Weeknotes 26 (June – July ’20): Small worlds

  • I had an experience this week in which a couple of my worlds collided. The upshot was me feeling absolutely terrible about myself for a couple of days. Which was not helped by…
  • Working with WordPress, BuddyPress and BBPress is not a recipe for happiness. I am slightly appalled to find myself still, ever, dealing with these technologies.
  • I spent over an hour on the phone with my father trying to help him work out why some of his documents are in OneDrive. I ended up remote controlling his computer, which then further confused him, not least because he couldn’t comprehend how fast I typed.
  • I’ve ordered some face masks . Or rather coverings. There’s lots of variety in this field, it turns out.
  • I didn’t go to the pub or have my haircut on Saturday. I did, however, walk up near Borough Market and feel like the second wave was being built before my eyes. Recent stats for London indicate the R is around 1, and that’s without opening the pubs.
  • It’s genuinely hard to know what to do when you think your government is screwing everything up, isn’t it?

What Nextdoor should always look like

Nextdoor always feels like it should look like this, but often it’s just random bits of local advertising and people ranting about the noise / rubbish / trees etc. It’s nice to notice when it seems to be working.

Weeknotes 25 (June ’20): Doing naughty things and honking

  • Between us, S and I taught 9 kids one to one this weekend, helping them with their poomsae. Perhaps the best bit about it was just seeing all these kids, who’ve been working hard on their taekwondo at home, and just see how they are doing. They’re doing pretty well, was the answer.
  • We had all the weather for it. I can’t tell whether my face is sunburnt or just windswept.
  • Otherwise, work, work, work.
  • My leg injury is gradually receding, so perhaps I’ll be able to run again soon.
  • Finished watching Crash Landing On You. Would i recommend 22 hours of Korean romance? Not really. But interesting for the North Korean stuff, for sure.
  • Very late to the party, S downloaded Untitled Goose Game yesterday. Today, I have been going around the flat doing naughty things and honking.

Weeknotes 24 (June ’20): Ups and downs

  • I missed last week because I started Sunday with an emotional collapse, which morphed into working for the rest of the day, and taking most of Monday off and going to the seaside. It was amazing to get out of London, although then Tuesday involved a further collapse after all the excitement. Anyway. Ups and downs.
  • With the exception of that, I managed to let work get a bit out of control and the balance with other elements of life went off kilter. This week will need a rebalance.
  • We are experimenting with a bread machine. So far, the results have not justified the existence of the machine in our flat, but the experimentation is far from over.
  • Had a Covid-19 test because of my involvement with the daily reporting app. I reported a headache, it asked me to have a test. Negative, of course, but quite interesting to do the test.
  • I have not had my hair cut at all through lockdown. I have finally reached breaking point, though, and am going to hand Sarah a pair of scissors.

Weeknotes 23 (June ’20): Black lives matter

  • Black lives matter. If you think the correct response to this is ‘all lives matter’ and you’re not being wilfully unpleasant, then I really suggest you do a bit more reading. It’s not hard to find. If you still think it after about half an hour of research, get in touch and I can point you to some resources. Do I think anyone I know might have that response? Yes. I know white people who are well intentioned but not tuned in to racism. And I have seen comments on friends’ posts on Facebook where this seems to still be a matter for debate.
  • I am as law abiding as they come, and even I think the protests have been totally justified, even in the midst of a pandemic. And the fact they are resulting in change is one of the most heartening things I’ve experienced in my lifetime.
  • The parallels in the UK between racism and sexism are pretty astonishing. They both seem to edge along in the right direction, but still have a long way to go.
  • In other news, I went for a walk yesterday and I’m just not used to exercise out of the house anymore. Alarming!

Weeknotes 22 (May ’20): Political despair

  • The US is rioting because yet another black man was killed by the police. Protests are being infiltrated by armed agitators, probably partly white racists, causing damage and violence, inflaming matters. The President is Donald Trump. What sort of society is this? There are so many areas of the society that are dysfunctional, it’s hard to see how they can reach anything that resembles a companionate, fair society. Widespread distrust of government. Widespread ownership of firearms. Widespread racism. Widespread belief in capitalism at all costs.
  • Years ago I was in the US and speaking to a liberal teacher. Even she thought national health care was a dangerous communist idea that would remove the right to fail.
  • Meanwhile, the British government… I actually can’t bear to write about it anymore.
  • I don’t know if this is the correct coping mechanism, but I’m trying to control the controllables.
  • I made granola.
  • I have been going through an HTML and CSS course to make sure I know how the modern stuff all works. I laughed at a bit about how in the olden days things used to be laid out with loads of divs. I remember when divs were an exciting upgrade from tables and CSS was a new idea.
  • I found out you can put variables in CSS.
  • On we go.

Weeknotes 21 (May ’20): The inevitable P.E. injury

  • On Friday, mid Frog Jump, I pulled something in my lower back and was stuck on all fours in acute pain for a while. It had a certain sense of inevitability about it. After all, PE with Joe is not wildly targeted at someone in their mid 40s, and the warm up is not as comprehensive as my body might like. I was also asking for trouble as I’ve been nursing a bit of a glutes issue. So.
  • Sarah took both the classes on Saturday. Ahem.
  • Granola recipe number 3 is nice. Will this be the final one? Stay tuned!
  • Dominic Cummings travelled over 200 miles when he should have been self isolating.
    1. This was probably a legitimate and sensible thing to do in his circumstances, and within the guidance.
    2. Many many other people would not have done this, thinking it was not allowed.
    3. Communication about what is and isn’t allowed has not been good at all.
    4. The media has not helped with extracting clarity. The government has not given clarity.
    5. People in positions of power will interpret rules to their benefit. Those without power will interpret them differently. Of these people, some will follow rules to the punitive letter. Some will decide to break them because they are used to rules penalising them and therefore ignoring them.
    6. People who normally have power: men, white people, rich people, middle and upper class people, middle aged people. (Cummings ticks all these boxes.)
    7. People who normally don’t have power: older people, younger people, women, people of colour, poor people, working class people.
    8. The Conservative party is for a particular sort of person, and is in government.
  • It’s been fun playing with linux again, even in the small context of a Raspberry Pi media server.
  • It’s a bank holiday tomorrow. Time to revisit the accounts!

