Wherein I Make an Account of My Whereabouts

One of the conceits of being a blogger is imagining that someone will notice if we are absent for a time. Another is that those folks, missing you as they do, would want you to tell you what you’ve been up to – even if it has nothing to do with the usual themes of the blog.

So here’s what I’ve been doing, in no particular order:

  • I’ve decided that, independently of whatever else I might want to learn, I can make up my own university course. To make up such a course, you need to schedule and spend a certain amount of time on something you don’t know, digging into the subject in whatever way seems appropriate to you. For a three-credit-hour course, based on some averages I found for in-class and out-of-class time, this amounts to spending eight hours per week for fifteen weeks for a science course or 10 2/3 hours per week for fifteen weeks for a science course. Here are the calculations that led to this result.

    For my first representative experiment, I’m using this method of podcast learning for languages coupled with RadioAmbulante’s excellent Spanish Podcast, and I’m currently completing week two of something I’m calling Spanish 301. The background is that I already speak Spanish well enough that native speakers will treat me to a wall of sound if I talk to them, so I need more practice processing that wall of sound.

  • I have begun a modest Rust blog. I won’t link to it now because – as I mentioned – it’s modest so far, but more to the point, I will likely shut it down after migrating its existing articles here. It’s clear that my output has dipped a bit lately, so insofar as I’m writing fewer articles, it makes no sense to host that in more than one place. I am, after all, a generalist, and if the search engines penalize that, they do, but I eschew frittering my life away on that concern.

  • In addition to Rust, I’ve spent some time in the unorganized primordial goo of C and C++ “build tools.” For example, I spent a couple of days fighting on a Mac with the fact that what Brew does and what make install does are entirely separate and unrelated to each other. Even setting aside Cargo – which just works – those who complain about the relentless parade of Python packaging tools don’t know how good they have it compared to the arcane, undocumented voodoo mishmash of C and C++.

  • So what was I doing there in C++ besides complaining about my spinning wheels? Well, I was trying to build a tutorial for wxWidgets, because I’ve recently gotten interested in what folks are doing to build cross-platform apps. Yes, I got it working after a while and perhaps should have spun an article out of it, but I don’t really want to get deeper into a world that I knew would come to thwart me even more ungraciously on Windows. Meantime, a less mature (perhaps) though already more tractable tool turned out to be Rust’s Slint, which was up and running in a matter of a few minutes, as it should be. Finally, apps like Joplin, which I really love, get along just fine on React Native.

  • I have spent some time revisiting the recovery meetings that I encountered almost forty years ago, as well as attending some new ones online and convening an in-person LifeRing meeting in Charlotte.

So there you have my hodge-podge of things that have been distracting me from this lovely Python blog.