§ I’ve developed a symbiotic relationship with one very specific robin.

While continuing to fix up the various stone paths around my yard I noticed that a particular robin would hang out at a careful distance watching me as I work with intent curiosity. After a few days of this, the robin started inching closer, gathering courage. Finally it mustered up enough bravery to hop over just a few feet away from me so that whenever I unearthed one of the large flat stepping stones that comprise the walkway it would excitedly snatch up all of the disgusting insects and grubs underneath.

§ The first few berries have started ripening on the raspberry bush I planted last year. Delicious. The blackberry plan has a ton of fruit on it—maybe a pound in all—but none of them are close to ripe yet.

§ I’ve never been a huge fan of poker—or really card games in general—but I have to say I’ve had a lot of fun playing Zach Gage’s new Puzzmo game Pile-Up Poker over the past week. It tickles the usual puzzle-solving part of my brain and dollops on top the thrill of chance with each new card dealt.

§ My new Kobo arrived on Wednesday. A few initial impressions:

  • The physical device feels nicer than I expected. Yes, it is no doubt plastic but the tolerances seem tight, nothing creaks or flexes, the buttons are good.
  • They’ve plastered the “Kobo” branding in four separate places around the case. Once in the front, once on the back, and twice along the spine. This is one industrial design principle I wish other companies would borrow from Apple. My iPhone doesn’t have “Apple” or “iPhone” written on it anywhere.
  • With the backlight off, the screen is a little bit dimmer than my reMarkable. With it on, it can get unreasonably bright. At night I keep the backlight around 15%, during the day I keep it off.
  • The whole device feels just a little bit more responsive than my reMarkable. Especially when the screen refreshes. It is still an e-ink device though—don’t except anything close to 60fps here.
  • It’s nice to have colors. I’m not really taking advantage of it much now, reading EPUBs, but I expect it will really help with web articles and PDFs.

§ Putting together my ebook collection in Calibre reminded me how meditative it can be to carefully curate a library—fixing metadata and tracking down the best cover art available. It’s something I used to spend hours doing in iTunes before it all went away in favor of music streaming.

§ I did it, I finished I Cheerfully Refuse.

It’s a book set in an apocalyptic world that isn’t about the apocalypse at all. There was something simultaneously cozy and bleak about the entire atmosphere that I found incredibly immersive. The language was uncomplicated, poignant, and bizarre. It’s going to stick with me for a while.

The plot was full of adventure and exploration, hurried along by the stress of tireless pursuit. The protagonist, Rainy, remaining generous and hopeful throughout it all. Through storms, robbery, and tragedy he sailed forward. A minor gripe: the final quarter of the book felt a bit out of place. It should have either been expanded upon or cut entirely. Nevertheless, the book as a whole was exceptional. I could see myself re-reading it in the future.

I started the same author’s first book, Peace Like a River, to fill the time until Moonbound is released.

§ Monday is WWDC. Rumors have been few and far between this year so I really don’t know what to expect—I’m looking forward to it. If the past is any indication this will also be the last time I’ll have a stable phone for a while since I always inevitably jump on the iOS betas as soon as they’re released.

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