Archive for December, 2015

2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
  • London taught me that there is such a thing as too big a city for me, and how nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded is a thing. Air quality and cost of everything but especially housing are my two major complaints. I will be moving next year and the real test will be if I miss London once I am away.
  • I was mostly happy with my life in London, though. I have a job that lets me learn and pays enough to save money. My commute is a 20-25 minute leisurely cycle away from lorry corridors. My grocery store is 5 minutes’ walk from my house. The weather is mild. I have some plants on my balcony. The quiet life is alright.
  • I went to Iceland to see the solar eclipse in March. Chances of clear skies in Iceland in March weren’t great, but I did see the eclipse and two nights of auroras as a bonus. I bought a lottery ticket next. In August I travelled around the Scottish Highlands, visited Dunnet Head and climbed up to the Old Man of Storr and it was lovely. I also travelled to Toronto and Montréal briefly in April, and to Trójmiasto in May. In September I visited Berlin for three days.
  • I went to Pycon in Montréal in April. I went to Pycon UK in Coventry in September. I did a lightning talk at Pycon UK and it seems to have gone alright.
  • I got a newer laptop — an X220 with an IPS screen — and an external 21″ IPS screen. Otherwise it was a quiet year, although my Nexus 5 continued its disintegration and my SLR camera lens seems to have gone wonky.
  • I failed my goals for launching programming projects and writing blog posts, although I’m pleased with electric2go code starting to look almost like decent Python.
  • I saw a good amount of live music (setlist.fm, last.fm), again continuing the trend of odd-numbered years being more music heavy. I saw Stars for the eighth time. I saw a Icelandic musicians in contrasting settings: Rökkurró and Árstíðir in tiny indie basements off Hackney Road and in Dalston respectively, Ólafur Arnalds at the Barbican, and Of Monsters and Men at Brixton Academy. I also saw Death from Above 1979 at Brixton Academy but it wasn’t 2004 anymore. I saw Hot Chip, Mogwai, and The Twilight Sad again, the reformed Failure, Mew, Metric (for the first time, oddly enough), Destroyer, an awesome The Ocean/Sólstafir/Mono show, 65daysofstatic a day before they were due to play Bataclan on 14 November, then closed out the year with BRAIDS and Of Monsters and Men shows.
  • I listened to a bit more recorded music, but still well off the highs of 2007-2009 or even 2010-2011. I listened to a lot of Röyksopp, particularly Melody A.M. and finally giving The Inevitable End its due, and Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is an Animal. I also gave Kveikur something approaching its due and to an extent re-started listening to older Sigur Rós albums. New discoveries were pretty much limited to Árstíðir. Broken Social Scene’s self-titled was my most-listened-to album, mostly on the strength of the first half of the year. I also listened to a fair amount of Boards of Canada, FM Belfast, múm, The RAA, and Cocteau Twins. Maybe I’m getting too old to listen to new music?
  • I read a fair amount of books, more pages though not quite as many books as last year, and just missed my yearly goal. I blame some very long books. I started off the year by continuing my read through Douglas Coupland’s bibliography, then tried Neal Stephenson but got completely tired out by The Baroque Cycle, so switched over to William Gibson. I then tried my hand at Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but only managed the first 1000-odd-page volume — I might continue next year. Towards the end of the year I started reading non-fiction about the history of the industrial revolution, a period which initially came to interest me as a driver of urbanization and environmental impact. More on this later.
  • I started removing and organizing data more — among others, started cleaning my webhost for the first time since 2006 — but there’s still a long way to go. 15 years of computing is starting to add up. I have too many hard drives and too many paths on them like /Archives off STUFF drive/F drive lol/temp/. I would like to organize more data than I create next year.
  • I didn’t catch up on Flickr/photo sharing nearly as much as I’d have wanted, though I did manage to beat 2014’s grand total of seven uploaded photos.
  • This will be my monument. This will be a beacon.