Dino’s Journal 📖

DigitalGarden

The biggest development from last week, was that after weeks of thinking about it and talking about it on this journal, I finally published my digital garden online. You can find it here.

It's a work in progress, so there will be changes. In fact, the nature of it means it will probably be forever under construction. When you go through it, don't think of it as a blog. It is not. There are no published dates. There's no RSS feed. There's no email subscription. The URLs to specific notes will probably change every week. It is really a digital garden/personal knowledge-base.


Matt shared this wonderful website on Mastodon. What an amazing find! It allows you to watch, what looks like dashcam videos, from all over the world. In an age where travel and road trips are put on-hold, this website lets you experience virtually driving in another country. It's a mesmerizing and very interesting way to see what other countries/cities look like.


Power outages and water shut-offs all across Texas. People have died in accidents on the road and at their own homes because of the cold. It's extremely disheartening. We've been extremely lucky to not have lost power or water at all. But that wasn't the case for everyone else. Last week's winter storm really showed how the state of Texas is just not ready for this kind of weather. I'm hoping that the state can learn from this and be better prepared for the next one.

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Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.

I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.


Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.

That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.

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Had this conversation with another blogger about a book he read. Similar to what I learned from reading The Great Cholesterol Myth, the same advice is given on a book about Alzheimer’s. And that is to limit carbs and lower/avoid sugar intake to reduce inflammation.

That's two different diseases — Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease — that gets pretty much the same recommendation to reduce carbs and sugar intake. This should really make you rethink how much sugar you should be ingesting everyday.


It took you years to put on all that weight. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not losing weight fast enough. Think of losing weight more as a marathon than a sprint.


I've found a compromise for using my gel pen and fountain pen. When I'm at home, I use my fountain pen to write on my bullet journal. Anywhere else, and on any other notebook, I use my gel pens or ballpoint pens.


A few days ago I wrote this on my journal:

“Almost to the end of the k-drama Iris. It's a really good show!”

Then I got to the end. And wow. That ending was horrible! I had planned to say so many good things about this show. There's the amazing plot. The great acting. The pretty good fight scenes. The great story about love and friendship. But it was all brought down by the horrible ending. I can't even recommend it to my wife anymore, not after I've seen the ending. Such a disappointment. The show was great 95% of the time, until it got to the ending. Unless you're a sucker for horrible endings, don't waste your time on it.

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So, 340 grams of Watermelon is around 109 calories. On the other hand, 85 grams of Butter Pound Cake (which I have to say taste so good) is around 337 calories! It's easy to see why snacking on pastries/baked goods makes it so hard to lose weight.


Last week I remembered why I chose to go with pen and paper for my bullet journal — it was to give my eyes a break from staring at screens all day long.

My only issue with this analog approach to journals, is how to digitize the text that I wrote so that they can be searchable in the future. Sure, bullet journals have an index for tracking down specific topics. But let's face it, that doesn't even come close to being able to search text digitally.

I previously tried to get around this by publishing journal entries on this site. As part of writing those posts, the content from my bullet journal would end up in a text (markdown) file when I download a backup of this site. This benefit went away when I decided to stop writing journal entries.

Now, I'm doing a similar thing with these Weeknotes posts. This time around though, my journal entries end up in my Obsidian vault. I still have to manually type them in though. This is the part I'm trying to streamline. But I'm not sure that's even possible. It's either I ditch my analog bullet journal and go straight to digital journal apps, or just continue what I'm doing — write on my bullet journal then migrate (type up) my notes into Obsidian sometime later in the day or week.

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Have recently become addicted to Skyrim. Yeah, I know I'm late to the party. I've had the PC version of the game for a long time, but I never really got into it. Then last week, I found that it was available on Xbox Gamepass, so I decided to give it another try.

Gameplay for me, seems to be much more enjoyable on the Xbox than on the PC. I'm not quite sure why that is. Maybe because of the Xbox controller? Melee fighting seems to be much better suited to a controller, than to a keyboard. In any case, I was drawn into the game much more deeply than when I was playing the PC version.

