Echos From Another Time
Years ago I was given my first prescription for daily brain meds...
I lost my best boy Sunday morning...
My Tweets Have Come Home to Roost
It takes the zip file of your archive from that site and it spits out a fully searchable static website of all your public tweets (that aren’t replies to someone else).
Most of my tweets are shite, going right back to 2007, but there’s some gold in there and I’m glad to have them at my fingertips in a space I own.
'Tis the Season for Bloody Jesus
Tonight was the annual Athens Christmas parade, also known as (by a friend of mine, anyway) “Athens Annual Let’s Do Weird Shit Day”. I’ve been regaled for years with tales of the strangeness at this parade, ranging from “Rotisserie Jesus” (a bloody live human Jesus on a spinning cross) to last year’s hippy who thought it would be a good idea to use a roadkill great horned owl as a hand puppet and thrust it in the faces of kids lined up along the route.
I’ve never been able to see it, myself. For the last twenty years I ran Athens Locally Grown, a weekly farmers Thursday farmers market that always conflicted. I closed it at the end of last year, though, so this year I was free to go. The theme was “An Out of this World Holiday” and the grand marshal was a local amateur astronomer known as “Mr. Science” for all the outreach educational events he’s done over the years. Already, it was the best Christmas parade I’ve ever been to.
At least a third of the floats were from churches with questionable relations to the theme. The best was the Unitarians with a pickup they converted to the USS Enterprise pulling a trailer proclaiming they were “embracing Star Trek values Logic Science Dignity Equality Equity” and a whole group of walkers wearing various eras of star fleet uniforms. The Catholics had a large tiki lounge as their float. The local klezmer band had both a giant dreidel and a Jewish space laser.
A bra store had a small float proclaiming “Every body is a celestial body” and a large bra on a pole covered with lights, ready to guide magi.
My favorite float (and winner of Best In Show) was from a local Montessori-ish STEAM school. They made a post-apocalyptic cabin populated with survivors and followed by a number of different creatures, including a dancing Chinese dragon only it was a “Santapede”.
And yeah, the controversial fundamentalist church had a smiling bloody Jesus hanging from a cross under models of the planets. Ho ho ho!
Solving Puzzles with Code
The Advent of Code is upon us once again. Every year Eric Wastl weaves together a daily series of clever challenges into a delightful story. They can be solved in any language and method you want, including brute force, and I look forward to it every December.
Which is an odd thing to say maybe considering I’ve never made it further than a dozen days in. It just seems like every year the work project I’m on catches fire and needs my full attention and my drive to work on coding challenges for fun just fizzles out.
I’m fully expecting it to be true this year, too. I just started a new project this week, and the whole reason I’m here is they are short-staffed and under the gun to deliver a fully functional robot in three months, if not sooner. I’ve already accepted the fact that it’s going to ratchet up the pressure over the next few weeks and not loosen up for the holidays. I’m ok with that.
Still, I’m ready. I’ve been wanting to loosen my reliance on GitHub (same as I’m loosening my reliance on Twitter, Instagram, etc.) so this was the perfect time to try out Gitea. Programming is surprisingly social (especially coding challenges like AoC) so I spun up git.kestrelsnest.social and created a placeholder repo for my 2022 solutions. When the first puzzle lands at midnight, I’ll be ready to go.
And if I only make it three days, that’s ok.
Day full of good things
It was a day full of good things. Here they are, in chronological order:
- read two chapters of Dan Moren’s book “The Bayern Agenda” while drinking coffee in the hot tub before work
- the things that didn’t work in my new project yesterday started working
- attended my first standup with my new teammates
- ate a delicious chicken pot pie for lunch
- returned a library book that was six years overdue and wasn’t charged a fine
- voted in the senate runoff election
- got a delicious dirty spiced chai
- installed gitea at git.kestrelsnest.social and initialized a repo for Advent of Code
- made buffalo chicken legs for dinner
- took my youngest to their first rehearsal of a neighborhood brass band based on a poster I saw stapled to a telephone pole
- ate leftover pecan pumpkin pie
- watched several episodes of Taskmaster and had quite a few good laughs
A good day indeed.
Postscript: It occurred to me right after posting that this could have been titled “Is the ketamine working? Signs point to yes.” More on that later, no doubt.
First day on the job
As a software developer that gets loaned out to other companies, I tend to have quite a few “first day on the job” days. Today was one of them, joining a team working hard to get a new bio-lab robot on the market.
As is typical with joining a new project, I spent the entire first day trying to figure out why nearly nothing in the README actually worked.
Computers are the worst.
Like the legend of the phoenix
I used to be a prolific blogger, back in the very early days of the form. Had a few things “go viral” before that was a thing, meaning they were seen and talked about by dozens of people, but I was comfortably C-list in that small world.
As my online time got eaten up by other things, like farming and starting a family, my posts became shorter and less frequent and eventually just … stopped. Instead of using my own space to keep my words, I unconsciously switched over almost exclusively to a hot new microblogging platform started by some podcasting tooling developers called Twttr.
Twitter’s very short character limit made it ideal for the short bits I was writing anyway, and it was easy to write them more often. This only increased the ephemeral quality of them and I didn’t even notice really that I was just creating a gap in my once exhaustively documented life. I’ve got all my tweets downloaded and stored away, but they’re not something I can really go back and read. Those years are essentially lost to me.
But now an egomaniacal billionaire troll has taken over and is systematically destroying Twitter and that has shocked me awake. It’s well past time to start owning my words again and, more importantly, treating them like they matter and kept and displayed and shared.
So, here’s Kestrel’s Nest back from the dead.
For a laugh, I used a page from February 2001 from my old blog here as a placeholder. I thought about making this style match that exactly, but if I go that route I’ll do it another day. It’s here if you want to have a laugh too.
I’ve come out the other side. Amazingly enough, I only had to reinstall two applications: my virus scanner and web browser. All my email survived. And, my first impressions are great. I like Windows 2000. I am using Stardock’s wonderful Object Desktop, so my GUI doesn’t even look like Windows to begin with, and changing to W2000 didn’t affect me there at all. If you picked up my laptop right now, you would think I was using Apple’s OS X.
Today I migrate my laptop from Windows 98 to Windows 2000 Professional. I’m scared.