bookshelf with books

I've always enjoyed a good book, and I thought today I'd just write a little thing about how much I enjoy reading, I know I'm such a hipster :p


There is something about a book that makes me feel more immersed than any other medium, the way that many things are left out, and my mind fills in the blank spaces with something that feels right for me personally, just makes the worlds described in books both mean something to me, and at the same time be something that I can just dig into.

The funny thing is on rereading a book I find that there are times I've just skipped over some of the descriptions, and then have an even more differing impression of the world or it's characters, I think the work that the author and the reader shares is kind of a really nice cooperation in making kind of a chimaera world that is personal to each person reading the book.

Unlike videogames and films, books don't age the same way, even reading some older books they don't really feel their age, probably because my mind can fill in things that are old with something else without it sticking out as much, and the minds “resolution” doesn't really care about the hardware that was used creating the book.

Resource lightness

One really great thing about reading and books are that they don't need much, I can enjoy a book wherever I am whenever I am, it doesn't need to be recharged, I can pick up a book that I found in the basement and enjoy it without having to find an old drive to be able to read it, or find some old software to interpret it.

Cheap entertainment

One thing is for sure, reading is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment out there, compared to the price of going to the cinema, or doing basically anything else the price of a book is next to nothing, and usually going through a 3-400 page book will take me around 7-10 hours depending books, on a price to enjoyment cycle it's something that little else can compete with.

All in all books just are wonderfull in how they acheive so much with so little, such a small wonderful thing, that becomes what it is just from all of the limitations that it has, for books and most other things I'm of the opinion that so often limitation is something that really creates something special, like games for the older consoles and systems I get amazed time after time how people have managed to do so much, and get so much out of something that is so limited.

All that to say, I really enjoy reading books :)

I've been a bit lazy about writing the last days, so here is a little update about different things going on, it's been kind of stressful at work lately, so I've not really had the energy to write


meditation stock photo

My meditation is going quite well, and I'm up to 20 minute sits now, I think I will have to stay here for a while since some of the sits are getting quite challenging now, I don't know why, but some times it's really hard to keep up. Some sits are really challenging to get through, while others go really fast, and are no problem at all. But I think keeping it up and just work on it and it will probably go better again, just like other things that can be challenging I hope that practice makes perfect.


nim logo

I've been having a lot of fun working on programming in nim, it's a wonderful langauge, and so much fun to work with, but as my brain has felt rather mushy after getting back from work, I've been putting programming a bit more on the side lately so progress is grinding to a halt, but I've been having fun reading about the language and so on at least, so it doesn't feel completely like a waste, I hope I get back into the programming groove again.

Youtube / Newpipe

My internet has been very flakey lately, and I've been relying on predownloading videos that I watch with newpipe, and I'm still standing by it being a better youtube than youtube itself, it's just a really great little program :)


I've been getting back into doing logic puzzles lately and I've been really enjoying the (non-free) android application logic wiz it has really good puzzles, many of them, and different difficulty levels, it's also a pretty responsive and well done application in many ways, great to have along with some more talky stuff


I've been catching up with most of the podcasts that I listened to now, so I've been finding some new ones that I'm really enjoying:


Although I don't really use cpp myself, this podcast is a very nice comfy listen, and they have quite some topics that I find interesting even as an “outside” person.

BBC documentaries

I just pick things that I'm a bit interested in from the feed here, and there are some really nice things to learn here.

Marianne writes a programming language

This is kind of interesting and cool podcast that mostly have been about programming language theory for now, and I've been enjoying it.

The strange case of starship iris

I binged through the first season in a day, a really fun audio play, nice fluffy little sci-fi story.

Philosophize this

I'm kind of hanging behind on philosophy, but it's something that has been kind of catching some interest with me lately, so I'm trying to learn some more , I've only tried one episode until now, but it seems pretty nice.

Calm lake in the forest

I've been slowly getting back into the habit of meditating again, and it has been really great, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on it, maybe it can help others as well.

What kind of meditation?

