Weeknotes: 079

Work

This section’s a bit light because I’m currently having internet issues (which, oddly, are breaking everything but SSH) so I can’t go and see what I did this week. So:

  • I was on support for Monday and Tuesday.
  • On, I think, Thursday we switched to working remotely by default.
  • I went back to search on Wednesday, and spent the next few days reviewing and finishing off work left by people who had left the team.

The Plague

It’s been an interesting week. The advice changed from, effectively, “don’t worry about it too much, just wash your hands and be careful” to “stay at home unless it’s really necessary.” I’m not going to pretend to have looked into the scientific advice behind that change (and it would be inappropriate for me to criticise it anyway) but, needless to say, it seems to have caught a lot of people by surprise and caused some panic.

GDS started saying “you should take your laptops home with you” on Monday, and switched to “you should work from home” a couple of days later. I went to the office on Thursday to collect a package, and it was eerily empty.

The panic buying has been a pain. I’ve been trying to buy meatballs for three days now, Tesco has been ransacked every time I’ve visited. Hopefully the that’ll calm down soon. About the only thing people aren’t panic buying is fresh fruit, so at least I’m being healthy.

One unforeseen effect of being at home all day is that I’m drinking so much oat milk. I started buying it a while ago to make fruit smoothies, but I think I like it as a drink by itself more than regular milk.

Miscellaneous

Books

I read volume 11 of Overlord, and now need to wait until June for the next one to be available. That’s the problem with light novels: they take a couple of hours to read, but months (or years) to be written.

I started reading The Nyarlathotep Cycle, a collection of stories featuring Nyarlathotep collected by Robert M. Price. The introduction gives a bit of theology behind Nyarlathotep, and it has some interesting ideas I’d not really thought about before. For example, Nyarly is described as “the soul of the Outer Gods”, which I took to just be ominous flavour text, but Robert M. Price does a good job at tying it into eastern mythology, and compares Nyarly to the Brahman, the ultimate reality. So while Azathoth is described as being the centre of all things, and that is true in one sense, it’s a higher truth that Nyarly is the centre of all things, and Azathoth is just one aspect of Nyarly that we perceive with our lesser minds (as are all the Outer Gods, and even that which we perceive as Nyarly is not the true Nyarly). That’s a much more horrifying interpretation than it just being ominous but meaningless flavour text.

Each story in the collection has a little introduction tying it into the others. So far I’ve read:

  • Alhireth-Hotep the Prophet, by Lord Dunsany
  • The Sorrow of Search, by Lord Dunsany
  • Nyarlathotep, by H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats
  • Silence Falls on Mecca’s Walls, by Robert E. Howard
  • Nyarlathotep (the poem), by H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Dreams in the Witch House, by H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Haunter in the Dark, by H. P. Lovecraft

And that’s the end of the Lovecraft stories in this collection, the rest are all different authors, many of whom I’ve not read anything from before.

I’ve ordered a few more weird fiction books from Amazon, which will hopefully be arriving next week.

Games

I bought Two Point Hospital on Steam yesterday evening, and have now sunk 11 hours into it. It’s a fun hospital management game which feels fairly simple, but I keep running into problems actually getting my hospital running smoothly.

And in this game, a “pandemic” is just a condition where people have pans stuck to their heads.

I would have more links here, but the web isn’t working for me right now.