I went to Erie, PA during the holidays and it was arguably the worst week to visit Erie. The city got over 6 ft of snow most of which landed on Christmas day and the day after. The city broke a record for most snowfall since 1956 and was shutdown for a few days since the state declared a state of emergency.

This holiday I played my PS4 for the first time in a long time. I finished the free demo of Resident Evil 2. This was the first time in my life that I’ve been able to play a Resident Evil game and not be afraid to continue. The last time I played Resident Evil was in High School and I never finished any game in the series because I was too scared. I’d always use up all of my characters ammo and herbs and then I’d be scared to continue with the level. But this time was different. I learned to shoot zombies in the head only. I was surprised how much surplus ammo I had at the end of every checkpoint / chapter, if only I had known this earlier.

Then I went on to play Final Fantasy 14. I bought this game a long time ago thinking I’d be fully immersed in it since I’m a huge fan of the series. I couldn’t get myself to finish it FF 14. Since FF 10 I’ve not been able to enjoy the latest Final Fantasy games. I’m not sure if this is because I’ve grown out of them or if the games have taken on a nature unlike that of FF 7, 8 ,9 — my favorites. Nonetheless I plan on beating this game. Even though I play it every 4 months…

I took an 10 hour Amtrak, my longest train ride to date, and I have to say I love taking the train. I thought it would kill me to be on the train for that long but instead I found myself to be very productive. I was able to code, read, watch videos and play games while on the train.

I started the Coursera Bitcoin class while on the train. I’m really enjoying the class. For the longest while I’ve been avoiding the Blockchain/Crypto hype but I think it’s time I educate myself on this topic. I’ve always been a late adopter to new tech and while I’m not looking to get into crypto currencies, I am enjoying understanding the subject more deeply.

Books I’ve started reading,

I’m really enjoying The Story of Philosophy right now. The book summarizes the teachings of various philosophers in a critical yet easy to read way. Will Durant, author of the book, is also a well regarded philosopher and writer. My first time reading one of his books and it’s very pleasant. I think I’m really enjoying this book because I never studied philosophy in school and contents of the works are very interesting to me. I feel like my biggest take away from the book is that humans 2000 years ago were like humans today, our surroundings have changed but we still have the same code powering brains.

I got to Erie via Amtrak for the holidays. While on my Amtrak I ride I finished reading the Karma test runner thesis. I’ve historically not done much reading of academic papers but one thing I really want to push myself to do is read more academic papers. My motivation for the karma paper was that I started setting it up for running the Zulip electron desktop app unit tests. Being this is my second time around setting up Karma I wanted to know it from the inside out. So I started going through code base and I came across the paper. The paper came out of a masters thesis. I think it’s great someone did a masters and was able to publish a paper and tool together.

Other papers I’ve marked for reading out of curiosity as I embark on my journey to read more academic papers,

I’m going to try setting my Saturday or Sunday mornings to reading academic papers. I go throughout every week accumulating a ton of blog posts and articles to read and end up saving them to read later yet I never set down a recurring time to consume reads from this queue.

Till next time.