I'm not a religious person, so it was a thing that I wasn't considering for a long time, but I found out about mindfulness meditation, and since I was interested in that it was what I started doing, and while I don't really know if there is anything that is really proven, in the worst case it's a great way of relaxing and calming down for me, so it's what I'm doing.


Like in many places in my life, the simple is often the best, I like having a bit of sound around me while I'm meditate, so the thing that I've found to be the best if the weather allows for it is to walk out into the forest and find a nice spot to sit down, if the weather is crappy I find some nice ambient sound to play while meditating.

I tried doing guided meditations at first, but I found them to not really be my kind of thing, the talking and so just kept bringing me out of things, so I went for the simpler way, and just set a timer first doing shorter sessions and building up longer, ones, starting with short 5 minutes sessions, and building up to about an hour, 5 minutes a week, now that I've fallen off I'm back at slowly building up to longer sessions.

I have 2 applications that I do like, 1 is on the fdroid application repo and is called bodhi timer and the second one that's not as privacy respecting, but has a lot of features and tutorials and such is insight timer.

So I sit down in a comfortable position, start my timer, close my eyes and start focusing on my breath, when my thoughts starts to wander and I realise it I gently redirect my thoughts back on to my breath without being crass with myself that I did something wrong, and keep on doing exactly that until the timer lets me know I can open my eyes again. In the beginning this is hard and I find myself constantly wander in long thought streams without noticing, but as I get the training it gets better and better. I've found the most important thing to me is to not get annoyed at myself for losing myself in thought, because that brings me into a big fight with myself that is really not needed.


I find this a nice way to relax, and stop my mind from racing. I'm by nature a rather anxious person, and often my mind keeps on building elaborate doomsday scenarios for stupid things that will never realisticly happen. I said something stupid to a coworker, and they probably didn't spare it a second thought, while in my mind I build up a long chain of ridiculous inferences until I've convinced myself they will hate me tomorrow, which of course doesn't happen, and things like that. I've found that when I do regularly meditate, I manage to stop thought spirals like this from happening earlier, and I'm more aware of my thoughts than I'm otherwise.

Secondly having some breaks through the day to really relax, let my mind stop spinning, helps me really calm down and have some time off from my otherwise quite busy mind, and it's nice to have one or two quite tranquil pauses through the day.


I have to try and read up on the scientific things about meditation, because I can't really remember any longer what it was, and I'm getting curious, it's just annoying to have to wade through all of the wooey things that are around meditation again. It was the thing that stopped me from trying it for years, but no matter what I've found it to be something that is positive for me, and helpful, maybe it will be for someone else as well, just trying it out for me at least I found it's something that I enjoy, and it's helpful to better my mental health.





I did learn Japanese in university, and I have a bachelors degree in it, I even lived in Japan for 1,5 years. But right after I completed my degree I moved to Austria, and had to learn German to be able to get work and be more comfortable here, so I've spent some years getting comfortable and fluent in German, and now when spring is here, I'm feeling motivated to learn and refresh my knowledge, so I thought, I'd share some tools and things that will be good for language learning.

First of all, I have a base in the language, and it's something that I think is important, so when I'm learning a new language, I will always go through a couple of itroductory books before I start using these tools, because without having an at least basic understanding of a language before I'm bound to make wrong assumptions and creating a warped intuition of a language which is going to haunt me for a long time.

So on to the tools


Anki logo

Anki is an awesome spaced repetition (SRS) program, probably the best there is, I've been testing out around 30 or so different SRSs and none of them are as effective and/or comfortable as anki is.

The basic thought behind an SRS is that you learn a word and make flashcards for it, then the SRS lets you see it in longer and longer intervals as you repeat them, and it's a very efficient way of memorizing things.

