Monday notes from 27 July 2020

I am still up here in the Yorkshire Dales with my new support bubble. Things are happily easy-osy, but my goddaughter had been a bit distant last week, not wanting to do activities with me as much as before. One morning, however, she was bright and happy and cheerfully asked 'Did you enjoy your sleepover?'. When I said yes and we talked about how much longer I'd be staying, I asked if I should stay here forever, and she thought and said perhaps ten months is a suitable timeframe. This morning she was sitting in my guest bed watching childrens' programmes on Netflix in between checking my ear temperature and gleefully popping the caps off the thermometer.

We've had some good times this week. The Ultraviolet Parade still has not taken place, but the general way that life is lived in the house is comforting. Ⓤ and Rick picking rhubarb from the garden to make crumble, working on art together, or just unstructured, imaginative play.

Rick and I have been trail running, with two runs through Lindley Wood. I have loved these runs — not only do I get to go with a running partner to pace me, but the runs are through beautiful and varied woodland. You can tell we're serious because we're now wearing running vests. I also bought myself a new fitness tracking watch, but a $10m ransomware attack limited its usefulness for some of the week when everything was bajanxed (banjaxed). On Friday we went on a walk from Kettlewell. We had perfect weather and the kind of walk where the terrain changes enough to keep you interested the whole way, while the hills and valleys just unfold in front of you — hours of expansive views, always changing. We also sat by the clear River Wharfe crashing over rocks as we ate our snacks and I thought how nice it would be to kayak it one day. Maybe we'll join a local club one day — one of them is less than 10km away and another looks ideal for our learning goals. Rick also mentioned going surfing in Northumberland when things improve. Back in Kettlewell, lunch was a bowl of soup at Zarina's. HappyCow perhaps overestimated the extent of their vegan options, but the soup was very good. Speaking of good food, I've been introduced to 老干妈 ('lǎo gān mā') crispy chilli in oil, and it's flipping good!

I've been working on my Haskell Computer go library in between all this exploration, with the help of my favourite ambient tracks, and Conotox, and Chilled Cow, and enough cherry cola to cause my hosts serious concern for my gastric and dental health. Bah — good hacking and caffeine have always gone together. Anyway, functionally there's been no change to the program, but underneath I've rewritten everything to be far less wasteful with the analysis of structures on the board — things like adjacency of groups and surroundedness. Instead, analyses are done once, at a relatively high level, and are revised incrementally with each move, rather than having to 're-scan' the board. Practically, the result will be that the code will run a lot faster for exploring the game tree, hopefully. That is, many more potential moves can be considered in the same time. I already do simple lookaheads of thousands of board positions nearly instantaneously in the REPL on my old laptop from 2013. As I've said before, writing go programs is a well-trodden path, but I feel my Haskell skills are really improving with this. I'm writing things out functionally without needing minutes of forethought, which is encouraging, though perhaps it's time to get more monadic soon, like I've been meaning to do for some time! But first, the code needs to be tidied, tested and tweaked...