Weekly Head Voices #68: Harsh Autumn Weekends.

Noeska’s new weekly status update blog posts inspired me to get mine back on the road again. To be more precise, the observation that I really enjoyed being updated in this fashion with a far-away friend’s exploits hints at the possibility that, somewhere out there, there might be someone who finds it similarly enjoyable to read mine! (Long ago I learnt the trick from Swimgeek, who is still going strong with his weekly updates.)

You know the rules: We write short summaries of our week’s activities, often in the form of bullet lists. I’m going to break both rules this time by rambling on about the past three weeks, and by showing you a bunch of photos I took on the weekends.

I’d like to show you how the autumn weekends here in SA can be quite harsh, but first I need to geek out for a bit (do not fear non-nerds, there are pictures after this brief interlude!):

  • I’m back with Emacs. <3 <3 <3 On my continuous search for the ultimate information organizing system I have now arrived editing the Markdown files contained in a git-backed Gollum wiki with my Emacs 24.3. I even wrote a (nerdy) blog post explaining how you to can configure your Emacs to do language-specific fenced code-block syntax highlighting. Somehow Emacs and I are just getting along much better than we did before my Vim period (dark dark days). I think it’s because I’ve decided to embrace the Lisp, which brings me to:
  • In my copious amounts of free time, I was searching for a functional language to learn. The Erlang tutorial was enjoyable, but I was not too crazy about what I read about the details of deploying Erlang systems. I bought Learn you a Haskell for Great Good and started reading it, but somehow Haskell didn’t tickle me enough. Then, probably infected by having to look at Emacs Lisp again, I picked up the Clojure Programming book. Now that pushed all of the right buttons! I haven’t this much fun with a new language since I picked up Python, and my mind has been expanded at a few points as well (what do you mean the code that I write IS the AST?! (Picture my Neo face saying: “Whoa.”)). Clojure is a Lisp dialect that does a pretty good job of walking the line between beauty and pragmatism. Built on the JVM (and having full interop with the rest of Java) it also has STM (software transactional memory), agents, and async channels all built-in. As if that wasn’t enough, I get to use Emacs with the CIDER package to play with it. (M-x cider-jack-in starts up the Clojure REPL and then… JACKS ME IN.)

Err, I might have exhausted my nerd quota for the week. Let’s do the rest of the Weekly Head Voices in pictures!

Three weekends ago I went to visit the Spice Route farm in the Paarl with family and friends. Besides the coffee roastery, the chocolatier, the winery and the two restaurants, this farm also houses the Cape Brewing Company, a magical place that produces delicious craft beers, which you can taste, and take home with you. The view is not too shabby either:


The view from the Spice Route farm is Not Too Shabby(tm)

On the topic of delicious craft beers, THIS, my dear readers, is The Darling Bone Crusher, another super tasty white beer constructed with much love in the town called Darling:

The Darling Bone Crusher white craft beer

The Darling Bone Crusher white craft beer

… and this is the sun setting on some Milk and Honey, crafted in Knysna (this one is quite good, but their other ale called the Old Wobbly is even nicer):

Craft beer from the land of milk and honey

Craft beer from the land of milk and honey

Lest you think all we do is drink craft beers around here, here’s a photo of the vicious river delta I had to cross during my afternoon fitness activity (this was before we started drinking craft beers again):

Vicious river delta

Vicious river delta

… and here’s a pretty butterfly moth (thanks Stéfan) I just had to take a photo of:

Pretty butterfly in Betty's Bay

Pretty butterfly in Betty’s Bay

On the way back home after another harsh weekend, we were stuck in some sort of traffic jam. After a few minutes inching ahead, we ran into the culprits causing our delay:

Baboons on cars!

Baboons on cars!

(Yes, those are baboons sitting on people’s cars. “Oh, were you planning to drive that sir? You’re going to have to wait until the baboon decides it’s time to go home.”)

The road we were on (the R44 between Gordon’s Bay and Betty’s Bay) is one of the prettiest I know. On another of these autumn weekends, it looked like this:

R44 between Gordon's Bay and Betty's Bay.

R44 between Gordon’s Bay and Betty’s Bay.

The End.