Portugal, March 2023

Our semi-annual Gigs offsite was this time in Portugal, Guimarães. Beautiful city. I'm not a good photographer.

Went there with Chris, was a great night. I am a huge fan of Maarten. His solo music is much more chill than Balthazar, and it's definitely different and slower compared to a Balthazar concert. But the guy is great, an incredibly talented musician. And I love it when he holds his guitar up under his chin.

Marteen's concerts, both for Balthazar and Warhaus, are not just songs from the album but-it's-live. Instead, he rethinks the songs and how they could work live, creating a very unique experience.

The first solo was kind of weird? It felt like the guitarist and the drummer had no idea what to do. But maybe they were just being musical geniuses, who knows.

Found myself getting totally lost in the music, just vibing along, no sense for time or space. (Besides the fact that the sound guy seemed to have a problem which he apparently couldn't fix until the end)

One of my goals for this year is to get better at taking breaks from work. But, honestly, I'm doing a terrible job at it. Whether it's taking a lunch break, calling it a day, or taking a little coffee break: I don't stop when I should stop. I keep telling myself I'll do better, but in the moment, I screw up. And it's not because work is stressful or too much is expected of me – it's my own fault.

The problem is, I'm always telling myself that I'll just finish this one small thing that'll only take 2 minutes. But then 5 minutes pass, and another 5 minutes, and another, until half an hour has gone by. And suddenly, I've only got a short lunch break before the next meeting starts. It's funny how in this situation I keep looking at the time, seeing how it flies, and I'm just like, "Oh God, I should get going..." but I don't do it. Even though I should just get up and go. I'm such a dingus.

I know that I don't have to respond to messages right away. No one expects an immediate response. But it's just one message, which then turns into a few messages, and then a longer conversation. Or when doing code reviews, I tell myself that I'll just write those few last comments and finish up the whole review (even though nobody would be mad if I submit only half a review, and do the next half later). Or when I'm coding, just a few more lines of code.

It's always small tasks that, for some reason, I think will be done in 2 minutes.

But I always feel like I have to get it all done, or else it's going to occupy my mind all through lunch or the next day. But will it really? Like... really?

Two weeks ago, I took a day off and didn't check Slack even once. I woke up to a bunch of notifications on my phone, and without reading them, I paused all work-related apps. And you know what? I didn't check them all day. This surprised me because I usually open Slack automatically, like how you open TikTok, but not while you're sitting on the toilet. That was a win!

The thing is, I keep telling myself I'll do better tomorrow, but then I relapse the day after. It feels like an endless cycle. It makes me less motivated to do better. Even though I know I should just take a goddamn break.

Fargo, Season 4

I missed the dark humor of seasons 1-3, where it always felt like a mix of "that's a whoopsie" and "oh geez" from the very first episode. This is what made Fargo so unique to me. Season 4 felt more like "holy..." – and only after a few episodes.

It was still quite compelling in its own way, had some unexpected twists, and there were some elements of dark humor present. Though the dark humor focused mostly on weird deaths, instead of the typical chain of unfortunate circumstances. At least the unnecessary, yet fun, paranormal stuff wasn't removed.

Score: 68%

Blogging like Chris Coyier

Chris Coyier is well-known for blogging a mind-boggling amout of posts on CSS-Tricks (which is now owned by DigitalOcean). But I'm not going to talk about his stuff on CSS-Tricks, but instead about his personal blog chriscoyier.net.

Chris' blog feels like a stream of consciousness. It's just what he's thinking about at the moment, without any deeper meaning or learning. And yet, those thoughts are still interesting and fun to read. Annoyed at System Fonts in macOS? Just blog about it. Orange favicons work great for light and dark themes? Why not write down that thought, then notice that Safari is weird, and end it with "Time for a nap". It's refreshing to see someone share their half-baked ideas without feeling the need to make a grand conclusion or provide a takeaway for the reader. You can just end your post if you don't know what else to write.

It feels like a conversation with a friend. Sometimes you just want to talk about something that's been on your mind without worrying about whether it's profound or even fully formed. It's totally normal in a conversation to suddenly end your thought mid-sentence with a big ol' shrug. And that's what his blog feels like to me.

Maybe we sometimes try too hard to offer some kind of education or to present ourselves as experts? At least I sometimes feel that way. But I don't think that's necessary. It's nice to take a break from expert content and just read something that's relatable and human.

Chris has definitely inspired me to post more half-baked thoughts. And to not think about words and sentences and publishing too much. Just write it down, press the big button, and continue with your day.

I bought a fully loaded Herman Miller Aeron Remastered Chair, and have been sitting on it for the last two weeks. Fun Fact: Aeron stands for "an expensive Ron". So you're asking what it's like to sit on Ron?

a picture of an Aeron Chair in my home office

Of course it's good. It has to be good. It's an expensive chair, it better be good. I've sat on a cheap DX Racer for the last 7 years, which isn't a fair comparison, but whattayawannado.

First of all, this thing is like a hammock for your butt. It doesn't get uncomfortable even after hours and hours of sitting. And the tilting mechanism – gosh! – it is so well adjusted. When I simply lean back, I sit comfortably straight and it supports my back. And when I use a little more pressure, it tilts back (because I didn't lock the back rest). But I don't tilt back until it locks, I just stop wherever feels good to me. And then I comfortably lean back and the thing still supports my back. That's crazy to me! I don't need to turn any knobs to change if I want to sit straight or lean back, so I change my sitting position automatically whenever I feel like it.

It's so comfortable. You can't really sit wrong on it, you're automatically in the correct position. The "PostureFit" lumbar support pads I don't really feel pressing against my back, but I do feel that it supports me. The lack of a missing headrest made me a bit sceptical at first, but I don't miss the headrest at all. I guess those fancy engineers at Herman Miller were right about that one.

People online reported that they have back pains in the first weeks because they didn't sit straight for years, but I only felt it for 2 days or so. And then it actually relieved my most noticeable back pain! I always had this tension next to my right shoulder blade, and now it's gone.

So is it worth it? This thing has 12 years guarantee. This comes down to a bit more than 100€ a year. And they usually last way longer. That's worth it to me.

There are some really good and well produced concerts on arte Concert. In the past weeks, I'm totally obsessed with this live session from Kid Francescoli. It's not only chill music, but also visually very appealing. The setting on a boat makes for some really cool camera shots. Due to the lack of an audience, it has kind of a lonely undertone to it.

Still frame from the video, a scene on the deck of a boat with multiple keyboards with Kid Francescoli standing between them, and singer Andréa Durand in the front

There's a version on YouTube which cannot be embedded. 🙃 Or alternatively on the Arte Mediathek

I only realized a few years ago that arte is actually kind of an interesting channel. When I was a teen and still watched a lot of TV, I thought that arte is just an artsy experimental TV station for snobs. It always felt odd when they were airing something appealing and interesting, because aren't they supposed to be weird? Maybe arte is still just an artsy channel for snobs, and I'm the one who became a snob?

Anyways, there are also sessions from Jungle, French 79, Loyle Carner and the Grandbrothers which I can recommend if you're interested in more.

I also watched this Live Show from the Parcels a few times in the past weeks. It's not from arte, but I thought I just mention it. I watched a lot of those live sessions while I'm coding in the past weeks. Don't know where that's coming from.

I felt like posting random stuff sometimes. Not only babble about software development tips. So I added this new Offtopic section. Although I called it Stream in the Sidebar because Offtopic is a long word?

Anyways, what started with a new category ended in a switch from Markdown to MDX and a dark mode, mainly because I'm often looking at my blog at night and it hurt me poor eyes. I'm not completely done, there are a few things I'd like to add and improve, but shipping is good.

I imagined some cool aurora borealis vibes going on, but didn't yet spent too much time in Figma to make it a bit more like I imagined. I need to change some pictures of previous posts to fit into the dark theme. And some old posts were moved into the Offtopic section because it made more sense. In summary: things happened.