a kite surfer out practicing on choppy wintery waters

Weeknote CW45 2023

This week was another busy one both at work and at home.

My Dad and his wife came to stay with us at the start of the week. My dad is reeaaally into coffee and I got him a voucher to go on a barista training course at Winchester Coffee School for his birthday earlier in the year. While he was doing his course, I took my evil stepmother for a walk along the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent and we had lunch in one of the seafront cafes. I snapped a photo of some brave kite surfer, out in the sea on a very cold and windy day.

Since I had Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday morning off from work, I mainly worked from home and the Whiteley office this week and managing to avoid London. I’m currently looking at our internal tooling to support our software development lifecycle. We currently use Linear and even though the UX is crisp and polished, there are a few things that aren’t working well for us right now. In particular, I’m looking for something that gives us better transparency and visibility of team velocity. We’re looking at whether a move back to Jira might be the right thing for us (to butcher an old phrase, nobody got fired for buying Jira).

Nourishing Side Project

During my downtime I’ve been playing with an idea for building a federated recipe app (kind of like if Whisk.com – which was recently acquired and enshittified by Samsung had open interoperable recipe formats). I’ve been playing with local AI tools like Stable Diffusion and CodeLlama to accelerate the development. The idea seems to attract a few interested folks when I tooted about some of the “default avatars” I had Stable Diffusion create for me.

Screengrab of a mastodon toot where I mention that I am creating an activitypub recipe app and share a screenshot of some of the cute avatars I got SD to create.

I’m really excited about this idea and it sounds like some other people are too. I’m planning to follow up with a blog post about my plans for what it will do and a name reveal in the next few days. I’m planning to build it “with the garage door up” so hopefully it will help others too.

Watching and Reading

On Saturday we went to see Dream Scenario – a film about an awkward, introverted man, played by Nicolas Cage, who ends up appearing in a large number of peoples’ dreams – sort of like a sleep meme. It’s a really good movie with some dark moments, some cringy moments and some funny moments and it spends some time examining some important societal tropes. Although I sat and watched the film through gritted teeth and occasionally with my head in my hands, I genuinely enjoyed it. I did see myself (an awkward introverted man) in Cages character although Mrs R assures me that I’m nicer and have more common sense.

I am still reading Make by Pieter Levels which so far has focused on finding interesting ideas and idea generation and Dredd: Year Three which provides me with some pulpy sci-fi entertainment. Today I saw this SMBC comic which really resonated after my recent reading of Ringworld.

Coming up Next Week

This coming week I will mainly be working from home again. It’s cold, wet and dark and there aren’t many hours of sunlight so I’m aiming to get out and do some walks to try and get some endorphins and some exercise. I’ll be writing more about my recipe app.

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