Young Fathers – Shame

I can’t get enough of Young Fathers – I slowly realized I’m a fan after noticing I’ve listened to tons of their stuff and saved it to listen to again. Look at this beautiful story:

How about this gorgeous track with a gorgeous video that goes meta and comes back to itself? Notice the proportions!

I can’t stop dancing around to Border Girl either:

Oh I grin every time when the beat comes back at 1:58.

Week 2207

Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee vs Donald Trump. No matter who wins, it will not be a progressive 4 years.

Met our neighbors Tim and Nicole – I think we met before, but it’s been a while. Talked about his very cool wakesurfing boat. He is way more conservative than me but very nice.

At work I’ve been working on a side project to improve documentation and it’s starting to really come together. I’m going to pitch it as a thing that should get funded with a team and see what happens. It’s hard to see a fun little project turn into something that is going to be implemented by more folks, but the tradeoffs on my time mean that once I’ve blazed out a rough trail it makes sense for other folks to lay down the rails and ties and get it productionalized. Projects where I’ve done that have had a good life after I’ve created them, so it always pays for me to hand them off and work on other big initiatives.

We’re also re-engineering tons of things. I’ve been looking at how we managed incidents and issues because relationships often get pegged to how a team performs in a crisis. In addition to incorporating some of my work like How to do a crisis call in technology, other people in the team turned me onto Crew Resource Management, which is how the folks in a cockpit handle similar situations.

Max finished his first ever chapter book! 90 pages of reading, a chapter or two at a time. He was really proud of himself. Just today as I’m writing this he’s one chapter away from finishing his next chapter book. His behavior has generally been really good too!

Zee has memorized Mr Nogginbody Gets a Hammer and she now wants to read to us for bedtime! She’s also asked me to teach her to read, so I guess it’s time to get into the ABCs again. We’ve put up letters on the fridge for her and some magnetic poetry for him.

Her counting is getting pretty good and we’ve been doing m&m math every time she goes potty. One worry with Zebus is that she’s started being really bitey – lots of little bites and nibbles and licks to indicate when she’s frustrated. Also, a little bit of hitting. It’s ok now with us, but if she was in a daycare I’m sure we’d be getting a call about it.

Week 2206

Politics

I donated money to the Alex Morse campaign, a progressive candidate who’s trying to unseat Richard Neal, a greedhead Democrat. That happened earlier, but recently it appears that there was a sex scandal accusation against Morse. He’s accused of having consensual sex with adult students at the university he teaches at that are not in his class and also messaging people he’s met on Tinder. Sexual harassment and consent are incredibly important, but weaponized accusations are exactly the sort of thing that conservatives have professed concern over. In Alex’s case, the investigation by the Intercept certainly makes it seem like people who want to work for Richard Neal have been manufacturing a scandal instead of uncovering one.

Other campaigns I’m looking closely at:

  • The State Slate – The great slate didn’t do great in 2018, but I still like these ideas and I’m willing to give again. These candidates are all good chances to flip a district and any campaigning they do is good for upballot races.
  • Donna Imam – an engineer who might be able to flip a texas district.
  • Dani Brzozowski

Family

The fam out at the Esopus Creek trail

We’ve been doing more hikes again. I’m trying to make sure the little monsters leave the house every day. We’ve been going out to the village a little bit as well. I haul the kids in our expandable wagon and we can eat at an outside restaurant called The Partition.

We’re getting an eensy bit more social (in safe and measured ways).

ZZ had an extended encounter with a nice lady named Alexa and her dog Chacho. They spent an hour hanging out and I can’t recall having a nicer meal in ages. Here’s pro tip – if you hang out with the children and amuse them while we have drinks and dinner I’m grabbing your bill!

Beer Club had a mini executive retreat when Ray showed up in Rhinebeck! We took the Ho’s to the FallingWater trail where I finally got to meet Finley! He loves Max and Zelda loves him.

The Scott’s dropped by! We took them out to Fallingwater as well, where Max and Ben got along really well and explored up the waterfall all the way to its source. Zelda is in love with Zoe and asks about her.

Max and Ben never usually play together, but for some reason this day was just perfect. Everyone got along famously.

DIY

Around the house, we’ve been struggling a little to knock out more projects. It just seemed like we lost steam. So we dug out the back yard next to our house and put in a bunch of marble rock chips over garden cloth. Now things are better looking and won’t require any weeding – instead of a dirt patch next to the house we have clean white stone which doesn’t need maintenance.

We cleaned out the trampoline, which had been under a mulberry tree, trying to become a mulberry jam strainer. Yecchh.

We spent a couple of meeting looking at adding solar panels to our roof – I really like it for a lot of reasons including my predilection for distributed systems over centralized ones. Sadly, the tradeoffs right now don’t seem worth it. Even with incredible financing and all sorts of incentives it would take forever to pay off the panels and require trimming trees.

This helped me feel like we can really start getting going again. I’m gonna finish that Patio!

Code and nerdery

Great news here! I’ve been thinking at work about ways to better handle and test documentation across multiple languages. The key here is to make sure that you can extract code samples from documentation and then push it out to a testable format.

I found mkcodes, an excellent tool for pulling code out of markdown documents. It worked great, but only for Python. I submitted a pull request extending it to work with multiple language code blocks and it was a real treat to work with Ryne Everett on getting this live. Which is to say, now it can handle java, dotnet, any other language you like that’s embedded in your docs. Expect more on this as I make progress building a docsite with eleventy.