One thing that is important to keep in mind is to not get overzealous with the amount of cards that you let it show you in a day, yeah in the beginning it's nice to do 20-50 cards a day, but as the reviews start creeping in it will be a chore, so I like to set mine on 8-10 words a day, and I've found that to be a sweet spot for me. Also for for the word lists I've found that making my own lists instead of downloading a finished one from the net has been way more effective, as the process of making the cards themselves have been an important step for being primed on the meaning of the words.


clozemaster logo

Clozemaster is an interesting tool to get a feel for the language, it uses cloze deletion problems, basically it shows you a sentence with one word removed, and you'll have to choose the right word to put into the blank, I like to put on the option of only showing the translation after I've commited to the answer, it still lets me peek at the translations as for some langauges like japanese that are highly context sensitive even removing one word might make it impossible to figure it out if one word is missing.

Clozemaster also has a rudimetary SRS built in, nothing as advanced or good as anki, but it still is nice as you'll see sentences you have problems with more often than ones that you get easily.


I love reading books, and the kindle has some functionality that can be really helpful when learning a foreign language, you can download a dictionary of the langauge, and I've been using this functionality quite a bit to look up words that I have problems with without having to bring along my electronic dictionary or anything like it, I tend to read a couple of pages of a book a day, and if I see a word come up again and again I'll be adding it to my anki vocabulary list to commit it into memory.

I'm using calibre to convert and add foreign language books onto my device, and being able to spend a little time reading when you have some time off is a great way of squeezing in some learning through the day.

Japanese specific tools

The tools I've been mentioning until now have been tools that are great for many languages, since I'm currently working on rebuilding my Japanese skills I thought I'd add some japanese specific tools as well

Easy Japanese News

Easy Japanese News logo

Easy Japanese News is a pretty nice application that has news stories with lookup for words, and also a more difficult version of most of the articles as well, that way is great for getting some reading comprehension and also listening skills in. It also has furigana on all of the kanji so that it's nice to sement the reading of things that you don't see that often.

Electronic dictionary (電池辞書)

Picture of a Casio Ex-word electronic dictionary

When I was living in japan back in the early 2010s I got an electronic dictionary and it has been a really nice tool to quickly do lookups, it doesn't need an internet connection, it has hand writing recognition and many dictionaries built in, with Japanese-English and Japanese-Japanese ones as well.

And I think that's it for today, I'm sure I've forgotten a ton of other great language learning tools as well, but these are the ones that I've been using the most through the year, and it might be helpful for someone else as well to have some tools to efficiently learn a new (or old) language.

Screenshot with calm colours and background

I wanted to write today about something that has been kind of a theme with me the last month, calm and peace, and how I've been trying to achieve that in my life lately.

A calm and non changing system / colourscheme

I posted a screenshot up on top, and apart from the background image nothing is really changing on the system, and honestly I really like it, the nord colourscheme is really nice and calm, nothing screaming out at you, while still highlighting the right things are great.

Bspwm works very well together with this philosophy for me, it's very consistent, things just do what I expect them to, nothing jumps around, and it's starting to get really second nature to me, kind of the same feeling that you get from using vim, everything just goes by muscle memory, I don't even think before I press buttons, and when you're in a flow it kind of just feels like the system just does what I want it to without having thought about it.

Drastic reduction of phone notifications

As I started out muting and peering down phone notifications my phone almost never notifies me about something unimportant anymore, and I have to actively check to see what I'm happening, it felt scary in the beginning, I got the fear of missing out (FOMO), but as I have turned them off one after one it's really nice, and I feel I can focus better, since my phone doesn't bring me out of focus to bring the next dopamine hit over and over.

Moving from YouTube to Newpipe

I've been moving over from using youtube to using NewPipe and it has been wonderful really, the interface feels great to use, and it doesn't push you to keep on watching, also funnily enough, the Norwegian translations of the interface is top notch, and just feel way better than the google ones, which is quite impressive.

Reducing coffee

I went down from drinking ~5 cups of coffee a day to 3 cups of tea this month, and it's also really nice, I don't feel so wired and anxious anymore, other than my by nature anxiousness.

