LostFocus

Hi, I'm Dominik Schwind, friend of the internet. Here is /now.

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On we go, the fourth week of the year behind us, having braved most of January and staring into the darkness that February provides. It’s Sunday afternoon, I just arrived in Cologne and I noticed something new-ish when leaving the highway and driving into town: a profound disappointment at having reached my destination already. That’s not a slight against my destination, I think at this moment I’d have the same feeling anywhere – it was rather the realization that being on the move is something that I miss in my normal everyday life. I started to think back at the last few times I was in transit and which ones I liked and which ones I didn’t. I’m also still not done wondering about the reasons behind my decision to take the train or not.
I’ll have a bit of a meditation on that topic and might or might not subject you to the results of that.

Don’t call them resolutions

Ooooh, this was a bad week for them. Let’s just forget about it, look forward and try to do better next week.

Websites

I haven’t done all that much – I tinkered a bit more with the link blog and started to work on a PESOS style import of Github activities. Not sure what will come of this, but we’ll see.
I think the next website I want to give a bit of a refresh is this blog. There’s a whole bunch of things that have been annoying me for ages and maybe I can fix a bunch of those. We’ll see – it will be a busy week and I might not find the time at all.

Many people use white or brown noise to help them concentrate and get into the zone, it never quite worked for me.I think I finally found something that works for me: metro videos. The sound of the train, a nice voice telling me about the next station, some chatter in the background. Sure, I do […]

Many people use white or brown noise to help them concentrate and get into the zone, it never quite worked for me.
I think I finally found something that works for me: metro videos. The sound of the train, a nice voice telling me about the next station, some chatter in the background.

Sure, I do look at the video once in a while to see the world fly past the train, but mostly I disappear in whatever work I’m doing at the moment.

I guess we’d like pigeons a lot more if they wouldn’t shit everywhere. They’re not ugly birds.

A pigeon

I guess we’d like pigeons a lot more if they wouldn’t shit everywhere. They’re not ugly birds.

So here we are again, on a gray and cold Sunday afternoon.
I have seen some people online whose resolution was to write a medium-length blog post every day for the month of January and oh wow, that would be too much for me. But good for them, I guess.

After I had some tech disappointment on Tuesday the day turned around in the evening – did some (virtual) socializing with a few colleagues and big surprise: it’s actually nice to spend some time with people on your wave length. Who knew.

Don’t call them resolutions

Not much to say here – I managed to fill the rings on each day of the week, except for today, but that’s just a formality, I was out and about this morning so it’s just the standing hours now.

My Websites

I relaunched my website in a very work-in-progress state. I was wondering for a quick moment if I should have added one of those little construction worker gifs from back in the days. But at least it is deployed now and I have something to work with. I guess the main part for now will be the link blog.

Things I learned

If you need to get rid of the old MySQL column comments you need to alter the column and add an empty comment. For example:

ALTER TABLE `table` MODIFY `columnname` JSON DEFAULT NULL COMMENT '';

App of the Week

It is very much not something new – in fact I actually had it installed before – but after Dominik mentioned the note taking app Obsidian this week, I gave it another try. It works pretty well for me so far and I do like the fact that it is all just a bunch of markdown and json files in a folder somewhere.

Gong xi fa cai, little bunnies 🐰

I just had a look at my server access log and it’s surprising how many user agents are trying http first. Most lines in there are 301s to the same URL with https.

I just had a look at my server access log and it’s surprising how many user agents are trying http first. Most lines in there are 301s to the same URL with https.

I often wake up with a random song as an earworm – and now I note them down for your enjoyment.

And this morning it was Geradeaus by Deichkind

I spent way too much time this morning looking at these cool Toyota vans.

I spent way too much time this morning looking at these cool Toyota vans.

TIL: Imagemagick can do HEIC these days. It’s not easy to make it work, though.

TIL: Imagemagick can do HEIC these days. It’s not easy to make it work, though.

I looked at Twitter just now and I have a question for those people who are still happily posting there: why?

I looked at Twitter just now and I have a question for those people who are still happily posting there: why?

If there is one thing I should have learned by now, something that I know in theory: expectations always end in disappointment. Especially in my field, because computers and software are inherently disappointing. And yet, in my optimistic[1] naïveté I keep running into it.

This week I was trying a piece of software for work – it doesn’t matter what it was, it’s not their fault – and because I knew it in a different context where it worked really well and is very useful, I figured it would work really well and be very useful in our workflow as well. I excitedly told people about it and everything. If it worked it would automate away a tedious task that nobody enjoys.
And of course, it does not work. It works a bit, but only in a way that adds more tedium, which is pretty counterproductive. (Even though it is a pretty obvious analogy to almost all technological progress.)

Usually I’m quite good at having a little shrug in these situations and looking for some other solution, but for some reason this thing really brought down my mood today. Ugh.

Filed under: blogposts that should have been a therapy session. But yeah, I do feel a bit better after publishing it, thanks for asking.


  1. I’m as surprised as you are.  ↩

Let’s see if this thing really brings me abundance, prosperity and good luck.

Let’s see if this thing really brings me abundance, prosperity and good luck.

It’s interesting to watch how PHPStorm gets slower with every release – only on the Intel MacBook Pro, though. Still super fast and snappy on the M1.

It’s interesting to watch how PHPStorm gets slower with every release – only on the Intel MacBook Pro, though. Still super fast and snappy on the M1.

I knew it would happen sooner or later and it happened pretty soon: I’m already not super motivated to write these notes on the second weekend. I know for sure that if I hadn’t made a big deal out of them and added the peer pressure this year, it would be quite certain that I forget about them at all again.

It was a bit of a struggle to get back into work mode – I was pretty tired for no real reason all the time, even though I managed to keep my sleep rhythm more or less stable during my two weeks off over the holidays. And yet I quite liked being back “in the office.” There’s something to be said about working with people you actually enjoy spending time with.

Don’t call them resolutions

Not good, but good enough: I stopped taking photos on my walks, there just wasn’t any real motivation. And I didn’t fill my Apple Watch rings on Friday, which is a bit of a bummer. But oh well, it worked again yesterday and I’ll be out of the apartment today as soon as I have finished writing this thing here.

Websites

I haven’t really done much this week – I fixed a couple of small bugs on weeknotes.cafe and I think I should write a little text of what it is about at some point soon. I did see many people starting their year with week notes so maybe I should open it up to the public soon-ish. Before I do that I want to make it a bit prettier, add a reminder feature and maybe add an option to set the language per post including an option to filter the post list? I don’t know. Marc and I also talked about the option to post via Webmention, which would be pretty neat.

Things I learned

This is something I know I knew, but somehow it tripped me up this week and now I’ll remember for sure:

<?php
class A {
    public function something(): self
    {
        // do something
        return $this;
    }
}

class B extends A
{
    // do something
}

$a = (new B())-&gt;something();
echo $a::class; // A

Oh well.

The internet

Those numbnuts at Twitter removed the ability to use Tweetbot, so I guess at this point I’ll even stop sneaking a peek once in a while. What a bummer.
Meanwhile I really enjoy being a tester for Ivory and I like elk.zone as a desktop client.

Those little Lego otters are better than they need to be.

Those little Lego otters are better than they need to be.