Weeknotes #171

in weeknotes

  • Alas, John did not take to the ice as Eri and I had hoped after last week. Quite the opposite in fact. I had gone for a walk with Rowan while Emma and John were in their respective classes and had to come back to rink to calm down John for the final 10 minutes. Not sure how long we keep forcing him to do it if he really has neither the desire nor the aptitude.

  • I neglected to mention that after last week’s ice skating at Meijijingu, we went and had lunch at the ridiculously overpriced Shake Shack that’s a little down the road. Despite it being very pleasant weather when we arrived, a quick moving hail storm (!) appeared while we were eating and I had to run back to where we’d parked the car to then drive it back over to Shake Shack and pick up Eri and the kids.

  • Speaking of weather, after a bit of a cold start it was lovely on Sunday afternoon and in retrospect it’s a shame we weren’t better organised to go down to the very small lake (or arguably very large pond) that’s in Shakujii Park. There’s some pedal-powered boats in the shape of swans there that you can rent and take out and it would have been the perfect time. Instead, I had a nice walk to the library to borrow books for Emma.

  • I’m still happy with the switch to ahamo but I did have connection issues while I was waiting for the train in Ikebukuro on Friday evening.

  • I experimented with working on a programming problem with ChatGPT and the experience was very cool. For some time now I’ve wanted to make a web app that allows you to play the New York Times crossword collaboratively. That’s not that difficult but the kicker is that I want to do it with plain HTML, CSS and JavaScript (i.e. no app server). The way I’m envisaging it, the collaborative features would all be handled by JavaScript APIs like WebRTC. I don’t know these technologies well and my JavaScript is extraordinarily rusty so it’s not always obvious to me what to search for or, when I find something, whether it’s relevant or not. I’ve been thinking about the project for about a year but have found reading through tutorials, API specifications and Stack Overflow questions pretty slow going. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before but on Saturday night, I started a chat with ChatGPT where I asked it if certain things were even possible and how I could go about doing it. Having double-checked its answers, some were a little misleading (or perhaps my questions weren’t clear enough) but it energised me and got me excited to start writing code. I’m very tempted to start all my programming projects with a brainstorming session like this from now on.

  • I’m watching an episode or two of Seinfeld every couple of days and the show really hits its stride in season 3. The biggest surprise on this watch is how much of a overarching story they weave through the episodes (e.g. Jerry’s stolen car, Kramer’s jacket and of course George’s unemployment). It’s subtle and doesn’t impact your enjoyment of the episodes if you’re not following it but I’m shocked I’d never noticed it before.

  • The NBA playoffs have been terrific. The NBA app has been terrible. Does anyone who works on it ever try to use it?

  • Remember the band Gomez? If you are of a certain age and disposition, they were the British band you listened to at the tail end of the 90s to feel extremely sophisticated. Their album Liquid Skin got a 20th anniversary release back in 2019 and I’ve been surprised how much I’ve been enjoying it. Have a listen to ‘We Haven’t Turned Around’ (Apple Music) and see what you think.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net