Work Bake Off 2018

Work had a bake off thingy and I managed to come in second. The winner did bread pudding that included whisky - this was a reminder that just like in writing you need to know your audience! The cookbook for my selection of cookies is based off my Thanksgiving cookbook template.

Holiday Twabble

A few years back I linked a number of drabbles and twabbles I had written. So a new one for the holiday season and the relaunch of the Drabblecast: “All the reindeer finally loved him. They all shouted with glee. Rudolph grinned at them all. He released his tentacles.” Also in writing this I reread the old contributions and realised “Different” would be better if I changed just one word (see if you can spot it): Different (HP Lovecraft theme) “Every pregnancy is different,” Jan says reassuringly.

Thanksgiving 2018

I had this idea I would start doing more regular blog posts last year but that seems to have failed. Maybe next year! I had help with this year’s troff adventures so thanks to Catherine for this year’s 2018 cookbook. There are some recipe errata I need to do - but those are all mine. Essentially I winged (sorry) the turkey burritos on the day and what I actually did vs what I vaguely considered doing early Saturday morning did not line up.

Thanksgiving 2017

Another adventure with troff generated a menu. By all reports people had a good time. I was a bit more adventurous this year and did biscuits - a variation on Allen’s. This meant I had to cook one dish 10 minutes before dinner so timing of everything else became a bit more strict. It worked however and people liked them. The rice cooker and the slow cookers really did make the timing issue less stressful this time.

Follow-up to cube root trick

Following up on the cube root trick post, I wrote a version that speaks the number in Chrome. It’s an experimental API and I doubt I’m choosing the voice very well. But it does train how to do the trick better than reading the cubed number on screen. On browsers that don’t support this API it degrades down to the way the previous version worked. I also updated the old tool to take input once the second number is typed in - with that I got down to a sustained 3.5 second response time.

Cube root trick

After reading how to get cube roots in your head in a particular set of circumstances I learned the trick while stuck in traffic. But it then says you have to practice a lot so I wrote a tool in C to do that. But then I realised a web version might be a bit more accessible to people so here’s one. Made the trainer work nicer on mobiles thanks to [Kae][4]’s suggestion.

Auto-loading modules in Python

Since switching to vcsh I’ve been writing more personal scripts since they’re pretty easy to ship around to each machine. Plus more things have REST APIs and python’s slumber makes it dead easy to talk to them. However I then have to make sure modules like slumber are installed since it’s not in the python standard library. This adds a level of awkwardness to the scripts in my ~/bin. While looking for something else I came across this answer on stackoverflow and it fit what I wanted to do.

The thugs on both sides

I wrote the following in a comment on a discussion about the [protests in Charlottesville][9]. Some people felt that protesters on “both sides” were “thugs.”

I went to school in Kansas. And if you go into the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka you’ll see an imposing mural of a thug: [John Brown][1] He was an abolitionist who (sadly [unusually][8] for the time) actually believed in equality - and he walked his talk.


Why vim was opening markdown files slowly.

A few months back I upgraded my vim configuration to use pathogen for managing my vim plugins. Since adding plugins was now a doddle I found a few lists of “super-duper useful vim plugins you must have” and just installed them blindly. Along the way I also configured how various plugins and the like were configured. This included a one-line change to associate .md files with markdown (by default they associate Modula-2 which I haven’t written code in for 20+ years).

Leo's apology

Leo Sherlock’s apology leaves something to be desired. It’s an image which I think he believes is hard to search for (sorry, search engines do OCR on images) and printed so it’s hard to read.

To help rectify this and offer links to his apology and those affected, I wrote this up. Do feel free to copy and paste all of this and post it far and wide.