Now

A running log of what Palmer is up to right now, if you’re curious.  Last edit on 5/25/2024.

Tabroom

In Tabroom land we approach the postseason after a pretty hard year.  We switched to cloud based hosting.  It has huge advantages. I can scale up more power at need, and the systems offer better built-in monitoring. But the transition has been difficult: it was more work than we thought it would be.  Worse, we miscalculated our capacity needs a few times, and got rewarded with periods of downtime on a few weekends.  You may think you hate Tabroom downtimes, but nobody hates it more than I do.

The result of all that personally is I’ve been whacking moles and feeling behind just about all school year.  Plus, I went to too many tournaments myself; I added some without taking others away.  So next year I’m no longer tabbing any NDT/CEDA tournaments, and will prune out a few others that will be fine without me.

My current near-term horizon is consumed by NCFL and NSDA Nationals and the type of ticky-tacky particular stuff large events like that require, which are too small and numerous to talk about. Mock Trial support continues to grow as well; I went to my second National Mock Trial championship in Wilmington, DE in May. As always, I had a lovely time with their great crew of people.

One fun feature I’m currently preparing to soft-launch is the Tabroom Inbox: a message queue readable right on Tabroom itself. A built in Tabroom inbox bypasses our troubles delivering email past aggressive spam filters. It is a bit infuriating to have to write it in legacy code because it’s the type of application that would be much simpler to write in Svelte than legacy Perl, but the need is pretty immediate.

We fully comply with all of Google’s various rules & regulations about sending mass emails, and we don’t even solicit anything commercially; and yet they keep imposing new rules and deciding Tabroom is a spammer without advance notice or clear rules.

For instance, any single address is restricted from sending more than a couple thousand emails in 24 hours, even if all those emails comply with their rules. The incredibly stupid solution to this rule? I append a bunch of random numbers to the sending address, so it’s not “one sender.” So now thanks to Google’s “AI driven” anti spam efforts, it’s harder to filter Tabroom emails to a dedicated inbox. And since Google is 80% of the email world, their whims are our insurmountable issues.

Maintenance Mode for Tabroom Legacy Code

This summer and next year I hope to put Tabroom’s legacy code into a maintenance only status, which will let me jump forward with the rewrite off Perl and into modern frameworks, and hopefully stabilize both my own stress levels and the code base some.  I also hope to put more auto scaling in place to both save some $$ for the organization but give us the option to ramp up the power on demand without me or Hardy being the only ones who can help.

Otherwise

I got to see the eclipse in Newport VT and it was even better than 2017 in Casper. I saw it among a bigger and therefore more excited crowd. The site was better: it let me watch a wave of darkness sweep suddenly over Lake Mephremagog towards me when totality was complete. The telescope performed brilliantly, and I enjoyed explaining what I knew about the science behind it – I’m decent for an amateur, and only messed up a few things.  I became “the friendly guy in the blue hat.”  I might need to do more of that type of thing.

I’m planning the final touches on a trip to Alaska this summer, which finishes the 50 states for me.  It’ll be great to see them all again, though.

I’ve been reading through the 3rd book in the Strong Towns series, which is an organization I appreciate a lot even though I have been thus far a passive consumer for its message.  Next books in the queue are probably fiction for my adventure in the north.

This summer I’m hoping to get serious about taking the massive pile of photos I’ve taken in the last few walkabouts and pulling out the dozens that actually have a sense of composition and style to them to display in a more prominent manner.  But I have to say, even if I never look at them again, the process of finding photos has pulled me into places I appreciate being for their own sake.

I’ve written about half of a book that I’ve been working on for a while.  It’s all handwritten right now.  I have no idea what I’ll do with it when I’m finished, but I think I owe it to the stuff to at least type it up and finish it, even for just myself.  I’m contemplating whether I should go rent a cabin somewhere woodsy and not let myself come home until I’ve focused a little more on it.