growse.com

I write things here.

I'm on Keybase.

It's as if I've been away all summer.

I’m not very good at this. One of my main reasons for owning a blog is to allow me to look into the past and cross-reference my random distorted memories with some inane ramblings that I was making at the time. For example: I can look back on entries like this one and be reminded of how I felt during most of the 3 years I spent at university. Of course, there is a secondary purpose, which is to keep various people (who I know but don’t talk to often enough) updated with what’s going on with me. It’s like one of those annoying family newsletters that some people send out periodically, but more frequent and less about babies.

Recently, I’ve rather failed to keep up with my, admittedly low, frequency standard. I shall attempt to fix this for the rest of this year. In the meantime, here’s a quick summary of what’s been going on.

I’m still buying a house. I didn’t think this would be a terribly fast process, but I’ve been rather unprepared for the horror of how long this is taking. I’m currently giving even odds on being in by Christmas.

I passed my bike test. This is a good thing, even if the actual test process was a complete farce. It’s a little disconcerting sitting in the DSA office after the test waiting to be told if you’ve passed or not, and this isn’t made any more comfortable by the fact that your instructor chooses that moment to have a series of arguments with the examiner on subjects ranging from what ‘Give way to oncoming traffic’ means to the legality of pulling over into a cycle lane. I think the examiner hated me. He still passed me though, mostly because I didn’t actually do a single thing wrong during the test. I’m pleased with that. I now need to go shopping.

I’ve been learning more Java, and have had to make some fairly significant changes to this site. Originally, it was just a bunch of JSPs that called some JDBC on the backend. But then I read about JPA and decided I wanted some of that. So I began yet another rewrite, but this time doing the backend bit properly. In theory, this was a simple job, but I ended up lurching between various persistence providers. I started with EclipseLink, which is the reference standard for JPA 2.0. However, after discovering there were some fairly major features still missing from this, I gravitated towards Hibernate. I didn’t really get on with Hibernate - I thought it was a bit backward. I’m sure it’s wonderful and very good, it just didn’t seem that straightforward to me. Finally, I settled on TopLink, which is Oracle’s thing. Surprisingly, this is straightforward, easy to configure, feature-complete, extensible and generally works. Good stuff.

I’ve got a new job. It involves building stuff. I like building stuff. I’m going to see if I can get the word ‘Lego’ into my objectives.

I’m off to the proms on Friday! This is exciting for many reasons, one of which is that it’s Mahler 8. Every year when the proms schedule is published, I look through to see if they’re doing Mahler 8, and they never do (not surprising). This year, they are, and it’s going to be great. Long-winded, heavy, but great.

And that concludes the news.