We have (mostly) finalised the plans for the kitchen and bathroom. It’s not easy. There are so many decisions to make, and so little concrete information on which to base them, and it all costs so much money. At least we’re starting from such a low point that anything will be an awful lot better than the current facilities. Our current kitchen is poorly lit and laid out in a way that provides little useful preparation space. The bathroom is ugly, awkward, and dilapidated, and features a lot of the worst fake wood I’ve ever seen in my life.

I went to the Synth and Pedal Expo in Hackney on Sunday afternoon. I had a play on a couple of things and bought one Eurorack module from the maker at a small show discount, but I didn’t stay there long and I didn’t bump into Tom. Even though the event was less crowded than last year (thanks to a bigger venue and being spread over two days instead of one), it was still difficult to get to the things on show, and it was a relief to step out into the fresh air.

I stopped off at Canary Wharf on the way home to pick up some of my favourite Taiwanese ten grain rice from Tian Tian Market, had a pizza for lunch, and read a book over a glass of wine. That was a lot more relaxing.

There’s a song on the BBC 6 Music playlist at the moment with what seems to be a slightly garbled reference to cribbage. There are plenty of songs that mention gambling, and especially poker, but you don’t often hear one refer to cribbage scoring:

If she don’t love me then nobody will
It’s one for the Jacks and two for his heels

But if it’s cribbage, the points associated with a jack should be “one for his nob” and “two for his heels”. Now, I understand that you might not want to sound like you’re singing about knobs (coward!), but if you must change it to “jack”, surely there’s only one of them. Making it plural make the singer sound like he’s off to the toilet. But maybe he is. I’m not sure what he’s on about in those lyrics.

I enjoy cribbage, and I used to regularly play with a friend in one of the local pubs. The first few times, the landlord kept coming to check that we weren’t gambling for money. We weren’t, though, and he eventually relaxed.

A lot of people “know” that cribbage is the only game you can legally bet on in a pub in England. That’s not quite true, but cribbage and dominoes are special in that not only is it legal to wager money on a game in a pub, there’s no limit whatsoever (sec. 6) to the amount you can stake. That’s the legal position, anyway; the publican might have other opinions.

I’ve spent most of the week trying to reverse-engineer about 500 lines of untested, extensively metaprogrammed Ruby, writing a new test for each aspect of its behaviour as I discover it. This is not complicated work, but it is a dull slog. It’s the kind of thing I would welcome some LLM assistance with. Instead, what we seem to have is a lot of tools to automate writing new code. In my experience, that’s not the hard part. Writing new code faster is just generating future legacy code more efficiently. What is difficult is working with that legacy code a decade on.

Currently reading: Beasts of England by Adam Biles.


  • List of 2024 Leap Day Bugs features many embarrassing examples. I remember implementing some age-checking code years ago, and adding tests for all the boundary conditions around leap days. That’s something the Chinese marriage certificate coders failed to do.
  • Are We Watching The Internet Die? asks Ed Zitron, as everything gets polluted by LLM-generated regurgitations of the same content.
  • British Cycle Tracks is cycling hauntology. “Between 1934 and 1945, the Ministry of Transport paid local authorities to build 100+ Dutch-inspired cycle tracks. This website documents why they were built, how they were used, and why they faded from memory.”
  • The Monarchy Is Dead. Long Live the Memes. They really are surprisingly inept at squashing what ought to be easily-disproven rumours.