All in all

So most of my last moth has been trying to focus on mental health, getting things more controlled by me, and less controlled by others, and companies, and so far I'm pretty pleased with the result, now the next step is probably to get started with meditation again, I was good at doing it for a while, but slipped off, that and getting a couple of running shoes again, so that I can get underway with running agin would be a great thing I think.

I was thinking I'd be a bit personal today, and talk a bit of what kind of person I am, I don't really know if this will be interesting to others, but I found it interesting today, so it will be what I'll be doing.

I need restricted tasks and deadlines.

I'm pretty good at finding solutions, and troubleshooting things, but one thing that I'm not good at is to prioritise or find out where to start, put one task in front of me and give me the time and I'll figure it out, give me five tasks and I get overwhelmed, I don't know where to start, I jump back and forth, trying to get things done, get more tasks added, and now don't know what or where I am, if I can work down a list I'm a happy person I don't need much more than that and I can do that well.

I always underestimate what I'm capable of doing.

When faced a task, I don't really know what I will manage to do, I won't think I can do it, until someone gives me a push, and it usually ends up with me managing way more than I think I would manage. Without the pushes that I get from my manager I would manage way fewer things that I do, I'm not one to promise things that I don't know 100% clearly that I can do, and that's not that much.


With something big to do and a deadline, I get stressed and panic, and often I need someone to tell me to calm down, focus on one thing and get there, I do manage, but I need to get over that hump.

Good management is really important

Basically what the conclusion is is that having a good manager, that is not me, is something really important. When someone is good at dealing with stuff, and know their people well, it's quite amazing how much more capable a team gets. As I get older something that I have found out as I grow older is that management just isn't a skillset that I have, and with good management I can do so much more than I thought I would be able to.

Some months ago I decided I wanted to join mastodon for some reason, I don't really know why, but it sounded like a good idea at the time, and I'm happy that I did in the time afterwards.


Mastodon is pretty interesting, it kind of feels like a between thing of twitter and reddit in a way for me, it has kind of the feeling of twitter where there are instances that feel more like subreddits to me, one instance is discussing knitting, another feminism and a third FLOSS software, it creates kind of a fun dynamic, and a more tight knit community, and because of federation you can still follow people you find interesting that are posting on another instance.


I like free and open source software, and since I just got more into tinkering with my machine again I chose to join fosstodon. My joining was mostly because of my state of mind and what I was interested in at the time, and I ended up staying because I have met so many nice people there. It seems like people really care, daily you see people trying to help each other, people that try to bring other's mood up, it's just a really wholesome place, and it's a nice springboard to find other people on other instances to follow as well, since I've found that when something is boosted on my home timeline, there is a good chance the account that posted it will be worth a follow.

Of course all isn't sunshine and kittens, there are some things that I really don't care for or like that much, like bitcoin zealots, which I usually just end up muting because it's not interesting in any way to me, and people are passionate about free software and privacy, very, passionate, and some times it gets a bit much. But that's not bothering me so much that I want to leave.

There really is something about the kind of people that like FLOSS software, I think it's kind of the mindset that it's not a zero sum game, the tide rises all boats, it's something that I really appreciate in a community, I feel like people here want to see the others on the instance succeed, and it really is contagious, it gives me this warm fuzzy feeling, and I really appreciate how great a community it is. I think I for once hit jackpot on the first spin :)

Plain text save files are awesome, for many reasons, they are easier to script, if you want to regularly get some information out of your files you can do it without having to open up a big gui program or so on.

Trouble shooting is way easier, when you have the text in front of you it's most usually way easier to catch on to what you're doing wrong, many times the GUI of a program hides away a problem, and getting a different view on things can be really helpful in actually figuring out what is going on.

Also doing a quick change, here and there, or to script some bigger change over a group of files is a lot less of a hassle if you only have to deal with text, otherwise you have the option of going through all the manual hassle, or to script a GUI, which is not my definition of something that is fun to do.

As an interoperability it's also a very big plus, to make something that can parse a text file instead of some other way just makes the world so much easier, almost every programming/scripting language out there have some good way to deal with text, and it's something that you have most likely done many times before, so dealing with that instead of having to learn a new library to interface with something is usually just way easier.

