Prioritising

Along with the Azure AI Search functionality I described back on Monday, my time at work so far this year has been mainly dedicated to using Chat GPT to write python code for me that generates Mule projects based on a dictionary of metadata. That is pretty cool, and I do hope it saves upward of the 30+ days of development I have invested so far in creating it.

As I'm currently only 3 days billable, I used my time on Friday to convert a spreadsheet I have for estimating integration development sizes into a webpage for better reuse. Well, Chat GPT did this for me too, but I told it what to do and I fixed its bugs. This started off as a Flask app but as I wasn't persisting any data it quickly became a standalone HTML + pure JavaScript app which is great because I was afraid I was going to have to work out how to containerise it and integrate with Azure AD to protect it. I still might do that…

You'd think all of this gives me enough coding to do, and yet I still find myself spending hours in the evenings adding features to Fireworks using React and PHP to ideally save me minutes in the future. And yet, this could feasibly add up to a time saving.

This maintenance work distracts me from my actual current project, which is a SvelteKit app using PocketBase as a back end. Svelte had a bit of a learning curve coming from React but I kind of cracked it on Sunday and then didn't get a chance to do anything further because my new phone was shipped and I decided I needed to prioritise going through old photos in Lightroom and creating 19.5:9 aspect ratio backgrounds.

Vanessa went to a hen's day this afternoon, so I finally had a chance to spend some time on the projects of my choosing. I wasn't sure what I should focus on first. So for that reason, I decided today I was going to find out if CLR would do to the stains in our toilet bowl what toilet cleaner and bleach could not. It did an amazing job of removing some of the build up that I think was included in the cost of buying this house. It did take me an hour of scrubbing and rinsing though. I think it was a good thing I got away from the computer.


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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.


By Modern Standards


Today Nash celebrated her tenth birthday, which by modern standards sounds like an eccentric thing to say. But considering how hostile towards life the majority of the universe is, I feel proud to think that after the millions of years that it took to have multicellular organisms we now have a dog with more cells in a single, ejected tail hair than there are on most planets. And because of me and Vanessa, there's a dog that has by far lived her best life and brought a lot of joy to a lot of humans. The last decade would have been worse without her.

Does that justify her eating 5% of her body weight in chicken and cocktail pies for a day, while everybody wore party hats with her face on them?

Yes. Well earned, Nash.

Brad's AI Tour - Sydney

There's no doubt about it. AI is going to be even huger in 2024 than it was in 2023. At least from a hype perspective. That's judging by the 16 minute wait I faced to collect my badge at the entrance of the Microsoft AI Tour in Sydney this morning. Regular haircut people of the East Coast are going to make a lot of money from this technology. I just think it's neat.

Dear Chat GPT. Please generate me a harbour side house in Rozelle Bay.

Regardless, I felt extremely hyped myself this afternoon during a short break for fresh air between sessions. This was not just from the sugar of the dozen free desserts I consumed at the event and the hotel breakfast buffet beforehand. I crammed new knowledge into my face with just as much avarice as I had for the food and coffee. I get genuinely excited by the potential of this technology the same way I get tingles every time I get a glimpse of humanity's potential and before some reality snaps me out of it. With the right amount of CPU and ingenuity the possibilities are endless. Human services, healthcare, custom entertainment, massive increases in productivity. All of it could be achieved and most of the world** could commence living like spoiled Golden Retrievers for the rest of our lives, carried through the years in the metaphorical, oversized handbag of big tech and their easy to consume, low code solutions.

Humanity will corrupt it, of course. When there's money to make and social hierarchies to preserve the packaging won't end up matching the product. The margins will ruin things.

AI is ground breaking magic. But if you want to use it in Production, you're going to need a few additional services deployed in between the model and your users.

Anyway, after the sugar rush ended and the afternoon sessions peeled back the curtains on the magic box a bit further, my expectations returned to their temperedness. There's still a lot to do. And I still have excitement about contributing to doing it. After hours of walking around Sydney and its harbour in the past twenty-four hours I am reminded that humanity has not nor will not ever be perfect. But it's far from being bad. We will probably end up living like spoiled Golden Retrievers think they live.

**With the exception of physical labourers and AI developers of course. And then just the developers.


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Clippings

Unlike some of my neighbours, who spend hours tending to their verges in the beating sun, and who water great stretches of the street, I am not a lawn care aficionado. I mow my grass when it gets hard to pick up the dog shit, and about twice a year I edge it to prevent it from growing into the garden.

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from a manicured lawn. I felt it yesterday after I employed the leaf blower to suck up the scraps of edged grass clippings and put the green bin back down the side of the house. Is this because I am turning 40 this year? This is the edging job that will see me through to that milestone. Am I about to join my neighbours in maintaining their verges. God, I hope not.

Anyway I took this photo with my new phone that will also likely be with me as I enter my forties. It too has 90° edges. Maybe that's going to be a theme.

Nobody Home

It has been four years since I moved into this house and I am still receiving mail for the previous tenants.

I am a good Australian. I write "NATA" on the envelopes, and scribble an arrow in the direction of the return address. Then I put these back in the red post boxes the next time I need something to add some spice to the monotony of living in the same place for four years during the Work From Home era.

...God damn it, 2024 journals are literally becoming a case study into turning forty.

Anyway, another letter arrived today with the same old names. I could kind of see through the thin envelope that this was just crappy promotional material, so I decided to just rip it open and throw it in the bin.

Who was marketing to the old owner occupiers today? The freaking real estate agent who sold their house to us! Of all the people who should know they are NATA, it would be him.

Also he paid the "Card Only" stamp price and he stuck a big magnet inside the envelope as well. Typical Real Estate Agents. Adelaide median house prices went up 11.5% last year and he hasn't made enough millions to pay full price for a letter.

NO FATE

The Fringe has kicked off in Adelaide which means it's time for the occasional evening out for a display of extreme physical strength and endurance.

And no, this is not my annual recycling of "a sitting through a performance with a shit back" entry. We had great seats, partly enhanced by my latest life hack of carrying a lumbar support around with me and inverting its straps so that I can wear it around my waist to buffer my spine.

So the feats that I saw were a part of Mythos: Ragnarok at The Garden. If you enjoy mythology and WWE wrestling then you'd probably enjoy this juxtaposition of those things.

I also got to observe the pushing of physical boundaries by Vanessa, who tried staying awake past 11 PM.

Next year, who knows. Perhaps that will be when gen AI simulates artistic performances for me on demand, and as the technology continues to grow, maybe push me to my physical limits as well.

Help, Police

There's a woman walking down Main Street wearing a weights vest. She's walking a golden retriever with a blue bandanna and I think she's planning to feed it a mini sausage roll for breakfast.

Unkind

I'm building a new app. For some reason I decided this project was the right time to learn Typescript.

I have not enjoyed learning Typescript. I was even more annoyed when I realised this morning that the Fireworks scraper had been quiet since Friday. This meant that instead of learning Typescript and SvelteKit some more tonight I had to fix that bug instead.

It was an unchecked type problem...

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