Quick notes on my current interface for time-tracking

I don’t think I’ve posted a description of my current interface for tracking, so here are a few quick screenshots. This is the main interface that I’ve bookmarked on my phone and on my computer. It’s a simple web-based interface with lots of big buttons. It lets me track baby-related things as well as my time with a tap or two. If I need to do something more complicated, I can use the command button to pass a text command to my tracking interface. 

For example, here’s what clicking on the Track button will show:

I sometimes need to backdate entries, so tapping on Adjust gets me this screen:

When I have a little more time, I might tweak the interface a bit, but it will do for now. I’m glad I put this together. It makes time tracking something I can do even with a baby, yay!

All the reports in my blog posts are handled by Emacs Lisp functions that talk to quantifiedawesome.com and summarize my time data. You can find the code at http://sachachua.com/dotemacs and lisp/quantified.el .

I probably won’t be able to help anyone build a similar system any time soon, but maybe these notes can give you a few ideas. =)

Monthly review: May 2017

There were quite a few sunny days this month, so we spent lots of time outside. At the playground, A- kept signing “more” while riding the swings, so I decided to do a little exercising myself while pushing her. She also figured out how to go down the slide by herself. Wow!

A- worked on carrying things while walking with help. She imitated household routines, helping us wash dishes and load the dryer. She experimented with the arms-first way of putting on her T-shirt, and only needs a little help to get the openings lined up. She went up and down the stairs at the ROM, and we checked out the Family Camera exhibit while we were there. We attended a parenting workshop on resilience, and I’ve been working on being even more specific when I encourage her or acknowledge her hard work.

We focused on language, since we were a little worried about her progress in that area. She picked up the hang of imitating animal sounds, and seems to enjoy looking at picture books and hearing names for things. I’ve been learning more names for things, too: different types of latches, flowers around the neighbourhood, and so on. A- has also gotten the hang of associating songs with gestures, and often does a gesture from a song in order to ask me to sing it. She also spent some time experimenting with the fridge magnets to see what they stuck to and how they behaved on different surfaces.

She passed the developmental screening at her 15-month checkup, and has been growing at a good clip. I took her to the dentist to check her teeth again. They’re okay. It was probably just a little staining.

Other things:

  • I transplanted the tomatoes and a few of the basil seedlings.
  • I read quite a few books while A- was asleep:
    • The Reflective Parent: More of a background on mind-mindedness
    • The Importance of Being Little: play
    • How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: problem-solving
    • Child of Mine: feeding dynamics
    • Week by Week: observing child development
    • Mind in the Making: skills
  • I used ffmpeg to automatically extract short video clips, which made it easier to review my video backlog. I also backed up the photos and videos to more places.
  • W- upgraded to the PS Vita Slim and gave me his old PS Vita. I’ve been playing Trails of Cold Steel on it.
  • I replaced my credit card and library card. Turns out they had fallen between the drum and the case of the dryer.
  • I spotted a coyote and a beaver (separately) in our neighbourhood.
  • For consulting, I created a hierarchical JSON for data analysis, fixed old data, and tweaked some SQL.
  • W- demolished the concrete pad and poured a concrete door sill.

Blog posts

Sketches

So much drawing this month! I got back into the swing of drawing one or two thoughts a day.

Time

Category Previous month % This month % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work – Childcare 36.2 42.1 5.9 73.2 9.9
Unpaid work 43.4 47.9 4.5 83.2 7.6
Discretionary – Play 2.3 4.0 1.7 6.9 2.8
Discretionary – Family 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.2
Business – Earn 1.0 1.1 0.1 2.0 0.2
Business – Connect 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.0 -0.0
Business – Build 0.3 0.0 -0.3 0.0 -0.6
Discretionary – Social 0.8 0.1 -0.8 0.1 -1.3
Discretionary – Productive 5.1 3.5 -1.5 6.1 -2.6
Personal 11.9 10.2 -1.7 17.6 -2.9
Sleep 35.1 33.0 -2.1 57.2 -3.5

Weekly review: Week ending June 2, 2017

A- passed the developmental screening at her 15-month checkup. She weighed 9.11 kg (25th percentile, up from 15th) and was measured at 74 cm in length (15th percentile), with a head circumference of 44.5 cm (15th percentile). We hadn’t taken her for a weight check in a while, so it was reassuring to see that her self-feeding was working out the way it should. She also got her MMR and varicella vaccines. The nurse was definitely her least favourite person in the world, although the pediatrician seems to be a close second.

We attended a parenting workshop on building resilience. It was a good reminder about the importance of language in cultivating a growth mindset, and of modeling self-care and asking for help. The workshop was held at the Children’s Book Bank, which is a beautifully-organized place with children’s books where people can take one book home per visit.

A- seems to have focused on gross motor skills this week. She figured out how to pull the laundry basket in addition to pushing it, so now she won’t get stuck when she runs into a wall. She put a lot of effort into walking with help while holding a bag and, later, a heavy water bottle. W- saw her turn around while standing independently. At the playground, she figured out how to go down the slide by herself, too.

