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Quarantine reading and writing

A chorus girl, Pasha, is in her dressing room watching her lover Kolpakov lounge around in his slippers (clearly, he’s there often). The weather is hot outside, they’re waiting for the day to end to go for a walk.

Suddenly there’s knocking at the door. Kolpakov hides and Pasha answers the door.

A beautiful woman is at the door. She is upset and embarrassed. She tells Pasha she is looking for Kolpakov — has he been there? Of course not, Pasha lies.

The beautiful woman tells Pasha she is Kolpakov’s wife! And Kolpakov is about to…

Just my notes …

(These are my personal Combine notes. It’s not meant to be a tutorial, but a refresher for someone who is learning Combine).

Combine is the recent framework from Apple that gives you a pub-sub model for data handling in a Swift (and SwiftUI app).

There are publishers, and there are subscribers.

Publishers have two outputs: a value of some Type, and an Error of some Error Type.

Subscribers have two inputs: a value of some Type, and an Error of some Error Type.

Publishers provide access to a pile of data and make it serially available…

Quarantine reading and writing

This is a long story in seven parts. It’s one of Chekov’s best stories, written after his active work in prison reform. More on this to come.


At the Progonnaya Train Station in the town of Progonnaya, somewhere in Russia, Matvey Terehov is singing at a service on the Eve of the Annunciation, in the middle of a howling snow storm. He’s a forty-five year old factory worker who became ill and can’t work anymore. He has to live with his cousin Yakov and other family in the tavern they both own near the train…

Reading in the time of the quarantine


Kunin is a young man of thirty. He returns from Petersburg to his home distict and sends for the local priest, Father Yakov Smirnov (yes, like the comedian).

They’ve never met. Kunin is surprised by the youth of the priest: he’s twenty-eight.

Kunin dislikes the young priest immediately. He seems womanish, half formed. He seems more like someone disguised as a priest.

They sit down and try to talk. Kunin is freshly repulsed. He’s embarrassed that this man was made a priest.

Kunin plows into the business at hand. The Marshal of Nobility…

At the speed of quarantine.


A man is standing on the bank of a river waiting for a ferry boat. The torrents of spring have overflowed the riverbanks and flooded both sides.

The stars above are so plentiful, they too seem to have come out for the holiday procession he’s attending.

It’s so dark out he can hardly see, even with the stars. Then he can make out a figure: a peasant holding a stick.


Is he waiting for the ferry boat? No, he’s here to see ‘the illumination’. We’re not quite sure what he means at this point.


The short stories, one at a time.

Another story about priests. Interesting thing about the Bishop, written in 1902, as Chekov was dying. He was writing about how it felt to die, staring at it nakedly, the way Rembrandt stared at himself with remorseless seeing in his self portraits.

In this story, we open with a priest, Father Orlov, who is being plagued with another Priest, an old man of sixty-five, Father Anastasi, who won’t leave after a three hour visit and is a little drunk. …

The short stories, one at a time.

Last night I read, “The Bishop.” The story is told in four parts.


The story begins with a priest — a Bishop — leading the Palm Sunday service in his church. It’s a beautiful service but hot and foggy with incense, and as he’s serving people palms, flooded with emotion at the beauty of the experience, he thinks he sees his mother taking a palm from him — but it can’t be, he hasn’t seen his mother in nine years.

After the service he goes home to the monastery where he lives, and a cleric tells him his mother…

during the coronavirus plague

(I read MOTRD a couple of nights ago, for the first time, at a friend’s suggestion. Beats me how this story got past me, as I read tons of Poe when I was in high school, and had a beautiful little edition, bound in leather and printed on bible-thin paper, of the complete tales and poems. So this was my first reading of it.

I wanted to see how much detail I’d retained from reading it two nights ago. Quite a lot, it turns out:)

In the Masque of the Red Death, a horrible plague is…

Testing HTTPS with Charles Proxy on iOS Apps

  1. First, make sure your iOS device and the Mac you’re running Charles on are connected to the same WiFi network. This MUST happen.
  2. Second, go to your WiFi settings in iOS, select the WiFi network you’re using, then scroll all the way and select Configure Proxy.
  3. In the Configure Proxy menu, choose Manual, then add the IP address of your Mac to the Server field, and (usually for Charles) add 8888 to Port field. Now the phone will send all HTTP traffic through Charles on the Mac.
  4. On the Mac, turn off…

with a mac host running a mac guest

I use an HHKB 2 keyboard. Works great with a Windows VM and Ubuntu VM on a Catalina macOS host.

The problem is with a Catalina macOS guest, on a Catalina macOS host.

The problem is, shift-2 no longer gives me an @ as I expected. After poking around, I discovered my [ key had become my @ key.

I discovered that my shift-2 now produced a “ symbol — the printer’s open-quote.

I opened up system’s preference on macOS Catalina, in the VM, and discovered in keyboard input sources the reason…


More Neanderthal DNA markers than 95 % of 23andMe customers. Don’t give me your pro-Cro-Magnon propaganda.

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