Happy π day. Nat & I did some light trigonometry to celebrate. 📐
I enjoyed WandaVision overall, but the final episodes felt a bit, I dunno, chaotic? Arbitrary? It was always going to be a difficult premise to wrap up and I’m not convinced everything made sense. Still, it was an entertaining show and I’m glad to have seen something a bit different.
I’ve been playing more Super Mario 3D World and finding it inventive and charming. The only thing I don’t love is its over-reliance on a time limit, which is antagonistic to my goal of exploring every corner of a level and having chill adventures at my own pace. It’s a bit weird that the most desirable power-up is the one which slightly extends the amount of time you can spend running around and having fun before you expire. (Just like in real life! I hope you enjoyed this week’s joke.)
Another oddity is that the main reward given to the diligent player (for e.g. collecting coins or discovering secrets) is extra lives, even though nothing happens if you run out and so lives don’t really mean anything. Best not to think about it, I suppose, lest the entire concept of “meaning” unravels.
I started reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel, Klara and the Sun, at my usual snail’s pace. It’s good so far, although I’ve barely read enough of it to say even that. I’m only mentioning it here to create a tiny imagined sense of accountability so that I keep going rather than immediately consigning it to my Jenga tower of 10%-read novels.
At work we use minitest to automatically test our code and my patience. minitest isn’t bad per se, it just isn’t really anything — it’s intentionally the thinnest possible implementation of calling some methods, catching exceptions and reporting how many times you did those things. I realise that its fans actively value this ascetic approach but I find it exhausting to struggle along without the many features of RSpec which are actually necessary for day-to-day test-driven development. I stand by my foreword: RSpec encodes a lot of hard-won wisdom from people who take their automated tests seriously, and it’s difficult to let all that go.
Working with minitest regularly is forcing me to confront how much I dislike the idea of using class and method definitions to organise tests. I can see the temptation to use classes and methods — they’re right there! — as a convenient syntax and data structure for collecting chunks of code, but (ironically given the ideological arguments involved) I find this opportunistic overloading to be “more magic” than cooking up dedicated objects to represent tests and the concepts around them.
We have good operational reasons for using minitest but I don’t understand why any unconstrained person would choose the fully automated omakase space communism of Rails for their web application and then pick out the hair shirt of minitest for their tests. Baffling.
Even though I am extremely lazy and hate administrative chores more than almost anything, I succumbed to greed and grudgingly applied to switch my business bank account from NatWest to Starling so that I could claim some free cash from RBS.
Unsurprisingly it ended up being a pain because opening a business account required me to produce lots of evidence and I almost instantly ran out of patience with the whole thing. It turns out I’m sufficiently greedy to start a process like this but not quite greedy enough to finish it if more than a tiny amount of hassle is involved.
When the new bank asked for a second round of documentation I realised I was out of my depth and sent them a stress-relieving email before bed:
This is turning out to be too much hassle, so please cancel my application.
They replied first thing in the morning:
I am pleased to inform you that your Starling Business Current Account is now fully verified.
It made me laugh to imagine that someone was like “okay, that’s what a legit business account applicant would say actually, you passed the test”, whereas if I’d had time for any of their bullshit they’d have been immediately suspicious.
I‘ve reached the point where the geometry of my skeleton has become the limiting factor in my flexibility. I’m still doing the stretches every day but my progress has plateaued at “palms on floor” because my body is fully folded in half by that stage. I’m not sure where I was expecting it to go next.
Welcome, once again, to the provincial human assumptions subversion zone.