I have tried to take advantage of extra time during the COVID-19 pandemic

My wife Carol and I have been practicing social distancing and wearing masks for shopping for over 5 months now. Welcome to the new normal and a crazy world in which entertaining and seeing friends is done by meeting in people's yards and everyone bringing their own "meal in a bag."

I enjoy writing so I have been updating my recent books, starting with Loving Common Lisp, or the Savvy Programmer's Secret Weapon and A Lisp Programmer Living in Python-Land: The Hy Programming Language. These are free to read online and licensed with Creative Commons Share and Share Alike, No Commercial Reuse, so you can also find copies on the web (hopefully up to date copies!).

Last month I started a much larger project: I have not updated my book Practical Artificial Intelligence Programming With Java since the fourth edition was published in 2013. I have discarded a lot of older material like exert systems, and have three new chapters on the semantic web and also a new chapter on deep learning. I also copied the material on anomaly detection from my Power Java book that is now discontinued and updated that material. Lastly, I am revisiting how readers install, run, and experiment with the code examples. I am still using maven but I am being more consistent, all of the examples are also installable libraries, and now some of the examples use the libraries developed in other examples.

For fun, I have been buying more material for my Oculus Quest VR device. Favorites include ping pong, racket ball, the Star Wars Darth Vader Immortal 3 volume set, and I enjoy a lot of 3D art that people post.

For exercise I try to hike every morning from 5:30am to about 6:30am (I live in the mountains of Central Arizona and even at high altitude it gets warmer later in the day). My wife and I cancelled our gym memberships so I bought myself some weights that I keep in my home office. I am a huge fan of the Apple Watch and I use it to track health and fitness activities.

I hope that you, dear reader, are doing well in these crazy times we are living in.


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