Pull up a chair and hang with me a while. This is a long one.
Where I’m Traveling
Right now I’m living and working in Oklahoma City, but over Thanksgiving break Julie and I took a short trip down to the Florida Keys. This guide was generally helpful – we enjoyed kayaking through mangroves, walking and biking around Key West, and visiting injured turtles at the Turtle Hospital.
How I’m Changing My Workflow
- How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You – I’m on winter break from teaching and like to use downtime to fine tune my processes, daily routine, and refocus on goals. This article is helping me to kick some of my bad iPhone habits.
- How to Create a Zen Experience on Your Android Phone – This might help you if you are on an Android phone.
- Why robocalls have taken over your phone – I use the Hiya app to screen and block many calls, but I’m even going further now and using a white-list approach with the do-not-disturb feature in iOS.
- The Siri Shortcuts Home Screen – I’ve decided this isn’t my thing but some creative ideas here.
- Creating Shortcuts with Invisible Names for the iOS Home Screen and Widget – A cool hack to create invisible icons on iOS.
- Automators 11: Creating a Shortcuts Home Screen Shortcut – Steps for creating a home screen shortcuts.
What I’m Contemplating
- The Curse of the Honeycrisp Apple – Some intel about my very favorite apple.
- The healthiest people in the world don’t go to the gym – The title is click-bait but a good reminder that there are many paths to wellness.
- The 40 Greatest Family Games – These articles are usually full of fluff and puff
- Scaling Engineering Teams via Writing Things Down and Sharing – aka RFCs – I think “writing things down and sharing” is job #1 for software architects.
- Cowboys’ Randy Gregory : ‘I was just in a real bad place’ – It is easy to hate and dismiss Randy Gregory, and this article gave me pause to reconsider my position.
- A rocker’s guide to management – Worth it for some of the stories and inside baseball on rock bands.
- Software Engineering – A philosophical activity – Tom Enden – Hmmm.
How I’m Improving My Teaching
- Transform Any External Screen Into a Digital Whiteboard — With Your iPad and the GoodNotes App – I love using GoodNotes while I teach coupled with the iPad and Apple Pencil.
- What to do with your computer science career – I’m always looking for good tidbits to share with students.
- Developer On Call – The best companies have developers support their own work, but also recognize the impact it can have on the developer.
What I’m Listening To (and just general music stuff)
- What Astral Weeks teaches us about Northern Irish identity – “If I ventured in the slipstream, between the viaducts of your dreams..” 50th anniversary means plenty of writing about Astral Weeks, which has crept up into my top 5 all-time albums. I still listen to it every week.
- The Accidental Perfection of the Beatles’ White Album – Another 50th anniverary.
- Episode 150: Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way – My son Jacob turned me on to Song Exploder and I love cherry picking episodes like this one.
- Jeff Tweedy’s Book Chronicles His Struggles with Mental Illness, Addiction — and Both Jays – The author is a friend of a friend (we all trace personal history back to St. Louis and University City where Uncle Tupelo launched in dive basement bars) and gives some interesting insight into Tweedy’s just-released book.
What I’m Watching
- My List of Movies to See Before the End of 2018 – Wishlist mostly, maybe Julie and I will get to some of these in January. Roma is at the top of my list.
- Designated Survivor – a guilty pleasure I’ve been enjoying on my own.
What I’m Reading
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – finally got around to reading this one. I’m not sure how it holds up these days (scientifically) but offered interesting ideas, such as the latitudinal axis of Europe-Asia promoting technology propagation along similar climate zones (as opposed to the longitudinal axis of Africa and the Americas).
- I had high hopes for The City of Brass) but it fell off for me about halfway through. Too much court intrigue and plot meandering. Plus I had a hard time keeping the factions and tribe names straight.
- I listened to This Naked Mind and it may literally be life altering for me. Not ready to say more than that yet.
- I casually worked my way through My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired and got plenty of value from it. A good fit with my workflow tuning.
What I’m Playing
- I played 18CZ with my regular three-player gaming team of Greg and Matt. A good entry in the 18xx pantheon.
- While in Florida I played Ninety-Nine with my mom and Julie. Still the best 3-player trick taking game out there.
- Matthew arrived in Florida so we switched over to Spades and had a blast with this team trick playing game.
- Julie and I got Sushi Go!
9390) for our nephew and taught and played it. I can see now why it is so highly regarded.
- We’ve started a regular game night with another couple and played Ticket to Ride: Märklin a couple of weeks ago. Julie smoked us with some awesome passenger runs.
- My three-player group met again and played the new 18xx card game 18Lilliput. I think this is going to be a big hit and look forward to playing it with family over the winter holiday.
- I drove down south before leaving Oregon and played Storm Over Dien Bien Phu with Ken. He won.
- The new party game Just One arrived here in OKC and we did a first play with family and friends. Big hit with gamers and non-gamers.
What I’m Cooking
- We bought an Instant Pot! I made a vegan mushroom risotto and it was awesome. I look forward to exploring this cooking device further.