Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Weaknotes for w/o 21 July 2019

Haven’t done one of those monthnotes things for a while, have I? I don’t even remember what I did that’s worth mentioning or revisiting between April and now, so let’s just start over from here. And since we’re starting over, let’s call these weaknotes from now on.

Workwise, July has been a busy one, with a lot of holiday-cover subbing shifts. Those have changed — I’m not sure if they’ve got easier — since the nightly deadline was brought forward by two hours. I’m usually finished work when there’s still a hint of light in the sky, which is nice. But there’s no longer a gap in the middle of my day to nap and recharge.

Basically, my work/life balance is out of whack at the moment. It’s tough to find the time to enjoy other interests when work takes up the latter, greater part of one’s day (and often the beginning, too). When work is done, I’ll maybe have the energy for some TV (lately: The Amazing Race, and Forged in Fire (aka Chopped for Bladesmiths, aka Knife Weirdos)) and that’s about it. Don’t get me started on my poor scheduling for days off.

Case in point: I’ve had a new computer since last month, my first PC in 17 years I think. It makes work easier, since I need a Windows machine and I’d been making do with a laptop that’s a few years old now. And I can play games on it — it’s got a decent graphics card, more than enough for anything I’d want to play, and I’ve got a few titles waiting in my Steam library — but I haven’t got there yet as I simply haven’t had the time to sink into it.

At least I’m not stuffing my face. In fact, my appetite’s fallen off completely over the last two months. Should I be concerned about that? I mean, I could do with losing a few pounds. Well, more than a few considering I put on two stone stress-eating between last summer and May this year. I’ve returned to WW mainly as a support measure, and they provide the tools for me to track what I’m doing. And I’ve already gone down a stone in seven weeks (go me!). But it feels almost independent of that, the appetite thing. As in, I think about things I would normally salivate over, like a massive sundae or a bag of jelly beans or something, and my holistic reaction is ‘meh’. I suppose I should enjoy it while it lasts?

Some blog housekeeping: I’ve made a few small style changes to the main timeline on this site, so the ‘standard’ posts appear a little less obtrusive, especially compared to the tweets that get pulled into the blog far more often. I’m trying to achieve a semblance of balance here; when it comes to my tweets, even if they’re technically ‘asides’ and produced offsite, they count just as much as blog entries for me. Or at least I’ve come to realise they do.

On that same note, I’ve made a change to the RSS feed (which itself necessitated an update to how @MacDaraBlogs works) so that these tweets are now included alongside everything else; they may appear occasionally truncated, especially if they go over 140 characters and I don’t have time to edit right away, but that’s a limitation of the WordPress plugin I’ve been using to pull them in, and I don’t see any other, more viable solution for the time being.

Speaking of editing, I’ve taken to editing the blogged tweets to make them more useful, and look a little neater, especially when links and quote tweets are included. That might not reflect in the RSS feed, depending on how often it’s refreshed, but I’m doing my best here.

What else? My film reviews will be cross-posted from Letterboxd from now on, instead of getting their own bulk posts; in fact I’ve already reblogged reviews as far back as February to account for the backlog. The same will apply to Goodreads reviews, not that I’ve been reading a lot lately. (To be more specific: not getting to the end of a lot of books lately.)

There are a few other things I’ve changed here in the background (like fixing the nav tag semantics) that don’t affect anything on the surface, and more I want to tinker with, mostly style-related though I’d like to add more contextual links to blog posts (related posts, perhaps, or next/previous within the same timeline or category). I’ve also been reading about how to incorporate Webmentions, and the IndieWeb, both of which completely passed me by this decade.

The latter is a new definition for an old concept, I suppose. It’s the Web In Opposition, to the silos of social media and other corporate platforms. And whether I knew it or not, I’ve been a part of it. I mean, what is this blog if not an example of the IndieWeb? It’s my own space on the web, that I maintain and manage myself. My own isle of blogging. Much of it’s automated on the back-end, sure; some of it makes use of corporate tools. But it all needs me to keep it going.

That’s enough for my first weaknote, I think. Until the next one, whenever that is!

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