Weeknotes 2022 W08: Depleted

“War in Europe” was not on the list of things I was prepared for.

There are too many catastrophes stacked onto catastrophes lately. They’ve been sucking up most of my energy, leaving barely enough to energy for me to get my work done. I feel depleted.


Virtually no progress on my personal projects.

I had planned to make changes to implementation of Lox (from the Crafting Interpreters book), but all I did was open up my code editor, stare at the screen for a few minutes, and then close it again. It’ll have to wait.


For my site, denisdefreyne.com, I’ve changed my approach to CSS. I’ve mostly removed the use of utility-first CSS, and replaced it with old-school BEM. I believe that utility-first CSS requires a component framework (like React) to be truly useful, and it’s not well-suited for prose. (Case in point: Tailwind, a utility-first CSS framework, has a separate package for dealing with prose. That package is not utility-first.)

BEM still works really well these days. It works especially well when sticking all design decisions into CSS variables. I’ve got CSS variables for colors, font faces, font sizes, line heights, and more.

Utility-first CSS still has its place, just not on prose-heavy sites like denisdefreyne.com. I’m glad I spent some time with utility-first CSS, in any case. Knowing its strengths and weaknesses has given me new insights for how to follow BEM properly, too.


I’m still enjoying Cyberpunk 2077. The game is still buggy af though. I tried out photo mode on a NPC floating in mid-air just above the road (and thereby blocking street traffic). But… the photo mode camera kept revolving around my waist, as if its primary intent was taking close-ups of my butt and crotch.

I’m slowly watching the Roman Empire series on Netflix. The “docudrama” genre feels really weird to me. At least it has Sean Bean’s voice, which makes it all better. Sean, you’ve got a hold on me.

I also picked up Doctor Who series 12. I still find it funny that England is apparently the center of the universe.


You know how some error dialogs can be dismissed by pressing the space bar? That is problematic while you’re writing text. This is exactly what I was doing: writing away when I got a scary red error dialog, and I automatically dismissed it by accident. It was too fast; I couldn’t read what the scary red error dialog was. So now something is wrong, but I have no way of telling what.

Maybe there should be at least a half-second delay before dialogs can be automatically dismissed. Or maybe the OS can detect that there was typing going on? In any case, this sure fits in the “problems that should not exist” category.


Another problem that should not exist: the lack of ports on the M1 MacBook Pro. It has three, but I need four. I use one for the external display, one for the external USB hub, and then I need another one for either my microphone and/or the Yubikey.

I have been advised to never, ever plug a microphone into a USB hub. This might have been the cause of death of my previous microphone. So, I’m not doing that anymore. But this leaves me with zero ports to stick my Yubikey into.

This problem would not exist if I could plug in the Yubikey into my USB hub. But this USB hub does not have USB-C ports, and my Yubikey is a USB-C one. USB-C hubs with USB-C ports are ridiculously expensive — you can easily spend several hundred euros on them.

So I’m pulling out my Yubikey and plugging in my microphone when I’m about to go in a call, and pulling out my microphone and plugging in my Yubikey when I want to do any other kind of work. This current work setup makes it very challenging to do pair programming.

Back in the day, I was so excited at the idea of USB-C solving the problems of having too many different kinds of ports. But in the end, it seems like it made the problem worse after all.


I’m very disappointed with my LG ultra-wide high-resolution screen (the 34WK95U). It has severe burn-in: if I leave a window open for too long, and then open another window on top of it, I can see the contents of the previous window. This is unacceptable, especially for a display that is this expensive.

The screen also occasionally turns entirely black for a second or two. Sometimes, it just stops working and I have to pull out the electricity cord and plug it back in.

Weeknotes for week of February 21st, 2022. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these weeknotes via email or subscribe to the web feed.
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