Using Tailwind CSS

geekery

A while ago I came across a link to a new CSS framework called Tailwind CSS. What I read intrigued me. I’ve used a number of different frameworks to style this site, including (most recently) Skeleton and also the Bourbon Sass toolset. The tools certainly made styling the site how I wanted and also making it behave nicely on different screen sizes easier than plain old CSS, but I still came up against frustrating problems that I found hard to fix because I don’t understand CSS in enough depth. Tailwind looked interesting, so I decided to give it a whirl. When I redesigned my photography site, I used another framework (Tachyons) with a similar rationale to Tailwind, but I like Tailwind much better.

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Reverting to qwerty

geekery

Remember when I wrote about switching to the BEAKL15 layout, and an anonymous commenter said that it would wreck my ability to type on a QWERTY layout keyboard when I needed to do that? Well, it happened. The better I got at the new layout, the worse I got at QWERTY. It got to the point where — if I needed to just hop on my laptop keyboard for a moment — I was single-finger typing, and having to hunt around for every letter. I’ve reluctantly reverted back to QWERTY.

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Comfort re-watching

review life

In these times, I think we all tend to find comfort where we can. We certainly haven’t run out of new things to watch, but Mr Bsag and I have both taken comfort in re-watching some high quality series again. I don’t know whether it is significant that both happen to be set in earlier periods (late 1950s to 1970s) — perhaps that distance in time helps to immerse us in the fiction and disconnect us temporarily from the present, I don’t know.

The two series we are working our way through again are Endeavour (the prequel to Inspector Morse), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which is a comedy-drama about a Jewish-American housewife who gets into stand-up comedy. Technically, Mr Bsag is watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (or TMMM as I’ll call it for brevity) for the first time as he only saw bits when I watched it the first time, but got drawn into it. Both series are superb, and are a rewarding re-watch for different reasons. I’ve also found myself newly drawn to some of the peripheral characters in both series.

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Advising Emacs

geekery emacs

One of the delightful and surprising things about Emacs, as you get to know it better, is the depth of customisation which is available. Emacs can be a completely different editor for different people and for different purposes. Being able to tweak things on the fly and try them out before you commit to them, or even as a temporary fix to solve the particular problem you have right now, is empowering. The more you delve into it and try things out, the better you understand what is possible and the more comfortable you get with writing elisp. Recently I discovered the ‘advice’ system in Emacs, and now every problem looks like a situation for some well-placed advice!

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Confessions of a reluctant exerciser

life mumblings

I’ve never been an enthusiastic exerciser, at least not exercising for the sake of it. I’ve always enjoyed walking and cycling, but as a beneficial by-product of going somewhere interesting and enjoying the outdoors. Apart from a brief period of running while I was at Oxford, and practising Tae Kwon Do in my teens, I have never really done an organised exercise program. That wasn’t too much of a problem while I could be active as part of my normal day, but during lockdown, that outlet mostly disappeared. In truth, I had already started to realise that as I was getting older, I needed to get serious about doing more weight-bearing exercises to prevent my muscles from wasting away. Predictably, my plans to do something about that always started tomorrow.

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Linen Persephone sailor trousers

sewing

I haven’t sewn as much as I thought I might during lockdown — partly because I’ve been busier with work than I expected — but what I have sewn has been a joy and something to be savoured. This weekend I finished making a second pair of Persephone Sailor Pants, this time using some lovely linen mix fabric from Clothspot.

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

mumblings

I look at you and see My life that might have been Your face just ghostly in the smoke They’re setting fire to the cornfields As you’re taking me home The smell of burning fields Will now mean you and here

[…]

Ooh, the thrill and the hurting The thrill and the hurting I know that this will never be mine

[…]

I want you as the dream Not the reality

— ‘Never Be Mine’ by Kate Bush

Great works of art (of all kinds) have a tendency to make you think, and to encourage your mind to make connections which you might not have thought about before. Yesterday I watched Portrait of a Lady on Fire and absolutely loved it. I can’t stop thinking about it and it has made all sorts of interesting links in my mind.

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Re-mapping my keyboard and re-wiring my brain

geekery

I don’t really know what I was thinking. It’s just that sometimes I get an idea in my head and I run with it. I’m pretty sure that it is going to be a good thing (or a very good thing) in the long run, but it has challenged my poor old brain a good deal, I can tell you.

It started when I got one of the regular newsletters from ErgoDox, the makers of my keyboard. They were featuring a ‘layout of the month’ produced by Graeme Geldenhuys which used the BEAKL15 keyboard layout. I was intrigued. Typing has felt much more comfortable since I got the ErgoDox, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement as QWERTY still involves awkward reaches and an unbalanced workload between the hands. Since I could just download and tweak Graeme’s layout to try it, there was no reason not to, and so it began.

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The joy of the usual route

life mumblings

There’s a kind of quiet joy to be had in walking the same route every day, even when it is forced on you. My daily walk takes me on a roughly 2 mile route, the middle part of which is a circuit around our scrubby local ‘nature reserve’. The sweeping, majestic plains of the Serengeti it is not. It’s a strip of land on either side of a small stream, circled on all sides by housing estates. But it does have wild flowers and some mature trees, and — as all I’ve had in the way of nature during lockdown — I have come to love it.

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Building a Raspberry Pi Roon end-point

geekery hifi

I learned recently that you can turn a Raspberry Pi into a networked DAC which can act as a Roon endpoint. I’ve always wanted to play with a Raspberry Pi so it seemed an ideal easy project to try it out, and also to replace the ageing Squeezebox player which I currently use as a Roon endpoint. I ordered all the bits and put it together on Sunday — it was fun and successful (the best kind of project)!

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