1. 31

I asked this question about six months ago, but I think it would be interesting to resurface it now that we have a lot of new folks around. Plus, interests change!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of indoor rock climbing and walking (to the VTA station) as I haven’t found the time to do anything else due to work.

  1. 15

    I’ve been baking, mostly following the books Ratio, Flour Water Salt Yeast and The Breadbaker’s Apprentice. The sensual quality of it is great and a pretty big contrast to programming, but as you learn more about the variables (ingredient quality and quantity, time, ambient temperature) I was surprised to find that debugging (troubleshooting) kind of translates into this domain.

    1. 4

      Could you suggest a recipe for a low-sugar white or wheat bread for slicing for sandwiches? My grocery store doesn’t have anything suitable.

      1. 8

        I would try the two from aBreaducation: Your first loaf or Baking bread with whole wheat flour. They’re both easy and result in something that resembles storebought bread (but a lot nicer). I suppose these are what’s called a Pullman Loaf. They’re also faster to make than the other recipes; you could make a loaf of bread tonight, for instance, where the stuff in FWSY and Jim’s recipe involve leaving the dough overnight.

        What got me interested was actually Jim Lahey’s famous no-knead bread recipe. This is a lean bread, meaning just flour, water, salt and yeast, no added fat or sugar. They key here is to have a dutch oven; it’s fantastically simple and easy and that’s really the only piece of equipment you have to have. This technique is extremely well-elaborated in Flour Water Salt Yeast, where he shows you how to make a variety of different breads with a minimum of additional ingredients, but you do need to get some more equipment (buckets, mainly).

        Sugar and fat inhibit gluten development, so adding them moves you away from big holes and towards uniformity and softness. If you like that uniformity and softness, you’re in trouble :) because that’s harder to produce with lean dough. On the plus side, lean dough is probably better for you and if you follow the FWSY recipes, it often has a lot more flavor than a “regular” white bread.

        1. 5



          are both great low-sugar, more-healthy breads, likely available to you if you’re within an area that has Amazon Fresh. (disclaimer: Amazon’s my employer. Not Amazon Fresh, though.)

          If you want to make your own, the artisinal bread recipes in Flour Water Salt Yeast are pretty amazing. You will want a Lodge Combo Cooker (https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-LCC3-Cooker-Pre-Seasoned-3-2-Quart/dp/B0009JKG9M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485187141&sr=8-1&keywords=lodge+combo+cooker) and some kind of 6-quart lidded container (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-Commercial-Container-Semi-Clear-FG572324CLR/dp/B01MQ2KJDV/ref=sr_1_21?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1485187394&sr=1-21&keywords=bucket+with+lid). Probably also a kitchen scale (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Kitchen-Batteries-Included/dp/B00V5IM5PY/ref=sr_1_10?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1485187447&sr=1-10&keywords=kitchen+scale).

          Example: put 800g of white or whole wheat or mixture of bread flour, 600g of water, ½ tsp of active dry yeast, and 16g of salt into the bucket. stir with your clean hand until it’s a shaggy/sticky ball, about 60 sec. Put in fridge for two days. Sprinkle medium bowl with cornmeal. Remove half from fridge, work into ball shape, place in bowl, cover loosely with kitchen cloth. After 45 minutes, put combo cooker (empty) into oven, start heating to 450. After another 45 minutes, remove (very hot) combo cooker from oven. Place lid on stove burner. Sprinkle quickly with cornmeal and then carefully unload bowl of dough onto middle of lid. Cover with the pot. Carefully put the assembly together back into the oven. Turn temperature down to 425. Wait 25 minutes, then remove pot top. With an objective of making the top crust golden brown, cook 0-10 minutes more. Remove from oven, carefully dislodge bread from pan onto cooling rack. Wait 1 hour before cutting. Repeat with other half of dough still in fridge.

          1. 3

            Ken Forkish recommends a 4 Qt cast iron and a 12 Qt tub + a 6 Qt tub in the book. (He puts ASIN codes in there IIRC.) The smaller your cast iron, the better the oven spring, I believe, but I’m not sure 3.2 Qt would be big enough. Similarly the 6 Qt is going to get cramped when the dough triples in size to ~5 Qt in volume. I take it this equipment has worked out well for you or you wouldn’t recommend it, but have you compared to the stuff Ken recommends? Does it work better?

            1. 3

              I started with a 5 qt cast iron. I think the 3.25 is a little better as far as browning goes; the fact that the sides are closer seems to make the crust a little more crunchy and darker sooner. Also it is way easier to load the dough onto the ‘lid’ of the combo cooker than it is to drop it into the well of a cast iron dutch oven; and it’s easier to get a balky slightly-fused-on loaf off the lid than it is to coax it out of the dutch oven.

              I’ve had no problems with the rising size; that size is a little more convenient for me in my fridge. Obviously mileage and fridges may vary.

