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.
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.
I actually use my dev blog to store answers to problems I've encountered before. And every once in a while, I use it to retrieve scripts or pieces of code that I need to re-use. That's easy to do with a dedicated software development blog. It's not so easy to do with this journal. And that's because these bits and pieces of software development content, are buried inside one big Weeknotes post. And that makes it hard for me to quickly get to the information I need. It is inefficient as far as searching for information goes.
For instance, to retrieve the notes I had about the basics of using Git from a command line. I have to sift through the content of Weeknotes-011.
I've decided to start publishing software development specific posts on this journal. Previously, they would go into my dev blog. But nowadays, I feel like that's too much work — maintaining multiple websites that is. So, in the interest of simplifying things, for 2021 at least, software development posts will start showing up here.
While I've already had this idea in my head for the past few months, I was also inspired by this post from Angelo.
TWSBI Eco-T Fountain Pen – an affordable fountain pen for beginners.
Got a TWSBI Eco-T fountain pen as a Christmas gift. I've been using it last week and I'm still not a big fan of it. But I also can't seem to stop myself from using it. There's something fascinating about a fountain pen that makes me want to write with one.
I think my Zebra Sarasa Grand Gel Pen writes better. But I need more time with the TWSBI Eco-T fountain pen before I make a final judgement.
For my Zettelkasten in Obsidian, I decided to no longer keep links between my Daily Notes and my Permanent Notes. This is based off what I read in Ahrens' book saying to discard or archive Fleeting Notes. And that's pretty much what my Daily Notes are, a collection of Fleeting Notes.
I'm removing the links, but I'm still archiving them though. And that's because I use the Daily Notes to create my Weeknotes post. It also makes those notes searchable via Obsidian.
This week I found myself asking the question, “Why did I start blogging?”
One reason was that after I took a hiatus from social media, I didn't know what to do with all my free time. So, I kept myself busy by blogging.
The other reason was that I wanted to create a way for my friends to stay updated on what's been going on with my life, without using social media. Basically, I wanted to see if I could replace social media with blogs and personal websites.
On my previous weeknotes I said that there's no feedback loop for my photo-blog. That was part of the reason I created an Instagram account for it. Well, I was wrong. At the very least, there are stats for it. So, I guess that's something.
Turns out, I was serious about no longer wanting to publish overly personal posts on this journal. I created a new blog on Write.as and set it to Private. Then I moved over all my journal entries into it, plus a couple more posts with personal content.
... you’ll answer for it because when you claim Christ you choose exile, and therefore will be held to a different standard, entirely, than the world’s.
Choosing to follow Christ means going against what is expected of people in this world. Sometimes I forget that it is a totally different way of life. And if you follow that way of life, chances are, you will be ridiculed for doing so. It is as Elizabeth says, to choose exile.
During last Sunday's televised mass, Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, gave a very interesting homily. Instead of talking about the gospel reading, he instead gave a lecture on the different parts or rites of the Mass.
To give some examples, he explains why the priest or bishop say what they say. And why the clergy responds the way they do. Most of it is based on the Bible of course, and he cites specific passages as it relates to them.
He explains the offertory and what is really being offered during that time — spoiler, we are offering ourselves.
It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
I know I just recently wrote a music log post. And I don't usually do them in quick succession. Not to mention, I don't usually write posts on Sundays. But ever since I heard a wonderful rendition of Dan Schutte's “You Are Near” in the televised Mass I was watching, I have been wanting to do a Sunday Music Log post. What was holding me back, was finding a similar rendition of the song that I could share online. I couldn't find one, so I sort of gave up on the idea.
Then in today's Mass, Dave and Lauren Moore, the couple who sings in the televised Sunday Masses that I watch, sang a beautiful rendition of “I Am The Bread Of Life”. Once again I was filled with this urge to write a Sunday Music Log post. I went on to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas website to find a way to contact the diocese. I wanted to ask them if they have recorded videos of the songs that Dave and Lauren Moore sang in Mass. It turns out, the diocese has a YouTube channel where they uploaded recordings of the televised Masses I've been watching. Within those videos are the exact rendition of the songs that I watched, and now want to share.
So, first up is this beautiful rendition of Dan Schutte's “You Are Near”. The song starts at around the 48:22 mark.
This song brings back good memories. Memories of me as a kid singing it in Mass at school. Memories of me playing the guitar, while our group of altar servers sang this song in Mass. It's such a beautiful song with beautiful lyrics, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Where can I run from your love?
If I climb to the heavens you are there
If I fly to the sunrise
Or sail beyond the sea
Still I’d find you there
O Lord, I know you are near
Standing always at my side
You guard me from the foe
And you lead me in ways everlasting
It was a particular joy for me to visit the sites associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola on a recent film trip. But the most moving locale was a little church in Manresa built around the cave where the young Ignatius spent about nine months preparing himself spiritually for his life’s work. What he learned at Manresa is that our attachments to various created goods—money, power, pleasure, and honor—stand in the way of our responding to God’s will for us.
~ Bishop Barron
A really good homily that talks about the practice of “Agere Contra”, which means “To act against”. I believe that you can apply “Agere Contra” to most things in life. You don't have to be religious to practice it. For instance, I can see the practice of “Agere Contra” being very effective against social media and smartphone addiction.