DIY Spelling Bee
Wednesday, February 2 2022
The weather today took a turn for the unseasonably warm, and I never even bothered starting a fire on the woodstove. The snow turned slushy and as warm air billowed in over it, a dense fog appeared in places.
I thought about going for a walk to clear my head from the frustration of not finding any fucking place on the internet that would tell me how to specify a destination path in a YAML multi-stage Azure DevOps pipeline. I'd been watching video after video of people never quite demonstrating the one thing that seems most important in a deployment pipeline: the actual deployment of the code. I'd gotten this working in Azure DevOps, but not with a multi-stage YAML pipeline; part of what I'd done required the use of a graphical tool that hadn't inspired much confidence, since it was concealing where exactly the logic for what I was doing was stored while making it impossible to easily clone. Microsoft documentation is notorious for never providing examples, and for some reason non-Microsoft tutorials just seemed to churn artifacts around without them actually ending up anywhere. I'm a practical person and I want practical examples.
In the company Teams chat today, there was an amusing series of posts from my old colleagues in the Tax Department. (I'm a member of their group chat.) In it, I learned that the municipal services part of the company, the one recently sold by our corporate overlords to a competitor, had been hemorrhaging money prior to its sale, and had just lost a large client in Massachusetts. This suggested that the head honcho had picked an especially ideal moment to retire, that is, just before all this shit hit the fan. One of the ironies of this is that it suggests that the long un-loved Tax Department was ultimately, in the end, the only thing of value in our company. On learning all this, my comment was, "it's so full of intrigue it's like a very boring game of thrones."
This evening Gretchen was out seeing a movie in an otherwise empty movie theatre with Kate (who likely doesn't have covid, since she recently recovered from it). Meanwhile, I took a nice hot bath and then cooked up a box of rigatoni pasta just because I had some leftover tofu, mushrooms, and onion chonkiness leftover from Monday. Then I created my own Spelling Bee on the household whiteboard from the panagram "woodchuck" (in honor of Groundhog Day; "d" was in the middle). Before going to sleep, Gretchen insisted on playing it. But we quickly ran out of words, and there were no good ones except "woodcock" and possibly "woodduck" (though that is surely two words). This suggests there is more curation than you might think in the creation of an official New York Times Spelling Bee.
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