Week 16: cake

  • Last weekend we had PIZZA and then a PARTY, it was great! Some very welcome relaxation very different to our normal merging of weekdays and weekends.
  • On Sunday there was SNOW! We got out the sledges, and built snowmen, and frankly it was BLOODY BRILLIANT. More snow days please!
  • Daylio tells me I unlocked a secret achievement last week: Emotional Rollercoaster, which means I used all 5 mood ratings in one week. This is due to a) PARTY and b) MY GODDAMN BACK rather than anything actually terrible. I have been recording entries in Daylio for 983 straight days and it really serves more as a quick personal blog than anything else for me. It has CSV and PDF export, so I really ought to do something with that content (I wrote ~18,000 words over 411 entries in 2020).
  • Having seen Arietty several times, I am reading The Borrowers to my daughter. I loved it when I was young, but for a book that was only written in 1952 there are a surprisingly large number of words I don’t know, mostly relating to types of furniture or home decoration. There is a new animated series in production.
  • I have always used Hugo for static site generation because I like the single binary approach, but the docs and config have always left me cold. I will be checking out another French author, Zola, as a replacement – the docs look clearer, even if the templating looks similar. Middleman is what we use at work, and isn’t too bad to set up, but seems excessive to run in places I don’t already have Ruby running.
  • I have never found an adequate desktop replacement for Picasa; everyone in our house syncs their photos to Dropbox, so our photos are there rather than Google Photos, but the native Dropbox offerings for handling photos have been getting worse and worse over time to the point where I’m rethinking my subscription. It’s possible that in a year or so PhotoStructure running in a Docker container on a Synology NAS might be my solution for local hosting and management of all my photos (with some offsite storage as well) – I do hope so.

Week 15: old timey

  • When I was about 5 I got my first ever “album”, which I saved up for by collecting tokens from boxes of Weetabix. I am delighted to see it is listed on discogs.com. I listened to it endlessly and it shaped my musical tastes for the rest of my life. 
  • I had to take a lot of time off work to look after the kids this week, so my 7 year old and I watched the 1949 version of Samson and Delilah starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr. It was great.
  • We finally took down our Christmas tree, but kept the small ones in the kids bedrooms since they asked to keep them up “for morale”. Sounds good to me.
  • I am playing Hades on my Switch. It is actually annoyingly good.
  • Lots of back pain after overdoing at the weekend. Nurofen and laziness are my friend.
  • I am finally realising that my family having competing resource needs which need timetabling, so a webpage which displays what’s going on now and next for each person would be really helpful. Since everyone has a regular schedule most of this will just be static HTML and I’ll use some PHP to just include the right pages on the right days.
  • Despite its popularity, the web interface of Google Classroom is far (FAR) from the best thing I’ve ever seen, and very easy to get lost in, so a simplified view would be great, but as usual for Google projects, the API docs and processes seem arcane and unnecessarily convoluted in order to get a very simple project up and running – there are samples, but the model of the API rarely matches the model of interacting with the service, and trying to use it ends up being a frustrating experience.
  • Never mind, we are having PIZZA and then a PARTY this weekend!

Week 14: creation

  • I turned 41. This is the test subject number assigned to Tetsuo in Akira.
  • Building Lego is very therapeutic. This week I built Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced from the (now retired) set which also came with an A-Wing (and which I built when I first got the set a few years back).
  • Continuing the Star Wars theme I got a new X-Wing/TIE fighter hoodie, which makes me happy.
  • “These dickheads are trying for the stars! The rest of us therefore need to make sure they don’t get there first.” – from The Regrettable Decline of Space Utopias
  • Trying to balance home schooling two children whilst also maintaining jobs is hard. 
  • My new Hobonichi Techo journal arrived! I did panic a bit when 1 January rolled around and I hadn’t ordered a new one; it pretty much runs my work life, and there’s something incredibly nice about its design and manufacture which make it just lovely to use. I’m not a journaller who draws pictures and sticks in stuff from their life, but as far as todo lists goes, it’s my fave.
  • I find I always publish my weeknotes “late” because I just resent going on my laptop at the weekend now, even though I use a different laptop for work in the week. Tiresome.

Week 13: giant robots double feature!

Welcome to space year 2021! A bumper issue this week because I missed last week due to *gestures all around* all this.

  • Our favourite Christmas presents were an Entry Grade Gundam, a plush narwhal and a burrito blanket.
  • We watched the despecialised version of the original Star Wars trilogy and enjoyed it a huge amount. I don’t think we’ll bother with the pre and sequels.
  • On Christmas day the kids read out a story they’d written for us, which was pretty adorable.
  • I heinously pulled a muscle in my back, leading to rather less engagement with the Christmas season than normal, and leading to much screaming in the middle of the night.
  • It has pretended to snow several times, but not actually done it – disappointing!
  • My son now has a skateboard; maybe wet and icy weather isn’t the ideal time to learn to skateboard?
  • Three of the 4 people in my house go to school every day, and now that schools are closed to all but vulnerable children, we have 3 people at home on near-constant video calls. Which makes me suddenly very glad of that Powerline purchase.
  • The Christmas break was very welcome, and I could happily have many many weeks a year not working.
  • Johanna Rothman has finished her Modern Management Made Easy book trilogy – for me these are an easy day one purchase, since I’ve read some of her other books and they’ve been brilliant. Johanna also regularly talks at events (although mostly on American timezones) and will be on the panel of the “Future of Agile” hosted by The Future of Work Scotland on 3 Feb 2021.