Weeknotes 2023-01

Following last year’s pattern, I decided week one was the first complete week, not the week containing New Year’s Day.

Back to work this week, but only on Thursday so a fairly gentle reintroduction. And most people have been off too, so nothing’s been piling up while I was away, which is nice.

I got round to setting up Pushover for remote notifications. Often when I’m running a command that takes a while, I’ll use macOS’s say command (which speaks the text you give it out loud) so I can switch to working in a different window without having to keep checking whether it’s finished (or forgetting it’s running):

foo && say 'foo completed' || say 'foo failed'
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

This is mainly useful when I run a build that I expect to take a few minutes, but it fails very early and I come back to find it’s been sitting idle for ages and I have to fix my obvious mistake and run it again (of course it doesn’t help with the classic case where something prompts for a password immediately after you look away). Pushover lets me do the same thing, but the notification pops up on my mobile, so it’s more useful if I feel like stretching my legs or taking a rest from the screen. I just have a bash script in my path that I use exactly the same as the say command above:

#!/usr/bin/env bash curl -s \ --form-string "token=$PUSHOVER_TOKEN" \ --form-string "user=$PUSHOVER_KEY" \ --form-string "message=$*" \
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

It turned out the brake issue on my car was (as predicted by someone in a search result) a detached brake shoe lining. That’s what happens when you make them with glue instead of rivets. I replaced all the rear shoes, with suitable application of violence and a lot of fighting with springs, but the brakes are now even spongier than they used to be, so either the adjusters aren’t working or they need bleeding too. Sigh.

This week saw the return of the dreaded TTT (Thursday Tempo Ten), which mostly involves people faster than me who are training for marathons, but I get talked into joining in. Basically five miles out through Kesgrave, turn round and five miles back, with the nominal target generally being 70 minutes (so in theory I could turn round at 35, but I usually feel too close to the turnaround to stop early. This week they decided on a marginally more gentle 75 minute target, which meant I managed to hang on all the way out, then slowly dropped of the back on the return. It felt like I was miles behind, but as it turned out others had sped up so I was only a few seconds outside the 75. Still my slowest ever according to Strava though, so definitely work to do! Unfortunately I still have a lot of Christmas cake to eat, which probably isn’t helping.

Sunday was the Suffolk County cross country championship, which sounds impressive but is actually open to all abilities. It was at Holbrook School this year, which is nice and close but not the most exciting of courses (a bit of mud at one end, but lots of grass and hard tracks). As the start time approached people were frantically switching from spikes to trail (or even road) shoes.

More of a grimace than a smile

I was looking for something on iPlayer the other day and noticed the films section, which actually has a half-decent selection, and wondered why it had never occurred to me that it was a potential source of the occasional film to watch for those of us too stingy to pay for streaming services. The next day I heard someone suggest the same thing on a podcast, so at least I’m not the only one.

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