It’s been an interesting mix of independence and closeness. I showed her how to spread peanut butter on bread, and she spread quite a few pieces for me even though she preferred to eat other things. She imitated wiping with toilet paper, tossing the pieces into the toilet, and even flushing. One evening, she seemed to want to keep reading – she protested when we turned off the lights. When we turned the lights back on, she spent a few more minutes with her book. (“I was just getting to the good part!”, probably.)

But she was also very snuggly this week, even before the stress of the injections at the doctor’s office. She shifted back to two naps a day, with the second nap in the evening, so her bedtime has been quite erratic. Nilda shared some tips on helping A- through this cycle of dependence and independence.

A- figured out a new sound, the ending “p”, and experimented with babbling “hep” and “pop”. She definitely uses “mah” to approximate “meow” when referring to the cats, and occasionally blows raspberries to imitate their purring.

Other stuff:

  • For consulting, I tweaked a SQL script for slightly better performance. It turns out NOT IN is faster than NOT EXISTS.
  • I updated my ledger file and found an account maintenance fee for TD Waterhouse, which I’ve asked about.
  • I read a few chapters of Week by Week and Mind in the Making.
  • I backed up videos of A- to our home server and photos to Google Photo
  • Lots of cooking: pizza, fried rice, shake and bake, congee
  • I transplanted the tomato seedlings and some of the basil.
  • W- poured the concrete for the door sill.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.4h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.4h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.0h – 0%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.5h – 3%)
    • Drawing (2.7h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (0.9h)
  • Discretionary – Play (4.6h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (17.1h – 10%)
  • Unpaid work (84.4h – 50%)
    • Childcare (74.3h – 44% of total)
  • Sleep (53.9h – 32% – average of 7.7 per day)

2017-05-29 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.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Weekly review: Week ending May 26, 2017

This week, A- picked up lots of gestures for the songs we’d been singing at circle time. She not only gestures while I sing, she also gestures to ask me to sing. “Rain is Falling Down” and “The More We Get Together” seem to be her favourites at the moment. She sometimes asks for those three or more times in a row.

She seems to take a lot of pleasure in imitating us, and has been paying attention to our household routines. She joined me in washing the spinach for banchan, loading the dryer with laundry, and putting away the stack of freshly-laundered wipes. It’s fun looking for ways to involve her in more of our chores.

The Duralex Picardie tumblers I ordered for A- arrived. She now uses proper glassware (shatter-resistant, yay), so her snack cup can be restored to its original purpose. She’s been having fun offering us food and snatching it away at the last minute, complete with a delighted “Gyah!” She spent quite a few minutes experimenting with the fridge magnets. They stick to the fridge, but not to the wall, and they stay on the window sill if she lets go of them. Wow! She also practised pouring with the small pitchers I borrowed from the JFRC. She still spills a bit, but that’s to be expected.

For our field trip this week, we checked out the Gooch family drop-in. It was a quiet afternoon and A- was the only kid in the main area, but she still mostly stayed close to me. The Gooch drop-in is in a building’s rec room. It’s a larger, more brightly-lit space than JFRC, with quite a few scheduled programs. The parent relief service might come in handy when A- is older. In the meantime, we might check out the main site at Shaw to see if that’s worth taking the TTC to every so often.

I need to be more careful when it comes to A- and the cats. She had a couple of run-ins with them this week. Fortunately, it was a light scratch, but still.

W- did lots of work around the house. He tuckpointed the bricks, filled in a large gap with expanding foam, built a step for the shed, and showed me how to use a hammer drill to help cut a brick to the right size. Neat!

More updates from family, and a video chat as well. Speaking of video, I figured out a way to deal with the video backlog that we’ve been accumulating. I used ffmpeg to grab the middle 3 seconds of each clip and stitch them together into a quick movie. This lets me appreciate A-‘s growth without doing a lot of editing. I got my Bluetooth headset working with my laptop, too, so I can listen to things late at night.

Other tidbits:

  • If I crack two eggs for my breakfast into a bowl after I pour out the scrambled egg for A-‘s breakfast, it’s easier for me to deal with any shell fragments and to cook the eggs evenly
  • If I do jumping jacks while pushing A- on the swing, she finds it amusing and I get more exercise
  • Now that the weather has warmed up, I’ve been setting the seedlings out. Might plant them next week.
  • Watched a bit of Orphan Black with W-. Played Trails of Cold Steel and a bit of Borderlands 2 as well.
  • Consulting: put together a hierarchical JSON file for someone doing data analysis.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (2.1h – 1%)
    • Earn (2.0h – 93% of Business)
    • Connect (0.1h – 6% of Business)
  • Relationships (1.0h – 0%)
    • ☑ Order glasses
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.3h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.0h)
    • Emacs (0.3h)
    • Coding (0.8h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (1.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (10.3h – 6%)
  • Personal routines (11.2h – 6%)
  • Unpaid work (79.5h – 47%)
    • Childcare (67.9h – 40% of total)
  • Sleep (56.5h – 33% – average of 8.1 per day)

 

2017-05-22 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