Tag Archives: weeknotes

Week 3040

Kids

We took a trip out to Liberty Island and engaged with a hollow symbol of things we think we value!

Mother’s day I took Max and Z out for hours to let Sam not be a mom for a bit. It was good but EXHAUSTING. I love them so much and wish that it didn’t require so much fighting. Or maybe that I didn’t fight so much.


Bonus song for the week:

Week 3039

Cinco de Matto was moved from the amazingly good Szechuan Mountain House to Famous Sichuan which helped emphasize how what really matters is the people you eat with, not the food. I’ll keep telling myself that. Cinco de Mala will come another year!

Monday I got ill and spent Tuesday in bed trying to watch movies in that listless state where you’re convinced you’ve seen all the good stuff in the world already. But on Wednesday I was fit and ready to get back out into the world! I got my work team to go out for an axe throwing outing and then we went to LIC Beer Project for drinks. Axes first, drinks after is my new rule. I got to ride over the Queensborough Bridge and the Pulaski bridge and they are both beautiful gentle arcs through the sky – very nice!

Max with a hole where his first baby tooth has fled

Max lost his first baby tooth!

Of course, it hasn’t made it home from school yet, but I’m still excited by it.

Bliss is eating a chocolate croissant

Bliss looks like Queen Z eating a chocolate croissant

Politics

I’ve really been digging Warren. She’s got actual policies. Those policies are pretty good. She and Sanders seem to have the most people focused policies – that aren’t vague handwavey calls to emotions.

I am really hoping Biden pulls out soon.

Grunting and Sweating

I’m registered to do the City Challenge NYC race in August, so come join me and climb things and swing from things and carry things! Should be fun and I’ve got a small crew already of good folks.

Week 3038

Tap Tap…

So, I’ve been a busy boy. Biking has started up again and I got a few days in this week.

Kids

Max has been learning to read pretty well and is sounding out words he sees all over the place. I like that he’s teaching himself to some extent. At school he’s only in the B reading group, but at home he can get through E and F books. It’s really exciting because reading is such a big part of my life that I really want to be able to share this with him.

As a result of showing Max some bees and bombs gifs he was into asking for that every night for months. I almost ran out of internet art! Slowly I got him into just listening to me as I read The Watch aloud.

Wednesdays Sam and I go to special therapy with Beryl Nightingale to learn how to deal with Swale’s twice exceptional behavior. I think we’re making progress because this is the first week back from his spring break and when I picked him up from school his teacher said he participated in everything and has really improved from the beginning of the year.

Zelda has turned into a little chatterbox. She just started naming circles and triangles, she’s got opinions about everything and she’s super funny and super cute. She’s doing a lot of pretending to be dogs or lions and is always ready to go on a walk.

Code

At work I’ve managed to spend some time doing interesting code work. I probably shouldn’t but it was too juicy to not grab. We’re changing the namespace of our client libraries to better brand them. That’s good! But it means that anyone who’s currently using our client libraries would have the code completely break for them. That’s bad!

So I’ve written a little utility that wraps the client library python wheel and outputs a set of legacy wrapper scripts that bridges everything and does it dynamically!

I call it snowchains (a wheel wrapper, getit?) and it was also a good chance to get to know sphinx, tox, RestructuredText, Abstract Syntax Trees and python reflection internals – a real geekfest of learning. Hope to get it open sourced if possible.

Speaking of a real geekfest of learning, I snapped up the python humblebundle super quick.

Kyle at work helped me figure out an issue with jumpstart having problems installing z. It seems that if you run a script in non-interactive mode it isn’t sourcing all the resource files so it doesn’t see certain paths so it can’t tell that my tool is already installed.

Grunting and Sweating

On Thursday I registered for the City Challenge New York Obstacle Race. Some folks from work are joining me and I’m hoping you might as well. The last one was fun other than it raining. I put in some work and Vimal, the proprietor of Cafe Hudson came out to be my personal photographer. He got some verrrry sweet photos.

Not bad for an old guy

Cinco de Mala

If you can make it to Szechuan Mountain House 6pm on Sunday we’re going to go eat some crazy fizzy spicy Szechuan food. This place specializes in delicious numbing Mala food – I stumbled on it while exploring on my free night out a week or 2 ago and was really impressed. I’ve never eaten anything quite like it. Also I will turn as old as an actual mountain.

Week 3021

What a nice week off. We spoiled the kids, I played hard with both of them. Took Swale to see Into the Spiderverse and it was an incredible leap forward in animated film.  It’s the future I’m here for.

Got some great presents, gave some great ones too. Many robots, many cool electronic kits. We’ve got great stuff for the kids, I just need to keep my energy up so I can teach them and guide them into the good stuff instead of zoning out in front of screens. They really come alive for engagement and fall down into a screen if it is available.