              1. 2

                He mentions in the book (or online? somewhere) that 5 qt definitely gets you less oven spring, presumably because the water vapor is going to be more dilute. Getting them out of the cast iron is definitely a hassle; I’ve started using parchment paper but I have to fuss with it to get it the right size. And getting them into the cast iron isn’t ideal either… I have dropped a few off-center and gotten oddly-shaped loaves. I’ll see about getting this size, thanks for your recommendation!

                1. 2

                  I tried parchment paper but really the best way to get the loaf out of the pan, in my experience, is to (a) make sure it’s well-seasoned (and maybe re-season it a few times in a row according to Lodge’s specific instructions. Seems to help a lot) and (b) use a good amount of cornmeal or flour. Using the ‘lid’ technique solves the weird shaped loaf problems. Let me know how your experience goes!

                  1. 1

                    I haven’t been dusting with cornmeal! D'oh!

      2. 13

        Outside of programming, my big passion is chocolatiering. I live near a chocolate factory that sells 10 pound slabs for 50 bucks, most of which has been going into fruit cordial experiments. Other than that, climbing and trying to get back into juggling, see if I can finally nail down a 5-ball cascade.

        1. 3

          How would you get started with chocolatiering?

          1. 12

            Let’s do this

            The best place to start would be chocolate truffles. That’s because they can be made without any special equipment, skills, or time investment. Five minutes from start to finish to get the ganache, then a few more minutes to roll the truffles. And people are consistently amazed by them, so it has a great impact:effort ratio. The linked article is a good start, with one small gripe: if you let the ganache set overnight instead of refrigerating it, you’ll give it more time to crystallize and end with firmer truffles with a longer shelf-life.

            The next step is learning how to temper chocolate. There’s a bunch of guides out there on how to do that, but they’re all too messy and inconsistent imo. The best way I’ve found to temper chocolate is to melt it as normal, let it cool to around 31 C, then use a hand mixer for half a minute. Play around with a few different techniques to see what you like best. Then try enrobing: dip something in the chocolate and let it harden. Pretzels and marshmallows usually go over well; the truffles you made will be fantastic enrobed, but they’re tricky to do without a dipping fork.

            After that, things branch out considerably. You’ll want to pick up candymaking so you can do fillings like caramels and cordials, as well as make confections without chocolate like brittles and pralines. I recommend picking a type of chocolate that you really like and working towards that.

            If you want to get serious, I’d strongly recommend getting a copy of Chocolates and Confections. It’s pretty much the candymaking bible; not only does it have a lot of fantastic recipes, it has chapters on the science of chocolate, wrapping and storage, and tons of troubleshooting tables. It’s aimed at professional chocolatiers but you can make almost everything in a home kitchen. I’ve heard the home edition is more accessible, but I haven’t read it.

            Let me know if you have any questions! The rabbit hole goes deep.

            1. 2

              Where do you live near a chocolate factory? One of my coworkers, her parents live near one in Colorado.

              This is very interesting to me, probably even more so to my niece, who is really interested in pastry and candy. Thanks for the excellent book recommendation, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy!

        2. 11

          First of all, a somewhat edgy read on the concept of free time.


          • Read history and art history books: currently reading about the crusades; finished a short book about Watteau last week
          • Listen to concert music (“classical music” for most people) and try to appreciate despite being musically inept
          • Take walks around the neighborhood
          • Cook so I don’t have to spend $10-15 in lunch daily
          • Code projects/learning programming concepts and languages: mostly the latter and I try to learn things that have nothing to do with what I do at work

          When it gets warmer I’m going to start running!

          1. 6

            Cook so I don’t have to spend $10-15 in lunch daily

            If you haven’t gotten one yet, def look into a slow cooker. They’re cooking with cheat codes.

            1. 3

              Yeah we have one and also a sandwich press. Both can be used for a ton of things!

            2. 2

              Not sure just what you mean by “musically inept,” but if you’re interested Yale has video lectures of their introductory music theory class, “Listening to Music,” up on Youtube and the text book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook.

              I’ve been slowly working my way through and learning quite a bit. I’m still not convinced the eBook is worth the $95 price tag, but the lectures are definitely worth watching.

              1. 1

                Thanks. I’m learning how a lot of concert music is structured and plan to have some elementary music notation reading skills. By “inept” I meant I can barely keep up a beat or play any instrument.

            3. 9

              Reading about tech (as you could guess from my submissions), powerlifting, and video games (Invisible, Inc., Shattered Pixel Dungeon, and Crypt of the Necrodancer recently).

              1. 3

                Crypt of the Necrodancer is very good. It had been sitting around on Steam and I finally took a try while I was sick - so glad I did. Invisible, Inc. is also great. If you like those you ought to give Transistor and Desktop Dungeons a try.

