Weekly Head Voices #223: The potjie never left

Welcome friends to the two hundred and twenty third edition of the Weekly Head Voices, covering the period of time from Monday May 3 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

(Hah, by writing out the words like that, I’ll get paid even more for this article!)

Figure 1: Scene from the perfect first half of a run, right before that sublime experience was sunk by a catastrophic audio hardware fault.

Figure 1: Scene from the perfect first half of a run, right before that sublime experience was sunk by a catastrophic audio hardware fault.

vxlabs software development handbook v1 is out

Well, it’s not really a book, more of a blog post really, but it is chock full of practical guidelines for developers.

It is also 100% free and open source, and can be accessed over at the vxlabs.

None of this will be surprising for any of you experienced developers, but it’s super handy having a single place that you can point folks at when you have some specific advice in mind.

My personal favourite and most important guideline is “Comment your code”. It seems that this advice really can’t be repeated often enough.

The first commit (i.e. words written) happened on December 14 of 2020, and version 1 published on 2021-05-03. Most of this had to happen in between other activities, but that’s ok. This is one of the interstitial projects I implied in January.

World in my eyes

The photo at the start of this post was taken at the entrance of Vergelegen, at about 7km into an absolute epic Saturday late afternoon run.

It was epic, because the autumn weather was absolutely perfect, my running mechanism was smooth and efficient, and there was great music piping into my brain via the recently acquired JBL Endurance Run bluetooth earphones.

I mention the earphones specifically, because for the first time I had found something that fit perfectly and even advertised being “sweatproof” on the box, a characteristic that is quite important when you produce as much sweat as I do. (TMI, but please bear with me here)

I was so satisfied after five or six runs that I had taken a few photos earlier that day, as I was planning a short blog post extolling the virtues of said gadget.

Probably about 60 seconds after I took the photo, running back out to the road, thinking to myself how great these earphones were working and how far I was still going to run and how amazing everything is, the right earphone starts going “GGGGGGGHHHHHRRRRRRRRGGGGGWWWWWGGGGHHHHHH” (you have to read that with an authentic, hard Dutch guttural) and it simply does not stop.

“Have you tried switching them off and on again?” you might say.

Well, the sound just kept on going, switched on, or off.

No amount of power cycling, shaking, re-pairing or swearing made any difference.

Right earphone just kept on going “GGGGGGGHHHRRRRRGGGGHHHHH”.

I finally bundled up the JBL TripSpoiler BT into my hand, and ran home, like a person who runs without music.

P.S. The section title is a Depeche Mode song (one of my teenage favourites) in which the highest mountain is contrasted with the deepest sea, albeit in a utterly different context.

P.P.S. As I write this, takealot is sending me a replacement set. I’m hoping the new unit is an anti-lemon.

Pretty hip birthday party

GOU #2 held her 11th party here at our facility.

The plans started out as a VR party (or at least that’s what I thought), but great forces out of my control determined that There Would Also Need to Be Karaoke.

This is one time where the more technically inclined dads can shine!

I purchased exactly one cheap but great value Karaoke microphone (the Samson SCR10S Karaoke Dynamic Microphone with Switch, if you must know), and then mixed everything together using an old Windows laptop, our old burglary-proof (when flat screens were still thick) TV with HDMI input, and a bunch of cables.

Friends arrived, and an extremely fun-looking and partially sugar-fuelled teenage chaos ensued.

Interestingly, the VR setup ended up getting a significant chunk of the attention. Even amongst these ultra-connected digital natives, the tech is still new enough to garner a substantial amount of the unobtainium aka attention.

(Although I never ever sing, not even in the shower, that karaoke setup has a surprisingly strong magnetic force, if you catch my drift. GOU #2 was quite relieved when none of her parents decided to make a guest appearance at the main event. In my case, it’s really for the better.)

Boomer party

A few days later, after we had sufficiently recovered from the teenage party, it was time to invite long time friends of ours over for an old people party.

As is our wont down here, when the friends are this dear, we take time to make a potjie.

The autumn weather contributed fabulously, and so we enjoyed scenes like this:

Figure 2: From this photo, it’s also quite clear that I have become much taller.

Figure 2: From this photo, it’s also quite clear that I have become much taller.

Readers of this blog might recognise the visual composition above, perhaps from a post back in January of 2016, when I initiated the pot with coincidentally the same recipe.

The potjie scene seems to repeat itself (these are not the only two examples), acting as a sort of reliable cast iron backdrop (with enamel coating!) for our family and friendship rituals.

On this day, the ritual was indeed sublime.