For instance – I showed Max some gifs from Bees and Bombs.

https://beesandbombs.tumblr.com/post/173496510369/moon-roll

Max LOVED them. He keeps asking about seeing more beesnbombs. Eventually we got to watch Daniel Shiffman attempt to make a Bees and Bombs gif on youtube. He sat for the whole thing.

So we got to talk about Sine Waves and when Sam didn’t believe he was listening and understanding, the next morning we got to talk about waves again. Max drew a square wave so we got to talk about the difference and how those sound different – and we talked about listening to square waves, sine waves and sawtooth waves.

He still doesn’t get the time component too well – he’s drawn me a lot of waves with loops in them – but that’s good experimentation!

I tried to blow his mind that this is how all sound works but it’s a bit early to grok that. In other sound news I made a little ditty for a rainy day.

Gave Sam a very weird board game where you play as nurses helping ease a dying man through his final days before the grave. Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr feels unlike any game I’ve played before. We are in a story, managing and helping and watching an inevitable decline. It’s not a laugh riot, but we’ve gotten through two scenarios and are going to keep going.

Played around with the list of 2018 codrops and they were great! I really liked a few and thought they should be part of a story – that our paper should do more…

I want to write story about summer and love and the south that starts like this.

This story about work, gender, cable and humanity really moved me.

Sam and I talked about what our goal or theme for 2019 should be and we think Community could be it.

For her, it means building a better network of support, spending more time with our community. For me, I want to find ways to get connected with our broader community and give back.

I want to find ways for us to connect with causes and give more. I want to help our kids engage in the same way. We can find ways to change our criminal justice system, save our environment and make the world better.

Please take a look at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and the National Bail Out. The more I think about it, money bail is one of the crucial legs of the criminal injustice system.

Week 3020

A lot of things have happened, some good, some scary. Let’s keep it simple and just talk about the last 2 weeks.

It’s a celebration week! Cousin Atlanta has been staying with us and providing wonderful babysitting every day. She finally left on Thursday to go to Germany and then Oklahoma and it’s sad because she’s been wonderful as a guest and so much help with the kids. They already miss her. It also let us go out a lot – my work party was on Wednesday, Beer Club was Thursday, Lance’s birthday, a maker night for Max at his school, a meetup for some old PWP folks and uh…

Frankly, I don’t think I can do much more celebrating. I need sleep and some water.

Atlanta got us an Xbox One! Incredible gift. Of course, I’m trying to play with Max so he is connected and I’m not just staying up being a dork by myself. So few games revolve around anything other than murdering people.

This game ABZÛ is pretty amazing though – I love talking with Max about the different fish.

I’m excited about all the gifts I’ve bought my family – can’t wait to see them unwrap things next week.

We are disappointed at how kindergarten is turning out for Max. He’s not engaged, he doesn’t want to go, he leaves his class and they can’t really manage him. We met with a Beryl Nightingale, a neuropsychologist in the neighborhood to learn about what’s going on with him. She says he’s a Twice Exceptional (2E) kid, which is a term I wish existed when I was growing up. He’s a smart guy so he’s able to learn a lot without paying much attention, but he’s going to be rigid and have a tough time processing the rules of what people want him to do. We’re trying to work with the school to see if they can give him an adequate education. I’m a hopeful, but not certain it will work out.

We also toured some schools for 2E kids, the West End School, the Lang School and the Quad Prep. Each is really impressive in different ways – but I have no idea how we can find the funds to send him to one. I wish the public system would teach him better.

Code

I was able to get some coding done and finish some updates to a cool python script that moves Jiras around through our prioritization process at work. I held myself to the standard I’d ask of others and put tests in and made sure they run fast and cover all the new work.

Also did some neat tricks in jupyter notebooks for people asking questions about our API.

We got asked to do some work around cost estimates for work as well and I was hoping to get time to automate the answer using Boto, but it was apparent really quickly that I could do it in a fraction of the time using a spreadsheet. One to revisit later!

Going to take some time off next week, but of course there’s a giant project due nearly every week until Sam leaves for Morocco, so I’ll probably end up sneaking a little work in here or there.

Bike

NO BIKING THIS WEEK I SUCK.

 

Week 3012

Hell of a week, friends.

Work

I’m writing from midway through a trip to Hyderabad to meet my work colleagues and help out with a DR drill. It’s been great. I’ve been able to get to know some great folks  better, eating amazing food and checking out how they get work done.  The DR test went off much much better than the last one, so our preparation paid off.

Trying to remote into a NY machine from Hyd to do work was way too laggy, so I went full local. An unforeseen benefit of my jumpstart script – I ran it and had all my tools and environment ready to go!

I’ve had a chance to go out for meals and meet people in our cafeteria – breaking naan with someone is a great way to get to know them. The cafeteria here is very impressive, but I’ve also gotten to enjoy a diner like Chutney’s and the crazy spicy food at Sahib Sindh Sultan‘s train car restaurant.

