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Here's what keeps me busy at the moment. What?

🌱 First Signs of Spring

We’re approaching the tail end of winter. Whenever I step outside in my garden I can see the first glimpse of life, buds sprouting, and birds starting to find places to nest. This year I’m trying to get a head-start with my garden work. There are quite a lot of trees and shrubs that need to be cut down or trimmed generously to make more room and light for other plants and to open up our garden a little more. Today, I spent most of the day cutting back a lilac tree that has grown way too large, and I’m feeling good about the early progress we’ve made.

In the midst of winter the long darkness and crappy weather tend to start having an effect on my mood - some years worse than others. This year has been a pretty good year and I’m feeling content and am looking forward to spring instead of being frustrated or annoyed. Maybe spending time outside with my dog multiple times a day helped me get through winter, maybe it’s the exercise, maybe it’s the vitamin D supplement I took this year, maybe it’s a mix of all these things.

📚 Reading

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

More science fiction. After hearing a lot of recommendations for “The Expanse” I decided to start this series. With more than 500 pages, the first book it’s not exactly a quick read (and there are 9 in total, not counting the novellas), so this will probably keep me busy for a while if I decide to continue the series. I’m halfway through the first book and so far it’s really not bad. It’s a slowly unravelling mystery with likeable and authentic characters, and it’s a fairly light-hearted read overall. So far, so good.

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All Systems Red by Martha Wells

After finishing the “Hyperion Cantos” I wanted to continue with science fiction. The “Murderbot Diaries” seem to be super popular, and since the first few books are rather short I decided to take the first book for a swing. I’m halfway through and so far it’s been alright. Its a story about a humanoid robot that’s protecting a group of scientists on a planetary mission when things start to go wrong. It’s entertaining enough to keep me reading but I miss some of the depth of “Hyperion”. The cynic attitude of the protagonist is reasonably fun at times but I find that it’s quickly getting old. I’m sure there’ll be more depth once I get deeper into the series though.

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Tidy First? by Kent Beck

Kent Beck’s take on small, structural code improvements, how they enable change and help you build software effectively and sustainably. A refreshing take that on the surface-level compares to Uncle Bob’s “Clean Code” (Beck’s take is better, in my opinion) but goes way beyond that into the economics of software engineering and design. I’ve written down my thoughts in this blog post.

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🎮 Video Games

Beep boop.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Still playing. I’ve sunk a lot of time into this game already and it continues to draw me in. The story, the world building, the quests and adventures, the characters, the role playing capabilities, everything is simply the best I’ve seen in video games in years, if not ever. I still need some time to finish the game but I already know that I’m going to do a second run for sure.

Up next

The next big title I’m looking forward to is Final Fantasy VII - Part 2. Before I get there, though, I’m trying to finish Final Fantasy XVI and the Crisis Core remake. Sounds like it’s going to be a JRPG-heavy year!