2016-10-17 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.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Weekly review: Week ending October 14, 2016

While playing with the stack of flannel wipes, A- accidentally discovered how to play peek-a-boo by holding up a piece of cloth. It turns out that baby arms are adorably stubby and just right for holding up cloth to baby faces. Huh. How about that? Naturally, we encouraged this cuteness with lots of enthusiasm. A- has also taken to offering us some of her food by holding it up in the general direction of our mouths, and looking at us. At least I think that’s what she’s doing, since she seems to wait for us to mouth whatever it is she’s holding. Sometimes she does the same gesture without any food in her hand. I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but I smile at her anyway. She was very amused by gravity demonstrations. Dropping objects in front of her often elicited laughs, and she looked at both the starting positions and ending positions.

I’ve been doing pretty well with the reintegration of the ukulele into our daily routines. I had put it aside for a while because I was concerned about aggravating de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, but the movements for chords and finger-picking don’t seem to mess with that part of my wrist. Ukulele time is turning out to be quite multipurpose. It exposes her to music, motivates gross motor control as she crawls toward me, lets her experiment with fine motor control as she tries to strum the strings, and familiarizes her with nursery rhymes. For my part, it’s a good exercise for concentration, memory, and dexterity. I’ve made a list of songs to study, which should help structure the time a bit better.

Her weight gain has slowed down a lot, although it’s still within the normal range. 6.844 kg at 7 months (almost 8), so she’s still under the 15th percentile curve. We haven’t really changed anything about our feeding (aside from possibly having more social occasions away from our own kitchen table) and she’s active and looks well-nourished, so this might just be her catch-up weight gain tapering off. I’ll let the pediatrician know, and I’ll take her for another weight check in two weeks.

Lots of social things this week. We checked out the High Park Nature Centre, which might be an interesting resource for nature education and group activities. I’m not sure A- will get much out of the programs at this stage, but maybe when she’s toddling about curiously. We celebrated Thanksgiving and M-‘s birthday with W-‘s family. A- actually let a few people hold her, although she was still intimidated by W-‘s parents. W- packed a pretty bento of tamagoyaki, broccoli, carrots, raspberries, and yogurt, which A- enjoyed in addition to whatever she could steal off my plate. Morgan and Cathy gave us books and tips. Yay! A couple of my friends were dealing with a family emergency, so I spent some time with them to help with their baby and sort out food. We got them pizza, and then we made chicken noodle soup. Home-cooked food is my sanity-restoring go-to.

A few of the parents at Friday’s baby time session at the library told me about a Junction parents’ meetup at a nearby bar, so I joined them for lunch. I also checked out the Toronto Association of Parent Educators’ get-together on Tuesday at Wallace Emerson. It got me thinking about what I’m looking for in terms of socialization, and how I can go about cultivating those friendships. I like being able to see familiar faces at these parent-and-baby events. It makes conversations easier, and I pick up ideas and tips I might not have thought of looking for. I also like how Jen and Ewan and I can share resources and experiences. The landscape will probably change once we get to A-‘s second year, since most parents will be back at work and A- will be ready for more activities. We’ll see how things work out.

I made good progress on my consulting project, but I’m now stymied by something I can’t fiddle with myself. I’ve asked the other technical folks for help, since I don’t have the access or experience to do that part efficiently. In the meantime, I can work on front-end error handling, and then I can look around for other interesting things to work on.

Cold nights mean wrapping up our garden for the year, and baking season has definitely started. We’ve been trying out different socks and jackets for A-, and I plan to make her leg warmers too. We’ve been making steady progress through the box of vegetables I received as part of the nutrition workshop follow-up program. I made a plum tart and brought it to Thanksgiving dinner, baked one of the squashes, peeled and cut all the potatoes, boiled half of the beets, and munched my way through most of the apples. W- turned all the kale into a warm salad. There’s still a little lettuce left, half of the beets, two tomatoes, and two cucumbers. We’re doing much better at this random-box-of-vegetables thing than I did when I was in grad school or when we signed up for a community-supported agriculture program a few years ago. Yay experience!

2016-10-15a-week-ending-2016-10-14-weekly-journal output

Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.6h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.6h – 99% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (17.6h – 10%)
    • ☑ Set up savings account for A-
    • ☑ Message Jen and Chris about blocks
  • Discretionary – Productive (4.6h – 2%)
    • Drawing (3.2h)
    • Emacs (0.7h)
    • Coding (0.0h)
    • Sewing (0.2h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (2.3h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (21.1h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (65.2h – 38%)
    • Childcare (55.2h – 32% of total)
  • Sleep (55.6h – 33% – average of 7.9 per day)

2016-10-10 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.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Weekly review: Week ending October 7, 2016

It was a good week for getting things organized. I bought an organizer from IKEA, and I picked up lots of baby clothes hangers set out on the curb. Now A-‘s clothes are laid out KonMari-ishly in various compartments: whites, short sleeves, long sleeves, pants (divided into solids and prints), sweaters, dresses, and sleepers. The frequent-access stuff is in the organizer, and the less-frequent stuff is on hangers. The arrangement has survived a few days so far, which is a good sign. Might move the sweaters to drawers, though.

A- has a lot of hand-me-down clothes. I might not get through all of them before they’re outgrown. No worries! That just means I’ll be able to pass them along. We have neighbours down the street with a baby girl half a year younger than A-, and we gave them a large batch of clothes when we visited them this week.

I also sorted the craft materials and puzzles that I bought from the woman who closed her home daycare. I donated paint, markers, sand, ribbons, and felt Christmas trees to the family resource centre. I now have lots of stickers (both flat and foam), colored paper, ribbon pieces, foam beads, glass pebbles, paper bags, felt, and other handy materials for future rainy day fun and room decor. (Choking hazards will stay in the closet for a few years.) I may have to buy my own pipe cleaners and googly eyes, though. :)

W- finished J-‘s closet. Hooray! We moved her bed and desk back into her room, which means lots of floor space in A-‘s room. Time to start thinking of and setting up activity centres…

We remembered to spend some time outside while there’s still grass to be felt and herbs to be tasted. Despite a lack of planning and maintenance, we have a decent garden for exploration. A- nibbled on basil, tomatoes, strawberries, chives, sorrel, perilla, bok choy, peas, oregano, and mint. Next year, we’d like to reorganize the garden so that there’s open space in the middle, and maybe 2’ wide raised beds with toddler-friendly plants. In addition to the current assortment, maybe we can try radishes again – quick to grow and harvest.

A-‘s scleral shell popped out again. She fussed a lot when W- was trying to put it back in. It was hard to restrain her. Eventually W- got it in, and we soothed her. I reflected a bit on the differences between our parenting styles, and I think I’m getting better at appreciating the differences instead of worrying about being on the same page. I’m certainly glad W- is there to help with the tough parts.

I tried setting up a video chat with my mom so that she can play peek-a-boo with A- or explore other forms of interaction, but it didn’t work out. A- was boggled by the screen, and my mom’s Parkinson’s disease meant the image of her was shaking too much to focus on. I had to hold the tablet and fuss around with framing on my end, so I couldn’t do anything else. I’m not sure if we can work out something much better, considering the timezone differences and our schedules/preferences/values, so maybe we’ll just have to adapt to the way things are. Something to tinker with.

I attended the nutrition workshop’s first proper follow-up session. The talk was about organic versus conventional, and Toronto Public Health’s stance is that it’s really a personal choice – no strong health reasons for one or the other in Canada. We did a blind taste test between organic and conventional apples, grape tomatoes, and milk. I couldn’t identify any differences worth paying for, taste-wise. We may still get things like raspberries and brakes from the specialty food store despite the premium, because we like the quality and taste. (We’ve done those comparisons quite a few times!)

Much progress on my consulting project. I got the go-ahead to develop in the external sandbox, since I’d been running into technical issues internally. Once I set things up on my laptop with a forwarded port through my server, I was able to develop things quickly. Still having problems internally, but that’s probably a different kettle of fish.

Finally got to watch Captain America: Civil War, courtesy of the library and my script for checking our favourite branches to see if they have certain videos available. Yay!

2016-10-09a-week-ending-2016-10-08-weekly-journal-review output

Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (5.9h – 3%)
    • Earn (5.7h – 95% of Business)
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (0.1h – 1% of Business)
      • ☑ Prepare invoice
    • Connect (0.2h – 3% of Business)
  • Relationships (10.2h – 6%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.2h – 3%)
    • Drawing (4.5h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
      • ☑ Investigate Org Mode + Google Tasks
    • Coding (0.1h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.0h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (19.7h – 11%)
  • Unpaid work (74.3h – 44%)
    • Childcare (55.2h – 32% of total)
  • Sleep (51.6h – 30% – average of 7.4 per day)

2016-10-03 Emacs News

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

Past Emacs News round-ups

Monthly review: September 2016

A- has gotten a lot more active. She’s figured out how to roll both ways both directions, and can now roll over and over and over. Walls confused her for a bit, but she seems to have gotten the hang of them now – or at least she doesn’t keep rolling into them, then away a little, then back into them, then away, then back… She can also crawl short distances and sit or play mostly independently for a good number of minutes. She likes it when I play peek-a-boo, and she can whisk a cloth away to reveal me or a toy I’ve hidden. She’s been expanding her vocabulary, too: lip smacking, slobbery kisses, and more intonation. She’s definitely vocal about her appreciation of bubbles and other fine things.

A- has really taken to self-feeding in her high chair. A month of solid weight gains helped her make it past the 5th and 10th percentile curves, and she looks like she’ll be past the 15th percentile curve soon. Kamut puffs and Toodle-Os let her work on her pincer grip, and she tends to prefer bits of our meals more than baby cereals or purées. I’ve been applying what I learned in the nutrition workshop, making an effort to get in more iron for her and more calcium for me. She’s been settling into somewhat of a routine when it comes to eating, nursing, and sleeping (having mostly gotten the hang of longer naps, of which she usually has two). Between that and her increasing capacity for entertaining herself, I’ve actually been able to get back into cooking and other household chores. Whee!

The caseworker from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind assessed A-‘s vision and capabilities with the help of blinking toys, small objects, and a musical triangle. It was fascinating to watch her probe A-‘s field of vision, observation, and tracking. So far, it seems A-‘s doing perfectly well with one eye. The caseworker will close our file for now, but we can get in touch with CNIB if A- needs more help when she’s mobile. In other news, the cardiologist said A-‘s okay to travel, so all systems go. Yay!

TD lost our forms, so we redid the paperwork for A-‘s RESP. Added our first investment! In other education-related news, J- started university, and seems to be enjoying her program. They’re both off to a good start.

I switched from a digital index card workflow back to a paper one in order to accommodate changing baby-proofing needs (no more laptop chargers beside the bed, now that she’s crawling and rolling!) and prepare for our upcoming trip. It’s working surprisingly well. I draw after A-‘s asleep, or if she’s focused on playing on her own. The index cards are easy to carry to another room if I want to spend more time with W-. I can draw with my headlamp on, and I’m not as tempted to stay up late doing other things on my computer. ClearScanner on my phone takes care of deskewing and cleaning up images, and my Emacs functions for renaming and organizing images were easy to tweak for the new filenames and formats. I should probably think about colour at some point, but that can come later.

I’ve also been tweaking what I can do on my phone during nursing sessions. I’ve been trying out Orgzly for writing and a few Org-related things. Using Connectbot to SSH to my server has come in handy, too. I upgraded my server thanks to Linode’s anniversary promo, and I’m still thinking of more things I can do with the extra RAM.

Speaking of computer stuff – my fiscal year end is here, so I spent a little time reconciling my bank statements and getting things ready for taxes. I won’t be able to finalize the numbers until December or so, but it’s always nice to have an idea of how things will shape up. My notes from last year have been helpful, and I’ve been filling in more notes as needed. Hooray for Org Mode outlines and to-dos! It’s been a surprisingly good year, even with pregnancy and becoming the primary caregiver for an infant. My clients are super-flexible, and I’ve managed to get stuff done. Whee!

Social things this month: attended the midwives’ picnic and caught up with a few folks from the prenatal class we attended, started attending the Make the Connection program and the peer nutrition support site, and bartered the glass bottles A- barely used for two large bags of baby clothes. Moved to the Friday sessions at our neighbourhood early years centre, too.

W- has been busy with J-‘s closet reno and all the little things that popped up along the way, including getting the carpet professionally stretched in order to eliminate bumps and bring it up to the wardrobe. We moved all the upstairs stuff around so that all the carpet there could get fixed. W- built custom shelving, too. Neat.

Starting to get the hang of this, I think!

2016-09-30c-september-2016-monthly-review-journal output

Blog posts



Category Period 1 % Period 2 % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Business – Build 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.4
Discretionary – Play 0.5 0.9 0.5 1.5 0.8
Unpaid work 42.5 43.3 0.8 70.4 1.4
Unpaid work – Childcare 36.9 38.1 1.1 61.9 1.9
Discretionary – Social 2.5 2.2 -0.3 3.5 -0.5
Discretionary – Family 2.0 1.1 -0.9 1.8 -1.5
Sleep 34.3 34.6 0.3 56.3 0.5
Business – Connect 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.2
Business – Earn 1.3 1.6 0.4 2.6 0.6
Discretionary – Productive 4.6 4.5 -0.1 7.3 -0.2
Personal 12.4 11.3 -1.1 18.4 -1.8