Busy, new music, Getting Things Done, data import

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. I’ve been busy. But now that I’m here…

  • I’m still not thrilled with the Gutenberg editor. It’s okay, but I just don’t care for it.
  • I’ve been working on music, and that’s been eating what time I have left after work and family, so I haven’t been writing much. This is a problem; the whole point behind these is that I should be able to fire them off pretty quickly and easily. It’s a brittle process.
  • A friend suggested Todoist, over Agenda. Will have to try it again. There are tons of GTD-like to-do applications, and all of them so far get it slightly wrong for me… or maybe I’m not integrating them well enough yet. Agenda’s pretty good but Mac-only. Until I’ve purged every other OS from my work environment, that’s… ungood. (And I’m not going to purge every other OS from my work environment.)
  • Running a giant data import is great, until you realize you’ve done it wrong but you’re already a long time into a giant, days-long process.

Blogging, getting wordpress running properly on Ubuntu

Things I’m thinking and feeling:

  • I really don’t “blog” all that much. I record, I guess, and that’s sort of a “web log,” but I really don’t expose much of my innermost feelings – it’s like observations with a mirror in the way. I’ve always been that way when I write. Always.
  • Today I’m going to try something different.
  • I feel horribly sad today. Not really empty, not really morose, just… not even tired, but mournful, and I don’t even really know what it is I’m mourning. Maybe it’s memory, all the memories I feel like I could have had but don’t, maybe it’s the memories I do have but shouldn’t. Maybe I’m mourning the fact that I don’t know if I’m what I should be. But today, Me, I’m down. I’m not feeling bad, I’m just down.
  • I finally fixed some problems with my WordPress installation. When I upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 on my server, apparently some PHP plugins didn’t get installed/migrated/somethinged – I went to a page on installing the LEMP stack on Ubuntu, installed the system dependencies, and lo and behold, things started working better again. Annoying, because this stuff’s been broken for a long time. Now if WordPress would only track the same hits that I see in access logs…
  • After a long dry spell, I’ve been writing poetry again. This is a good thing, but as usual my poetry is inspired by my mood, which is not a good thing. Oh, well. Maybe some of it will be worth publishing.
  • I also finally have been grinding my way through some new-ish music. Hurray.
  • I wonder if CNN – or any other news source, really – would be improved if you removed all the adjectives and subsidiary clauses. Some important information would get lost, but honestly? Most of the adjectives and subordinate clauses are used by the “journalists” to insert their opinions into the news, to sanitize it for the tribe most likely to read that particular bit… or enrage the tribe for which the bit isn’t targeted.

Lorelai, Maven changelog plugin, the government shutdown

Things I have travelled across:

  • github-issues-maven-plugin generates a markdown file with a list of closed issues for a target milestone. Useful for creating release notes.
  • The death of a child is always heart-wrenching. 🙁 Rest in peace, little one, even though I only knew you through friends of friends.
  • Bless social media for bringing people together… except social media as a benefit assumes that people are basically good. If we can learn anything from the arc of human history, it’s that many people are basically good… and the bad actors ruin it for everyone. Social media is affected negatively by the presence of a few bad actors, and there’s no real way to fix it that I can see. Every fix is worse than the original problem.
  • I don’t quite understand why people are feeling victorious over Trump ending the government shutdown: all this means is that – for once – he adulted first. He, unlike his political opponents, managed to put the good of the country above his political aims. Sure, it was late… but he still got there first. Way to “win,” Democrats?

Afoot!, football refs, music books

Things I’m thinking:

  • If I was a detective, or if I was writing a detective story, I’d never have someone say “The game is afoot!” … Why? Glad I asked.
    • Because “afoot” is a terrible name for a game. I get that there are games based on “Dr. Pimple Popper” and stuff, but “Afoot, the Game” is just… too far.
    • If it’s NOT the name of a game, then … you’re risking stepping on whatever game it is you’re talking about. Detectives detect. They don’t step on what they’re hunting. That changes them from detectives to … step-upon-ers.
    • Again, if you’re a detective and you’re on a case – it’s not a game! Take your job seriously, detective! Sheesh!
  • As bad as I feel for the Saints, I’m glad the NFL is going to have to confront officiating in some fashion. Refs have really struggled these past two years on both the collegiate and pro levels, with fans being able to see things that really should have been called being missed, and refs focusing on ticky-tack things instead… I almost hope there’s a “voice of the watchers” kind of reviewer put in place, someone who says, “Look, a four-year-old can see that. Throw the flag,” or “If you’re going to call THAT, you’re going to have to call THIS, too,” or even “If you’re NOT going to call that, you shouldn’t be calling this.”
  • I’ve done no music of any kind for a while now. This is getting distressing, and I need to change it.
  • Speaking of: limited time offer from Humble Bundle: Computer Music Books from MIT Press.

Flit, Trump’s Address on 19 Jan, Elite: Dangerous

Things that are crossing my path lately:

  • Flit, in context of “Python Packages and You.” Python packaging is not a strength of mine.
  • I hate to say it, but the Democrats’ rejection of Trump’s offer to open negotiations about the government now look kinda stupid, based on their oppositions. They’re saying that a three year suspension of some of the deportations and other such hot-button issues … basically, getting the things they wanted was not enough. They’re idiots. Sure, he is one, too… but the whole three year delay for the application of law gives Congress three years to fix the law, which is what Trump said they should do when he said he was going to resume deportations in the first place! In other words, from me to them: Congress, do your flippin’ jobs. If Congress wasn’t relying on executive power to do what Congress was meant to do, a lot of this mess would have gone away, but they keep digging in their heels and saying “no.”
  • The worst thing about Elite: Dangerous is how long it takes to get into a gaming session. The best thing about Elite:Dangerous is “pretty much everything else.”
  • I just realized I can select a region in WordPress’ editor, and then paste a URL – and the region is converted to an HTTP anchor automagically. Now that is useful.
  • Few things are both more and less amusing than watching someone stomp about, screaming “I am not a prima donna!”

