Weeknotes 2022-03

Let’s see if I can get this one written on time …

Having my finger on the pulse as ever, I finally got around to playing Untitled Goose Game, to see what all the fuss was about however long ago it was that that was the thing that was all over Twitter, rather than Wordle (which I’m playing in a less anachronistic fashion, on account of not having to wait for it to appear in the Steam sale). It’s moderately entertaining, but I have to admit to getting stuck/bored with a few of the tasks and googling for hints. The game also features a Mini, which is always good, even if it’s just static scenery.

A proper Mini!

I had a couple of days off this week, and attempted some long overdue DIY tasks. I successfully managed to get on the roof and remove the bits of dead creeper that were adorning the chimney (without falling off). but the other two jobs were less successful. My kitchen sink’s been emptying very slowly recently, but attacking it from outside with drain rods and from inside with a flexible brush thing both failed. The gap in the middle where neither tool reached can’t be that large, but apparently I need a plan C. Then I finally replaced the bulb in the floodlight that vaguely points at the patio, and which hasn’t worked for years. I bought an LED equivalent, expecting the kind of eye-melting power that you get from even basic bike lights these days, but it seems to throw out the equivalent of about half a candle (a tungsten bulb of the same wattage would be brighter). Ah well, back to halogen I guess – it’s not like it’s on that often, so it’s hardly an energy hog.

So now I own five ladders

At work I got volunteered to run a five minute “ice breaking” session for a team meeting, so I came up with something based on Gary Bernhardt’s WAT talk (which coincidentally was published ten years ago this week). I found a few more bits of Javascript unexpectedness (did you know that 'B' + 'a' + + 'B' + 'a' is 'BaNaNa'? Or that while 1 < 2 < 3 is true, 3 > 2 > 1 is false, but 2 > 1 > 0 is true?) and got people to shout out what they thought would be returned. Then afterwards I spent far too long writing up explanations for them all, which I doubt anyone read.

After Sunday’s cross country, Garmin says I’m “over-reaching”, so I ought to start next week with a rest day I suppose (because I’m the kind of person who takes advice from random pieces of consumer electronics).

Finally, I’ve made the first two of three batches of marmalade to last the year. The first lot, with huge oranges from a local greengrocer, came out a bit runny and seemed to have virtually no peel in it, whereas the second, with tiny oranges from the supermarket, was mostly peel and has probably set to a thick gloop (though I haven’t opened any of the second batch yet). Peel goes with r² but weight with r³, I guess.


Weeknotes 2022-02

OK, so it’s week two and I’m posting this four days late (just edited that from the original “a day late”). At this rate, expect the final post of this year some time in 2028.

A couple of weeks ago I took my Strava heatmap and drew round it to show the area enclosed by places I’d run to starting and finishing at home:

Someone on Facebook saw it and mentioned CityStrides, which is what in the early 2000s we would have called a mashup of activity tracker data with Open Streetmap, showing you how many of the streets in your town you’ve run along. I’m always a sucker for this kind of nonsense, so I signed up and synced it with Garmin (Strava didn’t work for some reason – I suspect API rate limiting). It turned out I was in third place for Ipswich, with 461 of 1,412 streets completed (and I know both the people above me in the table). Of course when I mentioned this three other people signed up, pushing me down to 6th, but I did add some convoluted meanderings to a couple of runs this week to pick up another 24 streets.

With the end of the grace period for free corporate use of Docker Desktop fast approaching, I finally got round to switching to MiniKube. I tried the default option of Hyperkit, but it wouldn’t start (maybe something to do with security settings on my work Mac), but it was fine with VirtualBox, and actually seems much quicker than Docker Desktop. I don’t use Docker for anything fancy – just to create dummy instances of other systems that my application can ssh to for integration testing, and to allow me to compile the OTP application for Linux on my Mac – and the only change I had to make was to have the app connect to the containers using the VM’s IP address, whereas the previous setup had automatically mapped the ports to the host address. I feel slightly guilty about being part of the problem of big companies using open source without paying anything back, but apparently someone else is looking at getting a company licence for Docker Desktop, so maybe they’ll get some of our money eventually.

