Five Things (That Bring Me Joy)

Another Sunday, another list. For some reason I’ve stopped writing a weekly Five Things post, however, today I’ve actually put a bit of thought into this one while bug fixing some CSS. There are a number of things that I’ve found bring me a great deal of internal peace, which may as well constitute joy. None of these items are alive, as I don’t count family members or pets as things. Instead, this list consists of activities and situations.

The first item is one I’ve already mentioned, as it spawned the creation of this post.

Bug Fixing in 10C

Generally big hunting and fixing is a pain in the rear but, when it comes to doing the same with 10C, I feel quite happy — particularly after a problem is isolated and eliminated. This might be due to the long history I have with the project or the code base itself but, regardless of why I’m happy when fixing issues here, there’s no denying the smile that comes to my face as I fire up the code editor, a handful of browsers for testing, maybe a JSON parser and a MySQL client before getting down to business. Hopefully this small pleasure doesn’t turn into dread anytime soon.

A Responsive Computer

Fortune favours the foolish, and few are more of a fool than I. That said, the new 15” MacBook Pro I received from the day job a few months back has completely changed the amount of work I can get done at any given time. The machine is incredibly capable given it’s a modern Core i7 system with 32GB RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. In plain English, this machine has got the clocks and it rocks. Photo work seems to take just as much time as it did on my 2015-era Core i5 MacBook Pro, but everything else is night and day different. So much so, that I sometimes forget just how much time I spent waiting for the previous machine to perform its tasks.

I’m quite fortunate to have the opportunity to use this machine, and thankful to the people at the day job who made it happen1.

Walking With Podcasts

I really enjoy my occasional walks to the hill in a nearby park. It’s where I go to centre myself and just watch the world go by. It’s also the place where I like to listen to podcasts featuring people way smarter than I’ll ever be, talking about complex issues and providing a perspective that is generally new to me. Armed with another way to look at a problem, I’m better able to examine my own point of view to see if there are errors or areas that can be improved with more concrete thought. Listening to these smart people does generally make me feel so intellectually inferior that the gulf between my knowledge and theirs appears impassable, but this is part of the process of learning. Seeing what knowledge I lack offers the opportunity to research and investigate specific areas. Complex ideas require targeted learning. Nothing can be properly understood with a general knowledge.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s November, which means I can enjoy chocolate again without worrying about the sweet treat melting before it hits my mouth. Chocolate chip cookies are great, and I’ve missed having them.

Photography

Over the last year or so I’ve been reading photography blogs and watching videos on how to compose shots and generally use a camera properly. While I’m nowhere near the novice level just yet, the quality of photos I take now supersedes anything that I did before having a DSLR camera. When Reiko and I learned that we were going to be parents, we wanted to have a camera better than a cell phone. To that end, we found a good deal on a Canon Kiss x7 and picked the unit up a couple of weeks before the boy was born. The iPhone takes some pretty good photos when the light is just right, but the Canon’s larger sensor and optical zoom lenses more than make up for its bulk. I’ll gladly bring the bigger device on trips just for the quality of the output.

And that brings this article to a close. Every one of these items were greatly appreciated at least once this past weekend, and many are appreciated each and every day. Given the struggles that have been overcome in the last decade, I’m often quite thankful for the good fortune that has recently come into my life.


  1. As a result of internal politics and personal vendettas, there was talk of using the request for a more capable machine to shove a weak Dell in my face because the company “doesn’t support Mac”. My options were a Dell notebook with a bad screen and insufficient RAM, a Dell notebook with a bad screen and cramp-inducing keyboard, and a Dell desktop with a Core i3 and an RSI-encouraging keyboard+mouse combination. The next time I have a Dell in my possession will be the same time I see just how buoyant a modern Windows PC is, because I’ll shove that piece of garbage in the IT water cooler just to make a point.