Five Things

Almost six weeks have passed since the most recent instalment of Five Things, which strikes me as odd given that this Sunday-only post structure was chosen for its simplicity and lack of rigidity, resulting in a much simpler writing assignment. It is what it is, though. There hasn't been another instalment because I've honestly not been keeping track of the days very well lately. They've started to blur to such an extent that the only thing that separates a Sunday from a Tuesday from a Thursday is that one of those three is burnable garbage day1 for the neighbourhood. Blurred days are not necessarily a bad thing, though this can certainly make it a little tricky to know when to relax and when to invest brain power into the day job. Digressions aside, there are five things that I've recently learned which have given me a bit to think about.

Eighty Three

10Cv5 has hit its 7-millionth API request today and I decided to query the statistics table to see what the person:machine ratio was. As one might expect, most of the web traffic to my server is from content scrapers and search crawlers. 83.4% of traffic since March of this year. Most of the requests are completed in under 0.2 seconds but, if most of the traffic to 10C sites are from machines, it would make sense to determine this up front and serve a simplified content view. Why complicate things with all sorts of HTML to parse when just the basics will do?


There is quite a bit of flat file caching that goes on, but this doesn't mean the software can't be tuned to better support the primary group of visitors.


In addition to the machine-traffic to the server, there are apparently just six people — not including myself — that subscribes to my RSS feed. This is quite a bit lower than the 47 I had at this time last year and is undoubtedly the result of either a poorly-written daily blog post or my shifting views on society, culture, and language. All in all, this is something I'm fine with, as the personal site is more for me to get ideas and thoughts down in some fashion. If I wanted to build an audience, I would need to have something of value that people would want to read. Asinine soliloquies on a handful of uninteresting topics from a perpetually exhausted fool is not something people will generally invest time into, and for good reason.


This Friday I must hand in completed work on an almost impossible project. This gives me just five days to do the impossible and hope like heck it works as planned. My stress levels have rarely been higher, but this is what I'm generally paid to do. My job is to complete the tasks that nobody else is willing or interested in doing, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The deadlines do get a little tight from time to time, though.


For a little over a week I've started to take about three unintentional 5-minute "power naps" every afternoon. The first is around 2:00pm. There's another somewhere before 6 o'clock, then the last somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00pm. These little naps first took me by surprise as I'm not knowingly stopping for a nap. They descend on me without warning. That said, after waking I feel much better and can get back to whatever it is that I was doing before the unscheduled unconsciousness event.


This weekend I managed to finally get caught up on my podcasts, meaning that there are no new episodes remaining for me to listen to and I can begin going through the back catalogue of some shows. What's interesting about listening to older episodes of interview shows or lectures is that there are occasionally references to events that are current at the time of recording which you can view with a better historical context. We don't know what the future has in store for us but, when we can look at the recent past with a bit of context, we can assume that the future will be much like the present but with subtle changes that accumulate exponentially by the moment … only a handful of which will have any pertinence on our lives.

There are a number of other things I could write about with regards to lessons learned over the last couple of weeks, but many of these topics might be better suited to their own individual posts.

  1. Garbage collection is separated quite a bit in this part of Japan. There's burnable and unburnable garbage, as well as separate collections for different types of plastics, paper, metals, and more. This makes the trash sorting I grew up doing in Canada look farcically simplistic in comparison.