              2. 9


                1. 14

                  Ah, another Javascript developer I see!

                  1. 5

                    I’m here to listen if it’ll help.

                    1. 6

                      It’s light-hearted, don’t worry; thank you ❤️

                  2. 14

                    Oh the usual. Bowling, drive around, the occasional acid flashback.

                    1. 4

                      Where’s the money Lebowski? Get us the money or we cut off your Johnson.

                      1. 1

                        One of these is not like the others…

                      2. 8
                        • Reading mostly worthless tech news. Reading through Discworld series.

                        • Watching ocassional movie and rewatching the excellent Columbo series with my wife.

                        • Playing Grim Fandango with my wife.

                        • Homerepairs. Preparing for birth of my first child.

                        • Learning German.

                        • Trying to do some coding - my own Linux Distribution and text editor.

                        1. 3

                          Reading through Discworld series.

                          Excellent series, I don’t know what I would do if there weren’t so many of them.

                          1. 1

                            read wodehouse (: there are even more of them

                        2. 8

                          I try to keep myself as busy as possible; I’m lucky enough to be young, active and healthy and don’t want to waste this time. This is roughly what I get up to in a typical week outside of work:


                          • Learning German (I just recently to Munich, and think it’s important to make the effort to fit in culturally)
                          • CS Tutoring: I’m tutoring a student over Skype for 2 hours a week on average, plus another 2-4 hours of preparation time


                          • Weightlifting (4x a week)
                          • Lindy Hop dancing (once a week)
                          • Swimming (once a week)
                          • Indoor bouldering (< once a week)


                          • I spend most Saturdays shopping because I’m trying to upgrade my wardrobe and it takes me a while to find clothes that aren’t too expensive, fit well and go with the other clothes I have.
                          • I’m also lucky enough to have a few groups of friends that I like to do stuff with outside of work, which will usually take up one evening per week.
                          • Working through the Malazan Book of the Fallen series
                          1. 8
                            • Learning Japanese
                            • Running (goal is to be able to run 100k races one day)
                            • Bouldering
                            • Reading (When In French at the moment)
                            • Code a bit, here and there
                            1. 2

                              At first I thought it’s a typo, 100k instead of 10k then I Googled and it seems to be a thing, and an impressive one on that.

                              1. 2

                                It is definitely a thing and I’m still as impressed as you! I’m sure it’s terrible for your body, but damn… It’s an amazing feat.

                                1. 2

                                  I’d think it’s probably not all that terrible if you can do it with great form and/or minimal footwear. It definitely wears you out for a matter of weeks, but I’d guess it doesn’t have to be too damaging in the long run.

                            2. 8
                              • IRC
                              • trying to catch up on RSS
                              • writing software for my own use and amusement
                              • reading fanfics
                              • lots of random things I could use a slave for

                              I should invest more time in writing even more code and language learning.

                              1. 8

                                I just recently gave notice at my job, so that has been winding down. My new job starts on 6 February, and my last day at my current place of work is 27 January, so I’ll have a week of down time in-between.

                                For fun, I do a bunch of things:

                                • Been picking up rock-climbing; I try to go twice a week (need to get certified to belay at the gym I go to this week)
                                • Reading (Disc World, rereading Hitchhikers' Guide, His Dark Materials, Shade’s Children, and a bunch of specifications (I need to reread ISO 9899 again))
                                • Racquetball; used to play a bunch, trying to get back in the habit of playing once or twice a week
                                  • To manage this, I am likely going to need to get a gym membership, so I may also add lifting to my work-out rotation at least once a week
                                • Running; cardio is good, I’m aiming for once or twice a week
                                • Personal projects; I finally got started on a project that’s been on my todo-list for a while (a pastebin), we’ll see how it goes
                                  • I try to do at least one commit on one of my public repos a day to force myself to stay involved in my projects
                                • A couple friends of mine (whom I try to hang out with at least once or twice a week) are into Blues (and Lindy Hop) and I tag along with them every once in a while, so I might pick that up.
                                • Helping other folks learn C
                                  • I’m on freenode in a channel aimed at helping people get started with C without sugar-coating things
                                • Zip-lining; there’s an awesome zip-line area up here that I love going to, but it’s still too cold for most of my friends to join me, so I’ve been holding off for a bit.
                                • Once upon a time, I used to do a lot of gaming, but I’ve almost completely fallen out of gaming; not sure why
                                1. 3

                                  Hi halosghost, mind if I join the C channel on freenode, if not what is the channel name? Thanks!

                                  1. 4

                                    Not at all! It’s ##not-##c-c (I didn’t pick the name). Anyone is welcome to join!

