I'm convinced that the jargon and misleading language used in finance are deliberately chosen to keep people (me) away or to force people (me) to give money to a financial advisor who can explain it to people (me) like they're (I am) five years old.

What are fairly simple processes and consequences can be boiled down into some fairly easy to understand language: The tax man will snuff out any excitement you may feel in an instant.

The traditional parting gift from New York to me. Second visit of the year, second bout of Covid. Fortunately not as severe as the first (so far) but still pretty unwelcome as I can't really take any time off work.

That scene in Pi where he uses a drill on his skull to lobotomise himself? That, but to take the pressure and the constant headache out of my dome.

As soon as I'm done being contagious I might need to check Flotation Tank of the bucket list and get fucking relaxed, but not so relaxed I think I'm still in there.

New iPhone season again, and the part of me that was interested and excited about this every year is gone (even with my affinity for titanium). The updates are barely there; some imperceivable improvement with the camera, a better processor that makes a tiny difference. Even the headline update of USB-C charging is a bit of a shrug. I have no daily-charge items that use it, and I have plenty of lightening cables wherever I need them.

Phones and laptops are disposable items that won't last forever. Even if you keep hold of a phone for a while, it will eventually be obsolete.

That annual itch to get the latest and greatest phone has been replaced with a desire to pick up things that are endlessly repairable, ideally don't need batteries, and if they ever die their parts are recyclable.

Travel as escapism has a limiting factor. It doesn't matter how fast or far you go, you're always there when you get there. And you're there when you get back. And you'll be there forever.

Not long ago there were open arguments on Twitter (pre-X, pre-implosion) with TypeScript faithful falling out with CSS nerds, with both sides being pretty wrong in a variety of ways. Just another example of how in this stupid career I have accidentally landed in there is a perpetual undercurrent of reinvention in ways that don't make a single thing better for end users.

TypeScript helps to make better and more reliable products but to me it feels like it's often taught in the wrong way. Trying to make the complier 'happy' rather than seeing the type system as providing guard rails, and having strong types is probably a bit over kill for a shitty blog or one-person team building simple websites.

CSS is ever evolving and is more powerful than ever, and the people trying to engineer their way out of ever needing to write any styles can be pretty hard to take. But also, so many of the new features are solving edge-cases, or issues that can be solved by rendering content a little differently.

It's the binary of TYPESCRIPT BAD CSS GOOD (or vice versa) that's so incredibly boring to me. There are shades of grey here. And in most places.

CSS is introducing type safety via @property and I'm curious how some of the previously contrary and loud type detractors are going to back-flip their way to loving this feature because it's in CSS now.

Maybe it'll be just the right gateway drug for the type-averse to start seeing the benefits at the same time as recognising the drawbacks. Web engineering is a dozen racoons in an overcoat.

I think I might not actually be an introvert in the classic sense. I have the traits; starting a conversation is impossible, I think that no one is really interested in what I have to say, and being in busy public places is excruciating.

If someone else gets conversation going I am right at home. I can roll with what's being said. And I might not shut the fuck up. And that's roughly how I spent 2 hours over lunch discussing Brexit, Trump, and New York with a group of people in one of my preferred Manhattan bars. Before long the owner made an appearance and explained all the rare spirits, how he goes to the airport to buy bottles not otherwise available, how his particularly rare bourbons are priced to discourage anyone from buying them, and how he arrived on a student visa 40 years ago and never left.

They all had advice on how I could manage a move to the city, but the only plan even close to realistic was to meet a citizen and get married. So fat chance.

I showed them a photo I took in the same place 16 years before; one of the only 'proper' photos I have on my phone for some reason. Nothing has changed, expect the table cloths.

A black and white photo of two men at a table in an old bar. The photo was taken with a long exposure, so their heads are blurred and their faces appear blank
New York, 2007. Holga 120TLR, Ilford Delta 400

This photo signals the falling of another rule. Maybe I should just embrace the rebellion.

The luxury/service bellcurve:

  • Budget. General distain. You only put up with it for the products.
  • Mid level. Attentive service, repeat business comes from loyalty.
  • High end. General distain. You only put up with it for the products.