Thursday, May 26 2022
I took a recreational 150 mg dose of pseudoephedrine this morning to help me power through some aggravating Azure DevOps issues. I wanted to transform Visual Studio configuration files in Python to avoid the overhead of building a solution multiple times just to get generate those configuration files (the only files differerent between the builds). After much experimentation, I found a Python module that could do the transforms for one kind of configuration but not for another. It turned out that a subsequent version of this module could handle both by resorting to something called a deep copy. But to actually use a Python script in my build pipeline, I would need to be able to pass it parameters. In the Microsoft documentation I found that there was a way to pass parameters, but no examples were provided in the documentation (in keeping with a widespread Microsoft documentation pattern, which sets it very much apart from, say, PHP's official documentation). Not only that, but after performing numerous searches, I hadn't found a single example of someone passing parameters to a PythonScript@0 task. So I did what I always do when I am stuck, I posted a question to StackOverflow. Eventually someone named Daniel Mann chimed in not with an actual answer but with a downvote and a message basically telling me to read the fucking manual, the manual that includes no examples. I asked if perhaps Daniel could provide an example using my code, but he pointedly refused to do so. It's easy to react in fury to such assholes, but that never ends well on StackOverflow, so instead I just replied, "You should get a job at Microsoft, you'd fit right in! Looks like I'll be answering my own question once I figure it out myself."
Later I had other trouble related to files either disappearing between build stages or some sort permissions issue, so I found myself posting yet another StackOverflow question.
At noon, I drove out to the abandoned bluestone mine yet again, this time with Neville riding shotgun, to get yet more bluestone for the cabin. I mostly got the stone from the most recent calving event off the mine face, and the pieces tended to be smaller, partly because I was driving the little Chevy Bolt. It was yet another beautiful day for driving around.
I took the week's third bath this evening and then watched In Time, a Justin Timberlake vehicle about a future dystopia similar to Logan's Run where nobody ages but time-of-life remaining is a number that continually counts down and is displayed prominently on a forearm in glowing green digits. These numbers can be added to or subtracted from, and a person's time available also acts as currency, where things can be bought in exchange for a loss of future lifetime, a loss that can be replenished in various ways. In this dystopia, there are of course haves and have-nots, and everyone is young-looking and attractive, even if they're 100 years old. The lack of people who look to be older than 30 gives the movie a bit of a cartoonish quality, and the writing is a bit weak. But it was fun to watch. In Time had been recommended to me by a questionnaire-based movie recommendation site called PickAMovieForMe that I'd learned about from an article I'd read at HackADay.com.
Meanwhile, Powerful had cooked up a frozen pizza, which he split with me. He'd larded it down with too much vegan cheese, which made it kind of disgusting, and I couldn't eat it all. I'd also dropped half mine face-down on a carpet fragment at my desk in the laboratory, which put a bunch of cat hair and other grime in one of the pieces, though I ate it anyway.
While all that was happening, Gretchen went out to dinner and perhaps a movie with two different friends named Kaycee, neither being the right-wing Fauci-hating vegan Kaycee who lives across the street.
We have at least one vociferous nesting pair of carolina wrens in our yard this year. Here's one bitching at the cats from the safety of the little tower where I start my cannabis plants.
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