I started writing this post on Thursday, which was my actual birthday, to write a post blathering about the things I was working and about routines and forming new habits, and some changes that I've made to the site. And then I got swept into work and doing things, and the writing just never happened. Friday and the weekend were filled with family time, dancing, and my goal for this comparatively quiet Sunday afternoon is not so much to get caught up on various projects, but to get a little bit done to jump start my momentum for the week.
The biggest development that I've made last week, during that hiatus, is that I merged the "essay" and the "rhizome" section of the site. Everything's a rhizome, though if a post is seeming particularly "essay"-like the essay page will sill pull those out. This seems to be the best technological solution and it solves the logical overhead of needing to maintain two sites. Maybe other people can deal with maintaining more than one site or blog, but I really can't deal with. This is one of those things that seems like a good idea every couple of years, and then I give up and merge everything back together.
I also wrote up a project spec called A LaTeX Build System, which describes (very roughly) a notional piece of free-software infrastructure that would make LaTeX easier to use in and for itself but also designed in such a way as to make LaTeX based systems preferable for all sorts of publishing operations. Read the page for more info, but it's basically a way to sand offf all the rough edges of LaTeX so that everyone who makes documents (that's most people) can make beautiful consistent documents easier than with any conventional method.
I finished reading Player Of Games, last week. It's another one of Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels, which I like. They're frustrating because they all (so far) have a lot of plot that circles around itself endlessly, and seems really important but you know that anything that you might find out in the plot going to has already happened in the set up. The result is this an ironically claustrophobic novel feels like a really drawn out world building experience. While the experience works, it doesn't feel like it ought to to work. And there you are.
Speaking of reading, I finished reading the book above on my new phone which is quite nice. I'm not sold on the Kindle Mobile app for reading short fiction periodicals, as it doesn't save/sync pages, and I find it hard to read an entire novella in a single sitting. I've started paying for Readability, which is a great tool for bookmarking, reading and archiving articles and other medium-to-long form pieces on the web. I've started paying, because I think they're doing something really cool that I really want to succeed, and I like being able to use it as a way of getting content to my phone for reading. I'm a little frustrated that there's no good way to load up the phone with articles for reading while on the subway. Get on that, ye horde of mobile developers!
I've started knitting again. Just reached the bottom of arm holes (armscye for the pedantic) for a new sweater that I've been working on (or ignoring more likely) for a few months. That's exciting, and it's nice to get a few rows done most days. I'm not obsessive (much) about the knitting, and certainly not in the way that I have been in the past, but it's a nice thing to do and a good change of pace when I get tired of looking at screens. I've long toyed with the idea of writing knitting stories something sort of between an essay and a knitting pattern and if nothing else I think doing some of that writing will require a regular knitting practice. Add that to the list.
Speaking of lists, I ought to work on making some progress on my list! With luck I'll be around a bit more this week!