An image of Sheila, a sleepy cat, lying next to an old computer keyboard.

How to Write Unmaintainable Code

Hint: Do the opposite of this hilarious list of tips’n’tricks for ensuring a job for life. Originally written by Roedy Green and now on GitHub thanks to Droogans.

The logos for HUGO, Jekyll, and Gatsby.

A Growing Desire to JAMstack My Website

I’ve been reading about static site generators and the JAMstack here and there from late 2017. Since my first exposure, an idea has been building steam in the back of my head:

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The front of an Izakaya we passed by in Fukuoka.

Thinking About More Structured Story Telling

Now that we’re officially in the UK, and I’m tantalizingly close to being able to claim my front-end web development certificate (woot!), my mind has started drifting to the steps that will be at hand before the end of the year, especially job hunting and interviewing. While my mind is fresh with these ideas, I’ll leave some notes here for when job-hunting time comes around for me. Perhaps it’ll be of use to someone else before then.

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A field mouse I rescued from a water-logged tarp while helping the neighbouring farmer.

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir

Et oui, nous habitons désormais ailleurs qu’en France. Suite à presque six mois dans le nord-ouest français, nous voici les pieds posés à Bristol, Royaume Uni. Tout pleins de bons souvenir de notre séjour de l’autre bord de la Manche, j’ai eu quelques pensées pour les hôtes, les voisins, les chiens et les chats que nous avons pu apprendre à connaître tandis que Lars cherchait un emploi (cause de notre récent déménagement !

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A piece of mushroom that I crushed under foot, leaving the print of my shoes on it.

Copy Writing. As Important as Coding Skills

A fellow –and very talented– copy writer sent me this fastcodesign article a good handful of weeks ago. I finally got around to reading it today since a few weeks of moving-induced limbo came to a close late last week when we touched down in Bristol, UK. Give it a read if you have a moment, it’s a short one. The obvious takeaway? Perhaps it’s: “A lot of times designers don’t know that words are important.

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The freeCodeCamp logo on a green background

freeCodeCamp – Progress Log #2

Another great day! Had fun finishing the Basic Algorithm Scripting section (all javascript, all day) of the course. I struggled with Chunky Monkey in the morning, but the big challenge was in the afternoon. It saw me struggling something fierce with the Seek and Destroy exercise; I estimate that I spent close to two hours trying to figure out how to get filters and arguments to work for me. I think I’ll have to do some more studying up on how to use filters and especially on when/where arguments can be called.

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The freeCodeCamp logo on a green background

freeCodeCamp – Progress Log #1

I got back on the freeCodeCamp horse after spending waaaaaay too much time working on the portfolio project assignment, then deciding to start making this website, going on vacation, excuses, etc. Feels great to be in the intense-learning zone again. Just enjoyed doing all of the Basic Javascript section in 5 hours today (it estimates 10 hours, so I’m happy!). I still had another hour of studying in my calendar for today, and a lukewarm cup of tea to keep me company, so I also attacked the Object Oriented and Functional Programming and finished it.

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The Windows and Ubuntu logos tiled across the image.

Dual Boot and Playing With Ubuntu

I wiped my laptop drives clean this weekend, reinstalled Windows 10, and added Ubuntu (Linux) as a second operating system, setting my trusty lappy up as a dual boot system for the first time. Last time I played with Linux it was a choppy experience, but this time I’m really liking Ubuntu. If it wasn’t for things like Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, I think I’d make the switch to Ubuntu and leave the world of Windows in my wake.

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A generic picture of code on a monitor

Eating Bitter Is Nice

It was far past midnight. My wife and kids had long gone to bed. But sleep was not an option for me. I had to figure it out. So I tweaked the code again, for the googolth time, and hit run. Hmm, looks promising. If I click here, the program should call the “compute next move” function. Yes. And if I click here, that function should call itself. Good. Now, if I click here, I should get…not that.

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The open fields with trees where I went running.

First Run in a Long Time

Lars started running again and it inspired me to do so as well. I went for a short first run in order to be tender to my knee(s) and everything went swimmingly. The run felt good and the air was a bit cold so I ended up pushing harder than I thought, running an average 4:59 min/km pace over the 2.74km loop that I had picked. Listening to Portuguese audio tapes during the run felt doubly good, and had me feeling excited about potentially making a move to Lisbon in the coming year.

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A screenshot of a tired-looking actor Christian Bale in the movie The Machinist, with car parts displayed on the wall behind him.

The Machinist

Best movie I have seen in years, easily. Go watch it, pay attention to the details, enjoy the music, the colour palette and how it shifts with the scenes. Christian Bale is outstanding in his commitment to the role and his acting is splendid. Piecing together the details in the scenes just heightened my enjoyment of the movie, and didn’t at all detract from the storytelling. This is the kind of movie that I wish came out more often; I’ll be thinking about it for weeks, if not years.

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An image of an open dishwasher full of clean dishes.

Dishwashers Are Crazy

We’ve just started a new housesit near-ish to La Rochelle, France, and we have access to a dishwasher for the first time in quite a few years. In fact, I think the last time I was living somewhere with a dishwasher that I actually used might be about 10 years ago. Anyways, this unit is an interesting two-drawer machine (it’s a DeLonghi, but appears to be a rebadged Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer), and having never used such a dishwasher, I was curious about whether or not this type is more energy and water efficient than more traditional dishwashers, so I took to the internet.

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An image of a human skull with old circuit boards in its brain cavity, wearing lab safety glasses.

Wait a second, so an A.I. has figured out lying?

In January, in another shock to the system, an A.I. program showed that it could bluff. Libratus, built by two Carnegie Mellon researchers, was able to crush top poker players at Texas Hold ‘Em. – Maureen Dowd, Vanity Fair – March 2017

A repeating pattern of hand-drawn Starbucks coffee cups. Original image (I think) by transparentt on Tumblr.

Discovering Axure through the course Mastering Axure RP 7: UX Design Prototyping

I’ve been poking about the edges of the world of UX/UI sketching, wireframing, and prototyping over the past few weeks and decided to take the plunge. After a bit of reading up, I chose to start playing with Axure RP and found a class on re-creating the key elements of Starbuck’s (old) website. It was a great class (it’s been replaced, see below) that starts with 8 theory videos and followed by a further 9 videos of practice work.

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A screengrab of Mushu, the tiny helpful dragon from the movie Mulan, being reborn from his stone form.

It's Alive

Just done did getting the domain and setting up WP. I’m glad step one is done as it wasn’t such an easy feat what with being hunkered down in a barn in the countryside of France and the internet coming and going because there’s a severe wind, rain, and hail front coming through the area. Next steps: start populating with content and do a bit of coding to beautify the whole thing once I make a bit of time between studying UI/UX, data science, and web dev.

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