Weeknote, Sunday 16th October 2022

I spent a lot of this week being ill, with the really noxious head cold that Kim had been poorly with finally getting me. Bad head colds are one step up from the flu: Imagine having flu, but take away the fever, and you have it. They are annoying in part because you never feel quite as ill as you think you ought to while not being able to do much, as they really sap your energy.

I recovered enough to have my annual flu jab on Saturday, and as they had some spare, they gave me the COVID booster too, which I’m really glad about. Living on a campus of thousands of students is a good way to get exposed to a wide range of exciting bugs, particularly at the start of term when everyone brings something from all over the country, like the world’s worst party.

The only downside is that I’ve got mild side effects today, similar to what I get with any vaccination: a bit of tiredness and a mild headache that just won’t shift even with paracetamol and ibuprofen administered.

(That, by the way, is a trick a nurse taught me: if you have a fever or bad aches, you can take both paracetamol and ibuprofen simultaneously to knock it dead. Because they work in different ways, it’s not dangerous to do both.)

So here’s to next week… and hopefully not being sick.


Unsurprisingly, I haven’t written much this week — I just didn’t have the focus required for it till today. Just a couple of hundred words scattered across some of the work in progress. There are a few things in the “in progress” folder at the moment:

  • A long article on switching to Linux: 1,181 words.
  • Why journalism is never objective: 600 words.
  • On Stage Manager and the iPad. 441 words
  • Prompted by a conversation on Twitter with Matt Gemmell, I am also going to write something on using Obsidian for writing and how it can replace Ulysses if that’s your thing. There are pros and cons, and it takes some setting up.

Reading and watching

We had two finales this week: Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power lived up to its name by actually including the rings of power, and She-Hulk: Attorney At Law which broke the fourth wall in spectacular fashion. I enjoyed them both.

I’m halfway through Cory Doctorow’s Chokepoint Capitalism, and it’s a good — and shocking — read, particularly if you’re into the politics of technology. For many reasons, breaking the stranglehold of monopolies (and monopsonies!) is an important battle.

For a bit of light bedtime reading, I’m also going through Ian Hunter’s Diary of a rock and roll star. Hunter was (is?) the lead singer for Mott The Hoople, and this tour diary comes from the era when Mott were hanging out with David Bowie, who adored them — Bowie, learning they were about to break up from lack of success, gave them his song All the Young Dudes so they could have a smash hit. And hit it was, too — it was one of Bowie’s finest. Diary is one of the best first-person books about 70’s rock, and much more honest and truthful in conveying the boredom of touring than anything else.

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