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w/e 2021-11-21

This week I’ve been listening a lot to adult mom’s new live version of their Driver album:

It’s not drastically different from the non-live version but I’ve played that a lot and a slightly new spin on it is nice. I was hoping to see them live in the new year but the tour’s been cancelled due to illness. Crossing fingers or whatever one can do.

I did see them play at Indietracks in 2019 to a small crowd in the drizzle and, like lots of bands there, they were great. Unfortunately the festival announced this week that, after two years of no-go thanks to Covid, they’re not going to continue. I can’t blame them – it must be so much work – but it’s such a shame and I feel a loss. I think it’s the only music festival I’ve really wanted to go to (and even then I stayed in the Premier Inn rather than go for the full camping experience). They created such a fun, friendly and accepting place among the stages and old trains.

§ A photo showing a narrow country road twisting ahead of us, with ivy-covered autumnal trees on either side, bright sunlight showing through the branches

§ A few weeks on and I took the same brief German A2 language test for the third time and… scored exactly the same as last time, 20 out of 30, a fail. I could just note down the questions I get wrong and get them right next time but that’s missing the point isn’t it.

For the past few weeks I’ve been learning using these handouts which are low tech but I felt like I was learning better than with any of the apps I’ve used over the years. Not better enough though, obviously.

Maybe I should just give up on the sunk time cost of six years of app-based learning. Either that or get a bit more serious about it, acknowledging that (for me) the shallow apps will only take me so far, and I should do something a bit more intense (e.g. an online course like this) if I’m to make any progress.

There’s no specific point to me learning German, other than I feel I should, or could, be able to read or speak another language. Or maybe not.

§ I spent a bit of time this week improving my development set-up for my Django-based websites, learning quite a bit from example repositories like Ben Firshman’s and Nick Janetakis’s. My knowledge of Docker is… haphazard at best and still is, but using these examples on top of what I previously cobbled together from umpteen blog posts has improved things a bit.

As part of that I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to use a Docker container as an environment for VS Code to pick up its linting, autocompletion, etc (picture me waving my hands increasingly vaguely). Ultimately it all got too confusing and I’m not convinced it’s worth having to build a 1GB container for each project just for that, for me.

It’s times like this when, like many old internet people, I think, “Making websites used to be so simple lol!!” But then I remind myself that, back in the day, after I bought my first modem it still took me weeks to figure out how to get my computer online, never mind do anything once I was there.

§ A photo looking across green fields divided by hedgerows. Past them hills rise up, covered in autumnal trees. A house and a barn are visible, nestled among the trees under a bright blue sky.

§ The wildlife highlight of the week – disposing of dead mice from the garage now being the mundane baseline – was finding a bird flying around the living room. I’m not sure how long it had been in there it did eventually find its way to a room in which I could open a window and let it fly out.

It might have been a wren, but maybe it was a bit large for that. It’s hard to tell because it was so out of place. When a bird is on the wrong side of a window, fluttering around desperate to escape from a living room, it seems so odd, almost a surreal object (literally literally).

§ This week we watched the first season of Money Heist (on Netflix) which was fun. It seemed oddly paced at first, with some rather slow flashbacks, but once I realised it was actually 13 episodes long rather than 5 (no idea why I thought that) this made more sense.

It’s not particularly deep but it knows exactly the level it’s aiming for and it works. Unlike, say, A Very Serious And Prestigious Primetime BBC One Drama, that is a bit more nonsense than it thinks it is. It’s fun and stylish and Spanish and, given the length and complexity, there were only a small number of little plot holes.

Annoyingly the season ends with a cliffhanger, rather than wrapping everything up. So I’m assuming it’s another series that goes on through season after season, dragging out its initially interesting premise to unbelievable and less interesting lengths, until it gets canceled. But maybe I’m wrong!

The English title’s a bit odd though, given the translation of the Spanish would be The House of Paper. I mean, sure, you could have a Heist that’s not about Money but it seems a bit superfluous to specify it.

§ That is everything. Have a nice week.

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