Journal 2019-03-15

I am going to try to post a journal entry now and then, because I have been neglecting my blog, and even my micro blog, for a long while now.

Today was a good day.

At work, I automated a data analysis process—and, just as importantly, the work paper creation process associated with it—that I will have to run about sixty times for one of my current projects. I am hopeful that all the effort will have been worth it when I can start using it next week.

I am stressing myself out a little bit while doing this work, though, because it would look like I spent the past day or two not moving forward on actual output at all, even though moving forward next week will be much more efficient. I always have to compare the time it will take me to automate parts of my work with the time it will take me to simply ground it out. Of course, both time estimates are usually just guesses for me, because most of my work is one-off project work, which is never repeated (at least not in the same way) on the next project. Luckily for me, I have the weekend off to forget about time and budget pressure for a couple days.

My daughter passed level 50 in Reading Eggs tonight, which she does at school and at home on her Chromebook. I am very proud of her. She has recently started working much harder at learning to read. My wife and I have been pushing her a little harder lately, too, and even hired her a reading tutor (who is super nice) to help her. The best thing to happen about it this week is that we are now all on the same page about, and saying aloud to each other, that increasing her reading skills is the top priority. It helps to be able to prioritize things.

My son probably will never need a reading tutor, but he will need to go to preschool in the fall, and my wife and I have to figure out how to pay for it. We have already started scaling back our expenses (mainly monthly subscriptions and dining out), but have not gone into full-on budget mode just yet. We have started talking about money again, which is good. We may start using YNAB again, but I don’t care for the price of their subscription.

I have been working on a huge update to one of my apps, SwiftoDo Desktop, which is a todo.txt task list manager for the Mac. The current version is super old now, and I re-wrote it from scratch, basing the model code on the iOS version I have been working on for a couple years now. At this point, the new Mac version is even better than the iOS version, but it is still not ready for release. Based on the brief time I can work on it, late at night, I imagine I have several weeks to go before I can release it.

Also, today, I released a bug fix update to one of my other apps, Simple Call Blocker. I fixed a bug that made its call blocking extension not load for a lot of people. It turns out the problem had to do with calling an Apple API incorrectly—and I think the rules changed since I initially released the app, because it used to work without a problem. I had thought the bug was related to the app’s Core Data stack, which I had no way to fix, but it turned out to be something different. It feels good to fix that bug, and hopefully put a stop to all the customer emails I get about it.