
  5. Muji fountain pen (didn’t like it at all)
  6. Muji 0.38mm gel pens (a bunch, both black and colored)
  7. Baron Fig Squire (the only rollerball on this list)
  8. Pilot Frixxion 4-color gel multi pen