Week of August 14, 2023

We took Charlie out in the guideboat on Lake Sebago in Harriman State Park for the first time on Saturday and he had a blast. We did, too. Charlie loved rowing, did pretty well in the boat, was excited about his lifejacket, and was excited to catch a fish. I think we’ll be spending a lot of summers there.

We are members of the American Canoe Association, and they have a camp on Lake Sebago for members. It is secluded, rarely busy, and inexpensive to use. It it one of the best kept secrets around here.

Lake Sebago, Harriman State Park, NY

My cartop carrying methods for the guideboat continue to evolve. I cut a 2×4 and wrapped the ends with the drawer liner we had laying around and I now rest the boat on that before strapping it down. It is a more stable base for the wide boat than the factory crossbars.

Next I need to figure out a way to secure the oars inside the boat before putting it on top so that I don’t have to set them in the car. They go all the way up to the dashboard.

Tomatoes are coming in hot! Picking a quart every other day. These are the Magic Bullet variety.

I traded our neighbor a quart today for an eggplant. We gave another quart to the neighbors across the street on Friday, who asked us to borrow our ladder to clean a clogged gutter. It is nice to have friendly neighbors.

Our hydrangeas are looking lovely this year and the bees love them. I think this variety is Limelight Panicle Hydrangea based on their hardiness, shape, and color (the flowers are green, then turn white.)

I finally got around to cutting and cleaning up the branches in our backyard from the fallen cherry limb. Charlie was a big help dragging the branches to the front yard so we can have them chipped up.

I’m glad our little guy likes helping!

My coworker Kyle Runner suggested that Charlie needs a bell at the top of the climbing wall, so I got one and put it up. Charlie promptly climbed to the top and rang it.

We took lots of walks and bike rides this week after dinner.

For dinner tonight we went to the Jet Set Tiki Bar and Restaurant in Newburgh, NY. It is set on the river walk in Newburgh and has a nice outdoor seating area. We’ll be back! Midnight Ferry, an ice cream place a block down, was pretty good too.

I used ChatGPT heavily this week at work. I had a ton of data to transform and work with and it excels at creating utility scripts. Some examples:

  • Taking an export of a full year’s worth of content in a Slack channel and extracting the links, deduplicating them, separating out the host and path from the links, detecting the RSS feed for each domain, and then turning that into an OPML file to import into feed readers.
  • Cleaning up the output from a broken link checker. Reduced the number of reported broken links from 75K to 13K on an old-school blog.
    • Filtering out all known social share links from sharing buttons.
    • Removing all Twitter links (Twitter blocks robots, so a lot of false positives)
    • Request each URL via cURL with a 5 second timeout and record the HTTP status code for each link in a spreadsheet.
      • This helped me weed out redirects vs 404s vs 500s vs timeouts (most like not on the internet anymore)
  • Filtering and converting a very large and needlessly normalized JSON export out of Contentful to a CSV
  • Taking the HTML of a large webpage and pulling out links with certain attributes and putting them in a structured JSON file

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