Welcome to my little slice of the internet. If you want to know more about me there’s an about page. Want to send me a message? Connect on Mastodon.

Some things on this site:

Looking for something in particular? Try searching.

Want to follow updates? Subscribe to the feed: RSS | JSON.

  • Mar 19, 2023

    RIP Maggie

    Our cat Maggie passed away yesterday. She was a good cat. We adopted her in 2012, somewhat unintentionally. We knew we wanted a cat, and there was a room in the shelter for “Salty and Pepper”, which is a terrible set of names for two black and white cats. The one we would name Jake came over like a dog would, introducing himself with a head butt and looking for scritches, but Salty (or Pepper, we never were quite sure) was nowhere to be found. Searching around the room revealed Maggie hiding away in a little cat tent, reluctant to come out, relying on her brother to do the work of finding new pet parents, a pattern she would continue once we brought her home, making Jake do the work of asking for treats and dinner.

    A funny thing about furry friends is you spend a lot of time with them, as much as immediate family, and they’re tied up in memories of everything. In our first house Maggie would find all the odd spots a cat could find to hide in a turn of the twentieth century home. Lorelei was born and once Maggie stopped being afraid of her stumbling and crying, she became her everyday companion and occasional play table.

    Throughout Covid she was the screen time cat, joining me for meetings while Jake napped on the couch. Maggie laying on my desk

    And would still hang out for play time.

    I’ll end with this photo, a happenstance of lighting that revealed her inner kitty, the one that would knock over scratching posts at 2 a.m., or attack the doorknob on our bedroom door while we slept just to run away when I opened it.

  • Luda

    Mar 15, 2023
  • Project Hail Mary

    Feb 11, 2023
  • Feb 7, 2023

    Modem Upgrades

    Xfinity sent me an email a while back saying service in our area had been upgraded to 600 Mbps, and that my modem couldn’t handle this extreme new bandwidth. But any network test was showing 550-580 Mbps so… seemingly it could handle most of it. I filed a mental note, went on with my life.

    fast.com test for our old modem showing 540 Mbps down

    But more recently they sent another email saying speed had been increased even more, and my modem was objectively trash at this point, so maybe consider a new one. This seemed more interesting, so I did some research about which modems are actually ok and not unreliable disasters, and picked up the ARRIS SURFboard S33 which is a name that is both cool and lame at the same time, somehow. I guess we still “surf” the web? Feels like like we’ve got our foot trapped in a rock and the waves just slap us on our head over and over and over.

    Anyway, I installed it tonight, and Xfinity was not lying, the old modem was slow and sad and the new one gets us 1 gig down 1. Also using their app to register the new modem took about 10 minutes and was entirely painless. It was, I dare even say, Comcastic.

    fast.com test for our new modem showing 1gig down

    This modem is in theory capable of 2.5 Gbps down, although I do not believe Xfinity will be promising that any time soon, and it would require replacing a lot of other hardware, and honestly, I just don’t think I can click on links that fast.

    1. The upload speed remains sad and slow, only slightly better than a man in 1880 repeating a Morse code message down a telegraph line.
  • Feb 1, 2023

    Welcome to the Worst Month of Winter

    If you’ve ever been around me in real-life in the month of February you’ve likely heard me argue that humans in cold climates should not have to February, at all. Take the month off, hibernate, catch up on streaming TV shows, slowly drink a cup of tea in the afternoons, start a new hobby, clear out a backlog of books or learn something new. It’s cold, the Sun barely exists, it’s peak cold/flu/whatever else season, if you have kids they get a near third of the month off anyway, so why shouldn’t you?

    The only good part? It’s the shortest month.

  • Jan 29, 2023

    Built with Comments

    Every once in a while I get a message from someone about something I wrote here. Most of those messages would be valuable to anyone reading the site, but they get dropped into my inbox instead. On top of that, I often leave comments on other people’s websites, so I figured why not add them here.

    This project was part “let’s add comments” and part “let’s play with a new service”, in this case Supabase a PAAS (platform as a service), being used here pretty minimally to glue a few APIs to a database for the comments.

    Anyway, leave a comment, see if it works.

  • Jan 20, 2023

    Annual Maintenance Again

    VW Bus in the lobby

    Last year I wrote Annual Maintenance about the differences in the one day in January of 2020, 2021, and 2022 I sat in a VW dealership. I made a guess about 2023:

    What’s my best guess for January, 2023? No masks. Finally hit 10,000 miles but still well under 20,000 and impossibly far from 30,000. I’ll still go to Trader Joe’s after. I’ll be smart enough to do this on a weekday so I don’t get stuck in the weekend crowd. Things change, but things stay the same.

    Was I right? I pulled in the service bay with 9992 miles. No one is wearing a mask. It’s a Friday. 50/50 I go to Trader Joe’s after — we’re good on groceries but I do have a mild trail mix addiction. Is everything normal now? Normal as any normal is, I guess.

  • Jan 15, 2023

    Aptitude vs. Tenure

    Aptitude is the ability to perform a type of work. Tenure is the length of time in job. Their correlation degrades rapidly.

    From Professional Aptitude vs. Tenure

    Ilya includes a nice graphic here of the idea of aptitude versus tenure. In a past career life I worked with a manager who would frequently toss out the phrase “I have over twenty years experience!” when justifying decisions. We’d joke he’d been showing up for twenty years, whether he’d actually learned anything was up for debate.

    Most organizations have a “career resting level” for each job: a level everyone is expected to reach eventually that, once reached, carries no further level growth expectations except for sustained execution and honing of their craft. Unfortunately, it's rare to find well-developed tools and language that gives enough credit, praise, and recognition to this happy steady state. Resting levels are not "easy" levels, they are the personal goldilocks zone: challenging but not impossible, rewarding but not at the cost of all else.

    The idea of a resting level is a nice thought experiment now that I’m some-many years into my career as a software developer and I am not yet (and do not appear to be on track to reach) Google Fellow level.

  • Jan 12, 2023

    Jeff Beck

    Jeff Beck passed away yesterday. I don’t recall how I first found out about him, it was either some Guitar World magazine list of “greatest guitar albums” or my dad recounting the history of rock n’ roll to me while driving me to school. He wasn’t popular or well known when I was a teenager, but I got a copy of Blow by Blow and listened to it a trillion times in a row. The solo in “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” remains one of my favorite guitar solos.

    Weirdly of all the songs of his that pops into my head on a regular basis it’s this song “Blackbird” from his 2001 album You Had It Coming, where he does call and response with a bird and, in Jeff Beck fashion, lets the bird get the last word.

  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

    Jan 10, 2023
Back to top