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Now - December 2023

·6 mins· from Ottawa

This is my now page - it's what I'd tell my friends if they asked me, "What are you up to right now?"
If you have your own site, you should have one too!

Solitude for the holidays #

I decided against flying out to Vietnam for the holidays this year after much internal debate, and so I’m spending the holidays in solitude with only Jasper for company. I chose not to for a litany of reasons: don’t have great memories in Vietnam, the family drama has been overwhelming in the past, exhausted and not interested in the thirty hours of flying. I don’t regret my choice, but I also am now experiencing the downsides - namely, that I’m alone and feeling socially isolated. I’ve been pretty solitary this whole year and it’s starting to feel more lonely.

Reflecting #

Being alone means I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. I decided to split my annual reflections into their own posts away from the usual “now” journalling and wrote about 2023 here. Organizing those reflections into their own posts led me down a nice nostalgia journey - I noticed I hadn’t written about 2019 in one single post before, so I retrospectively collated some 2019 reflections while I still have mostly-vivid memories of it all. I’ve found a lot of personal value in the annual reflections and thought it was a good reminder of how far I’ve come and what my perspective on each year has been like. I also still find journalling in public to be valuable - it’s perhaps more vulnerable and more open than people are usually comfortable with, but I find it liberating.

Dabbling with side projects #

I’m trying to disconnect from actual-work over the holiday and have instead been trying to relax a little by working on side projects that I feel like I’ve been neglecting. I’ve let the muse decide, and so far it seems to have decided that I’m refactoring lots of piggyback right now. I think the reason I’m drawn to it is because it has a broader reach than just NFL or just fantasy football like my other projects, and I like the idea of being able to support more people and more projects with it.


📦 for using large(r) data files on GitHub


I’m also dabbling with setting up a self-hosted homelab server right now. I upgraded my Framework laptop to a new CPU/mainboard (from the 2020-era Intel i7-1165G7 to 2023-era AMD 7840U) along with battery and RAM (AMD only takes DDR5, so I’m now up to 64GB on this machine). Framework lets you turn the old mainboard/RAM into a standalone PC when you upgrade (as part of the sustainabilty model) and so I’ve been dabbling a little with setting it up as a home server. We’ll see how far I get, I like the idea of having a selfhost server but I don’t yet have a habit of using it for things.

I’ve also been messing about with this website and recently moved to a new blog theme, blowfish. I switched because Toha started feeling like I was resisting the core design goals of being a resume/portfolio website, while blowfish feels more flexible to what I want my website to be.

I was excited to see someone interested in ffscrapr’s Yahoo implementation, I’m looking forward to see how that progresses over the next few months.

I spent much of December working on Advent of Code. Lost some sleep, but I enjoyed it again while the flow lasted and I’m slowly learning to let problems go when they reach scope limits. Now working back into normal sleep habits again.

Is physical fitness a side project? I’m trying to summon up the willpower to get back into things. We’ll see.

Neglecting other side projects #

As ever, by working on some projects I’m neglecting other projects. Here is a short list of side projects I thought of in ~ ten minutes that I wanted to get to but haven’t yet:

  • push the nflverse internship proposal forward
  • update how nflreadr’s load_players and load_rosters are built so that load_players is the ground truth for every player
  • finish the half-open ffsimulator PR for adding a more realistic simulation
  • add a Shiny app to ffsimulator (maybe document as part of shiny manifesto?)
  • tackle bugs on ffscrapr
  • tackle open issues on nflreadr
  • push ffopportunity to CRAN

and blogposts I’ve thought about but haven’t written:

  • write a post on best practices for using Docker with R, since I’ve grown many opinions about that over the last year or so
  • write a post about setting up my home server
  • write a post to update my guide on setting up your own Shiny Server VM
    • and maybe re-record the video as well?
  • continue transcribing old good tweets to blogposts now that I’m off of Twitter
    • S3 methods as easy wins for package developers
    • a shiny manifesto about how to organize function logic, apps, and packages.
    • a scraping example showing usage of curlconverter / devtools
    • R4DS Slack viz showing my personal message counts and using annotations, dataviz, json parsing
    • SFBX clustering, showing how I approached the problem of clustering fantasy football strategies
  • a series of posts or a quarto book on how to scrape websites (?)
  • write a post on journalling in public and how much I like it

Riding out the end of the fantasy season #

I was in seven fantasy leagues this year: three dynasty leagues (JML, 48, DLP), three redraft leagues (SFB, Zelus, Ashbury), and one best ball league (Solar’s Auction). Thoughts:

  • I made it all the way to the SFB finals and placed 18th out of a pool of 3200, and 66th overall during the regular season. Definitely think there’s something to the structural drafting strategies I chose this year and worth blogging a little about going forward perhaps.
  • Other results:
    • won the JML Dynasty League (second consecutive championship, third in the league’s seven-year history)
    • placed third in FourEight (breaking a streak of three consecutive championships)
    • placed third in the inaugural Solar’s Auction Redraft
    • second in DLP (have yet to win that one)
    • placed 10th and was relegated in the Zelus Premier League
    • won the Ashbury high school league for the first time after finishing second 4 times and third 5 times in twelve years of history
  • I took home $450 in winnings on $185 in league spend this year for a net return of $265. For my fantasy career, that takes me to $2575 in winnings on $1175 in spend for a net return of $1400 (all figures USD).