Plain text is also a lot more resistance to corruption, and to fix a corrupted text file is almost always going to be way easier than some binary format, also if you're worried about harddrive space textfiles compress really well, so it's usually not much of a problem.

There is just so many plusses to plain text stuff, plain text will always be the better way to go, if you don't have a really good reason to go with something more complex, or a database, which would be the next best choice for me at least, since I can query a database with a tool and get out the information that I want that way.

So my favourite two save formats are for sure, plain text and SQL.

My internet at home was down over last week, and all in all I think I learned some things about me, and maybe also it managed to break some patterns. Also worth noticing is that I still had access to internet at work over the day, indeed doing my work would be near impossible without it.

Just to make the rest here make sense, I also have no dataplan for my smart phone, because I'm around wifi 80% of my time anyway, so if it would be going on for longer I'd probably get that dealt with, but I don't really want to do that unless it's very needed, I like my phonebill being around 3-4€ a month :p

Feeling alone

So I'll get this out of the way first, it's really the only really bad thing that I noticed, is that I felt really cut off from the world, much of this is because of the pandemic as well, as when I was going out taking walks on the weekend as well it was all empty, and then when I wasn't able to really contact people that I usually write with at least a couple of times over the evening, it felt kind of isolating and lonely. I was talking with people on the phone for a bit, but I have really come to the conclusion before that I don't really like talking with people over the phone, and much prefer asyncronus conversations, but that's just me being weird.

I've been having youtube on in the background a lot.

It's funny that I haven't really thought about this much, but mostly after getting back home I've been just putting together a youtube playlist to play on my TV as I was winding down for the evening, it's something that I enjoy doing, just having something mindless going on, but what I've realized that doing it every day probably isn't the best for me. In the time that I've been mostly offline in the evenings, I downloaded some videos that I was really excited to see with newpipe over the day, and then watched them in the evening later, and this made me realized that I have been often just watching things for the sake of having something on in the background, and I'm not quite sure how to think about that, I think I'll try at least to most days not go on those sprees.

Going through the downloading of videos in my lunchbreak, deciding what I really want to watch made the whole thing more deliberate, and lets me enjoy the time that I do watch more, also apart from missing the ability to use the chromecast, newpipe is a better way of using youtube in all ways. The interface is better, it has more functionality, it's freer, and it feels less like something that is trying all it can to incentivise you to watch more and more, and more like a tool you can use to watch something you want, and then go on with your day.

More time for podcasts.

Yeah I already listened to a lot of podcasts, but it shot even more through the roof this week, having something nice to listen to when you're feeling alone and just solving some sudoku or playing some minecraft or walking around the neighbourhood longing for a hug, well, podcasts are there for me, and I love it, the best thing about them is that it's not really something you need to wholly focus on, having just the audio part going means my eyes are free for other things, like enjoying the views, playing a game or something else. All in all I managed to clock in on a massive 68 hours of podcast listening last week, which is more than normal since I felt lonely and apart from everything, but it just solidified my enjoyment of it as a medium again, and still it's one of my favourite mediums.

Kickstarted my reading again.

I've been slacking off on reading again, mostly because due to me reducing my caffeine intake the last 3 weeks now I've been really sleepy in the evening, but also due to being more deliberate with the amount of videos I watch and reinstating my “no screens after 22:00” rule, it let's me focus on reading again, and it's wonderful, I just love putting on a good soundtrack, and dive into a good book as the last thing of the day, and I always end up annoyed with myself for having drifted away from it again, I don't know why, because I really love reading.

Something I look forward to when the weather gets warmer again is to walk out, find a place I like, a bench in the city, or a nice opening in the forest where I can spend an hour or so reading something and enjoying myself.

All in all.

In the end I'm happy that this happened to me for the week, I got reminded of things that I can do better, I refound things that I like to do, but for keeping up with people and not feeling happy, I'm happy that my internet is now back up again.