Friday saw the third “agile fest” at work, with a variety of talks (I wasn’t involved this time). All good stuff, although I did get into a minor disagreement in the chat when someone suggested we needed a single mandated structure for Jira, rather than teams doing what works best for them (it would be bad enough if someone told me I had to use Jira at all, let alone also telling me how to use it!)


Weeknotes 2022-01

First proper week of the year, and I nearly forgot to do this, so that bodes well for the experiment continuing.

Back to work properly this week (well, apart from Monday), and other people were mostly back too, so meetings and stuff have started happening again. One of those annoying Fridays where something turns out to be more complicated than I thought, so ended up leaving it half-done to pick up on Monday. It was one of those rabbit holes where I started adding a new feature, realised that the related tests didn’t quite cover all the permutations of existing behaviour, then discovered that the untested bits didn’t quite behave as I expected, and had to be fixed too. I seem to remember there being another layer of yak shaving too, but I can’t remember what it was (which doesn’t bode well for the morning).

I got my unicycle out for the first time in ages. I bought it at the beginning of 2020, but stopped trying to learn to ride it when I decided that turning up at A&E having injured myself during lockdown might not be looked on too favourably. This time I’m practicing outside, for the sake of the floor and walls in the hall, where I started before. Still at the “pedal a couple of times while using a wall for stability, then fall off” stage. Hopefully when (if) I finally get the knack, it’ll be a useless skill that never goes away, like riding half a bicycle.

I finally watched Don’t Look Up, which seems to be dividing opinion, but lots of people had recommended it. Not terrible, but at least 45 minutes too long, and felt at times like it wasn’t sure whether it was serious satire or slapstick.

Just short of 40 miles of running this week, culminating in a very muddy, but almost enjoyable, county cross-country championships (which sounds more impressive than it is – you only have to be a member of a club to enter, and not actually be fast or anything).


Weeknotes: 2022 week zero

Having gone almost two years without posting here (and I can’t even really blame the pandemic), I thought I’d have a go at writing weeknotes. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll really have anything interesting to include each week (I suspect not), but we’ll see. Maybe it’ll even encourage me to do more stuff so I can write about it.

Apparently week one of 2022 is the one that started today, so this is more of a preface and a trial run. I’d almost forgotten I had this blog too – I might migrate it to something more towards the static end of things at some point. Or, you know …

As usual, running featured quite heavily (47.3 miles), including drawing a reindeer, and the traditional NYE idiocy of cycling to Felixstowe, running on the prom for 45 minutes, getting in the sea (shoulders under and minimum one stroke – them’s the rules), then drying off and heading home via various pubs. Ended up in the Cricketers (’spoons), where they had Abbot Special Reserve for £1.99, and – as usual – Mr Harper was a bad influence.

I’m never usually one for staying up to see in the new year, but this time I excelled myself by going to bed at around 8pm. Got woken up by the fireworks, naturally.

Did a bit of geocaching for the first time in ages. A few years ago I reached the point where I’d either found, or failed to find, all the ones within cycling distance, but there are plenty more now, and I bagged a few while I was out running.

I compiled another cryptic crossword; something else I haven’t done for a few months. And I hit a 365-day streak learning Spanish on Duolingo, although I had cheated slightly by using a “streak freeze” a couple of times – once when I went to do my daily practice and realised it was gone midnight, and again on New Year’s Eve, having run out of hearts (and time) in the morning before quite finishing a lesson, and unsurprisingly forgotten to try again once I arrived home after the Abbot Special Reserve.

I’m still intermittently practicing drums – mostly using Melodics at the moment for a bit more structure, after spending a few months just repeatedly trying to learn and play along to the same few songs.

I even did a couple of days’ work between Christmas and New Year because I was bored (though that doesn’t help with using up the leave I need to take before April). For some reason it seems easier to spend time at this time of year on technical debt type stuff more than new features, although I did a bit of both. Nothing very exciting, although I will say that I still really like Phoenix LiveView (at least for the kind of work I mostly do, which is internal-use web apps with no API, and no mobile apps).

Well that’s more than enough for one week I reckon. I wonder how long I’ll manage to keep this up …