Week in Review, 2015-W53.

(December 28, 2015 — January 3, 2016)

I posted exactly one time in 2015. This is (obviously) the smallest non-zero number of posts that a year has ever had. In any case, for a while now I’ve been thinking about doing a “Week in Review” post. The idea was inspired by Audrey Watters’s similar feature (most recent example, at the time of this posting), but I’m going to try to incorporate some aspects of the now page movement, too.

Although they are not commonly used in the US, week numbers are fairly commonly used in other parts of the world, and there is, of course, an ISO standard for them. Those rules dictate that week 1 of a new year always contains the year’s first Thursday. As the first Thursday of 2016 is not until January 7, this dictates that last week was a somewhat curious “leap week” in the ISO week date system. Since I hope to make posts weekly, labeling them with the week number seems sensible enough.

ISO weeks also start on Monday1. While I’m generally averse to weeks starting on Monday, I hope to usually make these posts on Sunday, which makes a Monday through Sunday review period perfectly sensible.

Will this cause me to blog more often? Maybe.

Travel

  • Nope.
  • Upcoming: Las Vegas (On my short list of American cities that I don’t care to visit. But, hey, any recommendations on food or shows?)

Research

  • Finished commenting a couple of paper drafts, despite not working very much.

Teaching

  • Started thinking a bit about my course for next semester, a graduate course on Information Theory.

Reading and Watching

  • Working through my annual Instapaper-zero project, which I have traditionally finished by the end of the year. Still about 50 articles to go, but if I can keep up the pace I should be done in a couple of weeks.
  • The feverish pace at which I’m plowing through my Instapaper queue makes it all sortof run together, but this was delightful: Haruki Murakami: The Moment I Became a Novelist2
  • Becky and I have been watching Madam Secretary Season 1 on Netflix. Entertaining.

Family and Friends

  • M and N each spent some nights with their maternal grandparents in Maryland. (C went before Christmas.)
  • While N was away, I took M and C to a basketball doubleheader at VT on Wednesday. The men were slaughtered by West Virginia—it was ugly; the women beat Furman handily.
  • And on Sunday, my mom and I took all three of the kids to see the VT women face Boston College in their conference opener. Big win, 58-33.

Health and Fitness

  • Completed the Runner’s World Run Streak on Friday, having run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, inclusive. Will probably take a week off running, now.
  • Weight: 191.6, which is almost as high as it was last year before I lost 12 pounds.

Other

  • Made some progress on two woodworking projects: building a new headboard for our bedroom and building a beer tote.3
  • Made unscheduled improvements to the backyard fence, to keep Houdini dog inside.
  • Made the Croatian Poppy Seed Pound Cake from Dr. Drang’s blog, which is quite delicious, but baked to well done in only 1:05.

  1. This is, in fact, the source of the Thursday rule mentioned earlier. If a week runs Monday through Sunday, then the week containing the first Thursday of the year is the first (Monday–Sunday) week in which a majority of days belong to the new year. 

  2. I haven’t read any of Haruki Murakami’s novels. But I read a book he wrote about running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which was quite beautiful. Maybe I should read one of his novels. 

  3. I am hard pressed to come up with anything that I need less than this beer tote. But it looked easy and fun. If it comes out well, I have a couple of friends that might enjoy receiving one. 

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