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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
February 04
One of my webscraping toys has suffered the fate of all webscraping toys: the thing it was scraping has updated. Guess I know what I'll be fiddling with this weekend.

January 29
Slightly weird behaviour observed on the server I dragged up to Debian 11: about once a week it loses its default route. Nothing immediately obvious leaps out from the config files I've looked at, but on the other hand I'm more of a RedHat person so there's a certain amount of "that looks right" going on here. For now I've just stuck in a cron job which restores the default route if it's missing.

The handy side-effects of writing your own software for something: I had the car charger replaced because the original one had a red LED on it for a bit that indicated there may be a fault. It did revert back to normal operation, but I'm wary of anything that horses around with high currents, so I figured a straight within-warranty swap was not something to quibble with. Problem: possibly because someone missed a step, I now have two chargers registered to my account with the manufacturer, and their app - not a great piece of software by any stretch of the imagination - explicitly does not cope with that. HOWEVER. I had reverse-engineered the protocols in use and built my own scripts; one the initial hacky CLI thing, the second a MQTT-based doodad to hook up to OpenHAB. The former needed a little tweaking to work with the new charger because I'd hardcoded it to use the first charger in the list returned by the API, same as I'm guessing the app does. Once I made the script somewhat list-aware and added a switch to select a specific charger, it worked almost perfectly. I was more impressed with my MQTT doodad, though: it automatically picked up the new charger and told OpenHAB about it. I was missing one piece of detail to get the cloud-based data, which I picked up this evening through the simple expedient of plugging in the car and then using the CLI tool.

(yes, the API returns a list of chargers, and the app does not know what to do with that.)

(the missing detail was what seems to be a charger-specific session ID which isn't, as far as I can tell, any of the other numbers I have lying around for the charger (serial number, "address", etc.) and I'm not immediately clear on where it's derived from or looked up, just that it seems to be different per charger; however, once you're charging and you ask the charger, "hey, what's going on right now?" it reports back with a bunch of details including the session ID.)

January 28
Went to see The Fabelmans in the cinema. Two and three quarter hours of fictionalised "Stephen Spielberg Grows Up" and just at the point where I thought the movie might actually start, it comes to an abrupt ending with a visual gag based on the previous scene. This was like amateur hour at the movies except with a budget of millions. You know how a story's supposed to have a beginning, a middle, and an end? This felt like it never got past the beginning. A biopic, in order to appeal to the audience, needs to have a narrative that may not reflect what happened with 100% accuracy; characters may be merged, details may be dropped, things may be shifted around in time. Otherwise you're making a documentary. This movie felt like it should've actually leaned into the documentary style because there was no narrative, and there were a bunch of characters who show up, are somehow important, but disappear and are never seen again, and who knows about the timeline thing. There's a bunch of places where pithy wisdom is imparted, or setups for later scenes are apparently being created, except the payoff for those never shows up. It's like violating Chekov's directive about guns in the first act, but doing that at every possible opportunity. Probably the only part of this that I actually enjoyed were the home movie sequences where you saw young Stephen Spielberg Sammy Fabelman capturing friends and family on camera, then editing, then showing the finished result. The rest? One very, very, very large "MEH".

January 22
Watched Clerks for the first time in a very, very long time. It holds up surprisingly well; the dialogue feels a lot more stilted and set up for a stage (rather than screen) performance than I recall, and it's at least as filthy as I recall. But there's a general lack of punching down in the humour because, I guess, the characters are all the people you'd punch down on, so the only way for them to punch is up; there's also that vibe from High Fidelity where Randall feels he's above his customers in the same way as Dick, Barry, and to some extent Rob.

January 21
Harry Brown was a good deal more of a movie than last night's fare. It was also pretty grim, to be honest.

January 20
Well, that's mildly annoying: selecting a checklist in the Notes app and pasting it into a textfile gives you a raw markdown checklist. Selecting that markdown checklist and pasting it into the Notes app gives you ... raw markdown.

Bulltet To Bejing started out ok but kinda devolved into "you spent all your money on Michael Caine and had none left for a script".

January 15
Season 2 of Mrs. Maisel and... we're in Paris? Ok, we're in Paris.

January 14
Rush: second time watching this and I spent more time this time wondering (a) how much CGI vs. practical was involved in the race sequences and (b) how much of the Hunt/Lauda rivalry was overemphasised for the sake of the story. Good movie, though.

January 13
Out for booze and a chat with a friend I've not seen in, erm, several years.

January 12
Last episode of season 1 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tonight. Great finale: I particularly like that it was written as a potential series end - there isn't a giant TUNE IN NEXT SEASON hook dangling from the episode, but at the same time there's plenty room to continue the story. This is really good, and we'll be watching more of it.



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