January 4-6, 2015

Been reading Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan, after a brief but glowing review by my friend zmagg. It’s most excellent hard-boiled Sci-Fi Noir, gory in some places, very explicitly sexy in others. The pacing is outstanding, and it has quite effectively scratched my usually divergent itches for vintage-style hard-boiled detective fiction & straightforward sci-fi.

Sunday was Sunday. The cold itself is effectively over, but the dry cough lingers. I’m told it will continue to linger for weeks to come.

I flew past the post & shipped the first major milestone release of my holiday project. It took a lot less time than I had figured it would – partly because I remembered more Javascript than I thought I would, and partly because Node, Mongo & their respective communities have rendered basic web-application development just absurdly easy.

There are still plenty of new features in the pipeline. I halfheartedly tried to mess with it some tonight, but I can’t ever really get into that headspace after I have been at work all day. So it’ll be a Saturday-morning thing from here on out, I guess.

This hasn’t always been the case – I did the entire movieminder.com rewrite in the evenings after work (and occasionally late into the night). But that was the late 90s. (Was it really? We were living on Bim Street, so it had to be pre-2000 …)

I don’t have anything pertinent to add to any current/ongoing political or ideological discussion. That is highly likely to change any minute now, so I’m not sweating it too much.

I’ll be in Austin in two weeks. Feel free to share food & drink suggestions.

January 4-6, 2015

December 28-29, 2014

M got this cold first, and it has hit her much harder than it has hit me. I credit my obsessive zinc usage from the moment she got sick, but it could just be that my stress levels are a lot lower now than they were 3-4 months ago.

Or maybe the worst is yet to come for me.

In any case, what was already going to be an uneventful holiday period has turned into a gruellingly uneventful slog through endless days filled with moving as little as possible, interrupted only by brief forays out to get food.

Reminder: Mami Nora makes some incredible chicken.

And the chicken soup from the Whole Foods hot bar is more than adequate when you’re sick and probably can’t taste anything correctly anyway.

The other night we watched Frank. I enjoyed it, up to a point – I wanted more Frank, more weird music, and less of the bland protagonist & his bland blandness. After we finished watching it, we looked up the music of the real Frank Sidebottom. Weird dude, but I liked the music from the film better.

I’m actually getting huge amounts of coding done. This is my first major project in node.js, and I have to say I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Some of that has to do with the fact that I’m comfortable in Javascript – its flexibility and ramshackleness remind me of Perl, a language I’m hugely fond of. Although if I wanted to do more formalized & proper OO coding in Javascript, I could do that too, which is another reason I love it.

And some of it has to do with the fact that NPM is so painless, and the Node community has just exploded with useful packages.

Anyway. I’ve been pushing Javascript & Node on students for 3 years now, after having really only just played around with it on small projects. Relieved to see I wasn’t crazy.

December 28-29, 2014

December 25, 2014

Today I got the cold that M has had for the past week or so. I fought valiantly, but there’s really no way to live with someone without sharing each other’s germs.

Still managed to continue my holiday crash-course in Node, Express & Mongo – I’m at least to the point where I can read through this project’s existing codebase and understand more or less what’s happening, which is rad.

We went to a late afternoon matinee of Chris Rock’s Top Five, a movie whose good parts are amazingly good, but whose bad parts are lousy. Many of the actors are great, and the looser, more improvisatory scenes crackle with energy.

But there’s a lot of plot in this script, most of it kind of ludicrous, and it keeps getting in the way of the good parts.

Overall I’m very glad I saw it, but any recommendations I give will come with some caveats (particularly regarding the first 25 minutes or so).

Ate terrible Whole Foods prepared food. Went to bed & coughed all night. Merry Christmas.

December 25, 2014