Thoughts of the Day, 2019/Feb/8

Things I’m thinking lately:


You can’t want me to excel and then get in my way.

Well, you can, but you… shouldn’t.

Date Formats

Yes, I find I prefer year/month/day. It’s inherently sortable. It’s also really common in computing, and should be more common.


I’m trying to switch back to the headings format. It’s easier to read, but not write… but I’m trying to be okay with encouraging easier reading.

Not Twitter

Most of these “thoughts of the day” would be decent tweets, I think, but they might be too long. I’m not sure. I’m not really a Twitter person. The platform tends to de-emphasize nuance too much for my tastes.

Bad Habits

I just realized something unfortunate: when I’m in flow – that creative state where your brain is churning along at full speed on a problem – I have a habit of grazing for food. The more I achieve flow state, the more I want snacks in easy reach. For someone who’s trying to force themselves back into some semblance of decent shape, that’s not good.

Jalen Hurts, Clemson, Politics, Teamwork

Things I am thinking about having thought about:

  • I feel bad for Jalen Hurts. Swapped out for Tua Tagovailoa, despite having been the guy for Alabama last year… and this year, gets put in on Alabama’s last drive for mop-up duty, when the game’s already lost and there’s no flexibility left to exploit. “Go in and lose us this game, Jalen!” — despite Hurts being a consummate team player. Never mind that I was thrilled that Alabama got crushed – I still feel bad for Hurts, who’s been the kind of teammate everyone wishes they had.
  • Speaking of, congrats to Clemson! I don’t like your team, because I’m a Seminole fan through and through, but you dominated. Good job. Now I hope you lose to FSU next year. And every year.
  • Glances looks neat.
  • Few things are as comfortable as seeing a co-author respond to a topic with “eek!” … oh wait, I meant uncomfortable.
  • I was highly displeased with the resolution of the Dr. Pepper National Championship trophy mystery. “Are you wearing a wire?” is burned into my ears now – hilariously phrased – but the resolution was dumb and manipulative. I get enough of that from politicians.
  • Speaking of manipulative politicians: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is playing games like a master. “Republicans are attacking me on social media!” with respect to her dancing… meanwhile, it’s one tweet from one anonymous account. Yes, it’s a stupid thing to complain about (the tweeter’s problem!), but her reaction is… overblown, too. It sure plays into her base, though!

Blogs are so eh

Things I think I’ve learned today:

  • Blogs are so yesterday, man. It’s probably the medium and platform I’ve chosen – I don’t use Medium, for example, although I have an account there – and I don’t publish often enough, or with enough direct focus, to really attract users, because I’m really not trying to build a popular platform. But at the same time, my pride is hurt just a little that traffic is so low.
  • Crawler4j makes it really easy to write a working web spider in Java – or, in my case, Kotlin. Looked into scrapy for a bit, but couldn’t figure out why what should have been a trivial recipe was so hard to find, switched to Kotlin because I really just needed to make progress. Progress was made. Scrapy’s probably fine – maybe the information I was looking for was out there, right in front of my face, and I couldn’t recognize it, but that didn’t help me make the progress I needed.
  • Had a good example of pragmatism in action show up yesterday, too. We issued a pull request for a migration, and one of our developers pointed out a number of situations in the new codebase that could have been problematic. I asked him to demonstrate the errors (or potential errors) with tests so we could validate them, but he wasn’t sure how much effort would be involved in writing those tests… so we progressed with the merge. I think we made the right choice; he’s not wrong in his observations (we might have introduced errors with the new changes) but without validation, we can’t know, and we’d be chasing ghosts. We made notes that the code might be problematic, and we’re going to watch for problems that come from it.
  • Aaron’s Thinking Putty is cooler than it should be.