Finally received confirmation of my wok order from a shop in San Francisco that Kenji Lopez-Alt recommended. It’s carbon steel so it will require some care, but should treat me well! I also ordered his book about wok cooking, which should be a lot of fun to use for recipes and to learn from.

Got dinner at an authentic Sichuan restaurant in Medford and everything was incredible albeit on the upper threshold of my spice tolerance! I hope that spice tolerance is something that can be improved as I would like to be able to eat it more without the pain which distracts from the flavor.

Feeling more on track with my research work as more ideas seem to be crystallizing and are getting documented in useful ways. Just gotta keep up the momentum and make incremental progress each day. I think so far my focus on trying to emphasize the basics has been paying dividends so far for the reasons that I thought it would; basically being able to think at a higher level since you don’t need to worry about the details as much and can focus on the concepts. Perhaps this is a fundamental problem about any complex material in the sense that it can only be simplified to a degree and that some level of internalized knowledge is necessary to be able to work in the complex space more easily. Notation and definitions are examples of this. I think the issue still stands with that the right system for notations and definitions can impact that ease at which someone can enter the complex idea space.

Daily Listening

Really still cannot get over the plunderphonics album. Glad I was able to get a vinyl copy of it from its first indie-pressing as without sample clears it may never see the light of day again!

I do also keep coming back to this breakbeat-bossa nova song.

Daily Reading

I know understand why Mishima was so into the Hagakure, and retroactively I understand a lot of what he was saying. Makes me want to revisit some of his works or read some new ones. Take this quote for example: “If one is faced with two options of life or death, simply settle for death”. I think Death is not meant to be taken quite so literally, but rather it is to encourage acting “without restraint” in that if you are acting without achieving your full potential you are acting impurely. By concerning yourself with life or death you are not acting to the best of your abilities/honorably. If you think of life or death as success or failure then I think it makes more sense, although I don’t think this is quite right either. I think it is at least helpful in understanding that there is more to it than just the literal interpretation however.