I also got to go out to see Niraval play at Tabula Rasa. Krishnan, the keyboardist, made sure I had a table down front for a bit – until the dancing started. Show was great, I drank and danced and had tons of fun until 4 AM out with the band afterward.

Got to go out and experience Hyd a bit even though mostly I’m just shuttling between the hotel and the office. The city, the traffic, everything is pleasantly nuts. Every single person I’ve met has been kind and helpful and really giving of their time. If anything, it seems like I get irritated at being overpampered.  People want to do everything for you, so it keeps you from just getting what you want. For instance, I want to have some coffee – but I have to ask someone to get it for me and it turns into a 3 person operation where in the end someone also adds milk to my coffee for me. On the other hand, here you can hire a  motorcycle to drive you right through the middle of traffic on a whim. Still haven’t gotten into a tuk-tuk yet, but the motorcycle ride is sweet!

Books

On the plane I finished An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon which was brilliant. The hero is a neuroatypical woman of color trapped aboard a titanic interstellar steampunk ship that’s racially stratified and she’s unraveling a mystery of death and power guided by the journals of her missing mother. Everything about this book was awesome and I was sucked in totally. I completely recommend this one.

Just recently I finished River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey which I wanted to like so much more than I actually did. It’s a western style adventure set in an America where the government seeded the Mississippi river with hippopotamuses. It’s got adventure, intrigue, a non-binary love affair, all sorts of things that sound interesting, but… I just never really loved anyone in the book. They all seemed like they showed up in a bad action movie where a narrator has to hastily explain their unusual quirks, background and skills. Like, there’s a demo expert, a knife fighter and a french master of disguise. And that’s mostly all they are.

Family

I miss them immensely. Every day I get a half hour glimpse back home with a google hangout video chat. Things aren’t going great – it’s been a hell of a week of hell for Sam. She’s  doing her best, but first Max got sick, then Z got sick. Max is also having problems at school. The teachers seem exasperated with him, like they are giving up on him to focus on the other kids because he needs much more individual attention. We really don’t want him to feel like school is a place that isn’t good for him, we want him to get a love of learning – but 2 teachers for 23 kids isn’t working well. We aren’t getting much feedback about how he’s doing or what we need to work on other than a brief conversation at the end of the day.

One of the reasons for weeknotes is to be able to look back on what’s been happening – how things shifted over time. It’s been a hell of a week. We’re creeping right up on the midterm elections and it doesn’t look good.

This week we saw the MAGABomber caught attempting to assassinate leadership of the Democratic party, a white gunman attempt to get into a black church then go kill 2 black people in a grocery store, a gunman kill 8 people in a synagogue and there are no consequences. The republican machine is calling the bombs fake or a false-flag, the synagogue was told by the president they should have had better security, and it’s all insane. The republican machine is proclaiming that only they can save your healthcare and the wave of Democrats needed to paralyze the government from doing more harm seems unlikely to happen. I’m volunteering and donating to the Great Slate, but I hope more people do as well.

I’m terrified that people aren’t taking this seriously enough. That if they aren’t directly confronted with something that impacts their lives, they won’t do something.

Week 3011

Getting ready for my first trip to Hyderabad!

Health

Been working on dragon flags and handstand pushups at the gym. Only 3 biking days this week :(. On the other hand, they were all good days. It’s cold enough now to break out the gloves here in NYC, so I’m looking forward to warmer days in Hyd for the next few weeks. I wonder if I can rent a bike there easily?

Family

One of the reasons for that: I got to take Max Lazer to go see Tinga Tinga. He got to see it, I just got to be part of the parental escort through the subways to Times Square. He handled it great, but it was amazing to see the way the teachers handle 22 kindergartners getting through the subway system.

Z is teething and it’s so tough on her. I hope it ends soon. On the other hand, I managed to get both kids to sleep in the same room at the same time on Wednesday and Thursday we got Z to sleep the whole night through!

My Kobo broke and I sent it off to be replaced, but I must have an e-reader for the trip so I am now the owner of a Kindle Paperwhite as well. As someone who’s now owned and used a Nook, Kobo and Kindle, I’ll write up my take on it. Should have some time on the 16 hours or so of flight time!

Code

Been helping folks at work learn some more advanced Python. I get excited every time I talk about list or dictionary comprehensions because they were a real light when I was learning python in the beginning.

You often need to transform data structures and the first way is usually to just iterate a list, construct new instances of something else, then pop them into a list of new things.

Say you have a list of cool coders you want to talk about.

