What a combination!

So far lockdown has been productive. Not that I have been doing a lot, to be honest. The smart Hisense TV I bought has been punching above its weight. My Chinese apps have no problem connecting to it. Initially, I read some reviews that talked of apps about similar TV models. You can install apps on it though they are limited and more general. Connecting from your phone is far more convenient. Hisense has westernised their TV offering so there are all of the main players. No, I am not sponsored by this company lol. I am glad it was pretty straightforward releasing my short stories. I found an acceptable way to collate the stories that I felt worked. I am still using Latex digital markup software for producing a clean PDF ready for printing. Then using ‘pandoc’ for converting the markup to Docx in a shell environment. Then I will finish editing the Docx file and markup for publishing. 

Most of my editing was done in Linux because I feel comfortable in that environment. Now that Windows has WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) you can do most of this stuff but I still feel that it’s a little convoluted. One day though it may be a little more streamlined. Basically, WSL is great and I use it a lot but I am still not totally comfortable in Windows. I am using Windows at the moment but when it comes to shell environments I always prefer Linux. I hooked my Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu to the new TV. It is strange having such a big screen. I had to scale a lot of things up to deal with the scale of the screen and the 4K display. Next week I will get a wireless keyboard and mouse. At the moment most transmissions of ‘delta’ are in retail environments. Outdoor activities have been free of community transmissions so far.

The case numbers are still relatively low and let’s hope the weekend doesn’t lead to too much of a spike in cases. I went for a walk today because the weather is lovely and I wore a mask and kept my distance from people. The past week though was a little cold and overcast and it was very easy to catch a cold. I basically headed home as soon as I felt a chill because I knew that staying out any longer would lead to a cold. There has been a lot of COVID testing and I think that is why. Also, the ‘delta’ variant presents itself as a cold initially. Today is actually warm for a winters day. I have kept out of retail environments mostly. I am grateful even though getting shopping delivered takes days at the moment. I am due to get basic supplies early this evening. This means tomorrow I may need to grab some bits and pieces from the shops. 

Although I will watch the news and see what transmissions are like tomorrow. Most of the retail places I plan to go to are only small but I am risk-averse at the moment. Also, I have a lot of food in my house. My shopping delivery is mainly pure water, kitty litter and stuff like that. I hope people are staying safe and keeping well. We are still in challenging times. Looks like the weather is just starting to turn cold again. The clouds are coming in. Let us hope that it isn’t an ominous sign!

I thought I would finish with some brief notes on my short stories. I mentioned in another post that they followed a certain thought pattern which is probably a little paranoid. When I first got back to my Tai Ji and feng shui studies I was quite paranoid. Mainly about my health and there was actually reasons for this. I won’t go into detail because I have mentioned them before in other articles. Eventually, as I practised my Tai Ji for a year and a half I knew I couldn’t keep doing it just because I was afraid. I was fearful and driven to practice. Soon I resolved to relax my attitude and diversify my Tai Ji practice to be more flexible and calm. So my writing followed suit though I kept the paranoid attitude for effect in my writing. I felt it was worthy of the stories and fitting. Within my third year of Tai Ji practice, I was reaping benefits from my holistic carefree approach. The real point is how Tai Ji can lead you to be calmer and less paranoid through physical practice. I also resolved in my mind not to think too much about certain events. People with schizophrenia, though people of all conditions can find meaning in any random event and can overthink things. This type of thinking is great for stories but is a bit annoying for general life. So I felt the first short story ‘Letters from Richard’ had a few moments in it that were interesting. Initially, it was planned to be a longer story. Then I realised that it was better as a short story because it wasn’t something you could extend or hold interest in for too long. It is a little bit challenging and that would be hard to read in long-form. The second story was meant to be a short story and is humorous at times but also a little challenging due to its content. The last story is just plain nuts but I quite like it. I definitely couldn’t subject anyone to longer work than I did. Yet each story flows into the next quite neatly. I think by the end my calmer nature finishes the last story off quite well. This makes the effort of reading the three worthwhile. At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Only some hardened types will be able to read this little collection. It basically covers mental illness, junkies and the supernatural. What a combination!

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