Weeknotes for week 24, 2023

The week of June 12th.

I had accumulated some time off, so on Tuesday I stopped working a few hours early and we drove to the Lake District.

We've been a few times now (it's only an hour and a half away) and it's one of those places where I really feel my mind going into holiday mode as I get closer and see the fells and then the lakes.

We parked up and walked through the woods to Rydal Water. It's stunningly beautiful.

My partner went for a dip and then read on a towel while I swam around one of the little islands, like I always do.

It was warm enough to air dry in minutes.

Then we charged the car in Windermere while my partner explored Booths and I picked up some delicious burritos.


Car charging on this trip was everything it's supposed to be.

We stopped by Booths on our way there for a quick comfort break – all four charging stalls were available, so I plugged in for a few minutes. I've had an Instavolt RFID card for a while as a backup, and I tried that instead of contactless payment. It was far less faff.

Then on the way back, two or three stalls were available. By the time we were done in Booths, we were almost fully charged.

We took the scenic, slower route to the Lakes and arrived with 50% charge. Since the battery was almost full for the trip back, we took the motorway in Sport Mode (faster acceleration) and arrived home with 2% 😎


At work, it's cooldown.

I made an iCalendar feed to remind me of some recurring work that's too easily missed – now it's in my calendar, with reminders.

ChatGPT was really good for exploring a file format I didn't know, though it is of course also harder to tell when it's lying. It does seem to work as intended.

I recently turned that recurring work from a manual checklist into a script, so once I was reminded of it, it was a lot quicker than before. I hope we will eventually automate it fully – it's challenging but doable.


We trimmed the lovely wisteria on the front of our house.

It's been tricky to lean a regular ladder just right to get at it, so we got a tripod ladder last year. We used it again this week and it makes life much easier.

Also used a pick stick for bits that landed across the neighbours' fence, and for some prickly rose branches. I love a good tool.


I got scammed for the second time in a short while, having never been knowingly scammed before. I wonder if it's a coincidence or a trend.

One was an eBay seller and the other was a web site – in both cases, the thing I ordered never arrived, I got a refund (via eBay and a chargeback respectively), and I noticed a bunch of reviews after the fact showing I was not alone.

Not sure if the reviews were there before ordering; I'll check next time.


I read Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher. It was OK. It had some interesting ideas and kept my interest, but the writing mechanics were showing – it was unsubtle and unconvincing about explaining away would-be plot holes. And it had that inept flippancy you see a lot these days. Not sure if I'll read more of the series, though I've heard it gets better.


I looked up various editions of Blackwater by Michael McDowell since my partner started reading it on my Kindle but prefers paper books.

I stumbled over these beautifully illustrated editions by Suntup – one is covered in eel skin! Not getting that one, but wow.


This week's movie theme was apparently Tom Cruise.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014). was a rewatch for me, but a first watch for for my partner. She enjoyed it. Such a good movie as long as you don't think too hard about the plot.

The Firm (1993) was again a rewatch for me. Not as good as The Pelican Brief, but good.

Jerry Maguire (1996) was a first watch for both of us. My partner found it too boring to finish; I watched the whole thing but low-key hated it. It felt strange and off. And did not deliver a satisfying vindication. The kid was cute, though.

Outside of the Tom Cruise theme, I watched Pompeii (2014). Not fantastic but much better than expected. I wish I could have watched an adaptation of the "Pompeii" book instead, but it was entertaining in its own right.

I also watched the first two episodes of Halt and Catch Fire (2014–2017). I stumbled over reviews saying the character development was reminescent of Mad Men. Perhaps it gets there, but it's nowhere near it so far. Mad Men was great from episode one, and I'm not sure I can make myself watch any more of this. Does it get much better? I like the intro sequence but not much else.

Speaking of our Mad Men (2007–2015) rewatch, we're currently on S01E06 and it's just so well written. Long conversations rich in layers where you hang on every word. Such a contrast to all the streaming-age filler. Also, so much food!


I enjoyed:

And this Wikipedia rabbit (well, dog and cat) hole: