2018-11-12 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Making a simple clock webpage for A-

We’ve been working on making our routines smoother by scheduling meals, clean-up time, bedtime routines, and so on. Even though times vary from day to day to accommodate the variability of toddler life, it’s been helpful to say things like, “Evening snack is at 8.”

The wall clock in the kitchen has a big circle on the end of the hour hand, which has been great for helping A- tell the time. She can focus on what number is in or near the circle instead of figuring out which is the short hand, mentally extending it to the numbers, and seeing out which number it matches. 

This morning, A- looked at the clock and said, “It’s nine o’clock.” (And it was!) In the evening, she looked at the clock a few minutes before 8 PM, then started singing, “We’ve come to the end of another day…”

Since that wall clock is just in the kitchen, I wanted to make something on my phone so that I could always show her what time it was. Javascript to the rescue! This one seems to display fine. If I need to use it offline, I can probably bundle in the libraries.

Live version is at http://sachachua.com/clock.html, based on Vasco Asturiano’s MIT-licensed code.

Next step could be to add drawings to the clock, like this custom clock for toddlers.

We’ll shift to the classic style of clock hands over time so that she can practise those too. I’ve also started talking about “half past,” and then I’ll introduce “quarter to” and “quarter past” later on. Whee! It’s so much fun to code things that fit A-‘s interests.

Weekly review: Week ending November 2, 2018

This week felt a little bit smoother. We’ve been working on making routines more consistent, and I’ve been using A-‘s nap time to tidy up and get things ready. I’ve even been able to play a bit, although I should shift some of that time towards more productive use. It’ll be fun to see how we can improve things.

  • Kaizen
    • W- and I discussed ideas for kitchen kaizen. We’ll try doubling recipes and either freezing right away or trading them with other families.
    • Some thoughts about getting ahead on house stuff: Move more cooking and cleaning to weekdays, double quantities for favourite recipes, prep ingredients (always need chopped onions, garlic, carrots)
    • I minced most of the garlic and stashed it in the freezer.
    • W- and I discussed other kaizen opportunities and how to make time to do things.
    • I put a book in my bathroom drawer so that I could read it while waiting for A-.
  • Us
    • A- has been very interested in folding things, so I learned how to fold an origami box.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in imitating the pictures from the book “I Can Do It Myself.” She wanted me to cut various shapes so that she could arrange them, and she practised holding a pencil.
    • W- ordered origami paper from Amazon, but 6×6″ feels a bit too small for our fingers.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- walked on the wooden bench in the hall outside music class. She misstepped and fell maybe two feet onto the concrete floor. She was upset, but was okay enough to walk back to me. She told me that her elbow hurt, and she cried quietly for about twenty minutes. She could still move her fingers, hand, and arm, so I wasn’t too worried. When I offered to take her home, she said she really wanted to go to school, so we did. (“Especially pretend school.”) By the time we got to school, she was all sorted out again. She had fun playing with big foam blocks and listening to storytime.
  • Eating
    • There was a Halloween party at the drop-in centre. A- liked the chocolate cake, so she asked for another serving. She also ate lots of fruits and cheese.
    • A- liked the cheese and sausage stacker. She also told us she was a big kid and asked for Japanese curry sauce on her rice, which she pronounced yummy.
  • Sleep
    • A- usually settles into bed around 11:30 PM, maybe a little earlier or later. I wonder if I can start nudging wake up earlier, maybe with video calls to Lola?
    • A- slept late after much grumbling, possibly influenced by her pretending to be a baby.
  • Emotion
    • A- worked on testing my boundaries by pulling my hair and touching my face. She had a tantrum when I was firm about what I would not allow, but eventually subsided.
  • Household
    • A- was interested in spraying water and wiping spots, so we cleaned the kitchen floor.
  • Social
    • I asked A- what she wanted to wear for Halloween. She consistently said, “Zebra!” We painted black stripes on one of her old flat diapers and I made headgear with zebra ears out of a cereal box. She was pleased with her costume and asked me to help her wear it. She walked up and down stairs to go trick-or-treating – mostly silent and wide-eyed, but occasionally braying like a zebra when prompted. I went ahead and modeled language for her (“Trick or treat! Happy Halloween! Thank you!”) instead of prompting and waiting for her. I carried her basket when it got heavy (should’ve brought another bag to dump things into), and she clutched a red lollipop that had caught her fancy. She also helped me hand out treats. She was okay with putting the red lollipop and most of the treats back into the bowl for giving to other kids, although we kept a few treats for her to explore.
    • A- can independently sit in a circle during storytime and follow the teacher’s instructions while I clean nearby. Sometimes she still insists on being close to me, but it’s nice to see her growing independence. She’s also starting to want to interact with teachers, asking for a hug or standing by to show something to the teacher. I’d still rather take her to the drop-in centre instead of enrolling her in preschool, since I enjoy spending time with her and she’s more oriented towards grown-ups than other kids. Eventually her focus will shift, but in the meantime, there’s no rush.
    • As a reward for helping tidy up, A- received a magnifying glass and a color changing pencil from the Ontario Science Centre staff member.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be Mr. Webb, her ocularist. She refers to herself in the third person and narrates her actions when she wants to make sure we know who she is, leading to statements like “Mr. Webb crawls around.”
  • Cognition
    • A- asked W- to reach for bubble solution on the top shelf. It was hidden behind something else, but she remembered that it was there.
    • At the Ontario Science Centre, A- was fascinated by the telephones that distorted voices or added echoes.
  • World
    • A- was fascinated by the clock, and wanted me to arrange magnetic numbers into a clock face on the freezer. We’ve been telling her that dinner is at 7:00 and snack time is at 9:00, and helping her read the time. We moved the hand on the magnetic clock face to 7:00 to reflect the current time. She moved it to 9:00 and said, “It’s snack time!”
  • Oops
    • I almost lost one of A-‘s gloves when I left it in the shopping cart. W- couldn’t find it when he circled around, but A- insisted that we look again. I found it trapped against the side that was pushed in by the cart behind it.
  • Thoughts
    • I thought a little bit more about making the most of scattered thoughts. I created a journal category for them and will think about how to tie ideas together.
    • After we went to music class and the drop-in centre, A- wanted to go to the library (where we borrowed two books), the organic grocery store (where we bought three apples), and the supermarket (where we bought a bunch of bananas). She’s got this neighbourhood circuit she loves doing, so I go to those places practically every weekday. I don’t mind. It gets us walking outside, we talk about stuff on the way, and she practises interacting with people too. If I let her take the lead, then she usually walks around until she’s tired enough to nap. She falls asleep when I carry her, and then I set her down for a nap while I tidy up at home. I wonder how I can tweak our routines to take advantage of this time. Maybe I can make a visual grocery list for us, so we can plan our purchases better. Maybe I can plan a simple meal to cook with her after she wakes up. Maybe I can line up things to write about if she’s still asleep. Hmm…
    • What do I want to do with fragmented thoughts? Observe, remember, synthesize, reflect, build up.
    • My mom told me about some of the challenges that are getting in the way of her writing. That reminded me that it’s important to write about things along the way instead of leaving it for later, because later might not work out.
    • I’ve been thinking about what I want to make time to learn. Some ideas: home economics, parenting, child development and psychology, decisions, Emacs (to tickle my brain), automation and other ways to make the most of snippets of time… I can make more time for reading by getting A- used to my reading grown-up books in front of her (one book for you, one book for me), I can listen to podcasts and videos while washing dishes or walking while she naps, and I can use her nap time and sleep time more effectively.
    • I wonder how I can get better at working with fragmented thoughts. Maybe outlines? Quick drawings?

Blog posts


Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 7.3 9.4 2.0 15.7 3.4
Discretionary – Play 2.8 4.3 1.4 7.1 2.4
Sleep 33.8 35.1 1.3 58.9 2.1
A- 42.8 43.4 0.6 72.9 1.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 0.3 0.2 -0.1 0.3 -0.1
Discretionary – Family 1.3 1.1 -0.2 1.9 -0.3
Personal 8.2 5.7 -2.5 9.6 -4.2
Discretionary – Productive 3.4 0.9 -2.5 1.5 -4.3

2018-11-05 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Weekly review: Week ending October 26, 2018

