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I've been tapped for jury duty. The last time I was summoned was nearly 10 years ago, and I wasn't actually empanelled; this time, however, I was selected. Obviously that's all I can say about it, making my days hard to discuss.

But I would like to state for the record that the King County Courthouse shop charging $1.08 for a banana (after tax) is HIGHWAY ROBBERY.



The overall level of dress at work is slightly higher than I was previously spoiled with, so I'm tring to up my game a wee bit: there are still plenty of nerdy shirts about, but I'm now restricting myself to tees on Fridays only. That's a bit of a challenge with my current wardrobe having skewed so heavily towards geek tees the last several years. I did a mall run last weekend and picked up some new tops, and I had finally purchased some jeans that actually fit right before I started, so that I wouldn't look like a total hobo, but still, the closet just isn't quite set up to support how I want to look.

Problem numero uno of course being that I hate shopping. It stresses me out, I never think anything will look right from the rack so I have a hard time picking anything (even knowing that you're supposed to just pick stuff and try it on doesn't help me actually execute that plan), and dealing with fitting rooms is a drag. Problem numero dos is that even if I liked the process, it's really hard to make the time when you work and have a toddler.

So: a new experiment in dressing more like a grown woman has kicked off with an account with Stitch Fix. You pay a small fee, give them oodles of info about your size/style, and they send you some items. What you like you keep (and the fee gets deducted from the overall cost) and what you don't like you ship back for free. Kind of like a cross between a CSA and Zappos. Intriiiiiiiguing.

First shipment showed up today and I was shocked at how entertained I was! Maybe I shouldn't have been; given how much I love the surprise of my CSA box, being delighted by things being picked out and shipped to me isn't far-fetched. I'm keeping a sweater (experiment: the material might drive me nuts, but it's cute) and a cardigan (which I unabashedly love), and the 3 returns were all super close calls. Thumbs up so far!



I once said, early in my tenure working at Microsoft, that one of the things I missed the most about working at the UW was how usually on Fridays (and sometimes other days) we'd all leave work a bit early and go to the bar. Microsoft's isolated campus offered no such opportunity. My teams early on had variants on beer Fridays and such, but it wasn't really quite the same hanging out in a courtyard or cafeteria. Years passed, even "morale afternoons" got less frequent in the company culture, and I repeated myself often. Man, I missed just being able to get a crew out to the bar for a bit after work.

Having left work a bit early today to head out to the bar with some co-workers, I can say: I knew what I was missing.

Sure, I had to chivvy us to not dawdle on getting out the door. Sure, I had to leave after only 1 drink because, as Ashish lamented, I had to go be a reasonable mother. Whatever. It was awesome.



Shocker: I am not a big football fan. I know, pick your jaw up off the floor. That said, it was pretty fun to show up at Brandon's house midway through the 3rd quarter and get to watch the Seahawks turn that game around with a vengeance. I even rocked my 00001100 Man shirt for the occasion.

When the wee one was born, my ebook consumption went dramatically up, as I was pinned for long periods of time with only a minor twitch of the hand possible. And with everything else I was packing in/out of work while pumping, going to using my reader instead of my laptop on my commute was a no brainer. I wish I'd kept track of all the books I read last year, but alas, many are lost to time. I think this is a reasonable accounting:

Bookwatch 2014

Note that since I didn't actually track books through 2014, I'm pretty sure I'm missing some, and my ordering is a bit off. I also definitely included some that I actually read near the end of 2013, as my reading habit got a massive reboot kickstart with my maternity leave that began Sept 2013, but remembering which books I inhaled Sept-Dec vs Dec-Feb is too much to ask given my state at the time.


  1. The Lies of Locke Lamora (book club)
  2. Fledgling
  3. Words of Radiance
  4. Eifelheim (book club)
  5. Blindness
  6. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
  7. The Miniature Wife and Other Stories
  8. The Forever War (book club)
  9. Man Plus (book club)
  10. Mistress of the Empire (re-read)
  11. Servant of the Empire (re-read)
  12. Daughter of the Empire (re-read)
  13. James and the Giant Peach
  14. A Second Chance at Eden (book club, re-read)
  15. The Book of Life
  16. Shadow of Night
  17. A Discovery of Witches
  18. Succession (book club)
  19. The Remains of the Day
  20. Lucifer's Hammer (book club)
  21. The Returned
  22. Anna Karenina
  23. Shaman
  24. The Phantom Tollbooth (re-read)
  25. Redwall (re-read)
  26. Galactic Football: The MVP
  27. Galatic Football: The All-Pro
  28. Galactic Football: The Starter
  29. Galatic Football: The Rookie
  30. American Elsewhere
  31. The Passage
  32. The Age of Ice
  33. Hild
  34. Mistborn: The Alloy of Law
  35. Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
  36. Mistborn: The Well of Ascension
  37. Mistborn: Final Empire
  38. Kraken (book club, re-read)
  39. Moby Dick
  40. The Children of Men
  41. Pushing Ice
  42. The Teleportation Accident
  43. A Canticle for Lebowitz (book club)
  44. Every Day
  45. The Age of Miracles
  46. Year Zero
  47. Congo (book club)
  48. Days of Blood & Starlight
  49. 11/22/63
  50. Blue Remembered Earth
  51. The Scorpio Races
  52. House of Suns
  53. Ancillary Justice (book club)
  54. The Talented Mister Ripley
  55. Childhood's End (book club)
  56. Century Rain
  57. Intervention (book club, re-read)
  58. Misspent Youth
  59. Schild's Ladder
  60. Quarantine
  61. Incandescence
  62. Terminal World


