“Hands-on Rust: Effective Learning through 2D Game Development and Play”
“The Well of Ascension”, Brandon Sanderson (audiobook). Book 2 of the Mistborn Saga.
“Sleeping Giants”, Sylvain Neuvel (audiobook). SciFi that centers around discovering pieces of a giant robot told via a series of interviews. Works well as a full cast audiobook, similar in structure to Max Brooks’ “World War Z” and “Devolution”. I’ll be seeking out the later books in the series.
“The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse”, multiple authors. Mixed bag, which I guess is to be expected for an anthology like this.
“The Sentinel”, Lee Child and Andrew Child.
Slowly working my way through “Hands-on Rust: Effective Learning through 2D Game Development and Play” by Herbert Wolverson. I generally reach for Ruby first when there’s something I want to build, but having familiarity with other languages has a number of benefits.
“Zombie Bake-Off”, Stephen Graham Jones (audiobook).
“Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files”, Jim Butcher.
“Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker’s Guid to the Galaxy”, Neil Gaiman (audiobook).
“Siren Queen”, Nghi Vo (audiobook).
“Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor”, Ally Carter.
Completed - The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. Point-and-click adventure with a folk horror theme, retro visual style, and good voice acting / sound design that combines to achieve an effective sense of dread. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Control scheme worked well on Steam Deck.
Completed - Life is Strange 2.
The Descendant. Had several crashes early in the game on Steam Deck. May have to come back to this one when I can play it on Windows.
“Ghost Story”, Peter Straub (audiobook). I was hopeful after having enjoyed his collaborations with Stephen King (“The Talisman” and “Black House”). While I enjoyed some of the prose, I’m not sure I would’ve made it through if I were reading it instead of listening while doing other things.
“The Odyssey”, Homer / Emily Wilson - translator (audiobook). Fairly approachable modern translation written in iambic pentameter verse and narrated by Claire Danes. Includes a lengthy introduction and translator’s note that provides additional context.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
Starting in 2019, I decided to make a more committed effort to reading in my free time, I think somewhat prompted by Goodreads’ annual reading challenge feature combined with the added convenience of reading on a Kindle. I read ~30 books that year, with a mix of books I read for myself and ones I read aloud to the kids as part of our long-standing nightly bedtime routine. With a shift to working from home during 2020 and increased work schedule flexibility, that ramped up to ~100 books in 2020 and ~150 in 2021. This year I discovered audiobooks and started listening to them during times I would have listened to podcasts previously, which meant even more time for books (over 250 so far this year). I’m not usually one to write a review or even rate books as I read them, but have been thinking it would be nice to better capture some that I’ve either particularly enjoyed or have made a strong impression on me. With that in mind, here are my highlights from 2019 (in no particular order):
I’ve recently been interested in experimenting with Hashicorp’s Nomad for deploying/running apps as an alternative to the the somewhat convoluted combination of Docker + ansible I currently use. Since I primarily use a Synology NAS for running Dockerized apps, my first hurdle was coming up with a way to somewhat sanely install the nomad server/client on a Synology. I found nomad-spk that was promising, but wasn’t compatible with the latest major version of the Synology OS (aka DSM7).
My car only has two cup holders up front, which is annoying if you have a family of four and hit a drive-thru. So I designed and printed two more that fit in a somewhat useless storage cubby in the center console.
Earlier this year, we got Chromebooks for our girls so they could more easily do their virtual schoolwork. iPads proved to be frustrating for some things, so we opted for Chromebooks since we knew that would be similar to what they’d use at school. We also got them each a stylus that was compatible with the Chromebooks (specifically one meeting the USI standard). I wanted a way for them to be able to keep them with their computers in the hope that if I had an easy way for them to keep track of it, they’d be less likely to lose them. Nothing quite matched my needs. I’d initially tried to print an existing design that plugged into an empty USB port, but it was designed for a stylus with different dimensions and would not work for ours. Inspired by that general design, I put together the following:
I’m still struggling with modern modeling software, but it came together after a few design iterations:
Filament: TTY3D silk fast color gradient change rainbow PLA
Filament: Inland red PETG