Sing Along Sound of Music

Today we went to a sing along Sound of Music at the Castro Theatre. Sara’s parents came, and we brought the kids, too. It was really fun, although the movie is a bit long. Afterwards, we went to SOMA Streat Food. I had meatballs from our friend Adam’s truck. We brought some meatballs home, and I’m afraid I overate a little. But no matter. I’ll run it off tomorrow.

I’m learning Python for work. I’ve been asked to take on an existing project that is written in Python, and I have never worked in that language before. I’m keen to learn it, nevertheless. I realize that I have an internal hierarchy of programming languages, maybe something like a class system. It’s totally subjective and a bit dynamic. JavaScript, for example, used to be very un-classy, and has been gaining in the rankings over the past several years. Node.js certainly doesn’t hurt, but also, people seem to care a lot more about front end development now than they used to.

This class system explains to me why, when I interviewed a few years ago at companies using Perl, I cringed at the thought of going back to Perl, a language I had happily worked in during the late 90s and early 00s. You don’t want to go down the class hierarchy. You want to maintain your position or move up.

Anyway, Python is up there. At least as high as, if not somewhat higher than, Ruby, the language I’ve been working in for several years. I certainly don’t cringe at the idea of working in Python. Looking at some of the programming language popularity rankings, it seems as though Python is definitely in the top ten, so it’s worth knowing for that as well.


When my kids were really little, I felt as though weekends were extra-stressful, because I spent much of the day taking care of kids. Now, weekends are starting to return to their previous feeling of relaxation. Today, I spent much of the day working on a problem in browser-based JavaScript. I’ve mostly used JQuery, so I used that just for familiarity. This experience makes me realize that I really need to brush up on my client-side JavaScript. I’m actually feeling pretty comfortable in Node these days, but my front end skills could be better.

I do like working in the browser, because you can see the results of your work. I haven’t really tried TDD for client-side JavaScript yet, but I would like to.


I turned 43 yesterday, and we had friends over for wine tasting and cards. It was fun.

Today I spent most of the day hanging with the kids, although I did get out of the house on my own for a little bit for a run.

For dinner, I made pasta, and I did a home-made red sauce. It turned out OK. I put some turkey sausage in it, and I felt that sort of dominated the taste, so I looked up meat sauces, and got the idea that I should add some wine. So I added a half a cup of wine, and then that made it not tomato-y enough and too thin, so I added some tomato paste, too. That made it just about perfect.


We’re doing a big decluttering project in our house. This morning I started by organizing our bike boxes, which were a huge mess. I got rid of a lot of old, broken bike equipment. Next, I got rid of most of JH’s Lego manuals, finding the online versions and recycling the paper ones.

We also had several binders of owners manuals for products we’d bought in the past twenty years or more. For most of these, even the old ones, I was able to find owners manuals on line, so I uploaded them to a Google Drive folder that I share with Sara.

Go meetup

Today I went to my first Go programming language meetup, at New Relic’s offices in San Francisco. The view from the office was quite lovely, and as I was walking back to my own office, I saw a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge art installation, the Bay Lights. From the number of people who came to the meetup, it was clear that Go is a hot language, and the presentations made it clear that Go is a good language to be working in.

Not a very good blogger

So, I’ve been blogging pretty regularly for several months now, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not much of a blogger. The main problem seems to be that I’m writing about nothing in particular. The writing’s mostly for my own benefit, and there’s no unifying topic that would draw people in. My sister’s blog is about knitting and crochet, but sometimes she writes details about her life in it, too. That might be the way to go, but I also don’t want to constrain my writing so much that I don’t have anything to write about on a given day.

I think I’ll sit down and spend some time trying to dream up a unifying topic, something that doesn’t just interest me, but that has the potential to interest other readers. It’s not that I want to build a huge readership — it’s more that I want to practice good writing.

Learning phase

Several of my Beeminders have to do with learning, and I feel as though I’m really starting a serious learning phase. I have a hard time focusing myself on one thing at a time, nevertheless, and I may end up spreading myself too thin.

Once I did try reading only one book at a time, and I found that the result was that I got less total reading done than I did in my normal mode of switching between several books. My method is messy, but it gets results. There’s an element of natural selection, because if something holds my interest, I’ll spend more time on it, and I’ll finish that book or learn that skill.

On the downside, there are a few skills that I’ve been promising myself I’d learn eventually that I just never seem to get to. Maybe I should just drop them, but I have a hard time letting go entirely. Maybe I should create a someday/maybe list for goals.

Hoping to get to bed early tonight

JH had constipation last week, and Sara and I were both up early in the morning three nights, taking care of him. It was like having a little baby! Anyway, we’re both really tired now, so I’m planning on getting to bed at a reasonable hour. That would be right about now, I guess, but I want to do a few things before I retire.

I spent some time practicing guitar today, and started learning a Bach minuet in G. I think I’m getting a little better at reading music, as opposed to tablature.

Sara’s birthday

Today we went to Marin Headlands to see a friend’s art exhibit. We tried to ride bikes there, but there was too much traffic for the kids, so we ended up driving back over the Golden Gate Bridge to Crissy Field. John Haley had a nice time riding, but Solveig was impatient with bike riding and complained that her knees hurt.

Our friend Kristin came over to babysit and we went to see Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing tonight. Sara and I both enjoyed it.