  • The Third Policeman
  • The Flame Alphabet

This year, I'd like to keep track properly, though! Let's see if I can update bookwatch whenever I finish reading something...



My co-worker Ben is a pretty cool dude. Last year, he wrote a thing.

No packet is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the payload,
A part of the flow.
If a frame be dropped by a switch,
The network is the less.
As well as if a server rack lost power.
As well as if a VM of thy coworkers’
Or of thine own were shut down.
Any packets’s drop diminishes me,
Because I am involved in IT.
And therefore, never send to know
For whom the SYN ACKs,
It ACKs for thee.

It's posted all over work. "For whom the syn acks, it acks for thee" basically runs through my head allllll day. Obviously to Metallica.



This isn't something I'm often wont to say, but we have too much meat in the house. Doing a 6 pound pork roast (it was supposed to be 5 pounds but the butcher gave Jeff puppy dog eyes about having to cut it up) and a 3.75 pound pot roast in quick succession was probably not our best planning, all things considered. I mean, it's all delicious, but wow. It's a lot of meat.

Tonight's usage was shredded pork heated up in a skillet, eggs scrambled in, leftover rice mixed with salsa and also stirred in, and done up in burritos. Nom nom nom.

But really, just nuked rice mixed with salsa would have been totally worthy of eating for dinner. I need to remember that more often.



Having something to automate at work, I had 4 options:

  1. Perl
    Pros: I already know it, as it's what I used to automate everything at my last position, there's some in the mix of tools already, particularly well suited for some text processing I needed to do
    Cons: We're trying to not add more Perl to our toolsets, and I wouldn't be learning anything
  2. Shell script (e.g., bash)
    Pros: Brush off some rusty skills, practice with sed and awk which I haven't touched in years
    Cons: Would have to do some major contortions to get the necessary text processing done
  3. Python
    Pros: Practice with dominant scripting language at the company
    Cons: Would make me angry it wasn't as good as Perl for what I needed to do, and Python kind of makes me irritated in general anyway because the indentation model of code blocking is just silly
  4. Node JS
    Pros: Learning galore (that you can even use node as command line automation kind of blew my mind, although it really shouldn't have), including getting familiarity with the language behind much of our site and the dominant language of my team in general
    Cons: Would make me angry it wasn't as good as Perl for what I needed to do

To their credit, my team was fully supportive if I'd wanted to go the option a) Perl route, but the pros on going the node route were weighty enough to drive the decision to d) pretty easily. In the end, it took me probably about 5 dedicated hours to get everything working, across 2 days, which certainly was frustrating given that I'd guess it'd have taken me < 1 hour if I'd just coded it in Perl. I had to get Aaron to come explain basic synchronicity and callbacks in JS to me, because I've never really grokked it before and it was biting me in the butt. I spent some time feeling pretty dumb, and overall, it's one of the least pretty things I've written in a long time.

BUT. I got it working. I had to ask for some help on JS syntax specifics and flow oddities, but not on the fundamental architecture of what I was trying to do. I got some props on the way I'd set things up. I've now written about 3x as much JS as I'd ever written before. I now know how to use child process to execute another program from within a node script, and use a callback to deal with the output of that. I now understand far more than I did previously about JS control flow. I'd not say that I leveled up today, but I definitely got some XP.

Side note, after briefly flirting last week with the idea of going vim out of a sense of peer pressure, I recommitted to my historic emacs-ness. I promise, I did so before I found out that the CEO is one of the few other emacs holdouts, but that did put a nice cheerful cherry on the decision. Useful chords that I had forgotten I knew, atrophied due to home use only, are re-asserting their muscle memory. Needed configuration option details are resurfacing to top of mind. And as odd-man-out as it feels, I can't deny that it's a bit cackle-inducing when someone is all "oh just let me—GOOD GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING." Teach you to try to take over my machine: it'll sting ya!

