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w/e 2022-11-27

Well, launching was fun. In retrospect I was lucky I did that on Wednesday, given the Americans all stopping to give thanks for a couple of days after that, which I’d entirely forgotten about. Although if I hadn’t been ready by Wednesday I’d probably have put things off until early next week – launching something early in the week seems better I think?

Anyway, it is obviously very pleasant to have lots of friends and strangers say how nice something is when you’ve been quietly making it for some time. Even the hackers on The Hackers’ News – a popular site among hackers – weren’t especially awful for hackers, with the post sitting at the top of the front page full of hacking for several hours.

The site had almost 200,000 unique visitors over four days, which is more than the friends plus friends-of-friends than I anticipated (unless you all have far more friends than I assumed). I think the last thing I made that got lots of love was Today’s Guardian in 2010. And before that was Pepys’ Diary at the end of 2002. So, roughly one (relative) hit per decade.

§ A photo with a ceramic plate in the foreground, on which sits an unidentifiable flat something, covered in a possibly tomatoe-y sauce, topped with lettuce. There are more bowls in the background, one of which containing whitebait.
Mary’s photo of a small plate

We had lunch out yesterday, the first time I’ve had a proper meal out somewhere for about six weeks. It was at The Gaff in Abergavenny and was very tasty. Part of me is always suspicious about “small plates”. Like, is it just a ruse to make you buy more? But whenever I’ve been to any small plate place, it’s been great, nice and varied, very tasty. Maybe I’ve been lucky. I’m still suspicious. “Is this dish not good enough for a proper-size portion?” Whitebait and pigs-head-fritters were my top choices.

§ I can’t embed it here, but this photo by Jose Souto – whose photos I always enjoy – is one of my very favourites for some time. I find the composition enormously satisfying.

§ I’ve been thinking about how to manage things-to-do across several projects this week, without much success. I keep general to-dos in Things and website-project-related to-dos in their respective Git repositories. Many of the latter, often not urgent, sit there for months or years until they take my fancy. But there are a bunch of things across Pepys, Today’s Guardian,, and my own site, that I want to get done over the next month or so, alongside non-computer things.

I’m currently copying the top-priority tasks from Git repositories into Things to keep everything in one place, and with more time-related controls (like deadlines) than Git Issues offers. Which feels annoyingly manual. What works for you, if anything?

The reason I have a couple of tweaks to make to Today’s Guardian is that I think I’ve given up on the Guardian’s iPad Editions app. It was annoying when it launched in 2019 (see my review) but, aside from a few small changes, it’s become worse by getting slower and slower over time: it can take several seconds to switch from one article to another. How you make an app that displays text and a few images quite so slow, when a twelve-year-old website can do it almost instantly, is beyond me. Anyway, it’s unbearable and now won’t let me sign in with my Apple subscription so I guess it’s goodbye.

§ I had high hopes for The English (on iPlayer) especially after the usually infallible Lucy Mangan’s five-star review but we stopped watching after two of the six episodes. We were a bit bored and didn’t really care what was going on. Reading the review again I almost want to give it another go, if only to see what the always entertaining Rafe Spall does. Hmm.

Having left enough time to get over the grimness of season one of Happy Valley (also on iPlayer) we watched season two this week and it too was good. I’d forgotten that it relies on several unlikely events all occurring at once to construct the plot, which can seem a bit silly, but that aside, it was very entertaining. I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to perform a role like Sarah Lancashire’s in that. Gruelling.

§ I assumed that the rush from Twitter to Mastodon would be just another in the series that didn’t last, so I’m surprised that, so far, it seems to have broadly stuck among people I follow. If I had to choose one right now, I’d happily never log in to Twitter again – there’s more activity for me on Mastodon. Will it last? Will there be something else? No idea.

It’s far from a universal shift, obviously. As far as I can tell, only one of the bands I follow on a Twitter list – who I can’t imagine being at all keen on Musk – have expressed any interest in having a presence anywhere else. It all feels like business as usual there. I haven’t looked in a while but I assume the people on my very mainstream list of accounts related to Hereford are even less likely to go anywhere.

§ That’s all. It’s nearly Mince Pie Month!

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