Metrics, new Macbook charger, testcontainers

Things I’m learning about, on this day of verbs:

  • What metrics matter: A guide for open source projects” has a lot of good information. It’s interesting.
  • I get to buy a new Macbook charger today; my “old” one is giving out, I think, which is frustrating.
  • Testcontainers looks like an interesting project. I may have to try it out. It’s enabling.
  • There is an Atlas of Endangered Alphabets. It’s fascinating.
  • Apparently January 18th is “Winnie the Pooh Day.” I had no idea. Even though we describe our cats in terms of Tiggerisms – and once had a cat named Tigger – it’s… vaguely confusing.
  • My exercise routine remains, but parts of it are missing this past week – namely, some of the short walks.

Jacob’s Ladder, abandoning Virtuoso

I’m running out of convenient variations of “things I’m thinking about.”

  • Man, Rush’s Jacob’s Ladder is a great song.
  • Thoughts on Virtuoso: we needed to run a fairly large, fairly current data extraction from DBPedia, so we thought we’d be polite and run our own Virtuoso image with a mirror of the current dataset from DBPedia. This has proven problematic, as Virtuoso managed to corrupt its database through the process of ordinary synchronization, a step necessary because there are no current data dumps of the DBPedia dataset in the first place. I spent a lot of hours trying to be polite to DBPedia’s servers — and running a live pull from their servers took hours, but a lot fewer hours than I spent trying to mirror their data on our servers. Net loss. Lesson learned.
  • I have not written or recorded any music in days. This makes me unhappy.

More Peter Gabriel, The Upside, Police, CSS

Things I’m thinking about wondering:

  • One of the reasons I like Peter Gabriel so much is that, as a lyricist, he’s willing to ignore rules that I try to, like, pay attention to. In “Big Time,” for example, there’s a line: “And my heaven will be a big heaven, and I will walk through the front door,” with the only concerns the meter and the content – the rhyme scheme doesn’t exist. I try to write like that, but nowhere near as successfully. Peter Gabriel is amazing.
  • The Upside” was a good movie to watch, but not a great one. It had a hallmark of, well, many Hallmark movies, which is not really a compliment in context: dropped story aspects, where I expected a resolution of some kind, but instead the idea got brought up to the viewer and then… put on a bus to Nowhere. However, like many Hallmark movies – and this is a compliment – it left you satisfied with the result, not frustrated or distressed or angry.
  • I wonder: would you blame a policeman for pulling you over if he seemed to honestly believe you were in the wrong somehow? What if you believed you were not in the wrong? I find that I’m generally okay with the idea as long as I believe the policeman was acting honestly; I’m okay being pulled over if he or she thinks I’m in the wrong somehow. That’s his function, and if someone else were acting improperly (or, well, illegally) I’d want the police to pull them over. The fact that it’s me instead of someone else changes nothing about the responsibility of the police. What about you?
  • Sites that change the way links look – by bolding them instead of underlining them, for example – are annoying. I know what a link looks like. When you change that, you make me wonder what I’m seeing. Bolding them instead of underlining them is particularly annoying, because I can’t tell where one link ends and another begins. Confusing readers is bad, site authors. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but still… (There was a site that had two links in a row: a reference to a person and then a recommendation about that person, but I couldn’t tell visually that there were two links in a row as the links were merely bolded and not underlined.)

Big Time!, Politics and Empathy, Football

Things I am observing myself thinking about:

  • I can’t listen to Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” these days without thinking that it’s something like Donald Trump’s theme song.
  • I’ve hit a wall in exercising. Need more motivation. Need to push harder. (Oddly enough, my annoyance at having hit a wall was motivating.)
  • I think a lot of the United States’ political dysfunction is rooted in the ability of either side to say “I see your point.” What we need is both sides to be able to say that – and for them to attempt to say it, and for them to say it willingly.
  • It’s not just politics – in programming forums you see a lot of “I know more than you, therefore you’re an idiot” responses. Someone may know more than someone else, but that kind of response is unnecessary, regardless of truth – and the conclusion of idiocy is stupid.
  • I have seen a ton of interceptions made over the last few years where a fairly easily catchable ball bounces off of the receiver’s hands and into a defender’s arms. I think it’s time we blame this on the receiver instead of the QB; the QB threw the ball well!
  • Yes, I Could Care Less” is a fascinating read for one like me. There’s a balance between being correct and being readable, especially in context.
  • I’m still unimpressed by WordPress’ Gutenberg editor.

Football fans, daily writing, fasting

Things I have observed recently:

  • Football fans – even fans of my own favorite teams – can be absolute jerks and tools.
  • I am committed to writing this… series or whatever it is. Yet it’s only a thing, and not the thing. Consistency is difficult.
  • I would really love each observation to be relevant, heavy, big even if it’s not, like, a big deal, but that doesn’t happen. It requires focus and acceptance, which I find useful.
  • I don’t mind fasting, but being required to fast (blood test later today) sucks. Stop telling me what to do, Necessity!
  • Yeesh, these are slowing down. They’ve been every two days instead of every day. I’ve been preoccupied.
  • One of the problems caused by media bias – in ANY direction – is that nothing seems reliable unless you agree with it.