Skip to main content

w/e 2024-01-21

The squirrel-proof bird seed and nut feeders we bought last year have been successful. Occasionally a squirrel has a close look then gives up. My days of obsessively looking out the windows and chasing the creatures away are over.

Unfortunately we now have rats, presumably attracted by the seeds etc. the messy birds drop on the ground. We’ve seen rats in the garden before, and signs of them digging under the compost, but never this close to and visible from the house. We’re surrounded by countryside so of course there will be rats and other creatures everywhere, but we don’t want to see them from the kitchen window while admiring the cute creatures eating the food we put out for them.

We have a rat poison trap, and a spring-loaded rat trap, neither apparently having much effect. I’d consider a gun of some kind if it wasn’t for the fact the rats are between the house and the road, so missing a shot could result in a projectile going through the hedge into anything or one who happened to be passing by.

We’re getting some hanging bowl things to go under the feeders in the hope they’ll catch the falling food and there’ll be less for the rats.

§ A photo of a clear blue sky with the branches of some trees at the bottom of the frame. The tiny half moon is towards the top and an even smaller plane, with a long white contrail, is moving directly upwards, heading just to the moon's left.
A plane almost heading to the moon

§ I’ve got bored of, and a bit frustrated with, VS Code and looked for alternatives this week. I wrote half a blog post about that but it was so dull I couldn’t finish it.

In summary: Nova is really nice, obviously created by people who love Mac apps (Panic, so of course), and it feels pleasant and solid to use. I enjoyed it, as much as one can enjoy using a text editor. Unfortunately its Vim emulation isn’t quite there for even my limited use of Vim’s esoteric commands. It has no command mode and no way to add custom key sequences.

Zed is new to me and is currently in Beta. It’s as un-Mac-like as VS Code but currently looks nicely simple and minimal. Unfortunately it still feels quite beta-y and was missing various things I’d like, and I have no need of its collaborative features.

So I’m sticking with VS Code for the moment, and it turns out that just using a different theme makes it seem quite new. I’ve been using Solarized Light for years, and thought dark themes were overly gloomy and wannabe-Neo for me but it turns out staring at a beige screen all the time is also a bit gloomy and a colourful but dark-background theme feels quite fun?

I’ll keep an eye on Nova to see how its Vim emulation comes on. Of course, I could give up on my hard-won Vim muscle memory but I cling to it as some erroneous indication of geek superiority and who would I even be without it?

OK, wake up now.

§ Following last week’s stuff about electric cars, this week we went to look at our first, liked it, and it arrives this week. Quick work. It’s a 2016 Renault ZOE, 22kWh, low mileage, full service history, with a non-leased battery (most early ZOEs’ batteries are leased, which costs from £45/month, unless you buy it out) in good condition, for £8,000. It has a short range – the day we saw it, temperatures were around freezing and it could manage about 60 miles – but that’s fine for all of our day-to-day driving.

§ We finished the third and final season of Reservation Dogs this week which continued to be fun, thoughtful and heartwarming. I wasn’t keen on the couple of episodes that flashed back to the past because I wasn’t as interested in the characters as those I’d been following for 20+ episodes, and they got in the way of what I was enjoying. They did add to the overall tale but I’m not sure it was worth the disruption, for me. But, otherwise, great, and I’ll miss those people and that world.

§ We then tried watching Justified: City Primeval but gave up after two episodes. It was like Raylan Givens had wandered into an entirely different cop show, with much less interesting characters, and an awful lot of clichéd dialogue. It’d be hard to keep the show going without Walton Goggins but not impossible, and this didn’t manage it unfortunately. Goodbye Raylan!

§ Bye.

Mention this post

If you’ve mentioned this post somewhere, enter the URL here to let me know:


  1. I'm curious if you've intentionally dismissed JetBrains products. They do cost money, and they are a bit airplane cockpit-like of knobs and dials, but I find a lot of things work out of the box very will (for example, cmd-click goto definition in Rubymine works waaaaaaay better than any alternative I've experienced).

  2. It hadn't even occurred to me! Now you've reminded me of their existence I think I never bothered to check out PyCharm in the past because it sounded too complicated, but that's probably silly and it probably isn't any worse than VS Code with this teetering tower of extensions I have.

    £94.80 for the first year is pretty steep but maybe worth me checking out next time I have the itch.