Aaron today:

Okay, so just save that—
What on earth did you just DO to save?!?
Ctrl-X-ctrl-S?? CHORDS?? Aaaauuggh!




Dear PBS, please explain to me why 9/10 times I visit your site, you make me reconfirm what PBS station is my local one. A) It doesn't matter. B) Why can't you consistently remember what I said last time? It's not like I move every month! I love you, but sometimes you drive me nuts, honey.

After an embarassing several years of not donating to my local PBS station, I'm now set up on a monthly donation schedule. It's only right given how much Nova and Nature I've consumed and plan to continue consuming over the years. Every now and then I think about willing all my money to PBS, specifically towards Nova, and I suppose my actual family might have a beef with that. But a modest monthly tithe? That I can get behind with zero familial guilt!

Okay. I've been tht-rss'ing manually for a while, but I think my evening project in the next week or two (whenever not otherwise occupied with a pomegranate or video game) will be to look at getting off that train. Really, what I should be looking at is finishing the db'ification, but hey baby steps. Baby steps. It's been a long time since I kept this site properly alive, so it takes some rust-shaking to think about doing it properly.



I am 100% obsessed with this thread about recipes you've never heard of outside your family. I'm only at page 17 (all 85 pages shall be mine eventually) and no mention yet of bologna slop. People are still adding to this thread 9 years after it was created, so if I get to the end and no bologna slop... it's getting added for internet posterity.

We've been getting a box from New Roots Organics for several years now, sometimes weekly, sometimes bi-weekly. We're bi-weekly currently and between that and their standard time off for the holidays, it's been a month since fresh vegetables showed up. We've been using it as an excuse to cook several meat-heavy dishes, which has been awesome... but I think tonight's (pretty good) pot roast might have put me over the edge into just a wee bit over-meated. Plus I'm frustrated that no matter what I try, my pot roast is just never as good as Grandma Gloria's. At this point I think she must do something like dump a packet of MSG in there when I'm not looking (she's never written down her recipe, I've just observed several times). Grump grump, I'm gonna go eat some carrots.




A few more days in and I"m starting to get back into the swing of being un-jobless! It's been a few months shy of a decade since I used a *nix system for work; I'm simultaneously pleased and irritated at the rate that muscle memory is refreshing. Yes, yes, I've had a Mac at home all along, and done basic file management and web dev here, but it's not really the same as being motivated to fully set up for productivity.

For example: I complained to Jenn about missing Windows' Snap feature this afternoon. "Oh," she says, "I've got something installed to get similar functionality, let me see what it is... ah, BetterSnapTool." ... WAIT JUST A GOSHDARNED SECOND. Sure enough, she's using a subset of BetterTouchTool, which I've used forever at home to get 3-finger gestures. I've just never needed to line up windows at home, so had never noticed it also supported mapping keyboard shortcuts for window management! And in some minor defense, it's not like the name would tell you it also does snapping, sheesh.

Un-rustifying *nix nerd fistpump of the day was getting git-completion.bash all set up. For someone who loves the command line so much, I sure do hate actually typing. Tab completion all the way.

The great CSS refactoring and semanticizing project shall kick off tomorrow, woohoo!

It's a long uninteresting story as to why I was poking through super old /tht/, which usually inspires a grim "wow, I was so depressed" reaction, but tonight, man, I laughed and laughed: December 18, 2003, Ishimaru-shocho knew what was what:

When I see you again in future you'll be developper of inovative softwear.




Day 2 of working at ExtraHop and my brain is crammed pleasantly full. And no, it's not a beer company, although they do occasionally produce an IPA, a tradition of which I heartily approve. I'll be working primarily on the customer-facing website, and am super stoked to get to play around with everything! Have a bitchin' MacBook Pro laptop all tricked out, helped debug a Python script (first work git commit, holla), got an architecture overview, got judgy-judgy on some SASS stuff that I am totally going to overhaul in a day or two, had an extensive discussion on the merits of Attack on Titan... It was an excellent day.

And let me just say, being able to catch the 312 1.5 blocks from my house, and either .5 or 1 block away from work depending on the time of day, with a ~18 minute ride time? View from my office of the WA State Convention Center?


This entry exists, but the year rollover has confirmed for me that the way I was managing the Past time links is seriously horkazoid. I have an important pomegranate-eating business to attend to (how did I end up with 4 in the fridge??), and I'm on the braindead end of functionality, so I'll hold off fixing, and thus posting, until tomorrow night.