I have been having a lot of fun playing Knotwords lately. It a fun and sometimes challenging reverse crossword puzzle in which you fill letters into a grid.

๐ŸŽฎ PICO-8 is so cool

I have known about the PICO-8 fantasy console for a while, due to finding a PICO-8 item in Celeste, but I learned this week that all the game tools you need to create games with it (including a music editor and a sprite editor) are built in. You can also view the code of any published game, so you can change it, edit it, and even publish it. It is so cool! I bought a license this week. I think my son will like to create games with it.

I just ordered my wife an iPhone 15. I am not happy that I had to pay in full, rather than use Apple Card monthly installments, to buy one without connecting it to a Big Three carrier.

We all had a great time at Grounds for Sculpture today.


The past couple days here in New Jersey have been full of glorious early fall weather. ๐ŸŒž

I tried Apple News+ crosswords

Apple News+ crosswords have an excellent UI. Interacting with the grid and clues is fluid and simple. I wish it were available in a separate app or tab in the News app, though. Sadly, the crossword clueing is nowhere near as good as it is in New York Times crosswords, which makes the Apple crosswords less fun.

๐Ÿ“š Last month I read Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara. It is another 20th century classic that was on my reading list for a while, but I put it off because I had no idea what it was about. Turns out it’s about crazy drunk people being social and antisocial during Prohibition. I found it easy to read and deliriously entertaining.

I retrieved my 3-year-old iPhone 12 mini from the Apple Store this afternoon and set it up (along with my Apple Watch Series 4) from scratch. I also bought a new case for it. They both feel spiffy and new, which I did not expect.

I forgot that I shouldn’t get an Apple Store repair with a beta OS installed

Last night I went to the Apple Store to get a new battery for my iPhone 12 mini. Normally that process would take about an hour. Because I had the iOS 17 beta installed, however, they had to wipe my phone and downgrade it to iOS 16-something before they would swap the battery. The process took so long that I had to leave my phone with them overnight to get the repair, and will be getting it today at lunchtime.

I will watch the Apple iPhone announcement/informercial today, but I am not overly excited about it. I will be buying an iPhone 15 as soon as possible, however, to replace my wife’s frequently overheating and storage-starved iPhone XR.

โŒจ๏ธ I love my (lamentably discontinued) Planck-EZ, but was amazed when I discovered that ZSA released a low-profile ergo split keyboard, the Voyager. It is the keyboard I would have bought instead of the Plank-EZ. (At the time I bought my first Planck-EZ I had my eye on a pre-built Corne) I would love to have one, but, at $365 USD, however, it is too expensive for me to buy on a whim.

๐Ÿ“š Catch-22 is witty, surreal, and really keeps you on your toes as you read it.

๐Ÿ“บ I just subscribed to Paramount+ for the year. I got hooked on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds this summer, and now I want to watch all the other Trek that I missed. I am in the middle of Star Trek: Discovery now.

๐Ÿ“š I am tabling It for now. Three chapters in, Iโ€™m not sure I like it. I just borrowed Catch-22 from my local library, and will try that instead.

๐Ÿ“š I started reading Stephen Kingโ€™s It. I know itโ€™s popular. I know itโ€™s long. Iโ€™m not yet sure that it is good.

๐Ÿ“š Just finished reading Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. Loved it!

It turns out waking up before you want to is a great way to get to sleep before you want to. Thanks, middle school schedule.

Today I am grateful for my daughter, who knocks on my home office door each afternoon after getting home from camp and tells me about how much fun she had that day.

Goodbye, Planck EZ

I was sad to receive an email today from the manufacturer of my favorite keyboard, the Planck EZ, saying that it is being discontinued. Being an ortholinear keyboard, the Planck EZ is obviously a niche product, but it is (was) the most feature-rich, easy-to-use, and easy-to-acquire keyboard of its type. I bought my second one earlier this year, and donโ€™t think I could justify buying another right now.

Boston is a great city to visit in the spring.

This morning my son and I took a emergency trip to the optician. It turns out six-year-old boys do need a spare pair of glasses. ๐Ÿ˜…

Currently reading: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh ๐Ÿ“š

Iโ€™ve had my Nintendo Switch for about 5 years. My kids started playing it six months ago, and they play a lot. This week, the Joycons developed drift and are now useless. It thought I may have avoided that problem, but maybe itโ€™s inevitable. Time to buy another Pro Controller.

I just signed up for GitHub Copilot. I am hoping it makes me a more efficient Python and PowerShell coder. I have found this year that I spend way too much time looking up simple things because I use various APIs so infrequently.

Finished reading: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ๐Ÿ“š This book was way better than I thought it would be. I read it only because I listened to an interview with John Green on the “Offline” podcast and thought he was very bright.