Tuesday, February 6



Level 3, Arcada, 15:46


I woke at about 3:00 for the second night running, and then stayed awake for an hour and a half or so. I slept deeply when the alarm went off. I woke dreaming that I had to carry a toddler I didn’t know very well up a ladder from the bottom deck of a small boat to the top. The child wriggled and I felt scared I would drop him in the water.

Sunshine went beserk when he got let out, howling and jumping to get back in. This may have had something to do with the temperature, which had fallen to minus fourteen. Snow had fallen in the night and covered the smooth frozen ice like a trap.

When I got to Sörnäinen and decided to take a bus rather than a tram the snow had started falling again, and continued until I got to Arcada.

I spent most of the morning going through the new Structured Information course, which Jutta and I have decided will form a bridge between Web Design and CMS, both in terms of giving them some gentle practical work with php and javascript so that they don’t feel overcome when we look into Wordpress, and in terms of picking the pace up slightly so they don’t feel during CMS that it all seemed so much easier last year with Jutta. I sat with various potential exercises deciding how to build examples that they can take apart and then develop, and then how best to teach them. I also had entertaining difficulties with how best to order the course so that it appeared a series of logical steps rather than a bunch of random leaps.

By lunchtime I had most of this done. I certainly had a clear outline of five blocks, each with a theme.

I then updated this site, and ran into a roadblock. None of the images I had uploaded since February 1 had had thumbnails made by Wordpress. I suspected that the new iOS Wordpress app had bugs and so I reuploaded the images on my laptop, with the same result: no thumbnails. I then disabled all the plugins and tried again. Nothing. Then I found a plugin that regenerates thumbnails, which I will definitely need whenever I have time to reinstate the galleries from 2010 and 2011. That failed but left me a big clue in the form of an error message blaming the server, and suggesting that I install Imagick.

Puzzled? Me? The only possibility that I could think of to explain this involved me somehow fucking up the attempted installation of a mailserver last Friday more than I thought possible. I went into webmaster mode and fired up PuTTy, as we webmasters say. I then brought everything on the server up to date and, after checking I had php7 running, installing Imagick. Then, bingo: the plugin regenerated the missing thumbnails.

I set up a backup routine to get something done while I didn’t do anything, and left for a walk round the building.

I walk around with a kettle in my hand, wanting to see something in the building that I have not seen before. I find myself in the stairwell at the end of the third floor and notice that the light on either side of the stairs seems oddly different; an effect of the varying light sources, some internal and some external. Someone walks through the door and down the stairs without even noticing me. I fail to take their photograph and decide that that worked out as it should have done. Their presence would not have improved the image, merely complicated it.

I will walk back to a toilet and fill the kettle. I will walk back to A306 and make a cup of tea. I will start looking in detail at the Interactive Storytelling course, and start reading through my reference material for the last few years. I cannot decide whether plunging ahead and recording lectures to make the course function online would make sense or simply waster time.

At 16:35 I will leave Arcada for a second evening of treachery, rapid plot twists and quick-fire affairs in the summer heat of northern India during the time of the Raj.

We will watch four episodes before grinding to a halt for the evening.