                                2. 8

                                  I inject most of my free non-coding time into Final Fantasy XV. The rest of my time, recently, has been attributed to jkl, my Jira Kommand Line tool. It had been a while since I did recreational programming (I consider this fun, for some reason) My non-office time also includes taking care of my family, and being a parent, I guess I should probably count those as “free time” but I feel a strong responsibility to make those things a priority in my life, so I don’t feel like it counts.

                                  Things I wish I took time for:

                                  • Exercising (I don’t do that right now, and if I wanna live a long and healthy life, I’ll have to do that. I feel like I could like calisthenics. I hate gyms.)
                                  • Reading (I don’t do that right now. Which makes me feel really weird.)
                                  • Music (I’m getting reacquainted with my piano, but it has been a solid… what, 15 years?)
                                  • Outdoorsy stuff. I hate “the out”. Always have. I hate “the out” more than I hate fruits, and I really really hate fruits.
                                  1. 7

                                    I haven’t found the time to do anything else due to work

                                    I highly recommend you do find the time. It can be hard, but setting boundaries around work can really improve your quality of life.

                                    1. 7

                                      I play guitar and bass. Or really, I learn to play guitar and bass. I played saxophone for 10 years previously, and by comparison there seems to be so much to learn about and around guitar that I’ll be a perpetual student. This might be a long shot, but if there are any other musicians here from the Toronto area, I’d be down to meet up and jam.

                                      The other thing I’m interested in is climate change. A couple months ago I decided that understanding and taking some action against climate change is important to me. Right now, I’m doing a lot of research and reading to try and understand what kinds of problems I might be able to help with.

                                      1. 3

                                        I’d love to hear your conclusions from your climate-change impact investigations whenever you’ve made them :) This is also something I’m interested in.

                                        1. 1

                                          For sure! One of the things that I’ve noticed from investigations so far is that there are a lot of people who care about this but don’t know what to do. I’m following a 100:10:1 process right now, generating a big list of ideas, then picking a smaller subset to research in depth.

                                          An interesting place to start might be this post from Bret Victor: http://worrydream.com/#!/ClimateChange

                                          1. 1

                                            Hey, did you make any progress here? :)

                                      2. 6
                                        • I try to dedicate at least two hours of my day to my body. That means I work out everyday, but I also enjoy running (usually twice a week, 10 Km each) and recently began practicing Muay Thai.
                                        • Learning German
                                        • Reading (at the moment: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Gödel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid)
                                        • I like watching some TV shows, but Sherlock and Westworld left me orphan for now
                                        • As many of us here, I read a lot about tech too (probably should be more disciplined about this one)
                                        • Last, but not least: every once in awhile I try to benchmark alcohol effects on my cognitive system :P
                                        1. 6

                                          I’ll try and give some honest answers

                                          • Traveling and planning for traveling. I spent some time backpacking in Iceland last year. Will be doing some hiking in Peru soon.
                                          • Cooking. I work from home and cooking is my responsibility/hobby. I made this last week and it’s so good that my wife requested an encore: http://www.savorylotus.com/slow-cooker-moroccan-chicken/
                                          • Working out. I like to olympic lift and run. Honestly I only do this like 2x a week. Trying to up that # a bit.
                                          • Hiking/snowboarding/show shoeing: At least one day every weekend is spent doing one of these activities.
                                          • Learning open source tech. Currently learning rust. (<2h/week)
                                          • Reading papers (<2h/week)
                                          • Reddit/hn/lobsters (way too many hours)

                                          I actually spend time on the above, I also have a few things I would like to do, but am not currently working on:

                                          • Becoming fluent in spanish
                                          • Working through more TAOCP
                                          • Working through a compiler design book
                                          • Making my hobby os be able to do more than print hello world. Next goal would probably be threading/tasking capabilities so I can better explore virtual memory.
                                          • Contribute to more projects
                                          • Playing with new syscalls like userfaultfd
                                          • Making a product and selling it
                                          • Fixing the door handle on my camper van that shattered when I tried to open it.
                                          • Blogging more (I did get one post written in Dec, but nothing since then)

                                          Ultimately I realize I want to do more things than I actually have time for, and that’s ok. I think that I’ve mostly prioritized my time in a way that reflects my values. I need to spend less time on reddit/hn/lobsters and more time reading and writing, but I’m pretty happy with the amount of time I spend cooking, exercising, and working.

                                          1. 3

                                            I’m particularly interested in your hobby OS, how’d you get started with that and what is your approach to building it? I remember seeing some sites dedicated to that in the past and I was fascinated then too. What’s your blog?