I also type this on the linux laptop as I managed to resize partitions without destroying anything. I thought 80 gigs would be enough for my Ubuntu partition, but it seems to be growing and I had to give it a few hundred more gigabytes to grow.

I want another ebook reader

I LOVE my Kobo Aura – it’s a damn perfect ereader. But now the Kobo folks have something even better that I’m lusting after. The Kobo Forma is a new version that is a little bit bigger and has a new feature that would really revolutionize using it.

It comes with dropbox integration! Currently the Aura is great because I can buy books online from their store, check out books from the NYPL right from the ereader (this is huge), cool articles sync in from Pocket and I can sideload pdfs or ebooks easily using USB. The Forma makes everything sync wirelessly – I can write a script to drop new books or pdfs or anything in by just putting it on a dropbox share.

https://us.kobobooks.com/products/kobo-forma#box-dropbox

This is very hot and good. I wish they would backport this to the Aura – but if not it seems like a feature worth buying. I’d also like them to open this up so you can use providers other than dropbox, but (like my synology nas share!)

Week 2203

The world is still nuts. The right wing forces in the government are attacking Dr. Fauci. Sinclair media, who own a huge percentage of local news tv stations, is going to release a truly insane conspiracy report alleging that Dr. Fauci is responsible somehow for creating the coronavirus. Tons of people are going to see it. One of my friends has been whatsapping me some really disturbing stuff that makes me worry about him – ‘context’ around the police beating a guy in a wheelchair, ‘privilege’ from some country music guy, etc.

Biden said Trump was the first racist president, ignoring the one who actually enslaved human beings. It’s gonna be a long 4 years even if Trump loses. It’s incredibly depressing because I really think Biden can screw this up, but even if he wins, he’s pretty conservative and will probably be a really effective block to meaningful change.

Effective work will have to bubble up at city and state levels before it makes it to a federal level.

Family

We bought a car! Now we own a hybrid Rav 4 and it’s pretty cool! Sam did tons of work and found a deal with 0 down, 0% financing for 5 years. So it’s just incredibly easy on us and cheaper than the Budget monthly car rental we’d been doing. I’ve put in a dash cam and it’s a pretty good generic car. I got us the car insurance as well and we saved a few hundred bucks by returning the rental car early. Celebrated with some Aperol Spritz’s and they are STILL the reigning champ drink of the summer!

Got an offer on one of the Brooklyn apartments and accepted it – looking to get the deposit on it and get into contract! Now we’re wondering do we really want to sell the last one or turn it into a rental instead or what. (I really love living there, I just don’t think we can fit back into it.)

Did a little more bike riding with Zebus – she wanted to ride her bike all the way to the bakery to get a cookie! I’m so impressed with her. She did it, too!

Swale found some educational plugin for minecraft that lets you do chemistry, found the recipe for latex and how to make balloons and then tied balloons to chickens so they could fly. He’s also been saying just the sweetest stuff to me. Lots of I-love-you’s and his own special praise to me.

We spent a $60 gift card from work on a crazy strong blender from Cuisinart and its grrrreat. Already made some milkshakes and smoothies and frozen margs.

My Laptop crashed! I was going to have to ship it out for a month to get fixed, but then it started working! That’s terrifying. Good thing I do a lot of git-push on my repos, back up important stuff to our Synology DiskStation NAS. I did a bunch of work as I set up a new account for work on Sam’s laptop to get my jumpstart script to be smoother on OSX.

DIY

Sam found a cool wallpaper and we struggled it up in the downstairs bathroom and it looks great and I never want to do wallpaper again. It’s so tricky!

In the backyard I got up on a ladder with a pole saw and cut down some branches from the mulberry tree in the backyard, months too late to save the trampoline under it from turning into a giant mulberry collecter/fermenter. I either need to get a sawzall or a mini chainsaw or something to deal with all the branches – my small tension saw isn’t realllly cutting it for this many cuts.

Kinda stalled on the patio for a while.

We’ve foamed up some cable holes in the walls, need to go spackle and paint them. Also started adding trim to the bottom of the bathroom sink cabinet – trimmed off one of the cabinet shims with a Dremel to make the trim flush. Also put in some under-sink rolling trash and recycling cans in the kitchen and put handles on the cabinets.

Reading

Fun week! I’ve put http://www.morelightmorelight.com/2020/07/24/after-the-cops/ in my Kobo, along with a new Annabel Scheme book by Robin Sloan. (I love a book that comes with a makefile to get an epub, but you can read it online if that’s not your jam.

Work

Did some stuff around making documentation easier, and thinking about how to make your docs and walkthroughs look good, but be testable. Nobody likes a stale documentation site! Also getting ready to launch in the UK. Office re-opening is postponed until at least September. I don’t see it happening.

Nerdery

I installed Regolith as a tiling window manager for my laptop and it seems pretty cool. Took a little while to get used to, but I’m wondering why it isn’t easier to just drag windows into tiling window manager with the mouse. I spend a fair amount of time fiddling with things to get them looking right, so why is this better then just dragging a bunch of windows into the right spot?

If you’ve got a terminal open right now try this:

http://wttr.in/?format=v2

Pretty cool! They have tons of formats available so you could make widgets on your desktop or tmux statusline.