Current Projects

I thought I would complement my look back at the blog posts I wrote last year with a list of my ongoing or planned projects – some of which generate posts here, some of which don’t. The stalled and planned sections of the list aren’t really comprehensive, they’re more the things on my mind at the moment out of the great sea of possibilities.

This blog: Ongoing. First on the list, as it probably takes up most of my project related time. I’ve got a few things left on my to-do list for how the site functions and looks, but mostly I’m at the stage of just keeping on writing.

Read All the Fiction: Ongoing. This has gone slower than I expected, but the only way to speed it up would be to stop reading anything else and that would be a shame.

Chapter by Chapter: Ongoing. I’m not sure if I’ve slowed down my reading of non-fiction too much by doing this, but I’m definitely getting more out of the books I’m reading by doing it this way so I think it works out OK.

Listening to all our music: Ongoing. I’ve known for a while that I’ve completely lost track of what music we own and what we don’t – we have around 27,500 tracks by around 2700 different artists, so there’s a lot of stuff there. And J buys most of it so it’s not like I remember why I chose something from the name of it because I didn’t do the choosing. So I’m listening through in alphabetical order (by artist, and machine alphabetised). I was writing about it on facebook & G+ but I stopped because I was struggling to come up with new things to say, so I figured it must be getting boring. Still listening tho, and I’m up to An in the alphabet so there’s a long way to go yet!

Courses on Future Learn: Ongoing. I occasionally look at Open University courses, wondering about something humanities based as that’s where my interests are these days but they’re pretty expensive for a whim. So I decided I should look for free alternatives and found Future Learn. I signed up for a course on Hamlet that started a couple of weeks ago, and so far it’s been interesting and different. I’ve signed up for another couple of courses (one on more Shakespeare, one on Richard III’s era of English history) that are going to run later in the year. So far so good, but I’m not yet sure if it’s going to end up taking too much of my time away from other things.

Photography: Ongoing. I’ve a huge backlog of photos that need to be processed from various trips, so I feel a little dissatisfied with this. And it would be nice if I could get myself to the point where my blog photo of the week was a photo I’d actually taken that week. I also have some more arty sub-projects under this that haven’t really gone anywhere.

Genealogy: Ongoing. I have been looking into mine & J’s family history off and on for years now – I think I’ve still only scratched the surface of what’s possible to find out, there are whole branches I’ve not even touched. I have a database and also paper copies of most of the info in the database, but I’m not that fond of the machine generated reports from the programme I’m using (Gramps). I either need to learn python and write some “better” reports or I need to figure out a consistent style and then write them myself. But then that takes away from doing the research, so I normally put off thinking about it. The last few months of last year I’d got good at ring fencing some time to work on this each week, but that’s slipped again – I think I need to shake up my to-do lists in general and add projects to defined periods. And I need to do a bit of project planning for this in a written down fashion.

Weather Data: Stalled. I have about 30 years of data that first me & my brother and later my parents have gathered of the weather at my parents’ house. It’s not professional quality data (obviously), and I’m not even sure it’s entirely internally consistent (changing thermometers across the period for instance), but it’s still potentially interesting. I have entered some of it into the computer (a year, perhaps?) and I have a perl script that does some basic analysis and graph generation from the data. Realistically I don’t have time for this right now, but I think the first step needs to be to write up a proper to-do list. I know I need to design the webpages for the output and also think carefully about what analysis I can do and how I should display that. I also need to do the data entry. Data’s not going anywhere tho, so it’s on hold for now.

Embroidery: Stalled, oh so very stalled. I’ve got two pieces of embroidery in an unfinished state and I don’t think I’ve done any sewing in over 5 years. I do enjoy it when I do it, but it’s pretty low down the list of my priorities.

Learning to play the bass: Stalled. We have a bass guitar, we have Rocksmith for the PS3 – I just need to ring fence some time to practice every week (preferably every day but once a week would be a start).

Reading Shakespeare: Planned. I have a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, as published by the RSC, and I’m aware that really I only know the plays that were in our copy of Lambs Tales from Shakespeare that I read as a child. So I know a few plots, and would like to get to know the rest. I have a vague plan of reading through each play and writing a post about each scene or act. This is unlikely to get off the ground in the near future, and would be best left till after I’ve done the Future Learn course on Shakespeare and his world, which will hopefully give me more insight into the plays.

Crusader Kings II Stories: Planned. The game Crusader Kings II is a mix of roleplay and strategy with a medieval history base. I have a plan of one day using a play through of the game to generate the plot for a series of little stories, but have never got round to starting it.

I suspect I’m not using my time optimally at the moment – a sit down with my calendar and my to-do lists and re-shuffling things might help with that. I’m very much a creature of habit, so if I can set up some routines where I get round to doing things on a more regular basis then I’ll get more done of everything.

I’m also half-looking for a project that gives me an excuse to buy a notebook (or two or …), I always lust after the Paper Blanks ones when I go into Waterstones or Smiths because they have such gorgeous covers. The only project with a “lab book” is the genealogy one and that’s both utilitarian and is less than half used, so it’s not providing me with an excuse for a book. But I don’t need any more projects 😉