 


from collections import namedtuple
Coder = namedtuple('Person', 'name login url')
cool_coders = [Coder(name="Grace Hopper", login="ghopper", url="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper"),
Coder(name="Ada Lovelace", login="ladyada", url="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace"),
Coder(name="Jenn Schiffer", login="jennmoney", url="https://jennmoney.biz/"),
Coder(name="Nina Zharenko", login="nnja", url="https://www.nnja.io/"),
]

intro = "Here's a list of some cool coders and more you can learn about them: "

Maybe you want to produce a markdown sentence listing them.

coder_markup = []
for programmer in cool_coders:
    coder_markup.append( "[{}]({})".format(programmer.name, programmer.url) )
markup = intro + ", ".join(coder_markup)

Sure, that could be more complicated and have more changes or filtering that needs to be done. But what’s nice about a comprehension is that it helps cut down boilerplate and it makes things clearer.

coder_markup2 = ["[{}]({})".format(coder.name, coder.url) for coder in cool_coders]
markup = intro + ", ".join(coder_markup2)

And of course, if we were on python 3.6 we could make that even smaller by just using fstrings.

I’ve been using tmux pretty heavily, but now I get annoyed that on reboot I have to rebuild all of my workspaces. So now I’ve installed tmuxinator. It should be useful for setting up project/workspaces and then firing them up after a reboot.

Of course – I don’t just install tmuxinator. I set it so that it can auto-install on any account I’ve got with my jumpstart script.  If you know any cool tricks or experiences you want to share about either, I’m eager to learn.

 

Week 3010

Another combo because I’m late!

Here’s the The Owl from I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness

It’s rainy and dark and suddenly fall.

More riding in the rain.  Had to skip a day because I felt horrrrrible after the happy hour Wednesday night.

Sleeping poorly is the rule in our house as we struggle to figure out how to get Max Lazer and Queen Z to bed in the same room at a reasonable hour. It takes forever.  We think some of Max’s trouble in kindergarten is that he just can’t get good sleep at home anymore. So he goes in tired and can’t be his best.

I’ve got my visa for the Hyderabad Trip coming up and while I’m excited to go visit India I think my first trip will be almost entirely business – there’s a DR test that weekend so I’ll probably spend the whole trip in just the one city.

Going to our building’s yearly meeting for the first time in a while as NOT a board member. WOO!

Got to work on competitor pricing and take friends out to lunch to discuss. Also got to spend time with our R&D project plans for 2019.

 

 

Week 3008

Welp, I’m getting this in a bit late, so I’ll also put in some Music Monday.

But since the world is a pit, you get Cotton Eye Joe Gregorian Chant Nightcore Hardcore Dubstep remix. Do better this week, world! The Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were a reminder of how little women’s pain matters. The guy is also clearly lying.

Code

My team won one of the 2nd place slots in the Hackathon as “Most Complete Hack”! We are talking about bringing it through to complete prod deployment.

Read up on Conflict Free Replicated Data Types which are a really interesting way to do mergable data structures. Underlies lots of interesting stuff like Redis.

Experimented with Mozilla’s Configman – the docs are NOT good enough, because they actually have a great drop in replacement for the standard ArgumentParser in there.

Bike

Got in all but 1 day last week. Rode in the rain 2 days! The first convinced me that I need to either own rainproof pants or just plan on riding in shorts in the rain. I bought a pair of Showers Pass transit pants and they worked great on Friday. Also got to randomly ride in with my buddy Lance again and reminded how nice that is.

Family

Zeebus is really smart and understands a lot of what we say! She picks things up and puts them where you ask, she understands that we need sleep, she’s got a lot going on upstairs.

She puts on Max’s bike helmet to let us know she wants to go riding!

When she slapped Sam hard in the face she realized she had hurt her- then Z gave her a big hug and patted her. That’s what Max does when he plays too rough with her!

Max and I did a really good hike together. We went a little crazy and climbed up next to a little waterfall and did some semi-safe bouldering nearby.  Max and I actually climbed way up a small cliff and got to the top. We also found a cool Puffball mushroom. But we didn’t eat it because we didn’t know how to tell if it was poisonous or not. (now we know and we’ll eat it next time!)

Week 3007

I’m writing this one bushed after 24 hours at the company hackathon. Most of our developers are in HYD, so our hackathon starts at 10:30pm Friday and ends 10:30pm Saturday.

Right now we are all done with our deck, the app is finished, we’ve polished everything we can and we don’t want to touch anything in case we break it. So it’s a strange calm.

Another 60 miles on the bike this week and feeling fine. In the gym, we’re working on handstands. Zelda is growing smarter every day, Max suddenly started saying his “R”s like an American instead of a Brit.

I gave Sam a day to travel to Coney Island with Jeremy Fox on friday while I watched Z. Only fair because I’m spending 24 hours away from them.

Speaking of Jeremy, we got to go out and drink and play nerd games and it was SO MUCH FUN. Got to introduce him to another friend who’s out in LA, Dewitt. Hope they actually meet up and hit it off.