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Weeks 276/277

This last two weeks felt long. I don’t remember why I missed week notes last week, but I am betting it was something to do with being asleep.

Notable events:

  • Chrome Dev Summit was both good (PWA book!) and bad (yay, sexism, again!). It was a particularly excellent week for seeing people I like a lot because they all had to come to the event for work, though. We forced many of them to visit our home for brunch.
  • California caught fire, again. It’s really extremely sad, so I don’t even think I should be allowed to complain that the ashes of people’s lives, homes and businesses raining down on San Francisco were a reason I had to stay inside for 5 days straight.
  • Our friends from England working on Poplar came to visit and we had a really fun and interesting evening talking about their work over at Stamen HQ.
  • Two thirds of Poplar went on a jaunt with Alex and I to Stinson beach.
  • It’s Thanksgiving and this year I am thankful for not having to go anywhere or see anyone and being allowed to play Fallout 76.
Gifts from an aforementioned friend visiting for CDS

A Book Apart: Progressive Web Apps

This time last year, I was at Chrome Dev Summit. I ran into Jason Grigsby, who I am always glad to chat with. He mentioned, slightly off-hand, that he was writing a new book about Progressive Web Apps and jokingly suggested that I would be a good person to contribute to a foreword.

Well. He wasn’t joking.

His wonderful new book is out now, published by A Book Apart.

Picture of the PWA book
A real book made of trees!

The foreword is written by myself and Alex, and we mean every word we say in it. We couldn’t be happier with how Jason’s book turned out and it’s really the only book you need if you want to understand why, and how, you should be building PWAs.

I’m very thankful for his kindness and the opportunity to contribute in a tiny way to his amazing work.

Week 274/5 Red Dead

Missed a week due to being on a plane to Long Beach for a wedding. The way I’ve been managing to do week notes again is by literally putting a 15 minute placeholder in my calendar so nothing gets scheduled over it, in a time I’m usually free, which obviously fails when I’m not.

In the last couple weeks we had our big company sponsored event – JAMstack_conf. I am generally kind of exhausted and bored by a lot of events these days (that’s a me problem rather than a problem with events), but I found this one very invigorating and not just because we were hosting. There’s something really fresh, and yet old-skool, going on with the JAMstack – people making sites that are best for the platform and that work really well on the open web – feels like the same wave that’s causing everyone to start publishing back to their own sites and blogs again. I love it.

I’ve also done two of my civic duties as an American this week – I voted in the midterms and I did jury duty! Sadly, I didn’t actually get called in for a court case. Maybe next time.

Mostly, though, I have been playing Red Dead Redemption 2. 36% complete.

Week 272

I got a new phone, which is literally the most exciting thing that happened this week, so take of that what you will. It’s a Pixel 3, so of course, the main thing is having to retrain my thumb to do whichever arbitrary change their UI designers have made to task switching. This time, it’s removing the whole button. Joy. Also, turns out some folks don’t know that you can control a lot of things about Chrome by using chrome://flags – like, for example, getting rid of the bloody news feed and recent bookmarks. I do like the wireless charging, though, this feels closer to the future I was promised.

I picked up a book a couple of weeks ago about felting (it’s in Japanese, I can’t read it). I’m not intending to get into felting – I simply bought it because the photos were so cute – but then I accidentally bought some felting wool. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s all bird felting projects, too.
Very cheap daiso felting wool
Giving this week’s some halloween vibes

Week 271

Yesterday, I went to a conference for the first time in ages (HeavyBit’s DevGuild) and it was actually professionally useful to the problems I’m facing at work. I’m not sure why this is so shocking to me, but maybe for the first time I’m actually in the right place. We announced our series B funding on Tuesday, so lots of congratulations all around.

Bee hoop

I had another crafternoon with Monica, and made a small bee embroidery hoop that I’m quite pleased with. Starting to get the hang of satin stitch.

My Anki Vector robot arrived and it’s honestly adorable (I was a KS backer, so I had a pre-order). I’m looking forward to the updates they plan for it – especially hooking it up to Alexa or Google home so he can be come the cutest robot butler.