                                            1. 3

                                              I believe I started with a combination of this pdf https://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~exr/lectures/opsys/10_11/lectures/os-dev.pdf (or something very much like it) and some of these tutorials: http://wiki.osdev.org/Tutorials

                                              “Operating system” is very generous. What I wrote was a disk image that could be booted by qemu. So that means the virtual bios was able to find a boot sector that executed some machine code I had written. I then used BIOS calls (like syscalls) to print some text. I think I got as far as moving the system into VGA mode so I could using colors, and moving the cpu from 16 bit real mode (the default because of legacy systems emulating legacy systems) to a 32 bit address space using an identity mapping. I also played around a little bit with diskio using BIOS calls. At that point you’re more or less able to write C code. tl;dr - my OS was only capable of printing a BSOD.

                                              Areas I didn’t even touch: creating threading. Isolated address spaces. Context switching.

                                              Oh, I left one really big area of interest: kernel bypass networking. An area I know almost nothing about, but have been trying to grok by learning more about ebpf and some of the high end NICs.


                                              You asked about my blog, this was a relatively recent post on approximate counting http://whitane.com/post/how-to-countish/

                                          2. 6

                                            When I actually have a choice, I mostly spend it writing novels. So far they’re speculative fiction of one variety or another. YA Fantasy, YA Horror, Steampunk, Science Fantasy.

                                            Oh. And I read, too. Mostly fantasy, but a fair bit of theology/philosophy.

                                            1. 3

                                              Hi joshuacc, are you self-publishing? Where might I read some of your SciFi?

                                              1. 3

                                                I have self-published one of the novels, a middle grade fantasy: Silver Chalice, Golden Bough. The others are in various states of completion. Currently working on expanding my YA Horror story to actually be novel length. :-)

                                            2. 6

                                              I’m preparing myself for contributing to the BSD projects overall lately.

                                              • Installing FreeBSD
                                                • Dry run of installing FreeBSD 11 in a VM, to eventually replace the ArchLinux install on my laptop. I may switch to OpenBSD too, maybe not. I mainly want to play with the new FreeBSD features today.
                                              • Read books
                                                • Grand Tour series by Ben Bova, Ancillary series by Anne Lecke, a bunch of technical books about BSD/Linux/Python/Sysadmin, and the works of Philosophers classical and modern.
                                              • Local meetups
                                                • Startups, Information Security, BSD, Linux, (Computer) Networking, FOSS, and OS meetups.
                                              • Listen to podcasts
                                                • BSDNow, Waking Up, History of Philosophy, Radiolab, Joe Rogan Experience.
                                              • Studying for Amateur radio / Ham Technician license.
                                              • Amateur Astronomy.
                                              • Learning Python.
                                              • Studying for RHCE.
                                              • Hiking.
                                              • Cycling.
                                              1. 6

                                                I have tended to skip over these questions because it feels like I don’t do anything in my free time. :) But in fact, most of it goes to mental-health advocacy things, including this and this.

                                                I’ve also recently picked WoW back up and have been working through level-110 questlines. I don’t expect to stick with the game once I finish these, because it no longer has anything to offer me as a social environment, but it’s nostalgic.

                                                1. 5

                                                  It varies by life season. Lately, doing a lot of prep before we have our first kid. (I swear I have baby brain!)


                                                  • working through good TV shows with my wife
                                                  • playing good video games with her (mostly adventure games of all types)
                                                  • lifting
                                                  • Heroes of the Storm
                                                  • guitar
                                                  • occasional OSS

                                                  I’d like to get into more cooking, as it’ll really help out around the house the next few months.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Slow cookers / crock pots are a good way to get delicious results without a lot of steps. Most recipes are: prep ingredients, sautee for added flavor, add to pot and cook for 2 to 4 hours.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      One thing that put me off cooking for a long time was recipes. The idea that you had to have a bookshelf full of books of recipes to get anything done. This isn’t how chefs cook, though; they learn techniques and flavors and chart their own course. I envied that.

                                                      There are plenty of books that help with this approach, but the two I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of are Ratio and Twenty, both by Michael Ruhlman, and to a lesser extent The Flavor Bible. The stuff in Ratio tends towards baking but has other stuff (stocks, vinaigrettes) and the stuff in Twenty is for the rest of cooking: how to use the fundamentals of water, eggs, onions, lemons and then how to do broad techniques like roast, braise, grill, etc. Ratio gets you looking at some ingredients and going “I could make a fritter with those vegetables”; The Flavor Bible will suggest how to season it.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        before we have our first kid

                                                        congrats! enjoy all your me/free time now ;-)

                                                        1. 4

                                                          I know this is in jest but this is one of the primary things I’m working through. A friend noted that “kids teach you how selfish you are with your time.” And I’m extremely selfish with my time.

                                                          I know plenty of accomplished people that have kids. Life doesn’t stop when you do; we may have more fragmented time but being productive/creative or not is a choice we make by how we prioritize things.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            of course! and it all depends on your kids and mostly in yourself. For me it was a big change but still fatherhood exposed me too so many new things and makes me think what’s really important each day. all the best! :-)

                                                      2. 5
                                                        • F#
                                                        • stardew valley
                                                        • playing board games
                                                        • skateboarding
                                                        • lifting weights
                                                        • baking bread
                                                        1. 5
                                                          • Practicing drawing and writing. Want to start getting comfortable with working on some sort of plot-based web-comic.
                                                          • Walking. One of my classes’s final “exam” is a three-mile test under forty minutes (give or take).
                                                          • Chatting on channels and reading my feeds.

