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I'm taking a break from most of the activities in my life (read more about them on my previous Now page.

Making a Home in Functional Programming

Recently, I've been hired by Zipflow as a Full-Stack developer. Hopefully, this will eventually prove to be a reliable source of income.

It isn’t at the moment. I am being paid per task rather than per hour and I am completely unfamiliar with all things backend development, and not yet productive enough with front-end. I believe however, that when I get more familiar with all of this I will be able to earn enough money to live with more than half a week to spare on writing.

What's special about this specific role is that Zipflow uses Elm and Elixir, functional programming languages for the front and backend respectively. These are the kind of languages that I want to learn and grow familiar with and also the kind that I want to build the future website and vault in.

I’m taking a break from writing, the vault and conversation culture for the next few weeks to focus on growing really familiar with these two languages.

Expanding Awareness with Michael Ashcroft

Late last year Michael Ashcroft hired me to work on his website Expanding Awareness — A website where he teaches and writes about the Alexander Technique a way of living with greater ease and freedom with similarities to the Dzogchen tradition of meditation which I’m really interested in.

A screenshot of the new Expanding Awareness website
Michael loves his Japanese Woodblock paintings!

I am now working on the finishing touches and it will be live by the end of this month.

UPDATE: 2022/3/15 It's finished and live!

Improving My Sleep

Late last year I bought an Oura Ring with the help of the money I was making from the vault. I’ve been able to keep a close eye on the quality of my sleep night to night and even take steps to reliably improve it.

Steps I’ve taken have included:

  • Regular eating and sleeping times
  • Warming up soon up after waking (usually with a hot drink)
  • Avoiding oily or hard to digest foods for dinner
  • Having an early and smaller dinner and getting used to going to sleep a little hungry
  • Making sure that my room isn’t too warm at night (it’s better to be uncomfortably cold than warm)
  • Winding down a few hours before bed, using this time to relax and minimising screen use
  • Wearing blue light blocking glasses a few hours before bed

For a more in depth list please have a look in my vault where I’ve written a guide to sleeping.

Still Acquiring Japanese

I am attending Zoom lessons with a Japanese school three times a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Or in Japanese: 月曜日、水曜日、金曜日
(pronounced “Getsuyoubi, Suiyoubi and Kinyoubi”)

I’m also diligently using the app Kanji Garden every day which has been very pleasant. Every I learn about five new Kanji. At this rate I’ll know all two thousand of the common-use ones some time next year (at 400 at the moment).

I’ve also been listening to Japanese audio most days. I enjoy listening to the audio of Ghibli movies in the morning and evenings. Recently I’ve been reading through the manga よつばと! (pronounced “Yotsubato”, which means “with Yotsuba!”) which has been really pleasant. It’s recommended as being very friendly for beginners.

I want to establish a daily reading routine on the days that I don’t have Japanese class. When I feel like I’ve carved out some more free time I’d love to visit more Japanese video chatrooms too.

Diving into Writing Again

The great Niklas Luhmann who invented the Zettelkasten method of notetaking for his own personal use, was said to have build an impressive body of work with an average of just six notes a day. I want to also build this habit.

I’ve certainly been working on it. One such step I’ve taken was buying a physical notebook that I’ve been writing my thoughts in during my aforementioned “wind down” time before sleeping. During the day I tend to write notes straight into Obsidian on my laptop or my phone.

I have recently written up a new About page to describe what it is I actually want to accomplish with my writing and who it is I am. I want to polish it up a bit, more specifically I want to rewrite that last section “the future of writing” to be clearer and more relevant.

I will get to all of this when once I’m done with getting acquainted with my new job and am able to reliably earn money with free time to spare.

My hope is that this will be within two months from now (May 2022). See you all then!