w/c 2nd October 2023


This week has been somewhat backwards in terms of its structure for me, given I’ve had a social engagement almost every weekday evening but now find myself with a nearly entirely free and unplanned weekend. Given I’m determined for weeknotes to be a format that I use only when and how it works for me, rather than a structure of obligations that I impose on myself in pursuit of a Linkedin-influencer’s notion of discipline, I would have been perfectly happy to have an excuse to skip writing them this week or to write them late were I busy. It was not to be though and instead I find myself with the time and inclination to write again, risking establishing a highly regrettable reputation for consistency that I’ll have to strive to shatter further down the line.

I try to do a few bits of hobby coding on my morning train journeys when I go into the office, when the caffeine reaches my brain in time. This week I’ve built some very quick and ugly reporting for all the energy usage data I’m now gathering from around the house. Soph’s patience for me excitedly talking about how I can now accurately compare the costs of our dishwasher’s different modes has unfortunately turned out to be limited, though no one’s perfect.

The downside to collecting lots of energy data is that you end up with lots of energy data – I’m adding about 100k records a week at the moment – so I’ve built a bit of a database ticking time bomb that I’ll need to deal with soon.

Elsewhere I’ve been tinkering with using the smlkjns_assistant engine to generate summary messages for my task management app, though that’s still very much a work in progress.

I bought a new phone earlier in the year that has a much better camera than my previous one, which almost immediately caused me to run out of storage space in Google Photos. My solution up until now has been to turn off photo backup and hope that nobody steals my phone but given I largely use my camera these days to document every second of the kitten’s life, I have a newfound interest in ensuring I don’t lose everything. Today’s project is therefore to install Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi. A perfect Saturday afternoon.

The cat continues to be outraged if she ever suspects she doesn’t hold our undivided attention…

…and has perfected a look of profound betrayal whenever we dare to leave the house.

Unsurprisingly, given the HS2 news, I’ve read a lot this week talking about or around the fact that running the British state has become an exercise in managed decline, none of which I can bring myself to link to. Instead, I recommend this piece by Daniel Trilling in the LRB (whose app I’ve been overjoyed to discover now has a dark mode) on his experience applying for German citizenship.

Tomorrow, as my one planned weekend activity, I’ve been persuaded to go along to this event with Raynor Winn. It’s part of Weston Lit Fest, which I am apparently the last person to find out is a thing that exists.

Lastly, I’m going to Blackpool next week, so recommendations for things to see, do or eat are welcome – particularly any that either challenge or reinforce my view of the place as “what if Weston-super-Mare were big”. The one recommendation I have received so far is this, if that helps to set the tone.