                                                          Kind of wish my life was more interesting.

                                                          1. 5

                                                            Photography. I find it’s important for me to take a break from programming in my free time and do something else creative.

                                                            1. 5

                                                              Reading: History, politics, CS, Sci-Fi

                                                              Taking my dogs out for walks, fetch, hikes.

                                                              I follow a boring strength training regimen.

                                                              Gaming: Rocket League, CS:GO, R6 Siege

                                                              Marksmanship: Rifle, pistol, skeet.

                                                              I like to see movies at the cinema sometimes, can’t really replicate that experience at home.

                                                              Tinkering with my espresso. Still trying to figure out Indian curry.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Hi bitemyapp, what Sci-Fi are you reading these days? I’m looking for stuff for after I finish the Ancillary series.

                                                                Indian curry is so good! So is espresso. What kind of beans are you on?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  I finally finished Blindsight recently, probably reading Echopraxia next. I read 2 of the 3 Expanse series books but am not sure I’ll finally read the third. It’s good but the 2nd wasn’t as compelling as the 1st book. I’m not a good person to ask for sci-fi recos. My favorite series was probably Dune.

                                                                  Currently Ethiopian beans from my local roaster (https://andersonscoffee.com/)

                                                                  I get my coffee from this roaster because they send me fresh roasted beans that stay good for at least a month. If I order from anyone else they’re older and I have to grind finer to keep it at 9 bar.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of Echopraxia. I found Blindsight dramatically more interesting, but they both had neat ideas.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      I haven’t heard of any of the series you mentioned besides Dune. I have been meaning to read the series as the Dune movie was one of my favorite cult-classic scifi movies. I recently watched the televised episodic version of Dune and while they had some minor improvements and scene refinements the acting was generally worse. I’ll have to check out those series as you mentioned, and I’ll be sure to actually read the Dune series!

                                                                      Ah Ethiopian beans are typically smaller right? I have generally seen those beans lightly roasted, do you find the same? I don’t have an espresso machine but I am a bit of a coffee enthusiast myself. Do you have a nice grinder? I know you know what’s up because of your first mention of fresh roasted beans. There’s nothing better than the fresh beans, to the point that old beans are generally pretty trash in terms of bloom, aroma, and flavor (aside from overly compensated flavors during roasting of old beans).

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        read Dune

                                                                        Yes, do so.

                                                                        Ethiopian beans are typically smaller right?

                                                                        No idea.

                                                                        have generally seen those beans lightly roasted

                                                                        Me too, but these are medium. My only objection to this supplier of my coffee is that I think they medium roast too much stuff that should be light or light-medium. My problem is I don’t know who else is consistently fresh.

                                                                        My grinder is a Baratza Vario. I had a decent burr grinder before but it wasn’t good enough for espresso.

                                                                        old beans are generally pretty trash

                                                                        I can sorta rescue old beans with pourover but it’s not what it should be.

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                                                                          From what I’ve seen the Ethiopian beans are smaller but maybe it’s just the batches I’ve witnessed. I like their flavor though it’s unique.

                                                                          I see Anderson’s is based out of Austin, I assume that’s local so if you’re open to buying from non-local roasters I have had many excellent roasts from Verve out of Santa Cruz, and Stumptown from Seattle. I’m a bit out of date with what’s hot for Seattle roasters, but Stumptown has been strong for a long time.

                                                                          https://www.vervecoffee.com/ https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/

                                                                          Or if not that just keep looking for local roasters, there are really great local roasters that you can come across and usually you can build a relationship with them to get the scoop on the real good stuff. Have a good one.

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                                                                  Dang, all you guys mountain climb - I’ll have to look into doing that now :)

