Week of March 14 🥧

Every week I’m concerned that I’ll have nothing to write about, and every week I produce at least 1000 words for these updates.

Big week for Charlie. His first tooth is coming in and he started saying “Da da” in relation to me. He still doesn’t ever want to be put down, but he is interacting with us so much more than he did a few months ago. It is so fun watching him learn and grow.

I made some food for Charlie over the weekend and he seems to be enjoying it. Strawberry/mango purée, spinach/apple purée, and kale/pear purée. I chopped it up and cooked it down on the stove a bit, then puréed it with the stick blender, leaving a little bit of texture for him. I put a splash of lemon juice in each one to help with preservation. We mix the strawberry/mango with yogurt for breakfast and leave the stuff with greens for lunch and dinner. Charlie seems to like the kale/pear more than the apple/spinach. I tasted both and I think I need to add a higher fruit to greens ratio next time.

Charlie also seems to enjoy cooked carrot sticks and little cherrio-shaped puffs made from sweet potato and carrot. Small things that he can feed himself help with this dexterity.

Amanda and I have talked in the abstract in the past about maybe homeschooling our kids and that she thinks I’d make a good teacher. Now that we have Charlie, that possibility is a lot more tangible than it was before, and it is starting to seem like a good idea. What if I were to start a school for Charlie and his friends? Can we make it work financially? I’d have to quit my job. Could I turn the curriculum I develop into a product? Would anyone else want me to teach their kids? I’m starting to collect books on early childhood education and learning. Send me your non-obvious recommendations.

Mint, peonies, poppies, hostas, tiger lillies, blueberries, and forsythias are all showing signs of life. We started some seeds this week (check out what we started on the physical garden page of my digital garden) and pruned some trees and bushes around the yard. It is nice to be able to work outside again, and it is great having a little buddy tagging along.

Great week for book purchases, some used and some new:

  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, a great old Modern Library copy with a nice dust jacket
  • Escher on Escher, Exploring the Infinite, a collection of some of Escher’s lectures, articles, and letters about his work
  • The Best of Edward Abbey, a collection of what Abbey considered his best work.
  • River of Mountains by Peter Laurie, a book about the author’s canoe journey down the Hudson River, a journey I’d also like to make with my son when he is older.
  • Can’t and Won’t, a collection of very short stories by Lydia Davis
  • Conscious by Annaka Harris, a primer on the mind
  • Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman, on how to think about the time we each have on this earth
  • The World-ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry – I haven’t ready much Berry, and someone on Twitter told me this is the place to start with his non-fiction. I found a good hardcover copy on eBay.

It dawned on me tonight why I read so much fiction these days. I have to be very analytical at work and rarely get to engage my imagination. Fiction engages my imagination. In high school and college, I read almost exclusively non-fiction. There was plenty else going on to engage my imagination. Once I started working full time, I started reading more fiction, and the ratio has shifted more toward fiction each year since. I’m not into gaming, and while I’ll watch movies or shows, they don’t really engross me like reading does. So reading stories is my imaginative outlet. But since I’m on paternity leave right now and doing less analytical stuff, I’m feeling the pull to read more non-fiction again. Not sure what I’m going to pick up first. Maybe Julia Galef’s Scout Mindset, Annaka Harris’s Conscious, or Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks.

I finished another Wodehouse book (The Inimitable Jeeves) and am now reading Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, published in 1919. The book is a series of vignettes of small town Ohio live and the people who live it. This single paragraph paints such a picture of the character, place, and time.

The story of Wing Biddlebaum is a story of hands. Their restless activity, like unto the beating of the wings of an imprisoned bird, had given him his name. Some obscure poet of the town had thought of it. The hands alarmed their owner. He wanted to keep them hidden away and looked with amazement at the quiet inexpressive hands of other men who worked beside him in the fields, or passed, driving sleepy teams on country roads.

Winesburg, Ohio, page 9 – Sherwood Anderson

Mitchell Earl told me that he stopped tracking the books he finishes, instead only tracking the books he starts. It is useful to reflect on a personal progression of ideas and learning while remaining flexible enough to put books down when they no longer serve you. I like this. I start many more books than I finish, but I haven’t catalogued them. It would be useful to, though! I think I’ll start.

Jackson Bierfeldt is posting weekly updates! 👏

Are you posting regular updates? Link your blog below in the comments. Bonus points if you have an RSS feed I can subscribe to. If you’ve been wanting to start a blog, now is a great time. Email me and I’ll help you get started.

I’m getting an unreasonable amount of ads on Instagram for various hair loss reversal products. I have no intention of ever purchasing them. Hair loss and hair color change are a normal part of aging, and I think it is important to age gracefully and accept it. Trying to artificially cover it up is an uphill battle. I’m still working on the acceptance part personally–it isn’t easy to find new hairstyles that work with your head and face, and it is disconcerting to have ads and people in real life regularly point out that your hair is rapidly thinning, as if I don’t already know. But such is life, and one must accept it.

fxhash is doing their public launch on April 1, and part of that launch includes a contract update that will make all beta projects no longer mintable, essentially burning all unminted tokens. Since my two generative art projects on fxhash weren’t minted out yet, I decided to make them free and see if people would mint more of them. They did! Both projects minted out. Here are the final mints for each:

Imbri-shape on fxhash
Pattern plus plus on fxhash

A couple things I learned from these projects and some self-criticism: I don’t think I added enough variation and I weighted some of the variations I did add way too low. This made the average output less exciting than it should have been. Each piece should have been interesting and collectable on its own, not just some of the outputs. I think I was excited to mint a token and rushed these. I should have spent a couple weeks iterating them. I’ll take this into account with my next project!

I created two pieces just for the collectors of those two projects and gifted them each an edition:

I went with orange because Pattern plus plus had a rare orange variation that didn’t show up in any of the mints, but I think it would be fun to make orange a reserved color in my future art and make all “thank you” or special pieces orange.

I made some WordPress Block Art, inspired by the Museum of Block Art! You can see the live rendering on my Block Art page, but here are some screenshots:

One response to “Week of March 14 🥧”

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