So, mid-January. This blog is turning into an occasional travelogue more than anything, and there's a few reasons for that. Deadlines are looming, and when I do have some free time I'd rather spend it with Ritsuko, read a book or study Japanese.
But another reason is my new calendar. When I first became smart-phonified, I gave up on a paper calendar. It seemed so convenient to have it on the phone and on my laptop, and I could also synchronize work calendars with my own. But I never quite managed to become satisfied with it. I tried several calendar apps and tried to adapt but it just never really worked well.
I finally realized the problem: An electronic calendar is a timeline. Everything has a specific time and date, and everything is connected to that timeline. But I've always used a calendar more like a notebook. The basic structure is a note about something. One note can be anything from a single word to half a page of text and drawings. And one note might contain several datetimes — or none at all.
A two-day conference is a good example. I'd add the entire two days as a single note or two, with flight times and numbers, the rough conference schedule, talks I want to hear, hotel info and so on. During the conference I'd add notes about talks I hear, paper references, sketches or maps. Since I know when I wrote it down I can always find it again later.
How is a paper calendar connected to this blog? I need to practice my Japanese. And since I now always have paper and a pen with me, I've started writing a blog/diary/running notes in Japanese. Since it's in longhand, I have to actually remember how to write the kanji, not just pick them of a list on the screen. And with a pen I have to decide what to say and how to say it before I start writing. It's a lot of fun, and good practice, but it does cut into my time writing here.
I'll post about our New Years trip to Hokkaido eventually. So far I haven't even developed the film so it will take a while.