                                                                  • I primarily spend my time coding, reading classic computer texts (recently SICP and The Seasoned Schemer), and geeking out about compiler design (I’ve yet to write a non-toy compiler though - I’ll try to work it into a project for school somehow so I can spend more time on it) and OS development (in Lisp ;))
                                                                  • CTF competitions - it’s a little saddening to see how broken many things are :(
                                                                  • Weightlifting - I go to the gym 5 times a week for about an hour.
                                                                  • Reading - currently working through Nueromancer and Restaurant at the End of the Universe. More recently I’ve been trying to spend time learning more math, so I recently got a book on Number Theory that I’ve yet to dive into (of course, it takes longer when actually taking notes, doing proofs, solving example problems, etc). I think I just have to sit down and force myself to do the math and I’ll learn it. It’s just coding is so much more fun :P
                                                                  • Mountain bike - (when it’s not too cold) I’ve gotten semi-serious about mountain biking recently, so when I can, I ride my Giant ATX on the (unfortunately) rocky trails of Pennsylvania. Really considering upgrading to a full suspension bike because of how exhausting it is to ride a technical trail on a hardtail.
                                                                  • Waste time playing Super Smash Bros sometimes :P SSB, CS:GO and Starcraft are the only games I’ve found that put enough emphasis on technical competitive skill that I don’t grow bored of them in a few hours. I really want to like adventure games, but none have really captured my attention with their world or story. Maybe I’ll try Firewatch or The Witness - they look interesting.
                                                                  • Mechanical keyboards - build ‘em, surf on r/mk, dream about HHKBs - the usual for a mech entusiest :P
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                                                                    Creative coding :D Code golf, fun CSS demos!

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                                                                      I’ve found myself with a bit of extra free time lately so I’ve been working on music production. I don’t have grand aspirations here so it’s just fun. Learning synthesis can easily be as engrossing as you want and is very wonderful hacker/bricolage kind of experience. I recommend it highly to anyone who might be interested.

                                                                      I also spend a lot of time with my SO and try to fit in little coding projects as I have time. I’d love to devote more to the latter, but I sort of would rather find ways to get paid to do it.

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                                                                        In no particular order:

                                                                        • Working out (gym/cycling mostly)
                                                                        • DIY (House, Cars, Bicycles)
                                                                        • Exploring with family¹
                                                                        • Hacking on infrastructure or iOS stuff
                                                                        • Photography
                                                                        • Reading (mostly crime fiction)
                                                                        • Pub.

                                                                        ¹ (Annual National Trust family membership in the UK is well worth it. Lots of interesting places to visit cheaply/free across the country)

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                                                                          • Reading tech news
                                                                          • Playing disc golf in the summer, ski patrolling in the winter
                                                                          • Playing Settlers of Catan with friends
                                                                          • Playing Chess
                                                                          • Playing flight simulators, and recently, Invisible, Inc.
                                                                          • Coding, experimenting with desktop environments, messing with fonts and color schemes for my editors and shells, playing around with arduino/raspberry pi
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                                                                            experimenting with desktop environments

                                                                            Do I spot a ricing enthusiast?

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                                                                              I was a couple years back, now I’ve settled on CinnamonDE with the a slightly modified version of the Numix theme and icon set. Most of my “ricing” at the moment goes into shells and text editors.

                                                                              Though I do still occasionally check out new DEs and themes. :)

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                                                                            • Lift 3-4 times a week
                                                                            • Play Rocket League with my little brother (Challenger 2 atm, want to get better)
                                                                            • Read - mostly nonfiction, with the occasional sci fi.
                                                                            • Bike around the city
                                                                            • Listen to music! Going through a Death Grips phase atm.
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                                                                              Currently, in order of time spent descending:

                                                                              • Path of Exile
                                                                              • Watch a series or movie with my wife. Currently watching A Series of Unfortunate Events.
                                                                              • Strength training, the 5/3/1 program, Periodization Bible variant. It’s the only program that I never get bored with, and gets me to the gym 4x a week. Happy to share the spreadsheet I use if anyone is interested.
                                                                              • Hang with family
                                                                              • Board games and/or local brewery with friends
                                                                              • Work on side projects or learn something new in tech

                                                                              I’d like to wind down Path of Exile and get back into reading fantasy series and work-related things, but I can’t seem to pull myself away yet. :)

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                                                                                I spend a lot of time playing outside. A lot of cycling (mostly cyclocross but some mountain) and skiing (mostly telemark but some cross-country and skate), but also running, hiking and backpacking.

                                                                                Recently I’m learning to play the piano and keyboard.

                                                                                I was very serious about photography for a while, but haven’t spent much time on it recently.

                                                                                I code up small open source projects and put them on Github. Lately all in Common Lisp, but also C++, Python, Haskell, and a few others.

                                                                                I also read quite a bit, usually books on computing/tech, photography, the outdoors, Colorado history, and stuff people recommend to me, but also on whatever else I’ve been doing, so lately music related.

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                                                                                  I read (mostly non-technical right now), cook, play with my kids, and watch k-dramas with my wife.

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                                                                                    Legos: I’m a big fan of the Technic sets, have been since I was a kid, working on a 4000 piece Bucket Excavator right now, it’s pretty great (10 year old me is very proud of what I’ve accomplished).

                                                                                    Guitar: I’ve been playing for almost 22 years now, I’m pretty mediocre, but I love it.