Things felt a little more normal this week. I think we’re over our colds, although another one might be on the horizon. Instead of joining A- for afternoon naps, I focused on cooking. We also tweaked our routine to include a video call to Lola, which turns out to be a good way to wake up A-. We made it to the drop-in centre too, and A- had fun playing there. Slowly getting the hang of things again…

  • Kaizen
    • We got frustrated with food requests, so we decided to move a little closer towards the Ellyn Satter model of division of responsibility. I’m working on set mealtimes and choices.
    • I got my ledger up to date, and I refactored my CSV transformation code.
  • Us
    • We prepared the garden for winter while A- hung out with J-.
    • Lots of cooking this week. I baked turkey pot pie, roasted rutabaga and beets, and managed to cook fresh dinner on three different days.
    • We made pumpkin muffins. The Halloween liners stuck a bit and the muffin texture was a bit dry, but it was a nice change.
    • We voted, yay!
    • I need three dental fillings, boo. Also, I should find out where to buy disclosing solution here…
  • Gross motor
    • A- insisted on going to the organic grocery store. She walked all the way home even though it was cold and drizzly.
    • Because we stayed for a snack after music class, we got to the drop-in centre just as the family worker sang the goodbye song. A- wanted to play in the schoolyard for a bit anyway, so she played with the basketballs, the hula hoops, and the tricycles. Another girl invited her to play chase, so she chased her for a few minutes.
  • Language
    • “I look kind of like a girl.” A- likes how the tassels on her blue Columbia hat look like hair.
    • When A- heard me taking a shower, she told W-, “I usually like to go first.”
    • A- pretended to be Mama while I pretended to be A-. She had quick responses for lots of different scenarios. I laughed and pointed out that I don’t say no all the time…
      • “I want to go to the supermarket.” “We should stay home.”
      • “Mama’s kisses don’t work.” “Daddy’s kisses do.”
      • “I want Daddy.” “Daddy’s at work.”
      • “I don’t want to go to bed.” “We should sleep.”
  • Music
    • A- sang snippets of Bahay Kubo during bathtime. When I noticed, I sang it too, and she sang along while watching my lips intently.
    • At music class, we learned a few more songs for Halloween and fall. A- mostly clung to me, although she participated in the pumpkin-passing song and she went up to the teacher for a hug at the end of the class.
  • Self-care and independence
    • We got through the flu shot with the help of Sheep, a book, and a sheet of stickers.
  • Eating
    • I think I’m getting the hang of packing lunch and snacks. It’s nice to eat a wide variety, even if it means washing lots of containers.
    • A- was feeling a little under the weather after her flu shot, so we offered instant noodles.
  • Sleep
    • A- woke up crying several times in the night. She fell asleep after a minute or two each time.
    • A- fell asleep while J- was reading A.A. Milne’s poetry to her.
    • A- resisted bedtime by insisting on washing hands.
    • A- is back to napping in the afternoon, but tends to resist going to bed at night. Maybe I should try to wake her up earlier from her nap.
  • Social
    • Popo visited. A- had fun folding origami and riding her bike around.
  • Pretend
    • A- wanted a quilt like she saw in books. Fortunately, I had sewn a quilt for her before, so we brought hat out.
    • A- wanted to be cloth diapered and swaddled.
    • “I want to copy Popo.” A- put her gloves in a purse and carried it.
  • World
    • We went to the drop-in centre. A- had fun playing with basketballs, grids, and laces.
    • At the drop-in centre, A- sought out J- and played with her. She also played with basketballs, rocking horses, matching animal pictures, and magnetic rods.
    • A- was interested in the materials and magnets set out on the science table at the drop-in centre. We sorted the materials into things that stuck to magnets and things that didn’t.

Blog posts


Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 38.3 42.8 4.5 71.9 7.5
Discretionary – Productive 0.8 3.4 2.6 5.8 4.4
Unpaid work 5.4 7.3 2.0 12.3 3.3
Discretionary – Play 1.8 2.8 1.0 4.8 1.7
Discretionary – Family 1.0 1.3 0.3 2.2 0.5
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 0.5 0.3 -0.3 0.4 -0.4
Personal 11.3 8.2 -3.1 13.8 -5.2
Sleep 40.9 33.8 -7.1 56.8 -11.9

2018-10-29 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.