“A hit tweet!”

So apparently part of the Miss World presentation is that each contestant comes forward and yells their country name. Unfortunately, it would seem a proper french pronunciation of France! at a scream doesn’t sound as great as one would hope, and a twitter denizen posted a clip for all to see and it went viral. After that someone posted an image of the screaming seagull meme screaming “France!”. I decided to add my own contribution since I knew the gif of screaming seagull existed somewhere, and making use of my limited kdenlive skills I crafted this:

“The problem”

Mind you, I’m very proud of that stupid little seagull video. It made me and my wife laugh a lot. So it’s not technically “wasted time”, but I feel like I had two weeks off and accomplished nothing. Once again, not technically true, as I managed to put together this blog site, but this blog was not a goal. It was more of an adhd sidetrack that bore fruit. The one thing I had wanted to make progress on this break was my haptic compass, and I did absolutely nothing on it. I don’t know. As of late I just can’t seem to find the motivation to do anything I’ve already been working on, and just either play video games or get lost in tangents. Maybe it’s because on a lot of my projects I’m in the “hard” phase. Where it’s not fun discovery, and it’s not satisfying, or just fighting to get the dev environment setup feels frustrating.


The thing is, it was vacation. I’m supposed to fuck off and stay up late and play videogames and watch shows and accomplish nothing. They’re my hobby projects. They don’t have a due date, or a customer. And all of the random little side quests I accomplished over the break are useful, and do make me happy. Some I have used multiple times(including in making the hit tweet).

“Little Accomplishments”

  1. Obviously this blog. I know nothing about Ruby, and only have vague 20 year old memories of html, but I really enjoy using markdown, so getting a Jekyll blog up and running on the nostalgic neocities site is really satisfying. And hopefully blogging on here will help me keep track of my thoughts, and projects. One of the things I always do when troubleshooting at work when I’ve hit a wall is write an email to a coworker asking for assistance. The coworker usually isn’t on the project so I have to give them a ton of background context, and I’ve yet to ever send one of these emails. By the time I get all the context put together and the steps I’ve taken I figure out what I haven’t done or what I need to do or where I went wrong and make the correction. Maybe this blog can be that but more general. Where I write to “You”, and hopefully I’ll see the background and the structure. This post is already helping to put in context my break and to ease my anxiety of not “accomplishing” things.
  2. I cleaned, sorted, and downsized all my hanging clothes in my closet. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and I finally managed to catch it in a focus moment. I even discovered a few things that used to not fit now fit again, so that was a nice confidence boost.
    • side note, just figured out how to use an iframe to embed a mastodon post.
  3. I did some work on my nextcloud server to get it upgraded and learn more about it. It needs to be completely restarted in a fresh jail, but I think I can actually do that now.
  4. I spent some random time making a bash script to convert spaces to underscores on the contents of the clipboard or a string. Not the most interesting project, but the implementation was interesting, I intensionally over engineered it, and I learned more about bash scripting and interacting with the linux clipboard.
    removeSpaces() {
       #remove's spaces from either argument stdin, or system clipboard
       if [[ -z "$1" ]]; then
          if [[ -p /dev/stdin ]]; then
             inputString="$(xclip -o -selection c)"
       elif [[ "$1" == "-h" ]]; then
          echo "remove's spaces from either argument stdin, or system clipboard"
       outputString=${inputString// /_}
       echo "$outputString" | xclip -selection c
  5. I made an ffmpeg bash function to easily convert videos to gifs. A fun and useful too, that also helped me learn more about bash scripting variables/arguments and ffmpeg
    ffmpeg_to_gif() {
       #ffmpeg_to_gif_noloop $input.video $resolution(=800) $output.gif(=input.video.gif)
       #convert video to looping gif, reduced scale. requires ouput file name
       ffmpeg -i "$1" \
       -vf "fps=10,scale=${2:-800}:-1:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" \
       -loop 0 \
  6. Due to someone else’s mastodon post I got sent down a rabbit hole of trying to reverse a selection of text in vim. This innocuous idea taught me a ton about vim registers(as well as their interaction with the system clipboard), which I use almost every day since learning about. Also taught me about running terminal commands in vim.
    • Also I went on another tangent with this one to show how I did it on mastodon, so I wanted to do a screen recording, but needed a way to show my keyboard presses. I got to install and learn to use screenkey, use obs to capture the demo, and then this is what inspired the ffmpeg rabbit hole to easily generate a gif from that screen capture. screen recording of vim text editor
  7. I learned more about yt-dlp and made a bash alias to easily download videos and sanitize their file names. I have used this MULTIPLE times this break since creating it(including the screaming seagull meme).
    alias yt-dlp_clean="yt-dlp --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s'"
  8. I finally changed out the broken fan on my video card.
  9. I bought a midi keyboard controller compatible with linux and spent some time just enjoying myself fiddling around with ardour and vst plug-ins. It’s the Alesis Q Mini. angled picture of a 33key midi keyboard

And then there were the other fun things. I got to have fun dinners with friends. I started playing on a Valheim server with some friends who I wanted to spend more time with. I made cookies, I continued with my singing lessons. My wife and I started going condo hunting, which is a huge one. Just sometimes I have to list it all out in order to remind myself that it isn’t all time wasted.

Still not sure where this blog is going, but maybe I just need an outlet.