Weeknotes 20 (May ’20): The probability of kangaroo jumps

  • Writing this on Tuesday because Sunday and Monday somehow got away from me.
  • Having got my hopes up about the PM’s announcement last Sunday, I, along with virtually everyone else in the country, did not feel perky after he presented the ‘plans’.
  • I am extremely law abiding and can always understand how decisions have been reached. I get that leadership is hard. I get that compromises need to be made. All of this perhaps makes it harder when you see people doing their jobs of leadership badly. And leads me to think about which rules to follow, which is tough for someone who normally just follows rules that are given.
  • Social distancing seems to be becoming more natural for a lot of people. The public spaces I saw this weekend were nice and calm.
  • Raspberry Pi media server is up and running. My brother in law sent me one that he wasn’t using, and a neighbour on Nextdoor had a spare USB keyboard he wasn’t using. Getting a media server to stream to the airport express was easier than getting the drives to map on my Mac.
  • I visited my mother on Sunday for the first time since lockdown began. Very nice to see her. And quite an energetic bike ride.
  • PE with Joe sometimes involves games of chance in which the exercise is determined by something seemingly random, such as a wheel of fortune. This week he had 12 exercises and two dice, and we had to do the exercise that the dice added up to. He seemed mystified by why we were getting more of the exercises clustered in the middle. Sarah and I chatted about probability while doing kangaroo jumps.

Weeknotes 19 (May ’20): Which rabbit holes have rabbits in them?

  • I managed to get RSpec to stop failing intermittently on my app. I should have looked more closely at all the tests, but I’m struggling to identify which rabbit holes have rabbits in and which ones don’t. As it were.
  • Taught taekwondo to a class of 20 children over Zoom on Saturday. That’s just insane when you think about it.
  • Trying to stay positive about the state of things, and becoming increasingly aware that this one of those personally defining times in which your behaviour towards others will haunt you. Try to make it positive. And also aware that the government may not be doing what is best, so to pay attention, as far as possible, to what is controllable and positive.
  • Had a couple of meetings this week in which my key contribution was to help add clarity to a situation. This is a strange skill to have as it’s not a skill that seems to achieve anything, or do anything, but without it those things don’t necessarily get done.
  • Like many small business owners, we spent Friday’s bank holiday looking at our accounts. I can imagine enjoying being an accountant because there’s so much precision and ‘rightness’ attached to it. Am not going to retrain.
  • Made another batch of granola yesterday with a completely different recipe to last time. What a hobby.
  • Raspberry Pi media server project is seeming more likely.
  • And our jobs around the flat have finally reached the kitchen cupboards. Our oils and spices are a thing to behold.

Weeknotes 18 (May ’20): Digitising those cds was totally worth it

  • A couple of weeks ago I started getting spam in Spanish and at the same time my Gmail spam filtering became way less effective. I have no idea where the Spanish stuff came from, but I suspect Babbel may have something to do with it, even though I was trying to learn French with them. Gmail seems to be catching almost all the Spanish stuff, but also quite a few legit emails. It’s an interesting process to watch.
  • I’m noticing far more people out and about on my daily (or less frequent) exercise. As always, the people who are least aware are the ones staring at their phones. I think they get into ‘normal’ mode, but also, just, people on phones.
  • We live near a coffee shop that trolled me on Twitter a few years ago. They have a few ‘ironic’ signs in their window that I found offensive, and they decided my expressing that opinion on Twitter was fair game for a bit of a fight. It became the last straw for me in terms of my Twitter experience and I walked away, and I haven’t bought anything from them since. Now, they are open for take away coffee and have a long line down our road most days. I am almost tempted to open a competing coffee stand along the line of the queue. This is a horrible insight in to my mean and bitter side, isn’t it.
  • I have digitised about 250 cds over the last week or so. I threw myself into this project thinking it would be obvious what to do with them once they were digitised, but I have discovered this turns out to be an utterly non-trivial and messy world of expensive kit and systems that suddenly stop working with other systems. I am currently toying with the idea of building something to plug into our amp using Raspberry Pi.
  • I am not convinced by the apparent Government policy of hinting at changes before announcing them.
  • I am also not convinced that the best use of Boris Johnson’s time was giving an interview to the Sun.
  • This morning I remembered Brexit and started to cry.
  • Running continues. I am trying to manage the pain that occurs in my left achilles, leg and glutes, so trying to take it very easy indeed. And I am having a mini experiment with Runkeeper. Strava is entirely focussed on sharing, which I don’t care for.
  • I have a test suite for an app that fails in different ways at random. I am going to solve the bloody thing this week.
  • Still doing PE with Joe every weekday morning. He’s not exactly Mr Detail, but I am so pleased he turns up every day. Not easy for him, either, I’m sure.
  • And having to think very hard about goal setting and progression in taekwondo at the moment, as our normal markers are a bit up in the air. We’ve arrived at some ideas for May, so here’s hoping they work for everyone.