not enjoying Nope
Friday, December 16 2022
Ever since that minor fiasco the other day where I accidentally overwrote a nearly-complete journal entry (of the kind you're reading) with a blank document, I've been paranoid that I might've managed to do this in the past, perhaps even uploading such a document unknowingly and having a blank document on the server in place of a valid document. Fortunately, there are automated ways to test if this is the case. So today I wrote a little spider program I called an "affirmation spider," that programmatically counts up through every day starting with December 1st, 1996 (when I made the switch to putting every day's entry in its own document) and tests to see what document is in the anticipated location for that day. All the hard work of figuring out whether an entry belongs to the Musings of the Gus or Randomly Ever After and where to look for the file in the file system already exists in a PHP function library I wrote at some point in 2003 or 2004. So all I had to do was count up through the days, calculate the entry's file path using the existing functions, and then measure the file size of the files it found. I've written an entry for every day across that more-than-twenty-six-year span, so there should be a file for every day, and those files should contain more than zero bytes. The vast majority of them contain more than a thousand bytes, but I had my affirmation spider color-code dates without entries (for the ones I may've written but then somehow forgot to upload, which happens occasionally) or entries less than thousand bytes in length. I also had it color code unusually long entries (those in categories of 15-20 thousand, 20-30 thousand, and more than 30 thousand bytes). In the past I used to worry about the server horsepower necessary to calculate such things, but not any more. The spider could scan through nearly 9500 files and give me the color-coded outliers and I could then either rest easy that there had been no data loss, or, if there was data loss, do something about it. What I found was that five or six days had no entries at all, but I found all those entries on my workstation (Woodchuck) and uploaded them. Additionally, sixteen entries were less than a 1000 bytes in size, but all of those looked valid except for one in April of 1997 that I had scooped out the body text due its content, which I restored. That meant that all the entries across that long span of time are intact (and mostly backed-up on the Internet Archive as well). Furthermore, I found that there are six entries longer than 30,000 bytes. The total bytes of the text of all those documents is a little shy of 50 megabytes and the average entry size is 5337 bytes. (Some of this is boilerplate, of course, but that comes to only about 370 bytes per entry.)
Today Gretchen went to some new vegan café way out on Abeel Street in the greater Roundout of Kingston and brought home some surprisingly-good fried "bologna" sandwiches. There's also a new Indian grocery store on Broadway where Gretchen got some frozen curries (including chana masala and one containing kidney beans). We ate the Indian food tonight while watching the Jordan Peele movie Nope. We had great expectations for Nope, though neither of us enjoyed it. Jordan Peele's movies have been inching more towards horror and away from comedy, and Nope has almost no humor in it at all (though the slowed-down 80s classic "Sunglasses At Night" had us laughing, even if that song sounds like something appropriate for a horror movie soundtrack when played slowly). After the movie was over, we were full of questions, such as how the sequence with the chimpanzee going postal on the set of 1990s situation comedy related to everything else in the movie. Also, there was lots of unncessary confusion over the fact that both a horse and UFO were named "Jean Jacket." Gretchen did a Google search to find a discussion about these things, and that cleared up a few points (using information that didn't seem to be present in the movie itself), but none of this could retroactively make us enjoy what we'd just seen.
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