Finished reading: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie is a good continuation of a great series. Includes some interesting ideas about AI πŸ“š

Finished reading: Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson has a good twist on the humans-colonizing-other-worlds narrative, along with his usual, highly technical descriptions πŸ“š

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Porto trip

The Porto half of our Portugal trip was great fun. We stayed on the west side of Bonfim, relatively close to the historic district and walked (seemingly) all over Porto. The one exception was taking the 500 bus out to the ocean for the afternoon.

Terra-cotta rooftops dominate the foreground with a historic cityscape rising on a hill under a vibrant blue sky with scattered clouds. Three individuals are smiling and standing side by side outdoors in a green, leafy environment. They appear happy and are informally dressed. A river winds through a vibrant cityscape beneath a blue sky scattered with clouds; buildings line its banks, and boats speckle the water. Two people are smiling at a table with beverages, in a sunny outdoor setting. Traditional boats float on calm water, under a large arch bridge, with a clear sky above and a cityscape in the background. Four people are posing for a selfie with a scenic city backdrop under a cloudy sky. They are smiling and wearing casual attire with sunglasses. A smiling man and woman pose closely, with glasses of wine and beer on a table in front, at an outdoor seating area. Sunset clouds glow orange above a hillside town with houses and a river in the distance, framed by dark metal railings and tree leaves.

We also took a day trip out to the Douro Valley for a couple of winery tours and port tastings. Well worth the trip for gorgeous scenery and tasty wine.

A verdant valley with vineyards and a winding river, with houses scattered throughout, under a cloudy sky. A boat moored by a river, with green hills in the background under a blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds. Five glasses rest on a table, containing clear, golden, and dark liquids, suggesting a tasting event. The wooden surface and glassware convey a social setting. Three people are posing together with smiles, hugged closely, in front of a scenic backdrop showcasing a river and rolling hills under a cloudy sky.

Lisbon is next!

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Today’s run was a fun exploration of Porto

Traditional boats float on calm water with a metal arch bridge in the background, under a partly cloudy sky. Text overlay: HealthFit, Mon, May 20, 24, Ultra, RUNNING, DISTANCE 12.17 km, TIME 1hr 14min, AVG PACE 6:06/km.

Gorgeous views in Porto. We’re having a great first day here

View of the Douro River with orange terraced roofs

πŸ”— Variations on the Theme of Silence

Silences that close us off, refusing connection, shoring up the ego at others’ expenseβ€”those are dead silences. But the letting-go sort, the silences that hold space or keep vigil for someone else? They are alive.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Nice to be mostly on trails for today’s run

Gravel trail with blue sky. Running metrics: 15.5 km, 1 h20m

🎧 Perfect albums

On Hemispheric Views 110, Jason asked:

Pick in your mind a perfect album. And I think it’s mostly open to interpretation, but I’m kind of thinking an album that you would say you could just start from beginning, let it run all the way through, without skipping songs, without moving around, just front to back and just sit there and do nothing else and just listen to that whole album.

What would that album be?

An important, though fraught, question.

I completely agree with Andrew that OK Computer and Dark Side of the Moon both belong on the list. After that, there’s great opportunity to overthink this. Instead, I’m going with albums that were significant to me and, so, came to mind quickly.

The Joshua Tree by U2 (1987)

Violator by Depeche Mode (1990)

Ten by Pearl Jam (1991)

Us by Peter Gabriel (1992)

The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails (1994)

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco (2001)

Give up by The Postal Service (2003)

Funeral by Arcade Fire (2004)

For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver (2007)

I also find it interesting that nothing comes to mind from the last 20 years. Is that because no one makes perfect albums anymore? Seems unlikely. More likely that our musical tastes get set when we’re younger and that I rarely listen to an actual album anymore. I can change this.

Finished reading: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is entertaining. Takes a relatively simple premise about parallel worlds and really works through the implications πŸ“š

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ A misty run this morning

A rocky lakeshore with trees, birds flying, and overlay text from a fitness app about running stats: distance 16.98 km, time 1hr 30 min, pace 5'18km
Auto-generated description: A GPS-tracked map showcases a 109.4 km cycling route completed in 4 hours and 6 minutes with an elevation gain of 605 meters, passing through areas near Vaughan, Newmarket, and close to Rouge National Urban Park.

πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ Nice to get out of the basement for a proper ride outside. First one of the season!

The coffe and pastries halfway through were very helpful.

Finished reading: Jinx by Matt Gemmell is a fun read. I enjoy these characters and the settings Gemmell places them in πŸ“š

πŸ“· Day 22 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Blue

Clear blue sky with a single, slender contrail is present amidst faint wisps of clouds.

πŸ“· Day 21 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Mountain

Snow-covered mountains under a blue sky, with small figures skiing on slopes in the foreground, amidst a vast, rugged alpine landscape.

πŸ“· Day 20 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Ice

A whiskey glass holding amber liquid and a large ice cube, resting on a dark surface with a blurred indoor background.

πŸ“· Day 19 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Birthday

A child blows birthday candles on a cake, with a woman assisting, in a room with patterned wallpaper.

πŸ“· Day 18 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Mood

A child is crying at a dining table with a blurred motion of hands, near an orange plate with food remnants.

πŸ“· Day 17 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Transcendence

A boat docked on a serene lake reflects the cloudy sunset sky, surrounded by tranquil trees and a sandy shore.

πŸ“· Day 14 of the April Photoblogging Challenge

Cactus

A bottle of “El Tesoro AΓ±ejo Tequila” sits on a table, featuring labels with text indicating a traditional process and a crafted distillery background.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Classic spring weather on today’s run: started with rain and then cleared up into a sunny day πŸŒ§οΈπŸ•ΆοΈ

Slightly hazy sun behind wispy clouds over water