Presbyopia for the Win

I’m trying to avoid spoilers on the ‘Lympics, because we’re terrible at watching anything live. Generally this isn’t a problem for “our” sport, because nobody really covers figure skating outside of these years. But right now the media is a minefield. Luckily, for the past 6 months or so my eyes have been terrible. Like I was worried something was starting to go badly wrong. Turned out my glasses just didn’t keep pace with my eyes getting a bit stronger, and the frames really didn’t work with my prescription at that point. I’m getting new glasses and trying contacts again so hooray, but in the meantime, reading smaller text requires a bit of a run up. So the upshot is that I can catch the word “olympics” and then quickly pan away before I find out Yuzu broke both ankles while going for a quad Axel or something.

Up Yours, Alberta Clipper

I love winter, really I do. But here in Michigan we sometimes get these polar air blasts that simply make it impossible to live. Today for instance, it’s 3 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill that makes it feel like -11. I just shut down when this happens. I don’t mean when I go outside, because it’s vanishingly unlikely I will. I mean I just shut down period. It’s been like this all week and I’ve felt semi-human the whole time.

A picture of how freaking cold it is, from a weather app

Yes, Yes, The Olympics

I love figure skating, and of course I’m excited for the Olympics. But we’re watching replays of the Four Continents competition this week, and honestly it’s my favorite event in some ways.

If you don’t know, Four Continents is an annual event that includes skaters from everywhere except Europe. You’ll see skaters from Mexico, India, New Zealand, and other places that rarely get draws on the international scene. It’s a great time: there are stakes, but they are low; there’s a fun vibe, but not a self-important one; and skating styles and music choices that you’ll never see at bigger events pop up. I can’t recommend it more.

Creamy Krimi Movies

I’ve been wanting to break the seal on watching these German crime films based on old Edgar Wallace potboilers for a while now. Finally checked out the first one, a German-Danish production called FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG this weekend and I an super excited that I have a few dozen more of these to look forward to. A bunch are on Amazon Prime with terrible prints, but somehow that just adds to the atmosphere of it all.

an image of the masked villain from Fellowship of the Frog

Blinking Lights, Emulated

Lately I’ve enjoyed dipping into older books on computers, like Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib, Peter Salus’ A Quarter Century of UNIX (which is extra fascinating now that we’re at the 50 year mark), and Charles Petzold’s evergreen Code. One of the big delights in this is reading about mini/micro computers, that small niche between mainframes and (eventually) desktop PCs. So I was excited to find out that there’s an emulation scene for these machines. I think I might try my hand at learning how to use this PDP-11 emulator. The PDP-11 was a groundbreaking minicomputer that these books often cover in reverential tones: it could be fascinating to try and experience it without getting into the expensive world of vintage computer equipment collecting.