I unintentionally ended up with a Shield Mage play-style. This is something that I've never thought of doing while playing the PC version. I usually go for Shield and Sword. But man, a Shield on the left hand and a Flames spell on the right hand, makes for another fun way to fight.


A hilarious exchange between my wife and son.

Coney: Davin, why are you not wearing your slippers? Davin: Because I'm waiting for my slippers to rest.

***

And another one, this time between my dad and my son.

Grandpa: Where did you go? Davin: I dunno. I forgot to check the map.

Meta comment: I'm not really sure where to put this kind of content. They're too short for a single blog post. And it also seems out of place in a weeknotes post. In the past, this would go into my microblog. But that doesn't exist anymore, so I decided to include them in a weeknotes post. It was either social media or this site, so I decided to publish them here for now.

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I wonder if I can use Write.as as a headless CMS? Basically the idea is, Write.as will host my content, while I consume the content using an ASP.NET Core powered website. That will give me more control of the site's design, code, etc... while keeping the content safely stored in Write.as.

I already have a .NET wrapper library that can query their service for my posts. It might be a fun project to try in the future.


Struggling so much with the “ASP.NET Core 3 and React” book. I am simply following the instructions in the book, but I keep running into compile errors. The compile errors are brought about by the use of other libraries to help with development. I've had to spend more time troubleshooting the errors than actually reading the book.

At the end of another frustrating night trying to troubleshoot the errors, I realized the crux of the problem. The reason I was running into so many errors, is that the latest version of the libraries I was using, was not compatible with each other.

Face Palm

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Trying out something new here. I'm so far behind on my journal entries, there's no hope of catching up soon. So, I'm going to give weeknotes a try. The idea is to list what I've been up to this past week or so. What makes this easier for me is that these notes have already been typed into Obsidian. All I have to do is copy paste them into a post. And so before exhaustion kicks in, I'm going to get started...


Working with Obsidian and building a personal knowledge base has me on a high. I've been writing so much today (this week), it's crazy. And all this writing was done offline. If that isn't “writing for myself”, I don't know what is. I may be getting tired of writing blog posts, but apparently, I'm not tired of writing.

This leads me to thinking that this might be a better way to pass down my journal entries to my kids. Plain text files should hopefully outlive me. I don't have to do it through an online journal or a blog. I can just pass off my collection of text files to them.


It's interesting that, I am using a blog/journal, to post on social media to let my friends know I'm still alive. The problem is that the feed on social media runs on an algorithm. That means, my post might never even show up for my friends before they stop scrolling. Which means, what I'm using social media for, is actually not working for me.

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2) Writing wasn't fun anymore

When I would write a blog post, I would always start with a blank page and a massive backlog of ideas. The act of writing a well-formatted blog post is intimidating. That is the part I don't enjoy.

I realized I was overthinking it. The things I write about are straightforward and often very technical. They're more for me than anyone else. Writing helps me think and understand so I decided to embrace this and change the way I write.

Instead of writing long, formal blog posts for others, I now write smaller (usually) brief notes about a specific topic to build up my own personal knowledge.

This collection of notes can then be used to Learn in public, sometimes referred to as a Digital Garden.

Link: How and why this site exists – Eric Gregorich

Sad to say, but I'm at this point right now. Just the thought of writing a decent blog post somehow renders me exhausted. Not to mention, my mind has been stuck on the idea of, not everything has to be shared online. It's perfectly okay to go through life, to let things happen to you and not have to share it online.

Writing this post took a good bit of effort on my part. I had to make sure to finish it in one sitting, otherwise it would have gone unpublished for sure. Needless to say, I've all but given up on the 100DaysToOffload challenge. I got to 76 posts. That's as far as I could go.

Lately, I've been spending time writing code, instead of writing entries on here. At this point in time, I find more satisfaction in producing a working application, as opposed to a new blog post or journal entry. It's not that I don't have anything to write about — my bullet journal is filled with topics to write about. But lately, I just don't feel like I'm publishing something of value on here. I guess I also finally got tired of writing journal entries.

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