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Photography of Alvaro Montoro being a doofus
Alvaro Montoro

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Cartoon of a shark and two portraits

January 2021 Recap

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January of 2021 has been an interesting month. It started with bad news: feeling sick and getting a positive test for coronavirus and quarantine at home away from my family.

On the bright side, my symptoms were mild and everything went fine... and although I didn't have energy for much, that allowed me to spend a bit more time reading, drawing, or simply tweaking some code.

Here is a summary of what I did during the month of January. It doesn't have everything, but some things that I liked or caught more my attention.

Tech things

Tag Cloud

This tag cloud is from December 31st (I even published an article on how to build it), but I did some changes based on the feedback I got during the first week of January.


While recovering, I did some coding for the Digital Ocean + DEV hackathon. Building a small app that reduces the size of text to make it fit within Twitter's 280-character limit. The focus of the app was mainly on web accessibility. I didn't win, but it was fun. And I wrote about the whole process.

Screenshot of Dwindle App

Should I tag JLo or not?

CSS Man wearing a suit

A CSS drawing of a man wearing a suit. I did an initial version with a nose and a mouth, but I wasn't completely sold on it. And I shared a time-lapse video on how it was done.

Gassy Shark

Codepen had a series of challenges based on the different element's states: solid, liquid, gas... This was my submission for the gas one: a CSS animation of a shark that becomes gassy after eating a can of beans:

CSS Cartoon Character

This CSS drawing started from zero and without a specific direction... then I noticed that the cartoon kind of looked like Chris Coyier, so I decided to go with it and made the baseball cap with the same colors from his profile picture... and there's a video of how it was done too!

Non-tech things


I normally don't watch much TV or movies, but this month was special. Apart from the typical kids' movies that I get to watch with my children, I got to watch some movies from the DC Universe:

Movie Genre
Man of Steel Action
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Action
Wonder Woman Action
Suicide Squad Action
Justice League Action
Aquaman Action
The Addams Family (new one) Animation

Personally, none of the movies was especially great. I must admit that my expectations were low for all of them, and probably because of that I wasn't disappointed.

And contrary to the general opinion, I actually liked Jared Leto's Joker. Maybe the appearance was not the best, but the character is more chaotic and violent than the other Jokers, and it matches better the comic books I've read.

From the latest DC universe, I still have Shazam! and Birds of Prey let to watch... but those may need to wait for a while.


This month I finished 7 books... and none of them was technical (one could be considered practical for my position):

Title Author Style
Pearls Goes Hollywood Stephan Pastis Comic
The Classic Tradition of Haiku Various Poetry
Faith Taking Flight Julie Murphy Teen Fiction
Muhammad Ali Sybille Titeux & Amazing Ameziane Graphic Novel
Sapiens Yuval Noah Harari History
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership John Maxwell Leadership
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Charlie Mackesy Self-help (?)

I really enjoyed Sapiens and the Muhammad Ali graphic novel. And really liked that art of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, but the content in itself seemed a bit shallow (like "fake-ish" inspirational quotes).

Other books were started or left halfway (notably Ready Player Two, The First 90 Days, and The Bell Jar) and hopefully I'll be able to finish them this month.

Now, off to start February...

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