                                                                                    RPGs and Board Games: I DM a couple D&D 5e games w/ some folks online, I occasionally get to play. I’ve been playing a lot of Twilight Struggle recently too; really enjoying it as a break from Chess (which has been my go to, though mostly these days I just do Chess problems instead of playing for real). Once again, I am aggressively mediocre at most competitive board games, but I like to think I’m pretty good at the RPG stuff.

                                                                                    Woodworking: I’ve recently started doing some woodworking, putting a shop together, mostly building stuff for around the house and futzing in Sketchup and Solidworks (working for a big company has some perks, spare licenses float around and aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people). TBH I’m not sure if I like the CAD part or the building part more.

                                                                                    Those are the big ones, I used to spend a lot of time playing video games, but I don’t as much these days, when I do, it’s generally glorified board games (a reasonable amount of EUIV and Dwarf Fortress still happens).

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                                                                                      It’s Lego bricks, damnit :) (see here).

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                                                                                        I honestly call them legos at this point just to annoy other AFoLs. :)

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                                                                                          Can’t argue with that :) Karma to that man!

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                                                                                      • Books - Mostly audiobooks, some e-books, rarely a physical book (space constraints). Here’s a list of books I plan to read this year to get an idea. Or add me on Goodreads! I backfilled 2016 and will try to keep up with updating my progress this year.

                                                                                      • Sport/Exercise - I weight train 3-4 times per week, practice Judo once or twice, and play baseball games weekly in season.

                                                                                      • Enjoying live music - I’ve been going to live shows regularly since high school, and still enjoy going immensely. Hip-hop, R&B, ska, metal, punk, indie rock…

                                                                                      • Writing - Trying to write every day so that when I publish something publicly it is more coherent. Right now my bad-to-good ratio is very high, so not very much makes it to my blog

                                                                                      • Studying - Most of my study time is going to becoming literate in Japanese (kanji) and better programming practices. Thinking of taking guitar lessons and cooking lessons, as well, but haven’t been able to carve the time out for it yet.

                                                                                      • Games - I enjoy games a lot, both competitive online games and immersive single-player experiences. Lately those games include Overwatch, The Witcher 3, Hitman, and Doom.

                                                                                      Reading through the answers here, it looks like everyone else is more focused than I am. I’m not sure if this is a flaw with me or just a personality trait. People who accomplish a lot tend to have more of a singular focus and drive, I feel, but I’m not focused on any of these things way above any of the others.

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                                                                                        Machining. I have a tiny shop around a small metalworking lathe. Making adapters and converting camera lenses for the most part, with occasional tool work.

                                                                                        I find this not just a good non computer related activity but also mentally stimulating. Coming up with elaborate fixtures, alignment/measurement strategies and optimal machining plans feels rewarding. There is also a certain self-sufficiency quality of a metalworking lathe, where you can fix or upgrade most of the machine using itself.

                                                                                        As a side effect, experience there was useful when dealing with product development subcontractors at work (for the mechanical side of the product). You can speak the same language and are able to cut through BS and make informed choices.

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                                                                                          I started to worry on the amount of reading I have been actually doing in the past couple of years. Trying to reverse a downward trend and currently I’m reading through H. P. Lovecraft.

                                                                                          Still doing a fair bit of gaming my current rotation is Borderlands/Bloodborne/Bioshock/Diablo.

                                                                                          I picked up running (with the dog) last year, was doing fairly good but slacked off when winter came. Intending to resume that soon.

                                                                                          I’m trying to split the remainder of my time between hacking on OpenBSD and family time (dog walks, watching movies etc.).

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                                                                                            • Work on a variety of hobby apps
                                                                                            • Read (mostly science fiction, fantasy and humour)
                                                                                            • Cook (my least geeky hobby, though it’s actually pretty common among programmers)
                                                                                            • Scrabble study and practice (playing tournaments requires some degree of word study, especially if i want to get my rating up)
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                                                                                              Brazilian Jiujitsu, the human chess

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                                                                                                My main hobbies outside of programming (which I still do at least a day or two a week outside of work) is powerlifting (squat, deadlift, bench), board games, video games and hiking. Although I also spend a ton of time on Youtube just watching videos about topics I’m interested in at the moment.

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                                                                                                  BMX - mainly coaching (but a bit of riding: gates yesterday)

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                                                                                                    Oooh, BMX is neat. I ride MTB and really appreciate the skill BMX riders have to sling their bikes around the way they do, when I have trouble bunny hopping more than a few inches :P

                                                                                                    Never saw BMX gates before - looks like some kind of racing?

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                                                                                                      The gates are the start of the race - if you get a good gate winning is easier :~)

                                                                                                      I came to BMX at 40 when my daughter took it up and it has improved my road and MTB cycling enormously - I thought I was a competent cyclist until I took up BMX :~)

                                                                                                      On a lobste.rs related note I think that the skills that make a good coach are also useful for developing one’s practice in the computing side of life - but I currently lack any research to back up this claim.