Seeking Out Bad News

Sometimes I wonder if I’m just going out of the way to seek bad news. Maybe it’s because I think that if I don’t, then a problem will go unaddressed as no-one else is aware of it.

There’s probably some evolutionary trait to this. Being the one that hears a predator, and reacts to it before anyone else, is an advantage. But in this day and age, many of the problems that I have anxiety about is pretty much known by everyone, and addressing it in any meaningful way is beyond my direct control.

So in the interest for my own mental health, I should cut down on seeking out these stories, do what I can to help with the problem, and just hope that someone who does have the ability to do something substantial knows about it, and can address it in some way.

While total ignorance is probably not ideal, being up to speed with the woes of the world is probably not healthy either.

It seems like every time I’m working on something where time is of the essence, a device or operating system decides that now is the perfect time to update. Looking at you, Windows.

There’s exactly one week left in my current job before I leave. An email, which seems to have marked the occasion, has notified me that the induction Trello board, opened when I joined, has just been closed.

I can’t understand how people post to Medium. I’m sure they have nice authoring tools, and you’ll get readers for your work, but the actual reading experience is awful. It’s slow, it’s janky, and just now the page I was reading errored out without me interacting with it.

Wow, fresh off the acquisition of Day One, it looks like Automattic is acquiring Pocket Casts. That makes two aquisitions of apps that I use on a daily basis. Not entirely sure how I feel about this.

In today’s crazy ideas to get out of things I rather not do: as part of getting solar panels, I have to get a photo of part of my roof. I’d rather not get on a ladder and I don’t have a drone. But I do have a Raspberry Pi with a camera module. I’m wondering if doing something with that, along with a battery, duck tape, and a couple of broomsticks would work.

Update: well, this idea hit a roadblock quickly. I booted up the Raspberry Pi and tried the camera, and I got an error suggesting that the camera module is not connected. The Raspberry Pi is inside a case, meaning that if I wanted to check the camera module connection, I’d have to open it. The annoying thing is that when I first got it (it was several years ago), the camera was working fine. It must have come loose while I was moving it around or something.

So now I need to open the case without breaking it. Not sure how easy that would be to do.

It seems to be that the general advice for those under 50 looking at the AstraZenica vaccine is to speak with your doctor. I don’t know how it is with others, but I don’t actually have a doctor to speak with. Most of my experience with GPs are with bulk billing clinics, with doctors coming and going, that deal with routine matters like prescription renewals and doctor certificates for colds. I’m not sure if there is anyone there that I could turn to for advice like this.

I wonder if I’m an outlier here. Maybe it’s time I got one.

There’s no worst combination that anxiety and boredom. Having something on your mind, while also having very little to do, there isn’t many avenues for distraction, and all you have left is refreshing various news site for updates.

Washing sheets in winter is the worst. You are so reliant on the forecast being perfect and you have to make the call early in the morning. And of course forecasts can be wrong, and you find yourself having a better day to do them on the day you decided to do it tomorrow.

A Year On

It’s been a year since I’ve signed up to and written my first post, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.

The reason for joining was to write more; to focus less on the blogging engine and more on the blog itself. At the time I have only posted seven times over a period of 9 months. In the last year, that post count has risen to 222. I guess I can call that objective achieved.

But the biggest reason for staying, and one I wish I knew sooner, is the fantastic community here. Having such a great bunch of people online is quite rare now, and this has quickly been my favourite place on the internet. We truly have something special here.

Thank you all for being such awesome people.

I’ve got to get into the habit of writing more about what I’m doing. I never think about it at the time because it always seems like a distraction. But I always regret it later when I want to revisit something, and nothing about it is written down, and all I have to go on is my memory. Conversely, on those rare occasions when I actually had something about it written down, I’m always happy that I did.

Trying my hand at logo design for something I’m working on. I’m aiming for something that looks like a mix between a bookmark, the letter D, and something to suggest synchronising stuff. This is probably the best I’ve got so far.

Attempted logo

Start of new project: organising solar panels for my house.

Finished reading: The Sentinel by Lee Child (yep, I’m a Jack Reacher fan). 📚

Genius me set myself a reminder on Friday to “update the doco”. The reminder has just shown up, and I have no idea what “doco” I was referring to.

Why I like developing in Go vs. something like NodeJS: my development setup doesn’t randomly break for some weird reason. When it does break, it’s because of something I did explicitly.

Credit to Vic. DHHS for including more information about the origin of new Covid-19 cases alongside the daily tally. I appreciate that this feedback from the public has been taken onboard. I can imagine it means more work, but it really helps with peace of mind.

I’m seeing more and more apps these days being designed as the software equivalent of catalogues, and I’m finding it quite distasteful. This is not so much ads: I understand that developers need to make money some way. It’s more things like “featured articles” in Maps on iOS, or news articles in search results (if these were ads, they should be disclosed as such).

I’m using your software to achieve a goal here, not simply to browse around.

When it comes to organising things, whether it’s a large transition or simply the events of my day, I tend to be quite rigid in my scheduling. I make sure to plan ahead, and ensure that the things that need to happen do so in the intended order. There is a time for everything, and everything is to happen on time. Any deviations from this and I get anxious.

I know some people, both friends and family, that are the polar opposite to this. No need for a set scheduled, just show up when you’re ready. Things happen when they happen, and if they’re delayed or out of sequence, so what? We’ll eventually get by in the end.

I wish I had a bit more of this attitude.

I wonder if part of my indecisiveness in making large decisions, such as changing jobs, has a lot to do with the need to make everyone happy. I know that’s not always possible, you can’t please everyone. Maybe the best approach is to minimise the damage.

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday so I got a Covid-19 test. In July 2020, when I last had a test, it took me 5 days to get the results. Yesterday, I got the results in 9 hours (it was negative). Really impressed by how well testing improved over the last year.

Working On The Weekend

I’ve saw a Tweets last night saying that the best thing a young person can do to help their career is to work on the weekend. The implication there is that being the one that “puts in the extra hours” can seem, in the eyes of your employer, like you’re the hardest worker there, that you’re committed to the project and the job. This could lead to bonuses, promotions, perks, a reputation, you name it.

I’m always sceptical when I see advice like that. Coming in on the weekend on a voluntary bases might be good for your career, but is it actually good for you? Are you doing yourself any favours spending two additional days a week creating value for someone else?

What about the things that will create value for you? That can help you be a more rounded person? Things like learning a new skill, starting a new side project, socialising, taking up a hobby. When will you have time for that? Not to mention just fricken resting, which is really not as valued as it should be.

My feeling is that you already work for someone else 5 out of 7 days a week. By all means work on the weekend if you want to, but make sure you’re doing it for yourself.

I’m wondering if Slack should add a feature which, on demand, will roll-up the last several messages in a thread or channel, delete them all, and replace it with a single message saying “Nope, we were wrong here.”

A walk in the rain, with no one else around other than the currawongs. Fair bit darker than what the photo suggests.

A wet gravel path

Slightly wet sign

A foot-bridge over a stream

I feel like the only person in the world that prefers to catch up on the WWDC keynote by reading the Ars Technica liveblog over watching it.