- I didn’t post a weeknote last Sunday. For the last two weeks, my mental health has been at its lowest point in almost a decade. I’m better today, but some days it gets so bad that I can barely move.
- On my worst day, when I was walking around the house in a kind of brain fog, I couldn’t even understand the dialog in one of my favorite TV shows.
- The good news is that I’m finally speaking to a therapist. Yay?
- Needless to say that I haven’t been cooking very much, but I did manage to make a great paneer butter masala on one of those rare days when I felt a bit like myself. Cooking continues to be a source of joy, an unlikely outlet for creative energies, and a way to connect with my friends.
- I’m taking a break from the Earthsea books — not because I dislike them, but because I want to step out of that world for a little while. I’ve started reading Gideon the Ninth, which is sheer insanity. In a good way. I expect to write a lot more about this book in the future.
- I discovered a game called Children of Morta through a Steam sale. It’s quite similar to Diablo 2 in terms of gameplay. Since my brain refuses to think straight anymore, this has been a good way for me to forget about the world while mindlessly slashing through skeletons, spiders, goblins, and unnameable blobs.
- I’ve found that if I really want to have fun, I should really only be playing one game at a time. There just isn’t enough time in the day. So, I’ve decided that I’m not going to move on from Children of Morta until I finish it or get bored.
- RTJ4 dropped, and it’s as flawless and magnificent and sublime as I imagined it would be. Please go listen to it. Now.
“You mean there’s a catch?”
“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Everything I’ve built with Rust so far has been tiny in both scope and size, so writing out my error handling code by hand hasn’t been much of a hassle. However, I’ve been meaning to look into some of the popular error handling crates so I don’t have to write a ton of boilerplate every time I want to introduce a new type of error in my applications.
Nick Groenen covers two such crates in his blog post on error handling in Rust: https://nick.groenen.me/posts/rust-error-handling/
This reddit thread has further suggestions: https://www.reddit.com/r/rust/comments/gj8inf/rust_structuring_and_handling_errors_in_2020/
- America is burning. India has been burning for months. Unable to contribute much to what’s going on, I’m educating myself. The only thing I really know how to do is read and write, so I’m reading. Maybe one day I will write.
- I cooked a giant pot of creamy, buttery dal bukhara and I’m unreasonably proud of this achievement. I’d make a great house-husband.
- Darkest Dungeon was free for the weekend, so I’ve spent the last two days gleefully getting my ass kicked by eldritch horrors. I’ve been wanting to play this game for months, and I’m happy to report that it lives up to the hype.
- Tehanu is incredible. You can tell within the first few pages that Le Guin was an entirely different person by the time she got around to writing it.
- Work has been frustrating. I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to build a thing that should be straightforward, but isn’t. It’s been making me not want to even look at my IDE. I’m close to a solution now, so hopefully this period of reduced productiveness will only last a few more days.
- Charli still on repeat.
There are tons of recipes for hummus online, but this is a super basic one that I like to use.
If you feel like eating something fancier, you can try adding red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, beetroot, black pepper, or spicy ground beef/lamb to this hummus.
- 1 cup dry chickpeas
- 6-8 large cloves of garlic
- 1 cup olive oil (1/4 cup for the tahini, 3/4 cup for the hummus)
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1.5 tablespoon salt
- A lemon
- Soak the chickpeas in water for 8-10 hours.
- Rinse the chickpeas and put them in a pressure cooker with 3.5 cups of fresh water. Add a tablespoon of salt and pressure cook for 12-15 whistles. Let the pressure settle on its own.
- While the chickpeas are cooking, heat a pan on medium heat. Spread 1/2 cup of sesame seeds evenly on the pan and roast them until they’re golden and fragrant. Make sure the seeds are evenly roasted.
- Let the seeds cool for a few minutes and transfer them to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend until the seeds form a paste. You can reduce the amount of oil if you want a thicker, dryer tahini.
- Open the pressure cooker and separate the chickpeas from the water using a colander. Save the water for later.
- Put the chickpeas in the blender with 6-8 cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of tahini, juice from half a lemon, and some of the drained chickpea water. Blend until the chickpeas form a paste, slowly adding more of the saved water if necessary.
- Taste the hummus and add more salt if necessary. You can also add another tablespoon of tahini and more lemon juice according to taste.
- Put the hummus in the fridge and serve it when it’s slightly cool.
Yes, I’m on a CGP Grey binge today.
- I found the first Earthsea book to be dry and stilted, but Le Guin’s world and its inhabitants are getting more complex, more diverse, and more human as the series goes on. I finished The Tombs of Atuan and got halfway through The Farthest Shore this week, and I can’t wait to start Tehanu. I can already anticipate the emptiness I’ll feel when I finish all the books in the series, when I’ll be forced to say goodbye to Ged, Tenar, and all the other denizens of Earthsea.
- Champaca has started delivering books across the country, so I got myself all three books from N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy. I now have my eyes on Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series and Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past series. This is going to be a good year for reading SFF.
- Charli is still on repeat. Anthems should be the official anthem of the quarantimes.
- For the last few weeks I’ve been working with a client who wants to create tooling for developers building machine learning models. Every time I step back to look at the work I’m doing I feel immensely proud of what I’ve accomplished, and there’s no greater joy in the world than that. In the middle of this pandemic I at least have my work to keep me grounded and contented. I’m immensely grateful for this.
- From 2009 to 2011 I ran a personal blog not too different from this one. It was served from a cheap shared hosting box, which I lost because reasons. I thought it was gone for good until I looked for it on the Wayback Machine and found that it had been backed up there in its entirety. I spent a large part of the week migrating posts from the backup to this current blog, which means my archives now extend back to 2009. That’s more than a decade of blog posts! You can read a particulary juicy one that went viral here, and you can see the whole archive here.
- I fired up Factorio over the weekend because I was bored. After four hours of messing around with belts, I’m ready to pour my entire life into this game. I’d forgotten the sense of wonder and discovery that I got from city building and simulation games when I was a kid. Console gaming is fun, but you can’t control a game like Caesar, Rollercoaster Tycoon, or Constructor without a mouse and keyboard. I’m now tempted to build a PC so I can play modern incarnations of these games. Somebody stop me.
PS: as an experiment, I’m allowing comments on all my new posts. I’ll disable them if it turns into too much work, but I’m willing to try this out for a little bit. Be kind.