April 30, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Update (Or, WTF Happened to April?) covid-19: day 763 | US: GA | info | act

The days have a tendency to slip away at the end of the semester. We’ve been busy trying to take advantage of nice weather that’s slipping away. I still have the remnants of a spring cold likely brought on my the combination of pollen and my second Covid-19 booster. I’ve been getting the usual what-can-I-do? and can-I-get-some-xtra-credit emails from several students while I try to keep up with the assignments coming in. We’ve had some outings lately, too, notably the Earth Day market in Tattnall Park and a free jazz concert on campus. Meanwhile, we struggle to keep the AC off as long as possible.

I have been using Lidarr to make a lossless music collection on the server. I have horded so much music over the years: everything from lossly junk from the days of Napster to hi-res digital files purchased mostly from HDtracks. The latter sounded great when I had a real stereo, but the Sonos app won’t play them. Anyway, I thought I’d sort and consolidate, and Lidarr is a pretty good tool for doing so, especially as it allows me to use a simple renaming algorithm to sort my collection. This whole process went pretty well at first, but as I get to stuff that I’m not too familiar with, it’s come to a crawl. On the up side, I’m listening to music I haven’t in years and (re)discovering some great stuff. Done between grading, it allows me to keep my sanity.

I finally finished Peter F. Hamilton’s epic Void Trilogy that I’ve been reading now for what seems like a decade. It continues the story of the Commonwealth, and like those two massive books, it probably could have been shorter. Still, the guy can plot: it’s pretty entertaining space opera. I’ve started Roadside Picnic, but have not made much progress yet.

Autumn and I have been watching TV together! This is exciting because we have very different interests when it comes to out evening screen time.[1] We went through Nine Perfect Strangers and Inventing Anna. Both were pretty good, but a bit too long, especially the latter. I liked the ambiguous end of Strangers, like we’ve just come through some kind of acid trip and don’t really know what the hell just happened. Anna is about the delusions of a young woman in an Instagram-fueled world. The show claims everything is true, except for the made-up bits. We have no way of distinguishing between them, which is part of the appeal and the problem of this world. Julia Gardner was good, but it just makes me ready for the final episodes of Ozark which became available last night.

I’ve been watching the second season of Picard and Halo. The former is fun, and the latter is just confusing. Seriously, why in the world would they produce a high-budget science fiction television series based on a video game when they could, for example, develop Hamilton’s novels into a Game-of-Thrones-quality, multi-season show? And do we really need another military sci-fi show? I guess it’s been interesting enough to keep watching. I am looking forward to Strange New Worlds starting soon.

Oh, and I can’t forget about Better Call Saul running its final season. It is good, and we’re only three episodes in. I spent last month getting caught up with the series, and I’m glad I did. It’s not quite on the Greek-tragedy level of Breaking Bad but it is damn close. It makes me want to revisit BB and maybe write and publish that essay I’ve been thinking about for ten years.

OK, I’m ready for May, I guess.


  1. We started with The Great, but that was not for her—mostly because of the mild violence and cruelty—the very things I liked about it. Hm. Granted, it wasn’t as light as I thought it would be.