I really enjoyed Jason's end of the year post 21 Things That Kept Me Going
. Several things that kept me going were on his list and I thought I'd share a few of my own.
King Arthur Baking
. I got into baking sourdough early in the pandemic and tried following the method in Flour Water Salt Yeast
by Ken Forkish. I had moderate success and eventually moved on to yeast breads which I still bake like a fiend. I've found the recipes at King Arthur are a nice mix of accessible and delicious. I make this No-Knead Harvest Bread
every week and have it for breakfast every day.
. I already posted about how I started using GarageBand
much more this year and it has been a good way to motivate myself to keep playing music. And JamKazam
gets an honorable mention for making live jam nights with friends possible.
Board Game Arena
. I've had at least two or three asynchronous board games going with friends since March and this site makes it possible. Slow, thoughtful games seem to work better than face-paced games in this format but they're all a good way to stay loosely connected with friends. Honorable mention goes to Tabletop Simulator
on Steam which powered many live game nights. (Blood Rage
is a great one!)
. My friends and I use Slack as an always going conversation and Discord for events like game or jam nights. Why the split? I think it's because Slack handles text and notifications well and Discord handles realtime video chat well. I rarely think about these tools but remote socializing would be less fun without them.
. I got caught up in the Dune
movie hype and remembered how much I enjoyed that world. I reread my favorites God Emperor
and Children of Dune
and I've been enjoying listening to Dune Pod
. Bonus hot take: the David Lynch movie is good.
Election Profit Makers
. I found this surreal political year difficult to process so it helped to have this podcast of like-minded people to listen to. It's ostensibly about election prediction markets, but it's really about Starlee, Jon, and David humanely working through inhumane political news. I hope it continues past election season.
by Kim Stanley Robinson. I kicked off the pandemic year with this novel about a generation ship traveling to a new planet. Maybe a meditation on isolation and survival was not the best choice but I'm still thinking about this story.
. More than any other news source, The Atlantic helped me make sense of the pandemic. Ed Yong
continues to be especially prescient and accurate throughout. They also get the small things like their overall design, app, and the tone of their newsletter right consistently and those aren't small things.
. My son picked up Duolingo and started learning German and soon the whole family was hooked. It's a nice mental diversion and Duolingo has a fun system that makes it like a game. Oh how I hate their hearts system though!