Also, from a kickstarter this week is a little QSun UV tracking device. It’s rubbish. I mean, yes, it tells me how much UV there is via some lights, but it feels physically awful (maybe for some technical reason I don’t understand, it’s surface is made of a material that feels like black grit that flakes off) and the app doesn’t seem to be able to remember my location or who I am. I can’t even be bothered to write about it for my under-loved IoT blog. C’est la vie.

 

QSun texture. Also, I cut my thumb.

And of course, some flowers.

More autumn ikebana

Week 270

This week started off with Alex’s birthday. We went to Alameda for a daft brunch and a walk around a piece of shoreline we have newly discovered called crab cove.

I saw zero crabs.

We did pick up a bunch of comics and graphic novels, the most interesting of which I read this week called “Wytches“, which has a beautiful art work style. It’s very ink heavy and dark, and uses layers of watercolour over the top to add extra grit and texture.

Wytches page

For ikebana this week, I made this moribana freestyle arrangement.

Ikebana Moribana

Week 269

A slow week in terms of things to show for it, but felt busy regardless.

Things I made

Embroidery. I don’t recall ever having done any before (maybe cross-stitch?) but I had bought this little jellyfish kit a while back and had some friends over on Saturday afternoon for a bit of a crafternoon, so I made it up. It’s a really relaxing thing to do. I drew up my own pattern yesterday to start another.

Jellyfish embroidery

Ikebana follows the seasons – the plants you work with change over time, reflecting the year. Autumn definitely arrived this week with a green to orange two material shoka.

2 material autumnal shoka

Things I saw

There’s a podcast I listen to that was recommended to me by Jake earlier this year called All Killa No Filla. It’s by two women who chat about serial killers, but actually mostly just talk nonsense to each other about their lives. I love it. Not least because I miss the pub-like banter of British people, so it’s very homey for me. On Wednesday, Alex and I went to see them record live at Cobb’s Comedy Club, and it was rad.

Things I’ve been doing

Mostly meetings. It’s the end of a quarter and we’re embarking on the OKR process for the first time at this company.

Week 268

Instagram story of bird rescue

I love my neighbour birds, but sometimes they’re a challenge. The scrub jay couple that live in a big tree near us wake us up every morning at the bedroom window, waiting for peanuts. Sometimes, they literally sit on the windowsill and just yell.

This week started with one landing for a peanut and the other being too hasty to go in for his (for some reason, they can’t both just sit nicely together), so a brief scuffle occurred resulting in one coming into the bedroom, flying into the glass door, twice, then hiding in my wardrobe. Chasing a bird around at 8am in my PJs is not usually how I like to start a new week.

The rest of this week has been fairly uneventful. Alex has been away on a work trip to Shanghai, so I’ve mostly been filling my time catching up on horror flicks. I watched a few oldies, but the most interesting recent one was Hereditary, which ended up not being exactly what I expected, but actually somehow better. It’s got some really inventive shots and a nice slow build and doesn’t rely on a lot of exposition. I’ll probably watch A Quiet Place tonight.

This week’s ikebana class consisted of a 3 material, 7 stem shoka and a more traditional moribana style freestyle arrangement. Teacher said I should be receiving two diplomas next month!

Moribana freestyle ikebana arrangement

Week 267

San Francisco on Wednesday night

I started my weeknotes when I moved to the USA, and I lost count somewhere along the way, but I think we’re at week 267.

XOXO
This week started with me at XOXO 2018. For various reasons, it wasn’t my favourite. It was roughly 4x larger attendee wise and I think that’s way beyond my human crowd size limit. Art + code were standout highlights, with basically everything in that track being fascinating (I would go to a conference that was just that sort of thing exclusively, tbh). The main stage conference track was a bit too one-note/preaching to the choir for me, but Open Mike Eagle was excellent, as was Hari Kondabolu. I really missed being in Portland, too. This year everything was under one, very large, roof, rather than scattered around an area of Portland. We could have been in any city.

Ikebana
I’m 10 months-ish into my ikebana practice at the JCCCNC. This week I made a 2 material, 3 piece shoka and a freestyle arrangement in class. Related, our class is supposed to be taking a study trip to the Ikenobo school in Kyoto in February so I’m working on my language lessons again, both for that and so I can understand more of the tut-tuts I receive in class.

Freestyle ikebana arrangement

Day job
Work is workin’. Lots to do, interns start next week!

Walked ~30.6 miles.