Weeknotes for week 17, 2023

The week of April 24th.

I'm writing this from a car charging site in Scarborough.

We're visiting a friend this weekend. We can't charge the car at her house, so public chargers it is.

At home I just plug it in and it's ready when we need it. EVs are a bit less convenient when you can't just charge where you're parked.

We have a delightful car with rather limited range. We arrived the other day with 3%. While it was charging Saturday morning, I enjoyed a walk down to the seaside and back as the town was waking up. I did the same thing last visit, so it's becoming a nice tradition.

Now, Sunday, I'm topping it up for the trip back.


On the Saturday we explored Ravenscar, the scenic site of a failed resort.

The drive was super atmospheric and foggy.

We had a cold but cosy picnic overlooking the North Sea.


On the trip back home from Scarborough, I tried Apple Maps instead of our usual Google Maps since it recommended a somewhat shorter route. Got home with about 10%.

Both drives were lovely. Yorkshire is beautiful. I used to think of driving as a necessary evil to get from A to B, but these days I enjoy it.

And I quite liked Apple Maps. I think the guidance was clearer and it showed roundabouts better.


Earlier in the week, at work, I had reason to think again about the tension between delivering on "your" task and helping others.

I've learned over the years that it can be very stressful if you don't find that balance.

I also had a lot of fun squashing a test flake and cowboy-coding a script.


ChatGPT went from a convenient search engine to being seriously useful.

I was working on a somewhat complicated database query. I tried asking ChatGPT about a simplified example of the query, and it suggested a workable solution. After a few rounds of me clarifying some implicit assumptions – like "this value can never be null" – its suggestion was pretty much plug and play.

The friend we visited is an artist, and my partner is too. Their take on AI (mostly focused on image generation) is understandably less optimistic than mine.


I enjoyed two Wikipedia rabbit holes this week.

The first one was the ISO 216 A series. I knew A4 paper is A3 folded in half and so on, but appreciated the explanation of why a 1:√2 aspect ratio ensures this. And I love that there is a corresponding pen width scale: you can make an A3 drawing, copy it down to A4, and exactly match the reduced line width.

The other rabbit hole was various forms of creative malice. As with phishing scams and such, I can really appreciate the ingenuity, ethics aside.

Not malicious, but related:


One of our bathroom taps is noisy.

I had trouble sourcing a replacement part, so I ordered a new tap, intending only to replace that part. Turns out the part has changed, so I guess I'll be replacing the whole tap after all.


I'm seeing a lot of Bluesky chatter. Curious to see where this will all lead.

I like Mastodon, and it's achieved critical mass in the tech space, but it does have a lot of shortcomings.


I watched:

  • Beef (2023–). Everyone at work recommended it. So far, 5 episodes in, I think it's fine. Good first episode that pulls you in, but it loses steam.
  • Miss Congeniality (2000). Entertaining enough but not very memorable. The famous "perfect date", curiously, was this Tuesday.

    Stan Fields: Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.
    Miss Rhode Island: That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

  • Grease 2 (1982). Rewatch. Not a good movie as such but enjoyable.
  • Nuts in May (1976). Rewatch. Masterful.
  • Gudetama (2022–). Good, which is more than I expected.

Our house was built in 1906. I've previously looked at the 1911 and 1939 censuses.

I realised the 1921 census has been released as well, so I paid a few pounds to see it.

There's something uncomfortable and inexorable about checking who lived at your house 10 years apart or so. Will we live here in 10 years time? In 20?

Speaking of Time's scythe, I enjoyed "Clock" by Neil Gaiman and FourPlay (and William Shakespeare).