Sabbatical Update, Week 7: Camping, Reading, and Writing

3 minute read

I wrote this on Saturday, but apparently forgot to publish it for 4 days. Whoops. Here's what I was saying I was up to then.

If you're currently on Control-Alt-Backspace, you can read this post on Soren's Zettelkasten.


Around the web:

  • GrokTiddlyWiki version 1.1.0: The next version of TiddlyWiki, 5.2.0, is taking so much longer to release than previously anticipated that I went through my changes from Week 3, extracted only the ones that didn't rely on the new version being available, and published that edition. (Thanks to Git for making this a straightforward task!)

New and newly relevant items in the Zettelkasten:



Lifetime reading for September: 1/3 books.

Tasks and projects completed

  • Camping for four days, as expected.
  • Read and wrote a lot (see the above two sections).
  • Got my car professionally detailed. After having it for about four years and been on a lot of road trips in the middle of nowhere, it had gotten pretty dirty. $150 to have the interior look like new is a pretty good deal.

Miscellaneous thoughts and anecdotes

  • According to this article, the average American household has more than 300,000 items. I can't decide whether to take this figure seriously or not – a quick Fermi estimate suggests it could be reasonable for your suburban four-person household archetype, depending on your definition of an “item”, but it's still bonkers, and I'd think there have to be many more households with fewer possessions than the suburban family than more. As best I can tell, this statistic appears to have made it into a large number of minimalist blogs on the strength of a “professional organizer” citing this figure in an article by the LA Times, which sounds pretty suspicious. This might be too good to check. [Estimate: Say two-thirds of the items are in storage (conservatively), so we have to account for 100,000 of them. Then say there are ten non-storage rooms that contain items (also seems on the high end). That's 10,000 items per room, including the bathroom and the spare bedroom (which has to be empty of extra junk because we excluded storage). I could easily believe 1,000, and 5,000 wouldn't be totally absurd, but 10,000 really still feels like a stretch. But then, is one sheet of paper in a file cabinet an “item”? One paperclip? One screw holding together an electronic device? One seed in a spice jar? If you count things like these, the figure looks reasonable. With no more information on the methodology, it's pretty hard to evaluate.]
  • I went through an automatic car wash this week that got stuck – after the wash was finished, the STOP light started flashing (which it never normally does) and stayed that way for about a minute. Fortunately there was nothing stopping me from driving out even though the green light never came on, although it meant my car didn't get dried off. No idea what happened to the folks behind me in line.
  • If you're interested in city/suburban design or just wish all of North America wasn't covered in enormously expensive, crumbling, ugly pavement, check out Not Just Bikes on YouTube, a guy who moved to Amsterdam and is now telling everyone else what they're doing wrong (in a friendly and entertaining way).

Looking ahead

I would like to finally get tzk published this week. This looks doable. I'll also do a screencast demonstrating how it works and write a blog post introducing it.

If I get done before the end of the week, I also want to get started on making some improvements to TiddlyRemember, an add-on that syncs flashcards stored in TiddlyWiki to Anki. I have some additions that I made while working on Grok TiddlyWiki that I'd like to integrate, as well as a stack of feature requests, many of which I would benefit from myself.