Weekend Fun

Here's what I wrote in 2009 about weekend fun.

The way I like to lead my life is basically Epicurean: "Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear as well as absence of bodily pain through knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of our desires." I live for fun. But I try to emphasise the social side of my modest pleasures: I like to have fun together with people I love, not at the expense of others. Call it the Golden Rule.

Now, my work is largely fun, but still I distinguish between work-fun and non-work-fun, because I am by character pretty dutiful and work-fun is sort of related to my livelihood. And of course I have non-work duties that aren’t always fun, and I have to fight an urge to let duties take over my spare time, because that makes me unhappy.

In an effort to increase my fun (and hopefully yours), I’m going to run a weekly feature here for a while: Weekend Fun. I’ll write about the fun I have during the weekends (so I’ll remember those activities better), and I’ll ask you to tell me about yours (so I can copy you). This is serious business: remember that it’s about the purpose (I won’t call it "meaning") of my brief life!

My reporting of fun has lapsed lately, but here's an update about a particularly good weekend I just had.

  • Played boardgames: Mykerinos (about early Egyptian archaeology), Verräter (about warring highlander factions) and 6 nimmt / Category 5 (abstract, but ostensibly about cows that you want to avoid acquiring).
  • Went skiing on the golf course with my wife, my favourite logic lecturer and Jrette, who has never before joined us on such a long skiing outing and still did not complain.
  • Read Arika Okrent's excellent 2009 book In the Land of Invented Languages.
  • Saw a great exhibition of beautiful Medieval bronze and terracotta sculpture from the Yoruba city of Ife in Nigeria.

What did you do for fun this past weekend, Dear Reader?


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The epicureans were mistaken. The greatest good is something that can't be taken from you against your will.

By fellowseeker (not verified) on 21 Jan 2014 #permalink

Everything can and will be taken from you against your will. Just enjoy it all while it's there.

Monday was a bank holiday in the US, so I went snowshoeing (we got some snow here Saturday and Sunday morning, but because of a recent thaw our snow cover is thinner and icier than I would prefer for skiing). There are several wooded areas with trails near my house, including two within walking distance. I approve of golf courses as cross-country ski areas; when I was a grad student (in a place and climate with somewhat more reliable winter snow cover), I would sometimes put in my hour on the golf course.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Jan 2014 #permalink

Snowshoeing, how exotic! And funny how nobody does that in Sweden despite the availability of good snow. Cultural traditions.

And funny how nobody does that in Sweden despite the availability of good snow

Perhaps it is because you have such good snow in most of Sweden that people go skiing rather than snowshoeing. I prefer skiing myself, but it requires a good snowpack (at least 10-15 cm of snow since the last rainfall or day with temperatures above 5 degrees C). I live in a place where those conditions occur just often enough to justify having skis, but not often enough that I can count on skiing (some winters I haven't been able to ski locally at all; this winter has had one weekend so far with suitable conditions). You can snowshoe on thinner snow, or even ice, as long as the ground isn't bare.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 Jan 2014 #permalink

You are referring to mortality? Martin, the purpose of life is to consume. Those who have the mostest stuff when they die win.

Skis plus appropriate gear would allow you to cross the Bothnic sea to Finland right now. Ice covers almost all the sea. The "almost" is why I don't try.
Spent weekend revisiting Glen Cook's "Garret" series, intricate world-building, surprisingly believable characters.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 23 Jan 2014 #permalink

In life's difficult situations, when you're uncertain about how to act, just ask yourself, "What would Jesus buy?". (-;

Swedish divers find artifacts dating back 11000 years, including organic matter at a one-of-a-kind site [see the 11,000-year old tree trunk]. http://www.thelocal.se/20140124/swedes-dive-in-stone-age-excavate-site-…
-If the auroch bones found in the gyttja (sediment rich in organic matter at the bottom of a eutrophic lake) contain well-preserved DNA maybe we can bring back the ancestor to cows, without the genetic bottleneck caused by domestication?.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 24 Jan 2014 #permalink

I am reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson, which is terrific.
Furthermore I have played Carcasonne en Settlers, also very nice. I have tried out for a tv show this morning and failed miserably, I have delivered a wedding album I created for a couple, giving them (and thus myself) immense joy, and tonight I will visit a couple that (i hope) will by my services as wedding photographer. After that I will go see a movie with friends, International Film Festival in my hometown of Rotterdam.

So a mix of work and hobby, although my work is my hobby, so I get that a lot,..

By Roeland de Bruijn (not verified) on 26 Jan 2014 #permalink