Even though each step is pretty straightforward, the process of starting on a complex UICollectionView is always a bit daunting and intimidating.

Good news: Ollie is moving up in daycare classes and we get to save a little bit of money.

Bad news: We now have a week and a half to get him potty trained after months of being unsuccessful 😬.

Me: Do you like church?
Ollie: Yeah, I do!
Me. I do too. What do you like about it?
Ollie: Donuts!

Not exactly what I was going for.

Cheating →

Tim Nahumch on his Apple Watch move goal:

So in these times of being sick, I’m faced with a dilemma: how on earth do I complete my move goal? At the time of this writing, I’ve completed my move goal 296 times in a row – but it comes with a caveat. My wife will tell me that I’m cheating, but really, I blame Apple for what I’m doing. How am I “cheating”?

I lower my move goal.

Tim “cheating” on his Move goal really highlights of the negative aspects to the system of trying to Close Your Rings everyday: when you are on a long streak you are intrinsically motivated to fill your rings even if you don’t feel like it, but that built up motivation completely goes away as soon as your streak is over.

As of writing this, I am currently on a 153 day steak of filling all three rings. There are nights when I get home at 10:00 and have 200 calories to go and the last thing I want to do is workout, but I still do it to keep my streak going.

Eventually, my streak will break. When I face a similar situation after that happens, I will be much more likely to pick the option of just going to bed and starting over in the morning because breaking a two week streak isn’t nearly as big a deal to break as a many-months one is.

I think a better solution would be to prioritize longer periods of time rather than individual days. The concept of closing your rings each day is great and shouldn’t go anywhere, but I think the “reward” system should be based more on doing a certain amount of activity over a week or month. Instead of hitting 600 Move calories every day, I would much prefer a system where I have to hit 900 some days but only 300 on others.

Hopefully we see some news in this area in a couple of weeks.

Yes Plz Coffee

Glenn Fleishman for Fast Company:

Coffee roaster Tony Konecny, better known by his nickname Tonx, had his first run at a mail-order, subscription-based coffee service play out in a way most people would see as success. Three years after its founding, his angel- and seed-stage-funded startup, Tonx Coffee, was bought out by Blue Bottle Coffee, which itself got gobbled up by Nestlé in 2017. At the time of its acquisition, the company was doing several million in annual sales and had been talking to venture-capital firms about a Series A investment.

Now Konecny is gearing up for his second pass at mail-order coffee. His new outing, Yes Plz, still focuses on sourcing green beans from growers and roasting them to demanding specifications in his own roasting equipment with his business partner, Sumi Ali. However, instead of Tonx Coffee’s exclusive single-origin coffee–a term defining anything from one harvest on a particular field on a farm up to a regional cooperative’s collectively processed output–Yes Plz will will offer a blend of several high-quality beans. Konecny says this will let the company better shape flavor and manage inventory and growth, while also discouraging what he thinks can be an excessive focus on provenance and wine-review-like sobriquets among coffee purists. Rather than offer just an every-other-week subscription with automatic renewals, the new operation will also offer one-off purchases and varying schedules and amounts.

I was a Tonx subscriber before they sold to Blue Bottle and have been using Blue Bottle ever since. Their service has not been as good recently and they are expensive, so I have been thinking of finding another service to try.

Yes Plz1 looks like it will be exactly what I was looking for. They are launching with a Kickstarter, but I get the impression that they will be launching regardless of whether or not the Kickstarter is successful. Since it hit 50% funded in the first day, it looks like it will be successful.

There are a few differences between this and the original Tonx subscription:
– It will be a blend instead of single origin. They say this is so they can control flavor and not be snobby, but I suspect that is has more to do with keeping costs down. I never notice the differences between different origin countries much, so I’m fine with this.
– There will be more control over timeframes. Before, they just shipped every two weeks. Customers will now have options for weekly, fortnightly, every third week, and monthly. I use a fortnightly schedule with Blue Bottle now and supplement with local coffee. I may bump it up a bit with Yes Plz.

Unlike most Kickstarter projects, it looks like they are ready to launch quickly. They estimate that the first shipment will go out in July. If you are interested, you can find out more at their website or at Kickstarter.

  1. It is too bad that they could not reuse the Tonx name. It is much better than Yes Plz Coffee. Oh well. 

Thoughts on Infinity War (kinda)

This post contains spoilers to Avengers: Infinity War. You have been warned.

Seriously, stop reading now if you have not seen Infinity War.

I was over a week late, but I finally watched Infinity War on Sunday. I was having trouble getting too excited for it, but it blew away my expectations.

People have compared the end of it to the end of The Empire Strikes Back. While that comparison makes sense, it made me think of a different Star Wars movie. Or really, a Star Wars movie that could have been.

Thanos slowly killing off half of the Avengers was so impacting because we had grown to know and love these characters over many movies. Even if it is obvious that their deaths are not permanent (there is no way that Spider-Man and Black Panther will not be back), watching them die was hard.

As I was walking out of the theater, it struck me that this is what the Order 66 scene of Revenge of the Sith should have been1.

Cinematically, I thought that the Order 66 scene was well done2. Watching the clones betray the Jedi in battles with the droids all across the galaxy with muted sound effects and a slow John Williams score was tragic.

The problem was not in the scene itself but in the two and a half movies that proceeded it. People watching could not even name those characters, much less feel anything about them.

Unlike the prequels, Marvel earned their scene. I cared that Bucky died. I cared that Groot died (again).

And I am excited again that the future of my favorite film franchise is in the hands of the same people that made my other favorite film franchise. The future for nerd movies is good.

  1. Rogue One was also able to pull off a similar scene with characters that we had only known for a single movie, but it (understandably) did not hit nearly as hard as Infinity War did. 
  2. Excluding the scenes in the Jedi Temple. Don’t get me started there. 

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract →

Kate Conger at Gizmodo:

It’s been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company’s continued involvement in Maven.

Google has definitely been a bit tone-deaf the last couple of weeks on how people will view their AI efforts.

I hate it when I am able to fix a bug without having a clear understanding of why the bug was happening. It makes the fix feel fragile.

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