Hello! I made a blog. It has CSS. I have no idea what I'm doing.
 

Four Amazon Dash buttons aligned vertically on a wooden wall with musician names written on them on sticky labels.

Amazon Dash is a neat idea. When you’re running low on teabags or detergent or whatever, you push a little button and Amazon sends you more. 

Sonos speakers are also a neat idea. They’re speakers that sit on your wifi network, and you can stream music to them from your phone or Spotify or whatever. They have a nice, low-drama interface and mostly just work. We’ve got two.

A while back, my excellent friend and crossword buddy Rob showed me how he’d set up a Dash button to start and stop his wife’s favourite radio station on their Sonos. This was extremely relevant to my interests! My kid has very strong feelings about the Moana soundtrack and it plays in our house almost constantly. It occurred to me that if she had a way of starting it herself, without needing an adult, then that would be the four year old equivalent of getting car keys or internet access for the first time. Who can imagine having such independence and power! So I made her a Moana button.

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This blog has existed for three months, and so far I think Jekyll is pretty good. You kind of have to work to make it do things, but usually the work is fun and not too annoying. And it forced me to learn some CSS, which was, well, hilariously awful, but interesting.

But it’s a bit annoying to have to get to my github account every time I want to post something. This evening it finally occurred to me to look for an Android app

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Here’s what I saw on day two of SRECon! I wrote about day one over here. These summaries come from a mix of handwritten notes and things I remembered; if I got something wrong, please let me know and I’ll fix it.

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A lined A5 notebook with a lot of scrawled handwriting inside

Although it’s existed for three years, SRECon (Americas) 2017 was my first SRECon. I’ve been to LISA a bunch of times and wondered how SRECon would compare. Mostly, I liked it about the same (i.e., very much). The majority of the talks felt like they would have fit at either conference, though there were a couple of deep architectural discussions that I might not have seen at LISA.

I enjoyed the emphasis on chaos engineering and intentionally breaking things. And (like I said about LISA a few months ago) I like how much our industry is waking up to ‘humaning’ being a difficult and important skill.

I took a lot of notes during the sessions. Here’s my summaries.

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Here I am on Virgin America 29 to San Francisco, excited to be on my way to SRECon. I’ve got a 20 minute speaker slot first thing on Tuesday morning, and the last time I timed my talk it was around 21 minutes. That’s down from 45, so I’m doing pretty well, but I need to shorten it more, especially since the first session (8:30am!) might start late.

I’ve been planning to fix it on the plane, but my laptop will stubbornly not get on the wifi. So it’s debugging time.

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Christmas Pi

My sister, ever organised, asked me in October what I wanted for Christmas. I’m completely rubbish at delayed gratification, so it was a tricky question: I didn’t want to suggest something I actually wanted and then have to wait two months for it. So I chose a potentially interesting toy instead. “A Raspberry Pi”, I said. She searched online. “The little board thingy?” “Yep!”. “O…kay.”

I know everyone else got on the Pi train four years ago, but Christmas day was my first time holding one.

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A few days ago I posted about how to get the email address for a Google Calendar user from inside a Chrome extension. It turns out that that’s not the whole story.

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I’m making a chrome extension that watches Google calendar and warns me when I forget to invite the second person to a two person meeting. Is this is a thing that happens to other people? I’ve done it a bunch of times: set up a meeting called myname:someoneelse, futz with locations and times, then save the meeting without actually inviting the other person. Well, it’s a good excuse to learn some JQuery :-)

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Me: “How was your day?”
Ms 4: “Did you know two threes is the same as three twos?”
“I did know that. And two fours is the same as four twos.”
“Whaaaaat?”
“For real! And two fives is the same as five twos”
counting on her fingers No actually one finger is still down”
“Try counting again”
Counts again It is!”
“Pretty great, huh?”

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My kid has a toy dog called My Pal Scout. It’s a stuffed animal that makes noise, so normally I would have hidden it in a high cupboard straight away, but it’s actually pretty good: you get to configure it with the kid’s name and a bunch of favourite things, and it throws out the information often enough to be engaging. (Also it has a reasonable volume control.)

“I love you, pause E-LIZ-A-BETH”, it says. And “My favourite food is… QUESADILLA”. It’s good enough to forgive it for the twenty seven thousand times I’ve heard it sing “Do you know the muffin man” over the past two years.

You can change the songs, but mostly we don’t, because programming it fills me with minor dread.

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